Everyone enjoys a good budget deck, whether you are a new player looking to get into Yu-Gi-Oh on a budget, or an existing player who would prefer a bit of extra cash in their pocket. Unfortunately, a lot of long-time players use their limited financial resources in the wrong way, or aim for the wrong thing.
One of the biggest mistakes I see newer players make is jumping between a bunch of different decks without actually completing one. Even worse, the decks that are attractive to new players are often incredibly expensive. A single card that consumes your entire budget might actually be required in triplicate for the deck to work, leaving you with no money AND no deck.
To help out the financially strapped (or bored) amongst you, I have put together what is hopefully the first in a series of budget deck guides, including what you can do to improve your deck once you get a bit more change in your pocket. The first deck I will be showcasing is a budget favourite – Yosenju.
Yosenju debuted in The Secret Forces, and while Nekroz definitely had the biggest impact on the meta, Yosenju has still seen some play since release. Consisting of Wind monsters that focus on returning cards from both sides of the field to the hand, the best of the Yosenjus are the Kama Trio.
Kama 1, 2 and 3 work together to quickly apply pressure to your opponent, gain advantage and generally deliver a tonne of damage while retreating safely to your hand during the end phase. They are all Beast-Warriors as well, which makes them searchable using Fire Formation – Tenki.
The basic play of the deck is to assemble some combination of Kama monsters in your hand, and summon them using each other’s effects. The first Kama allows you to normal summon a second, the second lets you summon a third, and so on. The only restriction is that you cannot summon a Kama of the same number as the one whose effect you are using!
The Kama Trio each pack a powerful effect in addition to their extra normal summons. Kama 1 allows you to return a face-up card your opponent controls to their hand, as long as you control another Yosenju. Kama 2 can attack your opponent directly for half damage and Kama 3 can add a Yosenju card when another Yosenju monster inflicts battle damage to your opponent.
Yosenju Tsujik also adds some power to the deck by giving one of your Yosenju monsters 1000 extra attack, either by being discarded from hand or as an on-field effect.
Since all the Yosenju monsters return to your hand during the End Phase of the turn in which they are normal summoned, you also want to run multiple powerful traps that can be used to disrupt your opponent and defend your life points on your own turn.
This brings us to the list, courtesy of my good friend Lincoln, the master deck-builder.
In addition to the Yosenjus, we also have a lineup of spell, trap and monster destruction, Pot of Duality for consistency (you won’t be doing a lot of special summoning in this deck) and a huge line-up of traps.
Memory Loss is a non-targeting effect negation card, which means it can hit the bigger Kozmo ships, and also turns Ignister Prominence to defence mode, mitigating his massive 2850 attack points.
Lose 1 Turn is probably the most expensive card in the main deck, but the recent Astral Pack reprint has brought it down to a comfortable $10-$15 instead of $40.
The other interesting card in the main deck is Santa Claws. A combo of Kama 1, Santa and any other Karma allows you to tribute their monster, summon both Kamas and return the Claws to your hand, allowing you to clear a monster for free and avoiding having your opponent drawing cards.
The extra deck is used pretty infrequently, since you generally want to allow your Yosenjus to bounce back to your hand at the end of your turn. Tiger King offers a good option for when you are forced to go first, and Gagaga Cowboy can seal games that you can’t quite win just through battle damage. The rest of the Extra deck exists as a toolbox, so just use the best Rank 4 XYZ that fall into your budget range.
The side deck exists to strengthen your deck against the biggest hitters in the meta. System Down clears Kozmo boards, Grand Horn hits Pendulum decks and the rest can be tuned to whatever sees the most play at your locals.
If you wanted to upgrade this deck as your budget expands, the cards to look out for are Time-Space Trap Hole and Storming Mirror Force. Both are great against monsters that are resistant to destruction. I would probably remove the Fiendish Chains and the regular Mirror Forces to fit these cards in.
Overall, this deck is simple to play, and if your opponent isn’t ready for it you can often deal too much damage in one turn for them to make a comeback in time. Post-side, the deck can side pretty much anything without severely impacting the game-plan, so siding aggressively can help steal game 2/3 as well.
Total budget for the deck? The monster lineup will run you about $15-$20, but most people will have Yosenju monsters lying around that they will be happy to give you. The rest of the deck is made up of staple traps you most likely already own, or that are often printed in structure decks.
Gagaga Cowboy and Tiger King both have Tin prints, making them perfect for a budget deck.
So there you have it, Yosenjus are bouncin’ searchin’ damage-dealin’ monkeys that can be a tonne of fun to play, and the salt from your opponents will be even funnier!