You can watch the entire CDSS2 event now! Also, please take the chance to provide some more feedback!
The Creative Deck Strategy Showdown
Welcome to a digital display of creative decks dueling it out! 32 strategies will enter a knockout bracket, but only one will come out victorious. This event was hosted on both YGOrganization and my YouTube channel, so please subscribe to not miss future events. This post marks the end of the event and serves as a hub article to visit all 18 videos. Lastly, I ask that you leave feedback on CDSS2 in the link provided in the Feedback Warrior section near the end of this article. If you missed out on CDSS1, be sure to check that out too!
Who is participating?
32 different strategies, pulled from past articles as far as 2014, recent strategies as close as last week, cancelled articles from over the years, and future profiles (from later this week) have resulted in this mash of archetypes and themes! From hybrid variants to pure approaches, this list hopefully covers most of your favorites from my past builds. All builds from past articles have been updated for the current format and cardpool, some of your old favorites may have gotten a significant upgrade! Additionally, 3 ‘Fan Favorite’ strategies from the first CDSS underwent a strategic shift to return for CDSS2! For a description of each strategy participating in the tournament and cool promo art, open the spoiler below!
1 – Amorphous Advent Ritual
This strategy combines Pendulum Summoning and Ritual Summoning with many different Eyes! With the help of the Dracoslayers, a bit of Blue-Eyes, a touch of Odd-Eyes, and some Normal monsters, and the viral Amorphages, striking down lesser foes can become a breeze!
2 – The KozFoes Strike Back!
Combine Star Wars, the Wizard of Oz, Motorbikes, and Alloys together and get this intriguing combination of Pendulums, Psychics, and Machines! Destroying your own cards never felt this good as you combo through your deck, grabbing any Starship or Pilot you need with the help of Kozmotown!
3 – Flawless Creation of the Tenyi
Adapted from a delayed CDS on the Tenyi
This Wyrm archetype has been significantly undervalued for so long, focusing on non-effect monsters to make the most of your effects! But when they join forces with the new Dark Creator, new possibilities begin to shape their future…
4 – Elementsabers Alfame
Requested Theme and partially adapted from CDS: Noble Warrior’s Strike
The Elementsaber theme is the Warrior-type representative in CDSS2, and this time, they are bringing along more of the Infernoble Knights! Can their attribute-shifting plays facilitiate a winning strategy with the help of their Elemental Lord and Dark Armed Dragon?
5 – Simorgh Royalty
Requested Theme and adapted from a potential future CDS Article
The Simorgh theme may have gotten a significant boost with the release of their Link monster in LVP3, but this new iteration on the Winged Beasts was a Tribute Summoning archetype first. Using the baby Simorghs as tribute fodder for the Monarchs may just take this strategy one step closer to the CDSS crown!
6 – Superheavy Rikka
The WATER Plant Xyz theme gets a boost with the help of a Superheavy Samurai engine, designed to facilitate a quick summoning of their new R4NK Xyz monster! Evolving from its previous iteration as a purely Plant-based strategy, we will see if it outgrows its roots from CDSS1!
7 – Kombo Krawler
Adapted from CDS: Battlewasp Dragoon of Red-Eyes
The Krawler archetype may be the forgotten World Legacy theme, but with some combo help from the Battlewasp, it can quickly become a unique combo variant. As a result, this build focuses around Halqifibrax combos, in addition to maintaining signature plays available to this FLIP insect theme.
8 – Salamangreat Pyrostorm
Adapted from CDS: Pyromaniac Eruption
Using Rekindling in Salamangreat? That can’t be right… Either way, blaze a path forward combining the strength of this Link-based theme with the help of Pyro support cards, such as Neo Flamvell Lady and Flame Spirit Ignis!
9 – Magical Gaia Champion, Endymion
Adapted from CDP: Toon Magical Gaia Champion of Endymion
Tie together the Endymion Spell Counter Pendulum theme and the new Gaia Champion legacy support with the help of Toon cards! This ridiculous combination offers a magical mix of Fusion Summoning, grind games, and mind games, so ride along and spell disaster for its opponents.
10 – Photoluminescent Galaxy
Adapted from a potential future CDP
Invoke your inner light and shine among the stars with the help of the binary archetypes, the Photon and the Galaxy. Featuring a range of support cards, including some of their upcoming support currently available only in OCG territories, this deck mixes high Rank Xyz Summoning with elements of control and high disruption!
11 – Mecha Phantom Beast Speedroid
Grab your joysticks and take MPB for a joyride with the help of some repair drone Speedroids! This combination of WIND Machine archetypes hopes to follow in the footsteps of the previous mechanized winner of CDSS1! But will it fly too close to the sun?
12 – Impcantations of the World
Adapted from CDS: Sacred Impcantations
This Demise/Ruin Ritual Deck featuring the End of the World combines current Ritual strategies with iconic monsters from metagames past. Exploiting Vanity’s Ruler and Zaborg the Mega Monarch is the name of the game for this theme, resulting in a cataclysmic strategy hell-bent on ending its opponent’s hopes in this competition.
13 – Rokketmaid
Adapted from a cancelled CDP
The Dragonmaid archetype is next on the list to form a hybrid with the Rokket archetype for a CDSS competition. This deck heavily features Fusion Summoning as you extend together long strings of Dragonic transformations with a never-ending combo chain!
14 – One-Axis Accel Tech Genius
Adapted from CDS: Assembling TCG T.G.
Harnessing the power of Level 1 monsters can be difficult, but not for literal Tech Geniuses. Using the wide array of type support available, this T.G. combo strategy strives for Accel Synchro Summoning and blasting past the competition with high-speed antics.
15 – True Fire King Immolation
Adapted from CDS: Rekindle the Avatar
Spread your wings and blaze forward on the wings of Garunix. This flaming strategy may rely upon self-destruction, but much like a phoenix, it aims to rise again. With the help of some True King support cards, the Fire King archetype strives to blaze with glory once again.
16 – Naturia Traptrix
Adapted from DT Mega Article 2: Natural Beauty of Creation
Uh oh, it looks like you’ve fallen into a Trap Hole! This combination of the Naturia and Traptrix themes thrives off of strict control of the duel through the use of both Trap cards and Naturia monster effects. It all begins at the roots of the Naturia Sacred Tree…
17 – High-Rate Reptilianne Performance
Adapted from a Cancelled CDS Article.
This build attempts to modernize the use of the Venom Deity by incorporating the new Reptilianne Link and a Pendulum suite! This combo variant draws cards at a high rate as well through the use of the recently revealed High Rate Draw trap card! Raise the curtain and the let the performance begin!
18 – Comedic Harpie Lady
Fan Favorite from CDSS1 and Adapted from CDS: Elegant Harpie Lady
The Harpie Lady archetype is back as another WIND representative, this time with a Toon engine and the help of Toon Harpie Lady. Will this be enough to give it a fighting chance in the competition, or will it fall into hysterics once again?
19 – Artifact Constellation
Adapted from CDS: The Ancient Weapons
Unsheathe your weapon, because the Artifacts are here! This Level 5 Xyz LIGHT/Fairy theme acts as set backrow, then spring to the field whenever destroyed. This build also features the help of Constellar and a Valkyrie engine to get out an early True King of All Calamities to buy enough time for your Artifacts to enter the fray.
20 – Starpower KaijuTK
Mega monsters clash in this OTK build featuring both the Kaiju and Trickstar archetypes. With so many different OTK combinations in play, will this deck have enough oompf to crush the might of the many combo decks in the competition? Or will they simply return to their slumber with a whimper?
21 – Deep Sea Convulsion
This Sea Serpent build features a mix of Deep Sea and Atlanteans, bringing the might of the oceans to bare! Combined with the help of Convulsion of Nature and Archfiend’s Oath, this build threatens to cascade over any unsuspecting opponent.
22 – Flippin’ Tindangle
Flip up and down with this Fiend archetype! Combining the strengths of tons of set monsters and decent combos, this build hopes to flip the script and make use of interesting geometries. Plus, they have Tour Guide to help guide them out of the underworld of the Top 32!
23 – Ojama Union, A-to-Z
Requested Theme and Adapted from a potential future CDP
This Chazz-inspired deck supports the mechanized LIGHT union theme of ABC and XYZ, bringing everything together with the help of some beasts in speedos. That’s right, the Ojama have joined the CDSS fray! Will they assimilate their way to the top, or will the Armed Dragon simply have to wait for a new day to shine?
24 – Chaotic Dream Mirror
The twin mirrors of Joy and Terror unleash the brightest of daydreams and the darkest of nightmares. With the help of new Chaos cards from Toon Chaos such as Chaos Deadalus, this archetype employs Fusion summoning as a disruption tool, and hopes to trap its foes in the allure of its mirrors! Or is that only a dream?
25 – Merfae of the Mystical Beasts
Adapted from a potential future CDS
The cute Merfae (now known as the Melffy to the TCG) emerge from the mystical forest to join the competition. Aiming to rely on cuteness to win the day, this Beast theme bounces in and out of the hand while compiling advantage, with the hopes to eventually convert that advantage into victory!
26 – Phantasm Spiral Magician
The lost city of Pacifis enters the fray as the infamous Dark Magician sinks to the depths of the sea. With the help of an endless string of trap cards, this deck hopes to fully disrupt any opposing attempts to unseat your Spiral Phantasm tokens. And don’t forget the power of Fusion Deployment in getting your Ultimate Wizard right into the thick of battle!
27 – Angelic Generaider Boss
Fan Favorite from CDSS1 and Adapted from CDP: World Legacy Generaider Boss
The final fan favorite returns to battle in CDSS2 with the help of fairy companions. Throwing away the Girsu engine, the Generaider Boss come back with Trias Hierarchia, a Valkyrie engine, and a Condemned angel to allow for some Forbidden action to take hold. The question is – will they survive all the boss battles that are sure to ensue?
28 – Watthunder Dragon
Adapted from CDP: Teched-Out Thunder Dragon
The Thunder Dragon archetype may have fallen out of favor from the meta, but they still remain in our hearts as the most effective Thunder-type strategy ever. Combined with a small Watt engine and new Chaos support cards, can they claw their way back to the top of a competition?
29 – Lightsworn Aglow
Adapted from CDP: Lightsworn Three Ways
The ultimate ‘lucksack’ deck has arrived, featuring absurd levels of milling on every turn. The build in the competition may be based off of the ‘Traditional’ lightsworn build from the CDP article, but there is nothing traditional about employing the Twilightsworn as well as the new Chaos Space! Will they shine bright and defend the LIGHT, or succumb to the darkness?
30 – Earthbound D/D/D
Requested Theme and adapted from a cancelled Inca CDS article
Before it became cool in recent weeks, the Aslla Piscu FTK was on the fringe of duelist’s minds. But this D/D/D build aims to facilitate this FTK combo, while also having enough power to do traditional D/D combos as well! The corporation is open for business, as long as you are in the business of winning duels!
31 – Nimble WhiteWater
The White Aura fish dive into this competition with something to prove. After criticism for leaving them out of CDSS1 (sorry everyone), they’re here with new support and a new suite of Extra Deck options. Combined with Mermail and the Fishborg themes, anything is possible when you splash into school!
32 – Ninjistu Deception
Requested Theme and adapted from CDS: The Shadow Proclamation
Someone challenged me to include an ‘Itsu’ deck in CDSS2. Well, I did, since Ninj’itsu’ Art covers that requirement. At any rate, this group of shadowy Warriors takes the competition with an unending torrent of free cards, draws, and summons. The question is, does their arts of Transformation hold enough power to strike down the other competitors across CDSS2?
Links and Event Details:
How do I watch?
As CDSS2 was entirely contained within YouTube videos, I’ve embedded the playlist for the entire event below. I’ve also provided direct links to each of the individual videos from the event. Note that all videos in CDSS2 have chapters for you to more easily navigate between the matches and catch the ones you are interested in!
- Group A Reveal: https://youtu.be/7okefT3CoWY
- Group B Reveal: https://youtu.be/1kPOem4tdfA
- Group C Reveal: https://youtu.be/YEyNDXaRI2g
- Group D Reveal: https://youtu.be/FQXSL5lWV2Q
- Round of 32, Group A: https://youtu.be/0JTLaPFm12k
- Round of 32, Group B: https://youtu.be/2wNB4L2y8Gg
- Round of 32, Group C: https://youtu.be/m1-R0WnADuw
- Round of 32, Group D: https://youtu.be/8OuzW8rPyCA
- Round of 32, Eliminated Decklists: https://youtu.be/I1qtNqJ1MOU
- Round of 16, Group A: https://youtu.be/GPMysUu9Slk
- Round of 16, Group B: https://youtu.be/3H7FN5rtlr0
- Round of 16, Group C: https://youtu.be/iBlETg1D63A
- Round of 16, Group D: https://youtu.be/5-BkpsnpXVw
- Round of 16, Eliminated Decklists: https://youtu.be/EmeW7EXA-b8
- Top 8, Group A and Group C Finals: https://youtu.be/gtSUQRQ7654
- Top 8, Group B and Group D Finals: https://youtu.be/Xqb1VeHUFEQ
- Top 4 and Tournament Finale: https://youtu.be/Gk1UqEDvi0Q
- Top Cut Decklists: https://youtu.be/LIk2_E_YsgU
How was this event conducted?
This event ran over 3 weeks, each day of the week featuring 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 entire 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. 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 began with the list of rejected strategies from CDSS1. After updating these builds, I took feedback into account from CDSS1 and fulfilled every requested archetype. A similar feedback option exists for this event as well, so if you want to see something, request it! Next, I selected my most popular articles that did not make the cut in CDSS1, based on views and continued engagement, and forced a modernization of them if it was needed. Following that, I added the ‘revolutionized’ builds from CDSS1, as Stormwind Harpie Lady, Rikka Aromage, and World Legacy Generaider Boss were requested to return for a future CDSS. Then, I rounded out the pool with mechanics that were underrepresented, such as Salamangreat Pyrostorm to represent the Pyro and Cyberse types, or High-Rate Reptilianne Performance to represent Pendulum Summoning and Alternate Win Conditions. Lastly, I adjusted the final pool to ensure that types, attributes, and summoning mechanics 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 again to everyone who has read and engaged with my content since I began posting here in 2013. Both CDSS1 and CDSS2 seemed to go over very well, so 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 these events. I couldn’t do it alone, and your input is extremely valuable in crafting what I write about next!
Please let me know how you liked CDSS2:
If you’re reading this far and you’ve engaged with parts of the CDSS2 over the course of the 3-week event, please also take the time to answer this short questionnaire so I can get some direct feedback. I want to hear from you whether or not you want to see something like this again, and if so, what you would like in the future. The form can be accessed here: https://forms.gle/Akm4yUYnFD8d2uuP7
Thanks for reading/watching, and I hope you enjoyed both iterations of the CDSS and my attempt to provide diverse types of content! Be sure to leave feedback through the above form, commenting on any of these videos on my YouTube Channel, or by reaching out on Discord! Otherwise, I’ll catch you next week with a Fusion-based CDP featuring two forms of corruption and my next CDS article on a Swinging Speedster.