Thursday, August 20, 2015


I'm a big fan of fortune telling. I think it's a cool system, even if none of it makes any sense at all. And the Tarot cards all, in my opinion, represent different aspects of mankind and humanity. The reason why they're so accurate is because they cover broad, generic aspects of the human experience that we can all relate to on a innate level.

I was pretty hyped when I first saw Tarot cards in Buddyfight, just because it gave me an archetype that I was actually interested in collecting cards for. Of course, since they were Generic cards, I couldn't expect them to be good or anything. That would be asking too much.

Well, apparently somebody up in Bushi HQ likes me a whole damn lot, because they threw Tarots 4 full booster sets of support until these bad boys became a legitimate top-tier deck. Wow. What a world we live in.

There are two distinct ways to play Tarots, and a third for the funky combos. Because I love this archetype so much, I'll cover all three.

Actor Knights Emperor
Bow before true strength
First up is Magic World Tarots. Back in BT03 days, I built this deck from scratch and popularized it at my local scene. So I take great pride in how this deck turned out, because it highlights absolute mastery over the intricate mechanics of the game as well as an awareness of the current metagame.

It focuses on using Actor Knights Emperor. A Size 1 5000/3/5000 for free is a huge threat in every definition of the term, and the only downside to Emperor was that you needed another Tarot on the field to attack. Which meant playing a Tarot-based deck. Well, that's okay, especially in Magic World, where your monsters were generally weak anyways (this was BT03, remember). Having your monster quality increased via teching in Tarots was a pleasant surprise that quickly got better. What good Tarot cards were there? Well, for some unknown reason, Actor Knights High Priestess had a huge 7000 defensive stat at a time when most Worlds didn't even have 6000 power on Size 1. This was made even better with the advent of Fortune Shield, which could pump that up to a huge 12000 defense that even Sieger couldn't get over. And if your High Priestess was ever in danger of dying, you could always Magical Goodbye it back to your hand.

Actor Knights High Priestess
Go forth and YOLO
The next good card was Actor Knights the Magician, which also had the Wizard trait. This mean it helped with some synergies, like being a discard fodder for Tempest Wing. It was also a good form of card draw in a deck that could use it. Speaking of card draw, Actor Knights the Fool was a great card in this Tarot deck because Fool's Journey was actually just a glorified Nice One! with some more restrictions tied to it. Having 8 copies of Nice One! in a deck really helped.

Justice Hammer
STOP! Hammer time!
And it all came together with Justice Hammer. A card that can 1-for-1 destroy anything for free at that time was unheard of. Immediately removing dangerous threats, weapons, anything was a huge plus in a deck that could draw for days, effectively out-advantaging your opponent. And that was the entire deck, an out-advantage. Taking advantage of 7000 defense, bounce tactics, good card quality, lots of card draw, good field clear (you had Burning Fist), and indiscriminate removal at a time when this kind of deck could truly thrive made Magic Tarots a premier BT03 deck. I mean, the biggest threat then was Adventurers, and they couldn't get past the Pillar of Fire-immune High Priestess.

Actor Knights Judgement
Alas, the glory days of this deck was darkened with BT04, when Death Grip could pop High Priestess with no issue. Since then, the power creep has slowly become more and more of an issue for Tarots to the point where 7000 defense isn't as big of a factor as it was more than a year ago. The deck still has its strong suits, but seems overall lackluster in the face of power inflation.

But from the ashes of Magic World Tarot rose a new threat with the advent of BT04, when they printed the single-most broken card in the entire game: Actor Knights Judgement. I wrote an entire article devoted to detailing the math behind Judgement, so I won't repeat any information. Basically, proc all 3 of Judgements effects and you plus like mad. And what world had access to a whole assortment of brand shiny new Defense and Destruction spells just waiting to be used? Darkness Dragon World.

Actor Knights Death
Reap what you sow
Death Shield. Black Dragon Shield. Midnight Shadow. Black Armor. Death Grip. Guillotine Cutter. Death Damage. Sudden DEATH. Dead Scream. Alongside Tarot monsters like Chariot, Death, and Tower, you basically had a deck where every Judgement played became a roundhouse kick to the face. Draw cards. Heal. Destroy everything. Repeat.

Judgement wasn't done there, because Legend World has also debuted in BT04. And really, huge props to Timothy James Emerson for absolutely blowing my mind with another one of his zany creations: Legend World Judgement.

Two cards. Breathen Gard Gleipnir. Two words. Counter Judgement.


Actor Knights Tower
99 floors of Aincrad
At the beginning of your opponent's attack phase, you can use Breathen Gard on a Gleipnir you set with Judgement in it to get it on the field. It resolves its on-play effect on your opponent's turn, which means you draw 2, heal 3, and then destroy two things. Like those monsters/weapon that haven't attacked yet.

You basically just gained a free turn.

Of course, this is gimmicky as hell but it's equally as fun. You end up running really weird stuff like End of War to meet drop zone requirements and you only really have 4 negates, plus if you don't draw into a Rune Staff you're hurting for gauge. But the deck is really fun, and it's exciting to see a really abysmal deck get carried by one of the best cards ever printed.

- updated to H-BT02, CP01, H-EB02, H-TD02, PP01 -

All images used obtained from the official Bushiroad website and used here solely for reference purposes. Future Card Buddyfight!, logos, and respective content belong to Bushiroad. Large images belong to the Buddyfight! Wikia.


  1. DDW TAROT. DECKLIST NAO, because it sounds amazing.

  2. thanks for this Blaise, I always wondered when you would do a generic archtype. Tarots look awesome, i always thought about splashing that high priestess into defensive builds such as katana and also to help out dark heroes in terms of blocking >_<