In case you have been living under the rock, the latest hype train in Yugioh is the upcoming twelve zodiac archetype, Juunishi, set to debut in the upcoming RATE pack for the OCG. This won't be an introduction article for the archetype, so if you are looking to know more about the archetype, now might be a good time to redirect you to Dsummon's video before you continue reading.
Might be a little late for our OCG friends, but TCG pals can start scouting, here are the following cards I believe will be worth the investment, or simply a purchase-before-hype list for all TCG players wanting to play the archetype. For OCG players, if you are only know about the archetype now, it might be a little late to the party. But better late than never, treat it as a shopping list then. But.... just be sure to have a big fat wallet.
1) Speedroid Engine.
Terratop, Red-Eye Dice, Taketomborg
It is the usually one-card xyz summon without eating up your normal summon play with Terratop, except that this time you go into M-X Saber Invoker.
Seriously though, Terratop offers so much pluses and extends into so many plays, since it is pretty much your one way ticket to a Rank3, I was really surprised it wasn't hit yet.
Red-Eyed may not be a necessity, but the change in ABC deck builds since its debut is a reminder that nothing is set in stone for Yugioh deck builds. The need to access synchro monsters may arise in the near future and thus it might be wise to keep at least a copy of Red-Eyed Dice.
As shown in Dsummon's video, players can meet M-X Saber's summoning requirement by using Goyo Defender, a synchro monster made available thanks to Red-Eyed Dice versatile level changing capabilities.
But really, everything starts from Terratop...
2) M-X Saber Invoker
The nightmare that follows... Being able to fetch a monster directly from the deck increases consistency of the archetype, in the sense that you don't need your combo pieces to be in hand, and you even hope for them not to be in your hand.
One Terratop can really achieve a lot, I think the record I have seen so far from the videos is a +10.
3) Fire Formation Spells
Namely Tenki and Tensu.
Both of these aid in the beast-warrior archetype deck providing searches and extra normal summon to help their explosive plays. Tenki is usually used to fetch the off-themed beast-warrior cards, such as Coach Captain Bearman.
On that note, it is always nice to keep staples like Tenki and Tensu, seeing how they can easily tutor decks that consists of beast-warrior types.
Coach King Giantrainer and Coach Captain Bearman
Previously the lack of Level 4 beast-warrior which could flood the field for Bearman's effect made Bearman irrelevant to the game. The game wasn't concentrated on beast-warrior back then, and the type wasn't in the spotlight.... until now...
Coach King Giantrainer's three required xyz materials is a tall order, but the summoning materials required can be easily curbed by Bearman's effect.
Giantrainer provides a draw and minor burn damage but most importantly, condenses the number of monsters on your field from three to a single Rank8 xyz monster, freeing up monster zones for more special summon spams.
5) Xyz Gift
Another tech card on the rise to make full use of Coach King Giantrainer remaining xyz materials. Adds to the consistency of the deck with the draws, allowing player to further extend their combos and at the same time, and who doesn't like drawing cards?
Seems situational, so I am not sold on it just yet.
But enough about the archetype's play style, I personally like dethroning the top tier decks. And the following cards are what I have in mind to do the job. This list isn't exhaustive. I haven't went through playtesting or more in-depth analysis, but I feel that these cards are good as counters to the 12 Zodiac archetype, theoretically.
1) Flying "C"
Everything starts from the xyz summons, namely M-X Saver Invoker. Flying "C" will stop the archetype from having their way and the impressive first turn field setup.
2) Ghost Ogre
Ghost Ogre can be used to destroy the monsters when the xyz monsters activate their effects. The same goes for the effect monsters. Using it on the effect monsters might be crucial as this removes a monster from the board, preventing your opponent from xyz summoning using that single monster.
Personally I think an acceptable target, at the very least is Speedroid Terratop, destroying it right off the bat might possibly stop them from achieving a Rank3 play.
Typhoon has a harsh activation condition that requires your opponent to control two face-up spell/traps. Its only utility over Mystical Space Typhoon is due to the fact that you can use it on your opponent even when he takes the first turn. Typhoon would be useful in getting rid of their second continuous traps - Fire Formation - Tensu.
Tenki will like be face-up on the field prior to this, allowing you to activate Typhoon from your hand.
Hand traps for the win.
4) Skill Drain
Should you have the opportunity to take the lead, decks that can abuse Skill Drain will give the Zodiacs some trouble. Firstly, the effect monsters give the grant xyz monsters effects, hence, when Skill Drain is active, that 'given' effect is thus nullified.
In fact, I feel that we will be seeing a couple more Skill Drain decks than before, given the fact that Qliphort Scout went back to three with the most recent banlist, and that Spirit Beast is receiving another support card in RATE. Yes, another!
5) Deck Devastation Virus
This is another prototype idea to counter the deck, seeing how the archetype's xyz monster gain ATK and DEF based on their materials, and the frequent detach-as-cost, the xyz monsters might end up at 0ATK or low enough for them to be escorted to the graveyard.
You can also tinker with the new Virus trap card which mainly targets monsters with lower defense as well.
As usual, Maxx "C" can help you draw into the hand traps you need, but it wouldn't be wise to activate it during your opponent's Standby Phase, as they can just choose to play defensively. It is much better to do so upon Taketomburg summon and make them decide to go big or go home. At worst, that way, is a one for one card exchange.
Dropping Maxx "C" during their Standby may result in a -1 in card economics, and you start with only five cards in hand when going second instead of the usual six.
There is an old card, for our newer players in the community named Manticore of Darkness, which could essentially deck you out by forming an endless loop during their End Phase. That way, you will sadly die before your turn even comes. Thankfully, all is not lost, a single D.D. Crow can break the endless loop and you start your turn possibly with a large hand advantage.
And also, I doubt anyone will play it. It seems to be harmful towards the deck by including non-crucial and non-combo pieces.
Of course, it may be worth the while since it provides the deck with an alternate win condition apart from beatdown - making the opponent deck out.
Junnishi also requires plenty of searching to pull off their combos. So preventing them from achieving those searches may also pay off. Be it Thunder-King Rai-Oh or Mistake, or perhaps Droll & Lock Bird, whatever floats your boat.
The only time I would consider dropping Maxx "C" during the Standby is when I open with two copies in my starting hand, which is a rare occurrence, seeing how I always never open with even a single one.
ConclusionJuunishi, 十二獣 is inspired from the Chinese mythology of the twelve zodiacs. Seeing how only nine cards are revealed now, I think we can safely say we are expecting three more cards to be added to the family. Additionally, the cat animal also participated in the animal race but came in thirteenth, if I recall correctly, so it won't be surprising if a card was created and dedicated to that reference.
Then again, Nitro Synchro gave me trust issues...
As usual, players around are still tinkering with the 'best' built while some others remain skeptical of this archetype's success and capabilities. The above list is the main skeleton for the off-themed cards required to pull off the basic plays and combos, or at the very least, tutor the deck. I hope this article has served you well.
Thank you for reading.