DISCLAIMER: This article was written before the official translations for the Mekk-Knight card names except Mekk-Knight Blue Sky, so names here may not reflect the actual card names upon release.
Other than the highly-anticipated Link VRAINS Pack imports and the exceptional Skulldeat, the Chained Dracoserpent, there isn’t a whole lot about February’s Extreme Force that TCG players are looking forward to.
Two of the three new archetypes introduced in the set, Tindangles and the legacy Mythical Beasts, seem destined for the back tables at best and the bulk boxes at worst.
Mekk-Knights on the other hand…well, I see a lot of potential in those guys.
Table of Contents
- Archetype Introduction
- “But Column Decks Suck!”
Mekk-Knights are a series of high-level, LIGHT Psychic monsters that come in all the colors of the rainbow. They are a column-based archetype, which I know carries some bad connotations. Column-based mechanics aren’t the most dependable thing to base your deck around, but the Mekk-Knights do it well thanks to a number of factors we will be covering in this article.
All Main Deck Mekk-Knights have the following effect:
If 2 or more cards are in the same column, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand) to that column. You can only Special Summon “Mekk-Knight ____” once per turn this way.
Once on the field, the Mekk-Knights all have an effect that interacts with the cards in their column in some way and here’s the thing: some of these effects are pretty good. Mekk-Knight Blue Sky, for example, can search for up to three cards on summon.
Their Link Monster is the massive Link-3, Mekk-Knight World Scars. This is not a guy the deck will make very often because his effects are not really worth the investment of three Mekk-Knights, but he has some niche uses as a game-ender.
Spells and Traps
Their Spell and Trap support includes Scars Caused by the World Legacy, a Field Spell that allows you to cycle through cards with its draw effect and provides a blanket 300 ATK boost to all Mekk-Knights. It also has a hilarious tertiary effect that will never, ever be resolved, which lays waste to your opponent’s Hand and Extra Deck. While the Field Spell is useful, it pales in comparison to the continuous Spells and Traps:
Key to the World Legacy has an activated effect that retrieves your banished Mekk-Knights to your hand (the importance of this becomes apparent later). Its continuous effect negates the effect of Trap Cards in the same column as a Mekk-Knight monster. Since this is continuous and negates effects instead of activations, Counter Traps like Solemn Strike are vulnerable to its effect.
Whisper of the World Legacy has an activated effect that grants a 1000 point ATK boost to one Level 6 or higher monster. Its continuous effect negates the effects of Spell Cards in the same column as a Mekk-Knight monster.
True Depths of the World Legacy has an activated effect that revives a Level 5 or higher monster from the Graveyard. Its continuous effect also negates the effects of monsters in the same column as a Mekk-Knight.
It’s important to reiterate that the negation effects are continuous: if there is not a Mekk-Knight in the column when your opponent activates their card, but there is at resolution because you moved it there, that junk still gets stopped.
This brings us to the elephant in the room, which we are ready to address now that you’ve been introduced to the archetype.
“But Column Decks Suck!”
True, depending on established columns to make your plays seems like a bad selling point. Full confession: this is definitely one of the deck’s biggest weaknesses and something that needs to be considered during deck building. Unlike the other column deck, Magical Musketeers, Mekk-Knights have multiple ways to move their guys to advantageous positions on the board. Mekk-Knight Azure Blue outright does this as a Quick Effect, freeing up space for more Special Summons and setting up negations with the S/T support, allowing cards like Mekk-Knight Yellow Bloom and Mekk-Knight Crimson Lotus to do their thing.
Mekk-Knight Purple Dusk is also a column-mover, but in a more roundabout way. Effectively a Mekk-Knight version of Wind-Up Rabbit, Purple Dusk’s Quick Effect banishes your monster until the next Standby Phase. As we all know, when something comes back from being banished, you can put it in whatever zone you wish (shoutout to Psy-Framelord Omega). Purple Dusk is one of the key pieces of the deck because it also SEARCHES when it uses its effect, so if you like free +1s, prioritize his summon.
Although Purple Dusk’s effect is a hard once-per-turn, there are no other restrictions on when you can use it. Therefore, if you have two of them, you can banish one Mekk-Knight on your opponent’s turn to dodge something or just for kicks, then banish a second Mekk-Knight on your Draw Phase just for the extra +1 and positioning change. Both will return in the same Standby Phase. He can even banish himself.
As a final point to address the column concern, Mekk-Knights are all about swarming. Their Special Summoning condition is relatively easy to achieve in the mid-game, and getting four or five Mekk-Knights on board is not a huge challenge. At that point, the continuous effects of the archetypal backrow becomes a serious threat to your opponent’s plays, not even mentioning the combined attack value of a full Mekk-Knight board. At that point, the column dependency is of no concern at all.
In thinking about this deck, I’ve reached a few conclusions.
You want to go second. Going second lets you play off of your opponent’s cards to get columns established for your Special Summons. It also lets you get value off of Blue Sky’s searching and the destruction effects of Crimson Lotus and Yellow Bloom.
Plussing Through Adding and Destruction
Speaking of these effects, this deck is like a weaker True Draco: During the course of making your plays, two things happen. One, you plus by adding cards from your deck to your hand. Two, you plus by reducing your opponent’s resources. This deck should be several cards up on the opponent fairly quickly, if everything goes according to plan.
This is a deck with a lot of room for customization. This is the reason why I’m not offering a whole lot of deckbuilding advice in this article. I believe that your Mekk-Knight build should be meta-dependent, similar to Invoked and Trickstar builds. Since Mekk-Knights don’t use the Normal Summon, there’s a lot of potential in adding splashable engines and starters. There’s room for handtraps, boardwipes, token generators, whatever. Put in stuff that sets up your plays and stuff that messes with the best decks of the meta. What that looks like will vary from month to month, but surrounding the inherent plussing and big bodies of Mekk-Knights with generally good cards will be a reliable strategy for the foreseeable future.
8-axis is an excellent direction to pursue. Two of the three best Mekk-Knights, Purple Dusk and Azure Blue, are Level 8. So are excellent going-second cards like Kaijus and Lava Golem, not to mention the absurd Grinder Golem. Trade-In also provides excellent draw power for this version of the deck.
Mekk-Knights are not without a few glaring weaknesses:
As a deck that fares better going second, Mekk-Knights are susceptible to disruption from an opponent who has had the freedom to build a board largely without interference. Effect and summon negations are particularly devastating, and disrupting their searches to prevent the deck from reaching Blue Sky and Purple Dusk will prevent Mekk-Knights from building boards and ensure that their resources will dwindle.
Unsearchable Spells and Traps
As excellent as their Spell and Trap support is, Mekk-Knights have no way of searching them outside of running the subpar World Legacy monsters. Running more copies of the Spells and Traps is also suboptimal, since they do not contribute to starting first-turn plays. Therefore the negation part of their strategy cannot be depended on, unfortunately.
The Mekk-Knights only forms of recovery come in the form of Key to the World Legacy and The True Depths Sleeping Inside the World Legacy–both unsearchable within the archetype–and the Link Monster, whose summon simply will not even be possible if you are down on resources and in need of recovery.
Mekk-Knights cannot start plays without established columns. Best case scenario, your opponent’s board presence allows for easy column set-ups. If that doesn’t happen–and after game one against a savvy opponent, it might not–you need to set up columns of your own. This means that play starters like Grinder Golem, Instant Fusion, and Brilliant Fusion are necessary in most builds.
There are ways to build around all of these weaknesses, and overcoming them–or, at least finding a balance between them–will be the key challenge to those crafting Mekk-Knight builds.
The Mekk-Knights are an interesting archetype with a fairly high ceiling. Their mechanic requires some cleverness to use to its fullest potential, and the ability to splash all sorts of engines and disruptive cards into the deck will likely open up a place in the metagame similar to the ones occupied by Trickstar and Invoked currently.
This article presents some things I’ve been considering about the archetype, and I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface. If you have some theory of your own, whether it agrees or disagrees with what I’ve written here, share it! If you have interesting builds or tech choices, share those, too. I am really looking forward to playing this deck when it arrives in February, because there seem to be so many different ways to approach it.