Today we’re taking a look at a YuGiOh Beatdown deck from the 2003 Legacy of Darkness (LOD) Advanced format. The deck list is from the Old School Expert on YouTube.
1 Airknight Parshath
1 Cyber Jar
1 Fiber Jar
1 Exiled Force
3 Gemini Elf
1 Injection Fairy Lily
1 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
1 Magician of Faith
3 Spear Dragon
1 Witch of the Black Forest
1 United We Stand
1 Premature Burial
1 Monster Reborn
1 Change of Heart
1 Snatch Steal
1 Dark Hole
1 Heavy Storm
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 The Forceful Sentry
1 Delinquent Duo
1 Pot of Greed
2 Graceful Charity
1 Painful Choice
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Magic Cylinder
1 Mirror Force
1 Imperial Order
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Axe of Despair
1 Dark Ruler Ha Des
1 Magic Jammer
1 Mage Power
2 Magic Drain
2 Nobleman of Crossout
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Penguin Soldier
1 Swords of Revealing Light
1 Trap Hole
Here’s the breakdown video from the Old School Expert on YouTube!
Monster Cards in 2003 Beatdown Decks
Airknight Parshath was a meta monster for a long time. While 1900 ATK doesn’t seem that great on a Level 5 monster, his effects are worth playing him. The piercing battle damage and card draw when he did battle damage were the reasons you played him. Oh, and he was one of the few good LIGHT-attribute monsters back then.
Cyber Jar and Fiber Jar are busted cards. Fiber Jar, was an awesome reset button, something that was great against the beatdown mirror match. Cyber Jar was a great way to swing the game back in your favor, too. It could help your opponent more than it could help you, so you had to time playing it correctly. I usually played a LOT with Cyber Jar.
Jinzo is awesome, and the only reason I didn’t play him back then was I didn’t have one for years. He shut down all traps, which meant your monsters could usually attack pretty freely.
Exiled Force is an amazing monster. He was limited to one copy per deck for good reason. You’d play him and tribute him to kill any monster your opponent had, even face-down! He saw play deep into my own time playing YuGiOh. When Warriors became better and better for a few years, Reinforcement of the Army often searched him up. Exiled Force actually got better over the years, when there were more ways to special summon him. Even having to use your Normal Summon was often worth it just to deal with a problem monster.
Gemini Elf is actually one of my favorite monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh based on flavor. I played the lovely Elf twins later in Spellcaster decks, but not really in my early decks. She was awesome.
Injection Fairy Lily was another card I never owned early in my playing days. I did play her in Spellcasters later. Yeah, paying 2000 LP for her to gain 3000 ATK was simply pretty dumb. She was pretty busted for many years in competitive play.
Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer was an awesome meta-game defying monster for years. Oddly, he’s really still pretty decent in Modern Yu-Gi-Oh, too. Man, I loved this guy. Removing monsters from your opponent’s Graveyard and keeping them from banishing things (a big deal back then, too) was pretty sick. Having 1800 ATK was good too. I think I played two back then, and that’s my preference. But, one is good.
Magician of Faith was just good, getting back any spell card you needed. I think they only banned her later on because she just became too much of a staple in so many deck. The instant speed spell Magical Dimension made her busted, too…
Sangan got you a lot of good stuff, anything with 1500 ATK or less. He was banned for many years in competitive play, until he received an errata. Even with his errata, though, he’s still actually playable. You just have to be choosy with what you get.
Spear Dragon was the other premier beatstick monster at the time – other than Goblin Attack Force. Like Attack Force, Spear Dragon went into defense after attacking. The advantage of the Dragon was that he would inflict piercing battle damage. Soon after the time that this deck would’ve been built, Final Attack Orders from Dark Crisis suddenly made these monsters good; they also got the 1900 ATK Archfiend Soldier to back them up. I never played that deck myself, but it actually was pretty good. And Spear Dragon was good enough that even with the drawback he was still very playable.
Witch of the Black Forest was banned in tournament play by the time I played in competitive tournaments. But, dang she could get almost anything good back then: anything with 1500 DEF or less. She’s playable once again in Modern Yu-Gi-Oh, with a similar errata to Sangan, but still not bad.
Yata-Garasu was in every competitive deck back then because of the “Yata-Lock.” Making your opponent skip a draw phase and have the Spirit Bird bounce back to your hand was just too busted. Yata was banned by the time I played, thankfully. The Bird is a ton of fun to play in “Goat Format,” though.
Spell & Trap Cards in 2003 Beatdown Decks
Like many decks at the time, the spell cards are all pretty much what you’d expect to see in many decks. There was the hand control trio of Confiscation, Delinquent Duo, and The Forceful Sentry, all of which would eventually be banned. There were your grave reanimation cards like Monster Reborn and Premature Burial.
You had your monster stealing cards in Change of Heart and Snatch Steal. Monster destruction came in the form of Dark Hole and Raigeki. The spell and trap destruction suite ran 1 Heavy Storm and 2 Mystical Space Typhoon. The draw cards were a Pot of Greed and 2 Graceful Charity. Also, Painful Choice was a pretty sweet card to fill your graveyard, and was later banned for all of the crazy stuff you could do with it.
The card that’s really unique to Beatdown is United We Stand. Actually, most beatdown decks, including the one I used to play, played Axe of Despair and Mage Power in the main deck. (This deck has them in the sideboard). United We Stand gives the equipped monster 800 ATK for each face-up monster you control! It would actually be banned for some time due to its power level. Maha Vailo decks were a thing at the time, too, and this was at least 1300 ATK just with that crazy powerful guy.
You didn’t really play many main-deck traps in this Beatdown deck, since you run Jinzo, of course. But, you played the staples: 2 Bottomless Trap Hole, 1 Magic Cylinder, 1 Mirror Force, 1 Imperial Order, and 1 Torrential Tribute. Imperial Order was a stupid card and I’m glad they banned it, that spell-cancelling card was just way too unfair. Of course, it’s now legal again in Modern Yu-Gi-Oh, and with all the busted combos in today’s game, it’s actually somewhat fair.
Beatdown Deck Sideboard Breakdown
The Old School Expert’s list runs Axe of Despair and Mage Power, beatdown staples, in the sideboard. Honestly, I understand why. This deck isn’t based around Maha Vailo, the 1550 ATK Light Monster that gains 500 ATK for each Equip Card equipped to this card. A lot of beatdown decks were. But a heavy reliance on Equips isn’t always the best way to go, as MST would often just blow them up during combat and 2-for-1, or even 3-for-1, or 4-for-1 if you had multiple copies on the board.
Fortunately, you had ways to stop people from blowing up your equips: Magic Jammer and Magic Drain. Magic Drain saw play far longer than Magic Jammer, despite the fact that Drain is in some ways worse than Jammer. Magic Jammer requires a discard from you, though, and Drain gives your opponent the option to discard a Spell Card of their own to counter the Drain.
Nobleman of Crossout is a card that I usually played in the main=deck, but at this point, a lot of people were playing beatdown, so this card was better in the sideboard. Later, everyone would play two Nobleman of Crossouts main board. Not only did it banish the facedown monster, but it also was murder to flip effect monsters. The interesting thing is that both players had to reveal their decks to remove any copies of that flip effect monster. So, you got to learn a lot about each other’s decks. And if you were playing the same monster, it could actually backfire on you. Usually, though, I rarely ever had this happen to me.
Solemn Judgment wasn’t a card many people played in the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh. You could run three. But one copy in the sideboard makes sense, as an answer to something that you couldn’t otherwise deal with.
Fissure was probably some of the best removal available at the time. It wasn’t always the best card, but hey, it was playable. Smashing Ground would be way better later.
Trap Hole was in the sideboard for extra monster removal. Swords of Revealing Light and Waboku were good in the beatdown mirror. Swords gave you both an option to stall while you build your position back up and Waboku could help you “win” some unfavorable battles.
The two monsters in the sideboard are two that I played in my main board. Dark Ruler Ha Des could run over anything except Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician, and Summoned Skull at the time. Believe it or not, none of them saw a ton of meta play. While you couldn’t special summon Dark Ruler Ha Des from the grave, his effect made up for that: he negates the effects of any monsters he destroys, including things like flip effect monsters, Sangan, and Witch.
Penguin Soldier seems weird in a beatdown deck, but if you were going up a deck that ran big fusion monsters or ritual monsters, this little guy was huge. Also, he really could set your opponent back a turn or two, especially if you bounced two of your opponent’s guys back. People wouldn’t see it coming. It was pretty sweet.
My Thoughts on Old School YuGiOh Beatdown Decks
I used to run a deck with a similar theme to this beatdown deck. But, as I played a little bit later than this deck would’ve been run, I had access to some cheaper beatdown monsters. These included Archfiend Soldier and Skilled Dark Magician, instead of the much more expensive (at the time) Gemini Elf and Spear Dragon. They were also Dark monsters. Don’t get me wrong. I love Gemini Elf. But, they were a lot harder to get back then.
I also didn’t own a Jinzo. So, I played Dark Ruler Ha Des instead. Actually, he was a really good card in those days, as he shut down so many effects. He also ran over Jinzo and Monarchs, which made “good players” mad. I used to play Summoned Skull, too, because I was both good and bad at the game at the same time. I never played much Airknight Parshath. I thought he was too weak for a tribute monster back then. I think he’s pretty sweet now, especially for the piercing battle damage and card draw.
Fiber Jar wasn’t legal in tournament play by that point – although I owned a really beat up copy that I played in casual Traditional duels (those without the forbidden cards). Cyber Jar, on the other hand, was one of my best friends even in competition before he finally left competitive play for good.
I also didn’t get to play the hand control spells like Confiscation, Delinquent Duo, and The Forceful Sentry, although I think Duo was available. I didn’t think Duo was all that great. All three together are devastating, though. That’s especially true when you’re playing Beatdown decks, because you can really slow your opponent down picking apart their hand.
Had I been playing when a lot of these cards weren’t banned, I’m sure I would’ve played them in tournaments. I was still playing Traditional at this time, as I didn’t like the idea of forbidden cards. That’s why I played Chaos…and a lot of people still do!
I really like the Old School Expert’s deck and personally I’d only make a couple of changes, like two copies of Kycoo instead of one. I wouldn’t ever have been able to afford Mechanical Chasers, which were no joke $200 at that point. So, I would’ve settled for Spear Dragon. Like the Expert, I never really liked playing Goblin Attack Force. This probably is the deck I would’ve played with just a few slight modifications.
Did you ever play beatdown decks in YuGiOh? It was such a fun, innocent deck that just doesn’t really play well in today’s game. But, it still needed a ton of strategy to run, and everyone’s beatdown deck was a little different. So much fun!