One for the Tabletops: Vengeful Servant OTK

300px-VengefulServantCRMS-EN-C-1ESo, after reading another website’s article over the weekend, I stumbled upon a deck concept that I had never heard of before. Did you guys know that there’s an equip spell that says “When control of the equipped monster changes, inflict damage equal to its original ATK to its new controller”? Because I sure as hell didn’t, and I’ve been playing this game forever! This common, Vengeful Servant, came out of Crimson Crisis, and has seen almost 0% since. Of course, this just makes sense, because this is one of those cards that if you want to play it, you need to build a deck around it. So I thought I’d try my hand at it!

What, you really thought this was going to be a“Flip Geargiarmor, add Race Car” sort of deck? Absolutely not, this is an article for more casual/tabletop players, and players who would like to see what cool things the game of Yu-Gi-Oh! is capable of! This is the start of a series in which I will focus on several other cool deck ideas and aspects, like decks that can draw their entire deck on one turn, or decks that aim to win by having infinite life points. I’ll be looking at all sorts of decks, so make sure you look for the most recent One for the Tabletops article!

I read over the article a few times and gathered the pieces of information from it. Long story short, the old version of the deck relied on a turn that consisted of the following:

1. Play Giant Trunade, so that your play actually goes through.

2. Special Summon Grinder Golem to your opponent’s side of the field, giving you tokens and giving them a giant monster.

3. Play Enemy Controller / Creature Swap to get their Grinder Golem, tributing a token if you played E-Con.

4. Equip several Vengeful Servants to it and end your turn, burning your opponent for 6000+ damage. Optionally, play a second Enemy Controller during the End Phase, burning you, but burning them.

As you can see, this is an OTK combo that relies on several components:

  • A way to make sure your play goes through.
  • A large, easily-summoned monster. Optionally one that can be summoned to your opponent’s side of the field.
  • A way to change control of your easily-summoned monster. Typically more than one of these cards.
  • Vengeful Servant itself, optimally more than one copy.

So overall, you could call this a 4-card combo. In order to even make the plays that this deck plans on, you need to have a combination of the above cards. The good news is, we’re able to play a bunch of tutors for these cards, meaning that you’re effectively playing six copies of some cards in the deck.

In it’s most simple form, this deck’s OTK pieces consist of a tutorable field spell, two copies of a tutorable equip card, the Black Swan of the deck and a way to give that swan to your opponent. Since this deck has no alternate win condition, we’re pretty much able to build our deck with several goals in mind, namely these two:

1. Avoid taking damage as much as possible. Because we’re going to need a few turns to make this play happen.

2. Draw into our combo pieces as fast as possible, avoiding giving our opponent more life.

We also have to realize that we’ve got some more cards in our overall cardpool since the last time this deck saw any play, so let’s try and fool around with the deck again! Below is the deck that I pieced together after some testing. Afterward, I’ll give you guys an explanation of why I play certain cards, how certain interact with others in the deck, and I’ll detail some cards I tested but didn’t end up making the cut.

Vengeful Servant OTK

Main: 40

Monsters: 9

Spells: 22

Traps: 9

Purple Cards: 3

You can check out some of my awesome test hands by clicking this link.

The Monsters

GrinderGolemLCGX-EN-C-1ESimply, we’ve got Grinder Golem and Malefic Cyber End Dragon. Grinder Golem is the original piece of the puzzle, who is primarily good because of its natural synergy with both Enemy Controller and Creature Swap. He’s special summoned to your opponent’s side of the field (from your hand, like Lava Golem) by special summoning two 800 ATK tokens to your side of the field in attack position, meaning that both you and your opponent get a monster out of its summon.

“You said Lava Golem. Why aren’t we playing Lava Golem?”

Yeah, he’s awesome in theory-oh because he can do what Grinder Golem essentially does, plus burn for an extra thousand damage! But he also relies on your opponent having more than one monster. While this is an awesome 2-for-1, in addition to setting up for your Vengeful Servant play, this card relies too heavily on your opponent to make it live. I could maybe see this card either as a one-of, replacing a single copy of Grinder Golem, but you certainly can’t

300px-MaleficCyberEndDragonYMP1-EN-ScR-LESo now let’s talk about Malefic Cyber End Dragon, one of the best more-recent cards that this deck has gotten. Forget about 3000 ATK, MCED has 4000, son! This literally makes MCED this deck’s saving grace, and let me explain why. Originally, with the Grinder Golem / Enemy Controller or Creature Swap / Vengeful Servant play, you could only do so much damage; it was difficult to actually deal the 8000 damage you needed to end the game. But with MCED, we’re able to do the 8000 damage with:

  • x1 MCED
  • x1 Black Garden
  • x1-2 Enemy Controller and Creature Swap
  • x1-2 Vengeful Servant
  • x1 Trap Stun

You’re able to either equip two Vengeful Servants and Creature Swap the MCED over to your opponent, or use one Vengeful Servant, MCED, a token from Black Garden or a Swift Scarecrow, Enemy Controller and a Creature Swap to pass the MCED around a few times before burning your opponent for game. With the second method, you have to be prepared to take 4000 damage, meaning you have to fully utilize those Swift Scarecrows and Threatening Roars. The first method, however, is more common, and you’re able to gobble up tons of damage before you actually feel threatened.

The Spells

500px-BlackGarden-AP04-EN-C-UELike I’ve said above, all this deck wants to do is draw into its OTK pieces. This is why you play x3 “This Isn’t My Black Garden!” and x3 “This Isn’t My Vengeful Servant!” in the forms of Terraforming and Hidden Armory, respectively. While Terraforming needs no explanation, we need to briefly look at Hidden Armory, because it’s not the Terraforming for equip spells by any means.

Instead, Hidden Armory is a necessary evil; in exchange for getting an essential copy of Vengeful Servant, we have to give up another freaking turn since we can’t Normal or Special Summon for the rest of that turn. The upside is that we can play this card in the same turn as Pot of Duality and not be hindered in any way, but I’m not sure how that’s a redeeming quality.

x3 of both Creature Swap and Enemy Controller are mandatory because they’re the deck’s combo pieces. You gotta note a few things though, which helps explain why you still gotta play the Grinder Golem:

-If you want to go for the easy 8000 damage with MCED, you need Creature Swap, since you’ll be giving your own monster to your opponent.

-If you want to beat your opponent with the Grinder Golem method, you’re able to pick your poison in terms of Creature Swap or Enemy Controller.

CreatureSwap-SDMA-EN-C-1ENeither is better than the other, since they both have their pros and cons. Creature Swap /  Enemy Controller / Grinder Golem / x2 Vengeful Servant is the less sloppy combo, since you don’t need to rely on too many extraneous combo pieces; you just drop the Golem, take it back, attack into a token for 2200, equip the Vengeful Servants and then pass it back to your opponent, but this play relies on having both an E-Con and a Creature Swap. The MCED version is able to get away with using just one “change control” card, though it then requires an active field spell as an additional OTK piece.

Back in the day, we weren’t fortunate enough to have access to Pot of Duality. Like Hidden Armory, Pot of Duality forces you to give up your ability to win that turn for giving you a chance to dig for your combo pieces. Pot of Duality is essential because it grabs the combo pieces that your other tutors can’t, namely Trap Stun, Creature Swap / Enemy Controller and MCED.

Similarly, we play Dark World Dealings because it lets us dig through our deck. However, Dark World Dealings is actually pretty bad, because most of the time you’re not going to have a card that isn’t an essential combo piece in your hand. Typically, you’d find yourself discarding a spare Grinder Golem or a dead Terraforming. While I tested Cardcar D in Dark World Dealings’ slot, I don’t think I liked that too much either, since you couldn’t play Cardcar and Hidden Armory on the same turn, even though they both tried to serve a similar early-game purpose.

We play Black Garden because of some of the synergy it has with the rest of the deck. Since we don’t want to take a lot of damage, Black Garden is awesome because it’ll half the attack of your opponent’s monsters, meaning that if your opponent’s monster normally under 2000 attack, you could afford to take several attacks before you’re forced to start worrying. In addition, Black Garden will provide you with tribute fodder for your Enemy Controllers and Creature Swaps, making it even more decent. Another list I saw was playing a single copy of The Seal of Orichalcos in addition to the Black Gardens, and I could see why: it’s literally for it’s inability to lose to a single MST. I don’t think the deck is supposed to play x3 field spells, but you could easily cut a Terraforming for a Seal of Orichalcos if you were feeling adventurous.

300px-ThreateningRoar-YSKR-EN-C-1EThreatening Roar is run in threes for the exact same reason as Swift Scarecrow: we need to avoid taking damage as much as possible. Six copies of attack-blockers is decent since we’ got an alright chance of opening it in our opening hand, but we also have to realize that neither of these cards are truly an essential combo piece. Even though we can tutor these out with Pot of Duality, we’d rather just gobble up  some damage and use our Dualities to get combo pieces.

Reckless Greed is another necessary evil with this deck, and it’s probably not going to permanently stay in the mainboard. Maybe I’m just unlucky, but Reckless Greed is too big of a gamble for this deck; even if you draw several copies of it, you need to Reckless either into your win condition or into a way for you to stall until Reckless wears off so that you can draw into your OTK. While Reckless Greed in a deck like Mermails is alright, since they can make anything happen given almost any two cards, this deck relies too much on having a consistent way to draw cards.

300px-supplysquad-ys14-en-c-1e (1)This last sentence gave me an idea for a second structure for the deck’s stall engine: Supply Squad and Tokens! The tokens would enable you to eat up attacks, provide fodder for Enemy Controller / Creature Swap, and Supply Squad would provide you with the one thing this deck needs most: the ability to see more of your deck. This would mean playing the obvious Scapegoat, but you could also potentially play around with Hippo Carnival, which would essentially do the same thing for you. Although both cards do similar things, you’d rather max out Scapegoat because Hippo Carnival doesn’t work with Enemy Controller, making it instantly significantly worse than good ol’ goats. Although this option sounds cool, it takes up a ton of slots in your deck.

Vengeful Servant OTK (Supply Unit Variant)

Main: 40

Monsters: 6

  • x3 Grinder Golem
  • x3 Malefic Cyber End Dragon

Spells: 28

  • x2 Black Garden
  • x3 Creature Swap
  • x3 Supply Unit
  • x3 Enemy Controller
  • x3 Hidden Armory
  • x3 Pot of Duality
  • x3 Terraforming
  • x3 Scapegoat
  • x2 Hippo Carnival
  • x3 Vengeful Servant

Traps: 6

  • x3 Reckless Greed
  • x3 Trap Stun

Purple Cards: 3

  • x3 Cyber End Dragon

You can check out some of my awesome test hands by clicking this link.

TrapStun-RGBT-EN-C-UEThis build plays similarly to the previous build; you stall out as long as you can until you’re able to make your awesome play go off. “But how exactly do these decks play,” you ask? Well, it plays like any other combo deck. When you want to make your OTK happen, you have to know it’s going to go off. In this deck, it means you need to Trap Stun during your draw phase before wrecking shop with your actual combo. This is clearly the first flaw to playing this deck: your Cold Wave can be Wiretapped, forcing you to gamble before you even go off.

The next flaw to this deck is that it has to draw into half of its combo engine. Like I’ve said above, you can’t tutor out MCED or Creature Swap / Enemy Controller, meaning you could find yourself waiting a ton of turns before your play goes off. This means that you need to capitalize on all of your cards to stay alive as long as possible. You want to win the die roll and go first (but this goes without saying). You want to establish Black Garden as fast as possible so that you can minimize the damage you take, and then try as hard as you can to draw into your combo pieces.

Just like in any deck that plays cards like Threatening Roar and Swift Scarecrow, you need to be able to capitalize on it as much as possible. This means that you need to have a thorough understanding of Life Point Theory; you should know how many attacks you’re able to afford before you’re truly forced to play your Threatening Roar or Swift Scarecrow. Besides, since you’re planning on taking significantly less damage from attacks with an established Black Garden, you should just save your Threatening Roars for when your opponent really has an established board and is actively pushing for game.

Anyways, that’s the Vengeful Servant OTK! While I would be wary about taking this deck to a premier-level tournament, this OTK is interesting because it presents a different perspective on certain cards interact with each other. There are probably tons of these in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh!; what’s your favorite OTK/FTK? Let us know in the comments below!

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