Table of Contents
Welcome everyone to a new article series known as: Forgotten Archetypes. In this series we will be exploring Archetypes that Konami had more or less “forgotten” about. Mainly archetypes with outdated mechanics or were in earlier generations of Yugioh will be here. If an archetype recently received revitalizing support, they will also be great candidates for this series. In today’s first issue, we will be covering my favorite archetype in the whole entire game. Armed Dragon!
This archetype was my favorite ever since I first saw them debut in the Yugioh GX. If you are looking for a detailed read, please continue scrolling. TLDR will be at the conclusion. Let’s take a look at these bad boys!
Armed Dragon” (アームド・ドラゴン, Āmudo Doragon) is an archetype used by Jun Manjoume(Chazz Princeton) in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Anime. They are a Wind and LV based archetype focusing on the aggressive destruction of the opponent’s monsters. This archetype is first debuted after Manjoume(Chazz) wins the deck from North Academy and subsequently uses them against Judai(Jaden) Yuki in the North Academy vs Duel Academy school duel.
Armed Dragons made a real-life debut during 2014 in the pack “Soul of the Duelist”. Duelist Pack: Chazz Princeton came out a year after, dedicating a whole pack to the character of Chazz Princeton. This Duelist Pack introduced us to the “boss” monster of the Armed Dragons: Armed Dragon LV10. Armed Dragon LV10 became the cover monster and has been printed in this pack as an Ultra Rare card.
The Armed Dragon Family
Taking a look at the Armed Dragon themselves, the archetype doesn’t have much going for them. The archetype is very deeply under supported with only four main members of the family, excluding generic LV support. They also have a common effect. They destroy your opponent’s FACE-UP monsters at the cost of discarding a card.
Let’s take a look at the first member of the series: Armed Dragon LV3. A weaker LV 3 Wind, Dragon with 1200 atk that Level’s Up into Armed Dragon LV 5 as long as it survives into the standby phase of the next turn. A common strategy used in the older days would be using Masked Dragon to stall the battle and to successfully summon out LV 3 and turbo it into LV 5 next turn.
Moving on to Armed Dragon LV5. LV 5 has double the attack of Armed Dragon LV 3, coming in at 2400 atk. Its effect allows you to send a monster with equal or higher value than one of your opponent’s monsters to destroy that said opponent’s monsters. Its secondary effect activates after it destroys one of your opponent’s monsters by battle, which shouldn’t be too hard as it has decent attack. If you are successful in destroying an opponents monster by BATTLE, then during the end phase of that turn, after sending your Armed Dragon LV 5 to the graveyard…
Congratulations! Your Armed Dragon LV 5 has now hopefully evolved into an Armed Dragon LV7. It has an upgraded effect of LV 5 to boot. LV 7 allows you to send a monster card from your hand to the grave to pop ALL face up monsters your opponent controls with an equal or lower attack than the monster sent instead of just one.
Finally, the ultimate beast of the Armed Dragons appears. If you manage to have Level 7 on the field, and an Armed Dragon Level 10 in hand, then you may call upon my favorite monster. ARMED DRAGON LV 10 is the final evolution in this series. It has a whopping 3000 attack and an effect of “Lightning Vortex”. Now that’s what we call a beast.
Now that we gone over the main four Armed Dragon’s, let’s take a look at some generic Level support.
First, we have Level Up! A card that allows you to trade in any lower LV First, we have Level Up! A card that allows you to trade in any lower LV monster’s for a higher monster… As long as the upgraded LV monster has its name mentioned in the weaker LV monster’s text. This used to be one of the best LV cards. Simply, it was an instant level up with no restrictions. You also see Horus in the card art!
Next, let’s look at Level Modulation. This card revives LV monsters, no matter their summoning conditions(as long as they have been summoned normally at first!) from the grave in exchange for not being attack/activating the effect of said monster for the rest of the turn. Following that, you immediately give your opponent’s two cards for just activating this effect, which in today’s meta is usually bad. Is it worth it? Most would say no, but cards like these are actually the better LV support.
Next, let’s take a look at the LV support that is slightly less useful. The two that come to mind are Level Down!? and The Graveyard in the Fourth Dimension. These cards are not very good, a really slow recovery effect of two LV monsters and a quick-play that can potentially save your LV monsters from targeted removal or something like Mirror Force. These four Level cards are all the generic support LV really gets.
I could technically write another article on this section, but I think ill include it here as it technically fits within the Armed Dragon theme. Again like the actual card game support, just four anime cards for the LV archetype in the anime. You can find all except Level Change in GX Episode 166(Manjoume(Chazz) vs Edo(Aster) pro duel). Level Change appears in 5DS episode 16 during the duel between Akiza and a random knight.
Most of these cards are in my opinion just too slow and also falls into the same trap as the LV support released in the actual card game. Level Soul/Change is basically a trap version of Level Up!, Level Bond falls into the same category of Level Modulation, giving your opponent two cards/no attack restriction for a very situational effect in exchange. The only cool one is Level Copy. But that is also very situational.
Evil Brother of the Armed Dragons
I just want to quickly mention DAD(before the incoming flak), our meta-defining Armed Dragon and the first thing most people these days think of when someone mentions Armed Dragon. While he is not part of the traditional Wind, Armed Dragon family, he is still the only Armed Dragon that has made it into Meta decks into the past and a great staple for Dark decks. He is the Dark counterpart to Armed Dragon LV7 and has a great popping effect and decent stats to boot making him worth the short mention. There, is everyone happy now? I mentioned DAD.
Ojama Mismatch and Learning the Alphabet
Konami decided that since Majoume(Chazz) plays with a mismatch of archetypes from the VWXYZ Serieis, Ojamas and Armed Dragons, they should combine Armed Dragons with the other two archetypes to form new cards, isn’t that a great idea? Well, if you enjoy mismatching archetypes then it might be a great idea. Personally, I enjoy Armed Dragons more as a standalone archetype instead of being memed in with other archetypes. Leave a comment below on whether you guys like Armed Dragon support being standalone or mixed.
Ojamatch is widely used in the mobile speed duel format of Yugioh in many Ojama Armed Dragon decks and it’s actually decent support. A great search card. Armed Dragon Catapult Cannon and Ojama Pajama can support each other, but you are just more likely to use the big bad boss monster’s effect anyways to win. To make ADCC, you need the signature “boss” monsters from two of Manjoume(Chazz’s) archetypes: Armed Dragon LV7, and VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon, most players have dedicated a deck to cheating out ADCC. If you ask me, if you summon out ADCC you deserve to just win the game there. It is definitely no easy feat. As for Ojamassimilation, it’s not a direct Armed Dragon support card but it supports the fusion, so ill include it in here for the memes.
Also, notice again how there are four support cards here. What is with Konami and four support cards for Armed Dragons?
New Armed Dragon THUNDERS ⚡
Revealed on 9/09/2020, Konami after many years finally acknowledged Armed Dragons as an archetype again and decided to make Armed Dragon support modernized in 2020 in the upcoming booster pack: Blazing Vortex. While we aren’t sure of what the Blazing part means for the booster pack just yet, the vortex is for sure talking about Armed Dragons. We have a nice cover art picture of our new Armed Dragon boss monster: Armed Dragon Thunder LV10. Let’s take a look at the new support our favorite dragons received below. Then, I will review each new card in-depth along with my thoughts and analysis, keep reading below!
Viability and Analysis of New Armed Dragon THUNDERS ⚡
Hello everyone! Welcome to our analysis portion of each individual card of the newly released Armed Dragon Thunders ⚡. Let’s dive right into our new boss monster for the Armed Dragons: Armed Dragon Thunder LV10. This is a very interesting new card, but let’s clear up some things I wont go over for every new card.
The new LV 3, 5, 7, 10 all share the common clause of copying the name of their original along with the same stats. Thunder LV10 in this instance copies the name of his original counterpart: Armed Dragon LV10. Next, lets take a look at the beautiful, and majestic card art here. Armed Dragon Thunder LV10 seems to retain a similar look to the original LV10(hence why the name is still treated the same), but yet that iconic pose and all those new thunder details on both the tail and wings really drive home the iconic force that is Armed Dragons. I love how the artists really continues to solidify and detail the Armed Dragon’s unique identified of spikes over the body and the continued pallet of red, black and greenish colors.
What’s even more unique is the homage to Manjoume(Chazz) and his signature phrase in the Japanese adaption of Yugioh GX!. Ichi, jū, hyaku, sen, Manjōme-sandā” (一、十、百、千、万丈目サンダー meaning one, ten, hundred, thousand, Manjome Thunder. Thunder now becoming solidified in the Armed Dragon name/identity. This catchphrase is embodied in the new LV10’s effect, with this being the first card having effects depending on if the dragon has 1, 10, 100, 1000, or 10000(referencing the strength of ten thousand men) atk.
If this card was Special Summoned by the effect of an “Armed Dragon” monster, it gains effects based on its own ATK.
1+: This card’s name becomes “Armed Dragon LV10“.
10+: Possession of this card cannot switch.
100+: Cannot be destroyed by battle.
1000+: Once per turn, during your opponent’s turn (Quick Effect): You can send 1 card from your hand to the GY, then target 1 other card on the field; destroy it, and if you do, this card gains 1000 ATK.
10000+: Once per turn: You can destroy all other cards on the field.
It does kinda suck that you need to use an Armed Dragon monster to summon this in order for the full effects to be usable but I guess this allows this majestic monster to be only used in Armed Dragon decks. As for the actual effects, I expected nothing to come from the smaller atk values and I was right.
Switching Control and Battle Immunity is great, but I really wished one effect had some protection against effects, although we have yet to cover Armed Dragon Lightning. The best effect would probably be the 1000 atk effect as not only do you get it right off the bat, but you get to disrupt your opponent on their turn, sending an Armed Dragon/Graveyard reliant card on your turn will help you plus off it, along with gaining even more atk(why do we need battle immunity again?) to fuel your last ultimate effect.
Not sure how many times you are going to be able to use your “ultimate” effect, but its definitely not going to be often or enough times that you still see Thunder LV10 alive on the board with how fast the game pace is these days. Armed Dragon Thunderbolt and Armed Dragon Lightning may help, but I expected a lot more from an “ultimate” effect, and I feel like that it certainly missed it’s mark and is niche at best.
This card’s name becomes “Armed Dragon LV7” while on the field or in the GY. You can only use each of the following effects of “Armed Dragon Thunder LV7” once per turn.
● You can send 1 monster from your hand to the GY; send this card from the field to the GY, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 10 or lower “Armed Dragon” monster from your hand or Deck.
● If this card is sent to the GY to activate a Dragon monster’s effect: You can add 1 “Armed Dragon” card from your Deck to your hand.
It’s a big shame of the loss of the original destruction effects that kept the Armed Dragons unique. Now that the game is so fast, I suppose the Armed Dragons need to evolve to even just barely keep up. Instead of sending a monster to destroy enemy monsters, you now send monsters to level up instantly. These new Armed Dragons also have graveyard effects when they are used to power the new Armed Dragons level up mechanics which is a nice looping bonus.
Shame that the graveyard effect only activates within its archetype. But a nice archetype searcher is always nice. One big weakness though is that the searching effect is on LV7. Make sure to work and play with ratios, as bricking is very prominent and probable in this deck.
This card’s name becomes “Armed Dragon LV5” while on the field or in the GY. You can only use each of the following effects of “Armed Dragon Thunder LV5” once per turn.
● You can send 1 monster from your hand to the GY; send this card from the field to the GY, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 7 or lower “Armed Dragon” monster from your hand or Deck.
● If this card is sent to the GY to activate a Dragon monster’s effect: You can add 1 Level 5 or higher WIND Dragon monster from your Deck to your hand.
Not much to see here, just a cooler looking Armed Dragon LV5, still shares the same name clause and level up condition. Only change is that this is also a searcher but only for your LV5 or higher WIND Dragons. I’m thinking the OG Armed Dragon LV10 that can instantly be used on the Armed Dragon Thunder LV7(treated as OG) for a field wipe or even for something like Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
This card’s name becomes “Armed Dragon LV3” while on the field or in the GY. You can only use each of the following effects of “Armed Dragon Thunder LV3” once per turn.
● You can send 1 monster from your hand to the GY; send this card from the field to the GY, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 5 or lower “Armed Dragon” monster from your hand or Deck.
● If this card is sent to the GY to activate a Dragon monster’s effect: You can draw 1 card.
A free draw is nice, but this doesn’t guarantee a monster to further level up from LV5, you could however draw something better/worse than another monster. Other than that, pretty generic guy with some updated VFX, he will be your starter if you choose to run Armed Dragons pure.
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by its own effect. You can banish “Armed Dragon” monsters from your field or GY whose total Levels equal 10; Special Summon this card from your hand, then you can add 1 “White Veil” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Armed Dragon LV10 – White” once per turn. You take no effect damage. At the start of the Damage Step, if this card attacks: You can destroy 1 card on the field.
Armed Dragon LV10- White is a neat reference to when Manjoume(Chazz) was brainwashed by Saiou(Sartorius) in the society of light and was given White Veil. When Manjoume(Chazz) dueled Asuka(Alexis), he equipped Armed Dragon LV10(Turning it from black/red to pure white) with White Veil to finish her off. This card is a great reference to that duel and Armed Dragon LV10’s transformation.
LV10 White has a great effect that echos the anime reference as it helps add the White Veil from your deck to your hand, it can easily be overlayed with one of the other LV10’s(OG or Thunder) for a quick LV10 XYZ since it can be special summoned easily most of the time, and its a free 3k beatstick with a nice pop effect. Couple that with White Veil to deal with your opponents back row and you got a great monster right…?
Actually no. I actually would not run White Veil unless you are running multiples of LV10 White/Veil, as it’s just too hard not to brick with. With so many high LV Armed Dragons already, running Veil is going to clutter your deck with situational cards even more. If you run the one veil, if you draw it you are going to be at a massive disadvantage, it’s good if you can search it, but thats if and only if you use veil on a strong monster and you can search and summon LV10 White first.
LV10 White is a good card in certain situations I will admit, but utterly useless if you draw him in the opening hand, if anything I would probably drop Veil from the deck and just stick to one copy of LV10 White that you can search out when needed for either a quick XYZ or monster effect.
Target 1 “Armed Dragon” monster you control; take 1 monster with the same name from your Deck or GY, and either add it to your hand or Special Summon it, ignoring its Summoning conditions, but the Special Summoned monster cannot attack directly. You can only activate 1 “Armed Dragon Blitz” per turn. You cannot Special Summon monsters the turn you activate this card, except Dragon monsters.
Like I said earlier, it’s a better copy/mirror image of the anime exclusive Level Copy that only has the first clause of summoning the mirror image of an Armed Dragon. This card also gives you the option of adding the Armed Dragon to your hand which could be somewhat useful(though I don’t believe the OG Armed Dragons and the new ones mix here), or just straight of summoning for XYZ plays or something which in most occasions is the one you will most likely choose and opt for. Konami read the old Armed Dragon and Level support and paid homage by keeping a nasty no direct attacking restriction in there. Once per turn is fair, and the special summon limit is common. It’s simply just any dragon instead, which gives a bit more wiggle room in terms of options.
Special Summon 1 Level 3 “Armed Dragon” monster from your Deck in Defense Position. You can only activate 1 “Armed Dragon Flash” per turn.
Pretty simple effect, not much to say about this one. It’s a starter and enabler, maybe opens up some Link/XYZ/Synchro plays? It also allows you to start evolving without Level 3 in hand. Quickplay is pretty nice as it allows you to use the OG Armed Dragon LV3 and do the Masked Dragon strategy without the actual need to run Masked Dragon like the old days. Hard OTP to prevent abuse.
If an “Armed Dragon” monster(s) you control would be destroyed by a card effect, you can send this card to the GY instead. You can target 1 “Armed Dragon” monster you control, then activate 1 of these effects;
● It gains ATK equal to its Level x 100.
● Add 1 “Armed Dragon” monster from your GY to your hand with a Level less than or equal to that monster.
You can only use this effect of “Armed Dragon Lightning” once per turn.
One of the better Armed Dragon support cards from the set. A continuous spell so it is a bit slow, albeit it should linger for a while. Finally some decent effect destruction as effects that can destroy cards are so prominent these days. The secondary effect of atk gain is nice for an OTK playstyle or to help fuel Thunder LV10’s ultimate effect but it’s just eh. The second effect is what you should be looking at most of the time, as it allows you to recur and recycle Armed Dragons to hand then back to grave and loop that over and over, allowing for constant level ups as well as the new Thunder Armed Dragon’s monster effects when sent to grave to activate as well, this also gives you a reason to run lower ratios of Armed Dragons as you can recur them now. Pretty good!
Target 1 “Armed Dragon” monster you control; it gains 1000 ATK for each “Armed Dragon” monster in your GY with a different name and an equal or lower Level than that monster. But it cannot inflict battle damage to your opponent this turn. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 “Armed Dragon” Spell in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use 1 “Armed Dragon Thunderbolt” effect per turn, and only once that turn.
Our final new support card for the Armed Dragons is actually our most controversial one. It takes the form of a slower, trap card. It’s one of those cards that you start reading and go “Huh, that’s pretty good, good for otk’s.” Until you get to the nasty restriction clause that says “haha no damage tho.”
Let’s take a look at how many Armed Dragons with different names you are going to realistically have. Thunder LV10 starts out with 3k. Assuming you set this the same turn you summon LV10, lets say you get a pop off on your opp. Thunder LV10 now has 4000 atk. You probably jumped through LV3, 5 and 7 to get to LV10.
That’s 3 unique names there, add in Armed Dragon LV10 – White and you get 4 unique names. Maybe you have another Thunder LV10 in the grave that’s still only five names. That’s only 9000 atk, you are still 1000 short of the ultimate ability. This makes it so you have to run OG Armed Dragon monster’s(which I recommend anyways).
You got a graveyard effect that you can trigger with Foolish Burial Goods, but honestly it’s not even that good. You need an Armed Dragon spell in your GY and you will probably be choosing between Flash, Blitz, and Lightning. I think Lightning will be the go to for most players as it can actually send itself to the grave. It comes back to protect your Armed Dragons from a single effect. This card is not very good in my opinion.
Personal Decklist/Ideas to try
We are nearing the end of this write up. I know, it’s sad but I want to give you guys some ideas and tips.
Ignoring the side deck, this is my favorite deck. This was before the new support. But still a great showcase on how viable they were. As you can see to make them competitive, I had to limit my ratios. 2X LV5, 1X LV7 and 1X LV10 for best results.
This deck is based off the old Disaster Dragon Variant. It has a few spicy ideas for anyone who wants to work with the new and old. Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo can skip LV3 and turbo straight into LV 5. It also takes care of an opponent’s monster without the need for any targeting with Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation. Koa’ki Meiru Drago has saved my life and helped against so many Light and Dark meta decks. Everything else is pretty standard with many defensive/reactive traps and a few searcher spells along with Ash Blossom.
With this new support, I been testing many different builds. From using 3X of many Armed Dragons, cutting out LV3 and Flash. But I have not been happy or successful with a general build. I have to begrudgingly say that I don’t see much reason to use the new cards.
I have come to the conclusion that running both the OG with the new ones is pretty good. Since the new cards are the OG’s in name, LV10 is way easier to play using Thunder LV7. This has led me to play LV10 turbo for a while. Besides that, Lightning seems to be the only spell that works with my deck. Let me know how everyone’s testing is going below in the comments!
If you came here, you are probably here for either the conclusion (congrats), or the TLDR. If so, then you are in the right place. Let’s start with the TLDR.
TLDR: Armed Dragons are LV monsters with destruction effects and very slow. Used by Manjoume(Chazz) in GX anime. Support is minimal within the archetype and in the LV support itself. Anime support and Ojama/VWXYZ support are cool but do minimal to actually help the archetype function as a standalone. A lot of support cards released in batches of 4!? DAD is evil LV 7 and our only meta defining Armed Dragon.
Armed Dragon LV10 – White can special summon itself and search White Veil. One spell turbos out Thunder LV3, One spell copies an Armed Dragon with the same name, One spell protects from card effects while increasing atk or getting back Armed Dragon from grave. Trap is garbage and useless in most occasions, don’ t use. Deck can brick with high level monsters, Look into Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo, Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation,Koa’ki Meiru Drago for spicy deck options, use old Armed Dragons in conjunction with new ones, ratios need testing.
My favorite archetype has finally been given love in 2020 by Konami but the new support was… disappointing. I would have hoped that the new support breathed fresh life into the old family. The new trap is useless and the new support cards while a step forward are too slow in today’s meta game to ever be competitive enough.
The art is alright for the most part, but they seem very cartoonish at times, the references were also very cool but do nothing for the viability of the actual card and archetype. Most of all, I feel like some identify for the originals was not present in the new cards. Armed Dragons are still strong in a fight for sure, but their core destruction effects that solidified their original identity in the anime and card game are removed. That is another reason why I believe you should run the OG and new support together if anything.
Are the new cards decent? Yes. Viable? Yes. Fun? Depends on the player but sure. Competitive? No. As much as it hurts to say it, if you are looking for a meta or competitive deck this is not it. You will be hurting yourself if you use Armed Dragons in the highest levels of play, they may be able to function a little in competitive but like my deck list above, you may just have to run them in small numbers and in conjunction with many other engines or elements to stay the least bit competitive.
I appreciate any new Armed Dragon cards. But I feel like Konami has missed the mark on this one. This new support will bring new players to try out the archetype. And while I am glad in a way, I am sure most will be gone soon. Leaving again only the most dedicated of players left trying to make the archetype work. I do hope more support will come eventually. But knowing Konami it could be another 5 year wait, or there could be more support still in Blazing Vortex(who knows!?), but I do look forward to making another one of these articles when and if new support comes out for my precious babies.
For everyone who has read this entire article, I applaud you and encourage you to likewise applaud yourself. I know long articles aren’t for everyone but this was one of my most passionate and heartfelt works. I do hope that everyone reading got some new information or enjoyment from reading this article.