Looking back: The Deck of Commons | The Irish Duelist

Looking back: The Deck of Commons

I recently got a PM from a Pojo member who was introducing his friend to the game, and he brought up my Deck of Commons from 2009 and how it worked out for the 2 of them. Looking back on it now I really want to make a new version of that Deck. Here's the article again incase you missed it.

A common complaint among Yu-Gi-Oh! players is that decks and cards cost too much money these days, and while Konami have been doing great things in terms of reprints recently, a few decks (usually Lightsworn) are still out of reach for some. A good, basic Tier 1 deck could be worth anything from €100 to €300, which isn't exactly a small amount of money to 'throw away', especially in these tough financial times.

At a local tournament a few weeks ago I decided to do something different; the format was over for me with nothing else to really play for so I had the opportunity to try out different decks, ideas and so on. I built a deck entirely out of commons (didn't bother building a Side or Extra) and it did pretty well given how cheap it was to build. Here's the latest version, adjusted for the new format we're about to enter:

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Monsters: 19
3 Breaker the Magical Warrior
3 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
3 Banisher of the Radiance
3 Legendary Jujitsu Master
3 D.D. Warrior Lady
3 D.D. Assailant
1 Morphing Jar

Spells: 17
3 Lightning Vortex
3 Book of Moon
3 Fissure
2 Enemy Controller
2 Hammer Shot
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Smashing Ground
1 Heavy Storm

Traps: 4
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Call of the Haunted
1 Torrential Tribute

This deck won't win you any Shonen Jump Championships, but it's still a nice little thing to have some fun at locals with, and a fairly solid starting point for anybody who's just starting to compete in tournaments. The deck should be able to teach beginners the basic fundamentals of deck construction and card advantage while leaving enough room for their own innovations. It also serves as a very basic Anti-Meta lineup with many cards in here capable of disrupting standard Lightsworn, Blackwing, Gladiator and Monarch builds.

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The monster lineup is the core of the deck and if timed well enough should be able to cause enough trouble on its own. Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer attacks Lightsworn on two fronts; first it prevents the opponent from blocking attacks with Necro Gardnas and then it removes them from play anyways. Banishers prevent cards from hitting the grave in the first place and also lock out key cards such as Honest, Kalut the Moon Shadow, Rescue Cat (which is only seeing play in Gladiator Beasts now) and Charge of the Light Brigade.

D.D.'s Warrior Lady and Assailant cause direct one-for-one trades and make players think twice about attacking face-down monsters. Warrior Lady in particular is a major threat to recruiter monsters which have seen a rise in popularity after the new banlist was released. Legendary Jujitsu Master is purely a defensive option but can often change the way the opponent plays and force them to use up valuable resources in order to take care of it. The Breakers help provide and secure some sort of offense while Morphing Jar does what it always does.

The spell and trap lineup is a little different to conventional Anti-Meta builds (which are usually Trap-heavy) and probably still needs a bit of work. The idea is to avoid getting trumped by both Royal Decree and Aurkus, Lightsworn Druid, two cards that cause these types of decks a lot of problems. Having a large spell lineup makes the deck rather proactive instead of having to commit to the field and wait for the opponent to do something. It also feeds into Summoner Monk, a card that could easily fit in this deck. There's also enough non-targeting cards in here to take care of Aurkus (and to a lesser extent, Thought Ruler Archfiend) and make the rest of the backrows 'live' again.

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The Vortexes help take care of early game swarms, one of the main weaknesses that this deck has. Fissures, Hammers and Smash are all single card outs to whatever monster is in the way at the time. Book of Moon is probably the best quickplay spell in the game due to its versatility and ability to shut down big plays so maining a full playset makes sense. Controllers are capable of all sorts of tricks, providing temporary defence and massive swings in play when needed to. The rest of the spell lineup needs no real explanation.

This deck only runs four traps, which helps to keep the pace up and prevent a long drawn-out game. Now that Crush Card Virus is banned people have been looking for replacements and not surprisingly turned to Bottomless Trap Hole as their makeshift alternative (Konami expected this and semi-limited the card, a smart move that forces players to think outside the box). Torrential Tribute is the decks 'panic button'. You don't want to lose any of your monsters without taking out at least one or two of the opponents' along the way but if that isn't possible Torrential steps in to reset the battlefield. The final card in the deck is Call of the Haunted, which swapped places with Monster Reborn on the banlist. Most players would be relieved to finally get rid of that Banisher or Kycoo that's been disrupting their gameplan all match long, and bringing it back will hopefully cause a lot of problems.

While this deck may be cheap (everything listed is easily tradeable or can be bought for spare change) I like the fact that it actually works and doesn't feel hindered by its pricetag. Changes can (and most likely should) be made to it in order to improve its competitiveness as there are many decent common cards out there that can work. For those that just want a framework for an Anti-Meta (or 'Stun') build, here it is. Feel free to add Doomcaliber knights, Thunder King Rai-Oh's, Solemn Judgment or whatever takes your fancy. Just remember that most of those cards would cost more than the entire deck.

Have fun.


It'll need a bit of updating for the current format, but there's been plenty of good reprints since I last played it. Thunder King Rai-Oh and Solemn Judgment are now Commons, Mirror Force and Dimensional Prison too. Dark Hole and Monster Reborn, triple Smashing ground, Chaos Sorcerer, heck, even Dark Bribe. If I put something like this together again I'll run a blog post on it.