Deck Doctor #27: Wind-up Rulers and Relinquished

tyler nolanHey readers, this week we’re going to start off by taking a look at Ryan McGonagle’s Wind-Up Ruler deck.

Ryan McGonagle
[ccDeck="Main Deck"]1 Wind-Up Magician:3 Wind-Up Shark:3 Wind-Up Rat:3 Wind-Up Rabbit:3 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders:3 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos:3 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls:2 Card Trooper:3 Maxx "C":1 Swift Scarecrow:3 Wind-Up Factory:3 Sacred Sword of Seven Stars:1 Gold Sarcaphagus:1 Dark Hole:1 Mystical Space Typhoon:1 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation:1 Return from the Different Dimension:1 Sixth Sense:1 Raigeki Break:2 Vanity’s Emptiness[/ccDeck]

This is definitely an interesting take on Wind-Ups. The concept is similar to Dragunity Ruler, where you play a separate theme in order to fuel the Dragon Ruler effects, and gain additional angles of attack. Where the Dragunity list has synergy from Dragon Ravine and Tempest effect, this deck just plans to play two different games at once. Use it’s normal summons on Wind-Up monsters, while still being able to apply extra pressure through the Dragon Rulers.

buylistWind-Ups are a very normal-summon heavy theme, and as such I don’t really like Card Trooper in this list. Trooper has been getting the axe in a lot of Dragon Ruler lists for various reasons, but mainly for being Crimson Blader food. Trooper would be a consideration if you needed more normal summons in the deck, but I think you’re fine with just the Wind-Up monsters.

I mentioned last week that I don’t like Dark Hole very much, and with Stardust Spark Dragon about to come out, I like it even less. Dark Hole has it’s place in slower metagames, but when decks can so easily either kill you from no field, or easily establish a field that Dark Hole can’t even break profitably, then it’s time to start reconsidering Dark Hole in the main.

Back in March, I was playing with Wind-Ups quite a bit, and even when my deck was fully focused around the theme, I found myself not liking the 3rd copy of Rat. The idea was that Rat wasn’t very good to see early on, and by the late game when rat is good, you have seen more cards, and you basically play 5 effective copies of Rat due to the Factories. So you still always had it when you needed it, but you also drew it early less. With this deck not even fully focused on the Wind-Up theme, I’d definitely cut the 3rd Rat out of the deck.

Aside from that though, it all looks pretty solid. The only other thing that really stands out to me as potential cuts are some of the Maxx “C”s, or the DDR. But DDR with the Wind-Up engine actually seems absurd. And because this deck is so much slower than a typical Dragon Ruler variant, I feel the Maxx “C”s are pretty necessary.

The cuts in summary:
-2 Card Trooper
-1 Dark Hole
-1 Wind-Up Rat

As I said earlier, without access to Dragon Ravine, Tempest’s effect, or Cards of Consonance, we’re a much slower deck than every typical Dragon list. What we can try to do though, is be as consistent as possible at being a slower Dragon deck. To do this, I’m going to start by adding 2 Pot of Duality. Realistically, the first couple turns of the game you won’t have enough cards to actually summon any Dragons. Duality both helps get those Dragons, and makes your Wind-Up plan much more consistent.

I also want to add Torrential Tribute, for the same basic idea. Early on, we’re going to be playing an extremely aggressive Wind-Up variant, to set us up for our Dragon Ruler endgame. Torrential helps us survive that early game, and with Wind-up Rabbits in the deck you’re often not going to be Torrentialing anything of your own that is super important.

Lastly, I want to add a Mirror Force. While I’m not the biggest fan of this card, I definitely think it fits in well with a slower deck that runs triple Maxx “C”. Pretty useless versus Prophecy, but versus Dragon it can put in an astonishing amount of work, especially if they don’t see it coming. I’m mostly just adding in Mirror Force as another trap to help us survive the early stages of the game though, and this is the best trap to help us do that.

Additions in Summary:
+2 Pot of Duality
+1 Torrential Tribute
+1 Mirror Force

Next up, we’re going to take a look at Casey William’s Relinquished deck:

[ccDeck="Main Deck"]3 Relinquished:3 Manju:3 Djinn Releaser of Rituals:2 Tour Guide from the Underworld:2 Effect Veiler:1 Djinn Disserere of Rituals:1 Armageddon Knight:1 Mystic Tomato:1 Tsukuyomi:1 Tour Bus from the Underworld:1 Chaos Sorcerer:1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning:1 Maxx C:3 Black Illusion Ritual:3 Preparation of Rites:2 Mystical Space Typhoon:1 Dark Hole:1 Allure of Darkness:1 Book of Moon:2 Scrap-Iron Scarecrow:2 Magic Cylinder:1 Torrential Tribute:1 Mirror Force:1 Bottomless Trap Hole:1 Fiendish Chain[/ccDeck]

I always thought this deck was interesting. Relinquished, when made with the right ritual material, is like a super-Fossil Dyna, and this deck has a lot of ways to make sure you have that material. Most of the changes here are going to just be cutting sub-par cards for better ones.

We’re going to start off by cutting the Tour Bus. Even in decks that have to choose between Bus and Night Assailant for another Tour Guide target, I pick Assailant every time. In this deck, you don’t even need to run any of those because of the Djinns.

I don’t think Tsukuyomi is very good I this deck either. Generally you’re going to be summoning your Relinquished with a Djinn, and if you Tsukuyomi the Relinquished down, you lose the benefits from that Djinn. Releaser is the reason to play this deck, I don’t really see many situations arising where you want to sacrifice that effect just to eat another guy.

Mystic Tomato strikes me as a little slow right now, and you’re really just playing it to search for Djinn. I feel a 2nd Armageddon Knight, or even a Foolish Burial would be better suited for this slot.

I especially don’t like Dark Hole in this deck, where the aim is to protect your Relinquished. Relinquished clears the field by himself to get a setup fairly easily, so Dark Hole doesn’t really do that much here.

As far as traps go, both Magic Cylinders and the Scrap Irons are getting cut. Neither of these cards impact the board positively, and it’s better to just have traps that simplify, or protect the Relinquished. Similarly, I don’t like the Torrential Tribute because it goes against the protect-the-Relinquished plan that this deck aims to have.

The cuts in summary:
-1 Tour Bus from the Underworld
-1 Tsukuyomi
-1 Mystic Tomato
-1 Dark Hole
-2 Magic Cylinders
-2 Scrap-Iron Scarecrow
-1 Torrential Tribute

Nine cuts, most of these are going to be traps, though to start I want to add a Thunder King Rai-Oh. With protection, this guy just ends the game against every big deck, and he’s a light for Black Luster Soldier.

Versus Dragon, the biggest threat for your Relinquished are cards like Raigeki Break and Blaster’s effect. Gagaga Shield was an interesting card that some Spellbook decks played to protect Jowgen, and I feel like it fits into this deck pretty well. I’m going to add 2 copies.

A trap that I like a lot right now that I feel is extremely underlooked is Prideful Roar. Versus Dragon, it’s a slightly worse Sakuretsu Armor, but versus decks like Spellbook, and Evilswarm, it’s a trap that completely dodges Spellbook of Wisdom, and Infestation Pandemic. It can also be used offensively, which rarely comes up, but is still worth noting. I’m adding 2.

A protected, Released Relinquished is completely beatable for almost every deck. Forbidden Lance seems like an extremely strong card. Lance protects your Relinquished not only from battle, but also from pesky Wind Blasts, or Raigeki Breaks. It’s worth noting, that since it’s Relinquished’s effect that increases his attack rather than the equip spell, he only loses 800 atk, not his entire boost. Lastly, I want to add the 2nd Mirror Force to the main.

Until next week, if you have a list you’d like doctored by either Johnny or myself, send us a message at

Also, be sure to check out the Circuit Series in Worcester, MA on November 16-17!


And remember to Play Hard or Go Home!