Welcome back cardfighters, to another Vanguard article. This time, I’ll be looking at one of my favorite decks that’s been around for half a year now: Soulless Oracle Think Tank. I was psyched when I heard the build was finally getting support in the OCG; I even began picking up CoCos back when they were only $5 each before the support came out in TCG. I’ve played it extensively after its release, enjoying both the power it creates and how easily it can maintain hand advantage. This article will focus on the key cards of my deck as well as offering tips on some on the tech cards one could use in the deck.
The Oracle Think Tank clan is known for its draw power, having both a powerful Grade 3 in the form of CEO Amateratsu and being introduced with 2 sets of draw triggers back in Set 1: Descent of the King of Knights. With this set, it focused on being able to ‘predict’ the top card of the deck and filter through the dead topdecks to have a higher chance of hitting a trigger. When Set 2: Onslaught of Dragon Souls was released internationally on March 10, 2012, the set decided to try a new method for OTT: have no cards in soul with the new Grade 3 Scarlet Witch, CoCo. Unfortunately, this alternative was just not as productive as the Amateratsu build and was left behind with only Luck Bird gaining some play, followed by the new 6-soul build and 'trigger-stacking' in the form of Tsukuyomi in Set 3: Demonic Lord Invasion.
But that all changed when Set 7: Awakening of the Beast King dropped on September 29, 2012. The set finally established Soulless OTT as an actual deck instead of mere tech cards in other builds. It wasn’t restricted to a ride chain in the Tsukuyomi deck and was able to play more power cards than the Amateratsu deck. It made CoCo go from a rarely played card into having her own deck and support. This set finally gave the deck the push it needed to be an effective, keeping the clan’s focus on draw power while being able to play aggressive.
Let’s take a look at the deck list:
1x Little Witch, Lulu
4x Oracle Guardian, Nike (Critical)
4x Psychic Bird (Critical)
4x Battle Sister, Ginger (Critical)
4x Lozenge Magus (Heal)
4x Oracle Guardian, Gemini
3x Battle Sister, Chocolat
4x Emerald Witch, LaLa
2x One Who Gazes At The Truth
2x Battle Sister, Omelet
4x Oracle Guardian, Wiseman
3x Silent Tom
2x Battle Sister, Mocha
2x Maiden of Libra
4x Scarlet Witch, CoCo
2x Battle Sister, Souffle
1x Goddess of Flower Divination, Sakuya
This build focuses mainly on pushing as much damage on the opponent as possible, using the 12 criticals to scare the opponent and make them start guarding more often in fear of a possible critical being drive checked. The draw power comes from Lulu, LaLa, and CoCo to get more cards in hand while Sakuya can fix the field for better columns. With this, the deck can keep a good hand for guarding while pushing damage.
Time to break the deck down.
The Grade 0s
The starting vanguard is Little Witch, Lulu. Let’s take a look at her skills:
[AUTO](Soul): When another of your Grade 3 or greater <Oracle Think Tank> is placed on the (VC), you may call this card to (RG). [AUTO]: [Choose two <Oracle Think Tank> from your soul, and put them into your drop zone] When this unit is placed on (RC) from your soul, if you have an <Oracle Think Tank> vanguard, you may pay the cost. If you do, draw a card.
Now, it’s a little confusing but here’s the gist of it: When you ride your Grade 3 OTT, you can call her to rearguard. When you do, you can send 2 OTTs from your soul to the drop zone to draw a card. It’s a more clan-focused soul blast than typical soul blast skills, as you need to stay within the clan for LuLu’s skill to go off. But it’s that skill that helps getting the soul empty for CoCo to get her skills off. Lulu is also a good 5k booster, so she can make good lines with some of the other units in the deck.
The triggers are mainly focused on pushing for damage as much as possible by running 12 criticals. With the new critical trigger, Battle Sister, Ginger, from Set 5: Awakening of Twin Blades, having 12 criticals can be more dangerous than just the simple 8. Psychic Bird’s skill to move from rearguard to soul to draw a card is also good for that additional draw if you need it but only when you need it. The heal trigger, Lozenge Magus, doesn’t need too much explanation: it can gives the boosted unit she’s boosting an additional 3k for the attack to shuffle herself back into the deck at the end of the turn.
If you feel that you want to keep some additional draw power for defense, you can replace a set of the criticals (except for Psychic Bird) for a set of draw triggers if you want to play it safe.
The Grade 1s
Oracle Guardian, Gemini: Not much to say. Good 8k unit, place it behind the vanguard or rear-guard for maximum column power, an overall good unit.
Battle Sister, Chocolat: The perfect guard of the clan. While you can run 4 if you feel that it’s better to have more protection from the new Cross-rides and Limit Breaks, I found 3 to be just right since you'll normally have enough cards to guard with and should only use Chocolat when you need to prevent an attack from hitting.
Emerald Witch, LaLa: This is probably one of the most debatable cards to run in the deck. Let’s look at her skill:
AUTO: [Choose a card from your hand, and discard it] When this unit is placed on (RC), if you have an <Oracle Think Tank> vanguard and you do not have any cards in your soul, you may pay the cost. If you do, draw a card.
Now there’s a similar card just like her: Dark Cat. It’s skill is nearly identical but instead lets both players draw a card just from being placed as vanguard or rear-guard. Both of these units have the same power of 7k but are contested for which is better to run. A majority of players prefer Dark Cat for the free draw and combos well with Sakuya because of its on-call effect. It’s also always live unlike LaLa that needs to wait until Grade 3 to work. I personally like using LaLa over Dark Cat simply for the fact that LaLa get get rid of a dead card in my hand for a new one and doesn’t give my opponent an additional card when I’m trying to push for game.
One Who Gazes At The Truth: While being a weak 6k unit, it’s skill to soul blast 1 to gain +3k when attacking is useful for the deck. It helps filter the soul out when you re-ride CoCo and also can hit for 14k-17k, depending on the booster.
Battle Sister, Omelet: Definitely one of the better rearguards that puts in work when pushing for game. Her skill lets her gain +3k while attacking when you have no cards in your soul while in rear-guard. This, along with her +7k power, puts her at 10k when swinging. She’s basically Kay, Knight of Friendship for CoCo! She also makes a good column with One Who Gazes to make a solid 16k line whenever you have cards in your soul or not as you can easily use One Who Gazes to clear the soul out as it attacks then put Omelet in the front row as the attacker next turn.
The Grade 2s
Oracle Guardian, Wiseman: 10k vanilla Grade 2. Good offense and does its job. Nothing left to say.
Silent Tom: Nearly a staple in every OTT deck. Great unit when in late game to prevent your opponent from using any triggers as shields to block your attacks. The only way for Tom to be effective is to have Gemini behind him so he can attack for 16k.
Battle Sister, Mocha: While she’s only an 8k unit, just having 4 or more cards in hand will make her an 11k swinger from a +3k boost while attacking. She makes a good column with LuLu and can hit for 16k or at least 19k if she has a Gemini behind her. Even when you don’t have 4 or more cards in hand, she can still be used to intercept attacks if you need to replace her with a new card.
Maiden of Libra: While a majority of your counter blasting will be used for CoCo, there can be times where you don’t have CoCo in hand when it comes to ride your Grade 3. Libra helps relieve that problem by at least attempting to use your damage for her counter blast 2 to draw a card from hitting a unit. Her 9k power is also good since the majority of your Grade 2s are mostly 8k so she can at least create an 14k-17k column to still be a threat.
The Grade 3s
Scarlet Witch, CoCo: The main star of the deck and one of the best easy draw engine in the deck. Here are her skills:
[CONT](VC):During your turn, if you do not have any cards in your soul, this unit gets [Power]+3000. [AUTO]:[Counter Blast (2)] When this unit is placed on (VC), if the number of cards in your soul is one or less, you may pay the cost. If you do, draw up to two cards.
The first skill is a nice boost for being soulless, making CoCo easily hit for 21k with Gemini behind her. While the bonus +3k for being soulless can help a little in terms of power, it’s the second skill that makes CoCo so explosive in the deck.
Let me explain how: when you ride her as your Grade 3, LuLu’s skill activates to be called out of soul to rearguard. Now here’s the tricky part: both LuLu’s and CoCo’s skills both activate and await resolution, but you get to choose which skills to resolve first. So you would first resolve LuLu’s skill first to send 2 OTT cards from soul to the drop zone to draw 1. Now that you have no cards in soul, you can resolve CoCo’s skill to counterblast 2 and draw 2 cards since you fulfill her requirement for having 1 or less cards in soul. From just riding CoCo, you instantly draw 3 cards! How can you say “no” to drawing 3 cards? Also, if you need those extra cards, you can re-ride CoCo to draw another 2 cards. Yes, CoCo will only be 10k now but at least you have more cards to defend with.
Battle Sister, Souffle: A good rear-guard Grade 3 when you don’t have a Silent Tom or Mocha for a rear-guard. Can easily hit for 17k-20k with any booster with her skill to get +2k when boosted by an OTT unit. Not the best unit to ride as vanguard though since you only get to draw 1 card from LuLu.
Goddess of Flower Divination, Sakuya: The better backup vanguard to not riding CoCo when you can. Here’s why:
[CONT](VC): During your turn, if the number of cards in your hand is four or greater, this unit gets [Power]+4000. [AUTO]: When this unit is placed on (VC), return all of your <Oracle Think Tank> rear-guards to your hand.
Sakuya’s first skill works just like Amateratsu’s continuous skill: she gets +4k power during your turn if you have 4 or more cards in hand. That means she gets the same bonus of acquiring the +4k power whenever you get to at least 4 cards in hand, even during the drive check. That means you can psyche your opponent into underguarding and then getting that +4k after twin driving to 4 cards in hand. As for Sakuya’s second skill, that needs some explaining as well.
Much like when you ride CoCo over LuLu, Sakuya causes a similar situation where both her skill and LuLu’s activate at the same, so you need to choose the skills you want to resolve. The best way to resolve them would be to use LuLu’s skill to call her out from soul to rear-guard and send 2 OTT units from soul to the drop zone to draw a card. Then you resolve Sakuya’s skill to return all your rear-guard units to hand, including LuLu! This lets you fix bad columns into more optimal columns, reuse on-call units' skills like LaLa, and get a free 10k guard for blocking! All from just simply riding her as your vanguard.
Optional Tech Choices:
Dark Cat: As stated in the discussion about LaLa , Dark Cat is also a good option if you feel its better to get a free draw. While your opponent will also take the chance to draw a card to try and get more shields to guard with, you get to go further through your deck without paying any costs. It combos well with Sakuya since you get to use its draw skill again after returning it to hand.
Battle Sister, Cocoa/Circle Magus: While these units share the same skill of letting you look at the top card of the deck, they both do it differently. Cocoa lets you put that card either on the bottom or the top of your deck in hopes of having a trigger or a card you need on top, but only has 6k power. Magus instead returns the card back on top of the deck but has 7k power. Both cards are good for showing you your next card, or potentially the card after it in Cocoa’s case, and helps you plan your moves accordingly. It’s up to you if you need the ability to put a card on the bottom of your deck for a weaker boost of power with Cocoa or keep it there for a stronger booster with Magus.
Weather Girl, Milk: OTT’s personal 10k booster can work miracles in this deck because always having 4 or more cards in hand to get her skill off when she boosts an OTT vanguard. The catch is, you need to have 4 or more cards in hand when she boosts. If you have at least 3 cards in hand, Milk will only boost the vanguard for 6k and only 6k even after drive check or twin driving up to 4 cards in hand. While having a potential column with CoCo to swing with 23k power or Sakuya at 24k, Milk’s dependance on your hand is not good and can sometimes just sit there as a normal 6k booster for most of the game.
Luck Bird: while being an on-call version of One Who Gazes to soul blast 2 to draw a card, it’s a weak Grade 1 5k booster that needs you to have at least 2 cards in soul to be of any use.
Petal Fairy: The Aermo clone for OTT, she let’s you pitch a card to draw a card whenever the boosted unit’s attack hits. She offers a faster draw engine to reach cards you need but Dark Cat and LaLa offer on-call versions of her effect with stronger power and can be reused with Sakuya’s bouncing skill.
Battle Sister, Glace: The soulless version of Mocha, getting +3k when attacking while you have no cards in your soul. Unfortunately, you need to keep your soul empty for her to be useful while Mocha just requires 4 or more cards in hand. If you're having trouble acquiring Mochas, Glace is a good backup option until you get some.
Onmyoji of the Moonlit Night: A reverse Mocha that gets +3k while attacking if you have more cards in hand than your opponent. While you may always have more cards in hand than your opponent, you got to take into account that you may end up guarding attacks from your opponent and may not be able to keep more cards in hand and turns him into a vanilla 8k Grade 2.
Blue Scare Deer: A Grade 2 version of Luck Bird that lets you soul blast 2 to draw a card when its attack hits the vanguard. There are better options than this unit since it remains at 8k power and Maiden of Libra is both stronger and can hit anything to use its skill to draw a card.
Highspeed, Brakki: Definitely another contested card in the deck. Spike Brother players should know how powerful Brakki can be, just from soul blasting 1 to become a 14k swinger by himself. Since the cost doesn't require a specific clan for him to use it, he's easily splashable into any deck that needs additional power. In this case, he can clear out the soul while also generating a great bonus in the form of a powerful column for a single attack. The cost, however, is that if you ride him as your Grade 2 and then CoCo or Sakuya afterwards, you can pull LuLu out but now you don't have the cards needed to use LuLu's skill to draw a card. Also, you may end up stuck with a permanent 10k CoCo with no way to draw 2 cards until you clean out the extra cards in soul to make the deck flow again. It simply comes down to either having more power with the risk of a clogged soul or staying consistent by running just OTT cards instead of mixing in other clans.
Meteor Break Wizard: The Knight of Conviction, Bors clone for OTT. While he’s effect uses only 1 counterblast for his skill to gain 3k while attacking, you would need it if you want to push for damage.
Sky Witch, NaNa: The vanilla version of CoCo, only gaining 3k while she’s in the vanguard circle or 11k in the rear-guard circle if you have no cards in soul. There better options than this card since you need to have no cards in soul for her to be good.
Rather than being defensive as Amateratsu or focusing on a specific stack like Tsukuyomi, CoCo aims to just flat-out beat the opponent by gaining a large hand advantage and hitting the opponent hard. The deck decides to be more aggressive than the other two OTT decks that need specific cards or strategies to be effective, while Soulless uses cards that have the power to be aggressive instead of controlling like in the previous decks. The new Extra Booster: Comic Style Vol. 1 coming out at the end of March this year also features OTT support, meaning new cards to use for the deck I want to test out. I hope this helps out any fellow OTT players and other vanguard players that want to play an OTT deck that's aggressive with a good draw engine. Now stand up and continue the cardfight.