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March of the Mini-Monarchs!

January 26th, 2016

Somewhere out there among the many possible universes there’s one in which Treeborn Frog never existed and Samsara Kaiser ran around with Ultimate Offering, dropping non-stop Monarchs until Destiny HERO – Malicious and friends showed up. This Friday, you’ll get a chance to see how Tribute Summoning strategies might have evolved in that universe when the Emperor of Darkness Structure Deck launches!

The Monarchs themselves have always been strong individual cards, but how good they are as a strategy depends on how reliably and how often you can actually Summon them. Tribute Summoning is your Normal Summon for the turn – it’s a once per turn action that puts exactly 1 monster on to the field. For a Deck built around Tribute Summoning to be successful in today’s environment, you need an efficient means of gathering Tributes, those Tributes can’t take up your Normal Summon, the Tributes need to refund or otherwise benefit you in some way, and the monster you’re Tribute Summoning has to make a big, immediate impact. We’ll deal with the Monarchs themselves later this week, but today I’m going to talk about what you’ll be Tributing for them.


Emperor of Darkness fields a team of 8, 800 ATK/1000 DEF Monarchlings designed to make your Tribute Summons faster and/or more worthwhile. You probably already know Escher the Frost Vassal from Clash of Rebellions, but the rest of them are new.

Batting at the top of the order are Edea the Heavenly Squire and Eidos the Underworld Squire. Edea Summons another one of the Monarchlings from your Deck when she’s Normal or Special Summoned. Normally this wouldn’t fit our criteria for an effective Tribute, but it works because she Summons Eidos the Underworld Squire, who gives you an extra Normal Summon to spend on a Tribute Summon during the turn he’s played. With two monsters and the ability to Tribute Summon, any Monarch or Mega Monarch can be played right away!

Afterwards, both Squires can refund you a card for Tributing them. Edea retrieves a banished Monarch Spell/Trap to your hand, and Eidos can be banished to Special Summon a Monarchling back from your Graveyard. The obvious choice is Edea, who can Summon another Eidos from your Deck to repeat the entire process. Both are nice to have on the first turn, as is Mithra the Thunder Vassal.


Mithra can be Special Summoned from your hand as long as you’re OK with Summoning a tiny Token to your opponent’s side of the field as well. It’s generally a really good deal as a Level 1 800 ATK/DEF “Vassal Token” probably won’t do your opponent any good and may in fact screw up their strategy completely. Burning Abyss Decks in particular dislike the “Vassal Token” as their monsters will self-destruct while it stays in play. If you Tribute Mithra for a Tribute Summon, you get an extra Normal Summon to use on a Tribute Summon that turn, meaning you can drop 2 Monarchs instead of 1. It’s great when you’ve got multiple copies of Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch or a Thestalos and a Mega Thestalos. Instead of refunding you, Mithra accelerates your strategy beyond what it should normally be able to do, making it a good early game choice.


As you approach the later stages of the Duel, you may find yourself running out of Monarchs. That’s when Garum the Storm Vassal comes in handy. You can Special Summon it by returning one of your Tribute Summoned monsters to your hand. That lets you reuse any of your Monarchs, and when Garum is Tributed you can grab any of the other Monarchlings from your Deck and add it to your hand, increasing the longevity of your gameplan! Speaking of longevity, about that banished “Monarch” Spell/Trap Card that Edea can retrieve. It’s very often going to be this…


If there’s a universe where Treeborn Frog never happened, there’s also one where Destiny Draw and Destiny HERO – Malicious didn’t happen, and that’s where we found Pantheism of the Monarchs. Its basic form is that of Destiny Draw. You discard a particular kind of card to draw 2 cards. But it’s also got the DNA of Malicious built-in, letting you banish it from your Graveyard to get another card. In this case, you send one of the many “Monarch” Spell/Trap Cards from your hand to the Graveyard to draw 2 cards, then you can immediately banish Pantheism from your Graveyard to add any “Monarch” Spell/Trap to your hand.

Yeah, it says reveal 3 and your opponent picks 1 to give to you, but in practice your opponent doesn’t get a choice. You can choose multiple cards with the same name, meaning all 3 can be the card you want, or you can get 1 copy of the card you want and 2 copies of Tenacity of the Monarchs, which can be traded in for the card you want. This lets you engage in all sorts of Deck building shenanigans, allowing you to play only 1 copy of a number of different “Monarch” Spell/Trap Cards knowing that you essentially have 7 copies of each of them when you want them (1 legit, 3 Pantheism, 3 Tenacity) and only 1 copy when you don’t.

The Emperor of Darkness Structure Deck is packed full of new cards for one of the most popular strategies of all time. You’ll be able to take them for a spin when the Deck launches on Friday, the 29th.