Kaijudo Writing Contest: Analysis of the Kaijudo Metagame – Follow Up

Kaijudo Meta Analysis – Follow Up

Due to length issues on the first installment I was forced to remove most of the more detailed points and deck strategies, because of this I feel it didn’t get the point across that I had intended. So we’ll be going over each archetype as well as delving into the strategy and intricacies behind the decks!

I’ve found players who think that the current meta is a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, and I’m not sure if this is just from a lack of diversity in their play environment or a misconception about generic builds. There are definitely decks that have the advantage in certain match ups, but I wouldn’t call any match an automatic win.

As a matter of fact, a meta we considered stagnant has continued to evolve, we’ve seen decks like Saber-Bolt and Cobalt Control coming out of no where and just sweeping entire archetypes from existence. A meta is defined by consistency, and that means it wins most of the time—I can’t tell you the last time I picked scissors and lost to paper, but I can tell you stories about how my control deck beat rush.

There will be no deck lists in this article, if you’re interested in deck lists check out the original Kaijudo Meta Analysis Article here.


Control is without question the most consistent deck archetype, these decks are packed full of cards that generate card advantage and have answers in numerous situations; but that inherent strength is also their flaw.

Control decks want to get to a point in the game where they are capable of controlling the match, sort of like the name implies; this means they have plenty of powerful cards that will absolutely dominate the late game. This makes control weak to rush decks—though they often play Shield Blasts and early game blockers to help offset this disadvantage.


Unlike Cobalt Control, DWF doesn't seek to outlast its opponent; DWF generates threats while dealing with opposing threats. It relies strongly on cards like Tatsurion the Unchained, you'll find that almost every single creature has an enter the battle zone ability.

This is not to say that it isn't capable of outlasting its opponents; with so many ways to remove a creature or discard the opponent's hand, DWF will outlast almost every other deck out there—unless they run Keeper of Dawn.

Due to the Fire Civilization's ability to be aggressive, this gives DWF the ability to pose a threat through out the game. Just because it's a control deck doesn't mean it can't start beating you down with Aqua Seneschal and Gilaflame the Assaulter!

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

DWF wins simply because every card it plays serves multiple purposes and as it generates answers, it generates threats. There's a reason this deck is as common as it is, DWF has very few weaknesses.

How does it compare? DWF is actually a very solid choice in terms of what counters what in the meta; Barrage is strong against Blurple and rush, and useful against most other decks. Decks with very powerful early aggression that turn into larger threats late game are the hardest match up, looking at you Saber-Bolt, without a Scaradorable of Gloom Hollow to stall Bronze-Arm Sabertooth without killing it DWF is hard pressed to survive that turn 6 Bolt-Tail Dragon.

Cobalt Control

This is a deck that I am a large fan of; you might not believe it, but after Darkness, Light is my favorite Civilization. My preferences aside, this deck has been sweeping the internet and getting some incredible results. This is a control variant that relies on out lasting its opponent—most of the time.

This deck is capable of gaining shields while simultaneously removing your opponent's creatures; the tap-kill strategy doesn't always work,  but when you have control of the game you'll have your opponent's in a position where they are afraid to summon their creatures. Luckily, you also run discard and have spells that are capable of removing creatures that are too big for Cobalt to kill.

Cobalt, the Storm Knight is the deck's finisher, he is the reason that this deck outlasts the aggressive decks that rely on winning before they run out of steam. The sole credit doesn't fall to him though, Keeper of Dawn is this deck's glue; he's the card that really brings everything together and gives the deck the ability to cycle through spells and never run out of steam.

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

Cobalt Control wins simply because it will out last every other deck it plays against; this doesn't mean that the deck can't lose, it means that the longer the game goes, the higher chance this deck has of winning. Cobalt Control is a really strong choice if you adapt it to your local meta.

How does it compare? Cobalt Control is a deck capable of standing toe to toe with any deck out there, assuming you're running a variant that can play against your local meta. You can't expect to have an easy time with Saber-Bolt without Halon, Paragon of Light, Blurple can also be dangerous due to this deck's lack of mass removal. When it comes to other control match ups though, this deck has an advantage. Rush isn't even a threat, between Star Lantern and the ability to get shields back, you have nothing to worry about.

Speaking of:


Rush decks are the easiest decks to play and are hit or miss, this means that they either win or they lose—you'll know pretty early on whether or not you're going to lose. I won't be going into too much detail with these decks simply because of how simple they are, you play creatures as fast as you can and hope to end the game around turn four or five.

Sadly, though they are simple to play, there are very key differences that can really fill that gap between novice and top tier player; knowing when to kill creatures over hitting shields, knowing which creatures to attack with first in case of Shield Blasts, and knowing how to bait blockers.

Don't assume these decks are bad though, if you do; you're going to find yourself losing before you even know what happened. They tend to be much better against decks aiming for the late game (such as control) than they are against decks that have an early game presence (aggro decks). We'll be taking a look at the two rush decks that are considered top tier, Fire/Light Rush and Darkness/Fire Rush. Blaze Belchers unite!

Fire/Light Rush

When I consider the two rush archetypes that manage to win the most, I think of the Light variant as the more defensive of the two. It runs Helios Rings, Stormspark Blast, and Barrage; and while these can be used offensively, they really shine when being used as a Shield Blast.

This variant also has Cloudwalker Drone, which with another Enforcer on the field becomes a 2500—able to overpower most turn 3 drops and dodge Barrage. This becomes especially cool when you play Blinder Beetle and then swing over their Aqua Seneschal with your Cloudwalker Drone!

I think the biggest aspect of this deck is that you can win games that no other rush deck could; when your opponent is at no shields and they decide to begin attacking, they could swing into a Stormspark Blast and lose the game to a Fast Attack or any creature you have in the battle zone!

Darkness/Fire Rush

If Light was the more defensive of the two, then I guess that leaves the offense to the Darkness variant! With cards like Screeching Scaradorable and Hydra Medusa, Darkness/Fire Rush is capable of generating advantages by simply placing cards in the battle zone.

Return From Beyond can act as removal in the form of Screeching Scaradorable or as a Fast Attacker if the circumstances call for it! Return From Beyond can also be game winning if you manage to get it as a Shield Blast and get an additional attacker for your turn.

The key aspect of this deck; Locomotivator allows you to replenish your hand with your shields while still generating threats. Of course, let's not forget Bone Blades, this card can be critical; it is removal for blockers or even potential counter attackers, such as Emperor Neuron and various other tempo cards.

Speaking of:


Tempo has become a word that is hard to identify in Kaijudo, we've got people coming from other card games and throwing terms around. Tempo literally means the pace in which you play threats, it is a concept that allows you to see the intricacies of when and how to play threats as opposed to just blindly playing them. In Kaijudo, we've begun identifying tempo as part of the aggro archetype; it has begun referring to generating threats in play while keeping your opponent worried about potential threats in your hand—this is why Aqua Seneschal has become the definition of tempo in Kaijudo.

Using that definition of tempo, out of the top tier lists there are only three that fall into this category. I think the best description of tempo would be Blurple, Mono Water, and Transmission.

Let's take an in depth look at these decks:

Blurple is a deck that plays threats that flow into more threats, cards like Emperor Neuron and Aqua Seneschal can attack and offset the advantage your opponent normally would have gained by allowing you to draw a card. This really becomes the backbone of the strategy, being able to make the game flow at your pace with Screeching Scaradorable and Rusalka, Aqua Chaser to counter opposing Seneschals and Reef-Eye's—even Chasm Entanglers and Cyber Sprites fall victim. Screeching will almost always be able to find a target to fling from the board when he enters the battle zone.

Don't think the deck is about blind aggression though, Blurple takes a good amount of strategy, you need to know when to attack and when to play conservative. That is what it means to play a tempo deck, knowing when and how to pace a game. This doesn't just mean the cards that draw when they attack either, wait until you see Aqua Seneschal into Screeching Scaradorable into Hydra Medusa; that's a play that makes you want to flip the table.

A big mistake many players make when playing Blurple is summoning Cyber Sprite on the first turn for no reason, you don't benefit from carelessly using your resources. The same philosophy applies with your Scaradorable of Gloom Hollow, if your opponent players Barrage you don't want to risk losing all of your Scaradorables in one play.

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

The deck wins simply because of the pacing; it places threats on the board, has more threats in its hand, and the deck is very fast. The biggest weakness in this deck is that cards like Barrage and Tendril Grasp can be absolutely devastating if timed right.

How does it compare? Blurple fairs well against most Mid-Range lists, but the lists that rely on early powerhouses such as Bronze-Arm Sabertooth tend to be overwhelming. The deck fairs well against control decks, going first with the right hand could pose to be an impossible match up for DWF and Cobalt—of course a Bone Blades shield trigger or a Star Lantern/SoGH can stop them in their tracks. Overall it's a great list and some versions are incredibly cost effective to make.

Mono Water
Mono Water is a deck that will not run out of steam at any point during the game, so many ways to draw and keep playing threats. This makes the deck rather straight forward though, being aggressive and keeping a hand—as with most decks, knowing when to attack and when not to is very important, especially with a deck like Mono Water that doesn't have any real permanent removal.

Reef Gladiator is a powerhouse, a three cost 6000 blocker that draws a card when he blocks? That's huge! He comes out early enough to easily deal with most threats of the early game, he's really good back up to your Emperor Neuron or Aqua Seneschal!

This deck relies mainly on Cyber Lords, and luckily, most Cyber Lords are quite good. Finbarr, Council of Logos makes them all gain 2000 power, this allows cards like Emperor Axon to swing over Bolt-Tail!

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

This deck wins because of the ridiculous amount of resources and options it has, with so many abilities to search or draw this deck almost always has what it needs. That pressure certainly adds up, don't underestimate the Cyber Lords just because they look like babies!

How does it compare? Mono Water does get tournament wins, it's one of the only mono civilization decks that consistently performs well. Though when you place it against decks that generate threats while removing opposing threats, it starts becoming a problem. Tatsurion the Unchained and Flamespike Tatsurion are really hard to deal with, especially with Water not having the ability to banish creatures with spells. Your only hope ends up being to bounce them and hope you win the race!

I had a bit of trouble classifying this deck into an archetype, if this were MtG I would have said Aggro Control, but we've changed the meanings quite a bit when they were translated to Kaijudo. I decided that this deck wants to pace the game and change 'gears,' so tempo it is!

Transmission is a fun deck; probably one of the most fun out of the top tier lists to play, no game is ever the same! Sometimes you'll be attacking with Beast Kin and slamming Flamespike Tatsurion on the board, and other times you'll be swinging at them with Emperor Neuron, and my personal favorite—sometimes your Bronze-Arm Sabertooth dies early and you Skull Shatter on turn 6 followed up by a Terradragon!

The reason this deck is so good is because of how it is equipped to deal with so many different situations, Hovercraft Glu-urrgle and Essence Elf allow you to take control of the early game. Then they pass the baton on Flamespike Tatsurion and Mother Virus; those are the key cards in the strategy, Mother Virus is a 5000 blocker than lets you draw cards if you have an evolution creature in play. Without having a Terror Pit or Root Trap, your Flamespike Tatsurion is there to stay, even as a vanilla, he is a powerhouse.

Let's not forget that this deck plays Darkness! With the ability to play Razorkinder Puppet and Skull Shatter, this deck can change from being aggressive to control effortlessly. Knowing when to change is the hardest part of this deck, this is a list I would not recommend for newer players.

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

This deck wins because it is able adapt to any situation, though it has lost a bit of popularity due to a shift in the meta, this deck still sees results! Careful strategy and a constant understanding of the game state will make all the difference with this deck!

How does it compare? Currently this deck is falling out of popularity, and that makes sense; with decks like Saber-Bolt that constantly play threats all throughout the game, that small area between control and aggro that was being bridged by Transmission is disappearing. This deck is weak to decks that don't run out of resources; such as mono Water or Cobalt Control, but it performs very well against some of the aggressive mid-range decks.

Speaking of:


Mid-Range was defined in MtG as a deck that attempted to control the early game and then became aggressive with large creatures in mid to late game. In Kaijudo, we stay somewhat to those roots; we've destroyed the term 'Aggro' and split it into tempo and mid-range, and begun to use the term to classify 'aggro' decks that are slower paced—almost borderline control decks. If you play lots of double breakers, your deck is likely classified as mid-range in Kaijudo.

That means the last three top tier lists fall into this category! I know, it's been a long article, imagine if this one had been combined with the first. We're almost there! Our last three lists are; Dark Saber-Bolt, Fire/Water/Nature Mid-Range (FWN from here on out), and Darkness/Water/Nature Mid-Range (BUG from here on out).

Mid-Range decks play plenty of big creatures, and many of them are capable of getting them out in rapid succession or playing so many of them that you can't answer all of them, this has recently become the most popular archetype on the internet and will likely get even more popular next set!

Dark Saber-Bolt
Dark Saber-Bolt is the more aggressive version of the two Saber-Bolt decks, it relies on tenacity over consistency. This deck is capable of playing completely off of top decks in the late game, and has much more reliable removal than the Water version does.

This deck is all about getting up to 8 mana as quickly as possible so you can begin dropping Bolt-Tail Dragon far before your opponent can do anything about it, this is done by summoning Bronze-Arm Sabertooth early and forcing your opponent to banish it (Which sends it to your mana zone) by attacking.

It's not as simple as that though, with the deck playing Skull Shatter and quickly rushing that 8 mana; you'll be able to force your opponent to discard their hand! The major flaw is that this is a double edged sword, while playing threats and getting mana is great; you'll often find that your hand is very small and you're hoping that they can't deal with every threat you draw.

This deck is relatively low cost to make if you don't mind sacrificing some cards *Cough* Tatsurion the Unchained *Cough*

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

This deck wins because it can supply threats that are incredibly hard to deal with very early in the game. Sadly, this is not always consistent and it can easily be stopped by Scaradorable of Gloom Hollow. There is a reason for its popularity though, this deck is capable of exploding cards onto the field that will just sweep the game.

How does it compare? This deck tends to perform quite well against some of the early tempo decks such as Blurple, and given the right circumstances it is very strong against DWF as well. When it comes to Cobalt Control or some of the other Mid-Range decks out there though, this deck tends to run out of steam before it can hit home.

Most FWN variants have been Aqua Saber-Bolt lately, but I want to turn your attention away from that for a minute. Let's not forget that there were builds before people used the Beast Kin engine, ones that use card advantage and tend to be quite consistent. This is one of the those builds, this deck remains strong throughout the entirety of a match, shining really bright in the mid game.

Without the reliable removal of Darkness, this deck falls back to Root Traps for the larger threats, but that tends to not be that large of an issue—Gigahorn Charger is capable of searching out Tatsurion the Unchained who will proceed to banish a creature! You'll also notice that Gigahorn Charger can search out cards like Mother Virus or Frogzooka for those really close scenarios where you just need a blocker.

The wonderful part of this deck is just how much it can do, you can start attacking with Emperor Neuron early while setting up for bigger plays later with cards like Reap and Sow and Gigahorn Charger. It plays a ton of draw so it will always have options and the finishers that it runs are nothing to shake your head at, and I mean hey, 3x Barrage and 3x Tendril Grasp counters half the meta!

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

This deck wins because it has tenacity and options, though it is a bit slower than some of the other mid-range decks. Outside of its own finishers and Root Traps, this deck is unable to deal with opposing finishers. So hopefully you're in a strong position by then—one of those flaws with decks that don't run Darkness, Gilaflame the Assaulter is so obnoxious to deal with.

How does it compare? This deck is excessively strong against tempo decks and rush, but it tends to be countered by control decks. The discard and removal is a bit overwhelming, though if you can set up some really aggressive finisher plays you can snag a win! Compared to other mid-range variants, this is a pretty fair match up, sometimes it wins, sometimes it loses—hands and triggers can go a long way.

The final list! When 4EVO first came out, I played BUG, and though it was a primitive version I managed to win the first 4EVO constructed tournament that we had. I'm glad to see that the deck still sees play, and not only does it see play, it still wins games! The coolest part of BUG? You have Terror Pits and Root Traps, you don't have to be afraid of any finishers.

This is one of the strongest decks during the mid game, capable of taking its turn to play a threat or to remove on of yours. Draw, acceleration, discard, and search; this deck has it all. Sadly, that is the problem, the deck is a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

There are a couple of different variations of mid-range BUG decks, some rely on early evolutions such as Neuron and Bronze-Arm Sabertooth, while others become the late game power houses with Flamespike Tatsurion and Hydra Medusa; and of course, everything in between.

When playing the deck, based on which variant you are using, you'll want to think before attacking and measure your advantages. If you're against control, take over the early game and if you're against a faster deck, take over the late game.

Now that we understand what the deck does, let's look into the intricacies; why does this deck win? How does it compare to the other decks in the top tier?

BUG wins because it is a jack of all trades. Out of the top tier decks, BUG is the deck that also loses the most. This doesn't necessarily mean it is worse than the others, this deck can get demolished by pairing in a tournament; or it can sweep everything and get a free win.

How does it compare? Different variants will perform differently based on what they play against, when it comes to it, you'll likely not be countering what you're playing against. Instead you should be teching specific cards for your local meta, being able to search out a King Coral could be game winning.

This was a follow up article, make sure to check the original out here.

Check out my Youtube channel here. You’ll be able to see follow up videos as well as be given the latest updates on the follow up article!

- Aiden Thorne of Team Gates

I'm Andy Criss, also known as Aiden Thorne to the Kaijudo community. I am currently a full time student who works as a part time writer/editor—I also write A LOT about Kaijudo. I've been the administrator of a Kaijudo fan website/forum since before the game was released, this was because I was a strong advocate of Duel Masters. Though Kaijudo is not the only game I play, I often find success in MtG and other popular games. I am well known throughout the Kaijudo community for being a competitive player with great insight; I was a Pojo.com Card of the Day writer, I am article writer for Kaijudo.com, and I am known on youtube.com as GatesKaijudo—a hub that I keep exclusively for competitive content.

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