The metagame has not been kind to Metalfoes. Zoodiac Beast Drancia s is seeing play in any deck which pilots the Zoodiac Beast engine, and with the capability to destroy face-up cards, it hinders the process of pendulum summoning, which well… requires face-up accurate scales. Despite not being a pendulum monster archetype, Zoodiac Beast decks have no problem in recycling their resources. They can gain easy access to Daigusto Emeral with the use of a single card to spark off their combos, and at the end of the day, have sufficient cards in grave to fulfill the activation condition of Pot of Avarice. Unlike the recurring pendulum mechanics, Zoodiac Beast are able to replenish their resources by generating hand advantage and possible even not have to use up their entitled once-per-turn normal summon.
Nevertheless, Metalfoes remained to be one of my favourite archetype and decks. Having accumulated sufficient points to qualify for the Top 32 Rank-Up League Season 2 for Singapore, I went ahead with a 60-card Metalfoes deck hoping to achieve some results or at least understand if Metalfoes has what it takes to qualify as a contender for the metagame. But before we carry on, here is a look at my decklist.
Much like previous decks I had, I employed the “can’t beat them, join them” approach as I mixed Zoodiac Beasts along with Metalfoes. I was hoping that the inclusion of the Zoodiac Beast engine could level the playing field against the top tier Zoodiac Beast decks.
A 60card deck has always been an unorthodox method I wanted to try. Even now as I am typing this, I can already hear the insults from the Upstart Goblin fans. xD
Triple Pot of Desires aid in the deck’s consistency and speed up plays. However it is only best used after the Zoodiac Beast plays are made and all copies of Zoodiac Molmorat are filtered from the deck. A gamble can usually pay off too, as the large deck size cushions the impact of Pot of Desires’ banishing. During playtesting, plenty of times I started off with no combo pieces, resolved Desires, and managed to draw into a playable hand without losing any Zoodiac Beast Marmorat pieces.
Other than that, the rest of the deck feels pretty standard issue to me. A full Metalfoes monster lineup, with two Metalfoes Combination instead of one to keep the deck alive. I value it to be the most important Metalfoes spell/trap rather than Metalfoes Fusion, due to its search effect. I even tested the idea of Foolish Burial with Belongings to mill Metalfoes Fusion, for deck-thinning and also to keep it safe from being banished by Pot of Desires, but ultimately dropped it to make space for my floodgate traps.
Here are the reasoning behind my Side Deck choices:
- Retaliating “C” acts as a searcher. In a turn one play, I can summon it for it to be destroyed by a Metalfoes pendulum effect. From there on I can opt to search Maxx “C” or Flying “C” off its effect. That way, I won’t be too vulnerable and useless when my opponent’s turn comes.
- System Down is prepared for any players that may want to try their luck with an ABC deck. It also doubles as an answer to potential players choosing the machine archetype Kozmo as their deck choice.
- Cosmic Cyclone should have been moved to the main deck, since it is a better spell/trap removal for the format. It plays around Starlight Road (a now very commonly played trap for protection), prevents Artifact monsters from triggering their effects and also deny Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiac from reusing itself as an xyz material. But I personally preferred Mystical Space Typhoon which is capable of triggering my Metalfoes Combination search effect.
- Wavering Eyes, available in the OCG at a single copy, is a staple in any pendulum deck’s Side Deck. Mainly for pendulum matchups.
- Imperial Iron Wall is reserved for Infernoids and Eidolon decks, both of which has a playing style revolving around the banishing of cards.
The glory of making it to the Top 32 of the country lies in the entry gift mat. Limited in stock, while being based on a popular theme, it has a simplistic but appealing design that attracted plenty of players to purchase or collect it.
Only the champion of the entire tournament would gain an additional prize in the form of the limited edition seasonal Championship mat. Hence, many players decided it wasn’t worth their time to try to aim for a chance and instead went ahead to drop out from the tournament upon receiving their entry door gift. This led to a turnout of less than eight pairs of players for the tournament. To fulfill the single-elimination tournament requirements, eight pairs still had to be generated, resulting in players obtaining a BYE for their first round. My friends belonged to the majority who enjoyed the free win on their first round. Whereas I, was one of the three pairs required to play the first round of the day. What luck…
For the first game, a decision to play more conservatively instead of betting on a random draw led to to summon Traptrix Rafflesia using the two Zoodiac Molmorat I summoned, instead of a standard Daigusto Emeral play. I got laughed at and criticized for not knowing how to pilot the deck properly by spectators, but I had no regrets making that move. My hand was terrible enough such that any miracle draw I manage to achieve wouldn’t help me field further. I did, however, still have a normal summon to spare, which I eventually didn’t use for that turn. A draw off Daigusto might not have been a bad move, but perhaps it was the stressful environment supported by the fact that being in a single-elimination tournament, I chickened out on the gamble of the mystery draw. Eventually, my field got tore apart and broken into pieces by my opponent whose weapon of choice was the strongest threat of the format – Kaiju Zoodiac Beast. I was punished for the conservative play which led to a sub-par field setup, hence unable to stop my opponent. I died from an onslaught shortly after.
Game two, I took the lead, but was left unable to perform any impressive plays with my poor opening hand. I managed to set a Metalfoes Spell/Trap from the deck – Metalfoes Combination, but that was the end of it. My opponent’s turn came, and I dropped my Maxx “C” during the standby phase, desperate to get some additional draws to compensate for my weak opening. But my opponent had other plans. He took the challenge head on, ignoring my additional draws and determined to finish me off this turn. Thankfully, I drew into Flying “C” which managed to stop him dead in his tracks. His plans came to a halt, and after giving me such a huge hand advantage, he decided to concede and both of us headed to the next game.
Game three of round one, I was forced to take a backseat as my opponent took the lead and I don’t have the ability to respond to his actions, having drawn no hand traps this time round. When my turn came, I was facing a board composing of Zoodiac Beast Drancia and three backrow cards. I had Speedroid Terratop in my hand and could thus, perform some plays to bait out the threats while maintaining my resources. So I went ahead… And at this point I realized I committed the most amateur mistake of all by failing to check my deck before the day begun. I neglected to include The Phantom Knights of Break Sword in my Extra Deck, which was crucial to my deck and a part of my game plan!!!
Hoping to keep calm and still be able to make it somehow, I changed my plan and went for M-X Saber Invoker instead, hoping to call forth Zoodiac Beast Marmorat. However, Plan B hit the brakes when my opponent activated Book of Moon, targeting Zoodiac Beast Marmorat, preventing it from partaking in an xyz summon. With that, still unwilling to just concede, I went ahead with a gamble using Pot Of Desires. I previously held onto it since I wanted to only activate it after I performed the Zoodiac Beast standard combo, unwilling to cripple my deck’s Zoodiac Beast engine by risking the chance of banishing any copies of Marmorat. But since the situation has tested my limits, I decided to go ahead with it. My draw landed me Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin and a viable scale, giving me yet another fighting chance. I had the option of tribute summoning Kirin to remove Drancia from the field. But that would only prompt my opponent to trigger Drancia’s effect to destroy my previously-placed scale, a Scale8 Metalfoes Volflame. I couldn’t remember exactly what happened after that, but I took a 50-50 chance hoping he would destroy the wrong scale via Drancia, but he aimed the lower pendulum scale after reasoning that the Metalfoes deck consisted of lesser lower scales, and I was thus statistically less likely to have a replacement scale in hand. Unfortunately for me, he was right, and with that, my adventures for the day came to a disappointing end.
Nevertheless, my opponent did had a Torrential Tribute awaiting me, which would have wiped my field empty except for Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin, surviving due to its own effect. I would end up being unable to deal sufficient damage to bring the game to a close and suffer an onslaught during the next turn anyway.
Plenty of reasons could have been attributed to my loss.
- With a deck size of 60cards, I was obviously pushing the deck’s consistency to its limits. While 60cards may be beneficial to me by cushioning the impact of Pot of Desires, it has indeed resulted in a statistical decrease in chances of me opening with the cards I need, such as Maxx “C” to stop my opponent’s plays or the appropriate scales for me to set up for a pendulum summon. I was hoping that the deck thinning performed by Metalfoes could help the deck, but that was perhaps too optimistic on my part. The idea is still viable, but perhaps just not a full-on “all or nothing” approach. I was thinking of reducing the deck size count. After all, plenty of cards such Monster Reborn, the second copy of Metalfoes Combination & Speedroid Taketomborg are luxury options instead of necessities, allowing me to option of not including them in the deck if I were to revamp the deck.
- Fortune favours the prepared. The idiom has never been more true. I did what I could and squeezed out time to get back into the game and catch up, but it wasn’t enough. Those who follow my social media would know that I had just returned from a personal trip, and even before that, I was distracted by my personal commitments and other hobbies. (Yes, Pokemon Sun & Moon was one of them) So the three weeks of absence from the game has indeed taken a toll on me and my gaming skills.
- While I may not be new to Metalfoes, this new version of the deck involves a totally different playing style from the previous “let’s just summon Tzolkin Ultimaya and lockdown + let Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin join in the fun”. There are much more ways to go about and even more choices and game plans to embark on, with any given hand. I still haven’t came to a stage where I am able to pilot this deck with confidence and know it like the back of my hand, as I am still new to it. But I am definitely intrigued by the variety of plays and combos I can land, (which was what drew me to the deck in the first place) although I would have to work on my gameplay decisions – High Risk High Reward vs Playing It Safe
- On top of piloting a new deck I am not totally familiar with, the crowd’s reaction and stares at my game only stacks onto the pressure I felt. I misplayed more than I realized, and time to time, some cards’ effect slipped my mind. My head was just not totally in the game, which was a pity since my opponent was a real friendly player and I really enjoyed the matchup.
This event, the Top 32 Rank-up League 2016 Season 2, was placed a week before the grand end-of-year premier event Asia Championship Qualifiers Winter (Singapore) 2017. Many players, like me, prefer to conceal the identity of our main deck that we would be piloting for the event next week, reluctant to give our opponents even the slightest piece of advantage and information. Knowledge of our decks could lead to different outcomes, as the opponent can makes choices out of the norm after taking the decks play style into consideration. For example, knowing that your opponent is playing Kaiju Graydles would prompt you to flip that set Vanity’s Emptiness as soon as possible to prevent the inherent special summon from wrecking your board monsters, as opposed to waiting to respond with Vanity’s Emptiness to a monster, spell or trap effect that would special summon a monster. A similar comparison can be drawn using the example of Maxx “C”. There are still others, who on the contrary, decided to take this opportunity to test their deck to determine how far it can go and fare against the meta, and how viable it is to play said deck in a large scale premier event like the Championship Qualifiers.
For readers interested and willing to try out this unorthodox method of piloting Metalfoes, don’t be disheartened by my loss. I haven’t given up on Metalfoes yet, but I have a craftier and more comfortable deck to play in the upcoming weeks. (Nope, still won’t reveal it~) So I will put Metalfoes on hold for now. Hopefully, the Forbidden and Limited list released at the end of the month will be kinder to our Psychic pendulum friends. And if I were to be greedy for more, I hope Konami can be warped up in the Christmas spirit and decides to give Metalfoes more support in the upcoming products. This is also a concern I share since Arc-V is rumored to end soon, signalling the possible emergence of a new summoning mechanic and method (which, personally, I am not in favor of). This could imply the imminent negligence of the pendulum mechanic and archtypes.
The Asia Championship Qualifiers is just next week! With the Yugioh Open Tournament in Thailand cancelled last month, many players like myself are hyped for the event even more. I will probably do an article detailing my journey throughout the day and I hope to bring good news!
Until next time!