Death Mendosa, Death Dragonic Baron [9 January 2016] Jan 8, 2016 14:55:41 GMT nitrox likes this
Post by Light on Jan 8, 2016 14:55:41 GMT
"Watch and be amazed! See how I unleash this fluid strike befitting a noble such as myself!"
Death Mendosa, Death Dragonic Baron
Race: Dark Lord/Tyranno Drake
Rules: When this creature is put into the battle zone, you may destroy 1 of your opponent's untapped creatures.
Death Mendosa, Death Dragonic Baron a.k.a Dragonic Baron of Death is one of those cards that are strong by design, and you can never go wrong having a few in your deck. It provides a direct +2 to field advantage and +1 to card advantage which is directly equivalent to playing an energy stream in terms of resource. In addition, it directly eliminates an opposing threat while giving you a strong creature in play. The reason it is so strong is that it comes in the category of creatures with on-summon effects that give (near) unconditional direct advantage of some kind. Like Bronze-Arm Tribe (+1 to mana, 1000 power), Qurian(+1 to hand, 2000 power), Jenny(Opponent loses 1 card, 1000 power, tactical advantage).
These are generally a very useful play regardless the game situation, as they always provide an instantaneous effect, and are expendable. The only real way to counteract these is by discarding them before they are played, which is easier said than done. Cards with these instant effects can be seen as Active plays in contrast to Passive plays like Cocco Lupia, which require certain conditions to be fulfilled before their effect can be useful. Active plays are difficult to directly counter, and their high chance of success makes them useful for determining the future course of the game, while also planning for contingencies. Dark Sorcerer is a nice example of a deck that exploits the nature of these cards, although it doesn't feature Mendosa itself.
Death Mendosa's effect is quite simple, and simple is strong in Duel masters. It destroys one of your opponent's untapped creatures when played. The important part is that you get to choose the creature yourself, and the untapped condition is almost negligible in a well-structured deck with a clear game plan, as will be explained later on. It is almost equivalent to a Terror Pit creature under the right conditions, and Terror Pit is pretty strong to begin with. To start, It would be interesting to compare Mendosa with other cards in the game with near similar roles. Some of the significant ones are:
Death Smoke (Same effect as a spell, with lower cost)
Death Chaser/Circle (Smoke with trigger)
Hopeless Vortex (Unconditional kill effect spell)
Terror Pit (vortex with trigger)
Heavy, Dragon God (kill effect where opponent chooses, draw a card, 5k body)
Olzekia, General of Decapitation (kills twice as many creatures, but opponent chooses. 2x breaker)
Death Smoke and Chaser provide the same effect but at a cheaper cost. Mendosa is a more flexible option as it not only provides direct field advantage, but can be useful in situations where the opponent has no creatures in play. Finally, it has a good 5000 power body and a racial synergy which makes it an overall stronger option despite it's higher cost.
Destroy Untapped vs Unconditional kill
The 'Death Smoke' effect is not that weak compared to the unconditional kill of Terror Pit and Vortex. In tactical terms, it is always advantageous to destroy a creature that is untapped, meaning it was most likely summoned the turn before and has not been used to generate any advantage for the opponent. On the other hand, being forced to use removal effect on a tapped creature is a Passive move and generally not that desirable. It is always preferable to destroy tapped creatures via creature counterattack rather than by the use of valuable instant removal effects.
It is still vastly superior to the 'Opponent Chooses' conditional kill effect of 'Proclamation of Death', which can backfire quite often against creatures with on-destroy, and weak creatures with on-summon effects (e.g Bronze). The exception would probably be Olzekia/Chains, as their mass kill factor is highly likely to force the opponent to remove valuable creatures. Olzekia is exceptionally strong, as it comes with a good 7/6000 body, and can generate advantage even if it's effect goes to waste on useless creatures.
Olzekia vs Mendosa
The General of Decapitation has an extremely powerful removal effect and it might be argued that it's better than the Baron. These two can provide different roles in the same deck but have the same overall power. The difference is that Mendosa's role is short-term and tactical, while Olzekia's is more strategic. The cost difference is one significant factor. The gap between cost 6 and 7 is huge and should not be underestimated. Lost soul is a good example. At cost 7 it is perfectly balanced, but it's weaker cost-6 variant (Soul Advantage) is in the ban-list. Mendosa can arrive just in time to eliminate various mid-game threats like Lord Reis, Balga Geyzer and Kirino Giant. Olzekia might come too late, or it's effect might be too wasteful to use at that point in the game. Mendosa's pinpoint kill effect and cheaper cost are too valuable to pass up.
Heavy vs Mendosa
It can be admitted that Heavy, Dragon God is indeed a little stronger, but that's due to it's overpowered nature. It has a place in the restricted list because of that. Heavy still has a different role since it is not a pinpoint removal. It is mainly a resource card, and should be treated as such. Mendosa can serve as a powerful counter to key threats, something which heavy cannot do.
This card comes with two races which can provide for some interesting builds. Tyranno Drake has a good amount of support but is slightly under-powered due to the fact that Drakes are generally under-powered themselves. Other Phoenix Saga races have the same problem, except probably Great Mecha Kings. However, Death Mendosa is certainly not weak, and can contribute well to any Drake/Brave Sprits build. There are also a number of Tyranno Drakes with similar, although weaker, effects. Jet Punch Dragoon, Betrayal Dragoon and Dacity Dragoon have the same cost and can provide nice complementary removal. Omega Crisis Dragoon is also a very powerful play if you can get over the expensive cost. It's combination play with Death Mendosa is especially devastating. Finally, Tyranno Link Nova is a powerful finisher and it's use is demonstrated nicely in Grand Link. If a cost-14 spell is too much, then the Bolmeteus Drake is a nice alternative. Drakes are overall a very interesting concept, and have some very powerful field destruction effects of various types. It would be worth the time to explore new builds involving these.
It's second race Dark Lord is probably not that useful. Many would expect this guy to be a Demon Command instead. Still, there are many Dark Lord evolution in recent blocks which are worth investigating for those with the time and interest. King Balcry's effect is quite intriguing and has the perfect use with Mendosa. Dark Lucifier effect should also be looked into.
Being a Dark Lord instead of Demon Command is definitely the biggest let-down. It might be too OP as a demon evo-bait anyway, so I suppose we can live with that. Other than that it is quite useless against fast moving evolution rushes of Evolution Saga set block. However, Each card has it's role in a deck, and this one serves it well.
Death Mendosa is certainly overlooked by many deck-builders. It's important to realize the important short and long term advantage it provides when used in the right context. Mendosa combines two very obscure and lesser-used races in current meta. It's powerful and stable effect can be used as a base to build some very interesting Dark Lord and Tyranno Drake themed Decks. Even in other deck types it can always be a powerful addition.