A confession, if you will? I take every new card the game gets with a grain of salt. Sure, I'm excited to have fresh blood pumped and new cards to write about, but in all reality, with any given set I only get access to two thirds of those available cards.

For three years now, I've been the go-to budget guy here on TCGplayer and it's a role I take to heart with an unnecessary sincerity. Nobody will deny that to fully enjoy this game you're going to need some capital – just like any other hobby – but I've always refused to believe that you need the kind of capital that it takes to build a brand-spanking new meta deck to have a good time and be competitive.

However, every great once in a while even I throw my lot in with the big spenders and advocate a new deck that's topping the sales charts. Sometimes you're so moved by a new theme that you find yourself captivated by it. Well, with the new Kozmo cards I have been absolutely captivated.

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Just looking at them, can you really be all that surprised? I mean, c'mon, the Kozmo theme's the love child of The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. Glinda the Good Witch is Qui-Gon Jinn, and Dorothy's recast as Luke Skywalker. Kozmo Forerunner's the Millennium Falcon and Sliprider is an X-Wing Fighter. All of it's so insanely cool.

I'm an unabashed Star Wars fan – as I'm sure that many of you are as well – and to see that the minds at Konami have found a way to incorporate our favorite franchise into our favorite game is just spectacular.

There's No Place Like The Removed From Play Zone, There's No Pla…
All of my passion for this new theme would fall flat if it couldn't deliver on the gameplay front. But if initial card prices are any indicator of competitive merit, then this deck undoubtedly delivers. Of course, aside from just the hype machine the whole reason why I'm writing this is because the deck's gathering accolades in real-world showings. Jeff Jones and his people swept an ARG Case Tournament this past weekend with Kozmos, making players everywhere well aware of the theme's strength. While many duelists – including Jeff himself – have postulated that much of the deck's success was due to surprise factor, I think this past weekend was just a preview of what's to come.

The best way I can describe the deck to you is to imagine a mash-up of Fire Kings and Ultimate Athletes. If you can do that, then you're halfway to understanding the basic gist of Kozmos. What you've got is two smaller monsters, Kozmo Goodwitch and Kozmo Farmgirl; that can swap themselves out at almost any moment for two larger monsters, Kozmo Sliprider and Kozmo Forerunner, from your hand. Those monsters then immediately Special Summon the smaller Kozmo monsters from your deck the moment they're destroyed.

So essentially Konami's taken the best ideas from Fire Kings and U.A. and wrapped them into a far slicker package. It's a clever idea, undoubtedly. Let's take a minute and go over the deck first, then we'll talk about the Kozmo monsters individually…

DECKID=103341And, of course, aside from those very basic descriptions, each monster has more going on for it. Kozmo Farmgirl's sort of the crux of the entire strategy as it stands. It's a1500 ATK Level 3 Light Psychic that can search any Kozmo card from your deck when it deals battle damage to your opponent. In many ways, it reminds me of Atlantean Marksman: it's small, it's got a great effect, and it can cause the game to spin out of control for your opponent.

By now you may know that I love Atlanteans, so finding some corollary between the two strategies may be a big reason why I love this deck so much. But what Farmgirl has going for it over Marksman is a lot of support that helps ensure you'll score the damage you need. Being a Level 3 Psychic means that Farmgirl works with Emergency Teleport, letting you drop it on your opponent when they aren't expecting it. But the fact that it's a Light monster also means that you can use it in conjunction with Honest to get over pretty much anything.

Juragedo's profile has been raised as a result of its involvement in this deck as well. I've been preaching for months that this card was going to blow up at some point and, well, here we are. It's now hit the $20 mark, putting it out of the question for my budget column.

Juragedo has three really important uses in this deck. First off, it boosts anything by 1000 ATK, most importantly Farmgirl – it's way easier to deal damage with that card when it's got 2500 ATK. Secondly, the 1000 LP you gain every time it hits the field is a welcome offset to the cost of Kozmotown's recursion effect. Most importantly, it's your out to Apoqliphort Towers when coupled with Kozmo Goodwitch because it gives you access to Rank 4's and Number 52: Diamond Crab King. Towers can be a big threat to this deck if not dealt with properly.

Kozmo Goodwitch is almost unreasonably good on its own. To start off, it's an 1800 ATK Level 4 beater. That's enough to get Goodwitch in the door, but aside from that and the similar banishing effect it shares with Farmgirl, it's also a once-per-turn Book of Moon for just a measly 500 LP. That's insanely useful when you're trying to handle your opponent's bigger threats. Goodwitch can clear the field so that your boss monsters can start swinging.

"You Came In That Thing? You're Braver Than I Thought!"
Kozmo Forerunner and Kozmo Sliprider are your two boss monsters. It would probably be safe to consider Sliprider the underboss and Forerunner the overlord, though. Both monsters are remarkably useful – regardless of titles. Let's start with Sliprider.

Clocking in at 2300 ATK, Kozmo Sliprider's a Level 5 Machine that pops a spell or trap on the field whenever it's Normal or Special Summoned. Its Light attribute means that it can also take full advantage of Honest as well. It shares an effect with Forerunner that lets you banish it to Special Summon a smaller Kozmo monster from your deck when it's destroyed and sent to the graveyard.

Kozmo Forerunner's the big problem for your opponent. It's a 2800 ATK behemoth that can't be targeted by your opponent's card effects. When it's destroyed, it will also Special Summon a Kozmo smaller than itself for your opponent to deal with, and since Forerunner's Level 7 it can Special Summon Sliprider at Level 5 to destroy a spell or trap in the process and swing the exchange of card economy.


But getting over either of those monsters can be difficult for your opponent. On top of having Honest and Juragedo to boost their stats, you can just double their attack with Limiter Removal since both Forerunner and Sliprider are Machines. Plus, unlike normal Machines where you'd lose your cards to Limiter Removal's destruction effect, Forerunner and Sliprider are both self-replacing, so it's never really a bad deal; when Limiter Removal blows your field you'll just get new monsters in place of your bosses.

You're also running a single copy of Generation Shift, allowing OTK's for days. It places unreal damage on the board, plus you can worm your big guys out of the way of non-destruction removal effects. By destroying one of your bosses with Generation Shift, you can add another copy to your hand and then with their own effect Special Summon one of the smaller monsters to the field, which will in turn Special Summon the Machine from your hand. This can all happen during one Battle Phase, sucker punching your opponent for massive damage.

A Deck For Diverse Dueling…
Before I go, I want to stress the notion that this deck isn't just all about quick volleys of massive damage and glass cannon OTK's –it's not. The ten-card trap line-up is a big part of my build, differing greatly from the more hyped versions of this deck. There's a lot of room for variety in this strategy and just looking at the theme's field spell, Kozmotown, gives you an indication of that. The deck's ability to recycle your monsters turn after turn and its capacity to self-replace showcases its ability to grind with the best of them.

I personally can't wait to see what other variants of this strategy emerge, whether it be in small innovations or wild reimagining.

The hype just may be worth it.

-Zach Buckley

Zach is husband to his beloved wife, Emma. He's also a composer who's studying composition and production formally in an attempt to be both happy and poor. You can follow his progress on these goals by checking out his sporadically updated blog at www.wordpress.com/zwbuckleymusic