Includes Video Replays: Let your Machines Boot-Up for the occasion with some TCG upgrades.
The Machina Garage has Expanded!
With the recent release of the new Machina structure deck, duelists have turned to various EARTH Machine archetypes to determine how to best support the new cards. But today’s article is getting back to where the Machina first made a name for itself, combining with the Gadget monsters. Except this time, we got some new support on both sides of the aisle to spice it up! Before we get too far into the cross-archetype build, let’s talk about what makes these new Machina monsters and support cards so good!
The cover card and boss monster for the new Machinas is undoubtedly Machina Citadel, which serves as both a disruption and extender as necessary. First, whenever an EARTH Machine you control is destroyed, you can choose to summon Citadel back from the GY to your field. This synergizes with all of the other new cards extremely well. Secondly, it has a quick effect to target a Machine you control, then destroy it and your opponent’s monsters with equal or less ATK. This gives you a quick effect nuke to bomb your opposing monsters right off the board in one slick motion! Combined with its 3000 ATK statline, this boss monster is nothing to scoff at. What makes it even better is the Level 8 Machina support duo that came alongside it.
Machina Air Raider and Machina Irradiator share many commonalities, so it only makes sense to tackle the two together. First, you can discard any other Machina monster to summon either from the hand, giving you an easy way to get it on the board (and your Citadel to the GY). The second effect of each is where they start to diverge. Air Raider can only be used on your opponents turn, targeting a Machine monster you control to summon a different Machina from your deck with the same or lower Level as your target, then you destroy that target. Irradiator has an ignition effect, targeting a Machine monster you control to summon a different Machina from your GY with the same or lower Level as your target, then you destroy that target. Clearly this synergizes well with Citadel, but it also gives you consistent access to all of your other Machina monsters as you need them.
Speaking of other Machina monsters, we can’t have this discussion properly without talking about the consistency options brought in by the Structure Deck. Machina Redeployment is the search spell that offers 2 options. Either discard any card to search 2 Machina monsters, or discard a Machina card to search any 2 Machina cards. The only restriction there is that you have to add cards with different names, but that isn’t too large of a hurdle to handle. Next, Machina Overdrive is the only Trap we’ll cover today, whose first effect targets any Machine you control to summon a Machina with a different name from your deck, then you destroy that target. Its second effect gives you a bit of recovery, banishing itself from your GY to return 3 Machines across your GY or Banished pile to the deck to draw a card. This works well with much of the other support we’ll cover later!
All of these cards are great at summoning your other Machina monsters, but what do you really want to summon most of the time? That would be the final new Machina monster, Machina Possesstorage. Possess’ first effect lets you summon a Machina from your GY whenever it is Normal or Special Summoned, just you cannot activate its effects for the rest of the turn. Secondly, Possess lets you target a Machina you control and a Spell/Trap your opponent controls to return both to the hand. While this isn’t the most powerful backrow removal option, it does give you a bit of disruption! Where Possess gets truly powerful is when you start summoning him on every turn. Bring him out with Air Raider on the opponent’s turn to recover a fallen Machina, then do the same on your subsequent turn with Irradiator, then do the same the next. This chain will continue, giving you near infinite Machine resources to work with, which is a common theme with the next highlighted archetype of today’s article – the Gadgets!
Tune-Up your Gadgets:
The Gadget monsters have been around quite a while. Green Gadget searches Red Gadget on summon, Red searches Yellow Gadget on summon, and Yellow completes the cycle searching Green. With the gadgets, you have near infinite resources, turning your summon into a +1 in card advantage, getting the next, and continuing the chain. While originally ran with tons of traps and other cards to trade 1-for-1 to ensure you were winning the resource war, this archetype only began to truly shine with the release of the first Machina Structure deck, bringing Machina Fortress into the game. This gave you a boss monster to capitalize on your nigh-infinite advantage, something the deck sorely needed.
The next time the Gadgets emerged was in the very beginning of the Pendulum era. Since Pendulums offered a way to get monsters out of the hand easily, the Gadgets were a natural pairing, giving you massive swings of advantage each time you could Pendulum Summon a hand of gadgets. This idea didn’t exist for long, as just having monsters in hand wasn’t quite enough to compete at the time, but it was an adaptation for the theme. Next came the release of Silver Gadget and Gold Gadget, each giving you a free Machine Special Summon from the hand when either is summoned, or, if you choose to wait, a summon of any Gadget from your deck when it is destroyed. These were more known for their use in ABC Union decks to facilitate Xyz and Link summon plays, but they help the Gadget theme itself quite a bit.
But then the TCG-premiere set, Fists of the Gadgets was released. This set was the equivalent of a competitive flop, as the gadget cards were dismissed as ‘casual’ and the Fire Fist cards opened up playstyles and combo loops without enough competitive promise to make an impact. While it’s true that these Gadget cards weren’t enough to revolutionize the Gadgets then, I think they are enough to revolutionize the Gadget theme now in conjunction with a Machina backbone. So let’s talk about the cool options that were introduced in this set. Boot-Up Admiral – Destroyer Dynamo was the boss card of the set, offering an alternative to Machina Fortress. It can be summoned by sending 2 Gadget cards from your hand or field to the GY, it can’t be destroyed by battle or card effects while you control a Gadget, and you can destroy 1 card on the field each turn. This is definitely a boss monster with protection and destruction, but that isn’t strong enough support to carry the Gadget theme alone… the next two cards is where the power was embedded.
Boot-Up Corporal – Command Dynamo was the other solid monster support card of this premiere set. While it is in your hand, you can target up to 2 Gadgets from your field or GY to summon itself from the hand, then equip both of those as Equip Spell cards making it gain 1000 ATK for each. In isolation, this is just an extender with additional steps, but where this card gets impactful is when you factor in the spell card welding these Boot-Ups to your Gadget archetype. Boot-Up Order – Gear Charge is a continuous spell with two important effects. First, when it is activated, you can summon any number of equipped Gadgets from your S/T zone to your field. This basically gives the deck an in-theme Pendulum Summon when combined with Command Dynamo – multiple monsters for material purposes and tons of free searches. Additionally, Charge has a second effect that lets you discard a card to search your Boot-Up Admiral, giving you consistent access to your boss without needing multiple copies.
These three cards may not look like much on face value. So, I suggest that you take a second to watch the new cards from each theme interact in explosive combos.
Machina + Gadget – 2020 Edition:
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Hopefully this gives you a bit of a clearer picture. The Machina provide consistent monsters to fuel explosive Link Summons and disruption. The Gadgets provide consistent card advantage to subsidize your Link and Xyz Summons. The additional cards from the Ancient Gear and Infinitrack archetypes provide even more advantage and ways to get your Gadgets summoned from the hand. Drawing Gear Charge just means an additional way to extend your combo further, and since so many of your cards are EARTH machines, you can run Urgent Schedule to re-balance the duel whenever the field gets lopsided to your opponent’s advantage! Pardon the pun, but this mechanized mishmash is an advantage engine, constantly giving you free cards to continue your chain of plays.
The other major aspect here is that the Gadgets provide a backbone for the Machina. Yes, the Machina cards are extremely powerful on their own – but they aren’t quite complete in a pure build. Since so many of their effects require destruction or discards to be used properly, you need an advantage stream to keep it going through multiple disruptions that your opponent is all but guaranteed to throw your way in this modern age of Yu-Gi-Oh. This is not a revolutionary idea – this was the core idea behind the original Machina/Gadget deck when Fortress first entered the fray. Despite the Machina archetype getting the new structure deck, the revolution is truly in the Gadget support cards, giving you ways to deploy the Gadgets for explosive plays of their own rather than just as an advantage engine.
One final note before I get into the decklist – there is another cool synergy you might have picked up on from the replays that involves our Gadget friends, but this entirely revolves around Ancient Gear Ballista from the recent DUOV set. Ballista is a Link 2 that searches an Ancient Gear card upon summon, and if you search Ancient Gear Box, that in turn will search either of your Infinitrack monsters. But Ballista’s 2nd effect works extremely well with your Boot-Up Corporal. Let’s say you equip a Platinum Gadget to your Corporal. Since Ballista can destroy any Spell or Trap you control, you can use it to destroy Platinum and reduce the ATK of an opponent’s monster to 0. Then, since you destroyed Platinum, its second effect can trigger to summon a Gadget from the deck, giving you more advantage to work with. Note that this also works with Silver and Gold Gadget, giving you a bit more synergy than just relying upon Boot-Up Order to make a splash.
Included Tech Cards:
The build above centers fully around the combos and powerful toolbox available to you as a Machina Gadget player in 2020! But there are a couple of extra cards I haven’t quite touched on yet, so let’s talk about why I included them. Pinpoint Landing is one of my favorite cards for themes that summon a lot from the hand, especially those that can do so on the opponent’s turn. The first activation, it may only be a replacement for Upstart Goblin, but each time afterwards that you successfully trigger its effect, you get additional advantage. This compounds your advantage lead in a duel – the longer you stay ahead, the closer you are to winning! This is the entire win condition of any deck featuring Gadgets – keep your opponent down to the point where they cannot keep up in the race to the end of the duel!
Speaking of summoning from the hand, there’s a large number of options for you to choose from. While Gold and Silver Gadgets are on-theme options for getting your Gadgets out of the hand, you can also rely upon the talents of Infinitrack Anchor Drill, a similar Level 4 Machine that gets the job done as well. The benefit for Drill is that it is additionally searchable through Ancient Gear Box, but it also opens up your Xyz monster toolbox beyond just Rank 4s. Since it can target another Machine under your control to make the level of both equal to the sum of its levels, you can unlock Rank 8s extremely easily. Dingirsu provides solid additional monster removal that Citadel cannot handle, and Titanic Galaxy gives you an additional body to build up your board when going first to disrupt your opponent. Both of these simplify the game state by removing cards from your opponent, making each +1 from every Gadget summon count that much more.
Lastly, don’t forget the near infinite recursion of your Gadgets when you combine Overdrive and Tunneller – both work in tandem to keep getting any of your Machines back into the deck. Remember, use Tunneller first, then you can shuffle him back with Overdrive for even more activations of your searchable Machine Pot of Avarice. All together, this is definitely quite a packed decklist – the Gadget engine and the Machina engine each have so many really strong cards at their disposal, sometimes making it difficult to determine what makes the cut and what doesn’t. At the end of the day, you should play around with your own ratios to determine what you are comfortable with if you ever choose to take up this build! Speaking of modifications, let’s talk about the other cards that just didn’t make the cut for my sample list!
Additional Tech Options:
- Machina Support Cards:
- Machina Metalcruncher – This new addition in the upcoming main set Eternity Code is another helpful EARTH machine. Since it searches on summon similar to the Gadgets, it can provide an additional advantage component to your deck!
- Machina Megaform – This monster can tutor any other Machina card from the deck which can be effective, but it also gives a bit more support from the GY whenever your Fortress is sent there from the field.
- Machine Support:
- Limiter Removal – Alone, this card is just an ATK boost. When you draw multiple copies together, this card makes for extremely easy game-ending OTKs.
- Flying Pegasus Railroad Stampede – While this is very much ‘Railroad’ support, this card supports all EARTH machines and thus could find a home in this combined strategy. It’s similar to additional copies of Possesstorage.
- Heavy Freight Train Derricrane & Super Express Bullet Train – Possible to Tech in more Level 10 Railroad cards? Of course! You can definitely use this to get more Machines from the hand to your field for Xyz plays.
- Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju – Level 10 Machine that also happens to be spot monster removal? Remember, Urgent Schedule can also search this if destroyed while set, so you could have consistent access if needed!
- Magnet Reverse – Recover Citadel or any of your extra deck Machines? This could be helpful for additional extended Link plays.
- Extra Deck Toolbox:
- Number 39: Utopia Double – Any Level 4 deck should consider running Utopia Double for OTK’s out of nowhere. The downside is that this engine takes 2 valuable extra deck slots that could go to Knightmares or other tech cards. Just make sure you remember to run Double or Nothing! as well!
- Tornado Dragon – Similar to how Lunalight used to be able to exploit Tiger during either turn with Tornado, you can use it here to trigger equipped Gadgets or Urgent Schedule!
- Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max & Libee – Citadel is Level 10, unlocking the ace Railroad Xyz monsters, so you can always choose to run this as an extra deck engine too!
Hope you enjoyed the sound of grinding gears that must have followed you throughout this article. The Machina structure deck really powered itself up for a ton of different archetypes, and I contend that Gadgets may be one of the best to make use of that. There are definitely other uses for both themes, with many duelists turning to Trains or Infinitrack with the new support coming down the railroad, but Gadgets have been near-and-dear to the Machinas for ages. Why break that tradition now? If you liked the ideas of the Gadgets but didn’t want to pair that with the Machina, might I suggest taking a look at building other Gadget variants such as Gadget-Cubics or Gadget-Kaiju – they each build upon old ideas of how to best use the Gadget monsters, bringing them into the modern era with a bit of love. Anyways, thanks for reading and catch you next time as we take a HERO onto the high seas!
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 a couple of outstanding requests that I am looking into: Cyberse, Generaider, HERO, Mecha Phantom Beast, Psychic, Shaddoll.