Kirishima Returns to the My Hero Metagame!

He’s baaaack! With all the subtlety of a Detroit Smash, Kirishima has returned to top tier prominence just as quickly as he left it. The chivalrous hero returned in the Crimson Rampage’s DLC. In one of the most suspenseful matches caught on steam, Kirishima took down the queen of the first format, Froppy, to claim the Orlando Regional License Exam. Why does Kirishima always seem to do so well, even without Coordinated Effort to super charge his ability to build? 

Disclaimer: Kirishima 2 is a far cry from the cheat code that was Kirishima 1. There won’t be any cries about a Tier 0 juggernaut in this article, but with such a wide open format slanted toward aggressive play, the indestructible kid that can face tank an attack comfortably is a tough matchup. Just look at the Finals of the Orlando RLE. Travis Tangeman running Froppy decided at one point that he had a better chance to deck Kirishima out than deal 23 more damage! Yeah, think about that. A top tier player thought about the situation and came to the conclusion that it would be more likely his opponent would use about 60 more cards from the deck (after cycling, etc.) than Froppy would be to deal 23 damage. It’s a wild thing to wrap your head around, and with hindsight seems like an absolutely brilliant decision. After all, he was one turn away from winning the game.

So what makes Kirishima such a defensive beast? Well, Not only does the Kirishima character card half block an attack for free, but the Earth symbol is rife with defensive support. New Training Method and High Value Target give the deck the ability to play like it has more foundations than it really has. Add in Back Alley Haymaker and Overhead Reversal and Kirishima is always loaded up to pass checks on the defensive end. The only chink in the armor is when you have a six-hander that doesn’t add cards to your hand, you can fall behind on resources easily unless you either play well or draw the fire! Make sure you plan for that when you build the deck. 

Okay, defense is great and all, but the chivalrous hero shines because of how well he uses the Earth’s symbol’s best attacks. Hardened Chop makes a return to top tier prominence in this archetype. Chop fits so well to combat seven-handers, overcoming more blocks than your opponent expects you to. That plays so well into a Texas Smash or two to maximize your chance to deal a ton of damage. 

Hardened Chop

We can’t jump off with saving our attacks back to our Stage anymore, but Earth still boasts one of the best attack lineups from top to bottom. With Crimson Rampage adding a Throw to the attack choices, the aggression is solid without overextending. Many of the lines you’ll take in the Combat Phase will result in large amounts of damage, because they’re just too hard to fully block it all. 

Going forward, I want all my readers to keep an eye on one of the most important aspects of the game, Deadlock. More and more decks are finding ways to prolong the game and stay alive to turn seven. That means one crucial question is going to be posed to each player: do I fear my opponent’s Deadlock abilities, or do I build like crazy and benefit from an ocean of Foundations? The only real answer is make sure you’re doing your research. It’s not as simple as All has great Deadlocks and Earth only has a few. If you’re at your local, experiment with different players playing different symbols and see which Deadlocks you can handle and which will overwhelm you. Until next time, I’ll see you on the tables!

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