With my return to Yugioh, I wanted to do a deck tech of one my favorite decks from my competitive days, Battlin’ Boxers. While no where close to a great competitive deck in its time, I worked myself to the bone crafting the perfect Battlin’ Boxer deck that ended up propelling me into winning more than half of my matches at locals, including stomping every other Boxer player with superior combos. Now, as my friends and I build budget decks to play each other with, I’ve recrafted my Boxer deck to match up with the current banlist along with some modern changes and I wanted to share my thoughts and explanations for one of my favorite decks to play. So, without further ado, here’s the list:
Battlin’ Boxers (January 2017 Banlist)
3 Battlin’ Boxer Switchhitter – main Boxer, SS Boxer from grave
3 Battlin’ Boxer Glassjaw – adds Boxer back to hand
3 Battlin’ Boxer Headgeared – Foolish Burial Boxer
2 Battlin’ Boxer Sparrer – SS from Hand for Xyz plays
3 Masked Chameleon – Synchro Engine, SS 0 Def monsters
2 Photon Thrasher – turn 1 Xyz and Chamelon target
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh – Stun card, good turn 1
2 Mystical Space Typhoon – backrow removal
3 Pot of Duality – draw power/dig for combo pieces
2 Battlin’ Boxing Spirits – SS to further plays
2 Dark Hole – mass destruction, trigger Lead Yoke
1 Reinforcement of the Army – warrior staple
1 Foolish Burial – ditch Glassjaw for recovery/grave setup
2 Fiendish Chain – stop troublesome effects
2 Mirror Force – mass destucton/OTK stopper
1 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare – removal/Rafflesia piece
1 Void Trap Hole – removal/Rafflesia piece
1 Bottomless Trap Hole – removal/Rafflesia piece
1 Torrential Tribute – mass destruction
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device – removal
1 Vanity’s Emptiness – Lead Yoke Stun/Lock
1 Solemn Warning – removal
Extra Deck: 15
3 Battlin’ Boxer Lead Yoke – Boss Monster
2 King of the Feral Imps – Backup Turn 1 play, Chamleon Search
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer – Removal
1 Traptrix Rafflesia – Trap Hole plays
1 Blade Armor Ninja – Finisher
1 Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon – Generic beater
1 Abyss Dweller – slow down graveyard plays
1 Stardust Spark Dragon – card protection
1 Hot Red Dragon Archfiend – mass removal or 3k beater
1 Scrap Dragon – Destruction/Combos with Lead Yoke
1 Thought Ruler Archfiend – Built-in protection, LP gain
1 Crimson Blader – Slows Lvl 5+ SS decks
Explaining the Plays/Tips and Tricks
The bulk of the Battlin’ Boxer strategy revolves around getting the boss monster, Battlin’ Boxer Lead Yoke, on to the field. Lead Yoke is an immovable wall that was once quite difficult to deal with. When Lead Yoke is going to be destroyed, you can detach one Xyz material from him to avoid destruction an gain 800 attack in the process. He becomes a massive beater that takes three attempts of destruction to finally take him out. Nowadays however, generic cards like Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer make Lead Yoke far weaker than ever before. With that in mind, we play the Battlin’ Boxers as a means to summon Lead Yoke as soon as possible and then defend him for as long as we can with spells, traps, and other monster effects.
The leader of your boxer squad is Battlin’ Boxer Switchitter. When normal summoned, Switchitter can special summon one Battlin’ Boxer from the graveyard to the field in defense position. The only downside you can only special Boxer monsters the turn you use his effect. Essentially, Switchitter is a one card Lead Yoke, which is why he’s so important. Next up we have Battlin’ Boxer Glassjaw, a 2k beater that destroys himself upon being targeted for an attack. What makes him special, however, is that when he’s sent to the graveyard by a card effect, such as his own destruction effect, you can add one Battlin’ Boxer, except Glassjaw, to your hand from your graveyard. Glassjaw adds some consistency to your deck by allowing you to grab used-up Switchitters or other situational Boxer cards back to hand. There’s some interesting rulings on Glassjaw that may or may not trigger his effect when detached from Lead Yoke as an Xyz material but I rarely ever used it due to creating big scenes between my angry opponent and the judge. After that, we have Battlin’ Boxer Headgeared, a Foolish Burial for the deck that can ditch Glassjaw to add a Boxer back to hand, and Battlin’ Boxer Sparrer, if have a Battlin’ Boxer on the field you can special summon him from your hand with a ruling that you cannot attack for the rest of your turn which has a work around of being able to summon him Main Phase 2 with no problem due to the “rest of your turn” phrasing. Lastly, we’re running two Thunder King Rai-Oh as he’s a good all-around stun card and a pretty solid turn one play. Thunder King isn’t a required part of this deck but a personal tech and as such, I could also see him being replaced in exchange for more draw power or additional trap cards.
When it released back in Judgement of the Light (2013), Masked Chameleon was the final piece the Battlin’ Boxer deck needed to elevate its plays to the next level. By adding Synchro Monsters to the playbook, the deck become more versatile and brought greater speed to its first turn plays. When Masked Chameleon is normal summoned, you can special summon one monster with 0 DEF in your Graveyard with the restriction (one of a few not included in this summary) that you cannot Special Summon any other monsters, except from the Extra Deck, during the turn you of Chameleon‘s effect. As a level 4 and a tuner, our Chameleon allows us to summon generic Rank 4 Xyz monsters or level 8 Synchros from our Extra Deck, with both Battlin’ Boxer Glassjaw and Photon Thrasher as targets for his effect. As an added benefit, if you can’t make a turn one Lead Yoke but you open Photon Thrasher and another monster card, you can Rank 4 into King of the Feral Imps, detach Photon Thrasher, and search a Masked Chameleon from your Deck, setting up a perfect Chameleon play next turn. Outside of the Boxers themselves, Masked Chameleon is the next best engine in the deck.
In terms of spell cards, we’re running pretty standard staples. Pot of Duality helps grab our combo pieces faster and as a stun deck we can fend off our opponent using traps while we can’t special summon. Foolish Burial allows us to send Battlin’ Boxer Glassjaw to the graveyard, allowing us to add one Boxer back to our hand while also setting up our graveyard for Switchitter and Chameleon plays. The only deck specific card I run is Battlin’ Boxer Spirit which allows you to special summon a Boxer from your graveyard in exchange for a mill. This allows you to set up Extra Deck plays, further advancing the state of your board for a minimal cost. The odds you mill something that becomes a worse exchange than being able to make your plays that turn is going to be little to none as you’re probably setting yourself up to remove something, survive the next turn, or end the game.
As a stun-oriented deck, we’re running a slew of trap cards aimed at stopping (stunning) our opponent. We run the standard “one-of” trap set along with Fiendish Chain to help defend Lead Yoke against troublesome effect monsters and Mirror Force to defend against OTKs. Along with that, I’ve elected to run Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare in addition to Bottomless Trap Hole so we can run a Traptrix Rafflesia in our extra deck. Rafflesia allows us to effectively play our trap hole cards straight from our main deck so it’s a nice engine to splash in considering how powerful the trap holes can be. I’m considering finding room for one addition trap hole card (either another Nightmare or possibly a Void Trap Hole) to add consistency to this engine and aid in our stun plays.
Vanity’s Emptiness helps create a Lead Yoke lock by creating an immovable wall that your opponent can’t get rid of with special summoning. Vanity’s was once apart of my larger “Lead Yoke Lock”, along side Kaiser Colosseum. The idea was to set up a limited area where the opponents monsters would be forced to go head-to-head with Lead Yoke while only being allowed limited resources until I was ready to finish them off. Unfortunately, Vanity’s Emptiness is limited to one and Kaiser Colosseum is banned but we still throw in the Vanity’s for the chance we draw into it.
As for the other extra deck monsters, we’re running standard generic rank 4’s and level 8 synchros. Stardust Spark Dragon allows us to extra protection for our cards making it a good all-around synchro to go into. Scrap Dragon is the MVP allowing you to target Lead Yoke and a card your opponent controls to destroy both of them but allowing Lead Yoke to trigger his effect, saving himself and growing stronger, while still removing one of your opponent’s cards. Scrap Dragon also works well with Stardust Spark for similar reasons.
At the end of the day, this Battlin’ Boxer deck is best played in a casual scene. It’s cards and plays are fairly dated at this point and are not going to hold up against the Tier 1 decks of today that favor OTK’s. Even when I played Battlin’ Boxers in their prime at my highly competitive locals, I only made it in the top 4 once. That being said, I think Battlin’ Boxers are extremely fun and they suit my casual scene between my friend group. Outside of a couple trap cards and extra deck cards, this Battlin’ Boxer deck is extremely cheap and can be built for $50 as is or $30 and under with some simple card replacements (Link to a deck builder for prices, my original build with some slight differences). If you’re in the market for a deck on a budget then look no further than the Battlin’ Boxers.