Picture the following scenario: You're deep into a Yugioh tournament, playing what is arguably the deck of the format. It's game 3 and you're going first. You're comboing off with no interruptions. You become sure of your opponent's lack of handtraps as your fifth summon goes through and your Crystron Halqifibrax successfully resolves. Your opponent motions they want to respond, and puts down a card on the field...
Gizmek Uka, The Festive Fox of Fecundity. They target your Halqifibrax and a Barrier Statue of the Torrent is Special Summoned from the deck, locking you out of any plays for the turn and closing the match.
What I described is the situation Giovanni (-004-) put his opponent through during the Crush Card Cup. Obviously he won that match and in doing so turned everyone's attention to the newest addition to the Gizmek archetype. But what does it do exactly?
Gizmek Uka Special Summons itself from the hard when a monster is SS'd from the deck. An extremely powerful effect, but now present in tons of decks using Crystron Halqifibrax.
Upon being brought out, Gizmek Uka special summons a monster from your deck. There are, however, a few conditions. It must have equal ATK and DEF, while also sharing an attribute with a monster your opponent controls.
At first glance, it might look like a horribly niche way to flood your field with other Gizmeks. Its true potential shines when considering targets outside the archetype. All the Barrier Statue floodgates happen to have 1000 ATK and DEF. Bringing out one of these on the first turn also gets rid of their biggest weakness: The Battle Phase.
Uses as a Handtrap
Special summoning from the deck almost always prompts a handtrap if any are available. However, simply negating it won't slow down your opponent enough depending on their deck. On the flipside, Gizmek Uka can blank their turn entirely if allowed to resolve.
Let's take a look over what can actually be brought out by the mechanical fox and the decks which Special Summon from the deck reliably enough to warrant siding it in.
The Crystron Link 2 took years to reach the TCG, but its impact met or surpassed everyone's expectations. Be it combo decks using it as a powerful extender, or slower decks splashing it as an engine, Halqifibrax is a card you want to counter in today's meta.
A Barrier Statue dropped mid-combo is something almost no deck can extend through. Even the previously mentioned Eldlich, despite relying mostly on traps, won't be able to do much without their golden lord on the field.
Is it worth it then?
Sure, countering Halqifibrax is good and all, but if there's one thing people are looking for in a handtrap, it's versatility. If we think about decks currently in the meta that reliably Special Summon cards from the deck, Dinos, Water, Dragon Link, Altergeist, and Generaider would quickly come to mind.
Despite all being able to Special Summon from the deck reliably, not all of them are using Halqifibrax to do so. This translates into additional Gizmek Uka targets being added into your side deck. Though Barrier Statue of the Abyss, Barrier Statue of Heavens, and Gravekeeper's Shaman are good options, but they're occupying precious slots that could be used for something else.
That doesn't paint a very good picture for Gizmek Uka at the moment, but it's important to be aware of a new card also added in ETCO. Parallel Exceed is just as, if not more, powerful than Uka. Its effect gives you a free Rank 4 or a couple of Link materials at the cost of just Link Summoning once, making it a prime target for Uka. As a strong card that can be splashed into just about any deck, Parallel will certainly make SS'ing from the deck much more widespread than it already is.
Countering just (formerly) Needlefiber is obviously not enough, but widespread usage of Parallel Exceed would really make Uka way more appealing than it already is. The funny thing is that Parallel Exceed is often used as a way to dodge Nibiru The Primal Being by Special Summoning Traptrix Rafflesia before reaching 5 Summons. You'd dodge the rock just to get hit by the cur.
How does it stack up?
Overall, Gizmek Uka plays a very similar role to Nibiru in breaking combo plays. However, its usage is much more situational. You can expect just about every single combo deck to Special Summon over 5 times in the same turn, but the same cannot be said about Special Summoning from the deck at the right time.
Its burden on the side deck is also far too big. A playset of Nibiru occupies 3 slots and you can make use of it as is. However, you're not making your Uka count without at least 1-2 additional spots for targets to be brought out (and maybe even Extra Deck slots to be able to link them off).
If you read the card attentively, you might realize it doesn't care who is special summoning from the deck. This opens up a couple of potential applications for it, even if they're clunky and niche. For turn 1 plays, you'd need something that puts a monster on your opponent's side of the field. That's where Girsu, The Orcust Mekk-Knight might come in. By putting a World Legacy Token on your opponent's side of the field, you're able to get a Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher from your deck! If Orcust still had their Harp Horror to special summon something from the deck, that is.
But it turns out there's a deck that does use Girsu and consistently special summons from the deck: Generaider. They can go into True King of All Calamities + Barrier Statue of the Abyss if they open Girsu and Uka. Even if that might be overkill, there's another upside for running Uka in that deck specifically. The 3 best Generaider monsters all have the same ATK and DEF (Harr, Generaider Boss of Storms, Loptr, Shadow of the Generaider Bosses and Mardel, Generaider Boss of Light). Running a Dark, Light, and Fire target by default could make Uka way more appealing, at least at first glance.
As a (somewhat) niche Nibiru sidegrade, Gizmek Uka excels in being able to stop your opponent when they think they're Nibiru-safe. At the same time, it's stopped by most of what stops Nibiru (monster negation) and more (such as Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring). It doesn't nuke the field, which can be quite a huge disadvantage if you fail to OTK on the following turn. It also won't stop cards like Salamangreat Rage and Orcust Crescendo depending on when it resolves.
Though flashy and hilarious when it goes off, at its core Uka's best usage is countering Halqifibrax. Despite its staple status, Halqifibrax still doesn't see universal play. Halqifibrax's prevalence is assured, but only the rise in popularity of other cards that Special Summon from the deck would assure Uka's place in the metagame. For now, it might just be better to play more generic handtraps, like Infinite Impermanence and PSY-Framegear Gamma.