Rerouting: Zefra

Loukas Peterson

6/15/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

I say I've enjoyed Zefra decks, but when have I ever really played them?

Sure, I've used Oracle of Zefra and [insert name of one or two Zefra cards] in a variety of strategies, but I've never sat down and straight-up played a pure Zefra deck. Oracle of Zefra's a ridiculously good Field Spell that at worst will be an even trade in card economy. Did I mention they also have their own version of Infernity Barrier called Zefra Divine Strike?

Even with ten Zefra monsters released all the way back in Crossed Souls, the theme never took off because, well, it was missing something. When most of your monsters either have a bad effect or drain your card economy, you won't get very far in competition. But thanks to new support from Maximum Crisis, a lot of our problems are solved. Today's contributor writes us from Canada…

I saw that Court of Appeals is going away! I'm going to miss you and Joe in that article… even if I never submitted anything. Anyway, I want to talk about Zefra. I think they're really good and literally no one I know is discussing the strategy. Have they not read Zefraath? That card is absolutely bonkers, and it's really easy to search. It's by far my favorite card in the deck.

I'm not sure if I should be playing so many copies of Terraforming, but maybe I should bump the deck total up a few cards to facilitate that? What are you thoughts there? I'm open to any suggestions. By the way, my email account kept autocorrecting Zefra to Zebra… sorry if any of those slipped in.

-Micah M. ~ Vancouver, BC

Micah's right - Zefraath and Zefra Providence are that good. Zefra War is good too, but honestly it's just icing on the cake… or, more like decorative flowers on the icing on the cake. Zefra War is revolutionary for getting your game started, and it's just swell in a niche roll - a Kelly Locke certified “Neat.”

Here's the deck list Micah sent our way.

    Zefras Ver 1.0 Micah M.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
1 Glow-Up Bulb
1 Maxx "C"
3 Ritual Beast Tamer Zeframpilica
2 Satellarknight Zefrathuban
1 Stellarknight Zefraxciton
3 Zefraath
3 Zefraniu, Secret of the Yang Zing
2 Zefraxa, Flame Beast of the Nekroz
3 Zefraxi, Treasure of the Yang Zing
Monsters [22]
2 Dark Hole
3 Oracle of Zefra
1 Raigeki
3 Terraforming
3 Zefra Providence
Spells [12]
1 Mirror Force
3 Zefra Divine Strike
2 Zefra War
Traps [6]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Ancient Fairy Dragon
2 Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing
1 Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Denglong, First of the Yang Zing
1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
1 Nirvana High Paladin
2 Number 39: Utopia
2 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


If you're anything like me, then Zefras also intrigue you with their rich lore. If not, you're missing out. But let's focus on core game mechanics for now.

Nomi monsters are a unique classification of cards that can only be Special Summoned through their own effects or effects that specifically say “this overwrites the whole ‘can't be special summoned' clause.” Nomi monsters like Grandsoil the Elemental Lord and Valkyrion the Magna Warrior are something we've just learned to accept, but a Pendulum Monster than can't be Pendulum Summoned? Just… weird.

Don't get me wrong - its monster effect is good because it pushes for damage and swarms the field, but that's secondary to its Pendulum effect. Once per turn, add a Zefra monster to your Extra Deck and steal its scale. In short, one card turns into five if you have an accompanying Zefra Pendulum monster. How? Activating a single Zefra Providence stacks the cards so much in your favor, literally and metaphorically.

Providence searches Oracle of Zefra, which in turn fetches Zefraath to fulfill whatever scale requirement you need for a Pendulum Summon. If you can Pendulum Summon Zefraniu, Secret of the Yang Zing, then you'll search a Zefra card and still have Zefra Providence in your graveyard to protect your cards.

It goes without saying, but Zefraath is serious muscle in this deck - it goes beyond the searching capabilities of Oracle of Zefra and Zefra Providence to fill multiple roles. And when your theme gets a good “boss” monster, the ancillary support always gets that much better!

 Oracle of Zefra
$12.17
$9.90
$4.99
Oracle of Zefra98462
Set Crossed Souls
Number CROS-EN060
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

When this card is activated: Add 1 "Zefra" monster from your Deck to your hand. When you Ritual Summon using a "Zefra" monster, or Special Summon using a "Zefra" monster as Material, you can activate these effects depending on the monster Summoned, once per turn per effect.
- Ritual: Shuffle 1 monster on the field into the Deck.
- Fusion: Special Summon 1 monster from your hand.
-Synchro: Choose 1 monster from your Deck and place it on top of your Deck.
- Xyz: Draw 1 card, then discard 1 card. You can only activate 1 "Oracle of Zefra" per turn.


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Take Oracle of Zefra's additional effects. Beyond searching, the Field Spell gets you a bit of a leg up on your opponent depending on your Special Summon using a Zefra card. By themselves, the effects of Oracle of Zefra just aren't that impactful when you really take a step back.

Whether you're refreshing your hand or stacking your deck, none of those effects will cut it as your big play for the turn. But with Zefra Providence in your graveyard to protect your monsters, or Zefraath to stack your Extra Deck, those smaller effects compound to create the muscle the strategy was lacking previously.

About That Stacking Effect
I wrote an article about a year ago that capitalized on Oracle of Zefra and Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal with ways to replenish your hand after “costly” Extra Deck summons. If you could only make one boss monster, the Xyz Effect of Oracle of Zefra most often suited you. However, the Synchro effect from Oracle of Zefra is better now because the buck doesn't stop there. If you make a Stardust Charge Warrior, you can chain your effects to stack a monster first, then draw it with Stardust. On its own that play wasn't too flashy, because it was your one “big” play for the turn.

But now, with more ways to search Zefra cards, stack your Extra Deck with monsters, and protect your investments, the Stardust Charge Warrior play functions as a great supporting move. Just Normal Summon Red Resonator, Special Summon a Level 4 Zefra monster, and as long as you have an active Oracle of Zefra on the field, you're good to go. Your other Zefra cards can balance the playing field with more ways to search your Zefra War or Zefra Divine Strike; that means you won't be so exposed.

Even though Maxx “C” is limited, we now have a way to effectively search it; include other hand traps like Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit for other options, and if you don't have of a way to make Stardust Charge Warrior I added Upstart Goblin and The True Name. Sylvan players have long used Upstart Goblin to draw into Sylvan Charity stacked by Mount Sylvania, and here it acts in the same way. Whether you need a hand trap or just another Zefra monster, those Spells will help you out.

Outside of Stardust Charge Warrior, the only other thing that needs fixing is a way to put Zefraath into the Extra Deck. Remember how hard it is to Summon? To even put it in the Extra Deck in the first place, you'll need to destroy it while it's in your Pendulum Zone. Satellarknight Zefrathuban and Satellarknight Zefraxciton are honestly the best way to do that outside of Zefra War, and the monsters are more searchable and play a bigger role in the overall scheme of things.

 Stardust Charge Warrior
$5.98
$2.41
$0.61
Stardust Charge Warrior115789
Set Premium Gold: Infinite Gold
Number PGL3-EN005
Level 6
Type Synchro/Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute WIND 
A / D 2000 / 1300
Rarity Gold Secret Rare
Card Text

1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
When this card is Synchro Summoned: You can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Stardust Charge Warrior" once per turn. This card can attack all Special Summoned monsters your opponent controls, once each.


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I'm adding Satellarknight Deneb to the deck simply because it's rarely a bad draw. It's not going to change the landscape of your duels that much, but it is another Normal Summon. Outside of Red Resonator and Glow-Up Bulb, there aren't a ton of options you're enthused about Normal Summoning, right? I don't think you'll ever find both copies dead, and if it helps complete your Pendulum Scale the card can't be that bad.

Nothing too major in terms of changes, but check it out!

-1 Ritual Beast Tamer Zeframpilica
-1 Zefraxi, Treasure of the Yang Zing
-2 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
-2 Dark Hole
-2 Terraforming
-1 Zefra War
-1 Zefra Divine Strike
-1 Mirror Force

-1 Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal
-1 Number 39: Utopia
-1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
-1 Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing
-1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer

+1 Satellarknight Zefrathuban
+3 Red Resonator
+2 Satellarknight Deneb
+1 Synkron Resonator
+1 Reinforcement of the Army
+1 Upstart Goblin
+2 The True Name
+2 Resonator Call

+1 Metaphys Horus
+2 Stardust Charge Warrior
+1 Coral Dragon
+1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

I'm not too worried about playing a deck with 42 cards - after all, we've seen lots of strategies excel with numbers anywhere from 40 to 60. Zefra decks have a lot of searching options and by keeping in a Terraforming, you have a ton of ways to get to your Zefraath.

    Zefras Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
1 Glow-Up Bulb
1 Maxx "C"
3 Red Resonator
2 Ritual Beast Tamer Zeframpilica
2 Satellarknight Deneb
3 Satellarknight Zefrathuban
1 Stellarknight Zefraxciton
1 Synkron Resonator
3 Zefraath
3 Zefraniu, Secret of the Yang Zing
2 Zefraxa, Flame Beast of the Nekroz
2 Zefraxi, Treasure of the Yang Zing
Monsters [25]
3 Oracle of Zefra
1 Raigeki
1 Reinforcement of the Army
2 Resonator Call
1 Terraforming
2 The True Name
1 Upstart Goblin
3 Zefra Providence
Spells [14]
2 Zefra Divine Strike
1 Zefra War
Traps [3]
Deck Total [42]

EXTRA DECK

1 Ancient Fairy Dragon
1 Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing
1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
1 Coral Dragon
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Denglong, First of the Yang Zing
1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
1 Metaphys Horus
1 Nirvana High Paladin
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
2 Stardust Charge Warrior
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


While you have plenty of Extra Deck threats, it's a surprising comfort to see some old school favorites make the cut. Not much beats the look on your opponent's face when you bring out Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier.

Newer cards can punish your opponent just as well and confuse them all the while. I guarantee virtually every one of your opponent's will have to read Nirvana High Paladin only to have it crush their dreams seconds later.

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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