Sylvan Bling

With the release of Premium Gold: Return of the Bling, Sylvans obtained some new cards.

Since I already had all the cards for the deck, being Sylvans, I figured I might as well test out some of the new cards coming out in Return of the Bling for the deck and it actually is pretty cool. First off though, Sylvans didn’t magically become teir 1 because of this new support, they mostly stayed the same level of power, but they certainly have some interesting potential builds now and fun combos.

There’s technically 3 new cards that benefited the deck, but 1 (Dark Matter Dragon) will no longer be relevant once the April 1st ban list becomes official. Sylvans where one of the better ways of getting out Rank 8 XYZ and they already ran Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos, so it only made sense to make a Dark Matter Dragon Ruler version of the deck, but for obvious reasons that won’t be viable anymore. The two relevant cards that are left are Rose Lover and Rose Paladin, nicely rounding off the Rose archetype.

Here’s the effects of each for reference:

Rose Lover

Level 1 / Plant / EARTH

800 ATK / 800 DEF

You can banish this card from the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Plant-Type monster from your hand, and if you do, it is unaffected by your opponent’s Trap effects this turn. You can only use this effect of “Rose Lover” once per turn.

Rose Paladin

Level 4 / Warrior / EARTH

1800 ATK / 200 DEF

When this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard: You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 Plant-Type monster from your hand or Deck in Defense Position. You can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard; add 1 Level 7 or higher Plant-Type monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Rose Paladin” once per turn.

Initially, I wasn’t all too thrilled about either, but after seeing some videos about some combos and testing out a couple of my own ideas myself, I found these two cards are actually pretty good.

The first card, Rose Lover, was the card I was most skeptical of. It really gains no advantage, it only translates it to different positions. On first though, you’ll probably have to go neg 1 or get lucky in order to get it into the graveyard where you need it so it seems like it really would be worth the effort. This though, is not far from the typical Sylvan strategy to begin with. A majority of the time, Sylvans will be going negative in card advantage at the onset of a play in order to setup a play or setup for a huge string of advantage on the next turn. This of course makes the deck extremely vulnerable when their setup is interrupted (hence their not that competitively viable status).

The most basic play for Rose Lover involves Mount Sylvania. Mount Sylvania is pretty much the go to card in terms of getting plant monsters out of your hand. This is a simple combo that involves Mount Sylvania, Rose Lover and either a Sylvan Hermitree or Sylvan Sagequoia (preferably Hermitree because of the drawing effect).

  • Play Mount Sylvania and top deck an ideal Sylvan, if have no other cards in hand to use I’d recommend Sylvan Princessprout.
  • Banish the Rose Lover in the graveyard to summon Hermitree from hand.
  • Use Hermitree to excavate the top-decked Princessprout and draw 1 card.
  • Special summon Princessprout as a level 8 and make a Rank 8 (typically Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand).

The play is pretty simple, but there are a handful of really good benefits to it. First, the monster summoned by Rose Lovers is unaffected by trap effects, making this play very hard to disrupt. If I don’t expect to be making an OTK during this turn, doing this play and attacking before the excavation part of the play might be a good idea since the opponent can’t really have a response to the attack because the Hermitree will be unaffected by traps. Second, the play technically goes even leaving you with 3 cards, but the 3 cards you’re left with are in my opinion much better than the ones you started with and additionally you’ve setup your future plays with cards like Miracle Fertilizer. Thirdly, speaking of Miracle Fertilizer, this play doesn’t use up your normal summon, meaning you can still summon a card like Lonefire Blossom or activate a Miracle Fertilizer from hand. If you have a Miracle Fertilizer this play could be done a little differently like this:

  • Play Mount Sylvania and top deckĀ Hermitree.
  • Banish the Rose Lover in the graveyard to summon Hermitree from hand.
  • Use Hermitree to excavate the top-decked HermitreeĀ and draw 1 card.
  • Look at the top 3 cards of the deck with Hermitree and hopefully put a Sylvan/Plant on top, followed by a card you want in hand.
  • Use Miracle Fertilizer to special summon the second Hermitree.
  • Excavate the top-decked card and draw again.
  • Make a Rank 8 of choice, most likely Felgrand again.

This play is even more powerful because it, like the previous play, ends with the same amount of advantage as you began, but cycles your deck for the exact cards you want, sets up a Miracle Fertilizer to revive Hermitree next turn, excavate a potential plus 1 with the second Hermitree, and additionally top-decks a third card for you to draw or excavate with Mount Sylvania during you opponent’s End Phase. You could even make Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector instead of Felgrand and call the card you know is on top of your deck to add it to your hand.

Overall, Rose Lover is just really nice because it solves the problem of getting clogged with the big trees monsters in your hand. Worst case scenario you just set Rose Lovers and have it get destroyed by battle and then you special summon a plant next turn. Best case scenario you excavate it randomly and get and get wombo combos because of it.

Rose Paladin is very different from Rose Lover. It’s not a combo card really at all, it’s more of a consistency card. The card has two potential outcomes: it can destroy a monster by battle and become Lonefire Blossom or it can be discarded from the hand to search either Sylvan Hermitree, Sylvan Sagequoia, or Fallen Angel of Roses (which is a Level 7 Plant-type Genex All Birdman).

Having more access to the high level plants is good and bad. Paladin only increases the amount of hands that can clog with big trees if the opponent isn’t running a deck than you can resolve its battle effect against (which is most decks currently). So a deck running a high volume of Rose Paladin may be inclined to a run a build that isn’t maxing out on all of the big tree monsters. Something like 2 Hermitree, 2 Sagequoia, 1 Fallen Angel of Rose and 2 Rose Paladin seems logical to me. This is basically a trade of power for consistency. Additionally, Rose Paladin is a Warrior-type, meaning you can search it with Reinforcement of the Army. This is pointless unless you’re running additional warrior monsters, but luckily there is another Rose monster that’s a Warrior-type that is relevant: Rose Archer. Rose Archer is a level 3 warrior that can be discarded to negate a trap card if you control a Plant-type monster. With that card the basic engine could become this:

  • 2 Sylvan Hermitree
  • 2 Sylvan Sagequoia
  • 1 Fallen Angel of Roses
  • 2 Rose Paladin
  • 1 Rose Archer
  • 2 Reinforcement of the Army

This is 4 more cards than your typical 3 and 3 big tree line-up, but it adds a lot more versatility to the mix. I can’t say for certain it’s a better engine, I just the idea is worth checking out to say the least.

The last additional benefit to this engine is for the side deck. When running Reinforcement of the Army in any deck, this really opens up your side for some interesting options to combat specific decks. For example, you could side 1 copy of D.D. Warrior Lady to break the Djinn lock versus Nekroz.

Moving on past Return of the Bling, another interesting potential addition to Sylvans is the card Symbol of Heritage. With Lonefire Blossom now at 3, Symbol of Heritage provides what could be seen as a second card to combo with Lonefire, giving you a Lonefire plus Symbols or a Lonefire plus Soul Charge combo. Late game it’s even quite easy to get 3 Hermitree or Sagequoia in graveyard if you didn’t send all Lonefires to the graveyard on your first summon (which isn’t always recommendable in the first place). Symbols also has the “bad equip text” meaning if it’s returned to the hand it doesn’t destroy the equipped monster. This means you can revive a Lonefire Blossom with Symbols of Heritage and use a Orea, Sylvan High Arbiter to return Symbols to your hand and not destroy the Lonefire, meaning you can revive Lonefire a second time that turn with Symbols of Heritage.

QOTW? Question of the Week:

Seeing the new Toon support, what card would you most want Konami to make a Toon card of? For some reason I had always wanted Toon Krebons because I had thought it had been one the defining cards of the Synchro era and would be a good way to allow Toon Synchro monsters to exist.

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