If you missed the "Level" themes when they first debuted, don't feel too left out. Soul of the Duelist ushered in a lawless time of monsters that looked like they had good effects on the surface, but took everything short of a blood sacrifice to actually play, and no one has time for that.

Mystic Swordsman LV2, Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8, and, uh… Dark Mimic LV3 were probably the most used "Level" monsters, but I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel to name those three all-stars.

If you watched the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX series then you're familiar with Chazz Princeton's Armed Dragons. Chazz was famous for a lot of random themes, but if you don't remember him I totally understand. In blocking out the catchphrase "Chazz it up!" and Ojama Yellow's… er, "bathing suit…" you may have purged your mind of a few too many details.

The good news? Today's contributor channeled his inner Chazz today with the following submission...

This is the main deck I'm using for competitive play. I built it from the ground up, taking two years and a lot of advice from other people; Armed Dragons were my favorite theme and Armed Dragon LV10 is my favorite monster, so I'm staying true to my favorites!

This deck focuses on Koa'Mieru Drago to lock down Light and Dark decks, and Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo to disrupt my opponent's monsters. I also have Instant Fusion for Xyz plays, and the Armed Dragons themselves as removal. It's a very unique deck, so good luck!

-Jack Q. ~ Fairfield, CA

I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but "It's a very unique deck, so good luck!" sounds incredibly ominous. Before I spoil the secrets of the deck, take a look at Jack's submission.

DECKID=107474I have no idea what a "standard" Armed Dragon deck is, but forgoing Armed Dragon LV3 and complementing your big dragons with Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo certainly seems like a great place to start! It'll be the basis for our rerouted deck fix today.

Also, unless I counted wrong, Jack's original deck only had 38 cards. Technically, that's not allowed. Not technically? Also not allowed. I'm going to assume they were both copies of Snapesnatch.

It's Fun To Shout "Level Up!" When Playing The Card
Actually, if you can group all the Level cards into a theme, they're all severely lacking. Level Modulation is the worst trade off, like, ever, and even Level Up! clocks in at a solid "meh" even though it bypasses summoning restrictions. I'm not even going to talk about Level Down?! so let's move onto the good cards.

Ninjitsu Art of Super Transformation is powerful and economical because it turns your Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo into an Armed Dragon LV5; next turn, you'll level it up into an Armed Dragon LV7... though unfortunately, Armed Dragon LV7 isn't much to write home about. Armed Dragon LV10 can only be brought out through LV7, making this whole ordeal quite… complicated. I hope you haven't been turned off yet.

Let's back it up - Armed Dragon LV5 hits the field really easily, but to "Chazz it up!" to LV7 – er – to Armed Dragon LV7, you need to destroy something in battle, meaning you'll have to wait another turn, hoping LV7 survives so you can tribute it off for LV10. Don't get hung up on the nomenclature, just make sure to write it correctly on deck lists.

#####CARDID= 3888 #####

I'm glad that Jack kept the suite slim, and I'll refrain from making it slimmer and actually vouch for one more card that's worth adding. I know I said Level Modulation was a horrible trade off, giving your opponent two cards in exchange for a monster you can't use, but the saving grace of that card lies in Armed Dragon LV10. If you revive Armed Dragon LV7 and then tribute it away for Level 10, it could end the duel for you right there! Your opponent could have 17 cards in their hand for all you care - Armed Dragon LV 10 will just blow up all your opponent's monsters and attack directly.

Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo and Ninjitsu Art of Super Transformation are a match made in heaven, but consider Ninjitsu Art of Transformation with Dark Simorgh as well. My buddy Chris loves Dark Simorgh so much that while unconfirmed, he may actually love Dark Simorgh more than 73% of his family, and for good reason. For starters, his sister doesn't even like the Avengers movies, and second, Dark Simorgh is a great counter to Metalfoes and backrow heavy decks. If you can stop Zoodiacs from bringing out a Zoodiac Drident, they'll have to enter scoop phase against Dark Simorgh.

I Spy With My Little Eye, An Insect
While I don't hate Koa'ki Meiru Drago in this deck, it's not exactly a format defining card right now. Stopping Light and Dark effects will shut down a handful of strategies, but Metalfoes, Mermails, Zoodiacs, and Infernoids laugh in the face of Drago. So in taking out the Koa'ki Meiru cards save for one Drago, I didn't have many monsters to play on my first turn.

I considered Pot of Duality to see Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo, then Traptrix Myrmeleo seemed like the perfect addition. It doesn't interfere with any other strategy or monsters and it has the added bonus of being a target for Ninjitsu Art of Transformation. Take that, opponent's spells and traps.

I kept most of the defense intact, but added a few more Hole cards - Floodgate Trap Hole is so annoying, and can kill your opponent's entire turn. It's an underappreciated asset that could single handedly win you the game. You'd be surprised just how annoying an en masse Book of Moon can be, especially one that you can search.

I didn't look into the Extra Deck much until I tidied up the Main Deck, and oh boy, is that a unique one. I audibly said "What year is this?" when I saw Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, and I'm still trying to figure out how to make Cyber Dragon Nova since we aren't running any Level 5 Machines. The deck doesn't have Panzer Dragon or Mind Control either, so I'm running out of options. Let me know if there's something huge I missed.

I'm always iffy on traps, but since Artifact Sanctum, Call of the Haunted, and both Ninjitsu Arts are monster-oriented trap cards, that's passable. We're definitely reaching some arbitrary limit with the traps, but hey, if it stops a Zoodiac Drident or Evolzar Laggia from hitting the field I'm ok with it.

#####CARDID= 10018 #####

The only other trap… er, well, it's a Spell… but the only other negation effect I'm vouching for is Forbidden Chalice. It shuts down just about everything you can think of, and does it in a proactive way for those pesky times when you don't win the die roll. It may sound like complaining, but for the summer and fall of 2012 I kept statistics on every die roll I won, and I was sitting at a 22% success rate. I'm fairly confident that number hasn't gone up since then.

Back luck aside, here are the changes.

-2 Koa'Mieru Drago
-2 Keeper of the Shrine
-3 Diamond Core of Koa'Mieru
-2 Twin Twisters
-1 Vanity's Emptiness

-1 Lightning Chidori
-1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
-1 Cyber Dragon Nova
-1 Cyber Dragon Infinity
-1 Artifact Durendal

+1 Dark Simorgh
+2 Traptrix Myrmeleo
+3 Pot of Duality
+2 Forbidden Chalice
+1 Level Modulation
+1 Ninjitsu Art of Transformation
+2 Floodgate Trap Hole

+1 Traptrix Rafflesia
+1 Daigusto Emeral
+1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
+1 Gagaga Samurai
+1 Kamionwizard

I like to go crazy with Extra Decks when I have enough space to try some niche strategies, and with Call of the Haunted and Instant Fusion, Rank 4's are relatively easy to summon. Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight is either an amazing card or completely useless depending on what you're up against.

DECKID=107473I never thought I'd write about Armed Dragons, but here I am. It's a really fun deck to play, but only the most dedicated duelists can summon Armed Dragon LV10! My favorite LV monster is definitely Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8, but that's a story for another day.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where every day he cries for warm weather, mollified by his job as software engineer and living in the basement. When he's not playing cards or crying about the lack of Fabled support, you can find him on his kayak reading a book and playing the ukulele or at his painting desk, probably on his 30th cup of coffee for the day. Hailed on the only one capable of cooking Minute Rice is 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet and a dog to pet.


Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to rerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.com to have your deck featured in the "Re-Routing" deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. "Winning" is not a strategy per se, and neither is "beating your opponents before they beat you."

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! –LJP