Casual Deck Strategy: The Burgesstoma Principle

Welcome back to another CDS article, and this time we are going to be discussing a very special archetype, one that actually carves out its unique niche as an engine rather than an actual deck at this current point in time. Introducing the Burgesstoma, the archetype of prehistoric ocean fossils reanimated as Trap Cards that actually can summon themselves to the field as Normal Monsters! Now isn’t that a mouthful. Let’s dive into the strategic depths of this intriguing theme!


The Burgesstoma archetype centers around a clear thematic hook – using Trap cards once, then letting them come back as your monster lineup. This may be the first attempt to make a Trap-based archetype, exactly the same as how Spellbook was designed as the first Spell-based archetype, and I must say that it is excellent in execution. If you’re unfamilliar with the theme, here’s a quick introduction: all of the Main Deck Burgesstoma monsters share the following effect:

When a Trap Card on the field is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: You can Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when it leaves the field.

Their other effects vary from drawing to field disruption, but overall add a large about of utility to many different decks. So what is the purpose of using so many Trap cards that can turn into weak Normal Monsters? That reason would be their Rank 2 Xyz boss monsters! Both are completely unaffected by monster effects as well, but they each offer a difference stance for the deck. The first of which, Burgesstoma Anomalocaris, is the offense-driven boss, as it allows you to destroy any card on the field on either player’s turn. Also, whenever you send a Trap card from your field to the Graveyard (such as when it was activated), you can excavate the top card of your deck, and if it is a Trap card, add it to your hand. The second boss monster, Burgesstoma Opabinia, is the defense-driven boss, as it lets you add any of the Burgesstoma Trap cards from the deck to your hand once per turn. The best part about Opa is that it lets you activate any Burgesstoma Trap card from your hand! So add whatever you want, then keep your defenses safe from an errant Mystical Space Typhoon or Twin Twister. 

The first time that you were introduced to this theme, what kind of deck did you envision for them? Perhaps a deck with Imperial Iron Wall, stopping their self-banishing and thereby giving you a near unlimited amount of monsters. Perhaps you considered Scrap-Iron Scarecrow, since it is a Trap that continuously re-sets itself for an infinite number of Trap activations. This may be a stretch, but you may have even considered Wetlands and Tryant’s Throes in order to abuse their typing and Normal Monster status. More commonly referenced cards include Kuribandit and Cardcar D to add a little bit of speed to the deck. And always, never forget the tried and true draw-centric build, using Reckless Greed, Jar of Greed, Legacy of Yata Garetsu, and Accumulated Fortune. Fact of the matter is that there is a TON of diversity in Burgesstoma builds. When you see this kind of diversity in a theme, a red flag should pop up in your brain, because that is almost always a sure sign that the theme can also work extremely well as an engine. The point I’m trying to make here is that there is a ton of ideas in order to augment the strengths of this archetype, that you could build a pure version. Yes, you have a ton of potential stalling, drawing, and disruption, but outside of that, you don’t have all too much. What you do have is an excellent source of fodder for Rank 2 Xyz Summons, an excellent source of Tributes for Tribute Summons, an excellent body shield to keep you alive…. so why not just add these capabilities to an already-functioning deck?

To be blunt – many archetypes are designed with minimal Spell and Trap support, as most of their power budget is in the monster effects. Let’s be honest, it is more exciting to gain advantage with monsters such as a powerful Nekroz of Trishula or El-Shaddoll Construct than to slowly augment your hand a using the effect of Humid Winds or Graydle Impact. Even the archetypes of the Spell and Trap I just mentioned are more well-known for their monsters than for their super strong support cards! Burgesstoma Anomalocaris may be powerful, but a once-per-turn targeted destruction just doesn’t cut it anymore. So let’s see if we can change people’s opinions about Traps, shall we? Let’s start talking about a couple of variants that are really exciting to use, each with their own hook! And yes, I did just pick a different variant for each attribute.


I want you to repeat after me “Shaddoll is not dead, what we used to know as Shaddoll is dead, but the Shaddoll theme is not dead.” If only people would believe that, things would be a lot better. Anyhow, Shaddoll used to be an extremely multi-faceted theme before the recent TCG Forbidden/Limited list, and there were so many different ways to run the deck. Lightsworn, Performage, Gem-Knight, Spirits etc, all of them revolved around the LIGHT attribute. So now, let’s take a step back and let the other attributes shine, like WATER! El Shaddoll Anoyatyllis is absolutely amazing, and she is even better when you factor in pretty much 100% accessibility to her via a suite of Trap cards. The best part about this build isn’t just the Traps and the fusions, but rather the fact that Shaddolls innately have a Level 2 Tuner monster… that can keep summoning itself back to the field. Because Quilbolt Hedgehog exists, and Level 2 Tuner + Quilbolt + Burgesstoma equals… yup, that’s gonna rack up some pretty good XYZ summon capabilities. One other thing to note is the specific Burgesstomas you should be running in this build. Obviously, Burgesstoma Dinomischus is amazing, since it triggers Shaddoll effects while banishing opponent’s cards, but the other key player in this build is Burgesstoma Marrella, who just happens to be able to send Shaddoll Core from the deck to get back your Fusion Spell…. which is definitely needed in this day and age of the limited El-Shaddoll Fusion.

If you’re still interested in messing around with this, there is plenty of wiggle room! Tech in a Plague, a Pero Pero, perhaps even a few stranger cards, such as Dark Renewal. At the end of the day, either portion of the deck can hold its own weight, which really is important for any hybrid or engine-based build! If you’re interested in checking out my version of this deck, Click Here. As always, this is only an example build, and you should definitely take card choices into your own hands if you want to truly succeed with this variant! The sky is the limit… or the tide I guess…

Burgess of the Frogs

Now that we’ve gotten the most ‘critically acclaimed’ Burgesstoma build out of the way, let’s talk one of the biggest feared variants. The Frog/Burgesstoma variant is extremely powerful in its own right, able to take on many other decks with relative ease. With the ability to continuously spam Level 2 monsters to your field (THANK YOU Ronintoadin), this deck is easily considered the absolute best at getting out the Xyz Bosses in the first place. Even pure Burgesstoma wishes that it had something like Ronin in order to keep the Xyz monsters flowing. What also makes this deck important, is that the Frog monsters already have some pretty decent synergy with each other. You only need to get to Swap Frog to make that portion of the deck live, as Swap will slowly build up turn after turn everything you possibly need from the Frog end of the spectrum. This basically makes your deck a slow starter, with the ability to explode to a completely full field in a single turn. This is also probably the best ‘Burgesstoma Engine’ build featured in this article to use Wetlands, since the monsters can actually make a decent benefit off of the Field Spell also! Remember, it was originally intended for Frogs!

In terms of other options to spruce up the deck, many variants along these lines also tend to run higher Burgesstoma counts than other similar engine builds, sometimes as much as half of the entire deck. Frogs are extremely good at setting up without losing any card advantage; therefore, the entire point of the Burgesstoma here are to provide the win condition and actually generate the advantage needed to win a duel. Also – remember that Burgesstoma Leanchoilla is great particularly with the Frogs since he can return a banished Swap or Dupe in order to give yourself another Ronintoadin summon down the road! If you’re interested in checking out a pre-built example for the frogs, Click Here. If you’re looking to focus on improving this build, the first place to start would be the Spells, because there is definitely a couple more techs that could find a home in such a build, such as Pot of Duality and Cardcar D, if you’re interested in trying those out!

The Fabled Burgesstoma

Finally, we get to finally start taking a crack at some of the more unique, off-the-wall builds of this article! Fun fact, this one is actually the first that convinced me to write up this article, so don’t be too upset that I picked Fabled instead of Lightsworn or Ojama (both of which also work). Today’s variant is a powerhouse in terms of using the Burgesstoma monsters for something other than Xyz Summons! In fact, the Burgesstoma lineup in this variant is a really great place to begin for a small engine that can be splashed across pretty much every other Duel Terminal deck, since most Duel Terminal themes are infamous for their lack of Spell and Trap support. There are definitely a few lucky archetypes out there, such as Worm, but many of them are lacking enough power to fulfill their gameplan. So for those that do not have enough Traps at their disposal to respond to any opposing threats, try out the simple spread of 2 Canadia (Book of Moon), 3 Dinomischus (Karma Cut), and 3 Olenoides (Mystical Space Typhoon). Covers each of the bases quite nicely, while also able to give the deck much more responses and disruption to interrupt your opponent’s plays.

Now that you’re acquainted with the tiny Burgesstoma engine, let’s talk Fabled. The Fabled has always been a unique archetype in that it is split into Fiends and Beasts, a mix of discard outlets and a mix of cards that discard. But overall, the theme of the deck is to vomit your hand onto the field into a string of Synchro Summons for insane advantage. Obviously, with a gameplan such as that, Fabled Quasar variants are always around. But you can also use the gained advantage to reinforce your field presence… perhaps with some freshly drawn or searched Burgesstoma Traps? The big thing to remember about this deck is that the Burgesstoma do not go towards Xyz Summons like with the other variants – the main purpose of the Burgesstoma coming back is to have a steady stream of non-tuners constantly hitting your field! Remember: Fabled Kushano + Burgesstoma = Fabled Ragin. Which then results, normally, in 2 draws from your deck… which then leads into even more combinations to slowly start winning the duel. While this is all well and good, my absolute favorite part about this deck is that the Burgesstoma are actually one of the first themes you can pair with Fabled that actually can regulate the Hand Size during the opponents turn. Why is this important? One Synchro Monster would like to ruin your day, and no, we’re not talking about the Nekroz version.

The Fabled Unicore is an amazing card, able to negate literally everything as long as you can keep your hand even with your opponent’s. In pretty much any duel against a competent opponent, he or she will attempt to keep changing his hand size to get around Unicore’s negation. But you actually have tools to combat that as well. If he waits till his turn right after he draws, to get an extra card in hand, to be able to use already-set Trap cards to handle Unicore, simply respond with a Burgesstoma Pinaka. Since you will be trading 1 card in hand for 2 draws, that immediately gets your hand right back even with theirs, causing their Traps to be stopped in their tracks. And how do you combat the opponent that sets an extra card before activating their Raigeki or Dark Hole? Chain to their Spell or Monster effect with Burgesstoma Dinomischus! Since you will be discarding a card during resolution, you will have yet another way to re-equalize the hands. And you may even get a banish out of the deal as well! The BIGGEST thing to remember with Dino is that this Trap is actually the most synergistic with your deck – it even triggers your Fabled ‘when discarded’ effects! This means if you discard The Fabled Catsith, you get to banish one card they control then destroy another. This is extremely potent against the Pendulum Scales of many modern decks, such as Magispecters or Magicians, so be sure to keep that in mind!

Lastly, this variant works extremely well when you bring other Spell Speed 2 cards that manipulate hand size. We talked about Burgesstoma cards doing the role, but you can also bring Jar of Avarice, Reckless Greed, Twin Twister, Jar of Greed, or even Mind Crush. Remember, the goal should be to negate whatever your opponent tries to get back in the duel, since you will not be using a Quasar turbo build to win the turn that you Synchro Spam! Also, you can safely rely upon your Burgesstoma engine to keep you alive until you’re ready for your combos! Less bricking, less blind offense, and you finally turn the glass cannon known as Fabled into a consistent powerhouse of a Synchro deck! If you’re interested in checking out this variant, look no further than Clicking Here. When editing this, you could honestly try adding a bit more of the Unicore focus to the deck, rather than including a lot of cards devoted to Synchro Summons. This means Obediance Schooled, and more emphasis on the Beast half of the deck than the Fiend. Good luck if you try this route, because I didn’t quite get it to work out as I’d hoped – perhaps you can do better!

Ultra Burgesstoma

Time to get in the game, because the Burgesstoma are ready to play with the best of them! As long as you bring along the star athletes as well! (Before continuing, if you are unfamilliar with the guide to U.A., I suggest reading some of it to get the handle on this TCG World Premiere archetype. Click Here.) Anyways, similar to the last deck on our list, the U.A. is a theme with very potent monsters and potential, but only 1 Trap card to back that up. And that Trap card is just a glorified searching tool. So it stands within reason that such a theme could immensely benefit from a bit more disruption and awesome power, so the Burgesstoma are a great fit. There is a big elephant in the room I’m sure you’re missing, and that is the fact that U.A. now have a way to combine their enablers (the Burgesstoma when they come back as monsters) WITH their ability to disrupt the opponent. This is HUGE. In fact, the Burgesstoma themselves may just be strong enough to completely balance out the loss of 2 Reinforcement of the Army, which in itself is an amazing feat. So let’s talk specifics here: U.A. switch between offense and defense continuously, using negation effects to throw thorns in the opponent’s while they get ready to win the duel in one or two attacks via the help of U.A. Powered Jersey. In order to get to that point, you definitely need to have finesse AND access to both U.A. Midfielder and U.A. Stadium. Yet again, there is one card that shines through, one card that can give you access to both of those, and that is their themed Trap card, U.A. Penalty Box. If only there was a way to get Penalty Box to the Graveyard now that Lavalval Chain sleeps with Sangan…. Oh wait.

That’s right, it’s time for the Burgesstoma to put in some work themselves! Burgesstoma Marrella just happens to do everything we’d hope for – send any Trap card from the Deck to the Graveyard. Talk about a godsend, especially since it can even be Special Summoned back to serve as tribute fodder right afterwards! And if you happen to open multiple Burgesstoma, such as Marrella and Burgesstoma Leanchoillia, you can re-use the same Penalty Box multiple times in the same turn. So now you only need to open with Midfielder/ROTA/U.A. Signing Deal/Marrella AND Stadium/Terraforming/Marrella/Leanchoillia (if you got Marrella), and you got that perfect combo of Midfielder + Stadium to begin compiling advantage. Yes, this should frighten you, because this just made the deck very consistent, very powerful. In fact, this also gave the deck even better access to U.A. Turnover Tactics and U.A. Powered Jersey as well, since with the improved search capabilities, you no longer need to be running more than one copy of each. Let’s be honest, it feels really good to blow away a field of Xyz, Synchro, or Fusion monsters, while you setup your ultimate defensive lineup. So there you have it, this is how U.A. becomes even more of an ultra contender in the near future with the addition of the Bugesstoma.

We’ve covered the basics of the strategy, we’ve covered the reasoning behind the combination, but now let’s consider a different approach. You could actually take the Reasoning U.A. variant and bring it to the next level by including Burgesstoma! Yes, that is definitely a solid strategy, and why certain Burgesstoma builds even run Monster Gate. At the end of the day, there is a ton of design space that is left unexplored, and there is always room for innovation. So take a chance, and see if you can figure out how to combine a TCG World Premiere archetype with a Korean World Premiere archetype. It could literally be ‘The Best of Both Worlds’. As always, check out my example variant by tapping here, and perhaps it will be inspiring for your own modifications down the road!

Mi Gusta Burgesstoma

Before we soar to new heights with the WIND Burgesstoma variant, let’s recap – we’ve covered a lot of different strategies so far. From using Burgesstoma as a Trap lineup, to using them for Synchro Summons; from using Burgesstoma as a Tribute engine, to using them to Xyz Spam: all of this has contributed to defining an extremely robust theme. So let’s revisit the idea of using the Burgesstoma to augment the power of an already-established theme with a solid identity of its own, and so let’s talk Gusto. The Gusto are another DT theme, comprised almost entirely of monsters that Special Summon. Yes, there are only 3 Main Deck monsters that do not include an effect to Special Summon! This is extremely important for a multitude of reasons, the most important of which is allowing the deck to setup for its big plays. So what could the Burgesstoma add to a deck that is already well-defined?

Enter Dinomischus…. Again. Gusto Griffin has long been hailed as one of the most powerful Gusto cards ever created, the only issue is that he is extremely difficult to trigger. But with Dinomischus, you finally have another way to trigger the Griffin, while also having other viable options to discard when needed! Remember, the Burgesstoma have a built in MST and draw card as well, both of which are absolutely necessary for a Gusto deck to be able to compete. The last, and perhaps most important point, is the fact that the Gusto deck could already run a specific Trap card to great effect that also benefits Burgesstoma – Shapesister. Sister provides the deck with something that it has always wanted – a Level 2 Tuner Monster that does not feel like a waste of space (such as both of the Level 2 Tuner Gustos). The other important thing to note is that Gustos do have a solid line-up of Level 2 monsters to partner with the Burgesstoma for Xyz Summons!

Whether it is Kamui, Hope of Gusto summoning an additional Tuner before being used as material, or just a Griffin you don’t have a discard outlet for, you have some options at your disposal. The other main benefit is that Gusto already run Creature Swap, an extremely potent spell that doesn’t target, so that means trading one of your monsters (that trigger when destroyed in battle OR are a 1200 ATK Normal Monster) for anything your opponent has definitely benefits your gamestate. One final note – the Gusto are amazing at stalling out the game. If your opponent has to run over Gusto after Gusto after Gusto, you are eventually going to get enough resources to mount a comeback. In the same vein, you are a bit vulnerable, BUT that is where your Burgesstoma Trap cards come in, to guarentee that you can survive long enough to be ready to take the duel by a storm!

In closing, this deck is definitely off-of-the-wall as well, but it has some decent merits from a theory-standpoint. I hope you Burgesstoma enthusiasts out there take a moment to look further into the combos, and decide to try it yourself! As always, Click Here to get a look at the version I drafted up when writing this guide. A good place to start would be the Gusto ratios, in addition to figuring out exactly which Burgesstoma fit in perfectly well with the deck (Yes, I opted for Burgesstoma Eldonia, because of its power when combined with Diagusto Sphreez).

Burgesstoma Shiranui

Woah, can’t you believe we’re already to the last of the 6 main attributes? This time, we’ll be focusing yet again on a Synchro-focused deck, but instead of using the Burgesstoma as Synchro Material, we’ll actually be using them to both augment the disruptive capabilities of the Shiranui archetype and to give the deck a bit more resilience if you cannot rely upon PSY-Framelord Omega. For those of you unfamiliar with this archetype arriving soon in Breakers of Shadow, it is a FIRE/Zombie-type (all with 0 DEF) archetype designed around banishing. But when you hear Zombie archetype, that immediately should make you think of Uni-Zombie, one of the most powerful type-centric tuners ever printed. Not only does Uni allow you to start snowballing Mezuki, through the lovely effect of Omega, but it also allows you to have some level versatility when Synchro Summoning. So to be clear, this deck seems extremely self-sustaining, the Burgesstoma are actually just an addition to the already functional and powerful theme.

The benefits to running Burgesstoma in here begin to start piling up once you realize the strengths of Shiranui. In particular, the Shiranui Trap card, Shiranui Style: Swallow Sword, which serves as a Icarus Attack for Zombies. That also happens to banish a Shiranui from the deck, that then gives you access to your Shiranui effects. So how do the Burgesstoma fit into this picture? Just like Fabled or Gusto, these Trap cards serve as additional defensive capabilities for the deck. If you are running a deck that abuses the heck out of Omega, you are going to be leaving your Monster zones wide open a lot in the early stages of a duel. Open Monster zones lead to fast OTKs, especially when it comes to certain matchups. However, the Burgesstoma give you a bit more leeway in your responses: For example, if your opponent attempts to attack for game, use one of your Burgesstoma Traps, then summon back another from the Graveyard. Even if you did not have had a good counter to actually stop the attack, you did prevent yourself from outright losing the duel then and there. And that’s important when you have powerful Synchro bosses waiting to arrive on the drop of a dime.

Now that’s just one advantage to this build. The second, and potentially more important advantage, is the deck’s access to Quilbolt Hedgehog, just like our first variant. Just like Shaddoll Falco, Cursed Katana Shiranui can easily be Special Summoned back to the field time and time again, either with the effect of Bujinki Amaterasu or Mezuki, and therefore you have a steady stream of Tuner recursion. In addition, if you are really feeling the Zombie, you could even try running Plaguespreader Zombie as well, who has his own form of returning from the Graveyard turn after turn, especially when combined with Quilbolt. At the end of the day, this is a really neat introduction to the Shiranui theme, and you may even find that the compatibility between Dinomischus and Uni-Zombie, Leanchoillia and Mezuki, and Olenoides and Swallow Style actually give you the confidence to take on any opponent. And the best part of all, this deck has an AMAZING Pendulum matchup! To continue with the pattern, Click Here to get a glimpse at my Shiranui Burgesstoma combination! Hopefully you enjoy the Zombies coming back from the dead!

So there’s some deck introductions to hopefully introduce you to the potential of the Burgesstoma engine! Since I’m feeling especially nice right now, I’m giving each of you Some other possible builds to consider when being creative building Burgesstoma:

Divine BurgesstomaRa, Volcanic Burgesstoma, Ojama Burgesstoma, Atlantean Burgesstoma, Pure Burgesstoma, Dark World Burgesstoma, BurgesstAroma, Burgesstoma Chain Burn, Burgesstoma Shark,  Aqua Actress Burgesstoma, Raidraptor Burgesstoma

Yes, I did just give you 11 more variants. Click on the words above to see examples of each of those.

 The Future

Normally when you look to engines, the typical conclusion is that looking forward will only make the impact of the engine worse until they receive new support. But for the Burgesstoma, this may not actually be the case! In the very new future, the OCG will be given a brand new card that will make Burgesstoma even more frightening than they already are…. Introducing Card of Demise. This previously-anime-only card is coming soon to a card game near you, so you may want to remember this article down the road when you are faced with the terrible realization that you may need to learn about the cool prehistoric fish archetype!

See original image

Thanks to everyone for reading! Also, special thanks to those that helped me test decklists and gave me a couple more cool ideas I didn’t think of!


Hello everybody! I serve as Number VIII of the Organization; however, my main role on the site is writing regular Deck Strategy articles! I enjoy fleshing out archetypes to their fullest potential and helping people discover amazing new techs and decks to try out!

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