Monday, June 18, 2012

Defining the Metagame: Spike Brothers

Yesterday was a very sad day for me... I think is because I haven't been playing in tourneys for the past a month or two, I only managed to get 6th in yesterday's tourney. Also, during a casual practice session with my friend (the best player in the shop I would say), my DOTE literally got thrashed by a Spike Brothers deck. Spike Brothers. SPIKE BROTHERS. That's just sad... But it's okay, it's a very fun experience though to see him using his favorite Dark Zone deck again after so long.

So, back to the main point. Since the release of BT-02, Spike Brothers became quite a popular secondary deck for players out there. However, they have been stuck with the same old build because no support was released for the next few sets, until EB-03 which gave them loads of reinforcements and their first ever Limit Breaker - Demonic Lord, Dudley Emperor. Basically the newer builds of SB decks will eschew General Seyfried for Dudley Emperor because of the consistency issue. Also, Dudley's LB skill can pose a higher threat than Seyfried himself because you can Superior Call 2 units at once.

Your time is over old man...

Let's take a look of my friend's build for a Dudley Emperor based Spike Brothers deck (deck list is from my memory of yesterday, so it might have some slight differences compared with the actual thing)

Grade 0
Mecha Trainer x1 (FV)
Silence Joker x4 (Critical)
Sonic Breaker x4 (Critical)
Cheerful Lynx x4 (Draw)
Cheer Girl Tiara x4 (Heal)

Grade 1
Wonder Boy x4
Reckless Express x4
Gyro Slinger x3
Cheer Girl Marilyn x4

Grade 2
Devil Summoner x1
Treasured Black Panther x4
Panzer Gale x3
High Speed Brakki x3

Grade 3
Juggernaut Maximum x4
Demonic Lord, Dudley Emperor x3

This deck looks totally different from previous SB build as you can notice the absence of a few units that were once staples of the deck: Dudley Dan, Sky Diver, General Seyfried. Replacing them were units that were geared to more offensiveness, such as the new card Reckless Express. Basically Reckless Express is a clone of Juggernaut Maximum at Grade 1. If you paid the cost of Soulblast 1, he can single-handedly attack any unit in the game except for 13k Vanguards. and If you don't pay the cost, he's still a 7k booster, which is quite decent.

Bascially the decks still works the same like the original Spike Brothers deck, where you'll attack in waves based on the situation of the field. The only downside of this deck compared to the older ones was the absence of Dudley Dan. Last time, your wave attacks can already start as early as turn 2 or turn 3 with Dudley Dan on field, as Dan is a G1 that can be tutored by Mecha Trainer. Now, by playing Dudley Emperor instead of Dan, the deck became slightly slower to initiate your wave attacks, because Emperor is a G3 which you have no way to tutor it out.

Then you might ask, if you really need Emperor in your hand and as your Vanguard, why not play 3? The reason was simple, he doesn't do anything at the RG circle. Let's say you don't have Emperor in your hand when you ride to G3, and you really don;t want to ride Juggernaut on because that's one less unit to call out with Emperor's skill. If you think like that, you're doing it wrongly. The deck has a total of 11 units that can be returned to the deck. So does one less unit makes any difference? Plus, Juggernaut has a base power of 11k, which also makes your defense easier as 21k power lines are not easy to make.

We run away, and we come back with a bigger punch!
The spotlight here is Dudley Emperor himself, as well as his new sidekick Reckless Express. Compared to Dan, which nets you extra attacks on the go, Emperor is more like a 'Final Turn' card. Let's say your field has 2 of either Brakki/Juggernaut and enough soul to for their Soulblast, you can net your self 5 attacks on that turn by using Emperor's LB. By fueling up your soul again for the Soulblasters, you opponent will definitely have a hard time dealing with 20+k attacks for multiple times.

My turn to shine!
On the other hand, Reckless Express gives you an option to make him a booster in early game, and an attacker late game. also, by using his soulblast, and if you decide to call him out from the deck via Emperor's LB, you can technically 'reform' your battlefield to create magic lines based on the opponent's Vanguard. Not to forget that he can be tutored using Mecha Trainer as well.

The new kid in town!
Well, in short, I would say that although Spike Brothers might still not get much love from players due to the upcoming release of BT-07, I can somewhat foresee Spikes being a competitive deck soon in the hands of a very skillful player (like my friend, lol). Just bear in mind that Spikes is not really a beginner-friendly deck, and its learning curve is quite high, especially when it comes to the timing of your wave attacks. Once you mastered it, you won;t have any problems when you play similar decks like Pale Moon and Great Nature, which requires good sense of timing. Until then, have fun, and this is Homura signing out for now!


  1. Was waiting for this, but now I have to look out for these few new cards.

  2. Not much new cards to look out for except for these 2... The rest are just commons. Reckless and Emperor are also not expensive to begin with.

  3. Well i am not a beginner but i play Cardfight Vanguard since the english edition cards came out(i couldn't buy the japanese edition cards).Will I be able to master it if i play many fights with it so that i can understand how it works?I mean,angel feathers is a deck that requires skill to play well with it but if someone is patient he can master it and play well with it.Does the same thing go for Spike Brothers?(sorry for the grammar mistakes)

    1. Actually, it applies to all decks. To truly understand how a deck works, you gotta keep playing it. SB is more of a rushing clan, to pump power onto the stage in few turns and finishing your opponent fast.

  4. Beat down deck xD