Hello duelists! It's the holiday season, everyone's hopefully got a little time off, and I figured I'd do some tinkering with a deck that's near and dear to my heart: Salamangreat!

If you follow me on twitter or know me personally, you know that I enjoy working on Salamangreat more than almost any other strategy. While I rarely actually play it, I love helping those that do. The last time I wrote on the deck was back when Eternity Code released, and while most of that article specifically refers to the game as it was at that time, a lot of the advice is still relevant.

I'd suggest giving it a thorough read if you're new to the deck, because we're going to be aiming a little higher with today's discussion.

Tackling The Format

When you're building a deck like this, it's important to look at the format as a whole and try to figure out how to adjust the build for the field you expect to face. With the recent release of Burst of Destiny, I felt that Salamangreat could be adapted to accommodate the Destiny Hero engine and Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer, making the deck even more powerful than before.

With that in mind, I looked at the Infinite deck archives and the Top Cut decks that have been logged there recently to see what I was up against. I'd highly recommend doing the same if you want to brush up on current trends.

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

If you look through recent events in the archives, you can see that the most common hand traps being played right now are Nibiru, the Primal Being, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and Infinite Impermanence. That's excellent news for us, since Crossout Designator allows Salamangreat to play around all three.

There isn't too much more I can say to hype this deck up, so let's just dive into the list.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Zach's D-Hero Salamangreats by Zachariah Butler

'Zach's D-Hero Salamangreats' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Zachariah Butler

Event:

Rank: 0-0

Advanced

Market Price: $505.40

Cards

Salamangreat Roar

Market Price: $1.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184777_200w.jpg

When a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect, is activated while you control a "Salamangreat" Link Monster: Negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. While this card is in the GY, if a "Salamangreat" Link Monster is Link Summoned to your field using a monster with its same name as material: You can Set this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use 1 "Salamangreat Roar" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Destiny HERO - Dasher

Market Price: $17.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/25631_200w.jpg

Once per turn, by Tributing 1 monster, this card gains 1000 ATK until the end of this turn. If this card attacks, it is changed to Defense Position at the end of the Battle Phase. While this card is in the Graveyard, one time only, when you draw a Monster Card during your Draw Phase you can show it to your opponent and Special Summon it.

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Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Market Price: $20.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199550_200w.jpg

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.

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Fusion Destiny

Market Price: $22.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/189409_200w.jpg

Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck that lists a "Destiny HERO" monster as material, using monsters from your hand or Deck as Fusion Material, but destroy it during the End Phase of the next turn, also for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, you cannot Special Summon monsters, except DARK "HERO" monsters. You can only activate 1 "Fusion Destiny" per turn.

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Abyss Dweller

Market Price: $0.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199567_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

While this card has an Xyz Material attached that was originally WATER, all WATER monsters you control gain 500 ATK. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; any card effects that activate in your opponent's Graveyard cannot be activated this turn.

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Salamangreat Heatleo

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/178002_200w.jpg

2+ FIRE Effect Monsters

If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 card in your opponent’s Spell & Trap Zone; shuffle it into the Deck. Once per turn, if this card was Link Summoned using “Salamangreat Heatleo”: You can target 1 face-up monster on the field and 1 monster in your GY; the ATK of the first target becomes the ATK of the second target until the end of this turn.

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Destiny HERO - Celestial

Market Price: $1.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/210278_200w.jpg

When this card declares an attack: You can target 1 face-up Spell your opponent controls; destroy it, and if you do, inflict 500 damage to your opponent. While you have no cards in your hand, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can banish this card and 1 "Destiny HERO" monster from your GY; draw 2 cards. You can only use this effect of "Destiny HERO - Celestial" once per turn.

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Parallel eXceed

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/213297_200w.jpg

If this card is Special Summoned by the effect of "Parallel eXceed", its Level becomes 4 and its original ATK/DEF become halved. You can only use each of the following effects of "Parallel eXceed" once per turn.

• If you Link Summon: You can Special Summon this card from your hand to your zone that Link Monster points to.
• If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 "Parallel eXceed" from your Deck.

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Update Jammer

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184152_200w.jpg

2 Level 2 or higher Cyberse monsters

Once per battle, during damage calculation, if your Cyberse monster battles (Quick Effect): You can activate this effect; negate all other card effects on the field until the end of the Damage Step, damage calculation for this battle uses each monster's original ATK/DEF, also if an opponent's monster is destroyed by this battle and sent to the GY, inflict 1000 damage to your opponent. If this card is sent to the GY as Link Material: That Link Monster can make a second attack during each Battle Phase this turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/184152/yugioh-savage-strike-update-jammer

Salamangreat Foxy

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177965_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can excavate the top 3 cards of your Deck, you can add 1 excavated “Salamangreat” card to your hand, also shuffle the rest back into your Deck. If this card is in your GY, and a face-up Spell/Trap is on the field: You can discard 1 “Salamangreat” card; Special Summon this card, then, destroy 1 face-up Spell/Trap on the field. You can only use 1 "Salamangreat Foxy" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Salamangreat Jack Jaguar

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177967_200w.jpg

If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage. If this card is in your GY and you control a “Salamangreat” Link Monster: You can target 1 “Salamangreat” monster in your GY, except “Salamangreat Jack Jaguar”; shuffle it into the Deck, and if you do, Special Summon this card to your zone a “Salamangreat” Link Monster you control points to. You can only use this effect of "Salamangreat Jack Jaguar" once per turn.

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Salamangreat Falco

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184753_200w.jpg

If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 "Salamangreat" Spell/Trap in your GY; Set that target to your field. If this card is in your GY: You can target 1 "Salamangreat" monster you control, except "Salamangreat Falco"; return that monster to the hand, and if you do, Special Summon this card. You can only use 1 "Salamangreat Falco" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Predaplant Verte Anaconda

Market Price: $7.66

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/253943_200w.jpg

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.

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Accesscode Talker

Market Price: $43.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/253944_200w.jpg

2+ Effect Monsters

Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this card's effect activations. If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 Link Monster that was used as material for its Link Summon; this card gains ATK equal to that monster's Link Rating x 1000. You can banish 1 Link Monster from your field or GY; destroy 1 card your opponent controls, also for the rest of this turn, you cannot banish monsters with that same Attribute to activate this effect of "Accesscode Talker".

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Salamangreat Gazelle

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218036_200w.jpg

If a "Salamangreat" monster is sent to your GY, except "Salamangreat Gazelle" (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can send 1 "Salamangreat" card from your Deck to the GY, except "Salamangreat Gazelle". You can only use each effect of "Salamangreat Gazelle" once per turn.

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Salamangreat Rage

Market Price: $1.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184776_200w.jpg

Activate 1 of these effects.

• Send 1 "Salamangreat" monster from your hand or face-up field to the GY, then target 1 card on the field; destroy it.
• Target 1 "Salamangreat" Link Monster you control that was Link Summoned using a monster with its same name as material; destroy cards your opponent controls, up to that monster's Link Rating.
You can only activate 1 "Salamangreat Rage" per turn.

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Salamangreat Spinny

Market Price: $2.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184748_200w.jpg

If you control a "Salamangreat" card: You can discard this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; it gains 500 ATK until the end of this turn. If you control a "Salamangreat" monster other than "Salamangreat Spinny" and this card is in your GY: You can Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use each effect of "Salamangreat Spinny" once per turn.

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Cynet Mining

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254446_200w.jpg

Send 1 card from your hand to the GY; add 1 Level 4 or lower Cyberse monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Cynet Mining" per turn.

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Lady Debug

Market Price: $1.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227554_200w.jpg

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 Level 3 or lower Cyberse monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Lady Debug" once per turn.

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Salamangreat Balelynx

Market Price: $2.90

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184787_200w.jpg

1 Level 4 or lower Cyberse monster

If this card is Link Summoned: You can add 1 "Salamangreat Sanctuary" from your Deck to your hand. If a "Salamangreat" card(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can banish this card from your GY instead. You can only use each effect of "Salamangreat Balelynx" once per turn.

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Salamangreat Miragestallio

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184786_200w.jpg

2 Level 3 monsters

You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Salamangreat" monster from your Deck in Defense Position, also you cannot activate monster effects for the rest of this turn, except FIRE monsters. If this Xyz Summoned card is sent to the GY as material for the Link Summon of a "Salamangreat" monster: You can target 1 monster on the field; return it to the hand. You can only use each effect of "Salamangreat Miragestallio" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/184786/yugioh-structure-deck-soulburner-salamangreat-miragestallio

Transcode Talker

Market Price: $0.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227562_200w.jpg

2+ Effect Monsters

While this card is co-linked, it and its co-linked monsters gain 500 ATK, also your opponent cannot target any of them with card effects. You can target 1 Link-3 or lower Cyberse Link Monster in your GY, except "Transcode Talker"; Special Summon it to your zone this card points to. You cannot Special Summon monsters the turn you activate this effect, except Cyberse monsters. You can only use this effect of "Transcode Talker" once per turn.

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Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer

Market Price: $82.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/252578_200w.jpg

1 Level 6 or higher "HERO" monster + 1 "Destiny HERO" monster

Monsters your opponent controls lose 200 ATK for each "HERO" card in your GY. You can only use each of the following effects of "Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer" once per turn. (Quick Effect): You can destroy both 1 card you control and 1 card on the field. If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can activate this effect; Special Summon 1 "Destiny HERO" monster from your GY during the Standby Phase of the next turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/252578/yugioh-burst-of-destiny-destiny-hero-destroyer-phoenix-enforcer

Salamangreat Sanctuary

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184769_200w.jpg

If you Link Summon a "Salamangreat" Link Monster, you can use 1 "Salamangreat" Link Monster you control with its same name as the entire material. During damage calculation, if your monster battles: You can pay 1000 LP, then target 1 Link Monster you control; make its ATK 0, and if you do, gain LP equal to its original ATK. You can only use each effect of "Salamangreat Sanctuary" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/184769/yugioh-structure-deck-soulburner-salamangreat-sanctuary

Crossout Designator

Market Price: $37.90

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248912_200w.jpg

Declare 1 card name; banish 1 of that declared card from your Main Deck, and if you do, negate its effects, as well as the activated effects and effects on the field of cards with the same original name, until the end of this turn. You can only activate 1 "Crossout Designator" per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/248912/yugioh-2021-tin-of-ancient-battles-crossout-designator

Infinite Impermanence

Market Price: $11.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/250389_200w.jpg

Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; negate its effects (until the end of this turn), then, if this card was Set before activation and is on the field at resolution, for the rest of this turn all other Spell/Trap effects in this column are negated. If you control no cards, you can activate this card from your hand.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/250389/yugioh-structure-deck-cyber-strike-infinite-impermanence

Will of the Salamangreat

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/178093_200w.jpg

During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon 1 “Salamangreat” monster from your hand or GY. You can send this face-up card from the field to the GY, then target 1 “Salamangreat” Link Monster you control that was Link Summoned using a monster with the same name as itself as material; Special Summon “Salamangreat” monsters from your hand or GY in Defense Position, up to the number of that monster’s Link Rating. You can only use 1 “Salamangreat Heart” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220696_200w.jpg

2 FIRE Effect Monsters

If a monster(s) is Normal or Special Summoned to the zone(s) this card points to (except during the Damage Step): You can add 1 FIRE monster from your GY to your hand, but for the rest of this turn, you cannot Normal Summon/Set or Special Summon monsters with the added monster's name. During your Main Phase, if you control this card that was Link Summoned using "Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf" as material: You can add 1 "Salamangreat" Spell/Trap from your GY to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/220696/yugioh-2020-tin-of-lost-memories-salamangreat-sunlight-wolf

Salamangreat Circle

Market Price: $0.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184767_200w.jpg

Activate 1 of these effects.

• Add 1 "Salamangreat" monster from your Deck to your hand.
• Target 1 "Salamangreat" Link Monster you control that was Link Summoned using a monster with its same name as material; that Link Monster is unaffected by monster effects this turn, except its own.
You can only activate 1 "Salamangreat Circle" per turn.

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Nibiru, the Primal Being

Market Price: $12.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227439_200w.jpg

During the Main Phase, if your opponent Normal or Special Summoned 5 or more monsters this turn (Quick Effect): You can Tribute as many face-up monsters on the field as possible, and if you do, Special Summon this card from your hand, then Special Summon 1 "Primal Being Token" (Rock/LIGHT/Level 11/ATK ?/DEF ?) to your opponent's field. (This Token's ATK/DEF become the combined original ATK/DEF of the Tributed monsters.) You can only use this effect of "Nibiru, the Primal Being" once per turn.

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Called by the Grave

Market Price: $2.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166373_200w.jpg

Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; banish it, and if you do, monsters with the same original name as that banished monster have their effects negated until the end of the next turn.

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Sea Archiver

Market Price: $0.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/205807_200w.jpg

If a monster is Normal or Special Summoned to a zone a Link Monster points to (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card from your GY (if it was there when the Summon resolved) or hand (even if not), but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of "Sea Archiver" once per turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/205807/yugioh-ots-tournament-pack-12-sea-archiver

You may notice, there isn't much new going on here. That's on purpose. Most of the core ratios, engine cards, and lines of play haven't changed in the past year and a half. However, Fusion Destiny a strong follow-up to the familiar Salamangreat plays, offering a level of power the deck seriously lacked before.

It's an important addition, since the deck's main strength has always been its long game and its inevitability. The more turns that pass, the better it gets, because of all the free cards you're generating with stuff like Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf, Will of the Salamangreat, and now Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer. You're constantly generating card advantage and that's what lets you keep a stranglehold over the game.

So how do you play it? Let's say you open the game with a hand of Lady Debug, a Salamangreat Spinny, a Fusion Destiny, and two blank cards. With a hand like that you can do the following:

With that basic line of play, you end on a Salamangreat Miragestallio, a re-linked Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf, the Salamangreat Gazelle back in your hand, and you control Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer.

The coolest part is that you can use the Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer to try to destroy one of your own cards, and if you attempt to destroy one of your Salamangreats you can banish Salamangreat Balelynx to save it! You can also destroy the Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer to clear the Monster Zone under the Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf to get additional cards on the following turn.

If you wanted to include Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess in the Extra Deck I'd recommend cutting one copy of Salamangreat Balelynx to make room. Then in that play above, you could summon the Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer into a different zone, and revive the Salamangreat Jack Jaguar into the zone under the Wolf, get back a card off the Wolf like before, and then Link Summon Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess using the Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf, Salamangreat Jack Jaguar, and Salamangreat Miragestallio as your materials.

Another point I want to highlight is how useful Destiny HERO - Dasher can be in this strategy. If you draw Nibiru, the Primal Being in a following turn after using the fusion? Boom, free big rock. If you draw Lady Debug? You get to bypass the need to Normal Summoner it, netting you even more advantage.

Closing Thoughts

Remember, you can't use Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer effect after you resolve Salamangreat Miragestallio. That's manageable, but it can be downright painful if you don't keep it in mind. One of my favorite things about the Salamangreat strategy ever since the deck dropped is that it has a very low skill floor is. It's an excellent strategy to learn fundamentals with if you're just getting into tournament Yu-Gi-Oh. However, the deck's skill ceiling is incredibly high. this strategy really shines in the hands of an experienced duelist. There are so many moving parts to keep track of that committing the time and learning the different play sequences is really rewarding.

When you look at your opening hand, it's important to think ahead and map out how you want your following turns to go. Thanks to cards like Crossout Designator, you have a new level of freedom from those powerhouse interruption cards that can often stymie your plays. Keep that in mind, but always ask yourself how you can avoid using Crossout Designator if at all possible. Check out this oldie but a goodie from yours truly , for some basic advice on how to do so.

If this discussion feels a little short, and like some of the basics are missing, remember that you can find those Salamangreat fundamentals in my previous writings on the deck. Today I've largely just focused on what's new, and the philosophy that makes Salamangreat worth playing right now. Let me know over on twitter how it's going for you, and what changes you've made. I'll be giving it a shot at one of my local tournaments or a Remote Duel event soon as well!

I look forward to hearing about your successes soon. Have a wonderful holiday, and until next time!