Thanks to the Zoodiacs' ridiculously cheap Xyz Summons and Zoodiac Ratpier's incredible power level, one Beast-Warrior with a snarky grin can kick off a field of three Xyz and net you three freshly drawn cards. Add in Fire Formation - Tenki, Zoodiac Barrage, or Instant Fusion, and there's a chance you could fall asleep before your opponent finishes their first turn.
Last week I capitalized on the Zoodiac Combo to give Bujins the competitive edge they needed, but along with the True Kings and True Draco support, Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King from Maximum Crisis are quickly making every other deck obsolete. Zoodiacs are dead in the OCG: Zoodiac Drident and Zoodiac Barrage are Forbidden, and Zoodiac Ratpier's Limited, effectively making it useless. But just look at Aaron Furman's recent victory at YCS Pittsburgh to see what a relatively meager hand can turn into here in the TCG.
While all that may sound daunting, other decks can still set up early and have a chance of survival. This week's contributor writes us from Italy.
Boun giorno! I see you like to create and help create decks that are not boring. We see too many boring decks at all the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series events; I could save myself some time reading the feature matches and just do the Zoodiac Combo myself. There are many Zoodiac Combos. I say that all the Zoodiac Combos are too boring and the same.
Dinomists can be slow, but they can also be fun. They are very inexpensive to purchase, and good thing I already had three copies of Solemn Strike. Hopefully that card will be cheaper for others, soon. I don't know which card I like more - Solemn Strike or Dinomists Howling. Both of them are so good and help me win a lot of duels. I do not mind how much you change the deck since this is a first draft. I am looking to change it before I play it with friends.
-Solomani P. ~ Rimini, Italy
One thing I would like to say - if English is not your native tongue, don't feel like you have to apologize for any grammar errors as Solomani did in a part of his submission I skipped. Trust me, your English is better than a lot of other people I know who have been speaking it their whole life.
Don't let that ever dissuade you from submitting your deck!DECKID=107582While Maximum Crisis introduced a ton of amazing card support for dozens of decks, I think I was most excited for the lone Dinomist card - Dinomists Howling. Its minor restriction is just that – extremely minor – and it's completely overshadowed by all the good it can do. Most Dinomist decks rarely play anything but Dinomist cards in the Main Deck, so I doubt the restriction will ever be a problem.
For Dinomist hybrid decks like my Karakuri version, you'll just alot your Normal Summon to a Karakuri Tuner or whatever ancillary support you have in your deck without Dinomists Howling holding you back.This Deck Is Dinomite!
You'll keep hand traps safe from Twin Twisters, and Zoodiac Drident is in some ways an added bonus after you've gone through some iteration of a Zoodiac Combo to draw half your deck. All those new cards really make Mystical Space Typhoon's once-Limited status seem laughable.
All that said, it's important to look for ways to maximize your output while conserving resources. You don't want a single hand trap to ruin your entire day. Dinomist Charge is great, but I wouldn't put all my faith in the Continuous Spell; you won't be reaping the benefits for turns to come. As much as I like the uh, four card…?... Combo… of Dinomist Eruption, Dinomist Charge, Supply Squad, and Generation Shift, it's a bit too lofty a goal to reach regularly. None of those cards are easily searched and the whole thing relies a bit too much on opponent interaction. I think that opening hand could work better against decks like Paleozoics or Metalfoes, but between Kaijus and Zoodiacs, life isn't so easy.
What we can do is focus on the positives - if you're unaware, Maximum Crisis released the best piece of Dinomist support we could possibly ask for in Dinomists Howling. For the price of, uh, free, you'll place two Dinomist Pendulum monsters from your deck into your Pendulum Zones. If you already have a monster in your Pendulum Zone, Dinomists Howling says that's ok, too, and lets you Scale just one. But wait, there's more - you can also tribute a Dinomist monster to bounce a card back to your opponent's hand.
It does say "monster," which is an important distinction since the Dinomist monsters all have Pendulum effects that protect other Dinomist cards on the field. Say your opponent activates Mystical Space Typhoon on your set Howling - you'll activate it, get two free Pendulum scales, then give up whichever Scale you'd like to keep Howling on the field.Casual But Powerful
Forgoing the expensive Zoodiac Barrage, you can still start your turn off with a Toadally Awesome or Cyber Dragon Infinity. Toadally Awesome by way of Bahamut Shark is really easy, and it doesn't take any Pendulum Scales to make. Solomani started with Instant Fusion, but Tin Goldfish is an option as well for a simple boss monster play.
For what it's worth, Dinomists Howling doesn't help you going first. It's easily the best card in the deck on account of both its effects, but opening with the trap is a huge deterrent to activating any Pendulum Scales to start things off. Cyber Dragon Infinity and the Karakuri suite benefit from Pendulum Summoning, but the whole mindset of the deck has changed. To max out your benefit from Howling, you'll rarely play Scales on Turn 1.
As much as I like the card, Pot of Duality hurts this strategy more than it helps. It slightly increases your chance to start with Dinomists Howling, but it consumes an entire turn after shutting down your Special Summons. You've probably seen Pot of Duality pop up in some explosive decks like Hieratics, but that's because the deck is exactly that – explosive. As long as you don't die, the theme could barf enough cards on field to make up for lost time. Dinomists are great at protecting each other and recycling their parts but don't exactly have the explosive capabilities of other decks.
Once I took out the slower cards, all that was left to do was add in the rest of the changes. I already mentioned Tin Goldfish as a good starting point, but in light of any real spell and trap removal, I tested Kozmo Sliprider with surprisingly good results. It's not that useful going first, but it's a Level 5 Machine for Cyber Dragon Nova that clears threats before they even happen!-1 Dinomist Brachion
I know I already bashed Zoodiacs, but Zoodiacs are the best deck for a reason - whether in a pure variant or a mash-up, the cards are just that strong. Thanks to Zoodiac Chakanine, you could squeeze a few cards into the Extra Deck and add Zoodiac Drident as a finishing threat as well, but I'll let you make that decision yourself.DECKID=107583Don't worry - the Zoodiac craze will eventually draw to a close, whether at the hand of a new Forbidden & Limited List at the end of the WCQ season or just regular old power creep. I like the potential of a single Zoodiac Ratpier, but I understand just how nauseating it can be to see the same cards in every deck.
It's been quite some time now, but at one point Lonefire Blossom, Glow-Up Bulb, and Spore were in literally every strategy too. Funny how things change, right?
Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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