Hey, I've just got back from international orientation at UNT, and let me add it was one of the best orientations I've experienced (been through orientation in under-grad and helped a few times), definitely gonna help the school out next year. Okay, back to YGO.
I've been testing some Hieratics builds last night since Sharmir "Malaysia #1 Windup" was talking to me bout it. After some thoughts, and assuming the big decks of the format prior to next set be Verz and Mermail. I do think HEROs are gonna be very good, they were only 2 decks they had a bad match up against last format and both of them are dead now. Hieratics actually have a better match up against heavy back row orientated decks as compared to high monster count ones, because of (1) hieratics aren't very big if your compare them to the other monster based decks and (2) hand traps. Nonetheless, I find this build quite interesting.
Lets not discuss the obvious. I tech a copy of Dragon of Gebeb (1800 Shura) since its a one card Trident Dragon, sometimes, having a 3000 vanilla on the board keeps you alive. Also, it allows me excess to Rank 4s with Alexandrite Dragon. This deck has a terrible match up against Verz and no one is there to argue about that, however, its not an auto-lose if you know what you're doing. I play a copy of Exploder Dragon to get rid of Ophion, it can be brought out with Atum (getting Atum out with Ophion on the board is the problem, I'll get to that).
Next, the card you guys must be having shit load of questions for would be Gagaga Guardna. Why the hell am I running this over cards like Gorz (which got back to 2 in case you didn't already knew), Trag or Fader? Well simple, Ophion! I played Fader in my older builds to get pass Ophion and gives me a tribute fodder. Why is Guardna here instead of Fader? Guardna is level 4, simple as that. I want more access to rank 4 XYZs. Also, while this card doesn't end the battle phase, so Ophion could still attack into it, you can protect it by discarding a card in hand. That may be bad at times but sometimes thats not such a bad thing, since there is Castle of Dragonic Souls and Call of the Haunted in your deck. I must stress that you can't drop Guardna whenever you have the chance thou, the deck isn't as simple as you might think, and please, take my word for it, winning consistently with Hieratics is no easy job. Also, I have a RoTA in the side board.
Last but not least, I tech a copy of XYZ Reborn to give me access to dead Atum if I need to. This is one way to get Atum out when Ophion is on the field. Getting rid of Ophion isn't actually hard, problem is, you lose advantage doing so, and they make their second one very easily. Normally, if I were to get killed by Verz, it would be by the second Ophion. XYZ Reborn serves as a counter to that. I can't really run more than a copy of this card since it brings the consistency down a bit. If I don't need it, I can always discard it via Guardna.
I'm still not a 100% with my extra deck line, Gauntlet Shooter can be switched to any Rank 4s, maybe Constellar Omega (I think I really should do that)? In case you're wandering how I'm gonna make level 8 synchros, Maxx C and Cardcar D are both level 2 non-tuners. Maybe another Gaia since Scapegoat is at 3.
Off to the side board! I have a RoTA and 2 copies of Vampire Hunter. Obviously Verz hate, and the RoTA can even search for Gagaga Guardna (I doubt I'll ever do that, but it is an option). I don't think I like Decree since I run a pretty high trap count myself (for a monster based deck), also MSTs are gonna be played in 3s since the 2 abominations of the past format are gone. Thats why I'm running 2 Dust Tornado and a Trap Stun. Dust Tornados are good against heavy back row decks, not only because it destroys backrow; it lets you set a card from your hand, allowing you drop Call of the Haunted safely onto the board.
I'm not sure if I want to play Mistake. Maybe I'll play something like Mirror Force or Waboku instead. I might also play a copy of DD Survivor, just cause I have RoTA and Dimensional Fissure in the side board. With Pot of Duality back at 3, I foresee Macro based decks gaining popularity. Also, Survivor has enough attack to get pass Fossil Dyna and Jowgen. Of cause, with Scapegoat back at 3 in a long long time, I might add that into consideration since it is one of the more annoying cards ever to be printed; but for a deck that relies on special summon, I try to keep Special Summoning out of my side board as much as I could.
Oh well, only time and more play test will tell. Thanks for reading, comment below if you find something to talk about.