When Sky Striker was first introduced in the TCG with the release of Dark Saviors in May 2018, it was an instant hit with players. It dominated for a period of time, either being played as a standalone deck or as part of decks such as Orcust Sky Striker. Both Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage! and Sky Striker Mecha - Widow Anchor served their time on the ban list, with Engage still limited. The deck, however, went from the top meta deck to a more rogue-ish option currently, despite winning YCS Hartford earlier this year.
After the emergence of Spright and Tearlaments, the deck was simply unable to keep up and slowly made way for newer, superior decks. However, an injection of a couple of new cards, as well as the fact that Mystic Mine is still lurking around, has given it a bit of a chance to try and keep up with the competition. Magnificent Mavens introduced three new cards for the deck, and the OCG seems to have plans for many more cards that will transform and enhance it further.
Let me just get it out of the way—Aileron is currently a bad card. As a quick effect, it can equip itself to a Sky Striker Ace monster from either the hand or field to boost its attack by 400. Furthermore, if this card is destroyed while on the field, you can send a Sky Striker spell from deck to the graveyard. The card unfortunately does not offer much else. The attack boost is somewhat irrelevant while the Foolish Burial Goods-like effect could be somewhat useful, but Sky Striker Ace - Hayate does the exact same thing with more usefulness. However, it might prove to be more versatile after the new support in the OCG is fully revealed.
Surgical Striker - H.A.M.P. is basically a searchable Kaiju. Although its name is a bit off-theme, it is always treated as a Sky Striker card. It can be special summoned to either field by tributing a monster. If destroyed in battle, you can target and destroy one card your opponent controls, even if H.A.M.P. was destroyed on the opponent's side of the field. For the time being, I see it as good side deck material. It is not the best of cards, but it can help you navigate a difficult situation at times. Sadly, it has to be destroyed in order to make use of its effect to destroy a card controlled by your opponent.
Getting to the last new card, Sky Striker Mobilize - Linkage! is the best of the new additions and is an automatic three copies in the deck. As long as you send a card from your field to the graveyard, Linkage acts as a substitute for the materials needed to summon the Sky Striker Ace link monsters. While Sky Striker Mecha - Hornet Drones, Raye, and Roze might be more convenient in a traditional sense, Linkage is actually quite useful, especially with all those Bystial cards running around. Do not forget that Raye and Roze are dark and light monsters, respectively. Therefore, if you are unable to access your starters, Linkage still helps you get to your Sky Striker Ace monsters.
Not only that, but Linkage also helps facilitate one-turn kills after the deck lost the services of Crystron Halqifibrax, which made the climb to Accesscode Talker a bit more difficult. Linkage, however, restricts you to only summoning Sky Striker Ace monsters for the rest of the turn, forcing you to use in-theme solutions only.
If you have Linkage in hand along with Raye and are facing an empty field, you can first attack with Raye for 1,500 and link into Sky Striker Ace - Hayate for 1,500 more. You can then use Linkage to swap Hayate for a boosted Sky Striker Ace - Kagari that will do at least 2,500 damage while recycling your Linkage, which you will promptly use for your last attack with either Sky Striker Ace - Kaina or Sky Striker Ace - Shizuku. That should be at least 8,000 attack points combined; not bad for a two-card combo. But keep in mind that the attack boost is only valid if you have a light and dark Sky Striker Ace monster on the field or in your graveyard. Linkage also helps your monsters dodge targeting effects, yet another advantage of this excellent card.
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The deck currently still needs to rely on cards such as Dimensional Barrier to slow the opposition down to its level. In my opinion, Sky Striker Mecha - Shark Cannon is currently mandatory at three with Tearlaments being the deck to beat right now. The deck would benefit from having more Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage! of course, but Engage probably needs to remain in check due to its power level.
The deck is fun to play and rewards those who think ahead and manage their resources well. At this moment, it will probably remain a rogue option, like almost anything in this format, but a future ban list might change that. There are also the new Sky Striker cards coming out in the OCG this winter, which hopefully will have a profound impact on the deck and thrust it back to the top of the competitive scene.
If you have any suggestions on how to improve the deck and make it work even better, please share your thoughts with everyone in the comment section below!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, not of Cardmarket.