Zoodiacs has made its mark in the OCG competitive scenes and despite being recently bested by Wind Witch Eidolons, there is no doubt that it will influence the TCG scenes when it debuts there. Before we continue, let us not forget that the TCG and OCG have different lists and different product lineups. TCG enjoy having Goyo Guardian with its summoning conditions unchanged (for now) whereas OCG is envied for its three copies of Upstart Goblins and Chicken Game. Of course, Elemental HERO Stratos is also limited to 1 in the OCG. Well, duh~ But why bring this up? The following article is going to consist of a list of cards, mostly what I classify as tech card options. In theory, they do work and can carry the element of surprise, and that may be enough to throw your opponent off their game. But in my personal playtesting experience, it has convinced me to drop them from my deck for plenty of reasons. Most of the time, I couldn’t bringmyself to allow it to replace another card in my deck, and the choice is an even harder one to make when it comes to Extra Deck cards. Some just didn’t make the cut when the process of elimination is employed during decision making. But given the different TCG landscape, I hope other players can find more success than me with these ideas. And with that, let’s waste no further time and dive into the main course of this article – the list.
Warwolf has the ability to call itself out onto the field when a level four or lower monster is special summoned onto the field. While this effect may have been built with the idea of synergizing it with its archetype flood-and-synchro strategy, the happy coincidence? Zoodiac Marmorat is also a level four monster. This makes any deck which can abuse the Zoodiac engine, but with the need of an extra level three on the field, welcomes the idea of T.G. Warwolf.
If you find yourself in doubt of what such decks are, you obviously haven’t been paying much attention to the rat. Zoodiac Marmorat’s existence is essentially a one-card Rank4. Out of the plenty of available options, one of which includes Bujintei Kagutsuchi. You normally won’t be able to summon it out in any deck in the need of a mill, seeing how it requires two Beast-Warrior monsters as its xyz materials. But for better or for worse, the shoes fit for Zoodiac Marmorat. Mill decks have been abusing this play since Zoodiac Marmorat debuted in the OCG. This is the whole reason that pushed Infernoid to play it in the first place. But while T.G. Warwolf doesn’t fit well into Infernoid, it does suit other under-the-radar decks like Zoodiac Phantom Knights. In short, Zoodiacs accelerates the deck with Bujintei Kagutsuchi’s and Rank3s flood the field for the offensive element of the deck. If only it were that simple…
We can take the play to a level higher by entering a search via Zoodiac Broadbull. Broadbull fetches any Beast-Warrior from the deck and is accessible through the first summoned copy of Zoodiac Marmorat. This can bring Bujin Hiruko to your hand, to upgrade Bujintei Kagutsuchi into either Bujintei Tsukuyomi or Bujintei Amaterasu. The former allows you a potential +1 and to yard your hand cards whereas Amaterasu can fetch and flood your field by reaching into your banished zone. Take your pick, depending on whichever the situations calls for.
Few decks revolve around this play style, but it might be a good idea for Madolche players to give it a shot. Best part? Start your plays with Speedroid Terrortop or Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs – You get your mill + Zoodiac Broadbull + one of the Bujinteis + Warwolf onto the field. ALL WITHOUT THE USE OF YOUR NORMAL SUMMON. #2016yugioh
Mr Cairngorgon here can change a card’s targets to another appropriate option. It hasn’t seen much play since its debut, as other Rank4 are equipped with excellent utility such as Number 101: Silent Honor ARK and Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer. Formats haven’t been dominated by targeting threats, and for TCG’s Well, after formats of being overshadowed, maybe it is finally time for this DARK Knight to shine. Cairngorgon has plenty to offer in your battle against the Zoodiacs. Just a moment of carelessness by your opponent, neglecting the fact that Cairgorgon exists in the game, they allow you xyz summon with two level4 monsters, passing their opportunity to use Zoodiac Drancia‘s effect. Let the Antiluminescent Knight touch the board, and you would have rendered Drancia’s destruction effect useless, neutralizing the threat. Prioritize Cairngorgon’s summoning and you are free to start off your plays involving field spell, continuous spells or anything that Drancia would otherwise be capable of interrupting.
Joining Cairgorgon is Number 103: Ragnazero. Ragnazero can punish the opponent’s legion of Beast-Warrior monsters leeching on Fire Formation – Tenki‘s attack point boost. That small but crucial 100ATK boost is what allows Ragnazero to destroy them and profit a draw. Problem is, cautious players would leave Drancia in defense position. But there are always others who either put up a front to bluff, or truly do have Zoodiac Viper among their hand cards. Be that as it may, seeing Zoodiac Drancia in attack position is a happy sight for Ragnazero. Take it out and get a draw. Proceed on from there.
Out of the plenty of floodgates available, this card probably didn’t cross your mind. Surprisingly it has plenty to offer. You get to negate all spells except for Ritual and Normal spells. Sure you leave trap cards out of the picture. But this card can stop Union Hangar from resolving, prevent lockdown escapes involving Book of Eclipse and Twin Twisters and most important of them all – it negates the continuous spell Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs. Sure I have seen it plenty in TCG decks, mostly at the start of each new format, in the Side Deck. Players use it to cater to the wide variety of threats as the metagame shapes itself in the initial weeks. But as the meta shifts to one where the playmakers of meta decks are commonly continuous spells, quick-play spells or field spell cards, which has been the case in the OCG, it might be a wise idea to move it from the Side Deck to Main.
Piggybacking with this article is the introduction of a card that many players in the TCG seem unfamiliar with – Forbidden Apocrypha. I say this because it seems to be the most common ‘What is that card between [XXX] and [XX]’ whenever OCG decklist pictures are posted. Be it on social media or blog sites. Perhaps it is unpopular?
It was previously translated as Forbidden Tomb if that name rings any bells, but let not it confuse you to be a member of the Forbidden quick-play spell card series which employs a different set of Japanese characters for the Japanese word [Forbidden]. Forbidden Apocrypha arose as a Side Deck option for players going second. It usually replaces Dimensional Boundary as it serves as a more reactive threat for a player going second and potentially facing a board of xyz monsters in a Zoodiac deck matchup. It can wipe the board empty during the opponent’s next Standby Phase, disallowing a Daigusto Emeral any second chance at its effect. Both cards similarly punish the opponent for over-relying on a single type of Extra Deck monster; Dimensional Boundary may be able to stall for a turn, but Forbidden Apocrypha provides a better answer to turn the tables. (Also, there is the price factor? One Dimensional Boundary can get you like maybe… 50-ish Forbidden Apocrypha?) What’s more is that it sends cards to the graveyard, and it has a large activation window, making it akin to a Torrential Tribute that can be activated at any time but can’t be stopped by Starlight Road since nothing gets destroyed. Here in the OCG, Starlight Road started becoming a popular board protection option once players started throwing massive board removal threats like Torrential Tribute and Mirror Force at Zoodiac players. It has since produced results and rooted itself as a staple Side Deck option.
The last card on the list is a relic of the past. Once upon a time it was used to combat the threat of Blackwings which has the edge over other meta decks back then due to their ability to access Icarus Attack. I present to you, My Body as a Shield.
Depicting the touching scene of Marauding Captain taking the blow for his friend, Gagagigo, the card’s name is definitely fitting to its artwork. Unlike the recent OCG-released card – Farewell. If I were to describe this card, I would use the adjectives – ‘A going-second Solemn Strike“. The striking (pun intended) similarity would be the 1500LP cost that they both share, but the trap card Solemn Strike can’t be used on the same turn it is drawn into. Quick-play spells thrive in this aspect, being able to be activated from hand during your turn and can still function like a trap card during your opponent’s turn. Although it will be a longer waiting game when Anti-Spell Fragrance is in play. Understandably, the coverage provided by both Solemn Strike and My Body as a Shield is different. Starlight Road might prove as a better alternative, but then the problem arises when your opponent starts playing around it annoyingly. Drop Twin Twister, target one? Starlight Road is also powerless against Diamond Dire Wolf, which I assure you is only going to get more popular when Zoodiacs arrives. Now might be a good time to drop the name The Huge Revolution is Over, for those unaware of its existence. The tiny little hook and arrow symbol imply the lack of cards that can be chained to it, as opposed to Starlight Road, but the trade is that it doesn’t generate any pluses or benefits.
Surely My Body as a Shield isn’t a perfect replacement to Solemn Strike. (Is it a good time to mention it is infinitely cheaper than Solemn Strike?) But if Strike is meant to out Drancia anyway, why not give this quick-play spell a try? You trade your chances of negating monster effects and inherent summons for the ability to deny other cards from destroying your monster. Judging from the amount of advantage Elemental Triangle can generate, I say 1500LP is a worthwhile insurance. Of course, players may just embark on Cosmic Cyclone as their main method of Spell/Trap removal.
Even if you are confident you would be picking up Zoodiacs yourself, it won’t harm you to take the list into consideration. Apart from being aware of what your opponent might end up throwing at you, expect mirror matches to be more common than ever. Zoodiac Drancia possesses one of the best forms of removal in this format, especially in the current age of duelling, where floodgates are a concern. Ever since Breaker the Magical Warrior, I don’t think I have ever witnessed a such a staple form of spell/trap destruction via a monster effect. And it targets face-up cards, even monsters. Dodging, playing around Zoodiac Drancia would be key to securing victory over the other player, but playstyle adaptation does have its limits. The more straightforward method would be to fight the battle prepared, with answers and baits ready to counter it.
With that, I end my article and would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone around the world a Merry Christmas and, in time, a Happy New Year. I will continue my articles next year. See you then.
Along with a group of friends, I founded the blog [Dueling "C"]. I am from Singapore, and have been playing competitively in the OCG since 2012, although I started playing the game casually since 2007.
Fav decks: Junk Doppel, Chaos Dragons.
Fav archetype: Yosenjus
Fav card artwork: Destiny Draw