Rank 8 Discussion

So, Rank 8 XYZ are the best thing ever right? I’m sure you agree!

I’m just poking some fun, but really they are very good! For one reason or another I’ve been falling upon deck after deck that utilizes Rank 8 XYZ as a main mechanic of the deck and I’ve found them extremely versatile and powerful. I’ll just be doing a quick chat about some of the better ones as well as some cool decks to do stuff with them in as well as a peak into the future.

[NOTE: Please excuse the lack of pictures, or these replacement picture here at the moment. My Photobucket account has run out of bandwidth so the pictures should be back up within the next month. Until then you’ll just have to suffer with these grey boxes.]

The main reason I’m on this kind of Rank 8 high of sorts starts with my friend Nate. He started running this random Rank 8 Dark World Spam deck. It was pretty cool. So the idea was brought to the forefront of my mind with that. Next, in the most recent Fix-It Friday video (which isn’t up yet as of writing this) I got to experiment with those ideas first hand in a Rank 8 Dragon deck. (and let me tell you that deck turned out ridiculously good after testing!) With all that I have this new found affection towards Rank 8 XYZ monsters and I’d like to share that all with you too!

Why Rank 8?

So why is Rank 8 so good compared to other numbers such as maybe 5, another Rank known for being very powerful and versatile. In Rank 5’s we’ve got a little of everything we need: Destroying face-ups, face-downs, massive damage infliction as well as difficult to destroy monsters. Some specialty Rank 5’s are there too, like Pleiades who’s a behemoth of a control monster during the opponent’s turn as well. Well, Rank 8’s have all of that to, and in Spades. Extremely versatile destruction effects, potentially massive damage outputs, monsters that are difficult to kill and even one for drawing cards! Who doesn’t want to draw more cards?

You may be saying something like, “well it’s of course Rank 8’s are a little stronger, simply because they’re harder to summon than a Rank 5”. Which is true to some extent, in some decks it’s pretty hard to summon Rank 8 XYZ, but if your deck is catered towards it, I’d say it could even be easier than summoning a Rank 5. In some decks, like Hieratics for instance it’s possible to make 2 Rank 8’s in one turn without losing advantage while simultaneously taking cards away from the opponent, and using specific XYZ monsters can net you even more advantage.

The Rank 8’s We’ve Got:

So who are the players we’re looking at here as far as Rank 8 XYZ are concerned? At the moment in time of this article’s writing we have 10 legal Rank 8 monsters as well as two that I wont mention that are just incarnations of Victory Dragon that are illegal for competitive play. On a whole I’d say 5 of them are actually quite useful, the other 5 are all very specific niche effects.

 photo Heliopolis_zpsd4c2e31c.png First we’ve got are destruction team consisting of the following: Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis (or Heliopolis for short in most people’s books) and Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder. (who was just released in the Number Hunters pack) Along side them are Number 40: Gimmick Puppet of Strings and Thunder End Dragon, who are both a kind of side note as compared to the former 2 XYZ.

Heliopolis is the most “go-to” of all the Rank 8 monsters. He requires any two Level 8 monsters and his effect is really basic and effective and it’s coincided by great stats: 3000 ATK and 2400 DEF. (100 DEF shy of a Blue-Eyes clone) His effect is worded in possible the best way it could for the user of the card:

Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Tribute any number of monsters from your hand and/or your side of the field (minimum 1), then destroy an equal number of cards on the field.

So tribute some monsters from your field or hand (this can include himself if need be) and destroy an equal number of cards. The wording is specifically powerful because tributing is not a cost. This means first off it doesn’t target and second you don’t have to choose how many cards you’re tributing until it resolves. This saves you from tributing off like 5 cards just to get Effect Veiler-ed and cry. In fact, when the opponent negates his effect, you don’t actually tribute any monsters, which is fantastic. That makes it so he only baits out effect negation cards at what could be considered no cost to the controller of Heliopolis. Also, this effect gains the benefit of not targeting. (This is because you don’t choose how many cards you’re tributing until resolution, it’s Flip-Flop Frog-non-targeting-syndrome if anyone knows what that means) Since the effect doesn’t target your opponent has to activate all Spells and Traps preemptively to his effect’s resolution. Example:

  • Player A has Heliopolis and activates his effect.
  • Player B has Mirror Force, Forbidden Lance and Call of the Haunted face-down.

Player B is in a horrible position because the only card they have that saves them from Heliopolis is their Mirror Force, but if they activate any of their other cards in response to Heliopolis’ effect he’ll have a better chance of choosing the Mirror Force in the end, but if they don’t activate Call of the Haunted or Lance, they’ll simply be destroyed by Heliopolis’ effect and be given no other chance to be activate. This predicament is even more daunting when considering the Heliopolis player may have a card like Forbidden Lance of their own just in case the opponent chains a card like Compulsory Evac. or Fiendish Chain to Heliopolis’ effect. In that case the opponent will chain Fiendish Chain and the Heliopolis player will chain Lance and then at the resolution of Heliopolis’ effect they can destroy a card other than the Fiendish Chain without wasting resources on it.

 photo GimmickPuppetGiantGrinder_zps6f0f670a.png The second destruction Rank 8 is Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder. He’s a lot different than Heliopolis, but equally powerful. Unlike Heliopolis he doesn’t use up as many of your own resources, but this is at the cost of a more specific effect as well as weaker stats. Giant Grinder has 1500 ATK and 2500 DEF, so most of the time you’d expect him to come out in Defense Mode, unless the 1500 damage it can bring will cause the opponent to lose. He also requires only two Level 8 monsters. Here’s his effect:

Up to twice per turn, during your Main Phase 1: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 Special Summoned monster your opponent controls; destroy it, then if it was an Xyz Monster, inflict damage to your opponent equal to its original ATK.

So basically he can wipe an opponent’s swarm field and inflict a lot of damage to the opponent if any of them are XYZ monsters, and I mean a lot of damage. Unlike Heliopolis, we’re not tributing off cards in your hand and on the field. Instead his effect is self inclusive. It’s quick and it’s easy. You don’t summon him nearly as often as Heliopolis, but you save 1 in your extra deck to punish any opponent from trying to overextend and failing. There’s not much else to say since his effect is so straight forward.

The other two are Gimmick Puppet of Strings and Thunder End Dragon. Strings can wipe the opponent’s board in a Dark Hole esque fashion but it happens during the opponent’s end phase, which is a little inconsistent and easily trumped by Giant Grinder and Heliopolis in your extra deck. He also doesn’t boast stats any better than Heliopolis, making it hard to justify summoning him. Thunder End Dragon is very good, but he requires two Level 8 Normal Monsters to summon. That means really only Blue-Eyes decks, Hieratic decks and maybe some really quirky decks. He detaches to destroy all monster other than himself, which is fantastic! But, the problem is the decks that can summon him usually end up having some of their own monsters on the field as a result of the summoning of Thunder End Dragon, which is slightly counter intuitive. Example, Blue-Eyes decks may have a Blue-Eyed Maiden and Hieratic decks may have multiple Hieratic monsters still on board (such as Su or Nebthet)

 photo GimmickPuppetofLeo_zpsd08bae49.png Next we have a very strange Rank 8: Number 88: Gimmick Puppet of Leo. He requires three Level 8 monsters, which initially seems like a lot of work, and then on top of that, his effect seems like a waste. From a cursory glance, I would agree. I in fact think this card is really bad, except for a lone and fantastic use that is worth running it for. He’s got 3200 ATK and 2300 DEF, here’s his effect:

Once per turn, if you have no cards in your Spell & Trap Card Zone: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, and if you do, place 1 Destiny Counter on this card. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this effect. When 3 Destiny Counters are on this card, you win the Duel.

So if you control him for 3 turns, you win the duel. That’s really tough considering you can’t do it unless you have no Spells and Traps. Granted you can just activate all the Spells and Traps you have so you have none left when you activate his effect, but that seems really sketchy.  So why use this? I feel that this cards should be used for the express purpose of trolling troll decks back. Decks like Chain Burn, Gift Card Exodia and Final Countdown will simply lose in three turns to this card since they can’t do anything about it bar Lava Golem/Volcanic Queen in chain burn. (with that though, they can’t Golem it unless they play Ojama Trio and most people don’t run Queen) This is very nice anti-trolling device, and I’m always welcome to getting free wins from cards like this. It also allows you to brag by saying you’ve won a game with Gimmick Puppet of Leo.

Next we’ve got the battle behemoths: Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon and Number 22: Zombiestein. I’ve talked about Tachyon Dragon before. He’s basically used for the express purpose of getting around cards like Tragoedia and Gorz and he also destroys people for having any mandatory effects activate in the battle phase. He gains an additional attack (only once) and 1000 ATK (as many 1000’s as you want) each time the opponent activates a card in the battle phase. This means he gets to attack again if the opponent uses Gorz or Trag, allowing Tachyon to kill them and potentially do even more damage because of the attack boost. This also punishes Battle Searchers like Mystic Tomato immensely. When the Tomato’s effect activates, Tachyon goes up to 4000 attack and can attack whatever the Tomato summons. His effect also gets around singular attack negation cards such as Scrap-Iron Scarecrow, Magic Cylinder and Draining Shield since he can attack again after they’re activated. This also works very powerfully in tandem with Forbidden Lance. If the opponent has a Spell or Trap that would kill Tachyon in the battle phase, such as Mirror Force or Dimensional Prison, you can thwart those cards in combo with Tachyon and Lance. Lance will make Tachyon unaffected and the Mirror Force/D.Prison will allow Tachyon to attack again in succession with 1000 more attack. Into an open field that’ll do 3200 + 3200 damage, which is 6400 damage.

 photo Zombiestein_zps946f27b3.pngZombiestein is another particular XYZ, like Thunder End, but he requires 2 Level 8 DARK monsters. The deck that most comes to mind for this is Dark Worlds. Zombiestein has a whopping 4500 ATK, rivaled by very few, but a measly 1000 DEF. Here’s his effect:

Must be Xyz Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card and send 1 card from your hand to the Graveyard to target 1 face-up card your opponent controls; change this card to Defense Position, and if you do, negate that face-up card’s effect until the End Phase.

This first part was a wise condition on Konami’s part. He can’t be summoned other than XYZ summon. Otherwise we’d be seeing this behemoth getting Monster Reborn-ed or brought back in Zombie decks with Mezuki or the like. I personally think that’d be no good, so I’m glad they added that clause. His second effect is actually a lot better than you’d expect. His effect allows you to negate any face-up card by sending card from your hand to the grave and putting Zombiestein in defense. Surprisingly, this can even negate Normal Spell and Trap Cards. That means the opponent has to waste a lot of resources to effectively get rid of this guy since just about any card they activate first to get rid of him will be negated. So, Dark Hole, Mirror Force etc. wont kill him on the first try. He’s especially threatening too with his 4500 ATK stat, which solves a whole lot of problems on its own as well as deals huge chunks to the opponent even when attacking over monsters. (a fun bonus is he can kill Obelisk by attacking over him!)

The only monsters I can think of off the top of my head to summon him are Grapha, Dragon Lord of the Dark World and Malefic Stardust, which both go quite nicely together in a Dark World deck. If the deck is equipped to summon even further amounts of Level 8 Monsters we’re looking at a sweet new breed of Dark Worlds boasting a new form of control through Rank 8 XYZ.

 photo CoachKingGiantrainer_zps94bc7e62.png Last but certainly not least, we’ve got the mother of all Rank 8 monsters: Coach King Giantrainer. He’s a Warrior (which matters) FIRE (doesn’t matter) and has 2800 ATK and 2000 DEF. Here’s his effect:

You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; draw 1 card and reveal it, then if it was a monster, inflict 800 damage to your opponent. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this effect. You can only use the effect of “Coach King Giantrainer” up to thrice per turn.

In short, when you summon him Draw 3 cards, but you can’t enter your battle phase. Once again 3 Level 8 monsters seems like a lot, but when you’ve geared towards it it’s very easy, but it does require resources, but Coach King makes up for that by drawing a whole ton of cards. In combo based decks such as Hieratics drawing cards means more monsters to combo with and even more Rank 8’s. In Dark Worlds it means more discard outlets and more Graphas being summoned. All he really does is facilitate the summon of even more Rank 8 XYZ, which is super powerful.

 photo CoachLordUltimatrainer_zps21f90dd9.pngI mentioned he’s a Warrior and this comes into play with the card CXyz Coach Lord Ultimatrainer, Giantrainer’s CXyz form. Ultimatrainer can be summoned using Rank-Up-Magic Barian’s Force using any Rank 8 Warrior XYZ monster. He has 3800 ATK and cannot be targeted by effects. That alone is insane, but on top of that, if he has an XYZ monster under him as XYZ material he also gains this effect:

Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; draw 1 card and reveal it, then if it was a monster, inflict 800 damage to your opponent.

So he’s a 3800 Beater who cannot be targeted by anything and once per turn he allows you to draw a card. Wow! This monster is a true beast, and it’s so good in fact that me and my friend Nate have been testing out Barian’s Force in our Rank 8 decks, and this thing trucks the opponent’s down. When you summon Giantrainer, the additional draws you get makes it much more likely to pull this off than just about any other CXyz monster and on top of that, the summon of Ultimatrainer always pays for itself because he allows you to draw a card with his effect, and even without material he’s still an un-target-able 3800 ATK monster, which a lot of decks can’t deal with. I don’t know if I can overstate enough how amazing this card is.

Ultimatrainer though, leads me into the future, to the only other Rank 8 Warrior monster which will come out in Shadow Specters: Felgrand the Divine Dragon Knight (name pending). He’s possibly the best of the Rank 8 XYZ out there, and I’m really looking forward to him. Unlike Giantrainer he only requires two material, of no specific type or attribute. That means if you’re simply wishing to summon Ultimatrainer he’s an even easier route if you already have Barian’s Force, but he’s also an incredible monster.

 photo FelgrandtheDivineDragonKnight_zps708940ab.pngHis name comes from the monster Felgrand Dragon, the cover card of the really old Dragon Structure Deck that came with Foolish Burial in it. He’s a Warrior, as stated, LIGHT and has 2800 ATK and 1800 DEF. Here’s his effect:

Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; this turn, that target’s effects are negated, also it is unaffected by other card effects.

He packs a quick effect, which is always deadly if it’s a good one. His is in short, a once per turn Effect Veiler. It’s better than that though because it can double as a better Forbidden Lance. During the opponent’s turn it can be very hard to deal with for two reasons: First, if you try to use any effects that the Felgrand player wishes not to occur, they can simply negate one of them. Second, if the Felgrand is ever threatened by anything, it can use its effect upon itself and it becomes unaffected by the other cards. Example, the opponent Dark Holes and the Felgrand uses its effect to protect itself. This in combination with the card Safe Zone is simply deadly. You can put Safe Zone on him making him nearly impervious to Spells, Traps and Monster Effects, and if the opponent would ever try to destroy the Safe Zone, Felgrand can use his effect on himself so that he’s unaffected by Safe Zone’s effect. Pretty darn sweet. Then, when he’s all done negating stuff you can haul him away with your Barian’s Force to bring out another behemoth for the opponent to deal with if they survived this long.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now. Question of the week, if their ever was such a thing: What are some good ideas for a deck to use at an all common cards tournament? I’ve been testing a Blackwing deck, but I’ve been tentative toward Frog Monarchs, any other ideas?

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