The Hidden Arsenal series gave us many usable cards and themes over the years. Just as well, it also gave us an incredibly large pool of unusable cards to match. That said, the tragic thing is that it also gave us plenty of cards that we desperately wanted to use but just couldn't – that's not an unheard-of problem in Yu-Gi-Oh, but the notion was never truer than in the case of the Hidden Arsenal archetypes. It's a difficult pill to swallow at times; knowing that your favorite archetype was deemed unworthy of a fair shake by the very company that created it. But such is life, right?

But every now and then, the Egyptian Gods smile down upon us as we overflow with desperate longing and given us a slight reprieve amongst the anguish. Maybe that's a bit of a grandiose way of putting it, but hey, the world's what you make it, right?

Pretentious postulating aside, Gustos are one of the biggest recipients of after-the-fact glory: a theme full of cool cards and concepts that was pretty much useless anyways until Pilica, Descendent of Gusto was released. As soon as Pilica hit lots of new concepts, combos, and decks began to take form and a theme that was dead out of the gates started to make the slow crawl towards possibility.

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
When Pilica actually hit the ground we saw Pilica-themed decks burst into the fore, but surprisingly we didn't see the expected crop of fascinating Gusto decks many anticipated. Don't get me wrong, that isn't a bad thing in the slightest: Pilica, Descendent of Gusto is a great card and should be exploited to its fullest extent, but it would be a pretty gruesome injustice if everyone ignored the very deck that this card was meant to save. The biggest problem with Gustos is that they're inherently slow. Pilica's the first card that gives them any sort of speed. They have plenty of searchers and one or two decent draw options, but nothing to really give them any sort of oomph.

It's pretty safe to say that Pilica, Descendent of Gusto likes a healthy graveyard. I mean, it's the only way you're going to get anything out of this card. So that means you need to load up your graveyard quickly if you want to take advantage of the cards you've got at your disposal. Cheap and efficient way of filling up your graveyard? Smells like Lightsworns to me! Plenty of different strategies have used these mill-tastic monsters over the years to accelerate their game plans and today isn't going to be any exception. If the Lightsworns carry the weight of your graveyard dumping, it frees up your Gustos to do, you know… Gusto stuff! Let's take a look at the deck list and then we can dig into how this thing actually works.

DECKID= 100885Alright, let's talk about the big fat elephant in the article right now. I'm fully aware that there isn't a single Judgment Dragon in this deck at all and yes, that was a purposeful, conscious decision. Why? Well, for a couple of reasons. The goal here isn't to build you a Lightsworn deck and if I'd used Judgment Dragon it would have completely changed the make-up of this strategy. Specifically, it would've spun from being a cool Gusto deck to a subpar Lightsworn build just like that. You'd find yourself playing into Judgment Dagon more and more, and playing the Gustos less and less. If you want JD, play Lightsworn.

On the more objective side of things, you're only running four unique Lightsworn monsters. That means you'd have to land one of each name in your graveyard to make Judgment Dragon live anyways. Those are crappy numbers in a deck that arguably plays a crappy numbers game to begin with; it's just not feasible for what you're trying to achieve here. Maybe you can find the room to really make it shine? If so, then more power to you! But that's not why we're here.

Let's Get Down To Business…
So let's talk opening hands. What does this deck look like early on? Well I'm going to tell you right off of the bat, you want to load up that graveyard as soon as you can. Luckily the Lightsworns are great for that sort of thing; with triple Solar Recharge and Charge of the Light Brigade in the mix you can get that ball rolling faster and more consistently than you might expect. Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn is the newest of the bunch; released just last month in the Realm of Light Structure Deck, it's one of your best options for the early game. This Level 4 Tuner's unique amongst all the Lightsworns because of its ability to mill two cards during your Main Phase, as opposed to just your End Phase like all the rest of its ilk.

Coupled with Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner, Raiden can open a lot of doors for you really quickly. Not only does Lumina give you access to Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn as early as Turn 1, but Lumina allows you to really make good use of your hand; it rectifies dead cards and gets Gustos that are stuck in your hand into a more useful place. An early game Lumina can start you down the road to victory, especially if you've got a Gusto Griffin to go with it.

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Gusto Griffin was the big Gusto buzz card before Pilica's release. If Griffin's sent from your hand to the graveyard you can Special Summon a Gusto monster from your deck. Back when Dragon Ravine was legal, Gustos flirted with the Dragunity archetype mainly off the strength of Griffin's interaction with the perpetual discard tricks that defined Dragunities.

Griffin works wonders with Lumina here, offering a combo that can result in as many as four monsters on the field. After Lumina resolves and Special Summons a Lightsworn from your graveyard, Griffin can Special Summon Pilica from your deck and then in turn Special Summon any Gusto Tuner you may have in your graveyard.

Everything You Do, Do It With Gusto!
So once you're a couple of turns into the game and your graveyard's sufficiently loaded, it's time for shenanigans with Pilica, Descendent of Gusto. Of course, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to know what sort of shenanigans are available to you. You're running three different Gusto Tuners to maximize your options; each offers different benefits. Gusto Gulldo is easily your strongest contender for the Most Awesome Gusto Tuner Award. It gives you access to Daigusto Sphreez and Psychic Nightmare with Pilica, Descendent of Gusto. Those two monsters are easily some of your strongest Synchro picks in the entire deck, especially you're when dealing with big attackers.

Psychic Nightmare is a 2400 ATK beater that can beef itself up to 3400 ATK if you can guess a card in your opponent's hand correctly from the options of spell, trap, or monster. The boost will lasts until your opponent's End Phase, so they'll have to find another way to get to your Life Points than by battle. Psychic Nightmare's large enough to get over anything seeing competitive play today, especially the infinitely-pesky Leo, Keeper of the Sacred Tree. Daigusto Sphreez has a totally different way of handling your opponent's monsters: leave them on the field but make your oppoennt eat any damage you would otherwise, turning all your Gusto monsters into kamikaze saboteurs. Just throw them up in attack position. It won't hurt you too much. Sphreez can't be destroyed by battle, either, so it's smooth sailing for you. Lastly, when you Synchro Summon Sphreez you can add a Gusto card from your graveyard to your hand, which means that you can take that Pilica right back to repeat the process next turn.

Leaving Gusto Gulldo on the field is a surefire way to keep yourself alive, and it helps you make the most of another of your Gusto Tuners. Gulldo can block five attacks all on its own. How? If it's destroyed by battle, Gulldo Special Summons a Gusto Egul from your deck in face-up defense position. Then if your opponent kills Egul, you can use its effect to Special Summon Pilica from your deck and use her ability to Special Summon the Gusto Egul that just bit the dust. If they attack Egul again, it'll just Special Summon another Gusto non-Tuner from your deck to keep the wall going.

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You run just one copy of Gusto Falco. Its effect is nearly useless, and I've only rarely played it. It's here because it gives you access to Daigusto Gulldos when you tune it to Pilica, Descendent of Gusto. In a deck that sends a lot of cards from the deck to the graveyard, it's inevitable that card recycling is going to become a valuable asset at some point. That's exactly what Gulldos does, and it largely does it as a +1 to boot. Once per turn, you can send two Gusto monsters from your graveyard back to the main deck to target an opposing face-up monster and destroy it. It's essentially cost-free. It allows you to recycle your Pilicas and Caam, Serenity of Gustos, which is your other means of recycling monsters as a +1. If you have Daigusto Gulldos on the field at the same time as Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn then you have quite the dangerous combo; both remove monsters, and one sends them back while the other mills. It's practically perfect harmony, guys.

Alright, Buck. Where's The Bang?
This one's definitely $100. You've got some fancy Synchros in the Extra Deck but since Gustos are considered dead in the water by most competitors, plenty of your Main Deck monsters are pennies cheap to compensate for it.

I definitely suggest giving this deck a try. There are lots of unique play patterns exclusive to this strategy as well as some Synchro Monsters you'd never get a chance to use otherwise. Maybe you have some weird Gusto deck already built? I'd love to hear about it down in the comments section!

-Zach Buckley
Team Nofatchx