Ladies and gentlemen, everyone's favorite boss monster is back! While the DSOD release might have been disappointing for some, it's breathed new life into Neos decks with the release of Keeper of Dragon Magic. This, alongside the Aleister the Invoker has rocketed Neos back into the thick of the meta. The increased consistency provided by Keeper combined with the flexibility of the Invoked cards has made Neos a force to be reckoned with once again.
Right now Beatdown is current the primary competitively skill. A powerful effect all around, it allows Brave Neos to attack over Darklord monsters, as well as provide an advantage during your turn in the mirror.
A good side deck skill, can provide utility against graveyard-centric decks like Darklords and Spellbooks. Should be used wisely, as it also will shut off Neos Fusion and Bacon Saver in the grave.
Having access to any of your cards at the cost of 2000 LP allows for swing turns that can lock down the game. Timely access to Neos Fusion, Invocation, Lava Golem, etc. is incredibly powerful.
The Invoked package is the new addition to Neos decks alongside Keeper of Dragon Magic. The invoked package provides utility, power, and flexibility. With Aleister acting as both a searcher for a powerful fusion spell, as well as a hand trap for fusion monsters such as Brave Neos, it fits very nicely alongside Neos Fusion. The Invoked monsters, while not boasting incredibly powerful stats, have very powerful effects and can win a game themselves against certain decks.
Aleister the Invoker (2-3x)
- Effect allows you to search for Invocation and summon Invoked Cocytus or Invoked Caliga.
- Powerful hand trap effect provides protection and reach for both Brave Neos as well as Invoked fusions.
- A powerful play when you open both Keeper and Aleister is to pitch Aleister with Keeper's summon effect to search Neos Fusion. Then use Keeper's second effect to summon Aleister facedown. If he is destroyed by battle, or allowed to flip summon on your turn, you will activate his effect to search for Invocation.
Flip Flop Frog (2-3x)
- Versatile "bouncer" that does not target. Able to handle problem extra deck cards, and provides an out to Invoked Cocytus in the mirror.
- Provides a water monster for Invocation to summon Invoked Cocytus.
- Can be replaced with Gale Lizard, Nightmare Penguin, and Snowman Eater. However Flip is by far the strongest option.
Invoked Cocytus (1-2x)
- Can not be targeted nor destroyed by card effects, making it an incredibly powerful monster to summon alongside Brave Neos. It can single handedly win games against certain decks (Desperado, Six Sams).
- Its ability to attack while in defense also allows it to get around Wall of Disruption as well as Drowning Mirror Force, which is relevant as both of those cards are seeing increased usage due to Darklords.
Invoked Caliga (0-1x)
- A more situational card, it has the ability to shut down decks that rely on multiple monster effects per-turn (Darklords).
- The ability of allowing only a single attack per-turn is also useful in preventing your opponent from clearing your board.
Invoked Magellanica (0-1x)
- Situationally useful against Six Samurais and rogue matchups like Ancient Gears
- Can get over any potentially relevant monster in the current meta with Beatdown
Desperado Barrel Dragon (0-3x):
- New addition from the structure deck
- Is another boss monster and board control card
- Effect to destroy does not target
BM-4 Blast Spider (0-3x):
- Best used with Desperado Barrel Dragon
- Versatlile card, 2.2k defense is hefty, and it's destruction effect paired with Sealed Tombs can provide removal as well as easy access to DBD.
World Legacy Clash
- Powerful and versatile card, acting as protection as well as pseudo removal.
- Allows your monsters to evade problem back row, as well as potentially negate an attack and reduce an opposing threat.
- Make sure to activate in the Damage Step if possible, as this will not allow your opponent to reset their attack.
Wall of Disruption:
- Good against Darklords and the mirror
- However, decks that run WLC will be able to reset their monsters stats, so be careful when the opponent has set backrow
- Good against Neos, bypassing Neos Fusion's protection effect.
- Also good against decks that want to send their monsters to the graveyard, like Spellbooks or Darklords
- NOTE: (Replays Will Try to Open the App)
Current desperado decks utilize loads of counter traps. The fortunate part for us is that you largely can ignore them and beat over the top of all of their monsters. Additionally, their deck contains no inherent outs to Cocytus, aside from preventing its initial summon. Get this monster out in defense ASAP and you can deck out and Desperado player foolish enough to not run an out. That aspect aside, try to bait out Rebirth of Parshath into negating your less important cards, then simply swing over it.
Six Samurai (60/40)
This is not an overly difficult matchup as long as you are playing around World Legacy Clash and Six Style - Dual Wield properly. It is a good idea to make Cocytus as early in the game as possible, as Six Samurais have no way around it other than through multiple bosses paired with Beatdown. Even this is easy to handle by simply making use of the hand trap effect of Aleister. No reason to get aggressive here, just sit back and watch them be miserable. Magellanica is also an option here if you run a copy, as several Six Samurai monsters can be banished for the cost. Caliga is an additional option, but the low stats rarely justify it. Aside from those aspects, Flip Flop Frog is a great way to remove Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En, and the rest of the duel can simply be won using larger monsters and Clash to dodge backrow.
Neos (Mirror Match)
The mirror is predicated on a couple of things: how well you use Clash and using your opponent's graveyard for your Invoked fusions. Frequently, an opponent's Bacon Saver can be banished for Caliga, or their Frog for Cocytus. Try to avoid sending important monsters first without leaving yourself open to a Beatdown OTK. Frog is a crucial card in the mirror also, as it is one of the best ways to out an opponent's Cocytus thanks to its non-targeting removal.
He who goes first....shall have a massive advantage. Darklords that can set up a turn 1 board with The Sanctified Darklord either on the field or in the graveyard pose a massive threat to us. Although we do not rely tremendously on monster effects mid to late game, pulling off the initial Aleister or Keeper searches is vital to our strategy. Clash should be used as defensively as possible here, unless it has somehow opened the way for you to OTK. Lava Golems can be helpful here, and can provide a brief lock when paired with Caliga (which should be fusioned using the Darklord player's most vital monster currently in their grave). All that aside though, the most problematic monster is Darklord Desire. Dealing with it should become your main priority before it leaves you resourceless. It is also noteworthy that you can chain Vlash to Sanctified's effect in order to still resolve your monster effect.
Spellbooks should not be taken lightly, in spite of the multiple hits on the banlist they have received. It is important to ensure you make them negate the spell you need the least, in order to pressure them. Additionally, this matchup has a similar aspect to our Neos mirror, in that Spellbooks tend to run a small Invoked engine now too. This means you cannot willingly put Frog in grave for them to fuse with. However, they will routinely be sending water monsters to the grave as well - giving you a chance to go into Cocytus if need be. While Spellbook of Fate can pose a real threat to your board, you can typically summon several monsters a turn and attempt to overwhelm then. Aleister's hand trap effect is also very useful here to deal with their Invoked fusion or Silent Magician LV8
Much like Fortune Ladies, Triamids largely rely on backrow to protect their monsters. Triamid Kingolem can prove to be a real nuisance, due to shutting off Brave's search, Bacon Saver, Frog, etc. Neos decks than main a copy or two of Lava Golem will have a much easier time with this matchup, as well players running Cosmic Cyclone. One thing to remember is that Clash can reset your attack. So if you do happen to rush face-first into a Wall of Disruption or Mirror Wall, clash can reset you for the following turn.
Fortune Ladies (50/50)
This matchup is largely just dependent on which player can set up better, faster. Fortunes tend to largely rely on backrow while they Synchro Summon. Fortune Lady Every is a serious threat to our deck, as it grows stronger every turn and banishes a monster. Matchup is winnable if you can simply play through their backrow. However, because Every can only banish face-up monsters, Flip Flop Frog can absolutely devastate their field and should be utilized if possible