The 1000 Life Point Bargain: Soul Taker

So I’ve decided to jump on an opportunity most of the others writers here at Alter Reality Games tend to have. Usually you can except Frazier, Patrick, Billy or someone else to spill the beans on some awesome tech card and the applications it has in the current format.

Well I finally saw an opening to do just that and therefore today’s article is going to discuss none other than...

Soul Taker Normal Spell Destroy 1 face-up monster your opponent controls. Then, your opponent gains 1000 Life Points. Quite a simple effect huh? A trade off of one of the opponent’s monsters in exchange for them gaining 1000 life points.

The hidden applications of this card require one to understand the mechanics of cards that miss their timing. We all know how potent Lightpulsar Dragon and Elemental Hero The Shining have become in the current format, but did you know that both of their destruction effects are optional? They certainly might seem to act as if they are the mandatory Sangan at times, but they both most definitely are not. If either Lightpulsar Dragon or Elemental Hero The Shining are not the last thing on the chain link to be destroyed they may not trigger their destruction effects. Therefore a witty opponent with understanding of how chain links work (or tricky cards such Soul Taker and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter) will be able to counteract these powerful effects.

Let me give you an example before I explain where Soul Taker comes down on this. If your opponent were to summon a copy of Elemental Hero The Shining while you had Mystical Space Typhoon and Torrential Tribute set you are in a position to not only destroy a backrow and The Shining, you can stop the opponent from returning two Elemental Heroes! If you were to activate Mystical Space Typhoon on a backrow and respond with Torrential Tribute the chain would resolve in such a manner that The Shining would be destroyed by Torrential Tribute but miss the opportunity to activate because Mystical Space Typhoon must resolve. The same would apply to Lightpulsar Dragon!

So now we look at Soul Taker. You probably are beginning to see where I am going with this but the wording on Soul Taker is the most important part of the card. Destroy 1 face-up monster your opponent controls. Then, your opponent gains 1000 Life Points. The word “then” signifies a disruption between the moment in which Soul Taker destroys the monster and the effect finishing resolving. So in the circumstance that you activate Soul Taker on Lightpulsar Dragon or Elemental Hero The Shining not only are you destroying a powerful boss monster, your opponent cannot activate their effects because they must gain the 1000 life points. How generous we are indeed. Take your 1000 life points, you didn’t need a few Elemental Heroes or Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon anyway!

Now that we understand the potential of Soul Taker, what needs to be discussed is exactly how it falls in line with the current format. As an individual who has advocated Smashing Ground over the course of the last few months I can undoubtedly admit Soul Taker has replaced Smashing Ground in every and all decks I am currently playing. I was using Smashing Ground against Dino-Rabbit, Heroes and Dragons for the longest time, and then I was introduced to Soul Taker. Are you kidding me? This decision is obvious. Wherever you were playing Smashing Ground you are now playing Soul Taker. Virtually no questions asked.

Other applications of Soul Taker include being able to target the monster in which you are attempting to destroy. If your opponent has had a Number 17: Leviathan Dragon on the field that you just cannot destroy with Smashing Ground because of a monster like Sangan you suddenly have the perfect spot removal card! The targeting aspect of Soul Taker needs to be taken into consideration though. If you were to target Elemental Hero Neos Alius the opponent would be able to chain Gemini Spark and unlike Smashing Ground where any other monsters would be affected, since Soul Taker targets you would be out of luck. Those situations may not come up quite often but it is certainly something to think about if you are able to start using this powerful spell card.

The deck that I believe benefits the most from this card is Dino-Rabbit. Lighpulsar Dragon and Elemental Hero The Shining not only symbolized creatures that Dino-Rabbit had a difficult time dealing with, they were in line to replace themselves upon destruction. The Dino-Rabbit player originally needed to place all their efforts in avoiding either of those cards from ever hitting the field in the first place. Once there the only realistic way to deal with them effectively was if an opponent attacked into Dimensional Prison… not so promising. Finding space for the spot removal, which I already felt was necessary in Dino-Rabbit, is a small price to pay to have access to an instant out to your decks most devastating problems. As I alluded to previously the ability to target will also allow a Dino-Rabbit player to specifically destroy copes of Spirit Reaper and Gellenduo if the opponent is sitting behind a wall of high-defense monsters. The possibilities just seem endless with this card!

As the format continues to progress I think the popularity of Soul Taker is going to absolutely shoot threw the roof. I am writing this article the Thursday before I go away to Philadelphia and I can almost guarantee you will see copies of this card in the Top 32. Just like Safe Zone and Messenger of Peace took over in Philadelphia, or Gellenduo in Long Beach, or Arcana Force 0 – The Fool in Atlanta, you need to be following the trends in the format to uncover the next hidden gem. Soul Taker may just be that card!

Joe Giorlando

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