Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Jan 30, 2011

The new Nordic God cards, the Aesir, have arrived, but the question on every Duelist’s mind is, “Will they measure up?”  Loki, Thor, and the mighty Odin all look impressive, but the proof will be in the Dueling, so today we’ll discuss how the Triple Aesir Deck, as seen at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Extravaganza, fares against a long-time competitive favorite: X-Sabers!
The X-Saber Strategy:
A fast-paced Deck with strong defense and the ability to smash the opponent’s hand, X-Sabers are quick, resilient, and explosive.  XX-Saber DarksoulXX-Saber FulhelmknightXX-Saber Emmersblade, and X-Saber Pashuul help the X-Saber Duelist stabilize the field, whileXX-Saber Faultroll and Gottoms‘ Emergency Call gives them the power to flood the field with monsters when they’re ready to make a push. XX-Saber Hyunlei threatens to destroy everything in the opposing Spell and Trap Card Zone, while XX-Saber Gottoms and X-Saber Airbellum force them to discard cards until they can’t survive.  Free Special Summons and the self-replacing effect of Darksoul allows this Deck to Synchro Summon aggressively, making for constant threats.
The Aesir Strategy:
The Triple Aesir Deck actually has a great deal in common with X-Sabers, making this a really interesting matchup.  Like X-Sabers, the Aesir ward off attacks with strong defensive monsters; namely Tanngrisnir of the Nordic BeastsGarmr of the Nordic Beasts, and Super-Nimble Mega Hamster.  While Faultroll, Call, and Darksoul give the X-Sabers easy access to free monsters for Synchro Summons, Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts and Tanngrisnir do the same for Aesir; the Aesir Duelist will use Tanngnjostr to Special Summon Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts, busting out Black Rose Dragon or Voltic Bicorn for just one card.  Just as Hyunlei keeps opponents worrying about their Spells and Traps, Black Rose Dragon does the same here, while also destroying opposing monsters.  Gleipnir, the Fetters of Fenrir mirrors the precision search effects of Darksoul and Emmersblade, too.
The biggest difference between the X-Saber Deck and the Aesir is that the Aesir Deck has superior Synchro Monsters.  The X-Saber Deck can win by scoring an early game XX-Saber Gottoms and making the Aesir Duelist discard their whole hand, but at the end of the day Gottoms is a control card, not a go-to attacker.  The Aesir Deck has a very different end-game.  As soon as the Aesir Duelist safely Synchro Summons Thor, Loki, or Odin, they’re in control.  The Aesir monster will block would-be attackers and make game-winning attacks on its own.  Since Loki and Odin can protect themselves from Spell and Trap Cards, answers are few and far between.
If You’re Playing X-Sabers:
The Aesir Synchro Monsters are the biggest threat: if the opponent manages to Summon an Aesir, the X-Saber Duelist’s only escape will be to bounce that Aesir away with Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier or Compulsory Evacuation Device.  Destruction alone won’t solve the problem because all 3 Aesir have effects that allow them to be Special Summoned back to the field when they’re destroyed. That means that Dark HoleTorrential TributeBlack RoseDragon, and similar measures aren’t valid.  Since the Aesir have as much as 4000 ATK, attacking over them is virtually impossible.  The best strategy for the X-Saber Duelist will be to hit hard and fast, either winning the Duel outright or throwing out so much disruption that the Aesir Duelist won’t be able to bring their strategy together.
These 4 cards are especially important.  Gottoms, Naturia Beast, and even Naturia Barkioncan all slow the Aesir Duelist’s plans, cutting off options and buying the X-Saber Duelist time to put together a big attack.  Darksoul is always a great card, but it’s even more important in this matchup, because it helps protect the X-Saber Duelist without losing cards to an inevitableBlack Rose Dragon.  Speed is just so important in this matchup.  The long game is strong for the Aesir, so the X-Saber Duelist’s best hope is to simply bum rush the opponent’s Life Points or hand.
Once the first Duel is over, the X-Saber Duelist will want to Side Deck in Royal Oppression andEffect Veiler to make Aesir Synchro Summons tougher.  The Aesir Deck can’t do much without its Special Summons, so losing your own Special Summons to Oppression is worth it.  Veiler will shut down the incredible effect of Tanngnjostr, cutting off a lot of problem plays at their source.  Compulsory Evacuation Device is precious too, because once an Aesir monster is successfully Synchro Summoned, the Device is one of the few cards that can level the playing field.
If You’re Playing The Aesir:
…Then congratulations: this matchup is in your favor.  Once you get a Nordic God onto the table and protect it, you’re virtually unbeatable, so you want to make that Synchro Summon as quickly as you can.  Watch out for Solemn Warning and Solemn Judgment: they can shut down your attempts at Synchro Summons, and Warning is particularly nasty against Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant’s effect.  Your early game strategy should revolve aroundTanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts.  Use it to rule the Duel with Voltic Bicorn or Scrap Archfiend; clear a dug-in field with Black Rose Dragon; and most importantly, to draw out cards that would hurt your Aesir Synchros.  If your opponent uses their Warnings on BlackRose Dragons, they won’t have them later in the Duel when you unleash an Aesir.
Some of your monsters are especially good here.  Chaos Sorcerer is awesome, letting you remove troublesome Darksouls, Emmersblades, and Fulhelmknights from the game without requiring an attack.  Thor, Lord of the Aesir has an ability that negates opposing monster effects, so it’s a nice play against Fulhelmknight and Pashuul.  He’s also really easy to Summon sometimes: while your early game jabs are usually done with Voltic Bicorn, sometimes the X-Saber Duelist just won’t pressure you, making it easy to Flip Summon a Set Tanngnjostr, Special Summon Guldfaxe from your Deck, and Normal Summon another monster to make Thor.
Longer games are usually good for you: not just because you have the biggest, toughest Synchro Summons, but also because you can play Pot of Avarice for superior draw power.  Don’t forget: Gleipnir makes a great bluff, Chaining to Cold WaveGiant Trunade, and Hyunlei’s effect to fake out your opponent.
When it comes time to Side Deck, make sure to bring in two Effect Veiler if you aren’t already playing them in your Main Deck.  The X-Saber Duelist has to rush you, which means he or she has to make the most of Hyunlei and Faultroll – they can’t do that if you negate those monsters’ effects.  Veiler will protect you from Gottoms, too.  Trap Hole is a useful answer to Emmersblade and Fullhelmknight, while Nobleman of Crossout can remove set Darksouls and Emmersblades from the game.  Seven Tools of the Bandit lets you play even more aggressively, letting you Summon an Aesir earlier than you normally would and protecting it from Solemn Warning.  You can use Seven Tools to block Gottoms‘ Emergency Call and ensure that you score big field-wipes with Black Rose, too. If you aren’t already usingForbidden Lance, you can bring it in to deal with cards like Compulsory Evacuation Device.
The Aesir monsters are no joke.  The Nordic Beasts are an exceptionally strong engine that helps you Synchro Summon using very few cards from your hand, and with so much search power, the strategy’s really consistent. The ability to quickly fill the Graveyard means that they can make full use of Chaos Sorcerer and Pot of Avarice, making the Aesir even more explosive and resilient.  Despite the Championship pedigree of the X-Sabers, this matchup falls in the favor of the Nordic Gods, and an experienced Aesir Duelist will have a wealth of advantages.

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