History, Art and Theme
Well the card was released in set 32, a set block starter, and it became instantly popular, easily the best attraction of that set, because of its’ decktype. The card then had a very good run in the game, probably helped by the fact that the Evolution set block didn’t really have that many other interesting things to offer. And then the card got restricted after the release of set 34, making this card last only the duration of its’ set block, but it was a good ride nonetheless.
The art suffers from a classic DM card image syndrome: it’s overly fancy and abstract. It’s a thing of Japanese pop culture, so the creature itself does NOT have a clearly defined shape, nor does the card image actually give a decent pose to figure out what’s going on. You really have to squint.
But if we strain our eyes, from what we can tell, Chirico is a liquid-metallic like creature, of Green colour, and you can even make out something like a head, some arm(s) and a pair of legs on him, with a giant green construct of rectangles behind him. But he seems to be decomposed in the middle by a blue energy like sphere with a purple core. And that sphere makes the nearby part of Chirico turn white and in a square pattern and decomposes the body.
So that’s pretty weird. And then there are all sorts of ripple pattern circles coming from his body, and then some green circles with a white center (kind of like a speaker), some of which appear to be in front of some dolphin like robot vehicle…thingies, that are around Chirico.
To me all this makes Chirico look like some sort of material/energetic software like program/core thing, which I suppose makes sense for a Water evolution card of its’ main race, because Water is all cyberpunk like that. But it also makes sense because Chirico’s effect is pretty much derived from the classic Transmogriy, which thematically was a software of sorts.
So Chirico isn’t really rich in theme, most of it is given either by his set or his races.
The set he came in started an entire block dedicated to Evolution creatures and such, which he fits because he can evolve on quite a lot of things, but on the other hand he is also a maverick. Whereas the rest of the set and set block was aimed to help and promote Evolutions, Chirico promotes normal creatures through his effect, so he is kind of like a thematic and practical “healthy opposition”.
And the races, Origin and Cyber Races as a whole were also the main focus of the entire set block. The idea of “origin” kind of fits him actually, since he generates creatures and “originates” a new field setup. And Cyber Lords, the leaders of Water are also known for dabbling in information, dimensional stuff and summoning/controlling minions, so that fits well also.
Finally, his name “Chirico” is pretty standard sounding for a Cyber Lord name, but I find it to be pretty cool nontheless and “Emperor” is a standard for all Cyber Lord Evolutions, but I find it to fit with his effect quite well also.
Race and Civilization
Not much to be said about the Civilization, that I haven’t said already in theme, but once again, his effect of “summoning from top of deck” is a standard Water effect, dating back to Transmogrify and supported more recently.
Practically there isn’t really any connection, other than the fact that his evolution baits are from Water, because honestly, Chirico is a strategy that will have at least 3 Civ. decks anyway, and lol I even saw and used 5 Civ. ones.
But being an evolution creature, the races are important in what he can evolve from, and therefore how good he as a card and his strategy are. So between evolving on Origins and all of the different Cyber Races, first of all that means that he has a good amount of available baits, and second of all it means that it can have some variety in builds.
Origins themselves were more tempered as card releases, which for being a super, arch-race, was focused more on combining with other races than anything.
And all the Cyber Races at once offer some variety in effects and cards, which were scattered between individual races. And I personally think that Chirico and his effect were meant to serve such a purpose, drawing on the variety and different advantages of Cyber Races.
But in the end only a few specific cards became “the best” evolution baits(mostly just Amaterasu, and Orochi as well), and he was easy to use with any kind of big creatures in the deck, which is why he became so good, and Cyber Races had to receive an admittedly better card in Twilight Sigma.
The Creature Body
Well evolution creatures pretty much have the best bodies and cost/power efficiency, so there isn’t anything special to be said here.
His cost is pretty reasonable, the 8 mana figure being kind of a standard for big, bad, main card Evolutions with pwn/reorder the world effects, even if there is already added risk in the effect (see Ballom).
The cost is definitely there to keep him in check and give the opponent a chance to fight back, but practically the game never found his cost to be much of an obstacle for those that play him.
The strategy that got developed with him was pretty fast when it came to playing Chirico, using the best mana acceleration spells and Amaterasu and forming a very stable and fast flow of acceleration, so Chirico could be played as early as turn 5 quite easily. Rose Sorcerer, which is an interesting bait for him was also an option.
As for his power, that’s again, pretty sweet but nonetheless reasonable for these big finisher Evos. You have to understand that since the creatures played with his effect will deal damage of their own when they come into play, his power on top of that is like a hammer on hot steel.
Also good to counter-attack, since aiming for Chirico is something that leaves you open to offense.
There is a particularly interesting advantage with his power, since Kiryu Jilves is a usual candidate for Chirico decks, and he gives Slayer, so combined with Chirico’s (potentially) higher power, it’s very easy for him to take out a linked God in one strike.
Then finally, with his Triple Breaker, Chirico himself is a big bad finisher. Whether you can attack in the same turn as his effect or the next one, Chirico strategies will usually have the opponent helpless or without a field or much trigger chance, so his triple breaking, with 3 other creatures out from his effect pretty much means GG.
Long effect story short: you play Chirico and you send all the other creatures you have out at the bottom of your deck. Then you look at cards from the top of your deck and play the first 3 non-evolution creatures you can find. And then everything else goes back in the deck and is shuffled.
One might be inclined to think that this effect would be resetting all the work you put in building up a field thus far, or that it’s a random benefit, but in practice that’s not really true because:
1) If Chirico is the only/first thing you played on the field, and you do it rather fast, then that pretty much means that you never lost anything, just gained A LOT.
2) If your deck contains only the few big creatures for his effect, which means the deck is mostly constituted of spells, then you have good control and focus on the dangerous creatures you will gain.
So to put it even more simply: you aim to get Chirico out first and fast, and you can gain a dangerous field or multiple big “on summon effects” in one turn, somewhere around midd-way in a match, when it would normally take you several turns in LATE game and much more conditions to get the same setup.
The possibility to gain instant combinations of very powerful effects on high cost creatures in a single turn is quite simply beautiful.
So it’s also kind of a tool for fanboy fantasy setups of huge creatures and all that, which would normally not be practical at all. When else can somebody regularly play 2 Fortress Shell and something else in one turn for instance?
It would, however, definitely take more skill and risk calculation to use his effect when you already built up a field and/or you have more creature variety/amount in the deck and you don’t know what’s coming. This may have been normally intended by the game creators also.
But because existing creatures on the field go at the bottom of the deck, and you already know what’s in your hand or mana (and depending on Amaterasu: shields), then that, combined with knowing your deck and calculating permutations, can put the advantage of Chirico in the player’s hands.
So he can potentially allow for a more general and abstract advantage and use, that’s gained through practical experience and deeper skill, instead of being just a strong decktype of progressions, which is good because he’s going to need it now that he’s restricted.
But regardless, just looking at Chirico isn’t enough to analyze him, because he’s just that kind of card. That’s why he is best understood when looking at the decks and tactics.
Usage, Tactics and Combos
The way Chirico got to be used, which really does seem the optimal way, is pretty much: lots of spells for mana acceleration and miscellaneous advantages, and the bare minimum of evolution baits and usually 1, hardly even 2 types of big bad creatures. And maybe a few copies of tech creatures.
The general consensus on Chirico seemed to be that it’s more efficient when focusing on a certain big finisher creature, with some techs, instead of trying to have more variety/amount of creatures.
So this is pretty much how the defining decktype for using Chirico looked like:
I. Evolution Baits.
Normally, the deck uses only 4 copies of Amaterasu, Founder of Blue Wolves. And maybe 1-2 copies of some other one, which is advisable.
The fact is that the reason the deck and Chirico himself is so amazing is Amaterasu actually, because he’s a godlike card and gives mad synergy to the deck, like so:
First of all, because a lot of the deck needs to be Spells to make full use of Chirico, this gives a lot of cards that synergize madly with Amaterasu.
He is the key progression element because he plays mana acceleration spells, allowing Chirico to be evolved on him the next turn.
When he gets played through Chirico’s effect, because Amaterasu can invoke the power of different Spells, this gives the Chirico surge control, adaptable variety and even more insane effects. It pretty much allows Chirico to make insane use of Spells, not just creatures.
The most dangerous advantage of Amaterasu however, is using his effect to play Chirco AGAIN in the same turn, with Sanctuary of Mother.
Then viewing and shuffling your deck can also offer benefits to the strategy.
Other than the 4 Amaterasu, 1-2 copies of more tech-like baits can be useful:
Phal Reeze is cheap, adds synergy with the Spells and the turn 2 acceleration cards, as well as a good candidate for abusing Sanctuary of Mother.
Orochi, the Hidden Blade is also a very popular one, because aside being a bait, he can make Chirico’s effect go further, or rather, he’s a bait that does not get in the way of Chirico’s summoning. And his Ninja Strike can make for some decent defense.
Rose Sorcerer is excellent for a speedy Chirico, and his effect on removal actually helps you have good control over the top of the deck and recycle from mana.
II. The Spells.
Most of them are for acceleration, and what’s important here are the 4x Faerie Life and 3-4x Living Lithograph, which almost ensure a turn 2 mana acceleration.
Then there are the several copies of 4 drop Charger Spells, which were pretty much Eureka Charger and Volcano Charger originally, and especially Crest EVO Charger later.
So this means the ideal progression is 2 cost acceleration --> 4 cost acceleration --> Amaterasu+Charger --> Chirico, which pretty much means, turn 5 Chirico. How’s that for insane?
Then there are a wide range of 4 cost or less Spells that really give the strategy depth and some defensive abilities, and these fit in well with Amaterasu and T2 acceleration: Mana Crisis for mana burn Chirico, Evolution Burst-Energy Spiral for versatility and dual advantages, Fire Crystal Bomb for defense and mana recycle, general Fire or Dark kill Spells: Canonball Sling, Flame Prison Smash, Dual Zanzibar, and so forth, Diamond Sword for making your field of creatures become instant finishers, etc.
Then of course there are the restricted spells: Cyber Brain, Miraculous Snare, and Crest of Mother.
Then Force Again originally, and Sanctuary of Mother later for the possibility to play Chirico as much as twice in a single turn. Almost every version had copies of them for this reason.
III. The Main Creatures
And this is where it gets interesting. Here are the generally most beautiful, popular and interesting ones:
1) Perfect Galaxy was the very first to be used with Chirico at 4 copies. Aside being an excellent attacker and defender herself, the fact is that it’s the most dangerous thing to have and face in multiple copies.
It’s automatically immune to most triggers, has Double Breaker and can be easily made to attack in the same turn.
And even more importantly, PG’s effect means she stays in the battle-zone when Chirico is played, which allows Chirico to be multi-played, especially in the same turn, which also increases the chance of getting as much as 4 PG that can attack in the same turn.
2) Fortress Shell/Zalberg for fast, insane, mana burn. I have seen a version with X Revolver Dragon also (because he’s a stronger finisher).
Mana Crisis and Reap and Sow are generally used for this build also.
3) Core Crash Lizard or Gajirabute, the Vile Centurion is a personal favorite of mine.
This approach pretty much doesn’t go in a roundabout way and just goes straight to the point, though it’s probably something which might require going for 2x Chirico in one turn.
Add on top some Speed Attacker and maybe Reborn EVO Charger and you are going for GG.
Nonetheless this shield burn effect drastically reduces the chances of triggers foiling you, and counters some pesky meta strategies with Fortresses, Shield Plus and Shield Trigger generating(Memories).
4) Destruction in general, can handle things all decently like as well I think.
Hanzou is a great one, also because of Ninja Strike, and maybe other power reducers: Balmantis, Dual Zanzibar, etc.
And this combos well with some mass Fire Kill in the same turn: Zardia, Hellios Tiga, Flameburn Dragon, etc.
Other decent ones to mention are Dorvolan, Aqua Sniper, maybe Olzekia and I think the most ideal one, and my personal favorite: Mugen Ingmar with Amaterasu+Valiant Spark.
5) And finally, Gods have a great relation with Chirico, because Gods are fundamentally powerful as individual cards and combos, they tend to have powerful effects (especially the larger ones), a linked God has no Summoning Sickness, and best of all, when they are removed just a part of them goes, which works great as finisher or with Chirico spamming and multi-links.
Of course, the Gods that go with Chirico are: Heavy Death Metal, Geki and Metsu, Aku and Zen and some of their Creators.
Gods did also combine with Origins for multi-part Gods, but those are really not worth it. Maybe Atomic with 1-2 of his link, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Anyway, those are the main ones. Now of course, one can think up other fancy things like Milzam+Benzo, additional Evos and Sanctuary, all sorts of other finishers like Bolmeteus Steel, Bolshack Cross or Bolbalzack Sword Flash, and they wouldn’t necessarily be bad, but some of them are more gimmicky.
This of course excludes good bait techs, such as Orochi.
1) Kiryu Jilves is the most popular one, for offering mass Speed Attacker primarily, and also being a creature, but there are other benefits.
2) Cursed Totem when he was restricted to 1, for obvious reasons again.
3) Perfect Galaxy since she was restricted to 1.
4) Spell Del Fin, although he could also be more of a focus for the deck.
5) Other Evolutions are not out of the question, because of Sanctuary of Mother. Primarily for big bad Evos on your big bad Race creatures: Dragons, Demons, Angels.
So that pretty much sums up the decktype and usage, which does have a pretty wonderful synergy to it and it’s pretty much more of a super-move One Turn Kill strategy. Which means Chirico became overpowered.
Hall Of Fame
Well, as is standard for DM, once a strategy has been in the game long enough and kicked ass, it’s time to retire it, so Chirico went with the end of this Evolution block, being restricted at 1 copy.
He is clearly a good card, so what pushed him over the top?
Combination of Origins and Gods might come to mind, but that isn’t really a big deal to be honest.
It’s just his natural greatness, perpetuated by Sanctuary of Mother really, and this staying in the game long enough to be realized and noticed.
Sanctuary’s advantages are pretty much in allowing Chirico to be played twice or more in the same turn via getting an Amaterasu through Chirico’s effect. But playing from mana, or linking to other Evolution can be just as dangerous also.
Sanctuary on Chirico to get Alphadios anyone?
But I think an even bigger reason was that at the end of the set block, the very last set released some new Chargers, which are the main reason for Chirico’s badass.
I am referring of course mainly to Crest EVO Charger, which pretty much increases the guarantee of Chirico VERY much. It simply makes him too stable.
So with that Chirico was restricted, but this also most certainly influenced the restriction of Amaterasu as well, because the decktype can still function rather well at 1 copy of Chirico, due to Sanctuary and Crest Charger. A lesson learned from a similar experience with 1x King Alcadeias no doubt.
So it remains to be seen how he will fair as a 1 copy card, but in all likelihood there are still decktypes that could make use of him, such as Rose Sorcerrer and Orochi systems.
Well since Chirico is a main/trum/key card type of creature, his weaknesses are not so much inherent, but depend on the deck.
Mainly this would be the fault of bad draws: acceleration not coming right(especially at turn 2), not getting baits, having your creatures go to mana or be trapped in shield, same for some tech cards like Crest of Mother, etc.
But generally, timely removal of Amaterasu and mana burn are probably the main concerns.
Speaking of course of the main Chirico decktype. His weaknesses can vary if used otherwise or when he is restricted, but nonetheless, what is to watch out for is how you calculate the probabilities of getting good creatures.
Decks and Videos
Well, Chirico is mainly just 1 deck type with different variations. I tried some of them out, and I really enjoy playing them. The vids that introduced me to him are pretty awesome as well.
I generally like to name Chirco decks in the same pattern of “The Origin of…” followed by a keyword for the deck concept written in ALL CAPS.
1) The Origin of OWNAGE!! is with Perfect Galaxy, the vintage set 32 one, and here is the video.
2) The Origin of RAEP!! is the mana burn, Fortress Shell version, and here’s the video. (Cryptic is supposed to be Cursed Totem.)
3) The Origin of DOOM!! is with Core-Gajira
4) The Origin of EVIL ZEN!! is with Aku-Zen, obviously.
5) The Origin of WAR!! is with Mugen Ingmar, which is my 2nd favorite one after the PG one.
Chirico is most definitely one of the most entertaining, interesting, fun to use as well as deadly cards to be overpowered and dominate the game.
I mean sure, he is a One Turn Kill strategy almost, but it has a charm in that it’s not an assured one, but at the same time it’s also very likely to succeed.
He sure is a personal favorite of mine, and I figure that since I am currently the one person that experiences full DM the most, I’d share all this with you all, because the game moves on with sets and restrictions.
Anyway, my final score on the card would be a 10/10, but if we are being perfectly fair, that’s probably just a score for the entire decktype/synergy really. But hey, pay tribute to the Emperor’s reign and glory days!