Spotlight: The Two True Kings

Kelly Locke

11/29/2016 11:02:00 AM
 Comments

The True Kings are a group of Wyrm monsters that debuted in The Dark Illusion with True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher. I briefly reviewed that card in my TDIL set review back in August. At the time it was a bit of an oddity among Wyrm monsters, and it had no obvious applications. Only Metalfoes variants of Yang Zings played Wyrms, and would have enough Fire monsters to satisfy the Vanisher's Summoning conditions.

At the time we didn't know there was another True King on the horizon. True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer was released in Invasion: Vengeance and started to shed light on what Konami planned for the theme. Raging Tempest has another True King, and Maximum Crisis looks like it will finish off True Kings and True Dracos by delivering the remainder of the monsters and plenty of support cards.

All of that is a long ways off from where we are today, and I'm not planning on discussing True Kings as a whole until April or May. But I do want to spotlight the monsters we have right now, because Agnimazud and Bahrastos are already worth talking about.

A Fresh Take On Yang Zings
My Inspiration for writing this article was Issac Lim's True King Yang Zings. Lim placed 5th at the Regional Qualifier last weekend in Victoria, using a full three copies of both Agnimazud and Bahrastos, which got me to actually read, and remember that Bahrastos existed. The rest of Lim's build featured plenty of conventional and unconventional choices, including Speedroids, Brilliant Fusion, and Fire Kings. It's an odd mash-up of cards that apparently worked, so I took it upon myself to figure out how the True Kings contributed to the deck.

The full True King line-up was revealed at roughly the same time Lim was making his Top 8. Both of the TCG True Kings temporarily spiked in price as a result, but the hype has died down a bit since. At least in terms of the secondary market. I'm fully hyped and excited to play these cards right now in Yang Zings. Lim's build is a great showcase of what the True Kings are capable of, and that's not the only place True Kings could see play this year.

Let's start by taking a second look at True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher. In my earlier review I highlighted its ATK, Summoning conditions, and its awesome non-targeting banish effect. Agnimazud's ability destroys at least one Fire monster and one other monster in your hand, or on your field. If you destroy two Fire monsters you'll get an additional effect that banishes a monster on your opponent's field or from their graveyard. It doesn't target and it resolves as the monster's being Summoned, so your opponent won't know they're losing a monster until it's too late.

 True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher
$22.00
$5.99
$2.50
True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher121282
Set The Dark Illusion
Number TDIL-EN025
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 2900 / 1900
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your hand: You can destroy 2 other monsters in your hand and/or face-up on your field, including a FIRE monster, and if you do, Special Summon this card, and if you do that, you can banish 1 monster from your opponent's field or Graveyard, if both the destroyed monsters were FIRE. If this card is destroyed by card effect: You can add 1 non-FIRE Wyrm-Type monster from your Graveyard to your hand. You can only use each effect of "True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher" once per turn.


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Agnimazud's effect that destroys Fire monsters is more than enough to make it playable. Fire Kings can get a ton of mileage out of this card, but that deck's mostly unplayable right now. Fire King High Avatar Garunix is seriously outdated and isn't viable at a competitive level, but Fire Kings do see play as tech choices in Kozmos. Fire King Island's a powerful Field Spell for any deck that wants to destroy cards in the hand or on the field, and it has great synergy with the True Kings.

Agnimazud can play the same role as Fire King Island or Fire King Yaksha by destroying monsters in either location. What's more, its Summoning and banishing effects occur at the same time, so you won't miss any chances to activate effects that would trigger as part of that process. That means you can destroy Yang Zings and banish a card, and you'll still get to resolve those Yang Zing effects.

Finally, when True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher's is destroyed its final ability adds a non-Fire Wyrm from your graveyard to your hand. That's useless if you're playing Agnimazud in a deck that doesn't run other Wyrms, or only plays Fire Wyrms. Even in Wyrm-heavy decks like Yang Zings there's little reason to view it as anything more than a small bonus; recycling Wyrms has never been a huge issue. Yang Zing Path is basically the only card needed to keep targets in play. Loading the hand with monsters is only relevant for making big Pendulum Summons or paying the cost of Jiaotu, Darkness of the Yang Zing.

That recycling effect becomes much more useful when you're playing more than one True King. Agnimazud can recycle Bahrastos or any of the other True King monster so you can keep looping them back to your hand. That gives the theme, or engine, a bit of sustainability that it wouldn't have otherwise. There's an excellent draw spell being released next year that resembles Super Rejuvenation, but that's a long ways off. For now Agnimazud is what we have to work with.

Let's jump to True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer. Bahrastos' effects are formatted identically to Agnimazud, but it uses Water monsters for its Summoning conditions instead. Its on-Summon effect banishes up to two spells or traps from your opponent's field or graveyard. Once again, it doesn't target and your opponent won't know if you're banishing cards until they've seen the monsters you've chosen to destroy. At that point it's too late to negate Bahrastos or chain anything to its effect.

Bahrastos has a much stronger final ability: when it's destroyed by a card effect you can Special Summon a non-Water Wyrm from your deck in defense. There are just three Water Wyrms outside of Bahrastos, and among them only Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing sees any serious play. I have to admit, I did toy around with a Hieratic Wyrm build using Giant Pairfish. But sadly, True Kings don't make that strategy any more viable.

Anyways, Bahrastos' effect is easily the best of the two. You can Summon Agnimazud or any other True King, but most importantly its effect can fetch Jiaotu, Darkness of the Yang Zing. Metalfoes Yang Zing had an advantage over all other variants because it was so easy to set up Jiaotu's effect. Bahrastos brings that advantage to builds without Metalfoes, but it requires its own set-up to function reliably.

Building With True Kings
Take a moment to look back at Issac Lim's True King Yang Zings. He played three copies of each True King and three Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing and Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing. Maxing out on Water and Fire Yang Zings was a necessary step to assure the consistency of both monsters; true Kings can be incredibly dead cards if you don't have at least one matching Attribute to destroy. Lim's Fire King engine added more Fire monsters to the mix, but Waters would have been much less frequent. That said, each Yang Zing can Special Summon Bixi from the deck, so a Water monster was never more than a Yang Zing effect or two away.

Here's an example: you have Agnimazud and Bahrastos in your hand. You destroy a Fire monster and Bahrastos to Summon Agnimazud, and activate Bahrastos' effect to Summon another Agnimazud. That alone gives you the materials to make a Rank 9 like Number 9: Dyson Sphere or Phantom Fortress Enterblathnir. Overall, that play leaves you at a -2 that can be hard to recover from. But deally you'd also destroy a Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing and replace it with another Yang Zing to recoup a bit more of your investment.

 True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer
$7.21
$2.39
$0.75
True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer124719
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN021
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute WATER 
A / D 1800 / 3000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your hand: You can destroy 2 other monsters in your hand and/or face-up on your field, including a WATER monster, and if you do, Special Summon this card, and if you do that, you can banish up to 2 Spell/Trap Cards from your opponent's field and/or Graveyard, if both the destroyed monsters were WATER. If this card is destroyed by card effect: You can Special Summon 1 non-WATER Wyrm-Type monster from your Deck in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of "True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer" once per turn.


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Fire King Island helps tremendously here. Trading Bahrastos with Fire King Yaksha leaves you even in card economy. From there Bahrastos will net a +1 by Summoning a Wyrm from your deck. That can set up another True King in your hand, and even makes a third True King live by way of Yaksha. You can Special Summon Agnimazud by destroying Yaksha and the Wyrm you just Summoned – possibly Suanni – and then banish a monster if the other target was a Fire monster. Yaksha can then destroy another Agnimazud in your hand to recover Bahrastos or another Wyrm.

There are plenty of ways to use True Kings to your advantage. Lim ran Ultimaya Tzolkin in his Extra Deck with a couple of targets, and typically used Denglong, First of the Yang Zing and either Gem-Knight Seraphinite or Taotie, Shadow of the Yang Zing to Summon it. He could also send a True King to the graveyard to make Denglong a Level 9 and pair it with another True King to Summon Ultimaya Tzolkin. Either way, he had numerous paths to his best Extra Deck monsters, and True Kings helped to greatly widen his options.

True Kings resemble Dragon Rulers in their art, Attributes, and Summoning conditions, but they aren't nearly as busted as the 2013 originals. These monsters build card advantage largely through interacting with your opponent, as opposed to the near-endless solitary cycling of Dragon Rulers. Agnimazud and Bahrastos can't Summon themselves from the graveyard, and True Kings generally force you to use cards in your hand and field for their Summoning effects. That's certainly not as good than ‘banish from anywhere' Dragon Rulers, who would then get additional searches after being banished.

I'm not sure what the competitive landscape will look like once Zoodiacs hit next year. True Kings and True Dracos will most likely end up in hybrid builds with Zoodiacs, as we're currently seeing with every other competitive strategy in the OCG. Teching True Kings into other decks is fun right now, and surprisingly competitive, but I think it becomes much more viable once True King Lithosazim, the Disaster arrives in Raging Tempest. Unfortunately I think it will be overshadowed by Zoodiacs when it does.

If you're a Yang Zing Player looking for a new way to play the deck, or perhaps you just want to avoid Metalfoes like Issac Lim, I highly recommend testing True Kings. They're fun, offer more ways to play against backrow, and won't get locked out as easily by Anti-Spell Fragrance. Plus, you'll get their last effects if your opponent negates their Summon with Solemn Strike or Solemn Warning. It also doesn't hurt to prepare for the final release of True Kings and True Dracos in May.

Until next time then

-Kelly


Kelly​ ​Locke​ ​is​ ​a​ ​West​ ​Michigan​ ​gamer,​ ​writer,​ ​and​ ​college​ ​student.​ ​​ ​In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​writing​ ​on TCGplayer,​ ​Kelly​ ​writes​ ​a ​personal​ ​blog​​ ​covering​ ​Yugioh,​ ​Destiny,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​hobbies.​ ​You​ ​can follow​ ​him​ ​on​ ​​Twitter​​ ​and​ ​check​ ​out​ ​his​ ​​Youtube​ ​channel​.​ ​​ ​He​ ​is​ ​currently​ ​studying​ ​marketing​ ​at Western​ ​Michigan​ ​University,​ ​and​ ​hopes​ ​to​ ​graduate​ ​before​ ​​Dragon​ ​Ravine​​ ​is​ ​Unlimited.


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