Alt-win, burn, and combo, collectively known as the ABCs, maintain a significant presence in the online Yu-Gi-Oh! Goat Format meta. In most control decks, a large portion of the sidedeck, typically about 10 cards, is dedicated to countering these ABC decks. Having the tools to beat the ABC decks are essential to achieving a high winrate in the format. All of the best counters to each of these hazardous decks are listed below.
Sidedeck Cards for Reasoning Gate Combo
Reasoning Gate Combo is a spell-heavy deck that seeks to summon a field full of monsters using cards like Reasoning, Monster Gate, and Dimension Fusion with chaos monsters.
Spell Canceler: Spell Canceler is one of the few cards that can shutdown Reasoning Gate Combo single-handedly, as more than half of their deck is spell cards.
Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell: Using Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell on their Reasoning, Monster Gate, or Dimension Fusion can potentially stop them from effectively comboing. However, results may vary.
Scapegoat, Waboku, and Threatening Roar: Siding in any of these cards gives you something to chain to Giant Trunade in order to survive another turn. If timed well, they can be useful.
Trap Dustshoot, Mind Crush, and Drop Off: Trap Dustshoot is great for sending back chaos monsters or Sacred Crane before it can be tributed to Monster Gate. Mind Crush can counter Dark Magician of Chaos or Monster Reincarnation and is devastating when paired with Trap Dustshoot. Drop Off can be used to limit their options even further.
Jowgen the Spiritualist: Both of Jowgen the Spiritualist’s effects are surprisingly relevant, serving as either a floodgate or a Raigeki for specials summons. It can also be searched with Sangan or Shining Angel.
Royal Oppression: Like Jowgen, it shuts off all special summons. That is, until your opponent draws a Giant Trunade to clear it.
Anti-Spell Fragrance: This shuts down all of their spells, at least for a turn. Ideally, you'll want to pair it with something like Dust Tornado to get rid of them for good.
Cyber-Stein: Special summon Last Warrior from Another Planet, win the game. Reasoning Gate Combo doesn't have a lot of outs to it.
Sidedeck Cards for Burn and PACMAN
Although there are many different variants of Burn, most of the sidedeck cards cover all them. PACMAN, while not technically a Burn deck, operates in a similar way by relying on its trap cards in combination with Des Lacooda, Swarm of Scarabs, and Swarm of Locusts to lockdown the opponent.
Jinzo and Royal Decree: Nearly all variants of Burn are trap heavy, meaning that Jinzo and Royal Decree can beat them single-handedly.
Seven Tools of the Bandit: Great for negating Solemn Judgment and Fake Trap, although the fact that it costs 1000 lifepoints can mean that it’s counterproductive against Speed Burn variants.
Giant Trunade: Good against the lockdown variants of Burn (and to an extent PACMAN) so that you can make a big push. However, it's not as good against the Speed Burn decks that focus more on chainable sources of burn damage.
Mobius the Frost Monarch, Chiron the Mage, and Dust Tornado: Any kind of spell/trap removal is helpful against Burn. The former two can be negated by Skill Drain, unless you chain a card like Book of Moon to force them through.
Wave-Motion Cannon: This can be used to beat Burn at their own game. They usually have few ways to stop it, and if you can bait out a Solemn Judgment first, they will succumb to it in four turns or less.
Des Wombat: This really only stops the Speed Burn variants, as the other burn decks have a variety of different outs for it. However, it is quite powerful against Speed Burn.
Sidedeck Cards for Empty Jar
Empty Jar is one of the more popular OTK decks in the format, using the effects of Cyber Jar and Morphing Jar several times in a single turn to deck out the opponent.
Neko Mane King: The card has the advantage that you do not need to actual draw it in your opening hand in order for it to be useful. Your opponents jars will ensure that you draw it eventually, at which point you’ve ended their combo for a turn.
Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell: If used on Book of Taiyou, The Shallow Grave, Spell Reproduction, or Card Destruction, it can be fairly game-breaking.
Spell Canceler: Its ability to shutdown all spell cards is potentially game-winning, but it can lose out to Cyber Jar’s effect.
Solemn Judgment: Since Empty Jar wins by deckout, the lifepoint cost is usually irrelevant. However, it’s still at best only a one-for-one against one of Empty Jar’s combo pieces.
Compulsory Evacuation Device: Can be chained to Book of Taiyou to stop your opponent from initiating a jar combo during that turn.
Mind Crush: Can be very powerful if used correctly, particularly be chaining it to Giant Trunade or Heavy Storm, naming Book of Taiyou. It’s also a strong counter to Spell Reproduction and A Feather of the Phoenix.
Anti-Spell Fragrance: While it's in play, it makes it impossible for Empty Jar to combo kill you. However, they might just Giant Trunade it away.
Cyber-Stein: We don't care about our lifepoints, so getting Dark Balter the Terrible represents at least two free negations. Maybe more, if they activate Upstart Goblin.
Sidedeck Cards for Last Turn
Last Turn wins with its namesake card, Last Turn, in combination with Wall of Revealing Light and Jowgen the Spiritualist or sometimes Non-Aggression Area. It is not a very popular alt-win deck, as it is more easily countered than most.
Royal Decree and Jinzo: Last Turn is quite trap heavy, so you’ll be able to get a lot of mileage out of either of these cards.
Mobius the Frost Monarch, Chiron the Mage, and Dust Tornado: As Last Turn relies on its set trap cards quite heavily, any spell/trap removal will have use against them.
Compulsory Evacuation Device: Using Compulsory Evacuation Device on Jowgen the Spiritualist in response to Last Turn will win you the game if your opponent doesn’t have a Solemn Judgement to counter it.
Elephant Statue of Disaster: It virtually guarantees a win versus Last Turn, but its lack of usefulness against all other ABC decks means that it’s probably not worth the sidedeck space.
Sidedeck Cards for Ben Kei OTK and Cyber-Stein OTK
Ben Kei OTK is a combo deck that kills via its namesake card (Armed Samurai - Ben Kei) in combination with Giant Trunade and a variety of different equip spells. It is not very popular due to how many cards its combo typically requires, but it has the advantage of not being especially vulnerable to the sidedeck. Cyber-Stein OTK is a similar strategy but more fragile due to its 5000 lifepoint requirement.
Trap Dustshoot + Mind Crush: Both are great at neutralizing the deck’s main win condition (Ben Kei or Cyber-Stein). Chaining them in response to Giant Trunade can be particularly powerful.
Waboku and Threatening Roar: Activating either of these in response to Giant Trunade will buy you another turn.
Sidedeck Cards for Library FTK
Library FTK wins by drawing its entire deck in the first turn with Royal Library Library used in combination with a flurry of continuous spell cards and Giant Trunade. It has the highest first-turn-kill rate in Goat Format, but it is also fairly fragile.
Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell: This virtually guarantees a win when used on Giant Trunade, and that is the deck’s main draw engine.
Spell Canceler: Library FTK plays virtually no outs to this card, so it will effectively guarantee a win.
Dust Tornado: Since Library FTK uses continuous spells for its combo, hitting any one of them with Dust Tornado could brick them for a turn.
Compulsory Evacuation Device: Keeping Royal Magical Library off the field is key, even if its only for one turn.
Anti-Spell Fragrance: This will shut them down for awhile, if they don't out it with Giant Trunade or Heavy Storm.
Cyber-Stein: Last Warrior from Another Planet guarantees that you won't be seeing any Royal Magical Libraries in play, which is quite nice.
Sidedeck Cards for Rescue Cat OTK
Rescue Cat OTK is yet another flavor of the “make 8000 points of damage in one turn” strategy that is utilized by Ben Kei and Cyber-Stein OTK. In this case, the damage source is Rescue Cat in combination with Last Will or Premature Burial. As usual, Giant Trunade clears the field beforehand.
Trap Dustshoot + Mind Crush: These are good against Rescue Cat OTK for the same reason that they are good against Ben Kei and Cyber-Stein OTK.
Waboku and Threatening Roar: Chain them to Giant Trunade in order to buy yourself at least an extra turn.
Gravekeeper’s Spy: Unlike Ben Kei and Cyber Stein OTK, the Rescue Cat combo has significant difficulty dealing with 4000 defense points (when Gravekeeper’s Spy searches out another copy). This can buy you a fair bit of time against the deck.
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Need help building a fusion deck too? Check out Fusions in Goat Format. For an explanation of why you need to worry about all of these alt-win decks in Goat Format, see Beating Goat Control Isn't Good Enough.
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