Sunday, 5 February 2017

Card Discussion: Solemn Warning

Solemn Warning is looking to be one of the best counter trap for the current OCG format.


Solemn Warning does one thing that Solemn Strike can't - negate cards with additional or secondary effects, such as the afore-mentioned Starlight Road and Macro Cosmos. The latter is a rarer sight but players have been running Starlight Road in a bid to escape board wipes and massive backrow destruction. Solemn Warning takes care of Starlight Road, and there is really no way around it. The interaction won't allow you reach the stage where you make your choice of summoning Stardust Dragon. Just the mere fact that you can summon out a monster is enough for Solemn Warning to have a window of opportunity to negate that card

Speaking of mass destruction, Solemn Warning can also prevent the resolution of Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, a common card in the current OCG metagame that is used to break established boards.

On the other hand, Solemn Strike is capable of only negating and destroying the inherent special summon of a Kaiju monster, but by then, your monster will have already been tributed away. In terms of coverage against a Kaiju engine, Solemn Strike falls short as Solemn Warning can answer to Interrupted Kaiju Slumber.

Another popular engine was the Artifact engine. Against it, Solemn Strike does indeed prove to be a better option, as it can be aimed at the Artifact monsters' effect activation. On the other hand, Solemn Warning can only respond to the Artifact monsters' effect in grave, making it powerless against Artifacts summoned by Artifact Sanctum. You are of course free to negate and destroy Artifact Sanctum, but that would cost you another card on your field. Nevertheless, the Artifact engine is seeing less play since Ghost Ash & Spring Flowers showed up, as I mentioned before.

The Tradeoff

The part that you forgo is the monster effects section. However, with the introduction of Ghost Ash and Spring Flowers, a card with a wide range of targets it can victimise, ranging from Maxx "C" to Book of Eclipse, it may be time to shelve Solemn Strike for a while and let Ghost Ash and Spring Flowers handle the negating. It can even share some of the work with Solemn Warning - Ghost Ash can also negate Interrupted Kaiju Slumber.

Solemn Warning has a higher cost than its more popular counterpart Solemn Strike. The distinction between the two has to be made, considering Solemn Warning caters to summons that Solemn Strike can't - flip summon, normal summons and most importantly - inherent Special Summons.

Metagame Consideration

In the current meta, if we are to consider the common decks played, we have a good mix of Invoked, Pendulum and Zoodiac decks. The latest Tribute-Stun deck, we will touch on it later.

Firstly: The Invoked utilises Fusion summoning, a summoning process that Solemn Strike can't interfere with, although a timely negation of Aleister the Invoked's search must stop their plays. Of course, under the effects of Reckless Summoning Magic, Solemn Warning won't be able to stop the process either, since their theme's field spell offers protection against negation. However, when facing an established board, Solemn Strike would prove to be useful against cards like Merkabah the Invoked.

Secondly: The most common Pendulum deck currently is Pendulum "Magicians". Their monsters are equipped with effects that trigger upon destruction. Taking that into consideration, negating their Pendulum summon or field effects is the last thing you would want to do. However, I do feel that negating Performapal Skullcrobat Joker's normal summon, as they attempt to start their play, with Solemn Warning, hence sending Performapal Skullcrobat Joker to the grave would hurt their game plan deeply. Solemn Strike would simply send it to the Extra Deck instead, where it can still be summoned back to either Xyz summon or just maintain field presence.

When would Pendulum decks normal summon? Why would they even want to normal summon?  
This is a question I heard in passing earlier in January, but I am guessing that the player forgot that even Pendulum decks require Normal Summons to start off their plays and momentum.

Against other pendulum decks such as Metalfoes and Qli, I would say both Solemns share the same placing in terms of importance and coverage. The same can be said for Zoodiacs, but Solemn Warning does have a plus point as it can extend towards Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs.


Master Peace the Masterpiece

The highlight of this article is to also introduce the threat of Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King, the latest monster policing the metagame. Breaking away from the 'social norm' of special summoning, Master Peace tribute summons itself to the field, hence bypassing floodgates such as Vanity's Emptiness, Dimensional Barrier, and even Solemn Strike. While Solemn Strike can always negate its effect activation, by merely tributing ANY continuous traps, it can remain immune to trap effects. It is at times like this that one truly appreciates the availability of negation for the Normal Summon department; when you can't negate the effect of Master Peace, you target the summon negation.

tl;dr - Currently, it is my belief that Solemn Judgment + Solemn Warning outperforms Solemn Strikes, due to their ability to negate the current meta threats and the Advance-Summoned Master Peace. Triple Solemn Strikes is also too costly in the current metagame, considering that Zoodiacs are becoming more and more prominent. The lifepoint cost might inch you nearer to defeat.

I personally feel that Solemn Strike is too passive in nature and is reliant on your opponent's actions for you to have an oppurtunity to respond. I would choose substitute Solemn Strike with a tech card that has been catching on - My Body as a Shield. My Body as a Shield provides better coverage against Zoodiac Dracia and Torrential Tribute although there may be some dispute regarding its effectiveness. I feel that it is an 'enabler' card that allows you to perform your plays without fear of being interuptted by any form of destruction directed at your monsters.


You are always free to keep copies of your Solemn Strike intact in your deck, but I am thinking that there isn't a better time than now to give the forgotten Solemn Warning a chance. There is also no harm running both.

The blog has been quieter than usual. I apologise for that. Plenty of us are busy with our personal commitments, a common one being the Chinese New Year.

Additionally, for those who haven't heard, I will also be contributing to BeyondTheDuel from now on. There are other authors on the site, some of which may be familiar names to you.

BeyondTheDuel Members

I already have a few articles up for Zoodiac-Invoked on the site. Fans of the deck/archetype might wanna check it out while waiting for updates on Dueling "C".

Hope to see you there.

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