I've been playing Spirits on and off for about eight months now, and throughout those many tournaments I've experienced a lot of the different Spirit monsters in action. At this point my engine has been trimmed down to just the three most useful ones: Aratama, Nikitama, and Yaksha.

There are three other kind-of-good-but-not-quite-competitive Spirit monsters that I've wanted an excuse to play, and today's deck is going to be that excuse.

Can Franco Explain To Me The Difference Between Zombies and Spirits?
To give you a quick run through of the common Spirits, Aratama and Nikitama are your go-to dudes. They're the only Spirits currently released that you'd ever play three of, and for good reason. Every time Aratama's Normal Summoned or flipped face-up you get to search your deck for a Spirit monster and add it to your hand. That means you can play low numbers of the niche monsters and still see them when you need to. Nikitama's essentially just a better Evilswarm Castor. On the turn it's Normal Summoned or flipped face-up you get a second Normal Summon.

That's definitely relevant because all the Spirit monsters bounce back to the hand during the End Phase; without Nikitama Spirits would be nearly unplayable. On top of that, Nikitama nabs you a draw whenever it's sent to the graveyard from anywhere, which means Xyz Summons occasionally turn into +2's or +3's. More on that later!

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Moving down the ladder is Yaksha, a monster I probably wouldn't play more than one of but I'd still run in almost every version of Spirits. It's the awkward divider between the good Spirits and the not-so-good ones. Whenever it's Normal Summoned or flipped face-up you get to bounce an opponent's spell or trap to their hand. That's good for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that you can bait out things like Fiendish Chain or Bottomless Trap Hole, as well as return Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare and Black Horn of Heaven before you Xyz Summon. Yaksha's versatile, and it's got the strongest ATK of the available Spirit monsters, so it's a natural inclusion.

Venturing into the Spirits I haven't used in a long time, Rasetsu is just a restrictive Compulsory Evacuation Device. You have to reveal an in-hand Spirit, you have to target an attack position monster, and you can't Special Summon during the turn you activate it. A lot of inexperienced Spirit duelists seem to think that Rasetsu is the bee's knees, but outside of today's build I haven't been able to find a good use for it.

Izanami, on the other hand, is a monster I actually did use for quite some time. It basically trades a card in your hand for a Spirit in the grave, exactly like Monster Reincarnation. The cool part is when you start looping a pair of Nikitamas: discarding one Nikitama will allow you to draw a card, and then you're grabbing a different one to do the same thing on the following turn. That's ridiculous in the late game, often building momentum way too fast for the other player to handle.

Lastly, we're going to have to play my least favorite Level 4 Spirit of all time: Tsukuyomi. "But Doug, why don't you play Tsukuyomi in Spirits? It was Forbidden for a while and now you can use it" is a fairly regular thought thrown my direction. The issues with Tsukuyomi stem from the fact that it literally doesn't do anything on its own. If there isn't another monster on the field then it's forced to flip itself face-down, which isn't the most useful plan. Compared to something like Rasetsu, at least that guy can attack directly or something, instead of just turtling up. However, we're going to use Tsukuyomi in an extremely oldschool way – to infinitely flip things down so we can banish them with Nobleman of Crossout. There isn't a more reliable way to do that so I figured why not give it a whirl?

Anyway, before I jump into the list I'll give you a bit of information on it. The idea is to do your regular Spirit shenanigans while also abusing Nobleman of Crossout. Additionally, between natural searching, Yaksha, and Rasetsu you should at least know one card in your opponent's hand at all times, so you have Mind Crush and D.D. Designator to control your opponent's options. What ends up happening is that you slowly strip away the other player's cards while at the same time gaining free card advantage through your Spirit monsters. Let's take a look:

DECKID=100903Like I mentioned before, one of the cool parts about this deck is that it not only lets you use the lesser Spirits, but doing so is actually really worthwhile. I can't remember the last time I thought Rasetsu wasn't terrible, but this deck is a perfect fit for it. Notice how we're running triple Mind Crush and two D.D. Designator. Ideally your opponent would search something from their deck, and then you'd respond with Mind Crush. After seeing their hand you could easily follow up with another Mind Crush or D.D. Designator, having seen everything they're holding. Alternatively, you can bounce cards with Rasetsu or Yaksha and then immediately rob them from your opponent's hand.

Make sure to hand them a tissue for their tears after that.

Should your opponent take notice of your Hand Destruction shenanigans, they might just start putting all their cards on the field. That works in your favor too, because you can easily blow everything up with an Exciton Knight backed by Wiretap or Forbidden Lance. If they start setting monsters you can surprise them with your Main Decked Nobleman of Crossout, and if they stop setting monsters the joke's on them because of Tsukuyomi. I'm all for "pick your poison" types of decks, and this build of Spirit Control is a perfect example of that play style.

One odd thing about this build is that compared to other versions I've played, this one runs a lot of attack stoppers. Triple Dimensional Prison paired with double Mirror Force prevent any potential pushes. All of your Level 4's barring Photon Thrasher return to your hand during the End Phase, so you really need to protect the ones you do have. I've mentioned before how keeping a set Spirit alive is crucial in changing the tempo of the game, and when you don't have any Traptrix monsters or Hands to keep field presence that's even more important.

In terms of timing, this particular version of Spirits couldn't be better positioned. Shaddolls are full of Flip Effect monsters, and Nobleman of Crossout completely rips that apart. The Mind Crush and D.D. Designator portion of the strategy is incredibly powerful with the sheer amount of searching going on. Nearly every single theme out there is adding cards from somewhere to their hand, and if you play Spirit Control you have an easy, consistent way to turn that against your opponent.

At the end of the day though, what really matters is your opinions on this deck. It's entirely unconventional even by Spirit standards, and I'd definitely love to hear your feedback. Is this the better direction for Spirits? Let me know your thoughts in the Comment section.

-Doug Zeeff