Sometimes you get an idea in your head, and you just have to go for it.

Have you ever been to a buffet line so suspicious, yet so appetizing that everything on the menu simply looks wonderful all at once? You'll be saying to yourself "Gee, shrimp tacos sound good, but should I really eat them right after this chocolate parfait and spicy curry?" And off course you should. It may be suspect, and you may regret the aftermath, but having all your favorite foods at fork's length will have you smiling during the meal.

For this week's Under the Radar I did exactly that, but with shiny cardboard.

DECKID=99583Yes, the deck seems awkward, and I'll be the first one to admit that every turn you play is different. Piloting this strategy is like living a life in the day of yours truly: no two days are the same, and certainly no day is ever normal. For example, yesterday I was teaching some farm goats how to do tricks like "sit" and "stay" while today I found a freshman from Ecuador in my apartment asking where the library was. I also just got an e-mail from my English professor advising us to bring a poncho to class, and I do not know why.

The Gadget Train Runs On Whole Grain
The Gadgets were one of the earliest families of cards that provided a steady stream of +1's straight from your deck. Many decks nowadays get themed searchers like Spellbook Magician of Prophecy and Elemental Hero Stratos, but Gadgets are the oldest. At one point in time, the Gadgets were actually all Semi-Limited. When you Normal or Special Summon one Gadget, you get another from your deck, which wouldn't be novel unless they came full circle for an infinite stream of Gadgets – which they do! Red Gadget searches Yellow Gadget, which searches Green Gadget, which searches – you guessed it – Red Gadget. If you have trouble remembering the order, just picture a stoplight from top to bottom or the color evolution of tomato sauce when left out on the counter.

Gone are the days you could play Fifth Gadget, a deck that ran 45 cards and nine Gadgets which was named for the ratios at work: it was literally "one fifth Gadget." Each turn, you'd Summon a Gadget and search another; activate a removal spell like Fissure; attack, and set a back row card to end your turn. The goal was to keep building a stream of free Gadgets as +1's, while making 1-for-1 trades to eliminate opposing monsters: that way you kept simplifying to keep your card advantage relevant, and you kept wiping the field to allow direct attacks with your under-powered monsters. You might've run a few spells that weren't immediate removal but would inherently help you clear away monsters cluttering your opponentantagee of the field, too. In this new build, Forbidden Dress, Forbidden Lance and Shrink all give your Gadgets a helping hand in battle, and we'll discuss them a bit more later on.

The slow 1-for-1 grind game isn't as powerful these days, but it still has some merit. Since the Xyz mechanic was introduced, Gadgets have adopted the role of a Rank 4 toolbox deck, but I only included Tin Goldfish to play to that purpose here: I omitted cards like Kagetokage and Chain Summoning. The mechanical koi fish is a Double Summon on legs, and gives you immediate access to a slew of Rank 4's from your Extra Deck instead of trudging alone with just one monster per turn. If it's the first turn of the duel you can make a conservative play with Gear Gigant X and snag another Tin Goldfish from your deck, or you can annihilate the field with the new and powerful Evilswarm Exciton Knight.

The heavenly Horn traps have always been good in concept, but Horn of Heaven and Black Horn of Heaven have usually fallen to the wayside when it comes to competitive play. At the 2011 WCQ, I was a single Mystical Space Typhoon away from getting Top 64 with a Horn of Heaven Gadget deck, and I know exactly how the Archfiend player that went X-2 at YCS Atalanta 2014 probably feels right now. That being said, Horn of Heaven's powerful in theory, but can only be used in Gadgets or another deck that has sufficient Tribute fodder. On the other hand, Black Horn of Heaven saw a big spike in popularity at YCS Atlanta.

Black Horn of Heaven only stops inherent Special Summons, so it's a 1-for-1 against cards like Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning or Cyber Dragon. Its real power shows through when your one card shuts down a big opposing monster that took a lot of investment. Typically, Synchros and Xyz take multiple cards to make, but with Black Horn of Heaven you can play with the Gadget mentality and outmaneuver your opponent with a slick 2-for-1. Horn of Heaven doesnad usually get you card advantage because of its activation cost, but the option to stop a Normal Summon or a Special Summon can be just as good when you have a stream of Gadgets ready for next turn. Your Gadget Tribute will be painless for you because you have another one in hand and ready to go.

DNA Surgery's another popular Side Deck card at the moment because it denies access to a lot of powerful plays for some of the most popular decks. Bujins, Spellbooks and Geargia all rely on specific monster types on the field for stuff like Bujingi Crane, Spellbook of Fate, and Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei", and DNA Surgery cuts them all off. Gadgets aren't hurt by it at all, since their Machine type doesn't matter unless you're trying to Summon Gear Gigant X. But if you give up that monster and change everything on field to Dinosaur, your Gadgets can make the biggest change in evolution known to mankind and transform into Evolzar Laggia and Dollka – two of the most hated Xyz in the history of the game.

Apparently Jurrac Guaiba Has Hands
Turning your Gadgets into Evolzars with DNA Surgery's cute, but even maxing out on Pot of Duality, Reckless Greed and Upstart Goblin wasn't enough to let me see Surgery consistently in the early in the game. Since I wanted to ensure that Evolzar Laggia and Dolkka would hit the field, I turned my attention to Jurracs, a terribly underplayed group of monsters.

Jurrac Guiaba's probably the only Jurrac the average duelist can name off the top of their head. This Level 4 Dinosaur was played in the infamous Dino Rabbit deck because like Rescue Rabbit, Guiaba could often become Evolzar Laggia or Dolkka without any extra card investment. All you have to do is run over a monster in battle and you get to pull another Jurrac from your deck, straight to your field. That effect triggers even if your Guaiba dies in battle, but with the onslaught of spells like Shrink, Forbidden Dress and Forbidden Lance, Guaiba will often be big enough to take on something as big as the formidable Star Eater.

Jurrac Velo and Jurrac Aeolo act as support for Guaiba. When it's destroyed in battle, Velo nets you a Jurrac from your deck, and you can Tribute Aeolo with its effect to resurrect a fallen Jurrac from your graveyard. I added Fossil Dig to get you to your Guaibas faster and more consistently, but just Summoning Guaiba won't get you very far. Sure, you could destroy something with Guaiba in battle and finish with a single Xyz Monster, but I've turned the crazy up a notch by playing Rekindling as well.

If you got your hopes up that all the Jurracs had 200 DEF and would thus work with Rekindling, I'm sorry to disappoint you and I feel your pain. I mean, I get disappointed every time I remember that Summoner Monk can't bring out Rescue Rabbit from the deck. Ask Doug Zeeff, cuz that happens roughly twice per week. Jurrac Aeolo's the only target for Rekindling, but don't forget Aeolo's ability. When you Summon two Aeolo with Rekindling, just Tribute them to revive other Jurracs and you'll have instant fodder for almost any Xyz you could want.

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One Evolzar per turn was so 2012. With Rekindling, you can now make plays that unleash multiple Dragons of negation at once. Start out with a Jurrac Velo on your turn and let your opponent continue on their merry way, destroying your one Velo and possibly a second copy from your deck to get an Aeolo. During you turn, Tribute your Aeolo to bring back a Velo and bite the bullet as you suicide all your remaining Velos against an opposing monster and bring out Guiba. At this point, all you have is three Velos and an Aeolo in the graveyard while your opponent has a solid field. If you have Shrink, Dress or Lance, you can now use your Guaiba to run over almost any monster in your way and bring back your second Aeolo.

During your Main Phase 2, Tribute your Aeolo for a Velo and stack both your Guaiba and Velo for an Evolzar. If you have Rekindling, then you have the recipe for another Xyz right there. I'll run Rekindling in any deck that can play it, especially when it can net me double Evolzar Laggia in one turn.

Standard Plays Are For Dweebs
As I said earlier, this deck is quite atypical. There's no strict progression of linear plays. One turn, you'll be negating two Summons with your Horns of Heaven. The next turn your Tin Goldfish will get you a Gear Gigant X and then an Evolzar. Just when you've confused your opponent completely, you'll dominate the field with Rekindling for a double Xyz Summon.

You can think of this deck as a Rank 4 Xyz toolbox if you have to label it and you're unsatisfied with "Prehistoric Horny Gadgets," but that would frankly hurt my feelings. Typically Gadget decks that don't play Machina monsters are viewed as largely defensive strategies, but when I included Jurrac Guaiba and its caravan of support here, I realized I would have to be more aggressive in most matchups. Keep that in mind if you give this deck a shot.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson
Article Aftermath #9