Chaos Fabled

fabled_tribute_by_shadowman88-d4jfg6p

For at least the past year, I have almost exclusively played one variety of Fabled or another. Whilst there have been tangents where I’ve messed around with other decks, I always come back to my trusty Fabled. There are all sorts of reasons why anyone should get so attached to a deck, from snazzy card art to a consistent win streak, but with me, I love the versatility of the deck. Aside from a few core monsters, and Fabled Quasar notwithstanding, each and every Fabled deck is different and unique.

So, who (or what) are the Fabled? The archetype, much like Dark Worlds, thrives off being discarded to activate their effects, or else, thrives off discarding to activate their effects. However, unlike Dark Worlds, who only get their effects when discarded by an effect, Fabled monsters get theirs’ whenever they’re discarded, be it effect, cost, or just discarding at the end of the turn because you have too many cards in hand (ed: just a quick note: remember that ‘discard’ and ‘send from your hand to the graveyard’ are different things. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people assume they are the same). Fabled monsters are all LIGHT attribute monsters, giving access to a number of more specific Synchros (think any LIGHT archetype; you now have their extra deck), and are mostly Fiend type, with a small minority (called ‘The Fabled’ rather than just ‘Fabled’) are Beast type, granting an intrepid duelist even more options as far as support cards are concerned.

Whilst the forbidding of Pot of Avarice and Monster Reborn has hurt the deck, the recent unlimiting of Scapegoat and the new syncho monsters and synchro support in the past few packs has given a fairly old deck a much needed boost. So, with all this in mind, here’s my current deck list, as will be played under the January 2014 ban list:

gDs1wA1

Click for a larger image

Deck Core

Okay, so, earlier, I mentioned a deck core, a pattern that almost all Fabled decks follow, and which I too have found hugely effective. The first card in said core is Grimro, who is always ran in a playset, as she is the searcher of the deck. I found that only having three searches in a deck can be a little limiting, but I’ve found that two copies of Monster Reincarnation allows me to both recycle Grimros, and to pitch the card I searched with her, allowing me to use the card as quickly as possible. The only other two monsters ran as threes are Ganashia and Chawa. Ganashia special summons itself when discarded, and Chawa allows for you to discard a card to special summon itself. I’ve lumped these two cards together because I find they play off each other quite beautifully, allowing for rapid synchro summons early in the game.

Krus is almost always run at two, although a few do run a fully playset, and she functions as a Monster Reborn for every level 4 or lower Fabled monster in the graveyard, up to and including the two level 4 synchro monsters. If discarded with Chawa, this card can bring back Grimro for a level 5, Ganashia or a level 4, or Lurrie (if being run) for a level 2 synchro summon. Up until fairly recently, I ran Cerburrel at three, but I’ve dropped one of late, as I find this deck has more than enough tuner monsters to keep going. This card is a simple discard/special play, and has potential in Dark Worlds, or any other deck that wants to discard anything and needs a tuner (perhaps Fabled Dragon Rulers…).

The last card in the core set is Kushano; mainly run these days more because of its consistency with Tour Guide than for its nature as a tuner. When Tour Guide goes back to three in January, it is Kushano that will make a full playset viable in Fabled, as Tour Guide will be able to search out a card valid to and appropriate in the deck. Personally, I’m quite happy with two Tour Guides and one Kushano in my deck, as I focus more on synchos than Xyz monsters, but the option is there.

Teched Fabled

I loved Fabled Raven. I genuinely do; more so now that Brioniac has been forbidden, limiting the availability of mass discards in one turn. In fact, Raven is the card that made me turn away from Dark Worlds towards Fabled in the first place. The ability to discard as many cards as you want makes Raven incredibly good at getting cards on the field. Catsith combos nicely with Raven, as discarding the former with the latter’s effect allows both for a one level boost to Raven, and allowing for a pop of any face up card on the board. In a more competitive deck, I would replace the two Catsith with two Effect Veilers, but in a more casual environment, the kitties function perfectly well.

CHAOS!!!

The release of the baby Chaos Dragons in Shadow Spectres has been a massive boost to this deck. The mass of LIGHT monsters allows for both dragons to be ran in full playsets if you wish (although, a few DARK monsters would have to be teched in). As well as providing easy synchro fodder, whenever one of the dragons is sent to the graveyard, you can add the other to your hand. In addition, as this effect is worded ‘if…you can…’ it never misses timing, allowing you to recover some of the losses made whilst sending monsters off to become synchro fodder.

I’m running a single Birdman because it is a DARK monster than can special summon itself. That’s really the only reason. Moving swiftly onwards…

Whilst I was playtesting this deck, I noticed that a lot of monsters ended up being banished, either by the effects of the Chaos monsters, or by their own effects (Ganashia and Birdman, to be specific), so I’m running two copies of Different Dimension Reincarnation, which works both as a discard outlet, and as a way of returning banished monsters to the graveyard where they can be reused by either the Chaos monsters, Krus, or Monster Reincarnation. 

A swarm of white…

Although some versions of the deck run a fair few Xyz monsters, the Fabled are built to synchro summon quickly, and then to synchro summon a lot, hence all the special summons you’ll soon get accustomed to should you pick this deck up (and, considering you’re reading this article, you may well have already picked it up).

The only catch with this design is that you’ll find that the deck runs an awful lot of tuners, and an awful lot of monsters in general. Moving Scapegoat from one to three gives you access to even more non-tuner monsters, as well as a nice little bit of protection for your life points should the going get tough. The only catch with Scapegoat is that the tokens can clog up the board, so I sometimes chuck in a couple of Enemy Controllers to get rid of tokens and to mess with your opponent.

This mass of monsters leaves very little room for trap cards, so I find that a trio of Trap Stuns removes the risk of running into your opponents traps and coming off badly. I prefer this to Royal Decree as Decree is a little more MST susceptible, and because I sometimes swap out one of my MSTs for a Gorz, because everyone hates being OTKed.

Extra Deck

It’s possible to play pretty much anything you please in the Fabled extra deck, but there are a few running themes. All ‘staple’ synchros are must haves (Stardust, Crimson Blader, Hyper Librarian etc), but there are a few on-theme cards that a really worth running.

Firstly, Fabled Ragin is a key card, allowing you to draw till you have two cards in your hand if you have fewer. With the addition of the baby dragon search, this move can lead to a nice little +3, growing to a +4 if Hyper Librarian is on the board. The other major on-theme synchro is Unicore, which is incredibly easy to summon in this deck, and which can mess with your opponent’s moves for a few turns.

I’ve chosen not to run Black Rose because I just never summon the thing. I find I prefer Ancient Sacred Wyvern, or Mitchell, Lightsworn Ark, which should be out in a pack soon, but in theory, almost any level 7 synchro monster is open to an intrepid player.

Well, this is my deck. You’re welcome try it out, and if you do, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Staples – Part 1: Monsters

Okay, so this is going to be a short series on staple cards in the current meta (March 2013 banlist). Now, before I start, it is important to note that the definition of what qualifies as a staple is rather subjective, so it is quite possible you see these more as techs than cards to drop into every deck.

Effect Veiler

During your opponent’s Main Phase: You can send this card from yourhand to the Graveyard to target 1 face-up Effect monster your opponentcontrols; negate that target’s effects until the End Phase.

I am inclined to believe that I hold a somewhat unique view in of that I really, really do not like this card; either being used against me or being used by me.  I find the condition that it has to be used in the opponent’s Main Phase makes it too awkward for me.

That being said, it’s also easy to see the appeal of this card, the ability to turn off your opponent’s Catastor or Zenmains will always be infinitely useful, but I think that Breakthrough Skill just does it better.

Ed: Having asked around, I got a different viewpoint from a friend of mine. He said that be preferred Veiler on the grounds that it is a LIGHT type, thus allowing for Chaos plays, and because it is a tuner, thus allowing for an emergency Black Rose Dragon if you should fid yourself up “s*** creek”. Valid points, methinks.

Maxx “C”

During either player’s turn: You can send this card from your hand to theGraveyard; this turn, each time your opponent Special Summons amonster(s), immediately draw 1 card. You can only use 1 “Maxx “C”” per turn.

After my somewhat negative review of Veiler, I am gonna give this card a massive thumbs-up. It just works so well these days against a lot of decks. It might not stop them from summoning anymore, but hey, who cares when it gives you such a good plus against a lot of things.

Of course, there is a downside. Soul Drain will pretty much ruin this card, but then, that’ll ruin quite a lot of things really, but then, that’s why we run MST, isn’t it?

Gorz the Emissary of Darkness and Tragodia 

These two cards do basically the same thing really: they stop you from losing when it looks like you don’t stand a chance. Each one has its positives and its negatives. I run a Fabled deck, so Tragodia sending things to the grave doesn’t help me a lot, however, its effect goes off whenever you take battle damage, which is a lot easier than having an empty field, which can lead to Gorz handing around in your hand for a long time. Tragodia can steal monsters and change levels, making for some quick and easy XYZ plays, whereas Gorz always has a consistently high attack and pops out a token, which can be used for things. It’s really a matter of personal preference how many of these you run and it what arrangement, but I find it’s good to run at least one of them.

Thunder King Rai-Oh

Neither player can add cards from their Deck to their hand except by drawing them. During either player’s turn, when your opponent would Special Summon a monster: You can send this face-up card to the Graveyard; negate the Special Summon, and if you do, destroy it.

I can see why people are running this card. The ability to lock down searches and special summons is very useful. I find that this card is a bit too much of a double edged sword though, as it mean that you can’t search too. Which is a pain.

Personally, I find the ability to negate inherent special summons is, however, fantastic. Either, it’ll make your opponent a little more conservative with their summons, or it’ll allow you to get rid of something.

Now, this isn’t quite a complete list, as the definition of staples is rather vague, but I like to think that it covers the most important main deck monster staples. Of course I do. I wrote the damn thing.

What makes a top tier deck?

They're not quite dead yet

They’re not quite dead yet

Well, after a long sabbatical, I figure I’d come back with a rather difficult question, what does make a top tier deck?

To start, a really good boss monster. This might sound obvious, but without at least one clear boss monster, the deck can’t quite work as well, hence certain decks never quite making top tier. For example, my Fabled deck. Although it can synchro pretty briskly, Fabled Leviathan is no way as good as something like Abyssgaios or Grapha. A good boss monster is essential, as it gives the deck an objective; to summon it. Now, a lot of decks move beyond their boss monster, which is good, a little originality never hurt the game, but the boss gives the deck something to work with in the first couple of months of its life, thus allowing it to become a thing before the deck evolves into whatever it becomes.

Secondly, the deck must be able to search anything, quickly and reliably. For example, Wind-Ups have both Factory and Magician (even if you can only have one), which allow you to get anything you need. This searching allows the player to work around drawing, which is notoriously unreliable (for example, when you desperately need a monster but cannot draw one), and also to play any strategy they need whenever they need it. A few decks work around this by drawing relentlessly, for example Exoida decks or certain Six Samurai builds.

Thirdly, the deck cannot see the graveyard as a death for their cards. Whilst it is a common move to use the graveyard to support strategies (for example, Frogarchs or Chaos Dragons), a powerful deck will not see cards going to the graveyard as a problem, either because their strategies cannot be stopped simply by loosing just one monster, or because that monster can simply come back or be used for something else (for example, with Elemental Dragons).

Finally, the deck must have more than enough space for staples like Monster Reborn, Heavy Storm or Mystical Space Typhoon, simply because (as you probably well know) these cards are just too good to miss.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments.

GW vs. Apple

The most original design ever…

As you should all be aware, Apple recently introduced the iPhone 5 to the world, thus fending fanboys crazy. My self, I was rather unimpressed really. It still looks like the iPhone 4, and the display is almost identical to ye olde iPhone 1. But it still retails at £530 (ish). This got me thinking about the comparisons people draw between GW’s and Apple’s business strategies and I realised something: GW does it better.

GW doing better than anyone business-wise is a pretty revolutionary idea, let alone them doing it better than Apple. Firstly, they sorta’ do the same thing:

-they both try to keep new products secret, which neither does particularly well at any more

-they both sell their products for horrific prices, and people still buy them, despite their being cheeper alternatives

-they both assume themselves to be the masters of their sector (which to some degree is true)

-they both revolutionise their products with every new release

Up until now, that weird status quo carried on, quite possibly with neither company realising it. But the new iPhone does not revolutionise anything. So far, all the reviews say that people will still buy it, but that its rivals are looking much more appealing. This is most likely because Steve Jobs (who was quite adept at coming up will brilliant ideas) died, and was replaced by his number two, who was the businessman. Therefore, the businessman produces things that sell, rather than things that revolutionise.

GW still makes huge strides forwards. Whenever a new Codex/Army Book is released, it completely changes the layout of the game. Players have to respond to new things and think in a different way. By doing this, GW can keep people hooked in he game, as it is constantly chaining and remaining interesting.

What does this mean? Firstly, GW still has a lot of life in it, and secondly, Apple may start to stop being Apple. For once, I suggest they have a look at GW, and see what they can learn.

6th Edition – thoughts in advance

This is now completely fine.

As you should all well know, 5th edition is drawing to a close. We’re had some good times with her, but now it is time to say goodbye, and look at the new, shiny things that 6th edition is flinging our way. And so, here are my top 3 things 6th is giving us.

1 – Allies

This is genius, if a little odd from the point of view of old Daemon Hunter and Witch Hunter player; as it seems GW have wiped out allies, only to bring them back again. That notwithstanding (3 points I think), this clearly brings new elements into the game. Firstly, C:CSM players no longer have to put up with their crappy Daemons, they can ally in some proper ones. You can have an Inquisitor leading an army of Guardsmen. It really does allow you to build some real fluff into your army.

However, GW also saw the possibility for people gaming the system, so their are limitations. Firstly, certain armies cannot ally with others, or are distrustful of those they can ally with. Secondly, you cannot nearly add a unit. You have to take at least 1 Troop and 1 HQ (not a named one, apparently) from the allied force, and then can only take 1 Troop (which would mean 2 overall), Elite, Fast Attack and/or Heavy Support; so your allied contingent is never going to make up the bulk of your army, but it could be really game changing.

2 – Flyers

Lets face it, we have been expecting this since the Guard Codex premiered the Valkyrie and the Vendetta. Now, rather than being highly conspicuous skimmers, they are proper Flyers, and unit type in their own right.

Flyers can move quickly, and from what I can tell, seem to be meant to be used as fire bases rather than transports, as they can move fairly swiftly and still fire a lot of guns. This is great, as you can get whichever guns you need to any part of the battlefield ASAP.

Of course, there is a downside. When they go down, they crash. And then probably blow up. This is brilliant if it smashes into your opponent, but can be a bit of a problem if it blows up your guys. My advice is to get them where they are going ASAP. Otherwise, you could have a problem on your hands.

3 – Capturing

As well as being able to capture objectives, your Troops can now capture other things on the battlefield, for example, weapons emplacements, such as the one that (somewhat conveniently) comes with the pre-fab walls GW produces. Scatter a couple of heavy weapons about the battlefield and have some fun with pure anarchy should someone capture a load early on.

However, it also seems that one can capture pieces of terrain which are not objectives. This can be a big deal, as now your Heavy Weapons team or Long Fang pack can capture a load of ol drums for some pretty solid cover. The downside? Ever watched a movie where the oil drums conveniently blow up, taking out a load of baddies? That can now happen. Which should make the game more interesting, if again, more chaotic.

 

So there you go folks, my top three things 6th edition has given us. Naturally, after a couple of games of 6th I will do another one of these lists. Which is probably going to be completely different.

Kuriboh Deck Building pt 2

See, I told you they were everywhere!

Right, let’s get straight into it.

Multiply and Detonate

Multiply simply allows you to swarm the field with as many Kuriboh tokens as you possibly can. These tokens are pretty sucky, but they can be used for a synchro summon (although, I have never managed to use them as such) or in combination with Detonate to clear your opponent’s field for a nice direct attack, with something like Athena or Darklord Desire, which you should have set up earlier.

Darklord Desire

Along with Athena, Darklord Desire forms the straight up beatstick part of the deck. Desire can easily go head-to-head with the ever annoying Blue-Eyes White Dragon, so you are pretty safe from most monsters your opponent will try to throw at you. Additionally, if you tribute simon him with a fairy type monster, you only need to provide one tribute. I find that I often use Marshmallon  after my opponent has attacked it, as then you can have them lose an additional 1000 life points into the bargain.

Athena

In my experience, Athena is pretty much a staple in every fairy deck. Whilst there are always some fiends within a Kuriboh deck, the vast majority of the cards are fairies, and so benefit from the effects of Athena; the most useful of these being her ability to inflict 600 direct damage to your opponent for every fairy summoned, even if they play it. This little trick has proven to be very nasty against Agent decks.

Her second effect is that you can tribute a fairy to special summon one from your grave. If you do a little Marshmallon switch with two of them, you can do 600 damage every turn without even attacking.

Marshmallon

I originally wasn’t going to write about Marshmallon, but I have brought him up so many times, it seems like the right thing to do.

Firstly, run two if you can. These guys are really, really annoying and provide a valuable stall whilst your opponent builds up their attacking power, and you (hopefully) draw the cards needed to summon Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10. Along with the tricks listed above, Marshmallon can become a truly invaluable member of your deck.

Against most monsters he will do fine, sitting there, wobbling around as their attacks bounce off him, but occasionally he will be hit by the rare monster that can do piercing damage. This is a problem, but can be rectified through the use of the Sanctuary in the Sky field card, which also helps protect you from damage with your other fairy monsters.

Chaos Sorcerer

Chaos Sorcerer is a very annoying card for your opponent. If played correctly, he can really ruin your opponent’s plan, and is at no risk of being hit by Mirror Force. As with all Chaos monsters, you can special summon him by banishing one DARK and one LIGHT monster in your grave. I almost always put him in defence position, as you’re rarely summoning him to battle.

So, why summon him? Simple. Once per turn, he can pick a face up monster on your opponent’s side of the field and banish it. Even if you only get to do this once, it is a hugely useful thing to be able to do.

Once he’s banished your opponent’s trump card, feel free to tribute him to summon a more fighty monster, and punch something up, or, if you’ve also played the ol’ Multiply/Detonate trick, hit their life points directly.

I’m going to leave it there for today, because I just can’t be bothered to write anymore. Lazy, maybe, but who’s to stop me?

Kuriboh Deck Building Pt 1

Ed. I have had to split this article down, as I realised it was becoming really, really long. So there will be at least one other article, possibly two more. Maybe even three…

I have more than a slight interest in Kuriboh. In fact, recently it has turned into quite an obsession. Seriously, it’s getting ridiculous. With that in mind, I have decided to grant my wisdom to the interwebs.

This post will not show you a top level deck list, and then why you should build it. Partly because I am not the sort of player who can afford top level deck lists, and secondly because I have a thing about net lists. Instead, I will list useful cards and how to use them, starting with:

Kuriboh

As well as being the namesake of the deck, this card is actually very useful. Considering that the objective of the deck is to stall until two things have been achieved, 1) you have gathered the cards needed to summon Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10 and 2) your opponent has summoned a load of high ATK monsters; being able to prevent battle damage is really very handy.

Once discarded, Kuriboh can be banished for Chaos Sorcerer (who will get his own section later) or another Chaos monster, or added back into the hand by using Dark Eruption (which allows you to add one DARK type monster with less than 1500ATK from your graveyard to your hand). Personally, I prefer the former, as I find that Dark Eruption takes up important deck space, but it’s your call.

Winged Kuriboh

This is quite possibly the most important card in the deck. Firstly, it allows you to summon Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10, which is the key to the deck, and secondly it prevents battle damage for a turn. This latter effect means that if you can do nothing else, you can set it, and if it is destroyed, you are protected for a turn.

Should the summon of Winged Kruiboh Lv. 10 should be negated, the effect of Winged Kruboh still activates, and it too provides fodder for the summoning of Chaos Sorcerer. Sadly, there is no ‘Light Eruption’, and so adding it back into your hand has to be done through Monster Reincarnation or a similar card.

Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10 and Transcendent Wings

Winged Kruboh Lv. 10 is what allows Kuriboh decks to be able to win duels. If used properly, it can provide a very efficient OTK (one turn kill, when you decrease your opponent’s life points from 8000 to 0 in one move), although I find that Magic Cylinders and Marshmallon normally cause some life point loss before Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10 can do his thing. That ‘thing’ being destroying all your opponent’s ATK position monsters and inflicting damage equal to their combined original ATKs.

Other than Level Modulation, Transcendent Wings is the only card that allows you to summon Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10, as it cannot be normal summoned or set. It is (fortunately) a quick play magic card, so you can activate it and summon Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10 on your opponent’s battle phase, which is handy, considering that is the only time his effect can activate. Since an opponent with any smarts about him will realise that this is your intention pretty sharpish, you should be glad that you can summon Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10 when Winged Kuriboh is face down, this preventing them from trying to find a way around your nefarious scheme.

There is a downside. Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10’s effect specifies that it deals damage equal to the original ATKs of the destroyed cards, so this strategy is fairly unreliable against Inzektors, or any other decks that buff weak monsters.

Winged Kuriboh Lv. 9

The younger brother of Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10 has a much more straight-forwards aim, smash stuff; which naturally explains why he seems to be welding Power Fists from Warhammer 40,000. He gains 500 ATK for each and every spell/magic card in your opponents graveyard; with the catch being that all spell/magic cards that are activated being banished instead of sent to the grave. The first thing to note about that is that it only applies to spell/magic cards that are activated. If they are destroyed by Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon or any similar card, whilst they are face down, or the activation is negated by a card such as Dark Bribe (my favourite trap ever), then they are still sent to the grave as they were not activated.

His secondary effect is that he can be special summoned as ‘Chain Link 3 or higher’, during either player’s turn. Just get hit by the much hated Mirror Force? Special him as link 3. If your lucky, he might even have enough ATK by that point to do some damage as well.

He is a very handy late game beatstick, but is otherwise rather unimpressive when you actually play him.

The Flute of Summoning Kuriboh

The Flute is a very handy card. Firstly, you can add Kuriboh into your hand and use its life saving effect, and secondly, you can special summon Winged Kuriboh (or vice-verca, it doesn’t limit you to those moves). This is brilliant, because as a quick play card, you can activate it one your opponent’s turn, thus allowing you to protect yourself, or activate Transcendent Wings during their replay.

Kurivolt

Kurivolt is a rather illogical card for Konami to have introduced, as it’s effect messes with XYZ monsters rather than protecting your life points, but no matter. It allows you to detach an XYZ material from your opponent’s monster, and special summon another Kurivolt. you can do this as many times as you like, as long as you still have at least one Kurivolt in your deck. These three can then be used for a tribute summon, or to XYZ a Rank 1 monster.

I find these guys to be very situational, but can be handy if you add a Galaxy Storm, as you can bring down a powerful XYZ monster without attacking (it is more fun to set Galaxy Storm, let the XYZ monster attack, and then quick play it, blowing their monster up instead of yours).

Kuribon

Although my love for the Kuri series is rather greater than what one should feel towards trading cards, I have to admit, that when you take it on it’s own, Kuribon is one of the worst cards in the game, as it will increase your opponent’s life points and then bounce back into the hand.

However, by chucking a Bad Reaction to Simochi in there, you can decrease your opponent’s life points instead. In some cases, this means that you can leave Kuribon out in the open and your opponent will not attack it, thus allowing you to save cards for a tribute (Athena and Darklord Desire are good calls). I don’t run one any more, but they can be handy.

Star Trek XI-In Retrospect

Cool huh?

In 2009, I went to see Star Trek XI in my local cinema, as, I imagine, did a lot of you. So you may well be asking yourselves why I have chosen to write this article now, and not then. Well, firstly, I didn’t have a blog in 2009, nor did I have any idea that people would actually read such a thing. Secondly, now I have spent two years thinking about it and rolling it over in my head, so I might actually have something looking like a good idea now.

Positives

The most obvious thing about this new movie is that Star Trek has returned. After four years of hiatus since the end of Enterprise, Trek has returned. The movie was a hit, and so many people ‘got into’ the Original Series, and by extension, into the rest of Trekdom.

Secondly, it gave them a chance to bring things more in line with both Enterprise and the real world. For example, in Enterprise, things were sleek and modern, it looked like what it was meant to be; the logical extension from the Space Shuttles and the ISS. Yet, when you move onto the Original Series, things have become angular and awkward. Our new USS Enterprise looks like the descendent of the NX-01.

As some of you will no doubt have noticed, there is a bit of time travel in Star Trek. However, as it takes place when Kirk is older or dead, it clearly happens after Kirk becomes commander of the Enterprise. This gives the powers that be the ability to bring Trek canon more in line with the real world. Of course, that may not necessarily be a good thing, for example, without the devastating wars, would Cochrane ever have made his famous warp flight? I doubt we will ever know, but it makes for a conversation topic.

Negatives

The biggest thing that bugged me was that it was never explained (to me at least) that this was an alternate reality. So I spent half the film worrying that my precious Star Trek canon had been completely wiped out. I thought that they really were re-booting the franchise, to the expense of everything else. Once this was explained to me I was fine with it, but that terrible feeling of loss really was unpleasant.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be fully aware that the Avengers film came out recently. As it too is a sci-fi block buster, people have literally flocked to watch it. this isn’t a problem, geekdom becoming more mainstream means more demand for a new Trek TV series (pretty please Tv people). The problem is that people watch these types of film and then decide that they are experts on the subject. Seriously. I know a guy who watched the movie once and decided that he was a Trekkie. His lack of knowledge was hugely annoying, as was the fact that he didn’t know what a Klingon was.

Onto my final rant. The Klingons are the most famous race in Star Trek. In some cases, they are even better known than Starfleet. So why on Qo’noS did they cut the only brief bit of Klingon action in the film? Even if they had only appeared for a few minutes, at least we would know that they are there too, and we can all relax and enjoy the movie.

In conclusion, I can only hope that the upcoming Star Trek XII carries on this new universe but actually boldly going someplace new, so that we can really get a feel for it. And I hope for Klingons.

Decks-The Art of Building

Where the magic happens...

I have now been building my Kuriboh deck in one form or another for a long time. For most of that time the deck was really, really bad. I mean really bad. But as of late-it’s started to perform really well. Why? Well, the simple art of Deckjitsu guided me through. ‘What is Deckjitsu?’ I hear you cry. Allow me to elaborate.

Choose a Deck

Sadly-it is physically impossible for one man/woman/alien being to build every deck. There are too many, it would be really expensive, and when you finally build the last one, the guys at Konami would put out another three or four archetypes. So firstly, you have to choose a deck. I choose Kuriboh because it sounded like a cool idea, and I like the card art for his Winged variants. Next I am building Inzektors (I can hear cries of cheese already) because they are a powerful deck, are completely opposite to the Kuriboh, and I would like to attend a tournament one of these days, and I don’t plan on coming last. Of corse, there are hundreds of other reasons why one may choose a deck-but the important thing is to make sure that you will enjoy playing the deck. Don’t pick up a Dark World deck because your mate said they where awesome if you would rather be playing E-HEROs-play something you will enjoy.

Learn How It Works

Each and every archetype has a main theme running through it as far as operations are concerned. For example, Kuriboh work by negating battle damage, Inzektors equip to each other, and Aliens use A-counters to whittle down the ATK and DEF of opposing monsters. You have to identify this USP (unique selling point-there isn’t really any other phrase I can think of to describe it) and figure out how to capitalise upon it.

Build a Deck

Or, at the very least write a list. I personally make use of the Deck Constructor feature of Duelling Network to put together the rudimentary elements of my decks. Either way-this is where the embryonic form of the deck starts. Once you know what the USP of your deck is, figure out a load of viable combinations and add those cards. Then, add cards like Mirror Force and Seven Tools of the Bandit, or which ever cards you take as staples in all of your decks. I normally find I am a few cards short by this point, so I normally add a few more monster cards, as I find it handy to have LOADS of monsters.

Test Draws

Shuffle your deck and see what the top five or six cards are. See if there is any viable way of playing them. If not, you may need to add or remove (normally add) something to the deck. Keep trying this until you are predominantly drawing cards that you want or need to get your game off to a good start.

Test Play

Play with the deck against people of an equal level to you. With a test deck, there is no point playing against people who are better than you, they will normally wind against this infant deck, nor is there much point in playing people worse than you, you normally don’t get a good gauge of the power of the deck. After a while you will notice little things that you have built into the deck that you didn’t intend to. Remember, only working on pre-planed strategies early ever works, as you cannot predict your enemy (unless you actually are Maxamillion Pegasus, which I doubt). If you notice something that the deck needs, add it, and if there are cards that you never use, remove them, they take up valuable deck space.

Enjoy

By this point you all have tested the deck about as well as you possibly can. The only thing you can do now is go out into the big wide world and play the deck. One important point is that a deck cannot remain static. You must be prepared to change a deck to fit any changes in the game’s meta.

But most of all-remember to have fun with your deck. After all-it is only a game!

Sci-fi is rubbish?

To be fair, his last girlfriend did run away with Q...

I have watched/read quite a lot of science-fiction offer the corse of my life. Whilst it may be a stereotype, a lot of my reader will be gamers, and so will have done the same. And you may have noticed this too, but a lot of sic-fi is really, really bad.

Why? Well, that can be covered by a few things-

Inconsistencies-Ahh, the ol’ continuity error. Now the problem here isn’t the little things-those can even be quite fun to hunt for, and satisfying to notice-it’s the whacking great things. For example, Andromeda, and specifically season 3. One episode she has a highly trained crew, the next, it’s just the main characters. Whilst this is the one I have noticed, there are probably more.

Cilches- Where would we be with out the ubiquitous exploding consoles in every command deck/bridge of a starship (maybe that’s what happens in 2012, we lose knowledge of fuses). Or aliens that don’t like us for improbable reasons? Or convenient Deus Ex Machina? We’d probably have more interesting shows for a start…

Physics- A) Whilst it is true that sci-fi writers almost certainly don’t have degrees in physics, you’d think that they’d be able to ring one up, wouldn’t you? B) Every show takes one bit of physics and rolls with it. For example, Warhammer 40,000 makes it very clear that it takes years for a communication to cross the galaxy, Andromeda establishes that it takes light a while to get anywhere, and Star Trek seems to have a love for the work of Mr. Einstein. It’d be nice if more things applied.

Technobabble- In his song, The USS Make S*** Up, Voltaire makes it very clear that we know that they make things up, the writers and actors both. The problem with this is that quite a few of us know about science, and just sticking science words together does’t really work very well (photon torpedo? That doesn’t even make sense).

Indestructible Main Characters-This one was mainly committed by DS9 and that most reliably flawed show, Andromeda. For example, Capt. Sisko climbs aboard his little runabout and flies straight past the enemy, taking no damage. Lt. Bloggs tries the same and is blown to little tiny pieces.

‘Then why do you still watch it?’

By this point, you may have gleaned that I am a little annoyed by this televisual weirdness. But, as you may have also guessed, I still watch this stuff. I watched EVERY EPISODE of Andromeda, despite the fact that it was guilty of many of these things (which is why it is a common victim of my complains, sorry Mr. Roddenberry). But, as I say, I watched all of it. So, why? Well, for a start, no other genre has such a loyal fanbase-it makes me feel more like I am a part of something. Secondly, spaceships are cool. Not as deep a reason as the first comment, but still a valid one. The big, scary enemies. Although I know that eventually the goodies will fly heroically into victory, there is still that nagging doubt that they are all going to die horribly. And finally, the shows actually try to say something about the Human Condition, and what people can do at the very best (and worst) of that condition. There is a depth to these thing.

I tried to say something deep here. If I failed, so be it-it’s just nice to know that someone will read this, and hopefully, they will understand what I am trying to say- Small, Far Away out.