Dark Magician decks are universally liked for several reasons.

Obviously, the nostalgia that Dark Magician represents is felt far and wideby many players, but the strategy also packs some powerful plays to satiatethose that want something more competitive. And since the Dark Magiciantheme has never truly dominated the competitive scene, most don't have asour taste in their mouth after losing key matches to Dark Magicians at aRegional or YCS event.

Why does that matter today? Well, this week's contributor rights us fromIllinois, to say…

I always liked the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, from its first debut in Americathrough the adventures of today, and I like to play every theme Isee on the screen regardless of how competitive it is. Now that wehave Dark Magician the Dragon Knight, aptly named, I think it'stime for a hybrid. The Dragon Knight protects Eternal Soul, andthat's the real difficulty for Dark Magician decks.

Eternal Soul annihilates your field when it's destroyed, but it canbring back Dark Magician the Dragon Knight and subsequently protectitself by fielding your Fusion. Maybe it's not so much of a hybridstrategy as the new standard Dark Magician deck going forward – thecard is just that good. I wish I could play it Turn 1 every duel.

-Dallas K. ~ Chicagoland, Illinois

If you're not familiar with the concept of "Chicagoland," it's an undefinedarea surrounding the city of Chicago that virtually everyone in thevicinity pretends to be a part of. People that live in Indiana, theneighboring state, or even people up to 100 miles away will still say theylive "in Chicago," and thus the term was coined.

If you think the term is dumb, you're right.

DECKID=108321Thankfully, I think that Dark Magician decks will always get new supportfrom time to time as new cards are printed. They may not be as impactful asEternal Soul or Dark Magician Circle, but I'll take Dark Magic Expanded and Apprentice Illusion Magician any day of the week.

Timmy's Eye
The Eye of Timaeus is definitely the best way to unleash the Dragon Fusionversions of Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl. While Dark MagicianFusion decks were never the cream of the crop on the competitive scene, thesingle printing, nostalgia factor, and overall novelty once made The Eye ofTimaeus skyrocket in price. Thanks to the Legendary Dragon Decks though, you can easily pick up any variant of Dark Magician for pennies,with or without the Fusion support.

I mean, it's alot of pennies, but tens of thousands of penniesfewer than before.

When I first saw Dallas' deck in my inbox I was really excited tohave an excuse to play Dark Magician the Dragon Knight. But as you can seefrom the submission, the deck doesn't exactly lend itself to making Fusionssince it's very focused on Dark Magician itself. To keep the changes trueto this column's namesake, I'll obviously be rerouting it towards a moreFusion-centric build.

But as attractive as that idea sounds, it's hard to thread the needle onthis one; it's tough to keep the Dark Magicians on track while alsoconsistently providing Dragon fodder while also adding my normalvolume of crazy combos. If you know me at all by now, you'd be 100% correctif you thought my first draft of this deck had Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit.You'd also be correct if you thought that ten minutes later I was staringout the window thinking "Why are my favorite archetypes garbage?"

Backing up for a second - two cards that are pivotal to the Dark Magiciandeck rarely have much utility outside of fodder for Dark Magician Illusiononce they hit the field: Apprentice Illusion Magician restocks your handand searches for the ever-elusive Dark Magician, while Magician's Rod getsyou to your spells and traps. While it's expensive, there's a monster thatcan work with both of those cards to take you far beyond the standardplays: Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson.

#####CARDID=22440#####

I'm not ignoring that the Destrudo seriously cuts into your Life Points,but it lets you dig into your Extra Deck and make a lot of cool, proactiveplays in the early game. Keep in mind, virtually every way to bring outDark Magician early on is either costly or impossible. Eternal Soul,Magician's Robe, and Magician Navigation don't work on your first turnwhile Ancient Rules, Dark Magic Curtain, and Temperance of Prophecy are allsubpar. That means Dark Magic Circle's effect to remove threats isbasically inaccessible.

Combined with either Apprentice Illusion Magician or Magician's Rod,Destrudo nets you a Level 7 Synchro without breaking the bank in terms ofcard economy. Dragon Shrine mitigates Destrudo's other downside ofreturning to the deck, meaning you can safely play one copy of Destrudowith three Dragon Shrines. With that in mind, I'm opting to play FlamvellGuard. I'll explain more later, but for now, it's a Level 1 Tuner to makePSY-Framelord Omega.

MOAR DRAGONS
As I mentioned earlier, I want better chances of seeing my Dark MagicianFusions, but there's another way to achieve the same goal without The Eyeof Timaeus and that's Dragon's Mirror. Despite being one of the best cardsgoing in terms of card economy, it's certainly not something you want tosee early on, or in multiples. Dark Magician decks don't have the luxury ofother strategies where one or two cards can turn into many, so a few deadcards in your opening hand could mean you're losing. You need to get theball rolling swiftly and consistently.

There are lots of ways to skin a cat, but when you're looking at differentcombos and options, it's really easy to get sidetracked, so the only nichecard I want to vouch for is Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm; that's because ofa very specific combo. Earlier I lamented the lack of options tofield a Dark Magician on Turn 1, but there is one way that's prettyreasonable.

You need some combination of Dragon Shrine, Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm,or Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson. First, field the Darkwurm with itsrevival effect or by Normal Summoning it, and get Supreme King Gate Zerofrom your deck to your hand. Play it, then use Destrudo from graveyard orhand to make the Level 7 Odd-Eyes Meteorburst Dragon, and Special SummonSupreme King Gate Zero from your Pendulum Zone. Stack both Level 7 monstersto make Ebon Illusion Magician, and from there you'll field a Dark Magicianfor free.

There are other ways to accomplish the same goal, but the easiest option isto stuff your deck with Terraforming, Dragon Ravine, and a bunch of othercards that squeeze the deck beyond 40 cards at best, or require a totalrebuild at worst. Like I mentioned, Flamvell Guard has some great usesinvolving the Extra Deck, but it's chiefly food for Dragon's Mirror. SinceDarkwurm and Destrudo don't return to the graveyard after use, you'll needsomething there for your Fusion Spell.

#####CARDID=22437#####

The other options I toyed around with were Eclipse Wyvern – fuel forDragon's Mirror and a search venture for Destrudo – and Odd-Eyes ArcPendulum Dragon; a Normal Monster, sure, but also a Level 7 Pendulum tobring out with Odd-Eyes Meteorburst Dragon. But both cards made me feellikethis.

All I can really do is cut down on the number of pure Dark Magician cardsand add in the Fusion elements. There are many ways you could spin thisdeck, leveraging different aspects and adjusting ratios here and there, butfor simplicity's sake I tried to keep the deck as centered on Dark Magicianas possible while still giving you more Fusion options and anaggressively minded first turn.

The result was this.

DECKID=108322I never thought I would say this, but the Dark Magician Extra Deck isgetting a little tight. Until we get thebeefy version of Bladefly, I'm removing my beloved Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk for space. To be fair,the deck just couldn't capitalize much on the Tokens from Galaxy Tomahawk,rendering it kind of moot.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


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 broccoli. Hailed as the only person capable ofcooking Minute Rice in 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking atexpanding his apartment 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 torerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.comto 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