So, a lot of people have been wondering about the Demise Kozmo deck that I just made Top16 with at YCS Providence. Before this event, the only decks that played the card were Qliphorts, Gravekeepers, and Statue Stun. Unfortunately, all of those decks suck. The difference between those decks and Kozmo is that Kozmo actually has a lot of power on both players’ turns, and has a much better/relevant engine. It does not NEED to draw Card of Demise for it to function. It is also correct to say that no one would even play the other decks without Card of Demise because of how outclassed they are on an engine-vs-engine basis. In this article, I am going to explain the ins and outs of Card of Demise while also sharing some of my recent tournament experience.
I will start by saying that I tested with the Fire King Kozmo deck extensively before YCS Providence, and while it was really cool and explosive, it had some huge flaws that I could not get around. For one, those combos are not necessary to win the game. You will win every game that you open with Tincan and three backrows going first just as much as you will win with those ridiculous fields of Infinity, Dark Lady, Tincan, etc. What was frustrating for me was when I would still lose against Monarchs after opening with the combos. I felt that the whole point of playing the Fire King build was to have a better matchup, but it just does not work out that way. Sure, Fire King Island added a new way for Kozmos to win, but it also added new ways for it to lose. You can draw “the chicken”, which is typically useless, or you can draw a hand with pilots and field spells. The combos are also very fragile, so any form of disruption will make you stop and run into your deck for a Tincan. Unfortunately, because of the high monster and spell card counts, you do not have much room for traps. A Tincan without traps is very easy to deal with and will usually lose you the game. I also found that the Fire King Build just loses to standard Kozmos playing trap cards, so I literally did not see a reason to play that build.
At this time, I would like to give a special shoutout to my good friend and deck-building mastermind, Sean McCabe, for cooking up this list:
3 Kozmo Farmgirl
3 Kozmo Dark Destroyer
3 Kozmo Tincan
2 Kozmo Dark Lady
2 Kozmo Sliprider*
1 Kozmo Strawman
1 Kozmo Landwalker
1 Kozmo Forerunner
3 Card of Demise
2 Emergency Teleport
1 Upstart Goblin
3 Solemn Strike
3 Call of the Haunted
2 Oasis of Dragon Souls
2 Chaos Trap Hole
1 Solemn Warning
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
Side Deck: 15
3 Chaos Hunter
3 Maxx “C”
3 Mask of Restrict
2 Twin Twister
2 Anti-Spell Fragrance
1 Dark Hole
*Sean played three copies of Sliprider instead of using Landwalker because he had never tested with it, and did not want to chance it being awful.
The basic idea here is a low monster count and a much higher spell/trap count so that the deck does not conflict with Demise. Extra monsters can be returned to the deck with Kozmotown so that you get the most value from Card of Demise. At worst, the card is a Tincan that fills your graveyard with monsters so that your multiple copies of Call/Oasis are always live. At best, it is an auto-win from you drawing 2-3 extra traps.
Something important to note is that you can resolve the effect of Card of Demise on the end phase before you activate the effect of Kozmo Tincan. This means that you will get to keep the card that Tincan gives to you, regardless of the discarding effect of Demise. You must state that you are resolving the effect of Card of Demise in the end phase first if you want to avoid any confusion.
As far as meta calls go, I noticed that in the past few months, the community has underestimated the power of trap cards. The lack of traps has given rise to Monarchs. I could not figure out why Monarchs used to be considered so bad before, and now all of a sudden they are considered the deck to beat. I thought about my few matches against the deck during the full powered Pepe format, and I recalled that having anything to stop their summon would pretty much end the game. Chaos Trap Hole hits every relevant monster in the deck. It also makes it where the graveyard effects of Erebus and Edea won’t resolve. In my opinion, it is one of the best cards in the game right now because it hurts every good deck. I would consider playing three copies of it, but I feel that Strike is a little more useful because it negates Kozmo pilots’ effect to tag out, and it stops your monsters from being tributed by Stormforth with Ehther on your turn. Going second with Chaos Trap Hole is actually good against Monarchs, too, because it will just end their next turn. Either way, they will be skipping a turn and losing a resource.
Instead of regular traps, everyone has been using hand traps. Hand traps suck against decks that use regular traps. Demise Kozmo is pretty much immune to cards like Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler because you won’t be able to capitalize on stopping my plays since all of the traps are so powerful. You Maxx “C” the deck and I will get Tincan or Dark Lady and set three. It’s cool that you got an Upstart Goblin, but don’t expect too much else. Also, with three Farmgirls it is very likely that I will just kill you anyway.
The high trap count makes this deck play a lot like stun. This is why there are three copies of Kozmo Farmgirl. She is the best pilot to an open field. She is also the most threatening. When you end your opponent’s turn with one of the six counter traps, you can drop Farmgirl to quickly take the game or make it where he/she cannot come back. I also enjoyed that several of my opponents in Providence would see one or two Farmgirls banished, and would decide to use The Prime Monarch to block Dark Destroyer from attacking directly. This of course led to me catching them with nasty Teleport and Call of the Haunted plays. In this way, Farmgirl stole many games on my trip to a 9-1 swiss record.
I always found it strange how broken Call of the Haunted and Oasis of Dragon Souls are in Kozmo. They are basically combo cards, and virtually immune to Twin Twister. But perhaps the nastiest thing that you can do with them on your opponent’s turn is chain them to the effect of The Heavenly Squire, targeting Kozmo Dark Lady. Since the effect of Eidos is mandatory, you can use Dark Lady to negate it and end the Monarch player’s turn. I used this trick to beat ARG Atlantic City Champion, Ryan Levine in swiss. Be mindful that this only works if The Heavenly Squire was his/her normal summon for the turn.
Another cool thing you can do with Call and Oasis is use them to save your Tincan from dying. I usually bring back Landwalker during the battle phase to put my opponent in an awkward situation. If he continues to attack, the Tincans will multiply when Landwalker destroys itself instead. If that happens, it’s over. The scariest thing that can happen, though, is getting rid of Kozmotown to search for whatever I need at the time, which is usually Kozmojo or Dark Destroyer. I still find it ridiculous that Landwalker can destroy Kozmotown to save your monsters from dying. In fact, I played a mirror match at Providence where my opponent used Raigeki on my field and I simply chained Oasis to bring back Landwalker, then destroyed Kozmotown to search Dark Destroyer instead of having my three monsters die. He intended to get rid of my double Dark Lady, and all he got was more problems for his troubles. Landwalker is a continuous effect, so this is a completely legal play.
Moving on to the side deck, the only interesting thing to note is Chaos Hunter. She is absolutely broken in the mirror and not many people seemed to be aware of that. She acts as a hand trap, but unlike the conventional ones she actually summons herself and has a big body. She destroys the Fire King build of Kozmo because that deck does not play any traps outside of Call of the Haunted and Kozmojo, and it cannot perform its combo with her on the field. The good thing is, everyone was playing the Fire King build. Chaos Hunter says your opponent cannot banish cards, but you can banish cards all you like. This means you can still tag out your pilots for ships, and you can use Kozmojo to remove whatever you don’t like. Discarding a card can be a good thing when you have things like Call of the Haunted and Oasis set, so she combos with them perfectly for blowout plays. Discard a Dark Destroyer and bring it back to destroy a monster, or target itself to bring out Farmgirl. You can also use Call and Oasis to bring back Chaos Hunter when your opponent plays cards like System Down. It will simply resolve without effect. Alternatively, you can chain Call or Oasis to Kozmojo for a true blowout since Chaos Hunter will come back and prevent any of your cards from being banished, while also costing your opponent two cards (Kozmojo and whatever he/she targeted for destruction).
Back to the point of this whole deck: Card of Demise. I think that what people don’t understand is how traps simplify the game. They tend to take cards from both players. Normally, this is not the best thing to do, but when you are maxing out on a card that says draw three then we must reevaluate. A midgame Card of Demise is usually enough to give you the win. It is the only card that can allow you to comeback from a devastating Monarch play. Under normal circumstances, you cannot draw out of a situation when you have no cards. And needless to say, it is very good on turn one as well because it tends to be an auto-win. There are some games where you don’t activate it on turn one because your hand calls for a different play, and then you just use it on the following turn for the blowout. Kozmo does not need to special summon on its own turn in order to win, and that’s what’s great about Card of Demise in this deck.
I recommend trying the deck out, seeing what you like and what you don’t like, and then making changes. The list could always be better given new knowledge. I hope you enjoyed reading this.
Until next time, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!
-The Dark Magician