Altered Dragon – Altering the G-zone

alt

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

 

Gear Chronicle, Time Leap – Deck Profile

Probably fitting considering how much time has passed since my last article.

chron-gg

Last time I covered an old favourite of mine, this time I’m going to cover a new favourite.

Gear chronicle is one of the most powerful decks in the game right now. A ludicrous number of attacks, insane advantage engine and powerful strides make this deck one of the most feared in the current meta-game. The number of resigned sighs I’ve heard after flipping over the Chrono Dran is more than enough evidence of this decks infamy.
So lets not waste anymore time and leap right into it.

 

The List

As before I’ll cover triggers and tech slots later.

Grade 0 – 18

Grade 1 – 13/15

Grade 2 – 10/12

Woah would you look at that strange bold text. I’ll explain in a minute so just hold on for a minute.

Grade 3 – 7/8

G-Zone ver 1

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Viva la bottom of the deck

 
Strides

Guards

This version of the G-zone is what I prefer the access to revolution is incredibly useful against decks that overcommit to the board or don’t have a good way of rebuilding the board. It’s rare but when you get to use it you will be glad you have it. This version is also a lot more open and you can tinker with it yourself to see what works.

G-Zone ver 2 (Let’s get Groovy) 

groovy

Groovy Baybee


Strides

Guards

I’m not nescesarrily fond of this version but some people are very fond of Groovy and this version does top once in a while so I thought it was definitely worth mentioning.

So as you can see it’s a very loose list but in an oddly restrictive way. Once you start finding your prefered techs and playstyle the list will become a lot more restrictive. I like to make my lists a little more comprehensive than “this is what I use” so that more people can learn about the decks shell and apply it in their own way. Now I won’t lie some of the openess of this deck is from lack of playtesting a lot of option I have heard are viable, but no I’m not hurrying out this list I genuinely think I’ve found a good quality shell worth sharing.

Hey also check out this article on a card that after the publishing of this article that I now consider a staple.

Triggers

Okay so as always triggers are incredibly subjective based on playstyles and local meta-games but Gears has a few locked in cards.

Heart thump is your strider crit and is useful in a variety of situations, such as the Nextage turn or even just getting soul for Heteroround.

Ur-Watar is restricted for a reason, in combination with Melem this card creates the advantage engine that builds defense for the deck with the added bonus of letting you return triggers or important units to the deck.

Vainglory is for chaining with Heteroround, when you use Hetero’s skill you can trigger Vainglory’s skill and gain +10k until the end of the turn helping you to block further attacks or even move out of range of them. Especially handy in the Sanc matchup and in some cases the mirror.

Apart from that its a pretty open lineup currently I’m running

  • 4 Heal
  • 6 Crit
  • 3 Draw
  • 3 Stand

Another thing worth mentioning is that Zodiac time beast triggers can be used to benefit from Jet G’s first skill.

 

Grade 1

So first off although I said that you could cut Steam breath and Melem from 4 to 3 I would not reccomend it. Consistency is always key and these cards are very important to the deck, Melem for obvious reasons and Steam breath is important for first stride or choosing a more effective Jet. Still if you feel like you want the extra slots then 3 is still pretty good.

Arlim is essential this deck will chew through CB very quickly and many turns will only need 1 or 2 CB but Arlims charge is crucial in far too many games to pass up – no matter how tempting the alternatives.

As for techs I have a few personal recomendations and 1 card I would like to recommend against.

Recommend – Lishma

Lishma was a card I innitialy underated, it looked interesting but I didn’t exactly see any amazing use for it. The card that really makes this unit shine is Delayed Blazer, by leaping Lishma into Blazer you can squeeze out another 2 attacks after your vanguard swing. If need be you can even use the skill for your first Nextage swing and put triggers to the 2 new units.

The draw skill is a little expensive just because its a CB and Gears needs its CB although I do use it quite a lot so it must be doing something right.

 

Recommend – Tick-away

Tick-away is a card that I almost feel should be a locked in slot. One of the issues you will run into is that often you will find your important leap targets in the bin. Tick-away helps a lot with this and in some of the more complex combos can even allow you to use a second tick tock in one turn.

At worst Tick-away will be throwing back triggers and at best it makes sure you have the nescessary targets for your combos.

Recommend – Mesh-kia

Mesh-kia is a card that far too many people innitialy passed on. Around this cards reveal a lot of people were comparing it to Gigi but without Upstream synergy. This card however is incredibly useful.

One of the decks weaknesses is that your opponent can hit a defensive trigger which disables your Melem attacks.

Mesh-kia is your go to in these situation, gain some advantage and try again next turn. I also find her useful on Warp drive turns since I sometimes have an extra pre-battlephase timeleap.

 

Be careful of – Causality

This card has the opposite story to Lishma and Mesh-kia. This was the golden child of gears of fate for a lot of people and if the deck was still the same as it was 1 year ago it would be deserved. It’s impossible to deny the use this card has with Upstream, granting power and a skill. However in a huge amount of testing (I wanted this card to work) and found that very rarely was I ever able to capitalise on the bonuses. Even when the unit with the on hit skill did connect I generally didn’t find a way to fit the extra timeleap in.

Of course if you do find this card useful it still has some interesting potential and would love to hear about it.

Other cards to consider

 

Gigi – A decent option if you decide to run upstream but just be wary of using too much soul, Heteroround is more important.

Timebreak – A mainphase timeleap to help fix your board, hard to fit in but can help in games where you find yourself lacking the right units.

 

Grade 2

History maker needs no explanation. Run it at 4 no questions asked, this card is so important to the deck and running it at any less than 4 creates a possibilty of you being unable to get it.

Run it at 4.

So in the next slot I’ve put in Delayed Blazer dragon in for at least 2 places. Blazer is a great option for getting more attacks in and a key combo piece for some of the more extensive attack chains. I like this at either 2 or 3 copies since its main use is as a leap target in the deck so most of the time you’re searching it out anyway.

Now as you can see there are a lot of tech slots, these will generally be filled by the same cards in a lot of the lists you see but I definitely do not think of them as set slots. Basically and grade 2 is fair game for these spaces and you would probably still be okay. I want to go over the most common (and what I feel are most effective) choices for these slots but again these slots are very open so feel free to experiment.

10k Vanillas

Gears is a deck that doesn’t like the early game a whole lot so 10ks help to alleviate this issue. Personally I really like this option as it helps to cover your biggest weakspot and get you to that crucial first stride turn. If you are going to run them use Chronospin Serpent, as a zodiac time beast it can transition into the late game by gaining boosts from Chronojet G.

Kalibum

In a similar vein to vanillas Kalibum is for the late game, by flinging away starters he can make guarding early VG swings much easier. As an added bonus he can be combined with time leap to get 2 shots at his skill which can come in handy occasionally.

Upstream

I think an apt way to describe this card is as the “best, worst card ever”. When time leap was first creating a fuss this card was an essential part of that, granting more options in case you didn’t draw Melem and it also had some great synergy with Gigi and Uluru/Tick-away that allowed you to soul blast out important targets then send them back to deck. Now the deck has moved beyond Upstream and while it can often find space in the deck its purpose is mostly as an attack that can hit. Don’t get me wrong Upstream is good but don’t mistake it for the key card it once was.

Clockfencer

A grade 2 version of timebreak dragon it serves the exact same purpose. Not much to say about it other than it is a field fix and that Japan really seems to like it.

Grade 3

Consistency is key.

There are arguments for grade 3 techs, I don’t think they hold water.

Nextage is essential and requires Jet, Blazer needs Jet, Phoenix needs Jet, Thump, Groovy, Dran – Basically Jet.

I mean it helps that both G3s are pretty great.

G-zone

These 2 are an obvious pick, Nextage is your high power finisher and Phoenix is your explosive first stride.

windy

This one should also be fairly obvious, the deck needs generation break so Sebreeze is there to punish gradestallers.
One thing I would say is try to be at 3 damage before going into Windy here. If you’re only able to stride into Sebreeze you aren’t really gaining anything, by having 1 CB you can use history maker to gain some advantage while doing some damage.

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Warp Drive is fantastic, if your set-up is too bad to Phoenix then Warp Drive in combination with Jet G’s stride bonus can allow you to easily make something out of nothing and throw one of your opponents units into the deck.

Your G-guard suite serves 2 purposes, utility and defense. Utility can be anything from disrupting the opponents field or correct your own.

Heteroround speaks for himself, a Griffin lite with way more utility and a much better deck to fit into.

Uluru offers effective defense while putting important units back to the deck that you want to time leap later on.

Raphana defends you against larger swings and nets you a grade 0 that you can later leap into a Melem if need be or grab a gear cat and follow it up with a Heteroround.

What I will say is don’t get caught up in the larger shield value of the Arlim G-guard and the upcoming second Uluru. Time leap doesn’t struggle with blocking large attacks and thanks to the cat-round combo you can even defang some of the higher intensity turns.

 

And there we have it

Well that took some time but now we’ve reached the end. I hope this was helpful to anyone looking into the deck.

Unfortunately as for teaching how to play the deck, I’m afraid that’s not an easy thing to do with words.
Keep practicing with the deck and always plan ahead, coming up with your entier attack patern before you even swing once is one of the most rewarding aspects of the deck.

Of course the deck will perform just fine if you leave it all to the Melem loop but if you can learn how to extend your turns beyond that the deck will become far more deadly.

Well good luck and

thanks for reading