Ruinforce FTK is quite an odd deck, receiving a ton of hype only to fade away in the TCG after a banlist. Today we’ll be going over how the deck functions, its one stint into competitive play, and how it’s faring nowadays. Some duelists have even sighted it over in Master Duel! It’s certainly one of the most unique FTKs the game has seen in recent times, and while it never became a dominant force in the meta due to the very nature of how it works, this FTK has its fan.
Special thanks to OzoneTCG and Yugipedia for helping make this article possible! Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
Machina Ruinforce is quite the boss monster and is one of the newer payoffs for Earth Machine in recent times. The FTK on the other hand splits from either Pure Machina or MIT itself, being its own entire deck! It still makes use of some other archetypal cards such as Machina Cannon and Machina Overdrive at the very least. The former helps unclog monsters in hand, while the latter helps recycle your win condition.
But how and why are you able to FTK with it? That’s an excellent question to ask. Upon close inspection, we can see that Ruin’s summoning condition has no once per turn on it. This means if you have enough ammo, you can keep bringing this behemoth out to the field. Luckily, the game has a couple of ancient tools that will help in this endeavor.
First, the deck runs a bunch of Machine monsters that cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. Cards like Drytron Meteonis Draconids and Quadrantids, respectively. Even the flashiest of 5Ds boss monsters make an appearance, such as Meklord Astro Mekanikle and T.G. Halberd Cannon/Assault Mode! You’re not actually going to be summoning any of them, but they act as excellent fodder for Ruinforce. Now then, how do we get Ruinforce and these massive machines to the GY?
The deck aims to make use of some powerful Spell cards to facilitate the FTK strategy. Notably, both Reasoning and Monster Gate are prime candidates. Because nearly all of your monsters cannot be Normal Summoned or Set, this means that resolving either one of them will get multiple Ruinforces out of the deck and the ammunition needed to summon them repeatedly! Once that’s done, you can Link and Xyz summon monsters to your heart’s content.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring was a big hurdle to overcome, as it often made you lose on the spot. Because of this, multiple Monster Gates were huge in giving you some security against it. Ruinforce FTK had some ways to get monsters onto the field before going all in. In dire situations, Left Arm Offering was used to grab either Spell to get your combo online. Regardless of what number they called with Reasoning, you were often fine.
There is just one other thing to account for though, you need at least a legal target in your Deck to activate either of these cards. Luckily, Burst of Destiny (the set that introduced Ruinforce) also has a very useful common that perfectly fits with this strategy. Let the dog out!
Doggo on Duty!
I present to you all, Outstanding Dog Mary! This lass has a very useful effect that can make or break your Reasoning Gate plays. If sent to the GY, Mary stacks herself to the bottom of your Deck. This guarantees you to mill your entire deck if you previously resolved her effect. Hitting Mary early can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on your hand. Some stronger hands can afford it even if she shows up too soon, as you can stack her to the bottom and use another copy of Monster Gate or Reasoning to proceed as usual. If you don’t have a spare Spell, however, you may be in trouble. This is another reason why Left Arm Offering is key, as the second copy helps mitigate some bad luck.
Cards like Foolish Burial and One for One are great to pair with her, as you can make sure she’ll be tucked in the bottom of the Deck. The latter also unbricks Machines that would be stuck in your hand.
Gustav for Game (x4)
And thus we finally reach the payoff for all the hoops we’ve jumped through. The way the FTK works is resolving Gustav Max 4 times in order to inflict 8000 points of damage to the opponent’s LP. Paired with cards like Akashic Magician, Machina Overdrive, or Knightmare Unicorn, you can return your Gustav Max back to the Extra Deck to get the final trigger off. 3 Ruinforce with a loaded GY makes for an obscene amount of Link and Xyz fodder, so you can keep repeatedly summoning the Rank 10 until you win.
Should your opponent have some negation such as Effect Veiler or Infinite Impermanence, there are workarounds. After Akashic bounces a negated Gustav, you can ladder into Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess to further insulate against HTs and keep pushing through.
As a last-ditch effort, if you really can’t finish the opponent off, you can opt to build some form of a board instead. This only works if you still have some cards in Deck as you would lose to deck out otherwise. This is where something like Number 35: Ravenous Tarantula comes into play. Not only does it make your Apollousa utterly massive, but it puts them on a short clock if their LP is only at 2000 due to its burn effect. 8400 ATK Appo anyone?
Ruinforce FTK is not a meta breaker by any stretch of the imagination due to its fragility and tendency to lose to itself. Despite that, Jack Zhou managed to top 8 a WCQ Regional with it against all odds! His list is a nice skeleton for anyone who wanted to mess around with the deck. He’s running the subpar Magikey Mortar – Garesglasser simply because he couldn’t find extra copies of Draconids before the event.
From here you can see some funky tech like Instant Fusion for Millennium-Eyes Restrict which was an additional tool vs Hand Traps and could serve as Monster Gate fodder. Mystic Mine is also there as a way to stall the game until he got his pieces, provided they didn’t out it in time. Performapal Popperup is a -1 in card advantage, but it is a way to dump machines in hand in order to try and dig for your power spells.
To no one’s surprise, the deck never showed up again after this as one would need an incredible amount of luck to do well across multiple rounds of Swiss. Most chalked it up to a one-of-fluke, and they were right to do so. Still, it’s quite an achievement.
The February 7, 2022 banlist sealed the fate of the deck, cutting its consistency by a huge amount. This is one of the main reasons why the deck faded into utter obscurity, as nothing else was really using Monster Gate at the time. Whether you like it or not, this is the current state of the deck over in the TCG.
In Master Duel though, it’s found itself a new lease on life. While it’s not a tier 0 threat, the way MD is set up leads to a lot of things that Ruinforce FTK particularly likes. The version that they have is way stronger than anything the TCG ever had to work with.
Having 3 copies of both Reasoning and Monster Gate is unheard of, giving it really good odds to pull through with its combo. 2 Called by the Grave also helps mitigate Maxx “C”, and in some instances, you can still just FTK your opponent regardless. 3 Into the Void doesn’t hurt either. Lastly, since the game is in a BO1 format you don’t have to deal with actually trying to pull the FTK off in Games 2 or 3. All in all, it seems to be doing just fine over there. Rather expensive to craft though, I must say.
And that concludes our quick look into Ruinforce FTK, how it works, and the history behind it! What do you think of the deck? Should FTKs like these continue to exist, or did the TCG make the right call in stifling it early? Let me know down below. Until next time folks, Renren out!