Despiteit's relatively underwhelming performance on the secondary market compared to sets prior, Secrets of Eternity has been quite the set for me and what I do here at TCGplayer. I've been swamped the past few weeks updating different strategies to get them up to speed. Why? Because Konami has been releasing some hella good legacy support lately!

Last week was a double-header in my neck of the woods. I proposed a new, streamlined version of Zombies with the incredible Unizombie at the helm and I also discussed Rock Stun for the first time in over two years thanks to the new dimension Koa'ki Meiru Overload adds to the strategy. It's been absolutely exciting around here.

Today, I'm going to keep the momentum going by talking about Monarchs for the second time in less than a month – just like I did with Zombies. Believe it or not, Monarchs didn't sit so high on my priority list when SECE firstdropped but you guys absolutely demanded it in the comments section of that last article. This may very well be the first time over the course of my writing career that I've done something sheerly on the grounds of popular demand, and to be quite frank, I'm crazy excited about the results. I think you will be too.

With A Little Tenacity…
What I didn't expect, was how big of a change one little card could bring. You'd think after doing this job for as long as I have, that I'd be fully accustomed to the potential radical impact one single card can have, but the game still manages to surprise me. Tenacity of the Monarchs has radically changed what the deck looks like today in comparison to where it was last month. It almost begs the question: why?

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Legacy support – and more specifically search spells – are released at a consistent rate nowadays, so what makes this one so earth shattering? Well, much like Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru before it, Tenacity of the Monarchs is so well suited to its theme that it ends up filling a much larger role than a deck thinner. What the Monarchs needed most was something to sift through all of its various spell and traps cards, and Tenacity does just that.

The brilliance of Tenacity of the Monarchs comes in how it affords you greater options with all of The Tricky Monarch support. In a way, it fixes the numbers. The peculiar challenge that comes with Monarch support is that most of the cards are highly dependent on combos and as a result, they're completely useless on their own. That means that dead draws are a very real struggle. So traditionally, in the past, the answer has always been to just avoid those cards because the risks far outweighed the rewards.

While I wasn't always convinced that forgoing those cards completely was the best solution myself, no better answer was making itself apparent. Tenacity of the Monarchs completely fixes that. If you can search out those powerhouse cards at will, you don't have to run as many copies to begin with. What you get in the end is access to the cards you want to see without the fear of bricking in the late game. It's a perfect storm of Monarch majesty!

Now that you've got an idea of where I'm going with this, give the deck list a look and I'll give you the run down.

DECKID=101675So this deck is kind of a halfway point between a more traditional Monarch variant and the Tribute Stun deck that was conductor of the hype-train last autumn. Just like the last time I visited the Monarch theme, there's no Extra Deck to be found anywhere, but also like last time you won't really need it. As you were scrolling through, I'm sure you also realized the moment you saw Majesty's Fiend and Vanity's Emptiness that this is NOT a budget article. Akin to the Monarch piece earlier this month, consider this one a change of pace.

So let's talk about these power cards that were almost unplayable before. The big culprit in that category is March of the Monarchs. It's a continuous spell that makes your Tribute Summoned monsters impervious to targeting and destruction by card effects. As you can see, it's an incredibly synergistic card and not something that you want to see in the late game – especially if your field isn't set up. Before Tenacity of the Monarchs, it was kind of an all or nothing sort of card: run three to get to it quick enough for it to be effective or run no copies to avoid brickage. The choice was yours. Now, Tenacity of the Monarchs grabs it as needed.

The other Monarch spell and trap cards carry a bit more weight with their capabilities and as a result, they've never quite been all or nothing cards like March of the Monarchs. Return of the Monarchs is a pivotal, powerhouse card in this deck and Tenacity of the Monarchs makes it so much better than it was before because, like March of the Monarchs, Return was just way too cloggy at three copies. You always want to see it first turn, but even if you did, it seemed like it would rear its ugly head when you didn't want it late game. Two is the happy medium and with Tenacity making it a potential five copies without drawbacks, it's a far happier medium than it was before.

Guerilla Warfare
Tenacity also searches out what has quickly become one of my favorite cards in the deck as well: Escalation of the Monarchs. In the same boat as Return and March, Escalation of the Monarchs works best at two copies in the deck. What makes it so much fun is how it pairs with The Monarchs Stormforth. In a similar fashion to the Ghostrick monsters in my Monarch build previous build, Stormforth allows you to wreck your opponent's field on their turn without much in the way of a warning. Key to this is Stormforth's being a quick-play spell, and since it doesn't specify whose turn it has to be played on, your opponent's turn is just as good as yours.

Let's say you're playing Burning Abyss and your opponent has Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss on their field, okay? The moment you activate The Monarchs Stormforth, your opponent's monsters are immediately transported out of the Burning Abyss and into the danger zone. Once you activate Escalation's effect you can tribute off one of your opponent's monsters and then, say, banish the other with Caius the Shadow Monarch. If you chain your cards appropriately, you can even play out this same scenario off of a Tour Guide Summon and cut the transaction short. Your options are plentiful.

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Let's say you don't have an empty field, but you instead have one of your Monarchs on board already. This is where the Mega Monarchs really shine. If you were in the Tour Guide scenario, you could Tribute Summon Caius the Mega Monarch using your onboard Caius the Shadow Monarch and then – boom – banish every copy of Tour Guide From the Underworld and whatever Burning Abyss monster they Special Summoned with it. In that same scenario, you could swap out the Caiuses for your Raizas and get a similar result. It's this sort of guerilla tactic that makes for bombastic plays and sudden comebacks.

Or, you could just Summon Majesty's Fiend and proceed to win the game, because monsters can be unfair floodgates too, right?

The Motivation Of The Monarchs
This strategy really could be a strong contender moving forward. The lack of traps plays favorably into a lot of trends right now as does its nil reliance on Special Summoning. With that said, we're too early into the life cycle of Secrets of Eternity to make a definitive call one way or another. Nekroz and Infernoids are lurking on the sidelines and everybody's waiting to see what sort of impact they'll have on the way this game is played.

Regardless, I'd still give this deck a shot if I were you. It plays strangely and that may be its greatest advantage. You're only going to play a few cards each turn but each will carry some heavy repercussions. What can you say? Them Monarchs still got it!

-Zach Buckley
Team Nofatchx