Transitioning to into Set 4 - Colossal Warfare
Hello everyone! Welchy here back in the lab and today I'm bringing you an article to help players of any caliber transition into set 4! It's a wild and crazy format, and if you intend on entering a tournament where set 4 is legal with a current ToP meta deck, you'll find yourself at a massive disadvantage.
With the release of set 4, we see yellow leaders take their exit from the top of the competitive scene. With powerful cards like Time Control Chronoa, Minus Kili Zone, and TokiToki to ensure you have the copy of Chronoa when you need it, yellow seems like a deck you can only play in a best of one format. We also have The Legendary Flute, which may be the most powerful and abusable extra card in the game, to the extent that the meta warps around its interactions. With flute and a combination of Unyielding Spirit Trunks and Senzu Bean you can abuse Saiyan Cabba, Intensifying Trunks, Newfound Power Gohan, and Bardock The Prodiginator over and over until you're not only awakened but your opponent is awakened and pushed into a corner.
Flute didn't just give blue leaders a way to abuse 1 drops, it also gives them a removal spell for 3drops and less. Android 16 giving you trouble? Flute. Opponent has a blocker protecting them from a gameshot? No problem! Flute is a free answer!
These aggro decks revolving around flute are serious threats and must be respected. Tapping out on turn 1 is no longer as safe of a play as it used to be. These decks can be hedged for with techs like Full Power Energy, Flying Nimbus, Trio de Dangers Bergamo, Combo Killer Anilaza can all help against these types of aggressive decks.
Flute in conjunction with Unyielding Spirit Trunks and Senzu Bean enables the type of strategy to constant aggro your opponent. Flute is deceptively advantageous. When you play Saiyan cabba, swing and take a life, then Flute Cabba back to hand, you net a plus 1. This same principal works with any card you play that immediately replaces itself. So even little 1 drop Buu has a place in this meta. Knowing this, we either have to do the same thing or find a strategy that counters what the aggro decks are doing (or simply don't care they are doing it).
I've found Flying Nimbus and Full Power Energy as the most effective counters and hedge very well vs aggro. Full Power Energy kills the 1-drops so they can't Flute them back. This is most effective in the early game, as the game progresses it becomes more and more likely they have multiple 1 drops. Flying nimbus stifles the aggro deck and buys you an extra turn.
Heightened Evolution ssj3 Goku is a leader that will see a lot of play because he untaps at end of turn, to give you the energy necessary to protect yourself from a flurry of attacks. Being a blue leader, ssj3 goku can take advantage of flute and abuse its interactions with an energy advantage. Be warned that ssj3 has higher variance attached to it thanks to its random energy drop at the beginning of the game. Charging the wrong energy can mean certain death in some scenarios and matchups.
If you've spent any time testing set 4 meta, it's likely you've been in games where you've played your first energy and on your opponents following turn they play a huge sequence of eventst hat either kills you, or cripples you. 1 energy isn't enough to protect from 10 attacks! This can be disheartening and frustrating for new players and old players alike.
Right now some of the best cards in the game are 1 drops. Whether it be playing Bardock the Prodiginator, and swapping into Scrambling Assault Son Goten, the new Intensifying Power Trunks or Newfound power Gohan, or old faithful Saiyan Cabba, playing 1 drops with Unyielding and Flute is very powerful. Even decks like Soul Striker have a place, with Energy Boosted Majin Buu.
Beacuse of the significance of the 1 drops and their early impact, 4 drop cards are becoming more and more risky to play.
Its not just 1 drops that are getting a massive power boost, we also have some great cards that can cheat themselves into play, or get around their energy cost in some way. Bodyguard Ledgic can be summoned for free when your opponent has a battle card and you don't. This means you can play him, attack with him, and then bounce him to hand, play him again, swing with him again! Preface of Recovery Son Goku immediately stands 2 energy up so he's essentially a 1 drop! Haru Haru attacker Majin can restand 4 energy, netting you an extra energy if your opponent is playing a yellow or green leader (potential sideboard staple). Combination attack Pan can come down for free, boost up your gt finisher, swing, and you can flute her back to just come down again to pump your finisher again. Hey, which leads me to my next point...
When Flute was first announced, the first card that came to mind for abusing flute was the new Intensifying Power Trunks. With the ability to take a life on attack like Saiyan cabba, but with critical built in instead of double strike so you didn't give your opponent the advantage of awakening profitably along-side you, I knew Trunks was going to be a powerhouse. I wanted to take it a step further, and construct a deck that could be hyper aggressive but also protect from aggression on the backswing. Ssj3 seemed to be the perfect leader for the job. I tied the energy ramp with the fast awakening, and came across one of the best decks to date- ssj3 GT.
GT cards got a lot of support this set. Intensifying Trunks is a Trunks: GT, which allows for you to evolve Chain Attack Trunks turn 2 or even turn 1! Triple Flash ss4 Son Goku is a clean finisher, with triple strike and the ability to not be countered if it's power is 40k or over. This card can come down extremely early thanks to determined Son Goku.
With the new gt support, along with flute being introduced, the deck almost naturally built itself. After testing and refining, I came to this 50 you see here:Deck List Link
This is just a sample list for a good place to start when testing Set 4.
The goal with this type of deck is to gain advantage early through GT Trunks, The Legendary Flute, and awakening early. Turn 1 going first, you're likely charging and passing (remember it's rarely correct to tap out with ssj3 leader unawakened due to losing to aggro on the spot).
Generally on the 2nd turn (or the first turn you can attack) you can start the insanity!
- Play 1 drop -> Swing -> Unyielding/Bean
- Flute the 1 drop back to hand draw a card.
- Play 1 drop again, swing, take life, awaken
- At this point you have 10 cards in hand with 1 energy open with many options
- Once you get your opponent to 3 life you should have enough of the combo pieces to put Triple Flash down, and get it to 40k power.
- Cards like combination attack Pan can come down for free when you have Triple Flash out, and thanks to Flute you can use the same Combination Attack Pan twice! We use Chain Attack Trunks evolve as a way to cheat Determined Son Goku into play for 2 energy, but it can also drop a fearless Pan to pump a big board or even just as a barrier blocker when the matchup calls for it.
So in short, the metagame has sped up quite a bit with the release of set 4. Now that yellow is out of the spotlight, the floodgates have opened and strategies of all kinds have started making appearances. Aggro is leading the way at the moment, but as more and more people build their decks in preparation for aggro, the less of a stranglehold it will have!
Have you been testing set 4? Let us know some cool interactions you've come across, or ways you've found to counteract the Aggro meta!