Hello Yu-Gi-Oh! Community! I'm here today providing you some insight on a certain card that I feel hasn't gotten much attention, and with YCS Atlanta vastly approaching, I feel that it should get some recognition and at least a little thought(No pun intended). Yes, that card, the one archfiend that has ruled your thoughts since the release of The Duelist Genesis is Thought Ruler Archfiend! Just for those who don't quite remember and are too lazy to click the link to view its stats, here they are:
Thought Ruler Archfiend
1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
When this card destroys a monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard, gain Life Points equal to that monster's original ATK. You can pay 1000 Life Points to negate the activation of a Spell or Trap Card that targets exactly 1 Psychic-Type monster, and destroy it.
At first glance, it seems like there are much better choices in 8 Star Synchro monsters. Monsters such as Scrap Dragon and Stardust Dragon usually take priority for most duelists for a few reasons. The first of which being the amount of space in the Extra Deck. 15 cards is certainly not much to cover Synchros, Xyz, and the occasional Fusion monster usually by the name of Chimeratech something something. The other reason is that the deck that does the most Synchro Summoning is Plants, and plants would rather rely on monsters that they can summon with the use of their beloved Debris Dragon as the tuner, meaning only Dragon-Type Synchro monsters. This is all understandable, but I'd like everyone to take into consideration a few points and reasons why Thought Ruler Archfiend should be considered in the upcoming meta.
The standard of a competitive Yu-Gi-Oh deck is becoming simple now, it has to be really fast, or have the ability to keep constant pressure on the board and control outside threats. The decks you'll see more often than none are Dino Rabbit, Wind-Ups, Inzektors, Plants, and the occasional Ninjas. Now you may ask, "What does Thought Ruler contribute against this variety of different decks?" Well I'm glad you asked, lets break it down by deck. Here I will list some of the major outs each deck has to big monsters, and show how Thought Ruler combats that. I am excluding summon negation cards such as the Solemn Brigade, because the focus of this article is combating a Thought Ruler that has successfully made it to the field.
Dino Rabbit: This deck utilizes the heavy negation abilities of the Dragon Xyz monsters Evolzar Laggia and Evolzar Dolkka. The ATK of these monsters are 2400 and 2300, respectively. Neither one of these monsters can combat TRA(Thought Ruler Archfiend) in terms of ATK. Their multiple copies of Dimensional Prison and Forbidden Lance are deemed useless without Dolkka on the field, and attacking over a Dolkka nets you two free negations with Thought Ruler or a free Solemn Warning. Their outs to this card are: Smashing Ground, Dark Hole, Torrential Tribute, and the occasional but very rare Trishula.
Wind-Ups: This deck is what nightmares are made of, they diminish your hand and leave you staring down a field of mid-size attackers, oft times making you begin your first turn with only two cards unless you happened to open with a copy of Maxx "C" or Effect Veiler. But even this deck has downfalls to TRA. They usually maindeck the trap card showing up more and more, Fiendish Chain, this card is useless when looking at a TRA on the field. Their outs include, Dark Hole, Torrential Tribute, Tiras/Adreus/Zenmaines.
Inzektors: This has to be the deck that this card is the LEAST effective against, but that can be said about a vast number of popular cards. The fact is that in this matchup, TRA will get blown up unless you have protection to back it up. Although TRA negates spell cards, and Inzektor Hornet becomes an equip spell, in order for TRA to be able to negate, it has to target a Psychic-Type monster upon the activation, so the negation here isn't useful unless you can keep protection such as Effect Veiler, Book of Moon, or Fiendish Chain behind your TRA, but if you can do that, then their options become very limited. Outs: Inzektor Hornet, Dark Hole, Torrential Tribute, Zenmaines.
Plants: This deck gets absolutely throttled by TRA with protection, but also gets around it easily. Many of the combo cards and protection cards are Spells/Traps that target such as Enemy Controller, Dimensional Prison and Mind Control, all of which aren't effective against TRA. Their ability to produce any Synchro monster at almost any given time makes it a tough match for the Archfiend. Outs: Multitude of Synchros, Dark Hole, Torrential Tribute, Zenmaines.
Ninjas: The underdog of the upcoming meta, this deck has a potential to pack a punch with 3 +1 searchers in Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo, that lead to huge combos and monsters like White Dragon Ninja that pose a huge threat to your game, essentially turning a Heavy Storm into a Harpie's Feather Duster. However the bread and butter of this deck is the ability to take your own monsters to make their plays with Ninjitsu Art of Super Transformation. The majority of good players will let you make your plays until you bring your big monster out before they break out the Ninja stuff on you. Most players will also expect a Level 8 synchro to be Stardust, Scrap Dragon, or in some cases Colossal Fighter, but not many will expect TRA to be hitting the board, making all their Ninja shenanigans worthless while you swing over their Hanzo to gain a swift 1800 and leave them with extra useless backrow, this deck is the most vulnerable to the card because of their heavy reliance on their Ninja Arts. Outs: Dark Hole, Torrential Tribute.
Just as a quick recap, here is a small list of popular cards that TRA negates:
Book of Moon
Compulsory Evacuation Device
I'm sure that many of you will read this, look for space in the extra deck, and disregard the thought of playing this card simply because you don't know where it'll fit. But nevertheless, I thank you for taking the time to read and consider this powerful card in the upcoming meta. Until next time, Play Hard or Go Home!