can your mind withstand the eldritch horrors that lie beyond the jump
Today we’re going to be looking a bit ahead of the TCG to the featured archetype of Shadow Specters – the Ghostricks. For those of you that haven’t been keeping tabs on the OCG, Ghostrick is essentially the next archetype designed to prevent the artist of the Madolche cards from leaving his/her underground cell, and is the DARK archetype (presumably) of the current six-element cycle we’ve seen from the past few sets.
Their main gimmick is based on flipping monsters face-down. In this day and age, where things like Synchro Summons, Xyz Summons, and many monster effects are reliant on cards being face-up, setting monsters can be a deadly strategy.
…Except most of the Ghostrick cards are focused on flipping themselves down. In fact, you can’t even Normal Summon one (you can Set them, though) unless you have another Ghostrick face-up. And only one of the Ghostricks has a Flip Effect.
It’s spookier that way. Or something. Just roll with it for a second.
Rather than an aggressive lockdown strategy or a deck rife with Flip Effects to abuse, Ghostricks are, well…tricky. Their main strategy revolves around the following card:
Neither player can attack face-down Defense Position monsters, also a player can be attacked directly if all monsters they control are in face-down Defense Position. Halve all effect damage that either player takes, and all battle damage that either player takes, except battle damage from “Ghostrick” monsters.
This is your centerpiece. The thing that turns this deck from a weird flippy deck to a weird flippy deck made of Watt monsters. You want this out as fast as possible, because this is what’s going to make you win. Basically, this is how your turns should go:
– Flip your opponent’s monsters into face-down Defense Position.
– Afterwards, flip all of your Ghostricks face-down with their own effects in Main Phase 2.
– Let your opponent punch through your monsters (like, THROUGH them. it’s like Bow from Paper Mario if Bow decided to hide herself and let you take a Blaster to the face) for reduced damage.
– Repeat until victory.
But how are you going to flip your opponent’s monsters face-down consistently? Because you have to be able to do that to win. Thankfully, we have a few powerful options at our disposal.
Target any number of face-down Defense Position monsters you control; change them to face-up Defense Position, and if you do, change face-up monsters your opponent controls to face-down Defense Position, up to the number of “Ghostrick” monsters changed to face-up Defense Position.
The biggest two are these guys: Swords of Concealing Light (remember him? you’re lying.) and Ghostrick Panic. The Swords are surprisingly useful here: they act as a mass Set for your opponent’s monsters, and also KEEP them that way for essentially 3 of your turns. This is incredibly handy when your biggest monster has a meaty 1800 ATK. Meanwhile, Ghostrick Panic is searchable by Ghostrick Stein and revivable by Ghostrick Alucard, and also triggers our one Flip Effect monster – Kyonshee, our Stratos. In this way, you have two big Setting cards at your disposal, depending on whether you need offense or defense. Of course, don’t forget about Book of Eclipse, another handy card for setting the entire field. Just be careful about letting your opponent draw cards off it in the End Phase.
But let’s get back to Kyonshee for a moment. As far as searchers go, he’s a little…unorthodox. Let’s take a closer look.
Cannot be Normal Summoned unless you control a “Ghostrick” monster (but can be Normal Set). Once per turn: You can change this card to face-down Defense Position. When this card is flipped face-up: You can add 1 “Ghostrick” monster from your Deck to your hand whose Level is less than or equal to the number of “Ghostrick” monsters you control. You can only use this effect of “Ghostrick Kyonshee” once per turn.
Definitely wonky. The general gist of Kyonshee’s design appears to be that he’ll get you the appropriate monster given the situation (if you have just 1 monster, extra defense from a Level 1 Ghostrick would be nice, etc.), though it’s still a bit grating that you can’t simply search what you like. However, he does combine quite nicely with our friend here:
Cannot be Normal Summoned unless you control a “Ghostrick” monster (but can be Normal Set). Once per turn: You can change this card to face-down Defense Position. When a “Ghostrick” monster in your possession is destroyed by an opponent’s card (either by an opponent’s attack or a card effect) and sent to your Graveyard: You can Special Summon this card from your hand in face-down Defense Position, and if you do, draw 1 card.
The reason for this is because of how Kyonshee’s search effect works. If Kyonshee is flipped face-up in a battle it would be destroyed by, it still counts itself toward the total number of Ghostricks you control. In addition to this, the search effect resolves before Kyonshee is actually destroyed. What this means is you can set Kyonshee by itself, have it get flipped up and die, search out Specter, and then summon Specter with its effect! And since Specter was searched from the deck, its draw effect becomes a +1 for you. A nice little combo to have to get things rolling or if you’re in a pinch.
Of course, it’s not all pumpkin creams and fun-size chocolate bars for the Ghostricks. They do have very real weaknesses to exploit, the biggest of which is their reliance on Ghostrick House. You can Set your opponent’s monsters all you like, but you can’t actually touch your opponent without the House. Meanwhile, your tiny monsters are now about to get punted by Dragons, slashed up by Bujins, and looked at sternly by Jowgens. More worrisome is that this can be quite slow to set up – Ghostrick Stein, your Spell and Trap searcher, does his best work when the House is already up. Except you probably wanted him to, y’know, search the House in the first place.
god I hate you so much
But more crippling than this is the general “meh” level of power exhibited by the Ghostricks. They seem very much caught up in being flavorful, and they’re definitely a fun deck to play with, but they do live up to their name – they trick your opponent, not steamroll them. There are a lot of opportunities in Flip Effects and monster setting as stun that can be explored with the Ghostricks, and hopefully we will see them improve into more serious contenders this November (if any exclusives supporting Ghostricks will be in the TCG release of Shadow Specters, as well as any new support in the upcoming OCG set Legacy of the Valiant).
Now that you’ve trudged through this mess of words, here’s a sample Ghostrick decklist to try out! Get a feel for these guys and let your unlucky foes comprehend the true meaning of 2spookiness.
3 Ghostrick Lantern
3 Ghostrick Specter
3 Ghostrick Witch
3 Ghostrick Kyonshee
3 Ghostrick Stein
2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
3 Ghostrick House
2 Swords of Concealing Light
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Recurring Nightmare
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Monster Reborn
1 Book of Moon
1 Dark Hole
2 Ghostrick Panic
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Mirror Force
2 Needle Ceiling
1 Starlight Road
1 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment
2 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Mechquipped Angineer
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
1 Number 30: Acid Golem
1 Number 49: Fortune Tune
1 Number 65: Judge Buster the Adjudicutting Djinn
1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1 Number 54: Lion Heart
1 Number 83: Galaxy Queen
1 Slacker Magician
1 Stardust Dragon
Deadborder/Decchan is a lazy, lazy translator-type at the Org who decided to get uppity and write a strategy article. You can find him procrastinating on Pojo, DuelistGroundz, Dueling Network, and NeoArkCradle if for some reason you need to hunt him down.