Judgment of the Light Preview: Noble Knight Drystan
Ever since the release of Artorigus, King of the Noble Knights in Cosmo Blazer, Noble Knights have been amazing at dominating your opponent’s backrow. Artorigus hits the field, grabs back all the Noble Arms from your graveyard, and then goes to town using each one to smash a Spell or Trap! Then he can do it again next turn, assuming your opponent feels like throwing away their Spells and Traps by Setting them.
Spoiler? They usually don’t. That leaves you free to make a follow-up attack against an empty Spell and Trap Card Zone.
Combined with the face-down destruction of Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr, it’s always been really, really tough to keep your defense up against Noble Knights. But as we’ve seen in tournaments the last few months, some decks get along just fine without running many backrow cards. Some popular backrows can even play around Noble Knights’ destruction effects: your opponent can chain stuff like Breakthrough Skill, Compulsory Evacuation Device, or Spellbook of Fate, or use them in response to your Summons. The King of the Noble Knights may be King of the Backrow, but that’s not a winning strategy on its own.
So what do you do when blowing up backrow cards for free isn’t enough? You take the next logical step: start blowing up everything else for free, too!
While you control another “Noble Knight” monster, your opponent cannot target your monsters with less than 1800 ATK, except this card, for attacks or with card effects. When a “Noble Arms” Equip Spell Card is equipped to this card: Target 1 face-up card on the field; destroy that target. You can only use this effect of “Noble Knight Drystan” once per turn .
Noble Knight Drystan is Noble Knight Medraut’s new best friend: he turns all of your Noble Arms cards into face-up removal, knocking out monsters and destroying Continuous cards. Thanks to Noble Knight Medraut and Rescue Rabbit, the Noble Knights are really good at Summoning high-damage Xyz Monsters like Blade Armor Ninja and Heroic Champion – Excalibur: they can even make two such Xyz Summons in one turn thanks to Noble Knight Gawayn.
The problem is that while Noble Knights can get those monsters onto the field, you need a clear path to your opponent’s Life Points to make them count. In addition, if you equip Noble Knight Medraut with a Noble Arms, Special Summon a monster, and overlay them to make a Rank 4, you’re giving up Medraut and an Equip Spell for just one Xyz – that’s bad news if your opponent has something like Compulsory Evacuation Device or Spellbook of Fate.
Noble Knight Drystan fixes all that by throwing a free destruction effect right into the middle of your favorite Noble Knight plays.
-Summon Noble Knight Medraut.
-Equip him with a Noble Arms to turn on his effect.
-Use Medraut to Special Summon Drystan from your Deck.
-Destroy the Noble Arms to finish Medraut’s ability.
-Since you can re-equip each “Noble Arms” card once a turn, equip it to Drystan.
-Use Drystan’s effect to destroy a monster.
-Overlay Medraut and Drystan for a Rank 4 Xyz Summon.
Using Medraut to bring out another Noble Knight and make a Rank 4 is the standard Noble Knight play. But with Drystan as your Special Summon, you trade your Noble Arms and Medraut for an Xyz Summon and a destruction effect, instead of just losing a card in the process. That makes the basic Rank 4 play way better. If your opponent only controls one monster you can dish out 4000+ damage with the right Xyz Summon. Just remember: Drystan’s effect is mandatory, so you shouldn’t equip him if he’s the only face-up card on the field.
Medraut’s Masterful Methods
The other way to play Noble Knight Medraut is to use him to Special Summon a monster in Defense Position, then just leave both Noble Knights on the field. You don’t have to make an Xyz Summon. In the past that meant bringing out Noble Knight Gawayn in Defense Position, hoping it would survive, and then turning it to Attack Position a turn later. If you attacked with Gawayn and your opponent stopped it with something like Dimensional Prison, you could just grab another one with Medraut…if your opponent didn’t attack Medraut between turns.
Now that play’s much easier, and far more threatening. Drystan’s effect forces your opponent to attack it if they choose to make an attack at all, so Medraut’s protected. But it also offers a more aggressive pay-off to the “Slow Medraut” combo: while bringing out Gawayn and then doing nothing was a passive strategy at best, you can Special Summon Drystan, give it the Noble Arms card that Medraut threw away, and immediately destroy a monster. You give up nothing, but you destroy a card and make a Special Summon for free.
Noble Knight Drystan takes everything Noble Knights want to do, and then makes those plays better and less risky. It’s useful on its own, it’s great in big combos, and it’s going to be a must-run for any Noble Knight Deck.