Exodia Defined


Andrew Phillips

Galactic Quest-Buford


Welcome back!If you are reading this article then you must have enjoyed my three previous articles (Bang for the Buck and Unstoppable Exodia).I have been playing the Exodia design now for two months and must comment that I am pleased with the results of the deck.I have been receiving around ten emails a day asking why I play certain cards and what duelists believe are excellent choices for the design of his or her deck.In this article I will review the latest incarnation of the deck and how to use a sidedeck appropriately.I have received a number of emails regarding my card choices and what the correct plays are.I will give a detailed description of every card and explain the value of the card.I will also give detailed play analysis.This will help duelists to make better plays††



5 x Pieces of Exodia (Head, Arms, Legs)

3 x Wall of Illusion

3 x Magician of Faith

3 x Man-Eater Bug

2 x Mystic Tomato

2 x Sangan

1 x Witch of the Black Forest

1 x Cannon Soldier



1 x Upstart Goblin

1 x Raigeki

1 x Dark Hole

1 x Pot of Greed

1 x Monster Reborn

1 x Painful Choice

1 x Swords of Revealing Light

2 x Messenger of Peace



2 x Gravity Bind

3 x Solemn Judgment

3 x Magic Jammer

1 x Mirror Force

1 x Imperial Order

1 x Back-Up Soldier


SideDeck (Choose which one youíre comfortable with, or have the cards for)

3 x Dark Elf †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3 x Dream Clown

3 x La Jinn †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3 x Crass Clown

1 x Card Destruction††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2 x Nobleman of Crossout

1 x Delinquent Duo†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 x Change of Heart

1 x Confiscation††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 x Delinquent Duo

2 x Heavy Storm †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 x Confiscation

2 x Nobleman of Crossout †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 x Card Destruction

1 x Jinzo†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3 x Hayabusa Knight

2 x 7 Colored Fish


In the Beginning

I have posted several articles about Exodia decks but I have never actually explained the origin of the deck.I got into Yugi-Oh shortly after Metal Raiders had been released and I didnít think too much about the game at the time.I was a diehard Magic player and thought the game would go on forever, but alas Wizards of the Coast ruined a great game. I began playing in the local tournaments and was astounded by the amount of players that showed up.At the time the only decks that could be played were Beatdown decks, Exodia not being as solid at the time.During this time period we only had two sets that were around, Metal Raiders and Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon.But with the release of Magic Ruler the deck started to take form.Such cards as Painful Choice, Upstart Goblin, Messenger of Peace, and Mystic Tomato allowed the deck to be playable. The problem with Exodia prior to the Magic Ruler release was that the deck didnít have any defensive capabilities and it took too long to assemble all the pieces because all we had was Witch and Sangan.After Magic Ruler was released I built an early version of the deck and played it against several aggressive decks.The deck won eighteen out of twenty times (Thanks for the testing Chris)!Soon after, a friend and I assembled the deck and began fine tuning.The original version had three Painful Choices and three Upstart Goblins (due to the fact that UpperDeck hadnít released a new banned/restricted list).The current incarnation is what we believe to be the best version thus far.The version we ran a few months ago had won YuGi-Oh State Championship in Georgia and won numerous tournaments throughout Atlanta.††††††††


Cards in the Deck

Exodia-Obviously you canít play Exodia without the pieces of Exodia.


Wall of Illusion- Many people have written to me expressing their dislike for this card.I will explain why this card is vital in the deck and why it was a prime choice by one of our teammates.Besides having the obvious ability to survive attacks from 1800 attack monsters the effect that this monster possesses is the key to why this card is amazing.The effect returns any monster that attacks this monster to the ownerís hand.This may not seem great to the average duelist but to an experienced veteran this card is an excellent choice for defense.The monster is a stall machine, allowing you to control the tempo of the duel which can lead to victory.Bouncing back a monster is essential to the survival of any stall strategy.The rule of Yugi-Oh where a player is only allowed to play a monster a turn makes the duels revolve around tempo.The duelist who can get more monsters onto the field faster than the opponent will soon overwhelm the opponent.Havenít you ever gone first and laid a monster then your opponent plays a monster passes their turn then on your turn you play another monster and then Change of Heart their monster and attack with three monsters?That is an advantage; your opponent has fewer monsters than you and therefore cannot even begin to mount an offensive against you.This is why Wall of Illusion works so well it prevents your opponent from mounting an offensive against you because he has to play the monster again or has already used his one monster per turn already buying you time to pull your strategy together.This card will probably be cut when better monsters or magic cards are released in America, but for now, we prefer to play this card.Note:I due realize that Goblin Attack Force works great against this card due to the fact that the Attack Force is returned to hand to be played again.


Magician of Faith-Obviously this card belongs in many decks and is vital to the Exodia strategy by retrieving key card drawing magics.Try not to play these first turn because they usually get Man-Eater Bugged, Nobleman of Crossout, or Darkholed, which makes their ability useless.


Man Eater-Bug-This card is relatively new to the Exodia deck.After play testing for a few months we decided that this card belonged in the deck.This card is also a tempo oriented choice due to the fact that it can stop two attacking monsters which buy time against aggressive decks.This card is also excellent because we have an aggressive strategy for our sidedeck and most beatdown decks do play Man-Eater Bugs.This makes boarding to a beatdown deck easier and convenient.


Mystic Tomato-I have received numerous emails regarding this card.Many duelists either loved or loathed this card.Mystic Tomato is an excellent card against beatdown decks due to the fact that it blocks and then fetches a Sangan or Witch that basically translates into another piece of Exodia and it helps to thin out the deck by a few cards.This card should be sided out against burn decks and decks with a heavy amount of creature destruction (Such as Barrel Dragon and Tribute to the Doomed).After the release of Labyrinth of Nightmares, this card will be the first to be taken out and replaced by Angelic Charity that comes out in the Pegasus Starter Deck.


Sangan and Witch of the Black Forest-These cards belong in every Exodia deck.The deck was unplayable before these cards were released.


Cannon Soldier-Many people have questioned the use of this card in the deck.My argument is that it allows you to tribute Sangans and Witches so that you can look for the pieces faster.It can be searched out with the Mystic Tomato and is a last resort if you lose the Head of Exodia at which point you try to burn out the opponent.It may or may not be taken out if better cards donít come along.Watch out for this card to be targeted by Change of Heart or Snatch Steal!


Upstart Goblin-This card essentially makes the deck a thirty-nine card deck.This allows you to thin your deck faster in order to get the pieces faster.Ignore the 1000 LP your opponent gains because their life total for the most part is irrelevant.I usually put this card in the pile of five cards when I play Painful Choice, almost every time my opponent will pick this card.This was semi-restricted in Japan, but for some reason is restricted to one on the States.


Raigeki, Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, and Pot of Greed-These cards go in every deck.


Painful Choice-This card is what helps the deck along.It thins out the deck by five cards and combos well with Backup Soldier.A great strategy with this card is to always get an Upstart Goblin, because almost every time your opponent will pick it and thins the deck out by another card.Always play this card in Exodia decks due to its deck thinning ability.A note, due not search for pieces of Exodia unless you have a Backup Soldier or you are positive that you can draw one in the next few turns.Use Painful Choice to thin your deck out and take out cards that you no longer need.For example, if you have in your hand a Messenger of Peace or Gravity Bind or one of these is on the field then go ahead and search out for the remaining Gravity Binds and Messengers so that you donít have to draw them later on in the game.Donít be afraid to recur the Painful Choice with a Magician of Faith so that you can further thin out your deck and draw the keys cards needed to get all five pieces of Exodia.


Swords of Revealing Light-This card should belong in almost every deck due to its stall ability and to flip over face-down monsters.Unfortunately this card has been restricted and I send about twenty emails a day to UpperDeck complaining of the restriction.Try to hold this card back due to the effects of Imperial Order and donít play this until you are sure that it will have the most impact.Remember that you cannot counter the flip of a monster so beware people who play Cyber Jar or Morphing Jar.


Messenger of Peace-Messenger will stay in the deck simply because Jinzo is amazing.The ruling is that the payment is optional so it can stall for a few turns.Try not to play this card at the same time that you have Gravity Bind active simply because the effect is redundant.


Gravity Bind-This is what has replaced Messenger of Peace due to the fact that it doesnít have a cost and is harder to counter.A Messenger of Peace might replace one Gravity Bind due to Jinzo being in almost every deck.


Solemn Judgment-I personally feel that this card is needed in the Exodia design.It can counter anything and the life cost is not important due to the fact that Beatdown decks canít normally attack you.This card should be sided out against burn decks due to the fact that losing half your life is not quite the best thing to do against burn decks.†††


Magic Jammer-Great for stopping all of the most powerful magics in the game.I believe that beatdown decks should try to incorporate them into their deck.A lot of people have emailed me asking if Magic Drain was a suitable replacement for Magic Jammer.In my opinion, Magic Drain is not a suitable substitute unless you simply cannot get the Magic Jammers.Because your opponent can discard a magic card to stop the countering effects makes the card extremely weak.


Mirror-Force-Destroys attacking monsters, saves your life points, every deck should have it.


Imperial Order-A great card due to the ruling that the life cost is not mandatory.This is a great Magic Jammer in the fact that you donít have to discard a card, just remember that it doesnít destroy the magic card only negates it.I personally believe that this card should be played in every deck due to the fact that there is no discard cost and it stops the opponent for one turn.


Backup Soldier-This card makes Exodia safer to play and combos well with Painful Choice.I only play one because this card is a dead card at the beginning of the game and can only get the pieces of Exodia back, if you have more than three pieces in your graveyard your doing something wrong.


After reading the list some notable cards are not in the deck.Cards such as Messenger of Peace, Change of Heart, Snatch Steal, and Heavy Storm.If you read the list, Gravity Bind has replaced the Messenger as the Defensive card.Change of Heart really doesnít fit in this deck because the deck isnít that aggressive and Change of Heart would only be helpful if I got a Magician of Faith and the same applies for Snatch Steal.But the possibility does exist that they could be placed in the sidedeck and boarded in against similar strategies.


Weíll after reading all that information hereís some more!!!HA, HA, HA!!!Iím going to discuss plays and proper SideDecking.Playing YuGi-Oh is fun and not always the most thought provoking game and this is what separates expert duelists from everyone else.Any yokel can play a Beatdown deck and win tournaments and claim that they are a great player, not everyone can make the same claim with an Exodia deck.I have let many people play the deck against one another and I was astounded at the amount of bad plays and poor choices that the Exodia player was making.They were still trying to play aggressively and out damage their opponent.The players wasted Solemn Judgment on Mystical Space Typhoons and La Jinn.Read below for advanced plays and strategies.


Advanced Plays

Iíll go through a typical game and start with the opening hand.LetĎs say your opening hand has a Sangan or a Witch and a Mystical Tomato.Which one do you play first?Most people would play the Mystical Tomato first, but the correct play is to set the Sangan or Witch because most players flip a Man-Eater Bug or play Dark Hole, Raigeki, and Tribute to the Doomed, etc.By playing the Sangan or Witch you can allow the opponent to think that he can attack the next monster that you set and are assuming that the monster is not a Witch or Sangan and they donít hesitate to attack the Tomato.Remember to kamikaze the Tomato as long as your opponent doesnít have a face-down trap or youíre sure it is not a Mirror Force (so the Tomato doesnít get Mirror Forced).Donít worry about your life total in the early game.Donít try to play the Magician of Faith early; this is to avoid cards that could easily destroy it and thus negating the effect.


Using Counter-Traps

Many players have asked about what magic cards they should counter other than the ones that force you to discard cards.My philosophy is to counter any card that could lead to your defeat in the current turn or the next turn.I highly recommend using Imperial Order against the opponentís Pot of Greed to prevent him from gaining card advantage, but donít waste the Imperial Order if you donít have any other countertrap.Donít hesitate to discard a piece of Exodia to pay for Magic Jammer because they are completely useless unless you have more than three in your hand.Remember, ALWAYS COUNTER JINZO!!!!Jinzo can single handily destroy an Exodia deck that doesnít have a Messenger of Peace on the field.While Gravity Bind doesnít technically fall under counter-trap it is essential to the deckís survival.Always activate the Gravity Bind at the beginning of the Battle Phase to prevent the opponent from using Heavy Storm.One key tidbit to remember is to announce that you are chaining Imperial Order to whatever you are countering so that it actually negates the magic card (Does not destroy equip cards or Swords of Revealing Lights).



Iíve noticed that a lot of players do not even play with a SideDeck! The SideDeck was created in order to increase the odds of your deck against other decks.Letís pretend that your deck is weak against Exodia decks, your SideDeck would contain cards that are excellent against Exodia (Delinquent Duo, Confiscation, Card Destruction, etc.).This would allow your deck to do better against Exodia decks without having to have those cards in your maindeck and make your deck weaker.Use the SideDeck to the best of your ability and make sure that it does excellent against slower stall decks and other Exodia decks.If the deck that you are facing doesnít have a little or no anti-Exodia strategies and he doesnít have a sidedeck, then just keep the deck the same and donít make any changes to the maindeck.If your facing a beatdown deck, pay attention to the content of the deck.If it seems like an excellent deck design, do not, I repeat, do not, sidedeck in the beatdown.Your opponent obviously has a great deck and your sidedeck isnít equipped with the best of beatdown.The possibility of a Clown Control sidedeck is currently what I am trying to develop so that it is easier to sidedeck without having to take out the Gravity Binds or the Messengers of Peace.Right now it is working great and I might go ahead and replace the beatdown sidedeck with the Clown Control.The Clowns, combined with the stall cards of Exodia, makes it an excellent sidedeck choice for Exodia.The match-up against good aggressive decks improves greatly because Iím not trying to out beatdown my opponent and still use the Gravity Binds and Messengers to prevent the large monsters from crushing my weak monsters.My sidedeck is constructed to reflect the types of decks in my area; this doesnít mean that you have to use these sidedecks. Build a sidedeck that is great against decks in your area and practice playing.


This is a deck that takes hours of plying to fully master the correct way to play and win with this deck.I have been playing for 5 months and have playtested many decks and this one by far is the most fun and enjoyment I have experienced playing YuGi-Oh.Try the deck if you have the cards available and for those who currently play the deck you understand what Iím talking about.††


If you want to hit me back with some questions, suggestions, or to shoot the proverbial poop, email me at



Thanks for reading

Andrew Phillips