Off the Meta | Blade Knight Hates Company
by, 06-02-2015 at 01:08 AM (3933 Views)
Hello and welcome back for another installment of Off the Meta, featuring the only set more obscure than the Battle for Faerun, Yu-Gi-Oh. I consider its relative unpopularity to be an utter travesty, so I'd like to shed light on one of its more useful characters, Blade Knight
Blade Knight does one thing and he does it in a variety of ways: attack alone. For a very middle of the road price and statline, Blade Knight offers you a high level of utility for such an aggresive character. However, to get their true value, you have to be attacking alone, else their effects will be wasted and you'll be left with a very mediocre character. Because of their offensive nature, they have and synergize with overcrush strategies and characters able to deal damage in the attack step, or otherwise cut down your opponents defenses.
Blade Knight - Lone Wolf
Sadly the least useful of your options, the common only allows you to spin an opponent down to level 1 when attacking alone. It's almost always better to bring Black Widow - Killer Instinct or Tsarina for this effect since they are a bargain for their stats and can attack en masse instead of one by one. That said, if you're in a limited set, he can be one of your only options for level drain within the Yu-Gi-Oh set. I'd only recommend bringing this card if you're starved for options and spinning your opponent down to level 1 is an imperative for your strategy.
Blade Knight - Solo Act
Here's where we start getting into the useful cards. Solo Act lowers the price down to a 3- purchase and that can make all the difference with offensive characters that you intend to send out to fight often, though he would be even better if his fielding costs were improved. Solo Act gives you access to overcrush when attacking alone and can be devastating in the early game before you opponent has been able to properly wall up. As with any overcrush character he works very well with pump effects like Cone of Cold and character damage such as AoE or other sorts of ping like you get from Saggi the Dark Clown - Dark Slayer who doubles as a defensive wall in case your opponent is also using overcrush. However, he has fairly low defense, making him just as vulnerable to ping damage, which can really set you back if activated in the attack phase since you've already dedicated to a one-man swing. You should be looking to utilize him as early aggression before transitioning into a burn strategy for best results, since he loses much of his power as you opponent manages to get their own 4+ charatcters fielded and ready to stop a lone Blade Knight.
Blade Knight - Last Man Standing
The final Blade Knight is also the pinnacle of utility for the character. When attacking alone, you opponent can only declare a single blocker and it must be of equal or lower level than Blade Knight. This has any number of uses and can be incredible for overcrush strategies since you're limiting your opponent to a single defender. Combined with Anger Issues, you can easily force your opponent to block a 6 attack character with only a measly sidekick, and that's before any pump effects. He can also be used as spot removal without the risk of over-extending if you combo him with characters that force your opponent to block such as Goblin attack Force - Goblin Charge which is available within set. Along the same lines, you can actually select a blocker for him by using that global, forcing your opponent to only send that single character into the fray which, when used on a sidekick, is going to give you a chance for massive overcrush damage while guaranteeing your Blade Knight remains fielded if you have protection from their ping effects. This ability to get consistent overcrush damage through a heavy wall is invaluable and makes this blade knight my favorite of his iterations since he really is going to be the Last Man Standing. (While it hasn't released yet, there's also some major synergy with Hulk Out as a cheaper alternative to Anger Issues that I look forward to)
As with any heavy attacker, Blade Knight has a few HEAVY counters and this problem is exacerbated by the fact that he must be attacking alone, meaning that your opponent only needs to dedicate a single energy to dealing with a rogue Blade Knight. Most globals that affect attackers are capable of shutting down Blade Knight, including some that you may not have considered. You have the usual suspects of Distraction, Smash!, and Magic Missile for dealing with glass cannon attackers, but you also have abilities like Phoenix / Mr. Fantastic and any of Toad's iterations since they'll all cancel out Blade Knight's effects by forcing other characters to attack alongside him. Even if your opponent has global protection like Human Paladin - Lesser Emerald Enclave, you can use walls like Zombie - Greater Undead or Emma Frost to negate the overcrush that Blade Knight Relies on without even bothering to target him directly.
Blade Knight is a powerful early attacker that can deal some massive damage if left unchecked for too long. However, he naturally declines in usefulness as the game progresses and can leave you open for a reversal if you spread yourself too thin in the start of the game trying to rush your opponent down. The rare version offers you more utility that can extend throughout the entire game, but he'll require specific purchases and heavy protection if you want to use him effectively. As with any overcrush strategy, global control and watching your opponents energy stores are going to be paramount to success and it may behoove you to hold off attacking until your opponent doesn't save up energy for globals, lest your opponent shut down your aggression before it can truly begin. If you can protect and pump him in equal measure, Blade Knight is going to be a monstrous attacker with an uncharacteristically low initial investment.
Later on this week I'll be making a team that takes full advantage of Blade Knight's unique abilities and hopefully demonstrating how useful and tricky the Yu-Gi-Oh set can be when properly applied. Thanks to all of you for following along and I look forward to future installments.