The second wave of previews for the OCG Structure Deck R: Dragunity Drive landed last week with a showcase of two brand-new monsters: Dragunity Legatus and Dragunity Remus. I covered the first batch of new cards coming to the Structure Deck last month when Dragunity Knight - Areabhair, Dragunity Arma Gram, and Dragunity Glow were first revealed. I highly recommend you check out that article if you want a close-up look at what the high Level Dragunity cards bring to the theme, but we'll also be talking about them quite a bit in this article.
Speaking of which – this week's article is focused on how Legatus and Remus are transforming the traditional Dragunity playstyle by finally breaking its dependence on Normal Summons!
Legatus and Remus are the support that Dragunity players have been asking for, literally for years. Both monsters feature a Special Summon effect and an additional effect that patches a longstanding vulnerability in the Dragunity strategy. They're incredibly important additions to the theme and are central players in most of the strategy's starting combos. They open up a world of possibilities for Dragunity players, including Turn 1 access to Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon without using your Normal Summon, and within just five summons to dodge Nibiru, the Primal Being.
Dragunity Legatus is the only new Winged Beast monster in Structure Deck R: Dragunity Drive , and unlike Dragunity Dux and Dragunity Senatus it doesn't have an effect that equips a Dragunity monster to it.
Instead, Legatus plays the role of an extender much like Garuda the Wind Spirit, but it has a few key advantages that make it a stronger choice. Garuda the Wind Spirit often a liability in the early game because it can't be Normal Summoned, and it doesn't help that you'll need to load a Wind monster to the graveyard to Special Summon it. Legatus, on the other hand, can be freely Normal Summoned or Special Summoned with an empty graveyard, and that's a significant advantage over a card that requires at least some set-up.
Let's outline Legatus' first effect: if you control a Dragunity monster or Dragon Ravine you can Special Summon Legatus from your hand. That activated effect can only be used once per turn, so I'd still recommend playing Garuda the Wind Spirit as an additional extender. The big benefit here is that Legatus skips over your Normal Summon entirely, freeing it up for more impactful cards like Dragunity Dux and Dragunity Senatus.
That said, you can also use Legatus to salvage a poor starting hand. Imagine opening the duel with some nightmare combination of cards – there's no Dragon Ravine in sight, but you do have Legatus and either Draguntiy Phalanx or Dragunity Couse. You can Normal Summon Dragunity Phalanx or Dragunity Couse and then Special Summon Legatus to set the conditions for a Dragunity Knight Synchro Summon, or the Link Summon of Dragunity Knight - Romulus. That's something you can't do with Dragunity Dux or Garuda the Wind Spirit unless you have a way to dump a Dragunity into the graveyard.
The second major advantage of Dragunity Legatus is simply that it's searchable. You can add Legatus directly off of Dragunity Ravine and Special Summon it immediately. Garuda the Wind Spirit largely unsearchable outside of Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg, but you can find Legatus with the theme's central search effect. Legatus is also a superior extender because you can equip it with Dragunity Divine Lance, which means you can easily summon a generic Level 8 Synchro, a Level 10 Dragunity Synchro, or Dragunity Knight – Romulus without using your Normal Summon. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to do that, but we'll cover those shortly.
Finally, Legatus comes packaged with dedicated spell and trap removal with surprisingly easy activation conditions. If you have a Dragunity monster in your backrow you can target a spell or trap on the field and destroy it. That effect – like Legatus' first effect – can only be activated once per turn, but it's a free piece of backrow removal that's been missing from the strategy for years. Dragunity Legionnaire and Dragunity Aklys used to serve as the deck's go-to removal effects outside of the extra, but there's simply not enough time to indulge in those cards today. Legatus' backrow removal's a fantastic bonus, but I wouldn't rely on it. You'll still want to side aggressively for floodgates and backrow-heavy strategies.
Nearly all of the best tuners in Yu-Gi-Oh are designed to offer two chances at being used for a Synchro Summon. Plaguespreader Zombie was immensely popular upon release because it gave you a chance to Synchro Summon a lower Level monster before using it again to Summon something like Goyo Guardian, Black Rose Dragon or Stardust Dragon. Spore, Fishborg Blaster and Glow-Up Bulb are all either on the Forbidden & Limited List today, or spent time on it in the past thanks to effects that Special Summoned them from the graveyard. Jet Synchron's currently Forbidden in the OCG for the same reason.
Recycling tuners is incredibly on-brand for Dragunity, but Dragunity Remus is an entirely new breed of repeatable Summoning. Notably, Remus can't Special Summon itself from the spell & trap zone, so equipping it to a monster probably isn't ideal without Dragunity Glow. However, since Remus can Special Summon itself from the graveyard it's unlikely you'll be equipping it to a monster in the first place. Remus' second effect requires you to have a Dragunity monster on your field already, but that's easily accomplished thanks toLegatus. Remus' first effect actually sets up Legatus by searching Dragon Ravine, acting as three more copies of Terraforming.
Activating Remus' second effect will prevent you from summoning non-Dragons from your Extra Deck for the rest of the turn, but that's nothing new to Dragunity players who've already been running Dragunity Senataus. More importantly, Remus shares the same restriction as Dragunity Couse: you can only use it for the Synchro Summon of a Dragunity monster.
You can navigate around that restriction – and Remus' missing 'Special Summon while equipped' effect – by first Summoning Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg, then activating its ability to add and discard Mist Valley Baby Roc. The Mist Valley Baby Roc will Special Summon itself from the graveyard, and you can then Synchro Summon Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon with Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg and Mist Valley Baby Roc. If you have a Dragunity Phalanx or Dragunity Couse in your graveyard already you can simply Summon Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana and jump right to Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon or the Level 10 Dragunity Knight - Areadbhair .
Here's what the deck could look like once we get all the cards.
3 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
3 Dragunity Legatus
3 Dragunity Remus
3 Dragunity Phalanx
2 Dragunity Arma Mystletainn
2 Dragunity Dux
2 Garuda the Wind Spirit
1 Dragunity Senatus
1 Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
1 Amorphage Goliath
1 Dragunity Arma Gram
1 Dragunity Arma Leyvaten
1 Mist Valley Baby Roc
3 Dragon Ravine
3 Dragunity Glow
3 Dragunity Divine Lance
3 Called by the Grave
1 Monster Reborn
1 Foolish Burial
Extra Deck: 15
2 Dragunity Knight - Romulus
1 Guardragon Elpy
1 Guardragon Pisty
1 Crystron Halqifibrax
1 Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres
1 Darkness Metal, the Dragon of Dark Steel
1 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum
1 Dragunity Knight - Vajrayana
1 Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Borreload Savage Dragon
1 Dragunity Knight - Barcha
1 Dragunity Knight - Ascalon
1 Dragunity Knight - Areadbhair
Right now, the Dragunity deck of today is a fragile combo strategy designed to take full advantage of Guardragon Elpy and Guardragon Pisty. When the new cards from the upcoming Structure Deck are added to the mix there's a noticeable shift in how important the Guardragon combos are, and the deck's ability to jump away from Guardragon Elpy and Guardragon Pisty in a pinch makes it a more dangerous match-up.
You'll often find yourself prioritizing old school combos with Hieratic Dragon Seal of Atum thanks to the extra summoning power provided by Legatus and Remus. Basically, you'll summon two Level 6 monsters – typically Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg and Dragunity Arma Mystletainn – and overlay both for Hieratic Dragon Seal of Atum to summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon or Dragunity Arma Leyvaten from the deck.
Your best Synchros are your negation bodies: Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, the new Dragunity Knight - Areadbhair with its monster effect negation, and Borreload Savage Dragon. Those are the cards you want on your field at the end of your first turn alongside Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres. Spheres will grab Amorphage Goliath when it's tributed to lock down your opponent's Extra Deck, and your Synchros will keep your opponent from resolving their card effects.
Dark Ruler No More is a massive threat to your set-up, but you can also run a copy of Amorphage Lechery to play alongside Amorphage Goliath. Amorphage Lechery tricky to get into play – you'll need to get it with Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg and discard another Winged Beast or Dragon when resolving Dragunity Knight - Gae Dearg effect.
Going first and presenting an impressive board full of interruption puts tremendous pressure on your opponent, challenging them to wipe out your field presence completely. If they leave you with a partial field, there's a very real possibility you might be able to reconstruct your field with recovery cards like Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and its Link counterpart Darkness Metal, the Dragon of Dark Steel. Dragunity Arma Gram, Dragunity Arma Leyvaten and Remus can summon themselves from the graveyard provided their conditions are met, and Monster Reborn can deliver a huge amount of value either mid-combo or after you've lost your field. Areadbhair even features a punishment mechanic that wipes out your opponent's backrow if it's destroyed by a card effect.
This deck is still vulnerable to interruption, so Called by the Grave is practically mandatory. Luckily it's significantly less vulnerable to a singleton hand trap thanks to the new cards. Going second is a challenge, but Legatus can help you push through backrow and Dragunity Knight - Ascalon can easily dispatch your opponent's field. If Dragunity Knight - Ascalon destroyed in the process you can then Summon Dragunity Knight - Barcha and potentially equip a full set of five Dragunity monsters to it from your graveyard. Dragunity Knight - Barcha also sets up combos with Dragunity Glow's graveyard effect, which lets you summon any monster currently equipped to a Dragunity you control. Yes, that means you can even summon a Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon that's equipped to a Leyvaten.
The revisited Dragunity strategy trends back to its roots with a focus on a toolbox Extra Deck of Synchros rather than the Link-focused Guardragon builds from earlier this year. The new version of this deck has a lot of room to grow, and we might see some major changes to existing Links before these cards arrive in the TCG. Guardragons and Crystron Halqifibrax could be on the chopping block whenever tournaments resume. And there's one last caveat here: a new V-JUMP promo named Dragunity Guisarme. It's a Level 3 Dragon, but we don't know anything more about it right now. It could fundamentally change how the deck operates, or it might be a one-of tech. It's hard to know, but I'll be back to cover it if it ends up changing the way the deck plays.
For now, the Dragunity deck has new life, and I'm excited to see how the OCG tackles it when the Structure Deck releases there next month.
Until next time then