The classic Yu-Gi-Oh Toon deck archetype continues to get new support cards and monsters.
OK, perhaps that's a slight exaggeration. But unlike Magic the Gathering, due to the extremely erratic nature of Yu-Gi-Oh’s metagame, investing in Yu-Gi-Oh cards 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?
In the early days of the game their sheer power level was enough to win your local tournament. But as the game grew and the power level of many other cards went berserk, Toons became a fond memory, a deck you built for the hell of it.
But Toon Kingdom...
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 at rare in 2018, too, in the Legendary Duelists: Ancient Millenium set. This reprint gets you a crappier-looking version of the card for about a fifth of the secret rare Dragons of Legends version price.
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 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 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.
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!
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.
So what’s a cool new 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.
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?
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 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. Let’s see what other tricks they have up their sleeve in the future. You never know what they’ll reprint or support next.