Outside of playing Spellbooks on and off for the majority of 2013, I have rarely ever played, much less vouched for, any "meta" deck. Yes, I played Dino Rabbit in the spring of 2012 to ensure my invite for the summer's 2012 World Championship Qualifier, but the list of popular decks I've played quickly tapers off after those two. Simply put, I don't like playing a deck that everyone else is playing.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with playing the "best" decks of a given format and copying strategies proven effective and powerful. In the January 2014 Format, I would have recommended +1 Fire Fist to anyone and everyone that merely wanted a WCQ invite, especially if their current deck of choice was something like Samurais or Ice Barrier OTK. Similarly, I highly recommend the following deck for anyone that wants shameless, and somewhat easy, success.

DECKID=100078Plain and simple, I think Geargia's the best deck right now. There's a large debate as to whether or not the Karakrui Synchro variant ousts pure Geargia, but I'm willing to stick behind my claim that pure Geargia's better. Some will say that Karakuri Geargia has been proven superior on the competitive scene, but worth can't always be based purely on past results. I don't think it's a fair assessment because Karakuri Geargia has had infinitely more representation at any given event, while pure Geargia is really only starting to pick up steam.

In my experience, and I believe everyone can echo this sentiment, there are at least 10 Karakuri Geargia players for every Pure Geargia deck. Fortunately, I think the tides of change are coming as players realize that in the long run, cloggy hands just aren't worth the explosive Karakuri Geargia vomit.

Don't Ask Me Why I Call It Geargiggity
If you've never played against or even seen Geargia, it means you either haven't played the game in over two years or you've never played the game at all. Explaining Geargia to someone who's so out of the loop is like trying to explain Yu-Gi-Oh! to my mom, which I've tried multiple times. She tells me to stop cursing when I say things like "Exodia" or she'll say "bless you" if I mention Jurracs. Love you, mom!

The first Geargia monster was released all the way back in Generation Force: the adorable little Geargiano. Its effect is quite simple and could be splashed into any Machine deck, but it saw very little if no play. You can tribute Geargiano to bring back any fallen Level 4 Machine from your graveyard, but its effects are negated. The most viable Machine deck around the time of Geargiano's release was Gadgets, but the whole effect negation thing made Geargiano terribly underwhelming.

We got the majority of the Geargia support in Return of the Duelist, and the deck got a cult following right off the bat. Geargia variants with Karakuri, Gadget and Machine support popped up as soon as the set dropped. Tennessee duelist Harrison Hinton displayed the power of Geargia Machina at the first Regional Qualifer after REDU's release by going undefeated in a field of Wind-Up, Dino Rabbit and Dragunity. He abused Geargiarmor's recursive searching ability and Machina Fortresses' power to OTK opponents, ensuring lethal damage with Trap Stun and Forbidden Lance all day. (Jason's Note: Geargia also took Top 4 the first weekend of the September 2012 Format at YCS Toronto – JDG) While the effects of the new Geargia monsters aren't novel, they mimic other powerful cards, sometimes taking tried-and-tested effects a few steps further than ever before.

Geargiarmor is a recursive version of Elemental Hero Stratos. With 1900 DEF, opposing Sabersaurus cards, Machine Gearframes and Maestroke the Symphony Djinns were powerless against it; even now, Bujin Yamato, Thunder King Rai-Oh and Mermail Abysspike can't attack over it without some help. With just one copy, you can amass an unholy amount of card advantage in as few as two or three turns. Geargiaccelerator is a better version of T. G. Warwolf, Geargiarsenal is a better version of Lonefire Blossom, Gear Gigant X was just a larger Geargiarmor, and Geargia MK-II is a Zombie Master with no discard cost. Even more impressive, when Gear Gigant X and Arsenal get destroyed, you get Geargia monsters back to your hand and field.

Wow.

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I remember reading these cards for the first time and being blown away, but with the lack of powerful generic Rank 4 Xyz, the deck was pretty linear back then. Using the Level 3 Geargiano monsters was hard to do, and that's why Pure Geargia wasn't really a deck at the beginning of the theme's run. Yes, the Gears are powerful in their own right, but it was essentially just a glorified version of Gadgets. It didn't help that new and faster decks were ousting Gears at every turn, either. Wind-Ups were just too powerful for the format, and then Mermails came around, an even faster deck that could decimate face-down cards with Atlantean Marksman (AKA Geargiarmor).

When Mermails' popularity died down, Geaergia was left trying to deal with Spellbooks and Dragon Rulers in their absolute prime, when none of the Dragon Rulers were restricted and Spellbook of Judgment was still legal. If all those challenges weren't enough, Geargia still didn't have the best Extra Deck options. Karakuri Geargia OTK couldn't keep up despite its speed, and Gear Gigant X was only so impressive.

Enough History Lessons!
With Legacy of the Valiant, pure Geargia finally has an Extra Deck arsenal that tops Karakuri Synchro's. With constant recursion and deck thinning abilities, Geargia can either press for a ton of damage in one turn by abusing Geargiaccelerator, or be a consistent Rank 4 Toolbox. Without Evilswarm Exciton Knight and Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, Doug and I wouldn't have nearly as much success with Spirits, and I think pure Geargia's basically in the same situation.

Similar to a Gadget or Spirit deck, Geargia amasses card advantage quickly thanks to Geargiarmor and Gear Gigant X. If you can get to a Geargiarmor early on, whether by drawing it or bringing it out with Geargiarsenal, then you're in a phenomenal position. With 1900 DEF, not much is going to run it over same monsters from the Extra Deck. That's great, because it'll usually mean that your opponent will have to make a multi-card investment just to try and rid the field of your one monster – that's a lot of wasted potential, especially if it doesn't work.

Flip Geargiarmor face-up to search any Geargia monster from your deck. If you get Geargiaccelator, you can Special Summon it in defense to make a cheap Xyz, or you can just slowroll for more cards by flipping Geargiarmor face-down with its ability, doing it all again a turn later. By playing Geargiarmor for Geargiaccelerator, then overlaying them both for Gear Gigant X, you can quickly amass a ton of card presence. While one Geargiarmor can't search you another, Gear Gigant X can search or retrieve Geargiarmor, so the momentum builds really quickly. And since Accelerator didn't gobble up your Normal Summon, you're free to set your Armor immediately. Who doesn't like free cards every turn?

Like Geargiarmor, Gear Gigant X can get you a Level 4 Machine from your deck and (wait for the drum roll) your graveyard! That's important because you when you recycle your Machines from your graveyard, you don't exhaust your Main Deck resources as quickly, but once you do run out of cards in deck, you can still get free plusses left and right thanks to Gear Gigant X's ability. If Gear Gigant X survives the turn, your opponent will be in a horrid position because you'll be so far ahead in both card advantage and field presence. When your Gear Gigant X finally leaves the field, whether it was banished by Dimensional Prison or destroyed by Dark Hole, you get to Special Summon any Geargiano monster from your graveyard. Why would you have a Geargiano monster in your graveyard?

Oh, that's right, for the overly busted Geargiagear, which in my opinion should have never been made.

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At the cost of angry scowls from your opponent, the trap card Geargiagear brings out two Geargiano monsters from your Deck and boosts their Levels by 1. You can only activate one Geargiagear per turn, but if you're complaining about that then please stop reading my article, find a nice corner, and reevaluate your life choices. Geargiagear bypasses the silly need to do uncool things like set a Geargiarmor. It's chainable, abusable, goes great with steamed rice and leands to an instant Rank 4. You'll foten just go into Gear Gigant X and search another Geargiarmor.

Don't fret that you have to play Level 3's in your Rank 4 deck. I talked about Geargiano earlier, but Geargiano Mk-II is a souped up version of the little guy. When you Normal Summon it, you can bring out a Geargia monster from your hand or graveyard with no restrictions. Its effect isn't negated, its Level isn't manipulated and it doesn't die during the End Phase. One of the best ways to play Geargiano Mk-II is to make Ghostrick Alucard and destroy a couple set cards, paving the way for your follow-up plays. Personally, I like Number 49: Fortune Tune because Tweet-Tweet Birdy recycles your Geargiano monsters for Geargiagear; you're using three copies of the trap, but with only four Geargiano, how will you ever abuse all three Geargiagears? With Fortune Tune and Daigusto Emeral, of course! It's quite astounding how easy it is to recycle your Machines.

Thanks to Geargiano Mk-II, I opted to include one Tuner in this build for some cool plays. MK-II can bring back any Geargia monster from the graveyard, including Geargiarmor. I often found myself making that play and then stacking MK-II and Birdman for a Rank 3, but you also have access to the all-powerful Black Rose Dragon. Sometimes, recursive Xyz Summoning won't be enough to win you the game and you'll have to slam down a giant reset button to get back in the duel.

Turtle Mode! Activate!
The lower monster count is another big strength of the pure Geargia variant. I'm only running 14 monsters, letting me bunker down and play some of the best traps in the game. Thanks to Geargiagear, Geargiarsenal and Geargiarmor, you'll usually start four out of five gameswith at least one of your power cards. On average, you should open at least three traps per opening hand to staunch your opponent's path to victory.

This deck won't be exploding on your opponent on Turn 1; you need at least one turn to set up. But unlike decks that aim to hit the ground running, Geargia can abuse slower cards that have fallen by the wayside in recent events, namely Seven Tools of the Bandit, Mind Crush and Black Horn of Heaven.

Seven Tools of the Bandit fills the same role as Mystical Space Typhoon and Forbidden Lance, but it's just better in numerous situations. For starters, Seven Tools is a Counter Trap which means Solemn Warning and Black Horn of Heaven, two traps that can cripple your plays, can be dismissed for 1000 Life Points. Additionally, Seven Tools overrides Trap Stun, a card your opponent will play when they're trying to overwhelm your defenses to score lethal damage. Furthermore, you can use Seven Tools to stop an opponent's Dimensional Prison and close the window for your opponent to activate another one in response to the same attack.

Mind Crush is another card that's seen marginal Main Deck play, but I think there's a lot of merit in it, especially since it's downright crippling against Ghostrick Spirits. A ton of strategies are searching a ton of cards from the Main Deck right now, or at the very least revealing them for costs, and Mind Crush completely shuts those decks down. While Debunk may be better against Mermails, Mind Crush is effective if not game changing against Bujins, Spellbooks, Geargia, Spirits, Ghostricks and Firefists while still putting in work against Mermails.

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Lastly, we have what I see as one of the most underused cards in the game right now. I really think now is the time to Main Deck Black Horn of Heaven. It negates inherent Special Summons, so while it won't stop High Priestess of Prophecy or the Dragon Rulers, every Synchro, Xyz and any other boss monster falls to this card for literally no cost. As mentioned earlier from the reversed perspective, it's particularly great against Geargia, since it keeps Gear Gigant X from ever hitting the field… meaning it doesn't get to revive a Geargiano monster.

A heavy trap line-up isnt' appropriate for every deck, but I think Geargia can use that kind of strategy better than any other right now. Since you only need a handful of monsters to fuel your offensive plays, you can feel safe backed by nearly two dozen traps and unlock a kind of power that very few decks can tap into.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson