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The Fury of the Forest!

January 10th, 2014

So far we’ve shown you the pint-sized Plant-Types that power the Sylvan strategy, and the heavy-hitters that make up their front rank.  Today we’ll go one step further and show you two big boss monsters you can use in your Sylvan Deck: a nearly unbeatable Synchro, and a card-grabbing, effect-triggering behemoth of an Xyz that can exile your opponent’s best cards to the bottom of their Deck and spin their worst cards to the top of their Deck to clog their draws!


Let’s start with the near-invincible force of nature: Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree.



Leo’s a Level 10 Synchro Monster with a huge 3100 ATK, and an effect that keeps it on the field: when it’s face-up, Leo can’t be targeted by your opponent’s card effects except in your Main Phase 2.  That means cards like Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear and Atlantean Heavy Infantry can’t touch it; battle tricks like Dimensional Prison and Forbidden Lance can’t stop it; and even flexible cards like Book of Moon can’t target it except on your turn… after you’ve finished attacking.

Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the BeginningChaos SorcererScrap Dragon?  All powerless to stop Leo.   If your opponent can’t Summon Star Eater, drop mass removal, or isn’t playing Spellbooks, they may have no way to get Leo off the field.


So, how do you get Leo onto the field?  Spore makes it easy.  Check out the play above.  Say you have Spore and Sylvan Hermitree in your Graveyard (Tytannial, Princess of Camellias or Chirubimé, Princess of Autumn Leaves are fine too).  With that set-up, all you need on the field is a Fluff Token or a used Sylvan Peaskeeper – any Level 1 will do.

-Banish Hermitree for Spore’s effect.
-Special Summon Spore as a Level 9.
-Tune it to your Fluff Token or Peaskeeper.
-Synchro Summon Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree.

That’s it.  All you need is the right Graveyard and a Level 1 monster, and you can unleash an un-targetable showstopper with 3100 ATK.  Want to do it differently?  Sure.

Say you don’t have a Level 8 in the Graveyard yet, but Spore’s ready to go and you opened the Duel with Lonefire Blossom Special Summoning Sylvan Guardioak.  You want to Summon Leo, but you also want to score a bunch of free effects along the way.

-First, use Guardioak’s ability and see if you hit anything good.
-Get Guardioak into the Graveyard, preferably to activate the effect of Mount Sylvania to put a beneficial Sylvan monster on top of your Deck.
-Banish Guardioak for Spore’s effect.
-Special Summon Spore as a Level 7.
-Normal Summon Sylvan Marshalleaf and activate its effect, claiming the effect of whichever Sylvan monster you put on top of your Deck, and maybe one more!
-Synchro Summon Leo, Keeper of the Sacred Tree.

This combo’s great, because you get numerous opportunities to trigger Sylvan effects all in one turn, it helps to build your graveyard for Sylvan Peaskeeper, Miracle Fertilizer, and other powerful cards you’ll run, and it’ll trigger at least 1 Sylvan to help you clear the field.  And when you’re finished, you have a 3100 ATK monster that only really has to fear mass removal cards.

It’s really easy to Summon Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree, and really tough for your opponent to remove it, outside of Limited cards or playing a couple specific Decks.  But that’s not the only big Extra Deck option you have!

If you need to draw more cards or eliminate opposing cards from the field in a permanent fashion, then Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector is everything you want and more.  It’s really easy to Summon in the mid-game: my favorite way is to Miracle Fertilizer for Tytannial, Princess of Camellias; use her ability to protect the Fertilizer if needed; then Special Summon another Level 8 next turn like Chirubimé, Princess of Autumn Leaves.  Overlay your Princesses to Xyz Summon Alsei, and get ready for a salad bar of amazing Plant effects!

Once a turn, Alsei lets you guess the top card of your Deck: excavate it, and if you guessed right you can add that card to your hand.  Guess wrong, and it goes to your Graveyard.  Seems simple enough, right?

But you can play that ability two different ways: you can stack your Deck with cards like Guardioak or Hermitree, placing non-Sylvan cards on top so you can guess right and draw them with Alsei’s effect.  Or you can stack a Sylvan with something like Mount Sylvania, guess wrong on purpose, and send it to the Graveyard to trigger that Sylvan’s ability.

Alsei has another trick that works wonders with its first power, too.  If a card’s sent from your Deck to your Graveyard by a card effect, any time but the Damage Step, you can detach an Xyz Material from Alsei, target a card on the field, and put that target on either the top or bottom of its owner’s Deck.  There are tons of ways to use that:

-Reuse a monster like Sylvan Peaskeeper or Sylvan Marshalleaf, drawing into them again to use effects that trigger when they Normal Summon.
-Stack a used up Sylvan monster so you can excavate it and trigger its Graveyard ability.
-Reuse a Spell like Miracle Fertilizer or Mark of the Rose.
-Recycle a Continuous Trap like Fiendish Chain or Safe Zone.

That’s four very different ways to play Alsei’s effect, and that’s only half the story.  More importantly, you can send your opponent’s cards to the top or bottom of their deck, burying cards they want or forcing them to draw cards they don’t need.  There’s no restriction on what you can target: Alsei can eliminate face-down Trap Cards, big Synchro Monsters, Xyz, or even Set Flip Effect Monsters.  Whatever’s causing trouble, Alsei’s the solution.

Combining some of the best Plant cards of all time with a slew of new, incredibly powerful monsters, the Sylvan deck could make a big impact on your tournaments.  Extra Deck all-stars like Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree and Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector fight alongside old classics like Formula Synchron and T.G. Hyper Librarian, making for a fast, hard-hitting strategy.  The Sylvans steal games with big attacks, and dominate your Duels with powerful effects that constrict your opponent

You can find all the Sylvans at your Legacy of the Valiant Sneak next weekend, and you’ll score a Sylvan Bladefender just for entering.  Give the Deck a shot!  Master it, and you may be surprised at the incredible range of powers these forest-dwellers command.