How many times have you heard a duelist mutter, “Damn, I didn’t draw any of my side deck cards!”? You may have sided some killer cards; but, if you can’t get to them, they’re useless. However, King of the Feral Imps and Gear Gigant X give you instant access to nearly 400 cards. So is there side deck gold in that 400 card mountain? I read through all of them and present the 13 best cards. You can thank me later for keeping 387 away from you.
King of the Feral Imps
King puts his brother Gear Gigant to shame in the accessibility department. He’s cheap both to summon and to obtain. Any deck can make him and any doolist can pick him up. He has access to 117 monsters providing he dodges Fiendish Chains and Effect Veilers. So simple, so easy … and yet so worthless. Of the 117, only 99 are effect monsters. Only two make passing grades.
Reptilianne Vaskii: 2600/0 dark, level 8 … C+
This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summoned except by Tributing 2 face-up monsters with 0 ATK from anywhere on the field. Once per turn, you can select and destroy 1 face-up monster your opponent controls. There can only be 1 face-up "Reptilianne Vaskii" on the field
This card came to my attention during the height of the E dragon spamfest. It’s an appealing counter to Draccosack tokens. The problem is good players can maneuver around the card. They are very unlikely to leave a couple of tokens lying about so you can summon this monster. The card may redeem itself in the present format since playing around Scapegoat and Dandylion tokens may be tougher. They may be somewhat hesitant to activate those cards and Reptilianne could disrupt their play style just enough to give you some advantage.I suspect that scenario is more likely with Scapegoat than Dandylion.
Overlay Eater: 300/800 light, level 2 … D+
You can banish this card from your Graveyard; take 1 Xyz Material from a monster your opponent controls and attach it to an Xyz Monster you control as Xyz Material
So you can use your precious search to add this card to your hand. Let’s face it, unless you are totally dominating the game, you only get one search from these cards. Then, you have to get this card to the graveyard and have an XYZ monster. If you do all this, you won’t get to control or destroy your opponent’s monster; you will only get to take material. In a Synchro meta, this card is only slightly better than sucks. The only reason I included him is to point out the other 97 are worse … and I did read them all.
Gear Gigant X
Gear Gigant is much more restricted in that his summon requires machine materials. He also costs more though reprints should make him more affordable. He has access to 282 monsters, of which 249 are effect monsters. Though there is a better selection of machine types then reptiles, most are not worth talking about.
All of the Ally of Justice monsters were designed for one purpose ... destroy light monsters. Its an odd archetype. Have you ever met an eccentric acquaintance whose entire life seems to revolve around a single conspiracy theory? (We've NEVER been to the moon ... that's what I say!) The A of J monsters are kinda like that. Still, Agents may have a real presence in the next several months and people will be playing Bujins. So these cards are side deck worthy.
Ally of Justice Core Destroyer: 1200/200, dark, level 3 ... A
If this card attacks or is attacked by a LIGHT monster, destroy that monster at the start of the Damage Step (without damage calculation)
I love this card against Bujins. It doesn't target and resolves before the damage calculation. Yamato has no out. It also gets in work against ZW monsters, though this deck is too inconsistent to be in the top tiers.
Ally of Justice Cycle Reader: 1000/300, tuner, dark, level 3 … B-
During either player's turn, you can discard this card to select and remove from play up to 2 LIGHT monsters from your opponent's Graveyard.
Say good bye to turtle Bujin players. The card can also cause problems for Agents though Kristya is not seeing as much play. I've used it against Lightsworns but I don't expect to see that deck in the next several months.
Ally of Justice Quarantine: 1700/1200, dark, level 4 … C-
Neither player can Special Summon LIGHT monsters
Ally Salvo: 400/300, dark, level 2 … C-
When this card is destroyed by battle with a LIGHT monster and sent to the Graveyard, select 2 cards on the field and destroy them.
Genex Ally Duradark: 1800/200, dark, level 4 … A-
Once per turn, during your Main Phase, you can select 1 face-up Attack Position monster your opponent controls with the same Attribute as this card, and destroy it. This card cannot attack the turn you activate this effect.
Duradark has been my answer to Ophion. Of course, when my opponent sees me add it to my hand, he may play Forbidden Dress. Key Beetle also makes him a little less playable. Still, with the return of blackwings, he's worth a spot or two. One advantage to this strategy is that I don't have to side in triplicates. Given the diversity of the meta, efficiency in side decking is a real plus.
Kinetic Soldier: 1350/1800, earth, level 3 … B+
During damage calculation, if this card battles a Warrior-Type monster: This card gains 2000 ATK and DEF during damage calculation only.
Kinetic Soldier has always been close by given the number of Samurai players I face. I will also side him in against Heroes but its not a great choice. I suppose he may raise in popularity if Noble Knights get more support. However, their equip mechanic is too slow to ever be a real threat.
The Meklord cards are special summoned when one of your monsters is destroyed by card effect and sent to the graveyard. The limits on Dimensional Cosmos and Compulsory make their summon more likely. The problem is that your opponent will know you have it and will likely resort to simply beating your monsters by battle. Still, he will probably be a bit more hesitant to activate Mirror Force knowing that Wisel is on the way. These cards get somewhat of a boast in the Synchro age. I would consider them if they offer some other form of synergy to your deck. For example, they all can be pitched to help summon Machina Fortress.
Meklord Emperor Granel: 0/0 earth, level 1 … C
This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summoned except by its own effect. When a face-up monster you control is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the Graveyard, you can Special Summon this card from your hand. This card gains ATK and DEF equal to half of your Life Points. Once per turn, you can select 1 Synchro Monster your opponent controls and equip it to this card. This card gains ATK equal to those equipped monsters’ combined ATK. During your Main Phase, you can select 1 of those equipped monsters, and Special Summon it to your side of the field in face-up Defense Position
Granel is the weakest of the three Meklords because it leaves you very vulnerable in the event it gets targeted by Fiendish Chain. Granel does allow you to steal a synchro monster, but the mechanic is slow.
Meklord Emperor Skiel: 2200/2200, wind, level 1 … B
This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summoned except by its own effect. When a face-up monster you control is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the Graveyard, you can Special Summon this card from your hand. Other monsters you control cannot declare an attack. Once per turn, you can select 1 Synchro Monster your opponent controls, and equip it to this card. This card gains ATK equal to those equipped monsters' combined ATK. You can send 1 monster equipped to this card to the Graveyard to allow this card to attack your opponent directly this turn.
Meklord Emperor Wisel: 2500/2500, dark, level 1 … B
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by its own effect, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. When a face-up monster you control is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. Other monsters you control cannot declare an attack. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up Synchro Monster your opponent controls; equip that target to this card. This card gains ATK equal to those equipped monsters' combined ATK. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when an opponent's Spell Card is activated: You can negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it.
Both Skiel and Wisel have a “other monsters cannot declare an attack” clause. This limits their playability. I have favored Wisel over Skiel because of the slightly higher attack points and his ability to negate spells. However, Skiel fits nicely into wind based machine decks like Mecha Phantom Beasts. Direct attacks are a nice bonus.
Starship Spy Plane: 1100/500, wind level 4 … D+
If your opponent controls a Xyz Monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). When this card is Special Summoned from the hand: You can target 1 Spell/Trap Card your opponent controls; return that target to the hand.
Like Overlay Eater, I am including this card so you can get some idea of how bad the other 271 machine cards are. Returning a spell or trap is only of marginal benefit. The card would be a bit stronger if you could return any spell or trap and thus enable Safe Zone plays. If the card was a tuner, it would deserve some play. But alas, its only real purpose is to fill packs.
Swift Scarecrow: 0/0, earth, level 1 … A-
When your opponent's monster declares a direct attack: You can discard this card; negate that attack, then end the Battle Phase (this is a Quick Effect).
Swift Scarecrow is an excellent card. In fact, I main it in several machine based decks. However, I don’t like it as a Geargigant X target. Searching for this card smells like desperation. I suppose you could try to bluff your opponent into overextending and reap some real rewards. For example, if you had a mirror force set, searched for Scarecrow, began sweating profusely, and mumbled something about playing Vanguard, you could wipe out the opposing monsters and retaliate by summoning fortress. Congratulations Mr. Brando – you just won a Yugioh Duel.