Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Deck Essay #3: Dimension Fusion Loop

There is no doubt that, in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the First-Turn-Knockout is the most feared deck one could ever face; against a highly skilled opponent playing one of these types of decks, the vast majority of people will lose every match. However (and much to my dismay), they are also the most misunderstood deck-type in the game, for they are generally considered easy and unskilled; people who think in this way, I must say before I go any further, are incorrect. The skill set required to successfully pilot a First-Turn-Knockout is the highest in the entirety of the game; it takes disciplined concentration, precise decision making, flawless execution, sensitive instincts, and a thorough understanding of Governing Theories (both architectural and in-game) to accurately and consistently win with a First-Turn-Knockout deck, and in this essay, I will be dissecting the most difficult of all: the Dimension Fusion Loop.

The Dimension Fusion Loop deck is based around a rather simple combo: one summons both Dark Magician of Chaos and Shadowpriestess of Ohm, and then tributes the former to the latter’s effect, burning away eight-hundred of the opponent’s Life Points (Dark Magician of Chaos is Removed from Play at this point by its own effect); one then activates Spell Economics, followed by the eponymous card, Dimension Fusion, which is free of any cost due to the effect of Spell Economics; Dark Magician of Chaos is Special Summoned back to the field, and its effect adds Dimension Fusion back to one’s hand, recreating the original game state. This combo is repeated enough times to deplete the opponent’s Life Points to zero, instantly ending the game.

However, if the combo is so effortless, wherefore is the deck so difficult to play? The answer to that question is simple: the loop requires much initial setup, and a basic draw engine is nowhere near being sufficient for such. The result is that one must utilize the Cyber Valley draw engine, an engine which contains within it an immense amount of decisions and intricacies, and with this draw engine, the Dimension Fusion Loop is without a doubt the most complicated deck in the history of the game. However, all who can wield it properly are rewarded with a highly consistent, nigh unstoppable force at their disposal.

The Monsters: 12

3 Cyber Valley
3 Broww, Hunstman of Dark World
2 Darklord Zerato
1 Dark Voltanis
1 Dark Magician of Chaos
1 Shadowpriestess of Ohm
1 Destiny Hero – Disk Commander

The Monster line-up is relatively small, although it must be said that every single card is essential. Firstly, the three copies of Cyber Valley are the key engine in the deck; not only do they allow the player to draw cards, but also to recover cards, a crucial aspect to the Dimension Fusion Loop for one will most often find key cards (such as Monster Reborn, Premature Burial, Spell Economics, and the all-important Dimension Fusion) finding their way to the Graveyard throughout the turn for various reasons – this is, unfortunately, a necessary evil of the deck that cannot be removed (or, at the least, I could not find a plausible way to do so). Cyber Valley can also recover draw cards such as Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity, and one can even send combo pieces to the Graveyard with Painful Choice for just this reason. It takes a highly mindful player to create the appropriate combos here.

Next, three copies of Broww, Huntsman of Dark World are included for two reasons, both of which revolve around the inclusion of certain draw Spells: the first is that I have included three copies of Dark World Dealings, for, while this card helps greatly in sifting through cards, the minus one it usually creates is a negative to its name – Broww helps to rectify this; the second reason is that Graceful Charity and Card Destruction are also included in the deck (although I will admit that this would not be reason enough on its own for the inclusion of the Monster), two more cards that will trigger the draw effect of Broww, Huntsman of Dark World. Overall, Broww adds extra speed and consistency to the deck, which helps greatly.

To compliment the copies of Trade-in I had decided to include, I incorporated, along with Dark Magician of Chaos (the combo Monster, who can also recover draw cards if need be), three more Level Eight Monsters; I have found through rigorous testing over the last two years that four discards to three draw cards (expressed in a ratio of 4:3) is enough, for there exists here the highest chance of drawing each of one card together, but also the lowest chance of drawing one without the other. It is the most consistent ratio for a First-Turn-Knockout deck, and is in complete contrast to a regular attack-based deck which requires at the least two discards to every draw card (expressed as a ratio of 2:1).

Finally, Shadowpreistess of Ohm was included at one copy, for more copies are unneeded (one will see the card every game, so more copies would be dead), and Destiny Hero – Disk Commander was included for its ability to turn Monster revival into draw cards.

The Spells: 28

3 Machine Duplication
3 Dark World Dealings
3 Trade-in
3 Upstart Goblin
3 Into the Void
3 Hand Destruction
2 Spell Economics
1 Monster Reborn
1 Premature Burial
1 Dimension Fusion
1 Pot of Greed
1 Graceful Charity
1 Card Destruction
1 Harpie’s Feather Duster
1 Painful Choice

This is whither the true intricacies lay. Firstly, a full three copies of Machine Duplication give the player the most consistent access to the Cyber Valley draw engine. Fewer copies could very well be used, but it was my desire to get the copies of Cyber Valley onto the field as quickly as possible, and I thus sacrificed a little facet of overall consistency in the deck for increased consistency in this one small area; a decision I stand by. One for One is another card that could very well be used, for it would allow the Special Summon a Cyber Valley if it were in the hand or the deck, but I found it to be too low on utility, functioning as a dead card on the majority of occasions.

Once the three Cyber Valleys are on the field, one will use the effect of one to Remove from Play a card from the hand to recover a needed card from the Graveyard, and then the effect of the second to Remove from Play it and the third copy to draw two cards, one of which will be the recovered card. The chief use of this combo is to recover Dimension Fusion over and over again (that is, while Spell Economics is active, so that one will not pay the large Life Point cost for Dimension Fusion), creating an infinite draw loop. Not does this happen on a highly consistent basis, however, and one will most often find oneself recovering cards alike to Pot of Greed or Graceful Charity, but this is indeed an acceptable use as well. Here it is required that one forward plan the turn, taking into consideration the current contents of the hand and deck, as well as the probability of drawing certain cards, to ensure that one recover the appropriate card. For example:

My hand contains only Dark Magician of Chaos, Monster Reborn and Broww, Huntsman of Dark World. The Graveyard contains Graceful Charity, two copies of Trade-in, all three other Trade-in discards, and fifteen other cards unimportant at this point. There are thirteen cards left in the deck. In this scenario, I could carry out one of two disparate courses of action: the first is to Remove from Play the Dark Magician of Chaos to recover Graceful Chairty, and hope to draw into my Dimension Fusion as one of the five cards from Cyber Valley, Graceful Charity and Broww, Huntsman of Dark World (which is likely, but by no means certain); or conversely, I could Remove from Play the Broww, Huntsman of Dark World, again recovering Graceful Charity, but this time Discarding the Dark Magician of Chaos to the Graveyard. There is also the possibility of drawing the final copy of Trade-in, with which I could discard the Dark Magician of Chaos and draw more cards. I could then use Monster Reborn to Special Summon it back to the field and use its effect to recover Graceful Charity once again, thereby creating a greater chance of drawing into my Dimension Fusion, and subsequently creating the Dimension Fusion Loop. The latter is clearly the correct play.

While I will admit that the above example is one of extreme measures, it is an example nonetheless of the decision making powers required to pilot this deck.

Next (and as referred to in the explanation of the Monster Card), both Dark World Dealings and Trade-in were included at three copies each. These cards are, I find, the most consistent when it comes to drawing two cards while retaining card presence. Hand Destruction, of which I also included a full three copies, is another card that allows the player to draw two cards (but is, of course, in contrast to the former two cards, a minus one), and it also has the added benefit of allowing the player to discard key Monsters (such as Shadowpriestess of Ohm and Destiny Hero – Disk Commander) to the Graveyard, from whither they can be revived for their individual purposes.

From there, the last two draw cards, Upstart Goblin and Into the Void, were both included at a full three copies. Generally speaking, Upstart Goblin is more of a hindrance than a helper in burn-based First-Turn-Knockout decks, but since Dimension Fusion Loop has the potential to burn for an infinite amount of damage for no cost whatsoever, Upstart Goblin does not interfere in any way. Into the Void brings even more drawing to the deck, allowing the player to find key cards quicker and more reliably. It is also worthy of note that Into the Void effectively forces the player to win the turn it is used, adding even more complication to the deck (and indeed any First-Turn-Knockout deck that plays it in general). Ergo, if one lacks courage in one’s ability, I would not play this card, for it will be impossible to win after the hand has been discarded due to Into the Void.

The one allowed copy of Dimension Fusion is obviously included, but the number of copies that should be played of the last combo piece is up for debate: I have included two, purely for the reason that I could find not anymore room within the deck to play a third, although indeed a third would be nice – it would give a greater chance of achieving a Cyber Valley infinite draw loop if such is accomplishable. However, I find two to be quite sufficient, for the same aforementioned reason that only one copy of Shadowpriestess of Ohm is played.

Painful Choice, long considered the ultimate combo Spell (and included here at its allotted single copy), warrants some explanation: it is used to send key cards (that is, Dark Magician of Chaos, Destiny Hero – Disk Commander, Shadowpriestess of Ohm), dead cards (that is, extra copies of Machine Duplication, Spell Economics, Trade-in, Dark World Dealings), or cards for combos (that is, Dimension Fusion, Graceful Charity, Spell Economics) to the Graveyard, filling any purpose as needed. The card really shows its massive potential in a deck such as this, and its inclusion is guaranteed for just this reason.

Finally, the last three card slots are used for Monster Reborn, Premature Burial and Harpie’s Feather Duster: Monster Reborn and Premature Burial are used to revive key Monsters (that is, Dark Magician of Chaos for the recovery of a Spell, Destiny Hero – Disk Commander for draws, Shadowpriestess of Ohm for the final combo, or a Cyber Valley that found its way to the Graveyard); and Harpie’s Feather Duster is included in the Main-Deck for the event that one plays second in Game One, so that one can remove any obstacles to the combo in the form of Spell and Trap Cards. One must make sure to Side-Deck this card out if one is playing first in Games Two or Three.

This is a deck which I have been perfecting for some time now, and I believe this build to be as perfect as possible. As a predominantly First-Turn-Knockout player, and a lover of complicated decks in general, it is also one of my favourites. I will admit though (for I would never attempt to hide this fact in any way) that it took me quite a while to figure out exactly how to construct and play the deck correctly, for, while the decklist is relatively simple, playing the deck in real life, with real hands and real scenarios, is anything but. I will reiterate at this point that this is the most complicated (and thus difficult to play) deck in the history of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. With its enormous amount intricacies and decisions to be made, the first turn can last as long as fifteen minutes, and even longer if one opens with a less than favourable hand (in this instance, be prepared for bored and subsequently grumpy opponents). Through all of that though, the deck is one of the most consistent and powerful decks in the game, and high on the list of the most consistent and powerful First-Turn-Knockout decks ever to be created.


  1. Is it possible to construct a Side Deck for this particular Deck? Every card in the Main Deck seems absolutely necessary for the main strategy to work consistently, I wouldn't know what to side out.

    How would you construct this particular Side Deck?

    1. You are quite right in your observation that every card is essential; and that indeed makes Side Decking extremely difficult, here (as with every FTK). However, a few cards can be Sided out with relative safety: the set of Into the Void are the first cards I usually remove, for, if the combo is prevented (by Hanewata, D.D. Crow, etc.), discarding the entire hand at the end of the turn will make it literally impossible to come back - it's better to have a chance than no chance at all; this is most often followed, should I need more room, by a Dark World Dealings or two, along with their associated copies of Broww, essentially giving up to seven slots for rotating needed cards in while still maintaining the most consistency possible.

      As for what to Side in, it is possible to go with counter-counters, such as The Forceful Sentry, Confisaction or Prohibition, to help prevent an opponent's Sided cards from stopping the combo, or normal counters to an opponent's deck. Since the hand won't be discarded by Into the Void, this last option is definitely viable.


  2. Why harpie's over giant trunade?

    If your opponent goes first and ends with 0/1 card in hand, hand destruction is dead, whereas trunade will replenish their hand for you.

    1. I can definitely see your concern here, but I think it is unlikely that you'd find yourself in this scenario - I never have. You could Side Deck a copy of Giant Trunade if you find it happening often (or if yourself getting stopped by Starlight Road), but, on the whole, Harpie's Feather Duster is the better choice. If an opponent sets their hand on purpose to try to mitigate your copies of Hand Destruction, there is realy no detriment. Hand Destruction should always be the last draw card activated in any case (because it lets the opponent draw and discard, too, and possibly find counters or set up their own Graveyard), and the deck, in my experience, can function consistently well without ever having to play a single copy.

      Again, I can see your concern, but I don't think it's warranted.