Elemental Storm (Premium)

Hello everyone, it’s Evan and I am back with a fun and semi-viable premium deck profile competitively. I want to start this article by saying that this is a “deck build” every deck can technically use but is a build that only the Granblue clan can abuse with consistency!

***There will also be a recap portion at the bottom to serve as a TLDR for this article!***

The Concept

This is the main engine this deck uses BUT this is not a Gyze deck at all. Granblue, and technically every deck, can use ALL of the Zeroth Dragons. You heard that right ladies and gents I said ALL. There is a slight wording in the rulings for the card Neon Gyze that are important to note and those are these rulings:

  • You may put all <Zeroth Dragon> cards in a deck containing Neon Gyze regardless of clan, as per deck regulations
  • Neon Gyze does not necessarily have to be chosen as your first vanguard
  • All Cray Elemental cards are treated by the rules as being of all clans and nations

Due to these rules, we can run Zeroths in our G-zone legally as long as Neon Gyze is in the deck. You may ask “but how do we use these Zeroths if we don’t use Gyze?”. Simple, we use this card.

Thunder Elemental, Barigiran: [AUTO](VC):When placed, COST
 [Soul Blast (1)], look at seven cards from the top of your deck, reveal up to two unit cards without [CONT], [ACT], and [AUTO] abilities from among them, put them into your hand, and shuffle your deck.
[ACT](VC):If you have four or more rear-guards without [CONT], [ACT], and [AUTO] abilities, COST
 [Counter Blast (1)], Stride a “Storm Element, Cycloned” on your (VC) from face up in your G zone.

Until recently there was no Cray Elemental Grade 3 Unit. Cray elementals by their definition belong to every clan and in turn every nation. Therefore, as long as we Ultimate Stride on Barigiran we can Ultimate stride into any Zeroth! Our 2 main Zeroths are Ultima and Zoa for the simple reason that Violence Flanger is not restricted in Premium. Here is the decklist for this simple yet effective deck:

The main premise of this deck is literally one shot your opponent from either zero or 3 damage! Thanks to the engine that is Zazan, Tempest Sphere, Mowark, Barigiran and Cycloned this concept has come to life and is ready to make its place in the meta.

Zoa + Flanger

This end game is essentially forcing your opponent to block an attack that is 99999K in power with only G-guardians. Only decks that can superior call perfect guards can survive this attack since Flanger locks out hand guarding! This is usually your 2nd stride and is fairly easy to get to! This will be explained later on.

How To Setup Zoa + Flanger

Thanks to the Zazan engine you should have be able to call at least 4 units on your first stride. Your first stride will generally consist of using only 2 CB at the minimum.

Depending on your hand these calls do change but these are general your first call targets.

  • Greed Shade x 2 – Each Greed Shade is meant to put a Grade 3 into your hand. One being the ultimate stride cost, which will always be Barigiran, and the other being Flanger.
  • Zazan (Cray Elemental G1) – This card is meant to call over the Greed Shades with Vanilla units in your hand so you have an easier time triggering Mowark
  • Mowark (Cray Elemental G2) – This card’s purpose is to reride into another copy of Barigiran so you can guarantee the G3 in your soul for Flanger’s cost! It doesn’t matter which G3 you initially ride on because you will de-stride to re-ride anyways
Cloud Elemental, Mowark: [ACT](VC/RC)1/Turn:If you have four or more units with no [CONT], [ACT], and [AUTO] abilities, COST
 [Counter Blast (1)], search your deck for up to one “Thunder Elemental, Barigiran“, ride it as [Stand], and shuffle your deck. If you rode, you may turn a “Storm Element, Cycloned” from your G zone face up.
Rain Elemental, Zazan [AUTO](VC/RC):When placedCOST
 [Soul Blast (1)], and call up to two unit cards with no [CONT], [ACT], and [AUTO] abilities from your hand to (RC). If you called two, turn up to one face down “Storm Element, Cycloned” from your G zone face up, and draw two cards.

The setup is super easy and even if it does cost some hand some games because you just didn’t see enough pieces early game its fine because the whole point of this strategy is to zero damage your opponent to prevent them from out-scaling you. Yes, they may have the Zazan engine as well BUT they still will need some form of CB down the line to effectively end the game.

The only awkward part of this strategy is how you guard. To truly get the most out of this combo you need to start your turn with 4 cards in hand. Barigiran, Flanger, a G1 unit, and a G0 unit. You do have limited hand size in this deck so you have to guard accordingly and the play style of zero damage is meant to just further solidify your transition to get to your 2nd stride.

The stride process should be similar to the following scenario assuming you can call 5 units, keep in mind variance is always a factor:

  1. Stride into Big Obadiah Stride
  2. Active Obadiah’s stride skill to filter 5 units (Cost is CB1)
  3. Call Mowark along with 2 Greed Shades a Zazan and a Vanilla unit either a a G1 or G2 (board placements are fairly forgiving)
  4. Activate Both Greeds to fetch a Flanger and a copy of your Vanguard, Barigiran, to your hand (Cost is mill 4 cards).
  5. Activate Zazan to call over the 2 Greed Shades (Cost is SB1)
  6. Call 1 more Vanilla unit from hand (Minus 1 from hand)
  7. Activate Mowark to superior ride Barigiran from deck (Cost is CB1)
  8. Activate Barigiran’s skill to add 0-2 vanillas from top 7 (Cost is SB1)
  9. Use the Vanguard attack to swing at rear guard or pass turn

Important Note: It is generally best not to use Barigiran’s CB skill to superior stride as it locks out another CB and the whole point is not to give damage. Barigiran’s SB skill compensates for the 1 less drive check you get IF you get a Vanguard attack to their front row rear guards.

Combo Principles

This guarantees you have the Zoa combo live and the only real way to stop you at this point is for your opponent to either kill you next turn or to just not give you 2 open CB to for Zoa’s cost. On first stride typically you are at, and ideally should be at, 3 damage. This forces your opponent to deal you 3 damage in their next turn or lose if they are a clan that cannot superior perfect guard with their G-guardian.

This combo seems very consistent and reliable but it also has glaring weaknesses. That is the fact that the deck itself doesn’t draw cards consistently, scarce soul, and hand requirements. Essentially, this deck literally Min/Max’s every single part of a setup and is inherently fragile. That is why zero damaging your opponent usually is the best option if you are picking Zoa as your finisher because it allows you to control your opponent’s deck indirectly. While of course compensating for the fact that you essentially need to keep 4 specific cards in your hand going into your Zoa turn (Flanger, Barigiran, a G1 unit, and a G0 unit).

Ultima End Game

The Ultima route is the more generic route. Depending on your opening hand in addition to how aggressive your Turn 2 is determines whether or not you use this card over Zoa. Of course, if the clan has a way to superior perfect guard this is generally one of your alternatives. Due to the fact that Ultima calls cards from the deck, you can essentially just filter Non-G3 units for your Obadiah first stride turn since you want cards like Flanger and Undead Dragon in your deck! Its a pretty straightforward call Undead Dragon and Flanger, or another Undead Dragon, from the deck then proceed to kill your opponent with 3 massive attacks with 3 crits!

How to Setup Ultima

If you open very well, as in hit the superior ride engine and can trigger it, the path for Ultima becomes immediately accessible since it means you have a strong early game and can focus more or just aggression to push your opponent to 3 damage. This deck revolves around the fact that running the Zazan engine inherently means you will have more aggression; thus be able to push your opponent to 3 damage as when fighting a deck containing Zazan it is very hard to remain at below 3 damage prior to striding if the engine is hit.

Due to the fact that Ultima still relies on Flanger and Undead still being in the deck, this route allows you as the player to rely on a more ol-fashion beat down on your first stride. Assuming you hit your opponent to 3 damage before your first stride. You can simply go for a draw and aggressive turn to force shields from their hands to further leverage your following Ultimate turn. You can use the same route as with Zoa to setup a G3 in soul for Franger but you can also just opt for a Double Undead Ultima Turn. Of course, you still have to use Greed Shade to fix your hand so you can Ultimate Stride!

The general flow of the first stride, again, depends on the game and hand state but assuming you can call a full board it can look something like this:

  1. Stride into Big Obadiah
  2. Active Obadiah’s stride skill to filter 5 units (Cost is CB1)
  3. Call Colombard, Wild Seas Banshee, Greed Shade, Ghostship, and another unit of your choice (Tear for CC (Counter Charging), Grenache if you chose to run him, or Another Greed)
  4. Use Greed Shade(s) skill to add a copy of Barigiran to hand
  5. Attack with Ghostship for 29K
  6. Attack with Colombard boosted by Wild Seas Banshee (23k) and use Colombard. Activate Colombard’s skill to call Ghostship (or Greed Shade if you need to add another card to your hand)
  7. Attack with Vanguard or Ghostship (When attacking with Vanguard use Wild Seas to draw 1)
  8. Attack with Vanguard or Ghostship

Overall turn overview: Ultimate Stride Setup, Adding 6 cards to hand (including drive checks), and Attacking 5 times. (Total Cost: CB2)

Combo Principles

Due to the amount of drawing and filter the deck already did pre-stride and with Obadiah’s Filter you inherently are saturating your deck with G3s and some decent shield value cards. Therefore, drawing into another copy of Barigiran is fairly consistent! That is why you really only need to use the 1 Greed Shade on your first stride turn. If you get 2 copies of Barigiran in drop prior to first stride or you want to guarantee the Flanger on Ultima turn because of either choice or you damage checked a copy of Barigiran then you can easily double Greed to make it happen!

Much like with the Zoa combo you need 2 damage to actually be able to use Ultima and pieces in the deck rather than in drop. Judge the situation and pick accordingly between the two! There is no real restriction when you guard unlike with Zoa unless you use Flanger. Generally, double Undead Dragon on Ultima should suffice given the situation permits as well!

Other Options?

Now that we have covered the main topic of this post I feel that it is still worth mentioning why we even run other strides. Simply put, its to cover for any situations where going for the Ultimate stride is unattainable, too risky/heavy in cost, or when you just inherently brick and lose all your necessary pieces due to variance. Luckily, the general concept and engine that is Granblue can still generate attacks and draw from what limited cards are available in the deck to be abused when you have to switch focuses. There is still an engine in the deck you can rely on.

Pieces like these above cards are your soul recyclers and draw engines. Of course, you will be calling vanillas as well for the raw boost and power but these cards still provide a lean draw engine without really hurting the aggression that the Vanilla + Cycloned engine brings to the deck! Aside from these, the Colombard and Undead Dragons are still present and therefore you can still to an impromptu Meggido, Bad Bounty, or Obadiah kill turn!

Important Highlights, Recap, and Tips

  • Use first stride Big Obadiah to setup your 2nd stride kill turn
  • If using Zoa + Flanger remember to zero damage the opponent and remember that you have to 4 specific cards at the start of your Zoa stride (Barigiran, Flanger, Grade 0 unit, and a Grade 1 unit)
  • If using Ultima remember to judge the situation well and ensure you have a solid early game, pay attention to your opening hand and game state at the start of your Turn 2. Ensure your opponent is at 3 or more damage at the start of your first stride.
  • You need to have 2 CB for your Ultimate Stride, build your hand properly and guard early as needed to ensure that you are at maximum 3 damage on your first stride turn.
  • If you brick and miss all the pieces, rely on the draw engine and the usual Meggido kill turn win
  • When using Barigaran’s search skill, if you hit any heal triggers add them to hand immediately. The immediate access to G-guardians is very important since they are essentially a 1 card guard 80% of the time barring the attacking unit is below 62K
  • Protect 1 is generally the gift for this deck simply because it maintains your hand count. On the off-chance you need to go into Protect 2, such as against Shadow Paladin with their heavy hand guarding consumption, you will need to adjust your first stride calls accordingly to call a vanilla G2 15k intercepter (Nightwatch Pirate, Nilde)
  • You are not focused on getting a high dropzone count as you are getting specific cards into drop or out of deck. In this case, quality over quantity
  • Do not attempt to add Tempest Sphere to your hand via skills. Tempest Sphere’s purpose is a failsafe to if you don’t draw Zazan but draw itself. It is CRUCIAL that you at least call 4 units on your first stride otherwise you will more than likely lose because your kill turn will either be a turn slower or will cost to many cards from your hand for the setup that your defenses are in shambles

Final Thoughts

This deck is superlinear but very fun to play. I would say it is a solid rogue deck build but nothing adequate rush can’t stop. The deck is still fragile. The deck itself also adds another layer of an advantage since generally your opponent won’t be able to tell if its this one-shot deck or a Granblue deck with the Zazan engine until they either already have faced the deck, usually in a best of 3, or by your first stride. In a best of 1 this deck, I believe, can sweep wins if your opponent mindlessly gives early game aggression.

The main way to counter this deck is simply to keep you at 1 damage until your first stride or zero damage if possible. This deck optimally needs 2 CB for the setup stride to be very efficient. Shield value can be an issue in this deck so any deck that can early game rush well with the Zazan engine or just have a very nuclear first stride can win against this deck fairly well.

However, the fact that the opponent has to figure out this weakness is why this can sweep best of 1s and, if properly piloted, you can even turn their Zero Damage counter measures to their own mistake!

I hope you all enjoy this article on this deck and hope to hear your thoughts! Stay tuned for more fun and interesting posts in the future! Cheers!~

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