Competitive Corner: Dragon Rulers

Joe Soto

6/5/2013 12:15:00 PM

How's it going TCGplayers? Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy has finally hit and we've even had a few Regional tournaments where duelists have had a chance to flex their muscles with the new set. Prophecy and Dragon Rulers are the talk of Tachyon thanks in no small part to Spellbook of Judgment and Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack. Dragon Rulers have quickly emerged as the deck to beat; taking the majority of Top 8 slots at Regional Qualifiers, they've swiftly edged out Mermails as the format's public enemy number one.

This week I'll be taking a look at the juggernaut that is the Dragon Rulers, specifically the first place list from the most recent California Regional, which almost eclipsed 900 participants!

    Dragon Rulers Omar Daoudi    
  Location:  Regional - 2013-5-18 Los Angeles California - 5th - 8th Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
2 Burner, Dragon Ruler of Sparks
3 Effect Veiler
2 Lightning, Dragon Ruler of Drafts
3 Maxx "C"
2 Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Pebbles
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
3 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders
2 Stream, Dragon Ruler of Droplets
3 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
3 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
Monsters [27]
1 Book of Moon
3 Gold Sarcophagus
1 Heavy Storm
2 Sacred Sword of Seven Stars
3 Super Rejuvenation
Spells [10]
3 Breakthrough Skill (UTR)
1 Return from the Different Dimension
Traps [4]
Deck Total [41]
2 Droll & Lock Bird
3 Eradicator Epidemic Virus
3 Exploder Dragon
2 Light and Darkness Dragon
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Vanity's Fiend (UTR)
Side Deck [15]


1 Armory Arm
1 Black Rose Dragon (UTR)
1 Colossal Fighter
1 Crimson Blader
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
3 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1 Mermail Abyssgaios (UTR)
2 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Number 7: Lucky Straight
1 Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon
Extra Deck [15]

The core of the Dragon Ruler deck lies in the Dragons themselves! Taking up a whopping 20 slots in the Main Deck, the Dragon Rulers give you the fuel you need for your Rank 7 Xyz plays, namely Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack and Number 11: Big Eye. What you also need to account for is the secondary effects of the big Dragons activated by discarding each alongside a monster with the same element. Discard Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders and it acts as a Monster Reborn; that can be crucial for getting back an extra Dragon or even bringing back Synchro monsters like Crimson Blader or Scrap Dragon. Discarding Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms lets you search your deck for any Dragon monster. You can get the missing Baby Dragon you need, or even grab a Light and Darkness Dragon, Exploder Dragon, or Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. Because this build doesn't have access to Eclipse Wyvern's search capabilities, being able to search any Dragon you need in a pinch is invaluable. Discarding Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls lets you send any monster in your deck to the graveyard; invaluable when paired with Eclipse Wyvern, or other cards in other decks entirely (Mermails). Lastly, and often most important, discarding Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos lets you destroy any card on the field; it can kill a pesky Evilswarm Ophion, blow up a card to turn off your opponent's Vanity's Emptiness, or even just make sure you're free to explode towards a win. Blaster's destruction effect is a critical Main Deck out to a lot of big situations.

The rest of the monster lineup is rounded out with hand traps. Three each of Effect Veiler and Maxx "C" give you defense to make up for the lack of protective trap cards. You'll often find yourself making a Dracossack play or another big push, then stopping your opponent's response. You want to be proactive on the field if your hand allows it. Effect Veiler can stop opposing Dracossacks from making Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens, but it's best at shutting down a backbreaking Big Eye play, which can lead to a war of who can steal their opponent's Big Eye last.

The lone Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon is a pretty sweet way to add some extra oomph to your pushes, and at 2800 ATK it can run over almost anything. It can even butt heads with Mermail Abyssgaios and Crimson Blader.

Spells and Traps
What you probably notice right away is the complete lack of Mystical Space Typhoon in the Main Deck, in what is a very aggressive strategy. Dragons are capable of pushing through tons of backrow because you get to use your graveyard as a second hand. Typhoon shines in Game 2 and Game 3 where you need to deal with cards like Vanity's Emptiness, Imperial Iron Wall, Dimensional Fissure, and Macro Cosmos, but it's not necessary in Game 1. Even Dark Hole is gone from the Main Deck because of its inability to deal with Dracossack, but it can still be crucial at breaking field locks and pushing through an established board position.

Three Gold Sarcophagus have become a standard choice because it's basically Reinforcement of the Army for the Dragon Rulers. Need a Baby Dragon? Gold Sarc for the big Dragon and its search effect will trigger to get you what you need! You also get whatever you banished in two turns, so if your opponent isn't dead by then you get extra fuel to finish the job. This search engine is supported by a pair of Sacred Sword of Seven Stars, which also trigger the big Dragons but draws you two cards in the process, netting you an easy +1. You can banish a monsters on the field for it too, so you can remove monsters you steal with Number 11: Big Eye and reap the rewards. Although you can only activate one Sword per turn, cards that include "Draw 2" are almost always solid.

 Gold Sarcophagus
Gold Sarcophagus66880
Set Legendary Collection 3: Yugi's World
Number LCYW-EN080
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Select and remove from play 1 card in your Deck. During your second Standby Phase after this card's activation, add the removed card to your hand.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
XtremeGames Unlimited - Damaged 1 $0.74
Just Cool TCG Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $0.93
EvolutionGaming Inc Unlimited - Lightly Played 1 $0.99
Grandmaster Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.99
KCs Card Corner 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $1.00
BeetleJuiceTCG Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $1.00
MultiMonster Deals 1st Edition - Heavily Played 1 $1.00
realgoodeal Unlimited - Near Mint 62 $1.14
MultiMonster Deals 1st Edition - Moderately Played 2 $1.25
CoreTCG Unlimited - Near Mint 3 $1.29

But if that draw wasn't enough, three copies of Super Rejuvenation give you an even more explosive draw engine. Discarding for a Dragon Ruler's effect already puts you at two Dragons for Rejuvenation, making the card a solid +1. But it's when you do multiple Baby Dragon summons in one turn, or even Tribute Summon a monster, that things can get really out of hand, drawing you four or more cards in your End Phase. That sets you up nicely to defend on your opponent's turn, as you often draw into one of the six hand traps; drawing past your hand limit digs you deeper through your deck, and you don't really mind discarding extra Dragons or even a Breakthrough Skill since they're all live in the graveyard. When Super Rejuvenation goes off you feel like you can't lose the game.

A lone copy of Book of Moon is one of the outs in the Main Deck to Jowgen the Spiritualist and Evilswarm Ophion, two of the biggest hosers for the Dragon Ruler strategy. Jowgen can easily be Summoned off of Spellbook of Judgment, and beating an opponent with a grip full of cards while you can't Special Summon is sometimes an insurmountable task. A similar situation can easily occur against Evilswarm; their game plan revolves around getting out Evilswarm Ophion and protecting it. Against Dragon Rulers, Ophion is the biggest obstacle standing in your way because it shuts down all Special Summons. Book of Moon, and occasionally Book of Eclipse, help you shut off those debilitating effects.

This leads us into one of the two different trap cards that the deck runs, Breakthrough Skill. Breakthrough's your best out to Evilswarm Ophion and Jowgen the Spiritualist, while also being one of your best lines of defense against opposing Dracossacks and Big Eyes. What makes Breakthrough Skill so good is that you can use it from your graveyard on your turn when you need it, letting it pull double duty on effect negation. You don't mind ditching it if you go over the maximum hand size because you can just use its effect next turn. Against Evilswarm, the first activation of Breakthrough Skill can force out Infestation Pandemic, and hopefully the second activation will go through so you can start Summoning Dragons. Evilswarm can't really OTK you so it's pretty easy to play defense. The same holds true against Prophecy; outside of multiple High Priestess of Prophecy, Prophecy are best at crushing you under massive card advantage thanks to The Grand Spellbook Tower and Spellbook of Judgment.

Rounding out Daoudi's list was a lone Return from the Different Dimension which can serve as an "I win" card when used properly. You can recycle the big Dragons for a flurry of Xyz Summons just when your opponent thinks you're out of gas, or activate during a Battle Phase to just finish your opponent off. While Return can sometimes seem like a "win more" type of card, there are plenty of situations where it can swing a game back in your favor.

Side Deck Tech
Daoudi's Side Deck was tuned for the mirror match, Evilswarm, and Prophecy, the big three decks that you should expect to face at any major tournament. The pair of Light and Darkness Dragon shine in the mirror match as you can easily tribute two Tokens from Dracossack to Summon it, and it gives you protection against the more off-the-wall matchups, letting you grind away at your opponent while you build up your advantage. Vanity's Fiend serves the same purpose for the mirror match: go off and protect your field by locking your opponent out of cards and Special Summons.

A pair of Droll & Lock Bird shut down Spellbook of Judgment cold. Ideally you drop the Bird after your opponent's first Spellbook of Secrets resolves following Judgment, locking them out from further searches and Judgment's Special Summon. Spellbook of Judgment is the lynchpin Prophecy rely on, so if you can shut it down then victory isn't too far off. Further Prophecy hate comes in the form of three Eradicator Epidemic Virus. If you can successfully resolve the Virus calling Spells you probably win, unless you have no way to quickly punish your opponent. EEV is also great against the "solitaire" decks like Final Countdown and Chain Burn, since you can can call traps and decimate their ability to protect themselves and draw cards. It can even work well against Evilswarms, eliminating their protection for Evilswarm Ophion.

Three Exploder Dragon are largely tech for Evilswarm, since you can ram it into Ophion. What makes Exploder Dragon so great is that it's searchable off not only Tempest, but also Redox's effect. Simply banish Redox with Gold Sarcophagus or Sacred Sword of Seven Stars and search your out to the biggest thorn in Dragon Rulers' side.

Three Mystical Space Typhoons come in against grindier matchups, and for Game 2's when you expect things like Imperial Iron Wall, Vanity's Emptiness, Dimensional Fissure, and Macro Cosmos.

General Strategy
Dragon Rulers can grind out wins because you can Special Summon the big Dragons over and over again; once a Dracossack sticks and starts picking apart your opponent's back row, the game's usually a wrap shortly thereafter. But you can still end games in a hurry by just swinging at your opponent. You can often shrug off Mirror Force like it's nothing, with your only real problem being Dimensional Prison. Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness and Tragoedia really don't see play much anymore, so there isn't much for you to fear swinging on an empty field. Even if they do drop, you can just make a Big Eye in Main Phase 2 and take your opponent's would-be defender.

The mirror match is being called the newest test of skill by some, and that's not too far from the truth. While it may seem like that matchup just boils down to who uses Big Eye the most, the ability to punish your opponent by quickly filling up the field can't be ignored. If you give your opponent a small opening in the mirror you can count on them taking advantage of it. Crimson Blader becomes one of the most important cards because not only does its massive 2800 ATK make it hard to deal with, its effect locks out your opponent from making a big play to try and stop you. There are so many little nuances that become pronounced in the mirror match; leave Tokens open and you're asking for Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger to rain on your parade.

 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack68164
Set Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy
Number LTGY-EN053
Level 7
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 2600 / 2200
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 7 monsters // Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 2 "Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens" (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0). While you control a Token, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or by card effects. Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 "Mech Phantom Beast" monster, then target 1 card on the field; destroy that target. This card cannot attack during the turn your activate this effect.

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One Up TCG 1st Edition - Heavily Played 1 $10.11
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CompGamingUniverse Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $13.94
Gamer's Gauntlet YGO Unlimited - Near Mint 1 $13.95
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Top Deck TCG Unlimited - Lightly Played 1 $15.19
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UltimateCardsTcg 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $15.95

Also, don't always get fixated on making Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack to wear down your opponent. Often your opponents will wait for you to go for an Xyz before using Bottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute, so punish them for it by swinging first. This play has the similar tempo mindset of swinging with Tour Guide before Xyz Summoning. While it may seem like two duelists taking turns going off on each other, the fields they end up with and what they decide to hold back are crucial. Go for a Big Eye play too early and you'll most likely lose it; likewise for an unprotected Dracossack. Similar to the Chaos Dragon mirrors from last year's WCQ, the Dragon player who went off last was most often the victor. Play conservatively and make sure that when you do explode, you're the last to do so.

Well that's all I have for this week! I'll be paying close attention to WCQ results as they roll in, and you all should too as they give great information leading into the North American World Championship Qualifier. Happy testing to you all, and good luck!

~Joe Soto

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