Welcome back, innovators! This week we're diving into the somehow-still-not-Limited Soul Charge. I've kept this deck under wraps for quite some time now, but felt there was no better occasion to spill the beans. I discovered this powerful combo the day Soul Charge was announced on the Konami strategy website, a day that will forever be known as the day all of my friends, and probably your friends, had numerous meltdowns.

I remember it like it was yesterday. April 14th, 2014. A day that was like any other day: I was just going through the motions, minding my own business until the evening began to settle in and Michael Kohanim dropped a bomb on the Yu-Gi-Oh community. My Facebook exploded with messages and my phone began receiving texts at an incredible pace. Each message began in a similar fashion: "DID YOU SEE Soul Charge? WHAT HAVE THEY DONE! YU-GI-OH IS DEAD!" Taken by surprise at the flurry of messages and the outcry of rage, I hopped on my computer and read the article myself. After finishing it, I too was pretty shocked, and while I didn't think the game was over, I knew it was about to get crazy.

Within hours, the two-card Shooting Quasar Dragon combo was all over the web and left me scrambling for my Maxx "C"s. Shortly after that, Infernity decks began taking over the online dueling community, forcing me to clutch my Maxx "C"s even tighter. Fear. Confusion. Horror. Degenerate strategies were everywhere! And just when I thought they were finally dead - the Dragon Rulers were sure to be incredible again.

The amount of discussion, theory and sheer madness that took place that night was incredible: It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Despite all of that, I did what I always do when I want to find interesting strategies: I hopped on the Konami Yu-Gi-Oh Card Database!

Leading The Charge
The first thing I did was take a quick look at Foolish Burial. Foolish is another one of those cards with very little text that's extremely powerful. The reason I went right to this spell was because I wanted to see how it was worded. In order to abuse Soul Charge, you obviously need to find cards that load up your graveyard with powerful monsters. I copied the last part of the wording: "from your Deck to the Graveyard." and adjusted to Search by Card Text, and I was off to the races! I do want to note that if you don't include the period after graveyard, your search won't be as refined and you'll receive a whopping 560 cards. Including the period narrows your search down to a manageable 161 options.

Once I had my 161 choices sitting in front of me, I knew I wanted to load my graveyard quickly and on the first turn and that meant that I didn't want to read through any traps. So I went back to the top of the page and adjusted my filter from "All Cards" to "Spell Cards." Thirty cards were revealed and I began reading through each one until I found a card that loaded my graveyard even faster than Dragon Shrine!

#####CARDID= 5089#####

Bam. Snake Rain!

I'm Tired Of These Mother Loving Snakes On This Mother Loving Plane!
Yes. More Reptiles. I know. But seriously. It's a monster-type flooded with incredible support like King of the Feral Imps, W Nebula Meteorite and Offering to the Snake Deity, and it's just lacking an amazing named archetype to make it all super relevant.

But I digress… Now, the question that comes to mind after finding one card that sends any four Reptile monsters you want to the graveyard is this: which Reptiles are worth it? To figure that out, I searched once again for every Reptile in the game! But unlike in my last article when I was just interested in Reptiles in general, this time I was curious to see if any Reptiles had any killer effects that triggered when they were Special Summoned! To do that, I went back to the Card Database homepage and typed "Special Summoned" and selected "Search by Card Text." I then selected Reptiles and hit search.

The database found only twenty Reptiles that have the words "Special Summoned" in their card text and after reading them, only two have effects that trigger upon being Special Summoned. Granadora will boost your Life Points by 1000 when Special Summoned, but will take 2000 with him when he's destroyed. Ew. Bad. Terrene Toothed Tsuchinoko, however, is extremely interesting. When this little guy's Special Summoned he puts all other Special Summoned monsters on the field to face-down defense position! All right, I knew that could be good - time to go back to all of the Reptiles and find monsters that have amazing Flip Effects.

As I've mentioned before, the Reptile monsters are mostly comprised of Worms, and not so shockingly, most of the good Flip Effects belong to that archetype. However, despite the fact that you can abuse Worm Cartaros, Worm Yagan and even Worm Linx with this little combo, I believed that the Worm strategy was better left as a stun deck with a vast collection of traps and not this combo-oriented strategy I was trying to build. With that logic in mind – I was lead to the only other worthwhile Flip Effect among the remaining Reptiles: Evoltile Westlo!

The Evol deck's comprised of two monster-types: Reptiles and Dinosaurs. The main goal is to unleash the terrifying Evolzar Xyz, which are no strangers to competitive play. Those pesky Dragon Xyz dominated formats of old and with this deck, could potentially find their way back into competition.

Far From Extinct
Keeping in mind Darwin's Theory of Evolution, the Evoltiles all Special Summon the Evolsaurs from your hand, deck or graveyard. Also, the Evolsaurs will only gain their powerful effects when Special Summoned by Evoltiles. Evoltile Westlo's easily the best monster in the deck because of its Gravekeeper's Spy-esque ability. Looking at what I've got going on so far, with this combo, I could set three Evoltile Westlo's on the first turn. With that kind of set-up, my second turn could blowout my opponent by creating multiple Evolzar Xyz.

Now that we've got our main combo pieces – Soul Charge, Snake Rain, Terrene Toothed Tsuchinoko and Evoltile Westlo – it was time to construct the full deck. Heading back to the Card Database homepage, I searched for all cards that had "Evo" in their name. Doing this will allow you to find every monster in the archetype and nearly every support card, since they all begin with some variation of "Evo." Just to make sure I didn't miss anything, I went back and looked at all of the Reptile support cards and I was glad I did! In doing so, I stumbled upon Degen-Force. On the surface it looks pretty terrible, but when you understand this strategy and that it can revive any two Reptiles, not just Evoltiles, it looks much better. Trade out that useless Evolsaur Vulcano for an Evoltile Westlo and Terrene Toothed Tsuchinoko and trigger Terrene's ability to put Westlo face-down! It's a nifty little trick that will improve the longevity of this strategy. Let's check out the full list:

DECKID=100895Including three copies of Evoltile Westlo was a no-brainer, as was including three copies of Evoltile Najasho, Evo-Diversity, Evo-Force and Evo-Singularity. On the Evolsaur side I decided that I only wanted to play three copies of Evolsaur Vulcano and Evolsaur Diplo. Both of their effects are great in this strategy, while Evolsaur Cerato, the typical 3-of, isn't as strong. Sure, Cerato's 1900ATK is impressive, but its effect won't be as relevant since most of your Evoltiles will be heading to the graveyard from Snake Rain. Also since Snake Rain discards one card as a cost, only one copy of Terrene Toothed Tsuchinoko is needed; if you draw it, you can simply discard it. Easy!

Upstart Goblin's a solid choice from there to reduce the number of cards left in your deck, getting you to your winning combos quicker, and Pot of Dichotomy gives you a little bit of a back-up plan should something go wrong. Vanity's Emptiness is a strong pick for a deck that creates impressive fields too, since you can cut off your opponent from Special Summoning. Multiple Evolzar Laggias backed by Emptiness is brutal. Not to mention, this deck plays so many Normal Spells that destroying it when you want to Special Summon again is easy!

Evoltile Lagosucho is another surprise pick, but it totally makes sense! Instead of sending your Evoltile Najashos off of Snake Rain just send Lagosucho instead. Terrene Toothed Tsuchinoko will put it face-down and upon being flipped, it'll Special Summon Najasho from the deck anyway. Lagosucho combos really well with Evo-Force and Evolsaur Vulcano, too. Despite Joe Frankino's distaste for Lagosucho, including it in this build didn't take much convincing.

Negate Everything
Well, I hope you had fun following me along on this innovative journey. With the way I formed this deck, it can easily play like your standard Evol build, but tossing in the Snake Rains and Terrene Toothed Tsuchinoko lets you have total blow-out openings. Starting with a first turn Laggia and Solda will let you negate any power-plays your opponent could throw at you.

This is another deck I'd love to get my hands on and play at a local until I was comfortable enough with it to enter a Regional. Tweak it as you see fit, and customize it with cards you think could replace the choices I've made. Nothing is ever set in stone and your deck should evolve from tournament to tournament, especially based on what's played in your area.

What's your favorite Soul Charge strategy that nobody's using? Did you even know what Terrene Toothed Tsuchinoko did before today? Now that we have two articles under our belts, what have you learned about deck building?

Let me know in the comments below!

-Pasquale Crociata
"Dueling with EvolCharge!"