Friday, 20 July 2012

The Fun Theory Part 3: Jinzo Returners

In the midst of the virtual release of Duelist Pack Joey Wheeler 3 days ago, I received a call from Mr Wheeler himself, requesting me to put forth a decklist that would include the new foil version of Jinzo Returner. While the mere idea of releasing the decklist of my favourite and most confident deck drives pain into my duelist soul, the values of this fun theory blog ignited the sharing spirit within me.

So, may I present, my self-proclaimed best fun theory deck yet, the deck that I have been playing and fine-tuning since the release of Light Of Destruction (LODT), Jinzo Returners!

Decklist (as shown above):
[2] Armageddon Knight
[1] Black Luster Soldier - Envoy Of The Beginning
[1] Card Car D
[3] Cyber Dragon
[3] Effect Veiler
[3] Jinzo
[3] Jinzo Returner
[2] Machina Fortress
[1] Machine Gearframe
[1] Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
[1] Sangan
[1] Swift Scarecrow

[1] Allure Of Darkness
[1] Book Of Moon
[1] Creature Swap
[1] Dark Hole
[1] Forbidden Lance
[1] Future Fusion
[1] Heavy Storm
[1] Monster Reborn
[1] Mystical Space Typhoon

[1] Bottomless Trap Hole
[2] Call Of The Haunted
[1] Compulsory Evacuation Device
[1] Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
[1] Safe Zone
[1] Solemn Judgment
[1] Solemn Warning
[1] Torrential Tribute

Extra Deck:
[1] Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
[1] Chimeratech Overdragon
[1] A.O.J Catastor
[1] Brionac, Dragon Of The Ice Barrier
[1] Black Rose Dragon
[1] Scrap Dragon
[1] Wind-Up Zenmaines
[1] Maestroke, The Symphony Djinn
[1] Number 50: Black Corn
[1] Number 39: Utopia
[1] Tiras, Keeper Of Genesis
[1] Inzektor Exa-Beetle
[1] Photon Strike Bounzer
[1] Number 25: Focus Force
[1] Gaia Dragon, The Thunder Charger

Before I start off with the explanation of this deck, I would first like to let all readers that do not know me in real life know that this deck IS my competitive deck (but I am placing this decklist in my fun section because many would certainly feel that this deck is only worthy of a fun deck - however, do try out this deck. I gurantee you that you will find the results to be much better than what you expect).

Firstly, lets return to take a look at the mastermind of this deck's name.

Card Name: Jinzo - Returner
Level: 3
Attribute: Dark
Type: Machine
Stats: 600/1400
Effect: This card can attack your opponent directly. When this card is sent to the Graveyard, you can Special Summon 1 "Jinzo" from your Graveyard. Destroy it during your End Phase.

It is important to know that the special summoning effect of Jinzo Returner is optional, thus, the sending of Jinzo Returner to the graveyard must be the last action to occur in order for the effect to be able to be applied.

This knowledge of Jinzo Returner is one of the key reasons why I have dropped Dark Grepher a long time ago in preference of Armageddon Knight. Although Dark Grepher is a card which effect can be used once per turn while Armageddon Knight's effect can only be used upon summon (i.e only once), Dark Grepher's effect to send a dark-type monster from the deck to the graveyard can only be used if you have a dark monster in your hand to send to the graveyard to fufill the first part of the effect. On the other hand, Armageddon Knight's effect can be used regardless of whether you have any dark type monsters in hand.

Moreover, Dark Grepher's effect can only be used to maximum effectiveness if you send a Jinzo from your hand to the graveyard to send a Jinzo Returner from your deck to the graveyard, thus, activating Jinzo Returner's effect. However, this kind of scenarios do not happen all the time, and any Jinzo Returner player who has had experience with this kind of deck would know that hand size is one of the most crucial factors to win with this deck, and you certainly would not want to send a dark monster from your hand to send Jinzo to grave, then sending another dark next turn from your hand to send Jinzo Returner.

In a worst case scenario, you could be forced to send a Jinzo Returner from your hand to the graveyard to send another Jinzo Returner to the graveyard. Remember about Jinzo Returner's effect as stated above? When you choose to use Dark Grepher's effect this way, only the Jinzo Returner that was sent from the deck to the graveyard would be able to activate its effect, while the Jinzo Returner that was sent from the hand would miss its timing, thus, unable to resolve its own effect.

On the other hand, Armageddon Knight has unleased its supremacy over Dark Grepher in Jinzo Returner decks since Call Of The Haunted has returned to 2 (now 3, but I play only 2). This is said so because you could potentially start off with Armageddon Knight and Call Of The Haunted in hand. You would then summon knight, send Jinzo, set Call and end. Jinzo will then be able to be summoned by Call Of The Haunted without wasting any dark monsters or Jinzo Returners. This is much better than Dark Grepher's effect then as it would waste a dark monster in your hand or in your deck.

Furthermore, since effect priority has been removed from the game, Armageddon Knight has emerged as the better choice as its 1400 attack points would be able to evade Bottomless Trap Hole while Dark Grepher would see itself being consumed by the pit. As discussed above, hand size is one of the most crucial factor to a Jinzo Returner player's victory, thus, you would certainly not want to trade-off one for one, i.e Dark Grepher for your opponent's Bottomless Trap Hole because this trade-off would hurt you more badly than it would hurt your opponent as you depend greatly on hand size. Solemn Warning hurts you less as it would cost your opponent 2000 lifepoints which is an advantage to you.

Black Luster Soldier (BLS) is played in this deck as 6 light monsters are used in this deck. Unlike other kinds of decks that plays BLS as a powerhouse to secure victory, BLS has a more noble duty to play in Jinzo Returner Decks. From the above discussion, you would be able to see that Armageddon Knight is one of the most important cards in this deck, and you would most certainly not want Armageddon Knight to be hit by an Effect Veiler or a Solemn Warning. Therefore, in order to bait out these cards, Dual-Properties-Floaters are used in this deck, and BLS is one of them.

I'm sure you would be curious to know what is a Dual-Properties-Floater. Basically, as a floater, these cards do not play a central role in shaping this deck. Instead, they are placed on the outside to hold up the pieces that shape the deck and ensure that plays for the central cards go smoothly. In this deck, I utilise 3 of these Dual-Properties-Floaters, and they are BLS, Card Car D, and Machina Gearframe. These cards, other than their primary effects, are there to shield the central cards from taking hits from your opponents.

Imagine a scenario whereby you know that your opponent has an Effect Veiler in hand (e.g Pot Of Duality last turn). You special summon BLS, and declare entering Battle Phase while your opponent controls one or two important monsters. This declaration of ENTERING the battle phase may then prompt your opponent to discard Effect Veiler from their hand to negate BLS's double attack effect this turn. However, once your opponent tosses Effect Veiler upon this declaration, you would move back to Main Phase 1, and BLS's duties as a floater would then be successful and you would be able to sp Armageddon Knight without fear of being negated and toss e.g a Jinzo Returner to special summon a Jinzo.

Similarly, for Card Car D, when you summon this card, you would be able to bait out Solemn Warnings and Effect Veilers almost immediately. From then on, you would be able to use cards such as Creature Swap to rid yourself of the effectless Card Car D or play Call Of The Haunted for Armageddon Knight to trigger its effect or special summon Jinzo. Another property of Card Car D is that it can be discarded together with a Machina Fortress or with a Jinzo to special summon a Machina Fortress from your graveyard since Card Car D is a machine-type monster.

The last Dual-Properties-Floater, Machina Gearframe, can also play more than 2 uses other than searching out Machina Fortress and bating out cards. Remember, unlike Dark Grepher which is lost in a one for one trade-off with Bottomless Trap Hole, Machina Gearframe does not allow you to suffer this disadvantage as it would still enable you to search out a Fortress to replace itself if it gets hit by Bottomless trap Hole. Getting hit by effect veilers and solemn warnings would fufill its roles as a floater on the other hand.

Moreover, Machina Gearframe still has a secondary effect, that is to equip itself to a machine type monster to help it prevent being destroyed. If you control a face-up Jinzo that you will lose due to Jinzo Returner's effect in the end phase, you can equip Machina Gearframe to Jinzo, and during the end phase, destroy Gearframe in place of Jinzo, allowing you to keep Jinzo on the field.

To sum up on the Dual-Properties-Floaters aspect of this deck, these cards do not play a central role in this deck, thus, when they take hits on behalf of the other cards in this deck, it does not disrupt the flow of play, neither does it harm the synergy of the deck. Therefore, to other aspiring Jinzo Returner duelists out there, do take note that you should refrain from playing all monsters that are central to a Jinzo Returner deck as it being disrupted by your opponent's card could harm you strategy and cost you the game. Playing floaters is essential in a Jinzo Returner deck to help you maintain control over your own deck.

Next card, which is Cyber Dragon, will most definitely raise the disagreement of some other Jinzo Returner duelists who opts to only play 2 copies of it. The general argument for playing 2 copies of cydra versus playing 3 copies of cydra is that drawing multiple copies of cydra could clog up your hand and essentially form up dead weight in your hand if you are unable to special summon it.

However, this point can be easily rebutted. Firstly, Machina Fortress is played in a pair in this deck. Cydra, thus, can never be dead weight because if you are unable to special summon it via its own effect, you can always discard it together with fortress or another machine type monster to special summon fortress from your graveyard.

Secondly, starting with cydra if you are going second can help a lot, and playing 3 copies of it can benefit you. Imagine starting second with a cydra and Jinzo in hand. Special summoning cydra would most likely be successful unless the opponent's monster is one that they must defend. From there, you would be able to tribute summon cydra for Jinzo.

However, even if cydra is hit by Bottomless or Warning in this scenario, you could always special summon a second copy or summon another monster such as Armageddon Knight or Machina Gearframe, search Fortress, and pitch Fortress and Jinzo for Fortress.

Thridly, as I have already said multiple times in this discussion, hand size is extremely important in a Jinzo Returner deck. Therefore, you cannot afford to draw into cards that cease to serve any more use, especially in late games. If a Jinzo Returner player only plays 2 copies of Cydra and draw both of them first before drawing Future Fusion, what can be said, in crude language form, is that you are screwed. Future Fusion would then cease to have anymore use as you would not have anymore cydras to send from the deck to the grave for Chimeratech Overdragon. Therefore, playing 3 copies of cydra is definitely a wiser choice over playing 2 copies of it.

Effect Veilers is the card that is holding up the speed of this deck. As many would know, Jinzo Returner decks do not have the speed to compete with the current top decks. But instead of giving up on such a wonderful deck, there is always an option of bolstering the shortcomings of this deck with cards that will reduce the speed of your deck.

As Jinzo Returner decks thrive on attack-central moves, slowing down your opponents' small creatures such as Inzektor Dragonfly, Rescue Rabbit or Gadgets would give you the opening to deal significant damage to your opponent. Reducing their speed gives you the opportunity you need to display the damage if a returner deck.

Playing 2 copies of effect veilers would defnitely be insufficient as you need to draw it as early as possible to rush through your opponents quickly. On a side-note, Jinzo Returner deck is one that works best if you can finish your opponents off in early or middle-staged games rather than late games. Therefore, speed is of the essence here, and if Konami doesn't want to print anything to help boost Jinzo Returner decks' speed, then slowing down your opponent is the only option left.

Moreover, Effect Veiler is also a tuner monster, which is the only choice you ca have to perform synchro summons. As I have always tried to defend, synchro monsters are still extremely strong, and cards such as Catastor, Brionac and Scrap dragon has saved me from many defeats. Effect veiler, is thus, much need in triplets rather than twins.

The next card is perhaps the strongest and most helpful relative in the Jinzo clan, meet Machina Fortress! The most effective use of Machine Fortress is to help you dump Jinzo from your hand to the grave, getting rid of the deal weight in hand that kills many returner players as well as set up the condition for Jinzo Returner to join the party and use its effect.

The most general use is to dump Jinzo and Fortress from hand into the graveyard, then summoning Armageddon Knight to send Jinzo returner from the deck to grave to special summon back the Jinzo. Another scenario would be one that always frustrates Jinzo Returner players. That is when you draw the OTK-enable card, Future Fusion, only to realise you have a single Jinzo stuck in hand. This is when you can dump Jinzo and Fortress from hand into grave again, then play Future Fusion and you would be able to special summon 3 Jinzos from Future Fusion's effect.

There can be another scenario whereby your opponent sets Compulsory Evacuation Device and ends. You then summon Card Car D and gets it compulsed. Since you have already normal summoned Card Car D this turn, you would be unable to perform another normal summon. However, if you have Machina Fortress in hand, you would be able to discard it from hand into grave together with the compulsed Card Car D and special summon Fortress for some damage.

There are times when you are unable to run over some large monsters that your opponent control. Then, ramming Machina Fortress into them may be your only solution out of this fix. Killing Machina Fortress would trigger its effect, allowing you to get rid of the big monster that you cannot run over.

By now, I'm sure that many readers are starting to wonder why I do not Run Overload Fusion, Foolish Burial and Pot Of Avarice in my Jinzo Returner deck. The answer is simple. As I have already stated many times, you cannot afford to have dead weight in your hand, and if you start off the duel with cards such as Overload Fusion and Pot Of Avarice or when you are in the late part of the game and draw into Foolish Burial with no more targets, you have already lost the duel.

The advice I am trying to transmit through this is that a Jinzo Returner deck cannot afford to have inconsistency in his/her draws or dead cards in his/her hand in any point of time. Therefore, formatting a Jinzo Returner deck to satisfy all this criteria is extremly important and decision-making must be based on thoughts of consistency and not random OTKs with cards such as Overload Fusion.

Finally, lets end off with my sharing of a fun combo you can do with Inzektor Exa-beetle. It helps you use Jinzo Returner's effect 4 times in a turn!

Firstly, you activate Future Fusion, you would then have used Jinzo Returner's effect X 3 to special summon 3 copies of Jinzo to your side of the field. Following that, you overlay 2 Jinzos for Inzektor Exa-Beetle. Then when Inzektor Exa-Beetle is exceed summoned, you can equip one monster from either players' graveyard to it. You equip Jinzo Returner from your own grave with this effect, then activate Exa-Beetle's effect, detach an overlay unit (Jinzo) from it to send one face-up card from your opponent's side of the field and the Jinzo Returner that is in the spell trap zone to each respective grave.

As sending Jinzo returner from the spell trap zone to the grave is an effect, you would have activated Jinzo Returner's effect for the 4th time this turn to sp yet another Jinzo from your grave. This leaves you with Exa-Beetle and 2 Jinzos on the field, you can then overlay Gaia Dragon, The Thunder Charger on Exa-Beetle and normal summon another monster (remember, you have yet to normal summon this turn) and try to go for an OTK.

If the OTK fails, overlay the 2 remaining Jinzos in Main Phase 2 for another rank 6 monster, and you would have Gaia Dragon and another rank 6 on your field at the end of the turn just by using Future Fusion this turn!

Ok, I have come to the end of today's post and successfully carried out the request of Mr Wheeler. I hope that you like this decklist today and hope you can have fun with it as well as I did. Take care!


  1. I actually played this deck when i first got back to the game in the end of 2010. But mine had Quickdraw Synchron and Synchro Fusionist to make Junk Destroyer for a +1 and to beat around until it was clear to go for the win. LOL! If i remember correctly there was a copy of Overload Fusion as well. Definitely a fun deck!

    1. haha yea at a point of time synchro fusionist was used to get out copies of overload fusion or future fusion, but my current build emphasises on speed and consistency, so i can't play synchro fusionist like you did :( but its still amazingly fun for me though haha

  2. I remeber this deck in the "dark" era T_T, and ur deck looks pretty competitive and its awesome that u keep that deck so far and still fixing it.

    1. yea, no matter what other decks i play, i can't seem to find the fun that i find in this deck, so i still find myself drawn back to this deck each time haha.