Heroes were my absolute favorite theme when I was younger, but I always manage to forget Hero decks are still up there in popularity and power, even today. Their playability in tournaments has always waxed and waned over time, but with new additions every few years, stuff like Masked HERO Dark Law, Vision HERO Faris, and the return of Elemental HERO Stratos to 3-per-deck, Heroes have managed to stay in the competitive discussion for over a decade.

Heck, they were good back when I was in high school, and y'all, I'm thirty. Little Loukas thought he was SO CLEVER using Hero Blast to destroy X-Saber Airbellum or Flamvell Firedog, and I can guarantee that sentence makes no sense to a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh players today.

Change On Change On Even More Change

Heroes have gone through alot of changes over the years. When they first debuted in The Lost Millennium in 2005, Hero decks were based around Fusion Summons and used Polymerization exclusively. The only Hero Fusion monsters were Elemental HERO Flame Wingman and Elemental HERO Thunder Giant.

Fusion Recovery, Fusion Sage, and King of the Swamp were some of the best support cards we had. Miracle Fusion and Elemental HERO Shining Flare Wingman came in Cybernetic Revolution and Elemental Energy, but it was slow work making the deck viable. Skyscraper 2 - Hero City was another big buff for a handful of strategies, but Elemental HERO Neos Alius turned out to be the biggest force to be reckoned with, turning the tide and placing Hero players into notable Top Cuts.

Looking back, that seems like it was all lifetimes ago. There were many OTK elements to classic Hero decks, but the theme largely hinged around niche cards that align more with control decks, not big OTK plays. Hero Beat in 2012, and decks solely revolving around Masked HERO Dark Law… Even "combo" variants like Dark Hero from 2018 ended with fields of negations, backed up by traps and hand traps.

It's Free Real Estate!

Fast forward to now and the best way to play Heroes in 2021 is to focus on hitting hard and hitting fast. Ideally you'd like to OTK your opponent on your first turn of the duel.

That's not an exaggeration. The best parts of the Hero deck involve throwing out big monsters, and that can mean immediate wins, though you won't always get there with the exact same sequence of plays. I'll go over some of the standouts to highlight how even small investments can pay out big dividends.

Elemental HERO Shadow Mist is now and always will be one of the best cards for Hero decks with its dual effect. Elemental HERO Stratos may be the original searcher (and backrow destroyer), but Elemental HERO Shadow Mist rivals Elemental HERO Stratos for versatility. But both are single cards that are like kindling to this deck's explosive combos, ramping up big monsters and delivering tons of free cards.

Xtra HERO Wonder Driver another example of a card that launches your game so far ahead, you may not need to use all the cards in your hand to OTK. Vision HERO Vyon and Elemental HERO Blazeman both search Polymerization, then Xtra HERO Wonder Driver doubles down on their Fusion effects.

Even Elemental HERO Solid Soldier seemingly triples its value, bringing out a monster from your hand and another from your graveyard while also acting as Fusion or Link Material. Meanwhile your heavy hitters - the ones that actually deal lethal damage - are typically Destiny HERO - Dystopia, Elemental HERO Sunrise, and Elemental HERO The Shining. It may seem like a big investment to throw down three Fusion Monsters, but the above Heroes pull their weight and then some.

Oh, and then you also make whatever Xtra HERO fits the situation best, of course.

This deck is pretty budget friendly, but it's still incredibly powerful and wins games at the drop of a hat.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Loukas's Budget Hero Deck by Loukas Peterson

'Loukas's Budget Hero Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Loukas Peterson

Event:

Rank: 0-0

Advanced

Market Price: $125.50

Cards

Masked HERO Anki

Market Price: $0.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177626_200w.jpg

Must be Special Summoned by "Mask Change". This card can attack directly, but when it does so using this effect, the battle damage inflicted to your opponent is halved. When this card destroys an opponent's monster by battle and sends it to the GY: You can add 1 "Change" Quick-Play Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Masked HERO Anki" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177626/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-masked-hero-anki

Destiny HERO - Malicious

Market Price: $2.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/56788_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/56788/yugioh-legendary-collection-2-destiny-hero-malicious

Elemental HERO Sunrise

Market Price: $9.81

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206984_200w.jpg

2 "HERO" monsters with different Attributes

Must be Fusion Summoned. Monsters you control gain 200 ATK for each different Attribute you control. You can only use each of the following effects of "Elemental HERO Sunrise" once per turn.
? If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Miracle Fusion" from your Deck to your hand.
? When an attack is declared involving another "HERO" monster you control: You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/206984/yugioh-legendary-duelists-magical-hero-elemental-hero-sunrise

Mask Change II

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95848_200w.jpg

Discard 1 card, then target 1 face-up monster you control that has a Level; send it to the Graveyard, also, after that, if it left the field by this effect, Special Summon from your Extra Deck, 1 "Masked HERO" monster with the same Attribute, but a higher Level than, the Attribute/Level the monster had when it was on the field (its original Attribute/Level, if face-down. This Special Summon is treated as a Special Summon with "Mask Change"). You can only activate 1 "Mask Change II" per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95848/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-mask-change-ii

Forbidden Chalice

Market Price: $0.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111900_200w.jpg

Target 1 face-up monster on the field; until the end of this turn, that target gains 400 ATK, but its effects are negated.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/111900/yugioh-wing-raiders-forbidden-chalice

Elemental HERO Ocean

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95834_200w.jpg

Once per turn, during your Standby Phase: You can target 1 "HERO" monster you control or in your Graveyard; return that target to the hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95834/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-elemental-hero-ocean

Xtra HERO Dread Decimator

Market Price: $1.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177586_200w.jpg

2+ "HERO" monsters

This card, also any "HERO" monsters it points to, gains 100 ATK for each "HERO" monster with different names in your GY. If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177586/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-xtra-hero-dread-decimator

Elemental HERO Blazeman

Market Price: $1.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177603_200w.jpg

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Polymerization" from your Deck to your hand. During your Main Phase: You can activate this effect; you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except Fusion Monsters, also send 1 "Elemental HERO" monster from your Deck to the GY, except "Elemental HERO Blazeman", and if you do, this card's Attribute and ATK/DEF become the same as the monster sent to the GY, until the end of this turn. You can only use 1 "Elemental HERO Blazeman" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177603/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-elemental-hero-blazeman

Destiny HERO - Plasma

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177588_200w.jpg

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by Tributing 3 monsters. Negate the effects of face-up monsters while your opponent controls them. Once per turn: You can target 1 monster your opponent controls; equip that target to this card (max. 1). This card gains ATK equal to half the original ATK of the monster equipped to it by this effect.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177588/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-destiny-hero-plasma

Vision HERO Trinity

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/193649_200w.jpg

3 "HERO" monsters

After this card is Fusion Summoned, for the rest of this turn, this card's ATK becomes double its original ATK. This Fusion Summoned card can make a second and third attack during each Battle Phase. Cannot attack directly.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/193649/yugioh-battles-of-legend-heros-revenge-vision-hero-trinity

Vision HERO Vyon

Market Price: $2.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/186943_200w.jpg

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can send 1 "HERO" monster from your Deck to the GY. You can only use this effect of "Vision HERO Vyon" once per turn. Once per turn: You can banish 1 "HERO" monster from your GY; add 1 "Polymerization" from your Deck to your hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/186943/yugioh-duel-power-vision-hero-vyon

Elemental HERO Shadow Mist

Market Price: $1.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177602_200w.jpg

If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Change" Quick-Play Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. If this card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 "HERO" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Elemental HERO Shadow Mist". You can only use 1 "Elemental HERO Shadow Mist" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177602/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-elemental-hero-shadow-mist

Elemental HERO The Shining

Market Price: $4.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/58138_200w.jpg

1 "Elemental HERO" monster + 1 LIGHT monster // Must be Fusion Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. This card gains 300 ATK for each of your banished "Elemental HERO" monsters. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target up to 2 of your banished "Elemental HERO" monsters; add those targets to your hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/58138/yugioh-2012-premium-collection-tin-elemental-hero-the-shining

Miracle Fusion

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95853_200w.jpg

Fusion Summon 1 "Elemental HERO" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing Fusion Materials listed on it from your side of the field or your Graveyard.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95853/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-miracle-fusion

Elemental HERO Absolute Zero

Market Price: $1.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139883_200w.jpg

1 "HERO" monster + 1 WATER monster

Must be Fusion Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. This card gains 500 ATK for each face-up WATER monster on the field, except "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero". When this card leaves the field: Destroy all monsters your opponent controls.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/139883/yugioh-ots-tournament-pack-5-elemental-hero-absolute-zero

Mudragon of the Swamp

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215447_200w.jpg

2 monsters with the same Attribute but different Types

Your opponent cannot target this card, or monsters on the field with the same Attribute as this card, with card effects. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can declare 1 Attribute; this card becomes that Attribute until the end of this turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215447/yugioh-toon-chaos-mudragon-of-the-swamp

Polymerization

Market Price: $0.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196842_200w.jpg

Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or field as Fusion Material.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/196842/yugioh-structure-deck-rokket-revolt-polymerization

Destiny HERO - Dystopia

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177623_200w.jpg

2 "Destiny HERO" monsters

If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 Level 4 or lower "Destiny HERO" monster in your GY; inflict damage to your opponent equal to that target's ATK. If this card's current ATK is different from its original ATK (except during the Damage Step) (Quick Effect): You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it, and if you do, this card's ATK becomes equal to this card's original ATK. You can only use each effect of "Destiny HERO - Dystopia" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177623/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-destiny-hero-dystopia

E - Emergency Call

Market Price: $1.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95858_200w.jpg

Add 1 "Elemental HERO" monster from your Deck to your hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95858/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-e-emergency-call

Reinforcement of the Army

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/242878_200w.jpg

Add 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster from your Deck to your hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/242878/yugioh-kings-court-reinforcement-of-the-army

Dark Ruler No More

Market Price: $7.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/224992_200w.jpg

Negate the effects of all face-up monsters your opponent currently controls, until the end of this turn, also, for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, your opponent takes no damage. Neither player can activate monster effects in response to this card's activation.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/224992/yugioh-structure-deck-spirit-charmers-dark-ruler-no-more

Starving Venom Fusion Dragon

Market Price: $2.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199665_200w.jpg

2 DARK monsters on the field, except Tokens

If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can make this card gain ATK equal to 1 opponent's Special Summoned monster, until the end of this turn. Once per turn: You can target 1 Level 5 or higher monster your opponent controls; until the End Phase, this card's name becomes that monster's original name, and replace this effect with that monster's original effects. If this Fusion Summoned card is destroyed: You can destroy all your opponent's Special Summoned monsters.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/199665/yugioh-legendary-duelists-immortal-destiny-starving-venom-fusion-dragon

Super Polymerization

Market Price: $2.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/79503_200w.jpg

Discard 1 card; Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from either side of the field as Fusion Materials. Cards and effects cannot be activated in response to this card's activation.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/79503/yugioh-structure-deck-cyber-dragon-revolution-super-polymerization

Elemental HERO Solid Soldier

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215434_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "HERO" monster from your hand. If this card is sent from the Monster Zone to the GY by a Spell effect: You can target 1 "HERO" monster in your GY, except "Elemental HERO Solid Soldier"; Special Summon it in Defense Position. You can only use this effect of "Elemental HERO Solid Soldier" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215434/yugioh-toon-chaos-elemental-hero-solid-soldier

Destiny HERO - Dynatag

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177597_200w.jpg

During damage calculation, when you would take battle damage (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; make yourself take no battle damage from that battle, and if you do, each player takes 1000 damage. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "Destiny HERO" monster you control; it gains 1000 ATK until the end of your opponent's next turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177597/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-destiny-hero-dynatag

Destiny HERO - Decider

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177599_200w.jpg

Level 6 or higher monsters your opponent controls cannot target this card for attacks. You can only use each of the following effects of "Destiny HERO - Decider" once per Duel.

• If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "HERO" monster from your GY to your hand during the End Phase of this turn.
• When a card or effect is activated that would inflict damage to you, while this card is in your GY (Quick Effect): Return this card to your hand, and if you do, make that effect damage to you 0.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177599/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-destiny-hero-decider

Mask Change

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95851_200w.jpg

Target 1 "HERO" monster you control; send it to the Graveyard, also, after that, if it left the field by this effect, Special Summon 1 "Masked HERO" monster from your Extra Deck with the same Attribute that the sent monster had when it was on the field (its original Attribute, if face-down).

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95851/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-mask-change

Masked HERO Acid

Market Price: $0.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215442_200w.jpg

Must be Special Summoned with "Mask Change". When this card is Special Summoned: Destroy as many Spells and Traps your opponent controls as possible, and if you do, all monsters they control lose 300 ATK.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215442/yugioh-toon-chaos-masked-hero-acid

Xtra HERO Cross Crusader

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220787_200w.jpg

2 Warrior monsters

If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 "Destiny HERO" monster in your GY; Special Summon it. You can Tribute 1 "Destiny HERO" monster; add 1 "HERO" monster with a different name from your Deck to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Xtra HERO Cross Crusader" once per turn, also you cannot Special Summon monsters the turn you activate either of this card's effects, except "HERO" monsters.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/220787/yugioh-2020-tin-of-lost-memories-xtra-hero-cross-crusader

Masked HERO Dark Law

Market Price: $0.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177625_200w.jpg

Must be Special Summoned by "Mask Change". Any card sent to your opponent's GY is banished instead. Once per turn, if your opponent adds a card(s) from their Deck to their hand (except during the Draw Phase or the Damage Step): You can banish 1 random card from your opponent's hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177625/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-masked-hero-dark-law

Fusion Destiny

Market Price: $9.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/189409_200w.jpg

Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck that lists a "Destiny HERO" monster as material, using monsters from your hand or Deck as Fusion Material, but destroy it during the End Phase of the next turn, also for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, you cannot Special Summon monsters, except DARK "HERO" monsters. You can only activate 1 "Fusion Destiny" per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/189409/yugioh-dark-neostorm-fusion-destiny

Elemental HERO Honest Neos

Market Price: $2.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206994_200w.jpg

(Quick Effect): You can discard this card, then target 1 "HERO" monster on the field; it gains 2500 ATK until the end of this turn. (Quick Effect): You can discard 1 "HERO" monster; this card gains ATK equal to the discarded monster's ATK until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of "Elemental HERO Honest Neos" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/206994/yugioh-legendary-duelists-magical-hero-elemental-hero-honest-neos

Called by the Grave

Market Price: $2.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166373_200w.jpg

Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; banish it, and if you do, monsters with the same original name as that banished monster have their effects negated until the end of the next turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/166373/yugioh-flames-of-destruction-called-by-the-grave

Xtra HERO Wonder Driver

Market Price: $2.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177627_200w.jpg

2 "HERO" monsters

If a "HERO" monster is Normal or Special Summoned to your zone this card points to: Target 1 "Polymerization" Spell Card, 1 "Fusion" Spell Card, or 1 "Change" Quick-Play Spell Card in your GY; Set that target. You can only activate this effect of "Xtra HERO Wonder Driver" once per turn. If this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the GY, or if this card in your possession is destroyed by an opponent's card effect and sent to your GY: Special Summon 1 "HERO" monster from your hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177627/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-xtra-hero-wonder-driver

Elemental HERO Stratos

Market Price: $2.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/57949_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can activate 1 of these effects.
? You can destroy Spell/Trap Cards on the field, up to the number of "HERO" monsters you control, except this card.
? Add 1 "HERO" monster from your Deck to your hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/57949/yugioh-ra-yellow-mega-pack-elemental-hero-stratos

A Hero Lives

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95855_200w.jpg

When you control no face-up monsters: Pay half your Life Points; Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "Elemental HERO" monster from your Deck.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95855/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-a-hero-lives

Keep in mind, many of this deck's power plays are only made possible because of the consistency provided by relatively simple cards. Vision HERO Vyon's a good example: it comes across as an innocent Normal Summon, but Vision HERO Vyon the gateway to Elemental HERO Sunrise… which of course turns into Miracle Fusion, netting over 6000 damage in the blink of an eye.

Backup Plans & Budget Fans

When I say backup plans, I don't really mean "plans" plural, because Elemental HERO Sunrise is basically just one plan. I guess the other plan is Elemental HERO The Shining. If your opponent destroys Elemental HERO The Shining, you'll get two Heroes back, and the ATK boost is nice. It's not exactly a defensive maneuver, so calling it a backup plan is… sketchy. But it's a viable option.

The real backup plan is Masked HERO Dark Law. It's effectively a one-sided Macro Cosmos, and sometimes that's enough to win games on its own. If you can't OTK, you can lock your opponent out of doing anything at all instead.

I'll admit, I always want to play those random and very specific Hero cards. My other idea for a backup plan was using HERO'S Bond, which isn't a bad idea per se, but I'd rather just play Masked HERO Dark Law instead of using other cards to push through hand traps. HERO'S Bond swarms the field, but it's not exactly great for your card economy.

Look, all I'm saying is that I've been trying to efficiently squeeze HERO'S Bond into a deck since before Obama was president, and it hasn't worked out yet.

When You've Got A Tournament To Win

While I'll stand by my first list as effective, you may have noticed a few cards that seemed to be missing. I can't expect everyone to have infinitely deep pockets when it comes to Hero decks. I mean… just look at the prices for Evil HERO Malicious Bane and Evil HERO Adusted Gold.

I'll say it again - you can easily OTK your opponent with the budget version of this strategy. But, if you can get your hands on Vision HERO Faris and Vision HERO Increase, it's not a bad idea. Since I'm already this far down the rabbit hole, you might as well add more cards that boost your consistency.

Vision HERO Faris and Vision HERO Increase are great cards that add loads of reliability. Hand traps can win you games sometimes. Elemental HERO Liquid Soldier isn't necessary by any means, but hey, it's better than Elemental HERO Ocean virtually all of the time. Dark Calling isn't mandatory either, but come on, another free Fusion?

Don't get me wrong this isn't some idle glib promise about budget versions being just as good, because technically they're not. Both decks hit hard, but the extra push you get from some of the pricier cards take the deck from a good locals strategy to a legitimate big tournament contender.

Giovanni Rivera finished in 2nd Place at the August Extravaganza a couple weeks ago; you can check out his deck here. I wouldn't promise that Heroes could be good if I couldn't back it up! In fact, the full-budget version I'd run is very similar to his.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Loukas's Hefty Hero Deck by Loukas Peterson

'Loukas's Hefty Hero Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Loukas Peterson

Event:

Rank: 0-0

Advanced

Market Price: $1222.88

Cards

Elemental HERO Shadow Mist

Market Price: $1.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177602_200w.jpg

If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Change" Quick-Play Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. If this card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 "HERO" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Elemental HERO Shadow Mist". You can only use 1 "Elemental HERO Shadow Mist" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/177602/yugioh-legendary-hero-decks-elemental-hero-shadow-mist

Elemental HERO Solid Soldier

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215434_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "HERO" monster from your hand. If this card is sent from the Monster Zone to the GY by a Spell effect: You can target 1 "HERO" monster in your GY, except "Elemental HERO Solid Soldier"; Special Summon it in Defense Position. You can only use this effect of "Elemental HERO Solid Soldier" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215434/yugioh-toon-chaos-elemental-hero-solid-soldier

Destiny HERO - Decider

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177599_200w.jpg

Level 6 or higher monsters your opponent controls cannot target this card for attacks. You can only use each of the following effects of "Destiny HERO - Decider" once per Duel.

• If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "HERO" monster from your GY to your hand during the End Phase of this turn.
• When a card or effect is activated that would inflict damage to you, while this card is in your GY (Quick Effect): Return this card to your hand, and if you do, make that effect damage to you 0.

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Xtra HERO Cross Crusader

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220787_200w.jpg

2 Warrior monsters

If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 "Destiny HERO" monster in your GY; Special Summon it. You can Tribute 1 "Destiny HERO" monster; add 1 "HERO" monster with a different name from your Deck to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Xtra HERO Cross Crusader" once per turn, also you cannot Special Summon monsters the turn you activate either of this card's effects, except "HERO" monsters.

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Evil HERO Malicious Bane

Market Price: $174.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199625_200w.jpg

1 "Evil HERO" monster + 1 Level 5 or higher monster

Must be Special Summoned with "Dark Fusion". Cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. During your Main Phase: You can destroy all monsters your opponent controls with ATK less than or equal to this card's, also this card gains 200 ATK for each monster destroyed this way, also you cannot declare an attack for the rest of this turn, except with "HERO" monsters. You can only use this effect of "Evil HERO Malicious Bane" once per turn.

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Infinite Impermanence

Market Price: $10.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/250389_200w.jpg

Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; negate its effects (until the end of this turn), then, if this card was Set before activation and is on the field at resolution, for the rest of this turn all other Spell/Trap effects in this column are negated. If you control no cards, you can activate this card from your hand.

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Masked HERO Dark Law

Market Price: $0.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177625_200w.jpg

Must be Special Summoned by "Mask Change". Any card sent to your opponent's GY is banished instead. Once per turn, if your opponent adds a card(s) from their Deck to their hand (except during the Draw Phase or the Damage Step): You can banish 1 random card from your opponent's hand.

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Evil HERO Adusted Gold

Market Price: $181.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199626_200w.jpg

You can discard this card; add 1 "Dark Fusion", or 1 card that specifically lists "Dark Fusion" in its text, from your Deck to your hand, except "Evil HERO Adusted Gold". You can only use this effect of "Evil HERO Adusted Gold" once per turn. Cannot attack unless you control a Fusion Monster.

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Called by the Grave

Market Price: $2.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166373_200w.jpg

Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; banish it, and if you do, monsters with the same original name as that banished monster have their effects negated until the end of the next turn.

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Masked HERO Blast

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215445_200w.jpg

Must be Special Summoned with "Mask Change". If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; its ATK becomes half its current ATK. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can pay 500 LP, then target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; return it to the hand.

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Masked HERO Anki

Market Price: $0.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177626_200w.jpg

Must be Special Summoned by "Mask Change". This card can attack directly, but when it does so using this effect, the battle damage inflicted to your opponent is halved. When this card destroys an opponent's monster by battle and sends it to the GY: You can add 1 "Change" Quick-Play Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Masked HERO Anki" once per turn.

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Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Market Price: $17.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199550_200w.jpg

When a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; negate that effect.

• Add a card from the Deck to the hand.
• Special Summon from the Deck.
• Send a card from the Deck to the GY.
You can only use this effect of "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/199550/yugioh-duel-devastator-ash-blossom-and-joyous-spring

Vision HERO Faris

Market Price: $37.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/193597_200w.jpg

You can discard 1 other "HERO" monster; Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can place 1 "Vision HERO" monster from your Deck, except "Vision HERO Faris", in your Spell & Trap Zone as a face-up Continuous Trap, also you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except "HERO" monsters. You can only use each effect of "Vision HERO Faris" once per turn.

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Destiny HERO - Dynatag

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177597_200w.jpg

During damage calculation, when you would take battle damage (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; make yourself take no battle damage from that battle, and if you do, each player takes 1000 damage. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "Destiny HERO" monster you control; it gains 1000 ATK until the end of your opponent's next turn.

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Droll & Lock Bird

Market Price: $4.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/38616_200w.jpg

If your opponent adds a card(s) from their Deck to their hand, except during the Draw Phase, you can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard. For the rest of this turn, neither player can add card(s) from their Deck to their hand. (Drawing cards is also considered as "adding a card to the hand".)

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/38616/yugioh-starstrike-blast-droll-and-lock-bird

Forbidden Droplet

Market Price: $163.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218962_200w.jpg

Send any number of other cards from your hand and/or field to the GY; choose that many Effect Monsters your opponent controls, and until the end of this turn, their ATK is halved, also their effects are negated. In response to this card's activation, your opponent cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with the same original type (Monster/Spell/Trap) as the cards sent to the GY to activate this card. You can only activate 1 "Forbidden Droplet" per turn.

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Xtra HERO Dread Decimator

Market Price: $1.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177586_200w.jpg

2+ "HERO" monsters

This card, also any "HERO" monsters it points to, gains 100 ATK for each "HERO" monster with different names in your GY. If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.

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Elemental HERO Absolute Zero

Market Price: $1.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139883_200w.jpg

1 "HERO" monster + 1 WATER monster

Must be Fusion Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. This card gains 500 ATK for each face-up WATER monster on the field, except "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero". When this card leaves the field: Destroy all monsters your opponent controls.

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Fusion Destiny

Market Price: $9.98

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/189409_200w.jpg

Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck that lists a "Destiny HERO" monster as material, using monsters from your hand or Deck as Fusion Material, but destroy it during the End Phase of the next turn, also for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, you cannot Special Summon monsters, except DARK "HERO" monsters. You can only activate 1 "Fusion Destiny" per turn.

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Miracle Fusion

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95853_200w.jpg

Fusion Summon 1 "Elemental HERO" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing Fusion Materials listed on it from your side of the field or your Graveyard.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95853/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-miracle-fusion

Elemental HERO Stratos

Market Price: $2.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/57949_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can activate 1 of these effects.
? You can destroy Spell/Trap Cards on the field, up to the number of "HERO" monsters you control, except this card.
? Add 1 "HERO" monster from your Deck to your hand.

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A Hero Lives

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95855_200w.jpg

When you control no face-up monsters: Pay half your Life Points; Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "Elemental HERO" monster from your Deck.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/95855/yugioh-structure-deck-hero-strike-a-hero-lives

Elemental HERO Sunrise

Market Price: $9.81

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206984_200w.jpg

2 "HERO" monsters with different Attributes

Must be Fusion Summoned. Monsters you control gain 200 ATK for each different Attribute you control. You can only use each of the following effects of "Elemental HERO Sunrise" once per turn.
? If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Miracle Fusion" from your Deck to your hand.
? When an attack is declared involving another "HERO" monster you control: You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it.

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Masked HERO Acid

Market Price: $0.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215442_200w.jpg

Must be Special Summoned with "Mask Change". When this card is Special Summoned: Destroy as many Spells and Traps your opponent controls as possible, and if you do, all monsters they control lose 300 ATK.

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Vision HERO Increase

Market Price: $20.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/193594_200w.jpg

If you take battle or effect damage while this card is in your GY: You can place this card from your GY in your Spell & Trap Zone as a face-up Continuous Trap. During the Main Phase, if this card is treated as a Continuous Trap: You can Tribute 1 "HERO" monster; Special Summon this card. If this card is Special Summoned from the Spell & Trap Zone: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "Vision HERO" monster from your Deck. You can only use each effect of "Vision HERO Increase" once per turn.

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E - Emergency Call

Market Price: $1.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95858_200w.jpg

Add 1 "Elemental HERO" monster from your Deck to your hand.

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Elemental HERO The Shining

Market Price: $4.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/58138_200w.jpg

1 "Elemental HERO" monster + 1 LIGHT monster // Must be Fusion Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. This card gains 300 ATK for each of your banished "Elemental HERO" monsters. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target up to 2 of your banished "Elemental HERO" monsters; add those targets to your hand.

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Destiny HERO - Malicious

Market Price: $2.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/56788_200w.jpg

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Elemental HERO Liquid Soldier

Market Price: $61.96

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206985_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 Level 4 or lower "HERO" monster in your GY, except "Elemental HERO Liquid Soldier"; Special Summon it. If this card is used as Fusion Material for a "HERO" monster, and sent to the GY or banished: You can draw 2 cards, then discard 1 card. You can only use 1 "Elemental HERO Liquid Soldier" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Mask Change

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95851_200w.jpg

Target 1 "HERO" monster you control; send it to the Graveyard, also, after that, if it left the field by this effect, Special Summon 1 "Masked HERO" monster from your Extra Deck with the same Attribute that the sent monster had when it was on the field (its original Attribute, if face-down).

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Destiny HERO - Dystopia

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177623_200w.jpg

2 "Destiny HERO" monsters

If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 Level 4 or lower "Destiny HERO" monster in your GY; inflict damage to your opponent equal to that target's ATK. If this card's current ATK is different from its original ATK (except during the Damage Step) (Quick Effect): You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it, and if you do, this card's ATK becomes equal to this card's original ATK. You can only use each effect of "Destiny HERO - Dystopia" once per turn.

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Elemental HERO Honest Neos

Market Price: $2.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206994_200w.jpg

(Quick Effect): You can discard this card, then target 1 "HERO" monster on the field; it gains 2500 ATK until the end of this turn. (Quick Effect): You can discard 1 "HERO" monster; this card gains ATK equal to the discarded monster's ATK until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of "Elemental HERO Honest Neos" once per turn.

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Vision HERO Trinity

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/193649_200w.jpg

3 "HERO" monsters

After this card is Fusion Summoned, for the rest of this turn, this card's ATK becomes double its original ATK. This Fusion Summoned card can make a second and third attack during each Battle Phase. Cannot attack directly.

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Dark Calling

Market Price: $0.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199635_200w.jpg

Banish, from your hand or your Graveyard, the Fusion Material Monsters listed on a Fusion Monster Card that can only be Special Summoned with "Dark Fusion", then Special Summon that monster from your Extra Deck. (This Special Summon is treated as a Fusion Summon with "Dark Fusion".)

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Destiny HERO - Dangerous

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139272_200w.jpg

1 "Destiny HERO" monster + 1 DARK Effect Monster

(Quick Effect): You can discard 1 card; send 1 "Destiny HERO" monster from your hand or Deck to the GY, and if you do, "Destiny HERO" monsters you control gain 200 ATK for each "Destiny HERO" monster in your GY until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Destiny HERO - Dangerous" once per turn.

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Polymerization

Market Price: $0.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196842_200w.jpg

Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or field as Fusion Material.

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Reinforcement of the Army

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/242878_200w.jpg

Add 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster from your Deck to your hand.

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Destiny HERO - Plasma

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177588_200w.jpg

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by Tributing 3 monsters. Negate the effects of face-up monsters while your opponent controls them. Once per turn: You can target 1 monster your opponent controls; equip that target to this card (max. 1). This card gains ATK equal to half the original ATK of the monster equipped to it by this effect.

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Vision HERO Vyon

Market Price: $2.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/186943_200w.jpg

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can send 1 "HERO" monster from your Deck to the GY. You can only use this effect of "Vision HERO Vyon" once per turn. Once per turn: You can banish 1 "HERO" monster from your GY; add 1 "Polymerization" from your Deck to your hand.

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Xtra HERO Wonder Driver

Market Price: $2.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177627_200w.jpg

2 "HERO" monsters

If a "HERO" monster is Normal or Special Summoned to your zone this card points to: Target 1 "Polymerization" Spell Card, 1 "Fusion" Spell Card, or 1 "Change" Quick-Play Spell Card in your GY; Set that target. You can only activate this effect of "Xtra HERO Wonder Driver" once per turn. If this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the GY, or if this card in your possession is destroyed by an opponent's card effect and sent to your GY: Special Summon 1 "HERO" monster from your hand.

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Despite the hefty price tag on some of these cards, the parts of the deck with the most raw power are actually on the cheaper side. Vision HERO Trinity about a quarter, Miracle Fusion costs next to nothing, and Vision HERO Vyon cheap enough for almost everyone. Even Fusion Destiny only clocks in around 5 dollars, despite all the hype after Rivera's top, and the enthusiasm leading into Burst of Destiny's new Hero cards.

If there's one particular card you can't get? Don't sweat it. There's plenty to do in the deck without that one high priced card you don't have yet.

I mentioned I made a few changes from Rivera's build, but only two of them are major. For starters, I included Destiny HERO - Dangerous for the 1-card Masked HERO Dark Law combo, but more importantly Evil HERO Malicious Bane as an extra OTK tool. I know that when you combine it with Evil HERO Adusted Gold, it adds an additional 350 dollars to the deck. But we all know that one Hero guy that has every Hero card, right?

Maybe go be his friend!

Hand Traps? In This Economy?

When I'm building OTK decks, I typically like to stay away from cards that don't facilitate the strategy's core combos. Instead of playing cards that counter your opponent's moves, I'd rather play extenders to keep your combos going.

But with Heroes, there are only so many combo pieces available in the first place. Many of the best Hero cards, like Fusion Destiny and Xtra HERO Cross Crusader heavily restrict your Summons. You can't throw in lots of other monsters like Photon Thrasher or Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights to round out your plays because they turn off the best parts of your deck.

If you'd like to play a control variant of the deck, the whole outlook of the strategy would change. You'd instead different hand traps, actual traps, Equip Spells. There's nothing wrong with the strategy, but I think it's a fragile version of other combo decks out there right now. I think the best way for HERO decks right now includes a giant punch to the face.

So, like it or not, hand traps and board breakers work better in HERO strategies. In short, "Heroes go smash, and smash NOW."

Money Money Money Money Money

I hate saying this, but I need to reiterate that even without superfluous fun cards, the most expensive version of a HERO deck is ridiculously expensive. I'm not including Evil HERO Adusted Gold for kicks and grins. It's a card you can search like six different ways in the deck that leads straight into a free Evil HERO Malicious Bane. Dark Calling isn't required, but when it makes a 3000 ATK monster that pumps itself while masquerading as a Raigeki, like, come on! It's amazing.

I'm not going to tell you not to run any of these high-end cards if you have access to them, but I will say that Super Polymerization is another good card to substitute if you need to shave off a few dollars. It's relatively inexpensive and it clears boards; I'm not the biggest fan of Super Polymerization because it requires a discard and conflicts with many of your Hero plays, but I can't act like it doesn't have merit, and if you're looking to cut costs it's a good option.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.