For the 6th part of my REDU Preview I’m going to be looking at all the other themes that get support in the set, aside from the major 5 I’ve already covered. Some might argue all the new Rock / Earth ones deserve their own article, but I’ve decided to lump everything in here together. We’ve got quite a mix of cards here, from named themes like Gagaga and Photons, to type themed like Warrior and Beast.
Zexal Weapon – Phoenix Bow (ZW – Phoenix Bow): Level 3 1100/0 Fire Winged Beast
You can target 1 face-up “Number C39: Utopia Ray” you control; equip this card from your hand to that target. It gains 1100 ATK. If the equipped monster destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: Inflict 1000 damage to your opponent. You can only control 1 face-up “Zexal Weapon – Phoenix Bow”.
We’re getting our second Zexal Weapon card in REDU, but this time it’s worse than Unicorn Spear. Phoenix Bow can’t survive on it’s own as a standalone card, like Unicorn Spear can, and his attribute (Fire) lacks all the nice support Unicorn had (Light). The only advantage inherent to this card is that it’s more searchable than Unicorn Spear was.
Unfortunately the effect is also worse. The power boost is smaller, and burn damage, whilst nice is hardly a patch on negating effects like Unicorn Spear does. I suppose though if you were really dedicated to it this card could help C39 push towards an OTK, or at least massive amounts of damage in one blow.
There is no real reason to play this card unless you insist on playing a fun deck based around C39, and I’m not so sure anyone will feel like trying that out.
Photon Kaiser: Level 8 2000/2800 Light Warrior
When this card is Normal or Flip Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 “Photon Kaiser” from your hand or Deck.
Photon Kaiser gives you instant access to Rank 8 Xyz monsters such as Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. If instead you don’t want to Xyz summon it gives you the option to mix between going on the offensive with two 2000 attack monsters, or attacking with one, whilst hiding behind the 2800 defense of the other.
I would imagine that most of the time you’ll want to be summoning him via Photon Sanctuary, since this will allow you to break even in the process, as opposed to losing a card, as would be the case if you tribute summoned him normally.
I’m not too up on Photon decks, so I’m not sure how useful he is to the deck as a whole, but the idea of an instant Rank 8 for 2 cards seems like it could be quite good. I suppose you do need to be really careful with how many copies you run though. If you run three the third copy will be useless, but it increases the chance of you drawing the first copy, and means the card won’t be dead if you happen to draw two. You could use cards like Book of Moon to reuse the original Kaiser twice, but I’m not sure how often this would happen. If you only play 2 copies it avoids the redundancy of a dead copy, but means you really don’t want to draw both copies.
Mori no Seijuu Unifolia (Sacred Beast of the Forest, Unifolia): Level 1 700/500 Earth Beast
If the only monsters in your Graveyard are Beast-Type monsters: You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 Beast-Type monster from your hand or Graveyard, except “Sacred Beast of the Forest, Unifolia”. A monster Special Summoned by this effect cannot declare an attack this turn.
Unifolia is a nice boost for pure Beast decks, since it allows you to summon their most powerful monsters with much greater ease. As usual with these types of cards you’ll want to try summoning from the Graveyard whenever possible since you lose nothing, however when the time calls for it you will sometimes need to summon from the Hand instead.
A nice thing about this is that because you can’t target cards in the hand, it means the effect overall doesn’t target. As such if the opponent wants to use D.D. Crow to mess up your plays, you can just pick a different cards instead, which will hopefully still be useful in that situation.
Since Unifolia is a Level 1 you could set up some nice combos with Kinka-Byo, repeatedly summoning him back and grabbing bigger Beast monsters each time.
The biggest drawback with Unifolia is of course the fact the monsters you grab are unable to attack on the turn they’re summoned, which does slow down your attempts to kill the opponent. If you clear the way on the turn you use Unifolia, you’ll be unable to capitalise on it if the opponent just sets more the next turn. On the other hand, if you don’t clear the way first you may find yourself unable to use the new Beast anyway, since the opponent may deal with it there and then. You’ll just have to weigh up your decisions based on the situation at hand.
Little Trooper: Level 1 900/500 Earth Warrior
If this card is destroyed by battle: You can Special Summon 1 Level 2 or lower Warrior-Type monster from your Deck in face-down Defense Position.
Little Trooper is basically a Warrior version of Apprentice Magician, however there aren’t quite as many little warriors that you’ll want to summon face down as there are spellcasters. A few decks may find use for him though.
If you need to protect yourself you can fetch Pashuul, but X-Sabers themselves won’t really find him useful, since they already have plenty of searchers.
You could use him to fetch the little flip effect Ninjas and try to clear out Spell / Trap cards, so I suppose it could be good if you wanted to play Flip Ninjas. Samurai could use it to search Shien’s Footsoldier to then get some other Samurai, but honestly I’d rather just have used the Footsoldier in the first place.
It has the potential to be useful in the future, but Warriors have always lent themselves better to aggressive decks, so something passive like this might not be all that welcome.
Earth / Rock
Sajin no Kishi (Dust Knight): Level 4 1400/1200 Earth Warrior
FLIP: Send 1 EARTH monster from your Deck to the Graveyard.
This is an Earth version of Armageddon Knight, except it’s a little harder to pull off and slower. Lots of the new Earth / Rock cards need Earth monsters in the graveyard to work, so this can be very helpful to set up for that. At least compared to things like Foolish burial it’ll allow you to block one attack, or use it with other cards, should you manage to successfully flip summon it. Of course a direct comparison to Armageddon Knight will show him to be lacking, but not everything can get the nice cards Dark themes do.
Block Golem: Level 3 1000/1500 Earth Rock
If the only monsters in your Graveyard are EARTH-Attribute: You can Tribute this card to target 2 Level 4 or lower Rock-Type monsters in your Graveyard, except for “Block Golem”; Special Summon those targets, but their effects on the field cannot be activated during this turn.
Block Golem can have several uses within the new Earth / Rock deck. Firstly it’ll allow you to swarm the field and hit the opponent hard. Some of the lower level Rock Monsters (such as the Koa’ki Meiru) tend to have pretty hefty attack points, so you could probably take off nearly half of your opponent’s lifepoints in one go if you get a free shot. Alternatively you could instead summon some appropriately Ranked Xyz monsters, such as the two we’ll see later in the Preview who need Earth monsters to summon them. The final use is to manage the number of Earth monsters in your Graveyard, since it can be used to reduce the overall number by 1. (Remember even though you get two out, Block Golem will end up in there himself)
A very important thing to note about Block Golem is how his restriction on the special summoned monsters actually works. He does not negate them for the turn, instead he prevents them from even activating. This thankfully avoids the many rules questions people tend to have when things can be activated, but are negated. However it does mean you can’t get Koa’ki Meiru Wall or Guardian into the Graveyard again that turn, if you need to change the numbers there again. However since they can be used from the next turn on it does mean you can still mess up the opponent’s plans when it gets to their next turn.
Chireishin Gransoil (Gransoil the Land Spirit): Level 8 2800/2200 Earth Beast-Warrior
Cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) if you have exactly 5 EARTH monsters in your Graveyard, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. When this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 monster in either Graveyard; Special Summon that target to your side of the field. If this card leaves the field, skip the Battle Phase of your next turn.
Gransoil is the new boss for Earth Attribute cards and comes with a pretty impressive effect, if you can get around his summoning conditions. Between Dust Knight, Foolish Burial, Rock Bombardment, Rock Bombarding Area and just letting things die, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the 5 monsters required into the Graveyard ready to summon Gransoil. You just need to be careful that you don’t overfill the Graveyard, although cards like Block Golem, Gigantes and The Rock Spirit can help you manage this to an extent.
Once you do manage to summon Gransoil though he can help to turn the flow of the game. Not only does he come with a hefty 2800 attack, but he’s also a walking Monster Reborn, allowing you to revive a monster from either player’s Graveyard. There should be no need to explain why Reborn is good, so it should be immediately obvious why a version which comes attached to a giant monster is good as well.
Unfortunately Gransoil does come with a rather big downside though, which is that you lose the Battle Phase of your next turn. Sometimes this can be devastating, since it’ll allow the opponent to pick off Gransoil and prevent your other monsters from attacking. Other times you won’t really care, because if the opponent could deal with Gransoil you might not be able to attack next turn anyway. Another thing to note (if the translation is accurate), is that it’s the Battle Phase of your next turn, not your next Battle Phase. It means that should Gransoil leave the field in your turn, you’ll still get a chance to battle that turn, you’ll just have to remember to skip the next one coming up.
Ginrei no Kyoshin (Giant God of the Silvery Mountain): Rank 3 1800/2200 Earth Rock
2 Level 3 EARTH monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 Set Card in your opponent’s Spell and Trap Card Zones; it cannot be activated while this card is face-up. If this card with Xyz Material destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: You can target 1 EARTH monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target in face-up Defense Position.
This is a powerful new Xyz monster for Earth decks, which can be summoned very easily thanks to Block Golem. Outside of pure Earth / Rock decks a few other themed decks could benefit from access to a new Rank 3, this includes decks like Wind-Ups, X-Sabers or Madolche all of which can put two Level 3 Earth monsters onto the field.
Giant God of the Silvery Mountain can serve two purposes once you’ve successfully summoned him, either he can just simply be used to try and lock down the opponent’s field and their options, or he can be used to bring back a stream of Earth monsters. If you only detach one material you even get access to both effects at once.
Giant God of the Silvery Mountain can lock down up to two Set Spell / Trap cards on the opponent’s side of the field, which can either leave your opponent defenseless from your attacks, or prevent them from using their spell cards which they tried bluffing against you with. If the opponent only has one card set this could be quite annoying for them, since it’ll leave their monster or lifepoints defenseless. It can also lock the opponent down from using Gorz against you, since as long as they have a set card stuck on their side of the field they’ll be unable to summon him.
Giant God of the Silvery Mountain can also allow you to immediately rebuild the field you gave up to summon him, or alternatively summon other annoying Earth monsters back. This is provided you leave at least one Xyz material on him. When the opponent only has 1 or 0 set cards this’ll be no issue, but once they have more than this you’ll need to decide whether it’s more important to try and lock down their plays or bolster your own.
Since the monsters you summon back have to be in defense position it means you’ll either want to revive something with a higher defense, so you can wall up against the opponent, or hope to protect it long enough to switch it back on the next turn. If you bring back Koa’ki Meiru Guardian or Wall it may even force the opponent into attacking when they don’t want to, in order to avoid having their monster effects or Spell cards stopped.
Youseiou Alverd (Fairy King Alverd): Rank 4 2300/1400 Earth Plant
2 Level 4 EARTH monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; have all non-EARTH monsters on the field lose 500 ATK and DEF.
The final new Earth Xyz monster is Alverd, who doesn’t really have any fancy tricks, but can be quite a pain to deal with. Many of the opponent’s monsters won’t be Earth monsters, and all of yours probably will be if you summon him. This basically means all your opponent’s monsters will lose 500 attack / defense, whilst yours will keep all of theirs. Not only does this mean Alverd himself can deal with monsters that have up to 2800 attack (meaning that even in the worst case scenario vs something like REDMD he can at least suicide), but also that the many 1900s the deck packs will now be able to deal with monsters all the way up to 2400s. Defensive monsters won’t be any real worry either, since they’ll also soon drop into the range where Alverd or your Koa’ki Meiru can deal with them.
Most of the time I don’t imagine you needing to use Alverd’s effect twice, since anything you don’t deal with the first time will probably have been because you didn’t have enough monsters, and anything new will either have killed Alverd already, or been dealt with due to your Spell / Trap cards. Although if you have Rock Bombarding Area up it’s more likely that you’ll be able to deal with newer large monsters through Alverd. I suppose on rare occasions you might use his effect a second time to allow another monster to clear the field before Alverd attacks directly, instead of the reverse, allowing you to deal a little extra damage.
Alverd can definitely be a threatening monster, especially since Block Golem allows you to summon him for only 1 card.
Iwanage Area (Rock Bombarding Area): Field Spell Card
Once per turn, if a monster you control would be destroyed by battle, you can send 1 Rock-Type monster from your Deck to the Graveyard instead.
Finally Rocks get a new Field card to make them harder to destroy, although you don’t necessarily have to just use it on Rock monsters. Rock Bombarding Area allows one of your monsters to survive an otherwise deadly battle per turn, in exchange for a Rock monster from your deck.
Not only does this make annoying monsters like the Koa’ki Meiru pair or Alverd harder to shift, but it also helps you set up for Gransoil by filling the Graveyard with what are likely to be Earth monsters (Rock monsters tend to quite often be Earth too). Even with just regular monsters who aren’t individually that important to keep on the field it will allow you to set up for tribute or Xyz summons more easily, since it becomes much easier to keep things on the field.
You just have to be careful when using this card not to drain your entire deck of monsters, since it can become hard to win if you’ve only got Spell and Traps left.
Kaiou no Totsugekihei (Atlantean Assault Troop): Level 3 1400/0 Water Sea Serpent
While you control another Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua-Type monster, this card gains 800 ATK.
Atlantean Assault Troop is a very straightforward beatstick. If he’s accompanied by one of his fellow dwellers from the deep he can hit 2200, which is huge for a Level 3 monster. From what I can tell Atlanteans shouldn’t have much trouble pulling this off, and the next set Abyss Rising only makes it even easier. A very basic combo for example would be just to summon him with Deep Sea Diva and you’ll have an instant 2200, that can get around things like Gravity Bind or Level Limit Area B with no problems at all.
Gagagarevenge: Equip Spell Card
Target 1 “Gagaga” monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it and equip this card to it. When this card leaves the field, destroy the equipped monster. When this card is sent to the Graveyard from the equipped monster being used as an Xyz Material: Have all Xyz Monsters you control gain 300 ATK.
The final theme to get new support are the Gagagas, who are once again getting a new Spell and Trap to help them out. Gagagarevenge is more or less a Premature Burial for the Gagaga monsters, except without a lifepoint cost, or the potential for bounce loops. It does however power up Xyz monsters, which is exactly what Gagagas excel at summoning.
Chances are that you’ll summon one of the Gagaga pair with this card, then normal summon the other part of the pair before making any Rank 1-8 Xyz you can, with a bonus 300 attack points. That bonus might not seem like much, but will probably make some near impossible to kill via battle for most decks, meaning effects will be the only way to deal with them. To be honest though the attack boost will mostly just be a little bonus, with the real uses of this card being that you’ll have an easy way to consistently drop two Gagagas to the field at once, and pull off all the Xyz tricks the deck is designed to do.
Gagagarush: Normal Trap Card
When a “Gagaga” monster you control is targeted by the effect of an opponent’s monster: Negate that effect and destroy that monster, then inflict damage to your opponent equal to that monster’s ATK or DEF (whichever is higher) in the Graveyard.
Gagagarush is another way to protect your Gagagas, much like Gagagaguard, except this time you’ll only need one Gagaga on the field. This will be especially helpful against annoying little monsters like the Ryko pictured on the card, even if it won’t result in much burn damage for the opponent.
Most of the time you’ll only be getting rid of little monsters through Gagagarush, but it can force your opponent to make tough choices with their bigger monsters. If you have a Gagaga and a set card or two and the opponent summons something bigger like Chaos Sorcerer or Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, they could be in for a rough time. Normally with monsters like that if the opponent has set card you’d be safer banishing opposing monsters before going in for the attack, but in this case if they do that they’ll risk not only losing their monster, but also a massive chunk of their lifepoints. If they attack instead they’ll risk losing their monster to removal anyway. If it’s all they’ve got the opponent might even refrain from trying either strategy in order to avoid them losing their monster and taking a direct hit on the following turn. This could buy you extra turns, even if you don’t actually have Gagagarush at the time.
Hopefully this has given you all a bit more of an insight into some of the other new themed cards that are coming your way soon in REDU, and might have tempted you to look a little bit further than just the new big named themes that the set provides you with. In the 7th part of my preview I’ll be looking at some of the new Xyz cards on offer. This means new support for Xyz summoning and cards, and even a new card for trying to stop them. The remaining actual Xyz monsters themselves are being saved for the other future articles.