After the changes I had talked about and some testing, here’s my new take on Lightsworn Rulers.
For the most part, not every idea I had worked out, as with most things in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Some things are fantastic, others not so much. Here’s the build I’ve been settling on that I’ll likely be running, or running something very similar to for my next regionals:
Main Deck (41):
- 1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
- 2 Judgment Dragon
- 1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
- 1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
- 1 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders
- 2 Lightpulsar Dragon
- 3 Darkflare Dragon
- 1 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast
- 3 Shaddoll Dragon
- 3 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn
- 2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
- 2 Eclipse Wyvern
- 1 Felis, Lightsworn Archer
- 1 Debris Dragon
- 3 Mathematician
- 2 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
- 2 Card Trooper
- 3 Solar Recharge
- 1 Allure of Darkness
- 1 Soul Charge
- 1 Foolish Burial
- 1 Charge of the Light Brigade
- 3 Needlebug Nest
Extra Deck (15):
- 1 Star Eater
- 1 Hot Red Dragon Archfiend
- 1 Stardust Spark Dragon
- 1 Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn
- 1 Black Rose Dragon
- 1 Arcanite Magician
- 1 Samsara, Dragon of Rebirth
- 1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
- 1 Number 11: Big Eye
- 1 Adreus Keeper of Armageddon
- 1 Queen Dragun Djinn
- 1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
- 1 Diamond Dire Wolf
- 1 Lavalval Chain
- 1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
Side Deck (15):
- 1 Lightray Daedalus
- 2 Black Dragon Collapserpent
- 2 White Dragon Wyverburster
- 2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
- 2 Rainbow Kuriboh
- 1 Mind Control
- 3 Mystical Space Typhoon
- 2 Breakthrough Skill
Okay, so the name of the game for this build is “answers”. I tried to build the deck to be very versatile and always have answers to every situation. I also never want to side if at all possible because game 2 and 3 this deck is always worse when you disrupt its ratios with different cards that don’t serve the deck’s purposes. Until the day comes when there’s cards that propel the deck forward while also dealing with floodgates, siding will be a bad idea for this deck. If I side at all, it likely will be about 2 cards, probably maxing out at 4 cards. I’ll discuss what each card in the side is for.
New Stuff/Things That Need Explaining:
First off we have Mathematician, who has honestly worked wonders for me. It’s powerfully advantageous when going second and also feeds into every possible avenue the deck can go down and additionally he draws a card when he dies. The ideal move with Mathematician is to send Felis, Lightsworn Archer. This play is incredibly robust, because at every point it makes the opponent vulnerable to one destructive force or another, similar to summoning Debris Dragon in this deck. Felis allows obvious monster destruction, which is fantastic, but also mills turn 1 (if going second, because the opponent has no monsters when you go first) before the end phase and gets a Lightsworn into the graveyard for all future plays involving her, which there are quite a few. If you mill a Shaddoll Dragon off her effect it puts you almost impossibly far ahead of the opponent; you destroy their monster, a spell or trap, and then draw an additional card when Mathematician dies.
Mathematician also provides the much needed instant access to Shaddoll Dragon games 2 and 3. When the opponent has a Light-Imprisoning Mirror up you can easily just summon Mathematician, send Dragon, and still be pretty well off. This of course does not work versus Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure, Skill Drain or Mind Drain, which I’ve seen my fair share of game 2 and 3. Luckily, 3 of those are limited to 1.
Mathematician has a few other targets: Wulf, Lightsworn Beast (which I rarely if ever choose), Eclipse Wyvern, stray Lightsworn names and Rainbow Kuriboh games 2 and 3 (if it’s sided in). More often than not it’s Felis, followed by Shaddoll Dragon, then Wyvern and almost never the rest.
Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders:
Mathematician beckons Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders to make a new slot over Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls. Redox is very powerful with all the EARTH monsters the deck runs, which previously was only 2 Card Trooper, but now is 5. This makes summoning the extra Dragon Ruler for a Rank 7 XYZ much easier since there’s always additional non-dragon-type fodder to summon Redox with. Redox’s in hand Monster Reborn effect has also done me very well in testing even though I hadn’t really expected it to come up much.
I’ve only really mentioned Shaddoll Dragon passively in past articles, but I’ve certainly been running it to great effect for some time now. Even Matt is running 1. It essentially has replaced Necro Gardna in my last profile. Dragon has an extreme blow-out factor, in that it turns mills into literal plusses. It’s also a pretty tolerable normal summon, though not particularly desirable, and also it has an amazing flip effect for my nightmare match-ups.
The reason I don’t run Necro Gardna and Dragon instead is this: I was at first running both, Shaddoll Dragon showed a lot of promise on first testing and I really like it. I ran them both and I quickly came upon the problem that I was more often drawing any combination of Shaddoll Dragon, Necro Gardna or both than I was with just the 2 Necro Gardnas, and logically so. I decided that I had to cut 1 of them because I couldn’t deal with all the dead draws and I decided on Necro Gardna. First, Shaddoll Dragon is by far the better monster to draw of the two, so in that sense it’s less dead less often. Second, Necro Gardna had always been at odds with the deck’s functionality, in that the DARK monsters in my graveyard I typically wanted to banish to summon Darkflare Dragon, but Necro Gardna wanted to banish itself or stay in the graveyard for later. Third, Shaddoll Dragon is very important to the idea of having answers and Necro Gardna is not. Lastly, I found that the negation from Necro Gardna rarely swayed the tide of any duel in the current format; decks both did not OTK often, or had at least 2 monsters attacking frequently preventing Necro Gardnas usefulness.
I also ended up running 3 to further increase the chances of milling, increase the amount of DARKs in grave for Darkflare and Lightpulsar and also to facilitate Allure of Darkness, which aids in digging for the mega setup cards like Solar Recharge, Charge of the Light Brigade and Needlebug Nest, and lastly because it’s easy to side out the Allure of Darkness, giving me more lenience when siding.
Wulf, Lightsworn Beast:
I have previously stated in article, and have also stated many times on the podcast “I do not like Wulf”. While that remains true, I felt the necessity of the card after the previously regionals. I frequently have been caught with one monster on the board getting Effect Veiler-ed or Fiendish Chained and would have no plays and I frequently would mill for only very passive advantage in the form of Lightsworn Names and Dragon Rulers. The necessity I found was that of milling advantageously, because all of my opponent’s decks were always going plus naturally. I needed my deck to be gaining advantage to keep up and in a way Wulf allows that. Wulf is inherently very random, but when it happens it provides a vast multitude of plays and also allows myself to use less of my cards to threaten my opponent’s cards, thus keeping more options open. I still from time to time am bested by drawing both Felis and Wulf, but that’s very few and far between, and even in some of those times I can play out of it by discarding with Lumina, Lightpulsar Dragon or D.D.R. or I just happen to draw into Solar Recharge which is fairly common with the addition of Mathematician’s drawing effect in tandem with Card Trooper’s drawing effect.
This card is so amazing in this deck, it’s almost a wonder I wasn’t running it previously. It’s pretty much the same as Mathematician except you don’t need to normal summon and it can also send specific Dragon Rulers to the graveyard. It’s applications are pretty obvious in my opinion, so I won’t get too much into them, but I will say that I like to hold off on using it until the last minute because it provides such versatility.
I have previously never run Soul Charge in this deck because I didn’t really like it. It forces you into awkward plays requires to you open really well. In this current build I changed my mind simply because I added Felis, Lightsworn Archer. Felis now adds a very simple and powerful play by in addition to the monsters you summon with Soul Charge, you also summon Felis to make an offensive threat without attacking. It’s also good with the addition of Felis, because opening Mathematician into Felis practically sets up the card with no effort.
As for what plays I make with Soul Charge, there are none that are specific. My mind set though is typically to remove every card from the opponent’s side of the field using combinations of Felis, Lyla and Arcanite Magician and Castel and hopefully ending with either Dracossack, Stardust Spark Dragon or REDMD and Lightpulsar on board for defense.
New Lightsworn Line-Up:
So, I have a very strange, but also specific, line-up of Lightsworns for this deck that’s quite different than any last iteration. I have previously been running Ehren and Ryko. I also dropped Lyla and Lumina to 2 instead of 3. The idea behind this Lightsworn engine is to simply not clog normal summons as much as possible. Previously, when running a bunch of Lightsworns, you get multiples in hand. I really only want to have one in hand at a time, to either discard for Solar Recharge or summon. The rest of my hand I want to be Special Summons, because this makes my hand more versatile.
The addition of the Felis + Mathematician opening play gets a single name into the graveyard really fast and also prevents you drawing her later. This alone allows me to run less names and less copies of each because that opening means I only need to get 3 more names, which is much easier than 4.
Lyla and Lumina both clump really hard, it makes your hand really weak when you open a lot of them. Lyla is good at 2 because you really only want to see it once a game, but you still want to have high odds of milling it. Running 2 of a card lets you see it in hand or graveyard almost every game. Lumina of course has wombo combos but, like I said in my previous article, you pretty much lose when she flubs. She also is bad to draw in multiples because it kind of forces your turns. 2 seems the optimal number in testing, and I haven’t really missed the 3rd. I don’t wombo as often, but I don’t brick as much either.
I run a lot less Lightsworns than most any build of Lightsworns with a count of 9 total cards. Standard builds usually run about 11 or 12 names. I think this is a feasible cut with the new Card Trooper plus Mathematician draw engine, because you more often draw into names and Solar Recharge and you can also pinpoint mill names more readily than with a high Lightsworn name build. Overall it increases the consistency in my opinion.
Things I’ve Been Thinking About:
Here’s some cards I’ve put some thought into but really haven’t had any time to test:
Tragoedia seems like a fantastic choice in combination with Mathematician and Card Trooper and also solves 3 of the decks major problems: Necessity of DARK monsters, the need to discard dead cards from hand, and have a defense from OTKs. If I was to swap for it, I’d swap 1 Shaddoll Dragon and 1 Lightpulsar Dragon.
Message in a Bottle:
This card is a really weird tech choice, but in theory it can work like a little bit weaker Soul Charge (more like a lot of bit). It can revive Card Trooper and Darkflare and you can still activate their costs for their effects, which is really all you want, and you get the latent destroyed by battle effects of both Card Trooper and Mathematician when revived providing extra defense and deck digging.
A Bunch of Shaddolls:
After seeing Billy Brakes 60 card Shaddoll Abyss deck, I thought it may not be too bad of an idea to run a Shaddoll Lightsworn deck with an over 40 card deck. I have no testing really though, so this might be a total flop idea. I have been wanting to find a way to utilize Shaddoll Beast in the deck though, but the problem is when I draw it. Hmm.
Call of the Haunted:
It does all the right things, but the problem is it’s vulnerable to MST. Maybe siding into it, or is that to strange?
D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation
An old tech choice I’ve used in the past, it helps accelerate you when you need more plays, but once again vulnerable to MST and it requires some setup.
Side Deck Cards:
The side deck is rather boring, but I’ve built the deck in a way that I’d rather not side all that much. The cards I do side ideally will not impede my strategy and will also aid my strategy. Of the side only MST and Breakthrough Skill don’t meet that criteria. I’ll talk about each card or card sets and my reasoning behind siding them.
Only for decks with Field Spells, specifically the horror match-up with Gravekeepers. Other than that I would never side it in.
Dark Dragon Collapserpent and White Dragon Wyverburster:
Inherently they work as a pair. This is for decks that I desperately need to be making Rank 4 XYZ against and nothing else. The most specific match-up is Evilswarms. Other than that, any deck that might set 5 turn one and potentially have multiple effect negation cards face-down is what I want to side these against. When I summon a Raiden or Lyla and it gets its effect negated I want to follow up with Collapserpent or Wyverburster and then further my pressure with Lavalval Chain or Spark Dragon.
Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter:
This is for Evilswarms and for decks I can guarantee are siding Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure because I need options for killing those. If the opponent is only siding in Light-Imprisoning Mirror potentially I don’t want Rykos.
Against really aggressive decks, like my own, that run almost no Spell and Traps, I want OTK protection. Typically I would side out my 3 Shaddoll Dragons and 1 Lightpulsar for 2 Rainbow Kuriboh and 2 Collapserpent versus that kind of deck. Examples would be for the mirror match, Hieratics, Frog Monarchs etc.
Pretty much only for Shaddolls.
Mystical Space Typhoon:
Only for decks that have continuous cards that are so devastating to my deck that I can’t play around them in any way. I never want to side MST otherwise because it’s incredibly inconsistent for my deck and has absolutely no synergy. I might side this against Gravekeepers, Dark Worlds or Evilswarms, all of which are prone to side Light Mirror and can side in additionally or main some combination of Skill Drain, Dimensional Fissure, Macro Cosmos, Soul Drain, Imperial Iron Wall and Vanity’s Emptiness. Essentially, decks that can have more continuous cards than I can handle, in which case I’ll probably lose no matter what.
Pretty much only for Artifact variants. Artifacts are a huge bother for my deck.
QOTW? Question of the Week:
Once the next set, The New Challengers, hits, which deck do you think will be the best deck? Will it be Shaddolls with their new Fusion monsters and El Shaddoll Fusion, Burning Abyss with their absurd new TCG exclusive Synchro shenanigans, Satellarknights with their 3 new monsters and amazing new XYZ monster, or maybe some rouge pick? and why do you think so?