Yu-Gi-Oh Corner: Beating the XYZ monsters

We here at WASDUK are really not used to playing any card game that doesn’t end in nakedness, so it’s up to faithful WASDuk contributor and all-around awesome bloke John Brizuela to offer some handy hints on tackling Yu-Gi-Oh’s nastier cards, the XYZ monsters, with a gallery of all the cards used:

Have you ever thought that XYZ monsters are harder to beat the harder they are to summon?  Well, don’t be afraid to have a blast in the past against these high-level XYZ monsters: monsters that have made themselves Yu-Gi-Oh legend. In this guide, we’ll focus mainly on XYZ monsters – but as an exception, we’ll also be mentioning the usefulness of the Stardust Dragon, and Lava Golem cards.

Firstly, we’ll take a look at the common hieratic XYZ menaces, namely Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis (an 8-star XYZ) and Dragon King of Atum (a 6-Star XYZ). Why not make a deck that focuses on easy summoning directly to the field by a normal summon (4 stars or less), without risking negation of your tribute/special summoning?

To do this, we need a lower-level deck.  Something that lets us pump our monsters directly into play, while keeping the big boys at bay. The best choices here are Thunder King Rai-Oh, which not only prevents special summoning of the next hieratic XYZ monster (or any other Monster, as a matter of fact) by destroying himself, but prevents your opponent from drawing extra cards to save up a handful of XYZ summoning.  This effect hits you, too, but it’s all part of the plan.

Consider also Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo as part of your army. It’s a pretty good card for this strategy, because as long as it’s on the field NO monster can be special summoned, which makes it perfect for our needs.  And that’s not all.  If you set this 4-star monster, he can be protected with the trap card A Feint Plan, which is activated in response to a hieratic monster’s target, keeping your opponent from attacking and allowing you to flip it into attack position next turn to destroy all special summoned Monsters.  Simple.

a 'tache you can surely trust

a ‘tache you can surely trust

On the subject of trap cards: in a lower-level deck fighting high-level XYZ monsters that tribute, such as the hieratic XYZ monsters, make sure to include the legendary Mask of Restrict continuous trap card (which you may remember was aired in the four-streak episodes of the tag team duel between the rare hunters, Umbra and Lumis, against Yugi Motto and Seto Kaiba. It never hurts to play old-school). Tribute is still a major tactic in the game, especially by those who use hieratic XYZ monsters. You could think about defending Mask of Restrict with a card like Fake Trap (continuous trap cards cannot be chained and need backup).

Secondly, we can consider using our own XYZ monsters to take down others. Take advantage of the “semi-old-school” cards, and your 4-level star (or even lower) monsters, such as Number 39: Utopia or Number 17: Leviathan Dragon to either block your opponent’s attack or match their strength by attacking directly while the XYZ material monsters last.


useful in a pinch

It’s also a good idea to make most of your lower-level monsters LIGHT attribute, such as the Lightsworn archetype, and include the quick-spell card, Emergency Provisions to get rid of Mask of Restrict, and allow you to summon key cards that can battle XYZ, such as a Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon (used in the first battle between Yuma Tsukumo and Kite Tenjo).  This card removes XYZ monsters and returns both, but Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon returns with a tasty extra 500 ATK. You could also try sacrificing the opponent’s XYZ monsters after riding Mask of Restrict, with Lava Golem, a key element played in the battle between Marik Ishtar and Joey Wheeler. Even better, you could try summoning Lightsworn Dragon in your Lightsworn deck archetype.

If you don’t feel that you are in the position to sacrifice and match XYZ monsters and/or you run out of spell/trap Cards, try to have most of the spell cards in your deck be quick-play with unique abilities that activate when your opponent destroys your spells and traps, such as Quick Booster, which will let you choose another quick spell card from your deck to pop into your hand (as long as your Thunder King Rai-Oh isn’t on the field), or use Starlight Road to negate your opponent’s effect (which would have destroyed a minimum of two of your cards), and special summon Yusei Fudo’s favourite card, Stardust Dragon to keep your Life Points nice and safe. If you don’t have monsters to sacrifice or match levels to XYZ summon, don’t forget to add Resonance Device. Though not quick-play, it is worth having a normal spell like this to match the levels of your lower-level monsters (though they will need to be of the same type, like a warrior) ,which allows you to beef up the levels of lower cards, and summon Blade Armor Ninja or Heroic Champion – Excalibur ( for Warrior-types only), Maestroke the Symphony Djinn or a LIGHT XYZ monster, which should give you the edge.  Don’t forget that Honest is a  great match-up with Heroic Champion – Excalibur to surprise your opponent by boosting your level 4 monsters directly from your hand!

Since the deck discussed thus far has quite a few low-level monsters in it, it’d be pretty savvy to include few high-level monsters to avoid unnecessary surprises.

If you’re afraid that you’ll be mostly limited to one normal summon per turn, you could add Photon Thrasher (a Warrior-type with a light attribute) to XYZ summon Heroic Champion – Excalibur or Number 39: Utopia, or tribute it with another LIGHT monster to tribute summon Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. You could also have up to three Heroic Challenger – Double Lance cards (also warrior types).

your opponent should get used to seeing these

your opponent should get used to seeing these

You could also try fighting their XYZ monsters with your own 4-star XYZ monsters with multiple effects, such as Gagaga Cowboy in defense position to take a maximum of 1600 Life Points in combination with Lava Golem (which takes 1000 Life Points at the standby phase of your opponent’s turn).  Make sure to use the equip spell card Flint to stall Lava Golem from attacking you or your monsters, and throw in some quick-play spell cards that also respond to the destruction, allowing you to special summon monster tokens, such as Scapegoat.

Make sure that you are rewarded for having multiple monsters by adding the XYZ monster Number 104: Masquerade to your extra deck. Used wisely, it’ll cripple your opponent on activating a monster card’s effect and inflict a nasty 800 damage, not to mention discarding the top card of your opponent’s deck.  It’s also worth making mention of Number 101: Silent Horror ARK.  It’s an easy enough XYZ summon (two 4-level star monsters) and you detach the two to equip an opponent’s attack position monster to this card as an equip spell card once per turn, which is much safer than the effects of destroying, removing, or returning it to the hand, deck or extra deck.

Now that we know a Lightsworn Deck is what we’re aiming for, we have to make sure that we can get a quick summoning out, with Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon.  It helps to have the spell card Photon Sanctuary, which gives two free monster tokens for a direct tribute summon of Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon in the same turn, or protect the tokens to switch into attack position next turn with 2000 ATK each.  This can be done by using Negate Attack, Mirror Force, or even a card that can be chained if targeted, like Threatening Roar on your opponent’s turn.


perfect if you need a light monster in a hurry

perfect if you need a light monster in a hurry

Protecting your XYZ or other high-level monsters that are hard to summon is pretty important, so make sure to use cards such as Interdimensional Matter Transporter or play dirty with a Bottomless Trap Hole or, even better, a Deep Dark Trap Hole, which doesn’t destroy the monster in the process, like the bottomless kind. You might want to consider some cards to protect your other cards from destruction. In this case, include a Compulsory Evacuation Device.

Need another quick way to show your power?  Try speeding up the summoning of your Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!  If you add 3 Alexandrite Dragon cards and a Rescue Rabbit, you can tribute Rescue Rabbit to special summon 2 Alexandrite Dragon cards from your deck (as long as your Thunder King Rai-Oh is not on the field). Then, either tribute them for Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon or try to XYZ summon.  You’re short one monster for Number 104: Masquerade, so use a Monster Reborn to special summon a monster from your graveyard (or your opponent’s) and make sure it’s a level 4.. If you choose to go into the battle phase with your 2 Alexandrite Dragon cards, make sure you have the trap card, Photon Current, to boost the attack points of either by 2000 when attacking.

And if all else fails for you, you could always try DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE: If you special summon Stardust Dragon successfully by using Starlight Road (altogether better than using Monsters since we didn’t talk tuners), special summon Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon using Photon Sanctuary (the easiest way to summon it), and special summon Judgement Dragon by having 4 on more Lightsworn in your graveyard with different names, you can XYZ summon: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon using these 3 level 8-star monsters as XYZ material monsters!

Using some of these handy tips, you should find that XYZ monsters (especially at the higher levels) pose much less of a threat to your deck!  And remember to keep up to date on your tactics and strategies at the Duelist Network!  Good luck!



Do you have any useful strategies or tips to help make the most of a deck?  If so, make sure to comment below!

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