Table of Contents
Cyber Dragon first made its debut in 2005 in the booster pack Cybernetic Revolution. Although its stronger archetype support would not come until later on, Cyber Dragon alone was a strong monster that shifted the meta-game as it boasts a respectable 2100 ATK points and has an easy special summon condition. This was strong since Special Summons were not as abundant as they are in modern Yu-Gi-Oh!, and having a strong monster that could beat over almost all non-Chaos monsters was game-changing.
In 2014, the Cyber Dragon archetype would continue to get support in the form of the Cyber Dragon Revolution Structure deck, where it gained access to archetype specific support cards such as Cyber Dragon Core and Cyber Dragon Nova, and Cyber Dragon Infinity arriving in 2016. Although these cards immensely helped the Cyber Dragon archetype, it still seemed like there was a lack of flexibility making the deck too linear, or maybe the deck just wasn’t consistent enough. These problems would be solved two years later in Cybernetic Horizon, where the archetype received their own Link Monster in the form of Cyber Dragon Sieger and even more support cards such as Cyber Dragon Herz and Cybernetic Overflow. In the same year, the archetype would receive Cyber Emergency, a powerful search card with a recovery effect upon its negation, as well as Cyberload Fusion in the sets of Battles of Legend : Relentless Revenge and Legendary Duelists: White Dragon Abyss respectively. With these tools, the Cyber Dragon archetype was finally able to earn respect as an archetype and despite it never cracking into top tier, the deck has its strengths and will continue to thrive as one of the most popular and loved decks in the community.
Cyber Dragon as an archetype can be played in many ways. Over the past two years where they have had competitive viability, Cyber Dragons have been piloted to play in the Control Style featuring a small engine with lots of Traps, a Midrange Style which mixed OTK and Control elements, and the OTK Style giving up most defensive cards to put all your efforts into killing your opponent in a single turn. While Cyber Dragons have multiple play-styles, these play-styles often incorporate different cards, strategies and individual thought processes. We’ll explore some of Cyber Dragon’s most powerful cards and support to investigate where each strategy excels and has weaknesses.
Main Deck Monsters
Cyber Dragon Core
Cyber Dragon Core is the most powerful monsters in the Cyber Dragon archetype. Core’s role in the archetype is the greatest over all other cards in each play-style. Core has two effects, the first of which will be used more often. Core’s Normal Summon effect allows you to add one Cyber Spell/Trap from your deck to the hand. This effect is a mandatory effect and must activate as long as it is possible. Because the Cyber Dragon archetype includes a variety of Spells and Traps (many with the ability to add more Cyber cards), Core’s effect to add almost any card from your deck to your hand is invaluable. With Cyber Spells and Traps featuring search cards such as Cyber Emergency and Cyber Repair Plant, Fusion cards such as Cyberload Fusion and defensive cards such as Cybernetic Overflow, Core’s effect allows you choose the card you want pertaining to the situation you’re in. If you’re off by a bit of damage for game, Cyber Revsystem can obtain an extra monster. Cyberload Fusion would help in putting extra damage on the board. If you’re going first and you’re missing necessary combo pieces, adding a search card such as Cyber Emergency or Cyber Repair Plant can help you complete your combo. Maybe you already have the combo pieces and need a way to defend yourself, Cybernetic Overflow would serve as a prime choice, offering non-targeting removal. Regardless of the situation, Core is almost always your go to Normal Summon.
Core also features a second effect that allows you to Banish it from the graveyard to Special Summon a Cyber Dragon Monster from your deck. This effect is helpful when grinding as it gives you an extra monster that will come with an additional effect. Cyber Dragon Herz is a great choice to summon when in the grind game, where you need every card you can get. Cyber Dragon Nachster is also a strong contender when you need more presence on the board or have powerful 2100 ATK/DEF monsters in your graveyard such as Cyber Dragon Nova, Cyber Dragon Infinity or Chimeratech Rampage Dragon. In addition to its powerful effects, Cyber Dragon Core also synergize with other cards in the archetype. Core is usable as one of the materials for Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon as well as a Machine Duplication target. Due to Core’s invaluable ability to search your deck and flexibility in almost any situation, it is the strongest card in the archetype and a staple in any Cyber Dragon deck.
Cyber Dragon is the original card of the entire archetype. Cyber Dragon’s main purpose in today’s meta-game isn’t too different as it was in 2005. Cyber Dragon is still a monster that you can special summon from your hand when your opponent controls a monster and you do not. This mainly allows it to contact fuse into Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon or Chimeratech Fortress Dragon depending on the opponent’s field. By doing this, you can immediately simplify the game-state by removing a cards from your opponent’ss board while obtaining a stronger monster in the process. Cyber Dragon also has the use being able to put pressure on the board and beat over some of your opponent’s weaker monsters. With 2100 ATK, Cyber Dragon has a convenient amount of attack. It only takes four direct hits to reduce your opponent’s life points to 0. Although this may often seem unrealistic, many of the deck’s OTK combos rely on attacking your opponent multiple times for 2100 or stacking multiple 2100s onto a single monster through the use of Cyber Dragon Sieger and/or Cyber Dragon Nova.
Cyber Dragon’s place in the archetype is often a point of debate and disagreement though, with Midrange and OTK variants of the archetype playing 2-3 Cyber Dragons while the Control variant only playing 1. This is due to Cyber Dragon being a card that doesn’t net you any advantage, it can remove a monster from your opponent’s board through contact fusion. However, many other Cyber Dragon monsters can do the same. Whether or not Cyber Dragon needs to be heavily played in each archetype is up for debate. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which play-style you want to follow and how many Cyber Dragons you want to play.
Cyber Dragon Herz
Cyber Dragon Herz serves as a combo and recovery piece for the archetype. With an effect that adds a Cyber Dragon from your deck or graveyard to the hand, Herz helps recover your resources such as Cyber Dragon Core (since it counts as Cyber Dragon while in the graveyard). Often, Herz will be played in any combo oriented Cyber Dragon deck that plays multiple ways to discard Cyber Dragon Herz. Popular options include Galaxy Soldier, Cyber Dragon Nachster or even Danger! Monsters. By discarding Herz for any of these cards, Herz’s effect to recover monsters makes it so that you can compensate for the costs to activate these effects.
Herz has another effect which allows it to become a Level 5 monster if it was special summoned. Although this effect doesn’t come up very often because you can only activate one Herz effects per turn, it can be the other Level 5 monsters you need to overlay into Cyber Dragon Nova and later Cyber Dragon Infinity. Regardless, Cyber Dragon Herz is a great option in any Cyber Dragon deck, as it offers recovery and flexibility and is often played at two or more in any variant of Cyber Dragons.
Cyber Dragon Vier
Cyber Dragon Vier is a card that you don’t often see played in many modern Cyber Dragon lists. Vier is a monster that allows itself to be special summoned to the field upon the summon of Cyber Dragon. Because this special summon starts a Chain Link, Vier can be used to Chain Block in combination with Cyber Dragon Core’s Normal Summon effect. This is because Cyber Dragon Core is a mandatory effect which will always result in it’s effect acting as Chain Link 1 with Vier’s effect to summon itself being Chain Link 2. This interaction allows Cyber Dragon Core’s effect able to dodge popular cards such as Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring.
Vier also has a continuous effect which boosts the ATK/DEF points of all Cyber Dragons on your field by 500. Although this doesn’t seem too useful, it makes Vier have a respectable 2100 DEF and all your Cyber Dragons and monsters considered Cyber Dragon usually 2600 ATK. This effect can work against you, however, as it pushes most of your Cyber Dragon monsters over the threshold of attack to be a target for Machine Duplication. Although Vier doesn’t provide you with any ability to recover or generate advantage, Cyber Dragon Vier is an optional monster in mid-range as it provides you with extending options aside from your spells and traps. It also acts as an extra banish target for Cybernetic Overflow.
Cyber Dragon Drei
Cyber Dragon Drei will be the last of the main deck Cyber Dragon monsters we discuss in this part of our Cyber Dragon article series. It has the generic effect of becoming Cyber Dragon while on the field or in the graveyard. This is shared by all the other Cyber Dragon monsters we’ve discussed. Drei’s first effect is to make all Cyber Dragons you currently control become Level five upon normal summon. This effect can be used in combination with Cyber Dragon Vier to quickly get two Level five monsters on the field. If using this effect, like using the level changing effect of Cyber Dragon Herz, you will be locked into only special summoning machine monsters. Drei also has an effect that activates upon being banished. Herz lets you target one Cyber Dragon you control and makes it immune to being destroyed by battle or card effects this turn.
Drei’s usefulness in the deck is overshadowed by cards that do similar things. Since Drei is a normal summon, summoning it and making use of its level changing effect requires either prior setup or committing more cards. Furthermore, by normal summoning Drei, you are not summoning Cyber Dragon Core. Drei’s banish effect is also very situational as the protection it offers is very specific and falters against popular meta cards such as non-targeting removal like Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star. Due to these reasons, Drei isn’t found in most Cyber Dragon lists but still remains an option for those who wish to play it.
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