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For Rent


Deck Theory,

& the Art of Dueling
By Jamal Thruston

v. II (In Development)

December 26, 2007 


Table of Contents


I.                     From the Writer

II.                   Introduction

III.                  Testing the Waters

a.      Learn the Environment

b.      Know your Objective!

IV.               Stand first, then walk – The Art of Field Control

a.      Take First!

b.      Think Cautiously

c.      Call in Reinforcements!

d.      Aside from hand, conserve EVERYTHING

e.      Reverse these for the enemy!

V.                 Stand first, then walk – The Art of Mind Control

a.      False Expressions

b.      Setup, or not?

c.      Playing oddball

VI.               The Concept of “Support”

a.      Developing a Solid Army

b.      Concept of “Deck Connection”

c.      Card Fat

d.      Card Fast

VII.              Deck Predevelopment

a.      Central Idea

b.      Supporting Cards

c.      Ways of Finding Supporting Cards

                                                                          i.      Unorthodox Methods

                                                                        ii.      The Common Way

d.      Examination

VIII.            Deck Development

a.      Deck Ratio

b.      Following Regulation

c.      Sewing everything together!

IX.               Deck Redevelopment

X.                 More Examples of Deck Developments

XI.               D.P. Theory

XII.              Duelist Tips

XIII.            Words to Card Developers

a.      About these new cards, and making the game better

b.      Game Restrictions need some tuning up

XIV.          My Personal Decks

XV.           Conclusion


From the Writer

For the years I have played this game, I must say, what an adventure. For those who are just starting, or for those who desire to become strong in this card game or other games that involve conflict and war, I have written this document for your education, and for your adventure.

I started dueling the summer the card game of Duel Monsters released in America; from then to about spring of 2004, I competed in tournaments every single weekend, and I abusively dueled online and offline with both friends and enemies.

There’s so many people I wish to thank, but listing their names would be very time consuming – but you know who you are – the ones who dueled with me, talked game with me, and experienced this venture with me throughout all these years.

I learned so much from then to now – I remember when I first competed in this game … I was terrible! It took many years of trial and error to learn the reason why I was terrible, and how to never be terrible again. I hope I transform your thoughts on this game … or at least, give you an idea that you can take and make your own.

Good luck whoever you are.




When one loses so many times, they either do two things: quit, or find a way to stop losing. Luckily for you readers, I took the route of trying to find the ways to quit losing. Now, one reason I lost was because my decks weren’t exactly … competitively normal. The first deck I ever ran was the beginner Kaiba deck that released along with Yugi’s – which got me into playing Seto’s cards for years till the banning age. I ran a deck that revolved around the 4 spirits: Fire, Earth, Air, Water (you should’ve saw my face when the next set released, with actual spirits). I ran FINAL, I ran a Muka Muka deck, and I ran a lot of other weird crap.


Anyways, the point is – I tried to play big tournaments with them.  I faired well, and even won some, but against some of the big dogs, they just didn’t stand up – and I wanted them to stand up. I have so many old notes of devising ways to make those decks work – and one of them came initially from the fact that a lot of cards are very similar to each other, in ways that may not exactly be as obvious to some.


The pictures … there’s a lot of similarities. 


Examples:  See anything in common with the Different Dimension Warrior card backgrounds?  Play a little matching game.


See anything in common with Spellcaster cards?  Take a look at Magic Cylinder’s question mark, and see if you can find any other spellcaster-like cards that have that same mark.


So I started matching up stuff like this, and I found my deck working slightly better – it was as if everything was connecting more to each other.  So, eventually I went beyond, and began matching things like card descriptions, ATK/DEFs, attributes, etc. I questioned everything to the ground, found out what worked, what didn’t … and I continuously praised the ideas to individuals who agreed with me, and helped me test the ideas with deck ideas, and against competitive tournament players.


You’re going to learn what has been learned and taught for so many hours a day, and for so many years. It took till late 2003 / early 2004 for the truth to be realized … the real secrets behind building the deck, and playing this game.


Grab a deck, get something to relax yourself – a hot drink perhaps – and use this guide to forever change your perspective of this game, and building a deck.


I know we don’t know each other, but all you can do is agree or disagree!  All concepts are supported – if more support needs to be made, contact me at god.of.design@gmail.com and I will consider it for v. 3!


Testing the Waters


Learn the Environment


            In battle, it’s great to know your environment. Without knowledge of the environment, you walk into a war zone of compete mystery, which is quite dangerous, may you agree?

This rule goes pretty far – we will connect it to the card game of Duel Monsters. Get your rule book, and get to studying. Go to tournaments, and help judge. Question things as much as possible – know this game like the back of your hand. Knowing the environment – the rules -- can save your life in a duel.

Study, study, study!

… In fact, don’t even read the rest of this till you know all the rules as natural as being able to count to 10.

Know your Objective!

Before you head out to war, you should surely know why you’re going to war in the first place.

Your overall objective is: to defeat your opponent. You are given many ways to win in this game, but for your sakes … think of the fastest and safest route.  In real war, would you rather have everyone alive and the problem taken care of, or – having your men represent lifepoints – would you like making sacrifices to getting the win? Just like in war, sometimes sacrifices have to be made – but the less, the merrier. In this game, safest means coming out of battle without damage, and without much, or any, loss of resources (cards, lifepoints, etc.).

The best method of winning I see is bringing your opponent’s lifepoints to 0, instead of the other ways (Exodia, FINAL, Final Countdown, deckout, etc.), which could take who knows how long due to so many variables existing – a lot of them, sadly, being random.

Stand First, Then Walk -- The Art of Field Control



Take First!


            Also before you head out into battle … make sure you know how to battle.  The individual who has field control will be dominate, and will have the better chance of winning.  The ideal goal is to always have control over the field, and if things begin to get bumpy, you’ll have reinforced back-up to get you out of trouble (that’s another thing your hand is for).

            When two duelists shake hands, and the duel begins … we have the problem of knowing who goes first. There are many ways to decide this: coins, dice, an agreement of some sort … but whoever goes first gets the field first. Some may believe it doesn’t matter who goes first, but to their dismay, it does. The individual initially gets control of the field, and if their hold is strong enough, they may be able to continue that hold throughout the game.



Tip 1:  If there’s ever a choice take first!


Halt, Argument! One argument may say that going second could be used as a strategy to get control of the field – so keep in mind: yes, it can, but it’s more of a risk than taking the safest and easiest way of gaining field control (nothing stops the first movements of the duel).


Think Cautiously


Anything can happen – this is not only a game of skill, but it is also a huge game of probability. You can never be arrogant with your motives … stay cautious, and when you make decisions, ALWAYS ask “what if …”


Example of Arrogance: It is a game of 8000 to 3000.  Donald is in the lead, and all Michael has is one set support card (I call magic/trap cards support cards; excuse my lingo). Michael’s field is empty, and Michael’s plays have been very slow, and very pathetic.  Donald has the conception that Michael has nothing, and will never have nothing, since he has had nothing the entire duel.  His field of: Blue Eyes White Dragon, Chaos Emperor Dragon, Tribe Infecting Virus, XYZ-Dragon Cannon, and Paladin of White Dragon all attack directly … Michael actives Mirror Force. Michael then uses Monster Reborn next turn, and restores Chaos Emperor Dragon.  He also summons Witch of the Black Forest, and makes an incredible comeback.  Donald ends up losing 0 to 2000.  If Donald was cautious and kept a few cards in the defensive, he would’ve survived.


Example of Cautiousness 1: Billy has the first turn of the game.  He sets one monster

and one support card down on the field.  He considers the possibility of his support card – a Mirror Force – failing and being destroyed.  He sets an extra card – Waboku – to ensure his safety.


Example of Cautiousness 2: Tiger drew a Polymerization card, but he realizes his opponent’s support field is highly active – making it probable for a failure of a fusion.  Instead of jumping in the game arrogantly, he activates Royal Decree, prohibiting the opponent from making any future moves, then proceeds with a successful and field controlling fusion. Without a cautious thought, his Cyber fusion would’ve been acceptable to a Bottomless Trap Hole which would’ve sent it sailing straight out of the game.


Call in Reinforcements!


            Always keep cards in your hand – especially cards that can save you if things go wrong.  Never go arrogant and throw down all of your good cards at once, unless you are 100% sure nothing can cause them to be destroyed or misactivated.


            If you continuously find yourself low at hand (2 cards or less continuously), then you need to reevaluate your deck, and find out what is causing your hand to be destroyed so quick and easy.



Tip 2: Don’t run hand destroying cards! (Unless they destroy your opponent’s hand)



Further explanation of Tip 2: Going down to the section called “Duelist Tips”, the first tip states, “Your hand is your heart. Your deck is the blood supply. The weaker your heart, the weaker you will be. Refrain from hurting the heart at all times. Without it, you’re dead.”


Cards that need or desire other cards from your hand to be played are very dangerous – sure, they can be useful, but they can also decide your overall fate of winning and losing the game. Magic Jammer, Marauding Captain, and Polymerization are two good examples for this type of situation.


Instead of Magic Jammer, run Magic Drain.  Magic Drain requires your opponent to discard another spell card from their hand – so instead of you losing something, they lose something. Sure, there’s the risk of it not working and things going bad, but it hurts you less, and can even ruin the opponent more than they think – I have had more pros with Magic Drain than I have had with Magic Jammer.


Instead of Polymerization, and cards like it, just stay away from fusions that require it.  Sure, they can be good, and they can even win you the duel, but if things go bad, you’re in a lot of trouble.  Polymerization takes 3 or more cards out of your hand (itself, and the fusion materials) to bring out merely 1 card – and if that card was destroyed at summon, or somewhere else in the duel – there goes your field control, and possibly even the ability to gain field control back, due to your small hand.

Save your resources.  Refrain from using cards that require a lot of resources to be played effectively.


Aside from hand, conserve EVERYTHING


            Your lifepoints, your monsters, your support cards – you want them to be alive as long as possible.  The more men that die in battle, the greater the odds of losing become.  You know what happens when the entire army (deck) dies … you’re done.


            Here are some tips:



Tip 3: Refrain from running lifepoint draining cards.


Further explanation of Tip 3: Your lifepoints are what are keeping you alive throughout the duel. Sure, 1000 may not be a lot, but, in the long-run, it could make a difference between a win and a lost. Use as least lifepoint draining cards as possible – preferably none at all.



Tip 4: Try using cards that last: continuous effects, equip cards, monsters that can keep themselves alive for a good period of time.


Further explanation of Tip 4: What’s better than a card that has one effect?  A card that has two, three, or more effects.  A card that is used more than once is almost as good as having duplicates. Bait Doll is a very effective trap destroyer due to its continuous use – whereas Mystical Space Typhoon and Dust Tornado can only be used ONCE against a face-down support card. Swords of Revealing Light is just as good as having three Negate Attacks – it keeps your opponent from attacking for THREE turns, and it’s just one card! Using cards like this allow you to conserve a lot of cards to use in the future.



Tip 5: Refrain from using cards that destroy your own monsters.


Further explanation of Tip 5: Imagine all of your monsters being level four or below, if they already aren’t, and they all have the capability of effectively handling your opponent.  If one monster can stay on the field long, it allows you to conserve other monsters for the time that monster wont be able to make it. If you keep summoning monsters and destroying them for others, or for effects, you are quickly using your monster resources – which can be very bad in the long-term effect (AKA not having a lot of monsters left over in hand). If you’re going to use level 5 or greater monsters, either use your opponent’s monster resources to summon them, or have them great enough to have a very long-term stand on the field in order to conserve more monsters and cards for the future of the duel.



Tip 6: Refrain from using cards that destroy your own support cards.


Further explanation of Tip 6: This is like Tip 5, except for your support cards. Ever dueled someone who used all of their good support cards at the beginning, then had nothing else to offer later on in the duel?  Don’t let this happen to you – conserve your support cards, and don’t use them till you absolutely have to. Having your support cards used or destroyed lowers your support resources – you want as much resource as possible in battle.  What happens in war if one side runs out of ammo?


Reverse these for the Enemy!


1.      Make your opponent go SECOND, instead of going first, if you ever have the option.


2.      Try to use the tips from “The Art of Mind Control” to cause your opponent to think arrogantly instead of cautiously.

3.      Having a good back-up hand is good for you, and your opponent having one is also good for them – don’t let them build-up.  The longer the game stalls, the more cards they get, and the higher the odds of them winning become. Keep them at the border to make them play cards to save themselves from losing – hence why the “fastest” route to winning is handy.

4.      Don’t let their cards live, unless they really aren’t worth the effort to destroy. Make them waste all of their resources – the more they conserve, the tougher things may get.


Stand First, Then Walk -- The Art of Mind Control



False Expressions


            This game is more than just physical – it is also mental. There are no rules that say you can’t use your mouth in this game – use it wisely, and converse with your opponent, because it is an effective tool that can aid you in gaining field control, and the game entirely.


            Ever seen someone – or maybe this someone was you – who drew an ugly hand, and openly admitted it? How did the opponent react? Sometimes, the opponent may take that account in their heads, and act a little bit more aggressive – knowing that your cards, at the time, may not be powerful enough to stop their onslaught.


            Imagine this same scene happening, except the drawn hand wasn’t actually ugly. The duelist who said the hand was ugly was lying, and the opponent believed it enough to still act aggressive with their moves – the duelist laughs at the opponent’s arrogance with a few counters that changes the whole course of the rest of the game.


            Here are some tips for “False Expressions” – use some of them, or try making up your own!


Tip 7: Make a frown at a beast of a hand!

Make your opponent feel as if they have the upper-hand by telling them – verbally or by facial expressions – how bad (read: good), your hand is! If they don’t fall for it, that’s okay, but if they do, prepare yourself and flip over the rug right under their feet!


Tip 8:  If you have it bad, pretend like it’s the best thing ever.


Here we have the exact opposite – if your hand is bad, grin about it and pretend like it’s really going to make the game yours.  Really express how powerful your hand is, and set your cards like they’re ALL mirror forces.


Typically, this may get your opponent to waste strong support destroying cards such as: Heavy Storm, or Mystical Space Typhoon. It may also potentially make your opponent cautious enough to not even make an attack – it all depends on how you play it out, and if they really care or not.  Careless or not, it’s worth a shot – any psychological attack is better than none at all!


Tip 9: If the opportunity to be sweet is there, then be sweet.


 What do I mean by this?  Well, ladies and gentlemen, and namely ladies, sometimes you may duel someone of the opposite sex (… or the same sex), and there might be times of attraction, or potential attraction.


If you play it sweet, and you act as if you’re a weakling, then your opponent might begin to lose their urge to immediately destroy you.  For example:


Example: Molly looks at Johnny with her cute innocent eyes.  “Aww, you’re going to destroy me!”  She frowns in misleading disappointment. Johnny sighs, and saves some of his power cards in his hand, “No I’m not, you’ll do fine!” He says.  Molly smiles.



Feelings can be dangerous.  Use it wisely.


Tip 10: If the opportunity to be sour is there, then be sour.


Now be very careful with this one, and I don’t exactly recommend it unless you rarely or never see the individual.  If there is tension between you two, then you have the opportunity to feed the tension to the point where your opponent because aggressive/arrogant enough to make some stupid careless moves.


By feeding, I don’t mean calling them names – though, that can work, and also lead to bloody noses and being kicked out of tournaments – but … well … you come up with your own ideas with this one.  It’s best to just poke fun at them while they’re already angry at you over something.

Setup, or Not?


The greatest fear man has is the unknown – if they know nothing about it, then they’re probably going to be very cautious when it comes to getting to know it. People who are afraid of snakes most likely aren’t too use to snakes – if they were stuck in a room with them, they’d eventually get to ease up with them, otherwise they’d be snake food.


            Ever dueled someone who had a LOT of traps?  Was you cautious at all about attacking them? It is scary to some duelists to be in the situation where they’re going up against more traps than they’d like to handle.


            If you have enough back-up resources, just incase things get wrong (Heavy Storm), lay down about 3, 4, or 5 traps.  Or, fake it and lay down some spell cards – this sometimes works great when it comes to stalling for a turn, for that heavy supported field is a bit risky to play offensive with.


            Don’t be afraid to toy around with your opponent.  When the opponent is confused, they are more vulnerable to defeat than ever. Every move starts from the thoughts – which is why this section of this guide is so important.


Tip 11: Try running a nice amount of trap cards – they are not only good for support and counters, but they are also a good psychological addition to scaring the opponent from moving.


            When I look at decks to review, I typically see a LOT of spells, but hardly any traps!  Don’t underestimate the power of trap cards – I actually run the opposite, and it works effectively


Playing Oddball


Example:  The duel is just beginning, and Vince has the first turn.  He draws his hand, looks at it, then his opponent … then he starts reading out every single card in his hand.  “I have Mirror Force, Man-Eater Bug, Mystical Space Typhoon, Bait Doll, Magic Cylinder, and Command Knight.”  Ben, his opponent, stares at him oddly, then is all, “… you idiot.”  To Ben’s surprise, that wasn’t Vince’s hand, and he regrets believing Vince throughout the rest of the duel.



There’s some funky ways to make duels go certain ways, and that’s a very famous move I use to pull (successfully) on many duelists throughout my days.  It is very confusing, and very odd, and this is how you play the game of oddball.


Be creative when it comes to this art, and make the mind game of Duel Monsters even harder for your opponent. 


Question:  What if they use it against you?


Keyword: Ignore.  The only thing you should listen to when it comes to your opponent is what is actually on the field, and what is actually (where you can see) going on. Anything else – just blank it out, and play with these two elements in mind:  FIELD CONTROL and WIN!


The Concept of “Support”


Developing a Solid Army


Support, support, support, support, support – I want you to write that on a large piece of paper, and post it up somewhere on your wall. “Support” will be the keyword here in building a deck -- your army.

I want you to take a look at this set of monsters, and tell yourself which does not fit in:


Command Knight

Obnoxious Celtic Guardian

 Blade Knight

Exiled Force

Goblin Attack Force

D.D. Assailant

D.D. Warrior Lady

D.D. Crazy Beast


The answer is D.D. Crazy Beast.  Can you figure why?  Well, for one thing, he’s not supported by ANY of the monsters – he’s not a warrior, so Command Knight and any support cards that deal with warriors do not remotely touch him, and he doesn’t even have an effect, whereas all the other ones do!  Sure, this monster proves good defense, but when it comes to finding cards that support a deck, you have to find the best one:  Big Shield Gardna works well better than D.D. Crazy Beast. 

There are some deck themes that have great support already made for them … namely the Gravekeepers, and water decks.  Ever dueled one of these before?  Not sure how hard they are to defeat now, but years ago, they were known to be pretty rough to handle – and why is that?  The cards supported each other more well than other decks.  The water monsters were all water monsters, and their support cards made them effective (Umi, Tornado Wall, etc.), and the Gravekeepers were all gravekeepers, and they also had some effective support cards for themselves.

Support, support, support – that’s the keyword to building a deck.  Eventually, you’ll learn how to make an effective deck that ultimately supports each other to its max.

Concept of Deck Connection

I love this metaphor. Your deck is like a rock, and it can either be weak, or it can be strong. How strong it is depends on how much your cards connect, or support, each other – and it also depends how strong your opponent’s deck connects, or supports it self.

Ever had a very very long duel? It might’ve been long because both of your decks had equal connection.

Ever had a very short duel where you were the victor? Chance is: your deck had better connection than your opponent’s.

Ever had a short duel where YOU lost? Your deck was weak, and had low connection – back to the drawing board for you.

If you ever want to enhance the “connection” of your deck, find a dueling partner, and continuously duel them. Whoever loses has to make changes to their deck. The goal is to reach equal connection between you two – and then slowly enhance both decks’ connections as changes are made to the point of where they are at their max. Now duel someone who is of low connection, and bam, a piece of cake!

I did this type of training with an old friend before. It works.

            The more cards you run in your deck (read: over 40), the weaker the connection.  Why is this?  Half of this game is luck and probability, and by adding more and more cards to your deck, you slowly lower the chance you have of drawing a card, therefore making things slower and weaker, and therefore lowering the “connection” of your deck.

Tip 12:  Never run more than 40 cards in your deck.  Ever.  For any reason.

            For some, its hard to go down to ONLY 40 cards – but trust me, it’s definitely better than having any more than 40 in the deck.  Your drawing will be much better due to the higher chances of drawing cards, and your luck will also be at rise.

            Another thing to increase connection and probability is to use deck thinning cards – but don’t use these unless they ALSO help you and support your monsters and other cards.  If they don’t belong with your cards, then don’t use them. I use Nimble Momonga because not only does he give me 1000 LP, but he also thins my deck, and stalls for the rest of my cards.  His effect nor type have anything to do with the majority of my monsters, but as I say: just have things support each other as much as possible.  Sometimes you might have to add in a few odd things here and there, but try to make things support each other as much as possible for the sakes of:  deck connection, and support.

Card Fat

You know your deck has card fat if any of these occurrences have appeared:

ˇ        You drew a bad hand (not speaking ratio)

ˇ        You are drawing bad/useless cards (not speaking ratio)

ˇ        You find yourself waiting for other cards in order to use “something.”

Card fat is a card that basically slows down your deck and play.  Typically, when one edits their deck, they may look for cards that they never use, or cards that just aren’t working – these cards, in our terminology, are considered “fat.” 

Another type of deck fat may be cards that are:

ˇ        Weakly supported

ˇ        Support other cards weakly

ˇ        “Require” other cards in order to fulfill their effect

Here is a situation that illustrates the idea of “deck fat.”

Situation 1.  Tommy is under hot weather – the game is 4000 to 2000, and his opponent has control over the field.  Tommy is in quite a pickle, and none of the cards in his hand will do anything to save him (deck fat).  He needs a card, something powerful, and he knows that if he draws a Graceful Charity, he may get a better chance – but the odds of drawing Charity is one out of 15.  He closes his eyes, takes a draw, and it’s a Blue-Eyes White Dragon (slow card for deck – fat).  He has no monsters and no way of summoning it.  He loses the game.



Idea!  It is simply an idea that cards that require other cards to work (Fusion Monsters, high-level monsters, etc.) are automatically deck fat.  Be careful when running these cards.  This idea is still in argument, but consider it. (Equip cards are an exception due to how common monsters are – this follows the concept of lowering fat, hit later in this section).

Can you identify the deck fat in this deck?

Modified Yugi Evolution Deck (example deck, don’t use)

Monsters (18)

Beaver Warrior

Black Luster Soldier

Dark Blade

Man-Eater Bug

Dark Magician

Gaia The Fierce Knight

Summoned Skull

Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts

Giant Rat

Giant Soldier of Stone

Wall of Illusion

Zombyra the Dark


Mystical Elf

Celtic Guardian

Royal Magical Library


Neo the Magic Swordsman

Support (22)

Axe of Despair

Black Luster Ritual

Card Destruction

Change of Heart

Dark Hole

Dian Keto the Cure Master



Last Will

Magic Jammer

Monster Reborn

Mystic Plasma Zone

Mystical Space Typhoon

Pot of Greed

Raigeki Break

Seven Tools of the Bandit


Spellbinding Circle

Swords of Revealing Light

The Eye Of Truth

Trap Hole


Now, just because a card is fat doesn’t mean you can’t put it in your deck.  Some fattening cards can be made less fattening, otherwise some fusion cards and high-level monsters, like the cyber dragons, wouldn’t exist in tournaments!

To make a card less fattening, all you have to do is make its “target” broader.  For example, if your fusion monster requires a certain fusion – run more of those fusion material monsters, and run a lot more of the cards required to fuse them (such as polymerization).  Remember, this game is about probability, and you can strengthen the probability of drawing a certain type of card by running more of those cards, and running more cards like it.

Equip spell cards are automatically low fat because their target is VERY broad (most decks run 18 monsters or more), so usually in the first turn you’ll be able to equip something with the spell.

High-level monsters are automatically low fat because they also have a lot of available ways to be summoned.

Ritual monsters?  Notice how they’re not used a lot – well, at the time I am writing this (January 12, 2007), they’re not.  Why is this?  Not enough support to get them out quick enough – therefore, these guys are automatically pretty much deck fat. I will talk more about cards not having enough support in the last section of this document “Words to Card Developers.”

The more speed your deck has, the faster you can get field control, and the faster you may also be able to win.  Think about what you put in your deck – it can make a big difference.  Remember these occurrences, and if you run into any of them in a duel, you need to make a change to your deck:

ˇ        You drew a bad hand (not speaking ratio)

ˇ        You are drawing bad/useless cards (not speaking ratio)

ˇ        You find yourself waiting for other cards in order to use “something.”

Card Fast

This is exactly the opposite of card fat.  If this card can be ran instantly, and aids in field control/winning, then this card is considered “fast.”

Thought. Now, as I write this, I am currently thinking about traps … they’re very effective cards, even though they can’t be ran instantly (not as fast as spells), and I even recommend as much, or more, traps than spells. Why is this?  They’re threatening, they’re powerful, they’re mysterious, they help stall, they’re good for field control … the list goes on. The main reason why I like traps more than spells is that they can be put down on the field, AND be activated.  Remember me writing about this subject in “Mind Control.”

            So, finishing this thought … I guess Quick-plays are the ultimate support cards.  It’s a shame there isn’t enough of them (there’s under 100), but from how they are – I guess the small amount makes since.

            I can’t believe I use to think you could run them out from your hand years ago when this game arrived for the first months.  Know your rules and study!  Don’t forget that.

            Remember the discussion about how making a card more “broad” will make it faster?  Well, we can assume that all fast cards are already broad, and that idea is correct – here are some naturally fast cards (and also the reason why cards like these are ran so much, aside from how powerful they also tend to be):


Raigeki.  This card can be ran instantly, and it’s great for field control.

Dark Hole.  This card can be ran instantly, and is great for field control.

Graceful Charity. This card can be ran instantly, and is great for deck thinning (enhancing probability and deck “connection”), and possibly field control (getting good cards out of the draw can benefit!)

Twin-Headed Behemoth.  This card can be ran instantly, and is great for field control (reread “Art of Field Control”) since it comes back once more after it is destroyed.

Quick-play Spells.  Can be ran instantly, and also be set on the field to act as traps (rereap “Art of Mind Control”).

Level 4 or below monsters. Can be ran instantly (usually), and effects can benefit and help with field control and other goodies.

Mage Power.  Even though it’s not as fast as the others, it’s still fast, and its very powerful global effect (reaches support cards AND monsters – cards that do this are GREAT for the deck), and field-control helping(ness) makes it an amazing card for both speed and power. 

List your own!  There’s a lot of them, and hopefully the majority of your deck is filled with fast cards. 


            Now, look at this deck, and take note of all the “fast cards” that exists.  It’s the same deck as before, we’re just looking at different cards this round:

Modified Yugi Evolution Deck (example deck, don’t use)

Monsters (18)

Beaver Warrior

Black Luster Soldier

Dark Blade

Man-Eater Bug

Dark Magician

Gaia The Fierce Knight

Summoned Skull

Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts

Giant Rat

Giant Soldier of Stone

Wall of Illusion

Zombyra the Dark


Mystical Elf

Celtic Guardian

Royal Magical Library


Neo the Magic Swordsman

Support (22)

Axe of Despair

Black Luster Ritual

Card Destruction

Change of Heart

Dark Hole

Dian Keto the Cure Master



Last Will

Magic Jammer

Monster Reborn

Mystic Plasma Zone

Mystical Space Typhoon

Pot of Greed

Raigeki Break

Seven Tools of the Bandit


Spellbinding Circle

Swords of Revealing Light

The Eye Of Truth

Trap Hole


Don’t ever be afraid to do the same with your own deck on both deck fat, and deck fast concepts!


Deck Predevelopment


            Winners tend to be organized fellas, so in this section, you will learn the three phases of building a deck:  Deck Predevelopment, Deck Development, Deck Redevelopment.

            Every deck starts with an idea.  Try to argue that it doesn’t – every single deck starts in your head as an idea.  In this stage, you will flesh out that idea on file, so you can see if it’s even possible to do before you head out into the real stage: the development stage.

            Make this table on paper, or on the computer.  You’re going to learn to use it:




Central Idea


Supporting Cards





































Or you could write/type:


Central idea:

Supporting Cards:


Whatever works!


Central Idea


This is where you put your idea – that single thought that popped up that will hopefully eventually become a fully fleshed out deck.


There are a lot of ideas: combos, type-oriented, effect-oriented, attribute-oriented … the list goes on.


Whatever your idea is, write it down, and don’t forget it.


            Here are some examples of Central ideas:


ˇ        Water-Attribute

ˇ        Different Dimensional

ˇ        Dragon-type

ˇ        “A deck that simulates a virus, and slowly eats the opponent to death from the inside.”

ˇ        Warrior-type

ˇ        Normal Monsters

ˇ        “A burn deck.”

ˇ        “A deck that has strong-defense monsters, and defeats the opponent from burning.”

ˇ        Whatever you want!


Typically, the more specific, the better.



Supporting Cards


            Now with your idea in mind, it is time to find cards that support the idea.


            In this stage, do not be critical – that part is for the development of your deck.  Allow anything, as lame as the card may seem, slide into your predevelopment deck outline.


            Even if the card is banned in the latest restriction list, allow it in.  The idea of this stage is to see all of the cards that support your idea.


            Now, there are many ways to find out what cards support your ideas, and what doesn’t.  I am going to show some ancient interesting ways I use to use, and then I’m going to tell the ways I use now, which is much more simple, and easier, and gets practically the same result!


Unorthodox Methods


            [Writer:  I write little by little in this article, and it has been a year’s+ project, due to the fact that I am just not motivated to continue.  If you found any value from this, please e-mail me at god.of.design@gmail.com and I will be glad to finish it for you.]

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