Rerouting: Red-Eyes Toons

Loukas Peterson

11/23/2017 11:00:00 AM

Toons are definitely a fan favorite strategy, and while I know many duelists that claim to love Toons, I could count the number of Toon decks I've seen in real life on one hand even if I liked eating fingers for fun.

No joke, I think I've only seen two people pilot the strategy ever, though that small number remains quite the mystery. I'd assume that with all the love for the theme, the deck would take more spots at least at the local and Regional level. Today's reader from Arlington, Texas writes…

Toons have always been one of my favorite themes, but making a Toon deck is really hard. About half the Toon cards are just plain awful, and the other half are just reimagined boss monsters that don't do much outside of their original effects.

I want to play things like Toon Buster Blader, but why in the world would I?

I focused some on Rank 4 monsters, but I also tried to play to Toons' strengths… then I realized that I might as well just have a bunch of Toon cards in the deck. I want to keep the deck at 40 and play things like Allure of Darkness, but nothing seems to really fit. Any suggestions? I don't want to play a deck with Toon Mermaid in it anymore...

-Austin V. ~ Arlington, Texas

Toons have been around since Magic Ruler, but have they ever been a stellar strategy? Sadly, no, and that's despite the fact that I think we've seen a ton of versions of the theme. What's different about Austin's deck?

Check it out.

    Red-Eyes Toons Ver 1.0 Austin V.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 King Tiger Wanghu
2 Red-Eyes Toon Dragon
3 Toon Cannon Soldier
3 Toon Dark Magician
3 Toon Mermaid
Monsters [14]
3 Allure of Darkness
1 Comic Hand
1 Mimicat
1 Raigeki
2 Terraforming
3 Toon Kingdom
1 Toon Rollback
3 Toon Table of Contents
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [16]
2 Dimensional Barrier
2 Solemn Strike
3 Toon Briefcase
3 Toon Mask
Traps [10]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
3 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Gagaga Samurai
1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Number 106: Giant Hand
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Number 74: Master of Blades
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
Extra Deck [15]

I hope you're as excited as I am! Let's get to the changes. And yes, I promise that I'm going to take out Toon Mermaid. I don't think there's any imaginable dimension of reality where I want to play a deck using Toon Mermaid.

Well, I take that back - I made this really awful Toon Mermail hybrid after the Mermail Link monster was announced in the future LINK VRAINS pack, but boy oh boy did that turn out to be a Tragedy.

Because Crimson-Eyes Ebony Dragon Sounds Stupid
Even though Toons have been out since basically the dawn of Yu-Gi-Oh, actual Toon cards are in very short supply. After the first wave of Toon cards, it took years to get more Toons, but even things like Toon Gemini Elf and Took Goblin Attack Force weren't what anyone was looking for. If we include Manga Ryu-Ran, we only have 15 Toon monsters - yeah, 15!

To make matters worse, Toon support's surprisingly lacking in the spell and trap card department. Having just a “Toon” deck is basically a strategy full of holes unless you can miraculously play with zero interference from your opponent for a few turns while your Toons attack directly.

The two best Toon monsters are Toon Dark Magician and Red-Eyes Toon Dragon because both, well… do something. Toons like Toon Cyber Dragon and Toon Ancient Gear Golem are cute and nothing more. Their effects don't do anything for a Toon strategy, per se, and at best Toon Ancient Gear Golem could be brought out with Toon Mask so you could make an attack uninhibited, right? Yeah, that didn't inspire much confidence in me, either.

I always try to focus on a deck's strengths and cover all angles, and thanks to one of the best Toon monsters of all time, you can do both while still toying around with a fun strategy. Red-Eyes Toon Dragon ushers in a lot of Red-Eyes support - and while much of that Red-Eyes support isn't exactly stellar, it supplements the Toon strategy enough to warrant a mash-up. Take a look at all the cards dealing with consistency – suddenly we have something that holds together.

Toon Table of Contents and Terraforming search Toon Kingdom, but if you already have a Toon Kingdom, Toon Table also nets you whatever other Toon card you can think of. Allure of Darkness, Cards of the Red Stone, and Upstart Goblin cut your deck down a few hairs, and Red-Eyes Insight yards Red-Eyes Black Dragon to revive with Red-Eyes Metal Flare Dragon.

The biggest downside to having so many cards that search and thin your deck is the obvious weakness to hand traps like Droll & Lock Bird. Sadly, sometimes to play a strategy, you'll have to take the flowers with the weeds. But at least if you have extra copies of Toon cards, Toon Dark Magician can use them as fodder!

Cartoons Are For All Ages, Man
The biggest problem with Austin's deck is… well, the Toon cards. It can be disheartening to say, but the Toons need to come out. Obviously not all of the Toons, but what exactly are you going to do with Toon Cannon Soldier?

“Lose” is the most obvious answer to that question. And if this was a cheesy sitcom, you'd be hearing a laugh track right now.

Other cards like King Tiger Wanghu, while powerful in their own right, don't belong in a deck where they'll be literal cannon fodder 50% of the time, given options like Toon Cannon Soldier. The Black Stone of Legend, however, feeds right into your objective of fielding Red-Eyes monsters and is just as useful with its secondary effect to return Red-Eyes monsters back to your deck!

And cards like Toon Mask are just lesser versions of other options at your disposal. I mentioned Red-Eyes Insight before, which searches Red-Eyes Spirit but also another underappreciated card: Red-Eyes Fusion. Personally, I have a pretty hate/hate relationship with that card, but with three copies of Insight and the aforementioned Red-Eyes Fusion you'll have another way to open plays if your first five cards leave you bereft of any good moves.

 The Black Stone of Legend
The Black Stone of Legend123569
Set Legendary Decks II
Number LDK2-ENJ05
Level 1
Type Effect Monster
Monster Dragon
Attribute DARK 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 Level 7 or lower "Red-Eyes" monster from your Deck, except "Red-Eyes B. Chick". If this card is in your Graveyard: You can target 1 Level 7 or lower "Red-Eyes" monster in your Graveyard, except "Red-Eyes B. Chick"; shuffle it into the Deck, and if you do, add this card to your hand. You can only use 1 "The Black Stone of Legend" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
RoboGeif 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $2.63
Dice Addiction Pro 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $6.88
Dragons Keep Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $6.88
autocards 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $7.00
At Ease Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $7.15
Gators 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $7.20
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DreamDaze CFG 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $7.45
Buds Place 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $7.56
LWGamer 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $7.62

But in terms of something crazy, geez, I spent a while trying to fit Hieratic Dragon of Atum here, but I kept forgetting that Atum needs two Dragon-type monsters - meaning Toon Summoned Skull just won't cut it. That leaves your Hieratic Dragon of Eset high and dry.

In trying to go the extra mile adding new ways to spam your field with tons of Link monsters fueled by Triangle Twin Dragon, I ended up realizing that Toon decks, even Red-Eyes Toon Decks, just aren't the place for that particular ambition. I tried to fit in a ton of Hieratic monsters, but until we get Hieratic Toon Dragon of Eset, I don't think you're in a place to try that. It's important to scale back your aspirations as to not overextend.

The most symbiotic strategy between Red-Eyes and Toons lies in Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon and the Toons' ability to attack directly. It's relatively easy to field the big, bad Xyz, burn for a ton of damage, and if you revive Red-Eyes Toon Dragon with a Red-Eyes Spirit, there's 2400 damage attacking directly as soon as you start your turn. Archfiend Black Dragon Skull also burns your opponent for a fair amount of damage, too!

So that's the game plan: make Mountains out of mole hills and burn your opponent quickly. Check out the changes!

-3 Toon Cannon Soldier
-3 Toon Mermaid
-3 King Tiger Wanghu
-1 Comic Hand
-1 Toon Rollback
-1 Mimicat
-1 Toon Briefcase
-3 Toon Mask
-2 Dimensional Barrier
-1 Allure of Darkness

-1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
-1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
-1 Number 39: Utopia
-1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
-3 Gagaga Cowboy
-1 Number 106: Giant Hand
-1 Abyss Dweller
-1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
-1 Gagaga Samurai

+1 Summoned Skull
+1 Red-Eyes Toon Dragon
+3 The Black Stone of Legend
+2 Red-Eyes B. Dragon
+1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
+1 Red-Eyes Fusion
+3 Red-Eyes Insight
+3 Pot of Desires
+1 One for One
+2 Red-Eyes Spirit
+1 Solemn Warning

+1 Number 11: Big Eye
+1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
+2 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
+1 Archfiend Black Skull Dragon
+1 Ebon High Magician
+2 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
+1 Titanic Moth
+1 Decode Talker
+1 Link Spider

And here's the final deck - I don't mean to rag on the Toon cards so much, but they're objectively mediocre. Toon Mask will more than likely net you just a Level 4 Toon, and with my edits there just isn't room for the slew of less than average spells and traps.

Toon Briefcase, on the other hand, is a searchable trap to thwart your opponent! It's pretty solid. Here's what the final list looks like.

    Red-Eyes Toons Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Red-Eyes B. Dragon
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
3 Red-Eyes Toon Dragon
1 Summoned Skull
3 The Black Stone of Legend
3 Toon Dark Magician
Monsters [13]
2 Allure of Darkness
1 One for One
3 Pot of Desires
1 Raigeki
1 Red-Eyes Fusion
3 Red-Eyes Insight
2 Terraforming
3 Toon Kingdom
3 Toon Table of Contents
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [20]
2 Red-Eyes Spirit
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
2 Toon Briefcase
Traps [7]
Deck Total [40]


1 Archfiend Black Skull Dragon
1 Decode Talker
1 Ebon High Magician
2 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1 Link Spider
2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
2 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Number 28: Titanic Moth
1 Number 74: Master of Blades
3 Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
Extra Deck [15]

I'm happy to see just how many older themes will be getting Link Monsters to facilitate their strategies, and perhaps Toons could get a new Link as a result? Both Toon Dark Magician and Red-Eyes Toon Dragon field other Toons, so a Link 2 would fit well into the strategy. Heck, I'd be happy with any new Toon cards!

I'd love to see every theme, and I mean EVERY theme get updated legacy support. Come on, who wouldn't want to see Iron Chains get new cards?

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 trying to figure out his life 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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