The monster type I’m most passionate about is getting some new support in Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy, and the new cards bring a totally different take on Dragons – and new competitive potential. Since these monsters have a handful of effects and all sorts of different impacts, they can be alot to take in all at once. As a result, I want to make this article format as organized and concise as possible. Hopefully this covers everything you should know about the upcoming Elemental Dragon cards!
Referred to as “Incarnate” or “Suppressor” Dragons depending on who’s doing the fanlating, the Elemental Dragons cover the basic elements of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water: they are Redox, the Rock-Incarnate Dragon; Tempest, the Storm-Incarnate Dragon; Blaster, the Flame-Incarnate Dragon; and Tidal, the Waterfall-Incarnate Dragon,respectively. Each of these Dragons has four effects, and they all share similar principles:
Effect 1: This effect allows you to Special Summon the Incarnate Dragon from your hand or graveyard by banishing a combination of two Dragons, or two monsters of any type with the matching attribute, from your hand or grave. You can banish two Dragons; two non-Dragons of the same attribute; or one Dragon and one matching attribute.
Effect 2: On your opponent’s End Phase, if the Incarnate Dragon was Special Summoned in any way, return it to its owner’s hand.
Effect 3: You can discard theIncarnate Dragon and a monster of matching attribute to trigger a unique effect. Those effects are as follows…
Redox- Discard it with an Earth monster to target and Special Summon a monster from your graveyard.
Tempest- Discard it with a Wind monster to add a Dragon-type from your deck to hand.
Blaster- Discard it with a Fire monster to target and destroy a card on the field.
Tidal- Discard it with a Water monster to send a monster from your deck to the graveyard.
Effect 4: When the Incarnate Dragon is banished in any way, add a Dragon-type of the matching attribute from your deck to your hand. The Dragons don’t exclude themselves in that effect: one Redox can search you another Redox, for example.
The final portion of text is a condition that allows the player to use only one of the listed effects per turn, and only once. This restriction only pertains to each unique Elemental Dragon: you can discard a Redox to Special Summon a monster, and later in the same turn banish two Dragon or Wind monsters to Special Summon a Tempest.
The first notable aspect of these monsters is their flexibility. They aren’t limited to any particular archetype, and they can be splashed into decks that play to particular attributes. Because they all share the same Level, they’re also great for Summoning Number 11: Big Eye.The first effect (which allows you to Special Summon the Incarnate Dragon), is similar to Lightpulsar Dragon. The difference is that you can banish a wider range of monsters, and you can Special Summon the Dragon from your graveyard by banishing other monsters from the grave. This effect gives you a consistent 2400-2800 ATK body on the field. That lets you generate card advantage by continuously cycling these monsters from the graveyard; you’ll have large, relentless attackers on the field that don’t go away. Being level 7 also lets you overlay into Number 11: Big-Eye, as well as the new Rank 7 coming out in Tachyon, Mecha Phantom Beast Drago-Sack.
The fourth effect is central to the capabilities of these Dragons. Because that effect triggers whenever the monster’s banished in any way, cards like Necroface or Gold Sarcophagus will trigger these particular abilities and give you an instant search. Instead of being a slow-paced 1-for-1 that happens on the second Standby Phase after activation, Gold Sarcophagus is now an Elemental Reinforcement of the Army that gets you an instant search, then gives you a +1 later when that second Standby Phase rolls around. That same effect also works with another Tachyon support card called Seven Star Sword: it banishes a Level 7 in your hand or on the field to let you draw two cards.
Aside from the ability to add themselves to your hand via their banish effect, Incarnate Dragons give you a wide range of access to some interesting cards. With that, no single Dragon deck will look the same, unlike archetype-based decks. Here are some of my favorite picks for targets:
Totem Dragon: one of my all-time favorite picks and one of the best cards to base your Dragon deck around, Totem’s extremely flexible. With Gold Sarcophagus and the right Incarnate Dragon you can add Yamata Dragon or Tiger Dragon to your hand, then use Totem Dragon to Summon it. You also have the option to discard Tempest and a Wind to search out a Light and Darkness Dragon, which Totem can let you Summon immediately. Totem gives you access to a multitude of reactionary plays Dragons were previously incapable of.
Exploder Dragon: always a decent card to have at least one of. I can’t stress my previous statement enough – the deck is extremely reactionary, and this is an instant-search card for those situations. Exploder will always take a card with it, and you can add it to your hand for free.
Tiger Dragon: As explained previously, Tiger Dragon’s another target to search that’s nearly a Dragon-type Mobius. The Tribute cost is easy enough to pull off with Totem Dragon, or special summoning an Incarnate Dragon from your graveyard as fodder.
Debris Dragon: you can make Level 6 Synchro plays with this and Totem; Rank 4 overlays into Queen Dragun or Abyss Dweller with Golem Dragon; or level 7 Synchro Summons with Poki Draco plays leading into Black Rose Dragon, Ancient Fairy Dragon, or Exploder Dragonwing.
Delta Flyer: grants you access to instant Trident Dragion OTKs when tuned with your Incarnate Dragons. Flyer’s Level boosting effect lets you combo it with Totem Dragon to overlay into a Rank 3, allowing Totem to return to your graveyard when it’s detached as an Xyz Material instead of being banished. Leviair is an obvious pick, with all the monsters you’re constantly banishing. Tempest’s effect will let you manage your graveyard for Totem’s condition, too.
Koa’ki Meiru Drago: a definite nuisance to any Light or Dark-based deck, and a 1900 ATK body. In the past, Drago tended to lock you down as well, often conflicting with Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon when it was at three. Now, the deck is filled with Dragons just as terrifying that range from every attribute aside from Light and Dark.
Tempest also searches a handful of Harpie and Dragunity cards.
Flamvell Guard: Disaster Dragon’s easiest way of making level 8 Synchros. You can get a Stardust or Scrap Dragon out, and since the Suppressor Dragon can be Summoned again next turn anyways, that wasn’t a real cost to you. Most boss Level 8 Synchros are Dragons, which means later abuse with REDMD if they’re ever sent to the graveyard.
Masked Dragon: Disaster’s signature battle searcher. Masked Dragon’s no longer a necessity, and it’s rather slow in comparison to the rest of the deck’s capabilities, but it’s still a decent card to have for Redox fodder and can afford you quick access to Exploder Dragon or Delta Flyer.
Poki Draco: Once deemed only good for being adorable, Poki now has reasonable viability in Dragons. It fuels the hand and grave for Redox and others, and gives Debris Dragon instant access to precious, game-changing Level 7 Synchro plays. And it’s so dang cute.
Yamata Dragon: A terrifying ace to behold, Yamata adds two significant aspects to the Dragon strategy: a way to plus as fast as Judgment Prophecies, and a way to play mind games with your opponent. You can safely add Yamata to your hand whenever your opponent’s backrow is clear, Summoning with no effort via Totem to completely replenish your hand.
You can even Tribute set Yamata Dragon to take it a step further. At 3100 DEF, there’s virtually nothing in competition right now that can run it over unassisted. Your opponent will either attack into a Yamata unknowingly, or if you suspect he’s aware of Yamata’s presence and what it’s capable of, set an Incarnate Dragon and force your opponent to use resources to destroy it with effects, instead.
As far as Tidal goes, it has much better synergy in Water decks. It’s the only one of the four brothers I wouldn’t suggest running in a Dragon-centralized build.
So which themes benefit from the new cards? Let’s explore some complimentary cards and variant strategies.
There were a few factors that have crippled this archetype since its debut: its dependence on Dragon Ravine; the lack of a reliable followup to Effect Veiler; and its heavy reliance on your one Normal Summon per turn have all held Dragunities back in Championship-level play. Tempest, the Storm-Incarnate Dragon helps cover all of those weaknesses. Gold Sarcophagus removing Tempest from your deck gets you instant access to Dragunity Arma Mystletainn, Dragunity Phalanx, Dragunity Aklys, or even Dragunity Arma Leyvaten, searching out key cards for the strategy without requiring Ravine, and helping you outplay Effect Veiler.
Sarc’ing Tempest to grab Phalanx or Akyls makes Cards of Consonance an exceptionally solid option. You no longer have to rely on Ravine for hand correction, and you can safely get your equip tuners to the graveyard with an added +1.
The beauty of Sarcophagus on Tempest is the extensive range of options it gives you, which can all be played to fit whatever kind of hand you open with. If you play Ravine, pitch Phalanx, and Summon Dux, then lose out to Effect Veiler, you can activate Gold Sarcophagus to grab Mystletainn and complete your Level 8 Synchro play anyways. That makes Turn 1 Stardust much easier to pull off, and much more consistent.
Another interesting tech that’s playable thanks to Tempest is Eclipse Wyvern, in combination with Malefic Stardust Dragon and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. With Ravine, you can instantly toolbox Wyvern from hand or deck to banish a REDMD or Malefic Stardust, and then banish Eclipse Wyvern and another Dragon from your graveyard on the same turn to trigger Eclipse’s ability. Fueling the graveyard with Dragons to banish is easy enough when you habitually send Dragon-type tuners there, along with Synchros such as Dragunity Knight- Vajrayana, and other Dragon-types.
This strategy routinely yards Dragons just by making its central plays, which means Tempest has an incredible amount of synergy. Tempest may be the push Dragunities need to break into the competitive scene more often.
There’s some controversy as to what should even be considered “Disaster Dragon” at this point. Truth is, Disaster changes and evolves with the arrival of new formats and new support. But one characteristic always remains: it’s a reactionary deck, centered around plays made to slow or completely halt your opponent. The new Incarnate Dragons further supplement this concept. Gold Sarcophagus now gives you access to Koa’ki Meiru Drago, Totem Dragon, and Masked Dragon whenever you want them. This used to be the weakest point of the strategy – there was a time where you relied only on what you drew, and there was no search engine for the deck to rely on aside from a single copy of Future Fusion.
This means you no longer have to max out on control cards like Koa’ki Meiru Drago, so you won’t have to worry about topdecking too many in awkward situations, nor failing to draw them at all when they’re needed.
Because of that new consistent access to Totem Dragon, Light and Darkness Dragon and Yamata Dragon can now snugly fit into a Disaster lineup. The latter is even searchable via Blaster, the Flame-Incarnate Dragon. Yamata itself is a game-changing card, and the ability to have constant access to it is a considerable change to this deck.
Tempest compensates for REDMD’s Limited status by letting you search it. Tempest also lets you add Debris Dragon to your hand to make plays with Totem Dragon, or Richard Clarke’s personal pick, Golem Dragon, which lets you to overlay into Queen Dragun Djinn for more Summoning power. Redox, the Rock-Incarnate Dragon is a Monster Reborn, letting you keep REDMD alive in a way that gives you an alternative to Red-Eyes Wyvern.
In any build running Delta Flyer, which is now searchable with Tempest, these Level 7 monsters make Trident Dragion really easily. Disaster Dragon not only has hand correction and ways to repetitively revive monsters outside of REDMD, but also the ability to threaten an OTK play with Trident, basically at any time you feel comfortable taking a shot at your opponent.
I’m a huge believer in the importance of consistency, so I was originally skeptical about Return from a Different Dimension. After alot of playtesting, I’ve realized it’s easy enough to set up in just a few turns, and drawing into it provides leverage to an almost certain victory in the same way Future Fusion used to. With a constant stream of banishings, you’re easily dropping multiple Level 7 Dragons for Big Eye plays or an OTK. If you don’t pull off a win that turn, those Dragons can still be overlaid or Synchro’d with, going to the graveyard where you can continue to abuse them.
These certainly aren’t the only decks and ideas the Elemental Dragons work with, but they’re some of the most prominent and promising. With their generic search power, great discard effects, and the ability to Summon themselves from the graveyard every turn with such a trivial cost, it’s obvious these Dragons will have a spot in competition this Summer.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks for reading, as always.