At the YCS Bologna 2023, which happened on December 8th, 9th and 10th, the German player Joshua Schmidt became champion, conquering his fourth YCS title using a deck that was completely off everyone's radar: Runick Bystial.
Runick is an archetype based on Nordic mythology, focused on controlling the game through its Quick Spells, which have several interaction effects. After resolving them, they force your opponent to ban cards from the top of their deck. Another interesting characteristic of the Runick spells is that they can be used to summon this archetype's fusion monsters. Additionally, as long as the field spell Runick Fountain is active, the Runick Quick Spells can be activated straight from their controller's hands.
As for Bystial, it is an archetype focused on Dragon-type Light-attribute and Dark-attribute monsters. Besides their interaction with the "branded" archetype, Bystials are known for the effect their level 6 monsters share, which allows them to be special-summoned from your hand when you banish a Light or Dark monster from any graveyard in play.
Apart from these two archetypes, this deck uses various Synchro monsters, which are critical for this strategy.
Check out below how Runick Bystial works!
Guiding Quem, the Virtuous is the main "normal summon" and is also responsible for starting your best combos, considering it helps you place another level 4 tuner on board. Additionally, "Guiding Quem" can help you protect Runick monsters from opponent interactions through a "chain block".
Blazing Cartesia, the Virtuous is the main target for Guiding Quem, the Virtuous' effect, which sends it from your deck to the graveyard, and then summons it from there to use it as material for synchro-summons.
As for The Bystial Aluber, it works as a second copy of Blazing Cartesia, the Virtuous because it is accessible through Guiding Quem, the Virtuous, and because it is also a level 4 tuner. It can also be accessed through The Bystial Lubellion.
The other Bystials are multifunctional because, apart from their exclusive effects, they serve as interaction against Light or Dark monsters in your opponent's graveyard and are essential to access your Synchro 10 monsters.
Branded Regained is critical for this deck's strategy because, besides recycling Bystial monsters from your graveyard, it is also responsible for recycling monsters like Hugin the Runick Wings and S:P Little Knight that were banished before. Another positive point this card brings is the additional "draw power" it provides, which is essential for decks that use the Runick engine.
Runick Fountain is the Runick engine's main card, considering that, besides guaranteeing "draw power" and recycling absurd cards, it is the card responsible for allowing this archetype's Quick Spells to be activated from your hand during your opponent's turn.
The other Runick cards work both as interaction against your opponent and as "starters", considering they can access Runick fusions.
Additionally, these are the cards that enable a victory through "deck out" because they force your opponent to ban cards from the top of their deck when their effects are resolved.
Duality is a surprise in this deck and has the important role of protecting your starters from effects that target them, such as being targeted by an infinite Impermanence, for instance. Like so, it allows your effects to resolve, and besides this, places another body on board in the shape of a monster from your extra deck.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is the only handtrap present in this deck. This card is in this list because it is the most generic option among all others, which makes it useful for any matchup.
This deck only uses three Runick fusions that work as extenders, apart from "Sleipnir".
Hugin the Runick Wings is a starter because it searches for your field spell and can also protect it. Geri the Runick Fangs recycles your Quick Spells. And Sleipnir the Runick Mane is the only proactive monster-shaped interaction in this archetype.
We've reached the powerful Synchro 10 monsters we can use. Baronne de Fleur stands out from the others because it is an omni-negate and will usually be the first of them to be summoned. However, depending on the matchup, any of the others can be a viable option for your initial board.
Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend is the only Synchro 8 monster in this deck and is quite interesting to use if you go second to deal with multiple monsters using a single effect. Besides, the damage it deals to health points can be something relevant if the match is close to its end.
This deck's only xyz monster is Super Starslayer TY-PHON - Sky Crisis. It is your "out" against your opponent's "towers" in moments in which you wouldn't usually be able to go through them in any other way.
The most important card in the format is also critical in this deck. Besides its effect providing extremely strong interactions, it has synergy with Branded Regained, which is just terrific.
Runick Bystial's Goal
Runick Bystial is a deck that can execute multiple special-summons when you play out its combo, and its final goal is to form a board with Baronne de Fleur and S:P Little Knight, besides, of course, Runick Fountain and Branded Regained active in your backrow.
I'll leave the standard combo down below, if you open with Guiding Quem, the Virtuous + 2 Runick Quick Spells + 1 random card you can discard:
> Now, activate your first Runick spell to summon Hugin the Runick Wings;
> Organize the chain in the following way: Hugin the Runick Wings as chain link 1 (discarding a card as the cost to add Runick Fountain) and Guiding Quem, the Virtuous as chain link 2 (to summon Blazing Cartesia, the Virtuous from the graveyard);
> Organize the chain in the following way: Runick Fountain as chain link 1 (by returning 2 Runick spells in your graveyard to the bottom of your deck) and Hugin the Runick Wings as chain link 2 (to add the second copy of Runick Fountain from your deck to your hand);
> After the chain resolves, let's assume one of the cards you drew was a The Bystial Lubellion; activate its effect by sending it to the graveyard to add Bystial Magnamhut from your deck to your hand;
> Summon Bystial Magnamhut through its own effect by banishing Tri-Edge Master in your graveyard and, next, activate its effect to add another Bystial monster in your deck to your hand during your turn's final phase;
Like so, your board will end up like this:
Besides the monster interactions, you'll have the other cards in your hand, and, if there are any Runick cards, you'll have more interactions to deal with your opponent, besides being able to draw more cards during their turn.
Main Matchups in the Format
Runick Bystial can form a very secure board with shared interactions, which means this deck is great when you are the first to play. When you "go second", because this deck has limited space for techs, it is at a disadvantage, and is quite dependent on the matchup. The matchup needs to allow Bystial to be used as techs and/or allow Runick Quick Spells to be used as good board breakers.
Like so, this deck tends to have a good matchup against decks like Tearlaments, Unchained and Labrynth. But, on the other side, it tends to have problems against decks like Rescue-Ace and Infernoble Knight.
Additionally, even though its combo can protect some of your interactions with "chain blocks", the best way to stop this deck is by using handtraps, particularly Droll & Lock Bird because, besides adding specific cards to your hand many times during your combo, this deck also depends on a few random draws.
So, what did you think of this deck? I hope you liked discovering more about it and that you have a lot of fun playing it.
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