Saturday, August 17, 2013

Charma Charma Charma Chameleon*

I’ve played a lot of machine-based decks in the past several years.  I’ve suffered through wins and losses using Geargia, Karakuri, and Malefics, but I always return to Gadgets. Their simple “plus 1” deck-thinning mechanic is usually quite powerful … provided the meta is not swarmed by “plus 4 to 6” cards.  Consider their three week raise to prominence after the release of Hidden Arsenal 7.  It was a sublime time for gadget players.  Then it all ended with the release of Lord Tachyon’s Galaxy. 
Fortunately, the game is about to change.  We can all say good-bye to the card-hoarding tendencies of E dragons and Spellbooks.  The upcoming ban list and the introduction of Masked Chameleon also led me to move away from the XYZ mechanic and back to synchro cards.  Here’s the result**

Red, yellow, and green gadgets x 6
Kagetokage x 3
Tinplate x 2
Photon Thrasher x 3
Gearframe x 3
Fortress x 2
Cannon x 1
Swift scarecrow x 3
Redox x 2

That’s 25 monster cards.  The spell and trap lineup varies with the local meta.  Flexibility in card choices is one of the appealing aspects of Gadget decks.   I will point out that I do not play Double Summons, Chain Summoning, or Ultimate Offering.  I also tend max out Forbidden Lance and Compulsory Evacuation Device.  Eradicator Epidemic Virus is seeing more and more play in part because of the addition of Crazy Box.  Reactant (x1) was also a part of the deck.  Unfortunately, this poor little baby dragon will have to pay for the sins of the big dragons.#
King of the Feral Imps X2
Geargigant X x 1
Lavaval Chain x 1
Crazy Box x 1 (EEV, DDV target)
Shockmaster x 1
Big Eye, Dracosack, Master of Blades or some rank 7 of your dreams x 1
Colossal Fighter x 1
Scrap Dragon x 1
Crimson Blader x 1
Ally of Justice Catastor x 1

That’s 11 cards.  The other 4 are rank 4 XYZ monsters.  In general, I wouldn’t add more synchro monsters.  This deck tends to synchro summon and then reborn the card. I also wouldn’t use more than one rank 7.  Fortress causes more problems when it takes up a monster space rather than as a XYZ material.  I will go into Big Eye as a game ending or saving play.  Alas, I don’t have Dracosack though synching with tokens is intriguing.

The principle advantage to adding synchro monsters to Gadgets is the ability to summon them from the graveyard with Redox. Unlike XYZ monsters, they take their effects with them.  Furthermore, there are several old-school, powerful level 8 synchros.  Though deck space is always tight, I find Colossal Fighter, Scrap Dragon, Catastor, and Crimson Blader to be pretty effective against most decks.  Let’s face it, the Crimson Blader lock devastates Mermails.  Besides, Photon Thrasher is warrior and Colossal Fighter’s extra attack boost always takes people by surprise.  

Setting up a synchro summon with this deck is pretty easy.  It will take a turn or two, which means the deck gives up some speed to E dragons, Karakuris, and perhaps Infernities.  However, this deck has 9 targets for Masked Chameleon (Thasher, Scarecrow, and Gearframe) and 6 of these are searchable with Geargigant.  Chameleon is also easily searchable with King of the Feral Imps.  In fact, I play two of these cards in the event one of them gets veilered or otherwise destroyed. 

The card that will make most gadget players wince is Photon Thrasher.  This card saw some play in gadget decks before the introduction of Tinplate Goldfish. The reason for this diffidence is that the card can be dead if you have monsters on the field. To the critics, I would point out that cards do not seem to stay on the field for long these days.  Furthermore, the card is not susceptible to Effect Veiler (like Tinplate). 2100 attack means it gets over a lot of level 4 monsters.  Most of all, it preserves your normal summon. I will often summon and attack into set backrow cards.  At worse, it’s a 1 for 1 trade with Mirror Force, etc.  Occasionally, it’s a 2100 hit. The card also gives me access to Shockmaster – still one of the most powerful cards in the game.  The alternative is Double Summon.  This card usually requires 9 gadgets, which gets cloggy.  Though I’ve played “Gadget Spam”, I’ve found that DS is dead far more often than Thrasher.  

The rub for this deck is the restriction on additional special summoning when Masked Chameleon’s effect is activated.  This means that your synchro monster is vulnerable to destruction by card effect and you will have no way of dealing with it until the next turn.   My understanding is that the card works like Pot of Duality. In other words, you can’t special summon and then normal summon this card.  Gadget decks do have the capacity of placing multiple monsters on the field without Ultimate Offering.  However, once you play MC, you can do nothing but wait.

There are ways of ameliorating MC’s restriction.  Swift Scarecrow will often buy you an extra turn.  I am playing more monster destruction trap cards than I have in the past.  Triple Forbidden Lance is also helps.  Still, you better not be reckless with your synchro summon or you’ll pay for it.  

Like most doolists, I like the deck because I’ve invested time, money, and thought into it. It is not “Jeff Jones” unique, but it is mine. Giving up on one’s idea is pretty tough particularly when the deck has moments of brilliance.  

The deck does well against decks that do not rely on XYZ summoning.  Mermails, Karakuri, and even Samurai will struggle.  I’ve done well against Constellars.  Firefists may be a bit more difficult.  I have yet to duel a Bujin deck. 

The real nemesis in Evilswarm and I suspect that deck will continue to do quite well.  The irony is that this matchup used to be much easier when I played an XYZ only variant. Now I find myself staring at Ophion and a hand with Redox, Fortress, and Mask Chameleon.  Siding in Genex Ally Duradark helps though Key Beetle makes that card less effective.  I am playing more traps then I did over the summer. I suspect this will be a trend among many players once the Ban List becomes official.
Feel free to try it out and comment.  I’m always on the lookout for good advice. 

* This is a reference to the 1984 Culture Club hit … ancient history to most Yugioh players
** I can post the complete deck if there is a demand, but I think the skeleton is more useful.
# I loved the special rule that limited all decks to only 6 dragons.  Alas, it looks like we are going to be putting the babies at the back of the binder.

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