I love it when I make some offhanded statement and then some crazy person runs off and builds an entire deck around it.

Errr... Some crazy, beautiful, amazing person!... Is what I meant!... Yeah! Especially when they're a crazy, beautiful, amazing person like today's contributor, from Melbourne Florida!

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Dear Jason,

There are two decks I've never been fond of: Dark World and Bujins. However, after reading TCGplayer's Giant LVAL Set Review, I learned the two strategies can mesh thanks to the power of Bujin Arasuda (whose nomenclature of "discard" allows Dark World monsters to get their effects). When you can't get to a Bujin Beast-Warrior, the deck can run on a mini-Grapha engine until I draw into what I need.

Fire Formation - Tensu helps to get Arasuda on the field with Yamato during my turn, so I can get both of their effects off in the End Phase. Dark World Dealings had to be in the deck because I can discard the Dark World monsters, but I can even pitch any of the graveyard Bujingis like Bujingi Hare or Bujingi Quilin if I don't have Dark Worlds to discard. I play Monster Reincarnation to put a Bujingi or Grapha in the grave in hopes of reusing Yamato or Arasuda.

Like any Bujin deck, this deck's pretty slow, and it can be pretty inconsistent. When the Dark World cards are there with a Yamato I feel pretty confident, but I can often end up with all Bujingi cards. Whenever I use this deck, I have fun surprising my opponent, but I rarely win because I can't get the combos in time. I appreciate the help!

-Ryan S. ~ Melbourne, Florida


To be fair? This one wasn't even me. I did write about Bujin Arasuda in the Giant LVAL Set Review, but it took Beau Butler to realize that Arasuda's effect would trigger the legion of awesome effects wielded by Grapha and his Dark World horde. It's awesome, because you know nobody designing this card did it with the intent of creating a crazy Bujin Dark World mashup; it's just a side effect of how Bujin Arasuda had to be designed to serve its core theme. And that design succeeded! I'm still a fan of Arasuda in Bujins, and several Bujin duelists have made Top 8 and Top 32 finishes with it.

But as a huge side bonus we also get a totally different, totally off-the-wall rogue strategy; one that plays like nothing we've seen before. As soon as I read Beau's article I knew I wanted to take a crack at this, but Ryan beat me to it. Here's what his build looks like!

DECKID=99881Ryan's trying to do two things here: first, he's looking to bridge the gaps between two very different strategies. That's tricky, because Bujins and Dark Worlds have very little in common: they win in different ways; they revolve around different core mechanics; and they play to different paces. Second, he's trying to glean competitive advantages by making the most of the places where these strategies intersect: Bujin Arasuda's the most obvious point, but the synergy between the discard effects and the graveyard Bujingis is another big opportunity. The Dark World deck thrives on deck thinning and draw filtering, which Bujin Yamato and Bujintei Susanowo happen to provide.

The Bujin deck generally fields one monster at a time: cards like Yamato and Mikazuchi have effects that keep you from controlling two copies at once, and that aside, you need to be careful not to play out oo many monsters in one go for fear of losing precious cards. If you do lose your Bujins, then suddenly your Bujingis are useless as well. Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World compensates for that by giving you not just a free attacker, but a big body that you can play as a free +1 from your graveyard. It turns the Bujin strategy from a four turn or five turn deck, into a two-turn deck that can win in an instant.

So there are concerns and challenges in this strategy we want to mitigate, as well as numerous opportunities we want to explore and take advantage of. That's really cool! There's a lot to this strategy, and it's not just a pointless mashup; make no Mistake, there are reasons to want to build this things besides the fact that the idea's crazy-fun.

Those are really the two priorities for this fix: we want to minimize risk, and maximize opportunity. My main goal is boosting consistency and eliminating dead draws. We need to pull out all the stops to minimize the number of dead or mis-matched hands this deck opens with, while ensuring that we build on the strengths, and really hammer home the unique abilities of Ryan's creation.

Let's Get Droppin'!
I like what Ryan's done here in a general sense, but I feel like there are some powerful cards missing, and some risky or subpar cards played instead. Right off the bat, I think Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World is mismatched for this strategy. In a standard Dark World deck, Beiige is cool because you play enough discard effects that you can reliably pitch Beiige, Special Summon it, and then use it to Special Summon Grapha. In this deck you don't have as many of those discard effects, nor do you have a lot of the search power that would help a more standard Dark World build get to them.

You won't set up Grapha as quickly or consistently as a regular build either; that's not as bad as it sounds, since you could always use a spare Beiige for a Rank 4 Xyz instead of a Grapha Summon… but it's still pretty bad. You'll frequently have no desire to give up your on-field Bujin for a Rank 4 in the first place, and since Beiige only has 1600 ATK there's not a lot of action there. Heck, Beiige can be a liability when your opponent's got a Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear boosted to even just 1700 ATK by Fire Formation – Tenki. We have stronger options that can do more to help this deck capitalize on its strengths, so the two Beiige are our first cuts.

Next up, this deck can't activate Bujingi effects quite as easily as a conventional Bujin strategy. There just isn't as much defense here for the Bujins. On top of that you've got Grapha to knock out monsters much more readily than the standard Bujin build, and you don't have multiple Bujincarnations to justify the use of a wider array of banish-costed Bujingi. All that adds up to a generally low level of enthusiasm for what's always the most situational Bujingi of the bunch, Bujingi Quilin.

Quilin's the kind of card that's rarely activated, but often shapes your opponent's plays just by sitting in your graveyard. Unfortunately it's a luxury that I don't think we can afford here: it's even tougher to play than usual, and it's going to be even less useful than it normally would be, because Grapha can eliminate a good portion of the cards you'd normally target anyways. It's an easy drop.

Fire Formation – Tensu? Not even a dedicated Bujin deck would ever play that card, but this one is even less focused on Beast-Warriors. There's a better card that can mimic Tensu's basic functionality in a much more flexible way, so we're going to cut the Tensus entirely. By the same token, I think Monster Reincarnation's too specific and risky for a questionable payoff. In the early game there are zero targets for this thing, so it's just way too difficult to justify.

Hand Destruction's just too risky as well, with rewards that don't argue for its use. Since the last thing you do when you resolve its effect is draw it won't trigger Dark World effects; its main use here would be to load the yard with two Bujingi Hare or Bujingi Turtle, or to get Grapha into the graveyard. But that won't always be possible: you might not have the right monsters in hand, your opponent might have fewer than two cards anyways, and the -1 of card economy is agonizing. Dark World Lightning's gotta go too: if you don't have a combo it's a conditional -1 that's frequently unplayable depending on your opponent's field. These aren't bad cards, but they're too awkward here when you're trying to minimize risk and keep cards live.

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Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning's amazing and Chaos Sorcerer's pretty good, but both cards are dead in the early game. I'll accept that risk in the case of the Soldier, because that card's incredible and wins games all on its own. But taking the exact same risk for a card that, while powerful, is nowhere near as useful? Sorry Chaos Sorcerer, you're just not cool enough.

Double Mind Crush is great here when you're ahead, but it's a rough draw when you're struggling to hold everything together. I'm a fan of mained Mind Crush this format – it's wonderful to nix your opponent's plans by discarding a card they searched, and the ability to simplify in a different way, punishing your opponent's cards somewhere other than the field, is novel and really strong. But Dark World decks play Mind Crush because they can see the opponent's hand in advance with Dragged Down into the Grave. A conventional Dark World deck knows what to call. Ryan doesn't play Dragged Down here because he'd lose his Bujingi Cranes – skipping Dragged Down's the right call. That means Mind Crush is under-supported, which in turn means we're not going to play it. Bujin Regalia – The Sword and Needlebug Nest are too narrow even for pure Bujin builds, and they're even worse here: they're our last two drops for this fix.

That's thirteen cards gone, so let's get to work adding consistency and really making the most of this mashup concept!

Right Off The Bat…
I want a third Bujin Arasuda. That card might not be as good as Yamato in a standard Bujin deck, and it might not be as good as Yamato here either. But, it ties everything together and its ability makes a ton of your cards work. I want three copies because it makes everything more playable; you really want to see it every game.

And you don't want to search it, either. Why? Because Arasuda's effect triggers off of a Fire Formation – Tenki search. You don't want to Tenki for Arasuda, you want to Summon Arasuda and then Tenki to trigger its ability. Sure, you can activate Arasuda's effect by controlling Arasuda and Yamato at the same time. But that's a risky proposition, and it's tough to put together. It's much easier to just control Arasuda and pop off your free +1 search, grabbing a Bujin that way. From there you can get a free draw and then pitch a Bujingi Hare, Bujingi Turtle, or a Dark World monster to really show your opponent what this strategy's about.

To do that reliably you'll want a third Fire Formation – Tenki. Why Ryan wasn't running three copies originally is beyond me: it's a must for any deck that wants to see Bujin Yamato reliably, let alone one that unleashes big combos with Bujin Arasuda. A third Tenki's a must.

Depending on your perspective, Honest is your fourth Bujingi Crane or Bujingi Crane is your second, third, and fourth Honest. Either way, you generally win if Bujin Yamato or Bujin Arasuda win all their battles, and that makes Honest an obvious choice. With three Yamato, three Arasuda, and three Tenki, this deck plays just as many Normal Summoned Light monsters as a regular Bujin deck. Honest is almost as obvious to me as that third Tenki; even if it's dead when things go hideously wrong, it's going to win you games more frequently than it'll lose them.

I'm replacing the two Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World with three Broww, Huntsman of Dark World. If you've got an Arasuda effect or a Dark World Dealings, Broww turns your Arasuda into a +1 or a pseudo +2 really easily, or your Dealings into a 2-for-2 instead of a minus. If you don't have a combo card for it, it's just as useless as Beiige was in battle, and just as good at reviving Grapha. This strategy loves deck thinning, and Broww offers that as well as strong interactions with Grapha and your core mechanics – interactions Upstart Goblin won't afford you.

As much as it's an early game risk, I want a Bujincarnation here. This deck will arguably place more Bujingi into the graveyard on a faster, more consistent basis than a regular Bujin build, so while I wouldn't go whole-hog with two copies, one is a safe bet. Two Forbidden Lance is another carryover from Bujins as well, and I think that as good as Lance is in normal Bujin strategies, it's even better here, where it can protect your Grapha from Bottomless Trap Hole.

Ryan ran Fire Formation – Tensu to try and create Rank 4 plays and even out some of his awkward draws, but I want to go in a different direction. Edgar Mendez made the Top 8 at a recent Regional Qualifier in Los Angeles packing Double Summon and Photon Lead in his Bujin deck; they gave him outs when he opened with a bunch of Bujingis, and needed a way to quickly turn them into Bujintei Susanowo. While Photon Lead only works with Light monsters, I prefer it for several reasons: its higher Spell Speed; stealing wins in the Battle Phase; and your ability to chain it against Mind Crush. There are fifteen cards in the revamped version of this deck that you can Summon off Photon Lead, so I feel comfortable playing two even though it won't work with the Dark World monsters. It's that good, and solves that many problems.

Ryan only played four traps, and if you've been keeping track at home you may have noticed I dropped them all. The reason? I want to run Royal Decree. Decree's great in regular Bujins because it beats multiple backrow cards at once – valuable to the theme, which largely has to try and match individual threats with single answers on a 1-for-1 basis. That's not always possible, so stomping out two or even three set cards all at once is awesome. But add Dark Worlds to the mix and Decree's even better! You don't need to defend Yamato or Arasuda with trap cards very often, since you've got Honest, Bujingi Crane, and Bujingi Hare to do that for you. You don't need to defend Grapha either, since it's really big. Instead you can use Decree to make big your big pushes more successfully, locking down backrow cards so you can pick them off with Grapha, or giving you the confidence to make big fields with Grapha and a Bujin attacker. With Photon Lead in the mix you can deal a ton of damage with very little warning.

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Over in the Extra Deck, dropping Beeige makes the already-questionable use of Number 66: Master Key Beetle a non-factor: we'll cut both. This deck won't Summon Grapha as reliably as regular Dark Worlds, which rarely overlays two Graphas to make Rank 8's anyways. That's the death-knell for Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder and Number 22: Zombiestein too. Tsukuyomi' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Bujintei Tsukuyomi">Bujintei Tsukuyomi's good, but I can't imagine ever wanting two copies, even with Photon Lead.

Double Abyss Dweller? A total must. Mermails are arguably the best deck of the format right now, and Dweller's one of the greatest silver bullets for that matchup. Constellar Omega's a nice option against backrow-heavy decks when Royal Decree's not available, and Diamond Dire Wolf is a valuable problem-solver. Evilswarm Exciton Knight's useful if you have a copy; if you don't own one, know that this deck doesn't need it to survive, but it's certainly helpful. Maestroke the Symphony Djinn, Number 50: Blackship of Corn, and Steelswarm Roach all have valuable effects for different matchups, and they all deserve a spot here as well.

Note that Ryan didn't have a full Extra Deck when he sent me his submission: if you're ever in that situation and just don't know what to run, looking at the Extra Decks of Regional and YCS Top 8 and Top 32 strategies over in the Deck Archive is a great place to find inspiration. There are always fifteen cards that can benefit you.

With those changes in place the final tally is as follows!

-2 Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World
-1 Bujingi Quilin
-2 Fire Formation - Tensu
-1 Monster Reincarnation
-1 Hand Destruction
-1 Dark World Lightning
-1 Chaos Sorcerer
-2 Mind Crush
-1 Bujin Regalia - The Sword
-1 Needlebug Nest

+1 Bujin Arasuda
+1 Honest
+3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
+1 Bujincarnation
+2 Forbidden Lance
+1 Fire Formation - Tenki
+2 Photon Lead
+3 Royal Decree

-2 Number 66: Master Key Beetle
-1 Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder
-1 Number 22: Zombiestein
-1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
+2 Abyss Dweller
+1 Constellar Omega
+1 Diamond Dire Wolf
+1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
+1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
+1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
+1 Steelswarm Roach

Here's the rebuild Ryan's strategy…

DECKID=99882We've made a lot of improvements: the deck's going to implode less frequently right out of the gates; it's going to get more use out of its draws on a turn by turn basis; and it's going to make better use of the synergies between Bujin and Dark World cards. There are a lot of cool tricks here: Royal Decree and Photon Lead are both played to address specific challenges, but they give you the opportunity to unleash a ton of aggression, too. You'll deal more damage because you have more proactive destruction effects, thanks to Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World. You'll also see your most important cards consistently because you run seventeen cards that search your deck or draw, plus several more that can lead into Bujintei Susanowo's search effect.

That said, this is largely a concept deck: I'd have no problem running it in a local tournament, but there's little room for Side Decking and you're still going to get some downright gnarly hands from time to time. There's also no room for one of the more important cards in a dedicated Bujin build: Effect Veiler. Like most theme-on-theme mashups deck space is a challenge, and in that respect there's no absolute win scenario for this strategy. We can aim for "as good as it gets," but "perfect" just isn't in the vocabulary.

But man oh man, that surprise factor! This deck combines two strategies but plays like neither, and there are moments of intersection that just feel brilliant. One of my favorite things about this build is that it's so tough to field monsters against it. If your opponent attacks because they know you don't have Bujingi Crane or Honest, but they need to power through a Bujingi Hare or Bujintei Kagutsuchi, they set themselves up to get whacked with Grapha's effect… and then nailed for way more damage than the average Bujin deck would punish them with. At the same time, the typical answers to Grapha either have to be prioritized for the Bujins instead and often wasted in losing scenarios anyways, while Decree helps you swing freely. It all meshes really well even before Arasuda gets in the mix to set up +2 plays.

This deck is ridiculous fun. And as the format enters its sunset phase, with competition so often focusing on Mermails versus Fire Fists, it's exactly the kind of strategy I love tinkering with. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes! In the meantime, big thanks to Ryan for sending it in, and thanks to you guys for reading about it.

See you next week, for the last What The Fix?! before YCS Chicago!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer

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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