Toons are definitely a fan favorite strategy, and while I know manyduelists that claim to love Toons, I could count the number ofToon decks I've seen in real life on one hand even if I liked eatingfingers for fun.

No joke, I think I've only seen two people pilot the strategy ever, though that small number remains quite the mystery. I'd assume that withall the love for the theme, the deck would take more spots at least at thelocal and Regional level. Today's reader from Arlington, Texas writes…

Toons have always been one of my favorite themes, but making a Toondeck is really hard. About half the Toon cards are just plainawful, and the other half are just reimagined boss monsters thatdon't do much outside of their original effects.

I wantto play things like Toon Buster Blader, but why in the world wouldI?

I focused some on Rank 4 monsters, but I also tried to play toToons' strengths… then I realized that I might as well just have abunch of Toon cards in the deck. I want to keep the deck at 40 andplay things like Allure of Darkness, but nothing seems to reallyfit. Any suggestions? I don't want to play a deck with Toon Mermaidin it anymore...

-Austin V. ~ Arlington, Texas

Toons have been around since Magic Ruler, but have they ever beena stellar strategy? Sadly, no, and that's despite the fact that I thinkwe've seen a ton of versions of the theme. What's different about Austin'sdeck?

Check it out.

DECKID= 108126I hope you're as excited as I am! Let's get to the changes. And yes, Ipromise that I'm going to take out Toon Mermaid. I don't think there's anyimaginable dimension of reality where I want to play a deck using ToonMermaid.

Well, I take that back - I made this really awful Toon Mermail hybrid afterthe Mermail Link monster was announced in the future LINK VRAINS pack, but boy oh boy did that turn out to bea Tragedy.

Because Crimson-Eyes Ebony Dragon Sounds Stupid
Even though Toons have been out since basically the dawn of Yu-Gi-Oh,actual Toon cards are in very short supply. After the first wave of Tooncards, it took years to get more Toons, but even things like ToonGemini Elf and Took Goblin Attack Force weren't what anyone was lookingfor. If we include Manga Ryu-Ran, we only have 15 Toon monsters -yeah, 15!

To make matters worse, Toon support's surprisingly lacking in the spell andtrap card department. Having just a "Toon" deck is basically a strategyfull of holes unless you can miraculously play with zero interference fromyour opponent for a few turns while your Toons attack directly.

The two best Toon monsters are Toon Dark Magician and Red-Eyes Toon Dragonbecause both, well… do something. Toons like ToonCyber Dragon and Toon Ancient Gear Golem are cute and nothing more. Theireffects don't do anything for a Toon strategy, per se, and at best ToonAncient Gear Golem could be brought out with Toon Mask so you could make anattack uninhibited, right? Yeah, that didn't inspire much confidence in me,either.

I always try to focus on a deck's strengths and cover all angles, andthanks to one of the best Toon monsters of all time, you can do both whilestill toying around with a fun strategy. Red-Eyes Toon Dragon ushers in alot of Red-Eyes support - and while much of that Red-Eyes support isn'texactly stellar, it supplements the Toon strategy enough to warrant amash-up. Take a look at all the cards dealing with consistency – suddenlywe have something that holds together.

Toon Table of Contents and Terraforming search Toon Kingdom, but if youalready have a Toon Kingdom, Toon Table also nets you whatever other Tooncard you can think of. Allure of Darkness, Cards of the Red Stone, andUpstart Goblin cut your deck down a few hairs, and Red-Eyes Insight yardsRed-Eyes Black Dragon to revive with Red-Eyes Metal Flare Dragon.

The biggest downside to having so many cards that search and thin your deckis the obvious weakness to hand traps like Droll & Lock Bird. Sadly,sometimes to play a strategy, you'll have to take the flowers with theweeds. But at least if you have extra copies of Toon cards, Toon DarkMagician can use them as fodder!

Cartoons Are For All Ages, Man
The biggest problem with Austin's deck is… well, the Toon cards. It can bedisheartening to say, but the Toons need to come out. Obviously not all ofthe Toons, but what exactly are you going to do with Toon Cannon Soldier?

"Lose" is the most obvious answer to that question. And if this was acheesy sitcom, you'd be hearing a laugh track right now.

Other cards like King Tiger Wanghu, while powerful in their own right,don't belong in a deck where they'll be literal cannon fodder 50% of thetime, given options like Toon Cannon Soldier. The Black Stone of Legend,however, feeds right into your objective of fielding Red-Eyes monsters andis just as useful with its secondary effect to return Red-Eyes monstersback to your deck!

And cards like Toon Mask are just lesser versions of other options at yourdisposal. I mentioned Red-Eyes Insight before, which searches Red-EyesSpirit but also another underappreciated card: Red-Eyes Fusion. Personally,I have a pretty hate/hate relationship with that card, but with threecopies of Insight and the aforementioned Red-Eyes Fusion you'll haveanother way to open plays if your first five cards leave youbereft of any good moves.

#####CARDID=20709 #####

But in terms of something crazy, geez, I spent a while trying to fitHieratic Dragon of Atum here, but I kept forgetting that Atum needs twoDragon-type monsters - meaning Toon Summoned Skull just won't cut it. That leaves your Hieratic Dragon of Eset high and dry.

In trying to go the extra mile adding new ways to spam your field with tonsof Link monsters fueled by Triangle Twin Dragon, I ended up realizing thatToon decks, even Red-Eyes Toon Decks, just aren't the place for thatparticular ambition. I tried to fit in a ton of Hieratic monsters, butuntil we get Hieratic Toon Dragon of Eset, I don't think you're in a placeto try that. It's important to scale back your aspirations as to notoverextend.

The most symbiotic strategy between Red-Eyes and Toons lies in Red-EyesFlare Metal Dragon and the Toons' ability to attack directly. It'srelatively easy to field the big, bad Xyz, burn for a ton of damage, and ifyou revive Red-Eyes Toon Dragon with a Red-Eyes Spirit, there's 2400 damageattacking directly as soon as you start your turn. Archfiend Black DragonSkull also burns your opponent for a fair amount of damage, too!

So that's the game plan: make Mountains out of mole hills and burn youropponent quickly. Check out the changes!

-3 Toon Cannon Soldier
-3 Toon Mermaid
-3 King Tiger Wanghu
-1 Comic Hand
-1 Toon Rollback
-1 Mimicat
-1 Toon Briefcase
-3 Toon Mask
-2 Dimensional Barrier
-1 Allure of Darkness

-1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
-1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
-1 Number 39: Utopia
-1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
-3 Gagaga Cowboy
-1 Number 106: Giant Hand
-1 Abyss Dweller
-1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
-1 Gagaga Samurai

+1 Summoned Skull
+1 Red-Eyes Toon Dragon
+3 The Black Stone of Legend
+2 Red-Eyes B. Dragon
+1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
+1 Red-Eyes Fusion
+3 Red-Eyes Insight
+3 Pot of Desires
+1 One for One
+2 Red-Eyes Spirit
+1 Solemn Warning

+1 Number 11: Big Eye
+1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
+2 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
+1 Archfiend Black Skull Dragon
+1 Ebon High Magician
+2 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
+1 Titanic Moth
+1 Decode Talker
+1 Link Spider

And here's the final deck - I don't mean to rag on the Toon cards so much,but they're objectively mediocre. Toon Mask will more than likely net youjust a Level 4 Toon, and with my edits there just isn't room for the slewof less than average spells and traps.

Toon Briefcase, on the other hand, is a searchable trap to thwart youropponent! It's pretty solid. Here's what the final list looks like.

DECKID= 108127I'm happy to see just how many older themes will be getting Link Monstersto facilitate their strategies, and perhaps Toons could get a new Link as aresult? Both Toon Dark Magician and Red-Eyes Toon Dragon field other Toons,so a Link 2 would fit well into the strategy. Heck, I'd be happy with anynew Toon cards!

I'd love to see every theme, and I mean EVERY theme getupdated legacy support. Come on, who wouldn't want to see Iron Chains getnew cards?

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 trying to figure out his lifeor crying about the lack of Fabled support, you can find making"attempts" at "art" and playing his ukulele terribly, or on Thursdaynights, practicing punching the air for an upcoming contest. Hailed asthe only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 57 seconds, Loukas isalways looking for another creative outlet and a dog to pet.


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