Hello everyone Alex Reed here, I’m here to write about my experience playing Dragonsworn to 2nd place at YCS Dallas. I have played Lightsworn for a long time, and knew the mechanic itself was strong, but needed something extra to really be competitive in this format. Once I saw the new Dragon Starter deck I knew that was exactly what Lightsworn needed to be competitive again. And best of all anyone on a budget can make this deck. The majority of the cards are cheap and several cards in the extra deck like Zenmaines are not really necessary. I began play testing and ended up with the version I played at YCS Dallas. My teammates Matt Arra, Steven Arias and Peter Arias all decided to play very similar variations of the deck with very minor differences. Matt made top 32 and Steven was one game away from topping.
I built the deck with the idea of making as many of my opponents cards as useless as possible. I knew most people would be maining 2-3 MSTs, Heavy Storm and Maxx C’s or Effect Veilers. All of those cards are fairly dead draws against this deck since there is no backrow, and Maxx C cannot be chained to the summon of Light Pulsar. Throughout the tournament people would use Veiler or Maxx C the first chance they got just to get it out of their hand. I also knew most people did not main Dimensional Prison or Bottomless trap hole and instead mained Torrential, Mirror Force, and Fiendish Chains, which allowed Light Pulsar Dragon to cause major damage.
Many people were curious as to why we played several tech cards. So I’ll start off explaining several of the cards that may appear odd.
3 – Lightpulsar Dragon
3 – Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
2 – Mystic Tomato
2 – Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
2 – Eclipse Wyvern
2 – Effect Veiler
2 – Ryko Lightsworn Hunter
1 – Jain, Lightsworn Paladin
1 – Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
1 – Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
1 – Judgment Dragon
1 – Card Trooper
1 – Chaos Sorcerer
1 – Dark Armed Dragon
1 – Honest
1 – Tragoedia
1 – Sangan
1 – Black Luster Soldier Envoy of the Beginning
1 – Plaguespreader Zombie
1 – Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 – Phantom Of Chaos
1 – Darkflare Dragon
Mystic Tomato: We realized the deck needed some extra darks but we were not willing to spend $450 on Tour Guides (Side note: my deck was pretty much max rarity, but I’ve been collecting all of these cards for a LONG time, so I did not want to get rid of them just for the sake of getting Tour Guides). So we joked around that we should play Mystic Tomatoes and Shining Angels like the old Chaos emperor Dragon deck. Then we started to think about it, and realized that Tomatoes might actually be a good idea. Unlike Tour Guide they can’t be veilered and unless they know it is a Tomato they can’t Maxx C to it. Tomato is also able to pull out Phantom of Chaos, Sangan and Plaguespreader increasing the amount of weapons the deck has.
Judgment Dragon: JD adds another power card to the deck that is easily searchable thanks to Eclipse Wyvern. He can also be used with Phantom of Chaos to cause some major damage.
Plaguespreader Zombie: Plague gives the deck lots of extra weapons and access to several dragon Synchros, and is searchable with Tomato.
Phantom of Chaos: This card allows any boss monster in the graveyard to become live. Judgment Dragon, Dark Armed, Red Eyes, even things like Lyla or card trooper become useable. Also searchable via Tomato.
3 – Solar Recharge
1 – Monster Reborn
1 – Charge of the Light Brigade
1 – Heavy Storm
1 – Allure of Darkness
1 – Dark Hole
1 – Future Fusion
1 – Treacherous Trap Hole
Treacherous Trap Hole: A chainable trap that can really mess people up. It’s unexpected and is a game changer. It also is great for targeting your own Light Pulsar to pull out a Red Eyes from the graveyard.
How the Deck Runs:
The core of the deck is Light Pulsar Dragon and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. The deck is designed to efficiently get them to the graveyard as quickly as possible. All of the lightsworn mill and cards like Card Trooper help make the deck consistent. Most of the current Meta decks do not have a consistent out when a Red Eyes/Light Pulsar Wall comes out. And even if they are able to stop it once, all it takes is a light and dark in hand to start it again. Which brings me to another point, as long as there is a Light Pulsar in the graveyard no light or dark monsters are dead draws/cards. They can easily be pitched from the hand to bring a Pulsar out, and even set up your graveyard for monsters like Dark Armed.
The biggest weakness to this deck is probably Dragon Capture Jar. Or I guess graveyard control cards like Necrovalley, Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure Etc. and Royal Tribute. Saving your Spell/Trap destruction for those cards (if they play them) is vital to winning tough matchups like Gravekeepers.
There are a crazy amount of combos in this deck. Light Pulsar can be combined with any destruction type card to pull out a Red Eyes which then gets Light Pulsar back out. Dark Hole, Treacherous, Judgment dragon, Dark Armed Dragon, Scrap dragon, etc. all have effects that can kill your own Pulsar to bring out a Red Eyes on demand. Being able to pitch any light or dark monster for Pulsar also helps set up graveyard plays. For example Pitch Judgment Dragon and a dark for Light Pulsar, summon Phantom of Chaos, remove Judgment dragon and blow up the field. Light Pulsars effect summons Red Eyes which then gets back Pulsar.
Dino Rabbit: This deck is very strong against most of the Metas right now. Though I lost to Dino Rabbit in the end that was the 7th Rabbit deck I played that weekend. Rabbit just does not have a consistent answer to Red Eyes or Light Pulsar Dragon. Once the combo is out Rabbit struggles to keep up, and ends up wasting rabbits just to go into Utopia. Lylas, Rykos, and MSTs help make sure back row does not become a problem, allowing for an easy summon of your boss monsters.
Inzektors: For some reason people think Dragonsworn has a weak matchup against Inzektors. I played 3 that weekend and 2-0 each one. The problem with Inzecktors vs this deck is that it’s slow. Most games I would start off fast doing massive damage early, and they would struggle to keep up. All it took was 1 Effect Veiler and I would usually win. Since Inzektors really only have 1 summon if they get Veilered they leave their field open for an easy win. And because I don’t play back row it becomes hard for Inzektor to get advantage. Usually they would have to use their hornet combo just to break through my Pulsar wall, which would end up coming back out again next turn.
Wind-Up: Wind-Up can be tough if they go first and loop (go figure). But like Inzecktors the second I saw I was playing Wind Up I would rush the field trying to get out several big monsters quick. Wind Up also does not have a consistent answer to the Pulsar Wall. They can swarm as much as they want, but they just can’t get over Red Eyes and Pulsar. And stalling against Dragonsworn will end badly. The deck does so much damage so quickly that simply summoning a Wind Up Rabbit and passing will end up being an easy win. And one Maxx C will pretty much mean game if you get out the Red Eyes combo.
Heros: Another fairly easy matchup. Unless they play D-Prisons or Bottomless trap hole most of their traps can’t get through the Pulsar wall. Shining is the only monster strong enough to compete with Red Eyes, but cards like Chaos Sorcerer help eliminate that problem. Skill Drain will only end up hurting them since Pulsar is unaffected by drain, and it will make all of his monsters (besides Beast King) weaker than Red Eyes.
Dark World: Dark world can be hard if they get going fast. But with 3 MSTs, 3 Lylas, Rykos etc. you can shut them down and control the field before they can do anything. Even Grapha isn’t much of a threat if they don’t have Gates out. The 2700 is easily killed by Red Eyes, and his destruction effect hardly touches Pulsar.
My teammates and I were determined to show that Dragons are a Tier 1 deck, and that Tour Guides are not necessary to be competitive. At the tournament I played 7 Dino Rabbits, 3 Inzektors, 3 Heros, 1 Wind Up, 1 Chaos Dragon, and 1 Dark World. At Swiss I finished 10-1 with 1 loss to Dino Rabbit, and finished overall 14-2. The surprise value of the deck was one of it’s greatest strengths. People just did not have many effective side deck cards. The Pulsar/Red Eyes wall was just too much for most people to deal with, and they soon discovered that traps like Fiendish Chain, Torrential, Mirror force, and even Solemn Warnings were not enough to keep the Dragons down. Many people also did not know how Light Pulsar really worked which forced a lot of people to make mistakes.
Overall: I was very satisfied with how well the deck did. If I had Tour Guides I would have replaced the Tomatoes with them, but I don’t think they are necessary to make the deck work. I probably would have added another Darkflare dragon to help deal with Inzektors, and add another dark/target for Light Pulsar. I would also put in a Inzektor Exa-Beetle in the extra deck. I think the deck will still be competitive in this format even without the surprise value. Meta decks just do not have any monsters that can easily get rid of the Pulsar wall. They have to rely on traps which are easily removed with all the trap destruction the deck has. I expect this deck to join the list of metas and decks to fear. Thanks for reading!