Friday, 27 December 2013

Why use Ghostrick Frost in Dragon Rulers??

Hello everyone! Today's post will be yet again, another Dragon Rulers post! Alright, I know that the Dragon Rulers are going to be limited come January in the TCG, effectively making the deck dead (possibly, we never know if anyone can revive them with a surprising build). However, the OCG list for February 2014 is not out yet, so we're still keeping our fingers crossed.

Anyway, if you guys have noticed, there have been several Dragon Rulers build in Japan that are topping with a card named "Ghostrick Frost" in either their main or their side deck. Below is an example of such a build:

[Decklist copied from Shriek OCG]

For the benefit of my TCG readers, "Ghostrick Frost" is a card that is going to be released in the upcoming TCG pack "Legacy of the Valiant".

Name: Ghostrick Frost
Level 1/ DARK/ Fiend/ Effect/ 800/ 100
Effect: Cannot be Normal Summoned, unless you control a "Ghostrick" monster. Once per turn: You can change this card to face-down Defense Position. When an opponent's monster declares a direct attack: You can change that monster to face-down Defense Position, and if you do, Special Summon this card from your hand in face-down Defense Position.

At first glance, this card looks like a weaker version of "Swift Scarecrow" as it only prevents one attack by turning that monster facedown whereas "Swift Scarecrow" can prevent all attacks from taking place. However, do not be mistaken, "Ghostrick Frost" does more than that, and is in many ways, better than "Swift Scarecrow".

Why is that so? Firstly, let's remember the weakness of "Swift Scarecrow". If you pitch "Swift Scarecrow" when your opponent launches a direct attack, your opponent can simply use cards such as "Book of Moon" or "Compulsory Evacuation Device" on their own monster that is attacking. Since the attack cannot be negated, the pitched "Swift Scarecrow's" effect will not be resolved and your opponent can continue to attack with the rest of their monsters.

"Ghostrick Frost" overcomes that weakness. Let's say your opponent launches a direct attack, you activate the effect of "Ghostrick Frost", your opponent then chains "Book of Moon" on his/her own monster. Similar to "Swift Scarecrow", "Ghostrick Frost's" effect will be negated. However, here's the catch, unlike "Swift Scarecrow" that has already been sent to grave, "Ghostrick Frost" remains in your hand when its effect is negated since it cannot be special summoned. Therefore, when your opponent launches a second direct attack, you will be able to use the effect of "Ghostrick Frost" once again!

Some may argue that "Swift Scarecrow" is a gamble to negate all attacks from your opponent, so it is more worthwhile to play than "Ghostrick Frost". However, let's not forget the fundamental reason of using cards such as "Swift Scarecrow" and "Ghostrick Frost" in our decks, it is to prevent an OTK. While "Swift Scarecrow" takes a chance to defend against all attacks, "Ghostrick Frost" is an almost guaranteed way of preventing two of your opponent's attack (since after turning the first monster facedown, it special summon itself, blocking a second attack). When you are able to block two attacks, you would be able to block off an OTK almost all the time.

The reasons of using "Ghostrick Frost" does not stop here, let's now take a look at how "Ghostrick Frost" is effective against other decks. One of the traditional powerhouses against Dragon Rulers is Evilswarm, and the reason for their effectiveness against Dragon Rulers lies in "Evilswarm Ophion" which prevents both players from special summoning any Level 5 or above monsters, which is a pain in the ass because all the Dragon Ruler cards are Level 7.

Furthermore, "Evilswarm Ophion" is hard to destroy as they play cards such as "Infestation Pandemic" which protects their Ophion from cards such as "Dark Hole" or "Forbidden Chalice", which leaves the player with options such as "Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos" or "Tsukuyomi". However, as all experienced Dragon Ruler player should know, drawing Blaster with another FIRE-type monster isn't something you can pull off (literally and figuratively) every time, and "Tsukuyomi" is useless when it falls prey to cards such as "Solemn Warning".

So how does "Ghostrick Frost" fit into the picture? "Evilswarm Ophion's" effect can only be applied when it is faceup on the field, so when your opponent launches an attack with Ophion, you can simply turn it facedown and special summon "Ghostrick Frost" from your hand. Since "Evilswarm Ophion" is facedown now, you would be able to pull off your Dragon Rulers play without obstruction next turn.

Well, although "Ghostrick Frost" can also be countered using "Solemn Warning", you would not waste a Normal Summon like you did with "Tsukuyomi". Since "Solemn Warning" is limited in both the OCG and the TCG, once your "Ghostrick Frost" is hit with a "Solemn Warning", you would know that it is almost certainly safe to use your "Tsukuyomi" next turn.

Next, another deck that is becoming huge is Bujin. While Bujin decks have no direct conflict with Dragon Ruler decks, it is a chore to handle cards such as "Bujin Yamato" as they would be able to pitch cards such as "Bujingi Turtle" or "Bujingi Quilin" to their graveyards to prevent target effects or simply to destroy one of your cards. Alternatively, they can also add cards such as "Bujingi Crane" to their hand to boost their attack.

However, one important fact still remains, when their "Bujin Yamato" is facedown, they cannot prevent any target effects with "Bujingi Turtle". When there is no faceup Bujin monster on the field, "Bujingi Quilin's" effect cannot be activated. When you are attacking Yamato while it is facedown, they cannot pitch "Bujingi Crane" to boost its attack. When "Bujin Yamato" is facedown, its End Phase effect to add a Bujin card from deck and send a card from hand to graveyard cannot be activated.

Therefore, "Ghostrick Frost" will also be able to play an important part against a Bujin lineup. When your opponent declares a direct attack with "Bujin Yamato", you can use "Ghostrick Frost" to turn it facedown. Although "Ghostrick Frost" can be negated with the effects of "Bujingi Turtle", it only negates it effect and does not destroy it, so "Ghostrick Frost" still remains in your hand to fend off the next attack or the next turn.

If your opponent uses the effect of "Bujingi Turtle" to negate your "Ghostrick Frost", then they have just reduced their resources by one and will be forced to continue to resupply their "Bujingi Turtle" in their graveyard in order to fend off more target effects. This leaves lesser opportunities for them to supply "Bujingi Quilin", and most importantly, "Bujingi Crane", allowing you to take control of the game quickly.

"Ghostrick Frost" also gives you the advantage when you are playing against decks such as Inzektors or Noble Knights as when you turn them facedown, their equipment will be sent to the graveyard, thus, crippling them of their synergy with their decks.

However, perhaps the most difficult challenge comes when you playing a mirror match. This is when "Ghostrick Frost" will be able to shine. When you do not have any backrow support, the most common plays in the early stages of the game would be to pull out two Dragon Rulers (three if they have the resources, but let's keep it at two to illustrate this scenario) and attack directly, then going for the Xyz Summon in Main Phase 2.

When they launch the first direct attack, you can activate "Ghostrick Frost's" effect to turn it facedown, effectively blocking both attacks and preventing a Xyz Summon in the Main Phase 2. Cards such as "Stardust Spark Dragon" (or more commonly known as Stardust Radiance Dragon) can also be hard to play against since they are able to protect themselves or another card. Therefore, by using "Ghostrick Frost's" effect on it, they would not be able to protect itself from your attacks or effects next turn.

Another recent standard play of Dragon Rulers also involve banishing Redox and Tidal, preferably in the first turn so they can search for "Mythic Tree Dragon" and "Mythic Water Dragon" to Xyz Summon for "Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand". Having this card on the field on the first turn is really a huge advantage as Felgrand would be able to negate the effects of your monsters, thus, acting as a pseudo "Skill Drain" for two times. Furthermore, Felgrand can also use this effect on itself to prevent itself from being affected by any card effects.

However, this powerful ability of Felgrand can reduced from two times to only once, since you can play "Ghostrick Frost" on it, forcing it to use the effect on itself to avoid being turned facedown while "Ghostrick Frost" will still remain in your hand for further use. This leaves Felgrand with only one negation effect, and makes the task of getting rid of it easier.

Lastly, another important reason why "Ghostrick Frost" is receiving so much love in Japan is due to the fact that it is a Level 1. Since all the Dragon Ruler cards are Level 7, and the tuners in the deck, which are namely "Dragunity Corsesca", "Flamvell Guard" and "Effect Veiler" are all Level 1, 7 + 1+ 1 = magic number 9.

While "Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier" is banned in the TCG, it is still legal in the OCG, thus, "Ghostrick Frost" allows the access of Trishula in Dragon Ruler decks, making it a force to be reckoned with.

That's all for today's post! Do play with the Dragon Rulers while they are still legal XD

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