Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Steelswarm Deck Profile #1 (07/09/13: September 2012)

Welcome to another deck profile for one of my pet decks! This time, we'll be taking a look at my honorary Dark Attribute representative, Steelswarm. Those of you who watched my Youtube channel back in the day probably noticed how much of a crush I had on this deck, dating all the way back to when Hidden Arsenal 5 was first released in the TCG. After an intense two-month period of constant testing, I finally stopped working on Steelswarm in late September 2012 to start learning decks like Mermails and a new variant of Agents. A lot of the things that define me as a player come from the experiences I had while working on this deck, and it is a pleasure for me to show it to you.

Before I get into the details, I have to explain a little about what makes the build below unique. Over the time that I worked on Steelswarm, one of my biggest innovations came from the addition of Summoner Monk, who then prompted me to add Wind monsters like Mist Valley Soldier, Armored Bee and Dark Simorgh. It didn't take long for me to take this concept even further by experimenting with the other five Attributes, resulting in the development of six different Attribute-based cores composed of splashable monsters from each one. The build you see below is the Light-fueled version of the deck (supposedly from September 2012), which is the build I ended up using most frequently because of the advantages provided by cards like Thunder King and BLS. So without further ado, let's get to it!

Monsters: 27

1. For the Steelswarm themselves, three Girastag is obviously an absolute must. I decided after a long time to only run two Moths in the main deck, as there are many decks that are not hit very hard by his effect. It also sucks to pay 1000 life points when his effect ends up being negated sometimes anyways. Two Scout is good in case one gets banished or becomes otherwise unusable, and it also boosts the chance that you'll draw it in the event that you don't draw into Tomatoes, Armageddon, Sangan or Foolish.

2. The engine I used to get Scout setup is pretty basic. Two copies of Mystic Tomato can search out Armageddon Knight, Sangan or Scout itself. Even with all of these cards plus Foolish Burial (seven total), games where I wouldn't draw any of them for a while were relatively common.

3. The hand traps are fairly standard, although I can no longer remember why on earth I didn't use Tragoedia. I clearly remember testing and tossing it for some reason. Three Veiler is used mostly because it gives you an easy-to-yard Light target for the Chaos monsters, but it can also be used to tune with a wide variety of monsters in the deck. It's also a fantastic line of defense for a deck with no defensive backrows.

4. The Light core (3 Veiler, 2 Thunder King, 2 Marshmallon, 1 Ryko, 1 DD Warrior Lady, 1 Chaos Sorcerer and 1 BLS) added a huge amount of power and flexibility to the deck. Rai-Oh was a high-attack beater who could slow down faster decks, Marshmallon made it easier to slow opponents down in a more literal sense, and Ryko and Warrior Lady helped eliminate problem cards. Sorcerer and BLS obviously gave the deck even more problem solving, as well as two more powerful topdecks and even more boss monsters.

Spells: 11

The Spells are rather specific and refined, so let's explain some of them...

5. Three Typhoon is always good for killing backrows before they can interfere with your best moves. I also included one Night Beam after noticing how important it was to be able to remove backrows since stalling often leads to your opponent gathering a large amount of them. One Smashing Ground is also useful for blowing through big threats and making it easier to mount a comeback.

6. Only one First Step Towards Infestation might shock you, but this was mainly a consistency move. First Step is a great card, but not necessary to win you the game. It's better to draw cards that are relevant to multiple situations more often than cards that can only work when you've got a Monarch out.

7. Scapegoat is surprisingly good at providing you with stall turns, and even works with Effect Veiler to help you toss out a Formula or Catastor every now and then.

Traps: 3

8. The only traps are three Legacy of Yata Garasu. This card was amazing back when Typhoon saw more play, because it would basically rob your opponent of a card while letting you dig deeper into your deck for more options. Since you could activate it at any time, it almost never interfered with Scout. I picked this over Jar of Greed for the rare chance that a Spirit Monster might come into play - it's uncommon at best, but there's no drawback to this choice whatsoever. I'd rather go with the card that gives me the chance to Pot of Greed every once in a while.

That's it for all of the specific explanations, so let me explain how the deck is supposed to work in a general sense. As you can probably tell from the list, this deck plays to stall. This playstyle developed from me realizing over time that the deck simply cannot function if it doesn't draw the right cards at the right time, and the best way to ensure that you have everything you need is to force your opponent to allow you more Draw Phases. Then, once you've gathered the pieces you need to start fighting back, you unleash boss monsters constantly until your opponent cannot resist anymore. This strategy worked for me against so many decks because of the simple fact that most strategies out there have a shorter lifespan than this one - that is, they need to win in a certain amount of turns or else their power begins to exhaust. But for this deck to run out of steam, you'd have to run through all five Monarchs, Gorz, DAD, Chaos Sorcerer, BLS... well, you can see where I'm going with this. Not to say that's it's impossible, but the vast majority of games will be either won or lost by the time you use up all of your bosses, assuming it even gets to that point.

That's about all for now. I'll be back in the near future with a brand new version of this deck, updated with modern day card choices and showing how Frog Monarchs have influenced my conception of this strategy. Until then, thanks for reading!

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