With a bit over a month to go until the next Yu-Gi-Oh! set, Galactic Overlord, is upon us, it’s once again time to start on the previews for the new set. Galactic Overlord introduces several new themes to the game, such as the Hieratic Dragons (who take up a good chunk of the set), Lightrays and Bounzers. It also provides support to plenty of older themes like Inzektors or Evols, alongside new generic cards like Card Car D. To start things off I’ll be looking at the Hieratic Dragons, a new Light Dragon theme who can benefit from plenty of support that already exists. As before apologies if names/effect text do not match exactly to the English ones, since they’re not out yet.
Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord: Level 8 0/0 Light Dragon
On its own this card is terrible, but it’s obviously intended to be used in conjunction with all the other Hieratic Dragons. They usually summon either a normal Dragon or Hieratic monster and reduce its stats to 0/0, which is no problem for this card. The TCG set gives us a new exclusive seal in the form of Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King, which is a Level 6 Gemini, but more on that when we know what it does. Both of these cards can then be used to Xyz summon even more powerful Hieratic cards.
Hieratic Dragon of Nuit: Level 4 1700/900 Light Dragon
Once per turn, if this face-up card on the field is targeted by the effect of a Spell, Trap, or Effect Monster: You can Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and its ATK and DEF become 0.
Nuit the first of two Level 4 Hieratic Dragons is a deterrent against your opponent trying to deal with it. This is because you will basically get a free card whenever it is targetted, admittedly it’ll be a free 0/0, but this can still lead to bigger cards, or at least a way to block one attack. Since Nuit has a Quick Effect, you’ll chain the effect to whatever targets it, rather than waiting for after the chain. Since it’ll usually be removal that targets Nuit it’ll basically amount to it summoning another Dragon with its dying breath.
Nuit will force the opponent to try and get rid of him either via battle or non-targetting effects, just in case you have a follow up to summoning the normal Dragon. If the opponent isn’t going to help you out you could also target Nuit with your own cards and get free cards in the process.
As a general note for all Hieratic Dragons you will want to summon from either your deck or Graveyard wherever possible, since you gain cards, rather than keep the same number if it was from your hand.
Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb: Level 4 1800/400 Light Dragon
When this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard: Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, but its ATK and DEF become 0. When this card is Tributed: Special Summon 1 “Hieratic” Normal Monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard.
Gebeb has two ways to fetch you even more Hieratic Dragons (or other normal Dragons), either by defeating something in battle in a similar fashion to cards like Hydrogeddon or Jurrac Guaiba, or by tributing him.
At 1800 attack Gebeb has one of the highest attacks of cards like this, meaning he can pose a considerable threat, and shouldn’t find it too hard to successfully defeat something in battle.
His 2nd effect is intended to be used with cards like Nebthet and Su for a quick barrage of special summons, but could even be combined with the effect of the Overlord when Tributed from the hand. Unlike most other Hieratic Dragons this effect can only get you a normal Hieratic monster, rather than a normal Dragon, which limits you to only the two Seal monsters. I imagine this was to limit his full use to within the Hieratic deck, rather than getting thrown into other decks to use as Tribute fodder.
Hieratic Dragon of Eset: Level 5 1900/1200 Light Dragon
You can Normal Summon this card without Tributing, but its original ATK will become 1000. Once per turn: You can target 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster on the field; the Level of all face-up “Hieratic” monsters you control becomes the Level of that target. When this card is Tributed: Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and its ATK and DEF become 0.
Eset will mainly be used for her effects, rather than her stats, since even without the reduction the attack stat is poor for a level 5. Eset allows you to easily summon either Hieratic Xyz monster with ease, by making all your Hieratic monsters the same level. This means you no longer need to worry about getting two Seal monsters on the field at the same time.
Since you can summon Eset without a Tribute it means you’ll have access to 3 Hieratic monsters that you can summon easily, making it even easier to summon Su or Nebthet quickly.
Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet: Level 5 2000/1600 Light Dragon
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by Tributing 1 “Hieratic” monster you control. Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 other “Hieratic” monster you control or in your hand to target 1 monster your opponent controls; destroy it. When this card is Tributed: Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and its ATK and DEF become 0.
Nebthet is the second Level 5 Hieratic, and the first with a built in special summon. Since Hieratic monsters replace themselves with a vanilla Dragon when tributed it means you’ll have no net loss from performing this special summon.
In addition Nebthet comes with a destruction effect, which you should be able to use most of the time you summon her, should you choose to. This is because the vast majority of the time you will be able to summon Nebthet alongside one of the Seal monsters, who can then be tributed for Nebthet’s effect. If instead you want to save the Seal for Xyz summoning you could Tribute a Hieratic from your hand, and then use their effect to summon a 2nd Seal monster, which will in turn lead to a Hieratic Xyz monster.
A lot of the time Nebthet will allow you to start big plays as soon as you can get a Hieratic on the field to tribute for her.
Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit: Level 6 2100/1400 Light Dragon
If your opponent controls a monster, and you control no monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand), but this card cannot declare an attack this turn. When this card is Tributed: Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and its ATK and DEF become 0.
Tefnuit is the Cyber Dragon for the deck, except unlike Cyber Dragon he can’t be used to put pressure on the opponent by attacking. Instead the main purpose of this card is to follow up with Su or Nebthet.
Alternatively he could be used alongside Gebeb in order to summon Atum, since he’s a Level 6. You could summon Tefnuit, summon Gebeb, kill an opponents monster, summon Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King from your Graveyard, and then turn Tefnuit and the Seal into Atum.
Hieratic Dragon of Su: Level 6 2200/1000 Light Dragon
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by Tributing 1 face-up “Hieratic” monster you control. Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 other “Hieratic” monster you control or in your hand to target 1 Spell or Trap Card your opponent controls; destroy that target. When this card is Tributed: Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, and its ATK and DEF become 0.
Su is the counterpart to Nebthet, except this time destroying Spell / Trap cards, so most of what I said for Su will still be true here. Since Su also has more attack power, and is level 6 I think Su is the slightly better card than Nebthet. The attack increase will allow Su to take down a few more things in battle, but far more important is the level.
At level 6 it means you’ll combine Su with the Seal of the Dragon King (which hopefully you’ve just summoned as well) to form Atum. If you used Su to clear out their Spell / Trap cards first Atum will then be free to wreak havoc.
Hieratic Dragon of Asar : Level 7 2600/700 Light Dragon
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT Dragon-Type monster and 1 Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your Graveyard. If this card would be destroyed, you can Tribute 1 other face-up “Hieratic” monster you control instead.
Asar is the first of the big hitters for the deck, and the first with a different way of summoning. The intention is that to summon this card you’ll banish one of your Hieratic Dragons alongside one of the Hieratic Seals, but other Dragons like Blue Eyes could also fill that gap if you chose to mix things up a bit.
Asar basically just exists to be hard to kill, and a deterrent to even trying, since you’ll be trading whatever gave up their life for a vanilla dragon. Asar isn’t as impressive as the rest of the Hieratics, since it doesn’t really build towards any combos.
Hieratic Dragon of Sutekh: Level 8 2800/2000 Light Dragon
Cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) by banishing 3 Dragon-Type Normal Monsters in your Graveyard. Once per turn: You can banish 1 Dragon-Type monster from your Graveyard to target 1 card on the field; destroy it.
Sutekh is basically the Dark Armed Dragon for the deck, albeit a much slower one. Since he banishes a large number of vanilla Dragons just to summon him he’s best left to late game when you’ve exhausted your other options. Use him too early and you’ll mess up the rest of your deck by getting rid of everything your other Hieratics could summon. With the new seal coming to the TCG you’ll have a slightly wider range of cards to choose from when trying to summon him though.
Sutekh could be useful as a finisher, but since he’s counterproductive to the theme as a whole I’m not sure how many copies we’ll see in use when the deck hits.
Hieratic Dragon King of Atum: Rank 6 2400/2100 Light Dragon
2 Level 6 Dragon-Type monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type monster from your Deck, and its ATK and DEF become 0. This card cannot declare an attack the turn you activate this effect.
Atum is the first Xyz monster of the deck, and the first to break away from summoning vanilla Dragons. This opens up even more combos for the deck. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), since we don’t have access to the full range of Xyz monsters that the OCG has (namely Gustaph Max) we won’t be able to use Atum to his full power.
You can either use Atum to summon another Hieratic Dragon from your deck to set up for even more Hieratic plays, or more likely you’ll get Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. He would then be able to summon another Dragon and keep things rolling. Since we lack a Rank 10 in the TCG REDMD will then just be a sitting duck, but if you can protect him you’ll be looking at lots of special summons from now on. If we did have Gustaph Max we’d have yet another potential OTK to deal with, so I’m sure people are glad he’s not around yet.
Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis: Rank 8 3000/2400 Light Dragon
2 Level 8 monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card and Tribute any number of monsters you control or in your hand; destroy cards on the field equal to the number of monsters Tributed.
The Overlord is intended as the finisher for the deck, not only can you clear the opponent’s field out but you can also swarm the field with vanillas/Seals (should you tribute Hieratics). This would then allow you to follow up with more Xyz summons. If your opponent cannot stop the Overlord they could lose a good chunk of their cards and Life points, so expect them to take whatever steps they can to prevent you summoning it, or from destroying too many cards.
Hieratic Seal of Convocation: Normal Spell Card
Add 1 “Hieratic” monster from your Deck to your hand.
This is the Reinforcement of the Army for the deck, however it is not level restricted. This means you’ll be able to grab whichever Hieratic is most suitable for the situation, or can complete your current combo.
Hieratic Seal of Supremacy: Normal Spell Card
Special Summon 1 “Hieratic” monster from your hand.
This Seal is straightforward allowing you to special summon a Hieratic from your hand. I imagine it will be used to set up Xyz summons (by summoning for example an extra Seal stuck in your hand) or summon the larger Hieratics when you can’t get a smaller one onto the field. Given the ease with which most of the Hieratics can be summoned I don’t think this card will see much play. If you’re dedicated to winning as quickly as possible you might use it, but in the long run I’d rather not lose a card just to get a special summon.
Hieratic Seal of Banishment: Normal Trap Card
Tribute 1 “Hieratic” monster you control to target 1 card your opponent controls; banish that target.
The Seal of Banishment is a powerful piece of removal for the deck. Since it can banish any card you don’t have to worry about pesky things like Stardust Dragon and it can clear out cards like Wind-Up Zenmaines. Since it’s a trap it will allow you to chain it to removal used on your Hieratics, giving you a +1 overall even if it is a 0/0. Being a trap also limits its power slightly, preventing you from using it as soon as you draw it.
Hieratic Seal of Reflection: Counter Trap Card
Tribute 1 “Hieratic” monster you control; negate the activation of a Spell Card, Trap Card, or Effect Monster’s effect, and destroy it.
The Seal of Reflection is the final of the original Hieratic cards, and is basically a Hieratic version of Infernity barrier. You will be able to stop nearly anything thrown your way, cutting off crucial plays by the opponent, whilst still keeping at least a 0/0 to protect you. This card can clinch a game for you by shutting down your opponents final defense against your Hieratic onslaught, or could be used in a more control oriented build to seize control of the direction of the duel.
Since the deck is much more based around swarming and hitting hard at the moment, this card will probably be used more often to push through a win for this deck, than shutting down the opponent’s plays.
In addition to all these cards we have two new Hieratic exclusives on the way, Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King and Hieratic Seal from the Ashes, which I will be saving until we know their full effects. I already think Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King will see plenty of play due to opening up more Rank 6 plays, but its effect could make it even more useful. Hieratics are certainly going to be a force to be reckoned with when GAOV hits, with their ability to summon powerful Xyz monsters quickly and destroy their opponents cards.
If anyone has any comments or anything I’ve missed out please let me know. Next time I’m going to be looking at the new Lightray monsters, which offer Light counterparts to some famous monsters from the past.