Building on a Budget: Burning Abyss deck guide

DanteTraveleroftheBurningAbyss-DUEA-EN-ScR-1EIt’s time to build on a budget again. Many people are starting school again and simply don’t have the income for a fully fleshed out optimal deck. I’m not setting a budget for this deck, we’re just going to try to balance cost and deck strength as best we can. For everyone outside of the United States, I’m sorry that I talk about dollars, but that’s where my largest audience is. These cards should also be cheap in your local currency. This time, it’s Burning Abyss, so let’s get into it.

So we had some hits to Burning Abyss, and while it is technically worse, every other deck is worse off. Most builds are playing Phantom Knights, but that engine is about $50 before multiple Break Swords and a Dark Rebellion, we’ll skip it for now. We’re also obviously going to skip Solemn Strike because that’s another expensive card. Thankfully, Dante and all of the Malebranches are super cheap.


2 Crane Crane
1 Tour Guide from the Underworld
3 Fiendish Rhino Warrior
1 Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Libic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Cagna, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Barbar, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Rubic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Alich, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Calcab, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss


3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Dark Hole
1 Foolish Burial


1 Solemn Warning
2 Karma Cut
2 The Traveler and the Burning Abyss
3 Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss
3 Breakthough Skill


1 Number F0: Utopic Future
1 Number 49: Fortune Tune
3 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
1 Number 47: Nightmare Shark
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
2 Downerd Magician
1 Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal
1 Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss
1 Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss


3 Vanity’s Fiend
3 Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju / Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
2 System Down
2 Enemy Controller
1 Skill Drain
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
3 Royal Decree

budget burning abyss

That’s it. Play the deck and learn it yourself. Just kidding, I wouldn’t do that to you. Allow me to explain how the deck does what it does and why I made the choices I made.

So, it’s obviously full of a bunch of Burning Abyss monsters. If you control no Spells/Traps you can Special Summon them from your hand. This effect activates a chain. Most of the rest also have an additional effect that triggers if sent to the Graveyard. You can only use one effect of each Malebranche per turn, and only once that turn. Also, if you control a monster that isn’t a Burning Abyss monster, the Malebranches destroy themselves. This effect can be negated and doesn’t start a chain.

Graff: You can Special Summon 1 “Burning Abyss” monster from your Deck, except “Graff”.
Cir: You can target 1 “Burning Abyss” monster in your Graveyard, except “Cir”; Special Summon it.
Libic: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 DARK Fiend-Type monster from your hand, but its effects are negated.
Cagna: You can send 1 “Burning Abyss” Spell/Trap Card from your Deck to the Graveyard.
Barbar: You can target up to 3 “Burning Abyss” cards in your Graveyard, except “Barbar”; banish them, and if you do, inflict 300 damage to your opponent for each.
Rubic: It’s just a tuner. No additional effects. You can only use it for Virgil, though.
Alich: You can target 1 face-up monster on the field; negate its effects until the end of this turn.
Calcab: You can target 1 Set Spell/Trap Card on the field; return that target to the hand.
Farfa: You can target 1 monster on the field; banish it until the End Phase.
Scarm: During the End Phase, if this card is in the Graveyard because it was sent there this turn: You can add 1 Level 3 DARK Fiend-Type monster from your Deck to your hand, except “Scarm”.

Both Tour Guide and Crane Crane summon another Level 3 dude, then negates their effects. Tour Guide obviously summons anything from your deck to make an Xyz, usually Dante. Crane Crane can be used to make Xyz later in the game when your important monsters, namely Graff and Cir, are in the Graveyard. Another ‘trick’ is to activate a Malebranche to summon itself, then summon Crane Crane. Your Malebranche will destroy itself, then you can activate Crane Crane to summon back the same Malebranche that killed itself.

Most people are playing the Phantom Knights for more power. They cost money, so I’ve opted for the playset of Fiendish Rhino Warrior. At the time of writing, they cost about a dollar each. Rhino Warrior is really important if you don’t have Phantom Knights backing up your Burning Abyss monsters. Rhino Warrior protects all of your fiends from being destroyed. Having two Rhinos is a kind of lock because both protect each other from being destroyed. You can safely summon a Malebranche and Rhino Warrior if you want to make an Xyz. Rhino Warrior keeps the Malebranches from killing themselves. If you have a non-Burning Abyss monster already out, summon the Rhino first. Rhino can also dump any fiend if it’s sent to the Graveyard. So if you mill it with Dante, or dump it with Beatrice, you can dump any fiend you want. Usually, you’ll hit it randomly off of Dante and dump the Malebranche you want to activate at that time, usually Graff or Cir. Rhino Warrior also protects both Majesty’s Fiend and Vanity’s Fiend. I’ve chosen only to include Vanity’s Fiend, but you can still use Majesty’s Fiend, too.

Triple Scarm because you want to trigger it when you can and sometimes you need to activate its summoning effect. Triple Farfa because you can send it with Beatrice in response to a summon before the monster can activate any ignition effects. Farfa also just clears monsters to attack for game. Double Calcab is in the deck because on a budget, we can’t afford a playset of Twin Twisters and we don’t want to deal with so much backrow. Double Alich is in the deck for a similar reason to Farfa. Just remember you need to send the Alich BEFORE the monster has activated its effect(s) if you want to stop it from happening. Two Rubic because it’s a Malebranche you don’t feel bad about activating and without Break Sword, Virgil will solve a lot of the problem Break Sword would. Barbar is the strongest and gets in there for damage and that little bit of extra damage at the end. Cagna to effectively search Fire Lake or Traveler in conjunction with Dante. I only run one Libic in this build, but I could see two Libic and only one Calcab or no Cagna. Graff and Cir are both limited, but should be run at the maximum amount.

This build wants to grind out opponents with raw advantage rather than carefully control the game like a Phantom Knight build does. Dark Hole helps keep the field clear and your monsters floating to eventually win the game by attacking with 1000 ATK Dantes. Triple Mystical Space Typhoon only because it’s cheaper than Twin Twisters. All three should be Twin Twisters if you have the budget. Foolish Burial is usually only about a dollar for run of the mill commons and kick starts your engine if you don’t have anything.

Solemn Warning can be picked up for less than five dollars and is a good generic stop a summon card. Solemn Strike would be in the deck, but this is a budget build. We’ve got to replace it with Breakthrough Skill. Breakthrough Skill doesn’t stop summons, nor does it destroy monsters, but it can be used from your Graveyard. Sometimes when I don’t have anything I want to send with Beatrice, but I want to trigger the Dante that’s Xyz Material, I’ll just send a Breakthrough Skill in case I can use it later. That’s come up, too. I’ve negated both opposing Beatrices and Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragons attempting to disrupt what I’m doing. Karma Cut isn’t expected anymore. Sure, once you get someone with it, they’ll know you have it, but it’s still a good card. Even if you’re just discarding a Malebranche to banish a monster, it’s good. At best, you can catch all of your opponent’s Blue-Eyes White Dragons or Dantes. That’s rough and difficult to come back from. Getting multiple monsters banished from your Graveyard that you plan on actually using from the Graveyard hurts. Don’t try to ‘get’ people with it. Just clear threats. Fire Lake and Traveler haven’t seen play in a long time, but both put you far ahead on card advantage. They don’t have much synergy with Beatrice because she’s not a Burning Abyss monster and kills your Malebranches, but if you have a Rhino, you can detach Dante, dump Cir, summon something with Cir, then get back both Dante and Cir with the Traveler. Traveler makes it really easy to come back from devastating blows from big Blue-Eyes attacks or a Raigeki.

Dante is pretty cheap, but you absolutely need the full playset if you’re going to play a grind game. If you’re playing casually, play like five Dantes. Beatrice, and by extension, the Fusion Dante, are also necessary. Beatrice extends plays and at absolute worst can turn a 1000 ATK Dante into a 2500 ATK monster. If her summon gets negated, you get a free Pilgrim for your trouble. F0: Utopic Future has become standard and is used to deal with big monsters that you can’t target, or need to move out of the way to attack for game. Nightmare Shark is another way to close out games that are nearly unwinnable. Do not forget that the danger zone for your opponent is 2900 LP because Barbar can contribute 900 in addition to Nightmare Shark’s 2000.

The rest of the Extra Deck is made of generally suboptimal choices, but I don’t know that for sure because this build has no Phantom Knights in it. The first sore thumb that sticks out is Fortune Tune. It’s really frustrating because it can’t be targeted. Just make sure to say “Tweet tweet” every time you gain life off of it. Fortune Tune also doesn’t have to put back the Xyz Materials you used to make it. You can put back Tour Guide and Cir, then search the Tour Guide off of Scarm. Leviair isn’t great in this build because Barbar is your only way to banish monsters but it’s always nice to have. Plus, you can extend plays when either you’re out of Dante or already used a Barbar. Ghostrick Alucard and Grampulse kind of work together to attempt to replace Break Sword. Grampulse has 2800 DEF and destroys Spells/Traps unconditionally, so you’d run it anyways. Regardless, summon these two if you can still end the game, but are afraid of something like a Mirror Force. Acid Golem is another card that hasn’t seen play in a long time. I see why it was easy to cut with triple Beatrice, Break Sword and Rebellion, but without all of those, it belongs back here. Dante → Dante → Acid Golem is exactly 8000. The last two cards are two copies of Downerd Magician. You want to be able to put her on top of Dante to protect him from being banished. You can also do neat things like put two on top of two Dantes, then make Utopic Future and trigger both Dantes because Utopic Future doesn’t say the materials attached to the Xyz monsters become attached to F0. I could easily see the third in the deck.

If you don’t have all of these or want to use some other things, here are other options. They’re all fine, but Break Sword is the only thing I haven’t included that you really need. You need one copy if you’re not playing Phantom Knights, probably two if you are.

Wind-Up Zenmaines
Mechquipped Angineer
Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon (use Break Sword to increase the levels of Phantom Knights)
Number 80: Rhapsody in Bersek

My side deck includes three Vanity’s Fiend. Rhino Warrior can help to protect it. Vanity’s Fiend is easy to summon just by summoning any Malebranche, then tributing it. The same is true of Majesty’s Fiend. I just feel Majesty’s Fiend is easier to deal with than Vanity’s Fiend. People aren’t using Fire Hand anymore. Vanity’s Fiend shuts down pretty much every meta deck, too. Even decks that use Card of Demise will have a hard time if you can set it up first. That is until you run it into Storming/Drowning Mirror Force.

The next couple cards are Kaijus. Most of the Kaijus can tribute an opponent’s monster to Special Summon themselves to their side of the field in Attack Position. Only Gameciel and Kumongous have less than 2500 ATK, which is what Dante can attack over. Dante can’t attack over either in Defense Position. Lava Golem is another similar monster. The main use is to get rid of Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon. They’re also really good against Herald of Perfection should someone be foolish enough to use that deck.

System Down is a hedge for Kozmo and miscellaneous machine decks like Deskbot that you probably won’t run into. These could be taken out for more Kaijus, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber or Majesty’s Fiend.

Enemy Controller is specifically for the mirror. Taking a Beatrice cripples them. Even if they activate it in response so you can’t activate it when you get it, you still have their Beatrice. You can take Dantes and put Downerd or Beatrice on top of it. Plus, it’s a Quick-Play. Attack with your monster over their first monster. Tribute your monster to take control of their second monster and attack with that. This can lead to quick OTKs. Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger is an option if you want to put that on top of their Beatrice.

Skill Drain and Emptiness are good, generic floodgates that are both good against many decks. Matchups where Dark Hole isn’t good, Skill Drain and Emptiness probably are. When side decking, you’re creating a good 40 cards, not just a not bad 40 cards with some good cards.

Royal Decree is for decks with Card of Demise. Obviously take out most of your traps when you bring this in. Trap Stun is another option that still allows you to use Fire Lake and Traveler, both of which are great against Card of Demise decks that try to one for one you to death. Just remember your game plan is to attempt to out grind everyone and use Farfa, Alich, Fire Lake and Virgil to solve your problems.

Here’s a short list of cards that are also useful in Burning Abyss.

Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
Caius the Shadow Monarch
Raiza the Storm Monarch
Maxx “C”
Flying “C”
Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
Mask Change II and Masked HERO Dark Law
Fiend Griefing
Good & Evil of the Burning Abyss
Galaxy Cyclone
Twin Twisters
Cosmic Cyclone
Speedroid Terrortop and Taketomborg

I think there is something to a higher Burning Abyss count deck. It’s not perfected, but this is a budget build and I would not be embarrassed to be playing this at locals. If you buy everything on my list, that’s about $100, including side and extra. Sure you can shop around and get the absolute cheapest price, but one-stop online shopping is great. Amazon’s got all you need and I made a nifty shopping list you can find at this link. If you have something to say, let me know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter. And, as always, click an ad and ask your friends what they think of this super budget Burning Abyss deck.

6 thoughts on “Building on a Budget: Burning Abyss deck guide”

    1. Buying booster packs is always a bad idea. Unless you like losing money, don’t do it. Just buy the singles or trade for what you want. You’re not going to get $95 of singles out of a box.

    1. Galaxy Cyclone is fine. I prefer MST, Twin Twisters and Cosmic Cyclone because they’re all quick-play and can be chained to cards like Vanity’s Emptiness when you activate a Malebranche or other Special Summoning effect. Galaxy Cyclone doesn’t let you push through plays as easily but allows you to use it twice, or for value if you mill it with Dante.

      I don’t like that Galaxy Cyclone isn’t quick-play but it’s a fine replacement for MST if you have them.

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