You Activated My On Motorcycles! Let's Play Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Stardust Accelerator

"I finally figured out what the ‘D’ stands for in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s. Don’t watch it!"

"Seriously, watch Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s."
–LittleKuriboh, a decade wiser

After two Bionicle LPs, I thought I’d switch things up by doing an LP of a children’s franchise from the early 00’s. I wouldn’t want people to think my emotional growth stalled at age 10 or something right hahaha lol

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a franchise where people play a card game called Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s is the third series, and is set in a dystopian future where humanity has lost the use of their legs and can only get around by riding motorcycles.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator (or maybe Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Stardust Accelerator: World Championship 2009 – scholars disagree on the proper nomenclature) loosely adapts – some might say pathetically adapts – the first story arc of 5D’s. It is part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship series, and introduces several innovations to the series, such as “having a story mode” and “letting you play as a girl”. In this LP, I will be playing the story mode and playing as a girl, because I watch anime.

I’ve played this game to completion before, but I have a lot more experience with World Championship 2010, so I’ll be bumbling around in places. Like, I honestly can’t remember if there are any motorcycle races in this game, or if they were added in WC2010. Lucky for you this is a screenshot LP, so you’ll be spared the bumbling. Updates will likely be on the short side, since I don’t think anyone (except maybe me) wants a complete play-by-play of every single duel.

Now let’s play some card games. On the ground. While standing. With hologram generators strapped to our arms. Like you do normally every day all the time. Not on motorcycles. Not at first anyway. That would be RIDICULOUS.


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Update #1: We Have Amnesia!

Click to view Update 1

Alright, let’s get this started! Slam that game into the system, smash that power button, actually don’t do either of those things because we’re on an emulator, and also small electronics are delicate you really shoudn’t slam or smash them.

Hey, there! It’s Konami! Your corporate pal who’s fun to be with!

In the beginning, there was nothing. But then there was…

A card!

And that card was Speed World. And God said that it was good. He was wrong about that – the Riding Duels in 5D’s aren’t well-designed in general – but God does have a history of making significant errors in judgment so we’ll just leave him to it.

Music: Title
Doesn’t that limp, grody synth get you TOTALLY PUMPED? It’s like the composer wanted to wrest as little of the energy and power in the DS’s sound card as he possibly could. There must be something a little less…it’s-a-fifteen-second-loop-ish I could play instead…

5D’s OST1: Speed World
That’s better.

Anyway, Stardust Accelerator is a DS game, so it of course takes place on two screens. In the emulator, I have the two screens arranged horizontally, with the bottom screen on the left and the top on the right.

Like this.

It’s going to take me a little time to figure out if a horizontal or vertical orientation is better for the LP. But most of the time, you only need to look at one screen anyway.

We’ll be starting a new game, naturally. Stardust Accelerator only lets you keep one save file.

Music: Pause Menu

Look at that. The US is on the bottom. 5D’s is the future liberals want.

I won’t tell you what state I live in, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Alabama.

Now that we’ve been welcomed to the world of Duel Monsters, the question must be asked…

Are we a boy or a girl?

As I said in the OP, I watch anime so I have to play as a girl. Actually I don’t really watch anime anymore. Am I still allowed to pick the girl? Talk about an existential question. Well, I’ll talk to a licensed professional at some point, but for now I’ll hit the pink square.

Now a name. Thread participation is hip, but I’m a square so that’s out. I’ll have to think of a name myself. Well, every Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonist has ‘Yu’ in their name, so how about…

I name her Yuna, after the protagonist of a bad anime.

Last is appearance. Your options are better in WC2010, and way better in WC2011, but if you flip through the options there are one or two faces that don’t look terrible.

There, that’s pretty good.

That white flag button the right of the bottom screen is for changing your country, not for surrendering, if you were unsure.

Music: Silence

You could jump right into story mode, but a seasoned veteran like me knows you want to visit World Championship mode first.

BGM: World Championship Menu

The options are: Free Duel, Communications Menu, Friends Menu, Duelist Menu, Shop, Tutorial, and Options.

Free Duel is for dueling against AI opponents. You unlock new ones by fulfilling various conditions in Story Mode. Some of them are just dueling certain people or reaching certain story points, I think, but others are more specific. For example, to unlock Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord as an opponent, you have to win a duel with the effect of Exodius.

The Duelist Menu is for editing and saving decks and deck recipes, looking over your cards, viewing the list of banned and limited cards, and so forth. The Shop is for buying booster packs (and eventually Structure Decks). Your initial selection of packs is very limited, but I’ll go over them in more detail in a later update. You unlock new packs by reaching particular story points.

The Duelist Menu and Shop are notable in that your cards are shared across Story Mode and WC Mode. If you’re having trouble in Story Mode, you don’t need to find a card shop, you can buy new cards from here. And (if I remember correctly) you can earn Duel Points by winning Free Duels.

Last is Options, and that’s why we’re here today.


You can change your outfit, Duel Disk, and hairstyle. We don’t have any other outfits or Duel Disks, but…

Along with the style, you can also change your hair color. Which for some reason you couldn’t do when creating your character.

Purple is pretty girly, but I’ve been told people have trouble telling the guys and the gals apart in anime, so I thought we could do with a nice hot pink so everyone knows we’re a girl.

More important is the second choice, ‘Edit Fixed Text’. What could that mean?

The ‘fixed text’ is the dialogue popups that appear when certain things happen during a duel. Starting the duel, drawing, summoning a monster, activating a spell, activating a trap, winning, losing, etc. You have dozens of choices for each instance, and each one is more poorly translated than the last. It’s a delight.

Did I spend like eight minutes picking my fixed text? Yes, I did.

Now we can do story mode.

Music: Story Duel 14
Here we are in…place.

This is the duel stadium in New Domino City. I can’t remember if it has a name other than ‘Duel Stadium’, but the 4Kids dub chose to call it the Kaiba Dome to increase continuity with the original series.


Two guys on motorcycles. Well, the guy on the right is on a motorcycle; I’m not sure what the guy on the left is riding.

Is this that ‘card games on motorcycles’ thing I’ve heard so much about? It is.


This guy spins around and starts riding backwards. He likes doing that.

This static shot of a Red Dragon Archfiend card is I guess supposed to represent him summoning it. The game has a special animation for summoning RDA but they don’t use it here for some reason.

I would post a YouTube video of Jack summoning Red Dragon Archfiend but there…aren’t any good ones?

Here’s some high resolution-ish art of it. That’s all I can do for you.


I guess that represented him winning.


The MC, despite appearing repeatedly throughout 5D’s, doesn’t have a name. He does however have a pompadour and a bow tie.

MC-Portrait “He’s just too good! Nobody can take his throne!! How long is his undefeated streak going to go on? A living legend, he’s our one and only King…”



Music: Satellite


Hey, there’s a treasure chest!


Hey, there’s someone with pink hair! I wonder who that could be…

Oh, it’s us.


Music: Hideout

???: “Hey! You OK!? Pull yourself together!”



Rally-TF04 “You all right? You’re not hurt, are you? It doesn’t seem like you’re injured. And it looks like you weren’t attacked by any thugs… But it’s dangerous here, you know!”

Rally-TF04 “So what were you doing just lying there in a place like this? Uh… you don’t want to answer me? Well, have it your way… But, come to think of it, I’ve never seen you around here before. Where did you come from?”

Rally-TF04 “Oh… you really don’t want to tell me, huh? Um… this is Satellite. I guess they used to call this place Domino City a long time ago. Oh, right! I still haven’t introduced myself! The name’s Rally! So what’s your name?”




Rally-TF04 “So what should we do? If only we had some kind of clue to go on…”

Rally-TF04 “Hmm… Hey there! What’s that you’re carrying?”


Rally-TF04 “Isn’t that a Duel Disk? So you’re a duelist, are you? Then maybe you’ll remember something if you have a Duel with somebody! Why not Duel with me then!?”

Rally-TF04 “Ah! I don’t have my deck with me. So lemme go get it. Just wait around here for a few minutes. I’ll be right back!”

Music: Satellite

Rally runs off, and we’re left by ourselves briefly. I somehow managed to take this screencap right before the minimap appeared on the top screen.

You can control this game with the buttons or with the touch screen. Even if I wasn’t on an emulator, the buttons are much more convenient.

There’s the minimap. These grin spinny things are save points. The game doesn’t checkpoint you or save at convenient points or anything like that. It does, however, save every time you buy a booster pack, to prevent savescumming your pulls.

As the icon in the lower left indicates, you pause with the X button. If you were wondering if a Yu-Gi-Oh game counts as JRPG, this conclusively proves it. The definition of a JRPG is “a game that you don’t pause with the Start button”. Trust me, I went to college for game design, I know what I’m talking about.

If you like, you can open the menu and modify your deck, because even with the limited cards you have at the start, your deck makeup is (I think intentionally) sub-optimal. But I decided to keep our deck as-is for the first duel.

Walking to the bottom of the area causes Rally to reappear.


The game is generally polite enough to ask before starting a duel, so you can swap around cards or switch decks.


Music: Duel Start



Just drink in those models. This was high-tech stuff in, uh…1995.

You play rock-paper-scissors to decide who goes first.

The information on the profile displays the character’s name, the name of their deck, and their rating. Our rating is going to be zero for the entire game, because you can only raise it in PvP. An NPC’s rating is supposed to be an approximation of how good their deck is, but the number is frequently…spurious. Minor NPCs tend to get low ratings, despite often having better decks than story characters.

For example, right after Rally I’m going to duel one of the first random NPCs you can meet. Rally’s deck is a bunch of weak Machines with no synergy or ability to raise their ATK. The random NPC uses a reasonably well-built Counter Fairy which completely crushed me the first time I tried dueling him. Rally’s rating is 515; his rating is 510.

I lose, and Rally chooses to go first.

In 2014, the rules of the game were changed such that the first turn player doesn’t draw, putting them a card behind and balancing out the advantage of going first. Stardust Accelerator precedes that rule change, so it’s pretty much always better to go first.

Music: Story Duel 1

Okay, let’s start our first duel. In Yu-Gi-Oh, each player has 8000 Life Points, and the objective is to reduce your opponent’s Life Points to zero. This is mainly done by battling monsters.

Rally opens by setting one monster and one face-down Spell/Trap, which is a pretty typical opening move. The first turn player doesn’t have a Battle Phase, so they can’t attack.

Running along the top of the screen are icons indicating the current turn phase: Draw Phase, Standby Phase, Main Phase 1, Battle Phase, Main Phase 2, and End Phase.


Let’s see what we’ve got.

The orange cards are monsters, while the purple ones are traps. Spells are blue-green, but I don’t have any in this hand.

From left to right, my monsters are: Worm Apocalypse, Gigantic Cephalotus, and Mecha Bunny.
From left to right, my traps are: Overworked, Counter Counter, and Destruction Jammer.

Worm Apocalypse is a very weak monster (300 ATK / 200 DEF), but it has a useful effect: when it’s flipped, it destroys a Spell/Trap on the field.

Gigantic Cephalotus is a solid beatstick (1850 ATK) with an effect we’ll probably never see: when a Plant is sent to the graveyard from the field, Cephalotus gains 200 ATK.

Mecha Bunny is a little more complicated, because it has two effects: 1) When it’s flipped, it inflicts 500 damage to your opponent*, and 2) When it’s destroyed in battle, you can summon another Mecha Bunny from your deck. It’s also weak (800 ATK / 100 DEF)

*The actual effect is “When this card is flipped face-up, select 1 card on the field and inflict 500 damage to its controller”, which is functionally the same.

I like opening with Mecha Bunny, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m about to explain something, and I want to preface my explanation by acknowledging that Yu-Gi-Oh is probably the most pointlessly byzantine TCG there is.

There are three kinds of summon in Yu-Gi-Oh: Normal Summon, Special Summon, and Flip Summon.

You are allowed one Normal Summon/Set per turn. That means taking a monster from your hand and playing it face-up in Attack Position (Normal Summon) or playing it face-down in Defense Position (Normal Set). You cannot Normal Summon a monster in face-up Defense Position, even though they did it for over a decade in the anime.

A Special Summon is a summon by a card’s effect. For example, Monster Reborn Special Summons a monster from the graveyard. Fusion Summons, Ritual Summons, and Synchro Summons are also Special Summons.

A Flip Summon is just the act of taking a monster that’s face-down and flipping it into Attack Position.

Since Mecha Bunny is weak, I’ll set it in Defense Position.

I’ll also set some of my traps. Traps must be set on the field before they can be played, and they can’t be activated the same turn they were set.

What I have selected is Destruction Jammer: When a Spell/Trap Card, or a monster effect, that would destroy a monster is activated, I can negate the activation and destroy the card, by discarding a card from my hand. I don’t think Rally even has any cards with effects to destroy monsters, but I set it anyway.

I also set Overworked.

Overworked is an interesting card: It destroys all monsters on the field with ATK (Attack Power) higher than their original ATK.

I knew from a previous playthrough that Rally has Banner of Courage in his deck, but he didn’t draw it this time so Overworked also goes unused.

The last trap is Counter Counter, which is a Counter Trap that negates the activation of a Counter Trap (Destruction Jammer is a Counter Trap). I don’t set it, so of course Rally uses a Counter Trap in this duel.

Rally starts his turn by activating De-Spell. This destroys a spell on the field, even a face-down one. He targets Destruction Jammer, which is of course a trap, so De-Spell does nothing.

He summons Rocket Warrior – a card Joey played in the anime, incidentally. It has 1500 ATK, which is average (in the sense that a C is average), and a not-entirely-useless effect.


I haven’t played Magic, but I know in that game you attack, and then your opponent either chooses a creature to block with or chooses not to block. In Yu-Gi-Oh, you choose the target of your attack, and you can’t wage a direct attack unless there are no monsters in the way.

Since Mecha Bunny is being attacked, it gets flipped face-up. That means its effect to inflict damage is going to activate. However, because of intricate Yu-Gi-Oh rules about effect activation timings, this doesn’t happen until the battle is done being conducted.

“You see, 1500 is clearly larger than 100” said tiny-handed Rocket Warrior.

“Oh, now I get it” said Coach Mecha Bunny.

Now Mecha Bunny’s effect activates. This fact about timing is actually very important for certain cards, and there’s a later duel where I can illustrate how.


Mecha Bunny has 300 ATK here because of Rocket Warrior’s effect. After Rocket Warrior attacks a monster, that monster loses 500 ATK for the rest of the turn. This is only meaningful if you have something to attack the weakened monster. Since Mecha Bunny is destroyed, it doesn’t matter anyway.

Since Mecha Bunny just got destroyed in battle, I can summon a replacement from my deck.

Basically, Mecha Bunny has three uses: 1) It does some chip damage, 2) It replaces itself, maintaining my advantage on the field, and 3) It thins the deck a little. The fewer cards in your deck, the more likely you are to draw the ones you want. This is an important principle in Yu-Gi-Oh, because your ability to draw cards is limited.

On my turn, I draw Raigeki Break. This is a fairly good card: by discarding a card, it destroys 1 card on the field.

Note my qualification of ‘fairly’ good. Raigeki Break can destroy any monster, spell, or trap, whether face-up or face-down. Destroying opposing cards is good, and I have total flexibility in what to destroy. However, I have to discard a card to use it. So I lose two cards (the card I discarded, plus Raigeki Break) while my opponent only loses 1 card. In terms of card advantage, Raigeki Break is a -1.

Deck thinning is an important principle, but card advantage is probably the most important principle in Yu-Gi-Oh. Life Points are one way of measuring how well one player is doing versus the other, but the theory is that the difference in the number of cards each player has is a better meta-analysis of the game state. Or something like that.

However, in low-level play (which is what we’re doing now) both deck thinning and card advantage don’t play a major role. And since you draw a new card every turn, a -1 isn’t a big sacrifice.

Now that Rally has something in attack position, I can feed it to Gigantic Cephalotus.

I also set Raigeki Break here, which is a minor mistake. Broadly speaking, you should wait until Main Phase 2 to set your facedowns.

To explain why, imagine neither of us had any face-down Spells/Traps, and Rally’s face-down monster was Worm Apocalypse. Worm Apocalypse destroys a Spell/Trap when it’s flipped, but since there aren’t any, nothing would happen. Then in MP2, I could set Raigeki Break. But if I set Raigeki Break in Main Phase 1, it would be destroyed by Worm Apocalypse.

Why did I make this mistake? I’ve played a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, which uses a different game format called Speed Dueling which doesn’t have a Main Phase 2.

Anyway, I enter the Battle Phase.



A monster can be in either Attack Position or Defense Position. When a monster is in Attack Position, its ATK is used for calculating damage. When it’s in Defense Position, its DEF (Defense Power) is used for calculating damage. A monster could have 3000 DEF, but if it’s in Attack Position that doesn’t mean a thing, and vice-versa.

Only an Attack Position monster can attack. The benefit to being in Defense Position is that you don’t lose Life Points when your monster is defeated in battle. Thus, having high ATK is more important than having high DEF.

Since Gigantic Cephalotus has 1850 ATK and Rocket Warrior has 1500 ATK, the damage dealt is 1850 - 1500 = 350.

Rally summons Victory Viper XX03, one of many Yu-Gi-Oh cards based on Konami arcade games. Victory Viper is one of the Gradius cards; it has 1200 ATK but can trigger one of three different effects when it destroys a monster in battle.

Rally decides he wants to eat more damage and attacks my Mecha Bunny.

Stardust Accelerator has a fairly smart system for responding to game actions. If you have a card with a specific timing for activation (like my Destruction Jammer, or Mirror Force), it will ask if you want to activate something when that timing is met. If you have something that can be activated at most times (like my Raigeki Break), it will ask if you want to respond when major game actions occur (summoning a monster, attacking, and ending a turn are the main ones I think).

You may have noticed two icons in the upper left, not of this screenshot but of most of the others. One has a circle of chain and an (A), the other has the chain with an X over it and a (B).

If you hold down the A button, the game will stop every time the game state changes, even if you can’t activate anything then. This is useful for stopping the game so you can read the text of a card you don’t recognize. It can also be useful for activating a card at an unusual time, like at some peculiar substep of attack declaration the game might otherwise gloss over.

If you hold down the B button, the game will do the opposite: as long as the button is held, the game won’t ask if you have a response to anything. This is for speeding up the duel.

Anyway, I have no need to waste my Raigeki Break on protecting Mecha Bunny, so the attack goes through.


Since Victory Viper destroyed a monster, it gets to activate one of three effects: 1) Gain 400 ATK, 2) Destroy a face-up Spell/Trap, or 3) Summon an Option Token. If effect #2 had been to destroy a face-down Spell/Trap, I probably would have used Raigeki Break to stop the attack and protect my facedowns. As it is, 1600 ATK still isn’t enough to threaten my Cephalotus.

On my turn, I draw Twin-Barrel Dragon (1700 ATK).

This is a somewhat interesting card, though not a good one. When summoned, it targets an opponent’s card and then tosses 2 coins. If both are heads, the card is destroyed. In other words, it has a 25% success rate.

To be safe, I target his face-down Spell/Trap. The closest thing he has to a legitimately dangerous trap is Spellbinding Circle.

Improbably, I actually succeed with Twin-Barrel Dragon’s effect.

It’s hard to tell with such low resolution, but the ‘heads’ for the coins used in this game is the card Sonic Chick. The tails is the 5D’s logo.

The card I destroyed is Malfunction, which he’s actually going to play again later in the duel.

I flip Mecha Bunny and go all in with my attacks.

This is an example of one of the kinds of decisions you have to make in Yu-Gi-Oh. Right now, Rally has Victory Viper (1600 ATK) and a face-down monster (??? DEF). I have Twin-Barrel Dragon (1700 ATK), Gigantic Cephalotus (1850 ATK), and Mecha Bunny (800 ATK). Who attacks what?

If I attack Vic Viper with Cephalotus, I’ll do more damage. But if his face-down monster has 1700 or more DEF, then Twin-Barrel won’t be able to destroy it. In this case, I had a vague memory that Rally had Jade Knight (1800 DEF) in his deck, so I saved Cephalotus for it. I turned out to be wrong; I think he uses it World Championship 2010. Or someone uses it in WC2010 anyway.

His face-down turned out to be Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive. When flipped, he gets to draw a card. It has 1400 ATK / 1000 DEF, which makes it unusually beefy for a Flip monster.


Robots are incapable of mercy.

Rally plays Dark Eruption, which lets him retrieve Dekoichi.

He sets it (presumably) along with a face-down card.

I proceed to draw Shield Crush, which destroys a monster in Defense Position.

This has predictable results.

Note that since Dekoichi was destroyed by an effect instead of in battle, it was never flipped up, so Rally doesn’t get to draw.

Since Rally only has one card left, I decide to wipe his field clean with Raigeki Break.

Worm Apocalypse is useful. Counter Counter is not.

He responds by activating the card I’m targeting: Malfunction.

Malfunction is a Counter Trap. By paying 500 Life Points, it negates the activation of a Trap and sets it back on the field (unlike most Counter Traps, it doesn’t destroy the card).

Malfunction is a garbage card, and he chose pretty much the worst possible time to use it. This just means I get to use Raigeki Break again.

I attack directly with everything.


On his turn, he throws down yet another T-formation.

Since he saved Raigeki Break for me, I might as well use it.

Unlike last time, this is a good hit. Waboku prevents you from taking battle damage, and your monsters from being destroyed in battle, for one turn.

It’s also a ‘chainable’ trap; that is, it has no specific timing for activation. I destroyed Waboku the same turn he set it, so he couldn’t activate it, but if I had waited until my turn, he could have activated Waboku in response to Raigeki Break, so Raigeki Break would have been wasted.

On my turn I draw Magic Jammer, but it doesn’t matter. His face-down monster is another Dekoichi.

One of the lines you can set is what your character says when they make an attack that will clinch the game.


Characters have three different lines when they take damage, depending on the amount of damage. But when they lose, they always use their heavy damage line.




When you win a duel, you get DP (Duel Points), which are used to buy booster packs and some other items. It’s a little like getting rated for battle performance in Metal Gear Rising or Bayonetta or what have you…but it’s more like the bonuses in Classic/Adventure mode in Smash Bros. Melee. You know, where you get points for just sort of…doing things.

In this case, we get a flat 30 DP for winning a duel, plus DP based on the level of our opponent. The two actual bonuses we got (No Damage Bonus and No Limited/Semi-Limited Cards Deck) only award 10 DP each, so the bulk of your DP is just from winning. The exception is the New Bonus: for every bonus you get that you’ve never gotten before, you get an extra 100 DP.

A single pack costs 150 DP and contains five cards: four common and one rare. So without the New Bonus, we wouldn’t even be able to buy one pack for dueling Rally.

Music: Hideout
You just suck, my dude.

Rally-TF04 “It’s been a long time since I had such a fun Duel. Thanks a lot! That was cool! So, anyway, did you remember anything?”



There’s a guy on YouTube with a Game Maker tutorial for how to make a message box script that accepts strings of any length and automatically puts in linebreaks to fit them in the box. Just something to think about every time you see a game linebreak for your name, just to be safe.


Rally-TF04 “If you go to the south, you’ll find a subway. That’s where we always meet up. I wish I could show you myself, but I got something to do now… But don’t worry about it, OK?”

Rally-TF04 “I’m sure they’ll let you in. They’re all good guys, you know? You just need to say my name. I’ll be back soon anyway, so I’ll introduce you to everyone at that time.”

If a child every tells you they’ll “introduce you to everyone at that time”, they’re either possessed by a demon or they’re from an old money family and you’ve become trapped in a low-tier comedy movie. Either way, you’ve met with a terrible fate.

Rally-TF04 “And maybe you should Duel a little while you’re waiting for me. Well, Ok then! See you later!”

Rally runs off again.

Music: Silence

The game starts narrating to itself. I assume this is supposed to be read in one of those manly voices that’s equal parts contrabass, vocal fry, and the dust of the Old West.






If you say no, the game will tell you that hey, maybe playing the tutorial would be a good idea.




Okay! That’s what we’ll do…next time!

Also next time: We edit our deck and don’t progress the story!

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Update #2: We Faff About!

Click for Update 2!

Let’s open up the pause menu. Truly the highlight of any video game.

Music: Pause Menu

Deck Construction is for modifying your deck.

Recipe Viewer is for going over your deck recipes. A recipe is the list of cards in a deck; in other words, saving a deck recipe means saving a deck so you can rebuild it later.

Card List is a compendium of all the cards you’ve obtained. It also sorts them by what expansion they’re from, for when you’re hunting for additional copies. So you don’t have to remember if Chain Disappearance is in Dark Crisis Volume 1 or Dark Crisis Volume 2 (it’s in Dark REVELATION Volume 2).

Forbidden/Limited Card List lets you look at all the banlists you have available. Every card in Yu-Gi-Oh is either Unlimited (up to 3 copies in a deck), Semi-Limited (up to 2 copies), Limited (1 copy), or Forbidden (not allowed in a deck at all).

Stardust Accelerator comes with two banlists: the September 2008 banlist, and ‘Treat Ltd as Forb’, which is the same list but with the Limited cards also Forbidden. You could download new banlists from the Nintendo WFC, but of course you can’t do that anymore. The banlist only applies to your own decks, not to NPCs.

Here’s the deck construction screen. This is our deck, though I didn’t draw any of these monsters in my duel with Rally.

At the bottom are four tabs, and we’re currently on the second one. The four tabs are: Trunk, Main Deck, Side Deck, and Extra Deck.

The Trunk is just all the cards we aren’t currently using (apparently we keep our cards in a briefcase like Kaiba and not in a binder and/or on the floor in our room like everybody else).

The Main Deck is usually just called the ‘Deck’. It can have a minimum of 40 and maximum of 60 cards. You generally want to stick close to 40, to increase the chances you draw a desirable card. Right now we only have 50 cards total, let alone 50 good ones.

Skipping the Side Deck for the moment, the Extra Deck (called the Fusion Deck prior to 5D’s) contains all monsters that are stored there. Wow, that was a tautological statement. The Extra Deck is where your Fusion and Synchro Monsters go. It can have up to 15 cards.

The Side Deck is only used in Matches (tournament best-of-three games). Between each duel in the match, players can exchange cards between their Main/Extra Deck and Side Deck, to be better equipped to beat their opponent in the next duel. Since all the duels in Stardust Accelerator are singles, the Side Deck is technically useless. It can, however, be a convenient place to shortlist cards you may or may not ending in your deck, during deck construction.

Oh, the Side Deck can have up to 15 cards.

Now, here’s what our deck currently looks like.

1 Dark Valkyria
1 Dragon Ice
1 Gigantic Cephalotus
1 Granmarg the Rock Monarch (Lv6)
1 Jutte Fighter (Tuner)
1 Krebons (Tuner)
3 Mecha Bunny
1 Prime Material Dragon
1 Psychic Commander (Tuner)
1 Sonic Chick
1 The Calculator
1 The Creator (Lv8)
1 Tune Warrior (Tuner)
1 Twin-Barrel Dragon
1 Worm Apocalypse
1 Worm Barses
1 X-Saber Anapelera
1 X-Saber Galahad

1 Big Bang Shot
1 Cup of Ace
1 Riryoku
1 Soul Taker
1 Twister
1 Unstable Evolution

1 Birthright
1 Counter Counter
1 Destruction Jammer
1 Divine Wrath
1 Dust Tornado
1 Graceful Revival
1 Kunai with Chain
1 Magic Jammer
1 Overworked
1 Radiant Mirror Force
1 Raigeki Break
1 Reinforcements
1 Security Orb

1 Gaia Knight, Force of the Earth (Lv6)
1 Magical Android (Lv5)
1 Psychic Lifetrancer (Lv7)

Along with the cards in our deck, there are 10 cards in our Side Deck…

1 Ancient Gear Knight
1 Fossil Tusker
1 Ghost Gardna
1 Oyster Meister

1 Enemy Controller
1 Fairy Meteor Crush
1 Malevolent Nuzzler

1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Defense Draw
1 Magical Arm Shield

There are a bunch of useful cards in our Side Deck and a bunch of garbage cards in our Main Deck, so I’m them out as follows:

1 Worm Barses
1 Cup of Ace
1 Birthright
1 Counter Counter
1 Graceful Revival
1 Radiant Mirror Force

1 Ancient Gear Knight
1 Fossil Tusker
1 Enemy Controller
1 Malevolent Nuzzler
1 Defense Draw

The two cards I want to draw your attention to are Enemy Controller and CED. PUT THEM IN YOUR DECK. Enemy Controller has been a staple card for many years, thanks to its extreme versatility. It’s our first Quick-Play Spell (during your turn you can activate it at any time from your hand; if you set it, it behaves exactly like a Trap), and has two effects, both of which can be used defensively or offensively depending on circumstance.

I actually like Compulsory Evacuation Device even more. It didn’t become a competitive staple until the introduction of Xyz Monsters, but it’s still handy in the Synchro era. It’s useful now, but it’s the kind of card that only gets better the better the deck you’re facing is.

So those are the cards you should definitely put in. There’s really only one card you should take OUT: Cup of Ace. It’s a spell that tosses a coin: if heads, you draw 2 cards, and if tails, your opponent draws 2.

Not only is a 50% success rate bad (obviously), and not only is your opponent getting to draw 2 a huge penalty, but the effect is actually weighted against you. In terms of card advantage, it looks like either a +2 or -2, but that’s deceptive. Playing Cup of Ace is a -1 by itself, so it’s actually either a +1 or -3.

The other cards I took out because they’re highly situational. Radiant Mirror Force is a perfect example. It has the exact same effect as Mirror Force (destroys all the opponent’s Attack Position monsters when they attack), but has the additional condition that they have to control three Attack Position monsters. If that situation comes up, Radiant Mirror Force will be GREAT and quite possibly be enough of a reversal to win me the game…but how often is that going to happen? How often is that going to happen, when in the process of summoning those three monsters to attack me with, they didn’t clean up my back row beforehand or otherwise protect themselves? And I could have probably prevented some or all of those monsters from being summoned in the first place with a well-timed Enemy Controller or CED.

Birthright and Graceful Revival have the same reasoning. Birthright revives a Normal Monster, but our only Normal Monsters are Tune Warrior and X-Saber Anapelera (Actually, Dark Valkyria and Ancient Gear Knight are Gemini monsters, so they’re treated as Normal Monsters in the Graveyard). Graceful Revival you could justify keeping: it revives a Level 2 or lower monster, and we have several of those (Jutte Fighter, Krebons, Sonic Chick, Worm Apocalypse, and three Mecha Bunny, for a total of seven targets), but there’s not a lot to do with them once we revive them. They can be used for a Tribute Summon or Synchro Summon, so if you want to keep it by all means do so.

Counter Counter is highly situational in that a competitive deck of the time is looking at 1-2 Counter Traps and a non-competitive deck is looking at…none. However, I’m about to duel an NPC who has a deck stuffed to the gills with Counter Traps, so I should’ve kept it.

I could continue to explain every card choice but this is already a giant wall of text. I’ll finish by saying I put in Ancient Gear Knight and Fossil Tusker because they have 1800 ATK and we need all the ATK we can get right now.

Music: Satellite
Going south from the starting…room…alley…location, we reach this place. The subway is clearly right in front of us, but I decided to explore some more instead, so I headed east.

In the next area is this bastard.

‘That place’ is on the complete other side of map. The ‘guy’ who runs it is a Dark Magician Girl cosplayer, so either this kid knows something I don’t or he agrees with me that ‘guys’ is a gender-neutral pronoun. Also I have no idea what that comma is doing in the middle of that sentence.

Is this motherfucker challenging our right to buy cards? This is NOT going to stand.



Music: Duel Start

I won janken this time, which is fortunate.

Yusuke can kick your ass if he goes first. He can kick your ass anyway, but especially if he goes first.

Music: Story Duel 4

I open with Malevolent Nuzzler, Kunai with Chain, Dragon Ice, Mecha Bunny, Shield Crush, and Magic Jammer. Like last duel, I open with a set Mecha Bunny.

Note that Dragon Ice is a Level 5 monster. Level 5-6 monsters require a Tribute of one monster on my field to Normal Summon, and Level 7+ monsters require 2 Tributes.

I also set Magic Jammer and Kunai with Chain. The former negates a spell by discarding a card, while the latter is an interesting, multi-effect trap.

I dueled Yusuke during a brief test recording, so I knew what deck he had when I started this duel. Since I already know he has a Counter Fairy / Sanctuary in the Sky deck, my plan is to negate Sanctuary with Magic Jammer, which will handicap some of his strategies. Reality is not that kind.

He summons Meltiel, Sage of the Sky (1600 ATK). Its ATK is unimpressive, but its effect can be a big problem:

With a deck as bad as the one we have right now, Meltiel’s effect going off while Sanctuary in the Sky is out could pretty much clinch the game by itself if we’re unlucky.

He attacks Mecha Bunny, so he takes 500 damage and I summon a second copy.

He sets two facedowns. His Spell/Trap lineup is I think just three Sanctuary in the Sky and a bunch of Counter Traps.

Our only S/T destruction right now is Worm Apocalypse and Twister, and the latter only destroys face-up Spells, so we have essentially no ability to preempt his Counter Traps. My preferred strategy in this situation is to make him activating his Counter Traps sooner rather than later. My thinking is this:

Every Counter Trap he activates now is one he can’t activate later. And right now all he has is Meltiel. Him recovering 1000 Life Points isn’t great, but better he do it now than later when Sanctuary in the Sky is out, or he has another Counter Fairy out.

Your other option is to make an educated guess as to what Counter Traps he has face-down and try not to trigger them. But he has traps to respond to pretty much every possible action, so that’s not easy to do.

I draw and summon X-Saber Galahad (1800 ATK). Galahad gains 300 ATK while attacking but loses 500 ATK when defending. He has a second effect that works with other X-Sabers but it’s not very good and we’ll probably never see it. In practice, he’s a straight downgrade to Steamroid, an older card with the same ATK and better effect (500 +/- instead of 300+/500-).

But he’s stronger than Meltiel and that’s what matters.


Yusuke activates Negate Attack. Despite the name, Negate Attack not only negates the attack but also ends the Battle Phase. He has three Negate Attack in his deck so enjoy running into all of them.

I expected that.

What I didn’t expect was him dropping Voltanis the Adjudicator on the third turn.

Voltanis the Adjudicator is a Level 8 monster with 2800 ATK (but only 1400 DEF). After you use a Counter Trap, you can Special Summon Voltanis from your hand by tributing all the monsters on your field. Then, for every Fairy-Type monster you tributed, it destroys 1 of your opponent’s cards.

In this case, he only had Meltiel, so Voltanis destroys 1 card (Magic Jammer).

Dragon Ice has 1800 ATK, which is low for a Level 5 monster, but when my opponent special summons a monster, Dragon Ice can special summon itself from my hand or Graveyard by discarding a card.

I misplayed here. I discarded Shield Crush when I didn’t need to. Remember, Dragon Ice can special summon itself from the hand OR GRAVEYARD. You can discard Dragon Ice as the cost for its own effect.

Normal Summoning is limited to a face-up Attack Position Normal Summon or a face-down Defense Position Normal Set. Special Summons are always face-up unless an effect says otherwise (like Mecha Bunny).

Seeing as Voltanis has 2800 ATK, Dragon Ice is going in Defense Position.

Despite how things look, I’m actually set up for a recovery.

Yusuke summons Harvest Angel of Wisdom (1800 ATK) and attacks with Voltanis, which is good news for me…

…because I still have Kunai with Chain.

Kunai with Chain can do three things:

  • When an opponent’s monster attacks, it can change the attacker to Defense Position.
  • It can equip onto one of my monsters, giving the monster +500 ATK.
  • It can do both!

Along with switching Voltanis to Defense Position, I decide to equip Kunai with Chain on Dragon Ice. It might have been better to equip it on Galahad, but I don’t like Galahad’s self-ATK-loss effect.

Harvest Angel destroys Galahad, which is the first damage I’ve taken in this game.

And another face-down.

I draw Psychic Commander which means I get to Synchro Summon.

(This is not going to end well.)

I summon Psychic Commander and flip Mecha Bunny, which means Yusuke is…back to 8000 Life Points.

So, Synchro Summoning.

Synchro Summoning was introduced in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s. This meant the introduction of two new kinds of monster: Synchro Monsters and Tuner monsters.

Here’s a Tuner. You can see it says ‘Tuner’ next to the monster’s Type. There’s nothing innately special about Tuners, they have no unique special abilities or anything like that. They’re just a requirement for summoning a Synchro Monster.

Here’s what a Synchro Monster looks like:

You can see in the description the phrase “1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters”. A Yu-Gi-Oh instruction booklet would call this the ‘recipe’ for summoning Magical Android.

To summon Magical Android, you need to have a Tuner and 1 or more non-Tuners on your field. Their total Levels need to equal the Level of the Synchro Monster (5, in this case). And you need to send the monsters to the Graveyard.

In this case, I have Psychic Commander (Lv3) + Mecha Bunny (Lv2) = Magical Android (Lv5).

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s OST (4Kids Edition): Yusei Synchro Summon Theme
“Let’s rev it up!” I said ironically.


During a Synchro Summon, the Tuner turns into green rings and the other monsters turn into like a beam of light or something. Nobody knows why.


Music: Story Duel 4
What I didn’t know is that Yusuke has Solemn Judgment in his deck.

Solemn Judgment can negate a Spell, Trap, or the summon of a monster. Pretty much anything, in other words.

At the SLIGHT cost of half your Life Points.

Solemn Judgment’s cost is actually not as bad as it looks. Because it’s ‘half’ rather than a specific number, you can always pay it. Yusuke just decided to activate it at full Life Points because his AI’s a goof.

So ends my first Synchro Summon.

I change Dragon Ice to Attack Position and slap Malevolent Nuzzler onto it.

Malevolent Nuzzler is an Equip Card that gives +700 ATK. It also has an effect that lets you put it back on top of your deck when it’s sent to the Graveyard by paying 500 LP, but that’s not worth using often.

Dragon Ice’s ATK is now 1800 + 500 + 700 = 3000. Since Voltanis only has 1400 DEF, I didn’t necessarily need to do this. My concern was that Yusuke might have another Negate Attack set, and then Voltanis would be able to turn around and destroy Dragon Ice next turn.

Music: Winning Story Duel 1
This music plays for the rest of the duel even though I am a LONG way away from victory.

Yusuke turtles up, switching Harvest Angel to defense position and setting another monster and another Counter Trap.

This demonstrates the weakness of Counter Fairy decks. They’re predicated entirely on stopping the opponent from doing things. Once the opponent does something (like dump a 3000 ATK monster on the field), they have few outs to that. ‘Few’ doesn’t mean ‘zero’, though.

I draw Jutte Fighter (700 ATK), another Tuner. He can change an attack position monster to defense position, which can be useful when you’re behind but not so much when you’re ahead.

I have Dragon Ice attack the set monster, because I don’t want to deal with Harvest Angel’s effect. When Harvest Angel of Wisdom is destroyed in battle, it can retrieve a Counter Trap from the graveyard. I do NOT want to see Solemn Judgment again.

But I don’t really want to see Arcana Force 0 - The Fool, either.

The Arcana Force archetype was used by the antagonist from season 2 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. The idea behind them is that, like the tarot, the Arcana Forces can be either upright (beneficial effect) or reversed (detrimental effect), which is decided by coin flip when they’re summoned.

What’s important for The Fool is the very first sentence of its text: “This card cannot be destroyed by battle”.

Oh. We’re…going to be here for a while, aren’t we?

The Fool is actually part of an even meaner combo with the Sanctuary in the Sky, though it’s also a combo you can turn to your benefit if you draw well.

Along with being unable to be destroyed in battle, The Fool can’t switch battle position (a card effect can change its position, though). It also has its coin toss effect: Whenever either you (heads) or your opponent (tails) target it with a card effect, the card is automatically negated and destroyed. Because The Fool is foolish, it mixes up heads and tails.

This means that with the tails effect, it can’t be destroyed in battle AND your opponent can’t target it with effects. There’s a problem, though: Arcana Force monsters perform the coin toss when they’re summoned. That would mean The Fool is nearly indestructible, but stuck in attack position even though it has 0 ATK.

That’s where Sanctuary in the Sky comes. Sanctuary in the Sky is a Field Spell that makes Fairy-Types take no battle damage. The AI likes taking advantage of this and will happily normal summon The Fool, hoping to get its tails effect is Sanctuary in the Sky is out.

If this happens, DESTROY SANCTUARY IN THE SKY and get in as much damage as you can.

Did I mention Yusuke has three copies of The Fool? And three copies of Sanctuary?

I eventually attack Harvest Angel just to get it out of the way. His AI decides to get back Negate Attack instead of Solemn Judgment, which is okay by me.

He draws Zeradias, Herald of Heaven, which can be discarded to fetch Sanctuary of the Sky from his deck. Under these circumstances, Sanctuary isn’t a huge deal. It does mean I can’t use Enemy Controller to switch The Fool to attack position, were I to hypothetically draw it.

I draw Divine Wrath, a Counter Trap that negates the activation of a monster effect by discarding a card. I set it but don’t end up activating it. Unfortunately, most of the Counter Fairies’ effects don’t technically ‘activate’ – they’re an odd breed of continuous effect that only applies immediately after a Counter Trap resolves.

Next turn is Dark Valkyria (1800 ATK), which is something I can use.

Dark Valkyria is a Gemini monster. A Gemini monster starts out as a Normal Monster. Normal Summoning it again while it’s already on the field gives it its effects. And Dark Valkyria’s effect is to, just once, destroy a monster on the field.

Yusuke activates Forced Back, which negates the Normal/Flip Summon of a monster and sends it back to the hand.

This is why you don’t want to go second against him. He has THREE Forced Back.

Not a big deal, though. I can just summon it again next turn, and now he has one less Forced Back for me to deal with.

Next turn he activates his SECOND Solemn Judgment.

I was shocked to see this, and was equally shocked just now when I looked it up and Solemn Judgment wasn’t Limited to 1 until the September 2009 banlist, while Stardust Accelerator uses the September 2008 list.

I summon (and Gemini summon) Ancient Gear Knight. Its Gemini effect prevents the opponent from activating Spells and Traps when it attacks, which would prevent Negate Attack.

The second card from the left in my hand is The Creator, which I’m hoping to summon. It’s Level 8, and I’m not about to sacrifice to my 3000 ATK Dragon Ice to bring it out, but it has a very good effect. By discarding a card, and it can revive a monster from your graveyard. My long-term goal is to summon The Creator, and then use it to bring Dark Valkyria, and use Dark Valkyria to get rid of The Fool.

This will not end up happening.

He summons his second Zeradias (Zeradias is Level 4 and has 2100 ATK, but destroys itself if Sanctuary in the Sky isn’t out). He also weirdly decides to switch The Fool to attack position. He destroys Ancient Gear Knight with Zeradias and uses The Fool to check what my face-down monster is (it’s Sonic Chick).

I draw Twister! It destroys a face-up Spell at the cost of 500 LP, so I’ll get rid of Sanctuary. Since he paid another 2000 LP to activate his second Solemn Judgment, I’ll attack The Fool with Dragon Ice and win the–

Dark Bribe. Negate a spell or trap, but the opponent draws a card.

I set Jutte Fighter along with the card I drew with Dark Bribe, Security Orb. The latter changes an attacking monster to defense position, so as long as he doesn’t summon a new monster I’ll have enough tributes for The Creator.

Oh, right. I’m still setting cards in Main Phase 1 instead of MP2 because I’m used to Duel Links.

I get Negate Attack’d.

He summons Bountiful Artemis (1600 ATK), which lets him draw a card whenever a Counter Trap is activated. I stop Zeradias’ attack with Security Orb, but Artemis destroys Sonic Chick.

On my turn I decide to tribute Jutte Fighter to summon Prime Material Dragon (2400 ATK). It has two effects, one situationally handy and one very good, but neither will have any impact. I just want it for the ATK.

I get Negate Attack’d. (And Bountiful Artemis nets him a card.)

Then Yusuke does something very strange…

He gets so excited about drawing Voltanis that he decides to summon it. Not with its effect: he normal summons it. And tributes The Fool.

I don’t even mind losing Prime Material Dragon. I still have Dragon Ice with 3000 ATK.


There’s a couple more rounds of him setting stuff and me attacking it and him summoning his third Zeradias, but finally…




The Tribute Summon and Synchro Summon Bonuses are 3 DP per summon, so if you have, I dunno, a Frog Monarch deck or something you could rack up a decent amount of points that way.

Max ATK and Max Damage are presumably for hitting some threshold for ATK and damage. It’s probably 3000 minimum for both, but you might get more points for reaching higher ATK/damage thresholds. The same probably applies for the Destroy in Battle Bonus.

I’m going to be thankful for all this DP in a couple updates.


Next time, I’ll start summarizing duels more…summarizing-ly.

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