If you're like me you've probably been holding off on building Cyber Dragons for a while! Cyber Emergency's price point made the deck incredibly expensive while the deck largely underperformed, but that changed last week when Cyber Emergency was reprinted in Duel Overload.

Cyber Dragons were also untouched by the latest Forbidden & Limited List, which could make them a bigger competitive threat next format. There's never been a better time to build pure Cyber Dragons, so this week we'll be covering deck construction, basic combos, and some match-up knowledge to help you get into the action.

If you've wanted to play the deck but didn't know the key plays, didn't have a build and didn't know where to start, you're in luck: this is your guide to Cyber Dragons.

2020 Cyber Dragons With The New Master Rule
Cyber Dragon builds have changed tremendously over the years, with Orcust variants representing most of the big successes from 2019.

In a post-Orcust Harp Horror world there's much less incentive to build a hybrid Cyber Dragon deck because you're no longer prioritizing Link Summons; you won't need them nearly as much when Master Rule 5 rolls in five days from now. Virtually all of the theme's real power comes from its Fusion and Xyz Monsters, and the deck's significantly stronger now that it can Summon those monsters without setting up Linked Zones first.

That's a massively important change that helps to simplify deck building, and it's a major competitive advantage over strategies that still need Links. You can now jump straight to your best Extra Deck monsters and skip the multi-step process that was previously needed to get your Chimeratech Fusions and Cyber Dragon Infinity to the field.

Pure builds of Cyber Dragons wield a superb mix of consistency and aggressiive power, and the most streamlined approach in modern Yu-Gi-Oh! leverages some new cards. Predaplant Verte Anaconda's a fantastic addition to the Extra Deck and a game-winning monster by itself. We'll talk about its uses later, although it's worth noting that it's not specifically a must-play. It's really important In higher levels of competition, but you won't need it for the deck to baseline function.

That leaves Cyberload Fusion as the only other card in the deck over $20, and there's no getting around the fact that it's fantastic in Cyber Dragons. The good news is that you only need one copy. Here's an example build so you can see what we're talking about.

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The core build of Cyber Dragons focuses on two things: narrowing the scope of plays to focus on the best cards in the Extra Deck – namely Cyber Dragon Infinity and Chimeratech Rampage Dragon – and outplaying your opponent's interruptions. A simplified version like this one isn't terribly fancy, but it does exactly what it needs to do by Summoning Infinity and Rampage as quickly as possible; that means you'll dispatch your opponent's monsters and backrow before entering the Battle Phase, freeing you up to take easy wins.

You'll play Main Deck cards like Evenly Matched and Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju to take full advantage of the fact that this deck wants to play second in almost every match-up, but that doesn't mean the deck can't be effective when you're playing first. It's more balanced than it might appear.

Combo Starters
Cyber Dragon Core's the one monster you'll want to see in your opening hand every game. It's the only Cyber Dragon that benefits from being Normal Summoned instead of Special Summoned, and its search effect helps get the ball rolling on the Cyber Dragon engine by finding Cyber Emergency, Cyber Revsystem, Cyberload Fusion, Cybernetic Overflow, or Cyber Repair Plant.

In a best case opening you'll also have Machine Duplication ready to go after resolving Core's effect. Not only is Core a valid target for Machine Duplication, it's also named 'Cyber Dragon' on the field. As a result you'll be Special Summoning two copies of the original 2100 ATK Cyber Dragon from your deck if you manage to resolve Duplication.

You can make plays even if you don't start with Cyber Dragon Core, but it's typically better to resolve Core early in the turn if you can. Fresh off its DUOV reprint, Cyber Emergency can quickly search Core from your deck.

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Both cards are fantastic in the early game and they're excellent ways to start your turn, provided you have enough extenders to do something meaningful with the new opening you've created. Cyber Dragon Nachster pairs up nicely with the deck's discard outlets by Summoning Cyber Dragon from the graveyard, so it's often a priority on Turn 1 when you can't find Cyber Dragon Core.

Combo Extenders
Just about every monster in the deck can be played as an extender in some fashion.

Your first goal is typically to Summon Cyber Dragon Infinity by overlaying Cyber Dragon Nova, and that's largely because Infinity can negate Nibiru, the Primal Being and let you combo off. Like other combo decks you're obviously invested in not losing your field to a single hand trap on your own turn, and Infinity can hit the field right as you reach your fifth Summon.

Cyber Dragon Nova's an important stop off point whether you're making a beeline for Infinity or not. Its Special Summon effect returns a Cyber Dragon to the field from the graveyard, which effectively makes Nova's Summon an upgrade of a single Cyber Dragon or Galaxy Soldier.

Speaking of Galaxy Soldier: it's hard to ask for a better Level 5 extender than one that immediately replaces itself on Summon. Much like Cyber Dragon Nachster, its discard sets you up to Special Summon Nachster and Cyber Dragon Nova, and it can bring Cyber Repair Plant online. Discard outlets are just fantastic in this deck since they can trigger Herz as well, although you'll typically resolve it when you Fusion Summon Chimeratech Rampage Dragon. You can actually use Rampage as an extender if you're not using Predaplant Verte Anaconda to send a Fusion Spell to the graveyard. Sending Herz can recover something from your graveyard while Nachster nets you another two Summons.

End Combo Monsters
You'll want to end on Cyber Dragon Infinity whether you're playing first or second, but after that your choices vary quite a bit based on your match-up and whether you expect to win the duel that turn.

If you're playing second you'll probably end with a field of Infinity, Predaplant Verte Anaconda, Chimeratech Rampage Dragon, and maybe Cyber Dragon Sieger. If you're playing first you might prioritize Artifact Durendal or Constellar Pleiades for disruption on your opponent's turn. Durendal can rip your opponent's entire hand away: just activate Durendal's second effect after your opponent adds a card to their hand, then chain Droll & Lock Bird. Pleiades is stronger on offense, but it's hard to pass up an opportunity to end the duel at practically the beginning of your opponent's turn.

Cyberload Fusion and Cybernetic Overflow are also fantastic disruption effects that you can trigger on your opponent's turn, to either Summon Chimeratech Rampage Dragon and wipe out their backrow, or simply destroy cards by banishing Cyber Dragons. Cyberload Fusion's a great way to get in some extra damage during the Battle Phase too, and if you're angling for an OTK you'll want to search it every time you don't need one of your other Cyber spells.

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Between Rampage and Infinity, Chimeratech Fortress Dragon and Megafleet Dragon, Kaijus and Evenly Matched, this deck has a huge number of ways to dismantle your opponent's set-up and play through disruption. Cyber Dragon Nova's backup plan can Summon Cyber Twin Dragon from the Extra Deck when it's destroyed, and it just demolishes your opponent's field or Life Points in the Battle Phase.

The deck's most basic combos typically see you resolving Machine Duplication on Cyber Dragon Herz, Core, or Nachster to rapidly Summon two copies of Cyber Dragon:

- Normal Summon Cyber Dragon Core and activate its effect to get Cyber Emergency from your deck

- Activate Machine Duplication, targeting Cyber Dragon Core, to Special Summon two Cyber Dragons from your deck

- Link Summon Cyber Dragon Core into Salamangreat Almiraj

- Xyz Summon Cyber Dragon Nova, then activate its first effect by detaching a Cyber Dragon, then Summon that same Cyber Dragon from the graveyard

- Summon Cyber Dragon Infinity using Nova as a material

- Link Summon Predaplant Verte Anaconda with Salamangreat Almiraj and Cyber Dragon

- Activate Anaconda's effect by sending Overload Fusion to Fusion Summon Chimeratech Rampage Dragon, using Cyber Dragon and Cyber Dragon Core from your graveyard

- Activate Chimeratech Rampage Dragon's effect, sending Cyber Dragon Herz and Cyber Dragon Core to the graveyard. Activate Herz to get Cyber Dragon Core back from the graveyard to your hand

Your final field at the end of this combo is Cyber Dragon Infinity, Predaplant Verte Anaconda, and Chimeratech Rampage Dragon, but you have plenty of room to improve it using Nachster and Galaxy Soldier. Anaconda's effect will of course be your last Summon that turn, so hold off on activating it until you've finished Summoning your other Extra Deck monsters.

You can modify this combo a bit by Summoning Cyber Dragon Infinity straight away without activating Nova's Special Summon effect or Summoning Salamangreat Almiraj. Doing so makes Infinity your fifth Summon of the turn and protects your field from Nibiru, the Primal Being. You'll need to make up for the lost Cyber Dragon by Summoning another extender, but this deck's loaded with Special Summons that drop from your hand so that won't be a problem the majority of the time.

Challenging Match-Ups
Cyber Dragons ideally want to play second in most match-ups, but playing through backrow-heavy strategies can be challenging if you're struggling to Summon Chimeratech Rampage Dragon.

Generic backrow removal like Twin Twisters helps clear the way so you can start to build field presence, and it's practically a requirement to answer floodgates like There Can Be Only One. Evenly Matched is a tremendous help, and since you're likely to play second anyways there's plenty of incentive to play it in your Main Deck. In fact, you'll likely win a number of games simply by resolving Evenly Matched when your opponent is in a position to negate monsters, but not spells and traps.

Decks that load negation bodies into the Extra Monster Zone, especially Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess, are particularly easy to play around thanks to Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon. Staring down a Dragon Link board isn't nearly as terrifying if you can scoop up one of their negation bodies immediately and hit the other with a Kaiju. Keep in mind that you can convert Jizukiru into Chimeratech Fortress Dragon with any of your Cyber Dragon monsters on the field, and Cyber Dragon Infinity itself can swipe another monster from your opponent. Super Polymerization also gives you access to plenty of monster removal, and both Cyber Dragon Sieger and Cyber Dragon Nova can pump up their ATK to 4200 to defeat monsters in the Battle Phase.

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After April we'll be seeing fewer decks playing into the Extra Monster Zone, but those that continue to do so will be at the mercy of Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon. That's especially relevant now that Megafleet no longer has to occupy the EMZ itself. Salamangreats, SPYRALs, Dragon Link, and Pendulums are some of the easier match-ups for Cyber Dragons, and just about any Machine strategy can see its monsters consumed by Chimeratech Fortress Dragon. Shaddolls, Invoked, Altergeists, Subterrors, and Dinosaurs are much more challenging to deal with, particularly if you don't open with an ideal hand or with immediate backrow removal.

Cyber Dragons haven't been doing much in competition lately, and that's partially because Dragon Link took over as the format's best combo strategy. Luckily Cyber Dragons have more opportunities to experiment with new builds in April, and Predaplant Verte Anaconda's a huge boost to the deck's potential.

I think the perception of Cyber Dragons as a purely aggressive combo strategy really under-sells its ability to interact with the opponent's board, stealing monsters for Fusion Summons and wiping out backrow with Chimeratech Rampage Dragon. Cyber Dragons are home to one of the game's best negation bodies, and the new alternative art for Cyber Dragon Infinity might be reason enough to play the deck this format – that card looks awesome.

Until next time then

-Kelly