The dust has finally settled, here’s my Lightsworn build with all the new stuff that’s come out as well as some talk on future tech.
- 1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
- 2 Judgment Dragon
- 1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
- 1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
- 1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
- 2 Lightpulsar Dragon
- 3 Darkflare Dragon
- 3 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn
- 2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
- 1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
- 2 Eclipse Wyvern
- 1 Debris Dragon
- 3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
- 2 Kuribandit
- 2 Necro Gardna
- 2 Card Trooper
- 1 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
- 3 Solar Recharge
- 2 Reinforcements of the Army
- 1 Soul Charge
- 1 Charge of the Light Brigade
- 3 Needlebug Nest
Extra Deck (15):
- 1 Star Eater
- 1 Scrap Dragon
- 1 Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn
- 1 Black Rose Dragon
- 1 Arcanite Magician
- 1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
- 1 Number 11: Big Eye
- 1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
- 1 Queen Dragun Djinn
- 1 Diamond Dire Wolf
- 1 Starliege Palidynamo
- 1 Lavalval Chain
- 1 Daigusto Emeral
- 1 Constellar Hyades
- 1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
There has been a lot of fanfare concerning Lightsworns recently with the release of the new structure deck and there addition to the meta in the common Yugi-lite’s mind. I decided for the majority of all the happening I would put using Lightsworns on the backburner and just ingest information from what other people are doing with the deck and then come back to it after the dust settled. I saw a lot of weird different builds, and ones that topped etc. etc. I tried out a lot of them and ironically ended up coming back to my original Chaos Dragon variant, which I’ll explain later.
Versus “Standard” Builds:
If you look around at the more recent builds people are running you’ll see some commonalities. Everyone runs 3 Judgment Dragon, they usually also run Lightray Diabolos. Rarely people run Necro Gardna and usually they run Rainbow Kuriboh, if any defensive cards at all. Usually you see Redox rather than Tidal. Nobody runs Chaos Dragons or Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. Also I see a lot of Garoth, Soul Charge, Breakthrough Skill, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, Foolish Burial and Mind Control. I’ll try my best to tell you why or why not I run such things.
One thing I think is essential for Lightsworn Dragon Ruler decks is some kind of extra Dragon-type monster to fuel the Dragon Ruler’s summon condition. That is some extra amount of millable Dragon monsters to allow you to more consistently revive the Dragon Rulers from the graveyard. Without such, the deck loses Dragon Ruler summons very quickly. The typical way to do this is to maximize Dragon-type boss monsters, meaning run 3 Judgment Dragon and some extra amount of Lightray Diabolos. When they’re milled, they’re no longer relevant, so they provide food for Dragon Rulers. This engine is powerful because if you mill enough you can fulfill the needs of both big Dragons and start slapping massive beaters on the board in a costless manner while also providing Dragon Ruler fodder. There’s two problems with this: it’s inconsistent and it’s incredibly linear.
The inconsistency comes pretty obviously, you’re running minimum 5 boss monsters, (3 Judgment Dragon 2 Diabolos) 2 Eclipse Wyvern, and 3 Dragon Rulers. That’s 10 cards that clump in opening hands terribly. These ten cards also have almost zero interaction with cards like Necro Gardna, Rainbow Kuriboh and Honest, which just increases the chance for what people call “brick hands”. Matt calls these hands “Boss Monster Hands”. I personally refuse to run any deck doomed to such inconsistent hands when any other option is viable.
This strategy is also very linear. You’re almost completely bound to your opening hand, so if you open bad, you can’t do anything to make plays, there’s only the linear plays that the deck has. This makes almost no sense when coupled with the fact that the deck is likely to open with brick hands. Why would you run a deck prone to bad hands that also has the weakness of being unable to play around bad hands?
Because of these things I once again moved back to my previous style, being Chaos Dragons. My deck above build has 16 LIGHT monsters and 8 DARK monsters. That’s 2/5 of the deck being LIGHT and 1/5 being DARK, meaning it’s likely that if I mill 5 cards 2 will be a LIGHT monster and 1 a DARK. A combination of Needlebug Nest and just about any other milling card is almost guaranteed a Chaos setup, and Kuribandit itself being DARK almost guarantees a Chaos setup. All of these ratios are heightened by the fact that every Spell or Trap in the deck, bar Soul Charge, further thins the deck to make LIGHT and DARK monsters really easy to hit on mills. All this to say, Darkflare Dragon and Lightpulsar are really easy to summon and consistent, as opposed to the Diabolos build. Lightpulsar also provides the opportunity to discard from your hand for precise graveyard correction.
So, what my build provides then is a reverse of all the issues of the Diabolos build. It is first more consistent and less prone to brick hands due to Chaos Dragons and lessened boss monsters. It is more versatile and less linear due to the Chaos Dragons. Chaos Dragons also bring the addition of far more defensive plays using Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and Lightpulsar, which is advantageous against a lot of decks. What is the cost of these changes? I would say the only difference is that the magnitude of the deck’s most powerful plays is far less than that of the Diabolos build and that alone. It trades power for consistency. I don’t think that this is particularly relevant though, because the deck’s power is still overwhelming to most decks.
Rainbow Kuriboh vs. Necro Gardna:
Necro Gardna is better than Rainbow Kuriboh in my opinion because it gives advantage for free when milled, so why are people running Kuriboh then? The reason is because of Lightray Diabolos and lack of discarding for Necro Gardna’s viability. Rainbow Kuriboh is LIGHT so it works towards Diabolos’ summoning condition. With a lack of discard outlets, Gardna works against you when drawn, and the Diabolos build lacks discard outlets and already suffers from bad hands. My build can support Necro Gardna due to Lightpulsar Dragon and lack of Lightray Diabolos, so it’s only natural that I would run Gardna instead. It’s also a Warrior-type for Reinforcements of the Army, but I highly doubt that will ever make a difference.
After a lot of testing with this card, I still really don’t like it very much in the deck. The major reason I don’t like it is because it contributes to bad opening hands early game, and this deck’s success is based on how good it can open so I tend to steer clear of anything that causes worse openings. In an ideal world, I would go first and open every game by summoning Kuribandit and adding Soul Charge with its effect, making Soul Charge really good. You can force that by maximizing Soul Charge and Kuribandit, but then that only serves to make your opening hands more inconsistent, because having 2 of either of those cards is generally a bad thing. Lifepoints are also very limited for this deck since it tends to eat direct attacks a lot limiting the amount of times you can use Soul Charge. At most you could run 2 in the deck, but since I don’t like it much I only run 1. It used to be a Forbidden Lance, but I figured it did the same thing; you summon a Lyla or something deserving of Trap response it gets a trap used on it and you Lance to keep going or use Soul Charge to keep making plays now that the Trap is gone.
Foolish Burial, Mind Control, Phoenix Wing & Breakthrough Skill:
Foolish Burial is alright; it sends Dragon Rulers or Eclipse Wyvern and can pitch the last Lightsworn name you need, but at best it’s a one for one. I also think its replaced in my build by the superior Darkflare Dragon. If you’re running Wulf, you might as well run Foolish Burial, but I think Wulf is bad. Foolish will be a bit better when a new card comes out that I’ll talk about way at the end of the article.
Mind Control is really cool, but it really doesn’t help with the deck’s goals, so opening with it doesn’t help much. It’s a great control card in tandem with Raiden since you can easily make Rank 4 XYZ or Level 8 Synchros. It’s a great answer to Hand decks, but other than that I can be dead so I don’t like to run it.
Phoenix Wing Wind Blast makes a lot of sense in the Diabolos build because it easily gets clogged hands, so a discard outlet is desirable. My build has already allocated all of my cards to discarding purposes elsewhere so it hurts my build to discard more cards than it already can.
Breakthrough Skill is only alright in the deck. It makes a lot of sense because the deck mills a lot and the passive advantage of Breakthrough would be good, but whenever you draw it it really sucks because it does almost nothing for the deck. Siding it is more worthwhile in my opinion, against decks have effect you really need to negate so you don’t have to suffer the inconsistency of maining the card.
Compared to Previous Builds:
I’ve added a few things since last time:
- 3 Raiden, Lightsworn Assailant
- 2 Reinforcement of the Army
- 2 Kuribandit
- Synchro Monsters
Synchros are a given now that Raiden is here. Star Eater and Black Rose are already here for Debris Dragon. Michael and Arcanite are made using Lumina + Raiden. Arcanite is is a nice intermediate play for when you want to XYZ with for a 7 or need more destruction than Michael and don’t want to blow up your whole field with Black Rose. Arcanite also can’t be hit by Bottomless and is also a Debris Dragon target for a Star Eater play (though I’ve never done that). I cut 101, Orient and Master of Blades for the new stuff. I cut 101 because I almost always make Palidynamo in similar instances because drawing is more preferable than the non-destruction. Orient and Blades where pretty filler to begin with.
Raiden and Reinforcements replace all excessive Lightsworn names e.g. Jain, Shire, Garoth etc. I dropped Shire because I was hurting for space and it was easy to justify cutting.
Two Kuribandit because it’s amazing, and is DARK. Not three because you never want more than one.
Side Deck Discussion:
I omitted the side deck from the list because I want to change it once Duelist Alliance come out, which i’ll talk about why. Here’s the typical cards I always side:
- 1 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
- 2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
- 2 Rainbow Kuriboh
- 3 Mystical Space Typhoon
- 2 Royal Decree/Malevolent Catastrophe
With the addition of 2 Reinforcement of the Army I’ve been looking for ways to utilize warrior monsters in the side deck. Here’s a couple cards I have thought of siding:
- Destiny HERO – Doom Lord
- D.D. Warrior Lady
- Sasuke Samurai #2
- Photon Thrasher
- Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo + Super Transformation
Doom Lord banishes an opponent’s monster once per turn and it’s returned to the field in 2 turns. This would be an answer to Evilswarm Ophion and I would only need to side 1 or 2 copies. It can also kill XYZ monsters in general.
D.D. Warrior is a similar card in that it’s an answer to Ophion, but it also has other applications outside that match-up.
Sasuke Samurai is a Level 1 Warrior. During you main phase he can pay 800 lifepoints and neither player can play Spell or Traps for the rest of the turn. This allows you to potentially OTK against heavy back row decks.
Thrasher allows you to make Rank 4 XYZ more easily, which is valuable against specific decks.
Hanzo is just a funny idea I had, but it’s not a terrible idea though.
Here’s some other cards to think about siding in that I like and will endorse:
- Lightray Daedalus
- Breakthrough Skill
- Mischief of the Yokai
- Dark Hole
- Raigeki Break
- Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
So next I want to talk about the card Shaddoll Dragon. This card may just be the thing that Lightsworn have been waiting for. Here’s a basic rundown of the card:
DARK / Spellcaster
1900 ATK / 0 DEF
FLIP: You can target 1 card your opponent controls; return that target to the hand.
If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy that target. You can only use 1 “Shaddoll Dragon” effect per turn, and only once that turn.
This card does a lot of things Lightsworns really want. First, it’s a millable card to deal with Spells and Traps. This makes milling far more aggressive and also makes simply milling a potential answer to floodgate cards. Imagine the opponent has Skill Drain or Light-Imprisoning Mirror and you use Solar Recharge, Kuribandit or Needlebug Nest to mill a Shaddoll Dragon and destroy that card. That’s amazing! You can also run the 1 copy of Foolish Burial in the main deck and can use it to send Shaddoll Dragon for an MST effect.
Second, this card is an out to Evilswarm Ophion and it amazing against Evilswarms in general. The flip effect of this card can bounce Ophion to the Extra Deck. It also destroy the pluthera of backrow that Evilswarms run if you side in additional copies.
Dragon also has natural synergy with the deck. It’s a DARK monster for Chaos Dragons, it has 1900 ATK which is great and it even has a viable flip effect against most decks. At the very worst you can pitch it from hand to bring out Lightpulsar Dragon (which unfortunately doesn’t activate its effect). All that could really make it better is if it was actually a Dragon-type for the Dragon Rulers.
In short, I would like to main 1 Shaddoll Dragon and 1 Foolish Burial, while siding 2 additional Shaddoll Dragon in the future.
QOTW? Question of the Week:
Would you be interested in an article about Qliphoths (an new archetype from The New Challengers pack)? Also, what are your initial thoughts on Pendulum monsters, and do you think you’ll use them?
Written by: Kyle Oliver