Table of Contents
Welcome back to our [What You Should Know] article series, where we tackle and address key points of decks that might not be so visible at the first glance.
Continuing on from previously, we will discuss True Dracos once again.
Recap: ‘Mini’ True Dracos refer to the following:
- Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter
- Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior
- Majesty Maiden, the True Dracocaster
Master Peace vs Master Peace
As fellow redditor Khazar2 mentioned, when both players’ Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King, with Trap + Monster immunity face off, it will likely lead to a stalemate. Neither Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King is capable of destroying the other with its monster effect, and under the presence of the Field Spell Dragonic Diagram, Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King can survive a battle. Hence it falls onto other cards, such as Kaiju monsters, to interrupt the stalemate.
This situation also brings more value to Forbidden Chalice. It can allow a player to buff Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King’s attack points. Alternatively, you can aim Forbidden Chalice at the opposing Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King, leaving it vulnerable to destruction effects.
True Draco’s Apocalyse is a very interesting card. It can be activated during the Damage Step and is probably one of the few cards that can modify a monster’s ATK/DEF stats while affecting the number of monsters on the field during this stage of the Battle Phase. This unique interaction hence leads to a special outcome.
Let’s look at the following Q&A from Konami Japanese’s website:
2) Q: 自分の「真竜拳士ダイナマイトＫ」は相手の「青眼白龍」を攻撃します。ダメージステップの時、自分の「真竜の黙示録」①「このカード以外の自分フィールドの「真竜」カード１枚を対象として発動できる。そのカードを破壊し、相手フィールドの全ての表側表示モンスターの攻撃力・守備力を半分にする」の効果を発動する。破壊の対象はその同じの「真竜拳士ダイナマイトＫ」を選択できますか？ その後のバトルはどうですか？
Q: When my own [Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter] attacks my opponent’s [Blue-Eyes White Dragon], during the damage step, my own [True Draco’s Apocalyse] first effect was activated to destroy 1 True Draco / True King card on the field to half all of your opponent monsters’ ATK and DEF. Can I destroy the same [Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter] for this effect? What will happen to the battle afterwards?
A: To resolve this, you can destroy the same [Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter] for the first effect of [True Draco Apocalyse]. Your opponent’s [Blue-Eyes White Dragon] will not proceed with the battle, there will not be any damage.
As confusing as it is, think of it as the anime’s common situation, where De-Fusion cancels a battle, and the monster ‘dodges’ the attack unscathed. The situation can be reversed, where Blue-Eyes White Dragon is the attacking monster and the results will still not change.
Also, since we are discussing rulings at this stage of the article, the below Q&A is to support the claim from our previous article, regarding the synergy between Dragonic Diagram and quick-play spells.
Cosmic Cyclone is used as an example in the following situation.
1) Q: 自分は「ドラゴニックＤ」③の効果「１ターンに１度、自分メインフェイズに発動できる。このカード以外の自分の手札・フィールドのカード１枚を選んで破壊し、デッキから「真竜」カード１枚を手札に加える。」を発動します、チャーンにして自分の「コズミック・サイクロン」を発動します。自分の「ドラゴニックＤ」は、その同じの「コズミック・サイクロン」は③の効果のためにで破壊できますか？
Q: When I activate the 3rd effect of [Dragonic Diagram] to destroy a card to search my deck for a True Draco/True King card, and in response I chain my own copy of [Cosmic Cyclone] to target 1 card on my opponent’s field. Can my [Dragonic Diagram] destroy that same copy of [Cosmic Cyclone] to search for a True Draco/True King Card?
A: For this situation, as long as the [Cosmic Cyclone] activated on chain 2 remains on the field during resolution, you can destroy it by the effects of [Dragonic Diagram] to search for a True Draco/ True King card from your deck.
The ruling translations were obtained and translated by SG Cardmart from the Official Konami Website. I am merely reposting it. Once again, it is unknown if TCG Konami would suddenly decide to rule it differently.
Let’s revisit the quick-play Spell card + Dragonic Diagram play once more.
Along with Forbidden Chalice and Cosmic Cyclone is The Monarchs Stormforth, another quick-play spell card that players prefer. The Monarch Stormsforth holds the distinction of being a playmaker that no other cards in the deck can fulfil. In a situation where you are only left with Dragonic Diagram and a single card in hand, with no resources in the graveyard, it will be near impossible to make any significant plays.
The best you can achieve is fetching True King Revival if you have a monster in the graveyard to revive.
The Monarchs Stormforth changes all that – By activating Dragonic Diagram and responding with a chained The Monarchs Stormforth, you get to destroy The Monarchs Stormforth to search out a True Draco monster. Tribute over your opponent’s monster to summon it and you are back in the game. Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter is usually the preferred option especially if you are lacking in resources, since it can ‘replenish and compensate’ for itself by fetching True King Revival.
Even if you find yourself in no shortage of resources, and plenty of cards to be offered as destruction and/or tributes, The Monarchs Stormforth is a very ‘savvy’ and valuable method to exploit in other to conserve resources.
Of course, this is assuming that your opponent has a monster for you to be tributed.
However, when leading first or when your opponent has no monsters for you to tribute, you can hold it off temporarily. Combined with the True King trap cards, you can Tribute Summon out a ‘mini’ True Draco during your opponent’s turn without the need of sacrificing your Trap Card as a tribute.
With other cards, The Monarchs Stormforth can also make plays. It is notable for being one of the few reliable ways to get rid of Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King which is not armed with spell invulnerability. Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon summoned via WindWitch – Ice Bell is also hard to clear from the field, with The Monarchs Stormforth being one of the few available methods of removal.
Understandably, it is Limited in the TCG. But in the OCG, it has mostly replaced Cosmic Cyclone in most decks, as the latter gets sided instead. I believe this speaks volumes for its utility.
In the words of my friend – “Cosmic Cyclone disrupts but doesn’t necessarily wins games. The Monarchs Stormforth helps to turn the tables around. It is a resource-saving, win-more and turn-tables card all packed into one. With True Draco Heritage and Cosmic Cyclone alone, and a Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King stuck in your hand, you can’t do anything against an opponent’s monster. But replace Cosmic Cyclone with The Monarchs Stormforth, suddenly the situation is a whole lot different.“
On an ending note to this section though, one must consider the difference between the TCG and OCG formats. The WindWitch engine coupled with a near-indestructable Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon is a popular choice for many current decks. This gives The Monarchs Stormforth an added utility as it acts as an out. For the TCG, depending on the metagame, The Monarchs Stormforth might find a better spot as a Side Deck option.
Nevertheless, I believe it is a staple to consider for True Draco decks. The synergy it shares with Dragonic Diagram and the support it provides to the True Draco Spells/Traps provides more reasons for players to play it too.
No matter how you arrange it, the Dracoslaying King will always be missing an invulnerability, inviting players to exploit it. In a True Draco mirror match, some players propose that it would not be such a bad idea to arm Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King with a Spell/Trap invulnerability if you are leading in resources, and the opponent has yet to summon out his.
Your focus then becomes preventing the opponent from summoning out their Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King, by crippling their resources and tribute fodders, since their Master Peace will spell trouble for yours. It is also advisable for Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King to operate alone, without other monsters on your side of the field. This way, they will not be caught in the crossfire when Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King destroys a True Draco Trap Card.
Then again, if you would want to place a Tribute Summoned ‘mini’ True Draco monster, I doubt the opponent would want to trigger any effect to allow you the chance to gain resources.
Players usually prepare for a Trap + Monster invulnerable Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King, since it is a common disruptive play to summon it out using the True Draco traps. By presenting a Spell invulnerability to the opponent, it can throw them off their game. Their prepared outs, usually in the form of spells will no longer work. Remember how scary Graydle Eagle is? Yup, that no longer works too. Neither will Raigeki, Dark Hole nor The Monarch’s Stormforth. With Dark Hole at two and Raigeki at one in the TCG, I think a spell invulnerability might be more important in the TCG than the OCG.
Bear in mind that this is only currently advised in the OCG, where Zoodiac Drident is no longer around. Nevertheless, it is an interesting perspective to consider.
Cosmic Cyclone also lost its popularity in the OCG as it is too easy to bait. When True Draco was first released, hasty players were quick to respond to the first set card by banishing it. This would prevent the usual “Set a trap, tribute over it for summoning a ‘mini’ True Draco”. While this may be effective at first, True Draco players found a way to play around it by baiting out Cosmic Cyclones.
They would set a staple card, such as Terrraforming or Pot of Duality, if they can afford to lose those cards, and ask the opponent for a response. Following the previous trend, opponents would have wasted their Cosmic Cyclone on a harmless spell card, leaving the True Draco player uninterrupted in the tribute summon of their monsters using the continuous spells/traps.
From this, I have a few things to highlight:
- Always ask for a response; this will make your bluff harder to tell. If you only ask for a response everytime you set a fake, it will be easy for your opponent to tell apart when is to correct time for Cosmic Cyclone to be used.
- Your opponent has the right to respond, and so do you. So cultivate the habit of doing such plays ‘step by step’. Don’t just set your trap and *boom*, send it directly to the graveyard, and summon your True Draco monster. Your opponent can use this against you to argue that you didn’t give him a window of response. Your life then falls onto the hands of the judge, and I believe no one wants to wager or bet if Mr/Miss Judge will go with the irreversible game state, unfriendly conduct or simply rewinding the game state to before your summon, allowing your opponent to use his Cosmic Cyclone to interrupt you. Either way, none of these situations will benefit you. Be friendly, be sportsmanlike, and I believe it will be reciprocated. (and yes, I have seen different judges executing such rulings at my locals before).
- Which brings me to the last point – Ask for the right to respond. Slow your opponent down if he/she plays too fast. Ask a judge to monitor, or raise this matter to one, if you find that your opponent is deliberately fast-forwarding through these situations to avoid interruption on purpose.
I believe that previous formats never made responding to a set card that important before. However, always remember that players are obligated to ask and allowed to respond after priority has been passed. Cosmic Cyclone is just a common example that I use, as it can change the outcome of the game state. Mask of Restrict is another close example. Whether it gets to be activated before or after a tribute summon has a very different outcome on the game too.
Additionally, if you can’t afford to be interrupted and fear a Cosmic Cyclone, you might want to hold off the activation of your True Draco Spell Card. Set it, and if your opponent doesn’t respond
Useful Continous Spells/Traps
Deck Lockdown is quite potent towards True King Dino and other True Draco matchups. It can be pretty one-sided as you can just tribute it away when you need to do your searching. Do note that your own Dragonic Diagram can’t just simply destroy Deck Lockdown.
Call of the Haunted is a gimmick I like to include in my deck. You can revive something as harmless as Maxx “C” and baffle your opponent as they wonder what act of god made you decide on this play. And then *tribute* *tribute* , boom – Master Peace lands. Also, time to time you find yourself able to revive Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit to threaten your opponent. When they plan to attack into it, then you can tribute it away by performing a tribute summon during their turn. (Using the True Draco traps of course.)
While it is a far from ideal, The Band Plays On is an alternative for Vanity’s Emptiness.
Useful Destruction Fodders
I am a personal fan of Vortex Trooper.
Earthbound Immortal Ccarayhua deserves a lengthier explanation. Fire King players would be familiar with this card. But True Draco players can abuse it to the very end by searching for True Draco Heritage, after you destroy Earthbound Immortal Ccarayhua from hand. The ensuing board wipe can net you a few draws from True Draco Heritage (Reminder: Opponent’s cards count too!) and your Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King will survive if it has Monster Effect immunity.
One aspect of the True Draco deck that I truly enjoy is the ability of the deck to max out on cards and worry less about bricking. There is always the argument of the timing where you draw into a floodgate. It becomes dead automatically when it arrives too late into the game. However, in a deck that plays Dragonic Diagram and has monsters that can Tribute Summon themselves using Continuous Spells/Traps, your extra copies of Gozen Match or Rivalry of Warlords can still be put to use.
When the new Twilight-Lightsworn support cards were first released in the OCG, plenty of fans went ahead to try out the deck. True Draco players who mercilessly prepared a playset of Macro Cosmo for these 60 card decks were rewarded for taking such risks.
Playing a playset of cards increases your chances of drawing into them, but risks unplayable hands sometimes. I think that in a True Draco deck, if those are Continuous Spells/Traps, you get to worry less.
Some argue that the PSY-Frame engine becomes dead if one doesn’t open with it during a duel. While I won’t argue with that, I feel that the benefits outweigh the risk. Late copies of the PSY-Frame engine can be used as destruction fodders too.
Greed is good
My friends and I dub this play the ‘greedy play’, which is a fitting name because it is a win-more attempt and you get to draw two cards, referencing Pot of Greed.
- Set True Draco Spell/Trap. If it is a spell, activate the effect for an Additional Advance Summon
- Tribute summon a ‘Mini’ True Draco
- Activate Dragonic Diagram, destroy the summoned ‘Mini’ True Draco, search True Draco Heritage.
- Activate True Draco Heritage for a draw two.
This plan will go terribly sideways if your opponent has Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit or Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring prepared for your True Draco Heritage. (Recall: previously we talked about how this card is more worthy of using Hand Traps on it than Dragonic Diagram).
Hence, it will be better to utilise this only if you have a Disciples of the True Dracophoenix prepared as a backup plan. However, an even better backup plan is the PSY-Frame engine to respond to either Hand Traps. Optimally, you get to draw two from True Draco Heritage, make your opponent waste a Hand Trap, take up another of their opening hand with a Synchro-Summoned PSY-Frame Omega.
Hilariously though, I always performed this play only when I have PSY-Frame Gamma in hand, such that when there was once that I did so without PSY-Frame Gamma, my playtesting opponent didn’t dare to respond to True Draco Heritage. If he doesn’t have it, why will he dare to do so? It is a bluff that I wouldn’t reccomend anyone attempt when going through Swiss rounds of strangers, but who doesn’t love a good gamble that pays off?
However, the PSY-Frame engine is easily countered by Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring in the Hand Trap battle. You are probably safe when their respond to True Draco Heritage with Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, since it is limited to a once-per-turn usage. Just keep your fingers crossed if they use Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit on True Draco Heritage, and you protect it with PSY-Framegear Gamma. Pray with all your might that an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring doesn’t follow.
Don’t let Diagram Die
This is a thought that my friend proposed to me, and that is to not use Dragonic Diagram when leading first. I agree. One of the best opening fields, in my opinion, involves Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter and preferably a few backrows and a monster in hand ready to be tribute summoned during the opponent’s turn.
Sure you can make plays with Dragonic Diagram, and you might even want to risk it if you have multiple copies in hand. However, during playtesting, I usually find myself in a difficult spot. I will have to sacrifice my Dragonic Diagram if I were to deny the opponent from drawing through True Draco Heritage, and more often than not, they will tribute away the spell anyway, destroying Dragonic Diagram in the process. Losing Diagram will limit your chances of a comeback or even a follow-up, which can cost you the game.
Once again, this habit of mine developed in the OCG landscape, where mirror matches between True Draco decks are too common, and Harpie’s Feather Duster tilts players. This information might be more useful in the future when Zoodiac Drident joins Elemental HERO Stratos or when Zoodiacs get dethroned.
Trading is also a ‘personal preference’ thing. You, as the player, determine if it is worth the trade. So if you are willing to risk losing Dragonic Diagram in return for building a good field, good ahead. For True Draco players, there won’t be huge openings or combo-wumbos, but there is almost no reason for True Draco Dinosaur to hold back on the opportunity to take two cards away from your opponent’s starting hand.
Be down for the count
True Draco Spell Cards will have two activations, once for the activation of the card, another for the activation of the effect. For example, you have two differently-named ‘mini’ True Draco on the field,
and your opponent proceeds to activate a True Draco Spell card, first the card, then the effect. Thus, both your monsters get to activate their respective effects to each activation. Some players neglect this and end up shortchanging themselves. Knowing to look out for this also prevents a cunning opponent from bluffing their way through and deny you of a search. So don’t allow them to ever “hey I activate True Draco Heritage and immediately draw three“.
On a related note, this will present a huge difference when a True Draco Trap Card is activated, so be sure to clarify if your opponent is activating the Trap Card with, or without the effect.
True King Apocolypse’s cost is to ‘target’ another “True Draco” or “True King” card the controller controls, and the destruction is in the resolution of the card effect. The same is for Dragonic Diagram, minus the targeting part. (Strictly speaking it isn’t a cost to target, but ‘Activation Requirement’)
Synchro users will be happy to know that Stardust Spark Dragon and Stardust Dragon can stand up to these two cards.
- Stardust Spark Dragon can respond by targeting the target which True King Apocolypse chose, prevent the effect from resolving successfully, while it can disrupt your opponent’s resolution of Dragonic Diagram when they aim to destroy a face up card on the field (although you have to employ smart guesses on which is the best card to ‘protect’). This may lead to them being forced to destory a less-optimal choice in order to resolve Dragonic Diagram.
- Stardust Dragon is pretty straightforward, although here is a ruling which I would like to highlight. In the absence of other cards on your opponent’s field, Stardust Dragon will not be able to respond to Dragonic Diagram, since Stardust Dragon only guards the destruction of cards on the field.
Facing a Stardust Dragon will present an uncommon situation where you opt to destroy a Spell/Trap directly from your hand with Dragonic Diagram, to prevent being disrupted by Stardust Dragon’ effect.
On a related note, don’t neglect that Soul-Eating Oviraptor from Dinosaur decks has a destruction, and not tributing, involved in its second effect.
With all the ‘additional normal summons’, players will now have more Normal Summmons to count and take note of, and longer turns, so beware and don’t be cheated into entering ‘Illegal game states’ or allow your opponent a Normal Summon, thinking he hasn’t done one this turn.
If players ever venture into Zoodiac True Draco, just be reminded that the Zoodiacs provides ‘support’ for the True Dracos as Zoodiac Barrage and Fire Formation – Tenki are continuous spells. A tribute summon can be your Plan B if you are ever faced with Maxx “C”. This was one of the reasons that the deck managed to previal in the OCG as it was very difficult to counter and check it back when Zoodiacs had Zoodiac Barrage. Maxx “C” is Limited in the TCG but I felt that this was worth a mention.
With this second instalment of the article, I hope I managed to cover more ground and highlight some useful information.
Thanks for reading and until next time.
Along with a group of friends, I founded the blog [Dueling "C"]. I am from Singapore, and have been playing competitively in the OCG since 2012, although I started playing the game casually since 2007.
Fav decks: Junk Doppel, Chaos Dragons.
Fav archetype: Yosenjus
Fav card artwork: Destiny Draw