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Take the Throne

January 29th, 2016

The Emperor of Darkness Structure Deck is a reimagining of one of the all-time classic Dueling strategies, and it’s out today! Great strides were made in Tribute Summoning technology during the creation of this Structure Deck, but one area of the Monarch strategy that’s remained constant is its access to the Extra Deck. Specifically, it has none. To make up for that, we needed a way for the Monarch Duelist to level the playing field, and that’s the Field Spell Domain of the True Monarchs!

Domain of the Monarchs
denies your opponent access to their Extra Deck as long as you have no cards in your own Extra Deck and are the only player with a Tribute Summoned monster on the field. In an ideal world, you’d be able to Tribute Summon one of the 3 Monarchs that can take a card out of your opponent’s hand on the first turn, and then play this card. But that assumes that you’re going first and have a way to get multiple Tributes on the field in case you have Thestalos the Mega Monarch or Erebus the Underworld Monarch. Or at least, that would be the assumption if Domain of the Monarchs was just a variation on Vanity’s Emptiness. Fortunately, it’s not!

Domain has 3 abilities total. The first one locks out the opponent’s Extra Deck. The second helps your Monarchs defeat bigger monsters in battle. For example, none of your Monarchs can beat Ignister Prominence the Blasting Dracoslayer on their own due to that extra 50 in its ATK, but with Domain, they all can! That means you’re OK Summoning a hand disrupting Monarch to take out your opponent’s follow-up play, even when going second, because Domain will let you clear their current monster and then prevent them from Summoning another.

But what about the case where you can’t gather multiple Tributes and have only Level 8 Monarchs in your hand? Domain of the Monarchs helps with that too, letting your reduce the Level of one of the 2800 ATK/1000 DEF monsters in your hand by 2 until the end of the turn. In that way, Domain acts as a second Tribute that you don’t have to Summon or Tribute and makes it way easier to play your best Monarchs more often.

Monarchs have certainly picked up a lot of great modern day amenities thanks to Emperor of Darkness, but don’t forget – getting new themed cards isn’t the only way a strategy can improve! You can also pick up card ideas and strategies from other Decks that are seeing success right now and incorporate them into your own Deck, or you might find a hidden gem from an older booster that just happens to have the exact sort of effect you’re looking for. I’ll leave you with an example of both!

For a hidden gem from an older booster set, you only have to look back to October 2015! High-Speed Riders introduced the Speedroids, a theme full of WIND Machine-Type monsters with a penchant for Synchro Summoning. It achieved blazing fast Synchro Summons thanks to Speedroid Terrortop and Speedroid Taketomborg. Terrortop can be Special Summoned from your hand while you control no monsters, and it doesn’t start a Chain when you do so. That gives you a Tribute and doesn’t give your opponent a chance to activate Maxx “C”, but wait there’s more! When you Normal or Special Summon Terrortop, you get to add another “Speedroid” from your Deck to your hand, except another Terrotop. Speedroid Taketomborg can be Special Summoned from your hand while you control a WIND monster. Again, this doesn’t start a Chain so you can’t be forced to give up cards to Maxx “C”.

This puts you in an advantageous position either way. With no Maxx “C”, you can Special Summon Taketomborg, Summon any Monarch you want, and possibly have an extra card on the field to defend yourself with or destroy with Kuraz the Light Monarch for an extra draw. If they do have Maxx “C”, and you can access Domain of the True Monarchs, which is incredibly easy considering how many effective copies of it you get to play between Pantheism of the Monarchs, Tenacity of the Monarchs, and even Terraforming if you want it, there’s a good chance you can just drop a hand disrupting Monarch on them anyways, leaving them down 2 cards in hand with nothing to show for it.

For a current successful strategy that you can incorporate into your own Deck, take a look at Kozmo. Kozmo Decks are fortifying themselves against the field in a similar way to Domain of the True Monarchs – by denying the opponent access to the Extra Deck. They do it with Artifact Sanctum and Artifact Scythe, as well as Artifact Ignition to destroy cards in the Pendulum Zones. Ignition sets Artifacts from the Deck that can be destroyed during the opponent’s turn with Kozmo Sliprider to Summon them and trigger their effects.

You can do the same thing in your Monarch Deck! The Artifacts pull triple duty here as a way to cut your opponent off from the Extra Deck and destroy their Spell/Traps, another way to gather Tributes, and as the perfect cards to destroy with Kuraz the Light Monarch. Remember, you can Summon Kuraz on your opponent’s turn straight from your Deck with Ehther the Heavenly Monarch, which itself can be Tribute Summoned during your opponent’s turn for a nominal cost. The combination of Kuraz and Artifacts doubles your disruptive power while helping you draw through your Deck and assemble even more Tributes. The Artifacts are even Level 5, so Zaborg the Thunder Monarch can finally have some friends that match his Level!

If you weren’t playing the last time Monarchs were popular, I implore you to give them a try. They’re an important piece of Dueling history, and with the Emperor of Darkness Structure Deck and a little ingenuity, they can make their mark once more!