Yu-Gi-Oh! Rogue Report: Tri-Brigade 2023

Carter Kachmarik
June 14, 2023


Rarely has a deck gone from Tier 1 to not even listed on meta percentage charts as quickly and completely as Tri-Brigade.  Tri was one of the first modern meta decks that I picked up, especially on Master Duel, and like many other players, I grew fond of its Extra Deck flexibility, and powerful, resilient linear plays.  That said, as decks moved away from low-ceiling endboards and weaknesses to banishing, Tri lost its footing, and while it never received a direct hit, the removal of Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty, and Lyrilusc - Recital Starling were painful indeed.  That said, within the high power that is Cyberstorm Access, one particular piece of legacy support has gone relatively unmentioned, and with the reduced resilience of Kashtira following the banlist, I have a hunch these scrappy half-breeds may have a shot at CYAC’s top tables.  Presenting: Tri-Brigade 2023.

Tri-Brigade Roar is the main reason I feel this strategy may have legs going forward; every single word on the card makes a midrange deck salivate, and it offers options that seem to explicitly target many of the top performers post-banlist.  If you control a Link Monster, something you always ought to do, you get to send a Tri card to the GY as a cost, then do one of three different resolutions, depending on its card type.  Three copies alone simply make it a searchable Tr-Brigade Forbidden Chalice, but its utility as a Quick-Play Foolish or Compulse can’t be overstated.  Moreover, it’s a second Tri Spell/Trap that’s worth playing, making Tri-Brigade Bearbrumm the Rampant Rampager not lose you ceiling in hands that already have Tri-Brigade Revolt, the main Tri S/T.

While the second piece of CYAC Tri-Brigade support isn’t as good, a high bar to clear, Tri-Brigade Arms Bucephalus II is a fantastic card to pitch off of Roar itself, making the foolish attached to Roar semi-generic, and being (worst case) 2 material to banish in GY, and a draw, by sending Buchephalus & Garura, Wings of Resonant Life.  That’s not all, though: Given we’re usually aiming to send a Trap with Roar (unless the Foolish starts our plays, by sending Tri-Brigade Kitt, as an example), Tri-Brigade Oath has made it back into the Deck.  Oath is a contentious card: I’ve always been a fan of it in pure builds, or those like Tri-Brigade Fur Hire, where the requirement is minimal, but in the meta we’re seeing, that GY effect is peerlessly necessary.  Into matchups like Labrynth & Vanquish Soul, which tend to play Skill Drain and There Can Be Only One, respectively, turning off said floodgates for a turn could mean the difference between a victory or defeat.  Prior, you had to send it off of Kitt, which never felt fantastic, but given it does double-duty as a way to turn Roar into Compulsory Evacuation Device, it strikes me as a worthy inclusion.

The other benefit to playing essentially pure Tri-Brigade in the meta is our ability to flex Rescue Cat as a starter; while it’s less good than it used to be, with Gamma limited, there’s a new unexplored toy available to us that older builds lacked.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Undaunted Bumpkin Beast is the final spicy tech in my current competitive Tri list.  Bumpkin has the benefit of being a Beast that’s perfectly fine to summon off of Cat, alongside Kitt, fine to pitch with your many effects, and provides a unique tool for the strategy.  Bumpkin, alongside Bucephalus, makes your Turn 1 board able to be something like UAncient Warriors Oath - Double Dragon Lords, a Beast-Warrior, either a live Shuraig, a Winged Beast, or a Revolt with Bumpkin in GY.  Not only is Bumpkin free material to send for DDL, but in that very common scenario, it’s a Beast for your Beast-Warrior & Winged Beast to turn on a GY-bound Tri-Brigade Oath.  Worst case, it’s something to pitch, or a second name that isn’t Kitt off of Cat.  Best case, it’s turning on Oath, triggering Shuraig, and making DDL break even on advantage.

In terms of flex slots, not unlike VS Tri-Brigade has plenty: My build is on 9 Handtraps, and a Triple Tactics package of 2 Thrust, and 1 Talent, as has become standard.  Thrust in Tri can be potent as a means to play past Nibiru or similar board clears, searching Revolt, but there’s always the option of Triple Tactics Talent, or Evenly Matched, depending on what’s needed.  Droll isn’t especially bad for this deck, as you’re only really searching once via Tri-Brigade Nervall, unless you open a hand containing Tenki or Pot of Desires.  In those cases, there’s a chance something like Crossout Designator or Called by the Grave could be preferred over Thrust, but I feel Tri is uniquely positioned to benefit from Thrust’s stipulations.

A common Cat open could look something like this: Normal Summon Rescue Cat, Tribute for Kitt & Bumpkin, Link summon Ferrijit, send Nervall with Kitt, search Fraktall & Summon it with Ferrijit, banish 2 to Summon Bearbrumm, Link Ferr & Bear for Apoullusa or Rugal, and find either your missing Revolt, or Roar.  Part of Tri-Brigade’s allure is how versatile its means are to find basic endboards, and very rarely you’ll find yourself bereft of a way to get back into the game.  That said, one major factor that holds this deck back currently is the prevalence of Kashtira Arise-Heart: While Triple Tac effects do wonders against it, very little of your core gameplan functions under its effect, so expect a lot of your sideboard slots to be dedicated to dealing with that card specifically.  Beyond that, Tri is positioned to excel against essentially every other deck in the room, from Spright, to Labrynth, to VS.

Into a metagame where we don’t know what’s extremely good, aside from Kashtira and some form of Spright, I’ve decided to run back the best handtraps from prior formats in this list.  That said, there’s wiggle room when it comes to non-engine, so if we’re in a world where Infinite Impermanence is a vital handtrap, play that over other included options.  One facet worth highlighting here is the total lack of in-engine Bystial targets; there’s neither LIGHT nor DARK monsters for the dragons to prey upon, which is especially relevant vs Branded, which often plays them in the Maindeck.  Kaijus, also a popular choice, do very little here in turn, as the majority of our answers don’t sit on field, they’re via various effects in various transient zones.  If you’re familiar with Mathmech happily passing with Transcode Talker and a set Superfactorial, this is quite similar.

Once your binnable 1-ofs are in the GY, such as Oath & Bumpkin, Desires is an obvious card to use to find extenders or more handtraps.  We’re on 3 copies of every card we’d either need more than one of, due to searching in our linear play, or that we’d want in a grindier matchup.  The Extra Deck is admittedly unsolved, though, as things like 1 Ferrijit & 1 Rugal are certainly suspect if we’re expecting a long game.  That said, because practically every card in the Extra could be something we send to the GY via Bucephalus, running multiples isn’t a terrible call.  There’s also the argument for removing Oath & Bumpkin, though I feel that reduces the ceiling on our strongest hands, and doesn’t really shore up the weaker ones, due to Tri’s ability to either bin dead options, or bottom them with Bearbrumm & Ferrijit.  In addition, Kaijus should almost certainly be in the Sidedeck here, given we can bounce them back to our own hand with Roar, a gut-punch of a play to break boards.

While not the most novel deck in the world, Tri-Brigade seems like a sleeper option worth discussing in my opinion!  Do you think a more pure variant like this is the best option currently, or are there hybrids to explore?  Should “Bird-Up”, aka Lyrilusc Tri-Brigade, make a comeback?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!