Finally, Dragons of Legend has dropped! I can't remember the last time a set was so hyped. Sure, all of us here at TCGplayer have been going nuts over how great Premium Gold was but I think it's safe to say that Dragons of Legend has handily beaten it in terms of sheer popularity amongst EVERYBODY. When you really think about it though, how could Dragons of Legend NOT be more popular? It taps into a greater force than any new set could: our freaking childhood. Let's be real here: the majority of us were youngsters when the original TV show came out and we've all grown up with each successive series. Many of us dropped out at some point along the line only to return years later, but those formative memories still remain.

Central to those memories are the incredible cards that we saw played by equally-incredible duelists. How many of us are familiar with Joey's famed Time Wizard or Yusei's Stardust Dragon? All of those cards were printed for real life use and received their dues – but that's not what Dragons of Legend is about. No, this set is all about fan service. Konami went ahead and printed cards that we never believed would see the light of day and yet here they are! It's more than most people could've ever asked for. I fell out of the game for a quite a while years ago, and most of these cards don't mean the same to me as they do to many others, but luckily enough I know when I see a good card!

#####CARDID= 16072 #####

In fact, I know when I see TWO good cards and that's what today's all about! Fire Hand and Ice Hand are just shy of being broken. If they didn't require interaction with your opponent to make things happen, I'd consider them outright busted and unbalanced, but sticking to their biggest trend as of late, Konami kept them just sane enough to not destroy the game.

The premise behind these cards is incredibly simple and effective: free spot removal, no loss of card economy. It's the stuff Yugi-dreams are made of. When your opponent destroys Fire Hand it pops a monster card on their side of the field, and then if you do that you can Special Summon Ice Hand from your deck. Ice Hand does the opposite: it destroys a back row card and then Special Summons Fire Hand from the deck. It's like Reborn Tengu had a perfect child with Gagaga Bolt – no actual Gagagas needed.

You've Got To Hand It To Them
When you read Fire Hand and Ice Hand, it's easy to see right off of the bat that they're competitive. They answer your opponent's threats without really costing you anything – in fact, they're undisputedly great. Keep your rose-tinted glasses in check however, because if you're also looking at them objectively then you'll realize that despite their immense handiness, they aren't enough to make up the body of your deck alone.

So what do you couple them with? That's something that many duelists all over are trying to figure out. Some players are splashing the Hands into established Stun strategies, the beatdown anti-meta decks that seek to lock out your opponent from some of their most important basic functions. Some are building decks that work to really push and make the Hands the central focus, with cards like Mother Grizzly.

I think it's worth noting that today's deck is a mix of both approaches. One one hand, you've got a deck that caters to making the most out of Fire and Ice, but on the other hand, you can by no means consider it a new strategy. I mean, let's face it: if you're going to throw Black Garden into something it almost always ends up being the other way around: everything else gets thrown in with your Black Garden. It's easily one of the most complicated cards ever printed and because of that it's also one of the most notorious. A number of players would readily confess to hating Black Garden with a deep burning passion that can't be denied – it's almost too much to deal with in competitively demanding environments.

I'm going to go ahead and walk you through this though, so that you can better understand the strategy. Let's jump right into the deck list:

DECKID=100234Let's talk about why Black Garden is the right home for Ice Hand and Fire Hand.

Black Garden puts monsters on the field to ensure that your Hands' effects will go off without a hitch. This trade-off is usually what swings the war of card economy, and the momentum of the duel, in your favor. To make sure everyone's up to speed, while Black Garden's in play it Special Summons an 800 ATK Rose Token in attack position to the opposite player's side of the field whenever a monster is Normal or Spcial Summoned. In addition, any monster that's Summoned to the field while Black Garden's active will have its ATK immediately and permanently halved for the duration of its time on the field.

Black Garden creates incredibly unique scenarios, because it levels the playing field extraordinarily. Your opponent's Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning will only have 1500 ATK when Black Garden's active. Usually, that example is enough for people who haven't played the card to really see its potential.

Thank You For Being A Hand
Fire Hand and Ice Hand play wonderfully into this equation largely based on their stats. Fire Hand has 1600 ATK, a number that when halved equals 800 ATK – the same number of ATK points as your Rose Tokens. Therein lies one of the few scenarios in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! where sending your monsters off to die in battle against your opponent is not only good but potentially optimal! Because Ice Hand has only 1400 ATK, it will be just under the attack of a Rose Token when it hits the field and therefore can crash right into the very token generated off of its Special Summon. If your opponent has committed several cards to the field carelessly, you can take full advantage of that in this manner and destroy everything.

#####CARDID= 16070 #####

Of course, besides obnoxious kamikaze runs, Fire Hand and Ice Hand also grant you something that many cards can't: a consistent way to control the tempo of the game, especially if your opponent knows that you've got those cards waiting in the wings. No one wants to needlessly lose card presence; in Yu-Gi-Oh! it can mean certain death in a quick fashion. With that basic tenant in mind, your opponent has to either willingly give up cards to you or wait to do anything else until they figure out a safe course of action. Your opponents will often choose the latter, waiting long enough to let you build up a pile of cards and a full range of options.

Alright, Buck. Where's The Bang?
An arm and a leg!

Okay, that's not true at all. It really depends, my friends. If this strategy is brand-spanking new to you, it'd be around the $100 mark. The Extra Deck attached to this thing is pretty invested: we're talking a complete toolbox. Granted, many of you already have most of those Extra Deck monsters anyway but if you're starting from scratch, I'd say around $100. Now, if Chain Beat – that's the name of this strategy without Hands – is a recurring theme in your collection or dueling life, then this will probably only cost you a play set each of Fire Hand and Ice Hand. As of my writing this, both of them are still easily found, and very affordable. Our two favorite qualities over here at More Bang For Your Buck!

The conversation is still so fresh with these monsters and I'm excited to see where people take this. What will you all build with your very own two hands? You'll have to share your wealth of knowledge with all of us down in the Comments section!

-Zach Buckley

Team Nofatchx