Five Timeless Strategies
- Sherif Lewis
Some decks are just timeless. Beloved and treasured by many, they can be picked up at any time during a given format and will do well in the hands of experienced duelists, almost like a trusted old friend. Today we're highlighting some of these decks that can still compete even years after being introduced.
Back in the olden days of Yu-Gi-Oh! there were two decks that always proved strong picks at the beginning of new formats, Gladiator Beasts and Blackwings. It is not just that these two decks were considered as relatively powerful past their prime, but they were also fan favorites so popular that players always looked for an excuse to play them. These two have now slipped down the pecking order. But they've been replaced with newer strategies that for the moment seem to be able to withstand the test of time. The following strategies have proven that they are as timeless as they are powerful.
Regardless of Raye being bae, Sky Striker is one of those decks that most players have fallen in love with due to its unique playstyle, versatility, and ability to control boards. The deck has dominated formats and has seen a lot of innovation. Not only can one run a pure deck and still steal top spots in tournaments to this very day. We have also seen hybrid decks such as Sky Striker Orcust and more recently even Sky Striker Eldlich.
The deck has such a dedicated following that some players are realistically hoping for Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage! to be limited, even though it was banned because it was deemed to be a recyclable card that is arguably more powerful than Pot of Greed. The deck has two other cards that are limited, Sky Striker Mecha - Hornet Drones and Sky Striker Mecha Modules - Multirole. The deck is still topping here and there in spite of not being at full power. Will the deck receive further support from an upcoming ban list update or from future support? That remains to be seen. For the moment it is still a viable deck that shines during more control-oriented formats.
Is it better to use Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring on Magical Meltdown or on Aleister the Invoker? Despite having been around for a long time, it remains a dilemma. Where is the best point to interrupt the deck's searches? After all, everyone knows that Invoked players are blessed with the spirit of the Pharaoh and always open either Magical Meltdown and Aleister or Aleister and Invocation.
The deck can function on its own with a lot of different-attributed hand traps. However, it truly shines in hybrid variants such as Invoked Dogmatika Shaddoll and Invoked Eldlich. This proves that the engine remains quite solid after all these years and can still make an impact when paired with a compatible strategy. While Invoked Mechaba is not the powerhouse it once was, it still provides a layer of useful negation, but the strategy shines offensively as Invoked Purgatrio can end games on its own and Invoked Augoeides can be troublesome if used at the right moment. It's an amazing engine that will continue to be relevant as long as all its pieces remain intact. Who knows what new strategies it will be paired with in the future to give it a power boost?
When Dinosmasher's Fury dropped in April 2017, Dinosaurs were thrust into the spotlight of competitive play. Ultimate Conductor Tyranno is one of the strongest boss monsters ever created. The UCT can clear entire boards and eat away at opponents' life points if they dare decide to fill their board with monsters. More importantly, it can interrupt the opponent's plays by turning everything they control into face-down defense position before sending them to the graveyard without targeting, destruction, or battle. Of course Miscellaneousaurus Is responsible for a huge part of the deck's success, and other additions such as Animadorned Archosaur have helped the deck evolve and avoid extinction. I remember messing around with Dino Dolls for a while after Overtex Qoatlus was released, during the period of dominance of Minervasworn decks incorporating Gem-Knight Fusion.
I believe Dinosaurs are here to stay. They are an easy strategy to pick up and can be played in either a streamlined versioned, an innovative combo version, or even as an engine in other decks. Unless UCT and Miscellaneousaurus get banned, this deck will continue to terrorize players who unwittingly step into the Lost World.
Dante's adventures debuted along with the Shaddoll theme. While Burning Abyss is not too relevant at the moment, it remains a popular strategy that is currently either topping on its own or used as an engine in Phantom Knights. Duelist Alliance came out all the way back in 2014, yet everyone's favorite traveler is still proving to the dueling world that his adventures are far from over. This is especially true after all of the deck's pieces were slowly removed from the ban list, expect poor Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal who is sadly too generic to be left at three copies.
Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder and Accesscode Talker have definitely given the deck a big boost. In terms of competitive relevance, I would like to point out that Gabriel Vargas took first place with the deck in March at a Remote Duel Qualifier. Not bad for a deck that is supposedly overtaken by the power creep of today's standards. Burning Abyss will always pop by and say hello when everyone least expects it to.
While not exactly a dedicated deck, it is everyone's favorite one-punch monster! I think whoever came up with the design of Gren Maju Da Eiza never thought it would be such a revered card years later, with so many decks built around the goal of abusing its absurd attack power. I already wrote an entire article on the Numeron variant of Gren Maju.
Gren Maju is mostly a casual/rogue deck. But time after time it punches its way past meta decks and steals a top somewhere because it is so unexpected—despite being a fan-favorite strategy.
Last but not least, I would like to give honorable mentions to Shaddolls, Salamangreat, Monarchs, True Kings, and Paleo Frogs. All of these certainly would fall into the same category as the above, albeit mostly without the same level of success. The only exception is Shaddolls, which I chose to omit from my list as it keeps receiving new support, most recently in Ghosts from the Past in the form of Helshaddoll Hollow and Nehshaddoll Genius. As it keeps receiving new toys to reinvent itself, it's not so much timeless as just permanently present.
What are your favorite timeless strategies? Do you have any decks that you have stood by for years and that you always try to find an excuse to innovate on and bring to the dueling table? Let us know in the comment section below!
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