Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant creates new opportunities for Nordic strategies and pairs beautifully with the new Alviss of the Nordic Alfarfrom Soul Fusion, and you can play the resulting Nordic engine with other themes to build a more well-rounded strategy.

Two weeks agoI covered Gullveig and briefly discussed some of the ways it might see play in the future, andMetaphys and Thunder Dragons were two of the biggest candidates. WithThunder Dragons now seeing serious competitive play I think most duelists would be rightly cautious to introduce more inconsistency and moving parts, but Metaphys have much less to lose from experimentation.

What Gullveig brings to the table is a readily-accessible banish effectthat can set up Metaphys monsters and activate Metaphys Ascension when they become stuck in the hand. Most Metaphys monsters are Level 7 and 8, and you'll often end up with them stuck in your hand if you can't find a copy of Asymmetaphys, Metaphys Factor, or resolve a Metaphys Ascension. Gullveig can banish those cards right out the hand, and while the Nordic engine isn't exactly lightweight it's a great fit for the Metaphys strategy.

DECKID= 109237 At the heart of this strategy is the banish-heavy Metaphys engine that seeks to regularly spit out high-ATK monsters and various types of card removal. Winning games by resolving Metaphys Daedalus or banishing specificcards with Metaphys Dimension is still the focus.

But this particular build is a departure from decks like Jose Villagran's Top 8 version and noticeably lacks the same stacked trap line-up. To be clear I really, really like Villagran's build and I think it's a serious low-key strategy for Regional-level competition. But I've also been itching to plug Gullveig into Metaphys and see what happens, and so far I've been satisfied with the result.

Aesir Synchros Play Offense And Defense

Gullveig's purpose in this strategy is to Summon an Aesir monster to maintain field presence and bait out your opponent to get them to spend cards and whittle down their options.

Since even the weakest Aesir has 3300 ATK they can present a real challenge for your opponent to overcome, and their built-in Special Summon effect allows for easy recovery plays when they're hit with monster removal. Gullveig further solidifies your set-up by protecting your Aesir from targeting effects, which leaves very few options for your opponent to actually get past your Synchro Monster.

The pressure a single Aesir puts on your opponent is tremendous. Their hugeATK threatens dug-in set-ups, floodgate monsters, and your opponent's LifePoints in a big way. Your opponent will need to find ways to deal with themeach and every turn, but while those Aesir are untargetable the best options – cards like Sky Striker Mecha - Widow Anchor and KnightmareCerberus – won't help. That said, Widow Anchor's devastating against anAesir if it loses Gullveig's protection. There are still plenty of ways to navigate through a set-up with Gullveig, but that's why this deck isn't built from the ground up to ride out the duel with an Aesir. Gullveig's just the first step.

If an Aesir that was Synchro Summoned is sent to the graveyard you have two options depending on your monster line-up and the cards in your graveyard:if your Aesir was destroyed by an opponent's card, you can trigger its built-in Special Summon effect to return it to the field during the EndPhase; or if your Aesir was sent to the graveyard by an opponent's card, either by destruction or after being tributed for a Kaiju, then you can activate the effect of Alviss of the Nordic Alfar toSpecial Summon another one.

Adding Alviss of the Nordic Alfar makes a huge difference in how thisengine plays out. Summoning Alviss with Gullveig sets up a second AesirSummon during your turn or your opponent's turn to continue baiting outremoval. That second Summon eats up another card or two of your opponent's and forces them to commit more cards just to reach your Life Points. That'sthe ideal scenario for a deck that's packing mass removal with MetaphysDaedalus, and if your opponents can't destroy your Aesirs you'd end upbanishing your cards anyways.

Alviss technically replaces Aesirs when they're tributed for Kaijus, but any opponent aware of Alviss' effect will simply place theirKaiju in the Main Monster Zone Gullveig's point at. It won't help you if your opponent takes control of your monster, banishes it, or bounces it offthe field either.

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On the other hand Alviss is incredibly economical: if you don't want to banish three cards with Gullveig for whatever reason you can simply banish Alviss and activate its effect after Gullveig Summons one Nordic monster.That particular play leaves you breaking even in terms of card economy but it's an infrequent occurrence. You'll need to draw both Alviss and anotherNordic monster or a Rescue Cat to pull it off.

Rescue Cat's the big playmaker here and another attempt at reducing the number of cards you need to banish with Gullveig. Again, the reason you're playing this Nordic engine with Metaphys is to take advantage of the Gullveig's banish effect, but you're going to have hands from time to time where you won't want to banish three cards. Banishing two cards, or perhaps none at all, will be preferable in certain situations. As always you canchoose to banish three Metaphys cards even when you draw Rescue Cat orAlviss.

Summoning an extra monster with Rescue Cat means we can skip banishing onecard when Gullveig resolves. More importantly it's the best Normal Summonin the deck not just because of Gullveig, but also Leviair the Sea Dragon.Two Level 3 Nordic Beasts form an easy Rank 3 with the potential to SpecialSummon a banished copy of Metaphys Ragnarok. It's a solid play with theright set-up and adds flexibility to Rescue Cat beyond simply Summoning anAesir.

Metaphys Pave The Way To Victory
While your opponent's finding ways to deal with repeat Aesir Summons you'llbe busy working the Metaphys engine in the background. Gullveig kickstartsthe Metaphys engine and can trigger multiple search effects and Metaphys Dimension early in the duel. It also quickly sets up another layer of defense with Metaphys Decoy Dragon – an insurance policy against WidowAnchor that can drop a Metaphys Daedalus on the field during youropponent's Battle Phase. As if burning monster removal on Aesirs wasn't enough there's the added threat of Metaphys Decoy Dragon and Daedalus banishing all Special Summoned monsters too.

Scoring direct attacks with Metaphys Ragnarok's a lot easier when you'reconsistently baiting out removal and destroying threatening monsters withAesirs. Triggering Ragnarok on turns where you didn't activate Gullveig ishuge – a free Metaphys from the deck can often end games or banish ahandful of cards. Paired with ATK-reducing cards like Asymmetaphys thereare plenty of opportunities to swing the duel in your favor by dealingdamage with Ragnarok.

Leviair's another excellent way to surprise your opponent by returning abanished Ragnarok to the field, and the combined attack of Ragnarok,Leviair, and a Metaphys Tyrant Dragon will leave your opponent at 3300 LifePoints at a minimum. They'll take more damage if Ragnarok banishes Metaphys cards when it's Summoned. That puts your opponent in striking range of any Aesir monster.

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The additions of Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos clash with theSpecial Summon effects of Aesir monsters and Alviss of the Nordic Alfar,but they're too strong this format to pass up. You can still Synchro SummonAesirs through Gullveig, and that's more than enough reason to play bothfloodgates. They're tremendously helpful to the Metaphys engine and MacroCosmos alone can win some match-ups if your opponent doesn't draw an out.Sky Strikers are particularly vulnerable to cards that blanket banish theirspells.

Nordic Metaphys is one of the most fun decks I've played this year, and therecent addition of Alviss has given the deck just enough of an edge to makeit a serious contender beyond the local level. Metaphys themselves areactually fantastic right now, and there's a seemingly endless stream of newcards for them to experiment with. Diana the Light Spirit was also justreleased in Soul Fusion, and next year Savage Strike willintroducea new banish-from-deck effect attached to a Level 4 monster.

If you're looking to try the new Nordic cards, or you want to channel a bitof 5D's era anime-action here in 2018, then Nordic Metaphys is the deck foryou. It's significantly more accessible than Thunder Dragon variants, andshockingly budget depending on your Extra Deck choices. There's areplacement for just about everything in the Main or Extra Deck that I'veincluded here, and I wouldn't be surprised if you could build this deck foronly slightly more than the cost of two Gullveigs and a couple of Aesirs.

Until next time then

-Kelly