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Raging Tempest: No ATK, No DEF, No Problem

January 24th, 2017

Raging Tempest is jam packed full of awesome stuff. It has support for some older themes as well as a few brand new ones, but there is definitely one new theme from Raging Tempest that everyone will be talking about, and that’s Zoodiac. Why is everyone so excited about it? Well outside one of the best puns we’ve seen in a while, it is also expected to be one of the strongest strategies in the competitive scene in addition to providing a powerful opening play for a wide variety of other Decks.

Zoodiac’s claim to fame is a powerful opening combo that nets you two or three Xyz Monsters on the first turn. The key to this combo is Zoodiac Ratpier, a monster that might seem a little weak on the surface at Level 4 with 0 ATK and 0 DEF, but it has 2 effects: one is good, the other is game-changing. If Normal Summoned, Zoodiac Ratpier can send a Zoodiac card from your Deck to the Graveyard, which is awesome for enabling some effects in a full-on Zoodiac Deck. With that said, the key ability of Zoodiac Ratpier is its second effect, which grants a Beast-Warrior Xyz Monster an additional effect if it has Zoodiac Ratpier as an Xyz Material.

A Beast-Warrior Type Xyz Monster with Ratpier attached can detach an Xyz Material to Special Summon another copy of Zoodiac Ratpier from your Deck. This is an easy way to make sure the fun doesn’t stop, as once you Xyz Summon once with a Zoodiac Ratpier you can guarantee having another Ratpier in play to help you Xyz Summon again. It’s effectively a Reborn Tengu for Beast-Warrior Type Xyz Monsters.

The whole reason this is so strong is that Zoodiac is the only theme where all the Xyz Monsters can be Xyz Summoned using only 1 monster as Xyz Material. Take Zoodiac Broadbull for instance. While it normally requires two Level 4 Monsters as Xyz Materials, Zoodiac Broadbull can also be Xyz Summoned once per turn by stacking it on top of any “Zoodiac” monster you control as long as it has a different name. While there are many Xyz Monsters that can use 1 other Xyz Monster as Xyz Material, there are no other themes that can use any other monster from their theme as the sole Xyz Material for an Xyz Summon. In addition to this, the ATK and DEF of Zoodiac Broadbull is the combined ATK and DEF of all Zoodiacs it has as Xyz Materials, so it gets bigger if you Summon it with its written Materials, but you don’t have to. All of the “Zoodiac” Xyz Monsters have both of these effects and work just like this, so while they are all super easy to Xyz Summon, it comes at the price of having little to no ATK or DEF.

A single Zoodiac Ratpier can Xyz Summon Zoodiac Broadbull, which will then gain an effect so it can detach the Zoodiac Ratpier to Special Summon another Ratpier from the Deck. You can easily see how this can get out of hand so quickly, as a single Zoodiac Ratpier turns into another Ratpier and a Zoodiac Broadbull. If that wasn’t enough, Zoodiac Broadbull has another effect that will let you detach an Xyz Material to search any Beast-Warrior from your Deck as long as it can be Normal Summoned! So you can add anything from a Zoodiac, to Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear, or even Coach Captain Bearman.

From there Zoodiac Tigermortar lets you kick it up another notch. Zoodiac Tigermortar normally requires three Level 4 Monsters as Xyz Materials, but just like Zoodiac Broadbull, you can stack it on top of another Zoodiac Monster instead as long as it has a different name. So after you have Summoned your Zoodiac Ratpier and stacked a Zoodiac Broadbull on top of it so you can detach the Ratpier to Special Summon another copy, you can then Xyz Summon Zoodiac Tigermortar on top of Zoodiac Broadbull.

Thanks to Zoodiac Tigermortar’s effect, you can detach an Xyz Material from it to target an Xyz Monster you control along with a Zoodiac from your Graveyard, and attach that Zoodiac as an Xyz Material to that Xyz Monster. This essentially lets you swap out the Zoodiac Broadbull that is currently an Xyz Material for the Zoodiac Ratpier you had detached earlier, giving your Zoodiac Tigermortar the effect to Special Summon your last Zoodiac Ratpier because it now has Zoodiac Ratpier as an Xyz Material and is granted that effect.

With that, you will have two copies of Zoodiac Ratpier in play along with a Zoodiac Tigermortar. That’s three cards on the field when you only started with a single Zoodiac Ratpier! With three Zoodiacs in play, you can start stacking other Zoodiac Xyz Monsters from your Extra Deck on top of them, or use your Zoodiac Ratpier as Xyz Material for other Rank 4 Xyz Monsters. This is where you can take advantage of Zoodiac Broadbull’s effect for example, by stacking it on top of Zoodiac Tigermortar and then detaching it so you can add a Beast-Warrior.

Zoodiac doesn’t just have awesome monsters though, as Zoodiac Barrage is a powerful Continuous Spell that does a whole lot for very little. Once per turn, you can use it to destroy a face-up card you control to Special Summon a “Zoodiac” monster from your Deck! Unlike similar cards like Sky Iris, Zoodiac Barrage can target itself. That’s an easy way to get a Zoodiac Ratpier into play without using your Normal Summon, which his huge if you plan to Normal Summon whatever you search off of Zoodiac Broadbull. In addition to that, when Zoodiac Barrage is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard, you can target a Zoodiac Xyz Monster and attach Zoodiac Barrage to it as an Xyz Material! That’s even more bang for your buck from a card that helps you start your combo almost immediately.

Because Zoodiac Ratpier is so important, you want to find it as easily as possible. Zoodiac Barrage is a great way to do that, but you also have options like Fire Formation – Tenki. It’s a great choice because all of the Zoodiacs are Level 4 Beast-Warriors, so you can use it to search whatever you need. Zoodiac Ratpier can also be Special Summoned by M-X-Saber Invoker, which only requires two Level 3 Materials to summon it. Something as simple as Speedroid Terrortop or Tour Guide from the Underworld can help you Xyz Summon M-X-Saber Invoker without requiring much setup, so you can get Zoodiac Ratpier into play and get the ball rolling.

While this combo gives you a ton of power for a single card and leaves you open to do pretty much whatever you want with the rest of your hand, it does have a big weakness. Mass removal cards like Dark Hole and Raigeki can destroy everything you’ve accomplished in an instant and leave you with no way to repeat your combo, so you’ll have to take precautions against such things if you try this out for yourself.

If you want to master the Zoodiac, make sure to check out the Raging Tempest Sneak Peak February 4th and 5th!

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