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Constellars: Same Coin, Different Sides

Constellars are one of the final archetypes of note in Hidden Arsenal 7: Knight of Stars, and the first thing you might notice about them is their familiar artwork. It’s no coincidence that their Evilswarm doppelgangers share similar effects for their archetype: they’re counterparts, and both decks share similar playstyles. Evilswarms focus on controlling the game by Summoning Evilswarm Ophion, while Constellars use mirrored effects, and aim to control the game with Constellar Pleiades.

These cards are all important to a Constellar deck because you play them to make Rank 5′s:

Constellar Kaus
Level 4 / Light / Beast-Warrior
Cannot be used as a Synchro Material Monster. Up to twice per turn: You can target 1 “Constellar” Monster on the field to activate 1 of these effects;
Increase its Level by 1.
Decrease its Level by 1.

Constellar Pollux
Level 4 / Light / Warrior
During the turn this card was Normal Summoned, you can Normal Summon 1 “Constellar” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

Constellar Algiedi
Level 4 / Light / Spellcaster
When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Constellar” monster from your hand.

Solar Wind Jammer
Level 5 / Light / Machine
If you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand), but its original ATK and DEF become halved. During each of your Standby Phases: Increase the Level of this card by 1. There can only be 1 face-up “Solar Wind Jammer” on the field.

Ghost Ship
Level 5 / Light / Fiend
Cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT monster from your Graveyard.

Instant Fusion is also important, since it allows you to bring out Giltia the D. Knight as a Level 5 Light Warrior. Constellar Pollux and Constellar Algiedi both allow you to Summon Constellar Kaus, which turns the two monsters into Level 5′s. Solar Wind Jammer is preferred over cards like Cyber Dragon or Oracle of the Sun since it can be Summoned without your opponent controlling a monster – ideal for Turn 1 plays.

Why do we need all these Level 5 Lights? For the boss monster of the deck, of course!

The Push And Pull Of Pleiades
Constellar Pleiades is a great card, but it faces challenges that are similar to those plaguing Evilswarm Ophion: its effect is reactionary and its usefulness depends on your match-up. Evilswarms would barely be playable in a format where no one wanted to Summon Level 5 or higher monsters. Because decks like Mermails are dominating competition right now, we can’t take full advantage of Pleiades’ effect. While it’s good against some strategies, others play around it really easily.

That said, there are ways to use Pleiades’ ability that help compensate for its match-up dependency: you can use its effect on your own continuous cards to recycle them, which is great with stuff like Fiendish Chain or Call of the Haunted. There’s also Royal Decree. The ability to freeze your opponent’s backrow is always an advantage, and Pleiades allows you to return Decree to your hand at any point in a chain, which gives you flexible control over how things play out. It also gives you the ability to play Decree alongside a complete trap line-up, which was previously unheard-of. Using Decree, you can safely Xyz Summon Constellar Pleiades without having to worry about removal like Bottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute, which would threaten to make your Xyz Summon into a -1 of card economy otherwise. Decree’s a great tool against one of your weakest matchups, too, freezing Abyss-spheres in place when you’re up against Mermails.

Another issue you’ll want to try and overcome is the fact that unlike Evilswarm Ophion, Constellar Pleiades doesn’t have a built-in +1 to break even when you consolidate two cards for its Summon. To compensate for that, the deck runs Fire Formation –Tenki so you can immediately use Pleiades’ effect when it hits play, and have a search next turn that allows you another Kaus to build further momentum. You can even use it to search a tech copy of Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear for more control plays.

You also have Constellar Star Cradle, a Gravekeeper’s Stele for Constellars with an attached condition that keeps you from entering the Battle Phase on the turn it’s activated. That condition is worth the extra card advantage, since it gives you a way to immediately go into a Rank 5 without losing card presence overall.

Constellar Ptolemy M7 is also noteworthy, since you can Xyz Summon it by using a “Constellar” Xyz Monster you control as the lone Xyz Material. Summoning Ptolemy that way will keep you from using its effect for the turn, but it’s a no-brainer move after you’ve exhausted the Xyz Materials on Constellar Pleiades. It’s got superior stats and a renewed effect, even if you can’t use that effect immediately. Though we’re in a format where any of your on-board threats usually have trouble surviving your opponent’s turn, it’s still an upgrade once Pleiades is tapped out. Xyz Reborn is a good fit here too: it always has a target to Special Summon, and you can use it to bring back a fallen Ptolemy and immediately apply its effect.

Constellars After Tachyon Galaxy
Once Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy hits, Constellars get a powerful new Level 4 that may elevate them from casual play into higher spheres of competition. Check out Constellar Sombres and its three effects:

Constellar Sombres
Level 4 / Light / Fairy
You can banish 1 “Constellar” monster from your Graveyard to target 1 “Constellar” monster in your Graveyard; add that target to your hand. This effect of “Constellar Sombres” can only be used once per turn. Once per turn, if that effect was activated this turn: You can Normal Summon 1 “Constellar” monster, as an additional Normal Summon. If this card is in your Graveyard because it was sent there this turn, you can Normal Summon 1 “Constellar” monster with 1 less Tribute than required. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

Sombres is basically Evilswarm Kerykeion for Constellars, and it’s the push the deck could have used in Hidden Arsenal 7 to give it a better chance at competitive play before Tachyon Galaxy. But that’s the catch: if Constellars do have an opportunity to take a Top 32 spot this Summer, there’s a much better chance of that happening now than in the post-Tachyon environment, where decks are going to be faster and potentially even better at dealing with Pleiades.

Constellars are a fun and unique deck right now, but unless we receive a World Premiere card that can re-invent this strategy within the next few months, they may be relegated to casual play until major changes happen in the current Advanced Format.

What are your thoughts on Constellars? Any personal strategies you’d combine Pleiades with? Leave a comment below! As always, it’s been a pleasure!

-Amanda L.

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