Lightsworn Ruler: A Force to be Reckoned With

Hello everyone! Today, I will be talking to you guys about the new Lightsworn Ruler deck that has made quite the impact on the meta. To put it simply, the new Lightsworn Ruler deck is an absolute house. Once you are able to get yourself into the late game, the deck is extremely hard to be stopped. When I say “late game”, I don’t mean turn 10 of the duel. What I mean is when you are able to get your engine going and your graveyard filled. The early game is, however, exactly how it sounds, the first few turns of the game where each player is trying to set their engine up. The deck is near impossible to stop in the late game because of the constant boss monster drops, the Dragon Rulers recurring, and of course, Soul Charge. For a sample decklist, I will be using Patrick Hoban and Ben Levrett, and Johnny Li’s deck from ARGCS Philadelphia where Patrick finished in Top 4, and Ben finished in Top 16. I’m not one to keep people waiting, so let’s get right into their deck!

Main Deck: 40

Monsters: 26

3 Judgment Dragon

3 Necro Gardna

3 Kuribandit

3 Eclipse Wyvern

3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner

2 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn

2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos

1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms

1 Lightray Diabolos

1 Honest

1 Jain, the Lightsworn Paladin

1 Garoth, the Lightsworn Warrior

1 Wulf, the Lightsworn Beast

Spells: 11

3 Soul Charge

3 Solar Recharge

1 Upstart Goblin

1 Charge of the Light Brigade

1 Book of Moon

1 Allure of darkness

1 Foolish Burial

Traps: 3

3 Needlebug Nest

Extra Deck: 15

2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack

1 Number 11: Big Eye

1 Diamond Dire Wolf

1 Lavalval Chain

1 Number 101: Silent Honor Ark

1 Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk

1 Leviair the Sea Dragon

1 Mechquiped Angineer

1 Ghostrick Alucard

1 Scrap Dragon

1 Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn

1 Black Rose Dragon

1 Arcanite Magician

1 Starliege Paladynamo

Side Deck: 15

2 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer

2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter

1 Mind Control

1 One Day of Peace

1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand

2 Threatening Roar

3 XYZ Universe

3 Royal Decree

Logic Behind Their Card Choices

EclipseWyvern-SDDC-EN-SR-1E3 Eclipse Wyvern

This card is the absolute stones when it is milled. Every time you mill one of these, you should be ecstatic for obvious reasons. This card is like insurance for milling your Judgment Dragon’s because every time you mill an Eclipse Wyvern, you get to banish either Judgment Dragon, or Lightray Diablos to further prevent yourself from milling them. Another perk about this card is it is a level 4 so if you draw it, you can xyz or even sometimes synchro with it after protecting your monster with Necro Gardna, or Honest. Xyzing with this card is fantastic because its banishing effect works WHENEVER it is sent to the graveyard, so that means if it sent as an xyz material, or destroyed with the xyz monster, Eclipse Wyvern’s effect will trigger. On top of all of that, Eclipse Wyvern has absolute perfect synergy with the Dragon Rulers.

3 Necro Gardna

Another fantastic card when it is milled. Necro Gardna is played in 3 because protecting your Lightsworn monsters to allow them to mill more than once is how this deck wins. Milling will get you out of the early game, and into the late game where this deck shines. Similar to Eclipse Wyvern, because Necro Gardna is a level 3, it is easy to synchro or xyz with it if you draw it. A trait Necro Gardna doesn’t share with Eclipse Wyvern or other attack stopper such as Rainbow Kuriboh, or Bacon Saver, is the fact that you can Soul Charge Necro Gardna back to the field beneficially. Soul Charging back Necro Gardna is important because it allows you to make Leviair the Sea Dragon, Mechquipped Angineer, or Ghostrick Alucard, all three very powerful rank 3 xyz monsters.

1 Honest

At first, I questioned why they chose to include Honest in their deck (I know, call me crazy right?) My logic was, the fear of Honest is actually better than the card itself, and the common argument “baddies never play around Honest”, I considered invalid because you should be beating those baddies anyway. Now, my thoughts weren’t wrong, but after sitting down and testing the deck I realized the inclusion of Honest was indeed correct. I changed my mind on the card due to it being another attack stopper that the deck needed. When you draw it, it will protect your Lightsworns for the turn so you can get your milling going. Another thing is if you have Honest sitting dead in your hand, 99% of the time that means you are winning. Overall, the pros really do outweigh the cons on Honest so playing it is correct.

3317623 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner

There really shouldn’t be that much explaining on 3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner. The way this deck wins is milling, so Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner lets you do that and nab back other Lightsworn monsters from your graveyard to mill even more. Discarding a card for Lumina’s effect is rarely detrimental due to being able to discard the Dragon Rulers, Eclipse Wyvern, and Necro Gardna.

2 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn

Raiden was just released in the new Lightsworn structure deck the Friday of ARGCS Philadelphia, and boy did it give Lightsworn the boost that it needed. Raiden’s ability to mill during main phase 1 is absolutely incredible. It allows you to Soul Charge for more cards, and more importantly, not wait until your end phase to mill a few cards. Konami also decided to make Raiden a tuner, so level 7 synchros are extremely easy to summon know. Level 7 synchros are actually extremely powerful at the moment. Cards like Arcanite Magician, Black Rose Dragon, and Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn wipe cards off your opponents board with ease. Also, level 7 synchros floating there after they’ve used their effects is great due to the Dragon Rulers. It is very common to make a level 7 synchro play, then make a rank 7 play with a Dragon Ruler right after.

2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

Again, not much explanation is needed on Lyla. She’s big, she pops backrows (especially floodgates besides Light-Imprisoning Mirror in games 2 and 3), and she mills 3. Only questionable thing about Lyla is to run two copies or three. Here’s the way I see it on the subject of two or three Lyla:  two Lyla is correct in game 1, but three is usually correct in games 2 or 3 because of her ability to hit the three main floodgate cards this format: Soul Drain, Dimensional Fissure, and Macro Cosmos. Considering Yu-Gi-Oh is best 2 out of 3, you will be playing more sided games than game ones, so 3 Lyla seems optimal in my opinion.

1 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin

Jain is a card I am iffy on. The one way I can see Jain being relevant this format is by running over Geargiarmor. To be honest, I think Ehren, Lightsworn Monk is a better out to Geargiarmor. By Ehren kicking Geargiarmor back to the deck, it turns off Geargiano MK-II and Soul Charge. Another perk Ehren has is kicking back Ice/Fire hand. Jain also only mills two in the end phase, as opposed to Ehren’s three. I’m fairly certain that Patrick, Ben, and Johnny played Jain simply for her name to fuel Judgment Dragon. I don’t know if they overlooked other names such as Ehren, or Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden, but I would certainly play Ehren or Minerva over Jain.

1 Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior

Not much explanation is needed for Garoth. He mills you more cards, and has the potential to draw you cards. Garoth really shines when he’s next to Raiden so you can mill four cards in your main phase 1 and possibly draw a card or two! Usually, the Garoth and Raiden combo won’t happen often outside of Soul Charge, but it’s an extremely powerful combo if you pull it off nonetheless.

1 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast

Wulf is mostly played for his name, like Jain. Wulf is only played as a one of in this deck because the deck does not play Celestia, Lightsworn Angel, and drawing Wulf is absolutely awful. If you were playing Celestia, playing more Wulfs is understandable, but again, you’re increasing the odds of drawing Wulf more.

3 Judgment Dragon

The best card in the deck and has one of the best effects in the game. Play three copies. Konami is being nice and letting you play your full playset, so play it.

300px-LightrayDiabolos-SDLI-EN-C-1E1 Lightray Diablos

Another Eclypse Wyvern target. Lightray Diablos is just another boss monster in the deck that is searchable. It is also Level 7 so it helps making Rank 7s quite a bit. Lightray Diablos is played over other boss monsters like Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning simply due to its searchability through Eclipse Wyvern. Another reason to play Lightray Diablos as your fourth boss is he fuels the Dragon Rulers. Another cool thing about this card is it is a bit easier to drop than Judgment Dragon because Eclipse Wyvern, Honest, Judgment Dragon, and other Extra Deck cards you summon are Light.

1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos and Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms

To start, let’s go over why two Dragon Rulers is the correct number, rather than one, three, or four. Playing only one Dragon Ruler would be just silly. Playing more than two isn’t correct because of two facts: the Dragon Rulers are brick draws, and the fact that you can do the same thing if you have access to two Dragon Rulers as opposed to four. There are no cards to search off of the Ruler’s banish effects, so why fill your deck with unnecessary Dragon Rulers?

3 Kuribandit

Kuribandit is absolutely fantastic because it mills you cards, and gets you your all important spell cards. Not much really needs to be said. One cute thing you can do in Lightsworn Ruler over Mythic Ruler is make use out of your Kuribandits in the graveyard by Soul Charging them back and making a Rank 3.

3 Solar Recharge, 1 Charge of the Light Brigade, and 1 Allure of Darkness

The full suite of draw cards. If you draw even one of these cards in your opening six cards, your chances of winning skyrocket. Allure might seem a little odd at first, but its extremely useful in turning your useless in hand Necro Gardnas and Kuribandits into two fresh cards. Solar Recharge and Charge of the Light Brigade are obviously just insane, play as many as Konami lets you.

300px-SoulCharge-DRLG-EN-SR-1ESoul Charge

Soul Charge is really the backbone of the deck. After your first push gets stopped, Soul Charging back everything is usually just too overwhelming for your opponent, especially in this deck with all of the constant boss monster drops. Soul Charge singlehandedly made Lightsworn top tier, in my opinion.

1 Upstart Goblin

Now, at first, I expected Patrick to play three Upstart Goblin because 37 cards means you will see your best cards more (AKA Solar Recharge, Charge of the Light Brigade, and Allure of Darkness). But, this deck revolves around milling and Upstart Goblin is a Spell card. Milling Upstart Goblin is not the same as just milling the next top card of your deck because Upstart takes up one of the cards being milled. Honestly, I wouldn’t find it hard to find a 40th card I would be alright with playing over the Upstart Goblin.

1 Foolish Burial

Foolish Burial is just an all around great card in this deck. It’s a search card for one of your two Dragon Rulers, it can turn itself into a Wulf, even tutor a Judgment Dragon or Lightray Diablos to your hand with the help of Eclipse Wyvern. Not to mention the obvious synergy with Soul Charge.

1 Book of Moon

The only defensive card they chose to run. The reason they chose Book of Moon over other cards like Torrential Tribute, or Raigeki Break/Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, is the fact that Book of Moon cannot be Wiretapped. They only played one defensive card because they didn’t want to dilute their deck with cards they did not want to be milled. Also the fact that you can use Book of Moon the turn you draw it is very appealing.

3 Needlebug Nest

Needlebug Nest was once a $.25 common, now people are valuing their copies at around $8! How can a common that simply mills the top five cards of your deck have value? Well, it accelerates you out of the early game. The point of Lightsworn is to mill a ton of cards, then banish your Eclipse Wyverns for Dragon Rulers and be able to drop your boss monsters. Needlebug Nest accelerates that process by milling you five, plain and simple. People can argue that Needlebug Nest is an inherit -1, but the milling is so much more valuable than the card advantage. Also, if you mill an Eclipse Wyvern, the card goes even, digging you five cards deeper into your deck. What’s there not to like?

That about concludes it for this week’s article. Lightsworn Ruler has the potential to be an extremely scary deck once they are able to drag the duel out. I hope whoever read this now has a little bit more information on playing the deck, or maybe a little more on how to beat it!

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