With The ARG State Championships this weekend we will be discussing some common techniques in order to beat the Meta. Before we can dive into these techniques we must first understand what exactly the Meta is. Meta refers to the decks that most frequently win and the top 8 large events in our community as a whole. These decks are arranged in a Tier System from zero to three, three being the low tiers and zero being a deck that is invincible. As of right now walking into States we have four decks that are considered tier one. Those Four are Aqua Force, Royal Paladins, Kagero, and of course Shadow Paladins.
Each one of these decks has a weakness and if exploited correctly they are easy to take down. The only problem is that they require the correct amount of resources and unfortunately it is fairly easy to tell within the first couple of turns what the outcome for the game will be. To beat each of these decks you must first understand their mechanic. Aqua Force uses its rear guards for multiple attacks and if you execute a certain amount of attacks in a turn you gain effects. Not only that but they also have cards like Glory Maelstrom who stops you from guarding with 1 or higher rear guards.
This deck is fairly difficult to defeat, mainly because it puts big numbers on the board and can attack up to six or more times a turn. Since this deck revolves around its rear guards effects for multiple attacks, the way to beat it is to take out those rear guards. If you can put out multiple rear guards and only swing on their mirrors you will eat away at their hand until they aren’t able to stop you any longer and are forced to accept that they will lose their foundation. Without their rear guard abilities their vanguards lose their strength and thus they won’t be able to stop you.
Moving along the second tier deck is Royal Paladins. Since day one this clan has had the same abilities.(as who?) Their main mechanic is calling units from the deck to rear guard circles and gain power boosts for rear guards. The deck uses its large rear guard columns to eliminate and deplete your opponent’s hand. So how do you beat them? Early game rush. Early game rush is a term given to the act of dropping as many rear guards as possible in your first turn that you can attack in order to cause as much damage as possible, and as quickly as possible. It leaves your opponent dropping everything they would use the next turn in order to stop the wave after wave of attacks. This tactic can get your opponent to 4-5 damage if you hit triggers. Doing this will makes it so that your opponent has trouble recovering. By the time they do it’s almost impossible to strike back because they have dropped their entire hand to stop the next wave. However, this tactic isn’t always solid but its more often than not your best chance, because if they are able to get that field presence be ready for big columns. The other technique to stop them is the same as against Aqua Force. Swing on the rear guards. The main issue with this is the cards are like “Jewel Knight, Swordmy” which are easily put back into the deck and reused.
Swordmy will just give your opponent grade ones that will in turn call other cards or boost other rear guards, creating a never ending cycle of large columns. They can also easily stall you out if you are using a stride deck since the majority of their effects come from grade 2 units and grade 1 units.
The third deck considered tier one is one that has been in the top tiers ever since it came out. That’s right it’s time to delve into Kagero. Ever since Vanguards inception Kagero has just been one of those clans that will not go away. “Dragonic Overlord” was the first card with the ability to re-stand as vanguard. So in the old days it was a force to be reckoned with, that is until its cross ride “Dragonic Overlord the End” came into existence.
This card has been a staple for years and with good reason. Its only cost is counter blasting two and pitching a copy of itself to the drop zone in order to re-stand. That and of course it has to hit a card. Since the beginning this card has been able to finish a game. It was able to make it through the limit break days, legion, and now it is still surviving in the Stride formats. Of course it’s due in part to the massive amount of support its gotten over the years that it is still a staple. So how do you beat it? This question is tricky because the only way to really beat it is to out play the pilot or the person playing the deck. With its legion and now stride its becoming harder and harder to stop it by normal means. Not to mention the fact that it’s a deck that will just keep recycling its resources to continuously toss the legion and mate plus any triggers back into the deck. Early game rush is a way to put damage on the board and since they are constantly adding and holding onto grade three units they have their re-stand ability. It comes down to if you can out last the onslaught of powerful attacks and draws that the deck will put out. Not only do they re-stand their vanguard but they also have multiple cards that will retire your rear guards as well as multiple cards that allow them to draw. There’s a reason this dinosaur of a deck has lasted as long as it has. Think about your plays, try to keep a turn ahead, and always assume they have a copy of DOTE (Dragonic Overlord the End) in hand and play accordingly. The deck isn’t invincible and one simple mistake can spell disaster for the pilot of a Kagero deck.
The Final deck I will talk about is the infamous Shadow Paladins. In all honestly we will be seeing a lot of this deck in the near future and if you are going to be playing in the ARG State Championships this weekend then you better expect to run into this deck once or twice. Especially since tomorrow we will see the release of the Dark Legend Deck, which will be unleashing the Diablo sub clan for Shadow Paladins. The most noteworthy card will be the new stride unit that is being released with this deck and that card is “Dark Dragon, Phantom Blaster Diablo”
The restriction this card places on its opponent is one of the most difficult to play around. If you want to attempt to guard against the Behemoth you are going to first have to retire two of your own rear guards and then you try blocking it. This will pose a problem for most players mainly because if your opponent is smart they will be attacking your rear guards so that you won’t be able to stop its attacks. Which by the way it not only gives itself plus 10000 power but also adds a critical. So once again how do we stop this deck? Early game Rush partnered with rear guard attacking. You combine the strategies previously mentioned into one tactic. Shadow Paladins revolve around retiring their own rear guards and Phantom Blaster Diablo has a hefty toll. You must retire 3 of your own rear guards in order to use it. The early game rush will eliminate their hand for fear of taking too much damage, and if they don’t have any rear guard to sack then Diablo becomes a vanilla stride. It’s going to be an uphill battle but this deck is not tier zero. It isn’t unbeatable.
Well that’s all I’ve got for you today. To everyone playing this weekend good luck and to all my Illinois readers I’ll be seeing you at the event. Remember every deck has a weakness nothing is invincible, just keep your cool and think about your plays. Good luck to everyone, I’m Scotch Janesek, keep on keepin on, and remember if a card has resist that doesn’t mean it can’t be attacked just that it can’t be targeted by effects.