Hello everyone, Renren here. Welcome back to Tech Report! Cyberstorm Access is nearly upon us, which is set to shake the metagame up significantly. With that being said, let's look at some of the more creative options people have been finding success with in competitive play, notably in the WCQ Regional scene! We'll be going over a bunch of different decks, from the tiered strategies to rogue contenders.
Kashing In vs the Outs
Notable Tops: Alessandra WCQ Regional Top 8 / Zagreb WCQ Regional Top 8
Summon Limit may not be as flashy as some techs that have become standard for Kashtira in recent weeks, but it's proven to be a very effective and dangerous card to deal with, even better than Solemn Judgment in some cases. Due to the prominence of Kashtira Arise-Heart, players have opted to directly answer it with the likes of Kaijus, Book of Moon, and Santa Claws. Even double Arise-Heart setups which are meant to deal with these threats still fold to the likes of Book of Eclipse, Lava Golem, and most notably of all, Kurikara Divincarnate.
This forgotten floodgate turns the dynamic around on its head, actually inviting opponents to deal with your towering Macro Cosmos + Drident on legs. After doing so, they're stuck with just 1 summon which is not enough to get most decks (sans Runick) started. Meanwhile, the downside does stop you from re-establishing Arise, but the deck is more than capable of just playing akin to how it did in DABL: Aggressive stun/beatdown with Kashtira Fenrir, Kashtira Unicorn, and Kashtira Birth. It's not an easy feat having to deal with both Kashtira monsters tearing through your cards and constantly adding back resources when you're stuck at only 2 summons per turn. Don't underestimate this tech! Just be wary of stray Cosmic Cyclones coming your way.
Albaz the Risen
Deck: Bystial / Bystial Dragon Link
Notable Tops: German Open Top 8 | Thalwil WCQ Regional 1st Place / Indianapolis WCQ Regional 1st Place
Fallen of Albaz? In this economy?! That's right, but it's not the usual Fusion Deployment as a going second option for Branded. Both Bystial and Dragon Link are able to end on Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres which is an insane Link monster that's difficult to play against. Back that up with a Borreload Savage Dragon for D-Link, or a mass amount of Hand Traps for Bystial, and you got yourself a board! While both decks are a far cry from meta, they have been putting up some impressive results in the Regional scene for Rogue decks, especially when Kashtira is the most popular strategy by far. Their mostly positive matchup against the likes of Mathmech and Branded helps a lot.
By slotting in an Albaz and a few of his pieces in the Extra Deck, you're able to get up to 3 interruptions off a single Spheres. The iconic bounce, Albaz's effect to fuse, and Mirrorjade the Iceblade Dragon being able to get rid of one of their monsters. This gives you a lot of leverage against the likes of Dark Ruler No More plus other popular board breakers (more so than you already did, thanks to the power of both Branded Regained and Branded Beast ) and makes both decks even tougher to crack. In some situations, you may even find yourself adding Albaz off Bystial Magnamhut to Normal Summon as your turn starts.
Regained has a few more applications when it comes to Albaz. Drawing it when going first isn't ideal, but you can tuck it back into the Deck and get a draw for your efforts thanks to the Continuous Spell. For example in Pure Bystial, if you drew Albaz, a Bystial, and Regained access (say through The Bystial Lubellion ) you're pretty much set! In grindier games, you can also recycle Albion the Branded Dragon back into the ED so Mirrorjade can keep firing. Albion also lets you set Branded Beast during the End Phase, which is nice.
Post Cyberstorm Access is where this tech starts to split. Both Bystial Dis Pater and Chaos Angel bring a lot to Dragon Link, so they can no longer afford the main and Extra Deck slots to use Albaz. Pure Bystial can still run it just fine, as you have a lot of flex spots when it comes to that deck. All in all, it's a nifty tech that can definitely catch people off guard and give both decks some added versatility.
The Best Nadir Target
Deck: Branded Despia
Notable Top: Las Vegas WCQ Regional Top 4 / Toronto WCQ Regional 1st Place
Meanwhile for the deck that actually uses Albaz, finding ways to play when you don't have Branded Fusion access or when it gets stopped by say Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring has always proven to be difficult. People have experimented and found some success with Fusion Deployment and Crossout Designator. Today, we'll be looking at quite a unique choice when it comes to that. I present, Nadir Servant. Daniel Ramirez managed to pull off a very successful Top 4 finish despite having his Branded Fusion being Ashed all day thanks to this very nifty card. So how does it work when it locks the Extra Deck, and Despia doesn't really run any Dogmatika monsters, so what gives? Recently, Joshua Goncalves also managed to win Toronto Regionals with it!
I'm glad you asked! It turns out that Nadir Servant can actually add Fallen of Albaz to your hand! This'll be important in a little bit. So say your Branded Fusion gets stopped or you never had access to it. You activate Nadir, sending Sprind the Irondash Dragon to the GY and adding the Albaz. Proceed to the End Phase if you don't have any other plays to do. This is where things get funky. Sprind will trigger and summon Springans Kitt from the deck! Use Kitt to add Branded in High Spirits from your Deck to your hand and tuck back a card to the bottom. Still in EP, use High Spirits as it is a Quick-Play, to reveal and discard Albaz, sending Albion the Branded Dragon while adding Tri-Brigade Mercourier to your hand. Lastly, Albion will set Branded in Red directly from the Deck. So what all this is leading up to is that despite getting hit with the otherwise turn-ending Ash, you can still set up a formidable Mirrorjade + Mercourier combination on your opponent's turn. Pretty good stuff!
It's not standard by any means and Crossout remains to be the more popular choice, but it is definitely a really cool and underrated tech. Give it a go before CYAC completely changes the deck, yet again. There might even be a way to still keep Nadir since Guiding Quem, the Virtuous is a Dogmatika card. We'll have to wait and see.
Decorate your Labrynth Household
Deck: (Furniture) Labrynth
Notable Tops: German Open Top 8 / The Side Deck Remote WCQ Regional Top 8 / Barcelona WCQ Regional Top 8
Furniture Labrynth has managed to make a name for itself pretty late in the format's lifespan. This build plays on a radically different axis compared to how Labrynth was played before, almost feeling like an entirely different deck. There's barely any traps and it has a lot of Hand Traps and monsters, notably the namesake, the Furniture trio. Labrynth Stovie Torbie and Labrynth Chandraglier do sound like huge minuses and they are at first, but they get to pay dividends once you actually get through the ardurous task of getting everything in rotation. Labrynth Cooclock is also responsible for some crazy setups with both Welcome Labrynths and even a sudden Eradicator Epidemic Virus! Lovely Labrynth of the Silver Castle's destruction effect is a bit more powerful and accessible when it comes to Furniture Lab, potentially acting as interruption on the opponent's turn before they even get started.
To ease with the discarding aspect, the deck makes use of Pot of Extravagance over Pot of Prosperity in order to fill up the hand. Not only that, the deck can even run the likes of Danger! Bigfoot! and both Keldo the Sacred Protector + Mudora the Sword Oracle to really cash in on the discards and put pressure on the opponent.
The deck is incredibly cool and a lot more proactive than standard Lab, as well as being less vulnerable to S/T blowouts such as Lightning Storm and Evenly Matched. The learning curve is quite high so it takes some time getting used to, but it's definitely worth it as the deck has managed to put up some impressive results, and fares a bit better right now than the Dragoon and the standard build. GIve it a go! Feel free to also watch Chris Lin's topping Labrynth deck profile for more of an in-depth analysis.
Traptrip Garden being bumped up to 2 has become more and more popular in performing Traptrix lists, and it's not difficult to see why. Pudica getting some additional value later on helps, but hard opening Garden allows the deck to be a lot more resilient in the face of both removal and hand traps, all while giving some added protection to your Traptrix monsters. It doesn't immediately generate card advantage unlike most modern Field Spells, but it's still nice to have.
Tenyi Swordsoul has been messing with a Bystial package alongside Destrudo in the Side Deck to have a better matchup going into popular LIGHT/DARK decks post-side. Magnamhut is able to get you to the Lost Dragon's Frisson, which is pretty sweet as it enables a Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing play without much commitment.
Therion Rikka Sunavalon has been making use of their own version of Branded Expulsion, ending on a board that has Therion "King" Regulus paired up with Naturia Rosewhip and Cactus Bouncer, locking the opponent out of the game. It's a bit convoluted to set up, but you can find out more by watching Jess' video on the matter.
Floowandereeze has been making use of both Floowandereeze & Snowl and Floowandereeze and the Scary Sea, which is a surprise for sure but a welcome one.
That's all the time we have for now! I wish you the best of luck in the last regional week of PHHY, as CYAC is about to descend upon the metagame. Until our next heist folks, Renren out!