Back in 2008, Yu-Gi-Oh! was in full swing for me. I was enjoying Yu-Gi-Oh!: 5Ds, my friends and roommates were all playing and I was even able to introduce some folks to the game who would normally not have given it a shot. Then, it happened. Crossroads of Chaos arrived and, with it, the card that would change my outlook on the game forever.
As a plant enthusiast, Black Garden is everything to me. It’s an aesthetic masterpiece, it slows duels down to a more favorable pace for me, my favorite 5Ds character used the card and the possibilities do seem endless. Black Garden can provide Token fuel for plant boss monsters like Tytannial, Princess of Camellias, can manipulate Tokens to perform emergency revivals from the graveyard and makes enemy monsters that are typically difficult to attack over more vulnerable to the battle phase. The year, though, is 2022, and Yu-Gi-Oh! is a very different game than it was even a year ago, much less a decade or more. A Black Garden deck built for Master Duel needs some serious help to be a contender. Furthermore, while a Black Garden deck can involve the card in its primary strategy, we’re going to have to come to the realization that it won’t be on the field for even a majority of the duel–there is so much banishing and non-targeting destruction in the game that Black Garden leaving the field at some point is more a matter of course. To that end, I want to build a flexible strategy that can recover from Black Garden or my monsters leaving the field early.
The cornerstone of my Black Garden strategy will be Garden Rose Maiden. Garden Rose Maiden instantly searches a fresh Black Garden from the deck or grabs a used one from the graveyard. This means I can cut down on the total number of Black Garden copies in the deck because it is now so searchable. Garden Rose Maiden is also 1600 ATK, which means it is a revival target for Black Garden and when Garden Rose Maiden is revived, she retrieves Black Garden. This is a match made in heaven, so now my strategy has a clear direction: The deck needs to be able to quickly and efficiently complete level 5 synchro summons. Unfortunately, plant monsters are generally better at level 6, 7 and 8 synchro summons, so the deck engine’s core is going to have to use something different.
When thinking of level 5 synchro summoning, the classic archetype that comes to mind is Junk. Specifically, Junk Synchron. For the cost of a Normal Summon, Junk Synchron becomes Garden Rose Maiden as long as neither its summon nor its effect are negated. To facilitate both searching Junk Synchron and filling up the graveyard, I’m going to employ Junk Converter for searching and Caligo Claw Crow for a backup summon from the hand if Junk Synchron’s effect does not resolve. The way forward is now clear; get to Junk Synchron as fast as possible and use Garden Rose Maiden to grab Black Garden. Now that the course is set, what is the deck’s destination? Ideally, I want to have Black Garden on the field and frustrate my opponent with multiple monster effect interruptions, forcing them to play into Black Garden directly, where even mediocre monsters can fight big bodies. Since attack power is not an issue, the interruptions I want to focus on are sending enemy monsters back to the hand or negating dangerous monster effects; the goal is to make getting over or around Black Garden as expensive as possible and, even if the opponent does that, Garden Rose Maiden can bring it back on the very next turn. Let’s look at the working list for this build.
Black Garden: Spring 2022
1x Jet Synchron
3x Caligo Claw Crow
1x Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion
2x Junk Converter
3x Junk Synchron
3x Red Rose Dragon
3x Roxrose Dragon
3x White Rose Dragon
2x Tenyi Spirit – Nahata
1x Harpie’s Feather Duster
1x Lightning Storm
1x Black Garden
2x White Rose Cloister
2x Called by the Grave
3x Basal Rose Shoot
1x Blooming of the Darkest Rose
1x Blessed Winds
Extra Deck 
Herald of the Arc Light [✪4]
T.G. Wonder Magician [✪5]
Garden Rose Maiden [✪5]
Garden Rose Flora [✪5]
Aromaseraphy Sweet Marjoram [✪6]
Black Rose Dragon [✪7]
Black Rose Moonlight Dragon [✪7]
Periallis, Empress of Blossoms [✪7]
Stardust Dragon [✪8]
Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon [✪8]
Vermillion Dragon Mech [✪9]
Virtual World Kyubi – Shenshen [✪9]
Ruddy Rose Dragon [✪10]
Baronne de Fleur [✪10]
Crystron Halqifibrax [L2]
As a note, the Main Deck only adds up to 34 cards. The last 6 slots are free for tech choices; I prefer Compulsory Evacuation Device and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. You can use whichever cards best suit your needs.
The Junk engine is the fastest and most reliable way to bring out Garden Rose Maiden. The priority should be to Normal Summon Junk Synchron, but only if there is a level 2 monster in the graveyard. If there is no target in the graveyard, use Junk Converter and any tuner in the deck, but preferably Jet Synchron or Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion, and search for Junk Synchron. If Garden Rose Maiden is Synchro Summoned using Junk Converter, you can Special Summon a tuner to use Garden Rose Maiden as Synchro material for a boss monster like Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon after Garden Rose Maiden has grabbed Black Garden.
The Rose Dragon engine is here for a few reasons. First, the rose dragons yield massive plusses from successful Special and Synchro Summons. Next, rose dragons provide easy access to the Rose Dragon Synchros, Periallis, Empress of Blossoms and Baronne de Fleur. Finally, Roxrose Dragon provides a revival target for Black Rose Garden, which is critical to extend or recover. The priority should be to Normal Summon Red Rose Dragon if you can complete a Synchro Summon; Red Rose will not only get Blooming of the Darkest Rose to your hand, but can then Special Summon either Roxrose or White Rose Dragon, depending on your needs. Roxrose Dragon can then pull Basal Rose Shoot from the deck, as well.
The heart and soul of the deck. The goal is to make Garden Rose Maiden as quickly as possible and grab Black Garden. Black Garden is not only a decent defensive tool, but can also perform an important revival function by destroying plant monsters whose attacks are multiples of 800. Both Garden Rose Synchros, Roxrose Dragon, Nahata and all the Black Rose Dragon Synchros are all revival targets. What’s convenient is that Black Garden can destroy itself to revive Garden Rose Maiden, which can then pull Black Garden out of the graveyard for use again. I cannot stress how quickly Garden Rose Maiden must be made. When your opponent summons monsters and gives you Tokens that you want to keep, you can use Nahata in the Battle Phase to keep them on the field for use on your turn.
Black Rose Dragon retains its value as a classic board wipe in emergency situations and can be summoned by way of Black Garden, Garden Rose Maiden or Ruddy Rose Dragon. Black Rose Moonlight Dragon is an interrupt aimed at Fusion, Synchro and high-level boss monsters. In decks that can summon multiple high-level monsters, Black Rose Moonlight Dragon may misfire because its effect is mandatory, so be careful. Ruddy Rose Dragon is the final monster you want to summon for this deck; if you can ensure that your summon and its effect will not be negated, Ruddy Rose Dragon is fully equipped to end the duel if your opponent is below 4000LP. Summoning Ruddy Rose Dragon too early can mean you will miss out on eviscerating your opponent’s graveyard and field, so try to summon Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon or Baronne de Fleur instead for powerful interruptions while the duel is not yet within the effective range of Ruddy Rose Dragon’s killshot.
The lineup of what I affectionately call “the mid-bosses,” these monsters are your primary Synchro targets once you have Black Garden in hand and can start your disruptive plays. Especially effective with Black Garden up, these monsters are here to drain as many LP and resources from your opponent as they possibly can. The philosophy of impermanence is an important one to recognize for the deck; the monsters and field spell may be up for the entire duel, or may go down next turn–their job before they leave is to make your opponent spend resources to get rid of them. Regarding Shenshen, use with discretion; it can disrupt you if you’re not careful, but it can refill the graveyard if you can reliably make it to the Battle Phase.
For a deck with so few plants, Periallis does a surprising amount of work here. A revival target by way of Black Garden and Baronne de Fleur, Periallis herself can revive Garden Rose Maiden, Garden Rose Flora and Sweet Marjoram. Sweet Marjoram herself can search for Blessed Winds, which you can use to recycle her or to send Garden Rose Maiden or Garden Rose Flora back to the Extra Deck if they’re in danger of banishment. While you won’t get too much mileage out of Sweet Marjoram’s destructive effect, the subtle LP gains can help out if your opponent cannot stop you manipulating your plants with Blessed Winds. Periallis putting bodies out on the board is also helpful for getting into your higher-level Synchro Summons when Red Rose Dragon is not available.
These cards are your avenues for special summoning Rose Dragons or Tokens in order to make Synchro Summons. White Rose Cloister is potent for its attack point boosting effect. Basal Rose Shoot is a standard Special Summon card, but can get a small increase in power if it is destroyed while set on the field. Blooming of the Darkest Rose is not exactly a powerhouse, but can serve as Synchro material for your Synchro Tuners during your opponent’s turn, Token generation for use with an offline Black Garden or a last-ditch defensive maneuver if your LP are low.
The goals for this deck are as follows:
- Use Rose Dragons or Junk Synchron to summon Garden Rose Maiden.
- Use Garden Rose Maiden and Black Garden to summon mid-bosses.
- Drop your opponent below 4000LP, then summon Ruddy Rose Dragon.
You can Synchro Summon Garden Rose Maiden by using:
- Jet Synchron + Tenyi Spirit – Nahata
- Rare, but available option.
- Junk Synchron/Red Rose Dragon/Roxrose Dragon + Caligo Claw Crow
- Summon your Tuner first, then use Caligo Claw Crow’s effect.
- Junk Synchron/Red Rose Dragon/Roxrose Dragon + Rose Token
- Use in conjunction with Black Garden or Blooming of the Darkest Rose.
- Junk Synchron + Junk Converter
- Standard play. Use Converter’s effect to search for Junk Synchron.
- Black Garden
- This is not Synchro Summoning, but a revival play.
- Perform two summons to generate two Rose Tokens, then revive.
- You can also use one full power Roxrose Dragon to revive.
You can Synchro Summon mid-bosses by using:
- Red Rose Dragon + any monster
- A successful Synchro will let you special Roxrose for another Synchro.
- Garden Rose Flora + either player’s Field Spell
- Rare play, but also gets rid of annoying opposing Field Spells.
- Periallis/Blessed Winds + any plant Synchro + any monster
- You can use Periallis or Blessed Winds to start summoning.
- If you already have monsters available, Periallis or Blessed Winds can provide extension by summon the Synchro material back to the field.
You can Synchro Summon Ruddy Rose Dragon by using:
- Basal Rose Shoot
- If you already have a LV7 Synchro out, get a Rose Dragon Tuner.
- If you a Rose Dragon Synchro is in the graveyard, get it back and summon a Tuner. Black Rose Dragon lets Ruddy Rose wipe the field.
- Garden Rose Maiden + any dragon Synchro monster + any Tuner
- Garden Rose Maiden and your dragon Synchro must be in the graveyard.
- Banish Garden Rose Maiden to revive your dragon Synchro.
- Red Rose Dragon
- Truly the deck’s MVP.
- Use with Nahata (summon Nahata first) or with White Rose Dragon.
- Synchro climb into Ruddy Rose by summoning Roxrose Dragon with Red Rose Dragon’s effect after a successful Synchro Summon. Synchro again.
- Junk Synchron + Junk Converter + Caligo Claw Crow
- Junk Synchron and Caligo Claw Crow need to be in hand.
- Junk Converter needs to be in the graveyard or sent there via its effect.
- Normal Summon Junk Synchron, use its effect to revive Junk Converter.
- Use Caligo Claw Crow’s effect from the hand to get all your material.
- Junk Converter will revive Junk Synchron after making your LV7 Synchro.
- Synchro again for Ruddy Rose Dragon. Watch out for Nibiru.
- Bonus points for doing this under Black Garden, using Tokens to revive.
Thanks for reading 2022’s Spring profile for Black Garden. This deck is great fun and I hope to make more interesting Black Garden builds in the future.