Gilgamesh – Control/~tempo

If the Supercell is a more control/midrange deck – this deck aims for Gilgamesh goodness. It allows for a bit more of a control/tempo playstyle.. As we are on the offensive, we’ll drop a bit of the defensive options and hope to put the opponent against the wall. Any expensive drop is targeted by Gilgamesh removal. It’s not quite as stable as the Gilgamesh deck but it sports incredible ammounts of removal that is reasonably difficult to handle for most deck types.

My friend, Marcus, brought a deck very similar to this deck and really performed efficiently in all matchups we had. Both strong midrange decks and aggro decks were present for a reasonably diverse. Being good against Minwu and being able to handle rushes pretty well proved really useful.

 

Main mechanics:

  • Use tempo when given the chance. When ahead in damage, opponents dare not tap out characters which is free control! \o/
  • Dull/Freeze dulls aggression and reduces defenses.
  • All of the Gilgamesh goodness.
  • Probably the most pure break effects of any deck ever. The more expensive cards they play the better. Gilgamesh trades better with the big ones ūüôā
  • Best Gilgamesh being immune to Leviathan, Yuna & Valefor is really great and the fact that Odin usually costs 5 to remove a single Gilgamesh that often get it’s (S) off as response really makes it difficult for the opponent to remove it easily.
  • Best Gilgamesh is able to use it’s ability while dulled helps a lot.

 

Forwards:

25-27  Total
3  Gilgamesh 1
3  Gilgamesh 2
3  Gilgamesh 3
1  Lightning R
0-1  Ricard
2  Dragoon
3  Kuja
3  Terra (R)
1  Terra (H)
3  Snow
3  Squall (L)
0-1  Sephiroth


Squall
¬†(L) is a great card for this deck, but the other Squalguna cards are not vital for the build. They are solid options you’ll want to consider but they take a lot of deck space so I’m testing out on skipping those and keeping just the best parts of it with Squall (L) who requires no other cards to function properly, negating the risk of 2 for 1 with Squalgunas brother synergy card being targeted during combat step ending up with both dead ūüôĀ

Cid Raines is an excellent alternative. While he excels if your meta is riddles with Tifas – he’s also great to finish off damaged attackers. Unfortunately it’s only dulled forwards we can target and 4k is not enough – this requires you to combo play with either a blocker/attacker suicide to trade upwards in cost and finish with Cid – or Shiva 1-cost for profit and activate snow. Destroy a target and trigger Snow aswell as Cid discarding one. Solid play!

Unfortunately he’s ice and we are struggling on Lightning¬†cards already. Snow, Terra and Squall & Kuja are so good early game drops that they usually force removal otherwise aimed for Gilgamesh. Generally they are preferable for the early game in my experience. If we had more burn I’d auto-include. Now he’s in my maybe-pile but still top tier. Ice just have way too many good drops.

Dragoon is a cheap early game drop that works alright. A budget alternative to Squall (L). It puts in some work but unfortunately the 6k body can prove a problem on occasion. While surviving Ifrit – Dragoon really need more burn spells in the deck to really profit. Shiva works well as defender as most attackers are dull – easily finishing off an 11k attacker with the first strike+burn. That’s Tidus thunderblitz end right there! While weaker we really need more lightning cards in the deck and Dragoons aren’t half bad even though they are often used for Gilgamesh fodder. If you hate the idea of a common, run Cid Raines for utility or another lightning card for it’s element.

Kuja is great as they will not want to deal with him unless they are in top-decking mode which is just where you want your opponent. A control deck that only faces the risk of 2 cards out of their 50 per turn means i’s usually 1 forward and 1 backup drawn. That we can deal with. The fewer options they have the easier we win <3 Terra+Kuja really forms the anti-fun wall! ^^

Terra (H) is a great card for this deck. Fitting the deck like a glove and while being cheap to play РTerra makes it more expensive to target Gilgamesh with summons which is great. Kuja+Terra out means summons really lose their edge a bit! The other Terra is just fuel and a small chance of being able to play the Terra-bomb. Play Terra (R) for 4, drop a Terra to activate her special for 8k burn x2. Burn 2k for 1.

Lightning (R) really performs in this deck. Across removal and dull she often secures a damage here and there. She’s the one that makes sure Prische can’t block all your attacks.

Gilgamesh is an incredibly fun card to play. All three copies have ridiculous effects. While not exactly broken, many decks have way harder to deal with them. The one with Divider needs you to have taken 4 damage but there are 6 other Gilgameshes to play before than! Control decks that gets to deal with Gilgamesh early can screw things up, fortunately it’s easy to replay him and it’s cheap.

Sephiroth (8) is often a more relevant play than it seems. While we have no Maria we play a card that forces a response. Part of the cost is also that it’s an improved Hecatoncheir¬†against all but “Yaag Rosched” backup lines. Keep in mind that removing a backup during the mid game removes not only the function which is hopefully something like Maria or Aerith but a CP per turn until they are at 5 which usually takes a while. As we spam removal on their frontrow – suddenly losing some resources might make a huge difference. Perhaps having to throw away a card for their play instead of another backup tap. Overall it can just really be an effective play. The first strike can on occasions be extremely powerful though the lack of Maria is a little bit painful here. Sephiroth desperately wants a thousand power from somewhere.

Bonus points against blue decks that often must bounce Sephiroth. While sometimes a great play. Replaying Sephiroth is just too much fun and not too bad of a deal. Leviathan often costing 4, and playing a backup costs 2+. Usually a cp or two lost atleast since they will be a backup short for a while. This is an invisible advantage at first as the advantage doesn’t kick in immediately. This is no tempo play :p

Laguna is great since we are running Squall – but still risks playing into a 2 for 1 where squall dies to burn/removal and Laguna dies aswell. Fortunately he has an Ex and an on-play to give him some use. Not my favorite – but really useful in a normal ice deck with multiple Squalls.

Rikard is a really interesting option as Gilgamesh is better than Light Cloud when at 4 damage. Protecting the Gilgamesh isn’t bad at all and it gives us some protection against anyone who have saved 3 Odins for our best Gilgamesh..

High number of forwards is primarily to make sure we draw into useful cards and are not stuck with only summons & backups on hand in the late game. But if you want to – it’s perfectly possible to drop 2 forwards and for example add 2 of the 7-cost Odin. I think it’s a valid option. I’d recommend dropping Rikard, who’s just a tech and a color fill, and Sephiroth who’s a risky gambit play. I would then proceed to pick up 2 7cost Odins then if you dislike the prospect of having 27 forwards. As for me… I prefer swinging the Strongest Sword in the early/midgame!

Summons:

6-8  Total
3  Odin (4cost)
3  Shiva (3cost)
0-2  Odin (7cost)

4cost Odin is the best removal in the game. The great control cards in lightning apart from Odin lies not only in it’s summons but in backups and characters. Great on-play effects that gives you a character on field aswell as it’s effect. That’s just too good!

The 1-cost Shiva is often great. But usually it just doesn’t do enough It does help¬†Snow activate his ability but the 3cost one is where the money is at. Can’t fit everything I want.

Ramuh is an option, but with Snow – if you want a burn go pick another Shiva.

7-cost Odin is a bit redundant in this deck – but it’s never a bad choice. The risk of hitting it’s Ex ability is terrifying.

 

Backups:

 17  Total
3  Jihl Nabaat
2  Black Mage
2  Time-mage
2  Summoner
1  Chaos
1  Seymour
2  Sage
2  Magus (Li)
2  Red Mage

Black mage is one of the best cards ever. I use it mostly as a 7-cost Odin. I ram a used CIP forward or a burn to damage something and demolish it with this king of cards. Minwu obviously murders this card and makes it useless. Fortunately we have a lot of removal and this is a 2cost only.

Jihl is just fantastic. I love her design and her cost and mechanics. This beast costs 2 cp? For a double freeze? It saves us from aggro and running 3 Jihls is not a crime. I just feel that I need the other cards more. Another devout is be better for me in this deck.

Seymour is just absolutely fantastic.

Sage is great¬†for all decks, but in this deck we rely on (S) abilities. Devout¬†is a¬†great alternative but it’s a much slower play. Spending 4 crystals on nothing for a turn can really douse the flames we started. We want to keep the Tempo up so we’ll go with sage – it’s also effectively a handfix type of on-play effect. 2cost backup that let’s you discard a card to salvage a card from the break zone. Sort of.

Magus are my favorite turn 2 drop if it can kill something. Else just don’t place it unless needed. Mog can really net what I need and Magus can really dull the edge of a rush while building resources so I really like it. And 3-cost is perfectly fine for a turn 2 play.

Serah¬†helps out with defending Snow who I think is just about the best character released in Opus one for tempo decks. If on the defensive – he’s not very strong. Serah is in no way mandatory as we desperately must have atleast 2 Lightning and preferably 3. We also desperately need 2 ice for Terra – but one of them is going to be Summoner or Time Mage and the other will be Jihl. This one just plain isn’t more important. Sometimes you just can’t get everything that you want. Can’t risk being forced to play 3-4 ice backups because they are all you get. Lightning is prioritized!

Red Mage (Li) is a good option as it can give haste to Snow, Dragoon, Squall and other drops! Very handy. It could land you a point of damage here and there if they tap out or with Snow just straight out end the game out of nowhere with some luck. Honestly, I only picked it for the 2-cost. The “Snowcannon” is just a bonus. A deck without a bunch of 2 (effective or printed) cost backup drops is useless on first turn though it might recover later.

Desperately try to get 2 backups that generate lightning crystal points so we can stop tossing away our dear Gilgamesh for cp. We need it for our special and we don’t have many lightning cards in the deck as Ice is so damn good.

 

 

Strategy:

Mulligan:

While mulligan depends on matchup we can generally consider that it is worth it to mulligan if the hand contains one of these problems:

  • Sephiroth: in some matchups you certainly don’t want this early or at all really. Against decks that can counter him for cheap (check their discard before game ends). If you feel like sephiroth is good in the matchup go ahead and keep. For decks who can only fight him or bounce him, he’s not bad at all.
  • No forward. Without forwards we might be rushed/lose to tempo so try to mulligan unless you have a forward. An expensive forward might be fine in a crisis.
  • No cheap backups. Mulligan if you have no backups to play. They are of vital importance. I usually mulligan unless I have sage or a 2cost backup on hand. I really want to get the economy going first turn.

 

First Turn:

As we are playing control usually – aim for economy early on. Optimal start is 2x 2-cost backups of any color. 2nd turn – Magus, Seymour and Sage are great options given the opportunity. Handfixing with Sage is handy while Seymour and Magus is more a reaction type of play.

 

Early game:

As we are playing control we are looking for control options. Respond with Magus/Seymour if possible. Prioritize backups (2 ice, 2 lightning) Else try to save them. Quickly build economy and don’t be the first to play a forward unless required. Jump upon opportunities for tempo plays with Snow but don’t commit overly to board. Try to keep 5 cards for a plethora of responses for every possible play.

Best first forward drops are Terra (H) & snow, followed by Strongest Sword Gilgamesh or Kuja to get things going!

 

Mid game:

Ready Time-mages against Tidus, Summoner against summon plays. Try to quickly take 4 damage as to not los too much field while readying the good Gilgamesh. If you hit 4 early – it’s easy to stabilize with the Best Gilgamesh going Divider all over the game. If we can get to Divider safely¬†it’s usually game.

The deck can be a bit unstable until it reaches 4 damage. The double strike Gilgamesh and the gamble Gilgamesh both have issues with consistency and there are great counters for them.

Always be ready to push for a tempo playstyle with snow/shiva and do damage given the opportunity – but a more slow control playstyle is generally favorable while it’s quite risky to throw cards into combat when not absolutely required.

 

Lategame:  

Late game is all about Gilgamesh. While all of the Gilgameshes have specials that require answers not to deal great damage – the best is the Divider.¬†Any divider they can’t respond to is a massive victory. The more expensive and few cards they play the easier it becomes. They’ll draw around 1 forward per turn late game and we’ll trumph that by playing one and breaking, when allowed/possible.

 

Worst matchups:

  • Odin are as usual really difficult to deal with. But Terra helps by reducing the effectiveness of the trade.
  • Having cards discarded from hand is painful as we often want to have a Shiva and a Gilgamesh there. Control decks prefer not top-decking as we want the control options on hand.
  • Minwu can really be annoying but a Minwnu build often includes many expensive cards which are great targets for Gilgamesh-gambling or straightup removal. An opponent with many 5-6 costs are generally much easier for this type of deck.
  • Brave/cards with reactivation makes dull or freeze effects lose a bit of their edge. But then they have to have the answer on hand atleast.
  • Ice can really stop Gilgamesh (3) so be really careful It might just be hit by Time-Mage or Shiva/Laguna until you lose. Play Strongest sword or stall safely until Divider.

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