Inspecting Gadgets

Tim Gore

6/29/2012 12:10:00 PM

Few themes in Yu-Gi-Oh! have stood the test of time as well as Gadgets. The Gadgets made their main stream debut in Structure Deck 10: Machine Re-Volt, and ever since then, they've seen play in almost every format. There's just no escaping how consistent these little machines can be. While their stats are nothing to brag about, they provide deck thinning and a replacement Gadget every time one is summoned.

Building A Better Gadget
Gadget strategies have evolved over the years with the release of new sets. When Structure Deck: Machina Mayhem was released, we saw Machina Fortress, Machina Gearframe, and Machina Peacekeeper make a huge impact on the way Gadgets were played. The Gadgets provided food for Machina Fortress by being discard fodder, while Machina Gearframe helped search the Fortress out. Machina Gadgets could control the field with a large trap lineup, and out-resourced your opponent with constant pluses. Cards like Burden of the Mighty and Limiter Removal were also used to make more aggressive builds. This type of deck always did well, but it never truly dominated any one format.

The release of Tuner and Synchro Monsters took Gadgets in yet another direction. Being able to constantly get a level 4 monster on the field was always nice, but we never really had anything to do with them once they were there. The strategy was to flood the field, clear the way, and make small direct attacks to win. Synchro Monsters changed that a bit: Duelists in the OCG had some luck running Gadget with tuners like Glow-Up Bulb and T.G. Striker, but it was never a top deck.

With the dawn of the Zexal era, Xyz monsters brought Gadgets to entirely new heights. Two weak Gadget monsters could be overlaid to summon a powerful Xyz monster, and thanks to the effects of the Gadget monsters, you could do it without losing card presence. The OCG quickly adopted this idea. Ultimate Offering was added to swarm the field with Gadgets, which could be used at material for any generic rank 4 Xyz of their choice. Even the most challenging rank 4's that required three materials were no longer out of reach. A single Gadget with Ultimate Offering could turn into an OTK. The large range of Xyz monsters the OCG offers also gave the deck a lot of flexibility. It did so well that Ultimate Offering was Semi-Limited as a result.

Now we fast forward ahead to the present, and the TCG has finally started catching up with the OCGís rank 4 selection. We've recently seen the release of Photon Papilloperative, Maestroke the Symphony Djinn, Gem-Knight Pearl, Kachi Kochi Dragon, and Number 16: Shock Master, and we've received a few other cards that help out Offering Gadgets quite nicely.

Without any further delay, here's my take on Offering Gadgets for the current format.

    Offering Gadgets Tim Gore    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Effect Veiler
3 Green Gadget
2 Machina Cannon
2 Machina Fortress
3 Machina Gearframe
1 Photon Thrasher
3 Red Gadget
3 Yellow Gadget
Monsters [20]
1 Book of Moon
1 Dark Hole
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Pot of Duality
Spells [9]
2 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Fiendish Chain
1 Solemn Judgment
2 Solemn Warning
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Ultimate Offering
Traps [11]
Deck Total [40]


2 ?
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
1 Gem-Knight Pearl
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Magical Android
1 Mist Wurm
1 Number 11: Big Eye
2 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number C39: Utopia Ray (UTR)
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Scrap Dragon (UTR)
1 Stardust Dragon (UTR)
1 Steelswarm Roach
Extra Deck [15]

Missing Extra Deck cards are 1 Number 16: Shock Master and 1 Kachi Kochi Dragon.

Your Gadget User Manual
The strategic goals of this deck will vary depending on your situation. You can control the field with spells and traps until you can make a big push for game with Ultimate Offering and a Gadget to create a swarm of Xyz Monsters. You can also use Machina Fortress or select Xyz Monsters to poke away at your opponentís life points, while using your spells and traps to keep your foe at bay. Both strategies are effective, and you can pick either depending on what deck youíre up against. Either way, if you get into a battle of resources and card presence, Gadget will always have the edge due to all the pluses they create. Even Machina Fortress can force your opponent to take a minus in order to get it off the field, and the fact that you can bring Fortress right back from the graveyard by discarding machine-type monsters makes it incredibly powerful. Machina Fortress is really hard to keep off the field, and banishing it is usually the only way to stop it for good. Donít be scared to play a slow-paced game. Offering Gadgets is all about bringing your opponent down to the speed you want, winning the resource war, and then going off when the time is right.

Gadget Tech
While this deck it made up mostly of staples that any Offering Gadget deck would run, a few of the cards are tech choice that I think really help this deck shine.

Even though Machina Fortress is one of the most painful boss monsters to remove from the field, it still needs fuel to get it on the table in the first place. Machina Cannon helps solve that problem in a huge way. Its level is exactly high enough to special summon Fortress from your graveyard without having to discard anything else, which is extremely useful. It's also searchable with Machina Gearframe. That adds more consistency to Fortress plays, and lets you keep more machines in your hand. But wait, thereís more! Cannon has a useful effect of its own. You can send machine-type monsters from your hand to the graveyard and special summon it from your hand. Cannon then gets 800 ATK for every monster used for its special summon. You could use one machine and get a 2200 defense wall, or four machines and get a 3200 ATK beat stick. That may not always be practical, but itís nice to have that option when you need it.

Cyber Dragon has always been one of my favorite cards, and Photon Thrasher is basically the level 4 version of it. One of the biggest problems this deck has occurs when you need to put down a big body quickly, but you have nothing but level 4 monsters to keep throwing at the big monster on the other side of the field. Photon Thrasher gives you a way to make a rank 4 in just one turn. The best part is if you use a Gadget with it to summon an Xyz monster, the free Gadget search makes up for the minus youíd take from using both monsters as its material. Photon Thrasher also acts as a great answer to cards like Thunder King Rai-Oh, which can really throw a wrench into your Gadget plans.

I could go on and on about how good Effect Veiler is this format and how it puts the smack down on important effect monsters like Rescue Rabbit, Cardcar D, and Inzektors. But I think every deck out there is already running a few, for those exact reasons. But Effect Veiler does a lot more for this deck than it does in others: Machina Fortress is able to be summoned without using up your normal summon. That gives you the option of summoning Veiler, and trading them out for a level 8 Synchro Monster. Photon Thrasher and Effect Veiler can be used in the same manner to perform a quick level 5 Synchro. This deck is all about options, so it never hurts to have even more to choose from.

An Extra Deck With More Utility Than Batmanís Belt
Options, options, and more options: thatís what Offering Gadgets is all about. Every monster in your extra deck serves a different role to help answer any problem you might face. Every deck has a weakness or two, and with this extensive lineup of monsters to choose from, you should be able to stop whatever they can throw at you. Here are a few that really stand out.

Number 39: Utopia is the Stardust Dragon of the Zexal era. Not just because Yuma uses it more than any other card, but because it's become a go-to card when most duelists pick a generic rank 4. Its high ATK makes for a great beater, and its built-in protection can stall your opponent long enough for you to draw into the card you need. Utopia can also be a game ender thanks to Number C39: Utopia Ray, using Utopia as material. Nothing is worse than thinking youíve won, just to get trampled by Utopia Ray.

On the Surface, Gem-Knight Pearl doesnít seem like much, but 2600 ATK is a magical number in our current format. Most of the commonly played monsters are all 2500 ATK or less, and no rank 5 is over 2600 attack points. This at least lets you crash into one to get it off the field. Very few monsters over 2600 ATK see much play, and those that do are usually not so easily summoned.

Photon Papilloperative is a great answer to walls that are too high to scale. Its effect is useful against monsters that canít be destroyed in battle as well; Spirit Reaper gets destroyed by Papilloperative since its effect targets. You can also use it to force a flip effect before you opponent might want it going off.

Maestroke the Symphony Djinn started out as a pretty underrated card, but Rescue Rabbit quickly showed off just how powerful a monster it can be. At first glance, Maestroke just looks like a great way to take care of monsters that have high attack and low defense. But thatís not all its good for. Maestrokeís second ability and its high DEF make it a great wall that you can stall behind. You can even flip your own Torrential Tribute without losing it from the field. Gachi Gachi Gantetsu proved last format just how useful effects like this really can be, and Maestroke can be played in a similar fashion.

 Torrential Tribute
Torrential Tribute22532
Set Labryinth of Nightmare
Number LON-025
Type Normal Trap
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

You can activate this card when a monster is Summoned (including Flip Summon and Special Summon). Destroy all monsters on the field.

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Dragons, fiends, and heroes, oh my! Steelswarm Roach is perfect for keeping all those big beaters off the field. Roach can be one of the best answers to strategies that special summon large monsters like Chaos Dragons, Dark World, and Heroes. And donít forget that against Dark World, Roach gets the ATK bonus from their field spell as well. Our extra deck just wouldnít be complete without him.

Number 16: Shock Master really is the master at controlling your Duel. You can effectively shut down the use of spells, traps, or monster effects for your turn and that of your opponent. No more worrying about attacking into Mirror Force, or a bigger monster being brought out due to a monster effect. This card can create a lockdown thatís not easily escaped.

Big Eye' rel="/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Number 11: Big Eye">Number 11: Big Eye is the last extra deck monster Iíd like to talk about, and it's one of my favorites. Personally, I like to run Big Eye in any deck that can summon it. A 2600 ATK attacker that can Snatch Steal up to two monsters is flat out amazing. Big Eye is pretty costly to bring out in Gadgets, but the two monsters you steal can easily make up for the loss as the game goes on. I really hope this card sees more play in the future.

Gadgets Of The Fuuuuttttuuuurrrre!
The TCG has a lot of great reasons to run Offering Gadgets as it currently stand, but we'll be getting even more great tech down the road.
Let's take a moment to discuss some of it!

Tin Goldfish has brought Offering Gadgets to a whole new level in the OCG. It gives the deck the same options as Photon Thrasher, without having to worry if your opponent has a monster or not. Normal summon Tim Goldfish and then you can special summon a level 4 from your hand. Summoning a rank 4 has never been so easy, and you wonít lose any card presence overall when you use Tin Goldfish to special summon a Gadget.

Evigishki Merrowgeist is a great answer to any monster you donít want to see going to the graveyard. Sangan, recruiters, and most zombies really hate this card. Pulling the Rug out from under your opponentís plans is always fun.

Whatís better than a 2300 ATK Xyz Monster that only cost you one card to summon? How about one that also searches a level 4 machine that will net you yet another plus? Geargiganto X can search out Machina Gearframe when needed, and it can be truly game changing. Fortresses will be flying on to the field when this card is released.

Lavalval Chain is one of the best rank 4's ever made, so it's a great fit here. Need a Machina Fortress, or fuel for one in your hand right away? Maybe you just need one in your graveyard to special summon with the Machina Cannon you already drew. Lavalval Chain can fill all those orders. Many decks will grow stronger once this card is released; letís just hope it doesnít get Forbidden before we see it released in the TCG.

Number 50: Black Corn rounds out our list, and this veggie pirate isnít the kind that sings goofy songs. Instead, it takes out troublesome monsters without having to attack. As a bonus, Black Corn also deals 1000 points of damage when it does. Black Corn is great against stall, flip effect, and recruiter monsters while eliminating the fear of attacking into a spell or trap.

There are more cards coming out in the future that could give Gadgets an added boost: this exercise was just intended to highlight some of the ones we know for sure are coming, and will clearly make an impact on this deck.

Why Gadgets and Why Now?
The current format is a great time to be running Offering Gadgets. The high utility offered by its extra deck gives you a good matchup against almost any strategy: even Inzektors have a hard time winning a resource war against Gadgets. Ultimate Offering also gives you a way to OTK just as quickly as any other popular deck. But the best reason to play Gadgets right now, is how little side deck hate people are packing for the match-up. With the declining use of Karakuri and Wind-Up decks, very few Duelists are siding any machine hate. The combo of Cyber Dragon and Chimeratech Fortress Dragon has fallen out of favor with most competitors, and youíll have the surprise factor on your side. Give Gadgets a try and I think youíll see for yourself just how well they can perform this format.

-Tim Gore

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