"Gishki Emilia" and "Gishki Noellia", in the artwork of "Aquamirror Illusion".
"Gishki", known as "Ritua" (リチュア Richua) in the OCG, is an archetype of WATER monsters released in Duel Terminal - Raid of the Inverz!!. Their team symbol is a blue sapphire mirror, that almost all the members wear, usually around their necks or on their staves. The Ritual Monsters (and, starting with "Merrowgeist", Xyz Monsters) of the group all have "Evigishki" at the beginning of their names (except "Zielgigas" and "Psychelone", due to a misprinting), and are transformed, merged or revived versions of pre-existing monsters, either from the "Gishki" themselves, or from other Archetypes (see: "Evigishki" or this page's Trivia section); also, they have their own Ritual Spell Cards.
Their Japanese name, "Ritua", is a corruption of the English word "Ritual", used in the TCG terms "Ritual Spell Card", "Ritual Summon" and "Ritual Monster". Their English name, "Gishki", is a corruption of the Japanese word "Gishiki", meaning "Ritual" in the same context as the TCG terms. The choice for the English name not only translates the play on words perfectly, but also prevents the need for explaining how cards with "Ritual" in their name aren't part of the archetype.
Story"Gishki" is an organization that wields the same power as the "Ice Barrier" but uses it for the “Aquamirror Meditation” in order to mutate and transform themselves into wicked monsters. In order to gain the bountiful resources of the Mist Valley marshlands, they begin to invade the "Gusto" territories. However, they are interrupted by the "Steelswarm", who intend to take over the surface land. The "Gishki" have no choice but to work with the other clans. With the "Vylon's" temporary assistance, they obtain new powers with which to resist the "Steelswarm". Although the invaders are defeated, other conflicts arise: the "Vylon" decide to exterminate the clans in order to prevent future wars. Out of options, the "Gishki" choose to team up with the other clans, once again, in order to cease the actions of the "Vylons". After the "Vylons" are beaten back, the unions between clans dissolve and the "Gishki" turn to the "Lavals" to power their rituals. Since materials continue to run scarce, they resume their original invasion of "Mist Valley", enacting a genocide of the "Gustos".
Once again, their conquest of the Valley is interrupted, this time by the "lswarm" virus, which spreads rapidly across the Duel Terminal World. Even after resurrecting the three dragons of the "Ice Barrier" in order to combat the corrupted forces of the "lswarm", most of the "Gishki" tribe is unable to resist the disease and are themselves infected and recruited. Up against a proverbial wall, the Gishki, in a moment of desperation, revived the leader of the "Steelswarm" in a last-ditch effort.
The "Gishki" Archetype focuses on Ritual Summoning and on sending cards from your opponent's Hand, Field or Graveyard back to the Deck, thwarting their strategies and making them lose card advantage; it also can recycle cards to maintain its own user's advantage.
The Deck is well-stocked with search effects and the non-Ritual monsters focus on setting up the Ritual Summons ("Gishki Shadow", "Vision", "Noellia" "Abyss", "Ariel", "Vanity", "Marker" etc.) or can be combined with the "Gishki" Ritual monsters' effects, such as "Gishki Chain", "Avance" and "Natalia", that work very well if played alongside with "Gishki Zielgigas" and/or "Levianima". "Gishki Beast" can be very versatile, as it allows you to quickly Xyz Summon "Evigishki Merrowgeist", or to use the Special Summoned "Gishki Shadow" or "Vision" as the entire Tribute for a Ritual Summon, or even to trigger the retriever and searcher effect of "Gishki Marker" or "Gishki Abyss".
So far there are 3 "Gishki" Ritual Spell cards and they have very unique effects:
- "Gishki Aquamirror" can be recycled to set up more Ritual Summons, since it can shuffle itself from the Graveyard into the Deck in order to add a "Gishki" Ritual monster from your Graveyard to your hand.
- "Forbidden Arts of the Gishki" is the only Ritual Spell Card that allows you to Ritual Summon a by tributing monsters under either player's control, giving you the chance of getting rid of strong opposing monsters, but with the drawbacks of making its user skip the Battle Phase and halving the Ritual Summoned monster's ATK.
- "Gishki Photomirror" is the only Ritual Spell Card that uses Life Points (the Level of the Ritual Monster x 500), instead of Tributes, to perform the Ritual Summon of a "Gishki" monster.
Ritual Monsters in the "Gishki" arsenal include:
- "Gishki Zielgigas" lends muscle to its owner's Field with its gigantic 3200 ATK and its effect can get you rid of any card on the Field, without even targeting it, what makes it a good card against target-immune monsters, such as "Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree", "Hazy Flame Peryton" etc.;
- "Evigishki Soul Ogre" can provide an out to most locks and wall monsters, such as "Gravity Bind", "Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons", "Yubel" etc, sending them back to the Deck by the cost of a "Gishki" monster in your hand;
- "Evigishki Levianima" lets you draw a card upon its attack declaration, allowing you to quickly regain the advantage that have been lost in result of its Ritual Summon, and make you be aware of part of your opponent's future moves, by seeing one of their cards, if the card you drew was a "Gishki" monster;
- "Evigishki Tetrogre" can slowly make your opponent run out of options, as it make both players send 1 card of a declared type from their decks to the Graveyard, unless your opponent dicards a card to stop it; you can use this in you own favor, by sending a "Gishki Aquamirror" or a "Djinn of Rituals" monster, in order to banish it for a Ritual Summon. This one in particular must be used with prudence, since you may help your opponent by making them send cards like "Jackpot 7", "Necro Gardna", "Shaddoll Dragon" or "Breakthrough Skill" from the Deck to the Graveyard. Also, if you are playing against a Deck like "Dark World", your opponent will be pleased to discard 1 of those monsters to negate this monster's effect;
- When "Evigishki Mind Augus" hits the Field, it can be used to recycle your own cards, as it shuffles up to 5 cards from either Graveyard into the Deck, and can also be used to shut down strategies reliant on monsters like "Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World", "Mezuki", "Bujingi Turtle" etc;
- At the time "Evigishki Gustkraken" is Ritual Summoned, it shuffles 1 card from your opponent's hand into the Deck, among 2 cards previously chosen at random. This can frustrate strategies focused on hand traps, such as "Ghostrick Jackfrost", "Honest", "Swift Scarecrow", "Black Sonic" etc;
- "Gishki Psychelone" has an effect similar to that of "Evigishki Gustkraken", allowing you to return a card of your opponent's hand to the deck. The two main differences are that its effect can be used once per turn and it depends on how lucky you are, since you have to declare one Type and Attribute, and if the revealed card is a monster of the declared Type and Attribute, it is returned to the Deck. This is particularly useful against one-Type-and-Attribute-based decks, such as "Noble Knight" (Warrior/LIGHT), "Vampire" (Zombie/DARK), "Fire Fist" (Beast-Warrior/FIRE), etc. It has a fair 2150 ATK for a Level 4 monster and can be more easily Ritual Summoned: you can, for example, Tribute the now-meaningless "Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands" that you used to fetch it or "Gishki Aquamirror".
"Evigishki Merrowgeist" is an Xyz Monster and, so far, the only one non-Ritual Monster of the "Evigishki" series, as well as the first "Gishki" Extra Deck monster. It can be easily Xyz Summoned by using the effect of "Gishki Beast" and is very useful against monsters that activate their effects by being sent from the Field to the Graveyard (like the Elemental Searchers, the "Yang Zing" monsters, most of the "Gusto" monsters, "Pyramid Turtle", "Nova Summoner", etc): by detaching one of its Xyz Materials, after Damage Calculation, you can shuffle that monster back into the Deck, a strategy that follows the stantard gameplay of the "Gishki".
The other cards that support the archetype include "Aquamirror Meditation", "Aquamirror Cycle" and "Aquamirror Illusion". The first two can give you hand advantage and set up more Ritual Summons while the third can be used as an emergency move: you can quickly Special Summon "Zielgigas" or "Soul Ogre" to simply get rid of one of your opponent's card with their effect; you can also use it to Summon one of them during your opponent's turn, for example, in response to a Direct Attack, making them act like a "Battle Fader", if the ATK of your opponent's monster(s) is lower than theirs.
Among the non-"Gishki" cards that may help the Deck, are highlighted "Trial and Tribulation", to draw 1 card, retrieve 2 monsters or destroy up to 3 face-up cards at the End Phase, depending on the number of monsters Tributed during the turn it was activated, "Moray of Greed", if you dead-drew 2 "Gishki" Ritual monsters, "Salvage", to recover "Gishki Shadow" and "Vision", and the "Djinn of Rituals" series, that can provide bountiful bonuses to the Ritual Summoned monster; you can also use "Abyss Dweller" to give the "Gishki" a fair ATK boost.
Despite the enormous potential of their high-speed Ritual Summoning technique, "Gishki" Decks have substantial cons. First there's anti-Special Summonings — "Archlord Kristya", "Evilswarm Ophion", "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo", "Jowgen the Spiritualist" and the "Vanity's" cards can stop the heart of this deck's strategy, due to its reliance on Special Summoning, no matter the build. "Thunder King Rai-Oh", "Mistake" and "Deck Lockdown" also poses a threat, since it can block the effects of "Gishki Shadow" and "Gishki Vision".
"Dimensional Fissure", "D.D. Crow" and "Macro Cosmos" are also trouble. The Graveyard is a great resource for the "Gishki", given their drop-and-recycle strategy, so being shut off from it can have serious repercussions. Banishment renders almost all the key "Gishki" cards partially, if not completely, useless.
- "Gishki Noellia" seems to be the leader of the "Gishki", by the way she is depicted in the artwork of "Aquamirror Illusion" and used her secret wizardry to turn herself into "Evigishki Tetrogre" (in conjunction with "Vylon Tetra"), used her powers to turn "Gishki Emilia" into "Evigishki Gustkraken" and was forced to use them to revive "Steelswarm Hercules" as "Gishki Zielgigas". However, as shown in the artwork of "After the Storm" and "Spell Wall", she used to be a good being, a protector of her tribe, but was later corrupted by the "lswarm" Virus, that turned her into "Gishki Psychelone".
- "Gishki Emilia" and "Gishki Natalia" are Spirit Monsters because they are the reincarnations of dead characters of the "Gishki" storyline: "Natalia" died when "Gishki Noellia" and her tried to ally with the "Steelswarm" to defeat the "Fabled", as shown in the artwork of "Trial and Tribulation". "Emilia" lost her life during the forced transformation into "Evigishki Gustkraken", conducted by "Gishki Noellia"; she was later revived, but as a Spirit, with no physical body.
- "Evilswarm Ketos" is "Gishki Shadow" infected with the "lswarm" virus.
- ATK, DEF and Level stats:
- All of the "Gishki" monsters, except "Gishki Diviner", are even Level monsters.
- "Gishki Zielgigas" has the highest ATK and Level of any Aqua-Type monster in the game and for a long time had also the highest Level if any Ritual Monster, until the revelation of "The Ultimate Herald". Alongside with "Koitsu" and "The Tyrant Neptune", it also has the highest Level of any WATER monster released so far.
- "Evigishki Soul Ogre" has the highest DEF of any Aqua-Type monster.
- "Evigishki Tetrogre" has the highest ATK of any Level 6 or lower Ritual monster; alongside with "Jawsman" and "Frostosaurus", it has also the highest ATK of any Level 6 or lower WATER monster.
- "Gishki Psychelone" has the highest ATK of any Level 4 or lower Ritual and/or WATER monster.
- Curiously, it seems as though the "Evigishki" monsters are members of the "Gishki" archetype that have been transformed using their rituals into part-beast and from the artwork of "Aquamirror Illusion", the transformations aren't always voluntary.
- However, based on "Evigishki Tetrogre" and "Gishki Psychelone", both of whom involve "Gishki Noellia", it would appear that the transformations are reversible.
- All "Evigishki" monsters are corrupted, transformed or even combined versions of pre-existing "Gishki" monsters with each other or with monsters from another archetype or a monster from another archetype that was transformed/revived as an "Evigishki", as follows:
|First element||Second element||Merged form|
|Gishki Beast||Gishki Avance||Evigishki Levianima|
|Gishki Ariel||Gishki Reliever||Evigishki Mind Augus|
|Gishki Shadow||Gishki Aquamirror||Evigishki Soul Ogre|
|Gishki Noellia||Vylon Tetra||Evigishki Tetrogre|
|Gishki Noellia||lswarm Virus||Gishki Psychelone|
|Gishki Aquamirror||Steelswarm Hercules||Gishki Zielgigas|
|Gishki Emilia||Musto, Oracle of Gusto||Evigishki Merrowgeist|