If there’s one strategy that I can always get behind, it’s Heroes.
Masked Hero Dark Law’s a very powerful and disruptive threat, and now more than ever, it’s high impact against the most popular strategies. ABC-Dragon Buster’s needs to search and use its graveyard to win; between Terraforming and Union Hangar the deck’s always searching, and all of the ideal combos involve putting your A-Assault Core, B-Buster Drake, and C-Crush Wyvern into the graveyard so you can get maximum value before summoning ABC-Dragon Buster.
Metalfoes do a solid amount of searching too, but it’s Dark Law’s banishing effect removing all of their Pendulum Monsters and key spells and traps that does the most damage. Toadally Awesome decks with Paleozoics need the graveyard to get their monsters online, and the more aggressive Awesome variants need to load the grave with Water Monsters for their Mermail Summons and Atlantean effects. Even more fringe strategies like Blue-Eyes, Darklords, and Lightsworn all tap to Dark Law, so it has great matchups across the board.
Dark Law’s basically as good as your metagame allows, and right now is an especially great time to back the masked menace. But those favorable conditions aside, the real game changer is the additional negation and protection provided by Toadally Awesome. The strategies that get the most out of Awesome typically use more Frogs to try and snowball out of control, Heroes don’t need them. As long as Masked HERO Dark Law stays face-up, your opponent has to jump through hoops just to do what they normally want to do. Throw a Toadally Awesome into the mix, and there’s no way your opponent’s clearing your Masked HERO without a Kaiju. If you happen to have a trap card alongside your Toadally Awesome and Dark Law, the duel’s practically over.
While Heroes don’t necessarily snowball, disrupting your opponent that badly typically ends the game on the following turn. You field massive damage, and Bahamut Shark can ensure your victory by summoning a second Toadally Awesome. So even though you don’t necessarily get the whole Swap Frog into Ronintoadin engine online like other Water strategies do, you’ll get to summon another copy of Toadally Awesome which is effectively the same goal anyway. The biggest upside is that you don’t need to keep spewing out cards like other Awesome decks, because you put your opponent on a fast clock while keeping them from advancing their position.
Heroes have good access to Level 4 Water materials for Bahamut Shark, their main method to cheat Toadally Awesome into play. You can search Elemental HERO Bubbleman with E – Emergency Call, Reinforcement of the Army, and the effect of Elemental HERO Shadow Mist, and that makes summoning Bahamut Shark a snap any time you draw Mask Change; if you draw it naturally and don’t need to search it with the effect of your Shadow Mist, you can use Mist to get Bubbleman instead.
That makes the full combo really consistent, since finding a second copy of Bubbleman is so easy. In addition to Bubbleman, newer variants also play Tin Goldfish to Special Summon Elemental HERO Shadow Mist and trigger its effect, while giving you a Level 4 Water Material to Xyz Summon Bahamut Shark! Even if you can’t find a second copy of Bubbleman, Tin Goldfish can fill the role so you can seal the deal with Toadally Awesome next to your Dark Law.
Heroes had a ton of success at YCS Anaheim with multiple Top Cut finishes. Calvin Chow made it to the Top 32 with a variant pretty close to what I would’ve used, so it seems like a great list to look at.
3 A Hero Lives
3 Book of Eclipse
3 E – Emergency Call
3 Instant Fusion
3 Mask Change
3 Twin Twisters
2 Pot of Desires
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Upstart Goblin
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Warning
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Floodgate Trap Hole
Extra Deck: 15
2 Masked HERO Dark Law
1 Masked HERO Acid
1 Masked HERO Anki
1 Elder Entity Norden
2 Toadally Awesome
2 Bahamut Shark
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Gagaga Samurai
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
Side Deck: 15
3 Denkoa Sekka
2 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
2 Maxx “C”
3 System Down
3 Anti-Spell Fragrance
2 Quaking Mirror Force
I really like Chow’s approach. He maxed out on all of the best Hero cards, making his list as consistent as possible to ensure he’d not only get Dark Law online, but back it up with Toadally Awesome. Every singleton makes sense, either being searchable or a Limited power-card. His monster lineup was slim, packing the bare minimum to ensure that he could Special Summon his Bubbleman as often as possible. The single Goblindbergh is just a utility tool for Reinforcements of the Army, while Summoner Monk’s the best way to Special Summon Elemental HERO Shadow Mist next to A Hero Lives.
His spells and traps presented a few more interesting choices. A full set of Instant Fusion shows how important a Level 4 Water Material is; with only one copy of Elder Entity Norden and no way to recycle it, Chow expected the duel to end long before he’d need a second one. Norden does a lot of what this deck wants, from making standard Rank 4 Xyz, to providing a Level 4 Water Material and either reviving a different Level 4 Water or Shadow Mist to extend your plays. Maximizing the chance to make your most powerful plays is important, and Heroes’ ability to abuse Norden is pretty high up there.
Every disruption strategy wants to go first to make sure they can set up before the opponent has a chance to get online, and thus Chow ran as many cards as he could to make strong plays going second. Three copies of Twin Twisters is something that we see a lot of now, and it makes a lot of sense here . While it isn’t the best going first – it doesn’t help you protect your Masked HERO Dark Law – Twisters is one of the few ways to deal with important traps going second. ABC’s very reliant on traps, since the deck wants to disrupt the opponent for one turn so that they can snowball into bigger plays and a win, while Paleozoic’s huge rise in popularity makes Twin Twisters a must.
Even something like Anti-Spell Fragrance can throw a huge wrench into your plans because since play a whopping 23 Spells, so having an out to that is pretty nice. Twin Twisters can also double as disruption against stuff like Union Hangar or Pendulum Scales against any Pendulum strategy. When paired with Dark Law, destroying two Pendulums with Twin Twisters is a huge blowout because they get banished instead of returning to the Extra Deck.
The most interesting card to me was Book of Eclipse. It’s seen a lot of play since the release of ABC-Dragon Buster, but it serves to temporarily turn off every monster long enough for you to make a push. Book of Eclipse can deal with resilient threats that you maybe can’t deal with otherwise, while also outing multiple threats at the same time which is a huge upside. Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin is one of the most powerful threats in the format, as it’s super resilient while also being very disruptive. Bouncing cards is a tremendously powerful effect, and it’s only effectively answered by Kaiju. Book of Eclipse doesn’t solve the problem, but it can turn off Kirin as well as any other threat the opponent has. Typically that Kirin will six next to a Fullmetalfoes Alkahest, so you get the chance to reclaim the field by setting them both face-down.
But the real upside to Book of Eclipse might be its flexibility. Setting Book of Eclipse with Masked HERO Dark Law isn’t the worst. While it may turn off your Dark Law, you typically won’t activate it until your opponent’s produced an answer to your Dark Law like a monster that can attack over it or get rid of it with an effect. Book of Eclipse can protect your Dark Law for a turn, and even though your opponent may get to draw a card or two from its effect, the safety of your monsters is much more important as you’re likely end the game on the following turn anyway.
As long as Masked HERO Dark Law can thrive, Awesome Heroes is definitely a top tier strategy. Bahamut Shark into Toadally Awesome is just such a powerful combo, and pairing it with the massive impact of Dark Law is just huge. Will Awesome Heroes have a good showing at YCS Bochum? We’ll have to wait and see!