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Dragon rulers Since the release of Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy in the TCG Dragon Rulers have made a huge impact on competitive play from the initial "baby build" that dominated 2013 NAWCQ to the September builds ranging from early Plant to the format defining Dragunity and Pure variants. January banlist saw them severely hit, but the player base still refused to lay down the all powerful dragons. While far from dominating, Hieratic Rulers made several tops, while the end of the format saw a new Dragon Ruler deck using Mythic Dragons combined with a lot of draw power, instead of the Hieratic engine. April banlist is here and with Hieratics getting what most see as a minor consistency hit, and Mythic version being intact, Dragon Rulers still remain at worst a possible meta call due to the ability to run Skill Drain in the main without considerate drawbacks. CORE CARDS [spoiler] These are the core cards played in Dragon Ruler decks. Banishing dragons to constantly spam rulers is the idea behind using them. Using dragon tuners lets you bring out powerful synchros, while themselves Rulers give access to rank 7 plays. While some spells and traps have good synergy, since the hits the deck got a support engine was needed to either tutor or dig for the rulers, and add additional plays to your arsenal. Dragon Rulers [spoiler] Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders The 4 Dragon Rulers remain the core of the deck and running all 4 is the current standard. [/spoiler] Tuners [spoiler] Flamvell Guard Dragunity Corsesca Debris Dragon Influence Dragon While the tuner line-up will depend on the strategy each player chooses these are the most played. Hieratics will play Flamvell guard and maybe a Debris, while Mythics will add a second Guard and Influence Dragon. Dragunity Corsesca has seen play as an addition to both. Notable interactions: All can be used as Cards of Consonance targets Guard and Debris have a relevant DEF of 2000 Influence and Guard are valid Debris targets Guard is searchable with Blaster, while the other 3 are searchable with Tempest Guard is a vanilla to send with Dragon Shrine [/spoiler] Spells [spoiler] Upstart Goblin Dragon Shrine Dragon Shrine is pretty self explanatory and is seen as a must at 3 since the limiting of Dragons. Upstart Goblin is nowadays considered standard and has been talked about and written more than enough. [/spoiler] Traps [spoiler] Skill Drain Skill Drain is arguably the best card in the deck, and its relevance regarding the meta will determine how good Dragon Rulers are. Decks badly hit by it include: Geargia, Madolche, Spellbooks, Constellar, Evilswarm, Fire Fist,... Reckless Greed Reckless Greed gained a lot of popularity during the evolution of Dragon Rulers. Works well in combo decks, and decks that produce hard to break fields, so it can be considered for both variants. [/spoiler] Extra deck [spoiler] Mecha Phanton Beast Dracossack Number 11: Big Eye The rank 7 monsters go together with Dragon Rulers, 2 Dracosac and BigEye are considered staple extra deck cards. Scrap Dragon Stardust Dragon Crimson Blader Colossal Fighter Both deck make level 8 synchros with ease and these are the 4 most played. Leo, The Keeper of the Sacred Tree Trident Dragion Star Eater Black Rose Dragon Your tuner and strategy choice will determine what your extra deck will look like. These are some non-level 8 synchros you can potentially run. Notable interactions: Stardust Dragon and Colossal Fighter work good with Skill Drain up since both effect are not negated by it. Dracossack effect can be used to tribute itself under Skill Drain to still pop a card. Since the addition as Crazy Box as a staple in most rank 4 oriented decks, the importance of having Leo and/or Star Eater has increased [/spoiler] Other cards to consider Cardcar D Pot of Duality Hand traps ATK stoppers Mystical Space Typhoon Forbidden Lance Dark Hole Book of Moon Trap Stun Discard traps All "real" traps Stardust Spak Dragon Thought Ruler Archfiend Red Dragon Archfiend Angel of Zera Master of Blades [/spoiler] HIERATIC BUILD [spoiler] The first cards used as support were the Hieratic monsters. While not being a serious contender on their own, paired with Dragon Rulers, Hieratics saw a resurrection beginning of January format. While the later shift was geared to Mermail and Fire Fist, Hieratics remained a valid choice. The idea of using Atum to bring out other dragons while feeding the grave and deck thinning with Ashes is still a good one, despite consistency issues and weaknesses it has. Hieratics [spoiler] Hieratic Dragon of Su Hieratic Dragon of Eset Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit These are the 3 Hieratic monsters ran as support to the rulers. Eset and Tefnuit are combo starters, one a normal summon the other a lvl 6 Cyber Dragon with the Hieratic twist, while Su is the second combo piece able so special summon itself by tributing one of the other 2, and pop a backrow without losing advantage. [/spoiler] Vanillas [spoiler] Labradorite Dragon Luster Dragon #2 Wattaildragon One of the main drawbacks of running Hieratics is the necessity of running Vanilla Dragons to fuel the plays. While some advocate running 2 for extending the combos, considering the decks consistency issues, adding more normal monsters will not help. Notable interactions: Labradorite has no ATK but is a Debris target and tuner Luster #2 can be tribute summoned over a Hieratic to make a potential Black Rose Dragon. It also can serve as Tempest discard fodder While Wattail can't interact with Tempest the 100 ATK is enough for it to at least be taken into consideration when choosing the normal dragon [/spoiler] Spells [spoiler] Hieratic Seal of Convocation The Hieratics ROTA got Semi-limited so it will be run at 2 in all Hieratic decks including Dragon Rulers Wingbeat of Giant Dragon Can be a win condition on its own, but is ofter played around, each player has to decide if its worth a slot in the main or side. [/spoiler] Traps [spoiler] Hieratic Seal From the Ashes Fuels your grave with dragons and is along with Atum the tie between the 2 archetypes. Can on its own fuel 1 Dragon Ruler summon per turn, and its destruction trigger effect makes for some interesting combos, but the fact its an awful card to draw to established fields along with it being slow makes most players regard it as a necessary evil. Call of the Haunted Helps with one of the main problems the deck has, which is the weakness to recover from any disruption. [/spoiler] Extra deck [spoiler] Hieratic Dragon King of Atum Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger Atum tutors your Dragon rulers out of the deck, and is responsible for one of the strongest opening fields the current meta can provide. While his Invoker-like effect has proven to be crucial for the success of Hieratic Rulers it also illustrates the biggest weakness coming with Hieratics, the vulnerability to hand traps. Gaia is played to complement with Atum, usually at 1. Photon Strike Bounzer Gauntlet Launcher Constellar Ptolomy M7 Other good Rank 6 monsters are viable choices, M7 being to most popular. Notable interactions: Gauntlet Launcher has a high DEF of 2800 which is enough to stop most threats Going into M7 after being hit by Maxx "C" helps not give away advantage as his effect can add a Hieratic to your hand for future use [/spoiler] Other cards to consider Monster Gate One Day of Peace Enemy Controller Magic Planter Dragard Galaxy Serpent Chaos Sorcerer [/spoiler] MYTHIC BUILD [spoiler] End of the format saw the birth of a new way to use Dragon Rulers, the Mythic deck. Feeding the grave with dragons by paying costs of discard traps proved to have its merits, with probably the only 2 players piloting the deck at ARG Las Vegas having reached the top cut. Having the ability to bring out problem cards like Felgrand and Leo from turn 1, this deck proved to be a force to be reckoned with, and seems to be one of the best decks at the moment. Mythic Rulers [spoiler] Mythic Tree Dragon Mythic Water Dragon The 2 Mythic Dragons have been debated since their releases and saw play from time to time. Searchable with Redox and Tidal, Water serves as Trade-in fodder while Tree can be used to make Rank 7 plays with Tidal or Rank 4 with Debris Dragon. Together they give access to powerful Rank 8 plays which makes them worth consideration. [/spoiler] Spells [spoiler] Cards of Consonance The draw card to complement your tuner line-up. With your additional consistency cards of choice you will be digging into your cards like no other deck can. Gold Sarcophagus When used with Dragon Rulers Gold Sarc is eventually a +1 cause of the search effects. It searches any of your tuners or Mythics, while in time gives access to a color. Burial from a Different Dimension This is the card people will complain about in this deck, like they did about Return a while ago. Use your big dragon to search, and then just reuse them to put more pressure and win. [/spoiler] Blue-Eyes engine [spoiler] Blue-Eyes White Dragon White Stone of Legend Trade-In Serves as an additional draw engine and makes sure you always have dragons in grave for your plays. White Stone replacing itself with a Trade-in target and dragon in hand is a handy interaction which can give you considerate advantage. [/spoiler] Disaster Dragon route [spoiler] Masked Dragon Blizzard Dragon Exploder Dragon Other cards used in Disaster Dragon While Blue-Eyes engine was played in both premiere event topping list this deck had January format, the cult following Disaster Dragon has, contributed to builds without BEWD topping smaller events. If less Bear and Marksman are seen, while at the same time more Armor, this might be the way to go. Notable interactions: Masked Dragon searches all your non Dragon Ruler cards, including the Mythics Blizzard Dragon has obvious uses in the Geargia match-up Koa'ki Meiru Drago is another monster typical to Disaster builds which might make Dragons a good pick against Artifacts While Fire Ferret is a better choice in most cases, the fact he can be searched and doesn't target can make Exploder a good choice. [/spoiler] Extra deck [spoiler] Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis The rank 8 monsters are arguably your most powerful bosses, and can change and win games on their own. The reason to run Mythics is rank 8 access and you should abuse them as much as you can. Exciton Knight Silent Honor ARK Lavalval Chain Queen Dragun Djinn Running Debris Dragon gives you access to rank 4 plays with Mythic Tree Dragon in grave. Exciton and Silent Ark are the currently most powerful splashable rank 4s while the interactions Lavalval Chain and Queen Dragun Djinn can have make them worth consideration. [/spoiler] Other cards to consider Card Trooper Beast King Barbaros Fog King Dragoncarnation Castle of Dragon Souls [/spoiler] The Side Deck [spoiler] [/spoiler] Combos [spoiler] Due to Upstart being played, 1-turn OTKs will be less common. However, they do exist, and there are specific combos which, while not putting your opponent at 0 LP, will put you in a position such that you'd most likely win. Cards Needed: 2 Hieratics, 1 Ruler/Shrine Summon Hieratic Tribute SS Hieratic SS Vanilla SS Atum SS Dragon Ruler SS Dragon Ruler in your hand/Dragon Ruler you dump with Shrine *Overlay for Rank 7; detach the Dragon Ruler summoned by Atum *SS back the Dragon Ruler summoned by Atum Note: The steps in asterisks can be deviated from should it be necessary. Note: Generally you'd want to summon BLASTER off Atum if possible because you want the Ruler you revive later on to have the highest ATK Note: You can substitute 1 Dragon Ruler with Flamvell Guard if you want to make a Level 8 Synchro (Blader anyone?) instead of the Rank 7 Cards Needed: 3 Hieratics, 1 Ruler/Shrine Summon Hieratic Tribute SS Hieratic SS Vanilla SS Atum (by detaching vanilla, absolutely necessary if you play only 1 level 6 vanilla) SS a Hieratic from your deck SS/summon/tribute the Hieratic to SS back a vanilla SS Atum and SS Dragon Ruler SS Dragon Ruler in hand/Shrine dump Dragon Ruler and then SS *Overlay for Rank 7; detach the Dragon Ruler summoned by Atum *SS back the Dragon Ruler summoned by Atum Again, Guard can substitute a Ruler if necessary congrats, you have made 2 atum and a Rank 7 as well as summoning back a potential Dragon Ruler and in the meantime probably popping 1/2 backrow Su Loop (ONLY possible if you play 2 Vanillas, which is why I am a huge proponent of doing so) Cards Needed: Su, Tefnuit/Eset, another Hieratic Summon Hieratic Tribute SS Su Summon Vanilla Tribute Hieratic in hand to pop a backrow SS the second Vanilla from your deck Overlay 2 Vanillas for Atum SS Su off Atum Tribute the (first) Su to pop a backrow SS Vanilla from Grave Overlay for Atum Do your stuff With 3 Hieratics, you summon 2 Atum and pop 2 backrow - not bad (again only possible if you play 2 vanillas) [/spoiler] Sample decklists [spoiler] Chris LeBlanc ARG Nashvill Hieratic Dragon Ruler [spoiler] Main Deck: 2 Cardcar D 3 Hieratic Dragon of Su 3 Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit 3 Hieratic Dragon of Eset 1 Labradorite Dragon 1 Flamvell Guard 1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos 1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls 1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms 1 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders 3 Hieratic Seal of Convocation 3 Dragon Shrine 3 Upstart Goblin 1 Book of Moon 3 Hieratic Seal from the Ashes 3 Reckless Greed 3 Skill Drain 1 Solemn Warning 1 Torrential Tribute 2 Trap Stun Side Deck: 2 Maxx “C” 2 Effect Veiler 3 Mystical Space Typhoon 2 A Wingbeat of Giant Dragon 2 Divine Wrath 1 Dark Hole 1 Swift Scarecrow 2 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo Extra Deck: 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack 1 Number 11: Big Eye 1 Constellar Ptolemy M7 2 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum 1 Star Eater 1 Scrap Dragon 1 Colossal Fighter 1 Stardust Dragon 1 Crimson Blader 1 Black Rose Dragon 2 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger 1 Stardust Spark Dragon [/spoiler] Tahmid Zaman YCS Atlanta Hieratic Dragon Ruler [spoiler] MainDeck: 3 Hieratic Dragon of Su 3 Hieratic Dragon of Eset 3 Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit 3 Cardcar D 1 Flamvell Guard 1 Luster Dragon #2 1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos 1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls 1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms 1 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders 3 Hieratic Seal of Convocation 3 Upstart Goblin 3 Dragon Shrine 1 Book of Moon 3 Hieratic Seal from the Ashes 2 Skill Drain 2 Trap Stun 1 Solemn Warning 1 Torrential Tribute 1 Call of the Haunted 1 Bottomless Trap Hole SideDeck: 3 Maxx "C" 2 Effect Veiler 2 Electric Virus 1 Swift Scarecrow 1 Dark Hole 2 Mystical Space Typhoon 2 Overworked 2 Mistake ExtraDeck: 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack 2 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger 2 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum 1 Black Rose Dragon 1 Gauntlet Launcher 1 Colossal Fighter 1 Scrap Dragon 1 Crimson Blader 1 Stardust Dragon 1 Star Eater 1 Constellar Ptolemy M7 1 Photon Strike Bouncer 1 Number 11: Big Eye 1 Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max [/spoiler] Admassu Williams ARG Las Vegas Mythic Dragon Ruler [spoiler] MainDeck: 1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos 1 Redox, Dragon ruler of Boulders 1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms 1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls 2 Blue-Eyes White Dragon 2 The White Stone of Legend 2 Cardcar D 2 Flamvell Guard 2 Card Trooper 2 Mythic Water Dragon 2 Mythic Tree Dragon 1 Influence Dragon 1 Debris Dragon 3 Dragon Shrine 3 Upstart Goblin 3 Cards of Consonance 1 Trade-In 1 Godl Sarcophagus 1 Burial From A Different Dimension 3 Skill Drain 1 Solemn Warning 1 Bottomless Trap Hole 1 Torrential Tribute 2 Mirror Force SideDeck: 1 Thunder King Rai-Oh 3 Maxx "C" 2 D.D. Crow 2 Full House 2 Mystical Space Typhoon 2 Light- Imprisoning Mirror 2 Malevolent Catastrophe ExtraDeck: 1 Black Rose Dragon 1 Stardust Dragon 1 Scrap Dragon 1 Colossal Fighter 1 Crimson Blader 1 Leo, The Keeper of the Sacred Tree 1 Star Eater 1 Lavalval Chain 1 Evilswarm Excition Knight 1 Number 11 Big Eye 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack 1 Divine Knight Felgrand 1 Hieratic The Sun Dragon Overload of Heliopolis [/spoiler] Based Loli ARG Las Vegas Mythic Dragon Ruler: [spoiler] Main Deck: 1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos 1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls 1 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders 1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms 2 Flamvell Guard 2 Blue-Eyes White Dragon 2 Mythic Tree Dragon 2 Mythic Water Dragon 2 White Stone of Legend 1 Dragunity Darkspear 1 Debris Dragon 2 Card Trooper 3 Dragon Shrine 3 Upstart Goblin 1 Foolish Burial 1 Burial From A Different Dimension 2 Cards of Consonance 2 Trade-In 1 Gold Sarcophagus 1 Bottomless Trap Hole 1 Solemn Warning 1 Torrential Tribute 3 Skill Drain 2 Mirror Force 1 Raigeki Break Side Deck: 3 Maxx "C'' 2 D.D. Crow 3 Mystical Space Typhoon 3 Messenger of Peace 2 Vanity's Emptiness 2 Black Horn of Heaven [/ccDeck] Extra Deck: 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack 1 Evilswarm Exition Knight 1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand 1 Lavalval Chain 1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis 1 Number 11 Big Eye 1 Colossal Fighter 1 Crimson Blader 1 Stardust Dragon 1 Scrap Dragon 1 Star Eater 1 Black Rose Dragon 1 Trident Dragion 1 Leo, The Keeper of the Sacred Tree [/spoiler] [/spoiler]