Judgment of the Light, unlike Tachyon Galaxy, seems to be a fair balanced-out set. Yes, there might be a few cards that are "too good" here and there, but nothing the likes of Spellbook Judgment Day and Incarnate Dragons. The set introduces a few archtypes and supports some older ones, Archfiends being one of the highlights of this set, hope it doesn't become Harpies 2.0, Firefist's 4-axis gets amazing boost from the set and seems like High Priestess wasn't broke enough so they gave Prophecy another boss monster, this time a Judgment Dragon to go with High Priestess's Dark Armed Dragon.
Today, I want to discuss a deck I've been super hyped about since its announcement, War Gods.
War Gods are an archtype heavily centered around beat down. Their standard play is to summon Yamato and his XYZ counterpart, Susanoo, and beat the field down. They rarely will have 2 monsters on the field by the end of the turn, not that they can't, its just that they don't need to. For War Gods, the graveyard acts as your "other hand", they have numerous cards that let you activate in the grave to support your beat down and also protect your War God. Also, they have their own, searchable, Kalut, which is pretty much a game ender in itself.
Note that all of the war God supports needs a War God Beast-Warrior (either Yamato or Susanoo) on the field to activate their effect. While that might seems like a very big let down, it is, but after a month of test playing (on YGOPro), I felt that if that weren't the case, this deck would be overpowered (well, if you compared everything to Incarnate Dragon, then yeah, thats not overpowered at all). Yamato is no doubt the card you want to open with each game, however, you don't just lose because its not in your opening 6, just like how opening 2 normal monsters in Dino Rabbit doesn't really mean anything but a slower start. Yamato lets you search your deck for a War God and ditch a card at the end of your turn (every end of your turn). This lets you add Habakiri (the Kalut) to your hand while sending Murakumo or Hetsuka (the "grave traps" to your grave), with no cost. This makes killing Yamato a hell of a job if the War God player plays right.
Susanoo is the reason why I took interest in this deck. This card is a real monster and games can be won by just summoning it, no joke. Susanoo is a 2400 (2500 if you have Tenki on board) that lets your attack EVERY monster on your opponent side of the field once, yup Blade Edge effect is good. Firefist 3-axis made a wall of monsters and gonna kill you next turn, Susanoo takes the damn wall down. Dragosacc and two tokens make it impossible to kill, Susanoo willl take in down (with Habakiri). Linde thinks she's broke and summon another Mermail, sorry bro, Susanoo is gonna take them down. Not only that Susanoo have an amazing effect that doesn't require a detach to activate, it also lets you either add to hand or send to grave a War God from your deck. Its very difficult for any deck to take down Susanoo if played right, the War God Emperor lives up to its name and WILL be a force to be reckoned with.
3 War God Yamato
3 War God Murakumo
3 War God Hetsuka
3 War God Habakiri
3 Maxx C
2 Vivid Knight
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
3 Mystic Space Typhoon
2 Pot of Duality
2 Forbidden Lance
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm
1 War God Advent
2 Bottomless Traphole
2 Mirror Force
3 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Solemn Warning
1 Starlight Road
1 Stardust Dragon
2 War God Emperor Susanoo
2 Abyss Dweller (Luckily, we are getting this before WCQ)
1 Firefist Tiger King
And other generic good Rank 4s
The trap line up is very basic to a beat down based deck, theres nothing much to say about it. As for the spells, Tenki lets you search for Yamato (and Vivid Knight if you already have Yamato) and makes it a 1900 beater. Lance makes sure your Beast-Warrior War God stays on the field, either from Battle or Effect. The only effective cards to get Susanoo off the field (aside from the Solemn Duo) are Mirror Force, Torrential Tribute and Dark Hole. You don't summon much, so TT isn't really much of a threat, Lance deals with Mirror Force and Dark Hole.
War God Advent is a very powerful mid to late game spell card. If your opponent has a monster and you don't, it lets you special summon a War God from your grave and another one from your banished pile. They can only be used for xyz summon for a Beast, Beast-Warrior or Winged Beast. It doesn't have any other draw backs. You can attack with them if you wish and they don't get destroyed at the end of the turn. Its super powerful especially when you can special summon Susanoo with this card as well. However, this card is very much dead early in the game, and for consistency, I only play one of it, but I win the game every time when this card successfully resolve.
Lets move on to the monsters. Vivid Knight being the odd ball of the bunch. Its function in the deck is to protect Yamato and sometimes, Susanoo. Its effects lets you banish a LIGHT Beast-Warrior when it was targeted for an attack or card-effect, banish it until your next stand-by phase (Thunder Bird shit) and special summon Vivid Knight from hand. Vivid Knight normally gets run over, no doubt, but thats no issue as your War God is safe and gonna wreck havoc come next turn. Basically, this card acts like a searchable Forbidden Lance (sorta).
I run 3 Maxx C because 3 Maxx C is a staple this format, nuff said. No really, there is no single match up now that I wished I had Veiler instead of Maxx C, that includes Verz and 4-axis Firefist.
Now, the "what if you don't open Yamato" situation. Hetsuka, the "grave trap" that lets you protect your War God from target effects has 2000 defense, not to mention, 1700 attack. Murakumo, the one that lets you destroy an opponent face-up, has 1600 attack. Together with your spells and traps, they can easily last a turn, and you just have to make Susanoo, either search for a Yamato then or just continue with the beat down with Susanoo.
This deck is still far from completion, and I have no idea how its matchup with Prophecies are considering they get a broken boss from the new set. However, it has decent match up with all existing top tier. Bad game 1 against Incarnate because first-turn LaDD is a bitch, but otherwise not much of an issue. This deck eats Verz for breakfast. No joke, you can open Ophion all you want, it doesn't mean shit. Firefist' is a coinflip match up. I might wanna play a few Automation Units for the 4-axis match up as I am more than happy to grab their Bear.
In conclusion, this deck is one hell of a control deck and will win games against any careless opponent. It has one of the best staying power I've seen in a long time (Incarnate's endless revival doesn't count) and its very basic, that's a good thing. I would not say this deck is Tier 1, I'm not sure, but this is definitely a must try for fans of good-old beat down.