The release of Thunder King Rai-Oh had a huge impact on the game, especially for anti-meta players. Its use in almost any deck is worth considering, but its elevation of Little City is extraordinary. At Shonen Jump Championship Chicago 2008, Mike Powers brought a solid version of the deck that ended in a disappointing 6-3 record at the end of the day. Regardless, the deck deserved its feature, and though his tiebreakers didn’t afford him a day 2 showing, his build will impact the choices made in future builds of this deck.
You can expect Little City to be a force in future Shonen Jump Championships, so whether you need to understand the deck or make a copy of your own, research is essential to being successful on the highest levels of competition. This deck sticks a wrench in almost every major deck being played.
The MonstersThe monster lineup is similar to Marco Cesario’s build from Shonen Jump Championship Indianapolis 2008, the first time in the Shonen Jump circuit that the deck made a day 2 showing. I had the good fortune to be paired against it during day 1 of that event, and it was incredible. Since then, the largest difference made was the introduction of Thunder King Rai-Oh to the game, an inclusion which is aiding the deck in becoming a top contender.
The addition of three Thunder King is almost beyond question in this deck. However, the loss of two copies of Elemental Hero Captain Gold is a difficult one to accept. Other versions of this build may choose to run a second copy of Captain Gold over Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior. D. D. Warrior Lady is a great card right now, and should probably be considered for inclusion as well.
Notice that almost all the monsters are Light monsters. This makes Honest playable, and any deck that can play Honest probably should. It’s an incredible card that allows for surprise attacks and can quickly turn the tide of a game. Remember when holding an Honest not to give your opponent a read; this is a fatal mistake that detracts from much of its power (and it’s a very common mistake to make). I’ve seen many matches lost by players because of this. Psychological warfare is an imperative part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG at the highest level of competition; information is definitely power, and you cant give any away for free. Practice enough so that you know the correct play for almost any given situation. Take your time during a match, but if you pause to think after your opponent attacks, and you don’t have any cards in your back row, even the densest of players will realize you have an Honest in your hand. If you have a back row set, even if it’s Solemn Judgment, look at it instead of at your hand while you think. This will give your opponent false signals which may benefit you in the future.
On the other hand, Honest has a lot of potential, even if you don’t have it in your hand! Remember that, at a certain point, playing Yu-Gi-Oh! against a strong and aware opponent becomes an art. There are three levels of play: knowledge of your cards, attaining reads and getting knowledge of your opponent’s unknown cards, and recognizing the reads that your opponent makes on you. It’s when you get to play the third level of strategy that Yu-Gi-Oh! becomes one of the greatest games imaginable, reaching levels of strategy that trump chess by leaps and bounds. For example, assume you have a copy of Garoth on the field, no spell or trap cards set, and two cards in your hand (neither of which is a copy of Honest). Your opponent has a 2100 ATK Gladiator Beast Laquari on the field, a Test Tiger in hand, and a copy of Gladiator Beast Bestiari in the graveyard. You’re a huge underdog, but you can deplete your opponent’s arsenal very quickly by tricking him or her into false reads. If your opponent attacks with Laquari and you have an Honest in your hand, you’ll probably win. If your opponent attacks with Laquari and you don’t have an Honest, you’ll probably lose. If your opponent plays Test Tiger, and tags Laquari out for a copy of Gladiator Beast Darius, he or she can contact Fuse the Darius and Bestiari for Gladiator Beast Gyzarus. In that case, if you have an Honest, the opponent will probably win. If you don’t, you have enough cards in your hand to combat the field presence generated. If your opponent is operating at a Level two thought process, you can take advantage of . . . that opponent being a good player . . . and offer him or her some small reads that you have an Honest in your hand. The opponent picks up those signals, and (by recognizing this situation and operating on his or her read that you have an Honest in your hand) makes the incorrect play, probably losing that player the game.
Now that’s Yu-Gi-Oh! and it’s a situation you can abuse readily when playing this deck.
The SpellsThe unlimited status of Reinforcement of the Army is a huge benefit to this deck. You’ll be able to search for answers and threats much faster. Exiled Force is an answer to almost any monster, and you basically run five copies of him. You’re running six copies of the infamous Elemental Hero Stratos, which is incredibly important to the deck.
The inclusion of a single copy of Mystical Space Typhoon is debatable, though not too difficult a debate to find yourself on either side of. Skyscraper is an amazing card in this deck, making all your Elemental Hero monsters a force to be reckoned with. Without it, this deck would have difficulty operating, needing to find three slots for Burden of the Mighty. Instead, we have Elemental Hero Captain Gold to search it out, and three copies of Reinforcement of the Army and two copies of E - Emergency Call to search Captain Gold from the deck. This is the strength of this build of the strategy; the threads between the major themes tie it together, making almost every hand you draw perfect.
The one copy of R - Righteous Justice allows you to bait out Solemn Judgment, the card which has surely been the star of the game for over six months. It replaces Heavy Storm, and it could be argued that a second one deserves the slot of Mystical Space Typhoon.
The single copy of Smashing Ground, while seemingly random, is a great inclusion. Smashing is so versatile, and useful at so many points in time, that it definitely warrants use here.
The TrapsThe first time I played against Hero Blast, it was a proxy card turned backward with just the name written on it. Apparently, David Duran was able to find a copy of Crush Card Virus, but couldn’t get his hands on a rare. I thought he was joking when he activated it and told me its effect. In fact, we had to pause the game so I could search the internet for proof. It was just too good a card.
Compulsory Evacuation Device is seeing a lot of play recently, and with good reason. It’s chainable, and is an answer to an incredibly wide range of threats. It’s direct removal against a Fusion or Synchro monster, and allows for quick swings for game or brief removal in tricky spots.
Phoenix Wing Wind Blast allows you to put any dead cards to good use. Your opponent will often be left with very few outs, and this allows you to slow him or her down even more. Skill Drain is an essential part of the strategy as well, allowing you to ruin almost anyone’s deck. Since most of your monsters are large, Honest isn’t affected by Skill Drain, and Exiled Force can still activate its effect, we definitely have a large margin of win over opponents while Skill Drain is on the field. Royal Oppression operates on a similar level, and has been an anti-meta star for quite a while.
Rivalry of Warlords is definitely a card that should see play in this strategy. It handles many situations, acts as quick monster removal, and most of our monsters are Warriors. In future builds, it’s very likely that the card will see play.
Little City is one of the best anti-meta decks available right now. Few players show up to events with it, and it still sees a day 2 fairly often. Innovative players will continue improving the deck, and each person that makes a day 2 showing with it does so with much greater reward than his or her peers. Keep innovating, attempting to play with a Level three train of thought, and outplaying your opponents. Yu-Gi-Oh! has always been popular for its Dragons, for its speed and overwhelmingly amazing monsters. Those players who choose something other than controlling the behemoths of this game, the ones who play against the grain and choose the more difficult road to becoming a champion, are the ones who prove themselves as the best players.