Home > Intermediate Tips, Special > Don’t Forget About This Card! Saffira, Queen of Dragons

Don’t Forget About This Card! Saffira, Queen of Dragons

February 20th, 2015

Nekroz may have stolen the spotlight at YCS Tacoma, but they aren’t the only Ritual Monsters out there that can compete! The 2014-2015 Dueling season has been something of a renaissance for Ritual Monsters, featuring at least 1 new Ritual Monster in each booster starting with Duelist Alliance and ramping up to 7 in The Secret Forces. Ritual Monsters have evolved quite a bit since Saffira, Queen of Dragons debuted in Duelist Alliance, but she’s still my favorite of the new bunch and an excellent monster in her own right. Can you even name another Ritual Monster that gives you access to a theoretically infinite number of copies of Effect Veiler, Honest and Artifact Lancea?

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I mention this because an infinite supply of such cards is mighty useful right about now, and a Deck built around such an interaction is potentially very powerful as a result. Saffira, Queen of Dragons has 3 different effects. You get one of them for free as soon as she’s Ritual Summoned, but after that, you get one of the three effects during the End Phase of each turn that a LIGHT monster went from the hand or Deck to the Graveyard. Her first effect helps you dig through your Deck to find the cards you’re looking for. The second effect kicks cards out of your opponent’s hand at random, useful against everything but Burning Abyss and Shaddoll. The final effect is what we’re really after though – the ability to retrieve any LIGHT monster from the Graveyard and put it in our hand.

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With monsters like these that send themselves from your hand to the Graveyard for powerful effects, you can easily trigger Saffira’s ability during each and every turn. It’s not like your opponent is going to stop trying to beat you, so you’ll be rolling in opportunities to put your free cards to work each turn. And even if your opponent can make multiple plays in the same turn, Saffira has a huge advantage that other Ritual Monsters don’t have that will help you keep her around on the field: a Ritual Spell that offers a no-questions-asked-get-out-of-death-free card.

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Hymn of Light
is everything a Ritual Monster can reasonably ask for. The Tributes don’t have to match Saffira’s Level exactly, and you can banish it from the Graveyard to protect your Ritual Monster(s) from one instance of destruction. You can even dump it into the Graveyard with a Lightsworn effect or Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss to stack extra layers of protection onto Saffira, which is great because that ability isn’t limited to only being used once per turn.

One of the great things about building a Deck around Saffira is that it doesn’t take that much in the way of commitment. Let’s say you max out on Saffira, Hymn of Light, Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands, Preparation of Rites, Effect Veiler, and Honest. That’s only 17 cards. 20 if you decide to put the Artifact Lanceas in your Main Deck. After all those cards, even with Lancea, you still have 20 full slots to do whatever you want with. Here are a few of the things you might want to do with all that extra space!

Improve Your Overall Summon Quality

You can make your Ritual Summons even easier and more powerful if you run Djinn Releaser of Rituals. Either Mathematician or Tour Guide from the Underworld can pull it straight from your Deck to be used in a Ritual Summon. In addition, both Mathematician and Tour Guide are still good even when you have Saffira on the field or if you don’t have any of the cards you need to Summon her.

Mathematician is a precise tool for dropping Effect Veiler or Honest in the Graveyard so you can pick it up with Saffira. It can send Djinn Releaser of Rituals to the Graveyard to give you the 6 total Levels you need for a Ritual Summon. It even draws you a card upon its demise, bringing you closer to pulling off your Ritual Summon if you’ve got nothing going.

Tour Guide from the Underworld is a strong opening play regardless of your opening hand. Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss is a great card in this strategy, and playing it early can obfuscate your intentions. If you’re running Tour Guide, you might want to pack a copy of Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss as well to allow for follow-up Tour Guide plays.

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Accelerate Your Strategy Further

You might also decide that just running Preparation of Rites and Manju isn’t enough search power for you. In that case, you can also run Senju of the Thousand Hands and/or Sonic Bird to assemble the pieces for your Ritual Summon faster. Maxx “C” lets you piggyback off of strong openings from Nekroz and Burning Abyss, while Shared Ride lets you do the same off of strong openings from Nekroz and Qliphorts. As a whole, Special Summoning is a lot more prevalent across all potential strategies than actual searching is. I don’t always put cards like these in my Main Deck, but when I do, I choose Maxx “C”.

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Run Trap Cards

I was really surprised by how many Duelists at YCS Tacoma played 0 Trap Cards. My expectation for that event is that players who weren’t using Nekroz would find them to be a must-play, especially against Nekroz. It is absolutely no surprise to me that every single non-Nekroz Duelist who made the Top 32 of the YCS was running anywhere from 6 to 12 Trap Cards in their Deck. In a Deck built around Saffira, you already have a number of monsters whose abilities can be played from your hand during your opponent’s turn, but that’s no excuse to ignore actual Trap Cards! Spell negation, Summon negation, Mirror Force, Bottomless Trap Hole, and even some more narrow cards like Debunk can be highly effective in the current play environment.

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Play Whatever You Like

Lots of players, myself included, don’t need an excuse to play cards they like, but it never hurts to have one. For example, I like Malacoda, Netherlord of the Burning Abyss. A Deck based on Saffira is highly capable of Ritual Summoning Level 6 monsters and can easily incorporate Tour Guide from the Underworld and a limited suite of Burning Abyss monsters. Dante is also really useful. And you can’t double up on Saffira effects, so you don’t necessarily benefit from having more than 1 on the field at the same time. So why not use all those leftover Manjus and the like to give her a friend to go into battle with?

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Despite the whole “Netherlord of the Burning Abyss” thing, Malacoda is actually a pretty good teammate. He’ll gladly sacrifice himself to deal with pesky monsters that can’t be destroyed in battle like Masked HERO Divine Wind so that Saffira can use her ability to generate infinite Honests to deal with greater challenges… like Superdimensional Robot Galaxy Destroyer.

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The best thing about Saffira is that her overall potential is limitless. Every time a LIGHT monster with a powerful effect that can be played from the hand is released, she gets better. Make sure not to forget about her!