|Fall into the Gap, Fall into the Gap|
20% off select jeans!
Pale Moon is a set of circus demons and sideshows of horror. Their aesthetic is theater of the bizarre and their mechanic is Soul reliant, much like most of the other Dark Zone clans (Dark Irregulars, and Spike Brothers).
Just like Dark Irregulars, we have a starting vanguard available that is crap. Underworld Manager is yet-another card that forces us to minus early on by not being called out when something rides over it. It does net us a soulcharge just like Vermillion Gatekeeper—because it's a clone. In fact, a lot of cards in Pale Moon are clones of Dark Irregulars cards. The difference is what each clan does with those cloned cards.
In each Dark Zone clan, soulcharging is a major component of the deck's ability to win. Whereas Dark Irregulars focus on keeping soul to be used passively, Pale Moon opt to rely on specific cards being in the soul, and use it actively. Most of our deck and its gambits will rely on one particular card. One great card to help facilitate this is the best starting Vanguard: Girl who Crossed the Gap. She lets us trade her in (for a counterblast), to get something from our soul. Pale Moon is a deck that combos and re-tools the field often to make big plays. Gap facilitates this nicely.
|Crimson Beast tamer can save your|
immortal soul. Just let her in.
We will need to spam soulcharging and hope everything we need gets into the soul naturally sometimes. Once a Crimson Beast Tamer is there, we have a 9000 booster with Turquoise which we can put behind basically anything, especially another Crimson Beast Tamer (which is now at 11000) to attack for 20000 and punish a 10000 vanguard hard.
However, until we get that Crimson Beast Tamer into the soul, we should hold off on playing any of the others in our hand. Since it's only 8000 without the soul requirement, and Bicorn is not useful enough to run, it's best to just hold on to her. She's an absolutely precious card in this deck and we really can't afford to lose many of her. If you can Ride a Crimson Beast Tamer, then you're good as soon as Grade 3 rolls around. If you can't, just ride Elephant Juggler and then call cards like crazy to soulcharge for each called unit. There is actually one card who is a big help at getting Crimson Beast Tamer into the soul quickly and reliably.
|Summoning Eldritch horrors from a hat |
And not a single fuck was given that day
Robert seems like kind of a trash card because his Megablast only sends all of your opponent's Grade 1 or lower rear-guards to their soul, but he's actually good and it's not because of that terrible, terrible Megablast. Robert allows you to stack your deck, but most importantly: he allows you to soulcharge every turn. Now, that's no different from any other normal Megablast unit.
But in Pale Moon, the ability to massively soulcharge, increases our toolbox for free. Consider that most of the cards we want in the soul require us to pay some cost after calling them, and usually have an on-hit effect or similar just to get them there. Robert is invaluable for his ability to give us another shot at pulling what we need into the soul toolbox when we need it. Robert being "bad" is a horrible noob-trap that will suck you in and destroy your shot at winning with this deck. You want to see bad? I will show you bad.
|Best idea ever: trying to pounce while|
His second ability is when you ride him, you get to draw 1 card and send a card from your hand to your soul (like Crimson Beast Tamer). Now, okay, I did say it's "bad" just for dramatic effect; the card is obviously not bad. But it's certainly not good when we have so much competition in the deck for space. Something you may not realize about Pale Moon is that the deck's cards and copy counts are all balanced on a knife edge. Putting something unreliable like Manticore in the deck can throw everything out of whack. You may be asking yourself: "Why not use him if I think I might have Crimson Beast Tamer in my hand by then, so I can soulcharge her and start my destruction?" Well I will answer you, imaginary anonymous internet user: because there are only 2 times you should be riding Barking Manticore, and both are dependent on how many copies you run. If you run 4, you should be riding it at Midgame as your only Grade 3 ride all-game. Once you do, you have the opportunity to put a crimson beast tamer into your soul.
However, the problem with that scenario is you have almost no chance to get one between your Grade 2 ride and your Manticore ride. So if you had one in hand, you should've ridden it for Grade 2. The other possibility is that you run less than 4 Manticore and plan to Ride him in Late game sometime. If you do that, then sure, you can put that Crimson Beast Tamer into your soul. But now it's Late game or close to it; and you are too little, too late. Going the entire game without your power bonuses is going to throw you out of whack. I'm sorry, but if I want to be stuck with a vanguard-only Grade 3 that is chance-based; I'll stick with Robert since he at least gets more chances.
|She's not standing still. She's running |
twice as fast as she possibly can.
Similar to Juggernaut Maximum (and Death Seeker Thanatos mostly), Alice has the ability to combo out for more attacks each turn. Her effect is on-hit, unfortunately which makes it not as good as the Juggernaut (however it is not on Vanguard hit), but if she does hit, you will be sitting pretty with yet another unit to either attack with or to boost another attacker that you have.
Now that Pale Moon has Stand Triggers, Alice will be able to Stand if she missed her first attack and try again. This will mean that your first attack should always be Alice followed by your Vanguard in case she can stand and try again. It forces your opponent to guard her to stop a huge onslaught, which subsequently nullifies the defensive gambit of letting the first attack pass and getting a trigger to increase your defensive power. Granted, your onslaught is stopped but once you check a Stand trigger, you'll have another shot. When you get to the decklist, something weird you will notice is that there are no Mirror Demons on the list. That's because Mirror Demon is complete ass. He only hits for Stage 2 if you have Bicorn (not in the deck) or a fully-powered Turquoise behind it.
He often doesn't hit at all if he gets called out with Alice or Bunny's effect. He only exists in case you can hit with Alice unboosted, use her effect, then call Mirror Demon out to be boosted and attack. It's very situational and we don't have a lot of room for that sort of Tomfoolery. The other situational gambit is hitting with Alice boosted by Bunny, counterblast 2 and put both into the soul, then use their calls to withdraw Turquoise and Mirror Demon for another attack. That particular gambit is hard to pull off but a bit easier than any other.
|Hardcore sword deepthroating show|
Being able to hit with Alice, swap her for something else (Robert, Cerberus, or even another Alice if you get Purple Trapezist and have an open spot left), then attack with Sarah, possibly get a trigger or Grade 3, then move a non-Alice Grade 3 to the soul so the Alice comes back and wreaks more havok is devastating. Simply hitting with the first Alice and getting that check enables 5 attacks—more if a new Alice then hits. As you can imagine, a deck that's so reliant on Alice will need to be counterblast light. It is, but there's a card that should be added as a nice backup plan for a safer type of play in case you end up with lots of Grade 3s early on. You even have the possibility of dropping an excess Grade 3 into a booster slot that's empty, and if you check properly, you can swap it for a booster. Be very careful if you are using this to assign power from triggers to boosters, not attackers, just in case you get to swap one out on the second check. Use your best judgment if it's a card that's been swapped out, but it's good to know that you don't always blindly assign trigger power to attackers. Similarly to Seifried, you will also want to run 10 Grade 3s, as odd as that sounds. Considering her skill only can activate once she and another Grade 3 are present, that's minimum -2 to her chances, possibly -3 on average. You'll want as many chances as possible to swap.
|If you think you understand Quantum|
Mechanics. You don't understand QM
This card lets you activate lots of "emerge" skills. This is a keyword I'm going to assign to the conditional that a Pale Moon card activates some skill upon being called from the soul to a rear-guard position. For counterblast 1, you can rotate him out with any card in the soul, preferably a card with some sort of emerge skill that you can abuse. The great thing is, you can do this every turn so long as you have 1 Counterblast to spare for the magician. This essentially means that you can put him in any position on your field so long as you swap him out each turn. He can be a "placeholder" like a wild card for an attacker or a booster. In a Sara deck, this can serve as an alternative to spamming a crapton of Alice if you draw too many Grade 3 early on. If the unit is somehow retired or put back into the soul, you still do as much as you can of the card text; meaning you would still get MQM back.
|Those totally aren't clothes. That has|
to be just paint-on "clothes"
Once you're no longer confident that you can keep Glenn's power going due to lack of counterblast, you can simply keep your MQM for later use of paying costs from other cards that also emerge. Pretty much no field in this deck is ever permanently screwed. Almost no card is wasted. Jumping Glenn will likely be a workhorse of many decks run. Riding her and calling her out later is a very easy 10k booster which can put you at Stage 3 for a turn. Usually pretty early too. In the Late Game, she does the same thing, bursting your field in such a way that you can go for Final Turn easily. If you run both Glenn and Turqoise, you'll likely be calling Turquoise any time you have a Crimson in the soul and some rear-guard at 11000 power or above. But for all other scenarios, Glenn is usually preferred.
Don't hit on me, silly ringmasters~
Common things you can do with Purple Trapezist: Swap something shitty for something good, permanently. Swap a no-longer-usable emerge for a fresh emerge. Have too many attackers? Get a booster! Have too many boosters? Get an attacker! Needed an Alice but you have some other attacker? Do it! I want to stress hard that this card has no actual cost. You lose no resources and your card advantage stays the same. You can get rid of MQM if you run out of counterblast and pull out a Turquoise for boosting. You can set up your field out of nowhere for Final Turn. Even calling Purples over other cards isn't really going to screw you since you can just make up the deficit later anyway. Especially if it's Final Turn. If you use MQM to bring something out, you can then call Purple, use her skill to push it back in and bring out something you actually wanted. You will NOT get MQM back. It turns out there was a translation error on the fan wiki that forgot to include the conditional "NARA" which means you have to put back the called unit with MQM's own skill for him to come back. Remember how you should hold off playing Crimson Beast Tamer if there are none in the soul? Yeah, no more. Purple puts one in there if you play her right then.
If you're low on attackers, you can put him in front of an active Glenn or Turquoise. Most recommended is to use Pee Ka Boo to pay the cost Purple Trapezist since he'd go into the soul at the end anyway. This means that combining Pee Ka Boo with a Purple is actually a +1 for anything in your soul that your little heart desires. It can just sit quietly in your soul until needed and not bother anyone if he's not needed. He's so patient and well-mannered. If you have excess trash in your soul, no worries, you can put it to good use by soulblasting 1 and combining Pee Ka Boo with Purple Trapezist. Be wary, however. If you simply call this unit, you must put him into your soul at the End Phase regardless if you used his skill to bring him out. Therefore, putting him in the soul is a -1 unless you use Dancing Princess of the Night Sky to search and soul him. You probably won't need to run more than two of this guy, and he almost unilaterally replaces Mirror Demon from existence.
|Blue Eyes White Dragon Tamer|
- 0-1 cards on field before Limit Break: +4
- 2 Cards: +3
- 3 Cards: +2
With 8 soul, she becomes an 11000 power defender which is pretty nice, but Pale Moon typically move things in and out of the soul a lot and don't just sit on it the way Dark Irregulars will do. This having been said, Mistress Hurricane actually does fit into a specific build of her own which focuses on spamming the soul quickly and then using beatdown tactics like Dark Irregulars. The difference is that in her deck, the power comes from the Tamers and they need specific units in the soul. So you're going to be spamming a lot. But this at least opens up opportunities to exploit that excess soul later. Being the first good defender, Hurricane should be seeing some play.
Unfortunately, she has a downside. A big downside. Unless you soulblast 3 each turn, she cannot attack during that turn. And she's required to be the Vanguard to use her skills. Well, say you do have one as a Vanguard but you also have a rear-guard one. Unfortunately, she still has the restraint and still has to pay the cost. You're not going to want to ever call her as that's a huge waste of resources. This also means that she doesn't go well in decks that require specific units in the soul or work by temporarily having units in the soul (Other Tamers, Glenn, Jill, Quantum Magician, etc). The best bet with her is to spam the soul as fast as possible, ride her when it matters (it won't minus), and then start smashing faces for mean pressure. The cost may seem to make her highly risky or unusable, but it really doesn't. If you build properly and have extra ridable Grade 3s (that don't minus you), then she works out. But it does take a little practice to get the hang of if you're just used to normal beatdowns.
This can make an opponent's Final Turn calculation wrong. It doesn't just open them up for a huge misplay (not checking the soul), but regardless if they check the soul or not, they have to realize you have at least 2 more stages, if not more, of guard ready and waiting to screw them and extend your longevity by possibly one turn. Having no hand can make his requirement difficult to meet while still continuing to guard. Woefully, his skill only activates at the start of the guard step, meaning you cannot guard from your hand, and during that same attack, add Lark from the soul. Though, unless Bushiroad starts some bizarre ruling that goes against their current rule set, you should be able to not only intercept from the field after calling a Lark, but also call any remaining Larks from the soul as well. The reason for this is because multiple skills can activate simultaneously (example: 2 Larks in the Soul both activate at the start of the Guard Step) but the Turn Player can choose the order they resolve in, so in reality they both resolve regardless of activation timing. This is a handy card in a soulspam deck or something packing Dancing Princess. If you draw it, that's 2 stages of guard and if you soulcharge it, that's 2 stages of guard.
However, Presenter has some problems. As to be expected, most starting vanguards are usually a minus (in exchange for some kind of other usefulness) but certain clans have access to starters that do not minus. Namely things like Lizard Soldier Conroe, Mecha Trainer, Barcgal, and Girl Who Crossed the Gap. Ahh so you can see a problem here immediately. While Presenter is a great card in most decks, it sorely lacks in Pale Moon simply because Girl Who Crossed the Gap exists. She doesn't generate a minus and still powers your emerge skills (as well as adding pressure and swapping out for more attacks/better boosters). So be careful and think clearly about adding Smiling Presenter to your deck, even if it requires tons of specific units in the soul. Consider if Dancing Princess of the Night Sky might serve the same purpose without ruining your formation.
In Sarah decks, you often need to attack with all your rear-guards first so that Sarah has maximum leeway to check stands and Grade 3s—you don't want one or more of them to fizzle. The problem is that you have to assume a full field for most situations since that's optimal. If you consider a Fire Juggler behind the vanguard, then the only place for her emerge to go most of the time is right back uselessly behind the vanguard! The only time this has any merit is to swap for a better booster (or I suppose to get Purple Trapezist out), but she's already 7000 power and that's pretty good by itself, and usually sufficient for a vanguard like Sarah. If you do have an open space, then Sarah herself also needs to activate. So assuming you have a rested attacker that you swap out, now you can actually bring some useful booster out behind them (Jumping Glenn, Midnight Bunny with Alice, etc) and go for broke. If you can't seem to get Fire Juggler behind your vanguard, trade with Gap or Purple Trapezist. Though this means you need her in the soul first (and since she's only useful for the vanguard boost, you probably shouldn't run more than 2, leaving her high and dry many times). All in all, she's a costless but highly highly restricted Midnight Bunny. I will say that a benefit of this unit is pulling out Purple Trapezist. With Juggler, Sarah, and Trapezist, you're pushing in any two units you want on the whole field and getting anything you need pretty much anywhere. Just exercise caution when playing Fire Juggler and practice often to get a feel for the caveats.
|Starlight Melody Tamer, Farah|
Your emerge does gain the power, though it's probably not all that useful to it. Even with something like Alice and some good booster (bringing her to 3 stages), it's late game now so if she hits, she probably wins anyway. Thus using Alice or any other swapper for their skill is probably not going to affect the game any more than using a vanilla 10000 attacker or more. The soulcharging is kind of nice but...what do you need with soul that late in the party? All this really does is give you two random chances to possibly get something better from the soul. That doesn't warrant the heavy restriction placed on this card. But if you're looking for good defense in Pale Moon, look no further. As the only 11000 defender available, she does definitely put herself to good use in that respect.
|Nightmare Summoner Raqiel|
Raqiel only clinches his gains in late game. While Mistress Hurricane discourages opponents from making "10k hate" columns since you'll just bring your defense up too soon for it to matter, Raqiel doesn't. Instead, he is content to keep that weakness while only offering a moderate increase of power at a late date. If you really want to see the cavernous difference between those specific two effects, test them out. In testing, you'll realize the significant difference that 11000 defense makes on an opponent who now has to use different units (read: less combinations) to make proper columns. Meanwhile, Pale Moon is on no shortage of power with units like Midnight Invader and Turquoise Trapezist. Equally baffling is the intention to use his personal booster for another stage gained. This would surely provide 4 stages in late game (which is all but a complete waste) but would eat at the all-important units in the soul. It's plausible that there might be one or two in the soul that can be expended, but the most useful time and place for that combination is rear-guard in Midgame. And in that respect, you'd need far more expendable soul. The same result can be gained with the exact same probability by just using Turquoise and Midnight Invader as well as not having to pay any costs or run any risks. Not to mention the personal booster is a generic 6000 power booster (bad) that can't be used for any other purpose and takes up precious deck space. So that combined with his power weakness makes Raqiel usually inferior to Hurricane.
And onto the deck lists!
|Touchdown. Alice!||The Greatest Show on Earth|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
|Alice in Nightmareland||Whip Crack|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
|Kinjuu (Gold Beast Tamer)||Gold Hurricane (GoldTamer+Hurricane)|
|Grade 0: 17 ||Grade 0: 17 |
Estimated Deck Cost: $190 | $175 | $160 | $130 | $??? | $??? USD
- Touchdown Alice! - Plays very similarly to Spike Brothers in that a main point of the deck is extra attacks. The checks by Sarah and the hits by Alice play into the extra attacks. Know when and where to apply your trigger effects because Sarah can change the flow of the battle. The deck's strong suit is setting up the field for a multiple attack frenzy and that applies high pressure throughout the game. Three stage rear-guards are also possible and semi-frequent.
- The Greatest Show on Earth - Is a one-gambit sort of deck. Start by setting up your field and soul how ever you can. Then use Luquier to get the exact field you need. The deck's strong point is being able to recover from field destruction heavy metagames as well as using both the field and soul as potentials to set up your attack, thus increasing the chances you have a consistently good attacking line. It does lack a certain punch that other decks have though, and is mostly recommended to combat heavy destruction metas.
- Alice in Nightmareland - Combines the efforts of Divination to greatly increase checked triggers with Alice's ability to hit and combo attacks. These feed directly into each other as more stands means more chances to hit with Alice, as well as indirectly by both being beneficial on their own. Essentially a mix deck of Spike Brothers and Oracle Think Tank in one clan.
- Whip Crack - A tamer-based beatdown deck that plays far more similarly to Dark Irregulars. It has fast soulcharging and specializes in getting 3-stage rear guards easily to provide heavy pressure. It differs from most Irregulars builds in small ways, but is good enough that it stacks up to the leading pressure deck which is Royal Paladins' "Swan Soul". It's essentially a combination of a Garmore Gold Paladin deck with Swan Soul Royal Paladins and an 11k defender. Certainly a formidable deck.
- Kinjuu - Much like Whip Crack this deck specializes in high pressure, but goes about it by having multiple outs which allows the deck to morph and contort to multiple different strategies. One being that you can ride Invader and get it out later with Gold Beast Tamer (it's a Chimera), another being riding Robert and sitting on a gold mine of higher-checked triggers with his divination until you get the soul to ride Gold Tamer late and ramp up the pressure. The deck is pretty onslaught, but what it lacks in Whip Crack's defense is makes up for in contingency plans.
- Gold Hurricane - Almost identical to Kinjuu, and has a similar winning image but with a slight twist. You spam up your soul just like normal, use any divination available, and call 3-stage rear guards if possible. However, You take advantage of the fact that Mistress Hurricane is a Chimera which balances out the lack of defense in Kinjuu. This deck has both worlds of Kinjuu and Whip Crack, but not as much offense as Whip (has to wait until later in the game) but more outs like Kinjuu, however not being dedicated to easy and early high pressure like Kinjuu which uses Invader.