I honestly have way too many decks that I wanted to try out with the release of Primal Origin. I originally wanted to build a Fish strategy using Fincess, but as Loukas pointed out the two best targets for Fincess are Mermail Abysspike and Wind-Up Shark – nothing good enough to make an entire deck around. I then found myself searching elsewhere when I stumbled upon Number 103: Ragnazero.

I was unaware of it at the time, but I guess this new Rank 4 has a pretty big following in certain online communities. I looked up some versions of the Ragnazero theme, tested out some ideas, and added my own personal flair to create the Ragnazero Control build you're seeing today.

DECKID= 100371As you could probably guess, the goal of this deck is to make either 1-for-1 or -1 plays into Number 103: Ragnazero. Every successful resolution of Ragnazero's effect nets you a +2, so that -1 you might've taken to Summon it isn't too crippling. Additionally, overlaying with a Fire or Ice Hand after the opposite one got its effect off means your -1 for consolidating into an Xyz Summon was already paid for anyways.

Ragnazero's really, really good, and it forces your opponent to either make awkward moves or just stop Summoning monsters period. Of course, you're going to have to include reliable, consistent ways to change the ATK of your opponent's monsters so you can use Ragnazero's ability in the first place…

Cinderella's Dream Vehicle
There hasn't been a good reason to play Pumprincess the Princess of Ghosts outside of a Sneak Peek until now. Truth be told, it has some unavoidable flaws: drawing the Princess isn't the greatest, and your opponent can shut it down really easily with backrow destruction. That means trying to sculpt a deck around Pumprincess alone wasn't going to be easy. You have to design something that thrives when its effect goes off, but can function without it.

Today's strategy is a perfect example of that. Number 103: Ragnazero's absolutely insane when the Princess is gaining counters, but if you can't reduce your opponent's ATK then this deck is, at the very worst, your average Rank 4 strategy.

Not too shabby, if I say so myself.

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Beyond good ol' Pumprincess the Princess of Ghosts, though, I've opted for a full suite of Burden of the Mighty. The obvious downside here is that Burden's not searchable while Pumprincess is, thanks to cards like Pyramid Turtle or Mystic Tomato, but Burden is a whole bunch faster, and it's not as dead of a draw in multiples. Truth be told, neither Pumprincess nor Burden of the Mighty are completely stable, but they're the best ways to modify your opponent's ATK out of the current range of options.

Someone Should Ask Franco What "Ragnazero" Means
The namesake for this deck is not surprisingly the main objective. You want to Xyz Summon Number 103: Ragnazero as often and as efficiently as possible. Ragnazero backed by Pumprincess or Burden of the Mighty puts your opponent in a very bad position. First of all, since you can activate Ragnazero's ability on either player's turn, any successful Normal Summon's going to result in immediate death. It's also going to grant you a free draw. The only real way around Ragnazero is to Special Summon in defense mode and take it out with an effect. That, of course, pretty much means your opponent wasted a turn just to eliminate Ragnazero, and it's not tough to bring out another one on your next turn.

What really makes Ragnazero shine is that your opponent will eventually have to do something about it, and the longer it takes them to build up the proper outs the more time you have to continually poke for damage. It's sort of a "choose your poison" type of thing, where the other player's forced to either make awkward plays or suffer the consequences. Realistically though, the only time your opponent's going to put stuff in killing range of Ragnazero is if they have a follow-up.

…Which is totally okay because by that point you've already made your +2 off a single activation of Ragnazero. That's really the best part about it. Your opponent has to waste resources to get around your monster, but you still end up on top. Fire and Ice Hand make things even easier, slowly chipping away at your opponent's cards one by one. The ideal situation is that Fire Hand and Ice Hand would take out half your opponent's cards, your opponent would waste a monster to get around Ragnazero, and then on your next turn you'd just Summon another Ragnazero to gain control of the duel again. It's absolutely brutal, and play sequences like that are a big reason this deck is so much fun to play.

As for keeping Ragnazero alive? Effect Veiler thwarts common removal options like a defense position Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, as well as a variety of additional threats. But what makes Veiler so good here is that you can actually draw into it with Ragnazero's effect, after your opponent burns through it. That turns their less-than-ideal moves into total blowouts in mid-play. Wiretap covers another angle, ensuring that Solemn Warning, Black Horn of Heaven, and Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare don't rain on your parade.

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Xyz Reborn is probably the funniest defensive option here. Given a situation where your opponent actually does manage to run over Ragnazero, Xyz Reborn puts it right back on the table, ready to pop another card. Pulling off multiple destructions on your opponent's turn is ridiculously unfair. Card economy's everything in this format, and when you can swing +4's during your opponent's turn the game's pretty much in the bag.

Metagame Trends
Spell and trap destruction's all over the place right now, but by making careful decisions you can play around it. The post-PRIO format's actually way slower than I thought it was going to be. Outside of Madolche, most decks are taking their sweet time killing you. Ragnazero gives you more mileage the longer the duel continues, which means the current competitive landscape is favorable for Ragnazero strategies.

If you're looking for something cool to play at your locals, this is definitely an option to consider. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to post them in the Comment section.

-Doug Zeeff