It should go without saying that Sangan is one of the most versatile cards in Goat Format. Being able to search powerful cards like Sinister Serpent and Tsukuyomi is a huge deal and greatly increases the consistency of seeing those powerful monsters in a given Duel. However, Serpent and Tsukuyomi are not the only cards Sangan can search, and they most definitely should not be the only things you consider searching with the fiendish burger patty (as I affectionately like to refer to Sangan as). In this article, I will go over a list of some of the more common monsters Sangan can search, and when they would each be good to grab off of Sangan’s effect.
It should also go without saying that in no way is this list the be-all and end-all of the Sangan targets in the metagame. In Goat Format, Sangan can search exactly 670 cards (250 Normal Monsters + 418 Effect monsters + 2 Ritual monsters, not including itself), and going over every single possible monster it would be able to search would not only be an incredibly poor use of my time, but also be way too long to condense into an article. I will simply go over the more common Sangan targets instead and what I feel would be of relevance to most of you.
Anyways, without further adieu, let’s start this article off by talking about the most common search target:
Sinister Serpent is by far the most common search off of Sangan, and for good reason. Drawing Sinister Serpent can oftentimes be very subpar, so being able to search it instead while giving yourself the opportunity to draw the cards it combos with (e.g. Abyss Soldier, Metamorphosis, Raigeki Break, etc.) is often the preferred method of gaining access to it. If you are playing a deck similar in playstyle to Goat Control, this should usually be your go-to search off of Sangan unless you already have access to it and/or are desperately in need of something else instead.
Tsukuyomi is the second most common search off of Sangan. Similarly to drawing Sinister Serpent, drawing Tsukuyomi can sometimes be weird/suboptimal, so being able to search it instead of hard draw it for your turn can be nice. Tsukyomi’s main function in most Goat Format decks is to shut off problematic monsters with floodgate-like effects, such as Thousand-Eyes Restrict, Jinzo, and Dark Balter the Terrible, while also allowing you to recycle your Flip Effect monsters’s effects should they have stuck to the board. If you have a Flip Effect monster whose effect you want to abuse, or you simply want to be prepared for the inevitable TER drop in the Goat Control mirror, this is a solid card to search off of Sangan.
D.D. Warrior Lady
D.D. Warrior Lady is a somewhat uncommon search off of Sangan, but I personally like it a lot, especially when I am playing Goat Control. Being able to search it in order to deal with a problematic monster like Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning at the cost of a Battle Phase can sometimes be game-saving. Furthermore, in some gamestates, especially against fast combo decks like Reasoning Gate Turbo, Empty Jar, and Library FTK, the fact that DDWL is a Sangan target can be huge if my Sangan has already stuck to the board. Consider the following sequence of plays:
Turn 1 (you went first): Normal Summon Sangan, pass.
Turn 2: Opponent draws to 6 and passes.
Turn 3: Use Metamorphosis on Sangan for Dragoness the Wicked Knight, search DDWL off of Sangan, Normal Summon DDWL, attack directly with both monsters for 2700 damage (opp LP: 5300), pass.
Turn 4: Opponents draws to 7, sets a S/T to not lose a card due to the End Phase Hand Size Limit rule, and passes.
Turn 5: Either Normal Summon another monster to establish an even faster clock on your opponent/drop them to under 2000 LP for Dimension Fusion, swing for at least another 2700 direct damage (opp LP: <= 2600), pass.
By not playing DDWL in my Main Deck, I lose the potential ability to establish an efficient three turn clock against the format’s multitude of combo decks in Game 1. Keep DDWL in mind as a Sangan target if you ever need a beater to establish a clock with and/or desperately need to get rid of a threat that Tsukuyomi cannot deal with alongside the rest of your current hand.
Cyber Jar/Morphing Jar
Say you lost the die roll and your opponent opened the absolute stone cold nuts against you in the Goat Control mirror. They started their turn off with Delinquent Duo, then used Pot of Greed, and after that, used Graceful Charity discarding Scapegoat and Sinister Serpent. Finally, they set a Magician of Faith and a Book of Moon, then passed the turn. Things do not really get better for you in the turns to follow and you eventually find yourself in a top-decking situation. Fortunately for you, though, your opponent destroyed your set Sangan in battle, meaning they likely do not have Nobleman of Crossout. Is there a search target off Sangan that could potentially even the card advantage deficit and get you back in the game? Yes, there is, and that monster of a card (pun 100% intended) is Morphing Jar.
If you ever find yourself in this sort of position, always remember that Sangan can search a Flip Effect monster that allows you to see 5 fresh cards at the cost of your opponent discarding their entire hand and also seeing 5 fresh cards. Given how your opponent’s trinity pieces are now all in the GY and you probably haven’t seen any of yours, there is a good chance that you will have a decent shot at mounting a comeback should Morphing Jar’s effect resolve.
In Thunder Dragon Chaos decks, you can also do something similar with Cyber Jar, which is why I lumped the two Jars together for this subtitle. Additionally, if you are an Empty Jar player, being able to search Cyber Jar off of Sangan could potentially mean the difference between being able to combo off and being forced to scoop.
Other Flip Effect Monsters (Faith, Merchant, Dekoichi, Mask, etc.)
There are some gamestates where you already have Serpent and Tsuk, do not need D.D. Warrior Lady (a beater), and do not want to use a Jar. In these gamestates, it is usually best to get a Flip Effect monster off of Sangan in order to either recur a power Spell with Magician of Faith, or see new cards/resources with Magical Merchant or Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive. This is also a good play if you lack a follow-up play and don’t have a Normal Summon or Set sitting in your hand to commit to the board on your next turn.
Exiled Force is a commonly played card in many aggro, especially pure Anti-Meta Warriors, strategies. If you also happen to be playing Sangan in your aggro deck, being able to search Exiled Force can be great if you need to out a threat without the risk of your monster running into a Trap like Ring of Destruction, Mirror Force, or Sakuretsu Armor.
Having said this, one of my favorite plays with Exiled Force involves me Normal Summoning it, attacking over a Goat token or set monster with it, then Tributing it off in Main Phase 2 to destroy another monster. Keep in mind that you do not always have to use Ignition Effect Priority with Exiled Force - waiting until Main Phase 2 after it has gone +1 in battle by attacking over another threat can be just as devastating, if not more.
Recruiters (Shining Angel, Mystic Tomato, Pyramid Turtle, etc.)
The final Sangan targets I would like to bring up are the various battle floaters present in the format. While they are somewhat uncommon nowadays, monsters like Shining Angel, Mystic Tomato, and Pyramid Turtle all have their place in the metagame (e.g. in Chaos Recruiter and Zombie decks), and are all options worth considering if you want a serviceable beater than can pressure the opponent while replacing itself in the event it is destroyed in battle.