Kagero is the first unit in the Dragon Empire military force, led by massive Flame Dragons that make their home in the nation of heat and flame. As one of the most powerful military forces in the world it employs both humans for their technological prowess and dragons for their might and... fire breathing capabilities. Kagero is played by a number of characters in the anime but primarily by Kai Toshiki.
Kagero is another Vanguard centric Force clan. You'll find yourself spending resources in order to power up your Vanguard or re-stand them to make multiple powerful attacks. Post EB-06 Kagero involves running multiple versions of Dragonic Overlord, with the goal to re-stand him as much as possible.
Kagero also has a large number of cards that can retire selected enemy units. This grants Kagero a large amount of control over the battlefield at any point. Retiring your opponent's key units can be a very easy way to secure victory!
Kagero as a deck is rather simple, with its goal being to control the board and smash in with high powered Vanguard attacks. The most powerful military on the planet Cray brings forth its mightiest warriors to battle!
Definitive win condition
Re-standing Vanguard and Rearguards in a Force clan
Has a toolbox to pull from
Force clan numbers give natural advantage against Accel
One dimensional, has a similar game plan every game
Sub-par first Grade 3 ride compared to other clans
Very reliant on Vanguard to carry the game
Can be soft to protect clans
Kagero's opening Grade 1 and 2 turns are solid, and while they don't match the blistering speed of Bermuda Triangle, the Kagero Grade 1 and 2 turns focus on generating card advantage with cards like Sable Dragonewt and Berserk Dragon. If you go second, your opponent has to make a tough decision between letting Dragonewt hit and you drawing a card or not having counterblast for their follow up turn.
Your ideal Grade 2 ride is either going to be Berserk Dragon or Dragon Full-Armored Buster. Berserk Dragon nets you a card and retires a unit, this is your ideal ride. The other ideal ride would be Full-Armored Buster, as he also retires a unit and checks the top 7 cards for an Overlord unit.
Because both of your ideal Grade 2 rides retire a unit, this forces decks that want to play the early game to play more cautiously as they don't want to throw away rearguards for free.
If your opening hand post mulligan contains any combination of these three cards as well as any Grade 3, you’ll be in great shape for the rest of the game! The deck has a lot of ways to recover resources and generate advantage. It’s also important to find Dragonic Overlord early as he is the deck’s ideal first Grade 3 ride.
Dragonic Overlord is your ideal first ride target. With the ability to reach an unboosted 33,000 power with a Force marker, your opponent will have a hard time guarding if you went first. Make sure to restand wisely, don't just ditch cards no matter the situation for the effect. While Dragonic Overlord may be the ideal first ride, The Great is still perfectly fine if you have a Neoflame in the drop zone.
Getting to second ride with The Great is hand is your goal. With the ability to restand not only himself, but also Dragonic Neoflame, Dragonic Overlord the Great enables a five attack turn. This is a first for any Force clan in the game. Because this card is so powerful, you will want to be digging for it the entire game. Using Aermo and Dragonewt to draw cards on retire can sometimes get you there.
For Kagero decks focusing on Dragonic Overlord The End, you will want to ride him second and start applying a lot of re-stand pressure. With the ability to re-stand three times with your vanguard in one turn, opponents will definitely be put into an interesting situation. At this point in the game, most opponents will not have the guard to stop all of these attacks. Ideally, The End runs a lot of critical triggers to push the advantage and to guarantee all of his re-stand conditions. This forces your opponent to have to gamble on a no guard most of the time. Typically, this is your “make it or break it” turn because after using The End, your defenses will be low due to the discard cost.
Force marker placement changes from the days of Dragonic Waterfall when you play The Great. Generally you'll want to have your Force markers on a rear guard circle to enable a large Neoflame attack. This can change game by game, so pay attention to your opponent's hand and early drive checks. Your goal is to take as many cards out of your opponent's hand each time Neoflame attacks, and requiring 20,000 shield or more per attack is the perfect way to do that. In The End, you will always put Force Markers on your vanguard. Of course Force II will make you distribute the force markers to your rear guards, but if you pick Force I, you will stack everything to your vanguard.
In Kagero your win condition is incredibly simple. You re-stand Dragonic Overlord The Great or The End until your opponent is at six damage. The sequencing of your attacks matters, so make sure to make full use of your re-standing vanguard's capabilities. Additionally, understanding Dragonic Neoflame's ability and timing it properly is key to powerful turns. Keeping track of your opponent's drive checks and guard value will be key in determining when you should take the opportunity to add an extra critical to your vanguard.
Micromanaging your important rear guards such as Dragonewt and Aermo is crucial to exerting maximum pressure on your turn, while having guard value for the next. One strategy you can use is to use them to boost two columns, then using the last column to attack an opponent's rearguard. If they don't guard then you can activate their abilities and draw cards to guard with the following turn.
When piloting Kagero, it's very important to make sure your numbers always force a card out of your opponent's hand. It may seem small, but the number of cards you've removed from your opponent's hand totals up very quickly. This level of pressure can result in your opponent being short shield on their most important turns!
Knowing when to turn up the heat is key to playing Kagero. The majority of decks have caught up to Kagero’s power, therefore overextending too soon will put you in a bad situation, but if you take advantage of your windows of opportunity, Kagero will be a hard deck for your opponent to defeat.
Additional writing and editing by:
Chad Leiske and China Ross