Hey guys, Tom Rogers here from the Kaijudo / Duel Masters section. Here is my latest article:
TITLE: Intermediate Tips #1: Deckbuilding & Card Costs
What's up everybody! Today we are going to deal with a very special question I have personally lost many matches due to misunderstanding in Duel Masters, the prior version of Kaijudo. As most of you know I earned the #1 global ranking for sanctioned tournaments, and this was one of the challenges I had to face to get there.
The Cost of Control
There are 3 main types of decks: rush, aggro, and control. Gates of Fate moderator Kyle has written a guide to these here
In Duel Masters, I was primarily a control player. I helped create the popular Darkness + Water + Fire control deck that we are starting to see carried over to Kaijudo now. However, there are some major differences in the cards available for that game and this one. They are playing up an issue I had once other duelists also began playing control.
Stability or Consistency?
It may sound like I am splitting hairs, but there is
an important difference. Throughout my "career" as the #1 duelist, I have been known to play a large amount of cards that cost more than 5 mana. However, many of them are creatures and serve to help me win the game directly as threats to my opponent's shields.
In Kaijudo many of what I call "utility" creatures, or creatures with abilities that help solve problems, cost more than 5 mana. So it's important we know this while building our decks.
The issue here is that using more of these utility creatures will grant you a big advantage in the mirror match, a round where you play an opponent using the same deck type as you. Most of these creatures give you options while taking away the opponent's, and having more can easily slant the mirror match in your favor.
However, these cards cost a lot. If you are playing a faster opponent, you will have a hard time getting to the point where these creatures are valuable. It's not worth much to summon Tatsurion the Unchained when you only have 1 shield left, and your opponent has a whopping 4 creatures in the Battle Zone. Playing too many high-cost cards puts you in a place where you are weaker early, and decks focused on that can take advantage of that to win the match!
The New Twist
Different from Duel Masters, almost all
of the best utility creatures we have seen in Kaijudo cost 5 or more. In the past, we had a fair amount that cost less. These creatures were used to stabilize
early in the game, by fighting the opponent's creatures and carrying us over to the point where the utility creatures are strongest. It was one of the big balances in that game to have enough creatures to consistently win the mirror match, but be able to stabilize against more aggressive strategies.
We have much less of these creatures in the cost range we want them in. I am writing this before Evo Fury, which does have some great preview cards such as Cyber Trader that can potentially help. However, the ones we see now are usually based on attack.
But Tom! You said we need the early guys to fight creatures, and Aqua Seneshal / Razorhide do just that while giving us more cards!
Settle down, Steve McGee. Aqua Seneshal very good right now, but wouldn't he be better if he drew you a card when summoned
Here it is, guys. This card is NOT found in Kaijudo yet, but was the primary "fighter" in the Duel Masters control deck. The difference is Seneshal can be destroyed before he attacks and gets you the card. Also, if your opponent waits to attack Seneshal would have to hit a shield for his effect. That gives them more ways to take you on once they have gotten rid of your creature.
Aqua Hulcus is what we call a floater
, a card that replaces itself in card advantage when it enters play. Aqua Seneshal is an indirect floater because he can replace himself through attacking, but only if he gets a +1 off the attack.
(For an explanation on Card Advantage, check Andy Criss' article here.)
THE BIG DEAL?
We have virtually no immediate floaters in Kaijudo that can also destroy a good amount of creatures in battle
. Hydro Spy is similar to Hulcus but only has 1000 power. Bronze-Arm Tribe costs 4, and by the time he is summoned it's harder to fight enemy creatures without having something else.
So right now we are being forced to choose only a certain number of utility creatures because they cost so much, and that is making the control deck weaker. The "cost of control" has increased, meaning we need better low-cost cards to get us to a place to use them better.
However, there are less ways to do that in this first set, Rise of the Duel Masters. What's important is we don't overload the deck in attempt to establish complete control, and undermine ourselves by losing matches to the very types of decks we aim to control! You can win the mirror match all day, but you still need to be able to beat other decks. That was the point of the Dark + Water + Fire deck to begin with: to be able to handle every threat in the game the opponent can throw at you.
So remember to pick cards that cost above 5 very carefully, and try your best to make sure they either remove creatures from play or provide some muscle. It would be wise to make sure your deck can regain it's position while losing, as well as ensure victory winning with these utility creatures.
Until next time!
Tom Rogers was the #1 world ranked player in Duel Masters, the game which Kaijudo is based off. He co-admins the website Gates of Fate, which has the most competitive Kaijudo content on the internet.