Someone seventeen miles away could whisper "Spellbooks" and I'd frantically turn around with ears alert, like a deer in the forest and the eyes like the look cows give oncoming trains.

Doug "First Time Flyer" Zeeff hated me for a solid year when I refused to drop Spellbooks, and I don't blame him: I either played pure Spellbooks or a Spellbook variant for that entire year. Flash forward to 2017 and I've only played them a handful of times in four years, but I'm slowly getting into the groove again thanks to Spellbook of Knowledge.

Don't worry, we aren't playing a "pure" version. This week's contributor from Tennessee writes…

Hello there!

In the past, Skill Drain was the way to go for Malefics. Drop beaters, negate effects – but that's old news with Skill Drain at one per deck. Malefic's current biggest downside beyond that limitation is the lack of ability to drop multiple monsters, and it wasn't until Spellbook of Knowledge that I even looked Malefic's way again! The Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, Spellbook of Secrets, and Spellbook of Knowledge trifecta thins your deck here, just like it can in the Invoked and PSY-Frame decks!

With so much consistency and deck thinning, your Field Spells are that much easier to see. With any rogue strategy you have two options: either build your deck to achieve its highest ceiling of plays or shut down your opponent as much as possible. My build is in the middle. I added Artifacts to help disrupt my opponent, and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring works well, too.

-Luke D.R. ~ Knoxville, TN

Spellbooks and Malefics? It's hardly a match made in heaven, but where there's a will, there's a way. For being such a used colloquialism, that sure is a Tongue Twister.

DECKID=107817That variant differs drastically from your standard Spellbook deck, whatever you consider the "standard" to be. There isn't a Spellbook of Fate anywhere to be seen!

Rejoice, dear reader!

Hands Down The Raddest Deck Around
Malefics are a strange theme because the strategy doesn't have much cohesion. You'll find that while a lot of Malefic cards share a name or effect, their interactions are either slow, pedantic, or non-existent. For starters, you can only have one Malefic monster on the field, not counting your Malefic Parallel Gear. There aren't any superb Malefic cards that get you card economy, and there's not much more to say about that.

I don't really like the Synchro Malefic route, so I'm glad Luke didn't include that card. Luke went for a widespread approach instead, trying to cover all your Field Spell needs. With The Grand Spellbook Tower, Malefic World, and Necrovalley, your Extra benefit each turn is either a draw, a search, or shutting down the graveyard. He also mentioned things like Zombie World and Extra Net, and boy is that a lot of cards to consider. I think it needs some more focus, but before I change up the Field Spells let's go back to the monsters.

Malefics can't spam the field with their restrictions in place, but that doesn't mean you can't throw down several other non-monsters for Xyz Summons. It's hard to find a bunch of other cards to combo with your Malefics, but I found that the Blue-Eyes family helps you achieve just that.

#####CARDID= 20100#####

You have notable Dark monsters for Allure of Darkness and Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon for another "free" monster with its built-in destruction effect. Heck, throw in a Return of the Dragon Lords, and your Extra Deck becomes, well, useable.

Face it - your one Malefic monster just won't cut it if your opponent has more than one threat for you to deal with, and it's ok to rely on fringe cards to diversify your deck. Obviously a giant game ending Malefic Cyber End Dragon will prove its worth, but I'm all about options when the going gets rough.

With enough ways to speed through the deck, you'll still have the Malefic forces at your disposal when you need them. You could easily use a Malefic Stardust Dragon and Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon to make a Rank 8 and deal with a threat, and then drop your Malefic Cyber End Dragon to do the attacking for you!

You're My Only Hope
Back to the Spellbooks - Luke did a good job of keeping them to a minimum. No sense in forcing too many Spellbooks into his submission when at the end of the day, Spellbook of Knowledge will probably make Spellbook of Fate inert after clearing your field of Spellcasters. I contemplated throwing in a Spellbook of the Master to get a double search, but Spellbook of the Master is reliant on other cards to maximize its performance and could be dead weight. That brings us back to The Grand Spellbook Tower.

I initially wanted to cut Spellbook Tower altogether but opted against that because I realized how much I liked it in the deck! Having an extra card to draw each turn can swing the game so far in your favor it's unreal, especially when you've sped through your deck to see your best and brightest cards upfront. If you can get ahead of your opponent early, your surplus of hand and field economy should seal the deal.

Circling back to the Blue-Eyes support, that means you're also free to add The Melody of Awakening Dragon; it not only searches your beefy Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon but also Blue-Eyes Malefic Dragon and Malefic Cyber End Dragon. In decks like this, search power's vastly more important than having more boss monsters. After all, what are you going to do with three End Dragons in the first place? I'd rather have lots of ways to Shrink my deck size, and fewer behemoths that could clog my hands.

So with Allure of Darkness, Spellbook of Knowledge, and The Melody of Awakening Dragon, the only thing missing is Trade-In. You'll never want for Level 8 monsters to ditch with it. Just make sure to keep at least one Blue-Eyes White Dragon in the deck for Blue-Eyes Malefic Dragon, or one in hand for Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon.

With more ways to summon monsters like Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon, the crux of your strategy doesn't have to be a monster that only offers attack points. Your Extra Deck is wide open, but who am I to say you can't win by shoving a 4000 ATK monster down your opponent's throat?

#####CARDID= 22043#####

The biggest challenge I faced were the Artifacts - disrupting your opponent is swell, but with all the draw power, chances are good that you'll see the Artifact monsters way before Artifact Sanctum. The search power of Spellbooks isn't such a hindrance since drawing extra copies of The Grand Spellbook Tower isn't the worst thing ever – worst case scenario, it's another pitch for Spellbook of Knowledge.

Check out the changes…

-1 Malefic Cyber End Dragon
-2 Artifact Scythe
-1 Artifact Moralltach
-2 Terraforming
-1 Malefic World
-3 Necrovalley
-3 Artifact Sanctum
-2 Dimensional Barrier

-1 PSY-Framelord Omega
-3 Stardust Spark Dragon
-1 Tiras, Keeper of Genesis
-1 Constellar Pleiades
-1 Artifact Durendal
-1 Shark Fortress

+3 Blue-Eyes White Dragon
+2 Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon
+3 The Melody of Awakening Dragon
+2 The Grand Spellbook Tower
+2 Allure of Darkness
+3 Trade-In
+1 Return of the Dragon Lords

+1 Star Eater
+1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
+2 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand
+2 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
+1 Number 23: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld
+1 Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder

With the Artifacts out of the picture, the Rank 5's and most of the Level 8 Synchros hit the road as well. It only makes sense, and while the Extra Deck isn't exactly crucial, there's no point to wasting a bunch of space. Here's what the final build looks like.

DECKID=107818Thankfully, there's not that much to the deck that we really need to analyze and tease apart. It was a pretty straightforward fix this week.

I really like the idea of having multiple ways to speed through the deck, but I'm obviously partial to Spellbooks as the number one option. Allure of Darkness isn't absolutely crucial, but it compensates for the fact that you can't use all of your big monsters due to the limiting Malefic effects. I'd much rather blaze through my deck, leaving only important hand traps and facedowns to back up my on-field boss monster.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where it's warmer than warm, whatever that means. When he's not playing cards or crying about the lack of Fabled support, you can find making "attempts" at "art" and playing his ukulele terribly, or on Thursday nights, practicing punching the air for an upcoming contest. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 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 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