Rerouting: Catalyst Hieratics

Loukas Peterson

1/26/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

I think the rule of thumb for me is simple: receive a deck with Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit; write about it. It's not 100% foolproof, since my friend Daniel keeps submitting the same Burning Abyss deck with three copies of Tefnuit as a joke, so don't get any funny ideas. But I'll work with any feasible idea while the purposefully outlandish submissions will be mocked appropriately.

For a solid year, I was obsessed with Hieratic Monarchs, for basically no good reason. Special Summon Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit, tribute for Thestalos the Fire Monarch, Special Summon Tyhone #2, and finish with Hazy Flame Basiltrice. It reminded me greatly of Soul Control, if that can tell you how old I am.

Today's submitter actually gave his name this time, so let's read Jakob's submission from Madrid, Spain!

I've made everything a Catalyst Field deck in recent months - between Doom Shaman, Gigaplant, and Il Blud, Catalyst Field's a rally worthy investment. You once [Loukas' note: haha, “once”] wrote about Hieratics, and I was not impressed. [Loukas' note: Rude…] But with Catalyst Field, I had an idea - you could put Gemini monsters in Hieratics and go from there.

Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King is another Level 6 Gemini that works with Hieratics and Geminis… and Normal Monster support. It's pretty simple when you think about it - you'll have a monster for a free tribute for a Hieratic or for non-Hieratic, and Gigaplant is the man for you. [Loukas' note: “Man” is a very loose term…]

-Jakob P. ~ Madrid, Spain

There were seven more paragraphs painfully recounting Gigaplant combos that Jakob explicitly said weren't good, so I'll save digital ink about how starting with Super Solar Nutrient, Glow-Up Bulb, Soul Charge, Gigaplant, and Catalyst Field could create a Coach King Giantrainer… though that's not even included in the deck list.

I'm not sure how you would even do that, to be honest.

I'm holding back a lot of snark right now…

    Catalyst Hieratics Ver 1.0 Jakob P.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Gigaplant
1 Glow-Up Bulb
3 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
3 Hieratic Dragon of Su
3 Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King
2 Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord
1 Labradorite Dragon
3 Lonefire Blossom
1 Rose Lover
3 Sylvan Hermitree
Monsters [23]
3 Catalyst Field
3 Hieratic Seal of Convocation
1 Soul Charge
1 Super Solar Nutrient
3 Terraforming
3 Trade-In
3 Twin Twisters
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [18]
Deck Total [41]

EXTRA DECK

1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
2 Constellar Ptolemy M7
2 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand
1 Formula Synchron
2 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum
1 PSY-Framelord Omega
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Shooting Quasar Dragon
1 Stardust Spark Dragon
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Ultimaya Tzolkin
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Jakob's deck is technically a Hieratic and Plant hybrid, but I'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish here. Hieratic Dragon of Eset awkwardly serves as tribute for Gigaplant, but without Supervise… I don't know.

I give up.

Let's just make changes.

Plants Vs. Zombies (By Zombies, I Mean Ancient Dragons That Aren't Alive Currently)
Jakob's concept no doubt stemmed from Catalyst Field – it's really bonkers, with three very good effects. For starters, you can Normal Summon a high Level Gemini for free, then Normal Summon it or something else to get its effect, then banish it for a hot minute and pop opposing threats.

Gigaplant, Doom Shaman, and Il Blud should be the first Gemini monsters that come to mind when you're abusing Catalyst Field, but Gigaplant wins out for today. Say you have a yarded Lonefire Blossom with Gigaplant and Catalyst Field in hand. In the days of old – AKA before Catalyst Field dropped in Invasion: Vengeance – you'd need help to get everything going. Now you'll just Normal Summon Gigaplant twice to revive Lonefire, send it to the graveyard to Special Summon another Plant, and then freely banish your Gigaplant without worrying that your revived monsters will go bye-bye. It's the same thing with Il Blud; Shiranui Solitaire's just the undead version of Lonefire.

And on the Hieratic side, Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King mimics Hieratic Dragon of Eset, as long as you have Catalyst Field. Double Normal Summon Hieratic Seal of Dragon King, tribute it off for any Hieratic, and you can Special summon Hieratic Dragon of Su from your hand. Going first, Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit is useless, but now we have a slightly better chance of getting that first turn setup.

 Gigaplant
$4.97
$3.41
$2.51
Gigaplant26627
Set Phantom Darkness
Number PTDN-EN026
Type Plant/Gemini
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2400 / 1200
Rarity Rare
Card Text

"This card is treated as a Normal Monster while face-up on the field or in the Graveyard. While this card is face-up on the field, you can Normal Summon it to have it be treated as an Effect Monster with this effect: *Once per turn, you can Special Summon 1 Insect-Type or Plant-Type monster from your hand or Graveyard."


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Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King's main use, at least when I ever tried to use it, was the Level 6 option in tandem with Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb. The Level 4 Gebeb's effect only bringing out Hieratic Normal monsters made it pretty unplayable, since yarding Seal was a waste of time. But Catalyst Field makes Seal a good go-to, giving Supervise and Gebeb a proper home!

And yeah, guess what, surprise – Jakob included neither card, something I'm still trying to wrap my head around. Obviously, Supervise is the bee's knees with Gigaplant but has an auto trigger placeholder with Seal of the Dragon King, and Gebeb's a Level 4 Hieratic that's an Elder Entity Norden target. Use your “second” Normal Summon to bring out Seal, equip it with Supervise, and tribute it off to Summon any Hieratic from your deck. Supervise brings back either Seal or Gigaplant, and you still have your “first” Normal Summon.

I'm still trying to figure out why both cards were excluded from the original list since at the very least, Supervise is the crux of the strategy.

Insert Sports Joke .3% Of You Would Get
The Level 8 component of the deck doesn't make much sense either. Sure, I guess Sylvan Hermitree's one of your better options, since without Maju Garzett' rel="/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Legendary Maju Garzett">Legendary Maju Garzett, Level 8 monsters seem pretty hard to come by for quick Xyz Summons. Basically, Hermitree and one copy of Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord just have to go, and in their place I'm bringing in Swing of Memories and Supervise.

Between your Extra Normal Summons and Gemini's favorite Equip spell, Swing of Memories makes Xyz Summons in a flash, at worst. At best, it's an excuse to abuse whatever's lurking in your graveyard for more fuel. Catalyst Field's amazing on early turns, but revival cards make the Field Spell just as lethal later in the game.

Since our Level 8 support's out the window, Trade-In needs to come out as well. Other random cards like Super Solar Nutrient didn't have much place in the deck to begin with, since Lonefire's not exactly central to the game plan. Between Xyz Summons, Gigaplant Shenanigans, or the ever-wonderful Ultimaya Tzolkin, the deck feels a lot more consistent and well-rounded. Yeah, I know I just used the word “consistent” to describe the operations of a Hieratic deck, but Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King paired with Catalyst Field is basically another three copies of Hieratic Seal of Convocation.

And if you're new to Hieratics, yes, the names are slightly confusing. Multiple Hieratic Seals, Eset and Nebthet are effectively mirrored images, trying and failing to rationalize Hieratic Dragon of Sutekh's effect.

 Ultimaya Tzolkin
$25.00
$10.06
$8.47
Ultimaya Tzolkin98933
Set Shonen Jump Magazine Promos
Number JUMP-EN072
Type Synchro/Effect Monster
Monster Dragon
Attribute DARK 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

(This card's original Level is always treated as 12.)
Cannot be Synchro Summoned. Must be Special Summoned (from your Extra Deck) by sending 2 Level 5 or higher monsters you control with the same Level to the Graveyard (1 Tuner and 1 non-Tuner), and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. Once per turn, when a Spell/Trap Card(s) is Set on your side of the field (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon 1 "Power Tool" Synchro Monster or 1 Level 7 or 8 Dragon-Type Synchro Monster from your Extra Deck. Cannot be targeted for attacks or by card effects, while you control another Synchro Monster.


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Despite all the new toys and tricks that Gemini monsters bring, sometimes the best opening is a “free” Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon summoned with Ultimaya Tzolkin, and a few traps can go a long way. Solemn Strike and Solemn Warning are a lot cheaper than Dimensional Barrier and work just as well to thwart your opponent and trigger Ultimaya Tzolkin. And you know what's serendipitously awesome? Ultimaya Tzolkin brings out Power Tool Dragon. Or in other words, you can search Supervise. Was that Jakob's original intent? I'll never know.

There was already a lot going on in this deck, but I did try to squeeze more strategies, more counters, and more craziness into it. I went really far out of my way to optimize Meliae of the Trees and Rose Lover as a go-to power play, but that hinged on Dandylion and another Level 3 Earth being available at the drop of a hat. Typically, I'd make Meliae in the wake of some Gigaplant shenanigans, making the power to bring out Gigaplant pretty much moot. Sure, if I could do Gigaplant things, spam Meliae, and abuse Catalyst Field every turn I'd be happy – but I found that Catalyst Field normally filled the same gaps as Meliae.

Lastly, I opted not to go with Maju Garzett' rel="/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Legendary Maju Garzett">Legendary Maju Garzett, purely for the reason of Ultimaya Tzolkin. Putting my resources into a Tzolkin meant getting a Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, whereas a Rank 8 was typically Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy. Choices, choices, man. Check out the final rundown of the changes made:

-1 Rose Lover
-1 Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King
-3 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
-3 Sylvan Hermitree
-2 Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord
-3 Trade-In
-1 Terraforming
-3 Twin Twisters
-1 Super Solar Nutrient
-1 Upstart Goblin

-1 Scrap Dragon
-2 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand
-1 Shooting Quasar Dragon
-2 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum
-1 Constellar Ptolemy M7

+2 Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb
+2 Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit
+1 Spore
+1 Dandylion
+2 Instant Fusion
+3 Supervise
+1 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
+1 Swing of Memories
+1 Foolish Burial
+2 Solemn Strike
+1 Solemn Warning
+1 Vanity's Emptiness

+1 Power Tool Dragon
+1 Elder Entity Norden
+1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
+1 PSY-Framelord Omega
+1 Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree
+1 Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal
+1 Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon

Outside of a Hieratic Nekroz deck I had stewing in the back of my mind, I wasn't sure I'd ever really use Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb, but here we are. Now that every theme has some ridiculously overpowered card, maybe Hieratics can get some love?

I have ideas, if anyone from Konami's North American Research and Development team is listening.

    Catalyst Hieratics Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Dandylion
3 Gigaplant
1 Glow-Up Bulb
2 Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb
3 Hieratic Dragon of Su
2 Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit
2 Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King
1 Labradorite Dragon
3 Lonefire Blossom
1 Spore
Monsters [19]
3 Catalyst Field
1 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
1 Foolish Burial
3 Hieratic Seal of Convocation
2 Instant Fusion
1 Soul Charge
3 Supervise
1 Swing of Memories
2 Terraforming
Spells [17]
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [4]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal
1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Formula Synchron
1 Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree
1 Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon
1 Power Tool Dragon
2 PSY-Framelord Omega
1 Stardust Spark Dragon
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Ultimaya Tzolkin
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Any deck featuring Hieratics has a special place in my heart, and I think Catalyst Field will become one of those cards I'll cherish for a long time. Gigaplant's probably the top pick to pair with the new Field Spell, but there are a lot of niche Gemini monsters waiting to be abused. Swing of Memories, Supervise, and Catalyst Field combine to give you a barrage of summons in any deck you set your mind to.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas “#spellberks4lyfe” Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he's earned the honor of Employee of the Century at his basket-weaving job. When he's not getting lost walking to the grocery store, his days are spent shaking his fist in the direction of Konami's North American headquarters demanding Fabled support or an archetype based around rainbow flags. In his spare time, Loukas dresses up as various road signs around his neighborhood, intentionally spelling things wrong to confuse drivers.


Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to rerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.com to have your deck featured in the “Re-Routing” deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. “Winning” is not a strategy per se, and neither is “beating your opponents before they beat you.”

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! –LJP


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