Dinos were one of the first meta decks, and also had a time where they were tier 3 due to the addition of Evilswarm Salamandra before falling off again. Now, with the recent Tyranno Hassleberry event the deck received a new support card called Survival's End (SE), making them tier worthy again. In addition to that, they also received the card Giant Rex from an older Hassleberry event which has perfect synergy with Salamandra's banish effect. Their main strategy is to set up a SE as soon as possible with cards like Paleozoic Marrella to then destroy your own dinos and especially big monsters from the opponent. A good dino monster that has synergy is Babycerasaurus because when he gets destroyed by card effect you can summon a dino from your deck. Overall the deck likes to set up slowly, destroy the opponents field, and then swarm with many dinos from the deck.
Mind Scan - Mind Scan is a nice skill to use when you want to see if the opponents has some battle traps like Wall of Disruption or Drowning Mirror Force. The deck is really week against such cards, especially focusing on destroying an opponent's big beaters with your SE.
Dinosaur Kingdom - Pretty much the most used skill due to the 300 atk boost, which gives your Evilswarm Salamandra or your Giant Rex the opportunity to get over big boss monsters like a Koa'ki Meiru Maximus in defense position. By banishing 2 monsters, your Evilswarm Salamandra and a Giant Rex that gets summoned by its own effect when banishing one more monster can destroy a Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En.
Giant Rex (1x)Survival's End because you can just re-summon him again with the banishing effect of Evilswarm Salamandra.
Evilswarm Salamandra (2x)Dinosaur Kingdom. By banishing Giant Rex with Salamandra's effect, you can re-summon him. For example, Salamandra's effect can be activated after using your Giant Rex to use Survival's End's grave effect or if your Giant Rex is destroyed by battle or card effect.
Babycerasaurus (2x)Survival's End. If you only run 1 Babycerasaurus, you'll pretty much have no monsters left in deck that you can summon. Monsters you summon with SE get destroyed in the end phase you summoned them, so the main usage of this card is it to summon your big dinosaur monsters from your deck by destroying him with the grave effect of SE so you don't go -1.
Survival's End (3x)Paleozoic Canadia because it counts as a normal monster while on the field. The main monsters you would like to summon off of this effect are Giant Rex and Babycerasaurus because you can use them in the same turn to destroy something on the field. Also important to notice is that when you have some Paleozoic monsters on the field, you can destroy them with your SE to summon a few dinos from the deck and go for game. But now we come to the major part of why this card is so good and makes dinos relevant again. The grave effect says that you can destroy 1 dinosaur monster you control to target and destroy 1 card your opponent controls. This effect gives dinos a good disruption during the opponent's turn, especially when you go first and are able to set up a SE before they summon a monster.
Paleozoic Marrella (3x)
Well, this is a question that is easily answered: you don't want to brick with your Survival's End when you draw them. Another reason is of course that you can special summon a Megalosmasher X from your deck off of Babycerasaurus' effect, which allows you to set up more pressure. The last important reason is that when you have, for example, a field with 2 Megalosmasher X and one Survival's End face-down in your Spell/Trap zone, you can just attack with the 2 Megalosmasher X and if your opponent has something like a Legendary Six Samurai – Enishi on the board and he activates his effect then you can just use your Survival's End, destroy your 2 Megalosmasher X, summon 2 Babycerasaurus or 1 Babycerasaurus and a Megalosmasher X/Giant Rex to then destroy their Enishi by destroying your Babycerasaurus, leaving you with 2 monsters on the field. Essentially, it is like a Mask Change that has destruction power as well as swarming potential.
Mirror WallAncient Gear Reactor Dragon, allowing you to stall to the next turn and bypass Ancient Gear Fortress.
Cosmic CycloneAncient Gear Fortress or Geartown if your opponent tries to destroy one of those cards to summon a Reactor Dragon. Another great usage of this card against Six Samurai is of course stopping a Shien's Dojo if you go first, or to banish their backrow which is most likely a Six Style – Dual Wield or a Treacherous Trap Hole.
Floodgate Trap HoleKoa'ki Meiru Maximus face-down so you can beat over them. You can also stop the plays of Six Samurai players, because if you have a SE already in your grave, and the opponent has 3 monsters on the field, then you can turn one of their monsters face-down to prevent Shi En from destroying another monster on the field to protect himself from the SE effect.
SabersaurusMegalosmasher X because he has second highest attack of all dinosaur type monsters.
Photon WyvernWall of Disruption. Such boards can easily be destroyed with only 1 card, making this a very useful card for the matchup.
Wall of DisruptionLegendary Six Samurai – Shi En, which is very easy to do with cards like Floodgate Trap Hole or Paleozoic Canadia, because most of the times they will negate it so that the monster stays face-up on the field and can be used to attack. If you do this and bait the negate effect, you can easily shut down six samurai plays.
Dino (Mirror Match)
The mirror match is somewhat coin flip dependent. The person who starts has the advantage to set up their SE and canadias first. Also important is that you don't want to activate your SE first. This means that you shouldn't summon any paleos or normal monsters except when your SE is live and maybe if you already have a second SE ready to activate. The person who activates SE as chain link 2 is able to destroy the monsters and summon dinos from the deck, but be sure to not summon any normal monsters from your deck in this scenario - When you special summon a normal dino from the deck, your opponent will then destroy the normal monster you summoned and in turn special summon a dino from their deck. So in the mirror match you should not summon a normal monster when you go second and your opponent has backrow on the field, and instead try to force your opponent to activate his SE first.
This matchup is not that hard when you can set up a lot of SE in the grave as soon as possible, but Ancient Gear Fortress prevents you from destroying their Ancient Gear monsters on the turn they are summoned. If your opponent tries to destroy their own Geartown with a Breaker the Magical Warrior or Galaxy Cyclone, you can easily make it miss the timing by using a SE from the graveyard.
One of the easier matchups I would say, because normally they can only get over your dinos with Masked HERO Anki, but if they play Destiny Calling they are able to get over your dinos. Your main focus of cards to destroy with SE is on the Anki and their field spell. But you should also be aware of their backrow, especially when they play Wall of Disruption because this card could literally end the game for you due to not having any backrow hate in the deck. Check for delays before you attack to play around this.
This matchup is partly good but also partly bad, especially when the Karakuri player is able to set up multiple Karakuri Anatomy on turn first turn. The card advantage they can get could be very difficult to deal with, especially when they have multiple Offerings to the Doomed to destroy your normal summoned monsters. In this matchup, your main focus of cards to destroy with SE is on their synchro monsters, as their other monsters cannot really get over your dinos.
Koa'ki Meiru is one of the hardest matchups because of Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru protecting the opponent's monsters from getting destroyed by SE. Play around this by using your Paleozoic Canadias on the opposing Koa'ki Meiru Urnknight and Koa'ki Meiru Maximus, because Urnknight can summon a Sandman from the deck which can negate the Canadia. The main focus of cards to destroy with SE in this matchup is the Maximus, either on your turn if they open with a Diamond Core, or on your opponent's turn because Sandman cannot negate SE in the grave.
This is also a very hard matchup. Due to playing so many traps, Amazoness decks can easily stall out the game. Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia prevent you from using your SE in the grave, because your dinos have to be face-up on the field in order to activate the effect. The main focus here is to destroy the opponent's Amazoness Queen and Amazoness Onslaught with SE. You must play the game slowly and pay attention to the delays, as there could be a Wall of Disruption. You also have to prevent them from summoning a Lava Golem to your side of the field. If you see a Parasite on top of your deck, shuffle your deck as often as possible with cards like Paleozoic Marrella, Survival's End, or even by destroying a Babycerasaurus with SE to summon a Dino from the deck. In this matchup, cards like Cosmic Cyclone, Vision HERO Witch Raider, or even Photon Wyvern are great because they can destroy/banish the opponent's backrow as well as allowing you to tribute away Lava Golem.
This matchup is partly like the Amazoness one, don't overcommit and play slowly. Don't summon more than one monster on the field, because you don't want to have a Lava Golem on your side on the field. Play patiently by setting up all your SE either in the grave with Paleozoic Marrella or in your backrow, so you can then go in and destroy their backrow and with SE on the field you can then summon more monsters from your deck to have an out to their Fortress Warrior. Shuffle your deck as often as you can, because they most likely use the skill Parasite Infestation. In this matchup, side decking Photon Wyvern can be devastating. Watch out for is when your opponent plays only 20 cards, because if you have the parasite in your deck or play 21 cards you can try to go for a deck out.
This deck that received the status of being a tier 0 deck by being able to swarm the field, have Spell and Trap negates, bounce cards back to the hand, draw cards and have protection in the grave. The main strategy to go for is to place their third monster face-down, so they cannot use the protection effect of their Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En, allowing you to use SE in the grave to destroy him. When you want to destroy 2 six samurai monsters and they have Secret Six Samurai – Fuma in the grave, you have to destroy them one by one, because using both SE's in the grave on 1 Babycerasaurus causes only the monster you targeted at chain link 2 to be destroyed due to SE targeting only 1 card on the field to destroy which means that Fuma can protect the monster. Your main target of SE is of course Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En but only if they don't have another monster on the field to protect him. When they activate Asceticism of the Six Samurai and target a monster on the field, use your Paleozoic Canadia on that monster, and the opponent won't be able summon anything. Overall, it is a coin-flip matchup.
When you have a SE on the field and one SE in the grave be sure to activate the SE in the grave first, so you can target 2 cards you wanna destroy and than chain the SE on the field to destroy the normal monsters on the field to summon a few dinos from the deck.
If you play against AG and the opponent wants to attack with a Reactor Dragon while you have a normal monster on the field and a SE set face-down, you have to set your toggle button to ON to chain the grave effect of SE on the effect of special summoning a dino from the deck and destroy the Reactor Dragon before he attacks.
SE in the grave can be activated even if a Reactor Dragon attacks.
When your opponent declares an attack with an Ancient Gear Wyvern and you have a Babycerasaurus on the field and a SE in the grave, you have to activate the SE in the grave before the attack because when you chain the SE in the grave to the attack of Wyvern you won't be able to special summon a dino from the deck with the effect of Babycerasaurus.
When you open with a Paleozoic Marrella you want to activate him in your opponent's draw phase by setting your toggle button to ON so you can set up a SE in the grave very quickly, but you should only do this when you also open with a dinosaur monster.
If you go second in the mirror match and open with a normal type monster it would be better to set it. If you summon it, your opponent can potentially use SE to destroy your monster and summon a dino from their deck.
You can use a SE in the grave on a Citadel Whale and he cannot negate it - the card says that "when one of your water typer monsters and no other card is targeted," but SE also targets your own dinosaur monster.
Another thing that you should do when you banish a Giant Rex with your Evilswarm Salamandra is to banish another dino from the grave first, so that Giant Rex gains 200 atk when summoned. This doesn't sound very important, but it could be crucial in the mirror match.
Against Six Samurai you only wanna use your SE on a Shi En if they don't have another Six Samurai monster on the field to protect him.
The last tip I can give you is to not overcommit with your SE in the grave so use them wisely and only destroy cards that are problems for you like a Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon, which you cannot destroy by battle because none of your monsters has enough atk to get over him.
I still see many players who overcommit with their SE in the grave which causes them to lose the game very often. I also asked in the discord if I should have a seperate section where I can show when you should use your SE and when you should maybe use another trap card. If you like this idea, then let me know and explain your situations to me so this part of the guide can grow even further.
In this situation when you have such a field then you should use Paleozoic Canadia on the Legendary Six Samurai – Kizan and not your SE. Why? Because he can still have another Kizan in the hand with his Shien's Dojo he is only able to summon another Secret Six Samurai – Fuma or a Kagemusha of the Six Samurai but the last one i mentioned won't help him in this situation. Also important is that when you use your Canadia in this situation than it gives you the opportunity to destroy another normal monster if you use your SE on the field. If he has another Kizan in the hand then you can use your SE, special summon the Canadia from the grave and let them summon their Shi En because then they don't have any chances to protect him. You could also set your toggle button to ON so you can activate your marrella on the summon of the second Kizan, send a SE to the grave with it and then activate your SE on the field so you are able to destroy 3 monsters and then destroy their Shi En if they summon him.
That's how your board will look if you do the thing with the Paleozoic Marrella. You summon your Giant Rex and your 2 Babycerasaurus' and you have to use it when your board looks like this because you don't want to give your opponent the chance to maybe summon another monster that he can use to protect his Shi En.
###Way 1: In this situation the opponent plays Asceticism of the Six Samurai and he wants to summon another monster from his deck. In the scenario right here the opponent's Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki has 1900 atk due to his own effect and the skill The Tie that Binds and he wants to summon a Kagemusha of the Six Samurai from his deck by using Asceticism of the Six Samurai. You have to prevent this summon by using Paleozoic Canadia on the Fuma that got targeted by Asceticism. If the opponent now summons Kagemusha with Shien's Dojo then you pretty much do the same thing again: set your toggle button to ON, activate Paleozoic Marrella, special summon the Canadia from the grave, send a SE to the grave and now you wait for the summon of Shi En so you can destroy him with SE and with your Babycerasaurus you can summon a Megalosmasher X which gives you the opportunity to use your SE on the field and with that you can destroy 3 of your monsters and summon another Babycerasaurus, a Giant Rex and another Megalosmasher X.
###Way 2: The second way is that you let them summon their Kagemusha off of the effect of Asceticism and flip him face-down then because Six Samurai players don't play any lv 4 Synchro monsters such as Underworld Fighter Balmung. Of course the opponent gets a Legendary Six Samurai – Enishi on the board in his End Phase but he cannot use his effect because there is only 1 six samurai monster in the grave.
This right here is your board how it looks like if you took way 1. Now you wait for the summon of Shi En which you can destroy then with your SE in the graveyard. Also important is that he don't have the opportunity to summon Secret Six Samurai – Rihan because both Kageki and Fuma have the same attribute and you need 3 six samurai monsters with different attributes to summon him.
I hope that this section will help you in your further matches and let me know if you want to have more situations like this for different matchups. Also great love to ThreeD who helped me with those screenshots <3
Dinos is a deck that has good beaters especially with the boost of the field spell and they have a good card to disrupt the opponent during his turn with SE. This deck will find its place in the meta as one of the mid tier decks due to not having a real boss monster with a high attack. It has some weaknesses to decks that stall or to many cards such as Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia which prevents you from using your SE in the grave. Even though it doesn't have too many destruction effects, it has a good matchup against a big variety of decks if you use your SE wisely.
SpoonCats – I would like to thank SpoonCats for reviewing the guide and helping me format it for the website. Dkayed and Duel Links Meta – an excellent gathering place for the community to come together.