Amanda Profile

Budget Fun – Assault Mode Dragon Rulers

Now that the rarities for Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy have been revealed, alot of players are a bit wary about what it’llcost for Prophecy’s lavishly foiled Main Deck, or Dragon Ruler’s Extra Deck (despite the latter’s affordable main). There are definitely more affordable options like Evilswarm, but they’re just not what some players are looking for.

The good news? There’s always something fun to tinker with during any given format if you’re not looking to be hardcore competitive, but still want to enjoy yourself in tournaments.

For me, that entire concept began withStardust Dragon/Assault Mode. It’s one of the first decks I ever built years ago, and it’s changed vastly over time with the release of new support cards: from strange Turn 1 builds with Eccentric Boy, to Dragunities’ reliable Level 8 Synchro engine, there have been plenty of different Assault Mode decks. This time around it’s received an interesting upgrade with the release of the new Dragon Rulers…

Assault Ruler – 40 Cards
Monsters: 27
3 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
3 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Rocks
3 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
3 Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode
2 Lightning, Dragon Ruler of Wind
2 Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Earth
2 Burner, Dragon Ruler of Fire
3 Assault Beast
3 Effect Veiler
1 Flamvell Guard
1 Dragunity Corsesca
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon

Spells: 8
3 Gold Sarcophagus
3 Fire Formation – Tenki
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn

Traps: 5
3 Assault Mode Activate
2 Skill Drain

Extra Deck: 15
3 Stardust Dragon
2 Scrap Dragon
2 Crimson Blader
1 Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Colossal Fighter
1 Thought Ruler Archfiend
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
1 Armory Arm
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
1 Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max

One of the first things to note is that this deck avoids more expensive Extra Deck cards like Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack and Number 11: Big Eye. The intention is to have an affordable strategy that you can play without having to skip meals. That means we don’t have a generic Rank 7 to Xyz Summon, but the deck now focuses on conservative use of your Dragon Rulers and the Tuners they can search to Synchro into Level 8’s. And there’s a huge arsenal of those at your disposal.

There’s a lot of interesting synergy going on with these cards. You can search Dragunity Corsesca and Flamvell Guard instantly with your Dragon Ruer’s effects or Gold Sarcophagus, giving you easy access to Tuners at any point. You can play Effect Veilers to make Synchro Summons as well, or save them to negate effects depending on your hand. Assault Beasts are Earth fodder for Redox, Dragon Ruler of Rocks and Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Earth, and they’re searchable with Fire Formation – Tenki. That all lends consistency when you’re trying to get Assault Mode Activate off on Turn 1.

Interesting Benefits
After reading the effect of Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode, there isn’t much question as to why it’s such a great card. But there are things players typically overlook or misread that make it even better:

-It can only be Special Summoned via its own effect. I can’t tell you how many times players try to “bait” Stardust/AM in order to follow up with a Monster Reborn to grab it. That isn’t a legal play. Your opponent can’t Special Summon Stardust/AM with another effect.

-It stops any Spell/Trap activation or Monster Effect that activates. Note that this isn’t just cards that “destroy” like the original Stardust Dragon. This is essentially a 3000 ATK Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En that also can negate monster effects and protect itself by Tributing itself away for the turn (unlike Shooting Quasar Dragon, which tends to get Big-Eye’d all day). Speaking of which…

-It tributes itself as a cost. Which transitions into the reason we’re playing Skill Drain. Essentially taking the spot of Breakthough Skill in what will be a more hand-trap based format, Drain’s an unexpected twist that both forms of Stardust circumvent. It also keeps your Dragon Rulers on the field as giant beatsticks.

There are lots of other routes you can take with this variant: Sacred Sword of Seven Stars can thin your deck; D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation can fetch back banished Dragons, often Stardust Dragon; and Delta Flyer can make OTK’s with Trident Dragion. The last option in particular has great synergy with Fire Formation – Tenki, which is essentially free to pop for Trident Dragion’s effect. Having Stardust/AM on the field provides negation to ensure the OTK.

The Side Deck lineup is similar to any other Dragon Ruler build. Eradicator Epidemic Virus, one of the most important tech picks, fits here as a Turn 1 play when you Synchro Summon Red Dragon Archfiend or Colossal Fighter for its Tribute cost.

The big benefit of opting to play the Dragon Ruler build of Assault Mode over one that plays Dragunities instead, is that the Dragon Ruler version completely ignores Effect Veiler and Breakthrough Skill when you’re setting everything up. They’re a total non-factor. In the Dragunity deck those cards are a big problem, since if you don’t have a Dragunity Arma Mystletainn when your opponent plays Veiler or Breakthrough on your Dragunity Dux, you can’t make any subsequent plays that turn.

Assault Ruler has a surprisingly smooth matchup against pure Dragon Rulers: you have easy ways to shut them down, like Crimson Blader and Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode. Keep in mind that keeping up your field presence is hugely important. Your opponent can and will frequently bait Stardust/AM’s effect with Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossak or Number 11: Big Eye, then try to make an OTK that turn. Having more monsters on the field makes that far more difficult to accomplish.

Balance Issues
Main Deck space is extremely tight in this strategy. There’s also a conflict of interests when Side Decking: if you’re going second, you likely want to side out the Assault Mode engine completely and go pure Dragon Rulers with counters to common sides; Mystical Space Typhoons for all the backrow hate in particular. But the options become far too limited for you without Dracossacks.

Pure Dragon Rulers also run much more smoothly in comparison. This deck consumes its resources faster and can’t regenerate lost card presence from the graveyard in the same way a pure variant can.

Which brings us to the conclusion: this deck is built more for giggles than competitive use, but it’s still something playable if you’re looking to run Dragon Rulers while sticking to a budget.What’s your take on using Dragon Rulers for different deck ideas? Have any cool variants of your own? Leave a comment below and discuss!

As always, it’s been fun.

-Amanda

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