With the release of the Realm of Light Structure Deck in the TCG, Lightsworns have become instantly accessible to anyone who's ever wanted to play one of the most loathed decks in the history of this game! Something about Lightsworn just out-salts all others when it comes to our lovely playerbase and Konami, like any other company, decided to capitalize on the controversy by giving the Lightsworn strategy more cards – and good ones too!

But just HOW good is the Realm of Light Structure Deck? Some players are hailing it as the most playable Structure Deck we've seen in years. Just spend $30 dollars, throw all three copies together and pick out all of the chaff until you've got something playable! Is that really a winning strategy? Well, that's the question for today.

I was hesitant to give this article the More Bang For Your Buck moniker because unlike most articles in the series, this one has quite a bit of Jason's What the Fix?!running through its blood. Needless to say, this was quite the exciting piece of work for me! So let's establish some ground rules for today, okay? I've given my friendly neighborhood card shop $30 of my hard-earned dollars in exchange for Konami's latest release… and to make sure that I've got full playsets of all the hot new cards. Like MBFYB, we'll keep with a $100 budget which means that I've got a remaining $70 to use to try and make as competitively viable a deck as possible. So what's there to say about this Realm of Light Structure Deck, anyway? Well, I'm really glad you asked! Let's hear straight from the source! Konami writes:

Dear Zach,

Prepare to Fight to Defend the Light!

Realm of Light focuses on the Lightsworn Deck theme, which has been a very popular Deck for a number of years; reprints of Lightsworn cards have been the primary drivers for other products. Lightsworn Monsters are blessed with incredible effects, high ATK/DEF, or both; this Structure Deck comes with the most powerful of the Lightsworn forces and allies from the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX era and beyond. Lightsworn have never had Extra Deck monsters before, but that all changes with the all-new Synchro Monster, Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn, capable of banishing any enemy card while refilling your Deck and your Life Points! The Deck also includes 2 Lightsworn Tuner monsters! Finally, a vulnerability of Lightsworn Decks is finally redressed with Lightsworn Sanctuary, a world-premiere Spell Card!

Love, Konami

Well thanks, Konami! I'm excited to defend the light with you too, buddy! After I received that message, Konami highly recommended purchasing three copies of the product for maximum playability. While I appreciated Konami's enthusiasm, the deck definitely needs some tweaking, but only in regards to playability. Here's what Konami sent us, based on personal recommendations:

Three Realm of Light Structure Decks:
Monsters:
3 Alexandrite Dragon
3 Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden
3 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn
3 Judgment Dragon
3 Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon
3 Celestia, Lightsworn Angel
6 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin
6 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
3 Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior
3 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast
3 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
6 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
3 Aurkus, Lightsworn Druid
3 Shire, Lightsworn Spirit
6 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
3 Honest
3 Lightray Diabolos
3 Lightray Daedalus
3 Vylon Prism
3 Fabled Raven
3 The Fabled Cerburrel
3 Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite
3 Necro Gardna

Spells:
3 Lightsworn Sanctuary
6 Realm of Light
3 Solar Recharge
3 Charge of the Light Brigade
3 Monster Reincarnation
3 Foolish Burial

Traps:
3 Glorious Illusion
3 Lightsworn Barrier
3 Vanquishing Light
3 Beckoning Light
3 Skill Successor
3 Breakthrough Skill

Extra Deck:
3 Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn

Wow, Konami! This is… quite the deck! I definitely liked how Konami has so many options to work with! That's really great! But first things first, let's get things legal and start cutting some excess stuff. I know what I like and what I don't like.

Today I've got my work cut out for me for sure.

We're Only Dropping 80 Cards
When you first get a Structure Deck, this is pretty much what everyone does: throw all of the cards together and then sift through the pile until you've got a nice spread going on. Let's take a gander at your monsters first. To start thing rolling, if the monster doesn't have Lightsworn, Lightray, Honest, or Necro Gardna anywhere in its name – cut it! All the rest are bad. You don't need Normal monsters, Fableds, or Blackwings to make a good Lightsworn deck. Somebody was drunk when they made that decision.

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Next, let's try to get your monster line-up to be, eh, legal. So to do that, you're going to cut out all but one copy of Honest, and then cut five copies of Jain, Lightsworn Paladin; four Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress; three Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner; and all the Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter. Jain works best for you as a teched one-of and you can save a copy of Lyla for your Side Deck. Three can be overkill. What about everyone's favorite Beast, Ryko? To be honest, the little guy's just too slow. You've got better ways of milling cards.

Now, you've got to cut your Lightsworn monsters down to a tight and effective line-up. Right off the bat Aurkus, Lightsworn Druid and Shire, Lightsworn Spirit have got to go. Neither of them have valuable enough effects to make the cut. Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon, Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior, and Ehren, Lightsworn Monk are all going down to just single copies like Jain. Consider them your special forces: they come into play when you have a unique situation that needs addressing. Wulf, Lightsworn Beast has also been cut to just one copy. Free Special Summoning is great and so long as you don't open with Wulf, you've got a solid chance of triggering its effect. Running just one places those numbers high in your favor. As for Celestia, Lightsworn Angel? Just not worth it. Sorry.

So what about the new Lightsworn monsters? They're awesome! Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn is an incredible addition and adds quite a bit of speed to the strategy. Unique amongst Lightsworn monsters, it can mill two cards during any of your Main Phases as well as the standard End Phase effect. It's also a Level 4 Tuner. You definitely want all three copies of Raiden. Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden has worked best at two for me. You may find that three or even one works better for you, but two has been ideal in my testing. Minerva has two effects: first, when she's sent from your hand or deck to the graveyard, Minerva will yard a card herself. Secondly, when she's Normal Summoned Minerva will add a Light Dragon from your deck to your hand with a Level equal to or less than the number of Lightsworn monsters with different names from your graveyard.

Finally, the Lightray monsters come down to a matter of specialization, and in this particular situation, Lightray Diabolos is the better fit. Diabolos may have stricter Special Summoning requirements but it's got the better effect and the bigger ATK.

On To The Spell And Trap Cards!
This one is relatively easy. Let's talk spell cards first: take everything that isn't Solar Recharge or Charge of the Light Brigade and get rid of it. Those cards are just not really worth your time. Lightsworn Sanctuary's neat, but it just isn't the most competitively viable card out there. Is there some weird little strategy built somewhere around that card? Yes. But now isn't the time for that. A decent argument can also be made for Monster Reincarnation and Foolish Burial but I found that Foolish wasn't really worth playing over other cards, and I personally find Beckoning Light to be altogether better than Monster Reincarnation. You can make your own decision on that one. Side note, make sure to use only one copy of Charge of the Light Brigade – because, legality!

So as for the traps? Keep two Beckoning Light and all three copies of Breakthrough Skill and pitch the rest again. They're all solid cards, but none of them are worth writing home about. Plus you'll probably end up milling all of them to the graveyard. That's not worth it!

Okay, So I Lied. We Actually Cut 86 Cards
That leaves you with $30 dollars spent, 34 cards in the Main Deck and three in the Extra Deck. Luckily, the hard part is over and everything from here on out is pretty easy! So what're those six Main deck spots going to be occupied by? To make your deck a fast and brutal monster, you've spent the $4 necessary to get a play set of Eclipse Wyverns and a single copy of Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos, Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms, and Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders. Those six cards do a quite a bit for you. The biggest addition is Eclipse Wyvern. This Little Dragon gets you right to your Judgment Dragons and Lightray Diabolos faster than anything else. All you have to do is send it to the graveyard and then banish it from there.

You know what's great at banishing monsters from the graveyard? Dragon Rulers!

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For real, this strategy is incredibly synergistic and obnoxiously playable right off of the bat. You don't need to do much to have a tournament-ready deck; these changes alone do it for you with only $34 dollars spent. So what do you do with the $66 left over? Extra Deck swag! You fill that thing out! You can even afford a Number 11: Big Eye! It's a great day.

Let's go over the changes:

-3 Alexandrite Dragon
-1 Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden
-3 Judgment Dragon
-3 Celestia, Lightsworn Angel
-2 Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon
-5 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin
-4 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
-2 Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior
-2 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast
-1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
-3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
-3 Aurkus, Lightsworn Druid
-3 Shire, Lightsworn Spirit
-6 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
-2 Honest
-3 Lightray Daedalus
-3 Vylon Prism
-3 Fabled Raven
-3 The Fabled Cerburrel
-3 Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite
-3 Lightsworn Sanctuary

-6 Realm of Light
-2 Charge of the Light Brigade
-3 Monster Reincarnation
-3 Foolish Burial

-3 Glorious Illusion
-3 Lightsworn Barrier
-3 Vanquishing Light
-1 Beckoning Light
-3 Skill Successor

+3 Eclipse Wyvern
+1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
+1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
+1 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders

+1 Star Eater
+1 Leo, Keeper of the Sacred Tree
+1 Stardust Dragon
+1 Number 74: Master of Blades
+1 Number 11: Big Eye
+1 Starleige Paladynamo
+1 Gagaga Cowboy
+1 Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk
+1 Number 17: Leviathan
+1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
+1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
+1 Number 49: Fortune Tune

So now here's what the deck looks like…

DECKID=100605There you have it! For all practical purposes, this is the industry standard when it comes to Lightsworn Rulers. It costs you next to nothing to build and only actually gets expensive-ish when you want to really flesh out the Extra Deck. To be honest, I rarely ever needed to go into the Extra Deck. I just beat my opponent's in the face with big Dragons. Now, you can do the same thing to – for a fraction of the usual price. Have a friend getting into the game? Start them here. It's so easy, even a caveman can do it!

-Zach Buckley