Wind-Up are an Archetype of cards, introduced in the booster pack Generation Force whose artwork resemble various wind-up toys (Hence their name). Despite their possible machine-like appearance, Wind-Up monsters do not share a common attribute nor type
Similar to wind-up toys, Wind-Up monsters have effects that can only be used once while they are face-up on the field, symbolizing the unwinding of the toy after its use.
Being of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal era, Wind-Ups are an Xyz deck, focusing on large amounts of Xyz summons. Through their fairly large number of support cards, Wind-ups generate large amounts of Card Advantage through the effects of Wind-Up Factory, Wind-Up Magician, and Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity, allowing for extreme swarms of monsters to be achieved and for copious amounts of card advantage to be gained. Wind-Up Shark allows for rapid plays to be performed, as its effect allows it to be summoned on the same turn as Wind-Up Magician, along with triggering Magician for additional card advantage.
 Hunter Loop
Furthermore, Wind-Ups have the infamous "Hunter loop", completely crippling the opponent and preventing a come-back from being achieved. This loop abuses the effects of Wind-Up Hunter to clear the opponent of their hand. It is achieved through Wind-Up Rat, who constantly revives Wind-Up Hunter for Xyz summons with Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity, whom summons additional Wind-Up Rats for to revive Wind-Up Hunter, whom tributes Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity for his hand destruction.
It is not uncommon for plays where Wind-Up Magician and Wind-Up Shark are summoned to end with the "Hunter Loop" being performed, along with several Xyz monsters to fill the field.
 Steps for the Hunter Loop:
There are several other methods of achieving the hunter loop, but this is the most common method that general Wind-Up decks tend to use
- Normal Summon Wind-Up Magician
- Special Summon Wind-Up Shark through its effect
- Use the effect of Wind-Up Shark to decrease its level to 3, triggering Wind-Up Magician's effect
- Special Summon Wind-Up Hunter with Wind-Up Magician, and use its effect to tribute Wind-Up Magician
- Xyz Wind-Up Shark and Wind-Up Hunter to create Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
- Use Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity to special summon Wind-Up Rat
- Use Wind-Up Rat to special-summon Wind-Up Hunter
- Use Wind-Up Hunter to tribute Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
- Xyz Wind-Up Hunter and Wind-Up Rat to create Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
- Repeat until the opponent's hand is empty or you run out of Zenmaities.
- When the last Zenmaity is used for hunter, xyz with Rat and Hunter for Zenmaines to further pressure your opponent.
 Building Wind-Ups
Like every other archetype, there are a few cards which are generally considered to not used in the deck. For Wind-Ups, these are:
- Wind-Up Bat
- Wind-Up Dog
- Wind-Up Juggler
- Wind-Up Knight
- Wind-Up Snail
- Wind-Up Soldier
- Wind-Up Warrior
- Legendary Wind-Up Key
The average casual player will probably argue for some niche use of the listed cards. However, in the optimum, competitive build, the above cards are either completely outclassed, or do not integrate well with the deck. However, there may be uses for these cards as Tech
 The Core of a Competitively viable Wind-Up Deck
Wind-Up Hunter "You can Tribute 1 face-up "Wind-Up" monster, except "Wind-Up Hunter"; send 1 random card from your opponent's hand to the Graveyard. This effect can only be used once while this card is face-up on the field." Although initially discarded as a useless card on its release, Hunter eventually became known for the infamous "Hunter Loop", which discards a section of the opponent's hand with little to no cost to the player. As such, a single copy of Hunter is mandatory for every Wind-Up deck, as without the Hunter Loop, Wind-Ups are a subpar deck that can't compete in the current metagame.
Wind-Up Rat "During your Main Phase: You can target 1 "Wind-Up" monster in your Graveyard; change this face-up Attack Position card you control to face-up Defense Position, and Special Summon that target in face-up Defense Position. This effect can only be used once while this card is face-up on the field." With a special-summon effect matching that of Debris Dragon and similar cards, Wind-Up Rat is a key component of the infamous Hunter Loop, as well as being a solid card on its own for setting up Rank 3 XYZ plays. Even without its role as a major component of the Hunter Loop, Rat would still be mandatory in the deck in a set of 3 cards.
Wind-Up Shark "When a "Wind-Up" monster is Normal or Special Summoned to your side of the field: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. Once per turn: You can activate 1 of these effects. ● Increase this card's Level by 1, until the End Phase. ● Reduce this card's Level by 1, until the End Phase." Earlier, the list of Trash mentioned Wind-Up Soldier and Wind-Up Knight as being subpar cards. This is the reason they are not used, as Wind-Up Shark speeds up the deck. A common opening play for the deck is to normal Summon Wind-Up Magician, and special summon Shark in response to Magician's summon, using Shark's effect to trigger Magician and special summon Wind-Up Hunter to lead into the Hunter Loop. Because of its role in accelerating the deck, Shark is generally also played in 3, however some players have opted to side out one copy of Shark in specific match-ups.
Wind-Up Magician "If the effect of a "Wind-Up" monster is activated, except "Wind-Up Magician": You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "Wind-Up" monster from your Deck in face-up Defense Position. This effect can only be used once while this card is face-up on the field." Wind-Up Magician grants the deck the explosive power it needs, setting up a majority of the combos that the deck uses, as well as allowing the deck to plus continuously in Card Advantage. Like previously mentioned, Magician and Shark combo together for the majority of plays in the deck. However, due to its inability to stand alone as a card, as well as only one in the hand being required to set up most plays, some players have opted to only run 2. Whether you use 2 or 3 is up to your preference.
Wind-Up Rabbit "During either player's turn: You can target 1 "Wind-Up" monster you control; banish it until your next Standby Phase. This effect can be used only once while this card is face-up on the field." Although it doesn't contribute to the overall Wind-Up Loop, Wind-Up Rabbit is still an important card in the deck due to its ability to "reset" Wind-Ups, as well as providing protection. Additionally, he allows for plussing through the use of Wind-Up Factory during your opponent's turn.
Wind-Up Factory "When the effect of a "Wind-Up" monster is activated, you can add 1 Level 4 or lower "Wind-Up" monster from your Deck to your hand. This effect can only be used once per turn. " The Black Whirlwind of this archetype, Wind-Up factory increases the consistency of the deck, as well as being a continuous plussing engine. As previously mentioned, Wind-Up Rabbit can also abuse this card continuously during your opponent's turn for additional plussing.
Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity "2 Level 3 monsters Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Wind-Up" monster from your hand or Deck. When a face-up "Wind-Up" monster on the field is destroyed and sent to your Graveyard (except during the Damage Step): You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target that monster; return that target to the hand." Zenmaity enables the Hunter loop, as well as being a powerful card that allows the deck to plus.
Wind-Up Zenmaines "2 Level 3 monsters If this face-up card on the field would be destroyed, you can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card instead. Once per turn, during the End Phase, if this effect was used this turn: Target 1 card on the field; destroy it." With a powerful effect that has reached Staple status, Zenmaines gives the deck defensive plays. Additionally, it is often summoned after a Hunter loop, generally ensuring victory for the player due to the opponent's inability to remove it with the few cards they have after a Hunter Loop.
Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh "2 Level 5 monsters Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 2 Set cards on the field; destroy them." Already a semi-staple, Zenmaioh is also not difficult to summon in this deck. However, he plays no major role in the deck, and is just an available tool to use for situations where he might be required.
Tour Guide from the Underworld "When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 Fiend-Type monster from your hand or Deck. Its effects are negated, and it cannot be used as a Synchro Material Monster." Tour Guide gives an additional option to summon Zenmaity in this deck. Some players have decided not to use it, however. If you do use Tour Guide, a set of 3 Tour Guide with 1 Sangan or Tour Bus from the Underworld is required
 Overall Skeleton
- 2-3 Wind-Up Magician
- 1 Wind-Up Hunter
- 3 Wind-Up Rat
- 3 Wind-Up Shark
- 1-3 Wind-Up Rabbit
- 3 Tour Guide from the Underworld
- 1 Sangan or 1 Tour Bus from the Underworld (With Tour Guide from the Underworld)
As the nature of the two decks suggest, Wind-Ups have a poor match-up to Dino-Rabbit, and therefore need responses to Evolzar Dolkka. Therefore, a part of the side should be dedicated to countering the Evolzars, with cards such as Soul Taker or Smashing Ground Additionally, a majority of players will have sided Hand Traps such as Maxx "C" and Effect Veiler in an attempt to counter the deck. Dimensional Fissure does not affect the deck, and allows for the Hunter Loop to continue uninterrupted by hand traps, and so, should be sided in as a Counter Side. Additionally, Dimensional Fissure helps against the Dark World matchup, which the deck may have some trouble with.
 Sample Decklists
 Tyler Tabman - North American WCQ 2012 Winner
- 3 – Wind-Up Rabbit
- 3 – Wind-Up Rat
- 3 – Wind-Up Shark
- 3 – Tour Guide From the Underworld
- 3 – Effect Veiler
- 2 – Wind-Up Magician
- 1 – Wind-Up Hunter
- 1 – Spirit Reaper
- 1 – Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
- 3 – Mystical Space Typhoon
- 2 – Wind-Up Factory
- 2 – Instant Fusion
- 1 – Heavy Storm
- 1 – Book of Moon
- 1 – Dark Hole
- 1 – Pot of Avarice
- 1 – Mind Control
- 1 – Monster Reborn
- 2 – Solemn Warning
- 2 – Torrential Tribute
- 2 – Bottomless Trap Hole
- 1 – Solemn Judgment
- 1 – Mirror Force
- 3 – Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
- 1 – Wind-Up Zenmaines
- 1 – Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
- 1 – Leviair the Sea Dragon
- 1 – Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
- 1 – Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
- 1 – Number 39: Utopia
- 1 – Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
- 1 – Steelswarm Roach
- 1 – Tiras, Keeper of Genesis
- 1 – Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon
- 1 – Cyber Saurus
- 1 – Dragoness the Wicked Knight
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