Deck Doctoring with Drummer

Hey everybody! Jeremy McBride [drummerjmm] here with my newest ARG article! Some of you may know me from YouTube, some from any of my previous ARG articles, but most of you probably know me from my activity throughout various Yugioh groups on Facebook. Today I'm here looking for the chance to connect with you all much more often through ARG by directly helping you with any decks you may feel just aren’t quite where they should be!

To start off this possible reign as doctor, I’m met with the challenge of working with decks provided by two of our very own, and two of the games greatest players. The first of which in and of itself is already a fairly spectacular list brought to us by back-to-back YCS Champion, Billy Brake.

Classic Rock Stun
In the old days, rock stun was notorious for its combination of cards like Thunder King Rai-oh to lock down the deck and special summons while controlling everything else with the various Koa’ki Meiru. With the release of REDU, a new player was added to the decks arsenal: Block Golem. Adding a condition to the deck that requires a graveyard consisting of Earth type monsters only, Block Golem allows the deck to recycle its key players back onto the board, the Koa’ki Meiru. As such, multiple copies became staple, but with a heavy price: the loss of Rai-oh. Many players adapted to this new addition and chose to run Block Golem for 1 simple reason: Grabbing a +1 that nets a rank 4 or more importantly 2 additional negations of choice.

With that as his key maneuver to control the opponents field, Brake presents us with this:

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

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

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

New Age Rock Stun
The Monsters

Brake presents us with the types of choices one would expect: solid, and cohesive. So what could we possibly change? I would propose a shift in 3 choices.

-1 Block Golem
-2 Card Trooper

All right then, why? The problem with Block Golem is simple: You need a graveyard. Without an active mill engine, that’s very hard to make happen. “But he was playing Card Troopers!” you may be saying. “You took those out and then complain of no mill engine?!” The answer for that is also very simple: It’s inconsistent. Aside from hoping to dump Koa’ki’s for Block Golem to revive, you risk dumping a multitude of control and power spells and traps, and that’s if you don’t mill the Block Golems themselves. That’s not the types of risk I like to take. I would prefer to have Block Golem mid to late game when its live on its own, than attempt to force it live and potentially loose more power than it may gain. In short, if you’re playing full size trap lineups, or playing anything other than Lightsworn, don’t attempt to utilize mills.

Jumping ahead a bit, the list does play 2 Call of the Haunted, which can turn into +1’s with Card Troopers in grave, but again I feel the list is going out of its way to make better use of subpar choices as such.

What would I replace them with? There are few choices that could be made here. A 3rd Maxx “C”, a 3rd Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo, and a Grandsoil The Elemental Lord? Nope. How about Gaia Plate the Earth Giant? Very possible, but another swing and a miss.

+2 Legendary Jujitsu Master

Juju is an amazing card in this deck for a few reasons. 1st off is the ability to bounce back whatever happens to run into it. When you’re staring down any number of the boss monsters that may be on the field against you [assuming that monster doesn’t have an effect to remove your face down, or has used that effect for a different target already], you’ve bought yourself time to regain control of the field with a Block Golem or additional sets. If Juju survives the battle, even better.

The 2nd, and possibly more important reason to play Juju, is that it allows a different set option. When an opponent knows you play Dyna, they are scared to extend and swing into a face down without an out. Once they know you also play Juju, you put them in a position where they have to gamble, but potentially loose out either way. Once the side deck comes into play, you’re able to force out copies of Nobleman of Crossout by setting one versus the other depending on the situation. Putting your opponent in a position where they don’t know what you have set gives you a type of advantage that far exceeds card advantage.

The Spells

As with the initial monster lineup, we have a very solid choice of spells, although there are key cards missing, as well as unnecessary choices. Here, we have a 2 for 2 swap.

-2 Soul Taker

I wouldn’t expect any less coming from the man who brought the card to the attention of the meta, but the age of Chaos Dragons has passed, and HEROes are not making anywhere near the expected impact with the release of Escuridao. Soul Taker is good in 1’s and 2’s, but as a sideboard choice for matchups you feel that you specifically need the spot removal. As for replacements:

+1 Mind Control
+1 Heavy Storm

Mind Control has always been extremely universal. From simple plays such as opening the field for attacks, to stealing [or wasting] opponents flip effects, or to give yourself Xyz bait, you will almost always make something good out of a Mind Control play. As for Heavy Storm, without Solemn Judgment or Starlight Road, you should never be setting more than 2 backrow at a time. We can’t risk loosing resources to our opponents in large numbers like that. Once the opponent sees that we are playing rock stun, the default mindset is ‘a lot of backrow.’ This can bait our opponent into setting 3-4 without protection and allow us to utilize our Heavy Storm to its fullest extent. If your opponent also conserves resources by only having 2 set at a time, we still have an easy +1 before committing to the field.

The Traps

The first thing to keep in mind when playing a stun oriented deck, especially one reliant on its monster effects, is that those monsters need to be on the field for those effects to be usable. That being said, my only alteration for the trap line up is:

-1 Torrential Tribute

We only need the 1 copy to be there to stop a swarm we otherwise could not control. More than that and we will inevitably find ourselves trigger happy with copies of Torrential that we may regret in the long run. In its place:

+1 Compulsory Evacuation Device

Universal, chainable, overall capable of disrupting any field expansion ploy your opponent may be attempting, and an out to indestructibles such as Gachi Gachi Gantetsu, Wind-Up Zenmaines, and Maestroke the Symphony Djinn. I had initially debated adding 2 copies of Compulsory, or a 3rd Dimensional Prison, but decided to keep the extra monster slot I cut earlier empty to leave the deck at an even 40, the negligible statistics about whether or not a 41st, 42nd, or even 50th makes a difference aside.

The Huge Revolution Is Over is a suitable substitute for Starlight Road, covering the same effect, but without the weakness to Solemn Warning or the side effect of making our Block Golems dead by adding a Wind type to our Graveyard. BUT, you can choose to not special summon the Stardust Dragon in some situations, or maybe you feel confident that a 2500 beater and a destruction negation will net you the game next turn. That option is why I chose to retain the copy of Starlight Road.

The Extra Deck

Initially we have this to look at:

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

This particular section will only have 1 change. Currently we have 14/15 Earth Type Xyz’s and Synchros for cohesion with Block Golem, and the optional Stardust Dragon I covered earlier.

-1 Kochi Kochi Dragon
+1 Gagaga Cowboy

Options are something we should always be maximizing on, and Cowboy’s ability to make a 1500 Attack point swing, as well as late game or In-Time burn damage is a sure winner.

The New Deck - Recap

-1 Block Golem
-2 Card Trooper
-2 Soul Taker
-1 Torrential Tribute
-1 Kochi Kochi Dragon

+2 Legendary Jujitsu Master
+1 Mind Control
+1 Heavy Storm
+1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
+1 Gagaga Cowboy

Take a look here :

All right then, Part 2: Gishki Hero Turbo

This particular deck came to be in the mind of Joe Giorlando, and it just so happens, as a HERO player myself, I’ve tested all sorts of this kind of variant before! Lets take a look at what we have to start with:

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

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

Where to Begin…

When looking at a new list, a good place to start is to figure out what exactly the deck is trying to do. Here we see 2 distinct archetypes, Destiny HERO and Gishki. Both of these engines in their current form for this deck are not nearly consistent enough alone, much less when trying to pair together. Jumping to the spells for a moment, we see 3 copies of both Trade-In and Destiny Draw. For Trade-In we have 6 ‘targets,’ and for Destiny Draw we have 5. Three of those monsters are the same for both spells, which creates a lot of inconsistencies and dead draws. That will be the first thing we need to fix. When working with card consistencies, there are 3 ratios I will always follow, with few exceptions [# of ways to use it versus number of copies], 3:1, 5:2, 7:3. Keep that in mind as we progress into this fix.

The Monsters

Very little will stay the same here. While attempting to maximize ‘targets’ for extra draw power like Trade-In in order to make this as turbo as possible, what actually happened was more of a consistency nightmare. Like I mentioned in the last list, trying to force an idea live will more times than not hurt more than it helps. My advice? Never sacrifice consistency. To combat this, we’re going to do a complete heart transplant.

-3 Destiny HERO Plasma
-3 Evigishki Soul Ogre
-2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
-1 Sangan
-2 Trageodia
-1 Dark Armed Dragon

What on earth have I done?! I’ve paved the way for a new focus.

+1 Destiny HERO Doom Lord
+2 Destiny HERO Malicious
+1 Destiny HERO Dasher
+2 Gishki Shadow
+1 Evigishki Gustkraken
+1 Evigishki Mind Augus
+2 Evigishki Tetroger
+2 Deep Sea Diva
+1 Genex Ally Birdman

I’ve shifted the deck to a level, and thus rank, 6 base, completely forgoing the level 8 Trade-In engine previously utilized. The 1st thing I’ve done is give us +1 Destiny Draw bait in the form of Destiny HERO Doom Lord. I particularly like Doom Lord for his uncanny ability to dispatch Xyz material from essentially any Xyz monster, as well as clear the field from anything else that may be plaguing us. Following that up, I’ve opted for the 2 copies of Destiny HERO Malicious and a lone copy of Destiny HERO Dasher. Malicious plays into 2 themes of the new build: 1 being rank 6 plays, and the other being synchro material along side Deep Sea Diva. Dasher I will get to in a moment.

The two copies of Diva are this builds copies of Tour Guide from the Underworld, fetching either the second copy of itself, or 1 of the 3 Vision Gishki. This gives us both rank 2, as well as level 4 synchro options, or coupled with Destiny HERO Malicious, level 8’s. Following Diva is a lone copy of Genex Ally Birdman. You can use Birdman to bounce the Vision Gishki tutored by Diva for its effect to be utilized either as a search, or a full tribute for the Evigishki. Also being a tuner, it opens options for level 7 synchros like Black Rose Dragon and Gungnir Dragon of the Ice Barrier.

For the Gishki, I’ve started with an additional 2 copies of Gishki Shadow in order to fetch the Gishki Aquamirror more consistently, and have more full tributes for the ritual summons. With that in place, I’ve given us a variety of options of rituals. Our first choice is the newly limited Gustkraken. Konami apparently didn’t want us abusing this Trap Dustshoot of sorts on legs. Our second choice, Mind Augus, is a Transmigration Prophecy x2.5 on summon, recycling whatever you want, disrupting an opponents graveyard set up, or a bit of both! But the main choice is Evigishki Tetroger. Aside from being a beater, he boasts an effect that either forces a select mill, which can be something like Aquamirror to recycle right back or Malicious to set up an instant rank 6. If your oppinent doesn’t like the sound of that, you put them in a position where they must discard to ‘Effect Veiler’ it. Either way it’s good for you. Also pairing well with Tetroger is the copy of Destiny HERO Dasher. Unlike the first 2 Evigishki, Tertroger does not need to be ritual summoned in order to utilize his effect, allowing Dasher to bring him to the field for free!

Dark Armed Dragon was cut because while we do run 8 darks, they don’t tend to build up in the grave very fast. Once they get here, quite a few of them tend to get removed for other card effects already, so I felt that Dark Armed was not an optimal choice.

The Spells

I’ve already covered what part of the changes are here, so I’ll get right into the rest of them as well.

-3 Trade-In
-1 Mystical Space Typhoon
-1 Miracle Fusion

The Trade-In’s should be obvious; we don’t run anymore level 8’s! As for Typhoon and Miracle, I felt 3 copies of each was a tad too much. Miracle is one of those power cards that can actually be extremely dead if drawn too early, or at an inopportune time. It’s not a focus of the deck either, but more of a back up plan. In their place, I suggest

+1 Pot of Duality
+1 Mind Control
+1 Gishki Aquamirror

Pot of Duality gives us the ability to filter when we need it, possibly netting us any number of the decks search cards, or draw power options. This puts us in a good position for the following turn. As for Mind Control, I covered that in depth earlier in the article. The second Aquamirror was added so that we may more consistently be able to drop rituals without needing to burn a Shadow first to get it. A more consistent Aquamirror also gives us better ways to get a Malicious or Dasher to the graveyard if Destiny Draw is not present.

The Traps

Wait, what? This deck didn’t have any traps to begin with! Well now it has one. To fill the 40th slot in the main deck, I chose quite possibly the best (legal) single slot trap card in the game

+1 Treacherous Trap Hole

Game one it may be Mystical Space Typhoon bait, but if you don’t happen to see it, chances are good your opponent will think you run no traps and side out of backrow hate. This allows it to be even better in game 2, along side a possibility of sideboard Royal Decree’s. With no other traps in the deck, I felt that Treacherous was a good pick for its ability to open the field in a manner that you pick, rather than something like Torrential Tribute nuking everything.

The Extra Deck

Following the transplant completed above, the Extra deck is in need of quite the facelift. To start out with, we have this:

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

This makes decent use of the fact that we do have warriors in the deck, as well as the rank 3 toolbox provided by Tour Guide, but where are the HEROes for those Miracle Fusions?! Taking into account the fact that I’ve rebuilt the deck for rank 6 plays and added a Diva engine leaves us with something totally new. I’ll just post the new extra in full:

1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Photon Strike Bounzer
1 Number 25: Force Focus
1 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger
2 Elemental HERO Absolute Zero
1 Armory Arm
1 Gungnir Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Scrap Dragon

Sadly, until Konami decides to give us more than 15 slots here, we can’t have everything we want. I chose to pass on copies of Blade Armor Ninja and Heroic Champion Excalibur because we only run 3 level 4 warriors. The likelihood of controlling 2 of them at once I did not feel was adequate enough to dedicate extra deck space to them. Similarly was the exclusion of a copy of Ally of Justice Catastor for Birdman+Vision or Diva+Doom Lord, or a level 6 for Birdman+Doom Lord. I also opted to cut Diagusto Phoenix as a rank 2 option because I felt a Gachi to boost Tetroger to 3000, or just the overall defense to buy time to make plays was a more sufficient use of the rank 2 slot.

We play 5 level 4’s as well as mind control, so I chose the most solid universal rank 4’s as possible. I chose to include Blackship of Corn, because the release date for Zexel Vol. 2 should be some time relatively soon, in theory at least.

The New Deck

I dislike posting pre and post lists in full, as it gets very cluttery across your screen. That in mind, here is a handy Dueling Network screenshot:

That wraps up this edition Deck Doctoring with Drummer, or from here on out we can just call it Triple D [Barring trademark from Food Network and Guy Fieri] or something corny/catchy. I hope you all enjoyed it, and I most certainly hope you get to read an ‘episode’ of Triple D on ARG weekly from here on out!

Jeremy McBride
Twitter @drummerjmm

Jeremy McBride

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