Malefic Stardust Dragon

Kelly Locke

8/18/2010 10:00:00 AM
 Comments

Last month a new Shonen Jump promo card was released…and seemingly never heard from again. Malefic Stardust Dragon, for all its hyped potential, completely slipped off the map. There may be some reasons for that when you look at some of the higher levels of competition, but the card sees very little play even in local tournaments. It is certainly talked about online, but very little, perhaps in a single topic on a discussion board.

Alright, so maybe people have learned their lesson after seeing the Earthbound Immortals. Cards that rely on field spells being active are generally too conditional to run and are not worth the effort. However, Malefic Stardust Dragon is a different story. Not only is it a free special summon, but it also lends a hand to field spell oriented decks…much better than Field Barrier at any rate.

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 Malefic Stardust Dragon
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Malefic Stardust Dragon
Set Shonen Jump Magazine Promos
Number JUMP-EN043
Level 8
Monster Dragon/Effect
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2500 / 2000
Rarity UR
Card Text

This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summoned, except by removing from play 1 "Stardust Dragon" from your Extra Deck. There can only be 1 face-up "Malefic" monster on the field. Field Spell Cards cannot be destroyed by effects. Other monsters you control cannot declare an attack. If there is no face-up Field Spell Card on the field, destroy this card.


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With great stats and easy summoning requirements, Malefic Stardust Dragon shows a lot of promise. 2500 attack is big enough to get over the masses of 2400s being run, as well as anything your standard beatsticks can't deal with. Since it can hit the field with very little warning, at the very least it is a monster you can use to make a 1-for-1 exchange through battle, and possibly clear the way for your other cards by taking Bottomless Trap Hole or Thunder King Rai-Oh off the field. It's deficiently something that is going to cause your opponent to react immediately, and if they don't, all the better.

Thanks to Malefic, your field spells are safe while it is face-up on the field which keeps Dust Tornado from ending up killing two cards. That's something that other Malefics, and the Earthbounds, could not do. As long nothing is chained to you activating whatever field spell you choose, taking Malefic Stardust Dragon off the field must be done before the field spell can be dealt with. Interestingly enough, there's a lot more spell and trap removal out there these days than monster removal. Compulsory Evacuation Device is also becoming very common…too bad it does nothing to stop this card. If anything, Book of Moon might be the biggest threat to Malefic Stardust Dragon, flipping it face-down and then hitting the field spell with Mystical Space Typhoon or a similar card forces a player to keep Malefic face-down.

There are however, some very severe drawbacks to Malefic Stardust Dragon. First and foremost would be its reliance on field spells. This limits it to, essentially, decks that are not considered competitive. The best example I can give this format would be Gravekeepers, which recently earned a top 16 spot at YCS Indy. Yet that deck ran only 2 Necrovalley and certainly could not support even a single Malefic. Further, while the Malefic is on the field, it is the ONLY monster you control that can attack. This means you cannot simply summon it to the field in defense and leave it there to protect your field spell. It needs to be the your primary offensive card while on the field, which is difficult to do.

In any case, the best use of Malefic Stardust Dragon has to come from the field spell it is protecting. Let's look at a few shall we?

Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins

With a self-protection effect already, it would be very difficult for this field spell to be destroyed when combined with Malefic Stardust Dragon. I guess that asks a very direct Question: is it needed then? I think so. Crystal Beasts are not particularly fond of aggressive attacking in the early game, but would rather sit back and wait for a Crystal Abundance or Rainbow Dragon OTK. In this case, letting the Malefic loose on the field for the opponent to deal with while you set-up is actually a very viable strategy. Again, you'll likely draw out spells and traps that could hamper your OTK, and can often be a good thing. I'm not saying that Crystal Beasts are crazy competitive or anything, but they definitely have some new options with Malefic Stardust Dragon.

Future Visions

Future Visions is a lot like Black Garden with a priority-stealing effect that, in essence, prevents most decks this format from swarming for at least a few more turns. It's also key to activating Fortune Lady Light's effect and allowing the Dark -Water draw engine to work. Malefic Stardust Dragon is a bit of a double edged sword here, unfortunately. While it does protect Future Visions from destruction (and can take out big monsters that Fortune Lady Dark may have problems with) it prevents Dark from attacking, which is critical to deck engine. In addition, Skill Drain cannot be run here at all, since swarming the field with 0 attack monsters is generally not a good idea. On the plus side, it is easily special summoned to the field and circumvents Future Vision's removal effect.

A Legendary Ocean & Umi

Codarus is a very powerful card this format, not only getting around effects that would negate destruction, but also generating easy +1s while remaining incredibly searchable. Mother Grizzly, a Deep Sea Diva engine, and a handful of cards to provide ammo for Codarus leave you with a great deal of options in how to build the deck. While at first glance Malefic Stardust Dragon would seem to be a bit pointless (since you are sending off field spells for Codarus) it DOES add a great deal of stability that the deck currently lacks. Besides raw beatstick power, it's something for the opponent to deal with while you set up a run at them with Codarus followed by a Diva swarm. With a large number of field spells and several ways to search them, Malefic will almost never be a dead card. I've noticed since Codarus was released that the deck has headed in a control direction with Codarus taking multiple cards away from the opponent (in a way that does not trigger Starlight Road) while the rest of the deck churns out Catastor and Brionac. Malefic is there for those time where you are not doing either, which has always been a flaw in the deck until now.

Necrovalley

By far the best deck to run Malefic in, Gravekeepers made a strong showing at the last YCS. What makes them even better candidates for this tech is that they can already function well with the two virus cards: Eradicator Epidemic Virus and Deck Devastation Virus. Malefic is a target for both cards unsurprisingly, and combined with Gravekeepers (Commandant in particular) the targets for DDV are very high. Knocking out low attack monsters will shut down synchros summons and a vast amount of plays that most decks rely on. EEV is perhaps more of a side-deck option against decks that run a large amount of trap cards like STUN. In either case, both are just as devastating as their banned counterpart Crush Card Virus. Now DDV and EEV have a new, easy to access target that costs very little to commit to the field.

Malefic Stardust Dragon is just waiting for that right field spell, and perhaps it's not one that has been released quite yet. Still, it is worth taking a look through some older cards to see if Malefics can add stability to a deck relying on field spells. There are a lot of cards I didn't cover, like Sanctuary In The Sky, Iron Core Specimen Lab, Harpies Hunting Ground, or Brain Research Lab, but when deciding where to tech in Malefic Stardust Dragon, there are a few general rules to follow:

1. If you can run Skill Drain in it, do so. Malefic Stardust Dragon will benefit greatly from it, while your opponent, sadly, will not.

2. Decks that need to attack with other monsters to fuel their engine simply will not work with Malefic, since it is quite greedy when it comes to attacking. Leaving it in defense is also not an option most of the time.

3. Finally, if you can abuse the fact that this card is a free level eight beatstick in any way (Advance Draw anyone?) then go ahead and run the thing and forget about its other effects. DDV and EEV are excellent examples of this because after all, Necrovalley does not need that much protection.

At the very least, field spells are no longer as bad as they once were.

Until next time then.


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