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October 10, 2005

There is a series of cards that have gone obscenely overlooked for far too long. These cards do a plethora of different things. They maintain field presence and provide many creative variants of control without any real extension of the hand. They thin your deck and set you up for vicious game-ending combos. These cards are called the elemental searchers and there is a different one for every attribute in the game. All of their effects read as follows:

When this card is sent to the Graveyard as a result of battle, you may select 1 [___] monster with an ATK of 1500 or less from your Deck and Special Summon it to the field in face-up Attack Position (no Tribute is required for monsters of Level 5 or more). The Deck is then shuffled.

The blank area represents whatever attribute that card is linked too.

This article is the third in a five part series I am doing. In each of these articles I am going to attempt to turn each elemental searcher into a Swiss army knife. What I mean is I will be constructing a control deck centered around main boarded copies of the searcher and show how each and every one (yes, even Shining Angel) can make a deadly effective deck build.

This particular article I originally wanted to save for last but certain circumstances made me push it to today.

Giant Rat…Giant Rat…what to say…

How about, “the most broken monster in this format”?

What??? Yup. But why try to explain myself when I can just show you. Yesterday was the San Jose regional. It was the first regional under the new format and everyone was unsure what would truly be successful. I took this deck with me and I proceeded to lose the very first round.

…But then I proceeded to win the next seven to take a Top 8 spot for the first time in my life. So all net-deckers should go and get a pen and paper now. I’ll wait.

You back? Good. Copy this down.

1x Mobius the Frost Monarch
2x Cyber Dragon
2x Steamroid
2x Giant Rat
1x Pyramid Turtle
1x Sangan
1x D.D. Assailant
1x D.D. Warrior Lady
1x Exiled Force
1x Injection Fairy Lily
1x Des Lacooda
1x Mystic Swordsman LV2
1x Spirit Reaper
1x Breaker the Magical Warrior
1x Azura Priest

1x Dark Hole
1x Confiscation
2x Creature Swap
1x Nobleman of Crossout
1x Smashing Ground
1x Fissure
1x Heavy Storm
1x Snatch Steal
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Swords of Revealing Light
1x Premature Burial
1x Scapegoat
1x Messenger of Peace

1x Call of the Haunted
1x Torrential Tribute
2x Sakuretsu Armor
2x Dust Tornado
2x Magic Drain

Side Deck:

2x Vampire Lord
1x Pyramid Turtle
2x Kinetic Soldier
2x Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
1x Dust Tornado
2x Needle Ceiling
1x Royal Oppression
1x Lightning Vortex
1x Metamorphosis

I gave you the side board too, but you should pretty much disregard it. It’s jank. I only used three cards (2 Kinetic and the third Dust) against two decks – a burn and a Jowgen OTK. I just had no idea what others would be running and just sort of winged it.

I now have some pretty good ideas. You will end up seeing a lot of burn so I think side decking a second Mystic Swordsman would be best. Also, a lot of people are running Injection Fairy Lily. I would probably try for a couple of Kuribohs. The Kycoos were useless. That cheap Zombie side-in had no power when stacked against my main deck monster line up. The Needle Ceiling was supposed to be against GK, but I never faced one. Lightning Vortex stayed in the side as Fissure and Smashing were much better options overall.

I was all excited about borrowing my friend’s D.D. Assailant. I thought it would really help my deck. It turned out to be “meh”. I never got the effect off. When I give the Assailant back to him I’ll probably just main a second Reaper as another target for Turtle.

This deck is as extensively play tested as you can get. Basically, the deck just loved me. I had the options to put away each of my opponents and I’ve never really had that before.

Let me give you an example. It was Round 8 and we were at second game (he won the first). I beat him down fairly well to 1800 life points. He then used Brain Control and Zaborg to clear my field. I had nothing but a Mobius in my hand. He only had 1000 life points left and nothing but the Zaborg on the field. I drew a Premature Burial. I look in my graveyard and see two cards of interest – Giant Rat and D.D. Warrior Lady.

I start by thinking I would Premature the D.D. Lady, attack, and remove. But something is holding me back. Maybe it was because I did not like the fact of leaving him a clear field while I have nothing. Who knows what he will top deck? I mean, he made it this far. It could be something really nasty. I start thinking of a way to kill him here and now – and finally it clicks. I abandon the Lady. I premature Giant Rat and run it into him. Then I special summon Injection Fairy Lily, attack, and pump for exactly 1000 damage.

This story should start to give you an initial idea toward the true power of Giant Rat. He is completely and utterly unrivaled in good searches that can, pretty much, do anything you want to do. Let’s start the list.

1. Injection Fairy Lily – This search indirectly makes Giant Rat the most broken Creature Swap target in the game. Whenever you use Creature Swap on an opponent they usually know they’ll end up taking some damage. They’re never cool with taking that much damage though. Be careful though. This is a card that requires careful and skillful use. Had I not had the play testing under me I would not have risked it.

2. Exiled Force – A very versatile bit of removal. It was in practically every deck I played anyway, but the synergy is best with Rat. You usually need to sacrifice your summon for the turn, which could be a downer, but not-so-much with Cyber Dragon.

3. Mystic Swordsman LV2 – Many, many people were main decking this card as well. We need different forms of face down hate with Nobleman’s restriction. Once again, I saw a lot of burn decks and this card walks all over them. I need to find a second for side deck.

4. Des Lacooda – The star of my deck’s performance and the one card that could truly push Giant Rat to “broken” status. Just as I explained with Mystic Tomato this card can be searched, flipped down, and flipped back up all at once.

5. Pyramid Turtle – I think it was JaeLove who first made public the whole concept of “search the searcher”, but it was a wise statement indeed. The splash of Rat control into any Zombie build is made possible by this connection.

6. Dream Clown – A very, very good search target. Its only problem is without the usual defense this card is almost worthless in the opening hand or drawn into. Stay in the deck where you belong! Then when my opponent hits the Rat I can search for it, kill their monster, sacrifice for Mobius, and say “good game”.

7. Enraged Muka Muka – A very big threat to the opponent early game. Usually you’ll want them to waste their resources to kill it (which they will) or take a lot of damage. Also a great Morph target to Balter. It’s good, but maybe not good enough to main. Not with all these other options!

8. Amazon Archer – Will never be truly appreciated. Does more damage than Cannon Soldier though. If you’re feeling rentsy…

That’s a current best list that I’ve found through searching but there is one other card I wish I could use:

Dimensional Warrior
When this card Attacks or is attacked, both this card and the opposing monster are removed from play and cannot return during the current Duel.
ATK/1200 DEF/1000

Yeah. That spoiler was taken from the Nightmare Troubadour DS game. If that ever was released they may just have to restrict Rat.

Normally I would proceed to construct a sample deck splashing all of the key elements I listed above. However, I gave you my personal deck, at the request of more than a few, and gave you all the essentials to start pioneering the deck for yourselves.

It may not work for everyone, but those who invest the time to make it successful will not be disappointed.

I think I may do the Wind one next. I pretty much have that deck worked out.

Send all thoughts my way. Until next time…


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