This is the 22nd Main Box and was released on August 31st, 2019. Valhalla Calling introduces the Nordic and Flower Cardian archtypes and adds support for Agent, Darklord, Fortune Lady, Scrap, and U.A. decks.
Darklords. This reminds me of the Koa’ki situation somewhat, but I don’t think Darklords will be anywhere near as oppressive as Koa’ki was. Before Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru was released the power was there, it was just inconsistent and frail. Darklords don’t have the same kind of versatility that Koa'ki Meiru Maximus provided, but the addition of Banishment of the Darklords will make Darklords a real deck in the same way that Diamond Core made Koa’ki a real deck. Generic search power in Darklords is incredibly valuable because of the increased swarm potential (searching Darklord Contact or Darklord Morningstar) and access to The Sanctified Darklord’s effect negation. Better access to Sanctified also makes Darklord Ukoback more useful, since he’s less of a liability on the field and can “search the searcher” if you have a quick-effect Darklord on the field. I think this deck has strong competitive potential, with weaknesses to stall-type cards like Wall of Disruption and Lava Golem. Beatdown seems like a great skill, with Sealed Tombs sided. Other options like Baggy Sleeves or Destiny Draw (because of all the LP gain and loss) may be explored as well.
Fortune Ladies. This deck is coming all at once, skills and all, so it will likely take a while to settle into its best form. Combos that generate Fortune Lady Every are easy to access with huge payoff, and decks that can’t banish Every or bounce her back will have serious problems dealing with Fortune Ladies’ follow-up assault. Sitting on Every and floating into monster removal before pushing for lethal with Armades, Keeper of Boundaries / Star Eater seems like the typical game plan, which can frustrate slower decks like Triamids or Desperado. (After a turn of survival, the skill Time Passage can also boost Every to 4400 ATK which is nice for a lethal push). This deck’s competitive potential is tied to the prevalence of ways to out Every, but Sealed Tombs may help there. On the other hand, the delayed re-summon is very nice in a meta where Triamids and Ancient Gears can mess up battle destruction effects, and Every should do very well in those match-ups.
Flower Cardians. I actually don’t think this deck will make the Tier List, but it hits like a freight train once it gets rolling. If your opponent can’t disrupt the normal summon of Flower Cardian Pine, you can usually board wipe and OTK them no matter what they have on the field. Light and Dark is the obvious skill to use here (for extra copies of Pine), but the lack of a turn 1 play and needing to open Pine will likely keep the deck in check. Neither the monster nor S/T pops target, so it’s difficult to preserve resources/protection effects well. Additionally, all the Paleozoic Canadias and Floodgate Trap Holes used to stop Desperado decks do absolutely nothing to Cardians. This is a degenerate deck to watch out for.
The rest of the decks in the box have major flaws that will likely hold them back. Scraps are extremely reliant on a field spell that misses the timing, UA still only has Midfielder as a normal summon (which Canadia and Floodgate both mess with), Agents’ boss monster Hyperion seems lackluster relative to the current meta, and Nordics don’t do anything consistently.
Scrap Dragon - This is the best generic LV 8 synchro we have now. It is 1 for 1 removal that current tiered decks can utilize (Blue Eyes, Crystron). Scraps as a deck also get a huge boost from this card obviously as Scrap Chimera makes this by itself. Right now I think a Neos version of the deck to dump either Scrap Beast or Scrap Chimera (if you opened Beast and Scrapstorm) is very strong.
Forbidden Lance - In my opinion best card in the set. So versatile, can be used offensively or defensively, Helps combo decks play around disruption cards like Paleozoic Canadia or helps control decks save their boss monsters from things like Dimensional Prison or Drowning Mirror Force. A++
Star Eater - Another generic synchro that only takes 2 materials. Do you like Armades, Keeper of Boundaries? Then you are gonna love Star Eater. 3200 ATK so he is big enough to get around Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Cosmo Brain and Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon. Not a lot of the meta decks currently can make this but with a couple changes to your character skills and this is certainly in the realm of possibilities.
U.A. Perfect Ace - Hot damn they gave us this? 2500 DEF and negate anything? Yes please! This obviously helps out U.A. but does not solve their overarching problem....1 normal summonable U.A Monster
Banishment of the Darklords - This is exactly what Darklords needed, they now have a way to search Darklord Ixchel, and they have a a new synchro Star Eater to make use of their high levels. Still don't think this makes Darklords tiered but it is a valuable addition.
Reptilianne Lamia - This card was so close to being amazing, it is still a good card but the fact you can only use one of it's effects per turn is a real bummer. With that being said though still an instant 3 of for Reptilianne decks (are those even a thing?)
Agents - This is the chase archtype in the set and it is a good one, Master Hyperion is one of the easiest boss cards to summon and with a killer effect. I think there could be some cool ways to play the deck (Divine Punishment option) or standard (The Agent of Creation - Venus + Mystical Shine Ball control) the latter in which I think will be best. I expect this to be tiered.
Flower Cardians / Watts / Nordics - Fun decks but nothing competitive
Banishment of the Darklords: Like any search spell card in the history of Duel Links this on its own make the archetype tier worthy if not more. Darklord main (and only) issue was bricking. This solve the problem. Welcome to Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru 2.0.!
Forbidden Lance: Unpopular opinion here, this card can be good depending on the meta, but it is situational and you will not always be happy to have it in your hand. Also you will not always be able to afford losing 800 ATK.
Fortune Ladies: The archetype on its own looks good and the fact that Fortune Ladies gain attack every Standby can make it a really nice Control deck. Also the Level Augmentation Skill gives crazy ATK boosts! Also Fortune Lady Every is really nice even out of her archetype.
Aesir / Nordic: The synchro monsters are really good but getting them out will be horribly hard. As the combos are pretty straight forward and easy to disrupt...
Agents: Really great combos for this deck. My main issue is that it revolves a lot around The Sanctuary in the Sky and we know cards like Cosmic Cyclone or even Closed Forest are already used a lot (versus Triamids mainly). But the ability to get Master Hyperion out fast is still really good if your opponent does not have an answer within their starting hand.
Overall this box is Konami telling us "hey look at our cool Nordic cards". When we mostly only want Banishment of the Darklords x3
Banishment of the Darklords: The BRICKLORDS are no MORE! Like our previous favorite search card (Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru) this offers a much needed consistency boost to a formally bricky deck. Good news is: No protection granted. Bad News: 100% recyclable. Get your copy today!
Forbidden Lance: Definitely a staple card to have in your toolbox for all sorts of metas (and potential farming). It's not immediately splashable since losing 800 ATK can still mean losing the battle.
Reptilianne Lamia: Probably one of my new favorite tuners. Shame the archetype ain't too great rn.
Agents: In a lot of ways, these guys remind me of Magnets (with Master Hyperion) but trading the inherent protection for splashing in Counter Traps/Generic Support. I'm thinking that the variety in their builds might make them meta, but maybe not. Good thing is that you can run Sanctum instead of the actual Field Spell.
Fortune Ladies: Definitely newer support helps them become their own deck, even without some notable cards like Fortune Lady Fire/Future Visions. I think Fortune Lady Every is amazing as a generic lvl 7 Synchro, and that this deck has a good shot at being at least Tier 2.
U.A.: Not convinced this'll be good w/o U.A. Signing Deal. Too slow.
Everything Else: Cardians/Nordics kinda cool, but I feel like it's a typical main box - flashy stuff, select few cards we want. Go Konami!
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