Siding For: SHVI Kozmos

Kelly Locke

5/31/2016 11:00:00 AM

The final batch of Kozmo support in Shining Victories is helping Kozmos stand their ground in an incredibly competitive Regional and WCQ environment. That's no small feat, considering the rest of the field includes Monarchs, Draco Performapals, Majespecter Magicians, Phantom Knights, and Burning Abyss.

There's no question that Kozmos remain one of the best strategies in the game, especially since Konami's only attempt to balance them was a Semi-Limit to Emergency Teleport. Kozmo Dark Destroyer is one of many ‘checks' this format: you won't be getting far in any serious tournament if your strategy can't remove an opposing Dark Destroyer reliably. All of the major competitive themes can do at least that much on a consistent basis, and strategies that can't aren't seeing much success in Regionals.

Now the Kozmo match-up has a few more challenges to overcome. Kozmoll Dark Lady and Kozmo Dark Planet are new negation bodies which cover monster effects and spells respectively. They're leaps and bounds ahead of Kozmo Dark Eclipser; their effects are actually relevant. Dark Lady's outstanding against monster-heavy strategies like Kozmos, Phantom Knights, and Burning Abyss, while Dark Planet answers The Monarchs Stormforth and Pendulum Spells. Kozmos were already reactive with numerous Spell Speed 2 effects at their disposal, but Dark Lady and Dark Planet give them stronger set-ups than they've ever had.

 Kozmoll Dark Lady
Kozmoll Dark Lady117964
Set Shining Victories
Number SHVI-EN083
Level 5
Type Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2200 / 1800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

During either player's turn: You can banish this card; Special Summon 1 Level 6 or higher "Kozmo" monster from your hand. You can only use this effect of "Kozmoll Dark Lady" once per turn. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when another monster's effect is activated: You can pay 1000 LP; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that monster.

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There's another card from SHVI that's making a splash in Kozmos: Fire King Island. Variants of Kozmos with the Field Spell seem to be topping at over twice the rate of those without, so it's undeniably the most popular and successful variant. Fire King Island's an outstanding card for the theme because it saves otherwise unplayable hands, enables a first-turn Cyber Dragon Infinity, and kick starts a strategy that's typically slow in the early game.

In the past the best way to beat Kozmos was to keep them from fielding a Machine and knock out their Life Points before they began looping Kozmo monsters with Kozmotown. Unfortunately, you're a lot less likely to be successful with that strategy against Fire King Kozmos. Your opponent doesn't need to Normal Summon a Psychic- Type monster or play Emergency Teleport to put a Kozmo Sliprider or Kozmo Forerunner on the board – all they need is a sufficiently high-Level Kozmo plus Fire King Island.

The latest Kozmo builds have an enormous impact on the cards we're siding for them. A couple of the usual standbys – Cyber Dragon and System Down – are much less useful post-SHVI. Conversely, there are a few choices that are now relevant against Fire King Kozmos.

Gobbling Up Machines
I think it's worth taking a second look at two popular Side Deck cards for Kozmos: System Down and Cyber Dragon. Kozmos were losing regularly to these cards just a couple of months ago, but times have changed. Fire King Kozmos, or even pure builds, are well-equipped to preempt a Chimeratech Fortress Dragon, negate System Down, or simply create set-ups that aren't vulnerable to either.

Cyber Dragon and Cyber Dragon Core have been popular choices in the past because they transform any number of ships into a single monster. Chimeratech Fortress Dragon is one of the easiest ways to put Dark Destroyer in the graveyard without triggering its replacement effect. Unlike System Down, your opponent can't recycle their monsters with Kozmotown after they're scooped up to Special Summon Chimeratech.

Nearly all of the major threats in the Kozmo match-up can be solved with Chimeratech Fortress Dragon; Kozmoll Dark Destroyer, Dark Planet, and even Cyber Dragon Infinity are easily dispatched by Summoning Chimeratech. That said, Kozmoll Dark Lady's just as dangerous and yet it's totally safe from Cyber Dragon. Not only is it a Psychic, but it has barely enough ATK to survive in battle. You might want to reconsider Chimeratech if Dark Lady worries you more than Dark Destroyer or Dark Planet.

It's not just Dark Lady that's giving Cyber Dragon a run for its money. Kozmojo can banish it before you have a chance to Summon Chimeratech. Alternatively, your opponent might Special Summon Dark Destroyer during your turn to destroy your monster. Then there's Solemn Warning and Solemn Scolding to consider. Kozmos have had months to come up with ways to beat Cyber Dragon, and experienced players can easily work around it.

Finally, the second you control more monsters than your opponent you can expect Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries to banish Chimeratech Fortress Dragon from your Extra Deck. Ghost Reaper is the best counter side to Chimeratech, but it doesn't work quite as well against it as it does versus other Extra Deck monsters. You'll only be Summoning one monster to counter one or more Machines your opponent controls, so there's no opportunity for them to activate Ghost Reaper. They'll have to use it preemptively, in some situation where you control more monsters. That could mean pitching Ghost Reaper well ahead of time, long before you draw into it.

 Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries117933
Set Shining Victories
Number SHVI-EN040
Level 3
Type Tuner/Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 0 / 1800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

During either player's turn, if your opponent controls more monsters than you do: You can discard this card; reveal 1 card in your Extra Deck, then look at your opponent's Extra Deck, also banish all cards in their Extra Deck with the same name as that revealed card. You can only use this effect of "Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries" once per turn.

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So is it still worth playing? I think you can make a strong case for it in Monarchs, where it doubles as tribute fodder, Xyz Material, and pairs with Quickdraw Synchron to make Ultimaya Tzolkin. It's an interesting pick in the Kozmo mirror match too, acting as a material for Cyber Dragon Nova. It's also competing for space with System Down – another card that needs adapting for current competition.

System Down is phenomenal for clearing Kozmo fields. Banishing Dark Destroyer and the rest of the fleet won't trigger their replacement effects, though it will leave them in reach of Kozmotown and Kozmo Strawman. That said, that's not a problem if you intend

to end the game that turn. It's not a crazy assumption: there are plenty of times where System Down will completely wipe out your opponent's set-up.

New cards are making it harder to win games with System Down. Again, Kozmoll Dark Lady's a Psychic, so if it's the roadblock keeping you from OTK'ing you'll have to look elsewhere. Kozmo Dark Planet negates spells, as does Cyber Dragon Infinity. You'll have to bait your opponent with another card before you can attempt to resolve System Down. Burning an extra card may make it more difficult to capitalize on your opponent's empty field.

System Down might be the riskiest card to play against Kozmos right now. They know it's coming, know how to set up against it, and have multiple monsters packing negation effects that directly counter it. On the other hand, System Down's easy to play and simplicity goes a long way towards making a card effective in practical situations.

Analyzing The Current Trends
The most popular Sides against Kozmos right now are Kaijus, Magic Deflector, Maxx “C”, Chaos Hunter, and Artifact Lancea.

Let's start with Kaijus: I mentioned earlier that Cyber Dragon and System Down can't deal with a Kozmoll Dark Lady. Well, Kaijus can, and regularly eat spaceships and laser sword-wielding Psychics. Tributing a monster for cost happens so fast that there's no time to react to it, and sending a ship to the graveyard, yet again, bypasses its replacement effect.

Kaijus stop all of the negation bodies in the Kozmo arsenal as well as Cyber Dragon Infinity, so you're never forced to bait a negation with another card. They're excellent for eliminating a single card, but not nearly as effective against multiple monsters. A huge System Down or Chimeratech Fortress play will probably win you the duel, yet a precision Kaiju Summon typically has a much weaker impact.

Magic Deflector has risen in popularity due to the Monarch match-up where it negates several of their themed spells, including Domain of the True Monarchs. Its utility extends to Fire King Kozmos, a Field Spell-heavy strategy that loses a number of plays when Kozmotown and Fire King Island are negated. It's great in the early game when your opponent is just beginning to set up their combos, and will stall out the best Fire King Island plays if you can set it on the first turn. Both Field Spells are important to maintaining consistency, so a Turn 1 Magic Deflector can leave your opponent with a poor starting hand.

 Twin Twisters
Twin Twisters111166
Set Breakers of Shadow
Number BOSH-EN067
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Discard 1 card, then target up to 2 Spell/Trap Cards on the field; destroy them.

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There are three more cards this match-up that are negated by Magic Deflector: Mystical Space Typhoon, Twin Twisters, and Emergency Teleport. Again, stopping a consistency card like Emergency Teleport is a great way to weaken your opponent's starting
hand. Granted, your Magic Deflector might not do a whole lot if they start with a busted

bunch of cards. But you want to stop your opponent from making big plays in the early game, and Magic Deflector does exactly that.

Maxx “C” is another card that stalls out the early game, and it's playable virtually everywhere these days. Fire King Kozmos are Special Summoning much more than their pure counterparts, so there's plenty of extra opportunities to stop their plays with Maxx “C”. Artifact Lancea and Chaos Hunter are strong alternatives with less utility but a bit more stopping power, and both have actually seen some Top 8 finishes since SHVI was released. Chaining Lancea to Fire King Island is hilarious, and once again slows down your opponent in the early game while locking them out of their best plays.

Kozmos continue to evolve with new support, and Side Decks are adjusting right along with them. They're an outstanding pick going forward into the summer. Dedicating part of your Side Deck to the match-up is a necessity, and you'll be a lot more successful in tournaments by selecting the best anti-Kozmos Side Deck tech for your strategy.

Until next time then


Kelly Locke is a West Michigan gamer, writer, and college student with too much free time on his hands. Besides playing Yugioh, Kelly posts Let's Play videos of Minecraft on his Youtube channel and plays a possibly unhealthy amount of Destiny. He is currently studying marketing at Western Michigan University, and hopes to graduate before Dragon Ravine is Unlimited.

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