Dan Nguyen – The Stongest Sword!

The Strongest Sword

Do you like stacking your deck? Enjoy ignoring the rules? Bored of the same old decks? Like easy mulligans? I have just the wild brew for you. This is a deck idea I’ve enjoyed trying to make work since Opus 2. Sometimes it sees success and will randomly top 8 some event somewhere, and there’s a ton of variations of this kind of deck. The one thing that is consistent between all the variations though is that regardless of how competitive the deck is, it’s always a ton of fun.

I’m talking about Strongest Sword Gilgamesh. You can view the list via the link: https://ffdecks.com/deck/5494218871013376?fbclid=IwAR2PF6m_KAGyBSXDSZxs4XGnbqfTD5gSowbrDg9bwIylVitV7x3YxO8CvWI.

My current version of the Strongest Sword strategy is pretty straight forward and easy to play. Your mulligans are incredibly easy.  You typically want to go second with this deck. Drawing that extra card really helps. Since you are playing nothing but forwards, you’re usually going to be making the first move against your opponent so you’re rarely ever going to get punished for going second (going first is still fine though).

Idle (Ideal) Hands

Hand 1 - Gilgamesh (1-129C)

Your most ideal hand is just getting the Strongest Sword Gilgamesh and everything else in your hand is fine. It’s nice to have some other Gilgamesh copies in your starting hand but there are so many in the deck that you’ll draw into them. From here you can play that turn 1 Gilgamesh and start pressuring your opponent and potentially blow up whatever forward they try to defend themselves with. Do be wary though that water is incredibly popular and because of that, so is Famfrit. If it looks like your opponent is on water, and especially if they start their first turn with a 2 cost Yuna backup, maybe play something else first and then play the Gilgamesh so that you have some sort of fodder for the Famfrit. It might be an inefficient play in terms of CP management, but you’ll thank yourself when they can’t get rid of your Gilgamesh as easily.

Hand 2 – Kam’Ianaut/Chaos

If you don’t get Hand 1, this hand is actually not that bad either because it sets you up for your future S effects and there’s an added bonus that an early Kam’Ianut that can survive might actually be difficult for your opponent to deal with. Don’t always expect Kam’Ianaut to stick around. Your main goal is to pull the 1 backup out of your deck so your Strongest Swords, Golbez activations, Slots, and Manderville Dances will always see a forward when you flip the top of your deck over. Chaos is also important as it helps you pay for your odd cost cards or 1 CP activations. Bonus points to Chaos in the case that you are forced to play Gilgamesh (3-103H) as it can help you pay for his various activations with ease.

Hand 3 – Gilgamesh (7-088L)

If you didn’t get either hand 1 or 2 you should definitely mulligan. And if you mulligan and still don’t get either hand 1 or 2, you should hope to see the 2 cost Gilgamesh. He’s cost effective and potentially will get you a point or two of early damage. If your opponent decides to kill him, you can pay 4 CP and search your deck for a Strongest Sword Gilgamesh and get your engine going.

Knocking the Top of the Deck

Since we should always hit a forward when using Strongest Sword, I wanted to try to find other ways to abuse the fact that our deck is all forwards.

Golbez (9-087H)/Hildibrand (4-109H)

As soon as I saw this new Golbez, I was super excited to try him in this deck. He seems really ideal in a deck like this, but we have to also remember that we have 15 copies of Gilgamesh, and various other cards with more than 1 copy and are uniquely named. So the chances of us hitting a Forward that will always enter play is not 100%, but I’ll gladly take that Gamble if you have a Chaos in play. For 1 CP you can potentially sneak a Fusoya or Kam’Ianaut into play. Even an Illua for 1 CP seems fine to me.

Hildebrand (4-109H) can also perform an imitation of what Golbez (9-087H) does but requires a duplicate copy to do so. The upside of Hildebrand, though, is that this is one way for the deck to avoid losing too much value with Famfrit as his auto ability will allow you to return the card to the hand. This allows Hildebrand to require at least a way to remove him (or bounce him back to his opponent’s hand) before Famfrit can be used to remove other forwards.

Cait Sith (1-131R)

Now this is kind of a spicy card in this deck. Most people have never even read this card. Most of the time you will just use this card for CP but there will be some matchups where he’s incredibly relevant if you can get the S effect off. Your opponent might have to spend real removal to deal with it for fear of losing most of if not their whole board. Bonus points if you catch someone playing with Evoker/Summoner backups and you get to break them.

Flexing Your Muscle

To be super honest with you, I haven’t had a ton of games with this deck but it’s been pretty fun so far. The rest of the cards in this list I feel are pretty flexible. In fact this list can be customized based on what you expect to see in your current local meta. For example, you might find that adding more forwards that have enter play effects like Sakura might be better. It really depends on how this meta ends up looking. Therefore, if you do take this deck out for some fun, don’t hesitate to make any changes you think would fit.

Although this by no means is a deck that will win your next LQ (although if you do, I’d be so happy), I think this is a perfect deck to play at your weekly local event or casually with friends. It’s definitely more exciting than watching a Water/Wind mirror play out.

- Dan Nguyen


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