Yu-Gi-Oh! Rogue Report: Exosister Spirit

Carter Kachmarik
March 14, 2023


Spirit monsters are something of an anomaly in the history of Yugioh, having existed since the first series yet being largely forgotten-about by the general playerbase.  When you hear Spirit monsters spoken about nowadays, it’s almost always in a historical context, from the locks produced by Yata-Garasu, to the stun lists in True Draco via Amano-Iwato.  While most Spirits are stun-focused, slow, and ineffectual, Cyberstorm Access, coming out this Spring, introduces one of the most exciting Spirits we’ve ever had, and not only that, but the card has already topped multiple OCG tournaments, in an Exosister shell.  Today, I want to talk about the next evolution of that fan-favorite Rank 4 deck, and dive deep into what exactly Sakitama brings to everyone’s favorite cavalcade of super-nuns.

For some background, Exosister released in Deck Build Pack: Grand Creators, alongside the Adventure engine & P.U.N.K., being the middle of the pack in terms of power level; it saw experimentation, and success, at the height of Tearlament format, due to its clearly favored matchup, but otherwise has fallen off in comparison to its contemporaries.  While the deck does extremely well into GY-focused strategies, it otherwise falters into more versatile, midrange archetypes, such as the currently-dominant Kashtira.  A bit after their release, however, Konami gave Exosister two new tools, both of which fixed the deck in a way no player might dream of, being Exosister Martha, and Exosisters Magnifica.  While these cards locked your Special Summons into Exosister, they also started your plays, and helped alleviate the ‘coinflip’ the deck had when dealing with GY and non-GY decks; the sad truth is that, even with these support pieces, the deck couldn’t persist past Tear format.  That is of course, until now.


While pure, modern Exosisters might have issues consistently making Magnifica, OCG players have begun to innovate following the release of Cyberstorm Access by adding in a small package of Spirit monsters.  Because the lock only limits your Special Summons to Exosisters, those sneaky Spirits can still be used to make Rank 4 monsters, with the Exosister Xyz conveniently being generic, with the exception of Magnifica herself.  A hand of Martha & Aratama on its own represents Magnifica, a Quick Effect banish, as well as the searches of both 1 Exosister monster, and 1 Exosister Spell/Trap, by way of Exosister Kaspitell & Exosister Mikailis.  Few decks can boast such a potent midrange start, with the exception of Kashtira itself, though Exosister has the room to run a ton of equalizers and meta calls on top of this line.  The name of the game now, is turboing out as many Rank 4s as you can, and eliminate your opponent’s ability to recover.


The deck has an extremely tight package, between Exosisters & Spirits, so you’re given quite a bit of room to add in whatever you feel best targets the meta, not unlike how Salamangreat operated back during TOSS format.  In my lists, I’ve been running cards like Dimension Shifter, Book of Eclipse, and Nibiru, the Primal Being as means of getting around the Kashtira board lock, while still not folding vs other rogue strategies.  Exosister only gets stronger the more you know about your opponent’s deck, and the more you predict the metagame; leaving your monsters onboard for Quick Effect Xyz Summons can be even more powerful than a turbo Magnifica, if you’re sure the opponent has no way to make plays without GY interaction.  The skill ceiling on the strategy is uniquely not gated by actual lines, but rather in knowing the opposing strategy, while itself being relatively straightforward in its tried-and-true Rank 4 spam.


The only other wrinkle with Exosister concerns their extremely powerful Trap cards, which represent two very different secondary paths of reactive play within the deck.  Exosister Returnia requires you to already have a board, and rewards an existing Summon (ie, your opponent has been proactive that turn, and you have an open gamestate), while Exosister Vadis is your emergency button, able to port into two sisters when the opponent is about to use their GY, and you don’t have a preexisting board.  Because you only get a single S/T search with your mainline combo, via Kaspitell, choosing which Trap to rely on can be extremely important, given they’re essentially inverse pieces of an endboard.  Of course, that search can also be used for Exosister Pax or Exosister Arment, the archetype’s two Spells, although neither gives you the level of on-demand advantage that either Trap does.  Rather, Pax is how you’re usually getting to Martha, and Arment is a way to dodge targeted hate, or find lethal damage into a developed board.


You’re certainly going to be seeing Exosister with Spirit monsters in the coming metagame, given the deck has a ton of devoted players who have taken the strategy to regionals for months now, so knowing the deck’s weaknesses are also key.  First and foremost, much like Salamangreat, the deck’s ceiling is low, so simply going over it with combo decks is a relatively easy way to shrug off the counterplay present.  In addition, representing only part of your gameplan Game 1, such as using a less obvious line in your initial board, can help mind-game the Exosister player into siding improperly, or looking for the wrong answers, as the deck tends to pack hyper-specific answer cards, rather than all-purpose responses.  For the aspiring Exosister players, my list specifically includes Small World to alleviate this, given the deck is chock full of good bridges: You can find Martha, either Spirit monster, Nibiru, or most importantly, a singleton Lava Golem via any monster, due to the universal LIGHT/DARK split and relatively consistent level spread.  For this reason, Bystials or Artifact Lancea may also be considerations, dependent on the future format.

The ratios in this list are somewhat suspect, though I attribute that mostly to our current format; the 2-ofs in the Extra are a direct result of Kashtira Unicorn, which picks apart our Extra with precision, requiring at least 2 of a card in order to not lose access to it entirely.  You might also notice our Exosister ratios are extremely shaved, though this is in my opinion how the deck is simply going to proceed: The actual names, aside from Martha exactly, are essentially soft garnets, which you want to get from the Deck, so cutting down allows us to hopefully keep more in Deck, and use the Spirit monsters as starters/extenders to get into Kaspitell, and therefore, Martha lines.  This list is going to shift as the game does; Nibiru is well-positioned now, but in a few months, it could be unplayable.  The same goes for D-Shifter, Lava Golem, and Eclipse.  As an Exosister player, your list is going to largely be shaped by the meta in which you play, so use the non-flex slots as the basis for future listbuilding.

As the deck proceeds, some other options that become available to it may be found to be good enough, such as the above Sword Emperor - Tsumuhakutsunagi to reshuffle our spent Exosisters, perhaps even shaving down to a lower number of maindeck names from the current lists.  More handtraps might be played, or Called by the Grave, as a means to better use Martha.  The future is bright for Exosister, and CYAC is going to be the start of its next leg of competition.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about the next big innovation in Exosisters, coming in Cyberstorm Access!  What techs beyond the spirits do you think may have merit in the deck?  Do you plan on using these lock-evading extenders in your builds?  Let me know in the comments below!