How to Get Around Thunder King Rai-Oh and Swallow Flip
Thunder King Rai-Oh is a very popular card right now, in Main and Side Decks everywhere. Almost every Duelist seems to be using it one way or another, and with Gold Series 3 recently released, Thunder King Rai-Oh is much easier to get your hands on. Rai-Oh is popular for a number of reasons, the biggest of which, is that it counters almost all of the currently successful Decks in one way or another.
When Thunder King Rai-Oh is face-up on your side of the field, neither player can add cards from their respective Deck to their hand. This effect alone makes Thunder King worth using, as attacking with it into a face-down XX-Saber Darksoul, leaving it on the field while your opponent has a hand full of Gadgets, Machina Gearframes, Machina Peacekeepers, and other cards that let them search their Deck, and sitting with it while your opponent tries to find some way to get rid of it so they can use their Infernity Archfiend combos are all great plays that you definitely want to make.
As if that wasn’t enough, as you can send it from your side of the field to the Graveyard to negate a Special Summon and destroy the monster that would have been Summoned. This means you can negate a Synchro Summon, a Contact Fusion, or any Effect Monster with a built in Special Summon method. (Like Dark Armed Dragon, Judgment Dragon, and Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon.)
Thunder King Rai-Oh is powerful on its own even if it had none of those effects. With 1900 Attack Points, it can be very difficult to find a way around. There are many great ways to deal with it, however. Using cards with destruction effects like Smashing Ground and Fissure are very quick and easy ways to deal with an opposing Thunder King Rai-Oh. If you don’t like those solutions you could also try using Dimensional Prison as a Trap Card solution or Ryko, Lightsworn Hunteras a generally useful Effect Monster. All of these cards work well as solutions to Rai-Oh, and if you use some or all of them, Rai-Oh won’t be sticking around for too long.
Swallow Flip is another card a lot of players are using in their Side Decks recently. Swallow Flip is a Trap Card that you can activate when a monster effect activates due to a Special Summon.. It will negate the effect and destroy the monster, making it a very effective counter to Gladiator Beasts, and can even work in a pinch against Infernity Archfiend, or a large host of Synchro Monsters like Arcanite Magician, Black Rose Dragon, XX-Saber Hyunlei, and Mist Wurm.
With all of these cards carrying huge bulls-eyes for Swallow Flip, it’s no wonder why so many Duelists are choosing it for their Side Decks. The question you need to ask yourself, especially if you’re a Gladiator Beast player, is “How do I get around Swallow Flip?” The best way to do that is to run cards that, while not hurting your theme at all, can be used a variety of ways including destroying (or negating) Swallow Flip itself. The simplest solutions are often the most obvious ones, using Dust Tornado or Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter can quickly and easily deplete your opponent’s trap line-up. These can get rid of Swallow Flip and any other powerful Trap Cards your opponent might have lying in wait for you. However, this isn’t a perfect solution, as you can’t always hit the Swallow Flip.
In this case, you may want to try Dark Bribe in your Deck, especially if you’re running Gladiator Beasts. With Solemn Judgment being dropped to Limited status in the September 2009 Limited and Forbidden List, Gladiator Beast Decks lost two of their most powerful allies. In the Canadian World Championship Qualifier held recently, a Gladiator Beast Deck using two Dark Bribe in the Main Deck reached the top cut and was almost able to take the entire tournament, showing the power of this Trap in the Deck.
There are, of course, multiple other solutions to these two cards, and as such, you can choose what counters suit you best. Use a little bit of creativity and you can be countering your opponent’s counters along with the best of them. Good luck!