When Clash of Rebellions first hit the scene most duelists overlooked Brilliant Fusion. I mean, sure, Zach, Jason, and I all constructed some really different Gem-Knight variants, but I don't think we realized how versatile Brilliant Fusion really was. I think the craze of Brilliant Fusion shenanigans was really started by two experiences Pasquale and I had at YCS Toronto.

Pasquale met a competitor at that tournament using Ritual Beasts with Brilliant Fusion, sending Spiritual Beast Cannahawk to the graveyard alongside Gem-Knight Garnet to bring out Gem-Knight Prismaura. For me it was my discussion with Patrick Hoban at Toronto, who let me do a deck profile on his Gem-Knight Shaddoll list for my Youtube channel. He was using Brilliant Fusion to yard Performages and extend his combos, something that was unheard of at the itme.

So yeah, you can use Brilliant Fusion to send a Light monster to the graveyard, normally a Performage, and unleash some pretty cool combos. But there are tons of other interesting Gem-Knight Fusions that take Fusion Materials like Pyro, Thunder, and Aqua. I thought I'd take a moment today to talk about all the Gem-Knight Fusions you can make using a Gem-Knight monster and a non-Gem-Knight. Hopefully that discussion can spark some Inspiration for some more outlandish decks!

First Things First
As I mentioned before, the standard Brilliant Fusion play is to send either Performage Trick Clown or Performage Damage Juggler to the grave with Gem-Knight Garnet to Summon Gem-Knight Seraphinite. You can then revive the Trick Clown or search a card with Damage Juggler, netting you a quick plus of card economy. Of course, Seraphinite comes out with nullified stats, but you can discard any spell card to buff it back up to 2300 ATK.

More importantly, Seraphinite gives you an extra Normal Summon. I've found that's most useful in decks that don't have Pendulums, working sort of like a Double Summon without being a -1 but that also advances your position in the game by sending specific Light monsters to the graveyard. There are almost too many decks to name that can benefit from an extra Normal Summon. Madolches obviously come to mind for me, because I recently topped a Regional Qualifier with Brilliant Madolches. Not only could I take advantage of an extra Normal Summon, I could use Seraphinite as material for Madolche Puddingcess Chocolat-a-la-Mode.

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But I think there's huge untapped potential for using Light monsters other than the Performages. For example, back in October Victor Lam topped a Regional Qualifier in Canada with this slick Brilliant Satellarknight deck. It was multipurpose for him, not only loading his graveyard with Satellarknight Deneb but also helping him push out large Xyz combos with an extra Normal Summon. Even cooler, Lam played a single copy of Archlord Kristya to send off of Brilliant Fusion, to later be revived off of Call Of The Haunted or Oasis of Dragon Souls. He was playing three copies of both traps to help facilitate that. With Satellarknights taking a hit on the Forbidden and Limited List from losing Reinforcement of the Army, I truly believe that Brilliant Fusion's a much better answer to consistency issues than Satellarknight Skybridge.

Gem-Knight Seraphinite might be the main reason for Brilliant Fusion's price spike, but I feel that's because players aren't quite ready to explore the full range of possibilities for Brilliant Fusion. Light monsters are incredibly easy to come by, especially considering the popularity of Performages. But let's not forget that there are four other Gem-Knight Fusion Monsters that are easily Summoned depending on the deck, all with their own unique advantages.

Free Giant Trunade?
I distinctly remember Pasquale and Bobby discussing Brilliant Frogs, and that was mainly due to Gem-Knight Amethyst. Unsurprisingly, Amethyst takes a Gem-Knight and an Aqua monster, the latter of which can be any of your usual frogs like Swap Frog, Dupe Frog, or Ronintoadin. When Amethyst hits the graveyard you bounce all set spells and traps back to the hand, mimicking Giant Trunade of years ago.

In and of itself, that can be fantastic. Lots of Frog decks like to bombard the opponent with a flurry of Special Summons that result in an OTK, but pushing through lots of back row isn't always easy. Denko Sekka's great but it requires your Normal Summon. Brilliant Fusion into Amethyst not only preserves your Normal Summon, it also loads your graveyard with a Frog that you might need. Similar to Seraphinite in Satellarknights, Amethyst is everything you could ask for in a Frog deck.

There are also some niche uses too, and they're still worth exploring. I like the idea of sending Slushy to the graveyard off of Brilliant Fusion. Many of the cards that Slushy can revive are Level 7 just like Amethyst so you can leverage that sequence into a Rank 7. I've also tried using Brilliant Fusion in the new Graydle theme, mainly to send Graydle Slime to the yard as early as possible. Having Slime at the ready is crucial to your success, so having three more ways to get it there is definitely worth a look.

I Always Have To Shout Out Volcanics
It's not Gem-Knight Citrine's fault that it's not very useful. I blame the lack of decent Pyro monsters to yard with Brilliant Fusion. But as Pasquale pointed out several months ago, the synergy of Brilliant Fusion with Volcanics is astounding. On the most basic level, Brilliant Fusion turbos Volcanic Shell into the graveyard to kickstart free searches and nab free draws with Blaze Accelerator Reload. It also puts Citrine on board so you can power it up by discarding a dead spell, which solves the common Volcanic problem where they can't put damage on the field fast enough.

Beyond that though, it's important to recognize that both Gem-Knight Citrine and Gem-Knight Garnet are Pyros themselves. Because Volcanic decks generally play two or three Royal Firestorm Guards, you only really have to play one Garnet and one Citrine. That frees up space in your Main and Extra Decks, and also lowers the chances of opening with Garnet in the early game. If you're playing Volcanics you can potentially use all three Brilliant Fusions over the course of a duel, which is both frightening and awesome.

Unfortunately there aren't many other uses for Citrine because good Pyro monsters are hard to come by. Maybe it has some merit in a dedicated Laval deck, but they already have Molten Conduction Field so it seems irrelevant. For now, it's probably best to stick to Volcanics if you want to play Citrine, but I'll be keeping my eye out for any new Pyro monsters.

Thunder And Lightning
Gem-Knight Prismaura's kind of in a weird spot. Because it takes a Thunder monster to Summon, most of the time those same monsters can just be used for Gem-Knight Seraphinite. It's nice to have options, because Prismaura's often a more aggressive option due to its 1-for-1 destruction effect. As Pasquale discovered at YCS Toronto, Prismaura was a cool option for Ritual Beasts because of the synergy with Cannahawk, a concept he's discussed in detail here on TCGplayer.

Outside of that? Prismaura's generally just another option for Light decks using Thunders. Feel free to quickly go through the database to glance at all the Thunders that aren't Lights and you'll find that none of them benefit from being sent to the graveyard. That doesn't mean Prismaura'ss bad, though; it does have its uses.

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Like I said before, Prismaura's generally more aggressive than Seraphinite. It packs a beefy 2450 ATK and can clear face-up cards by discarding Gem-Knights. Since many Thunder strategies are focused on OTK's – like the tried and true Batteryman theme – Prismaura's a natural fit. It's also one of the most useful Gem-Knight Fusion Monsters in an actual Gem-Knight deck.

That might not be relevant when you're discussing the five-card Brilliant Fusion engine, but if you're looking to construct a Gem-Knight hybrid deck with a more fleshed out engine than Prismaura's an auto-include.

Rock Solid
Gem-Knight Zirconia's the last Fusion Monster on the list, and it's sort of different than the rest. For starters, it's a Normal Monster, so its biggest advantages come from two other factors. First, it's the biggest of all the Gem-Knight Fusions we've discussed today, packing a giant 2900 ATK. More importantly you make it by sending a Rock monster to your graveyard. Previously the best way to do that was Catapult Zone, which wasn't very consistent because it required interaction from your opponent.

So how can you abuse sending Rocks to the graveyard? The first thing that comes to mind is Rock Stun, a strategy that I've gravitated towards over the years. The idea is to make 1-for-1 trades by tributing your Koa'ki Meiru monsters to negate spells, traps, effects, and Summons. You then revive them with Call Of The Haunted and Block Golem, and eventually your opponent runs out of cards and you hit them with 1900 ATK monsters until you win.

Koa'ki Meiru Diamond was extremely helpful for the deck, letting you search out specific Koa'ki Meirus, but Brilliant Fusion tackles the issue of loading the graveyard. Usually a Block Golem combo takes three turns: two turns for Summoning and Tributing the Koa'ki Meirus, and then a third to Summon the Golem. Brilliant Fusion accelerates that by one turn, creating a much more aggressive atmosphere. You're also then hitting your opponent for 2900 damage with Zirconia instead of the usual 1900, so you put your opponent on a much shorter clock.

My favorite use for Zirconia? Sending Pot of The Forbidden to the graveyard in Prediction Princesses. I wrote about the Princesses months ago, which you can read about here. The main idea is that during your End Phase you can Special Summon a Flip Effect Monster face-down using Prediction Princess Tarotrei, and then once per turn you can flip a monster face-up or face-down. Pot of The Forbidden has a ton of ridiculous effects, and you want it in the grave as soon as possible, but it's a Level 9 monster; you don't really want to draw multiples. Brilliant Fusion solves that problem entirely, sending it straight to the graveyard so you can revive it and abuse it via Tarotrei.

There are a ton of cool uses for Brilliant Fusion outside of loading your graveyard with Performages. While many of the options I listed aren't competitively viable right now they all have definite potential. What are some unorthodox ways you're using Brilliant Fusion? Let me know in the comments!

-Doug Zeeff


Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, struggling to finish his NaNoWriMo book, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh.