Soul Control has been a staple of the format since Evan Vargas piloted the deck to a top four finish at SJC Los Angeles in 2005. While the core strategy and principles have stayed the same, the deck has certainly evolved over the years. Smoker and his team may have just added to these changes, potentially pushing the deck to new heights with their innovative and exciting list!
Because of their meager defense stats, Monarchs are weak to Tsukuyomi. As a result, most lists will play a number of either Sakuretsu Armor or Trap Dustshoot to keep the spirit at bay.
Historically, monarch decks were popular in the format even before Evan Vargas made his famous top four finish. That being said, it has not been common as of late to see the deck make it so far into a modern event!
Smoker decided to play this special brand of Monarch deck in order to combat Chaos Warrior and Chaos Turbo decks, which were predicted to be the most popular decks going into today's event. Together with Kris Perovic, it seems they've been fine-tuning the list for some time, playtesting and analyzing in order to achieve maximum power. Talking about the inner-workings of the list, they said:
The main point of the deck is to always have answers to your opponent's threats. So, having cards like Soul Exchange, Brain Control, Creature Swap, and Meta allows you to control the board by answering any play your opponent makes. Decree is played because it's obviously very strong versus aggro and Chaos Turbo decks. It also allows your plays to resolve with a +1.
We chose to run Blowback instead of multiple copies of Granmarg, Zaborg, and Mobius because Tsuku became a bit of a problem. Tsuku runs over every monarch, which takes away the +1 you just resolved. So, the 1200 DEF of Blowback helps to deal with this problem. It also represents a huge threat if your opponent can't out it on their turn.
It looks like a lot of thought went into the inclusion of Blowback Dragon. Breaking the mold and going for something new is never easy, but with an undefeated record so far, it's hard to argue with the mechanical half-dragon half-gun's inclusion!
Despite the spicy list, Smoker didn't have much to say in terms of exciting games or stories from the event so far:
Still pretty early into the tournament, but the deck is performing as it should. No complaints or interesting games as of now.
Even so, the persistent success in today's tournament is exciting enough! We're wishing Smoker and his team continued luck and success throughout the rest of the day!
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