The much-awaited (or detested, by some) Remote Duel YCS has just concluded. The dust has settled and the figure that emerged from the haze was Tri-Brigade. It was already clear from the get-go how dominant the deck was going to be. It was the most represented deck standing at a staggering 216 out of ~1800 players at the start of day 1. What’s even worse is that Tri-Brigade comprised almost half of the Top 32 at the end of it all, boasting 13 out of the 32.
Needless to say Tri-Brigade is one of the most impactful and important decks in this new format. That being said, I’m here to offer you a take you might not have heard before. Tri-Brigade is the 2021 version of Orcust.
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Tri-Brigade is NOT the engine that Orcust was
Let me just get this out of the way because I know people are going to bring up how splashable Orcust was. That’s not what I mean when I say that Tri-Brigade is the new Orcust. There’s no “two monsters = full combo.” A Knightmare Mermaid-esque Tri-Brigade monster does NOT exist. The closest that could’ve been is Bearbrumm, but it’s a little xenophobic, needing specifically 2 Tri-Brigade monsters as Link Materials.
Does that mean that both archetypes can’t coexist with other engines? Heck no! That’s why we had Zoo-Tribrigade, Tri-Brigade Lyrilusc, and Melffy Tri-Brigade! For the Orcust side, there’s Scrap, Mekk-Knight (which got a YCS top), and Eldlich! There are instances where they mash really well with other archetypes, but nowhere near the ridiculousness that Mermaid was.
The Big Bad Boss
Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen is undoubtedly the ace monster of the Tri-Brigade archetype. Let’s look at what it does! Let’s see. If it gets sent to the grave you get to search ANY monster from the Tri-Type depending on the number of banished monsters you have. Pretty good for recursion! Secondly, if it OR another of the Tri-Type is summoned, you get to banish a card on the field. There’s no “target” in that sentence. Sound familiar?
Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star kind of did the same! It does have a secondary effect, one which allows you to protect any card you control. The other one you have to choose between attaching a banished machine monster OR to send any card your opponent controls to the graveyard.
The boss cards of the Orcust and Tri-Brigade archetypes are eerily similar, and you can’t tell me otherwise. They can both be triggered on the opponent’s turn, too!
Tri-Brigade itself has TWO engines
Tri-Brigade Revolt is one hell of a card. I feel like I’ve said and heard that a million times already. It is usually what brings out Shuraig to then banish an opponent’s card. But that’s far from the only thing it does. It lets you put back some of the banished Tri-Brigade (or Tri-Type) monsters that you used in your previous turn. Aside from the recursion of GY resources, it also triggers your monsters’ effects! Nervall could add, Ferrijit could draw, and even Bearbrumm (if summoned properly) can get you another copy of Revolt!
That doesn’t mean that Tri-Brigade ACTUALLY has two engines. But it sure can go through its engine TWICE in two turns! And again, if that sounds familiar…
That’s probably because it is. Orcust is the OG when it comes to running through your engine on your opponent’s turn (at least they were the most notorious and hated). Orcustrated Babel facilitated this by turning the Link monsters and GY effect of main deck monsters into quick effects. This means you get to dump with Orcust Knightmare, special summon via Cymbal Skeleton, and set a spell/trap with Galatea.
“Cycling through your engine” could mean even more for Orcust now that Girsu is a thing. Instead of reviving Dingirsu, you could opt to summon Girsu to then dump a Knightmare THEN dump World Wand. This not only puts Girsu on the field, it also guarantees another free summon of either a Knightmare or a Cymbal on your own turn!
Tri-Brigade does have some pretty simple yet deadly combos. Fraktall alone can get 3 Tri-Types to the grave as fodder for the Tri-Brigade effects. Nervall and Tri-Brigade Kitt can also get the job done but it’s a little bit more awkward. Something that probably puts Tri-Brigade over Orcust in this category is the presence of Kerass. Kerass is an in-archetype, searchable extender. Having your normal summon get hit with Effect Veiler / Impermanence doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world due to Kerass!
I obviously have to put Girsu as the one-card combo for the Orcust, and it does the job pretty well. That being said, in the past, several other options were available. Scrap Recycler, Mathematician, Armageddon Knight all did the job as one-card starters! That was only when Harp Horror was still legal. Also, as mentioned above, this aspect of the archetype is where Orcust is weaker in. There are no in-archetype searchable extenders like Kerass in Tri-Brigade. One Ash Blossom, Impermanence, or Veiler could just end your turn.
Orcust is my all-time favorite deck. It being similar to Tri-Brigade is something that has been running on my mind for a good while now. I believe this to be true and find it very fascinating how much similarities the two decks have. Did I forget to mention they both die to Lancea?
That’s pretty much it for this one. Do you think the two decks are similar, too? Let me know if you do, and tell me why not otherwise!