by Phoenix Desertsong, Old School Duelist
Toon Kingdom makes a competitive Yu-Gi-Oh Toon deck build possible.
Yu-Gi-Oh. I used to play this trading card game with about the same frequency as breathing. Then, the game became all about one or two top archetypes at a time. Each would have a shelf life of about a month. After that, everything got reprinted... except some random common from like 2005 that was never reprinted and became like 10 bucks a pop. The rest of the decks could be had for a week worth of lunch money.
OK, perhaps that's a slight exaggeration. But, due to the extremely erratic nature of Yu-Gi-Oh’s metagame, investing in Yu-Gi-Oh cards long-term has often not been a smart play. That is, unless you wheel and deal like a Dark Magician… (That was lame, I'm sorry.)
So, why in the holy name of Dark Magician Girl would I be returning to write about the duel monsters?
Nostalgia does strange things to our recollections of intrinsically worthless things. Toons were my introduction to Yu-Gi-Oh with the Pegasus starter deck. As much as I loved the concept of them, they cost you most of your life points just to play them.
In the early days of the game their sheer power level was enough to win your local tournament by accident on occasion. But as the game grew and the power level of many other cards went berserk, Toons became a fond memory, a deck you built "Just For Fun."
But, Toon Kingdom...is certainly a game changer in making Toons competitive!
First introduced in the Yu-Gi-Oh GX anime, Toon Kingdom teased duel monsters fans with a potentially dangerous new way to play Toons. But they never printed it into the actual card game, until Dragons of Legends 2. They would reprint it as a rare in 2018, too, in the Legendary Duelists: Ancient Millenium set. The reprint gets you a crappier-looking version of the card for about half the price of a secret rare Dragons of Legends version when going by 2020 prices.
What's particularly nuts about this version of Toon Kingdom is that it's actually better than the anime version.
When you activate this card, remove from play the top 5 cards of your Deck. This face-up card's name is treated as "Toon World". If a "Toon" monster you control would be destroyed by battle, you can banish the top card of your Deck instead.
When this card is activated: Banish 3 cards from the top of your Deck, face-down. This card's name becomes "Toon World" while in the Field Zone. Your opponent cannot target Toon monsters you control with card effects. If a Toon monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can banish 1 card from the top of your Deck, face-down, for each of those monster(s) instead.
The original Toon World?
Activate this card by paying 1000 LP.
How exciting. But, to play the lovely Toon Dark Magician Girl or Toon Blue-Eyes White Dragon, you had to have this Toon World continuous spell card on the board. But now, Toon Kingdom makes them almost indestructible.
There is an important distinction between the anime and “real world” versions of Toon Kingdom. The original Kingdom banishes the top 5 cards of your deck, BUT they are face-up. The new version only banishes 3, but they are face-down. Because they are face-down, you can’t do anything with them. No Different Dimension shenanigans. Once they’re banished face-down, they’re gone forever.
I think the trade-off is worth it, though, just because you have Toons that basically can’t be destroyed by battle or by card effects. They can’t even be targeted by card effects. Even the classic Raigeki doesn’t kill them, as long as you banish one card for each one that would otherwise be destroyed.
Another major distinction is that Toon Kingdom is a Field Spell in “real life” whereas the original was a Continuous Spell Card. This means you can use Terraforming to search it out, not just Toon Table of Contents. Since you’ll be banishing cards from your deck left and right, redundancy is important.
So now the question is, are Toons now suddenly tournament-playable after so many years? Let’s see what other Toon support Dragons of Legends 2 has unleashed.
Toon Ancient Gear Golem? This is a cute card. Ancient Gear Golem was a really powerful monster back in the day. Is it going to see play? Probably not.
Toon Rollback lets you attack a second time! Sounds good enough, but no one’s taking anything out to make room for it in their 40.
Shadow Toon sounds pretty awesome. You can inflict damage equal to the ATK points of an opponent’s creature right to your opponent’s face. But it's a bit too situational.
Toon Mask? It's a free Special Summon, even out of the deck! But like Shadow Toon, it's totally dependent is what your opponent is playing.
Toon Briefcase? The Briefcase is pretty sweet, though, as it’s sort of a Trap Hole that returns the monster to the deck. Comic Hand is a Snatch Steal if you have Toon World/Toon Kingdom.
Mimicat, though? We have a winner!
If you control "Toon World" and a Toon monster: Target 1 card in your opponent's Graveyard; if it is a monster, Special Summon it to your side of the field, or if it is a Spell/Trap Card, Set it to your side of the field. You can only activate 1 "Mimicat" per turn.
A Monster Reborn that can bring back spell or trap cards!? WHAT!? Give me a playset right now!
Dragons of Legend 2 isn't the only newer set to provide good Toon cards, though. With the Shining Victories set, in came a powerful new Toon monster: Red-Eyes Toon Dragon. Yu-Gi-Oh players know how busted Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon became. This is a pretty strong Red-Eyes Dragon, too, letting you Special Summon any Toon monster other than another "Red-Eyes Toon Dragon" from your hand once per turn.
With the Dark Illusion set, Toons keep getting better. Toon Dark Magician may be the best of the Toon monsters printed so far! The best part about this Dark Magician is that he can summon a Toon monster directly from your deck! He also has the ability to search out a Toon Spell or Trap card from your deck, including Toon Kingdom! It also doesn't hurt that he can attack your opponent directly for 2500 !
In particular, you're going to want to get a Red-Eyes Toon Dragon. You can then use the Toon Dragon's ability to summon yet another Toon Dark Magician from your hand and repeat the process! In effect, you can combo off a bunch of summons in one turn just like the classic Six Samurai decks and many other competitive decks today.
We’ve established that Toon Kingdom and Mimicat are the main draws here. Red-Eyes Toon Dragon and Toon Dark Magician make for a great top-end boss monsters to build around. Most of the other cards are cute and sound good on paper, but don’t quite make the cut if we're going for consistency and overall power.
So, what’s a cool new competitive Toon deck going to look like? Tons of people brew Toon decks constantly. But there are so many permutations, and there doesn’t seem to be an optimized, competitive Toon build out there quite yet.
You’d want to start with a deck list like this:
3x Toon Cannon Soldier
3x Toon Gemini Elf
3x Toon Masked Sorcerer
2x Toon Mermaid
2x Toon Cyber Dragon
3x Toon Dark Magician
3x Red-Eyes Toon Dragon
2x Comic Hand
3x Pot of Duality
3x Toon Kingdom
3x Toon Table of Contents
1x Bottomless Trap Hole
2x Call of the Haunted
2x Dimensional Prison
2x Toon Briefcase
Toon Summoned Skull is a classic Toon monster that usually sees play in Toons, but Toon Cyber Dragon is a newer option you can play instead. The Cyber Dragon is probably better, though, since you can Special Summon it in the same way you could a regular Cyber Dragon.
The monster line-up doesn’t look overwhelming, but since they can all attack directly if your opponent doesn’t control a Toon, they don’t have to be overwhelming on power. Also, remember that you can just banish a card face-down if they would be destroyed. There’s enough defensive cards in the deck to deal with any major offensive threats from your opponent.
Answering Great Reader Feedback About Building a Toon Kingdom Deck
Over time, I’ve received some great reader comments about building their own Toon Kingdom decks. One reader suggestion is to use the continuous Spell card Field Barrier to protect your Toon Kingdoms. I feel this would be a good card to consider for the sideboard, especially against decks with enough firepower to continuously blow away cards in your Spell & Trap Zones.
Another reader suggestion is to use a different draw card in place of Pot of Duality. This is because you can’t Special Summon monsters in the same turn as playing Pot of Duality. However, this wouldn’t be the first Special Summon happy deck to play Duality. This is because Duality lets you choose one card from among the next three.
You could use Upstart Goblin instead of Pot of Duality, which gifts your opponent 1000 LP to draw you a card. This isn’t my favorite option, but Upstart Goblin has been used for years with much success. There are other options, such as Jar of Greed. But since you can unleash some powerful direct attacks with Toon monsters, the life gain for your opponent may be a moot point.
Will a Toon Kingdom Deck Be Able to Win at Local Tournaments?
Frankly, I don't see Toons winning anything serious anytime soon. But, they have a chance in being a lot of fun and winning on the pure strength of Toon Kingdom on occasion. I just can't see them being consistent enough to be worth sleeving up for an actual Advanced-level tournament.
While this isn’t a competitively optimized list, it is a place to start your Toon Kingdom deck. You can substitute whatever Toon monsters you find most useful. Also, keep in mind you have your XYZ monsters and Link Monsters at your disposal, something that Toons never had before. As an archetype, Toons are continuing to look a lot scarier with each new set release that includes them.
Will Toons ever again become consistent enough to actually win tournaments as they could in the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh? That’s quite hard to say, considering you could end up banishing all of your Toon Kingdoms by accident. That is unlikely, though, with how many ways you have to tutor them out. Also, there's enough copies of your monsters and support cards to keep from burning through all of them.
While I don’t plan on just building Toons myself and playing Yu-Gi-Oh again, it’s been a lot of fun to watch Konami continue to give one of the original Yu-Gi-Oh deck archetypes new life. You never know what they’ll reprint or support next.
Of course, you can always play a Toon deck on Duel Links. But, that's a whole different article!
Here are some other Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game articles you may enjoy:
- Yu-Gi-Oh Blackwings Deck Profile
- Can a Gladiator Beast Deck Still Be Competitive?
- GOAT FORMAT! - Intro to the Format
- Fire Princess Burn - Old School Yu-Gi-Oh! Deck Profile!
- The Legendary Fisherman - Old School Yu-Gi-Oh Deck Profile
Dragons of Legend 2 has lots of cool Yu-Gi-Oh cards, including the awesome Toon Kingdom, a much better version of the classic Toon World. With many players wanting to build Toon Kingdom decks, there are plenty of options to choose from when constructing your deck. Comic Hand, Mimicat, and Toon Briefcase are all cards that many Toon decks play, but there are others to consider, as well. Here are 3 Toon cards not to overlook from Dragons of Legend 2 when building your own Toon deck. While I’m not sure I’d put them in my main 40 cards, they are still worth considering.
A couple of these cards requires that you have Toon World (or Toon Kingdom, which counts as Toon World) in play when you play them. One only requires that you have a Toon monster in play (which often means you’ll have Toon World or Toon Kingdom in play anyway). Each has an effect that is definitely useful.
If you control “Toon World”: Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; inflict damage to your opponent equal to the ATK of that face-up monster. You can only activate 1 “Shadow Toon” per turn.
Shadow Toon is a very powerful spell card! With some of the more powerful Xyz and Synchro monsters out there, this spell could finish off an opponent in one shot! While not good in every match-up, this is a nice card to have in your sideboard. Having three of these in your deck may be all you need to finish off certain decks.
Also, there is a Shadow Toon FTK (First Turn Kill) strategy using Ancient Gear Toon monsters. It involves Malefic Cyber End Dragon, Vengeful Servant, and Shien's Spy. Here's how it works:
If you control “Toon World”: Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; Special Summon 1 Toon monster from your hand or deck, whose Level is less or equal to the Level/Rank of that monster, ignoring its Summoning conditions.
There are quite a few awesome things about Toon Mask. Not only do you get to Special Summon a monster, but you can get that monster from either your hand or Deck! Also, that creature’s summoning conditions are completely ignored. But the best thing about this card is that it considers either Rank or Level. So you can target your opponent’s Xyz monster as well. It’s a pretty sweet way to pull out one of your best Toon monsters in response to one of your opponent’s big threats. In some Toon deck builds, this might even be worthy of the main deck! However, it is a bit situational, as it does depend on the Ranks and Levels of creatures that your opponents play.
Target 1 Toon monster you control; it can make a second attack during each Battle Phase this turn.
With Toon monsters in particular, an extra attack with Toon Rollback is a big deal. This is because pretty much any Toon monster out there can attack your opponent directly if they control no Toons and you have Toon World in play. Getting an extra attack out of your Red-Eyes Toon Dragon or Toon Dark Magician is particularly devastating. Is this card good enough to be playing in your main deck? Maybe.
All three of these cards are definitely worth considering as you’re tweaking a Toon deck. While they may not see play out of the main deck, they are definitely worth considering for the side-board if you’re playing at a tournament. If you’re going all out with a Toon deck and not playing staples such as Pot of Duality, Dimensional Prison, etc. then these cards are definitely worth trying out.
What do you think of these three Toon cards? Are there other Toon cards that you think are worth playing?
by ElspethFTW, Old School Duelist
Barrel Dragon gets a Toon makeover in Yu-Gi-Oh's Dimension of Chaos set.
As someone who used to be absolutely obsessed with Yu-Gi-Oh, when I came across Toon Barrel Dragon, a major wave of nostalgia hit me. For those unfamiliar with Barrel Dragon, in the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh, that monster could take down any card on the field - if you got 2 heads out of 3 coin flips.
In the Dimension of Chaos set, Yu-Gi-Oh finally printed the Toon version of Barrel Dragon. About time! It has the same basic stats and effect as the original Barrel Dragon, except it has the upside of being able to attack directly if you have Toon World or Toon Kingdom on the field.
Unlike some older Toon monsters, this cartoonish Barrel Dragon doesn't have the drawback of being destroyed without a "Toon World" card being on the field. It also can target any card on the field, and not just monsters, like the original Barrel Dragon. So the Toon version is, in fact, strictly better than the original.
Of course, there are so many Toon monster options today. Konami decided to go ahead and print monsters like Toon Cyber Dragon that have made the deck a bit more competitive. Yu-Gi-Oh continues to give classic monsters the Toon treatment on a regular basis now, recognizing how much people still love the archetype. Of course, Toon Kingdom is the card that brought Toons back into the Yu-Gi-Oh meta-game as a "troll" deck. I wrote a fairly extensive piece about the effect of Toon Kingdom on the competitiveness of Toon decks. It's one of the most popular Gaming articles I've ever written.
While this Barrel Dragon isn't going to cut it in today's Yu-Gi-Oh competitively, it's still a fun card to have simply for nostalgia's sake. Barrel Dragon was a card that many early Yu-Gi-Oh players hold close to their hearts. Today, Toons are pretty much a "troll" deck, as it is. Players basically play them for the sake of being funny, although they can win some games against tournament-level decks at times from the sheer power of Toon Kingdom. The Toon Barrel Dragon may never come out of nowhere in some high-profile tournament. But he's going to be a beloved collectible card for anyone who loves Yu-Gi-Oh Toon Monsters.
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