It's been almost three years since I last wrote about Rock Stun. It was only my third article for TCGplayer and needless to say, a lot has changed in this game since then. To kind of set the stage for the sort of update that I'm doing here, you'll have to hop back in time with me to July of 2012.

Xyz Monsters had existed for less than a year. Pendulum Summoning was but only a glimmer in R&D's eyes. Dino Rabbit was still in full flight and Wind-Ups were haunting competition as well. At the time that I wrote that article we were still two months out from the release of Block Golem, a card that's now pretty much a staple in Rock Stun.

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The game is light years ahead of where it was when I last wrote about this strategy and, if you're being honest with yourself, it's getting faster as well. Rock Stun on the other hand is a methodical sort of deck: one that grinds away at your opponent's resources until there isn't much left for them to fight you with. It's by no means a fast deck. In fact, it's as slow as, well... you know, rocks.

So in an incredibly fast format where card advantage almost ceases to matter at times, it really does beg the question…

Why Rock Stun? Why Now?
That's a two-part question and even then, the individual parts are figureheads for countless strains of conversation – most of which we'll touch upon here. First up, Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru's a card now. That's a pretty big deal for the Koa'ki Meiru archetype as a whole. Any time a theme gets a search card it's noteworthy, but any time a theme gets a new search card that also mitigates that archetype's biggest flaw? Now there's something special going on.

Up until last year, the only really effective way to search out Koa'ki Meiru monsters was by way of the underwhelming and incredibly reactive Koa'ki Meiru Boulder. Today with Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru, you have a proactive searcher and that makes a huge difference. You no longer have to wait for your opponent to run over Boulder – or worse, run Boulder into something – to get a search. Instead, just drop Diamond Core and go to town. Then when Diamond Core's in the graveyard, you can banish it to make your Koa'ki Meiru monsters impervious to destruction for the remainder of the turn and, yes, this does include their pesky maintenance cost that forces you to keep a sort of stocked hand.

Some would say that the big drawback is the inability to activate that protective effect on your opponent's turn, but even then that's only a small complaint compared to what the card actually does for you. The ability to swing and field cards with total impunity for your turn is a way bigger factor than you'd think, really.

The second part to this equation, and really the reason for this entire article is Koa'ki Meiru Overload. One of my big favorites from Secrets of Eternity, Koa'ki Meiru Overload is the last piece of the Rock Stun Puzzle, turning it from a triumvirate into an… Elite Four? Yeah, no one sue me for that one, even if I bricked on it.

But you get the sentiment nonetheless, I'm sure: Koa'ki Meiru Overload is the inherent Summon negation that gives you complete and unprecedented "no" access. Consider it a sort of souped-up Thunder King Rai-Oh: whenever your opponent would Summon a monster, tribute Overload, negate the Summon, and if you do, destroy the monster. That means while it can't tackle Special Summons made by monster effects – for which you have Koa'ki Meiru Guardian – it can negate Normal Summons.

You know what else this big ole Rock can handle? Pendulum Summons! That's the big reason you're reading this today. All of a sudden, a deck from a bygone era of the game gets a card that's fit to handle the latest and most insane concept Yu-Gi-Oh! has ever seen. Something like that warrants exploration, even through an avenue as humble as my own. However, my purpose here on TCGplayer – chiefly, to bring you the goods on the cheap – is a perfect foundation to see what Rock Stun can do here and now for you because the deck really is just so darn inexpensive.

Let's take a look at the deck list and then continue the conversation on the other side.

DECKID=101670Let's start with the Extra Deck and get that conversation right out of the way. I'd maybe call this a consolation Extra Deck at most. Here's the thing: aside from stealing wins with Gagaga Cowboy or Number 82: Heartlandraco, and popping big monsters with Diamond Dire Wolf, you won't find yourself going in there much. In fact, you'll be reaching for your Extra Deck maybe once every ten games or so.

With that in mind, I decided to play entirely by Block Golem's rules and include nothing but Earth Xyz as a means of appeasing requirements and easing budgets. I'm not interested in maxing out on crazy utility just for the sake of competition at the cost of the budget. If you're going to take this into the upper echelons of organized play, chances are you're going to have the sort of resources to flesh out a full Extra Deck to compete with. However, for those who want to explore a new strategy on the cheap, today's for you.

Protecty The Pachycephalo!
Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo has always been a big part of Rock Stun. The deck focuses heavily on high utility Rock monsters and Fossil Dyna fits that bill to a tee. In a format where games can often be defined by which player flips Vanity's Emptiness first, having the same effect in monster form isn't a bad day at all.

With the release of Koa'ki Meiru Overload however, an interesting dynamic has appeared. When you control both monsters your opponent has only their Normal Summon to try and get over Fossil Dyna. If it's big enough to threaten you, then Overload knocks it off of the field. Now, given just these two cards, that's a pretty easy thing to do: Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo only has 1200 ATK. To handle that sort of scenario in a more manageable fashion, you're running a ton of traps to keep Fossil Dyna on the field as well as a few tech cards that make the situation nearly unassailable.

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First up, you're running The Seal of Orichalcos to just shut out your opponent. I've won most games where I've resolved this card. Here's the situation: everything you've got is boosted by 500 ATK and your opponent has to eliminate the monsters you have on the field in the order of biggest ATK to weakest. That means that all of your Koa'ki Meirus will be sitting pretty at 2400 ATK the moment they hit the field. With Fossil Dyna on board as well, your opponent has to scrape up a monster with at least 2500 ATK without Special Summoning if they hope to get a shot at the card that's keeping them from playing all their big cards.

On the purple side of the fence, you're running double Safe Zone to keep Fossil Dyna on board. In a situation like that, you've got Koa'ki Meiru Wall as a playmate to protect that big piece of Mystical Space Typhoon bait. If you really want to be a nuisance, just get Orichalcos, Fossil Dyna, AND Safe Zone on board. It'll be fine.

Alright, Buck! Where's The Bang!?
This one clocks in at about $60! As noted, the biggest deterrent cost-wise is the Extra Deck. But in all reality, skipping on the Extra Deck leaves you in a great place: not only can you pick up an exciting and different strategy, but you're also doing it so cheaply that you can easily justify putting in the extra dough to customize it to your exact liking.

Sometimes you can have the best of both worlds like that! It just means hanging out with the rock and avoiding the hard place.

-Zach Buckley
Team Nofatchx