Howdy, it’s me Kyle! Just got back from the Washington Regionals. Went 6-3 which is meh, but I’ll do a tournament report anyways, talk about some other stuff within the article as well as I usually do. Fair notice, this is a long read.
From the get go I really didn’t want to run Lightsworn Dragon Rulers because I wasn’t confident in it, and as was spoken on the podcast I was going to run Archfiends if I could pick-up 2-3 Safe Zones before the event. But Alas, I could not get them so I ended up going with my Lightsworn deck. I learned a lot about the deck though by being at the event, which is a plus, but I’ve still got my gripes about it and I still don’t know how I’ll change it in exact.
Here’s the deck list I ran for the event:
- 3 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
- 3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
- 2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
- 1 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin
- 1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
- 3 Lightpulsar Dragon
- 3 Darkflare Dragon
- 2 Eclipse Wyvern
- 2 Judgment Dragon
- 1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
- 2 Card Trooper
- 3 Necro Gardna
- 1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness
- 1 Interplanetarypurplythorny Dragon
- 2 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
- 2 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders
- 3 Solar Recharge
- 1 Charge of the Light Brigade
- 1 Dark Hole
- 1 Return From the Different Dimension
- 1 No. 74: Master of Blades
- 1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
- 1 No. 11: Big Eye
- 1 No. 61: Volcasaurus
- 1 No. 39: Utopia
- 1 Queen Dragun Djinn
- 1 No. 50: Blackship of Corn
- 1 Diamond Dire Wolf
- 1 Starliege Palidynamo
- 1 Lavalval Chain
- 1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
- 1 Temtempo to Percussion Djinn
- 1 No. 49: Fortune Tune
- 1 Herald of Pure Light
- 1 Crimson Blader
- 1 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
- 2 Effect Veiler
- 2 Maxx “C”
- 2 Electric Virus
- 2 XYZ Encore
- 2 Mystical Space Typhoon
- 2 Royal Decree
- 2 Breakthrough Skill
Quick thoughts on the deck and then I’ll go into the report. The only main deck stuff in question is Purplythorny and Dark Hole. Purplythorny I will be replacing with Ryko because the 3rd was necessary, which I found out far to late in the tournament. Dark Hole was okay, but I don’t feel it progresses the deck forwards any way that’s helpful and doesn’t provide to any opening hands, and really doesn’t help bad hands at all. I don’t know what to replace it with immediately.
The extra deck was almost completely useless this event, which is interesting. Some of the XYZ that used to be my go to XYZ I only used in a single duel. In my extra deck the their where 3 cards I summoned in more than 1 duel: Big Eye, Diamond Dire Wolf (probably my most summoned XYZ, but possibly tied with the next) and Leviair the Sea Dragon. The rest I did for only 1 duel, or not at all. I never summoned Herald of Pure Light, Lavalval Chain (I respect his abilities as a crash card, which I’ll explain later though, which is why I run him), Blackship of Corn or Utopia. Those last two where throw ins though because I had extra space. Good news about all this is that means it’ll be easy to add in Synchros if the Lightsworn Tuner monsters ever come out in the TCG.
Secondary Extra Deck note, I have thought of adding in 1 Photon Thrasher to increase my decks speed in disparity, once again I’ll talk about that later.
Side Deck, I wasn’t really all too fond of my side. I found I lost games for siding out cards more often than I benefited from the cards I sided in. The deck balance is easily tipped if you side more than 4 cards out unless the cards can be easily swapped, but I figured I’d test lots of things out anyways. I found later in the tournament that if I sided any LIGHT or DARK monsters they had to be replaced with LIGHT or DARK monsters from the side or the deck wouldn’t function well enough. I also thought siding out Solar Recharge would be an easy way to fit cards in from the side, but after testing games where I sided very little but kept Recharge I feel it’s never wise to side them out despite my very specific dislikes of the card; Milling turn 1 is just too important for the deck to work. Breakthrough Skill was bad. XYZ Encore was less than exciting, I feel extra Royal Decree and Electric Virus would be better. Virus adds an extra LIGHT monster to the deck and allows me to tribute summon Chaos Dragons over Ophion, which is worth it. Also, most cards that are the bane of my deck’s existence are continuous traps, so Decree is absolutely essential. I wish I sided Trap Eater because I got booty spanked one too many times by Imperial Iron Wall, Light Imprisoning Mirror and Skill Drain.
Onto the report!
ROUND 1: Me vs. Randall (Gladiator Beasts)
I felt really bad for this guy. I opened very poor, he opened “the nutz” as one could call it and as he was about to make Gyzaurus and ruin me he realizes he had forgot to put any Gladiator Beast Fusions in his extra deck and instead had filled it up with XYZ. He was running A Hero Lives glads too so that’s a double whammy. I could tell he was a really good player too because he was really good at bluffing and playing control despite his mishap.
Game 1: As stated above, he opens very well I open bad, he locks me down with Chariot juggling and many other back rows and also prevents me from milling in a way that made me think he had played against or with Lightsworns before because he clearly understood my deck. Or at least I thought so, can’t really confirm it though. He safely wins and I don’t hit him too often.
Game 2: I open set Ryko and 2 Royal Decrees. He attacks into Ryko with Murmillo and I mill Lyla, Lumina and Ehren, making my graveyard 4 different Lightsworn names. I promptly apologize for milling so well because that’s a bit too sacky for me. He does play Dimensional Fissure and set 3 afterwards though. My turn again I set 2nd Ryko and pass. He does nothing so I flip Ryko to destroy fissure and then go ham because I have 2 Decrees. He MSTs the first but it doesn’t matter because I have 2.
Game 3: I get up Lumina + Lyla and keep milling Necro Gardnas and break his endless back row within 2 or 3 of my turns and do a Leviair OTK using Dire Wolf to pop my Ryko to hit his last face-down card.
1 – 0
ROUND 2: Me vs. Gabe (Dragon Ruler)
One thing I hate about playing people who I think are really good is beating them in early rounds. We had a very intense and what I consider to be a skillful match and I give my respect to Gabe here for the good game. It’s a little sad on the other hand because it’s potentially taking away top spots from good players when not so great players top just for having good match-ups.
Game 1: I have relative control of the early game but he begins to out resource me so I go off after he summons Dracossack 2 Tokens and has Blaster, Card Trooper because I am capable of getting 2 JD REDMD Lightpulsar which is a pretty clean OTK most of the time. Sadly, he has the Maxx “C” but the game was already tipped into his favor so I had to take the challenge or lose their. I bet he doesn’t have any battle ending hand traps so I go for the most sure OTK which involves more Special Summoning. He kills my first JD with Raigeki Break. Second JD he Maxx “C”s and I bring out Lightpulsar from grave by pitch REDMD and some other card, blow up field. Dracossack stays because of Tokens. I get back REDMD and use it to revive Lightpulsar to JD again and them get REDMD and revive Lightpulsar again. I attack with my first 2 and then he has Gorz and I attack over the token. He has about 10 cards on his next turn and he takes the game back pretty easily because he also drew Dark Hole in addition to other things. What a long explanation!
Game 2: I janky OTK him for misplaying. I open set Ryko and set Decree because I sided it like a boss. He troopers into Ryko and I destroy trooper mill Lumina, Lightpulsar and Jain, he sets 2 and ends. My turn, summon Lumina in hand use effect to bring back Lumina, he chains Skill Drain I chain Decree, he has Veiler in hand but doesn’t think to chain it, which he told me after. I Lumina a 2nd time and he Veilers. I discard 2 Blasters with the Luminas and have a LIGHT and a DARK in hand so I summon Lightpulsar and Blaster and attack for bad game because he payed 1000 for Skill Drain.
Game 3: Was very back and forth. He opens Trooper and mills super bad. I open Trooper and mill even worse (Charge, Recharge and JD) I’m feeling lucky so I electric Virus his trooper mill some more, it’s a bit better. I attack with both then XYZ for Fortune Tune. I sit on it for a turn then he starts pestering me with a Blaster to which I summon a Crimson Blader to. I’d like to claim I summoned it as a bluff, but for no reason I thought it could attack over Blaster making him Veiler at the end of my Main Phase 1. I don’t attack and he summons Blaster again and I Maxx “C” because I know he has Debris and he can attack over Fortune Tune to get his Trooper in grave and I can win if he doesn’t play into my Maxx “C”. He ends up attacking the Fortune Tune only in the end instead of crashing with Blader so on my next turn I just Electric Virus his Blaster and attack with Blaster and Blader for game. Janky game 2 games in a row, bleh!
2 – 0
ROUND 3: Me vs. Tatsuaki (Dragunity)
This guy was a very reserved Asian fellow, I don’t really know which region because I can never really tell. (no offense) He doesn’t seemed to speak any English so I played most of the game in silence with hand signals, which I honestly find fascinating. The idea that we both know a special non verbal language that allows us to easily communicate is pretty amazing! Yugioh is its own language!
Game 1: I was a little miffed after I thought about it afterwards, but this guy opens Ravine and Zephyros all 3 games, which really sucks for me. I go first summon Trooper, mill poorly and end turn. He does some standard Dragunity things and summons Crimson Blader, REDMD, M7 and Atum and I survive with a combination of Purplythorny and Gorz. I have Dark Hole, but no follow up so he just re-OTKs me on his next turn using Dux + Mystletainn and Tempest.
Game 2: He opens with a nutty big combo again, but this time I have Gardnas and Gorz setup fairly nicely to prevent getting gamed. I don’t remember the beginning of this game all too well though. I do a really strong push that ends with me having REDMD, Lightpulsar and Palidynamo leaving him with 400 because he warning-ed my Lightpulsar earlier. He does a big combo to counter me and gets of a Crimson Blader’s effect but leaves me with REDMD which I attack over his Tempest for exact game in a rather confused manner since he didn’t need to summon the Tempest at all. I would’ve probably won still anyways because that combo used his last Dux and without Tempest he would’ve ended with Blader, Stardust, no set cards and me Leviair and REDMD. I could’ve attack Stardust and Leviair-ed a Necro Gardna to stay alive just in case. His best play next turn would’ve been to crash into REDMD and Tempest over Leviair and I could’ve gamed him still with Blaster.
Game 3: I open with my worst hand of the entire tournament. I believe I had Lyla, 2 Blaster, Lightpulsar, Breakthrough Skill and Eclipse Wyvern. He goes first and summon a bunch of stuff, because he opened Zephyros Ravine again. I have to go off now or I’ll lose with this hand and he has a Stardust so Lyla is useless. I summon Blaster (unholy banishing 2 Dragons from hand to do so) and Lyla and attempt to attack over Stardust with Blaster and he Mirror Forces. I summoned the Lyla because he had a 0 ATK and DEF REDMD which I needed to kill or I’d be OTK’d for sure. After he Mirror Forces I scoop.
2 – 1
ROUND 4: Me vs Justice (Evilswarm)
This guy was very chill and a great conversationalist. We both bantered quite a bit back and forth the entire time. I talk about how I haven’t won game 1 yet today, but I’ve won every game 2 and he jokingly says after winning game 1 that he’s afraid I’ll take the next two because that’s what I’ve been doing, which is ironically what happens.
Game 1: Very back and forth styled game. I destroy 2 Ophions in the first few turns but he doesn’t seem to run out of Kerykeions and gets a 3rd and I run out of steam and can’t kill it. I wasn’t helped by drawing Darkflare Dragon 3 turns in a row after he summons the 3rd Ophion. Ryko puts in a lot of early game work which was nice. I would’ve won the game had I fully convinced myself to summon Redox early to banish 2 Eclipse Wyverns making my Return From the Different Dimension more live which I had the whole game, but I decided to wait a turn and of course he top decks Kerykeion his next turn and makes his 3rd Ophion and I Necro Gardna it giving me 2 Banish Necro Gardnas as apposed to 2 Necros and 2 Eclipse. I make TemTempo the only time in the tournament right then by Returning the 2 Necro Gardnas and he Warnings. I lose on his next turn.
Game 2: Open set Ryko. He summons Ophion sets 2. (I assume 1 is pandemic) I flip Ryko, destroy Ophion then do double Lumina into Lyla into Leviair, banish Eclipse for Redox, revive Eclipse XYZ for Dire Wolf pop Ryko and his last card and some other monster is summoned either JD, REDMD or Lightpulsar and attack for game.
Game 3: Back and forth Ryko and Lyla action on my side and pressure on his monsters with Blaster on his monsters to prevent him from XYZ summoning. He eventually gets up Key Beetle and 2 Ophion and has Key Beetle’s effect on 1 of the Ophion. He attacks my Ryko with Beetle which I use to destroy the destructible Ophion and then he sets one and uses Beetle’s effect on it, I chain my set MST. (it was a Safe Zone, that was close!) My turn I flip XYZ Encore on his Ophion and summon Lightpulsar and hit one of his now Level 3s. His turn he crashes Beetle and Pulsar and I get Darkflare. I summon Blaster next to turn and attempt to attack his monster and then attack for game but he just drew and set Mirror Force. He tops again for another turn and gets another Trap so I summon Redox and Blaster then attack for game because he drew a spell.
3 – 1
ROUND 5: Me vs Michael (Dragunity)
Michael’s from my locals (Phoenix Games), he’s a really cool dude, but he really didn’t want to play against me because as he kept saying before the match “I’m gonna lose, you’re too good”. I think he could’ve won but the way he was viewing the match impeded on his victory because he kept being scared I had something to stop him in my hand when in actuality I usually didn’t.
Game 1: He opens pretty bad and summons a Dux sets 3 I believe. I read the Icarus Attack because I know he runs it so I summon only Card Trooper to attack over it, but I mill a Lightpulsar so I decide to revive it by pitching a Darkflare to bait the Icarus and when I attack he does so I get Darkflare and Trooper draw. I use Darkflare I believe to banish a card in his grave and fill my own. Next turn he doesn’t draw anything else that’s helpful and I do one of my big convoluted Leviair OTKs next turn.
Game 2: He opens very strong basic Stardust plus back row but I counter it with ramming a Lightpulsar into it turn 1 to get REDMD back and then Lyla main phase 2 and revive Lightpulsar. He tries to Crimson Blader next turn but I Necro it and he kills almost all my stuff and gets me down to 100 lifepoints. I comeback using Big Eye to take his REDMD though getting me game.
4 – 1
ROUND 6: Me vs. Zack (Blackwings)
I’ve seen this guy before, I don’t know if I’ve played before, but I was aware before the game began that he was a good duelist. We get deck checked so we have to wait a bit and we chat a little until our decks get back, both of which where fine. The Judge makes a comment about how he really likes my unique deck build.
Game 1: This duel was pretty insane! The beginning of the game was him set 4, Whirlwind with Bora. I slowly broke down his set cards with Ryko, Trooper and Lyla and somehow end up with a Fiendish Chained Lyla and Trooper and a Ryko in defense. I push pretty hard one turn with a Blaster and Lightpulsar but he protects his Bora (which is still their at this point) and Shura with Kalut. He gets up Armor Master, Dark Armed Dragon and Ice Beast Zerofyne next turn and Ice Beast has 5000 ATK because their’s so many cards on board because of his Fiendish Chains. I save myself with Necro Gardna and because my field is full. In the process of his play he bounces a Fiendish Chain for Zephyros to make the Armor Master, so I know he has chain. He sets 2 in his main phase two, I know one is Chain, the other likely a good trap. I devise a plan where I will first summon JD, which will probably get Fiendish Chained. Then I’ll try to Big Eye his Dark Armed to bait his second Trap, or just flat out win by taking Dark Armed. Then when that fails I would Banish JD for REDMD normal Necro Gardna and XYZ with my on field Trooper for Leviair and special a banish Eclipse Wyvern and use the REDMD to make another Eclipse Wyvern and make Palidynamo or Queen Dragun so I could crash REDMD into Dark Armed and still have a Lightpulsar on board. But I completely fail by banishing all my Eclipse Wyverns to summon Redox and Blaster for Big Eye and don’t realize it before it’s too late and lose because of it.
EDIT: I thought of a better play I could’ve made today (being the Wednesday after the Regionals. I should have just made a TemTempo instead of Leviair and detached the Necro Gardna to take Zerofyne’s material. Special summoned REDMD by banishing JD as I was already and then revived Lightpulsar with REDMD. Then I could crash REDMD into Dark Armed killing both, then I could crash Lightpulsar into Armor Master to revive REDMD again and main phase 2 revive Lightpulsar again. This would leave him with Armor Master and a 2000 ATK Zerofyne with no effect and a Black Whirlwind and no cards in hand. He’d have to top deck amazing to get out of that. The next turn I could then ram Lightpulsar to get back Darkflare and then revive another Darkflare with REDMD to make Volcasaurus to kill Armor Master. Oh well, now I’ve learned!
Game 2: He essentially opens Shura attack over my Lumina bring out Kochi make Key Beetle with Light Imprisoning Mirror and Imperial Iron Wall. I thought about just scooping there but waited 2 turns to see if I’d draw Decree and didn’t then scooped because it was my only out I ran at that point.
4 – 2
ROUND 7: Me vs. Kaje (Constellar)
This guy seemed all down. Not much else to say about him than that in my opinion since we didn’t talk all too much.
Game 1: He goes first opens Pollux Kaus into Pleiades set 2. I open really really bad and lose in a couple turns without really doing much of anything because I can’t mill. He does some OTK with Shark Fortress on turn 5.
Game 2: I open trooper mill fairly well end turn. He opens Sombres set 2, kills Trooper. I Special Lightpulsar from grave, he warnings, I summon Lightpulsar from grave again, then normal Ehren and attack with both. He flips Macro Cosmos chaining to Ehren’s mill in the end phase and I mill Blaster and search a second, which was strange but also helpful. I don’t remember what we do on the proceeding turns but I do 950 damage that next turn. Next turn he plays Dark Hole and attacks with a Thrasher and ends. I summon Blaster and Redox from hand and attack for game on my turn.
Game 3: He opens Pleiades again, but no back row. I open worse than game one. I summon Ehren and end and mill bad. (I think I opened Ehren every game this match?) He goes and summons Sheratan attacks and ends. I think about playing Dark Hole but don’t on my next turn and instead summon Eclipse Wyvern and attack over Sheratan. I set MST. He end phase bounces MST with Pleiades. His turn he summons Sombres to get back Pollux then summons Kaus then makes Volcasaurus pops Eclipse and then Gaia Dragon and attacks for game. I would’ve survived if I Dark Hole’d, but I had a really bad hand so I don’t think I could’ve won, but it was still a misplay on my behalf none the less.
4 – 3
ROUND 8: Me vs. Michael (Bujin)
Nice guy, but he really lost his fire when he realized I was probably going to win. No offense to him or his deck, but mine clearly overpowered his in a way he couldn’t hope to combat effectively. About Bujins in general, I think the deck is bad, but it’s twice as bad versus Chaos Dragons because it simply has no answer to Lightpulsar Dragon at all except Bottomless Trap Hole and Dimensional Prison if they run it. It’s similar to how Colossal Fighter completely wrecks Bujins in the Dragon Ruler match-up.
Game 1: He has control most of the game, but isn’t stopping me from milling. I allow myself to take a beating until I have 2 JDs setup and do 2 JDs plus REDMD Lightpulsar for game.
Game 2: I open poorly and can’t start milling. During this game I made a critical realization about the deck going into the future that affected me in previous games. The realization was a culmination of all I had learned from my side deck testing throughout the tournament. First, I should never ever side out any Hamsters or Rykos and I should be maining the third Ryko. I also should never side out any of the other Lightsworns or Solar Recharge. I shouldn’t side them out even if they weren’t good against the opponent’s deck and even if I hate Solar Recharge. It’s too important to open with Lightsworns and to mill, and taking any of them out effects the decks consistency too adversely to warrant the siding. I should also never side out Necro Gardna because, despite it being inconsistent at times it is one of the most essential pieces to the decks functionality. Every game after this I only made siding decisions if it was completely necessary. I don’t remember exactly what I sided out, but I sided in Veilers, MSTs and Decree. I utterly flopped during this game and also got owned by double Mirror Force and double D.D. Crow. Two turns in a row I attack into Susanowo with Lightpulsar and he plays Mirror Force and Crows my Darkflare target in grave that I would revive. I let out a wail the second time it occurred. I end up doing it a third time but he now has Honest and Honest’s me for game.
Game 3: I side back in every card and keep the additional Ryko in and side Gorz for Veiler. So in the end the only changes from my normal deck where minus Purplythorny and Gorz, plus Ryko and Veiler. I open triple Recharge and 1 Lyla and end up doing first turn Lumina discard Necro Gardna into Lyla after playing only 1 Recharge. I keep 1 in hand and set the other. I mill another Gardna. I don’t let him attack with his Turtle he summons, then he sets four. I Lyla 1 set card immediately. Then I normal Lyla and hit another. I XYZ for Dire Wolf to hit another then revive Lumina with Lumina and then Lyla, then hit his last card. I then do Leviair revive Eclipse make Palidynamo negate Turtle, Master of Blades and JD and attack for game.
5 – 3
ROUND 9: Me vs. Matthew (Fire Kings)
This guy had a lot of piercings. Just about everybody including Matthew (and myself) seemed extremely drained, so I don’t really have much to say about him other than visual details.
Game 1: I open set Hamster. He summons Barong and attacks it and at that point I know I win, because whenever Hamster survives a battle I get wombo combos. He sets 3 after and ends. I flip Ryko and target his face-down Circle and he Torrentials. I set another Ryko and end. He searches Yaksha I believe with Barong. (I assume that means he drew Garunix but I cannot confirm, or maybe he was making a play I wouldn’t agree with) He summons Yaksha attacks my face-down (I’m honestly unhappy he did because Ryko was pretty obvious, but that doesn’t mean I wont take advantage of it) Ryko and I hit his last face-down. He Rekindlings his Barong and makes Tiger King, gets Tenki searches Barong. (I’m sort of lead to believe he’s running a stun build as apposed to a Garunix build, but I was too tired to think about it at the time) I banish for a Darkflare next turn then revive Redox from grave and then OTK him with Return From the Different Dimension because it’s my safest OTK. He Maxx “C”s but I assume he doesn’t run any battle enders because of the amount of traps I’ve seen and at the end I ask if he runs Scarecrow and he says no.
Game 2: Hmm, I’m so tired I mixed the two games together. On my score sheet I paid half for Return during game 2 but I remember only the beginning of game 1 and the end of game 2 and they’re fused in my mind. All I know is I win both games without much effort and my opponent is very confused with how my deck is working for most of the time.
6 – 3
I get 53rd, and the top cut is 48 so I don’t top. I didn’t really expect to after my third loss and I learned a lot so it’s fine.
The main thing I learned where these next two things, so I’ll move into theory-oh from here. The things are what I call “Crash” cards and the Solar Recharge Heuristic. They’re both related.
Crashing in Project Management according to BusinessDictionary.com is “Reducing the completion time of a project by sharply increasing manpower and/or other expenses” this means quickly bringing a project back on track at all costs when it’s getting behind schedule. I started applying this idea to Yugioh a little more before the Regionals and it solidified by the end of the Regionals until I had built a concept called Crash Cards. This referred to any card in your deck that was capable of drastic setup pushing when necessary when you fall behind. Almost every deck has a setup to get their engine rolling, but a lot of decks can’t setup late game if they fail during the early game.
Frog Monarchs are quite efficient in that their only setup is getting a Treeborn Frog to the grave, but without that setup the deck can’t work nearly as effectively. A good example of a Crash Card for Frogs is Swap Frog. While it normally is used as an efficient first turn setup card, it can be used to Crash your deck and setup really fast because of its Special Summon ability. It can Crash setup by sending Treeborn to grave or possibly provide a late game tribute fodder at a cost of itself and another water mosnter. For Chaos Dragons nearly every card allows crashing, which is what makes it so strong. At any point in the game if the deck isn’t fully setup it can crash setup at the cost of its hand using the cards Lightpulsar and Darkflare Dragon, Darkflare in particular. Darkflare can move your deck incredibly fast into set up plays but at very big costs. You can also do the same by reviving Lightpulsar from grave to crash your deck and setup by discarding mass quantities from the hand.
This idea though made me realize the inherent flaw in Lightsworns(although I already knew they where flawed in many ways), which is that they are almost incapable of Crashing. If the deck does not open with an early setup play they cannot crash a setup late game to make a quick power play, in fact they are forced to burn a turn with only normal summoning a Lightsworn and hoping to mill a proper setup, which runs the risk of OTKs and just plain bad mills that don’t setup, making you have to burn a second turn at which point you probably lose unless you mill amazingly. This is especially bad when you’re in a situation in which your opponent has presented a field that requires immediate response, something that will probably start snowballing if left unchecked. This frequently required me to Crash my Dragon portion of the deck early in order to deal with problems, which is a waste of resources. That leaves me with little to no cards usually and a burnt turn on a Lightsworn summon that’s only purpose was to mill, and then if the mill is bad I’m dead in the water. This is why Solar Recharge became absolutely necessary in my mind, because it’s the closest thing the archetype has to crashing.
I’ll try to explain why I think Solar Recharge is bad though, similar to why I think most cards like it that, the “discard some archetype mosnter in some way to draw 2” cards, are also bad. Their are exceptions like Sacred Sword of the Seven Stars, which doesn’t actually get rid of the monster that it Banishes because it replaces itself with the same monster, so it’s effectively a Pot of Greed that sees more cards in your deck than Pot does. (let’s limit this card to 1 please) Back on topic, Solar Recharge has a really strange conflict with Lightsworns. If you’re running Lightsworns it is because you want to use their effects, such as Lyla and Ryko. It is illogical then to discard cards that provide an effect that is helpful to you for 2 random cards and 2 mills. The reason being is because it’d be better to get the sure effect of the Lightsworn as opposed to randomness. Theirs always the chance you’ll sack into good draws, but it really defeats the purpose of you running those Lightsworns in the first place unless you’re running them to be discarded which is illogical, so in most instances you’d be better off just having the Lightsworn you drew and some other good card replacing the Recharge in hand.
The second reason I don’t like it is because it’s a combo card. If you draw it early and no Lightsworn to go with it it’s dead, and then if you later draw the Lightsworn you’re pressed not to discard if for Recharge because you’ll need to summon it, since you’ve inevitably done nothing without it so far. (the exception being Jain and Ehren who’s purposes in life are to be discarded with Solar Recharge and/or milled) Then their’s the possibility you draw it late game after you’ve milled and at that point you’ve probably used most Lightsworns or are saving the ones you still have (such as a late game Lumina, which I usually save for OTK combos) making it dead again. In that instance I usually set it as a bluff or discard it with Lumina if possible, but usually discarding a Necro Gardna, Eclipse Wyvern or Dragon Ruler is still better. The only situation in which you really want Solar Recharge is early game with multiple Lightsworns in hand.
This gave rise to my Solar Recharge Heuristic, heuristic meaning a learned rule or methodology. This heuristic is as follows:
Only play Solar Recharge under the following conditions:
- You have 2 or more Lightsworns in your hand.
- You have only Ehren or Jain in hand.
- You’re desperate to make a play and your current hand cannot make an optimal play.
So as a basic rule of thumb I would give this Solar Recharge Heuristic to any one else who wishes to run Lightsworn with Solar Recharge. This will also end my article! If you read all the way to here, congratulations!