Rerouting: Minerva Lightsworn

Loukas Peterson

7/12/2017 11:00:00 AM

While a few Lightsworn cards have been tossed around in certain strategies lately, the popular “Lightsworn Decks” of old are readily familiar to a lot of veteran players. There's Twilight, which in simplistic terms was just Lightsworns with Dark monsters, and then there's just “Lightsworns” as well - both with and without Judgment Dragon. It's not for any lack of creativity, but the core Lightsworn variants often come down to milling as much as possible, with or without Judgment Dragon or Chaos Monsters.

Thanks to the reprint of Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn in Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge, you can now build your whole deck around Minerva. Obviously you'll have more boss monsters and more options than just your key Rank 4, but now your milling, drawing, and Card Destruction is all rolled into one generic Xyz Monster! Minerva's 2000 ATK may not be that impressive, and the once-per-turn clause keeps you from demolishing everything on the field in one go, but those two caveats are negligible in the wake Minerva's power.

This week's contributor writes...

Where are the Lightsworn when you need them? Good thing Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn was reprinted for us poor people so I can finally have a proper Lightsworn deck. Cheap strategies are really my jam since I prefer spending my money on food and clothing. Cardboard is always the last thing I'll buy. But I digress.

Lightsworn decks have always been my favorite, and my favorite card has always been Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner. I only ran one copy of her here because the deck doesn't need her that much. I tried to throw a couple things in that are good for milling, but they seem a bit out of place. Just let me know what's what.

-Russ B. from Columbia, South Carolina

Lightsworn decks can be pretty weird. As I said before, you could have just thrown some Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn in a Zombie deck and said it's a Lightsworn hybrid. A weak connection, but a connection nonetheless.

Instead, Russ has gone all the way. Check out his build.

    Minerva Lightsworn Ver 1.0 Russ B.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Felis, Lightsworn Archer
1 Glow-Up Bulb
2 Goblindbergh
3 Judgment Dragon
3 Lonefire Blossom
1 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
1 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
3 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn
2 Spore
2 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast
Monsters [19]
2 Charge of the Light Brigade
1 Foolish Burial
3 Hand Destruction
3 Into the Void
3 Monster Reincarnation
1 Reinforcement of the Army
3 Solar Recharge
3 Twin Twisters
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [20]
3 Breakthrough Skill
Traps [3]
Deck Total [42]


1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Hot Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn
3 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn
1 Tornado Dragon
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Extra Deck [8]

The Extra Deck is definitely lacking here, so we have room to grow it. In decks like Lightsworn, alot of your Extra Deck can come down to personal preference. For this build, I'm actually not going to venture as far down the Synchro path as most would. But we'll get to that later. For now…

Say It With Me: Once Per Turn!
Minerva's effect isn't once per turn for every fresh copy on the field - it's once per turn without loopholes, so if your only strategy is Minerva, well… you're going to lose. I agree we should build around Minerva, but not build with it solely in mind. That means we're going to max out on cards that benefit from hitting the Graveyard.

Unlike Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, Felis, Lightsworn Archer needs to hit the yard off a monster effect to work - so Foolish Burial and Charge of the Light Brigade won't trigger Felis' ability, but Minerva will. I don't think we can say this is a luck-based deck, but if you give yourself more opportunities to get lucky, you'll do a lot better in the long run. A single Minerva can send upwards of twelve cards to the graveyard, so I'd certainly rather be lucky than good.

So in come more copies of Wulf and Felis to up our count of graveyard triggers, but I think we should diversify more beyond just those. Performage Trick Clown and Electromagnetic Turtle are at worst Level 4 monsters when you draw them, but their effects are really useful when they're milled instead. In a deck that doesn't run hand traps or cards like Solemn Strike, ending the Battle Phase flat out with Electromagnetic Turtle can be the difference between life and death.

 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn
Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn136833
Set Battles of Legend: Light's Revenge
Number BLLR-EN044
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2000 / 800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 monsters
You can detach 1 material from this card; send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY, then draw cards equal to the number of "Lightsworn" cards sent to the GY by this effect. If this card is destroyed by battle, or if this card in its owner's possession is destroyed by an opponent's card effect: You can send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY, then you can destroy cards on the field up to the number of "Lightsworn" cards sent to the GY by this effect. You can only use each effect of "Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn" once per turn.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
TMM Card Store 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $5.01
Toms Store 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $5.61
RisingLiquid 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $5.75
MiscellaneousTCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.00
DuelistRus 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.00
Untouchables 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.01
Lower Than Retail 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.11
FossBros Cards 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.65
LisasLilCardStore 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $6.69
Shawns Card Shop 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $6.87

Lastly, the Lightsworn monsters themselves should be diversified. Judgment Dragon at three seems a bit excessive since one typically ends games, and additional copies can be superfluous. Even if I cut Judgment Dragon to two, I think it's important to add at least one more Lightsworn [Loukas' note: here is where I spun a giant wheel to decide which one to add in).

Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden is probably the best choice over things like Jain, Lightsworn Paladin because it's both a Level 3 and a Tuner, which creates more diversity all around; the faster you get different cards to the graveyard, the stronger your deck will be. Even Ehren, Lightsworn Monk is a solid choice that I'd happily vouch for. Just like Lyla, Lightsworn Sorcerer, having one copy to search will be good in a variety of situations, and it helps you field Judgment Dragon more consistently across the board.

Just Kidding! Baby Minerva's Good
The main reason I like Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden is its Level, giving you another Level 3 monster for Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner to pair with. Obviously your Rank 4 suite will be your main offensive, but Rank 3's serve just as big of a role in diversifying your options. First of all, Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss is still pretty vital to OTK's and the overall strength of the deck. While it doesn't draw or destroy cards on its own, you'll have double the yarding power in any given turn, eclipsing Minerva's restrictions. And once you yard three cards with it, it's a 2500 ATK beatstick.

Similarly, M-X-Saber Invoker brings out Heroic Challenger - Thousand Blades, which may not seem like a big deal, but works really well when you're going at 100 miles per hour just trying to end the game then and there. With a Performage Trick Clown in the graveyard you'll have an instant Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn, and all it costs you is a few cards to make an M-X Saber Invoker. Furthermore, adding Black Dragon Collapserpent and Leviair the Sea Dragon just means more “free” monsters.

Edge Imp Sabres further your Rank 3 game even more. Similar to Plaguespreader Zombie, you'll stack a card for a monster. But in Lightsworn you may not be “losing” a card, so much as preparing to yard and summon something like Wulf, Lightsworn Beast. Don't think about it as losing card economy since you're just moving resources around and capitalizing on them in different ways.

Lastly, I'm not sure why Fairy Tail - Snow wasn't in Russ' original deck. If your playing something that can throw cards in the graveyard like my neighbor throws rocks at his kids, then Fairy Tail - Snow probably deserves a spot in your strategy. It's a recursive Book of Moon on legs that's also a Level 4 monster with enough ATK to kill a Masked HERO Dark Law in defense mode.

If you think that last part is irrelevant, just wait until you play against a Masked HERO Deck. Here are the changes!

-1 Judgment Dragon
-3 Lonefire Blossom
-2 Spore
-3 Hand Destruction
-1 Upstart Goblin
-3 Into The Void
-1 Monster Reincarnation
-1 Twin Twisters
-3 Breakthrough Skill

-1 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn

+1 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast
+2 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
+2 Felis, Lightsworn Archer
+3 Fairy Tail - Snow
+1 Electromagnetic Turtle
+1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
+1 Performage Trick Clown
+1 Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden
+1 Heroic Challenger - Thousand Blades
+2 Black Dragon Collapserpent
+1 Edge Imp Sabres
+1 The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine

+1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
+1 Bujintei Kagutsuchi
+1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
+1 M-X-Saber Invoker
+1 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
+1 Coral Dragon
+1 Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
+1 Black Rose Dragon

Having lots of Light monsters and lots of Beast-Warriors is really handy, even if the only Beast-Warrior-exclusive Xyz I'm using is Bujintei Kagutsuchi. Might as well have three monsters that can yard half your deck, right?

    Minerva Lightsworn Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Black Dragon Collapserpent
1 Edge Imp Sabres
1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
1 Electromagnetic Turtle
3 Fairy Tail - Snow
3 Felis, Lightsworn Archer
1 Glow-Up Bulb
2 Goblindbergh
1 Heroic Challenger - Thousand Blades
2 Judgment Dragon
3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
1 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
1 Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden
1 Performage Trick Clown
3 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn
3 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast
Monsters [29]
2 Charge of the Light Brigade
1 Foolish Burial
2 Monster Reincarnation
1 Reinforcement of the Army
3 Solar Recharge
2 Twin Twisters
Spells [11]
1 The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine
Traps [1]
Deck Total [41]


1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Bujintei Kagutsuchi
1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Coral Dragon
1 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
1 Hot Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 M-X-Saber Invoker
1 Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn
2 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn
1 Tornado Dragon
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Extra Deck [15]

I always forget about The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine. Instead of a Breakthrough Skill for meager defense, the lone Phantom Knight card paves the way for an extra Rank 4 Xyz when you need it. If you start every game by making a two Xyz and yard a large portion of your deck, I think you'll be in a great position. Regardless of where you try to make the deck more or less Synchro heavy, just remember the whole reason why you're playing it in the first place.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where it's warmer than warm, whatever that means. When he's not playing cards or crying about the lack of Fabled support, you can find him on his kayak reading a book and playing the ukulele, or on Thursday nights, practicing punching the air. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet and a dog to pet.

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 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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