Rerouting Deck Fix: Norito Dark Magician

Loukas Peterson

9/21/2017 11:00:00 AM

I don't have any good reason for liking Norito the Moral Leader - it's incredibly hard to Summon, its ATK is only so good, and its effect makes it a worse Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En.

Its art isn't cute, and it's not called “Norito the Fabled Leader” or anything like that. But much to the chagrin of Doug “Spirits Inherently Have a Good Matchup Against Spellbooks” Zeeff, I'm still on board with Norito four years after its release.

This week's contributor from Canada writes…

Toying around with various Lightsworn, Dark Magician, and Pendulum Magician builds has lead me here - to a Dark Magician and Lightsworn deck that uses Norito the Moral Leader! It's too hard to get out for the average duelist, but this isn't an average deck. I added the Lightsworn cards to make Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss on my way to Norito.

What, did you expect me to use Dark Magician Girl and Cybernetic Magician? You're not the only who can search the database. I kid, but I also don't kid - there are hardly any good Level 6 Spellcasters - gah! Help me out, here - I started, now you finish!

-Alabaster F. ~ British Columbia, Canada

I've played Norito the Moral Leader in several features before, but it's rarely if ever been the highlight of the strategy I was working on. As Alabaster and I both stated… it's just so darn hard to get out.

Flashback to 2014 when my friend beat me 37 times with Sylvans running three Soul Charge while I cried into a pile of Gagaga cards, and you have the lowest point of my relationship with Norito.

Here's Alabaster's submission - hopefully it will get you in the right mindset.

    Norito Dark Magician Ver 1.0 Alabaster F.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Chaos Sorcerer
3 Dark Magician
3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
2 Magician of Dark Illusion
2 Magician's Rod
1 Maxx "C"
2 Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden
1 Prophecy Destroyer
Monsters [17]
2 Charge of the Light Brigade
2 Dark Magic Attack
1 Dark Magic Inheritance
3 Dark Magical Circle
1 Illusion Magic
3 Pot of Desires
3 Solar Recharge
2 Spellbook of Knowledge
3 Spellbook of Secrets
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [21]
3 Eternal Soul
3 Magician Navigation
Traps [6]
Deck Total [44]


1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
2 Ebon High Magician
2 Ebon Illusion Magician
2 Norito the Moral Leader
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon
1 Number 74: Master of Blades
1 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
2 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
2 Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss
Extra Deck [15]

There's a lot right with Alabaster's deck - but there's also a lot that I'm going to change!

It wouldn't be Rerouting without a shift of perspective.

Did Someone Say Chaos?
Actually yeah, Alabaster did - and that's… both good and bad. Norito the Moral Leader needs two Level Six Spellcasters, and the first time I read that I had to go lie down for a while. There aren't many good Level 6 Spellcasters, and by that I mean there really aren't that many good options. Excluding Extra Deck monsters, Forbidden cards, and things like Dai-sojo of the Ice Barrier, your pickings are slim - it makes sense that Chaos Sorcerer was a go-to pick.

Chaos Sorcerer isn't as easy to Summon as I'd like despite the minimal requirements; you'll have to get your graveyard going on top of drawing the darn thing, which can put it out of reach of the early game. Loading up on Chaos Sorcerer reminds me of those Twilight Agent decks that played multiple copies of Master Hyperion, Chaos monsters, and Archlord Kristya; when those decks worked, they were great. But when you drew cards out of order, oh boy, was it ever time to lose.

Dark Magicians already suffer from some level of inconsistency, so your best bet is to ditch the superfluous high-risk cards.

Don't get me wrong - I've used Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner and Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden to make Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss before, and that's half of your Norito requirements. But between Solar Recharge and Charge of the Light Brigade, things are just getting out of hand.

 Charge of the Light Brigade
Charge of the Light Brigade72471
Set Stardust Overdrive
Type Spell Card
Monster spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard; add 1 Level 4 or lower "Lightsworn" monster from your Deck to your hand.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
TzTokTrades Limited - Moderately Played 1 $0.99
starlightroad Limited - Moderately Played 1 $0.99
Video Game World Limited - Heavily Played 1 $1.42
Collector's Cache Limited - Damaged 1 $1.50
A+ Comics Limited - Lightly Played 1 $1.79
wickedcomics Limited - Lightly Played 1 $1.85
GameTimeCC Limited - Damaged 2 $1.92
cookiemart Limited - Lightly Played 1 $2.03
Dolly's Toys & Games Limited - Lightly Played 2 $2.05
GameTimeCC Limited - Heavily Played 1 $2.06

As I said, Dark Magicians can falter when your hand is mismatched, and nothing hurts quite like having a hand of useless cards. I think the better option is Apprentice Illusion Magician.

It literally says “Dark Magician” in the card description, so the marriage between that card and this deck is automatically apparent. Illusion Magician's second effect is a nice backup plan, but throwing down a Level 6 Spellcaster and actually netting card economy works in your favor and it's going to become our focus today. Hitting the field for free is great, but the free Dark Magician is just as good if not better!

If you think you don't need Dark Magician at the helm… boy are you mistaken. Illusion Magic is good, but Apprentice Illusion Magician just fills that role better.

Get Ready, Muchacho
I can hear the sounds of children wailing in the distance ever so faintly as I suggest adding more Spellbooks, but they're important for a myriad of reasons. Dark Magician decks can rely on Pot of Duality, Card of Demise, and other slow options, but you don't have time to sit around and put your life on pause once you add Apprentice Illusion Magician to the mix. I think it changes the deck pretty radically, breathing life into a lot of other cards that were just weaker without it.

Allure of Darkness is a big one - speeding through your deck is swell, but do you know how awful banishing Dark Magician is? Imagine banishing two of them. Actually, here's an experiment: take a match and burn your entire deck to ashes - congrats, you have the same win probability as someone who just banished multiple Dark Magicians.

But with Apprentice Illusion Magician you have a ready-to-go “extra” Dark Magician. You'll effectively see a Dark Magician whenever you have it, and extra copies of Apprentice become fodder for Allure of Darkness as well.

By adding more Spellbooks and concentrating on Special Summoning mid-deck thin, Dark Magic Veil and D.D.R. - Reincarnation both become viable. You'll be chugging through your deck, throwing cards away left and right, and Limited copies of those cards are no longer stymied by your Special Summon restrictions.

 Apprentice Illusion Magician
Apprentice Illusion Magician131116
Set Shonen Jump Magazine Promos
Number JUMP-EN080
Level 6
Type Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2000 / 1700
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by discarding 1 card. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Dark Magician" from your Deck to your hand. During damage calculation (in either player's turn), if your other DARK Spellcaster-Type monster battles an opponent's monster: You can send this card from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; that monster you control gains 2000 ATK and DEF during that damage calculation only.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
ZMadison Cards Limited - Near Mint 1 $16.00
cheapsingletcg Limited - Near Mint 1 $17.90
FrozenCactus Cards Limited - Near Mint 1 $17.94
Area51TCG Limited - Near Mint 1 $18.23
Game Goblins Limited - Lightly Played 4 $18.68
NWGamersChoice Limited - Near Mint 1 $19.14
QuagmireCollectibles Limited - Near Mint 1 $20.47
Yugioh Black Market Limited - Near Mint 46 $20.50
OverdoseGaming Limited - Near Mint 4 $20.94
CoreTCG Limited - Near Mint 23 $20.99

I know it seems risky to be blazing along and tossing away cards with Apprentice Illusion Magician and D.D.R., but if you've ever played Dark Magicians, you know you'll wind up with spare cards that are doing nothing for you in your hand anyways. You might as well use them to pay costs for powerful effects.

With more Spellbooks it makes sense to add Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. Now that Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner has hit the road, you need more Normal Summons, right? I'll hold off a bit with just two Spellbook Magicians. While it's a catalyst for your Spellbook cards, Magician's Rod is more important. Nobody ever won a duel by just drawing cards, and the Spellbook forces devolve into a glorified hoard of Upstart Goblins if you don't have win conditions in mind.

After adding infrastructure like Allure of Darkness, you'll just need to buffer the ratios and keep your good cards close at hand. Dark Magical Circle should be played at three, and where's the love for Magician Navigation? Ok, so I totally bashed Magician Navigation in my last Dark Magician article , but with Apprentice Illusion Magician you have a proactive way of getting to the ultimate wizard in terms of attack and defense.

Here are the changes!

-3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
-2 Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden
-3 Chaos Sorcerer
-2 Charge of the Light Brigade
-3 Solar Recharge
-1 Dark Magic Attack
-1 Upstart Goblin
-3 Pot of Desires
-1 Magician Navigation
-1 Eternal Soul

-1 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
-1 Ebon High Magician
-1 Ebon Illusion Magician
-2 Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss

+3 Apprentice Illusion Magician
+1 Magician's Rod
+2 Spellbook Magician of Prophecy
+3 Allure of Darkness
+1 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
+2 Dark Magic Veil
+1 Spellbook of Wisdom
+2 Solemn Strike
+1 Solemn Warning
+2 Dimensional Barrier

+1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
+1 Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk
+1 Firewall Dragon
+2 Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow

And here's the final deck!

    Norito Dark Magician Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Apprentice Illusion Magician
3 Dark Magician
2 Magician of Dark Illusion
3 Magician's Rod
1 Maxx "C"
1 Prophecy Destroyer
2 Spellbook Magician of Prophecy
Monsters [15]
3 Allure of Darkness
1 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
1 Dark Magic Attack
1 Dark Magic Inheritance
2 Dark Magic Veil
3 Dark Magical Circle
1 Illusion Magic
2 Spellbook of Knowledge
3 Spellbook of Secrets
1 Spellbook of Wisdom
Spells [18]
2 Dimensional Barrier
2 Eternal Soul
2 Magician Navigation
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
Traps [9]
Deck Total [42]


1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
1 Ebon High Magician
1 Ebon Illusion Magician
1 Firewall Dragon
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
2 Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow
2 Norito the Moral Leader
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon
1 Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk
1 Number 74: Master of Blades
1 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
1 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
Extra Deck [15]

Any time you can play Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk effectively, I'm all for it. Thanks to the Extra Monster Zones ushered in with the new Link Summoning rules, you'll get a full five Tokens to use for Link Summons.

Since you don't have many good Link Monsters you won't be able to swarm the field indefinitely, but hey - extra Tokens will always be a good thing if you just need fodder for your plays. Most of the Link Monsters we have are extremely restrictive. Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk may only be able to pump out two Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadows – make one with the Tomahawk itself and pay for the other entirely with Tokens – but two big Links with two free Linked Zones ain't bad.

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 making “attempts” at “art” and playing his ukulele terribly, or on Thursday nights, practicing punching the air for an upcoming contest. 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 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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