Hey, everyone! I'm here bringing you my first Post-Evo Fury Kaijudo article! Well.. sort of post. As you all know, Evo Fury released in stores November 13. While I have gotten my hands on some cards, I haven't been able to do much testing yet and we haven't had any locals since the set's release. With that being said, I decided I'd take this week to do something similar to what I did last week, but instead of talking about the new cards that will impact the meta, I'm going to talk about the old and new cards that will probably see more play with the addition of this new "Evolution" thing.
I'm going to assume at this point that everyone knows what an Evolution is - as in, it's just like a normal creature, but it is played on top of a creature of the same race, essentially making it become the new creature. For those who have any confusion, Wizards of the Coast put up an informative video on the official Kaijudo YouTube channel, "wizardskaijudo". Anyway, though that's a pretty simple mechanic, there's a lot more depth to it than meets the eye. To start off, when you play an Evolution creature, you're essentially using two cards in your hand or in the battle zone to create just one creature. In terms of raw card advantage, it's a -1. However, many evolutions are still going to see play just based on how good they are when they do hit the board, regardless of how many cards it took to bring them out. This makes dealing with them very interesting, and there are certain cards that I expect to do a lot better job than others.
Creature removal that effects cards of certain levels was first given to us in Bone Blades and Return to the Soil. Bone Blades has been a near-staple in control since it was given to us in the very first Kaijudo TCG release, the Tatsurion vs. Razorkinder Battle Decks. I don't see this changing any time soon, as the card just looks to be getting stronger with Evolutions on the scene. Some of the most playable Evolutions, like Emperor Neuron, Laser-Arm Drakon and Bronze-Arm Sabertooth are all targetable by Bone Blades, and since it takes two cards to bring out an Evolution, you can be sure you're getting your value out of the Blades. I'm sure this card will be the number one way to get rid of early opposing Evolutions for quite some time.
Return to the Soil, like I mentioned, essentially does the same thing for decks that don't run Darkness, but it has to be taken into consideration that you're giving your opponent two or more mana whenever you return one of their Evolutions to the mana zone, since there's obviously at least one card stacked under it, maybe even more if you evolved an Evolution from an Evolution. This doesn't necessarily matter against something like Bronze-Arm Sabertooth, which would go to mana because of its effect anyway, but if you're playing Return from Beyond early game on an Evolution, you might want to worry about your opponent having such a large amount of mana early on.
Mass removal is something else that I expect to see a rise in play. The new Nature spell from Evo Fury, Tendril Grasp, also falls into the category of "level-based" removal, yet it's special in that it's the first card in the Nature civilization with the ability to deal with more than one creature at a time. While it has a sort of double-edged sword effect, it can be devastating at the right time, and in the right matchups. It's obviously great against rush decks, since almost everything they run is level 3 or less, but it's also a very handy card against the aforementioned Neuron and Laser-Arm Drakon. I think it's very cool that a spell capable of mass-removal can deal with such powerful Evolutions so easily. It does, of course, potentially give your opponent a lot of mana, but sometimes that's necessary if they've committed to the field enough, and in the very late game it might not matter that much.
Barrage is another card that will continue to see a lot of play, especially in control decks. Its power has been proven against the rush and aggro matchups, but now it has a ton of Evo-bait to play with; that is, people will undoubtedly start running a wide variety of lower-cost creatures with small power just to make their Evolutions more convenient to play. With the rise in popularity of these types of creatures, such as Prickleback, Moonhowler Tribe, Cyber Trader, and of course all our old favorites such as Aqua Seneschal and Scaradorable of Gloom Hollow, a well-timed Barrage could be more potent than ever, and suddenly find your opponent holding onto Evolutions he or she can't play. There will probably be many games and matches decided by well-times Barrages, Tendril Grasps, and Stormspark Blasts.
Ah yes, bounce! There has been some talk about how effective cards like Rusalka and Veil Vortex actually are at getting rid of the threat of Evolutions. My personal opinion is that cards like this will indeed continue to see play. The main downside of bouncing your opponent's Evolution is that Evolution creatures don't get summoning sickness and can attack the turn they enter the battle zone. This means that if your opponent has sufficient mana, they can easily re-play the bait creature and the Evolution in the same turn and go back to attacking. This will be especially prevalent with races like Beast Kin, Cyber Lords and Drakons which have relatively cheap creatures, such as Prickleback, to evolve from, and cheap Evolutions as well. Bouncing an Evolution in that situation isn't a permanent answer, but at the very least it makes your opponent use up a turn in re-playing the creature.
These cards are more effective against evo-bait and Evolutions with higher costs, such as the Armored Dragons. Evo Fury Tatsurion is definitely a threat, but if you are able to return it to your opponent's hand, chances are that they don't have the mana required to play both creatures again in one turn. That gives you yet another turn to deal with the Armored Dragon, and possibly prevent Evo Fury Tatsurion from hitting the field again.
Milporo, Council of Logos is another great card for these later-game scenarios. When it bounces an Evolution, both cards go to the top of your opponent's deck, though your opponent does get to choose the order in which they go there. This can be incredibly good when dealing with the more high-cost Evolutions, as it forces your opponent to re-draw both of the cards. As with all bounce, it's less effective against the lower-level Evolutions or those like Hydra Medusa with a come-into-play effect, but overall Milporo is a great card for buying some time against the heavy-hitters.
I hope this article gave you some ideas on how to fight back against the very real threat of Evolutions! Of course, there are more than just the ones I listed, such as Darkness' ability to discard Evolutions out of the hand with cards like Razorkinder Puppet, but hopefully this was a good starting place. Every civilization has cards that can effectively deal with Evolutions if played right, and it'll be interesting to see which of these cards helps shape the metagame in the coming months. They're a part of this game now, and will be something to be taken into consideration in all future deck-building.
This coming weekend, my local store is going to be holding a booster draft for Evo Fury if all goes well. I'll probably be writing about that next week, since I always find it interesting to see how cards interact in a setting different than constructed. Hope you enjoyed the article! Leave a comment below with your thoughts and opinions, go buy some Evo Fury if you haven't already, and stay tuned for next week!