Saturday, July 19, 2014

One Last Fling: Preparing for the ARG Finals

In the past, discussion of the NAWCQ results was little more than a nostalgic epilogue.  F&L list changes and new cards quickly made this championship of little interest to anyone except for the half a dozen doolists set to go to worlds. But now the season has one more fling before the new meta begins.  

The ARG finale has become the Pro Bowl to Konami’s Super Bowl … except for the fact that just about anyone can enter. Sure you need an invite, but if yours truly is going, the club is not that exclusive.  So I took more than a casual interest in the results as I prepared to meet my Ohioan doom. 

Main Deck Changes
I still find the explosiveness of the GeargiaKuri build effective and intimidating. Though it doesn’t recover from disruption as fast as the Droolers can, it does have access to the three strongest synchro monsters in the game: Stardust Dragon, Colossal Fighter, and Scrap Dragon.  Stardust’s ability to negate destruction interrupts Moralltach, F/I Hands, and even many of the trap holes.  Big Trees are no problem for Colossal and Scrap’s targeted removal makes Dire Wolf look … well, dire.  

Play testing the deck led me to abandon Effect Veilers and Cyber Dragons as troublesome – 1 monsters.  I have also retired Tin Goldfish with the same logic. The little fish shines in the Mermail match-up, but the additional point boost is not worth the loss in card advantage.  

I have instead turned to the Psychic Engine (Teleport x 3 and Commander x 2) to add a little game one speed.  While it can lead to some cloggy hands, it does make siding a bit more efficient.  The five card engine can be dropped without disrupting the essential elements of the deck.  

The Little Engine That Could
It's Coming!
The surprise card of the deck is Construction Train Signal Red.  The little caboose can be special summoned to deflect an attack away from another monster on the field.  Though it can only do so once, it is still quite effective in protecting Armor or Gear Gigant so that you can get another search.  The card will also maintain field presence and allow you to set up a counter attack.  As a machine, it is searchable with Gear Gigant and it makes Iron Call viable.  

However, the real strength of the card is the access it grants to two other great synchro monsters: Naturia Barkion and the (formerly late, but still great) Goyo.  Goyo’s 2800 attack remains intimidating and taking the monsters of others is always a good thing.  Barkion can come to the rescue against several of the trap heavy decks circulating in the meta.  
… now for something on the side
There were about fourteen different deck types among the top 64 finishers of the NAWCQ.  Even if you combine all the Artifacts and Drooler decks, you are still left with ten distinct archetypes.  To these ten, I would also consider Samurai, Evilswarm, and Dark World as viable choices, which leads to a rather intimidating list (see the table below).  

One can simplify the approach to this list by classifying these decks by their primary mechanics.  For example, Madolches, Eivilswarms, and Artifacts tend to by heavy trap based decks; Lightsworns and Droolers rely on their graveyards.  There are cards that disrupt each of these mechanics.  The table below shows my current “Side-In” choices for each of the archetypes.  This list includes the tribute summon monsters Jinzo and Vanity’s Fiend.  Thanks to the little red train card, these are options over Wire Tap or Vanity’s Emptiness. 

With one more week of testing left, my current deck list is as follows:
Geargia: Armor x 3, Arsenal x 3, Accelerator x 3, Geargiano
Tuners: Saizan x 2, Nishipachi, Birdman, Psychic Commander x 2
Other Monsters: Train Signal x 3, Gearframe, Fortress x 2, Redox
Spells: Dark Hole, Mind Control, My Body as a Shield, Iron Call x 2, Lance X 3, E Tele x 3
Traps: COTH x 3, Fiendish Chain x 3
Synchros: Goyo, Barkion, Burei x 2, Bureido, Scrap Dragon, Colossal, Crimson Blader, Stardust, Black Rose
XYZ: Gear Gigant x 2, Abyss Dweller, Nuke Roach, Silent Honor ARK
Side Deck: Jinzo x 2, Vanity’s Fiend x 2, MST x 2, Soul Release x 3, Rivalry x 3, Debunk x 3

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