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Disaster Dragon

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Gameplay

Disaster Dragon is an Aggro Control deck that plays disruption strategies mixed with lockdown and high aggression to gain and maintain control of the board. It carries a lot of momentum and explosive power as the deck can consistently drop two or more monsters per turn without losing advantage and often times they will be big monsters. This is done through the use of the deck's backbone card, "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon". This card is one of the most powerful dragons in the deck, outclassed only by a potential "White Night Dragon", or "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon". Red-Eyes' effect allows for the constant re-use of monsters from the Graveyard, as well as the ability to bypass the Normal Summoning limit and the requirements for Tributes that many decks suffer from. As a result, Disaster Dragon decks are packing some of the most destructive, highest ATK monsters in the present Metagame because they can bypass the tribute mechanic required to summon them.

Through the usage of cards such as "Koa'ki Meiru Drago", "Exploder Dragon" and "Light and Darkness Dragon" the deck is capable of shutting down and eliminating a majority of plays made by the current popular decks. The deck plays like a toolbox, with "Masked Dragon" working to recruit the dragons you need for tributes, Synchro Summon, Xyz Summon, monster removal, etc and cards like Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and "Genesis Dragon" allowing you to reuse, manipulate, or trade dragons around. Cards such as "Foolish Burial", "Dragon Ravine"(currently Forbidden in TCG), and "Dragon Shrine" allow you to dump dragons into your graveyard faster while also aiding in the deck's inherent synergy, but some dragons such as "Yamata Dragon" or "Light and Darkness Dragon" cannot be Special Summoned, thus they are unable to bypass their two-tribute requirement via "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" as most dragons would do. Instead, the deck utilizes "Totem Dragon", a self-recurring dragon that can act as two tributes in order to Tribute Summon a Dragon-type monster. Being a Dragon itself, Totem Dragon is a viable target to search with "Masked Dragon" or to dump with "Future Fusion". It can also be revived by Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon.

The idea with "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" is to play it after REDMD is on the field, after you complete your own field setup. This way it won't be interfering with your own monsters, while putting constant pressure on your opponent by blocking their Special Summon (in a LIGHT and DARK dominated meta, especially against this deck's nemesis, Chaos Dragons along with Hieratics).

One of the most common analogies for "Koa'ki Meiru Drago"'s usage compares it to a switch, courtesy of a feature match involving Richard Clarke, the deck's creator, where he flipped "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" on and off the field, allowing himself all the Special Summons and locking his opponent out of any.

"Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8's" ability allows it to negate and destroy the activation of any Spell Card(s). This not only restricts the amount of options your opponent has, but can shut down many popular deck types (especially Legendary Six Samurai, Dragunity, Dark World, variants of HERO Beat and to lesser extent, Prophecy because most of them are Spell-reliant decks). This deck also utilizes the Graveyard with cards like Horus LV Dragon series, "Prime Material Dragon", "Stardust Dragon", "Mirage Dragon", etc, that prevent your opponent from destroying your monsters (and more in the case of Horus LV Dragon and Mirage Dragon), which are helpful. "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" is also helpful to get rid of the opponent's monster that has more ATK than your dragons, as you can easily summon this dragon using Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon's effect. It also helps when trying to get rid of your opponent's "Gachi Gachi Gantetsu", "Number 39: Utopia", "Wind-Up Zenmaines", "Maestroke the Symphony Djinn" and numerous other troublesome monsters.

With the release of "Dodger Dragon" in Extreme Victory, Disaster Dragon decks can be even more consistent than before, as it can protect all of your Dragons from the now-commonly-used Counter Trap Cards such as "Solemn Warning", "Seven Tools of the Bandit" and "Black Horn of Heaven". It can also used as "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon's" Summon fodder, and has reasonably high ATK too.

Order of Chaos also gives many Disaster Dragon variants a welcome addition in "Divine Dragon Apocralyph", which allows you to add a Dragon from your Graveyard to your hand at the cost of discarding a card. With 1000 ATK, it's an easy "Masked Dragon" target. However as a DARK monster, it may have some clash if Koa'ki Meiru Drago is on the field. Nevertheless, it easily outclasses and can be used to replace Genesis Dragon due to having a non-specified cost and easier summon method.

With the release of Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy, Disaster Dragon get another incredible supports in the form of Dragon Rulers, which have varied useful effects depending on their Attribute while also providing offensive boosts and fixing most issues that Disaster Dragon deck has ever since "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" is Limited in September 2012 Lists.

In the past, "Future Fusion" also carries synergy with either "Genesis Dragon" or "Divine Dragon Apocralyph", allowing you to discard dragons from your hand to the grave and retrieve others in a form of reverse tutoring. They also carries synergy with "Yamata Dragon" and "Light and Darkness Dragon". Both dragons cannot be Special Summoned from the grave, but with either Genesis Dragon or Apocralyph they can be re-summoned again and again. An infinite loop exists with Light and Darkness Dragon and Genesis Dragon/Apocralyph in which you tribute Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and Genesis Dragon/Apocralyph for Light and Darkness Dragon. When Light and Darkness dies you bring back Red-Eyes and use its effect to revive Genesis Dragon/Apocralyph, who returns Light and Darkness Dragon to your hand. Then, you can sacrifice them both to summon it again and continue the loop. It's fairly unstable for obvious reasons but the ability to infinitely reuse a monster as powerful as Light and Darkness Dragon is definitely an option the deck has at its disposal[1].

Another loop combo involves around "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon", "Divine Dragon Apocralyph" and "Delta Flyer". If you have both Delta Flyer and Apocralyph in your Graveyard, you can use Red-Eyes' effect to revive Apocralyph, use its effect to return Delta Flyer to your hand, then Normal Summon Delta Flyer, Synchro Summon either Level 7 or 8 Synchro Monster, and just repeat it next turn.

All in all, Disaster Dragon is a control oriented deck that utilizes a full deck of dragons. Future Fusion is the power house dumper of the deck, and, although it's not needed, it kicks the deck into high gear instantly by giving you five dragons of your choice in the grave which is right where you want them. Masked Dragon acts as a recruiter-toolbox engine. Yamata Dragon and Light and Darkness Dragon can rack up a large advantage and disrupt/lock down the field, respectively. Prime Material Dragon covers your dragons from your opponent's destructive attempts. Koa'ki Meiru Drago stops the opponent from Special Summoning powerful Light or Dark-attribute monsters and also acts as another control measure (in most cases). Divine Dragon Apocralyph allows you to recycle lost dragons, trading in dead ones[2].

The deck does not pilot itself and requires forethought and careful consideration of options. Every choice made with what you dump, search, and revive can tilt the scales in either player's favor. It plays aggressively, as almost every monster in the deck has higher ATK than opposing monsters. It can utilize this in its favor and play a momentum game. By locking down the opponent's options while you continue to amass your own, it is quite easy to take complete control of a Duel in a matter of turns.[3]

Unfortunately, with the announcement of September 2012 Lists, this deck has lost majority of its power ("Future Fusion" being Forbidden and "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" being Limited). Even recently, January 2014 TCG Lists also hit this deck significantly by Limiting all four of the "bigger" Dragon Rulers (Only Semi-Limited in February 2014 OCG Lists, currently Limited in both formats) along with "Sacred Sword of Seven Stars" and indirectly, "Dragon Ravine", in addition to the previous "small" Dragon Rulers Forbidding by September 2013 Lists.

Despite the limitations and changes to the format, with the recent releases and innovations there is still a chance for this deck in the future.

Variations

Disaster Dragon is capable of assuming many different forms to suit the players taste, often utilizing different tech cards that either strengthen the deck's base or alter part of its play style while retaining its control ability. The most famous and well-known version of Disaster is often referred to as Standard Disaster, which is a well rounded, consistent deck that serves as the basis for the many different forms the deck can take. It's very balanced in terms of offense, control, and speed.

Variations includes:

Light and Darkness Disaster

Focusing on lockdown by summoning "Light and Darkness Dragon" via the "Totem Dragon" recruitment (either via its own effect or "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon"), as well as recycling him by the effect of "Divine Dragon Apocralyph" which can create an infinite loop, of course as long as you can maintain the cycle. "Dodger Dragon" is an optional aid (mostly used to prevent "Solemn Warning").

Frozen Ray

The WATER variant that can summon "Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier" since it's iconic card is "Blizzard Dragon", which can "freeze" your opponent's monster and prevent their attacks. This variant can also combined with other variants (mostly by adding "Blizzard Dragons") for strengthening your position during grind games.

This variant also gets some nice boost from Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy in the form of "Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls", which can provide another strong WATER Dragon-type monster and an ability for searching "Blizzard Dragon" when combined with either "Gold Sarcophagus" or "Sacred Sword of Seven Stars".

Spirit Well

This variant utilizes "Yamata Dragon", which acts as a generator for hand advantage through inflicting Battle Damage with the reward of drawing up to 5 cards. This variant requires "Totem Dragon" as a consistent Tribute fodder for Yamata Dragon. The rest of the cards in this build is often identical to the Standard variant or can be combined with Light and Disaster.

Catastrophe Dragon

Runs "Gandora the Dragon of Destruction" to decimate an opponent's field and follow up with summoning "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon". Although not necessary, "Totem Dragon" and "Divine Dragon Apocralyph" can help you to recycle Gandora to wipe the field more often.

Egg Turbo

Or commonly referred as "The SOL", focuses on gaining immeasurable deck speed via drawing power. This is done by utilizing "The White Stone of Legend" and "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", with some spell cards such as "Cards of Consonance", "Trade-In" and "Dragon Ravine". This deck can also utilize many Rank 8 Xyz Monsters like the enormous "Thunder End Dragon" or "Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis" for auxiliary destruction effects.

Due to having access to "Dragon Ravine", some players can even mix this deck type along with the core components of Dragunities for adding offensive power, but at the cost of removing "Totem Dragon" (due to half of Dragunities are Winged-Beast type). The infamous Levyaten-Light and Darkness loop combo can also accessible in this type of build.

However, with "Dragon Ravine" being Forbidden in January 2014 Lists, this build is rendered somewhat obsolete (albeit can still mitigated with "Dragon Shrine" as its replacement, though not as consistent).

Horus Control

Focuses on Spell lockdown via "Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8". Although normally hard to summon, Disaster Dragon can outrun this problem by Special Summoning "Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV6" via the effect of "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon", and further protect it from destruction with cards such as "Prime Material Dragon" or "Mirage Dragon", until it reaches it's final form. If combined with "Royal Decree", this deck can potentially lockdown several decks. "Level Up!" and "Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos" can also help in this variant.

Assault and Disaster

This utilizes "Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode" for additional control, by recruiting tuners such as "Delta Flyer" and "Dread Dragon". "Delta Flyer" is searchable by "Masked Dragon", and when combined with any LV 4 monsters, it can easily tune for "Stardust Dragon", any other level 8 or level 7 synchro, while "Dread Dragon" can search for the required materials.

Pandemic Dragons

Incorporates "Deck Devastation Virus" and "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" to effectively stop the opponent from Synchro Summoning since most Tuner monster's are below 1500 ATK, and "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" serves to shut down either Trap or Spell usage depending on what deck it's up against or user choice.

Anti-Meta Disaster

This build uses the same basic skeleton as Standard Disaster, but instead of "Totem Dragon", this build has more emphasis on Anti-Meta monsters such as "Thunder King Rai-Oh", "Doomcaliber Knight" and "Effect Veiler" to limit the opponent's options. It is designed to combat many popular meta decks, but with decreased consistency as consequences.

Ninjutsu Disaster

Incorporates "Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo" for searching "Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation" to instantly grant access to most high-level Dragons in the deck, usually "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon". This engine is introduced as replacement of the traditional "Masked Dragon" and "Totem Dragon", which most players considered them too slow in a fast-paced meta. "White Dragon Ninja" can also included, but since it cannot be Special Summoned outside of "Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation", it may be not so reliable to use. This variant can also combined with Horus Control variant for more easy access to "Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8".

Dragon King's Disaster

This build combines the modern aspect of Standard Disaster deck along with supports from Dragon Fusion-oriented deck. Specifically, this deck focusing on Summoning both "King Dragun" and "Queen Dragun Djinn" for reinforcing your own field with strong Dragons and protection effects. "Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb" helps immensely, since it can pull "Divine Dragon Ragnarok" straight from the Deck for Xyz Summoning "Queen Dragun Djinn" and Fusion Material for "King Dragun" later on. For the other materials needed, there's "Tour Guide From the Underworld", which can pull "Versago the Destroyer" (which can act as Fusion Substitute). They can be used for Xyz Summoning "Number 17: Leviathan Dragon", then by detaching Versago, and having Ragnarok in your Graveyard, "King Dragun" can be Fusion Summoned via "Dragon's Mirror". "The Dark - Hex-Sealed Fusion" or "King of the Swamp" (together with "Polymerization") can also useful, either as backup or alternatives. "Golem Dragon" can also be added for near-perfect protection.

Hieratic Disaster

Recently popular among veterans, this Disaster Dragon variant utilizes the new deck-toolbox concept provided by "Hieratic Dragon King of Atum" instead of its traditional Graveyard-toolbox concept (due to the loss of "Future Fusion"). Atum can be easily Summoned with the combination of "Hieratic Dragon of Su" and either "Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit" or "Hieratic Dragon of Eset", coupled with numerous Dragon-type utility monsters such as "Delta Flyer", "Divine Dragon Apocralyph, "Exploder Dragon", "Blizzard Dragon", "Koa'ki Meiru Drago", "Totem Dragon" or even high-level Dragons like "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" or "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" to address any situation.

Elemental Disaster

Also known as Sandstorm Disaster (the name given by the deck's creator, Richard Clarke) [4], it's the newest build of the deck introduced by Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy booster pack. Originally, this variant utilizes "Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms", "Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders" and "Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos" bolstered with "Gold Sarcophagus", "Dragon Shrine", "Sacred Sword of Seven Stars" and "Queen Dragun Djinn" for adding massive power and consistency boost. In particular, "Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms" is the best support for this Deck, due to its effect can search "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" easily and most Disaster Dragon decks have vast number of WIND Dragon-type monsters. Because most of the Dragon Rulers used are Level 7, this deck can utilizes Rank 7 Xyz Monsters like "Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack" and "Number 11: Big Eye" easily, while still retaining the basic strategy of Standard Disaster.

Since the Limitation of all "big" version of Dragon Rulers, "Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls" becomes even more important than before. It can provide access to the other Dragon Rulers quickly, while also being good recurring beater as well with its 2600 ATK. With Tidal in the Main Deck, "Blizzard Dragon" or "Mythic Water Dragon" can also be included for stalling enemy's attack or providing Rank 8 Xyz Summoning (along with "Mythic Tree Dragon"), respectively.

Compared from any Disaster Dragon variant that can utilize "Totem Dragon" (if any), this variant is surprisingly tolerant with other monsters that isn't Dragon-type (as long as their Attribute matches with any of the Dragon Rulers used in the Deck). Because of this, the Extra Deck for this variant (especially the Xyz Monsters) is more easily adjustable for certain match-ups (such as "Crimson Blader" against Mermails and mirror-matches).

Both January 2014 TCG Lists and February 2014 OCG Lists diminishes this build's strength quite considerably (harsher in TCG List), albeit not to the point it is unplayable.

Currently, this build is the one considered standard among the communities online, and is being regarded as the Standard Disaster build itself.

Maximus Sentinel

Made possible with the release of Primal Origin booster pack, this variant heavily focused on utilizing "Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru" in conjunction with "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" as the central control element while also adding more explosive power with one of the strongest Koa'ki Meiru monsters in existence: "Koa'ki Meiru Maximus".

Clocking at 3000 ATK and equipped with powerful free-destruction effect, "Maximus" can quickly dispatch any threats while also dealing a substantial amount of damage. While "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" is already powerful on its own, "Maximus" makes it even more dangerous due to its sheer power, enabling the deck to quickly end the duel if the opponent cannot respond hastily. In addition, aside from "Diamond Core", "Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms" can also search it, and "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" can revive it over and over, making it much easier to preserve both "Drago" and "Maximus". Also, unlike the other Koa'ki Meiru based decks, this build only needs "Iron Core of Koa'ki Meiru" for "Maximus"' Summon, as such the "Iron Core" isn't regarded as much importance as in the other builds(unless the deck runs multiple "Maximus"). It's also searchable with "Diamond Core". Aside from those additions, this deck holds the same principle as Standard Disaster builds.

Due to this deck being able to utilize "Drago" more consistently than usual, this build can be downright terrifying for almost any LIGHT- and DARK-based strategies.


Many more variations exist and others will come as new cards are released with future sets and Disaster Dragon enthusiasts look for ways to improve the concept. Ever since September 2012 Lists severe limitations, this deck's players and innovators continuously improving them from time to time, following Disaster Dragon's renowned strength: adaptability.

Recommended cards

Monsters

Spells

Traps

Extra Deck

Weaknesses

Disaster Dragon, while being a very versatile deck, does have quite a few vulnerabilities such as high reliability on the Graveyard. Red-Eyes Wyvern, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, Light and Darkness Dragon, Masked Dragon, Totem Dragon, Prime Material Dragon, and the Elemental Dragons all require use of the Graveyard to take advantage of their effects leaving them extremely vulnerable to Gravekeeper's, Macro or Chaos-based deck. Disaster Dragon decks are also extremely weak against decks with more brute force than themselves, such as Machina Gadget and Malefics. Bottomless Trap Hole can also be annoying, since it can easily banish Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon as soon as it is Summoned (usually at End Phase, via Red-Eyes Wyvern's effect, or with its own effect). However, if Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon was Summoned via Hieratic Dragon King of Atum, Bottomless Trap Hole can no longer affect it. Also, since Disaster Dragon relies mostly on high-level monsters in terms of offensive, "Evilswarm Ophion" (backed by several back-row cards including "Infestation Pandemic") can effectively deadlock this deck, so be careful if you encounter one.

Some Disaster Dragon (most notably Anti-Meta Disaster, or any other variant that includes non-Dragon monsters in the Main Deck) variants almost always suffering from consistency issues, due to their not-100%-Dragon monster lineup. Most of the cards in Disaster Dragon decks either supporting only Dragons (such as "Masked Dragon"), or need other Dragons to unlock their potential (such as "Koa'ki Meiru Drago", "Totem Dragon", or even "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" itself). Therefore, adding non-Dragons can usually limit the options which players can make, due to their incompatibility to many Dragon support cards and synergy that this deck includes.

"Imperial Iron Wall" can also hurts this deck (especially against Elemental Disaster variant) due to the Deck needs to banishing Dragon Rulers in order to trigger their search effects (although "Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms" can bypass this limitation). It will also prevent "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" from Special Summoning itself via its own effect, and also prevents the activation of cards like "Gold Sarcophagus", "Sacred Sword of Seven Stars", and "Castle of Dragon Souls".

Due to Limitation of "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon", this deck can be forced into grind game if the deck cannot access it early or losing access into it due to banishment cards. However, with the right support this issue can be easily remedied.

Another weakness of Disaster Dragon decks is the difficulties for this deck's player to recover from misplays, making it not so user-friendly (unlike Chaos Dragon's beginner-friendly traits).

References

  1. yugioh-card.com European Championship 2010 event coverage
  2. yugioh-card.com European Championship 2010 event coverage
  3. yugioh-card.com European Championship 2010 event coverage
  4. blog.coretcg.com Sandstorm Disaster – An Interview With Richard Clarke

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