I was a huge fan of the Fluffal archetype when they got their first wave of cards back in New Challengers. The strategy focused on fusing Edge Imp Sabres with a variety of your Fluffal monsters to Fusion Summon the lackluster Frightfur Bear or the decent Frightfur Wolf. Neither Fusion was really worth the loss in card economy, even when you factored in Fluffal Rabbit and Fluffal Cat returning many of your Fusion Materials back to your hand. Fluffals had a watered down Elemental Hero Stratos in Fluffal Dog, and there were some neat combos with their interesting support card Toy Vendor. But at the end of the day there just wasn't any end game.

That changes - for the most part - with the plethora of new Fluffal cards in Crossed Souls. Not only are there a ton of ridiculous pieces of support to mess around and test with, there's also clearly multiple ways to build Fluffals. Considering that this is a mostly casual theme with only two sets of releases it's incredibly surprising that there are drastically different ways to assemble an actual Fluffal deck. Pasquale and I have both been playing around with Fluffals and have come to different conclusions in our testing, but I want to point out how cool it is that such a low key theme could be constructed with varying approaches and goals.

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I'm going to break down all the newer cards I've included in my build one by one, but first an overview: Fluffals were basically given way better Fusion Monsters, a slew of awesome Edge Imp monsters, and some killer spell and trap cards. All of those cards let the Fluffal player build their deck whatever way that they want to, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make deck building a challenge. Huge reams of support are awesome from a strategy standpoint, but when you're in the development phase it makes things way more time consuming.

In short, the Fluffal theme doesn't map out quite as obviously as Nekroz, Shaddolls, and Qliphorts. There are a ton of cards at your disposal and it really takes some fine-tuning to get the ratios working properly.

Meet The Reinforcements
It's hard picking out my personal favorite new Fluffal card, but if I had to choose I'd say Edge Imp Saw is definitely in the Top 5. When you Normal Summon Saw you get to discard a Fluffal to draw two cards, and then place a card from your hand on the top or bottom of your deck.

Remember Toy Vendor? The Continuous Spell lets you discard a card to draw a card and if it's a Fluffal monster you can Special Summon a monster from your hand. However, if you don't hit a Fluffal you're stuck discarding what you drew, taking a straight -1 of card economy. That's rough, but Saw solves that issue by stacking a Fluffal so you know your Toy Vendor won't miss.

Hitting Toy Vendor's really important, too, because you can trigger your Fluffal Dog when it's Special Summoned to nab a search. I often find myself grabbing a Fluffal Sheep, another new card from Crossed Souls. Sheep's essentially an Ally of Justice Birdman and a Debris Dragon in one card. As long as you control a Fluffal monster you can Special Summon Sheep from your hand, and then you can bounce another Fluffal back to your hand to Special Summon an Edge Imp from your hand or graveyard. Sheep lets you reuse Dogs while putting pressure on the board at the same time, and it's really scary after you get the ball rolling. All it takes is one Edge Imp monster in the graveyard and every Fluffal Dog turns into a +2.

Edge Imp Chain's another awesome monster, one of the larger Edge Imps in terms of stats. Chain has a weird effect that searches a second copy whenever you attack with it, but you're really using it for the second effect: whenever Chain's sent from the hand or field to the graveyard you can search a Frightfur card. You can trigger that in nearly any way you can imagine, including destruction by battle, a card effect, or (most importantly) using it for a Fusion Summon.

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But what do you get with Chain? Before Crossed Souls the only Frightfur cards were Extra Deck monsters, so Chain would've been pretty useless if it was released earlier. Now though, you've got a ton of cool things to search. Pasquale's deck was heavily focused on adding Frightfur Factory to his hand to churn out more Fusion Summons, but for mine I'm only going to be playing one target, and that's Frightfur Fusion. It's quite literally a Miracle Fusion for Fluffals and it creates OTK opportunities where they just didn't exist before. Originally your main win condition was fusing Edge Imp Sabres and three Fluffals to make a Frightfur Wolf that could attack four times, but that was nearly impossible because it took five cards of setup.

What's important is that even if this set didn't release better Fusion Monsters – spoiler alert: it did – then Fluffals would still be better off than before. They've now got way better Main Deck monsters, a consistent way to set up Toy Vendor, and their own Miracle Fusion to help make free Fusion Monsters out of nowhere. They also received a Monster Reborn in Suture Rebirth, and a Call Of The Haunted in Designer Frightfur. If all of these cards existed with no further support I'd still consider Fluffals at least a semi-viable casual option, because their plays are just so much easier to get off. But the best new additions might just be the Fusion Monsters.

While Frightfur Wolf and Frightfur Bear called for Edge Imp Sabres, Frightfur Leo and Frightfur Sheep need Edge Imp Saw and Edge Imp Chain, respectively. Saw and Chain are just flat out better cards than Sabres, so things are already looking good. Beyond that, Leo and Sheep are just leaps and bounds ahead of Wolf and Bear, and they give Fluffals the end goal that they desperately needed.

Frightfur Leo's simply a Number 61: Volcasaurus, often paving the way for a huge follow-up attack with your other monsters. Frightfur Sheep is the real reason I want to play Fluffals though, because it's an Armades, Keeper of Boundaries that revives itself whenever your opponent destroys it by any means. We might not have the last piece to the puzzle with Frightfur Tiger (curse you Shonen Jump Alpha voters!) but we do have a bunch of cool things to try out. Let's take a look at one of the many drafts of Fluffals that I currently have:

DECKID=102088This version of Fluffals is obviously designed to kick out as many Fusion Monsters as possible. One of the issues I found was that I often had the wrong Edge Imp card for the Fusion Monster I wanted to Summon, so I found King of the Swamp to be extremely valuable. All of your Frightfur monsters take a specific Edge Imp card and (outside of Frightfur Bear) any Fluffal monster. King of the Swamps can't take the position of the Fluffal half, but it can substitute itself for any of the Edge Imps, making it a powerful addition to this deck.

King of the Swamps also solved another issue I had, and that's getting to your Fusion Spells consistently in the early game. I've omitted Fluffal Owl from my list and for good reason: it was usually the worst Normal Summon in my hand. Compared to Fluffal Dog or Edge Imp Saw, Fluffal Owl was just never doing enough. I also don't like playing too many Fluffals because they're a lot easier to get to than your Edge Imp monsters, so I found that Owl only contributed to the risk of brick hands.

I'm really only playing six monsters I want to Normal Summon, and I feel that's a pretty good number. Three copies of Fluffal Dog and Edge Imp Saw are your go-to's, and occasionally Edge Imp Chain. All of your other cards are better left in hand to use as Fusion Materials and I think that's the best way to play this deck. There are a lot of Fluffal cards that are way too slow for what I'm trying to do, and as a result I just dropped them all. This might be a cute, casual theme but that doesn't mean you have to purposely play bad cards for the sake of playing bad cards. That's just silly.

My hand trap choices were pretty standard, covering all the bases I'd want covered if I was using regular trap cards but without the drawbacks of being potential Mystical Space Typhoon targets. Effect Veiler's a near staple this format to avoid Nekroz of Trishula, and Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit is an awesome new monster that's incredibly versatile. It slows down your opponent, gets rid of pesky cards like Lose 1 Turn, and it's a Level 3 Tuner to make Clear Wing Synchro Dragon or Goyo Guardian. I know a lot of people are downplaying Snow Rabbit right now but I think it's fantastic.

What do you think of Fluffals? Have you found any secret techs? Let me know what you think of my build in the comments below!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, pretending to be a movie critic, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh.