Buster Blader’s new support is underwhelming

The greatest dragon-slayer is brought up into the new yugioh era with support released in the Breakers of Shadow set. A new Buster Blader-themed Fusion, 1 new Synchro, 1 new version of Buster Blader, 4 new support monsters, 2 Spells, and 1 Trap make up a new Buster Blader support archetype called Destruction Sword.

Updates:
Kyle’s Buster Blader Deck Profile
My Buster Blader + Magician Pendulum Deck Profile

Destruction Sword Mechanics – Buster Swords

This new themed support is based on equipping the old and new Buster Blader monster with various monsters that get treated like equip cards, effectively giving Buster Blader new “Buster Weapons” to fight with. From the hand or the field, they can be equipped to Buster Blader to provide an anti-meta-like effect.

Even though they’re anti-meta, these support monsters barely function in today’s meta. With such a heavy focus on easy spell and trap destruction/disruption, an equip-focused deck is at a pretty hefty disadvantage. This archetype also lacks any meaningful way of searching for these equip-monsters because they’re standard effect monsters. They don’t gain any union support – for whatever that’s worth. There’s a Spellcaster, 2 Dragons , and one Machine-type that make up the Destruction Sword monster support. There’s no reasonable way to make those function together.

The deck, if it was one, seems to be pulling towards setting up their fusion monster, Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman, and their Synchro, Buster Dragon. The dragon makes all monsters controlled by the opponent into dragons, and the Buster Blader fusion gains a decent attack boost in addition to some other neat things I’ll point out below.

Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman

Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman

Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman

This is perhaps the keystone of the Destruction Swordsman support. Only when it’s Normal Summoned, you can add a “Destruction Sword” card from your deck to your hand, except a clone of itself. It gives the option of using one and only one of its other two effects once per turn. The first allows you to tribute it to special summon “Buster Blader” from your hand (this excludes the new Buster Blader monster) or graveyard . The second allows you to special summon it if it’s in your graveyard, you just have to discard a Destruction Sword card (hopefully the new Buster Blader monster).

This is way too restrictive. Nothing searches this card into the hand with any reliability, except maybe Where Arf Though?. Needing to normal summon it kills its usefulness as a fusion set-up tool. This is the only card that would have allowed you to select the Buster Weapon you need without any big hassle, but they ruined it.

It’s effect is cluttered with too many options. It allows you to search for the relatively great fusion card Destruction Swordsman Fusion. Both the fusion and the synchro use this card as material, so it creates this awkward nexus of importance over this one hard to utilize card.

Once you have a Buster Blader and the Buster Dragon (synchro) on the field, you can cycle this card back into your hand with the Wizard Buster. The issue is that first Buster Blader, how did it get there?

Dragon Buster Destruction Sword

Dragon Buster Destruction Sword

Dragon Buster Destruction Sword

The Dragon Buster is a floodgate card that prevents your opponent from special summoning monsters from the extra deck while it’s equipped. Other than that, it’s a rather vanilla Dark, Level 1 Dragon-type Tuner. Similar to Buster Whelp, it’s not convenient in any way to get this into the hand or onto the field to equip it. It can also be special summoned to the field if it’s being treated as an equip spell when you need to use it as a tuner.

Wizard Buster Destruction Sword

The Wizard Buster is a the new support’s best card, and prevents your opponent’s monster-effects from activating in the graveyard. That’s good against Mermails, Lightsworns, Shaddolls, Bujins, Kozmos, etc. It’s downfall is randomly being a level 3 spellcaster. Again, there’s no easy way to have access to this while still having access to the other Buster Weapons.

The beneficial part to Wizard Buster is its ability to send itself to the graveyard while it’s a spell to add a Destruction Sword monster to the hand. It gives you one extra finger on Buster Whelp when you need to grab it, and it works with the Buster Dragon. Buster Dragon can equip these Buster Weapons to a Blader, but again, where did he come from?

Robot Buster Destruction Sword

Robot Buster Destruction Sword

Robot Buster Destruction Sword

Continuing the anti-meta trend, Robot Buster prevents face-up spell and traps (like pendulum monsters) from activating their effects. Sending it to the graveyard as a spell gives the equipped monster + 1000ATK until the end of the turn.

This effect is pretty good. It’s an obvious counter to pendulum decks, and anything that runs continuous spells and traps with trigger effects. But it’s not a beneficial card because you can’t get to it easily. Well, that’s not true. It is a Dark, Level 4 Machine-type monster. That means you can use Gear Gigant X to search it, but at what sad, depressing cost?

Buster Dragon

Buster Dragon

Buster Dragon

It’s a really good card, except when it tries to use it’s effect, or attack, or do anything other than sit there.

It’s first effect turns all monsters the opponent controls into Dragons while it’s on the field.. Ok, that’s obviously there for the new Buster Blader fusion. Fine, we’ll get to that.

Once per turn, if you don’t control a “Buster Blader” monster, you can summon a Buster Blader monster from the graveyard. This effect makes it seem like having more than one Buster Blader on the field is too good. I mean, you can’t even special summon one from the hand. Buster Blader even has it’s own search card, so why would they add this restriction unless more is better?

It’s third effect allows you to equip a Destruction Sword monster from your graveyard to a Buster Blader. It’s a quick effect, so you can respond to your opponents card effects so that you can prevent their forward progress.

This card assumes so much. It’s level 8, as if somehow I used this archetype’s tuner and a Buster Blader to summon it – no way, that’s such a waste of effort and deck space. But you gotta do it, that’s why there’s two Level 1 tuners in this new support.

Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordmaster

Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordmaster

Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordsman

It’s treated as Buster Blader while it’s on the field or in the graveyard, so you can’t search it with Emblem of the Dragon Destroyer since it is not Buster Blader in the deck. You cannot summon it from the hand with Buster Whelp, since it’s not treated as the original in the hand either.

Anytime a monster the opponent controls is destroyed or sent to the graveyard, you can attach 1 of those sent monsters to it. This is cool because it happens any number of times per turn, and any time a monster is sent as a result of any action. The sucky thing is that it doesn’t work on pendulum monsters because they don’t go to the graveyard – lame.

Once per turn, you can send one of your equipped monsters to the graveyard to destroy all monsters your opponent controls with the same type. So this card’s effect turns your opponent’s monsters into new Buster Swords to use against the opponent – cool.

Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman

Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman

Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman

Buster Blader + 1 Dragon monster

It has to be Fusion Summoned, and it cannot be special summoned any other way – why!? Why!?

This card cannot attack directly – why!? Why!? Not being able to recover it is fine, but this?

It gains 1000 ATK and DEF for each Dragon-type monster the opponent controls or is in their graveyard. Ok, but this only applies when Buster Dragon is on the field. Even then, it only changes monsters on the field to Dragon and nothing in the graveyard, so this effect is a double-edged sword.

While it’s on the field, it changes all the opponent’s dragons to defense position, and they cannot activate their effects. This is like a more powerful Dragon Capture Jar. So if you have Buster Dragon, this continuous effect will apply as your opponent summons new monsters. It’s pretty good for a combo effect.

If this card attacks a defense position monster, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent. What a lame way to recover from not being able to attack directly. Noone asked for this. I guess, thematically, your opponent’s monsters fall to their knees under the might of Buster Blader riding on a dragon. But then again, if he’s the dragon destroyer, why is he riding a dragon? And why is he just cheating by having a dragon that turns everything into dragons?

This card is also not treated as the original “Buster Blader,” so it cannot be directly equipped with the Buster Weapons. Buster Dragon is for getting around that.

The conundrum with this support

I find that just running the Buster Blader support isn’t enough to make a deck. It’s problem is that it’s pretty good at summoning Buster Blader from the graveyard, but only only if you already have one face up on the field, and only if you have access to Buster Whelp. First turn, against smoother decks, it’s just not going to be consistent or even fun.

This support needs to be splashed with something else so that you can do something while waiting for Buster Whelp, something that helps you summon the Synchro, something that gets Buster Blader into the graveyard, and something that runs enough dragons to consistently summon the Fusion.

Destruction Swordsman Fusion

Destruction Swordsman Fusion

Destruction Swordsman Fusion

This is a quick-play fusion that summons any fusion monster with Buster Blader as material – neat. It also uses monsters from your hand or either side of the field! That’s fantastic if you have Buster Dragon on the field and your opponent’s monsters are being treated as dragons. That situation is very excessive though.

Imagine going into Buster Dragon and then going into the fusion. If your opponent only had one monster, then you just lost your ability to attack your opponent directly, assuming you only have these two. It’s good, but also a really bizarre set of card interactions.

This fusion card can also return to your hand by sending a card from your had to the graveyard once per turn. So it can be milled, or gotten back in a time of need. Overall, a good card.

Destruction Sword Flash

Destruction Sword Flash

Destruction Sword Flash

I mean, if you control a Buster Blader based fusion, this card lets you banish all of your opponent’s monsters. Yeah, I like that. It’s just a standard trap, so you can do this anytime. That’s a scary amount of power to have. It works pretty well with the fusion card because it’s a quick-play and both can go off during the opponent’s turn.

Then, when it’s in the graveyard, you can banish it to negate and destroy any card or effect that targets a Buster Blader monster. This is great, or it would be, if it wasn’t so inconvenient to summon Buster Blader monsters.

Karma of the Destruction Swordsman

Karma of the Destruction Swordsman

Karma of the Destruction Swordsman

This card does almost nothing. Very few decks have monsters that go unprotected into the graveyard, and the decks that do don’t care about those monsters. The attack boost is nice, but by the time this card even matters, your monster is long destroyed or bounced back to your hand by other effect. Or you have like 50 Buster Bladers and you’re doing fine anyway.

If it’s in your graveyard, it can be added to your had by discarding a Destruction Sword card, but why bother, card is bad.

Confusing design, not worth the effort

If Buster Blader is your thing, go for it. But you’ll find it’s not good enough to stand on its own. Maybe Heros, Hieratics, or Dark Magician support will blend nicely with this stuff. Once the Buster Dragon and the Fusion are out on the field, it’s pretty easy to get the ball rolling with other cards, but that’s only possible if your opponent isn’t pressuring you very hard.

Here’s the build I ended with for testing:

Buster Blader Deck of Testing

Buster Blader deck of testing

 

Monsters (23)
2 Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordmaster
2 Buster Blader
3 Elemental Hero Prisma
3 Raiden, Lightsworn Assailant
2 Goblindbergh
2 Robot Buster Destruction Sword
3 Wizard Buster Destruction Sword
3 Dragon Buster Destruction Sword
2 Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman

Spells (14)
2 Instant Fusion
1 One for One
3 A Hero Lives
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Dragon Shrine
1 Foolish Burial
3 Destruction Swordsman Fusion
2 Karma of the Destruction Swordsman

Traps (3)
3 Destruction Sword Flash

Extra Deck (15)

2 Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer
2 Elder Entity Norden
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Colossal Fighter
2 Buster Dragon
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
1 Magical Android
1 Armades, Keeper of Illusions
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
2 Gear Gigant X
1 Queen Dragun Djinn

If you’ve built or tinkered with this support, I’d be curious to hear what you’ve done and what you like/dislike about what it brings to the table. Leave a comment here, or reach out to me on twitter @mattcarterwa.

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