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A Virus Control Deck focuses on these 5 Trap Cards:
- "Crush Card Virus"
- "Deck Devastation Virus"
- "Eradicator Epidemic Virus"
- "Full Force Virus"
- "Grinning Grave Virus"
While there are a few more "Virus" related cards, these are the "DARK" Virus Trap cards, they all need a specific DARK Monster Tribute: "Crush Card Virus" needs a DARK monster with 1000 ATK or less; "Deck Devastation Virus" needs a DARK monster with 2000 ATK or more, "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" needs a DARK monster with 2500 ATK or more, "Full Force Virus" needs a DARK monster with 2000 DEF or more and finally, "Grinning Grave Virus" can tribute any DARK monster with less than 3000 ATK.
A Pure Virus Control deck is a very possible deck to construct as many cards from the "Curse of Darkness" and "Lair of Darkness" Structure Decks were based on this DARK hand control manipulation. While there are many Decks or Archetypes that can be used to support this strategy, DARK being the current "Attribute" with the largest card pool gives you many options.
"Gravekeeper" decks can use many of these cards extremely well. "Necrovalley" increases the attack of all "Gravekeeper's" ATK and DEF by 500, making many of the cards targets for "Full Force Virus" some of them targets for "Deck Devastation Virus". In addition, "Necrovalley" prevents many of your opponent's Graveyard related monster effects.
"Diabolos, King of the Abyss" was a card naturally designed with these cards in mind. Before your opponent conducts their Draw Phase, you look at your opponent's Top Card of their Deck. Then you can decide to keep it on top of their deck or put it on the bottom of your opponent's deck. This gives an additional chance to make use of a currently active Virus effect OR it can give you information about your opponent's hand for the best Virus play.
While the Viruses may have completely devastating effects that can easily change a game, they are cards that have to be at the right place at the right time. A Virus without tribute fodder and a tribute fodder without a Virus can easily happen. Even when you have both, there is no telling if you opponent has the desired field or hand for using a Virus on. Even more is that if the monsters destroyed by a virus have powerful Graveyard based effects making you either no card advantage or losing card advantage possibly.
The DARK Viruses are restricted to DARK monsters (Go Figure) and decks that lack the needed materials for the card may miss out on these cards or they may have to make a monster that is not easy to get to such as Fusion/Synchro/Xyz Monsters.
While "Crush Card Virus" used to be banned, it's "Errata" to return the card to unlimited status has be far weakened. While still being a card with powerful potential, it proves as a very negative card to use against decks that rely on the "Graveyard" because you opponent can now send 3 Monsters with 1500 or more ATK from their deck to the Graveyard of their choice, making it extremely risky Virus to use against many decks.
Viruses ever since their initial releases have always taken a part of Yu-Gi-Oh history. Every few formats, a Virus card proves a very powerful option against specific Decks. However the first "Crush Card Virus" was played as much as possible until its eventual Forbidden Status in 2008.
Crush Card Virus
"Crush Card Virus" was originally a Yu-Gi-Oh prize card that had to be won in order to be obtained, which restricted the number of copies to only a handful of players in a massive community. "Crush Card" at this time however was so powerful that many people at the time felt that winning that card makes winning any other tournaments in Yu-Gi-Oh much easier, making an winner elitist mentality. It was even more placed in people's minds as Crush Card Virus spend a full year without a public accessible copies and avoided all Forbidden/Limited List because of it's Prize Card status.
As soon as the card came accessible with the first "Gold Series" and "Turbo Pack: Booster One", the card was quickly banned because as soon as it was shown in full "open to everyone" play how much this card could swing games. The card would never come back without an "Errata".
In 2014 Crush Card had received an Errata in the OCG and was printed and legal in the TCG in 2015, however this was no longer the card that people had come to respect. The card without an Errata initially had lost power because of the release of so many decks that had Graveyard dependent effects and with the new Crush Card sending from your opponent's deck did not give them a hope on ever using this card. However Crush Card still had and has seen use to this day against specific decks.
Deck Devastation Virus
The release of the TCG's First virus. "Deck Devi" was extremely powerful upon its release from 2004 - 2006 against most decks that could be played in most decks. During the time, larger ATK monsters usually needed setup to use and most monster fighting was done with lower ATK monsters.
However "Crush Card" slowly started to show how much more powerful than it as cards being introduced into the game were beginning to have Graveyard effects like "Treeborn Frog" and "Destiny HERO - Malicious" while ignoring "Raiza the Storm Monarch" or "Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch" against "Monarch" Decks. This card slowly became ignored for many years outside of a handful of Side Deck option formats.
From late 2015 to early 2016, this card became a powerful choice against many of the Pendulum Decks, with Decks such as "Chaos Dragons" using "Darkflare Dragon", "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon", and "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness" as ideal Tributes for this card. In addition, the Pendulum Decks also normally made "King of the Feral Imps" during many of their plays, leaving a perfect tribute fodder for Deck Devi in the mirror match.
Eradicator Epidemic Virus
The third released Virus card, "Eradicator Epidemic Virus", was considered gimmicky for many years. As Decks that could use it before Phantom Darkness needed major setup to establish this card, the game began to focus on OTKs rather than slow advantage manipulation after the release of the aforementioned pack. After most "Dark Armed Dragon" based Decks were phased out from 2 years of intense Forbidden/Limited list against it. The card still did not see any practical use against anything.
From late 2011 to late 2013, the card started to see play that it had never seen for years, with the release of "Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World", an extremely high ATK DARK monster than could be Special Summoned easily. This gave this card an easy Tribute in "Dark World" Decks.
As more time passed and new archetypes with powerful Spell or Traps were introduced, the card became more difficult to recover from. This card also became an insanely popular card in "Dragon Rulers" with the use of "Number 11: Big Eye" as a Tribute against Decks like "Spellbook" and Trap heavy Anti-Meta Decks. "Spellbook" Decks had no true form of recovery from a well timed "Eradicator Epidemic Virus", and Trap based Anti-Meta Decks no longer became a good counter Deck option. The OCG saw use of this card with a "Destiny HERO - Plasma" turbo Deck, proving that this card was truly easy to use in any stun based strategy. This card was quickly Limited after these chain of events, which hurt its consistency.
Full Force Virus
The fourth released Virus card, a near decade since the previous "Eradicator Epidemic Virus", "Full Force" was greeted much more welcome than the other Viruses. Unlike Crush Card and Deck Devi, Full Force is focused on DEF rather than ATK. The reason this card was more welcome is because after all the time that had passed, High ATK and DEF DARK monsters have become much easier to Summon since the last time Virus cards were introduced. This card proved exceptionally well against "Zoodiac", effectively rendering all the monsters in the deck worthless until the 3 turns had past. This card did not see much more play past initial release because nearly the entire Metagame (Nearly 100%) of Yu-Gi-Oh switched to "Zoodiac" because of their near perfect consistency and power.
Then after the release of "True Draco and True King" archetype, the card had become entirely ignored until late 2017. "Kozmo" takes a slight return into the Metagame as a Rogue Deck. With a Kozmo Deck playing 3 copies of this card and 3 "Kozmo DOG Fighter" that can Summon Tokens as Tribute fodder, this card has proved its power.