Budget Gouki Deck: The Poor man’s path from casual to competitive
Analyzing the Yu-Gi-Oh competitive scene has led a lot of players to the same conclusion: it is very hard to be good at the game without having to take out a small loan. To a degree, that might be true; a deck with $100 staples will almost always have an edge on a deck without. A Tier 1 strategy will generally be significantly better than a rogue option. Not everyone has the money to put towards this game however, and that is where we come in. This is Building on a Budget.
Building on a Budget Gouki Deck
This is a series of articles about taking inexpensive strategies and trying to develop the most competitive build possible. Together, we will go on a journey to look at what the deck has to offer in terms of strategy and combos, and how expensive the deck will run you. The objective will be to maintain a budget around $100 for the main and extra deck, while also providing you an explanation on how best to run the deck. We’re going to place an emphasis on decks that new players can glamor to and hopefully see enough success to where their prize pool can start building up and allow them to advance their way towards purchasing a meta relevant strategy. Today, we are look at Gouki.
Gouki is a phenomenal warrior toolbox that began seeing play in 2018 with the release of the Knightmare package. All Gouki monsters act as recruiters, capable of searching out other members of their archetype when they are sent from the field to the Graveyard. More important than that, this allows for chain-blocking to occur when two or more Gouki are sent to the Graveyard at the same time. The deck saw significant success with setting up an unbreakable Extra Link. At the time, this completely locked out your opponent from the extra deck, but the new master rule threw a wrench in that strategy.
Recently, Gouki has seen some limited success recently as a deck used primarily focused around summoning Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. While the Dragoon package may be too expensive for our $100 budget, Gouki still offers a lot of unique and powerful plays. Despite this disadvantage, Gouki remains a powerful option without breaking the bank. Here’s the deck list we’ll be exploring today.
- 3 Ash Blossom and Joyous Spring
- 1 Blue Mountain Butterspy
- 1 Codebreaker Zero Day
- 3 Fire Flint Lady
- 2 Gouki Guts
- 2 Gouki Headbutt
- 1 Gouki Iron Claw
- 2 Gouki Octostretch
- 3 Gouki Suprex
- 2 Gouki Twistcobra
- 3 Super Quantum Red Layer
- 1 The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak
- 1The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots
- 3 Sauravis, The Ancient and Ascended
- 1 “Infernoble Arms – Durendal”
- 1 Called by the Grave
- 1 Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade
- 2 Gouki Re-Match
- 1 Living Fossil
- 1 Magical Mid-Breaker Field
- 1 Monster Reborn
- 1 One for One
- 1 Reinforcement of the Army
- 1 Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade
- 1 The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigadine
- 1 Abyss Dweller
- 1 Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess
- 1 Borrelsword Dragon
- 1 Codebreaker Virus Berserker
- 1 Codebreaker Virus Swordsman
- 1 I:P Masquerena
- 2 Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights
- 1 Knightmare Cerberus
- 1 Knightmare Phoenix
- 1 Knightmare Unicorn
- 1 Linkuriboh
- 1 Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax
- 1 Salamangreat Almiraj
- 1 The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche
At the time of writing this, the total comes out to $99.07, with pennies to spare!
Konami has been very kind to this strategy as of late, reprinting key staples like Rusty Bardiche, Apollousa, Borrelsword Dragon and Knightmare Unicorn. As a result, many budget strategies have benefited. Of these strategies, few have seen as much success as Gouki. When going first, any single Gouki plus 1 extender can turn into Apollousa, Rusty Bardiche, Fog Blade, an I:P Masquerana, and a material to use to make one of our Knightmare monsters on your opponent’s turn. You can even set up a Phoenx or Cerberus with some co-linked monsters, providing additional protection.
In total, the main deck features 12 starters and 7 extenders. Spell cards like Living Fossil, Monster Reborn, Durendal, and One for One further improve on your ability to summon the necessary Gouki and one additional warrior in order to get your plays going. One of the nice things about this is that the deck has a very limited likelihood of giving you anything completely unplayable. Under the absolute worst case scenario, you may open your Codebreaker Zero Day, some of your Phantom Knights, and some Equip Spells, but even under those circumstances you’ll usually have enough cards to get a play going, albeit less powerful than one might have preferred.
Overall, a Budget Gouki Deck is a very linear deck to build, as most of the cards are self-explanatory. One of the few cards that may not make sense is Sauravis, The Ancient and Ascended. This ritual monster has a discard ability that allows you to negate an opponent’s card or effect that targets a monster you control. While making your combo, Isolde represents a major choking point, and a single Effect Veiler could mean the end of your turn. Sauravis helps provide some protection, although Magical Mid-Breaker Field serves a similar purpose. It is worth noting that Mid-Breaker can be counterproductive, as your Knightmare Monsters will be unable to benefit from the use of I:P Masquerna summoning them on your opponent’s turn. Under this scenario, alternative options like Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax are crucial to consider.
In addition to Sauravis, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is our other preferred hand trap of choice, however it does represent a significant portion of our budget. You can substitute them for a different hand trap at your discretion if you want to further reduce the budget. Aside from this, there isn’t a ton of room to reduce the price of this deck, as other cards being suggested provide far more value than any possible substitution. If you really need to, you could trim a few dollars by waiting to purchase your Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade as it has received a reprint announcement in the upcoming product Ghosts from the Past set to release in April. This would not be something advisable, as a single Fog Blade represents an additional and searchable form of disruption.
As previously mentioned, a huge investment piece you could make to further improve the gouki deck is Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. The package, including the Predaplant Verte Anaconda, will run you about $80. This purchase will allow you to revisit the previously mentioned combo and substitute the I:P Masquerana for a Dragoon and a Shade Brigadine. Alternatively, Immortal Phoenix Gearfried is a fantastic card, and while it is better used in Infernobles, you could experiment with it in this archetype. Another affordable option that you can use is the Neo Spacians, which give you the potential to rip a hand trap from your opponent and turbo into your Isolde.
Besides this Budget Gouki Deck, if you have any decks you’d like us to look over, send us a note!
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Article Guest Writer: Harrison Rodis