You can hold the trophy.
No matter how many Duel Masters cards you own or don't own.
No matter how old the other kids are at your local tournament.
No matter what, these words of wisdom will help you hold the—hey, wait a minute.
No, I'm just copying what's in that book. Yes, the imaged book. Yes, I have it in real life, back in the days of English DM when I barely had any freedom to buy any cards of my own. That book used to be so fascinating. It kind of is, now. But now that I look at it now, I see that that that book is old and outdated, and probably wrong even for its era. Like this part: "A 3000-power speed attacker that costs just three mana? What's wrong with that overpowered picture? As a drawback, Magnus has to return to your hand at the end of each turn." I was gracious enough to cross out "drawback" and write in "FURTHER ADVANTAGE!!". But enough rambling.
No, these words of wisdom will not help a total noob (and 90% of TCO Duel Masters duelists are). But hopefully, it can kinda help drag the general ignorance of TCO DM duelists out of the swamp of shittiness, somewhat.
I have quite the jaded view when it comes to TCO DM duelists. Them and not knowing how to build anything.
Well then, let's get started on the basics before explaining useful cards.
Choosing a deck
But one thing is for sure; DO NOT pack a creature with no abilities, or a creature with no abilities other than breakers, power increasing, blocker, Shield Trigger or demerits into your deck, because these type of cards do not give you any advantage, and thus do not speed up your victory condition. In other words, no Billion-Degree Dragons, Deathligers, Miars and etc., Don't use them even if you decide to trap yourself in the English Game cage.
- Some rare exceptions do occur such as Vanilla based decks or cards such as Ida, the Great Enigma, Ajisaisai or Mega Spear Dragon, all of them which are quick beatsticks that can be summoned easily. Ida can be sent out easily due to mana evolution, Ajisaisai triple breaks for a low cost and Mega Spear Dragon is a speed attacking command dragon.
This used to be a very easy trap to fall in for decades before due the more charming super rares (Or in general, almost everything with a power of 7000 or above) at that time are like that, but since we have all of these flashy and high-cardpower high rarity cards mass produced decades later right now, I don't know if there is still a point using these types of cards.
If you want to play anything that costs more than 6, you NEED mana ramp. If you don't, do not expect to play anything that costs more than 6 because your opponent will outpace you.
There actually really isn't much to say here, when it comes to Nature. Nature is the king of mana ramp, and even if you want to not use Nature and try to use Chargers for mana ramp, Nature will probably work better.
Good cards for mana ramp are as follows:
- Bronze-Arm Tribe / Hormone, Maxim Bronze / Nam=Daeddo, Bronze Style
- Dreaming Moon Knife / Poisonous Mushroom / Yattar Wan, Adventuring Fox (for beatdown decks with an important cost 4 card)
- Faerie Life / Living Lithograph
- Jasmine, Mist Faerie / Analith, Cyber Armor
- King Poisonous Mushroom
- Seventh Tower
- Stepple, Cherry Blossom Wind Faerie
- Kuromame Danshaku / Hakumai Danshaku
Somehow I doubt that anybody's ever thought "Oh, if only I didn't put that card into mana..." People never think that putting a certain card into mana causes them to lose; it's always the climax of the duel that seems to cause you to lose. However, if you hadn't put that certain card into mana, you might not have gotten to the losing situation in the first place.
Now that I've made you paranoid, I'll offer you some options. The best mana recovery cards to use are Sol Habaki, Apocalyptic Sage, Geo the Man, Earth Titan, Kabra Katabra and Hyperspatial Green White Hole. Prometheus, Splash Axe and Hyperspatial Red Green Hole is pretty good too. If you are running Zeniths, Pixie Life works.
but now, the best one is pretty obviously Hakumai Danshaku, which is mana accel, mana recovery and a big fatty lockdown finisher at the same time! That is an advantage of 3 in 1 card.
Mana recovery is important in Zenith decks or just about any decks that uses mainly high cost finishers, as most of the time you will be dumping your finishers there.
When you reach the mana total where you can cast your highest-costing card, you have a decision to make: Continue with mana, or hold back to retain more cards? Well, if you're running a deck with mana ramp, it tends to be useless after you reach your mana ceiling, so put that into mana (unless you want to use Bronze-Arm and Jasmine as creature bodies, which is perfectly acceptable). If you have a lot of draw, you might want to continue putting cards into mana to play more cards. Otherwise, stick with the mana ceiling.
Sometimes people think they have problems with getting the right civilization into mana. This should never be a problem at all in 2, 3, or even 4-colored decks. In 5-colored decks, you'll probably want to use a few multicolored cards, especially 3-civilization cards like Romanesk, the Dragon Wizard and Nicol Bolas and Saizoumist, Dolge, to help fix your mana. But, no matter what, never use Courtney, Summer Breeze Faerie. It does nothing useful aside from fixing mana, and is generally a waste of space. You are better off using Imen=Bugo, Dragon Edge or Niga=Abushumu, Invasive Mystery for the same purpose instead. (It is the cheapest possible way to toy around with Space Charge, however.)
Any idiot with a brain (and thankfully, most beginners do) understands that filling your deck with high-cost cards is stupid.
So what tips can I give about summoning creatures? Well, none that I can think of right now. >.>
You need removal to deal with heavy threats or just about anything that can threaten your field. A deck with no removal is just a sitting duck against threats. Threats can arrange from Finishers such as Überdragon Bajula to jammers such as Nariel, the Oracle to speedy beatsticks such as Astral Reef, but they have one thing in common; Regardless of their size (Power is the last thing that matters on a creature) or appearance (Regardless if they are menacing dragons or cute anime girls), they can make you lose miserably.
Now that i had made you paranoid (again), i will give you some good tips. Let's do a comparison of each civilization on their removal:
- Light: Generally meh. It has tap-and-bash, but that's unreliable. Panic Room is good, but a bit slow, while Apocalypse Day, while also good, is very conditional. White Knight HEAVEN, Lord of Spirits and Vibros Heaven, Lord of Dragon Spirits are good, but they cost 8, and you'll need other removal spells before then. You could team up with Water and use Miraculous Snare, but that's restricted to 1. Another option with water is Arcadia Spark, but it's overly heavy and you do not want to rely on it. Super Eternal Spark deals with Dragheart Fortresses and D2 Fields and also Cheap anti for no cost tramples like Magnum, Allshot Puppet. It also deals with Osmosis Bullet Soul Skull Hunter and King Walsura, D2S + Universal Shark and Sea. Of course, Oriotis Judge is among the best against the meta since it wrecks entire offenses and punishes Dokindam X, The Legendary Forbidden.
- Water: Returning creatures to the hand is surprisingly effective, especially at such low costs and against the encroaching threat of psychic creatures. Even then, delaying a creature for a turn or two is good. Putting a creature on the top of the deck is only handled by Corile, and Corile is an excellent card. Team up with darkness and you can get Team Tech's Wave Go! which easily deals with Dokindam X, The Legendary Forbidden combined with other removal spells and destroys other high power creatures too.
- Darkness: The best? Definitely so, but mainly in control decks. Low-cost darkness removal is few in number save for the shaky School Man (Deadly Love has little use, really), and good darkness removal starts at cost 4 (Infernal Smash, Bubble Trap, Demon's Light). Of course, you can always team with Light and use Divine Punishment of Heaven, or Fire and use Super Infernal Gate Smash. The best darkness removal is Death Hands, Misfortune Emperor, period.
- Fire: As the Japanese call it, "firepower", Fire power-based removal cards are rarely used for removal alone. Usually, you should use firepower attached to a creature body. The only firepower cards I know of that see use in JP are Boost, Crimson Lord (with the cost 4 hyperspatial spells, it's extremely flexible), Hyperspatial Bolshack Hole, Blazing Tiger, Crimson Lord and Mega Magma Dragon (kills all weenies in rush). Then, there's blocker removal, but aside from Hyperspatial Shooting Hole and GENJI Double Cross, Blastdragon, nobody uses it. Forced Battling is also very useful as well, most notably Bolshack Dogiragon. However, mix with nature and you get Team Hamukatsu's Explosion Go!, one of the best removal in the game.
- In Revolution, Fire got an even better form of removal known as Sealing, which nullifies an opposing creature without having it leave the battle zone and near-permanently removes Zero Civilization creatures since you need a Command to remove a seal from a card from the same civilization, and Zero creatures don't have civilizations. It also provides a cheap getaway from heavy lockdowns such as VAN Beethoven, Zenith of "Shura". Out of all sealing cards, only The End of X can remove VAN Beethoven by itself.
- Nature: Probably the second best (beast?) in removal. Natural Snare is Nature's general spot removal spell, and Trap Giant is the spot-on removal creature. Princess Cub, the Crusher is the Nature version of Blazing Tiger, and useful in decks that don't run Fire. Leaf Storm Trap is used in control decks. The=Deadbrachio, World Evil Dragonkind is used in 5 civilization decks for easy removal and anti-Dokindam/Manalock which can usually cause a quick loss. The fact that these removals give your opponent mana rarely matter.
Shield triggers? You NEED them or you are a sitting duck. Even the strongest knight needs an emergency tactic to defend himself from an attack that he can't possibly counter with his might, and so should you. However, the number of those you should have depends on what your deck has and what it wants. If it's a rush deck, you still need defense, but it should be consisted of Revolution 0 Triggers. If you are running Redzone, you may need other forms of defense to stall threats for a while, such as The End of X or Holy, Flash Guardian. Otherwise, you have to have at least 8 shield triggers that can deal with a wide variety of threats, even if you're running a beatdown deck. STs are more favored by beatdown decks, which usually need the defense but usually don't want to play blockers. Control Decks will usually mix Blockers with ST for double defense.
So you want to manipulate shields to have STs. Well, surprisingly, beatdown is the deck that wants to do this, mainly due to Hyperspatial White Blue Hole and Hyperspatial Green White Hole. Easy ST setup, and you get to play something like Gaga Packun, Io Enforcer or Diana, Temporal Brave.
Oh and one thing; shield manipulating is USELESS against Redzone Z, Passionate Invasion because it just burns the set shield. It's always used in Redzone, and you will have to be ready for it. Same goes for Diehard Ryusei of Invincibility and Bolmeteus Black Dragon which are pretty common in decks with higher mana ranges and just burns set shields just like Redzone Z.
Not much to say. Shield adding from the top of your deck (that is, stuff like Skysword, the Savage Vizier) is one of the things you can do with reckless abandon, because there is little downside. Don't overdo it, though.
Shield adding from the hand, however, again just use Emeralda, Pitch Dragon Elemental. It's very reliable, and you can also use shield trigger with it's ability. If you are in a pinch and don't want to sacrifice your hand, you can just choose to sacrifice a shield for an emergency shield trigger.
Revolution 0 Triggers serve as a good defense in mono civilization or quasi-mono civilization creature oriented decks. Creatures include Bolshack Dogiragon and Miracle Miradante, and spells include Iron Fist of Revolution, Aquarius of Revolution and Boulder of Revolution.
To use a creature Revolution 0 Trigger, reveal the top card of your deck and if it's a creature with the same civilization as that creature, you put it into the battle zone and put that creature on top of that creature. They can be a literal disaster that can make you lose when your opponent triggers them, so make sure you do not trigger them or be prepared to get around them if you can.
To use a spell Trigger it's basically the same, but the spells don't offer much other than removing the creature or stalling the attack.
But remember, if you fail to kill off the direct attacking creature in the first trigger, you will lose instantly without having another chance for another one because the timing is over. As a result, unchoosables and unblockables are good for direct attacking an opponent reliant on Revolution 0 Triggers. However, it should be noted that Bolshack Dogiragon can forbidden liberate Dokindam X, The Legendary Forbidden which will almost always result in a loss.
To make a Revolution 0 Trigger work with perfect consistency, you need 25 creatures at the least and 30 if able. And a creature trigger that reveals an evolution creature counts as a fail, so don't pack too many evolution creatures. You can pack Neo Creatures however.
The other old Ninjas actually aren't that good now. Hanzou, Menacing Phantom is actually completely useless save for in Dormageddon X where it can big bang and force your opponent to lose. Orochi of the Hidden Blade is useless for defense since it simply drags out worse creatures.
But the best ones are Saizoumist, Dolge and Sarutobi Giant, Dolge into Baiken, Blue Dragon of the Hidden Blade. The former is tricolored and can fix mana pools and can also fixed block an attack for 1 turn as it adds shields, AND also helps against volg deckouts. The latter is an effective form of removal that can take care of most stuff with its fixed removal and is perfect against draghearts. They are also unrestricted as well, and are giants. Finally they are also water and so can revolution change into Rafululu, Sound Faerie when manually summoned!
This is a fantastically broken card. Not only it's static draw, it's also difficult to remove and has shield trigger. And when you activate its Denjara Switch, it casts a water spell that costs 7 or less for no cost! Again, this trigger is very toxic so beware of the opponent's deck if you see it.
Here are the spells that you should cast with it:
- Hyperspatial Gallows Hole: Perfect against lone, powerful attackers such as Miradante Twelve, Time Pope and MaltNEXT, Super Battle Dragon Edge, especially with Black Ganveet, Temporal Soldier. Unfortunately, it's restricted.
- Team Tech's Wave Go!: Deals with hordes of weenies easily. Also fixed removal.
- Cyber Tune: Useful for cost trampling Baiken, Blue Dragon of the Hidden Blade.
- Spiral Hurricane, Hero Secret Technique: Perfect for mono water, and when mono water has 7 mana.
- Miraculous Plague: Not as good as Gallows Hole but also removes 2 opposing mana.
- Fortification Against Barrage and Ambush: Perfect for wiping out masses of creatures with a Forever Princess, Eternal Ruler.
- Mystery Captain Fleet: Like Spiral Hurricane, but for multicolored decks.
However, if your opponent locks spells you cannot really use it, so hope your opponent is not using a spell resistant deck. Also since it needs the hand to activate, discards work against it, especially mass discard.
When defense does not matter
However defense sometimes doesn't really matter unfortunately, especially in the DM2017 Metagame. While unblockables are rarely seen, stuff like Magnum, Shortshot, Rafululu, Sound Faerie, Miradante Twelve, Time Pope, Goemonkey/Chain Grasper, Five Color Jolly the Johnny Joe, All Delete Dokindam, Water Nature Dueland, Bei B Spam Loops and Zenith Turbo will basically demolish you regardless of how many triggers you have in your shield zone, how many Revolution 0 Triggers or Ninja Strikes you have or a Cyberdice Vegas, Gambling Expert of D in your battle zone.
This does not mean that you should ignore all defense because they may come in handy against decks with extreme offensive powers or removal powers like Dormageddon X, Jokers and MaltNEXT, but just make sure that you act quick, have discard resistance and don't expect your shield zone to have any triggers because they likely won't have any or simply won't work in your favor. Most of the decks with fixed kills have huge amounts of combo parts, so discarding those combo parts from your opponent's hand or rushing them before they can do so is your best bet. Also be noted they also have huge amounts of defense so it may not be that easy to rush them.
Getting Around Defenses
While decks with higher offensive powers such as Darkness Fire Dogiragon Buster, MaltNEXT and Jokers do not have much ways to stop defensive plays, if you do not run those you need ways to stop defensive plays. These include:
- Against spell triggers, there are plenty of options, but they might not fit in some types of decks. Rafululu, Sound Faerie is the go-by in light decks and Dogiragon Buster, Blue Leader decks because it allows you to one-shot without any fear of reversal, when your opponent does not have any creature triggers. Codeking Number Nine works wonders in dragon decks. Moai Land, Ancient Paradise works well in Bei B loops and Big Mana decks. Queen Alcadeias, Dark Gaia works well in various types of command and multicolored mana arms decks and even works in some Dormageddon X variants. Final Stop and Miracle Stop work well in decks using Miradante Twelve, Time Pope and also locks your opponent out in the next turn. These also stop Cyberdice counters as well.
- Against creature triggers, there are only a few options but all of them are extremely effective. Magnum, Shortshot is the go by since it stops all of them (Shield Triggers, Strike Back, Revolution 0 Trigger) without fail and also prevents any come into play effects from activating. If you are running rush Yadoc, Beast Army and Oriotis, Control Wings stops them since most Shield Trigger creatures have a high cost. Entertainer of Stealing and Lying, King Alcadeias, Dark Gaia and Forever Princess, Eternal Ruler prevents them from staying in the battle zone, but come into play effects still trigger. Miradante Twelve, Time Pope works too, but it does not prevent all triggers, only most of them.
- Blocker-Generating Triggers can easily be got around by spamming massive amounts of creatures; There's only so much a blocker can handle.
- Against counter defense such as Revolution 0 Triggers, Ninja Strikes, Heaven's Gate and Spells spammed by Cyberdice Vegas, Gambling Expert of D, a good idea is to discard them. Just beware that decks running these cards usually have anti discard, so it may not always be your best bet unless they are random or pinpoint discards.
- Having removal resistance and unchoosable helps against most triggers, but be noted that many triggers stop attacks and do not remove creatures so they may be useless in that regard.
- Of course, the best way to stop them is to not attack at all. Your opponent cannot do anything in your turn unless you attack. So, Loops, Deck-outs and Alternate Wins are attractive to some types of people who do not care whatever it takes to win.
Getting around offenses
However, they can be got around using specific cards. If you come into modern ocg, you will inevitably see a few of these and add them to your deck. Usually if you are running the same type of despicable rush you use them, but if you are running other slower decks they fit as well.
- Anti-for no cost: These cards will directly imply "for no cost" and are the most straight-foward. The most easiest to bring out of these include Entertainer of Stealing and Lying, Deathmatch Beetle and Pokchinchin, which will stop your opponent's creatures from being put into the battle zone for no cost regardless if they were summoned or not. Some don't prevent shield triggers like Deathmatch and Pokchinchin, but others like Entertainer and King Alcadeias, Dark Gaia do. Remember they need to be as low cost as possible but not easy enough to merit them from being instantly killed. (Matador Marcuze is useless for this reason.)
- Anti-non summoning: These are not as powerful as the traditionals, but they are the most common because of how powerful their additional effects are. Such creatures include Onikamas, Strange Flow and Senno, Brainwash, and especially Onikamas is the thing; It is seen in every single deck using water as a core and for a good reason: Regular removal does not touch it. Specifically a slot needs to be used in order to be remove it, making it extremely threatening to any deck that is not prepared to deal with it. Of course you might be able to allow your opponent to recycle come into play effects so you can choose when to or when not to bounce.
- Anti-cost reduction: Another common anti-offense, although it's even worse than the standard for no cost because they affect cost reduction too, making them natural enemies to decks that rely on them, like Gale Vesper and Jokers. The most common include Oriotis, Control Wings, Mixel, Strange Stone and Yadoc, Beast Army, with Mixel also being a nice lubricant to a finish due to its spell side. They also have pretty high power and dedicate a slot for them, because not being able to remove them and it's usually GG. Yadoc in general is potentially lethal because your stuff doesn't get to the battle zone, although its cost is too high to merit any normal use.
Not much creature graveyard recovery these days, except tacked onto a good effect like Hyperspatial Revive Hole, Moors, the Dirty Digger Puppet or Evil Heat, Screaming Demon Dragon, the latter 2 of which are restricted to 1.
Spell recovery, though, is excellent; most control decks can use Chief De Baula, Machine King of Mystic Light, Phal Pierro, Apocalyptic Guardian or Spellbe, Aqua Spellcaster. Nowadays though they're all overshadowed by the even stronger Sr Spellcyclica, Dragment Symbol.
But the best unrestricted one is Bell Hell De Skull, Moon Reaper, which can recover any card, and also from the mana zone, and it has shield trigger. Pretty important if you are running a darkness command deck.
To use the graveyard effectively, you most likely need a way to put cards from your deck into the graveyard. It's very likely needed for decks that reanimate creatures, reducing the costs of 5000GT, Riot, and sending out Crossfire, Millionaire quick. Don't over do it since it may cause you to deck-out.
Gaining cards in hand
Most beginners do not know the importance of draw, which directly causes their defeat because they cannot access their key cards, or they are constantly discarded. Come on, This isn't UNO. If you have no hand you WILL lose, not win.
Card draw is important. Every turn you will draw 1 card and spend an average of 2 cards in your hand (Even more when discards and using multiple cards are involved), so the draw at the start of the turn is NOT enough to replenish the hand. A deck with no draw will die in no time unless it is designed for short and quick battles, like Rush because it will make you unable to access key cards and you will be forced to dump all of them into the mana zone. Even if you run heavyweight decks, you should have at least some hand replenishment.
If you find that your opponent is continually removing and discarding your cards, or you find yourself forced into top-decking mode, card draw eases that significantly. It does not even need to fill your hand with cards, it just needs to allow you to access to your core cards consistently.
I use the term "draw" loosely, because that certainly isn't the only way to get cards in hand.
The draw you need varies by decktype and civilization.
- Water: By far the best card draw, and usable in both beatdown and control. Examples of good Water draw cards in beatdown include Aqua Hulcus, Qurian, Viblo Blade, Hulcus Range, Newton, Aqua Ace, Christopher, Dark Knight, Cosmo Cebu Lambda, the Super Electromagnetic, Aqua Cutlass, Temporal Swordsman / Aqua Excalibur, the Awakened Indigo Swordsman, and Lucky Ball. In control, you might see stuff like Aquan Jr.'s Delivery and Energy Stream. But now it's pretty obvious that Cyberdice Vegas, Gambling Expert of D is the best.
- Nature: Nature is strange in that it only has very few draw cards, but it's still one of the best draw civs. Hustle Castle is an important 4-of in many control decks not running Water. Lifeplan Charger goes well with mana ramps too. Trio, Tribe works well in hyperspatial control. Shaman Totem is decent, but...not as used often.
- Light: Light has a few card-gain effects. Just a few. Mist Rias, Sonic Guardian works mainly in control decks and it's not restricted now, so if you plan to play slowly, use it. Gaga Pikarian is useful in Light beatdown decks not running Water. Aqua Attack (BAGOOON Panzer) can be used in either. Bernine, Dragon Armored is needed if you want to spam huge amounts of Metallicas.
- Fire: Used to share the bottom position of card advantage with Darkness, but Schumacher, New World changed everything. There's also Pulsar, Trans Suction, Royal Ira, Explosive Passion, Kodamanma, Gil Gil Puppet and Fire Crystal Bomb. If you run Invasion, Turbo 3, Supersonic is perfect and it also prevents your Redzones from becoming still objects. Scale of Bravery and Love is obviously the best since it fuels up your grave and can sometimes act as power based removal.
- Darkness: Just use Vader, Dark Armor. Heavy, Dragon God is not restricted now too, so you may want to use it. If you pair with Water you can even get Demon's Light which will serve as a good Madonna and troublesome weenie counter. Any troublesome weenie but Onikamas, Strange Flow. OR Brain Touch which is both draw and random discard for your opponent.
- This section doesn't deal with mana or graveyard recovery.
In beatdown decks running darkness, Jenny, the Dismantling Puppet is often used to snipe specific cards in your opponent's hand that can mess with your strategy. Zamaru, Treasure of Darkness is good, but not worth restricting yourself to mono-Darkness or a deck with several multicolored cards. Master Weapon - All Yes, on the other hand, is so amazing that beatdown decks are built around it (usually Light/Water/Darkness these days).
In control, discard is a choice between multiple smaller discard cards (like Jenny, the Suicide Doll and Ghost Touch) and Lost Soul, usually not both. Lost Mind Torture has also seen a few uses due to the rampaging spell meta. That, Mind Reset and Vice Kaiser Zeta, the Vengeance also combo quite well with Batou Shoulder, Shadow of Fiction. For progression reasons, Mono-Darkness Control uses cards such as Zabi Barrel, Western Doll and Tigermite, Bomb Devil. Tigernitro, Explosive Devil can also be used in mono darkness to lock the opponent out of his options and after your opponent has no hand, you can cast Upheaval to empty his mana zone too. Black Psycho, Revenge acts as the modern-day Skeleton Vice that can be used as a beatstick (Which is banned completely because it's too easy to abuse) but of course it's restricted to 1. Blacko, Dragon Soul Palace can also be used to get around Ryusei, but I won't recommend bringing this guy as it takes up valuable hyperspatial slots. If you run multicolored civilization control, Demon Wolf, Betrayal Moonlight Castle is perfect.
Other than that, Jenny, the Dismantling Puppet is a given in any deck with Darkness as its main civilization. (Or Pakurio in any deck that does not break shields to win or needs the opponent's shields to win like Baki or Water Nature Dueland, because it effectively "exiles" those cards since you won't attack until the last moment or at all.)
Stuff like Pakurio are much more difficult to defend against since they don't use the word "discard" and you could just kiss that card goodbye because it usually gets used in decks where the number of shields never matters. (Which is one of the reasons why Pakurio is so annoying.) Of course, graveyard recovery and shield recovery is one of the options, but it's generally a waste of valuable mana. Kishima Giant is not a problem since it's rarely seen. And the best method is none other than Evidegoras, Dragon Sonic Aircraft Carrier and its creature form or Cyberdice Vegas, Gambling Expert of D since you draw more than the opponent can discard you.
Aside from that, how do you decide if you want blockers in your deck?
Blockers in beatdown
- If you have a beatdown deck with an powerful low-cost evolution creature like Astral Reef or Marshall Queen, and want an evolution bait that costs less than it that happens to be a blocker, use it.
- Death March, Reaper Puppeteer is just an excellent cheap evolution creature for a rush deck that just happens to be a blocker. The blocking isn't going to matter much unless the opponent has forced you to be defensive. In the same vein, if you've got an excellent attacker, like Marrow Ooze, the Twister, that just happens to be a blocker, use it.
- Otherwise, just don't run any blockers in beatdown.
Blockers in control
- In control decks, you generally want to run a few blockers over relying on shield triggers for defense. Good blockers include Bloody Shadow, Mystic Light Death Knight, Mil Armor, Mecha King Vizier, Chakra, Temporal Thunder Dragon, Kernel, Blue Stagnation Dragon Elemental, Dorbro, Final Forbidden Gamma and Emeralda, Pitch Dragon Elemental.
- You should generally avoid blockers without any effects other than blocking. As mentioned above they do not speed up your winning condition, and do not bring any advantages other than blocking. Bloody Shadow has Gravity Zero, Mil Armor reduces the cost of your spells, Dorbro can unseal Dormageddon X, Forbidden Armageddon and potentially give itself slayer, and Chakra turns into a big finisher creature. No Bloody Squitos, La Ura Giga, Sky Guardians, or Madrillon Fishes. Ability-less psychic blockers are an exception; Aqua Cascade (ZABUUUN Cruiser), Merrianne, Apostle of the Alps, Silver Volg, and Martini, Temporal Dancer are all perfectly usable, because the flexibility of hyperspatial spells is amazing.
- But one warning: Blocking is not always the solution to your problems. While real blocker-based removal are few and far between right now (Not even GENJI Double Cross, Blastdragon is that common in this metagame), there are some powerful Come Into Play and Attack Trigger effects such as Redzone, Roaring Invasion and Onimaru "Head", Victory Rush's effects that will trigger regardless if you block them or not. Even if you stopped and defeated the creatures themselves with a powerful blocker, the effects will pull off anyway and you could still lose due to those effects. Also, it is sometimes wise to let your opponent break your shields for hand advantage.
Here's something new. In DMRP-01, there are cards with the Attack Bend effect. These effects are basically that when your opponent attacks something you can redirect the attack to itself or your other tapped creatures by untapping it.
This is not very useful on its own since the creatures has to be tapped and unless it is put into the battle zone tapped, it cannot bend attacks from the get go. This means that if you want to use this repeatedly, you need to attack pretty frequently which can sometimes be dangerous.
However, there are effects that allow you to tap your own creatures such as Just Labyrinth or Jack, Bei B. If you have any tapped huge creatures it's useful to have your attack benders bump your opponent's attackers onto it. Sky Chain, Red Wrath, Wonder Turtle, Great Labyrinth Turtle and Ov Sidia are good.
Attack Benders have lots of advantages compared to conventional blockers such as the ability to bypass dangerous unblockables like Untouchable Powered, the Awakened Protean and Bolmeteus Blue Flame Dragon, the attack bend action itself is not affected by Prin Prin, the Victorious and Kernel, Blue Stagnation Dragon Elemental, and they are not affected by blocker based removal like Mega Blade Dragon or GENJI Double Cross, Blastdragon. However they have low based power so beware when you get all your attack benders killed in one go by creatures like Mega Magma Dragon. Unlike regular blockers they have zero rush resistance as well and are better against slower paced beatdowns.
Twinpacts are a new type of card type that are found in the aptly named Twinpact Series. They are a type of card with both a creature side and a spell side, and thus is less likely to be dead weight than cards with only one side. They are mandatory in order to make full use of the deck slots in most cases since 40 cards isn't a lot, and many of them are really useful. Examples of good twinpacts include Kuromame Danshaku / Hakumai Danshaku. Oblady Hornet /「Let it Bee!」, Mushimushinonnon / Heat enough to burn to Ash, King the Slotton 7 / Seventh Seven, Chengza, Dragon Armored Ship / Fourth of the Six Bizarre ~Earth Breaking Waterfall~, Deal, Mechanic / 「Today's Lucky Number!」 and Mad Demon Excellency / Demon Hand, and eventually you will meet a deck that uses them.
In order to use a Twinpact, simply pay the cost for the side that you want to use then declare if you are using the creature or spell. If only one side has shield trigger, you can only use that as a Shield trigger and not the other side. If a card says it adds a creature or spell to your hand (Or anything that effects them), you can add a twinpact to it regardless of things, so it works well with cards such as Hyperspatial Revive Hole as you can recover both the creature side and spell side. They can also be used to build decks that are full creature or close to full creature, and are a must on Gachirobo decks.
As for invasion's counterpart, Revolution...Just don't use it. Aside of Bolshack Dogiragon, which is the only few good defenses in Redzone (Which ironically is Invasion!) and Miracle Miradante which is the perfect Redzone and Kaiser "Blade Demon" counter for Mono-light Southern Renaissance, Resonance Dragon Elemental decks (And seriously it does an EVEN better job than Bolshack Dogiragon in this regard). If you don't want to use invasion, Death March, Reaper Puppeteer, Huckle Kirin Sawyer, Jungle Governor, Astral Reef, DarthRayne, Dream Knight, Miracle Star, Lord of Dragon Spirits and Bell the Elemental are excellent in lightweight-midweight beatdowns.
In Mono Light and Mono Fire creature spam decks, Miracle Miradante and Bolshack Dogiragon is a must respectively for defense. While being highly luck based as even with a minimum amount of non-regular creature cards you can still screw up and somehow lacking crowd control, they can trigger come into play effects and if you use creatures with destructive come into play effects like Codeking Mozart and Kaiserbarra, War Dragon Elemental, they can help a lot. It's the only reason that you would use any evolution creature in a non-rush deck these days.
Heavyweight evolution creatures had also done wonders too, but you need a deck made for them. Sanctuary of the Mother is often needed for these type of decks. Good heavyweights include Alphadios, Lord of Spirits, Dorballom, Lord of Demons (And his Dragon counterpart), Shangri-La, Climax of "Cruelty", Kiriko Cubic, First Model Dragon Emperor, Miradante, Time Revolution, Dogiragon, Flaming Revolution, (Did i tell you don't use Revolution? It's ok here if you have ways to get them out quick. That's it.) Codecommand Death Marriage, Greatest Caesar, the Dark Kaiser and Shiden Galaxy, Super Champ. If you love fun decks you can use Phoenixes and if you love tricky combos you can use Ultimate Galaxy Universe and Gaial, King of Kaiser.
Only 1 or 2 copies of each heavyweight evolution creature should be in your deck, (Save for Phoenixes or other deck concept heavyweights) but you need multiple copies of lightweight evolution creatures in your deck to make them effective.
Otherwise, you do not need evolution creatures at all.
Also from my experience your opponent WILL try to remove your D2 Fields if he can, so powerful ones like Wild Safari Channel, D of Great Revolution and Dokindam Area, Forbidden of D are very vulnerable. Be noted some like the Cyberdice Vegas, Gambling Expert of D, Memento Guardian Shrine, Prison Court of D and Mad Dead Wood, Seductive of D can also suprise kill your D2 Fields because they have shield trigger, and they cannot be prevented so far save for Galamuta, Matchless Fear Lord which is rarely seen. If you don't end your opponent in the turn it is sent out, Mad Dead Wood can even directly result in your defeat.
Thankfully save for Cyberdice Vegas, Gambling Expert of D, all of these D2 Fields don't have their worst (and potentially dangerous) effects spring in as soon as they come, so you can still one shot your opponent as you please.
Otherwise D2 Fields are very useful and i believe you will be hard pressed to find a mid-speed to slow-speed deck that does not use them. However, remember don't use it for the purpose of using a Master Initials (Or any other card that has an effect requiring D2 Fields to activate) because many of those save for Doguraeater, D2M2, Wachagona, Muen Zangu and Blackout, ZERO Invasion (With the last one which you won't use with a D2 Field most of the time) are flat out horrible.
See this page.
See this page.
Hall of Fame cards
That said, should you include them in your deck? YES, YOU SHOULD! Even if it's one copy, you still want a hall of fame card that matches your deck concept in your deck. Mid range beatdowns, quick loops and controls need Falconer, Lightfang Ninja in order to prevent it from being killed too quickly. (Also comes in handy to stop Jokers 3 or 4 turn world breaks.) Big Mana decks sometimes need 1 copy of Gachinko Roulette to give themselves extra mana, as well as always needing a copy of Onimaru "Head", Victory Rush for a big finish. Quick nature beatdowns need 1 copy of Sanmadd, S-Rank Tribe to increase beatdown power. Darkness Fire Dormageddon Deadzones or Darkness using Busters need 1 copy of Evil Heat, Screaming Demon Dragon to potentially change the course of the duel by itself. MaltNEXT Needs that Mega Manalock Dragon and Scramble Change to speed up and control the opponent. And last but not least, 1 copy of Streaming Shaper is a given in all mono water or close to mono water decks.
More importantly, 1 copy of a loop part is enough in your loops as your whole deck is tailored to bring it out.
Do not underestimate the power of even 1 copy of these cards; They sometimes help a lot!
However, with Dragon Saga we got stronger focuses on mono decks and we witnessed the emerging of newer meta decks such as Mono-Light rush, Mono-Light Heaven's Gate, Mono-Darkness Control, Mono-Darkness Hellborof, Mono-Fire rush, Redzone, Malt "King", MaltNEXT, Mono-Nature Bearfugan and Mono-Nature Sasoris. Now Mono civilization decks, if organized correctly, are a hit in the metagame.
However save for some decks like Mono Light Draguner Heaven's Gate, Mono Darkness Hellborof and Mono Nature Sasoris, it is still advised to use a quasi mono civilization deck that includes multicolored cards with the main civilization. All of the meta mono waters are mixed with either nature or light, and all mono fires in meta are mixed with nature and/or darkness.
If you are running quasi mono nature and you use lots of big creatures like in Gale Vesper, run a few zeniths. If you use a lighter monocolor deck like Sasoris or Goemonkey Loop, add a Falconer to it. Even some Hellborofs like Falconer. If you run mono-light metallica, run a few DG ~The Thing Made By Man~ to give yourself some extra finishers. (But not DG ~Time of Judgment~ because it prohibits you from using Ov Sidia or Wonder Turtle to finish!) Might break it a bit, but Helps a lot.
Sooner or later you will notice some cards like MaltNEXT, Super Battle Dragon Edge and Tsumitobatsu, Misfortune Hero have an ability called Mana Arms that allows it to activate an ability when you have a number of cards of that civilization in the battle zone. At first glance it seems to be horrendously difficult to activate as you could be accustomed to multicolored decks consisting of 3 or 4 civilizations. However, with lots of mono civilization support available during Dragon Saga to Revolution Final, it's more easy than you think.
Generally chargers and part nature mana acceleration makes things easier, but the latter is really only available in Fire, Darkness or Nature and some draw is recommended, although all civilizations have draw of some sorts now.
There are also cards that require multicolored cards to activate Mana Arms in Revolution Final. These will suffer from color screw problems but otherwise are excellent in ramps, discards or offense in decks that use them.
But whatever you do don't even think about skimping through with mana fixers like Courtney, Summer Breeze Faerie, Niga=Abushumu, Invasive Mystery and Imen=Bugo, Dragon Edge, the former 1 is too weak and the latter 2 are too expensive and leave you wide open to rushes and other more effective 5 color controls.
Stuff that you probably should not underestimate/overestimate
It's sometimes easy to dismiss a new card as shit when you first saw it before it was released. Very likely it could be the opposite because some cards are not that strong at first glance, but when you see them played in front of you, you will realize that they are pretty dangerous/annoying. The reverse is the same with seemingly good cards; chances are they will simply fall flat in real practice. Make sure of this when you see new cards from websites before you dismiss them as shit, or glorify them like gods.
The following is a list of stuff that you should not underestimate;
- Cheap Darkness/Nature Evolution Creatures; these things seem to be harmless/easy to beat at first glance, but most of them will overrun you before you even know it, as they will usually contain some sort of effect that will allow them to plow through your defenses easily. Examples include: Death March, Reaper Puppeteer, Huckle Kirin Sawyer, Jungle Governor, Sanmadd, S-Rank Tribe
- Stuff that has an alternate loss effect in exchange of speed, strength and effect; most of these stuff are laughed upon like clowns when they first appear before people even used it, but the truth is when they are actually used, the loss effect barely matters because they will plow you through before the loss effect even matters. If the lost effect matters, it's very likely being sent out at the wrong time. Examples include: Dokindam X, The Legendary Forbidden, Bombazar, Dragon of Destiny (You won't see the latter used by any responsible player and anywhere with a hall of fame)
- Stuff that sends cards into your shields; Seems like buffing you at the first glance, but this usually means that the opponent is running some sort of Deck-out/Baki/Hyperspatial control deck and usually the shields does not matter in those cases, and may even become a demerit since the cards will never be recovered. Please don't underestimate them, especially that if they are cheap. Example: Miraculous Snare, Pakurio
- Stuff that removes your own shields for an advantage; Sometimes your shields are worth sacrificing in a rush deck. Usually it's for hand advantage or sending out Dual Shock Dragon. Your opponent will die before the shield loss matters. Or maybe sacrificing shields to activate Revolution or using Emeralda, Pitch Dragon Elemental to use a shield trigger. Don't overdo it, however. Examples: Many Stuff
- Cheap jammers; There exists lots of cheap methods to hinder spell casting and cost trampling and most of these are really effective in their job. Underestimate them at your own peril. Examples: Oriotis, Control Wings, Batou Shoulder, Shadow of Fiction, Hibiki, Explosive Mirror
- Lightweight Cost Trampling; While it is a common sense that heavyweight cost trampling is blatantly dangerous, Light cost trampling can be even more dangerous as lightweight creatures usually contain utility creatures or psychic cards which can easily declare the end of the game. Also they tend to spam more creatures and sometimes can even take out almost all of the creatures in their owner's deck and are much easier to send out or function than heavyweight cost tramplers, so underestimating them is the last thing you want to do. Being able to cost trample creatures that cost 4 or less or Cost 5 or less is already extremely threatening for these types of cards. Examples: Dogiragon Buster, Blue Leader, Boaropagos, Evil Emperor Ruins, Welcome Hell, Supreme Devil King Palace
The following is a list of stuff that you should not overestimate;
- Shield Trigger giving stuff; Shield Trigger giving stuff usually isn't that good considering it takes a good deal to activate those effects yourself. If you get to return a shield to your hand to use the shield trigger, your opponent very likely chooses that stuff so manipulating shields is pointless. Most of them don't have much removal resistance as well so your opponent will very likely try to remove it before you get to use it's effect. Examples: Lionel, Zenith of "Ore", Perfect Earth, Planetary Dragon
- Mass cost tramplers; Most of these are pretty flashy, but since they have various limitations such as difficult evolution bait, can only cost trample from hand and luck based effects, they won't be the next Kiriko or Baki. Examples: Unidentified, Domitius, Evil Emperor of Five Dragonskind
- Revolution stuff; Trust me, they will NEVER outpace and outrun Invasion decks. Keep this to the anime, please. Examples: Many stuff
- Shield Breaks; Seriously, don't give your opponent shield triggers to use. you will be stuck in a terrible situation, or you can trigger a shield trigger loop and die. If it Burns shields and not breaks shields, feel free to use it. Examples: Death the Lost, Demon Revolution, Sonic Boom, Sonic
- High cost and Passively defensive stuff; Stuff that say "You can't be attacked" and "Your shields don't break" probably aren't that good if they are high costed or difficult to activate, since most of these stuff take a hard time to activate and have no removal resistance in order to balance things up. Examples: Oni "Champion", Victory Twelve, Yomi, Humanity God, Saurupio, Ancient King (Although the last one is used for reasons other than defense.)
A Walkthrough of the Civilizations
| WARNING: The cards in this walktrough AREN'T NECESSARILY META. |
Ignore this at your own peril.