The Morphtronic monsters didn’t exactly make a splash when they arrived in Crossroads of Chaos. Plucked from the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s tv show, they’re not played by one of the series’ top duelists, and when they made their debut in the real-world TCG their lineage shone through: they’ve got low stats, generally awkward support cards, and some of their best effects are based around random chance or shifting their battle positions despite what’s actually going on in the game. The Morphtronic cards I’ve pulled from Crossroads packs aren’t even in the same country as I am at the moment. They just didn’t seem like the kind of thing I needed to bring along on my travels.
So when I received the following e-mail from a reader, I was pretty skeptical. My initial response was "I’m 95% sure this can’t work, but 5% of me is intrigued enough with your outlandish idea to continue thinking about it." That 5% won out, because for hours afterward all I could think about was how certain Morphtronic cards tied together, and how I could keep them on the field long enough to make things work . . .
I used to think Morphtronics were a casual theme and were not going to get any farther than that. After I decided to help a friend of mine with his Morphtronic deck I playtested my own version of them, and was amazed by their synergy and potential. The deck relies on getting out Radion and Boomboxen at the same time to deal big doses of damage. It gets to that goal by using Morphtronic Celfon and Shining Angel as the primary searchers.
Machine Duplication plays off of Celfon, and usually always ends up in over 8000 ATK. Junk Synchron allows me to bring back Celfon to dupe, or just any level two or lower monster for easy Synchro summons or Creature Swaps. Creature Swap also obviously work with Shining Angel and Morphtronic Cameran.
This deck can lead to many OTKs rather quickly and I’m considering this for serious play, though I do need some help. I can’t decide if I should add Solemns because of the low ATK of most of my monsters.
Aaron N. ~ Indianapolis, Indiana
Now don’t get me wrong — I’m not convinced Morphtronics will win you your next Regional. I’m not even convinced that they can win your next local. But I do know that these cards are a lot better than I thought, and with more support cards coming out for them in the future, it’s worth it to realize that there really is a deck here. You could take it to a local, win some games, and whether you took the whole tournament or not, you’d shock a lot of people.
The best part? Minus three cards, the deck is really cheap to build. All of my Morphtronic cards are stuck in an apartment thousands of miles away from me, and I was still able to buy everything I needed for pocket change. Literally — I had seven dollars in loonies and toonies in my pocket, and that covered it. Here’s what Aaron’s build originally looked like:
Competitive Morphtronics?! — 40 Cards Monsters: 22
3 Morphtronic Celfon
3 Morphtronic Boomboxen
3 Morphtronic Radion
3 Morphtronic Cameran
1 Morphtronic Clocken
3 Shining Angel
2 Junk Synchron
1 Cyber Dragon
Odds are good that if you’ve seen most of the core cards in this deck, you didn’t really remember what they do. Let’s go over them quickly and discuss how this deck wins.
Morphtronic Celfon has an attack position effect that lets you roll a six-sided die. You reveal cards from the top of your deck equal to the number you rolled, and if there’s one or more Morphtronics revealed you get to choose one and special summon it. The Morphtronic you special summon can be brought out in your choice of position, and that becomes a very important trick later on. For now though, just remember that Celfon summons dudes for free but needs protection — it’s only got 100 ATK and DEF. Keep in mind that it’s also an Earth monster, and the only monster in the deck that works with Machine Duplication.
Morphtronic Boomboxen is a lot beefier, packing 1200 ATK (though sadly only 400 DEF). Its effects are very good and are often responsible for your wins — throw it in attack mode to make it a double attacker. If it’s in defense mode, you can negate one attack each turn that’s aimed at one of your Morphtronics. Get two of these guys out in defense and it becomes very hard for your opponent to attack you. Get one a clear path and it deals 2400 damage. This one is also an Earth monster.
Morphtronic Radion is the deck’s single beatstick, and it too is a large factor toward most of your wins. At 1000 ATK and 900 DEF it’s not very big on its own, but its effects more than compensate; when it’s in attack position it gains 800 ATK, and when it’s in defense it gains 1000 DEF. It gives the same bonus to all of your other Morphtronics as well, turning Boomboxen into a 2000 ATK double attacker and allowing Celfon to actually deal some damage. You’re probably starting to see how these combos come together. Shining Angel can bring Radion to the field and it works with Honest.
The last Morphtronic of note is Morphtronic Cameran. When it’s in attack mode and gets destroyed by battle, you can special summon any Morphtronic other than Cameran from your graveyard. He’s great, because he lets you dig out the Morphtronic you need to let loose with combos. Want double Radions for a total bonus of 1600 ATK? Got a Radion and a Boomboxen, but want a second double attacker to dish out 4000 damage for game? Cameran is your man. Even just bringing back Celfon for another shot at a special summon can result in big things. This one also works with Shining Angel.
There’s a lot of potential here, but challenges are abundant. Test the deck out a bit and you find that certain Morphtronics need to hit in a certain order for the deck to work. For instance, Cameran is useless without another Morphtronic in the graveyard for it to bring back. Celfon is amazing in the early game when your deck is packed with hits for its summoning effect, but it gets weaker the more times its effect works. Radion is great any time, but you want to bring him out early to set up for Cameran. And Boomboxen is excellent early game defense, but he needs to survive long enough to be turned to defense position (or you need to special summon him straight into defense mode).
The result is a deck that can commonly drop double attackers with 2800 ATK, swing with massive beatsticks, and that can roll one special summon into another into another. It can present huge defense in the form of a monster that, when destroyed, replaces itself with another monster that negates attacks. But it needs to do all this in a very specific order, and it needs to buy time to do it — one Morphtronic is useless on its own. I want to add some more defense and make it easier for this deck to combo out. The result is a surprisingly strong casual strategy.
So let’s cut some cards! Let’s start by removing Cyber Dragon and Junk Synchron: neither really does much here, despite the fact that one could argue Cyber Dragon as being an alternative way to take out threats against your Morphtronics. Junk Synchron’s clever, but just doesn’t help us achieve that all-important set up with the speed we require; Radion could boost the ATK of a monster brought back with Synchron’s effect, but that really doesn’t count for much.
All three copies of Creature Swap need to go — they’re low on utility, and Aaron was a bit mistaken. Since Cameran’s effect triggers on the field, not in the graveyard, sending it to your opponent’s side and running it over doesn’t result in Cameran’s owner getting a special summon with its effect. We’re actually going to be adding more monsters that would work with Creature Swap the way Aaron had planned, but it still just isn’t worthwhile.
Both copies of Machine Duplication will be cut. They’re only useful for unleashing Celfon, and they tend to be dead cards later on. Summoning two more Celfon from your deck with Duplication actually removes two potential hits for the first Celfon’s effect, so there’s no real reason to play Duplication. When it works it can be a game-breaking card, but it just fell flat in my testing.
Finally, No Entry!! is another one of those "clever, but simply not ideal picks." Being able to summon Boomboxen in attack mode and turn him to defense as needed is cool, as is walling up with a field of Radions, but if you’re comboing off that well you likely don’t need No Entry!! to win. There are better cards that we can play in these slots.
We’ve got eleven cards to replace, and my first addition is two copies of Giant Rat. The Rat can summon Celfon and Boomboxen, allowing the deck two more chances at getting the summoning engine started (or giving you a way to summon Boomboxen and then turn it to defense before your opponent’s next chance to attack). Sangan is a must too, giving us a quick search for any Morphtronic we want. It can even get Honest as needed to help you make game.
Skill Drain is one of the deck’s big weaknesses — without their effects Morphtronics are nothing. That, and the fact that we want to clear the opponent’s spell and trap zone before making big OTK pushes, makes Mystical Space Typhoon a must. Brain Control will steal away the opponent’s biggest monster while helping you put together the magic numbers needed for an OTK, and Swords of Revealing Light is another line of defense while you build your Morphtronic horde. Don’t forget that it combos neatly with Giant Trunade.
Three Reckless Greed help the deck put together its combos, letting you get to Celfon, Brain Control, spell and trap removal — whatever you need to OTK. It will also help you dig for a Morphtronic to pair with Morphtronic Accelerator, and the Accelerator in turn lets you shuffle back extra Morphtronics you’d rather try and hit with Celfon. More on that later, but the last addition to the deck is a pair of Bottomless Trap Hole. It’s clean, basic monster removal that gives you two more outs to Colossal Fighter and a way to fight back against Dark Armed Dragon (who wrecks your hard-fought infrastructure if it’s allowed to roam free).
The changes to the deck are as follows:
The deck opens pretty strong, and wants to set a recruiter, Sangan, or summon Celfon with some defense. If you set Giant Rat and your opponent attacks, pull Celfon to get the summoning going. If you have to set Shining Angel instead, Radion is your priority. Both pulls make Cameran a live card, which is really important to keep in mind.
From there the deck has a lot of tricks and a ton of removal. Morphtronic Accelerator may be the best removal card in the game short of stuff like Heavy Storm and Torrential Tribute. It destroys anything on the field that’s giving you trouble or keeping you from OTKing, and it lets you load your deck for Celfon while nabbing you a draw in the process. It’s phenomenal, and really the best card the Morphtronics have — imagine how busted this card would be if it read "Gladiator Beast" instead of "Morphtronic?" To play it effectively, you always have to keep in mind what you’re shuffling back and how that affects Celfon’s ability. Run the math, and remember that shuffling back a Morphtronic isn’t a cost — if your opponent negates Accelerator, you don’t lose two cards.
Speed is of the essence, and the more you use Celfon’s effect the better. Unless you throw down multiple copies of Boomboxen in defense position you won’t last very long, so don’t plan to take your time. This deck has a big luck factor: not just on draws, but also on Celfon’s die roll effect. There’s no escaping that, save redundancy in using that effect as often as humanly possible. One could make an argument for Phoenix Wing Wind Blast over Compulsory Evacuation Device, as discarding a monster to load up for Cameran can be fairly good, but the deck just can’t afford to give up that many cards. Compulsory Evacuation Device gets the job done and can even let you use the same Celfon’s effect twice in one turn if you turn it on your own monsters (the kind of ridiculous move this deck can actually turn into a win). Remember, the cost of expending a copy of Threatening Roar or Compulsory Evacuation Device to get another roll with Celfon is balanced out by the chance to use its effect again. After a bit of testing, you might even find that it’s worthwhile to run a third Threatening.
There are a lot of ways to win and you need to be constantly aware of them. Radion can buff up a field of Camerans and Celfons into the danger zone. One Radion and one Boomboxen total 5800 damage on their own (before you start adding damage for the boosted Celfons that likely got them there), and Limiter Removal can see Boomboxen swinging for 8000 damage all on its own. Be aware of your options at all times, and recognize that your decisions are largely influenced by whatever Celfon happens to call to the field.
Even the single copy of Morphtronic Clocken can create bizarre win opportunities. Tribute it off for 1000 damage, slam Cameran into something, and you can pull Clocken back for another dose of burn. Right now Clocken is just here as another hit for Celfon and a once-in-a-blue-moon win condition, but keep an eye on it in the future. As the Morphtronics get more recursive special summon tricks, Clocken’s going to get a lot more dangerous.
In the mean time, enjoy this surprising deck! Go figure — a Morphtronic deck that can actually win games, sometimes at a shocking pace: big props to Aaron for figuring it out! If you’ve already got three Honest, go spend the $10 to put this together and fool around with it. It’s incredibly fun to play.
Contributing Editor, Metagame.com
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