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I've been playing with Heroes exclusively since the EUWCQ after Matthew Mills 11-1 undefeated day 1 performance because I knew the deck wouldn't change much with the banned list that took forever to be released. Although the format hasn't changed much with only Nekroz being taken down a small notch and we have to wait until CORE releases before we get a good grasp of the metagame, Heroes is a very linear deck that does the same thing against almost everything. For those unfamiliar with Mask Heroes, the deck is a stun/aggro deck and the premise is that you open turn 1 Dark Law, use defensive/disruptive backrow to disrupt the opponent, protect DL and buy some time, then kill them very soon after with a barage of high-dmg xyzs, mask changes or CotHs. The deck revolves around Mask Hero Dark Law, a one-sided Macro Cosmos + hand disruptor on a 2400 body. Although DL isn't a hard floodgate like Djinn-lock, Vanity/Majesty's Fiend, or something like Mistake, the his power comes from the fact that you can make him very consistently, at low-card cost, and remake him again if need be all while supporting him with utility xyzs and backrow. In modern ygo almost every deck utilizes the graveyard in some way, and almost every deck runs some time of consistency cards whether it be a ROTA, Scout, or just Upstart making DL relevant against everything. All this said, the deck is entirely reliant on stopping your opponent from setting up and has no late-game whatsoever. If you brick and your opponent doesn't you probably aren't making a comeback. If you opponent can deal with DL or you take to long to kill them and they get their engine going, they will almost always out-grind you. Simply running out of actual monsters is a big issue. So you have to play very aggressive and sometimes take risks of walking into blowout cards like Mirror Force or Torrential in order to kill the other guy ASAP. The monster core is pretty standard and designed to allow consistent turn 1 DL + follow-ups. Mist is the heart of the deck that finds Mask Change, transforms into DL, and recruits other heros. You never want to actually draw the other heroes so we only play 3, 2 bubbles and 1 Alius. Three bubbleman clogs too often and suffers from diminishing returns which is why we play the Alius. Having a searchable 1900 beater that can apply pressure and get rid of things all by himself (unlike the other monsters in the deck) is an important option to have as well as occasionally making Koga to put huge chunks of dmg out against established boards. Goblindberg and Monk are Mist SS enablers and while you don't want to start topdecking them mid-game they can make rank4s to either out problem cards or make a push. The spell line-up is all about consistency: Three Upstart because this deck only wants to play about 32 cards and we need to fill space. You can easily otk through 9000 lp and but more importantly if you don't see DL or the cards to disrupt the opponent it doesn't matter what their lp are. ROTA is either Mist or Goblin to complete whatever part of the combo you need. Emergency Call is typically not played because because it can't fetch Goblin and is pretty much Mist #4, but I've found that having the extra Mist to be a slight consistency bump with little cost. It directly combos with 5 other cards to make instant DL but can also help unbrick hands with Call. The fact that you can set it means it never hinders bubbleman plays. I wouldn't play more than one E-call and if a better consistency card came around I would definitely cut it. A Hero Lives is far and away the best standalone card in the deck and playing less than 3 is strictly incorrect. AHL is a +1 Dark Law that single-handedly turns bad hands into good hands while being an amazing topdeck when you have no board presence. The 4000 lp cost turn 1 is well worth guaranteed DL and as the game progresses it gets even better as you can always pay the cost. It is the best recovery card available and makes otk's out of thin air. The only time I don't want to draw AHL is when I already have one or I'm winning. Three Mask Change is a given and the other "Change" cards aren't worth it. Book is a solid piece of disruption and is the only way to beat veiler on Monk or Goblind. Lance is very strong at protecting DL or the enablers, and does a good Dimensional Prison impression with DL on the field. I only run 2 because you only want to see it with DL so it is more of a "keep winning" card and not something I want to see in multiples. The traps are either disruption or combo-cards. Because this deck is affected by almost every floodgate in the game, we have to rely on regular traps to back-up DL. Vanity, Solemn, Bottomless are standard restricted traps that I want to open. Ring and Compulse are important for disrupting summons that could lead into Excition plays while also dealing clearing the board of big dudes. Ring seems counter-intuitive with AHL in the deck but it's raw power is enough to justify playing. Although it is a terrible top-deck, we rely on a strong early-game and Ring can help end the game even quicker. Fiendish Chain pulls double duty here by being effect negation but also protecting DL from attacks where things like BTS would fail (for instance against Trish). Time-Space Trap Hole is wonky, but after I decided that MST isn't worth playing in the MD (you only want it G1 against Qli and maybe tellar), I had a void of space in the MD to fill Timespace is the most versatile defensive trap I could come up with against the most common problems faced. Shadoll Fusion, Dante, Nekroz Unicore, and big pendulum summons can be serious problems and TSTH addresses all of them while nuking every xyz that isn't Excition. The lp cost is only significant against Qli which is already a very favorable matchup. I've tried Mirror Force, Torrential, BTS in it's place but they all feel too narrow or situational in comparison. I would love some ideas on replacements as I've legitimately never seen this card in a competitive deck. The remaining traps are Calls and Oasis, which are actually better recovery/combo cards than Mask Charge. Although Mask Charge seems insane on paper, in practice it can never fix bad hands and is weaker when resolved than Call effects because it takes up your normal summon in a deck clogged with normal summons. Call and Oasis are like trap versions of AHL when used with Mist: they put a dude on the board to either mask or xyz with and Call is 3400-3800 dmg all by itself against an empty field. This huge burst of dmg gives the deck more otk power and lessens the blow from getting your DL hit with geki or dark hole. If you open a brick hand but still have Mist + Call/Oasis you can still get back in the game and play ygo next turn instead of losing the game. Call is better than Oasis here because it summons dudes in atk mode for the extra 1000 dmg and it also doesn't change the monster type which prevents you from making Ninja/Excal. Worth noting that if you Mask/xyz with the monster summoned by oasis, Oasis leaves the field instead of clogging backrow like call. The Extra is somewhat self-explanatory. I only play 2 Dark Law because making the third just doesn't come up often enough to justify the slot. When you only have 3 Masks to play you will often use one of the masks for something like Anki to extend plays or Acid to blow people out. Koga is the least used hero but is still worth playing to help Alius play around Traps and put a lot of dmg on the board. Castel, Excition, and shARK are standard rank4 removal. Ragna is the 15th slot and is played because in testing I had a lot of trouble outing Nekroz Unicore and Majesty's Fiend so I wanted something that could get over these guys while also having utility. Ragna is also relevant against both Qli and BA because Dante> Downerd is a common response to turn 1 DL. Other options would include Cairngorgon and Dark Rebellion Dragon. Emeral is the only late-game this deck has as running out of dudes to make plays with is common. Ninja and Excalibur are the dmg pushers; Ninja puts out the most dmg possible against open fields at 4400 and Excal can push dmg through big monsters and is an easy to make Towers out. The Ptolmaeus package is played because Diamond access is important against BA and Dolls and Ptolmaeus is a strong defensive card to just sit on if you can't make other plays. Pleiades is relevant against everything and you also have 7 continuous traps to reuse if need be. The SB is always being changed. The main things are backrow hate (MST, GCyclone, extra Lance) for decks that play traps or floodgates, and floodgates anytime you can use them (Mistake against Nekroz and Qli, Rivalry, Soul Drain). I don't like Raigeki but Dolls, Ritual Beast, and even the mirror exists and Raigeki can be cheese. Maxx C has been really underwhelming lately even against BA so I would like some replacements for them. I want more cards against Dolls and RB, preferably something I could side against both. Heroes feel pretty balanced against the field with only one good matchup (Qli) and one bad matchup (RB) with everything else being more or less even/luck dependent. Some problems the deck has that need addressing for the deck to get stronger are: 1) Absolutely atrocious RB matchup. Basically, RB's combo-harder than you, recover better than you, have searchable disruption, and simply don't care about Dark Law whatsoever. The only way to win is for you to draw strong and them to draw poorly or SB a shitload of narrow hate like Iron Wall. Thankfully the deck is inconsistent (or at least currently). 2) Dolls are unfavorable, but not significantly. Although DL punishes their grind-game hard, they have a lot of outs to him in Shaddoll fusion and Squamata, plus the commonly maindecked raigeki and dark holes. They also play Mistake which can stop the deck. Shaddol fusion into Construct only costs them a card and leaves a big dude on the board that I need either traps or xyzs to get rid of. We can always SB some narrow hate like De-Fusion but this seems like a waste of space to me so I would rather have more versatile cards to SB in. 3) BA feels like a coin-flip. If they go first and open up Dante + dude with a bunch of backrow and possibly a lake, we probably lose. Likewise, if we go first with DL plus a bunch of back row and possibly a call, they can't do anything until they get rid of the DL. Considering BA is without a doubt the best deck currently, it feels like a wise investment to play BA hate. I normally don't like cards like Flying C but stopping them from setting up is so critical. Need more ideas on viable BA hate. 4) This is darklaw.dec, and if you can't make DL on either the first or maybe second turn, you will lose. Are there any consistency cards available that should be tested? If you go to heavy on the DL open, you risk not drawing enough support/disruption for him, so anything added to the core has to be very effective. If you read that wall of text and have any suggestions please comment. Heroes doesn't deserve its own thread in deck discussion but I don't see why it shouldn't have at least a theory thread like Infernoids and Yosenjus do.