Creative Deck Strategy: Meklord Ancient Gear
Want to find a creative way to deploy the new Meklords? Roll out your Ballista!
The Meklord archetype has had a history tied to destruction and tunnel vision upon defeating our white-hued Extra Deck bosses. But is that still the case following the new batch of support in the upcoming Duelist Pack?
Time to Retire the old Mission of Annihilating Synchro Monsters?
The Meklord archetype, much as the name implies, consists of Machine-type monsters of various attributes, families, and subthemes. The boss monsters are the Meklord Astro, the various in-theme boss monsters designed to end the duel quickly after they are summoned. The front-line soldiers consist of the Meklord Army, a set of Level 4 Meklords that have various small impact effects. Finally, the Meklord Emperor monsters are Level 1 pseudo-bosses, sharing the ability to be easily summoned from the hand whenever a monster is destroyed by a card effect. In addition to these subthemes, the archetype had a number of truly terrible support cards, so I’m not going to spend too much time there. Instead, let’s take a look at the new support offered by the Duelist Pack.
First up is our new Meklord Astro, Meklord Astro Dragon Triskelia (YGOrg Translation). This mechanical dragon is a boss monster that finally lets the theme break out of its exclusive synchro-hate, while still keeping a bit of that flair. Triskelia can be easily summoned from the hand by banishing 3 Meklord monsters with different names from your GY, and with 3000 base ATK, that is nothing to scoff at. Where Triskelia becomes truly powerful is when it attacks, as upon attack declaration, it equips an opponent’s monster of your choice from their Extra Deck, absorbing that equipped monster’s ATK. Additionally, if you happened to equip a Synchro, Triskelia can attack up to 3 monsters per turn! This can end games quick, especially with the number of decks currently relying upon Halqifibrax and running Synchros to make the most of their tuners!
To add some consistency in setting up Triskelia, the newest Meklord Army helps to fill your GY with different names while giving you a bit more footpower! Meklord Army Arsenal of Obbligato (YGOrg Translation)can destroy itself on the field to summon 2 other Meklord Army monsters from your deck. Additionally, if it is sent to the GY, its second effect can trigger to inflict a measly 100 damage to your opponent for each Meklord on your field during the end phase. Clearly his usefulness lies in the first effect, but since he only carries a light restriction of locking you into Machines, there is plenty opportunity to continue plays with your new fodder!
Alongside these helpful monsters came 2 good support Spells and Traps, so let’s cover them quickly. Meklord Assembly (YGOrg Translation) is the searcher for the theme, adding any Meklord monster from Deck to hand when it is activated. Additionally, it ties the Emperors to the rest of the theme by allowing you to discard a card to destroy a monster you control. Lastly, when a Meklord you control is destroyed, you can destroy another face-up Spell/Trap on the field, allowing for some pretty cool combos I’ll cover later on! The second new support is a Trap, Cruel Mercy of the Meklord Astro (YGOrg Translation), letting you recover 3 Meklord monsters from your GY with different names, either adding them to the hand or Special Summoning them. Additionally, it can be banished to destroy a Synchro while you control a Meklord Astro monster, but that effect is extremely situational at best.
Closing out the useful new cards, the last useful monster of the new set is Meklord Nucleus Infinity Core (YGOrg Translation). When Core is Summoned, you get to add a Meklord Spell or Trap from the deck to the hand – (so probably Assembly but maybe Cruel Mercy if you have an established GY). Core’s second effect triggers whenever it is destroyed by a card effect, summoning a Meklord Emperor from the deck ignoring its summoning conditions. Combined with Assembly, this second effect can also get you 2 Machines easily to the field to continue your play chains. Since Core is also Level 1, that means you can even run One for One as an additional way of beginning your plays, so this theme is now super consistent at getting off an initial double summon of machines. But how can this be leveraged by other existing archetypes? Let’s check in with the Ancient Gear engine next!
Ancient Gears Keep the Wheel Going:
While I’ve wanted to do a full article on modern Ancient Gears for a while now, I am sorry to disappoint that we will not be exploiting their powerful Fusions today. Instead, we’re going to make full use of their inherent ability to be an advantage engine, in addition to being an alternate start to all combos. I’ll begin with the former by discussing everyone’s favorite card from ages ago, Geartown. Yes, I’m talking about the Field Spell that literally forced changes to game mechanics to prevent its further abuse ages ago… This Field Spell has a simple effect and use – when it is destroyed, you can summon an Ancient Gear monster from your hand, deck, or GY. The question now arises – what would be the point of summoning something with Geartown?
Well there is one awesome option in terms of advantage and that is Ancient Gear Wyvern. Whenever it is summoned, you can tutor any Ancient Gear card from your Deck, at the cost of restricting you from setting any cards for the rest of the turn. So just make sure you set your Cruel Mercy first! But where this really comes in handy is the options it can search. Ancient Gear Box is always great, as its effect can then subsequently trigger to add an EARTH Machine-type monster with 500 ATK or DEF from the deck to the hand. The other option is Ancient Gear Catapult, the alternative starter for our strategy today. Catapult’s first effect destroys a face-up Spell or Trap you control to summon an Ancient Gear monster from the deck, and its second effect lets you banish it from the GY to destroy a face-up card you control and summon a token. So yes, if you destroy Geartown, you could end up in the same initial field of 2 Machine monsters to work with!
Before we get too far down our combo potential, let’s talk about the final Ancient Gear monster holding this hybrid strategy together – Ancient Gear Ballista. This new Link monster for the theme offers two key effects. First, it can tutor Geartown or an Ancient Gear monster whenever it is Link Summoned, and second, it can destroy a face-up Spell or Trap you control to reduce the ATK of an opponent’s monster to 0. This combination of effects makes your Field Spell easily accessible through any 2 EARTH machines, as well as offering the ability to trigger it yourself by destroying it with its second effect! As for those two EARTH machines, well you can definitely use your Ancient Gears, but you can also use Meklord Army of Granel or even Meklord Emperor Granel!
However you get to destroying a Geartown, whether it be through Ballista, Catapult, or through the final effect of Meklord Assembly, the end result should be summoning Wyvern and searching Box. Because Box can then consistently unlock one of the most powerful combos currently existing in the game featuring a tiny Deskbot.
Deskbots and Links; Oh My!!!
Deskbot 001 has flown under the radar for a while as a dark horse for being one of the most powerful tuners currently in the game. While it carries a stat boosting effect to gain 500 for each Machine you control, its primary usage is its secondary trigger effect. Whenever 2 or more Machines are Special Summoned at the same time, it can be Summoned back from the GY. While I’m about to get into the sheer combo potential this allows with Links, you definitely should notice that it has innate synergy as well with some of the other cards we’ve previously discussed. First, sSince 001 has 500 ATK, it is easily accessed initially through the effect of Ancient Gear Box, and secondly, Obbligato summons 2 Machines at the same time. Even if you just get the 001 to hand, you can get it to the GY through a variety of methods as well, such as discarding for Assembly or even summoning from the hand with Platinum Gadget!
As for the main combo with 001, that all comes down to our dear friend of Tuners everywhere, Crystron Halqifibrax. Who also happens to be a Machine. Yay. So the combo is fairly straightforward – make Halqi, use its effect to bring out a copy of 001 from the deck, then Link summon Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon using those two monsters. Aurora then summons 3 MPB tokens, which subsequently triggers your copy of 001 to return from the GY. If you initially used a copy of 001 to make Halqi, that means you can even summon 2 free 001s back from your GY to keep the combo chains extended even further! While this combo is not new or Meklord exclusive, the sheer accessibility of the Deskbot cards through Ballista and all of your starting options allows for a very consistent mega swing in advantage.
But it is not just this overpowered Halqi combo that gives this strategy synergy with Machine links. You can also make great use of Qliphort Genius, which can trigger to add Triskalia to hand whenever you summon 2 Meklords with Obbligato. Alternatively, you can do the same with Cruel Mercy as a solid way to finish out the duel in style. Continuing on, the aforementioned Platinum Gadget is great as well, as you can manually destroy it via Assembly to avoid its Link Summoning restriction, and it will even float into one of your other Gadgets! All together, this hybrid strategy uses Link monsters to prepare the field with Tuners and Tokens, so it only makes sense that the next stage in the evolution is for Meklords to embrace Synchro Summoning for its own.
Once you end your combo on your field of 001, Aurora, and 3 MPB tokens, you have a couple of options. But before any of those are executed, you can use Aurora’s 2nd effect, tributing itself and a token to summon Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion from your deck. This gives you a Level 2 tuner, unlocking even more Synchro options for your field. Whether it is advantage with O-Lion + 1 MPB token for T.G. Hyper Librarian or Superheavy Samurai Swordmaster Musashi, mass removal with Crystron Quariongandrax or Crystron Phoenix, or disruption with F.A. Dawn Dragster, your linear combos begin to plateau into a variety of options that you control. Despite all that remember, you still have your other Meklords as well to back up your play with OTK power, so this deck is far from being a one-trick pony! With that, let’s check out some replays of this build in action.
If the embedded video above does not work, click here to view the replays on YouTube.
Join the Meklord Squad:
Weren’t some of those combos cool? There are plenty of different ways to make the most of all your Meklord cards, but I think that the boards unlocked by embracing Synchro Summoning might just take the cake. Beyond just that, there is one spectacular card I want to spend a section discussing because it gives the deck even more options and synergizes spectacularly!
This card is Supply Squad. As Meklords thrive in a destruction-leaden environment, this is no surprise, but this card definitely helps in a variety of ways. Since all major combos involve some form of destruction, Squad gives you the opportunity to continue drawing through your deck to try and find additional ways to extend your combo and improve your end board! Plus, since it is an optional trigger effect, you have the opportunity to use its effect creatively to ‘chainblock’ your most important effects. Simply put Squad at the end of a chain following the destruction of a monster, and your opponent will struggle negating other links of your chain! Lastly, Squad is another Continuous Spell that you can destroy with Ancient Gear Catapult in a pinch. If your hand is that bad, a contingency plan can always be helpful!
Now that we’ve covered the core elements of today’s strategy, let’s present the decklist!
Check out the decklist in the spoiler below!
|| Meklord Astro Dragon Triskelia (YGOrg Translation)
| Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon
|| Ancient Gear Wyvern
| Gold Gadget
||| Meklord Army of Granel
||| Meklord Army Arsenal of Obbligato (YGOrg Translation)
| Meklord Army of Skiel
| Ancient Gear Box
| Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion
| Meklord Emperor Wisel
||| Deskbot 001
|| Meklord Emperor Granel
||| Meklord Nucleus Infinity Core (YGOrg Translation)
| One for One
||| Ancient Gear Catapult
| Foolish Burial
||| Supply Squad
||| Meklord Assembly (YGOrg Translation)
| Cruel Mercy of the Meklord Astro (YGOrg Translation)
| Crystron Quariongandrax
| Crystron Phoenix
| Hi-Speedroid Kitedrake
| Shooting Riser Dragon
| F.A. Dawn Dragster
| T.G. Hyper Librarian
| T.G. Wonder Magician
| Superheavy Samurai Swordmaster Musashi
| Crystron Quandax
| Gear Gigant X
| Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon
| Qliphort Genius
| Platinum Gadget
| Ancient Gear Ballista
| Crystron Halqifibrax
Additional Tech Options:
- Machine Support:
- Urgent Schedule: This card can be insanely powerful for any EARTH Machine theme, but it is exceptionally good here because it is an instant Halqifibrax made with 001. The downside is that you need slightly more Level 5+ EARTH machines, making it potentially inconsistent, as well as the lack of extra space to work with in the Main Deck.
- Overload Fusion: If your heart desires to use the Ancient Gear Fusions, why deny it? Since your natural combo goes through Wyvern, Ballista, and Box, you end up extremely close to being able to make Chaos Ancient Gear Giant, which could serve as an alternative way to immediately close out a duel!
- Machina Defense Perimeter: Similar in many ways to Supply Squad, Perimeter is the other way to gain additional advantage out of destroying Machines. The downside here is that Perimeter has a hard once-per-turn restriction, making it very sad to draw multiple copies and thus losing out on being included in my Main Deck.
- Machine Assembly Line: Another alternative destruction option to Perimeter; however, this Continuous Spell is a one-time-use. So if you want to expand your recovery options, this is probably the way to go!
- Armory Arm: A synchro that equips? Combine this with Triskelia to manually unlock its multi-attacking prowess, even if your opponent is not running any Synchros in their Extra Deck! This Synchro is a Machine, so it is easily accessed through your Aurora combos with 001, regardless of the restrictions incurred earlier in your play.
- Smoke Grenade of the Thief: Destroying Spells/Traps is extremely easy with Assembly and Ballista, so why not run a card to get rid of your opponent’s hand in the process?
- Ancient Gear Fortress: The other Ancient Gear card to enjoy being destroyed, Fortress is a great card to consider for both of its effects. Not only does it protect Ballista, but it can be destroyed for an additional summon PLUS it is searchable with Wyvern. This is totally enough for you to consider using it, but I ended up having to remove it late in the design phase due to space limitations.
- Meklord Fortress: Did I call this card bad before? Technically yes, but it is the most usable of the older Meklord support, and that really isn’t saying much. Cut from the same cloth as Geartown, Fortress lets you grab a free emperor when destroyed, allowing you to prepare for your next turn with an equally strong combo!
Why did you Ignore [Insert Card Name Here]:
- Meklord Emperor Wisel – Synchro Absorption (YGOrg Translation):
- Despite headlining the new support in the Duelist Pack, this upgrade of Wisel is not worth your time. Unlike the other Emperors, Wisel can summon itself from the hand by sending a Meklord you control to the GY during your opponent’s turn. If it destroyed that might be worth it, but it doesn’t. Secondly, it prevents a targeted monster from attacking the rest of the turn, and thirdly, it can tribute a-la-Stardust to negate the activation of an effect that destroys. Frankly, this does not provide new power to the deck at all, and is severely outclassed by the original Wisel that negates any Spell activation… so yeah, please don’t waste deck space on him.
- Meklord Control (YGOrg Translation):
- This card is so many forms of bad. Its first effect lets you boost a Meklord to insane ATK heights, only to prevent it doing any damage to your opponent the rest of the turn. Fun. It’s second effect would be the only reason to use it, banishing itself from the GY to prevent a Meklord’s destruction, but in a deck that wants to destroy things? That goes against everything this deck wants to actually do. So please do not run this card, even if you want to try out the new support in all its glory.
- Limiter Removal:
- The ultimate ‘win more’ card for Machines. At its core, ATK boosting cards are simply not worth the loss in advantage with the game in its current state. While there is an argument that this destroys (yay Meklord), improves OTKs (yay Machines), and gives you more of a threatening ‘going second’ board, it simply isn’t worth diluting your access to the primary combos described throughout this article. Drawing a Limiter instead of another way to Nucleus or Obbligato simply feels terrible, and, on a personal note, I will continue to stand on my soapbox for days preaching that Machine decks should abandon this card until I finally stop seeing it suggested.
Shake off the rust, because it is time to set your Meklords upon the world. This Synchro-destroying army may finally be able to rise to the occasion and take the spotlight they deserve. That is, as long as you take advantage of combos, you can begin to turn the tide of duels into your favor. For now, thanks for reading, but I’ll catch you next time when we shift into the other previously announced Creative Strategy (that happens to be featured in the CDSS)!
Note that a variation of this build participated in my ongoing event, The Creative Deck Strategy Showdown!
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 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
I’ve also launched the Creative Deck Profile series of articles (CDP), where I take a requested archetype or strategy, posting a build with some replays. These are hosted on my YGOrganization Youtube channel, located here. Be sure to subscribe, as I upload replays for upcoming articles there before they are officially posted to this site!
As of now, I have a couple of outstanding requests that I am looking into: Mecha Phantom Beast, Lightsworn, Witchcrafter, Thunder Dragon, Sky Striker, & Shaddoll.