Last month, I reviewed the first release of the not so new Kaijudo trading card game. The two decks were a first glimpse of a soon to be released first edition. I found the game simple, yet enjoyable. It has enough depth to keep players interested, but is easy to learn.
The second wave of this introduction has been released. Coined, “The Dojo Edition”Â, it offers a number of cards to further whet players’ appetites. Included in this release is a new battledeck for players to sink their teeth into. The Bull Rush deck is quite interesting, as it brings some new cards mixed with the old. It shows off how subtle changes in deck building can drastically change how a concept plays out.
Bull Rush is a Fire/Nature deck featuring Tatsurion. That will sound familiar to some people. One of the initial battle decks was also a Fire/Nature deck featuring Tatsurion. Also, they pretty much have the same idea. The goal of the deck is to press the opponent from the start with a barrage of cheap creatures. The late game involves using big monsters with the “double breaker”Â ability. In fact, twenty-seven cards of the forty card deck are literal crossovers from the Tatsurion deck. Of those thirteen other cards, some are copies. So, in truth, there are a grand total of nine new cards in the deck. That’s kind of a letdown for players who bought the starter set. It would have made a lot more sense to make a deck that featured the Light Civilization, as so far, there are no proper introductions as to what that color is all about. Despite these misgivings, the deck is actually halfway decent.
The aforementioned Tatsurion deck was a jumble of disjointed ideas. It was more about showing off a bunch of cards than about creating a proper strategy. Most of the cards worked towards building a steady steam of fast and powerful attackers. However, that didn’t mean they meshed together all that well. The Bull Rush deck, however, is much more cohesive.
There are two main strategies at work here. The first is getting extra cards into your mana zone without having to play them from your hand. In fact, there are eight cards that do this. The best of the bunch, and one of the few new cards, is Razorhide. For a cost of three, Razorhide is fairly cheap. He also allows you to put the top card up your deck into your mana zone whenever he attacks. That ability alone allows the deck to speed up it’s game considerably without giving up card advantage. When I used this deck, I found my hand was usually full, something I can’t say about the Tatsurion deck.
The other major strategy in play here is adding a temporary bonus to a creature’s power level. There are five monsters that get a bonus when attacking, and more cards that give bonuses when they are played. Obviously, these cards are best utilized when the time is right instead of immediately. After all, you never know when you’re going to need to take down a huge enemy monster. Thus, all of those cards that boost your mana zone without depleting your hand are essential. The best creature in the deck is probably Karate Carrot. As stupid as his name is, he is equally effective when played. For a cost of four, he has three thousand attack. This is boosted to five thousand when he attacks. In addition, when he’s banished, he goes to your mana zone instead of the discard pile. That’s just incredibly useful, especially for this deck.
Let’s talk about the deck’s weaknesses. For starters, there are some odd remnants from that first Tatsurion deck. Little Hissy can be a useful card early on, but he doesn’t really fit here. His purpose is to attack blockers or other creatures that are essential to a combo. With only one copy in the deck, he feels like an afterthought. Also, the spells Root Trap and Return to the Soil are a bit a of let down. They clear away enemies sure enough, but they also put those enemies into your opponent’s mana zone. There are comparable spells that cost the same, destroy the same level enemy, yet don’t benefit your opponent. Sure, these are based in other colors, but the point remains. Since this deck is all about attacking early and often, there are no blockers in the deck whatsoever. In fact, I played with a friend who was just learning the game, and I used this deck while he used the Tatsurion deck. He started complaining about not being able to block until I told him that blocking was indeed a game mechanic. It’s just not present in this deck.
The real benefit to buying this deck is that it can mix and match incredibly well with the Tatsurion deck. You can use cards from either deck to boost the other. This is mostly due to the huge amount of crossover, but it is a silver lining nonetheless.
A good way to improve this deck would be to further specialize it. Take out some of the basic creatures that are there for filler, such as Rumbling Terrasaur. In their place, I’d add some more copies of Karate Carrot and Razorhide. I’d also ditch Blaze Belcher and Om Nom Nom in favor of some more Essence Elfs and Chief Many-Tribes. This makes the deck more Nature-orientated, but that’s a good thing. Those extra green cards will speed the deck up even more, which will help get those expensive red cards out faster.
All in all, this isn’t a bad deal for ten bucks. While people who bought the starter decks might feel ripped off by the amount of crossover, there are still some good cards here. In addition, the deck comes with a booster pack, and a code to unlock a monster in the online game. The booster pack contains one of the codes as well, which is a nice bonus. If you’re the kind of player who just wants to plow through an opponent with imposing creatures, this is the deck for you.