Advanced Deck Workshop
Crystal Beasts

Crystal Beasts are a surprising deck archetype composed of unassuming cards which, when properly combined, release a frightening, unstoppable power. With Force of the Breaker and Duelist Pack Jesse Anderson getting harder and harder to find in retail outlets, it took me over a year to assemble this deck, and the result is far less than ideal. Even still, it is highly functional, and I will include advice on how to improve it.

The goal of the Crystal Beast deck and the way in which it functions is vastly different from any other mechanism in the game, and it is this unique, off-beat strategy which first appealed to me. With a Crystal Beast deck, the sole goal is to fill up your Spell and Trap Card Zones with Crystal Beast monsters. They can be put there either by their own effects, or by the effects of numerous support cards. Once there, the idea is to summon them back to the field, preferably all at once, and have at your helpless opponent.

A good Crystal Beast deck can perform miraculous turn-arounds and last-minute saves in a way that has not been seen since Traditional Chaos with the last-turn Graceful to get Black Luster Soldier. It is amazing that they have not climbed higher in the metagame, being mostly ignored in favor of cookie-cutter Monarch and Demise OTK. In this deck we can leave out almost every normal staple card and instead favor specific support cards that are actually more powerful.

Obviously to start, we need a strong core of Crystal Beast monsters. There are two monsters which are absolutely critical to the Crystal Beast strategy, and you should include as many of these two monsters as you can get your hands on. Three of each would be ideal, though you can swing it with two:

  • Crystal Beast Saphhire Pegasus
    [WIND/Level 4/Beast/ATK 1800/DEF 1200]
    When this card is Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned, or Special Summoned, you can place 1 "Crystal Beast" monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone; it is treated as a Continuous Spell Card. If this card is destroyed while it is in a Monster Card Zone, you can place it face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone as a Continuous Spell Card, instead of sending it to the Graveyard.

  • Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle
    [LIGHT/Level 3/Fairy/ATK 300/DEF 300]
    When this card is Special Summoned, you can Special Summon as many "Crystal Beast" cards as possible from your Spell & Trap Card Zone. If this card is destroyed while it is in a Monster Card Zone, you can place it face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone as a Continuous Spell Card, instead of sending it to the Graveyard.

Saphhire Pegasus is the primary searcher of this deck, taking the place of Sangan or Witch, and then some, by also providing powerful recursion to the Graveyard, and even being able to reach the hand as well. I only currently have two copies of this card, and even with two it works quite well. I recommend three if you can get them, but this is a valuable card that will not come cheap.

Ruby Carbuncle is the key card to the entire deck, bringing any and all Crystal Beasts you have stored in your back row to the front, which is the only reliable way to unleash the cards' powers. The prime goal is to get and keep a Ruby Carbuncle on the field; as long as it is there, you have the potential ability to destroy your opponent at any time. Three copies of this card are an absolute requirement.

For the rest of the Crystal Beast line-up, there is a decent choice of monsters. The most powerful cards in the prototype are the Amber Mammoth, Topaz Tiger, and Cobalt Eagle. However, the lesser-played Amethyst Cat and Emerald Tortoise have synergy with one another, as well as the ability to duck stall cards and to attack directly. I will also add another card to this deck later which can exploit Emerald Tortoise's effect as part of a much-needed defensive wall. Since I lack any Cobalt Eagles, I leave the choice to run that card to the reader.

  • Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth
    [EARTH/Level 4/Beast/ATK 1700/DEF 1600]
    When a face-up "Crystal Beast" monster you control is selected as an attack target, you can change the target to this card. If this card is destroyed while it is in a Monster Card Zone, you can place it face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone as a Continuous Spell Card, instead of sending it to the Graveyard.

  • Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger
    [EARTH/Level 4/Beast/ATK 1600/DEF 1000]
    If this card attacks an opponent's monster, it gains 400 ATK during the Damage Step only. If this card is destroyed while it is in a Monster Card Zone, you can place it face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone as a Continuous Spell Card, instead of sending it to the Graveyard.

  • Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat
    [EARTH/Level 3/Beast/ATK 1200/DEF 400]
    This card can attack your opponent directly. When it does so using this effect, any Battle Damage it inflicts to your opponent is halved. If this card is destroyed while it is in a Monster Card Zone, you can place it face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone as a Continuous Spell Card, instead of sending it to the Graveyard.

  • Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise
    [WATER/Level 3/Aqua/ATK 600/DEF 2000]
    Once per turn, you can change 1 of your monsters that attacked this turn to Defense Position. If this card is destroyed while it is in a Monster Card Zone, you ca place it face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone as a Continuous Spell Card, instead of sending it to the Graveyard.

One primary problem with Crystal Beasts is that they are not strong on their own, so they end up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone pretty quickly. If you have your support cards in hand this is not a huge issue, but what if you have not drawn them yet, or what if a couple of them got sent to the Graveyard via hand destruction? Well, then you need to fall back on a strong defense! I have great experience running defensive decks, and Crystal Beasts are definitely defensive, as they must wait until the right moment to launch their massive attack. To that end. let us add the following cards, one each:

  • Gear Golem the Moving Fortress
    [EARTH/Level 4/Machine/ATK 800/DEF 2200]
    Once per turn, during your Main Phase 1, by paying 800 Life Points, this card can attack your opponent directly this turn.

  • Wall of Illusion
    [DARK/Level 4/Fiend/ATK 1000/DEF 1850]
    The monster attacking this creature is returned to its owner's hand. Any damage resulting from the attack is calculated normally.

  • 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.

  • Marshmallon
    [LIGHT/Level 3/Fairy/ATK 300/DEF 500]
    The controller of a monster that attacks this face-down card takes 1000 damage after damage calculation. This card cannot be destroyed by battle. (Damage calculation is applied normally.)

That almost wraps up the monster line-up. One other thing is needed, however. No deck should do without a number of tributes, preferably ones with decent effects and at least 2400 ATK. Wait, what am I saying? Should we put the evil Monarchs in this deck?? Absolutely! If everyone else is going to abuse them, we should too. Obviously Raiza is the best choice. If you have him, run up to three copies of him. I don't have him, so out of the ones I own, I chose these three:

  • Caius the Shadow Monarch
    [DARK/Level 6/Fiend/ATK 2400/DEF 1000]
    When this card is Tribute Summoned, remove from play 1 card on the field. If it was a DARK Monster Card, inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.

  • Mobius the Frost Monarch
    [WATER/Level 6/Aqua/ATK 2400/DEF 1000]
    When this card is Tribute Summoned successfully, you can destroy up to 2 Spell or Trap Cards on the field.

  • Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch
    [FIRE/Level 6/Pyro/ATK 2400/DEF 1000]
    When this card is Tribute Summoned successfully, randomly discard 1 card from your opponent's hand to the Graveyard. If the discarded card was a Monster Card, inflict damage to your opponent's Life Points equal to the Level of the monster x 100 points.

Now, Crystal Beasts will not function at all without some highly specific and insanely powerful support in the form of spells and traps. A Crystal Beast deck needs to be relatively heavy in the number of these cards, and you may find yourself including slightly more spells and traps than monsters. Ordinarily this is an unwritten rule that should not be broken, but for this archetype, with its insane recursion, it can be smashed to bits.

  • Crystal Abundance
    [Normal Spell Card]
    Send 4 "Crystal Beast" cards from your Spell & Trap Card Zone to the Graveyard. Send all cards on the field to the Graveyard. Then, Special Summon as many "Crystal Beast" monsters as possible from your Graveyard, up to the number of your opponent's cards that were sent to the Graveyard by this card's effect.

  • Crystal Beacon
    [Normal Spell Card]
    If there are 2 or more "Crystal Beast" cards in your Spell & Trap Card Zone, Special Summon 1 "Crystal Beast" monster from your Deck.

  • Crystal Blessing
    [Normal Spell Card]
    Select up to 2 "Crystal Beast" monsters in your Graveyard and place them face-up in your Spell & Trap Card Zone; they are treated as Continuous Spell Cards.

  • Crystal Promise
    [Normal Spell Card]
    Select 1 "Crystal Beast" card in your Spell & Trap Card Zone and Special Summon it.

  • Crystal Raigeki
    [Normal Trap Card]
    Send 1 "Crystal Beast" card from your Spell & Trap Card Zone to the Graveyard. Destroy 1 card your opponent controls.

  • Crystal Pair
    [Normal Trap Card]
    Activate only when a "Crystal Beast" monster you control is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard. Place 1 "Crystal Beast" monster from your Deck in your Spell & Trap Card Zone face-up as a Continuous Spell Card. You take no Battle Damage this turn.

Crystal Beacon gives yet more searching power and can be used to reach Ruby Carbuncle from the Deck. Crystal Blessing helps fill up the Spell & Trap Card Zone in preparation for an attack. Crystal Promise is like an unlimited, costless Premature Burial. Crystal Raigeki is an extremely broken costless destruction card that can blow anything off the field. It is the near costlessness of Crystal Beasts that lends them much of their power. Rather than resources coming from your hand or your field, you are simply recycling cards freely. Your opponent destroying your cards more often than not works in your favor rather than against it. You will learn to laugh at cards like Smashing Ground, Hammer Shot, and even Torrential Tribute, since they only serve to set you up for a combo.

Crystal Abundance deserves special mention, because it is the Chaos Emperor Dragon of this Deck. It is surprisingly easy to activate despite requiring four Crystal Beasts as its cost, and it allows the same cards used for payment to be recycled to the field as part of its effect. Very few cards in the game - less than ten - have an effect that can destroy all cards on the field, and absolutely none of them are as reliable, as powerful, and as cheap as this one. I recommend no more than two copies of it, since it has a steep price and could be negated to your great demise. It is best activated after a combo to clear your opponent's Spell & Trap Card Zone, for safety. This can be done in the span of a single turn if you have the right Spells in your hand.

Now, let's talk about the possibility of actually adding some Beast support to the deck. It is a Crystal Beast deck, after all, but I rarely see any such cards added. Not all of the Crystal Beasts have the Beast attribute, but most of them do, and all of the important ones with high ATK are included here. Adding these cards allows additional movement of cards from the front row to the back, and can also add an incredible punch in combo with Crystal Abundance; OTKs are easily within the realm of possibility with the proper use of these cards.

  • Wild Nature's Release
    [Normal Spell Card]
    Increase the ATK of 1 face-up Beast-Type or Beast-Warrior-Type monster on the field by an amount equal to its DEF until the end of the turn. Destroy the monster during the End Phase.

  • The Big March of Animals
    [Quickplay Spell Card]
    Until the End Phase, increase the ATK of all face-up Beast-Type monsters on your side of the field by 200 points for each Beast-Type monster on your side of the field.

Even if you are unable to finish your opponent, the use of Wild Nature's Release only puts another Crystal Beast in your Spell & Trap Card Zone, since it destroys the monster it was used upon. If you do defeat your opponent, then its penalty becomes meaningless anyway. The Big March of Animals is like a far more powerful United We Stand for this deck, since it gives an increase to all Beast-Types rather than only one monster.

Finally, there is one more specific support card we can fit into this deck that makes good sense, given the fact that our Spell & Trap Card Zones will be full nearly all of the time:

  • Mage Power
    [Equip Spell Card]
    Increase the ATK and DEF of the equipped monster by 500 points for each Spell and Trap Card on your side of the field.

With this, the deck is largely complete. Throw in the Ring of Destruction and Torrential Tribute to fill out the Trap line-up (these cards' costs are also meaningless to us with this deck), and either Hammer Shot or Smashing Ground to complete the Spells.

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.

  • Monsters x 19:
    • Caius the Shadow Monarch
    • Mobius the Frost Monarch
    • Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch
    • Crystal Beast Saphhire Pegasus x 2
    • Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle x 3
    • Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth x 3
    • Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger
    • Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat
    • Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise x 2
    • Gear Golem the Moving Fortress
    • Wall of Illusion
    • Legendary Jujitsu Master
    • Marshmallon
  • Spells x 15:
    • Crystal Abundance x 2
    • Crystal Beacon x 2
    • Crystal Blessing x 3
    • Crystal Promise x 3
    • Wild Nature's Release x 2
    • The Big March of Animals
    • Mage Power
    • Hammer Shot
  • Traps x 6:
    • Crystal Raigeki x 3
    • Crystal Pair
    • Ring of Destruction
    • Torrential Tribute
  • Total Cards: 40

If you intend to convert this Deck to be competitive, it is most important to use Raiza for your Monarch tribute, drop Crystal Pair, and definitely at least side-deck three copies of the Trap Card "Pulling the Rug", for opposing the rampant Demise OTK. Other than that, the only real changes to consider are to which particular Crystal Beast monsters you want to run. Rainbow Dragon, which is too slow and too vulnerable, is really not an option for anything but a strictly fun deck. Jinzo replacing one of the Monarch Tributes isn't out of the question at all, but his penalty of shutting you off from the critical Crystal Raigeki makes him a questionable choice indeed.

So that wraps up this issue of the Advanced Deck Workshop. Go have fun blowing away your opponents with surprise Crystal Beast attacks, and please, for the love of all that is good, run this deck in a tournament. Show the uninspired deck-listed CC players that a different archetype can put them out of business.


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.