Rerouting: Superheavy Samurai
Loukas Peterson

Don't get me wrong - I've always liked the Superheavy Samurai theme; it reminded me a lot of the old Monster Mash decks, those nearly-all-monster strategies that had some memorable top table moments about half a decade ago.

But remembering which Superheavy Samurai does what and which ones are best isn't exactly easy. Keep in mind, I'm the type of person that forgets how to spell his own name most days. A lot of Samurai effects are restricted to Superheavy Samurai monsters, but a lot of cards are effectively on-theme effects we've seen mimicked in many other strategies. Or at least… half of the effects feel familiar. Even simple ones like Superheavy Scales have me running back to the card text to make sure I'm using it correctly.

The saving grace of the theme might be its flexibility; pretty much every card is free of restrictions. Sure, Superheavy Samurai Scales has a lot of text, but it's an on-theme Junk Synchron that doesn't restrict you to only playing Superheavy Samurai monsters that turn. Of course, the elephant in the room is the graveyard requirement.

I can't tell you how many times I've been jazzed to read a Superheavy Samurai monster, only to collapse in utter despair when I realized that its effect only works when your graveyard is free of spell and trap cards. If that's not bad enough, sometimes you're limited to summoning nothing but Superheavy Samurais for the rest of the turn.

Today's contributor writes…

Superheavy Samurai and Melodious monsters are right up my ally. Any deck played in the anime by anyone that's not the protagonist is awesome. The protagonists' decks are always focused too much on their generic 2500 ATK powerhouse and the twenty cards in their deck dedicated to a starting field built off that one card. That's not for me; I'm interested in the other themes.

Superheavy Samurai cards are awesome because their DEF can work as their ATK! Elemental Hero Rampart Blaster started that trend way back in the day, and the Superheavy Samurai picked up where it left off. I added Metalfoes to this build, though I'm not sold on them. They're here just so I can pop Superheavy Samurai Soulpiercer. I have to use them for Metalfoes Mithrillium, and after a while I've started to feel like I'm just playing a Metalfoes deck. Can you help a brother out?

-Brian R. ~ Portland, Oregon

I'll help even though Brian and I are, in fact, not brothers.

Brian's walking a shaky tightrope with the Superheavy Samurai monsters and their tough graveyard requirement, hoping to gain way more than he's giving up. Take a look at his approach to the strategy!

@@@@@DECKID=107312@@@@@ Everyone's favorite Pendulums are in action – Metalfoes! While Qliphorts may have had more time to shine in their day, Metalfoes have been a competitive staple since they debuted, and have even managed to adapt and survive the arrival of Zoodaics. We've seen them played with themes like Yang Zings and Abyss Actors before, solely for their ability to destroy your own cards and make big plays, just like Brian's doing here. Those decks have gone on to make Top Cuts in both Regionals and Championship events.

So would you believe me if I said I plan on removing some Metalfoes?

Fare Thee Well, You Darn Searching Spells
I'm at a loss to justify the Metalfoes here, at least in the way Brian's playing them. He's running so few Metalfoes cards, but he's playing the with three copies of Summoner's Art. I'm almost surprised Brian didn't play the Qliphort suite, since it's a measly two cards than can both be searched with Art.

But since I'm taking out Summoner's Art to help the Superheavy Samurai shine as best they can, it doesn't make sense to add the Qliphorts in for the rare chance to bring out Cyber Dragon Infinity… especially since we'll be Summoning it by other means anyways.

Even though Brian's deck made risky use of the Geargia monsters, I'm going to back him 100% on that. Nine out of ten times, I hate Geargiauger because it locks down your attacks and summons for an entire turn. But the one-card access to Gear Gigant X is just too good to pass up here. The Superheavy Samurai monsters may not be that vital to Brian's overall success, but a new card from Raging Tempest certainly is: Symphonic Warrior Guitaar!

As a Scale 7, Guitaar automatically fills a big need for this strategy. Its Pendulum effect is insane, fielding a Symphonic Warrior from your deck for the low price of the most useless card in your hand, which is often something you'll want to put in your graveyard anyways. If you've never paid attention to the Symphonic Warriors, well, that probably means you never played old school Mystic Piper. Point is, Guitaar means any card in your hand turns into a bunch of Tuners that can change attributes, types, and Levels… or the new Symphonic Warrior Miccs. It's a Level 5, so it's a poor draw, but the turn it hits the field it has a built-in Double Summon.

#####CARDID= 21233 #####

Instead of relying on the non-searchable Double Summon or Brilliant Fusion for Gem-Knight Seraphinite, Symphonic Warrior Guitaar fills the same role and makes up for lost ground. Say you Normal Summoned Geargiauger, searched Geargiaccelerator, and made Gear Gigant X just to search Guitaar - now your newly spawned Miccs refreshes your Normal Summon. That's tremendously helpful for this deck.

How ‘Bout Them Metalfoes?
As I said earlier, there aren't a lot of reasons to play so many Metalfoes here. Since we're cutting the searching spells to free up Superheavy Samurai effects, we're not just removing Metalfoe monsters. Metalfoes Combination is normally a pretty swell card to search out, but fielding Combination requires you to have one Metalfoe already. Fingers crossed, you'll have access to Symphonic Warrior Guitaar and have a completed Pendulum Scale. An extra Metalfoes monster won't really do much, and Combination will stay in the graveyard unless you can make Metalfoes Mithrilium.

Since we're removing the Metalfoes, I needed another way to destroy Superheavy Samurai monsters like Superheavy Samurai Soulpiercer. True King Lithosagym, the Disaster provides some muscle while also blowing up Samurai from your hand! Since nearly all of your monsters are Earth attribute, you'll never worry about missing out on Lithosagym's effect to banish your opponent's Extra Deck monsters. If the Metalfoes didn't directly get you to Metalfoes Fusion, I would have cut them completely.

But two cards are pretty darn powerful, and depending on the situation, you'll want both at your disposal. I shouldn't have to remind you just how good Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing is, but Superheavy Samurai Ninja Sarutobi's just as good. It's got beefy ATK – er, I mean, DEF – which is its attack, but… isn't?... Yeah. Never mind.

Just pay attention to the effect that kicks off when youre graveyard is clear of spells and traps. For the low cost of “free,” you get to pop an on-field spell or trap card. That ability's a counter for opposing field spells, Zoodiac Barrage, and a bunch of other threats to your safety. Worst case scenario, you can pop your own set Metalfoes Fusion if you need to recycle it.

There's not much of a “backbone” to the deck because, well, it's a mashup - get over yourself. There are a lot of ways to get your combos going, but there isn't a set-standard Turn 1 opening that you'll always have.

#####CARDID= 16890 #####

As I highlighted earlier, Superheavy Samurai Ninja Sarutobi and Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing are great Turn 1 plays – you can either finish with a Rank 8 or just keep one or both monsters on the field. With Symphonic Warrior Guitaar at the forefront of the strategy, Symphonic Warrior Miccs is just a discard away. Combined with Symphonic Warrior Pianno you've got an easy Baxia, perfect for popping and triggering Superheavy Samurai Drum Superheavy Samurai Soulpiercer. If you have Superheavy Samurai Transporter, it's easy to get to Ninja Sarutobi as well! At first I thought both boss monsters would be hard to summon, but the deck's surprisingly good at fetching what you need.

There's a lot of good stuff going on in this deck, and tech choices like Breakthrough Skill and Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit are all very comfortable here. They can pop threats on the field while keeping your graveyard free of spells and traps, offering much-needed disruption in a strategy where it's impossible to run conventional defense. If you ever desperately need to empty your graveyard of traps, you can banish Breakthrough Skill willy-nilly just to get it out of there. While Lost Wind may be better in some situations, it's harder to get out of the graveyard in a pinch.

Here are the final changes I made to Brian's build.

The biggest change I made was removing the Metalfoes to make rom for the Symphonic Warriors, but I wouldn't call that a drastic restructuring of the strategy. I considered keeping another copy of Metalfoes Mithrilium in the Extra Deck, but too often I found that I just couldn't make that Psychic monster thanks to the restrictions of Superheavy Samurai Big Waraji or Geargiauger.

@@@@@DECKID=107313@@@@@ I'm not sure what the Superheavy Samurai theme needs for a pure build to be playable, but I'm really enjoying my hybrid versions. Perhaps when this trend of widespread field wipes dies down in competition I'll feel more comfortable with a dedicated verson of the strategy, but in the mean time it's quite frustrating losing your big monsters one of the seventeen copies of Dark Hole you'll see in an average duel.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he enjoys freezing in the cold only slightly less than his job as a software engineer. When he's not playing cards, you can find him on his kayak reading a book and playing the ukulele or at his painting desk, probably on his 30th cup of coffee for the day. Hailed on the only one capable of cooking Minute Rice is 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet.


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