About the Exodia Deck
In 2023 YCS Indianapolis, which took place on October 21st and 22nd, the player Jeffrey Leonard stood out to the viewers who were watching the event's broadcast, transmitted over on Konami's official channel, as they were using an Exodia deck (and winning) in one of the most important events in current Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG.
Even though they didn't make it to the tournament's top cut, Jeffrey won a few matches against meta decks, showcasing the deck's potential, and surely had a lot of fun doing so.
Exodia is one of the most iconic monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, known as the most powerful creature in the franchise. Besides that, "Exodia" refers to a monster archetype of the Spellcaster type, and Dark attribute. The archetype is focused on alternative win conditions, and is related to the "Forbidden One" archetype, which is this deck's main star, and can guarantee automatic victory to its player.
Check out how the Exodia deck works!
The five Exodia parts are the cards that give this deck its name, and are also its main win condition. Unlike other Exodia decks, these five parts can be accessed through a combo with this new strategy.
Blue Dragon Summoner is the one responsible for this deck's success, once all 4 Exodia limbs are searchable through a loop, whose effect we abuse.
Neo Space Connector is the main deck's main starter, because, besides placing two monsters on board, as a "1 card combo", it accesses Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin, which can deal with a handtrap on your opponent's hand, and guarantees the rest of your play some protection.
Infernoble Knight - Renaud is your main extender, be it when it is summoned from hand or your deck through your combo, besides being important to recycle an equipment spell in your graveyard.
Besides your extenders in monster form, the list counts with this "Instant Fusion Package", which is made of spell cards that can access extra deck monsters to fill your board.
To finish, The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine is a trap that works as an extender, just like the cards above.
Now, we reach your "Engine Igknight", which is extremely important in the deck and is responsible for spamming monsters during your combo's initial phases.
Equipment spells will be targeted by your Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights. Besides that, "Infernoble Arms - Durendal" is a consistency card, whereas Moon Mirror Shield is a card that guarantees protection to one of your monsters.
We've reached this deck's "techs", made up of basically anti-handtrap cards. That happens because this deck is vulnerable to these interactions.
To start your extra deck, we have the targets of your "Instant Fusion Package", which will be another Warrior type monster on your board.
Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights is your extra deck's main starter, and is the one responsible for your entire combo, once you'll enable your engines through her.
Cross-Sheep and Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer are two other combo pieces, but, unlike the ones before, they'll be used during Blue Dragon Summoner's loop, alongside your three copies of Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians.
The Exodia strategy is extremely simple: gather all five parts of "The Forbidden One" to declare automatic victory. However, unlike other decks with this same goal, this one isn't made of several random card draws, but rather cards that combo to add to your hand the necessary cards and win the duel automatically.
I'll leave below the standard combo if you open with Neo Space Connector + 1 another random card to discard:
> Next, activate Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin's effect discarding one card from your hand to destroy a monster (preferably a handtrap that could disrupt you) in your opponent's hand;
> Now, use the two monsters on your board to summon Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights;
> Once again place Igknight Templar and Igknight Crusader on their Pendulum Zones and, next, pendulum-summon Ignis Phoenix, the Dracoslayer and Igknight Gallant (from your extra deck) and Harmonizing Magician (from your hand);
> Next, activate Igknight Templar to destroy the Pendulum Zones, and protect them from being destroyed with Timestar Magician's effect, by sending Blue Dragon Summoner from your deck to your graveyard;
> Now, use Beyond the Pendulum and Timestar Magician as link material to summon your first Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians, which will have 3 counters because of the spell cards in your Pendulum Zones and another in your graveyard;
> Now, use Blue Dragon Summoner and Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians to summon Cross-Sheep and, next, activate Blue Dragon Summoner's effect in the graveyard to add Left Arm of the Forbidden One from your deck to your hand;
> By using Ignis Phoenix, the Dracoslayer and Igknight Gallant, use the contact fusion mechanic to summon Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer on one of the zones to which Cross-Sheep points, to use its effect and summon Blue Dragon Summoner again;
> Activate Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians' second effect again to remove 3 counters and summon Blue Dragon Summoner from your graveyard, and next, use them together with Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer to summon the third and last Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians;
> Activate Blue Dragon Summoner's effect again in your graveyard to add Right Arm of the Forbidden One from your deck to your hand, and Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians' effect to get 3 counters;
> Now, use both to summon Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess and activate Blue Dragon Summoner's effect in the graveyard for the last time to add Right Leg of the Forbidden One from your deck to your hand;
Like so, your board and hand will end up like this:
Now, you just need to declare automatic victory as you have all 5 Exodia limbs in your hand!
Main Matchups in the Format
There are two main factors that can define Exodia's matchups. The first of them is regarding which approach is popular in the format; whether it's handtraps or board breakers. And the second one is if you're playing first or second.
Even though this deck has a somewhat consistent combo, once it only needs to summon two Warriors on board to start it, this deck isn't resistant to handtrap interactions and very likely can't win consistently if other players are using them.
As to the next factor, even in a format with just a few handtraps being used, the Exodia deck is weak when it "goes second", as it doesn't have much space for many techs and doesn't have volume enough to break a well-established board.
In an attempt to improve the experience when it "goes second", Jeffrey Leonard used a side deck made of only board breakers that can remove spells/traps and monsters, clearly intending to clear the enemy board to be able to combo.
Like so, this matchup is favorable when it plays first against decks that don't use handtraps or don't have them in their opening hand to disrupt your combo, and is unfavorable against any deck if you're playing second. Besides that, the surprise factor is essential to this deck, as we can observe from Jeffrey L's results, who was undefeated until he showed up on the live broadcast.
So, what did you think of the deck? I hope you liked getting to know more about it and that you have a lot of fun with it.
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