Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are the Ghostrick Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh?
The Ghostrick archetype encompasses a series of dark-attributed spellcaster-, fiend-, and zombie-type creatures who revolve around their technical pseudo-flip effects. While weak in battle, Ghostrick units bear a variety of tricky abilities that protect themselves while stalling your opponent and swarming your field. They play for the long haul rather than a quick win, but due to their unique, face-down strategies, they can catch many unsuspecting decks off-guard, especially with their lockdowns.
But with dozens of options available, which members and supports are worth your time? These are the 10 best cards you'll definitely want in your Ghostrick Yu-Gi-Oh deck!
10. Ghostrick Jackfrost
Ghostrick units have poor battle stats corresponding to their low levels, but this lets you set them without tributes. Like his kin, Jackfrost can't be normal summoned unless you control a Ghostrick monster, and you can (once per turn) change him to face-down defense position if already fielded.
Thankfully, you'll hardly notice the summoning restriction considering you want Jackfrost in your hand, ready to activate his hand-trap like effect: When your opponent's monster declares a direct attack, you can simultaneously special summon Jackfrost in face-down defense position and change the attacking monster to face-down defense, both fielding a unit and dulling their offensive. A great shield to have in store, but beware link monsters, who can't be placed in defense position due to lacking DEF values.
9. Allure of Darkness
We've seen it before, we'll see it again. Since the Ghostrick family all bear the dark attribute, they work great with this dark draw engine. Allure has you draw two cards, then you must banish a dark monster from your hand; if you can't, you send your entire hand to the graveyard.
Your overall hand size doesn't change since you're essentially spending two cards to draw two, but this helps you cycle through your deck, keeping what you need and exiling what you don't. The fact that you only have to banish after you draw (letting you potentially exile one of the two added cards) provides an extra dose of versatility to this awesome magic.
8. Ghostrick Lantern
Lantern works very similarly to Jackfrost. Both are level-1 fiends with 800 ATK and hand-trap like effects. Lantern also shares the expected "can't be normal summoned unless you control another Ghostrick monster" and "can once per turn change to face-down defense position" traits.
This time, Lantern may activate with both a direct attack and when your opponent simply targets a Ghostrick monster for an attack. At either time, you can negate the attack and special summon Lantern in face-down defense position. This is a more accessible defense since it can protect both your life points and your creatures, and unlike Jackfrost, it can block link monsters. Additionally, while Lantern's lower DEF of 0 may seem like a disadvantage, it qualifies the Halloween-like unit for several powerful effects, like the graveyard revival of Masked Chameleon and the recovery of...
7. Recurring Nightmare
Another dark-depending spell, Recurring Nightmare simply adds two dark monsters with 0 DEF from your graveyard to your hand. Several Ghostrick members qualify for these conditions, and since many have effects that activate from your hand, you shouldn't have to wait long before using Nightmare and gaining two cards for one!
Plus, Nightmare can also recover other dark monsters if they have zilch for DEF, and with no pesky once per turn errata, you're free to activate multiple copies in a single turn.
6. Ghostrick Alucard
Bearing the inverted Dracula name (any Castlevania fans out there?), xyz monster Alucard takes any two level-three monsters as material. Although his ATK of 1800 is lower than we'd like, he bears several great boons to compensate:
- Your opponent cannot target face-up Ghostrick monsters or face-down defense position monsters for attacks, other than this one.
- You can detach one xyz material from Alucard to target and destroy an opposing set card.
- If sent to the graveyard, you can add another Ghostrick card from your graveyard to your hand.
Note that (unlike most xyz monster abilities) Alucard's second, material-detaching effect that can be used multiple times in a single turn, and since many Ghostrick abilities change your opponent's monsters to face-down position, you can destroy either their set spells/traps or monsters. Additionally, Alucard's exit ability lets you recover any Ghostrick card type when he's sent to the graveyard, allowing you to recycle whichever monster, spell, or trap that you need.
Other than lukewarm battle stats, Alucard's a versatile and dependable unit who can be summoned with monsters like...
5. Ghostrick Jiangshi
Jiangshi harbors the typical Ghostrick traits: can't be normal summoned without another Ghostrick monster, can once per turn shift to face-down defense. Luckily, its 1800 DEF actually gives it a fair chance of surviving a blow, or at least forcing your opponent to spend their stronger monster attacks to vanquish it.
Even better, when flipped face-up, Jiangshi lets you add a Ghostrick monster from your deck to your hand whose level is less than or equal to the number of Ghostrick monsters you control. This tally includes Jiangshi itself, so you'll be guaranteed a level-1 trickster like Jackfrost or Lantern, and if you control a few other members, you gain access to the level-2 or -3 units as well. If Jiangshi can survive a few turns, you'll rapidly gain card advantage and soon have access to every spooky monster you need.
We've seen several impressive Ghostrick monsters and hand-replenishers, but you'll definitely need ways to defend them as well. Enter Ghostrick-Go-Round, a continuous trap that can activate one of its two effects during each battle phase:
- Change a face-up Ghostrick monster you control to face-down defense position and change an opponent's face-down monster to face-up attack position
- Change a face-down monster you control to face-up attack position, and if it was a Ghostrick monster, change a face-up monster your opponent controls to face-down defense position
The first ability can help set your units into their preferred face-down format, but the second is the highlight, simultaneously activating your flip effects while placing foes into face-down (where they can't attack or activate non-flip effects).
Note that Go-Round can helpfully trigger on both your and your opponent's combat steps, essentially letting you use it every turn, and since it bears the Ghostrick name, you can search/recover it with cards like Alucard.
3. Ghostrick Mary
With the same defaults Ghostrick effects we've come to know and love, Mary also wields an unusually high DEF (for a level 1) of 1600. By no means great, it'll at least make your opponent defeat Mary with their stronger cards rather than conquer her with weak utility units like Sangan.
However, Mary often doesn't get fielded due to her hand-trap effect: when you take damage (whether battle or effect), you can discard Mary to special summon any Ghostrick from your deck in face-down defense position. This both stocks your graveyard and pulls any member from your deck, letting you quickly field whatever unit the situation calls for and ready its flip ability.
2. Ghostrick Specter
Same old, same old. Our ghost-like friend can't be normal summoned without a Ghostrick companion and can set itself face-down once per turn. However, Specter is yet another hand-trap-esque surprise, this time triggering when a Ghostrick monster is destroyed by an opponent's card or attacking monster and sent to your graveyard. At that time, you can both special summon Specter in face-down defense position and draw a card!
It's as simple as that. Your opponent eliminates one of your monsters, well, now you've not only replaced that monster on your field but also added to your hand. And since Specter bears 0 DEF, you can easily recover it with Recurring Nightmares or revive it from the graveyard with the tuner Masked Chameleon, setting up perfectly for a level-5 synchro summon.
1. Ghostrick Mansion
The Ghostrick series enjoys access to several field spells, my favorite easily being Ghostrick Mansion (you can easily switch between them with the trap Ghostrick Renovation). Mansion's effect prevents both players from attacking face-down defense position creatures, but lets them attack directly if an opponent only controls face-down monsters. Additionally, all battle damage from non-Ghostrick monsters and all effect damage is halved!
The first effect protects your face-down units and makes you practically invincible when used in tangent with the Spirit Barrier trap, and the second slices any damage your foe inflicts in half, leaving most if not all of your damage intact.
Thus, this spell superbly guards both your monsters and your life points, buying the time needed to stock your field. I've used Mansion to seize several Ghostrick wins, and thankfully, you can obtain it for less than a dollar, a handy force for competitive budget duelists.
Future of Ghostrick Monsters
Luckily, the Ghostrick clan has aged well since they don't heavily rely on the extra deck, often only needing one or two extra deck zones, and you can always employ the game's best link monsters to provide more. With effect damage, draw power, opponent lockdowns, and even an alternate win condition courtesy of Angel of Mischief, you've got several ways to construct your ultimate Ghostrick deck list, and the creepy yet cute monsters blend well with zombie or burn themes.
But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of Ghostrick support, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill