Cyber Dragon Nova's really, really cool. Consolidating several 2100 ATK monsters into a single 2100 ATK monster might not seem good on the surface, but don't be fooled – Nova's extremely important. When your opponent has a bunch of back rows, Nova's a powerful option to fall back on. You can safely push for damage knowing that if it gets destroyed you'll immediately bring out a Cyber Twin Dragon or Cyber End Dragon to replace it.
I found another obscure OTK that could become relevant any time you can bring out Cyber Twin Dragon, but you don't have a way to put game damage on board with the Cyber Twin alone. Normal Summoning Swift Scarecrow and activating Machine Duplication lets you bring out Ghostrick Dullahan, which can cut an opposing monster's ATK in half, potentially creating win scenarios. Does that happen often? No, but it's nice to have that option for the few times that it does happen.
Whenever I'm discussing Cyber Dragon decks I've found I divide the deck into three distinct parts. The first is all about draw power. Cardcar D, Upstart Goblin, Reckless Greed, and Maxx "C" obviously fall into that category. They'll help you dig to your two or three-card combos, ensuring the game ends as fast as humanly possible. I'm not saying that this deck can't deal with a wide variety of threats, but like all OTK strategies you really want to win in the first couple turns.
The second segment of the deck consists of your actual OTK enablers, but also the cards that keep you alive as you try to draw into them. I classify your OTK enablers as not only the cards that actually start the game-shot sequences – like Machine Duplication, Power Bond, Honest, and Limiter Removal – but the cards that make sure they go off, too; stuff like Mystical Space Typhoon, Forbidden Lance, and Trap Stun. The second half of this segment is anything that allows you to stay alive long enough to put damage on the field. In my build this would only be Swift Scarecrow, but I've seen other players use everything from Threatening Roar and Waboku to Battle Fader and Gorz the Emissary of Darkness.
The last part of the deck is what I feel the majority of new Cyber Dragon decks fail to really prioritize. Basically it's anything you'd use after you tried to OTK. Cyber Repair Plant is the main one, since it can not only set you up for combos, but also refuel your range of options after the fact. As I already mentioned, Cyber Dragon Drei's my more controversial pick, and it falls into this third category. It's an instant Cyber Dragon Nova should you have a surviving Cyber Dragon Core or a Cyber Dragon in hand, and that's awesome. If you find yourself in a sticky situation it can be a makeshift Cyber Dragon for Power Bond, too. It even makes Repair Plant a lot easier to use, as you'll usually save your Cores until you have an OTK ready to go.
The Cyberest Of Dragons
So what's in store for this strategy moving forward? Well, a week ago we saw a Cyber Dragon deck Top 8 the Oakmont Regional Qualifier in Pennsylvania, mere days after the new Structure Deck hit shelves. The duelist was actually playing a full three copies of Cyber Dragon Drei, reinforcing the importance of a backup plan. Interestingly enough, the Cyber Dragon strategy doesn't really have many problematic matchups. Fire Fists – inarguably the biggest deck right now in competitive tournaments – just can't keep up with the sheer speed of Cyber Dragons. All you really need to beat Fire Fists is a well-timed Forbidden Lance or Trap Stun and you're ready for takeoff.
As for the rest of your matchups, you're on the same speedy boat to victory. Cyber Dragons are fast, consistent, and – for the time being – unexpected. I see a lot of people drawing comparisons to Chaos Dragons early 2012, where the deck was brand new and totally took opponents off guard, nabbing really easy wins. There's a lot of hate that you can side against Light-based Machine monsters, but for the time being those counters aren't very popular. Should this strategy become more popular, though, those sided threats will become all too real.
Basically, if you want to play Cyber Dragons, there won't be a more perfect time than now.
I'd also like to call attention to the adaptability of this strategy . Similar to how Hieratics transitioned into playing Hieratic Seal From the Ashes and Dragon rulers, I wouldn't be surprised if sometime down somebody topped with a build playing Cyber Network. I know I personally couldn't make it work – at least not to the degree that I wanted it to – but that's not to say someone else won't. There are tons of options out there for you to fill tech spots with. Cyber Eltanin, Cyber Phoenix, and Overload Fusion are all options that are worth exploring, and I can't wait to see the directions players take this revitalized strategy.
What are you playing in your Cyber Dragon deck? Do you agree or disagree with my card choices? Let me know in the Comments section!
Article Aftermath #32