Friday, 3 January 2014

He who hunts never goes hungry ~ Theory by Ryko

Hi everyone! Today's post is going to be a short discussion about a card that never seem to be kicked out of the popularity pool. Yes, if you have guessed by the title, its none other than "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter"!

Level 2/ Beast/ Light/ Effect/ 200/ 100
Effect: FLIP: You can target 1 card on the field; destroy that target. Send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard.

This little dude needs no further introduction, possibly one of the most irrita... oops I meant strong flip destroyer monster in the game, it is a staple in several decks such as "Lightsworns" (duh!), "Junk Doppel" and many others that rely heavily on milling for deck consistency.

Unlike some other monsters that when flipped, only destroys monsters, or, only destroys spells and traps, "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter" is packaged like an instant coffee, having the best of both worlds in its effect. Furthermore, it allows you to mill 3 cards off the top of the deck, giving you more alternatives for specific decks.

However, do take note of a important detail for "Ryko, Ligthsworn Hunter". Many players that I have encountered in real life, as well as on Dueling Network, seem to have the false impression that milling is a cost for its effect. That is a big mistake on their parts, milling is NOT a cost for Ryko's destroying effect. It is another effect by itself. That goes to say, if you choose not to destroy with Ryko's effect, you can still choose to mill 3 cards after that.

For example, you are staring down at a "Stardust Dragon", you flip "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter". Knowing that your opponent can negate Ryko's destruction effect with their "Stardust Dragon", you can just mill and choose not to destroy. Then, "Stardust Dragon's" effect cannot be chained to Ryko's effect.

So after all the blah blah blah about "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter", what is so good about this little fellow in the current meta? If you guys have been actively spamming packs of Shadow Specters, you might be lucky enough to pull an Ultra/Ultimate (or Secret in the TCG) Xyz monster known as "Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand".

Rank 8/ Warrior/ Light/ Xyz/ Effect/ 2800/ 1800
Effect: 2 Level 8 monsters
Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; this turn, its effects are negated, but it is unaffected by other card effects.

Apart from its high attack, its two turns "Effect Veiler" ability is really a tough nut to crack. Unlike "Effect Veiler" which can only be activated during your opponent's Main Phase, "Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand" can be activated during either player's turn, and it can be used in any phase as well.

Therefore, in order to get rid of "Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand", players would normally have to commit a lot of resources in order to stop it, leading to an overall card disadvantage. That goes to say that after clearing this massive threat off the field, you are still in a tight spot with little chance of regaining the advantage that you have lost previously.

Despite being a Rank 8, it is not difficult to pull him off, "Dragon Ruler" decks will do the trick. Yes, I know that Dragon Rulers are already unplayable in the TCG. However, in the OCG, Dragon Rulers still remain a viable option. Even without Dragon Rulers in the TCG, there are still many decks which are capable of going for "Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand", so TCG players can never let their guard down against this mighty warrior.

So, what part does "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter" play in this scenario? Despite being so powerful, "Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand" is not all that perfect, the little flaw that he has is that it is unable to trigger its effect during the Damage Step. If a monster attacks into "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter", the effect of Ryko to destroy a card will occur during the Damage Step, which Felgrand would be unable to do anything about it. Basically, its Felgrand attack Ryko, and Kaboom!! Goodbye Felgrand.

However, it is possible for Felgrand to escape this adverse situation, that is activating its effect on itself before attacking or while attacking. By using its effect on itself, it negates its own effect, but protects itself from other cards effects. Well, granted that this is a way of safeguarding against Ryko, but this method will then cost you one negation ability, plus Ryko always have the option of blasting any other card on the field, rendering your protection to be redundant.

Other than Felgrand, Ryko is also strong against other decks, such as the "Chaos Dragons" that are slowly returning to the Dueling Network scene (I had to play against many of such decks today). This is possibly due to the rise of Lightsworns, thus, many players have made hybrid builds, incorportating Chaos Dragons intro Lightsworns.

So, how does Ryko work in this case then? If you would recall, one of the best monsters in the Chaos Dragons lineup would be "Lightpulsar Dragon", and man, is this card annoying! You actually get to special summon another dragon when its sent to the graveyard?! And to think I committed so much resources to get it off the field. That is probably just some thoughts that several players may have.

Level 6/ Dragon/ Light/ Effect/ 2500/ 1500
Effect: You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster from your Graveyard. You can Special Summon this card (from your Graveyard) by sending 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster from your hand to the Graveyard. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target 1 Level 5 or higher DARK Dragon-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target.

Although "Lightpulsar Dragon" is a Level 6, and summoning it only requires one tribute, you would seldom see players tribute summoning this card because there is simply no point in doing so! That is due to the fact that it so easy to special summon it. All you need is LIGHT and DARK in the grave, and behold! You can now special summon "Lightpulsar Dragon" from your hand! If it is unfortunately in the graveyard, not to fret, you can just pitch in a LIGHT and DARK from your hand to the graveyard, and it can be special summoned again.

Earlier, we mentioned that when "Lightpulsar Dragon" is sent from the field to the graveyard, you get to summon another dragon. In this case, most of the times it would be "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon", and what goes around comes around. By special summoning Red-Eyes, Red-Eyes can in turn revive "Lightpulsar Dragon" from the graveyard again.

So, how do we go about solving this problem? As any wise men is able to tell us, the way to solving a problem often relies on tackling the root of the problem. If you would look at "Lightpulsar Dragon's" text, you would realise that the ability to special summon another dragon when it is sent to the graveyard is optional (from the "you CAN" text), so in order for "Lightpulsar Dragon's" effect to work, "Lightpulsar Dragon" entering the graveyard must be the last thing to occur, and "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter" prevents that!

When Ryko's effect is activated, targeting "Lightpulsar Dragon" for destruction, the last thing to occur would no longer be "Lightpulsar Dragon" entering the graveyard. Why is that so? Let's take a look at the scenario here. Ryko's effect triggers, targeting Lightpulsar for destruction. "Lightpulsar Dragon" is destroyed and sent to the graveyard. However, there is still one part of "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter's" effect that is yet to be resolved, and that is to send the top 3 cards of your deck to the graveyard. Therefore, using Ryko on Lightpulsar Dragon effectively forces "Lightpulsar Dragon" to miss the timing of its effect, preventing it from special summoning another dragon.

Just as Chaos Dragons are starting to get huge again in the TCG, in the OCG, one deck still remains fairly popular, and that is Elemental Heroes! Unlike the TCG which banned "Elemental HERO Stratos", this deck is still playable in the OCG, and there is one card that has the same property as "Lightpulsar Dragon", and that is "Elemental HERO The Shining",

Level 8/ Warrior/ Light/ Fusion/ Effect/ 2600/ 2100
Effect: 1 "Elemental HERO" monster + 1 LIGHT monster
Must be Fusion Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. This card gains 300 ATK for each of your banished "Elemental HERO" monsters. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target up to 2 of your banished "Elemental HERO" monsters; add those targets to your hand.

Dealing with "Elemental HERO The Shining" is always tough because when they special summon it by using "Miracle Fusion" to banish 2 of their heroes, you would know that destroying "Elemental HERO The Shining" means that they get to recover the 2 hero cards and begin their cycle again.

However, do take note that "Elemental HERO The Shining" works somewhat similar to "Lightpulsar Dragon", that is, returning 2 banished heroes from the banished zone is an optional effect, thus, sending this card from the field to the graveyard would also have to be the last thing to occur for the effect to work.

Therefore, its Ryko to the rescue again! Similar to the above scenario with "Lightpulsar Dragon", by destroying "Elemental HERO The Shining" with "Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter", you get to mill, thus, forcing "Elemental HERO The Shining" to miss the timing of its effect, and it would be unable to recover any of its banished heroes!

Well, that's all for today. Hope you guys can find some space in your deck for Ryko! However, do remember that deck synergy is still of utmost importance! Until next time then!

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