I have a love-hate relationship with Yang Zings. I raved about them here, but lamented their numerous weaknesses, recognizing they simply couldn't roll with the popular Satellarknight, Shaddoll and Burning Abyss decks. The New Challengers provided Yang Zing support to give the deck life, but the Wyrm archetype wasn't the only family to get a leg up. Shaddolls and Burning Abyss decks got a huge boost with cards like Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss and El Shaddoll Fusion. To make matters worse, Qliphorts were introduced and stacked the deck against Yang Zings even more.
Yang Zings can be frustrating because the cards are inherently really good. Whenever a Yang Zing dies, it replaces itself with a different Zing from the deck for defense. The monsters provide strong boosts to whatever Synchros you make, and the deck has its very own Pot of Avarice card in Yang Zing Path. The Yang Zing effect monsters range from Levels 1 to 5, both Tuners and non-Tuners, so you can unleash virtually any Synchro on command.
The deck reminds me of Plant Synchro because you have a lot of recursive monsters: both Tuners and non-Tuners with a wide range of Levels that search each other from the deck. The problem with Yang Zings, however, its that they're so darn reactive. Before The New Challengers, the best Turn 1 play was to just set a monster and activate Yang Zing Creation.
Now with Jiaotu, Darkness of the Yang Zing, the deck has early game plays that require absolutely no interaction with your opponent. Decks like Infernities, Tribute Stun, Macro-Rabbit and many others have thrived because players could make godly fields on their first turn. A few Regional Top 8 finishes have given me hope that not everyone has abandoned this deck, and this week's Rerouting features Jiaotu along with the rest of the Yang Zing family.
Alex C. from Columbus writes…
Some of the recent artwork has absolutely dazzled me - the Yang Zings are no exception. I started to collect one of each card just because they were pretty, but my boyfriend wanted to have the deck on file in case we ever wanted to play it. Now that Shooting Quasar Dragon is easy to get, I thought about combining the two together in one deck. The new Dark Tuner can get two other Yang Zings from the deck, so there has to be something there.
I played Lavals for the longest time, but had to stop when Rekindling was Limited, so I know my deck has a lot of cards only used in Lavals, like Boost Warrior. Chiwen is a Level 1 though, so it's easy to get to Formula Synchron that way. I haven't actually made Quasar with the deck, but I know there has to be a way! I've won plenty of games without the Dragon, but I'll win even more when I actually make Quasar. Pretty cool, huh? It would be cooler if I could Summon Quasar. My favorite card in the deck is definitely Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing because it can't be targeted. I'm not the most competitive player, but Burning Abyss is a huge factor at my locals. If they waste Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction and Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning prematurely, then Yazi is an instant win condition.
Hope you like the Yazi-riffic deck,
What Alex said is quite valid: weighing in at 2600 ATK, Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing's quite a force to be reckoned with, beating over most every card in the game: El Shaddoll Winda; Caius the Shadow Monarch; Virgil, Rockstar of the Burning Abyss, you name it. And since it can't be targeted, like, ever, you'll need a huge monster or a board clearer like Raigeki or Torrential Tribute to get it off the field.
With varying Levels of Tuners and non-Tuners, the Yang Zing monsters really do turn into interlocking puzzle pieces. Shooting Quasar Dragon's price tag is three Synchro monsters, but that shouldn't be too hard to achieve… right? Alex's deck has standard Yang Zing components and a surplus of innovative cards that'll give you beaucoup options every turn. Check out his list below:
DECKID=101483There certainly are a lot of unique cards in the deck, none of which are completely foreign to Yang Zing strategies. Let's see if I can keep all of it intact by the end of the article!
I Got A Complicated Order
The little, tiny, microscopic problem with Alex's Quasar deck was the slightly convoluted way it wanted to go about making Shooting Quasar Dragon. There are a few longer processes, but the easiest way to make the Dragon would start with a Jiaotu on the field and required your Normal Summon, which means a Yang Zing had to be destroyed in battle to Summon Jiaotu; it had to survive a battle; or you needed Soul Charge on Turn 1. It went like this:
-Pitch two Yang Zing cards from your hand to Special summon Pualo, Wind of the Yang Zing and Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing from your Main Deck.
-Activate Instant Fusion, Special Summoning Fusionist from your Extra Deck.
-Synchro Armades, Keeper of Boundaries, then Formula Synchron to draw a card.
-Normal Summon Debris Dragon reviving Pulao from your graveyard. Synchro Summon Samsara, Dragon of Rebirth.
-Finish with Shooting Quasar Dragon.
Ok, so it's not as convoluted as I made it out to be, but the play sequence requires some really ideal situations, including your sole non-searchable copy of Debris Dragon in hand and an Instant Fusion at the ready. That's not impossible, but there are way too many factors that need to come together for you ever really execute this play since Debris Dragon is currently Limited. Additionally, you're forced to run subpar cards like Samsara, Dragon of Rebirth and Fusionist which will rarely if ever come out.
And I love Instant Fusion as a card, but paying more Life Points than you need in very sparse situations may be lethal to you. Debris Dragon's awful restriction with Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier currently Forbidden just gets more and more awful. Yang Zings already face an uphill battle, and playing cards that will rarely further your cause is moving the strategy backwards.
Alex also indicated he was uncomfortable with a lot of his other choices, saying that they made for awkward hands when he didn't draw the cards he needed. I couldn't agree more - the problem with having too many misfit combo pieces in any strategy is that you'll come up short of your big plays too often. When the deck works you're on fire; nothing can stop you. But on the flip side, anything less than a perfect set-up equates a loss.
But don't get too discouraged - you could say it's simply too much of a good thing. Take Boost Warrior for example: even back in the days of triple Rekindling, a single copy was run to make your one Formula Sychron for the deck, but it was a pretty vital piece of the deck. Even with three Chiwen, this deck just can't support so many copies of Boost Warrior. Besides, with Doppelwarrior and Pulao, Formula Synchron should be easy to run.
Additionally, Doppelwarior's a tall order with three copies in the deck. The only means to trigger Doppelwarrior are Soul Charge, Debris Dragon and a Chiwen destroyed by a card effect. Doppel's a valuable asset, producing Level 1 monsters to tack on to any Synchro for minor Level manipulation. However, I think its best suited elsewhere.
We All Knew Where I Was Going
Hate me if you must, but I promise this will be the last article I put Junk Synchron in for a while. I'm sorry to plague so many decks with this card, but hot damn, it just makes things work. You can search it with Reinforcement of the Army, revive a number of monsters from your graveyard, and easily Summon Armades, Keeper of Boundaries to play through traps. I like comparing Junk Synchron to Masked Chameleon and Debris Dragon, two more popular Tuners that can revive more Tuners.
Debris Dragon is restricted to Dragons, and Masked Chameleon's only true product is Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing and it has other restrictions. Both cards definitely have value, but neither lets you Summon Shooting Quasar Dragon very easily. With multiple copies of Reinforcement of the Army the following situation's not farfetched, and shows how easy an early Shooting Quasar Dragon could be made with a tweaked build. Start with a destroyed Chiwen to Special Summon a Jiaotu.
-Use Jiaotu's effect to Special Summon a Chiwen and Bixi from your deck. Make a Herald of Arc Light and then T. G. Hyper Librarian.
-Normal Summon Junk Synchron, Reviving your fallen Chiwen and Special Summon Dopelwarior from your hand.
-Synchro Summon Armades, Keeper of Boundaries (drawing a card) and then Formula Synchron (drawing a second and third card).
-Finish with Shooting Quasar Dragon.
This specific set of plays requires you to start with a Chiwen, a Junk Synchron and Doppelwarrior,but the Yang Zings you start with can vary as long as you get to a Jiaotu – the order of your Synchro monsters and the number of draws you get may change, but I wanted to show the ideal and most simplistic play. The Extra Deck's littered with seemingly random monsters like Mist Bird Clasolaus and Phonon Pulse Dragon, but they all play a role in some convoluted way to make Shooting Quasar Dragon. Detailing every way you can make Quasar would take about long as me telling you all the combinations of coins in U.S. currency that would sum to five dollars.
I've played Yang Zings a fair amount, and the next biggest change I wanted to make was simplifying the monster line-up. Having the ideal Quasar combo early is awesome, but sometimes less is more. You don't want to constantly draw Doppelwarriors when you need a Yang Zing Creation or have your hand stuffed with non-Yang Zing cards when you need to get a Jiaotu off.
Additionally, you'd rather not draw the lesser Yang Zings constantly. Pulao, Chiwen and Taotie, Shadow of the Yang Zing exists only to fill rolls based on their stats. Jiaotu's a much better Tuner with a relevant effect; Pulao is more often than not only in Yang Zing decks because it's a Level One non-Tuner; and Taotie's saving grace comes from being Level 5 with 2200 ATK. If I could go every duel from now on with almost never drawing those cards, I'd be set. I hope you'll never need those cards more than the bare minimum, so three copies of Chiwen and two of Taotie and Paulo seem more than enough.
No Fighting, Children
Elsewhere, the ratios seem really solid. The only card I really wanted to add was designed to make fights happen: Blasting Fuse. Haven't heard of Blasting Fuse? Shame on you. Blasting Fuse and the subsequent cards like it opened up a giant can of worms I thought we'd closed once people stopped trolling with Question and Needle Wall.
If you play on a custom playmat, look down at it now. Or imagine it sweetly, I don't care. Does it have designated zones for monsters, Pendulum zones, your graveyard and the like? If not, shame on you. Each of the zones is specific and designated – it may not have a name (like Karen or Dave) but it exists, as its own entity. The third one from the left is the third one from the left and once a monster has been placed in that zone, it remains there. Why?
Because cards like Question, Needle Wall and Blasting Fuse exist. You can't just move stuff around because you feel like it - you're actually manipulating the game state and altering how cards are played. Where cards are on the field actually matters. End of story. Blasting Fuse blows up everything in a single column. You'll lose two cards, but your opponent will also lose two cards in the process. The plus side to this is that your Yang Zings will summon more monsters, so you really haven't paid a heavy cost. Additionally, it acts as Enemy Controller or Book of Moon for your monster effects; an outlet to get your monsters off the field to dodge pesky cards like Skill Drain, Breakthrough Skill and Effect Veiler.
Honestly, most players with backrow cards and monsters on the field will keep them in a single column – it's just how people place their cards. Blasting Fuse is by and large a one-shot wonder because in Games 2 and 3, your opponent will set cards so that they're not in a column. But you can often screw over your opponent early with a quick line of destruction thanks to Blasting Fuse.
That'll Do Wyrm, That'll Do
The major fixes I made were structured around Synchro Summomning Shooting Quasar Dragon, but plenty of other tweaks came along for the ride. Yang Zing Prana is too reactive, and I think the first build was missing the highly valuable Yang Zing Brutality, giving some power to your hand zings to take down cards like Leo, The Sacred Keeper of the tree. Here are the changes.
-3 Boost Warrior
-1 Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing
-1 Debris Dragon
-1 Jiaotu, Darkness of the Yang Zing
-1 Pulao, Wind of the Yang Zing
-1 Taotie, Shadow of the Yang Zing
-1 Dark Hole
-3 Instant Fusion
-1 Reinforcement of the Army
-1 Yang Zing Path
-1 Breakthrough Skill
-3 Yang Zing Creation
-1 Armory Arm
-1 Iron Chain Dragon
-1 Samsara, the Dragon of Rebirth
+1 Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing
+2 Junk Synchron
+1 Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing
+2 Forbidden Chalice
+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+2 Blasting Fuse
+2 Yang Zing Brutality
+3 Yang Zing Creation
+1 Formula Synchron
+1 Herald of the Arc Light
+1 Mist Bird Clausolas
+1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
And here's the final deck!
DECKID=101486Good thing Yang Zings have dedicated fans hard at work to constantly improve the strategy, so hopefully we'll see the deck thrive in the future! Depending on how you tailor the Side Deck, Burning Abyss and Shaddoll decks can be countered, but the biggest problem I found was in the Qliphort match-up. Nevertheless, I hope Alex and his boyfriend have fun playing the deck!
Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.
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 email@example.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