One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone says, "That's not how you're supposed to play this deck."
I'm always like… I'm sorry, have you come up with the mystical and ethereal best version of every deck to ever exist? How many premier event tops do you have with it? Are you the only person with good ideas?!
I'll always stand by the notion that the best version of a given strategy has yet to be created. A good example was Koty Angeloff's Gogogo Adamancipator deck from 2020's Pro-Play Tour Weekend Championship. I remember hearing people say the first version was groundbreaking and amazing. And it was. Then it went through 25 mutations to the point that Gogogos weren't much of a thing anymore, and now you play Prank-Kids?
Hanko would be proud.
Anyways, all of this comes back to Cyber Dragon. I'm not denying the theme's OTK potential, but to say "the only thing Cyber Dragon can do is OTK" really limits creative thinking!
I'm creative if nothing else, and I won't stand for anyone giving up on a strategy before we've exhausted every idea, and then some. Let's see what we can put together for a going-first Cyber Dragon deck.
Because Cyber Dragon thrive going second, no amount of wanting to go first would make me want to ignore their OTK potential. The ol' razzle dazzle's still alive in this deck, so let's discuss the two cards that let you press for lethal damage.
Chimeratech Rampage Dragonand Cyber Dragon Sieger may seem like "meh" 2100 ATK monsters with "good enough" effects, but I promise you: in tandem, the pair makes a lot of explosive damage. If you want to be exact, it's 12,600 damage in total.
When Chimeratech Rampage Dragon hits the field, you'll send two monsters from your deck to your graveyard for a second and third attack. During the Battle Phase, Cyber Dragon Sieger gives another monster a boost of 2100 ATK for the turn, so just Cyber Dragon Sieger and Chimeratech Rampage Dragon together nets you 12,600 damage.
Let's look at an easy way to do that
Tada, lethal damage! What, do you want double lethal damage? Triple?!? This ain't no charity operation.
That combo's the easiest way to win with Cyber Dragon, but throw a bunch of Cyber Dragon cards together and you'll probably get some combination of lethal damage via Chimeratech Rampage Dragon. And that brings us back to going first - what gives?
It's no secret that going first gives a tactical advantage to virtually every strategy, and a want to make the deck more robust when it's "forced" to play first, is what spiraled me down the rabbit hole of creating a going-first build. Yeah, lethal combos are great for Game 1, but it's so satisfying to pull a bit set-up out of nowhere when your opponent thinks they've screwed you over making you go first in Game 2. Here's the build.
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Loukas's Going-First Cyber Dragon Deck by Loukas Peterson
'Loukas's Going-First Cyber Dragon Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!
Created By: Loukas Peterson
Market Price: $285.08
One for One
Market Price: $1.54
Send 1 monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Level 1 monster from your hand or Deck.
Market Price: $0.11
Banish "Cyber Dragon(s)" with different Levels from your hand, face-up field, and/or GY, then destroy an equal number of cards your opponent controls. If this card on the field is destroyed by card effect: Add 1 "Cyber" Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Cybernetic Overflow" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.47
This promotional card is printed in Japanese.
Cyber Dragon Herz
Market Price: $0.50
This card's name becomes "Cyber Dragon" while on the field or in the GY. You can only use 1 of the following effects of "Cyber Dragon Herz" per turn, and only once that turn.
• If this card is Special Summoned: You can make this card's Level become 5 until the end of this turn, also, you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except Machine monsters.
• If this card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 other "Cyber Dragon" from your Deck or GY to your hand.
Market Price: $0.82
1 Normal Summoned monster with 1000 or less ATK
(Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card, then target 1 monster you control; it cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects this turn. When a Normal Summoned monster you control is destroyed by battle, while this card is in your GY: You can Special Summon this card. You can only use this effect of "Salamangreat Almiraj" once per turn.
Market Price: $4.66
When a monster(s) would be Special Summoned, OR a monster effect is activated: Pay 1500 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.
Market Price: $1.06
2 Level 5 LIGHT monsters
Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 card on the field; return that target to the hand.
Cyber Repair Plant
Market Price: $0.14
If "Cyber Dragon" is in your GY: You can activate 1 of these effects. If you have 3 or more "Cyber Dragon" in your GY at this card's activation, you can activate both effects and resolve in sequence. You can only activate 1 "Cyber Repair Plant" per turn.
• Add 1 LIGHT Machine monster from your Deck to your hand.
• Target 1 LIGHT Machine monster in your GY; shuffle that target into your Deck.
Cyber Dragon Core
Market Price: $0.15
When this card is Normal Summoned: Add 1 "Cyber" Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand. If only your opponent controls a monster: You can banish this card from your GY; Special Summon 1 "Cyber Dragon" monster from your Deck. You can only use 1 "Cyber Dragon Core" effect per turn, and only once that turn. This card's name becomes "Cyber Dragon" while on the field or in the GY.
Market Price: $2.39
Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster that lists a "Red-Eyes" monster as Material from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand, Deck, or field as Fusion Materials, and if you do, its name becomes "Red-Eyes B. Dragon". You cannot Normal or Special Summon other monsters the turn you activate this card. You can only activate 1 "Red-Eyes Fusion" per turn.
Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon
Market Price: $2.34
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by Tributing 2 monsters with 2000 or more ATK. During the Battle Step, if this card battles an opponent's monster (Quick Effect): You can target that opponent's monster; banish both this card from the field and that target. Return those banished monsters to the field at the end of the Battle Phase, and if you banished an Xyz Monster, this card gains 500 ATK for each material it had when it was banished.
Market Price: $5.02
Pay half of your Life Points. Negate the activation of a Spell Card / Trap Card / Normal Summon / Flip Summon / Special Summon and destroy the Spell Card, Trap Card, or Summoned monster.
Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
Market Price: $8.30
"Cyber Dragon" + 1+ Machine monsters
Cannot be used as a Fusion Material. Must first be Special Summoned (from your Extra Deck) by sending the above cards from either field to the GY. (You do not use "Polymerization".) The original ATK of this card becomes 1000 x the number of Fusion Materials used for its Special Summon.
Chimeratech Rampage Dragon
Market Price: $0.99
2+ "Cyber Dragon" monsters
A Fusion Summon of this card can only be done with the above Fusion Materials. When this card is Fusion Summoned: You can target Spells/Traps on the field, up to the number of Fusion Materials used for its Fusion Summon; destroy them. Once per turn: You can send up to 2 LIGHT Machine monsters from your Deck to the GY, and if you do, for each monster sent to the GY, this card gains 1 additional attack during each Battle Phase this turn.
Witch of the Black Forest
Market Price: $0.17
If this card is sent from the field to the GY: Add 1 monster with 1500 or less DEF from your Deck to your hand, but you cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with that name for the rest of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Witch of the Black Forest" once per turn.
Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon
Market Price: $4.69
1 "Cyber Dragon" monster + 1+ monsters in the Extra Monster Zone Cannot be used as Fusion Material. Must first be Special Summoned (from your Extra Deck) by sending the above cards from either field to the GY. (You do not use "Polymerization".) The original ATK of this card becomes 1200 x the number of Fusion Materials used for its Special Summon.
Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon
Market Price: $87.99
"Dark Magician" + "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" or 1 Dragon Effect Monster
Cannot be destroyed by card effects. Neither player can target this card with card effects. During your Main Phase: You can destroy 1 monster your opponent controls, and if you do, inflict damage to your opponent equal to that monster's original ATK. You can use this effect a number of times per turn up to the number of Normal Monsters used as Fusion Material for this card. Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can discard 1 card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, and if you do that, this card gains 1000 ATK.
Artemis, the Magistus Moon Maiden
Market Price: $16.36
1 Level 4 or lower Spellcaster monster
If another "Magistus" monster(s) is Normal or Special Summoned while you control this monster (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 of those monsters; equip this card you control to it. While this card is equipped to a monster: You can add 1 "Magistus" monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Artemis, the Magistus Moon Maiden" once per turn. You can only Special Summon "Artemis, the Magistus Moon Maiden" once per turn.
Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju
Market Price: $0.23
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) to your opponent's field in Attack Position, by Tributing 1 monster they control. If your opponent controls a "Kaiju" monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand) in Attack Position. You can only control 1 "Kaiju" monster. When a card or effect is activated that targets exactly 1 card (and no other cards) (Quick Effect): You can remove 3 Kaiju Counters from anywhere on the field; negate that effect, and if you do, you can destroy 1 card on the field.
Cyber Dragon Nachster
Market Price: $0.20
This card's name becomes "Cyber Dragon" while on the field or in the GY. You can discard 1 other monster; Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can target 1 Machine monster with 2100 ATK or DEF in your GY; Special Summon it, also, you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except Machine monsters. You can only use each effect of "Cyber Dragon Nachster" once per turn.
Cyber Dragon Sieger
Market Price: $1.84
2 Machine monsters, including "Cyber Dragon"
This card's name becomes "Cyber Dragon" while on the field or in the GY. During each Battle Phase, if this card has not declared an attack (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Machine monster you control with 2100 or more ATK; for the rest of this turn, that monster gains 2100 ATK/DEF, also neither player takes any battle damage from attacks involving this monster. You can only use this effect of "Cyber Dragon Sieger" once per turn.
Cyber Dragon Infinity
Market Price: $3.33
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.
Red-Eyes Black Dragon
Market Price: $1.30
A ferocious dragon with a deadly attack.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Market Price: $19.21
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.
Predaplant Verte Anaconda
Market Price: $13.83
2 Effect Monsters
You can target 1 face-up monster on the field; it becomes DARK until the end of this turn. You can pay 2000 LP and send 1 "Fusion" or "Polymerization" Normal or Quick-Play Spell from your Deck to the GY; this effect becomes that Spell's effect when that card is activated, also, you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn. You can only use each effect of "Predaplant Verte Anaconda" once per turn.
Market Price: $2.43
During your opponent's Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can send this card from your hand to the GY, then target 1 Effect Monster your opponent controls; negate the effects of that face-up monster your opponent controls, until the end of this turn.
Market Price: $0.39
Target 1 Machine monster you control with 500 or less ATK; Special Summon up to 2 monsters from your Deck with the same name as that face-up monster.
Market Price: $1.65
During either player's turn: You can discard this card to the Graveyard to target 1 card in your opponent's Graveyard; banish that target.
Cyber Dragon Nova
Market Price: $3.24
2 Level 5 Machine monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 "Cyber Dragon" in your GY; Special Summon that target. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can banish 1 "Cyber Dragon" from your hand or face-up from your Monster Zone; this card gains 2100 ATK until the end of this turn. If this card in your possession is sent to your GY by your opponent's card effect: You can Special Summon 1 Machine Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck.
Market Price: $0.25
Add 1 LIGHT Machine monster that cannot be Normal Summoned/Set, or 1 "Cyber Dragon" monster, from your Deck to your hand. If the activation of this card in its owner's possession was negated by your opponent's card effect and sent to your GY: You can discard 1 card; add this card to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Cyber Emergency" per turn.
Market Price: $21.83
You can send 1 other LIGHT monster from your hand to the GY; Special Summon this card from your hand in Defense Position. When this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Galaxy" monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Galaxy Soldier" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.16
Fusion Summon 1 DARK Machine Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing Fusion Materials listed on it from your field or GY.
Market Price: $9.90
Special Summon 1 "Cyber Dragon" from your hand or GY. It cannot be destroyed by card effects.
Galaxy-Eyes Solflare Dragon
Market Price: $1.29
2 LIGHT monsters, including a monster with 2000 or more ATK
If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 “Photon” or “Galaxy” monster in your GY; add it to your hand. During your opponent’s Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can discard 2 “Photon” and/or “Galaxy” cards, OR 1 “Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon”, then target 1 Special Summoned monster your opponent controls; destroy it. You can only use each effect of “Galaxy-Eyes Solflare Dragon” once per turn.
Market Price: $0.17
If there is a monster on your opponent's side of the field and there are no monsters on your side of the field, you can Special Summon this card from your hand.
Cyber Dragon Vier
Market Price: $0.16
This card's name becomes "Cyber Dragon" while on the field or in the GY. If you Normal or Special Summon "Cyber Dragon", except during the Damage Step: You can Special Summon this card from your hand in Defense Position. You can only use this effect of "Cyber Dragon Vier" once per turn. Each "Cyber Dragon" you control gains 500 ATK/DEF.
While True King of All Calamities may be dead and gone for (hopefully) forever, there are plenty of other ways to shut down your opponent and leave them doing virtually nothing on their opening turn. It may not be the most fun experience for your opponent, but hey, that's showbiz.
Cyber Dragon have a somewhat unique ability to function as an OTK machine while also turtling up. Cyber Dragon Sieger and Chimeratech Rampage Dragon kill you in one scenario, while Cyber Dragon Infinity pins you down in others. Might as well make one side even more ironclad.
Adding more hand traps, along with Solemn Strike and Solemn Judgment might not win you the game outright, but it adds another layer of cards your opponents won't expect from a theme that's usually built for redundancy, trying to OTK as consistently as possible. Your opponent might think they know what they're going up against here, but surprise, out pop D.D. Crow and Solemn Judgment to ruin your opponent's day.
Enough talk, let's showcase another combo, an easy one that works with Cyber Dragon Core and Machine Duplication. This play works just as well if you draw similar cards, but it's easier to discuss it if we distill it down to a 3-card combo: Cyber Dragon Herz, Cyber Dragon Core, and Machine Duplication
That all takes three cards, but keep in mind that two of them are searchable with Cyber Emergency, so the only difficult part about that combo is seeing Machine Duplication. If you don't, you can still make at least one or often two boss monsters. But Machine Duplication makes it a tad easier.
Cyber Dragon aren't really a hard deck to play, but with so many moving pieces, success is often a matter of finding the optimal time to do suboptimal things.
Take Salamangreat Almiraj for example. The card's not exactly useful its own, but it puts a Cyber Dragon in your graveyard. Not only is that good for revival effects and triggering Cyber Dragon Herz, but it makes Cyber Repair Plant live.
The nuances go alot deeper than that, too. It's not always a race to Cyber Dragon Infinity, because Cyber Dragon Nova can foster OTKs. Or if for some reason your opponent blows up Cyber Dragon Nova before you can make Cyber Dragon Infinity, you're getting a free Fusion.
Chain blocking's another important element of this strategy. If you're discarding Cyber Dragon Herz with Galaxy Soldier, you can force one effect through as long as you make it Chain Link 1. That may seem obvious if you're familiar with chain blocking, but a rogue deck like Cyber Dragon has a lot of underused cards you might not have much table time with, so you'll want to have a clearer picture of what's possible than your opponent.
Cybernetic Overflow one of my favorite surprise cards because of its effects, and specifically its wording. Not only does Cybernetic Overflow not banish as cost, it also doesn't target for destruction. And if either player destroys it, you'll get a free Cyber card from your deck - even a second copy of Cybernetic Overflow! To me, the deck's almost an extension of that card.
At the end of the day, you'll need to know what all the "secret" combos aren't. I don't mean that there's some hidden list of cards that let you win instantly, but you need to know what to do, and sometimes more importantly what not to do in certain orders. Sometimes you need to suck up a leftover Predaplant Verte Anaconda with Cyber Dragon Infinity, sometimes you need to try and trigger its effect to inadvertently buff your own Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, and so on.
Good question! I'm glad you asked.
Because I'm optimizing this build as a going-first strategy, having an established board from the get go is hugely important when you win the dice roll. That typically means having a Normal Summon. I'm not saying it has to be flashy, but you only get one per turn, so you want to use it.
Of all the fun things Cyber Dragon could do with a Normal Summon, I found it was pretty hard to beat Machine Duplication. A "Cyber Dragon" monster with Machine Duplication means you put two more Cyber Dragon on the table, which is all fine and dandy, but have you ever banked your whole life on Machine Duplication? Yes?
…How'd that turn out for you?
My point is, I really wanted to play something else that I could Normal Summon on Turn 1 that didn't require a ton of bricks in the deck; I'm already playing enough cards I don't want to draw all the time, so every 1-card combo just seemed to clog this deck more than I wanted.
Witch of the Black Forest is simple by comparison. Just Normal Summon it, Link into Artemis, the Magistus Moon Maiden, and search for a hand trap. For simplicity's sake, I added in D.D. Crow and Effect Veiler. I'll be honest - the format's confusing enough right now that I don't think any one hand trap is leaps and bounds above anything else, so if you come back to me in a week and say that Skull Meister, Droll & Lock Bird, or Nibiru the Primal Being is the best… well, go ahead. Do that.
I chose Witch of the Black Forest over Sangan, knowing fully well you can't search Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring with it. The reason is Galaxy-Eyes Solflare Dragon. Galaxy Soldier needs a Light monster to pair with, and of the eight different Light attribute Link 1 monsters that exist, Artemis, the Magistus Moon Maiden is somehow the best choice.
Galaxy Soldier a gateway card to Galaxy-Eyes Solflare Dragon, Predaplant Verte Anaconda, and Cyber Dragon Infinity, so I mean, what do you expect me to do? Normal Summon Cyber Dragon Nachster?
Every deck has a certain percentage of hands that will be unplayable. Flashing back, the most frustrating thing as a Spellbook player was not having access to Spellbook of Secrets on the first turn, and I feel much the same way about Cyber Dragon because I want to end on the best boards every time.
What I quickly realized is that Cyber Dragon not the most forgiving deck out there. Sure, Cyber Dragon Infinity and Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon are some of the most baddass "get rekt" cards out there, but they they're not always the easiest to summon.
Cyber Dragon Vier, Galaxy Soldier, Overload Fusion… these cards serve other purposes, but sometimes you're forced to play them in suboptimal ways to ensure your opening field is workable. I'm not in love with the idea of wasting an Overload Fusion for a Chimeratech Rampage Dragon to destroy a set Cybernetic Overflow just so I can yard another "Cyber Dragon" monster and search Cyber Repair Plant, but sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do.
Ultimately, that's why I'm vouching for Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. It isn't the lynchpin of the deck, but throwing it out there as an add-on is icing on the cake. And while I'll always try to summon Galaxy-Eyes Solflare Dragon or Cyber Dragon Infinity, I'll often just have two extra monsters on the field. That voice inside my head that tells me to make Predaplant Verte Anaconda hasn't steered me wrong yet.
Needless to say, Cyber Dragon Infinity, a hand trap, Solemn Strike, and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon are pretty darn hard to get over.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.