Hey there Kaijudo Duelists, Aiden Thorne here and today we will be going over the second card in my new mini-series, “Tier 1 Card Reviews”. You are going to quickly find that my views vary greatly compared to most of the other competitive players out there (Or at least, they did). Frankly, I don’t believe our meta is as diverse and healthy as everyone claims it to be; just because your local has different decks every week doesn't mean they are all competitive.
For those of you who followed my progress through Seattle's Kaijudo Championship, then you know I did not perform very well at all. This was for a number reasons ranging from poor meta calls, lack of sleep, no practice, and unfortunate pairings. I was paired to my best friend, Bryan Anderson, round 1 where he managed to steal what I thought was an unwinnable game for him with [ccProd]Kurrugar of the Hordes[/ccProd]—variance is indeed good. After that I managed to get to 3-1, but I had the weakest tiebreakers which kept me hovering around 16th place from round one all the way to round five. In round five I played probably one of most fun matches I had all day with Ricky Gross where I was spanked by 9birds which was a strong counter to my list. After that loss and being 3-2 I looked at the pairings sheet and realized that even if I won I had no chance of making Top 8, so I decided I was going to have fun on my last round to see if I could win the giant Kalima card; even if I had won I was intending to give my opponent the win—he had a chance at making it and I didn't. All and all, the trip itself was a blast and well worth the experience. I'm expecting to be back there for the winter champs (I hope)!
Now that we have that out of the way, I'll also dispel some rumors. I am not quitting Kaijudo. I have no intention of quitting anytime soon, I will likely be playing this game for its entirety. The reason for my lack of content lately has been because of school related issues and timing of events making free time nonexistent, but that seems to be working itself out. Glad we got that out of the way! I just rambled for half this article entirely off topic, but at least I have a card choice no one will ever argue with and a few 'pro tips' to show you why this card is so bonkers:
Tier 1 Card Review #2: King Tritonus[ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] is currently the best finisher in the game, and truthfully one of the most obnoxious cards to deal with. When [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] hits the board you immediately get to draw up to five cards, and rounding that off with the fact that [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] is a triple breaker could instantly put you near lethal.
How do you effectively answer [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd]? You can't. The +5 will almost always generate more threats, which means you need to handle them so you'll need a [ccProd]Skull Shatter[/ccProd] or something similar. That doesn't deal with the massive 15000 triple breaking leviathan though, and let's not forget he can lock creatures down with every spell cast—this even works defensively with shield blasts. That's not all though! He also gives your other water creatures +4000 power! [ccProd]Aqua Strider[/ccProd] is striding around as an 8000 blocking everybody. Even [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd]' race of leviathan has become a problem when coupled with cards like [ccProd]King Coral[/ccProd]!
So how do you play [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] effectively? Luckily, this play is much easier to determine than [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd]. If you aren't in a position where you could instantly lose the game, there is almost no fear in casting [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd]—keep in mind that he is not always the optimal play though. Casting [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] into an instant [ccProd]Skull Shatter[/ccProd] when you had an empty board can be game deciding, but that can also work to your benefit in some match ups *cough*[ccProd]Slumbering Titan[/ccProd]*cough*. Base these judgments entirely off game state knowledge, and I am fully confident everyone will be able to decipher when it is and isn't the optimal play to draw five cards. For obvious reasons, [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] works best in control-esque decks, but he has even seen play alongside the dragons.
One of the questions I asked most pertaining specifically to [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] is what do you do if they cast one before you do? Well, this can be addressed in a number of different ways, but the most efficient way would be to look at your available options. Can you answer the +5 cards? Can you live a turn if you do? Is dealing with [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] the better play? Do you know what they play that could potentially be a huge problem if they drew it? Should you play your own [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] in response? This is generally a very difficult question to answer without the answer being entirely subjective to a specific board state. Optimal plays are not always linear and easy to decipher; what is right sometimes will not be right all the time. I've written articles on using game state knowledge to make successful judgments and ARG has articles available to help your decision making process, but quite frankly I can not give you an 'end all be all' answer; look at your options and decide what the best one is based on the information you have and the inferences you can make. I generally opt to not summon my own [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] against the mirror just in case they drew a [ccProd]Skull Shatter[/ccProd] or have a way of getting it (Which is quite likely after drawing 5 cards), but if I've seen a [ccProd]Skull Shatter[/ccProd] or two already, or I know that my deck still has potential late game dead draws I'll cast [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] and draw cards one at a time to make sure I don't draw all my reliable answers if this play doesn't work out.
Pro Tip #1: Constrict Is Real
Constrict is arguably one of the most potent abilities in the game right now. It effectively locks down a creature of your choice, and when you couple that with something like [ccProd]Piercing Judgment[/ccProd] it means that up to three creatures are dealt with that turn; it only gets worse the more [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] you have out. My favorite play with constrict? You can cast spells even if they would effectively 'do nothing' just to activate constrict. This means you can cast [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd] even if there is no target just to lock a creature down with the constrict ability—this has won me games when I dug through my deck for my only remaining [ccProd]Dark Return[/ccProd] to be a two cost disable.
Pro Tip #2: You Draw Five Cards
Drawing 5 cards in general is absolutely nuts, but in Kaijudo you are allowed to draw the cards individually before deciding the total number you want to draw. This means you do not need to announce a designated number of cards to draw; you can instead draw them one at a time until you decide you don't want to draw anymore—this effectively can decide mirror matches. Go forth and draw cards to your heart's content, you can draw up to five!
Pro Tip #3: +4000 Makes A Difference (For Real)
I see people forget about this ability all the time. It is actually something that really surprised me, because I have won quite a few games off the fact that some of my other creatures were strong enough to help me board wipe my opponent. [ccProd]Aqua Strider[/ccProd] becomes an 8000, [ccProd]Squillace Scourge[/ccProd] becomes a 12000, and even other [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] benefit from this ability—that was actually a real situation that happened to me in Seattle.
I said I would be ending each installment of these with a personal story, and I think I'll use the one I just referenced! It was round 3 at the Kaijudo Championship and I was 1-1 playing against Sammy Huda, he was playing dragons and was putting me on the ropes. I dropped a [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] and followed it up with another one; this caused us to have our boards just sitting there staring each other down, except I had just drawn ten cards...So I had plenty of spells to sling into the battlezone that would lock two creatures down each time I cast a spell, but the most important part was when he went to kill my [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] with [ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd] by using [ccProd]General Skycrusher[/ccProd]'s power attack and noticed that my second [ccProd]King Tritonu[/ccProd]s powered up the first to 19000—that +4000 is definitely real and that was the only reason I won that match, because [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] is absolutely bonkers. I hope you guys enjoyed this article, and I'll actually be writing another one this week to try and catch up!