Cyber Dragons are poised to make a comeback this season with the release ofCyber Dragon Nachster, and Alex Mondlak is among the first players tocapitalize on the deck's new potential.

Mondlak's one of the best Cyber Dragon players in the TCG and finished intheTop 8 at YCS Chicago back in February. His latest top at the Louisville Regional last weekend reveals the extentto which Cyber Dragon Nachster has changed the outlook for the Cyber Dragondeck.

Comparing both builds – constructed months apart with different card pools– is fascinating, and there's plenty of insight to be gleaned from both thenew additions and the cards that remained in exactly the sameratios.

New Additions From Duel Power
Cyber Dragon Nachster is a big deal for Cyber Dragons: it's an extraextender in deck that's already filled with free Summons, and it's atremendous help in getting the deck's best plays off the ground.

The Cyber Dragon deck's built around OTKs first and defensive set-upssecond, and Nachster's hugely valuable in achieving both goals. As anextender it's both a Machine and a Cyber Dragon that would set up Mondlak'sspells and put another Machine on board to Summon Cyber Dragon Sieger.Nachster fulfills Sieger's "Cyber Dragon" material requirement, so it's asignificant upgrade from other Machine extenders if only for that reason.

Mondlak could also Special Summon Nachster to use with Summon Sorceress,but Nachster would restrict him to Machine Special Summons for theremainder of the turn. It's a relatively new challenge for Cyber Dragonplayers to overcome. Cyber Dragon Herz carries a similar restriction on itsfirst effect but players will most likely be using its second effect moreoften now that Nachster is available.

The strategy of landing on Knightmare Gryphon after Summon Sorceress waspurely a back-up before Nachster, and the post-Duel Power versionof the deck Summons Gryphon even less often.

DECKID=109752But who needs Knightmare Gryphon when you're Summoning a full field ofCyber Dragon monsters consistently? Mondlakmentions in his deck profilethat he rarely found a situation where Summon Sorceress or Gryphon was theright play. Consolidating cards into a Link 3 is dangerous, andCyber Dragons have other options to continue building field presencewithout risking everything to a single interruption effect. Nachster makesSummon Sorceress significantly less important while still remaining anexcellent option when an opportunity presents itself.

The Nachster upgrade let Mondlak Summon Cyber Dragon Infinity alongsideother Cyber Dragon Extra Deck monsters more often by adding two more bodieson the board without using a Normal Summon. Nachster's second effect isinsane: while you could use it to Summon a regular Cyber Dragon it's evenbetter when you use it to Summon back a Cyber Dragon Extra Deck monster.Cyber Dragon Sieger, Cyber Dragon Nova, Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon, andCyber Dragon Infinity are all valid targets for Nachster's effect. It's anexcellent recovery card just as much as it is a combo piece, and itsaddition gave Mondlak a stronger mid-game while creating opportunities toscore big comeback wins.

Using Nachster to Summon a Cyber Dragon Infinity from the graveyard is aseriously impressive play: Infinity can steal an opponent's monster to gainATK and a free negation to use later in the turn. Normal SummoningNachster's a +1 immediately, but Mondlak would quickly build up cardadvantage with Infinity's effect. Special Summoning Nachster with itseffect or with Cyber Dragon Core, One for One, or Cyber Revsystem wouldeven free up his Normal Summon, which meant other Cyber Dragons like Herzor Core – assuming Core hadn't already been activated – could add more Linkand Xyz Materials to the field while activating their own abilities.

But the real power of Summoning Cyber Dragon Infinity with Nachster is thatyou can Summon Infinity twice with it. You can only SummonInfinity once per turn by laying it over Cyber Dragon Nova, but there's nohard limit on the number of times you can Special Summon it in other ways.Mondlak could Summon Infinity by comboing off Cyber Dragon Nova, exchangeit for Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon, and then Special Summon Infinity fromthe graveyard with Nachster. Assuming he was playing second – and hisopponent controlled a monster in the Extra Monster Zone – Mondlak could endup removing three monsters from his opponent's field and end on a CyberDragon Infinity with a single material.

Comboing Infinity and Megafleet together to pick off opposing monsters isnothing new, but Nachster does make both monsters much easier to Summon.Mondlak dropped his Main Deck copy of Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaijufrom his YCS Chicago Main Deck as a result and swapped Cyber Eltanin for athird copy of Dinowrestler Pankratops. He banked on solving floodgates likeAmorphage Goliath by interrupting his opponents in Game 1, and hopefullyseeing Pankratops in Game 2. Cybernetic Overlow would work as monsterremoval in a pinch, but it largely existed as a one-of defensive card tosearch with Cyber Dragon Core.

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Cyber Dragon Nachster doesn't just make Cyber Dragon Infinity better – it'salso the perfect target for Cyber Dragon Herz. Herz's search effect washard to leverage effectively before, as you'd usually need to use yourNormal Summon to get it into play. By that point you controlled a monsterand made Cyber Dragon and Cyber Dragon Core useless, but Nachster doesn'tneed the Normal Summon to hit the field, and it makes for an excellentfollow-up to any Link Summon that uses Herz.

It's impossible to ignore that Nachster is also a valid target for MachineDuplication. There wasn't much of a question about Machine Duplication inCyber Dragons before, and Nachster makes it even more of a must-play in thedeck. It's still effectively a win condition: any competent Cyber Dragonplayer not facing insurmountable odds or an insanely dug-in field can turna successful Machine Duplication into an OTK board. For Mondlak that wasexactly the case, and he's referred to it in his deck profiles as agame-ending card for exactly that reason.

Tech Pick Changes
I already covered a few of Mondlak's changes since his YCS Chicago Top 8,but there are still a few other tech choices that are worth mentioning.

The most obvious shifts in Mondlak's Main Deck involved his hand traps: hedropped PSY-Framegear Gamma entirely, moved Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit tohis Side Deck, and added a playset of Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay. Theshift from Gamma to Called by the Grave seems especially appropriate giventhe latter's effectiveness against Salamangreats. PSY-Framelord Omega'snice, but largely unnecessary now that the deck can Summon its Extra Deckmonsters more often. Mondlak needed cards to protect Cyber Dragon Nachsteranyways, and Gamma simply wasn't up to the task.

Most of Mondlak's hand trap choices were informed by his decision to playFantastical Dragon Phantazmay. Gamma doesn't make much sense if you'reusing Phantazmay to dig for more hand traps during your opponent's turn,and Ghost Ogre might reduce the number of draws you get. Mondlak's playsetof Effect Veiler made up for the loss of Gamma and Ghost Ogre in the MainDeck, and while Phantazmay has questionable utility in Cyber Dragon combosits draw power and targeting negation effect is too strong to pass up.Protecting Cyber Dragon Core or Nachster from targeting effects is amazing,and the trade-off of potentially having a dead copy of regular Cyber Dragonin the hand was totally worth it.

Artifacts and Shared Ride were new to Mondlak's Side Deck and replaced RedReboot and Evenly Matched. The majority of his side was geared towardsgames where he'd play first, which for Cyber Dragon has historically beenthe worst possible outcome of the die roll. Thanks to Nachster the deck hasmore options to both set up negations and to make recovery plays, sotemporary floodgates make more sense than cards that help guarantee theOTK. Shared Ride can be easily leveraged into follow-up draws withPhantazmay, and the Artifact engine's an upgrade from Gozen Match that hasmore synergy with Phantazmay and Shared Ride.

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Dropping Red Reboot could have simply been a meta call for Mondlak based onhis expectations for potential Alergeist match-ups. Keep in mind that hisYCS Chicago build was constructed prior to Salamangreats entering thecompetitive scene. Cards like Artifact Scythe and Called by the Grave arestrictly better now, while Gozen Match and Red Reboot are more difficult tojustify.

Interestingly he played three copies of Twin Twisters in his Main Deck: adedication to backrow removal that's somewhat uncommon now that Heavy StormDuster exists. In addition to backrow removal it's also a reasonablediscard outlet to load Cyber Dragon Core in the graveyard or bring CyberRepair Plant online.

I'm not sure if Cyber Dragons will be winning a YCS anytime soon – I thinkthe deck may still need to win over a larger following of skilled players –but I suspect we'll be seeing the deck in more Regional Top 8s beforeDark Neostorm arrives. If nothing else I'm expecting Alex Mondlakto have a very successful run at upcoming events. He's quite possibly thebest Cyber Dragon player in the TCG today, and his insight into thestrategy is hugely valuable.

The deck is better than its ever been thanks to Cyber Dragon Nachster andthere's just never been a better time to take Cyber Dragons into seriouscompetition.

Until next time then

-Kelly


Kelly​​​ ​​​Locke​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​a​​​ ​​​West​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​​​​gamer and writer. You​​​ ​​​can follow​​​ ​​​him​​​ ​​​on​​​ ​​​​​​Twitter​​​​​​for more updates ​​​and​​​ ​​​check​​​ ​​​out​​​ ​​​his​​​ ​​​​​​Youtube​​​ ​​​channel​​​. He​​​ ​​​also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.