Yu-Gi-Oh! Rogue Report: Fabled Runick

Carter Kachmarik
December 13, 2023


Runick has been a bit of a sleeper hit of an archetype since its debut, being seen regularly in top cuts, and often winning, across both Master Duel and the physical TCG.  Initially underexplored in the OCG due to their assumption that it was a mill deck alone, the TCG brought a…new perspective to this 1st-person archetype, bringing into view the fact that Runick simply does enough as an advantage engine for decks needing drawpower.  This culminated last weekend, with Joshua Schmidt taking YCS Bologna with Bystial Runick, running 3 copies of a curious piece of tech now posting a rising price tag.  Duality, released in Battles of Legend: Monstrous Revenge, ports between LIGHT & DARK monsters of the same Level and type, with one conspicuous example existing that bridges the gap between Runick and today’s flavour du jour.  With that in mind, let’s pivot from a meta call, to a rogue possibility, with Fabled Runick.

First off, let’s quickly cover why Runick is such a solid way to boost the power of an otherwise advantage-hungry strategy.  Each Runick Quick-Play Spell has two modes, either of which locks you out of your next Battle Phase — You either get to Summon one of their Fusion Monsters without needing material to your Extra Monster Zone, or apply a reasonable interactive effect that also banishes a few cards from your opponent’s topdeck.  The key here is that first aspect, as the Fusions you can summon are important for more than just vanillas, finding the enabler of Runick Fountain via Hugin the Runick Wings or putting a DARK Level 4 Beast monster on the board, in the case of Geri the Runick Fangs.  Fountain lets you recycle your Quick-Plays for ample draws, and makes them live from hand during your opponent’s turn, meaning strategies that need 1-3 cards to discard for their core gameplan are right at home.

The engine we’re relying on today is that of Fabled, which isn’t an easy sell at first blush.  Fabled are slightly bricky, and require enablers to function coherently, as many of them require you to control or discard Fabled cards, making them odd as an engine choice.  The difference maker comes down to, however, the incredible synergy between Geri & Hugin, and Duality/Shadow’s Light & Level 2 Tuners, respectively.

Geri can port into a copy of The Fabled Unicore, representing a turn’s worth of negates that need not activate (if you meet the condition), via either Duality (Tributing itself to do so) or Shadow’s Light, which leaves Geri onboard (which is less preferable), along with other caveats.  Similarly, Hugin and any of your Level 2 Tuner Fabled monsters result in a Unicore the normal way, meaning you can potentially reborn it as well, later on, via Fabled Treason.

This is not an easy deck to play, and that mostly comes down to how Unicore functions in the context of modern Yugioh.  Runick & Fabled both allow you to finely sculpt your handsize, discarding/activating cards to go low, then drawing back with either Fountain or Fabled Andwraith to meet the opponent’s grip.  Never before has Unicore been this accessible, nor does another deck play this style of game, period.  Unicore is akin to an alternate win condition, more than something like an Apollousa; by matching the opponent’s hand size, they are genuinely locked out unless they’re able to Summon a monster with >2300 ATK without activating an effect (such as Kashtira Fenrir) or with a Kaiju.

Moreover, Runick Slumber and Fabled Treason both act as ways to either insulate or reborn Unicore, conditionally, if such a thing happens regardless.

Skipping your Battle Phase doesn’t feel nearly as bad when you’re locking the opponent wholly out of their gameplan, turns out.  Joshua Schmidt showcased that Runick decks with Duality packages absolutely have legs, and even allow something like Hugin to dodge targeted negation by porting into Allvain the Essence of Vanity.  This is a slick new take on a fringe deck of years past, being dedicated Unicore Control decks in late 5Ds, and isn’t something your opponents will forget.  The primary risk here is that you’ll not find both parts of the strategy, in which case you’re either playing Fabled, a bad deck, or Runick, a middling pure deck, but the discards from Hugin and cross-synergy with Triple Tactics Thrust getting Shadow’s Light or Terraforming to find either package try to nullify potential bricks.

In terms of Sidedeck, the main card that comes to mind is Phantazmay, a Level 7 DARK Dragon that filters your hand, protects from targeted negation, and can even Duality/Shadow’s Light into Ancient Fairy Dragon, an insane card in this Field-centric strategy.  Beyond that, Lava Golem is a perfect fit, as you’ll often not need your Normal Summon, as well as time cards given you’ll likely never even enter your Battle Phase unless going for the kill.  The Fabled ratios could also shift, to play a truly bare-bones core and fit more nonengine, but Runick has to play a minimum of 17 names to ensure you’re hitting your draws off of Fountain.

This list is capitalizing off of the core gameplan of looping Unicores and manipulating hand size, as stated above, but there’s a bit of nuance to the parts of your gameplan not attached to the hoofed horror.  The combination of Sleipnir the Runick Mane and S:P Little Knight give you potent power to tuck opposing threats, and three bodies including a Fusion Monster is readily accessible through any component of your Fabled line, and any Runick Quick-Play Spell.  The Fabled Field Spell is a bit of an odd one, as you’re most likely sending The Fabled Abanc if you have a name in hand, but foolishing Fabled Marcosia, discarding 2 more cards to get it back, and then Summoning Hugin to discard Marcosia for Fountain lets you set up a live Fabled Treason which can potentially net two 3-draw Fountain activations during a turn cycle.

In the Extra Deck, we’re on 2 copies of both Hugin and Unicore, as the big pieces, but also Ragin for when we steal an opposing monster (such as Rescue-ACE Hydrant), and Psychic End Punisher for Sleipnir+Level 2 Tuner set-ups, which can come up.  Thankfully, Duality lets you readily shuffle back monsters once spent, so you don’t need to worry too much about the critical 1-ofs.

With that, I wish you good luck in managing hand size with Runick Fabled!  I deeply encourage folks to experiment with ratios for the Fabled engine in this strategy, as it’s quite unsolved, and I am but a single playtester.  What other secret synergies exist with Duality or Shadow’s Light that might not have been talked about?  Let me know in the comments below!