Shining HEROs [Trinity Format | Feburary '23]
This one's been another strategy that's been on the back burner of pet decks to boost to a somewhat competitive level while still maintaining its identity and not just falling prey to jamming in as many engines and broken backrow as possible to make it competitively viable. While this list isn't as refined as my World Chalice or Monarch builds of the past, it's been a blast to use and represents a ton of interesting gamestates with and without the use of Spirit of Neos who will potentially be retiring after this brief collaboration. Regardless, the core remains so I may as well document this while I have the opportunity, yeah?
- OTK Potential: Fusion decks inherently have the advantage of being able to cheat the summon limit and jump straight into powerful boss monsters. Due to HEROs being pretty consistent with the over a decade worth of a support they have combined with all of the juicy warrior support cards means that the potential to just OTK from unexpected thresholds is real. Unfortunately, it isn't nearly as high of a consistent threshold like Fluffal can be, but the potential can be theoretically higher depending on the hand.
- Reversal Potential: Shining Neos Wingman, Absolute Zero, Acid, Favorite Contact, and Miracle Fusion produce ridiculous levels of threat leaning closely to the presence that Vision HERO Trinity used to, without the need to cram three monsters into one.
- Sky is the Limit: The starters can be pretty easy, but with the Neos and Neo-Spacian cards included, a lot of the lines can get pretty complicated. That aside, mastery of the list rewards creative synergies and ways of getting around pesky material restrictions for the extra deck lineup.
- Minimal Disruption: This isn't HERO Beat, so we won't be naturally expecting to jam a guy, set five, and pass (though you can still play Hero Blast recycling Neos for a pretty hilarious payoff). We mostly aim to play through established boards and end the game fast. The less the better, but for some lines, like Brave Neos, it's better that your opponent at least control something. Most of the interaction we'll have are just ways to tag out our monsters, protect them, and remove backrow.
- Neo Space: Despite Grand Mole and Aqua Dolphin having decent enough effects that can and should come up, they are objectively some of the worst cards in the deck and the deck does suffer for it. They are played as Aqua Dolphin is Unbound thanks to Marine always being treated as Dolphin and it being a WATER Warrior enables it to be a target for RotA and material for Absolute Zero. Grand Mole's just a pesky boy. Dark Panther's played for Nebula since its effect is incredible when it resolves but it is definitely able to be cut. We just need to have some space for Spacians for EN - Engage Neo Space. They also let us use Convert Contact... I guess?
- Limited Xtra Options: The Extra Deck isn't too tight with cards like Nova Master and Grandmerge being expendable as an example; however, not too many adjustments can be made to make more room for Links (to use Neo-Spacians for) or more versatile Xyzs. This is mostly just a result of trying to maintain the core identity of the archetype rather than have most games just be decided by something like Claivesolish OTK.
The hands can be pretty complicated to unravel, so I'll only really be breaking down some of the most relevant starters. It's worth noting that the fate of Spirit of Neos in a future banlist might change a lot of these lines, so heed caution.
- The Classic: Having a way to turn HEROs into Sunrise and pick up Miracle is great and Sunrise while expressing a decent pop effect isn't all that important when it comes to modern Trinity standards. It is mostly just our way of resolving effects like Shadow Mist and Liquid without banishing them prior or having to waste Absolute Zero like one would in the past.
- Engage... not that one: Engage Neo Space is a pretty interesting card that offers you the ability to send Shadow Mist directly to GY as cost or bin an early Aqua Dolphin for Miracle Fusion setups and immediately beam out either Spirit of Neos or the OG Vanilla. The target only really matters for maintaining minimum summons for a play; however, if you go into Spirit of Neos, you can resolve the effect for Favorite or Instant Contact then tag out into OG Vanilla Neos to use as a material for something like Brave Neos on an attacking turn. Couple that with Stratos or Mist being able to search back the shuffled Spirit as a "defensive" search during the opponent's turn makes Engage a fairly potent card. Just gotta have the respective card in hand to activate it.
- Spirit: Outside of the aforementioned lines, if you can just access this card through something like Stratos, Mist, or E Call can have a way of summoning it prior to resolving stuff like Engage, you can seriously snowball your advantage and broaden the scope of your searches. On the opponent's turn, you'll be wanting to pick up Instant Contact most of the time; however, Favorite Contact's a safer line, albeit slower. Using Instant Contact, we can cheat out all of our potent, searcher Fusions or if we already have access to a fusion method like Polymerization, then we can summon Flame Wingman (or reveal it for Over Fusion) to fusion summon Shining Neos Wingman. Yes, all of this is from Spirit of Neos... as an opener. Fast right?
You'll want to assess your removal and interaction by estimating how many turns it should take you to conclude the duel. Since we aren't on a lot of recursion or that amazing Legacy of a Hero card, we can't go too late game. Most plays are one-and-done, so make them count!
If you're struggling to break even, you can use the following lines to tip the game into your favor.
- Fallen Mist: If Shadow Mist was sent to the GY in a prior turn, pick up Liquid Soldier, and use him to resurrect Mist and grab Mask Change. This gives you the ability to threaten Acid for Fast Effect Harpie's Feather Duster that also lowers ATK or pivot into Xtra HERO Wonder Driver and use Mist to grab Spirit of Neos. If the opponent attacks, you can summon Spirit at Link Point under Wonder Driver and recycle a fusion method. If they simply just pop Wonder Driver instead, you can still use the float effect to summon Neos anyway just in case they plan to play it safe and have you summon Spirit. The option of a Rank 4's also always on the table when it comes to Liquid Mist, but a comfortable line is simply using Liquid to resummon Stratos. Judge the gamestate and decide if you can use the Spell/Trap destruction effect, a search isn't always needed to close out games in Trinity.
- Pretty Good: Liquid and Cross Keeper cycling comes up a lot. Not just for ways to close out the game easier, but also for the limited Traps we're on in this build. Almost all of them stand to end the game way faster than your opponent might expect and you showing off flashy combos from yours truly will have them respecting your backrow less and less, especially if you set Polymerization as a bluff.
- Brave Neos: Use this the same way you would Spirit of Neos, but proactively through its destruction by battle, as opposed to reactively when being attacked. This card usually forces interaction on it, so be ready to trade resources.
- Omni HERO: Absolute Zero, The Shining, and Nova Master are our HEROs for the job in this build. Nova Master's great in simplified gamestates, Absolute Zero's the most notable in most gamestates, and The Shining's great for looping things either banished by the opponent or by you for a Miracle Fusion (including its materials).
- Core Convergence: While Elemental HERO Core might seem like a weird choice and one you won't be summoning a lot, it makes a great late game Miracle Fusion target as it can be used to resummon any HERO Fusion previously used in the duel. This is great for Brave Neos but particularly for Sunrise as Sunrise triggers on any Special Summon, not just proper Fusion Summon.
The games shouldn't go too long; however, in the event that does happen these are some decent options for closing things out immediately.
LATEGAME & CLOSERS
- Shining Neos Wingman: A protected card that pops things on summon and gains scaling attack based on the cards in your GY and burns the opponent after a battle concludes? This thing goes absolutely wild and is an incredible ender accessed through Over Fusion and Instant Contact. Polymerization's the risky way to getting to it and I recommend holding at least one Miracle Fusion for making this as a finale since you'll be able to do it as the first summon and still have room for more after the way's been cleared.
- Grandmerge: Using two Neos', you can use the battle tag to go into quite literally any Fusion in the Extra Deck. If you don't see an easy line to game, I recommend tagging out into Nebula Neos and drawing a ridiculous amount of cards. You can then choose to negate itself (and still get the draw) so it doesn't return to the Extra at End Phase, or negate something else. For this same reason, Contrast HERO Chaos can be a great option since it's always treated as an Elemental HERO.
- HENSHIN!: The Mask Change options in this list aren't as snowbally as something like Anki; however, they are still rather potent. Turning your LIGHT beatsticks into Koga and using Koga to steal games is a great option that can go under most people's radar as you don't really represent any Mask Changes in this deck.
It's not expected that the Spirit of Neos lines will last forever, but after testing without the card and just opting for a second copy of Brave Neos or Engage, it'll ultimately be fine, just not the explosive threat that it currently is. Regardless, due to the number of lines offered through Engage, Stratos, Mist, and Spirit of Neos alike, the following are great considerations for shaking up the deck:
Predaplants & Chaos Monsters, Super Polymerization, Dark Magician & Dark Cavalry, Rank 7s like Big Eye to summon through Spirit of Neos and Instant Contact, Infernoble Knights & Burstinatrix, Fallen of Albaz, Skyscraper II - Hero City (trust me).
Thanks for reading this far if you have. The viability of this deck likely won't last in the same condition it currently exists in, but with Honest Neos, Neos Fusion, DPE, and Vyon being out of the picture, I imagine there is likely more to be expected when it comes to hitting this archetype once Maze of Memes rolls in and we get Wake Up. For the time being though, I'll continue to just play and build whatever I want, since that's what's fun about Trinity for me.
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