A Shift in the Game: XYZ Monsters!

Hello fellow duelists, my name is Marc Hahn.  I am from New Jersey and have been playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading card game competitively for about four years now.  Now I don’t have amazing credentials like the other writers here at Alter Reality, but I do have a few things that I am proud of.  I have two feature matches to my name and a deck profile as well.  Losing twice on the bubble stopped me from adding two YCS tops to my list.  Now that the introduction is over, lets dive into my article!

Meet the XYZ monsters!  XYZ monsters are cards that you include in your extra deck along with synchros and fusions.  They catch your eye right off the bat by being black monster cards!  XYZ monsters are not only different because of their color, they also have no level.  They have a rank instead.  Summoning these new monsters is not difficult at all.  The rank each one has determines the required levels of the XYZ materials in order to summon them.  A Xyz Monster's Rank is depicted by a row of yellow stars in black orbs that extend outwards from the left-hand side of the card.  However, unlike Synchro Monsters, a Xyz Monster's Rank is not the total sum of the monsters' levels used to Summon it; thus, if 2 Level 3 monsters are required, then the Xyz Monster`s Rank would be 3, not 6.  All you need is two monsters of the same level to summon an XYZ of that rank!  Another catch to these new monsters is that the materials used for the summon are not sent to the grave, they are stacked underneath the XYZ monsters.  Most XYZ monsters require you to detach one of their materials (that are underneath them) to activate their effects.  This limits the use of their effects so you have to use them wisely!

Now that I have introduced this new addition of the game to you, let’s take a look at the    three legal XYZ monsters that you can use today!  On July 12th, a new starter deck called “Dawn of the XYZ” was released that included three of these new XYZ monsters in it:

Number 39: Utopia

Rank 4 Light Attribute


2 Level 4 Monsters

When any player’s monster declares an attack: you can detach 1 XYZ material from this card to negate the attack.  When this card is targeted for an attack while it has no xyz material monsters, destroy this card.

Atk/2500 DEF/2000

In my opinion this Xyz monster will have the most immediate impact on the meta.    It shines in a gadget deck that utilizes Ultimate Offering.  It allows gadget players to maintain hand presence while also have a 2500 atk beater on the field that can negate attacks.  This allows gadgets to OTK.  I strongly believe that this strategy will be used at the upcoming YCS Indianapolis and players who are unprepared for it will have a tough time.  Utopia also has a neat trick up his sleeve.  If you attack into your opponents Dimensional Prison you can just use Utopia’s effect to negate your attack and dodge your opponents trap card!

Gachi Gachi Gantetsu

Rank 2 Earth Attribute


2 level 2 monsters

If this face-up card would be destroyed, you can detach 1 xyz material form this card instead.  Face-up monsters you control gain 200 atk and def for each xyz material attached to this card.

ATK/500 DEF/1800

This XYZ monster has a nifty effect to keep him on the field and maintain a form of field presence while also giving your monsters a small boost.  I see no major impact on the meta for right now but he is definitely not a card to forget about.  When he is summoned he gains a boost from his own effect as well so he is a solid 2200 DEF wall for you if you are in a situation where you need defense to gather more resources.  The easiest way to summon him now would be to use The Agent of Creation- Venus to special summon Mystical Shine Balls which can be used as his xyz materials.


Rank 3 Fire Attribute


2 level 3 Monsters

When this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the graveyard: You can detach 1 xyz material from this card to inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.

ATK/2000 DEF/1900

Grenosaurus has a pretty sub-par effect.  Burning for 1000 isn’t much.  With many decks running Dimensional Prison and Mirror Force, going for a Grenosaurus play will most likely be on the bottom of a list of plays available for the turn especially if your opponent has a decent amount of life points.

These three XYZ monsters listed above are the only ones that are currently legal for official tournament play.  Now XYZ monsters probably have not captured your attention yet, but let’s see what goodies the next set Generation Force has to bring.  There are two XYZ monsters in this set that have definitely captured my attention.

Steelswarm Roach

Rank 4 Dark Attribute


2 level 4 Monsters

When a level 5 or higher monster is special summoned: You can detach 1 xyz material form this card to negate the summon and destroy the card.

ATK/1900 DEF/0

Wow, this card is powerful.  Summoning this monster can spell out game over for your opponent if they can’t remove him from the field.  Similar to Thunder King Rai-Oh, Steelswarm Roach can negate special summons.  However, you don’t have to tribute him!  All you need to do is detach 1 xyz material.  So you can negate your opponents summon and still have him on the field to negate a second one!  Steelswarm Roach will absolutely be a force to be reckoned with once Generation Force is released.  Gemini Heroes and Traditional Anti-meta can easily get him out since basically all of their monsters are 4 stars.  Roach’s effect fits those two decks perfectly.

Tiras, Keeper of Genesis

Rank 5 Light Attribute


2 level 5 Monsters

This card's effects can only be applied or activated while it has Xyz Material. This card cannot be destroyed by card effects. At the end of the Battle Phase, if this card attacked or was attacked: Target 1 card your opponent controls; destroy the target. During each of your End Phases: Detach 1 Xyz Material from this card.

ATK/2600 DEF/1700

This is indeed a powerful card.  With such high attack, it will have no problem attacking your opponents monster and be able to destroy another card at the end of the battle phase.  Mirror Force and other removal like smashing ground, torrential tribute, and dark hole will have no effect on this guy.  The deck that this card shines most in is fableds.  Fable decks have easy access to 5 star monsters through The Tricky and Fabled Ragin.  Successfully summoning this card will almost always put your opponent in an unfavorable position.

Well that about wraps it up for me.  I introduced to you the new XYZ monsters, how they work, and which ones are already legal for official tournament play.  Many players haven’t taken the time to research these new cards and assess the upcoming playability of these cards and the impact that they will have on the game as a whole.  I am personally excited about them and am anxious to try them out.  It is now up to all of you to embrace these new cards and form strategies around them that will lead you to success whether it is at a local, regional, or YCS level event!  I sincerely thank all of you that took the time to read this article.  I hope you all enjoyed and I hope that this article opened some of your eyes as to what is to come.  Good luck in your Yu-Gi-Oh! Adventures and remember to have fun!

-Marc Hahn

Marc Hahn

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