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Winning Booster Draft Strategies: Level 3 Rush

October 9th, 2014

Billy Brake broke pretty much every Dueling convention in the book on his way to his third YCS win in Dallas last weekend. Not only did he go with a 60-card Advanced Format Deck, the maximum size allowed as opposed to the 40-card minimum most competitors stick to, he also drafted a very specific Battle Pack 3: Monster League strategy that most players overlook or lack the confidence to commit to: the Level 3 monster rush Deck.


In general, you want to keep your monsters on the field for as long as possible, but when you’re drafting the Level 3 Deck, you have to recognize that many of your monsters are going to be undersized, even if you’ve got Equip Spells to power them up, making it important to attack aggressively and inflict as much damage as possible before your opponent can set up their much larger monsters. After your opponent digs in and starts to stabilize their position, you then want to create a second rush using cards like Call of the Atlanteans and Seed of Flames to get your monsters back, and Mark of the Rose and other monster removal cards to clear the road.


Card Trooper is a top pick in this strategy, and Brake managed to draft 2 of them. Not only is it one of the strongest Level 3 monsters, boosting itself up to 1900 ATK with its effect, it also loads up your Graveyard with monsters to revive and monsters to power up your Graveyard-based ATK pumps like Closed Forest and Raging Mad Plants. Furthermore, it can help you draw those cards when it’s destroyed. Raging Mad Plants is of particular note here. Card Trooper draws you a card when it’s destroyed, and Seed of Flames, another Level 3 monster, revives a monster from your Graveyard when it’s destroyed by a card effect. Raging Mad Plants can massively power up both of these cards, letting them roll over the opposition, or the opposition’s Life Points, and then instead of simply losing all your monsters at the end of your turn, you replace them with new cards for that second push that’s so vital to the Level 3 rush Deck’s success.


Madolche Baaple is another important card for a Level 3 rush Deck, and another card that Brake drafted 2 of. It shifts monsters to their generally more vulnerable Defense Position and freezes them there for a turn, buying valuable time and letting you win battles you normally could not, and it’s another card you can revive as part of a huge Call of the Atlanteans to take over the Duel.

Here are some other cards to look out for if you decide to try a Level 3 rush strategy the next time you draft Battle Pack 3: Monster League:


Jerry Beans Man is the biggest Level 3 monster in the set with no strings attached, at 1750 ATK. It’s also the only Normal Monster in the set, and it makes Duelists who draft Leotaur sad.


Arsenal Bug is a 2000 ATK Level 3 monster that drops to 1000 ATK if it’s alone. One of the benefits of the Level 3 rush Deck is that you can put a lot of monsters on the field between your Normal Summon and card effects like Trident Warrior, Call of the Mummy, and Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen in addition to your revival cards like Premature Burial, etc. That makes it more than likely your Arsenal Bug will stay at 2000.

Wattjustment is an Equip Spell that works exclusively on Level 3 and lower monsters, so it’s easy to pick up later in the draft even though its +800 ATK and “draw a card” effect are extremely useful. It negates the effects of the monster it’s equipped to, so you can combo it with Arsenal Bug to make a 2800 ATK monster that draws you a card when it does damage.


Spined Gillman only has an original ATK of 1300, but it acts like a 1700 ATK monster thanks to its effect. You’ll probably have to take this card early on because it’s good in pretty much any strategy, not just a Level 3 rush Deck.


Monster removal that also inflicts damage is a big deal, since you’re looking to end things as quickly as possible. Every Life Point you can take away from your opponent in the course of clearing out your opponent’s monsters for your second push is a huge benefit, and Hate Buster and Chaos Burst can be huge contributors!

Next time you see a lot of useful Level 3 and lower monsters pass you by, consider picking them up and giving the Level 3 rush Deck a shot. Billy Brake did in Dallas, and he picked up his 3rd YCS win as a result!

For more on Battle Pack 3: Monster League draft, check out actual Booster Drafts filmed at Konami, here!