Konami’s latest round of retro support headed to the OCG in Cybernetic Horizon targets Cyber Dragons and Dragunity with new monsters and support cards. As a long time Dragunity fan I have a lot to say about the cards that have been revealed so far: a Dragunity Knight Synchro, a Tuner, and a Continuous Trap. There’s still at least one more card on the way–yet another Dragunity Knight of some kind. We’ll find out next month, but in the meantime let’s take a deep dive into one of the three cards already revealed.
One More Phalanx Than Necessary?
If you asked any Dragunity fan “What retro support would you use most?” the answer certainly wouldn’t have been a fourth copy of Dragunity Phalanx. Dragunity Kuse has its uses, but it’s blatantly an additional copy of Phalanx with an annoying restriction: it can only be used as a Synchro Material for a Dragunity Monster. It’s useless for Summoning the single best card in the Dragunity Extra Deck: Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon.
Kuse copies Phalanx’s key effect to Special Summon itself when equipped to a monster. It’s what makes Phalanx worth playing, and it makes Kuse a viable option among a sea of unplayable Dragunity Tuners. It works perfectly fine with Dragunity Dux, Dragunity Legionnaire, Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana, and other Dragunity monsters with built-in equip effects. It’s also a worth card to equip from the deck with Dragunity Divine Lance.
Where Kuse differentiates itself from Phalanx is very interesting: you can treat it as a Level 4 for a Synchro Summon, and that’s a big deal in a deck that’s all about Synchro climbing. Dragunity Knight – Barcha, which previously was nearly impossible to Summon, is now available by Normal Summoning Dragunity Dux, equipping Kuse, Summoning the Tuner from the Spell and Trap Zone, and then Synchro Summoning for the Level 8 monster.
Kuse joins Phalanx and Destrudo the Lost Dragon’s Frisson as Cards of Consonance targets, but I’m not sure doubling down on draw effects will help Dragunity achieve its goals. Back in 2011 Cards of Consonance only existed to get Phalanx in the graveyard quicker, and in 2013 it became a way to reach Mystletainn to kick start combos with Hieratic Dragon King of Atum. At the time Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms was Unlimited and Gold Sarcophagus could effectively search any Wind Dragon monster by banishing Tempest. Cards of Consonance just hasn’t been as strong since.More importantly, Kuse can upgrade Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana or Dragunity Arma Mystletainn straight to the new Dragunity Knight – Ascalon. We’ll talk about Ascalon’s value in the new Extra Deck later, but the access doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately Kuse’s restriction does hurt, and it’s far from a replacement to Dragunity Phalanx. If you want to Summon a non-Dragunity Level 6 or 8 Synchro via Dux you’ll still need access to Phalanx. If Ascalon and Barcha aren’t worth playing then why bother with Kuse at all?
In the next blog post I’ll talk more about Dragunity Knight – Ascalon, so today I’ll just spotlight two of the monster Kuse makes possible: Dragunity Knight – Barcha and Dragunity Knight – Trident. Barcha the only Level 8 Synchro in the Dragunity Knight line-up, and as a result it’s been perpetually overlooked. It just never made sense: Dux could climb to Level 8 Synchros, but Vajrayana and Phalanx was incompatible with Barcha’s non-Tuner requirement. It wasn’t worth it to include other cards just to make Barcha live since it contributed very little to the strategy. Instead, Phalanx, Kuse, and Destrudo should probably only be run at one to two copies each. There are already enough ways to land them in the graveyard beyond Dragon Ravine: Foolish Burial and Dragon Shrine free up Dragon Ravine searches, and while they’re terrible for card economy they’re a significant boon to consistency. Plus, running fewer Tuners in total reduces redundancy.
With these new support cards Barcha can be Summoned with Dux and Kuse alone, but is it worth playing? Actually…yes, but probably not for the reason you think. Barcha has benefited greatly from the introduction of Link Summoning and the global ability to turn almost any monster into a material for a Link Monster. Read Barcha’s effect again: When this card is Synchro Summoned, you can select any number of Dragon-Type “Dragunity” monsters in your Graveyard, and equip them to this card. With a few copies of Phalanx or Kuse in your graveyard you can use Barcha to equip them, then activate your Tuner effects to flood the field with monsters. Essentially, Dragunity Dux is a one-card Link 4.
Kuse brings Barcha to the mainline Dragunity strategy for the first time ever at the best possible time to leverage its effect. There’s one more Dragunity Knight that benefits from Kuse: Dragunity Knight – Trident. Trident actually saw play when Metalfoes were at the top of the competitive scene. Players would Summon it with Ultimaya Tzolkin and use its effect to send Metalfoes traps to the graveyard to trigger their effects. Trident has an extremely strong effect that can knock an entire playset out of the Extra Deck and effectively act as a preemptive Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries. Thanks to Kuse it’s now easily Summoned through Dragunity Legionnaire, though Destrudo and any Level 6 or lower Winged-Beast can also Summon it.
The new Extra Deck access that Kuse contributes to Dragunity is curious. It’s a Level 10 enabler of course, so Dragunity Knight – Ascalon is possible by Synchro Summoning with Vajrayana, and Trident Dragion, Nivana High Paladin, Leo, Keeper of the Sacred Tree, and Ascension Sky Dragon can be Summoned by first Summoning Barcha, then using Phalanx with it to reach Level 10.
There is potential here, but it’s dependent on the last batch of support. Come back soon or follow me on twitter for an update on my next blog covering Ascalon, and Dragunity Drive after that.
Until next time then