The day I've been waiting for has finally come. Primal Origin churned out fresh support for older decks, as well as establishing new archetypes like Artifacts. I'm excited to see the impact this set'll have. Just think of all the mash-ups I can make! That said, everything pales in comparison to my new favorite card: Pilica, Descendant of Gusto. Ever since Pilica was confirmed for our TCG version of PRIO, I've been building decks like crazy and squeezing in my favorite Gusto monster. I don't think I've been this excited about a card since… yeah, since ever.

"The Pilica Chronicles" will feature my newest and best builds of Pilica Gusto decks, and I won't say how many creations I have waiting to test out. On Sneak Preview day, the only card I had in mind of getting was Pilica, and within minutes I had an entire playset. You know I'm going to put these to good use.

Be afraid.

DECKID= 100343The last time I wrote about Gustos, Zombies were in the mix. I had to endure about 500 jokes about "Dead Birds," and all I could think of was the unsatisfying 2004 movie that I will never speak of again starting… now. This time, instead of pairing my feathered friends with the undead, I found a more interesting pairing: Dragunity!

Soul Charge Is At 3 And Dragon Ravine Is At 0
That joke worked a lot better when T. G. Striker was Limited while you could play threee Spellbook of Judgment in any deck and I could compare those two. Some of my best comedy's been ruined by the Forbidden and Limited List. I can no longer ask the joke, "What does a Chain Burn player call Heavy Storm?"

I'm so mad, I won't even tell you the punchline.

Ignoring the Dragon Ruler Dragunity deck, purer Dragunity strategies typically revolve around Dragunity Dux, the versatile Winged-Beast that can singlehandedly make a plethora of monsters and a variety of ending fields off long strings of combos. In Doug's Ravine-free Dragunity, he mentioned other combos with Dragunity Tribus and Dragunity Arma Mystletainn, but the backbone of the deck was always Dux. Once you ran out of Dux, you ran out of your best plays, and the game got pretty hard to win. Adding Pilica is kind of like adding more copies of Dux.

It seemed like cheating, almost, having so many Dux-like cards at my disposal. I knew this would extend the life of my duels, but I feared the deck would still be too inconsistent without Ravine. Let me reiterate: Pilica's no substitute for Dragon Ravine, even with Emergency Teleport. Dragunity Gusto builds with Gusto Griffin, Windaar, Sage of Gusto and Caam, Serenity of Gusto have been around for awhile, but they all fell totally flat once Ravine was Forbidden, especially when you only had three Dux. Wasting a Dux just to Summon a Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg wouldn't always cut it. Making inconvenient plays to justify situational cards like Griffin without the consistency of Ravine is rarely going to work out.

But can we talk about Pilica for like, forever? Whenever Pilica's Normal or Special Summoned, you can bring out any Wind Tuner from your graveyard, including but not limited to: Dragunity Phalanx, Dragunity Darkspear, Cockadoodledoo, Gusto Gulldos and Quickdraw Synchron. By using Pilica, you open up the door for other plays and can reserve Dragunity Dux for the more standard moves; you not longer have to rely on it for absolutely everything. Pilica can go into Daigusto Sphreez and Daigusto Gulldos, both powerful additions to the deck that allow for versatility.

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Sphreez lets you reuse your Pilica or Griffin by returning any Gusto monster to the hand, and Gulldos is spot removal that recycles your Gustos by sending them to the deck instead. Sphreez is made with a Darkspear, and Gulldos is made with the popular Phalanx. Because of Emergency Teleport, you can Special Summon your Pilica straight from the deck and still use your Normal Summon for Dragunity Dux.

Consider this example that takes only two cards, provided you have both Dragunity Phalanx and Dragunity Darkspear in the graveyard. Special Summon Pilica with Emergency Teleport; Summon Darkspear and get your Pilica back from your yard. Since you can only use Pilica's effect once per turn, Normal Summon Dragunity Dux, revive Phalanx and make Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg. Use its "once per turn" effect to add Gusto Griffin from your deck to your hand… but then pitch it to abuse Griffin's effect to Special Summon a Windaar, Sage of Gusto. Using only two cards in your hand, you just made three Level 6 monsters and have Pilica back in your hand to use it again next turn.

You can actually do this combo with Dux, believe it or not. Since Crane Crane's a Winged-Beast, you can substitute Crane Crane for the Dux and Phalanx part of the combo and finish with the exact same field, and really, who doesn't want more Dux? If your Gae Dearg survives a turn, you can use its effect a second time to pitch another Griffin and Speical Summon a Caam. Caam recycles your Griffins, Windaars and Pilicas to keep the party going.

Teach Me How To Dragunity Dougie
I like Dragunity because one card investments can net you a ton of field presence and damage. A single Dragunity Dux can end with either a Constellar Ptolemy M7 or any Level 8 Synchro, but once you start throwing in cards like Dragunity Arma Mystletainn, Garuda the Wind Spirit and the previously mentioned Pilica, the ending results span across the Extra Deck. Speaking of the Extra Deck, it was incredibly hard deciding what fifteen cards to fit. I had to omit a lot of cards that I felt guilty excluding.

Speaking of crazy combos, consider this example. First use Dux to Special Summon into Dragunity Knight - Vajrayana and Summon Phalanx, but only to Special Summon Dragunity Arma Mystletainn… and then bring back Phalanx. Dragunity Phalanx is so great because you can keep using its effect to Special Summon itself whenever it's equipped to Dux, Vajrayana or Mystletainn.

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Continue by Special Summoning Garuda the Wind Spirit by banishing Dux from your graveyard and Synchro Summon Gae Dearg, then use its effect to yard a Gusto Griffin and Summon a Windaar. Congratulations: your three card combo can smack your opponent for 8400 damage. If that doesn't end the duel, then stack your monsters for Constellar Ptolemy M7 and Photon Strike Bounzer. Ptolemy M7 can remove any threat or recycle any monster from your graveyard for next turn, and Strike Bounzer can effectively stop your opponent from using a monster ability unless they want to take another 1000 points of damage.

Keep in mind that thanks to all your niche cards, you don't need some ideal opening to make a string of plays. For example, Phalanx and Mystletainn is an easy Level 8 Synchro. Garuda and Phalanx finishes with either a Level 8 Synchro, two Level 6 monsters, or even a Rank 6 Xyz. Speaking of Garuda, I'm in the minority for using the Winged Beast over Instant Fusion and the Level 4 Mavelus. Why? This deck already has one of the tightest Extra Decks I've ever played and it's terribly prone to Maxx "C." The only downside to Garuda is banishing a monster from your graveyard, so hopefully you have something besides Tuners to get rid of. Garuda can actually attack, too, so worst case scenario you could deal 1600 damage to your opponent instead of paying 1000 with Instant Fusion.

Don't worry, this isn't the end for Pilica! I'll be back soon with another Gusto deck, which is already in the works. In the meantime, be sure to abuse Crane Crane, Dux and Pilica with your hoard of Special Summons.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson