What is Goat Control?
Goat Control is a Yu-Gi-Oh! Goat Format deck distinguished by its 2-3 Scapegoat, 2-3 Metamorphosis, 2 Tsukuyomi, 1-3 Airknight Parshath (but usually 2), and the presence of many powerful 1-ofs that some other decks don't play: Tribe Infecting Virus, Morphing Jar, and Premature Burial/Call of the Haunted.
Goat Control Strategy
Of the popular decks in the format, Goat Control’s strategy is the least linear. It can take on one of many different roles depending on the matchup, the gamestate, and the cards in its hand. Goat Control is unique in its ability to accumulate card advantage, attack for big chunks of damage, and also make sudden comebacks off the back of its power cards. Goat Control has a better late game than most other decks in the format; it just needs to get there by dealing with the opponent’s threats in the early game.
Goat Control Core Interactions
Unsurprisingly, Scapegoat is a key component of Goat Control’s strategy. It can be used to avoid taking too much damage or serve as a level 1 monster for Metamorphosis. Goat Control often features Creature Swap in the sidedeck, sometimes in the maindeck, which is also a powerful synergy with Scapegoat.
Tsukuyomi is a staple 2-of in modern Goat Control decklists. It can be used to reset Thousand-Eyes Restrict and suck up a new monster each turn or reuse one of the deck’s many flip effects. It can also deal with key threats like Blade Knight or an opposing Thousand-Eyes Restrict.
Goat Control is unique in its incorporation of Airknight Parshath as a key element of its strategy. In many ways, the deck is built around it. Goat Control’s Dust Tornadoes make it easier for Airknight Parshath to get in for damage. Premature Burial and Call of the Haunted are mostly used for special summoning it from the graveyard. Thousand-Eyes Restrict is also commonly tributed for Airknight Parshath in order to remove its lock from the field and start attacking your opponent. If Airknight Parshath is not dealt with quickly, Goat Control will take over the game with it.
Goat Control Deck Skeleton
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
1 Airknight Parshath
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Sinister Serpent
2 Magician of Faith
2 Book of Moon
2 Nobleman of Crossout
1 Pot of Greed
1 Graceful Charity
1 Delinquent Duo
1 Snatch Steal
1 Premature Burial
1 Heavy Storm
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Mirror Force
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Ring of Destruction
1 Call of the Haunted
Goat Control Example Decklists
Standard Goat Control: https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=2827282
Spy/Airknight Goat Control: https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=2827331
Strengths and Weaknesses of Goat Control
Goat Control’s biggest strength is that it’s the Swiss Army knife of the format. It has a wide array of options both in the maindeck and the sidedeck. It can be fine-tuned towards any particular metagame, which is why Goat Control has seen substantial revisions as the years have passed by. Goat Control doesn’t have any unwinnable matchups, nor does it have any blowout matchups. Goat Control’s results are less dependent upon the posture of the metagame and more founded upon the knowledge of Goat Control’s pilot.
Both a strength and a weakness of Goat Control is how difficult it is to play the deck without misplaying. On one hand, it takes more time to become proficient with Goat Control than the various chaos decks of the format, which makes some newer players shy away from Goat Control. On the other hand, the deck has a very high skill cap, with the most dedicated Goat Control players having exceptionally consistent results.
Arguably, the biggest weakness of Goat Control in the modern era is its popularity. More and more players are focusing on beating Goat Control specifically and exploiting the deck with gimmicks that it is not naturally built to handle. King Tiger Wanghu is seeing more play than it used to, which stops many of Goat Control’s most important synergies. Combo decks like Empty Jar and Reasoning Gate Combo take advantage of the deck’s passiveness by setting up one-turn kills within the first few turns of the game without much trouble. However, Goat Control can mitigate these weaknesses with a well-constructed sidedeck.
Common Misconceptions About Goat Control
The name “Goat Format” is sometimes taken to imply that Goat Control is the only good deck in the format. It is still the most popular deck, but it sees much less play than it used to. Goat Format certainly has some interesting history in this regard. When the revival era started in 2012, nearly everyone played Goat Control, but as the years have passed by, players have discovered more and more viable alternatives. Originally perceived to be a “mirror match format,” Goat Format has instead blossomed into a remarkably diverse and balanced format.
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Need a fusion deck for Goat Control? Check out Fusions in Goat Format.
Goat Control needs to get maximum value out of its power cards in order to win. Read about how to do that at Introduction to Goat Format Power Cards: Part 1.
What you like to learn about Goat Control from watching others? Check out these duel reviews:
If you're worried about Goat Control's harder matchups, we recommend reading What is Goat Control's Worst Matchup? and Goat Control vs Anti-Meta Warriors Sidedeck Strategy.
Do you have any questions about Goat Control or want to share your own Goat Control decklist? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Want expert help to construct your own Goat Control deck? Then join our Discord server.