Today marks the release of EB09, The Raging Tactics! This set features support for three clans that haven’t had any in about a year: Tachikaze, Megacolony, and Spike Brothers! These three clans… haven’t ever really held a place in the metagame, especially not after support came and went for other clans, effectively powercreeping them. Tachikaze had the chance to highroll previously, but was pushed out by more consistent decks. The Raging Tactics brings new gimmicks to both Megacolony (which focuses on milling out your opponent’s deck and giving yourself buffs from it), and Spike Brothers (bouncing around Force markers between your units).
Sadly, it seems that this set isn't very impactful when it comes to the metagame. Phantasmal Steed clans (sans Dark Irregualars) are still holding the top, with Murakumo being the best of the best. Each clan from this set has seen at least a single top, hence their 2.86% on the graph, but none are dominant by any means. Murakumo just has too many toolbox options (and can do just about anything in the game), Shadow Paladin's searching from deck and Mordred's skill are too strong, and Pale Moon is... still Pale Moon. Narukami is nipping at their heels, but isn't quite at their level.
Now let's jump right into the clans of EB09!
Megacolony mostly gained support for its new gimmick, milling your opponent’s cards and gaining effects based on what was discarded. It also got a wee bit of Machining support, but the mill variant is more common and seems to be more “effective”. More on those quotes later. The main boss unit, True Demonic Rifler, Gunningcoleo, gains triple drive and 5K power on ride, as well as a mill opportunity to gain another 10K and drive check if the opponent mills a Grade 3. Unrivaled Blade Rogue, Cyclomatooth does something similar, giving itself 10K, and a critiacal if your opponent mills a Grade 1 or greater. The only good thing about its when ridden on top of skill is that it makes your opponent discard a card, since they could discard a Grade 0 and have you gain no power whatsoever. None of the other new cards are particularly stellar, but they open new lines of play compared to what MC had before. Cards like Brawny Jerk and Hiding Killerleaf also aid in the milling of your opponent, but it doesn’t really seem like it’d be enough to send someone to deckout as a wincon -- maybe unless you’re playing against something that already puts itself close to it. Dressing Mutant, Argobilbug has a good interaction with the milling mechanic, causing your opponent to have to drop two cards at a time for the battle it attacks.
Basically, new Megacolony is a game of chance. You never know if you’re going to mill what you need for Gunningcoleo, and it doesn’t seem quick enough for a deckout wincon. A few cards to have your opponent pitch from hand is nice too, albeit they get to choose which ones. It’s far better than the old Machining Spark Hercules build, but it’s primarily a deck for fun rather than competitive viability. I’d place it at a Tier 3 spot, which basically means… obscurity and not very competitively viable.
Surprisingly, it saw a couple of tops. However, this was in the realm of one or two, so it can mostly be taken with a grain of salt. Surprisngly, one list ran mostly old cards, merely replacing Spark Hercules with Gunningcoleo, and adding in some Hiding Killerleafs. It also had an absurd looking Grade 3 count, at 13! Either way, Megacolony most likely won’t be seeing any more tops any time soon, but it’s definitely a fun deck to play, ignoring the competitive viability.
Spike Brothers now focuses on moving your Force markers around your units, and less on the filtering of your deck as it used to. A new unit, Deadheat Bullspike became the VR, which is the main way you move Force markers around in the deck. His “when its attack doesn’t hit”, or non-hit skill is pretty alright, something for your opponent to consider, or good for the late game when they can’t take damage anymore. When its attack doesn’t hit, you get to retire an opponent’s rear guard, and draw a card. Powerback Renaldo also is a great way to fill your board, having a similar effect to Spike Bouncer, just with a slightly different cost, and calling three units instead of one!
New SB has its issues, however. If you go Force II, reriding is… kind of pointless, and your units don’t buff themselves up as much as they used to, so it’s not quite the ideal choice. If you run Bad End Dragger and Renaldo together and use them frequently, you end up running out of counterblast fairly quickly, and with no countercharge available, you’re a bit out of luck. It also just doesn’t hold up very well in the meta because other decks do what it does, but better. Shadows pulls units from the deck as well, but it also generates more Force markers and generally has more powerful attacks. It’s a bit of a lackluster Force deck, but definitely a fun one to pilot. I’d give it the same fate as Megacolony, sitting in Tier 3.
Spikes has an abysmal amount of tops, the main one that I’ve seen being a teams first place. Much like the Megacolony list, it runs a mix of the old and new, which makes sense, as cards like Wonder Boy and Brakki are inherently strong on their own.
Tachikaze is, by far, the strongest deck out of the set. Thundering Sword Dragon, Angerblader, the VR, completely pushes out Gigarex from the deck, with most lists opting to run only four of it -- that’s it for Grade 3s. Its first skill seems mediocre at first, losing one of your rear guards as an equip gauge for a single retire. However, I can see it being used in situations to prepare for his second skill, which is the real powerhouse of the deck. For counterblast 1, your whole front row gains 5K, and three of your units with three or more equip gauge restand. This sounds really good, with three more attacks for a single CB -- and with the new support, Tachikaze gains even more equip gauge generators, making it easier to reach three equip gauges on units. Clearout Dragon, Sweeperacrocanto and Turbo Smilodon are just two of the cards that allow for more equip gauge acceleration, with the former generating one for itself on attack, and the latter giving one anywhere both on place and on attack. Equip gauge generation has become much easier than it was in the previous iteration of Tachikaze!
As for where it stands in the meta, I don’t think it’s a contender for the top quiet yet. Other decks are just incredibly consistent and can cover more facets of play. Tachikaze still seems like a highroll sort of deck -- you can get steamrolled by it if they open their pieces, but if they don’t, they brick. Tachikaze has been in and out of JP tops, with some first places, a bunch of team tops, and a few more recent Top 4 finishes, but doesn’t have the same presence as decks such as Shadow Paladin and Pale Moon have.
It’s interesting to note that many lists have cut Blightops in favor of the more aggressive style of the new units. This might be a contributor in why its tops seem inconsistent -- less defensive options, only pure aggression. And thus, bricking hurts twice as bad, since you don’t have the two cards from Blightops to fall back on. Pretty much the only things that were kept from the old set were Ravenous Dragon, Megarex, and Vicious Claw Dragon, Laceraterex. While it has seen a few tops, Tachikaze still remains a highroll deck, albeit a more aggressive one. Thus, I’d put it at a solid Tier 2 spot, since it can still be scary to face up against.
The Raging Tactics brought much-needed support to clans that hadn't seen any since they first were released in Standard. Sadly, it doesn't seem like it's enough to bring them into the spotlight, except for when Tachikaze highrolls. Still, it brings us some fun new decks to toy with, and there's always next set! (Or the ever-looming threat of the next Bermudas set...) Stay tuned for the next set's meta analysis when it drops!
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