It’s finally September, which means [Circuit Break] is that much closer to finally hitting our shores - we still have about a month until then, but it gives players the opportunity to play-test cards until the physical translated release. To satiate the player base, Konami will be releasing the [Legendary Duelists] Booster Pack in a few days, introducing further support for some of Duel Monsters’ well-renowned archetypes to perk the interest of any new or returning duelists that were hoping to play some of their favorite decks in today’s format. To those who haven’t kept an eye on this set, the TCG will be seeing support for decks used by Joey Wheeler, Mai Valentine, Mako Tsunami, and
Zane Truesdale “Kaiser” Ryo Marufuji (to name the more prominent archetypes supported). But the question remains to be seen - did these new cards really make playing these remembered decks better? In some ways, yes, but that’s what I hope to elucidate in this article. For all intents and purposes, I’ll be going over the OCG card list, even though its subject to changes and/or TCG-exclusive additions. In today’s issue, I’ll be going over…
For those who ran Red-Eyes B. Dragon in the past, this might be either great news for those looking for a new play-style or just mixed feelings for those looking for something more focused on their preexisting variants. For some context as to why I say this, lets take a quick trip back in time, when the [Red-Eyes] archetype started getting support. Looking into its history, the Red-Eyes archetype has three documented variants - a Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon Beatdown from [Structure Deck: Dragon’s Roar], a [Hopeless Dragon/Disaster Dragon-focused build], and a [burn-oriented deck with some new Gemini monsters to help further the strategy]. With the release of the new support in Legendary Duelist, the Red-Eyes deck can now play around with the notion of equipping Warrior-type monsters to further their plays and disrupt their opponents. As it stands, the variety is great for those interested in playing with Joey’s most treasured monster.
Before I introduce the new Warrior, its best to open up with their newest member to the Red-Eyes family, [Red-Eyes Baby Dragon] - not to be confused with the older, renamed [Black Dragon’s Chick]. The great thing about the deck’s newest addition to the nest is that it can Special Summon any Level 7 or lower “Red-Eyes” monsters, equipping itself to the new monster summoned to provide a power buff of 300 ATK, and can search out for the previously mentioned Chick when sent to the GY when the monster its equipped to leaves the field. Unfortunately, the effect can only resolve when it gets destroyed by battle - in our current game state, monster destruction via card effect is more prevalent. All in all, the effects are pretty good, but with the support cards released in the past, including generic Dragon support from the [Rise of the True Dragon Structure Deck], it finds itself a tough situation for a spot in a deck. If you really wanted to it, it may be best at 2, but its my personal preference.
To help the Red-Eyes’ newest deck strategy, another one of Joey’s beloved cards returns in a new suit of armor - [Gearfried the Red-Eyes Iron Knight]! With a brand new suit, it allows Gearfried to destroy an Equip card attached to him to destroy a Spell or Trap card the opponent controls, as well as send any Equip cards on the player’s field to Special Summon any Level 7 or lower “Red-Eyes” monster in the GY. Thankfully its searchable with the other “Red-Eyes” cards, and it manages to pull its weight around if you happen to be playing with Equip Monsters, Spells and Traps, but it suffers from having no synergy with the previously mentioned variants, except with it being a Dark monsters with “Red-Eyes” in the name. Definitely at 3 in this style, unfortunate it can’t do much in the others.
Definitely an iconic phrase tossed around in the Duel Monsters series, the infamous [Kunai with Chain] just got retrained to better suit Joey’s pride and joy - the new [Red-Eyes Fang with Chain]! To summarize, it equips itself to any “Red-Eyes” monster under your control and gives it the ability to attack your opponent twice, but that’s not all - you can send Red-Eyes Fang to the GY, target an Effect Monster on the field, and equip the target to the monster Red-Eyes Fang was attached to, powering up your “Red-Eyes” by the attack points of its new equipped monster. It comes into play with their newest boss monster, as well as beef up the classic Red-Eyes B. Dragon to go toe-to-toe with some of the new big monsters in the game in terms of raw power. Unfortunately, as is with any Trap card, it takes a bit of time to really get it rolling. This card can run in any form of “Red-Eyes,” and I’d seriously consider running a copy or two.
Now the introduction of a different deck strategy wouldn’t be really considered if there wasn’t anything they further play into, and to help cement the notion of playing with these new cards, the newest in “Red-Eyes” Extra Deck monsters appears to shock and awe. [Red-Eyes Slash Dragon] is a Level 7 “Red-Eyes” Fusion that provides a means of field protection, as well as a multitude of other effects - first off, when a “Red-Eyes” monster (including itself) attacks, you equip a Warrior-type monster to Slash Dragon as an Equip Spell card with the effect:
" The equipped monster gains 200 ATK. "
In that regard, if every monster you control are “Red-Eyes,” you have them attack, and if you have your GY stacked with Warrior monsters ready and waiting, its possible to activate Slash Dragon’s effect to equip 5 Warrior monsters, buffing itself to 3800 ATK. But there’s more - when your opponent targets cards under your control, you can send a Equip card on your field to negate the activation and destroy it, and if Slash Dragon gets destroyed, you Special Summon as many Warrior monsters equipped prior to its destruction. And the best thing about its Summoning Condition is that it requires the fusion of “Red-Eyes B. Dragon” and any 1 Warrior monster - for the build, it’s best to run 2 or 3, since it could further play into cards like [Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon].
These new tools the the “Red-Eyes” arsenal provide a new means of playing a fan favorite deck, but the question is “Is this build worth my time running with?” Returning to a previous detail, the “Red-Eyes” deck has seen different iterations of its deck style, and in my personal opinion, I do prefer the Burn deck a bit more because of [Archfiend Black Skull Dragon]'s immediate burning effect and large presence on the field. However, after a few test plays with the new Equip style, it does provide a nice alternative that could stand to be stronger than its predecessor, thanks to the new options. The only issue I have with it is the speed, but I’m definitely sure that there’ll be more faster, more consistent builds, considering this game has 8,000+ cards in its library.