Rerouting: ABC Hybrid

Loukas Peterson

2/22/2017 11:00:00 AM

Spoilers! Since today's deck originally played Zombies, I was going to call this article “A to Z”, thinking I was witty and knowing that at least one person would think it was clever.

My friend Chris and I thought we were creative when we came up with classifications for Zombies: Nombies are just hungry zombies, Zoombies are fast Zombies, and Vroombies are zombies that drive cars and other vehicles. So if you think the current deck title is bad, it could have been “Vroombies.”

As you can tell, I'm actually horrible at naming things - I named my first pet, a guinea pig, “Fudge Face.”

ABC-Dragon Buster decks were hyped way beyond the performance they eventually delivered. In the first two weeks of their release in the TCG, they dominated competitive events, and then suddenly they didn't dominate anything ever again. They'll still pop up at just about every Regional Qualifier and YCS, but it really pails in comparison to that early, all-crushing success. I guess that's what happens when newer cards get released!

The ABC-Dragon Buster deck yards everything it can as fast as possible and hopes to draw into a Dimensional Barrier or Vanity's Emptiness. Then it recycles ABC-Dragon Buster and its component monsters from the graveyard and removed zone. The strategy was strong and consistent, but one-trick ponies are easy to beat. Today's contributor writes…

If you want a cheap deck, then look no further – ABC's are the way to go. It's easy as 1-2-3. [Loukas' note: Sigh…] With the Seto Kaiba Structure Deck cheap as can be, all you need are a few Extra Deck support cards and you're golden. In terms of competitive and affordable, ABC's reminds me a lot of Monarchs and Dark World.

My deck has a twist on the theme - but don't worry, it's still really affordable. Machine King Barbaros Ur' rel="/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur">Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur makes Rank 8's to give the deck that second sword in its back pocket. You thought that you just had to deal with ABC-Dragon Buster? What if that's not the best play? Oh snap, now you have to beat a Number 38: Hope Harbinger Titanic Dragon Galaxy!

-Joss T ~ Birmingham, Alabama

I like Joss's idea of diversifying the strategy, but what I didn't like was his seven references to the Jackson 5's song in his submission. I promptly edited the majority of them out and then deleted the song from my iTunes library.

Take a look at his deck.

    ABC Hybrid Ver 1.0 Joss T.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 A-Assault Core
3 B-Buster Drake
2 Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur
3 C-Crush Wyvern
1 Erebus the Underworld Monarch
2 Gold Gadget
2 Maxx "C"
2 Mezuki
3 Nin-Ken Dog
2 Silver Gadget
1 X-Head Cannon
Monsters [24]
1 Foolish Burial
1 Soul Charge
3 Terraforming
3 Unexpected Dai
3 Union Hangar
Spells [11]
3 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [5]
Deck Total [40]


3 ABC-Dragon Buster
1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
3 Diamond Dire Wolf
2 Gear Gigant X
2 Lightning Chidori
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
Extra Deck [15]

As much as I like the diversity, I have to admit too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

The “Z” portion of my “creative” original name had nothing to do with Z-Metal Tank, again, that was rooted in Zombies. Technically, two Zombies: Mezuki and Erebus the Underworld Monarch.

Decisions, Decisions…
Removing the ABC portion of the deck would be completely unnecessary and would constitute far more than just a deck fix – it would be violating Joss' design. But we have two ancillary themes leeching off the core of the build, a small undead family and some Beast-Warrior… stuff? For the sake of the deck, one will have to go.

I'm partial to Zombies and have been for a while. Ever since Uni-Zombie stumbled onto the scene, that three-legged monster has been splashed in more decks than I'm willing to admit. Sending a Mezuki straight to the graveyard from your deck, and yarding useless in-hand cards, it's proven to be a versatile Tuner worthy of table time. Joss wasn't running it, and while I played it in an early version of this fix, I'm doing a 180 degree turn and burying that Zombie for good.

ABC decks rely on their Normal Summon to an almost peculiar degree. At first glance, you'd look more towards the “free” boss behemoth that only cares about yarded Union Monsters, but your Normal Summon is what really gets you moving. Whether it's Tin Goldfish, Gold Gadget, or Silver Gadget, fielding lots of monsters to set up for a Bujintei Tsukuyomi propels you forward in an unparalleled way.

 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
Bujintei Tsukuyomi92772
Set 2014 Mega-Tin Mega-Pack
Number MP14-EN223
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1800 / 2300
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 LIGHT monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; send all the cards in your hand to the Graveyard (min. 1), then draw 2 cards. When this card with Xyz Material leaves the field because of an opponent's card effect: You can target a number of Level 4 "Bujin" Beast-Warrior-Type monsters in your Graveyard, up to the number of Xyz Materials that were attached to this card; Special Summon those targets. You can only control 1 "Bujintei Tsukuyomi".

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The cards you draw off of Tsukiyomi's replenishing effect are hopefully usable cards - AKA, not monsters that need a Normal Summon. That said, the Zombies have to go largely because they create too much competition for your Normal Summon.

But what to make of the Beast-Warriors? Nin-Ken Dog's appearance here is uncanny, but reasonable if you dedicate yourself to it. As a Normal Monster, Unexpected Dai fills the void left behind by Photon Thrasher, and the Wind Attribute lets you make Lightning Chidori; its monster-type obviously fuels Machine King Barbaros Ur' rel="/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur">Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur, but it's purely a placeholder. I think we can do more than that.

Enter the Lunalights - and feel free to be skeptical.

[Enter Witty Tag Here]
Even though I'm not a huge fan of Machine King Barbaros Ur, gosh darn it am I ever determined to make it work. We still need Beast-Warriors to bring it out, but at least the Machine part is covered and makes the summon easier. In terms of Beast-Warriors, we have many options but very few good ones that flow well in this strategy. Nin-Ken Dog and Unexpected Dai are a surprisingly good choice, but once you start scraping the bottom of the barrel, things get really dicey. Obviously the Zoodiacs would be a good choice here, but we can make this strategy work without emptying your wallet.

The Zoodiacs, namely Zoodiac Ratpier, do a great job of vomiting everything onto the field and graveyard for a flurry of cheap yet powerful Xyz Summons. If I thought my Speedroid Terrortop combo that produced a handsome field was good, it pales in comparison to what a single Terrortop can do now - all without your Normal Summon. You can easily find a lot of combo videos showing the insane fields made possible via Zoodiacs, but Joss stressed the cheap price tag of a Structure Deck, so don't go selling your kidneys just yet.

Inherently, Lunalights were created to be a Fusion deck. Thanks to Metalfoes, Fire Formation - Tenki, and many other support cards, you can break parts of the deck down into self-contained themes, similar to how Speedroid Terrortop comes with Speedroid Taketombog in a million different decks. Look at it this way: Fire Formation - Tenki searches your Lunalight monsters, Lunalight Tiger revives them for free, and Luna Light Perfume does both. Lunalight Blue Tiger is the piece that gets flung around by the above three cards, but in a deck where you're blazing through Rank 4's, it's surprisingly impressive.

Did I mention it was cheap?

Most importantly, it keeps your Normal Summon free for A-Assault Core, B-Buster Drake, or C-Crush Wyvern, which is important to fuel Union Hangar and dump Machines into the graveyard. Unlike the Zombie theme, Unexpected Dai, and Photon Thrasher, your current on-board monsters won't restrict your plays or your all-important Normal Summons.

While Joss didn't run Photon Thrasher, it's a popular choice that I'd push out for Empowerment. Empowerment's more fuel for your graveyard, but as a searchable card for Terraforming, you'll see that it acts a lot like Lunalight Tiger. Both field a Level 4 monster – either Dragoniedes the Empowered Warrior or Lunalight Tiger – but more importantly both are searchable and set you up faster for Bujintei Tsukiyomi.

Keeping The Costs Down!
All that talk of discarding is only so good if it nets hand and field economy later in the duel. Both Machine King and ABC-Dragon Buster require a fully stocked graveyard, but it's nice to have backups along the way.

Thankfully Luna Light Perfume, Terraforming, Fire Formation - Tenki, and Union Hangar can all thin your deck without randomly milling cards or making you draw into weaker options. The end result is a full graveyard, a thinned deck, and Bujintei Tsukiyomi drawing you into all your powerful trap cards. That's great, and it's even better when you have Vanity's Emptiness and Solemn Strike to back it up.

As I play tested the deck, I noticed a lot of happy interactions that aren't obvious at first glance. Luna Light Perfume isn't a once-per-turn effect, and Lunalight Tiger's only a soft once-per-turn - you can play two of them in your scales for two effects! Bujintei Tsukiyomi is a Beast-Warrior after all, further fueling Machine King Ur, too.

 Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur
Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur33220
Set Ancient Prophecy
Number ANPR-EN097
Level 8
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 3800 / 1200
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

You can Special Summon this card from your hand by removing from play 1 Machine-Type monster and 1 Beast-Warrior-Type monster from your hand, your side of the field, or your Graveyard. When this card battles, Battle Damage to your opponent becomes 0.

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The resulting strategy plays a lot like a traditional ABC deck, but you also have the luxury of fielding cards like Number 38: Hope Harbinger and a flurry of Rank 4's. I actually used ABC-Dragon Buster for more Rank 4's and Rank 8's instead of keeping it around to control the field really frequently. Just saying - it makes Magnet Reverse that much better, and I included the one copy solely for my take on the deck, which quickly burns through ABC-Dragon Buster.

-1 X-Head Cannon
-3 Nin-Ken Dog
-1 C-Crush Wyvern
-2 Mezuki
-1 Erebus the Underworld Monarch
-3 Unexpected Dai
-1 Foolish Burial
-1 Solemn Strike

-2 Lightning Chidori
-1 Diamond Dire Wolf
-1 Gear Gigant X

+1 Dragodies, the Empowered Warrior
+1 Gold Gadget
+2 Lunalight Tiger
+2 Lunalight Blue Cat
+1 Magnet Reverse
+1 Empowerment
+2 Fire Formation - Tenki
+2 Luna Light Perfume
+1 Floodgate Trap Hole

+1 Traptrix Rafflesia
+1 Number 106: Giant Hand
+1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
+1 Daigusto Emeral

As you can see, I geared the Extra Deck more toward Rank 4's. ABC decks already have a good approach to Rank 4 monsters, but by proactively tributing off ABC-Buster Dragon alongside Empowerment and the Lunalights, you can make intimidating fields with Traptrix Rafflesia and Number 106: Giant Hand bolstered by Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy.

The final build of the deck looks like this.

     ABC Hybrid Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 A-Assault Core
3 B-Buster Drake
2 Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur
2 C-Crush Wyvern
1 Dragodies, the Empowered Warrior
3 Gold Gadget
2 Lunalight Blue Cat
2 Lunalight Tiger
2 Maxx "C"
2 Silver Gadget
Monsters [22]
1 Empowerment
2 Fire Formation - Tenki
2 Luna Light Perfume
1 Magnet Reverse
1 Soul Charge
3 Terraforming
3 Union Hangar
Spells [13]
1 Floodgate Trap Hole
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [5]
Deck Total [40]


3 ABC-Dragon Buster
1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Daigusto Emeral
2 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Gear Gigant X
1 Number 106: Giant Hand
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
Extra Deck [15]

Any deck that cranks out Rank 4's en masse is always fun. Ok, maybe not always fun, but the Rank 4 toolbox has always been a solid array of cards to fall back on ever since Legacy of the Valiant, when we got Number 101: Silent Honor ARK and Evilswarm Exciton Knight.

Sorry if that brings back any bad memories, y'all!

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he enjoys freezing in the cold only slightly less than his job as a software engineer. When he's not playing cards, you can find him on his kayak reading a book and playing the ukulele or at his painting desk, probably on his 30th cup of coffee for the day. Hailed on the only one capable of cooking Minute Rice is 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet.

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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