Four steps to building on a budget

PotofRiches-MP15-EN-ScR-1EIf you want to perform the best, you need to use the best deck. This gives you the best chance of winning and affords you more misplays than playing a worse deck. While there are valid reasons not to play the best deck, the most common is price. Yugioh is a hobby. Hobbies are expensive. They’re not required, and you pay money to do your hobby because you enjoy it. While making money playing yugioh is possible, that’s not what today is about. At the time of writing this, Shining Victories is the latest set. I’m going to take a look at Performapals, and see what we can save. The process is the same for any deck, in any currency.

I like for looking at decks, both recent and from the past. Searching can be a little clunky, especially when traveling back in time. Let’s get into it. You need a deck that you want to play. I’ve chosen Performapals as my example. Performapals aren’t the cheapest, especially when all high rarity, but that’s okay. We’re going to make it work. According to YugiohTopDecks, Performapals cost between $300 and $500, obviously varying between lists and the number of expensive cards.

Step 1: Pick a deck

I’ve chosen Performapals for the first example. This is the list I’ve chosen. It’s Steve Gleason’s list from YCS Rhode Island, last month. YugiohTopDecks claims it’s $400.

pricey pals

2 Archfiend Eccentrick
3 Guiding Ariadne
1 Lector Pendulum, the Dracoverlord
1 Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
3 Magical Abductor
3 Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin
3 Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
1 Performapal Guitartle
1 Performapal Lizardraw
1 Performapal Monkeyboard
1 Performapal Odd-Eyes Light Phoenix
2 Performapal Odd-Eyes Unicorn
3 Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer
1 Performapal Skullcrobat Joker
1 Vector Pendulum, the Dracoverlord
1 Draco Face-Off
1 Odd-Eyes Fusion
2 Painful Decision
2 Sky Iris
2 Terraforming
1 Chaos Trap Hole
2 Solemn Scolding
1 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning

Fusion: 4 / Synchro: 1 / Xyz: 10
2 Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer
2 Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon-Type
1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasing Dracoslayer
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Majester Paladin, the Ascending Dracoslayer
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia Prime
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon

Monsters: 4 / Spells: 9 / Traps: 2
2 Denko Sekka
2 Maxx “C”
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Necrovalley
2 Pendulum Storm
1 Raigeki
2 System Down
2 Mask of Restrict

This is our starting list. According to YugiohTopDecks, three Pendulum Sorcerer are about $60, two Painful Decision are about $50, Solemn Strike is about $50, and Odd-Eyes Fusion is about $40. In the Extra Deck, Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon is about $20, the Lightning and Odd-Eyes Rebellion are both $15 and Daigusto Emeral is $10. Figuring out what the most expensive cards are isn’t hard, but a lot of players don’t do this. This leads us to our next step.

Step 2: Find what can’t be replaced

You can build a garbage tournament legal deck for under $5. We’re trying to win, which is different. The goal is to build a good deck, with some monetary constraints. Some cards will be downgraded because it’s cheaper, other cards simply aren’t necessary.

PerformapalPendulumSorcererPerformapal Pendulum Sorcerer, Painful Decision, Solemn Strike, Solemn Scolding, Odd-Eyes Fusion, Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon and Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon are all secret rares. All of these are very good in the deck, and I’d say get them if you have the money, but the goal is to see what we can do without.

Pendulum Sorcerer really can’t be replaced as he’s so integral to the deck and the whole reason to play Performapals. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was consistently winning their locals with a deck without any of the others.

3 Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer $60
2 Painful Decision $50
2 Odd-Eyes Fusion $40
1-3 Solemn Strike $50-150
1-3 Solemn Scolding $5-20
2 Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon $40
1 Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon $15

If we only buy the Pendulum Sorcerers, that’s between $200 and $315 that we save. That’s pretty significant.

Step 3: Find replacements

So we’ve cut the following:
2 Painful Decision
1 Odd-Eyes Fusion
1 Solemn Strike
2 Solemn Scolding
2 Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon
1 Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon

Unexpected Dai is similar to Painful Decision and often run in the same slot. It’s $3 each instead of $25 each.

The Solemn counter traps do stuff similar to Divine Wrath, Horn of Heaven, as well as the Black and Grand variants, Breakthrough Skill and Fiendish Chain. None are quite as effective as Strike/Scolding because they target, have costs or other downsides, but all are effective, too. If you opt not to run more counter trap cards, remember that Ariadne won’t be able to search anything and you should cut her from the deck.

Now that we don’t have Odd-Eyes Fusion to search, we can add Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon or more Performapals like Fireflux or Silverclaw. Raigeki could even be moved into the main deck where Odd-Eyes Fusion was. Or not.

Moving on to the Extra Deck, the most expensive cards remaining would be the Utopia the Lightning package. It’s not the easiest card to get, so you could cut it and make even more room for more Rank 4s. If you’re outside of North America, you’re not even allowed to play with it, anyways.

I’ve chosen to include the following:
1 Dinoster Powerful, the Mighty Dracoslayer
1 Performage Trapeze Magician
1 Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Number 106: Giant Hand
1 Majester Paladin, the Ascending Dracoslayer

Step 4: Side Deck

Many players dismiss the side deck, but you’re playing at least half of your tournament games with your side deck. The existing side deck isn’t as expensive as it could be, but it could be cheaper. You could choose to run cards like Dark Hole and Effect Veiler over System Down and Maxx “C”. They’re kind of a sideways change rather than a downgrade. They don’t exactly do the same thing, but similar and in a different way.

This brings our total even lower due to most of the Extra Deck having recent printings. And it leaves Pendulum Sorcerer as the only card over $10 (and Raigeki, but most players have one) Let’s go over my final adjusted list and check out its price. It’s still not nothing, but better than before.

cheapo pals

3 Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer – $19 each
1 Performapal Skullcrobat Joker – $0.50
1 Performapal Monkeyboard – $0.50
1 Performapal Guitartle – $0.25
1 Performapal Lizardraw – $0.63
1 Performapal Silverclaw – $0.45
2 Performapal Odd-Eyes Unicorn $1 each
1 Performapal Odd-Eyes Light Phoenix $0.70
1 Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon – $1.33
3 Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer – $0.90 each
1 Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer – $1.20
1 Lector Pendulum, the Dracoverlord – $2
1 Vector Pendulum, the Dracoverlord – $1.70
2 Archfiend Eccentrick – $3.50 each
3 Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin – $2.80 each
3 Magical Abductor – $1.05 each
2 Guiding Ariadne – $0.50 each
2 Unexpected Dai – $3 each
2 Sky Iris – $2.80 each
2 Terraforming – $1.21 each
1 Draco Face-Off – $0.49
1 Solemn Warning – $3
2 Chaos Trap Hole – $7 each / Solemn Scolding – $5 each
2 Grand Horn of Heaven – $0.50 each

3 Dinoster Powerful, the Mighty Dracoslayer – $0.50 each
1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer – $1
1 Abyss Dweller – $1.10
1 Daigusto Emeral – $9
2 Majester Paladin, the Ascending Dracoslayer – $0.60 each
1 Diamond Dire Wolf – $2
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer – $2.30
1 Number 106: Giant Hand – $8
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK – $2.30
1 Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon – $1.70
1 Performage Trapeze Magician – $0.75
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy – $7

3 Effect Veiler – $4.70 each
1 Necrovalley – $2
1 Raigeki – $20
2 Dark Hole – $1.50 each
1 Vanity’s Emptiness – $2.50
1 Bottomless Trap Hole – $0.80
3 Mystical Space Typhoon – $0.80 each
3 Royal Decree – $1.80 each

The previous total was $233:$89:$76 for the Main:Extra:Side. The new budgeted cost is $122:$38:$40 for the Main:Extra:Side. Half of the Side Deck cost is Raigeki. The original list was $398, the new list is $200. All the little cards add up when you buy them, but you can probably get them for free or trade for them. You can always trade for better cards when you can, and if you already have better cards, even better. Admittidly, a lot of the price drop was due to Solemn Strike, but part of playing on a budget is identifying what cards you don’t need for their price.

Come back tomorrow for more content, click an ad, share this with your friends and don’t forget those Pendulum Sorcerers.


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