Exploring the Format: Dragon Ruler Turbo

Regardless of how hard Dragon Rulers get hit, it seems like they’ll be a competitive force until they’re Forbidden. Summoning huge Dragons for the cost of a couple monsters in your graveyard seems look a pretty good way to win, especially when you have a ton of draw power to go along with it. The newer Dragon Ruler variants specialize in just that: they tear through your deck while filling your graveyard with resources, and then aim to resolve a huge [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd] or use the Dragons to make an insurmountable field. But what really makes the deck so scary to play against?

If you’ve ever sat down across from Dragon Rulers, you know that the draw cards are really the worst thing to see. As soon as those get going it’s really difficult to stop the Dragon Ruler strategy, and if your opponent has a [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd] you might only have one more turn to fight back. Right now there are really two ways to play the strategy: a sort of all-in approach, or a variant that tries to control the game with [ccProd]Skill Drain[/ccProd] and other traps. I’m currently a much bigger fan of the all-in version, because that variant will usually get the ball rolling faster than the control versions; I don’t want to be staring down a hand full of trap cards when I’m trying to improve my game position.

So how do you make the deck faster? With the release of the Realm of Light Structure Deck, Lightsworn got several new cards and one of them seems prime for Dragon Rulers. [ccProd]Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden[/ccProd] isn’t played in most Lightsworn variants, but you can use it in Dragon Rulers to search [ccProd]The White Stone of Legend[/ccProd] anytime you have just one Lightsworn in your graveyard. That effectively lets you play more draw cards more consistently. Let’s take a look at a sample deck list:

Dragon Ruler Turbo – 40 Cards
Monsters: 18
3 [ccProd]Blue-Eyes White Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Flamvell Guard[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Debris Dragon[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Mythic Tree Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Mythic Water Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]The White Stone of Legend[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls[/ccProd]

Spells: 22
1 Burial from the Different Dimension
3 [ccProd]Cards of Consonance[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Charge of the Light Brigade[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Dragon Shrine[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Foolish Burial[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Gold Sarcophagus[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Trade-In[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Upstart Goblin[/ccProd]

Traps: 0

Extra Deck: 15
1 [ccProd]Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Black Rose Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Colossal Fighter[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Scrap Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Star Eater[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Stardust Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Stardust Spark Dragon[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Evilswarm Exciton Knight[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder[/ccProd]

A whopping 22 spells help you make those unfair fields that Dragon Rulers are really looking for. While the more standard version of the deck typically plays seven or eight draw spells, this turbo variant plays a massive twelve with [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd] the biggest addition. I’m typically not a fan of milling in Dragon Ruler decks, but when a card does something significant and mills as well, then the milling’s really just a nice bonus. [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd] gives you the extra oomph you need to hit the ground running, and it’s just way too sweet with [ccProd]Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden[/ccProd]. If Summoning Minerva isn’t going to be ideal, yarding it with [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd] nets you an additional mill which is again nothing but upside.

The whole point to running [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd] and Minerva is that together they’re a separate draw engine that adds consistency to what you’re already trying to do. Using a Minerva after you’ve resolved [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd] to search [ccProd]The White Stone of Legend[/ccProd] is so good; you get an extra card off of Minerva and an extra card with White Stone once you yard it for [ccProd]Cards of Consonance[/ccProd]. That lets you build momentum really easily and suddenly you have enough fuel to [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd] your opponent into oblivion, or slam down as many Dragon Rulers are you want.

Not playing too many Lightsworns ensures that you flow through your deck as you normally would, without being bogged down by Normal Summons. Meanwhile Charge of the Light Brigade’s awesome because it finds you a Lightsworn to ditch for [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd], or a Minerva to Summon so you can get to [ccProd]The White Stone of Legend[/ccProd] for your [ccProd]Cards of Consonance[/ccProd]. All of that on top of the bonus mills in the beginning sounds like a pretty awesome deal.

[ccProd]Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter[/ccProd] lets you slow down the game when you can’t immediately throw it away for [ccProd]Solar Recharge[/ccProd]. It outs problem cards in your opponent’s backrow just like [ccProd]Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress[/ccProd], but you can also use it to take out a threat like [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand[/ccProd] when those cards are causing you trouble. It can even make [ccProd]Fire Hand[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Ice Hand[/ccProd] miss timing because it destroys, and then mills! [ccProd]Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress[/ccProd] might become the better choice as the format solidifies, but for right now I’m much more comfortable with Ryko.

First or Second?
Because this deck has a lot of pieces that need to be matched to other cards, going second is usually the correct way to play the strategy. The extra draw means you have a higher likelihood of resolving that first draw spell, which will find you the cards you need to resolve the rest. In Game 1 you’re going to want to go second basically every time, because you play no traps in your Main Deck, so the really scary combo decks like Infernity would most likely do whatever they wanted if their hand was good enough anyway.

Games 2 and 3 is where it gets a little more interesting, because you’re still going to want to go second against the majority of the field. Most decks just aren’t fast enough to put you on a clock in the early game, so the only time you’ll want to go first is against really fast strategies or combos decks where you might want to establish disruption before your opponent can go off. Access to Koa’ki Meiru Drago is one of the big reasons I like Dragon Rulers right now, and that’s a really good example of a card that can just beat a lot of popular decks if you play it on your first turn. Lightsworn has a huge problem handling it, and Infernities basically need a trap card to deal with it unless they can wall up behind [ccProd]Infernity Necromancer[/ccProd] long enough to get over it.

Overall, Dragon Ruler Turbo seems like a viable option moving forward in this format. When your opponent goes first you want to be as fast as possible to take advantage of their five card hand, so going second and playing a successive flurry of draw spells, then taking over the game with huge Dragon Rulers is going to be even easier than you’re used to. What do you think of Dragon Rulers, and more specifically this Dragon Ruler Turbo variant, in the coming weeks? Do you think they’re up to snuff? I want to know what you think down in the Comments!

25 Comments

  1. As long as the format is as trap-heavy as it is, I don’t see Mythic Rulers being viable. There’s a D-Prison or Fiendish Chain for everything.

  2. Alec Kenneth Featherston says:

    What are you talking about? Mythic Rulers stabilize by exhausting their opponents defensive resources with their normal pushes then winning the rest of the game with free dragon rulers. Dragon Rulers allow mythics to get additional value off of every card they play, where trap heavy decks have no such engine to replenish their defensive resources.

  3. Jeremy McBride says:

    So much draw… For so many dead spells.

    4ls spells for 4ls, 3 trade in for 3 lv8s, 3 consonance for 4 pitches, 3 of which are also used for shrine…

  4. Jeremy McBride says:

    Consistency ratios are 1:3, 2:5, and 3:7. All of these 1:<=1 is just... No.

  5. Perception: A Guide to The Universe says:

    Been testing this online. I just grinded out all of a HATS player backrow, and i still had soul charge. http://i.imgur.com/sdXonGy.png

  6. Jeremy McBride says:

    Mobile is butchering my comments… Ugh.

    The same 3 trade in baits are dragon shrine baits, etc etc. once you resolve any one of the draw engines you’re certain to have in your opening hand, you’re left with TONS of dead spells. The deck is a 1 trick pony. Fail to end when you go off, and you have nothing but dead spells in your hand. Ugly at best.

  7. Alec Kenneth Featherston Exhausting opponent’s defensive resources and making pushes late in the game? That sounds more like a grind deck like Bujins or Geargia. Mythic Ruler is the ultimate glass cannon. “Draw as much as I can, dump dragons, make my Soul Charge play & pray.” And if that falters even just a little, for example, cards you did not want to draw/mill, then the focus becomes “make one xyz/synchro and hope it lives”. And countless traps in this game punish every action that this deck makes to a severe degree (Solemn Warning, Bottomless Trap Hole, Compulsory Evacuation Device, Fiendish Chain, Breakthrough Skill, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, Vanity’s Emptiness, etc.). Also, Necrovalley, Majesty’s Fiend, Evilswarm Ophion, the aforementioned Vanity’s Emptiness & Shadoll Midrash are auto-wins against this theme because it does nothing else but draw & discard. There are too many easy counters to this theme.

  8. Alec Kenneth Featherston says:

    Nathan Rice All current dragon ruler decks win by dumping lots of crap in their graveyard as fast as possible and then riding the card advantage they get off of soul charge and rulers to victory. Rulers aren’t a grind strategy in the sense that they try to long game the opponent like Bujin, but they ARE a grind strategy in the sense that they seek to create an absurd amount of early game card advantage and then use that advantage to GRIND the opponent out for the rest of the game. I’m sorry, but I’ll have to disagree and say that the Dragon Rulers are inherently “grindy” cards. They can play the long game just fine if they have to using the wealth of graveyard resources they accumulate in the early game and keep going with mill. Decks like HAT grind the opponent out by using a bunch of simple +1 effects combined with a heavy disruptive backrow to create their advantage. Really, every competitive deck besides OTKs like Lightsworn have their own way of playing “the card advantage game”. Big creature decks like Sylvans are Rulers create advantage through quick combos and attempt to “smother” their opponent in their fast and efficient card economy. Decks like Geargia and HAT have lots of inherent +1s and aim to break down the combo players most synergistic plays so that they can ride their inherent +1’s to victory. I never said that I believed Mythic Rulers were the best deck or that they could out-card-advantage HAT every time. But I do think that that’s what they AIM for, and it can have a certain degree of success, depending on the pilot and the tech choices.

  9. Robert Tabayoyon says:

    Tested it out didn’t really like it. http://imgur.com/7OXMVjh Here’s a link of what my starting hands took me. http://imgur.com/1m6onIL (just made the deck and jumped in simples to see how far starting hands can go . . . not far)

  10. How is that not far? In the first hand you could’ve normaled white stone, soul charged blue eyes back, and made azure eyes. From there you could’ve trade-in’d the second blue eyes that you added and probably went even further…

  11. So much draw…

  12. Zakaria Chaoui says:

    I still prefer the Vanilla Rulers that abuses Carboneddon and bringing out Flamvell Guard and Ryu-Ran/any level 7 vanilla dragons. It’s just a draw and milling deck, and where’s Leo? Since any Ruler + Minerva = level 10 Synchro.
    Overall, it’s an alright deck. I haven’t playtested it or that, but I’m a bit iffy about the build. Upstarts are really not necessary since you’re just going to have a high chance of milling them.

  13. Alan Cortez Castro says:

    faggot

  14. Jeremy McBride Trade-In is not a dead draw in this deck. I counted at least 6 level 8’s in this deck. With that alone, that card is not a dead draw in this deck. 😛

  15. Tamás Németh says:

    Its not a bad deck but siding with this is a pain. How to side in the cards u want w/o fuckin up the consistwncy part

  16. Jacob Harber says:

    I’m wondering if teching gragonith in here would do anything, because he gives you extra fuel, another recharge target and can be pitched by shrine so Minerva gets her add faster. It also helps access black rose. The downside would of course be that opening him with no recharge would leave you with a dead card.

  17. Juan Gonzalez says:

    Stills loses to itself in a 11 round tournament.

    A great idea, Rob? Yes, it is. But there is no point in a high level event.

    Good luck and some GGs fro who’s the hell playing it next regionals!

  18. Sophie Louise says:

    i agree with the person bellow me

  19. The extra deck is only 14 cards. I’m guessing Leo is card 15? Leo, The Keeper Of The Sacred Tree works well with Minerva & the rulers.

  20. Robert Boyajian II says:

    The easiest cards to shave are from the Lightsworn engine because it is the least integral to what you’re doing and also the smallest portion. You can basically cut 3 Solar Recharges, 1 Charge of the Light Brigade, and 2 Minerva and have enough room to side in just about anything. Ryko is pretty much decent against everything so it’s not that big of a deal keeping it in, if you want to side in more cards you can just take out Ryko.

  21. Tamás Németh says:

    Did the same. Not bad but my local is antimeta everywhere so I wont use it now but thx

  22. Bordam Teneck says:

    Aaron Riker he did the thing

  23. Bordam Teneck says:

    Alyxander Lisgathe convoversitional

  24. convocational

  25. Alan Cortez Castro Bish

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