- The Intro -
Let’s inform you a little.
Konami loves their easy-bake decks that they can just throw in a box and sell to us. Structure Decks are a common release for our beloved Konami to stick their hand in our meta and stir it up a little. Recently, these decks have been organized towards breaking open old archetypes with new support to change the play style up and introduce new bosses to throw around. This trend began with the Dragunity Legion structure deck; this release marked the date when Konami actually read their own rulebook and learned that maybe the success of a deck relies on the synergy between the main cards used to keep it going. A clear win condition to shoot for, reasonably easy to summon creatures, and strategies unique to the deck to give it power plays able of trumping over other decks.
Dragunity Legion showed up. With Dragon Ravine to add reusable dumping of necessary cards, and infinite search for the Dragunity monsters you need, the quiet Hidden Arsenal archetype jumped for joy as they became very playable. Then came Dragunity Arma Leyvaten, whose easy summoning condition and synergy with the main tuner allowed for consistent pushes with the monstrous beater, Trident Drag(i)on.
Agents were next, and were barely even considered an archetype before their Structure Deck took them to the top. Hyperion acting as their boss, Earth acting as their Stratos, Venus and her crew acting as their engine, and the reprinted Kristya added a little bow to make it fancy.
Dare I mention Dark Worlds? I don’t think they need much explanation. They went from a sub-par archetype to the best deck you could run(“They’re so broken”), to the worst deck you could run(“They’re too easy to side against”), to another sub-par archetype(“I guess they’re okay”), and now lingers in competitive limbo as Grapha, the Executive Dragon of Konami sits silently at his computer desk.
Now, we get to the subject matter. Dragon players. They are few, but they exist. With a competitive boss like Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, they swarmed and overpowered while retaining their underdog status and suffering from underrepresentation at bigger events. These players have been asking for support since the Rise of the Dragon Lords catastrophe, where not only one, but all three of the new bosses they received dove into the garbage.
Well, rejoice. Watch as the population of Dragon users skyrocket. We get the Dragon’s Collide Structure Deck, a deck that fulfills the Dragon desires of many players, while attracting many new players to the type who are familiar with their new mechanic. I’ll discuss the cards worth mention that you receive in each Structure Deck, how they benefit the new contender in tournament play, and why you should or shouldn’t use them in your new project.
- The New Stuff -
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monsters from your Graveyard. You can Special Summon this card (from your Graveyard) by sending 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monsters from your hand to the Graveyard. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target 1 Level 5 or higher DARK Dragon-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target.
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster from your Graveyard. Once per turn: You can send 1 Dragon-Type monster each from your hand and Deck to the Graveyard to target 1 card from either player's Graveyard; banish that target.
These two are the cover cards, and boast effects reminiscent of Chaos Sorcerer and Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning. Lightpulsar is the star of the show, as many who have tested the deck will tell you. With the ability to revive a spent Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon or Darkflare Dragon, reasonable stats that can take down the likes of Laggia, Dolkka, and tie with those like Stardust to combo into a bigger monster, Lightpulsar sees play in twos and threes in the decks that can sustain it. Be careful with the revival effect; it is very easy to miss the timing on cards like this and put yourself in a losing situation.
Darkflare Dragon, however, is considered to be the worst of the new releases. Personally, I think he’s one of the best. The ability to banish a card from the grave is not game breaking, but it’s nothing to turn away from either. Removing the opponent’s Grapha, Dandylion, Glow-up Bulb, Treeborn Frog, Spore, that forth Agent for Kristya, and disrupting a BLS play are just a few of the uses for effects like these. The part of the effect that I like best though is the once per turn Foolish Burial that it becomes. With the right hand, Darkflare can set up for Lightpulsar or Black Luster Soldier as soon as it hits the field. Most builds run zero to one copy of Darkflare at best, and I agree that too many Chaos monsters can lead to horrid draws and inconsistency, but I think at least the one copy is worth the deck space.
And come on. Look at that card art.
If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can banish 1 Level 7 or higher LIGHT or DARK Dragon-Type monster in your Deck. Then, if this card in the Graveyard is banished: You can add the monster banished by this effect to your hand.
This card. Man. Pitch it for Darkflare’s effect, or in some variants, Dragon Ravine. Summon it and let your opponent go crazy. Use it in a Synchro Summon. Unlike Lightpulsar, Eclipse Wyvern doesn’t miss the timing for his first effect. As long as it hits the grave, you benefit. Use this benefit to search for Lightpulsar Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon, or even better, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon to start the rampage. This card will be one of your main LIGHT outlets for the Chaos monsters, and once you use it up, you get a new toy to play with right away. Used in threes, rarely in twos, in almost all builds.
Again, that card art.
Each time a monster(s) is banished, place 1 Chaos Counter on this card for each of those monsters. Once per turn: You can remove 4 or more Chaos Counters from your side of the field to target 1 of your banished monsters whose Level is equal to the number of Chaos Counters removed; Special Summon that target. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard by an opponent's card effect: You can add 1 LIGHT or DARK monster from your Deck to your hand whose Level is equal to or less than the number of Chaos Counters that this card had.
This card is pretty mediocre, at least as far as the Dragon builds go. I can see some fun to be had in a Macro build, maybe some Twilight builds or a deck based completely around it, but as far as the Chaos Dragons go, this card offers no help.
Even still, that card art.
Banish 1 face-up Dragon-type monster that you control; Special Summon 1 Dragon-type monster from your hand or Graveyard.
I like this card a lot. It’s chainable, which is pretty much a requirement to be used with all of the S/T hate people run. Turn a dead dragon into a beater, disrupt your opponent’s Battle Phase to make them stagger, and let them waste their MST. It’s not mind-blowing, but it has uses. Best used in pure Dragon builds, but you could tech one copy in any deck that can use it.
So, on top of some amazing artwork, we have some pretty great effects to play around with. But this Structure Deck comes with more than just cardboard-awesome. It comes with reprints. Reprints that will benefit a multitude of decks, not just the Chaos Dragons.
- Notable Reprints -
Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter - I love it. Flip it, mill three, destroy a card. LIGHT target, and one of the best. Ryko is such a necessary card in many decks; his milling effect works beautifully (assuming you’re lucky and don’t mill Mirror Force, Monster Reborn, and BLS) with decks that rely on the grave. Its destruction effect does a great job at putting the opponent back a turn, and combined, the two effects cause many cards such as Lightpulsar and Elemental Hero The Shining to miss the timing when they are destroyed. This is because the last thing to happen in the chain of events is Ryko’s milling effect, and not the destruction of your opponent’s monster. Even through its many reprints, Ryko has eluded the grasp of budget players for a long time.
Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress - Another reprint that made many players happy. Some say the entire deck is worth buying, just because you get a copy of Lyla and Ryko, and I completely agree. Her free destruction effect, her reasonable stats, and her LIGHT attribute make her an excellent tech.
Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon - Oh, yes. The common reprint. A budget player’s best friend in the world. A common reprint of arguably the single best Dragon monster in the entire game? Yes please. Dark, 2800 ATK, once per turn summon out a Dragon from the grave or your hand. Recycles itself with Lightpulsar. Use this in threes, always. Put it in your Plant deck in threes. Put it in your Ojama deck in threes. Just use it.
Vice Dragon - Then we take a step back. Vice Dragon. Meh. Pure builds make good use out of him and his DARK attribute. There aren’t that many situations where Vice is better than CyDra, but for those moments, here you go.
Dark Armed Dragon - A staple in any deck that runs DARK monsters. An alternate win-condition, and amazing top-deck for decks with grave manipulation like Chaos. Special summon his huge body when you have three DARK monsters in the graveyard, blow up three cards with his effect, and push for game. Do it.
That, my fellow gamers, is the end of our journey through the world of Structure Deck 22 - Dragons Collide. You can pick up the copies that I know you’re scrambling for your debit card to get on February 7th, 2012. Until then, your Plants and Ojamas will have to settle without REDMD. Sorry. Check out the many awesome articles Alter Reality has on their site while you wait. Finals are over and you can finally concentrate on more important things. Like card games.
- written by Tyler Alastor Meacher
This article was an overview of the product, Dragons Collide. But what about the Chaos Dragon deck itself? How will they affect the meta, and what does an “optimal” deck list look like? If you liked the article, check out Part 2 to be posted soon, where I’ll show you the variants you can use, cards outside of the Structure Deck that you’ll need, and how to get the most out of your deck, whether you’re a budget player looking to dominate locals or in it for the YCS title.