(Disclaimer: If my figures are wrong here please correct me below. Thank you)
At the latest YCS in Kansas City there were a few trends/common cards used. I am sure you are all already aware of these cards and probably run them yourself. However, these are the cards I want you to pay specific attention too:
This card was mained by 26 of the top 32 decks
There was a total of 73 copies mained
This equates to an average of just over 2 per deck mained in top 32
This card was mained by 23 of the top 32 decks
There was a total of 46 copies mained
There were 4 copies sided
This equates to an average of almost 1.5 mained by each deck in top 32.
I would also like to draw your attention to a few cards that were not mained:
Bottomless Trap Hole
This card was mained by a total of 4 of the top 32 decks
There was a total of 7 copies mained
There was a total of 9 copies sided
There was a total of 18 copies mained
There was a total of 26 copies sided
So, based on these numbers, it seems to make sense that one could do well with a deck that can play around Maxx “C”/Solemn Warning game 1 and abuse the fact that cards like Dimensional Prison/Bottomless rarely see main-deck play. This is where the term ‘Advantage through Aggression’ comes to mind. The top deck, which is plants, usually plays a grinding game; especially in the mirror match. It is a struggle to gain advantage while committing as few resources to the field as possible. If the plant mirror has taught me one thing it is that he who uses their resources first usually loses. This is because, once committed to the field, there is little to stop your opponent from punishing your overextension. There are so many overpowered cards available to us that this is relatively easy. Dissimilarly, there is little way to recover from such a field wipe. However, what if playing aggressively was your ticket to advantage? What if, by committing resources to the field, you could set up for the return of resources later, virtually independent of whatever option your opponent uses to clear your field? This allows you to keep constant pressure on your opponent and punish them for one-for-one on field removal cards because you can use that to recycle your engine.
With that in mind, I present to you my current decklist..
Bonnie Tyler and the Boys
3| Tour Guide From the Underworld
3| Maxx “C”
2| Elemental Hero Voltic
2| Elemental Hero Neos Alius
1| Elemental Hero Stratos
1| Elemental Hero Ice Edge
1| Elemental Hero Heat
1| Effect Veiler
3| Fusion Gate
2| Pot of Duality
2| E – Emergency Call
2| Miracle Fusion
2| Super Polymerization
2| Mystical Space Typhoon
1| Monster Reborn
1| Dark Hole
1| Heavy Storm
1| Reinforcement of the Army
1| Mind Control
Total: 41 Cards
Extra Deck: 15
3| Elemental Hero The Shining
2| Elemental HERO Nova Master
2| Elemental Hero Absolute Zero
1| Elemental HERO Great Tornado
1| Elemental Hero Gaia
1| Wind-Up Zenmaines
1| Leviair the Sea Dragon
1| Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1| Number 39: Utopia
1| Ally of Justice Catastor
1| Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Elemental Hero Voltic
This card is simply amazing. 3 is too many. 1 is not enough. 2 is, therefore, the lucky number. Recycle Stratos or other heroes to make more fusions. Pretty busted if you can support getting it’s effect of regularly.
This card is pretty staple as this point in the format. It helps to mitigate the sometimes expensive cost of Super Polymerization and to control the tempo of the game; especially in your opponents turn.
Bonnie Tyler’s Boys
The rest of the HERO monsters are basically the option (s) that testing has shown to be the best for its specific attribute. Little to say here.
One of the best top-decks in the game. With your search engine this card is one chain in the toolbox engine that is Heroes.
This card > Lagia/Dolkka.
This card > Six Sams
This card > Naturia Beast
This card > Zenmaines
This card > Gachi-Gachi
That, for me, is all the credentials needed to run this card. However, it is weak at best against dark worlds and has a sometimes hefty cost so I wouldn’t run more than 2. At least not in the main deck.
This card is just ridiculous with Fusion Gate/Miracle Fusion.
Pretty much standard. The regular 5 are in full force. The Dimensional Prisons are mostly because there is spare room and, as a defensive trap, this card is extremely strong this format.
This deck is basically one giant toolbox deck. This allows it to respond to most of the game states you will find yourself in. The Shining allows you to push for damage and recycle heroes for more abuse, Zero allows you to control the field and attack with an almost “come at me bro” mentality, Nova Master let’s you draw and Gaia/Tornadao allow you to push for damage and beat over beatsticks. Admittedly the Gaia/Tornado are usually super poly targets but the option is still there. It is essentially this toolbox engines that makes the deck playable. Being able to respond to almost any situation gives the deck some extreme flexibility. This deck allows you to push for damage and keep pressure on your opponent with little fear (unless you fear Dimensional Prison); advantage is generated by them killing your HEROes (for the most part as the Shining is your usual target).
Remember those Card Statistics?
Remember how most every deck had 2+ copies of Maxx “C” to try and plus? They will almost only ever get a 1-for-1 against this deck by chaining to a card. There is no way in the deck that I can see where they can drop it for an instant +1 (no One for One discarding Dandylion type scenario etc). Maxx “C” is such a powerful card for the simple fact that it allows you to control your opponent while keeping up with/gaining advantage. However, this deck has a lot of options to play around it as it only requires one special summon to make a huge beatstick that also generates advantage; an ability plants lack as they usually require multiple special summons to make a synchro of note. I feel this is one feather in this decks cap in game 1’s against meta decks.
Furthermore, remember how there was an average of 1.5 Solemn Warnings in every deck in the top 32? It is weak against this deck. Sure, it may hit Stratos and Tour Guide but that is really it; unless they connect on a Miracle Fusion. Most of your win conditions are brought out by Fusion Gate which causes Solemn Warning to miss timing on it’s attempt to negate. If you have a read on Solemn Warning then set your HERO and super poly with it as a facedown target – Warning is helpless yet again. Again, I feel having an ability to quite easily play around such a frequently used/powerful card is a strength of this deck
Lastly, remember how not many decks mained Bottomless Trap Hole/Dimensional Prison? In fact, in total, there was only 25 Bottomless/Prison mained. Dimesional Prison/Bottomless is really one of the most annoying cards this deck can run into. This is purely due to the fact that it is the only thing that can A) reliably stop Shining plusses and B) be a useful response after a super poly play has laughed at their set Solemn Warning. However, as it is rarely mained, this further contributes to a very strong game 1. There is little to fear in the first game. You can almost always push for damage and generate advantage through being aggressive. They must deal with the threat or lose and, by adding heroes back from remove from play or blowing up their field, you can punish them for dealing with the initial threat.
As can be seen, this deck theoretically has extremely strong game 1’s against most of the meta decks (perhaps dark world excluded). Super Polymerization puts in work against Agents, Rabbit and Plant. All 3 run an abundance of Light/Fire/etc attributes that cost a card or two to make. Super Poly removes that threat and gives you a threat in return. As noted, very few of these decks main bottomless/prison which means you will almost always get the Shining off for major plusses.
Game 2 and Beyond
We have discussed the strengths that the deck has in Game 1. Now, it is only fitting to examine the game 2 and beyond. Not much needs to be said for this game as the options are pretty simple. This deck can side into Dimensional Fissure with very little hassle. It can also side in Skill Drain if you’re a little more daring. Both of these cards ruin the meta. Any deck that can easily and legitimately side into these cards will also have a very strong game 2/3 against most meta decks. Some common side deck cards could be:
These cards (besides the last Parallel World Fusion) are all effective against the stronger decks at the moment and will back up your game 1 with a powerful game 2. This is yet another strength of this deck and is why I have found a lot of success with it here at locals.
FYI. Locals here is a combination of billybrake.dek, tour guide agents, sabers, dark worlds and rabbit lagia. Just so you know that the deck DOES get tested against meta decks.
There is evidence that the deck can abuse the usual inclusion of common cards in meta decks such as Maxx "C" and Solemn Warning and that this contributes to a strong game 1. There is also evidence that the lack of cards like Bottomless and Dimensional Prison further contributes to a strong game 1. Game 2 they may or may not have those cards sided (a lot at Kansas didn't have both). However, you can side into a fissure build or a Skill Drain build which gives them additional threats that they must deal with before making plays. If your opponent is staring at an Absolute Zero/Nova Master and a Dimensional Fissure it can be extremely daunting. Especially if they are also looking at a Dandylion in hand with a Sangan set. Almost every deck these days is forced to leave weak, easily disposed of monsters on the field (tour guide, Sangan, plants etc) which makes cards like Nova Master incredibly strong.
Now that you've read this article all I ask of you is this: Do not write this deck type off simply because it is Heros. Give it a playtest. I have had a lot of success with it up until now. It has taken me to 5 top 8s in a row at win-a-boxes here (2 top 8, 1 top 4, 1 top 2 and 1 win). Please give this list a test run and let me know what you discovered. I’d be happy to hear about your success/lack of in the comments below.
(CREDIT TO ishKebiin AS ALWAYS FOR CREATING THE HERO THREAD THAT LED TO ME CREATING THIS DECKLIST)