Well it’s been a bit since we’ve heard from this format. Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G back here to talk about Speed Duels for the first time in 2020 I believe with the first new product of the year, or products. We have two Starter Decks with Match of the Millennium and Twisted Nightmares. Match of the Millennium focuses on Yugi and Pegasus while Twisted Nightmares focus on Marik and Bakura. Each Deck per character has an Ultra Rare promo on top of a 30-card Deck and 2 Skills. We got some reprints for the format and cards making their debut (and even some cards making their TCG debut for those interested). We’ll need to break these Decks down one-by-one to get the full details about each, so let’s start with Match of the Millennium.
Match of the Millennium
First off, we have Yugi’s Deck in this set of 4 new Structures. Yugi’s Deck takes a focus on some of his other aces, including Black Luster Soldier and Gaia the Fierce Knight. His Ultra Rare variant card is Advanced Ritual Art, which is easily the best Ritual Spell in the format now by summoning your strong Rituals from hand by using vanillas in the Deck as the materials. It helps considering we don’t really have Ritual Spells in this format with proper effects yet. The reprints in Yugi’s Deck for the format are Dark Magician, Senju of the Thousand Hands, Magician of Faith, Sphere Kuriboh, Polymerization, Twister, Summoner’s Art, Fighting Spirit, White Elephant’s Gift, Spellbinding Circle, and Magic Jammer. Some of the best reprints are Senju of the Thousand Hands, Magician of Faith, and Sphere Kuriboh as they were some of the harder cards to get in this format, but everything else is nice to have, especially Dark Magician in the case we got more Dark Magician support in this format. The new cards in this format are Gaia the Fierce Knight, Curse of Dragon, Winged Dragon, Guardian of the Fortress #1, Beaver Warrior, Celtic Guardian, Sliver Fang, Giant Solider of Stone, Shadow Specter, Charging Gaia the Fierce Knight, Old Vindictive Magician, Kuriboh, Black Luster Soldier, Black Luster Ritual, Soul Release, Spell Shattering Arrow, Spiral Spear Strike, Goblin Circus, Backup Squad, Eliminating the League, and Gaia the Dragon Champion. I can skip over the vanillas for the most part considering many don’t have stats to offer much. Gaia the Fierce Knight and Curse of Dragon are exceptions for a fun Gaia Deck alongside Gaia the Dragon Champion and Spiral Spear Strike. Giant Soldier of Stone also adds a big 2000 DEF monster to the format that needs no tributes. Charging Gaia the Fierce Knight is decent to be able to bypass its Tribute Summon by making it 1900 ATK instead of 2300 and tributing it helps get to your Black Luster Solider. Old Vindictive Magician can be a strong FLIP monster in this format for spot removal. Kuriboh also adds more stall options here. Black Luster Solider is now the strongest Ritual in terms of base ATK, and having Black Luster Ritual helps summon it easily for now until we get the better Ritual Spells for Black Luster Soldier. Soul Release gives graveyard removal, even if it isn’t as key in this format yet. Spell Shattering Arrow also helps destroy the opponent’s Spells and does some burn. Goblin Circus can generate you more advantage, so that’s an option. Backup Squad gives good draw power for the damage you’re taking by the opponent. Finally, Eliminating the League can be good in this format to destroy an opponent’s monster and all copies in their hand by discarding a Spell. The new cards do add a bit to the format. We got another Man-Eater Bug in Old Vindictive Magician, Gaia and Black Luster Soldier Decks slowly become an option, and there’s a few gems for the format here. Now for Yugi’s Skills.
Ritual of Black Mastery
The first Skill for Yugi helps his Black Luster Soldier, as well as the previously released Magician of Black Chaos. It can only be activated in your Main Phase while you control the Black Luster Solider or Magician of Black Chaos that was Ritual Summoned that turn. If you have Black Luster Solider, it can’t be destroyed by the opponent’s Skill and it lets you draw a card each time the opponent resolves a Trap. If you have Magician of Black Chaos, it can’t be destroyed by the opponent’s Spells and it lets you add a Spell from grave to hand when your Magician of Black Chaos destroys a monster in battle. This is a fine Skill to help these Rituals. Black Luster Solider being immune to destruction by the Skills is great since you can’t really respond to Skill effects, and the draw can be nice against Traps. Magician of Black Chaos gets a great boost as well for its immunity to destruction by Spells while recovering yours. This Skill alone makes Decks based on the two Rituals more viable, so it’s a nice addition.
Knight of Legend
Yugi’s next Skill is a boost to your Gaia the Fierce Knight. The Skill can be activated during your Main Phase, and its first effect lets you Normal Summon a Gaia the Fierce Knight without tributing, helping bypass the cost for getting it on field. This is nice considering there’s stronger monsters you could tribute for 2 for in this format, so having this bypass that for Gaia is a big benefit. Next the following is applied while you control a Gaia the Fierce Knight monster or a Gaia the Dragon Champion monster where it can let your Gaias do piercing and then let you draw 2 and discard one when you do damage by this effect, and the other effect prevents you from activating Set cards in the Spell/Trap Zone. The first effect is actually very nice to give you Spiral Spear Strike without having to draw it, making your Gaias more than vanillas basically. The second effect gives this whole Skill a downside considering how powerful it can be. Turning off your Set Spells and Traps is more than fair for what this Skill offers for Gaia. It’s still a decent Skill to give Gaia strategies some life, and it’s future proofed for more Gaia support entering the format. Worth trying a Gaia Deck out.
Now for Pegasus’s Deck, which of course has Toons and Relinquished support around it. His Ultra Rare variant card is D.D. Crow, another good card to interrupt the opponent’s grave, just not as nifty in Speed Duels right now. The reprints for the format in this Deck are Toon Alligator, Toon Summoned Skull, Toon Mermaid, Toon Masked Sorcerer (x2), Sonic Bird, Djinn Disserere of Rituals, Relinquished, Black Illusion Ritual, Toon World, Toon Table of Contents, Toon Rollback, Polymerization, Fulfillment of the Contract, Seven Tools of the Bandit, Dust Tornado, and Security Orb. The Toon and Relinquished stuff is of course great to have reprinted for more accessibility in this format. Sonic Bird is also great for Ritual Decks in this format for a reprint, and you got staple options like Seven Tools of the Bandit, Dust Tornado, and Security Orb. The new cards in this format are Thousand-Eyes Idol, Illusionist Faceless Mage, Red Archery Girl, Manga Ryu-Ran, Toon Barrel Dragon, Toon Buster Blader, Toon Dark Magician, Toon Gemini Elf, Illusionist Faceless Magician, Djinn Prognosticator of Rituals, Toon Mask, Shield Spear, Skill Successor, and Thousand-Eyes Restrict. The vanillas are not of note really, but you got Thousand-Eyes Idol for your Fusion Material to get to your Thousand-Eyes Restrict, which can be a very strong monster in this format with its ability to absorb a monster and prevent other monsters from attacking. You got some stronger Toons with Manga Ryu-Ran, Toon Barrel Dragon, Toon Buster Blader, and Toon Dark Magician for some boss-like monsters and Toon Gemini Elf as the best Normal Summon. Illusionist Faceless Magician is an amazing card in this format to help your Relinquished and Thousand-Eyes Restrict. Djinn Prognosticator of Rituals can be fine to destroy the opponent’s hand when your Rituals do damage. Toon Mask can be a great card to get your Toons directly from Deck. Shield Spear offers a small boost, but Skill Successor does the job better with it doing double the ATK and having a grave effect for more boosting. Overall its a good Deck to boost Relinquished strategies and Toon strategies, and you still got Skills to help that as well.
Pegasus’s first Skill is your boost for Relinquished and Thousand-Eyes Restrict. It has two effects you can use during the Main Phase at the cost of a discard, but it won’t let you conduct your Battle Phase that turn. The first effect lets you Ritual Summon your Relinquished by tributing a monster from hand or field whose Level is 1 or more. The second effect lets you Fusion Summon your Thousand-Eyes Restrict by using materials from hand or field. This is nice, but it isn’t too hard to summon these monsters already. It’d be nice if it didn’t turn off your Battle Phase or need a discard, but those drawbacks hurt this Skill. I’d personally just use the cards in my Deck to do these actions and run another Skill, Thousand-Eyes Restrict won’t be as bad when we get Fusion Substitute monsters so we don’t need Thousand-Eyes Idol.
The second Skill for Pegasus is Toon support, and is one of the simplest Skills in the format. All it does is that once per turn, if Toon World would be destroyed, it isn’t. This is good protection to have to make sure your Toon World stays safe on field for your Toons to get you max value, and to prevent some from destroying themselves. You’d just need to get to the Toon World on your own instead of relying on the Skill that gives you Toon World for you. This Skill will be nice with Toon Kingdom in the format, but for now it only protects the Toon World. It’s fine that it’s once per turn and not just permanent destruction immunity, cause that would make Toons a little absurd in this format. It’ll be useful when Toon Kingdom comes.
Now we can get into the Twisted Nightmares Decks and start with Bakura. Bakura has a bunch of Fiend support, and a little bit of support for pure DARK monsters. His Ultra Rare variant card is Santa Claws, which can be great to get rid of an opponent’s ace for a weaker monster, even if Santa Claws gives the opponent a draw. The reprints in this format in this Deck are Whiptail Crow, Mask of Darkness, Sword of Dark Destruction, Twister, Veil of Darkness, Common Charity, and The Forceful Checkpoint. The main reprints here are Mask of Darkness, Twister, and The Forceful Checkpoint. Bakura mostly has new cards with cards debuting in the format like Dark Necrofear, Neck Hunter, The Earl of Demise, That Witch Feeds on Life, The Gross Ghost of Fled Dreams, Headless Knight, Earthbound Spirit, The Shadow Who Controls the Dark, Gaap the Divine Soldier, Dark Ruler Ha Des, Puppet Master, Lesser Fiend, Twin-Headed Wolf, Prometheus, King of the Shadows, Lancer Archfiend, Dark Mimic LV3, Dark Mimic LV1, Mad Reloader, Offerings to the Doomed, Dark Eruption, Allure of Darkness, Creeping Darkness, and Zoma the Spirit. You got a bunch of vanillas of course, so those will be skipped over. Dark Necrofear can be a great boss in this format to summon by banishing 3 Fiends in grave and equipping to an opponent’s monster after destruction to steal it. Gaap the Divine Soldier can be strong to force monsters to Attack Position and not trigger FLIP Effects, as well as revealing Fiends in hand for a small boost. Dark Ruler Ha Des is another great Tribute Monster for negating any effects of monsters it or any other Fiend destroys in battle. Puppet Master is decent to Tribute Summon to revive 2 Fiends at a 2000 LP cost. Lesser Fiend is a good card to banish whatever it destroys in battle. Twin-Headed Wolf can be good against FLIP Effects while you control another Fiend. Prometheus, King of the Shadows can get a decent boost on Normal Summon by using your graveyard resources. Lancer Archfiend can be great to give your monsters piercing. Dark Mimic LV3 and LV1 add more draw power. Mad Reloader can load your grave while netting you more draws. Offerings to the Doomed is strong spot removal at the cost of your next Draw Phase. Dark Eruption can let you recover certain monsters. Allure of Darkness is strong in this format for anything DARK-related. Creeping Darkness can be a fine searcher for your Level 4 DARKs. Finally, Zoma the Spirit is a good Trap Monster with decent ATK and does burn when destroyed in battle.
Bakura’s first Skill is a fairly generic one, and so strong it gets a Once per Duel restriction. Its effect during your Main Phase lets you pay half your LP to take control of an opponent’s monster, but it cannot attack directly that turn. Pretty insane to have ways to steal the opponent’s monsters in this format already, even though the cost can be hefty. You can’t attack directly with the monster you steal, but it becomes great tribute fodder so the opponent doesn’t get it back. It’ll be more important considering you don’t get a Main Phase 2 to tribute summon with it. It can also help you go for game much easier by giving the opponent one less line of defense. It’s an overall strong Skill in the right situations for any Deck.
Into the Darkness Below
Bakura’s next Skill gives more of a use for your Normal Fiends that you might not need to help fill your grave for various effects. Each effect makes you discard a Fiend to get, and they’re once per turn. The first option lets you draw a card. This can be nice for simple draw power into your defensive lines or a stronger monster. It helps Dark Necrofear since you put a Fiend in grave. The second effect is only an option if you have 4 or more Fiend Normals in grave with different names and it lets you add any monster from Deck to hand, basically getting you to your Dark Necrofear with greater ease. You can search any monster in the format, but I imagine Dark Necrofear is the most common use. It does require a lot of grave setup, but it can be worth it with the right search. It’s a decent Skill, but it does rely on vanilla monsters, which can be a bigger downside with the second effect needing you to run a lot of different vanilla Fiends.
The final Deck to talk about is Marik’s Deck, which seems to have the torture theme to it like his anime Deck did when he wasn’t focused on his Egyptian God. His Ultra Rare variant is Magical Stone Excavation, which can be great in this format to recover your strong Spells, even if it can have a high cost. Marik’s Deck has no reprints in it, every card is brand new to the format. The cards in Marik’s Deck are Lava Golem, Yaiba Robo, Brave Scizzar, Melchid the Four-Face Beast, Gil Garth, Dark Prisoner, Dokuroyaiba, Dark Lucius LV8, Dark Lucius LV6, Dark Lucius LV4, Legendary Fiend, Byser Shock, Helpoemer, Mefist the Infernal General, Lady Assailant of Flames, Viser Des, Newdoria, Dark Jeroid, Drillago, Bowganian, Tribute to the Doomed, Level Up!, Creature Seizure, Faustian Bargain, Supply Squad, Rope of Life, Nightmare Wheel, Coffin Seller, Metal Reflect Slime, and Prideful Roar. Lava Golem is going to be a strong card in stall for its burn and getting rid of 2 of the opponent’s threats. Gil Garth adds another 1800 ATK vanilla to the format, which is helpful. The Dark Lucius monsters are cool in the format, and Level Up! really helps trying them out. Legendary Fiend can get strong if it can survive a turn. Byser Shock bounces the opponent’s Set cards to make your attacks more safe, even if Byser Shock is a Level 5. Helpoemer can destroy the opponent’s hand after each of their Battle Phases if it’s in grave because they destroyed it in battle. Mefist the Infernal General is decent for piercing and destroying the opponent’s hand. Lady Assailant of Flames is a FLIP to destroy your Deck for a little burn. Viser Des puts an opponent’s monster on a timer. Newdoria destroys a monster when it’s destroyed in battle. Dark Jeroid can be good for debuffing an opponent’s monster by 800 ATK. Drillago could potentially get a good 1600 direct attack in. Bowganian offers a little burn for stall. Tribute to the Doomed is another good piece of monster removal at the cost of a discard. Creature Seizure can let you swap your weak monster for an opponent’s stronger monster. Faustian Bargain lets you get rid of a Special Summoned monster to get a vanilla on your field. Supply Squad offers decent draw power for your monsters being destroyed. Rope of Life revives your monsters stronger at the cost of your hand. Nightmare Wheel prevents an opponent’s monster from attacking or changing battle position while also burning the opponent. Coffin Seller is good burn against the opponent each time monsters are sent to their grave. Metal Reflect Slime is a strong stall card to give you a 3000 DEF body in a Monster Trap form. Finally, Prideful Roar can be good to guarantee your monster winning in a battle and doing 300 damage to the opponent.
Marik’s first Skill helps bring Monster Reborn to the format with a downside. It’s another Once per Duel Skill to pay half your LP, only this time it revive a monster from either grave while the opponent takes no battle damage that turn. This is a great Skill as well to get any boss back on the field. The LP cost once again is hefty, but you keep the monster this time around. It can help you stall the game out, get more tribute fodder, or win you the game in a later turn. It represents Marik using Monster Reborn a lot in the series very well. It’s an excellent Skill for any Deck in this format, similar to Inner Conflict.
Marik’s next Skill takes time to build up, considering it needs Counters, but it can pay off. It gains a Counter each time a player loses LP, but it can only hold up to 3 Counters at a max. It lets you remove counters from this Skill once per turn during your Main Phase for effects. Removing 2 Counters lets you send a random card from the opponent’s hand to grave. This can be a strong effect that’s fairly easy to setup since players only need to take damage twice or pay LP for effects twice. As a result, you get a random discard from the opponent’s hand. It’ll likely make the opponent place their cards on field when they see this generating Counters, but that’s what the other effect is for. Removing 3 Counters lets you destroy a face-up card on field. This is a good option to get rid of face-up Spells or Traps that are helping the opponent or a strong monster the opponent has to help you get attacks in. It’s fair to destroy just face-up cards, since destroying any card could make this a very lethal Skill. It’s a strong Skill that’s easy to build up to make use of. Worth trying out in burn.
Overall, it’s nice to finally get some more cards in this format. We haven’t had a set release for Speed Duels in months and it gives the vibes that Konami might just be waiting for Sevens to start the dub so they can potentially drop this for Rush Duels. While that format is nice, I hope they don’t just abandon this format. It still has potential for side events in tournaments and some fun casual play with friends. Overall, the Match of the Millennium Decks might be better for giving you some variety with options like a Black Luster Soldier, Gaia, Toon, or Relinquished Deck. Twisted Nightmares gives support for Fiends and Stall, which is nice. Stall gets far better in this format, which is scary. We also got more generic Skills in Twisted Nightmares, so that’s a big benefit. Both Starter Decks are worth purchasing in this format I feel. It gives you boosts to existing strategies or new strategies while also adding some new Skill options. Overall decent Structure Decks.
Thanks for Reading,