When Ghostricks made their debut in Shadow Specters, hardly anyone knew what the cards did, nor did they care. The generic Rank 3 Ghostrick Alucard became an expensive card and a staple in many decks, climbing to almost 30 dollars on the secondary market. But outside of Ghostrick Alucard? Nothing.

Since Shadow Specters, the Ghostrick theme's received support in four more major releases and yet they've managed to do virtually nothing on the competitive scene. Without much of an offensive front, Ghostricks didn't really have a win condition until Ghostrick Angel of MIschief.

Ghostrick Angel of Mischief's alternate win condition joins the shortlist of ridiculous strategies like Destiny Board, Exchange of Spirit and Exodia that win without reducing your opponent's Life Points to zero. Today's submission is a Ghostrick deck throwing all the punches the deck can offer. Kameron R. from Spokane, WA writes…

Ghostricks are one of the decks I'd never explored until newer support arrived. I think the art is amazing and goofy, and now Ghostricks actually have a way to win. I'm sure you know, but Angel of Mischief wins games in just a few short turns. You need ten materials under her to win the game, and since you stack her on another Ghostrick, that's three materials already! The point of the deck is simple – claim victory with the snazzy win condition.

My favorite card in this deck is probably Ghostrick Scare - it blocks your opponent's monsters and punishes them. Cards like Ghostrick Scare are great outs to the Djinn lock, right? My worst matchup is Satellars and that's why I run Kaiser Colosseum. Anything you can do to make the deck better!

Oh geez…

DECKID=102134Some decks are static, and some decks are dynamic. Ghostricks tend to be a somewhat straightforward strategy, and Ghostrick Angel of MIschief's alternate win condition is a slow and steady race to win the game.

Kameron, You Got Some 'Splainin' To Do
Looking at Kameron's deck list, it's a Little Difficult to see how victory's achieved. I questioned a lot of the choices and could barely make heads or tails of some the card choices. Before I start changing things, let me explain the direction I think the deck's going. There may not be a good reason, but there are definitely some reasons for each and every card in this build.

Ghostrick Angel of Mischief requires two Level four monsters… Just kidding! No one's going to do that. Similar to Downerd Magician, Angel of Mischief stacks onto any Ghostrick Xyz besides another Angel of Mischief for a free Xyz Summon, bypassing its normal Xyz Summoning requirements. Once per turn, you can detach a material to search a Ghostrick spell or trap card. Additionally, you can attach a Ghostrick monster from your hand or field to it as an Xyz Material, and if Mischief gets ten materials you win the game.

To keep her alive long enough to get ten materials, the Ghostrick cards fly to her aid. Ghostrick Lantern protects Mischief in battle; Ghostrick Vanish and Ghostrick Scare ward off other threats; and Ghostrick Parade can combo with cards like Ghostrick Go-Round to save your monsters in battle. Safe Zone's played to keep Mischief immune to destruction, and Imperial Custom keeps Safe Zone alive. Pairing Kaiser Colosseum with Mischief can keep your opponent from swarming the field and digging into their Extra Deck.

I'll go ahead and say it, though - that Ghostrick strategy is awful. Not only is it incredibly slow, but it's fragile, inconsistent and has a win-ratio so low you have to dig for it. To be honest, most people haven't wasted a second considering rogue alternate win conditions, and this one's about as consistent, viable and fun as Destiny Board. An errant Mystical Space Typhoon hitting your Ghostrick Parade, Kaiser Colosseum or Safe Zone would cripple your strategy harder than Mistake cripples Spellbooks.

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That said, Ghostrick Angel of MIschief's actual effect is really good. Ignore the last ability – this Ghostrick is all about stockpiling resources! Detaching any of your Ghostricks to get a spell or trap from the deck is nuts. To use the spells and traps well, you need a lot of them; Mischief can give you that. Granted, the spells and traps don't directly press your opponent for damage or destroy cards, but let me introduce you to Ghostrick's real win condition.

Ghostrick Vanish can protect your monsters; Ghostrick Break gets stuff back from the graveyard; Ghostrick Scare can be used offensively and defensively; and Ghostrick-Go-Round is downright amazing when used correctly. Instead of wasting all your monsters to try to get ten Xyz Materials on Mischief, use her effect to grab free cards from the deck! And remember: when you detach Dullahan and Alucard from her, you'll trigger their abilities as well.

Just Kidding, Still No Win Condition
Sadly, there isn't a real "draw and win" card or overpowered combo. The most consistent, reliable, disruptive and dare I say "useful" Ghostrick combo stems from the interaction of Ghostrick Parade and Ghostrick-Go-Round. Ghostrick Parade keeps players from attacking facedown monsters, turning their attacks into direct attacks instead. When a monster pokes for damage, it goes facedown. So your opponent's onslaught of attacks will come through, but their monsters will retreat facedown afterwards.

Then Ghostrick-Go-Round comes in. Once per Battle Phase on either player's turn, the wrath of annoyance kicks in with two effects. You can either flip your face-down Ghostrick face-up and flip your opponent's monster face-down, or do the exact opposite, flipping yours face-down and theirs face-up. It sounds lackluster at first, but once you start to look how things play out, it'll get really annoying for your opponent – multiple copies of Go-Round means you can control the board during the Battle Phase while still getting in damage. Your Ghostricks, no matter how small, can always attack directly.

For example, say you have a Go-Round and Parade on board with Ghostrick Stein in hand, and your opponent has a big monster. Ghostrick Stein can't be Summoned without another Ghostrick, but set it and enter the Battle Phase. Trigger Go-Round, flip your Stein to attack directly, search a Ghostrick spell or trap, and set your Stein again thanks to Parade (or even its own effect). The same kind of thing works with Ghostrick Mummy, where you can artificially flip your Mummy with Go-Round, set your opponent's monster and Normal Summon a second time in Main Phase 2. Plop an Alucard on the board, pop your opponent's now face-down monster, stack Angel of Mischief and search another spell or trap.

The problem with Ghostricks inherently is their lack of "power" cards. It's a lot of intricately playing through your opponent's threats and striking at the right time. Foresight is key because you have no cards or turns to waste with Ghostricks. You're already fighting a losing battle before you even start! I added Spirit Barrier to keep you alive longer while your painstaking combos develop, but there'll be a lot of changes.

I've danced around the issue, but let's get onto the actual deck fixes. I've already lambasted the deck enough, so let me be specific when I criticize certain cards. Kameron played just about every Ghostrick card in the deck, but some of the Main Deck monsters are awful, and I'm being nice when I say that. Ghostrick Skeleton, Ghostrick Warwolf, Ghostrick Yuki-onna, and Ghostrick Yeti are all basically useless. Skeleton's mill effect is subpar, Ghostrick Warwolf's burn damage is negligible, Yuki-Onna is mediocre at best and I don't know what Ghostrick Yeti is or what it does, but I'm going to say it's bad. All of those have to be cut.

But to replace the subpar monsters, you'll need to play the good Ghostricks (feel free to laugh when I say "good" in that context). Ghostrick Jiangshi, the searcher for monsters, is by far the best one. Ghostrick Doll and Ghostrick Mary Special Summon from the deck, and Jiangshi's a good place to start for options. Ghostrick Spectre and Lantern are also great defensive Ghostricks, and single copies of Stein, Mummy and Witch are aggressive enough to warrant use. Ghostrick Ghoul's almost another win condition, boosting the ATK of one of your Ghostricks to great heights for the turn and working well in conjunction with the aforementioned monsters.

The real problem is speed. You also can't stuff your deck with too many copies of any one card or you'll draw a ton of useless cards at the wrong time; that means powerful cards like Ghostrick Ghoul could be maxed out on, but I'm only playing one.

Slow And Steady Wins The Race
If you haven't caught on quite yet, Ghostricks are really slow and take a lot of setup to accrue hand and field advantage late game. Your path to victory will always be Ghostrick Angel of MIschief, but not with the alternate win condition. Instead you'll stockpile resources and pick your opponent apart. Sadly you'll need a lot of slow combos to claim victory.

And outside of Ghostrick Break or Ghostrick Mummy, Xyz plays are almost always a two turn process involving Ghostrick Jiangshi, Ghostrick Mary or Ghostrick Lantern. With those cards, you'll pile up your graveyard quite quickly and give yourself an excuse to play Kinka-Byo and Crane Crane. Kinka-Byo gets to Mischief via the Rank 1 Ghostrick Dullahan, and Crane Crane is a Ghostrick Alucard for a one card investment. The Ghostrick combos are valid, but it's a breath of fresh air to have plays that only take one card. Without a consistent way to make Rank 2's Ghostrick Socuteboss is infinitely harder to Summon, so you can't max out on it at three copies.

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As I finished the deck, almost all of the stall-oriented cards came out. Protecting Mischief with Safe Zone's not the way to win a match, and Imperial Custom's hardly worth the space without the Safe Zones. Kaiser Colosseum and Ghostrick Night offer a soft lock to keep your opponent down, but that's kind of just a waste of cards.

Honestly, there are hardly any cards that really counter your opponent's moves in Kameron's original build. The deck will get ripped to shreds by a Nekroz of Trishula or Stellarknight Triverr. I know space is tight to keep your fragile combos alive, but I thought Breakthrough Skill and Needle Ceiling were multi-purpose counters that offers defense, negation and removal. Book of Moon lets you whack pretty much anything with Ghostrick Alucard, and Pot of Dichotomy recycles vital combo pieces.

Here are the final changes.

-1 Ghostrick Jackfrost
-1 Ghostrick Skeleton
-1 Ghostrick Warwolf
-1 Ghostrick Yuki-onna
-1 Ghostrick Yeti
-1 Ghostrick Mansion
-3 Ghostrick Parade
-3 Kaiser Colosseum
-1 Ghostrick Night
-1 Ghostrick Scare
-2 Imperial Custom
-3 Safe Zone

-1 Downerd Magician
-2 Ghostrick Socuteboss

+1 Crane Crane
+1 Ghostrick Doll
+1 Ghostrick Mary
+2 Ghostrick Spectre
+1 Kinka-Byo
+1 Allure of Darkness
+1 Book of Moon
+1 Pot of Dichotomy
+1 Raigeki
+1 Recurring Nightmare
+3 Breakthrough Skill
+1 Ghostrick Go-Round
+2 Needle Ceiling
+2 Spirit Barrier

+1 Herald of Pure Light
+1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
+1 Slacker Magician

And after gutting almost half of the deck, here's the final list!

DECKID=102135After almost two years since its TCG debut, I've finally come to absolutely adore the Ghostrick theme. Granted, I've had success with Ghostrick decks at Regional Qualifiers before, but now I finally like them as a whole! I wouldn't have touched a pure Ghostrick variant before Angel of Mischief came to our shores, but now that she's here, she's here to stay.

Ghostricks really take a lot of patience and leave no room for Error. Any miscalculation or premature activation is a giant Self-Destruct Button that'll leave you up a creek without a paddle. Ghostricks aren't for the weak of heart – beware!

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson is finally moving back to the cold and desolate North to fulfill his dream as a popsicle in Madison, Wisconsin. When he's not playing Spellbooks, his days are spent shaking his fist in the direction of Konami's North American headquarters requesting new Fabled support. In his spare time, Loukas enjoys cooking Minute Rice in 57 seconds, painting with all the colors of the wind and pretending his Etsy account is something to write home about.


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 rerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.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