I love finding new ways to do things.

You may've had a sneaking suspicion already, but just to be clear: I like to think outside the box. Don't get me wrong, the accepted ways of doing something are often accepted because they are, legitimately, the best way to get something done. But for me, there's nothing like the thrill of discovery. And while "different" doesn't always mean "better" it certainly can mean "better" some portion of the time. And just as often, "different" can also mean "fun." Even more in the real world than in the realm of gaming, I generally find that when someone says "normal," my brain hears "boring."

So when someone sends me a deck that does something I've seen before, but does it in a new and exciting way, I'm always kind of tickled! And if there's some chance that the new way of doing things might actually be better than the conventional method? Well hell, that sounds like a great way to get yourself featured in What The Fix?! now, doesn't it? So often in this game, a Championship-winning innovation isn't an all-new strategy or a brilliant new deck that no one else thought of. Instead, innovation often comes in the form of a sideways perspective; a cocked head that gives a slightly slanted view, leading to a set of methods and techniques that are based on proven fundamentals… but are executed a Little Differently, putting you ahead of the pack for just long enough to win title gold.

Triple Maxx "C" in the era of Plant Synchro; Royal Oppression in TeleDAD; Dark Grepher in Dark Armed Return… these are all tiny tweaks to what were established, dominant strategies, that quickly won big tournaments and then became the standard themselves. All because someone had one little idea.

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Today's contributor might not be aiming quite that high as those time-honored strategies, but I'm still intrigued by what he's trying to do, and how he's doing it. I'll let him explain.


Hey Jason,

I'm sure that I'm not the first person to notice that one huge reason the Constellar deck has made a huge impact is because of its ability to make Constellar Pleiades.

However, I was looking at the card, and due to its stipulation of 2 level 5 Light monsters as Xyz Materials, rather than just Constellars as I'd previously thought, I decided to try and make a deck that could do it better. The huge trap line-up is used with Fossil Dyna Pachycephelo, Pleiades and Zaborg the Thunder Monarch to control the board.

-Bob Smith


The concept's really simple, and Bob's explanation was fittingly brief: the proven idea is that Constellar Pleiades is a good card, which holds up in emerging metagames filled with Mermails, Fire Fists, Geargia, and Inzektors. The first of those four decks relies on big, often singular Special Summoned attackers that hit the field off discard plays or consolidations via Xyz Summons. The remaining three all rely on Normal Summons or Sets to place one key monster on the field every turn. All four are weak to the Spell Speed 2 disruption of Constellar Pleiades' bounce effect. On top of that, the use of Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo gives more advantage in the Mermail matchup where Atlantean Heavy Infantry threatens to wipe Pleiades off the table, and helps the strategy withstand Chaos Dragons, Hieratics, and similar rush decks.

While the typical Constellar build largely relies on Constellar Kaus and a Summon-enabling Constellar to make Pleiades in one turn, those combos are easy to disrupt in a format where Effect Veiler's so popular, often leaving you to make a Rank 4 instead of your desired Rank 5. If you're depending on a monster like Constellar Algiedi, you could even wind up stranded with one Constellar on the field instead of two. Monsters with inherent Special Summon effects or tricks to grant additional Normal Summons all play around some of that risk. And if all your monsters start at Level 5 instead of requiring a boost effect, that's even better. I think there's potential here! Check out Bob's build as he submitted it to me:

DECKID=99330Like I said, I love the concept here. We know Pleiades is good, but we also know that certain trends in the format have made it tougher to play. Bob's adapted the common methods of Summoning Pleiades, swapping them out for individual monsters that aren't as good as independent attackers compared to the Constellar Level 4's, but are outrightly better at making Rank 5's. On top of that, he's opted to run three Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo, knowing that it's a strong card on its own and nigh-unbeatable when paired with Pleiades.

Concerned about a big push of monsters overwhelming your Pleiades since you can only use its effect once a turn? Fossil Dyna's got your back. Worried that Atlantean Heavy Infantry could ruin your day? Fossil Dyna keeps your opponent from Summoning many of the monsters needed to search and discard that card. There's a lot of smart stuff going on here.

The problem? Well, there are some sub-par choices that I think play against what Bob's trying to do. We need to tweak those to make sure he gets the biggest advantage possible from his strategy. In addition, I'm afraid he might be playing a little too hard into trends that won't materialize. Rebalancing those elements will require some additional tweaks throughout the rest of the deck's core. I also want to make sure Bob's properly prepared to handle a wide array of threats, and I want to know that when he does lose control of the field, he can fight his way back into the game in an instant.

Those are my goals. Let's get to it.

Get Outta Here, Constellars!
Seriously, one of the biggest advantages this deck has is that it's less vulnerable to Effect Veiler than a standard Constellar build, because it doesn't need to rely on Constellar Kaus' effect to make Pleiades. And that's great. So… why is Constellar Kaus still here? While most of the monsters in Bob's build are Level 5's with inherent Special Summon abilities, Kaus and Hieratic Dragon of Eset are not. Both are Normal Summons. And the difference between the two is that while Eset's a natural Level 5 that's immune to Veiler, Kaus gets trapped at Level 4… in a deck with no other Level 4's to stack it with. That's painful. There's no reason for Kaus to be here, especially when Bob isn't maxed out on the superior Eset. Both copies of Kaus are gone.

Continuing with the monsters, Oracle of the Sun's largely the weakest link in the Special Summon monster lineup, and I didn't find I needed quite as thick of a monster line as Bob had built for. We're going to replace two of them with a better option and drop the third entirely, and the fact that we'll be adding another Spellcaster in its place will come in handy when I stick two Pot of Dichotomy in this thing later on.

It's going to happen. If you didn't see Pot of Dichotomy coming, you don't know me very well.

In the mean time I'm removing the triple Vanity's Emptiness. This card's basically a Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo that can't deal damage, in a format where Inzektors, Fire Fists, and Spellbooks either don't care about it or have easy answers. This deck packs so many Special Summon effects that I don't even know if I'd want to Side Deck it; some of your Special Summons can't be played on Turn 1, and if you can't throw down a Pleiades before flipping Emptiness you generally don't want it on the table. Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo's great here, because you can play it independently and it's a stellar fit with your already-thick trap lineup. (And it's a Rock-type for Pot of Dichotomy.) It can win games on its own in the right matchup, and it's not terrible in the wrong matchups. But Emptiness is terrible against a range of strategies, and it has a higher chance to Backfire. We have better options.

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With those copies of Emptiness gone, I'm not too enamored with the Magic Planters, so we'll cut those. I love trap negation this format, but I like simple removal cards more in most decks, which this deck doesn't have: I'm going to drop the Seven Tools of the Bandit and Trap Stun, to be replaced with simple removal. Basic chainable 1-for-1 cards that will work better against stuff like Fire Formations, The Grand Spellbook Tower, and Inzektors. Trap Stun's a great card this format, but only if you play a deck that can really make the most of it with a flurry of big Summons. This deck generally won't OTK, so I'm not feeling Trap Stun here, and I'm certainly not interested in the narrow Seven Tools.

With those cards gone I think this deck has a better option beyond Call Of The Haunted, so I'm cutting that, and I'm dropping the three Safe Zones to two. Again, we just need that deck space for more versatile cards with higher utility; cards that solve a wider range of problems.

A Hefty Fifteen
That's how many cards we've cut, and since Bob's original build was a pudgy 42 cards that gives us 13 slots to play with. This deck wants to see Pleiades combos in its opening hand every game; that makes anything more than 40 cards a crime against math and reason.

First up, that third copy of Hieratic Dragon of Eset takes the place of Constellar Kaus. You can Normal Summon it, and if your opponent has Effect Veiler or Fiendish Chain, Eset doesn't care. It's a natural Level 5 and its effect is meaningless once it hits the field, so this entire strategy is essentially immune to Effect Veiler beyond Zaborg the Thunder Monarch and the abilities of your actual Xyz Monsters.

Sitting with a Pleiades on the field is fine; it can protect itself on your opponent's turn, and basic tricks like threatening to use its ability in your Battle Phase instead of your Main Phase can often force your opponent to burn a Veiler without even costing you an Xyz Material. A momentarily negated Pleiades is no problem; it's sitting with a dead Constellar Kaus on the field, waiting to get run over that was my sticking point. Eset's the obvious replacement.

Speaking of Veiler, I want three. In basically everything, but especially here, where it can stop cards like Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear or Inzektor Hornet from destroying your Pleiades. I also want triple Mystical Space Typhoon; it's an incredibly useful card, but it's especially good in this strategy for its ability to beat an opposing Fiendish Chain in response to Chain's activation. Pleiades can and will win you the game, as long as you keep it safe and use its effect wisely. If you can't activate that effect to begin with you've got a problem, so Mystical Space Typhoon's a necessity.

Two Solar Wind Jammer take the place of Oracle of the Sun. There's one key advantage to Wind Jammer: you can play it regardless of your opponent's field. That makes it a faster and more consistent card, giving this deck a stronger Turn 1.

Two Pot of Dichotomy's a great fit here. Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo's a Rock-type; Cyber Dragon and Wind Jammer are Machines; Effect Veiler's a Spellcaster; Ghost Ship's a Fiend; Eset's a Dragon; and Zaborg the Thunder Monarch is just that, a Thunder Monarch. Even Ojama Knight's a Beast, while Constellar Pleiades is a Warrior. It's ridiculously easy to gather three different monster types for Dichotomy's activation.

Once you play Dichotomy and draw your two cards for a quick +1, you'll give up your Battle Phase. For some decks that would be a concern. But since this strategy's so good at sitting on Constellar Pleiades and Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo with a bunch of traps to keep them on the table, it's not a problem here. While conventional Constellars can balance 2-for-1 Xyz Summons with Constellar Star Cradle, Dichotomy does virtually the same thing here.

Finally, while Bob played one Xyz Reborn I want a full three. This deck can and will drop Constellar Pleiades all day long, so having a target for Xyz Reborn is no concern. Bringing it back as a surprise play on your opponent's turn, complete with an Xyz Material for its effect, is absolutely huge: there are tons of situations where you'll prefer simple recursion to the protection of Safe Zone, especially since Reborn effectively gives you a third activation of Pleiades' ability. Reborn's definitely better than that Call Of The Haunted Bob was running, which effectively revives only half a Constellar Pleiades when you could have a whole one. Once you expend the single Xyz Material that Pleiades returns with, you can upgrade to Constellar Ptolemy M7.

Speaking of Ptolemy M7, I really want a second copy since the deck now makes Constellar Pleiades more frequently. I'd also like a ZW – Leo Arms to use as a blunt object. It's not very useful, but there are scenarios where say, your opponent might have an Effect Veiler and you really need to attack over a big monster, where it could come in handy.

Maybe.

You'll virtually never draw all three Instant Fusions, so dropping to two Ojama Knights is no problem. And if you ever Summon Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech with this deck for any reason but, "because I can," I would personally give you a shiny Canadian dollar from my homeland; we're cutting that too. Outside of a Gagaga OTK, that card's just not very good. Although I would love to burn a Fire Fist player for like, 100 damage off their Fire Formation – Tenki or something, and then act like it somehow mattered or was somehow better than Number 61: Volcasaurus.

That brings us up to an even forty cards, so let's recap the changes!

-2 Constellar Kaus
-3 Oracle of the Sun
-1 Call Of The Haunted
-2 Seven Tools of the Bandit
-2 Magic Planter
-3 Vanity's Emptiness
-1 Trap Stun
-1 Safe Zone

+1 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
+2 Solar Wind Jammer
+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+3 Effect Veiler
+2 Pot of Dichotomy
+2 Xyz Reborn

-1 Ojama Knight
-1 Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech
+1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
+1 ZW - Leo Arms

The final build of the deck is as follows…

DECKID=99331I really like this thing. I've had a lot of fun the past year running competitive Rank 5 decks that were similar to Bob's strategy, packing everything from Star Drawing to Garbage Lord, but it never occurred to me to make an all-Light variant for sake of Constellar Pleiades. This deck churns out Pleiades plays like nobody's business, and when your opponent thinks they've put you out of commission and found some room to breathe, Xyz Reborn shoots you right back into the game and locks in your control once again.

Depending on the shape of your metagame, you might find that Forbidden Lance works better for you than Safe Zone. I actually prefer Lance, but I generally try to stick as closely as possible to the original design of a contributor's deck, so Bob kept two of his Safe Zones. Still, test out those slots both ways yourself if you give this a try. You may also want to consider Main Decking a couple Mistake, too. With no Constellar Kaus there's no searching with Fire Formation – Tenki, and that can open up a huge opportunity. Generally, if something can run Mistake right now, I tend to test it with Mistake; it's huge against stuff like Mermails and Spellbooks, so give that a try if you've got the cards.

That's it for this week, but the format's just kicked off and we're just getting started! Check out the submission guidelines below and if you think you have a cool deck to feature in What The Fix?! don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail. The field's wide open, and all sorts of strategies could be workable, so send me yours!

-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