Competitive Corner: Ash Brookes’ Top 8 Fluffal Zombies

Doug Zeeff

10/31/2016 11:02:00 AM

I'm pretty sure Ash Brookes is the alternate reality, British version of me.

Everyone is known for different things in Yu-Gi-Oh. Pasquale loves Frogs; Jason predicts outlandish metagame changes months in advance; Zach's article would give me a migraine to try and write; and Loukas can't write an article without writing an entire paragraph to explain why his list doesn't have Pot of Desires but should have Pot of Desires.

Me? I'm known for picking a few engines and sticking with them for a long time. Especially on my Youtube channel, where it's surprising to find a list that doesn't include Speedroid Terrortop, Shiranui Solitaire, Brilliant Fusion, or PSY-Framelord Omega. At one point, I was making a new deck profile for Fluffals each set that they got support in since Day 1, curiously observing how the strategy developed into something playable (and eventually something that took several Regional Top 8's).

So when Jason Meyer messaged me a video from the Bristol, England Regional Qualifier with a Top 8 Zombie Fluffal deck using literally every card I just mentioned, it was no surprise that it was preceeded by, “But yeah I'm pretty sure the guy who made it is just British Doug Zeeff.” There's a lot to digest about this amazing list, so let's start from the top:

    Fluffal Zombies Ash Brookes    
  Location:  Regional 2016-10-23 Bristol England - 5th - 8th Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Fairy Tail - Snow
3 Fluffal Bear
3 Fluffal Dog
1 Fluffal Wings
2 Gem-Knight Garnet
1 Mathematician
3 Mezuki
3 Shiranui Solitaire
1 Shiranui Spiritmaster
1 Speedroid Taketomborg
3 Speedroid Terrortop
3 Uni-Zombie
Monsters [26]
3 Brilliant Fusion
1 Foolish Burial
2 Gold Sarcophagus
3 Instant Fusion
3 Toy Vendor
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [13]
1 Rise to Full Height
Traps [1]
Deck Total [40]
3 Anti-Spell Fragrance
3 Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
2 Maxx "C"
2 Pendulum Storm
1 Raigeki
2 System Down
2 Twin Twisters
Side Deck [15]


1 ABC-Dragon Buster
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
2 Leviair the Sea Dragon
2 PSY-Framelord Omega
1 Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Shiranui Shogunsaga
1 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
Extra Deck [15]

Shiranuis have been more successful than people would have guessed, but that's not surprising. Shiranui Solitaire's a one card PSY-Framelord Omega. All you have to do is tribute it to bring out Uni-Zombie, send Mezuki to the graveyard, revive Solitaire, and Synchro Summon into a Level 8. That also sets up a free card to return to the graveyard during the next Standby Phase, which threatens a second Omega if your opponent can't deal with it. Just in general, Omega consistently returning a banished card to the grave and taking an opponent's card out of their hand is often momentum to seal the duel.

Brookes also teched a single copy of Shiranui Spiritmaster, the theme's Level 4 revival. Spiritmaster's great to make Rank 4's with, namely Abyss Dweller to turn off graveyard effects. Also, when it's banished you get to pop a face-up card your opponent controls. Brookes played two Gold Sarcophagus, so he could easily use that quick spot removal for a problematic card.

But Gold Sarcophagus has other uses, many of which I wrote about when the Forbidden and Limited List first dropped. The basic combo is that when you have Speedroid Terrortop and Gold Sarcophagus you can make Leviair the Sea Dragon, banish Shiranui Solitaire, and then bring it back to make PSY-Framelord Omega. That's all without using your Normal Summon, too.

It's not strange to see Brilliant Fusion in here, either. Brookes chose to not play Pot of Desires, but he's still playing two Gem-Knight Garnet here to minimize his chances of drawing dead Brilliants. There are a number of combinations of cards with Brilliant Fusion that net you multiple Omegas and Xyz, so I'd imagine any game where he opened with it in his hand he probably won easily.

As for Light monsters to send to make Gem-Knight Seraphinite, Fairy Tail - Snow was the biggest. I think that card's absolutely absurd, and the decks that can play it are making great use of its abilities. It's an 1850 ATK Level 4 that you can Special Summon from your grave by banishing seven cards from your hand, field, or graveyard. That's not once per turn, and when it's summoned you can flip an opponent's monster face-down. You burn through your cards so quickly here that it's not difficult to fill your grave with banish fodder, and then Snow becomes a real problem for your opponent.

 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
Gem-Knight Seraphinite81614
Set Duel Terminal 7
Number DT07-EN082
Level 5
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2300 / 1400
Rarity Rare
Card Text

1 "Gem-Knight" monster + 1 LIGHT monster // Must first be Fusion Summoned with the above Fusion Material Monsters. During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon/Set 1 monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

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Aggressively, you can use Snow as Synchro and Xyz Material multiple times on your turn, or use it for another attack in your Battle Phase. Defensively, you can turn your opponent's best monsters face-down before they get a chance to use them. Hitting Level 1 Tuners in Blue-Eyes is huge; it cuts them off of Level 9 Synchros. Hitting any monster in Burning Abyss forces them to end their turn. But most importantly, stopping the incredibly important Bujintei Tsukuyomi from ever using its effect in ABC's will put the ABC-Dragon Buster player in a rough spot.

Considering the sheer volume of damage this strategy can push out on Turn 2, the ability to virtually skip your opponent's turn is amazing.

But, Fluffals?
What set Brookes' deck apart from standard Shiranui builds was his small Fluffal engine. To simplify things: Fluffal Dog grabs Fluffal Bear when you summon it. Then, you discard Fluffal Bear to set Toy Vendor from your deck to your spell and trap card zone. From there you discard a card to draw a card, discarding it unless it's a Fluffal. If you do draw a Fluffal, then you can Special Summon a monster from your hand.

What's important is that Toy Vendor searches a Fluffal when it's sent to the graveyard, which opens up absurd combos with Fluffal Wings. If you have Toy Vendor on the field, you can banish Fluffal Wings from your graveyard to gain some serious card advantage: you draw a card with Wings, pop Vendor, and then draw a second card. That triggers Vendor's effect to search a Fluffal, most likely Fluffal Bear. That's a straight +2 in card economy, and you can set up Fluffal Wings in your graveyard with Brilliant Fusion because it's a Light monster.

The Fluffals brought an alternative source of draw power to this strategy, circumventing Pot of Desires. Whether or not Brookes had Desires and simply chose not play it isn't known, but the Fluffals do its job almost as well, specifically in this deck. If you check out the Youtube link from the deck archive you'll see his Round by Round report where he recalls winning a bunch of games off the Fluffals alone.

Toy Vendor's extra versatile, too. While it's nice to accidentally draw Fluffal monsters and get a Special Summon, sometimes discarding a card is all you need to do. You can pitch stuff like Mezuki, Toy Vendor, and Fairy Tail - Snow to jumpstart your combos and fix your slower hands.

From a momentum standpoint, PSY-Framelord Omega can put Fluffal Wings back into the grave during each of your opponent's Standby Phases. You probably won't need to do that more than once because by then you've drawn four cards and searched two Fluffals, but the option's always there. A lot of the time you'll grind your opponent out of all their cards while you still have a full hand; very impressive in current competitive metagames.

 PSY-Framelord Omega
PSY-Framelord Omega106032
Set High-Speed Riders
Number HSRD-EN035
Level 8
Type Synchro/Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2800 / 2200
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
Once per Turn , During Either player's Main Phase : You can Banish both this face-up card on the field and 1 random card in your opponent's hand until your next Standby Phase . During your opponent's Standby phase: You can target 1 Banished card; Return it to the Graveyard . If this card is in your Graveyard: You can target 1 Other card in any Graveyard; shuffle both that card and this card into the Deck .

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Brookes played Rise to Full Height too, which has now become a near staple in most Shiranui decks. The combo is that you flip Rise to Full Height during your opponent's Draw Phase, just to get it in the graveyard. Then you banish it, designating your PSY-Framelord Omega as the only monster your opponent can attack for the turn. That keeps your opponent from attacking any other monsters.

During the Standby Phase, you throw Rise back into your graveyard, and then you banish Omega in the Main Phase. If your opponent can't stop Omega from recycling it every turn, they just never attack. It's brutal, difficult to stop, and extremely effective. You can even do it in a different way by banishing Rise to Full Height with Gold Sarcophagus, returning it to the grave with Omega, and then banishing it just like you normally would!

Can Zombies survive in the coming weeks with cards like Dimension Barrier and Toadally Awesome warping the competitive landscape? It's hard to tell. No matter what deck you're playing, it's tough beating a field full of PSY-Framelord Omega and five or six cards in hand. Disruption in the form of a 2800 ATK beater is always going to be powerful, but I'm interested in seeing if strategies like this can still compete going forward. If I had to take a guess I'd say yes, but only time will tell!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug 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, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!

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