Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Case for Rivalry of Warlords

What’s with all the pure Geargia builds?  Have they released Auger without my notice?  Are players becoming too ashamed to OTK?   Has someone placed a curse on Karakurses? 

No, the rise of the pure Geargia deck has more to do with changes in the extra deck than changes in the main deck.  While most of us are grudgingly putting up with Exciton Knight and Silent Honor Ark, we may not realize how these cards are changing the game.  Pure Geargia builds are effective because they have ready access to Nuke and Steal.  Furthermore, the Geargias are not alone.  Chain Summoning Gadgets also topped at the Chicago YCS.  In fact, any rank four toolbox decks has received a boost from these cards. 

The dominance of rank four monsters is apparent when looking at the extra decks from YCS Chicago.  The table below ranks the extra deck monsters by their prevalence in 24 of the top decks.  348 cards from 13 archetypes were included in this analysis.  The column on the far right is the “Big Eye” index or the prevalence of the XYZ monster compared to Number 11: Big Eye.  In other words, Silent Honor Ark was nearly ten times more popular than the once super-broken Big Eye. Exciton Knight was over 6 times more popular.  The only other monster in the top 30 with a rank greater than four was Draccosack.  
I will admit that association does not prove causation.  In other words, there may be other reasons for the move to rank four decks.  However, the Geargias provide a rather interesting case study.  Little else has changed for the deck besides the presence of these monsters. I contend that the shift is the result of the introduction of Silent Steal and Nuke Roach.  

The trend towards rank four monsters may give life to Rivalry of Warlords.  The card, which restricts players to a single type, is already effective against Evilswarms, Constellars, and Madolches.  For those of you worrying about getting Scrap wrecked, the Scrap family is composed of nine different types.  Chronomalies are mostly rock type but their XYZs are mostly machines.  Mermails are the only deck that can make Silent Honor under Rivalry.  Level four fiends are even rarer.  Pure Geargia and Gadgets would sputter to a halt. 

For every deck that loses to Rivalry, there are several that would prosper.  Sylvans would have no trouble.  Fire Fists, Dark Worlds, and Bujins would likely curry advantage.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this card becomes more prominent in side decks of these archetypes. 

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