Charlotte and the Future of Nordics

In Yu-Gi-Oh, there are always those archetypes which come out in new sets, which everyone dismisses as bad, unplayable, stupid, so on and so forth. Gladiator Beast was one of these, until Paul Levitin, beyond all odds piloted the deck and won a Shonen Jump Championship with it, before cards like Gyzarus and War Chariot even existed. The saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” could never be so correct in this instance. Many decks are much deeper then at first glance, and the Nordic deck is one of them, which to be honest, surprised even me!

As of Thursday night, I still had no idea what to run at YCS Charlotte, which led me to think of not even bother going. I didn’t feel comfortable with anything, and I knew that if I ran any of the decks I had been testing, I wouldn’t do well. At this point I turned to a good friend of mine, asking for his advice, something which I don’t often do. What he had told me made me almost go with the deck I was going to run, Dragunities, but he had thrown something at me that appealed to me. He told me he had all the cards to build a Nordic deck if I wanted to run them.

I had no idea what many Nordic Cards did, so I immediately went to the Yu-Gi-Oh wiki and browsed the cards available. I couldn’t understand why anyone would run this deck at first. But as I talked to my friend and read on,  I saw some combos which appealed to me, and since I didn’t feel good running any deck, I said to myself “Well screw it, if I’m not gonna win I’m at least gonna have fun!”. And that’s exactly what I did… but boy was I going to be surprised what the weekend would bring.

Friday night, I meet up with my friend and borrow all the cards, go back to my Hotel around 9pm. YCS is only a few hours away and so I start screwing around with the deck nonstop trying to find a build somewhat competitive. I build what I think is going to work best and play against my friends, with dreadful results. I’m so disheartened for some reason, even though I wasn’t expecting to do well. I change a few things in my deck, extra, and side, and decide to try and sleep (again, with awful results).

Now to speed things up a bit, I’ll jump right into the tournament. I ended up getting a round 1 feature match vs. the WORST possible matchup ever. Gravekeeper’s with triple Thunder King Rai-oh.  Believe me, I QQ’ed. But I somehow managed to pull out a win, I didn’t know if it was luck, the deck, my skill, or something of all three, but I was happy I won either way.

I proceeded to go 5-0. This turned heads, started gossip, and everywhere I turned people would stop and ask me “NORDICS!? REALLY?!?” I had more people watching my matches then many of the Feature Matches at times. It was quite overwhelming. By the end of the tournament though, I was sadly 8-3. Losing to 2 Gravekeeper decks, and an X Saber deck. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the decks I lost too, but the card Royal Oppression. All matches I lost were to that 1 card, which made me very, very upset.

Still though, I accomplished something no one has done yet with the Nordic Deck. This made many people go around trying to find cards to build and test the deck themselves. People started to second guess the common consensus that Nordics were garbage, including myself. I had totally been shocked by my performance, but still sadly disappointed I didn’t make it to the top cut. I firmly believe that if I had more than 12 hours to test and build the deck, I would have made top 32. There is always a next time though!

So without further delay, the Nordic Deck I ran at YCS Charlotte!

Monsters: 17

3 Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant

3 Tanngrisnir of the Nordic Beasts

3 Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts

3 Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts

3 Super-Nimble Mega Hamster

2 Effect Veiler

Spells: 11

3 Pot of Duality

2 Pot of Avarice

2 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Book of Moon

1 Monster Reborn

1 Dark Hole

1 Giant Trunade

Traps: 13

3 Gleipnir, the Fetters of Fenrir

1 Trap Dustshoot

2 Trap Stun

1 Solemn Judgment

2 Solemn Warning

2 Dimensional Prison

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Royal Oppression

Extra: 15

2 Thor, Lord of the Aesir

2 Stardust Dragon

2 Blackrose Dragon

1 Odin, Father of the Aesir

1 Ancient Sacred Wyvern

1 Scrap Dragon

1 Colossal Fighter

1 Scrap Archfiend

1 Ancient Fairy Dragon

1 Thought Ruler Archfiend

1 Brioanc Dragon of the Ice Barrier

Although many people think getting out the Nordic Gods is my win condition, this was not true. They are simply a tool just like every other Synchro Monster. You don’t bring them out because you CAN but because they are perfect for the situation.

My favorite plays usually happen after an opponent attacks a Super Nimble Mega Hamster. After this, if Hamster survives the attack, you can get Tanngnjostr face down, during your turn flip it up, and use its effect to Special Summon Guldfaxe. You can then proceed to Synchro with Hamster into a Level 8 monster, preferably Stardust in most situations, or a Level 7 monster.

Because there were so many Dragunity and Gravekeeper decks, being able to easily summon Black Rose Dragon, or Ancient Fairy Dragon, to destroy your opponents cards and Field Spells is beyond a blessing. I wish that I even ran 2 Ancient Fairy Dragon now if I could go back and change it.
Going first, and setting Tanngnjostr and some sort of defensive card and/or a Trap Stun is how I won so many games. This would allow me to protect my monster if needed, or against passive decks like GK and early game X Saber, which will just set a monster and numerous back rows their first turn, I wouldn’t need to worry about them trying to Summon a monster and attack my face down monster. So on the following turn, I would simply flip a Trap Stun, flip Tanngnjostr, and precede to Black Rose Dragon them. This normally caught about 3-5 cards, giving me an early advantage.

The surprise factor of the deck is insane. You catch so many people off guard with obscure plays, and even more obscure cards, that many times you’ll leave your opponent in a stupor, unknowing how to retaliate. This gives the deck an extreme advantage. The Nordic deck is certainly something I think we will see more of in the future.

Even though YCS is over now, I plan on working on this deck even more. I think there is something here that many players have dismissed, and I’m going to make sure I won’t miss something important, or game changing. As I said before, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, because who knows what hidden treasures you could be passing up!




Latest posts by LMJeffJones (see all)



  • Dean

    Hey I also run a Nordic deck but I use all three of the Gods and their Tuners they need. A nordic deck relies on the Synchros for there main hitters so it would be best to throw in some staple synchro monsters. The only problem I see with the Nordics is that they need more cards. My deck has pulled me some victories going against Six Samurais, Karakuris, and X-Sabers. I would be happy to e-mail you my deck list for any questions.

  • AesirGod808

    hi im trying to do a variant build off of your updated nordic build but having a bit of trouble trying to fitt them like for example i read your article about “safety first” thought that was awesome figured id try to incorporate it in my nordic deck so i just ordered
    2x safe zone
    2x debunk

    any thoughts on how i can add these in… or if i even should add them? i pretty much follow your build except i dont run effect veiler i have 3 valkyries in place of solemn warnings i have 2 seven tools for now…..i also run different burial from a different dimension dont have solemn judgement yet ….. so please i value your opinions so any help from you would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    aloha from hawaii

  • Almighty Thor

    Best Of luck Jeff, I really do hope u Take Nordic all the way to the Top next time. I play Nordic to and all my friends, always tell me that they SUCK!

  • Miguel

    Me gustaria que se pensara en la colocar Nordic Relic Gungnir dentro de las trampas del deck. Me parece que es una carta clave para lograr el control del campo en un deck nordic. Me parece muy buena elección la inclusion de Ancient Fairy Dragon en extra deck.

  • “Although many people think getting out the Nordic Gods is my win condition, this was not true. They are simply a tool just like every other Synchro Monster. You don’t bring them out because you CAN but because they are perfect for the situation.”

    ^^^This. I know this is a common misconception by the majority of people who play the game.

    After Quickdraw debuted so well with your win at the 75th Jump, I’d see people literally burning their hand to bring out Drill Warrior in every game and then they’d lose easily.

    Quickdraw was a control deck that could achieve victories through ryko pluses, Tytannial and Hamster beat, Caius, and Debris synch’ing.

    The Drill Warrior was there as an optional win condition, and in my case, I would play Drill in 1 game out of every 2 matches.

  • Hey Jeff,

    nice performance at Charlotte. I also like the evolutions which you presented in your latest youtube video. I’m working on my own version of Nordics and recently got to the point where I think about to only splash or combine Nordics to use only their best mechanic – obviously the “black goat into horse”-plays (actually testing a build with zombies, which make Fitzgerald and Dark End viable). What do YOU about the splash topic? Could this be a step into the more competitive future of the Nordic theme?


  • xomox

    interesting build what would you use to get rid of royal opp? what did you side in ? and any thoughts on chaos nordics ?

  • Mark315

    Excellent job @ Charlotte!! I was rooting for you the whole way! I’ve been exploring the Nordic synchro engine since STOR’s release, and the maindeck you ran is quite similar to my own, but the extra deck, however, is very different. I’m not going to ask you why you ran certain cards; however I will question the exclusion of several cards that have been discussed throughout many online forums, just to see what POV you have on them, and why you chose NOT to run any of these.

    Zeman the Ape King – I can probably assume that the reliance on Vanadis, adn the 17-monster count probably led you away from this, but it does seem like this guy could be a real threat with this deck. Not too sure, since I haven’t tested him myself yet.

    Voltic Bicorn – This guy saw a lot of discussion on forums, being a decent-sized beater at the key level, and a great way to draw out Warnings. The huge mill effect does hit both players, which can be double-edged, but it certainly helps to get your Avarices online……or just mills them off. I’m personally a bit iffy on this, and I’m guessing you figured the risk/reward nature of his effect wasn’t worth it.

    Mist Wurm – Again, I’ll just assume that the reliance on Vanadis specifically to tune Wurm out gave him the nod to get lost, as well as the fact that with Black Rose Dragon spam, there’s really not a ton of need for him; more of a cute trick than anything else, probably why you didn’t run one.

    Ally of Justice Catastor – I’m quite sure a lot of dumb people gave you crap for not playing him, but as is the case with Wurm, you probably realized that you just didn’t need him, nor is using a Veiler with Hamster for Catastor generally an advisable play in this format. The Black Rose shenanigans likely are enough to handle most threats anyway.

    Lastly, I’d like to question the exclusion of Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter in your build? Not to say that playing Hamster automatically warrants the inclusion of Rykos like most people assume, but simply for more answers to random threats such as the Oppressions you claim gave you trouble? Do you feel your 8-3 would have been 11-0 if you had 2 more maindecked outs to Oppression? I’m not trying to imply anything negative; it just seems like a good fit. But who the hell am I? You’ve won SJC’s/YCS’s, and I’m a scrub, lol, so what do I know. You did mention that you built this essentially last minute on little sleep, so who knows…well, I’m hoping to hear more about this deck in general, and especially from you, being the first person to take it to any success at the YCS level. Best of luck, maybe we’ll see this top the next one?

  • Carlos

    i’ve been testing the combination of nordics with the new six samurais in my ds, it looks good. You should try that Jeff if that work. I would but i still miss some cards. I just hope the Nordics become the best archtype in the future!

    p.s: nordics are not that expensive, you just have to find good dealers in your locals, i got 2 vanadis, 2 fenrirs and 2 white goats for $50

  • Black Rose Dragon became a lot harder to summon thanks to Debris Dragon getting hit…and at such a terrible time. Book of Moon going to 1 means those plays are much harder to stop, and much more devastating. You were right to not take Chaos Plants at least, but it’s too bad the Nordic deck is so expensive.