Rerouting Deck Fix: Rank 4 Dinos

Loukas Peterson

12/14/2017 11:00:00 AM

Dinosaur-types have never really had their own deck until very recently.

Sure, Dino Rabbit used several Normal Dinosaurs, and one third of the Evolzar family tree are Dinosaurs. But until Dinosmasher's Fury the old dinos didn't really have a place to call home. And with the most recent Forbidden & Limited List, it became clear that the new Dinosaur deck's real strength came from True King Lithosagym, the Disaster and Denglong, First of the Yang Zing. Without those cards it's just been a bricky mess.

Or so one might think. Today's contributor from South Dakota writes…

I'm sick of seeing Dinosaur decks that only focus on Dragonic Diagram. We get it - they're extremely boring, and no one cares anymore. I want to play with Rank 4 monsters, but I also don't want to rely on Link Monsters too much. The only idea I really had was adding another Diamond Dire Wolf, but then I realized how much I depended on Links.

Then I went down the route of using Summoner Monk, and I found it serves two purposes: it puts a monster on the board if I want to go crazy with Links, but it also gets me to Souleating Oviraptor. I'm tired of seeing most decks revolve around Firewall Dragon, so if you could not add that card, that would be my kind of deck.


-Archer M. ~ Sioux City, South Dakota

I share the same sentiment as Archer, and while I'm not totally averse to Dragonic Diagram Dinosaur decks, I understand where he's coming from.

With a mix of Field Spells, smaller Dinosaurs that only activate effects when destroyed, and Level 9 Wyrms, things can either work heavily in your favor or go pathetically awry. Check out his deck.

    Rank 4 Dinos Ver 1.0 Archer M.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Babycerasaurus
3 Giant Rex
1 Maxx "C"
3 Megalosmasher X
1 Miscellaneousaurus
3 Rescue Rabbit
3 Souleating Oviraptor
3 Summoner Monk
Monsters [20]
3 Fossil Dig
3 Gold Sarcophagus
2 Lost World
3 Pot of Desires
1 Soul Charge
3 Terraforming
3 Unexpected Dai
Spells [18]
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
3 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
3 Survival's End
Traps [8]
Deck Total [46]


1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
2 Diamond Dire Wolf
3 Evolzar Dolkka
2 Evolzar Laggia
1 Link Spider
2 Missus Radiant
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Tornado Dragon
Extra Deck [15]

And as I said before, the Forbidden and Limited List wasn't too kind to Dinosaurs, and Link monsters as a Summoning Mechanic put a kink in many meticulously crafted combos. But in the words of my Dad, “Stop complaining and eat it and then see what happens.”

Though now that I think about it, that doesn't really apply hear.

If These Bones Could Talk
Think back to Dino Rabbit's reign in 2012, if you played Yu-Gi-Oh! back then. Your best opening turns ended in an Evolzar Laggia or Evolzar Dolkka backed up by as many as five traps with at least one of them being a Solemn Counter Trap. It was virtually impossible to play around Evolzar Laggia, Solemn Warning, and Solemn Judgment, but things are bit different now. That setup isn't going to be so practical anymore.

The deck usually won by grinding down your opponent until you simply had more resources than they did, being careful to sparingly negate threats. With the release of literally thousands of cards since then, the game's changed - and being able to do gobs of damage in a single turn is of paramount importance. A lot of Dino one-turn-kill decks have shown promise but ultimately faltered.

Given that Archer wants to steer away from cards “technically” outside the Dino family, it's fair to steer away from Dragonic Diagram. But there are other cards that can be pretty dicey as well, namely Lost World. With Dragonic Diagram Terraforming will have two viable searches, but Lost World's protection effect for your monsters and attack decrease don't garner you much card economy. Combined with Souleating Oviraptor you can abuse Babycerasaurus and other like-Dinos in the deck, but that's a fair number of cards that could also clog your hand.

Likewise, Summoner Monk doesn't serve much purpose beyond getting spell cards out of your hand. You'll already have lots of ways to see Souleating Oviraptor or possibly a better Normal Summon like Rescue Rabbit. Keeping Summoner Monk for the sole purpose of ditching extra Spells doesn't merit three spots, but there's a better pool of cards that get you an “extra” monster on the field.

 Brilliant Fusion
Brilliant Fusion122379
Set 2016 Mega-Tins Mega Pack
Number MP16-EN082
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When this card is activated: Fusion Summon 1 "Gem-Knight" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your Deck as Fusion Materials, but change its ATK and DEF to 0. If this card leaves the field, destroy that monster. Once per turn: You can discard 1 Spell Card; the monster Special Summoned by this card's effect gains ATK and DEF equal to its original ATK and DEF, until the end of your opponent's turn. You can only activate 1 "Brilliant Fusion" per turn.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Brolysshop Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $1.76
BobbyFernandezPlus Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $1.89
Blue Diamond 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $2.20
The Bat Cave 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $2.78
ATKM Games 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $2.93
Showtime Cards Unlimited - Near Mint 4 $2.95
YGO Black Market Unlimited - Near Mint 4 $2.95
Amazing Discoveries Unlimited - Lightly Played 4 $2.96
Amazing Discoveries 1st Edition - Lightly Played 11 $2.96
eddiefivs Cards 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $3.00

Brilliant Fusion and Gem-Knight Seraphinite make for a compact suite of cards that tend to rotate in and out of popularity. Whether you're playing Brilliant in Performapal Pendulums or Zombies or ABC's, a single activation of a Brilliant Fusion can prove to be pivotal over the course of a duel. When your deck's also stocked with Normal Monsters and Rescue Rabbit, having the second Normal Summon fuels your combos and will inadvertently feed plays centering around Souleating Oviraptor. There's no real reason not to play Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, but the Brilliant Fusion engine really mandates that you should.

But even if we slim down the pools of larger monsters and Dragonic Diagrams, you'll still have enough big threats in deck to fuel some longer combos. Even with just one Babycerasaurus or Miscellaneousaurus, you can still punish your opponent by way of Synchros thanks to Jurrac Aeolo.

Second Is The New First
Going first would make a lot more sense if you had a slew of traps to backup your Evolzar Xyz, but in some ways going second is just better. You'll have more cards to play with and it lets you run Evenly Matched. That card's still quite the pretty penny on the secondary market, but it has high utility in a lot of Main and Side decks - not just a Rank 4 friendly OTK like this one.

Evenly Matched can be devastating to your opponent, especially if you follow it up with a big board backed by Evolzar Laggia, but I want to emphasize Evenly Matched to highlight the fact that going first and going second are both fine options. Some decks like Trickstars can perform their entire strategy without a Battle Phase, but Archer's updated version welcomes the card as well.

Survival's End is one of those cards that I want to give a nod to, but it's apparent that the lack of Lost World makes Survival's End a tough card to use. And without stuffing your deck with extra cards like Babycerasaurus, Survival's End just isn't as effective.

Don't get me started on my quickly abandoned idea involving Jurassic Impact.

Moving on, D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation is one of my favorite cards by far, even though it takes me a good 45 seconds to type the entire name. Gold Sarcophagus pairs perfectly with Giant Rex to instantly field a Level 4 monster, but it has merit for cards like, oh, nearly every monster in your deck. It's not exactly good for your card economy to banish a Rescue Rabbit with Gold Sarcophagus and then bring it back with D. D. R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation, but in a pinch you can field virtually any monster, including Rescue Rabbit.

 Giant Rex
Giant Rex136816
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN027
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Dinosaur
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2000 / 1200
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Cannot attack directly. If this card is banished: You can Special Summon this card, and if you do, it gains 200 ATK for each of your banished Dinosaur monsters. You can only use this effect of "Giant Rex" once per turn.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
whynotbuyitall 1st Edition - Near Mint 9 $0.41
Works 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.40
Game Nut 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.50
Ganbarimasu 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.71
Game Nut 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.75
Dragons Keep Gaming 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.78
SJAuction Company 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.79
Hideaway Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 7 $1.79
SCS CardShop 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $1.80
Dragons Keep Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.81

Lastly, it recycles Miscellaneousaurus, and I shouldn't need to remind you how good that card is. At the most basic level it can get Babycerasaurus on the table, but recycling it means you can activate its effect earlier in the duel if you need to. Again, some of those situations may come across as posturing, but I just put them out there to demonstrate that your decision tree of options is pretty expansive,

Check out the changes!

-1 Babycerasaurus
-2 Giant Rex
-3 Summoner Monk
-1 Unexpected Dai
-3 Terraforming
-2 Lost World
-3 Solemn Strike
-1 Solemn Warning
-1 Bottomless Trap Hole
-3 Survival's End

-2 Evolzar Dolkka
-1 Missus Radiant
-1 Link Spider

+1 Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow
+2 Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
+2 Sabersaurus
+1 Jurrac Aeolo
+1 Gem-Knight Garnet
+2 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
+3 Brilliant Fusion
+3 Evenly Matched

+1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
+1 Decode Talker
+1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
+1 Hi-Speedroid Chanbara

And here's the final deck!

    Rank 4 Dinos Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Babycerasaurus
1 Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow
1 Gem-Knight Garnet
1 Giant Rex
1 Jurrac Aeolo
1 Maxx "C"
3 Megalosmasher X
1 Miscellaneousaurus
3 Rescue Rabbit
2 Sabersaurus
3 Souleating Oviraptor
2 Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
Monsters [21]
3 Brilliant Fusion
2 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
3 Fossil Dig
3 Gold Sarcophagus
3 Pot of Desires
1 Soul Charge
2 Unexpected Dai
Spells [17]
3 Evenly Matched
Traps [3]
Deck Total [41]


1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Decode Talker
2 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Evolzar Dolkka
2 Evolzar Laggia
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
1 Hi-Speedroid Chanbara
1 Missus Radiant
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Tornado Dragon
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Extra Deck [15]

Two copies of Missus Radiant isn't necessary, but then again, a handful of these cards aren't integral to the strategy. Do you really need Hi-Speedroid Chanbara? No, but I guess in that case you don't really need to win the duel. And any deck where I can play Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, I will.

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 submitting ideas for Fabled support and a Fabled Link monster, you can find making “attempts” at “art” and playing his ukulele terribly, or on Wednesday nights, hanging out with the local raccoons. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking at expanding his apartment to house every dog in the world.

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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