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Battle Pack 2: Cards to Build Around

July 2nd, 2013

The trick to mastering sealed play is to find ways to make your cards work together. While your biggest and toughest monsters are strong on their own, the right combos and the right Deck building choices can make them even better. Victory usually goes to the Duelist who can get the most out of their cards.

There were a number of game-changers in Battle Pack: Epic Dawn that would morph the Duel into something completely different: Jinzo took Trap Cards out of the equation; Skill Drain made most effect monsters useless; and Tragoedia discouraged your opponent from Summoning low-Level monsters. Cards like those worked best when you built your Deck to take advantage of them, and while you weren’t guaranteed to draw them in every game, they’d often influence your decisions when you were choosing the last few cards for your Deck.

In Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants we’ve got an entirely new crop of game-changing cards that are worth tweaking your Deck for! Today we’ll talk about some of the most powerful cards in the set, and how you can play them to their full potential.


These three heavy-hitters are all good on their own, but they’re even better with the right posse backing them up. Splendid Venus shrinks all non-Fairy-Types by 500 ATK, so Venus can match or beat anything with 3300 ATK or less. That’s enough power to beat all but four monsters in War of the Giants. But Venus’ effect makes it easier for other Fairy monsters to hold their own, too. Zolga and Dark Valkyria both have effects that offer big rewards if you can keep them on the field, but since they only have 1700 ATK and 1800 ATK respectively, that’s often tough to do. With Splendid Venus on the field to cut opposing monsters down to size, it’s much easier to keep your Fairy-types around. Vylon Soldier and Vylon Stella are Fairies too, so they pair well with Venus.

Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur has the second-highest printed ATK in the set, bested only by the mighty Obelisk the Tormentor! You can Tribute Summon it like any other monster, but you can also Special Summon Barbaros Ur from your hand by banishing a Machine-Type and a Beast-Warior-Type from your hand, field, or Graveyard. Bringing out Barbaros Ur without Tributing is the stuff wins are made of, so you’ll want to play as many Machines and Beast-Warriors as possible to make that happen. Cards like Cyber Dragon and Steamroid are obvious picks on the Machine side, but you’ll have more reason to consider stuff like Dododo Bot and Helping Robo For Combat. Beast-Warriors like Pitch-Black Warwolf and Gene-Warped Warwolf are always great, but Barbaros Ur might lead you to play Beast-Warriors like Winged Rhynos or Exarion Universe too.

Darklord Zerato’s effect destroys all of your opponent’s monsters, making it easy to score one big final attack. But to fuel its ability you’ll need to send a DARK monster from your hand to the graveyard, so it makes cards like Twin-Sword Marauder and Mataza the Zapper more worthwhile. You can even combo it with Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite, discarding Zephyros to clear the field and then Special Summoning it by returning Zerato to your hand. Zerato destroys itself in the End Phase when you activate its ability, but Zephyros lets you save it and Summon it again later.


These three cards can also guide your monster choices. Mausoleum of the Emperor’s effect applies to both Duelists, allowing you each to pay Life Points instead of Tributing monsters for Tribute Summons. That’s awesome, but since it costs you a card from your hand – the Mausoleum – you need to get more use out of it than your opponent. That means loading your Deck with more high-Level monsters than you might run otherwise. Since games with Mausoleum tend to see a lot of big monsters hitting the field quickly, attack stops like Waboku and Threatening Roar become more valuable as well.

Photon Sanctuary lets you Special Summon two Photon Tokens that you can Tribute immediately for a big Summon… as long as you’re Tributing for a LIGHT monster. It’s great for Summoning Photon Wyvern, but it’s instant Tribute for Super Conductor Tyranno, Guardian Angel Joan, and Splendid Venus too. It even works with Airknight Parshath. If you open any of those monsters along with Photon Sanctuary, you’ll want to try and combo them.

Since Labyrinth of Nightmare generally turns Attack Position monsters to defense, all of your monsters with high DEF become more valuable. Cards like Botanical Lion (2000 DEF), Truckroid (2000 DEF), and Exarion Universe (1900 DEF) are all better choices than normal. In addition, anything that changes itself to Defense Position after attacking works really well with Labyrinth of Nightmare, because the Labyrinth just turns it back to attack; think Goblin Attack Force and Goblin Elite Attack Force.


Finally, if you crack a three-Tribute monster you’re going to want to build your Deck with a little more Tribute support. Obelisk the Tormentor, Slifer the Sky Dragon, and The Winged Dragon of Ra can all end Duels on their own, but only if you can Summon them in the first place. Cards like Plaguespreader Zombie, Gilasaurus, and Spell Striker are costly and aren’t very flexible, but when you can rule the field with just one Summon they can win you games.

Remember too that while Beast King Barbaros can be Normal Summoned without Tribute, it unleashes a duel-devastating effect if you can Tribute three monsters for it. Barbaros’ effect can destroy every card on your opponent’s side of the field, and when you follow up with its 3000 ATK you can win the game then and there. If you’re lucky enough to get a Barbaros in your packs, tweak your Deck a little to try and use that effect; don’t just write it off.

Every card you play interacts with the rest of the cards in your Deck, but some are so powerful that they’re worth extra consideration. When you open your Battle Packs be sure to look for the cards that offer extra rewards for the right support. Those cards often mean the difference between victory and defeat.