Decks to Consider - 3 Budget Decks for the Introduction of Link Format
With Link Format finally implemented into the TCG, as well as Circuit Break’s release drawing closer, the search has been on to find the perfect deck to play, utilizing the new Link Monsters in their arsenal. Many archetypes, however, have found themselves in a bit of a spot, namely due to the generic Link Monsters [Missus Radiant] and [Mistar Boy] benefiting EARTH and WATER monsters, respectfully, by their destruction effect which reads:
" If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can target 1 [ATTRIBUTE] monster in your GY; add it to your hand. "
Raidraptors and Blue-Eyes (to name two) are left in waiting as we eagerly wait to see the retrains of the other [Attribute Boosters] to help them maintain their field of multiple Extra Deck monsters. In said archetypes, cards like [Topologic Bomber Dragon], [Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow], and the ever popular [Decode Talker] have been utilized, but none of them have the means of returning cards like [Raidraptor - Vanishing Lanius] and [Sage with Eyes of Blue], respectively. Despite the missing Links, some decks have hardly been affected by the new change - Zoodiac, Dinos, and True Draco players can breathe easy knowing that Link Monsters don’t necessarily stop their usual plays. Today, I thought I could give my thoughts on 3 decks that may be of some interest, either because these new Link Monsters could breathe new life into them or because Link Summoning isn’t necessarily required for them to win.
[Monarchs] were one of the most seen decks in recent time before their eventual hit by the ban list of August 2016 - they were seen from February 2016 and stayed relevant towards April 2017, according to [Yugioh Top Decks]. Despite limiting of [Ehther the Heavenly Monarch], [The Monarchs Stormforth], and [Pantheism of the Monarchs] down to 1, the deck continues to be relatively consistent and played in our current game state - it made it to [Top 8 in Germany Regionals]. With the core cards being packaged in its [Structure Deck - Emperor of Darkness], it only runs a few outside support card, with [Vanity’s Fiend] ranging from $2 USD to $15 USD. But what may be its best selling point for new players is its absence of an Extra Deck - to clarify, the Monarchs play-style revolves around locking out your opponent from making big plays, with their Field Spell locking both players out of their Extra Decks - and its reliance on Tribute Summoning. Definitely a deck that lives up to its mean reputation.
The deck comes equipped with a few nasty combos, some even handling with hand manipulation. A common tactic Monarch players tend to go for is to Tribute Summon of [Kuraz the Light Monarch] while [Return of the Monarchs] is active on the field - Normal Summon [Edea], its effect activates to Special Summon [Eidos] from the deck, which then activates its effect to Tribute Summon in the same turn, Tribute Summon those 2 into Kuraz and activate the effect to destroy up to two cards on either player’s field. Because you Tribute Summoned with Return of the Monarch on the field, it activates to add either any 2400 ATK/1000 DEF or 2800 ATK/1000 DEF monster, and while that resolves, Kuraz can target and destroy it, letting you draw a card - as a result, you get to draw a card and still add the monster to your hand. Another monster you could summon via the Edea-Eidos combo is [Thestalos the Mega Monarch], who, upon its Tribute Summon, allows you to look into your opponent’s entire hand, discard any card in it, and burn your opponent’s Life Points equal to any monster you discarded by its effect times 200 - if your opponent’s running around with high leveled monsters, they’ll be looking at nearly 2400 burn damage maximum, possibly as early as Turn 1!
It does run into a few situations with dead hands and draws, but I recommend this deck to anyone wanting to build a budget-friendly deck for the Link Format - just buy 3 Structure Decks and you’re good to go!
Released in Dimension of Chaos back in November of 2015, the [Graydle] archetype is comprised of Level 3 WATER, Aqua-Type monsters with a similar effect of taking control of your opponent’s monsters, and are color coded to help new players. The only exceptions are the Graydle Tuners:
" If this card in your Monster Zone is destroyed by battle or […] and sent to your GY: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; equip this card to that target. While this card is equipped to a monster by this effect, take control of that monster. When this card leaves the field, destroy the equipped monster. "
In regards to the above “[…],” each Graydle responds differently to certain effects - [Graydle Eagle] (colored yellow) activates its effect in response to its destruction by a monster effect, [Graydle Alligator] (colored green) activates in response to its destruction by Spell cards, and [Graydle Cobra] (colored purple) activates in response to its destruction by Trap cards - but all activate when destroyed by battle, so if your opponent has, for example, a Blue-Eyes White Dragon in ATK position, you can attack into it with Eagle, Alligator, or Cobra to destroy itself and take control of it at the cost of some Life Points. [Graydle Slime] is a Level 5 Tuner that can Special Summon itself onto the field from your hand or GY by destroying two “Graydle” cards you control (which can activate Eagle’s effect), then Special Summon 1 “Graydle” monster from your GY. [Graydle Slime Jr.] is a Level 2 Tuner with the ability to Special Summon a “Graydle” monster in the GY and any Aqua-Type monster from your hand with the same level as the Graydle summoned by its effect, so by Special Summoning the Level 5 Graydle Slime in the GY by its effect, you can Special Summon any Level 5 Aqua-Type monster from your hand, for example [Numen erat Testudo]. Their boss monster, [Graydle Dragon], is a Level 8 Synchro monster that, upon its summon, targets any cards your opponent controls, up to the number of material used for its summon, and destroys them - Graydle Slime tuned with any of the Graydle monsters gives Graydle Dragon the ability to destroy 2 cards, and Graydle Slime Jr. has the opportunity to bump it up to 3. By adding Mistar Boy into the mix, Graydle Dragon buffs up from 3000 ATK to 3500, as well as provides a mean to return a “Graydle” monster from your GY back to your hand when it gets destroyed - if there’s one thing I’ve learned from playing the deck myself, its that Eagle, Alligator, and Cobra don’t do anything when they hit and stay in the GY.
Fairly cheap, kinda’ under the radar, but something to consider if you’re looking for a cheap WATER deck.
3.) Magnet Warriors
In my opinion, I feel that [Magnet Warriors] could be a viable deck to pick up in the current Link format; Missus Radiant’s Link Markers can help facilitate for the Fusion Summon of Imperion Magnum, as well as provide the means to recycle the bigger Magna Warriors from the GY. The newer Electromagnet Warriors from the [Yugi Moto Structure Deck released in 2016] help to provide a means of swarming your field with monsters, then tag themselves out for their Normal counterparts, only to become material you can banish from the GY to summon out Berserkion the Electromagna Warrior - clearly, the benefits of swarming can be used to summon out your Link monsters fairly early in the game, and since they are eligible for the effect of [Ties of the Brethren], it makes larger boards fairly easy to create. Another great thing about the deck is how versatile the build can be - you could decide to run a [Fusion Gate] variant that utilizes a [Trade-In] engine, or you could decide that [Brilliant Fusion] is the way to go, or run a rather reliable HERO build with [Blazeman] and [Prisma]. For those looking for a monster with a huge punch, [Imperion Magnum the Superconductive Battlebot] is one big, mean, fighting machine - 4000 ATK on 4 legs and with the ability to shut down practically everything once per turn as well as summon out both Valkyrion and Berserkion upon it leaving the field by any means; not the kind of monster you want to see on the field, even worse to handle.
For those new to the game or unaware to these little guys’ existence, the Electromagnet Warriors are a bunch of Level 3 EARTH Rock-Type monsters that tag themselves out for their Level 4 Vanilla Magnet Warriors during either player’s turn, essentially becoming the stepping stones to their Level 8 boss monster, [Berserkion the Electromagna Warrior], while escaping threats like [Fiendish Chain] and [Number 101: Silent Honor ARK]. Taking the namesake of their older brothers, [Alpha] lets you add either Valkyrion or Berserkion from the deck to your hand, [Beta] adds any Level 4 or lower “Magnet Warriors” from the deck to the hand except itself, and [Gamma] lets you Special Summon another “Magnet Warrior” when Normal or Special Summoned. Berserkion itself is definitely not a pushover - it comes equipped with a means of banishing 1 of your opponent’s cards on the field by banishing a Level 4 or lower “Magnet Warrior” in your GY once per turn, as well as Special Summoning 1 of each Electromagnetic Warrior from the banished zone when its destroyed by battle or by your opponent’s card effect. Newcomer to the archetype is [Delta the Magnet Warrior] - his role in the deck provides your GY with the materials necessary for the summon of Berserkion, as well as banishing 3 other “Magnet Warriors” in the GY to Special Summon Valkyrion when Delta hits the GY, ignoring the Summoning Condition! Outside support cards like [Electromagnetic Turtle] and [Sentry Soldier of Stone] can help protect you or provide you the material for the Link Summon of Missus Radiant, as Electromagnetic Turtle banishes itself in the GY to end the Battle Phase and Sentry Soldier of Stone is a free summon as long as you control only Rock monsters on your field.
As the less played deck between itself and ABCs, the parts are fairly cheap to come by, and by picking up 3 of the Structure Decks, you’re set for a good beginner deck.
I find it kind of funny how I still haven’t found that right deck to play in the Link format., despite a plethora of archetypes that could provide the entertainment I’m looking for, but as it was when I jumped back into the game during the Pendulum Age, its still too early for me to quit my search as I wait for more support and more Link monsters - and I’m sure I’m not alone in that thought. I hope this helps anyone looking for something to play think of their own deck ideas, and we’re always happy to help anyone looking for advice in our Discord chat.
Interestingly, I realized that because it’s an EARTH monster, [Maxx “C”] can be returned to your hand from the GY when Missus Radiant gets destroyed and sent to the GY. Waiting for the LIGHT Attribute Booster Link monster so that way we can return [Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit]. /half-joking