Advanced Deck Workshop
Constructing a "Monks of Stone" Deck

Welcome to the first Advanced Deck Workshop article! This will be a new, regular feature here on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Corner which will detail how to build Advanced Format decks of various kinds. The objective will be to specify a basic framework which can be experimented with and modified by any Duelist.

With the recent release of "The Lost Millennium," high-defense decks based on Rock-type and Earth-elemental monsters have become a much more viable idea. Having bought so much of this set in my quest to acquire one of its promo Chaos Emperor Dragons, and having won a Master Monk amongst several other cards by placing 3rd in a tournament, I thought it would be a terrible waste to never put any of these cards to good use. So I figured, why not throw them all together and see what happens?

The result is a deck which is quite powerful for casual Advanced Format play, and could easily be tuned to become tournament worthy. The primary focus of the deck will be consistently clearing the opponent's field, keeping your defensive line very strong and your Life Points safe. Secondary focii are bringing out the Monk Fighter and Master Monk to do damage, and taking control of the opponent's monsters to make up for the deficit in damage that a high-defense strategy creates.

First off, we want to utilize the cool-looking monks, who via their name remind me of the awesome Xiaolin Showdown, to their full potential. For that we unconditionally need the following cards:

  • Master Monk
    [EARTH/Level 5/Rock/ATK 1900/DEF 1000]
    This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summoned except by Tributing 1 "Monk Fighter" on your side of the field. This card can attack twice during the same turn.

  • Monk Fighter
    [EARTH/Level 3/Rock/ATK 1300/DEF 1000]
    Battle Damage to this card's controller that he/she takes from a battle involving this card becomes 0.

  • Kaminote Blow
    Normal Spell Card
    You can only activate this card if there is at least 1 face-up "Chu-Ske the Mouse Fighter", "Monk Fighter", or "Master Monk" on your side of the field. Destroy the monster(s) that battle with these monsters on your side of the field this turn at the end of each Damage Step.

  • Lone Wolf
    Continuous Trap Card
    You can only activate this card if there is only 1 monster on your side of the field, and it is "Chu-Ske the Mouse Fighter", "Monk Fighter", or "Master Monk". That monster is not destroyed as a result of battle, and is unaffected by any of your opponent's monster effects.

Monk Fighter may seem like a very weak card at first glance, with only 1300 ATK. However, his effect can practically move mountains, especially when used in concert with Lone Wolf and Kaminote Blow. With both, he can destroy any monster no matter what its strength and survive the battle without inflicting any damage to your Life Points.

Master Monk can be inconsistent being a "nomi" monster, so it is probably best to run only 1 or 2 copies. You'll want to tribute your Monk Fighter for him whenever you'll have a good shot at your opponent's LP, since he can attack twice during the turn. Note that this works great with Kaminote Blow and Lone Wolf too, as you could attack and destroy two of your opponent's monsters. You may have to pay in terms of LP however, since Master Monk doesn't protect you in the same way as Monk Fighter.

Note that Lone Wolf's effect remains as long as the card and the monster it targets remain on the field, even after you summon additional monsters. This makes it fit into our high-defense strategy very well, since a Monk Fighter equipped with it becomes a battle-proof wall no matter what battle position he is in.

Now that we have our Monk element in the deck, let's turn to the defensive front monsters who will both clear the opponent's field of monsters and protect us while we try to get the monks out safely. I recommend the following:

  • Legendary Jujitsu Master
    [EARTH/Level 3/Rock/ATK 1300/DEF 1800]
    A monster that battles with this Defense Position card is returned to the top of the owner's Deck at the end of the Damage Step.

  • Golem Sentry
    [EARTH/Level 4/Rock/ATK 800/DEF 1800]
    You can flip this card into face-down Defense Position once per turn. When this card is Flip Summoned successfully, return 1 monster on your opponent's side of the field to the owner's hand.

  • Guardian Statue
    [EARTH/Level 4/Rock/ATK 800/DEF 1400]
    You can flip this card into face-down Defense Position once per turn during your Main Phase. When this card is Flip Summoned successfully, return 1 monster on your opponent's side of the field to the owner's hand.

  • Dummy Golem
    [EARTH/Level 2/Rock/ATK 800/DEF 800]
    FLIP: Your opponent selects 1 monster that he/she controls. Switch control of the selected monster and this card.

  • Medusa Worm
    [EARTH/Level 2/Rock/ATK 500/DEF 600]
    You can flip this card into face-down Defense Position once per turn during your Main Phase. When this card is Flip Summoned successfully, destroy 1 monster on your opponent's side of the field.

  • Mid Shield Gardna
    [EARTH/Level 4/Warrior/ATK 100/DEF 1800]
    You can flip this card into face-down Defense Position once per turn during your Main Phase. Negate the activation of a Spell Card that targets this 1 face-down monster. At that time, flip this card into face-up Defense Position.

As you can see, the return-to-hand-or-deck theme is extremely strong, and if used effectively, it will keep your opponent's field entirely empty. By using Dummy Golem and Golem Sentry/Guardian Statue together, you can take control of one of the opponent's monsters and then bring your Dummy Golem back to your own hand -- an extremely wicked manuever which gives you a possibly powerful monster and leaves your opponent wide open.

I recommend running as many Golem Sentry/Guardian Statue (preferring the former due to its higher defense) and Dummy Golem as you can get. They are the main meat of the deck. Add other monsters, especially non-Rock monsters, afterward. Legendary Jujitsu Master is great since he punishes the opponent's attack and destroys their next draw phase. Mid Shield Gardna is not a Rock monster, but he punishes the use of Nobleman of Crossout and thus could prove critical to a deck that relies on face-down monsters. You could substitute the stronger Big Shield Gardna as well, but his effect leaves your Life Points open and is thus less desirable in some ways.

Now that we have a strong defensive line in place, let's fill out the rest of the deck with some techy cards that can help us do additional damage and defense. I recommend the following:

  • Total Defense Shogun
    [DARK/Level 6/Warrior/ATK 1550/DEF 2500]
    This card is changed to Defense Position when it is Normal Summoned or Flip Summoned successfully. This card can attack while it is in Defense Position. If this card attacks while in Defense Position, apply the ATK of this card for damage calculation.

  • Labyrinth Wall
    [EARTH/Level 5/Rock/ATK 0/DEF 3000]
    These walls form a labyrinth with no exit for enemies.

  • D. D. Assailant
    [EARTH/Level 4/Warrior/ATK 1700/DEF 1600]
    When this card is destroyed as a result of battle with your opponent's monster, remove from play this card and the opponent's monster that destroyed this card.

  • The Rock Spirit
    [EARTH/Level 4/Rock/ATK 1700/DEF 1000]
    This monster can only be Special Summoned by removing 1 EARTH monster in your Graveyard from play. Increase the ATK of this monster by 300 points during your opponent's Battle Phase.

  • Giant Rat
    [EARTH/Level 4/Beast/ATK 1400/DEF 1450]
    When this card is sent to the Graveyard as a result of battle, you can Special Summon 1 EARTH monster with an ATK of 1500 or less in face-up Attack Position from your Deck. Then shuffle your Deck.

Total Defense Shogun and Labyrinth Wall are both excellent tributes for a high-defense theme. Labyrinth Wall fits into this deck perfectly, and it can be summoned from the deck without tribute by Giant Rat, making it very easy to get on the field. If you don't opt to run Shogun, consider trying two Labyrinth Walls. D. D. Assailant and The Rock Spirit are two of the better EARTH beatsticks in the game, the first removing monsters from play and the latter being an easy Chaos-style Special Summon and increasing itself to a meaty 2000 ATK during the opponent's turn.

I recommend setting the number of monsters for this deck no higher than 20, giving us a lot of room to play around with the Spell and Trap cards. For Spells, we'll start out with some Rock-specific support in the form of two field cards -- I choose Wasteland since it imparts a DEF bonus to all Rock monsters. You could try Gaia Power since it applies to all EARTH monsters, but it will cripple your defense with a terrible -400 DEF. That card is better saved for offensive decks.

Next, let's throw in some of the following cards to support the high-defense theme:

  • Continuous Destruction Punch
    Continuous Spell Card
    When the ATK of an attacking monster on your opponent's side of the field is lower than the DEF of the attacked Defense Position monster on your side of the field, destroy the attacking monster. Damage calculation is applied normally.

  • Horn of Light
    Equip Spell Card
    Increase the DEF of a monster equipped with this card by 800 points. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard, if you pay 500 Life Points, this card returns to the top of your Deck.

  • Impenetrable Formation
    Continuous Spell Card
    Select 1 monster on your side of the field to activate this card. While you have 2 or more monsters on your side of the field and all monsters on your side of the field are in Defense Position, increase the DEF of the selected monster by 700 points. When the selected monster is removed from the field, destroy this card.

  • Shifting Shadows
    Continuous Spell Card
    Pay 300 Life Points to rearrange the face-down Defense Position monsters on your side of the field, then return them in face-down Defense Position. You can only use this effect once per turn.

  • Swords of Revealing Light
    Normal Spell Card
    Flip all face-down monsters on your opponent's side of the field face-up. This card remains face-up on the field for 3 of your opponent's turns. As long as this card remains face-up on the field, your opponent cannot declare an attack.

  • The Dark Door
    Continuous Spell Card
    Both players can only attack with 1 monster during their respective Battle Phases.

  • The Reliable Guardian
    Quickplay Spell Card
    Increase 1 monster's DEF by 700 points during the turn this card is activated.

These cards complement a high defense strategy in a number of ways. Continuous Destruction Punch adds a much-needed penalty for attacks and combos extremely well with the "The Reliable Guardian", which is most effectively used by setting it on the field and activating it during the opponent's Damage Step. Shifting Shadows will help conceal your vulnerable Dummy Golem, Guardian Statue, and Medusa Worm by moving them around the field. Swords and The Dark Door are both cards I've reviewed before, and their benefits are immediately obvious.

Because our own monster line-up is relatively weak when it comes to getting damage done, we also need to focus on taking control of the opponent's monsters. Dummy Golem helps us do this already, but to boost it to maximum, let's add the more-or less staple cards Snatch Steal and Creature Swap, and even the new Brain Control, which is a Change of Heart substitute that costs 800 LP to activate. The rest of our spell slots we can fill with an assortment of generic staples.

Now all that remains is a trap line-up. At least two of our precious few trap slots are already used up by the "Lone Wolf" cards we added to support our monks, so we will be forced to be stingy here. I recommend the more-or-less staple cards Torrential Tribute, Call of the Haunted, Magic Jammer, and Seven Tools of the Bandit.

Final Deck List

Here's the final deck which I put together based only on cards I own. Keep in mind that this list only represents a suggestion, and that as noted above, there are many other possibilities. I definitely feel it could be made more focused, more reliable, and more powerful, but those are tasks left to the reader to explore.

  • Monsters x 20:
    • Master Monk x 2
    • Total Defense Shogun
    • Labyrinth Wall
    • D. D. Assailant
    • The Rock Spirit
    • Legendary Jujitsu Master
    • Giant Rat x 2
    • Monk Fighter x 3
    • Golem Sentry
    • Guardian Statue x 3
    • Dummy Golem x 2
    • Medusa Worm
    • Mid Shield Gardna
  • Spells x 18:
    • Axe of Despair
    • Brain Control
    • Continuous Destruction Punch
    • Creature Swap
    • Heavy Storm
    • Horn of Light
    • Impenetrable Formation
    • Kaminote Blow
    • Mystical Space Typhoon
    • Premature Burial
    • Shifting Shadows
    • Snatch Steal
    • Swords of Revealing Light
    • The Dark Door
    • The Reliable Guardian x 2
    • Wasteland x 2
  • Traps x 6:
    • Call of the Haunted
    • Lone Wolf x 2
    • Magic Jammer
    • Seven Tools of the Bandit
    • Torrential Tribute
  • Total Cards: 44

Some alternative cards you might consider running in this deck that I've not yet mentioned include the following:

  • Raregold Armor
    Equip Spell Card
    As long as you control the monster equipped with this card, your opponent cannot attack another monster other than the equipped monster.

This card is nice for forcing the opponent to leave your flip monsters alone, and forcing them to confront the likes of a Total Defense Shogun pumped up to 3300 DEF, or a Monk Fighter who is invincible to attack. It is superior to the older Ring of Magnetism in that it doesn't lower the stats of the monster to which it is equipped.

  • Wall of Revealing Light
    Continuous Trap Card
    When you activate this card, pay any multiple of 1000 Life Points. None of your opponent's monsters with an ATK equal to or less than the Life Points you paid can attack.

I don't heartily recommend this card due to the relatively enormous amount of LP you must pay for it to be effective, and because of how simple it is to destroy afterward. However, it could be very effective at shutting down the opponent's attacks for quite a while.

  • Toll
    Continuous Spell Card
    As long as this card remains face-up on the field, both you and your opponent must pay 500 Life Points per monster to attack.

This card makes the opponent's attacks cost him even more, but watch out that it doesn't drain your own Life Points as well.

  • Chu-Ske the Mouse Fighter
    [EARTH/Level 3/Beast/ATK 1200/DEF 0]

This little guy can abuse all the same support cards as the Monk Fighter and Master Monk, but he is rather weak in stats and has no effect at all. Not being a Rock monster, he fits the theme less and thus I opt to leave him out of my final deck list. Among his benefits would be an ability to duck under all of Gravity Bind, Level Limit - Area B, and Messenger of Peace. He might fit well in a weenie rush deck along with some specific support for him, but alas, that wasn't our topic for today.


Copyright © 2005 James Haley. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related names, characters, and products are trademarks of Konami of Japan, Ltd., Shonen Jump, or their licensees and subsidiaries. This is an unofficial fan site, and no endorsement of this site by any of the companies aforementioned is construed or should be implied.