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First Star I See Tonight…

December 9th, 2014

North America is in a bit of a weird spot right now in terms of Premier-level competition. YCS Anaheim was the last Premier Event in North America for 2014, so most Duelists in North America will only be getting their game on at Regionals and local tournaments until January. Since there’s such a lengthy break before the first YCS of 2015, that makes now the perfect time to improve your skills and develop your strategies! There’s one strategy in particular that I think could use some serious development over the break. It hasn’t really changed or adapted at all since its debut, and I think that’s really hurting the strategy’s overall chance for success. I speak, of course, of Satellarknights.

It’s not like there aren’t a lot of people playing Satellarknights. In fact, 10% of the entire field at YCS Anaheim was playing them, which is pretty darn good. Reaching a double digit percentage of representation at a Premier Event, which it has at every North American event since Duelist Alliance launched, is a huge sign of popularity and confidence in a given Deck or strategy. But when it came to making the playoffs, Satellarknights left much to be desired in Anaheim with only 2 making the cut. Looking over all the Satellarknight Decklists from the event, one thing quickly became apparent: almost no one had a plan in place for how they would actually win the Duel.


Satellarknight Deneb + Satellarknight Altair is an extremely obvious combo that everyone knows at this point, and generally, Satellarknight Decks are built to make use of this combo as much as possible in order to make Rank 4 Xyz Summons that respond to variety of possible in-game situations. In fact, most Satellarknight Extra Decks are 14 or 15 different cards, with the only doubles being Stellarknight Delteros or Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer. The problem here is that these Decks are built to make use of this combo as much as possible in order to respond to a variety of possible in-game situations instead of to win the game, and that’s a philosophy that trickles down throughout the rest of the Deck build, limiting its speed and ability to actually close out Duels.

One thing that Duelists often neglect to do when they build their Deck is figure out exactly how it wins. What series of attacks do you need to make to drop your opponent’s Life Points from 8000 to 0? How many turns does it take to get there? What’s the fewest number of turns, using the fewest number of cards, that you need to get your opponent’s LP to 0, and which cards are involved? These are some of the first questions you should be asking yourself when you’re building a Deck.

In the case of Satellarknights, one of the key cards in this equation must be Stellarknight Triverr from The New Challengers. Successfully resolving it’s effect when you Xyz Summon represents a minimum of 2100 damage and has a number of other benefits, like allowing you to re-use any copies of Call of the Haunted that are sticking to the field and getting cards out of your opponent’s hand. Charles Ramsey, the top finishing Satellarknight Duelist at YCS Anaheim, surely realized this, including 2 copies of it in his Extra Deck and adding a variety of cards to his Main Deck to make it easier to Summon, like Satellarknight Skybridge and Oasis of Dragon Souls along with multiple copies of Satellarknight Vega.

If the strategy to win were just “Summon Stellarknight Triverr over and over again until the free 2100s add up to 8000”, it would take a minimum of 4 of your own turns to win, choosing to go second at the start of the Duel. It would also require 4 Stellarknight Triverr in your Extra Deck, which is illegal, or for your opponent to not exist so that 2 copies of Triverr could loop each other back into the Extra Deck without interference, and you’d need to draw way more cards to make up for missing out on Triverr’s Graveyard effect. I think it’s reasonable to assume that this won’t happen, but that thanks to Triverr’s effect to Summon a “tellarknight” back from the Graveyard to replace itself it is also reasonable to assume that you can fairly easily Summon 2 Stellarknight Triverr in a single Duel, essentially using the same set of cards twice for 2 Xyz Summons. That’s 4200 damage, so where do we get the last 3800 damage, and what cards do we need in order to do it?


Our good friend, the Deneb + Altair combo, is obviously an important part of this strategy. It can get you all 3 of the pieces you need to Summon a Triverr, and it’s the choice of that 3rd Xyz Material that will make the Deck. It simply must be Satellarknight Alsahm. He inflicts 1000 damage to your opponent just for Summoning him. In fact, if all you were to do was Summon him every single turn, both yours and your opponent’s, you would win the Duel in the same 4 of your turns it would take to win with 4 Triverrs, though you’d need to draw more unsearchable cards like Call of the Haunted and Oasis of Dragon Souls to get it done. But Alsahm as the third Xyz Material of a Triverr? Now we’re cooking with thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen gas!


With Alsahm as the third material along with Altair and Deneb, which are self-sufficient after the first Triverr Summon, you add 1000 damage to each Triverr Summon, bringing the total across the two to 3100 + 3100 = 6200. That leaves just 1800 damage left to deal. And wouldn’t you know it, the best Deck for churning out 1800 damage, without needing to attack, even on the first turn of the Duel, is Satellarknights! Altair + Alsahm deals 1000 damage and provides the materials to Xyz Summon Gagaga Cowboy for the last 800, and you can Summon them off of your second Triverr when it goes to the Graveyard, even if it does so as a result of something like Stellarnova Alpha. Altair back into Deneb searching another Alsahm also works and takes into account action by your opponent.

So our ideal winning formula looks like this: (1000 * 3) + (2100 * 2) + 800 = 8000. That’s 3 Alsahm Summons, 2 Triverr Summons with attack, and 1 Cowboy Summon we have to make in order to win. The cards we absolutely need in order to do this are 3 Satellarknight Altair, 3 Satellarknight Deneb, 2 or 3 Satellarknight Alsahm, and at least 2 Stellarknight Triverr in the Extra Deck.

That’s a blueprint, a specific plan to win the game regardless of matchup. We know which cards we need to do it. We also know that we can win the Duel in just 3 of our own turns, which is on pace with the rest of the current top Decks of the tournament scene. Now we just need to know how to get to the cards we need, and get them to resolve uninterrupted. And we’ll get to that, tomorrow!