I have been building decks left and right in order to prepare for the KMC season. I finally narrowed it down to four different decks, I am not going to tell you what every deck is but I will give you a hint, they all have a monarch in them that I use as the boss card. I did not even plan for that to happen. I was looking at the decks I built and just realized each of them pretty much revolved around the monarch of what deck it was in. Each deck is very good and can beat the other at any point in time. My goal is to discuss each monarch in as much detail as I can and try figure out which one is on top!
Infernus the Immolator
I am going to go in the order as they were released. I was at the KMC at Comic Asylum in Texas when this was first unveiled. It was the first giant card in Kaijudo and it sits nicely at my local comic shop and get to see it every week which is really cool. When Ryan Miller previewed this card everyone went crazy. It was and still is the strongest creature in all of Kaijudo. It has a massive 1700 power and get over anything (except Ra-Vu the Imdomitable) having so much power the only way to deal with it is using some sort of removal on it, which the easiest way is using cards like Terror Pit, but if you do then he will break three shields anyway. On top of all that when he enters the battle zone he banishes target enemy creatures who power total 8000 or less, so he could wipe out one big creature or a whole bunch of little ones. He also gives all your other fire creatures +4000 power. I think this card saw less play pre-shattered alliances because of such a high cost it had, and there were ways around his ability like Gregoria’s Fortress. That is probably this cards biggest weakness because if you do not control another creature and your opponent has Gregoria’s Fortress, you play Immolator you have to banish a creature 8000 or less, you banish Fortress, then you have to choose Immolator to get banished. Since you are the one targeting him, his Volcanic Temper ability gets bypassed. I like Immolator because he is the only monarch you can play for less mana using the fire birds because he is an Armored Dragon as well. One flaw, you will see with most Monarchs, is you can really only utilize him at his best in a dragon based deck which limits him. The monarch he best counters is probably Tritonus and Eternal Haven. He is really good against Tritonus because not only is he stronger, but Tritonus’ Constrict ability is almost useless against him. If you use his ability Immolator breaks three shields still. It is really cool when you look at cards the R&D department make and see that some cards are extremely powerful but then they will make another powerful card that directly counters the other. Immolator is good against Haven simply do to its strength; you can just attack over Haven and treat it like any other blocker.
This was the second monarch we saw and was also released in Clash of the Duel Masters. At first the reaction was a little down of this guy because he was weaker than Immolator and did not have any break shields ability or a destroy creature ability when it entered the battle zone. It only drew up to 5 cards. If we only realized how good drawing 5 cards would have been he would have seen a lot more play when it was first released. This card was $25-$30 but when people saw how good this was in control, especially the mirror, it jumped up to $50. His Constrict ability makes it to where when you cast a spell you target an opponent’s enemy creature and they cannot attack or block with that creature until the start of their next turn. That ability was just the icing on the cake and did not really ever need that ability most times, the 5 new cards works just fine. You also cannot forget he gives all other water creatures +4000 power. I forgot in the finals match at the Kaijudo Championship. I used Stormspark Blast to wipe every creature off the board expect a Hyperspeed, which I could of attacked over with my Aqua Strider but I totally blanked on that ability. It is hard to remember sometimes when creatures have 4 different abilities. When thinking about which monarch this counters there really isn’t one. He is the weakest, by power standards, of the group but he has an amazing ability that will pull you back from any losing situation. I like him a lot because he is not restricted to only one certain type of deck, you can use him in almost anything that runs water. From what I see right now this card will always see play and be one of the most powerful cards in the game.
I was also lucky enough to be at the event where they previewed this card, the Kaijudo Championship. We did not know which one they were going to unveil, Kalima or Haven. Everyone was super excited to see Kalima for the first time. Right off the bat you see that the 1600 power makes it bigger than Tritonus but not quite strong enough to take down Immolator. It may not be able to attack over Immolator but using its Gaze into the Abyss ability sure can destroy it. When she enters the battle zone you can send the top 3 cards of your deck to the discard pile and for each darkness card your opponent chooses and banishes a creature. So if you built your deck the right way you have the potential to banish 3 creatures from your opponent’s battle zone. This sometimes can be more devastating than Immolators Inferno Breath ability. Another fun ability you can use is her Reanimate ability. When Queen Kalima attacks you can get any creature from your discard pile back to your hand. So say you sent another Queen Kalima from the top of your deck to the discard pile with her first ability. You can just attack and get another one to your hand. At the Kaijduo Championship, a member of the Kaijudo R&D department, James Hotta (Hope I spelt that right!) used a version of a Queen Kalima deck focusing around her and Necrose, Nightmare Bloom, two cards that were not released at the time. I did not get a chance to play against him but I watched and saw some crazy plays. He used Skeeter Swarmer in his deck and I thought that was strange because there are better blockers than that but when he played Kalima they became an 8000 blocker for 2 mana because Queen Kalima gives all other darkness creatures +4000 power which I thought was really neat. The monarchs this best counter is Immolator and Eternal Haven. Since your opponent chooses which creatures to banish, Immolators Volcanic Temper ability will not go off and you can just banish it. The same goes of Eternal Haven, it cannot be the target of your opponent’s spells and abilities, so you make your opponent choose and it gets around that as well. This card is one of the few ways to get around both of those creatures. Queen Kalmia’s weakness is that its ability relies on how many darkness cards you put in the discard pile with the effect, so if you want her to go off then your deck will probably need to consist of 80-100 percent of darkness cards which really restrict what type of decks you can use her in.
I was privileged to unveil this card alongside Ryan Miller at the Kaijudo Champion Celebration in Kansas where I qualified for the Championship. The whole day I was able to play people and even use a deck using Eternal Haven and Twilight Archon before they were even released. Being able to use them so early gave me an idea of just how powerful Haven really is. It has 15500 power, weaker than two of the monarchs but still stronger than Tritonus. This is the only monarch that is a blocker, but it can also attack. When it enters the battle zone you can draw a card and put a creature that has “Blocker” and is level 9 or less from your hand into the battle zone, did I forget to mention you can also use this ability when it attacks as well? It is important that they put the restriction of level 9 or less because it would be amazing if you could put another Haven down with Haven, things would just be crazy. If that was not good enough, Haven cannot be targeted by your opponent spells and abilities. This is probably the hardest creature to deal with in the entire game of Kaijudo. There are only 3 creatures that can attack over it and it cannot be targeted. Normally once you play this guy, it just stays out there. The monarch this is best against is Tritonus because he simply cannot do anything to Haven. You cannot target him with his Constrict ability or even attack because Haven will just block it. The weakness of Haven is cards like Gregoria’s Fortress, Queen Kalima, and Ripper Reaper. This is a card to watch out for and will see a lot of play. The best card to combo with it is Twilight Archon, if you pull that off, you have 2 15500 blockers, do to Havens +4000 ability and you tap a creature with Archon. This card alone will change the way the game is played and what card choices are going to be needed in order to counter it.
So after looking at all of them which one do you think is the best? They all have their own specialty, whether it be power, drawing, destroying, or maintain board presence. There is a specific use for each one. It is hard to determine which one is best but I can tell you right now my favorite is Haven, just have to watch out to not run into too many Kalimas. Wizards did a great job in designing these as great creatures that you get rewarded for having so much mana. All we can do now is look forward to what Almighty Colossus does when it is released November 8th out of Invasion Earth and I am sure they saved the best for last.
See you on the other side of the veil!