Hey Kaijudo duelists, I’m Ricky Gross! I recently managed to take 6th place at the first Kaijudo Championship. Today, I’m going to share with you one of the main things I took away from this awesome experience.
On the first day of the first Kaijudo Championship, during the panel with Wizards R&D, they said that they were surprised at the maturity level of the game’s player base so far. This stuck with me since then and is the main reason I’ve been brewing a lot of decks since the championship. I definitely see their point; I mean The Hive Queen was printed in Clash of the Duel Masters and yet it wasn’t until near the end of the season that someone found the Megabugs deck, and since then it’s been a driving force in the meta. The cards were there, we just didn’t find the deck. Also during the panel they said they gave us Magris, the Magnetizer as a Duel Day promo for a reason. Then the very next day Christian Van Hoose aka CVH and Carl Miciotto aka EarthP0w3R piloted a mono light rush deck designed by Nathan Bond to 3rd and 9th place finishes. Again the cards were there we just didn’t find the deck. It’s hard to tell how many decks there have been that we haven’t found, and this is why we should brew. With all the players in this game, there are probably several decks that someone has thought of and either never put together to test or only done limited testing and then pushed aside for something already well-established when in actuality they were real contenders. Now in a lot of situations this may be correct as playing a well-established deck that you are comfortable with will more likely than not provide better results, also not every brew will break the meta or even be very good for that matter. Now it may seem sound like I’m dissuading you from brewing new decks but just think, if every player thoroughly tested every deck that they wanted to build, even though that may sound a little unrealistic, we would discover several decks that would be contenders in the meta, as well as several pieces of new technology for existing decks.
At the championship Bobby Brake took down the whole thing with WDL leviathan control, an interesting take on an already well-established archetype. King Coral is a powerful card and alongside strong finishers like King Tritonus and Squillace Scourge it can be a nightmare for a lot of decks. Of course I’m not telling you something you don’t already know. Now the main reason I chose this topic is that based on what we’ve seen from Shattered Alliances so far it looks to be the most meta shaking set since Dragonstrike Infernus, and this is the perfect time for brewers. Being a deckbuilder when a set like this comes out will be like being a kid in a candy store. There will surely be a plethora of new archetypes as well as a resurgence of old ones. For the people who complain about having a stale metagame, now is the time to remedy that. The fact that we are getting enemy civilization color combinations may not seem like that big of a deal, but adding tools and mana fixing to decks like WDN and FWL will certainly impact the game.
For example, the two most played and certainly best rush strategies are mono fire and mono light. After Shattered Alliances gets released on September 13th I would not at all be surprised to see Fire/Light become the premiere rush deck. A deck like mono fire rush with access to a card like Keeper of Laws or a mono light rush deck with a second 1 mana creature that can attack shields in Blaze Belcher, as well as gaining cards like Gilaflame, The Assaulter seems like an extremely potent strategy.
Rush decks won’t be the only decks getting a boost. Cards like Queen Kalima and Queen Eternal Haven have a ton of hype for control decks to be built around them. Kalima has a potentially game breaking effect in the right deck and Haven is incredibly hard to deal with. Both cards will surely find a home. Control decks getting shiny new toys is surely something we’re used to, but when a set is released it isn’t just cards for control and unplayable cards. There are tons of possibilities for rush decks and midrange decks alike.
Exploring possibilities in new sets, and older sets for that matter is one of the most fun things about the game now for me. The biggest advantage for me when brewing decks is that it gives me an excuse to play more Kaijudo! When it boils down to it we are all here to play some Kaijudo.
We’ve seen how going rogue has paid off in the past, but we need to look forward. The previous KMC season was dominated by WDL Control variants and Dragon decks and I have hope that things will change. With new cards coming out for all kinds of deck strategies the meta has the opportunity to be open and diverse, which in a card game is something you strive for. While some players may enjoy metas with 1-2 powerful go-to archetypes, I’m relatively sure that they are in the minority. Going into a tournament like a KMC and being able to walk in the door and play one of several different strategies, and with solid play skill, be able to do well will certainly make this game more enjoyable for everyone involved.
We are in the beginning stages of this game, and things will only get better. The farther this game goes, the more sets that get released, the greater this game will be. All I want is for all of us to get the most out of every meta this game has to offer. Each set release we get new cards and with new cards come new decks, we just have to find them. Some people have already found them and dismissed them. I do the best I can to keep track of the list for every deck I play because sometimes the thing you’re looking for is something you’ve already thought of or played and looking back on older decklists can be very helpful in seeing what might be the right call for a tournament.
Take the championship for example. Bobby won with control but Greed Dragons or it’s new incarnation “Birds of War” put up huge numbers when previously that type of deck had fallen out of favor in the face of massive 50-60 card control decks and aggressive decks with good tempo cards such as Rusalka, Aqua Chaser and General Finbarr. However despite it’s lack of positive results in recent weeks players tweaked their lists and came to the conclusion that it was the best deck for the tournament and several players, including myself, had good success. While I was there I saw several other decks that had previously dropped off in favor of more popular strategies such as Blurple and Saberbolt, with cool new tech choices to combat the fields more powerful decks. Not every “new” deck is a new deck. Adapting new strategies and tech cards into older archetypes to compete with the more represented decks in the meta also creates diversity. When I played in the Oakmont, Pennsylvania KMC I piloted a version of Aqua Saberbolt updated with cards from Clash of the Duel Masters such as General Finbarr, Crimson Wyvern, and Weaponized Razorcat. I took the deck to a 10th place finish out of 63 players which in the end was disappointing but along the way I beat 2 mono fire rush decks, a WDL control deck, and a Megabugs deck. While I did drop a match to some unfortunate shield blasted Bottle of Wishes and another to a couple miserable hands, I still feel like it was the correct deck choice for the event.
So when you look at a card and you think of possible interactions with it, try to see what will come of it. Build a deck. Don’t just try to build a good or bad deck, just build a deck, whether it’s good or bad will come with testing and tweaking. If you think it has potential take it to your local Duel Day and see how things go. As long as it’s a deck you enjoy playing, whether it ends up being the next best thing or not, you’re going to have fun. Who knows it might be a winner.
I hope everyone enjoys my first article. Just remember, whether you’re dusting off an old favorite or exploring something new altogether, you don’t always have to stick to the same old song and dance. Brew, build, and let’s make this game as great and enjoyable as it can be.