I consider myself a gaming enthusiast, from chess and checkers to Yu-Gi-Oh TCG, console gaming, and beyond.
Today we are going to discuss one of the most underappreciated archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh-dom: Wind decks. Wind decks received an enormous boost during the Arc-V era, and always serve as the best pool for control decks. The archetype swarms, and as the name implies, they bounce. They also have unconventional play styles that make even pro duelists fold their hands in contemplation when facing a master of the archetype.
So, for those interested in knowing what the writer’s fuss is all about, or for those interested in riding beside a Ritual Tamer in the Mist Valley, here are the best Wind decks.
Ahhhh, Dragunity, Dragunity, the times we used to share. Dragunity juuusstt makes the top 10 because of Dragunity Arma Layvaten’s relationship with Light and Darkness Dragon. Even releasing their widely abused Field Spell, Dragon Ravine, couldn’t bump this deck up further, I’m afraid.
Dragunity’s were one of the premier equip-a-monster-for-more-power decks, and arguably the first that did it right, but other decks just do what they do better. If you like Dark monsters and insects, you’re trying to make Inzectors work, and if you have a thing for summoning high-level Dragons (You know, that thing Dragunities were known for), then you’re using Felgrands or Windwitches (A smaller archetype with as much support as a broken bungee cord that still ranks higher on this list).
That’s the problem with Dragunities: they’re good, but get a huge Mad Max “MEDIOCRE” stamp. But if you still dream of making an alliance with avian warriors riding pet dragons (which sounds . . . pretty cool actually), or just love the whole equip-a-monster-for-power thing, then you’re free to give these guys a shot.
Okay, hear the writer out on this one. The F.A.s are a new Wind archetype based off NASCAR and dirt bikes that gain levels whenever one of their Spell/Trap effects activates, and gain effects and attack and defense points based on that level.
The writer doesn’t know if people are using F.A.s as their exclusive Lyfts because they love fast cars, or NASCAR, or the whole level gimmick, but the writer is here to put a spike strip before your dreams, because the F.A.s have many flaws.
Not only is all the current F.A. support Spell Cards, but everything about the monsters is based on their effects. For example, if you negate the effect of Beezle of the Diabolical Dragons, you’re opponent will wince, but then say, “Okay, thanks for the beatstick.” If you negate the effect of an F.A., you have no attack, no defense, and no effect. You might as well have a field goal without a goalie while your opponent has a soccer ball strapped to an RPG.
It would help if something in their arsenal negated targeting effects, but no, they don’t. And before you F.A. fans throw off your NASCAR FOREVA hats before trying to fight the writer with your, “But they’re unaffected by monsters whose levels are lower than theirs,” let me remind you only some of the F.A.s do this. They couldn’t even make that a staple across the archetype!
Then the boss monster was such a letdown . . . And for these reasons, the F.A. come in at the #9 slot. The writer will admit though, the F.A.s are still a fun Wind deck. F.A. Whip Crosser ends the threat of hand traps (the annoying as hell current state of the game), F.A. Hang On Mach banishes all cards sent to your opponent’s graveyard, it’s not that hard to keep stacking those Spells until a level-4 monster gains over 2700 attack, and the cards do look freaking awesome.
Despite their flaws, playing cards riding racecars is definitely a better experience than playing cards only riding motorcycles.
The Windwitches come from inside a tornado with the barnyard and Grandma’s cow in tow at the #8 spot for obvious reasons. You’ll remember the Windwitches only do two things well: Synchro summon Wind-attribute level-7 and Wind-attribute level-8s. And that’s it.
Sure, that leaves one with some pretty game-changing contenders (à la Stardust Dragon, Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, and the titan Crystal Wing), but again, that’s it. They don’t have any Spell or Trap support, only five cards exist in the archetype, and they lack a means to grab a Fusion card for their only Fusion monster, or heck, a monster with a built-in Fusion ability (you know, like any other archetype that fuses nowadays).
Don’t think the writer is just unjustly dismissing the archetype, though. These icy, bell riding maidens can amplify any other Wind deck on this list, but a dedicated build? Unless they get more support, these ladies won’t fly higher than a broken barn in Kansas.
The Shinobirds are the lords of a powerful deck no one should underestimate. The bosses of the deck can easily reach attack strengths from 3000 to 3500 with their support, they can special summon level-4 or lower Spirit monsters from the hand or deck, leave monsters on the field for tribute-fodder when they return to the hand, and have nontargeting effects that return monsters to hand and Spell/Traps to the deck.
Yes, the Shinobirds can be a devastating deck . . . but they are a terrible Ritual deck, like Yamcha in Dragon Ball Z terrible. The writer will even stomp on some toes and say he believes the Shinobirds are the worst modern Ritual deck you can try and shuffle. Why, you may ask? If any deck needed a way to spam their Ritual monsters, it’s the Shinobirds, considering their all Spirit monsters, meaning they all return to the hand at the end of every turn and require their summon to activate their effects.
It flabbergasts the writer how Shinobirds lack a way to recycle their Ritual Spell like any other modern Ritual deck does, when it’s the last thing needed to make the deck truly serviceable; it’s like having cereal without milk, trying to beat that final boss after your baby brother accidentally erased all your game data, or like trying to walk after Leatherface removed your feet.
The writer guesses options do exist, like stuffing in Ritual Sanctuary with some level-1 Fairies or using Urgent Ritual Art, but it just doesn’t compare to an in-archetype method of recycling. Despite these shortcomings, the Shinobirds are still a powerful Wind deck, even possessing a card in the archetype made especially for Wind monsters, but using the deck will still sadly be like doing a magic show presentation with that one jerk in the audience saying, “That was awesome! Now do it again.”
6. Mecha Phantom Beast
A Yu-Gi-Oh deck with boss-monster-immunity is to be expected, but any deck full of monsters immune to any type of effect frustrates duelists into head-shaking-whiplash. The Mecha Phantom Beasts are such a deck, nearly every member of the archetype immune to destruction by effect or battle as long as the player controls a token.
The writer will admit, these supersonic, floating war crimes would have ranked lower on the list from their slow takeoff compared to other decks, but four words bumped them into a more solid, rogue deck slot: Mecha Phantom Beast Raiten. It’s too bad they gave it that annoying: “You can’t use anything else to summon but our jets” condition, but he’s still a much better payoff than what the F.A.s have got . . . so far.
The Mecha Phantom Beasts also make high level Xyzs like an Amish community makes a barn, and they don’t need the restrictive Marshalling Field to do it. By the way, have you looked into all the token support cards that are out there? It would be nice if a deck existed that spammed tokens to use them, wouldn’t it?
The writer still wishes his all-time favorite rogue deck’s takeoff strip wasn’t 20 miles long, but the Mecha Phantom Beasts still keep nervous duelists priming their AA guns upon their approach.
The trope codifier of the Wind archetype, Harpies are still one of the strongest Wind decks you’ll face. It’s the most cohesive deck so far on this list, with every card in the deck moving the Harpies forward, and the deck would rank a teeny bit higher if it wasn’t for their strategy of being a bit too rounded.
Using Harpies is like having a party with a group of stern mathematicians and one goofy icebreaker who has an Interdisciplinary Study degree that happens to be a math genius. Now, imagine the uptight professionals are the Harpies while the Interdisciplinary guy is their support. See where the writer’s going with this? A Harpie party isn’t a party without the monster and their Spell and Traps working in tandem, something any duelist with a cerebellum will discern.
If our lovely bird ladies did a bit more to give their strategy some sharp edges (Like The Fire Fists or the Magical Musketeers), then we’d have another awesome Wind-deck butchered by the Ban/Limited list on our hands. But oh well. They’re still a bunch of half-nude bird women with their own equipment Spell card, and that’s enough to make them a top-ranking Wind deck in the writer’s book.
4. Ritual Beasts
If there’s one thing contemporary Yu-Gi-Oh decks are known for, it’s playing solitaire with their strategy until the opponent is incapacitated by sleep. The Ritual Beasts uphold the new style with their capability to do so many banish/Special Summon antics in one turn, you’ll swear the deck is a cheap substitute for single-player game that’s strictly two-player to gain an audience.
But seriously, it only takes two Ritual Beasts to access most of their Extra-deck options; they can easily search for any card in their archetype (something missing from the entries falling beneath them), their support provides solid destruction and Special Summoning, and their boss is a 3200 attack beatstick who can negate any card effect.
These evolved Gustos would have enough power to make any deck join their religion, but the Dueling gods (Probably the same guy scolding and shocking girls to death on the Solemn cards) refuse to release their searcher, Ulti-Cannahawk, from Limited Land, and then there’s still the annoying fact that the Ritual Beasts don’t actually Fusion summon their monsters, making it impossible to Special Summon the big tigers, birds, and dolphins from the Grave. Oh, and a prepared player can scatter a Ritual Beast cult quicker than you can say, “I play Royal Decree,” or “I summon Jinzo,” or “I play Trap Stun.”
Any of these phrases have an adequate timeframe within the scattering of a Ritual Beast cult. Then again, a Ritual Beast player can always laugh at you quicker than he or she can say, “I play Soul Absorption,” so the writer guesses that balances out them earning their #4 spot on this list.
We’ve graduated from Wind decks just making it into rogue status, to those snatching surprise wins from the unwary, to those with enough ability and consistency to stand tall against the meta. The Speedroids don’t have the word “speed” in their name for nothing. One would expect something bird, flying jet, or animal-based to be the king of swarming in the Wind archetype, but apparently little machines based on your favorite childhood toys dominate the race.
No deck on this list swarms like Speedroids, period. They can Special themselves from the hand, revive from the Graveyard, storm from the Deck, recycle from the banished zone, and can probably pop from your toilet, from under your bed, or from inside your closet.
If the writer were to wrinkle his brain, their lack of attack and destruction options represent the greatest stumbles in their flashstep. Then again, when your deck was made to summon Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, Crystal Wing, and Stardust Dragon, who really needs that stuff, right? The truly frightening among us even discovered how the Speedroids mix with the forgotten Roid archetype, adding more speed to an already bullet train deck. When it comes to rocking you like a hurricane, nothing under the green banner comes close to the Speedroids. The Scorpions would be pleased.
Remember when we discussed how immunity in this game makes any deck awesome? The Majespecters cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects or targeted. Not a single one. You heard the writer; his fingers didn’t stutter, and that wasn’t a Freudian typo.
Dark Hole, Torrential Tribute, Raigeki, Icarus Attack, unless you’re running over them with a higher attack, these little, magical animals will just snicker at you while they perform their next trick. Luckily for you, their diminutive attack points make them pretty easy to walk over. Unluckily for you, the Majespecters are a Pendulum deck, and every member of their archetype is a searcher, each searcher hunting for everything in their arsenal.
The Majespecters may have a hard time stopping a deck that’s already left the station, but they can secure victory by keeping most decks, even meta ones, from getting started in the first place, making them the current Kings of the anti-meta route (Medals formally given to Bujins and Rock-stun. Remember how annoying those were?). So be wary when fighting a Majespecter deck; if you don’t stay consistent, they’ll make your lifepoints vanish quicker than a 747 during a Las Vegas magic show.
All shall now bow before the ugly Wind-weasels ran by one of the most worthless, obnoxious characters in the Yu-Gi-Oh TV show. The Yosenju are the best Wind deck you can either brandish or shiver against. One word describes how the Yosenju out-play the rest: balance.
You have monsters that swarm the field (through Normal summoning, among all things), monsters that search, support that searches, support that stops any card effect, Pendulum monsters, a powerful boss, and easy access to Rank-4 Xyzs. Even if you navigate your way through all this, mid to late game, an experienced Wind-weasel wielder can surprise you with a Harpie’s Pet Phantasmal Dragon (which is easily more their pet than our favorite bird ladies’), a 2000 attack monster that can’t be targeted for card effects or attacks . . . and can attack directly. And let’s not forget the Yosenjus never need to Special Summon to float and sting about the field, a fact Yosenju players love to exploit with Lose 1 Turn and Vanity’s Fiend.
Level three, little ghost girls being the norm, The Three Brothers can’t quite make the top tier list in the game’s current state; however, they’re still the current rulers of the green flag.
The Slush Pile: Gustos, Level-3 Sea Serpents, Lyrilusc, Mist Valley, Wind Psychics
The writer sheds a silent tear on how Konami refuses to release any more Mist Valley support, which will now and forever be his favorite Wind-archetype. The Gustos were also left behind in the breeze, their monsters graduating to the Ritual Beasts while scattering their abilities among the Yang-Zing and the Naturia.
The writer doesn’t think anyone ever took Level-3 Sea Serpents, Fishes, and Aquas seriously, the Lyrilusc were killed when Links put on their border guard hats and slowed down an already half-consistent deck, and if Wind Psychics were ever a thing, please inform the writer. Until next time, keep shuffling those decks, stay safe, and happy hunting out there.
© 2018 Zeron87
Zeron87 (author) on June 07, 2018:
Jeremy Gill: And thanks for your support and prolific contributions to the community ^_^. It's glad someone agrees with me on the Yosenju, because the voting so far is strongly for my #10 spot 0_o. I definitely see OTK potential with their new boss coming, but the Mofo still targets... And Windwitches still do what they do better. Maybe it's just new-support-hype syndrome?
Jeremy Gill from Louisiana on May 28, 2018:
Glad to see more of your unique writing style. And I agree, the Yosenju survived the link transition since they don't rely on the extra deck as much as most pendulum series. Definitely some competitive use there, and hopefully we'll see more support in the future!
Dragnar on March 26, 2018:
Dragunity is actually more of a synchro deck that is getting new support soon. They also have the legionaire/aklys combo