What’s up Yu-Gi-Oh community? This is my first article and a lot of you probably don’t know me, but here’s a little about myself to get started. My name is Zach Reynolds and I’m an experienced player from Indianapolis and teammate of YCS Indianapolis 4th place finisher, Parker Roberson and 2012 NATS Top 16 finisher, Joseph Presnell. I have recently found myself looking ahead to the next few sets that are to be release; Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy, and Judgment of the Light. I personally believe that these sets are going to be game changing and will introduce some new and very competitive archtypes. One of these new archtypes caught my eye when I was reading through the card lists. The archtype im speaking of is the Burning Knucklers. This Tachyon Galaxy archtype is an all-fire archtype and is similar to Blackwings, in my opinion. So, in this article I’m going to break down my deck list and explain why I think that this deck will be triumphant and competitive enough to give mermail decks and other tier 1 decks a run for their money.
Last year, when ARG’s very own Jeff Jones upset YCS Toronto with his innovative Psychic deck utilizing 3 copies of Grandsoil the Elemental Lord and taking 2nd place, I was inspired to create a similar build, but alas, running Pyrorex the Elemental Lord. I tried many different fire archtpyes including Hazy Flames, Fire Fist, and Fire King, but was never able to put together a build that could run Pyrorex consistently. Well, my wish was finally granted within the Burning Knucklers. Before explaining what each card does, let’s get into the decklist!
3 Burning Knuckler – Counter-Blow
3 Burning Knuckler – Spar
3 Burning Knuckler – Switch-Hitter
3 Burning Knuckler – Glassjaw
3 Pyrorex the Elemental Lord
3 Blaster, Elemental Dragon of Calderas
3 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
2 Card Trooper
2 Solar Recharge
1 Charge of the Light Brigade
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Monster Reborn
1 Dark Hole
1 Heavy Storm
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Solemn Warning
1 Spiritual Fire Art – Kurenai
Now at first look this list could be a little confusing but this deck revolves around graveyard control, which is the component that is needed to be able to utilize Pyrorex. Another great addition to this archtype is the card Blaster, Elemental Dragon of Calderas. It’s a level 7 fire type dragon that is extremely easy to put on the board due to its effect to be able to special summon itself from the graveyard. You can banish 2 fire monsters from your hand or your graveyard to special summon it from your hand or grave. This allows you to remove 3 fire monsters from your graveyard to get down to the 5 needed for Pyrorex. Not to mention that it has a devastating 2800 attack! It’s other great effect is that you can discard it and 1 other fire type monster from your hand to destroy any card your opponent controls. Graveyard control, and field control!
Counter-Blow is a level 3 monster with an effect similar to that of Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow. You can banish it either from your hand or graveyard during the damage step to increase the attack of 1 of your Burning Knucklers by 1000! This card works great with the milling engine as does the next card im going to explain, Burning Knuckler – Switch-Hitter. It’s a level 4 monster with the effect that when it is normal summoned, you can special summon 1 Burning Knuckler monster from your graveyard. The only drawback is that after you use this effect, you can only special summon Burning Knuckler monsters for the rest of the turn. This isn’t really an issue due the Rank 4 XYZ monster, Burning Knuckler- Leadblow the Bound Barbarian. It takes 2 level 4 Burning Knuckler monsters and has an eff similar to Maestroke the Symphony Djinn. It sits at a decent 2200 attack and its effect is whenever a Burning Knuckler would be destroyed you can detach 1 of his materials instead; and whenever you detach a material from him, he gains 800 attack permanently. So ultimately, he gets stronger instead of being destroyed. Leadblow is extremely hard for your opponent to get off of the field and can maintain an attack of 3800 (after using his effect twice)!
The last 2 monsters, Spar and Glassjaw, are key to the consistency of the deck. Spar is a level 4 monster that can be special summoned (from the hand) if you control a face-up Burning Knuckler monster (similar to Blackwing- Bora the Spear). If you do this, however, you cannot conduct your battle phase that same turn. This is fine because he allows you to summon Leadblow or Number 16: Shock Master and put your opponent in a bind without attacking that turn. Glassjaw is a level 4 with an outstanding 2000 attack! Whenever Glassjaw is targeted for an attack he is automatically destroyed but that makes up for his high attack. When he is destroyed by a card effect (including his own) you can add a Burning Knuckler monster (except himself) from your graveyard to your hand, allowing you to re-use switch-hitter and lower the number of fire monsters in your grave, making it even easier to drop Pyrorex. Oh, and did I mention that all of the Burning Knucklers are warriors?! This means that you can xyz summon Blade Armor Ninja and Heroic Champion Excalibur making it even easier to OTK your opponent!
The rest of the deck doesn’t need much explaining. I play the card troopers and lightsworn engine for obvious milling and as a way to speed up the deck and get to the devastating combos/ plays earlier in the game. As of right now, for testing purposes, I am running 1 copy of Spiritual Fire Art – Kurenai. This is a trap card that lets you tribute 1 fire monster and inflict damage to your opponent equal to that monster’s original attack. A good play with this is to special summon Pyrorex, use it’s effect to destroy an opponent’s monster and inflict damage, then attack directly with Pyrorex, and in main phase 2, activate Kurenai, tributing Pyrorex and inflicting a game-ending 2800 to your opponent.
I would consider this deck a control/ OTK deck due to its ability to control the field with Leadblow/ Shock Master and OTK very easily. I hope you all enjoyed the article! I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again sooner or later but for now take it easy and good luck in the new format!
Play Hard or Go Home!
- Zach Reynolds