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Sealed Play: Literal Game Changers

July 25th, 2012

Every card in Battle Pack Sealed can help you win your Duel, but a few will transform that Duel into something completely different!  While some cards may help you win a single battle or make a single Summon, others are literally game-changers, reshaping your goals in the blink of an eye.  Today we’ll look at four of these cards, discuss why they’re so influential, and how you can outplay them when your opponent drops one of them to the table.


Veteran Duelists will remember the glory days of this old-school android, and now Jinzo’s returned to Dueling in devastating form!  Trap Cards are one of the biggest sources of comebacks and surprises in Battle Pack Sealed: without them, it can be tough to fight out of bad situations or defeat big attackers.  Jinzo shuts down everything from Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute, to Call of the Haunted and Dark Bribe, giving you the freedom to make big attacks.  If you Summon Jinzo and clear your opponent’s field, it’s really tough for them to get back in the Duel.  They’ll usually need to make a  combo to destroy Jinzo with an attack, since they won’t be able to rely on Trap Cards.

If you’re on the receiving end of a Jinzo beatdown, your best bet is to play out of it with a powerful Spell Card.  Power cards like Snatch Steal and Change of Heart can turn the tables, but so can more subtle picks like Creature Swap.  ATK boosting Spells like Ego Boost and Axe of Despair can get the job done too, and your attacks may prove to be more successful than usual since your opponent can’t rely on Trap Cards either.  Special Summons leading into big Xyz or Tribute Summons are your friend, and again, the lack of Traps can work to your advantage.  Just make sure you find an answer fast – Jinzo can end Duels quickly.


Monster effects are incredibly important in Battle Pack Sealed, and one of the coolest things about the format is that you get to make slick plays with effects you usually wouldn’t to run in the Advanced Format.  There are tons of monsters that are awesome just for their effects: Injection Fairy Lily, Krebons, Tragoedia, and many more are all deadly, because their abilities give you so much control over the Duel.

…And yet, they’re all sitting ducks the moment you flip Skill Drain!  The classic Continuous Trap demolishes dozens of monsters in Epic Dawn, and reduces the Duel to a game of who controls the biggest beatsticks.  If you can make a big Tribute Summon or Xyz Summon, victory won’t be far away, but it’s more common for a Skill Drain scenario to come down to who has the last 1800 ATK or 1900 ATK Level 4 left on the field.  If Skill Drain is pinning you down, you need to either get rid of it immediately, or pull out all the stops to muscle your opponent off the field and finish them with simple attackers.  If you don’t, that’s exactly what your opponent will do to you.  Activating Skill Drain puts both Duelists on the clock, in a race that Skill Drain’s controller usually wins.


Speaking of cards that are difficult to play around, Burden of the Mighty changes everything the moment it hits the table!  If your opponent’s 1900 ATK Level 4 monsters only have 1500 Attack Points, they won’t win a fast-paced Duel with lots of back-and-forth attacks.  At the same time, big high-Level monsters like Dark Magician of Chaos, Gorz the Emissary of Darkness, and the Monarchs fall to 2000 ATK or less, ripe for your attacks.

The trick to playing around Burden of the Mighty is recognizing what it can’t do.  It can’t reduce a strong defending monster’s DEF, so you can Set powerful defenders and wait things out.  More importantly, it can’t reduce the ATK of a monster that doesn’t have Levels – that means Xyz Monsters are unaffected!  Defend until you can put together an Xyz Summon, and then smash back to regain your footing.  If your opponent was relying on Burden to soften the impact of a weak opening, you might catch him off guard.


A tough card to overcome even in the Advanced Format, Tragoedia can be even more dangerous in Battle Pack Sealed, where it’s tougher to destroy.  An early game Tragoedia with 2400 or 3000 ATK can give you a quick victory, especially by Sealed standards.  But it’s Tragoedia’s monster-stealing effect that really makes it a problem.  While Tragoedia’s on the field, your opponent won’t want to Summon monsters for two reasons: first, you could run that monster down in battle.  Or worse, you could steal it by discarding a monster of your own.  Because there are so many more Level 3 and Level 4 monsters on the field in Sealed play, it’s far easier to swipe a key beatstick.  And since you Special Summon Tragoedia when you take Battle Damage, you usually have an immediate target for its ability.  Even if you have a small hand and can’t fuel Tragoedia’s effect, its Level-changing trick opens up the doors for powerful Xyz Summons.

If your opponent drops Tragoedia on you, you need to answer it immediately with a removal card or a powered up attack.  If you can’t, then prepare to take some damage.  Whatever you do, don’t start giving up monsters in battle to defend your Life Points unless you absolutely have to.  Every monster you lose makes it harder for you to get back in the game.  And if your opponent can swipe one of those monsters instead, that’s even worse.  Again, Xyz Monsters are great here, because their lack of Levels means they can’t be turned against you.  You have to play really carefully when your opponent Summons Tragoedia: if you can scare them off by setting an extra back row card, go for it, because it can end the Duel in heartbeats if it makes direct attacks.

This is just a taste of some of the game-shaping cards you’ll find in Epic Dawn!  Cards like Metal Reflect Slime, Pixie Ring, Inverse Universe, and Cybernetic Magician can let you dominate the field and redefine how battle works, so watch out for those, too.  Try to recognize which cards are real game-changers: when you open one, it could be your ticket to victory.