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D. D. A » Destructor Main Building » Classroom » Split Face decks (Structure Lesson)

Split Face decks (Structure Lesson)

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1 Split Face decks (Structure Lesson) on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:12 am

(Note, please read the Concept Lesson before continuing, as it will help you understand why these decks work well.)

Ok, last I left off we were talking about the theory behind the Split Face, the general interactions with other decks and why they win the way they work.  Now it's time to get into the nitty gritty.

Generally speaking, the structure of a Split Face looks something like this:

Main Deck

15 cards that make up one theme
25 general purpose cards or cards that are relevant to both themes

Extra Deck
7-8 cards for one theme
7-8 cards for another


5 cards for one theme
5 cards for another
5 general purpose cards

Side Deck
15 cards that make up another theme

With the above format, we'll continue with the insect/fire king combo we had in the last example.


Step one in the process is the same as any other deck, pick your themes.  Keep in mind, however, that these themes only have a space of 15 cards to 'fit' in, so it is best to pick two small themes or themes that can do without their bells and whistles.  In this case we picked the Insect and Fire King themes, with Insects as our main theme and Fire Kings as the side.


Step two in this process deals with the majority of the main deck, the 25 general purpose cards.  Before we cover this, we must discuss the various ways to approach this step.  If your themes are both relatively small, like Watt monsters and Ojama, then these 25 cards can all be what I call Gray cards, meaning they are useful in all situations and make up the parts of the deck that are identical to all other decks, such cards include Dark Bribe, Dimensional Prison, Mirror Force, Mystical Space Typhoon, and so on.  

Another way to approach this is from the side of Synergy, or two themes that are similar in nature, or benefit from similar cards.  Something like Elemental Heroes and Cyber Dragons, both of which feed well off of fusion summoning, and thus would both benefit from cards that assist in fusion summoning.  In this case you would build up the 25 card bulk to essentially be a fusion deck, minus the personality.  This way you cans witch from Elemental Heroes to Cyber Dragons with Ease, although the downside to this is the same cards that disable Elemental Heroes' fusion capabilities also apply to Cyber Dragons, and would not really affect the effectiveness of your opponent's side.

So, for our Insect/Fire King split face, I'll toss in a couple Mirror Forces, a couple D. Prisons, a set of Magic Cylinders, and a few other general purpose cards to make up the 25 card bulk.


Once your 25 card shell is constructed we may now begin constructing our 15 card programs to make this deck fly.  Fire Kings is literally a very small theme, you can easily run with two copies of every monster card and still have space left over for magics possible traps you may want to use, but there are other monsters I want to draw more than some, so we'll vary things a bit, in this case three Yashka, two barong, three Kirin, two High avatar Garunix, two Onslaught of the Fire Kings, and three Circle of the Fire Kings for my 15 card program.  I've cut out regular Garunix because he's more of a propagator than a doer, as in he stalls for time by covering your rear after an attack rather than progressing the strategy, and there will be plenty of rear-covering cards in the 25 card shell.

Now for the insect side of things, this 15 card program is going to be a little tight, seeing as there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of insect type monsters and support cards. but we'll try to make things small.  The worst mistake I've evr committed here is getting to carried away and not focusing the program to a certain task or strategy, so I'd lay out your insect win condition in very strict terms.  For this deck, I'll say the insect portion will win by high attack powered millingwith cards like Doom Dozer and Aztekipede.  As such, in the main deck we'll add in three Aztekipedes and two Doom Dozers for the milling aspect, and add in three Chainsaw Insect to speed up the process by forcing our opponent to draw while doing massive damage.  We'll also add in three Man-Eater bugs and two Noble Man-Eater Bugs for clearing power and two Arsenal Bugs for supporting our frontal assault.  Under this design the insect aspect is limited, and not as potent as a full breed Insect deck, but with just 15 cards, it's not supposed to be, and in the event you happen to run into a fellow insect duelist, just side in fire kings to give yourself a bit of an edge.  

With our two 15 card programs done, we can move onto the next step.


The fourth and final step unique to Split Faces is reviewing the 25 card shell in the main deck and revise it for optimization, perhaps there are cards that both themes benefit from?  Now I can already hear some of you saying "I thought you said that was bad!"  Well, yes and no.  In the previous example of a fusion deck, we made the mistake of programming the Shell itself to be a fusion deck, and in doing so compimised the whole deck with the weaknesses of fusion decks, but if you don't program the shell itself and just optimize it for your two themes, then you'll end up benefiting GREATLY!  Let me show you what I mean.

Let's say in our 25 card shell we have three Alexandrite dragons, yeah, they are high power attack for cheap, but other than that, they don't really do much for either one of our themes... let's fix that.  Remember what I said earlier about 15 cards being a tight fit for some larger themes? Insects are a prime example of this, it's limited sooooo much from the 15 card factor, but what happens when we replace Alexandrite Dragon with three Insect Knights?  Yeah, Insect knight is weaker, but only by 100 points, a sacrifice small enough to make.  The benefits in this case are three more insects to buff up your insect side of the deck to help summon Doom Dozer and Aztekipede. Here's another example, Man-Eater Bug.  He's not really used for attacking, just defense and clearing, so what if we took another card from out 25 card shell, say Kagegokage, a reptile that can only be special summoned when you summon another lvl 4 monster that turn.  I can't tell you how many times I needed something to clear the field and instead got that thing.  We take out our three KagegoKages and replace them with the three Man-Eater Bugs from our 15 card program, and thus open up room for another three cards while our fire kings still keep an easy to summon high power monster and some field clearing, even targeting your own monsters with Man-Eater Bug to trigger some pretty awesome chains and effects.

(There is one more step concerning probability, but it makes up about 40% of the lesson, so I'll be Posting that in another post, seeing as it really applies to ALL decks.)

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