The Power of Smoke Screening

hoomanfarahbakhshHowdy everyone. I have been getting a lot of questions from people interested in my Bujin deck that I played at YCS Las Vegas. It is definitely not a regular Bujin deck that you may have seen in the past but I am here to break it down for you guys on my card choices and why I chose to run this deck.  You guys are probably reading this article saying to yourselves "Who the heck is this guy with this funny name?".  My name is Hooman Farahbakhsh and I have played Yugioh competitively many years ago.  I stopped playing Yugioh competitively about four years ago and started to pursue my other passion which is bodybuilding.  I decided it was a great idea for me to get my feet wet again and compete at this YCS since it was in my hometown.


My accomplishments:

SJC Anaheim Champion - 2006

1 SJC top 8

2 SJC top 16’s

1 YCS top 16


Enough about me.  Let’s talk about today’s topic and it’s about smoke-screening and transformational side decks.  The idea behind the smoke screen is to combine all 15 cards of your side deck with your main deck when siding for games 2 and 3.  You then remove 15 cards from your deck leaving your opponent unaware of the number of side board cards that were actually put in.

As you guys may have heard, I chose to play a weird Bujin deck that sided into a perfectly sided 3.5 Fire Fist deck.   In my case, 15 cards from my sideboard replaced 15 Bujin staple cards.  As we start peeling the onion and going back to the early days of competitive Yugioh, we can see that a lot of good players started this trend long before me.  The one player that immediately comes to mind is 3-time SJC champion Emon Ghaneian.  No other player used the smoke screen theory more than him.  This is an example of the deck he ran at 2007 United States Nationals.


"Emon Ghaneian" 2007 United States Nationals

[ccDeck="Main Deck"]

1 Spirit Reaper

1 Jinzo

1 Sangan

3 Card Trooper

1 Snipe Hunter

3 Cyber Dragon

2 Mystic Tomato

1 Mask of Darkness

3 Raiza the Storm Monarch

1 Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch

1 Treeborn Frog

3 Gravekeeper's Spy

1 Gravekeeper's Guard

1 Morphing Jar

1 Scapegoat

1 Pot of Avarice

3 Brain Control

1 Heavy Storm

1 Premature Burial

1 Snatch Steal

1 Confiscation

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Mirror Force

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Crush Card Virus

3 Sakuretsu Armor[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Side Deck"]2 Metamorphosis

3 Destiny Draw

3 Destiny Hero - Malicious

1 Snipe Hunter

1 Elemental Hero Stratos

1 Destiny Hero - Disk Commander

1 Destiny Hero - Fear Monger

1 Limiter Removal

2 Machine Duplication[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]

2 Steam Gyroid

2 Dark Blade the Dragon Knight

2 Ryu Senshi

2 Dark Balter the Terrible

1 Cyber Twin Dragon

1 Super Vehicroid Jumbo Drill

1 Gatling Dragon

1 Cyber Saurus

1 Chimeratech Overdragon

1 Reaper on the Nightmare

1 Ojama King[/ccDeck]


This sounded crazy at the time but people called it genius after he went x-0 in swiss and captured the number one seed going into top 16. It really confused his opponents and put them up to a very hard decision on what he was going to do each game.

Another Famous deck that saw a lot of play was a [ccProd]Cyber-Stein[/ccProd] OTK deck that sided into burn.  It was so degenerate that Cyber-Stein was emergency banned after it won SJC San Jose in 2006.


"David Rodriguez"

[ccDeck="Main Deck"]3 Cyber Dragon

3 Nimble Momonga

3 Cyber-Stein

2 Exiled Force

1 Sangan

1 Magician of Faith

1 Spirit Reaper

1 Cannon Soldier

1 Morphing Jar

3 Megamorph

3 Poison of the Old Man

2 Giant Trunade

1 Scapegoat

1 United We Stand

1 Limiter Removal

1 Heavy Storm

1 Graceful Charity

1 Confiscation

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Level Limit - Area B

1 Nobleman of Crossout

1 Last Will

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Mirror Force

1 Ceasefire

1 Gravity Bind

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Magic Cylinder[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Side Deck"]3 Secret Barrel

3 Wave-Motion Cannon

2 Just Desserts

2 Ojama Trio

3 Stealth Bird

1 Des Koala

2 Lava Golem[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]

2 Cyber End Dragon

1 Cyber Twin Dragon

1 Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon

1 Gatling Dragon

1 Ryu Senshi

1 Dark Balter the Terrible[/ccDeck]


Now that I have shown you guys some of the history behind transitional Side Decking/ Smoke Screening let’s look at the deck I played this past weekend and why it was so successful.


Bujins Side into 3.5 Fire Fist

[ccDeck="Main Deck"]

3 Bujin Yamato

3 Bujingi Crane

2 Bujin Mikazuchi

2 Bujingi Turtle

2 Bujingi Hare

1 Honest

1 Thunder King Rai-Oh

1 Brotherhood of Fire Fist Bear

3 Pot of Duality

3 Mystical Space Typhoon

3 Fire Formation- Tenki

3 Forbidden Lance

2 Fire Formation - Gyokkou

2 Bujincarnation

1 Book of Moon

1 Dark Hole

3 Fiendish Chain

1 Solemn Warning

1 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Compulsory Evacuation Device

1 Torrential Tribute[/ccDeck]

[ccDeck="Side Deck"]3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist Rooster

3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist Leopard

2 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist Bear

1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist Spirit

1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist Gorilla

1 Coach Soldier Wolfbark

3 Fire Formation Tensu

1 Rekindling[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]

2 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist-Horse Prince

2 Bujintei Susanowo

1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist-Tiger King

1 Bujintei Kagutsuchi

1 Number 85: Crazy Box

1 Abyss Dweller

1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist- Cardinal

1 Lion Emperor

1 Number 101: Silent Honor Ark

1 Evilswarm Excition Knight

1 Diamond Dire Wolf

1 Steelswarm Roach

1 Gagaga Cowboy[/ccDeck]


When I decided that I was going to play Bujins for the event there were many concerns that I had with the deck.  One main issue was the amount of cards that people sided in against me which made it difficult for me to win games 2 and 3 unless I opened up with at least two back-row removal cards.  In addition, it made me have to side cards like [ccProd]Twister[/ccProd] just so I don't lose to cards like [ccProd]DNA Surgery[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Light-Imprisoning Mirror[/ccProd].  A couple of friends and I realized that Bujin and Fire Fist use similar cards such as [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd], [ccProd]Forbidden Lance[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Fire Formation-Tenki[/ccProd].  It made complete sense to me to side into Fire Fist because even though these decks run similar cards, the cards that your opponent usually will side for Bujins usually are not going to hurt you when you transform into Fire Fist.  In addition, it made the Geargia matchup favorable to win in games 2 and 3 since dealing with Geargia Armor was not going to be an issue thanks to our buddy, bear.  It worked as planned since I ended up playing against seven Geargia decks in swiss and I only lost to that deck once the whole weekend.


I have to be honest and say the beautiful part about this strategy is the amount of useless cards your opponent has in game 2 that makes it very favorable for you to win.  If the match does end up going to a game 3, you can play mind games with your opponent and many times when they reach for their side deck you know that they are getting ready to de-side the cards they just brought in which, in my case, made it easy to go back to Bujins.


When creating a transformational side deck, there are some key points to consider.  Notice how I do not play any hand traps such as [ccProd]Maxx "C"[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd].  The reason behind this is that I don't want to have dead cards against certain match ups since I'm committed to taking out the same fifteen cards for each matchup.  I wanted to be certain that my whole deck had cards that are live against any match up.  When playing in a diverse format, consistency across the board is key.  Having certain cards like Effect Veiler and Maxx "C" against certain match ups like the mirror match can potentially lead to losses.  Also, when deciding what deck to transition to, be sure the commonly sided cards against your main deck do not also hurt your transition deck.

Transformational side decks have their time and place for big events.   Using this strategy is not something that I always recommend  but in my case it was the perfect meta call and it may certainly be a good idea in any event you consider playing in.  So when you're done reading this article I want you guys to think about how you can have an edge in the competition when you're in a big tournament.   At the end of the day if you can get advantage from your opponent siding [ccProd]Debunk[/ccProd]s and [ccProd]Light-Imprisoning Mirror[/ccProd]s against you when you're playing Fire Fist, why not consider smoke-screening?   By reading this article, I've given you another option to consider when creating your main and side deck and I hope this helps in any future major events you play. The Circuit Series comes to beautiful Richmond, VA on April 26-27, 2014, click the picture at the bottom for all the details!