Shadow Specters just had the Sneak Peak this weekend, meaning I’ve gotten my hands on some of the new cards a little early. A couple new ideas for Lightsworns have cropped up within the new pack.
In short, I have a lot of testing to do. I’d hope that in a week I can become confident in one of these potential ideas and use it at the Spokane Regionals this coming weekend, but I’m doubtful.
Okay, so there’s 3 sets of cards I find interesting as far as Lightsworns are concerned: The Raccoons, Baby Chaos Dragons and Bujintei Kagutsuchi. Today I’ll talk about the Baby Raccoons.
The Baby Raccoon archetype consists of only 3 cards: Baby Raccoon Ponpoko, Baby Raccoon Tantan and their XYZ monster No. 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu. They’re both common and then rare respectively, making them very easy to get your hands on. I’m not particularly interested in Tantan, though it’s very good in its own right, but for Lightsworns Ponpoko has obvious synergy.
Level 2 / EARTH / Beast / Effect
800 ATK / 0 DEF
When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 2 Beast-Type monster from your Deck in face-down Defense Position, except “Baby Raccoon Ponpoko”. You cannot Special Summon any monsters during the turn you activate this effect, except Beast-Type monsters.
Pretty simple: Normal Summon Ponpoko and his effect will set a Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter from your deck and look super adorable in the process. There’s a couple things that immediately came to my mind with this card. First, what advantages does this card pose over Super-Nimble Mega Hamster? Second, this card projects your plays to the extreme, is it worth it under that condition?
Let’s first talk about Hamster versus Ponpoko. For those who do not know, Super-Nimble Mega Hamster is a Level 4 monster that has a Flip Effect that sets a Level 3 or lower Beast-type monster from your deck. This is very similar to Ponpoko. The two major differences between the two is how they activate and their raw stats. Super-Nimble clearly has the edge when it comes to raw stats; it’s level 4 which provides a lot more XYZ synergy with the prominent Level 4 base Lightsworns naturally have, and it also has higher ATK (1100) and a very respectable Defense (1800) compared to Ponpoko. Being Level 2, Ponpoko provides access to Rank 2 XYZ which means Herald of Pure Light, Gachi Gachi Gantetsu and of course the new XYZ Ronin Raccoon Sandayu.
Herald of Pure Light is greatly welcomed in Lightsworns because generally you are milling, which means cards you want can go to the graveyard. Pure Light lets you get them back from the graveyard pretty dang easily. Gantetsu has general stall properties as well as boost to make Lylas and Lightpulsar/Darkflare more respectable. Ronin Raccoon essentially kills any monster if necessary. All of which great additions to Lightsworns.
The way Super-Nimble activates its effect versus Ponpoko is an interesting debate. Super-Nimble is undoubtedly slower. Flip Effects are practically non-existent in the current meta since they’re slow. On the other hand, if it works effectively it provides a very solid defense that can ward of 3 attacks and mill, which is very strong. Under the best of circumstances it provides a body for a Rank 4 XYZ, which generally results in the opponent’s entire field being cleared. (this is in my experience what I do when that happens)
Ponpoko though is not nearly as sturdy. The trade-off here is for speed. Ponpoko almost ensures that you’ll get the Ryko onto the field at the cost of defense and a little vulnerability. Unlike Super-nimble, you don’t run the risk of Hamster not being attacked and not flipping or being destroyed while still face-down. The most annoying thing about Super-Nimble is when the opponent doesn’t attack it and it gets back to your turn. You can flip summon it and wait yet another turn to get your Ryko’s effect and give the opponent more time to setup, or you can wait to flip it to save the surprise factor and still let the opponent continue to setup. Ponpoko just gets it over with quickly to ensure you’re moving as fast as possible. This is one of the main problems I keep having with Lightsworns, that they need to setup as quickly as possible or they’ll fail. Ponpoko adds just a hair of speed, which is why I’m interested in it.
The other thing I wanted to try with the Raccoons was the cards A/D Changer and Book of Taiyou. Both have relatively the same effect. Book of Taiyou changes any 1 face-down defense monster to face-up attack. A/D Changer can banish itself from the graveyard to change the battle position of any monster on the field. The reason to run these is to immediately flip Rykos being summoned by Ponpoko for the use of Ryko’s destruction and milling as well as to make easier Rank 2 XYZ. Think of this play:
- Normal Summon Ponpoko, special Ryko from the deck.
- Taiyou on Ryko, flipping it.
- Ryko’s effect to destroy and mill.
- XYZ for a Rank 2.
Simple but effective. Taiyou pushes the deck forward very quickly, the only problem is that it only works when you have a Ryko or a Ponpoko. (or if you run Book of Moon, which I don’t) That’s why I thought of A/D Changer.
A/D Changer is a lot slower than Taiyou. You can’t do it on your first turn in most cases, which is its only downside. A/D Changer provides the same plays as Taiyou though once setup and more. A/D Changer can also be used to use Lyla’s effect twice, change the opponent’s monsters to defense or even your monsters to defense. (though the merit of the last facet is yet to be seen)
A/D Changer has natural synergy with the deck. It desires to be milled, since it has a graveyard effect. It’s also a LIGHT monster which means you can pitch it from hand to summon Lightpulsar Dragon from the graveyard. It’s also possible to put it into the graveyard with cards like Hand Destruction or Lumina’s discard effect. This allows a more natural use of it in the deck as opposed to Taiyou. Worst case scenario you can still set A/D Changer as a meat shield and then use its effect next turn on a Ryko you set from hand, which is something if anything.
How can you use it to use Lyla’s effect twice? Lyla’s effect is kind of funny. Many people don’t know that her effect can be activated as many times per turn as you are able. This means if after activating her effect you can put her back into attack mode, you can use her effect again in the same turn. This makes a funny combo with Lyla and Final Attack Orders, a continuous trap that makes all monster switch to attack mode, in which you keep using Lyla’s effect which switches her to defense, but she’s immediately put back into attack mode with Final Attack Orders allowing you to destroy all of your opponent’s spells and traps. The same can be done using A/D Changer on a smaller scale. With A/D Changer in the graveyard you can summon a Lyla and use her effect, then use A/D Changer to switch her back to attack mode and then use her effect again. This effectively can get two spell and trap destructions with some lucky milling or smart discarding by doing a play like Lumina discard A/D Changer to revive Lyla.
One of the best applications of this card is switching opposing monsters to defense. You’re probably wondering first off if this effect can be used during the opponent’s turn when they attack. The answer is no, it’s not that fantastic, but using it only during your main phase isn’t that bad. The best example is with the card Evilswarm Ophion. Ophion pretty readily threatens Lightsworns and Chaos Dragons, who great desire to summon Level 5 and Higher monsters. A/D Changer can circumvent Ophion pretty easily though by switching it to defense mode. Ophion only has 1650 defense, which means you can attack over it with just a Lyla, which is pretty dang awesome. In conjunction with some of the deck’s bigger monsters like Lightpulsar Dragon, you can attack over most threatening monsters that the opponent might throw at you by changing their battle position.
Now how to fit this all into a deck, I’m trying my best to test it out as we speak. Once I find a good mix, or figure out it’s bad I surely have an update!
QOTW? Question of the Week:
How many of you are also Pokemon fans? What do you think of the new Pokemon X & Y; I’m having lots of fun training up competitive teams at the moment. What’s your favorite Pokemon from the new generation and why?
Written by: Kyle