Rerouting: Reviving Rabbit

Loukas Peterson

12/14/2016 11:00:00 AM

Evolzar Laggia and Evolzar Dolkka are technically Dragon-type monsters, but they're more or less ancient dinosaurs. After all, most dinosaurs we're familiar with – both scientifically and in pop-culture - are reptilian beasts with a certain amount of avian flair. You could sorta group all reptiles, dragons, and dinosaurs into a bucket of lizard-esque nomenclature: lizards with wings; lizards without legs; chicken lizards; and lizards that can breathe fire! It's a weak oversimplification, but the classification of species is a manmade construct.

And really, aren't we all murderous chicken lizards? At least in some part?

Besides, based off our organic carbon structure, you can gene-match yourself relatively well with anything in the Eukarya domain since a lot of the building blocks for life boil down to look really similar across the Animalia and Plantae kingdoms. My point is, Doug “I Look Like A Freshman Wearing A College Shirt” Zeeff may be happy to know he shares most of his DNA with a walrus, and I can make “extinct” puns about both dragons and dinosaurs.

Today's contributor writes...

Hey Loukas! I'm trying to make Dino Rabbit work again‎, and I hoped you could help me out! Most of the updated builds I've seen usually go for some sort of Pendulum approach, but I don't want to go that route.

I played 3 Jurrac Guaiba at first, but then realized I just don't need that many Dinos in the Deck. I played Instant Fusion instead, and I ran three Forbidden Lance and two Phantom Knights' Swords to assist my Dinos in battle and make my Xyz. I tried a lot of different cards that alter ATK – stuff like Moon Mirror Shield, Wall of Disruption, Ghost of a Grudge, Punch-in-the-Box, and Miniaturize – but I found Lance and Sword worked best to keep my monsters on the field, making Xyz Summons easier.

-Marcel S. ~ Dortmund, Germany

Remember when Rescue Rabbit and Tour Guide From the Underworld were Unlimited? No? You probably had a happy childhood, then.

Here's what Marcel's updated deck looks like, built for current competition.

    Dino Rabbit Reborn Ver 1.0 Marcel S.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Hydrogeddon
2 Juragedo
3 Kabazauls
2 Maxx "C"
1 Rescue Rabbit
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
Monsters [13]
3 Forbidden Lance
3 Instant Fusion
2 Pot of Duality
1 Raigeki
1 Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force
1 Soul Charge
3 Twin Twisters
3 Unexpected Dai
Spells [17]
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Fiendish Chain
2 Floodgate Trap Hole
2 Phantom Knights' Sword
1 Solemn Warning
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [10]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Bahamut Shark
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Elder Entity Norden
2 Evolzar Dolkka
1 Evolzar Laggia
1 Evolzar Solda
1 Fairy Knight Ingunar
1 Number 82: Heartlandraco
1 Rare Fish
1 Stellarknight Constellar Diamond
1 Stellarknight Delteros
1 Toadally Awesome
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
Extra Deck [15]

I Toadally didn't see the crazy direction Marcel would go with the Extra Deck. As the best Anti-Meta deck of all time, Marcel and I are looking to make Dino Rabbit great again.

If you ask a Dino Rabbit player what era of Yu-Gi-Oh! was the greatest, they'll no doubt consider 2012 when Dino Rabbit was the deck-to-beat. It was very hard for rogue decks to overcome a Turn 1 set-up of Evolzar Laggia, Solemn Warning, and Solemn Judgment, but oldschool Dino Rabbit fans probably aren't thinking about how lousy things were for anyone that wasn't playing Dino Rabbit. And it's not like a lot of people just chose to forego the best deck of the format – a lot of people couldn't afford the deck. I guess when you open with Rescue Rabbit and Tour Guide From the Underworld every game, the wellbeing of others isn't necessarily a big concern for you.

What really made Dino Rabbit's such a nightmare was the consistency. Evolzar Dolkka and Evolzar Laggia were obviously powerful, but in a vacuum they're not tough to beat. Something as simple as a set Snowman Eater could annihilate Evolzar Laggia, and Smashing Ground kicked Evolzar Dolkka to the curb. But the deck was so good because it could establish robust fields so easily, weaving a set-up of cards that would all reinforce each other; rogue decks looking to beat Dino Rabbit often needed three or more answers, or they'd wind up running aground on a random Solemn Warning, Dimensional Prison, Solemn Judgement, or Forbidden Lance.

Looking at Marcel's deck, that consistency is just not there. If you want to make a first turn Laggia or Dolkka you need to start with Rescue Rabbit, or Unexpected Dai plus a Dinosaur. Toadally Awesome's a nice addition for Turn 1 options, but a Turn 1 Awesome hinges on Bahamut Shark. Instant Fusion helps, but the odds of making that kind of opening are still pretty weak.

 Toadally Awesome
Toadally Awesome124750
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN052
Level 2
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Aqua
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2200 / 0
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 2 Aqua-Type monsters
Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster from your Deck. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect: You can send 1 Aqua-Type monster from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Set it to your field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.

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When I was testing this deck I found I never wanted to see a monster in my hand unless it was Thunder King Rai-Oh, Maxx “C,” or Rescue Rabbit, or I had Unexpected Dai at the ready. One of those monsters is a one-of, one's a hand trap, and the other's semi-Limited, so I just really didn't have many strong opening hands. Resolving traps that pick off your opponent's cards one by one tends to leave you down in card economy these days. Your trades just need to be better than that.

I fell in love with Ninja Grandmaster - Hanzo as a solution, but in reading that sentence aloud, I realize it might not make immediate sense. How could Hanzo help the deck be more consistent, while simultaneously countering your opponent's threats? The answer is Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation; it picks away at your opponent's card presence while also fetching you a Dinosaur.

Confused? Good.

Obviously, Hanzo searches Super-Transformation, and that fields a Dino, but there are more complicated interactions that aren't quite so easy to spot. As a Level 4 Dark Warrior Ninja, Hanzo opens up tons of deck thinning: Allure of Darkness, Reinforcement of the Army, and Ninjitsu Art Notebook. While your Ninjas don't directly make Toadally Awesome or an Evolzar, you have lots of options that inadvertently put Dinosaurs on the field. Marcel talked about how Phantom Knights' Sword and Forbidden Lance could help his Dinos survive long enough to overlay them, but when you search Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation with Hanzo it's a much better answer that doesn't require a battle phase.

I'm not one for shooting down creative ideas, but Marcel made a really good point in his submission when he noted that the overlapping monsters for Bahamut Shark and the Evolzars happen to be Kabazauls and Hydrogeddon. Sadly one can get beat up by a Seven Colored Fish, and the other is about as useful as a Normal monster but can't be special Summoned with Unexpected Dai.

My goal with the Ninjas was to raise the deck's overall quality of opening hands, but I found a lot of room for improvement in the Extra Deck, too. Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force is innovative, but it eats up three spaces that could be better spent on other cards. Golden Upstart Ninja makes Traptrix Rafflesia more accessible, as well as Xyz like Heroic Champion Excalibur. If you start with a Hanzo, then other deck thinning cards like Pot of Duality become more powerful as well.

It's disheartening, but unless you dedicate every card in your Main Deck to the cause, a consistent first turn Evolzar Laggia or Dolkka is a pipe dream. But the Ninjas add a unique twist of deck thinning and defense to set you up for an Evolzar the following turn. Even better, Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation fields defensive monsters you'd otherwise forget about completely. Koa'ki Meiru Drago and Red Dragon Ninja, anyone? Either of those monsters can be a roundhouse kick to your opponent's face, if you play them at the right time.

 Koa'ki Meiru Drago (UTR)
Koa'ki Meiru Drago (UTR)58488
Set Raging Battle
Number RGBT-EN024
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Dragon
Attribute WIND 
A / D 1900 / 1600
Rarity Ultimate Rare
Card Text

During each of your End Phases, destroy this card unless you send 1 Iron Core of Koa'ki Meiru from your hand to the Graveyard or reveal 1 Dragon-Type monster in your hand. LIGHT and DARK monsters cannot be Special Summoned.

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I can't say that I made Toadally Awesome and Evolzar Laggia ten times more frequently after I added the Ninjas , but I did have more consistent duels that set me up for strong Turn 2's. I had to go with the flow and make the most of what the deck had to offer, and strangely enough that also meant I had to cut Unexpected Dai. With all the other changes, it was rare I'd see a first turn Unexpected Dai that wouldn't conflict with Pot of Duality or a Ninja summon. At the risk of calling Kabazauls and Unexpected Dai “useless”, I felt I needed more cards with higher utility; cards that would be more applicable in a wider spread of situations.

-2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
-1 Hydrogeddon
-2 Juragedo
-1 Raigeki
-1 Instant Fusion
-1 Twin Twisters
-3 Unexpected Dai
-1 Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force
-3 Forbidden Lance
-1 Torrential Tribute
-1 Floodgate Trap Hole
-2 Phantom Knights' Sword
-2 Fiendish Chain

-1 Evolzar Solda
-1 Stellarknight Constellar Diamond
-1 Fairy Knight Ingunar
-1 Stellarknight Delteros

+3 Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
+3 Upstart Golden Ninja
+1 Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun
+1 Koa'ki Meiru Drago
+1 Red Dragon Ninja
+1 Pot of Duality
+2 Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy
+2 Ninjitsu Art Notebook
+2 Oasis of Dragon Souls
+2 Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation
+2 Solemn Strike

+1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
+1 Diamond Dire Wolf
+1 Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
+1 Daigusto Emeral

Since it's searchable with Super-Transformation, Hydrogeddon doesn't need to be played at three. With so many high-Level monsters and Pendulums in competition these days, it's pretty rare for you to actually resolve its effect.

Don't get me wrong, I miss the days when Flamvell Firedog and Hydrogeddon were giant threats everyone was actively considering when they were creating their fields, but it's just not the reality anymore.

Oasis of Dragon Souls is worth a nod: it brings back a Water monster or a Dino for your Xyz Summons, and I'll take a Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun anyway I can get it. With all of the draw power and discard potential, you have just enough room for one copy.

    Dino Rabbit Reborn Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Hydrogeddon
3 Kabazauls
1 Koa'ki Meiru Drago
2 Maxx "C"
3 Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
1 Red Dragon Ninja
1 Rescue Rabbit
1 Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun
3 Upstart Golden Ninja
Monsters [17]
2 Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy
2 Instant Fusion
2 Ninjitsu Art Notebook
3 Pot of Duality
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Soul Charge
2 Twin Twisters
Spells [13]
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Floodgate Trap Hole
2 Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation
2 Oasis of Dragon Souls
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [10]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Bahamut Shark
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Elder Entity Norden
2 Evolzar Dolkka
1 Evolzar Laggia
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
1 Number 82: Heartlandraco
1 Rare Fish
1 Toadally Awesome
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
Extra Deck [15]

The Ninja cards surprise me every time I make a deck with them; you can play them in so many different ways, and take them in so many different directions. Whether you're playing Pendulum monsters, Ties of the Brethren, Empowered Warriors, Dinosaurs, or even Karakuri, the Ninjas are surprisingly versatile.

In closing, please stop sending me Iron Chain decks. I've received so many Iron Chain deck submissions that I'm convinced there's a secret club that gets together and writes fifty Iron Chain submissions per week and sends them to me.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas “#spellberks4lyfe” Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he's earned the honor of Employee of the Century at his basket-weaving job. When he's not getting lost walking to the grocery store, his days are spent shaking his fist in the direction of Konami's North American headquarters demanding Fabled support or an archetype based around rainbow flags. In his spare time, Loukas dresses up as various road signs around his neighborhood, intentionally spelling things wrong to confuse drivers.

Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to to have your deck featured in the “Re-Routing” deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. “Winning” is not a strategy per se, and neither is “beating your opponents before they beat you.”

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! –LJP

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