First and foremost, let me clarify the difference between Normal andnon-Effect monsters since that distinction's pivotal to Tenyi's existence

Normal Monsters are yellow-bordered cards that come from the Main Deck and have flavor text, but they're just one kind of non-effect monsters. The term "non-effect monster" encompass every monster that doesn't have an effect… so Fusions without effects, Normal Monsters, Tokens… it's a much wider net than the yellow-bordered cards alone.

Some cards are worded so that they only affect or interact with NormalMonsters, while others assist the larger nomenclature of all non-effect monsters. It all comes down to the particular wording on a case by case basis, and I'm thankful that the Tenyi monsters work with allnon-effect monsters, not just Normal Monsters. Since Monk of the Tenyi isby definition a non-effect monster and not a Normal Monster proper, the Tenyi Main Deck monsters would have a yard time hitting the field if they only worked with Normals…

For what it's worth, Tenyi cards are all very simple and straight-forward -and I mean that as a compliment. The Main Deck Teny is come down from the hand for free, provided you have no effect monsters in play, and they supplement that with a banish-from-the-graveyard effect.

Neat right?

Similar to Crusadias, your access to the Main Deck Tenyi Spirits makes or breaks the deck - meaning you're all but required to run three copies of each. Take a look at the deck below to see what I mean.

DECKID=109971 Because their summoning requirements are so easy to fulfill, you could splash Tenyi Spirits - and by extension a few Tenyi Links - into a bevy of different strategies. After some play testing I clearly went for a monster heavy version that keeps everything simple with some hand traps and revival spells.

If you want to supplement your Tenyis with World Chalice or Red-Eyes B.Dragon or anything else that centers around Normal Monsters, I say go for it; the strategy's that versatile.

More Link 4? For Sure!
Of the five Tenyi Spirit monsters it's hard to say which is best becausethey each provide unique advantages. Tenyi Spirit - Shthana, Tenyi Spirit -Mapura, and Tenri Spirit - Nahata all help you field non-effect monsters, while Tenyi Spirit - Vishuda and Tenyi Spirit - Adhara are more aggressive.

For the most basic combo, any two Tenyi Spirit monsters will do. Thanks toVessel for the Dragon Cycle, you'll have access to whichever Tenyi Spirits you'll need for any given situation. Going second, Tenyi Spirit - Vishuda'sability to get rid of problematic cards on the field is an obvious go-to,but sending one to the graveyard in addition to searching for another Tenyi Spirit gives you more flexibility.

With a clear field, just Special Summon any Tenyi Spirit from your hand andLink it into Monk of the Tenyi. Follow that up with Shaman of the Tenyi to field even more monsters, netting you another Tenyi Spirit and probablyanother Monk of the Tenyi in the process. From there the versatility of the Tenyi Spirits fin the graveyard comes into play.

And while that's all fine and dandy, the real draw of Tenyi decks is the easy access to Mare Mare. While it's one of the more frustratingly complicated monsters to play since you need another Wyrm to put in all the work, the benefits are quite clearly stacked in your favor. The ability todrop three Tokens onto the table means more fodder for more Link Summons, and suddenly powerhouses like Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax and Apollousa,Bow of the Goddess are easy to summon.

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Yes, you need to go through smaller monsters like LANphorhynchus, LinkSpider, or Linkuriboh when you're talking about Mare Mare in a vacuum, but in terms of first turn monsters big bosses like Avramax and Apollousa can be really tough to get over. As a digression I don't think Synchros are the most consistent choice here, I this build doesn't try to capitalize on thefact that Mare Mare's a Tuner.

And another digression: if you really want to go down a totally random path consider playing Rescue Rabbit. Since Tenyi Spirit – Adhara's a Tuner, it'll open the door for Synchros like Naturia Beast and Xyz threats like Evolzaur Laggia. Just a thought.

Exhausting Everything?
The biggest weakness Tenyi have is simple: card economy. Tit for tat, Tenyis and Tenyi Spirits don't give you the best return on your investments in terms of sheer numbers, and there aren't many good options for draw power either. For that reason I omitted Fists of the Unrivaled Tenyi - it's a swell card to draw in addition to your combo pieces, but it has specific requirements and it doesn't really help you get to where you need to go onits own.

Because of that, it's necessary to play hand traps and counters to hand traps. Effect Veiler, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, Called by the Grave…those are specifically used here to level the playing field. If you can't get ahead by drawing a million cards, maintaining the status quo will have to do. When you go first, Flawless Perfection of the Tenyi will come in ironically handy giving you two extra cards so you'll hopefully draw into hand traps.

In terms of cards that I never thought would be beneficial in Tenyi, Icircled back to Genex Undine after a lot of consideration. Yes, of the billon cards you could use the Normal Summon on, I found Genex Undine topull a lot of weight. Why? The first reason's simple - placing Mare Mareinto the graveyard and putting another body on board is really good, even if it's nothing special.

With Crystron Rosenix in the mix Genex Undine turns into a one cardBerserker of the Tenyi. You Normal Summon Genex Undine, yard and banishCrystron Rosenix and then use its Token to bring out Link Spider. From there you Link into Berserker of the Tenyi, opening the window for all Tenyi Spirits in the graveyard.

You don't have to go that route - instead of making Berserker ofthe Tenyi you could summon LANphorhynchus next to your Genex Controller.Now you'll have two non-Effect monsters on the field for the price of one, and you're free to summon Tenyi Spirits from the hand. That range can be important depending on what you're up against.

Despite the strengths of Genex Undine it's certainly not the only option for Tenyis. I know I keep harping on Rescue Rabbit, but there areplenty of Normal Summons that pull their weight in support of this theme. Are all of them made equally? No, but what you choose really depends on your end goal. I opted for a strategy devoid of Synchros so I could focus on Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess and Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax,but there's no "right" answer to the Tenyi question, at least for the time being.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, hoping one day to run in5th Congressional District on the platform of "Fabled Link Monsters forEveryone." You can find him onTwitteror building a bonfire in his backyard to attract the local wildlife for an audience with his ukulele. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 56 seconds, Loukas is always looking at expanding his backyard to house every dog in the world without a home.Well, and those with homes already.