A PhD in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Deck Doctor

Hello readers, my name is Alexander Timothy Love, and I’m from Wisconsin. I’ve been playing this great game for around 3 years competitively, I absolutely love building decks, and I absolutely love writing articles. I spend a lot of my free time building and testing a lot of various under-the-radar decks, as well as placing many interesting twists in some of the top tier decks. Sometimes I build the same deck twice just to see if I can get different results. Fixing and helping people with their decks is my passion, and I greatly enjoy doing it. Since I moved in the past year, I write articles in my spare time to a group on Facebook that is full of my friends from High School that play competitive Yu-Gi-Oh, in order to help them get better as I do, but onto the reason that I’m here. The decks that Billy and Joe have provided are interestingly unique, but I have faith in this game’s uncanny ability to create success out of some of the strangest combinations of cards. With that in mind, let’s tackle the elephant in the room, and get right down to what we can do for this Gishki Hero Turbo Deck. Here’s Joe’s deck:

3 Gishki Soul Ogre
3 Gishki Vision
3 Destiny Hero Plasma
2 Destiny Hero Diamond Dude
2 Trageodia
2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
1 Sangan
1 Gishki Shadow
1 Elemental Hero Stratos
1 Dark Armed Dragon
1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness

3 Destiny Draw
3 Trade-In
3 Miracle Fusion
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Salvage
1 Gishki Aquamirror
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Dark Hole
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn

1 Grenosaurus
1 Melomelody the Brass Djinn
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Temtempo Percussion Djinn
1 Maestroke Symphony Djinn
1 Blade Armor Ninja
1 Heroic Champion Excalibur
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Gaia Dragon, Thunder Charger
1 Black Rose Dragon

Well Joe, if you wanted this to be a challenge, you have certainly done so. Let’s start with the idea of the deck in general.  With the above list, there is a lot of inherit draw power in combining the Gishki and Destiny Hero engines, but unless the win condition is to draw into more draw power, this deck has no point. I would say that you might be able to drop Absolute Zero from time to time, but since you have no Hero Fusions in your Extra Deck, that isn’t a possibility either. It cannot be understated that Absolute Zero is an extremely powerful presence on any game state, and it cannot be ignored by an opponent once it hits the field, but there are much better ways to make this card possible in a more competitive deck, namely by actually playing it. The deck may be able to put Evigiski Soul Ogre into play, but at the cost of the 1 Ritual Spell or its 1 recruiter in the deck, as well as having to have another Gishki monster in your hand for the tribute to bring out Soul Ogre, and even another just to activate it’s effect to remove face-up cards from the board, let alone abuse it to an extent to be called ‘turbo’. The Hero engine that was included seems purely to foster draw power, but omits the crucial Emergency Call, which adds needed consistency for getting Stratos for the turn 1 Trade-In/ Destiny Draw play. The only other application of this engine that I can see is the aforementioned ability to play Zero, but that doesn’t seem to be the intention.
So all in all, of the possible functions that the deck might be able to pull off, from speeding through the deck with Trade-In and Destiny Draw then dropping Absolute Zero, to removing the opponent’s cards with Soul Ogre, the engines that were chose to facilitate these actions are far from the most efficient or consistent ways to attempt to bring about a win. For the changes that I’m making, I will start with a complete archetype change from Gishkis into the new Atlanteans, as well as away from the Destiny side of the Hero archetype. Here’s my list:

Main Deck:
x19 Monsters
x1 Elemental HERO Stratos
x3 Elemental HERO Ice Edge
x3 Atlantean Dragoons
x3 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
x3 Atlantean Marksman
x1 Atlantean Attack Squad
x2 Tragoedia
x1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
x2 Maxx “C”

x21 Spells
x1 Monster Reborn
x1 Dark Hole
x1 Heavy Storm
x1 Reinforcement of the Army
x2 E – Emergency Call
x2 Pot of Duality
x3 Moray of Greed
x2 Salvage
x2 Messenger of Peace
x3 Miracle Fusion
x3 Call of the Atlaneans


Extra Deck:
x1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
x1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
x1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
x1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
x1 Number 20: Giga Brilliant
x2 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
x3 Elemental HERO Absolute Zero
x1 Elemental HERO The Shining
x1 Elemental HERO Nova Master
x1 Elemental HERO Escuridao
x1 Elemental HERO Gaia
x1 Elemental HERO Great Tornado

Total Changes:
-3 Evigishki Soul Ogre
-3 Gishki Vision
-1 Gishki Shadow
-3 Destiny HERO Plasma
-2 Destiny HERO Diamond Dude
-2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
-1 Sangan
-1 Dark Armed Dragon
-3 Destiny Draw
-3 Trade-In
-3 Mystical Space Typhoon
-1 Gishki Aquamirror
-1 Allure of Darkness
-1 Grenosaurus
-1 Melomelody the Brass Djinn
-1 Blade Armor Ninja
-1 Heroic Champion – Exalibur
-1 Number 39: Utopia
-1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
-1 Number 11: Big Eye
-1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
-1 Black Rose Dragon


+3 Elemental HERO Ice Edge
+3 Atlantean Dragoons
+3 Atlantean Marksman
+3 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
+1 Atlantean Attack Squad
+2 Maxx “C”
+2 Pot of Duality
+2 E – Emergency Call
+3 Moray of Greed
+3 Call of the Atlanteans
+2 Messenger of Peace
+1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
+1 Number 20: Giga Brilliant
+1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
+3 Elemental HERO Absolute Zero
+1 Elemental HERO The Shining
+1 Elemental HERO Nova Master
+1 Elemental HERO Escuridao
+1 Elemental HERO Gaia
+1 Elemental HERO Great Tornado


Now let’s get to the specifics:

-3 Evigishki Soul Ogre
-3 Gishki Vision
-1 Gishki Shadow
-3 Destiny HERO Plasma
-2 Destiny HERO Diamond Dude
-2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
-1 Sangan
-1 Dark Armed Dragon

+3 Elemental HERO Ice Edge
+3 Atlantean Dragoons
+3 Atlantean Marksman
+3 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
+1 Atlantean Attack Squad
+3 Call of the Atlanteans

So let’s talk about the function of this new deck. With the added Atlantean engine used in tandem with Elemental HERO Ice Edge, the amount of spot removal that the deck can push out is significantly higher, the consistency level has increased while maintaining a sufficient draw support engine, and the deck can now take games away with Absolute Zero. Ice Edge is the main form of discard power for your Altaneans in this deck, allowing you to search or destroy by activating his effect, as well as destroy another set card when he attacks, and due to Stratos, Reinforcement, and Emergency Call, you will likely see a copy of him in your opening hand. This form of removal will not only prevent your opponent from stopping your plays with set Spells or Traps, but it will also fill up your Graveyard with targets for Miracle Fusion to make Zeros, and targets for Call of the Atlanteans to make Rank 3 XYZ monsters. Overall, when it comes to an Archetype that can fill the Grave quickly with Water monsters, remove cards from the board easily, and mesh Flawlessly with Heroes to create Absolute Zero, Atlanteans fit the bill exceptionally better than Gishkis, and will provide you with a much better grind game being able to play off of the swarming abilities of Altanteans rather than sitting with dead copies of Plasma and Soul Ogre in your hand hoping to draw a Trade-In. Additionally, since many of the cards in this deck can revolve around manipulating the numbers in your Graveyard, a copy of Moulinglacia, the Elemental Lord would fit amazingly into this deck, but was left out due to its status of legality. Give me a rain check when Abyss Rising comes out, and I can guarantee it will be in any future recipe for this deck. One may find the lack of Deep Sea Diva disturbing, but the deck can’t afford the Extra Deck or Main Deck space to play Synchro Monsters, and I personally found it underwhelming in this deck. Onto the draw support.

-3 Destiny Draw
-3 Trade-In
-3 Mystical Space Typhoon
-1 Gishki Aquamirror
-1 Allure of Darkness

+2 Maxx “C”
+2 Pot of Duality
+2 E – Emergency Call
+3 Moray of Greed


The deck still contains much of the pace that I believe Joe was hoping to go for originally, with the 3 searching cards for the Hero engine as well as 2 Pot of Duality, 3 Moray of Greed and 2 Salvage, fueling more plays and helping you get to your boss Spell Cards, Miracle Fusion and Call of the Atlanteans. Also relevant is the removal of Mystical Space Typhoon from the Main Deck. As previously stated, the deck has a lot of removal in the form of Atlanteans and Ice Edge, so these are better sided to make room for other cards that will be better draws in Game 1. Maxx “C” is added as protection against deadly combos, allowing you to draw into cards like Tragoedia and Gorz, which make up for the lack of Traps in the deck.

+2 Messenger of Peace

The final tech piece in this deck is Messenger of Peace. Over the past year, this card has sky rocketed in play, starting as a tech in Watt decks, then becoming a side deck tech in Wind-Ups and Inzektors, and now over the past month has become nearly staple in every build of Wind-Ups going into a regional or YCS, due to its ability to stop your opponent dead in their tracks when they least expect it, while allowing your smaller monsters to keep on the offensive. The messenger finds itself right at home in this deck, helping to protect Ice Edge until he can get his job done, as well as provide shelter for Atlanteans, which can sit under this card and attack directly thanks to Atlantean Dragoons. Messenger is preferred over Level Limit Area B due to its ability to destroy its self during your Standby Phase if you want to play more aggressively with Miracle Fusion and Call of the Atlanteans.

-1 Grenosaurus
-1 Melomelody the Brass Djinn
-1 Blade Armor Ninja
-1 Heroic Champion – Exalibur
-1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
-1 Number 39: Utopia
-1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
-1 Number 11: Big Eye
-1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
-1 Black Rose Dragon

+1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
+1 Number 20: Giga Brilliant
+1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
+3 Elemental HERO Absolute Zero
+1 Elemental HERO The Shining
+1 Elemental HERO Nova Master
+1 Elemental HERO Escuridao
+1 Elemental HERO Gaia
+1 Elemental HERO Great Tornado

Success comes in small steps, and we can start by adding in the Hero Fusions to the Extra Deck. 3 Zeros is necessary, and the rest of the Fusions are just in case you need to get out of a tight spot, since they can be all be made with other cards from the Extra Deck. Alternatively, you could opt to play Rank 4 XYZ Monsters in their place, but the only relevant things would be Maestroke and Abyss Dweller from Abyss Rising, but I chose to not include cards from that set. Gachi is added for Call of the Atlanteans plays, same with the 2nd Leviathan Dragon and Giga Brilliant. Everything that was removed was not only irrelevant to the new deck, but also to the old deck, which couldn’t really make Extra Deck plays at all.
In closing on this deck, I’d like to say that I didn’t just take the deck and change it into something completely different to spare me the hassle of having to make a Gishki Hero Turbo Deck that was actually good, but I tried to take the concepts that were attempting to express themselves in the old deck and accomplish them in a more efficient way that will be more advantageous to the player, thus giving them a better chance to win on a consistent basis, which is always good in any deck.
Now let’s move on to Billy’s Deck. I really dig Rock Stun as a deck idea, and I think it was an excellent pick for this contest, seeing as it’s a deck that can be very viable when built right, but it isn’t like Wind-Ups or Geargia where there are already established builds that you can just net-deck from any forum or Youtube video. Rock Stun is a deck that I’ve seen attempted in many different ways, with everything from Catapult Zone, Rock Bombardment and Solidarity to Rescue Rabbit builds or Seal of Orichalcos style decks, and I personally think that these kind of decks are extremely gimmicky, so when building this deck, I wanted to build a version that didn’t rely on something so, well… unreliable. Here’s Billy’s Deck:

Monsters: 19
3 Koa’ki Meiru Guardian
3 Koa’ki Meiru Sandman
3 Koa’ki Meiru Wall
3 Block Golem
2 Card Trooper
2 Maxx “C”
2 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
1 Neo-Spacian Grandmole

Spells:10
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Soul Taker
2 Pot of Duality
1 Seal of Orichalcos
1 Monster Reborn
1 Dark Hole

Traps: 12
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Solemn Warning
2 Call of the Haunted
2 Bottomless Traphole
2 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Starlight Road

Extra Deck: 15
2 Gem-Knight Pearl
2 Kochi Kochi Dragon
2 Soul of Silver Mountain
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Wind-Up Zenmaister
1 Gachi Gachi
1 Fairy King Albverdich
1 Gaia Knight, Force of Earth
1 Naturia Beast
1 Naturia Barkion
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon

First off, I examined pretty much every viable Rock and Earth monster that the game has to offer, and tried to determine what this deck’s primary goal is, and what monsters we want to abuse here. Obviously, the holy trinity of Koa’ki Meiru monsters that this deck has to offer in Sandman, Guardian, and Wall are going to be your main monsters to rely on, acting as every flavor of Doomcaliber Knight, and we all know how important Doomcaliber is in Stun Decks. But what sets Rock Stun apart from regular Stun Decks is Block Golem. Block Golem is a godsend for this deck, being a Rescue Cat that grabs Rocks from your Graveyard, allowing you to toolbox any 2 Koa’Ki Meiru monsters at almost any time. Seizing this as the point of the deck, I got to work, and came up with this recipe:

Main Deck:
x20 Monsters
x3 Koa’Ki Meiru Guardian
x3 Koa’Ki Meiru Sandman
x3 Koa’Ki Meiru Wall
x3 Block Golem
x2 Gigantes
x3 Beast King Barbaros
x3 Grandsoil, the Elemental Lord

x9 Spells
x1 Monster Reborn
x1 Dark Hole
x1 Heavy Storm
x3 Mystical Space Typhoon
x3 Trade-In

x11 Traps
x2 Skill Drain
x2 Torrential Tribute
x3 Call of the Haunted
x2 Solemn Warning
x1 Dark Bribe
x1 Solemn Judgment

Extra Deck:
x1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
x1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
x1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
x1 Soul of Silver Mountain
x1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
x1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
x1 Wind-Up Zenmaister
x2 Kachi Kochi Dragon
x1 Photon Papilloperative
x2 Fairy King Albverdich
x1 Gem-Knight Pearl
x1 Number 16: Shock Master
x1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis

Total Changes:
-2 Card Trooper
-2 Maxx “C”
-2 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
-1 Neo-Spacian Grandmole
-2 Soul Taker
-2 Pot of Duality
-1 Seal of Orichalcos
-2 Dimensional Prison
-2 Bottomless Trap Hole
-1 Starlight Road
-1 Gem-Knight Pearl
-1 Soul of Silver Mountain
-1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
-1 Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth
-1 Naturia Beast
-1 Naturia Barkion
-1 Scrap Dragon
-1 Stardust Dragon

+2 Gigantes
+3 Beast King Barbaros
+3 Grandsoil the Elemental Lord
+3 Trade-In
+2 Skill Drain
+1 Call of the Haunted
+1 Dark Bribe
+1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
+1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
+1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
+1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
+1 Photon Papilloperative
+1 Number 16: Shock Master
+1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis


First, let’s talk about monsters.

-2 Card Trooper
-2 Maxx “C”
-2 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
-1 Neo-Spacian Grandmole

+2 Gigantes
+3 Beast King Barbaros
+3 Grandsoil the Elemental Lord

The only major problem that I saw in the monster line-up is the lack of a boss monster, so I gave you a few of those with Barbaros and Grandsoil. Barbaros takes full advantage of Skill Drain, being an easy 3000 on the board, and with the help of Gigantes, Block Golem, and Call of the Haunted, Grandsoil becomes really easy to drop and take advantage of. I don’t think Card Trooper is really all that helpful in this deck, even with the addition of Grandsoil, because you have so many other viable 1900 ATK beaters in the deck, his milling effect is always a hit or miss, and with a deck that needs to put just the right cards into the Graveyard to be effective, he is a card that could stand to go. Fossil Dyna is an amazing card for slower anti-meta decks in general, and would seem to be a shoe-in for Rock Stun, but this is actually a deck that needs to Special Summon a lot with Block Golem to put constant pressure on the opponent, and his effect to restrict that can become stale, but he is definitely a card that I would be playing 2 copies of in your Side Deck, along with Maxx “C”. I would actually consider playing this deck at 41 cards with the inclusion of Neo-Spacian Grandmole since he is such a powerful card, but he seems almost win-more when you consider how versatile the Koa’Ki Meiru monsters actually are when combined with Block Golem’s constant recursion factor, especially when combined with Call of the Haunted, so I opted for the 40 card build for consistency, which is needed in this deck.

-2 Soul Taker
-2 Pot of Duality
-1 Seal of Orichalcos

+3 Trade-In

I really only think that the Seal of Orichalcos is good in a select few decks right now, and that it can be a very big hindrance on the number of potential plays that you can make if it is recklessly thrown into any deck not specifically designed for it, so it had to be cut. Generally speaking, Solidarity is a better card to be considered in type-themed stun decks, but there are not enough Rock monsters between the Main and Extra deck to effectively use Block Golem XYZ plays to their full potential. Soul Taker is removed because between the Koa’Ki Meiru monsters and Barbaros, there shouldn’t be a lot of opposing monsters that you have a hard time getting over in this deck. Since I’ve added quite a few level 8 monsters into the deck, I figured you could borrow Joe’s set of Trade-Ins since he’s not using them. The added draw power gives the deck easier access to Block Golem and Skill Drain while putting Earth monsters in the Graveyard for Grandsoil and Call of the Haunted.

-2 Dimensional Prison
-2 Bottomless Trap Hole
-1 Starlight Road

+2 Skill Drain
+1 Call of the Haunted
+1 Dark Bribe

With the constant flow of your hefty Rock monsters and their effects to get rid of your opponent’s pesky cards, monster removal like Dimensional Prison and Bottomless Trap Hole can be cut for more important cards like Skill Drain and the 3rd Call of the Haunted. Skill Drain is an amazing card in this deck as it doesn’t hinder the effects of any of your monsters while stopping a majority of the meta-game, so it was a much needed addition to the deck. Maxing out on Call of the Haunted is to ensure that you can get the most out of tossing Barbaros in your Graveyard, while also being able to repeatedly abuse Block Golem, forcing your opponent to deal with multiple combinations Koa’Ki Meiru monsters turn after turn. Also notable to mention as that after Gigantes is properly summoned from your hand, you can also revive him during the Battle Phase to force activate his effect. The lone Dark Bribe replaces Starlight Road to help keep Skill Drain face-up for as many turns as possible without risking putting Stardust Dragon into your Graveyard.

-1 Gem-Knight Pearl
-1 Soul of Silver Mountain
-1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
-1 Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth
-1 Naturia Beast
-1 Naturia Barkion
-1 Scrap Dragon
-1 Stardust Dragon

+1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
+1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
+1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
+1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
+1 Photon Papilloperative
+1 Number 16: Shock Master
+1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis

Although Rank 3 XYZ Monsters aren’t overly common in this deck, since the Extra Deck has a lot of extra room, you can fit a lot of the staple line-up and keep in cards like Temtempo and Soul of Silver Mountain that mesh well with the deck. The Synchros are obviously cut due to a complete lack of Rock Tuners to abuse with Block Golem, and more generic XYZ are used in place to create more options with Block Golem and Call of the Haunted that can secure a late-game win when keeping Block Golem live isn’t needed anymore. Cards such as Shock Master and Heliopolis can be made easily and have a devastating impact on the game, so to me they are worth the room in the Extra.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, because I sure enjoyed writing it, and I’m so inspired by the decks that I have built that I want to build them and play them at my locals sometime in the near future. I hope this isn’t the last time that I get a chance to write for Altereality Games, and I hope that I’ll be back shortly fixing more obscure decks for readers like you. Lastly, I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to say this at the end of an article I’ve written, so play hard or go home!

Alex Lord

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