The Sprouting Potential of Sunavalons

Introduction

MAMA TREE! You might have heard this saying before. If you watched the Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains anime or have any basic understandings of the Sunavalon tree, you would know that “Mama Tree” is usually used to refer to any of the Sunavalon Tree Link monsters, most commonly defaulting to Sunavalon Dryanome. Sunavalons were used in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains anime by our friendly neighbor maniac: Spectre! This archetype has always been a fan favorite anime only archetype for the longest time, and I am super excited for Mama Tree and her sprouts to bloom into the TCG/OCG. As always TLDR will be near the end of the article if you prefer a quicker read, but for all those who want to really get to know the archetype, I suggest you read on!

Archetype Overview and History

Sunavalon” (聖天樹 (サンアバロン) San’abaron) is an plant based, earth archetype used by psychotic Spectre in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains anime. Sunavalon refers to the four “Mama Trees”, while their “sprouts” being subsequently referred to as Sunvine. The goal of the archetype is to turbo into the “Mama Trees” and evolve/protect them, while spawning Sunvine “sprouts” to deal damage, heal, and provide utility.

If the Mama Tree dies to a card effect, it usually takes out it’s fellow baby sprouts with it so be careful! All four Mama Tree’s share the same clause of not being able to be attacked(which is why they need to die with an effect!), but this doesnt prevent the opponent from attacking you directly. With the exception of Sunavalon Dryatrentiay, all other Mama Tree’s will spawn a Sunvine monster when you take any source of damage whether that damage comes from yourself, or your opponent, the amount of times your Mama Tree can protect you will depend on it’s Link Rating(again excluding Dryatrentiay).

A quick analogy I could provide, is if you ever played a MOBA(Multiplayer Online BattleGround Arena) or Tower Defense game, you would have the “Towers” be Sunvines, with the Base(what you are trying to protect/if you lose it you lose the game) being the Sunavalon trees. Sunavalons are extremely flexible on how they want to deal damage, though I would say they are more effect damage based than straight up battle damage. If you want Battle Damage and OTK potential, go for Sunvine Thrasher, even better if the unreleased Sunvine Melias is in play. If you want to end things with effect damage, I would guide you to instead focus on cards such as Sunvine Healer, and the unreleased Sunavalon Glorious Growth, Sunavalon Doom and Sunavalon Force.

Anime Archetype Vote during January 2020

During early January 2020, Konami released an Archetype Vote for an Anime Exclusive Deck from the list above. Two anime decks from each animated series were present, and the winner would have their anime deck become real in the following collector series set(a yearly reoccuring set that boasts anime exclusive archetypes into real life). Fossils ended up winning the vote, and subsequently were released along with Numerons and Appliancer’s in the Collection Pack 2020 set on June 20, 2020 for the OCG.

Final Results of the Collection Pack 2020 Poll

The image above, shows the final results of the Collection Pack 2020 Poll. Needless to say, many Sunavalon fans were bummed out and infuriated that they placed second and were worried that they needed to wait another year or even more to have their archetypes printed. Around early October 2020, Konami surprised us by announcing Sunavalon Support in the upcoming Selection 10 pack. This was only a few months after printing Fossil support , similar to what they did earlier with the Structure Deck voting(if anyone remembers) between Shaddoll and Sacred Beasts. While only 13/21 of the Sunavalon/Sunvine archetype have been printed in this upcoming Selection 10 pack, the archetype has a lot of potential to be explored and is definitely functional. Let’s take a look at the new support and actual cards of the Sunavalon/Sunvine Archetypes.

Plant: Sunseeds

Starter: Sunseed Genius Loci

Sunseed Genius Loci
This is a Sunseed Genius lowkey

Sunseed Genius Loci
Level 1 EARTH Plant Normal Monster
ATK 0
DEF 600
A seed that can be harvested from the sacred tree once every thousand years. It is said to become the guardian spirit of its land after a millennium.

This is the seed you need to plant as soon as possible, you want to see this Level 1 monster in your hand from turn one, otherwise you need ways to search this. Sunseed Genius Loci is an instant Sunavalon Dryas, and with Sunvine Shrine, can come back quickly to further your Link plays. You have many ways to search this tiny seed, Unexpected Dai, Lonefire Blossom, One for One, Painful Decision, Where Arf Thou … and more are all viable options to obtaining this lowkey. This card is a very viable normal summon, and you should definitely be running multiple copies of this card. Some of the other maindeck Sunseed monsters below also synergize with this seed a lot, this is your starter!

Combo: Sunseed Shadow

Sunseed Shadow
Sunseed Genius Loci but when it blooms

Sunseed Shadow
Level 1 EARTH Plant Effect Monster
ATK 0
DEF 400
You can only use this card name’s (1) and (2) effects once per turn each.
(1) If you control a Plant Normal Monster: You can Special Summon this card from your hand.
(2) You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 of your linked Link-2 or lower “Sunavalon” or “Sunvine” monsters. You cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except Plant monsters, also Special Summon 1 monster with the same name from your Extra Deck, but its effects are negated.

Sunseed Shadow is very useful when combined with Sunseed Genius Loci. With Sunseed Genius Loci out on the field, Sunseed Shadow can be summoned directly from your hand. In turn this can be used for your Link summoning adventures. Shadow’s Graveyard effect can also work well with Sunvine Shrine. Sunseed Shadow can also copy a Sunavalon/Sunvine monster from your field, and summon an exact copy from your deck with it’s effects negated, whether you want to link climb further and make a better Sunavalon tree or just have some extra muscle, Sunseed Shadow has got you considered.

Revive: Sunseed Twin

Sunseed Twin
Surprised Konami didn’t censor these naked twins further

Sunseed Twin
Level 2 EARTH Plant Effect Monster
ATK 0
DEF 800
You can only use this card name’s (1) and (2) effects once per turn each.
(1) If this card is Normal or Special Summoned and you control a “Sunavalon” Link Monster: You can target 1 Level 4 or lower Plant Normal Monster in your GY; Special Summon it.
(2) You can banish this card from your GY and 1 Link Monster you control; if there are 2 or more Plant Link Monsters with the same name in your GY, Special Summon 1 of them.

Sunseed Twin is a very good card. It’s revival effect on Sunseed Genius Loci works on both normal and special summon, but you need to control a Sunavalon Link monster to use this effect. The effect is sorta restrictive but can be worked around. Similar to Sunseed Shadow, it comes with two effects and is very good at Link Climbing. Twin’s second effect can be achieved through Sunvine Shrine or any other graveyard sending effect for Twin.

Twin serves a niche purpose with it’s second effect, so far personally I found the main thing I been using it for is removing Sunvine copies with their effects/stats impaired and summoning a new one to take it’s place from the extra deck, there are other situations where the secondary effect of Twin can be useful, but I seldom seem to find those situations. Regardless, the first effect of Twin is already good enough to warrant Twin a spot in most Sunavalon decks.

Protect: Sunsee…Sunvine Maiden

Sunvine Maiden
Ah so this is where the tentacles come from 😏

Sunvine Maiden
Level 1 EARTH Plant Effect Monster
ATK 0
DEF 0
You can only use the (1) effect of this card’s name once per turn.
(1) When your opponent activates a card or effect that targets a Plant monster(s) you control that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon this card from your hand, and if you do, negate that effect.
(2) Your opponent cannot target “Sunavalon” and “Sunvine” Spells/Traps you control with card effects.

Ok Ok, before you all yell at me about how this isnt a “Sunseed” card, I believe it’s best to group Maiden here since it doesnt fit well with the Sunvine Links. I think Maiden is paired more closely with the Sunseeds as a lower level main deck monster, so ill just put her in this section if you dont mind.

Sunvine Maiden is inherent protection for your Sunavalon/Sunvines from targetting effects. Sunvine Maiden is not to be underestimated, as she has actually won me a few duels with her protection when summoned and the initial negation. When Maiden is on the field, not only are your Sunavalon and Sunvine S/T’s no longer going to be able to be targetted, but most opponents have to waste an attack/effect on Maiden to get rid of her. The protection is very fragile and finicky, but sometimes all you need is the initial negate and a light lock of protection, and Maiden provides that for you as a handtrap, and if she somehow survives until your next turn than you can use her in other ways as well.

Sunavalon “Momma” Trees

Starter: Sunavalon Dryas

Sunavalon Dryas
Start with the happy face 🙂

Sunavalon Dryas Link 1 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 0
Link: Bottom
Materials: 1 Level 4 or lower Plant monster
(1) If this card is Link Summoned to the Extra Monster Zone by using “Sunseed Genius Loci” as material. You can add 1 “Sunvine” Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand.
(2) Cannot be targeted for attacks, but does not prevent your opponent from attacking you directly.
(3) Once per turn, if you take battle or effect damage. You can gain an equal amount of LP, and if you do, Special Summon 1 “Sunvine” monster from your Extra Deck.

Sunavalon Dryas is your starter tree. It is a Link 1, requiring “1 Level 4 or lower Plant Monster” that you will usually use Sunseed Genius Loci to go into. In this case, think of Sunseed as a seed that plants the Sunavalon Trees. Dryas has gotten a slight buff from the anime version of it, now allowing a free +1 by searching a Sunvine Spell/Trap, which as of now should probably be Sunvine Shrine. Dryas shares the common clause of not being able to be targeted for attacks(opponents would attack you directly triggering the third effect) with all other Sunavalons except Sunavalon Dryatrentiay. When ANY sort of damage is inflicted to you by ANY user, you will be able to spawn from the Momma Tree, Sunvines(minions) that will in turn do the damage, utility, and other effects to progress to your winstate.

Optional: Sunavalon Dryades

Sunavalon Dryades
Dryades is a bit meaner looking, losing its happy face 🙁

Sunavalon Dryades
Link 2 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 0
Links: Bottom Left, Bottom Right
Materials: 2 Plant monsters, including a “Sunavalon” Link Monster
(1) Cannot be targeted for attacks, but does not prevent your opponent from attacking you directly.
(2) Up to twice per turn, if you take battle or effect damage. You can gain an equal amount of LP, and if you do, Special Summon 1 “Sunvine” monster from your Extra Deck.

Sunavalon Dryades along with the last two evolutions of Sunavalon Dryas, if you haven’t noticed by now, will start to look meaner and more tentacular in the artwork. Sunavalon Dryades shares the same last two effects of Dryas, while losing the searching effect. Dryades prevents anyone from attacking it, and instead of just blocking one instance of damage, Dryades being a Link-2 can block two. Dryades is somewhat controversial as you decide whether you really need to dedicate Extra Deck space for him. While some decide to opt for a few copies of Dryades, many actually skip over him and instead opt to jump straight into…

Protection: Sunavalon Dryanome

Sunavalon Dryanome
Spectre’s favorite Tree

Sunavalon Dryanome
Link 3 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 0
Links: Bottom Left, Bottom, Bottom Right
Materials:  2+ Plant monsters
(1) Cannot be targeted for attacks, but does not prevent your opponent from attacking you directly.
(2) Up to thrice per turn, if you take battle or effect damage. You can gain an equal amount of LP, and if you do, Special Summon 1 “Sunvine” monster from your Extra Deck.
(3) Once per turn, when a monster this card points to is targeted for an attack. You can negate that attack, and if you do, move the attack target to another of your Main Monster Zones.

Here’s when the Momma tree really looks to have changed into something way bigger and much more evil compared to the former two evolutions. Dryanome along with Dryas, will be one of the most used Trees as with the proper combos and resources, you can jump straight from Sunavalon Dryas into Sunavalon Dryanome. Any Sunvine Thrasher that targets this evolution will instantly jump to 3200 ATK. Besides the no attacking it clause, and three-time heal and spawn Sunvine effect, Dryanome can now start cancelling attacks on it’s babies if you so wish.

As long as the monster is safely under one of Dryanome’s link arrows, you can freely move the monsters to a different Main Monster Zone to prevent the attack, this might seem small at first, and you may ask “Why would I ever use this? I want them to attack if Dryanome’s effect is up right?”. The answer is, it completely depends on the situation! When playing Link Decks and especially Sunavalons, link arrow and monster placement is very important, as some Sunavalon combos rely heavily on strategic placements of all your monsters, more on that later. Let’s move onto our final tree…

Destruction: Sunavalon Dryatrentiay

Sunavalon Dryatrentiay
More tentacles and Japanese Orchid!?

Sunavalon Dryatrentiay
Link 4 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 0
Links: Top, Bottom Left, Bottom, Bottom Right
Links: 2+ Link Monsters
(1) If this card is Link Summoned: You can add 1 “Sunavalon” Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand.
(2) Cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. Cannot be targeted for attacks, but does not prevent your opponent from attacking you directly.
(3) Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 Link Monster this card points to; destroy cards your opponent controls, up to the Tributed monster’s Link Rating.

Sunavalon Dryatrentiay can in some situations be considered our most “powerful” tree. It gains new utilities in exchange for dropping older ones. However, with great power comes great responsibility, along with inherent risk coming into play now. Sunavalon Dryatrentiay is a Link 4, fulfilling the conditions of and searching Sunavalon Bloom. Dryatrentiay gains protection from card effect destruction but it no longer spawns Sunvines nor heals you. Dryatrentiay instead trades that effect for a more destructive and control-eque effect. It pops a Link Monster you control to destroy cards your opponent controls. The number of cards popped depends on the Link Monster you give up. Please also note this effect does not target.

Sunvine “Utility” Sprouts

Protection: Sunvine Gardna

Sunvine Gardna
Reminds me of those humanoid, security robots in many games and movies 🤖

Sunvine Gardna
Link 1 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 600
Link: Top
Material: 1 Plant Normal Monster
(1) If a “Sunavalon” Link Monster(s) you control leaves the field by card effect: Destroy this card.
(2) When an attack is declared involving this card linked to a “Sunavalon” Link Monster and an opponent’s monster. You can activate this effect; halve the battle damage you take from that battle.
(3) When this card is destroyed by battle: You can activate this effect; end the Battle Phase after the end of the Damage Step.

Our first Sunvine! but also largely considered one of the more “useless” Sunvines at that. Remember that Sunvines get spawned from the Sunavalons when you take damage. They help you do damage, provide utility, defense, and much more! Think of Sunvines as Vines on a Tree, they provide support. Sunvine Gardna focuses on providing some sort of defense… a poor one at that.

First, a few Sunvines share this clause, that if their mommy tree explodes then they die along with her. This makes sense as Tree’s vines will die along with a Tree. Gardna will only HALVE the damage you take if a battle is engaged. This must be while Gardna is linked to a momma tree and Gardna is involved in the battle. This effect is very specific and you still take end up taking damage. Most people who use Gardna would be thinking that he should be preventing all damage. This is because in some cases, you just can’t afford to take any damage. When Gardna finally dies in battle, he will end the Battle Phase there.

There are just so many ways around Gardna that it is unbelievable. Low attack, the opponent can choose to attack Gardna last or not at all, suspectable to destruction via card effects, super-specific conditions, and constraints…etc, and the list just goes on. Gardna is a card you should seriously consider if you want to play in your Sunavalon deck. At most of I would recommend one because you really don’t go into this guy often, if at all. Just way too easy to outplay this “Gardna”.

Healing: Sunvine Healer

Sunvine Healer
The healer in the party!

Sunvine Healer
Link 1 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 600
Link: Top
Materials: 1 Plant Normal Monster
(1) If a “Sunavalon” Link Monster(s) you control leaves the field by card effect: Destroy this card.
(2) If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 “Sunavalon” Link Monster on the field; gain LP equal to its Link Rating x 300.
(3) When your Plant Link Monster inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can gain 600 LP.

Remember when I said Sunavalons are flexible in the way they want to win the game? Battle, Effect Damage, Healing…? Well Sunvine Healer helps you towards two of the aforementioned strategies. Like Gardna it is very suspectable to card effects against itself and the mother tree. Healer will die instantly should the mother tree fall. Healer can heal up to 1200 of your life points with Sunavalon Dryatrentiay. 300 per link marker and while it may seem insufficient, it combos well with cards like Sunavalon Glorious Growth. Healer also nets you 600 LP gain when your Plant Link Monsters deal damage through battle to your opponent. Sunvine Trasher or Sunavalon Dryatrentiay will be the most likely/frequent cases here. Still with all the minuscule healing, I believe it would still be beneficial to include minimal copies to this card in your extra deck, if any at all for now.

Destruction/Steal: Sunvine Thrasher

Sunvine Thrasher
Slasher? Thrasher? I just dont know! Shiny blade though.

Sunvine Thrasher
Link 1 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 800
Link: Bottom
Materials: 1 Plant Normal Monster
(1) If a “Sunavalon” Link Monster(s) you control leaves the field by card effect: Destroy this card.
(2) If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 “Sunavalon” monster on the field; this card gains ATK equal to its Link Rating x 800.
(3) When this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the GY. You can Special Summon that monster to your zone a Link Monster points to, but its effects are negated.

We did it. We have finally arrived to my favorite card of the entire Sunavalon/vine archetype. Sunvine Thrasher was the card that got me interested in the archetype in the first place. It has stunning artwork but also in my opinion will be the most useful Sunvine. While it starts at a measly 800 atk and can die to card effects, it can quickly make up. Thrasher can amplify it’s initial atk by 800 more depending on what stage evolution your Sunavalon tree is at. It can cap out at 4000 atk if you have a Sunavalon Dryatrentiay on the field when Thrasher arrives. My favorite effect of Thrasher, is it’s third effect of stealing opponent’s monsters by battle when beating them in battle.

The real-life effect was a bit nerfed compared to the anime version. Monsters stolen didn’t originally have their monster effects negated, to now being negated. I still love how Konami kept the core aspect of stealing the opponent’s monsters and corrupting them, making them evil…etc. As long as you have a free arrow from one Sunavalon Tree, you can steal all sorts of monsters. The monsters do have to be sent to the graveyard to be stolen, so that is kinda restrictive. Also, the monsters need to be beaten in battle with Trasher only. The amount of damage and combos that Thrasher’s utility applies, along with the pressure on your opponent in unmatched with any other Sunvine. If you need big damage, and a potential steal/combo potential, Sunvine Trasher is your best friend here.

Fertilizer/Thorns: Spells and Traps

Fertilizer: Sunvine Shrine

Sunvine Shrine
Indiana Jones/Tomb Explorer Vibes

Sunvine Shrine
Continuous Spell Card
Activate this card by sending 1 card from your hand to the GY while you control a “Sunavalon” Link Monster.
(1) You cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck, except Plant monsters.
(2) Once per turn: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Plant Normal Monster from your GY.
(3) Once per turn, during your opponent’s End Phase. You can send this face-up card to the GY, then target 1 Continuous Trap in your GY; Set it to your Spell & Trap Zone.

Let me just start off by saying, the art on this card is really cool. I love the mysterious forest/jungle vibes that I get from this. Noticing the streaks of purple and green are really majestic and cool! Sunvine Shrine is currently the only released spell for Sunavalons and Sunvines. It’s effect is great for starting combos and being the enabler.

Let’s start off with the downsides, Shrine is a continuous spell, so while you may be able to use it over and over again, it needs to still alive for that to work. Quick S/T removal from your opponent and this card will not function at all. You also need to start this card off with a card pitched to the graveyard from your hand and needing a Sunavalon Mother Tree on the field to even activate this.

You can however turn this to your advantage by sending a card/Sunvine with a useful graveyard effect or just send something like Sunseed Genius Loci, which you can instantly recur back with Shrines’s second effect. Speaking of Shrines’s second effect, this effect brings back a Level 4 or lower Plant Normal Monster(Loci anyone?) and you will use this effect to either build up a new Mommy Tree in the form of Dryas, make your Mommy Tree Bigger by Link Climbing, or spawning Sunvines!

Again the deck is flexible, and what you should do totally depends on your situation. The final effect of Shrine is more situational, it pairs well with Sunavalon Bloom or any continuous trap of that matter, it doesn’t limit you to only Bloom, but you will need to give up Shrine for it which is a choice you need to be willing to consider.

Thorns: Sunavalon Bloom

Sunavalon Bloom
Beautiful Purple Orchids, Reminds me of a garden

Sunavalon Bloom
Continuous Trap Card
You can only activate 1 card with this card’s name per turn.
You can only use this card name’s (2) effect once per turn.
(1) When this card is activated, if you control a Link-4 or higher Plant Link Monster, you can negate the effects of all face-up monsters your opponent currently controls.
(2) If your Plant Link Monster battles, during damage calculation: You can make it gain ATK equal to the total ATK of all monsters it points to, until the end of this turn.

Sunavalon Bloom is currently the only released trap card support for Sunavalons and is the Disabler. It’s got similarities to a Floodgate, by both being continuous, and by being able to turn off all your opponent’s monster effects but you do need to have a Sunavalon Dryatrentiay on board which can take a while. Bloom is searchable by Dryatrentiay, and can be set by Sunvine Shrine.

With Sunvine Thrasher and all the opponent’s monster’s that he has stolen, you can make effective use of Bloom’s secondary effect and make your Sunavalon’s go from 0 to 100 real quick. Your 0 attack Sunavalon’s can quickly rise to the thousands in terms of ATK and this can quickly lead to severe life point loss for your opponent if not an outright OTK. Bloom is very situational though, and very specific and restrictive on conditions to get its full power to shine through, I would also be careful on many Bloom’s you choose to run as they may cause bricking or dead hands if you draw them too early on.

Sunavalon/Sunvine Anime Cards

In this section, we will be talking about unreleased Sunavalon/Sunvines. They are used in the anime by Spectre that have yet to be released. The archetype has a lot of room to grow and is not at full, peak potential in the TCG/OCG yet. Let’s take a look at how these cards could completely revolutionize the archetype and it’s playstyle when released.

Multiattack: Sunavalon Melias

Sunavalon Melias
The remaining Link Monsters are all root ladies!

Sunavalon Melias Link 3 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 0
Link: Top, Left, Right
Materials: 2+ Plant Monsters, including a Link Monster
Cannot be used as Link Material the turn it is Link Summoned. If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 Plant monster in your GY; Special Summon it in Defense Position to your zone this card points to. Cannot be targeted for attacks, but does not prevent your opponent from attacking you directly. At the start of your Battle Phase: You can target 1 “Sunvine” Link Monster this card points to; during this Battle Phase, it can attack up to the number of “Sunavalon” Link Monsters you control.

Sunavalon Melias similar to Sunseed Twin can revive a Plant Monster, but is way less restrictive. This Plant monster can be any Plant Monster, including Sunavalon/Sunvine Links and it will go in defense. Another big note is that the monster that comes back has it’s effects not restricted. She shares the same clause as the Sunavalon Tree’s despite not being one, and cannot be targetted for attacks. She also cant be linked off right away.

Sunavalon Melias’s biggest strength comes from her final effect, as she allows Sunavalons to shift into an OTK/Battle Damage based playstyle that synergies super well with Sunvine Thrasher(similar to what Spectre did in the anime, allowing Thrasher three attacks). Melias can target a Sunvine(Thrasher in most instances) and have it gain multiple attacks during this battle phase up to the number of Sunavalon Link Monsters you control. Melias already counts as one, if you have a mother tree out(you should) thats at least two attacks for Thrasher, and with something like Sunseed Shadow and it’s effect, you could have three attacks just like that.

There are always different scenarios where the numbers can change more or less, but still Melias adds a very powerful effect to the Sunavalon archetype’s playstyle and damage dealing capabilities. Just imagine a 3200/4000 ATK Sunvine Thrasher attacking 3-4 times and perhaps even stealing more than one monster! Now thats a lot of damage and hurt on your opponent.

Recycle and Reuse: Sunavalon Daphne

Sunavalon Daphne
Our Second root Lady and final Link monster

Sunavalon Daphne Link 2 EARTH Plant Link Effect Monster
ATK 0
Link: Left, Right
Materials: 2 Plant Monsters
Cannot be used as Link Material the turn it is Link Summoned. Cannot be targeted for attacks, but does not prevent your opponent from attacking you directly. Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 2 Plant Link Monsters in your GY; return them to the Extra Deck.

Are you guys familiar with the story of Apollo and Daphne? I previously just read the tale myself a year back in one of my English classes and instantly made the reference to this card back when it was showcased by Spectre in the Anime. TLDR: Ancient Greek Mythology Story, Apollo the god loves Daphne but she doesn’t love him back, she asks to be turned into a Tree as a desperate measure and becomes a Laurel Tree. Apollo honors her still though… that’s about the gist of it. You can search up more about it just by typing in Apollo and Daphne.

On to the actual card, Daphne is our final link monster and is a Sunavalon. Being a Sunavalon, she shares with Melias the clause of not being able to be targeted for an attack and not being able to be linked off right away. She is a fairly simple card, that helps you recoup resources in the GY and puts them back into the extra deck for reuse. When building decks you can put this into consideration and perhaps put fewer copies of a card, as Daphne can just recycle them back, or make sure that you have Infinite Sunavalon Trees or Sunvine Thrasher.

Breed/Replace: Sunvine Cross Breed

Sunvine Cross Breed
For whatever reason, this card makes me think of a card in Hearthstone that mixed two cards together and gave you a mix match of whatever those two became

Sunvine Cross Breed
Continuous Spell Card
Once per turn, you can Tribute 1 Link Monster you control, Special Summon 1 Plant monster from your GY, but it has its effects negated.

Pretty simple card and effect. Wish it actually Cross Bred two monsters into something else but what can you do. Its good for trading in a Link monster for perhaps a Sunseed, or moving Link Monsters around, creating new, fresh Link Monsters and more. Fun little card that can help create combos and new strategies, not too much to say about this simple effect. This card is also not too restrictive besides the revived monster not having its effect(which does suck). It can be any Link monster tributed(Thrasher steals opponent’s Link Monster), and any Plant monster revived, not just limited to the archetype itself.

Plunder and Steal: Sunvine Plunder

Sunvine Plunder
One of those Cursed Forest/Weirwood vibes of Trees moving/Latching onto you

Sunvine Plunder
Continuous Spell Card
Activate this card by paying 800 LP, then target 1 face-up Spell Card your opponent controls: Take control of that card. Your opponent cannot destroy this card and this card’s target with card effects. When this card would be destroyed, destroy the targeted card. When the targeted card is destroyed, destroy this card.

A niche/situational card that costs 800 life points to use, not too bad since you have options to heal/survive anyway. You take control of one face-up spell card your opponent controls. I assume the target will be continuous spells most likely, but maybe field spells? Once you have the opponent’s card, it will be protected forever along with this card itself against card effects/targeted removal. When the targeted card dies, this card is destroyed, but I doubt people these days have specific cards to counter this one niche card, either this card will be blown up by nontargeting removal, or you will keep a potentially!? powerful spell card from your opponent?

This card depends on your opponent to do stuff, however, and it all depends on whether you draw this card, can afford to pay the cost, the opponent plays something actually worth taking, this not bricking… again extremely niche and situational, maybe better suited for the side deck? If this card is ever released, testing will definitely be needed, but for now it’s a nice fun option on the side.

Growth/Destruction: Cursed Reborn

Sunavalon Cursed Reborn
When Dryatrentiay gets angry and becomes Attack on Titan

Sunavalon Cursed Reborn
Continuous Spell Card
Activate this card by targeting 1 “Sunavalon” Link Monster in your GY; Special Summon it, and if you do, its ATK becomes equal to its Link Rating x 1000, but it has its effects negated, also for the rest of this turn, it cannot be used as Link Material, nor attack. When this card leaves the field, destroy that monster. When that monster leaves the field, destroy this card. If you take battle or effect damage: You can send this card to the GY; inflict damage to your opponent equal to the damage you took.

Noticing a trend? I have. Sunavalons really love their continuous spells, don’t they? This spell is a Sunavalon since it depicts Sunavalon Dryatrentiay getting angry. It sheds it’s beautiful purple and becomes death-like, bare branches, something you see in a horror film. Sunavalon Cursed Reborn the card itself is very good and powerful in some situations. It turns any of your Sunavalon Mother Tree’s in your graveyard, into a beatstick. Sunavalon Dryanome and Sunavalon Dryatrentiay having 3000 and 4000 ATK respectively which is huge. The effects being negated is a bummer, but an appropriate drawback for being able to become a beatstick, kinda goes with the art too(shedding leaves(normal effect) and being bare-bones and angry).

A really big negative is that it cant be linked off, nor attack on the turn it becomes that beatstick which kinda kills off OTK potential/big damage, but I guess getting left with a big beatstick is good? Of course when this card dies/monster dies, the other will go to the graveyard, similar to something like Call of the Haunted for instance. At least, this card helps with the effect damage win condition, whatever instance of damage you take once can be reflected back to your opponent so hey thats a plus, the downside being you lose this card/beatstick. Overall, this card has the POTENTIAL to be powerful, but you have to be careful with the usage of it.

Heal/Burn: Glorious Growth

Sunavalon Glorius Growth
Shrines rising up from some old game I can’t remember

Sunavalon Glorious Growth
Continuous Trap Card
Activate this card if you take battle or effect damage: Special Summon 1 “Sunvine Token” (Plant/EARTH/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0), and if you do, immediately after this effect resolves, Link Summon 1 “Sunavalon” Link Monster, then gain LP equal to the damage you took. If you gain LP: Inflict that much damage to your opponent. Once per turn, when an opponent’s monster declares a direct attack: You can target the attacking monster; negate the attack, then that monster must attack again in a row, on 1 of your “Sunvine” monsters. If a “Sunavalon” monster you control is destroyed, destroy this card.

Moving onto Trap Cards, you can see Sunavalons bring their love of continuous spells into traps as well. We will start with what I considered the most broken card of the entire archetype if used correctly: Sunavalon Glorious Growth. This card helps solidify so many weaknesses and puts so much pressure on your opponent.

Let’s go over it’s quick weakness’s first, if a Sunavalon dies, this dies, as well as it being Continuous Trap means its suspect to removal and taking a turn to activate in the first place(reaction based). This card synergies so well with Sunavalon Trees. If you take battle/effect damage, you get a token, that immediately is linked into a Sunavalon Tree/Link Monster, you heal the damage, and do the damage you healed to your opponent. Let’s not froget the Sunavalon Tree’s also have this effect, for broken synergy. The card also has a minor Sunavalon Drynamome effect in negating direct attacks in case you wont surive/dont want to take one, and instead redirect it onto one of your Sunvine monsters instead.

With the amount of healing in this archetype and damage redirection from stuff like Sunvine Healer, Sunavalon Cursed Reborn, Sunavalon Tree’s, this card can quickly become the core of your deck and a win/control condition. This card can essentially be a big threat/annoyance to be dealt with if left unchecked, and the longer it stays on the field, the harder it is for the opponent to touch you, while they try to not die themselves. This might be nerfed when it comes out to the actual card games, if it ever does come out, but if the effect is similar or even buffed, then this card is going to be for sure a major staple and must run in Sunavalon decks.

Targetted Destruction: Sunbloom Doom

Sunbloom Doom
Vampire/Hellfire vibes this time, Rose garden too!

Sunbloom Doom
Normal Trap Card If you control a “Sunavalon” monster: Target 1 monster you control; gain LP equal to the total ATK of all monsters on the field with the same Type as that monster. You can banish this card from your GY; destroy as many monsters on the field as possible with a Level less than or equal to the total number of Spells/Traps in the GYs that were activated this turn, and if you do, inflict 300 damage to their controller(s) for each of their destroyed monsters.

Oh hey look, a card that is neither Sunavalon, Sunseed, nor Sunvine! It’s also not continuous, what is this madness!? Jokes aside, this card is another exampel of how broken Sunavalon Glorious Growth can be. Imagine you have a 3000/4000 Tree with Cursed Reborn or even a 3200/4000 Sunvine Thrasher on the field, then you add the ATK of one of those high value monsters to every other plant monster on the field(as long as you have a Sunavalon of course), you gain all those life points, and hey your opponent takes all that to their life points.

Another card that solidifies Sunavalons towards Effect Damage/Healing, sort of a Drain Tank playstyle. Sunbloom Doom also have a quick, cool side effect once it’s in the graveyard(cough Sunvine Shrine cough), you get to do intervals of 300 effect damage to your opponent/yourself while popping everyone’s monsters with a level equal or less than the amount of S/Ts in the graveyard that were activated(including your opponents). The second effect is definitely way more situational, but it has it’s niche.

Keep in mind a few important bits of info. This destroys monsters on both sides of the field, S/T activated from both side on the turn this is used is counted into it’s effect, and most importantly YOU can also take damage from this which triggers your Sunavalon Trees/Glorius Growth and more, are you starting to see the insane amount of effect damage output and how well these cards synergize with Glorius Growth yet?

Trap Disabling: Sunvine Burial

Sunvine Burial
Hey look it’s Sunvine Plunder but evil!

Sunvine Burial
Normal Trap Card If you control a “Sunavalon” monster: Target 1 Set card in your opponent’s Spell & Trap Zone; reveal it, and if it is a Trap, banish it, then banish all cards from your opponent’s hand and Deck with the same name as that banished card.

How do I know this is Sunvine Plunder’s evil cousin? Its a Sunvine card like Plunder, and the branches are stabbing through cards, while some are holding them like Plunder, that’s my theory haha. Sunvine Burial also is like the opposite of Sunvine Plunder.

Instead of targetting Spells to steal, it starts to pop facedown traps. It’s got a Chain Destruction Effect, so instead of banishing all copies of Exodia’s Head like Yugi, it can banish all copies of an opponents trap from their hand and deck with the same name. Shame it doesnt affect similar traps already on the field but thats a special case. This card is pretty situational and like Plunder could be a good side deck card, this card can also be pretty brutal if you hit a really good Trap, whether it’s something like a generally good trap: Solemn Strike, or something that completely criplles a deck’s win condition, take Sunavalon Glorious Growth for instance 😉

Protect/Burn: Sunavalon Force

Sunavalon Force
This is why Sunavalon Tree’s are called Mommy Trees. She is the face of Sunavalon Dryanome.

Sunavalon Force
Continuous Trap Card Your opponent cannot target “Sunavalon” Link Monsters you control with card effects. If an opponent’s monster is destroyed by battle, after damage calculation: Inflict damage to your opponent equal to the Link Rating of the monster on the field with the highest Link Rating (your choice, if tied) x 100. If there are no “Sunavalon” monsters on the field, destroy this card.

Our final trap card, and support card for Sunavalons from the anime and it’s a… continuous trap card, wooo! Who would have guessed? Sunavalon Force is the protection that Sunvine Maiden tries to provide your S/T’s, but for Sunavalon Link Monsters instead. Mommy is trying to save your cards from being blown up if she dies, along with important extenders such as Melias or Daphne. If Mommy fails and still dies, then this card dies with her. Once more effect damage is again buffed here, as your opponent’s take somewhat of a Arcanatic Doomscythe(Anime only card for Arcana Force) like effect and does probably up to 400 damage per destroyed monster with a Sunavalon Dryatrentiay. It’s definitely not the best protection out there, but it does it’s job, and the archetype has to work with what it’s got.

Sample Decklist/Theorycrafting

Sunavalon Sample




Here’s a full overview of all the new cards one more time(I put them in the order that I wrote about them), for easy reference. I was unable to include the anime-specific cards on this platform unfortunately but will list them here for formal reference and quick access:

TCG/OCG: Sunseed Genius Loci, Sunseed Shadow, Sunseed Twin, Sunvine Maiden, Sunavalon Dryas, Sunavalon Dryades, Sunavalon Dryanome, Sunavalon Dryatrentiay, Sunvine Gardna, Sunvine Healer, Sunvine Thrasher, Sunvine Shrine, Sunavalon Bloom

Anime Only: Sunavalon Melias, Sunavalon Daphne, Sunvine Cross Breed, Sunvine Plunder, Sunvine Cursed Reborn, Sunavalon Glorius Growth, Sunbloom Doom, Sunvine Burial, Sunavalon Force

Decklist

Sunavalon MAIN




Here’s a quick theorycrafted deck that I put together and used to test, as you can see it’s merely a sample, and not completely optimized with the best ratios and stuff(too many Draydes) but it’s decent enough to get a good feel of playstyle, feel free to copy this build to try it out yourself.

Lonefire Blossom, One for One, Painful Decision, Rescue Rabbit, Unexpected Dia all help me get to Sunseed Genius Loci as fast as possible.

Three of all Sunavalon/Sunvine, except for extra deck where Sunavalon Dryatrentiay, Sunvine Gardna and Sunvine Healer. This allows me to see the new cards as often as possible. 1 Dryatrentiay since it’s the boss you dont go into too often, but can bump up to two, take out a Sunavalon Dryades.

More draw power through Upstart Goblin and Pot of Desires, while running classic removal like Raigeki and Harpie’s Feather Duster. Foolish Burial to mess around with some graveyard effects, and Called by the Grave to fill space.

Gameplan

The general gameplan was to go for Sunseed Genius Loci on turn 1 if possible, Sunavalon Dryas searches Sunvine Shrine when you make it, then try to make the biggest tree possible and defend it. Get Sunvine Thrasher out next turn usually and start doing damage, when you can make Sunavalon Dryatrentiay do it. Sunavalon Dryatrentiay will search you are Sunavalon Bloom, pop monsters as necessary and start buffing up your Sunvine Thrasher’s to 4000 ATK, Sunavalon Bloom to stop their crucial monster effects, start swinging and stealing with Sunvine Thrasher and use those to buff up Sunavalon Dryatrentiay with an already activated Sunavalon Bloom is the general gameplan.

Current/Future Potential of Sunavalons and TLDR

TLDR:

Sunavalons are big link tree’s(Link 1-4) you need to protect, cant be targeted for attacks but you get attacked instead, you heal and summon Sunvine if the opponent attacks you directly(Link 1-3), Link 4 has card protection and destruction effect instead. Sunvines are the things that actually do damage and utility. Used by Spectre in anime. Flexible, usually focuses on Healing, Effect Damage, and sometimes Attacking/Destruction. If Sunavalon goes boom, usually other stuff will go boom as well. Sunseed Genius Loci is your starter, Sunavalon Dryatrentiay and Sunvine Thrasher‘s are your main two win conditions you can play towards, lot’s of anime cards not released that helps with Sunavalons weakness.

Potential/Thoughts

I was extremely glad that Konami decided not to wait another year before releasing Sunavalon’s into the wild, but at the same time I wonder if we had given Konami more time, more Sunavalon cards could be released? I feel sorta letdown that we werent given the enormous package of Sunavalon cards right from the start that we seen in the anime to play with. With main cards like Sunavalon Glorius Growth unavailable for effect damage, and Sunavalon Melias unable to help Thrasher, in the current state of Sunavalons in the TCG/OCG they cannot compete competitively.

Even with the new support, while they can function a bit better, I think the archetype still has a lot of inherent flaws and weaknesses that many other decks can simply abuse. For example, taking out a Sunavalon tree will usually be a big loss for you most of the time, or losing out on Sunavalon Glorius Growth will really set you back. Sunvine Thrasher is a really good offensive tool we have to use but even then it’s really just a big beatstick.

As of now Sunavalons are more of a fun deck than anything. I do see the potential for Sunavalons to be potentially somewhat more competitive/rogue if the anime support is released(we will have to see nerfs/buffs) but I still think they need even a bit more beyond that to keep up with the current state of the game. Sunavalons are super flexible, and while that is good in some ways, sometimes being a jack of all trades isnt that good and Sunavalons will naturally need to adapt and choose a defined playstyle that works for each player and pilot of the deck.

As for the art, I really like most of the art design choices that Konami did for this archetype, as a nature lover, these cards fulfill both my the more grotesque/horror aspect and nature aspect. Hopefully, in next year’s collector pack(where anime cards get released), we can see more of this archetype’s support get slowly released, and I am confident we will end up getting all these cards eventually, even if it takes forever! No but seriously, knowing Konami anything is possible and new cards/support can be released anytime and in any new pack. I look forward to see where Sunavalons can continue to bloom and how other players tend to pilot and slowly evolve the deck as time passes by, surely the deck won’t be forgotten too quickly. However, just like Sunavalon Cursed Reborn depicts, in time all leaves wilt and branches fade…

Until the next time we meet my friends… Thank you for reading.

Lifedeather
Latest posts by Lifedeather (see all)
8
Avatar

Lifedeather

Current student at the University of California, Irvine studying English. Yugioh fan for over 15+ years, watched all Yugioh anime(sub) except Sevens ;). My favorite attribute is Wind, and my favorite archetype is the Armed Dragons. Within the Armed Dragons, my favorite and first card of all time is Armed Dragon Level 10. I'm a chill boi, you can usually find me playing video games, watching anime, reading a good book, or writing these epic articles for y'all ;3


13 thoughts on “The Sprouting Potential of Sunavalons


  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    2

    0

    yo the wicked cards coming in 3rd place tho

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    0

    0

    seems like i might go full 60 then

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    0

    0

    What the fuck is the lore behidn these things? Why do they go from happy plants to eldritch horrors?

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    0

    0

    it’s spectre’s mom

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    0

    0

    who’s spectre

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    0

    0

    the one piloting this deck

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    0

    0

    wait so this shitty anime character immortalized his mom in fucking pieces of cardboard for a children’s card game instead of giving her a proper burial?

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    0

    0

    i should’ve phrased that it’s kinda his mom, not by birth as it basically protected him from the environment until it was chopped down, it’s more his spiritual mom

  • Avatar
    December 4, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    0

    0

    w-what

  • Avatar
    December 9, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    0

    0

    Melias and daphne are ouy on dueling nexus atleast now

  • Avatar
    December 9, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    0

    0

    yeah but nexus doesn’t matter

  • Avatar
    December 9, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    0

    0

    they are in nexus but don’t work

  • Avatar
    December 9, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    0

    0

    not surprised

To post a comment, please login or register a new account.