Home > Special > Building Battle Pack 2 – Part 2: What Removal?

Building Battle Pack 2 – Part 2: What Removal?

May 25th, 2013

Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants releases on June 28! In the next few weeks, I’ll be giving you an idea of what your BP2 Duels are going to look like, some ideas on basic strategy, and some insight on the cards you’ll be playing with (and against!).

As I explained last time, BP2 is designed to give you a very different Dueling experience than you’re used to: slower, more thought-provoking, and much more tactical than normal Duels, and (in my opinion) a lot more like the TV show.

Remember the basic design goals from last time:

  1. Very little monster removal. If you want to get rid of a monster, you have to fight.
  2. Almost no Spell/Trap removal.
  3. Lots of Spells & Traps can surprise the opponent and reverse the outcome of a battle.
  4. High-Level monsters are king.
  5. There’s lots of Special Summoning, but it’s primarily designed to get you the monsters you need to Tribute.

There’s one other thing I should mention, which I didn’t get to last time: No searching around in your deck, either to summon or to add to your hand! This is mainly to cut down on delays during games. Since BP games involve a lot of cards players might not be so familiar with, having your opponent sit there and look through their entire deck – reading every card – while you sit and wait isn’t very fun.

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You must unlearn what you have learned.

So, let’s talk about what your BP2 games will be like. The first thing I want to do is break you of some familiar assumptions. So we’re going to start off by talking about what you WON’T see in your Duels.

First up: monster removal.

Monster removal is ubiquitous in standard games. Monsters come to the field, do something, and typically die horribly right afterwards, then frequently come back. The great monster churn!!

Monster churn can be really dynamic, with lots of stuff going in and out of play all the time, but what about all those Duels on TV where the strategy was to get your favorite monster on the field and protect it at all costs? BP2 plays a lot more like that, and key to that is how difficult it will be to just destroy a monster with a card effect.

So, let’s go over ALL the cards in the set that can destroy a monster with their effect, outright. Without resorting to battle. It’s a short list.

The Egyptian God Cards you know about, so I won’t go there. As for the rest…

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One of the more powerful monsters in the set, Darklord Zerato can destroy all your opponent’s monsters. It does require another DARK monster in your hand to discard, though. And that isn’t always going to be easy to have available. Zerato also destroys himself at the end of the turn if you use this ability, so it’s best used in a final push to win the game. However, if your opponent has any Spells/Traps Set, or anything in their hand, your final push might get stalled out by Battle Fader, Waboku, Zero Gravity, or the like, and you’ll have to continue the Duel without Darklord Zerato. So his ability can be very risky.

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(By the way, if you were expecting to do this after Summoning Zerato with his effect for 1 Tribute, forget about it. Odds of having 4 DARKs in your Graveyard, 1 on the field to Tribute, and a sixth in your hand to use for Zerato’s effect are pretty slim. You’re much more likely to Summon Zerato like any other Level 8 monster.)

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Another heavy hitter, Beast King Barbaros’ effect is more expensive than Zerato, but more powerful, because it destroys Spells & Traps as well, and doesn’t kill Barbaros as a drawback. Still, Tributing 3 monsters can be a daunting prospect, especially since Barbaros’ effect is most useful when your opponent has lots of stuff to blow up, and in those situations it’s less likely that they will have allowed you to build up 3 monsters on the field. Note that in addition to his 0-Tribute 1900 version, and his 3-Tribute wipe-them-out-all-of-them version, you can also Summon Barbaros for 2 Tributes like any other Level 8 monster, and with his full 3000 ATK.

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Darklord Desire typically gets 3 uses of its monster-destroying power, although there are ways to extend that. If you can flip him face-down, it will reset his ATK to 3000, and you’ll get 3 more charges. Likewise, if you can negate his effect later (like hitting it with your own Forbidden Chalice), it resets his ATK to 3000 and you can blow up 3 more monsters.
Even though Desire is 3000 ATK, his monster-destroying ability is so powerful that we almost never attacked with him during development testing. The typical play was to Tribute Summon him, blow up the opponent’s most dangerous monster, then shift Desire to Defense Position next turn. If the opponent came after Desire while he was in Attack position with just 2000 ATK, we used a battle outcome changer to keep him alive. Once in Defense Position, his 2800 DEF makes him a good defender for the rest of the Duel, or even Tribute fodder for another 3000+ ATK monster.

(There are only 4 Level 4 & under Fairies in the set, so don’t plan on getting Desire out for less than 2 Tributes.)

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Photon Wyvern rounds out our quartet of high-Level monsters that can destroy other monsters outright. Although Photon Wyvern only destroys face-downs, he gets Spells & Traps as well as monsters, one of the very few cards in the set that can get at your opponent’s back row. The drawback is his relatively low 2500 ATK, but he’s easier to Summon than Beast King Barbaros, and given the propensity to Set monsters in preparation for Tribute Summoning, Photon Wyvern can absolutely devastate your opponent’s early game, to the point where they can never recover. Since Photon Wyvern is the only card in the set that can do what he does, he usually surprises the heck out of your opponent.

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Dark Valkyria can destroy 1 monster, but only once, and takes 2 turns to set it up. If you have the Spells and Traps to back her up, she can make an excellent starter monster, since a 2100 ATK with backup has a decent chance of ruling the field early on. Her ability to blow up a threatening monster is just a bonus. However, there’s also a strong argument to be made for holding Dark Valkyria in reserve, and only Summoning her when a monster hits the field that you can’t overcome through battle. The challenge in that case is keeping her alive until a second turn. Your Spell/Trap arsenal will be critical in that case.

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Hey, remember this guy? Evocator Chevalier only appeared once before, in the Warriors’ Strike Structure Deck. As a Gemini Monster, he’ll require 2 turns to set up, like Dark Valkyria. And he does require Equip Cards to function.

So, what’s the story on Equips in the set? There are sixteen ‘pure’ Equip Cards in the set (including Equip Traps), which is more than Battle Pack 1 had. But there are also several monsters in the set that turn monsters into Equips, mainly the Vylons (more about them another day), but also the all-powerful Truckroid (which we’ll talk about when we get into ‘cards that will be game-changers if they show up’ later on).

Note that the Equip Card you send to the Graveyard for Chevalier’s effect does not have to be equipped TO HIM. It just has to be an Equip Card you control. Also, he’s another card that can destroy Spells/Traps in addition to monsters, and as long as you can keep the Equip Cards coming, Evocator Chevalier is the most enduring removal card in the entire set.

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The easiest mass-removal card in the set, Cyber Jar is one of the cards from Battle Pack 1 that made it into this set as well. It’s just too much fun to leave out. Cyber Jar isn’t just monster removal, though, he’s also a mass-summoner and card-drawer. The best thing about Cyber Jar is that he treats both players fairly. He who lives by the Cyber Jar can just as easily die by the Cyber Jar. I might as well let you know that Cyber Jar is short-printed in War of the Giants, so you won’t be seeing it as often as most other cards.

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Doomcaliber Knight is the last monster on our list, and he’s a bit of a special case. While he does destroy a monster, he himself goes away at the same time. The real drawback, though, is that you have no control over when Doomcal’s effect activates. He goes after the first monster to activate an effect. Even if it’s your own monster. Using this monster to your advantage requires great care.

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Overworked brings us to the Trap Cards on our monster removal list, of which there are only 2. Overworked is simple and to the point – everything with more ATK than its original ATK is destroyed. And that goes for both sides of the field. Overworked has a lot of uses. Of course it’s good against monsters with Equip Cards that are pumping up their ATK. It’s great against monsters that pump their own ATK (Slifer – Beware!). But it’s also very useful against cards that modify ATK during the battle, but must be used during the Battle Step, such as Strike Slash and Ego Boost. Remember that Overworked cannot be activated during the Damage Step, so is not effective against Spells and Traps that are activated then.

And then there’s Memory of an Adversary, which is removal, of a sort. In that it steals your opponent’s monster, and gives it to you 2 turns later. The cost is high, but this is a very powerful card if you can afford to burn the Life Points.

So there you have it: the ten non-DIVINE cards in the set that can destroy a monster without resorting to battle. There are other monsters that can destroy with effects, but they all require a battle to do so. More about them next time.

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Oh, one more thing. What about Spell and Trap Card removal? Well, one of the major things about Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants is that your Spells and Traps will, for the most part, be perfectly safe. So PLAY YOUR CARDS – that’s what they’re there for!

Nothing’s guaranteed for certain, though, and there ARE 4 cards in the set that can get at your back row. Three of them we’ve already discussed: Beast King Barbaros, Photon Wyvern, and Evocator Chevalier. The fourth is Chiron the Mage.

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