This is the deck Kris Perovic used to win the 2014 Goat Format War League on DGz, going 21-1 in best of 5 matches. Jazz came in second place by using a similar build, going 13-1. If you remove the 2 matches they played against each other, Kris and Jazz combined to dominate the league with a 32-0 record. This stellar record proves that the deck is remarkably consistent when piloted by highly competent players, who have nearly mastered the mirror match but also know how to side against non-mirrors.
However, these stats could be somewhat inflated due to the specifics of the tournament. First, the tournament took place 2 years ago, before the recent increase in prevalence of Turbo Chaos or Zoo Beatdown (although there were 2 Zoo players in the tournament). This means the deck probably performs better against the mirror match, which it was more likely to encounter at the time. In particular, you’ll notice 2 mained Airknights and 2 mained Exarions, which maximize the effectiveness of Game 1 against Standard Goat to the detriment of the Turbo and the Zoo matchups. This leads to my second observation, which is that the best of 5 match structure in the War League reduced variance and emphasized side-decking skills. Turbo and Zoo tend to be somewhat high-variance decks, the former being dependent on its own draws, the latter being dependent on its opponent’s draws. Standard Goat is probably the lowest variance, most consistent deck in the format, but it has the highest learning curve. It’s debatable whether the best of 5 match structure is more or less fun, or whether it is unfairly biased against non-Goat decks, but it definitely amplifies the small difference between good players and great players. In my mind this can only be a good thing.
Now, a little more about the deck itself. You may hear other people call this deck "Goat Control", but I prefer the name "Standard Goat", because some people also refer to the format as "Goat Control Format". The heart of the deck is its 3 Metamorphosis, 2 Scapegoat, 2 Tsukuyomi. This allows ease of access to Thousand-Eyes Restrict, who can repeatedly absorb monsters once per turn in conjunction with Tsukuyomi. This creates a soft lock of the field that can only be broken with a handful of removal cards in the format. Importantly, Thousand-Eyes punishes opponents who commit non-Floater monsters to the field. So important is the Thousand-Eyes engine to the deck’s success that it also chooses to use 2 Magical Merchant, a Level 1 Light monster, which in 2005 was comically regarded as inferior to cards like Gravekeeper’s Spy, Mystic Tomato, and D.D. Assailant.
Merchant leads into the second strength of the deck, which is its emphasis on the true power cards of the format: the power Spells. Because Merchant digs straight to a Spell/Trap, it skips over monsters like Airknight, Sangan, Tribe and Sinister Serpent, that the Standard Goat player would rather have access to in the Graveyard than draw for turn. Power Spells like Pot of Greed, Delinquent Duo and Graceful Charity need no explanation, but other Spells in the deck like Metamorphosis, Nobleman of Crossout, MST and Book of Moon let the player who flip-summoned Magical Merchant begin to take control over the field. These Power Spells can then be recycled with Magician of Faith, and loops involving Tsukuyomi can quickly put the game entirely out of hand for the opponent.
Exarion Universe and Airknight Parshath are the means by which the deck converts its card advantage into pressure. These cards demand an answer because of the damage they can do each turn in battle, but an opponent who is behind in card advantage will have a difficult time mounting an effective response. Note also, Scapegoat is not an effective stopgap versus these two cards. It will be considerably more difficult to pressure a Turbo player or a Zoo player with Airknight or Exarion, because they can answer with top-decked Berserk Gorillas or Chaos Sorcerers, and they won’t draw any dead copies of Scapegoat. If the opponent can somehow answer Airknight and Exarion, the final icing on the cake tends to be cards like Black Luster Solider, Tribe-Infecting Virus, Premature Burial or Ring of Destruction, which can be dropped to clinch the game.
The remainder of the deck is constructed on the principle of balance. You may have noticed an inordinate number of cards run in 2 copies, including simple spot removal cards like Dust Tornado and Sakuretsu Armor, which can be used with good timing to set up the signature advantage-generating plays of the deck. It takes discipline and experience to understand the flow of Standard Goat, but generally the deck is kind enough to provide its user with a versatile array of options for any potential game state. On the off chance that the game state gets out of hand, the experienced Standard Goat player can use Morphing Jar to swing the game in his favor. Of all the cards in the deck, Morphing Jar is perhaps the most powerful and most prone to backfire, requiring a mastery of timing and deception to reap its full benefits.
The Zoo Beatdown deck is the antithesis of the Standard Goat deck. Whereas the Standard Goat deck is predicated on card advantage and late-game power plays, the Zoo Beatdown deck is focused on overwhelming the opponent with a white-hot start. Zoo has seen a modest run of success recently that most challengers to Standard Goat have not historically achieved. As a deck, it is certainly better constructed than its 2005 predecessors, Beastdown and Warrior Toolbox, but whether it has successfully knocked off Standard Goat from its Tier 0 pedestal is another question entirely. We need not only more data, but more time to see what type of innovations are made to Standard Goat as it responds to the existence of Zoo.
Zoo is assembled on the principle of instant gratification. By forgoing Black Luster Solider, hard-tribute monsters and Metamorphosis, it requires no set-up to summon its signature monsters. Even so, the monster count of 18 is fairly high in this format. This typically means the Zoo player will be able to use his normal summon every turn if he wants to--replacing a fallen beater with another one to keep the pressure on.
The Zoo deck contains roughly two types of monsters: beaters and outers. Bazoo, Gorilla and Exarion are standout monsters in the format in terms of attack, defense and pressure, able to overcome the signature monsters of Standard Goat like Airknight, Exarion and Scapegoat tokens. Abyss Soldier, Tribe-Infecting Virus, D.D. Assailant, D.D. Warrior Lady, and Exiled Force are meant to clear the way of problem monsters, especially Thousand-Eyes Restrict. Abyss Solider, which is limited to 2, is one of the most innovative additions to the deck. When its effect can be combined with Sinister Serpent, it’s game-breaking, but even when Serpent is not around, it’s bigger than most other monsters in Standard Goat. Notably, many of these monsters hold up to Tsukuyomi in battle, and those that don’t can be protected by one of 8 defensive traps, including 3 copies each of Sakuretsu Armor and Trap Dustshoot. This effectively limits the means by which Standard Goat can defend itself and renders cards like Book of Moon, Morphing Jar, Dekoichi and Magical Merchant much less effective than normal. Finally, the deck rarely wants to set its monsters, turning Nobleman of Crossout into a dead draw unless coupled with Tsukuyomi.
There is nothing too exciting about the Spell and Trap lineups, save for a lone copy of Skill Drain, which acts as a backup plan without fully committing the deck to that strategy. In general, the Spell and Trap lineups do not beat around the bush, but get down to the business of limiting the opponent’s options. The decision to go with more traps, which are very effective at targeted removal in Goat Format, is an excellent choice. One of the reasons many decks don’t use such a high Trap count is the existence of Jinzo and Royal Decree as common side-deck options. But running 3 D.D. monsters, Exiled Force and Bazoo gives the Zoo player plenty of outs to Jinzo. Conventional wisdom might also suggest that bringing in Royal Decree is somewhat counterproductive against such an aggressive deck, though I’m not entirely convinced of that--I think a lot would depend on the post-side construction of the deck that brings in Decree.
Turbo Chaos has several parallels to Standard Goat, relying on flip effects and Chaos monsters, but taking these concepts to a greater extreme. One of its strengths is the ability to abuse both sides of the Trinity. Thanks to maxed out copies of Magician of Faith, Book of Moon and Thunder Dragon, the deck thrives on seeing an early Pot of Greed or Graceful Charity, while simultaneously making the opponent’s Delinquent Duo less effective. However, because Turbo emphasizes expediency over versatility, it will often burn itself out if it is unable to quickly blow its opponent out of the water. In particular, it has few good answers to an early Nobleman of Crossout, Blade Knight, Mystic Swordsman LV2, or opposing flip-effect monster.
The deck revolves around Thunder Dragon, which is the ultimate fuel for Chaos requirements. No other Light monster makes it to the Graveyard so reliably, and no other Light monster also ensures that a second and a third Light monster can be placed in the Graveyard at a moment’s notice. This essentially fullfills half your Chaos requirements in a typical duel. To a lesser extent, Night Assailant is also a key component of this deck’s engine, but it’s not essential. Night Assailant allows the user to run a more extreme version of the deck that takes greater advantage of effects that require discards as a cost. The two most powerful such cards are probably Graceful Charity and Card Destruction, which get stronger for every Thunder Dragon, Night Assailant and Sinister Serpent that is drawn. Phoenix Wing Wind Blast serves an important role as a monster disrupter, setting your opponent back a turn while you set up your own flip-summons.
What the Turbo deck wants to avoid most of all is allowing the opponent to get his own flip-flop engine rolling first. While the Turbo engine is inherently faster, it is in some ways less powerful because it doesn’t fully abuse Tsukuyomi nor does it convert floaters into powerful effect monsters like Airknight, Zaborg or Thousand-Eyes Restrict. This is part of the reasoning behind card choices like PWWB, or in some versions of the deck, Solemn Judgment. This is why it’s so important to get going before Nobleman of Crossout drops, or worse, it’s recycled by an opposing Magician of Faith, in which case the game is effectively over. This is why Book of Moon is used at 3 copies--because every turn that can stave off a Thousand-Eyes is incredibly valuable. This is why the deck chooses to max out on its Flip-Effect monsters like Magician of Faith and Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive--because the sooner it can get the opportunity to set these monsters, the less likely the opponent is to have an effective answer.
All things considered, the deck is strikingly streamlined, even though it ultimately wins by amassing card advantage like a Standard Goat deck. Simply set your flip effects as soon as you can, use your Thunders/Serpents/Assailants to pay for discard costs, and summon your Chaos Sorcerers when you need to remove a face-up monster. Rarely will you have to decide what monster to summon or how to play out of a hand--because there’s usually one clear option. I’m definitely exagerrating a bit, but compared to Standard Goat and even Zoo, it’s fairly robotic.
A mash-up between Standard Goat and Turbo Chaos. There are many variants to this deck with slight differences in copy number and tech choices.
This list was debuted by Kris Perovic in a recent duel with Allen Pennington published to Youtube (see below).
Chaos Recruiter is an aggressive deck that runs a full compliment of Chaos Sorcerers, supported by full sets of Mystic Tomato and Shining Angel. The deck completely lacks Scapegoat, which has negative synergy with the recruiters. It also forgoes the use of both Metamorphosis and tribute monsters.
The idea of using Monarchs in Goat Format dates back to Soul Control, which was originally piloted by Evan Vargas during the first SJC of April 2005. Evan's big innovation was to use the monster stealing effect of Soul Exchange to summon Thestalos, the Firestorm Monarch, free of charge. This maneuver results in a +1 in the form of a free-floating Fire Monarch. However, the great weakness of the deck was that on-field Monarchs are easily neutralized by Tsukuyomi, who has only become more popular over the years since the deck's inception. Thus, Soul Control decks have traditionally struggled to compete with Standard Goat decks, but the build pictured above from DGz's Logic pushes the concept closer to its full potential.
The first thing to notice about this deck is the aggressive use of 3 Trap Dustshoot, which is probably the most effective card one could call upon to combat Tsukuyomi. Unfortunately, running 3 Trap Dustshoot likely precludes the use of Thestalos, who is generally considered the most reliable monarch in the format. That means the deck settles on using the only other monarchs available at the time, plus Jinzo. But perhaps the true genius of the deck is that Trap Dustshoot also makes plays like Mobius, Granmarg, Zaborg and Creature Swap more reliable, because it provides the user with additional insight into the opponent's facedown cards. Knowing what your opponent is doing in a simplified game state, as is the case with Trap Dustshoot, can lead to truly momentum-swinging plays for the monarch player.
The second major departure from Evan's Soul Control build is the use of both Brain Control and Enemy Controller over Soul Exchange. This is another aggressive decision that strives to take advantage of the the freshly summoned monarchs, who can run over weaker monsters or strike for 2400 damage. Neither of these outcomes is immediately possible with Soul Exchange, which makes monarchs much less imposing. This is also an anti-Tsukuyomi strategy because it creates a trade-off for the opponent, who now has to decide between letting the attack go through or spending a card to stop the monarch from doing any further damage.
Logic's deck is also very low on its Monster count, which leads to steadier, more fluid hands with lots of good Spells to choose from. It also allows him to respond to monsters on the field on his terms, primarily with the use of Monarchs as opposed to cards like Exarion Universe. Two other important monsters I would like to draw attention to are Asura Priest and Twin-headed Behemoth. Asura Priest is essentially one of the most difficult monsters to kill in the format, because it is immune to TER, Chaos Sorcerer and beaters like Exarion. It's a card the monarch player will always have until it gains control of the field, so despite the low monster count, an Asura can often be used to progress the game. Twin-headed Behemoth on the other hand has a very different role, but it might be the most valuable monster in the deck. It survives almost everything, including Tsukuyomi and TER, only to come back as free tribute fodder the next turn.
All in all this is one of the coolest decks I've seen in the past year. I've always loved the idea of Soul Control, but personally struggled to translate it into a competitive build given the Modern Goat Format meta-game. Kudos to Logic for developing such a creative solution.
This deck was posted by Joe Giorlando in the DuelistGroundz goat thread about a year ago. This deck concept also led directly to an Emergency Ban of Dimension Fusion in the first New-Gi-Oh! format of 2015.
This deck wins by putting a lot of damage onto the board, fast. Despite 3 copies of Limiter Removal, the only machine-type monster in the deck is Dekoichi, who is an excellent Nobleman of Crossout target, being the only Flip in the deck. Having 3 copies instantly banished is a good thing for this deck, which can quickly retrieve them via Dimension Fusion. Then they can be converted into an army of souped up machines with a single Limiter Removal. Metamorphosis provides access to other machine-type monsters, mainly Metal Dragon, Labyrinth Tank, and Gatling Dragon
Burn is surprisingly viable in Goat Format. It's very trap heavy. The heart of the deck is Secret Barrel, Just Desserts, and Ojama Trio. It's important to develop a good side strategy to adapt to your opponent's counters, because you can expect an onslaught of hate in the form of Mystic Swordsman LV2, Mobius the Frost Monarch, Jinzo, Royal Decree, etc. I've encountered some Burn players that use surprising smokescreens--everything from Rescue Cat OTK, to Monarch, to Chaos Recruiters.
This is a personal Zombie brew that forgoes the crummy zombies in the format, like Vampire Lord, and focuses on the singular powerful zombie in the format, Spirit Reaper.
Gravekeeper's were one of the few decks to top a premiere event in the United States during 2005. They were a strong counter to many of the staples in the Standard Goat decks, namely, BLS, Magician of Faith, Premature Burial, and Call of the Haunted.
This deck focuses on Ritual summoning Relinquished to generate card advantage and take control. The majority of monsters and even sheep tokens can be used to pay for the cost of Black Illusion Ritual. Relinquished is arguably a better version of TER, as other monsters can attack alongside it and be flip summoned. It still works great with Tsukuyomi, but is also weak to opposing Tsukuyomi. Book of Moon is better than normal in this deck, because you can book an attacking Tsuku and suck it up the next turn.
The Gearfried deck takes a similar approach to the Zoo deck, rarely setting and always applying pressure. It incorporates powerful hand control plays with Smoke Grenade of the Thief and versatile removal plays with Blast With Chain, both in conjunction with Gearfried the Iron Knight.
This is my personal Gate deck. A couple months back I was playing against beginner who was misusing his Gate OTK deck, and I realized the deck had the potential to win on advantage and that it did not have to win as quickly as conventional OTK decks. Dimension Fusion and all the easily summoned boss monsters clearly have an untapped ability to generate massive amounts of card advantage. So I started out by cutting cards that provide no inherent advantage from the old "HAM" decks, namely: Jinzo, Byser Shock, Royal Magical Library (shoutout to our background image), Card Destruction and Reload. I ended up cutting Metamorphosis too, because I found that it locked up the board, made my hands less fluid and I rarely had great level 1 targets.
The breakthrough moment came when I added a full set of Traps, giving the deck increased utility, an ability to stall, and an ability to counter counter-plays on the opponent's turn. Generally, I wait for my opponent to commit a monster to the board and then ideally drop a Gate or Reasoning, because in that game-state I am happy with any monster that comes out of the deck: Airknight and HaDes can gain advantage in battle, Sacred Crane becomes a strong floater, and DMoC can be an automatic win. Furthermore, by methodically attacking with monsters in this manner, I force the opponent to use their traps if they have them, meaning next turn I have a clearer shot to make an even bigger push.
The Rescue Cat deck is an OTK dependent on a combination of Rescue Cat + Last Will to get a second Rescue Cat. Ideally, this leaves the Cat player with a fleeting yet powerful field of 3 Milus Radiant and 1 Gyaku Gire Panda, which is 7700 damage if the opponent has no monsters on the field. An alternative strategy is to include at least 1 Des Wombat, which is 8500 damage total. However, it's unlikely that the opponent won't have any monsters on board, and highly likely that there might be Scapegoat tokens, so having the ability to bring out 3 Pandas is pretty clutch in that scenario: 3 Pandas + 1 Milus Radiant against 4 tokens is 8600 damage from the Pandas attacking the tokens. Additional damage can be snuck in with Ceasefire, Magic Cylinder, Ring of Destruction, United We Stand, Snatch Steal, Premature Burial, Call of the Haunted or even Secret Barrel in some variants of the deck. The greatest challenge this deck faces is an opponent who wisely commits multiple monsters to the board, which act as beefy blockers, instead of relying on Scapegoat, which is woefully inadequate to defend himself.
An OTK deck based on attaching a critical mass of Equip Spells to Armed Samurai Ben-Kei. It has the ability to smokescreen into a Chaos Warrior deck if you're clever.
An OTK deck based on activating Last Turn in conjunction with Non-Aggression Area. The old builds of Last Turn used Jowgen the Spiritualist, which is outed by many more cards than Non-Aggression Area.
Empty Jar is an alternative win combo deck that relies on decking out the opponent. The deck ideally gets things rolling with an early Jar combined with Book of Taiyou, and then recycles the Jars with The Shallow Grave. The finishing combo of the deck is Card Destruction followed by Serial Spell. Spell Reproduction is needed to recycle key spells, even with its significant cost, because they can lead the combo player into a fresh hand of 5 cards.