Rerouting: Dark World Paleozoics

Loukas Peterson

7/20/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

I don't think anyone has ever sat down across from a Paleozoic or Dark World opponent and said “Golly gee, I'm so lucky to have this match-up!”

Both strategies can be deadly, and while each are somewhat linear, they've proven to be strong and occasionally unbeatable; well worth their reputation for frustration. Sure, Dark Worlds don't have Card Destruction or Morphing Jar these days, and Paleozoics are overshadowed by Zoodiac decks, but both strategies can establish early game setups that are impossible to overcome.

At first glance there isn't much tying these strategies together, but they have some surprising interactions both incidental, and in their actual card effects. This week's contributor writes…

Dark Worlds were always my favorite deck, even back when I used Dark Coffin to pitch my hand. They were quite good in 2011, until the loss of Card Destruction and Morphing Jar stamped out the deck's potential. Dragged Down into the Grave and Eradicator Epidemic Virus were really powerful tools to help you control the flow of the game.

Playing Dark Worlds more recently, I realized that they had very Little Defense on the opponent's turn, save for Dark Smog. But I was through some cards with a friend, trying to come up with new cards to help his Dinosaur deck, and we discovered that Paleozoic Dinomischus didn't discard as a cost, like most other defensive cards. From there I added more traps, including more Paleozoics for more extra deck options.

Thank you, I hope that you can work something out!

-Nathan H ~ Durham, North Carolina

I've flown into the Raleigh-Durham airport about a dozen times for work, and I honestly forgot that both Raleigh and Durham were two distinct cities and not just one giant metropolis. The reverse is just as confusing where Kansas City is both in Missouri and Kansas; it's the same city but also not the same city simultaneously.

Less confusing than big cities here in the United States of America, Nathan's deck…

    Dark World Paleozoics Ver 1.0 Nathan H.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World
3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
1 Fiendish Rhino Warrior
3 Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World
3 Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World
3 Snoww, Unlight of Dark World
1 Tour Guide From the Underworld
Monsters [15]
3 Allure of Darkness
1 Dark World Dealings
3 Dragged Down into the Grave
1 Foolish Burial
2 The Gates of Dark World
Spells [10]
1 Eradicator Epidemic Virus
2 Magic Deflector
3 Paleozoic Canadia
3 Paleozoic Dinomischus
3 Paleozoic Olenoides
2 Quaking Mirror Force
1 Skill Drain
Traps [15]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 D/D/D Stone King Darius
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Number 22: Zombiestein
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 61: Volcasaurus
1 Number 77: The Seven Sins
1 Number 84: Pain Gainer
2 Paleozoic Opabinia
1 Sky Cavalry Centaurea
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
1 Toadally Awesome
1 Tornado Dragon
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Nathan made it clear - Paleozoic Dinomischus is the best factor tying these strategies together. It's like Karma Cut but triggers Dark World cards of the discard, and if your play a Paleozoic and a Dark World card together, you get to trigger a lot of stuff all at once.

I Wish I Had Good Jokes
If you've ever played Dark Worlds before, you'll know one of the biggest obstacles to victory is your own deck. Despite all the searching and draw power, Dark Worlds are surprisingly susceptible to poor opening hands and they can really stall out on you. On paper you'd think the exact opposite, but I guess that's life for ya.

It isn't going to be a popular choice, but I do think Pot of Duality and Upstart Goblin are necessary in this deck. A lot of Dark World's power comes from the recursive boss monster of Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World, but getting to your necessary cards is all-important here. With the addition of Paleozoics in the Main Deck, it won't be as farfetched to have a slower opening turn.

Nothing is worse than getting a mismatched slew of cards in your opening hand. Imagine starting with Foolish Burial, two Paleozoic traps, a Grapha, and Eradicator Epidemic Virus? There are dozens of permutations that would all be disastrous, and adding “blank” cards like Duality Shrink your deck to make for mathematically better opening hands. But in doing so, we'll need to take out cards that would staunch our opening hands to lessen the overall number of bad starts.

Quick, list the three best Rank 5 monsters! I did this challenge myself and thought of Cyber Dragon Infinity, Panzer Dragon, and another Cyber Dragon Infinity, which tells you a lot about Rank 5 monsters.

 Cyber Dragon Infinity
$10.99
$6.80
$3.89
Cyber Dragon Infinity122534
Set 2016 Mega-Tins Mega Pack
Number MP16-EN237
Level 6
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2100 / 1600
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

3 Level 6 LIGHT Machine-Type monsters
Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Cyber Dragon Infinity" by using "Cyber Dragon Nova" you control as the Xyz Material. (Xyz Materials attached to that monster also become Xyz Materials on this card.) This card gains 200 ATK for each Xyz Material attached to it. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up Attack Position monster on the field; attach it to this card as a face-up Xyz Material. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when a card or effect is activated: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it.


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Yes, Number 61: Volcasaurus is an awesome card, but my point is that Rank 5's just aren't that great, and Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World's saving grace of being an Xyz Material is moot. Yes, a free 2300 or 2600 beatstick with The Gates of Dark World is neat, but I don't think beatdown strategies have been viable in Yu-Gi-Oh! since Goblin Attack Force was considered a good monster.

Bouncing a Dark World monster to Special Summon Grapha from the graveyard will ultimately be your goal anyway, so unless you're pining to actually make an Xyz Summon, whatever Dark World you have on hand purely fills a niche roll and is otherwise useless.

But to make situations just a wee better, I'd rather have other monsters than Goldd in a pinch. If I just wanted a beatstick, I'd vouch for Lucent, Netherlord of Dark World with more ATK than Goldd, but Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World is better than Goldd most of the time. It has more use for Xyz Summons and you can Normal Summon it if you don't have some way to make a discard.

Might Makes Right
At the end of the day, most of your victories will come from the sheer power of Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World. With The Gates of Dark World you'll have a 3000 ATK monster coming back turn after turn, so as long as you don't die, Grapha will do the heavy lifting. I'm not vouching for something like Threatening Roar to simply keep you alive, but the Paleozoic traps are defense enough. Quaking Mirror Force is useful to hit a swell of monsters, but I found Magic Deflector to be a very good choice for our purposes here.

I wanted to add Khakki, Guerilla of Dark World as it pops monsters in Level 2 form, but the effect isn't optional and it can actually destroy your own monsters. There's not much more to add that can give the deck a crazy twist, considering the two strategies have probably never been combined before. The twist is really the mashup itself.

That said, I was surprise to not see Paleozoic Leanchoilia in the original build. The Gates of Dark World is a great way to speed through your deck, but often leaves your graveyard dry for future activations. Even worse, you may have to banish your own Grapha just hoping to draw into something when times get tough! Paleozoic Leanchoilia refills your graveyard with a spare Paleozoic or a much needed Fiend monster, and is itself a trigger for an already yarded Paleozoic.

Cards like Fiendish Warrior Rhino and Dark World Dealings can help, but with one copy apiece, I don't think their impact will be that great when they're just at one copy and dependent on several other factors to offer any real assistance.

For a simply one-of, I've always been a fan of Gateway to Dark World. Unlike revival traps like Call Of The Haunted, or a proactive monster like Secret Sect Druid Dru, Gateway to Dark World toes the line as both an aggressive and defensive card. In a perfect world, you'd revive something like Snoww, Unlight of Dark World in your opponent's End Phase, but worst case scenario it can always just chump block an attack.

 Dragged Down into the Grave
$5.00
$1.60
$0.35
Dragged Down into the Grave66974
Set Legendary Collection 3: Yugi's World
Number LCYW-EN174
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

You and your opponent look at each other's hands, select 1 card from each other's hands and discard them to the Graveyard, and each draw 1 card.


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I really like Dragged Down into the Grave this format, though it restricts you from playing hand traps or too many Field Spells. Zero copies of Maxx “C” and only two copies of The Gates of Dark World are the right number going forward, so there's nothing to change there. In fact, there's little to change overall – that even goes for the Extra Deck, which I often like to customize. Without Goldd you'll have some wiggle room for an extra card of your choosing, and it was honestly a toss-up between Daigusto Phoenix and Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand.

Here are the changes!

-3 Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World
-1 Fiendish Rhino Warrior
-1 Dark World Dealings
-2 Quaking Mirror Force

-1 Number 61: Volcasaurus

+1 Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World
+3 Pot of Duality
+1 Gateway to Dark World
+1 Paleozoic Leanchoilia
+1 Skill Drain

+1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand

I really didn't get too crazy this time, did I? When you pilot Dark Worlds, there's a core deck that only allows you so much wiggle room. What, are you not going to play Allure of Darkness and Broww, Huntsman of Dark World? Of course you are; here's the final deck!

    Dark World Paleozoics Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World
3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
3 Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World
3 Snoww, Unlight of Dark World
1 Tour Guide From the Underworld
Monsters [12]
3 Allure of Darkness
3 Dragged Down into the Grave
1 Foolish Burial
1 Gateway to Dark World
3 Pot of Duality
2 The Gates of Dark World
Spells [13]
1 Breakthrough Skill
1 Eradicator Epidemic Virus
2 Magic Deflector
3 Paleozoic Canadia
3 Paleozoic Dinomischus
1 Paleozoic Leanchoilia
3 Paleozoic Olenoides
1 Skill Drain
Traps [15]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 D/D/D Stone King Darius
1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Number 22: Zombiestein
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 77: The Seven Sins
1 Number 84: Pain Gainer
2 Paleozoic Opabinia
1 Sky Cavalry Centaurea
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
1 Toadally Awesome
1 Tornado Dragon
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


I suppose there is a tiny bit o room or creativity in the Extra Deck. I've used Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss in a Dark World deck before, and I even tested Zoodiacs, but I wouldn't take out core cards like Leviair the Sea Dragon and Tornado Dragon. I'd go on at lengths complaining that Tornado Dragon should be called Tornado Wyrm, but we can save that for another day.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where it's warmer than warm, whatever that means. 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 on Thursday nights, practicing punching the air. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 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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