I muddle through some of my thoughts on Monarchs.
Monarchs is what I would consider to be my main deck for the current format, despite what I would describe as a pretty stand-offish mentality towards said format. As such, and as you may or may not be happy to know, I devote most of my Yugioh mental thrust towards the Monarch deck, as is the case with any deck I am utilizing most actively. I take Monarchs to my locals almost every time I go and I don’t really have anything I’ve considered taking in lieu of other than decks I would consider a “troll deck”. So bare with me as I “muddle through some of my thoughts on Monarchs.”
I’m fairly confident that, whenever and if ever we get a ban list in the TCG, Monarchs will be receiving some kind of hit on the ban list. They’re in a particular place in the meta where they’re clearly a good deck, but I think most people are aware that they aren’t really the best deck or close to it, mostly due to inconsistency, and Konami isn’t going to throw anything Monarchs’ way any time soon, so that’s not getting any better for them. But, that being said, if the clear meta threats are hit then Monarchs are waiting to usurp the throne quite easily, meaning Konami is almost obligated to hit them in some way. In my previous article I said I expected Konami to limit both Pantheism and Domain, and given that idea I decided to get to work testing builds under those parameters.
My initial result is that it doesn’t hurt that much, but it limits the decks options. One copy of Domain is basically an irrelevant hit. If the tribute easing effect of the card is what you need there are still ways to get it pretty easily when you need it, and in many instances I have run less than 3 Domain to begin with so I found this change to be mostly negligible. It is a little sad though that 1 Domain makes Rank 6 XYZ plays with Aether less consistent because you’re less likely to have Domain to perform them.
Pantheism is a much more valuable card to the deck, it fixes a lot of inconsistent hands by allowing you to dig when you don’t have exactly what you want, and then after digging it provides you with a copy of a Monarch card that completes your desired combo. Pantheism was also the go to card to dump off of Aether and Erebus’ effect, meaning you’ll end up dumping useful cards more often now when resolving the aforementioned Monarch’s effects. Pantheism to 1 also indirectly makes The Prime Monarch more difficult to get into the graveyard, meaning turn 1 tribute summons almost require you to use some combination of Vassals or Squires or to get lucky with the 1 Pantheism you run. Prime is also a lot worse to draw when you run only 1 Pantheism because getting it out of your hand is difficult and it has little to no use on opening turns which is a huge deal in Monarchs. In my opinion, if these changes occur Prime becomes either a 1 or 2 of, but certainly not a 3 of.
With all that, Monarchs are left with a lot of opens spots in the deck as well as some more inconsistency. My first thought is to harken back to the Monarch turbo days of the new Monarch structure deck that people were testing at the deck’s onset. Cards like Upstart Goblin, Chicken Game and Precious Cards From Beyond. I feel like of these styled cards, Chicken Game is the most clear in terms of synergy and consistency. With only 1 Domain and more difficulty getting Prime into the graveyard, pulling off a tribute summon of a double tribute monster basically requires the use of Edea without pulling one-of combos. Thus, we want to get Domain more now to make our opening hands easier and stronger. So, then the logical progression is to run Terraforming to search Domain. The problem is you can only run Domain so Terraformings start becoming worthless pretty quick. Then we add Chicken Game and everything is solved with neat and nice bow. Currently I’m testing out 2 Terraforming, 2 Chicken Game and 1 Domain as a mini-engine for Domain and I think it’s very strong, and almost unnoticeably different compared to current Monarchs. Chicken Game gives really easy deck thinning and make summon Kuraz or Aether to summon Kuraz quite optimal early game because you draw off of Chicken Game then destroy Chicken Game with Kuraz for more draws. The synergy seems almost natural.
I next maxxed out on Edea and Eidos because I felt they where now a mandatory part of the engine. You need to draw them and now cycling with Edea is extremely relevant given 1 copy of Pantheism and 1 Domain. I try to go for the Beatrice plays as often as reasonable in the deck because sending Edae with Beatrice’s effect is particularly helpful when running a limited variant of Monarchs.
Last, the only real idea I could think of is to add a bunch of draw cards. I tested a handful and the ideal ones, at least for myself, I found where Trade-In and Allure of Darkness. All the other cards I tested seemed too clunky and had no other motive than drawing cards. Trade-In has the additional benefit of putting Erebus in the graveyard which can setup a lot of plays and makes a new avenue for getting Prime into the graveyard early game without tribute summoning first. Also, because Erebus is easily recycled, it’s not difficult to maintain discard fodder for Trade-In in addition to having searches off Return to get level 8’s to hand. As with every card in the deck, you can always set it to be destroyed by Kuraz and turn it into a draw.
Allure of Darkness is good because there are a lot of DARk monsters in the deck and because it works with both halves of the deck. Typically with a bad hand, Monarchs get stranded with a player having either mostly Monarchs or mostly Squires and none of the other. Allure of Darkness works in both instances to potentially aid the bad hand. Also, like Trade-In, because Erebus recycles himself there’s no shortage of DARK monsters to be had.
So what now? I dunno I guess I’ll keep waiting to see if a ban list ever actually comes around. For now, I’ve learned a lot of efficiency in my play for Monarchs because of this exercise. I’m better at moving the decks pieces more optimally towards what I need and can turn worse hands into usable ones than before. Maybe it will become a useless exercise but I had my fun with it.
Written by: Kyle Oliver