The Reign of Fire

What’s up duelists? YCS Philly takes place this weekend and it’s the first major event that you’ll get to see the new cards from Galactic Overlord being put into play. I must say that dragons of all types have gotten a HUGE boost from the latest set. There are so many more extra decks tricks that I think could really send the deck over the edge. It already happens to be the only deck that beats rabbit more than half the time and now it has even more cards to add to its hidden arsenal. If the standard dragons aren’t enough though we also get to see the performance of Hieratics, which is a dragon-based combo deck aimed at finishing off the opponent in one turn with a swarm of Xyz monsters. Despite all of this, the threat of Dino-Rabbit still looms over the tournament scene simply because the deck still has the best opener in the game which is as simple as summoning Rescue Rabbit and setting some backrows. However, I am a firm believer that the format has shifted away from Rabbit Season. We shall now come to know the power of dragons like never before. Welcome to the Reign of Fire!

You don’t have enough Laggias, Dolkkas, or Steelswarm Roaches to protect you from all the boss monsters in the Chaos Dragon deck. Using a Solemn Warning on a Tour Guide could be the end of the duel for you just because of everything that may follow her procession. Lightpulsar Dragon, Chaos Sorcerer, Darkflare Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness, Tragoedia, and the mighty Black Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning are all against you. The second you see at least one light and one dark monster in the graveyard you can expect for things to get ugly. Backrows are not enough to protect you with the Lightsworn engine powering the deck. It almost reminds me of how Destiny Heroes were used to power Tele-dad, creating both a draw engine and powerful graveyard fodder. The deck is fast and it hits hard. On top of all of this, there is the auto-win card, Future Fusion, which doesn’t deserve to exist but that’s an issue for another time. Future Fusion is essentially Painful Choice for Dragons. Painful Choice is widely considered to be the single most powerful card in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh and its power grows as more and more cards are released. It’s so powerful that you would prefer to go second if you open with it because it usually means game that turn.

What really makes Dragons so insanely powerful right now is that it plays the best monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh. All of the monsters have some way to make you gain advantage almost immediately. It also has the ability to make some of your opponent’s cards dead like Mystical Space Typhoon, Heavy Storm, and any other forms of backrow destruction. It resembles the greatness of Nicky Lacaille’s YCS Toronto Chaos Agent deck. The deck also focused around light and dark monsters with no traps for those MSTs to hit. The only difference now is that Yu-Gi-Oh is a much faster paced game than it was back in September 2011. I mentioned in my other articles how every deck has the ability to win the game in 1 or 2 turns. It’s unfortunate that we have to play in a format like this but I must say that it’s kind of fun at the same time. When I play dragons I feel like I’m playing in Chaos return format all over again. Who doesn’t like dropping Sorcerers to remove your opponent’s best monsters and then using them as fodder for another powerful monster, like Photon Strike Bounzer or Exa-Beetle? It might feel like sacking, but when almost all of the cards in the deck are overpowered, you can’t really complain about what comes off the top of the deck. Usually the deck is one boss monster away from winning the game.

The side deck hate for Chaos Dragons isn’t exactly what I would refer to as reliably either. If you draw your Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissures, Kycoos, Victorias, or whatever else you’ve sided too late in the game it will mean nothing. People are planning to main/side Soul Takers because it makes Lightpulsar Dragon miss its timing which is a neat idea but once again, if it’s too late it will be meaningless. Sure the deck has lost its surprise factor but when something is so overpowered it doesn’t have to be a surprise to win. It’s like when you blatantly go into Giga-Brilliant for no reason other than to make your BLS live and the opponent reads it. OK. Who cares? You now know you’re going to lose to BLS now. Also, something that I wanted to nip in the bud is the idea that Dragons lose to Inzektors which I think is no longer true. If you test that matchup often enough and play it correctly you shouldn’t have that much of a hard time beating Inzektors. You now have effect negating Xyz monsters and you should be playing 3 Veilers. When I play against Inzektors with Dragons I just wait to push for game or hit them so hard that Bounzer will finish them off. It doesn’t happen often but you can also remove Hornet with the effect of Darkflare Dragon. I wouldn’t rely on that too much but it is worth noting. Then, in games 2 and 3, you can put in a couple D.D. Crows to slow the deck down. Beware of Leviair the Sea Dragon because it can cause you to lose the game if even 1 Inzektor is banished thanks to Giga-Mantis and Zektkaliber. Even still, Dragons should come out on top more than half of the time.

The only major weakness of Dragons is playing against rogue decks like Chain Burn, Gravekeepers, Final Countdown, Exodia, and things of that ilk. The deck doesn’t have the powerful negating abilities of Dino-Rabbit so sometimes it could leave you sitting there with a field full of huge monsters but no way to win the game. That seems to be the tradeoff of having so many bosses in your deck. If you are fortunate enough to play against only real decks in your 11 rounds of swiss you should be fine. I would side cards to destroy Messenger of Peace, Safe Zone, and Level Limit Area B. Twister, Breaker the Magical Warrior, and Dust Tornado are the first things to come to mind. If you know what you’re doing and you have a little luck on your side you should be able to wreck the tournament with Dragons. I’ll be seeing ya this weekend in my hometown for YCS Philadelphia. Until next time duelists, Play Hard or Go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-YCS Atlanta Champion

Frazier Smith

Latest posts by Frazier Smith (see all)