Grimm Revisited: The Oddbox

Welcome back Sages!

I hope you all enjoyed my brief look at Valentina. Eventually I may revisit the list but all in all I hope that it was enough to get people thinking. At any rate, today I’m going to take a look at an old Ruler but from a new perspective–complete with new cards! In the coming weeks I may try to look at a couple of other old Rulers here and explore viability in an unknown and constantly shifting meta, but for now let’s take a look at an old favorite, Grimm the Fairy Tale Prince!

Now, Grimm is no stranger to fame; He has been a constant figure of discussion in the meta as sets came in and new takes on the game developed. However, one thing I think everyone can agree on is that at his core, he is the best toolbox Ruler in the game. That is, Grimm can search for any Fairy Tale resonator and play it with will of any attribute. Plus he does this all from his Ruler side, negating any need for a J-Ruler side (I mean, come on, if this is his original side, how powerful would his J-Ruler side have to be? thisisntevenmyfinalform.jpg). To make matters more interesting, over the past several months we’ve seen several takes on Grimm–from the “Happily Ever After” build to “Banzai Grimm” most recently, which was even able to compete in a Bahamut-dominated meta. He truly is a multifaceted Ruler and as long as we have Fairy Tales, it’s very likely he’ll remain relevant.

Grimm, the Fairy Tale Prince

So with the new set, we’ve received several new tools worth discussing, but for now I want to focus on a list and a couple of cards in particular. So let’s discuss the new cards that I’m looking at introducing to the deck, and then we’ll look at a deck list and do a little more discussion. So first up:

Snow White, the Valkyrie of Passion

Back with a vengeance.

The first card is “Snow White, the Valkyrie of Passion.” When I first saw the two valkyries accompanying Alice into this set (the other being Cinderella), I thought to myself “okay, these are alright but nothing special.” I guess because of the information overload from the new set I never stopped and thought about it. Snow White is amazing. Yes, a 500/700 for a total cost of three doesn’t seem like much but it’s how her effect synergizes perfectly with her abilities. She has Swiftness and First Strike, which in and of itself makes her a viable card, but it’s the fact that her counter ability (a theme among the Valkyries) is optional.

Yeah, go back and read that–you don’t have to remove those counters. You can let them build up, in fact, to take out a big target. What makes it even better and brings this card all together is that the counter placement and removal effect trigger on attack. That effectively makes her burst damage potential all unloadable before the opponent’s resonator can even think of dealing damage back. The best part about her ability is that in most cases you’ll never need more than two counters in a format that favors small but aggressive resonators (or even one, really, but I’ll get to that in a moment). However, when I looked at her, one card in particular came to mind instantly: “Demonflame.” She’s small and her ability can do great burst damage, but only in increments. What’s the best way to take advantage of a “pinging” amount of damage? “Demonflame.” It lets us destroy a resonator dealt damage this turn at instant speed. Susanowo? Gone. Blazer? Gone. This one-two combo should account for any big threat removal that you might need. I could keep going on about this card but I won’t, so let’s move on.

Alice's Castling

This card. I keep trying to find ways to break this card. It’s just such a silly, awesome concept for Water, an attribute needing some love right now. At instant speed we can swap out a resonator for another resonator with total cost and “Alice’s Castling” replaces itself. I mean, how much better value can you get without getting broken? The thing is, what can we abuse with this? Well, it’s certainly a good defensive effort–if they target one of your beatsticks and you have a card with the same cost you can swap them out, causing the spell to fizzle and getting something out of it in return. There is certainly a drawback in that the card you bounce goes to the bottom of your deck but sometimes that’s worth it. Also, did you notice that the card doesn’t activate those silly Enter keyword abilities? I did. So instantly, I thought of a card to use in tandem with this and Snow White: “Kai, the Frozen Heart.” He’s a beast of a resonator at 1200/1200, and he used to see some sideboard usage against Abdul, and very slightly play with his tandem card, Gherta. However, by swapping out Snow White at the right time, we get a 1200/1200 beatstick with virtually no drawbacks (I know that I just said there was one but I’ll get to that, just hear me out, we’re getting there). Granted beyond his big body he doesn’t do much but why do we need him to do much beyond hurting things?

So, with these two new cards in mind, I set out to build a deck, to bring back our favorite storyteller. To be fair, there are several other cards that could be useful out of the new set but these two immediately stuck out to me. Also, I noticed that they’re both odd cost–along with Kai and “Demonflame,” the two other cards I mentioned–and Oddgro was a thing. So I got the thinking cap to running and… well, I’ll let the list speak for itself. Introducing the new and improved, Oddgro, or as I like to call it:

The Oddbox

Ruler:

 Grimm, the Fairy Tale Prince

Resonators (23): 

4x Tinker Bell, the Spirit

3x Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant

4x March Hare

3x Hunter In Black Forest

4x Snow White, the Valkyrie of Passion

2x Kai, the Frozen Heart

3x Oz, the Great Wizard

Spells (18):

1x Banzai Attack

4x Thunder

3x Dreams of Wonderland

3x Alice’s Castling

4x Demonflame

3x Crime & Punishment

Stones (10):

4x Magic Stone of Hearth’s Core

1x Little Red, the Pure Stone

3x Magic Stone of Flame

2x Magic Stone of Water

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Sideboard (15):

1x Alice, the Valkyrie of Fairy Tales

1x Blazer Gill Rabus

3x Flame King’s Shout

3x Split Heaven and Earth

4x Certo, the Blazing Volcano

1x Banzai Attack

2x Etna, the Snow Queen

 

Goal of the Deck: The goal is the deck is a beautiful combination of aggro meets tempo–small exchanges and value early game to set up board control midgame so that you can rule the field with Snow White, toolbox any removal you need with an Oz, and get repeated value out of everything with “Alice’s Castling.” When it’s ready to deliver the final blow, drop a Kai and go to town. Grimm lets us make up for Alice’s Castling’s drawback of having to put a resonator on the bottom of our deck–why do we care when we can search it out again? Couple that with Cheshire Cat to pitch and search and recycle and the deck will always have fuel to run on. Our beaters take the form of Kai, Snow White, and Tinker Bell.

Card Choices: I don’t feel I need to defend many here because from looking at the list it should be apparent, but there are some things I still want to discuss:

  • “Banzai Attack.” While the deck has fuel to run on its own, I feel that a one-of “Banzai Attack” could give us game-ending power midgame when we need it most, and considering the cycling and draw ability of this deck you should almost always have it in hand. I’m only running one because if you play the one, you should be ending the game–if you can’t, then don’t play it, because your field dies afterwards.
  • “Crime & Punishment.” We don’t have a lot of things that can deal with J-Rulers so I included this card. It should take care of most potential problems, and even if they have Imperishable it should slow them down a turn. It’s also searchable by Oz so there should be no problem finding one when you need it.
  • “Alice, the Valkyrie of Fairy Tales (Sideboard).” The Valkyrie Alice suits herself well to this deck if we need a few more aggressive options. She can hit hard on her own as a 1000/1000, but she can synergize with Snow White and her God’s Art is pretty good to boot. I would probably side this girl in against more aggro-centric decks that you might not be able to normally race against.
  • “Blazer Gill Rabus.” This guy kills J-Rulers, and doesn’t really hamper what our deck does. He’s also will-fixing in a pinch so there’s that. I don’t think I need to explain much more.
  • “Etna, the Snow Queen.” I put this lovely lady in for some of the more specific match-ups. She can work well against midrange style decks that depend on having one or two bombs out at a time, and can even work against aggro in some cases. Hell, she can even win you a control match-up if you’re careful. Just a good card all around.

Cut Cards: After the last deck article I got a couple of questions about “why didn’t X make the cut?” So I thought this deserved its own piece. While there are several cards I could discuss, one in particular I know people will ask about is “Deathscythe, the Life Reaper.” I didn’t include this card because I honestly don’t feel like Bahamut will be that big of a threat after the set drops and besides, we have faster, more aggressive cards that we can play as well. That isn’t to say that I think Bahamut will be non-existant; I think Bahamut will still be around for as long as he’s legal in New Frontiers. However, with Blazer Gill Rabus in the Sideboard, and the fact that we can play our deck out pretty fast, I feel safe in not including Deathscythe in any of my 55 (er, 56 in this case).

How to Play: Pretty simple here guys, just make sure you have some early pressure in hand. The one card you want to make sure you’re using right is “Alice’s Castling”. It is a crucial card because it can allow us to swap-out our three costs so we can get another use out of Oz, or put in a Kai for defense or offense, or even the random tricky Snow White. Make sure to analyze the situation before using the card. Otherwise you want to make trades if you realize their deck is faster, otherwise step on the gas and use your removal to keep their big threats off the table.

And that’s all she wrote folks! It’s a pretty self-intuitive list and deck and I feel that a lot of people will have fun with this one. One thing I do want to point out though is that I’ll be doing a “Deck Doctor” article every-other week when I get the chance, so if you have a deck list you want me to take a look at, please shoot me an email at Machina@fowtcg.us. Otherwise, keep playing guys and I’ll see you next time Sages!

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Kegan Walls is a gamer through-and-through. He’s been a part of the gaming community since 1993 and has been playing TCGs since 1995. Kegan has competed in various high-level events across different games and has written several articles over the years for other games, including tabletop and video games. He is currently a Rules Advisor for the Force of Will U.S. team. His list of TCGs played would probably take up more space than an article would. You can contact him through machina@fowtcg.us or find him on the Facebook page.

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