There's a lot to say about these ten cards, a mix of support for Kozmos, Kaiju, and a couple of interesting stragglers. If you're a Kozmo player, the new stuff was criminally underrated but has quickly emerged as tournament-topping material in at least three cases. If you're a Kaiju fan, the theme finally comes into its own with the three new additions in BOSH, all of which are worth playing and one of which is a tremendous game changer for the theme. And if you're an oldschool Counter Fairy enthusiast?
Well, you get your first new toy in over half a decade.
#####CARDID= 19452 #####
A certain member of the North American R&D office once topped a SHONEN JUMP Championship with Counter Fairies, a deck he and I have both loved for many years. And while I have no idea how World Premieres are created, I suspect he had a hand in the crafting of this card, or at least felt warm and fuzzy when he first saw it. Because it's awesome, and it makes Counter Fairies highly tempting.
In a vacuum, Ultimate Providence feels like an awkward compromise. Comparable to Magic Jammer or Divine Wrath, it has a tougher discard cost but far greater utility; it's playable against all three kinds of cards – monsters, spells, and traps – instead of just one. That might be a bit of a slanted comparison, as Divine Wrath is no longer the de facto Counter Trap for monster effect negation, now trumped by Solemn Strike. At the same time, Wiretap replaced Seven Tools of the Bandit ages ago and has no discard cost at all. The difficulty of having the right discard at the right time would vary wildly from deck to deck, as any strategy that keeps a big hand and gets lots of free cards would have an advantage, while anything playing few traps or few spells would have a tougher time.
I don't think Ultimate Providence winds up seeing mainstream play. But as a gutsy addition to any deck running Guiding Ariadne? There it's got serious potential. Ariadne can search Providence for free if you snag three copies of it or luck into it via random selection, and as long as you control Ariadne as a Pendulum Spell you don't discard anything upon activation. Ultimate Providence just becomes the best Counter Trap ever, stopping anything but Summons, including other Counter Traps. As Wiretap's not currently seeing play due to low trap counts and a general belief that bolstering your own combos is better than shutting down potential defenses, the average opponent won't be ready to see their Solemn Strike or Solemn Warning negated.
Ultimate Providence really takes the longstanding problem of "the wrong Counter Trap at the wrong time," which once plagued Counter Fairies and kept them from going mainstream, and turns that on its head. It's effectively a wildcard that solves virtually anything. Searched and played for free it's a deadly +1 that stomps out your opponent's best card. Resolved under the watchful gaze of Bountiful Artemis it's even better, earning you a free draw that can get you another Counter Trap to help cement your position in the game. And like the mystery box that could have anything in it – even a boat – that draw could be another Ultimate Providence.
Packing some limited mainstream strength and a whole ton of potential in a forgotten strategy, Ultimate Providence is a great addition to Breakers of Shadow.
#####CARDID= 19453 #####
I've already written on Kozmo Tincan pretty extensively, and Kozmos are already topping big events, taking third place at YCS Sydney just this past weekend. That build ran two copies, which still seems wrong to me since the biggest point of running this card is to see it on Turn 1, but at least it's seeing play and Kozmos are still viable.
Kozmo Tincan's effect works on both player's turns, so it grabs you a free +1 the turn you Summon it, and can fetch up to two more cards over the next turn cycle if your opponent can't wipe it away. Now that Artifact variants are becoming the favored Kozmo variant, protecting Tincan's more viable than it seemed when the new Kozmo cards first leaked; Artifact Moralltach can rebuke a lone attacker, while Artifact Scythe can fend off a wealth of Special Summons for the turn. At that point, any Summon made to try and threaten Tincan will likely be suboptimal.
If you're going to try for a Turn 2 kill or something similar, then you want to field Tincan to grab one piece to whatever three-card combo you're probably looking for. Defending it can soften your opponent's field for your eventual attack and net you a second combo piece in their End Phase. While Tincan can't do any damage on its own with its 0 ATK, you can banish it to Special Summon something bigger, making your attempt at a winning attack a bit easier and a bit more resilient.
Alternatively you can Emergency Teleport into Kozmo Tincan when you'd be utterly screwed otherwise: use its effect to grab a big spaceship, and then banish Tincan in your End Phase to Special Summon whatever you searched before Teleport can remove Tincan instead. That's a desperate play that deprives you of the Teleport's potential in combos later on, but when you really have nothing else, making a 1-for-1 into Kozmo Dark Destroyer can help stabilize the game. Still, your real goal here is to Normal Summon Tincan early and just grab a couple cards with it. It's a simple way to make strong combos you just wouldn't have the cards for either, and I'll be surprised if the norm doesn't become three Tincans in all Kozmo builds at some point.
A lot of people are talking about playing one copy? And I can't imagine why. The card's super-strong on Turn 1 and loses utility as the game drags on. You want to see it early, which means you want to play three. Running one just robs you of the chance for stronger openings and more wins, while occasionally landing you with rough draws later on, in turns where you'd rather Normal Summon Kozmo Farmgirl or a better attacker. Not to mention, the later you play Kozmo Tincan the slimmer your choices with its effect.
#####CARDID= 19457 #####
Kozmojo takes over from the somewhat popular Offerings to the Doomed and Generation Shift, offering another effect that can destroy one of your self-replacing Kozmo spaceships after they attack, triggering their effect to get you another attacker in the same Battle Phase.
While Offerings to the Doomed could be played from your hand instead of being set for a turn, and could blow away opposing monsters in a pinch, Kozmojo's a bit slower and requires a bit more set-up. That said, it's more flexible because it doesn't threaten your next draw. Targeting one of your own cards instead of whatever you choose to banish, it's great in the Kozmo mirror against your opponent's Kozmo Dark Destroyer or Kozmo Forerunner, and it offers some graveyard hate where applicable too.
Side by side with Generation Shift the comparison's even more favorable, offering a similar set of conditions to destroy your own monster, with an effect that's going to be vastly more useful in the majority of your games. While Generation Shift was an attack enabler first and an awkward search card second, Kozmojo triggers your graveyard effects to make bigger combos, clears the way for your attacks, or defends your position by banishing something on your opponent's turn. We saw players running as many as two Generation Shifts the past few months and Top 8'ing Regionals, and this thing's just far, far better.
While it's an unlikely choice, Kozmojo's even searchable with Kozmo Farmgirl, so if you anticipate needing an untargeted banishing effect to keep pressuring your opponent, Farmgirl can set you up to answer a troubling problem monster. Even if it was off-theme, I think Kozmojo would still likely be a better choice than Offerings or Generation Shift. But that themed edge makes it even better, and it's no surprise this was another two-of in the third place build from Sydney.
#####CARDID= 19454 #####
Getting into the sketchier stuff, I think Kozmo Soartroopers brings definite value as it taps into the graveyard as a new source of aggression for Kozmos, especially when played with triple Kozmo Tincan to load up the yard. That said, playing it effectively usually means running it with Kozmo Farmgirl, which may not be a pick for you with Kozmo Tincan anyways. That said, with Solemn Strike now on the loose, set to send Kozmo Farmgirl to the graveyard to interrupt her search effect, you can expect to see Farmgirl hit the graveyard more often.
Soartroopers is effectively a metagame call with a lot of complications, and if you're already looking for room to fit triple Kozmo Tincan and double Kozmojo it may not make the cut. But it's something to consider moving forward; the card has a definite niche, and in an environment packed with removal it can revive a fallen Farmgirl and add 1000 damage to your field, effectively serving as one of your combo pieces for an OTK while adding more damage to the combo in the process.
It's a stronger card than people are giving it credit for, but it's tricky in the way its utility can be dependent on your opponent's actions. As the Kozmo deck gets even faster, it may just be too slow.
#####CARDID= 19455 #####
Kozmo Delta Shuttle's the weakest of the new Kozmo cards in my opinion, but I still think it's a stronger card than Kozmo DOG Fighter, which I never really expected to see widespread play. I like how it brings an element of incremental damage to the strategy, I like that it gives you some more depth in how you deal with big monsters, and I like that it thins your deck and can even combo with Soartroopers in a pinch.
That said, it's a bit of a soft card and the deck probably doesn't have room for it. You virtually never want to draw it compared to the wealth of alternatives above Level 4, and again, you're already trying to add five cards to the strategy. It may be worth experimenting with, and it can be a nice cushion in some sort of future where Kozmo Dark Eclipser is worth Main Decking for some match-ups but not in others.
#####CARDID= 19456 #####
Speaking of, I don't hate Kozmo Dark Eclipser nearly as much as most people seem to. We had the unfortunate luck of first seeing the new Kozmos very early, at a time when trap cards were seeing very little play even by modern standards. The concept of a Kozmo boss monster that could negate trap cards, even for free multiple times per turn, just wasn't very appealing. The fact that there were so few situations where Kozmos would land in the graveyard at that time made it seem even more awkward.
Now, with cards like Artifact Sanctum, Call Of The Haunted, and Time-Space Trap Hole seeing much more use, negating trap cards is a bit more appealing. And with Kozmo Tincan loading up your graveyard, plus Solemn Strike yarding Kozmo Farmgirls and others on a semi regular basis, the means to support Kozmo Dark Eclipser is simply easier to come by. The fact that Dark Eclipser doesn't replace itself when destroyed like Kozmo Dark Destroyer et al, is definitely a problem. But the risk versus reward ratio here is substantial: you can't just give Kozmos a card that flattens every trap-heavy deck in the game and expect to not compromise the format in a very big way.
Searching a free card is still pretty generous, ensuring that even if you banish a Psychic Kozmo to Summon Dark Eclipser (-1), try to press through a big backrow, and then run into Solemn Warning or Solemn Strike (1-for-1), you still wind up making an even trade when you search a card to your hand (+1).
That's a 1-for-1 that eliminates a backrow card, leaves you with a chance at a viable play for game off Emergency Teleport or even Call Of The Haunted, and just shreds your opponent's trap cards to score an auto-win when it works. That won't necessarily be desirable in all metagames, but as traps rotate back into vogue it's certainly looking better and better.
#####CARDID= 19370 #####
Steel Cavalry of Dinon's a followup to Dimension of Chaos' Samurai Cavalry of Reptier, both being Sneak Peek promos and both being Level 4 Dinosaur Pendulums. While Reptier had an aggressive effect that was briefly played in conjunction with Abyss Dweller to out Kozmo Dark Destroyer and Kozmo Forerunner, Dinon's a more defensive card, boasting 2600 DEF. It's a very effective wall against non-Pendulum strategies, but its effect handicaps it against Pendulum variants.
That said, since it's a Pendulum monster it just keeps coming back every turn, and it can force your opponent to keep Pendulum Monsters on the field through their Battle Phase that they might invest in Xyz or Synchros otherwise. It's also another Level 4 Pendulum Dinosaur, making some cool plays involving Evolzar Dolkka and Evolzar Laggia one step closer to realistic.
Not great, but not trash either.
#####CARDID= 19460 #####
Moving along to Kaijus, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber is awesome. It's effectively a Dark Hole that sets you up to dominate the field, searching a Kaiju of your choice to run over whatever weaker one you stick your opponent with. As long as you can ensure that your Kaiju can make that attack, it's essentially a free Dark Hole effect that 1-for-1's you into a powerful boss monster, and nabs Kaiju Counters for Kyoutou Waterfront and Kaiju Capture Mission along the way.
If you control both cards you can activate Capture Mission to turn your opponent's Kaiju face-down and put a Counter on Mission, but Kyoutou Waterfront's really where it's at. If there's one or more monsters on the field and it's destroyed with Slumber, Waterfront will get at least one Kaiju Counter when the monsters are destroyed, and another one when the resolved Slumber goes to the graveyard. (Remember, Waterfront gets one Kaiju Counter for every card sent to the graveyard.) Run over your opponent's Kaiju and it goes to the graveyard too, landing another Counter on Kyoutou Waterfront – enough for one activation of any Kaiju effect.
The really snazzy bit is that if you select Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju as your Kaiju, and stick your opponent with Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju, you'll score at least two Kaiju Counters as you resolve Interrupted Kaiju Slumber. Those two Counters can feed Gameciel's effect once. From there you can use Kaiju Capture Mission to turn your opponent's Kaiju to defense mode and run it over with Gameciel, since Dogoran has low enough DEF that Gameciel can best it in battle. That lands you with another Counter on Waterfront and a counter on Capture Mission. The first two Counters help guarantee that Gameciel's attack connects, and the next two give you another free negation for next turn.
That won't be a viable plan if your opponent can field a 2200 ATK monster without activating any effects, say through Pendulum Summons and Xyz. But if they can't do that, then Gameciel can lock them down for the rest of the game. If that wasn't enough, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber also has a graveyard effect that grabs you a free Kaiju from your deck. There's a lot going on here, and an insightful Kaiju player could surprise their opponents with new plays.
#####CARDID= 19459 #####
The biggest Kaiju yet, Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju has a huge 3300 ATK and an effect that negates a targeting card if it selects one target, and then destroys another card on the field. While that effect's not as good as it would have been before the release of Twin Twisters, it's still a big deterrent to numerous targeting effects like Kozmo Dark Destroyer, Kozmojo, Artifact Sanctum, Artifact Ignition, and even Call Of The Haunted.
Effect Veiler, Elder Entity Norden, Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer, Masked Chameleon… Jizukiru fends off a ton of cards across a wide spectrum. But you can also use it to negate your own effects, so suddenly you can trade in any of your single-targeted effects to destroy a card.
Jizukiru's viability will vary depending on match-up and how many targeting cards you opt to play with it, but regardless of what you're up against you'll usually have at least one targeted effect to combo with: your own Kaiju Capture Mission. You can activate it to target your own Jizukiru and then chain Jizukiru's ability. You'll negate Capture Mission's attempt to flip Jizukiru face-down, then destroy one card of your choosing.
The Capture Mission survives that play because Jizukiru doesn't destroy the source of whatever effect it negates; you can certainly choose to destroy the source card, but you don't have to. You won't get to put another Kaiju Counter on Capture Mission, because you're negating that effect in its entirety, but you will put a Kaiju Counter on Kyoutou Waterfront for whatever you destroy with Jizukiru. You can only activate Capture Mission once per turn, but provided you have three Kaiju Counters for Jizukiru's effect, you get a free destruction effect every turn.
#####CARDID= 19458 #####
Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju's the second of the new Kaiju monsters, and it gets an immediate nod for having low enough DEF that Gameciel can run it over in defense mode. Granted, that only works if there are fewer than three Kaiju Counters on the table. If there are three or more, your opponent can stymie that effort with Gadarla's ability.
That ability halves the ATK and DEF of all other monsters on the field. Why would that be better than simply destroying them with Dogoran? The main difference is that Dogoran can't attack when you use its effect, while Gadarla can. It can stunt all of your opponent's monsters and then run one of them over for damage. You can also activate that effect on either player's turn, making it a more reactive ability that can give more control over the field – especially if your opponent only had one monster on the table to begin with, making the difference between destroying it with Dogoran or just attacking over it moot.
Since Gadarla's ability is a permanent stat reduction, you can debuff your opponent's monsters and then reap them like wheat on the following turn. It places your opponent under a different kind of pressure than Dogoran, repelling attacks and chaining to punish any monster-driven answers. Metagame trends will likely determine whether a one-shot mass removal or a constant pressure on your opponent's monsters on both turns will be preferable, though it's important to note that Dogoran's vulnerability as an Ignition Effect Kaiju likely makes it a must-run anyways, while Gadarla might not be.
That brings it all home for Kaijus, Kozmos, and Counter Fairies! Join us tomorrow for the final installment of our Breakers of Shadow Giant Set Review, as we look at the last ten cards in the set – the OCG Imports.
See you then!