Fans of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! TV show will remember Rex Raptor and Weevil Underwood as a pair of dastardly but bumbling bad guys always out to make life difficult for the main cast. While they weren’t as terrifying as Pegasus or Yami Marik, they were some of the few secondary characters to appear in almost every season. Rex and Weevil’s antics made them popular characters, and even now they’re recognisable as obstacles to Yugi, Joey and the gang.
But when it comes to the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, they didn’t have quite so much luck. Dinosaur and Insect monsters didn’t have much support back in the day, and the characters’ trump cards like Serpent Night Dragon and Insect Queen were difficult to find in booster packs. Anybody who wanted to build a deck based on one of these characters needed either amazing luck or an amazing wallet.
That is, until the release of the Ultimate Predators Speed Duel starter decks. Ultimate Predators mixes Rex and Weevil’s classic cards with some newer support, and turns their strategies into fun, quick-to-play duelling decks.
So, put on your dinosaur beanie, adjust your beetle glasses, and get ready to relive the exciting Duels of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s most diabolical morons.
How to Play Yu-Gi-Oh! Speed Duel
The Speed Duel format plays a little differently to Master Duels (the regular card game). If you’ve never tried Speed Duelling before – or if you’re new to Yu-Gi-Oh! – check out this simple tutorial from Konami on how to play.
What’s Included in Ultimate Predators?
The Ultimate Predators starter set includes:
- One 30-card Rex Raptor deck
- One 30-card Weevil Underwood deck
- Four Skill Cards (two for Rex and two for Weevil)
- Two Ultra Rare variant cards (Order to Charge and Jar of Avarice)
- Two deck topper cards showing each character with their best monster
- A pull-out game mat for one player
On the back of the game mat you’ll find instructions on how to play, and two 20-card deck lists for each character. Each deck list uses one of the characters’ Skill Cards. This mean that, rather than playing the same deck all the time, you can change up your playstyle to get more mileage out of the game. If you want to use all 62 cards to make one 20-card super deck, the back of the box shows a complete deck list for both characters, so you can reset at any time.
Let’s take a look at the deck lists.
Rex Raptor’s Deck
Two-Headed King Rex
Crawling Dragon #2
White Elephant’s Gift
Raise Body Heat
Ultra Evolution Pill
Rex’s Dinosaur Kingdom deck is closest to his strategy from the show. It’s simple and consistent, focusing on playing monsters with high Attack Points.
The Dinosaur Kingdom Skill Card lets you start the Duel with a Field Spell that powers up your Dinosaur cards. The deck has plenty of strong low-level monsters, and you can use Ultra Evolution Pill, Spacetime Transcendence and Hunting Instinct to play your high-level monsters quickly. Raise Body Heat and Reinforcements can add even more Attack Points, letting you destroy your opponent’s monsters and deal lots of damage.
While playing this deck won’t cost you too much brain power, it’s enjoyable to plan your big moves around your opponent to surprise them. But after a few games, you’re going to want to try out some new cards to add variety (which Ultimate Predators helpfully provides).
Nightmare Sonic Blast
Crawling Dragon #2
Serpent Night Dragon
Mad Sword Beast
White Elephant’s Gift
The Nightmare Sonic Blast deck is designed to quickly summon Serpent Night Dragon, and then to use the Skill Card to control the game. It offers plenty of chances to rearrange your deck, letting you plan your strategy ahead.
The first step is to draw Serpent Night Dragon, which can be made easier with Pharaoh’s Treasure, White Elephant’s Gift and Summoner’s Art. Even if you don’t have two monsters to tribute, Cost Down, Card Advance and Limit Impulse can make summoning Serpent Night Dragon easy. The deck also features disruptive cards like Gale Lizard and Hyper Hammerhead, letting you stall for time or counter your opponent’s more dangerous monsters.
This deck is definitely more strategic than Dinosaur Kingdom. Lots of cards let you look at and rearrange your deck, which encourages you to pay attention to your opponent and make long-term plans to win.
Your Custom Deck
Rex’s cards deal with a lot of important strategies for any trading card game: raising the strength of your attackers, searching for what you need, and interrupting your opponent. With the cards on offer, it’s easy to make a strong, fun deck of your own.
Weevil Underwood’s Deck
Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth
Bee List Solider
Cocoon of Evolution
Enchanting Fitting Room
White Elephant’s Gift
Amulet of Ambition
Dark Factory of Mass Production
Order to Smash
Weevil’s Hyper Metamorphosis deck is all about using the Skill Card to play Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth as soon as possible. You’ll have to give up three cards to use the Skill, but once your monster’s on the field there’s not much that can stop you.
A quarter of the deck is made of low-level Normal monsters. Between those and search cards like Gokipon and Enchanting Fitting Room, you’ve got a great chance of using Hyper Metamorphosis on your first or second turn. If Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth gets destroyed, you can recover your lost Normal monsters with Dark Factory of Mass Production, and use them to fuel your Insect Queen instead. Your Normal monsters are weak, but Amulet of Ambition can be used to make them frighteningly strong.
Hyper Metamorphosis is incredibly powerful for a starter deck. It’s easy to play massive creatures and recycle your resources. But since the whole deck is built to play Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth, you might struggle against a deck with Spells and Traps that remove your monsters from the field.
Bee List Soldier
Laser Cannon Armor
Adhesion Trap Hole
Much like the character it’s based on, the Hidden Parasite deck is much sneakier and more disruptive than Hyper Metamorphosis. Choosing the right time to turn every monster on the field to Insect Type lets you take your opponent by surprise and seize victory.
You’ll have to carefully choose when to activate your Skill Card, since you can only use it twice in a Duel. You could use it to pump up your Insect Queen or Insect Princess, or even to wipe out the whole field with Eradicating Aerosol before playing a strong monster to attack directly. Even if your opponent is winning, Insect Neglect and Verdant Sanctuary can protect you while you search for the cards you need.
That said, there are some confusing card choices here. Forest doesn’t work very well with the Hidden Parasite Skill, and while Gokipon was excellent in the Hyper Metamorphosis deck here it’s only really useful for deck thinning.
Of all four 20-card deck lists, this is the most difficult to play, but it’s also very rewarding. Waiting to unleash your Skill Card and turn the tables is very satisfying, and it’s well suited to a crafty character like Weevil.
Your Custom Deck
Where Rex’s cards are pretty straightforward, Weevil’s need a little more thought. They often use the graveyard as a resource, so you need to be aware of what’s happened in previous turns. When making your own deck, there are plenty of cards that work well together, but it’s easy to choose the wrong ones and mess up your own plans. For a starter deck, it encourages new players to start thinking about deckbuilding and making decisions as they play.
Ultimate Predators as a Boxed Game
As a set, Ultimate Predators offers many different ways to play. You might choose a simple strategy based on summoning big monsters, or you might try to trick your opponent instead. All four deck lists are interesting to play, and they suit the characters they’re based on.
But, the biggest problem is that the decks don’t match each other very well. It’s too easy for Weevil to play Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth straight away, and Rex has almost nothing that can challenge it. Rex has disruptive cards, but even with both Gale Lizard and Hyper Hammerhead there’s at best a 25% chance of having something on your first turn that can remove Weevil’s ace from the field. This isn’t quite so bad when playing with your own custom deck, but even then some Duels feel lost before they start.
Luckily, this problem is very easy to solve. You could:
- Get another set of starter decks to go with Ultimate Predators, like Match of the Millennium or Twisted Nightmares. With more decks to play, cards to use and tactics to try, you can play for hours without Duels ever feeling unfair.
- Customise the decks with booster pack cards. There are five booster sets to choose from, which means plenty of ways to improve Rex and Weevil’s decks while still keeping the same strategies. You can also trade with other Speed Duellists to get specific cards you really want.
Recommendations for Improving Each Deck
I recommend picking up some Trials of the Kingdom booster packs. As well as brand new Skill Cards for Rex and Weevil, the set has many Dinosaur and Insect cards that would be awesome to add to Ultimate Predators, including:
Floodgate Trap Hole (Ultra Rare)
Dino Destruction (Super Rare)
Jurrac Stauriko (Super Rare)
Jurrac Spinos (Common)
Tail Swipe (Common)
Waking the Dragon (Common)
Cocoon of Ultra Evolution (Ultra Rare)
Parasite Paranoid (Ultra Rare)
Golden Ladybug (Super Rare)
Girochin Kuwagata (Common)
Metal Armored Bug (Common)
Double Cyclone (Common)
Final Thoughts on Ultimate Predators
Rex and Weevil’s decks each offer lots of variety. They have distinct strategies, and the cards provided work well together. While they’re both fun and unique, they don’t match too well as a set, as it’s quite hard for Rex to counter Weevil’s cards. To get the most out of it, get another set of starter decks as well, or customise with booster packs.
Ultimate Predators is definitely enjoyable, and it’d be a great addition to any Speed Duelling collection. Given how popular Rex and Weevil were, it’s cool to Duel from their side for a change.