Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
The Gishki Archetype in Yu-Gi-Oh
Composed of several different monster types that all share the same water attribute, the Gishki clan focuses on swarming the field with powerful ritual monsters, and they bear advanced "Evigishki" variants to inflict further carnage. Gishkis also excel at sending opposing cards back to your adversary's deck, removing their hand advantage and giving few resources to fight back against your fierce beasts.
Thanks to many stellar water-support spells/traps and some impressive boss monsters, Gishki decks remain a viable threat in competitive play. But with hundreds of cards to choose from, which forces reign supreme? These are ten cards you need in your Gishki Yu-Gi-Oh deck!
10. Gishki Abyss
Gishki Abyss's puny 800 ATK and 500 DEF won't be winning many fights, but it can be normal summoned without tributes, and when summoned in any fashion (whether normal, flip, or special), you get to search your deck for a Gishki monster with 1000 or less DEF and add it to your hand.
The vast majority of Gishkis meet this demand, accessing almost all of your archetype's units, and the fact that you get to search even if Abyss is special summoned with cards like Gishki Beast or Call of the Haunted adds icing to the cake. Finally, as we'll later see, the ultimate Gishki monster's effect has better chances of activating when there are more Gishki monsters in your deck, so Abyss helps even when lying dormant within your build.
9. Metal Reflect Slime
As a trap, Metal Reflect Slime can be activated in any phase on either turn, and it essentially becomes a monster with a whopping 3000 DEF! This lets you block your opponent's strikes just when they thought they had a clear path. Metal Reflect Slime can't attack, but with a 0 ATK stat, you should be keeping it as blocker anyway.
Additionally, while serving as a monster card, Metal Reflect wields the aqua type and water attribute, qualifying for many of the same type and attribute-dependent support cards that the Gishki qualify for. Its level 10 also works well if you include the field spell Mound of the Bound Creator in your deck, a common support that defends boss monster Gishki Zielgigas. Even if you're not using Mound, the level 10 can work in tangent with Zielgigas to construct daunting rank 10 xyz monsters. But more on Zielgigas soon—for now, we've got other fish to fry.
8. Gishki Marker
While Gishki Marker's 1200 DEF make him one of few Gishkis that Abyss can't search, his respectable 1600 ATK and great effect compensate. When Marker is summoned (again, whether normal, flip, or special), you can return a Gishki ritual monster or ritual spell card from your graveyard to your hand.
What else can I say? Gishki ritual monsters are your aces in the hole, and being able to recycle either the monster itself or the magic card that summons it lends Marker great versatility. And just like Abyss, since the ability triggers with any summon, Marker is a great candidate for graveyard revivals like Message in a Bottle or Oasis of Dragon Souls. Finally, he wields the coveted aqua-type (as opposed to sea serpent or fish), comboing well with cards like...
7. Aquarium Stage
Although geared towards the Aquaactress series, continuous spell Aquarium Stage works surprisingly well with the Gishki. It offers three great effects, though the second only benefits Aquaactress units:
- Your water-attributed monsters cannot be destroyed in battle by nonwater monsters.
- Aquaactress monsters you control are unaffected by your opponent's monster effects.
- When this card is sent from the field to your graveyard, you can special summon one aqua-type monster from your graveyard, but you cannot special summon non-aqua monsters for the rest of the turn.
Well wing my Kuriboh, those are some great abilities with no trade-offs. Stage makes your Gishkis (and any other water monsters you control) immune to battle destruction unless you're facing another water deck, the chances of which are slim. Even if you are, Stage will revive an aqua monster when destroyed, a superb way to recycle many Giski members like Marker or Zielgigas. And if you happen to throw a few Aquaactresses into your deck list, Stage will render them immune to your foe's monster abilities, an added shield for an already-stellar barrier.
6. Gishki Vision
Despite its low ATK and DEF, Gishki Vision wields two essential effects. First, it can serve as the entire tribute when used as material for ritual summoning Gishki monsters, preventing you from having to drastically reduce your hand to meet the level requirements. Secondly, you can discard Vision from your hand to search out any Gishki ritual monster from your deck.
It's as simple as that. Use Vision to either add a Zielgigas to hand or serve as fuel for Zielgigas's summon. If Vision has a weakness, it's that its level of 2 doesn't help summon rank 4 xyz monsters like many of the level 4 Gishki do.
5. Torrential Reborn
One of the game's most underestimated traps, you can activate Torrential Reborn when at least one face-up water-attributed monster you control is destroyed, regardless of whether through battle or effect, and is sent to the graveyard. Reborn revives your monster(s) and inflicts 500 damage to your opponent for each rejuvenated unit.
This combines regeneration and effect damage into one potent package. The fact that it can recall multiple monsters (and actually works best when doing so) makes it a superb counter to field-wipes like Raigeki or Mirror Force, and it works great in tangent with its cousin Torrential Tribute. Use Reborn to breathe new life into a defeated Zielgigas or to field one of the tributes needed for its summon. You can only activate one Torrential Reborn per turn, but that's a negligible restriction on its cascading powers.
4. Gishki Beast
Gishki Beast wields a nice 1500 ATK, high enough to hit for some decent damage while low enough to qualify for effects like that of Salvage. Even better, when normal summoned, Beast lets you target and revive a level 4 or lower Gishki monster from your graveyard in defense position.
Unlike many rejuvenating abilities, Beast doesn't negate the effects of the revived monster, letting you activate Abyss or Marker's search abilities and rapidly gain card advantage. This can also easily gain you two level 4 monsters and let xyz summon a rank 4 unit, or field a discarded Vision to serve as tribute for your ritual summon.
3. Gishki Shadow
Gishki Shadow bears many similarities to Gishki Vision while harboring some extra advantages. Like Vision, it can serve as the entire tribute for a Gishki ritual monster, but this time you can discard it to search a Gishki ritual spell (rather than monster) from your deck and add it to your hand. Vision pulls the monster while Shadow pulls the spell, guaranteeing a fast ritual summon that should quickly overwhelm foes.
Beyond that, Shadow wields slightly higher battle stats than Vision while remaining low enough to be searched for by Abyss or revived with Salvage, and its level 4 is more useful for summoning the plethora of mighty rank 4 xyz monsters the game contains. If you're running Gishki, you want three of these in your deck list.
2. Gishki Aquamirror
We've examined several support cards for your ritual titans; time to look at the components themselves. The Gishki archetype contains several interesting ritual spells, but in most cases I'd definitely recommend Aquamirror. It can only be used to ritual summon Gishki monsters, and like most ritual spells, it demands you send monsters from your field or hand to your graveyard to match the level of the summoned creature. Remember, use Vision, Shadow, or even a duplicate Zielgigas to meet the criteria while only forfeiting a single monster.
Aquamirror's real treat activates from the graveyard. From there, you can shuffle it back into your deck to add a Gishki ritual monster from your graveyard to your hand. This lets you easily regain a defeated Zielgigas (or another Gishki ritual monster) and places Aquamirror back into the deck, ready to be searched for or drawn and once again cast your behemoth. Overall, a rare ritual spell that offers a great benefit without a drawback.
1. Gishki Zielgigas
The big guy himself, Zielgigas eclipses even Blue-Eyes White Dragon in battle with a daunting 3200 ATK; just avoid defense position considering his DEF of 0. In addition to his dominating strength, Zielgigas can (once per turn) have you pay 1000 life points to draw and reveal a card. If that card is a Gishki monster, you shuffle one card on the field back into the deck.
Although it forfeits a fair chunk of your precious health, this ability can turn the tide of the entire duel. Whether or not your drawn monster is a Gishki, you get to keep the card, letting it serve as an extra draw, and if it was a Gishki, shuffling a card back into the deck is a superb removal that can impact all types of cards, making no monster, spell, or trap safe. Plus, unlike most abilities that affect only a single unit, this trait doesn't target its victim, circumventing common targeting-immune defenses that many monsters employ. Thus, even shrouded foes like Obelisk the Tormentor and Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon aren't safe from this monumental warrior.
With superior ATK and an excellent effect, Zielgigas is easily my favorite of the Gishi ritual clan, but despite his prowess, you can obtain a copy for less than three dollars!
Future of Gishki
Fortunately for us, Gishki monsters transitioned well through the extra deck-limitation rules that debuted alongside link summoning since ritual summoning does not involve the extra deck. Thus, unlike many structure decks, the Gishki were hardly slowed and continue to impose terror upon any foe who faces them.
The Gishki even have an interesting lore, being a vicious band of monsters who reluctantly ally with more-noble series against a common threat, and I enjoy the aggressive take on an attribute usually associated with soothing and calm elements. Be sure to throw some life-replenishing cards into your build to fuel their thirst for battle, but for now, as we eagerly await future expansion sets of our favorite warped aquatic monsters, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill