Exploring the Format: Ancient Machina Geargia

With the new Advanced Format now arrived, Geargia seems to be the single deck that was hit the hardest. The Limiting of Geargiagear’s a decent cause for concern for Pure Geargia players; not only does it lead to less consistent Turn 1’s but it reduces the power level of the deck by a significant margin across the early, mid, and late game. But does it mark the end of Geargias entire;y? Hardly. Geargia existed long before the release of [ccProd]Geargiagear[/ccProd], and even took down YCS Providence in the hands of Chris LeBlanc, so there’s clearly still potential there. The issue is that while Geargia can still be a viable strategy, the Pure Geargia variant might just lose too much power to remain the dominant choice. So where do we go from here?

Karakuri Geargia and Machina Geargia are the best ways to carry the strategy forward. The former’s a synergy-oriented deck that can give you game-winning damage off of card combos, while the latter’s significantly more grindy, but still a very aggressive strategy. So which should you choose? Well, I wrote about [ccProd]Ancient Gear[/ccProd] Box upon its release as a strong option for Machina Geargia, and I still believe it’s a great idea. [ccProd]Ancient Gear[/ccProd] Box solves one of the biggest problems the Machine variant faces: the discard cost associated with Summoning [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd] can often be too expensive to work in your favor. Historically, players have often solved that problem by running clunkier Machines with high Levels, such as [ccProd]Machina Cannon[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Machina Force[/ccProd]. But in reality you don’t want to play so many cards that sit in your hand doing nothing without a Fortress combo. [ccProd]Ancient Gear[/ccProd] Box gives you a consistent source of additional fuel every time you grab it with [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd]. Back all of that up with the standard Geargia engine, and you’re basically good to go.

Let’s take a look at where I’d start with this concept in the new format:

Ancient Machina Geargia – 40 Cards
Monsters: 16
1 [ccProd]Ancient Gear Box[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Geargiaccelerator[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Geargiarsenal[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd]

Spells: 11
1 [ccProd]Book of Moon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Mind Control[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Upstart Goblin[/ccProd]

Traps: 13
2 [ccProd]Black Horn of Heaven[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Compulsory Evacuation Device[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Solemn Warning[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Wiretap[/ccProd]

Extra Deck: 15
1 [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Daigusto Emeral[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Evilswarm Exciton Knight[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 101: Silent Honor ARK[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 103: Ragnazero[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 50: Blackship of Corn[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 82: Heartlandraco[/ccProd]

Starting with one of the more arguable points, I don’t believe that playing [ccProd]Geargiano[/ccProd] in any form is correct. [ccProd]Geargiano[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Geargiano[/ccProd] Mk-II were already the worst monsters in Pure Geargia builds last format, and I don’t think you want to run them in Machina Geargia when you have so many additional Normal Summons that could clog your hand. Yes, you can still play a single [ccProd]Geargiagear[/ccProd], but I’m not going to play a bunch of monsters that are going to effectively make my deck weaker overall just to include that card. I could see an argument for the [ccProd]Geargianos[/ccProd] in something like Karakuri Geargia, because it is usually an auto win when you flip it, but it really isn’t what I’m trying to do with this build of Geargia.

What I’m really aiming for is consistency: the Geargia strategy can be very consistent, and that’s what I want to take advantage of with this build. Ultimately, filling it with do-nothing monsters isn’t very appealing – we have way better options. Machina Gearframe’s a standalone threat that nets you a [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd] as soon as you Summon it, and Fortress helps solve that problem of “too many Normal Summons” by letting you leverage extra monsters into Special Summon fodder. It’s also important to note that this deck got a whole heck of a lot better with [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd]. Anytime you open Gearframe plus any Geargia with [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd] you can Summon Gearframe to grab Fortress, ditch the Geargia to summon it, and then [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd] back the Geargia to make a [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] with the [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd]. You’ll search [ccProd]Ancient Gear[/ccProd] Box with that [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] and get a [ccProd]Geargiarsenal[/ccProd], so you end up with a [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd], a [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd], and five cards in hand. Pretty awesome!

That’s not to say that the deck relies on [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd], though; even opening with a Turn 1 [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] and following it up with Gearframe on Turn 2 is probably enough to get you well on your way to a victory in most match-ups. With an opening like that you can establish a field of [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] equipped with Gearframe plus Fortress in play and a [ccProd]Geargiarsenal[/ccProd] in hand, or a set [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] with a [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] and a [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd] on the table, plus a [ccProd]Geargiarsenal[/ccProd] waiting in the wings. Both of those openings only require two cards, and both create enough pressure and more than enough momentum to completely dominate a game.

Understanding Format Shifts
Besides what I’ve mentioned, I think the deck list is pretty straightforward. I could see arguments for a third [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd], and while that may turn out to be correct, two copies seem fine for now since you’re searching Fortress with [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd] all the time. So besides the monster-driven core of this deck list, I want to discuss how you should go about selecting the right support cards to help accomplish what your deck’s trying to do in a new format. Specifically this new format.

There’s one really significant shift in this format, and that’s the decline of Pure Geargia. What this ultimately means is three things:

1) Geargia will be less popular.
If Geargia’s seeing less play, it means there’s less pressure on you to have an immediate answer to a Turn 1 set [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] across the long term. That’s pretty nice because that isn’t really what this deck wants to be doing. Sure, Summoning [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd] into [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd] to run over [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] is a fine answer, but losing your Fortress to just about anything your opponent could have in their backrow doesn’t seem like a good thing. Without access to [ccProd]Geargiano[/ccProd] Mk-II you also lose [ccProd]Ghostrick Alucard[/ccProd] as an out, which was super important in Geargia mirrors last format. Now there’s just way less pressure to produce that play.

[ccProd]Black Horn of Heaven[/ccProd] might also be less useful, but it’s still probably worth playing a couple Main Decked copies. You’re still playing a grind strategy that wants to have fast answers to opposing Xyz Summons, so it’s not like you’d cut the card completely. It’s more a question now of which card’s better: [ccProd]Black Horn of Heaven[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare[/ccProd]. That issue may be a little vague until the shape of competition is more defined.

2) The decks that are good against Geargia might also be less popular.
Mermails and Sylvans ultimately benefited from the popularity of Geargia last format. Both [ccProd]Atlantean Marksman[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Sylvan Marshalleaf[/ccProd] were very strong against the Turn 1 set [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] opening, but now that Geargia isn’t in the spotlight that should change a bit. It would be a bit over-dramatic to say that either of those two decks will fade entirely from competition as a result. That’s really just not true: regardless of what happens, just about every decent deck will be represented to some degree. The real question is whether or not you should expect to play those decks more than once or twice at any given tournament.

We could also see these decks still being played, but with changes made to adapt them to new metagames. They could both trim down the numbers of Atlantean Marskman and [ccProd]Sylvan Marshalleaf[/ccProd] played, but it’s not like either of those cards are really bad anyway. Genex Undine’s positioning may have weaker positioning than before if everything around it is going so much faster though, so Genex Mermail may be replaced by a more combo-oriented version of the Water deck.

3) The decks that are bad against Geargia might be more popular.
Specifically, Traptrix Hand Artifact (HAT) variants don’t have the most favorable Geargia match up, and may benefit when it sees less play. The strategy has a hard time dealing with [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] unless they’ve already resolved an [ccProd]Artifact Sanctum[/ccProd] for a profit of card economy. That said, HAT variants are very good against faster decks like Lightsworn Ruler, and if Geargia’s going to be pushed out of the format I could easily see Lightsworn Ruler becoming the best deck without much competition to challenge it. If Lightsworn Ruler does become the deck to beat, I’d also expect a big climb in the number of HAT-esque decks being played as well.

Because I expect HAT to rise in popularity, I don’t want to immediately cut [ccProd]Wiretap[/ccProd]. There should still be trap-heavy decks in the format even without Geargia, and HAT’s probably one of the best trap-heavy strategies to in the history of the game anyway. Wiretap’s still the best answer to cards like [ccProd]Black Horn of Heaven[/ccProd], [ccProd]Artifact Sanctum[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd], so I really don’t see any reason to cut them. Supplementing a full playset with a couple of Main Decked [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoons[/ccProd] also seems like a good idea if the early Lightsworn Ruler decks emerging this format are playing [ccProd]Royal Decree[/ccProd].

I’ve been a big fan of Geargia since they first hit the competitive scene, so I don’t plan to give up on the deck just yet. Geargiarmor’s still probably the best standalone Turn 1 monster out there and I want to try to take advantage of that as much as I can while competition is less streamlined. Do you think Geargia has a place as a competitor this format? How about the Karakuri versus Machina argument? I want to hear your input down in the Comments!

25 Comments

  1. Thomas Glavan says:

    This article is really hard to read with the coding error

  2. Roberto Palma says:

    what coding error?

  3. Shamir Meor Suhaimi says:

    geargia karakuris after the nerf is much stronger then its two variants i believe, it seems that iron call in triplicate will yield the same results as geargiagear which still can be run a 1.

    i believe too after a trap stun is on the board, the deck explodes, with only one counter or balance (effect veiler)

  4. Umm…did u not go to nationals? I was kinda waiting for a tournament report!

  5. I’ve been playing a slight variant of this deck for about 2 weeks on DN and I can say it has serious potential. At least for now, no one anticipates running into Geargia, which gives you an upper hand. The ability to summon Fortress every turn is also really handy for the late game. Redox is also a great choice for rank 7s and opening-hand correction.

  6. i see

  7. Maximillion Dean says:

    I have been using Harpie/Dracossack variant which has won me all of my matches. Recommend!

  8. Hmm… Seems like this may have potential. I’ve never really cared for Geargias, but they got destroyed on the banlist. I feel like they may be given another chance if Geargiauger is voted as the Shonen Promo card. But I’m going to test this on DN tonight!

  9. Josh Silveira says:

    The gear archtype has been good and with the addition of geargia they became better shame they have been hit by bans

  10. Roberto E. Martinez says:

    Geargia will be played a while longer, I am just not sure if it will keep shining like other annoying non dying decks out there

  11. Why not just throw in one Traptrix to search your three whole cards you’re running? The decks a little low on monsters and that still a solid opening in most matchups.

  12. Andrew Vasquez-Hurd says:

    Interesting… going to have to try this out

  13. Andrew Solar says:

    cool

  14. Raleigh Bontly says:

    Machina with cyber dragon is so useful

  15. Furkan Akman says:

    Actually thats so nice…

  16. HAT…lol

  17. Left for 2 months and came back to this format 🙁 I need help

  18. Chase Thomas says:

    I want that primal origins box…..also I heart geargia, though I think machina may not be the best choice because of the heavy cost for fortress. Kind of a do or die option.

  19. I’m personally a fan on the Geargia Karakuri, but that’s just because I like Synchros more than Xyz.
    This is an interesting change from what I normally see. Any chance I can see a match played with this?
    (Sorry if this posts more than once. I’m not too familiar with this)

  20. I’m so new to this. Why doesn’t this show up when I visit the blog?

  21. Sean Wilkerson says:

    Looks like a really cool deck

  22. Stephone Wuffkitty Domingo says:

    Just don’t know how to feel about this…

  23. Christian Jordan says:

    Not sure about this

  24. Juan Gonzalez says:

    I am playing Machina Geargia extensivelly. I readabout the Gear Box thing awhile ago here, and when I got my hands in the so-called-not-so-dead geargia,I found them to be hugely consistent without the need for Gianos. It stills plusses like a hell and sills a pretty solid gameplan.

    For instance, I don’t run combo cards like Soul Charge and Redox since I made room for triple Myrmeleos and Nitemare [I felt I lost power] ultimately opting for longivity and a full Rank 4 toolbox as well as quicker answers to Lightsworn.

    Geargia is so in as it always was. Machina’s probably the best way given its F&L status, gearing towards the very potent tempo shifing shredder the combination forms.

  25. Brian Hrischuk says:

    Even with the banning this is still a contender. But I think F(HAT) is better.

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