In celebration of completing over 100 strategy articles for the site, let’s pit these Creative Deck Strategies against each other!
The Creative Deck Strategy Showdown
Welcome to a digital display of creative decks dueling it out! 32 strategies will enter the knockout bracket, but only one will win. As this event will be hosted on both YGOrganization and my YouTube channel, so subscribe there to catch the action as it happens! This post will serve as the initial hub for the event, including everything you need to know.
Links and Event Details:
How do I watch?
As the CDSS will be entirely contained within YouTube videos, I’ve embedded the playlist for the entire event below. I’ve also provided direct links to videos that have already gone live below the embedded list.
- Direct Links:
- Announcement Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHFAZs34dRA
- Round of 32, Group A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLq7RlPs5eU
- Round of 32, Group B: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TQi-ZN3PDA
- Round of 32, Group C: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgcqs1Xv1Ew
- Round of 32, Group D: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHfqvECQqIs
- Round of 32, Eliminated Decklists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb8uz-RXA8s
Who is participating?
32 different strategies, pulled from past articles as far as 2013, recent strategies as close as last week, cancelled articles from over the years, and future article topics as soon as next week’s CDS have been curated to offer a variety of dueling styles and strategies. From hybrid variants to pure approaches, this list hopefully has all of your favorites. Builds from past articles have also been updated for the current format and cardpool, some of your old favorites may have gotten a significant upgrade! For a description of each strategy participating in the tournament, open the spoiler below!
1 – Machina Gadget 2020
This classic combination was revolutionized with the recent release of the second Machina Structure Deck. It centers on Link Summoning, some Xyz Summoning, and tons of combos.
2 – Cubic Performage
Throw a bit of magic into this OTK strategy! This highly aggressive build centers around the Cubic’s innate ability to OTK, but rather consistently with the help of Magicians’ Souls and other burn cards. For this event, the article’s build was updated to include the newest Cubic cards.
3 – The Yosenju Stormforth
This Pendulum-based approach to the Yosenju archetype takes your opponent by a storm, blowing away their monsters with a slow-burning advantage engine with OTK blasts waiting in the wings. For this event, the build was updated to readjust in light of the recent limitation of Card of Demise.
4 – Stormwind Harpie Lady
The next WIND theme of the event features the Harpies, assisted by a bit of Speedroid and Dragunity! Focusing on a mix of Link Summoning, Xyz Summoning, and now Synchro Summoning with the unveiling of the new Harpie Lady Synchro monster, this deck is ready to blow your opponent away.
5 – Tachyon Toolbox
This Dragon-based strategy lives in chaos, wielding the darkness and the light to respond to any situation with a variety of dragonic tools. While there are definitely elements of Xyz Summoning here, this strategy primarily relies on Link Summoning to secure the victory.
6 – Plunder Patroll HERO
This Fiend strategy involves Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, and Link Summoning to pirate away your opponent’s chances of victory. With a strong bent for disrupting the opponent’s plays, who else could contest the high seas?
7 – Infernoble Star Warriors
This firey take on an equip strategy focuses on utilizing all of the cool cards from the OCG-only structure deck. It offers a mix of aggression, Fusion Summoning, Synchro Summoning, and disruption, resulting in many different win conditions! For this event, the decklist was modified to include more of the new Infernoble cards while still maintaining the original focus.
8 – Virus Resonator
Descend into darkness with the Red Dragon Archfiends, supported by a viral team of fork-wielding fiends! This strategy definitely relies on disrupting your opponent through its unique mix of high-octane Synchro monsters and the tributing mechanic!
9 – Forbidden Dark Magician
Many Dark Magician builds don’t run too many outside support cards, but this Forbidden approach gives you an incarnate boss monster to center around! Combined with other strong Spellcaster support cards, this control strategy might cast a spell on you. For this event, the Exodia strategy was significantly modernized and shifted to also include Dark Magician support as a core element.
10 – Lords of the Sacred Beasts
With their new Structure Deck, Hamon and Raviel are ready to join the fray as a control deck. Featuring insane life point gains and tons of consistency, this strategy can lock the opponent into making bad choices and ultimately snuff out their LP with a Heaven-Crushing Fist.
11 – Modernized Gravekeeper
What happens when you accelerate the Gravekeeper strategy to high speeds, ensuring the resolution of Royal Tribute on the first turn of the duel? Will that be enough to discard monsters away then seal them into the tombs of Necrovalley? This strategy also embodies the Fusion summoning mechanic through multiple mechanisms!
12 – Metaphys Rokket
When Dragons and Wyrms unite, a Dracocension can occur! Take to the banished zone and unleash the purified Metaphys archetype upon all opponents! This strategy primarily uses Link Summoning as its core approach, but the main deck offers quite a few boss monsters of its own.
13 – Heart of the Cards Back Jack
There are few combinations of cards that grant you an instant win in Yugioh, but this strategy is all about finding the next best thing. Using Back Jack and tons of Normal Traps, this combo deck aims to master swings in tempo to win the duel. This strategy was heavily modernized from its original posting, but I did my best to keep the spirit of the original strategy alive and well!
14 – Ancient Warriors’ Heritage
The Three Kingdoms lived in harmony, but everything changed when the True Draco attacked… oh wait, wrong fiction. This main deck focused archetype unlocks its true potential by combining Beast Warriors of three attributes to act as both an aggro or a control strategy, depending on your perspective.
15 – World Legacy Generaider Boss
The Generaider boss archetype offers a unique take on the control concept, heavily involving Rank 9 Xyz monsters. But with the help of some World Legacy support, Link monsters can join the fray as well to help control the duel and keep opposing strategies on poor footing.
16 – Code Talker Matrix
Adapted from a Cancelled CDS Article.
The Code Talkers are omnipresent throughout the VRAINS era, but how can this Cyberse strategy adapt to the recent rule changes? This hard combo strategy aims to make the toughest of Link Monsters to win the day, especially now that the U-Link is less impactful! This build makes its debut in the tournament, never being featured in a CDS or CDP before, but it was designed as a concept in response to a request for a Cyberse article.
17 – Cynet Psy-Frame
Adapted from a Future CDS Article.
The Psy-Frame archetype brings control elements, while the Cyberse type can bring some much needed efficiency in unlocking Psy-Framelord Lambda. Will this digitized telekinetic control strategy stun the opponent from playing? This strategy makes its debut in the tournament, but it is intended to be the focus of a future CDS article on the site.
18 – Dino Evol-ution
Adapted from a Cancelled CDP Article.
Dinosaurs reigned supreme in the Jurassic era, but it’s time for them to evolve to the next stage. Utilizing an Evol engine, Dinosaurs can reach new heights of disruption when charged with taking the first turn of the duel, while still retaining the capability to rampage over an unprepared opponent in an aggressive OTK going second. This strategy makes its debut in the tournament, after being cancelled due to the very competitive nature of Dinosaurs following the release of Animadorned Archosaur.
19 – Time Thief Shark
Time travel with this R4NK Xyz Summoning-based strategy as you combine Psychic timelords with fish from the ocean depths. This is a disruptive strategy to its core, trying to prevent the opponent from gaining any momentum in the duel. Has it seen enough of the future to win the competition?
20 – Mayakashi Hydralander
The Mayakashi theme represents the undead element in the competition, bringing in Synchro summons and Synchro ladders! But this theme also covers the ‘Orbital Hydralander’ mechanic, representing strategies that want to use single copies of many different cards! This build is modernized from the approach originally put forth in the linked CDS article, in an attempt to be more optimized for the current gamestate.
21 – Adamancipator Megalith
Adapted from a Potential Future CDS Article.
These themes rock, so why not mash them together! This hybrid strategy Ritual Summons, Link Summons, Synchro Summons and… magnet warriors? This hyper combo strategy also accounts for the excavation game mechanic as well as being the representative for 60-card decks! Will it be enough to rock the world in this competition? This strategy makes its debut in the tournament, but it is currently a contender for a full article at a future date.
22 – Gimmick Puppet Xyz
This DARK Machine archetype utilizes Rank 4 and Rank 8 Xyz Summoning, in addition to plenty of other gimmicky tricks. It is primarily an aggro strategy, with some combo elements. For this event, the decklist was updated, specifically to replace the Sky Striker engine with an Orcust engine.
23 – Ancient Gear Meklord
Adapted from the next CDS Article.
Adding another Machine-type representative to the tournament, the Meklord archetype combines with the Ancient Gears to provide a destructive time! Will the Ballista launch this hybrid strategy to new heights, or will it rust under the pressure of the competition? This strategy makes its debut in the tournament, but it is the focus of my next CDS article on the site.
24 – The World Legacy
The lore of the World Legacy archetypes is rich indeed, and all that lore is represented by the hybrid strategy combining the best of these archetypes. The Mekk-Knights, Orcust, and Crusadia unite to celebrate Link Summoning in this combo strategy. Will this theme rise to the occasion, or fall back to being just legends?
25 – F.A. Racecar Machines
Adapted from the next CDP Article.
Vroom Vroom, start your engines because the F.A. have arrived. Featuring Synchro Summoning, Link Summoning, and level-alterning mechanics, this machine theme takes a windier approach by involving the Mecha Phantom Beasts and Symphonic Warriors as well! This strategy makes its debut in the tournament, but it is the focus of my next CDP article on the site.
26 – Stagecraft of the Abyss Actors
The stage is set for a dramatic entry of a Pendulum theme into the competition, so let’s put the spotlight on these fiends. Combined with their trusty Abyss Scripts, this combo deck has the potential to knock out its audition set in this competition, but will it break a leg and perform at the highest level?
27 – Rikka Aromage
The garden flourishes with icy petals and fresh scents wafting through the trees. Will this Synchro Summoning/Link Summoning/Xyz Summoning Plant hybrid approach just be another pretty flower, or will it have enough competitive flair to bloom as a top contender?
28 – Infinite Qliphort ARMada
The final Machine theme of the competition swings back as another Pendulum focused strategy, while also covering the Tribute Summoning mechanic. Featuring an infinite upgrade with a number of Infinitrack support cards, will this disruptive advantage-based deck be able to ride the rails all the way to the top? This strategy has been upgraded and re-balanced since its original posting.
29 – Supreme Red-Eyes
There would be no sense hosting this competition without my most viewed article ever posted, so let’s bring in the Red-Eyes! This modernized Red-Eyes build focuses on all Extra deck summoning mechanics, including the ability to unleash Supreme King Z-ARC! Will that be enough for the final Dragon-type theme to inferno fire blast its opponents?
30 – Dragma Fusion
The last primarily Spellcaster theme of the event embodies every aspect of the Fusion Summoning mechanic. With help from the Shadoll and Invoked archetypes, who will be able to stand in the path of this control strategy?
31 – Nepthys Impcantation
Like the Phoenix itself, the Nephtys theme has been reborn yet again to take on the competition. With access to Winged Beasts and Spellcasters, this Ritual Summoning and Link Summoning combination may have enough control elements to hold a candle to the strongest themes in the competition! Or will its disciples leave empty-handed? This build has been modernized since its original posting to include new type support and a more streamlined build.
32 – Unchained Scrap
The final seed of the competition combines Link Summoning with disruption and destruction, as the Unchained and Scrap archetypes combine. How will the Souls of Anguish and Rage be harnessed as the dark spirits swirl in the Scrapyards and Factories? This build has been modernized following the release of new Unchained support since its original posting.
When will more content be posted?
This event will run over 3 weeks, this post marks the end of the first week. Therefore, you already have a whole week of content to explore NOW! Each day of the week will feature a new video, showing matches for a specific group. This culminates each week with a video presenting the decklists for all strategies eliminated over the course of the week. Unlike my other videos, these decklists were set prior to beginning any of the matches, thus the build shown on Friday is the exact list that was used in this competition.
What was randomized?
To create this bracket, I randomly generated seeds for each of the participating strategies, then organized them into groups of 8 based on their seeding. This randomization was not weighted by age or strategy, as I did not want to favor anybody. Similarly, the participant in each match was randomly assigned a value to determine who would have the choice of going 1st or 2nd in the first duel of the match.
How were the matches conducted?
Speaking of matches, each matchup will consist of a best-of-3 match between the two strategies with no siding in between. As soon as a strategy claims 2 victories, the matchup is over, and the winner advances to the next round. These matches were conducted with a limited tester pool when ‘mind games’ are part of a strategy’s win condition, but otherwise, I conducted the matches myself. As these are real duels for all matches and not scripted, there are a couple of minor misplays throughout all 31 matches, but I intended for the gameplay to be as clean and efficient as possible.
How did you select participating strategies?
To select the 32 strategies for this competition, I first focused on grabbing as many strategies as possible that function in the modern era. This skews the selection slightly towards recent articles, but it was important to have a decent showing for all strategies, rather than watching a very old U.A. build get absolutely destroyed. Next, I selected my most popular articles, based on views and continued engagement, and forced a modernization of them if it was needed. Next, I rounded out the pool with mechanics that were underrepresented, such as Infinite Qliphort ARMada to represent Tribute Summoning or Adamanicaptor Megalith to represent both 60-card builds and Ritual Summoning. Lastly, I adjusted the final pool to ensure that types and attributes were not severely over or under represented. Long story short – I wanted to be able to capture as many creative usages of game mechanics as possible in one event, so hopefully I included your favorites!
As a closing note, thanks to everyone who has read and engaged with my content since I began posting here in 2013. It’s been a long ride, and I’m excited to unveil this project to top off a personal milestone. I’d also like to thank all of the individual contributors who have requested strategies over the years, as many of those requests are represented in this event.
Thanks for reading/watching, and I hope you enjoy the CDSS! Be sure to leave feedback through Discord or comments on any of these videos on my YouTube Channel, and definitely comment on who you think will win!