The Doctor is In

Hello duelists and Yu-Gi-Oh fans alike!

Let’s start off with an introduction, shall we?  My name is Michael Sylvester and I’ve been playing this game since its summer release back in 1999, about four or five months prior to its English release.  I started to judge large scale tournaments in 2007; however, I only started to play competitively in 2008 with one of the very early drafts of Little City.

Before I get to the meat of this article, I’d like to thank the staff at Alter Reality Games for this opportunity as well as Billy Brake and Joe Giorlando for providing the two decks for myself and the other applicants to work on.  Let’s start off with Billy’s Rock deck.

Monsters

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 Grand Mole

Spells

3 Mystical Space Typhoon

2 Soul Taker

2 Pot of Duality

1 Seal of Orichalcos

1 Monster Reborn

1 Dark Hole

Traps

2 Dimensional Prison

2 Solemn Warning

2 Call of the Haunted

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

2 Torrential Tribute

1 Solemn Judgment

1 Starlight Road

Extra Deck

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 Gantetsu

1 Fairy King Albverdich

1 Gaia Knight, Force of Earth

1 Naturia Beast

1 Naturia Barkion

1 Scrap Dragon

1 Stardust Dragon

At a first glance, it’s your standard Rock Stun deck.  Monsters with high attack powers and very strong effects, alongside with a wide variety of monster removal cards.  Unfortunately, it’s also your standard Rock Stun deck.  It lacks any cards that make it stand out from above the rest.  Let’s see if we can give this deck some personality while maintaining its ability to compete in tournaments.  Let’s get to the chopping block for the main deck.  I’ll explain what I’d change for the Extra Deck afterward.

- 1 Block Golem

- 2 Card Trooper

- 2 Mystical Space Typhoon

- 2 Call of the Haunted

While it may seem strange that I’m cutting the two copies of Card Trooper, let me explain.  Card Trooper is an amazing card, it even defined an entire format on its own, but it simply doesn’t belong in Stun or anti-meta decks.  I understand that the concept is to fuel Block Golem for the mid to late game.  However, you risk milling off your spells and traps, which you absolutely need in order to take jabs at your opponent’s life points.  So unfortunately, they have to go.

Block Golem is a win condition in this deck, being able to special summon two Koa’ki Meiru monsters for the purpose of Xyz summoning or simply bashing your opponent over the head with.  If your two attacks aren’t game ending, you’re ideally going to be special summoning a Koa’ki Meiru Guardian and a Koa’ki Meiru Wall for your opponent’s turn.  Shutting off one of their spells and one of their monster effects, can greatly their turn.  So if Block Golem is a win condition, why remove one?  Without Card Trooper, there is no longer an effective way to drop your Rock-type monsters into the graveyard.  So that’s why one has to go.

So if this deck revolves around the Koa’ki Meiru monsters and their ability to survive on the board, why would we cut to copies of Mystical Space Typhoon?  While it does clear off opposing traps that threaten your monsters, there is a better card to run in their place, but we’ll get to that shortly.  As for why Call of the Haunted gets a boot, one of the cards I’m adding to the deck is going to add banishes EARTH monsters from our graveyard; it’s another reason why Block Golem got cut back.  So let’s move on to what we’re adding to the deck.

+ 2 Gigantes

+ 1 Legendary Jujitsu Master

+ 1 Maharaghi

+ 2 Forbidden Lance

+ 1 Dimensional Prison

Let’s start with the one card here everyone may not be familiar with.

Maharaghi

EARTH/Rock/Spirit

Level 4 1200 ATK/1700 DEF

This card cannot be Special Summoned. This card returns to the owner's hand during the End Phase of the turn that this card is Normal Summoned, or flipped face-up. If this card is Normal Summoned or flipped face-up, look at 1 card on the top of your Deck during your next Draw Phase (before you draw), and return the card to the top or the bottom of your Deck.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?  It serves three purposes in this deck.  Being a pseudo-Pot of Duality with legs, being a Rock-type monster to reveal during your end phase, and it has a respectable defense at 1700.  So let me explain my reasoning for including this card.

Imagine you control a Koa’ki Meiru monster and you draw this card.  You summon Maharaghi, your opponent doesn’t respond or chain to its effect.  Your Koa’ki Meiru does its job and attacks.  In your end phase, Maharaghi is a spirit monster, so it returns to your hand.  Now your opponent knows it’s there, so you reveal it again for the maintenance cost of your Koa’ki Meiru monster.  Now you don’t have to reveal any other monster in your hand, withholding precious information from your opponent.  During your next turn, you get to peek at your next card before you draw it.  Don’t want that Starlight Road because you don’t have enough spells and traps to protect?  Maharaghi’s effect from the previous turn can put that on the bottom of your deck and you get to draw the NEXT card instead.  Pretty cool trick, don’t you think?

Legendary Jujitsu Master can be both monster removal and another monster to reveal for your Koa’ki Meiru costs.  Anything that is unfortunate to attack into it while it’s face-down, will get flung back on top of the deck; or back to the Extra Deck if it’s an Xyz, fusion, or synchro monster.  1800 defence is very tough to punch through most low level monsters.  There are some exceptions, such as Elemental HERO Neos Alius for example, at can destroy Legendary Jujitsu Master; but they still suffer its effect if they manage to destroy it.  This card is amazing, and any Rock Stun deck simply wouldn’t be complete without running at least one copy.

Now both copies Call of the Haunted as well as one Block Golem were cut for two copies Gigantes.  If your opponent can’t immediately deal with it with some form of monster removal, then they’ll be wary about what they set into their back row.  If you’re not familiar with Gigantes, it's like playing a Heavy Storm when it gets destroyed by battle.  Gigantes is level 4, and is special summoned by banishing 1 EARTH monster from your graveyard.  Since the majority of your monsters are level 4, this opens up a wide range of Xyz possibilities.  In the mid to late game, a Gigantes paired with a Block Golem, can allow you summon Number 16: Shock Master; who is capable of changing the game entirely on its own.

Since the deck relies purely on summoning and praying your monsters don’t get destroyed or banished by removal, two copies of Forbidden Lance are added in place of Mystical Space Typhoon.  Forbidden Lance not only protects one of your monsters during your turn, but it can also be chained during your opponent’s turn.  While Mystical Space Typhoon protects from a single face-down card, Forbidden Lance protects a single monster from anything that’s not along the likes of Solemn Warning.  Since I explained that this deck is about monsters with high attack and monster removal, we’ll be adding a third Dimensional Prison.  More removal so your Rock-type monsters can have more fun with potential direct attacks.

As for the extra deck, I’ll keep this brief.  We’re essentially cutting the excess cards that aren’t entirely necessary and replace them with cards that provide more utility.

- 1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu

- 1 Gem-Knight Pearl

- 2 Kachi Kochi Dragon

- 1 Soul of Silvermountain

+ 1 Ally of Justice Catastor

+ 1 Black Rose Dragon

+ 1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn

+ 1 Number 16: Shock Master

+ 1 Photon Papilloperative

While it’s not likely that you’re going to be summoning any of the synchro monsters, it is entirely possible with the assistance of Monster Reborn and your opponent’s Tuner monsters.  It’s always nice to have the potential option, should it ever come up.  Since we can actually summon Shock Master, with the help of Gigantes and a Block Golem, it gets to be added.  Any deck that summons a large number of level four monsters should automatically be running Maestroke the Symphony Djinn as well as Photon Papilloperative.  Since both are useful in their own rights.  Papilloperative deals with defensive monsters that you normally can’t get over, and Maestroke is...  well, it’s Maestroke!  It’s simply a great card to have.

So let’s recap the deck with all of the changes.

Rock Stun – with Michael’s changes

Monsters

2 Block Golem

2 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo

2 Gigantes

3 Koa'ki Meiru Guardian

3 Koa'ki Meiru Sandaman

3 Koa'ki Meiru Wall

1 Legendary Jujitsu Master

1 Maharaghi

2 Maxx "C"

1 Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

Spells

1 Dark Hole

2 Forbidden Lance

1 Monster Reborn

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

2 Pot of Duality

2 Soul Taker

1 The Seal of Orichalcos

Traps

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

3 Dimensional Prison

1 Solemn Judgment

2 Solemn Warning

1 Starlight Road

2 Torrential Tribute

Extra Deck

1 Ally of Justice Catastor

1 Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth

1 Naturia Barkion

1 Naturia Beast

1 Scrap Dragon

1 Stardust Dragon

1 Abyss Dweller

1 Fairy King Albverdich

1 Gem-Knight Pearl

1 Kachi Kochi Dragon

1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn

1 Number 16: Shock Master

1 Number 39: Utopia

1 Soul of Silvermountain

1 Temptempo the Percussion Djinn

Whew!  I hope you’re still with me, as there’s still Joe’s deck to look over.  So let’s get right into it.

Monsters

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

Spells

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

Extra Deck

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

There are so many problems, yet so little time to address them all.  It would seem that Joe isn’t holding back any punches for us applicants.  Let’s see what we can do here, let’s get to the chopping block.

- 1 Sangan

- 2 Tour Guide From the Underworld

- 1 Evigishki Soul Ogre

- 3 Mystical Space Typhoon

While there are valid arguments to keep Tour Guide From the Underworld and Sangan, to summon Xyz monsters and for a more reliable way to search your deck, they’re simply not needed in a Gishki deck.  This is because Gishki already have the ability to search for their deck for ritual spells and ritual monsters.  Staying with the deck’s natural theme, it allows us to fully abuse Salvage that much more.  While Evigishki Soul Ogre is a part of the deck’s draw engine, there isn’t really a need to play three copies, especially since we can discard a Gishki Vision and search it from our deck or add it back to our hand with the graveyard effect of Gishki Aquamirror.  However, I’ll elaborate more on that later.

While this deck is severely hurt by opposing set spells and traps, being a combo deck of sorts, there is reason to remove all three copies of Mystical Space Typhoon.  For one, they’re not normal spells.  So if you were to reveal it with Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude, it would simply go to the bottom of the deck.  I have a much better replacement for these.  On that note, let’s fill in the gap we’ve just created.

+ 2 Gishki Shadow

+ 1 Gishki Aquamirror

+ 2 Night Beam

+ 1 Scapegoat

+ 1 That Wacky Magic!

I had mentioned that the Gishki theme has the ability to search itself for its combo pieces, so we’re going to be adding to it.  Adding extra copies of Gishki Shadow, allows us to search out the ritual spell.  Gishki Aquamirror serves two functions in the deck; not only does it allow us to summon our Evigishki Soul Ogre, but it allows us to recycle it for extra summons as using it to draw cards via Trade-In.  While we expand upon the Gishki element of the deck, we’re also going to be adding a second copy of Gishki Aquamirror.

The reason why we dropped Mystical Space Typhoon is so we can run copies of Night Beam.  It serves a similar purpose, but is a normal spell that can be used with Destiny HERO – Diamond Dude.  During our turn, if Diamond Dude happens to reveal Night Beam, during the opponent’s turn, they’re less likely to set cards if they’re just going to be picked off by Night Beam.  Since we’re also improving the Destiny Hero aspect of the deck, that’s why we added Scapegoat.  It allows us to fully use Destiny HERO – Plasma outside of our draw engine.  Scapegoat tokens can be used defensively or offensively because of this.

I’m fairly sure that most of you are looking up what That Wacky Magic! even does.  The cost is to banish every spell card in your graveyard, and then you destroy all opposing monsters with a defense that’s equal to or less then the number of spells banished times 300.  This can be an incredibly devastating effect, and with the ability to summon large monsters at the drop of a hat, this help us push for game.  While this card is a very interesting to run, it’s not something you’d want to reveal with Destiny HERO  - Diamond Dude.  This is because Diamond Dude ignores costs and simply plays the effect of the spell card it reveals  If no cost is paid, then That Wacky Magic! destroys nothing.  That’s why we’re only adding one copy.

The first thing that hit me when I was looking over this, is that it’s running three Miracle Fusion with no Elemental HERO fusions in the extra deck.  So let’s take the current extra deck to the chopping block now that we have more wiggle room with Tour Guide From the Underworld having been cut.

- 1 Black Rose Dragon

- 1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger

- 1 Grenosaurus

- 1 Melomelody the Brass Djinn

- 1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon

- 1 Number 30: Acid Golem

- 1 Temptempo the Percussion Djinn

+ 3 Elemental HERO Absolute Zero

+ 1 Elemental HERO Escuridao

+ 1 Elemental HERO The Shining

+ 1 Photon Papilloperative

+ 1 Steelswarm Roach

The first thing I made room for, was the HERO fusions.  Elemental HERO Absolute Zero is going to be our go to HERO when we play Miracle Fusion, since our natural line up of monsters fits the bill quite nicely.  After the first time we use Miracle Fusion, we’ll be able to summon either Elemental HERO Escuridao or Elemental HERO The Shining.  But how exactly do we summon The Shining in this deck?  We have Heroic Champion – Excalibur, Number 39: Utopia, as well as the LIGHT attribute token from Gorz the Emissary of Darkness.  Being able to recycle our Elemental HERO Stratos, can change the game dramatically.

Without a reliable way of summoning level three monsters, I decided to remove Number 17: Leviathan Dragon, Number 30: Acid Golem, and Temptempo the Percussion Djinn.  While it’s not likely that we’ll control two level thee monsters with this main deck, I decided to add Steelswarm Roach and Photon Papilloperative, as there currently isn’t a whole lot of rank four Xyz monsters in the game.  However, that’s not to say we can’t summon Leviair the Sea Dragon or Wind-Up Zenmaines with cards in the side deck; so they get to stay, as they are very powerful cards.  The others are cut in order to help make room for our fusions.  So let’s go over the finished product.

Gishki HERO - with Michael’s changes

Monsters

1 Dark Armed Dragon

2 Destiny HERO - Diamond Dude

3 Destiny HERO - Plasma

1 Elemental HERO Stratos

2 Evigishki Soul Ogre

3 Gishki Shadow

3 Gishki Vision

1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

2 Tragoedia

Spells

1 Allure of Darkness

1 Dark Hole

3 Destiny Draw

2 Gishki Aquamirror

1 Heavy Storm

3 Miracle Fusion

1 Monster Reborn

2 Night Beam

1 Reinforcement of the Army

2 Salvage

1 Scapegoat

1 That Wacky Magic!

3 Trade-In

Extra Deck

3 Elemental HERO Absolute Zero

1 Elemental HERO Escuridao

1 Elemental HERO The Shining

1 Blade Armor Ninja

1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur

1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Helopolis

1 Leviair the Sea Dragon

1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn

1 Number 11: Big Eye

1 Number 39: Utopia

1 Photon Papilloperative

1 Steelswarm Roach

1 Wind-Up Zenmaines

Alright!  We’ve finally finished looking over the two decks.  We gave Billy’s Rock deck more of a personality while maintaining its competitive nature, and we also improved the overall functionality of Joe’s Gishki HERO deck.

Again, I would like to thank Alter Reality Games for this opportunity to write in this competition as well as Billy Brake and Joe Giorlando for providing us with the decks to work on.  If you have a positive or negative comment, please leave it comment section below; and remember, play hard, or go home.

Michael Sylvester-Wong

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Discussion

comments

  • Maya

    This was really helpful. You’re good with your card combos.

    Too bad you defriended me. Disheartened.

  • Roxanne

    This article is the best.It’s easy to understand and we’ll written.I was able to understand the game and various plays because of this article.Thanks for writing something that any lay person could understand.

  • Frank

    Great article – Some of your card choices were so original that I have never seen them before
    In the process of reading this I learned several new cards – I think that this learning is what
    makes an article truly great; good luck in the rest of the competition.

  • Anne

    Great! Thanks for your perspective