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Dragons tend to be the strongest or key monster in numerous Deck types that would otherwise have nothing to do with Dragons. Ever since the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card franchise began, Dragon monsters have been known for having ATK greater than any other type of monster in the game (also being the one of the most popular monster Types).
In the first four Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga series, the main character's rivals all use Dragon-Type monsters as their ace monsters. Seto Kaiba has "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", Chazz Princeton uses an "Armed Dragon" (or "Light and Darkness Dragon" in the manga), Jack Atlas's Turbo Deck is based on summoning his "Red Dragon Archfiend" while his Ground Deck also plays numerous Dragons like "Strong Wind Dragon", "Vice Dragon", and "Exploder Dragonwing". In addition, Kite Tenjo uses "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon". Curiously enough, this tradition was inverted in the fifth series, and the protagonist Yuya Sakaki, along with his counterparts, is the one who uses Dragons, primarily "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon".
There are Dragon-Type Monsters for every Attribute (except DIVINE, even though all Divine-Beast-Type monsters except "Obelisk the Tormentor" are referred to as dragons). Some of the most powerful Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, and Pendulum Monsters are Dragon-Type monsters, including include "Five-Headed Dragon", "Dragon Master Knight", "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon", "Stardust Dragon", "Black Rose Dragon", "Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier", "Shooting Quasar Dragon", "Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons", "Void Ogre Dragon", "Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon", "Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon", "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon", "Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon", "Clear Wing Synchro Dragon", "Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon", "Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon", and "Starving Venom Fusion Dragon".
There are six Structure Decks focused on Dragon-Type monsters: Dragon's Roar Rise of the Dragon Lords, 'Dragunity Legion, Dragons Collide, Saga of Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and Rise of the True Dragons. (In the OCG, they are Dragon's Roar, Revival of the Great Dragon, Dragunity Drive, Dragonic Legion, The Blue-Eyed Dragon's Thundering Descent, and Revival of the Great Divine Dragon.)
Archetypes include: "Majestic", "Hieratic", "Horus the Black Flame Dragon", "Blue-Eyes", "Red-Eyes", "Galaxy-Eyes", "Odd-Eyes" and "Dragon Ruler". This last one is one of the most powerful Archetypes in the game; even after becoming Limited on the January 2014 Lists, they were still a power to be reckoned with, as each dragon could offer support to Decks of its corresponding Attribute, giving them more consistency. The release of "Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon" sealed their destiny and made them become Forbidden.
Many multi-Type archetypes have a Dragon-Type monster as their trump card, such as:
- "Crystal Beast": "Rainbow Dragon"
- "Ice Barrier": "Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier"
- "Infernity": "Infernity Doom Dragon"
- "Iron Chain": "Iron Chain Dragon"
- "Koa'ki Meiru": "Koa'ki Meiru Maximus"
- "Lightsworn": "Judgment Dragon"
- "Scrap": "Scrap Dragon"
- "Utopia": "Number 99: Utopic Dragon"
"LV" Dragon Decks
Some dragon Decks are based on the "LV" Dragons, "Armed Dragon" and "Horus the Black Flame Dragon". These Decks usually focus on leveling up their monsters quickly. To protect the high level monsters from Trap Cards, "Royal Decree", "Jinzo", "Trap Stun", "Mirage Dragon" or "King Dragun" are used. "Horus the Black Flame Dragon" has added protection from Spell Cards and is well known for the infamous "Horus Decree" lockdown. "Horus" and "Armed Dragon" cards can even be combined to make a Deck that not only locks down Spell and Trap Cards, but also controls the opponent's monsters that may get in your way.
Dragon Fusion Decks
These types of Decks often focus on getting Fusion Monsters like "Five-Headed Dragon", "King Dragun", "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon", and sometimes even "Dragon Master Knight" or Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon to the field. Usually "Dragon's Mirror" or "Future Fusion" is used to accomplish these tasks. If you want to summon "King Dragun" quickly, "The Dark - Hex-Sealed Fusion", along with other substitute Fusion-Material monsters, can be of great help.
One of the more popular builds in the game, this deck utilizes a combination of Chaos monsters and "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon". This build focuses on getting out "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon", "Lightpulsar Dragon", and "Chaos Sorcerer"/"Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning"; its main offensive strategy relies on banishing opposing cards or banishing its own cards in order to Special Summon its key monsters. One can use "Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn", "Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress", "Card Trooper" and "Darkflare Dragon" to send monsters to the Graveyard to summon "Lightpulsar Dragon", or to speed up the setups for summoning both "Dark Armed Dragon" and/or "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning". If played correctly, this deck is capable of Special Summoning its most powerful monsters within a few turns.
This deck relies heavily on Special Summoning powerful monsters with devastating effects in order to overpower and OTK the opponent. The deck can also create Level 8 Synchro monsters consistently due to the synergy of "White Dragon Wyverburster", "Black Dragon Collapserpent", "Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn" and "Plaguespreader Zombie". "Lightpulsar Dragon", "Caius the Shadow Monarch", and "Chaos Sorcerer" also open up Rank 6 plays after their effects are used.
Perhaps the easiest way to play Dragons, this deck focuses on sending powerful dragons to the graveyard with cards such as "Dragon Ravine"/"Dragon Shrine" and "Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon", then proceeding to revive them with cards such as "Soul Charge" and "Return of the Dragon Lords". Many support cards for this deck exclusively support Normal Monsters, as a result, it is often best to play this deck with Dragon-Type Normal Monsters. Due to the extreme ease with which a player can swarm the field with high-level dragons, Xyz Monsters(Rank 7-8) are highly recommended in this deck.Cards such as Decoy Dragon and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon are useful as both can summon any Level 7 or higher Dragon-Type monster from your Graveyard.