Deck Profile: Buster Blader

None other than a Buster Blader deck. Don’t get your hopes up.

I tried a lot of different things, some completely wacky, in every possible effort to make this deck consistent. The absolute best I could come up with is this really clunky deck. It’s fairly consistent, but it sure does brick hard when it doesn’t get a good hand. The deck operates on a do my thing or do absolutely nothing basis. That’s not to say it’s bad. I tested it against a multitude of legitimate meta threats and it has some niche plays to combat most relevant decks, and the “wombo combo” of sorts the deck can pull off with the Fusion monster plus Buster Dragon locks out a lot of the monster heavy decks of the format if you can pull it off, though that’s not consistent. The best I could say is that the deck is fun but temperamental.

Monsters: (20)

  • 1 Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordmaster
  • 2 Buster Blader
  • 2 Elemental HERO Prisma
  • 3 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn
  • 2 Wizard Buster Destruction Sword
  • 1 Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden
  • 3 Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman
  • 3 Dragon Buster Destruction Sword
  • 3 Kinka-byo

Spells: (20)

  • 3 Solar Recharge
  • 1 Allure of Darkness
  • 3 Instant Fusion
  • 1 One For One
  • 3 A Hero Lives
  • 1 Reinforcement of the Army
  • 1 Soul Charge
  • 2 Charge of the Light Brigade
  • 2 Destruction Swordsman Fusion
  • 3 Twin Twister

Extra Deck: (15)

Fusion: (4)

  • 2 Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman
  • 2 Elder Entity Norden

Synchro: (8)

  • 1 Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons
  • 1 Scrap Dragon
  • 1 Stardust Dragon
  • 3 Buster Dragon
  • 1 Black Rose Dragon
  • 1 Armades, Keeper of Boundaries

XYZ: (3)

  • 1 Number 11: Big Eye
  • 1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
  • 1 Slacker Magician


Buster & the Whelps:

First, let’s talk about the direct Buster Blader support, and if you haven’t yet go ahead and check out Matt’s article about his thoughts on the new Buster Blader support to get a run down of sorts on how the deck functions. The deck is directed towards the goal of special summoning a Buster Blader as fast as possible and using both Wizard Buster and Dragon Buster equipped to that Buster Blader to prevent your opponent from using valuable parts of their deck. Then, from there you typically want to move to the Buster Dragon plus the Buster Blader fusion lockdown which pretty much doesn’t let your opponent use any monsters for the rest of the game.

The be-all and end-all of the deck is Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman. Without some kind of access to this card the deck almost completely crumbles except for some mighty fine milling. Surprisingly, one of the biggest struggles of the new support is reliably summoning Buster Blader. Unlike previously reinvigorated support, such as the newer Blue-Eyes support, which really could summon more Blue-Eyes than was necessary, there’s only 2 functional ways to summon Buster Blader with the new support. One, is to use Whelp’s effect to tribute itself, or two, to already have a Buster Blader in the graveyard and summon a Buster Dragon to revive it. Method 2 is possible, but a little out of the way, since more often than not the best way to Synchro summon a Buster Dragon is to use a Buster Blader as material, meaning you where already capable of summoning a Buster Blader beforehand. This means more often than not the only way to summon a Buster Blader is to have a Whelp. The problem then becomes that there really isn’t a whole lot of ways to search Whelp, and by not a whole lot I mean that though there are ways to search it, most of them are slow or inefficient. The only reliable way that I found in testing was using Minerva, and I rarely go for that anyways.

The next best thing then was to backwards toolbox it, which in this instance means milling. I quickly came to the conclusion that if I had no reliable search options I was going to have to add an unreliable engine that at least added possibilities to the deck rather than not. It’s basically win-win for this deck: either have an inconsistent deck that sometimes draws into what it needs, or have an inconsistent deck that has the additional possibility of milling what it needs, and I obviously chose the latter. The deck also has a lot of benefits from milling. Whelp summons from the graveyard, the fusion spell is recurrable from the graveyard, Buster Dragon summons and equips from the graveyard, and concordantly the equip-Buster monsters want to be in the graveyard for Buster Dragon’s equip effect. This all added the additional functionality of Soul Charge and Kink-byo, which I’ll explain later.

The Basic Combo:

The standard play for the deck is to have a Whelp and a Buster Blader and do the following:

  • Normal Whelp.
  • Whelp’s effect searches Dragon Buster.
  • Tribute Whelp to summon Buster Blader.
  • Equip Dragon Buster from hand to Buster Blader.
  • Special summon the equipped Dragon Buster.
  • Synchro with Dragon Buster and Buster Blader for Buster Dragon.
  • Buster Dragon’s effect re-summons the Buster Blader from the graveyard.
  • During the opponent’s turn you equip Dragon Buster from the graveyard to Buster Blader with Buster Dragon’s effect.

It’s a 2 card combo that prevents the use of the opponent’s extra deck. The play also allows a lot of future potential and has a slight robustness because the Buster Dragon can keep reviving Buster Blader if he dies.

Every turn after this you can summon the equipped Dragon Buster and synchro with Buster Blader for the level 8 Synchro of choice. The build I ran had Stardust Dragon, Scrap Dragon and Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons as my potential options. Then after synchro summoning you can use Buster Dragon to revive the Buster Blader again and re-equip Dragon Buster again during the opponent’s turn, effectively netting you a free level 8 Synchro each surviving turn.

With the addition of other combo pieces the plays can become more deadly. With Wizard Buster you can lock out all of the opponent’s graveyard monster effects. This is particularly relevant against Kozmos, Atlanteans and Burning Abyss. Against Burning Abyss having a Buster Blader equipped with a Wizard Buster basically turns off their entire deck except for traps which puts them at the mercy of their opening hand. Against Atlanteans all the graveyard effects of the Atlantean monsters cannot activate (most importantly Atlantean Dragoons).  Against Kozmos if you have the Buster Dragon setup, the original Buster Blader will always have at least 3100 ATK in the face of an opponent’s monster because they’re all treated as Dragon-type. This means that with a Wizard Buster, Buster Blader can attack over any big ship in Kozmos and prevent it from summoning from the deck because of Wizard Buster.

Wizard Buster also allows for recursion, and I typically try to do the standard combo and use Wizard Buster in the middle of the combo to recur the Whelp. This is because once you’ve setup a Buster Blader in the graveyard you can re-setup the standard combo again after the opponent wipes your field with just the one Whelp. Whelp can be normal summoned and search a Dragon Buster, then tribute Whelp revive Buster Blader and use Dragon Buster to equip, then special, then synchro for Buster Dragon, and now we’re back where we started again!

With the addition of Destruction Swordsman Fusion you can start up the most deadly version of the standard combo. Once you’ve setup the standard field of Buster Blader and a Buster Dragon, you can then use the quick-play fusion spell Destruction Swordsman Fusion to fusion summon during the opponent’s turn using your Buster Blader and any monster the opponent controls because all the opponent’s monsters are being treated as Dragon-type because of Buster Dragon. This is some nice spot removal for getting rid of particularly pesky monster, for example a Kozmo big ship (because using a monster as fusion material does not target it). While this spot removal is nice, the real prize is the combination effects of Buster Dragon and Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman (the fusion monster). The Buster Blader fusion’s effect is that all dragon-type monsters the opponent controls are switched to defense and cannot activate their effects. This means with Buster Dragon all the opponent’s monsters are treated as Dragon-type and cannot activate their effects. The lock is completed with a Wizard Buster preventing any of their effects in the graveyard as well. This means that in most cases the opponent must use spells or traps to out your field. In most decks the most reliable out that people run is Raigeki, which is why I always try to follow up my lock-down field with the summoning of a Stardust Dragon, which absolutely completes the lock and seals the game against most decks.

Individual Card Choices:

I’ll now go through each card and explain my choice:

  • 1-2, Destruction Swordmaster – Buster Blader
    • Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordmaster is almost always a worse card than the original Buster Blader in this deck. The only reason I run it at all is because you can search the Destruction Swordmaster off of Whelp’s effect and you cannot search the original Buster Blader that way. The Destruction Swordmaster is not treated as Buster Blader in the hand, so you cannot summon it from the hand with Whelp’s effect meaning you always have to pair his searching with a discard outlet such as an in-grave Destruction Swordsman Fusion (requiring you to have milled it) or Twin Twister. I only run 3 total of both because you don’t really want to draw more than 1, but you desperately need to mill or draw at least 1 every duel and 2 wasn’t enough to guarantee it. With 4 you start getting more frequent dead opening hands, which is not fun.
  • 3 Whelp, 3 Dragon Buster
    • These two are the heart and soul of the deck. You always want to draw them both and you don’t mind milling them either, so the maximum number of copies of both is logical.
  • 2 Wizard Buster
    • While this card is simply amazing for the deck, it is completely combo based. It has almost no value outside of the combos it provides so sometimes opening it can be bad and make your hand less usable. It’s preferred that I search this card off of Whelp’s effect in order to get it. I run two as opposed to 1 because I don’t want to mill it and be out all of my copies for searching. Without milling in the deck I would probably only run 1.
  • 3 A Hero Lives, 2 Elemental HERO Prisma
    • The Prisma engine fairly simple. You get access to Buster Blader much easier and not at the cost of the normal summon. You can fusion summon using the Prisma or you can even equip the name-changed Prisma with Wizard Buster and Dragon Buster. The ideal play is to open with A Hero Lives and a Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn.
      • Special summon a Prisma from the deck with A Hero Lives.
      • Prisma becomes Buster Blader by dumping Buster Blader from the deck.
      • Normal summon Raiden and Synchro for Buster Dragon.
      • Buster Dragon revives the in grave Buster Blader.
  • Lightsworn Engine:
  • 3 Raiden, 1 Minerva, 3 Solar Recharge, 2 Charge of the Light Brigade, 3 Instant Fusion
    • First and foremost, this mini engine is designed for milling an draw power. Mill important Buster Blader combo pieces as well as hopefully draw into Buster Blader combo pieces. The engine has some additional points of synergy that I find rather cool too. Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden can search a LIGHT Dragon-type monster from the deck whose level is less than or equal to the number of different Lightsworn names in the graveyard when Minerva is normal summoned. With 1 Raiden in the graveyard you can then search a Whelp with Minerva’s effect, which is pretty nice. Instant Fusion is a nice touch as well, allowing you to use Norden to summon Raiden and make a Buster Dragon without normal summoning. This can revive milled Buster Bladers and re-establish your board.
  • 3 Kinka-byo
    • A card I don’t see a whole lot of people using in this deck, but one of my favorites. You can continually revive Whelp with Kinka-byo each turn and tribute the Whelp for infinitely re-summonable Buster Bladers. Also, you can do a pretty slow Buster Dragon setup by using Kinka-byo to revive Whelp and get Buster Blader and next turn reviving Whelp again to synchro with the Buster Blader for Buster Dragon. Once you already have the standard setup, Kinka is still nice to have because it allows you to get additional Buster Bladers on the board to push for damage because Buster Dragon will only revive the one at a time. Kinka-byo is also a DARK for that Allure of Darkness.
  • 3 Twin Twister
    • This card’s power is unquestionable at this point. For this deck in particular I felt you really needed to run Twin Twister though. The discard outlet is very important for setup plays using Raiden, Instant Fusions and the Destruction Swordmaster. The deck also can get absolutely blown out by trap heavy decks if they’re running the right trap cards. A good example would be Solemn Strike, which can really hurt this deck when played correctly.
  • Allure of Darkness, One for One, Soul Charge, & Reinforcement of the Army
    • I would consider all of these cards self explanatory.
  • Extra Deck monsters
    • I would also consider the Extra Deck self explanatory. Anything that seems random is just the highest utility card of a possible Synchro level or XYZ Rank that this deck is capable of summoning but is probably unlikely to do. For example Armades can be summoned by using Norden plus a level 1 Tuner, but is unlikely.

If you have any questions or comments be sure to reply below!

Written by: Kyle Oliver

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