Which Tri-Brigade Build is Better? Zoo or Pure? Ever since the July banlist, Tri-Brigade went through many changes in order to optimize its playstyle. Taking a majority of the top cut at the Remote


Ever since the July banlist, Tri-Brigade went through many changes in order to optimize its playstyle. Taking a majority of the top cut at the Remote Duel YCS, there were two versions: Pure and Zoodiac Tri-Brigade. Some people say Zoodiac is the correct build, while others insist the pure build performs more consistently. For the past month and a half, I joined many local tournaments and OTS Qualifiers playing both versions to see for myself. In this article, we will weigh the pros and cons of each deck using both theory and player experience.

The Resurgence of Zoodiacs

The Zoodiac Drident ban impacted the way Tri-Brigade would play, and many builds immediately dropped the Zoodiacs when the July banlist took effect. However, two major things brought back the Zoodiac engine. First, the Zoodiac Chakanine play was still live. A Zoodiac Ratpier or a Thoroughblade plus a discard can still create a Tri-Brigade Ferrijit the Barren Blossom that allows extension. Second, Divine Arsenal AA-Zeus - Sky Thunder is still an incredible card and provides a great going second option for Tri-Brigade with a single Zoodiac monster.

The Zoodiac engine also partially carries the same roles it had from the last format. Zoodiac Barrage is a free Zeus and has the benefit of playing around Contact "C". The Xyz spam also allows free resources in the GY for the Tri-Brigade effects. Some people also play Gravity Controller to instantly set up a Tri-Brigade Revolt with just the Zoo monsters. Additionally, Fire Formation - Tenki can search something else besides Tri-Brigade Fraktall.

So Why Isn't Zoodiac in Every Tri-Brigade Build?

The Zoodiac engine sounds great, so why isn't it the default for Tri-Brigade? First, Operation Zeus isn't great against well-established boards. Without Barrage, it's a commitment to both a normal summon and the battle phase that can backfirheavily. Common cards like Infinite Impermanence will punish this strategy very hard. Zoodiac Ramram can help mitigate these common counters, but many lists have dropped Ramram because it doesn't contribute to the turn 1 combo anymore. In the mirror, Zoodiac Boarbow forces the Revolt, but dealing with a Shuraig and an Apollousa in MP2 is not an ideal situation. Drytron players won't allow Zeus to resolve unless they only have 1 interruption. Therefore, some players don't want to resort to Zeus as a means to disrupt or break the opponent's board. On the bright side, the threat of Zeus is so real that it forces the opponent to respect the Zoodiac engine. 
Without Drident, the Zoo engine is even more susceptible to handtraps going first. Last format, Ratpier or Chakanine is perfect bait that would still allow you to end on Drident. Without an extension, an Impermanence or Effect Veiler can put the Tri-Brigade player in an awkward position. However, this argument can be made with any deck; it's just that there is no easy Plan Drident if things go south anymore. Also, while Zoodiac Barrage is a strong card, it isn't actually a starter unless you have a another Zoodiac monster in hand for Thoroughblade. It works fine as an extension going first, but Barrage doesn't combo into anything without Drident.

The Pros of Pure Tri-Brigade

On the other hand, Pure Tri-Brigade has the luxury of flexibility compared to the Zoo variant. The pure variant runs Psy-framegear Gamma while having space for Psy-framelord Omega in the Extra Deck. Also, the additional space in the Extra Deck allows Pot of Prosperity to be an option. This allows a very high chance for the deck to start its plays or dig for the almighty Imperial Order.

Additionally, the Zoodiac starters can be replaced by Rescue Cat. While handtraps are more unforgiving on this cute feline, resolving it provides a 1 card combo of Apollousa and Revolt. It also synergizes well with Gamma if the opponent attempts to chain Ash Blossom & Joyous Springs to Rescue Cat's effect. In comparison, the Zoo engine requires GY setup and a Tri-Brigade in hand to accomplish the same task. 

When Does Pure Turn into Poo?

The biggest factor differentiating the pure and the Zoo variant is the access to Zeus. Pure Tri-Brigade can summon Zeus with Rescue Cat into a Rank 2 Xyz like Sky Cavalry Centaurea. However, the major difference is the accessibility to it. It's far riskier using Rescue Cat for Zeus because this play dies to more interruptions such as a Dragoon or Apollousa negate. Because of this, it becomes very difficult to play through big boss monsters, most notably Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon.

The lack of Zoodiac cards mean resources are more dependent on resolving Tri-Brigade effects and Rescue Cat. The lack of additional Tenki targets also makes Fraktall a bit redundant. Overall, the deck becomes more linear than it already is and much more predictable.

Which is Better in My Opinion?

At the current moment, Tri-Brigade Zoo is far more popular than the pure build. The upsides definitely outweigh the cons, and an easy Zeus attracts a lot of players. However, I personally like the pure build better. The simplicity rewards correct plays and it offers more flex spots when deckbuilding. In fact, it's flexible enough to play Zoodiacs in the side purely for going 2nd. I've had more success with pure, winning 2 Ecclesia Mats with pure and none with Zoodiacs so far.

Also, the popularity of Zoodiacs came to my advantage when playing pure. Baiting a negate on Tenki because I may search for a Zoodiac monster is a good feeling when I need to resolve my other Tri-Brigade effects. The Zoo engine is fantastic, but preference ultimately comes down to the player, and I choose pure.

More Articles

Login to join the YGOPRODeck discussion!
0 reactions
Cool Cool 0
Funny Funny 0
angry Angry 0
sad Sad 0