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Phantom Rage is turning out to be quite the exciting set! A lot of interesting cards and support for fan favorites are in it as well.
Zoo King Alpha is a new and potent going second card found in the set! It’s received a lot of hype for good reason and saw strong tournament level play once PHRA dropped in the OCG.
Is this the new Dinowrestler Pankratops? Let’s take a look and see!
To start things off, this large beast certainly has quite a lot going on!
Firstly, Alpha brings a nifty summoning condition to the table. As long as the total ATK on the opponent’s side of the field is higher than what you have, you can bring it out! This isn’t restricted to a once per turn either.
A free 3000 body isn’t anything to sneeze at either. One of its uses, for example, is to challenge the terrifying Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon!
Aside from that, it also has a strong and versatile removal ability that comes up more often than you think! For the simple price of bouncing a Beast/Beast-Warrior/Winged-Beast (can also bounce itself), you’re able to return monsters your opponent controls without targeting equal to the amount of monsters you returned.
The only downside that comes from this is you’re not able to attack directly with this card, but it’s a small price to pay as you still get its beefy stats to smash through other monsters with very little effort.
We then go back to its summoning condition after using its removal ability. If the total ATK of the monsters your opponent controls is still higher than your side of the field, you can then drop Zoo King Alpha back onto the field for a repeat performance! You can’t bounce again the same turn if you do this, but it’s still a free beatstick.
Thanks to its ease of use, you’re able to splash it in almost any deck! It’s similar to Pankratopsin that it doesn’t do much going first, but going second it’s a massive threat!
Zoo King Alpha works in tandem very well with Kaijus. First, clear off a particular threat that could possibly negate your plays by giving themGameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju for example. Drop this bad boy onto the field, bounce the Kaiju and itself, use Gameciel once more, and then finally summon this card again.
With this play, you handily cleared off two of your opponent’s threats and still have the 3000 ATK beast to work with. Pair this with Fairy Tail – Luna for devastating results!
ZKA also plays nicely with other board busting cards such as Dinowrestler Pankratops in dismantling tough setups and problems monsters.
The removal provided by ZKA is also quite rare, bypassing most protection in the game and dodging floating effects in the GY. This lets you deal with cards that are normally dicey to handle. Dark Dragoon after his negate has been baited, Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf, Eldlich the Golden Lord, and so on.
Melffy is able to search this card thanks to Catty, and Tribrigade also packs several ways to access the King whenever necessary. Potential for multiple bouncing is another bonus thanks to their types.
Zoodiac is another strong contender that can frequently make good use of this card thanks to its relatively low attack values. Paired with Negalogia AA-Zeus in PHRA, the deck may very well return triumphantly to the metagame.
Lastly, its status as a free monster opens up possibilities for Extra Deck plays such as Xyz or Link climbing strategies. For example, one can double down on the going second power of this beast and go for Rank 8 monsters.
Enter Number 97: Draglubion, which can summon Number 100 and swing for 9000 damage! Zoo King even helps you clear the board of some of the threats that may stop this.
Alternatively, you can dig deep in the R8NK pool of the Galaxy-Eyes monsters for more pops! Cipher, Full Armor, and Cipher Blade bring a ton of attack onto the table and can shred through cards with ease. You can stack Full Armor onto Cipher to destroy a card, then stack Cipher Blade and repeat.
Dingirsu is another nice choice to keep an eye out for. Being able to send a card after the board’s been softened up is a way to keep up the pressure. The protection acts as a funky bonus to boot!
The OCG enjoys an exclusive perk when it comes to ZKA. It acts as another way to return and reuse the powerful Grinder Golem for more tokens. Dark Spirit’s Mastery lets you see Grinder Golem a lot more often too.
Grinder loops continue on with the likes of Akashic Magician and Security Dragon for tokens, and Zoo King follows suit. This is due to the fact all of these cards can return Grinder Golem to your hand with their effects. Since the fiend doesn’t have a once per turn clause, you can repeat this quite a few times. The world is your oyster with all the Link Material on hand!
A Sample Domain
Since this card’s potency enables it to fit in almost any deck, the one we’re featuring tries to capitalize on its strengths. This would be none other than Luna Kaijus, albeit with a more offensive focus in mind trying to setup OTKs as much as possible with a blind second list.
Should that fail, the deck can always fall back on the old Luna control strategy. Gameciel and friends bring a good amount of grind to the table and then some.
The game plan is pretty straightforward, the Kaijus are premium removal that can get rid of the nastiest monsters around, and Fairy Tail – Luna and Zoo King Alpha work hand in hand to reuse them multiple times.
Kyoutou Waterfront serves as a versatile piece that can get Kaijus to your hand either as removal or as free monsters! They come with decent effects too!
Mystic Mine, Slumber, and Lightning Storm act as breakers that can either blow the opponent out or force negations. The newly limited Harpie’s Feather Duster is also a very strong choice!
The deck is accompanied by a small synchro package to freely tap into the game-winning potential of Accesscode Talker! Link climbing builds up counters for Waterfront. Tuning also gives spells for Selene to work her magic.
Draglubion and Numeron Dragon provide more muscle thanks to ZKA and other level 8 monsters to work with such as Orochi and the Kaijus.
Lastly, the Side Deck is mostly filled with going first options since the deck doesn’t do that very well. Another option to check is the Rainbow Neos package if that’s your cup of tea
All in all, this Level 8 Beast is more than worthy of its title. Once Phantom Rage comes out in November, you should definitely be picking up a playset or at least a few copies of this card!