Thinking outside of the box in a day and age where deck lists are so readily available to you can be hard. Despite the difficulty, breaking away from the conventional is the one thing that can set you apart and allow you to top a tournament: whether that's a local, a regional or a YCS. Being innovative is more important now than ever before, because the game of Yu-Gi-Oh is changing so rapidly! New archetypes are constantly being released and amazing stand-alone cards are everywhere. But how do you do it? How do you create a deck from the ground up using great cards that all have synergy?

Well, thanks to the Konami Yu-Gi-Oh Card Database it's never been easier! You can now search for any card you want and filter them out based on their effects, level, attack or defense points and even their pendulum scales. Today we're going to get Interestingly Innovative and look at how I constructed a deck using Supply Squad!

WARNING. Being innovative comes with one heavy price: reading. In order to be innovative, you need to do every one's least favorite thing: read cards. I know it's daunting, but I have faith in you. You can do this if you set your mind to it. Baby steps. Don't forget, we're in this together.

Supply And Demand
Supply Squad is easily the hottest card out of the new Super Starter: Space Time Showdown deck released about two weeks ago. Its effect is beyond powerful and reminds me of a card that will probably never see the light of play every again: Card of Safe Return. If you're unfamiliar with Supply Squad, here it is:

#####CARDID= 16281#####

Simple, straightforward and to the point: once each turn, when a monster you control is destroyed in any way, you can draw a card. Controlling multiple copies means multiple draws. It always seems that the most powerful cards have the simplest text. I'm thinking of cards like Dark Hole, Pot of Greed, Monster Reborn, Graceful Charity, Change of Heart, and so on. All of those cards have extremely simple effects, but they're so powerful that most of them are Forbidden! Meanwhile, this card is new and unlimited! Lucky us.

So. How do we construct a deck around Supply Squad that can easily abuse it?

Right off the bat I knew I wanted to construct a deck that could destroy my own cards to gain card advantage, whether that's by destroying opposing cards in the process, searching out other cards, or by simply furthering my deck's initial strategy. There were a few obvious choices that came to mind, and some you may have even seen already. The two decks I think everyone jumped to when they saw this card were Scraps and Fire Kings. Both decks give you more bang for your buck and create insane advantage when their monsters are destroyed, but I think there's one strategy that's flying way under the radar that could also abuse this card.

Let The Investigation Begin
The first thing I did was hit the Konami Yu-Gi-Oh Card Database, which you can get to by clicking here. (Side note: If you login using your Cossy ID, you can even add cards right into a deck!) Then, in the textbox, I entered the word "destroy." I set the searching feature to "search by card text." In the next box, I selected "traps" and in the options below it I chose "Normal." That means I'm getting a list of every Normal Trap that destroys cards.

The database spits out a list of 235 cards with those parameters, but you can choose to see "100 items per page" so you only have to search through three pages total. I then scrolled through them all, skimming the cards until I found something interesting. As you scroll through, you see some really cool cards like Generation Shift, a solid tech choice for any Fire King decks looking to abuse Supply Squad, but as you press on, you'll reach one card in particular that caught my eye: Offering to the Snake Deity. Offering to the Snake Deity is Icarus Attack's weird twin brother. It's weird because while the cards look nearly identical, they are vastly different. Icarus Tributes a Winged-Beast as a cost, while Offering simply targets your Reptile monster and your opponent's cards. That's an important distinction, because you don't lose your monster if your Offering's negated!

Delving deeper into this synergy, you could use Offering to the Snake Deity and with Supply Squad to get a +1. You'll destroy your monster and two of your opponents' cards, which is an even exchange of card economy, but you'll draw a card with Squad's effect: that's a quick +1 on top of disrupting your opponents' plays! Amazing. I added three copies to my Supply Squad deck. I like to add the maximum number of each card I'm allowed when I'm building a deck, that way I can adjust the ratios later. Now that I had two solid cards for the strategy, I needed to find the rest of the synergy.

The X-Files
By going back to the homepage and clicking "Reptile" you'll get a list of every Reptile monster ever printed in the TCG. The pool's insanely small, sitting at just 116 cards, and most of them are Worms anyway. The first cards that stood out were the Aliens. These little guys like to place "A-Counters" on your opponents' monsters to weaken them in battle and allow their power spell and traps to take effect. As I scrolled a little further I found the alien boss monster: Cosmic Fortress Gol'Gar! A Level 5 Synchro that you may be unfamiliar with…

#####CARDID= 6444#####

Wow! Talk about synergy! This card can bounce back all face-up spell or trap cards to distribute A-Counters among any monsters on the field, and by removing two, you're able to destroy any card your opponent controls! Thinking even further ahead, if Supply Squad was used once on your turn already, you could Gol'Gar it back to your hand to potentially trigger it a second time in the same turn.

Someone Call Mulder And Scully
Aliens revolve around A-Counters for their best effects, so naturally I went back to the Database to find cards that use A-Counters. In the text box I entered "A-Counter." I then selected "Search by Card Text," "All Cards" and hit Search.

It turns out there are a total of 26 cards that use A-Counters. As I skimmed through the cards I noticed that Aliens have some pretty incredible support. First off, there's Mysterious Triangle, a Quick-Play Spell that destroys a monster with an A-Counter to Special Summon a Level 4 Alien from your deck, but it's destroyed during the End Phase. "A" Cell Scatter Burst destroys one of your Aliens to place A-Counters on the field equal to its Level. Brainwashing Beam's a Continuous Trap Card that allows you to take control of an opposing monster for as long as it has A-Counters on it. Code A Ancient Ruins is a Continuous Spell that accumulates A-Counters each time an Alien's destroyed, allowing you to remove two A-Counters from anywhere on the field to revive an Alien from your graveyard. And finally there's Planet Pollutant Virus, which allows you to tribute an Alien to destroy all monsters your opponent controls without A-Counters, to then place an A-Counter on each monster they Summon for the next three turns!

So many good cards, so little space. I knew the final piece to this puzzle was to check out the Alien monsters themselves and hope that they'd rival their spells and traps in usefulness. Unfortunately for me, when I went back to the Database homepage and searched for all the Alien monsters I realized the pool was beyond small and that most of the monsters were terrible. However, there are some Aliens with decent stats, a few with decent effects and some that even advance your game plan with A-Counters! All hope was not lost!

I zoned in on Alien Shocktrooper, Alien Warrior, Alien Telepath and Alien Hypo as the Level 4 monsters that would help me further along my strategy. I then finished up with Alien Ammonite and Alien Dog for their strong effects. I knew I'd most likely be playing three copies of each monster, because there just weren't enough monsters to go around.

I Hope You Brought Your Flashlight
As I rounded out the deck, I made some fairly obvious choices. The Limited Rescue Rabbit pulls out your Alien Shocktroopers for an instant King of the Feral Imps, which would set us up nicely due to searching out Alien Ammonite with its effect. From there, it's obvious to see that Call Of The Haunted's a strong pick because you could chain it to a destruction trick and trigger Supply Squad. Being a Continuous Trap makes it fuel for Gol'Gar and gives you opportunities to re-use the trap. Fiendish Chain's also a solid choice for the same reason, and Solemn Warning, Torrential Tribute and Bottomless Trap Hole are simply too good to pass up. Adding in generically good cards to an innovative deck is a sure-fire way to help it be more competitive. The Extra Deck consists mostly of generic Rank 4's, with a few Synchro options outside of Gol'Gar.

Let's see what I came up with:

DECKID= 100652Sitting at the minimum 40 cards, this Alien Squad deck is sure to catch your opponent off guard with its unique play style. With Supply Squad on the field, taking an initial -2 has never been so good! You could destroy one of your Level 4 Aliens with Scatter Burst to distribute A-Counters to your opponents' monsters, triggering Squad and softening the play into a -1. Afterwards, using Code A Ancient Ruins revives that same monster by only consuming two out of the four counters you distributed! Follow that up with Mysterious Triangle and you'll destroy an opposing monster with the remaining two A-Counters to Special Summon a new Level 4 Alien from your deck!

Overlay them for King of the Feral Imps to grab out Alien Ammonite and then you can gain even more card advantage next turn with Cosmic Fortress Gol'Gar. Situational? Sure, but you'll be drawing so many cards off of Supply Squad that it's hardly far-fetched!

The Truth Is Out There
This deck has some slick synergy using amazing combo-oriented cards; it's a really interesting way of abusing Supply Squad without relying on your opponent's actions. Aliens are an incredible rogue deck that I'd feel pretty confident taking to any local or Regional, because Supply Squad is so powerful. It punishes your opponent for destroying your monsters, but allows you to destroy them to gain some significant card advantage.

There are so many good cards in Yu-Gi-Oh, especially older cards that you may not even know exist, but with some proper searching and knowledge you can make anything competitive!

What's your favorite way to use Supply Squad? Did you even think about Aliens when you saw this card? I'd love to hear how you go about your innovation in the comments below!

-Pasquale
"Dueling with Alien Squad!"