Kozmo Tincan's so good.

The future of Kozmos is an interesting topic. With the Master of Pendulum Structure Deck now released and Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer seemingly confirmed for Breakers of Shadow, there's no shortage of players willing to write the deck off entirely – there was already a vocal group that didn't feel the deck was very good right now, despite its huge showings in Regional Qualifiers and the fact that it took six of the Top 8 seats at YCS Sao Paulo.

The upcoming Kozmo cards from BOSH revolve around a new aspect of the strategy, capitalizing on mechanics that send and retrieve Kozmos from the graveyard – it's an unproven concept that might wind up being too clunky, especially as Kozmo duelists swerve toward Offerings to the Doomed and Kozmotown-destroying Mystical Space Typhoons to make the strategy even faster. The fact that the new heavy-hitter, Kozmo Dark Eclipser, doesn't replace itself with a Special Summon isn't helping the new stuff's reputation either.

So on one hand, there's a whole bunch of new Kozmo cards that may not be headed in the right direction, for a deck that might be irrelevant by the time the cards arrive.

On the other hand, Kozmo Tincan's so good.

So Very, Very Good
I'm going to state that I'm in the "uncool" camp that doesn't think Kozmos are bad right now. With the deck putting in such ludicrously consistent results in big events all over the world, I think it's kind of ridiculous to downplay it, and while the deck may see less success now that Master of Pendulum is out, very few players who invested in a full Kozmo deck are going to do a 180 and make the leap to Pendulum variants. Once Breakers of Shadow hits with Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer and Cyber Dragon Infinity, the Performage Performapal deck may be more appealing – enough to garner a serious number of converts. But at the same time, a lot of Kozmo players may just buy into the deck's new upgrades and continue on.

And while you can debate the worth of Dark Eclipser and some of the other new entries, Kozmo Tincan seems beyond reproach. If you haven't seen it yet or you need a refresher… or if I couldn't get the web guys to post its image… here's what it does:

Kozmo Tincan
Level 1 / Psychic
0 ATK / 0 DEF
During either player's turn: You can banish this card; Special Summon 1 Level 2 or higher "Kozmo" monster from your hand. You can only use this effect of "Kozmo Tincan" once per turn. Once per turn, during the End Phase: You can pay 500 LP; reveal 3 "Kozmo" cards with different names from your Deck, your opponent randomly picks 1 for you to add to your hand, and you send the rest to the Graveyard.

The links to the new mechanics are pretty clear here: Kozmo Tincan's effect can load two Kozmo cards from your deck to your graveyard every time it resolves. You can then banish Kozmo monsters from your graveyard to negate trap cards with Kozmo Dark Eclipser, or revive Kozmo Psychics one by one for 1000 LP each with Kozmo Soartroopers. Since Kozmo Tincan has 0 ATK and DEF, you can either banish it when it comes under fire to Special Summon a bigger Kozmo from your hand, or destroy it for the new Kozmojo, banishing an opposing card and setting you up to reuse Tincan with Soartroopers.

And that's all well and good, but those are cards that might not wind up being relevant. Kozmo Tincan's real strength lies in the fact that it plays so well with the current Kozmo gameplan, speeding up a strategy that just gets faster and faster. One of Tincan's greatest strengths is that it borrows a hallmark of one of the most underplayed Kozmo cards we have today: Kozmo DOG Fighter.

Quicker Than It Looks On Those Derpy Little Wheels
The current Kozmo deck's largely looking to put together three-card OTK's. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can check out a recap of those plays in my previous Competitive Corner, but the gist is that you're usually looking for combinations of three cards: generally Kozmo Farmgirl; a spaceship; and either Offerings to the Doomed, Kozmo Goodwitch, or Kozmoll Wickedwitch. Any of those combinations can lead to 8000+ damage against a cleared field – Emergency Teleport can stand in for Farmgirl, and popping your own Kozmotown with something like Mystical Space Typhoon turns it into a sort of wild card since it searches whatever you're missing.

That wildcard value with Mystical Space Typhoon has garnered more attention over the past couple of weeks. The current Kozmo decks largely try to stave off opposing Pendulum Summons with Time-Space Trap Hole and Storming Mirror Force until they can make a win, buying time with plays that often secure you an extra turn and a clear field instead of card advantage. Offerings and Mystical Space Typhoon tackle the problem from another angle; instead of buying you more time, they give you more ways to draw your combo.

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Kozmo Tincan plays to the same angle, giving you more ways to find the cards you need. If you have Kozmo Farmgirl and Offerings to the Doomed or a 'witch card, you just pluck Kozmo Dark Destroyer, Kozmo Forerunner, and Kozmo Sliprider from your deck and whichever one your opponent gives you, you'll have what you need. If you're looking for a 'witch, you can select Goodwitch and Wickedwitch and then pick a third random card of your choice for a 2-in-3 chance at completing your combo; Farmgirl's never a bad third choice, and Dark Destroyer can be a strong backup to help tenderize your opponent's field.

Making those plays in sequence can land you with two thirds of your combo in one turn, because while Tincan has no stats to speak of, you can activate its ability in every End Phase – yours and your opponent's – just like how DOG Fighter's effect works in every Standby. Keeping Tincan on the field isn't easy since the smallest monster can pick it off. And while you can bump away an entire Pendulum Summon with Time-Space Trap Hole, even a single Normal Summon's enough to threaten Tincan. That said, Summoning Tincan and resolving its effect just once delivers an immediate plus, and if your opponent attacks and destroys it you've still made an even trade for a combo piece. If you banish Tincan to Special Summon something big and keep your field presence, that's an even trade too. And if it does somehow stay on the field for one turn, it's a +2 that feeds a potential OTK when your next turn comes around.

Since Kozmo decks are already running Storming Mirror Force, that's not just a pipedream: one Storming can clear the field and ensure that you get your second search, often stealing you the win unless your opponent has an answer. If they do, it hardly matters in terms of card economy – you got two of your three combo pieces for free anyways. And since Tincan's a Psychic Kozmo that you can banish to Special Summon a bigger Kozmo from your hand, it actually advances your OTK plays in a third respect as well.

As a Level 3 or lower Psychic you can even Special Summon Kozmo Tincan with Emergency Teleport. Doing so cuts you off from optimal Tincan plays since Teleport can banish Tincan in the End Phase, but the good news is that you can Teleport for Tincan, move to your End Phase, activate and resolve Tincan's three-cards-from-the-deck effect, and then banish Tincan to Special Summon another Kozmo from your hand before that happens. If you grab three spaceships that's going to be a 1-for-1 play into a Sliprider, Forerunner, or Dark Destroyer. Two of those cards deliver instant pluses, and all three can pressure your opponent and clog the field.

While that's a suboptimal play compared to other things Tincan can do, it's a more than viable defense when you open with a brick hand and nothing else can give you momentum. It also delivers a big monster with better card economy than Farmgirl could, on any turn where attacking isn't possible.

Kozmo Tincan's really good with the new Kozmo cards, but even if they don't wind up seeing play it has huge potential in the Kozmo decks of today. Normal Summoning this thing and then setting Storming Mirror Force is a fearsome Turn 1 that forces opponents to attack, then delivers a ridiculous chance at a win on Turn 2. If Storming Mirror Force isn't a three-of for Kozmos already, Breakers of Shadow seems likely to get it there.

Also it's R2-D2, and that's adorable.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer