Yu-Gi-Oh! Locals Legends: Superheavy Gishki Synchro

Carter Kachmarik
June 21, 2023


The time after a banlist is perhaps the most fun one can have with Yugioh; the meta is largely unexplored, and while top decks can emerge quickly, there’s always stragglers from past formats hanging on.  Since the banlist, I’ve been slowly tuning-up a pet deck that utilizes one of the previous format’s top decks, combined with an engine that everyone thought would break open the TCG, in combination with Spright.  Before the Spright Elf ban, everyone thought Gishki might be the variant to beat: It had consistent double-negates via Evigishki Neremanas, a Normal Summon that went +2 and left 2 Level 2s onboard, and a brand-new search spell that left midrange players drooling.  Yet, it failed to come to fruition as a build for tournaments…until now.  With the combined power of the previous format’s 3rd best deck, and the worst Spright engine post-Photon Hypernova, I want to introduce Superheavy Gishki Synchro.

I’ve taken this list, or a version of it, to my locals for the past few weeks to shockingly competent results.  Usually, we’ll see anywhere from 18-24 participants, and I’ve ended in the top 8 each time, with my most recent appearance placing me in 2nd!  That’s not to say this is a slept-on meta powerhouse, but I think there’s something worth exploring here.

The core idea of this deck surrounds the synergy between SHS’s ability to provide Level 4 & 2 Tuners consistently, and Gishki’s ability to play Spells & Traps, but empty them from the Graveyard when needed.  We’re on a total of 6 S/Ts, more than essentially any SHS build would normally allow, but because each has a mechanism to empty our yard, they don’t clash whatsoever.

A standard opening looks like access to Superheavy Samurai Prodigy Wakaushi + either Gishki Abyss or Grimness, resulting in the following:

Scale Wakaushi, place Big Benkei, summon Wakaushi.  Search Superheavy Samurai Soulgaia Booster, equip to Wakaushi, Summon it, then do your NS.  Grimness gets Abyss, and/or Abyss gets Vision/Shadow, then you use Abyss+Wakaushi to make Arionpos, Serpent of the Ghoti, banishing Shif, Fairy of the Ghoti.  With your remaining Soulgaia & potentially extra body, you can go into I:P Masquerena, or instead make Baronne de Fleur using 2 4s + a Level 2 Gishki.  Higher end hands will also allow you to end on Neremanas with all that, but even basic hands get your advantage loop going, where you get a banish off of an Askaan during your opponent’s turn, plus searching Gishki Grimness via Arionpos’ second effect.

All said, low end hands end on a banish or negate, and +3 the following turn, and high-end hands can squeeze in 2 negate+shuffles via repeated Neremanas, thanks to Aquamirror Illusion.

This deck is relatively noncommittal as far as a combo deck goes, but always manages to recur its best Normal Summon, in Grimness, turn after turn.  In that way, it plays a lot like a lower-ceiling Adamancipator of days past, but chock-full of handtraps to make up for that deficit.  We’re also able to make use of one of the best 1.5 card Synchro starters, in Icejade Ran Aegirine, which discards a stray WATER monster to put 10 Levels worth of Synchro material onboard, for an easy Swordsoul Supreme Sovereign - Chengying, or Marincess Coral Anemone.  Moreover, if you’re at a loss for Tributes to summon Neremanas, Ran Aegirine can even provide that, albeit with a huge minus.

In addition, every single Spell/Trap works perfectly for the strategy, with each of our Ritual Spells able to put itself back in Deck to fulfill the Superheavy condition, and Focused Aquamirror even able to banish itself and reset an errant Aquamirror Illusion that otherwise wouldn’t have a way to leave the GY.  As weird as it sounds, the deck has tremendous synergy between SHS & Gishki.

A few more cute interactions concern the middle-ground hands you might find with Superheavy Samurai Motorbike available.  Of course there’s the Wakaushi into Accel Synchro Stardust Dragon, reborn Bike for Baronne play, but you can also go into Adamancipator Risen - Dragite instead, make Baronne with Dragite + a Level 2 Tuner, and then when you Ritual Summon Neremanas, you can reborn that Dragite, ending on 4 total negates.  Everything but Neremanas is able to be Pendulum Summoned, too, so hands are never cloggy when you simply need material onboard.  Such is the case with Worldsea Dragon Zealantis, which combined with Coral Anemone, can permanently banish your opponent’s field; due to the fact that you’re WATER-locked, anything that isn’t WATER fails to come back, a full board wipe that usually provides you lethal on the crackback.


Other options for the Deck include swapping out Ran Aegirine for an Assault Synchron package, which gives you easy access to a Level 2 Tuner, and recursion for your Accel Synchro SD, although without some of the tools in the OCG, that line is a bit fraught.  Furthermore, splashing P.U.N.K. sounds crazy, but could also be a reasonable inclusion, given their ability to make Arionpos, lack of need for the Normal Summon (most of the time), and more.  I think both Gishki & SHS are relatively unexplored as far as archetypes go in a post-banlist metagame, and this particular combo has turned a lot of heads at my locals, and certainly taken meta decks by surprise.

That said, there are some weaknesses you’ll have to be aware of.  While Kaijus are less played now, due to Purrley’s demise, they still can absolutely ruin your more conservative endboards and leave you without substantial interaction.  Moreover, Droll is played in this deck, but it hurts you plenty too; even during your linear play with Arionpos, you still want to search for Gishki Grimness, so dropping your own Droll too early can be just as bad as if your opponent had used it against you.

While I don’t think this particular build of the deck is perfected, it does have a lot of room to slot in Sideboard pieces like Bystials, Ghost Belle, and Kurikara Divincarnate, all of which pack a punch into much of the current metagame.  I’ve even considered Ret-Time Reviver Emit-Ter, as a Level 2 Tuner that also outs Kashtira Arise-Heart, given we can put bodies onboard without too much fear of its ‘Macro’ effect.  There’s so much a deck like this can slot in, with the exception of Spells & Traps, and so much of the engine can flexibly use pieces from other parts of the deck; this makes some hands that look like bricks interchangeably result in low ceiling, high impact boards.

I’m going to continue tuning this deck in the coming weeks, especially with the help of friends, which is truly something special.  Being able to share a hot brew with fun, unexpected synergies is what Locals is all about, and while SHS is going to find its way into many conceivable combinations, this particular Gishki brew is something dear to my heart.

There’s the wrap-up! It’s an absolute blast to subvert expectations on an engine many thought flunked out of the meta.  There’s so many different changes one could make to this list, and I’d love to hear your thoughts below!  If you have any suggestions or questions about my deck this week, let me know in the comments below!