Normally I'm quick to fawn over older themes when they get legacy support, but I've been on the Time Thief train since day one. Savage Strike debuted over two years ago here in the States, and I remember being at locals seeing the Time Thief cards for the first time in person. I was hooked instantly - they have dog robots, cool hair, and they run away from their problems.

We have so much in common.

If you're ready for a throwback, I think my affinity for Time Thiefs - specifically Time Thief Redoer - stems from Wind-Up Rabbit. Wind-Up Rabbit, Evilswarm Thunderbird, and more recently PSY-Framelord Omega are all monsters that run away to the banished zone for a turn, and that's a type of mechanic I like seeing. Don't get me started on my PSY-Frame/Dragunity/Rise to Full Height deck from 2016. I lost a lot of friends over that, and I want to bring new people into the fold with today's build.

Fear not, this deck does more than annoy your opponent; instead, you'll beat them senseless with Time Thief cards, as well as tons of other good cards, throwing lots of curveballs along the way. This deck definitely has an old school mash-up vibe where one theme doesn't really dominate the rest. Yes, Time Thief Redoer is my favorite card in the deck and yes, I make virtually every game. But it's a group effort.

We can call it Quickdraw Dandywarrior built for the modern era.

Tagging Out In 2021

The first real exposure people got to Time Thief was thanks to Outer Entity Azathot and The Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Launch, by way of The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche. Time Thief Redoer easily sheds its materials to fulfil the requirements for The Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Launch, and a star was born with that niche effect.

Blegh. There's a reason Outer Entity Azathot and The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche were banned, and an even bigger reason Outer Entity Azathot stayed banned.

Time Thief Redoer ability to blink in and out of existence - effectively propelling itself into the future - is the whole basis for the deck. Everything that the deck does on-theme hinges around your Rank 4 Xyz Monsters, constantly attaching new materials to your boss monsters as they come back to the field to "steal" your opponent's resources.

Looking over the first few waves of Time Thief cards, you can see how everything supports, or is supported, by Time Thief Redoer. Time Thief Winder gets you another monster for a Rank 4 play, Time Thief Retrograde feeds Time Thief Redoer your opponent's materials, and even Time Thief Hack comes in clutch and lets Time Thief Redoer attack directly.

Better yet, Time Thief Adjuster - brand new from Ghosts from the Past - fuels future Time Thief plays by yarding Time Thief cards from your deck, while also acting as a combo extender. You can't use both of Time Thief Adjuster effects in the same turn, but both are pivotal to the overall Time Thief Strategy moving forward.

While Time Thief Redoer the original Time Thief boss, Ghosts from the Past gives us another: Time Thief Double Barrel, another Xyz to back up Time Thief Perpetua and Time Thief Redoer. You might think Time Thief Double Barrel purely a better version of Time Thief Redoer, but take all three effects for both monsters in stride. I don't think one is objectively better than the other all the time; all six of their effects have uses, even Time Thief Double Barrel effect to gain ATK.

It's refreshing seeing a deck theme without built-in Link Monsters, right? There are plenty of Link Monsters to go around, but all three Time Thief Xyz make an appearance in my list below.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Loukas's Time Thief Deck by Loukas Peterson

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

Created By: Loukas Peterson

Event:

Rank:

Advanced

Market Price: $120.82

Cards

Dynatherium

Market Price: $2.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/81646_200w.jpg

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Dynatherium" once per turn this way. When Summoned this way: Your opponent can target 1 Level 4 monster in either player's GY; they Special Summon that target to their side of the field.

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Raidraptor - Singing Lanius

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/102428_200w.jpg

If you control a face-up Xyz Monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Raidraptor - Singing Lanius" once per turn this way.

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Time Thief Regulator

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220715_200w.jpg

If you control no other monsters: You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 2 "Time Thief" monsters with different names from your Deck in Defense Position, except "Time Thief Regulator". When an Xyz Monster you control is destroyed by battle, while this card is in your GY: You can Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use each effect of "Time Thief Regulator" once per turn.

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Cyber Dragon Infinity

Market Price: $1.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/210267_200w.jpg

3 Level 6 LIGHT Machine monsters

Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Cyber Dragon Infinity" by using "Cyber Dragon Nova" you control as material. (Transfer its materials to this card.) Gains 200 ATK for each material attached to it. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up Attack Position monster on the field; attach it to this card as material. Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it.

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Time Thief Redoer

Market Price: $0.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235816_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can attach the top card of your opponent's Deck to this card as material. (Quick Effect): You can detach up to 3 different types of materials from this card, then apply the following effect(s) depending on what was detached. • Monster: Banish this card until the End Phase. • Spell: Draw 1 card. • Trap: Place 1 face-up card your opponent controls on the top of the Deck. You can only use this effect of "Time Thief Redoer" once per turn.

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Time Thief Flyback

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220718_200w.jpg

Target 1 "Time Thief" Xyz Monster you control; attach 1 "Time Thief" card from your hand or Deck to it as material. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "Time Thief" Xyz Monster you control; attach 1 card from your opponent's GY to it as material. You can only use 1 "Time Thief Flyback" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots

Market Price: $0.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177670_200w.jpg

If you control a "The Phantom Knights" monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots" once per turn this way. You can banish this card from your GY; add 1 "Phantom Knights" Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots" once per turn.

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Abyss Dweller

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199567_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

While this card has an Xyz Material attached that was originally WATER, all WATER monsters you control gain 500 ATK. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; any card effects that activate in your opponent's Graveyard cannot be activated this turn.

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Photon Thrasher

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177322_200w.jpg

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) while you control no monsters. Cannot attack if you control another monster.

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Quick Launch

Market Price: $1.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196834_200w.jpg

Special Summon 1 "Rokket" monster from your Deck, but it cannot attack, also destroy it during the End Phase.

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Knightmare Unicorn

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/228687_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.

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Time Thief Startup

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207944_200w.jpg

Special Summon 1 "Time Thief" monster from your hand. During your Main Phase: You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "Time Thief" Xyz Monster you control; attach 3 "Time Thief" cards of different types (1 Monster, 1 Spell, and 1 Trap) from your GY to that monster as material. You can only use 1 "Time Thief Startup" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Reinforcement of the Army

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95861_200w.jpg

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

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Goblindbergh

Market Price: $0.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/108820_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower monster from your hand, then change this card to Defense Position.

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Time Thief Perpetua

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207978_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

During the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 "Time Thief" monster in your GY, except "Time Thief Perpetua"; Special Summon that monster. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other Xyz Monster you control; attach 1 "Time Thief" card from your Deck to it as material. You can only use each effect of "Time Thief Perpetua" once per turn.

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Borreload Savage Dragon

Market Price: $16.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220693_200w.jpg

1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

If this card is Synchro Summoned: You can equip 1 Link Monster from your GY to this card, and if you do, place Borrel Counters on this card equal to that Link Monster's Link Rating. This card gains ATK equal to half the ATK of the monster equipped to it by its effect. When your opponent activates a card or effect (Quick Effect): You can remove 1 Borrel Counter from this card; negate the activation. You can only use this effect of "Borreload Savage Dragon" once per turn.

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Raidraptor - Force Strix

Market Price: $6.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/224644_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

Gains 500 ATK/DEF for each Winged Beast monster you control, except this card. Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card; add 1 Level 4 DARK Winged Beast monster from your Deck to your hand.

Official Tournament Stores must review their Konami OTS agreement before selling this product.

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Rank-Up-Magic Soul Shave Force

Market Price: $10.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111878_200w.jpg

Pay half your LP, then target 1 "Raidraptor" Xyz Monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it, then Special Summon from your Extra Deck, 1 monster that is 2 Ranks higher than that monster, by using it as the Xyz Material. (This Special Summon is treated as an Xyz Summon.)

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Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius

Market Price: $0.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226157_200w.jpg

If you control a DARK monster: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, also you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except DARK monsters. If you control an Xyz Monster with a DARK Xyz Monster as material: You can target 1 Level 4 or lower "Raidraptor" monster in your GY; Special Summon it, but its effects are negated. You can only use each effect of "Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius" once per turn.

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Xyz Slidolphin

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220737_200w.jpg

If an Xyz Monster is Special Summoned to your field (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card from your hand. If an Xyz Monster(s) is Special Summoned to your field while this card is in your GY, except the turn this card was sent to your GY (and except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 of those Xyz Monsters; attach this card to it as material. You can only use each effect of "Xyz Slidolphin" once per turn.

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Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon

Market Price: $0.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221687_200w.jpg

2 Level 6 monsters

Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck; change it to face-down Defense Position. If this face-up card in its owner's control is sent to your Graveyard or banished by your opponent's card effect: You can Special Summon this card in face-down Defense Position. If this card is flipped face-up: Send 1 card on the field to the Graveyard.

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Time Thief Double Barrel

Market Price: $2.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235722_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

When your opponent activates a card or effect (Quick Effect): You can detach up to 3 different types of materials from this card, then apply the following effect(s) depending on what was detached.
• Monster: This card gains 400 ATK.
• Spell: Take control of 1 face-up monster your opponent controls until the End Phase, but it cannot declare an attack or activate its effects this turn.
• Trap: Negate the effects of 1 Effect Monster on the field until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Time Thief Double Barrel" once per turn.

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The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak

Market Price: $0.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177669_200w.jpg

If this card is in Attack Position: You can target 1 DARK monster on the field; change this card to Defense Position, and if you do, that monster gains 800 ATK/DEF until the end of your opponent's turn. You can banish this card from your GY; add 1 "The Phantom Knights" card from your Deck to your hand, except "The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak". You can only use each effect of "The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak" once per turn.

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Time Thief Adjuster

Market Price: $6.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235720_200w.jpg

If you Normal or Special Summon a "Time Thief" monster(s), except "Time Thief Adjuster" (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can send 1 "Time Thief" card from your Deck to the GY, except "Time Thief Adjuster". You can only use 1 "Time Thief Adjuster" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Gold Gadget

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/186933_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 Machine monster from your hand. If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 "Gadget" monster from your Deck, except "Gold Gadget". You can only use 1 "Gold Gadget" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Time Thief Winder

Market Price: $0.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184189_200w.jpg

You can detach 1 material from an Xyz Monster you control; Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Time Thief" card from your Deck to your hand, except "Time Thief Winder". You can only use each effect of "Time Thief Winder" once per turn.

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Time Thief Bezel Ship

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184190_200w.jpg

(Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card, then target 1 "Time Thief" Xyz Monster you control; attach 1 card from your opponent's GY to that monster as material. If this card is in the GY: You can detach 1 material from an Xyz Monster you control; Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use each effect of "Time Thief Bezel Ship" once per turn.

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Silver Gadget

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196920_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 Machine monster from your hand. If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 "Gadget" monster from your Deck, except "Silver Gadget". You can only use 1 "Silver Gadget" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Knightmare Phoenix

Market Price: $0.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/228688_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; destroy it, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Phoenix" once per turn. Co-linked monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle.

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Raidraptor - Wise Strix

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/210213_200w.jpg

2 DARK Winged Beast monsters

If this card is Link Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 DARK Winged Beast monster from your Deck in Defense Position, but negate its effects, also it cannot be used as Link Material. If your "Raidraptor" Xyz Monster's effect is activated: Set 1 "Rank-Up-Magic" Spell directly from your Deck, and if it is a Quick-Play Spell, it can be activated this turn. You can only use each effect of "Raidraptor - Wise Strix" once per turn.

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Rokket Tracer

Market Price: $4.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196807_200w.jpg

(Quick Effect): You can target 1 face-up card you control; destroy it, and if you do, Special Summon 1 "Rokket" monster from your Deck, except "Rokket Tracer", also you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except DARK monsters. You can only use this effect of "Rokket Tracer" once per turn.

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Raider's Wing

Market Price: $5.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226153_200w.jpg

(This card is always treated as a "The Phantom Knights" and "Raidraptor" card.)

If this card is in your hand or GY: You can detach 1 material from your DARK Xyz Monster; Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of "Raider's Wing" once per turn. An Xyz Monster whose original Attribute is DARK and has this card as material gains this effect.
• Your opponent cannot target this card with card effects.

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I:P Masquerena

Market Price: $17.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/200855_200w.jpg

2 non-Link Monsters

During your opponent's Main Phase, you can (Quick Effect): Immediately after this effect resolves, Link Summon 1 Link Monster using materials you control, including this card. You can only use this effect of "I:P Masquerena" once per turn. A Link Monster that used this card as material cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects.

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Phantom Knights' Fog Blade

Market Price: $2.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235745_200w.jpg

Activate this card by targeting 1 Effect Monster on the field; negate that face-up monster's effects, that face-up monster cannot attack, also monsters cannot target that face-up monster for attacks. When it leaves the field, destroy this card. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "The Phantom Knights" monster in your GY; Special Summon it, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of "Phantom Knights' Fog Blade" once per turn.

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The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine

Market Price: $3.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/224659_200w.jpg

Special Summon this card in Defense Position as a Normal Monster (Warrior/DARK/Level 4/ATK 0/DEF 300). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap.) If you have no Traps in your GY, you can activate this card the turn it was Set. You can only activate 1 "The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine" per turn.


Official Tournament Stores must review their Konami OTS agreement before selling this product.

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Time Thief Retrograde

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235825_200w.jpg

When a Spell/Trap Card is activated while you control a "Time Thief" Xyz Monster: Negate the activation, and if you do, attach that card to a "Time Thief" Xyz Monster you control as material. You can only activate 1 "Time Thief Retrograde" per turn.

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Abyss Actor - Curtain Raiser

Market Price: $1.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/136801_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect : If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone. You can only use this effect of "Abyss Actor - Curtain Raiser" once per Duel.

Monster Effect : Gains 1100 ATK if you control no other monsters. Once per turn: You can send 1 "Abyss Script" Spell from your Deck to the GY; add 1 face-up "Abyss Actor" Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck to your hand.

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Tornado Dragon

Market Price: $1.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199571_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy it.

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The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche

Market Price: $0.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227462_200w.jpg

2+ DARK monsters

During your Main Phase: You can send 1 "The Phantom Knights" monster from your Deck to the GY, then Set 1 "Phantom Knights" Spell/Trap directly from your Deck to your Spell & Trap Zone. If a DARK Xyz Monster(s) is Special Summoned to a zone(s) this card points to, while this monster is on the field (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it. You can only use each effect of "The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche" once per turn. Cannot be used as Link Material.

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I remember when I "discovered" this combo: I thought it was some super-secret untapped goodness. But no, turns out it's not revolutionary. With the return of The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche and the new Raidraptor cards in Phantom Rage, well… we've seen a billion different combos splinter off. For now, just consider a single Time Thief Regulator and see how Raidraptors and Phantom Knights help the Time Thiefs.

During your opponent's turn, Time Thief Perpetua revives Time Thief Redoer, then Time Thief Perpetua other effect attaches a second Time Thief Retrograde to Time Thief Redoer, unlocking Time Thief Redoer best ability. You'll have the following counters, all stemming from a single Time Thief Regulator

That… covers just about everything, but I understand that isn't always the perfect set of counters to your opponents' plays. That's why Abyss Dweller, Borreload Savage Dragon, Tornado Dragon, and Time Thief Double Barrel are in the deck too, alternate options that work with a bit of tweaking. It covers virtually everything you could face.

I'll admit - Exodia beats that field, but we can't all be perfect.

Everyone Is Here

It's not uncommon to splash a few cards from an ancillary theme, but I feel like this deck goes the extra mile. As I claimed before, it's like Quickdraw Dandywarrior but on steroids.

There are a lot of "free" Level 4 Special Summons added here. It doesn't really matter which one you draw as long as you see a variety of them, so… why not play all of them, at least in small doses? It sounds a lot better than throwing in three Tin Goldfish and calling it a day; you have enough less-than-perfect cards that you need variety in your Level 4 spam.

But it's not all "spam Level 4s," certain monsters are required for your combo. Sure, there are plenty of ways to make Rank 4 Xyz, but let's go back over some of the more important faces. Raidraptor - Singing Lanius isn't awful or anything, but there isn't a good way to get around that. The ratios of Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius and Raider's Wing have a bit of flexibility, but they don't sub out well for Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite.

The same thing goes for The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak and The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots. You don't have much room beyond the single copies of each, but there aren't any good substitutions.

Heck, I don't even think there's enough room for every Time Thief card here. Time Thief Chronocorder is probably the saddest omission. With Time Thief Adjuster ability to send Time Thief monsters to the graveyard, its playability goes up by about 100%, but I omitted it here for space.

In short, you need alot of "fluff," but your fluff needs to be equal parts rigid and diverse.

The Fluff's Justified

The biggest problem with multi-step combo decks that produce uncharacteristically niche end boards is the superfluous fluff, often comically dubbed "the Gem Knight Garnet of the deck." The modern example is Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon; most strategies summon it with Predaplant Verte Anaconda, which means you have to run Red-Eyes Fusion, Dark Magician, and Red-Eyes Black Dragon.

Even with the most generous lens, there seems to be tons of "cards you don't want to draw," if that's a category. In an ideal world, you'd just draw Time Thief Regulator and some extenders, rather than cards you'll search later in the combo. Drawing The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak can be quite frustrating.

So how can I justify playing all these cards? The copout answer is that the end result is worth it, but I bet you've heard that for just about every strategy that exists. Personally I'm ok with all of these searchable cards that might seem like bricks for two reasons. One, they often work as combo pieces along the way and have uses; and two, adding a few more bricks makes this deck more consistent overall.

I know that sounds weird, but surely you've played a deck where drawing a card you wanted to search cuts into your whole combo, right? In this case, you can add more of those bricks and still make a good ending board.

Take Phantom Knights' Fog Blade and The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine Drawing one might seem bad since you'd rather search them, but seeing one prematurely simply means you can now end the combo with two copies.

The same thing goes for the Raidraptors. Sure, I'd rather not draw any of them, but to do the full combo you'll need to search two with Raidraptor - Force Strix and field one with Raidraptor - Wise Strix. By running one more copy, drawing one won't completely mutilate your combo, and if you do draw one… well, it's something you can Special Summon if something goes awry.

I will say if you find yourself drawing too many "free Level 4 Special Summons," tweak your ratios to something you're more comfortable with. Just remember not to sacrifice anything that's vital to your combos.

No, We're Not Playing Dragoon

So in a deck that ends by vomiting everything onto the board, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon seems like a logical conclusion. But I like throwing something at the opponent they won't see coming, and I can't advocate for the expensive Predaplant Verte Anaconda and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon in every deck when they aren't necessary.

After all, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon isn't the focal point of the deck. There are so many built-in counters you can spring on your opponent, does squeezing three more cards into your Main Deck really make sense?

I'm tired enough of drawing Raider's Wing. Granted, I tailored the deck so drawing those combo cards won't hurt as much, so drawing a Winged-Beast out of sequence just means rearranging your combo. Drawing a Dark Magician is the same as drawing an actual rock in a card sleeve.

I don't want to call things like Cyber Dragon Infinity and Phantom Knights' Fog Blade backup plans, but doesn't that just drive home the point? Typically when my opponent shuts down my ultimate combo, my response has been, "Oh no… guess I'll make Borreload Savage Dragon and Time Thief Redoer." It's not exactly rough beats.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.