As I am writing this, YCS Sea-Tac is only a few days away. A lot of players are having a hard time choosing which deck to run for the event because of the release of Abyss Rising. In this article, I hope to give you my reasoning on why I think Chaos Dragon is a solid choice for the event. Chaos Dragons is a deck I have been fond of ever since Alexander Reed and his teammates brought it to YCS Dallas, Texas. It is such a consistently explosive deck and it fits my conservative play style just perfectly.
After my bud, Steffon Bizzell went undefeated in swiss with the deck, I regained hope in one of my favorite decks (to play) of last format. Immediately after his top 8 finish, I decided to build the deck for myself and see how it managed against the meta. I was happy with the outcome and as a result, I decided to run it for YCS Providence. I managed to start off with a 5-0 record. What that meant for me was that I had to lose three of the next six rounds to not top 32. Unfortunately for me, I lost three of the next four rounds and I didn't even make it to day two.
Now before I get too far into this article, I just want to clear one thing up. I hear too many players say that the Chaos Dragon deck plays itself and that it is “too derpy.” I strongly disagree. Sure, Solar Recharge + a Lighsworn really sets the deck up, but you could say the same about a lot of other decks as well. Wind Up has Magician + Shark (or even Rabbit + Factory), Geargia has Geargiarmor + protection, Samurai has Gateway of the Six, Rabbit has Rabbit + Tour Guide, Dark World has Card Destruction, Agents have Honest, etc etc. Honestly, every deck has their explosive plays and it is what it is. Explosiveness is just a part of the game. Expect the worst and hope for the best!
Chaos Dragon is not much of a reactive deck. With no trap cards, this is pretty apparent. It is all about setting up and waiting for the right time. What attracted me to the deck at first was the draw power and overload of Chaos monsters, but what kept me attached to it was its consistency. Chaos Dragon is one of those piles of 40 cards that just flow perfectly together. My favorite cards in the deck are by far Ryko and Tragoedia. These cards usually help me win most of my games. I have won a lot of games by just dropping a Tragoedia and poking for 3000+ every turn. It is also great at stealing monsters on your opponent’s board. Lyla and Ryko are also very important for the deck. These cards allow you to fuel your grave for future Chaos plays and they also pave the way for the Chaos plays. Lyla does a great job of baiting out monster removal, and when she is backed up by a Forbidden Lance, that usually leads to the destruction of two of your opponents back row. Tour Guide also does a lot for this deck. Similar to its role in other decks, it is a one-card-toolbox in this deck. You can summon a Giga-Brilliant and you already have a light and a dark, you can make a Leviair to get back your Lyla or even take your opponent’s Wind-Up Rabbit or, you can make a Temtempo to get rid of pesky XYZ monsters, you can make a Zenmaines and wall up, or you can even do my favorite play and simply search for Sangan to attack into their monster in order to search Ryko for your Solar Recharge! On top of all that, she is a dark!
Another thing that makes Chaos Dragon so good is that it isn’t weak to spell and trap removal. That means all of your opponent’s Mystical Space Typhoon and Heavy Storm are dead, and their Forbidden Lance become a much weaker card. Compulsory Evacuation Device is also a pretty weak card versus this deck, so if you have any reason at all to believe that they have one of those set, make sure to not XYZ summon and make it live.
Let’s take a look at the build I chose to run at the YCS a few weeks ago.
1x Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
1x Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
1x Dark Armed Dragon
1x Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
3x Light Pulsar Dragon
1x Chaos Sorcerer
3x Dark Flare Dragon
3x Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
1x Eclipse Wyvern
2x Tour Guide from the Underworld
2x Card Trooper
1x Night Assailant
1x Maxx “C”
3x Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
3x Effect Veiler
3x Solar Recharge
2x Forbidden Lance
1x Monster Reborn
1x Heavy Storm
1x Dark Hole
1x Charge of the Light Brigade
1x Allure of Darkness
3x Mystical Space Typhoon
2x Electric Virus
2x Gemini Imps
2x Thunder King Rai-Oh
2x Soul Taker
2x Royal Decree
1x Maxx “C”
1x Dust Tornado
1x Scrap Dragon
1x Black Rose Dragon
1x Armory Arm
1x Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1x Photon Strike Bounzer
1x Inzektor Exa-Beetle
1x Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh
1x Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon
1x Queen Dragon Djinn
1x Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1x Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1x Number 20: Giga Brilliant
1x Leviair, the Sea Dragon
1x Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1x Wind-Up Zenmaines
As you can see from the side deck, there isn’t anything too special going on. It is just a bunch of spell/trap hate and monster removal, with a bit of single purpose cards (such as Gemini Imps). If you are having a hard time side decking with this deck, cards you should think about siding out are:
Allure of Darkness
Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
I obviously don’t side out all of these. It just depends what I need to side in at the time and what isn’t working too well as well.
I would like to get into each match-up, and show you why I think Chaos Dragon is good stuff.
Match-up #1: Dino Rabbit
Dino Rabbit is a pretty easy match-up for Chaos Dragon. If they allow you to get an early game start, the game will easily be in your favor, and even if they don’t let you set up right away the matchup will still be a bit in your favor. The most important thing to do in this match up is to play around Jurrac Guaibas. You should also save your Rykos for Laggia. With outs to Laggia, like Ryko, Night Assailant and Tragoedia, and big Chaos monsters as outs to Dolkka, the match-up wont be too hard. Don’t forget that your opponent cant negate the special summon of Light Pulsar Dragon from your graveyard with Dolkka.
Overall: GOOD MATCH UP
Match-up #2: Geargia
Out of all my testing for the YCS, most of my time was spent playing against Geargia. I was winning an unreal amount of games. I would probably say 75% or maybe even more. I was extremely confident in that match-up. Ryko and Night Assailant do a great job of getting rid of Geargiarmor if you happen to go first. Once you drop one big guy, they can’t really handle it too well because all of their monsters are pretty small. Chaos Dragon may not have the most answers to a turn one Geargiarmor, but it really doesn’t have a problem dealing with it. With all of the spell and trap removal and big Chaos guys in Chaos Dragons, a few plusses on your opponents side wont be too big of a deal.
Overall: GREAT MATCH UP
The wind up match-up isn’t too bad. You have a bunch of hand traps to stop them from doing their tricks. One thing you have to worry about is Shock Master. If they call spells, it usually isn’t the biggest deal in the world, because you only run 10, but it can get you sometimes. If they call monsters they stop your ryko, your sangan, your tragoedia, and your gorz, but not much else. You can still special summon your Chaos Monsters and even discard 2 to special summon Light Pulsar. When Playing versus this deck, make sure to conserve your tour guides. Temtempo and Leviair can put in a lot of work in this matchup. Ryko is also a great answer to Wind-Up Rabbit and some XYZ monsters. Lyla’s 1700 attack can’t be run over by anything short of an xyz. I don’t like Card Trooper too much in this matchup, so I usually side it out.
Overall: GOOD MATCH UP
WARNING: The mirror match is always very dumb, but you can still try and win! Make sure to conserve your Ryko, Tragoedia, and Gorz, because they put in an exceptional amount of work in this match-up. Heavy Storm, Effect Veiler’s, Maxx “C,” and Lyla’s however don’t do too much.
Overall: LUCK BASED MATCH UP
I’m not going to lie, I just can’t win versus Agents. It has got to be the decks worst match-up. The deck is just full of answers to this deck. Hyperion and Kristya are just too big and have the perfect effects to counter attack Chaos Dragons or even stop it on its tracks. Thunder King and Herald of Orange Light also do a great job at slowing the deck down a lot. Oh! And honest! What an annoying card! Make sure to conserve your Rykos for Kristya and always use your maxx “C” on Venus.
Overall: TERRIBLE MATCH UP
Like any other deck versus Dark World, your match up is heavily dependent on both the dice roll and how amazing they open. Unfortunately for us Chaos Dragon players, we don't really have any trap cards to stop them from doing their Grapha shenanigans. The match up isn't the best for us. A 3000 ATK Grapha can be a very hard card to get over. Even if you do, it will just come back next turn! Chaos Sorcerer and Black Luster Soldier are both key cards in this match-up. Make sure to save them for Grapha, or even the game shot. Don't forget that Dark World doesn't normally run any annoying hand traps (ie. Effect Veiler, Maxx "C," Tragoedia, and Gorz) so you can easily go for a game shot once you get passed their back rows. Important cards in this match-up are Mystical Space Typhoon (if you run it) and Maxx "C." Tragoedia and Gorz get a boost from the Gates so they can get pretty big at times. Just hope that they don't use their Dragged Down into the Grave on them! Luckily for us, not a lot of players are running Dark World. People are preparing for Atlanteans by siding cards that remove cards from play. Those cards also hurt Dark World, so I expect it to see even less play.
Overall: BAD MATCH UP
The Hero deck is one of Chaos Dragon's best match-ups. Chaos Dragon is loaded with big guys and lots of spell and trap removal. Hero has a tough time dealing with both of those things. Card Trooper has a lot of utility in this match-up. Almost all of the Hero decks monsters are 1900 ATK. What that means for card trooper is that it can mill 3 cards, draw you a card and get rid of a 1900 beater. That almost sounds better than future fusion! Make sure to use your Ryko's for their Neos Alius' and Shinings. This way you can make it so they cant use Gemini Spark, and they will also miss Shining's recycling effect. Thunder King can prove to be quite a problem for this deck when backed up by a few back rows, but that's nothing a Tragoedia or Ryko can't handle. Make sure to play your Lylas cautiously, because that is one of the only cards that Hero Blast will get its true value versus. Once you are able to drop a Chaos monster the Hero player will most likely have a difficult time dealing with it.
Overall: GREAT MATCH UP
Samurai is another easy match up. Keep in mind a lot of Samurai decks don't usually run Torrential Tribute, because they are trying to play a "protect the Shien" game. Ryko and Tragoedia can do a good job of getting rid of practically any threats in the deck. I don't think you will play any more than one Samurai deck in a large scale tournament, so it isn't too much to worry about.
Overall: GREAT MATCHUP
To be honest, I don't have the most testing versus this deck, but at least I have some. Atlanteans is a very aggressive deck and Chaos Dragons doesn't have traps, so it can prove to be a pretty hard match-up. The same can be said for the Atlantean player. This matchup can be pretty similar to the Chaos Dragon mirror match. For the most part, both decks don't run traps (outside of Abyss-Sphere for atlanteans,) and because of this, it can lead to whoever drew the more explosive hand most of the time. Moulinglacia can slaughter your plans of dropping a Gorz or Tragoedia on their game shot at almost any time in the game, and unfortunately for us, our only real answer to it is an Effect Veiler. Marksman is also a huge threat to this deck. It is extremely multifunctional in this match up. It can be used to destroy set Rykos, but more importantly it will be used to get direct shots in and special summon lots of monsters. Chaos Dragons, when used correctly is a very passive deck and that will reward the Atlantean player is they happen to have a Marksman, or Diva into Marksman. The best cards in this match up are most definitely the hand traps so make sure to utilize them to their best use, especially in this match up.
Overall: LUCK BASED MATCHUP
As you can see, the match ups are pretty well rounded. There is only one real deck to worry about, and that is Agent. I expect a lot to be at YCS Seattle, so make sure you prepare for the onslaught. Fix the side; fix the main. Maybe you can make the decks worst match ups into its best! Good luck!