Hey guys! After my last Yu-Gi-Oh! related post, I’ve been thinking a lot about the game. The biggest joy of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG is how it lets players of any skill level find something that appeals to them thanks to the huge array of archetypes on offer. While many of these archetypes will never find competitive success, half of the fun in this game is picking your favourite deck and playing with it! So then, for this week’s trip down the Otaku Rabbit Hole, I’ll be listing my top 5 favourite Yu-Gi-Oh! archetypes. A small disclaimer: this list is my opinion and is listed in no particular order. Additionally, this is not a list of the best archetypes in the game – that would be a VERY different list! With all that out of the way, buckle up everyone and let’s jump right into it!
The first archetype on this list is the most modern archetype we’ll be talking about today. Crusadia are currently a competitively viable strategy, and while this is incredibly interesting, this isn’t why it finds itself as a prominent member of this list. Crusadia are an archetype that, generally, adopt a “Defend the Castle” playstyle, where the boss monster is summoned to the field and other monsters, spells and traps are used to keep that monster on field for as long as possible. The archetype is Link-based and possesses an incredibly high damage potential thanks to boss monsters Crusadia Equimax and the newly released Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax. These cards allow for the pure variant of the deck to revolve around an OTK (one turn kill) strategy, meaning for players that start strong, they can potentially end the duel in one attack! The Main Deck monsters each have the ability to special summon themselves from the hand to a zone that a Link monster points to, allowing for quick and effective swarming of the field, facilitating the deck’s main strategy, while also activating additional effects when special summoned in this way. Again, however, it is not the playstyle of these cards that has landed them on this list, but rather the lore and story that they play a part in. Ever since Code of the Duelist, the first set in the LINK/ VRAINS era, the World Legacy storyline has slowly unfolded. Beginning with the members of the World Chalice, in each subsequent set a new (yet related) archetype was released, which slowly expanded the story of corruption, betrayal, loss and comradery told with the recurring monsters, with the Crusadia archetype being a markedly lighter shift in tone for the story. Combining this drip-fed lore with the fantastic fantasy-style artwork, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that this archetype is a home run for me. I can honestly say that I adore every single card in this archetype, both for their art and their utility, and this is why Crusadia have endeared themselves to me enough to find their way onto this list.
- Fluffal/ Edge Imp/ Frightfur
If it wasn’t already obvious from my last post on Yu-Gi-Oh!, I have a deep love for the archetypes featured in the ARC-V anime, so I couldn’t have a list of my favourite archetypes without including at least one from the anime. Also, in case you couldn’t tell, the strategy of OTK-ing your opponent is one that I tend to gravitate towards, and that’s most definitely the the strategy that Fluffals live and die by. Fluffals, Frightfurs and Edge Imps all act as one cohesive fusion-based strategy, where the Fluffal monsters help to swarm the field and gain card advantage, while the Edge Imps allow for recursion from the graveyard, combining to form some truly terrific Fusion monsters. Generally, the Fluffal strategy will revolve around Frightfur Tiger, Frightfur Kraken and Frightfur Saber-Tooth, with the first two able to remove any threats on the opponent’s field, all while Tiger and Sabre-Tooth bolster the damage potential of the field. Sadly, with the advent of Link summoning, many non-Link strategies found themselves subject to a heavy neutering, and Fluffals, for a long time, remained in this camp. However, despite this, the artwork of these cards is a treat to behold, striking the perfect balance between creepy and cute to endear the archetype to many. And of course, a genuinely high damage potential and consistency never hurt. Sadly, Fluffal decks never saw widespread competitive success, mainly due to their best in-archetype support spell, Frightfur Patchwork, remaining an OCG exclusive until the release of Soul Fusion last year. Despite this, Fluffals remain my favourite archetype from ARC-V, and will remain as a dear part of my physical collection for many moons to come.
The final entry on my list is inarguably the least competitive in today’s Metagame, but is also the deck that holds the greatest sense of nostalgia for me. Ghostricks are a take on Halloween monsters and things that go bump in the night. Adorably cute, these monsters are a twisted take on the classical horror movie monsters of old, including such gems as Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, Big Foot and the Grim Reaper, to name only a few. This deck is an XYZ-based archetype that revolves around slowly building field presence by preventing the player’s monsters from being targeted by battle or card effects and then ranking up from one XYZ monster into their archetypal boss monster, Ghostrick Angel of Mischief. What’s interesting with this archetype in particular is how it so aptly ties its main gimmick into its lore, that being the simple childish joy of Trick or Treating. The Main Deck Ghostrick monsters possess the built-in effect where they can flip themselves face down once per turn, and when they’re flipped face up, they gain a few effects, be that to add a monster to your hand, or banish cards from your opponent’s deck. When combined with their field spells that prevent face-down monsters from being attacked, and their trap cards that interrupt the opponent’s strategies, Ghostricks can make for some ghoulishly annoying matches. This deck’s major drawback is its speed, being painfully slow to get moving, but its control-centred strategy is a tonne of fun to play. On a more personal note, this deck was also the first one that I built from scratch when I got back into the game as an adult. As such, Ghostricks hold a special place in my collection and are on this list as a result.
With that, this somewhat shorter trip down the Otaku Rabbit Hole is complete. I hope you enjoyed your time here and please let me know what your favourite Yu-Gi-Oh! archetypes are and why! As of posting this, I will be at the London MCM Comic Con, so next week I’ll have something a little different for you guys, showcasing some of the amazing talents I find at the Comic Village, and maybe one or two little goodies I come across on my journeys there. With that, until next time, keep it weeby everyone!