Goat Format has been extensively revisited and analysed. I personally believe that no card can really be considered a Tech Choice at this point of time now, simply because of how much the format has grown. A card or two may catch you by surprise from time to time. This is especially true for players who are making the transition to online. However, I doubt any card will have a significant impact and be effective enough for it to be long-lasting. Any card of that caliber would have been common knowledge by now.
Nevertheless, there are still a few cards that may catch you by surprise.
Hello everyone, I am Ken Sirr. It has been a while.
Table of Contents
The motivation behind this article is to provide a different insight and perspective to the format. I hope this article serves you well in reading your opponent’s plays better and adapting your playstyle to suit the situation.
The article series will be split into two parts:
- This first article consists of a short introduction of how I entered the format and the way I play. This will be followed by a list of cards, putting them on the metaphorical whiteboard, for anyone interested in having a second look at them (along with some just-for-laugh stories). This is just to cover more bases in the ‘What You Should Know’ department.
- A second part to this article will be dedicated to my personal input and general thoughts about the format while tackling the question of whether cards like Exarion Universe have a place in Modern Goats. I hope that by sharing, readers may gain a different perspective on some matters.
Many arguments and experiences I share in the article are from the perspective of a player using the Goat Control Deck. This article will also assume that you are already familiar with the basics of Goat Format. This includes the standard card pool, the polarizing opinions of Exarion Universe, and the reason for excluding CRV from Modern Goat. If you are not, we have other articles for that purpose.
I started playing Goat Format in 2017 June, shortly before I stopped playing Yugioh competitively. The SPYRAL format in the OCG really didn’t sit well with me. This is even coming from a player that really enjoyed Zoodiac (although not at first). What I really enjoy about Goat Format was how it embodies what I feel is the ‘purest version’ of Yugioh, unlike SPYRAL.
Strong emphasis on: “What I feel is the purest version”
A no-archetype, monster-mash with spells and traps was the very impression the Yugioh anime gave me when it came to deck building. Archetypes took a stronger role in during the GX Anime and while it had its charm, it quickly lost it in my ‘casual player’ eyes because it made my own deck feel less special.
For how I play Goat Format, it’s regularly with friends over the weekends, whenever we can meet for dinner. Sometimes to pass time, I play on DuelingBook too. So feel free to say hi if you ever see me on there!
The game is a lot like Poker. Making and calling bluffs is part and parcel to the game. I don’t think that there is a ‘proper’ or ‘effective’ way to play Goat. Do things too routinely and I find myself bored. Go too much on the wild side and I will definitely be on the losing end of games. I make it a point to change the way I play from time to time after I have misled my opponent enough.
For example, after a few games, I go back to ‘safe plays’, baiting Crossout pieces with my other monsters. This paid off handsomely when I have exhausted their copies of Crossout, leaving me to happily loop my Magician of Faith. I am very comfortable with this playstyle, and I find it harder for people to get an accurate read off me (also I use it as an excuse sometimes to justify bad plays. Hey I was trying to bluff).
While I try to vary my style, I definitely lean towards the rowdy side when playing. “You, Ken Sir, live in the moment when you play Goats.” My playing partner said that as a politer way of calling my play style reckless. This comment was earned shortly after I dropped Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, sacrificed it for Airknight Parshath attacked directly and drew into Ring of Destruction to win the duel. He said it was reckless. I calculated….. (not really I just rushed for game and only won due to Ring of Destruction).
My Unpopular Opinions
- I will set Magician of Faith once I have the chance, even in the early stages of the game. Nobleman of Crossout be damned. My reasoning is that a Crossout of my Faith will reveal the location of my opponent’s Faiths. And by banishing both players’ copies, I have less Flip Monsters to worry about, reserving my Nobleman of Crossout for other foes. I play with someone that always sets Faith early anyway, so I might as well join in on that race and try to resolve my Faith early, despite the risks.
- I am still building my Goat Control deck, but with each passing day it seems to be crossing the line and turning into a Zoo Beatdown Deck. Even so, some of my card choices speak for themselves. D.D. Warrior Lady and D.D. Assailant in the Main Deck for Goat Control, double Airknight Parsath, more than one Soldier.
- More often than not, I don’t expect Magician of Faith to resolve. Once Crossout hits it, I change my game plan to outlast my opponent in terms of the power cards and Trinity pieces. This would involve me making the most out of my cards. An example is activating Delinquent Duo when my opponent has exactly two cards in hand. This will hopefully snipe the cards he specifically reserved in his hand, as opposed to a blind Duo when he has a loaded hand. By doing this I can potentially remove a crucial piece such as BLS or just totally derail his game plan. In other words, I don’t try to avoid Magician on Faith being hit by Crossout. I feel that if I dedicate myself to do so, it slows my game plan and win condition. I am very much willing to play around it.
- I see Tsukuyomi not as a part of the Tsukuyomi-Faith loop, but more as an answer towards opponent’s monsters such as Blade Knight and Breaker the Magical Warrior. With Tsukuyomi in hand, it threatens these monsters and makes summoning them a sub-optimal play on most occasions. I also value the Tsukuyomi-Restrict loop more than the Tsukuyomi-Faith loop, partly due to how I see Magician of Faith’s role in the deck. I treat Faith as a win-more and good-to-have rather than the heart of the deck. To me, the heart of the deck for Goat Control lies in its arsenal of Monster Cards, which makes the deck readily available to answer an array of threats. Tsuko-Faith is good to have for generating advantage, but I definitely don’t rely on it.
- I see Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive and Magical Merchant as monsters that serve the same purpose in a Goat Control deck. I do, however, lean towards Merchant out of the two. Even if I wanted a card like Dekoichi, I would run Dark Mimic LV1 instead.
- This brings me to my next point which is that I play Goat Control with three copies of Metamorphosis. This may explain my preference on Level One monsters. Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive feels more suited for decks such as Chaos Turbo, where I may play Dimension Fusion or Return from the Different Dimension, making ATK matter more in the build.
- As for traps, I am the type of player that prefers a streamlined set of traps. I will be more likely to play three copies of Sakuretsu Armor as opposed to mixing it up with Raigeki Break or Phoenix Wing Wind Blast. Sakuretsu Armor is live much more than the other two. If we are to worry about the discard outlet in Chaos Turbo, I rely on Magic Jammer more, which is another reason I play it over Spell Shield Type-8.
- One concession I will have to make is that Sakurestu Armor and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast + Raigeki Break belong to two types of Traps, the former being reactive while the latter is responsive. That’s the way I see it – one dies to Breaker and the other doesn’t. On that note, I am more of a fan of Raigeki Break than Wind Blast because of Breaker alone (I will play either or, never really both).
Overlooked Tech Choices
You have spent this article so far reading about me and my experiences. Hopefully some of my opinions have made you rethink or reconsider certain strategies you may employ. You don’t have to agree with me. In fact, I propose that you doubt it, in order to formulate your own. Knowing how other players think will help you to formulate strategies differently.
Now let’s move onto the cards!
Greenkappa is a card I absolutely adore for sentimental reasons because it won me a couple of games back when Heavy Trap Shaddolls were a thing in the OCG. However, Greenkappa, like the rest of the list, is nothing groundbreaking or huge. The major drawback of this card is the need for it to target exactly two cards to destroy, which means you could be sacrificing one card on your side of the field unwillingly.
Not worth considering against anything but Trap-heavy decks, but it got its spot on this list because I lost my two important copies of Solemn Judgment to it when I was playing Zoo Beatdown.
When I said I played more than one soldier previously, I was referring to the two copies of Abyss Soldier I main deck. This card is nothing new, but I am here to sell you on this idea.
This 1800 ATK monster re-purposes Call of the Haunted and Premature Burial, giving you an aggressive beatstick in Goat Control. I find this is something that many Goat Control deck lacks, apart from Blade Knight. It has respectable defense too, so itt doesn’t die outright to Tsukuyomi.
Sinister Serpent and the only other copy of Abyss Soldier may be the only available WATER monsters to you (and possibly Tribe-Infecting Virus if you run it), but I reasoned that the potential it offers to my deck outweighed the cons. It plays a game similar to what Phoenix Wing Wind Blast does to your opponent, and is doubly effective (and frustrating) for your opponent’s set monsters.
Lastly, it can let you re-use Premature Burial and a dead Call of the Haunted. While it isn’t a main selling point, it is a good play to remember when both happen to be on the field at the same time.
Its attribute leaves much more to be desired though, I will admit.
Another one that doesn’t die to Tsukuyomi and it lives up to the first half of its name by acting as a pseudo-Sinister Serpent. Regenerating Mummy may fit perfectly into Zombie-oriented decks, but it should considered anywhere just off its effect. I feel that it is a suitable one-off card in the Side Deck. It keeps rogue decks in check, especially those revolving around depleting resources from hand (e.g. Don Zaloog , Spirit Reaper).
Smoke Grenade of the Thief
Speaking of destroying resources in the hand, Smoke Grenade of the Thief does a pretty good job at it. Its effect seems to be a cross between Trap Dustshoot and Delinquent Duo. However, I can understand why some people are apprehensive to include it in decks without Gearfried the Iron Knight, since it has to be activated when destroyed, but it has potential which many overlook.
- Being an Equip Spell Card, it targets, making it an effective answer to Spirit Reaper.
- It allows you to choose a card to discard from your opponent’s hand and view your opponent’s entire hand, and that information is valuable.
- It basically serves as a ‘second copy’ of Delinquent Duo.
- When equipped to your own monster, it makes your opponent thinks twice about destroying it.
While it doesn’t generate any advantage, it is a one-for-one trade for resources, which can double as removal for Spirit Reaper. I see it as a Side Deck material, but feel free to experiment with it. Although I do agree with the notion that, apart from a deck that has a goal centered around hand destruction, Smoke Grenade of the Thief is a ‘win-more’ card.
Blindly Loyal Goblin
The main selling aspect of our good friend Blindly Loyal Goblin here is that he doesn’t concede to Snatch Steal and Creature Swap. At 1800/1500, his stats aren’t too shabby either. But being of EARTH Attribute puts it under the same consideration as Abyss Soldier.
If you are simply looking for a ‘vanilla’ LIGHT monster, Homunculus the Alchemic Being is a 1800/1600 beatstick at your service.
I actually faced this card against a non-Empty Jar deck on DuelingBook. When I asked why use Desert Sunlight, he said it was to make sure his Flip Monster effect resolves, and to act as another Negate Attack. While his argument has some merit, I don’t foresee myself using anytime soon. I’m not that desperate to make my Flip Monsters’ effects resolve, and even if I did use it, it’s better in Chaos Turbo more than Goat Control. But for the brave and the bold, why not?
Big Shield Gardna
My boy Gardna. One of my favorite cards of all time, and I absolutely adore the moment when Atem calls him out during the Ceremonial Duel. I play him in my deck solely for sentimental reasons, although I definitely do prefer him over Gravekeeper’s Spy. Big Shield Gardna has a decent effect and for me it acts as a poster-boy for baiting out Nobleman of Crossouts. It also complements my three copies of Book of Moon.
The recoil damage can easily creep up on the opponent unknowingly, making them rethink plays involving Premature Burial and Delinquent Duo, and I like Big Shield Gardna for just that reason.
- I like Don Zaloog as a beatstick in both Goat Control and Chaos Turbo. Its effect is an aggressive follow-up to an opponent’s empty field and is something your opponent cannot ignore. However, a common issue post Side Deck is that it conflicts with Trap Dustshoot’s hand size requirement.
- I prefer Book of Moon over Enemy Controller (as I believe many others do). However, against Zoo Beatdown I feel that Enemy Controller does more to help than Book of Moon ever can.
- Wicked-Breaking Flamberge – Baou. It’s an ATK Boost + Effect Negator, at the cost of a card in hand. I don’t see a place for it in Goat Control decks, but Zoo Beatdown decks may find it useful.
Goat Isn’t Goat Anymore?
Perhaps it is the lack of a proper online tournament setting, but many duelists I met on Duelingbook rarely use Goat Control. Most use different builds of Chaos Turbo/Chaos Control, others do Zoo Beatdown, and most just go on full-on Anti-Goats. I remembered a game where I lost so badly I barely got to make a significant move. My opponent and I had a discussion after the game and he said something that stuck with me:
“Goat Control isn’t necessarily the best deck of the Modern Goat format anymore.”
It’s quite true actually. Goat Control certainly is the most versatile. I find it to be the most fun and is certainly the deck I would introduce to anyone who has just started out in the format. Is it necessarily the best deck that gives you the highest chance in winning games? Especially when we consider that many players will probably build their deck to favour a Goat Control matchup?
I glanced at said opponent’s decklist after the game. No, it wasn’t built to kill Goat Control decks. It was totally made to slaughter and make sure that even Call of the Haunted can’t revive your wounded soul. He tailored his deck to specifically counter Goat Control, at the expense of possibly losing to any other matchups.
This part of the article is by no means a suggestion for you to stop playing Goat Control decks, but rather a suggestion in deck building decisions, especially during formal tournaments.
I was playing with a college friend named ‘Makita’ and he managed to get a good read on me once. The story starts on a turn where I drew into Morphing Jar and commented ‘hmmm’. Turns out I actually do that very often, and he was able to recognize my tell, reading right off the bat that I set Jar. He proceeded to set his entire hand and benefited off it more than I did, winning him the game.
This short story acts as a friendly reminder of how real life opponents can differ from online opponents. With different opponents, you can enjoy the game differently.
I play online and real-life Goat for different purposes. DuelingBook provides me with different types of deck and players to chitchat and explore concepts. Playing in real life is more of a social aspect in my friend circle, and when I do play all I really care about is making a play that would be the talk of the town during dinner, weeks, months or even years later. “Remember that time when you really thought you won with Blade Knight and I flipped Cylinder on you?”
So if you haven’t built your own in-real-life deck yet, do so now! It doesn’t have to be an immediate get-the-deck-ready-by-next-Saturday thing. It can be a months-long process as you slowly collect the cards. Personally, I have six Goat Format decks (three of which are incomplete) – Chaos Turbo, Goat Control, Zoo Beatdown, Zombie, and an additional two identical Exarion Goat Control decks which are still works-in-progress.
A word of caution: Sometimes the greatest enemy in a Goat Format duel is yourself. Overthinking is a real problem. Trust me, as I am a master at overthinking in life. However, the other end of the spectrum can be just as bad. I guess the best state of mind is like what the infamous Thanos said: ‘Perfectly Balanced, as all things should be…’
Our actions in-game are a reflection of our thought process. I like to think that finding that balance is a fun aspect of the game.