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How Do I Take Down Dino-Rabbit?

June 13th, 2012

The Dino Rabbit Deck is consistent, controlling, and adaptable, making it a favorite for lots of Duelists.  The duo of Evolzar Laggia and Evolzar Dolkka are extremely tough to handle, threatening to negate big chunks of your gameplan.  A Dino Rabbit Duelist can use Rescue Rabbit to Xyz Summon Evolzar Laggia first turn, then Summon Tour Guide from the Underworld next turn, unleashing Leviair the Sea Dragon to bring back the Rabbit; Special Summon a pair of Sabersaurus; and then attack for exactly 8000 Battle Damage.

How do you stop something like that?  It’s not easy, but Dino Rabbit can be beaten.  Here are three strategies you can use to outplay one of the today’s toughest Decks.

Bring The Beatdown!

Since Evolzar Laggia has 2400 ATK, and Evolzar Dolkka has just 2300 ATK, beating Dino Rabbit can be as simple as controlling a bigger monster.  Dino Rabbit Duelists pack lots of defensive Spells and Traps to try and ward off big attackers, clearing the way for direct attacks in the process.  But if you can present enough attackers, or bring them out early enough, victory can be surprisingly simple.


Lots of Decks can Xyz Summon Rank 4 monsters, and the newly legal Gem-Knight Pearl is a good choice for this match-up. It has 2600 ATK and can’t be stolen or turned into Number C39: Utopia Ray, nor does it have an effect that the Dino-Rabbit Duelist can goad you into using. It also can’t be taken out by Jurrac Guaiba and Forbidden Lance, further reducing the risks you take by playing it. Utopia also works, but carries significant risks that you should consider before Summoning it.

Chaos Dragons have become really successful, almost entirely because they’re so good at hurling giant attackers at Dino Rabbit!  Lightpulsar Dragon leads the charge with 2500 ATK, and an effect that lets it Special Summon an even bigger DARK Dragon-Type if it’s ever destroyed: the perfect attacker to send at your opponent’s Evolzar if it’s backed up by a packed Spell and Trap Card Zone.  Darkflare Dragon can match Laggia or best Dolkka, and Red-Eyes Darknes Metal Dragon stomps on anything in its path, while Special Summoning back Lightpulsar from the Graveyard. These cards don’t just go in  Chaos Dragon Decks either, Decks that run a lot of Dragons like Hieratics, and sometimes Ninjas, can also make use of them.

Even splashable monsters like Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning or Gorz can make a big impact on a Dino Rabbit Duelist.  While it’s best if you have several big monsters at the ready, just one big Summon can make all the difference.

Monster Destruction:

The power of simple destruction effects can’t be overstated.  The main threat posed by the Dino Rabbit strategy is its Rank 4 Xyz monsters, and if you can get those out of the way, you usually have a pretty good chance at winning.  Simple monster destruction can take many forms:


Snowman Eater is a popular Side Deck choice for Dino Rabbit, and it’s so good that it can sometimes make it into the Main Deck.  Though Evolzar Dolkka can negate Snowman Eater’s effect and destroy it, it’s a great answer to Laggia, and sometimes even just the possibility that your Set monster could be a Snowman Eater can keep your opponent from attacking.  The Snowman’s 1900 DEF can block attacks from popular Dino Rabbit monsters like Jurrac Guaiba and Thunder King Rai-Oh, and as a Level 3 it’s useful as Xyz Material for many popular Rank 3 monsters.

Bottomless Trap Hole (or Torrential Tribute) can knock out whatever your opponent Special Summons with Rescue Rabbit’s effect, and it can be activated to preempt the Special Summon effect of Leviair the Sea Dragon.  While Bottomless Trap Hole has to be Set before it can be used, cards like Smashing Ground and Soul Taker are played the other way around, activated after a Rank 4 is Xyz Summoned.  Both cards can force Laggia to waste its negation ability, or they can destroy Dolkka entirely.

Continuous Disruption:

As far as Side Decking goes, there are a number of Continuous Trap Cards you can play to put pressure on a Dino Rabbit Duelist.  Here are three of them:


It’s pretty common for a Dino Rabbit Duelist to Main Deck ten to twelve Trap Cards, which form an important part of their strategy.  Without the right defense, Laggia and Dolkka can’t survive to control the Duel, so if you can lock down the opponent’s back row you’ll make big strides towards winning.  In addition, Dino Rabbit competitors will often Side Deck in triple Macro Cosmos for match-ups like Inzektors and Dark World.  Siding in Royal Decree cuts them off at the pass.

Gozen Match and Rivalry of Warlords can be played by any single-Type or single-Attribute strategy, keeping the Dino Rabbit Duelist from Xyz Summoning Laggia or Dolkka.  When Gozen Match or Rivalry is active, you can’t Xyz Summon a monster that doesn’t match the monsters you already control, either in Attribute (Gozen) or Type (Rivalry).  A Dino Rabbit Duelist under Gozen Match can usually only Xyz Summon Gem-Knight Pearl or Wind-Up Zenmaister off a Rabbit play (since Sabersaurus is an EARTH monster), and can’t Xyz Summon anything under Rivalry, or activate Rabbit’s effect at all. All of these are way better scenarios for you than facing down an Evolzar.

In the past, Duelists were able to stall Dino Rabbit by Setting monsters that couldn’t be destroyed by battle.  Laggia and Dolkka had major problems with cards like Spirit Reaper, Arcana Force 0 – The Fool, and Gellenduo.  But now, with the arrival of the Rank 4 Photon Papilloperative in Galactic Overlord, that strategy isn’t as safe as it once was.  Papilloperative can destroy Reaper, or force Gellenduo or the Fool to vulnerable Attack Position, so consider it a risky gambit.

Defeating Dino Rabbit isn’t easy, especially in Games 2 and 3 when they can make use of their extremely flexible Side Deck.  But with the right counter-tech, or a really aggressive core strategy, it can be done.  Chaos Dragons is a great example of a Deck designed to beat Dino Rabbit, but as time marches on we may see more successful strategies emerge.