Looking Ahead – Tempest Dragunity

Yesterday we showed you a dedicated Elemental Dragon deck – one of the biggest forces in the OCG today, decks like it are dominating competition overseas. But the Elemental Dragons are team players, and they work really well in lots of different strategies. Last week you saw me use Blaster, Elemental Dragon of Calderas in a new Fire Fist variant, but today we’re going to look at a different Dragon: Tempest, Elemental Dragon of Cyclones.

Each of the Elemental Dragons shares a Special Summon ability, a self-bouncing effect, a search that triggers if they’re banished, and a restriction that keeps you from using more than one of each Dragon’s effects per turn. But every Dragon has its own unique ability, too: Blaster can destroy a card; Tidal sends a monster from your deck to your graveyard; and Redox is a Monster Reborn. Tempest is a little different: its special ability builds off the search effect that all four Dragons command. Check it out:

Tempest, Elemental Dragon Of Cyclones
Level 7 / Wind / Dragon
2400 ATK / 2200 DEF
You can banish 2 Dragon-Type and/or WIND monsters from your hand or Graveyard, except this card; Special Summon this card from your hand or Graveyard. During your opponent’s End Phase, if this card was Special Summoned: Return it to the hand. You can discard this card and 1 other WIND monster to the Graveyard; add 1 Dragon-Type monster from your Deck to your hand. If this card is banished: You can add 1 WIND Dragon-Type monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use 1 “Tempest, Elemental Dragon of Cyclones” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Tempest’s unique trick is another search effect, letting you discard it along with any other Wind monster to search a Dragon from your deck. While all of Tempest’s effects are useful, its search power has revolutionized the Dragunity strategy, giving you much better access to Dragunity Phalanx and Dragunity Arma Mystletainn.

Need A Quick Crash Course?
If you’re not familiar with the Dragunity deck, let’s run it back a second and get you caught up. In the past, the front end of the Dragunity strategy has revolved around two monsters: the Level 4 Dragunity Dux, and the Level 3 Dragunity Legionnaire. Both monsters share an effect that lets them equip a Level 3 or lower Dragon-Type Dragunity from your graveyard when Dux or Legionnaire is Normal Summoned. Dragunity Dux gains 200 ATK for each face-up Dragunity you control, boosting itself to 1900 ATK when its effect straps it with another Dragunity. Legionnaire only has 1200 ATK, but it can send a Dragunity card from your back row to the graveyard to destroy one of your opponent’s face-up monsters.

And those effects can be useful sometimes, but the main attraction rests in the effect of Dragunity – Phalanx. A Level 2 Tuner, it can be equipped from the graveyard with Dux or Legionnaire. Then, its effect lets you Special Summon it, placing a Level 2 Tuner on the field. With Legionnaire you can make a Level 5 Synchro Summon, while Dux will get you a Level 6.

But it doesn’t stop there! Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana is a Level 6 Synchro Monster you can make with a Dragon-Type Tuner and one or more non-Tuner Winged Beasts. That means you can make it with Phalanx and Dux. Vajrayana has an effect just like Dux and Legionnaire: it can grab little Dragunities like Phalanx from the graveyard. Special Summon Phalanx again, Tune it to Vajrayana, and you can make a Level 8 Synchro. In the past that was the key play for the Dragunity deck: get Phalanx to the graveyard by discarding it for Dragon Ravine or Cards of Consonance; bring it back with Dux to make Vajrayana; and then Vajryana into a Level 8 Synchro like Stardust Dragon. It was an imposing first turn play, and since Ravine could get you another Dux to follow up, you’d unleash a slow but steady stream of Level 8 Synchros and overpower your opponent.

As time went on, Dragunity duelists started playing cards like Garuda the Wind Spirit and Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite; since they were Level 4 Winged Beasts that could be Special Summoned, they could pop up in the middle of a standard Phalanx combo and let the Dragunity player make more Synchro Summons. Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg is another on-theme Level 6 Synchro, and it grabs a Level 4 or lower Dragon or Winged Beast from your deck, then makes you discard a Dragon or Winged Beast. It can search and discard Zephyros (or anything else you might need), creating combos that put multiple Level 6’s on the field.

Overlay those Level 6 Synchros to make Hieratic Dragon King of Atum, and you can Special Summon big Dragons straight from your deck! That usually means Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. Use its effect, then bounce it for Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite and you can bring it down again, unleashing enough Special Summoning power to start creating OTK’s. It’s a cool strategy, but it used alot of specific combo pieces that aren’t useful on their own, so it never really made a big impact.

Tempest Changes That
Getting to Dragunity Phalanx more reliably means you can put together your key combos with Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana more often. You can search Phalanx to use as your Tuner, or grab it and discard it for Cards of Consonance, making that card more playable as well. The ability to search for Dragunity Arma Mystletainn – another “I wear little Dragunities like a hat” monster similar to Dux, Legionnaire, and Vajrayana, gives you another way to make those Phalanx plays instead of just Phalanx with Dux. In addition to added reliability, Mystletainn is an awesome insurance plan: if you go to Special Summon Phalanx with Dux and your opponent responds with Fiendish Chain or Effect Veiler, you can send Dux to the graveyard to Special Summon Mystletainn and just play straight through your opponent’s negation.

Tempest adds to the already-considerable search power provided by Dragon Ravine, Foolish Burial, Hieratic Dragon King of Atum, and Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg. You can trigger its search effect by discarding it alongside another Wind monster: Dragunity Phalanx is your best discard, since pitching it sets you up to bring it back with Dux or Mystletainn. Alternatively, you get virtually the same search whenever Tempest is banished, so if you banish it from the field to Special Summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, or from the graveyard to Summon Garuda the Wind Spirit, you get to grab a Phalanx or Mystletainn. But the best way to trigger its effect is Gold Sarcophagus: banish Tempest straight from your deck, and you can search a monster immediately, then add Tempest to your hand two turns later with Sarcophagus. Tempest turns Gold Sarcophagus into a Reinforcement of the Army for your most important cards, and that’s the big reason why this deck is competitive.

There are tons of different ways to build Tempest Dragunity: some skew towards big OTK’s, while others try to grind out your opponent by making one big Synchro Monster a turn. Amongst those two categories there are tons of different choices, and no one Dragunity deck can use them all: there are just too many options. I’m going to take you through a bunch of different cards you can use to tailor the deck to your style and your metagames. But for now, I just want to show you a basic build of the OTK version. Check it out:

Monsters: 17
3 Tempest, Elemental Dragon of Cyclones
3 Dragunity Dux
3 Dragunity Phalanx
2 Dragunity Arma Mystletainn
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
3 Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite
1 Dragunity Arma Leyvaten
1 Garuda the Wind Spirit

Spells: 21
3 Dragon Ravine
3 Terraforming
3 Gold Sarcophagus
2 Cards of Consonance
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Night Beam
2 Forbidden Lance
1 Foolish Burial
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm

Traps: 2
1 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment

Extra Deck: 15
1 Trident Dragion
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Crimson Blader
3 Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana
1 Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg
1 Beastlord Volcan
1 Gem-Knight Pearl
1 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum
1 Constellar Ptolemy M7
1 Photon Strike Bounzer
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1 Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon

Some cards in the above lineup are non-negotiable: Tempest, Elemental Dragon of Cyclones; Dragunity Dux; Dragunity Phalanx; Dragunity Arma Mystletainn; and Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite are all important. The only real variance you’ll see is in the number of Tempests and Zephyros played. Some people run two Tempest, but I like three because I don’t see any reason to run just two in a focused build like this: it never clogs your hand, because you can always discard one copy for the search effect of another. Some aggressive OTK builds like this may play two Zephyros, while others may run three, and non-OTK versions may not run any. I’ve maxed out to keep things simple and consistent.

Garuda the Wind Spirit is another important card that makes the OTK build what it is: conservative grind decks may not run it, but it’s important here as a searchable one-of for Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg. It Tunes to Phalanx to make Level 6 Synchros; it banishes Tempest to trigger its search effect; and it overlays to make Queen Dragun Djinn, whose Special Summon effect contributes to some of your longer chains of plays.

I’m also running one copy of Dragunity Arma – Leyvaten. As a Level 8 it can come in off Hieratic Dragon King of Atum’s ability, and it can Tune with Phalanx to make Trident Dragion, creating OTK’s. I’m using it here for that, but also to make the Gorz-busting Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, which we’ll get in Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy. It could also be played for Trident Dragion and stacked with Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon for Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max, which I don’t have room for. Your plays are limited to by the 15-card limit on your Extra Deck: there just isn’t enough space to run everything, so it’s important to know your options and experiment.

So What Does This Deck Do?
Alot. There are tons of moves to learn, and if I wrote a comprehensive list of plays we’d be here for days. But consider play sequences like the following. You’ll start with a hand of Dragunity Dux and Dragunity Arma Mystletainn:

-Load Dragunity Phalanx to the graveyard, with Dragon’s Ravine, Foolish Burial, or Cards of Consonance.
-Normal Summon Dux to Special Summon Phalanx.
-Send Phalanx to the graveyard to Special Summon Mystletainn.
-Use Mystletainn to Special Summon Phalanx.
-Tune it to Dux to make Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg.

-Use Gae Dearg to search Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite, then pitch it to the graveyard.
-Overlay Gae Dearg and Mystletainn for Hieratic Dragon King of Atum.
-Use it to Special Summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon from your deck.
-Special Summon back Dragunity Phalanx with REDMD.
-Bounce REDMD to your hand by Special Summoning Zephyros.

-Tune Phalanx and Zephyros for Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana, getting back Phalanx.
-Banish Atum to Special Summon REDMD. Bring back Gae Dearg.
-Use Gae Dearg’s ability again, this time getting Garuda the Wind Spirit.
-You need to keep Garuda, so discard anything else to complete Gae Dearg’s effect.
-Banish to Special Summon Garuda.

-Tune Garuda to Phalanx for another Vajrayana, and bring back Phalanx again.
-Tune Phalanx and Vajrayana for a Level 8 of your choice.
-Overlay the remaining Vajrayana with Gae Dearg for another Atum.
-Use its effect to Special Summon Dragunity Arma – Leyvaten from your deck.
-Bring back Phalanx with Leyvaten. Tune the two together for Trident Dragion, and pop cards to give it additional attacks.
-Overlay Atum with Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger.
-Attack with everything for game.

This is a really good example of a typical play sequence, because it can branch off in so many different ways to adapt for your situation. The “Level 8 of your choice” can be Scrap Dragon if you have an extra card and need to destroy something. It can be Stardust Dragon for added protection. Or it could be Crimson Blader if you’re playing Mermails, Elemental Dragons, Prophecy, or Karakuri and your opponent has a monster to run over.

Once you make Trident Dragion you could overlay it with Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon for Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max if you chose to play it. I don’t, because I’m running Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon instead, which means I can use this play to beat Gorz or Tragoedia: instead of making Trident Dragion, I could make Tachyon Dragon with Leyvaten and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, for a field of Tachyon Dragon, my Level 8 Synchro, and Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger, and win that way instead.

And this all works because Tempest allows me to search out the necessary combo pieces. It can also chip in its own 2400 ATK when it’s Special Summoned, or help get Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon from your hand onto the field. It fills alot of the gaps that used to exist in this strategy; it makes everything more consistent, and makes the deck reliable enough to compete.

Want To Switch It Up?
Whether you play an aggressive Tempest Dragunity like today’s example, or try to grind out your wins through sheer card economy, there’s tons of room for your personal style. This build only runs two traps, but it’s easy to play whatever trap cards you like – the usual destruction traps are a good choice, while effect negation is especially popular in the OCG. Fiendish Chain combos with Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite; Effect Veiler gives you extra protection when you don’t go first; and Breakthrough Skill can be pitched for Dragon Ravine and then played for its secondary effect. Cool stuff.

If Evilswarm Ophion is a problem, you can prioritize Maestroke the Symphony Djinn or Book of Moon to turn it face-down. You could also play a single searchable Dragunity Legionnaire – with or without Dragunity Aklys – to blow Ophion away. Dragunity has lots of answers to Evilswarms.

I’ve even seen people run the new Fire Formation – Gyokko instead of Night Beam (which we discussed in last week’s Fire Fist article). The idea there is that Gyokko can lock down your opponent’s cards until you go off, and then you can destroy it later for Scrap Dragon’s effect. You can do similar tricks with another card from last week, Beastlord Volcan.

Right now, decks like this one win tournaments every now and then in the OCG, despite being outpaced by the faster pure Elemental Dragon strategy. What’s cool is that this strategy doesn’t need the Level 3 and Level 4 Elemental Dragons to work; if we don’t get them as OCG imports in our TCG version of Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy, this deck is a real contender. It’s going to be relevant and competitive no matter what, but depending on what happens over the next month, it could be a really big deal.

What do you think? Does Tempest, Elemental Dragon of Cyclones take Dragunities over the top? Tell us your thoughts down in the Comments!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer


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