Competitive Corner: Fire Fists

Joe Soto

2/6/2013 10:29:00 AM
 Comments

How's it going TCGplayers? Hopefully you all had some profitable Comos Blazer Sneak Peek and release experiences. With Cosmo Blazer finally upon us, we now have access to a plethora of new themes and support, including two new Fire attribute archetypes: Fire Fists and Hazy Flames. This week I'll be looking at the hottest of the new archetypes (pun intended), the Fire Fists!

Packing a mix of big beaters and various forms of removal, as well as plenty of support for Beast-Warrior types, Fire Fists have countless tools at their disposal to help them achieve victory. In the latest YGOverdose online tournament, a total of three Fire Fist duelists made the Top 8 cut, with a mirror match in the finals! This week I'll be looking at the two finalists' builds, showing you a few different directions you can take with your own Fire Fist strategy! Let's take a look at the top two decks so we can see the differences.

    Fire Fists Giovanni Del Moral     
  Location:  YGOverdose Tournament 2 - 1st Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear (UTR)
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla
2 Effect Veiler
3 Gene-Warped Warwolf
1 Maxx "C"
2 Rescue Rabbit
1 Sangan
2 Tour Guide From the Underworld
3 Vorse Raider
Monsters [18]
1 Dark Hole
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
2 Fire Formation - Tensu
1 Forbidden Lance
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
Spells [12]
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Fire Formation - Tensen
2 Mirror Force
1 Solemn Judgment
2 Solemn Warning
1 Starlight Road
Traps [12]
Deck Total [42]
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla
2 Deck Devastation Virus (UTR)
3 Dimensional Fissure
1 Dust Tornado
1 Effect Veiler
3 Rivalry of Warlords
2 Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror
2 Soul Taker
Side Deck [15]

EXTRA DECK

2 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Tiger King (UTR)
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Number 16: Shock Master
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Steelswarm Roach
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


    Fire Fists Fred Douglas     
  Location:  YGOverdose Tournament 2 - 2nd Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear
3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Dragon
2 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla
3 Gene-Warped Warwolf
2 Rescue Rabbit
3 Vorse Raider
Monsters [16]
1 Dark Hole
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
3 Fire Formation - Tensu
1 Monster Reborn
Spells [8]
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Deck Devastation Virus
3 Fiendish Chain
3 Fire Formation - Tensen
1 Solemn Judgment
2 Solemn Warning
2 Starlight Road
Traps [17]
Deck Total [41]
3 Dimensional Fissure
2 Dimensional Prison
1 Gozen Match
1 Mind Crush
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Rivalry of Warlords
2 Soul Taker
Side Deck [15]

EXTRA DECK

3 Abyss Dweller
2 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Tiger King (UTR)
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Number 16: Shock Master
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Photon Papilloperative
2 Stardust Dragon
1 Steelswarm Roach
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Fire Fist duelists have quickly adopted one of my favorite cards, Rescue Rabbit, to bring out either Vorse Raider or Gene-Warped Warwolf. While Rabbit has usually been played just to bring out the Normal Dinosaur-types, Sabersaurus and Kabazauls, there have always been plenty of other powerful Normal Monsters to summon. Gene-Warped Warwolf gives the biggest body of a Level 4 monster without a drawback at 2000 ATK, which is perfect for running over Thunder King Rai-Oh; a highly problematic card for Fire Fists as it shuts down Fire Formation - Tenki and your Xyz and Synchro Summons. Vorse Raider is also a respectable 1900 ATK, and it's a Dark attribute, which pairs nicely with Deck Devastation Virus and any Fire Formation .

Rescue Rabbit gives the deck the explosive play of making Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Tiger King or any other powerful Rank 4 Xyz. Tiger King not only gives you a +1 with its search effect, but it also lets Fire Fist duelists run through cards like Gachi Gachi Gantetsu, Wind-Up Zenmaines, and Maestroke the Symphony Djinn after turning off their abilities. His third effect, while not always relevant, lets you set up an Xyz Summon for the next turn by Special Summoning any two Level 4 or lower Beast-Warriors with the same ATK (most often a pair of Vorse Raider, Gene-Warped Warwolf, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear, or Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Dragon).

Yet Rescue Rabbit and the powerful Normal Monsters are merely a sideshow to the star of the deck, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear. I previously mentioned Bear in my Wind-Up tech article and its ability to destroy any monster, even face-downs. But Bear truly shines in Fire Fists where it's able to use all of its abilities. Whenever Bear deals damage to your opponent, you can grab one Fire Formation Spell from your deck and set it on the field, a powerful +1. You're most likely to get Fire Formation - Tensu to set up an Xyz Summon, although Fire Formation - Tenki is also solid, allowing you to further sculpt your hand. Bear is the first thing you normally search with Tenki, and forces your opponent to play around the possibility anything they Summon getting destroyed just a turn later.

A Combustible Comparison
The biggest difference between these two deck lists comes in the supporting cast of Fire Fists and how many each competitor chose to run. Del Moral only had a single Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla (with a second in his Side Deck), while the duelist with the alias of Fred Douglas had his pair in the Main Deck (I've been alerted that Fred Douglas is probably Sean McCabe). Gorilla, like Bear, sends a Fire Formation card to the grave to destroy a card on the field, but Gorilla picks apart spells and traps. An invaluable resource, Gorilla lets you clear away combat tricks like Mirror Force and Dimensional Prison before they get a chance to do their job. Gorilla also forces out Bottomless Trap Hole and Torrential Tribute wonderfully, because if your opponent lets Gorilla resolve, all of their back row cards are at risk. McCabe's extra Gorilla helped shore up the fact that his Mystical Space Typhoons are in his Side Deck, while Del Moral chose to have his playset in the Main Deck.

The third key Fire Fist monster is Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Dragon. Del Moral didn't run a single copy, while McCabe ran a full playset in his Main Deck. Dragon is great as an 1800 ATK beater (even higher with Fire Formation cards out) who also has great utility. Dragon allows you to get a Fire Formation trap from your deck when you activate a Fire Formation card with it on the field. Normally Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Tiger King is the monster that's grabbing Fire Formation - Tensen, but Dragon lets you grab that attack boost early. You can also send two Fire Formation cards to the grave to Special Summon one Fire Fist monster from your yard. That allows you to easily go into a Rank 4 Xyz after netting your +1's. But because Dragon requires you to send two Fire Formation cards, it's much harder to use profitably.

 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear
$2.95
$1.14
$0.69
Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear67619
Set Cosmo Blazer
Number CBLZ-EN024
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 1600 / 1200
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Once per turn, when this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can Set 1 "Fire Formation" Spell Card directly from your Deck. Once per turn: You can send 1 face-up "Fire Formation" Spell/Trap Card you control to the Graveyard to target 1 monster on the field; destroy that target.


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What's also notable between the two lists is that Del Moral included a pair of Tour Guide From the Underworld along with Sangan to boost the power of his Rescue Rabbit plays. McCabe chose to eschew the Fiend engine entirely, instead packing his Extra Deck full of Rank 4 Xyz. I like the added utility Tour Guide gives you as you can make Rank 3's as well as Rank 4's, although you dilute the main theme slightly since Sangan can only grab Tour Guide or Rescue Rabbit.

...Unless you're running hand traps! Del Moral chose to run a pair of Effect Veiler alongside a lone Maxx "C", with a third Effect Veiler in the Side Deck. Effect Veiler is great at stopping Tour Guide plays, and is your best friend in the Wind-Up match-up. Running hand traps also gives you some defense if you're going second or protecting you even through a Heavy Storm or a timely Mystical Space Typhoon. McCabe didn't run any hand traps, but he made up for that by playing a beefier number of trap cards.

Spells and Traps
The key spells in this deck are Fire Formation - Tenki and Fire Formation - Tensu. Tenki is the card Beast-Warrior fans have been dreaming of. A Reinforcement of the Army style searched card along with an ATK boost is just outstanding and is the reason Fire Fists are so dangerously consistent. Tensu is the card that really makes the magic happen though. Giving you an extra Normal Summon each turn lets you push through back row cards with ease and allows you to set up Xyz Summons against a clear field. You can just drop Tensu and use the extra summon to put Gorilla into play; that can force out a Torrential or Bottomless Trap Hole, or even Solemn Warning. That move leaves you free to drop a Rescue Rabbit from your hand and go off safely. Holding Tensu until you really need it is key, as that extra Summon is what's going to catch opponents off guard. Del Moral ran three Tenki and two Tensu due to his lower Beast-Warrior count (10); McCabe ran three copies of each, as the extra Tensu helps with his bigger Beast-Warrior line-up (14).

The two decks differ further on their choice of non-Fire Formation spells. McCabe only ran Dark Hole and Monster Reborn (he chose not to run Heavy Storm due to the seventeen traps in his Main Deck), while Del Moral ran Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, Heavy Storm, a lone Forbidden Lance, and three copies of Mystical Space Typhoon. Forbidden Lance shines in the mirror match, letting you shut down opposing Fire Formation - Tensens and let your Gorrila or Bear win in combat, triggering their effects. Mystical Space Typhoon is also great against heavy back rows, and gives you an out to Abyss-sphere against Mermails (if you hold it until the right time). McCabe made up for his lack of MST's in the Main Deck with a second Gorilla.

The traps are where we see the biggest difference between these decks, with Del Moral running ten and McCabe running a whopping seventeen! Both duelists used a pair of Bottomless Trap Hole, Compulsory Evacuation Device, and Solemn Warning. Del Moral had a pair of Fire Formation - Tensen to beef up his monster, while McCabe used all three (which helps more due to his higher Beast-Warrior count). To make up for his lack of Effect Veilers, McCabe used three copies of Fiendish Chain to protect himself from devastating effects, giving him a nice Turn 1 set alongside Compulsory Evacuation Device when faced with a Number 16: Shock Master. While Del Moral had a pair of Mirror Force in his Main Deck (great against Mermail and Wind-Up pushes, and forcing out Lances against Dino Rabbit and Fire Fists), McCabe played a powerful tech card instead: Deck Devastation Virus.

Deck Devastation Virus may not seem viable, as it's normally only seen in Dark World, but any Fire Formation card plus Vorse Raider makes DDV live. McCabe also had access to Number 50: Blackship of Corn out of the Extra Deck as another Dark monster with at least 2000 ATK. DDV cripples a good portion of top strategies in this format, decimating Wind-Ups and Mermails. Although it isn't great against decks like Fire Fists and Dino Rabbit, Wind-Ups and Mermails are two of the most popular strategies right now, so it helps to have a Main Deck answer that just wins the game.

Rounding out the trap lineups is Starlight Road, with Del Moral running one and McCabe running two due to his increased number of traps. Starlight Road gives added protection and forces your opponent to play around it, unless they can deal with the Stardust Dragon or have a Solemn Warning waiting in the wings. Road is the thing you want to see alongside Solemn Judgment, so McCabe's extra Road may come in handy in Game 1 to stop explosive plays. It's also an easy card to put back into your Side Deck against decks that favor 1-for-1 exchanges such as the mirror match, HERO, and Dino Rabbit.

Side Deck Tech
Some of the differences in both duelist's Main Decks are shored up in the Side Deck, as Del Moral had a Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla and a pair of Deck Devastation Virus, while McCabe chose to side his playset of MSTs. Both duelists had three copies each of Dimensional Fissure (a great hoser against Mermails) and Rivalry of Warlords (also good against Mermail and crippling for Wind-Ups). Two copies of Soul Taker made it into each Side Deck, serving as a great piece of removal and also causing cards like Lightpulsar Dragon, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Tiger King, and Elemental Hero The Shining to miss timing on their destruction effects.

 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Dragon
$6.49
$2.48
$1.40
Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Dragon67620
Set Cosmo Blazer
Number CBLZ-EN025
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 1800 / 400
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Once per turn, if you activate a "Fire Formation" Spell/Trap Card (except during the Damage Step): You can Set 1 "Fire Formation" Trap Card directly from your Deck. Once per turn: You can send 2 face-up "Fire Formation" Spell/Trap Cards you control to the Graveyard to target 1 "Fire Fist" monster in your Graveyard, except "Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Dragon"; Special Summon that target.


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Del Moral rounded out his Side Deck with two copies of Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror for Dark World and Inzektors, a third Veiler, and a single Dust Tornado against trap-heavy strategies. McCabe had a single Gozen Match to compliment his Rivalry of Warlords as Gozen Match can stop decks Rivalry can't, like Agents and Six Sams. A single Mind Crush filled his 15th slot which can be brought in against almost everything now, due to how integral searching is to the top decks of the format.

General Strategy
Fire Fists play alot like Dino Rabbit; they can grind an opponent down through card advantage from Bear and Gorilla. On the flip side, you can also explode with Fire Formation - Tensu and Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Dragon and overwhelm your opponent with Xyz Summons. But card advantage is what's going to win you the majority of your games. The constant stream of +1's eventually runs your opponent out of cards while they struggle to deal with your big beaters. Game 2 and Game 3 you aim to shut down your opponent with Rivalry of Warlords and Dimensional Fissure as your biggest weapons. Grind down your opponent and seal victory with Tiger King or Diamond Dire Wolf!

Well that's all I got this week! Are Fire Fists tearing up your locals? If you plan on preparing for YCS Miami, be sure to include Fire Fists in your group's playtesting as they've quickly been adopted by many as the go-to deck of choice. Best of luck to you all and playtest hard!

~Joe Soto
Invictus

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