Building on a Budget: Monarchs

Building on a Budget is a section where I go over a deck that can compete on the local and regional level and is relatively inexpensive. This time, I’m going to talk about Monarchs. And since the structure deck came out recently, that makes it pretty cheap.

emperor of darkness

Yugioh is all about Special Summoning lately and any deck or card that restricts Special Summons is often highly played, highly feared or both. Some examples from the past include Nekroz of Unicore, El Shaddoll Winda, Jowgen the Spiritualist, Royal Oppression and Vanity’s Emptiness. Thanks to the tremendous boost from the structure deck, a well-built Tribute Summoning strategy is now viable and stops your opponent from playing the game.


The talk of the town is Domain of the True Monarchs. It does three things and they’re in order of importance.

1: While you have no cards in your Extra Deck and you are the only player that controls a Tribute Summoned monster, your opponent cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck.

2: If a Tribute Summoned monster you control attacks an opponent’s monster, it gains 800 ATK during damage calculation only.

3: Once per turn: You can reduce the Level of 1 monster with 2800 ATK and 1000 DEF in your hand by 2 until the end of this turn (even after they are Summoned/Set, and even if this card leaves the field).


This card is a big problem for anything that wants to Pendulum, Synchro, Xyz or Fusion Summon, which pretty much only leaves Mermail/Atlantean and Kozmo in competition due to their high amount of monster effects and Special Summons from the hand. But how do you counter them while not causing inconsistencies against Extra Deck strategies? Simple. Domain and Majesty’s Fiend together. This soft lock ensures most decks can’t play Yugioh anymore. March of the Monarchs furthers the pain. Domain still allowing the opponent to Special Summon monsters (from hand/deck/grave) and use their effects freely allows for the easy dismantling of Domain + a Tribute Summoned monster. And Majesty’s Fiend is vulnerable to Pendulum Summoning two monsters, a quick Xyz into something bigger than 2400 then getting run over. No access to the Extra Deck protects Majesty’s Fiend from Xyz while at the same time no monster effects protect Domain and your Monarch from stuff like Heavy Infantry, Sliprider and Dark Destroyer.

This is what I’d recommend if you’re playing on a budget (or if your budget is $500, even.) And since Domain requires you to not have an Extra Deck, that costs literally nothing. The last 10 cards in the picture/the cards with asterisks are the cards that aren’t included in your three structure decks for $30.

monarchs budget

3 Ehther the Heavenly Monarch
3 Erebus the Underworld Monarch
3 Thestalos the Mega Monarch*
2 Majesty’s Fiend*
3 Edea the Heavenly Squire
3 Eidos the Underworld Squire
2 Mithra the Thunder Vassal

3 Domain of the True Monarch
3 Pantheism of the Monarchs
3 Tenacity of the Monarchs
2 The Monarchs Stormforth
1 March of the Monarchs
1 Return of the Monarchs
1 Reinforcement of the Army*
1 Foolish Burial*
3 Upstart Goblin*

2 The Prime Monarch
1 Escalation of the Monarchs

The game plan


The goal is simple, Tribute Summon and have Domain face-up. Yes, you want to go first to set up a soft lock, and with the large amount of drawing and search power Pantheism and Tenacity do, the deck can still brick. To fix the consistency issues this build is playing the full set of Upstart Goblin, and the one allowed Foolish Burial and Reinforcement of the Army. ROTA allows you to search out Edea to get two tributes for whatever you’re summoning while Foolish has a less narrow application over a tournament with eight or more rounds. Foolish allows you to unbrick your hand by sending Erebus to the grave and ditching a Monarch Spell/Trap to get Erebus or any other Monarch back from the grave to tribute summon. Erebus can even get back Majesty’s Fiend, so don’t forget you can send the Monarch you want to the Graveyard if you already have an Erebus in the grave. Erebus also provides further synergy and unbricking if you discard The Prime Monarch or Pantheism. Additionally, Foolish sends Edea to add a banished Monarch Spell/Trap that you need, or just Eidos to banish itself and Special Summon another little dude for tribute fodder.

The reasoning behind card choices

While Dark Armed Dragon IS an option, and it IS searchable, I don’t play it because I find myself having trouble getting the three DARKS into the graveyard. I also don’t play One for One because this list has been testing so well for me. You could cut a Thestalos, Majesty’s Fiend or Upstart for it if you find yourself needing it.

Triple Ehther and Erebus is pretty standard due to having the most powerful effects and those precious Monarch stats of 2800 ATK over 1000 DEF. Edea and Eidos work together to provide most of your tribute fodder turn after turn, which is why they’re both played at three, but two Mithra, too? Mithra activates in hand to Special Summon itself, but gives your opponent a small token in Defense Position and lets you Tribute Summon in addition to your Normal Summon/Set if it’s Tributed for a Tribute Summon. The token is easily run over and provides another piece of tribute fodder without using Edea. Also, if you run out of Eidos in the deck, Edea CAN summon Mithra from the deck in addition to Eidos being able to summon Mithra from the grave.


The full set of Mega Thestalos is because it’s just as good first turn if you don’t have another monster to Tribute Summon due to the fact that he allows you to look at your opponent’s hand, discard a card and potentially inflict damage. The damage is just a bonus, looking at your opponent’s hand is really the good part. Trap Dustshoot, The Forceful Sentry and Confiscation all have three things in common. They’re easily splashable. They let you see your opponent’s hand and get rid of a card. They’re all forbidden. Thestalos is still unlimited, can happen multiple times a turn, or over multiple turns and has the potential to inflict burn damage.

As stated before, Domain + Majesty’s Fiend is very hard to solve unless you can Tribute Summon a monster bigger than Majesty’s Fiend or Special Summon a monster bigger than it through something like Call of the Haunted.

Three Pantheism, Domain and Tenacity let you draw and search through your deck and set up Domain + Tribute monster. Only two Stormforth because while tributing your opponent’s monsters is fantastic unless you have Mithra or Pantheism, going first Stormforth doesn’t do anything, which contributes to brick hands.

One Return, one March and one Escalation because as good as they are, multiple isn’t. They’re searchable and you can get them back from banished with Edea. And finally, two Prime Monarchs because three is simply too many. You really only want to summon it over and over from grave, not really put Monarch Spell/Traps back into the deck.


The Performapal matchup is an auto win provided you can get to Domain and they don’t out it. Nothing more really needs to be said. Just shuffle stuff back with Erebus when you can. Discard cards where you can with Thestalos. Summon Majesty’s Fiend. Win.


If you can’t establish Domain or March plus a Tribute Summoned monster, you’re going to have a hard time against Atlanteans now, but Majesty’s Fiend is an auto win unless they’re running multiple monster destruction cards like Dark Hole and Raigeki. March and Majesty’s Fiend pretty much guarantees the win at that point.


Kozmo is likely to be the hardest matchup if they’re playing Call of the Haunted. Constant Dark Destroyers/Eclipsers/Forerunners from the grave to attack over Majesty’s Fiend isn’t fun, but it’s winnable provided you put in that Spell Speed 2 Spell/Trap destruction for games two and three.


Due to most of the cards coming in the structure deck, after you buy three, you’re most of the way there. For the Main Deck my list only has 10 cards that aren’t included. Three Thestalos, three Upstart, two Majesty’s Fiend, ROTA and Foolish.

Right now Thestalos is only about 10 bucks and Majesty’s around 3. I’m seeing Upstarts around $5 each, but even if they’re a little bit more the Main Deck is still only about 90 dollars. It’s entirely possible your side deck costs more than the main. The side is up to you, and would change based on what is trending, or what is most common at your locals, but these are the cards I recommend and their current price tag.

Mega Caius – $25-30 – It’s not cheap, but you would only want one. Maybe two. The other Mega Monarchs are legitimate too, but less broadly useful than Mega Caius or Mega Thestalos.

Old Caius – It comes in the structure deck and provides removal for almost anything. Even though Mega Caius is better in most situations, it’s not like the old Caius is bad. Also, it’s free when you buy your three structure decks.

Vanity’s Fiend – $7-8 – It’s a little redundant with Domain, but stops Atlanteans and Kozmo just as well as Majesty’s Fiend, if not better.

Landrobe and Stormforth – Both come in the structure deck and provide outs to problem monsters such as CyDra Infinity, Naturia Beast or Rafflesia. They’re good, very cheap options I think you need to assume your opponent is siding in if you’re playing against Monarchs.


Twin Twisters – $9ish – If you can only buy $30 worth of side deck, I’d say go with three Twin Twisters and more structure deck cards because Twin Twisters outs many problems, such as Mask of Restrict and Anti-Spell. It also hits the COTH trying to Special Summon a guy bigger than Majesty’s Fiend AND hits scales. Additionally, Twin Twisters will likely be useful in every deck ever as long as it’s legal for play.

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1 thought on “Building on a Budget: Monarchs”

  1. Hi, how would you build this deck now; considering that certain cards like Ehther, Pantheism, Stormforth, and Upstart Goblin are now limited? What are possible replacements to fill the gap, and is this still worth playing?

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