Billy Brake is a master, simple as that. I could write paragraphs on how good he is and how much he helped me grow as a player, but the point today is that he took his fourth YCS title in Bochum with Metalfoes. That’s what we’re going to talk about.
Pendulum Summoning has been a crazy powerful mechanic since its release, providing any deck with inevitability and momentum, since you can just keep bringing back monsters when they’re destroyed. Combine it with cards that benefit from being destroyed, and Pendulums become a proactive combo force that get a ton of free cards and field a steady stream of monsters with ease.
Breakers of Shadow showed us how strong that interaction was with Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer, but now Metalfoes give Pendulum players a more consistent way to destroy their own cards, making the mechanic insanely powerful. The more cards your Metalfoes destroy, the bigger your Pendulum Summons will be. To add to that, every time you destroy a card with a Metalfoes Pendulum Effect, you’ll get to search a Metalfoes spell or trap from your deck; you’re gaining free cards the whole time. That combination makes Metalfoes absurd, and with Invasion of Vengeance, Metalfoes get to abuse even crazier cards like Metalfoes Mithrillium, Fullmetalfoes Alkahest, and Fullmetalfoes Fusion.
Out of all the biggest strategies this format, Metalfoes adapts best to going first or second. Many decks really can’t do well fighting from behind, but since Metalfoes can accelerate so many strong threats to the field, and they have powerful removal effects in Metalfoes Mithrillium and Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin to back them up, you can easily crack tough fields going second. Fields that most decks couldn’t even begin to handle.
Going first, Metalfoes can disrupt the opponent just as well as anything else thanks to Fullmetalfoes Alkahest and Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin. Both monsters play defense really well, disrupting whatever key threat your opponent has and leaving them open to attacks the following turn. Coupled with Fullmetalfoes Fusion and Metalfoes Mithrillium, you can layer your defenses in such a way that you force your opponent to try and clear your field, falling right into a trap of Fullmetalfoes Fusion to set up Alkahest, gaining you card advantage off of Mithrillium.
With Metalfoes so good going first or second, consistency’s the last piece of the puzzle to make sure everything goes right. Brake built his deck to generate as many consistent openings as possible, so he’d have a strong chance in every game he played. Let’s take a look at what made his list so successful.
Billy Brake’s Metalfoes – 42 Cards
YCS Bochum, December 11th, 2016
3 Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku
1 Majespecter Cat – Nekomata
1 Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin
3 Metalfoes Goldriver
3 Metalfoes Silverd
3 Metalfoes Steelen
3 Metalfoes Volflame
3 Raremetalfoes Bismugear
3 Archfiend Eccentrick
2 Maxx “C”
1 Rescue Rabbit
1 Qliphort Monolith
1 Qliphort Scout
3 Summoner’s Art
2 Painful Decision
2 Pot of Desires
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Fullmetalfoes Fusion
1 Metalfoes Fusion
1 Metalfoes Combination
1 Metalfoes Counter
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
Extra Deck: 15
1 Fullmetalfoes Alkahest
1 Metalfoes Adamante
3 Metalfoes Mithrilium
1 Metalfoes Orichalc
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
1 The Phantom Knights of Break Sword
1 Totem Bird
1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Cyber Dragon Nova
1 Cyber Dragon Infinity
Side Deck: 15
2 Amorphage Sloth
2 D.D. Crow
2 Denko Sekka
1 Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju
1 The Winged Dragon of Ra – Sphere Mode
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Dimensional Barrier
Pendulums are the key to the strategy because they provide face-up stuff you can destroy, and an abundance of Metalfoes means you can search as much as you want to, setting up your ideal fields.
For that reason, Brake made sure to max out on practically every good Pendulum that was worth playing. The Majespecter engine will forever be a staple in Pendulum strategies moving forward, simply because Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin is so good, and so easy to search with Majespecter Racoon – Bunbuku.
With that in mind, Majespecter Cat – Nekomata was one of Brake’s more unique decisions. Nekomata acts like a searcher, much like Bunbuku, but because it’s slow you generally want to use it as an alternate low Pendulum Scale instead of Kirin. Kirin’s not a great choice when you just want to Bunbuku fora low Scale, soince you’d much rather have it on the field. Running Nekomata gives you an easy alternative to that, and it can still be useful as a monster.
Brake’s use of Qliphort Scout and Qliphort Monolith was an uncommon choice in the TCG as well; it’s a trend from Asia’s OCG. Because Metalfoes want to be destroyed as Pendulums so often, anything that can generate another card for free is great. Qliphort Scout will search you another Pendulum Scale, so you can destroy both of them and get two cards for the price of one. You can also make Cyber Dragon Nova and then Cyber Dragon Infinity if you can Pendulum Summon both Qliphorts, so drawing Qliphort Scout’s really good.
Summoner’s Art helps you see Qliphort Scout consistently while still giving you the option to search a Metalfoes thanks to the high Level of Metalfoes Volflame. The Qliphort engine’s not very popular in the TCG, but the consistency and power of Summoner’s Art combined with Qliphort Scout seems like a great place to be. Worst case scenario, you can use your Qliphorts as either Normal or Pendulum Fusion Materials!
The rest of Brake’s Main Deck was pretty standard, with single copies of each searchable spell and trap to improve consistency. That’s another trend more common in the OCG; it gives you the best odds of not drawing your Metalfoes spell and trap cards, so you can keep your search effects live and get the most value from them.
Side Deck Tech
There are a few Side Deck choices that were very interesting, the first being Amorphage Sloth.
This mighty Pendulum Monster does a pretty good impression of Vanity’s Fiend against strategies that rely on their Extra Deck. When you’re going first against ABC-Dragon Buster, opening with Sloth can be game over since they don’t have many good ways to deal with it. The number of free wins that you can score simply because they don’t have an answer to Sloth is absurd, and because it’s a Pendulum it synergizes almost too well with Metalfoes. You can simply destroy it early on in your combo with a Metalfoes Pendulum Effect, and then bring it back once you assemble your Pendulum Scales and want to make a Pendulum Summon.
Monsters aren’t even very effective outs since you can pair Amorphage Sloth with Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin or Fullmetalfoes Alkahest and protect it, so expect to see a lot of Sloths in the future. Dimensional Barrier serves a similar role out of the Side Deck, buying you a turn against heavy Xyz strategies like ABC so you can play at an unfair advantage the turn following.
A single Kaiju can let you make multiple tributes in strategies packing Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin, because you can keep bouncing that Kaiju back to your hand. Cards like Psi-Blocker are similar: you can use those types of cards as catchall answers to whatever problem you’re facing, and then bounce them back to get more value out of them later. While the Kaiju are there to answer problem monsters like Toadally Awesome and Masked HERO Dark Law, Psi-Blocker can line up well against threats like that, while also dealing with Vanity’s Fiend or floodgate traps like Anti-Spell Fragrance.
Denko Sekka’s an easy an auto-win against trap-heavy strategies, and with Paleozoics getting more and more popular, it’s always nice to hedge your bets against a popular matchup with such a high impact card. If you managed to miss the finals between Brake and Schmidt at YCS Bochum, I implore you to watch the replay so you can see how devastating Denko Sekka can be in combination with a powerful hand.
You can bring in Mystical Space Typhoon and Typhoon against Anti-Spell Fragrance, the one card you really need to be scared of. Typhoon’s also a great Side Deck choice for the Metalfoes mirror, since destroying a key Scale when your opponent doesn’t expect it can stop their whole turn.
Brake’s success will definitely rocket the popularity of Metalfoes to new heights. But YCS Bochum also showed us just how good Paleozoics are right now in the hands of a skilled pilot. All of this isn’t even considering ABC in the format right now, so what do you think is the best?