People just keep sending me Raccoon decks.

…And they keep turning out to be really cool, and totally different! Inzektors have taken repeated Top 8's and even YCS top 32's this format; they're a proven rogue pick that puts in work and gets results. In the past we've seen several different variants of the strategy that relied on Insect Imitation and free Level 2 monsters to get Inzektor Dragonfly and Inzektor Centipede to the field quickly and reliably: Agent builds played The Agent of Creation – Venus to Special Summon Mystic Shine Balls, converting them into Level 3 Inzektors and making free Rank 2's along the way. Frog Inzektors could constantly revive Ronintoadin as a free Blocker, a free Rank 2 Xyz Material, Tribute, and of course the necessary cost for Insect Imitation. Those strategies haven't Top 8'd this format to the best of my knowledge, but they've been quite successful whenever they've cropped up in previous seasons.

Free Level 2's plus Inzektors equals success, so there's no question about the thought process behind today's Raccoon Inzektor mashup. When you Normal Summon Baby Raccoon Ponpoko, you Special Summon a Level 2 Beast face-down as a free +1. You can then sack off either on the following turn for Insect Imitation without losing card presence. Baby Raccoon Tantan does largely the same thing off a Flip Summon. Even without an Imitation the cards work together to thin your deck towards important Inzektor cards, and overlaying to make Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu to buy time and draw out attackers… which you can then destroy with Inzektor Hornet.

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It's a cool strategy with a lot of potential, and it's just different enough to create situations competitive players won't be ready for; situations where your opponent may make critical Mistakes. Here's what today's contributor had to say about it.


Dear Jason,

I really like Inzektors due to the artwork and the fact that they're based off Kamen Rider Kabuto. I also like Raccoons, because they're way too cute and Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu's a really good card! Since I started playing the game, I've had a thing for taking two completely different and unrelated archetypes and making a deck out of it.

The strategy I'm submitting is a Raccoon Inzektor deck, that spams Raccoons and uses Insect Imitation as a gateway to the Inzektor engine since they're all Level 2. The main body of the deck is the Raccoons and the Level 3 Inzektors.

Thanks,

-Christian V. ~ London


I think Christian did a really good job creating this build: it's very focused, using the Raccoons in a fairly conservative fashion to reinforce his core Inzektor plays. He's taken what could be a crazy, unbalanced strategy and really played it safe to ensure consistent results. It's tough to overstate just how good it is when you drop Baby Raccoon Ponpoko to set up a Tantan-into-Wind-Up Kitten play, then 1-for-1 right into an Inzektor set-up. That's largely just a two-card combo, and it creates so many problems for your opponent to deal with that it's nearly impossible to handle all the variables you put on the table.

Dealing with Inzektors alone is really tough, but trying to keep Baby Raccoon Tantan from creating crazy plays as well? That's a real challenge, and it can force your opponent into a lose-lose situation: if they don't commit cards to the field to try and beat your set-up early, they take a ton of damage and lose what they do play. But if they over-commit to try and outlast all your threats, they can lose everything to Inzektor Hornet sequences anyways. This strategy can create set-ups that place more pressure on your opponent than a regular Inzektor build, and that takes opponents out of their comfort zone and into unknown territory.

Here's what Christian's deck looks like…

DECKID=99931One of the coolest things about Christian's deck is that there's nothing missing here. Last week I showed you a Bujin Dark World mashup where compromises had to be made: it ran basically half a Dark World lineup, and didn't have room for a couple notable Bujin cards as well. Here, that's not really the case: this is basically a complete Inzektor lineup, joined by enough Raccoons and accompany Beasts to get the job done. There's really no compromises needed, and it feels like a complete strategy instead of a half-built bridge between two themes.

And like I said, it's stable! Despite how nutty "Raccoon Inzektors" sounds, this is actually a very down-to-earth build. In fact, that's actually my number one reservation: if anything this strategy isn't ambitious enough. Today's fix won't involve a ton of cards being swapped around, and the end product's going to look a lot like the original submission. But with just a few tweaks, we can make even better use of the cards Christian's opted to play, and create more powerful options in the early game – the number one place where Inzektors can sometimes stumble.

Letting The Fur Fly
Get it? Because Raccoons have fur, and Inzektors are flies.

…Enjoy it, people! That's as clever as I'm going to be tonight.

I want some diversification in the Beast monsters this strategy can draw on, for reasons that will become clear but that might be able to guess at. For now, let's just say options are good: Wind-Up Kitten's a great card, but I'm dropping one copy to make room for other Beasts.

Inzektor Hopper's an alright card, but it's far from essential and I think the added consistency of Insect Imitation makes it largely irrelevant. You really never want to see this thing: it fills gaps in a regular Inzektor build that this one doesn't really suffer from. I'm dropping that too.

Two Pot of Duality are an easy drop that again, you won't really mind since it conflicts with Insect Imitation's Special Summon. In a normal Inzektor build Pot of Duality has tremendous worth since it gets you to your key combos. Here, it's outclassed by Imitation tricks and fails to dovetail with it. It would also interfere with one of the cards I want to add.

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Mirror Force is for grannies. There, I said it. Experienced duelists rarely play into Mirror Force with two or more monsters to give you a +1 of card economy, and there are just too many monsters that resist destruction in this format for the card to be worth playing anymore. Number 101: Silent Honor ARK; Maestroke the Symphony Djinn; Bujintei Kagutsuchi; Bujingi Hare; and a bunch of other monsters dodge Mirror Force, basically for free. Dimensional Prison's a more reliable card, with its drawback being that it can't get you the same +1 that Mirror Force usually won't get you either. I cast thee out, maker of false promises.

And that's it. That's six cards. That's all I want this week!

Six Cards Might Not Sound Like Much…
But it's enough to get the job done here. Surprise surprise! I want Obedience Schooled. When this deck opens with Inzektor combos, you feel good about life. When you get a Raccoon combo wth Insect Imitaton, doors open and champagne pours from the heavens. But when you don't? Well, stuff's still sticky. There's little reason to not make this deck's early game even stronger, and provide more off-theme largely unforeseeable mid-game tricks, so Obedience Schooled it is. Three copies. Open with a Level 2 Beast and Obedience, and you have an instant Naturai Beast and a protected Number 64: Ronin Racoon Sandayu; just pop Obedience, grab three Beasts, Summon a fourth, and overlay for Sandayu. Use its ability to Summon a Kagemusha Raccoon Token and you've got five Levels to Synchro Summon Naturia Beast.

…If you have a Level 2 Earth Tuner. So we're going to add one Elephun to make that all happen. I also want one Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest since it's so good with Baby Raccoon Tantan, and even if Tantan doesn't survive an attack that flips it, Kalantosa's great here as a quick +1 that then becomes fodder for Insect Imitation. It's a fifth Beast to count towards the three Beasts needed for Obedience Schooled too, so we keep the Beast lineup slim and manageable while maximizing Obedience's playability.

That's five of my six card slots, so the last thing I want to add is a Trap Stun. Inzektor decks go off hard when they work properly, and the option to lock down your opponent's back row often means your opponent will lose all of those cards, and all of their monsters; it's always an eventual win if not an immediate win that turn. Trap Stun makes it happen, stopping virtually every card that could stop you. It's also stellar backup for Naturia Beast and Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu, which resist destruction by battle and by spell cards respectively, but that both have issues with traps.

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Over in the Extra Deck I want another Ronin Raccoon and a Naturia Beast so we can capitalize on the Main Deck changes. I also want a Leviair the Sea Dragon, because I consider it a must for Inzektor strategies: players Side Deck D.D. Crow, and Gladiator Beast decks with Gladiator Beast Retiari are seeing more and more Regional Top 8 success. Banish effects happen, and when they happen to Inzektor Hornet you tend to get a pretty big sad as a result. Leviair the Sea Dragon lets you pull those situations out of the fire by bringing Hornet back into the game.

Gachi Gachi Gantetsu always winds up being sub-par for Raccoons; Number 17: Leviathan Dragon's largely redundant when you can upgrade anything else Rank 3 or lower into Downerd Magician; and Daigusto Emeral's largely wishful thinking, especially with Inzektor Hopper gone. Easy ins, easy outs.

That leaves us with a short list of revisions as follows:

-1 Wind-Up Kitten
-1 Inzektor Hopper
-2 Pot of Duality
-2 Mirror Force

+1 Elephun
+1 Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest
+3 Obedience Schooled
+1 Trap Stun

-1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
-1 Number 17 : Leviathan Dragon
-1 Daigusto Emeral
+1 Number 64: Ronin Racoon Sandayu
+1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
+1 Naturia Beast

Just a tweak this week, since Christian did such an excellent job on following through with his concept! The resulting deck is ever so slightly more ambitious and less predictable, without sacrificing Christian's vision for consistency and wisely measured risk...

DECKID=99932Is there anything Raccoons can't do? I'll be honest, this entire idea largely slipped my mind, so I'm surprised to see how viable it wound up being. This is very different from the rest of the Raccoon decks we've discussed here on TCGplayer; it uses the Raccoons as a complementary support suite instead of giving them a starring role. And it works! It's a completely different context from what we've seen before, but it really pans out nicely. The Raccoons end up being both a robust source of options that contribute to your central Inzektor strategy, and a great set of standalone cards when drawn on their own.

Everything but Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest has substantial uses when draw, and even topdecking a Kalantosa can be salvaged more easily than normal thanks to not just Rank 2 plays, but by the wondrous Insect Imitation. Everything just knits together so well.

With the new F&L List announced and the changes largely just tweaking power balances for the most popular strategies, a deck like this one – which innovates a strategy we've already seen achieving success in Regional Top 8's and YCS Top 32's the last three months – is really well positioned right now. As the Fire Fist and Mermail duelists adapt to their slight handicaps, Bujins and Geargia will likely see more play, and both strategies seem favorable for this kind of destruction-heavy deck. There are a lot of tricks here that can help you pick apart and outlast your opponents as they focus on adapting to the shifting landscape, leaving you free to outmaneuver them and seek new opportunities.

See you in 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