With Fire and Water being the two best decks right now and the format coming to an end around a month from now, I want to talk about Bujins, which have seen an increase in tournament play as of late and have been making the Top 8 showings at some recent Regionals that have been held. I feel the deck has gotten popular due it having a solid Cardcar Fire and Mermail matchup for at least G1 because of the Kaiser/Decree Bujin build that has been showing up more lately. I want to take a good look at why that is so and see what the deck has to offer in those 2 matchups in particular.
Fire Fist's normal strategy of going to [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear[/ccProd] to get rid of problematic monsters doesn’t always work against Bujins. Opening [ccProd]Bujin Yamato[/ccProd] and dumping [ccProd]Bujingi Crane[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Bujingi Turtle[/ccProd] all but guarantees that your Yamato will be sticking around for a while, and with 3 [ccProd]Fire Formation - Tenki[/ccProd] and 3 Yamato it’s not at all unlikely for them to open up with that play either. Cardcar FF can’t usually generate enough pressure each turn to try and power through [ccProd]Bujingi Hare[/ccProd], Crane, and/or Turtle to get Yamato off the field. Bear, which is the go-to monster for Fire has very little use in this matchup as getting its effect off, can be difficult.With many Bujin decks now maining [ccProd]Royal Decree[/ccProd] you can’t even use your traps to keep Yamato off the field and bait out Turtle or Hare, and cards like [ccProd]Forbidden Lance[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Fire Formation - Gyokkou[/ccProd] become subpar as well. Going first and summoning Yamato and getting a Royal Decree off make it almost impossible for Fire to get it off the board without using up multiple cards. Even after side decking, there isn’t too much for Fire Fists to side in that deals with Yamato and Royal Decree, as the cards that would normally be great to use such as [ccProd]Light-Imprisoning Mirror[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Debunk[/ccProd] lose effectiveness because of Decree, but you can’t just take all of your traps out since those are the only things which make the matchup manageable. [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] is solid against the deck but unfortunately it’s at one so it’s not too wise to rely it. However things can get quickly out of control for Bujin players if they can’t get a Royal Decree to resolve, since Fire can just use their traps to keep Yamato off the field or to bait out any of the Bujin protection effects. Going 2nd against FF deck with Bujins can be the worst as summoning Yamato into 3+ backrows without Lance and hoping to ride it out to victory can lead to a quick loss. Which basically means half your games against Fire can be an uphill battle.
The Bujin matchup against Mermails is in the favor of Bujins, for at least Game 1. Mermail’s normal strategy of flooding the board with Rank 4s and 7s isn’t viable if Bujins see an early [ccProd]Kaiser Coliseum[/ccProd]. It’s very hard for Mermails to deal with a creature that can’t be targeted or destroyed while you can only control one monster since they are a combo deck that require 2 or more monsters to make plays. With most people playing Mermails using close to what Patrick won ACS Charlotte with no [ccProd]Atlantean Heavy Infantry[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd]s in the main, most Mermail deck only have the 2 [ccProd]Raigeki Break[/ccProd] as the only out in the entire deck to Kaiser Coliseum. [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd] are good early on to pressure and stop Bujins from getting set up but they just get worse as the game goes on, since [ccProd]Bujintei Susanowo[/ccProd]+Crane can destroy the token and Draco in one turn and Gaios ran over by any Bujin monster+Crane or they can just use an in-grave Quilin to destroy it. Susanowo also takes care of any [ccProd]Mermail Abysspike[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Mermail Abyssturge[/ccProd]+[ccProd]Mermail Abyssgunde[/ccProd] plays or [ccProd]Abyss-sphere[/ccProd]+Gunde plays as well. Mermails have to use multiple cards to deal with a Bujin players single Yamato and that’s if they don’t have Coliseum on board. Even if Mermails can clear Yamato off board and put up a decent field, [ccProd]Bujincarnation[/ccProd] into Susanowo can deal with almost all of the monsters that Mermails put up. After siding I would say that the matchup isn’t as tilted in Bujins favor. MSTs, and [ccProd]Divine Wrath[/ccProd] among other cards come into play so relying on a single Kasier Coliseum to win the game isn’t too smart. It also becomes easier to set up [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd]+[ccProd]Mermail Abysstrite[/ccProd] which Bujins can have trouble getting past. Another card that is good for Mermails to use is [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd]. Though it only stops Turtle (they can just chain Hare’s effect to Dweller), it makes all of your monsters including [ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd] bigger than Yamato, so flooding the board with monsters alongside Dweller makes it so you can play around Yamato+Crane easier. The hardest part for Bujins is gaining ground early game when you don’t see any of your key cards, stopping yourself from losing to constant pressure from Gunde plays, and [ccProd]Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls[/ccProd] can be hard.
Bujins do have some key flaws in the way the deck is built. The deck is very linear and does the same thing each and every game so the deck isn’t all too hard to play and is easy to grasp for many players, a good player with Bujins and someone average with Bujins probably won’t play as differently as 2 Mermail players with different skill levels. So your opponent will know a good amount of what you have in your hand and roughly what plays you can make throughout every stage of the game. The deck can also have a bit of trouble getting rid of established boards, Bujincarnation isn’t the answer to everything and if you don’t have a banished Bujin, is just dead weight. If Bujins don’t see any of their floodgate cards early such as Kasier or Decree, it is very easy to get out grinded by decks like Fire Fists or Prophecy and against Hieratics or Mermails you might not even live past the first few turns. One other big problem is the decks reliance on Yamato. This has always been a problem that the deck has had, but with Royal Decree mained in many Bujin decks now, you rely heavily on seeing Yamato early as you don’t have any traps to protect you if you don’t see him or Tenki in your six card opening hand. Without Yamato, all of your monsters become rather mediocre and summoning Hare or Turtle isn’t nearly as threatening. The Decree build also makes the mirror match a battle of who can see the least amounts of Kaisers and Decrees throughout the game. Another problem is the plethora of popular side deck cards you can use against the deck such as: [ccProd]Twister[/ccProd], [ccProd]DNA Surgery[/ccProd], [ccProd]Light-Imprisoning Mirror[/ccProd], [ccProd]Debunk[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd], [ccProd]Mistake[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Divine Wrath[/ccProd]. Of course many of those cards fall to Decree, but that’s if you can see it early enough or that it doesn’t fall to any S/T removal. Bujins don’t have the greatest early game either as it takes a few turns to get a decent amount of protection in the grave through Yamato’s effect, so if you can’t see any of your floodgate cards then it is easy for many decks to take control of the game early on before you can even get set up. Going 2nd with any deck right now isn’t good, but it’s more unfortunate with Bujins because of how important it is to get Yamato’s effect off T1, and summoning it into backrows isn’t always smart and taking a turn to wait for Decree to get flipped if you have it can set you back. If the deck becomes a common sight at events, side deck cards like Swords of Concealing Light or Creature Swap in Mermails might start to see play.
It will be interesting to see the effects that this has on upcoming events and if the deck will become a popular choice for Circuit Series Las Vegas on March 15-16, 2014 (Click on the pic at the bottom for info) and YCS Chicago in about a month. Let me know in the comments below if there any other decks that you guys think I should write about that have been getting played more lately. Until next time!