My recent Yu-Gi-Oh! fascination has been Mecha Phantom Beasts. Explore the archetype with me and some of my thoughts. For this article I talk about the original set of Mecha Phantom Beasts and general strategy.
I’d mention me speaking on Mecha Phantom Beasts in the beginning segment of the most recent podcast, but as of writing this it hasn’t been uploaded. (So you all know, we currently have 2 recorded podcasts being edited at the moment, sorry for the wait!) Despite that, I’ll say I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with the deck as of late, and as always I’m searching for things to write articles about and it usually ends up being my current Yu-Gi-Oh! ideas rather than theri-Oh! because that takes a whole lot more effort for me to plan and write about.
I’ve done a bit of experimenting in the past with this archetype and really liked it, I quickly ran into the problem though that without ample setup time the deck falters because most of its monsters require combos to start working. After a random burst of inspiration through ideas not initially meant for a pure Mecha Phantom Beast build, I came across a lot of working ways to run the deck and have slowly built up some core engines and plays for the deck. As a result of finding things about the deck, I figured I’d share my exploits in article form as a more of a series for a couple reasons. First, I’m lazy when it comes to making up article ideas, so it’s easier for me to commit to a series that will take up multiple articles. Second, their’s lots of information to be given about the archetype so I figured it’d take more than one article to begin with. Third, I don’t have any comfortable deck lists that I can talk about all too concisely yet, so it makes more sense to talk about strategy rather than a specific deck.
With that we’ll begin today with the basic monster core given to us in Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy then a couple extra, but important, cards from Judgment of the Light (which I don’t think I’ll be talking about this article, possibly next article). Konami told us pretty simply how to run this deck by how the cards work. The monsters all summon Mecha Phantom Beast tokens and can’t be destroyed by battle or card effects if there’s a token on your side of the field. They also manipulate their own levels depending on the number of tokens you control, which hopefully allows you to get 2 level 7 Mecha Phantom Beast monsters and make their ace monster: Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack, who’s name is greatly tainted by the Dragon Ruler deck that everyone seems to hate so much.
The largest problem the deck runs into is that with very little exception, the deck has almost no effective plays with only 1 Mecha Phantom Beast monster on the field. This means in order to create a functioning version of the deck you need to counter-balance this one flaw in the deck. This is similar to most decks out there, they have a distinct draw that makes them strong, and in order to build the deck effectively you must create a deck that can either completely remove or mitigate the weaknesses of a specific play style so you can gain the most out of it.
When a Token(s) is Special Summoned to your side of the field: Special Summon 1 “Mecha Phantom Beast Token” (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0). You can only use this effect of “Mecha Phantom Beast Megaraptor” once per turn. This card’s Level is increased by the total Levels of all “Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens” you control. While you control a Token, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 Token; add 1 “Mecha Phantom Beast” monster from your Deck to your hand.
Megaraptor is first because it’s usually the first thing I end up using in most duels using Mecha Phantom Beasts. It has incredibly high combo potential and if left unchecked by the opponent it will supply you with a lot of extra advantage.
He has a solid 1900 ATK, which is notable, first because it’s strong and second to point out the fact that Mecha Phantom Beasts have a very strong aggro factor. In addition to their non-destruction effect making them very robust they all have a lot of Attack or Defense to fall back on in a tough situation. This allows the deck to have a fairly mild amount of control without using really any of the Mecha Phantom Beasts effects with only the addition of generic spell and trap defense. In combination with Tetherwolf, Megaraptor forms a robust aggro core that apply lots of pressure. (directly to the forehead…)
About Megaraptor in specific, it requires another card no matter what to be of any use. This is probably why its 1900 ATK stat is reasonable, because Megaraptor its completely reliant on other cards to use any of its effects.
It first has an effect to summon tokens that activates whenever a token is summoned to your side of the field. Every Mecha Phantom Beast monster has an effect that summons tokens in some way, shape or form meaning it you have out a Megaraptor and just about any other Mecha Phantom Beast you can get even more tokens. This also works with a lot of spells and traps I’ll talk about in the proceeding weeks; for now I’ll leave you without explanations with the following cards: Scapegoat, Fiend’s Sanctuary and Black Garden.
The second effect works quite nicely with the first, you can tribute a Token to add a Mecha Phantom Beast from deck to hand. The major thing to note about this effect is that it doesn’t require the Token to be a Mecha Phantom Beast Token. This means you can use the most simple form of Token technology, Fiend’s Sanctuary, to form possibly the most basic, but effective combo using Megaraptor.
In short, Fiend’s Sanctuary is a Normal Spell that summons a 0/0 Token. Together they make the following combo:
- Summon Megaraptor.
- Activate Fiend’s Sanctuary and summon a Token.
- Megaraptor summons 1 Mecha Phantom Beast Token.
- Tribute the Fiend Token to search a Mecha Phantom Beast from the deck with Megaraptor.
When this card is Normal Summoned: Special Summon 1 “Mecha Phantom Beast Token” (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0). This card’s Level is increased by the total Levels of all “Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens” you control. While you control a Token, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. During the Damage Step of either player’s turn, if this card battles an opponent’s monster: You can Tribute 1 Token once per battle; this card gains 800 ATK, until the End Phase.
Once again another beat-stick-ish monster, which follows the Mecha Phantom Beast theme to a tee. As you may not have noticed, every Mecha Phantom Beast has 3 similar effects.
- As we’d call it on the YCGpodcast, the “Mecha Phantom Beast Effect”. It’s the effect that is word for word the same on every Mecha Phantom Beast monster (with some exceptions). This effect prevents destruction by battle or effect if you have a token, and sometimes manipulates your level based on the level of the Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens you control.
- A trigger effect that summons Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens. So, an effect that upon a specifically mentioned situation will summon some amount of Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens.
- Last, is an effect that activates by tributing a Token.
Tetherwolf’s token summoning effect is upon his Normal Summon, making it debatably the easiest Token summoning effect to activate. That makes Tetherwolf the go to monster when you need Tokens on the board. With that in mind, it makes sense that Tetherwolf becomes the combo starting monster. It gets tokens on the field easily to activate its own other another Mecha Phantom Beast’s effect.
Tetherwolf, unlike Megaraptor, can function completely separate of other cards, which is what makes it really strong. As I stated it’s the main combo initiator of the deck, but you can simply summon it to whack over big monsters because it can boost to 2500 ATK pretty easily. It also is resilient to removal because it immediately summons a Token, so the opponent can’t Mirror Force it. If their’s a Token on board to begin with, it’s even more resilient allowing it to dodge Bottomless Trap Hole and Torrential Tribute as well.
Tetherwolf forms the main bread and butter combo that Konami clearly built into the deck using itself and Megaraptor. Their’s multiple ways to setup the combo, not short of simply opening with both in your hand, but all of which start with a Megaraptor on the field at the start of your turn.
- Megaraptor on the field.
- Normal Summon Tetherwolf and use his effect to summon a Token.
- Megaraptor’s effect summons a 2nd Token.
- Megaraptor tributes a Token to search the deck for a Mecha Phantom Beast.
- Both Megaraptor and Tetherwolf are Level 7 so you can XYZ for Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack.
- (pretty obvious, but…) Summon 2 Tokens with Dracossack.
From here depending on the monster you added to hand and what you have face-down you have a lot of follow-up plays. An example play you can do afterwards that uses Call of the Haunted:
- Starting from Dracossack’s effect, activate Dracossack’s effect detaching Megaraptor.
- Chain to Dracossack’s effect with Call of the Haunted targeting Megaraptor.
- Chain resolves backwards, first summon Megaraptor from grave.
- Then Special Summon 2 Tokens.
- Megaraptor’s effect activates summoning the 3rd Token.
- Megaraptor’s effect, tributing 1 of the Tokens to search a second time.
This results in two deck searches for combo pieces and also results in a really strong field that likely will result in you still having at least 1 monster on board next turn (even if it’s just a token), allowing you to make easy combos next turn. If we want to count Tokens as advantage, this 3 card combo was a plus 3, if not it’s a plus 1 or potential plus 2 if you destroy a card with Dracossack, which is good. If the opponent doesn’t appropriately respond, they’ll probably get blown out on your next turn.
When this card is flipped face-up: Special Summon 2 “Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens” (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0). This card’s Level is increased by the total Levels of all “Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens” you control. While you control a Token, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. You can Tribute 1 Token, then target 1 “Mecha Phantom Beast” monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target. You can only use this effect of “Mecha Phantom Beast Hamstrat” once per turn.
Hamstrat is probably the most excessive of all the reliable Mecha Phantom Beast monsters. He can allow for unprecedented amounts of advantage in the mid to late game if you can use his effect’s on your terms. He summons two tokens upon his flip summon, which is great if he isn’t attacked while face-down, or if he survives an attack. Both of which are nicely supported by attack stopping cards like Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison, Scrap-Iron Scarecrow and other similar cards, so it works nicely with those. If you already have any tokens on the board when they attack, he will survive no matter what, meaning you can pressure your opponent into not attacking him while face-down if you have a lot of tokens on board already, say by a card like Scapegoats.
However, it’s incredibly easy to overlook his other effect given how alluring it is to have the chance to summon two tokens upon his flip. You would assume you always set this card, then flip summon it and get two tokens, and then do his next effect tributing tokens to revive a Mecha Phantom Beast. This is great and all, but it takes a lot of setup and even more hope that the opponent can’t do anything about it since there are tons of places to disrupt the play. More often than not you’ll be setting this guy simply to get token start up, or simply Normal Summoning him outright. At first, the option of Normal Summoning Hamstrat didn’t even cross my mind because it seems so essential to set him, but the power of his revival effect can be vital.
Let’s say some tokens survive a turn, or possibly that you have a Dracossack on board. This allows easy access to tokens for Hamstrat’s revival effect and give a legitimate reason to simply normal summon him to revive a monster and do combos from their. The thing about Hamstrat though is that the monster you revive with it really depends on the situation, so I can’t exactly say what plays it has other than one. In particular, Hamstrat has the most synergy with the card Mecha Phantom Beast Warbluran.
Warbluran is a level 1 Tuner for the deck. The deck also has its own level 7 Synchro as well: Mecha Phantom Beast Concuroda. Since Hamstrat is level 3, that means with one Mecha Phantom Beast Token on the field, he’ll become a level 6 monster. That allows us to make a pretty simple but strong play:
- You have a set Hamstrat that survived from last turn and a Warbluran in the graveyard.
- Flip Hamstrat, summon 2 Tokens.
- Tribute 1 Token to revive Warbluran.
- Warbluran and Hamstrat can Synchro for 7, Concuroda.
- When Warbluran is use as Synchro Material for a Machine Synchro he summons a Token.
- End with Concuroda and two Tokens
I’ll get into some more excessive Synchro plays next week, but I’ll leave that by saying this is a simple but quite effective one.
When this card declares an attack: Special Summon 1 “Mecha Phantom Beast Token” (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0). This card’s Level is increased by the total Levels of all “Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens” you control. While you control a Token, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can Tribute 1 Token, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; change that target to face-up Defense Position.
Blackfalcon is probably my favorite of the Mecha Phantom Beast cards, but I feel he’s probably the most under-appreciated. His raw stats seem rather poor and effects reads in what may seem underwhelming, in effect though I feel he’s incredibly important. Much like Tetherwolf, he can function alone, and performs even better than Tetherwolf does when combined with strong Spell and Trap support. He also acts in a very similar way to Tetherwolf in that he’s one of your major Token sources, meaning if you need Tokens quick, you summon Tetherwolf or this guy.
The thing that make Blackfalcon so awesome to me though is his Token tributing effect. Once you get Blackfalcon on board with just about any other Mecha Phantom Beast monster you gain a lot of control over the opponent’s field. One of the best monsters Blackfalcon combos with is Megaraptor. While Megaraptor is one board whenever Blackfalcon attacks, you get two Tokens because of Megaraptor’s effect, allowing you to tribute one Token on your turn to allow you to kill practically any monster by attacking over it with Megaraptor, since most monster don’t have both Attack and Defense higher than 1900. Then, you have an additional Token to tribute to prevent any big monsters from attacking over you during you turn. Then you can just repeat the cycle again.
You can also use the same field to search for specific cards using Megaraptor instead of control with Blackfalcon, leaving them both at Level 7 then allowing you to summon a Dracossack. While it’s pretty obvious that Dracossack would be good with its own archetype, I’d like to point out one thing that makes it really powerful that you may not have thought about. Since when you summon a Dracossack in Mecha Phantom Beasts, you have to increase the levels of your monsters by having Tokens on board. This means at minimum you’ll have 1 Mecha Phantom Beast Token on the field before you summon the Dracossack. Then when Dracossack is summoned you’ll have the Token on board protecting it from cards like Bottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute and many other random cards that can destroy.
I’ll end it with that for today. Next week I’ll get into some of the newer cards from Judgment of the Light and how the deck can Synchro spam like a mad man. If you’ve got any comments or questions that you’d like me to address in future articles of this nature, I’d gladly like to hear what you have to say and I’ll try my best to answer in a comment or a future article.
QOTW: Question of the Week?
What’s your opinion on the new card coming out in Shadow Specters, Pot of Duplicity? Do you think it’s an good? To restrictive to be used? What decks do you think can implement it effectively?
Written by: Kyle