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As we approach our first event in the Junkion format in 6 months its easy for people to have a tough time figuring out “The Meta”. A format like this seeing so little play and not even much league play or discussion can always be a tough spot for certain players to get creative with. I'd like to shine some light on some of the decks of the past and maybe even decks players have yet to even see. But first I believe we should start with the ban list updates for the format since we last played.
Aerial Superiority being banned is a tough loss for the Junkion format. Its original intent was to secure Seekers decks a much better matchup against Wide aggro, and for that it did succeed. However, there was a much bigger Plane that found its power much stronger and far more lasting. Dreadwing + Bitter Half proved in the Junkion event in December that he is one of the best Big Blue decks in the format having a high win rate against many decks it was up against.
Two Tall strategies were its weakest counterpart by a landslide but there were games that if Dreadwing was able to assemble 2 Aerial Superiority into its a utility slots, even though it was staring down Two massive characters, it became quite easy to defend for enough and do so much splash damage throughout the game that it never really was a problem even when he could no longer one shot enemies. Dreadwing was quickly becoming a deck that in order for it lose your opponent had to go far out of their way to play many scrap upgrade cards just to be able to compete in the games. And for that much like Lost in Research, Aerial Superiority had to be added to the banned list.
Lost in Research has been a card that has quite quickly become one of the more favorite build around cards in the game. It is a Combo deck at heart but truthfully in a format like Junkion just being about to have a “free” draw effect after completing the mission warrants its ability to see way more play than intended.
Lost in Research was created and designed for combo players to have a way to win the game in which Wizards had intended the game to be played “Bots smashing Bots”. But as testing in other formats such as classic and Junkion we have seen that the power of the card may not be the most Powerful thing to do in any given format, but it does lead to the most consistency, and it's a consistency that if your not playing and your not playing one of the more High Powered decks in the given format, you will end up in most games very behind.
Before the last Junkion event we had several Banned cards including Seaspray and Fight for Position. These cards were creating a landslide of consistent Orange Black Pierce decks and removing Blue decks virtually from the format. In December while pierce decks existed they stood very little change against the blue field Lockdown decks with Target Acquired and Dreadwing and were very easily giving even the most fierce Pierce decks trouble.
With The addition of ATP 6 to Junkion we were seeing that the additions of Battlecards were still putting Blue based decks mostly over the top aside from some Lost in research based aggro decks and with the removal of LIR, we decided to give the aggro decks a bit of buff in the form Fight For Position.
Let's start with the biggest Bot of the format Dreadwing. Kingmeplease dazzled the last event with a surprising unique lineup for Dreadwing that even in our testing for the card Bitter Half no one had even considered. It was incredible to see the level of consistency that the Tap effects from Detour and Hyperdrive added to the deck. Dreadwing, giving you the ability to have 2 Reflector Cells, a Guardian Shell, and an Adamantine Frame proved to be an absolute wall of a plane and was very hard for any of the wide aggro decks to keep up with. Kingme took this deck all the way to the finals losing to Lockdown and Thunderwing two tall (which two tall still remains to be a weakness of the deck). Hidden Fortification and Hold The Line are incredible walls to put when you have a single character with 24 health with the ability to quite easily stack weapons and Leap into Battle its way to victory
Dreadwing may have lost Aerial Superiority, however it still remains a top contender in the format. The move damage effect and the extra drawing prove to give this deck a ton of consistency. It's not a deck for “Big Numbers' ' but more of a consistent plan for attacking and defending. The hardest choice in the deck can fall on when to combine and if you should be attacking with your Hyperdrive and Detour or simply tapping them to draw additional cards. This deck has very much a shade of the Wotc Era of gameplay for “Big Blue Control.” You have one large centerpiece doing all the heavy lifting while your support characters play their part and eat up important damage when needed. Here is link to Kingmeplease’s deck for some inspiration if you decide that Dreadwing is the deck for you - https://teletraan1.net/decks/cbd088ce/dreadraiders
For every good Big Blue Control, there must be a good ole Orange Black Pierce. Now all of these decks in recent memory for Junkion have been missing a key powerful component card in the format for a few events, Fight For Position. Better known as FFP is a card that will see play in both Pierce and Bold Orange decks. However, for Decks like Kathogas “Pierce Them All” its a card that can only help the consistency of the decks damage throughput. Adding another OB to this deck ( and decks like this one) is an incredibly powerful addition, its effectively in most builds adding the ability to swing for an additional 1.5 O and 1.5 B on attacks to extend your pierce totals. Now Kathoga was playing this in a 4 wide Wreckers Shell with Bulkhead and Impactor, however he struggled against the Dreadwing deck quite a bit. His Whirl Sideboard plan turned out to be a much better game plan against the big blue plane.
Pierce is available in every format, much like in Classic and T1 it has most of the same enemies. Stable Cover is still a card that ultimately shuts down a big turn if you defend well and are capable of shutting off the pierce. So as the Pierce player you must be weary of Stable Cover and Hold the Line. The perk of playing an aggro themed Wreckers Deck comes in the form of Never a Dull Moment. NADM can really have “Blow Out” potential in the format on certain turns if your opponent feels he's safe from a given attack.
ATP-6 doesn't give Pierce decks much help due to the fact that both Fevered Edge and Close Quarters Combat don't allow for Pierce on your attack but will discuss which decks those may add to later in the week. Only time will tell if the unbanned Fight For Position will be enough to put Pierce strategies back atop of the meta-game. Here's Kathogas Deck list from his 3rd place finish in the last Junkion Event - https://teletraan1.net/decks/dcbd088c/pierce-them-all-
ATP 6 delivered on a long awaited goal within Junkion, the addition of Battlemasters. Singe coming in at a low cost of 6 gives a ton of room in deck construction still. He offers a very unique bonus ability as well as being one our anti pierce cards while actually gaining a benefit from Black Pipped Cards as well. if were able to attack and hit OB W OB OB will get a whopping +6 to our Singe Attack. This little guy can very easily pack a punch when opps arent expecting it.
His upgrade side offers a ton of value as well a static +2 combined with the + Atk for Black Pips up to 3, and if its scrapped you get to do 1 damage to an enemy. for 6 stars getting a character that is built to soak up damage and turn into a Weapon for double the value and the added bonus of its hit with an Enforcement Baton, your atleast going to get to Zap an enemy will go a long way in a low power format that is struggling for playable upgrades.
Dwight here is leaving the office in Scranton to put a HUGE damper on all those Pierce Cards. Effectively telling pierce decks you cant be more then Pierce 4, has the potential to put Black Pipped them decks in quite the pickle. Shrute is a key factor for allowing Fight For Position to be unbanned. at 7 stars 4/10/0 seems a bit low on the curve but Focus 1 and the added bonus of flipping to likely the best upgrade in the format has to come at a cost.
Shrute will slot in to many different decks from Big Blue Control to 4 wide Aggro. Hairsplitter Rifle granting a +2 Atk and +2 Hel is an upgrade worth of wielding. Keeping the Pierce reduction, granting the character Focus 1 and if it would be scrapped you get to draw a card. This weapon has a ton of power in this Junkion format, and i would be prepared to see both of these Battlemasters in the upcoming event, and in Junkion for a long time.
Ill be adding more Deck Spotlights to this article as we lead into the event! Be sure to check back in every few days as we work our way toward this months battle of the Junk!
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