Siding For: Kozmos

Kelly Locke

9/1/2015 11:00:00 AM

As the successor to Burning Abyss I – and many others – expected Kozmos to be a solid competitive option immediately upon release. With just five cards, Kozmos met and exceeded those expectations, going head-to-head with the best decks in the game at the Ultimate Duelist Series two weekends ago, and topping YCS Toronto.

By now I'm sure many of you have already had a chance to play against Kozmos, and some of you might be looking for a bit of advice for the match-up. Not to worry! I've got ya covered.

In A Deck Far, Far Away
Jason wrote an excellent overview of Kozmos earlier this week that's perfect for learning how the deck operates. If you're unfamiliar with specifics I'd definitely recommend reading his profile and interview with Steve Gleason. I don't want to spend too much time covering the same ground, but there are a few things I want to point out before I start suggesting Side Deck cards.

First and foremost is the importance of Kozmo Farmgirl. It's the centerpiece of Clash of Rebellions Kozmos, mostly because it's their only reliable search effect. Kozmotown can grab cards out of the deck if it's destroyed, but nobody's foolish enough to target it with destruction-based removal. There's a lot of pressure on Farmgirl to keep the strategy rolling, and that's why cards like Juragedo, Honest, Dark Hole, and Raigeki appear in nearly every build.

Next, let's take a look at how the rest of the monsters interact. Kozmo Goodwitch and Farmgirl can banish themselves to Special Summon Kozmo Forerunner, Kozmo Sliprider, or Goodwitch from the hand. Both Forerunner and Sliprider can, in turn, use their effects to Summon another Kozmo from the deck. These effects go in different directions: Goodwhich and Farmgirl Summon higher Level monsters, while Forerunner and Sliprider grab monsters with lower Levels.

 Kozmo Farmgirl
Kozmo Farmgirl102500
Set Clash of Rebellions
Number CORE-EN082
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1500 / 1000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

During either player's turn: You can banish this card; Special Summon 1 Level 4 or higher "Kozmo" monster from your hand. You can only use this effect of "Kozmo Farmgirl" once per turn. When this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can pay 500 LP; add 1 "Kozmo" card from your Deck to your hand.

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Unlike the loop with Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, Kozmos will eventually run out of monsters to Summon…Unless Kozmotown is on the field. In that case your opponent will never run out of monsters completely because every banished Kozmo can be returned to the hand. Coupled with Farmgirl's search effect, Kozmotown lets you acquire a decent amount of card advantage in a short amount of time.

All of the Kozmo cards are highly reactive and can easily play around targeting and destruction effects. Goodwitch and Farmgirl can simply chain their respective abilities to cards that target them, replacing themselves with new monsters. Non-targeting removal like Dark Hole or Rageki will trigger the replacement effects of Sliprider and Forerunner, getting you no closer to clearing their field. Kozmotown can simply search out another copy of itself when it's destroyed, so there's almost never any reason to hit it with spell and trap removal like Mystical Space Typhoon or Galaxy Cyclone. Forerunner can't be targeted by opposing card effects in any way, too, which means non-targeting non-destruction is the only major blind spot in the theme's design.

Kozmo Sliprider and Goodwitch answer a variety of threats, and they're especially useful against long-term floodgates like Mistake and Thunder King Rai-Oh. Those effects are hard to stop: Sliprider can hit the field at any point while Goodwitch or Farmgirl are on the field, including the opponent's End Phase, or in response to the activation of Vanity's Emptiness or Imperial Iron Wall. The whole deck's so versatile that finding blowout Side Deck cards is nearly impossible. It's exceedingly rare that your opponent won't have an answer, or won't be able to dodge your sided cards. Still, there are some awesome cards out there that can swing the match-up back in your favor, even if their impact's only temporary.

The Side Deck Strikes Back
The quickest way to bring Kozmos to a grinding halt is by preventing Farmgirl from resolving its search effect. Without it your opponent will need to rely heavily on Forerunner and Kozmotown, but they might not see those cards without Farmgirl's ability in the first place. Cards that keep your Life Points safe from attacks have a much greater value in this match-up than elsewhere. Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison, Magic Cylinder, Battle Fader, Swift Scarecrow, Threatening Roar, and Storming Mirror Force are purpose-built to either remove attacking monsters, stop a single attack, or end the Battle Phase outright. But not all of them are particularly effective against Kozmo. Dimensional Prison, Magic Cylinder, and Swift Scarecrow target the attacking monster, so they're no good here. Storming Mirror Force is actually a bit better than regular Mirror Fore in this match-up because it won't trigger Forerunner or Sliprider. That's kinda cool, but we can still do better.

Battle Fader probably won't be making a comeback anytime soon. It's still too vulnerable to Vanity's Emptiness, although it's closer to what we're looking for. Threatening Roar or Waboku force you to take a -1 of card economy, but the trade-off is complete immunity to Battle Damage. Your opponent won't be doing any searching with Farmgirl the turn you activate either of them, and they're also chainable to a surprise Emergency Teleport. They're the two best generic options aside from one other: Scapegoat. I love Scapegoat in this match-up since it stalls out multiple attacks and generates tribute fodder for certain card effects. Unfortunately it won't protect a monster that's already face-up on the field, so you'll still need to be careful.

Shutting down deck searching is another way to prevent Farmgirl from successfully resolving. Mistake, Mistaken Arrest, and Thunder King Rai-Oh universally disable deck search, so they're excellent Side Deck options for Kozmos. The advantage is that Kozmotown won't be able to search another copy of itself when it's destroyed, so you can safely remove it from the field. Mistake and Rai-Oh are vulnerable to Sliprider and Goodwitch respectively, but Mistaken Arrest is chainable to removal and can be activated from your hand. You can play Mistaken Arrest in response to an attack, then knock out Kozmotown next turn while Arrest's effect is still active.

The Special Summon effects of the big Kozmo monsters require banishing, and Imperial Iron Wall shuts that down. Artifact Lancea isn't really playable here since it only activates on your opponent's turn, and it's too easily chained to. Chaos Hunter's another option, but once again your opponent can just chain to its effect with Farmgirl or Goodwitch and Summon Forerunner to run it over. Iron Wall's the easiest of the bunch to defend, and its effect will usually keep Sliprider off the field for a while. You'll want to flip it while your opponent doesn't control any monsters, otherwise Farmgirl or Goodwitch can chain to its activation and Summon Sliprider. Iron Wall will win you the duel if you can protect it, but that's easier said than done.

The next floodgate we'll look at is Light-Imprisoning Mirror. It's incredibly effective in this match-up and shuts down every activated Kozmo monster effect since they're all Lights. It's much more effective than Lose 1 Turn or Skill Drain: it doesn't care where a card is when it resolves, only that it activated on the field or in the graveyard. All four Kozmo monsters activate in one of those two places, including Sliprider. That makes Light-Imprisoning Mirror the safest floodgate you can play in this match-up, and I imagine it will see fair amount of play in upcoming tournaments since it's also a solid pick against Satellarknights. The extra match-up utility might be enough to overcome the fact that almost nobody can play it right now. Shaddolls, Burning Abyss, and Nekroz generally avoid it because it hurts their own strategies.

 Light-Imprisoning Mirror
Light-Imprisoning Mirror81629
Set Duel Terminal 7
Number DT07-EN097
Type Trap Card
Monster Trap
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Negate all LIGHT monster effects activated on the field or in the Graveyard.

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Majesty's Fiend is another ‘safe from themed cards' floodgate that stops all of the same cards. Oh, and it also stops both Honest and Juragedo's ATK-boosts. Your opponent's only outs to an established Majesty's Fiend are usually Dark Hole, Raigeki, Breakthrough Skill, Torrential Tribute, Book of Moon, and possibly a Rank 4 Xyz. If that sounds like a lot of outs then consider that three of the cards I listed are currently Limited. None of them are searchable, and other options like Effect Veiler are useless. It's definitely a Gamble, but it's one that's worth taking. If you think you'll see Royal Decree sided in against you during Games 2 and 3, I'd recommend siding a non-trap like Majesty's Fiend.

Maxx “C” is a non-floodgate option that exploits the high volume of Special Summons Kozmos are capable of. You can chain it to Emergency Teleport, any of the Kozmo Summon effects outside of the Damage Step, or Juragedo's own effects. It's also proactive: activating it before destroying Forerunner lets you draw a card if they Summon a monster with Forerunner's effect. If that monster is Sliprider, and you also destroy that, you'll draw another card. Any End Phase shenanigans would let you draw a third time, but I wouldn't bet on that happening.

In terms of consistency I think Maxx “C” is probably the best choice, with Mistaken Arrest being a close second. You can ride Light-Imprisoning Mirror, Imperial Iron Wall, or Majesty's Fiend to victory as long as your opponent isn't heavily counter siding. Spoiler alert: they probably will be. I'd expect to see Royal Decree, extra copies of Mystical Space Typhoon, and more effect negation rotated into the Main Deck in Game 2 to answer the cards I've suggested here. Quick-Play Spells and hand traps are definitely the way to go with this match-up, especially if you can stall out their momentum and take the offensive yourself. Kozmos struggle defensively; making them stumble during the early game lets you end the duel before they can get started.

I'm very apprehensive about the future of this deck. Things can only get better from here, and it's already a powerful competitive strategy.

Until next time then


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