Rerouting: Lord of the Red

Loukas Peterson

2/16/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

It's no secret that I have a soft spot for certain themes. You can tell which ones they are because I talk about them ad nauseum – *cough* Fabled *cough* – but my heart's big enough to welcome most anything these days.

Even if an entire strategy is foreign to me, just throw me a nostalgic bone and I'm on it like a fat kid on cake. In other words, I'm on it like I myself am on cake. (Loukas' note: I like cake).

This week's contributor writes...

Hey, Loukas! My favorite Ritual is Lord of the Red because it's literally Joey Wheeler in Red-Eyes Black Dragon body armor! What more do you need out of a boss monster than its signature user wearing itself?

I've loved this card ever since my first pull in Dragons of Legends. In my research to see what others had done with Lord of the Red, I found most efforts were just Red-Eyes variants trying to mix a Level 8 Ritual with a Level 7 and Rank 7 strategy, or Hieratic builds with a Rank 6 focus, using two tributes for a sub par play.

So when Advanced Ritual Art came back to three and Pre-Preparation of Rites was released, here's what I came up with. This deck spits out Level 8's that either cost your opponent card economy or shut down their Extra Deck. In a pinch, it can even make Rank 8's to beat your opponent! Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX and Amorphactor Pain, the Imagination Dracoverlord are the spicy techs. One is a 4000 ATK beatstick that steals games with double piercing, and the other forces your opponent to skip their next Main Phase 1!

-Luke D.R. ~ Knoxville, Tennessee

When you're hanging out with someone you don't know well, you'll be as tactful and respectful as possible. But Luke is a long time friend of mine, and that gives me all the reason in the world to go wild in critiquing his deck. When you're friends, you're constantly barging into eachother's houses, playing with their pets, and sitting at the dinner table with their parents.

That said, his actual submission letter was in the ballpark of 15,000 words and the bit above is just an abridger version; I fell asleep twice reading the original. Let's get to his deck list.

    Lord of the Red Ver 1.0 Luke D.R.    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Amorphactor Pain, the Imagination Dracoverlord
1 Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon
2 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
2 Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit
3 Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord
3 Lord of the Red
3 Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands
2 Maxx "C"
1 Sonic Bird
Monsters [18]
3 Advanced Ritual Art
2 Draconnection
2 Hieratic Seal of Convocation
2 Pre-Preparation of Rites
2 Red-Eyes Transmigration
2 Return of the Dragon Lords
3 Trade-In
2 Twin Twisters
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [19]
2 Solemn Strike
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [3]
Deck Total [40]

EXTRA DECK

1 Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand
1 Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon
2 Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon
1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder
1 Number 23: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 46: Dragluon
1 Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon
1 Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon
1 Queen Dragun Djinn
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Not to belabor the point, but I'll definitely be rerouting Luke's deck in quite a different direction. Blame my creative mind if you so wish, but we're turning the deck 180 degrees!

Well, I guess that would mean changing all 40 cards, which we don't do. Maybe 83 degrees? I'm not a math guy. [Editor's Note: Loukas actually graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics]

Blue-Eyes > Hieratic-Eyes
Objectively, Blue-Eyes White Dragon is better than Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord. With 3000 ATK and a myriad of support cards, it's definitely the first change we'll need to make to this deck. In a vacuum, Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord beats out Blue-Eyes White Dragon as a search target via Hieratic Seal of Convocation. But with Return of the Dragon Lords hiding in the spell section, a beefy monster is better than a veggie one.

Adding in Blue-Eyes White Dragon also means you can play Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon – an easy Level 8 that drops from your hand to blow up threats and make Rank 8 Xyz all the way. It's a 2-for-1, like when I bought a jacket one time and found gummy worms in the pocket.

Things seemed to tumble into place after I made the switch to Blue-Eyes: I also added Melody of the Awakening Dragons to search Blue-Eyes, Alternative, and Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon. Draconnection technically searches Amorphactor Pain, the Imagination Dracoverlord and Lord of the Red while Melody can't, but with all the draw power and deck thinning, it isn't worth it to run things that hurt your card economy just to search monsters that you can get to consistently by other methods.

If you put a gun to my head, I still couldn't tell you if I like or dislike Trade-In. It's a must-have in most Blue-Eyes decks, since the strategy can be cloggy and yarded Dragons make good targets for Silver's Cry and Return of the Dragon Lords. Torn as usual, I went with the decision to keep Trade-In for the final draft. Initially, I was getting quite irritated at never having Blue-Eyes White Dragon in the Main Deck, but I found a hallway solution. By putting an unprecedented focus on Daigusto Emeral, you'll have the option of either reviving Blue-Eyes White Dragon or restocking your deck with it for Advanced Ritual Art.

 Sea Monster of Theseus
$23.99
$8.88
$5.99
Sea Monster of Theseus127337
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN081
Level 5
Type Fusion/ Tuner Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2200 / 1800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Tuners


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As if you needed another reason to like Daigusto Emeral, Sea Monster of Theseus just dropped in the booster set Raging Tempest as a World Premiere card. Since Emeral technically summons non-Effect monsters, Sea Monster of Theseus makes Emeral even more popular. Other decks have plenty of ways to field Daigusto Emeral, but Luke's deck did not. Zombie and ABC decks have used Empowerment to field a Level 4 Empowered Warrior, and that certainly seems like the best way to do so here.

The loss of cards you take ditching a card with Empowerment is mitigated by your options for that discard. Pre-Preparation of Rites and Return of the Dragon Lords welcome yarded cards, and giving up a third monster for Daigusto Emeral's restocking effect is always nice. Essentially, fielding another Level 4 is as easy as drawing Terraforming.

Fortunately, there's another Field Spell that fills another missing piece of the puzzle: Ritual Sanctuary. It's finally dropped to an affordable price on the secondary market, so adding it in for Terraforming won't break the bank. Concerned about not seeing Advanced Ritual Art? Fear no more, as Ritual Sanctuary turns a dead Terraforming or Trade-In into exactly what you need!

In fact, Ritual Sanctuary was a huge motivator that let me to keep Trade-In here. Ritual Sanctuary's second effect returns yarded spells to your deck and revives Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands, so spells like Upstart Goblin, Trade-In, and Melody of Awakening Dragon fuel Ritual Sanctuary without hurting your card economy or your field.

Speaking of Manju, I felt that Senju of the Thousand Hands was better than Sonic Bird for a couple reasons. Ritual Sanctuary replaces Sonic Bird in a way, Senju can be revived with our field spell, and Senju is Light for Xyz.

My Mom Said I Had To Rein In The Crazy
I had plans to add Cyber Angel support and make a sort of hybrid deck, but it became a clunky strategy that suffered a lot of inconsistencies. It was out with the Cyber Angles and Star Seraphs, but it wasn't until I finished the deck that I realized I'd also phased the Hieratics out completely. Sure, tributing multiple Hieratics for a Ritual Summon could be nice, but talk about your over-investments…

If you're passionate about running even more crazy cards, I suggest Red-Eyes Insight. It instantly yards the Level 8 Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon for a “free” Ritual Summon, but outside of Red-Eyes Transmigration, it's REALLY hard to find a good way to search. If only Black Stone of Legend, Black Metal Dragon, Cards of the Red Stone, and similar cards had the “Red-Eyes” stamp.

 Solemn Strike
$41.97
$36.48
$29.89
Solemn Strike122528
Set 2016 Mega-Tins Mega Pack
Number MP16-EN231
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

When a monster(s) would be Special Summoned, or a monster effect is activated: Pay 1500 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.


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I kept Solemn Strike and Vantiy's Emptiness since they're so good against virtually everything right now, but Ritual strategies tend to hemorrhage cards from your hand even with Advanced Ritual Art in the picture. Since Twin Twisters could be dead a lot and also bleeds cards from your hand, it's not always the best choice for a Main Deck slot. Feel free to switch some tech choices if that makes you more comfortable.

-3 Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord
-2 Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit
-2 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
-1 Sonic Bird
-1 Lord of the Red
-2 Hieratic Seal of Convocation
-2 Draconnection
-1 Red-Eyes Transmigration
-2 Twin Twisters

-1 Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon
-1 Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon
-1 Number 46: Dragluon
-1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
-1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK

+3 Blue-Eyes White Dragon
+2 Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon
+1 Senju of the Thousand Hands
+2 Dragodies, the Empowered Warrior
+3 The Melody of Awakening Dragon
+2 Ritual Sanctuary
+3 Terraforming
+1 Empowerment

+2 Daigusto Emeral
+1 Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon
+1 Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon
+1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi

You can definitely toy around with the Extra Deck, and how much you commit to the Galaxy-Eyes Rank 8 Xyz is up to you. When Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Blade Dragon comes out, I'd add it here in a heartbeat.

While you can only summon one Alternative Blue-Eyes White Dragon from your hand per turn, its destruction effect resets every time it hits the field. It's an awesome rogue play to thwart your opponent and clear the way for an OTK!

    Lord of the Red Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
 
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Amorphactor Pain, the Imagination Dracoverlord
2 Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon
1 Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon
3 Blue-Eyes White Dragon
2 Dragodies, the Empowered Warrior
2 Lord of the Red
3 Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands
2 Maxx "C"
1 Senju of the Thousand Hands
Monsters [17]
3 Advanced Ritual Art
1 Empowerment
2 Pre-Preparation of Rites
1 Red-Eyes Transmigration
2 Return of the Dragon Lords
2 Ritual Sanctuary
3 Terraforming
3 The Melody of Awakening Dragon
3 Trade-In
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [21]
2 Solemn Strike
1 Vanity's Emptiness
Traps [3]
Deck Total [41]

EXTRA DECK

1 Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector
1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
2 Daigusto Emeral
1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand
1 Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon
1 Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon
1 Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon
1 Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder
1 Number 23: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon
1 Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon
1 Queen Dragun Djinn
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


It makes me really happy when cards get reprinted and suddenly become available for casual decks; The Melody of Awakening Dragon and Blue-Eyes Alternative Dragon are two big examples. Maybe Sage with Eyes of Blue could be next to drive the price down? Who knows.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he enjoys freezing in the cold only slightly less than his job as a software engineer. When he's not playing cards, you can find him on his kayak reading a book and playing the ukulele or at his painting desk, probably on his 30th cup of coffee for the day. Hailed on the only one capable of cooking Minute Rice is 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet.


Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to rerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.com to have your deck featured in the “Re-Routing” deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. “Winning” is not a strategy per se, and neither is “beating your opponents before they beat you.”

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! –LJP


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