Hey there, Kaijudo duelists! This week I want to talk about a few decks I've probably mentioned in past articles, but haven't really gotten too deep into. These are the decks that don't necessarily come to mind first when someone thinks about the top decks right now, but could win you a local as easily as they could slip through the cracks.
Everyone knows that there are just certain dominant decks running around right now; I've gone on and on about them, as have many other YouTubers and article writers. These are decks like Blurple (Water/Darkness with Hydra Medusa and Emperor Neuron), Water/Darkness/Fire control, and Water/Fire/Nature Aggro. In a local scene dominated by a combination of these decks, it's important to analyze one's options and not overlook other strategies that could prove just as potent. I hope to cover a few of them in this article and explain why they might be good calls.
There aren't as many "true" control decks running around as there were before Evo Fury. Even the number of W/D/F control builds has somewhat diminished. Most decks right now focus more on the early/mid-game than the more conservative control builds. However, that doesn't mean that a few versions of them beyond W/D/F aren't still potent. A build I've been finding some success with is W/D/F/N. Think of a typical W/D/F build, and then add a playset each of Tendril Grasp, Gigahorn Charger, and Reap and Sow, and you'll get a very basic idea of what I'm talking about.
The Gigahorn Chargers allow the deck to function much more as a late-game deck, allowing for the constant retrieval of any finisher for the situation, such as Bolt=Tail Dragon or Tatsurion the Unchained. Tendril Grasp is without a doubt one of the powerhouse cards of the metagame, and it can shut down problematic Blurple decks. Reap and Sow is definitely one of the stronger cards for control as well, allowing the player to get deeper into his or her deck while mana-ramping and choosing whichever card is better for the situation. The mana acceleration might seem unimportant, but just being able to cast even one Reap and Sow in the control mirror can help you win the race to Skull Shatter. Gigahorn and Reap and Sow also give this deck an edge on other decks by giving it a high number of cards that can be excellent topdecks late game. All in all, even though control decks like this have been seeing a decline in play in many areas, they're still very viable and I thoroughly suggest a build like that to anyone wno wants to play that style.
It seems as though the only three Evo-lines really being used to a wide extent are Cyber Lords, Beast Kin and Chimeras. Without a doubt, they are all very strong centerpieces to a variety of decks, but other lesser-used races such as Enforcers can do a ton of damage in the right decks. I talked in my last article about how good the turn two Cloudwalker Drone to turn three Blinder Beetle progression is, and I stand by that. Even when the opponent sees it coming and tries to play around it, there really are few ways to avoid it without losing momentum in the early game. What really make this race shine are its Evolutions; Sparkblade Protector has merit because it comes out the earliest of the three currently released, but I'm more specifically talking about Cobalt, the Storm Knight and Halon, Paragon of Light
Cobalt is a creature that I wasn't thrilled about. For an Evolution, it doesn't have the best level-to-power ratio, and that can cause people to easily pass it by. Recently, I've come to change my mind about the card, and I think a lot of that has to do with a more accurate assessment of the kinds of creatures being played right now. Hydra Medusa and Emperor Neuron are both 5000 power, and Blurple decks usually cap out at 6000 with Dark Scaradorable. Obviously it isn't good to have your Cobalt get Hydra Medusad, but Cobalt serves as an excellent answer to any of those tapped creatures, and its effect can undo some of the damage that might have happened from their attacks. As I mentioned when I was talking about decks like Aggro and Blurple, they have to break their opponents' shields fairly steadily through their attacks, and Cobalt can make them do that more than they were ready for, giving you more of a chance to sue those cards to your advantage.
However, though Cobalt gets over all thsoe threats and all the non-Evo Tatrusions currently released, its power pales in comparison to the likes of Bolt-Tail Dragon and Bronze-Arm Sabertooth. That's where Halon, Paragon of Light comes into play. With its huge body, it can run over almost all the commonly played creatures with the exception of Flamespike Tatsurion, and really counterbalances Cobalt to make for a deadly pair of Evolutions in decks such as Water/Dark/Light control and Water/Light aggro.
Mono-civ decks are a tricky subject, as they sacrifice the versatility of a 2+ civilization deck for the ability to focus on one specific strategy and utilize the effects of cards that benefit from having all of your mana the same civilization. I decided to bring them up mostly because of a recent article on Kaijudo.com going over a mono-Nature beatdown strategy. I'm not a huge fan of mono-Nature myself, but I do consider mono-Darkness, mono-Fire, and mono-Water very capable decks when built carefully and piloted correctly.
Every civilization right now has one creature that gets an additional effect when all the cards in your mana zone are the same civilization; Darkness might have the best one. Scavanging Chimera has a lot going for it, coming out very early witha power of 3000. Its best uses, however, actually come mid to late-game, as it can continuously put the pressure on as well as get back cards such as Hydra Medusa and Tekrmora to re-use. Its main weakness is the abundance of Screeching Scaradorables being played right now, but that comes with the territory of being cheap Evo-bait.. and as a bonus, mono-Darkness can use a set of Screechings as well!
Mono-Water is something I haven't tested too much, but I do feel like it deserves mention just for how effective Emperor Neuron can be early game. It also has the most consistent draw of any of the mono-civ decks, being able to run Logos Scan, Aqua Seneschal, Neuron and more, so at the very least it almost never runs out of steam. Its main weakness comes in not having a solid answer to large finishers like Bolt-Tail, since its power caps out at Emperor Axon's 6000, but certain builds can play around those to some extent with bounce such as Rusalka and Veil Vortex. Mono-Fire is another deck I haven't really tested, but it was run to some success at my local a few weeks ago, and I think it speaks to the testament of Drakons, another race which people have sort of gravitated away from. Mono-Fire allows you to run Drakon Warchief to expand on Fire's speed, but in general I just think Drakons deserve more attention, both as a mono-Fire deck and in conjunction with other civilizations such as Water, for the use of the Cyber Lord line.
Well, that about covers it I think! I just wanted to touch on some decks that I definitely consider viable that have been seeing a decrease in play, and hopefully convince some of you to spice things up if your local has developed into any sort of stale metagame. There are a ton of powerful strategies out there, and none of them deserve to be discounted. Sometimes, simply running a surprising choice such as one of the above can give you the edge you need to win the tournament, through your opponents not really knowing how to deal with your strategy. As always, leave a comment down below with your thoughts and any other decks you think are viable in the current meta that I may have skipped over; there are a lot I simply didn't have room for! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for next week!