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"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 Xyz Monsters in the archetype all have "Evigishki" at the beginning of their names (except "Zielgigas" and "Psychelone"), and are transformed, merged or revived versions of pre-existing monsters, either from the "Gishki" themselves, or from other archetype. Additionally, while the "Gishki" Ritual Spell Cards can Ritual Summon any "Gishki" Ritual Monster, each Ritual Monster has a thematically associated Ritual Spell Card.
"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.
After the war against "Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth" was brought to an end by "Constellar Sombre" and "Evilswarm Kerykeion", the only known survivors from this tribe are "Gishki Avance" and "Gishki Emilia".
All "Evigishki" monsters appears to be 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".
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.
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.
Since Ritual Summoning requires a lot of resources, 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" is very versatile for the deck, as it allows you to quickly Xyz Summon "Evigishki Merrowgeist" (or any other Rank 4 Xyz Monsters) as alternative strategy, or to use the Special Summoned "Gishki Shadow" or "Vision" as the entire Tribute for a Ritual Summon, or even to utilize the retriever and searcher effect of "Gishki Marker" or "Gishki Abyss".
So far, there are many variants of this deck, which duelists can choose from to suit their preferable strategy.
This variant focused on Summoning multiple "Gishki Zielgigas" in one turn, often resulting in massive card advantage shift and, in some cases, OTK (courtesy of "Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max"). Cards like "Mound of the Bound Creator" is occasionally found within this deck, as primary protection for "Zielgigas". This is currently the fastest variant and the most popular among "Gishki" players.
Level 8 control
This variant utilizes "Evigishki Levianima" as their main power sources, coupled with cards like "Trade-In" to speed up the deck. "Evigishki Soul Ogre" can also be utilized as both problem-solving card and as Ritual fodders for "Levianima".
This variant utilizes the ability of "Evigishki Gustkraken", coupled with Hieratic monsters like "Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit" and "Hieratic Dragon of Su" to create a loop similar to Wind-Up Hunter discard loop, forcing opponent to play with less cards in their hand. This deck can also utilize several Rank 6 Xyz Monsters such as "Gauntlet Launcher" and "Constellar Ptolemy M7" to eliminate problematic monsters.
In 2013, a Deck out strategy utilizing the "Gishki" engine along with a massive Spell lineup received prominent attention. This deck was termed "Gishkill." It created problems in Organized Play because its play sequences during the first turn could take over 40 minutes, which is the the standard allotted time for an official tournament match. Gishkill's notoriety led to "Evigishki Mind Augus" being limited by the September 2013 Lists (TCG). Although a version of "Gishkill" was still usable after this, the limitation effectively eliminated the playerbase's interest in the deck.
Despite the enormous potential of their high-speed Ritual Summoning technique, "Gishki" Decks have substantial cons. First there's anti-Special Summoning cards: "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 the primary resource for the deck, 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 she and "Gishki Noellia" 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.
- Concerning of ATK, DEF and Level stats:
- All of the "Gishki" monsters with a Level, "Gishki Diviner" is the only with a non-even one.
- "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 "Herald of Ultimateness". 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.
- 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.
- The Nekroz archetype originates from the "Gishki" archetype.
- Both are WATER-based archetype specializing on Ritual Summoning.
- The founder of the archetype, "Great Sorcerer of the Nekroz" and "Dance Princess of the Nekroz", is originally "Gishki Avance" and "Gishki Emilia", respectively. According to the Duel Terminal Storyline, those two are the only survivors among the "Gishki Tribe" post-war against "Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth".
- Both archetypes also have a mirror as their ritual objects ("Gishki Aquamirror" and "Nekroz Mirror").