Competitive Corner: YCS Top Cut Cubic OTK

Loukas Peterson

4/11/2018 11:00:00 AM

I pride myself on my understanding of obscure themes and my ability to leverage lesser known cards. It's pretty rare to see me playing a mainstream deck; I like winning with cards that haven't really been explored or abused before. I did play Dino Rabbit at three consecutive Regionals in 2012 trying to win a specific playmat, but it didn't even work: I somehow got 9th at two of them, and 10th at the other. No, I'm not bitter.

Nope. Not me. Not bitter at all.

Anyway, Cubics are one of those strategies that I thought I understood. Every time someone mentioned Cubics I'd say in the most haughty way, “Pffft, I think I know what Duta the Meteor Cubic Vessel and Unification of the Cubic Lords do! I wasn't born yesterday! NERD!”

So geez, did I feel foolish when I saw Jose David Monge Machado climb his way to Top 32 at YCS San Jose Costa Rica...

    Cubic OTK Jose David Monge Machado    
  Location:  YCS - 2018-03-18 San Jose Costa Rica - 17th - 32nd Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Battle Fader
1 Buster Gundil the Cubic Behemoth
3 Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord
2 Denko Sekka
3 Duza the Meteor Cubic Vessel
1 Geira Guile the Cubic King
1 Genex Ally Birdman
1 Indiora Doom Volt the Cubic Emperor
2 Summoner Monk
3 Vijam the Cubic Seed
Monsters [19]
2 Allure of Darkness
3 Cubic Karma
3 Cubic Wave
3 Foolish Burial Goods
3 Pot of Desires
1 Raigeki
2 Twin Twisters
Spells [17]
1 Cubic Rebirth
3 Unification of the Cubic Lords
Traps [4]
Deck Total [40]
3 Anti-Spell Fragrance
3 Cosmic Cyclone
1 Dark Hole
1 Dimensional Fissure
2 Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju
3 Royal Decree
2 The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode
Side Deck [15]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Crimson Nova Trinity the Dark Cubic Lord
2 Decode Talker
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Number 82: Heartlandraco
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Proxy Dragon
1 Samurai Destroyer
1 Tornado Dragon
2 Underclock Taker
Extra Deck [15]

Impressive monsters are typically the lifeblood of a deck, but one of the biggest reasons Machado's was so successful was Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord - yeah, that card that looks ugly and has way too much text to care about.

Instead of me trying to describe which Cubic card is which, you'll HAVE to go and read them. Just go ahead, take a minute, and click through using the links in the deck list above. Otherwise, you'll be hopelessly lost; they all look extraordinarily alike and have very similar names. The Cubics are largely a bunch of squiggly eye creatures all named “King” or “Lord.”

Let's go back to Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord. Sure, it's hard to summon, but you can use it to smack your opponent for 3000 damage. Wait, what's that? The second effect? Deal 3000 damage to your opponent? Against a clear field, yes, that's 6000 damage by itself. And wait, there's more?! Attacking again? To support the boss monster, Machado's played Denko Sekka, Raigeki, and Twin Twisters. At the very least, he wanted the option of smacking his opponent really hard all in one turn.

Simple, right? I'm not saying your opponent would leave a Sangan in attack mode with no other monsters very often, but hey - it's a window of opportunity.

After all, the Cubic deck isn't exactly the crown jewel of longevity: most of the cards have one singular goal in mind. Since Crimson Nova burns you for 3000 damage yourself, you're more concerned with, in the least pedantic way possible, killing your opponent before they kill you. Cubic decks are akin to someone entering a go-kart race with a very fast go-kart that happens to be on fire at the start of the competition and will explode if you run over any rocks but can go significantly faster than everyone else's.

Do I know that personal experience myself? Maybe.

But even if the deck's fragile, it's not inconsistent. Take Cubic Karma for example - the first two effects definitely have their place in all of this, but more importantly you can banish the card from your graveyard to search a Cubic card from your deck! Unification of the Cubic Lords is similar - its first effect will come in handy, but the second effect fields a Cubic monster straight from your deck. Suddenly all the pieces are starting to fall in place.

Cubic Wave may not search your deck or summon Cubics, but it's a searchable on-theme version of Limiter Removal. Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord's 3000 ATK becomes that much more intimidating when it's doubled, making your opponent's monsters look pathetic and tiny, kinda like the chances of my friend Mitchell coming up with an original deck idea that doesn't involve Yang Zings.

All other things equal, those are the powerhouses of the Cubic deck. Try to run through your deck, field Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord, double its ATK for a turn, then burn your opponent away for an OTK after attacking twice. Otherwise, you might not live to see the next turn, though neither will your opponent.

Must… Try… To… Play… Combos...
There are plenty of important cards beside the search cards and boss monster. Because he needed to actually see his search cards, Machado used more searchers to find and yard his most important cards. Duza the Meteor Cubic Vessel sends a Cubic card to the graveyard, so it's basically a path to any Cubic card when you yard Cubic Karma. If you send Unification of the Cubic Lords to the graveyard, a Cubic card hits the yard so you can banish Unification to field another Duza the Meteor Cubic Vessel. Continue the trend, make more monsters and pack on the damage.

You can summon Duza easily with Summoner Monk, but the deck is more than just Duza and Crimson Nova. The extremely creepy looking Geira Guile the Cubic King gives you another way to tack on damage without going into your extra deck - keep in mind, you'll be expending tons of resources to do a bajillion damage with Crimson Nova, so if you have a one-card method to do some easy damage, why not?

The other Cubic monsters - Buster Gundil the Cubic Behemoth and Indiora Doom Volt the Cubic Emperor exist to get Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord on the field. You can summon them with Unification of the Cubic Lords, but you aren't trying to win a prize for cutest or most useful monsters. They're just cogs in a wheel, perhaps a way to summon Number S39: Utopia the Lightning or Black Rose Dragon.

 Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord
Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord120941
Set The Dark Side of Dimensions Movie Pack
Number MVP1-EN039
Level 10
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 3000 / 0
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by revealing 3 other "Cubic" cards in your hand with different names, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. Unaffected by other monsters' activated effects, whose original ATK is 3000 or less. When this attacking card destroys a monster by battle: You can activate this effect; this card can make a second attack during this Battle Phase. During your End Phase: Each player takes 3000 damage. You can only use this effect of "Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord" once per turn.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Performance Cards Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $0.01
TwoGuysYugioh Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $0.19
The Wizards Duel 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.24
Davis Cards & Games 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $0.27
Collector's Cache 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $0.29
AMFcollection 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.39
Gsantsm 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $0.39
ZLinked Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.40
The Gypsies Den 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.43
Just Cool TCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.44

In the average OTK strategy, your chief goal is typically a singular one. And while you may have a Plan B or Plan C, you'll divert most of your resources to whatever can help you achieve that one intent. That brings me to Machado's's Extra Deck - not exactly the biggest strength of the strategy, but certainly an integral component to his success.

Crimson Nova Trinity the Dark Cubic Lord was an absolute must. With all the searching you can do, it's not a huge surprise that the biggest challenge in using the card is waiting around for a turn after you set Unification of the Cubic Lords. It's one of those boss monsters that won't always make an appearance, but it's part of your toolbox because, I don't know, it halves your opponent's Life Points like it's nothing?

There are a few other essentials for that may seem like innocuous choices. Underclock Taker, for example, means Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord can achieve maximum damage output. Assuming whatever monster your opponent has clocks in at under 3000 ATK, Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord achieves the full 6000 damage you dreamed of.

The other all-star in the Extra Deck is Number S39: Utopia the Lightning. Machado didn't build the deck for longevity; rather, he snuck in more tricks that could burn off whatever life points Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord couldn't reach on its own. Sometimes it'll be overkill, but when it's not - well, that brings us to the last card.

Number 82: Heartlandraco is a blast from the past that swings straight past your opponent's monsters and plucks their last 2000 Life Points away. It's not as flashy as Elemental HERO Rampart Blaster, but one of those aforementioned cards is a lot easier to pull off than the other.

Reward For Most Wanted
There's very little missing from this deck, and in terms of Cubic cards, the coffer's already run empty. Dark Garnex the Cubic Beast was useful in this one Karakuri / Naturia deck my friend Chris made, but that's not really going to translate to this strategy. Vulcan Dragni the Cubic King's actually a good card for certain combos, but not ones that involve OTK's. The same can be said for Cubic Mandala and Cubic Rebirth: they'd be handy if you expected to live past Turn 3.

You can see that Machado's had good reason to be concerned with the strong, but fragile Cubic deck since he packed it with protection cards. Unification of the Cubic Lords is a pseudo-defensive option, but Battle Fader is a cry for help saying “Yeah, I should lose this duel, but… maybe one more turn?”

You could argue that Triple Burst Dragon, Gagaga Cowboy, Dark Strike Fighter, and Topologic Bomber Dragon deserve a place in the strategy, but that's starting to wander into extremely unlikely territory. Machado knew full well his deck couldn't out-grind most opposing strategies, so dealing the last few Life Points with a Gagaga Cowboy would've been pretty redundant.

Lastly, I want to touch on Genex Ally Birdman. As can be said for so many cards in this deck, Birdman has a very specific purpose. Three of them, really. Not only does it let you make Black Rose Dragon to clear the field and reuse Duza the Meteor Cubic Vessel, but it puts another Cubic monster in your hand for Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord. That might really be its most important use.

Since Duza can yard Unification of the Cubic Lords to Special Summon more Duzas, or Cubic Karma to search more Cubic cards to your hand, a clutch Genex Ally Birdman could take you from a hodge-podge of cards to well over 8000 damage.

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 mice. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 56 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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