Drafting Battle Pack 3. Part 2: Drafting Monsters

Welcome back to part two of the eight part series on how to successfully draft Battle Pack 3. In this segment I will be going over the monsters in this set and break down the categories they fall into. Once I explain the three categories of monsters I will rank the monsters in order of how well they will perform in a draft. There will be some spots that are debatable and it is important to remember that a card is not always better than another in a draft. The three categories that I put monsters into for this set are monsters that offer removal, monsters that have high attack points for beat down, and monsters that offer utility that are neither removal or beat down. Any monster that doesn’t fall into one category specifically will be mentioned in the category where it fits closest. Monsters that are not mentioned in the three categories are cards that I consider to be a sub optimal choice or a nearly unplayable card.

breaker the magical warriorExplaining removal and its importance:

Monsters that fall into the removal category are monsters that have an effect that deals with other cards. Cards such as Breaker the Magical Warrior are good examples of spell and trap removal because he has an effect that can get rid of opposing cards. Breaker the Magical Warrior is also an example of a beat down monster too, because as long as he has a spell counter he has 1900 attack. When I talk about removal I will often use the terms “soft removal” and “hard removal”. Soft removal is effects such as returning a card to the hand or temporarily solving a problem, whereas hard removal is typically effects that destroy cards or banish them, permanently solving the problem. Because hard removal is a permanent solution and soft removal is not, hard removal is almost always better. If your deck has a lot of answers to your opponents threats you can do almost anything you want to establish the gamestate into your favor. I will list the monster cards that offer some sort of removal and briefly touch on their effect.

Gale Lizard: Flip: Target a monster your opponent controls and return it to the hand. Gale Lizard is a perfect example of soft removal.

Breaker the Magical Warrior: I talked about Breaker earlier in the article, essentially he is a 1900 attack monster that can go down to 1600 to destroy a spell or trap.

Hyper Hammerhead: At the end of the damage step, if a monster that battled this monster is not destroyed, return it to the owner’s hand. Similar to Gale Lizard it is soft removal, but can be used the turn you summon it if necessary.

Chiron the Mage: Once per turn: Discard a spell from your hand to target a spell and trap controlled by your opponent, and destroy it. It is also worth mentioning that Chiron has 1800 attack, making him a decent sized attacker, but not quite enough to be considered beat down material.

Exploder Dragon: If this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the graveyard, destroy the monster that destroyed it in battle.

Golden Flying Fish: You can tribute one other fish type monster you control to target one card on the field, destroy that target. Because all monsters are all types, you can tribute any monster to use this effect, this effect is not once per turn.

Shredder: Once per turn you can send a machine monster from your hand to the graveyard to target 1 monster your opponent controls with a level equal or less than the sent monster, destroy it. Since most monsters are level four, Shredder can use its effect to deal with almost any monster.

Wind – Up Juggler: After damage calculation if this card battled an opponents monster, you can destroy that monster. This effect can only be used once while this card is face-up on the field.

Evilswarm Ketos: You can tribute this monster to target one spell or trap, destroy that target.

Evilswarm O’Lantern: You can tribute this monster to target one monster, destroy that target.

Fencing Fire Ferret: If this card is destroyed and sent to the graveyard, you can target one face-up monster you opponent controls. Destroy that target, and if you do inflict 500 damage to your opponent.

MudoraExplaining beat down and its importance:

Monsters that fall into the beat down category are monsters that are monsters that have at least 1900 attack points. These monsters are important because they are how you win most of if not all of the games you play. Since the combos and lock down strategies are not as powerful in draft as they are in constructed, I would advise against leaning on a particular combination of cards to win you the game. This is what makes draft appealing to certain players, it is very similar to “old school” Yugioh. Summon big monsters, attack with them and have a war of attrition until someone comes out on top, although it isn’t as easy as that. If your monsters are bigger than your opponent’s they will have to find a way around that, which is almost always removal. Just like with the monsters that offer removal, I’ll list and explain the monsters that have high attack.

Mudora: Mudora has 1500 attack, but he gains 200 for each monster in your graveyard. Summoning him late game can give you a monster that has massive attack points.

Arsenal Bug: If you control no other insect type monsters. this card’s attack and defense become 1000, however if you control another monster Arsenal bug has 2000 attack and defense. This card is very good if you are ahead on board position, but isn’t a very good card if you are behind.

Berserk Gorilla: A card I am sure most of you are familiar with, Berserk Gorilla has 2000 attack, must attack each turn if able, and destroys himself if he is in defense position.

Slate Warrior: Slate warrior has 1900 attack, but has a flip effect that gives him 500 more. He also packs a very good effect if he is destroyed by battle, the monster that destroyed him loses 500 attack and defense.

Goblin Elite Attack Force: 2200 attack monster that goes to defense after he attacks, and can not change his position until the end of your next turn unless a card effect does so.

Blizzard Dragon: A 1900 attack monster that can “freeze” an opponents monster until your next turn, allowing you to get some time to find an answer for it.

Jain, Lightsworn Paladin: A base 1800 attack that increases to 2100 if he attacks an opponent’s monster.

Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior: A 1900 attack monster that can only be summoned (from the hand) by banishing 1 monster from your graveyard. Whenever he deals damage your opponent sends the top card of their deck to the graveyard. Special summoning is hard to come by and a 1900 monster that you can play outside of your normal summon is great.

Aye-Iron: A 1600 attack monster that can increase his attack by 400 once per turn, but if you use this effect Aye-Iron can not attack that turn. If you open with this monster and can continually use the effect until it is in the 3000 attack range, you opponent will need to deal with it ASAP.

Koa’Ki Meiru Drago: A 1900 attack monster that prevents the special summon of Light and Dark monsters, but you must reveal a monster from your hand in each of your end phases or it will destroy itself.

Koa’Ki Meiru Beetle: A 1900 attack monster that changes the position of special summoned Light and Dark monsters to defense, but you must reveal a monster from your hand in each of your end phases or it will destroy itself.

Koa’Ki Meiru Sandman: A 1900 attack Monster that can tribute itself, to negate the activation of a trap card and destroy it, but you must reveal a monster from your hand in each of your end phases or it will destroy itself.

Koa’Ki Meiru Wall: A 1900 attack monster that can tribute itself to negate the activation of a spell card and destroy it, but you must reveal a monster from your hand in each of your end phases or it will destroy itself.

Koa’Ki Meiru Guardian: A 1900 attack monster that can tribute itself to negate the activation of a monster effect and destroy it, but you must reveal a monster from your hand in each of your end phases or it will destroy itself.

Mist Valley Falcon: A 2000 attack monster that must return a card you control to your hand in order to attack that turn. This effect can easily be met by setting a spell or trap from your hand and then just setting it after you use Falcon’s effect. This can also be used to return face up spells and traps to your hand for re-use.

Silent Psychic Wizard: A 1900 attack monster that banishes a monster from your grave when he is normal summoned, and when he is sent to the graveyard you special summon the banished monster. This card is a monster reborn and a 1900 attack monster all rolled into one package.

Dodger Dragon: A 1900 monster whose normal summon can not be negated, and when it is normal summoned your opponent can not use counter traps for the rest of that turn.

Lion Alligator: A 1900 attack monster that if you control a monster other than Lion Alligator, your monsters gain piercing damage.

Tardy Orc: One of my favorite monsters in draft. A 2200 attack monster who can not attack the turn he was normal summoned.

Leotaur: A monster with 1500 attack, but he goes up to 2000 attack when he battles a non-normal monster.
Eplaining utility and its importance:

freyaMonsters with utility are monsters that have effects that benefit you in ways other than having high attack or offering removal. These utility effects are effects that will do things like draw cards, increase other monster’s attack, or do other things that help out your cards. These cards don’t usually do much on their own, they make the cards you have better. This category is a little weird though, because in this category I’ve put monsters that are good, but don’t quite fit the definition of utility in here too.

Freya the Spirit of Victory: While you control a monster other than Freya, your opponent can not target it for attacks. All of you monsters gain 400 attack and defense.

Royal Firestorm Guards: When this card is normal summoned you can target 4 monsters in your graveyard, shuffle them into the deck and draw 2 cards.

Blue Thunder T-45: If this monster destroys an opponent’s monster, special summon a 1500 attack and defense token, it can not be tributed for a tribute summon.

Mezuki: Banish this card from your graveyard to target a monster in your graveyard, special summon that monster.

Psychic Jumper: Once per turn you can pay 1000 lifepoints, then target one monster your opponent controls and a monster you control besides Psychic Jumper, switch control of both of those targets, and if you do, their positions can not be changed this turn. Take your opponent’s best monster and give them your weakest.

Defender the Magical Knight: If this card is normal summoned: Place 1 spell counter on it (max. 1). Once per turn, if a monster(s) on the field would be destroyed, you can remove 1 Spell Counter from your side of the field for each of those monsters instead.

Spined Gillman: All monsters you control gain 400 attack.

Tree Otter: Once per turn you can have a monster you control gain 1000 attack until the end of the turn, you must control another face-up monster to activate and resolve this effect.

Sunlight Unicorn: Once per turn: You can excavate the top card of your deck, and if it is an equip spell card, add it to your hand. Otherwise place it on the bottom of your deck.

Meklord Army of Granel: This card gains 100 attack for each “Meklord” monster on the field, except this card. When this card is normal summoned: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; halve that target’s attack, until the end of this turn.

Evilswarm Thunderbird: During either player’s turn, when a card or effect is activated (except during the Damage Step): You can banish this card you control. During the next standby phase, return this card banished by this effect to the field, and if you do, it gains 300 attack. You can only use the effect of “Evilswarm Thunderbird” once per turn.

Black Brachios: When this card is normal summoned: You can target 1 monster on the field; change that target to face-up defense position.

Master Craftsman Gamil: During either player’s damage step, when a face-up monster you control is attacking or being attacked: You can send this card from your hand to the graveyard; that monster gains 300 attack until the end of this turn.

Card Guard: If this card is normal or special Summoned: Place 1 Guard Counter on it. This card gains 300 attack for each Guard Counter on it. Once per turn: You can target 1 other face-up card you control; remove 1 Guard Counter from this card, and if you do, place 1 Guard Counter on that target (if that card would ever be destroyed, remove 1 Guard Counter from it instead).

Chow Len the Prophet: Once per turn: You can declare either spell or trap, then target 1 set card in your opponent’s spell and trap card zone; look at that target, and if it is the declared card type, that card cannot be activated this turn.

That lengthy list of cards are the monsters I consider to be the best ones for each category, there are some monsters I did not mention that are decent, but these are the ones you want to be picking most frequently.

Which category of monsters should I prioritize?

As you would expect me to say, I will tell you that you should not prioritize one category over the remaining two. That being said, if you were to pick more monsters that offered removal, but also had a decent amount of monsters that had high attack and ones that offered some sort of utility that would be fine. If you were to ignore one of the three categories altogether I would recommend skipping over the utility category since they do not offer a win condition or a way to deal with your opponent’s win condition, but they do offer some good benefits for you. Unlike Battle Pack 1 and 2, Battle Pack 3 is almost completely focused around level 4 and lower monsters. In the first two Battle Packs there were a large amount of tribute monsters, this affected how you would want to draft the three categories. In the first two, especially Battle Pack 2, you would want to pick up more removal so you could deal with a big tribute monster that your opponent might use on you. However in Battle Pack 3, most monsters can go toe to toe with each other, so you don’t have to worry about your opponent summoning a monster that is better than all of you normal summonable monsters.

Daigusto EmeralWhere do XYZ monsters fall into all of this?

XYZ monsters, while very powerful, are difficult to summon and can be potentially useless, especially rank 3 XYZ monsters. Since most monsters that you will be summoning are level 4, I would consider it unwise to draft any rank 3 monster over almost any playable card. Rank 4 monsters are a little more tricky when it comes to estimating their value. If you are drafting casually it is a totally reasonable strategy to do what is called a “money draft” where you pick up any cards that are valuable. This can come into play with XYZ monsters because cards like Daigusto Emeral and Ghostrick Alucard are worth much more than almost any card in this set. Because Daigusto Emeral is relatively easy to summon and it worth a good amount at the moment I would consider picking it over just about anything that isn’t an insane draft pick, but that would be if I am drafting in the top cut of a YCS, if I were just drafting for fun with some friends I think I would pick it 100% of the time. This of course is assuming you encounter an XYZ monster in your draft, they are all short prints which means you might not see any at all!

As I bring this section of “How to Draft Battle Pack 3″ to a close I am going to list the cards I feel are the top picks for each category of monster. The rankings for each monster can be debated. I feel that the top 5 are correct, but the number they are put in at can be interchanged.

Top picks for monsters in the removal category:

1: Breaker the Magical Warrior

2: Golden Flying Fish

3: Shredder

4: Fencing Fire Ferret

5: Evilswarm Ketos

Top picks for Monsters in the beat down category:

1: Aye – Iron

2: Tardy Orc

3: Mist Valley Falcon

4: Silent Psychic Wizard

5: Leotaur

Top picks for monsters in the Utility category (This is the hardest category to rank cards because they all do different things)

1: Mezuki

2: Spined Gillman

3: Psychic Jumper

4: Master Craftsman Gamil

5: Sunlight Unicorn (only in the top 5 if you have a good amount of equip spells)

That wraps up all I have to say about the monster cards in Battle Pack 3, stay tuned for Part 3 where I discuss how to draft spell cards!