Hello again readers. Ty here again for the Bushiblog for GHQ. Hope you’ve enjoyed the content from all of our writers so far. I can assure you, there is much more to come.
Where as last time we covered CFV, this time we’re going to be looking at BF. So why don’t we start with my second favourite world. Star Dragon World.
Okay okay, so i can’t help myself. I’m a sucker for dragons and steam punk or robot dragons make things all the better. Let’s not even touch on the fact that i’m a huge Tasuku Ryuenji fan boy.
As is readily evident from the title, this article will be about Radiant Guardian, Jackknife “Aster” and the approach to the game when using him in today’s meta game.
Lets start with a couple basics though so we are all on the same page.
Todays format as of march 2017 is a heavily size3 based one with all of the negatives and positives that that entails.
This means that we are struggling in an up hill battle as if you aren’t playing size3.deck you are playing Legend world Star.
That’s rite guys, Zeta has fallen out of fever and the same can be said for Zodiac. That’s not to say that they are bad decks, quite to the contrary but we’re left with the conundrum of everything countering something else. We’re also in a situation where Duel Jaeger is good so miracles can happen.
Innovate. Short, simple and to the point.
But that leaves us with another question. If the format is full of giant threats, powerful combos and Stars what can we do to resolve this problematic situation?
To answer that we must first look at what each of these decks use to best facilitate there plays.
Let’s begin with the easiest one.
Dragon Zwei can only use monsters. These monsters are rather large, rather impactful and provide a ton of advantage. The saving grace is that we don’t need to factor spells in to this match.
Sun and Neo dragons however use the Dragon force Items in conjunction with small and large monsters in a stream of combo plays to achieve there victories, most often involving small bursts of ability damage to punctuate there large swings.
Executioners are much the same in this vein. They also use the drop zone to fuel there abilities but that is something a side board can take care of *cough cough Dragonarms, Debrisweeper cough cough* but they depend heavily on spells to achieve this.
That means that we need to find ways of stopping little ability damage pings and spells, as well as having monsters with longevity in order to survive powerful swings. It would also not hurt if we could use some kind of monster that had partial immunity to removal.
So without further a do, hear’s the list. Broken down helpfully in to appropriate devisions to make explanations easier.
Dragonarms, Artiliger x2 is used to stop those small and pesky size2 or less monsters that are attempting to use abilities to ruin your day. From clearing walls to stopping penetrate damage when you haven’t seen Aster, this card does it all … except when it doesn’t. But you will side it out if you can’t use it so no loss there.
Dragonarms, Garbel Anchor x3. This is your almost impossible to nullify spell nullification. Honestly if you can’t fine a use for this card at least once per game you’ve been facing Zwei your entire life. Sure you loose a soul to use this but let’s not forget that this brings us in to life break territory if we need OG Dragon force or Alma to close out games. Draw spells? Nope! removal, nope! You mention it, this card single handedly says sorry bro but not today.
Dragonarms, Silt Fighter on the other hand provides a different aspect of utility. This card allows you to send it from the soul to the drop zone in order to reduce the next damage you take by three. That’s dam useful if you’re staring down a series of large critical swings or if you have been suffering because your opponent has destroyed Providence.
Dragonarms, Radiant Alma x2. This is your life break Dragonarms but it certainly packs a punch. You have to call it, sure it’s two critical. You are on six life or less, pay that single gage to give any Neo dragon double attack. That is utility at its finest, especially if you need to close out games quickly. Failing that, its a soul for your Neo or at the very least, removal that you don’t have to worry about later if your opponent decides to pop Alma on call.
And those are our Dragonarms. Only 10 in total but we have various methods of retrieving them so without any further a do, let’s look at our Neo dragons. The main attack and ability force of the deck we are building hear.
This one is a no brainer. It’s almost essential at this point in time that we play V Gradation, Quantum Ruler x4. You receive a 4K power monster, 1 extra gage and a free draw1 so long as you do what you were doing anyway in having a Neo with a soul. It’s going to be at least a three of in any SDW deck and for good reason.
That brings us to the last two Neo dragons at size1. Both of which are important but one more than the other as you will see.
Star Dragoner, Luminous Blue is seen hear at three copies. This is because of its dual utility. To start with, it has the amazing ability of gaining +1K/+1K for each card in the shouls of Neo dragons on your field. That means that this weeny can become a behemoth very rapidly, especially if you factor in the secondary ability of this little beauty. That second ability is why we don’t have to worry so much about our low Dragonarms count, as each time this card performs an attack, it retrieves a monster from the drop zone and places it in to the soul of your Neo dragon. That means you can give this longevity because of its soul guard or that you can buff up one of your other Neo dragons giving that card added survivability.
Last but not least however, we find ourselves looking at our Star Guardian, Jackknife “SD” which we play at two copies. This little guy lets us pull a size2 or less Neo from the drop zone and already lodes it with a soul. Of course that costs you a gage plus the call cost of a Neo but in the grand scheme this is negligible if you’re falling behind or even if you just want to bate out removal before you drop your actual Jack for the situation. In fact, this means that all of your Jacks will enter with at least two soul. All excluding Aster that is.
Now we reach the size2 monsters and these Neo dragons are our Jackknives. One for every situation. But look at these and you’ll see what i mean.
Star Guardian, Jackknife is hear at two copies. This is our first Neo Jack and he’s certainly one of the best to date. That three critical and 6K defence is relevant even in a size3 format. The fact of his soul from the drop zone is icing on the cake, allowing much needed utility in a deck that prides itself on it. This could be more damage nullification, the ability to double attack, nullify spells or nullify size2 monster abilities. The sky’s the limit. 5K power not so much but he’s a stepping stone to Aster if nothing else and he is sertainly something. Just pay attention to when you are calling him as the opponent will have a counter timing with which they can destroy Jack before he gets a soul.
Our second Jack however doesn’t suffer from the same afliction. He gets his soul from the top of the deck on call and has that all important 6K power threshold. so that’s two of the reasons that we play Full Liberate Jackknife at 3 copies. But there are a couple more. The first is that all important longevity. All of our Neo dragons save for SD and Quantum ruler have soul guard. The all important one however is the ability to launch a soul from this guy in order to stand back up. That is useful for a number of reasons. Firstly if he gets hit by a card like Ninja Arts, Snake Gaze he can recover, thus giving you no loss in damage output. The second is that you can potentially deal out six damage spread out through three packets of two if you can go ham with Alma. This is often enough to clear a wall in front of you or finish out a game and that’s not even factoring in any weapons you might have to attack with.
Last but not least however we have that all important Radiant Guardian, Jackknife “Aster“ at four copies. You want to see him as often as possible. His 6K/3/6K stat line is nothing to complain about especially when that comes with soul guard and two other pertinent abilities and all for a single gage.
Aster is the star of the show hear. As a call back to Jacks of old, he can be placed on top of a pre-existing Jack on the field. This gives him the ability to start out with a soul or two to use as he sees fit. Though unlike Jack evolutions of the past, he can just be slapped down on to the table for a cheeky beet stick. The abilities however kick in when he has soul and that soul provides Aster hear with some doozies.
Firstly he has partial immunity to destruction. This means that he’s far less susceptible to being killed by oh say Pillar of Fire or Death Grip. That immunity is also passed on to your item as well so provided you can see Aster, you will almost always be able to sit behind Providence for a triple/closed formation. The second ability however is the most useful in a lot of matchups. So long as he exists and has soul, Aster provides the ability that you, the player can not be dealt ability damage. That includes anything from Thunder Mine to Penetrate. Which assists in your attempts to remain kicking for longer whilst negating spells or monster abilities.
So that’s the monster line up. What about the rest of the deck?
Well, items are next though perhaps not as many as you would think.
Radiant Saber, Providence at three copies will start us off. This card gains 1K power for every soul in cards on your field, meaning that you can get this 4/2 weapon up to some silly numbers that can potentially take down behemoths on its own. Secondly however, this item gives all Jacks on your field Move, again assisting with longevity by moving a wall in to place after your triple attack formation or to open your centre up for that very same triple offensive strategy. This is the weapon that you want to see for most of the game until you aim for the win.
That’s not to say that Dragon Force, “Style of Justice“ is useless. We do play a singleton copy of it after all. This is one of your two methods of closing out games on decks such as Star who can lock you down. The 6K power and three critical are integral to this but the fact that Justice force negates all abilities on the opponent’s side of the field can help you scrape out wins from no ware.
This is pretty much the same ethos behind Dragon Force (Star Dragon World). Though you equip this singleton if you need to clear through a wall or need to multi attack your way to victory. One critical is nothing to us as we have Beat so you could potentially force out fourteen damage with a field of Full liberate loaded with Alma, a size1 like Blue and Dragon force. Not too shabby ha?
Last but not least we reach our spells so lets start with a bang.
Dragoner’s Beat is hear at three copies. This card is the single reason that we can get away with such a low weapon count and with the two tech cards in the Dragon forces. Not only does this card allow us to search the deck for our weapon of choice for that instant but it can also provide said weapon with an additional critical and 2K additional power. Vercitility makes this card shine and the fact that it can assist us in reaching life break numbers is once again, icing on the cake of a great card. Danger world just wishes it had this card.
Star Jack Repair is our next three of spell. Limited only by what you have in the drop zone and by having a Jack on the field, this little beauty’s once per turn restriction is needed if only to make sure SDW isn’t full of silly plays. An additional gage is never a bad thing and the choice of monster from the drop zone allows us to best load our Neo dragons with the pertinent Arms for the situation.
These next two cards we play at three copies each but i’m going to clump them together for both expediency and utility. Mars Barrier is nullify if it’s not a link attack and Sonic Move is open centre nullify. As for why we only play three of each, that’s because we use Dragonarms, Silt Fighter as our 7th through 9th nullify as sometimes its really useful to nullify without being spell nulled and quite often its good to nullify damage rather than attacks.
The very last card of the deck is a new card just like Full liberate Jack or Justice. That is two copies of our new size2 or less removal spell Liberate Shoot. So long as you have two or more soul in your Neo you can counter activate this and bam problem solved.
That is our build for Aster for this latest march format. Is it conventional?
Not at all. Is it innovative?
It sure is. This build, though being size2 based has the potential to go toe to toe with the greats and can rack up a relevant number of wins against both meta and non meta decks a like through combinations of plays that can switch between defensive walling to aggressive pushes at the drop of a hat.
With the ability to nullify problematic spells, slap down high powered monsters and survive multiple hits this is a top pick for me moving forward and if you are looking for something different to play then give it a go.
As always thanks for reading and check out GHQ Ty on Youtube as well as the store’s official youtube channel and the Team GHQ channel.
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Happy gaming for now and once again, keep your eyes pealed for future articles on a plethora of different games from our other writers.