"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.
The "Gishki" are an organization that wields a relic similar to that of the "Ice Barrier", but uses it for a forbidden technique 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" or "Levianima" if you choose.
"Gishki Beast" is a versatile Rank 4 engine for the deck, as it allows you to quickly Xyz Summon Bahamut Shark (or any other Rank 4 Xyz Monsters) and summon Toadally Awesome as a means to interfere with opponents plays and/or protect your own. In a pinch you can also use a Special Summoned "Gishki Shadow" or "Vision" as the entire Tribute for a Ritual Summon, or utilize the retriever and searcher effect of "Gishki Abyss", or "Gishki Marker".
So far, there are have been a handful of 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, an OTK. This is thanks to cards such as "Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max" and "Number 35: Ravenous Tarantula, or managing to summon all 3 Zielgigas. The potential is magnified significantly by "Salvage", which the deck uses extremely well to loop summons and keep the grind going.
Gishki Zielgigas also has among the best forms of the removal in the game, as it doesn't target and sends cards straight back to the deck, eliminating any effects that would otherwise activate in the graveyard or banish zones. As a result, this bypasses pretty much any form of protection, with only cards specifically "unaffected by other card's effects" being safe from it.This makes counterplay extremely difficult once the loop begins. Due to this, cards like "Mound of the Bound Creator" are occasionally found within this deck, as primary protection for "Zielgigas". This was the fastest variant when Zielgigas was first released, but has less control (usually due to the reliance on drawing "Salvage" during the loop to continue it) and has become less effective due to power creep.
Modern Zielgigas Turbo builds tend to learn towards a similar deck composition to Nekroz, as well as making use of the Impcantation archetype for additional searching. They also use Zaborg the Mega Monarch to tribute the leftover "Impcantation" monsters. After this, the player would send cards such as Toadally Awesome and Herald of the Arc Light to the graveyard for a gigantic increase in card advantage thanks to the card's search effects. Given the Ritual Monsters tend to stay in the hand once they're out of the deck, facilitating Impcantation monsters is rarely - if ever - an issue.
'Level 8' Gishki
This variant utilizes "Evigishki Levianima" as its main power source, coupled with cards like "Trade-In" to speed up the deck. A copy of "Evigishki Soul Ogre" can also be utilized as both a problem-solving card and as Ritual fodders for "Levianima". Another redeeming quality of Level 8 Gishki is the potential for using cards like Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord and Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju as both tech choices and potential Ritual material. As a result, running a Kaiju Gishki build is very possible.
However, apart from the extra draw power and tech potential, there is very little reason to play the Level 8 Evigishki's compared to running Zielgigas Turbo, which essentially made the inclusion of "Levianima" and "Soul Ogre" obsolete. This is because "Zielgigas" provides the same utility of each, but in a better form with drastically better draw power, damage output and Rank 10 access. "Levianima" also relies on the Battle Phase to draw a card, which in the modern metagame is much, much worse than getting one in the Main Phase. The focus on a single Ritual Monster is also highly beneficial, adding extra consistency to the deck in comparison.
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 the Wind-Up Hunter discard loop, forcing an opponent to play with less cards in their hand. Given "Evigishki Gustkraken" sends cards to the deck rather than discard them, this deck was especially potent. 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. The idea was to reuse cards such as "Card Destruction" through "Evigishki Mind Augus"'s effect to deck out the opponent. This deck was termed "Gishkill.".
Gishkill FTK 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 (known as Single Augus), the limitation effectively eliminated the playerbase's interest in the deck due to how inconsistent it became.
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.
Anything that prevents the deck from searching its cards are significant threats to the deck. As a result, "Thunder King Rai-Oh", "Thunder Dragon Colossus", "Mistake" and "Deck Lockdown" all pose a threat, since they can block the effects of "Gishki Shadow" and "Gishki Vision" among other valuable cards. Finding workarounds for these cards is paramount in finding success with the deck. "Book of Moon", and "Lost Wind" can handle "Thunder King Rai-Oh" and "Thunder Dragon Colossus" quite effectively, while generic Spell/Trap Removal such as the popular "Twin Twisters" can be used against back row attempts.
Hand Traps are notably dangerous for Gishki Decks, as cards such as "Droll & Lock Bird" and "Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion" can completely stop "Gishki Shadow" and "Gishki Vision" from functioning. This can make it much harder to set up for Ritual Summons, or important plays with "Gishki Beast". "Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit" can also prevent a majority of the archetype's main plays. Due to this, using "Called by the Grave" is often recommended.
"Dimensional Fissure", "Herald of the Arc Light", "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. "Herald of the Arc Light", can also negate a valuable card, thus potentially ruining an important Ritual Summon. Banishment renders almost all the key "Gishki" cards partially, if not completely, useless.
Cards such as "Black Rose Moonlight Dragon" and "Penguin Soldier" can bounce any Summoned "Gishki" Ritual Monsters, preventing them from hitting the field, while also crippling "Gishki Aquamirror" recycling ability.
- "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:
- Out of all 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 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 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. 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").