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Deck Analysis: Monarchs

July 9th, 2016

Out of the most dominant strategies represented at the North American World Championship Qualifier this weekend, Monarchs are definitely the most powerful. Such strength comes at a hefty cost: while having the highest ceiling in terms of what the Deck can do, it is also the least consistent. Monarchs are a high-risk, high-reward strategy and nothing can really fight toe-to-toe with it once it manages to get going.

The key thing that Monarchs do very well is fill the Graveyard with enough resources to run away with the game. Pantheism of the Monarchs accelerates their early stage; drawing cards and searching anything that they need to get off the ground. The Prime Monarch allows the strategy to have inevitability, basically being utilized as tribute fodder or material for any other type of summon. Once The Prime Monarch hits a Graveyard that’s loaded with Monarch Spells, stuff can get pretty crazy.

How do Monarchs plan to get their key pieces to the Graveyard? Ehther the Heavenly Monarch is the best way to do it. It’s easy to Tribute Summon because the strategy is built to do so, and once it hits the Field you not only get two cards to your Graveyard but also another large Monster onto the Field. This can be anything from another copy of Ehther the Heavenly Monarch, to Kuraz, the Light Monarch, or even something a bit spicier like Dark Simorgh. Regardless of what you get, Ehther the Heavenly Monarch is putting what you want into the Graveyard while giving you access to another Monster. If the Duel isn’t ending on that turn, then the Monster it fetches will bounce back to your hand for you to Tribute Summon later.

Erebus the Underworld Monarch is another very strong way to fill your Graveyard. Like Ehther the Heavenly Monarch it’ll kick two cards to the Graveyard, but Erebus shuffles away opposing threats and even cards in your opponent’s hand rather than recruiting another Monster to the Field. The key point is that it gets more stuff into the Graveyard to make sure you don’t run out of gas, but obviously shuffling back an opposing resilient threat like Kozmo Dark Destroyer or Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal is going to get you pretty far ahead.

Last but definitely not least, The Monarchs Stormforth is another big reason why the strategy is so successful. It plays a similar role to Erebus at removing resilient threats but is accessed a lot easier and combos well with the Monarchs. A key interaction this Deck utilizes rather than using actual Trap Cards to disrupt the opponent is The Monarchs Stormforth alongside Ehther the Heavenly Monarch because Ehther can Summon itself during the opponent’s turn. This combo is devastating because it not only sets the opponent back, but helps get Monarchs to the stage of the game where they have too many resources for the opponent to handle.

Monarchs basically come in two different variants, one utilizing Domain of the True Monarchs and the other centering around an Extra Deck. Domain of the True Monarchs is definitely a ‘build around’ type of card, so if you are planning to utilize its full effect the cost is your entire Extra Deck. Certain strategies like Pendulums and Burning Abyss get hit really hard by this as Domain basically turns off the way those Decks try to play the game; however, other strategies like Monarchs and Kozmos don’t really care about Domain.

The addition of an Extra Deck does a bunch of cool things for Monarchs. First, it gives your Deck flexibility in what you can do. If you’re stuck only Tribute Summoning, then you’re obviously limited compared to a strategy that can Synchro and Xyz Summon as well. The big key here is that an Extra Deck allows The Prime Monarch to be used as a Synchro or Xyz Material, meaning you get a recurring Level 5 whenever you need it. It also allows you to play Brilliant Fusion which gives you an additional Summon, a Level 5 material, and even a Normal Monster into your hand if you use Gem-Knight Lazuli. Some Duelists have even begun summoning Ultimaya Tzolkin thanks to Quickdraw Synchron among the abundance of Level 5 cards as a way to Summon huge Dragons very easily. Others have chosen to use Overdrive Teleporter with Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit along with Super Quantum Blue Layer to make some crazy Synchro Summons and end up with Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal! Even the Extra Deck variant can utilize Domain, but strictly as a way to decrease the Level of a large Monarch. This opens you up to Xyz Summoning Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal with just a decreased Ehther the Heavenly Monarch because it’ll summon Kuraz, the Light Monarch. The options are only limited by the 15 slots in the Extra Deck!

Regardless of which variant you play, Monarchs are on everyone’s radar as a strategy to be prepared for. Do you think they’ll come out on top this weekend? You’ll have to stay tuned to see what will reign supreme on Sunday!