The results from the TCG's Create-A-Card Project so far have highlighted just how much players value competitive success. Inzektors and X-Sabers already had their time in the spotlight, but they beat their less-successful opponents during the first round of voting. Mermails and Photons haven't faced off quite yet at the time of writing, although I don't expect a major upset there. Mermails were hugely popular and dominated the competitive scene for months in their prime.

If winning tournaments – even if those wins were years ago – is what's driving votes then I can't imagine Lightsworns losing their fight against Dinomists. Lightsworns spent a lot of time being the second-best deck of the format, but they picked up a massive following and wormed their way into dozens of hybrid strategies. Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn was famously a YCS prize card, and Konami already capitalized on player's nostalgia for the theme with a sub-theme called Twilightsworns. Do Dinomists have even a slim hope against this juggernaut, and what do modern Lightsworns look like anyways?

Dinomists Were Future-Proofed, But They Still Need A Link Monster

The Master Rule 4 changes devastated most Pendulum themes, but Dinomists were better prepared than most. Dinomist Charge doubles as themed search effect and as a one-per-turn rerouting of your Dinomist monsters. Adding Pendulums back to your hand instead of sending them to the Extra Deck had marginal utility pre-MR4, but it makes a huge difference in a world where Links exist. You can maintain your summoning power without aggressively setting up Linked zones for Extra Deck Pendulum Summons, and that frees you up to make Rank 4 and 5 Xyz Summons.

Dinomists might be best known for their ability to summon Cyber Dragon Nova and Cyber Dragon Infinity thanks to on-theme Level 5 Machines. Cyber Dragon Infinity negation effect is still among the best in the game, so building your deck around summoning it isn't a bad strategy. That said, building around a single Xyz Summon is a recipe for disaster, and Dinomist players have tried to solve that problem by adding various engines and tech choices. Symphonics and Deskbots show up in builds all over the Internet, and you can even dive into a Synchro-heavy strategy that takes full advantage of the deck's synergies with Machine Tuners.

Synchro Summoning is one of two areas where I think Dinomists could see the most improvement. An on-theme Dinomist Tuner, or an effect that makes a monster a Tuner would help tremendously in an inevitable post-Crystron Halqifibrax world. I think a Dinomist Link that can find additional Dinomist cards and help boost the deck's Synchro Summoning power would drastically improve the theme. Maybe I'm guilty of asking for too much, but I think Dinomists probably need more than one card to be competitive as things stand today.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Kelly's Dinomist Deck by Kelly Locke

'Kelly's Dinomist Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Kelly Locke

Event:

Rank:

Advanced

Market Price: $172.74

Cards

Gallant Granite

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220899_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

You can detach 1 material from this card, then activate 1 of these effects;
• Add 1 Rock monster from your Deck to your hand.
• Special Summon 1 Rock monster from your hand in face-down Defense Position.
You can only use this effect of "Gallant Granite" once per turn.

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Dinomist Brachion

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111126_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect: Once, while this card is in your Pendulum Zone, you can negate an activated card effect that targets another "Dinomist" card(s) you control, then destroy this card.

Monster Effect: If you do not control "Dinomist Brachion" in your Monster Zone and your opponent controls a monster that has the highest ATK on the field (even if it's tied), you can Special Summon this card (from your hand).

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Nibiru, the Primal Being

Market Price: $14.96

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227439_200w.jpg

During the Main Phase, if your opponent Normal or Special Summoned 5 or more monsters this turn (Quick Effect): You can Tribute as many face-up monsters on the field as possible, and if you do, Special Summon this card from your hand, then Special Summon 1 "Primal Being Token" (Rock/LIGHT/Level 11/ATK ?/DEF ?) to your opponent's field. (This Token's ATK/DEF become the combined original ATK/DEF of the Tributed monsters.) You can only use this effect of "Nibiru, the Primal Being" once per turn.

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Dinomist Plesios

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111124_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect: Once, while this card is in your Pendulum Zone, you can negate an activated card effect that targets another "Dinomist" card(s) you control, then destroy this card.

Monster Effect: All face-up monsters your opponent controls lose 100 ATK and DEF for each "Dinomist" card you control.

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Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

Market Price: $0.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199565_200w.jpg

1 Tuner + 2+ non-Tuner monsters

When this card is Synchro Summoned: You can banish up to 1 card each from your opponent's hand, field, and GY. (The card in the hand is chosen at random.)

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Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Market Price: $19.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184763_200w.jpg

When a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; negate that effect.

• Add a card from the Deck to the hand.
• Special Summon from the Deck.
• Send a card from the Deck to the GY.
You can only use this effect of "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" once per turn.

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Dinomist Rex

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111128_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect: Once, while this card is in your Pendulum Zone, you can negate an activated card effect that targets another "Dinomist" card(s) you control, then destroy this card.

Monster Effect: If this card attacks, at the end of the Damage Step: You can Tribute 1 other "Dinomist" monster, then activate 1 of these effects:
- This card can make a second attack on an opponent's monster in a row, and if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent.
- Shuffle 1 card from your opponent's hand (at random) or their side of the field into the Deck, then this card gains 100 ATK.

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Barricadeborg Blocker

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220865_200w.jpg

2 monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card; during the End Phase of this turn, add 1 Continuous or Field Spell from your GY to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Barricadeborg Blocker" once per turn. Face-up Spells you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects.

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Dinomist Ceratops

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111127_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect: If another "Dinomist" card(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect, you can destroy this card instead.

Monster Effect: If all monsters you control are "Dinomist" monsters (min. 1), and none are "Dinomist Ceratops", you can Special Summon this card (from your hand).

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Symphonic Warrior Miccs

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/127352_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect: Unless you have a "Symphonic Warrior" card in your other Pendulum Zone, this card's Pendulum Scale becomes 4. Once per turn, during your End Phase: You can target 1 of your banished "Symphonic Warrior" monsters; add it to your hand.
Monster Effect: You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by removing 3 Symphonic Counters from your field. After you Normal or Special Summon this card, you can Normal Summon 1 monster during your Main Phase this turn, in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

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Dinomist Ankylos

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/141442_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect :Once, while this card is in your Pendulum Zone, you can negate an activated card effect that targets another "Dinomist" card(s) you control, then destroy this card.

Monster Effect : Banish any monster destroyed by battle with a "Dinomist" monster you control.

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Qliphort Genius

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/186988_200w.jpg

2 Machine monsters

This Link Summoned card is unaffected by Spell/Trap effects and the activated effects of other Link Monsters. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up card on each player's field, except this card; both those cards have their effects negated until the end of this turn. When 2 monsters are Special Summoned at the same time to the zones this card points to: You can add 1 Level 5 or higher Machine monster from your Deck to your hand.

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Deskbot 001

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212661_200w.jpg

This card gains 500 ATK and DEF for each Machine monster you control. If 2 or more Machine monsters are Special Summoned at the same time while this card is in your GY (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card.

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Cyber Dragon Nova

Market Price: $2.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/147060_200w.jpg

2 Level 5 Machine monsters

Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 "Cyber Dragon" in your GY; Special Summon that target. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can banish 1 "Cyber Dragon" from your hand or face-up from your Monster Zone; this card gains 2100 ATK until the end of this turn. If this card in your possession is sent to your GY by your opponent's card effect: You can Special Summon 1 Machine Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck.

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Crystron Halqifibrax

Market Price: $31.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/210209_200w.jpg

2 monsters, including a Tuner

If this card is Link Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 or lower Tuner from your hand or Deck in Defense Position, but it cannot activate its effects this turn. During your opponent's Main Phase or Battle Phase (Quick Effect): You can banish this card you control; Special Summon 1 Tuner Synchro Monster from your Extra Deck. (This is treated as a Synchro Summon.) You can only use each effect of "Crystron Halqifibrax" once per turn.

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Bahamut Shark

Market Price: $5.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216641_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 WATER monsters

Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 Rank 3 or lower WATER Xyz Monster from your Extra Deck. This card cannot attack for the rest of this turn.

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Symphonic Warrior Guitaar

Market Price: $0.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/127346_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect:You can discard 1 card; Special Summon 1 "Symphonic Warrior" monster from your Deck, except "Symphonic Warrior Guitaar". You can only use this effect of "Symphonic Warrior Guitaar" once per turn.
Monster Effect: When this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 "Symphonic Warrior" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it.

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Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion

Market Price: $0.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/82673_200w.jpg

You can banish this card from your Graveyard; immediately after this effect resolves, Normal Summon 1 "Mecha Phantom Beast" monster from your hand. While you control a Token, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 "Mecha Phantom Beast Token" (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0). You can only use this effect of "Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion" once per turn.

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Toadally Awesome

Market Price: $4.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227560_200w.jpg

2 Level 2 Aqua-Type monsters

Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster from your Deck. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect: You can send 1 Aqua-Type monster from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Set it to your field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.

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Dinomist Pteran

Market Price: $0.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111125_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect: If another "Dinomist" card(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect, you can destroy this card instead.

Monster Effect: When this card destroys an opponent's monster by battle: You can add 1 "Dinomist" card from your Deck to your hand.

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Dinomist Spinos

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/117976_200w.jpg

Pendulum Effect : If another "Dinomist" card(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect, you can destroy this card instead.

Monster Effect : You can Tribute 1 other "Dinomist" monster, then activate 1 of these effects;
- This card can attack your opponent directly this turn.
- This card can make a second attack during each Battle Phase this turn.

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Knightmare Unicorn

Market Price: $0.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/228687_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.

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Cyber Dragon Infinity

Market Price: $1.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/147061_200w.jpg

3 Level 6 LIGHT Machine monsters

Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Cyber Dragon Infinity" by using "Cyber Dragon Nova" you control as material. (Transfer its materials to this card.) Gains 200 ATK for each material attached to it. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up Attack Position monster on the field; attach it to this card as a face-up material. Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it.

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Traptrix Rafflesia

Market Price: $6.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122536_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

This card is unaffected by Trap effects while it has Xyz Material. "Traptrix" monsters you control, except "Traptrix Rafflesia", cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. Your opponent cannot target "Traptrix" monsters you control, except "Traptrix Rafflesia", with card effects. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card and send 1 "Hole" Normal Trap Card that meets its activation conditions from your Deck to the Graveyard; this effect becomes that Trap Card's effect when that card is activated.

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Dinomist Charge

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111162_200w.jpg

When this card is activated: Add 1 "Dinomist" monster from your Deck to your hand. Once per turn, if a "Dinomist" card(s) is added from the field to your Extra Deck face-up: Add 1 of those cards to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Dinomist Charge" per turn.

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Abyss Dweller

Market Price: $0.96

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199567_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

While this card has an Xyz Material attached that was originally WATER, all WATER monsters you control gain 500 ATK. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; any card effects that activate in your opponent's Graveyard cannot be activated this turn.

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Floodgate Trap Hole

Market Price: $1.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216684_200w.jpg

When your opponent Summons a monster(s): Change that monster(s) to face-down Defense Position. Monsters changed to face-down Defense Position by this effect cannot change their battle positions.

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Dinomists Howling

Market Price: $0.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/131193_200w.jpg

When this card is activated: You can place 1 or 2 "Dinomist" Pendulum Monster(s) from your Deck in your Pendulum Zone, but you cannot Pendulum Summon monsters until the end of the next turn, except "Dinomist" monsters (even if this card leaves the field). Once per turn, if this card is already face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone: You can Tribute 1 "Dinomist" monster, then target 1 card your opponent controls; return it to the hand.

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Knightmare Phoenix

Market Price: $0.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/228688_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; destroy it, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Phoenix" once per turn. Co-linked monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle.

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The Dinomist monsters themselves want to battle and destroy your opponent's monsters as often as possible. Dinomist Pteran notably searches a Dinomist card when it destroys a monster by battle, and Dinomist Rex can shuffle your opponent's cards in their hand or on their field back into the deck. Cards like Dinomist Plesios will put monsters in range of your attacks, but I really like Floodgate Trap Hole here. It's disruptive, shuts off some forms of Extra Deck summoning, and leaves your opponent's monsters vulnerable to attacks.

Nibiru, the Primal Being is fantastic in any Pendulum deck that can easily recover from having its field tributed, and Gallant Granite lets you double down on that strategy by searching Nibiru directly. This deck wants to simplify the duel as quickly as possible while maintaining its Pendulum scale, and Nibiru, the Primal Being accelerates that game plan perfectly.

What's missing from this deck is a better way to establish a larger set-up much earlier in the duel. The Dinomists themselves don't produce a lot of card advantage on their own, so they're reliant on the Pendulum mechanic to actually build lasting field presence. I suppose it could be worse, but if Dinomists ever want to be a serious competitive strategy they'll need a better way to summon monsters without the up front 2-card investment that the Pendulum mechanic requires.

What Even Is The Lightsworn Deck Without Fairy Tail - Snow?

It's hard to imagine what a Lightsworn deck looks like these days without Fairy Tail - Snow.

Lightsworns became a Rank 4-focused strategy after Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn was released to the masses, and Fairy Tail - Snow was a perfect fit for a theme with dozens of deck milling effects. Cards like Solar Recharge and Charge of the Light Brigade let Lightsworn players see more cards, find combo pieces, and rapidly load the graveyard with fodder for Snow's ability.

There are plenty of ways to play Lightsworns in 2020, but none of them are as strong as older builds with Fairy Tail - Snow. Classic Lightsworns – prominently featuring Judgment Dragon – are also severely outdated, but not entirely unplayable. I couldn't resist the urge to try my hand at summoning Judgment Dragon again, and my build's largely driven by a want to indulge in pure nostalgia for one of the game's earliest themes.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Kelly's Lightsworn Deck by Kelly Locke

'Kelly's Lightsworn Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Kelly Locke

Event:

Rank:

Advanced

Market Price: $222.54

Cards

Felis, Lightsworn Archer

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208971_200w.jpg

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by a card effect. If this card is sent from your Deck to the GY by a monster effect: Special Summon it. You can Tribute this card, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; destroy that target, then send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY.

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Wulf, Lightsworn Beast

Market Price: $0.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/91001_200w.jpg

Cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. When this card is sent from your Deck to the Graveyard: Special Summon it.

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Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion

Market Price: $1.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/158152_200w.jpg

3 monsters with the same Attribute but different Types

If this face-up card is destroyed by battle, or leaves the field because of an opponent's card effect while its owner controls it: You can target 1 card in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use each of the following effects of "Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion" once per turn.
• If this card is Link Summoned: You can send 1 card from your Deck to the GY.
• If a card(s) is sent from your Deck to the GY by an effect: Send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY.

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I:P Masquerena

Market Price: $16.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/200855_200w.jpg

2 non-Link Monsters

During your opponent's Main Phase, you can (Quick Effect): Immediately after this effect resolves, Link Summon 1 Link Monster using materials you control, including this card. You can only use this effect of "I:P Masquerena" once per turn. A Link Monster that used this card as material cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects.

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El Shaddoll Shekhinaga

Market Price: $0.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/209011_200w.jpg

1 "Shaddoll" monster + 1 EARTH monster

Must first be Fusion Summoned. During either player's turn, when a Special Summoned monster activates its effect while you have a "Shaddoll" card in your hand: You can negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that monster, then send 1 "Shaddoll" card from your hand to the Graveyard. You can only use this effect of "El Shaddoll Shekhinaga" once per turn. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 "Shaddoll" Spell/Trap Card in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.

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El Shaddoll Winda

Market Price: $0.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/209010_200w.jpg

1 "Shaddoll" monster + 1 DARK monster

Must first be Fusion Summoned. Cannot be destroyed by an opponent's card effects. Each player can only Special Summon monster(s) once per turn while this card is face-up on the field. If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 "Shaddoll" Spell/Trap in your GY; add it to your hand.

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Evilswarm Exciton Knight

Market Price: $3.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/136857_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

Once per chain, during your Main Phase or your opponent's Battle Phase, if your opponent has more total cards in their hand and field than you do (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; destroy all other cards on the field, also your opponent takes no further damage this turn.

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Tornado Dragon

Market Price: $1.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199571_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy it.

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Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn

Market Price: $1.59

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1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner LIGHT monsters // Once per turn: You can pay 1000 Life Points, then target 1 card on the field; banish that target. When this card is destroyed: You can target any number of other "Lightsworn" monsters in your Graveyard; shuffle them into the Deck, and if you do, you gain 300 Life Points for each returned card. During each of your End Phases: Send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard.

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Starliege Seyfert

Market Price: $8.24

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You can send any number of Dragon monsters from your hand and/or face-up field to the GY; add 1 Dragon monster from your Deck to your hand, whose Level equals the total original Levels of those monsters sent to the GY. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 Level 8 LIGHT or DARK Dragon monster in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Starliege Seyfert" once per turn.

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Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos

Market Price: $97.37

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3 monsters with different names

If this card was Link Summoned using a Level 7 or higher monster(s) as material, your opponent cannot target it with card effects, also it cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects. When this card destroys an opponent's monster by battle: You can activate 1 of these effects;
• This card gains 1500 ATK.
• This card can make a second attack during the Battle Phase of your next turn.
• Banish 1 card on the field.

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Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner

Market Price: $0.33

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Once per turn: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Level 4 or lower "Lightsworn" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target. During each of your End Phases: Send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard. You must control this face-up card to activate and to resolve this effect.

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Judgment Dragon

Market Price: $0.41

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Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by having 4 or more "Lightsworn" monsters with different names in your Graveyard, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. You can pay 1000 Life Points; destroy all other cards on the field. During each of your End Phases: Send the top 4 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard.

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Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

Market Price: $0.19

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During your Main Phase: You can target 1 Spell/Trap Card your opponent controls; change this card you control from face-up Attack Position to face-up Defense Position, and destroy that target, but this card's battle position cannot be changed until the end of your next turn, except with a card effect. During each of your End Phases: Send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard. You must control this face-up card to activate and to resolve this effect.

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Danger!? Jackalope?

Market Price: $1.59

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You can reveal this card in your hand; your opponent randomly chooses 1 card from your entire hand, then you discard the chosen card. Then, if the discarded card was not "Danger!? Jackalope?", Special Summon 1 "Danger!? Jackalope?" from your hand, and if you do, draw 1 card. If this card is discarded: You can Special Summon 1 "Danger!" monster from your Deck in Defense Position, except "Danger!? Jackalope?". You can only use this effect of "Danger!? Jackalope?" once per turn.

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Danger!? Tsuchinoko?

Market Price: $13.14

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You can reveal this card in your hand; your opponent randomly chooses 1 card from your entire hand, then you discard the chosen card. Then, if the discarded card was not "Danger!? Tsuchinoko?", Special Summon 1 "Danger!? Tsuchinoko?" from your hand, and if you do, draw 1 card. If this card is discarded: You can Special Summon this card. You can only use this effect of "Danger!? Tsuchinoko?" once per turn.

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El Shaddoll Fusion

Market Price: $0.39

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Fusion Summon 1 "Shaddoll" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or field as Fusion Material. You can only activate 1 "El Shaddoll Fusion" per turn.

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White Dragon Wyverburster

Market Price: $0.31

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Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by banishing 1 DARK monster from your Graveyard, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. You can only Special Summon "White Dragon Wyverburster" once per turn this way. If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can add 1 "Black Dragon Collapserpent" from your Deck to your hand.

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Shaddoll Dragon

Market Price: $0.48

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FLIP: You can target 1 card your opponent controls; return it to the hand.

If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy it. You can only use 1 "Shaddoll Dragon" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Black Dragon Collapserpent

Market Price: $0.25

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Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT monster from your Graveyard, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. You can only Special Summon "Black Dragon Collapserpent" once per turn this way. If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can add 1 "White Dragon Wyverburster" from your Deck to your hand.

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Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn

Market Price: $0.26

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During your Main Phase: You can send the top 2 cards of your Deck to the GY, then if any "Lightsworn" monsters were sent to the GY by this effect, this card gains 200 ATK until the end of your opponent's turn. You can only use this effect of "Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn" once per turn. Once per turn, during your End Phase: Send the top 2 cards of your Deck to the GY.

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Shaddoll Beast

Market Price: $0.24

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FLIP: You can draw 2 cards, then discard 1 card.

If this card is sent to the GY by a card effect: You can draw 1 card. You can only use 1 "Shaddoll Beast" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Charge of the Light Brigade

Market Price: $1.00

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Send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard; add 1 Level 4 or lower "Lightsworn" monster from your Deck to your hand.

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Performage Trick Clown

Market Price: $0.18

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If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 "Performage" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it, its ATK and DEF become 0, then you take 1000 damage. You can only use this effect of "Performage Trick Clown" once per turn.

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Shaddoll Fusion

Market Price: $1.34

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Fusion Summon 1 "Shaddoll" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or field as Fusion Material. If your opponent controls a monster that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, you can also use monsters in your Deck as Fusion Material. You can only activate 1 "Shaddoll Fusion" per turn.

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Borreload Savage Dragon

Market Price: $15.21

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1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

If this card is Synchro Summoned: You can equip 1 Link Monster from your GY to this card, and if you do, place Borrel Counters on this card equal to that Link Monster's Link Rating. This card gains ATK equal to half the ATK of the monster equipped to it by its effect. When your opponent activates a card or effect (Quick Effect): You can remove 1 Borrel Counter from this card; negate the activation. You can only use this effect of "Borreload Savage Dragon" once per turn.

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Foolish Burial

Market Price: $0.48

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Send 1 monster from your Deck to the Graveyard.

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Heroic Challenger - Thousand Blades

Market Price: $0.36

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Once per turn, if this card is in Attack Position: You can discard 1 "Heroic" card; you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except "Heroic" monsters, also Special Summon 1 "Heroic" monster from your Deck, and if you do, change this card to Defense Position. When you take damage while this card is in your Graveyard: You can Special Summon this card in Attack Position. You can only use this effect of "Heroic Challenger - Thousand Blades" once per turn.

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Knightmare Unicorn

Market Price: $0.99

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2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.

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Danger! Nessie!

Market Price: $4.64

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You can reveal this card in your hand; your opponent randomly chooses 1 card from your entire hand, then you discard the chosen card. Then, if the discarded card was not "Danger! Nessie!", Special Summon 1 "Danger! Nessie!" from your hand, and if you do, draw 1 card. If this card is discarded: You can add 1 "Danger!" card from your Deck to your hand, except "Danger! Nessie!". You can only use this effect of "Danger! Nessie!" once per turn.

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Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn

Market Price: $12.74

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2 Level 4 monsters

You can detach 1 material from this card; send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY, then draw cards equal to the number of "Lightsworn" cards sent to the GY by this effect. If this card is destroyed by battle, or if this card in its owner's possession is destroyed by an opponent's card effect: You can send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY, then you can destroy cards on the field up to the number of "Lightsworn" cards sent to the GY by this effect. You can only use each effect of "Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn" once per turn.

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Solar Recharge

Market Price: $0.91

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Discard 1 "Lightsworn" monster; draw 2 cards, then send the top 2 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard.

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El Shaddoll Construct

Market Price: $0.95

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1 "Shaddoll" monster + 1 LIGHT monster

Must first be Fusion Summoned. If this card is Special Summoned: You can send 1 "Shaddoll" card from your Deck to the GY. At the start of the Damage Step, if this card battles a Special Summoned monster: Destroy that monster. If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 "Shaddoll" Spell/Trap in your GY; add it to your hand.

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F.A. Dawn Dragster

Market Price: $0.93

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1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

Gains ATK equal to its Level x 300. If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage. Each time a “F.A.” Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated: You can increase this card’s Level by 1. Once per turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card or effect (Quick Effect): you can reduce this card’s Level by 2, and if you you do, negate the activation, and if you do that, destroy that card.

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Shaddoll Falco

Market Price: $0.15

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FLIP: You can target 1 "Shaddoll" monster in your GY, except "Shaddoll Falco"; Special Summon it in face-down Defense Position.

If this card is sent to the GY by a card effect: You can Special Summon it in face-down Defense Position. You can only use 1 "Shaddoll Falco" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend

Market Price: $0.57

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1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters

This card's name becomes "Red Dragon Archfiend" while it is on the field or in the Graveyard. Once per turn: You can destroy as many Special Summoned Effect Monsters on the field as possible with ATK less than or equal to this card's (other than this card), then inflict 500 damage to your opponent for each monster destroyed.

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There are a huge number of potential bricks in this deck list, but I've been enjoying a bold approach against more timid and less explosive strategies. Between Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, Felis, Lightsworn Archer, Shaddoll Falco and Performage Trick Clown there are nine monsters in this deck that instantly summon themselves from the graveyard when they're sent there from the deck. The conditions on each monster are a little different – for example, Felis, Lightsworn Archer needs to be sent to the graveyard by a monster effect to summon itself, while Performage Trick Clown merely needs to hit the graveyard from anywhere.

All of those summons are angling towards getting Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn on the field. Its effect loads your graveyard, nets extra draws, and if it's destroyed by a card effective it'll likely take a few of your opponent's cards with it. Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn also happens to be generic, so you can leverage all kinds of Level 4 extenders to summon it without even touching your Lightsworn monsters.

I ended up dusting off the old Clown Blade engine and putting it to use here, and I was honestly surprised at how well it's held up over the years. Performage Trick Clown's a no-brainer here, and sending it to the graveyard to summon Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion generates an extra free Rank 4 if you send Heroic Challenger - Thousand Blades with Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion effect.

Starliege Seyfert's the new stand in for Eclipse Wyvern, and it's occasionally a useful Normal Summon. For the most part you'll want to stick to summoning Lumina, Lightsworn Sorceress from your hand, or maybe Raiden if you can land a Level 4 extender. Remember that Lumina, Lightsworn Sorceress targets after you discard, so as long as you have one Lightsworn in your graveyard you can activate Lumina, Lightsworn Sorceress and discard the monster you plan to summon. A small Danger! package helps unclog your hand slightly, but it'll be hard to win without seeing either Solar Recharge of Charge of the Light Brigade.

You could go all-in on a Shaddoll hybrid, or try to leverage the new chaos cards from Toon Chaos alongside the Twilightsworns, but I'm not a big fan of the conditions the Twilightsworn support cards. More importantly, Punishment Dragon just isn't as much fun as Judgment Dragon.

Lightsworns could see a huge boost in their effectiveness with a new Main Deck monster that better links the theme together. A monster that Special Summons itself from the hand by discarding a Lightsworn, then sends a Lightsworn from the deck to the graveyard would be a huge boost to the deck's ability to consistently land monsters on the field. It would also bring you within striking range of Judgment Dragon earlier in the duel. As with Mermails the TCG will need to be careful to avoid fueling too many other graveyard-focused strategies with a new card. Lightsworns have been shoehorned into many different strategies, but this is a great opportunity for a dedicated version of the deck to truly shine.

When I returned to the game in 2008 I was immediately faced with three extraordinary powerful strategies: Lightsworn, Gladiator Beasts, and Tele-DAD. All three decks were incredibly expensive, but over time the cost of Lightsworns plummeted as the deck's key cards were slowly but surely reprinted. I made a joke years ago that nearly everyone who came to my local shop ended up building Lightsworns at one point or another. It's been years since that statement was true – Lightsworns are just too antiquated now – but that might change if they win the Create-A-Card Project.

Until next time then

-Kelly