During this year, I spent a good amount of time working on deckbuilding, trying to go in-depth on Goat Format, and trying out different strategies and approaches to these strategies.I played a bunch of them with some success, and I often get asked how I manage to do so well with non meta decks.
Well, the secret isn't some ultra skill, but mainly good deck building and making good meta game choices. I'm going to post decks I consider good to be played in the current format, and provide material to explain how they work. In the articles that follow, I will provide videos of game play, interactions with different match-ups and a more in-depth guide to the decks themselves.
The first deck I want to cover isn't too far from current Goat strategies, yet still brings some unique interaction and a slightly different game plan to the world of Goat. In fact, while making a good use of the Goat/Meta synergy and matching card advantage quite well, being effectively an aggro-control deck, this deck gets some extremely aggressive lines. It is the deck I played the most during the past Dueling Book season, keeping me within the first positions of the ladder for most of the time.
I like to call the deck Cat Control
As you can see, the spell/trap lineup is quite similar to a Goat Control deck with some differences made to better suit the deck's play style and draws. The monster lineup, however, is very different.
The main and best monster we get access to is Rescue Cat. The rest of the monster lineup is made to get the highest card quality and synergy possible while allowing Cat to shine. Cat is one of the most powerful effects we have access to in Goat Format once we have the right tools to go with it.
Correctly using Cat when we draw it can be the most difficult thing about this deck because of the large amount of instant options it allows. If we are going first, it can be used as a pseudo Thunder Dragon by grabbing two Wicked Worm Beasts. This can be a useful turn one play because it means we are likely going to have some pressure going into the following turns, while also not being as affected by Delinquent Duo, Trap Dustshoot, Torrential Tribute, and Mirror Force.
Using Cat and Beast for early damage is a strong play as well. If you see an empty board, you can summon Rescue Cat and use its ability, grab two Wicked Worm Beast, swing in for 2800 damage, and end the turn with Delinquent Duo protection in hand. That's an insane effect for just one normal summon.
Usually, Wicked Worm Beast is going to be our main monster and the one we summon multiple times in most of the games we play. This deck is actually all about getting free Wicked Worm attacks. One great thing about this card is that it's never going to be card disadvantage. It can be traded for in a one-on-one or be walled, but it will never be possible for our opponent to get actual card advantage over it. As mentioned before, it also keeps protection from opposing Duo and Card Destruction plays from Chaos Turbo decks. Thanks to cards like Trap Dustshoot keeping the board free, we will be punching at opponents for 1400 damage until they are forced to commit to a big monster or use some interaction card over it. This then allows us to use our answers freely.
Wicked Worm Beast also plays well with Scapegoats, as we'll be bouncing our attacker and never Goat lock ourselves, while also keeping great life protection for our empty board.
The next main target for Cat plays is Milus Radiant. Milus Radiant bumps the attack power of most of our monsters, including Scapegoat tokens. So, it can be used to give our Pandas, Worm Beasts, and other monsters enough damage to run over bigger monsters or go for lethal. If we can end phase flip Scapegoats and summon Milus on the next turn, we get 2800 damage on board to hit our opponent with, or to run over all the opposing Goats, clearing the way for damage on the next turn.
Milus is a great link to Cat/ Metamorphosis/Scapegoat plays as well, which enables some powerful plays. Because it is level one, It's a Rescue Cat target that can turn into Thousand-Eyes Restrict if we use Metamorphosis. By playing three Rescue Cat, one Milus, one Sinister Serpent, and three Scapegoat, we effectively get the same amount of Metamorphosis targets as a dedicated Goat Control deck. This is ignoring the fact that Rescue Cat is a much faster way to gain advantage with these interactions, since using Cat to grab Milus and a Worm Beast is a +1 play, even with Metamorphosis. In Goat Control, we would need a flip monster to stick on the board for one turn to have the same result.
Radiant is also quite powerful when we have a Premature Burial or a Call of the Haunted, as we can get in something as good as 6500 damage if we have three Worm Beast and and Milus, while also gaining card advantage and exposing ourselves to very little risk.
Beyond our Metamorphasos plays, we also have great Creature Swap synergy. We can replicate the Cat/Metamorphosis play with a Swap on a Panda/Milus that have been grabbed by Cat, as they will die in the end phase anyways. Worm Beast will simply return to our hand after being swapped (Though it needs to stay on the opponent's field for one turn, as it comes back at the end of its owner's turn, not necessarily the player that controls it). We can also Swap a Goat, Sangan, Sinister, or Manticore. The icing on the cake to Creature Swap is that while it would normally be bad against Scapegoat, we have access to one of the best Scapegoat punishers in the format: Gyaku Gire Panda.
Manticore of Darkness is the last card we gain with this Beast engine, and it's a great payoff. Because of its interactions with discard mechanics, it increases our Tribe-Infecting Virus and Graceful Charity power level by a good amount, and provides additional Delinquent Duo, Card Destruction, Don Zaloog, and Morphing Jar protection alongside Wicked Worm Beast.
Manticore uses our recurring Worm Beasts as fodder, and is a great late game trick to get rid of dead beasts or provide large board presence when we want to push for lethal in the final turns. It also comes back after using Metamorphosis or Creature Swap on it, generating some absurdly aggressive lines.
While it is weak to Chaos Sorcerer, just like most monsters, it can also crush into a Sorcerer or Gravekeeper's Spy and not risk a loss to Raigeki Break or Book of moon, unlike Airknight Parshath and similarly used tribute monsters. Manticore also plays well with Call of the Haunted and Premature Burial as we can return a second time should either spell or trap be destroyed. Finally, we can tribute summon it to get rid of a Thousand-Eyes Restrict we don't want on our field anymore.
Pandas are likely the worst beasts to draw, but they play very well vs Scapegoats and have a good power facing other played stuff like Mystic Tomato and Gravekeeper's Spy, forcing the opponent to be careful about committing to their board. Otherwise, there is the threat of facing a 2300-3300 power piercing monster which can be normal summoned. They will also help a lot once the opponent reaches low life points, as you can take advantage of a lot of situations and swing for some good damage through Magician of Faiths, Night Assailants and such. This also makes Sinister Serpent stall impossible, which would otherwise be very harmful to our deck. Since most of our answers deal with threats individually, Panda is a great option when it comes out in multiples.
I consider this deck a valid option in Goat Format and a unique strategy that falls between both aggro and control. It interacts well with the most played decks and it has good advantage against many popular trends.
It can play full games without ever setting a monster, making opposing Nobleman of Crossouts dead, and it doesn't need Book of Moon, which matches up poorly against Chaos Turbo decks. Cat Control makes great use of three Trap Dustshoot and two Creature Swap, and it matches up well versus Chaos Sorcerers, Thousand-Eyes Restrict, and Scapegoats.
Look at my next few articles for some game play and more in-depth deck, match-up, and sideboard analysis!