"System Down" - How To Counter Geartown Turbo

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"System Down" - How To Counter Geartown Turbo
How to Counter


The release of Ancient Gear Awakening has undoubtedly had a huge impact on the meta, creating a brand new competitive deck that has completely taken over PvP. Many people are clearly struggling against this deck, so I decided to compile a list of strategies, cards, and decks that can be used to counter it.


Geartown Missed the Timing!

When it’s destroyed, Geartown allows its controller to Special Summon an “Ancient Gear” monster from the hand, Deck or Graveyard. This Field Spell is an incredibly powerful card, but it also has a huge weakness: its effect can miss the timing. This particular topic can create a lot of confusion, but, don’t worry, I’ll try and explain it as clearly as possible.

How Chains Work

When you activate a card or effect, you start a “Chain” and that certain card or effect you activated becomes the first “Link” of that Chain. If another card or effect is activated in response to the first one, then a new Link will be added to the Chain (Chain Link 2). Chains “resolve” backward, meaning the last card or effect that was activated will be the first one to resolve.

This is all you need to know for now. Let’s make a quick example:

  • I activate Ancient Gear Fortress (Chain Link 1);
  • My opponent responds by activating Cosmic Cyclone (Chain Link 2);
  • Since I don’t want my card to get banished, I activate Twister and target my own card (Chain Link 3).

Now the Chain is going to resolve, starting from Twister, the last card that was activated. Ancient Gear Fortress is destroyed by Twister, Cosmic Cyclone resolves, but its target is not on the field anymore, so it’s sent directly to the Graveyard, and finally the first Chain Link resolves as well, even though Ancient Gear Fortress is not on the field anymore. Now Ancient Gear Fortress’ effect triggers from the Graveyard and starts a new chain.

If the last card activated did not have priority over the previous ones, then I wouldn’t have been able to prevent Ancient Gear Fortress from being banished.

Now let’s take a look at what happens when a card effect misses the timing:

  • I activate Geartown (Chain Link 1);
  • My opponent activates Twister and targets the Field Spell (Chain Link 2);
  • Geartown is destroyed, but its effect does not trigger.

Geartown’s effect just missed the timing, meaning it didn’t have a chance to activate because its destruction was not the last thing that happened when the Chain resolved.

Geartown’s effect states “When this card is destroyed, you can...”, which means that it’s an optional effect (“ can...”) and that, in order for it to trigger, the card being destroyed has to be the last thing to happen (“When...”).

Ancient Gear Fortress’ effect is optional as well (“ can...”), but the first part is worded in a different way (“If this card is destroyed...”), which tells us that the effect will trigger even if the card being destroyed is not the last thing to happen.

While the Chain from the second example was resolving, there was no time for Geartown’s effect to activate and that’s why it missed the timing.


Cards that have “ can…” in their effects are the ones that can miss the timing.

If Geartown is destroyed at Chain Link 2 or higher, its effect will not activate.

  • Geartown is activated (Chain Link 1);
  • Twister is activated in response (Chain Link 2);
  • Geartown is destroyed, but the Chain is still resolving, so the effect misses the timing.

Individual Cards

Well, I’m not going to sit here and tell you to run three copies of System Down or Acid Rain, although the title of the article may have led you to believe so. It would obviously be better to implement into your deck more versatile cards that will come in handy even when you are not facing Geartown Turbo, so here are a few ideas:

Cosmic Cyclone

This Quick-Play Spell can be used to nullify both Ancient Gear Fortress and Geartown.

Ancient Gear Fortress

Ancient Gear Fortress' effect can't miss the timing, so most of the times you will have to wait for your opponent to try and destroy it before activating Cosmic Cyclone. If your opponent has Fortress face-up on the field and another face-down card, you should assume that it’s a Twister/Double Cyclone/Uending Nightmare, so you should avoid taking the initiative. If your opponent targets a card in their Spell/Trap Zone with Galaxy Cyclone or Double Cyclone, you should assume that it’s an Ancient Gear Fortress and you should chain your Cosmic Cyclone to it.


Since Geartown's effect can miss the timing, you are free to take the initiative and activate Cosmic Cyclone whenever you want. Just like with Ancient Gear Fortress, you may prefer to wait for your opponent to activate Unending Nightmare, Twister or Double Cyclone before using your Quick-Play Spell just to get rid of an additional card in the process.

Twister, Double Cyclone & Unending Nightmare

When you are dealing with Geartown, all of these cards can be used to make it miss the timing: you can chain them to the activation of the Field Spell, sit back and relax while your opponent is trying to understand what just happened.

Floodgate Trap Hole

Floodgate Trap Hole can lock Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon in face-down Defense Position, preventing it from declaring attacks and thus from destroying other copies of Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress. Since Floodgate does not target, it’s arguably superior to Paleozoic Canadia.


Masked HERO

Destiny HERO - Decider

"Level 6 or higher monsters your opponent controls cannot target this card for attacks"

Destiny HERO - Decider alone can completely shut down a Geartown Turbo Deck: as long as this is the only monster on your side of the field, Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon will not be able to declare an attack. Ancient Gear Wyvern can be used to destroy Destiny HERO - Decider and get out of the lockdown, but you can use your Spell and Trap Cards to stop it since, unlike Reactor Dragon, Wyvern does not prevent you from activating them on attack declaration.

Silent Spellbook

Silent Magician

Silent Magician (and Silent Swordsman) is able to, once per turn, negate the activation of a Spell Card. You can negate the activation of Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress or, if your opponent activated them before you were able to Summon Silent Magician, you can still negate Twister, Double Cyclone and Galaxy Cyclone.

Unfortunately Silent Magician’s floating effect will not trigger if Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon or Ancient Gear Wyvern destroy it, but you can attack into them yourself and Summon Silent Magician LV8 from your hand or Deck. Unless your opponent is running Beatdown!, a 3500 ATK monster will be very difficult to deal with for them.

Spellbook of Fate

Spellbook of Fate banishes and does not target, which means that Ancient Gear Fortress will not be able to protect Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon from it. If Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon is banished, Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress will not be able to bring it back.

Ancient Gear Fusion Beatdown

Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem

With 4400 ATK and the ability to, when destroyed, float into an Ancient Gear Golem, Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem is a quite problematic card to deal with for a Geartown Turbo Deck. Middle Age Mechs will give your opponent no advantage since it boosts “Ancient Gear” monsters on both sides of the field.

Yubel Fire King

Yubel - Terror Incarnate

If Yubel - Terror Incarnate was Summoned via Fire King Island, then Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon can easily get rid of it by declaring an attack and then destroying the Field Spell. Since Reactor Dragon’s effect prevents your opponent from activating monster effects until the end of the Damage Step, Terror Incarnate’s effect will not trigger and your opponent will not be able to Special Summon Yubel - The Ultimate Nightmare.

Your opponent will also not be able to just Set Fire King Avatar Yaksha, wait for it to be destroyed, destroy Yubel from the hand via Yaksha’s effect and then Special Summon Terror Incarnate because of Ancient Gear Wyvern and Reactor Dragon, but, if Yaksha is the one attacking, then your opponent will get a Yubel - Terror Incarnate on the field without the Field Spell.

Fire King Island is a liability when facing Geartown Turbo: Twister, Double Cyclone and Unending Nightmare can all be chained to a card effect to destroy the Field Spell and make Yubel - Terror Incarnate’s effect miss the timing, but, if there is no Field Spell, then a monster that can’t be destroyed by battle is a huge issue.


Amazoness Queen

As I mentioned, protection from destruction by battle is quite problematic for Geartown Turbo and that’s exactly what Amazoness Queen provides; Amazoness Queen and Amazoness Swords Woman make for a deadly combination.

Amazoness Onslaught

As long as Amazoness Onslaught is already active on the field, you will be able to use its effect to banish Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon. When it comes to back row removal, Geartown Turbo relies on the same cards that are used to destroy Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress, which means that Cosmic Cyclone is usually not a card your opponent will run. You can easily recover Amazoness Onslaught from the Graveyard via Endless Trap Hell and proceed to banish all copies of Ancient Reactor Dragon in your opponent’s deck.

Koa'ki Meiru

Koa'ki Meiru Maximus

If your opponent has Geartown and a face-down card that is causing delay, then it’s likely a Twister, Double Cyclone or Unending Nightmare. Target the face-down card with Koa'ki Meiru Maximus’ effect and leave your opponent with two options:
A. Activate the face-down card, destroy Geartown and watch as its effect does not activate.
B. Do nothing and likely get OTKed either way.


Dragon Spirit of White

Dragon Spirit of White can be used to get rid Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress, but keep in mind that its effect can miss the timing as well. Do not chain Silver's Cry and Birthright to the activation of a card or effect.


Hot New Top
What happens when double cyclone destroys a wild tornado on your side and their geartown?
<< Anonymous
Playmaker Reply
wild tornado and geartown effects will form a new chain i think
How about opponent set geartown and use double cyclone to destroy it, anyway to force geartown miss the timing?
<< Anonymous
Playmaker Reply
One example : use cosmic cyclone to bansih set geartown
Apparently you can add in Amazoness Onslaught to the list of cards that stop Ancient Gear reactor Dragon. Apparently they don’t treat it as it attacked even though you have to attack to have damage calculations for onslaught to trigger. It just gets banished and you can’t destory any spell/trap as you should.

I’m not sure if this is an active timing glitch because you clearly meet the requirements for Reactor Dragon to trigger.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Reactor Dragon only prevents the activation of Spell/Trap Cards (and monster effects). It doesn't prevent you activating the effects of Spell/Trap Cards. Which also means it'll trigger the effect of a card like Wild Tornado if it happens to destroy one.
Quite a decent way to fight the gears, this is a pretty nice guide. Thank you.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
The info above looks basic to me
I've been using Hazy Flame and from what I notice it that typically they don't run any protections aside from pulse mines. Since you're normal Hazy decks is entire monster based, aside from a possible anti magic, then there's no double cyclone bait for them. The main issue is getting over that 3K wall even with Beatdown, since Sphynx and Cerberus are right below it so you'll need to rely on Manticore or another flame beater like Dragonic Knight. With no real cyclone bait they can normally only get one Dragon at a time.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Another beater you can count on: prominence firestorm, but you have to use it on your turn
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Another counter you can rely is white veil, good effect but high risk
can chimeratech overdragon work against ancient gears?
<< Anonymous
Killer Queen Reply
You’d need to summon it using 4 monsters to get over AG reactor dragon or 5 if AG castle is on the field and you’d need to do that first turn before you get unga bunga smashed by 2 reactor dragons. Did you mean Chimeratech Fortress Dragon?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
If you meant Chimeratech Fortress then yes, it works against AG, the issue is that we don't have access to it yet.
using koa'ki i go 7-3 against AG advantage to me as most AG players wait a turn "to see" instead of swarming & this is their downfall when i pop out Maximus.
<< Anonymous(Anonymous)
Anonymous Reply
why I hate gusto. they swarm turn after turn and koakis can't really keep up with them
Evil Rick
I use Stardust Dragon

His effects prevents opponent from destroying their Geartown.

Galaxy Cyclone works great too

Dust tornado also works since if you set a card with its effect, Geartown misses timing.

Noble Knights also work great, if opponent uses double cyclone to destroy one of your Noble Arms equip spells & geartown, the Noble Arm secondary effect will trigger (the one that allows it to be re-equipped from the GY) and geartown will miss timing.
Me, myself and I
GameA took their time to write an article. That’s pretty cool.

* This deck works btw.
Mmm? So silent swordsman effect will negate GearTown and also force it to miss timing???
<< Anonymous(ValleCula)
ValleCula Reply
I just tested in-game and I have to correct myself: if I negate the activation of Geartown at Chain Link 2 and destroy the card, the effect still triggers. Apparently we are not going by OCG Rulings.
<< Anonymous(ValleCula)
Anonymous Reply
...It works the same way in both regions. Negated activations don't count as a resolution for missing-the-timing purposes. (They still count as a Chain Link for cards like Lightning Punisher and Chain Strike, though, weirdly enough.)

Incidentally, the page you linked to proves this with its Magic Jammer ruling...
<< Anonymous(ValleCula)
Anonymous Reply
Thanks for the info and testing.

So does silent monster still works? Negate geartown and destroy it. It doesn't miss timing right?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Ok silent monsters only negate but doesn't destroy. It get it now. Thanks anyway for the info
Stardust Dragon is also a good counter. Is easy to summon in a Karakuri deck.
There's a good miss-timing tutorial in here! I'm glad to see those Obelisk Blue students putting in the effort to make others' lives easier.

Commens and feedback


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Comments (updated every hour)

2 copies are enough. Its level is so low that Nemesis Warrior cannot use it to special summon Uma...
If the spell/trap card zones must be used as pendulum zones, pendulum decks wouldn't be that...
This would completely change the effect tho. They probably do the same with Tortoise: Just delete...
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