I’ve spent the past weeks since Shonen Jump Championship Houston slowly becoming convinced of one thing — the “answer” to this format’s Dragon infestation could very well be a slow deck that can slow the game down to its own pace, then punish the Dark Armed Dragon player in a well-controlled mid- or late-game scenario. There are a lot of ways one could accomplish just that if only the proper decks could be innovated: The Dark Creator, Yubel – Terror Incarnate, and a host of other mid- and late-game oriented lynchpin cards have the power to dominate if they had the early-game opportunity to do so. But achieving that under the threat of a 2800 ATK beatstick that can shred three cards from the field isn’t easy.
One card that fits the description of what I’ve been considering (which I completely missed) is Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi. The super-powerful Spirit monster can turn any competitive player’s knack for conserving cards into nothing but a hideous mistake, forcing that player to discard his or her hand and even letting the opponent hold onto cards just long enough for that player to reflect upon the impending loss. Brutal.
But how do you make a double tribute in a format where monsters are exchanged at such a fast pace? Players have largely abandoned Light and Darkness Dragon simply for that exact reason. Lim’s answer was Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure. He’s created two of my fantasy decks in one, uniting a mid-game control monster with a nouveau-Cosmos build. Check it out!
If you read the coverage of Shonen Jump Championship Houston, you know I was disappointed that very few duelists actually wound up playing what I had thought to be a strong strategy in the updated form of Macro Cosmos. Lo and behold, Robert Lim has found a great deal of success playing a build heavy on D. D. Scout Plane, the perfect complement for three copies of Allure of Darkness and Cyber Valley. The result is a deck that can stave off Dark Armed Dragon by keeping its opponent from getting the requisite monsters into his or her graveyard long enough to slap down Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi and then wreck the opponent’s hand. Cool stuff.
While a full retinue of D.D. Survivor and D. D. Scout Plane was an obvious choice, three Gravekeeper’s Spy was far less so, and they help establish the deck’s slower defensive pacing. There are very few monsters that are being normal summoned nowadays that can take on the Spy, and she’s enough to buy Lim an extra turn or even more. She also makes Dark Armed Dragon’s job that much tougher, adding another monster to the field that the Dragon will have to blast or swing through. And, of course, flip summoning a Spy sets Lim up for Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi even if things go wrong and he can’t maintain field presence with his central strategy.
A pair of Exiled Force help control big monsters that could cause problems, creating a faster tempo of card exchange in the process. That means smaller fields, a less complicated game state and less damage should Lim find himself losing control of the match. They’re searchable via the ubiquitous copies of Reinforcement of the Army, and they can create more offensive graveyard disruption in the cases where Dimensional Fissure or Macro Cosmos aren’t on the field.
Taking further advantage of the three D. D. Scout Plane, Lim is playing Crush Card Virus, and thanks to the deck’s strategy a busted card just gets even better. Lim can special summon Scout Plane by removing it for Allure of Darkness and then tribute it for Crush Card Virus on the following turn. When he does, he’ll quite frequently get to special summon it again in the end phase thanks to Fissure and Macro Cosmos. The only thing better than Crush Card Virus is a free Crush Card Virus, and we saw this exact scenario play out in Lim’s feature match.
Trap Dustshoot is even more Dark Armed Dragon hate, but it also keeps the deck’s infrastructure safe from Monarchs — Mobius the Frost Monarch has seen a particular upswing in play. It cuts Jinzo off at the knees, too, which is important for a deck packing so many traps: Lim is playing thirteen in all.
A pair of Enemy Controller round out the lineup of tricks intended to abuse the constant return of removed from play monsters. Controller is a huge pick this weekend since chainability just keeps gaining more and more importance, and this deck can use it better than just about anything else in the field. Tributing Survivors and Scout Planes is no sweat, while the ability to defend Gravekeeper’s Spy can be tremendously useful. The most brutal maneuver though is to turn a monster to attack position and then whack it with Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi.
Robert Lim has a 4-0 record right now, and the rest of Team Fusion isn’t far behind. Sam Mulvihill and Kevin Wang are playing similar decks, and the entire team is still in a position to make Day 2. Lim is leading the charge, and if Macro Cosmos is to make it to the Top 32, he’ll be the most likely one to do it.
Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi — who’d’ve guessed!?