Somehow, Infernities won the World Championship in 2014. It came as a surprise, but the strong showing at Worlds spelled final doom for the strategy. After five separate Forbidden and Limited Lists attacked the deck, Infernity finally collapsed under its own weight. Too many Infernity cards are sitting on the F&L list for a pure Infernity deck to be workable in today's competitive scene. I've been pretty apathetic toward Infernity since we saw those drastic restrictions. Ninety-nine percent of the player base used to hate Infernities, but a year's gone by since the deck was smacked like a red-headed stepchild by the F&L list, and I'd like to think we've had time to forgive and forget.

Splashing Infernity in other decks is typically… what's the word I'm looking for… impossible. But today we're going to try to do it anyway. What gave Infernity decks their power, at least in the days of yesteryear? Abusing Infernity Archfiend a million times per turn, to end the turn with a field of Void Ogre Dragon or Infernity Doom Dragon backed by Infernity Break and Infernity Barrier. Giant monsters and traps to stop your plays? Super fun to play against! Rex writes...

Hey Loukas!

I made this mash-up of Shaddolls and Infernities. Basically my thought behind this deck was to create something that could generate Turn 2 card advantage and stick to the insane explosiveness of the Infernity theme.

Games where I can send a Stygian Street Patrol to the graveyard with Shaddoll Fusion are sick, but there are games with the BRICKIEST of hands, which balance those out. There's that great interaction with Mask Change II and Winda, making Mask Change II a little better and letting you Special Summon as much as you want on your turn.

I wanted to fit Diamond Dire Wolf into the Extra Deck due to Masked HERO Dark Law, but just couldn't find the space in this HELLA tight Extra Deck. Also, I feel like this makes Infernity a little less degenerate.

Rex B. from Brooklyn, NY

I can already tell this deck will be a headache. I know that thanks to El Shaddoll Winda, Shaddolls can really drive your opponent up the wall. El Shaddoll Winda can be devastating in the right situation, but adding a powerful floodgate monster hardly makes the deck less degenerate. Let's look at Rex's deck list.

DECKID=102091I feel pretty safe saying this is more of an Infernity Deck than a Shaddoll deck. The main combo pieces for setting up your Infernity traps are all there, but I was hesitant to start working on the strategy at first glance. In the end, I decided I was up for the challenge.

Don't Try This At Home, Kids!
Initially I overlooked Rex's submission since I was drowning in Shaddoll e-mails. I try to space out deck themes, and four Shaddoll decks in six months seemed excessive! Wouldn't it be annoying if I kept writing about the same deck like Volcanics or Spirits week after week to the point of insanity?

No one would be that crazy, right?

But back to Rex's strategy - he combined two very polarizing decks. While combo-oriented Shaddoll variants have held a place in competitive Yu-Gi-Oh, Shaddoll strategies tend to thrive when they're generating a ton of card advantage and using it to put pressure on your opponent. Shaddoll Fusion's absolutely ridiculous - with an Extra Deck monster staring you down, it puts you so far ahead in card economy, triggering Shaddoll effects from your deck and giving you a boss monster in one activation. In short, they plus for days.

Infernity decks couldn't be any different. They masterbate their way to a solid first turn opening of a big monster or perhaps a Number 66: Master Key Beetle backed by Vanity's Emptiness. Shaddoll decks accrue cards in hand via Shaddoll Core, Shaddoll Beast, and Shaddoll Hedgehog. Infernities stockpile traps so they have an answer to everything. Why would you combine the two strategies? El Shaddoll Winda, of course! Though El Shaddoll Winda doesn't directly counter any cards, its immunity to destruction and restriction on Special Summons hampers your opponent. Infernity's all about saying no as well, albeit in different ways.


Yet this mash-up presents a huge problem for its pilot: El Shaddoll Winda hampers your plays as much as your opponent's. To Fusion Summon El Shaddoll Winda, you need to have cards in hand – a Fusion Spell and often the proper Materials. To trigger your Infernity cards, you need to have no cards in hand. Thus, you'll need to Summon El Shaddoll Winda first. Then for the rest of the turn, you're allowed just one Special Summon. Infernites thrive on the wombo-combo madness of making dozens of Special Summons via Lavalval Chain, Leviair the Sea Dragon, Diamond Dire Wolf, Infernity Launch… the list goes on. Any effect that deprives them of that – even your own – makes things much more difficult.

Before I made any changes, I tested the deck heavily with my friend Jeremy, an avid Shaddoll and Infernity lover. Unless my opening was absolute ideal, I could never perform the impressive Infernity combos that search multiple Infernity traps and finish with a chokehold on my opponent's next plays. And by ideally, I basically mean I wanted to open with literally no Shaddoll cards.

As you can see, there are very few Shaddoll cards in the original build – the deck tries to play mostly as an Infernity strategy. Four Shaddoll monsters but five ways to fuse into El Shaddoll Winda? With only two Winda in the Extra Deck? That's some next level ambition, yo.

The proportions don't match up perfectly for the same reason some decks run three Emergency Teleport and only two monsters to Summon from the deck. You aren't planning on letting the duel go long enough to draw into dead copies, you just really want good plays early on. The problem is, Shaddoll decks rarely have the luxury of drawing just one card and bailing you out of a problematic situation.

Less Infernity, More Anything Else
There's no dancing around the issue – with only one Vanity's Emptiness, one Infernity Archfiend, one Infernity Launcher and one Infernity Barrier, Infernity's really underwhelming. The strategy hasn't lost much consistency. The problem is that instead of making combos that net tons of card advantage at the end of the turn, leaving more gas in the tank for later, Infernity decks arrive at the end of their rope very quickly. To reroute this deck, we'll Shrink the Infernity core and replace it with cards that work in tandem with Shaddolls and Infernity, and cards that can function by themselves.

Archfiend Heiress and Stygian Street Patrol are great for pure Infernity decks, but they're just awful to draw in mashups. Both Heiress and Patrol exist purely for the spamming of Infernity Archfiend, which is mostly impossible thanks to El Shaddoll Winda. Stygian Street Patrol's valid at one copy, but I don't think you'll ever need the second. Keep in mind a lot of these changes are going to be shaped by El Shaddoll Winda, which means another Infernity favorite, Infernity Necromancer, is going to take a hit as well. With three copies, I found myself drawing them dead and rarely using more than one, let alone two. With fewer cards to needlessly throw in the graveyard, I cut Dark Grepher to one as well. I'm keeping Summoner Monk and Reinforcement of the Army, so you still have good access to Dark Grepher if you need it.

Short and simple, Shaddoll Fusion shouldn't be run at three. It sounds crazy, but El Shaddoll Fusion's arguably better in a lot of scenarios. If your opponent doesn't have Extra Deck monsters on the field, then El Shaddoll Fusion will come in handy far more than Shaddoll Fusion. And in terms of the traps, the only thing I'm not sold on is Compulsory Evacuation Device – you can take that card out for better options.


The only changes I've made so far revolved around lowering the influence of the Infernities, but I did say I was going to add something that helped both built-in strategies and stood on its own: it's Heroes (and the crowd goes wild!). Despite their linearity as a deck, it's been proven time and time again that you can splash HERO cards into all sorts of strategies for great results. Volcanic Heroes have already topped several Regionals, including one in Michigan just this past weekend. Mask Change II has shown up in just about every deck that runs Dark Monsters, and remember this a couple weeks ago? Yeah, Heroes are in everything.

Mask Change II already made a cameo in Rex's deck, but I think we can go further. With Summoner Monk at your disposal, it's easy to trigger Elemental HERO Shadow Mist's first effect to search free copies of Mask Change II. Adding in a few more HERO monsters and Shadow Mist's second effect will be just as handy. I added Elemental HERO Blazeman and Elemental Hero Bubbleman at a single copy each. Blazeman can start your game off by searching a free Polymerization (to summon Winda, of course) or yard a Shadow Mist and search a monster.

Bubbleman's a bit more niche though. With Instant Fusion and Bubbleman, you can make Rank 4 monsters even faster, adding to plays outside of Infernity Archfiend or El Shaddoll Winda. a Bubbleman gives you access to El Shaddoll Anomalilith too, one of the best counters to Nekroz, and by the looks of it one of the only counters to Nekroz in this strategy.

However, even with the few additions, the deck suffers a glaring weakness to big monsters. Anything over 2400 ATK is almost untouchable. Something stupid like a Sylvan Hermitree could ruin your whole day simply because it had more attack points. With 2800 ATK and easy access via Mask Change II, I thought Masked HERO Anki complimented the deck perfectly. It's not perfect, but with a huge body and a way to search more of your Mask Change Cards, it fills a desperate need.

The Warrior Heroes accomplish a similar task. Rank 4 monsters are tough, but sometimes effects just won't cut it. Bubbleman gets you to Heroic Champion - Excalibur, and with 4000 ATK it'll take care of big monsters like Nekroz of Valkyrus or Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree.

Of course, added tech choices come at the cost of less needed cards. I know Leviair the Sea Dragon's the pride and joy of Infernity, but here it just didn't cut it. Shaddoll Squamata could yard any Shaddoll from the deck, but I found Shaddoll Falco to be a lot more useful, even if you'd never trigger its Shaddoll ability. When sent to the graveyard, you get it right back to the field for another Fusion. Initially I tried Shaddoll Hedgehog to extend my Fusion plays, but Falco fills the same role as Hedgehog without messing up cards in your hand for Infernity plays. I could blather on about the dichotomy of the strategy, but let's look at the changes first.

-1 Archfiend Heiress
-1 Dark Grepher
-1 Infernity Necromancer
-1 Shaddoll Squamata
-1 Stygian Street Patrol
-2 Mystical Space Typhoon
-1 Shaddoll Fusion
-1 Compulsory Evacuation Device

-1 Lavalval Chain
-1 Leviair, the Sea Dragon
-1 Number 66: Master Key Beetle

+1 Elemental HERO Blazeman
+1 Elemental Hero Bubbleman
+2 Elemental HERO Shadow Mist
+1 Shaddoll Falco
+1 Mask Change
+1 Polymerization
+1 Raigeki
+1 Mind Crush

+1 El Shaddoll Anoyatllis
+1 Masked HERO Anki
+1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur

Thus here's the final list!

DECKID= 102099I thought I was going to completely rebuild this thing from the ground up, but in the end I only made nine edits to the Main Deck and three changes to the Extra Deck. Anymore changes and you'd detract from either strategy too much - I already stripped the deck of most of the Infernity cards, but you still have a the option of playing for that strategy.

This deck's very hard to play and quite honestly quite fragile, but if you're all about making people hate you, give it a go. It's exactly as it sounds - Infernity ft. Winda and the Heroettes.

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 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