I had difficulty deciding what strategy to write about for this week. I wanted to do something that received support from Dragons of Legend, but that didn't get anything new from Primal Origin. Last week we managed to anger a very large portion of the Crystal Beast community with our Ayers Rock Sunrise build, but this week we're aiming to frustrate a completely different community: the Raccoon players!

Not Your Everyday Raccoon Deck
For whatever reason I've never actually met a Raccoon player in real life that I didn't automatically dislike. I don't know why, but it just seems that Raccoon players are always the ones complaining about how expensive the game is, and that's super annoying. I really want to set myself apart from that, so we're going to be running some wild tech to differentiate this build.

What tech? As the title of this article would suggest, we're going to be using Moja: it's a really old Beast monster with a pitiful effect. You can bring it out from your deck with Beast Striker or Obedience Schooled, but realistically we're only playing it for one reason: King of the Beasts, a recurring 2500 ATK, Level 7 beater. This build's allows you to do all the regular Raccoon combos with Baby Raccoon Ponpoko, Baby Raccoon Tantan, and Obedience Schooled, but there's also going to be some bigger plays that just aren't possible in more conventional versions. We're cutting a bit of consistency for a ton of power plays, similar to the Fire Fist and Fire King comparison last format

DECKID=100259The number of Moja-related cards in this build is very different from my first drafts of this deck. The only Moja build I could use as a previous example was this one from way back in 2009. Needless to say, there are a few differences between Yu-Gi-Oh! five years ago and Yu-Gi-Oh! now. The 2009 build ran three Moja, three Beast Striker, and two King of the Beasts. That made sense because Moja could add back good ol' Rescue Cat from your graveyard to your hand, and that was a huge selling point. In general, you were playing way more Level 4's back then to get the most out of Moja, which was okay for that time period.

However, this version's drastically different on a fundamental level. You're not churning out Synchro monsters with Rescue Cat, you're focusing on Rank 2 and 7's with your Raccoons and King of the Beasts. It's still technically a Moja deck, just because you can't even play King of the Beasts without it, but we're using Moja more as a stepping stone than the focal point.

The Basics
If you've never played Raccoons nor ever played against them, allow me to give you a quick breakdown of your big combos. Basically, you Obedience Schooled for an Elephun and two other Level 2 monsters: it doesn't matter which ones, really, but ideally you're going for a Baby Raccoon Ponpoko and a Baby Raccoon Tantan. From there, you overlay your Ponpoko and Tantan into Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu. Detach an Xyz Material to bring out a token, then Normal Summon any other of your Level 2's to go into Naturia Beast. It's the easiest combo the deck has and it's what the strategy's best known for.

The cool thing about Moja, though, is that you don't have to have another Level 2 in hand with Obedience Schooled to make Naturia Beast. Sure, you could just play Key Mouse, but we want to cut back on as many dead cards as possible. In addition to that twist on the expected combo, you can simply get Moja out and Special Summon a King of the Beasts from your hand or graveyard. From there you'll end up with a Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu and Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree. Depending on the matchup Leo can be even more back-breakingly powerful than Naturia Beast.

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Things start getting really nutty when you throw in Soul Charge, Ayers Rock Sunrise, or Junk Synchron. Let's say you have a hand of Junk Synchron, King of the Beasts, and Obedience Schooled. From there you can Obedience Schooled for Elephun, Moja, and Ponpoko, instantly going into Naturia Beast. You can then Junk Synchron Moja back to field, swap it out for King of the Beasts, and then go into a Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree. Sure, you just took a -1, but you've loaded your field with a Naturia Beast and a Leo, a field that's arguably impossible to get over unless your opponent's willing to waste all their resources in the attempt. In fact that -1 might actually come in handy because it means your opponent can't just 2-for-1 into Evilswarm Exciton Knight and blow up your field.

Longevity
I dedicate the heading of this section to that which Raccoons lack: stamina. Generally speaking, the only real longevity you're getting from a Raccoon deck is through late game Junk Synchron plays, but those are easily stopped and can only happen so many times. Adding the Moja engine - if that's what you can call it - actually extends the period of progressive plays your deck can make. Should your opponent manage to get over your Naturia Beast fields or your defensive line of Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu you've still got options.

And that's really, really important.

Kinka-Byo is a big reason for that added mid-game and late game power. Simply Normal Summon Kinka-Byo, bring back Moja, and replace it with King of the Beasts. That might not seem amazing, but you have to think of it from a Raccoon standpoint. Raccoons already have great opening turns, it's just the mid-game and late game where they can come up short. Most of your games will either be total blowouts - with the combos I talked about earlier - or get to a really grindy point. Raccoons usually struggled with the whole grind part because they run out of monsters. That recursive 2500 ATK from King of the Beasts hits hard when both players are down to topdecking.

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And yeah, you can't have two King of the Beasts on the field at the same time. But really, who cares? We're opting to run a full three copies because there's no great way to see it without Foolish Burial. I'd much rather open with two copies of it every once in a while than never see it at all and lose as a result. Once you get Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders into the graveyard with Kinka-Byo in hand we're talking 4100 direct damage per turn and a possible Rank 7. That's so freaking good, and it's something Raccoons could never do before.

In General, Though…
…I haven't even mentioned the benefits that Ayers Rock Sunrise and Soul Charge really grant you. You're essentially playing three Monster Reborns and three Rekindlings. If that doesn't sound appealing to you then you must just face a lot of Gravekeeper duelists. Ayers Rock Sunrise is amazing in here for obvious reasons, but consider how it can "fix" failed Naturia Beast or Leo combos. If you went off and your opponent just happened to have the right outs then that's no longer a problem: just revive your monsters right back to the field. Most decks have difficulty getting around one Leo, and I can assure you that you'll be taking the match after the second, third, and fourth one.

There's only so many Dark Holes in the world, you know?

Anyway, elaborating anymore on this strategy would be overkill. You probably know what Raccoons do, and spending 2000 more words going over each and every combo this deck can pull off would be a waste of your time. Much to my surprise, what started out as a joke turned into an extremely viable deck, and that's great. This weekend Primal Origin will be street legal, and I can't wait to start talking about some of the awesome decks made possible by that stellar set! For now though, let me know in the Comment section how you feel about this build, and the Raccoon strategy overall. See you guys next week!

-Doug Zeeff