Mono Fire


This deck scored 2nd in Japan in a huge tournament of over 80 players! Edit: Recently this type of deck have scored top places in all tournaments in Japan! \o/

2nd place out of over 80 players is not bad at all! It means it cleared nearly all match-ups with little problems. The deck can deal with Cecil (L), Minwu & Larsa without too much problems. The strategy is very close the the lightning mono deck (1st place) in strategy. A lot of on play and several tempo plays ready. This is really early – the meta havn’t settled but we can clearly see that mono decks are not to be underestimated now with Opus II!

So what made this deck score so high?

  • Cheap backups. Not too much “fun stuff”. Mostly 1-2 cost.
  • High power cards with Lebreau, Selphie and burns. Several cards reaching 8-10k
  • Great tempo plays with Red Mage, Water Kick, haste from Belias and similar to easily score damage despite a massive blocker or two appearing.
  • Combat tricks like Belias & Selphie are very neat to have.
  • Red XIII break most small drops and counters Golbez&Aggro well.
  • The advantage of consistency that comes with running only one color.
  • Xande, Rosso, Rubicanthe etc atleast have some extra sustainance against the burst inevitably appearing in this format.
  • Good matchup against Lightning



25 Total
3 Emperor Xande
3 Ephemeral Phantom
3 Rosso
2 Imitation Liegeman
3 Red XIII (S)
1 Cloud (C)
3 Rubicanthe
3 Firion
3 Tifa (S)
1 Tifa (L)

Emperor Xande being one of the main actors here – just like Golbez he produces a threat even if immediately broken. A huge card with on-attack burn and the downside of only being able to pay with fire is certainly not much of a problem in this deck..

Tifa is absolutely amazing and the starter version I love the most. You can’t be clogged by that card.

Red XIII (S) is enabled by mono fire being run – a fantastic option. Dealing 6k to all targets! It’s 3k to a target on play is NOT to be underestimated. It might force opponents into really frustrating situations. It’s a bit like a miniversion of Gippal but fore fire! Two great effects on this card for only 3. Tap a backup and discard a single card. Really like this play and it’s great against the massive ammount of medium sized drops around (especially with lightning). Rare to see <3

Imitation Liegeman is one good card if you have other Manikins about. Sometimes we will – else it’s just a decent play. With only 4 other manikin cards in deck it won’t always be available! It can help finishing off a card in the rest of the scenarios. A forward AND a 5k burn for 3 is fine.

Ephemeral Phantom is really an amazing card. 2 cost 7k character is nothing to scoff at. Fantastic and I’d almost always run this card if going with fire. It’s condition is just about always met, with other manikins or manikin synergy this is a perfect card.

Rosso is rare to see but I guess it helps a fair bit in this lightning format. A small drop that isn’t so vulnerable to small burns. Can block 7-8k characters without being broken which is okay. With Lebreau – 12k burn is required to kill it – or 5k+5k for example since it’s rounded up. A solid card in this burn format but I’m not convinced it’s a 3-of.

Rubicanthe is also a thing I haven’t seen much yet – but it’s a cheap big card with the drawback of activating all opponent forwards when it attacks. It could be a problem sometimes, but with the combat tricks available it should turn out fine usually. Selphie and a few other can assist with keeping pressure really high. It’s Barrier Shift (S) certainly makes it unlikelier that the opponent will throw expensive removal towards it – very neat!

Firion is amazing for the deck. A free small Ifrit on play and leaving an 8k card on field – 9k with Lebreau. This is a fantastic card overall but I might have gone with just 2 of this card! But you definitely want to see it.


17 Total
3 Evoker
1 Selphie
1 Summoner
3 Black Mage
2 Red Nage
2 Lebreau
1 Irvine
3 Zangan
1 Fusoya (Light)

Evokers for some quick fire ramping goodness. Tapping a single backup to get an extra resource for the rest of the game in insane value. While it won’t do much else – a few of your backups can always be vanilla as you always use some for crystals points each turn. They don’t all have to be Red mages. Something have to actually produce the CP too! For this – Evokers are fantastic. 1-cost backups should be more popular than they are today – it’s of vital import to keep tempo up while producing an economy for the rest of the game as well. With expensive backups this simply isn’t possible. 1-cost or pseudo-1-costs like Jessie or Brother are the way to go in my opinion. But not too many!

Lebreau for that delicious +1k to all forwards. In a mono fire there’s absolutely no purpose in not playing it. Making those cards bit bigger is just way too important. 1k can be all the difference required to win.

Fusoya making an appearance again but only at a 1-of. I’d have expected a 2-of and Bahamut Fury perhaps?

Zangan at a solid 3-of for it’s EX effect and on-play goodness as well as giving the Tifa haste. This card is top tier stuff and should always be used with Tifa <3 Not surprised at 3 copies, but 2 would be legit – still we want it early for the haste and don’t mind the ex-burst triggers.

Black Mage at 3 is a bit of a surprise but it’s a backup that can remove itself if needed and it’s always handy to have a burn prepared and ready on the field just in case something unforeseen would happen.

Selphie sure is a hell of a card in my book. One of the best first plays. It my far beat the lightning opus 2 Ninja we see in many lightning decks at present. I’m at a loss why this is not a 2-of. In my book this card is fantastic and we’d prefer to always see it on the field. It delivers time and time again – saving your attackers from harm and just existing and being active during your attack phase makes our opponent think twice before blocking. Selphie and Belias are our main combat tricks and both are relatively cheap.



8 Total
2 Belias
3 Ifrit (Opus 2)
3 Brynhildr

Belias at 2 came as a surprise – it’s one of my favorite cards of all of fire in Opus 1 and 2. A forward gaining +1k, first strike, haste and drawing a card is just too good to pass up upon.

Ifrit & Brynhildr for simple tempo plays or combining with other burns to remove just about anything.

No Bahamut (9cost) today. This deck keeps the tempo up and to prevent discard from disabling the summon – Bahamut was ignored. The summon – despite being amazing is a bit inconsistent and this deck have many ways of dealing with 9-10k plays already.


  1. Great to see this deck. If I may ask, how well does this perform against Water/Wind, as more than half the people in my area seem to run that.

    • Looking at the results over in japan – not bad. The deck can check many cards. Minwu makes things harder but it’s not making it impossible. Water wind is kind of slow to start and the deck can use this fact pretty well. My advice is just to test it and see. Over at my place – fire or lightning mono both work great despite Cecil L and Minwu existing.

      • I see, thanks for the response! I see you mentioned minor changes you would make, but is there anything you’d recommend for those swaps? I feel Warrior of Light would be a good card in this deck, but would losing a Rosso and a Firion be good for that? What other cards could work?

        I do plan on removing 1 Evoker for a Selphie and maybe force a third Belias in somewhere myself.

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