Well, fellow Kaijudo duelists, we’ve finally made it – the release of Dragonstrike Infenus is upon us! It’s been a while since we’ve had a new set to shake up the card pool, and DSI is going to do the trick for sure. In addition, the first run of Duel Days start next month, and Kaijudo Master Challenges begin in May, so we’ll be in this new metagame for our first taste of real, competitive Kaijudo! In this article, I’m going to go over some of the cards that have really stood out to me since they’ve been previewed and give my predictions on what kinds of decks we might see thrive in the next couple of months. I’ve done limited testing with proxies of the new set and I’m writing this before I actually have it in my hands, so obviously there will be decks that come to light in the coming weeks that I might have missed, but hopefully I can provide some valuable insight nonetheless.
As I mentioned in my previous article, dragons get a lot of support, which makes sense considering the set’s name. Though they fell out of favor for a while in the last few months in favor of more consistent decks such as Blurple, Saber-Bolt, and Cobalt Control, it looks like dragons will be coming back in a variety of forms. Traditionally, Water/Fire/Nature was the combination used the most for Hyperspeed Dragon decks, but this set opens up even more opportunities. Each civilization got its own Fire Bird that reduces the cost of your dragons, in addition to having some other neat effect. They're all interesting in their own ways, though I’m particularly interested in Lux and Nix. Lux is great because it’s very easy to summon, being level two, and can even save your dragons from removal such as Terror Pit after you get them on the field. Because of this, I can see Water/Fire/Light being one of the most viable combinations for dragons, and it was one of the first things my team gravitated towards in testing.
Light has also been given one of the more extraordinary dragons, in my opinion: Lyra, the Blazing Sun. Its ability to freeze one of your opponents creatures for a turn has been amazing in testing, giving you extra time to deal with opposing threats. In addition, it does a lot of work against the Saber-Bolt matchup because a Bronze-Arm Sabertooth that is evolved on a tapped Beast Kin comes into the battle zone tapped, greatly reducing its impact. Andromeda of the Citadel, the Light super rare, is another of the standout cards. As Cobalt has proven over the last few months, shield regeneration can be incredibly annoying to play against and Andromeda does that with a huge amount of power as well.
Of course, each of the civilizations have been given dragons with a lot of merit; to name a few, Dragon of Reflections is the first real shield manipulation we’ve been given, and I’m sure it will find a place in a lot of control decks. Dracothane of the Abyss will also probably make its mark in certain decks, as it can retrieve copies of Fumes, Rusalka, or Gilaflame from the discard pile. With the addition of cards such as Kurragar of the Hordes and Andromeda, I’m sure we will also be seeing more ramp decks being built to take advantage of these level nine powerhouses, and it will be interesting to see how consistent these builds can be in the coming months.
Control is something that I think could easily make a comeback with the help of DSI, which I'm grateful for, being a control player at heart. Though these new dragons such as Infernus the Awakened and Dracothane are obviously great for decks centered on dragons, I’m sure many of them will find a home in various control builds, as a strong finisher lineup is always welcome in those types of decks. Infernus itself is a powerhouse, with a come-into-play effect as well as the ability to completely lock down the game against certain decks, namely Blurple. Lyra, the Blazing Sun, which I already mentioned in regards to dragon decks, is a great card for control purposes as well. In addition, Andromeda can be a great asset to control’s late game; regenerating two shields can undo a lot of the hard work that a more aggro-oriented deck might have done earlier in the game, allowing you time to use all of the card advantage given to you from broken shields.
In addition to the dedicated support cards Dragonstrike gives us, there are a number of other interesting cards that could easily find their way into existing decks. One such card is Ragefire Tatsurion, a card highly similar to King Neptas. Its effect makes it rather desirable in a mono-Fire deck that overwhelms the field with Drakons, but quickly loses a hand. Ragefire could easily be used to finish the game in that case since it’s so hard to deal with when its effect is active. Speaking of Drakons, this type of deck got another pretty substantial boost in Branca the Treacherous and Burnclaw the Relentless, two creatures I mentioned in my last article.
One of the other cards that caught my eye could prove to help out another mono-civilization deck, mono-Darkness. Gloom Tomb is a level three Darkness spell that puts the top three cards of your deck in your discard pile, but then you return a creature from your discard pile to your hand. This isn’t an extraordinary card by itself, but coupled with an effect such as that of Scavenging Chimera, it can generate some pretty substantial advantage early on. One problem Scavenging Chimera had was that it usually didn’t have anything to get back in the first few turns it was in the battle zone, but playing Gloom Tomb on turn three after a Scavenging can potentially get you a creature off Tomb, and then another one when Scavenging attacks, giving you an early +1.
Blurple, a deck which has dominated for the last few months, also got at least one potential new addition in the form of Emperor Dendrite. In the earlier part of a game, this creature can function as a Rusalka with a much larger body. 6000 power with Double Breaker is definitely threatening, and with the potential rise in popularity of cards like Hyperspeed Dragon and the introduction of Herald of Infernus, Dendrite can actually target a lot of relevant creatures even with its restriction. It’s another evolution to be worried about in the Blurple deck, and it will probably be a major card in mono-Water as well, most likely replacing Emperor Axon.
Though I’ve done limited testing so far, I’m a firm believer that a lot of decks will thrive in the coming months. Blurple is still very strong, though it only got a couple potential additions, and Saber-Bolt and Cobalt Control will probably survive as good counters to a few of the dragon variants. With the new cards introduced, I expect to see a rise in those dragon variants, from Nature/Light ramp to Water/Nature/Fire, Water/Fire/Light and even others. Control without Cobalt is sure to make a name for itself again utilizing some of these dragons as finishers, and I’m personally excited to see what forms it takes. It looks like the meta will become very diverse over the next few weeks, leading into what should be a very successful first run of Kaijudo Master Challenges; I’m looking forward to writing about it all as it transpires! As always, leave a comment down below with your opinions on the new set and any testing results you’d care to share, and I’ll see you all next week!