Dragonic Blademaster “Kouen” – Deck Profile

With the release of Demonic Advent we can expect to see some interesting meta shifts, one of these is the rise of Blademaster. Once stuck in the shadow of the more consistent and powerful Overlord, Blademaster has burst onto the scene and is ready to sear his name over the metagame.

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The newest iteration of Blademaster still focuses on cleaning the board and getting bonus from empty circles but now thanks to Ziegenburg the deck has an effective payoff for all its hard work. So without further ado lets get into the list.

 

The List

As always I’ll go into more detail regarding triggers and tech slots later for now I’m just going to go into what is set in stone.

Grade 0 – 17

  • Lizard Soldier, Conroe

Grade 1 – 13/14

  • Protect Orb Dragon x 4 (PGG)
  • Lava Flow Dragon x 2/3 (Stride fodder)
  • Dragon Knight, Nadel x 4
  • Tech slots x 2/3

Grade 2 – 12/3

  • Dragon Knight, Mbudi x 4
  • Perdition Dragon, Dragonic Neoflame x 3/4
  • Tech slot x 3/4
  • Tech slot x 0/2

Grade 3 -7

  • Dragonic Blademaster “Kouen” x 4
  • Wyvern Strike, Jargo x 3

G-zone

  • Divine Dragon Knight, Mustafa x 1
  • Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Vortex Desire x 1
  • Air Element, Sebreeze x 1
  • Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Dragonic Emperor “Taiten” x 3/4
  • Flare Arms, Ziegenburg x 4
  • Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Blazing Burst Dragon x 1/2
  • Flame Wing Steel Beast, Denial Griffin x 2/3
  • Supreme Heavenly Emperor Dragon, Advance Guard Dragon x 1
  • Divine Dragon Knight, Abd Salam x 1

Starter

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There is no debate here, you run Conroe. Conroe is flat out the best starter in the game, any arguments can be shotdown by the fact that Conroe can search for any other starter if you want it. But even beyond that Conroe is essential to this deck allowing you to search out heals to take advantage of Kagero’s powerful G-guards or maybe a stride fodder to fix your ride, Nadel for counter charge, Bellog for Melem or even just a simple PG to stop a big attack Conroe can fetch any of it. The retire offered by Sadegh doesn’t accomplish enough, the draw and countercharge of Deida pales in comparison to being able to open up your entire deck and look for anything you might need.

There is no debate.

Run Conroe.

Triggers

Normally I would say triggers are player preference based but this time I think it’s a little different.

We have a few set triggers, those being –

  • Dragon Knight, Jannat x 4 (Heart thump clone, crit)
  • Positive Dracokid x 4 (FC2017 Heal)

Jannat has a few uses and all of them are good, early you can throw him down to make a 9k column if you decide to move your starter to a side column. From there he has the obvious use of cycling himself but he is also exceptional at enabling blaze and as a booster for Ziegenburg. Let me explain, blaze requires more rearguards than your opponent in matchups where your opponent can mass retire you can often end up in a position where you need to enable blaze but don’t have an effective rearguard, in this situation you can call Jannat, attack with vanguard, trigger blaze, then trigger Jannats own skill to prevent yourself from losing cards in hand. As for Zieg, if you apply Kouen’s power bonus to Zieg he will become 29k boosting the first attack with Jannat will put you to 33k (pushing your attack up a guard stage) and then on the second attack you can activate his skill and move him to soul. To add to all this soul is a precious resource in the deck so having an easy way to fill it up is very handy.

 

Positive doesn’t need much explantation, we run advance guard and gain no benefits from other triggers so running Possitive is a given. The counter charge is relevant to the deck and vanilla advance guarding is still an acceptable play.

So following up from them I also believe you should be running 3/5 draw triggers the deck can generate plenty of advantage but the lack of any superior call means that removal can cause a lot of issues especially en-masse, draws can help to alleviate this. It also helps that Kagero has access to some choice draw triggers.

 

Gatling claw is arguably the best draw in the game and Artpique’s Margal skill is relevant in a deck as resource intensive as this. Shooting down starters can be very handy in some matchups notably Gears where you can limit their immediate time leap capability. I reccomend –

  • 3 Gatling 2 Artpique
    OR
  • 3 Gatling

But feel free to mess around with that.

From there I’ve had the most success with more crits but stands can work as Mbudi is not a once per turn skill, however I would like to note that the abilities of Kagero’s stands are not anything special and using Mbudi more than once a turn can be resource intensive. Relying on stands for multiattacks is also risky and having a restander makes crits even better than they already are. So although I do think stands are workable I highly recommend crits over them.

Grade 1

Blademaster likes its grade 1s, Nadel makes up the decks main countercharge engine and helps create high power columns, Protect orb is your obvious PG with much needed resource regeneration and your fodder helps to ride fix and stride. However thanks to Kouen’s GB2 skill Lava flow can be cut with relative safety from the usual 3 copies to 2 although this hurts ride fixing and can occasionally cause first stride issues more often than not the extra space is more beneficial and Conroe can completely bypass this issue if needed.
As far as perfect guard choices go Protect orb is 100% the right call as I’ve mentioned the deck is resource intensive so the utility offered by other options is nowhere near the value of the extra counter charge.

As for the tech slots one card is an obvious choice but as I believe that other units can be handy I will bring attention to them.

Bellog

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Bellog is excellent in this deck, offering disruption and retire. Bellog can help to set up Zieg as well as disrupt decks that rely on stand triggers or more specifically shooting down Grenaches and soft countering Melem. As a meta call this card is amazing for Ziegenburg this card is great, as far as I’m concerned Bellog is the best choice. Due to the consumable nature of his skill I recommend him at 3 or 4 but 2 can work, personally I’ve been using 3 and it has been working just fine.

So although I firmly believe that Bellog is the best use of these slots, especially in this meta, I do want to bring attention to some other possible options quickly.

Other Options

 

Marcel – Marcel can help to make columns but more notably can search for units, however low blaze unit density and lack of overly useful targets lose her a few marks. That said it can still help to regenerate field so it has some limited use.

Aethonic Aethonic is countercharge and soul both things this deck wants, that said having to go down a unit is iffy for the deck. Once again though since the deck is very greedy Aethonic can go a long way even at just 1 copy so it could be worth squeezing in if you find yourself in a lot of long games.

With all that said you can also move slots towards G2 or 3 is you want them more there but my more successful test builds were at 14 G1s.

Grade 2

Grade 2 is 50/50 some units are set in stone (those being the 4 Mbudi and at least 3 Neoflame) some are not. Mbudi is one of the decks most important pieces adding card draw and making massive columns with ease and Neoflame helps to deal with the early game. So how do we use the tech slots?

Essentially there are 3 main options-

 

10k Vanilla – Pretty self explanatory, helps to block early rush and looks good while doing it.

Nadim – An 11k beatstick who will occasionally get you some extra countercharge, handy for evasive decks and useful in the early game too.

Radint – Extra retire and a solo column. However very resource intensive with a restricted retire. Mbudi has mostly replaced Radiant and while the card is still decent the deck often can’t afford to spend the resources on his skill.

I broke this into 2 slots but it would also be fair to break the entire lineup down into 2 basic builds-

  • 4/4/4
  • 4/3/3/2

In 4/4/4 you’re maxing out Mbudi, Neoflame and your preferred tech, in the current meta this will most likely be 10k vanillas as along with Neoflame this will allow you to fend off early aggro.

In 4/3/3/2 you’re sacrificing a little bit of consistency for an extra slot with 4 Mbudi, 3 Neoflame, 3 of your more important tech (likely 10ks) and 2 of another tech.

Currently I’ve been liking –

  • Dragon Knight Mbudi x 4
  • Perdition Dragon, Dragonic Neoflame x 3
  • Dragon Knight, Nehalem x 3
  • Dragon Knight, Nadim x 2

10ks can often be dead cards in the late game and although they can make numbers with Nadel I do think having Nadim as a solo beater helps the deck, Nadim also doesn’t hurt your early game too much as he can still swing for 11k.

Grade 3

Grade 3 is much more simple than the others, you want 4 Kouen and 3 Blaze grade 3s.

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Kouen is your obvious boss, he carries the Blademaster name, offers retire and a small power bonus and has a surprisingly useful G3 salvage skill. The stride bonus is fairly straightforward, retire a unit and give the power to whatever unit you can push up a guard stage with it. The G3 salvage will most often be used to secure your stride but it can be used to pay for PGs, regenerate the field or as discard fodder for Ziegenburg.

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As far as blaze G3s go Jargo is the obvious choice, it offers retire power and makes a solo column. A lot of the time you will just use this card as if it’s a grade 2 dropping it as a retire for Zieg and a beater to deal some damage. Thanks to Kouen if your opponent retires it you can get it back with ease, and even get some extra retires out of it.

There isn’t really any other G3s worth all that much for the deck Jargo is easily the best option.

G-Zone

Similar to Overlord we have 2 first stride options in the form of Vortex and Mustafa.

 

Vortex offers on hit pressure but can very often do nothing at all. Mustafa is an extra retire if you really need it but is fairly low impact and somewhat pricey.

In case it wasn’t obvious first stride is a very sore spot for the deck, offering very little of anything. So how do we get around this?
Well if you stride first overall you suck it up and roll with the punches but if you are the second to stride we can do things with a little more flare.

By using Conroe to search out a heal we can G-guard an opponents attack and respond with the incredibly powerful Ziegenburg.

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As far as first strides go this one is pretty good especially with backup from Mbudi or Jargo, chances are your opponent doesn’t have too much field so setting up for the free restand is much easier and you can actually apply good pressure.

Zieg itself is the key to the deck, the sole focus of the deck is to setup Zieg and use its cheap restand to gain advantage and apply pressure. 2 VG swings for basically free is crazy. In my previous article on Zieg I don’t think I got across just how powerful this card is. A guilt free restand that can even net you advantage is insane value and even if you can’t setup the completely free restand throwing grade 3s into the bin for this guy isn’t too bad thanks to Kouen. However I would advise against going for the restand if its going to cost 3 or more cards (Although chances are you won’t blaze if thats the case) unless you really need to score the kill.

So what do we do if we can’t setup Zieg? Well we punish them for calling a field with an oldie but a goodie.

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If they have a lot of rearguards Taiten can wipe the field and ideally cost them more cards from hand while applying pressure with its crit.

If you were paying attention you noticed that despite it being an amazing card I put it down that you can run it at 3. This is for a specific reason and has been used for quite a few Japanese lists. And that is of course the bane of Kagero’s existence – resist. Resist is a big issue for the deck since it asks for more cards from hand with Zieg and reduces the power of some of your beaters. So how do we handle this?

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Not exactly rocket science, an indiscriminate board wipe to clear off those pesky resist units while offering a field buff to push your columns even higher with the chance of gaining a buff and crit himself. Burst accomplishes much the same as Taiten but in a far more bombastic way, the obvious caveat being that it is locked behind GB8. Japan has obviously seen a rise in Blaster decks which boast resist units in the form of Laura which really throws a spanner in the works if dropped in the back row. Blasters also gives incentive to use advance guard in the form of Flogal so getting to GB8 isn’t too hard against them. That said Taiten and burst offer slightly different utility so weigh up what kind of decks you expect to see before choosing 3 and 2 over 4 and 2.

From there we have Kagero’s ever powerful G-guard suite, boasting disruption in the form of Griffin and Advance and now thanks to a new addition in Abd Salem massive defense.

 

From there we run Sebreeze as we want GB and although you can use 10K vanillas to defend  and Neoflame to pull slightly ahead in terms of card advantage, moving the game forward is much more important for the deck.

Ashes to Ashes

And with that we are done.

In Japan the deck seemed to be a response to the resurgence in Wiseman decks, this was a result of the limiting of Heteroround something we didn’t see in English. However after some time the deck has earned it’s spot among the top decks, offering good offense, advantage and a powerful disruption based defense. Despite it’s relative weakness to boardwipes and bad matchup to Nightrose the deck still puts up good results and I’m sure it will make some waves in the English metagame even without a Wiseman resurgence.

And as always –

 

Thanks for reading

 

Domination’s Hazy Execution

To kick off my string of Demonic Advent articles I want to talk about arguably the most hyped set of cards of the year. I am of course talking about domination.

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Nubatama has for a long time been a troubled clan the inherent power of their initial mechanic (discard) meant that Bushi dropped them almost immediately and the clan was left to fade away. That is until Bushi tried again changing the discard from a permanent one to a temporary disadvantage, this was still at base incredibly powerful but the cards given to support it were somewhat lacking. Finally Bushi tried discard one more time in the reckless rampage, opting to combine discard and bind and trying to push the build forward with afterimage offering a hit and run option that tied into the previously established binding mechanic.
Well it didn’t work out afterimage was tied to a hand size limit which meant the hit and run style didn’t work all that well and the few powerful cards the deck had couldn’t carry such a low advantage and low pressure shell.

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And so Nubatama once again switches gears and gains a new mechanic – Domination.
The basis of domination is pretty simple, attack your opponent with their own stuff, sounds easy right? Well unfortunately this needs to be made to work within the ruleset of the game which means it gets a little tricky. Especially in a game as restrictive as vanguard.

I’ll say it straight out domination is messy.
It has all kinds of rules specifically for it, its resolution is different than almost anything else in the game and there’s all kinds of strange terms that only really matter for it.
As someone who likes to be well versed in the rules and help resolve issues domination being throw into the mix is a bit of a hassle.
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The best rule of thumb for resolving almost any ruling dispute in vanguard is to resolve all effects completely before moving onto the next skill in the queue.
Domination however is a little different Bushiroad breaks domination into 5 parts –

  1. Dominating fighter chooses a unit
  2. Opposing fighter stands the chosen unit
  3. The unit attacks the target chosen by the dominating fighter with the ability, and a battle occurs.
  4. Abilities that activate during battle can be used by the dominating fighter as though it were his or her own unit.
  5. If there are no more dominated units that can attack, the unit is no longer dominated, and the game returns to the phase in which the unit was dominated. If there are dominated units that can attack, or if there are dominated units in stand, it remains dominated, and return to 3.

The thing that really bugs me about this is step 4.
Activating a skill within a skill can create massive headaches especially if we look at something like Mujinlord which dominates multiple units. For example if you dominate 5 units and we assume they all have on attack skills, you half resolve each dominate, pause, use a skill from the unit, resolve that and then resolve the rest of the dominate. Repeat 5 times. The more complicated the skill the more tangled this will get. New players will learn harmful precedents from this such as pausing skills and its abundantly clear Bushi made it this way simply to push the new mechanic with no regard for how it would really fit in the game rules.
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And then there’s the issue of who the unit belongs to…

When you dominate a unit you don’t control it you simply make the owner use it to attack the chosen unit but if you want to make a unit attack another dominated unit it is your unit and can’t be chosen as your opponents unit. So you don’t control the unit but it is your unit which means you can’t select it as an opposing unit but you can select it as your unit but not as a unit you control.

So intentionally writing aside this is obviously a bad idea. Creating a situation where you can have a unit but not control a unit is a bad idea, not just for ruling but also for complexities sake imagine trying to explain this to a new or even casual player. And this is in a trial deck, a product that lots of new players will gravitate towards.

However Bushiroad has us covered, now a unit can have –

  • A Master
  • An Owner
  • A Controller
  • Not really sure what to call it but whoever “has” the unit

That’s 4 terms that really only matter in regards to domination or else are intuitively solved by common sense.

We’ve gone from essentially 2 types of units, yours and mine, to 4 that all happen simultaneously.

It feels bad to rag on a mechanic so harshly especially when I believe game developers should be braver with the kinds of mechanics they are willing to put into a game but even then sometimes you need to accept that it’s too much. Domination is a badly designed and poorly implemented mechanic given to an already troubled clan.

I appreciate the attempt Bushiroad but this shouldn’t have left the drawing table.

 

Thanks for reading

Altered Dragon – Altering the G-zone

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Here’s a card I didn’t expect to consider a staple. In fact when I made my time leap deck profile I didn’t even mention this card. However since I got my hands on this card and messed around with it, it’s easily something I would call a definite inclusion in the deck.

For the sake of this article I will only be covering this cards uses in time leap, there are obviously some similarities between builds but I won’t be mentioning uses specific to builds like Fang.

First Stride

At this point it is not a controversial statement to say the game is often decided by first stride. All the best decks have amazing first stride options and often games between tier 1 decks are decided by who strides first. In some cases this is due to the power of the strides themselves but in the case of Gear chronicle it’s more down to the unlocking of generation break restrictions.

 

 

Essentially so long as the infamous combo is unlocked you can mount your offensive and gain advantage. I know this isn’t exactly new information, first striding warp drive was already a similar situation merely setting up the board rather than doing anything itself. So why am I bringing this up in an article about Altered? Well quite simply sometimes you just don’t have the cards to stride. Maybe you had to ride your fodder or will have to dump a Melem and History to stride. Both of these situations suck and are enough to lose you the game especially against similarly powerful decks. Altered helps get around this issue, including Altered in your deck turns every zodiac time beast in the deck into a psuedo stride fodder, this tends to be your triggers and 10k vanillas. Even beyond first stride this card can help you keep up tempo in the later game just in case you were unable to get a card to stride with in hand.

Mulligan

If I’m playing time leap and know the deck I’m about to fight against is a fast one, I don’t know about you but I want my Lishmas in hand as soon as possible.G-TD09-011EN

Being able to get extra attacks early while removing troublesome units. Having Altered as a safety net lets you mulligan more aggresively to get that early game push while also dropping G3s for Lishmas discard cost.

Setting up

Another use of Altered takes advantage of its second skill. 00

By using its selective bind you can set up for a Haung/Groovy turn by putting something important into the bind zone for later, while also slightly increasing your chance to hit a trigger. While it’s a limited use, small advantages can add up and netting another guard stage, a PG or even extra attack on your Groovy turn can make a difference. You could even use it to mitigate Nextages discard cost.

Altered opinions

This card is something you really need to see to believe, I know it certainly was for me. Thanks in part to them having it for longer this has been in most Japanese time leap builds since its release, I mostly overlooked it but the utility of the card is far too much to pass up. I highly reccomend giving this card a shot and myself consider it a staple of the deck.

thanks for reading

 

Looking at the newest banlist

So as the “spring” circuit comes to a close Bushi has treated us to another banlist, this mostly mimicks Japan’s banlist but with a distinct change, let’s take a look.

Starting from the 31st of July 2017 a deck may only contain 1 copy of “Seven Seas Helmsman, Nightcrow” and “Mick the Ghostie and Family“.

Bushi’s official reasoning is –
“Based on the results of Bushiroad Championship Series 2017 Spring Circuit, we have identified that “Seven Seas Helmsman, Nightcrow” allows Granblue decks to win very consistently and is widely used among players in major tournaments. “Mick the Ghostie and Family” prevents player from decking out, and is able to create a deck with only triggers left. We recognized the influences that it may cause to the tournament environment in the future. Therefore, the above mentioned restriction will be implemented.”

They also go into further detail on Nightcrow by noting it is used in a deck that aims to win the game at a low grade.

Well I have a lot of thoughts on this banlist so I’ll go into card by card and then adress the elephant in the room.

Nighty Night

 

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Turns out free Samurai spirit is actually pretty good

So nightcrow is obviously getting the banhammer to take down 7runner, wait a minute didn’t this already happen?
nightrunnerEarlier this year the star of 7runner was hit to 1 and banned as a starter in a similar attempt to knock the grade 1 rush deck out of the game. Well here we are again, after the support given in Rummy Labrinth the deck saw a resurgence taking advantage of the few new toys it had and the innate advantage of working at G1. And with the second attempt it seems like Bushi has managed to keep the pirates under. If we go off of Japanese results 7runner has taken 1 top since the hit in a team event. But I still want to complain…
There is a very obvious offender that has been crucial to the decks gameplan since its birth Nightspinel.
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This card is probably the most important piece of the engine, allowing for easy field recovery and high power columns early. If Bushi had hit this card instead of the initial Nightrunner hit I do believe the deck would have died much sooner, or hell even if they just banned her now. Even if the Crow hit does its job (and it seems like it will) Crow being hit to 1 really hurts classic seven seas and while that deck hasn’t done much recently its still a shame for it to be caught in the crossfire.

Taking the Mick

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Another hit to Granblues ranks this time in their effect stand. Joining the ranks of Refros and Ur-watar in the “busted common stand trigger” club Mick takes his hit as a method of weakening the flagship Nightrose build. Specifically Mick served the important job of preventing deck out and also acted as part of a combo with Negrolily to gain a defensive 10k bonus. On top of a powerful skill to making Nightrose’s already potent attacks harder to deal with Mick seems like a safe hit from Bushi taking out a versatile and easy to run unit.
Mick’s main offense if we are to believe Bushi is enabling a combo where you can give +40k to your units (either all on one or spread out) and guarantee triggers on the drive check. Nightrose is very clearly one of the best decks in the current format and even after taking this hit in Japan the deck has still performed well so this seems more like a power check than a needed limitation.

 

Round of applause

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Without a doubt the most controversial part of this balist was the lack of a limitation on Heteroround. First off a quick explanation as to why people are talking about this. When Japan recieved its latest banlist Heteroround was also included with Crow and Mick as being hit to 1 copy per deck. What effect did this have on gears? Well the deck still performed well and although some changes were made to account for it the deck remained mostly unphased (albeit with less defense). Although perhaps more importantly this lead to the rise in prominence of Wiseman decks.

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With only 1 round gears were no longer able to stop a double wiseman turn, while Rose’s Lily-canoneer combo suffered similar issues. As a result Wiseman quickly became the deck to beat. This is my best guess as to Bushi’s reasoning on leaving Round alone in the English format, Wiseman could easily be seen as a more “game abusive” deck and auto-losing in one turn leave a bad taste in most players mouths.
That said why Bushiroad instead didn’t limit Round and Ban Wiseman is beyond me but nonetheless I am inclined to believe this is their reasoning regarding the decision they made.

Closing remarks

This banlist was certainly a surprise for me, I didn’t expect us to get the Mick hit and I certainly didn’t expect us to miss out on the Round hit. As it stands Granblue loses another 2 units to Davy Jones locker and the English meta game genuinly diverts from the Japanese one.
The next competetive season is looking to be an interesting one and who knows what kind of new decks could spring up on us come Autumn.
As always –

Thanks for reading

Dragonic Overlord – Deck Profile

Looking for a more up to date deck profile? Check out my post demonic advent Blademaster by clicking here.

With 2016 finally dead now seems as good a time as any to go over my current build for Kagero’s flagship build.

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This is my main deck and the only complete one I own physically. I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of it and after a lot of changes from the release of G-BT07 and I think I’ve finally reached a build that functions pretty goddam well.

Enough waffling let’s get into it.

The List

I’m going to leave out triggers and the starter because I want to talk about them with a bit more detail. I’ll also cover the tech slots by themselves as well since there is plenty to talk about there.

Grade 1 – 13

Grade 2 – 11

Grade 3 – 8

G-Zone

Starting Vanguard

There are two candidates for this role

 

Undeax allows you to search for an Overlord which helps secure the Ace or use the Legends GB2 skill. Meanwhile Sadegh allows you to get an extra retire.
Sadegh has some nice synergy with cards that retire on your opponents turn and can help a lot against clans that rely on restanding rearguards (when combined with defeat flare).
This is very much a preference thing so choose what you like best personally I use Sadegh as I’m very big on counterplay and don’t like the counterblast cost on Undeax.

After the publishing of this article Conroe was unbanned here’s my article on it.

Grade 1 and 2

So before I go onto triggers and tech slots I want to talk about a few of my choices.

So first off I fully believe that even without as odd a grade 3 lineup as I use 4 Conroe is entirely needed since it’s the decks main source of countercharge on top of allowing you to get whichever Overlord is most effective at the time and is able to set up burnout and Defeat flare early if needed. I did test with him at 3 and found the extra consistency granted by the one extra copy was far too valuable to pass up.

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Lava flow is at 3 right now because it’s the most spaces I feel I can give it right now. Stride fodder is incredibly useful to this build as Overlords themselves are a resource for the Aces skill. I’ll go into more detail in the tech slot section but if you wanted to you could use a tech slot for the fourth copy but I get pretty decent results from it at 3.

Protect orb is essential since despite it’s efficiency Conroe has one big issue in that the counter charge happens during battle phase it doesn’t exactly line up with what the deck wants all the time, most of your main skills in this deck are ACT skills meaning that open damage is needed most during the main phase. Protect orb grants you a single yet incredibly important charge that can also be utilised for your G-guards.pgg

As for grade 2s Nehalem is a given at 4, it’s your most important grade 2 and is essential for creating offensive power. The only other grade 2 that I believe is locked in is Dragonic Burnout which functions as one of the most effective retire skills in the game. I think there’s a genuine case case to be made for cutting it down to 2 in the current meta but thanks to Conroe you can set up and use this card for some early tempo if needed.

The Grade 3 Lineup

 

So my chosen lineup is slightly odd I go for 3 Legend, 3 End and 2 X.

This is probably the biggest point of contention with the Overlord deck as players are constantly changing the grade 3s. Many players use the great as backup so that they still have access to a legion and a powerful boss in the case of missing stride others have opted to run the breakride and even tech in the rebirth.

Personally I think the best alternate grade 3 to the Legend is the End. It allows you to keep up tempo even when riding to grade 3 first it’s hard to put down why this card is so good without filling an article all to itself. So with all this said why am I running the X?

Well the biggest reason is that the X can win games… in a very loose way. If a game goes long and both decks are close to deckout then you can use the X to guarantee the win. Of course this is a fringe situation I still think it comes up enough to be relevant. The other reason is a little bit dumber – Why not?

Seriously Conroe allows you to basically have whatever Overlord you need whenever and while there will be the occasional game where you have to ride the X it still doesn’t actually hurt that much, still if you want to shoot for more consistency go for 4 and 4.

G-Zone

This is pretty run of the mill but I want to discuss the choices I’ve made.

One of the big ones I have to argue for quite often is the inclusion of Mustafa mustafaI’ve bounced between cutting this card and keeping it in but I think I’m finally settled on this card staying. The best way to make an argument for this card is with actual examples most notably in the form of Tick Tock Worker and Commander Laurel. This card is for situations where you need a rearguard gone and don’t have any other available options in effect you sacrifice pressure for consistency. Even if you don’t use him you can flip him for Taiten so it’s not like the space is wasted.

 

Ace and Nouvelle share the same purpose but do it in very different ways. While Ace is the more effective and powerful of the two it is also much more costly and inconsistent due to the requirement to have an Overlord in hand and two open damage. However Ace can secure wins against small to mid sized hands and generates a lot of pressure especially when comboed with Nehalem. Nouvelle on the other hand is a little more niche with it’s odd guard restrict and trigger null it can guarantee a win especially when you know a fair number of cards in your opponents hand, it also only requires 1 CB and retains its triple drive meaning you finish with an extra card in hand.

I highly recommend against running 4 copies of the Ace it’s not consistent and while having acess to 2 shots of the Ace seems nice and will certainly win some games but the risk just isn’t worth it.

Triggers

So there’s a few ways to go here and I think it depends a lot on playstyle and meta. In the current meta I’m very in favour of 5 draw triggers especially in areas with a lot of gear chronicle. 12 crit is also as always viable and so is the old standard of 4 draw 8 crit.

Another option I want to bring up but not necessarily reccomend is running a few copies of Lizard Soldier, Veira.

veira

This card can be used with Denial griffin to give an extra 10k to your vanguard for the rest of the turn allowing you to defend against attacks much easier especially against clans like aqua force and gear chronicle. Of course stands aren’t the best in Overlord and this isn’t the most consistent combo but I thought it was worth noting anyway.

Other things to note are that you should run flame dragon heals for the Legends skill and Dragon Knight, Jannat helps to enable blaze in situations where you are short a rearguard without losing a card from hand. Draws also have the advantage of coming in the form of gatling claw dragon which is always nice.

Currently I’m running

Tech Slots

So the deck has a fair few of these allowing for some flexibility so I’ll go in order of grade.

Grade 1

 Lizard Soldier, Bellog

bellog

Bellog give you more counter-play allowing you to shoot down a rested rearguard this is my current choice personally mostly down to my love of counter effects but a good chunk of my preference and the reason I have it at 3 is it’s interaction with Melem allowing you to stop gear chronicles ridiculous attack loop or at least slow it down.

Dragon Knight, Nadel

nadel

An 11k booster and countercharge option that refunds your Taiten plays this card is definitely worth considering despite the blademaster restriction.

These are my picks but there are obviously many more that I don’t think are that good of course deckbuilding has a lot of personal choice so if that’s the route you want to go down feel free.

Grade 2

So grade 2 is probably the area with the most freedom in the deck and there’s a lot of options here too so I’ll what I consider to be the main contenders. I also personally split this slot into 2 sets of 2 rather than 1 set of 4 but like most tech slots it’s mostly down to preference and local meta.

Dragonic Neoflame

neoflame

Often cited as Kagero’s main anti-rush card it does that job fairly well but not without shortcomings. It will often hit the board as a 9k vanilla and the CB1 cost can also be somewhat restrictive. Still it’s definitely a decent option and it can put in work especially agains’t opponents who overcommit early on.

 Burning Horn Dragon

burning-horn

This deck can often have low backrow presence which means that a lot of the time your 9k rearguards will be unable to hit. Burning horn can help remedy this somewhat by being a 12k on attack, not much else to say but it does it’s job very well.

Berserk Lord Dragon

berserk-lord

I don’t like this choice but it’s worth mentioning it allows for some extra somewhat effective retire so if that’s an area you feel you’re hurting in it’s always there.

Radiant Dragon

radiant

I did a larger analysis of this card so if you want you can read that but in short this card makes numbers and has a somewhat cost effective retire. Only works on Taiten turns but they are fairly common anyway it also adds some extra power.

again there are other options based on preference and meta but I think these are the main choices. I’ve also considered Dragon knight, Nadim but not being a flame dragon means it loses points for me.

G-Zone

This is a slot that has gone from not being open, 2 open slots and now only 1. Innitially I considered Mustafa as a tech and as a meta call he would certainly fit but I feel as though his uses are far too valueable to pass up. I also once considered 3 Griffins essential but less so now.
I’m not going to go into much detail here since it’s probably the most open slot in the entire deck so go wild and find what works with you. I am currently trying out Dizmel but up until recently I was using Griffin here and I’ve even considered putting another Mustafa just in case I wanted the unflip. So like I said go wild and find what works for you.

Wrapping up

Wow that went a lot longer than I expected. I might revisit this fairly soon to cover some plays you can make with the deck but I think most people will either figure them out or already know them, but let me know if that would be an interesting article.

As always thanks for reading.