Creative Deck Strategy: Noble Warrior’s Strike

Are you sleeping on Structure Deck R: Warrior’s Strike? You shouldn’t, because its support is insanely powerful now.

Structure Deck R: Warrior Strike:

Introduced recently to the OCG as the latest Structure Deck R, Warrior’s Strike had quite a large challenge. It’s goal was to reinvent the FIRE/Warrior/Gemini/Equip strategy put forward by the original structure back released 10 years prior. Instead of simply going all-in on Gemini monsters, this structure deck split its attention between Gemini Support cards, Equip effects, and FIRE/Warrior support cards, offering each playstyle a hearty dose of TLC. In doing so, much of the online reception to these cards were negative, as each of these themes were not competitive before and didn’t look to stand a chance after. I think that was a fair assessment when the deck was first released to the OCG – but now that assessment is completely wrong. Let me show you today.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about the most important cards from the structure. First, we have the new boss monster, God Phoenix Gearfried (YGOrg Translation)This big guy offers three important characteristics – an easy summoning effect by banishing an Equip Spell from field or GY, a disruption effect that negates monster effect activations by sending a face-up Equip Spell, and a non-targeting monster removal effect that equips an opponent’s monster to it as an equip spell. This triple threat serves a dual role in both its OTK and first turn boards, and its ease of summoning is just all the sweeter. Next up is Flame Noble Knight Roland (YGOrg Translation), a FIRE Warrior that can equip itself from the hand to a monster you control and give it 500 ATK. Also, during the EP of a turn it was sent to the GY, you get to add any FIRE/Warrior or Equip Spell from deck to hand. While Roland can definitely be used to just search out our first in-theme boss, both its effects are integral to our strategy. As well as its name happening to be a Noble Knight… but we’ll get to that later.

This was the core of the FIRE/Warrior/Equip support of the Structure Deck – but then additional cards entered the pool to support our strategy. First up came Flame Noble Knight Renaud (YGOrg Translation), a FIRE warrior that, while similar to Roland in supporting FIRE/Warriors and Equips, serves an entirely different role. By controlling a FIRE Warrior, he can be Special Summoned from the hand as a tuner. Then secondly, when he is Special Summoned, you can recover a FIRE/Warrior or Equip spell that is banished or in your GY. Being a Warrior, you would probably immediately think to the combos with Isolde and this guy, letting you search any Equip Spell from your deck, but it also serves as an extender whenever you draw it, removing any downside to running multiple copies. Also, he’s another Noble Knight… oh boy.

The other additional support card came in the form of a union monster – Squeaknight releasing soon in Ignition Assault. This FIRE/Warrior has the traditional Union ability to equip to another monster or Un-equip from a monster to Special Summon itself, but it also carries the effect to become a tuner when Special Summoned. Where this card gets interesting is another FIRE/Warrior support card from Warrior’s Strike – Sublime Knight – Expaladin (YGOrg Translation). When Expaladin is Summoned, you get to equip any FIRE/Warrior (or Gemini) from deck to it. So, make Squeak that equipped Warrior, and you have your instant combination of 2 monsters into Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights, the Link monster incentivizing the use of Warriors with equip spells.

Unleash the Conquering Star:

Pivoting away from the Structure Deck, I need to introduce a Warrior theme that has flown under the radar for years. The ‘Star’ Warriors are a set of Level 5 Warriors that aim to win the duel through Fusion Summoning. Unlike most themes, their in-theme Fusion capabilities comes exclusively in the form of monster effects, the most important of which is Kaiki the Unity Star. Whenever Kaiki is Special Summoned, you can pay 500 LP to Fusion Summon. Simple as that. Addititonally, while Kaiki is in the GY and you control a Level 5 or higher Warrior with increased ATK, you can Special Summon it back from the GY during the opponents turn (letting you fusion summon again during their turn). Remember the ATK gain of Roland? This is where it comes in useful.

But which Fusion monsters can you bring out with Kaiki? First on the docket is Idaten the Conqueror Star, a Fusion of any 2 Level 5+ Warriors. Idaten has 3 effects: 1) When Summoned you get a free Level 5 Warrior from the deck; 2) Discard card(s) to make it gain 200 ATK for each; 3) Reduces the ATK of monsters of a lower level that it battles. The first effect maintains your card advantage, giving you ways to stay in the game if your opponent breaks your board. The second gives you a definite Kaiki summon. The third is just fun amounts of damage. But there’s a bigger Star Fusion to unlock – Shura the Combat Star, a Fusion of Idaten and any other Level 5+ Warrior. During the Battle Phase, he has a quick effect to reduce the ATK of all monsters your opponent controls to 0. He also includes an effect to increase ATK of battling monsters by 200 times their Level, but his final effect is that when destroyed, you can summon a new Idaten from your Extra (treated as a Fusion Summon – the ONLY one that doesn’t use any Materials).

With these two granting you complete dominance over the battle phase, you may think that we’re good on Fusion boss monsters. But then we’d be leaving out another powerful warrior – Gilti-Gearfried the Magical Steel Knight (YGOrg Translation), a Fusion of 2 Warriors of different attributes. First, Gilti-Gearfried can negate an effect that targets it, then destroy any card on the field. Second, if its fusion material were from the field, you can attack twice per turn. And third, it can boost its ATK by half its DEF when it battles a monster by banishing a Spell from your GY. Think of the synergy here with equip spells or even Roland – you can trigger his first effect on either turn by attempting to equip something to it, guaranteeing the destruction of an opponent’s card. Not bad for one of Joey’s cards!

Take Up your Noble Arms:

It’s finally time to get to the glue that holds this strategy together – the Noble Knight archetype. Between the two Flame Noble Knights and Isolde, we’ve had a large NK presence already, but let’s talk about how regular NK support cards can improve this as well! Heritage of the Chalice is first up on our list, because it serves a dual purpose as both a searcher for any Noble Knight or Noble Arms card, as well as recovery in case you’ve already used all your copies! This guarantees access to Roland, Renaud, or another Equip Spell if needed. But what other Equips can we grab? Well Noble Arms – Clarent is a great option to start with, since it can equip to any Warrior to allow it to attack directly. Combine this with God Phoenix to equip your opponents monsters while inflicting 3500 dmg directly? Or consider pairing it with Gilti-Gearfried for a double-attacking direct attacker!

Also, since we have such a versatile searcher and are running a Noble Arms, it only makes sense to also include a copy of Noble Knight Medraut, since it can get you to your initial Isolde as long as you have any Noble Arms! The final Noble Knight monster I’d like to highlight here is Noble Knight Eachtar, as it is additional glue to tie the Fusion component to the Noble Knights. First, it is a Level 5 Warrior, serving as a perfect Fusion material alongside Kaiki. Secondly, it is the only DARK Warrior in our deck, making it great Fusion material for Gilti-Gearfried. And last but not least, it can keep summoning itself back from the GY by banishing used Isoldes, Rolands, or Renauds. So it’s an excellent recyclable material option! With that, let’s show off the decklist!

Sample Decklist:

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New-Age Dino Rabbit:

At the end of the day, this deck functions in a similar pattern to the old aggressive strategy of Dino Rabbit. In those days, the goal was to make one of the Evolzar Xyz to disrupt the opponent’s plays before winning the duel through consistent damage. That strategy was flexible, going first or second with ease, and had powerful 1-card combos to make their boss monsters. Basically ever portion of that description fits our Flaming Noble Knights strategy here today, so let’s talk about some of the really cool opening options.

Let’s consider the situation where you open Sublime Knight – Expaladin:

  1. Begin your turn by summoning Expaladin and equipping Squeaknight from the deck.
  2. Using Squeak’s 2nd effect, unequip it and summon it to your field.
  3. Link Summon Isolde using both monsters, using its first effect to add Noble Knight Eachtar to hand.
  4. Use Isolde’s 2nd effect, sending a Cursed Bamboo, Phoenix Blade, and 3 other Equip Spells from your Deck to the GY, to summon Kaiki the Unity Star from your deck.
  5. Activate Kaiki, by paying 500, and Cursed Bamboo, adding a Golden Bamboo Sword and Fusion Summoning Idaten the Conqueror Star with Kaiki and Eachtar.
  6. Idaten activates, adding Super Quantum Red Layer from deck to hand.
  7. Banish Squeak and Expaladin from GY to add Phoenix Blade to hand.
  8. Equip Phoenix Blade to Idaten, making it increase to 3300 ATK.

In the end of that simple play chain, you may have begun with 1 specific monster, but you ended the turn with a Link monster, a Fusion, a free Red Layer and Golden Bamboo in hand, an Eachtar in your GY, and a live Kaiki in your GY that can summon itself to fusion summon during the opponent’s turn. Oh, and you have only 25 cards left in your deck. But this simple play chain isn’t reality – you are also going to have 4 additional cards in hand. If you also began your turn with a God Phoenix in hand, you can summon him by banishing one of your sent Equips, giving you a way to negate your opponent’s options. Note, if you open the duel with one of your 7 Bamboo Sword cards alongside Expaladin, you’re guaranteed to be able to activate that Golden Bamboo for even more advantage!

What happens if things don’t go in your favor? Simply adapt your goals and your initial play chain. For example, during more test duels than expected, I would open the sole copy of Kaiki the Unity Star (only a 12.5% chance of happening). While you may not be able to Special Summon Kaiki from hand with Isolde, you do have the ability to summon other things like Renaud. Since Renaud triggers whenever he is Special Summoned, the interaction between the two allows you to search ANY Equip Spell, as you just send it to Special Renaud, then recover it immediately with that Renaud. And yes folks – if you send and recover Cursed Bamboo, you also get to search a Golden Bamboo for an immediate resolution and a better chance of drawing that Super Polymerization to get Kaiki out of the hand!

Throw in Additional Layers:

At this point you may still be questioning my choice to include Red Layer, so let’s talk about what this Super Quant card brings to the table. First, it is a FIRE/Warrior starter that can Special Summon itself from the hand whenever you control no monsters. Secondly, if you have already used a Red Layer and have one in your GY, it recycles that other copy back into your hand. And third, it is Level 5 so it can double as Fusion Material for Idaten if necessary. Each of these gives your plays more options and increases your durability to interruptions. Look at it this way – if you start your turn with a Red Layer, your opponent can’t use a monster negate on Expaladin to stop your play in its tracks, as you’d still have 2 warriors to go into Isolde.

Beyond just this option, Red Layer also opens some additional disruption capabilities when combined with Renaud. Since Renaud can Special Summon itself from the hand when you control any FIRE/Warrior and become a tuner, beginning your play with a Red Layer gives you stronger extension capabilities. Let’s return back to the initial situation, but let’s consider that your opening hand included Expaladin, Super Quantum Red Layer, and a Heritage of the Chalice (or Renaud itself):

  1. Begin your turn by summoning Red Layer. (Next search Renaud with Heritage if needed)
  2. Then summon Expaladin and equipping Squeaknight from the deck.
  3. Using Squeak’s 2nd effect, unequip it and summon it to your field.
  4. Link Summon Isolde using Red Layer and Squeaknight, using its first effect to add Noble Knight Eachtar to hand.
  5. Use Isolde’s 2nd effect, sending a Cursed Bamboo, Phoenix Blade, and 3 other Equip Spells from your Deck to the GY, to summon Kaiki the Unity Star from your deck.
  6. Activate Kaiki, by paying 500, and Cursed Bamboo, adding a Golden Bamboo Sword and Fusion Summoning Idaten the Conqueror Star with Kaiki and Eachtar.
  7. Idaten activates, adding another Super Quantum Red Layer from deck to hand.
  8. Banish Squeak and Red Layer from GY to add Phoenix Blade to hand.
  9. Special Summon Flame Noble Knight Renaud from hand, using its effect to add Cursed Bamboo sword back from the GY.
  10. Equip Cursed Bamboo to Renaud, then activate Golden Bamboo sword and draw 2 additional cards.
  11. Equip Phoenix Blade to Idaten, making it increase to 3300 ATK.
  12. Synchro Summon Herald of the Arc Light with Renaud and Expaladin.
  13. Activate Cursed Bamboo, adding another Golden Bamboo from deck to hand.

While this is just a slight variation on the first combo, you also end the turn with a Synchro monster that doubles as a floodgate against certain decks and has a quick effect omni-negate, plus you got 2 additional draws and an additional Golden Bamboo to hand. This means that there is even more of a chance to draw into your God Phoenix, giving your board another negate! This is the power of this variant – offering flexibility while disrupting your opponent, all while offering sheer OTK power through strong Fusion monsters and main-decked Super Polymerization. Since your deck size gets so low by the end of a simple combo, you really do tend to draw into cards you can utilize well, especially since each draw just powers up your end state a bit better.

Additional Tech Options:

  • FIRE/Warrior Support
    • Evocator Eveque (YGOrg Translation): This is the one Gemini you can consider running, only as an additional Expaladin target over your second Squeaknight. If you would equip Eveque instead, whenever Expaladin is destroyed you can summon back the equipped Eveque as an effect monster, which immediately allows you to Special Summon any FIRE/Warrior back from your GY. Note that this is best utilized by crashing Expaladin into your opponent’s stronger monster, but it is definitely a cool interaction to consider.
    • Blue Flame Swordsman: This may be an old monster, but it supports FIRE/Warriors well in addition to adjusting ATK in the battle phase to boost Shura, Gilti-Gearfried, or Idaten!
    • Cross Over (YGOrg Translation): Targeted non-destruction monster removal equipping your opponent’s monster to any Warrior you control. This combos well with the equip-focus of this strategy.
    • Reinforce Truth: As both Roland and Renaud are Level 1 Warriors, this trap can help you bring them out even during the opponent’s turn! This is worth considering because resolving Renaud to recover something can be a gamechanger earlier in the duel.
    • Rekindling: Both Renaud and Expaladin have 200 DEF and are FIRE… that’s all.
    • Flamvell Counter: See above, but this gives you S/T disruption if needed.
  • Fusion Options
    • Millennium-Eyes Restrict: This is currently in my main deck, but justification appears here. You can Fusion summon it using Muddy Mudragon (Level 6 Synchro made with Renaud and Red Layer). Additional monster negations (and equipping) is always welcome!
    • Dragon Knight Draco-Equiste: Facing burn strategies often? This can be made the same way as Millenium, just using Muddy as the Dragon Synchro monster!
    • Thunder Dragon Titan: A powerful Super Poly target for the Thunder Dragon matchup, especially when the New Master Rule goes into effect.

Conclusion:

It is strategies like this where I wish there was an official simulator for the game so I could show off so many of the neat combos and the sheer power behind this build. I hope that my description and explanations are enough to get that power across, but if it wasn’t, please go and try it yourself. SDR: Warrior’s Strike gave rise to a really unique strategy formed by collecting powerful cards from the Anime, TCG-Premieres, and OCG-Premieres, making it a cool mixture of card design, flames, and warriors. Plus it lets you channel your inner Joey by running numerous Gearfrieds – who wouldn’t want that?


Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articlesI really want to see some input from you! If you wish to see a CDS article about the archetype, theme, or strategy you love, feel free to private message me on the YGOrg Discord server, the YGOrganization Forums, or just post a comment in response to this article on our Facebook page with your ideas to keep under consideration! On most YGO-related communities my username is Quincymccoy, so feel free to reach out. As of now, I have 3 outstanding requests that I am looking into: Lunalight, Ballpark Insect/Battlewasp and Heraldic Beast!

Quincymccoy

Hello everybody! I serve as Number VIII of the Organization; however, my main role is writing Deck Strategy articles and generating non-news content for the site! Gotta love those underused archetypes...