The "Zoodiac" monsters are based on the Twelve Animals of the Chinese Zodiac, with each monster being a slightly anthropomorphized version of their respective animal. Each monster also wears an oversized gauntlet on either their left or right forearm, with which they wield their own respective weapon, and a belt marked with the Earthly Branch corresponding to the zodiac animal.
The Japanese name of this archetype, Jūnishishi (
|Ratpier||01 - Rat||Rapier|
|Broadbull||02 - Ox||Broadaxe|
|Tigermortar||03 - Tiger||Mortar|
|Bunnyblast||04 - Rabbit||Blunderbuss|
|Drident||05 - Dragon||Trident|
|Whiptail||06 - Snake||Snake whip|
|Thoroughblade||07 - Horse||Sword|
|Ramram||08 - Goat||Battering ram|
|Hammerkong||09 - Monkey||Hammer|
|Kataroost||10 - Rooster||Katar|
|Chakanine||11 - Dog||Chakram|
|Boarbow||12 - Pig||Bow|
The "Zoodiac" archetype is focused on performing Xyz Summons with 1 card. All "Zoodiac" Xyz Monsters share the Summoning condition that, once per turn, they can be Xyz Summoned using any "Zoodiac" monster the player controls with a different name.
The archetype has six Main Deck monsters and six Xyz Monsters. Each "Zoodiac" Main Deck monster has an individual effect, and grants an additional effect for any Beast-Warrior Xyz Monster they are attached to as material.
|Zoodiac||Individual effect summary||Applied effect summary|
|Thoroughblade||If Summoned: Discard 1 "Zoodiac" card, draw 1 card.||Inflicts piercing battle damage.|
|Whiptail||(Quick Effect): Attach this card from hand/field to 1 friendly Beast-Warrior Xyz Monster.||If this card battles an opponent's monster, banish that monster after damage calculation.|
|Kataroost||If destroyed: Target 1 different "Zoodiac" card in GY, shuffle it into Deck.||Detach 1 material; negate a monster effect that targets this card.|
|Bunnyblast||If destroyed: Target 1 different "Zoodiac" card in GY, add it to hand.||Detach 1 material; negate a Spell (or effect) that targets this card.|
|Ramram||If destroyed: Target 1 different "Zoodiac" monster in GY, Special Summon it.||Detach 1 material; negate a Trap (or effect) that targets this card.|
|Ratpier||If Normal Summoned: Send 1 "Zoodiac" card from Deck to GY.||Once per turn, detach 1 material; Special Summon 1 "Ratpier" from the hand or Deck.|
The individual effects of the "Zoodiac" Main Deck monsters enable indirect monster searching, hand fixing, and GY recovery (for "Kataroost", "Bunnyblast", and "Ramram") if they are combined with card-destroying effects (which the archetype has through "Zoodiac Barrage" and "Zoodiac Drident"). Their applied effects grant effect protection, combat support, and monster swarming (for "Ratpier").
|Tigermortar||Once per turn, detach 1 material; attach 1 "Zoodiac" monster in the GY to 1 Xyz Monster the player controls as material.||Situational material attacher; useful in some combos.|
||Situational targeting protection.|
|Chakanine||Once per turn, detach 1 material; Special Summon 1 "Zoodiac" monster from the GY (this turn, its effects are negated, and it cannot be used for an Xyz Summon).||Monster reviver with restrictive conditions; useful for board-building.|
|Drident||Once per turn (Quick Effect): detach 1 material; target and destroy 1 face-up card.||Destruction disruption.|
|Boarbow||Enabler for "Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder"; its second effect is generally unused.|
|Broadbull||Once per turn, detach 1 material; add 1 Beast-Warrior monster that can be Normal Summoned/Set from the Deck to the hand.||Searcher for almost the entire Beast-Warrior Type.|
The archetype's strength lies in its ability to perform consistent and powerful 1-card Extra Deck plays off of any single Main Deck "Zoodiac" monster. Any Main Deck "Zoodiac" monster or "Zoodiac" searcher (e.g. "Zoodiac Barrage", "Fire Formation - Tenki", "Speedroid Terrortop" 1-card "M-X-Saber Invoker" engine) provided immediate access to monster searching via "Broadbull", disruption via "Drident", and conditional monster revival via "Chakanine". Simply going through the effects of "Broadbull", "Drident", and "Chakanine" with any 1 Main Deck "Zoodiac" monster provided a +3 in card advantage.
When "Ratpier" was Unlimited, getting access to it also provided monster swarming as its applied effect could be used on two different "Zoodiac" Xyz Monsters to Summon 2 more copies of "Ratpier" from the Deck. Going through 3 copies of "Ratpier" and the aformentioned "Zoodiac" Extra Deck monsters provided a +5 in card advantage in one turn, off of a single copy of "Ratpier".
The archetype lends itself to a control-based playstyle. Typically, "Zoodiac" Decks take advantage of the archetype's ability to perform consistent 1-card plays and dedicate most of their space to staple cards like hand traps instead.
Due to the power offered by its 1-card plays, the consistency provided by "Zoodiac" searchers, and its compact Main Deck requirements, "Zoodiac" at its peak power formed a powerful 1-card engine that can be splashed into many other Decks to provide card advantage, swarming, and disruptions (via "Drident").
The archetype's Xyz Monsters have generic material requirements. As such, "Zoodiac Chakanine", who requires the least number of generic Level 4 monsters as materials (2+), can be used in other Decks to Summon other "Zoodiac" Xyz monsters.
- "Dimensional Barrier" can shut down this archetype's ability to perform its 1-card plays.
- "Nibiru, the Primal Being" is one of the greatest threat of the "Zoodiac" deck, as it can shut down any Xyz stacking play by itself. As the "Zoodiac" Xyz monsters has ? ATK/DEF, a "Primal Being Token" generated by "Nibiru" will have 0 ATK/DEF provided if there are no other monster(s) on the field, rendering the player vulnerable to opponent's counterattack if they cannot find a way to get rid of the token soon enough.