Valiant Smashers is Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG's new set, and will be available from November 17th onward. This set introduces to the game three new archetypes: Memento, Centur-Ion and Vaalmonica. Besides that, it brings some reprinted cards that can be used together with these new strategies.
Like so, in this article, I'll analyze what I believe to be the main cards from Valiant Smashers!
Main Valiant Smashers Cards
Memento is an archetype based on various monster types, attributes and levels. They're characterized as the fossilized counterparts of this card game's earlier classic monsters, apart from its boss monster, Mementoral Tecuhtlica, the Netherskull Dragon, which, besides recycling monsters in your graveyard, is a great game finisher.
This archetype's game style involves the destruction of your own monsters to trigger various other effects, and like so quickly fill your graveyard with enough monsters to summon your boss monster. Besides that, when Mementoral Tecuhtlica, the Netherskull Dragon is on board, Memento Mace and Memento Goblin work as handtraps.
This archetype's field spell is responsible for protecting your monsters from your opponent's spells/traps and also for recycling your spells/traps when you play them from the graveyard. On the other hand, your quick spells are consistency cards, and Memento Bone Party stands out in this role, as it can make it easier for you to OTK through its effect while it is in the graveyard.
Your traps have destruction and negate interactions. Besides that, they're better when you use then with Mementoral Tecuhtlica, the Netherskull Dragon on the board.
Though some cards in this archetype list monsters in the extra deck, this archetype still doesn't have them, and, currently, is just another casual deck. However, depending on the quality of the next support cards, this archetype might see play in the competitive scene, and having good support cards for the extra deck would be a good way to boost this strategy.
Centur-Ion is a Synchro archetype with a design inspired by "mecha anime", such as Gunbuster, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and Darling in the Franxx. Besides that, its name references the roman centurions of real life, which commanded a group of 100 soldiers: the centuria.
This archetype is focused on placing your monsters on the spell/trap zone as continuous trap cards and quickly summon 8 or 12 Synchro monsters, both on your own turn and on your opponent's turn.
Centur-Ion Legatia is the only Synchro monster in the archetype as of now, and, besides creating follow-up and providing protection for the other monsters, has an effect that interacts with your opponent and creates advantage for its controller at the same time. It is this archetype's boss monster.
The field spell, Stand Up Centur-Ion!, is essential for this archetype's strategy, once it combos with your monsters' effects when they summon themselves from your trap/spell zone, allowing you to use them to Synchro-summon.
As for Emblema Oath, it is this archetype's "rota", but it can access both your monsters and your spells and traps. Besides that, it is a card that allows you to play around a possible Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, while Centur-Ion Bonds is an extender.
This archetype's trap cards are quite strong. Centur-Ion Phalanx can be used both to interact with your opponent and to protect one of your monsters from cards that target it, whereas Centur-Ion True Awakening is a counter with an omni-negate effect.
I believe Centur-Ion has the most potential out of all three in this set, and will very likely be a part of the competitive scene, because besides being consistent and having good traps to defend itself, it has a lot of space for techs and a game mechanic capable of playing around various handtraps. Besides that, this deck can access the fearsome Hot Red Dragon Archfiend King Calamity.
Vaalmonica is a Pendulum and link archetype formed by Fiend and Fairy type monsters, referencing the concept of "angels and demons on your shoulders" through the monsters Angello Vaalmonica and Dimonno Vaalmonica. They are a dramatic representation of each individual's individual conscience, which forces them to make morally bad or good decisions, symbolizing the internal struggle of a person's choices.
This archetype's name is a play on Italian words: "Variare" ("Vary", referring to the choice effects in each card) and "Armonica" ("Harmonic").
Besides that, "Armonica" is also the name of the glass harmonica represented in this archetype's field spell, which, besides being a consistency card, can steal monsters your opponent controls.
This archetype has a game style that focuses on manipulating your own health points alongside your two Pendulum monsters, Angello Vaalmonica and Dimonno Vaalmonica, which have Pendulum effects that get Resonance counters when you get health points or lose them, respectively.
Like so, after getting 3 or more Resonance counters in a particular Pendulum Zone, the player can summon their link 1 boss monsters, Duralume, Vaalmonican Heathen Hallow and Zebufera, Vaalmonican Hallow Heathen.
The rest of this archetype's spells have two possible effects that vary between consistency and resource recycling, but they share a restriction that allows your opponent to choose which effect will be used if you don't have a Vaalmonica card in your Pendulum zone.
Its traps also count with two possible effects, but you need to control a monster in this archetype to be able to activate them, and, if you control a link Vaalmonica monster, you'll be able to apply both effects in sequence. Its effects can deal with an unwanted spell/trap by destroying it, with monsters by returning them to the opponent's hand or negating their effects and can also protect your own Vaalmonica monsters from being targeted by opponent's effects.
The Vaalmonica archetype has a lot of potential, and is quite strong when you can actually play its mechanics, but it has obvious weaknesses. Besides that, the mechanic of allowing your opponent to decide which effect your cards will be able to apply can harm the player in some situations, which can push away more competitive players from this archetype.
Like so, even though this is an interesting deck, I believe it still needs better support cards, such as, for instance, an additional protection for your Pendulum monsters, to really be a viable option competitively.
There Can Be Only One is one of the most feared floodgates in Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and is quite popular in decks that use various types of monsters to counter decks based on only one type of monster.
Draco Berserker of the Tenyi is a good generic Synchro 8 monster, and, besides being able to deal with a monster by banishing it through its quick effect, it can defeat two other monsters due to its effect on Battle Phase.
Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood is a controversial card, because, even though the game is won when your opponent's health points reach zero, victories are decided well before health points reach zero, in practice. However, due to the time rule in official tournaments, "Ghost Sister" is an extremely strong card when a duel is about to be decided because of time.
Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir is one of the best class 4 xyz monsters in the game, and it is very useful when you need to stall the game. It is even stronger in link decks, because, in them, it works as another interaction.
Archlord Kristya has been more relevant in past Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG times, but, it is still a very annoying floodgate monster to face nowadays.
Archnemeses Eschatos is another floodgate for decks with various monster types, and its downside is just how it's so difficult to summon. Despite that, after going on the board, its "lock" is stronger as it is a "lingering effect", and demands an immediate answer to be negated.
What did you think of the new Valiant Smashers archetypes? Which is your favorite? Leave your opinion down below in the comment section.
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