SPYRALs exploded onto the competitive scene just a few months later, andGoukis followed suit in 2018 as the definitive Link-centric strategies ofthe early VRAINS era. World Chalice was quickly left behind as otherstrategies proved to be more consistent and better equipped to play throughdisruption. Success stories from World Chalice players have been few andfar between, but the deck has shown up occasionally. Unfortunately2019's been particularly bad for World Chalice, even as Ib the WorldChalice Justiciar sees play in various strategies.
Last weekend Las Kadr made Day 2 at YCS London with World Chalice, but hewasn't quite able to break the deck's streak of missing Top Cuts. I don'tlike to dismiss decks out of hand following an excellent run at aChampionship-level event for the same reasons I think we should spend moretime looking at Regional Top 16s, and even Top 32s at larger events. Thereare so many tech choices, unique builds, and meta-breaking strategieshidden just below the Top Cut at any event, and YCS London was noexception. Las Kadr wasn't alone: Dino Shaddolls, Subterrors, and a DangerLunalight hybrid narrowly missed the Top 32.
Kadr's build of World Chalice runs plenty of familiar cards likeGuardragons and Dangers, but its combos and end field are much more uniquethan your typical Dragon Link decks. World Chalice also offered Kadr achance to leverage tools that other Dragon Link players didn't have accessto. All of those advantages came at the low cost of playing a mere sevenMain Deck World Chalice monsters, and those cards gave Kadr access tospecific World Chalice Link Monsters and an easier path to Ib the WorldChalice Justiciar.
DECKID= 110172 Remember World Chalice Guardragon? That adorable green Dragon fromCode of the Duelist that's had a dozen or so incarnations since itsdebut? It's shown up in Dragon Link strategies here and there as a way toSpecial Summon Galaxy Serpent or another Normal Monster from the graveyard,but it's more than just an extender.
World Chalice Guardragon's also a hand trap, and while that's something youwon't often see other decks use, it's hugely relevant here considering therest of Kadr's monster line-up. Kadr was playing two other World Chalicemonsters that either added Guardragon to his hand, or Special Summoned itto his field. Both effects helped him get to Guardragon early in the duel,and it made all the difference in his ability to play through disruption.
World Chalice Guardragon's negation effect helped Kadr bypass hand trapsand other Quick Effects that targeted his Linked monsters. While it's notquite as capable as Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay, it's still an impressivecounter to Infinite Impermanence or Effect Veiler. In his deck profile Kadrmentioned negating a Sky Striker Mecha - Widow Anchor at the YCS, and youcan almost imagine the incredulous look on his opponent's face when theironly copy of Widow Anchor was stopped by a Level 1 monster.
Kadr was removing his opponent's only counters to his plays whilesimultaneously setting up Guardragon's graveyard effect. He could use botheffects of Guardragon on the same turn, but its negation effect isn't evenlimited to once per turn. Theoretically he could negate three or moretargeting effects if he continuously recycled Guardragon.
That said, World Legacy Guardragon's contribution to Kadr's build is stilllargely based around its typing and Special Summon effect. The ability tonegate cards that target Linked monsters is nice, but a standalone Link orSynchro is still vulnerable. It's a definite plus for the World Chaliceengine though, and there are a couple more of those we should talk about.
First, World Legacy - "World Chalice" is a fantastic card that's made evenbetter by the sheer number of Special Summons Kadr managed to cram into thedeck. Of course the traditional combo using Imduk the World Chalice Dragonto pick up an extra Normal Summon still works, and finding a way to includeImduk in broader combo was a priority for Kadr. Otherwise, simply TributeSummoning World Chalice using a Defrag Dragon or Danger! would set thefield for his full combo.
The availability of World Legacy - "World Chalice" gave Kadr another toolto counter his opponent's plays. Even a Special Summoned World Chalice cansend an Extra Deck monster Straight to the Graveyard immediately after it'sSummoned, so Kadr could build defensive set-ups to stall for time bySpecial Summoning it early.
That often happens as a byproduct of World Chalice combos, especially sincethe World Chalice Link Monsters can Special Summon a themed from the hand.We've seen this tactic used before in Orcust Guardragon variants from twoformats ago, but it's even more consistent in Kadr's larger World Chaliceline-up.
A Different Kind Of Win Condition
Kadr's win condition unfolded shortly after he Synchro Summoned Ib theWorld Chalice Justiciar. Mathematician and Draconnet were both one-cardLevel 5 Synchro Summons thanks to Galaxy Serpent and Carboneddon, and Ibcan also treat Chosen by the World Chalice as a Tuner for its Summon.
Kadr could also use Dinowrestler Coelasilat as a Tuner, and he playedFossil Dig specifically to search it. Pairing Coelasilat with a Level 3monster – a negated Mathematician or Draconnet works fine – made for quickLevel 5 Synchros that often didn't use his Normal Summon. Coelasilat helpedhim push through interruption and make the most of his Danger monsters whenhe didn't have immediate access to World Legacy - "World Chalice", and italso acted as tribute fodder in addition to his Dangers.
Kadr was set on reaching his Level 5 Synchro Summon regardless of hisopponent's actions. His copies of Defrag Dragon, Destrudo the Lost Dragon'sFrisson, and Unexpected Dai were all largely in service of reaching thatinitial Synchro. Ib itself typically searches World Legacy Guardragon, butits second effect is much more relevant given Kadr's World Chalice line-up.Sending Ib to the graveyard for a Link Summon would let him Summon a WorldChalice monster from the deck, and Lee the World Chalice Fairy was likelyhis top choice. His plays would quickly start to branch off at that point,but ideally he'd attempt to resolve World Chalice at some point aftersearching it with Lee's effect.
In his deck profile Kadr discusses Summoning Apollousa, Bow of the Goddessbefore beginning his Guardragon combos. He was betting on a trend we'veseen many players take advantage of already: duelists are holding theirhand traps to negate Guardragons. Kadr could build up his field and SummonApollousa without a single hand trap hitting the field, or convert his Link4 play into a Guardragon combo if his opponent fired off their interruptionearly. World Chalice Guardragon's so readily searchable that any WorldChalice combo can quickly transform into a Guardragon combo.
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Resolving Guardragon Elpy typically leads to bigger Link plays, but Kadrhad different goals in mind. The latest World Chalice combos take advantageof Omni Dragon Brotaur's ability to search any monster as long as it cantarget a monster on the field with the same Type and Attribute. SpecialSummoning Brotaur with Elpy, Pisty, Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon, or WorldLegacy Guardragon while Lee the World Chalice Fairy was on the field letKadr search Archlord Kristya – a vital piece of his ideal final board.Kristya's easily Special Summoned by Saryuja Skull Dread in exactly thesame way as Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju used to be in older WorldChalice variants. Its floodgate effect wasn't just used in Kadr's build atYCS London: it also appeared ina Lunalight/Danger hybridthat narrowly missed the Top Cut.
Archlord Kristya's stopping power is complemented by the direct negation ofApollousa and Gameciel, and it illustrates the continued power of theGuardragon engine even without Guardragon Agarpain. Players have had tofind new ways to end their Guardragon combos, and for Kadr the solution wasobvious: use Omni Dragon Brotaur to search Archlord Kristya. It's a playthat can absolutely win the game on its own since so many decks need toSpecial Summon to remove monsters. Super Polymerization and DinowrestlerPankratops are totally useless against Kristya, which leaves largelyunsearchable outs to a card that at least two Day 2 strategies wereconsistently fielding on Turn 1.
I think World Chalice decks have a lot more potential this format thantheir popularity – or lack thereof – would lead you to believe. I wouldn'tgo so far as to say the deck is underrated, but I do think it's positionedwell to take advantage of some of the changes on the last two Forbidden& Limited Lists. The deck's final boards have always been about loadingup with disruption effects attached to Main Deck monsters, and Agarpain'sban doesn't change that. Whether we see more players pick up World Chaliceor not I think Archlord Kristya looks like it's here to stay, and I can'thelp but wonder if that means Vanity's Fiend is also poised for a return.
Until next time then
Kelly Locke is a West Michigangamer and writer. You can follow him on Twitter for more updates and check out his Youtube channel. He also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.