Hello everyone! Renren here, back with a Metagame Report this time! AGOV Regionals are off to a phenomenal start, possessing quite a diverse landscape. Players also quite like the sleek Black WCQ Deckbox and the amazing Dark Hole Dragon playmat as prizes for this season.
AGOV Format's Current Landscape
Although Diabellstar Rescue-ACE continues to be the best deck of the format, many other strategies are finding success at the regional level with most of them not being far behind. Players are getting creative with their adaptations in slowing down the deck, such as waiting for them to use Rescue-ACE Hydrant to search Rescue-ACE Turbulence and then using Artifact Lancea to deny the set 4. Let's take a look at some of these strategies traversing this developing metagame.
Kody Manabe who is a prolific Unchained player in recent times, managed a successful 2nd Place finish at the Glendale WCQ Regional! The deck is decently suited for the format, as the power of D/D/D Wave High King Caesar significantly threatens the best deck of the format, Diabellstar Rescue-ACE! Not only that, the introduction of S:P Little Knight makes Unchained Soul of Rage even more devastating. The deck can also naturally fit Super Starslayer TY-PHON - Sky Crisis without any issue and generally has an even matchup against most of the format. With that being said, let's take a look at what differentiates Kody's list from the rest of the lot.
The recent trend for Unchained lists has been to run a large density of Hand traps as opposed to board breakers in the Main Deck compared to the last format. This is once again because Rescue-ACE being made extra resilient to most breakers with the help of the Diabellstar package. Other prominent decks in the regional scene such as the various Tearlaments, Mannadium, Infernoble Knight, Dragon Link, Floowandereeze, and co have also prompted this change. Both Triple Tactics cards are still strong, however!
Kody takes it a step further by incorporating the talents of Sangan! Because Unchained naturally runs Tour Guide From the Underworld, this addition fits like a glove and offers a lot of power for one card. Even if you draw it, you can still Normal Summon it and have it do its job, as it is a fiend body for Unchained Soul Lord of Yama regardless.
Sangan allows you to add powerful Hand Traps to help muscle past these decks. Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is a good option to help stifle EMERGENCY!, Effect Veiler can stop Diabelle from setting Original Sinful Spoils - Snake-Eye or be used to stop Rescue-ACE Turbulence's set 4 effect in some lines and Droll & Lock Bird can take care of otherwise difficult matchups. Purrely is mostly accounted for in the side deck with the added Drolls and Herald of the Abyss. All in all, a surprising amount of added benefit for just teching a single card.
Matteo Paterlini brought Branded Chimera to the Modena WCQ Regional, finishing the event with a respectable Top 8 Finish. The deck's huge topping conquest in the DUNE format has slowed down considerably coming into the new Regional Season. However, it's still a solid rogue pick that can do well.
He brandished the full potential of Berfomet the Mythical King of Phantom Beasts by main decking the dastardly Barrier Statue of the Abyss! Beformet dumps this Fiend monster, which can then be revived on the opponent's turn with Gazelle the King of Mythical Beasts' effect in the GY.
Unprepared duelists may find themselves struggling to play under the Statue lock, despite DARK being one of the most common attributes in the game. For example, Rescue-ACE is completely locked out of Special Summons aside from Diabellstar the Black Witch. The normal summon of cards like Rescue-ACE Air Lifter can be used to out it, but that's when Guardian Chimera off Chimera Fusion gets rid of the NS to ensure the Statue remains in play. Goddess with the Third Eye can be used to help make Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon to further insulate the lock against certain board breakers, and Matteo also favors it as it makes Albion the Branded Dragon saving you a card in your hand and Lubellion in the Extra Deck for grind.
It's worth noting of course that you don't need to Statue lock every game to win, and regular plays can be sufficient depending on the matchup, but it is a powerful setup going into a game blind. For decks like Purrely or Tearlaments who don't mind as much, the sided silver bullets in the form of King Tiger Wanghu and The End of Anubis can put them on the back foot.
Players so far are split on whether or not to run the Frightfur Patchwork package, but Matteo ran a heavy one which allows the deck to have more plays going first or second thanks to the free Fiend and the Polymerization, making pushing with Guardian Chimera or Chimera the Illusion Beast much more threatening. This also lets you summon and effortlessly utilize Magnum the Reliever draw and destruction effects. Most important of all, it helps you summon the new Beformet to setup Abyss lock while letting you keep Chimera Fusion to protect it.
Edge Imp Chain can be freely sent from the hand to the GY with cards such as Branded Opening, Lubellion the Searing Dragon, Forbidden Droplet, and Super Polymerization, all of which Matteo included in his list. Quite the solid take on AGOV Chimera for sure!
Diabellstar Infernoble Knight
Rudy Torres brings a new iteration of Infernoble Knight into the fray, landing a very successful Top 4 finish at the Knoxville WCQ Regional. It turns out that Rescue-ACE wasn't the only FIRE deck to receive a major buff from the Seeker of Sinful Spoils. Let's take a look at just how much Diabellstar the Black Witch improves the deck. A very special thanks to the members of the Infernoble Knight Discord for helping with this breakdown.
Diabellstar is an incredible extender to the strategy, as Original Sinful Spoils - Snake-Eye lets you access your myriad of Level 1 FIRE Warriors, the most notable of which being Infernoble Knight Ricciardetto, who has an incredible revival effect on summon. Both Fire Flint Lady and Infernoble Knight - Renaud have their use cases off OSS as well, depending on the situation. Neo Space Connector is extremely potent with the Black Witch, netting you 2 hand rips with Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin, all while securing Dolphin rips a monster thanks to Diabelle's beefy 2500 ATK. OSS sends the Dolphin to the GY as cost, which you can then revive with Connector's second effect. A simple yet powerful interaction that can let you run away with the game in a heartbeat.
Now the real star of the show here is Sublimation Knight which works incredibly well with the Diabelle package. When summoned, it's able to equip 1 FIRE Warrior from the deck to itself as an Equip Spell, opening up a lot of possibilities. In this case, Sublimation can equip Infernoble Knight Turpin to itself and allow you to make Baronne de Fleur with Witch before committing to your actual plays. The biggest benefit of this is protecting Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights and letting you resolve both of her effects. Thanks to the toolbox nature of the deck, you have more than enough ways to get to Sublimation, so you don't need to run more than 1 copy.
Here's a snippet of an example line with Diabellestar + Durendal:
Diabelle pitches a card to summon herself and set OSS, activate Durendal to add Sublimation. NS Sublimation equip Turpin, make Baronne. Turpin GY effect, equip self to Baronne, activate OSS to summon Ricciardetto which then revives Turpin. Proceed to make Isolde, add a Warrior of choice, then send Phoenix Blade, Angelic Ring, Durendal, and D.D.R to the GY to summon Ogier, to dump Immortal Phoenix Gearfried. From here you pivot into Battlin' Boxer King Dempsey and Angelica, Princess of Noble Arms plays.
This ends on a near unbreakable board with Baronne, S:P equipped with Maugis which cannot be destroyed by battle. (Maugis also gives you 2 draws here), Angelica, Emperor Charles with the Angelica's Ring while gaining Synchro Charles' effects, and an untargetable Immortal Phoenix Gearfried. Your follow-up is also quite hefty too.
Angelica's Angelic Ring sweetens the pot with Charles equipping it to itself during the End Phase. It provides a very powerful form of Spell negation which you can control when it works and even bypasses most if not all Spell blowouts that aren't respondable. It can even help you win in time thanks to the 500 LP boost, which is slightly more reliable than Dolphin if you don't have Black Witch access.
Last but not least, we have a very interesting Kashtira Scareclaw build from Jose Maria Tejada, placing a Top 8 finish in the Zaragoza WCQ Regional! Scareclaw traditionally ends on a modest setup with Scareclaw Tri-Heart and Scareclaw Twinsaw to push for a T3 OTK, but the added Kashtira cards add additional power and ceiling, respectively. It also gives the deck some much needed fallback thanks to the power of Kashtira Fenrir, Kashtira Unicorn, and Kashtira Birth.
Visas Samsara is a notable addition for Scareclaw, giving them an additional starter that also acts as an extender in one! Being named Visas Starfrost in the Field or GY is quite important for both Scareclaw Light-Heart and Vicious Astraloud respectively. Unlike other Scareclaw builds, Jose runs an aggressive Synchro package to make his going second pushes even stronger.
Chaos Archfiend is a card we haven't seen before up until now! The summoning condition makes it pretty difficult to splash, but it turns out that Samsara with Scareclaw Reichheart is the perfect combination to make it. Not only that but since the deck freely banishes cards to do its plays, Archfiend ends up being a beefy 4500 ATK menace that can attack everything and banishes whatever it destroys by battle. The Extra Deck is fairly loose, so the option of running Chaos Angel to make use of its floating effect may be worth considering. Tejada notes that Samsara is a huge OTK play on its own, as it gets you to Chaos Archfiend, Vicious Astraloud, and Light-Heart with Primitive Planet Reichphobia up!
Psychic End Punisher is also another option that you can tune with either Fenrir or Unicorn and Samsara, respectively. Scareclaw as a deck is a rare sighting, so it's always a treat to see it doing fairly well in the competitive scene.
That ends our look at the prolific Regional decks from the first week of Age of Overlord! Join us next time as we take a look at YCS Richmond! Until then friends, Renren out!