"You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could. You didn't stop to think if you should"

Like anyone that's been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! for a long time we've all played our fair share of "janky" decks. Everyone has the half-made decks floating around in the cache of their favorite online dueling program, and we've all probably made some decks that were less than stellar just for the sake that they could be made. I think about that quote above from Jurassic Park whenever I'm trying to come up with new ideas for Low Key, or when I'm brainstorming with my friends on ideas.

For example, could Loukas put Junk Synchron into every single deck regardless of synergy? Yes. Should he? Probably not. Similarly, I've had some combinations of cards in my mind that technically could be the beginning of a deck, but after an hour of testing it becomes clear that I definitely shouldn't continue that venture. Today's deck is one that I definitely thought I shouldn't make, but after putting it together I was astoundingly surprised at the perfect, accidental synergy between many of the pieces, and the fact that it's actually pretty decent.

Where It All Started
I was watching my friend Ian's Youtube channel last week and he posted a video where he was playing Naturias against this really, really weird deck. His opponent went first and set a backrow, and Ian attack directly and passed. His opponent then flipped Scapegoat in the End Phase, and during his turn activated Performapal Trump Witch to fuse two of his tokens into First of the Dragons. I was immediately sold, at least on a conceptual level. Ian was able to pull out a win due to the other player's inexperience, but by the end of the video I'd seen enough to know I just had to build the deck.

Besides the main Performapal Trump Witch combo I saw another one where you'd set Summoner of Illusions, and when it was flipped you'd Tribute a token to Special Summon Gaia Drake, the Universal Force. Gaia Drake can't be destroyed or targeted by the effects of effect monsters so it doesn't die during the End Phase by Summoner's effect. It's slower and less consistent then your basic Trump Witch into First of the Dragons play, but it delivers a huge 3500 ATK monster for your troubles.

Other than those two interactions I couldn't really see a lot of that deck Ian was playing against. The only other thing of note was that he used Mathematician to yard Dandylion for Fluff Tokens. From that starting point I began trying out several different engines and combinations of cards, eventually settling on an incredibly effective casual strategy that can actually take down some top competitors. First of the Dragons is no laughing matter, and stuff like Nekroz only has about three or four outs to it. Let's take a look at what I came up with.

DECKID= 101819The Plant engine (Spore, Glow-Up Bulb, Dandylion, and two Lonefire Blossoms) compliments the token generating nature of this strategy in ways I didn't originally realize. It's not really a secret that Level 1 tokens help you climb the Synchro ladder, but when you're packing nine token Summoning cards it becomes extremely obvious. This deck has some crazy openings on a fairly regular basis, usually including Scapegoat, Lonefire, and Trump Witch. Those three cards can lead to a variety of powerful boards, including a Black Rose Dragon field wipe that leaves First of the Dragons to attack directly; First of the Dragons backed by Armades and Formula; or simply threatening three First of the Dragons by grabbing Dandylion.

Of course, Trump Witch isn't your only Polymerization. I have mixed feelings about Fusion Substitute, and this is one of the only decks where I actually like it. You can Fusion Substitute with Scapegoat and still come out on top in terms of card economy – that's great. Fusion Substitute is also great because it can't be hit by Mystical Space Typhoon or Twister like Trump Witch can. Additionally, you can recycle your First of the Dragons for further use, freeing up an Extra Deck slot.

Go Big Or Go Home
When I was watching The Creator of this idea play against Ian I noticed that if there was an out to First of the Dragons he basically had no way to recover. Ironically, First of the Dragons can't actually crash into another First of Dragons, so if it ever got stolen by Snatch Steal he'd almost lose right then and there. The obvious solution was to make sure I didn't just lose the game to Snatch Steal, Raigeki, or Book of Eclipse. Mystical Space Typhoon helps against the first of those, and Forbidden Lance protects it against almost everything else (including trap cards).

The flip side of that coin is that you have to have a win condition outside of First of the Dragons, or at least some way to put up a fight while you dig for combo cards. The Plant engine does this wonderfully, giving you a slew of Synchro Monsters available if you can't get to Trump Witch of Fusion Substitute. Notice, too, that there's more token generators than there are First of the Dragon Summoners. The tokens are definitely more useful on their own because you can Block Attacks and Synchro with them, while Trump Witch and Fusion Substitute require specific set-ups.

By the way, that previous set-up can be kind of annoying. Fires of Doomsday and Scapegoat both restrict any other Summons for the rest of that turn, so you usually have to wait until your opponent's End Phase to activate them so you can actually do stuff on your next turn. That's why Mathematician's so important: you can yard Dandylion right away and Fusion Summon without the wait. Luckily, Scapegoat gives you four tokens so your opponent has to get rid of three to cut you off from First of the Dragons.

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Lastly, I want to point out just how ridiculous First of the Dragons is against the top decks. Like I said before, Nekroz have approximately four outs, trapless Burning Abyss has even fewer, and plenty of casual strategies lack any real defense against an onslaught of repeated, free First of the Dragons. It's a real shame that you can't control two of them at the same time, but you can be sure that the second the first one leaves the field it'll be followed by another. Is this the next metagame breaking strategy? Probably not. Is it fun as heck and will it beat your opponent's 800 dollar Nekroz deck occasionally? Definitely!

What do you think of Trump Token Takedown? I'm having a blast testing out different engines in it and I'd love to hear your ideas about how I could mix it up. Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions!

-Doug Zeeff