Rerouting Deck Fix: Dark Magician Fusions

Loukas Peterson

1/17/2018 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Dark Magician decks are universally liked for several reasons.

Obviously, the nostalgia that Dark Magician represents is felt far and wide by many players, but the strategy also packs some powerful plays to satiate those that want something more competitive. And since the Dark Magician theme has never truly dominated the competitive scene, most don't have a sour taste in their mouth after losing key matches to Dark Magicians at a Regional or YCS event.

Why does that matter today? Well, this week's contributor rights us from Illinois, to say…

I always liked the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, from its first debut in America through the adventures of today, and I like to play every theme I see on the screen regardless of how competitive it is. Now that we have Dark Magician the Dragon Knight, aptly named, I think it's time for a hybrid. The Dragon Knight protects Eternal Soul, and that's the real difficulty for Dark Magician decks.

Eternal Soul annihilates your field when it's destroyed, but it can bring back Dark Magician the Dragon Knight and subsequently protect itself by fielding your Fusion. Maybe it's not so much of a hybrid strategy as the new standard Dark Magician deck going forward – the card is just that good. I wish I could play it Turn 1 every duel.

-Dallas K. ~ Chicagoland, Illinois

If you're not familiar with the concept of “Chicagoland,” it's an undefined area surrounding the city of Chicago that virtually everyone in the vicinity pretends to be a part of. People that live in Indiana, the neighboring state, or even people up to 100 miles away will still say they live “in Chicago,” and thus the term was coined.

If you think the term is dumb, you're right.

    Dark Magician Fusions Ver 1.0 Dallas K.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Apprentice Illusion Magician
3 Dark Magician
3 Legion the Fiend Jester
3 Magician of Dark Illusion
3 Magician's Rod
Monsters [15]
3 Allure of Darkness
1 Dark Hole
1 Dark Magic Attack
1 Dark Magic Inheritance
3 Dark Magical Circle
3 Illusion Magic
1 Raigeki
1 The Eye of Timaeus
1 Twin Twisters
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [16]
3 Eternal Soul
3 Magician Navigation
3 Solemn Strike
Traps [9]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Akashic Magician
1 Dark Magician the Dragon Knight
1 Decode Talker
2 Ebon High Magician
2 Ebon Illusion Magician
1 Hierophant of Prophecy
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
2 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Number 7: Lucky Straight
2 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Thankfully, I think that Dark Magician decks will always get new support from time to time as new cards are printed. They may not be as impactful as Eternal Soul or Dark Magician Circle, but I'll take Dark Magic Expanded and Apprentice Illusion Magician any day of the week.

Timmy's Eye
The Eye of Timaeus is definitely the best way to unleash the Dragon Fusion versions of Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl. While Dark Magician Fusion decks were never the cream of the crop on the competitive scene, the single printing, nostalgia factor, and overall novelty once made The Eye of Timaeus skyrocket in price. Thanks to the Legendary Dragon Decks though, you can easily pick up any variant of Dark Magician for pennies, with or without the Fusion support.

I mean, it's alot of pennies, but tens of thousands of pennies fewer than before.

When I first saw Dallas' deck in my inbox I was really excited to have an excuse to play Dark Magician the Dragon Knight. But as you can see from the submission, the deck doesn't exactly lend itself to making Fusions since it's very focused on Dark Magician itself. To keep the changes true to this column's namesake, I'll obviously be rerouting it towards a more Fusion-centric build.

But as attractive as that idea sounds, it's hard to thread the needle on this one; it's tough to keep the Dark Magicians on track while also consistently providing Dragon fodder while also adding my normal volume of crazy combos. If you know me at all by now, you'd be 100% correct if you thought my first draft of this deck had Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit. You'd also be correct if you thought that ten minutes later I was staring out the window thinking “Why are my favorite archetypes garbage?”

Backing up for a second - two cards that are pivotal to the Dark Magician deck rarely have much utility outside of fodder for Dark Magician Illusion once they hit the field: Apprentice Illusion Magician restocks your hand and searches for the ever-elusive Dark Magician, while Magician's Rod gets you to your spells and traps. While it's expensive, there's a monster that can work with both of those cards to take you far beyond the standard plays: Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson.

 Apprentice Illusion Magician
$20.90
$10.41
$9.24
Apprentice Illusion Magician146751
Set Legendary Dragon Decks
Number LEDD-ENA03
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, if your other DARK Spellcaster monster battles an opponent's monster (Quick Effect): You can send this card from your hand or face-up from your field to the GY; that monster you control gains 2000 ATK/DEF during that damage calculation only.


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I'm not ignoring that the Destrudo seriously cuts into your Life Points, but it lets you dig into your Extra Deck and make a lot of cool, proactive plays in the early game. Keep in mind, virtually every way to bring out Dark Magician early on is either costly or impossible. Eternal Soul, Magician's Robe, and Magician Navigation don't work on your first turn while Ancient Rules, Dark Magic Curtain, and Temperance of Prophecy are all subpar. That means Dark Magic Circle's effect to remove threats is basically inaccessible.

Combined with either Apprentice Illusion Magician or Magician's Rod, Destrudo nets you a Level 7 Synchro without breaking the bank in terms of card economy. Dragon Shrine mitigates Destrudo's other downside of returning to the deck, meaning you can safely play one copy of Destrudo with three Dragon Shrines. With that in mind, I'm opting to play Flamvell Guard. I'll explain more later, but for now, it's a Level 1 Tuner to make PSY-Framelord Omega.

MOAR DRAGONS
As I mentioned earlier, I want better chances of seeing my Dark Magician Fusions, but there's another way to achieve the same goal without The Eye of Timaeus and that's Dragon's Mirror. Despite being one of the best cards going in terms of card economy, it's certainly not something you want to see early on, or in multiples. Dark Magician decks don't have the luxury of other strategies where one or two cards can turn into many, so a few dead cards in your opening hand could mean you're losing. You need to get the ball rolling swiftly and consistently.

There are lots of ways to skin a cat, but when you're looking at different combos and options, it's really easy to get sidetracked, so the only niche card I want to vouch for is Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm; that's because of a very specific combo. Earlier I lamented the lack of options to field a Dark Magician on Turn 1, but there is one way that's pretty reasonable.

You need some combination of Dragon Shrine, Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm, or Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson. First, field the Darkwurm with its revival effect or by Normal Summoning it, and get Supreme King Gate Zero from your deck to your hand. Play it, then use Destrudo from graveyard or hand to make the Level 7 Odd-Eyes Meteorburst Dragon, and Special Summon Supreme King Gate Zero from your Pendulum Zone. Stack both Level 7 monsters to make Ebon Illusion Magician, and from there you'll field a Dark Magician for free.

There are other ways to accomplish the same goal, but the easiest option is to stuff your deck with Terraforming, Dragon Ravine, and a bunch of other cards that squeeze the deck beyond 40 cards at best, or require a total rebuild at worst. Like I mentioned, Flamvell Guard has some great uses involving the Extra Deck, but it's chiefly food for Dragon's Mirror. Since Darkwurm and Destrudo don't return to the graveyard after use, you'll need something there for your Fusion Spell.

 Dark Magician the Dragon Knight
$5.48
$4.18
$3.01
Dark Magician the Dragon Knight146748
Set Legendary Dragon Decks
Number LEDD-ENA00
Level 8
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Dragon
Attribute DARK 
A / D 3000 / 2500
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

"Dark Magician" + 1 Dragon monster
This card's name becomes "Dark Magician" while on the field or in the GY. Your opponent cannot target Spells/Traps you control with card effects, also they cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects.


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The other options I toyed around with were Eclipse Wyvern – fuel for Dragon's Mirror and a search venture for Destrudo – and Odd-Eyes Arc Pendulum Dragon; a Normal Monster, sure, but also a Level 7 Pendulum to bring out with Odd-Eyes Meteorburst Dragon. But both cards made me feel like this .

All I can really do is cut down on the number of pure Dark Magician cards and add in the Fusion elements. There are many ways you could spin this deck, leveraging different aspects and adjusting ratios here and there, but for simplicity's sake I tried to keep the deck as centered on Dark Magician as possible while still giving you more Fusion options and an aggressively minded first turn.

The result was this.

    Dark Magician Fusions Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Apprentice Illusion Magician
3 Dark Magician
1 Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson
1 Flamvell Guard
3 Magician of Dark Illusion
3 Magician's Rod
1 Maxx "C"
1 Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm
1 Supreme King Gate Zero
Monsters [17]
2 Allure of Darkness
1 Dark Magic Attack
1 Dark Magic Inheritance
1 Dark Magic Veil
3 Dark Magical Circle
3 Dragon Shrine
1 Dragon's Mirror
1 Foolish Burial
2 Illusion Magic
2 The Eye of Timaeus
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [18]
3 Eternal Soul
2 Magician Navigation
Traps [5]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Akashic Magician
1 Arcanite Magician
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
2 Dark Magician the Dragon Knight
1 Dark Paladin
1 Decode Talker
1 Ebon High Magician
2 Ebon Illusion Magician
1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Odd-Eyes Meteorburst Dragon
1 PSY-Framelord Omega
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


I never thought I would say this, but the Dark Magician Extra Deck is getting a little tight. Until we get the beefy version of Bladefly , I'm removing my beloved Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk for space. To be fair, the deck just couldn't capitalize much on the Tokens from Galaxy Tomahawk, rendering it kind of moot.

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 broccoli. 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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