What is Anti-Meta Warriors?
Anti-Meta Warriors (also known as "Warrior Aggro") is a Yu-Gi-Oh! Goat Format deck distinguished by the presence of 2 Reinforcement of the Army and several aggressive warriors to search out with it, including but not limited to D.D. Warrior Lady Lady, D.D. Assailant, Exiled Force, Blade Knight, Mystic Swordsman LV2, and Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke. They also play a higher trap count in order to back their threats up, typically including 3 Solemn Judgments. A special version of this deck, often called “Gearfried Warriors,” plays 3 Gearfried the Iron Knight and 3 Smoke Grenade of the Thief.
Anti-Meta Warriors Strategy
Anti-Meta Warriors is a deck that seeks to limit the opponent’s options through aggression. They follow mantra that there’s no such thing as wrong threats, only wrong answers. It seeks to capitalize on the fact that the control decks in the format are usually relying in synergies to stabilize the board and can be slow to setup early game. It does this by using cards like King Tiger Wanghu, Abyss Soldier, or Blade Knight to deal with the opponent’s monsters while also pushing for damage. If all goes well, the opponent’s lifepoints will be reduced to 0 within the first 10 turns of the game while they struggle to establish a board.
Anti-Meta Warriors Core Interactions
Anti-Meta Warriors will ideally have a threat and multiple traps (or Book of Moon) to back it up. They take advantage of Dust Tornados and Sakuretsu Armors protect the monsters from potential destruction. Solemn Judgment offers reliable support in both protecting the back row from Heavy Storms and for allowing Warriors to push through Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute.
Reinforcement of the Army acts as a tutor for specific warrior monsters that fit the given situation. If the opponent is setting monsters it can find Exiled Force, Blade Knight, Mystic Swordsman Level 2. If the the deck has already cleared monsters from the board, Reinforcements can fetch Don Zaloog and attack the opponent’s hand. Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke can eliminate defense position monsters like Gravekeeper’s Spy, Spirit Reaper, and sometimes Chaos Sorcerer.
The Gearfried version of this deck can play a hand disruption role by using Smoke Grenade of the Thief with Gearfried the Iron Knight. It also often plays Trap Dustshoot. With perfect information and your opponent’s best options gone, you can often steamroll through your opponent in the early game.
Abyss Soldier+Sinister Serpent can be a key interaction in the deck that not only helps move cards out of the way so that attacks get through without issue, but it also opens up high damage output potential. Combined with Premature Burial, Warriors can summon an Abyss soldier, then use Premature Burial to bring a fallen soldier back from the graveyard. If everything sticks, the deck can push for more damage by using Abyss Soldier’s effect to bounce the Premature Burial back to the hand. Since Premature Burial wasn’t destroyed, the monster it brought back gets to stay on the field, allowing Warriors to use it again and bring back another monster.
Anti-Meta Warriors Deck Skeleton
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Tribe-Infecting Virus
1 D.D. Warrior Lady
1 Exiled Force
1 Blade Knight
1 Delinquent Duo
1 Graceful Charity
1 Heavy Storm
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Nobleman of Crossout
1 Pot of Greed
2 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Snatch Steal
1 Mirror Force
1 Ring of Destruction
2 Sakuretsu Armor
3 Solemn Judgement
1 Torrential Tribute
Anti-Meta Warriors Example Decklists
Warrior Toolbox: https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=3588968
Gearfried Warriors: https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=2785653
Strengths and Weaknesses of Anti-Meta Warriors
More so than any other deck in the format, Anti-Meta Warriors can capitalize on the slow starts from the control decks in the format. Goat Control will typically need to wait a few turns in order to get their LV1+Metamorphosis combo, and by then there’s a good chance that you will have an answer for it. Their Airknight Parshaths and Nobleman of Crossouts will likely be completely dead, and their set monsters can be cleaned up with Blade Knight or Mystic Swordsman LV2.
Anti-Meta Warriors' unusually high levels of aggression combined with its ability to attack the hand (via Don Zaloog or Smoke Grenade of the Thief) can be useful for attacking some of the combo decks in the format like Empty Jar, Ben Kei, or Last Turn. However, Anti-Meta Warriors can have trouble dealing with Reasoning Gate Combo specifically due to its 4 chaos monsters, 3 Scapegoats, and its ability to easily summon large monsters like Jinzo and Dark Magician of Chaos. The Gearfried version can mitigate this to an extent with an early Smoke Grenade of the Thief combo to snipe a key combo piece.
Anti-Meta Warrior can struggle if their aggression is countered early on with cards like Gravekeeper’s Spy or Legendary Jujitsu Master. Unfortunately, Anti-Meta Warriors does not have as much “comeback potential” as some of the other decks in the format due their lack of powerful control options. An especially strong start from the opponent involving multiple trinity pieces can be more difficult to comeback from than it would be for other decks.
Common Misconceptions About Anti-Meta Warriors
This deck is sometimes referred to as “Zoo”, which is a bit of a misnomer as the deck typically only contains 1-3 beast monsters (sometimes even 0). The “Zoo” name originates over a decade ago from Magic: The Gathering, when it was used to describe aggressive “animal” decks that contained cards like Savannah Lions, Kird Ape, and Watchwolf. This name was ported over to Yu-Gi-Oh! in 2014 to describe a Goat Format deck containing 3 Berserk Gorilla, 2 Bazoo the Soul-Eater, and 3 Exarion Universe. This of course was during a time in which Goat Format players had mistakenly perceived Exarion Universe to be part of the pre-CRV Goat Format. When this was corrected and Exarion Universe was removed from the format, Exarion Universes were replaced with King Tiger Wanghus, and the Berserk Gorillas were cut for more warrior monsters. Despite the fact that the deck now contained more warriors than beasts, the name had stuck for some, and they continued to call the deck “Zoo”, much to the confusion of many other players.
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Want to try a real "Zoo" deck? Then check out our Beastdown deck guide. Although not as popular as Anti-Meta Warriors, another good aggressive deck in Goat Format is Chaos Recruiter. Looking for guides to other anti-meta decks in Goat Format? Read our Gravekeepers deck guide.
As a highly aggressive deck, Anti-Meta Warriors may often need to take calculated risks to win the game. Read about this more in Risk in Goat Format.
Do you have any questions about Anti-Meta Warriors or want to share your own Anti-Meta Warriors decklist? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Want expert help to construct your own Anti-Meta Warriors deck? Then join our Discord server.