Rerouting: Chained Up

Loukas Peterson

12/21/2016 11:00:00 AM

At the risk of beating a dead horse, anyone that reads my articles probably knows I like objectively “bad” decks. I don't gravitate to subpar strategies because I like losing. Rather, I like trying new strategies where everyone else has failed or given up. Good decks get so much attention that it's hard finding ways to be innovative with those strategies, and playing casually gets pretty boring if you're just piloting the best decks ad nauseum.

Maybe it's because I like puzzles; I see lesser strategies as disregarded jigsaw puzzles collecting dust in the corner. My friend Chris and I have invested way too much time in bad strategies just so we could say we accomplished a very niche goal. For example, we built an entire deck around Gishki Mollusk, abusing Brilliant Fusion in a Sylvan Deck. Using Brilliant Fusion to pitch Gishki Mollusk for Gem-Knight Amethyst, you'd rearrange the top three cards of your deck and field a level 7 monster for Sylvan Shenanigans but also set us up for Gishki Beast into a Bahamut Shark for Paleozoic Anomalocaris.

Needless to say, we didn't get too far with that deck. But maybe today's contributor and his Iron Chain deck can work out better. He'd attached his extra deck as a separate file in the original email that got corrupted but gave enough details with the deck and the submission that I divined what was supposed to be in there.

What's going on in your world of Wisconsin? In Ohio, at least where I live, we have no one that wants to play anything fun and original. I'd never heard of Iron Chains, but someone mentioned the archetype to me when I was trying to prove that there was no such thing as a bad deck. I think I may have met my match but I have absolutely no idea what to do with a deck like this.

At least I have a favorite card - Iron Chain Repairman. I don't think you can have another Iron Chain cards as your favorite. Iron Chain Coil gives me scary dreams, and Iron Chain Blaster is just so bad. I'll take any and all suggestions for the deck since I didn't have a place to start when I put this thing together. Feel free to butcher it - just do something!

-Reed F. from Ohio

Let's do a little thought experiment - try to imagine what an Iron Chain deck would look like. Visualize what your ending fields would be, what your opening five cards could be, and think about general turn progression.

If your mind is a blank slate or all you're envisioning is one of those creepy monkey toys that crashes a pair of symbols back and forth, then I've done my job.

    Chained Up Ver 1.0 Reed F.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Iron Chain Coil
3 Iron Chain Repairman
2 Machina Cannon
3 Machina Fortress
3 Machina Gearframe
3 Scrap Recycler
3 Trident Warrior
Monsters [20]
3 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
2 Dark Hole
3 Hidden Armory
3 Iron Call
1 Raigeki
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Soul Charge
1 Symbol of Heritage
1 Trade-In
3 Twin Twisters
1 United We Stand
Spells [20]
Deck Total [40]



Is that what you thought an Iron Chain deck would look like?


There's no consensus for how an Iron Chain deck should be built since the entire theme is just five monsters and one spell, and I'm still not entirely sure what the strategy is here. The deck can't decide if it would rather do burn damage or mill cards, but between those two options there's a clear winner.

Better Put, “Clear” and “Winner”
Our biggest challenge here is that the Iron Chain monsters are completely and utterly horrible. I mean that in an endearing way, and I'm even including Iron Chain Repairman when I say that: these cards are bad. Take a gander at Repairman - it's the best card Iron Chains have but it comes with serious drawbacks, restricting what you can summon and limiting your Battle Phase. And yes, it is the best you've got.

It's almost as annoying as Iron Chain Coil - the creepy looking Tuner that has all the hindrances of being a Normal Monster without actually being a Normal Monster. In other words, you can't summon it with Unexpected Dai or Swing of Memories but its effect is 99.99% pointless.

Reed's strategy focused on Rank 7 and Level 7 monsters, since Iron Chain Repairman facilitates that strategy. The more I toyed around with it, the more this deck just felt like a weak version of Gigavise or any other Level 7 strategy. Remember Salvo Dark Armed Dragon? It's an old strastegy that abused Black Salvo, Dekoichi the Battle Locomotive, and most of you probably skipped onto the next paragraph the moment I even mentioned Dekoichi.

 Speedroid Terrortop
Speedroid Terrortop105998
Set High-Speed Riders
Number HSRD-EN001
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 1200 / 600
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Speedroid" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Speedroid Beigomax". You can only use this effect of "Speedroid Beigomax" once per turn.

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Sure, Machina Fortress and Machina Gearframe provide some muscle, but aside from pitching Iron Chain Coil and acting as fuel for Sacred Sword of Seven Stars, Machina Fortress doesn't impress me. It's like that time Doug “Cherry Tomatoes Are My Only Friends” Zeeff tried to impress me with his knowledge of the locations of Boston Markets. I just didn't care.

Instead, it's best to focus on one of the Iron Chain monsters Reed didn't play. No, I'm not talking about Iron Chain Dragon - I'm talking about Iron Chain Snake. Yes, by some miracle, I'm hoping to retool the deck from a Level 7 conveyor belt into… maybe something with an alternate win condition?

Between cards like Trade-In and United We Stand, I'll have a lot to crop.

I Serpently Think So…
I was lamenting my Iron Chain woes to Bobby Kenny the other day when he brought up the Level of Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju. Maybe I'm bad at math, but I didn't immediately put 10 and 10 and 10 together. If by some chance you can attach three Iron Chain Snakes to an opposing Jizukiru and then run it over, you've pretty much won the duel. Yes, I know plenty of duelists play more than 40 cards, but you can confidently assume that 99 out of 100 games, you'll be playing against a 40-ish card deck.

Iron Chain Snake's unique milling effect depends on the Level of whatever monster is destroyed, and it affects the controller of the Kaiju when it's on the field. With all the searching most players will do, in addition to their opening hand, draw power, and Pot of Desires, throwing the Snakes at Jizukiru and killing it seals the game. There's just one minor problem with that plan - it's really hard to do!

There aren't many cards that summon Iron Chain Snakes en masse - Inferno Reckless Summon is really the only good option. Obviously your Iron Chain Snake fits the bill, but many of the monsters I'll be adding are perfect for the situation and help facilitate a card this deck really needs – M-X-Saber Invoker. When you have the power to Special Summon your best Iron Chain straight from the deck, there's no reason not to. Speedroid Terrortop's a one card Invoker, and if you have an Iron Chain Coil in the graveyard, your Terrortop produces a Level 7 Synchro as well.

We have a slight problem once again. Getting Iron Chain Coil in the graveyard is a pain, although not impossible. With Foolish Burial and Mathematician Limited to one, your options are limited. Gear Gigant X would work with a Machina deck, but it's a Rank 4 monster and only puts Iron Chain Coil in the graveyard eventually. Scrap Recycler will help the Level 3 agenda while simultaneously yarding Iron Chain Coil.

 M-X-Saber Invoker
M-X-Saber Invoker57789
Set Order of Chaos
Number ORCS-EN099
Level 3
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1600 / 500
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 3 monsters // Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, Special Summon 1 Level 4 EARTH Warrior or Beast-Warrior-Type monster from your Deck, in face-up Defense Position. Destroy it during the End Phase.

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And I almost can't believe I'm going back to the card, but Marauding Captain fits perfectly. It's Level 3, you can search it with Reinforcement of the Army, it works with niche Xyz like Soul of Silvermountain, and it Special Summons Iron Chain Snake for Inferno Reckless Summon. That last part's the most important since you'll looking to mill out your opponent's deck. There are other ways to summon Iron Chain Coil, like Crane Crane and Iron Calling, but we can't dedicate the entire build to that one goal.

-3 Trident Warrior
-1 Iron Chain Coil
-3 Machina Gearframe
-3 Machina Fortress
-2 Machina Cannon
-3 Iron Call
-3 D.D. Reincarnation
-1 Symbols of Heritage
-1 United We Stand
-2 Dark Hole
-1 Raigeki
-1 Soul Charge
-1 Twin Twisters
-3 Hidden Armory
-1 Trade-In

+3 Jizukiru the Star Destroying Kaiju
+2 Kumoungous, the Sticky String Kaiju
+3 Marauding Captain
+1 Mathematician
+3 Iron Chain Snake
+3 Speedroid Terrortop
+2 Speedroid Taketomborg
+1 Electromagnetic Turtle
+1 Performapal Hip HIppo
+1 Crane Crane
+3 Inferno Reckless Summon
+2 Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
+3 Super Carnival Hippo
+1 Foolish Burial

+2 M-X Saber Invoker
+1 Stardust Charge Warrior
+1 Red-Eyes Metal Flare Dragon
+1 Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
+1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
+2 Naturia Barkion
+1 Goyo Guardian
+2 Soul of Silvermountain
+1 Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing
+1 Black Rose Dragon
+1 Moonlight Black Rose Dragon
+1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse

As you can see, I had to up the Kaiju count even more. Not only will you see your Jizukiru sooner, but other Kaiju monsters make the deck more consistent. You'd obviously like to deck your opponent out every game, but there's no safe and consistent way to do that given the limitations of Iron Chain Snake.

I had to stay pretty slim on defense, so all that ended up making the cut was Electromagnetic Turtle and Super Hippo Carnival. I debated using Train Construction Signal Red and Speedroid Menko, but neither works if they hit the graveyard off Scrap Recycler and they need an attacking monster to be useful.

    Chained Up Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Crane Crane
1 Electromagnetic Turtle
2 Iron Chain Coil
3 Iron Chain Repairman
3 Iron Chain Snake
3 Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju
2 Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju
3 Marauding Captain
1 Mathematician
1 Performapal Hip HIppo
3 Scrap Recycler
2 Speedroid Taketomborg
3 Speedroid Terrortop
Monsters [28]
1 Foolish Burial
3 Inferno Reckless Summon
2 Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
1 Reinforcement of the Army
3 Super Hippo Carnival
2 Twin Twisters
Spells [12]
Deck Total [40]


1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
1 Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Goyo Guardian
2 M-X-Saber Invoker
2 Naturia Barkion
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
2 Soul of Silvermountain
1 Stardust Charge Warrior
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
1 Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing
Extra Deck [15]

I never thought I'd be writing about these cards, but life's full of surprises, right? You can label this an Iron Chain deck by some technicality, but that hardly feels justified.

Heck, I hardly feel justified using Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju to validate Reed's focus on Rank 7's. You couldn't just add a Dark Magician to a Burning Abyss deck and call it a Dark Magician deck. Regardless, I had a ton of fun making and playing this thing, so I hope you find it as entertaining as I did.

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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