Thursday, 24 May 2012

vs Hieratics/Hanzo hieratics game theory

Hieratics are currently the most otk focused deck we see in Asia format and with the recent second place finish in the asia championships by a Hieratic variant we should expect to see more hieratic players at this years world championships. However that being said the deck is still quite expensive compared to inzektors so be prepared for them but don't go overboard because not many people are willing to spend SGD 40 on one Atums and perhaps even more on a single Gaia Dragoon.

Now lets take a look at the deck itself.

Hieratics How they work

Like Kaiba hieratics normally win the game by summoning a bunch of monsters in 1 turn if you have the money to buy all the cards for the deck.

The otk is supported by 3 themed reinforcement of the army (which the name of I can never remember) which helps them search for all their combo pieces to perform the otk.

Think of them like six samurai in the triple gateway era without shien with one gateway and 2 samurai they can normally kill you.

Similarly the hieratic otk almost always requires at least 3 cards to perform (if their are any otks that don't require 3 cards in hieratics I would appreciate it if you could comment below on how they are performed).

The main 3 cards that you see for the otk that you will normally see are:

1) Hieratic Dragon of Eset
2) Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit
3) Hieratic Dragon of Su

These are the standard 3 cards that you normally see the hieratic otk performed with however the hieratic otk can also be performed with pretty much any 2 of the hieratics and a Su.

Also an in hand REDMD can be used to help with the otk as well if the hieratic player does not have Su available to him.

Using multiple combinations of 3 out of these 4 cards the hieratics in non asia format can swarm the field with two Gaia Dragoon and one Gustaph Max as I'm sure many of you are all familiar with. They can also sit on one Photon Streak Bounzer to control the game but that doesn't happen too often.

To help make sure the otk works they clear the backrow with multiple copies of mst and forbidden lance and the only way to really prevent the otk if you have no backrow is a inhand Gorz, Tragoedia, Effect Veiler, Swift Scarecrow, or Battle Fader in hand.

What to Expect from Hieratics

The game 1 strategy for hieratics in non asia format is to farm with their Card Car D and Rota and stall for as long as possible until they feel they can clear your backrow and win or they have no other choice but to attempt the otk.

Their really is no real solve all solution to this in game 1 but see what your deck has to offer. Their are many easily exceeded cards that pose a hindrance to hieratics game 1 such as Shock Ruler, Inverz Roach, Photon Streak Bounzer, Rai-oh, Verz Opheon and etc. If you can summon any of these cards game 1 your in good shape already in my personal opinion.

Games 2 and 3 depends heavily on what you can side in. The best option I feel is siding in your Maxx C and Swift Scarecrow/Tragoedia which you should be siding in this format. Other valid options include mind crush if you know whats in their hand when they otk or mask of restrict to prevent them from even tributing their monsters. However mind crush is a gamble and they have heavy backrow to kill mask of restrict so be warned. I also personally like Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo as it kills the whole deck instantly if you can protect it.

Also note however what the hieratic deck tends to side in as well Tragoedia, Swift Scarecrow, Gorz, Bls(maybe), Macro Cosmos, Koaki Meiru Drago all of these are very real threats from hieroglyphs depending on what you might be playing so be wary of them.

Playing against Hieratics

When playing against hieratics do remember their massive backrow clearing powers. Unlike when facing other decks it might not be a bad idea to set more cards against them than you would normally do because if you eat an Heavy Storm your most likely going to die anyway.

It is important to know when to properly time the use of your spell and trap cards against the hieratic deck. A mistimed usage of a trap could quickly mean your imminent doom. With this in mind remember that the two most important cards in the hieratic otk are Su and REDMD(if they have one in hand). So open your Solemn Warnings, Bottomless Trap Holes, and Torrentials when they summon Su/REDMD. The reasoning behind this is firstly for Su he has the power to destroy your spells and traps by tributing another hieratic from hand or field. What this means is that if you don't open a trap at this moment he might destroy the card you were counting on to save yourself and proceed to herp derp all over you. In many situations he might not have normal summoned at this point but by this point you have no option unless you know whats in his hand because doing anything else will most likely lead to your demise. As for the reasoning behind REDMD he can revive and sp summon more dragons while it might seem to be a good idea to use Torrential when he summons that other dragon if they have Forbidden lance in hand the dragon will be protected and they can tribute it off for another one so it is better to just waste it on the REDMD and if they do waste the lance hope you have something else to protect you.

The hieratic deck is usually slightly inconsistent so if you see them keep summoning the Card Car D and setting backrow don't hesitate to try and kill them before they kill you as that is another valid option. Just be wary of Gorz and Tragoedia.

Hanzo Hieratics

Hanzo Hieratics were made recent asia championships this year. With a reduced rate to otk thanks to Gustaph Max being a promo Hieratic decks had to innovate to battle against them and they did so by using Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo to help set up plays and provide more defensive power to their decks.
This also gave them the option to add Jurrac Guaiba in their decks which lets them destroy inzektors quickly. With its recent victory in Singapore's asia championship qualifier and the top 2 players both running hanzo hieratics the deck might see more play in the world championships this year. So how do you battle against this threat?

Well lets take a look at the new edition to the hieratic deck Hanzo. A Stratos for the ninja deck it instead searches for 1 ninjitsu art card when it is normal summoned and one other ninja when it is special summoned. The trap that Hanzo searches for in this deck is the Ninjitsu Art of Super Transformation. Using this card to normally summon any of their hieratics from their deck it lets them set up plays for their otk and remove a valid threat from the board.

However remember that this card does not work on exceed monsters. Also note that if Macro Cosmos is on the field they can remove both monsters from the field but cannot summon anything as neither monster is sent to the graveyard.

While you normally won't see the deck otk as much remember that the use of one Solemn Warning puts you in otk range already and Hanzo is 1800 atk himself nothing to laugh about.

Other than the threat posed by Hanzo and Guaiba however the deck plays like a regular hieratic deck stalling and farming for the combo pieces until they can otk successfully.

So remember if your playing against a Hieratic player (for some reason many of the pro players seem to be hieratic players in asia format) always be wary of them and never drop your guard unless they are dead because you never know when they can otk you.

Thanks for reading my wall of text if you have done so.

Hopefully we won't see another hieratic deck go 11-1 quite easily in worlds unlike in asia championships this year.


  1. Do you have a link to the tournament results or have the Hanzo Hieratic bulds that topped? Any help would be much appreciated

  2. For the tournament results and decklists you should look at some of the older posts on dueling days bahamut84's decklist is very similar to what the top 2 ran.