With an earlier-than-expected move to the Alice Cluster format in the US, other areas are also starting to follow suit. Personally, I find the format a lot more fun – New Frontiers is almost figured out at this point and frankly, I’d like to see other Rulers in the spotlight.
Today’s deck takes us back to the beginning of the block, the 2015 World Championships. Blazer was the deck that almost everyone played, and for good reason – he has Attribute-fixing on both sides of the card (unlike Sylvia), and grants access to the goodies of arguably the best Attribute in the game (Fire). The bonus to outright destroy an opposing J-Ruler via his Judgement is just icing on the cake.
During that time, Knights of the Round was the way to go. First popularized back in 2015 AGP Singapore, Lancelot and friends proved to be one of FoW’s premier choices when it comes to aggressive strategies. With Cthugha, Thunder, Split Heaven and Earth, and Purifying Fire leaving the metagame, there’s less early aggression and direct damage to go around, and the format shifts back to gaining field advantage over the opponent and having Resonators that have staying power – kinda similar to that of Grimm Cluster.
And the Knights of the Round, excels at this.
Aggro Like It’s 2015!
Ruler: Blazer Gill Rabus
2 Deathscythe, the Life Reaper
3 Kaguya’s Premonition
2 Flame King’s Shout
2 Luminescent Bamboo Bullet
4 Perceval, the Seeker of Holy Grail
4 Guinevere, the Jealous Queen
3 Lunar Ibis
4 Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon
4 Gawain, the Knight of the Sun
3 Hector de Maris, the Acolyte of Mad Demon
2 Gareth, the Dauntless Knight
1 Bedivere, the Restorer of Souls
2 Arthur Pendragon, the King of the Round Table
4 Moonbreeze’s Memoria
6 Light Magic Stone
2 Deathscythe, the Life Reaper
1 Flame King’s Shout
1 Gareth, the Dauntless Knight
2 Tsukuyomi Noble
4 Burn to Cinders
1 Luminescent Bamboo Bullet
4 Angel of Wisdom, Cherudim
Light got a huge upgrade in The Moonlit Savior with the addition of Moonbreeze’s Memoria and its related Moon Will-fueled Awakening cards, and Blazer Knights takes full advantage of these cards.
Let’s look at them one by one.
Damage prevention and a win condition rolled into one card. We’ll be playing this with Awakening as much as possible, though playing it just for the +200/+400 can be enough to save a Resonator or trade with theirs. It turns our small threats into big ones, which can potentially end the game in a few swings thanks to…
The true wrecking ball of the block (but don’t tell anyone 😉 ), this bird opens more options for the Knights, whether it’s enabling Lancelot to shoot twice (while dealing 2000 damage), getting Gawain to Rest two potential blockers, recovering Arthur after attacking so he can use his ability on himself on the opponent’s turn, or ending the game with a couple of swings via the aforementioned Kaguya’s Premonition-powered Resonator, there’s always a use for this bird. Further testing will tell if it warrants a fourth copy, but for now, three works fine.
Luminiscent Bamboo Bullet
Knights gets a solid (though conditional) removal in this card, and is an easy two-for-one if your opponent isn’t prepared for it. Resting Resonators is easy with Gawain around. Block one Resonator, Rest another with his effect, then Bamboo them the next turn. Easy. Also a great way to deal with opposing Arthurs Pendragons.
While a bit more costly than Blessed Holy Wolf or Grand Cross, this card comes with better ATK and DEF, and the ability to shut down activated abilities of opposing Resonators comes in handy occasionally.
Angel of Wisdom, Cherudim
This is more of a metagame call. I expect to see Lancelot, Pricia, and Lucifer represented in a lot of decks in the early months of the Cluster, and Cherudim is a good way to punish strategies that rely on those three Resonators.
The rest of the cards are the familiar fare from previous sets, but for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Knights lineup, here’s a quick run-through of each card:
Perceval, the Seeker of Holy Grail gets almost any card in the deck and prevent damage to your J-Ruler of other Knights of the Round.
Guinevere, the Jealous Queen allows us to get a little more value from Resonators who are target by removal, and boost damage if necessary.
Gawain, the Knight of the Sun boosts our other Knights, and makes combat a nightmare for the opponent because he can Rest a resonator whenever he attacks or blocks.
Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon is probably the best Resonator at the moment. He’s the offensive cornerstone of the deck, and doubles as removal when paired with Hector de Maris, the Acolyte of Mad Demon.
Gareth, the Dauntless Knight can be very hard to kill in this format, as direct removal is slow (Space-Time Collapse), conditional (Luminiscent Bamboo Bullet), or expansive (Endless Night). He’s also out of range of Demonflame and Burn to Cinder. Works best after Flame King’s Shout to kill of their best Resonator while wiping off their field.
A lone copy of Bedivere, the Restorer of Souls is included as an answer to huge Resonators such as both versions of Arthur, Gwiber, Avatar Alice, and to a lesser extent, Celestial Winged Seraph, and Huanglong. A nice trick to remember is that we can pump an opposing Resonator’s ATK with Hector so that it reaches 1000 and then remove it from the game with Bedivere. Further testing will tell if a second copy of him would be needed in the sideboard.
Arthur Pendragon, King of the Round Table represents the top end of the deck, and can easily end games by himself when left unanswered. The King of the Round Table is resilient against most Fire and Darkness removal spells, and can wipe the opposing board (on the opponent’s turn, have him buff himself with his ability, this will cause him to be Rested and be forcefully attacked). Just remember to keep him safe from effects such as Soulhunt or Lucifer’s Enter ability.
Demonflame replaces Thunder as cheap, multi-purpose Removal. While it can’t be used as direct damage, its other effect of outright destroying a damaged Resonator is more relevant in a metagame that’s focused on field advantage. Consider making space for Artemis, the God’s Bow in the deck if your local metagame is super aggressive as it’s a cheap, easy way to damage attackers or blockers for Demonflame to finish them off.
Flame King’s Shout is great against Fairy decks aiming to set up their field, or Ramp decks wanting to get their huge guys as quickly as possible. Ideally, we’ll be putting Gareth into the field as part of its effect, but Hector or Lancelot works fine as well.
Deathscythe, the Life Reaper has always been the Blazer’s partner, ensuring that the opposing J-Ruler can’t save itself from being destroyed by having Imperishable. Outside of that it’s a great tool for minimizing Sylvia’s damage, and can be discarded for Guinevere’s effect and be returned to hand again later in the game.
Finally, Burn to Cinders fills in the need for more J/Resonator removal. This might be overkill considering we’re using Blazer, so feel free to replace it with your own tech.
So that’s it for Blazer Knights – an aggressive deck packed with some of the best Resonators and tools currently available. If you’re looking for a flexible, balanced deck to traverse the still-unraveling waters of the Alice Cluster, give this one a try.
If you’ve played the deck, let us know about your tweaks and games in the comments section!
Card images from the awesome db.fowtcg.us