When I looked at the new Return of the Duelist pack, I was kind of looking for something that no one else noticed because I always think it’s funner to use the “bad” deck that no one cares about and do lots of cool things with it. Chronomalys are first off, really ugly, and secondly not so straight forward on their goals; so I figured everyone would pretty much steer clear of them and for the most part I was right. The stage was set for me to take a closer look.
Chronomalys are a very odd archetype and even after testing ideas and other things with them they still lack focus. They do a lot of cool stuff, lots of what Matt would call “self touching” since once you get the ball rolling with them they kind of just move a lot of cards around for what seems like no purpose at all devoid of the opponent’s input, but that’s what I liked about them. I like the searching and scrying power the archetype brings because I like the precision control that play style gives. The problem though is this all requires you to “get the ball rolling” as I said. The archetype foremost suffers from a starting point for the deck, because it doesn’t have one! Chronomalys really have no plays that start the deck off and there’s no cards that really consistently give them the opening they need. In order to really explain any more though, I should do a quick rundown of the main Chronomaly cards.
- First, we’ve got the Crystal Bones. Chronomaly Crystal Bones seems like the starting point of any good turn in the deck. He summons like a Cyber Dragon and then revives a Chronomaly from the graveyard (nicely enough this doesn’t target) usually the Crystal Skull, to make a clean 1 card Rank 3 XYZ. There’s a lot of combo potential since he doesn’t take up a normal summon and he can also revive Moai, a level 5 monster, to make combos into Rank 5 XYZ as well.
- Second, is Chronomaly Crystal Skull, the “other half” to the Bones. Essentially it’s a Fabled Grimro for the Chronomaly archetype except it can also grab from the graveyard. It’s a level 3 so it obviously goes hand in hand with Bones (or maybe neck in skull?) Usually getting this card off begins the deck’s shenanigans, but in order to activate Skull you must control a Chronomaly monster, which is actually a huge problem at the beginning of the game. Other than that there’s also lots of odd comboey ways to reuse this card that I’ll talk about later, probably in another article.
- The next monster is Chronomaly Moai, who would rightly be considered akin to Wind-Up Shark. He’s a level 5 monster you can special summon from your hand if you control a Chronomaly. He makes Rank 5 XYZ summons pretty easy. On the downside, the Rank 5 monster will almost always cost you two cards, which isn’t usually bad considering the power of Rank 5’s.
- Chronomaly Golden Jet isn’t particularly in my favor. He increases the level of all Chronomalys on the field by 1 level once per turn. It makes some excessive combos at the cost of inconsistency. He gives the deck access to Rank 4’s and 6’s neither of which the deck is really begging for, but having the option it pretty great.
- The only support card for Chronomalys I really found useful was Chronomaly Technology. You banish a Chronomaly in the graveyard to look at the top two cards of your deck, and then add one to your hand and send the other to the graveyard. Then, you can only special summon Chronomaly monsters this turn. Think of this card like you’re running 5 pot of Duality, except this is debatably better.
I omitted all the other cards (not counting the XYZ) because I thought they were really poopy and facilitate little to nothing.
So, the deck’s starting point. When looking and testing with the cards, like I said earlier you begin to notice that most good turns start with Crystal Bones because it’s usually the only monster really worth summoning outright that Chronomaly’s have. In order to effectively setup its summon though you need a either a Crystal Skull in the graveyard or a Moai in the graveyard. Moai doesn’t go into the graveyard (usually) unless you’ve done a combo with it already, so in order to start up the deck that means we have to activate a Crystal Skull to essentially start the entire deck. You also need to get a monster in the graveyard to start using Technology as well. This causes a huge and awkward dilemma for the deck. You simultaneously need a Chronomaly on the field to activate Skull but you don’t want to summon a Chronomaly until after you’ve activated Skull. You could normal summon a Bones and waste it in order to activate Skull effectively accepting the neg one since Bones will dies because all the Chronomalys have pretty much garbage stats, but that kind of sucks. So that lead me to one of two ways to start up the deck: Milling or XYZ summoning initially without using any Chronomaly cards.
Milling is the most simple to explain why it’s effective. Use cards like Card Trooper or the mini Lightsworn engine (Lylas, Rykos, Recharge and Charge) to try and dump a Chronomaly so you can revive it with Crystal Bones. At this point you can start using Skull and it’s just oh happy day from then on. Milling also synergizes with Chronomaly Technology allowing you to start doing that whole “self touching” thing.
XYZ summoning without Chronomalys is the second approach, because this can inadvertently end with a Chronomaly monster on the field that isn’t a total waste. Possibly the best way to do this is with none other than the Tour Guide from the Underworld. You can use Tour Guide to make a quick XYZ into Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut. At this point you can now activate Skull as well as providing fodder for future Chronomaly Technology in the form of Chrononaut after it dies, which it inevitably will, but at least he’ll probably soak up a random card from your opponent in the process. The biggest problem with using this technique to start up the deck is it gives rise to inconsistency. You have to run cards that don’t do much else than start the deck, and other than Tour Guide there aren’t a whole lot of good ways to do this in the first place.
Moving on, there’s a lot of neat cards that work really well along side the deck. Possibly the best of them all is Genex Ally Birdman. Birdman fulfills many roles in the deck and gives rise to ludicrous amounts of combos once the deck goes off. You can summon him for free by returning a Moai to your hand and then just re special summon the Maoi. This allows level 8 Synchros as well, which I’m always up for. If you revive Crystal Skull with Bones, you can return Skull to hand to reuse Skull’s effect and start comboing off even more or just simply reset your combo for next turn by adding a Bones to your hand and then XYZ for 3.
A majority of the cards are light monsters so this gives rise to a bunch of different support. You can run almost any of the Lightray monsters in the deck. If you add a Field Spell Daedalus can become a really easy to summon powerhouse. You can also use Diabolos just for his general strength. If you add more banish support you can run Lightray Sorcerer. To help with the Rank 5 XYZ summons, you could also run Ghost Ship, furthering you banished support to possibly open up room for the card Light of Redemption. It’s a Normal Spell that adds a banished Light monster to your hand; this can help search with Skull, reuse Bones and backwards toolbox crazy monsters like Black Luster Soldier or even more Ghost Ships. There’s lots of cool stuff here.
For now though, I’ll end it at that. If you want me talk more about some other possibilities and combos I’ll be more than willing. As always happy dueling everybody!
OOOOHHHH! They look and Sound fun!