Deck Matchup: Shore Leave


Attention! Hello fellow sailors, this is Don from Dragon’s Forge. Today’s article is my first in a series covering the matchups that you may see as a Flagburg player. First up we will cover the top deck in the format, Bruce.

Lay of the Land and Sea

Whenever picking a deck to play you should consider how it will perform against other decks. By doing this it can inform how we build and play our deck. We shouldn’t just focus on what our deck does, but what our opponent’s deck does.

Know thy Enemy

Our enemy this time is Bruce, which as we all know is considered the best deck. Bruce’s strength is an incredible level of flexibility in abilities and power. The primary weakness of Bruce is most of the cards in the deck do not do anything until Turn Four. This level of power puts the opponent on a clock. When facing a Bruce player, one should try to win before Turn Four, or limit the Bruce player’s available cards.

Diabolos, “Violence” Bruce

Know Thyself

When looking at what our deck can do we need to recognize our shortcomings. We are strong early on, but we do run out of gas fairly easily. This strong early game gives us a great amount of strength especially against a late game deck like Bruce. With this in mind, we need to press forward hard and fast to outpace our opponent, for if we don’t they may overtake us. In order to do this, you may have to commit more to the field and guard less. This will make you more fragile, but if done correctly, it can give you the window for victory. This does not mean however that we can’t play more conservatively. We most definitely do need to play conservatively in certain matchups, and that would be against decks with field control especially.

Flagship Dragon, Flagburg Dragon
[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, COST
 [Counter Blast (1)], and perform all of the effects below according to the number of times you attacked this turn.
•3 or more ‐ Draw a card.
•4 or more ‐ Choose two of your opponent’s rear-guards, and retire them.
•5 or more ‐ Until end of that battle, this unit gets [Power]+10000, and when your opponent would call cards from their hand to (GC), they must call three or more at the same time.

The Plan

When facing late game decks like Bruce, we need to recognize the point when the opponent will “pop-off”. In the case of Bruce and his fellow units, they activate during the Final Rush turn, which occurs at the earliest Turn Four. What this means to us is we have three turns where we will have little to no opposition. With this weakness identified we should rush early and hard. Even if we can’t take out the opponent we may be able to limit their cards so much they can’t fight back. With this one of the simple yet effective tricks, we can use is attacking with the Inroad Shooter that comes out of the Soul. If able, having a full front row on turn two will severely impact the opponent.

Inroad Shooter
[AUTO]:When this unit is rode upon by “Ascendance Assault“, call this card to (RC).
[CONT](RC):If your vanguard is “Flagship Dragon, Flagburg Dragon” or “Ascendance Assault”, this unit gets “Intercept”
, and [Power]+2000.


Now that we have a plan we need to execute it and evaluate the success of the plan. In the first game of a best two-out-of-three match, commit fully to the strategy. This first game will also inform us for the second game. In the first game, our opponent is likely to recognize what we are doing very quickly, but due to the mechanics of Bruce there isn’t much they can do about it.

In order to mitigate our aggressive strategy, the Bruce player may opt to commit to the field early and place additional rear-guards as well. If they do this they will likely go for our rear-guards. Allow this attack, but only defend if the units cannot be replaced easily. Then on the following turn return their attack in kind. By the opponent committing early they have fallen into a trap. You can eliminate their powerful rear-guard units via attacking or Flagburg Dragon’s retirement skill. These rear-guards will also enable you to make use of Agress-blue Dragon’s skill as well.

Agress-blue Dragon
[AUTO](RC)1/Turn: At the end of the battle this unit attacked a rear-guard, if your vanguard is “Flagship Dragon, Flagburg Dragon“, COST
 [Soul Blast (1)], and [Stand] this unit.

Upon beginning the second game of the match, your opponent is now wise to our strategy will likely attempt to pivot. They will either pivot to an immediate aggressive strategy or play more defensively. If they go with the aggressive strategy let them come to you. Make them expose their key units before they are a threat. If they play defensively, go to them and reduce their hand with an all-out onslaught. The key in the second game is to stay calm and don’t be too reckless. If the game moves on to a third game repeat the early aggressive strategy in order to close out the game.


If everything goes well in the implementation of the plan you will gain the win. Overall after my own testing, Flagburg has a considerable advantage against Bruce. The reason for this advantage is the difference in speed being Flagburg can hit hard early more easily than Bruce. What are your thoughts? Do you agree Flagburg has an advantage over Bruce? How would you tackle the best deck in the format?

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