Yu-Gi-Oh! Alternate Alliance: How Would Ogdoadic Fare in DUAE?

Carter Kachmarik
May 10, 2023


The release of Duelist Alliance in 2014 changed the course of Yugioh forever: The Extra Deck became far more of a toolbox for decks to employ, and gone were the back-and-forth Normal Summon games of HAT format.  DUAE was the first truly ‘modern’ set in a broad sense, focusing on streamlined, recursive gameplans that never ran out of steam if given another turn, headlined by powerful threats of Shaddoll, Burning Abyss, and Tellarknight.  In this series of articles, I hope to explore an alternate timeline of DUAE, where underrepresented archetypes and support cards are given a second chance, traveling back in time to modern Yugioh’s birthplace.  I’m putting to the test the idea of cards releasing ‘too late’ to be good, and turning back the clock to look over a few fan-favorite strategies.

This week, I’ll be examining perhaps the most egregious example of a deck that should have by all rights been good: Ogdoadic.  Released in Deck Build Pack: Ancient Guardians, Ogodadic were finally a Reptile deck with a Graveyard focus, testing how broken Snake Rain could be.  In truth, however, the deck essentially flopped, and while some ‘Reptile Pile’ decks have seen local success, on the whole these Egyptian-themed serpents did little more than show a ‘foolish 4’ was only as good as its payoff.

For some background, Ogdoadic are an archetype of LIGHT & DARK Reptiles originally localized as ‘Abhyss’, which was quite a bit easier to say than their actual TCG name.  These snakes based on Egyptian mythology focus on GY recursion, but moreover, monsters summoned from either Graveyard.  Their final boss monster, Ogdoabyss, the Ogdoadic Overlord, showcases this, with a costly GY-summon effect, and a field wipe for everything not summoned from beyond the grave.  Between a fantastic suite of tools to put their key monsters in the GY, and reasonable payoffs in the form of their Level 8 bosses, Aron & Amunessia, surely these cards would be a surefire hit in a much older format.  Well, Ogdoadic being placed into DUAE faces some challenges it wouldn’t otherwise have in the current TCG, namely, the nonexistence of Link Monsters.

Current builds employing Ogdoadic utilize the short list of potent Reptile-focused Link Monsters, such as Cosmic Slicer Zer’oll and Reptilianne Echidna.  Without these tools, or the general pool of Links in general, Ogdoadic may suffer when it comes time to put their field presence to use.  That said, even without Link Monsters, tools debuting in Duelist Alliance would be fantastic for them, namely, Casel, the Skyblaster Musketeer.  Like Satellarknight, Ogdoadic have access to the Rank 4 Toolbox, which includes King of the Feral Imps at this point in time; not only that, they can also make use of the Rank 8 pool, including Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand.  There’s a chance we could see boards of either Aron or Amunessia backed up by one of these potent pieces, but even beyond that, Ogdoadic have more tools left unexplored in the current game.

Part of Ogdoadic’s current issue in the TCG is the fact that its identity, in the form of many of its Spell/Traps, are simply too slow for the modern metagame.  Ogdoadic Hollow & Ogdoadic Calling are both Traps, making them inherently slow, and neither is worthwhile at a time when their effects can be achieved through more accessible means.  That said, winding back the clock a bit makes these cards vastly less painful to play, and with games lasting more than just a few turns, turning on your effects which require Reptiles of 5+ different names is less of a tax.

Another oft-forgotten piece of Ogdoadic’s arsenal is the prior mentioned Amunessia, the Ogdoadic Queen, who would be a tremendous meta call in that particular format.  The three major players of BA, Shaddoll, and Tellar all need to Summon from the GY, and moreover, the core of the first twos’ gameplan centers around sending cards from the Deck to the GY, with Tellars also sometimes using Satellarknight Unukalhai for a similar purpose.  She would be triggering at least once a turn cycle, if not twice, and that would rapidly stack up; the only downside is that she doesn’t actively hamper those decks’ gameplan in doing so, as the cards are still sent to the GY, with more from her removal, so the true test of skill would come from managing & exploiting Hard Once-per-Turn effects.  In addition, she’s also 2700ATK base, which just barely gets beaten-over by El Shaddoll Construct, but not so by Dante, meaning she might slot in comfortably into the rock-paper-scissors nature of DUAE.

Unlike the prior article here, I’m giving Ogdoadic their entire lineup in this hypothetical scenario, giving them the best chance to dominate DUAE.  This is partially due to the fact that the deck lacks a coherent true endboard without the existence of other modern Reptile supports, and also because diversity of names matters so much.  The endboard I foresee for this iteration of the deck is likely just Amunessia + whatever other 4 cards you have in hand (Given Nauya -> Keurse -> Water Lily -> Aron/Amunessia is the easiest 1-card opener in the deck).  That said, in my personal list, I’ve also maxed out on copies of Breakthrough Skill & Vanity’s Fiend to equalize, given the deck very readily presents extra bodies for Tribute, or ways to pitch cards in hand/deck.  More optimized versions might run Burial from a Different Dimension as well, to help deal with our density of 1-ofs that ‘banish when they leave the field’.

The thing I realized upon building the deck is that Ogdoadic somewhat ‘build themselves’ when it comes to this time period: You’re essentially jamming as many different names & different ways to send cards to GY as possible, with wiggle room for format staples.  There’s certainly builds of this that max out on just the Level 4s, to turbo out Rank 4s (Nunu, the Ogdoadic Remnant in particular is a potent piece of r4 spam in this format), or that hybridize with Shaddoll itself given the density of LIGHTs & DARKs.  On that note, it becomes important to state the clear weaknesses of Ogdoadic in the format: It’s similarly GY-based as the other top players, and loses badly to Super Polymerization.  What Ogdo gives you as a player over other options isn’t very vast in comparison to its peers, as you often need to open Snake Rain itself to use the GY toolbox the strategy wants to employ.  Without it, there’s virtually no way to turn on your 5+ name effects Turn 1, from my testing, though that’s far less of an issue compared to nowadays.

Ogdoadic is a deck that’s slow to start, but picks up speed as the game goes on.  We’ve maxed out on Ogdoadic Calling due to its tremendous power once turned on, but also its reasonable use-cases where it’s blocking damage, or providing tokens for our Summons/Vanity’s FiendOgdoadic Serpent Strike is an insane card as well, though it’s more reliant on ones’ opponent than I’d like; oftentimes if my opponent saw it available, they’d try to remove it before resolving Dante, or a Shaddoll Fusion.  Speaking of, because we have Maindeck Bosses, rather than those that come from our Extra Deck, Shaddoll Fusion is a relatively dead card against us, though that small victory is quickly quashed when one realizes how badly we lose to Super Polymerization.  That said, I did multiple times Summon Reptilianne Vaskii using both the Tokens from Calling, and the Remnants, which was a fun synergy point (She’s also a Level 8 DARK monster, for Xyz purposes!).

Despite the deck feeling good, I couldn’t help but continue to lose vs some of the format’s top dogs, which was a shocking feeling.  Ogdoadic are meant to be a modern archetype placed into a format they’d dominate, but in reality it’s just as middling then as it is now, albeit less so.  I’ll continue to tinker around with the strategy, as I’ve yet to give up on it in this format’s context, but in a surprising turn of events, there might not be a time where its power is relevant without feeling overwhelming.

With that, another episode of Alternate Alliance is at an end!  I was shocked to realize Ogdoadic might not put up results into DUAE’s finest decks!  What sort of archetypes would you want to see dropped into DUAE format next?  What might you change about my Ogdoadic list, if the support suggested existed at the time?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!