As I've noted before, the Harpies themselves freak me out. They're pure nightmare fuel for me, but a fan favorite for many others. Maybe I'm too well versed in Greek and Roman mythology, but I can't associate Harpies with anything but murder, claws, murder, flesh being ripped from your body, and mega murder. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any horrible gut reactions when I see the cards.

But that's just because playing with them so often has desensitized me to the talons.

As arguably the oldest named archetype in the game, Harpies are bound to have tons of fans, regardless of the strategy's performance in both the past and the present. Harpies have always teetered on the cusp of greatness – we've seen multiple Regional Top 8 finishes alongside Carlos Henrique De Araujo Freitas winning a YCS in Brazil and Christopher Giang placing in the top cut with his take on the strategy. Even so, they've never been considered the cream of the crop.

Our contributor today writes…

Harpies remind me a lot of Toons, because I'm confident we'll always get more support for them. I'm still waiting for my Performage Pendulum Harpie or something like that, but I'm a patient man. Crystal Beasts will eventually get their support, and maybe Fabled cards are right around the bend for you. If you don't know, Harpie decks have a hard time getting things done - Harpie Channeler's your bread and butter, but even with Hysteric Sign and Harpie Harpist, I can't open this up every time.

The best card in the deck is probably Hysteric Party - for obvious reasons. It often converts one card into your hand into five Harpie monsters, and I don't see a reason to play less than three. I hate opening up with it, but it's worth it because you need a power play in the deck. It really sucks that I don't have an all-star, maybe a wicked good Pendulum Scale? I'll stop belaboring that point.

-Wilson F. ~ New York, New York

Here's what Wilson's deck looked like.

DECKID=104911Either you're using a pen name or your parents were fans of comics, Wilson. The latter's very likelyl one of my best friends is named after the Silver Surfer. I personally plan on naming my children after my favorite X-Men and using their code names exclusively. My spouse probably won't agree to that, but hey, it's a free country.

Anyway, Wilson's decklist shows off a very unique version of Harpies.

Harpies Can Be Good? Please Believe Me? Maybe?
I won't jump the gun and say that Harpies will be the best of the best, but three major changes have come about recently that help Harpies out in areas where they were once extremely weak. I'd like to start with those to highlight the validity of my claim that Harpies have some fight left in them. Sometimes, a deck that's clearly not built to win a YCS will be met with backlash, which is odd given the nature of the Rerouting column. I jokingly toyed with the idea of just taking submissions and making them into standard Burning Abyss and Monarch decks, but Jason didn't find that very funny.

First, an obvious nod to Solemn Strike. For a mere 1500 Life Points, the Counter Trap's an amazing addition to any deck that plays tons of backrow. It's played almost religiously in a high percentage of Burning Abyss and Kozmos but sees no play in Monarchs. Point is, you'll see this card in many top cut decks, but it's a great addition to Harpies because a lot of their power plays are dependent on other resources, and there's little in the deck that functions as a one-stop-shop for anything. Solemn Strike's a format-defining card that costs minimal Life Points and can keep you in the game long enough to set up your biggest combos.

Second, Traptrix Rafflesia is a huge blessing for Harpies, since they've always had a problem with Turn 1's. Harpies are a very reactive deck; it really wants to chug through the duel and interact with your opponent to capitalize on cards like Harpie's Hunting Ground and Icarus Attack. Harpie players waffle on the Level 7 Harpie's Pet Dragon as a way to make Rank 7's like Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon, but that clogs your opening hand and Extra Deck and it's just downright inconsistent. The Rank 4 options aren't much better for a first turn, but Rafflesia's the perfect answer to that.

#####CARDID=19470#####

For that reason, I added Summoner Monk to facilitate more Rank 4 plays. Now you can open with either Harpie Channeler or Summoner Monk and end with a Traptrix Rafflesia and a yarded Harpie Harpist, then trigger its search at the end of the turn, which puts you in a much better position than before with Red-Eyes being your only good option. I'm taking out Harpie's Pet Dragon for space in this particular build, but the addition of Rafflesia opens up your options regardless if you decide to sneak the Pet Dragon back in. Besides, opening with Summoner Monk saves you card economy if you want to finish with a Rafflesia instead of a Flare Dragon.

Lastly, Harpie decks aren't required to run Anti-Spell Fragrance anymore. Anti-Spell Fragrance has been a hot commodity since Nekroz reigned supreme, and it was necessary for decks like Harpies that could so easily be blown out by spell-heavy decks. Without consistent first-turn threats like Rafflesia or one-card powerhouses like Solemn Strike, it seemed like every game I played against a spell-heavy deck was completely reliant on me drawing Anti-Spell Fragrance. It's a neat tool against Monarchs and ok in a pinch against Kozmos, but maybe for just a little bit Harpie's won't have to run this infernal card to stay in the game.

Less Monologuing, More Routing
The biggest change I made was cutting the Rank 7 plays in favor of some Extra Deck cards I wanted, namely Number S39: Utopia the Lightning. Including the Number 39: Utopia you need to stack under Lighting it takes up two Extra Deck spots, but wowee, some cards are just worth it. You'll have way more opportunities to make Rank 4 monsters than Rank 7's, and Lightning's the ultimate comeback card. Once per chain in damage calculation, you can boost its ATK to 5000 with a built-in Armades effect, so it solves virtually any problem in your way. It's a one-shot trick, but it's much better than Heroic Champion - Excalibur or Rebellion Xyz Dragon' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon">Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon since it answers stuff like Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal and Kozmo Dark Destroyer.

To fill in some Extra Deck slots, it made sense to add another Ice Beast Zerofyne and Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer, two of your de facto Xyz. Not only are they cheap and easy to make with awesome effects, they combo with Icarus Attack in a pinch. Toss in a Number 106: Giant Hand and I'm happy with the Extra Deck.

Since I mentioned Solemn Strike and Traptrix Rafflesia, it's no surprise that a couple "Hole" cards will accompany the Strikes as new additions. The only off-color one is Dark Trap Hole' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Deep Dark Trap Hole">Deep Dark Trap Hole, which is effectively a second Bottomless Trap Hole against decks like Kozmos. It's a quick card to side out if you're playing against something like Monarchs, but having a second copy to punish things like Dark Destroyer will be a huge surprise for your opponent.

Most of the other changes are just ratio preferences that I've found better success with in testing, like cutting the deck's favorite Field Spell down to two. With three Harpie Queens you'll have more ways to yard Harpies, and other cards in your deck for Harpie Channeler. Twin Twisters is more of a Side Deck card alongside your Harpies' Hunting Ground, but the mass destruction of monsters with Raigeki and Dark Hole is something I tend to favor in the early weeks of a new format when certain monsters could blow you out otherwise.

#####CARDID=11894#####

This isn't Speedroids - we don't need to search a Wind monster from the deck that badly, so Flying Kamakiri #1 is out. Bye-bye bug. You can hang out with the other cards we've purged. That brings the final list of changes to this…

-2 Harpie's Pet Dragon
-3 Flying Kamakiri #1
-1 Harpies' Hunting Ground
-3 Twin Twisters
-1 Elegant Egotist
-1 Icarus Attack
-1 Skill Drain

-1 Queen Dragun Djinn
-1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
-1 Rebellion Xyz Dragon' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon">Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
-1 Number 106: Giant Hand
-1 Number 11: Big Eyes
-1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
-1 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon

+1 Harpie Queen
+2 Summoner Monk
+1 Hysteric Sign
+3 Instant Fusion
+3 Solemn Strike
+1 Time-Space Trap Hole
+1 Dark Trap Hole' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Deep Dark Trap Hole">Deep Dark Trap Hole

+1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
+1 Traptrix Rafflesia
+1 Ice Beast Zerofyne
+1 Elder Entity Norden
+1 Number 106: Giant Hand
+1 Number 39: Utopia
+1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning

Sorry I didn't make the deck as crazy as I did last time with a full-frontal assault of Utopia monsters, but I did add the big bad Number S39: Utopia the Lightning! This falls more to am Under the Radar type list with the deck at maturation, but it was a fun fix nonetheless and it gets even better with Elder Entity Norden and Instant Fusion. Harpies, like Bujins and Gladiator Beasts, are really reliant on their Normal Summons.

The addition of Instant Fusion grants you more access to key Rank 4 plays, but more importantly it gives you more ways to abuse Harpie Dancer and Harpie Harpist; something you rarely get to do.

DECKID=104912I can't and won't make any promises that you'll take over the world with this deck, but Harpies have shown promise in the past and now is a good time to give them another shot. It's a new format, you have several new factors to capitalize on, and Anti-Spell Fragrance is no longer the be-all end-all it once was.

Let me know what you'd like to see from Harpie in the next few weeks. I know there's a lot of Harpie fans out there ready to pounce on the strategy again and take down whatever stands in your way, but what do you think is the best approach? Share your thoughts with me down in the comments.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson moved 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 is constantly trying to break his record of three days without eating an entire pie.


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