"Specter", "Lantern", "Alucard", "Stein", "Witch", "Yuki-onna" and "Jiangshi" inside the "Ghostrick Mansion"
"Ghostrick" (ゴーストリック Gōsutorikku) (a portmanteau of the words "ghost" and "trick") is an archetype of DARK-Attribute Fiend, Spellcaster and Zombie-Type monsters that debuted in Shadow Specters. They are based on various characters of folklore and Halloween monsters.
All of the non-Xyz Monsters introduced thus far have a common effect:
"Cannot be Normal Summoned, unless you control a "Ghostrick" monster. Once per turn: You can change this card to face-down Defense Position".
Also, the Xyz Monsters, except for "Ghostrick Succubus", share the following common effect:
"If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 other "Ghostrick" card in your Graveyard; add that target to your hand".
"Ghostricks" are either Level (or Rank) 1 Fiend, 2 Spellcaster, or 3 Zombie-Type Monsters, with one Xyz Monster corresponding to each Type/Level combination.
They feature a variety of effects, mostly revolving around flipping monsters face-down (both yours and your opponent's) and protecting themselves as long as they are face-down. The three strata of monsters each follow a set of general effect guidelines:
- The Level 1 monsters react to destruction or attacks, providing bonuses and acting like hand traps; they share a prankster, infantile appearance, maybe hinting to the "tricks" they play against the attacks of the opponent's monsters;
- The Level 2 monsters have effects related to Battle Position control, allowing you to search for a monster or stall your opponent's moves; they share a feminine appearance.
- The Level 3 monsters all provide useful bonuses while they are face-up or when flipped face-up. Their effects range from searching to burning, or even milling your opponent's deck or giving bulk to a "Ghostrick" monster; their motif is basically of male figures of Halloween and Folklore.
The deck's main goal is to produce strong attackers over a prolonged game, which can attack directly using the field spells "Ghostrick Mansion" and "Ghostrick Museum" though the archetype also contains elements of Milling and Lockdown.
Most of the Ghostrick monsters aren't strong by themselves (the normal-summonable monsters cap at 1600 ATK, thus they're left relying heavily on getting "Ghostrick Mansion" (which can be searched with "Ghostrick Stein") on the board as soon as possible in order to launch several consecutive direct attacks early in the game. Since "Mansion" also protects any face-down monsters from attacks, it is easy to repeatedly activating Ghostrick monster's effects like "Ghostrick Jiangshi" and "Ghostrick Witch". "Ghostrick Scare" and "Swords of Concealing Light" are also useful in this deck to provide disruptions and lockdown, respectively. "Swords of Concealing Light" also serves as good set-up for direct attacks when paired with "Ghostrick Mansion" and allows you do take down strong monsters with "Ghostrick Alucard". "Ghostrick Specter" and "Ghostrick Lantern" add more defenses to this deck, and are most valuable when the "Mansion" isn't available.
Arguably, the best beater of the deck is "Ghostrick Ghoul", which works much like "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn," albeit only lasting for one turn. The Xyz monsters "Ghostrick Dullahan" and "Ghostrick Alucard" also provide nice, easy to summon beaters that support the other members with powerful and aggressive effects. Also, these two recover a "Ghostrick" card from the Graveyard when destroyed, to help maintain Card Advantage. In addition, "Ghostrick Succubus" provides excellent support by destroying a monster once per turn whose ATK is lower than the combined ATK of all "Ghostricks" in play — and rendering its vacant card zone unusable. Combined with "Ghoul", this can make for lasting board wipe, though it may take time to be effective.
The deck has useful, albeit limited swarming capabilities as well, with "Ghostrick Mummy" allowing extra summons, "Ghostrick Doll" providing decent monster search (plus battle position rotation), and "Ghostrick Mary," which can summon any "Ghostrick" in the deck whenever you take damage. In spite of all this, the deck does best with outside swarm options reinforcing the Xyz monsters ("Tour Guide From the Underworld" to quickly Summon "Alucard", "Kinka-Byo" for "Dullahan" etc).
Some non-"Ghostrick" cards that may help the Deck include "Grave of the Super Ancient Organism", "Dark Armed Dragon" and "Pot of Dichotomy". The first is capable of completely shut down Decks that have powerful Nomi/Semi-Nomi monsters as key cards, such as "Stardust Dragon", "Judgment Dragon", "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning", "Gishki Zielgigas" etc, while keep the "Ghostrick" Deck itself untouched. The second one can give this Deck more muscle and Field-wiping capabilities, making it doesn't depend only on "Ghostrick Ghoul" to have a beater; however, it will be useless if used in conjunction with "Grave of the Super Ancient Organism". "Pot of Dichotomy" can recycle "Ghostrick" monsters and skipping the Battle Phase is not a very huge problem, since the Deck relies most on setting the monsters and using their trigger effects, activated upon their Flip Summon. "Gozen Match" can be used to Stall even more and "Masked Chameleon" can give the Deck more flexibility, allowing you to perform Synchro Summons, by Summoning "Ghostrick Specter" or "Ghostrick Mummy".
Most of Ghostrick monsters are Zombies, so it's possible to use support for it in this Deck. "Skull Conductor" can be used to summon "Mummy" + "Des Lacooda" or "Jiangshi" / "Plaguespreader" / "Painter" + "Stein" / "Bone Crusher" for a Xyz or Synchro Summon.
Despite this archetype's unorthodox "bait and switch" — like tactics, "Ghostricks" have many weaknesses.
- First, cards like "Dark Simorgh", "Searchlightman", "Light of Intervention" prevent "Ghostrick" monsters from being Set or flipped face-down in first place.
- Other cards which prevent battle position changes, whether of the "Ghostrick" player's monsters or the opponent's, such as "Gaap the Divine Soldier" and "Gravity Axe - Grarl" can halt most, though often not all, of the "Ghostrick" player's moves. In addition, a monster Summoned by "Raging Cloudian" will be nearly impossible for the "Ghostrick" player to get rid of.
- Most "Ghostricks" depends on their Field Spell Cards, "Ghostrick Mansion" or "Ghostrick Museum", to deal damage, and will struggle to do much Battle damage to your opponent without it, due to most of them having low ATK stats. This can be even worse with cards like "Spell Shattering Arrow" and "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" around.
- See also their history in the Gagaga Academy Tospedia.
- The "Ghostrick" monster's battle-flipping effects resemble the activities of children pranksters or mischievous spirits: popping out and scaring people, then running away and hiding. This is underscored by the archetype name "Ghostrick" a blatant portmanteau of the words "ghost" and "trick".
- The "Ghostrick" archetype was originally released in Shadow Specters, which debuted in the U.S. in November 2013, and may have been intended to coincide with the celebration of Halloween. The "Ghostrick" monsters are largely based on mythological creatures that children in the western world would dress up as for Halloween (witch, ghost, Jack-O'-Lantern, Frankenstein's Monster, Mummy, etc.), and their playstyle (as described above) mirrors the tradition of trick-or-treating.