Is creating giant monster battles your thing? Check out this strategy of uninterrupted slaughter assisted by another archetype with starpower.
Creating a Frankenstein:
Off the bat, let’s talk about what it takes to create a novel hybrid deck, what I dub as a Frankenstein that has yet to prove its worth as a combination of themes. To create one from scratch, you need two or more themes that have polar opposite strengths, allowing for their weaknesses to be covered by the strengths of the others. The second big requirement? That there is something that ties these themes together.
To throw a competitive example your way, in today’s metagame, one can see endless amounts of Danger! hybrids combined with just about every competitive archetype under the sun, but there are a couple of key archetypes where they do not appear. The Danger! cards offer a ton of consistency and monster generation for decks that want to dig through the deck quickly to specific combo pieces, and while they have some opportunities with luck to generate massive amounts of card advantage, that is not necessarily their forte. The other big benefit is offering their aid to OTKs, since a Borrelsword Dragon is just as powerful as it has ever been at ending duels at the drop of a dime. Expect me to revisit this hybrid deckbuilding concept later on, for those of you interested in reading the whole article. But we’re not here to talk about Danger all day, we’re here to talk about another TCG-World Premiere theme, our Kaiju overlords, and we will eventually get into a second powerful theme offering their aid to the good fight.
Clashing Monsters from Japan:
The Kaiju archetype, clearly drawing upon inspiration from Godzilla and all of the media that came with it, is one of the best examples of thematic card design in the game. What do monsters do in Godzilla? Setup massive fights between powerful monsters that end up destroying the city around them. What does the Kaiju archetype do in the game? Setup massive fights between powerful monsters while destroying everything. Sounds about right. Each Kaiju sports a different attribute/type combination that has been neglected in the past by most strategies, but most of you don’t know this theme for their diversity – you know them because they have always been known as the best boss monster removal engine in the game. The main Kaiju monsters share the following effect: You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) to your opponent’s field in Attack Position, by Tributing 1 monster they control. If your opponent controls a “Kaiju” monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand) in Attack Position. You can only control 1 “Kaiju” monster.
In other words, replace something your opponent has with a Kaiju from your hand, summon a Kaiju of your own, then battle it out. But this isn’t the only unique quality of the Kaiju theme, in fact it is probably the most-used competitive archetype featuring the counters mechanic ever designed. On top of their summoning capabilities, each main Kaiju also can remove counters from anywhere on the field to activate powerful effects, ranging from negation to acting as a pseudo-Raigeki. While this mechanic was never fully utilized by Kaijus in the competitive scene, it is finally starting to get noticed by archetypes that can easily make Saryuja Skull Dread, allowing for multiple negates with the same monster in decks hoping to disrupt the opponent from making significant plays. But so far, I’ve just spent time on an overview of the Kaiju theme in terms of how it has historically been used; it’s time we cover the stars of the deck in depth.
First up is everyone’s favorite turtle, Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju. Sporting the weakest ATK of the main Kaiju but the highest DEF, this monster has always been the prime gift to offer to the opponent. All of the other Kaiju monsters can run over it in battle, so unless you have Kaiju counters on the field, it is the most useless. However, get this monster to your side of the field while counters are out and you can start negating any effects your opponent attempts to activate. Also, due to the 1 Kaiju hard lockout, your opponent can’t even rely on their own Kaiju to get over this disrupter. Next on the docket is Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju. By removing 3 counters on your turn, you can wipe out monsters your opponent controls. Not the greatest effect for responding to an opponent, but it is great at providing more OTK power. In the link format, another Kaiju star can rise to be pretty awesome and that is Radian, the Multidimensional Kaiju. By removing 2 counters on your turn, you get a Radian token on your field with the same ATK power as Radian (2800), but you should just consider this as free Link material (or just another body for an OTK). Lastly in our Kaiju spotlight is Thunder King, the Lightningstrike Kaiju. Remove 3 counters and you get to lock your opponent out of responding for the rest of the turn. If that wasn’t good enough, he also gets to attack 3 times. Yes, he’s that awesome and a cornerstone in many of the main Turn 2 OTK combos open to this deck.
Supporting these monsters is a suite of powerful Spell cards that let the Kaiju battles shine as the main attraction for the deck. Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, finally released from its chains and escaping the Forbidden/Limited list, is the best support card and first up on my list to cover. First, it is a Dark Hole, killing all monsters on the field, then you put a Kaiju on each player’s field from your deck, forcing them to battle during the turn it is activated. You literally are destroying everything just to setup your clash of the titans. Unfortunately your opponent can throw a wrench in your plans if they saved an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Slumber also lets you banish it from your GY to get a new Kaiju to hand, allowing you to continue your boss-eliminating shenanigans on future turns.
Next up is the Field spell for the theme – Kyoutou Waterfront. This is the first receptacle for counters in the theme, quickly gaining a counter for each card send from the field to the GY, up to 5 counters at any given point. Additionally, you get to add a Kaiju from deck to hand whenever it has 3 or more counters, ensuring your hand has the monsters you need for the big fights. And lastly, it can just protect itself if your opponent tries to drop some sort of destruction effect, so it isn’t so easy to disrupt. The last backrow support card worth mentioning is The Kaiju Files – this is a card that gives you more counters while also flowing into the exact Kaiju you need at any moment. First, it gets counters when you summon a Kaiju from hand or GY, which is the Perfect prep for your not-so-gentle giants. Then, you can destroy a Kaiju on either field to replace it with a Kaiju with a different name from the deck. The biggest takeaway from the second effect should be “I can attack with a Thunder King, then destroy it in MP2 to bring out a Gameciel in def if need be”, because that is one of the best uses of the card.
That brings us to our final introduction to the Kaiju, the Anti-Kaiju support cards! Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran (such a mouthful) was the first of this sub-theme released in the game, allowing you to slowly build up an extremely powerful attacker as it absorbs your fallen Kaiju from the GY to gain ATK power. Other than that, he is pretty bad to be frank. I’m not including this paragraph to talk about him, I want to talk about the brand new World Premiere from Savage Strike – Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Thunder-King. If you thought the first one had a long name… get a load of this triple-hyphenated line of alphabet soup. Its first effect seems very out of place in a Kaiju build, as it has to rely on banishing a Kaiju your opponent owns. This effect is to try and entice duelists to use it to counter other duelists using Kaijus just for monster removal, as it can trade their summoned Kaiju for any monster in your GY. The other effect lets you summon itself from your GY during the EP once per duel, giving it a bit more longevity and usefulness. But the best effect is hidden in a short line in the middle of the text: This card is unaffected by other “Kaiju” cards’ effects, also it cannot be destroyed by battle with a “Kaiju” monster. Combined with Thunder King’s triple attacks, all it would take is a couple counters and a Slumber, as you can give your opponent the Anti-Kaiju and yourself a Thunder King, buff your dude up with an Honest or Leeching the Light and the duel is over. For like the millionth time, the Kaijus have OTK power.
Bringing the Support Actors into the Fray:
The new format in the TCG is cuthroat, brutal, and very much a ‘go 2nd’ format. With nearly 0 FTKs left in the game and so much OTK power available to just about every deck, the goal of most builds is to be able to break boards and go for the OTK on their first turn. This is partially the reason why the Lunalight Danger build was so effective (and such a great choice) in the first YCS of the format – it had the OTK power to break boards, even without running any Polymerization or Lunalight Fusion, especially in a tournament with a low showing out of Altergeist and other control strategies. Now, not to repeat myself again so soon, but the key characteristics that the Kaiju bring to the table is that they have unparalleled monster removal capabilities and their OTK strength on the back of giant monster fights.
This might sound perfect right off the bat with our new format underway, but we need to consider everything before picking a good archetype to pair with them. Returning to the concept of building a good hybrid deck that I touched upon in this first paragraph in the article, we will need to find an archetype that provides consistency, backrow control, and in-turn destruction. It would also help if we had a theme that could make full use of the Normal Summon, since Kaiju’s don’t really need it at all. Additionally, it could help to grab a theme that could replenish the hand after you blow everything on making the best monster battle you can. Last but not least, we need a theme that can open the duel and go first, if the opponent wins the dice roll and gets the choice of who gets to have the first chance to OTK. Have any ideas yet? Well, if you haven’t clicked the button yet and spoiled yourself, here’s the big reveal: the best second archetype to pair with these Kaiju is not Crusadia as you might have imagined, but instead is the Trickstars.
Open the first spoiler to access the rest of the body of the article. The second spoiler contains the Decklist if you only care about that.
Test Duel Logs:
I continued this new section for further audience testing, so once again I’ve included the following are play-by-play examples from actual test duels. If you do choose to read this section, let me know in comments on our social media pages or in a PM on Discord if you like this format and would like to see it continued in future articles, as I will soon be making the decision to continue or stop writing these, as they are a significant investment of time to compile decent examples and create the transcripts.
Duel 1 – Ballpark Insect
Duel 2 – Destiny HERO Zombie World
Duel 3 – Kaiju True King
Duel 4 – Danger! Salamangreat
Duel 5 – Rokket Guardragon
Themed Tech Options:
- Set Rotation – Force your opponent to activate a Waterfront or get rid of it with Lightstage? Also just another copy of Terraforming practically for the start of the duel.
- Archlord Kristya – Trickstars have much better GY manipulation that most give them credit for. Sure, you often want to be able to Special Summon yourself, but adding Kristya to a lockdown field early in the duel can allow for greater disruption of the opponent’s strategies.
- Honest – Serves as additional copies of Leeching the Light for the Kaiju-OTKs, but it can also be used on a Trickstar to keep it safely on the field.
- Trickstar Light Arena – While this card may be more useful to Link Trickstar builds, it can also find a home here to give yourself more flexibility in going for Link spam rather than just Kaijus as a win condition.
- Kaiju Capture Mission – To be used when you can all but assure that your opponent will destroy this set card and give you free card advantage.
- Hand Traps – You can obviously use more hand traps if you prefer, but I like to keep it simple in OTK-heavy builds like this. You can easily break boards, you don’t need to rely upon disruption your opponent with Kaijus.
- Trickstar Fusion – With Trickstar Band Sweet Guitar, you can go for some cool Trickstar plays. This does work best in a pure build, but it can be teched in here if need be, but Guitar doesn’t play all too well with Extravagance.
- Foolish Burial Goods – Feel free to use this with Reincarnation or Slumber for cheeky GY activation. Would recommend if you are going the Fusion route.
- Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran – Earlier in the article I didn’t recommend this guy, but in further testing, if you run more of the Kaiju monsters, you can get away with running 1 copy of this guy. He works best when you Link combo while having a face-up The Kaiju Files or Waterfront, but it is very much up to personal preference.
Why Not Crusadia?
Early in the article, I mentioned that Trickstar were better at pairing with Kaiju than Crusadia, and I wanted to take the last paragraph to unpack that sentiment and take one final stab at convincing you why the Trickstar work well in here. To be clear, Crusadia are a really cool OTK-focused deck, using a variety of different generic support cards alongside their streamlined OTK pattern to do some amazing things. While Crusadia builds will benefit from pointing to a Kaiju (pretty much every build does nowadays), they have their own methods for OTKing the opponent. The main difference is that it is a bit more Extra Deck-reliant than the Kaiju OTKs that this article’s build is known for. Lastly, with the Crusadia, you lose the ability to run Extravagance consistently, plus you want to spend more of your slots on Crusadia monsters just to ensure that you have access to the Crusadia plays.
The other piece of my argument is that since Crusadia is such an OTK-machine and doesn’t really do too much else, you basically give up any power plays if you end up getting the short end of the stick with the first turn of the duel. Sure, you can sit on an Equimax, and yes you can do so with many combinations of cards in the opening hand. But is that really enough to stop an opponent that’s hell bent on crushing your LP as soon as possible? As a result, if you want to run a Crusadia build, I highly recommend throwing them with some dragons and making the Guardragon variant that can pull off some really cool combos even on turn 1, but I would not recommend trying to make a Kaiju-focused variant with them. At the end of the day, remember that there is a fine line between teching in a couple of cards as a support engine (Slumber + a handful of Kaijus) and relying upon the Kaijus as your win condition.
If you came to read this article expecting a performance full of sparking fairies and giant monster battles, I hope you enjoyed the show. If not, I’ll just take a bow and sign off. Either way, I hope that you can start opening your eyes to the potential that the Trickstar theme can bring to even the most thematic of archetypes. It may have been overused in competitive, but this theme can evolve to survive and work its way back into the hearts and minds of the competitive scene in a post Savage Strike and F/L list metagame! With that, I hope you try out this build and reenact your best destruction of the city act.
Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articles! I really want to see some input from you! This article is in response to a request for a more competitive CDS article, with innovation upon an already competitive theme. While I will (hopefully) not run out of cool ideas, I do want to be writing articles about strategies you are interested in. So 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.