Hello there guys, there’s been plenty of buzz lately about how to build Metalfoes, so I figured I’d offer a bit of insight on the predominant and most common competitive build in the OCG. I’ve been excited for and testing the deck myself since the cards were available on simulators, discussing with other players at length, and watching OCG duel videos/glancing over tournament reports to learn more about the deck. This is definitely not the only way to play Metalfoes, but it has been proven as one of the most consistent and competitive methods of doing so.
I’ll be writing about a pre-INOV build and how it can translate to the TCG. A disclaimer about this deck: yes it’s good, but as it stands it really doesn’t look like it’ll have a dominant place in the meta until the forbidden and limited list is released. This isn’t to say it’s bad, but the other meta decks right now are a leg ahead, especially if you aren’t fielding Pot of Desires.
On to the meat of post. The deck skeleton of competitive Metalfoes:
This skeleton is fairly simple, and has been proven effective, consistent, and strong over in the OCG. The biggest glaring omission is Cyber-Stein, and for obvious reason since it isn’t legal in the TCG. Cyber-Stein is definitely a power card, and many people are willing to write Metalfoes off because of this. Cyber-Stein is definitely a boon, but it doesn’t make the deck on its own. It’s a tech that many of the builds were able to survive without. Stein also fell out of favor after INOV, but that’s irrelevant.
- The 12 main deck Metalfoes (Volflame LV7, Goldriver LV4, Silverd LV3, and Steelen LV2) are the backbone of the deck. They are all vanilla pendulums with the same pendulum effect:
Once per turn: You can target 1 other face-up card you control; destroy it, and if you do, Set 1 “Metalfoes” Spell/Trap Card directly from your Deck.
Their pendulum effects allow for impressive versatility and have synergy with a lot of side engines. I’ll touch on the spells and traps later, as well as the side engines. An important note about the archetype s/t. You want to run a low count of them since every maindeck monster effectively serves as a copy of any Metalfoes s/t you want. You don’t want to open cards that you can search, that’s just simple yugioh.
- 3 Archfiend Eccentrick round out the deck’s monster threat removal and backrow hate. Eccentrick is also a very important level for the deck: 3. It has synergy with Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow and the rank 3s that the deck can and should access. Keep in mind that her scale effect triggers Metalfoes Counter.
- 3 Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin doesn’t need any introduction or explanation. This is one of the cards that kept “pendulum” decks relevant during the past format. Kirin, being hexproof, is an extremely disruptive card on the field and doubles as a low scale that allows you to access most of your maindeck monsters, save for the level 2 Steelen. This card tips the normally unfavorable BA variant matchups heavily in your favor.
- 3 Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku Kirin’s hexproof partner in crime. Bunbuku is a fairy simple card as well, it searches kirin, is the all important level 3, and serves as fodder for fusion or to be popped after searching.
- 3 Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow This card is dumb. Here is its effect for reference:
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) while you control no monsters. When this card is Special Summoned from the hand: You can Special Summon 2 “Vague Shadow Tokens” (Winged Beast/DARK/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0), but they cannot be Tributed or be used as Synchro Material. You can banish this card and 1 or more face-up non-Tuners you control, then target 1 “Blackwing” Synchro Monster in your Graveyard whose Level equals the total Levels the banished monsters had on the field; Special Summon it, and if you do, it is treated as a Tuner.
Gofu is a level 5 DARK tuner, which is can special summon itself through its own effect and provides you 2 tokens that you can pop with your scales or use as fusion fodder. Most cards that can self-ss are fantastic, and gofu is no exception. Gofu provides Metalfoes access to Ultimaya Tzolkin in combination with Metalfoes Adamante. Gofu also provides outs to anti-spell fragrance and general backrow via Black Rose Dragon, Scrap Dragon, and Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer. Beyond that, Gofu provides access to Psy-Framelord Omega, a monster that can loop Metalfoes Counter, offer disruption, and lighten the pressure of opponents siding DD Crow to snipe Metalfoes Fusion. Gofu can also provide access to Artifact Durenal should you realize that you won’t be able to resolve Tzolkin’s effect, a card that can assist with the soft-locks the deck likes to establish.
- 1 Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer Everyone should be relatively familiar with luster. Strong scale effect and provides another path to ignister. You’re also able to special summon luster to build advantage if you can get ignister out via gofu.
- 2-3 Pot of Desires This card is in hot contention. Like it or not, it’s a good card and you put yourself at a disadvantage by not running it if you have the funds for it. It’s a straight plus that you want to see as often as possible. If you’d like to read up on stats or discussion about the math behind the card here’s a pretty good article. You can google for the math stats of banishing 3- or 2- ofs.
- 1-3 Painful Decision A very simple and strong consistency card. It can set up your grave for Metalfoes Combination plays and search you the scale that you might need/help fill your extra deck for a big push.
- 1 Metalfoes Fusion The archetype themed fusion, which really sets the deck apart from previous decks with themed fusions:
Fusion Summon 1 “Metalfoes” Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or field as Fusion Materials. If this card is in your Graveyard: You can shuffle it into the Deck, then draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of “Metalfoes Fusion” once per turn.
The graveyard effect and its searchability via your scales make it the perfect card to run as a 1-of. If you see Pot of Desires you simply set fusion from your deck first and then proceed to plus. Again, you never want to open your spells and traps so ideally you don’t want to run any more than 1.
- 2 Metalfoes Counter The first archetype themed trap. This card does a lot for such a simple effect:
If a card(s) you control is destroyed by battle or card effect: Special Summon 1 “Metalfoes” monster from your Deck. During either player’s turn, except the turn this card was sent to the Graveyard: You can banish this card from your Graveyard; add 1 face-up “Metalfoes” Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck to your hand.
Counter makes it extremely hard to OTK a Metalfoes deck, forces your opponent to play in a a specific way around your scales and backrow due to it’s graveyard floating effect, and can put extra fodder on your field for fusion plays. Being able to play through s/t hate is invaluable, and a full resolution of counter set from the deck is a +2.
- 1 Metalfoes Combination is the other archetype trap:
Once per turn, if a Fusion Monster is Fusion Summoned: You can target 1 “Metalfoes” monster in your Graveyard with a lower Level than that Fusion Monster; Special Summon it. If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can add 1 “Metalfoes” monster from your Deck to your hand.
A good card with a great floating effect. Resolving the first effect is good, but more often than not a win more effect. The real beauty of the card is it’s grave effect, which lets you search out any Metalfoes monster. You can also pop it yourself should you ever be missing a scale with cards like Archfiend Eccentrick, Scrap Dragon, and The Phantom Knights of Break Sword, or even one of your scales a turn later.
- 1 Vanity’s Emptiness A super strong floodgate this format that you can turn off on demand with your scales. This card’s in a bit better of a spot than Solemn Warning, but who says you can’t run both.
2 “Metalfoes” monsters If a “Metalfoes” monster you control attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict double piercing battle damage to your opponent. If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it.
The very first double piercer printed in OCG (assuming he and chaos max are the only 2, I don’t remember any others if there are, sorry!) with a clean 2800/2200. The real threat in this card is its floating effect. You can either pop Orichalc with your scales or fuse it again to trigger the floating effect which targets and pops a card on the field. You can even pop combination, but the real power in this card is that it sets the Metalfoes deck up for a free pendulum summon.
1 “Metalfoes” monster + 1 monster with 2500 or less ATK
A simple level 5 vanilla clocking in at 2500/2500. As mentioned earlier it provides the deck one of its win conditions in the form of access to Ultimaya Tzolkin. It can also clear your field of smaller monsters in exchange for bigger monsters from your pendulum summon.
- 1 Ultimaya Tzolkin simple summon condition with a strong effect of special summoning level 7 or 8 dragons when you set a spell or trap. Your scales happen to do that for you!
- 1 Void-Ogre Dragon since gofu is a DARK tuner with a strong effect. You can make this turn 1 if you know you don’t have a live tzolkin play and can empty your hand since Metalfoes decks have so much floating hand advantage.
- 1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon Rounds out effect negation with monster effects and handily outs big monsters like dark destroyer and co.
- 1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer Non-targeting removal. This card got limited for a very good reason. You have 3 ways to access it.
- 1 Psy-Framelord Omega Recycles, saves the deck from dd crow and disrupts. Not necessary, but certainly a boon
- 1 Black Rose Dragon field nuke with Steelen and gofu. Outs floodgates and baits unknown backrow. Also helps with the kozmo big ships.
- 1 Moonlight Rose Dragon Simple bouncing effect, good utility monster that’s accessible in 2 ways.
- 1 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword One of the better rank 3 monsters out there with a very strong removal effect that can trigger your own floating effects.
The 3 most popular side engines are Qlis, Ariadne, and Speedroids.
The Qli engine employs Qliphort Scout, Qliphort Monolith, and 3 Summoner’s Art with cyber dragon nova, and infinity in the extra deck. Summoner’s Art serves as extra copies of scout or your high scale. Your Metalfoes scales clear scout from the scales to unrestrict your special summons after searching monolith.
The Ariadne engine employs 2-3 Guiding Ariadne, 3 Solemn Strike (3 Mind over Matter if you can’t afford strikes or you can even do a mix of strikes and MoMs), and 1 Solemn Warning. You can trigger ariadne with Metalfoes scales and also feasibly field rank 4s since you’re increasing the count of level 4 monsters that you’re playing.
The Speedroid engine employs 3 Speedroid Terrortop, 1 Speedroid Taketomborg, and an optional copy of either of the dice monsters. The speedroid engine allows you extra deck access to Totem Bird for first turn locks, break sword for going second and clearing backrow/popping your own combination, all without eating your normal summon. You also gain the option of running Metaphys Horus if you run the dice or handtrap tuners.
- Jowgen, the Spiritualist One-sided Jowgen is not fair (since you can turn it off on demand) and is a ridiculous out to most established boards. This card is great against any special summon heavy deck, namely blue-eyes since they don’t have very many main decked outs to Jowgen. It also stops decks that like to float off monster destruction (BA and Kozmo). Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo serves a similar purpose but Jowgen’s nuke effect is a big selling point.
- Rescue Rabbit This is an easy choice, it has natural synergy with the deck since Metalfoes field LV4, LV3, and LV2 normal monsters as targets for rabbit. Rabbit’s viability only increases with INOV allowing you to go immediately into the two new fusions. Right now it lets you deal with backrow threats by going into Diamond Dire Wolf or The Phantom Knights of Break Sword. Rescue Hamster serves a similar purpose but requires setup and a normal summon.
- Kaijus Everyone should know how threatening kaijus are. They have a simple monster removal effect and have great synergy with Majespecter Unicorn, Kirin. Being able to bounce your kaiju back to your hand for another removal is spectacular. Whether you just run Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju or the full kaiju package, they are both viable options.
- Vortex Trooper Shuffle cards you don’t need at the moment back into the deck and pop it to set your Metalfoes s/t as well as gaining a draw. This is a budget option to replace Pot of Desires. It isn’t a perfect replacement but it’s a solid choice.
- Hand Traps Hand traps have always served a niche since their introduction. At the moment Maxx “C”, Ghost Ogre and Snow Rabbit, Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries, D.D. Crow, and Ally of Justice Cycle Reader are all potent choices. Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries will be even more potent when the ABC deck becomes TCG legal, right now it’s great as long as Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss stays at 3. Ally of Justice Cycle Reader is a great option vs blue-eyes and ABC as well. D.D. Crow is good at getting rid of Metalfoes Fusion, Return of the Dragon Lords, Dantes, and many other graveyard floaters. Effect Veiler shouldn’t be left out of this list either as it will always have a powerful effect.
1 “Metalfoes” monster + 2 monsters with 3000 or less ATK
Crimsonite has an impressive stat line of 3000/3000 and is a level 9 for combination plays, which can conveniently revive your Orichalcs. However, it has a heavy monster cost for the early and mid-game. If TCG gets Super Polymerization back, this card is fantastic, both in the deck itself and as a counter to it.
If you’re looking to have an edge against Metalfoes, there are a few powerful options to consider
- Anti-Spell Fragrance This card is the bane of every pendulum deck. If it can’t be outed the turn it’s played, advantage slips away from the player being floodgated by it extremely fast.
- Maxx “C”, Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, and D.D. Crow Taking the Maxx “C” challenge when you can’t lock up a game is something that most competitive players won’t do. Stopping a metalfoes deck for a turn can be enough to set it back into a horrid position. Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit during the early stages of the game can be fatal if the Metalfoes player is left without any way to set its s/t from the deck or pendulum summon. It can also help you remove problem monsters like Ultimaya Tzolkin or any of the dragons that it brings out. D.D. Crow can snipe away Metalfoes Fusion, and the longer that it remains unrecovered, the better your chances of winning are.
- The Solemn Brigade Cards like Solemn Warning and Solemn Strike will always be powerful against pendulum decks. Just having backrow established can cause any pendulum player to think twice about how their turn plays out.
I hope this has been a helpful read if you stuck it out to the end. Again, this is not the only way to play the deck, but hopefully you were able to learn something from it! The only way to get better with or against a deck, and to get better at the game in general is to play as much as possible, so keep at it!