Unfortunately I was unable to get to the tournament this week. However, I will be covering the deck profile for the deck that I ran 2 weeks ago. I was able to win the tournament that week with this deck as well, coming out on top of a tough match-up with our local Spike Brothers player. I was also triumphant against the then brand new Rabbit Paladins, running 4 Pelinore, 4 Garamore. This Royal Paladin deck is an excellent example of what I talked about in my triggers article, a deck that gets enough advantage from basic deck mechanics that there is no need to run draw triggers. Instead, I ran 12 critical. You will notice a lot of similarities to the deck that just topped in the Philippines, but honestly, I had built this deck before that one became public. So lets get into the decklist.
1 x Drangal
4 x Bringer of Good Luck, Epona
4 x Alabaster Owl
4 x Future Knight, Llew
4 x Yggdrasil Maiden
4 x Flash Shield, Iseult
4 x Little Sage Marron
4 x Knight of Quests, Galahad
3 x Pongal
4 x Knight of Tribulations, Galahad
2 x Knight of Silence, Gallatin
2 x Blaster Blade
2 x High Dog Breeder, Akane
3 x Swordsman of the Explosive Flames, Palamedes
2 x Soul Saver Dragon
3 x King of Knights, Alfred
So as you can see, I ran a pretty diverse and aggressive line-up. I really liked this deck because no matter what I rode, it wasn’t a bad ride. It allowed me to be crazy aggressive, with little to no repercussions to it. I was able to double critical often throughout the day, and even drawing triggers wasn’t too annoying as it allowed me a 10k shield in hand, and didn’t really detract from my overall offensive capabilities. So lets talk about the card choices.
The Grade 0’s are some pretty obvious choices. Royal Paladin is able to tutor from deck very easily. With cards such as Alfred and Akane I am very literally getting a +1 to my cards on field/hand at the cost of 2/3 counterblast. This means I have gotten a free card. Since I am able to do this quite often, at least once or twice a game, there is no need for me to run draw triggers, hence the 12 criticals. Also, with Drangal being the only viable option, I still have a chance to get a +1 off of Drangal. Although you do need to get it off once to break even, it is still better then Stardust Trumpeter, who is always a -1.
The Grade 1’s I also believe are pretty basic. You should always run 4 of the grade 1 and 2 Galahad if you are running Drangal. It would be stupid not to. I really like running 4 perfect guards, as it makes it very often that you have one in hand when you need it. Worse case scenario, you can just ditch one perfect guard for another if you have too many in hand. 4 Marron I think is also completely needed. It allows for your rearguards to hit 21k as well as your vanguard if you didn’t get to ride Alfred. Pongal is in here because I run Soul Saver Dragon along with Akane. With Akane I am able to tutor him from deck and when I’m ready or prepared to replace him, I can use him to get Soul Saver, giving me 5 in soul. Think about that. By riding successfully and then using Pongal, you have 5 in soul. That’s pretty easy.
For Grade 2’s, the line-up is a little diverse. Due to me wanting to have Palamedes in the rearguard, I am only running 10 grade 2’s. This becomes a little tricky when I need to run 4 of the grade 2 Galahad. This forces me to think very hard about what I need to run, and what would be best in my line-up. I run 2 Akane because she allows me to tutor Pongal from deck. This can be very important if I don’t draw alot of boosters. I run 2 Blaster Blade for those OTT matchups, along with all those attacking grade 3’s that exist now, like Palamedes and Dual-axe. I only run the 2 Galatin mostly because I have no other choice. If I want to restrict myself to 10 grade 2’s, he unfortunately has to be run at less then I would want. At any other time, I would usually run 3 to 4 of him.
My Grade 3 line-up is probably my favorite out of any decks. This is because no matter what I ride, it’s a good ride. They all have very strong effects and are very good in the vanguard circle. I will say that although I would prefer to wait on riding Soul Saver, I never found it to be a hindrance on the games I was forced to ride him. With Alfred and Palamedes I had a very strong offense that just seemed to overwhelm my opponents. They just weren’t able to keep enough cards in hand to guard against these constant 20k+ attacks.
When playing Royal Paladins, you need to think hard when choosing what to ride. If you have the choice, you need to make sure you are hitting as hard and as fast as you can. Gaining the early advantage in damage can be very critical to the way the game plays out. I found myself playing Alfred in the rearguard quite a bit while riding Palamedes. This was because I didn’t have enough cards to flood the field and I wanted to be hitting as hard as I could, as fast as I could. Many people don’t take the time or effort to hit that rearguard grade 3 if it isn’t hitting magic numbers, even if it’s helping your vanguard hit them. I don’t know why, it just seems they don’t see a reason too. If you go on the offensive as quick as you can, you will drain your opponents hand very quickly, making it hard for them to constantly guard your critical triggers. When it comes down to it, they just won’t have the guard to guard at that critical moment in the game. (I’m sorry it was just too tempting)