The Basics of Rush – Drakons

Welcome back, Kaijudo players!  Well, since I've gone over typical control and aggro decks in the last couple weeks, I figure I might as well show you all the third main type of deck that will probably be seen for a long time in Kaijudo: Rush.

Rush is widely regarded as the simplest strategy in the game, and for good reason.  It has a very narrow strategy, and can't adapt to a wide array of different late-game scenarios like most control and aggro decks can.  However, when built right, it doesn't necessarily need to, as the idea is to end the game by around turn five or six.  To achieve the most consistency with this goal in mind, the rush deck almost never runs creatures above level four, and doesn't really need to worry about card advantage.  Generally included are fast attackers, and complimenting the hordes of attackers are usually various ways to kill blockers, such as Comet Missile.

In Kaijudo's previous incarnation, Duel Masters, rush decks were able reach a high level of consistency because of the ability to run four copies of any card.  However, in Kaijudo, a combination of only being able to run three copies of any card along with the game still being in its early stages makes building this deck effectively rather hard.  There isn't as much guarantee of having a play on turns one and two.  However, the deck is still incredibly viable, and one of the reasons is a card we found in the Rise of the Duel Masters set.

The Drakon Lineup

In Rise of the Duel Masters, a card was released called Blastforge Slaver that I nearly overlooked.  It's a level 3 Fire Creature that gives each of your other Drakons +2000 power.  Upon testing of the rush idea, it proved to be an extremely potent card for the strategy, giving some much needed power to the early attackers and helping them to dodge cards like Barrage, which can be a huge detriment to the strategy.  Fire was already pretty much necessary for all rush decks because of the speed it offers, and there are a few Drakons which work perfectly with Slaver.

Gilaflame the Assaulter is already the king of all things aggressive, and for good reason.  A fast attacker that can evade much of the commonly played removal, it also boasts 5000 power.  The only ways to really deal with Gilaflame outside of shield blasts are blockers and discard, and Blastforge Slaver makes most early game blockers practically useless against this guy.  Following a turn three Slaver up with Gilaflame puts it at 7000 power, able to beat over Frogzooka and Keeper of Twilight like it's nothing.

Drakon Weaponsmith was already being run in almost every rush deck because it was one of the few level two creatures.  Blastforge Slaver just makes it even better.  The upside of the card is that it goes up to 3000 when attacking, but the obvious downside is its 1000 base power, allowing things like Aqua Seneschal to beat over it.  Slaver solves this problem by putting it just out of range of these other attackers, while giving him more power on attacking than any current level two blocker in the game.

Super Bazooka Volcanodon wasn't really used in rush decks before Rise of the Duel Masters either, as most players were put off by its low base power for a level three creature.  Since Slaver puts him at 3000 just like Weaponsmith, he's become one of the best choices out there recently, with the possibility of a decent base power in addition to his incredible Power Attack +4000, putting him well beyond the reach of most early-game blockers.

The Builds

As with my aggro article, I will now give you two examples of possible rush-type decks using this basic engine of Drakons.  Both attempt to end the game within the early turns, though they use different supporting civilizations along with fire to accomplish that.

Water/Fire Rush - Gordon Hunt

3 Blaze Belcher
2 Kenina the Igniter
3 Drakon Weaponsmith
3 Super Bazooka Volcanodon
3 Blastforge Slaver
3 Gilaflame the Assaulter
3 Comet Missile
3 Tornado Flame
2 Overcharge

3 Reef-Eye
3 Aqua Seneschal
3 Rusalka, Aqua Chaser
3 Logos Scan
3 Ice Blades

Fire: 25
Water: 15
Total: 40

Though I still classify this deck as "rush" because of its exclusive use of level four and lower creatures, the way Gordon built it allows it to function as an aggro deck if need be; that is to say, if the game does happen to last longer than five or six turns, the deck can still function.  It has a lower amount of turn two plays than other rush decks, using Reef-Eye over another attacker to give it a better mirror match against opposing rushes, but compensates for the slight lack of speed with the draw power found in Water.

Aqua Seneschal allows Gordon to remain on the offensive while maintaining a hand, fueling his assault by letting him draw into more attackers and removal.  Logos Scan serves the same purpose and is a great counter to the discard found in control decks.  Another hidden treasure for rush decks found in Water is Rusalka, Aqua Chaser.  As a Veil Vortex on a body, it allows for the effective removal of a blocker for a turn, along with the possibility of another attacker on the following turn.  This gives the deck a total of twelve cards it can draw to get rid of a blocker right then and there, along with the two Overcharge.  All of this removal coupled with the draw power makes this definitely a viable deck even without the speed of more traditional rush decks.

Fire/Light Rush

3 Blaze Belcher
3 Kenina the Igniter
3 Drakon Weaponsmith
3 Super Bazooka Volcanodon
3 Blastforge Slaver
3 Gilaflame the Assaulter
2 Draglide the Swiftest
3 Comet Missile
2 Tornado Flame

3 Magris the Magnetizer
3 Stalker Sphere
3 Blinder Beetle
3 Shaw K'Naw
3 Stormspark Blast

Fire: 25
Light: 15
Total: 40

Here's an example of a more traditional rush deck!  The same basic fire core is enhanced by Light's Magris and Stalker Sphere, allowing for six more attackers that can be played by the second turn.  Blinder Beetle and Shaw K'Naw both serve as ways to tap opposing blockers to hopefully swing for the game.  Shaw K'Naw requires the player to wait a turn, but both can be incredibly useful.  This deck has a much harder time functioning after around turn five if it doesn't already have a solid field presence, but the addition of more lower-level attackers and the tap is designed to help counterbalance that fact.  Stormspark Blast makes an appearance here simply because it can lose the opponent the game if they hit it in your shields while you have a creature or two on the field.  It makes it necessary for them to keep your field clear every turn, which isn't always possible.  In the rare instance the rush player reaches six mana with a field, it can also do a lot of damage from the hand.

Well, that about wraps it up for Rush.  There's not a whole lot to say about it yet, but it is generally the simplest strategy out there.  I would personally recommend building a Rush deck for a new player learning the basics of the game.  All the cards are relatively cheap and it can still be a very effective deck despite its simplicity, making it something that control and aggro players definitely have to take into account when deck building.

As always, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the article, and with what you would want to see me write about in future articles, and just to let me know you guys are reading!  There's still a month and a half to go until the Evo Fury expansion set hits shelves, and I'm sure I'll be writing about that as soon as we get some news on what it includes.  Next week, we might hold a booster draft tournament at our local league, so I may write about how that transpires, since drafting a 180 card set is sure to be interesting.  In the meantime, I hope you all have a good week and also look into getting some locals started at your local leagues, if you haven't already.  See you next time, guys!