Rerouting Deck Fix: Fire Kings

Loukas Peterson

10/18/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

If you've only read a few of my articles, it may not readily quite apparent that I love nothing more than older themes receiving new support.

There was a time when every deck was new and frightening, but as newer cards edge out the shiny toys of old, I'm cheering on the inside that legacy support will turn the tides once again. Even if older themes get one paltry piece of legacy support, it's often enough for a dedicated duelist like myself to work with.

The cards I'm hoping to see don't have to be idealistic or unbalanced. If all an old deck gets is a simple draw spell or new way to accrue resources, I'm glad to get that strategy up to speed. Fire Kings, however, got an incredibly powerful new addition in Circuit Break with Fire King Avatar Arvata. It fills a hole instead of supplementing a strategy! This week's contributor from Texas writes…

Now that Circuit Break is out on the shelves… hopefully by the time you've written about this… Fire King Avatar Arvata has been released! Since you like to look ahead at what's hot, I figured why not send the deck your way? You've written about a few Fire King strategies before, but it's been many moons since we got a new card!

What can I say about Arvata except that it's amazing? It revives things, it blows things up, it negates effects - there's nothing to dislike. I really like the True King cards, too, so please keep those in. They're fun enough to play around with and OTK your opponent, though I know they aren't the best.

Sincerely – Hudson R. ~ Arcana, Texas

Sounds like a fun strategy, right? Check out Hudson's deck!

    Fire Kings Ver 1.0 Hudson R.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Coach Soldier Wolfbark
3 Fire King Avatar Arvata
3 Fire King Avatar Barong
3 Fire King Avatar Garunix
3 Fire King Avatar Yaksha
3 Fire King High Avatar Garunix
3 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
1 Maxx "C"
3 True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher
3 True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer
Monsters [28]
3 Circle of the Fire Kings
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
3 Fire King Island
3 Onslaught of the Fire Kings
3 Terraforming
Spells [15]
Deck Total [43]

EXTRA DECK

1 Abyss Dweller
1 Ancient Pixie Dragon
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
2 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
2 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Gagaga Samurai
1 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn
2 Number 39: Utopia
2 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Tornado Dragon
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


I've actually met three people named Hudson in the last few weeks - clearly some cosmic sign that I had to write about his deck! Or I'm being stalked by a weird cult.

…Wouldn't be the first time.

Oh So Spicy Tech
Fire Kings were initially released in the Onslaught of the Fire Kings Structure Deck, but were severely limited with just a handful of cards upon release. Eventually, Fire King Avatar Yaksha came to our shores and then players around the globe got a new card to bolster the strategy - Fire King Island.

Both cards served to supplement the main Fire King strategy, leaning heavily on Fire King High Avatar Garunix. And while I'm not dissing the, uh, Fire King of the Fire Kings, the support cards for Flaming Mega Chicken were just that. Fire King Island and Fire King Avatar Yaksha were just more ways to get Fire King High Avatar Garunix on the field via a direct Special Summon or through its own revival effect.

Even cards like Onslaught of the Fire Kings and Fire King Avatar Barong were only really segues, and offered no ancillary effects in the form of protection, negation, or hand disruption. You know what card changes all that? Clearly, Fire King Avatar Arvata is a breath of fresh air to a theme that does little more than cycle through Mega Ultra Fire Bird.

Really, think about it: what are good Turn 1 plays with Fire Kings? Obviously you'd like to destroy some Fire King monsters and field Fire King High Avatar Garunix, but outside of leveraging Fire King Island to plop the beast on the field, what was your game plan going first? Something as simple as a Diamond Dire Wolf would clear the way for an OTK, and Fire Kings had no inherent defense.

Now you have a second strategy working in tandem with the continuous loop of Fire King High Avatar Garunix. It might be a stretch to label it a full-blown strategy, but fielding Fire King Avatar Arvata is better than almost anything else you can do on your first turn. Obviously, Arvata feeds into the whole recycling and destruction theme of Fire Kings, but it has built-in monster negation too! It's not a perfect counter in the same way as something like, say, Solemn Strike (since that thwarts just about anything). But it's a lot better than summoning a Fire King Avatar Yaksha and ending your turn.

 Fire King Avatar Yaksha
$7.90
$3.57
$2.61
Fire King Avatar Yaksha70893
Set Judgment of the Light
Number JOTL-EN095
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 1800 / 200
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If a face-up "Fire King" monster you control is destroyed by a card effect (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard: You can destroy 1 card in your hand or that you control. You can only use this effect of "Fire King Avatar Yaksha" once per turn.


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Fire Kings can capitalize on a lot of different cards, but in a deck so mired by destruction effects, it's imperative to ensure your core strategy goes off without a hitch. Now that Fire King Avatar Arvata exists in the TCG, getting to it as early as possible is wildly important. Not only is Fire Formation - Tenki a must-run, but I believe Ties of the Brethren should be mandated as well. After all, you're going to benefit most from fielding Fire King Avatar Arvata early on.

Ties of the Brethren obviously fields Arvata when you have any other Level 4 Fire Beast-Warriors, but spitting out food for it is a secondary, yet palpable effect. Remember, Arvata will pop another Fire monster in your possession, so why not also have a Fire King Avatar Barong to go along with it? The one-two punch of Arvata plus Barong puts you leaps above the stagnated Fire King decks of yesterday where – gasp! – you'd have to wait a turn or two until you could accrue any major gains of field or hand economy.

I mean, it's that, or just whittle your resources away by leaning solely on Fire King Avatar Yaksha. There's always that “super fun” strategy.

Adding Ties of the Brethren lets you run a few more niche cards, too - Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear becomes a worthwhile aggressive front after resolving a Ties, so long as you have no way to tap into your Extra Deck to dispose of your opponents' threats. After all, Ties isn't without drawbacks; it restricts your Special Summons for the rest of the turn and cuts off your Battle Phase. But it's worth it to make the most of your early turns.

There isn't much to change about the core of the deck. A few cards are missing, like Rekindling, so instead the changes stemmed mostly from Arvarta's use. I like having a lone copy of Electromagnetic Turtle – it's one last line of defense that's also a Level 4 Xyz Material. More importantly I'd like to include Shuffle Reborn. The first effect is obviously good for an emergency Xyz Summon or Circle of the Fire Kings target, but it also recycles Fire King Island as well.

Fire King Island has the tragic downside of blowing up your field when it leaves the field… except when it's returned to the hand. Not that revolutionary, but you might as well get all the help you can.

Here are the changes!

-2 Fire King Avatar Yaksha
-3 Fire King Avatar Garunix
-1 Coach Soldier Wolfbark
-1 True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher
-1 True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer
-1 Circle of the Fire Kings

-1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
-1 Number 39: Utopia
-1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning

+1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear
+1 Fire King Avatar Kirin
+1 Electromagnetic Turtle
+2 Shuffle Reborn
+1 Rekindling
+3 Ties of the Brethren

+1 Bujintei Kagutsuchi
+1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
+1 Decode Talker

The Extra Deck is surprisingly… the same. Extra Decks for Fire King strategies don't require lots and lots of thought. I say that meaning there's just a handful of cards you need, and the rest comes down to niche preference.

Here's what the final deck fix looks like!

    Fire Kings Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear
2 Coach Soldier Wolfbark
1 Electromagnetic Turtle
3 Fire King Avatar Arvata
3 Fire King Avatar Barong
1 Fire King Avatar Kirin
1 Fire King Avatar Yaksha
3 Fire King High Avatar Garunix
3 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
1 Maxx "C"
2 True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher
2 True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer
Monsters [23]
2 Circle of the Fire Kings
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
3 Fire King Island
3 Onslaught of the Fire Kings
1 Rekindling
2 Shuffle Reborn
3 Terraforming
3 Ties of the Brethren
Spells [20]
Deck Total [43]

EXTRA DECK

1 Abyss Dweller
1 Ancient Pixie Dragon
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
1 Bujintei Kagutsuchi
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Decode Talker
2 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Gagaga Samurai
1 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Tornado Dragon
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


It's truly a breath of fresh air to have a worthwhile play for Fire Kings on Turn 1. Without some ulterior strategy, Fire Kings are largely just too straightforward on their own – the deck's predictable, narrow, and just fails when it doesn't draw an ideal hand.

But with Fire King Avatar Arvata, you don't have to rely on a ton of other strategies to make the Fire King theme interesting in its own right. Suddenly the game plan is just more balanced, and looks vastly more complete.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where it's warmer than warm, whatever that means. When he's not trying to figure out his life or crying about the lack of Fabled support, you can find making “attempts” at “art” and playing his ukulele terribly, or on Thursday nights, practicing punching the air for an upcoming contest. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet and a dog to pet.


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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