Vendreads Part 1: The Cards

Doug Zeeff

8/2/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

I'm a sucker for World Premiere themes.

Last year I held onto the idea that Subterrors would eventually become great. Obviously it took too long for them to receive their best two pieces of support Subterror Fiendess and Subterror Final Battle but I have high hopes for one of this year's World Premier themes: Vendreads.

Part of the reason that Burning Abyss was such a strong deck with just four monsters was that they synergized with a lot of cards that already existed in the game. Tour Guide From the Underworld and Mathematician filled the holes that were missing from Burning Abyss in their infancy, immediately making them a force to be reckoned with.

The Vendread monsters are all Zombies so far, which gives them a slew of powerful supporter cards right out the gates. Uni-Zombie, Shiranui Solitaire, Mezuki, and Book of Life are some of the most aggressively smart pieces of revival and graveyard manipulation in the game, all of which can be combined with the Vendread monsters. Let's see what this theme is all about, card by card:

 Revendread Origin
$0.79
$0.20
$0.05
Revendread Origin139257
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN084
Type Ritual Spell
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

This card can be used to Ritual Summon any "Vendread" Ritual Monster from your hand or GY. You must also Tribute monsters from your hand or field, and/or banish Zombie monsters from your GY, whose total Levels equal or exceed the Level of the Ritual Monster you Ritual Summon. If "Revendread Slayer(s)" you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can banish this card from your GY instead.


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I actually think the best place to start is the Vendread Ritual Spell. This theme's really focused on Rituals, so for now at least, the strength of the deck is definitely going to rest in how good the Ritual Spell is. Luckily Revendread Origin's both Nekroz Cycle and Nekroz Mirror in one card. It can Ritual Summon any Vendread Ritual Monster, which tell us we're getting more of them in the future. While that added benefit doesn't matter right now, it'll certainly be important down the line.

You can either tribute monsters from your hand or your field for your Ritual Summon, or you can banish Zombie monsters from your graveyard. If that wasn't good enough, you can summon the Vendread Ritual Monster from your hand or graveyard. That's crucial because it means you can use Revendread Origin to 1-for-1 a Ritual Monster into play, banishing Zombies from the grave to bring out the Ritual Monster from the same place.

The last effect lets you banish Revendread Origin from the graveyard to protect Revendread Slayer if it would be destroyed. At a quick glance, that's merely an added benefit to an already good card. But what a lot of players missed is that this line of text lets you grab these cards with Pre-Preparation of Rites. I saw so many players not realize that Pre-Preparation of Rites doesn't need to have the Ritual Monster listed in the summoning effect, just the effect in general. By designing the Ritual Spell that way, you have all the benefits of a Ritual Spell that can summon multiple monsters without the downside of it being unsearchable with Pre-Prep.

It's a smart move that hopefully foreshadows more design choices like it in the future.

 Revendread Slayer
$1.09
$0.37
$0.10
Revendread Slayer139255
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN082
Level 6
Type Ritual/Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2400 / 0
Rarity Rare
Card Text

You can Ritual Summon this card with any "Vendread" Ritual Spell. Once per battle, if this card battles an opponent's monster, during damage calculation (Quick Effect): You can banish 1 Zombie monster from your GY; this card gains 300 ATK. If this Ritual Summoned card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 Ritual Spell from your Deck to your hand, and if you do, send 1 "Vendread" monster from your Deck to the GY. You can only use this effect of "Revendread Slayer" once per turn.


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Oddly enough, Revendread Slayer isn't super good in a vacuum. When it battles a monster you can banish a Zombie in your grave to boost it by 300 ATK, which is neat but not particularly notable. And if it as a Ritual Summoned monster is sent to the grave, you can add a Ritual Spell to your hand and send a Vendread from your deck to the graveyard. Once again, that's decent, but not mind-blowing.

But everything changes when you put it into context, because the banish effect can trigger the effects of the best Shiranui monsters. You can banish Shiranui Solitaire to Special Summon two monsters, or Shiranui Spiritmaster to destroy a card. You'd already want to play those monsters anyway, so Revendread Slayer just gives you even more value off of them.

The graveyard effect is cool too, because it's not limited to searching Revendread Origin. As of right now, there's probably nothing else you'd want to grab, but looking ahead you'll be able to get any of the probable Vendread Ritual Spells.

That's forward-thinking I can get behind!

 Vendread Houndhorde (COTD-ENSP1)
$4.00
$2.29
$1.20
Vendread Houndhorde (COTD-ENSP1)139164
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-ENSP1
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 0 / 2100
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your GY: You can discard 1 "Vendread" card; Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. A "Vendread" monster Ritual Summoned using this card on the field gains the following effect. You can only use each of the preceding effects of "Vendread Houndhorde" once per turn.
Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; banish it.


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Reminiscent of the Djinn monsters like Djinn Releaser of Rituals, the two Vendread Main Deck monsters in Code of the Duelist give your Revendread Slayer bonus effects if you use them for the Ritual Summon. The only drawback is that they have to be used while they're on the field, which just keeps them from being overpowered in combination with Revendread Origin.

Vendread Houndhorde's bonus effect is that you can banish a spell or trap card during either player's turn for no cost. That's pretty crazy because it means you can take out two cards before your opponent even has a chance to start their next turn: one on your turn and one in their Draw Phase.

I also love Houndhorde because it packs a self-reviving effect. Once per turn, you can pitch a Vendread from your hand to Special Summon it from the grave and it's banished when it leaves the field. The best discard is clearly Revendread Slayer because you can Ritual Summon it from the graveyard right after, but you can pitch pretty much anything, even another copy of itself.

 Vendread Revenants
$0.79
$0.18
$0.05
Vendread Revenants139256
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN083
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1800 / 200
Rarity Common
Card Text

If this card in your possession is destroyed by an opponent's card (by battle or card effect) and sent to your GY: You can Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. A "Vendread" monster Ritual Summoned using this card on the field gains this effect. You can only use the preceding effect of "Vendread Revenants" once per turn.
Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Special Summoned monster your opponent controls; banish it.


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It doesn't come with a free revival effect, but Vendread Revenants does Special Summon itself when destroyed by an opponent's card or effect. And with 1800 ATK, it's a lot more threatening than Vendread Houndhorde.

I'm pretty sure that Revenants lacks the versatile Special Summon effect of Houndhorde because its bonus effect is so much better. Once per turn, as a quick effect, you can banish a Special Summoned monster. That hits almost every single important monster in the entire game, and you can sneak in two banishes before your opponent's turn starts, just like with Houndhorde.

Revenants is a Level 4, which pairs nicely with most of your Tuners like Uni-Zombie. Houndhorde's Level 3 so it's still workable, but you'll generally need to use both of Uni-Zombie's effects to get it up to Level 5 before performing a Synchro Summon.

 Vendread Reorigin
$11.99
$4.84
$2.85
Vendread Reorigin139258
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN085
Type Normal Trap
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls that has a Level; Tribute it, and if you do, Special Summon 1 "Vendread Token" (Zombie/DARK/ATK 0/DEF 0) with a Level equal to the Tributed monster's original Level. While the Token Special Summoned by this effect is on the field, you cannot Normal or Special Summon monsters, except "Vendread" monsters.


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The last card in the bunch is a trap, supplying some defense while also setting you up for Ritual Summons, potentially opening up the possibility of Urgent Ritual Art, too. Vendread Reorigin tributes an opposing monster that has a Level to Special Summon a Token to your side of the field with the same Level, but 0 ATK and DEF.

By itself, that's nothing more than a cool trick to get around monsters that can't be destroyed by card effects, but I doubt Vendread Reorigin will have a big impact in early builds; it's just too slow. The other crucial part is that while you control the Token you can't Normal or Special Summon any monsters besides Vendreads, most likely to prevent you from using the Token for Link Spider right away.

Final Thoughts
Vendreads have a lot going for them, and if they're not a competitive deck by the next wave of support I'd be surprised. They already look like a decent rogue pick, especially if the next Forbidden & Limited List demolishes Zoodiacs and True Dracos.

The real key here is that all of the current Vendread cards set up future releases. Revendread Origins hints at so much more, and it'll only get better in time. Assuming that each wave of support gives us one more Ritual Monster and one more Ritual Spell, we could potentially see a Ritual Deck close to the levels of Nekroz by next summer.

Only time will tell, but I have a good feeling about Vendreads!

-Doug Zeeff


Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!


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