Trudge might've been a bit of a chump in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, but some of his cards made the leap to the real world quite well. Let's start by looking at a monster card that won't be starting any revolutions any time soon, but that may have a supporting role in future strategies.
Assault Dog's like a Level 4 Hyena. It's kind of similar to Ra's Disciple, but it's a Beast so it works with a variety of different support cards, including Closed Forest. It's searchable with Moja; it can sucker your opponent into giving you a +2 with Horn of the Phantom Beast; and it works wonders with The Big March of Animals. Because Assault Dog lets you take two hits while still keeping a Beast on the field it's pretty nice with The Big Cattle Drive, and it can create pluses with Behemoth the King of All Animals. The quick plus the Dogs give you make them a natural fit for Beast Soul Swap, too.
More important than all of that, Assault Dog doesn't restrict your Special Summons. That's really sweet because it means you can set or suicide one Assault Dog to Summon two more, then go straight into a Rank 4. It's also a very fast way to thin your deck, load your graveyard, and set up for an early game Soul Charge.
As an Earth monster it works nicely with Level 1 and 2 Earth Tuners for Naturia Beast and Naturia Barkion as well, and can even lead into Naturia Landoise off Emergency Teleport. I doubt anyone's going to be rushing out to build an Assault Dog deck any time soon, but the card fills a number of roles for the under-supported Beast strategy and it does some clever stuff. It could be a useful piece of a bigger puzzle.
It's generally going to be easier to destroy your opponent's Field Spell than simply leave it on the table and negate its effects with Gate Blocker, but what this card lacks in utility to makes up for with variety. Keeping your opponent from placing counters on the field is a very narrow ability, but Gate Blocker's third effect – which stops your opponent from targeting your other monsters – is more widely applicable.
It's an intriguing little curiosity that doesn't seem useful right now, but could be worth remembering in the future if we see more powerful Field Spells or strategies that rely on counters.
Wiretap's quickly emerged as one of the most competitive cards in Dragons of Legend, immediately seeing tons of Regional Top 8 success in its first weekend and growing even more popular in the week that followed. For years, Seven Tools of the Bandit's been the go-to trap negation option at Spell Speed 3. Alternatives like Malfunction and Dark Bribe never came close, and there's never been a comparable card to take its place.
But that's exactly what Wiretap does: while Seven Tools has an activation cost Wiretap's free to play, at a time when every Life Point is precious. The more Life Points you have, the more you can do with Soul Charge, plus accompanying cards like Solemn Warning and Skill Drain. While Seven Tools destroys whatever trap it negates, Wiretap puts that trap card back into your opponent's deck. On the surface that may seem like a negative, since your opponent could reuse powerful trap cards. But if you think about it even briefly, the benefits are pretty clear: you can clog your opponent's draws, keep your Life Points, and force your opponent to draw costed traps they won't be able to afford. Paying 4000 Life Points for two Solemn Warnings in one duel is almost unimaginable these days. Discarding a card for Phoenix Wing Wind Blast or Raigeki Break, only to lose the effect and then draw another Wind Blast or Break shortly thereafter is wince-worthy. Even decks like Mythic Rulers, which try to make the most of their discard costs, could have a problem with that scenario.
Meanwhile Primal Origin's set to unleash Artifact Sanctum, a trap card that actively punishes you with a -2 if you destroy it. Seven Tools of the Bandit would trigger its effect and unleash game-losing effects; Wiretap just negates it at activation, robs your opponent of all of its effects, and then pops it back into your opponent's deck so you can frustrate them again later.
There's a very good chance that you're already running Wiretap, but if you aren't, you should definitely be considering it. It's useful in almost any matchup, and it becomes hugely important once Artifacts hit tournament play next week.
Easily one of the most underrated cards from Dragons of Legend, Construction Train Signal Red deserves to be seeing way more play. The first splashable hand trap in the game that can protect monsters, Train Signal Red swerves any attack toward itself and then requires a second attack to destroy. Fail to destroy it and it becomes potential Xyz Material next turn. It's a Level 3 Earth so it works with Crane Crane, and you can use it as Xyz Material for Meliae of the Trees or Soul of Silvermountain. It can protect Naturia Barkion or Naturia Beast from an attack, or serve as one of their Synchro Materials in the first place. It's even got a solid 1000 ATK.
And it's searchable! Geargia have been tearing it up over the last two weeks in Regionals, and since Construction Train Signal Red is a Machine monster, Gear Gigant X can search it straight from your deck. That's awesome because once you search Train Signal Red, it helps you keep Gear Gigant X on the table so you can make another search. Between Train Signal Red and the anti-Bujin, anti-Noble Knight, anti-Lightsworn card Ally of Justice Cycle Reader – which actually saw Top 8 success a week and a half ago – Gear Gigant X is suddenly becoming a control engine on top of everything it was before.
Need to defend yourself instead of your monsters? Make no Mistake, Construction Train Signal Red can do that too. You don't have to control a monster to activate its ability, so while it won't be quite as good as Swift Scarecrow when you need to block a swarm of three or more monsters, it's very similar to the defensive applications of Ghostrick Jack Frost. It's pretty rare for your opponent to control three attackers in any situation where just one of them could take you out anyways, especially since you get to choose which one to railroad with Train Signal Red.
Super-cool card, super underplayed, could be a big factor this WCQ season.
Generally speaking, any Quick-Play that lets you change out one monster for another during the Battle Phase is at least worth reading. The ability to throw down another attacker and potentially end games off one card when your opponent can't anticipate the move is always inherently valuable. The question is, how do you get the most out of the particular card in question, and does it come with added value?
In the case of something like Cunning of the Six Samurai where you're just recycling cards you've already Summoned, the added value's usually pretty low. But in the case of Rank-Up-Magic Quick Chaos, playing the right cards can get you to some pretty awesome monsters that would be difficult to field otherwise.
To play Quick Chaos you need to control a "Number" Xyz Monster with a corresponding "Number C" Xyz one Rank above it. That's tricky because while there are lots of Number and Number C pairings, the bulk of them require three or more Xyz Materials for the smaller monster. Right off the bat, those are all off the table for serious competition. But if you sift through the grit you do find two gems: Number 39: Utopia and Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder.
Both of these monsters need only two Xyz Materials, and both are Summoned regularly in a number of different decks anyways. You can Summon Utopia in virtually anything that makes Rank 4's, and from there you'll unleash any of its three Number C versions: Number C39: Utopia Ray for its ATK manipulation; Number C39: Utopia Ray V for its monster destruction and burn damage; or the even bigger Number C39: Utopia Ray Victory for its Honest ability and negation tricks.
Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder's picked up a lot of popularity in anything that can make Rank 8's the past week, from Mythic Rulers to Lightsworn and beyond. It's a stellar out to Soul Charge when your opponent consolidates their Summons, dishing out bonus damage if they decided to make Xyz Summons. Flattening your opponent's field with Giant Grinder, then overlaying it for Number C15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Hunter upgrades it by 1000 ATK and gives you a free piece of spot removal.
While Giant Hunter can pop a monster for even more damage, it can also destroy non-monster cards in Main Phase 2 if need be, or eliminate a backrow card before you make an attack. You won't get the double-attack play off that sequence, but since you're wiping up to three monsters off your opponent's field and dishing out some hurt, or reserving the ability to demolish a non-monster card while threatening a direct attack for 2500 battle damage, it seems reasonable.
Like many of the Rank-Up-Magics this card's better than it looks. Rank-Up-Magic Quick Chaos is actually pretty straightforward once you filter through all the sub-optimal things it can do, so I could see it popping up in fringe strategies in the future.
Playable off Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force on Queen Dragun Djinn, Number C5: Chaos Chimera Dragon's more accessible than you might think. While its multi-attack effect could be useful, I think it's the card-recycling ability that might put it on the map. There's probably something really busted you can do with that effect, repeatedly reusing something turn after turn. If that's not the case already it probably will be in the future.
I'm pretty sure that at some point we're all going to hate this card. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow. But someday.
By now you hopefully know that Fire Hand and Ice Hand are amazing. They've seen Top 8 Regional play in both weekends of competition since Dragons of Legend became tournament legal, and they've made those Top 8 finishes in both Main Deck and Side Deck roles. Fire Hand destroys monsters, so it's extremely popular right now as an answer to stuff like Evilswarm Ophion; just set Fire Hand, let your opponent run it over, and pop their attacker. Since you Special Summon Ice Hand straight from your deck moments later it's a straight +1 that sets you up to make even more pluses.
At the same time you can also ram Fire Hand or Ice Hand aggressively, ideally leading with Ice Hand to pop a back row; dropping Fire Hand to ram and destroy a monster; and then continuing on with another Ice Hand. These cards work as both aggressive kamikazes, and surprising set cards when your opponent has a threatening backrow or you just want to play to a slower pace. The sheer volume of stuff Fire Hand and Ice Hand beat can be sort of surprising. Sure, attacking or being attacked is one thing, but how about setting Fire Hand and baiting out an opposing Ghostrick Alucard? Or Scrap Dragon?
Ice Hand can address even more cards in that context, since it can alienate your opponent from Torrential Tribute or Dark Hole by threatening their backrow. Both Hands are practically immune to mass destruction anyways since each will just Summon the other to plus off your opponent's removal – Ice Hand just has the extra 'oomph' of taking a spell or trap card with it.
Since Ice Hand pops spells and traps, it's a stellar answer to bothersome floodgate tech like Imperial Iron Wall. Remember, while the Hands do need to destroy a card to Special Summon, the Summon's actually optional: that makes Ice Hand an out to Vanity's Emptiness, which it can destroy just in time to cash in on the free Special Summon.
The Hands are awesome for slow decks because they can equalize big established fields in the early game, often becoming a +4 of card economy or better. At the same time, fast explosive strategies can use them to answer the Continuous backrow cards that might pin them down in Games 2 and 3 otherwise. The Hands can fuel Dragon Ruler banishings and Pot of Dichotomy, too. They're bound to be some of the most important cards this WCQ season, so if you're not playing them already you may want to consider them very carefully.
As a long-time fan of the Galaxy-Eyes theme, Lillybot's one of my favorite cards in the set! There's so much to love here. Right off the bat, Lillybot lets you make a 1-for-1 Rank 4 Xyz whenever you have Orbital 7 in the Graveyard. That's awesome, giving you easy access to some of the best Xyz in the game. Not only can you Summon any generic Rank 4 you want, but the shared Machine typing makes Gear Gigant X possible, while their Light attributes mean you can Summon Constellar Omega or Starliege Paladynamo.
At the same time, Lillybot and Orbital 7 can do so much more. One of the big challenges for any Galaxy-Eyes strategy is the number of Level 8 dead draws you need to play: generally three Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon and at least two copies of Galaxy Knight. Those cards are awesome when you've got the right set-up to support them, but when you don't, they sit in your hand and lose you games by not doing anything. Lillybot fixes that by letting you Tribute Machines like itself and Orbital 7 to Special Summon those cards straight from your hand. That can be a -1, giving up Lillybot and Orbital 7 together to shift cards from your hand onto the field. But if you only need to play one card that means you only have to make one Tribute… and since Lillybot hits the table as a +1 anyways, you'll actually break even.
At the same time you can unlock both of Orbital 7's abilities as well, since Lillybot can Summon it face-up. That lets you Tribute Orbital 7 to recover a Photon or Galaxy monster from your graveyard, or you can Summon it face-down to get its You Got It Boss! counter. The recovery effect's especially good: you can Summon Lillybot, revive Orbital 7 to Tribute it and get back a Galaxy-Eyes, and then Tribute Lillybot to place Galaxy-Eyes onto the field. Alternatively you can take back Paladin of Photon Dragon when you've already Ritual Summoned it once before, banish the necessary cards from your Graveyard, and put the Paladin right back into play for free to score immediate pluses with its effect (or to unleash another Galaxy-Eyes).
I haven't gotten around to it yet, but the moment I get the chance I'm totally building a Lillybot deck. It just tickles me on every level; the card's way better than it has any right to be.
And that's it! Dragons of Legend is only 51 cards deep, but we talked about 36 of them over the past three days. I don't think anyone really expected Dragons of Legend to be much more than some fan service and nostalgia, but it's wound up being one of the most competitive, creative, and innovative sets we've ever seen.
So many of these cards are so deep and so rich in design, and I only had limited space to discuss them in this Set Review. What are your favorite cards from DRLG? What Little Details do you love, that I didn't mention? I'm in no way tired of talking about this set, so shout out your thoughts down in the Comments!