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Creative Deck Strategy: Time Thief Shark

Includes Video Replays: Time Thief Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo…

Always bring a Banana to a Party:

Welcome to the meeting of the time travelers and annoying viral videos, so it’s time to have an Xyz-ingly cool party! This article was inspired by a request to do something innovative with the Psychic-type, so why not execute that by sinking to the watery depths! It is also the perfect time to showcase what this combination can do with the recent TCG release of Eternity Code. So here’s to celebrating Time Travel, Xyz Summoning, and sharks!

The Time Thief Archetype was originally a TCG-Premiere theme that was so popular that it received core set support following its introduction to the game! Debuting as a small Rank 4 Engine, this deck centers around using various card types as Xyz materials to make the most of their primary boss monster, Time Thief Redoer. Redoer has two key effects, the first being that he attaches the top card of the opponent’s deck as Xyz material each Standby Phase. This fuels his second powerful effect – once per turn, you can detach materials then apply effects based on what you detached. If you detached a Monster, Redoer is banished until the EP. If you detached a Spell, you draw a card. Detach a Trap, and you get to spin any face-up card your opponent controls back to the top of their deck. This gives you quick disruption, advantage, and protection, especially if you have methods for attaching the card types you want.

Speaking of card types, let’s talk about how you get others attached to him besides his own effect. Time Thief Perpetua is the primary answer here – the theme’s other Link 4. Perpetua also has two effects, the first is a quick effect to attach a Time Thief card from your deck to another Xyz monster you control. Her second applies during the Standby Phase, letting you detach a material from herself to summon any other Time Thief monster back from your GY. This gives you recovery as well as an innate synergy with Redoer to ensure you always get the materials you need. The archetype also has a second material option – Time Thief Flyback. Flyback is a Trap Card that has an effect to just attach a Time Thief card from your Deck to a Time Thief Xyz as material. It also has a GY effect – allowing you to banish it to attach a card from your opponent’s GY to a Time Thief Xyz monster. With the recent rule adjustments, you can totally look to prevent your opponent’s cards from activating with proper use of Flyback’s GY effect!

Continuing the trend of attaching material, the theme’s newest Spell does that while providing a secondary benefit to extend your plays. Time Thief Startup continues the trend of sharing two effects. First, it is a Quickplay Spell that can be activated to Special Summon a Time Thief from your hand. Second, it can be banished from your GY to attach 3 Time Thief cards with different Card Types from your GY to a Time Thief Xyz you control. While this is not the most consistent of effects to be able to pull off, it certainly can provide a massive boost when needed later in the duel. The final material option comes in the form of the theme’s counter trap – Time Thief Retrograde. When your opponent activates a Spell or Trap while you control Redoer or Perpetua, Retrograde can be chained to negate its activation, then it attaches the activated card to a Time Thief Xyz monster as material. What is even more important is that this Trap card is searchable by the theme’s tutor.

Time Thief Winder is the final bit of glue holding the theme together as a complete strategy. He can be Special Summoned from the hand by detaching a material from any Xyz monster you control, and whenever he is Normal or Special Summoned, you can add a Time Thief card from your deck to the hand. This effect will primarily be used to tutor out either of the two traps, but its the versatility to grab what you need that makes Winder such a star. Also, remember that Perpetua can continuously summon back Winder each Standby Phase, so you can continue to get search after search to snowball advantage in combination with Redoer’s draw effect! With all these essential Time Thief cards covered, it’s finally time to turn to the second theme in today’s article – the Sharks!

 

Shark-in-a-box. To go.

Eternity Code brought two anime strategies some much needed legacy support, the first being Resonator covered by my latest CDP, and the second being Sharks, a WATER Xyz theme centered around Xyz Summoning using Fish monsters! But since ‘Shark’ isn’t an official archetype, all of the support cards simply support the Fish type, giving the deck a very wide pool of options to pick from! So let’s talk about the best fish while we setup the reason for running these two themes together.

Across Level 4 WATER Fish, there is a great range of utility, ranging from the grind game to starters to extenders. None is a better example than Buzzsaw Shark, debuting in ETCO. First, it can target a WATER monster you control (normally itself) to Special Summon a Fish from your deck with the same Level. Then secondly, if you are Xyz Summoning a WATER monster, Buzzsaw can be treated as either a Level 3 or 5 monster. Paired with Buzzaw in its debut is Lantern Shark, another Level 4 that Special Summons any Level 3, 4, or 5 WATER monster from your hand when Normal or Special Summoned. It also shares the ability to be treated as Level 3 or 5 when used as a material for a WATER monster. Together, these two sharks can open the R4NK toolbox to include R3NK and R5NK WATER monsters as well, giving that extra bit of utility.

Where the sharks truly begin to shine is all of the extenders that can summon from the hand to generate even more Xyz material. White Stingray can discard any WATER monster to summon itself from the hand, and Silent Angler can just summon itself by controlling a WATER monster. But the absolute best Fish in this role is Xyz Remora. By detaching 2 Xyz Materials from monster(s) you control, it can be summoned from the hand. Then, you can target 2 Level 4 Fish in your GY to Special Summon. Sure their effects are negated, but that is 3 more Level 4 monsters to work with to setup your initial board! The hidden benefit here for our Hybrid Strategy is that you don’t necessarily need the initial 2 material that you used to summon your first Time Thief Xyz – any material you really need can be added by Perpetua during the EP!

So those are cool extenders, but what about other Fish options? In Premium Pack 2020, the OCG received two lazily named sharks with neat effects. Right-Hand Shark (YGOrg Translation), adds Left-Hand Shark (YGOrg Translation) whenever it is Normal Summoned. Additional, Righty can Special Summon itself back from the GY if you control no monsters. On the other hand [hehe], Lefty becomes Level 4 whenever it is Special Summoned from the GY. Additionally, Lefty can Special Summon itself from the hand or GY whenever you control Righty, solidifying the connection between the two. At any rate, these Sharks provide quite a bit towards making your dual-Time Thief play, particularly because Right can summon itself while you control no monsters and Redoer can easily banish himself from the field to make that happen. This means that all you need to make both Perpetua and Redoer on Turn 1 is Buzzsaw and any other Level 4 that can summon itself from the hand!

Finally, the benefit of using Fish monsters is the stellar support cards that the type has available to them. Whitefish Salvage gives you a once per turn recovery of any Fish from your GY, and if your opponent destroys Salvation, you can summon or tutor any Fish from your deck. White Mirror (YGOrg Translation) is another one of these cool recovery options – summoning any Level 4 or lower Fish from your GY only to search another copy of that Fish from your deck. This can serve as an extender to the plays discussed earlier, or simply a way to get a copy of the Fish that you summoned with Buzzsaw into the hand. Our last important Shark support card is Xyz Revive Splash, the trap from the recent tranche of support. First, it recovers any Rank 4 or lower Xyz from your GY, summoning it to your field and making it WATER. It’s second effect lets you banish it from the GY to ‘Rank-Up’ a WATER Xyz monster into a WATER Xyz monster 1 Rank higher! But speaking of WATER Xyz monsters, what all do these sharks bring to the table?

First, we should all know Bahamut Shark exists and it summons Toadally Awesome. That’s really all you need to know. The new Valiant Shark Lancer is a R5NK monster, but it can detach a material from any Xyz monster to destroy an opponent’s monster. If you have another WATER Xyz on the field, that effect becomes a Quick effect! And of course, we have the oldest form of R4NK monster removal, Number 101: Silent Honor ARK. Except this time, Silent comes with a friend. Since you have access to easy Rank 5s through Revive Splash, you can also run Number C101: Silent Honor DARK. This upgraded form still lets you steal your opponent’s special summoned monsters, but since you have easy ways of attaching materials, you can make it extremely difficult to destroy. With that, I think we’ve splashed around with Sharks enough, so let’s show you what this build can do.

 

Rewinds:

If the embedded video above does not work, click here to view the replays on YouTube.

 

It’s Shark Week Somewhere:

As you probably noticed, this deck is all about exploiting the ease at which Sharks can spam multiple R4NK Xyz monsters to the field in the opening turn. Much like Lunalight in their glory days (RIP Tiger), Sharks are built to Xyz spam and they certainly bring enough to the table. At the end of the day, Time Thief is still an engine and not enough to be the sole focus of the deck – the Sharks also happen to pick up the slack in that regard, boosting your options disrupt the opponent as well as close out the game itself. Now, there are a couple other key combos that I haven’t covered just yet, so grant me a few moments to discuss them. The first is knowing how to properly use your Time Thief effects as well as their limitations.

For those of you who actually have read Redoer, you will notice that he does not detach as a cost for its effect – in fact, he detaches the materials at the resolution of his effect. Therefore, you don’t need to have all of the card types attached when his effect is first activated – you can very much build chains where you add the material in Chain Link 2 or Chain Link 3 before Redoer resolves as Chain Link 1 or Chain Link 2. You may have noticed me doing that a number of times in the replays – simply because it is the best option. First, it doesn’t give away information to your opponent. If they see a trap card under Redoer, they will automatically know that you can spin something. But some duelists may overlook the fact that one could be added later by Perpetua or Flyback. Second, if you don’t need a trap under Redoer, you can wait to use Perpetua or Flyback to load an additional Spell. This gives you more draws and more advantage to work with, helping you continue to swing the duel into your favor!

The last essential card that need always be mentioned when using Fish decks is Beautunaful Princess. This Level 1 monster unlocks so much, as she tutors any Level 4 or lower Fish by banishing herself whenever she is Normal or Special Summoned. In combination with One for One, this effectively gives your deck a total of 7 copies of Buzzsaw Shark, so all you realistically need is 1 additional extender in hand to make your Time Thief board. Unlike many of my other builds, the list presented today is specifically built for consistency – you want to have as much of a chance to get out your two Time Thieves as physically possible. Especially when you can easily disrupt your opponent’s other options with Retrograde! But enough about consistency theory, let’s sail ahead to the decklist.

 

Sample Decklist:

Check out the decklist in the spoiler below!

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Additional Tech Options:

  • Time Thief Monsters
    • Time Thief Bevel Ship – This Level 4 Time Thief is quite interesting – it can serve as an easy extender by summoning itself from the GY and it can disrupt the opponent’s GY. But the issue is getting it to the GY in the first place – without Regulator tutoring it from the deck, it can be difficult to use properly.
    • Time Thief Regulator – While this is a powerful 1-card R4NK summon, my opinion is that the significant downside is that it then becomes difficult to make the second R4NK to get Perpetua out as well. Rendering the Time Thief strategy a bit slow to the game.
  • Fishes
    • Deadreef the Ephemeral Fish (YGOrg Translation) – This works as a decent way to gain additional advantage once it is used as Xyz Material. It also works well with White Mirror, so it is definitely a viable option.
    • Double Fin Shark – This is the grind-game shark, recovering another Level 3 or 4 Fish when Normal Summoned. But, it restricts you to WATER monsters for the rest of the turn and sadly the Time Thieves are DARK.
    • Fish and Kicks – For the later stages of the game, once you’ve banished a lot of Fish, you can start using this as spot removal. At that point of the duel though, you definitely are running short on essential resources.
    • Oh F!sh! – Have a banished Fish? Add more negation, this time monster effect, to your endboard. This requires you to go through Beautunaful for your play, but it could be worth it!
  • Number
    • Number 71: Rebarian Shark – This was clearly designed for the Shark deck, as the Sharks were designed to bring out Number Xyz monsters initially in ZeXaL. While a bit more difficult to summon here, it can combo interestingly with Bahamut Shark especially with the next card.
    • Rank-Up-Magic – The Seventh One – The lucksackiest lucksack in the game. You’re already running C101, and Valiant can set it to the top of your deck, so why not consider using this?
    • Double or Nothing! – As with any R4NK deck, this engine can be useful for the duels when going second. I just wanted to focus on going first with the build showcased here.

 

Outro:

In short, this hybrid strategy is all about making Xyz monsters. Redoer and Perpetua together can fix anything, much like a certain Doctor, but with Sharks, it becomes many times as Fantastic. Throw a coin to your Bahamut as well, because it is Toatally Awesome at helping out your plan to disrupt your opponent’s known gameplan. And for the times when you do lose your fearless time travelers, just revive them back with a Splash before turning them into a Valiant Lancer. Thanks so much for reading this far, and I’ll catch you next time with an antique go at one of the themes in the next Duelist Pack!

Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articlesI 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.

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 previews of 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: Cyberse, Mecha Phantom Beast, Shaddoll.

Quincymccoy

Hello everybody! I serve as Number VIII of the Organization; however, my main role on the site is writing Deck Strategy articles to introduce you all to better ways to approach underloved or underutilized archetypes.