Yu-Gi-Oh! Deck Debut: Eldlich of the White Forest

Carter Kachmarik
July 10, 2024


Eldlich is a strategy defined by its perception — when it was good, it was a menace, “brainless”, the consistent grind component to an otherwise explosive combo line.  When it was bad, however, as power creep crept up to the big golden boy, and his key pieces slowly whittled away floodgate by floodgate, many see the Lich as an ambassador to a bygone era.  He was the king of Covid Yugioh, and that time in the game’s lifespan was largely drenched in negativity.

That said, many are starting to look back fondly on this auric imperator, as the waves of nostalgia wash over us all, and there’s a new archetype releasing in Infinite Forbidden, White Forest (Formerly White Woods), that pairs expertly with this relished relic.  So, let’s step back into the past, by way of the future, and cover Eldlich of the White Forest.

Card images are not final.

Eldlich is a relatively simple deck to explain, but as background, Eldlich, the Golden Lord is a massive Zombie monster that can remove an opposing card by discarding itself and a Spell/Trap, and reborn by sending another Spell/Trap, with added stats.  His support cards, Eldlixirs and Golden Land Traps, cycle through himself and Trap Monsters which remove opposing cards, with each tutoring the other after a turn.  Historically, Eldlich was used as the backbone for decks that had incredibly high ceilings, and incredibly low floors; by adding Eldlich to a deck, you could pivot onto a self-cycling control strategy if your main line didn’t work out.  This manifested in Auroradon Eldlich, more commonly known as Synchro Eldlich, the strongest deck of 2020.

White Forest, on the other hand, is a LIGHT Synchro Toolbox archetype focused on…sending Spell/Traps to GY to pay for the costs of monster effects.  Frankly, this match made in heaven couldn’t be more obvious, although there are just a few caveats.  The best cards in this strategy, such as their tutor Legend of the White Forest, require you control either a Spellcaster or Illusion, meaning it’s difficult to start your lines that way.  Luckily, in INFO a piece that ties these strategies together is also coming along: Silhouhatte Rabbit.

Rabbit is a generic Link-2 Illusion, meaning all of the deck’s strongest synergies are turned on by its presence on the board.  Moreover, this card also sets a Trap Monster from Deck, such as any of our Golden Land cards, which in turn start the Eldlich combo on their own.  To top it all off, Rabbit even pops Spell/Traps itself, meaning you can devote your Conquistador hits to relevant monsters, keeping your interaction efficient.  Making Rabbit, then sending a face-down Conquistador of the Golden Land to the GY, and proceeding with your White Forest combo with Lich waiting to strike during the next turn is a potent way to access both halves of the strategy, combo and control in one Link!

The Levels in this deck are also diverse, with Level 1 in Effect Veiler, a LIGHT Spellcaster Tuner for our White Forest synergy, Level 2 non-Tuner White Forests, Level 4 Tuners, and then our Level 5 Golden Land Trap Monsters.  This means we can readily line between all sorts of Synchro levels, giving this strategy a true toolbox feel that’s often absent in modern Synchro combo.

In INFO we’re also getting more Trap Monster support, in BBS - Be Back Site.  This stacks counters based on the effects activated, and then ports into a Trap Monster from Deck, not unlike Silhouhatte Rabbit.  As flex options, we’re on 1 copy of You’re Finished, as a sort-of Trap Nibiru, and 1 Apophis the Swamp Deity, as negation.  There are other potentially playable cards for these slots, such as Statue of Anguish Pattern for more pops, or Angel Statue - Azurune for further interruption, but playing what we have now truly feels like a happy medium.

It wouldn’t be Eldlich, however, without at least one floodgate.  In our case, we’re playing 3 copies of one of the few ones still legal at max copies, Skill Drain.  Obviously Skill Drain is a good card, but what makes it even better here is our ability to recur it with the boss of the White Forest archetype, Diabell, Fiendess of the White Forest.  When she’s Synchro Summoned with a Synchro Tuner, you can get back any Spell/Trap from the GY, meaning an errant Drain that’s been sent to activate some other monster effect is freely brought back, leaving cards like Cosmic Cyclone as the only recourse.  We can also crucially get rid of Skill Drain at a moment’s notice, as many of our White Forest monsters send face-up Spell/Traps for cost, allowing them to fully resolve under Skill Drain, if the floodgate itself is sent.

The Side Deck is likely going to be comprised of cards like Anti-Spell Fragrance, or similar tools we can both send and recur with our engine, although likely it’s a holding zone for various handtraps we’re unable to fit in the Main Deck.  The Bystials are a reasonable include as well, as Level 6 is a high-quality Level for synchro material, and we’ll usually have enough LIGHTs to banish for their effects anyways.  On the whole, we’re quite flexible, although committing to full copies of Veiler & Imperm in the Main means Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is conspicuously absent.

While this Main Deck has felt exceptionally good in testing, it’s the Extra which gives me pause.  As I mentioned, this is a true toolbox strategy, and that means options aplenty, although the ratios of things like the White Forests and Silhouhatte Rabbit are locked.  Herald of the Arc Light is a great Level 4 to make off of a Martial Metal Marcher line, getting back to Eldlich’s roots, as Veiler + a Level 2 makes Marcher, into Arc, and then a Level 4 Tuner gets us to Diabell.  Overall, we’re provided about 4 real, tangible flex slots.  Here, we’re on Omega, Cheng Ying, Pleiades, and Archethys.

If I had to make a wish list, I’d maybe want to find space for a Level 4 LIGHT Spellcaster non-Tuner, a Zombie monster worth resummoning in the Extra Deck, and perhaps shift around or cut the cuter Trap Monster synergies.  Silhouhatte is insane, BBS is less so.  It does just feel like they’ve brought together the old iteration of Synchro Eldlich as a single strategy though, and as someone who lived through those formats, and all the surrounding malaise, that’s something of a comfort.

The next time we cover Yugioh, my hope is to handle the new TCG Exclusive archetype - Mimighoul!  Who knows, with the new support we’ve been receiving, perhaps this is another bona fide Trap Monster archetype?  White Forest, meanwhile, has tons of variants, and I’d love to hear what you’ve been brewing in the comments below!