Call me out of touch, but I'm always going to favor older decks and archetypes we've had a chance to play with for years over the new ones. Fortunately, legacy support is seemingly printed every set for older decks to make sure they stay relevant. Check out Primal Origin: it's got new support for themes that haven't been touched for age, some of them for years - stuff like Koa'ki Meiru, Gusto and Hazy Flames. Look at Dragons of Legend, which was a well received set that added some a ton of nostalgia (and power) to the modern environment.

Of course, not all new cards that benefit older decks are directly on-theme, but they can still provide monumental support for a deck that hasn't changed in two years. Archfiend Heiress proved to be pretty nifty for Infernities, and Frogs took a turn for the better when Sea Lancer dropped in Generation Force. And of course, we all remember Tin Goldfish's impact on Gadgets.

Well at least I remember.

DECKID=100262I don't mean to beat a dead horse (I only do that on Tuesdays), but a few certain cards from Dragons of Legend have really bolstered the core strength of yet another deck. As I mentioned last week, Soul Charge and Kuribandit don't just add flair to the deck; they put X-Sabers into turbo mode.

No, Not The Stupid Snail Movie
In my tenure here at TCGplayer, I've discussed decks of every power level spanning the length of the game. I'll (try to) never bore you with something like 7-Colored Fish Beatdown, but I love renovating older decks with the coolest new toys on the block. If you've seen an X-Saber deck in recent years, you've probably been drastically underwhelmed with the strategy since it hasn't made a real impact on anything.

Believe it or not, X-Sabers used to be nearly unbeatable and playing around them was nearly impossible. An X-Saber player would set XX-Saber Darksoul and lure you into destroying it to search out XX-Saber Faultroll. Next turn they'd drop a Cold Wave on you, Special Summon all the coolest Sabers from the deck via Rescue Cat and top it off with that Faultroll you gave them by killing Darksoul.

The alternative was to simply not attack the set Darksoul, but that allowed the Saber player to accumulate resources, probably drawing into multiple Faultrolls anyway if you played the waiting game for too long. Getting into a grind game with X-Sabers always meant certain death. The best counters for X-Sabers were FTK's like Mass Driver and Frog variants, or a "control" deck with the explosive ability to end the game in one turn – at the time, Infernities.


X-Sabers were actually so powerful that opponents would side in Gottom's Emergency Call to staunch the Saber's own copies of it as well as their Faultrolls. If you didn't know, Gottom's Emergency Call can revive monsters from either graveyard when an X-Saber's on the field. It sounds crazy, but it was a pretty popular Side Deck choice. To wrap your mind around it, it would be like players today siding in Imperial Tombs of Necroalley because Gravekeepers were such a big deal.

X-Sabers have several highlighted points. Your opening few plays consist of setting up for the rest of the duel, but in my version, I believe you can make explosive plays for the rest of the game if you're patient enough and load your graveyard properly. The wait is definitely worth the results.

So, Where Do We Begin?
The most explosive cards in the deck can't be abused in the early game. At first, you'll have to get to your combo pieces, and fortunately the X-Saber deck was already a well oiled machine that got you to where you needed to go. XX-Saber Darksoul searches for any X-Saber during the End Phase of the turn in which it moved from the field to the yard, and in turn is like a Reinforcement of the Army but for an entire named archetype. If that wasn't good enough for you, XX-Saber Emmersblade is a battle searcher for any Level 4 or Lower X-Saber, and four out of five times you'll be grabbing Darksoul so you can set up for later.

However, simply setting a monster in today's game just isn't going to cut it. If your entire strategy revolves around setting monsters that need to die, you're going to have a bad time. While my Zombie Gusto deck was fun, it was really hard to win if I was playing a passive deck.

Now with Kurribandit, you can accelerate your plays and jump into a more developed game position in one turn. I won't discredit the power of Emmersblade or Darksoul, but Kuribandit throws X-Sabers in your graveyard to fuel Soul Charge, Emergency Call and Faultroll while also digging deeper into your deck for your spells and traps. Sabers can be really slow when you dead draw your revival cards early in the game, but as Beau Butler talked about in his Diggin' Deep article last week, Kuribandit pushes you several turns ahead of the normal schedule.

After you set up, you can put together a string of Special Summons to blow your opponent out of the water. Outside of Emergency Call and Soul Charge, XX-Saber Boggart Knight is typically where you start your offensive onslaught. Whenever you Normal Summon Boggart Knight you can bring out any X-Saber from your hand. My go-to choice is X-Saber Pashuul, who when combined with Boggart Knight makes the blowout card XX-Saber Hyunlei!

Sure, Boggart Knight's limited to Synchro Summoning just X-Saber monsters, but Hyunlei makes it all worthwhile. Whenever you bring out Hyunlei you get to destroy up to three spell or traps impeding you from extending your wave of Summons. If you're certain your opponent doesn't have a card like Torrential Tribute or if you're protected by a Wiretap, then you should definitely throw down your Faultroll while you control your Pashuul and Boggart Knight.

Then after you Synchro Summon and eliminate the threats, you can begin to abuse Faultroll. Once per turn it revives any Level 4 or lower X-Saber. With just Pashuul, Boggart Knight and the Faultroll, you can wipe the field of threats and finish with a Stardust Dragon, keeping your Faultroll out on the field. Since it's a once per turn effect, as long as your Faultroll doesn't die, you can use the effect next turn.

But that's just one play with three sets of monsters; the range of options doesn't end there. Like Plants, X-Sabers are a healthy mix of Tuners and non-Tuners to give you a variety of options every turn. Instead of ending with Stardust and Faultroll, you can instead bring out a Constellar Ptolemy M7 and a Boggart Knight to clear the path and deal massive damage.

But if you've had any setup with Kuribandit, Emmersblade or Darksoul, your first Faultroll won't be limited to just bringing back your Pashuul or Boggart Knight. For example, you could bring back Darksoul instead and finish the turn with XX-Saber Gottoms to search a new 'Saber in your End Phase.

Catch 22
In my article last week, I praised the infamous "Saber Hand Loop" that recycles XX-Saber Ragigura, XX-Saber Faultroll and XX-Saber Gottoms to deplete your opponent's hand of all cards. I should also mention that since your opponent will side in their Maxx "C"s against you, this infinite loop of Special Summons can also be used to deck your opponent out. With the effect of Maxx "C" active, your opponent will have always have cards for you to pluck out of their hand until they have nothing left in their deck.

But no matter how you try, you're probably never going to discard every card from your opponent's hand on Turn 1. That's totally fine because X-Sabers are worth way more than just the loop. Thanks to XX-Saber Hyunlei, Naturia Beast and Naturia Barkion, you have a plethora of options for dealing with on-field spells and traps in addition to ones your opponent hasn't drawn yet. That's what Saber players refer to as a "Catch 22" – your opponent's screwed either way. If they use their spells and traps early or leave them on the field, Hyunlei can clean house or the Naturias can make them useless. If your opponent is too patient and keeps the cards in hand, then the Gottoms loop is there to discard them all.


Outside of the hand loop, I'm a actually a huge proponent of X-Saber Ragigura, a Beast-Warrior that's seen little if any use an most X-Saber decks. Sure, discarding your opponent's entire hand is cool, but the Level 1 Ragigura's useful because it gets back Faultroll anytime. If you Summon Ragigura off a Boggart Knight, then you can drop you Faultroll and start the combos again. If you use a Gottoms' Emergency Call after you Normal Summon Ragigura, then Faultroll's live once again. Even if you bring back Ragigura with your Emergency Call, you still get a free Faultroll from the graveyard.

The only real downside to Ragigura is its Level. X-Saber Pashuul's low Level too, but it's an important Tuner, and the other low Level monsters have effects vital to the deck. Ragigura's Level wouldn't be a huge problem if you could use Boggart Knight for non-Saber Synchro Summons, or if we had a Level 8 X-Saber Synchro. I guess I'll cross my fingers for that.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson