Low Key: Diamond Dude Crystal Beasts

Doug Zeeff

7/25/2016 11:00:00 AM

It's been a wild couple of weeks, but the lull for the next month is actually one of my favorite times in Yu-Gi-Oh! each year.

Being a competitive player is challenging and exciting, of course. But having some time to kick back and play fun decks is appreciated after an intense year. Today's strategy is exactly that: a casual one, meant mainly for locals play, and this one's near and dear to my heart: Crystal Beasts.

Old Favorite, New Twist
I've been a fan of Crystal Beasts for years, and any time I think of a new way to build them I go for it. I know they're sort of infamous for being underwhelming, but I think that's a bit shortsighted. A ton of the Crystal Beast spells are actually insanely powerful, it's just that the only good Crystal Beast monster is Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus. If you haven't read the Crystal Beasts before, let me give you a quick crash course.

If a Crystal Beast monster would be destroyed and sent to the graveyard you can put it in your backrow as a face-up continuous spell instead. Most of the support cards revolve around that mechanic, so destroying your own monsters is key to advancing your game position. Crystal Promise can Special Summon a “crystalized” Crystal Beast monster for free, and Crystal Beacon can Special Summon one from the deck if you have two in your backrow. Both cards are basically designed to take advantage of Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle, which Special Summons all of your crystalized monsters when it's Special Summoned.

In other words, if you can build up a big enough backrow, you can swarm the field with a variety of Level 4's as long as you can resolve a Ruby Carbuncle. Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus sets everything up, placing a Crystal Beast monster from your hand, deck, or graveyard to your backrow – even another copy of itself. When you're triggering Ruby Carbuncle you're usually getting multiple Sapphire Pegasuses, which then load up your spell and trap card zone for another push.

In a way, Crystal Beasts were Pendulum Summoning before it was cool.

As I mentioned before, the big issue is that the other Crystal Beast monsters aren't super great. At most, you're using stuff like Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger and Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle as Rank 4 fodder. To further complicate things, Ruby Carbuncle awkwardly sits at Level 3. But Crystal Promise and Crystal Beacon are just too good to pass up, so I've tried making Crystal Beasts work for years. Today's deck is going to try and accomplish that goal by using another one of my favorite cards: Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude!

    Diamond Dude Crystal Beasts Doug Zeeff    
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle
2 Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle
3 Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus
2 Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger
3 Destiny HERO - Diamond Dude
2 Summoner Monk
Monsters [13]
1 Allure of Darkness
2 Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins
3 Ayers Rock Sunrise
1 Crystal Abundance
3 Crystal Beacon
1 Crystal Blessing
3 Crystal Promise
1 Destiny Draw
3 Instant Fusion
2 Pot of Dichotomy
1 Rare Value
1 Soul Charge
1 Terraforming
2 Twin Twisters
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [26]
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
Traps [1]
Deck Total [40]


2 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Lightning Chidori
1 Mavelus
1 Number 104: Masquerade
1 Number 106: Giant Hand
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
Extra Deck [15]

Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude has a powerful effect that carries excellent synergy with the best parts of the Crystal Beast deck: the Normal Spells. Once per turn, you can use Diamond Dude to excavate the top card of your deck, and if it's a Normal Spell you send it to the grave. Then, next turn, you can activate that Normal Spell's effect, completely avoiding any costs that go along with it. That means you won't have to pay 1000 Life Points for Instant Fusion or even send all your Crystal Beasts to the grave for Crystal Abundance. Because you're activating the effect of the spell, you also dodge the drawbacks of cards like Soul Charge and Pot of Dichotomy.

Pretty neat.

Even better, just over half the deck is Normal Spells to hit with Diamond Dude, several of which have costs or drawbacks that you overrule. Diamond Dude sets you up for later turns, making your opening that much better. Even in previous incarnations of Crystal Beasts, Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus and Summoner Monk were really your only good openings. Playing three copies of Diamond Dude gives you more cards to start your game with, and it also gives your deck some recovery.

I'm supplementing Diamond Dude with a few oddball cards that you normally wouldn't see in a Crystal Beast deck, namely Destiny Draw and Allure of Darkness. Destiny Draw's great for two reasons: first, it keeps you from clumping multiple copies of Diamond Dude in the early game; and second, it's a brutal Normal Spell to excavate with Diamond Dude, granting you two free draws on the next turn.

Allure of Darkness fills a similar role, but it can also banish Summoner Monk from your hand when you don't need it. Unfortunately the banishing drawback happens on resolution so you'll still have to do it when you hit it with Diamond Dude, but that's something I'm willing to work with.

A Surprising Amount Of Force
Besides the direct theme support, Ayers Rock Sunrise and Instant Fusion both make appearances here to continue building plays through bigger boards. Ayers Rock Sunrise is great for reviving Sapphire Pegasus and hamstringing your opponent's monsters; necessary for getting over the Kozmo spaceships and the Level 8 Monarchs. Instant Fusion's largely used for Elder Entity Norden, but I also included a copy of Mavelus instead of Thousand-Eyes Restrict. The latter is definitely a decent card, but Mavelus can be used for Rank 4 Xyz Summons including Lightning Chidori. To me that's more important, so it earns a spot over the Level 1 Thousand-Eyes.

The aforementioned Pot of Dichotomy's also amazing in here. All of the Main Deck monsters are different types besides Sapphire Pegasus and Topaz Tiger, so once you factor in your various Extra Deck monsters and their monster types it's really easy to meet the activation requirements. Pot's also a key card for shuffling back Ruby Carbuncles because you're only playing two copies. Daigusto Emeral's good for the same reasons, but sometimes you can't afford to not make an aggressive Rank 4.

 Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus (UTR)
Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus (UTR)58539
Set Force of the Breaker
Number FOTB-EN007
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast
Attribute WIND 
A / D 1800 / 1200
Rarity Ultimate Rare
Card Text

When this card is Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned, or Special Summoned, you can place 1 "Crystal Beast" monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone; It is treated as a Continuous Spell Card. zif this card is destroyed while it is in a Monster Card Zone, you can place it face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone as a Continuous Spell Card, instead of sending it to the Graveyard.

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Speaking of, this deck has a bunch of fantastic Rank 4 options. All of your standard problem solvers make an appearance: Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer, Diamond Dire Wolf, Number S39: Utopia the Lightning, and Abyss Dweller. What's really cool is that there's access to Lightning Chidori and Number 107: Masquerade as well, both of which most strategies can't summon. I also included two defensive options, too, just to be safe. Traptrix Rafflesia makes use of the Bottomless Trap Hole in the Main Deck while Number 106: Giant Hand thwarts effects.

Overall, Crystal Beasts are still a solid strategy for local tournaments, and maybe even Regional Qualifiers if you're looking to score a cheeky invite. They're constantly sold short by competitive players, but I think that has more to do with how the theme's usually constructed. You're a lot more likely to win with this version than you are with any build centered around gimmicks with Rainbow Dragon and you can definitely give your opponents a run for their money. Crystal Beasts can churn out a lot of monsters in the blink of an eye, not to mention the random plusses off of Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude. If you're looking for something fun to play over the next couple weeks I'd give this deck a shot!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug “Chainsaw” Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, catching Venonats, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!

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