Rerouting Deck Fix: True Draco Samurai

Loukas Peterson

1/4/2018 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Six Samurai decks got a ton of hate through their various tenures as the “deck to beat.” Back before Special Summons were a dime a dozen, Reasoning, Grandmaster of the Six Samurai, and Cunning of the Six Samurai would flood the field with Samurais and end duels in an instant; it led to Six Samuira becoming the dominant deck in a couple different eras of Yu-Gi-Oh.

Flashforward a few years, and the Legendary Six Samurai were introduced with Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En, and oh boy, was that annoying too. Not only did the strategy become more robust, Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En was an absolute control powerhouse for its time. The deck was fast, aggressive, and disruptive to boot, and back then that wasn't a common combination.

And now today, the Secret Six Samurai are their own collection of warriors with the neat trick of saving other Samurai by banishing themselves from the graveyard. The new Samurai remind me a bit of Void Seer but with much less creepy artwork and lore. Anyway, with the history lesson complete, let's look at today's submission from Florida…

Hello Loukas,

Love your articles and the crazy and cool decks that you help engineer, so I wanted to get your advice on one of my own that I'm cooking up. When Spirit Warriors launched, I was enthralled by the new Six Samurai support. I had never played the theme before, but it was no secret that I had to build something around these wonderful warriors. I soon realized that pure Six Samurai wasn't going to cut it in today's climate, and that was when I stumbled across an interesting combination: True Dracos.

I was drawn into this deck with the amazing combos you could perform and boards you could make by using Dragonic Diagram to pop Secret Six Samurai - Fuma from hand, Special Summoning Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru from deck and going from there. Ideally, your final board looks something like a Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En, Master Peace the True Dracoslaying King, and maybe a Link Monster or two.

The real strength of the deck lies in its ability to make those "unbreakable" boards and extend the combos to really control your opponent. The aforementioned Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King is truly a masterpiece to me and I love its ability to keep destroying cards using the continuous spells in the deck as fodder and stand strong against whatever you make it immune to. But that said, I've had problems with consistency as well as finding follow-up plays after the initial board is broken. I was thinking of adding more traps or draw power, but I'm not sure what to cut or what ratios to use. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this and I hope you are doing well!

-Jesse K. ~ Tampa, Florida

Like many other duelists, I really appreciate legacy support because it threads the needle of introducing new themes while catering to beloved archetypes. The Secret Six Samurai can be viewed as a self-contained theme, sure, but they also add spice to the Samurais that have come and gone over the past decade.

Here's what Jesse's submission looked like.

    True Draco Samurai Ver 1.0 Jesse K.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow
1 Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior
2 Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki
2 Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan
2 Mariamne, the True Dracophoenix
1 Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King
1 Maxx "C"
3 Secret Six Samurai - Fuma
1 Secret Six Samurai - Genba
1 Secret Six Samurai - Hatsume
2 Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru
1 True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer
Monsters [18]
1 Disciples of the True Dracophoenix
3 Dragonic Diagram
1 Gateway of the Six
1 Reinforcement of the Army
2 Shien's Dojo
3 Shien's Smoke Signal
3 Six Samurai United
1 Soul Charge
3 Terraforming
2 True Draco Heritage
Spells [20]
1 True Draco Apocalypse
1 True King's Return
Traps [2]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Ancient Fairy Dragon
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Cloudcastle
1 Coral Dragon
1 Decode Talker
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
2 Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En
1 Link Spider
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Proxy Dragon
1 Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Secret Six Samurai - Rihan
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 True King of All Calamities
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Even though the Forbidden & Limited List wasn't helpful to Dracoslayers, it wasn't brutal enough to destroy it.

Let's get to work, even if the changes will be minimal!

A Searchable, Solid Strategy
When a theme or a mash-up of themes has tons of ways to thin the deck, it speaks favorably for consistency. Obviously you'll need power cards to make a strategy viable, but Samurais come with many cards that cut your deck down from 40 to a manageable size.

Reinforcement of the Army, the newly Limited Gateway of the Six, Shien's Dojo, Shien's Smoke Signal, and Six Samurai United all act as on-theme versions of Upstart Goblin for the deck. Obviously they have stipulations and Gateway of the Six is disgustingly good when you start the duel with it, but that's a fourth of your deck that directly feeds into other cards with hardly any setup.

And for the Dracoslayers, you have a similar situation. Terraforming and Dragonic Diagram are the proverbial gateway for the secondary theme, meaning you can play minimal copies of boss monsters like Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King and get away with it. You don't have to slow down your deck by stocking extra copies of cards you'd really rather not see multiples of.

That being said, there's really not much to change in terms of the True Draco - as I said before, the Forbidden and Limited list didn't give a lethal blow to the True King strategy, but it severely hampered your options enough where there's little room for creativity. You wouldn't want to play more than one True Draco Apocalypse, and True King's Return is Limited. Similar restrictions pan out for the monsters and the spells, so the changes are mostly preferencial. It's not like you can reasonably take out Dragonic Diagram or Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior.

 Dragonic Diagram
$60.00
$9.99
$5.09
Dragonic Diagram131170
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN053
Type Field Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

All "True Draco" and "True King" monsters on the field gain 300 ATK and DEF. The first time each Tribute Summoned "True Draco" or "True King" monster would be destroyed by battle each turn, it is not destroyed. Once per turn: You can destroy 1 other card you control or in your hand, and if you do, add 1 "True Draco" or "True King" card from your Deck to your hand.


Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Gadsden Gaming Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $3.99
Alwaysplus Gaming Unlimited - Lightly Played 4 $4.51
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Great Lakes Games Unlimited - Lightly Played 1 $4.72
TCGfinest Unlimited - Near Mint 3 $4.95
Collector Store LLC Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $4.95
Gamers Alley Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $4.95
The Snake Pit Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $4.95
One Punch Cards Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $4.95
Jumpman Unlimited - Near Mint 3 $4.96

True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer is good when combined with other ways to destroy it like Mariamne, the True Dracophoenix or Dragonic Diagram, but the Wind “counterpart,” the aforementioned Mariamne, is probably going to be enough to get you to where you want to go. Keep in mind I'm already a bit stretched for cards to cut. You'll want to keep the deck at forty, but there's already 30+ cards that are non-negotiable!

In fact, I think it's possible to cut one True Draco Heritage as well. You will be playing roughly the bare bones of the True Draco deck, but keep in mind it's mostly ancillary to the Six Samurai.

After All… One Master Peace?
Simply put, the True Draco monsters exist for two reasons.

First, Dragonic Diagram and Mariamne, the True Dracophoenix send Six Samurai monsters to the grayveard, namely Secret Six Samurai – Fuma. But the other obvious high point is fielding Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King. Jesse only ran one copy, and that's totally fine. Keep in mind, the deck has enough search and draw cards that you only really need to set up one field. It's so powerful and consistent that one instance is good enough, so don't waste your efforts thinking about how you can constantly make the same board several times throughout the duel.

Jesse hit the central point of the deck, commenting that the ideal field is Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En and Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King… and that's it. Yes, there are other cards you can field, but that pair is your primary goal, so focus on that!

But as soon as I say that, I have to remind you of reality - you won't have an ideal hand every time. Of course there will be those games where you open Gateway of the Six and recycle Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan seventeen thousand times while your opponent cries, but sometimes you'll just have to settle for less.

 Secret Six Samurai - Fuma
$14.76
$7.19
$5.51
Secret Six Samurai - Fuma152392
Set Spirit Warriors
Number SPWA-EN001
Level 1
Type Tuner/Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute WIND 
A / D 200 / 1800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can Special Summon 1 "Six Samurai" monster from your Deck, except "Secret Six Samurai - Fuma". If exactly 1 "Six Samurai" monster you control (and no other cards) would be destroyed by card effect, you can banish this card from your GY instead.


Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Nerd Clips 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $5.51
envoyoftheend 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $5.99
Artisan Gamecraft 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $6.29
Kingminer 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.29
Feeneys Cards 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.40
Gamers Grove 1st Edition - Lightly Played 4 $6.48
MCB Toledo 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.50
Wild Things Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $6.52
YGO Black Market 1st Edition - Near Mint 35 $6.75
ISD Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.75

Shien's Dojo is a good example of a card that fuels both combo-wombo situations or worst-case scenarios you shape into something golden. Sometimes the best thing you can is just make a Synchro monster and pass; while Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En is an obvious first choice, I think you'll need Naturia Beast often enough to merit its use. And to make Naturia Beast, especially cheaply with Shien's Dojo, you need a Shien's Squire. No more, no less, and hope you don't draw it.

In terms of other muddled openings, Jesse didn't have a Level 4 non-Earth Six Samurai, which may not seem important, but by adding one in, you can easily make a first turn Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir, just in case that's what you need. Number 41 can be a phenomenal card that locks your opponent out early on, and when Secret Six Samurai – Fuma's destroyed and brings out Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru, having Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi in your deck is the easiest way to make a Rank 4.

Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi has a decent effect, but you may not have enough food in your graveyard to consistency leverage its removal trick. I think it just happens to be your best bet for non-Earth Level 4 Six Samurai monsters, beating out The Six Samurai - Nisashi and company.

Strangely enough, I think that one Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki is sufficient. Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan can Special Summon itself, you'd rather Normal Summon Secret Six Samurai - Genba, and Fuma will be bringing out Kizaru on its own most of the time. There are plenty of ways to search it from your deck or even bring it back to your hand, and if you're trying to cut cards to make room for other things, I think it's safe to cut Kageki, just like his limbs were cut off when he became Chamberlain of the Six Samurai.

Cutting Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow may seem silly since it's one of the best Link-minded cards, and take this statement with a grain of salt, but all it does here is make Decode Talker. The best parts of the Six Samurai and True Draco hybrid produce one Extra Deck monster, and by dedicating a card slot to Gofu, you're mathematically making your hand less likely to do what you want.

But knowing me, I always try to throw in something extra - whether for niche plays or personal preferences, and this time that's Leviair the Sea Dragon. Since you're playing such a slim lineup of Six Samurai monsters and most of them will end up banished anyway, the single copy of the trusty Xyz lets you reuse some. One of the easiest ways to plop a Level 3 monster on board without using your Normal Summon is Spell Striker, and it's searchable with Reinforcement of the Army to boot. It works a lot like Secret Skills, but you'll never draw a dead Leviair the Sea Dragon.

There are a couple of cute interactions that let you recycle effects like Kizaru, or double down on Special Summons with a banished Hatsume, but I think Leviair bridges the gap between your main strategy and other cool combos. I spent a hot minute trying to figure out how to effectively summon and benefit from Naturia Landoise, but some things just aren't meant to be.

 Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King
$26.00
$5.31
$3.50
Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King131141
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN024
Level 8
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2950 / 2950
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute Continuous Spell/Trap Card(s) you control, as well as monsters. Unaffected by the effects of cards with the same card type (Monster, Spell, and/or Trap) as the original card type of the cards Tributed for its Tribute Summon. Once per turn, during either player's turn, if you control this Tribute Summoned monster: You can banish 1 Continuous Spell/Trap Card from your Graveyard, then target 1 other card on the field; destroy it.


Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
ThoughtBubbleComics Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $1.99
IDeal808 Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $3.25
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DreamDaze CFG 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $3.80
OverdoseGaming Unlimited - Near Mint 3 $3.90

Check out the very slim changes - take it as a compliment when I struggle to remove a bunch of cards!

-1 Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki
-1 True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer
-1 Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow
-1 True Draco Heritage

-1 Cloudcastle
-1 True King of All Calamities
-1 Link Spider
-1 Proxy Dragon

+1 Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi
+1 Spell Striker
+1 Shien's Squire
+1 Secret Skills of the Six Samurai

+1 Tornado Dragon
+1 Missus Radiant
+1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
+1 Naturia Beast

And here's the final deck! This is a ton of fun to play, and keep in mind I rarely say that when talking about Dragonic Diagram. It's relatively cheap price on the secondary market has made the card both easy to obtain by competitive and casual players everywhere.

I wish I had a better name for the deck, but that's life.

    True Draco Samurai Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior
1 Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi
1 Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki
2 Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan
2 Mariamne, the True Dracophoenix
1 Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King
1 Maxx "C"
3 Secret Six Samurai - Fuma
1 Secret Six Samurai - Genba
1 Secret Six Samurai - Hatsume
2 Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru
1 Shien's Squire
1 Spell Striker
Monsters [18]
1 Disciples of the True Dracophoenix
3 Dragonic Diagram
1 Gateway of the Six
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Secret Skills of the Six Samurai
2 Shien's Dojo
3 Shien's Smoke Signal
3 Six Samurai United
1 Soul Charge
3 Terraforming
1 True Draco Heritage
Spells [20]
1 True Draco Apocalypse
1 True King's Return
Traps [2]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Ancient Fairy Dragon
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Coral Dragon
1 Decode Talker
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
2 Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Missus Radiant
1 Naturia Beast
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Secret Six Samurai - Rihan
1 Tornado Dragon
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Typically I focus on cards just in the TCG, but I do have a weakness for toolbox choices when it comes to future cards. All I'm saying is that I hope we get the Wind version of Missus Radiant and Mistar Boy in the booster set Flames of Destruction. Kinda scared but also kinda excited to see what Bladefly will look like all grown up.

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 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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