It takes a lot for me to truly appreciate a new theme. There are plenty of decks I'll gladly play for fun once or twice, but I have to be captivated by a strategy to really want to perfect it. Most archetypes fall under Kelly Locke's category of "neat," but I'm quite selective when inaugurating a new a family of monsters into the "mega neat" category – the one with decks I'll obsess over for weeks on end.

It's very similar to how I classify my friends, too. Doug "Cheerios Thief" Zeeff is still down in the "plebeian" category where Dark Worlds and Inzektors reside. Maybe at YCS Toronto some of Pasquale's coolness can rub off onto him and elevate his status, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

And today, I'm talking about a deck that I may fear won't classify as Under The Radar for much longer, if it even does by the time this article runs. Additionally, it's a theme I'm really excited to hear Franco Ferrera's thoughts on because I know there's a lot of lore there. I actually like every one of his articles, but that's not the point. Chop chop, Franco - let's talk some Knights!

DECKID=100943Hopefully you've had a chance to check out the recently released Duelist Alliance set and my article last week. If you did, then you'd know the wonders hidden in this amazing pool of cards. The set reminds me so much of Shadow Specters on account of the high number of amazing, high utility cards at every turn. You simply can't open a DEUA pack without getting something useful. Satellarknights only scratch the surface of what's to come.

Get Enlightened, Y'all
Being frank (or at least trying to, despite my birth name is Loukas), I thought Satellerknights were going to be the most average of the average when they finally came to our shores. Here in the TCG, we don't have access to their best Extra Deck option, Number 16: Shockmaster. I thought that each of the Satellarknights was neat in its own right, but what's the point of these piddly monsters if they can't make the ultimate lock-down Xyz?

Turns out, the cards are all really good on their own with the most generic of effects that don't miss timing thanks to the whole "if this card is Summoned" clause. Each of the Knights gets an effect when it's Summoned, no questions asked. That's right, any type of Summon, which is ridiculously unique for any card. I somehow glanced over this fact and forgot crazy this distention is, something the Satellarknights hold over almost every other card that triggers upon Summon.

To keep things fresh, Satellarknights all get different effects. Since the effects cover the general spectrum of "useful," this deck's a crazy mashup of "everything constantly happening because why not." Since the cards are new, I'll run through the effects quickly, and I hope you take their effects to heart. Satellarknight Alsahm burns your opponent for 1000 damage; Satellarknight Altair Special Summons another Satellarknight from the graveyard; Satellarknight Deneb searches any other Satellarknight from the deck; and Satellarknight Vega brings out another from your hand.

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If those effects don't impress you then I give up. Seriously. They're the most generic, highest utility, and best all-around abilities that monsters with the same Level and attribute could possibly ask for. I mean, if you're picky then I'm sorry that Konami didn't release ten more Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the Ends, but I digress. Why are the Levels and Attributes relevant? We're still living in an era of Xyz Summons, after all, and these Knights are a compact and cohesive family that has room for Xyz Summons or for standalone beaters.

To put the proverbial cherry on top, these Knights get their own Xyz boss monster: Stellarknight Delteros. It's no Shockmaster, but it prevents your opponents from responding when you Summon, well… anything. Additionally, you can pop a card on the field once per turn and then Special Summon a "tellarknight" monster from your hand or deck when it dies. So not only does it stun your opponent while simultaneously breaking up their defenses, you get a replacement monster when it dies (or monsters plural if you Special Summon Altair).

Cool, Wal-Mart Brand Monsters, Now What?
"Now what?" Really? Don't kid yourself - the deck plays itself like the well-oiled machine it is. I'm not saying Satellarknights are autopilot, but when your monsters are amazing on their own, the sky's the limit. Unlike an Xyz centered deck like Evilswarm, you don't have a bunch of semi-pointless cards like Evilswarm Heliotrope or Evilswarm Castor.

Back to the Level part of the Satellarknights. Each one has a great effect on its own, and thanks to all these monsters being Level 4 Warriors, Reinforcement of the Army comes down and adds some serious consistency to the deck to retrieve whatever effect tickles your fancy. You'll see upon playing the deck that resolving the effect of Satellarknight Deneb early on is of the highest importance, and with seemingly five copies at your fingertips, you should open with at least one copy more than half of your games - even if you go first. If you can get your Deneb off, you can start grabbing the other Knights from your deck for swift combos later down the road.

Or hopefully, you can draw into your Satellarknight Vega early on to make quick and cheap Rank 4 plays. Instead of forcing yourself to run situational cards like Kagetokage, every monster in your deck has high utility and work well no mater what order you draw them in. Photon Thrasher adds a little muscle to the deck and gives you access to even faster Rank 4 plays when bereft of Vega. But let's not downplay Vega here; Vegasand Deneb makes any Rank 4 with a searched Satellarknight to the hand, while Vega and Alsahm is a Rank 4 with a significant chunk of your opponent's Life Points gone.

I forgot to mention how important Alsahm is, so let me take a quick second to do so. With everyone and their mother playing Soul Charge, Space-Time Trap Hole, Solemn Warning and simply taking damage early on in the duel, Alsahm's effect is going to be ridiculously relevant. Whether you bring it out with Vega, Altair or just on its own, trust me - the 1000 points of damage you smack in your opponent's face will be worth it.

And while we're talking about high utility, I have to mention the Extra Deck options that are available. The infamous HAT deck was notorious for being a Rank 4 toolbox but could only really get there with Traptrix Dionea - everything else was relatively inconvenient. Even decks like Geargia and Spirits took some time to make instantaneous Rank 4's, but Satellarknights don't really have that problem. Everything you do seems to quickly turn into a Rank 4. I would say the exception is your first turn, but I have to throw it back to Vega for that quick option.

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Additionally, you have some Light-attribute exclusive Rank 4's from previous releases as well: Starliege Paladynamo and Constellar Omega, and with the newcomer of Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer your Extra Deck just got a lot beefier.

Low Monster Count? No Problem
And without being too obvious, the ability to play tons of traps in this deck really make this deck shine. Sure, being explosive is one thing, and while Call Of The Haunted and Soul Charge trigger the Satellarknights' effects ten times over, I like my traps here just as much as I like the monsters. Satellarknights remind me a bit of Geargia - having the explosive ability to decimate your opponent but also being supported by your hefty trap lineup.

You're free to run whatever 20 or so forms of defense you think is necessary, and I've gone all over the board adding a bit of everything. Book of Moon, Forbidden Chalice, Breakthrough Skill, you name it. Your monsters have such high utility that your traps become that much more powerful. Instead of worrying about your fragile monster lineup in a purely combo-oriented deck, your reactive cards can be used much more actively and with more aggression. It's the perfect mix of monster effects and traps when both parties can hold their weight.

But the true MVP of the trap lineup is the pseudo-Infernity Barrier exclusive to Satellarknights. Stellarnova Alpha negates a spell or trap effect by popping one of your own Satellarknights and letting you draw. I guess the better comparison would Gemini Spark, since you lose a card and immediately gain it back, but Alpha's a Counter Trap and goes toe to toe with Wiretap and Solemn Warning.

And where would I be without the crazy? While you technically have enough monsters to satisfy Lightray Gearfried's Special Summoning condition in the Main Deck alone, you'll be pitching Light Xyz soon enough, and Lightray Gearfried's an amazing boss monster than lets you rip through your opponent with a bit of negation on its own. As long as you have five different Light monsters in your graveyard, bring out your Gearfried and get to negating! And since all your Satellarknights are Warriors, you can make some massive boards with a ton of damage and feel safe behind Gearfried's effect!

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson