Side Deck Theory: The New Timelords

Kelly Locke

7/11/2017 11:00:00 AM
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Metaion, the Timelord was once a popular Side Deck tech choice against full fields of monsters that were immune to targeting or destruction; you could send five of your opponent's monsters spinning back into the Main Deck simply by battling with an impervious monster of your own. It was powerful in its time, but Kaijus made Metaion unnecessary since it burns your Normal Summon and your Battle Phase – two sacrifices you won't have to make with Kaijus.

Four new Timelords were released in Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge. Their effects are roughly similar to Metaion: if you control no monsters you can Normal Summon them without tributing, and their effects activate at the end of the Battle Phase if they battled. They're immune to destruction too, which is a surprisingly big deal these days. Zoodiac Drident and Master Peace, the Dracoslaying King are often the first line of defense for the game's most popular decks, and neither of those cards can touch the Timelords.

Each Timelord has its own utility as a Side Deck card. Like Metaion they all help solve problems, and for most of them that means shuffling cards back into the deck. Let's take a look at these new monsters and the support card that might make them even more viable in tournaments.

Putting A New Spin On Timelords
Zaphion, the Timelord is arguably the best of the four new monsters. Its effect shuffles your opponent's spells and traps into the deck at the end of the Battle Phase. There aren't many spell and trap removal cards offering that level of mass removal, and only one comes to mind that specifically targets your opponent's backrow: Harpie's Feather Duster.

Zaphion brushes away everything in the Spell and Trap Zones, the Field Spell Zones, and the Pendulum Zones. It doesn't destroy those cards either, so it won't trigger the graveyard effects of Kozmotown or True Draco and True King cards. Kicking away an entire backrow is unlikely, but it can happen. That said, keep in mind thatZaphion's still vulnerable to Storming Mirror Force or even Drowning Mirror Force, so it isn't a guarantee by any means. Your opponent can also negate it with Solemn Strike, or stop its Summon with Solemn Warning.

Twin Twisters is a temporary relief from Pendulums, but loading your opponent's Extra Deck can work against you. Zaphion clears out the Pendulum Scale without sending those cards to the Extra Deck. It also displaces Metalfoes spells and traps, Pendulumgraph cards, and Oracle of Zefra. Sicne Zaphion doesn't destroy those cards it won't trigger the effects of new Pendulum monsters like Purple Poison Magician or Double Iris Magician. It also bypasses the protection of Pendulumgraphs and Pendulum Call.

 Zaphion, the Timelord
$5.12
$2.11
$0.75
Zaphion, the Timelord136821
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN032
Level 10
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute WATER 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Special Summoned from the Deck. If you control no monsters, you can Normal Summon this card without Tributing. Cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. You take no battle damage from attacks involving this card. At the end of the Battle Phase, if this card battled: Shuffle all Spells and Traps your opponent controls into the Deck. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can draw 1 card. Once per turn, during your Standby Phase: Shuffle this card into the Deck.


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What makes Zaphion, the Timelord so interesting is its current positioning against True Dracos and Zoodiacs. Neither deck has a meaningful answer for it outside of Solemn Strike, which only negates Zaphion's effect. True King's Return and Master Peace, the Dracoslaying King are the deck's usual go-to answers for threatening monsters, but Zaphion can't be destroyed by card effects. It simply attacks into their field regardless, and at the end of the Battle Phase any remaining True King's Return, Dragonic Diagram, or other backrow will be sent flying back into the deck. Zoodiacs can banish Zaphion with Zoodiac Whiptail, but that's only an option if you attack a Beast-Warrior Xyz monster.

One of my favorite cards from the 5D's era is Amazoness Sage. I used to play it in slow, trap-heavy strategies where it could take shots at vulnerable monsters and Tokens with a little help from Black Garden. It has a lot in common with Zaphion and often ended up being a magnet for spot removal, Dimensional Prison, and Mirror Force. Amazoness Sage snuck under Bottomless Trap Hole, but it'd still lose out to most other removal cards. Zaphion's a straight upgrade that has fewer vulnerabilities and a much higher reward for successfully resolving its effect. You don't need to find weak monsters to attack, and if it somehow goes to the graveyard you'll get to draw a card.

Metaion, the Timelord and and Zaphion, the Timelord are restricted to spinning either monsters or spells and traps. Kamion, the Timelord can spin any card, but only one; it doesn't target, and it burns your opponent for 500 damage. Most importantly it can't be chained to. That makes it the go-to solution for hard-to-destroy monsters carrying negation effects like Evolzar Dolkka and Herald of Perfection.

Kamion cruises through Denglong, First of the Yang Zing and Nine Pillars of the Yang Zing. Your opponent can't negate its effect with Nine Pillars and you can spin Denglong back into the deck without triggering its self-replacing effect, pushing through the entire set-up. If your opponent doesn't have another Yang Zing available, or some way to trigger a True King Lithosagym, the Disaster, you may have outed two of their cards with just one of your own.

An unchainable, indestructible, Normal Summonable and searchable monster with a non-targeting non-destruction removal effect is simply amazing, but oddly enough it isn't that useful right now. For now it's a sleeper pick from the set, and we might see it come in against a recently-revealed monster in Circuit Break, which launches in November after Code of the Duelist.

Resetting Graveyards And Life Points
Lazion, the Timelord shuffles cards from your opponent's graveyard back into their deck. It empties the entire graveyard in the process, and can leave many decks with an uphill battle to replace those cards. There are pros and cons to Lazion's ability because, after all, recycling your opponent's cards for them can easily Backfire. You don't want to reload searchable cards your opponent would like to reuse, or toss Extra Deck monsters back into their Extra Deck where they can be Summoned again.

Graveyard disruption usually comes in the form of banish effects, but banishing isn't the exclusive method. We've learned from Fiend Griefing that kicking monsters back into the deck can be just as disruptive, especially when those monsters have graveyard-activated effects themselves. Lazion resets the entire graveyard, monsters and all, and does so in one activation on your turn at the end of the Battle Phase. It's not a Quick-Effect, but it does reset a pool of resources that so many strategies draw on.

Lazion is most effective against strategies that have long-term incentives to load up their graveyard. Lightsworns particularly want targets for Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner and different names for the deck's current and upcoming boss monsters: Judgment Dragon and Punishment Dragon, from Code of the Duelist. Lazion has an edge on banish effects because it won't help your opponent Summon Punishment Dragon, which requires banished Lightsworns to be Summoned. As an interesting aside, Punishment Dragon and Lazion both shuffle back a massive number of cards from the graveyard.

 Lazion, the Timelord
$3.44
$0.35
$0.15
Lazion, the Timelord136820
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN031
Level 10
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute FIRE 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Special Summoned from the Deck. If you control no monsters, you can Normal Summon this card without Tributing. Cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. You take no battle damage from attacks involving this card. At the end of the Battle Phase, if this card battled: Shuffle all cards from your opponent's GY into the Deck. Once per turn, if your opponent draws a card: Inflict 1000 damage to your opponent. Once per turn, during your Standby Phase: Shuffle this card into the Deck.


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You can avoid the graveyard effects of cards like Breakthrough Skill and Galaxy Cyclone by shuffling them with Lazion. Remember how those cards have text on them that limits when they can activate those graveyard abilities? They read: “except the turn this card was sent to the graveyard”. That's your opportunity to send them back to the Main Deck with Lazion. Finally, you'll deal a bonus 1000 damage when your opponent draws a card during their turn. I like the idea of playing Lazion if you're in the final few turns of a duel that's gone over time, since your opponent can't deal damage through it.

Sadion, the Timelord is the odd one out of this impressive group of monsters. Its effect is strange: at the end of the Battle Phase where it battled you can make your Life Points become 4000 if they were already below 4000. I'm not sure where exactly you'd use that. Against Chain Burn, maybe? Those decks aren't well known for letting you score attacks. You could get lucky by running into a Waboku over some other attack-blocking effect, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Recruiting The Timelords
Time Maiden has several abilities that help you Summon Timelords. First, if you control no monsters you can Special Summon it from your hand. Since Time Maiden's treated as two Tributes for a Timelord monster it's a great way to bring out a fully Tribute Summoned Timelord. The question is: why bother with a Tribute Summon when you can simply Normal Summon a Timelord? There are cards that work with Tribute Summoned monsters, but if you're teching Timelords along with Time Maiden there's no reason to perform a Tribute Summon.

Thankfully you can tribute Time Maiden to search a Timelord from your deck; you can reach your sided monster faster by running Time Maiden as a searcher. What's more, if you side in two different Timelords you can choose which one you need at that very moment. Time Maiden doesn't use your Normal Summon, so you're free to Summon the monster you just searched. Even in the late game, Time Maiden will rarely be dead since your Timelords return to the deck during your Standby Phase.

 Time Maiden
$2.50
$0.98
$0.30
Time Maiden136824
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN035
Level 1
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute LIGHT 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

If you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). This card can be treated as 2 Tributes for the Tribute Summon of a "Timelord" monster. You can Tribute this card; add 1 "Timelord" monster with 0 ATK from your Deck to your hand. You can banish this card from your GY; Special Summon 1 "Timelord" monster with 0 ATK from your Deck, ignoring its Summoning conditions. You cannot Special Summon other monsters during the turn you activate this effect.


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Time Maiden's final effect Summons a Timelord from the deck, ignoring its Summoning conditions, by banishing Maiden from the graveyard. Maiden resolves first as a search for a Timelord, then later as a Special Summon for another. That final ability restricts your Special Summons during the turn, so Maiden is best suited for decks with low Special Summons that still need mass removal.

Playing two Maiden alongside two Timelords is great way to thin your deck, get to a specific Timelord when you need, and even score a +1 with Maiden's final effect. These cards have great long-term value as outs to new cards or strategies, and I think Maiden will find its way into Side Decks alongside the Timelords at some point in the next year.

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 Yu-Gi-Oh!, 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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