Low Key: Ties of the Brethren Rock Stun

Doug Zeeff

10/17/2016 11:00:00 AM

Last week I wrote about a Koa'ki Meiru build using standbys like Koa'ki Meiru Urknight and Koa'ki Meiru Drago. A couple people were disappointed that it wasn't about Rock Stun with the new Ties of the Brethren card, but Little Did they know that that's what this week was going to be about!

If you've been a long-time fan of Rock Stun like me, then this is definitely something to get excited about: Ties of the Brethren reinvents the strategy from the inside out, tackling the biggest issues that have plagued Rock Stun for years.

The Koa'ki Meiru monsters that Rock Stun uses are actually quite different than the build from last week. None of them need Iron Core of the Koa'ki Meiru so there's no reason to run it, and all of them pack 1900 ATK with 1200 DEF. There's four different ones and they're all pretty straightforward, tributing themselves to negate an action. Koa'ki Meiru Overload stops summons; Koa'ki Meiru Guardian negates monster effects; Koa'ki Meiru Wall stops spells; and Koa'ki Meiru Sandman thwarts traps.

 Ties of the Brethren
Ties of the Brethren123485
Set Legendary Decks II
Number LDK2-ENY02
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pay 2000 LP, then target 1 Level 4 or lower monster you control; for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, you cannot Special Summon monsters, also Special Summon 2 monsters from your Deck, with the same Type, Attribute, and Level as that monster, but with different names from each other and that monster. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this card.

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The main goal of Rock Stun is to set up a couple of these Rock monsters, negate your opponent's big plays, and then attack back with 1900 damage on your following turn. In the past, the challenge was that they simply weren't fast enough. Rock monsters are incredibly under supported, so there wasn't a reliable way to put multiple Rocks on board at the same time. Block Golem can tribute itself to Special Summon two Rocks from your grave if you only have Earth monsters in your graveyard, but that won't work until Turn 2 or 3 at the earliest.

In other words, Rock Stun has historically been too slow for almost every format of Yu-Gi-Oh, but that's about to change!

Like Chthonian Alliance, But Less Sucky
Ties of the Brethren has been around in the OCG for a while but here in the TCG we only just got it in Legendary Decks II. It opens up some exciting new possibilities for a couple of specific decks, but it's far from generic. You pay 2000 Life Points to target a Level 4 or lower monster you control. You then Special Summon two differently named monsters with the same Level, Type, and Attribute as it from your deck. You can't Special Summon for the rest of the turn, and you can't conduct your Battle Phase.

Right off the bat, there are a few decks that come to mind. Majespecters have a variety of strong Level 4's that score free searches when you summon them, so I wouldn't be surprised if people try out Ties of the Brethren in there. Heroes can actually use it too, to bring out Armageddon Knight and Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude off of Elemental HERO Shadow Mist. That's especially cool because you have the potential to hit Ties of the Brethren off of Diamond Dude, forgoing the drawbacks completely.

What's key about Ties of the Brethren is that you can't Special Summon after you use it, but you can Special Summon all you want before. It's not like Pot of Duality or Card Car D. That gives it even more potential because you can make a big board and then further your advantage. That's not going to be super important in Rock Stun, but it does mean that we can resolve Block Golem or Call Of The Haunted in the same turn that Ties of the Brethren goes off.

To simplify things, as long as you have one Koa'ki Meiru and Ties of the Brethren you'll get an instant +1 that equates to three negations on your first turn. Ideally you'll have Wall, Overload, and Guardian. That'll be enough to stop a spell, a summon, and a monster effect. There's not a ton of decks that can deal with three negations and still have a playable hand, but even if they do you'll still have the other cards in your hand to back you up. Call Of The Haunted and Oasis of Dragon Souls give you more negations and attack power, so as long as you open up a balancing hand it's going to be tough to beat.

Take a look at what I've been testing.

    Brethren Rock Stun Doug Zeeff    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Block Golem
3 Koa'ki Meiru Guardian
3 Koa'ki Meiru Overload
1 Koa'ki Meiru Sandman
3 Koa'ki Meiru Wall
3 Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju
2 Maxx "C"
Monsters [18]
3 Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru
3 Pot of Desires
1 The Seal of Orichalcos
3 Ties of the Brethren
2 Twin Twisters
Spells [12]
3 Call of the Haunted
3 Oasis of Dragon Souls
3 Solemn Strike
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [10]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Fairy King Albverdich
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Gagaga Samurai
1 Gem-Knight Pearl
1 Gorgonic Guardian
2 Number 106: Giant Hand
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 52: Diamond Crab King
1 Number 55: Gogogo Goliath
1 Number 82: Heartlandraco
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
Extra Deck [15]

Block Golem's effect is super important to maintaining card advantage, but it limits your monster choices to Earths. That's why I'm playing Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju and not Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju.

It also really restricts the Extra Deck, but there's a ton more decent Earth Xyz Monsters now than there were over the years. I fondly remember playing Rock Stun with triple Gagaga Cowboy, Fairy King Albverdich, and Gem-Knight Pearl. When Number 82: Heartlandraco came out it actually revolutionized the Extra Deck for Rock Stun in a way, finally giving them so real attacking power.

But now there's some powerful cards to choose from like Number 106: Giant Hand. The once hard to get Prize Card has been reprinted into a Gold Rare, so it's infinitely more accessible. For times where you want to negate monster effects without tributing your monsters, Giant Hand is the perfect option. I'm also a huge fan of Number 55: Gogogo Goliath. It passively gives all your monsters 800 DEF, but more importantly you can detach a material to add back a Level 4 Earth in your graveyard. That adds any of the Koa'ki Meirus that you're playing for free, and potentially sets up some big turns with Ties of the Brethren.

On the more aggressive side, Gagaga Samurai and Number 52: Diamond Crab King give the deck more versatility than ever before. Since your big goal is to stun the opponent for one or two turns before OTKing, having cards like these in the Extra Deck makes winning that much easier.

One card that I wanted to use but couldn't make work was Block Dragon. As a pseudo-Dragon Ruler, Block Dragon can Special Summon itself by banishing three Earths. It's cool because it prevents Rocks from being destroyed by card effects, and then when it dies you get to add two Koa'ki Meirus to your hand. However, it conflicts with a lot of what we're trying to accomplish. By taking so many Earths out of the graveyard you mess up Block Golem, Call Of The Haunted, and Oasis of Dragon Souls. It's only truly good in the late, late game, but that's not something you usually get to with Rock Stun anyway.

Overall, I feel like Rock Stun is better positioned now than it ever has been before. Ties of the Brethren is extremely powerful and sets up a sizable board of Rocks. While the problem of dealing with on-field threats will always be a part of any Koa'ki Meiru variant, you're well-positioned going first. All of these considerations combined with a newly refined Extra Deck make Rock Stun an awesome casual strategy to take to a Regional Qualifier or your local tournament!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!

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