Creative Deck Strategy: Cubic Performage
Feeling the burn yet? Because finally a burn player can have a Soul too!
The Cubic Order Awaits
Entering into the game from the Movie Pack that seems to be eternally reprinted, the Cubic archetype features a variety of monsters with unique summoning mechanics that are supported by diverse support Spells and Traps. For those of you who have never faced this deck before, you definitely need to beware, as it is one of the strongest OTK decks out there, simply because its boss monster can inflict massive damage out of seemingly nowhere. So that’s where we will begin – Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord is a 3000 ATK boss monster that can be Special Summoned from the hand just by revealing 3 other Cubic cards with different names. He is unaffected by monster effects by monsters with original ATK less than 3000, and when it destroys a monster by battle, it can attack a second time. Oh, and during your End Phase, each player takes 3000 damage.
You did not read that last sentence wrong – this is one of the most powerful burn effects in the game. Now, you may see this as both a positive and negative, but at the end of the day, you can turn this into an easy victory just by attacking twice and burning. But the Cubics have a couple more tricks up their sleeves than just an OTK. Supporting the Cubics is a suite of Spells and Traps that have additional effects in the GY. For example, Cubic Karma can boost the ATK of a Cubic monster on the field when activated, but its GY effect lets you banish it to add any Cubic monster from deck to hand. Unification of the Cubic Lords may never be viable to use its first effect to Fusion Summon the Cubic Fusion monster, Crimson Nova Trinity the Dark Cubic Lord, using 3 of your Crimson Novas, but its GY effect can be used to Special Summon any level 4 or lower Cubic from the hand or deck (ignoring its summoning conditions) if a Cubic is destroyed by battle or leaves the field.
For this last Trap support card, this works even when your Cubics are used as Link material, so you can create a nice little loop to continuously grab link material! This is made possible by Duza, the Meteor Cubic Vessel, a Level 4 that can send any Cubic card from Deck to GY whenever it is Normal or Special Summoned. So the loop here is summon Duza, send Unification, link away Duza, use Unification to summon a new Duza, send a new Unification, and repeat. Or you can send Karma if you need that one extra Cubic to summon out your Crimson Nova! The last super important Cubic card that supports their OTK playstyle is the Normal Spell Cubic Wave. First, it can target a Cubic you control and a monster your opponent controls, to make your monster’s ATK doubled and your opponent’s monster’s ATK halved. Then second, it can banish itself from the GY (with other Cubic monsters) to negate the effects of your opponent’s monsters by placing counters on them. This gives you both a way to break established boards as well as giving you even more OTK power when you go for the kill!
The Performage Ready their Wands
Time for a hard pivot, because we need to talk about how we can further support the burn damage of the Cubics. Because let’s face it – it’s a lot easier to win the game by just inflicting a ton of damage, rather than making sure your opponent has a monster for you to OTK over. As one of the many burn archetypes introduced in Arc V, the Performage have a couple of key cards to support today’s strategy. Performage Stilts Launcher is our pseudo-boss for today, as whenever an effect is activated that would inflict damage, you can banish it from your GY to inflict an additional 2000 damage to your opponent. Talk about big burn damage. On the other hand, you have Perfomage Hat Tricker, an extender whose second effect can shift away from balanced burn damage. Whenever an effect is activated that would inflict damage to you, you get to reduce that damage to 0 and place a counter on Tricker. So just enter your End Phase with Tricker and Nova, and your opponent takes 3000 damage and you get off scott free!
The last two Performage support cards in today’s build round out a bit of the viability of the engine. Performage Trick Clown has been used across a variety of decks to give additional material for extra deck summons, and this strategy is no different. Send it to the GY, get a Performage back on your field to keep doing stuff with (including itself). Then lastly, we have the archetype’s searcher that was recently unlocked from the Semi-Limited List – Performage Damage Juggler. Its first effect can protect you from rogue burn strategies, and its second effect can defend you from battle damage in a pinch, but its third effect lets you banish it from the GY to add any other Performage from deck to hand. This gives you a bit more consistency in addition to protecting you from random unexpected OTKs.
Now you may be thinking that these two themes are very disjointed – and you are correct in many regards. But they all came together with the release of a new card in the latest Legendary Duelist set – Magicians’ Soul. This card is the best thing ever for almost any archetype or strategy that features a Level 6 or higher Spellcaster, plus it also super synergizes with any Spell or Trap cards that can gain extra advantage when sent or from the GY. This ties our two themes together as you just summon Soul by sending a Stilts Launcher from deck, then you can use its second effect to send Cubic Spells or Traps to the GY for free draws, only to then turn around and exploit those discarded Cubic cards. This also lets you take advantage of both effects of Cubic Karma, letting you first thin the deck of Vijam then still getting a search by sticking Karma straight into the GY where it loves to be!
Together they Watch the World Burn
We’ve covered the highlights so let’s dive into additional layers of strategy and the win condition for the deck. First off the strategy – this is an unconventional deck that preys on opponent’s who are not prepared to face Cubics or those that have never seen this archetype in action before. Just like knowing to avoid putting your cards in the same column versus Mekk-Knights, your opponent has a lot of potential pitfalls, since you can win the duel with the drop of a Crimson Nova, crushing their dreams in an instant. But that’s any old Cubic variant – both Soul and the Performage engine unlock consistent looping with Duza the Meteor Cubic Vessel.
The first piece of this loop enabling comes in the form of Soul – a Special Summon that just adds an additional body to your field. Whenever you draw Soul with Duza (Or Karma), simply Summon Soul, Summon Duza, then use its effect to send a Unification. This unlocks a chain of link summons, since using Duza as Link Material triggers your Unification in GY to summon a new Duza, which then sends a new Unification… and so on. Combine this with other Performages, like Trick Clown sent off of Foolish or Hat Tricker, and you can keep summoning Link 2s. With just 1 other such extender (also including Giera Guile the Cubic King), you can go through 2 Knightmare co-linked Link Summons, getting you even more draws to get to your ultimate Win Condition – burn damage.
So we already discussed earlier that Stilts is 2000 dmg and Crimson Nova’s EP effect inflicts 3000 dmg. To finish off your opponent, all that remains is a big 3000 dmg. But that’s when our secret tech from the Rokket theme enters the fray: Introducing Speedburst Dragon. Whenever you take effect damage, Speedburst can summon itself from the hand, inflict the same amount of damage to the opponent, then let you recover half of that. Isn’t it great that Crimson Nova inflicts 3000 to you as well? This unlocks a ‘perfect combo’ so-to-speak, where having Speedburst in hand, a live Stilts in GY, and Crimson Nova on the field is an OTK. This can even be a FTK if you really open the duel well, but admittedly that requires a lucky opening and some good draws with Soul. Which is why it is also recommended to run Pot of Desires, maximizing your chances to open with a powerful combo!
But enough about the various win conditions at play in this deck – let’s check out the decklist since we’ve already covered most of it!
Click to view the TCG decklist in the Official Card Database
TCG List as of 1/30/2020:
(See Future Adjustments Section for changes including probable new cards as of 3/20/2020)
||| Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord
||| Duza the Meteor Cubic Vessel
||| Vijam the Cubic Seed
| Giera Guile the Cubic King
| Indiora, Doom Volt of the Cubic Emperor
||| Magicians’ Soul
|| Perfomage Stilts Launcher
|| Performage Damage Juggler
|| Performage Hat Tricker
| Performage Trick Clown
||| Speedburst Dragon
||| Cubic Karma
||| Cubic Wave
| Foolish Burial
||| Foolish Burial Goods
|| Pot of Desires
| Monster Reborn
||| Unification of the Cubic Lords
| Gagaga Cowboy
| Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
| Performage Trapeze Magician
| Borreload Dragon
| Borrelsword Dragon
| I:P Masquerena
| Knightmare Cerberus
| Knightmare Phoenix
| Knightmare Unicorn
| Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax
| PSY-Framelord Lambda
| Topologic Bomber Dragon
| Underclock Taker
Foolish, Foolish, Foolish, Foolish, Desires
As a streamlined OTK variant, this build is all about getting to the cards you need as reliably as possible. There definitely is a tiny bit of room for optimization and tech choices, but I chose to fill them entirely with monsters and spells that give me the best possible chance of winning the duel with the help of Cubic cards. Whether it is Foolish Burial unlocking Performage searches or recovery (remember Trick Clown can trigger Speedburst too for an extra extender during plays) or Foolish Burial Goods serving as a ROTA for the Cubic archetype due to its synergy with Karma, this build is a turbo one. At the end of the day, you have so many opportunities to just take your chance at ending the duel, such as with Wave’s ATK doubling ability making Crimson Nova that much more scary!
But the best part about this whole deck in my opinion? It doesn’t automatically lose to floodgates. Unlike many of the current combo strategies in the game today, this can still make its main plays under There Can Only be One, since the Cubics have such a wide variety of typing. Plus we’ve thrown in Spellcasters and Dragons, so this is no one-type wonder! The other note about this build is the Extra deck, as it is definitely built around Knightmare combos, I:P Masquerena shenanigans, and stalling out the duel until you can win it with an OTK. But remember, in a pinch your Vijam can just stall if you must, but you also have Damage Juggler that can buy you an extra turn or two if needed! So this may be a Cubic strategy, but it is nowhere close to one-dimensional pure builds you may have seen in the past!
While I may be shooting the gun a bit on this strategy, it is very important to highlight that Cubics have some impending new support that will take a strategy like this to the next level. In the Duel Overload set releasing in mid March, Konami has announced that new Cubic cards will finally be imported to the TCG. While we have yet to have confirmation from Konami on the exact contents, there are three Cubic cards that still remain OCG-only, and each can offer a significant boost. Let’s check them out:
- Cubic Dharma (YGOrg Translation) – Clearly meant to be the opposite of Karma, Dharma offers two key things to the Cubic deck. First is an in-theme way to unclog your hand and draw additional cards. This is great as you should immediately think of how this improves your consistency. The GY effect gives you recovery, making this yet another great option to send with Soul for a draw. And lastly, it reduces your battle damage to 0, letting you use Vijam offensively by attacking stronger monsters to spread your negating Cubic Counters! All-in-all, this is the most important card of the bunch.
- Cubic Ascention (YGOrg Translation) – This trap card may be less versatile compared to Unification, but it can be a lifesaver in a pinch as well as a great way to begin mounting a comeback into a difficult duel. Its initial activation just gives you a Vijam from the deck to counter an attack, but its GY effect gives you 3 Vijam from your Deck or GY if used effectively. Yes, this means you can start your turn with 3 free Link Material, or just 3 indestructible-by-battle LP shields. This is great!
- Cubic Omen (YGOrg Translation) – This is the least effective support card of the bunch, but it is a Normal Trap with a non-targeting negation capability and a GY effect that gives a Cubic monster additional burn damage when it destroys monster(s) your opponent controls that had a Cubic counter. This may be a bit too situational for a hybrid strategy, but it is definitely an option to try to get the extra damage off of their LP.
When Duel Overload is released in March, I recommend editing the sample decklist by removing Giera, Reborn, and Hat Tricker, then adding 3 copies of Dharma and 1 copy of Ascension. This gives your deck even more consistency and draw power, in addition to giving more “Cubic” names to reveal to summon Crimson Nova! It’s a win-win-win-win? Perfect.
Additional Tech Options
- Fusion Conscription – Prefer to search Crimson Nova rather than hope to draw it? This is an option for that by revealing the Cubic Fusion monster, but then you cannot summon a Nova until your next turn, so it is a more targeted option that comes with a forced delay.
- Sales Pitch – This is the more generic version of the above. Since every single deck searches nowadays, you can definitely run this to pluck whichever piece of your OTK combo you do not have. The major downside here is that it is a trap and inherently slow, but it may be worth it since this build can withstand some OTKs quite well with your anti-damage tech cards.
- Spellbook of Secrets and Spellbook of Knowledge – This can be another small draw engine since you are running so many Spellcaster monsters.
- Metalfoes Fusion – An alternative to the above, since you are discarding cards a lot. This also combos with Foolish Burial Goods to serve as a pseudo-Upstart Goblin without the opponent gaining LP.
- Magic Cylinders – This may be an old card, but the amount of burn damage this can inflict is nothing to scoff at. Especially in a time when people have the full Solemn suite back, any way to inflict damage could be enough to gain victory.
Conclusion and Wrap-up:
You made it this far so thanks for reading! Cubics and Performage may seem like two very different themes that shouldn’t mix, but all it takes is a generic power card like Magician’s Soul that can tie them together. But even more on top of that, throw in some Rokket support and you got yourself a creative potion that can knock your opponent down before they’re even ready for it! You may not make many friends using burn damage to win, but you certainly get to have fun doing so! I hope that this article inspired you to bring a bit more Cubics back into your life – it is a cool archetype that has been criminally undervalued. But if this article wasn’t your cup of tea, try checking in next time for a new strategy! The current plan is to cover one of the debut archetypes from Ignition Assault, so see you next time for that!
Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articles! I really want to see some input from you! If you wish to see a CDS article about the archetype, theme, or strategy you love, feel free to private message me on the YGOrg Discord server, the YGOrganization Forums, or just post a comment in response to this article on our Facebook page with your ideas to keep under consideration! On most YGO-related communities my username is Quincymccoy, so feel free to reach out. As of now, I have 1 outstanding requests that I am looking into: Ballpark Insect/Battlewasp! I had to stick Heraldic Beast in the icebox for now, so if you requested it and want to convince me of a cool path for the archetype, reach out on Discord!