Master of Heavy Artillery ( Dragon Empire )


Introduction

After 3000 years, a “desert gunner” unlike any before takes center stage!

The aesthetic and line of Desert Gunners, previously exclusive to the Narukami clan, has been around since the clan’s debut in BT06, Breaker Of Limits. Since then, Desert Gunners have mostly been relegated to occasional support for different Naru bosses. 

In the dawn of the new “D” era, a new group calling itself “Dust Storm”  has emerged. Their appearance certainly suggests a connection to the desert gunners of old, however, any connection is purely speculative. Today, we are going to dive in-depth into Eugene and his current support. 

Playstyle

The core mechanic of the deck is to retire, removing your opponent’s rear-guards from the field to deplete their resources and gaining power itself as it does so.

The key card is Heavy Artillery of Dust Storm, Eugene which retires efficiently and then soulblasts to superior call multiple units to the field to replace its own units that retire themselves to chain abilities from Eugene’s retire.

Your win condition is to grind your opponent down by constantly removing their pieces until they have nothing left to attack or defend with.


Ride Deck

Heavy Artillery of Dust Storm, Eugene

Eugene is the main boss of the deck, with 2 1/turn skills. 

Its first skill is to rest 2 of your rear guards to choose one of your opponent’s rear guards, and retire it. The skill is strictly paid through resting rear guards, without involving any CB or SB whatsoever. As long as you have a semblance of a board, it’s an easily available skill. 

Its second skill is Eugene’s “signature” move. By soul blasting 5, you are able to look at the top X cards of your deck, superior call any number, and soul charge the rest. In this case, “X” is the number of empty rearguard circles on your opponent’s side of the field. 

The skill takes inspiration from 2 sources: the obvious first source being the Gold Paladins, since they are also able to superior call from the top of the deck. The second and less well known inspiration would be from cards such as Dragonic Blademaster and Detonix Drill Dragon, decks that gain stronger effects as the number of your opponent’s rear guards decreases. 

Cataclysmic Bullet of Dust Storm, Randor

Grade 2 of the ride line, generally only needed in the ride line to make sure you gain 5 soul for your Grade 3 ride turn. 

When you ride Eugene on him he lets you draw a card and place a card from your drop zone into the soul. Along with grade 1 Nigel’s skill which soulcharges when you ride Randor on it, this grants you the 5 soul required for Eugene on your Grade 3 turn. 

Its second skill is CB1 1 to SC1 and gain +5000 on attack and works on both R and V. However, the skill is rarely going to be worth CB1. The deck has other options to gain soul that are more resource efficient than this.

5000 is not a very significant power increase. Using the skill on T2 while this is your vanguard is going to increase the shield value used to guard the attack but more often than not, the opponent is going to take that attack for resources anyway. Thus, Randor does not earn a spot in the main deck. 

Gunning of Dust Storm, Nigel

Grade 1 of the ride line. Used in the ride line for the same purpose as the Grade 2 Randor, free soul construction in the form of SC1. It is also used in the main deck for its retire skill that works well when chained from Eugene’s skill to help you retire an additional unit and because it was rested anyway for Eugene’s cost and Eugene can superior call, it’s self-retire is somewhat mitigated. 


Other Core Cards

Penetrate Dragon, Tribash

Grade 3 support card of the deck that adds needed offensive pressure and soul into the deck for a second use of Eugene’s skill if necessary, and also being one of your main rest targets if it’s in the back row.

Stealth Fiend, Shigamanago

Grade 1 unit that works together with both of Eugene’s skills, it retires itself to either call the top card of the deck to R or put it into soul. Once again, it will be rested to pay Eugene’s cost and potentially either replaces itself or Eugene will replace it so the self-retire is somewhat mitigated and it is flexible in that it can either SC or call depending on what you need.

Deck Building Options

Stealth Dragon, Tensha Stead

Another Grade 1 option, its skill allows us to retire Tensha Stead to add a copy of our current vanguard to our hand. Adding on hit pressure and also being able to search out Eugenes from the deck after turn 3 is important as the deck relies on Persona ride for power a lot of the time.

Stealth Rogue of Iron Blade, Oshikuni

A 15k G2 beater hitting for magic numbers on turn 2, hitting over a G3 Vanguard’s base power and making a 23k column with an 8k booster. It does require your opponent to have 2 or less rear-guards, which is not difficult against most decks but can cause problems against decks with units like Fosado and Trickstar that can’t be retired by Eugene

Dragritter, Alwalith

One of the more efficient generic removal options in the nation, we run it here to provide extra retire if your opponent has a big enough board that you can’t clear enough with Eugene and Nigel alone.

Dragritter, Zafar

Another option for using your excess soul, though, it isn’t the most competitive option. It’s still another defensive option and because we no longer have 10k shields, it can save you either a 15k shield from hand or 2 5k shields and its a 10k base unit like any other.

Sunlight Punishment

Often in this deck you want to focus your CB on your removal skills and this card let’s you spend whatever you want to retire as much as you need. It’s risky to play too many orders in the deck due to the nature of Eugene’s superior call so keep an eye on how many you have and remember that you can only ever activate one order per turn.

Burn Bright, Pure Prayers

If you think your deck is lacking in shield value, this is a decent way to add some to the deck. Be aware that you can only use 1 order card per turn including Blitz Orders, meaning that even if you have several in hand, only 1 of them can be used per turn to guard and it’s also another potential brick when you’re using Eugene’s skill so keep that in mind.

Trigger Line-up

8 Crit, 3 Draw, 1 Overtrigger, 4 Heal is the best for pressure and resources, but if you feel you want even more offensive pressure and shield value, adding fronts instead of draw triggers is an option. You want Dragveda if you have access to it but Olbaria is absolutely fine if that’s all you have.


Deck Lists


Strategy

   

Resource Management

Counterblast should be focused on retire skills as well as Tensha Stead’s skill to add any copy of your Vanguard, preferably Eugene, from your deck into your hand to ensure Persona Ride. Remember that we don’t have any viable form of CC right now so choose how you spend the resources wisely as you aren’t getting them back short of checking heal triggers and that can’t be relied upon.

Soulblast on turn 3 should be focused on Eugene’s SB5 skill.  After that, soul blast usage would  depend on the state of the game; you ideally want to use it for another Eugene turn but Alwalith or Zafar (if you’re running it) can be useful if you don’t need to use Eugene’s skill or you have excess soul to spend.

Mulligans

You should focus on getting at least 2 rest targets for Eugene for turn 3 and maybe Oshikuni if you want to push some damage early. In general, Nigel, Shigamanago, Oshikuni and Tribash are all great cards to have at the start but also be aware of what you’re playing against and judge whether or not you need shield value or perfect guards.

Rest Target

Rest Target/ Retire

Potential Rest Target

Depending on Matchup

Persona Ride

General Gameplay

Turn 1 and 2

You usually do not want to commit anything on your turn 1. When you ride Randor from your ride deck, Nigel’s skill kicks in and soul charges 1.

On turn 2, you can call Oshikuni to front and Nigel/Shigamanago to the back row to get some solid power attacks in.

Turn 3 

You ride Eugene from the ride deck, then use Randor’s skill to draw 1 and add a card from your drop zone to soul. This puts you to 5 soul. 

If your opponent has a rear-guard you rest 2 rear-guards, preferably Nigel or Shigamanago but Tribash isn’t the worst target either. If none of these are available, choose a unit in your back row.

If you’re going first, your opponent often won’t have more than 1-2 rear-guards so a simple Eugene+Nigel combo can easily take control of the board and enable the maximum ceiling of the SB5 skill. In other words max 5 and you call as many of them as needed and the ones that you don’t need can be placed in soul for the next turn.

Sample Board State , using the G1 as a rest target and how to create decent columns.

Your main targets for the superior call would be Oshikuni and Tribash. If you don’t get Tribash to add a crit for your vanguard, Tensha Stead behind vanguard is good here for on hit pressure to add a persona ride from deck to hand.

Remember that you need to retire to be able to use Eugene’s SB5 superior calling skill so if your opponent doesn’t play any units at all, you’re better off playing conservatively for a turn and not just giving them free resources to counter attack you.

Turn 4 and after

You focus on keeping your opponent’s rear-guards at 2 or below while Persona riding as much as you can to push for higher numbers. Focus on forming magic numbers to eat up your opponent’s hand . This can be rather grindy , but slow and steady is the success, do not overcommit and use the retire skills to get rid of problematic rearguards to keep them under control.

A somewhat Ideal field during a Persona Ride Turn

Another thing to note is to be careful of decking out – don’t just use Eugene’s SB5 skill because you can, use it when you need to as multiple uses of it can quickly burn through your deck.

Baromagnes Matchup

Seeing that one of Eugene’s problematic matchups is Baromagnes, we decided to take a bit of time to explain some tips and tricks to help in such duels. 

If you’re facing Baromagnes and are able to use the superior call skill of Eugene you should fill your board as much as possible, Baromagnes will send them all to soul anyways, and you can use those sent to the soul to fund your next SB5 assuming Baromagnes leaves anything on the board to be retired.

When Baromagnes gets to 15 soul, they can also stop further superior calls from Eugene if they call 2 Selfish Engravers from the soul to attack. Because Selfish Engravers go back to soul after attacking to counter charge they can thus stop Eugene from retiring units during the following turn. There is very little you can do at this stage but remember that they’re soul charging to do it – your best bet at this stage is to play very defensively and hope to force a deck out.

   


Closing Thoughts

Adreus: Retire is a pretty strong mechanic in overdress but sadly right now there’s also stuff that counters it like the Knight of War Damage, Fosado and Baromagnes deck in general because of Selfish Engraver, though the deck runs quite smoothly and has that nice Kagero playstyle feel to it.

Ahmes004: Eugene, to be frank, hasn’t gotten off to the best start in the format. However, things can only get better. The deck’s access to retire helps it maintain a distinct difference over the other and more popular control deck, prison, as well as Dragveda being an impactful pressure and advantage tool. In the future, Eugene could certainly use a better assortment of retire options as well as front row attackers. 


Additional Information


History Update:

Coming Soon

See Also:

Coming Soon

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