Blast from the Past: TeleDAD!


DarkArmedDragon-PGLD-EN-GUR-1EThe Yugi-Oh world has gone through many different forms and manners of having players abuse their opponents and the game as a whole.  I have been there to witness, and enjoy all of these various formats.  Performing within a governmental position in Tokyo, Japan I saw the inception of the game with Bandai.  When this great game came to the United States; it was an immediate draw that has not stopped, and will continue regardless of how Konami attempts to ruin it.  My favorite time period would have to be the year or so of the Dark Armed Dragon abuse.  The set Phantom of Darkness was new, and had quite a few quality cards within it.  Nothing was in demand like its fearless leader; Dark Armed Dragon.  It began with a deck build referred to as Dark Armed Return or Dimensional DAD.  It was then followed up with the beginnings of the Synchro age, and the deck referred to as TeleDAD.  The reign of these decks was very distinct as the only real challenge for them came during TeleDad in the form of Lightsworn, and TeleZombies.  The deck I will cover specifically was the beginning of this pain with Dark Armed Return.  If you were playing any other deck at that time you needed a major medical emergency to befall your opponent with the untouchable speed of this powerhouse.  The deck list went something like this.  It looks like a ban list reprint.

Monsters – 19

  • 3x Dark Armed Dragon
  • Dark Magician of Chaos
  • Darklord Zerato
  • Jinzo
  • Elemental Hero Stratos
  • Destiny Hero Disc Commander
  • Destiny Hero Diamond Dude
  • Destiny Hero Fear Monger
  • 2x Destiny Hero Malicious
  • Destiny Hero Dasher
  • Prometheus, King of the Shadows
  • Snipe Hunter
  • Sangan
  • Dark Grepher
  • Armageddon Knight
  • Spirit Reaper

Spells – 14

  • 3x Destiny Draw
  • 3x Allure of Darkness
  • Brain Control
  • Heavy Storm
  • Mystical Space Typhoon
  • Monster Reborn
  • Premature Burial
  • Reinforcement of the Army
  • Dimension Fusion
  • Scapegoat

Traps – 7

  • Trap Dustshoot
  • Torrential Tribute
  • 2x Return from the Different Dimension
  • 2x Escape from the Different Dimension
  • Crush Card Virus

DestinyDraw-RYMP-EN-ScR-UESpeed and Power is what this deck had plenty of.  The force was in the monsters, but the real strength of this deck was in its spell lineup.  Draw power is the first element to this deck.  This deck played three copies of both Destiny Draw and Allure of Darkness.  This kind of draw power is seen very seldom in a deck.  It gives a great deal of consistency to the deck, and consistency with this kind of power is a little unfair. Heavy Storm and Mystical Space Typhoon allow for you to get off your plays with back row destruction.  Brain Control is another card that was a powerhouse as you could take a monster; use it; then give it back.  The strength of the spell card lineup continues with Monster Reborn, and Premature Burial.  This is why Magician of Faith has been allowed back in the game as we no longer have power spell card lineups like this.

TrapDustshootDT04-EN-DNPR-DTThe trap cards in this deck were also no laughing matter.  Trap Dustshoot drawn turn one could be a game changing card as you could take a key monster away from your opponent, and by seeing the rest of the hand predict their plays and set up a proper counter.  Crush Card Virus is a card that was absolutely devastating.  Taking all monsters off the field, out of the hand, and the next three turns of draws that were 1500 attack or higher.  By doing this all real threats were gone leaving you to destroy your crippled opponent. You could consistently decimate your opponent while being able to draw into your own massacring force.  Torrential Tribute gave mass destruction to stop those power pushes by your opponent.  Then came the traps that gave you power plays of your own.  Return from the Different Dimension and Escape from the Dark Dimension allowed you to recover monsters that had been removed for Allure of Darkness or Dark Armed Dragon.  Bringing back a Darklord Zerato or Dark Magician of Chaos was usually enough to win games or leave your opponent in a situation where they could not recover.

ElementalHEROStratos-RYMP-EN-C-1EThe Monsters were just as impressive as the Spells and Traps.  We began the assault with the searchable warriors.  Elemental Hero Stratos allowed for searching of our Destiny Hero Lineup, led by Destiny Hero Disc Commander and Destiny Hero Malicious.  Dark Grepher was the other abusable warrior.  He was a special summon by discarding a level 5 or higher dark to the graveyard or when Normal Summoned you could pitch a dark from your hand to send one from your deck to the graveyard.  This would allow for you to set up your graveyard quickly for Dark Armed Dragon.  Before going to our boss monster we would use Darklord Zerato, Jinzo, and Dark Magician of Chaos to soften up the opponent.  Darklord Zerato was a Raigeki; with a body for the mild cost of discarding a dark monster.  This guy played a huge role in creating many OTK plays.  Jinzo was our security force.  He assured that the opponent was not able to foil an OTK assault with some form interfering trap card.  The last guy in this trio was truly ridiculous.  Dark Magician of Chaos with his ability to recur a spell card from the graveyard allowed for far too many broken plays.  Elemental Hero Stratos gave the deck searchable dark monsters that would play into the draw engine of the deck.  To be able to search for Stratos with Reinforcements of the Army, and then search again for a Destiny Hero gave an unfair consistency advantage to this deck.  Destiny Hero Dasher was an interesting card at the time.  Pitching him to the graveyard for Destiny Draw set up some strong plays, as when in the graveyard he allows you to Special Summon a monster once while in the graveyard when drawing a monster on your Draw Phase.  This seems like a minor thing, but Special Summoning a monster like Dark Magician of Chaos can be game breaking.  Destiny Hero Disc Commander added to the consistency with his unique ability to draw cards when Special summoned from the graveyard.  That is why I chose to play Destiny Hero Fear Monger.  He was both a Crush Card Virus target or when killed by battle he could Special summon a Destiny Hero which in most cases was the Disc Commander to Draw Two cards.  More consistency!  Destiny Hero Malicious, Prometheus, King of the Shadows, and Snipe Hunter were used to control the Graveyard or destroy problem cards.  Now with all of this draw power, recursion ability, and ridiculous plays with these insane cards; we have not yet looked at the real card to fear; Dark Armed Dragon.  This guy ended people’s hopes and dreams.  Control Grave, Draw Cards, Destroy Cards, and oh yeah I will drop Dark Armed Dragon to destroy cards and end this Nightmare!  Three copies of this boss would insure the fact that this game was over!  I played with this during TeleDad and still do not believe the insanity that was created by these ridiculous combos.

5 monsters, 5 Spells, and 3 Traps are currently banned, with a total of 14 cards.  Then you have cards such as Dark Armed Dragon, and Allure of Darkness have gone from three copies to being limited to one.  So another loss of four cards.  So this amazing 40 card deck would have to be trimmed by a whopping 18 cards.  Almost half of the deck.

The continuation of this Dark Armed abuse began with the inception of Synchro monsters.  We gained this new Extra Deck choice, and quickly put it to use as a protector for Dark Armed Dragon.  This form was Stardust Dragon.  The synchro also added strength in the forms of Goyo Guardian, Thought Ruler Archfiend, Colossal Fighter, and Black Rose Dragon.  This build and domination period for Dark Armed Dragon was another deck that possessed ridiculous speed.  Now with the creation of cards like Emergency Teleport and Plaguespreader Zombie it was a simple thing to do.  This deck was the continuation of Dimensional DAD with the semi-limited Dark Armed Dragon.  Between these two forms Dark Armed Dragon was the guy to base your strategy around for a year before they finally had enough of him and limited him.

DestinyHERODiskCommander-RYMP-EN-R-1ENow let’s take a look at why this deck was so feared for a year.  How did it play?  What did it, and why did it do it!  Opening you normally had a draw card of some kind.  So let’s say you play Destiny Draw, discarding Destiny Hero Disc Commander to draw two cards.  Out of this you probably have another Destiny Draw play or an Allure of Darkness play.  Play Allure of Darkness, Draw two cards and then remove a dark monster.  Your preference was to remove either Darklord Zerato, Jinzo, or Dark Magician of Chaos.  At this point you have already drawn an extra four cards; not bad!  Now your warrior core kicks in with either the Normal summon of Elemental Hero Stratos or the Special Summon of Dark Grepher.  If you summon Stratos then search for a Destiny Hero from your deck.  Another plus one, and maybe more as you search for a Destiny Hero allowing you to play another Destiny Draw or Allure of Darkness.  The only question at this point is what is still needed to formulate one of the multiple possible OTK’s.  Dark Armed was a major force, but this would be another variant of OTK possibilities.  Special Summon Dark Grepher by discarding Jinzo from my hand.  Then discard Darklord Zerato from my hand to send Dark Magician of Chaos from my deck to the Graveyard.  This produces three darks in the Graveyard for Dark Armed Dragon.  On this occasion I didn’t have the awesome dragon.  So I Premature Burial, Jinzo; securing protection against Trap cards.  Now I Monster Reborn; Dark Magician of Chaos getting back Monster Reborn with his effect.  Now I am free to Monster Reborn; Darklord Zerato.  With these 4 on the field lets discard a dark monster in my hand for Darklord Zeratos’ effect; clearing your opponents field of monsters.  Now they are open to direct attacks for 9700 and game.  With or without Dark Armed Dragon on the field this deck produced too many game ending scenarios.  So Premature Burial, Monster Reborn, and Dark Armed Dragon made the graveyard a place to fear.  Then why the name Dark Armed Return.  Allure of Darkness placed monsters in the removed from play zone, but the graveyard controller of the deck set up many plays as well.  Summon Prometheus, King of the Shadows, and remove dark monsters adding to his attack, controlling the graveyard count for Dark Armed, and placing more fuel for your Return from the Different Dimension or Escape from the Different Dimension to gain access to even more ludicrous plays.  Hand control also came into play when trying to deal with this deck. If I open with something like Trap Dustshoot, Sangan, and Crush Card Virus; you are still in for a tough day. Set Sangan, and the two trap cards.  Flip the Dustshoot; look at their hand and take a monster, then flip the Crush Card in response to their normal summon getting rid of Sangan and searching for something of need while getting rid of their 1500 and higher monsters.  That was a game breaking opening on its own.  That is probably why a Gold Rare Crush Card Virus was $300.00 I once traded one for a laptop computer.  This is enough talk about some of the other cards.  Let’s now turn to the guy this format was named after.  Dark Armed Dragon needed 3 darks exactly to be in the Graveyard.  With the draw power of the deck and cards like Dark Grepher, Armageddon Knight, and Snipe Hunter this was pretty simple.  Now here comes the Dragon.  With Heavy Storm in the game most players set limited backfield.  Priority was also an issue.  Special Summon Dark Armed Dragon, no response; then I will Special Summon another Dark Armed; any response; No!  Then I will Special Summon the third Dark Armed.  Now remove a dark from my graveyard; destroy a card, remove another dark; destroy another card, and then remove the third dark destroying another card, and then attack with the three Dark Armed Dragons for game.  If somehow you survive, then flip the Return to finish this game!

This was truly an interesting and enjoyable time period for me in the game of Yugioh.  We had power and speed within our actual deck without having to formulate some kind of Extra-Deck card.  The power was in what we did with the cards in our hand.  And yes, I would issue a challenge to the new decks of today.  Let’s play and I will show you the power of a deck.  Good Luck stopping my OTK machine.

UpstartGoblinDB1-EN-C-UEHow does this relate to todays’ game?  We always look for a way to gain an advantage over our opponent.  This is now seen with cards such as Reinforcement of the Army being at 3 allowing for consistent searching, and an automatic plus one.  Over the past couple of years Patrick Hoban has been a consistent top player with his predictable 3 Upstart Goblins.  Why is this?  Drawing cards allows you to get to your power cards quickly.  This is one of the few generic draw cards left in the game with a minimal penalty.  Drawing cards has always been the format of success.  You have more resources than your opponent can deal with.  It sounds simple, but many players miss this piece of the success puzzle.  XYZ’s have replaced Synchros and Main Deck boss monsters as the power force driving most decks.  They allow for the quick overpowering of your opponent that was evident during Dark Armed Dragon’s reign of terror.  The biggest thing that is seen today that came from this time frame is the blueprint for success.  Be able to draw cards quickly so that you can set up overpowering plays quickly, and consistently.  Have the ability to make plays that cannot be stopped regardless of what your opponent does.  You just have too much firepower for the availability of a defense.  The closest to this kind of transition that we have seen in the last couple of years would be Dragon Rulers.  They had that kind of Draw power, and it was quickly banned.  That kind of consistency is unfair if combined with that much power.  The other thing that these decks showed us was; what type of cards need to be banned or a way to look to the future for the new unstoppable cards.  This format also showed the Yugioh community how to follow the Meta or else you lose.  The TeleDad format was probably the worst for this, but I have to say win or lose it was fast and furious.

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