Sometimes I like decks purely for reasons that have nothing to do withtheir play value, and I know I'm not alone.

For the longest time, Toons were a fan favorite by pure virtue of beingfeatured in the anime, and that type of love extends to other decks likeHeroes, Armed Dragons, Junk, Harpies… I could go on. Today's contributorcited Penguins as a favorite thanks to their cutesy card art; writing usfrom Mexico City, here's what they had to say.

If anything would make me happy, it would be a Penguin LinkMonster. The effect could be virtually anything you want it to be,but as long as I get another cute Penguin, I'd be happy. FluffalPenguin does look a Little Dead inside, but that's probably onaccount of it being actually dead. Bolt Penguin looks snappy, somaybe the Link Monster could be a mellow version of those two.

Moving on, I love Penguins but I'm sad that the deck is so slow.The only good card is The Great Emperor Penguin, and there aren'tany good monsters you can use in combination with Transmodify toactually summon it. That's why I didn't include Transmodify, but itcertainly doesn't make me feel any better.

-Alta N. ~ Mexico City

Penguins technically have some cards that interact well with eachother, but the theme is mostly tied together in name only. Check out Alta'sdeck below to see the hodge-podge Penguin family in action.

DECKID=108215Meanwhile, I like the Penguin theme because of memes. You know your life iscontrolled by memes whenthismakes you laugh uncontrollably.

You need to know several layers of references to find that humorous, sohopefully your shared love for the Penguin deck runs deeper than sillypictures on the internet.

Warm Your Ice Cold Heart
When I said earlier that Penguins were largely just tied together in name,I meant that most of the Penguin effects don't go hand in hand… or in ourcase, flipper in flipper.

Two Penguins are Normal Monsters, one Penguin has an opponent-triggeredFiber Jar effect, some Penguins bounce cards to the hand… I guess you couldsay Nopenguin is the glue that holds the theme together? There have beendozens of variants that tried to really maximize the impact of Nopenguin'seffect, but the last time I saw a good Penguin deck, Link Monsters didn'texist and Elder Entity Norden wasn't Forbidden.

If you didn't guess from the title, it's clear that I'm not making a PurePenguin Party - I don't think we have enough monsters to make a trulydedicated Penguin deck with so many restrictions. But youcan leverage other themes to prop up a centralfavorite strategy.

The first concept I envisioned was a mashup with the Paleozoic theme, butthose and Frogs are the default for Water strategies, and I'd rather notjump back into that extremely familiar territory right now. The Paleozoicsdon't have much synergy with Penguins. I wrote on aTwilightswornversion of Paleozoics in the past, but that fits with the theme since bothstrategies profit from spitting things into the graveyard and Level 2monsters are plentiful.

First and foremost, the tried and true Brilliant Fusion should make itsentrance into the deck. Gem-Knight Seraphinite's obviously gold with anadditional Normal Summon, but Gem-Knight Aquamarine acts as another way toget Nopenguin in the graveyard as well. I wouldn't call Nopenguin thelynchpin of the strategy, but for abusing Penguin effects, it's all tooimportant. Brilliant Fusion throws a Water monster on the field for LinkSummons and a Nopenguin in the graveyard with Aquamarine, or it providesthe more "standard" second Normal Summon with Seraphinite.

#####CARDID=20407#####

Secondly, adding Brilliant Fusion is an excuse to talk about anotherfaction of the deck that can be supported once you diversify - FluffalWings. I know, that seems maybe like it comes out of left field, butconsidering that Fluffal Penguin is one of the best Penguin cards and we'realready running it, well, you might as well jump ship from the Pure PenguinTrain and hitch a ride on the Partial Penguin Express. For what it's worth,Penguins as a whole don't have any good ways of searching the deck to digfor answers or build resources.

Fluffals, ironically, do. If you've ever played a Fluffal deck before,you'll know that Fluffal Wings and Toy Vender are a match made in heaven.Or the graveyard, depending on how you phrase it. It speeds through yourdeck, discards things you either don't need from your hand or need in thegraveyard, and it's a consistent way to get to your key cards and make yourbiggest plays.

The Greatest Of All Penguins
Of the ten Penguins, The Great Emperor Penguin is by far my favoritebecause it rewards you instantly. Its summn may come at a bit of a heftycost since it's Level 5, but in return you get two Penguins straight fromyour deck. Despite looking completely silly, Penguin Soldier's your bestbet. Even with the lack of defense it's twice as good as Nightmare Penguinfor removing threats from your opponent, and from The Great EmperorPenguin, you can make an instant Toadally Awesome!

Of course, actually balancing the Penguins with your Fusion elements –namely the Gem-Knights and Frightfurs – is a delicate line to max out thestrength of the deck without sacrificing your Penguin core. For maxefficiency, you'll want to concentrate solely on the Penguins thathave a future. Unexpected Dai, Bolt Penguin, Swing of Memories, FlyingPenguin... I love the silliness of those cards, but I think they weigh youdown in the long term. It means you need to remove Rescue Rabbit, but allyou're really losing out on is a Rank 4.

The Frightfur Fusion monsters will simply generate stronger boards withbetter effects. It sounds plain, but I mean to be succinct on this. TheGreat Emperor Penguin is great for rounding out niche plays, but youroptions of summoning anything threatening with it are completely dashed. Irealize that some may say to cling to Nopenguin's ability in tandem withNightmare Penguin or Penguin Soldier, but I've already noted how passiveand weak that strategy is if it's your first plan of attack.

From there it's a matter of adding other Fluffal cards that round out theFluffal strategy. Alta already runs Fluffal Dog and I've mentioned FluffalWings, Toy Vendor, and Fluffal Bear, but I'd also suggest Fluffal Owl, Kingof the Swamp, and Edge Imp monsters to finish out the build. Edge Imp Chainand Edge Imp Sabres make the most sense in terms of extending your playsand providing consistency, so stick to them in a pinch.

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And since I'm vouching for two Gem-Knight Extra Deck monsters, an extraGem-Knight Garnet in the Main Deck is needed; it won't impede your strategymuch, and it's always a good choice to put back with Edge Imp Sabres if youdraw it before Brilliant Fusion. If you elect to summon Gem-KnightAquamarine, chances are you'll just tribute it for The Great EmperorPenguin or an easy material for a Link Summon, but keep in mind it'sanother way to send Nopenguin.

Fusion Summon Aquamarine sending Nopenguin to the graveyard, Normal SummonThe Great Emperor Penguin, and you'll field three Penguins when it's allsaid and one.

Check out the changes!

-2 Bolt Penguin
-2 Flying Penguin
-3 Rescue Rabbit
-1 The Great Emperor Penguin
-3 Nightmare Penguin
-3 Unexpected Dai
-2 Swing of Memories
-3 Double Summon
-1 Instant Fusion
-1 Upstart Goblin
-3 Twin Twisters

-2 Deepsea Shark
-1 Artifact Durendal
-1 Bahamut Shark
-1 Toadally Awesome
-2 Mistar Boy
-1 Link Spider
-1 Abyss Dweller
-1 Number 19: Freezadon

+2 King of the Swamp
+1 Fluffal Octopus
+1 Fluffal Owl
+3 Edge Imp Chain
+1 Edge Imp Sabres
+3 Fluffal Wings
+2 Gem-Knight Garnet
+3 Brilliant Fusion
+2 Polymerization
+1 Fusion Substitute
+2 Frightfur Fusion
+3 Toy Vendor

+2 Frightfur Sheep
+2 Frightfur Tiger
+2 Frightfur Kraken
+2 Frightfur Sabre-Tooth
+1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
+1 Gem-Knight Aquamarine

That looks like a hefty list of fixes, but honestly most of the changesrevolve around taking out the Normal Penguins and adding in Frightfur andFluffal Fusion support.

Decks like these tend to shy away from traps or even support cards likeTwin Twisters, but obviously a few well-considered substitutions wouldn'tbreak the deck. The only reason I use a Fusion Substitute instead of athird Polymerization is to discard them from Toy Vendor - aka, FusionSubstitute's second effect is what I'm going for.

DECKID=108216I do hope we see more direct Penguin support in the future. Guard Penguinwas a total red herring since it had literally no synergy with Penguins andNopenguin specifically, but I'm optimistic.

If virtually every strategy under the sun can get new Link Monsters, I canhope for Penguin cards, right?

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 raccoons. 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