Rob wrote a really great article last week on the vast possibilities of Brilliant Fusion. That card’s seen tons of play in a variety of combo decks the past six months, but it still has a lot of unexplored potential, and Rob really went deep to show you what’s possible… including some awesome stuff hasn’t really been done yet. He talked about a lot of cool ideas, like using Gem-Knight Lazuli in conjunction with Galaxy Serpent to make a 1-for-1 Synchro Summon at Level 7.
But amongst all that coolness, my favorite of Rob’s ideas revolved around Kozmos. While decks like Draco Pals, Burning Abyss, Phantom Knights, and even Monarchs pack a ton of Special Summon effects to gather monsters on the field, the Kozmo deck’s more limited by comparison. Sure, they have recursion tricks like Call of the Haunted, and Emergency Teleport or Reasoning can double you up on field presence, but they don’t just hurl three or four bodies to the field on the strength of their monsters alone.
Rob proposed that Kozmos could break through their old ceiling by using Brilliant Fusion for Gem-Knight Seraphinite, leveraging Seraphinite’s extra Normal Summon into twice the pilot power each turn. He even noted that by sending Kozmo Tincan to the graveyard where you can revive it with Call or Oasis of Dragon Souls, you make the deck’s key set-up more consistent. He made some comments about the concept of Brilliant Fusioning for the Lazuli + Galaxy Serpent combo into Ancient Fairy Dragon to pop your own Kozmotown too, netting some free Life Points, a free search, and the possibility of Special Summon shenanigans.
And I loved all of it. It seemed like Brilliant Fusion could do all that and more for Kozmos, and if you’ve followed my writing here on the CoreTCG Blog you know I’ve written quite a bit about the underrated diversity of that strategy. But I didn’t think we’d see Rob’s ideas immediately put to work in a Top 8 Regional deck that very weekend.
The good news is, we did! Check out Oscar Zelaya’s Top 8 Brilliant Kozmo deck from last week’s Arlington Regional.
Oscar Zelaya’s Top 8 Brilliant Kozmos – 40 Cards
Arlington Texas Regional, March 19th 2016
1 Gem-Knight Garnet
3 Kozmo Dark Destroyer
1 Kozmo Dark Eclipser
1 Kozmo DOG Fighter
2 Kozmo Farmgirl
1 Kozmo Forerunner
3 Kozmo Sliprider
3 Kozmo Soartroopers
1 Kozmo Strawman
3 Kozmo Tincan
1 Kozmoll Wickedwitch
3 Brilliant Fusion
3 Emergency Teleport
2 Instant Fusion
1 Twin Twisters
2 Call of the Haunted
3 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
Extra Deck: 15
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
3 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
1 Cyber Dragon Infinity
1 Cyber Dragon Nova
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Panzer Dragon
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
Side Deck: 15
3 Cyber Dragon
2 Dark Hole
3 Magic Deflector
3 Mask of Restrict
1 System Down
2 Twin Twisters
There’s a lot that you’d expect to see here from any on-trend Kozmo deck. Zelaya ran three copies of the deck’s three biggest monsters, Kozmo Tincan, Kozmo Dark Destroyer, and Kozmo Sliprider. He’s got the single copies of Kozmo Dark Eclipser, Kozmo Forerunner, and Kozmo Strawman, as well as two Kozmo Farmgirls, all of which are standard. He’s also running a Kozmoll Wickedwitch and a Kozmo DOG Fighter, both of which I consider to be current choices common to the most successful Kozmo builds over the past few weeks.
From there Zelaya had the same emphasis you’d expect to see on Emergency Teleport, Kozmotown, Kozmojo, Solemn traps, and Instant Fusion for Rank 5 plays into Cyber Dragon Infinity. But he’s missing the triple Reasoning that have returned to staple status in recent competition, and he’s only running two copies of Call of the Haunted when it’s more common to see triple Call, with or without one Oasis of Dragon Souls.
That four card concession might not be a straight swap, but it correlates nicely with Zelaya’s use of three Brilliant Fusion and one Gem-Knight Garnet to power them. Though Zelaya didn’t run Gem-Knight Lazuli with a Normal Monster to abuse as Rob proposed, Zelaya could still use Gem-Knight Seraphinite’s second Normal Summon to throw two pilots at his opponent in one turn, and thus two big spaceships if he had all the cards needed. That speeds the deck up by an entire turn, and it’s not tough to make those sorts of “two pilot, two spaceship” hands when you’ve got Kozmo Tincan effectively filling two of those four needed cards. He could even leverage Seraphinite into an attacker if he had a spell to pitch.
Zelaya could use the technique Rob described, activating Brilliant Fusion to send Kozmo Tincan to the graveyard and then reviving it. While he only played two Call of the Haunted, he ran triple Kozmo Soartroopers in lieu of it, actually giving him more cards that could revive Tincan than a normal triple-Call build would have. Knowing that he could easily send targets to the graveyard for Soartroopers effect, Zelaya could run three Soartroopers with total confidence. And since Brilliant Fusion grants him an extra Normal Summon via Seraphinite, he’d rarely worry about it being a difficult play.
Soartroopers gives instant access to Tincan, which in turn grabs a spaceship, so with Tincan in the graveyard Soartroopers gets you three of the cards you need for a double spaceship combo. Add in Seraphinite and it becomes a three-card combo that offers a third Summon for even more aggression. Combined with Seraphinite’s potential as an attacker, the deck makes explosive OTK’s on a level that’s far more adaptable and much more consistent than anything Reasoning was ever capable of.
And that’s kind of just the beginning. While the Brilliant Fusion and Tincan synergies make Soartroopers easier to play, the Soartroopers can also revive Kozmo Farmgirl or another Soartroopers to make a quick Rank 3. Zelaya was running Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse for just that reason, blowing away backrow cards to clear the way for his OTK’s. You can also Brilliant Fusion any of the Light Kozmos to the graveyard as well, so while Tincan’s usually ideal Zelaya could yard Farmgirl for Soartroopers into Grampulse, or Kozmo Strawman for a recursive play, or send Kozmo Sliprider or Forerunner to the graveyard if he had Call of the Haunted.
The result is a tremendously aggressive strategy that can not only OTK more easily than a typical Kozmo build, but also makes far better use of the Extra Deck. With Soartroopers offering recursion at Levels 1 through 4, Instant Fusion offering Elder Entity Norden and Panzer Dragon at Levels 4 and 5, plus Gem-Knight Seraphinite as a Level 5, Zelaya could consistently make 1-for-1 plays into Rank 3’s or Rank 4’s, and still retain the Cyber Dragon Infinity tricks that generally constitute the only Xyz plays a Kozmo deck would normally make.
More Progress Moving Forward
There were a lot of concessions made in Zelaya’s build, and lots of room for customization and different decisions moving forward. As noted before, swapping Gem-Knight Garnet for Gem-Knight Lazuli and adding a Galaxy Serpent could make an easy Level 7 Synchro. I’m not sure that’s worthwhile, but I do think there could be room for more Rank 5’s, especially game-winners like Number 61: Volcasaurus. I’m still skeptical about how often Kozmos really make Rank 8’s, so while Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy’s an amazing card, that might be an easy swap.
I like the use of Number 39: Utopia and Number S39: Utopia The Lightning, which are one of Kozmo’s only outs to Super Quantal Mech King Great Magnus, and might be more valuable moving forward to counter Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy. That said, if nobody’s playing Super Quantums in your area you might swap them out for two more Rank 3’s or Rank 4’s, as I think this deck’s likely to win in the Kozmo mirror match anyways, without help from The Lightning.
I was surprised too to see that Zelaya ran triple Chimeratech Fortress Dragon but only one Rank 3. Maybe testing demonstrated the Rank 3’s just weren’t very useful, but a Leviair the Sea Dragon or The Phantom Knights of Break Sword looks pretty great in a deck that can make 1-for-1 Rank 3’s so easily. Soartroopers is not to be underestimated, especially here.
I think this deck lays a lot of new ground for Kozmos, and it doesn’t give up much in the process of kicking open a shocking number of new doors for the theme. Oscar Zelaya put together a beast of a strategy here, and while I’m concerned there may be some general skepticism that keeps Kozmo players from exploring it, it just seems obviously superior to the current standard builds. For months, Kozmos have been held in check by linearity and a struggle to adapt on the fly. But this deck fixes those problems, creating a ton of new plays and making your core moves more reliable from the get-go. Reasoning can be a powerful card, but it’s also very random and can fail outright. Brilliant Fusion’s largely just a better option, introducing a level of precision and sheer force that Reasoning doesn’t deliver.
Big props to Oscar for creating this strategy and taking it all the way in Arlington! What do you think? Is this better than the standard Kozmo build? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.