"Karakuri" (カラクリ Karakuri) is an archetype of EARTH Machine monsters that made their official debut as an archetype in the booster pack Starstrike Blast.



The "Karakuri" monsters resemble mechanized puppets or automata from Japan from the 17th century to 19th century.


The word "karakuri" means a "mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise". Like Wind-Up toys, they could only move in a predetermined pattern - this is reflected by the cards' effects, as they do not have a choice about whether they attack or defend. Most of them have names that are made up of Japanese numerals, often the Japanese daiji 「大字」 or Formal numbers are used. The first 2 numbers in their names when multiplied together get the last number, except for "Karakuri Barrel mdl 96 "Shinkuro"". The readings of some of the "Karakuris'" names also have English meanings relating to their role (Ninja, Muso, etc). For example, "Karakuri Ninja mdl 919 "Kuick"" can be pronounced as 'quick'. "Karakuri Barrel mdl 96 "Shinkuro"" can be pronounced as 'Synchro', "Karakuri Muso mdl 818 "Haipa"" can be pronounced as 'Hyper' and "Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00X "Bureido"" can be pronounced as 'Blade'. Karakuri Synchros combined ATK and DEF equals 4500.

Playing style

Most "Karakuri" monsters, with the exception of the Synchro monsters, must attack if able and when attacked, change to Defense Position (The "Karakuri" released in Storm of Ragnarok simply change position). The "Karakuri" monsters do not always have high ATK or DEF, but have a very unique strategy based on changing the battle positions of monsters. Many "Karakuri" support cards are triggered when attacked, destroyed or shifted to Defense Position, and they generally play defensively, countering the opponent's moves. Other cards have the ability to change positions of cards on the field, draw cards, destroy cards, or search for other "Karakuri" monsters.

Due to most "Karakuri" going to Defense Position when attacked, piercing effects work well against them.

"Karakuri" can be used with Machine support cards like "Machina Fortress", as well as cards like "Machine Assembly Line" to increase the ATK of "Karakuri" monsters. Their DEF can be boosted by "Stronghold Guardian" or "Golden Gearbox". Their "attack if possible" effects can also be negated by cards like "Omega Goggles" and "Ekibyo Drakmord". Another profitable strategy is to use "De-Synchro" on any of the archetype's Synchro Monsters to gain more field presence.

"Giant Rat", "Gozen Match", "Rivalry of Warlords", "Prevention Star" and "Machina Armored Unit" can also be useful.

Because all "Karakuri" monsters are EARTH monsters they can be used to make "Naturia" Synchro Monsters.

Most modern "Karakuri" decks revolve around swarming the field with Synchros and field presence extremely quickly using cards such as "Iron Call", "Instant Fusion", "Emergency Teleport", "Solar Wind Jammer" and "De-Synchro" to create massive swarms of Synchro monsters in a single turn.

Karakuri Deck

Recommended cards

Karakuri Machina Plants

Karakuri Machina Plants focus on "Karakuri" monsters with "Machina Gearframe" and "Machina Fortress" added in for "Karakuri" Synchro Monsters ("Gearframe" + "Saizan") and the Plant Synchro engine to turn a "Machina Fortress" or a "Burei" into a "Bureido". The Deck is very powerful and is the strongest and was the most consistent "Karakuri" Deck (until Extreme Victory came out). It was first pioneered at a YCS and from there grew to be very popular as a Deck-type. This Deck's main Synchro Monster is "Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei"" as it has decent ATK, is extremely easy to Synchro Summon and has a great effect. "Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00X "Bureido"" can also be Synchro Summoned by tuning "Karakuri Watchdog mdl 313 "Saizan"" with "Machina Gearframe".

Recommended cards

Karakuri Machine Duplication OTK


This OTK also works well with "Black Salvo" which summons "Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive" (to draw more cards for this OTK). Then do the same and at the end you will control 3 "Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei"" and 1 "Karakuri Muso mdl 818 "Haipa"" (since you can change the battle position with your "Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei"" it will probably be an OTK.

This OTK also works with "Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 "Ninishi"" since it's a Level 3 Machine Tuner monster with 0 ATK. It also allows you one more Normal Summon. If you use that Normal Summon to summon another "Karakuri" Tuner you could have 3 "Burei", 1 "Bureido", and one other "Karakuri" monster.

Due to the newest addition to the "Karakuri" monsters, the Level 5 "Karakuri Ninja mdl 7749 "Nanashick", when you Synchro Summon "Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00X "Bureido"" you can Special Summon "Nanashick" and use it to Synchro Summon another "Bureido". You could continue to Special Summon "Nanashick" and Synchro Summon one more "Bureido". With that you can Special Summon "Haipa" and have a good chance of an OTK as well as the ability to draw three cards if "Haipa's" attack is not stopped.

Recommended cards

Karakuri Ninja

Due to certain Karakuri monsters having "Ninja" in their names, they are also members of the Ninja archetype and can work with Ninjitsu Art support cards, making a hybrid deck of Karakuri and Ninja.

Recommended cards


"Karakuri" rely on massive amounts of Special Summons in one turn, making them vulnerable to any card that can stop that chain of summons. As a Machine deck, it is vulnerable to the most common counter to Machines, which is "Chimeratech Fortress Dragon"; as such, it is inadvisable to leave "Cyber Dragon" with your "Karakuri" monsters should your opponent have "Fortress Dragon" in their Extra Deck. "Chain Disappearance" totally destroys the "Karakuri" strategy, stopping "Komachi" or "Nishipachi" before the chain of Synchro Summons starts. In addition to that, "Karakuri" decks also have trouble with "Colossal Fighter" and monsters with ATK and DEF that are both higher than 2800. This deck usually relies on your chance of drawing either "Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 "Ninishi" or "Karakuri Strategist mdl 248 "Nishipachi". The best way to increase your odds of getting them on the field is to activate "Machine Duplication" on either of the "Karakuri" monsters. Decks that attempt to summon multiple copies "Bureido" also have trouble with "Colossal Fighter" because it can get rid of all "Bureido" along with another "Karakuri" monster. "Summon Limit" prevents them from regaining advantage after a Synchro Summon or executing a long chain of Synchro Summons. "System Down" can banish all Machine monsters on the field and in the Graveyard. "Dark Highlander" completely shuts down any Synchro Summon attempt, and "Deck Devastation Virus" will destroy nearly every monster. However, "Evilswarm Ophion" is likely the deck's biggest weakness, as the deck's entire main function is rendered unusable and "Ophion"'s second effect will guarantee its protection from Spells or Traps as well. "El Shaddoll Winda" is similarly very problematic for the deck, allowing only one Special Summon per turn and being protected from destruction by card effects.


  • The cloth flaps attached to most of the "Karakuri" are called Shide.
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