First, I’ll do a kind of showcase of sorts to tell you what each of the important cards in the deck does, since I’d wager most people are unfamiliar with the majority of the Heraldic Beast cards.
When he’s sent to the graveyard you add a Heraldic Beast monster (other than himself) from your deck to the hand. This includes being sent directly from the deck, hand and even being detached as XYZ material. That means he has one of the fabled never failing effects similar to only a few cards, the most prominent being Dandylion. Also, when he’s Normal Summoned he destroys himself in the End Phase. He’s the cornerstone of the entire Heraldic Beast engine since he can be recycled near infinitely to search your deck of all its monsters in a few turns.
What you do with him is pretty simple. You use him for just about everything. You want to send him to the graveyard first thing, to start searching your deck. Then keep recycling him from there with the many cards that allow yo to access him so you can search even more by discarding him for effects or by detatching him as XYZ material.
Aberconway is the other half of Leo, at least in my opinion. If you have 2 Aberconway in the graveyard, you can Banish one of them to add any Heraldic Beast from the graveyard to the hand. This is the most ideal way to be adding Leo’s from the graveyard back to your hand or simply recycling Aberconways for days. He also allows you to get cards back into your hand to be pitched by cards with discard costs and the like. He’s also a Level 4 WIND monster making him the perfect way to summon Lightning Chidori, one of the deck’s special properties.
Upon first read this guy was one of my least favorite, but he’s actually really good. Any monster he battles is destroyed after the battle, even if he would be destroyed too. You can also set him and have your opponent ram into him and die. It kind of makes him like a D.D. Warrior Lady except he doesn’t have to kill himself to destroy defense position monsters. He’s only 1 for 1 removal, but Heraldic Beasts can quickly make up for that by making there monsters infinitely recoverable and searchable. You can almost always maintain an extra copy of this in your hand or on the field, which is a huge thorn in an opponent’s side.
Using Leo you can easily search it and Aberconway allows you to add if from graveyard to your hand for what could be considered free. The only downside is he usually takes up your normal summon.
I really wish this card’s stats where switched, but oh well. You can Banish Unicorn in your graveyard to Special Summon a Psychic XYZ monster from your graveyard with its effect’s negated. There’s only really one (there’s 2 now, there’ll be 3 in the future) the deck can summon, which is there “boss monster” No.8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage, who neuters XYZ monsters. Unicorn allows you to make some more free beat-sticks similar to Vayu Turbo. This allows the deck yet more free advantage. Because of Unicorn it’s usually wise to quickly make Genom-Heritage just so you can perpetually revive a 2400 beat-stick to control the board without actually investing any cards.
This card is really good, I don’t know why anyone hasn’t noticed it yet. It takes any two Heraldic Beasts in the graveyard and immediately XYZ summons a monster with them. All the Heraldic Beasts are level 4 so this makes any generic Rank 4 XYZ as well as a few special ones under certain circumstances being: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage, Fairy King Albverdich and Lightning Chidori. I usually equate this card to Miracle Fusion since they act very similar. Heraldry Art is a very strong 1 card out or OTK enabler, and it can even provide Searching and Toolboxing using Leo as XYZ Material and the summoning of Rank 4’s like Lavalval Chain and Daigusto Emeral. This is probably the best card the deck has, so don’t waste it.
It’s just a Monster Reborn for Heraldic Beast monsters. Pretty simple, but powerful. So now we’ll move into the main discussion:
So what’s the point of all these monsters? Why ever would I try to do anything with them and what strengths do they have? First off, the major theme the archetype displays is a high amount of hand control. They allow a deck to keep large amounts of hand advantage and quickly thin the deck of themselves. They also support a pretty solid Rank 4 XYZ summoning base. They’ve got some pretty good stats for stun game-play being the 2000 Leo and 1800 Aberconway as well as a removal monster with Basilisk all of which are easy to maintain and regain copies of making them strong when paired with large Spell and Trap line-ups, which is ideal for stun. They also have a strong power card to promote there use: Advanced Heraldry Art. With the massive hand support they can be used along side cards that require huge discarding costs that would normally be bad as well.
Let’s talk generic support. There’s a handful of cards that run quite well in the deck to look out for, the first is Foolish Burial. In order for the deck to initiate you need to pull of your first search with Leo which effectively gets you 2 Heraldic Beasts to access (Leo and the card you searched) which allows the entire engine to move. The single Leo in grave perpetuates the use of Heraldry Reborn, Advanced Heraldry Art and Aberconway. Because of all that Foolish Burial is a fantastic card in the deck. Pitch Leo and search with his effect to setup the deck, sounds good to me.
Another interesting one, which is essentially the same thing, is Dust knight. Dust Knight is a level 4 Flip Effect monster that send an Earth Monster to the graveyard. (He’s one of the offshoot monsters of Armageddon Knight) Obviously you send Leo to the graveyard with his effect. Dust Knight is more powerful in a couple ways than Foolish though since he is a body on the field, this allows some more versatile plays for XYZ summoning, but at the cost of taking an additional turn to do so.
One thing that Heraldic Beasts run into pretty quickly if they’re working correctly they start welling up in your hand faster than you can get rid of them, and this is a problem. In order to help with this problem you need some way to put them onto the field or into the graveyard.
One such card is Snipe Hunter, a card I now traditionally will run at least 1 copy of with any Heraldic Beast deck I build. You frequently have a lot of excess cards in hand and cards you want in the graveyard, as I said, and Snipe Hunter fits that bill. He makes a pretty nice destruction loop when you have at least 1 Aberconway in the graveyard and Snipe Hunter and Leo in your hand. You Summon Snipe Hunter and pitch Leo to hopefully destroy a card and search an Aberconway with Leo. Then you can pitch that Aberconway to kill another card. Then you can use Aberconway to add an Aberconway or Leo back to your hand to pitch a 3rd time, potentially killing 3 of your opponent’s cards as well as setting up your graveyard.
There’s also Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and Raigeki Break. Both of which have tested quite well in the deck. It’s pretty much the same as Snipe Hunter except it can disrupt your opponent’s plays as well as not be vulnerable to Bottomless Trap Hole. With Leo and Aberconway you can usually make sufficient enough advantage to utilize both these cards.
One of my favorite cards to use with Heraldic Beast Aberconway is D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation. You discard 1 to Special Summon a banished monster. I spoke about this before in an earlier article about Ninjas, but I’ll restate it briefly again here. The basic combo is this:
- 2 Aberconway + 1 Leo in the graveyard and a D.D.R. in hand.
- Banish Aberconway to add Leo to hand.
- Discard Leo for D.D.R. to revive Aberconway and search a Heraldic Beast.
- Summon that Heraldic Beast and make a Rank 4 XYZ.
- To make the combo sweeter you add Unicorn for the Leo search and make a Genom-Heritage allowing you to revive it later if it dies. Sweetness!
This allows you to search the deck, make Rank 4’s and recycle Aberconways. It also allows you to re-use Unicorn as well. This is one of the easiest ways the deck can make Lightning Chidori, since you can Special 1 Aberconway and then add another to hand and summon it. The combo can also be performed with just 2 Aberconways in the graveyard and by discarding any other card in hand, in case you don’t have the perfect setup.
I also thought about running a Fabled engine using the Fabled Soulkuis, who sends 2 cards from your hand to the graveyard to summon him from the graveyard. I’m not completely sure ow the idea will pan out, but it sounds pretty interesting. I’d use Kushano, Grimro and Soulkuis to make the main backbone of the deck, this would allow for constant recycling of Soulkuis and the searching power to get him into the graveyard. The Kushano’s also make running Tour Guide an obvious choice, which also allows you to recycle both Aberconway and Unicorn much easier using Leviair. I’d also likely add in The Fabled Cerburrel since he allows a lot of good Level 8 Synchro plays with the Soulkuis engine. Discard Cerburrel for Kushano then pitch Kushano and another card for Soulkuis; pretty standard Fabled stuff if you’re familiar with them. Combining the two together makes the deck more graveyard concentric opening up options for a lot of other cards too, like Card Trooper and other milling choices.
Another good idea I had for Heraldic Beasts was with Ninjas. Since Heraldic Beasts have Beasts and Dragons they support both Normal and Super-Transformation. This gives you a certain level of control with Super-Transformation as well as consistent access to start-up by using Normal Transformation to summon Leo. I’ve talked about this quite a bit at the beginning of the podcast lately and had some kind of hit and miss success with it. It’s really good against some decks, but then it’s just awful against others. Typically the Ninja engine struggles against really fast decks and really destructive decks. So Mermails kind of poop on this engine and actually cause you to be inconsistent if the Ninjas fail. Then on the other hand, the Ninjas absolutely destroy decks that set a lot(monsters or Spells and Traps). It’s pretty easy to play around the opponent’s back-row using Transformations and Red Dragon Ninja makes it really hard to deal with you a lot of the time.
That’s all I’ve got for now, in the future I’ll definitely be trying out Tempest, Elemental Dragon of Cyclones (the Wind Elemental Dragon) since he has some awesome synergy with Aberconway. Because Aberconway is a WIND Dragon, if you Gold Sarcophagus a Tempest you can add Aberconway to your hand. You can also discard Aberconway with Tempest to search another Aberconway which almost immediately sets up any double Aberconway play. Tempest also supports D.D.R. and the like and is even a Super-Transformation target. I’ll also think about running a Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon to revive Aberconways and Tempests since you can search him with Tempest’s effect.