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Tips on Ritual Deck Design?


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Hello there! How's it going?


So the custom cards I'm currently focusing on, more flavor themed than anything else, but heavily rely on a spell-card-heavy strategy and on old school style ritual monsters, by which I mean ritual monsters that actually have a specific ritual card they need rather than having a generic ritual card for several different ritual monsters.


After a few tries of building decks with the cards I'm making in duel portal, one thing I found happens more often than I would like is that even with a few helping cards to fetch or substitute the ritual spells, I often find myself with a bunch of dead ritual cards in my hand. Now I understand this problem is to an extent inevitable given the central design, but I was wondering if you have any tips on the following questions:


1. What should be the balance of ritual monsters/ritual spell cards vs the rest of the deck


2. How can I make the design of the cards stick to the core idea but still make it viable


More information for context:

*The other cards are mostly defensive in nature, whether it be by offering stalling potential or by being disruptive (more of the former than the latter)


Thank you for reading and have a great day or night!

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I can't really answer those questions without knowing better your cards and, if possible your build. Ritual archetypes and decks rely on different strategies depending on their design, and the ratios of Ritual Spell, Ritual Monsters and their searchers can differ. For instance, Nekroz arguably is the archetype with the less problems since their Ritual Spells can search for more Ritual Spells, and the monsters have a handful of searchers as well, including Manju/Senju. Not to mention their Ritual Spells allows them to Summon without spending monsters on the hand or field.

On the other hand Shinobirds are effective at Ritual Summoning, and their Ritual Spell also lets them use cards without spending resources from the field/hand, however, from what I have seen, due to their self-bounce effect they want to search or recover more Ritual Spells than Ritual Monsters.

Other Rituals, such as Vendreads and Cyber Angels/Herald of Perfection rely on using monsters that trade themselves a.k.a. float when they are Tributed, sent to the GY, etc. to preserve resources.

On top of that, assuming you are using the OCG/TCG cardpool, you can make use of cards that mill Arc Light from the Extra Deck (e.g. Foolish Mass Burial, Gale Dogra, Mega Zaborg) and the recent Impcantations to fix or patch up any searching deficiencies your deck may have. I have seen some builds that resort to maxing all the Impcantations for 60-card decks, in order to maximize the likelihood of opening with any of them and start grabbing Ritual cards.

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Well, at least for now, I am not sufficiently familiar with a good chunk of the yugioh card pool, for which reason I am focusing mostly on just my own design rather than building decks making any considerable use of cards outside of those of my own making.



Here are a few examples of ritual monsters and their ritual spells as used by this deck.


[spoiler=Dark Magician Babygirl and Beauty Magic Experiment]





LVL 5 DARK Ritual Spellcaster-type monster



This card can only be ritual summoned by the ritual card "Beauty Magic Experiment". You may only attack with this monster by discarding or tributing a spell card as you declare the attack unless you control another "Dark Magician" monster. When this monster destroys and/or is destroyed by another monster in combat, look at a number of cards from the top of your deck equal to the number of monsters destroyed and add any spell cards to your hand. Put the rest at the bottom of your deck.





This card can be used to summon "Reborn: Dark Magician Babygirl" from your hand or GY by tributing monsters whose levels equal 5 or above. Look at the top two cards from your deck and add any spell cards to your hand, send the rest to your graveyard. If you control a spellcaster-type monster, you may instead look at the top four cards of your deck.




[spoiler=Alice and Invitation to Dreamland]





LVL 8 DARK Ritual Spellcaster monster


This card can only be ritual summoned by the ritual card "Invitation to Dreamland" or special summoned by it's own effect. When this monster is special summoned, target 1 of your banished cards: Add it to your hand. Once per turn, at the end of your standby phase or when you special summon this monster: You may banish this card. If you do, special summon it during the start of your 2nd standby phase after you do. When this card is banished, you may banish 1 spell card, lvl 3 or below monster or "REBORN" card from your deck. 




This card can be used to summon "REBORN: Alice, The Purest Dreamer" from your hand, GY or that is banished by tributing monsters whose levels equal 8 or above or banishing 1 "Alice, the Purest Dreamer" from your side of the field.




[spoiler=The Baby Dragon of Ra and Divine New Dawn]




LVL 11 LIGHT Ritual Divine-beast monster


This card can only be ritual summoned by the ritual card "Divine New Dawn". When this monster is ritual summoned, double your LP. If an effect would cause your LP to go above your starting LP, add the excess as ATK and DEF points to this monster instead of your LP. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You may pay half your LP to have this monster gain 2000 ATK until your next turn. When this monster destroys a monster or is sent to the GY you gain LP equal to its ATK. You may tribute this monster to special summon "The Winged Dragon of Ra" or "Hamon, Lord of Striking Thunder" from your hand ignoring summoning conditions.




This card can be used to summon "Reborn: The Baby Dragon of Ra" from your hand or GY by tributing monsters whose levels equal 12 or above.  This card, it's effect and that ritual summon cannot be negated.






Ra in particular is of great importance because he is one of the deck's winning conditions. The archetype and surrounding cards themselves don't have an inherent win condition, rather they have ritual and spell card synergy and a lot of stall effects, particularly those of LP gaining.


Is this good enough of a sample or should I bring more cards? I was looking for more general advice which is why I didn't open with the cards themselves.

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Well, they do can lower the usual cost of a Ritual Summon by Summoning the Ritual Monster from the GY. Still, if you are not using official Ritual support, then it doesn't surprise me you get stuck when you run 3 different Ritual Monsters with their respective Ritual Spells. Putting aside the flavor, as I don't see any connection between Ra, Magician Girl and an original monster, Alice, being reborn, nor Ra being able to float into Hamon, I think an option to give more cohesion to these cards is to have a single Ritual Spell that can Summon any of the REBORN monsters. That ought to cut the space the Ritual Spells take and give some consistency, as a Ritual Spell will be live with any of the Ritual Monsters, rather than requiring an specific combo piece. You would only miss on Pre-Preparation of Rites support, but if you don't rely on official cards or don't want them to, then that shouldn't be a concern.

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