"Ghostrick" monsters in the artwork of "Ghostrick Parade".
"Ghostrick" (ゴーストリック Gōsutorikku) is an archetype of monsters that debuted in Shadow Specters. All of its members are DARK monsters, whereas their Type varies between Fiend, Spellcaster and Zombie (with one Fairy as an exception).
"Ghostrick" monsters are based on, and named after, various characters of folklore and Halloween monsters.
"Ghostrick" is a portmanteau of the words "ghost" and "trick".
All of the Main Deck monsters 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".
- "If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 other "Ghostrick" card in your Graveyard; add that target to your hand".
With the exception of the Rank 4 Fairy "Ghostrick Angel of Mischief", the Levels and Ranks of "Ghostrick" monsters are either 1, 2, or 3, with their Types differing based on their Level/Rank, being Fiend, Spellcaster, and Zombie respectively.
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 Fiend Level 1 monsters have effects that trigger while in the hand, and they react to destruction, attacks and damage, providing bonuses and acting like hand traps; design-wise, they share a prankster, infantile appearance, maybe hinting to the "tricks" they play against the attacks of the opponent's monsters.
- The Spellcaster Level 2 monsters have effects related to Battle Position control, allowing its controller to search for a monster or stall the opponent's moves; they share a feminine, delicate, appearance.
- The Zombie 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 the 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", "Ghostrick Museum" though the archetype also contains elements of milling, burning, lockdwn and most recently an Alternative Win Condition.
Most of the Ghostrick monsters aren't strong by themselves, thus they're left relying heavily on getting "Ghostrick Mansion" 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 activate Ghostrick monster's effects like "Ghostrick Jiangshi" and "Ghostrick Witch". "Ghostrick Scare", "Floodgate Trap Hole" and "Swords of Concealing Light" are also useful in this deck to provide disruptions and lockdown.
The support provided by the on-theme Spell/Trap Cards is also diverse, with effects that range from protecting "Ghostrick" monsters from targeting and destroying effects, switching the battle position of opposing monsters, reviving "Ghostrick" monsters and locking the opponent from Flip Summoning. The only Spell Cards of the Deck is a trio of Field Spell Cards that share the common effect of allowing a player from attacking direcly if all opposing monsters are in face-down Defense Position. They can either search for resources, halve the battle damage and manipulating the battle position of the opponent's monsters.
This Deck focus on milling your opponent's Deck and win by Deck out. "Ghostrick Parade" is the only recommended Field because of its searching effect and damage to your opponent is unecessary. Note that sending cards to your opponent's Graveyard may help their strategy, so "Ghostrick Skeleton" and "Masked HERO Dark Law" are used to banish the cards instead.
Despite this archetype's unorthodox "bait and switch"—like tactics, "Ghostricks" have many weaknesses.
- Firstly, cards like "Dark Simorgh", "Searchlightman", and "Light of Intervention" will prevent "Ghostrick" monsters from being Set or flipped face-down in first place. Cards like "Jurrac Velphito" and "Search Striker" are also dangerous to "Ghostricks" because they destroy face-down monsters immediately without them ever flipping face-up.
- 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.
- The debut of Link Monsters and Master Rule 4 have further aggravated this, as not only do they share battle postition immunity akin to "Raging Cloudian", but their essentiality to most swarm Decks makes avoiding them near close to impossible (though "Ghostrick Ghoul" and "Ghostrick Dullahan" can make quick work of them.)
- "Goblin Fan" is a continuous trap that can destroy any monster card that is Level 2 or below the second it's Flip-summoned. This includes about 2/3 of the Ghostrick monsters, and since many of them rely on their Flip effects, rather than raw power, this one trap card can be devastating to any Ghostrick user's strategy.
- Most "Ghostricks" depends on their Field Spell Cards, "Ghostrick Mansion" and "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.
- "Ghostrick" monsters' artworks share the background scheme with the "Lightsworn"s, as they have the same concept of patterning.