Onomatopaira's one of the coolest, most bizarre cards from Legacy of the Valiant, but for the life of me I couldn't really figure out how to play it.

I mean, there are ideas: I've worked with Gagagas and Gogogos before, and some of the Dododo and Zubaba monsters have popped up on my radar. But for all that potential, I couldn't really figure out a deck concept that sang to me; nothing really resounded in my heart, to wax poetic. That's what I want in life: card games that give me feels.

Part of the problem trying to create an Onomatopaira deck is that there are a ton of cards to consider; all decks benefit from what I've referred to as "global communal testing" and the sharing of ideas, but there's like, sort of a progression in complexity. A typical named archetype? It's never that hard to figure out how to run those, since the cards are generally built around shared themes. The phrase "pre-packaged" has been used before, and while I think that's a little oversimplified those deck themes are purposefully made to be straightforward on at least the entry level. A few steps above those decks, you've got synergy-driven strategies like Plant Synchro, Dragon Rulers, Chaos variants… all that stuff that mixes one or two separate themes together, or matches one theme with a range of support cards.

But a card that just says, "I work with four completely different named archetypes –you figure it out" and gives you no real hints? That's kind of a first. It's tricky to figure out where to begin, let alone where to finish, and it's easy to become overly-focused on single possibilities. It's easy to miss the card-forest for the card-trees, especially when you're looking at everything on your own, with nobody to bounce ideas off of.

Luckily my professional position as the receiver of other peoples' emails about wacky deck ideas saves me from doing that alone! Thanks to you guys I was able to look at a few different Onomatopaira builds, and the one from today's contributor seemed to have particular potential. Sean F. from Sydney, Australia combined a strong core of Gagagas with Dododo Buster, backing it all up with Summoner Monk and some Level 4 complements to make Dark Armed Dragon and Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning possible. Overall I think the deck needs to be whittled down and focused a bit more, but I liked some of the raw ideas and I wanted to work with them. I think Gagagas with Dododo Buster is really the most common Onomatopaira concept, but having someone else to do the heavy lifting right out of the gates put me in a good position to bring it all home.

Without further ado, here's what Sean had to say about the strategy he sent me.

Hey Jason, how's life? (Life is brilliant! I write about children's card games for a living and I'm wearing scratch-n-sniff mint jeans AS I WRITE THIS! -Jason)

I love Gagagas and I have for a while now; being able to run what is in essence Monster Reborn is just too good. (Sean means Gagagarevenge – Jason) However, Gagagas always seemed to be missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, and I could never get them to be a competitive threat. Legacy of the Valiant changed everything though, with a bunch of new cards that I hope to abuse, like the all-powerful Onomatopaira.

I've been testing this deck and it can pull off some really explosive plays, but it does have trouble with card economy and keeping monsters on the field. I'm trying not to go for a pure Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech strategy because I've done that in the past and there are very few options when you focus too much on that OTK. So anyway, I hope you can help me out.

Much thanks, so Gagaga,

-Sean F. ~ Sydney, Australia

It may look as if none of these monsters really work together, and Sean's Extra Deck looks kind of all over the place, but it's important to remember that Gagaga Magician specializes in mimicking the Level of whatever you happen to control to create a wide array of Xyz Summons. Gagaga Child's a huge part of the strategy, giving you an easy way to throw down a second Gagaga in one turn for an instant Xyz play and another flexible Level adjusting ability. Here's what Sean started off with:

DECKID=99760This is a solid start, but I think Sean's got a few too many moving pieces; cards that don't do anything on their own, that could create big plays but may also just clog your hand and cost you the game. I want to eliminate some of the less important cards and some of the riskier choices, and I want to make the most of the existing opportunities… including Dododo Buster. Buster's here because you need to run it to have a second card to search with Onomatopaira, but the ability to Special Summon it as a Level 4 and then throw another Level 4 monster down alongside it is genuinely useful. Alternatively, if you get two of them in your hand at once you can Special Summon one, Tribute it for the second to trigger its effect, and then Special Summon back the Buster you Tributed to make a Rank 6. It's an Earth monster for Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders, too.

And all that's useful. But we can do even better.

At the same time I want some more general support cards to keep up with the shape of competition today, and I want to protect certain big plays much in the same fashion as we did last week. So on one hand I want to build on the themed opportunities Sean's created, and on the other I want to just add some cards that probably every deck should be running right now. Then I want to tweak things to just keep it all tight.

Let's Do It!
Sorry Gagaga Girl: you don't work here anymore. Sean said he wanted to migrate away from the Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech OTK combo, which used to be the lynchpin of most Gagaga strategies. That combo involved using Gagaga Girl's effect to reduce the ATK of a big monster, boosting the ATK of Machu Mech to make a one-turn win. The problem? You needed your opponent to control a big monster, and then let you make all of your plays unobstructed: unlikely in a trap-heavy format packed with monster effect negation.

Gagaga Girl is a frequently-dead draw that really does nothing but combo with Gagaga Magician; a card that creates big plays with a wealth of other cards in this strategy, all of which are actually useful on their own and don't create unnecessary risks by being dangerously low on utility. Gagaga Girl's gone. That leaves us needing more Gagagas to make Gagaga Child and all the Gagaga support work, but rest assured – we have strong options.


White Dragon Wyverburster really only helps you make Rank 4's, something this strategy already excels at. It's way off-theme and while it does help you play Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning by being one of the Main Deck's few Light monsters, it's tough to play in the early game and just doesn't fit very well here. Armageddon Knight is another synergy-driven card that does very little on its own, so it's exiting stage left as well.

I like Gagagarevenge since this deck just loves reusing Gagaga Magician, but you don't want to draw it too early on. I'm cutting down to two copies from Sean's three. Reinforcement of the Army's not super-important here – especially without Armageddon Knight – and the value of Mind Control can vary wildly depending on your matchup and your opponent's backrow. I don't want to run either card, especially when I want to focus on stuff with higher utility; cards that can bolster the deck's core synergies by creating more combos and stacking the numbers in your favor. One Forbidden Lance is the final cut, largely just to make room.

What Am I Doing With Those Ten Card Slots? Good question! First up we desperately need more Gagaga cards: the spell support and Gagaga Child just won't work if all you're got is three Gagaga Magician. Luckily Gagaga Caesar exists; a very solid 1800 ATK beatstick that works with all the support cards, and easily banishes a Level 4 from your graveyard to combo with any of the Gagaga's or a Special Summoned Dododo Buster for Rank 4 plays.

But that's just the beginning! As an Earth monster instead of a Dark, Gagaga Caesar has synergy with Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders. And since it can banish any monster from your graveyard, not just a specific archetype or Level, you can use it to banish a Dododo Buster to turn all your Gagagas into Level 6's. That brings an entirely new dimension to the strategy, opening up a bunch of different Rank 6's. That's extra-important since the elimination of Gagaga Girl made this deck's previous number one pick at Rank 6, Norito the Moral Leader a lot tougher – since it needs all Spellcasters, it won't work with cards like Gagaga Caesar or Dododo Buster.

Effect Veiler? Largely a must in this format. I'm going to add two copies here to stop stuff like Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear, Wolfbark' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Coach Soldier Wolfbark">Coach Soldier Wolfbark, Mermail Abysspike, and Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00X "Bureido". Mystical Space Typhoon cuts off cards like Fire Formation – Tenki, Abyss-sphere, and Fiendish Chain, so a third copy's a must in basically everything right now. Book of Moon remains a tremendously flexible card that can stop Xyz Summons, Synchros, attacks, effects, and flip monsters to defense position so you can swing over them – I want the maximum one copy of that as well.

That leaves me with two card slots, in a deck that runs Summoner Monk and that relies on a variety of Ignition Effects to put together two-card combos needed to win. Those factors all add up to a strong need for Skill Prisoner, which as we discussed last week is amazing in a format where Effect Veiler can so frequently ruin all of your plans.

And that's it for the Main Deck. Ten cards out and in.

Over in the Extra Deck I don't see much value in Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech or Norito the Moral Leader now that Gagaga Girl's gone. Yes, you can still make Norito in limited situations, but in most games you're going to prefer a Rank 7 over a Rank 6 anyways. Gagaga Cowboy, Wind-Up Zenmaines, and Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon all get dropped for what I consider to be superior alternatives as well.


What's taking their spots? How about Abyss Dweller for Mermails and… well, anything else that cares about its graveyard? Constellar Ptolemy M7, Gauntlet Launcher, and Photon Strike Bounzer flesh out the newly-prioritized Rank 6 line, while Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack joins Number 11: Big Eye at Rank 7 as one of the biggest moves this deck can make. Gagaga Cowboy? Good card! But not as good as Dracossack. Here's a recap of the changes I made for this week's fix:

-3 Gagaga Girl
-2 White Dragon Wyverburster
-1 Armageddon Knight
-1 Gagagarevenge
-1 Reinforcement of the Army
-1 Forbidden Lance
-1 Mind Control

+3 Gagaga Caesar
+1 Gagaga Child
+2 Effect Veiler
+1 Mystical Space Typhoon
+1 Book of Moon
+2 Skill Prisoner

-1 Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech
-1 Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon
-1 Gagaga Cowboy
-1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
-1 Norito the Moral Leader
+1 Abyss Dweller
+1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
+1 Gauntlet Launcher
+1 Photon Strike Bounzer
+1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack

Here's the final deck list!

DECKID=99761It's tough to list all the ways in which Onomatopaira is awesome here. It gets you to Gagaga Magician, or alternatively Gagaga Child or Gagaga Caesar – whatever you need to make your plays. It can get you that second Dododo Buster for a Rank 6 play, or it can put Dododo Buster into the graveyard so you can banish it for Gagaga Caesar and make a Rank 6 that way instead. You can pitch Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders for what basically amounts to an instant plus; you can pitch fodder for Redox; or you can set up Gagagarevenge plays. It can huck Gagaga Gardna when you're on the offensive, or get you your third Dark in the graveyard for Dark Armed Dragon.

Got a dead Star Drawing? Not anymore!

I haven't spent as much time with this deck as I really want to, but that's largely because it's one of those strategies that demands extra attention, solely because it does so many different things and all those things are… well, different. The bulk of the plays it relies on are nothing like what Fire Fists, Mermails, or Karakuri are doing right now, and it really plays against the grain. Sometimes it has wonderful card economy, and sometimes it forces you to make sub-par plays – that's one of the factors that keeps it out of the highest echelons of competition, so save this one for locals. It's a synergy-driven deck and sometimes, despite my best efforts, it's just going to stick you with cards that don't work together.

But it's a freaking Gagaga Dododo deck, man! And it makes Rank 6's like nobody's business, and does nutty stuff with Gagaga Magician all the time. How cool is that? I'm super-glad Sean sent it in, and if you guys play it yourself or have your own Onomatopaira strategies, be sure to tell me all about it down in the Comments! There are so many exciting directions this strategy can go, so I think it can make for not just some cool games, but some enlightening conversation, too.

See you next week!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer







Want a deck fix from yours truly, and see your strategy featured in a "What The Fix?" here on TCGPlayer? Just send the following to fixmydeckjason (at) gmail (dot) com to be considered:

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap.) Remember, your deck should be TCG legal!

-Your name and city.

-Remember - please use full card names! Abbreviations and mis-spellings make Jason's life sad.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses.

And don't forget, the cooler your deck is the more I'll want to fix it, so don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! -JDG