Siding With: Dinosaurs

Kelly Locke

5/2/2017 11:00:00 AM

A little over a month ago there was a widespread consensus in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community that True Draco Zoodiacs would be the dominant deck headed into the World Championship Qualifier season. Zoodiacs have continued to dominate the last handful of Regionals before Maximum Crisis, but the optics going forward have changed. True King Dinosaurs are being talked about more excitedly than ever due to the deck's performance in the OCG, as well as the early success of Dinosaurs here in the TCG.

True King Dinosaurs are effectively future-proofed. The deck won't lose its competitive edge when Link Summoning is introduced, and it doesn't suffer as much as Zoodiacs will from the Link Summoning rule changes. It's a currently viable, and cheaper, strategy that's unlikely to be hit by the Forbidden & Limited List before we see another round of restrictions to Zoodiacs. That changes with MACR when the deck becomes much more expensive to build, but it trades up in competitiveness even in a format filled with new Zoodiac variants, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and the usual crowd of Infernoids, Metalfoes, ABCs, and Zombies.

Last week we checked out the earliest attempts to counter the Dinosaur match-up with Side Deck tech. Now that the deck has had more than a couple of weekends of play, how has the competitive environment responded? Dinosaurs continue to make Regional tops, and players have definitely caught on. Side Decks are adjusting for the match-up, and especially for the mirror match.

This week we're taking one more look at Dinosaurs before MACR and discussing how the Dinosaur Side Deck synergizes with its unique Main Deck cards.

Making The Most of Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
The apex predator in the Dinomasher's Fury Structure Deck is Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, and it certainly lives up to its name. Tyranno is stacked with ATK and DEF while remaining easy to Summon. It's also stupidly simple to search from the deck thanks to Souleating Oviraptor. Tyranno plays the role of a field-crushing attacker, which isn't something we see too often these days. Most mass removal is effect-based destruction, but Tyranno can break your opponent's set-up by destroying all of their monsters in battle.

Ultimate Conductor Tyranno's built-in Book of Eclipse is perfectly designed to supplement its multi-attacking ability. Since the deck already benefits from flipping monsters face-down, or at least changing them to Defense Position, why not load up on Side Deck cards that do exactly that?

Book of Eclipse itself has been a popular pick for Dinosaurs lately because it can shut off opposing floodgate or negation monsters, or really anything with a Quick-Effect that could stop your plays. Tyranno can mop up those defense position monsters later in the turn, solving one of Book of Eclipse's major problems: the free draws your opponent gets if you don't destroy their set monsters.

 Book of Eclipse
Book of Eclipse107529
Set Astral Pack 8
Number AP08-EN012
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Change all face-up monsters on the field to face-down Defense Position. During the End Phase of this turn, flip as many face-down Defense Position monsters your opponent controls as possible face-up, then your opponent draws cards equal to the number of monsters flipped face-up by this effect.

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Book of Eclipse works wonders against strategies that rely on floodgate and negation monsters, but it also helps the Dinosaur deck deal with high-ATK threats. Outside of True King Lithosagym, the Disaster and Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, most of the Main Deck monsters are fairly weak. Dinosaurs aren't running quite as much removal as Zoodiacs, where Zoodiac Drident and Zoodiac Whiptail mitigate the threat of beatsticks. Changing monsters to Defense Position typically makes them more vulnerable to destruction by battle, and Lost World will decrease their DEF to a number low enough for the deck's many 1900 and 1800 ATK monsters to win the majority of their battles.

Quaking Mirror Force was packaged with the Structure Deck for essentially the same reason: flipping monsters face-down makes Ultimate Conductor Tyranno a much bigger threat to your opponent's field. While Book is a stronger proactive solution, and thus better suited when you're going second in a duel, Quaking Mirror Force is obviously better when playing second. The decks we've seen topping Regionals so far have favored Solemn Strike in the Side Deck whenever they aren't running it in their Main Deck, but there's plenty of room to argue for Quaking, especially if you don't own a set of Strikes.

Kaijus Now And Later
The Kaiju engine is a must-play in Dinosaurs, and likely everywhere else, following Maximum Crisis. It excels here largely because of the deck's natural inability to deal with high-ATK monsters, the convenient typing of Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju, and the appeal of mass removal in a deck that can profit from having its monsters destroyed by card effects.

You can search Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju with Souleating Oviraptor, but it's sometimes awkward to play. Summoning it will take a problem monster off the field and replace it with another. Its 3000 ATK makes it larger than most cards in the Extra Deck, leaving just Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, a Rank 4 effect, or Tyranno Infinity. If you just searched Dogoran with Oviraptor you probably won't have another way to get Tyranno that turn. Adding more Kaijus to the deck helps by creating consistencies within the Kaiju engine. It's easier to have two Kaijus on hand when you can search one of them at a moment's notice.

Interrupted Kaiju Slumber is great in this deck. It's a quick way to clear the field, trigger your baby Dragons, and set up later deck searches. There's little reason not to play the Kaiju engine here, especially with True Kings and True Dracos finally entering the TCG. As widespread as Kaijus are now, be prepared to see even more of them in March and June.

Planning For The Mirror Match
The Dinosaur mirror match is complicated by Souleating Oviraptor's effect, which allows it to destroy a Level 4 or lower Dinosaur on either side of the field to Special Summon a Dinosaur from the graveyard. In other match-ups you'll need to destroy your own Dinosaurs, or destroy a Token created by Lost World. In the mirror match, however, you could destroy your opponent's Main Deck monsters. There's an extra element of strategy whenever you're playing against a deck with Dinosaur monsters, and it adds extra considerations when leaving your own Dinosaurs face-up on the field.

Survival's End, another Super Rare from Dinomasher's Fury, is especially strong in the mirror match and against other strategies running a good number of Normal Monsters or Tokens. Its effect destroys all Normal Monsters on the field and allows you to Special Summon Level 4 or lower Dinosaurs from the deck up to the number of monsters destroyed. Those monsters are destroyed during the End Phase, but that's fine. You're already playing somewhere between four and six Dinosaurs that net another Summon when they're destroyed.

You can use Survival's End on its own to trade your Normal Dinosaurs, or Tokens, for Souleating Oviraptor and Miscellaneousaurus. If Survival's End was a Continuous Spell I think it'd see Main Deck play in some variants, but as a Normal Trap it's too slow to offset its narrow requirements. Normal Monsters occupy just a few slots in Dinosaurs, but because Survival's End is a trap and can destroy monsters on both sides of the field, you can use your opponent's monsters to supplement the small number of targets in your deck.

 Survival's End
Survival's End130140
Set Structure Deck: Dinosmasher's Fury
Number SR04-EN030
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Destroy as many Normal Monsters on the field as possible, and if you do, Special Summon Level 4 or lower Dinosaur-Type monsters from your Deck, up to the number destroyed, but destroy them during the End Phase. You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 Dinosaur-Type monster you control and 1 card your opponent controls; destroy them.

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Survival's End is disruption with a benefit much like Starlight Road. It's especially destructive against Rescue Rabbit both denying your opponent a Rank 4 Xyz while Special Summoning two Dinosaurs from your deck. It's a strong play that completely reverses the flow of the duel and forces your opponent to use Abyss Dweller or Ultimate Conductor Tyranno to sweep your baby Dinosaurs off the field without triggering their effects. You can also use Survival's End in response to a Normal Summon of a Normal Dinosaur, or following Unexpected Dai.

Lost World puts a Token on the field too, so provided your opponent is playing a Lost World build they'll freely give you a Token to set up the conditions for Survival's End. In that situation you're actually preventing Souleating Oviraptor from resolving by nuking its target on the field. Oviraptor is the most worrying part of Survival's End because it can destroy your exposed Dinosaurs. However, the threat of an Oviraptor follow-up is somewhat mitigated by the graveyard effect of Survival's End.

You can banish Survival's End from the graveyard to destroy a Dinosaur monster you control and a card your opponent controls. That effect is available as soon as Survival's End hits the graveyard, so you can use it to take out another monster if your opponent tries to make headway with Oviraptor or Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. End's effect also triggers your baby Dinosaurs. It's no surprise that Survival's End has become a must-play Side Deck card for the mirror match, but that's not the only match-up where it's sided in.

There are a few considerations to make when playing against Lost World. First, your opponent can keep their own Normal Monsters safe with Lost World's effect, so Survival's End might end up helping them more than you. Conversely, the same is true if your opponent has sided in Survival's End. You'll definitely want to lead with Lost World before you commit a Normal Monster to the field.

Metalfoes also feature plenty of Normal Monsters. Survival's End kicks their monsters back into the Extra Deck, including nearly all of the Metalfoes Main Deck monsters and the Qliphort engine. Survival's End is a great response to Fullmetalfoes Fusion or Metalfoes Fusion, and disrupts the Qliphort engine by destroying both Level 5 Machines before they can be overlayed for Cyber Nova Dragon. Keep in mind that non-effect Fusion Monsters are not considered Normal Monsters. It's also possible for your opponent to chain Fullmetalfoes Fusion to Survival's End and rob you of your potential Summons.

The graveyard effect of Survival's End is unsurprisingly excellent against Metalfoes. It can destroy a Pendulum Spell, Zoodiac Barrage, Fusion Monster, or an Xyz Material before they can be put to use. Survival's End is easily among the best Side Deck options Dinosaurs have for Metalfoes alongside Imperial Order and Anti-Spell Fragrance. Its utility against the mirror match is ensuring its play in most topping Dinosaur builds.

Dinosaurs have huge potential this year as with True King variants, and their synergies with Kaijus will help them stay competitive at the highest levels of competition.

Until next time then


Kelly​​​ ​​​Locke​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​a​​​ ​​​West​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​ ​​​gamer,​​​ ​​​writer,​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​college​​​ ​​​student.​​​ ​​​​​​ ​​​In​​​ ​​​addition​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​writing​​​ ​​​on TCGplayer,​​​ ​​​Kelly​​​ ​​​writes​​​ ​​​​​​personal​​​ ​​​blog​​​​​​ ​​​covering​​​ ​​​Yugioh,​​​ ​​​Destiny,​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​other​​​ ​​​hobbies.​​​ ​​​You​​​ ​​​can follow​​​ ​​​him​​​ ​​​on​​​ ​​​​​​Twitter​​​​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​check​​​ ​​​out​​​ ​​​his​​​ ​​​​​​Youtube​​​ ​​​channel​​​.​​​ ​​​​​​ ​​​He​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​currently​​​ ​​​studying​​​ ​​​marketing​​​ ​​​at Western​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​ ​​​University,​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​hopes​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​graduate​​​ ​​​before​​​ ​​​​​​Dragon​​​ ​​​Ravine​​​​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​Unlimited

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