Casual Deck Strategy: He Did The Mash?

Bobby Pickett said it the best when he wrote the following in 1962:

He did the mash, he did the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
He did the mash, it caught on in a flash
He did the mash, he did the monster mash

Table of Contents:
  • History
  • Deck 1] Umbattery Chaos Dragons
    • Strategy, Deck Example, Discussion
  • Deck 2] WATER Mash
    • Strategy, Deck Example, Discussion
  • Deck 3] ChronoMash
    • Strategy, Deck Example, Discussion
  • Deck 4] 10-Axis Burn
    • Strategy, Deck Example, Discussion
  • Conclusion

History:

175px-AnUnfortunateReport

Monster mash decks have shown up in various forms throughout the ages for the game of Yu-Gi-Oh! From the Gallis FTK to the dreadful attempts in the past to throw Quickdraw Dandywarrior, Plant Synchro, AND Agents into one attempt at a hybrid… Yes, as I’m sure from you understand from my tone, the latter was not a noble nor successful attempt. Despite these innovative and disgraceful previous attempts at making a consistent deck of containing all monsters, there were two main ‘types’ of monster mashes that developed. One went pure, 40 monsters, voila! The other type chose to live on the edge, and slightly taint the title, “Monster Mash” by choosing to run Magical Merchant beside a trio of powerful spells or traps, normally Heavy Storm, Monster Reborn, and Dark Hole. This strategy allowed the deck to go crazy, with the potential to easily mill over 20 cards, all while adding one of those game-changer limited spells right to the Hand.

Another quick point of discussion would be that monster mash variants have only become relevant in the more modern game as an actual option with the rise of ‘hand traps’. With the release of powerful monsters such as Gorz, the Emissary of DarknessMaxx “C”, and Effect Veiler, the theme of monster mash has options to counter the opponent’s play without the aid of Spells or Traps. Some recent, well-known mashes such as Gallis Agents have capitalized on this trend in card design, simply because their fairy-type grants access to the powerful Herald of the Orange Light which can be a souped up Veiler in certain situations.

However, the Casual Deck Strategy articles are not here to familiarize you with the histories of failed prior attempts at decks, that have since faded away. It has been designed to spur your creativity with the card pools available soon in the TCG! It’s time for you to be acquainted with the diverse monster mashes of the near future! Without further ado, let’s jump into the first mash.

BTW, since this guide is being written after the reveal of the official January TCG F&L list, all decks will be presented as legal to the upcoming format, even though each one uses OCG cards. You have been warned.

They played the mash, they played the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They played the mash, it caught on in a flash
They played the mash, they played the monster mash

Umbattery Chaos Dragons:

Mash_UmbralAnime

Strategy:

Introducing the first monster mash variant of the article, proven quite effective in recent testing. There are quite a few ‘engines’ at work, as with any mash variant, so let’s cover the main portions before diving too deep into the deck’s overarching strategy. First up, the Chaos dragons. With the baby Chaos dragons, Lightpulsar Dragon and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, the deck holds fast to its devotion to maintaining and gaining advantage. Since both Level 4 Chaos dragons can be Special Summoned at such a low cost, it started as a great baseline for the deck, because a condition for any mash is that it needs to be able to use as many of the cards in hand as possible when required.

Moving along, the second and third portions of the mash are ways to cover the LIGHT and DARK requirements to summon those dragons. The LIGHT archetype this specific variant accompanies is the Batterymen, simply because Batteryman AAA is a one-card Xyz if you already have one in the Graveyard, in addition to it having 0 DEF (for Masked Chameleon), on top of being able to be Special Summoned straight from the Deck by Batteryman Micro-Cell, which has its own special perk of replacing itself with a draw when flipped and then subsequently destroyed. Our final key ingredient to complete the deck is the Umbral Horrors, an archtype of DARK monsters that naturally all have 0 DEF and can Xyz into the all powerful Number 66: Master Key Beetle. While there is no super powerful combo with Safe Zone in this deck, Number 66 sure packs a punch when protecting other monsters, especially higher priority level 8 Synchros, wherein the true win condition of the deck lies.

Synchro Monsters have always been powerful and always will be, since the release of Stardust Dragon, until the release of the last Synchro ever printed. The general issue with our pure white boss monsters is that you have to give up 2 face-up monsters (with appropriate addition skills which I tend to lack sometimes) to Special Summon 1 monster. That note in terms of losing presence with Synchro Summoning is where this deck shines by completely ignoring the issue. Through use of a variety of powerful, modern-age additions to the Tuner lineup, including Masked Chameleon and Raiden, Lightsworn Assailant, the deck easily keeps up Synchro Summoning with benefits.

Masked Chameleon of course works as a one card Synchro with a Batteryman AAA or any Umbral Horror in the Graveyard, and Raiden has an effect to mill one of the LIGHT or DARK monsters needed to Special Summon a baby Chaos dragon or just to fill the Graveyard in general. The power of a monster mash variant like this is one final Level 4 Tuner: Witch of the Black Rose. Worst case scenario, you summon her to reveal a monster off the top of your deck and add it to hand. It will never be worse than that in any monster mash. In here specifically, whenever she makes it to the Graveyard, you got a DARK all lined up for banish fodder, or even before that, a perfect Tuner ripe for the picking! Later in the duel, that draw on summon plus the effect of one of the mini Chaos dragons makes for Synchro Summons that actually gain advantage BEFORE using any of the Synchro Monster’s effects! It’s literally a recipe for success.

Umbattery Chaos Dragons Deck Example:

I am fully aware that I am not an expert on Monster Mash variants, despite the fact that I’m taking the time to write on the topic, so please treat the following as an example decklist. I know it may not be the best build in the world, but it can serve as a baseline for your deck construction in the future: http://i.imgur.com/wBrG50K.png.

Mash_WitchofBlackRose

Follow-Up Discussion:

So, as I kind of hinted to before, the deck hinges on the power of Level 8 Synchros and the backbone of the jack-of-all-trades smorgasbord of Rank 4 tech options waiting in the Extra Deck. The above decklist is simply an example variant, and there are other ways to take the idea as well. Throw in a couple Maxx “C” over the Kagetokage, switch out the Secret Sect Druid Dru for Swordsman of Revealing Light, or even Caius, the Shadow Monarch. With just a few simple changes, you can steer this monster mash from highly aggressive to being annoyingly controlling and disruptive. Despite the fact that this form of monster mash hybrids three completely different archtypes, the versatility available in tech options is next near incomparable: the only issue is that those techs must be monsters. Vanity’s Fiend or Jinzo perhaps? You could try out any of the Monarchs, you just are limited by the amount of LIGHT and DARK monsters you want to run in order to fuel your dragons. The potential of this sort of deck is unlimited, you just got to approach a hybrid option like this with an open mind!

 

WATER Mash – Making a Splash:

Mash_SharkAnime

Strategy:

Another constantly evolving monster mash strategy has been the use of a high amount of WATER monsters to abuse the effects of certain advantage hungry creatures from the deep. Introducing the first of many, Treeborn Frog and Fishborg Planter. Treeborn loves open backrow, which you will always have with a monster mash without Silver Sentinel, and Fishborg just needs to mill a WATER to be specialed from the Graveyard. As a result, you have 2 reoccurring Tribute fodder, Synchro Materials, chump blockers, you name it: EVERY TURN. But this deck has just kept growing and growing in power, since one of the main anime protagonists of Zexal uses a Fish-Type Shark deck! As a result, there has been a tidal wave of new support, swamping the WATER attribute and Fish-type with tons of new toys to play with, from Silent Angler to Xyz Remora.

What makes this deck special is that it pools together members of tons of different archetypes and themes to form one synergistic deck that only truly holds its own when monster-mashed. The secret with a WATER mash is knowing which cards to look at, and weighing the odds with your sense of luck, because let’s face it, there are just some cards that are too good to pass up in a monster mash. Before diving deeper into the strategy of this variant, I’ll show off a complex example of a modern day WATER mash AND a simpler example of a more defined WATER mash that I used in one of my Structure Deck tournaments on the Dueling Network Forums a year ago.

WATER Mash Deck Example:

I am fully aware that I am not an expert on Monster Mash variants, despite the fact that I’m taking the time to write on the topic, so please treat the following as example decklists. I know they may not be the best builds in the world, but they can serve as a baseline for your deck construction in the future:

Complex: http://i.imgur.com/AyBIRsf.png

Simple: http://i.imgur.com/dxtHV.png

Follow-Up Discussion:

First off, no laughing at the Serpent-focused variant, I was really excited at the time about making a deck about one specific brand-new TCG support card; and yet, I am still upset that Slushy never became that awesome tech option I always dreamed it could become. Anywho, the key difference that should stand out immediately between the decks, is that the older, simpler WATER mash seems to have an extremely streamlined strategy. This is a perfect example of the evolution of the WATER mash. Just looking at the second deck, you use Swap Frog to get Slushy to the Graveyard, use it to keep the power Mermails out of the Graveyard and swamping the opponent with their high ATK. Or perhaps you saw the deck’s strategy to utilize the Fishborg duo to fill the field with little WATER monsters hand-in-hand a Ronintoadin, Special Summon Poseidra the Atlantean Dragon using those 3 ‘free’ monsters, and bounce clear their backrow to prepare for an all-out fury of attacks?

If anyone can lay out exact mainstream strategies for the complex WATER mash before reading the rest of this section, I applaud you for being a great Theory-Oh-ist, quite frankly I can’t even do that looking back, so I’m sure even I will miss something. This specific variant uses a variety of WATER monsters that can all work independently to accomplish their task of spamming the field, but before they can all the rest of the Deck is designed to helping fill the Graveyard with WATER minions ready at your disposal. Call that an insane strategy, but let’s take a more refined look about the specific members of the deck.

Nimble Sunfish and Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls works hand-in-hand with Imairuka and Screech to fill the Graveyard quickly with as many usable WATER monsters as possible, specifically Fishborg Archer, Fishborg Planter, and Treeborn Frog, but also Fog King and Depth Shark whenever you get the chance. The latter two allow you to explode with Masked Chameleon into Star Eater or Giganticastle in the hopes that your opponent will waste all forms of negation and destruction to remove the powerful threats the costed you in total a Normal Summon. But the main plays of the deck works with Xyz spamming, with Xyz Remora and Double-Fin Shark, there is so many ways to end up with a powerful field of Xyz Monsters by the end of your turn, for small investments of cards in-hand at a time.

In hindsight, that was a really generic overview of the complex deck’s strategy, simply because that’s how the deck plays. It plays similar to a Cookie Cutter or Highlander deck, in which every duel is different and the things you do to win vary based on the hands you draw. There are a ton of WATER monsters with unique effects. I choose to run Deep Sweeper, not because of those pesky facedowns since Mobius the Mega Monarch handles those better, but because a WATER mash using the sweeper becomes one of the few monster mash variants to be able to get out of a Skill Drain. Let’s be honest here, everyone know’s that’s one of the deck’s biggest weaknesses, a Continuous degenerate Trap Card that everyone and their mother has hated in one duel or another.

The last note I want to touch on about the second build is my choice to include 2 Miracle Fusions. Let this be an important message to you: You should not be running a monster mash variant simply due to the novelty of running a deck without Spell or Trap support. You should choose to run a monster mash because it brings something interesting to a duel that can throw a wrench in some of your opponent’s mained cards, like Mystical Space Typhoon or Fire Formation – Gyokkou. Also, with the Miracles and Chameleon, I am choosing to run 5 non-WATER monsters. With that figure, there is always the possibility that Fishborg Planter or Imairuka won’t mill a WATER monster. You just have to treat that as the luck of the game if you run Spell or Trap numbers at such a low probability. It does not hurt by any means to use a couple powerful spells in a Monster Mash just like the variants of history did with Reborn and Heavy, but it does hurt if you are running a lot of monster-dependent cards like Witch of the Black Rose or Gallis the Star Beast. You have to be cognitive of your decisions while constructing a monster mash, like any other deck, due to the probability of getting something you simply didn’t want.

 

ChronoMash:

Mash_ChronomAnime

Strategy:

Welcome to the mash driven by the archtype that’s been making waves among OCG lovers, the Chronomaly have certainly been identified as an archtype that can OTK out of nowhere. The concept of a monster mash driven by the Chronomaly and the power of Rank 5 Xyz monsters is not new, originating from early 2013 with the release of Star Drawing as a great method to maintaining advantage when Xyz Summoning Rank 5’s before the Xyz monster’s effect even comes into play. This helps propel the mash to pump out tons upon tons of Xyz monsters, resulting in a battalion of Rank 5’s to strike through the opponent. As how the first mash used the powerful effects of the various level 8 Synchro monsters, this monster mash uses the powerful effects of the rank 5 as the backbone, so we can’t discuss the deck without highlighting the power of Constellar PleaidesNumber 61: VolcasaurusShark Fortress, and of course, Tiras, Keeper of Genesis. Each of these pose direct threats to the opponent’s well-being, let alone if they all come out to play together.

So why a Chronomaly monster mash when you could just choose to run a Chronomaly deck that can spam its own Rank 5 monsters in addition to OTK’ing, all with the reinforcement of Spells and Traps? Because a monster mash like this does not fall to one combo being stopped, you have a ton of options if one Xyz Summon ends with a trap. And remember, the Rank 5 has the best answer for backrow. You can make the first Xyz combo of your swarm to clear 2 sets with Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh, before beginning the rest of your Xyz spamming! Let’s preview the deck in case you can’t visualize everything.

ChronoMash Deck Example:

I am fully aware that I am not an expert on Monster Mash variants, despite the fact that I’m taking the time to write on the topic, so please treat the following as an example decklist. I know it may not be the best build in the world, but it can serve as a baseline for your deck construction in the future: http://i.imgur.com/1nHrLIc.png . If you want to make a TCG-only version of this example, drop the 2 Chronomaly Nebra Disk for another Photon Slasher and another Solar Wind Jammer.

Follow-Up Discussion:

So the Chronomaly portion of the deck itself only makes up 14 cards. That leaves quite a bit a room for other fun stuff, but the thing you should note is that 6 of those 14 are searchers for other Chronomaly cards and 11 out of the 14 Special Summon themselves and/or Special Summon another. That allows for the deck to have a ton of speed from its core, in addition to fueling the LIGHT requirement of the Chaos element in the deck.

This leaves the DARK half of the Chaos requirement to Garbage Lord, Garbage Ogre, and Tour Guide from the Underworld. With the last half of the DARK portion, the deck also can rely upon the other Rank 3 engine present in the deck, Chronomaly Crystal Bones. Once the deck puts one Rank 5 Xyz on the field, the others have the chance to fall into line through Photon Slasher and Garbage Lord. Ghost Ship also loves to add onto the fun, and remember you can always make the first or second Rank 5 as ZW – Leo Arms as a way to search out ZW – Eagle Claw, another Level 5 monster that can Special Summon itself from the hand.

As to the nature of the deck, it is extremely linear yet is unexpected against an inexperienced opponent: you swarm, you OTK. If you fail on the OTK part, then you gave your best effort but you’re probably going to have to stall a few turns or luck-sack a Chaos monster in order to win the duel. You do not keep your advantage when spamming for the win, so you have to keep in mind that going overboard will make you lose more games. If you do not have the constraint to holding off from summoning that extra Rank 5 monster, I wouldn’t suggest trying out this deck. There are certainty a ton of options if you wish to change up the core monsters in the deck, and you can always choose a core of the Chronomaly as the main Xyz engine with the backup of hand traps! The goal of this type of monster mash is to have an Xyz core with a backbone of monsters supporting it, I just chose to go with a more OTK-oriented version, but as always, the decision lies up to you as a deckbuilder.

 

10-Axis Burn:

Mash_NightExpressAnime

Strategy:

Before you give me that look after seeing the title, no I am not crazy, and no, this is not a troll deck that I just threw in here cause I needed another interesting Monster Mash variant. This option is by far the mash of the four covered by this article with the best record, throughout my testing. So with that out of the way, let’s address the more practical question: what makes a deck with ten Level 10 monsters function better as a Monster Mash?

One card answers that, Gallis; that integral part of the 3-card FTK from long ago? And its role? To put it bluntly, Gallis tries your luck. Weighing the odds, I must admit there is a high probability of milling either a level 10 for 2000 damage, a Machina Fortress which loves the Graveyard, Rowdy Express Battrain which then gives you a search, or lastly Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders which promotes Rank 7 Xyz plays. That makes a total of 17 cards you would like to mill with Gallis, which is at least half of your Deck at almost any point of the duel. Not really all that luck-based anymore eh? Gallis alone cannot burn to win the duel, but when combined with Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max, game-winning burn is feasible.

And that’s the core strategy of the deck: use Rank 10’s that Special Summon themselves or are easily placed on the field, then Xyz Rank 10 and win through burn. It’s a 10-Axis Burn deck, that has the additional support of alternate ranks in a monster mash like this, like 3 with Tour Guide from the Underworld to support your Gallis in potential 3-monster Rank 3 Xyz Summons for Geargiagear XG. Before going too much further, let’s look at a sample deck, since I am fairly certain you’ve never seen a build quite like this.

10-Axis Burn Example:

I am fully aware that I am not an expert on Monster Mash variants, despite the fact that I’m taking the time to write on the topic, so please treat the following as an example decklist. I know it may not be the best build in the world, but it can serve as a baseline for your deck construction in the future: http://i.imgur.com/gnUXkld.png.

Mash_SuperCannon

Follow-Up Discussion:

So what makes this deck special? Unlike the other monster mashes which had general strategies that could be modified, this one stands out because the entire deck is built to either make Rank 10 Xyz monsters to burn your opponent to oblivion or inflict damage with powerful monsters so that the next Xyz play will result in a win. The Machina engine allows for some leeway if you continue to draw tons upon tons of high-leveled machines with no plays to make with them, because a Fortress in the Graveyard just has to ditch one of them in order to be revived. I guess the main strategy tip if you plan to use this deck is recycle your Star Beasts. There is a reason why Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord is so potent in here: 1) He is the Level 10 most easy to summon and 2) He recycles literally everything. That’s his role in Sylvan’s, but in here he also gets to abuse the Level 10 part.

To make a list, the main rank 10 Xyz Combos are any combination of 2 of the following in hand: Rocket Arrow ExpressNight Express Knight, and Exodius. You also can rely upon a Tragoedia Summoned the previous turn and either of the latter two of the above list. This Xyz Summon does in fact lose you card advantage because Gustaph Max only burns and does not grant any increases, but it becomes worth the summon when you realize that 3000 ATK power on a monster that inflicts 2000 damage equates to really short duels.

This deck specializes in constricting the opponents options by removing the excess time in the game. You don’t have to attack if you don’t need to, since Gustaph can be used a second time after its summon on the following turn. While the main opposition to this sort of deck is obviously Skill Drain, Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos, it also can face some difficulties versus decks that have a high amount of monster disruption that does not occur when a monster attacks. Just be wary of them if you choose to run a variant along the same vein!

 

Conclusion:

So has your creative juices begun to flow yet? I sure hope so because we covered quite a few interesting decks today, and I am always interested in seeing what kind of monster mash concepts will be taking the world by surprise! If you prefer to tread along the path less traveled, enjoy the potential hidden inside of unknown casual strategies. There are many gems in the rough to discover, unknown tech options that can rock your world and disturb your opponent’s strategies. With the fall of the reign of the infamous Dragon Rulers, aka the beginning of the January 2014 format, many new options will be rising out of the shadows in anticipation for the chaos of the turbulence that comes with the beginning of any format. Will you bring a Monster Mash into the spotlight? One can only dream, but certain variants just might have the potential.

Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band
And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris [Quincymccoy] sent you
Then you can mash, then you can monster mash
The monster mash, and do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash, you’ll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash, then you can monster mash

Quincymccoy

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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