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CardShark Content - Dennis N Santana (7/19/2005)

Hello again, and welcome to my newest article. This article takes a closer look at that big-ole creature we've all probably seen at least once: Ballom, Master of Death. It'll also spell a change for my article format. Rather than tell you what each card is for, I'll just explain the deck's strategies in paragraph form. I feel that will explain things better than a little quip about each card, especially since a lot of the cards are very obvious.

Anyway, Ballom is a very special evolution creature, because he evolves off some rather expensive beasts; the Demon Commands. However, it makes up for this by clearing the field of everything except darkness creatures. I feel this can be exploited though. There are creatures that WANT to be destroyed. This angle might seem rather odd, but I'd say it's worth exploring.

Creatures (27)

3: Ballom, Master of Death
4: Vashuna, Swords Dancer
3: Daidalos, General of Fury
4: Bronze Arm Tribe
3: Mighty Shouter
3: Elf X
3: Wandering Braineater
4: Bloody Squito

Spells (15)

3: Faerie Life
4: Dimension Gate
4: Terror Pit
4: Proclamation of Death

This deck has good mana acceleration and if all goes well, Ballom can come out quicker than normal (With Turn 8 being normal). Although Elf X blows up when Ballom is played, it's hard not to add it, especially when the deck isn't always going to summon Ballom to win. The Demon Commands are big enough to fight on their own and do some damage, and in the mirror, Ballom's just an expensive Double Breaker.

The deck wins by beating, simply. The Demon Commands are big enough without Ballom, as previously mentioned, but Ballom can be brought into any fight to kick some major ass. Any deck without a little Darkness in it will be devastated by a Ballom drop. Decks with darkness won’t even have to see it, as you'll simply be ignoring Ballom for the other two giants of the deck. Bronze Arm Tribe and Faerie life both serve to speed up when it's most needed. Mighty Shouter makes good food for Ballom and Daidalos, adding to your mana in the process.

Elf X helps a lot when the game takes a turn for the worse; when you can't use Ballom. In that case, make your Demon Commands cost less and couple with a few more creatures or spells on the same turn, and put the hurt on the opponent. Bloody Squito and Wandering Braineater are there to take hits in the early game, and keep you from being completely defenseless. They also serve as food for Daidalos. They also push the deck above 40 cards. However, this doesn't really matter, since you're cutting the deck total by 10 cards right at the beginning of the game, so as long as they help you survive, I don't think 2 extra cards are going to screw your draws. Dimension Gate is a key piece of the deck. There's only 3 Ballom, simply because he is one of those cards that simply wont do any good against certain kinds of decks…but it just so happens the certain kinds of decks he sucks against are pretty much anything running darkness in bulk. So if you want to use him, you might have to fetch him out. And that's where Dimension Gate helps.

Proclamation of Death and Terror Pit are pretty obvious. They kill things that are in the way. Proclamation of Death can be replaced with Death Smoke or, with the upcoming Thundercharge of Ultra Destruction, Hopeless Vortex. But since it's rather expensive, and we already have enough of expensive stuff in the deck, Death Smoke or Proclamation do just fine. (Not that they aren't expensive, they just cost 1 less, and that makes all the difference.)

There are quite a few decks that eat you for breakfast. For one, anything with an early game that doesn't suck is going to have the resources to chew on your head before you can drop Ballom. Make your blockers count, and let a shield slip every once in a while if you can take out the creature afterwards. Any deck with more Darkness than you do is going to kick your face in. Darkness discard decks will laugh in your face. You can cream most stall decks if you can make your target turn lower than theirs, or equal. Dropping Ballom after they drop their beater will trash them. Easier said than done though, with all the bouncing, killing and blocking they do.

Ballom in itself isn't very good, but he looks pretty darn cool, and the things he evolves from aren't exactly helpless, so it all ties in together pretty decently. Next time, I'll be looking at his nemesis: the Angel Command Alcadeias, Lord of Spirits. Who, I might add, is a much better card.

Thank you all for reading my articles, and I hope you continue to do so, whether you totally agree with me or not. Until next time, may your Ballom always be a Chains of Sacrifice, and may Mighty Shouter be around.

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