Thursday, June 14, 2012

Deck Dissection: Shadow Blasters

Hello guys, Homura here. Wow, thinking of some stuff to write about while overwhelmed with work is really difficult. Plus, everybody is now waiting for the release of BT-07 as well as TD-07, hence the lack of posts of other more 'minor' clans (I don't play them, so I don't dare to simply post something in case I accidentally posted something offensive). Anyway, since everybody is anticipating the release of the new sets, I shall do a review on another 'evergreen' deck that will still stay firm regardless of the power level of the new cards - Shadow Paladins.

Since their debut in BT-04, SP has always been a dominant force in the current Vanguard metagame. When Phantom Blaster Overlord was released, it brought SP to the next level in terms of playability and power. Throughout the entire 5 months since BT-05 was out, you basically can see trails of SP in almost any type of tournament, ranging from normal shop tourneys to larger events like Regionals. Let's have a look at a sample decklist shall we?

Grade 0
Fullbau x1 (FV)
Death Feather Eagle x4 (Critical)
Grim Reaper x4 (Critical)
Abyss Freezer x4 (Draw)
Abyss Healer x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Blaster Javelin x4
Dark Sage, Charon x4
Dark Shield, Mac Lir x3
Nightmare Painter x2

Grade 2
Blaster Dark x2
Darkness Maiden, Maaha x3
Skull Witch, Nevan x2
Knight of the Void, Masquerade x4

Grade 3
Phantom Blaster Dragon x4
Phantom Blaster Overlord x4

Looks pretty similar to all those decks out there right? Because I would say this is one of the (if not the most) better and more stable builds of the PBD/PBO variant of Shadow Paladins. And now, off to the breakdown and analysis of the deck.

Grade 0
Fullbau is our starter here (kinda obvious here since this is a PBD/PBO deck, lol). While Fullbau does not have the skill to perform a free Superior Call, but it still causes a -0 to our hand advantage because if you are able to ride Blaster Javelin on top of it, you can add a Blaster Dark from your deck into your hand. The trigger setup here is quite standard, which you can find in almost every single SP deck out there. 8 Critical, 4 Draw, and 4 Heal.

Grade 1
Blaster Javelin is maxed up to four because you WILL want to see him in your opening hand. Once ridden on top of Fullbau, besides the fact that you get to tutor, Javelin also gains +2k power, meaning that as if you rode a 8k vanilla on top of a G0. Besides, Javelin also has a very valuable deck thinning skill . By discarding a G3 from your hand, you may search your deck for a Phantom Blaster Dragon and add it into your hand. This does not only make sure that you'll have a 11k PBD and 13k Phantom Blaster Overlord later in the game, but it also helps you to get rid off a non-shield, non-trigger card from your deck.

Tutoring is always good, deck thinning is even better!

Any 8k booster is a valuable asset for the deck, that's why 4x Charon is an auto-include without saying. 3 null guards here, quite standard. Let's say that you fail to ride the Blaster chain all they way to PBO, your PBO will only be a 11k beatstick. With the presence of Nightmare Painter, you can ensure that you can slot in the PBD that you're missing into your Vanguard's Soul. But due to his 6k power and only useful being a 'tech' card, he's only at x2.

A great card that fills in the missing part for you. Not forgetting to mention that he can be tutored out as well!

Grade 2
Last time when PBD is the main Vanguard, people will always max out Blaster Dark just to make sure he's the Vanguard during their 2nd turn. But this deck only concerns whether PBD is in your Soul or not, that's why he's only at x2 (He's still in the deck because he can be tutored out). Darkness Maiden, Maaha is there to help you set up magic lines. With a CIP, CB2 deck tutoring skill, you can now easily make 16k, 18k and 20k lines. Don't forget she can combo with Nightmare Painter too! Nevan is here to provide you a bit of acceleration. Once she's done her job, you can just use her to intercept to save hand cards and make slots for better units.

Knight of the Void, Masquerade is here to replace Donnerschlag as your main Rear Guard beater. Because after you ride PBO, Donnerschlag's passive skill will instantly turn it into a measly 5k unit (7k when attacking). Even if it's not your turn, Masquerade is still a decent 9k unit. And the main point is unlike Donnerschlag, Masquerade will gain the +3k power while attacking no matter whether PBD or PBO is your Vanguard because they share the 'Blaster' in their name.

Grade 3
Like the deck's namesake, all our G3s here are 'Blaster' units. Phantom Blaster Overlord will be the pinnacle of the ride chain, where its 13k innate power will definitely give headaches to your opponents. Amplify the headache with PBO's Persona Blast, where the +10k and +1 Critical will either make your opponent throw lots of card, a null guard, or just say 'No Guard'.


Left or Right? Either one will do. Just that if you have left, then right, Perfect!

If you can't get PBD, don't worry because that's why the Maaha/Painter combo is here for! Even you're just hitting with PBD, it's still better than nothing as PBD itself is 11k if your ride is perfect.

There you go, my review of the everlasting, ever-popular Phantom Blaster variant of Shadow Paladins. I know you might say this post is not new, or not original, but hey, at least this is still some information and don't forget, there might be new players reading also!

So if you're keen to start Shadow Paladins (or you might already have started), and you're worrying that the Limit Breakers will cause you big trouble, please calm down. The PBD/PBO build is a very decent deck (it doesn't top tournaments without a reason), and it can definitely hold its ground even when facing Limit Breakers. Just be sure how to play around their LB skills and you'll be okay.

1 comment:

  1. There's only 49 cards here. Just thought I'd let you know that.

    Other than that, I'm really liking this blog. it's a very good reference point for me and I'm enjoying the different topics.