Linear combo strategies are usually pretty black and white: they’re either good or bad. Consistency, power, and the ability to stay resilient in the face of tech cards are the factors you’re looking for, and when you find a strategy that can do at least two of those three well then you usually have a keeper. While black may be the new white nowadays as far as Extra Decks typically go, it’s always fun to shake things up a little and look back.
Shooting Quasar Dragon is one of the most powerful Synchro Monsters ever printed, naturally threatening game-winning amounts of damage while being quite resilient and flexible. So if it’s such a fantastic card, what are we missing then? A consistent way to Summon it used to be the answer, but we’ve come as close as ever to solving that problem.
One, Two, Three – 40 Cards
2 Cardcar D
2 Effect Veiler
3 Junk Synchron
3 Level Eater
1 Lonefire Blossom
2 Maxx “C”
3 Quickdraw Synchron
2 Symphonic Warrior Basses
2 Synchron Explorer
1 Foolish Burial
1 Heavy Storm
1 Mind Control
1 Monster Reborn
1 One for One
1 Pot of Avarice
2 Pot of Duality
1 Reinforcement of the Army
3 Royal Decree
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
1 Armory Arm
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Drill Warrior
1 Formula Synchron
1 Junk Archer
1 Junk Destroyer
1 Junk Warrior
1 Nitro Warrior
1 Road Warrior
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Shooting Quasar Dragon
1 Shooting Star Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
Learning the best way to summon our trump card is the first step to success with this strategy, and it’s really as easy as one, two, three. Well…not quite, but we only need three cards to do it. With Level Eater, Quickdraw Synchron, and Synchron Explorer in our hand, the sequence is as follows:
-Eat a level off of Quickdraw Synchron (4) to Special Summon Level Eater
-Synchro Summon Junk Warrior using Level Eater and Quickdraw Synchron (1+4).
-Normal Summon Synchron Explorer to Special Summon Quickdraw Synchron.
-Eat a level off of Junk Warrior (4) to Special Summon Level Eater.
-Synchro Summon Road Warrior using Level Eater, Quickdraw Synchron, and Synchron Explorer (1+5+2).
-Activate Road Warrior’s effect to Special Summon Symphonic Warrior Basses from your deck.
-Eat a level off of Road Warrior (7) to Special Summon Level Eater.
-Synchro Summon Formula Synchron using Level Eater and Symhponic Warrior Basses, drawing a card (1+1).
-Eat a level off of Road Warrior (6) to Special Summon Level Eater.
-Synchro Summon Shooting Quasar Dragon using Formula Synchron, Junk Warrior, and Road Warrior (2+4+6).
So yeah, not the easiest series of moves, but once you get the hang of it you’ve basically got it down for good. This is the main purpose of the strategy, to summon a monster that’s too much for your opponent to deal with. The deck has a lot of combos, and I really mean a lot, but this one’s the most important. Not only do you get to unleash Shooting Quasar Dragon Turn 1, you also have four cards in hand because of the draw you get with Formula Synchron. It’s a pretty good deal overall.
Understanding why certain cards are played over others is the second step; if you aren’t able to wrap your mind around why one particular choice is better than another, you won’t get very far. For example, if you look over the list you’ll notice one very powerful card missing: Dark Hole. Why cut such an outrageous staple card? Isn’t mass monster removal just broken? While that might be true, the major problem is that Dark Hole won’t do anything for us the majority of the time we draw it. We’d rather have cards that give us more consistency; we’d rather power through problems than answer them. Why? Because the kind of cards that let us power through problems also do things on their own. We only want to Dark Hole big problems like Evolzar Laggia and Evolzar Dolkka, or Thunder King Rai-Oh. If our goal is to Shooting Quasar Dragon them, we don’t want a dead card that won’t help us figure out a way to do that.
Another big decision we need to make is whether to run actual spell and trap removal, versus something like Royal Decree. While cards like Mystical Space Typhoon and Night Beam might allow us to go off a turn faster, Decree eliminates the need to blindly try to get rid of problems. In addition, we can’t go off on any turn where we play Cardcar D or Pot of Duality anyways, so we can make those turns much more productive by setting up with Decree. At the same time, Royal Decree is also susceptible to spell and trap card removal itself, so that’s a little unfortunate. However, Decree also means that we’re probably not going to want to play trap cards, which might actually be better for us in the long run. A lot of games this format are sort of slow back and forth, setting and passing, waiting until you can work through all of your opponent’s back row cards, but that’s not the case for any game involving Royal Decree. This deck is built to make Synchro Monsters easily, so once you flip Royal Decree it’s very very easy to just blow your opponent out of the water.
What makes this deck a lot better than more linear combo strategies, is that even when you don’t draw the exact pieces to do what you want, you’ll be able to do something. If you look at the deck list you’ll see that it plays a lot of cards from past Plant strategies, so it only makes sense that your cards are already pretty good. Even something as simple as Symphonic Warrior Basses opens up a whole ‘nother realm of possibilities, tool boxing whatever you need basically whenever you have a Level Eater sitting in your graveyard. Simple synergies with your monsters will let you keep a pretty good game plan.
Royal Decree also allows all of these back-up plans to go much smoother than they normally would. Whether you’re Summoning Drill Warrior or Junk Destroyer, you’re going to be doing something proactive and you want to feel safe when you’re doing it. Whether your hand dictates that you play things like Quickdraw Dandywarrior, Junk Doppel, or even Tengu-less Plants, there’s going to be a pretty good way to go about it.
The last step to nailing the strategy is going to be to work out all of these alternate plans, map out the courses you might need to take and figure out the best way to go about taking them.