Yu-Gi-Oh! Deck Debut: Altergeist (Post DUNE)

Carter Kachmarik
July 12, 2023


I’ve been playing Yugioh since 2007,  but there’s never been a deck that’s appealed to me more than Altergeist, a Spellcaster strategy released all the way back in 2017’s Circuit Break.  Altergeist, more commonly referred to simply as ‘Geist’, hones in on everything a control player could love, from constant resource cycling, to tremendous play on the opponent’s turn, and negation on nearly all of your endboard’s text.  That said, while Altergeist certainly saw some success in its heyday, ever since the advent of Master Rule 5, the archetype has been lying dormant; it has too much trouble going second, or the top deck breaks its board too easily, or some other problem exists to keep it from contention.  Thankfully, in Duelist Nexus, we’re about to get 4 new Geist cards that each do their part to modernize the strategy, and I couldn’t be more happy.  It’s about to be my return to the Regionals scene, with Altergeist (Post DUNE).

By far the most important card in this new wave is Altergeist Malwisp, which essentially does everything the deck could ask for.  For starters, being a Tuner opens the deck up to some Synchro plays, but the core of the card is in its ease of access: Altergeist has a number of ways to search monsters, and Malwisp unclogs your hand as well as puts two bodies onboard, assisting in the Link-spam the deck now can provide.  Beyond that, Altergeist Revitalization and Altergeist Peritrator are potent 1-ofs that combo with one another to assist in extension.  Notably, Altergeist Marionetter, the best Normal Summon in a traditional Geist deck, does not have a hard-once-per-turn on its Summon effect, meaning you can double up with a Revitalization.  Peritrator, not unlike Altergeist Pookuery, is essentially a once-per-duel access to an extra body from hand, given we won’t be playing more than one of each, but getting your plays started has always been the hardest part for Altergeist.


Now comes time for the part of the Deck I feel most excited for: Access to mass on-field negation.  Altergeist are well-known for their Continuous Trap Card, Altergeist Protocol, which prevents the negation of their monsters, but historically this was used more against opposing interaction, than with your own cards.  However, given the density of Traps we can play, and the existence of a new, underutilized card in Underdog, Geist can become a powerful Skill Drain-oriented strategy.  Wannabee! is another new card, which has seen success thus far in Labrynth strategies, but here it does double duty as a way to find our unsearchable Personal Spoofing, or setting up something like a Skill Drain or Underdog before our turn rolls around, and our opponent goes first.  If Geist is allowed to, with its modern support, play without opposing interaction, it can crack nearly any board, so we’re aiming to do just that.


Since Geist has been good, cards like Wannabee! and Pot of Prosperity have been printed, as ways to find specifically something like Personal Spoofing.  Spoofing is perhaps the best Geist card, despite lacking the name, because of its ability to recycle your singleton copies, find & trigger Altergeist Multifaker, and dodge negation.  In my list specifically, it’s also another way to resolve effects while under Skill Drain or Underdog, given you can activate that monster’s effect, then shuffle it with Spoofing before resolution, causing it to resolve with effect off the field.  A lot of the strategy centers around tricksy plays like that, and the brand-new boss, Altergeist Adminia, acts similarly.  Setting an Altergeist Trap is of course good, finding your missing Protocol if you’ve not searched it yet, but the real danger is in its second effect, pitching an errant card to steal & ‘re-name’ an opponent’s monster.  This can of course ditch cards with GY effects, but also, if you’re looking to go into an Accesscode Talker line, you can send Skill Drain, steal an opponent’s card, and suddenly be free of the burden of your own floodgate effect!


Talking more about older Geist cards, for the uninitiated, Altergeist Multifaker & Altergeist Silquitous make up the secondary line-up, acting as a duo that presents repeated bounces & summons from deck, as well as a way to float back into used copies of your Traps.  While Multifaker traditionally cannot be Summoned by its effect turn 1 (aside from via Altergeist Primebanshee), between Wannabee!, Infinite Impermanence, and Altergeist Haunted Rock, you can really get off to the races.  Haunted Rock specifically was always an odd card, being a strict minus that only beat Trap decks, but with Revitalization, now you can use Marionetter multiple times, and in hands with Faker & Marionetter, you’re often going to use that line as a means of extension.  Worst case, you can even use Evenly Matched as a trigger, although that’s only if there’s no other options.


Another odd include is Altergeist Dragvirion, considered one of the deck’s worst cards on release.  Now, however, with Altergeist Malwisp, you can make it with Multifaker and Altergeist Hexstia for two Spell/Trap negates.  Moreover, Primebanshee can use the same line to double-extend, flooding the field for OTKs a Geist player couldn’t have dreamt of back in the day.  All told, the strategy is clean now, and able to crack boards with unparalleled efficiency.


For a Sidedeck, Geist is likely going to fill it with cards to answer specific strategies, like Book of Eclipse, Anti-Spell Fragrance, and Rivalry of Warlords, all cards you aren’t personally affected by.  There’s even a chance you play another of Wannabee! for when you know you’ll need it, or Droll/Kaijus against something like Purrley or Kashtira.  There’s about 12 non-engine slots you can switch cards between without impacting the strategy’s core, although Geist is flexible enough to readily drop extra Pookuery or Malwisp if you know you won’t need to play the long game.

There’s just so much to love about Altergeist, as a simple, effective control strategy that gets to use some of the best tools the game has to offer.  Underdog might be a bit too ‘cute’, depending on your local meta, but I’ve constantly found myself wanting more copies of a Skill Drain style effect, and Underdog is the only card that’s really comparable.  In the Extra, we’re playing a few cards in a Spell Counter suite, such as Arcanite Magician, Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians, and Day-Breaker the Shining Magical Warrior, given we’re all Spellcasters; Arcanite can be an off-brand Accesscode in a pinch, because you can remove Spell Counters from anywhere on your field, so coupled with Day-Breaker/Selene you can pop an entire board, if not under Skill DrainAkashic Magician also comes in clutch, for bouncing your own Multifakers or Malwisps, allowing you to trigger them again if stalled out.


I’m sure I’ll be posting a Locals Legends article about this deck once it finally comes out in Duelist Nexus, but until then, that’s a wrap on Altergeist!  This is a strategy I’ve played at a ton of tournaments, including a top at a Regional in 2018, so there’s a lot of endearment I have towards it.  Very little gives me the sheer joy that opening Imperm+Multifaker does, and highroll hands with the new cards are practically unbeatable.  I truly hope there’s a chance this becomes Tiered, and even if it doesn’t, there’s a lot of diehard fans just happy to see new toys.


Thank you so much for reading my guide on the new Altergeist deck after DUNE releases!  Do you think the Skill Drain-heavy build is the way to proceed?  What other techs or ratios do you prefer to mine?  Let me know in the comments below!