Double Trouble is not actually a card, but I wanted to talk about two cards that somewhat do the same thing. Book of Eclipse and Swords of Concealing Light are similar answers to the Kashtira problem. Since the Kashtira strategy can block the opponent's card zones, courtesy of Kashtira Shangri-Ira's effect, it becomes difficult to break their board if you are unable to use your cards the way they were intended to.
Book of Eclipse and Swords of Concealing Light both solve that problem on their own. By flipping Shangri-Ira face down, your zones are suddenly unblocked. Other benefits include stopping their new xyz monster from functioning as a Macro Cosmos, while Kashtira Fenrir will be unable to use its trigger effect to banish a monster you control. Basically, you shut down the deck and only need to worry about potential hand traps.
Picking which one to use is up to you. However, the OCG seemed to prefer Book of Eclipse over Swords of Concealing Light, the reason being that it is a quick-play spell card that cannot be sniped on the field via the likes of Twin Twisters or Cosmic Cyclone. Just be careful when you use Book of Eclipse as the opponent's monsters will be flipped face up during the end phase, and you will end up contributing to their card advantage since they will get to draw cards too.
Another anti-Kashtira card, Kurikara Divincarnate is a sleeper pick from Power of the Elements. It can be special summoned by tributing all monsters on your opponent's side of the field that used their effects this turn, and gains 1,500 attack for each tributed monster. Unfortunately, it can only be used during your turn as it is not a quick effect. Another bonus effect is that during the end phase, you can special summon a monster from your opponent's graveyard to your side of the field, which might prove to be interesting in mirror matches.
I do not know for sure if this will be a popular tech choice. It makes sense on paper, but has not been too popular in the OCG. Maybe things will be completely different here in the TCG, especially now that the card is gaining attention and is increasing in price.
The brave token engine is slowly seeing more play. Plunder Patroll might be the best deck to take advantage of it right now. This is mainly due to the synergy with Water Enchantress of the Temple being a discard outlet and Fateful Adventure protecting equipped Plunder monsters from being destroyed by battle on the first attack once per turn. Another benefit is that Illegal Knight is a disruptive card that can be given to the opponent, opening a way to summon Plunder Patrollship Moerk even if your opponent doesn't have any of your ship's attributes. Furthermore, Plunder Patroll are getting a new earth synchro monster that can manipulate attributes.
Competitively speaking, post Photon Hypernova, Kashtira might be the deck to actually capitalize on the engine. Kashtira cards do not have any real negation effects, their strategy relies more on disrupting the opponent. Splashing the brave token engine into the deck will provide it with a layer of negation, and the deck can take things further by making the engine more searchable.
Since almost all Kashtira monsters are level seven, the deck has access to Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack, which can turn its tokens into Cherubini, Ebon Angel of the Burning Abyss. This allows you to then send Water Enchantress of the Temple to the graveyard since it is a level three monster. Do you want more synergy? Wandering Gryphon Rider is a level seven monster.
Photon Hypernova is introducing some new Gishki support. After the most recent ban list, the deck is currently doing okay in the OCG. However, it is generally played in combination with Spright. Mainly, you want to be picking up Gishki Abyss, Gishki Aquamirror, and Gishki Vision. I will probably write a separate article once it is out, but it is a deck that can produce up to four negates out of a single card.
Since we are about to enter a format where plays during the opponent's turn will be fairly frequent and anticipated, Triple Tactics Talent is something that you want to keep in hand. Tearlaments, Kashtira, Floowandereeze, even Plunder Patroll and Naturia decks will all activate monster effects during the opponent's turn. Therefore, Talents (in addition to the new card from Photon Hypernova currently known as Triple Tactic Tasking) will work very much to your advantage this format. Talents is a problem solver as it can either let you draw two cards or take control of a monster your opponent controls for the rest of the turn. It is also able to pry into your opponent's hand for information before plucking out one of those cards and returning it to the deck.
Photon Hypernova also introduces support for Ninja and Photon/Galaxy among others. These decks are currently somewhat low in the picking order, but perhaps Photon Orbital and Ninja Grandmaster Saizo will change that.
What other cards do you think are important to pick up in preparation for Photon Hypernova? Comment below and tell us what cards you are planning to get or already got in preparation for the release of 2023's first set!
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