Runick is an interesting Spell-based control deck that was released in Tactical Masters on August 26, 2022. Its main game plan is to make use of various Runick Quick-Play spells to amass resources, disrupt the opponent, and also banish cards from the top of their Deck which can screw over their gameplan by removing key pieces that they need for their combos. The deck has a couple of Fusion monsters, which can be brought out from the Extra Monster Zone for free via the Spells. Since the Runick cards are fairly generic outside of making you give up your Battle Phase, it's been seeing a good amount of success as an engine for various decks in the current format. Not to worry though if you're a fan of Pure, as it has been able to sneak a few important tournament tops and wins as well.
Following the release of Tactical Masters, Runick was already garnering a couple of tops in the WCQ Regional scene that week! Runick Spright appeared to be an effective choice and was poised to be an alternative to regular HT Spright and Power Spell Spright that was running around, bringing a lot of unique benefits to the table. When Oceanics and YCS Niagara rolled around, the deck secured some nice placings in both Top 16 and Top 32 respectively. Pure Runick mill also won the entirety of the Chile regionals, which is quite a feat. Two other variants also saw some fringe success, with Runick Tearlaments and Runick Exosister making some waves. Runick Spright is continuing to have strong showings as this past weekend, as it claimed a 1st place finish at the Philadelphia WCQ Regional, and a Top 32 placement by Pakawat Pamornsut.
All in all, we can safely say that Runick as an engine is bordering around Tier 2 in terms of usage, while the actual deck is sitting at Rogue. Let's go over the variants of the deck, shall we?
Nicolás Del Campo managed to get 1st Place at the Chile WCQ Regional with none other than Pure Runick! Compared to splashing it as an engine, the actual Runick deck operates differently and goes all in on decking the opponent out, or at least his version did. Unlike what the OCG did, he also opted out of tuner options for deep draws.
The list is fairly straightforward in its game plan. Establish Runick Fountain which you can get via Hugin the Runick Wings or Runick Tip if the former gets stopped. Ideally, you're returning 2 to 3 Runick Spells back to get 2-3 draws from Fountain. Maintaining resources is key if you want to make sure you can pull off a successful deck out. He appeared to focus on consistency, running the full suite of Runes to round out his lineup. While cards like Runick Golden Droplet and Runick Smiting Storm aren't the best, you can still use their second effect to bring out a Runick Fusion of your choice, and they can result in massive banish turns. Just note that other variants may not run these cards because of their limited use.
Nicolás ran 1 copy of Runick Allure to search off Munin the Runick Wings to accelerate his win condition. While not everyone runs it, it's not a bad option as it speeds up the opponent's clock. From there, the deck is rounded out by two power cards, Majesty's Fiend and Mystic Mine! Both of these game-winning cards are capable of stealing entire duels if left unanswered. The former is quite easy to bring out as you can just tribute a Geri or a Munin. Funnily enough, it can also be protected by the likes of Runick Flashing Fire and Runick Slumber to help it stay on the board. The latter is good at giving you a lot of time in order to safely deck your opponent out, or if your Fountain access gets crippled. Demise of the Land and Metaverse potentially play double duty here, as you can switch between which Field Spell you need at a given time.
All in all, it's not a meta destroyer or anything, but Pure Runick and its surprise factor can allow it to sneak a few results in the Regional level. It's a little unfortunate that Eradicator Epidemic Virus is seeing wide play in the main though, as that cripples nearly all Runick variants.
Nicholas Ma managed an impressive 1st place finish at the Philadelphia WCQ Regional with Runick Spright! His build is quite similar to what was seen in YCS Niagara, even adopting the Normal Summon tech in Ipiria. A cheeky lizard from all the way back from 2019, this critter draws a card when summoned, with a hard once per turn stipulation. Ma and the others enjoy it thanks to its constant advantage you can accumulate over the course of the game, especially if revived by Elf later on. For Runick, you need to see multiple of their cards to start your plays, so it works out quite fine. It's not as popular as regular Spright, but it's been picking up steam for the past few weeks now.The Runick cards give Spright a nice backbone to work with, as Hugin is an excellent card that can help ward off threats like Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, PSY-Framegear Gamma, and even blowout cards such as Lightning Storm! She also serves as an extender if you have access to any Runick Quick-Play Spell to summon her with. This matters a lot, especially as Spright is quite vulnerable if its Normal Summon and Spright Starter are stopped by the opponent. Runick cards can get you extenders on-demand! Simply move Hugin out of the Extra Monster Zone by linking it off or making a Rank 2 monster with it.Additionally, the various Quick-Plays can help in both disrupting the opponent and breaking the board. Runick Freezing Curses, in particular, is a solid answer to the likes of Tearlaments Kitkallos and Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion. The downside of skipping your Battle Phase can be a bummer, as you can't make use of an easily summonable 3200 Gigantic or the Zeus package as much. Luckily, cards like Knightmare Cerberus and Onibimaru Soul Sweeper can help pick off threats while you prepare for your big push. It's just a matter of draining your opponent's resources. Lastly, Toadally Awesome and Spright Carrot help the Runick cards out a lot against their natural enemy: backrow removal.To sum it up, Runick Spright is a tried and tested deck that's been getting a fair amount of success. It quickly overshadowed the Adventurer variant for Sprights looking to play with a secondary engine. It does face some legitimate competition with the new and improved Power Spell Spright from Joshua Schmidt, however.
Danger Runick Tearlaments
Jose Toscano brought an unexpected Runick variant over at YCS Niagara, placing Top 32 with Danger Runick Tearlaments! It sounds like a weird combination for sure, but there are a couple of synergies that tie the deck together to be a formidable albeit strange pick. Considering the amount of gas Danger Tear has on its own, you're more than likely to mill several Runick cards from your Deck to the GY! This gives you a lot of setup for a massive push with Runick Fountain!
But then you might wonder, what if Fountain gets milled? Not to worry, Geri the Runick Fangs is here to save the day and grab it back from GY to your hand. His Level here actually comes up, as it means you can have an easier time making various Rank 4s that fit the situation. Time Thief Redoer can let you fuse with Tearlaments Scheiren, or Abyss Dweller can lock the opponent out if it's the mirror match. Hugin's level is also fine here, as she can lead into Gigantic Spright or make Spright Elf without going overly minus. Munin is the worst out of the bunch for this particular version, but he still finds a home in the Side Deck as an option to help as time runs out, as the 1000 LP is quite a huge difference.
Lastly similar to Spright, the Runick cards can help bait out hand traps, force interruption, and overall just solidify your board against a multitude of threats. Toscano chose to max out on the best Runick cards that interacted with the opponent, being the trinity of Flashing Fire, Freezing Curses, and Destruction. Runick Slumber is a weird choice to see outside of pure, but it's most likely just an additional name so you can save your better Runick cards for the opponent's resources.
While it's definitely an unusual variant, there's a lot of potential to explore with it and it has made a successful debut. Expect to see some sightings of Runick Tear in the near future.
Israel Gutierrez showed off an unthinkable mix at the Florida WCQ Regional, landing a decent Top 8 finish with Runick Exosister. This might be the most peculiar out of all the versions we've seen so far, as Exosister is known for its hefty lock thanks to Exosister Martha. Due to this, the deck generally operates pure with various generics to help it out. Not only that, but it's also the only Exo list that isn't making use of the game-winning power of Dimension Shifter, so what gives? Allow me to help decipher these runes.Runick Exo is a different take that forgoes Hand Traps and uses the Runick cards themselves as generic support cards and extenders to help the Exosisters out in their game plan. For example, one of the deck's issues is having difficulty boarding a Rank 4 at times. Martha isn't always present, and while Exosister Stella and Exosister Elis do work well together, it's often an issue that you're missing a Sister to get started. For example, only having 1 Exosister Sophia in your hand and that's it. In that case, you could use any of the Runick Quick-Play spells to get yourself a Level 4 in Geri to help make cards like Exosister Mikailis and Exosister Kaspitell which are powerhouses in their own right. While you won't be able to make use of Martha that turn, you still get a lot of mileage out of those R4 monsters to continue your plays.
But then you might ask, what if you have Martha? Then what's the use of the Runick spells? Unlike traditional extenders, the modality of the Runick cards lets you use them as either protection, disruption, or removal to give the Exosister monsters an easier time getting going. Against already established boards, it can be difficult to stick your Exos. Runick Flashing Fire, Runick Freezing Curses, and Runick Destruction could give you some breathing room to actually start playing.
It's also a plan B at the very worst, letting you survive the incoming onslaught with the abundance of resources Fountain may provide. Since you want your Runick cards to hit the GY for Fountain, Shifter becomes a non-option in this version of the deck. Weirdly enough, the Field Spell can also help your own Martha trigger, should she be sticking around on the field. One last thing to note is that Exo is quite vulnerable to having their backrow cards get destroyed, which Hugin does an excellent job at making sure you don't get clobbered by the likes of Harpie's Feather Duster or Lightning Storm.
Runick Exo isn't standard by any means, but it's an interesting take on Exosister, not dissimilar to the Byssted mixes that the OCG is trying out. Only time will tell if this'll stick around or if it's going to be a one-hit-wonder.
That ends our look at one of the more successful strategies out of a deckbuilding pack so far, Runick! It seems like a promising addition to the metagame, albeit it can also be considered a terror with Mystic Mine Runick decks running around going for deck out. It appears that the "deep draw" Synchro builds for the deck never really took off, as stuff like The Fabled Abanc and Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn with Charge of the Light Brigade have not been seeing any competitive success whatsoever. Pure Runicks seem to prefer stunnier tools such as Majesty's Fiend for now.
What do you think of Runick? Is it going to continue to be splashed into more decks as Darkwing Blast approaches? Until next time folks, keep calm and banish the opponent's entire Deck! Renren out.