Competitive Corner: Daniel Scott’s Kaiju Cyber Dragons

Jason Grabher-Meyer

10/14/2016 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

It's always cool when a player manages to break through into the Top Cut with their own personal deck of choice.

Usually if you're looking to compete in Yu-Gi-Oh, you're going to choose one of two approaches: you'll either play a deck that's recognized as competitive already, or you'll look to create something that has specific advantages over the expected field – you're either with ‘em, or against ‘em.

But some players simply opt to devote their time to playing their favorite strategy, often fine-tuning it for months and adapting it repeatedly on their way to a sort of niche mastery; a level of expertise that few other players have, simply because so few players are striving for it.

And when that deck happens to match up well with the biggest contenders in current competition? Well, you get success stories like Daniel's Scott's awesome Top 8 showing at the Oklahoma Regional Qualifier a couple weeks ago, where he stole the show with Kaiju Cyber Dragons.

If you haven't seen the deck yet, take a peek and get familiar. There's a lot more going on under the hood than you might first suspect, and Scott's build really deserves to be both celebrated and analyzed.

    Kaiju Cyber Dragons Daniel Scott    
  Location:  Regional 2016-10-01 Tulsa Oklahoma - 5th - 8th Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Chronomaly Golden Jet
3 Cyber Dragon
3 Cyber Dragon Core
2 Cyber Dragon Drei
1 Cyber Eltanin
1 Electromagnetic Turtle
3 Galaxy Soldier
1 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
1 Gem-Knight Garnet
2 Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju
2 Maxx "C"
1 SPYRAL Super Agent
1 Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran
1 Vanity's Fiend
Monsters [23]
3 Brilliant Fusion
2 Cyber Repair Plant
3 Instant Fusion
3 Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
2 Pot of Desires
1 Raigeki
2 Twin Twisters
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [17]
1 Solemn Warning
Traps [1]
Deck Total [41]
3 Ally of Justice Cycle Reader
2 Denko Sekka
3 Flying "C"
3 Solemn Strike
3 Spell Shattering Arrow
1 Twin Twisters
Side Deck [15]

EXTRA DECK

1 Artifact Durendal
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
2 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
2 Cyber Dragon Infinity
2 Cyber Dragon Nova
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
1 Number 61: Volcasaurus
2 Panzer Dragon
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Right now, all the top decks largely want to go first. Strategies like Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Burning Phantom Knights, mixed Pendulums, and Majespecters all want to open the duel, make a big controlling field to fend off the opponent, and then smash them right out of the game as quickly as possible. Competition is shaped by cards like Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon; Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon; Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal; Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy; PSY-Framelord Omega; Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin; Mist Valley Apex Avian; and Vanity's Emptiness, all of which keep your opponent from playing Yu-Gi-Oh.

And you'd be forgiven if you thought that was what Daniel Scott was looking to accomplish here, given his two copies of Cyber Dragon Infinity. But Scott clarified in post-event remarks that Infinity hardly sees table time, and in fact, this deck wants to go second; it's designed to crash through those big Turn 1 boards, and then OTK opponents before they get a chance to fight back.

With most control set-ups relying on monster effects, and Scott packing a healthy mix of Twin Twisters and other fast removal tricks to clear backrow, he could reliably take opponents off guard on his first turn. Or just deal so much damage combined with control effects that a second turn win was inevitable.

The deck has two groups of cards responsible for all that damage, and the first is a Rank 5 engine centered around the Cyber Dragon cards. Cyber Dragon, Cyber Dragon Drei, Galaxy Soldier, and Instant Fusion for Panzer Dragon all provide fodder for Rank 5 Xyz. Scott even ran a Chronomaly Golden Jet; while its status as a Level 5 that you can Normal Summon makes it comparable to Cyber Dragon Drei, you can use it towards any Rank 5, not just Machines. That's really valuable when you're looking to make Number 61: Volcasaurus for game, or you settle in for a longer haul with Artifact Durendal.

Speaking of Durendal, it was a great combo here with Brilliant Fusion. Special Summoning Gem-Knight Seraphinite places another Level 5 on the field, and opens up another Normal Summon for Drei and Golden Jet. In a pinch, you could even toss away an extra Spell Card for Brilliant Fusion's effect and get another attacker going.

Gem-Knight Garnet has synergy as a Special Summon target with Daigusto Emeral, and when you Xyz Summon with Gem-Knight Seraphinite the leftover Brilliant Fusion combos with Artifact Durendal's redirection ability, essentially negating a spell, trap, or monster effect.

 Galaxy Soldier
$20.00
$9.71
$5.50
Galaxy Soldier97852
Set World Superstars
Number WSUP-EN010
Level 5
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2000 / 0
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

You can send 1 other LIGHT monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon this card from your hand in Defense Position. When this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Galaxy" monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Galaxy Soldier" once per turn.


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But that's not really the main thrust of the strategy: the heavy-hitter on this side of the deck is Cyber Dragon Nova. Overlay two Level 5 Machines for it and you can revive a Cyber Dragon from your graveyard, fielding 4200 damage. Add in its ATK-boosting effect and suddenly any in-hand Cyber Dragon, or any on-field Cyber Dragon Drei or Cyber Dragon Core, becomes a 2100 ATK boost. That's a ton of damage, but it's not quite enough for game on its own.

That's where the Kaijus come in. Scott ran three copies of Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, and while we've seen lots of decks run triple Slumber in the past, they generally run it as a removal card, kind of like a Dark Hole that offers a free +1 in the form of a beatstick; you want to give your opponent a little Kaiju, and then run it over with a bigger one.

And that's true here: Scott played a ton of field-wipe cards – triple Slumber, a Raigeki, and a Cyber Eltanin – to ensure that he could bust up those big, dug-in fields the most popular decks are aiming for on Turn 1. But he had lots of ways to generate more damage from Interrupted Kaiju Slumber than his opponents might expect.

Understanding Scott's choices in Kaiju monsters is key: he played two Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju; one Super Anti-Kaiju War Machine Mecha-Dogoran; and one of the more traditional Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju. That let him do some cool stuff. If he blew up the field with Interrupted Kaiju Slumber and Special Summoned Mecha-Dogoran for his opponent and Jizukiru for himself, he could immediately swing through the 0 ATK Mecha-Dogoran for a fast 3300 damage. Most decks splashing a Kaiju engine don't run Mecha-Dogoran since it can be a dead draw, but Scott had discard outlets like Galaxy Soldier to cushion it.

He also had the option to Special Summon Mecha-Dogoran or Jizukiru, Normal Summon Cyber Dragon Core, search Cyber Repair Plant, and then contact fuse Cyber Dragon Core with the Kaiju for a 2000 ATK Chimeratech Fortress Dragon. That could let him deal with an in-hand Mecha-Dogoran if he could stick his opponent with a Kaiju first, or better yet replace an opposing monster with Jizukiru, then rob the opponent of it nabbing a search effect and a free beatstick.

Given the chance to make a Rank 5, he could even give his opponent a Jizukiru and then blow it up for a game-ending 3300 damage with Number 61: Volcasaurus. That play alone makes game off Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, Special Summoning Jizukiri and Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju, blowing up Jizukiru with Volcasaurus, and swinging in with Gameciel and Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger.

But hold up a sec – let's wind that one back to Cyber Dragon Core. One of the incredible things about this deck is that it has a wealth of search effects that keep it consistent. Cyber Dragon Core's a wildly flexible card that can work from the graveyard to load your field, combo with Cyber Dragon Drei to make Rank 5 plays, contribute to Cyber Eltanin and feature in those Kaiju combos mentioned earlier. But its real strength lies in its ability to search Cyber Repair Plant, which then searches nearly everything else in the deck.

Scott played just two copies of Repair Plant since you can only resolve one copy per turn and he didn't expect his games to go long enough for multiple copies to be a factor anyways. While Repair Plant can search all the Cyber Dragon monsters, it can also grab Galaxy Soldier or Chronomaly Golden Jet to help fuel your plays; Cyber Eltanin to wipe the field; Kaijus to eliminate opposing monsters; or Electromagnetic Turtle as discard fodder which then rolls into a battle-stop defense trick. Whatever you need to beat your opponent, Cyber Repair Plant searches it, and you get it for free while building other plays with Cyber Dragon Core. It's kind of nuts.

Combined with the precision of Galaxy Soldier and Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, as well as the draw power of Maxx "C" and Pot of Desires, Core and Repair Plant make the deck really reliable. It can often play out in a lot of different branching decision paths, and Scott clearly designed it to do whatever it needs to do to win through opposing set-ups. In that vein he also played a few tech choices that added variety and some unexpected moves.

 Pot of Desires
$60.99
$16.60
$11.00
Pot of Desires121323
Set The Dark Illusion
Number TDIL-EN066
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Banish 10 cards from the top of your Deck, face-down; draw 2 cards. You can only activate 1 "Pot of Desires" per turn.


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Given all of his Special Summon effects – the deck only plays six Normal Summons – a single Vanity's Fiend is always easy to Tribute Summon. While the Fiend locks down Scott's cards too, it's effectively a win condition on its own and can soften up your opponent's defenses on the way to a full-fledged OTK.

The use of SPYRAL Super Agent was even more eye-catching: Scott would call monsters every time he wanted to use it, figuring he'd find a monster on top of his opponent's deck about half the time in any match-up. A successful call would Special Summon Super Agent as a free Level 4 beater with 1900 ATK, and unleash a Mystical Space Typhoon type effect for an immediate plus. He'd essentially clear a backrow while escalating some of his basic play sequences into OTK's. He could also leverage SPYRAL Super Agent into a Rank 4, since he did run Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer and Daigusto Emeral.

The Cyber Dragon and Kaiju suites work shockingly well together, operating off the same search cards, working together to clear the field, and interweaving to change big turns that might not win the game, into full-on OTK's. The concept of a deck that wants to go second in the era of big set-ups and Pot of Desires is pretty out there, and this deck's perfectly positioned to turn common play patterns from the top decks against their pilots.

It remains to be seen if Kaiju Cyber Dragons will be become more than a one-hit wonder, but the majority of the trends that made this deck a success in Oklahoma haven't changed, and it might just have more potential this format. Until then, congratulations to Daniel Scott on his awesome Top 8 showing!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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