The Mekk-Knight Invoked strategy was one of the most interestinginnovations of 2018.

The deck had numerous synergies beyond the obvious pairing of a Light themewith the Invoked engine. Tossing just any Light theme into an Invoked buildworks in the same sense that a highly tuned racecar will drive regardless of the brand of tires, sure. But Mekk-Knights area top choice in the same way high-performance racing tires are must-havesfor race cars: they let the Invoked deck succeed at the highest competitivelevels.

There's a new tech engine gaining steam among communities of Invokedplayers, and it leverages a set of relatively new cards to cover theweaknesses of existing Mekk-Knight Invoked decks. Christopher Kelly madethe Top 16 of the ARG Circuit Series in Orlando with an innovative hybridof Mekk-Knight, Invoked, and Danger! Monsters.

It's a fresh take on a well-established strategy that takes advantage of atrend we've seen quite a bit since Soul Fusion. Danger! monstersare being shoehorned into just about every theme possible these days, butKelly's build is a particularly great example of where Dangers work best.

Upgrading Invoked With Danger!
Invoked are one of the best tempo-focused engines in the game, but latelythe deck's been outpaced by Sky Strikers and Altergeists. It's worthquestioning whether the deck has serious competitive prospects given itsshocking absence fromour deck archive.

With only two lists cataloged in the last three months it's clear thatplayers have largely given up on Invoked as a serious competitive strategy.Of course, that doesn't mean the deck is unplayable. Our deck archive onlytracks Top 8 finishes when we're looking at Regionals, so there could bedozens of Invoked players who missed the Top 8 but scored their invite tothe World Championship Qualifier.

It's ostensibly true that players have abandoned Invoked in favor of otherstrategies, and I think that's why it's so important to highlightChristopher Kelly's build. It's not a massive departure from traditionalMekk-Knight Invoked builds, but the addition of Dangers makes a hugedifference in the deck's ability to commit monsters to the board, findresources, and bait out interruption before Summoning Invoked FusionMonsters.

DECKID=109439Let's start with the obvious: Kelly's build is a little inflated by thesheer number of themes he played, and at 46 cards his Main Deck's wanderingclose to serious consistency issues. Luckily both the Invoked andMekk-Knight engines don't particularly care about deck size–drawing into asingle copy of Magical Meltdown, Terraforming, or Aleister the Invoker isenough to get the ball rolling. Once Aleister successfully resolves there'sno need to go digging back through the deck to find more copies. Theself-contained cycle of Aleister and Invocation makes the deck countirrelevant provided a hand trap doesn't interrupt Aleister's search effect.

Mekk-Knights are equally capable. Drawing into a Mekk-Knight PurpleNightfall or Mekk-Knight Blue Sky ultimately gets you to every otherMekk-Knight in the Main Deck. World Legacy's Memory also starts the engineby Summoning Purple Nightfall from the deck, and Mekk-Knight of the MorningStar can search Memory if there's a World Legacy or Mekk-Knight on-hand.For Kelly this meant he could afford to expand his Main Deck to fit a thirdengine without giving up his tech choices.

That third engine was, of course, Danger. Adding an additional ten monsterson top of a large number of hand traps meant the Danger! side of thestrategy needed to operate independently. Luckily Dangers themselves needlittle help in activating their effects. Discard outlets are nice to have,but Dangers have a built-in way to activate their own on-discard effects.

The Danger engine isn't quite the endless stream of cards that the Invokedand Mekk-Knight engines are, so it's arguably the most fragile of thethree. It also relies on a bit of luck: there are times when you'll want todiscard a Danger! but end up Summoning it instead.

All that aside, the Dangers advanced Kelly's strategy by acting asmaterials for Link and Fusion Summons and they contributed a variety ofutility effects. Free Summons are almost always useful in some way, and theDangers in Kelly's deck were easily put towards Link Summons first.Aleister the Invoker of Madness requires two monsters with different Typesand Attributes, so the varied Types of Danger! monsters have an excellentsynergy with the Light, Psychic-Type Mekk-Knight. They also helped toSummon Mekk-Knight of the Morning Star by tagging along with a Mekk-Knightmonster.

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The Dark Attribute of the Danger! monsters didn't do Kelly any favors forSummoning his Invoked Fusions. It was probably a non-issue given his handtrap count and the Mekk-Knight engine: there were more than enough Lightand Fire monsters to Summon Invoked Mechaba and Invoked Purgatrio withoutrelying on his opponent's cards.

The relatively high ATK of Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall is part of whatmakes the Mekk-Knight engine so appealing as a compliment to the Invokeddeck, and Danger! Bigfoot!, Danger! Thunderbird!, and Danger! Dogman! Areall worth playing for largely the same reason. Easy access to moreaggressive monsters is a key selling point of the Danger! engine, but theremoval effects of Bigfoot and Thunderbird were probably more important forKelly. The Invoked theme is short on removal effects, and Mekk-Knights havea hard time setting up the conditions to trigger their own problem solvingtricks.

More Synergies With Mekk-Knights
The interactions between Mekk-Knights and Dangers are surprisingly strong.There are plenty of free Special Summons between the two themes andnumerous opportunities to leverage the World Legacy cards. Kelly's buildleaned into the Mekk-Knight engine and included World Legacy's Secret: asearchable trap that could Special Summon his Mekk-Knights, InvokedFusions, or Dangers while also negating monster effects in specificcolumns. World Legacy's Secret simply has more targets in Kelly's build,and the same can be said for World Legacy Succession.

World Legacy's Memory would stop Kelly from Summoning non-Mekk-Knightmonsters for the remainder of the turn, but he could easily activate hisDanger! monsters and Summon his Fusions before that point. This let him usehis Dangers to reach Morning Star before using Morning Star's effect tosearch Memory and ultimately Summon a copy of Purple Nightfall. RapidlySummoning Morning Star made the World Legacy's Secret and Mekk-KnightIndigo Eclipse combo happen more often on the first turn, and that'swithout using a Normal Summon. With two potential negations of on-fieldmonsters and a possible Invoked Mechaba Kelly would often have anextremely strong Turn 1.

Kelly's build was well-suited to playing second in the duel. Mekk-Knightsalready want to play second, and his sided copies of Ghost Reaper &Winter Cherries, Book of Eclipse, Called by the Grave, Twin Twisters, andDinowrestler Pankratops were all chosen to give him a fighting chanceagainst his opponent's established boards and early game disruption. Withexcellent going-first end boards and dozens of tools to push through andbreak set-ups Kelly could control the duel no matter how the dice rollwent.

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It's hard to overlook just how powerful Mind Control is this format. It'sexceptionally strong in Mekk-Knights thanks to the themed Link Monster'spartially generic requirements. Almost any opposing monster can be sentaway to Summon Morning Star, and Aleister the Invoker of Madness alsobenefits from a full set of Mind Control.

Like many other duelists Kelly was playing Mind Control as a form ofmonster removal, and that's hardly surprising given that the deck's worstmatch-up runs a boss monster that can be targeted and affected by spells.At this point Mind Control is an answer to Thunder Dragon Colossus first,and a high utility spell with monster removal applications second.

Dangers were the difference maker for Christopher Kelly at the ARGCS, butthey're not necessarily the best option. Deck builders experimenting withthe Invoked engine will probably stick to Mekk-Knights for the time being,although Dangers are a bit more contentious. The Dark Attribute of theDanger themed, and its difficulty building up card advantage, are offset bythe combination of Mekk-Knights and Invoked. It's probably not possible atthis point to make an effective Invoked Danger! hybrid withoutMekk-Knights, but there may actually be some merit in discussing aMekk-Knight Danger! hybrid at some point.

I'm a big fan of Kelly's build and it's exciting to see Invoked findingsuccess by taking a slightly different direction. His victory should bringattention back to all three themes–and with more World Legacy and Danger!cards on the way this strategy has the potential to grow into an evenfiercer competitor.

Until next time then

-Kelly


Kelly​​​ ​​​Locke​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​a​​​ ​​​West​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​​​​gamer and writer. In​​​ ​​​addition​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​writing​​​ ​​​onTCGplayer,​​​ ​​​Kelly​​​ ​​​writes​​​ a ​​​​​​personal​​​ ​​​blog​​​​​​ ​​​covering​​​ ​​​Yu-Gi-Oh!,​​​ ​​​Destiny,​​​ ​​​and​​​​​​other​​​ ​​​hobbies. You​​​ ​​​can follow​​​ ​​​him​​​ ​​​on​​​​​​​​​Twitter​​​​​​​​​and​​​ ​​​check​​​ ​​​out​​​ ​​​his​​​ ​​​​​​Youtube​​​ ​​​channel​​​. He​​​ ​​​also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.