Looking Ahead – An Intro to Bujins

With the pending release of Judgment of the Light, there’s a new pool of decks and strategies to discover and discuss. This week I’ll be explaining Bujins, formerly known as “War Gods”.

It’s impossible to predict exactly what the September Forbidden and Limited List will look like, nor can we really guess what support for other decks in Judgment will mean for Bujin, so the build I’m sampling today is largely constructed to show you the potential options the theme offers you.

Monsters: 17
3 Bujin – Yamato
3 Bujingi Crane
3 Bujingi Quilin
3 Bujingi Turtle
2 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear
1 Honest
2 Effect Veiler

Spells:12        
3 Fire Formation – Tenki
2 Pot of Duality
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
1 Fire Formation – Tensu
1 Rise of the Bujin
1 Forbidden Lance

Traps: 11
3 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Mind Crush
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Fire Formation – Tenken
1 Solemn Warning
1 The Bujin Armament Apparition

After a few weeks of testing Bujins, I had a feeling that reminded me of Blackwings in 2010 to 2011. You have similar goals here as that deck had: you want to get your ‘Kalut’ to your hand, then control the game with your beaters and traps… except this time, you have a more reliable search engine.

At Its Core: Bujin – Yamato
Bujin – Yamato’s the heart of the Bujin strategy, and every choice you make with this deck revolves around it. It’s why you play three Fire Formation – Tenkis and two Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear; it’s all about putting Yamato on the field as soon as possible and having security cards to keep it there.

Bujin – Yamato
Beast-Warrior / Light
Level 4 / 1800 ATK / 200 DEF

Once per turn, during your End Phase: You can add 1 “Bujin” monster from your Deck to your hand, then send 1 card from your hand to the Graveyard. You can only control 1 face-up “Bujin – Yamato”.

Yamato’s search effect is just as important as its pitch ability, and reading the effects of Bujingi Quilin and Turtle explain why. You can banish each of them from your graveyard for different effects, so ideally, you want to use Yamato to add Bujingi Crane to your hand in your End Phase, then pitch Quilin or Turtle.  If you can do that, you should have a decent setup that will both protect your Yamato from bigger monsters destroying it in battle, and also keep it from being removed by targeting effects, thanks to Crane and Turtle respectively.  Here’s a quick overview of these monsters’ abilities:

Bujingi Crane
During damage calculation, when a “Bujin” Beast-Warrior-Type monster you control battles an opponent’s monster: You can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard; the ATK of your battling monster becomes double its original ATK during damage calculation only.

Bujingi Quilin
If you control a “Bujin” Beast-Warrior-Type monster: You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 face-up card your opponent controls; destroy that target. You can only use the effect of “Bujingi Crane” once per turn.

Bujingi Turtle
During either player’s turn, when a “Bujin” monster(s) you control is targeted by a card effect: You can banish this card from your Graveyard; negate that effect.

You can also overlay any extra Bujin you have in hand and use it as an Xyz Material, to get it into the graveyard where you can play its effect.  Since they’re all Level 4’s, they all build toward Bujintei Susanowo. On top of being a  glorified Asura Priest, Susanowo has a similar search effect to Yamato, minus the pitch that keeps Yamato from being a free +1. Alternatively, he can also Foolish Burial one of your Bujins from deck, whether you want another Turtle for protection or Quilin for offense.

The principal strategy is rather simplistic, but it’s what you choose to do with this setup afterwards that will define the game; it’s especially important to know the appropriate time to use your backrow control.

Other Options
Rescue Rabbit is a likely contender for the Bujin lineup, for many of the same reasons it sees play in Fire Fists. You can make a quick setup Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King and grab Bujin Yamato immediately, or make standard Rank 4’s like Diamond Dire Wolf or Abyss Dweller.  There’s justifiable reason to not make that choice, though. Playing Rabbit means running a total of five extra monster cards, and that adds to the chances of strange draws and awkward openings.

If you’re an OCG player or a hopeful TCG, Vivvit Knight gives some interesting options for the deck as well.

Vivit Knight
Beast-Warrior / Light
Level 4 / 1700 ATK / 800 DEF

When exactly 1 face-up LIGHT Beast-Warrior-Type monster you control is targeted for an attack or by an opponent’s card effect: You can banish that target, then Special Summon this card from your hand. The banished monster returns to the field during your next Standby Phase.

Vivit Knight serves as an extra protection card on top of Turtle, acting as a monster-based Interdimensional Matter Transporter with a bonus: once your protected Yamato returns, you special summon Vivit and can make Rank 4 plays. It also matches the attribute and types you as a Bujin duelist would be working with, so you can still fit Gozen Match into your Side Deck without Vivit knight interfering; you can search it with the same effects you use to search Yamato; and you can play it to make Rank 4’s like Tiger King or Starliege Paladynamo.

Advantages
Aside from Bujin Yamato’s setup, Turtle’s effect is really what makes this deck – it’s the supplementary reason the former card is so good. There are a ton of targeting effects running amok right now – Number 11: Big Eye and Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack are two specifically that would make Bujins laughable if it weren’t for Turtle. You send it to your graveyard via Yamato, and with that same Yamato effect you grab a Crane, forming a sort of soft lock. With protection from a targeted effect and protection from battle, there’s no practical way of removing Yamato from the field. You’d have to do one of the two twice, and that’s only considering a single card you played a turn ago, since this was all made possible by just a single Yamato. That means you’ll probably have backrow cards and other hand traps to deal with whatever else your opponent can dish out that turn as well.

And afterwards? You’ll just get some more disruptive tricks next turn, snowballing the control you have over the game.

Weaknesses
Since it’s a control-based strategy, Bujin requires careful pacing. There aren’t any flashy OTK’s or massive combos here. That said, if you allow your opponent a window of opportunity to pull off their combos and they’re playing something explosive or highly aggressive, you have little chance to recover using your core themed cards alone. It’s a matter of preference: if you don’t like being limited to a smaller pool of options and plays, post-Judgment Bujins won’t be your thing.

The Bujin tool kit doesn’t have much to deal with Colossal Fighter, either. Quilin’s effect can only be activated on your turn, so Colossal Fighter will almost definitely ruin your board that turn – since Crane’s ATK bonus only lasts for one battle, Colossal fighter can come back to try again if it loses on its first attack.  But, by playing protective backrow cards alongside the core engine – stuff like Compulsory Evacuation Device and Bottomless Trap Hole – this issue should be largely addressed. Just be sure to save your traps for when they matter most.

If Prophecy is still played after September 1st, you’ll probably need to bump Forbidden Lance up to two, or you’d need to Side Deck to compensate. Since Spellbook of Fate doesn’t target, Turtle can’t protect your Yamato from being banished or flipped face-down, which entirely ruins your soft-lock strategy of keeping it on the field. Fate’s one of the few cards being played right now that destroys this strategy, and if you plan on playing Bujins within the one-month gap between Judgment of the Light’s release and the F&L update, you’ll more than likely need another Lance.

Speaking of Prophecy, Bujins actually share one of the Prophecy deck’s big challenges: there’s no way to address the risk of cloggy hands without crippling the deck’s core mechanics in the process. You absolutely need to see Yamato as soon as possible, and if you run into trouble digging it out of your deck, you’re probably left staring at a handful of Turtles and Quilins. It’s why I run Rise of the Bujin and The Bujin Armament Apparition, just like any post-setup card (and especially for a more control-based engine), at one. They’re awful to draw into early on when you have an odd hand. I opted to play one of each to minimize the chance of drawing into odd patterns of cards.

Post-Shadow Specters: What’s In Store?
Even if you might not think much of Bujins at this very moment, they’ll be getting some amazing support over time, much as Prophecy did. Shadow Specters is introducing a plethora of worthwhile support cards, all Level 4 or Rank 4 monsters, along with their own version of Cold Wave – Bukin Mirresonance.

Bujingi Yata makes it even tougher for your opponent to destroy your Bujins in battle, negating their attack and inflicting half of the attacking monster’s ATK as effect damage to your opponent. And when your opponent finally does manage to get rid of your monster? Bujin – Mikazuchi can be Special Summon itself and add a Bujin spell or trap to your hand in the End Phase if you pitched a Bujin from hand that turn. And yes, it works the same way as Justice of Prophecy – pitching doesn’t have to occur after Mikazuchi was Summoned.

There’s a few other decent Bujin cards coming in Shadow Specters, but the last major one to note is…

Bujin Emperor – Kagutsuchi
2 Level 4 Beast-Warrior-Type monsters
When this card is Xyz Summoned: Send the top 5 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard; this card gains 100 ATK for each “Bujin” card sent to the Graveyard to activate this effect. If a Beast-Warrior-Type “Bujin” monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or by a card effect, you can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card instead of destroying 1 of those monsters. You can only control 1 “Bujin Emperor – Kagutsuchi”.

The first thing to note is that unlike Susanoo, Kagutsuchi isn’t archetype-specific. It only needs two Level 4 Beast-Warriors, so you can make it with a wide range of generic monsters – that’s especially valuable if we get Enthusiastic Beast Wolfberk in the same time frame.

Milling five cards means free Turtles and Quilins in the grave, and if the general Advanced Format becomes more backrow-heavy, the spell and trap counterpart to Quilin, Bujingi Hachi, may see a lot of play thanks to Kagutsuchi’s effect. Those two aspects alone make this a decent card, but the last part is what makes it great; essentially, your Beast-Warrior Bujins can’t be destroyed as long as you have materials to detach off this and save them, which includes Kagutsuchi itself.

All In All…
Bujins are brimming with potential, and after taking the time to play with or against them online, I’m interested to see what players will really do with them competitively once they’re released. How do you feel about the Bujin theme? Think they’ll top any events in the next few months, or make a much bigger splash after Shadow Specters? Leave a Comment below, and as always, it’s been a pleasure!

-Amanda

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