I'm all for adapting to powerful decks coupled with a fervent effort to strategize and thwart the most powerful deck of a format, but I'm drawing the line with HAT's (Hand, Artifacts and Traptrix). I'll be the first to admit this deck is scarily strong with only a few glaring weaknesses, but it's about as fun to pilot and play against as the +1 Fire Fist deck was. If you missed out on the January 2014 format of Yu-Gi-Oh, you missed a lot of "Summon one set five." I'll admit HATs isn't autopilot by any means, but it's relatively linear and hardly has any trick plays.

I've had more fun painting walls than I've had setting Ice Hands and wasting Normal Summons on Traptrix Myrmeleo.

And I know I'm not alone to fall in love with the newest (and cutest) Gusto to hit our shores. Whenever I say Pilica, Descendent of Gusto in a room full of duelists, I can expect at least 45% of them to stop what they're doing and cheer with me because the card's both adorable and fun, breathing life into an otherwise lackluster archetype. Who doesn't like an on-theme revival monster?

DECKID=100488Sorry to all the Mecha Phantom Beast fans (the eight or nine of you out there), but you'll have to wait a little bit longer for the MPB deck with Pilica. I've had a general idea of what a Junk-Doppel deck smish-smashed with Pilica will look like for as long as I can remember.

Which would be about four months if that entire statement was true.

First Is The Worst, Second Is The Best
Revving up for the 2011 World Championship Qualifier, Junk-Doppel looked to be one of the front runners for the most popular Synchro strategy of that format. Six Samurai and Gravekeeper decks were popular contenders that made a fairly balanced triangle of power contending for top dog, but Tengu Plants led the charge and pushed Junk-Doppel out of contention, much to my displeasure. I responded by playing Gadgets with three copies of Horn of Heaven in the Main Deck, but I wasn't too surprised to see T. G. Stun winning the North American Championship, narrowly beating out my friend Samuel Pedigo in the finals.

I love Junk-Doppel more than I love telling Kelly Locke to play Dragunity when he asks for decks ideas, and I've tried out a revamped version every six months or so. I've never really understood the source for my love of Junk-Doppel, but I think we all just have those decks we love "just because." The nomenclature's pretty simple, stemming from the flagship combo that partially contributed to the Limitation of T. G. Hyper Librarian and Formula Synchron. With any Level 1 Tuner in your graveyard, you start by Normal Summoning Junk Synchron and reviving your yarded Level 1 Tuner. When the Tuner's Summoned back to the field, you Special Summon Doppelwarrior from your hand and combo out from there. Synchro Summon T. G. Hyper Librarian with Junk Synchron and your Doppelwarrior and you can produce two Level 1 "Doppel Tokens" with insignificant ATK and DEF.

Tune one Doppel Token with your Level 1 Tuner to make Formula Synchron. With T. G. Hyper Librarian, you get to draw two cards and still have your monsters around for possible Synchro Summons later. If you keep your Librarian around, you can draw extra cards. With Pilica, Call Of The Haunted and Soul Charge, you can easily make your Librarian first and then heap on the Synchro Summons later in the turn.

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Effect Veiler, I'll admit, simply isn't as good as Breakthrough Skill right now, but it's a Level 1 Tuner and you can easily ditch it to the graveyard for following turns. Back when this deck was at full power, the above combo was so vital that I'd gladly throw down an Effect Veiler on anything, even something like a Sangan, just to get my graveyard ready for the following turn. And of course, worst case scenario you'll negate something like a Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear or Traptrix Myrmeleo.

I won't say whether or not I cry myself to sleep every night because Pot of Avarice is Forbidden and Formula Synchron and T. G. Hyper Librarian are at 1, but I will say there's no true replacement for these cards. Fear not though, there are different avenues you can take to guide the deck to different modes of victory. I made sure to include the most recently (and deservedly) hyped spell card, Pot of Dichotomy, but the game's really evolved beyond that singular combo. I'd suggest evolving with it to keep up with the speed of competition.

Pilica! Pilica! Pilica!
Pilica's a great fit for this deck primarily because of Quickdraw Synchron. I'll explain the Shooting Quasar Combo later, but first I'll clarify what Quickdraw Synchron can do for you, hardworking citizens. First of all, it's searchable by Tuning like Unknown Synchron and Junk Synchron, and it's a good way to make Drill Warrior, Junk Destroyer and Chevalier de Fleur. With the Level 8 Chevalier you can shut down any spell or trap during your turn, meaning you can really push your plays through and make presses for lethal damage. With Chevalier De Fluer and Wiretap, there's always a good chance you can end the duel in one turn.

Whether you Summon Pilica, Descendent of Gusto as a Normal Summon or with Emergency Teleport, you'll get its effect off with ease. Most of the time, you'll have made your starting Librarian and Formual Synchron play early in the game, and if you've combined that with at least one Quickdraw Synchron, then Pilica can work its magic instantly.

Beyond that I've taken a risky step and added a few extra components that can propel your turn to insane heights. If Emergency Teleport wasn't enough, I'm playing Gusto Griffin which Special Summons your Pilica straight from the deck when you pitch it with Quickdraw Synchron. Call me crazy, but I think it's worth it. Take this wacky combo for starters: pitch your Gusto Griffin with Quickdraw to Summon Quikdraw and Pilica from your deck. That revives a second Quickdraw from your graveyard. If you Xyz Summon with both Quickdraw Synchrons, then you can make Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh to annihilate two set cards and clear the way for a direct and uninhibited barrage. Yusei'd be rolling over in his grave.

Take into consideration Mist Valley Baby Roc as well, a card I've only ever played in Dragunities a long time ago. When you pitch Baby Roc for Quickdraw, you can Special Summon it right then and there, giving you two Tuners on the field to make plays with in combination with your Normal Summon. Revise the above statement to revive this little birdy instead of a second Quickdraw Synchron and you can first Synchro into Gusto Gulldos to remove a monster threat on field before making your Zenmaioh Summon. I know it sounds a little farfetched, but these unlikely cards fit together really well.

I know you're probably sick of hearing about Soul Charge, but Soul Charge and Call Of The Haunted bringing back Hyper Librarian is just too powerful to ignore. I mean, who doesn't want several opportunities in the duel to draw cards on cards on cards?

Why Is This Card So Expensive?
If anyone could tell me why Shooting Quasar Dragon spiked on the secondary market, I'd be thoroughly impressed. Yes, it's a lot easier to make now, but please give me one successful deck outside of Chris LeBlanc's Top 8 Regional Qualifier build that's used Shooting Quasar Dragon. No disrespect to the two-time Champion, but I highly doubt that feat will occur again in the near future. Yusei's ultimate dragon is truly a phenomenal card to which there are very few immediate outs, but hopefully the card price is spiraling further downward as I write this.


With the famous field of T. G. Hyper Librarian, Formula Synchron and a Doppel Token, you're just a Quickdraw Synchron and a Level Eater away from the Level 12 Dragon. However, that's not the only way to synthesize your mightiest Synchro, nor is it even the easiest. In fact, all you need to unleash Shooting Quasar is a three-card combo.

If you start with a Level Eater, Quickdraw Synchron and Synchron Explorer in your opening hand, I've got good news for you. First, ditch your Level Eater for Quickdraw Synchron, eat a Level off your Machine and immediately make Junk Warrior. Follow up that play with Synchron Explorer to revive Quickdraw, eat a Level from Junk Warrior and Synchro Summon Road Warrior with the other three monsters. Next use Road Warrior to Special Summon an Unknown Synchron from your deck. Just in case you need your Level 1 Tuner at a different time in the game or you opened with an Unknown Synchron in your hand, I opted to run two in this build. Your field now should be your Level 4 Junk Warrior, Level 8 Road Warrior and Unknown Synchron.

Eat a Level off your Road Warrior and Tune the insect with Unknown Synchron for Formula Synchron and draw a card, leaving you with 13 Levels on the field. Eat one more Level off Road Warrior and Tune all your monsters sans Level Eater into Shooting Quasar Dragon, and with a little luck, you'll end the duel right then and there. To do this combo successfully, you have to make laser noises like "pew pew" in the process.

If you don't think that last combo's worth it, you'll have extra space in your Main and Extra Decks to balance card ratios differently. I'm a man of testing the limits on how much crazy stuff I can cram into one deck before Jason fires me, but you may have different plans with the strategy yourself. I'm always looking forward to different ways to use Junk-Doppel in the format, and you know I'm always waiting to abuse Pilica!

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson