Last week, if you were to ask me what any of the Superheavy Samurai cards did, I would have told you I had no freaking idea. I'd follow that thought up with the fact that I knew one of them had a lot of DEF and could make your monsters attack while in defense mode, but I didn't know its name or its actual stats.

The theme never really stood out to me, as it was a weird gimmick that I thought wouldn't ever go anywhere, because it seemed to rely just on that one big monster. Don't get me wrong: attacking with defense position monsters is a really cool idea and something that actually gets around a ton of really good cards, but I wish the clause was carried by other monsters instead of needing one monster to allow the others to do so. But, you know, Konami.

Enter Secrets of Eternity.

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As of late, I've been fairly bored with Yu-Gi-Oh because the big decks are just so good and have become quite linear in their approach. Which is fine… but not very interesting. I've been branching out a bit, creating some wacky decks that have had minor success, but nothing to ride home about. It was in this attempt to cure my boredom that I stumbled upon Superheavy Samurai Soulpiercer; a Reinforcement of the Army for Superheavy Samurais anytime it's sent from the field to the graveyard.

No matter how you karate chop it: that's a fantastic effect and I quickly realized there was a ton of potential here solely based on one really great monster. As per usual, I immediately jumped to my favorite place to nourish my curiosity: the Konami Yu-Gi-Oh Database.

They're Like Bujins…But Not…
Once you've reached the database, simply type "Superheavy" into the text box and hit search. Fourteen monsters will zip back at you and it's time to get to work.

The first thing to note is that the Superheavy Samurais are a lot like Bujins, but with a Utopia-ZW twist. For those totally unfamiliar, the Bujin theme's centered on Bujin Yamato which searches a Bujin monster from your deck to your hand and then sends another from your hand to the graveyard. That's fantastic, because many of the monsters in the theme have effects that trigger in the hand or in the graveyard to help protect your Yamato.

The ZW's are built to protect Number 39: Utopia. They're a slew of monsters that can be equipped to your Utopia monsters from your hand or side of the field to buff its ATK or DEF. They also grant it special abilities like shielding it from targeting effects and protecting it from battle or Card Destruction.

The Superheavy Samurais do all three of those things. There are a handful of monsters that are decent while on the field and another set of monsters that you can Equip to them to buff up their DEF and grant them cool abilities. Those same Equip-able monsters have effects that help protect your Superheavy Samurais while they're in the graveyard or in your hand.

Now that we have a basic idea of what all of these things do, let's get into it.

A Great Defense Is Your Best Offense
Let's begin with the monsters you'll want to Normal Summon more often than not.

First up on the list is the monster I was talking about earlier, but now we have a name to go with the effect: Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei. This thing is the true star of any Superheavy Samurai deck, because of its huge DEF points which get used as ATK during damage calculation. It's the Bujin Yamato of the theme without the stream of potential +1's, but Big Benkei has a lot of other noteworthy features.

It being an Earth Machine monster clocking in at Level 8 means easy access to awesome high-level Synchros and one-card revivals of Machina Fortress. Its puny 1000 ATK is also relevant, because that means you can Special Summon it right from the deck with Giant Rat. Between Giant Rat and Soulpiercer, Big Benkei's readily available to you.

Moving down the line we have Superheavy Samurai Blue Brawler; an annoying little thing. Brawler works extremely well with Big Benkei, because it has 0 ATK and 2000 DEF, but it's not fantastic on its own. The card's saving grace is that it can't be destroyed by battle, so it's really hard for a lot of decks to get over without spell or trap removal.

Skipping past Superheavy Samurai Kabuto, because it's just not very good, we arrive at Superheavy Samurai Scales. This has always been a good card, because it can revive a Level 4 or lower Superheavy Samurai from your graveyard anytime it's Normal Summoned or Special Summoned. That ability's typically left to Normal Summons only when it's appeared on other cards, so the fact Scales can do it anytime is incredible. If your opponent controls two monsters to your zero, Scales can Special Summon itself from your hand; triggering its revival effect and getting you right back into the game. It also combos extremely well with the theme's brand new Tuner.

Superheavy Samurai Trumpeter can be Special Summoned from your hand as long as you have no spells or traps in your graveyard. If you do so, you can't Special Summon anything but Superheavy Samurai monsters for the rest of the turn. There are two basic plays you can do here with Scales and both are pretty good. The first is your best option if you don't have Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei. Normal Summon Scales to Special Summon any Level 4 Superheavy Samurai monster in your graveyard. Follow that up by Special Summoning Trumpeter from your hand. You'll have 10 Levels on the field and can Synchro Summon Superheavy Samurai Warlord Susanowo! If you revived Soulpiercer, you can search any Superheavy Samurai from your deck to your hand as well. Remember when I said it was like Bujins, but not? Yeah, well even the new boss monster shares a name with the Bujin boss.

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Susanowo's a really neat monster that can also attack while in defense mode. It's got a hefty 3800 DEF and if you have no spells or traps in your graveyard, during either players turn, you can set one of your opponents previously used spells or traps to your side of the field! That's really freaking cool, because you can use cards that were previously used against you like Raigeki, Snatch Steal, Forbidden Lance or Mystical Space Typhoon. Need a free +1? Reuse your opponent's Upstart Goblin to dig for more cards. If you wanted some defense, you could grab popular picks like Vanity's Emptiness or Dimensional Prison.

Trumpeter's second, more situational combo, requires your opponent to control two monsters while you have none. Start by Special Summoning Scales from your hand, reviving any previously fallen Superheavy monster and then Special Summon Trumpeter. Finally, Tribute Summon Scales and Trumpeter for Big Benkei. Superheavy Samurai Trumpter, when used for the Tribute of a Superheavy Samurai, will Special Summon itself back to the field for a free chump block or to Synchro Summon Susanowo with Big Benkei. You've also still got the other Superheavy Samurai on the field from Scales, so you have a lot of options on what to do next.

Replacing Spells With Monsters
Because Superheavy Samurai Warlord Susanowo and Superheavy Samurai Trumpeter are so awesome when you have no spells or traps in your graveyard, that's what we're going to do; run no purple or green cards. Thankfully, as I mentioned earlier, the theme has a lot of monsters with dual protection effects and most are pretty good.

The first card with awesome protection, falls into the category of "monsters you'll probably Normal Summon," but its protection is too important to not list here. Superheavy Samurai Flutist is the ultimate fix for this theme, because before it came out you almost never wanted to draw into Big Benkei. That's kind of problematic, when Big Benkei is the best monster in the deck. Thanks to Flutists ability to Special Summon a Superheavy Samurai out of your hand: you can safely draw into or search out Big Benkei. It's an awesome -1 that is sure to pay for itself, because while in the graveyard Flutist becomes a Bujingi Turtle: protecting your Superheavy Samurai from anything that targets, but unlike Turtle, Flutist will destroy the card. So that's awesome and very useful: the perfect one-two punch.

Superheavy Samurai Soulbang Cannon is the first monster we'll talk about that has both an Equip effect and a graveyard effect. Soulbang Cannon can be equipped from your hand or side of the field to any Superheavy Samurai monster to boost its DEF by 1000, which is an okay effect, but will mainly be used to finish off your opponent as it'll raise Big Benkei to an incredible 4500 DEF. Its graveyard effect is quite deadly, however. While you control a defense position Superheavy Samurai and this things in the graveyard, if your opponent activates any card effect during either player's Battle Phase, you can banish it to negate the activation and destroy the card. After that you'll destroy all monsters on the field and deal 1000 damage to both duelists. While giving up Big Benkei isn't the greatest, sometimes it's a necessary evil to negate a key effect and Dark Hole the field.

Next up is Superheavy Samurai Soulfire Suit: the theme's extremely unpredictable Bujingi Hare. Anytime a Superheavy monster you control would be destroyed in any way, you can discard Soulfire Suit to have that on-field monster lose 800 DEF, but it's protected for the entire turn. That effect's really fantastic, because it's blanket protection for an entire turn and the DEF loss is not permanent. You can also Equip it to a Superheavy Samurai to bring its level up to 5, a semi-irrelevant effect, but it can help you make Warlord Susanowo with Scales, Soulfire Cannon and Trumpeter.

Finally, just to recap, Superheavy Samurai Soulpiercer is the reason to truly look into the deck. Anytime it's sent from the field to the graveyard, you can add any monster we just previously talked about from your deck to your hand. This bow and arrow has the added bonus of equipping to a Superheavy Samurai to grant that monster piercing; which is really fantastic when you're swinging at your opponents monsters with almost 4000 ATK.

Filling The Gaps
Now that we've truly outlined all of the monsters from the theme, there are only a few holes to fill. All the monsters discussed are easy 3-of's, because they all work so well together and every other monster the theme has happen to be mediocre and not worth running.

The basic things you'll miss by using the deck as "almost all monsters" can be fixed by including a slew of hand traps. Maxx "C" and Gorz, The Emissary of Darkness are two pretty fantastic cards right now. Swordsman of Revealing Light is another favorite of mine that works well with Big Benkei for a near-invincible Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand.

Machina Fortress will give you a bit more muscle and utility with your extra Big Benkei's, while Breakthrough Skill can easily be removed from your graveyard to turn on your Trumpeter and Warlord Susanowo. Include some Skill Prisoners for the same reason if you need more protection.

Without further ado, I present Spell-Free Superheavy Samurai:

DECKID=101713Thanks to huge defensive monsters, protection from battle and targeting, this deck can actually compete right now. You'll have to draw consistently ideal hands to beat around Qliphort, because Qliphort Stealth is an issue, but it can be done. Big Benkei will rarely die by battle and thanks to Flutist and Soulfire Suit; it'll be hard to get rid of your boss at all.

I like Superheavy Samurai's chances against any rogue competition and Burning Abyss, so feel free to attempt these guys at a Regional soon. I've had a lot of fun testing out this theme and it helped cure my boredom of Yu-Gi-Oh while scoring some awesome wins along the way.

Are you familiar with Superheavy Samurai? Do you have a build that goes in a totally different direction? Are you excited for Secret Forces!? Let me know below.

-Pasquale Crociata