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Better To Be Smart Than Lucky – Introducing the Sylvans!

January 7th, 2014

Legacy of the Valiant’s new Sylvan strategy thrives off excavating other Sylvan monsters from your Deck and triggering their powerful abilities. Because the order of the cards in your Deck is unknown, it may seem like the Sylvan strategy is all about getting as lucky as possible with the cards that you excavate.  But don’t let appearances fool you: this strategy’s not about luck.  The Sylvan deck’s actually a very precise toolbox, searching out all sorts of effects right when you need them.  On one hand, it acts a lot like the Plant-driven Synchro-centric decks of old; it uses cards like Lonefire Blossom, Dandylion, and Spore to make flexible plays both offensively and defensively.  But with the new Sylvan monsters, it also threatens your opponent with destruction and aggression, punishing them for making plays you want to discourage.

How?  It all starts with their amazing Field Spell, Mount Sylvania!

Once per turn on your turn, you can send a Plant-Type monster to the Graveyard, either from your hand or face-up from your field, as a cost to activate Mount Sylvania’s first effect.  Once that effect resolves, you look through your Deck for any “Sylvan” card – a monster, spell, or trap – and put it on top of your Deck.

On your opponent’s turn, during their End Phase, Mount Sylvania has another effect: you can excavate the top card of your Deck (basically, “show it to both players, then do whatever the excavating card says”), and send it to the Graveyard if it’s a Plant-Type monster.  If it’s not a Plant you can put the excavated card on the top or bottom of your Deck.

Why would you want to do that?  Well, peeking at your next card is always useful; if it’s not something you need, you can try for something else.  But more importantly, the Sylvans all have abilities that trigger when they’re excavated from the Deck and sent to the Graveyard.  And there are lots of Sylvan effects that excavate and send a card from the top of your Deck, too.  By using Mount Sylvania on your turn, you can stack your Deck with the Sylvan effect you want, and then cash it in on your opponent’s End Phase.  With that in mind, here are three Sylvan monsters you’ll want to play that way:

All three of these monsters have a special ability that triggers when they’re excavated and sent to your Graveyard that will help you to set up your turn:

Sylvan Marshalleaf destroys a monster.

Sylvan Komushroomo blows away a Spell or Trap Card.

Sylvan Peaskeeper Special Summons a Level 4 or lower Plant-Type from your Graveyard.

So if you control Mount Sylvania, and you don’t want your opponent to Summon a big monster next turn, pitch a Plant and put Marshalleaf on top of your Deck.  With that set-up your opponent will know that if they have a monster on the field in their next End Phase, you’re going to destroy it with Marshalleaf.  Want to keep them from playing Spells or Traps?  Stack Komushroomo.  Or if you want to put together a Synchro or Xyz Summon next turn or even just revive Lonefire Blossom, load up Peaskeeper for a free Monster Reborn.

All three of these cards have low Levels and pretty low stats, except for Komushroomo, who’s packing a strong 2000 DEF.  But they also have effects that give you even more ways to excavate and send Plants to the Graveyard…

Sylvan Peaskeeper excavates the top card of your Deck when you Normal or Special Summon it.

Sylvan Marshalleaf will excavate one or two cards from the top of your Deck when it’s Normal Summoned – you choose how many.

Sylvan Komushroomo’s effect kicks in when it’s flipped face-up: it lets you excavate up to five cards from the top of your deck, burying all the Plants.

These effects can also let you queue up a Sylvan ability with Mount Sylvania, and cash it in that same turn. Then on your opponent’s turn, Sylvania acts as a way to smooth out your next draw. If you hit another Sylvan, that’s great! If not, you can decide whether you want the card you dug up or if you’d rather take the next card.

While Peaskeeper and Marshalleaf are easier to use since they trigger off Normal Summons, Komushroomo’s awesome because it’s very likely to trigger more than one Sylvan effect at a time – if you excavate five cards, there’s a good chance two or more will be Sylvans.  This is one of the few places where luck is a factor, because while Mount Sylvania lets you stack your top card, the four beneath it are usually a mystery.  Still, you’ll get to pick the top card, and everything else is just a bonus: playing Sylvans is a lot like playing Lightsworn, except you only send the useful cards to your Graveyard. All the Spell and Trap Cards you want to draw stay in your Deck.  Pretty cool.

These 3 monsters form the basis of your Sylvan strategy, but there’s one big catch: Mount Sylvania has that discard/send cost, and your opponent could destroy your Field Spell before you ever get to use it in their End Phase.  How do you compensate?  By paying for the cost with cards like these:



Plant-Types like Spore and Dandylion have valuable effects in your Graveyard: you can revive Spore and boost its Level by banishing another Plant from your Graveyard, and since it’s a Tuner it unlocks Synchro Summons.  Dandylion’s effect triggers when it hits the Graveyard, Special Summoning two Level 1 Fluff Tokens.  Those Fluff Tokens can fuel Synchro Summons too, or pay for powerful effects like Lonefire Blossom or Tytannial, Princess of Camellias.

Speaking of Tytannial, the Princess is another great discard for Mount Sylvania.  As a Sylvan Duelist you’re going to want to play three Miracle Fertilizer to Special Summon your best monsters over and over from the Graveyard, so planting Tytannial in the ground and bringing her back’s a great move.  Sylvans run lots of high-Level heavy-hitters that are better in your Graveyard than your hand, so they all make prime mulch for Mount Sylvania.

And remember, you can send the Plant to your Graveyard from your hand or field. There’s no need to just leave a Lonefire Blossom sitting around on your field if it gets hit with an Effect Veiler. Send it away for Mount Sylvania to build for next turn instead!

Softening up your opponent’s field by dictating their moves is only half the battle. You still have to actually win the Duel, and that’s where all the heavy hitters come into play. Which heavy hitters are we talking about? Check back tomorrow to find out!