Rerouting: Zoodiac Performapals

Loukas Peterson

4/27/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

I may not seem completely put together at first glance, what with my terrible sense of fashion and how easily I forgot the names of most cards. But I'm extremely organized, and I compartmentalize everything, both mentally and physically.

I'm the guy that uses a label maker for everything, lives and dies by Google Calendar, and literally can't go to sleep if things are messy within a seven mile radius.

When I got this submission in my inbox, I had an extremely tough time determining how to categorize the deck. Today's contributor writes…

Hey buddy - I haven't seen you redo a deck in a while. I liked your Performapal deck, but I didn't like the budget part. I didn't hate it, but let's pretend that money isn't an issue. I have to do that if I'm going to be using Zoodiac Barrage, right? I had to sell my six year old cousin to the circus to get three copies.

I took your deck and added Zoodiacs, but I don't know if I made it worse or not. On the bright side, I can draw or search most of my deck on the first turn. The bad part? I never know what to do after that. At least Elder Entity Norden, my favorite card in the strategy, doesn't have its effect limited to once per turn. That's a positive, right?

RIGHT?

-Taylor C. ~ Corpus Christi, Texas

Since Taylor's asking for deck advice, this definitely falls under the umbrella of “Rerouting.” Given that it's a deck I created, you could also say it's an “Under the Radar” column or even “Under the Radar 2.0.”

But my original deck was tailored for those on a money diet, a.k.a. “More Bang for Your Buck.” But since it's a Zoo variant… couldn't we also say it's “Not-So-Under the Radar,” and given Performapal's history of greatness, “Down But Not Out” works well.

The real question is, was Taylor kidding when he mentioned selling his cousin to a circus?

    Zoodiac Performapals Ver 1.0 Taylor C.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Dragoons of Draconia
1 Gem-Knight Lazuli
2 Jigabyte
3 Lunalight Black Sheep
1 Performage Trick Clown
1 Performapal Dag Daggerman
3 Performapal Friendonkey
2 Performapal Guitartle
2 Performapal Lizardraw
1 Performapal Partnaga
3 Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer
1 Performapal Radish Horse
1 Performapal Skullcrobat Joker
1 Performapal Uni
2 Star Drawing
2 Zoodiac Kataroost
1 Zoodiac Ramram
2 Zoodiac Ratpier
1 Zoodiac Whiptail
Monsters [31]
3 Brilliant Fusion
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
3 Fusion Substitute
3 Instant Fusion
1 Soul Charge
3 Zoodiac Barrage
Spells [16]
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
3 Floodgate Trap Hole
Traps [4]
Deck Total [51]

EXTRA DECK

3 Daigusto Emeral
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
2 King of the Feral Imps
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
1 Zoodiac Boarbow
3 Zoodiac Broadbull
2 Zoodiac Drident
1 Zoodiac Tigermortar
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Call it what you want, but I can already tell you I'm in love with this deck. I've never been a huge fan of Zoodiacs since most of the well-known combos don't really involve that much interaction, but there's definitely something different about the way this deck plays them!

Will We Ever See Performaenemies?
Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer has always been the lynchpin of the Performapal theme. Performapal hybrids often run Performapals solely for that card. Sure, Performapal Monkeyboard and Performapal Skullcrobat Joker are sitting on the Forbidden & Limited List, but Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer's still a powerful card.

Simply put, mashing up Zoodiacs and Performapals is a pretty good idea. I've tossed around some concepts before but never put together a complete deck until Taylor sent me his bona fide list. The synergy isn't entirely obvious first, but there are tons of incidental benefits between the two groups of monsters - hopefully the presence of Zoodiacs won't overshadow everything else.

Consider Fire Formation - Tenki and Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer. The first searches your Zoodiac Ratpier for all the Zoodiac shenanigans, but it leaves behind a prime target for Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer to destroy, netting you a fast +1 of card economy. Zoodiac Broadbull has plenty of great cards to search, and it can complete your Pendulum Scale for a minimal investment. Normal Summon Zoodiac Ratpier, stack a Zoodiac Broadbull on top, then search either Performapal King Bear or Dragoons of Draconia to get your Pendulums going.

The last time I wrote about Performapals, I highlighted King of the Feral Imps as an easy answer to many of your problems. It searched combo pieces, Pendulum Scales, and tossed monsters in the graveyard to give you targets for Daigusto Emeral or Elder Entity Norden, maximizing the potential of some of your bigger cards. After all, it's never really fun to use Instant Fusion and have no targets to revive with Norden, right?

Zoodiac Braodbull fills a similar role but addresses many of the problems King of the Feral Imps couldn't cover. And the icing on the cake is that Broadbull's only ever a single Zoodiac away from hitting the field. If you haven't picked up on it so far, the core of today's deck is Broadbull, chiefly because you can use its search effect as many times per turn as you can summon it.

 Zoodiac Broadbull
$15.95
$2.82
$0.63
Zoodiac Broadbull127306
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN051
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 monsters
Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Zoodiac Broadbull" by using 1 "Zoodiac" monster you control with a different name as Xyz Material. (If you used an Xyz Monster, any Xyz Materials attached to it also become Xyz Materials on this card.) This card gains ATK and DEF equal to the ATK and DEF of all "Zoodiac" monsters attached to it as Materials. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; add 1 Beast-Warrior-Type monster that can be Normal Summoned/Set from your Deck to your hand.


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But fear not - King of the Feral Imps still has a ton of uses; you can just as easily fan your deck and pluck out whatever you need, but now you have two monster types to choose from! Taylor is using both monsters so he can capitalize on their searching effects, and I'm glad he ran Zoodiac Barrage so I don't have to be the bearer of bad news and say “Gee, this deck would be a lot better with three really expensive cards!”

Regardless of deck size, you'll need to see Zoodiac Ratpier early in every game if you want your Zoodiac Combos to go off. But there's one thing that's missing here for me to really give this deck my stamp of approval.

Because The Name “Frogingly Cool” Doesn't Have The Same Ring
If you've ever played against Zoodiacs, you've probably seen a myriad of broken combos that turn a wee baby Zoodiac Ratpier into a totally fresh hand of cards. Thanks to the Zoodiac Xyz abilities to Special Summon themselves by just using one monster as an Xyz Material, it's almost foolish not to play Zoodiacs. I won't go through all the permutations of which Zoodiac is best in a “pure” Zoodiac build, but the combos get really silly when you can use Zoodiac Broadbull to search a Lunalight Black Sheep and get Fusion Substitute to extend your plays even further, by naturally summoning Elder Entity Norden.

That's really the important part here – you want to field two Xyz and make sure you get Fusion Substitute in hand.

The one thing that Zoodiac decks traditionally lack is a way to make Toadally Awesome. I'm not criticizing the strategy for not going out of its way to make Toad, but Performapal decks can make it really easily. King of the Feral Imps searches Jigobyte, the lil' Reptile you can throw onto the field if you control a Spellcaster. Instead of reviving a Zoodiac in your graveyard to do more Zoodiac plays, the intersection of decks isn't any more harmonious than it is right here.

When I visited Grand Rapids recently, I played Doug with a non-budget version of my past Performapal build that focused on making Bahamut Shark to Special Summon Toadally Awesome. Sometimes I'd have to luck into an Instant Fusion to make my Bahamut Shark without hemorrhaging resources, but that's a thing of the past. Thanks to the ease of Broadball, Elder Entity Norden's just a few searches away and that means Bahamut Shark is too.

Keep in mind, the “Zoodiac Combo” uses whatever Zoodiac Xyz on your field to fuse together for Norden, but Performapals add a variety of Extra Deck choices without limiting the range of Xyz you can fuse with. Your King of the Feral Imps or Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer are just as good for Fusion Substitute. As much as I loved the deck so far, there's an inherent problem that needs attention.

Draw, Draw, Draw - Then What?
Between Performapal Lizardraw, Fusion Substitute, Daigusto Emeral, and Star Drawing, there's a long list of cards here that help you build card economy. I could name about half the cards in the deck and praise them for either adding cards to your hand via search mechanics or offering sheer draw power, but we can't get too wrapped up in that. It's easy to leverage card economy, but you'll have to do something beyond just hoarding cards.

Bahamut Shark and Toadally Awesome are pivotal in their own right, and Traptrix Rafflesia can shut down your opponent for one turn. Taylor wasn't concerned about deck size, and if 2017 has taught us anything, it's not the size of your deck that matters, it's how you use it. We need some extra defense, but I'm not going to sacrifice any cool one-ofs to do so.

I'm actually keeping Performapal Uni only because it somehow fits into like, 37 niches and has a decent protection effect. You can dump it with Brilliant Fusion, make a Rank 4 with it, search it with Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer, and also search it with Zoodiac Broadbull, so I guess it's not that bad. But I'm also calling for Forbidden Chalice, Solemn Warning, and Solemn Strike. Traptrix Rafflesia and Toadally Awesome get the job done most of the time, but I'd rather draw into defensive cards instead of more Performapals when I'm setting up on my first turn.

 Toadally Awesome
$30.99
$8.99
$6.37
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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The pairs of Dragoons of Draconia and Performapal King Bear or Performage Lizardraw and Performage Partnaga means King of the Feral Imps and Zoodiac Broadbull can both be used to search your missing Pendulum Scales - just don't fall into the trap of making more and more plays only to waste your Extra Deck and end up with an even trade in card economy. The added defensive cards mitigate that natural progression, but there's a fine line that dictates when you need to stop; that line just differs depending on whether you're going first or second.

By all means, burn through your hand and Extra Deck on Turn 1 if it means an ending field of Traptrix Rafflesia, Toadally Awesome, Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight, Zoodiac Drident, Forbidden Chalice, and Solemn Strike. I mean, I guess Bahamut Shark is there too, but he's kinda just chillin'.

-2 Lunalight Black Sheep
-3 Performapal Friendonkey
-1 Zoodiac Kataroost
-1 Zoodiac Ramram
-1 Zoodiac Whiptail
-2 Fusion Substitute
-1 Bottomless Trap Hole
-1 Floodgate Trap Hole

-1 Daigusto Emeral
-1 King of the Feral Imps
-1 Zoodiac Broadbull
-1 Zoodiac Drident
-1 Zoodiac Boarbow

+1 Nefarious Archfiend Eater of Nefariousness
+1 Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
+1 Masked Chameleon
+1 Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
+2 Summoner Monk
+1 Performapal King Bear
+2 Forbidden Chalice
+1 Solemn Warning
+2 Solemn Strike

+1 Bahamut Shark
+1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
+1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
+1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
+1 Toadally Awesome

I know the numbers on the Zoodiac Xyz look weird, but keep in mind that Zoodiac Broadbull and pals are mostly there for extra draw support; they ultimately exist to make Bahamut Shark for Toadally Awesome. With two copies of Daigusto Emeral, you won't run out of Extra Deck cards any time soon, but there's a really, really, really small chance you're ever going to actually use Zoodiac Tigermortar as anything but a stepping stone to Zoodiac Broadbull.

If you wanted to be a mega lame-o, I guess you could squeeze out Ignister Prominence the Blasting Dracoslayer, but it's a fun game of pick-your-poison with this Extra Deck.

     Zoodiac Performapals Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Dragoons of Draconia
1 Gem-Knight Lazuli
2 Jigabyte
1 Lunalight Black Sheep
1 Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
1 Masked Chameleon
1 Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
1 Nefarious Archfiend Eater of Nefariousness
1 Performage Trick Clown
1 Performapal Dag Daggerman
2 Performapal Guitartle
1 Performapal King Bear
2 Performapal Lizardraw
1 Performapal Partnaga
3 Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer
1 Performapal Radish Horse
1 Performapal Skullcrobat Joker
1 Performapal Uni
2 Star Drawing
2 Summoner Monk
1 Zoodiac Kataroost
2 Zoodiac Ratpier
Monsters [30]
3 Brilliant Fusion
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
2 Forbidden Chalice
1 Fusion Substitute
3 Instant Fusion
1 Soul Charge
3 Zoodiac Barrage
Spells [16]
2 Floodgate Trap Hole
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
Traps [5]
Deck Total [51]

EXTRA DECK

1 Bahamut Shark
1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
2 Daigusto Emeral
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
1 King of the Feral Imps
1 Toadally Awesome
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
2 Zoodiac Broadbull
1 Zoodiac Drident
1 Zoodiac Tigermortar
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


One criticism you can make about this deck revolves around the overwhelming number of cards that search or summon Zoodiac Ratpier. Three copies of Fire Formation - Tenki and Zoodiac Barrage may seem a bit rough, but the same philosophy of having more search cards than actual cards to search out has routinely worked in the past. Brilliant Fusion and Speedroid Terrortop are the two most relevant examples of that in the current metagame.

Furthermore, more “search” cards means you can shatter the 40-card ceiling while consistently getting to your most important stuff, while keeping those pesky one-ofs in the strategy to be searched out as needed. Unless, of course, you're me, and manage to open with Gem-Knight Lazuli Dragoons of Draconia, Performapal Uni, Performapal Partnaga, and Fusion Substitute in your first game testing the deck.

At first I thought that hand wasn't that bad, but then I remembered that Fusion Substitute needs materials on the field, so I couldn't even summon Gem-Knight Seraphinite. One day my luck won't be so bad.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where every day he cries for warm weather, mollified by his job as software engineer and living in the basement. When he's not playing cards or crying about the lack of Fabled support, 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 and a dog to pet.


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 rerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.com 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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