Despite only playing a minor role in Championship-level competition since its release in Judgment of the Light, Angel of Zera's one of my favorite World Premiere cards. It's easy to Summon; it starts off big and gets even bigger; and it's a generic answer to popular stuff like Bottomless Trap Hole and Spellbook of Fate. It's a really great toolbox card for anything that can make Level 8 Synchros, but on the flipside it's even better in decks that are built to leverage its effects: Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure keep it coming back to the field, while powering it up; banish-costed monsters like Chaos Sorcerer and Ghost Ship let you recycle it; and it's a Fairy to boot. It's just a stellar piece of card design.
I also love Garbage Lord, despite the fact that it's never seen tournament play. And for years I've wanted to play Eccentric Boy, but not once have I ever felt like I'd found the perfect place for it. Today's contributor sent me a deck crammed to the gills with cards I happen to have a soft spot for, and it's all wrapped up in a clever strategy I've never seen, at a time when that strategy could be well-positioned in the Advanced Format. Sounds pretty good, huh?!
#####CARDID=12821#####Here's what our contributor had to say…
This strategy churns out big monsters and recurs Angel of Zera pretty consistently once you get it out. I threw in the Lightsworn engine to make the deck faster and give you more Chaos removal targets, and I think it works pretty well. Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure are not the point of the deck, and you don't play them until you get into a good setup to use them. Your opponent will usually waste cards to destroy them under pressure of an ever-returning Angel of Zera. Playing them carefully, it hasn't hurt the Chaos portion of the strategy. I hope you like the deck!-Andrew Q.
And the execution here is so cool! Andrew runs Eccentric Boy so he can Normal Summon it, then immediately pair it with a Level 5 from his hand to drop Angel of Zera with ease. He can also make an attack with Chaos-End Master, Special Summon a Level 5 from his Deck, and make his Level 8 Synchro that way. And since all of his Level 5's have their own Special Summon abilities, he can even just drop one from his hand in a number of different ways and Normal Summon a Level 3 Tuner to create more Synchro opportunities. The deck does worthwhile stuff, and has a lot of options in how it goes about doing it.
But that said, I think there are some definite challenges here. There are a lot of potentially dead cards, many of which could conflict with Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos, despite Andrew's confidence to the contrary. There's very little defense and no effect negation, so if your plays don't pay off in an early win you'll often wind up in a losing position. While Andrew does play two Forbidden Lance, that's not a lot of coverage to keep his monsters safe. And on top of all that, I think there are some missed opportunities that could pay off in the form of powerful, simple combos if Andrew was playing a few different cards.
I want this deck to have fewer dead draws, fewer conflicting cards, and more protection so it can really go the distance. Angel of Zera's amazing in part because it creates a resource management game your opponent can't win. But that takes time, and though Andrew built his deck with many avenues of attack, those backup plans won't work if you don't survive long enough to put them into action.Let's Start Making Some Cuts
A lot of the Level 5 monsters in the original build struck me as either sub-par or redundant given other possibilities. I love Garbage Lord, since it's easy to drop from your hand and searchable with a card Andrew wasn't playing: Garbage Ogre. We'll talk about that monster some more later in the fix, but for now I want to drop the Darkflare Dragons and Ghost Ships. While those cards can all banish a fallen Angel of Zera to get it back into play, they can also wind up dead in your hand if you draw them too early, or if you banish all your stuff with other effects. They're too risky here, and they're taking up space that could be devoted to more synergetic cards.
Interplanetarypurplythornydragon's another awkward Level 5 pick. Its effect only works when one of your monsters is destroyed, so that's strike one. It's a narrow card that only does anything when you're taking losses. Whatever you lose has to go to your graveyard, too, conflicting with Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos; that's strike two. And finally, you can't even Special Summon it with Chaos-End Master. Strike three. That card just doesn't have the utility we need, so it's outta here.
This deck plays seven Level 3 Tuners. Eccentric Boy's cool because you can basically Normal Summon it and then drop any Level 5 from your hand to make Angel of Zera, which then combos with Eccentric Boy's banishing drawback. Chaos-End Master's a Light for your Chaos Summons, and it can make one-card Level 8 Synchros with a bit of luck and careful timing. Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind's the odd duck out. It's a Dark monster, so it feeds your graveyard, but stacking up Darks isn't really a problem here: it's Lights that we're more concerned with. Spoiler, my additions to the deck are going to bring way more Dark cards to the mix, many of which will aggressively feed Darks. Gale's effect can be useful, but in order to make a Level 8 with it you need to have a Level 5 Special Summon in your hand, ready to go; otherwise it's just a 1-for-1 beatstick that gets run over next turn. We need space, so Gale's gotta go.
Finally, double Tragoedia won't be as effective here as more simple forms of defense. With plenty of graveyard banishing its effects won't be relevant very often, and drawn in the mid-game you won't have a lot of in-hand cards to fuel its ATK. It's not a bad card and it's possible it could work here; feel free to test it out if you wish. But for now I need that deck space.
Instant Fusion is again just more redundant Level 5 power that doesn't do anything on its own. Worse yet, it's like a Level 5 that you can't Special Summon from your deck with Chaos-End Master or Eccentric Boy; we really need to watch the Level 5 count to ensure that cards are live at all times. I'm cutting all three copies in favor of better Level 5 options. I'm also cutting the entire Lightsworn suite. Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter and Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress are both relatively slow cards right now, and as much as they provide Light fodder they don't really fit the pace of this strategy. Ryko tends to get popped by Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear and Atlantean Marksman way too often, while Lyla hits a backrow card or eats a Fiendish Chain, and inevitably gets run over. When you draw Solar Recharge and a Lightsworn to discard, great, but too often you'll draw a useless Lightsworn or a Recharge with nothing to pitch for it. We have better options here that are more fluid; stuff that jigsaws into this strategy in a cleaner fashion.And Like That, 24 Cards Are Gone
If you're not familiar with Garbage Lord or Garbage Ogre, give them a mouse-over right now and get familiar; these guys are really cool. Garbage Lord kept its place in this deck because despite the Life Point cost, it's very easy to play from your hand, opening up Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon. However, it's also searchable with Chaos-End Master to make Level 8 Synchros, and you can pitch it with Eccentric Boy. It's a Dark for your Chaos Summons, it's hugely flexible, and it fits all the niches we need to make this deck work.
But it's Garbage Ogre that puts it over the top. Because this deck wants to flip Dimensional Fissure or Macro Cosmos at some point, getting Light and Dark monsters into the graveyard early is hugely important. Draw Garbage Ogre and you can pitch it to search Garbage Lord to your hand, instantly loading a Dark to your yard and searching a Rank 5 or Eccentric Boy play for free. That's huge. Later in the game when you control Dimensional Fissure or Macro Cosmos – which would prevent you from using Garbage Ogre's effect – you can beat the risk of drawing the Ogre by Special Summoning it with Tour Guide from the Underworld.
Because yes, it's a Level 3 Fiend. And yes, Tour Guide is awesome here because you can run three copies along with three Garbage Ogres, and use Leviair the Sea Dragon to bring back the low-Level monsters you'll inevitably banish. Since you have the option of Special Summoning Garbage Ogre instead of wasting a second Tour Guide when you go for a Rank 3 play, that means a far higher chance of resolving multiple Tour Guides in one duel. And Tour Guide's extra-awesome in this strategy because again, its effect feeds more monsters to your graveyard. You can even use Mechquipped Angineer to lock in a much-needed Light monster.
Leviair's great at bringing back an Eccentric Boy you banished with Fissure or Macro, but another compatible low-Level monster would be nice. Thunder King Rai-Oh will lock down your search effects, but it controls the game when you Summon it and once it's destroyed it becomes more Light fodder. It's worthwhile in virtually any Chaos variant. Finally, we'll bring up the Light count by adding three more Level 5's that work with all of the core combos in this strategy: Solar Wind Jammer. You can Special Summon it from your hand for a Rank 5 or Level 8 Synchro; you can pitch it for Eccentric Boy; or you can Special Summon it from your deck with Chaos-End Master. It's so good here.
Moving along I definitely want triple Mystical Space Typhoon. By now you may not need an explanation, but here goes: on one hand, Typhoon keeps monsters safe by preempting trap cards, along with threats like Enemy Controller and Book of Moon. On the other, it's amazing in all sorts of matchups this format as a chainable answer to Fire Formation – Tenki, Abyss-sphere, The Grand Spellbook Tower, and Fiendish Chain. You have to have a really good reason to not run triple Typhoon right now. This deck doesn't have any theme removal to steal the spotlight, so it's a must here.
Dark Hole and Book of Moon? Both very good cards! Especially when you can Dark Hole and just bring Angel of Zera back for free. These are simple spells that help you manage the field and keep control of the game. Compulsory Evacuation Device, Solemn Warning, and Torrential Tribute join them as sensible monster removal. These cards defend you while you put together combos, and keep you from dying when you need to draw into outs. The last addition is triple Fiendish Chain. Since you have to send Effect Veiler to the graveyard to activate its ability, it's largely a dead card under Dimensional Fissure or Macro Cosmos. That takes it out of this conversation. While I often prefer the underrated Breakthrough Skill to Fiendish Chain in this format, since Breakthrough can't be stopped by a chained Mystical Space Typhoon, I feel like Chain's the right call here; it defends monsters with repeatable effects and can draw Typhoons away from Fissure and Macro Cosmos.
At this point we're at 37 cards, and that's all I want. So in goes triple Upstart Goblin to get us up to 40. This deck wants to see Garbage Ogre, Eccentric Boy, and all of its banishing cards as early and consistently as possible, so Upstart's a great fit that makes everything just a little more reliable.
Over in the Extra Deck we've got some spring cleaning to do. Instant Fusion's gone, so there's no need for Reaper on the Nightmare, Giltia the D. Knight, or Darkfire Dragon. There are also very few ways to make a Level 7 Synchro, so Ancient Sacred Wyvern and Black Rose Dragon are taking a backseat. The use of Garbage Lord over other Level 5's also limits Rank 5 choices, so Tiras, Keeper of Genesis gets dropped.
With Tour Guide from the Underworld now in the mix we need some Rank 3's: double Leviair the Sea Dragon and a Mechquipped Angineer are your big priorities. With three slots left, Number 17: Leviathan Dragon, Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction, and Ghostrick Alucard round out the lineup.
Here's what the final list of changes looks like:-2 Darkflare Dragon
Here's the final build of the deck!DECKID=99486Am I really happy with how this turned out? Yup! Pleased as punch. This strategy's really fluid, really fast, and it forces your opponents into positions that they won't be ready to deal with. Does it have the sheer problem-solving flexibility of a strategy like Mermails or Fire Fists? No. But it's a cool deck because it plays around the answers those strategies rely on, tilting the playing field in weird new directions.
Your early game goal is two-fold: you want to load the graveyard with Lights and Darks as quickly as possible, while setting up a strong Angel of Zera play. That doesn't just mean flopping Angel of Zera to the table as quickly as you can: the key phrase there was "Angel of Zera play," not just "an Angel of Zera." You want to make sure that when you Summon the Angel, you either have Dimensional Fissure or Macro Cosmos ready to go, or a Chaos Monster in hand so if your opponent destroys the Angel you can banish it and bring it back on the following Standby Phase. If you're going to build this deck and put some time into it, be sure to play around with the factors that allow you to achieve that; you might find that you actually want a Ghost Ship over that third Solar Wind Jammer depending on your play style and metagame.
Of course, certain matchups will make a blind Angel of Zera drop more acceptable: namely Spellbooks. If you're up against Spellbooks just drop the Angel as fast as you can to deny Spellbook of Fate plays, and watch your opponent melt into a puddle of sad.
Resolving certain effects will up your win ratio. If you can get off a Chaos-End Master Special Summon, you'll be in a strong position. That Leviair the Sea Dragon play into an Eccentric Boy for a Level 8 Synchro Summon in the mid-game is brutal too. Dropping Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon to destroy a card, then stopping a counter-play next turn with Fiendish Chain and destroying another one is really harsh. As you playtest, look for those little moves that bolster your position and tend to create wins. They're the key to a strong mid-game. And remember: now that this deck has Mystical Space Typhoons, hold them to stop your opponent's Fiendish Chains. You really want your Chaos Sorcerers and Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning effects to resolve.
Big thanks to Andrew for sending in this awesome strategy, and big thanks to you guys for reading! As always, instructions for how you can submit your deck are right below. See you next week!
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