Anything I could say would be inadequate and it would let the cat out ofthe bag at the same time, so we might as well let today's contributor fromTennessee explain his strategy...
Hi, buddy! So this was a deck idea from back in the day whenAdvanced Ritual Art was still at two-per-deck. Four years ago, thebasic win condition was to shuffle all monsters back into the deckto summon Exodius, then use ARA sending ten Level 1 Normal Monstersfrom the deck to the graveyard to summon something big, boostingthe Ultimate Forbidden Lord to a whopping 10,000 ATK. From thereyou'd attack with both monsters, and if that didn't finish youropponent, you'd overlay for Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Maxto burn for 2,000 damage.
But a lot has changed in four years time. Advanced Ritual Art'sunlimited, we have more Level 10 Ritual Monsters, and the biggestchange of course is Master Rule 4. So I figured it was time torevamp the deck, and this is what I came up with! Running twelveLevel 1 Normal Monsters used to be rough, but with Rescue Rabbitnow at three and the addition of better Xyz and Link Monsters, theyaren't as terrible as dead draws!
-Luke D.R. ~ Knoxville, TN
The central strategy here is pretty straightforward, but the deck could bebuilt out in a lot of different ways. Check out how Luke decided to putsome of his favorite monsters to work!
DECKID=108659Every time I see Herald of the Arc Light in an Extra Deck, I'm reminded ofan extremely trashy version of an Exploder Dragonwing Ritual hybrid deck Ionce made, which was about as mismatched as you could get in Yu-Gi-Oh.
2016 was a dark year for me, ok?
Every Card Tells A Story!
Advanced Ritual Art has a dicey past - one of the first OTK's that itpopularized consisted of Demise, King of Armageddon, Doom Dozer, andMegamorph. Advanced Ritual Art could send two copies of Insect Knight tothe graveyard as fodder for Doom Dozer, Demise would destroy the field, andthen you'd run in for one turn of glory – attacking with Doom Dozer first,keep in mind. Advanced Ritual Art spent time on the Forbidden and LimitedList due to combos just like that one, but now it's back and off the listentirely.
Advanced Ritual Art works with almost every Ritual Monster, but once youtake a look at the relatively few Ritual monsters that are out there, thatshining world of possibilities dwindles. Don't get me wrong; you still haveoptions, but your pool of Rituals is only so large. On top of that you'replaying with tons of Normal Monsters, too.
Luke chose Cyber Angel Vrash as his go-to monster for the combo and it's apretty cool card. For starters, it can demolish your opponent's monstersand do damage – not too shabby. But the second effect is what reallyattracts me to it the most. It's not quite as debilitating as Herald ofPerfection, but by returning a Ritual Monster from your graveyard to yourdeck, you can negate your opponent's cards.
The only problem? You need a Ritual Monster in the graveyard first.
That means the first Vrash you summon is almost completely useless, or youwind up using it as fodder for Link Summons or Superdreadnought Rail CannonGustav Max. What's one of the best Ritual Monsters to use as pure fodder ina case like that? Surprisingly, Gishki Zielgigas is a great candidate, andfor two reasons. One, it's a Level 10 for Gustav Max. But more importantly,for just 1000 Life Points, you get back all your card economy.
#####CARDID= 20889 #####
While Cyber Angel Vrash certainly has a place in the deck, three copies area bit clunky. At worst, Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord can recycleVrash, and if you need to summon three Vrash over the course of one duel, Ithink you're doing something wrong. Of course, Ritual Sanctuary searchesCyber Angel Vrash and Advanced Ritual Art, so why not throw inTerraforming?
My soul felt empty with just one copy each of Gishki Zielgigas and CyberAngel Vrash, kind of like how Doug "Ace Hardware" Zeeff felt when herealized he could have played Dogu in a deck and it wouldn't have hurt hischances of winning his flight. If you scan through the available RitualMonsters, the two big frontrunners are probably Herald of Perfection andElemental Mistress Doriado. One can pitch Fairy-types to stop youropponent, and – don't laugh – the other counts as a Level 3 Earth monsterif you want to somehow squeeze in Naturia Beast.
Being me, I chose Black Luster Soldier - Super Soldier instead. Its effectcan do sick burn damage, but more importantly it works with Gateway toChaos. You have to have something to search to activate the FieldSpell, and in some ways Gateway's like having another copy of RitualSanctuary, or it's just simply better than Ritual Sanctuary in the firstplace. After playing the card and yarding three monsters, Gateway to Chaosnets you Advanced Ritual Art and a monster to summon if you needmore Normals in the graveyard.
I'm putting the horse before the carriage here because I haven'trestructured the Normal Monsters yet, but let's just say that getting threemonsters into the graveyard from the field won't be too hard. I'm alsoadding in more spells like Terraforming, and if you're worried that RitualSanctuary can't search Gishki Zielgigas or Black Luster Soldier - SuperSoldier, Herald of the Arc Light will come to assist you.
Normal Ain't In My Vocabulary
Normal monsters are always an uphill battle to work with because at best,they're missing an asset that Effect Monsters offer you – specificallyan effect. That's mitigated by a bevy of cardsthat work exclusively with Normal Monsters, so the important factors whenyou're considering your lineup of Normal Monsters are their Attribute,Level, Type, Name, sub-type, and sometimes their ATK and DEF.
Luke played Key Mace and Mokey Mokey as easy picks to revive with RitualSanctuary, but that's about it. Flamvell Guard's a Tuner, but then there'sCharcoal Inpachi. It's a Pyro-type, a Fire monster, and… what am I supposedto do with that, exactly? Am I supposed to set it? What is this? 2005?
Thanks to Silent Doom, Swing of Memories, Birthright, andseventeen-trillion other cards, you could make an excuse for running anysmall theme engine dealing with Normal Monsters. I toyed around with theidea of using Exodia pieces - the various limbs of the Forbidden One - asan alternative win condition and even trying to squeeze in Megalosmasher Xfor Evolzar plays. But – surprise! – it turns out those ideas take a lot ofluck and never work consistently.
After all, you have to figure out what your end goal is. Any deck thatloads the graveyard with tiny Normal Monsters is asking to abuse Tri-Wightand Soul Charge. Making Saryuja Skull Dread isn't going to win you the dueloutright, but it can turn a mess of mediocre Normal Monsters into extracard economy and a free summon. It also shuffles your hand in caseit's overloaded with Normal monsters.
While you're blowing up the field with Cyber Angel Vrash and attacking for8000 damage with Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord has merit, the deckneeds more tricks. You need some way to abuse Normal Monsters, as well asjust better Normal Monsters in the first place.
#####CARDID= 9437 #####
Luke was playing Rescue Rabbit, and that seemed like a good choice thatsent me down a rabbit hole, no pun intended. Between Gishki Zielgigas andSoul Charge, I figured you could easily lower your Life Points and useEmergency Rescute Rescue Mission, so I added Destrudo the Lost Dragon'sFrisson and Ancient Fairy Dragon. And before I knew it I'd overstuffed thedeck to the point of disfunction; it turns out Rescue Rabbit isn't thatbeneficial from the get-go anyway.
Yes, Rescue Rabbit immediately puts two monsters on your field, but forthose monsters have to be the same monster - soyou won't end up using them for a Synchro Summon. Secondly, Rescue Rabbitconsumes your Normal Summon, and there are plenty of cards that can addmultiple monsters to your field without doing that. Instead, the go-to cardhere is Treasure Panda.
I've subtly hinted at the extra spells I'm adding to the deck, but by andlarge that was a segue to Treasure Panda. Even if your opponent has AshBlossom & Joyous Spring for days to negate your cards, you can at leastyard Terraforming and the like to capitalize on Treasure Panda. Itconflicts slightly with Ritual Sanctuary, but that's mathematicallyinsignificant because regardless of whether you use the spell with TreasurePanda or Ritual Sanctuary, you'll field a Level 1 Normal Monster.
Better Than Trash Panda (Hold For Applause)
There are plenty of "blank" cards you can play that fuel Treasure Pandawithout messing up the groove you've got going on with the rest of thedeck. Heck, with so many Normal Monsters youdon't want to draw, diluting the deck with spellsmeans better hands on average. Anything you can do to yard spells withoutcorrupting the integrity and consistency of the core gameplan is well worththe addition.
That said, I believe "economy neutral" cards can work perfectly here, evenif they might look subpar on the surface. White Elephant's Gift ends with adazzling +0 in card economy, but it digs through your deck for stuff likeAdvanced Ritual Art, Soul Charge, and Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord.It puts a spell in the graveyard for Treasure Panda too, and if your Normalmonster was free, you're technically gaining some card economy in the end.
One monster that I completely forgot about until the last minute of testingwas The Agent of Creation - Venus. At worst, it's a Level 3 body you canfield off a late Saryuja Skull Dread. At best, it's a free Saryuja byitself. Or at least it's free once you factor in Imduk the World ChaliceDragon, Link Spider, and 1500 Life Points. Though I compared Rescue Rabbitto Treasure Panda, comparing it to The Agent of Creation - Venus is moreapt. You're limited in what you can summon, sure, but you can do it againand again over the course of the duel thanks to Exodius the UltimateForbidden Lord!
In terms of Extra Deck threats, I had to remember what the main focus ofthe deck was - blowing up everything with Vrash and then attacking withExodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord. Most of the Extra Deck exists solelyto help speed through your deck and filter to your combo pieces, but if youcan dig to Soul Charge consistently, you can likewise gear the deck to seeone big Synchro consistently. Cosmic Blazar Dragon isn't easy to make, butit's just a Soul Charge away if you get luckywith a Treasure Panda.
#####CARDID= 20407 #####
Toon Table of Contents is one of the friendliest cards to Treasure Panda,yarding three spells instantly. My friend Bobby Kenny pointed out thatyou'd also have access to Toon Cyber Dragon and thus Chimeratech MegafleetDragon for an added bit of damage. Given its synergy, it's worthconsidering. Brilliant Fusion helps out in synergistic ways too: it sendsmonsters to the graveyard, leverages Gem-Knight Lazuli to get monsters backto your hand, provides Link Material for Saryuja Skull Dread, and on top ofthat it grants you an Extra Normal Summon thanks to Gem-Knight Seraphinite.
Here are the changes I wound up making to Luke's build.
-3 Key Mace
-2 Mokey Mokey
-3 Charcoal Inpachi
-1 Flamvell Guard
-3 Rescue Rabbit
-2 Cyber Angel Vrash
-2 Unexpected Dai
-1 One for One
-1 One Day of Peace
-1 Upstart Goblin
-2 Magical Mallet
-1 Ritual Sanctuary
-1 Mist Bird Clausolas
-1 Assault Blackwing - Sayo the Rain Hider
-1 Sylvan Princessprite
-1 Ghostrick Dullahan
-1 Slacker Magician
-1 Borreload Dragon
-1 Ningirsu the World Chalice Warrior
-1 Ib the World Chalice Priestess
-1 Proxy Dragon
+3 Mystical Shine Ball
+1 Galaxy Serpent
+1 Black Luster Soldier - Super Soldier
+3 The Agent of Creation - Venus
+3 Treasure Panda
+1 Gem-Knight Garnet
+1 Gem-Knight Lazuli
+1 Toon Cyber Dragon
+1 Gishki Zielgigas
+1 Draw Muscle
+1 Soul Charge
+1 Gateway to Chaos
+3 Brilliant Fusion
+3 Toon Table of Contents
+3 White Elephant's Gift
+1 Imduk the World Chalice Dragon
+1 Cosmic Blazar Dragon
+1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
+1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
+1 Link Spider
+1 Underclock Taker
+1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
+1 Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon
Again, additions like The Agent of Creation - Venus, Treasure Panda, andBrilliant Fusion don't detract from the main goal, but they work tocompensate for the torrent of Normal Monsters and other mediocre cards.Once you include all of the pieces for this mash-up and then balance theratio of spells to monsters, the deck balloons up to a higher card countthan you'd think. Just remember, you're eliminating a lot of those cardsthrough deck thinning effects.
DECKID=108660At one point, I was considering virtually every theme and archetype underthe sun for this strategy, but the final version above is still arelatively tame version of the deck. This build runs very few boss monstersin the Extra Deck, but Cosmic Blazar Dragon, Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon,Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max, and Saryuja Skull Dread should beenough to tide you over.
In the end, I still had to cut a lot of cards because while theycould work, it doesn't mean you can consistently get the resultsyou want to get with them.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.
Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where it's warmer thanwarm, whatever that means. When he's not submitting ideas for Fabledsupport and a Fabled Link monster, you can find making "attempts" at"art" and playing his ukulele terribly, or on Wednesday nights, hangingout with the local mice. Hailed as the only person capable of cookingMinute Rice in 56 seconds, Loukas is always looking at expanding hisapartment to house every dog in the world.
Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you lovecreating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send thefollowing firstname.lastname@example.org have your deck featured in the "Re-Routing" deck fix column!
-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send awritten deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will befiled and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck shouldbe TCG legal).
-Your name and city.
-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs makeLoukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.
-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you'replaying it, and its strengths and weaknesses. "Winning" is not astrategy per se, and neither is "beating your opponents before theybeat you."
-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love withthe deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and ifyou throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; bewarned, 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'mnot bored of it yet! –LJP