I've always been a big fan of Aqua monsters. It's one of the few monster types that's small enough to feel like you can have some sort of connection to them. I mean, who knows, maybe you can get emotionally attached to all 674 Warriors in the TCG. If you can do that, you obviously just exist in a realm of higher emotional capacity than I do, and for that I salute you, good duelist.

But for me, I'm all about the Aquas. So much so that whenever a new theme of Aqua monsters emerges I'm instantly all about it. I got right on with Banish Fish, Frogs, and Aquaactresses pretty quickly and now it's the same story with Graydles.

The Graydle theme's quickly becoming a top contender in my book. The deck sort of fights a two-front war. The effect monsters consist of a Level 5 Tuner and three Level 3 non-Tuners: each of the Level 3 monsters equip themselves to one of your opponent's monsters when they're destroyed by battle or monster, spell, or trap effect depending on which Graydle it is, then take control of the attached monster.

That's the first front and it's a pretty big one. It's really difficult for your opponent to get at your Life Points because the second they run over one of your monsters, you're taking control of their biggest, baddest monster and they can't do much about it. What's even worse is that if your opponent destroys the Graydle that's equipped to their monster, their monster's just destroyed instead of going back to their field. Your opponent loses their monster for good the second you get your hands on it. That can put a damper on their plans really quickly.

The second angle of attack centers on the theme's sole Synchro Monster, Graydle Dragon. It's a 3000 ATK Level 8 behemoth that destroys cards on your opponent's side of the field up to the number of Water monsters used for its Synchro Summon. In your Graydle deck, that number is always two. So Graydle Dragon quickly turns your -1 Synchro Summon into a +1 overall by robbing your opponent of two cards. Even better, when your opponent manages to destroy Graydle Dragon and send it off to the graveyard, it Special Summons any other Water monster from your graveyard. Its effect will be negated, but you can Special Summon a second copy of Graydle Dragon itself, so you'll spend a lot of time with a 3000 ATK beater on your field.

Let me show you the deck real quick and we'll pick up the conversation afterwards... DECKID=103759Graydle Slime's the key to getting Graydle Dragon onto the field. It's a Level 5 Aqua with 0 ATK and 2000 DEF that you can Special from either your hand or graveyard by destroying two Graydle cards you control. If you Special Summon Slime that way you can revive a Graydle from your graveyard. That lets you make one of two plays: uou can either Special Summon any of your Level 3 Graydles and go into a Level 8 Synchro monster of your choosing, or you can Special Summon a second copy of Graydle Slime from your graveyard and have access to the three Rank 5 Xyz in your Extra Deck.

The Rank 5 option always throws people off of their game because you wouldn't expect Slime to Special Summon another Slime. It just goes against the grain when you think of other cards in the game that can do that sort of thing. In the same line of thought though, I don't think I expected to be able to go into any Level 8 Synchro monster when I was first reading through the cards either. I figured it would be restricted to just Water Synchros or something, and that that was just how it was going to be. It was quite a pleasant surprise to find out that the truth was rather contrary to that, delivering any Level 8 Synchro you want.

It's also worth noting that if you destroy Graydle Eagle with Slime's effect, it actually triggers Eagle's ability to take control of an opponent's monster. Which can be pretty hilarious.

This Article's Brought To You By The Number Two!
Sometimes I hate myself when I make that cheap Sesame Street reference, but for what it's worth I don't hate myself enough to stop doing it every now and then. Huzzah!

Anyway, the biggest issue when it comes to dropping Graydle Slime and initiating it's boss effect is that you have to destroy two of your Graydle cards from the field before you can get it on the board. If you had to that with just the monsters alone, it would be pretty tricky. You'd have to take control of one of your opponent's monsters and then Normal Summon another Graydle and pop both with Slime, sending the monster you robbed to the graveyard in the process. That would be the most viable and realistic way of getting Slime on the field, but it would not be the most consistent way of doing it all the time.

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Luckily, the Graydles came loaded with one great Continuous Spell and two great Continuous Traps. All of them serve a purpose in the strategy and they're all fair game for Slime's ability. They each have two great effects themselves, playing shenanigans with your opponent while creating opportunities that help you make the most of your Graydle monsters. It's important to note that Graydle Slime just needs to destroy any two Graydle cards to Special Summon itself, so you can use any of the Continuous cards to fill gaps in your plays and go off reliably.

Graydle Impact is the lone Continuous Spell, and it's also the strongest of the three. It targets another Graydle card you control and a card your opponent controls and destroys

both. When you couple that effect with Graydle Alligator, you can destroy an opposing card and take control of one of their monsters. But surprisingly enough, that's still the lesser of its two effects. Graydle Impact can also search any Graydle card from your deck. You can even get another Graydle Impact so you don't have to worry about losing your first copy and then going without. Since you can only use one of those effects per turn, you'll usually want to take the search to keep the cards rolling. But there are definitely times when that's not the case. You've got options.

The Continuous Traps aren't as direct in their awesomeness, but both are really cool. Graydle Split equips to a monster you control and boosts it by 500 ATK. You can also send Graydle Split to the graveyard to destroy the monster it was equipped to and Special Summon two Graydle monsters from your deck with different names. They'll be destroyed during the End Phase but they'll virtually never stay on the field that long anyway. You'll either Special Summon Graydle Slime and one of the Level 3's to go into a Level 8 Synchro Summon, or two different Level 3's for a Number 47: Nightmare Shark in an attempt to kill your opponent early. The choice is yours, but both options are awesome. And remember, if you use Graydle Cobra with Split, you'll trigger its effect to snatch an opponent's monster.

Lastly, there's Graydle Parasite. Its effects fall into two distinctly different categories, one enabling your glorious comeback and the other pouring salt in your opponent's wounds. Allow me to elaborate. Parasite's first effect Special Summons a Graydle from your deck in face-up attack when your opponent declares a direct attack and you have no monsters on the field. This one's obviously the glorious comeback, because you'll activate your Graydle monster's effect when it gets run over and jack your opponent's monster.

Parasite's second effect is the reverse. When your opponent has no monsters and you declare an attack with a Graydle monster, you can revive one of your opponent's monsters to their field and proceed with the attack, which will of course result in you taking their monster and beating them over the head with it. So there's that. It's really dirty.

Alright, Buck! Where's The Bang!?
This one sits right at $100. That's just because the Extra Deck is rather involved. If you've got the majority of these Extra Deck monsters, the Graydle core isn't going to cost you much at all.

I suggest picking it up, too! It's easily one of the coolest decks I've played in a long time, and I think you'll like it if you give it a shot.

-Zach Buckley

Zach is husband to his beloved wife, Emma. He's also a composer who's studying composition and production formally in an attempt to be both happy and poor. You can follow his progress on these goals by checking out his sporadically updated blog at www.wordpress.com/zwbuckleymusic