Rerouting Deck Fix: Penguin Fusions

Loukas Peterson

12/27/2017 11:00:00 AM

Sometimes I like decks purely for reasons that have nothing to do with their play value, and I know I'm not alone.

For the longest time, Toons were a fan favorite by pure virtue of being featured in the anime, and that type of love extends to other decks like Heroes, Armed Dragons, Junk, Harpies… I could go on. Today's contributor cited Penguins as a favorite thanks to their cutesy card art; writing us from Mexico City, here's what they had to say.

If anything would make me happy, it would be a Penguin Link Monster. The effect could be virtually anything you want it to be, but as long as I get another cute Penguin, I'd be happy. Fluffal Penguin does look a Little Dead inside, but that's probably on account of it being actually dead. Bolt Penguin looks snappy, so maybe the Link Monster could be a mellow version of those two.

Moving on, I love Penguins but I'm sad that the deck is so slow. The only good card is The Great Emperor Penguin, and there aren't any good monsters you can use in combination with Transmodify to actually summon it. That's why I didn't include Transmodify, but it certainly doesn't make me feel any better.

-Alta N. ~ Mexico City

Penguins technically have some cards that interact well with each other, but the theme is mostly tied together in name only. Check out Alta's deck below to see the hodge-podge Penguin family in action.

    Penguin Fusions Ver 1.0 Alta N.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Bolt Penguin
3 Fluffal Dog
3 Fluffal Penguin
2 Flying Penguin
3 Nightmare Penguin
2 Nopenguin
3 Penguin Soldier
3 Rescue Rabbit
3 The Great Emperor Penguin
Monsters [24]
3 Double Summon
1 Foolish Burial
3 Instant Fusion
2 Swing of Memories
3 Twin Twisters
3 Unexpected Dai
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [16]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Artifact Durendal
1 Bahamut Shark
1 Decode Talker
2 Deepsea Shark
1 Link Spider
3 Mistar Boy
1 Number 19: Freezadon
1 Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
2 Toadally Awesome
Extra Deck [15]

Meanwhile, I like the Penguin theme because of memes. You know your life is controlled by memes when this makes you laugh uncontrollably.

You need to know several layers of references to find that humorous, so hopefully your shared love for the Penguin deck runs deeper than silly pictures on the internet.

Warm Your Ice Cold Heart
When I said earlier that Penguins were largely just tied together in name, I meant that most of the Penguin effects don't go hand in hand… or in our case, flipper in flipper.

Two Penguins are Normal Monsters, one Penguin has an opponent-triggered Fiber Jar effect, some Penguins bounce cards to the hand… I guess you could say Nopenguin is the glue that holds the theme together? There have been dozens of variants that tried to really maximize the impact of Nopenguin's effect, but the last time I saw a good Penguin deck, Link Monsters didn't exist and Elder Entity Norden wasn't Forbidden.

If you didn't guess from the title, it's clear that I'm not making a Pure Penguin Party - I don't think we have enough monsters to make a truly dedicated Penguin deck with so many restrictions. But you can leverage other themes to prop up a central favorite strategy.

The first concept I envisioned was a mashup with the Paleozoic theme, but those and Frogs are the default for Water strategies, and I'd rather not jump back into that extremely familiar territory right now. The Paleozoics don't have much synergy with Penguins. I wrote on a Twilightsworn version of Paleozoics in the past, but that fits with the theme since both strategies profit from spitting things into the graveyard and Level 2 monsters are plentiful.

First and foremost, the tried and true Brilliant Fusion should make its entrance into the deck. Gem-Knight Seraphinite's obviously gold with an additional Normal Summon, but Gem-Knight Aquamarine acts as another way to get Nopenguin in the graveyard as well. I wouldn't call Nopenguin the lynchpin of the strategy, but for abusing Penguin effects, it's all too important. Brilliant Fusion throws a Water monster on the field for Link Summons and a Nopenguin in the graveyard with Aquamarine, or it provides the more “standard” second Normal Summon with Seraphinite.

 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  
Blue Diamond Unlimited - Near Mint 3 $14.00
Game Cafe 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $14.11
Goofys Emporium Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $14.98
TeamGuyaneseGamer Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $15.00
TeamGuyaneseGamer 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $15.00
Video Game World 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $15.50
Shawns Card Shop 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $15.84
OverdoseGaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $15.98
Memos Store 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $15.99
Cardhype 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $15.99

Secondly, adding Brilliant Fusion is an excuse to talk about another faction of the deck that can be supported once you diversify - Fluffal Wings. I know, that seems maybe like it comes out of left field, but considering that Fluffal Penguin is one of the best Penguin cards and we're already running it, well, you might as well jump ship from the Pure Penguin Train and hitch a ride on the Partial Penguin Express. For what it's worth, Penguins as a whole don't have any good ways of searching the deck to dig for answers or build resources.

Fluffals, ironically, do. If you've ever played a Fluffal deck before, you'll know that Fluffal Wings and Toy Vender are a match made in heaven. Or the graveyard, depending on how you phrase it. It speeds through your deck, discards things you either don't need from your hand or need in the graveyard, and it's a consistent way to get to your key cards and make your biggest plays.

The Greatest Of All Penguins
Of the ten Penguins, The Great Emperor Penguin is by far my favorite because it rewards you instantly. Its summn may come at a bit of a hefty cost since it's Level 5, but in return you get two Penguins straight from your deck. Despite looking completely silly, Penguin Soldier's your best bet. Even with the lack of defense it's twice as good as Nightmare Penguin for removing threats from your opponent, and from The Great Emperor Penguin, you can make an instant Toadally Awesome!

Of course, actually balancing the Penguins with your Fusion elements – namely the Gem-Knights and Frightfurs – is a delicate line to max out the strength of the deck without sacrificing your Penguin core. For max efficiency, you'll want to concentrate solely on the Penguins that have a future. Unexpected Dai, Bolt Penguin, Swing of Memories, Flying Penguin... I love the silliness of those cards, but I think they weigh you down in the long term. It means you need to remove Rescue Rabbit, but all you're really losing out on is a Rank 4.

The Frightfur Fusion monsters will simply generate stronger boards with better effects. It sounds plain, but I mean to be succinct on this. The Great Emperor Penguin is great for rounding out niche plays, but your options of summoning anything threatening with it are completely dashed. I realize that some may say to cling to Nopenguin's ability in tandem with Nightmare Penguin or Penguin Soldier, but I've already noted how passive and weak that strategy is if it's your first plan of attack.

From there it's a matter of adding other Fluffal cards that round out the Fluffal strategy. Alta already runs Fluffal Dog and I've mentioned Fluffal Wings, Toy Vendor, and Fluffal Bear, but I'd also suggest Fluffal Owl, King of the Swamp, and Edge Imp monsters to finish out the build. Edge Imp Chain and Edge Imp Sabres make the most sense in terms of extending your plays and providing consistency, so stick to them in a pinch.

 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
Gem-Knight Seraphinite68090
Set Hidden Arsenal 7: Knight of Stars
Number HA07-EN058
Level 5
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2300 / 1400
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

1 "Gem-Knight" monster + 1 LIGHT monster // Must first be Fusion Summoned with the above Fusion Material Monsters. During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon/Set 1 monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
PlusN Cards Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $7.00
Sunshine Games 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $8.25
Absolve Gaming Unlimited - Moderately Played 1 $8.50
Lackluster Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $8.56
Manatee Games Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $8.99
Pro-PlayGames 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $8.99
Metis Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.00
JcardGamer 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.00
Blue Diamond Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $9.00
OverdoseGaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 6 $9.19

And since I'm vouching for two Gem-Knight Extra Deck monsters, an extra Gem-Knight Garnet in the Main Deck is needed; it won't impede your strategy much, and it's always a good choice to put back with Edge Imp Sabres if you draw it before Brilliant Fusion. If you elect to summon Gem-Knight Aquamarine, chances are you'll just tribute it for The Great Emperor Penguin or an easy material for a Link Summon, but keep in mind it's another way to send Nopenguin.

Fusion Summon Aquamarine sending Nopenguin to the graveyard, Normal Summon The Great Emperor Penguin, and you'll field three Penguins when it's all said and one.

Check out the changes!

-2 Bolt Penguin
-2 Flying Penguin
-3 Rescue Rabbit
-1 The Great Emperor Penguin
-3 Nightmare Penguin
-3 Unexpected Dai
-2 Swing of Memories
-3 Double Summon
-1 Instant Fusion
-1 Upstart Goblin
-3 Twin Twisters

-2 Deepsea Shark
-1 Artifact Durendal
-1 Bahamut Shark
-1 Toadally Awesome
-2 Mistar Boy
-1 Link Spider
-1 Abyss Dweller
-1 Number 19: Freezadon

+2 King of the Swamp
+1 Fluffal Octopus
+1 Fluffal Owl
+3 Edge Imp Chain
+1 Edge Imp Sabres
+3 Fluffal Wings
+2 Gem-Knight Garnet
+3 Brilliant Fusion
+2 Polymerization
+1 Fusion Substitute
+2 Frightfur Fusion
+3 Toy Vendor

+2 Frightfur Sheep
+2 Frightfur Tiger
+2 Frightfur Kraken
+2 Frightfur Sabre-Tooth
+1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
+1 Gem-Knight Aquamarine

That looks like a hefty list of fixes, but honestly most of the changes revolve around taking out the Normal Penguins and adding in Frightfur and Fluffal Fusion support.

Decks like these tend to shy away from traps or even support cards like Twin Twisters, but obviously a few well-considered substitutions wouldn't break the deck. The only reason I use a Fusion Substitute instead of a third Polymerization is to discard them from Toy Vendor - aka, Fusion Substitute's second effect is what I'm going for.

    Penguin Fusions Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Edge Imp Chain
1 Edge Imp Sabres
3 Fluffal Dog
1 Fluffal Octopus
1 Fluffal Owl
3 Fluffal Penguin
3 Fluffal Wings
2 Gem-Knight Garnet
2 King of the Swamp
2 Nopenguin
3 Penguin Soldier
2 The Great Emperor Penguin
Monsters [26]
3 Brilliant Fusion
1 Foolish Burial
2 Frightfur Fusion
1 Fusion Substitute
2 Instant Fusion
2 Polymerization
3 Toy Vendor
Spells [14]
Deck Total [40]


1 Decode Talker
2 Frightfur Kraken
2 Frightfur Sabre-Tooth
2 Frightfur Sheep
2 Frightfur Tiger
1 Gem-Knight Aquamarine
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
1 Mistar Boy
1 Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Toadally Awesome
Extra Deck [15]

I do hope we see more direct Penguin support in the future. Guard Penguin was a total red herring since it had literally no synergy with Penguins and Nopenguin specifically, but I'm optimistic.

If virtually every strategy under the sun can get new Link Monsters, I can hope for Penguin cards, right?

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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