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Introducing Drytron of the Constellation Draco
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of starship Genesis Impact. Captain’s log #2628: when revealed, I knew there was potential for this theme, but I just couldn’t figure out how. With effectively 12 copies of each card, the consistency certainly exists here, but the theme at reveal lacked focus. Arguably, Drytron is the sleeper deck of Genesis Impact. With Evil Twins being the hyped theme of the set, Drytron has gone under the radar for TCG players. After viewing a few Japanese tournament videos, I immediately knew these LIGHT Machines would be the future of Ritual-based decks. Taking inspiration from the constellation of Draco, these mechanical monstrosities are sure to hit the game with the force of a star!
I will not go through combos and optimal lines of play today due to a lack of theory. As little TCG theory is available, most of the below information is subject to scrutiny and further testing. This is only a guide to explain what this deck theme is and reasons for playing certain related cards. Let’s get into it!
Studying the Drytron Meteor Storms
Like the once-hyped Megalith (shoutout to Lundrity), Drytron functions as a combo deck using Ritual Monsters to build massive boards! It can also pick apart boards going second using low-cost effects. Unlike Megalith and Nekroz, however, Ritual Monsters aren’t the main focus; they’re simply a tool to summon your Level 1 starters and extenders (bar 3 Rituals). However, the player locks themselves out of Special Summoning any monster which cannot be Normal Summoned. These are colloquially known as “Special Summon-only Monsters” overseas. For example, during the turn which Drytron Alpha Thuban’s effect is activated, that player cannot Special Summon Manju using the effect of Saryuja Skull Dread. This is the Drytron Clause as it is the ONLY theme in the game to have this kind of restriction.
Let’s take a look at some of the strongest cards that support Drytron. The most potent Ritual monster to add consistency is Cyber Angel Benten. It includes an abusable, not-once-per-turn effect that adds any LIGHT Fairy. The main search targets include Cyber Angel Natasha, Herald of Ultimateness, and surprisingly, another copy of Cyber Angel Benten. Alpha Thuban and Zeta Aldhibah, however, can search any Ritual Monster and Spell (respectively) during the resolution of their effects.
Because Meteonis Drytron can be used to Summon virtually ANY Ritual Monster using the ATK stat (instead of Levels) combined with the consistency provided by the theme’s Spells, the toolbox potential of Drytron is limited only by the card pool itself. Some of the best utility Ritual Monsters include Herald of Ultimateness, Nekroz of Trishula, Drytron Meteonis Draconids, Drytron Meteonis Quadrantids, Magician of Black Chaos MAX, Cyber Angel Natasha, and Sauravis, the Ancient and Ascended. Most of these techs are 1-ofs because nearly half of the deck has a way to search them.
Robust Ritual Cards to Recognize
First, Sauravis is easily the best non-consistency tech card because it provides both the utility to protect you monsters from single-target effects (Effect Veiler, Infinite Impermanence, Zoodiac Drident, and Virtual World Gate – Chuche) and can be Ritual Summoned to negate an opponent’s Special Summon. Its protection effect doesn’t apply to just Ritual Monsters (as it would be easy to assume); it protects all your monsters. Next, Cyber Angel Natasha is the best Ritual Monster for picking apart boards when going second. Released in Raging Tempest (along with the potent Zoodiac cards), Natasha has never seen competitive play. It was never optimal to search when playing Star Seraph Ritual, Nekroz, or Megalith. There has also never been a reliable way to summon it.
Prior to Meteonis Drytron, the only few Ritual Spells which could summon it were inconsistent at-best and gimmicky at-worst. Now, Natasha uses Meteonis Drytron and ANY Drytron monster (as its ATK is only 1000). This makes it a consistent, powerful card to summon after baiting your opponent’s interruption. Its second effect, like Benten, is NOT once per turn. This means you can Link Summon using Natasha as material, then take control of an opponent’s monster, rinse and repeat! This makes for a terrifying loop which mitigates the limited power options for Ritual decks when forced to play second.
Compulsory Cards to Consider
The non-Ritual tech cards Drytron utilizes include some general summon and search monsters (Chaos Valkyria and Manju, as most Ritual decks now play these), but there exists one cards whose counterpart is Limited for having a similar effect: Dawn Knight. Another card which has never seen real competitive success, Dawn Knight is Drytron’s Union Carrier target. Its sole purpose is to send Drytron Gamma Eltanin to the GY by using Union Carrier to Ritual Summon Cyber Angel Benten from the GY. Like its Drytron brethren, Union Carrier has 2000 ATK while equipped with Dawn Knight (Benten only has 1800 ATK). As a Machine, this makes it a Tribute target for Meteonis Drytron.
Similarly to 2019’s Nekroz, Drytron also support Vanity’s Ruler, another search target from Cyber Angel Benten. Because there is only one other relevant Normal Summon in the deck (Manju) and plenty of ways to summon 4+ monsters easily, Drytron can sacrifice the Normal Summon to prevent the opponent from using Nibiru, the Primal Being during their turn, one weakness of many rogue combo decks.
The Sterling Supernova Sorceries of Drytron
The Spell support cards are straight-forward. Generally, you’ll want to play three copies of each consistency as follows: Cyber Emergency, Drytron Nova, and Drytron Fafnir (Triple Tactics Talents is mandatory as well, but it is not a tech card specifically). Cyber Emergency searches every Drytron monster, while Nova summons any Level 1 Drytron from the Deck. Fafnir searches all other Drytron Spell/Trap and includes a bonus protection effect! These nine cards make up the bulk of the deck’s non-Monster consistency while providing access to the relevant 1-of Drytron Asterism, which deals with problematic stun Monsters or adds an additional layer of protection after summoning Draconids.
The other Spells in the Main Deck should be Terraforming, Foolish Burial, and Red-Eyes Fusion, as Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is one monster often summoned at the end of a combo line. Meteonis Drytron also adds itself from the GY for virtually no cost, too, adding an additional discard for Knightmare monsters and Dark Dragoon. Other options for higher Main Deck counts include Preparation of Rites and Chaos Space, increasing consistency by searching most Rituals and Chaos Valkyria. From testing experience, the Main Deck for Drytron should not include any Traps. Beyond Infinite Impermanence, Drytron Meteor Shower is not worth the space and only has conditional playability. Finally, with the Main Deck out of the way, we have the Extra Deck!
Augmenting the Astral Ancillary Arsenal
The Extra Deck of Drytron includes a few necessary cards, as well as some toolbox ones. As for the mandatory Extra Deck monsters, Cross-Sheep, I:P Masquerena, Linkuriboh, Relinquished Anima, Union Carrier, Predaplant Verte Anaconda, and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon either acquire pieces of your combo (for example, using Union Carrier to equip Dawn Knight, then Ritual Summoning using Union Carrier as Tribute to trigger Dawn Knight’s effect) or are monsters combo lines end on (Dragoon + I:P).
Every other card in the below sample decklist is a toolbox card. They are summoned at the end of a combo or a way to mitigate the risk of drawing bricks. Apollousa, Dark Dragoon (and its best friend, Verte Anaconda), and Herald of Mirage Lights are part of end boards, while Knightmare Phoenix, Knightmare Unicorn, and Accesscode Talker are generic removal. Saryuja is there to draw a few extra cards while placing those pesky Dark Dragoon cards on the bottom of the Deck. Alternatively, Lyrilusc – Assembled Nightingale and Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS – Sky Thunder are playable over cards like Link Spider and Herald of Mirage Lights. In the future, the AA-ZEUS package could become standard seeing as Gamma Eltanin summons all materials for virtually no cost. Now, onto my closing thoughts!
Drytron: The Phenomenon to Commemorate
Drytron has very little TCG theory (for the time being) and the shown cards may be completely different in the future. Will it be an instant “Tier 1” deck along the likes of Virtual World, Dragon Link, or Infernoble? It’s entirely possible, and the more people who learn the deck, the more success it could eventually see. Drytron has nearly all the components that make a great deck; consistency, power, comeback potential, and utility.
Its weakness (requiring additional extenders when interrupted compared to other decks) is one of the most jarring. Covering for that weakness by including more handtraps such as Ash Blossom, PSY-Framegear Gamma, and Nibiru reduce that consistency without equally improving combo pliability. For now, I can see many “pro” players picking up this demanding deck, innovating it to perfection. Please see my preliminary testing list below! I hope you found this article to be a good place to start learning this incredible theme. Thank you for reading!