Recently we experienced the first event in the ARG Circuit Series in Ft. Worth. This event took premier event competition to the next level: the match coverage was thorough, statistics were published, interviews were conducted, the prize support was tremendous, and the average player was unusually higher in skill level than what you’d find at typical tournaments this size. Those who weren’t able to make Ft. Worth will surely want to attend ARG Circuit Series Columbus the weekend of October 12, which will certainly be just as, if not more, successful than its predecessor.
Today we examine two decks that were dominating forces in their respective ages. Zombiesworn defined the meta in what was a format that favored technical play-the format that saw Gale go to 1 copy per deck and [ccProd]Card of Safe Return[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Dark Strike Fighter[/ccProd] go to 0. T.G. Agents came in a later era the following year. Before T.G. Agents, there was just regular Agent Hyperion, which won Worlds in 2011. Can you believe it? [ccProd]Master Hyperion[/ccProd] has been in a deck that has won worlds, but not [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment[/ccProd]. Oftentimes we can learn from looking at historical deck lists. Let’s take a look at Satoshi Kato’s Zombiesworn deck from Nashville. Kato and ARG’s own Hoban placed 1st and 4th, respectively, at this same SJC.
Extra: 14[ccDeck="Extra Deck"]1 Magical Android:1 Ally of Justice Catastor:2 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier:1 Doomkaiser Dragon:1 Revived King Ha Des:1 Goyo Guardian:1 Tempest Magician:1 Colossal Fighter:1 Red Dragon Archfiend:1 Black Rose Dragon:1 Stardust Dragon:1 Mist Wurm:1 Dark End Dragon[/ccDeck]
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Philip Barnhart’s Zombiesworn[ccDeck="Main Deck"]3 Zombie Master:3 Goblin Zombie:3 Pyramid Turtle:3 Ryu Kokki:2 Mezuki:2 Plaguespreader Zombie:2 Spirit Reaper:3 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter:2 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner:2 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin:2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress:1 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast:1 Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior:1 Aurkus, Lightsworn Druid:1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk:2 Judgment Dragon:1 Chaos Sorcerer:1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning:3 Book of Life:1 Foolish Burial:1 Charge of the Light Brigade[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]3 Revived King Ha Des:3 Gaia Knight, The Force of Earth:3 Iron Chain Dragon:2 Crimson Blader:1 Scrap Dragon:1 Stardust Dragon:1 Red Dragon Archfiend:1 Thought Ruler Archfiend[/ccDeck]
My initial impression upon looking at the list is that I see several cards that don’t make lost games winnable. Another way to say that is: cutting these cards will not lose you winnable games. Will I lose games because I didn’t run that third copy of Gaia or Revived King Ha Des? Will I lose games because I don’t run Ryu Kokki or Jain? These are the questions to be asking. When I am filling those last few slots in a deck, I am looking for clutch cards that will steal the games I would otherwise lose: cards that will get me out of a bad position. A battle-recruited Ryu Kokki or a beatstick like Jain will hardly make the one for one trade. These monsters serve poorly in the role of advancing one’s gamestate.
Mezuki and Plaguespreader at 2 is the strategy to abuse. We learn from Yugioh history that [ccProd]Burial from a Different Dimension[/ccProd] was a critical combo piece in Zombiesworn format. It continues your plays at the moment your opponent thinks your resources are spent. Plus it has the best icon in the game: quickplay spell (yes, better even than counter trap). Same turn usage and chainability are huge.
If we’re running Lightsworns, we have little reason not to run our own themed draw card. [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd] will set up a win condition and get things going earlier in the game. Since this deck has combo pieces, I think it stands to gain from running Maxx “C,” a card that works well in combo decks for its ability to punish opposing plays by giving you combo pieces.
When you run Maxx “C” you also want something protective to draw into. Zombiesworn doesn’t do well as a trap-heavy deck, although Satoshi showed us that it can side into a defensive, heavy trap lineup. The alternative, then, is a protective hand trap like [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] or Gorz. I would also side D.D. Crow for Dragunity, Dragons, and Infernity.
Judgment Dragon makes for a bad opening in a deck that already has many bad opening cards (like a playset of Book of Life). It doesn’t fit well here, but if you wish to continue running it, cut the hand traps to add JD and more Lightsworn names. I have a friend currently working on a variant of this deck with Card Trooper thrown in the mix. This is an alternative to consider if you want to cut additional Lightsworns.
-3 Ryu Kokki
-2 Pyramid Turtle
-2 Judgment Dragon
+2 Maxx “C”
+2 Effect Veiler
+2 Necro Gardna
+3 Solar Recharge
+1 Burial from a Different Dimension
+1 [ccProd]Allure of Darkness[/ccProd]
-3 Iron Chain
-2 Gaia Knight
-2 Revived King
-1 Crimson Blader
-1 Red Dragon
-1 Thought Ruler
+1 Tempest Magician
+1 [ccProd]HTS Psyhemuth[/ccProd] +1 Armades, Keeper of Boundaries
+1 [ccProd]Arcanite Magician[/ccProd] +1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
+1 [ccProd]Mechquipped Angineer[/ccProd] +1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
+1 Number 66: Master Key Beetle
+1 [ccProd]Maestroke the Symphony Djinn[/ccProd] +1 [ccProd]Gagaga Cowboy[/ccProd] +1 [ccProd]Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccProd]
[ccDeck="Main Deck"]3 Zombie Master:3 Goblin Zombie:1 Pyramid Turtle:2 Mezuki:2 Plaguespreader Zombie:2 Spirit Reaper:2 Maxx “C”:2 Effect Veiler:2 Necro Gardna:2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter:2 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner:2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress:1 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast:1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk:1 Chaos Sorcerer:1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness:1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning:3 Book of Life:3 Solar Recharge:1 Burial from a Different Dimension:1 Foolish Burial:1 Allure of Darknes:1 Charge of the Light Brigade[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]1 Armades, Keeper of Boundaries:1 Revived King Ha Des:1 Gaia Knight, The Force of Earth:1 Tempest Magician:1 HTS Psyhemuth:1 Arcanite Magician:1 Crimson Blader:1 Scrap Dragon:1 Wind-Up Zenmaines:1 Mechquipped Angineer:1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn:1 Number 66: Master Key Beetle:1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn:1 Gagaga Cowboy:1 Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccDeck]
In the side I recommend [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd]s, D.D. Crow, [ccProd]Needle Ceiling[/ccProd], Thunder King Rai-Oh, and protective traps.
James Strah’s T.G Agents
[ccDeck="Main Deck"]1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning:1 Chaos Sorcerer:1 Archlord Kristya:3 Master Hyperion:3 The Agent of Mystery – Earth:1 The Agent of – Jupiter:3 The Agent of Creation – Venus:3 Mystical Shine Ball:2 T.G. Striker:3 T.G. Warwolf:1 T.G. Rush Rhino:1 Honest:2 Herald of Orange Light:2 Effect Veiler:2 Tragoedia:1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness:2 Pot of Duality:2 Forbidden Lance:1 Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen:1 Creature Swap:1 Enemy Controller:1 Mind Control:1 Dark Hole:2 Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccDeck]
No Extra Deck so far!
The addition of Transmodify to the card pool makes Agents significantly more playable in the current game. It can turn Earth into Venus the same turn Earth is summoned, turn Shine Ball into Venus, and either into [ccProd]Banisher of the Radiance[/ccProd] (which you would side). There are drawbacks to TransAgents that Tyler discussed in a recent Deck Doctor article. The main issue raised was that Transmodify left you with a pointless Venus in hand or could only turn bad hands into still bad but more playable hands.
T.G. Agents are going to focus a lot more on the synchro summon aspect. Extra Deck monsters that other decks would rarely summon, such as [ccProd]Armory Arm[/ccProd], [ccProd]Ancient Sacred Wyvern[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Mist Wurm[/ccProd], are the norm when you play T.G. Agents. As I examine the list, it seems levels 5, 7, and 8 will be the most important synchro results you aim for, although all levels are available to an extent.
Tragoedia, Shine Balls, and access to at least 4 different tuners enable these plays. But what about [ccProd]Genex Ally Birdman[/ccProd]? He went to 1 in September because of the degenerate loop-like OTKs he enables. He also used to be staple in 2011 Agents, back when Trishula was a regular customer. I like him a lot for combos. Thunder King was also staple in that time period, and the one copy we are allowed to run is a good addition to the deck. [ccProd]Dragon Ravine[/ccProd], [ccProd]Terraforming[/ccProd], [ccProd]Gold Sarcophagus[/ccProd], [ccProd]Sacred Sword of Seven Stars[/ccProd], [ccProd]White Stone of Legend[/ccProd], and the Big Dragon effects are all either nullified or mitigated when you can protect a Thunder King against Dragon Ruler variants.
The spell lineup reflects a degree of influence from Simon He’s Agents, boasting versatile control cards like Enemy Controller, Mind Control, and Creature Swap. I’m less inclined to agree with Lance, Hole, and Valhalla, as there are alternative cards I would run in Agents which can stop a push against your Thunder King or your established board, such as Warning and Maxx “C.”
-1 Rush Rhino
-1 Dark Hole
+1 Thunder King
+2 Maxx “C”
+2 Fiendish Chain
Final List[ccDeck="Main Deck"]1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning:1 Chaos Sorcerer:1 Archlord Kristya:3 Master Hyperion:3 The Agent of Mystery – Earth:3 The Agent of Creation – Venus:3 Mystical Shine Ball:2 T.G. Striker:3 T.G. Warwolf:1 Honest:1 Genex Ally Birdman:1 Thunder King Rai-Oh:2 Herald of Orange Light:2 Effect Veiler:2 Maxx “C”:2 Tragoedia:1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness:2 Pot of Duality:1 Creature Swap:1 Enemy Controller:1 Mind Control:2 Fiendish Chain:1 Solemn Warning[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]1 Armory Arm:1 Ally of Justice Catastor:1 Armades, Keeper of Boundaries:1 Gaia Knight, the Force of the Earth:1 Ancient Sacred Wyvern:1 Ancient Fairy Dragon:1 Black Rose Dragon:1 Stardust Dragon:1 Scrap Dragon:1 Crimson Blader:1 Mist Wurm:1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu:1 Herald of Pure Light:1 Daigusto Phoenix:1 Number 96 Dark Mist[/ccDeck]
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Until next time,
Play Hard or Go Home.