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Hieratic

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Hieratic
Hieratic Hieroglyph
"Eset", the sealed form of "Asar", and "Nebthet", in the artwork of "Hieratic Seal of Convocation".
Japanese

  • せいこく
  • 聖刻 (base)
  • せいこく (ruby)
  • Seikoku (romanized)
  • Hieroglyphic (translated)

French

  • Hiératique

German

  • Priesterlich

Italian

  • Ieratico

Korean

  • 성각
  • 聖刻 (Hanja)
  • Seonggak (romanized)
  • Hieroglyphic (translated)

Portuguese

  • Hieratico

Spanish

  • Hierático


Sets

Anime appearances


"Hieratic", known as "Hieroglyphic" (せいこく Seikoku) in the OCG, is an archetype of LIGHT Dragon-Type monsters.

The cards of this archetype rely on Special Summoning and destroying cards mainly by Tributing other "Hieratic" monsters. What makes this archetype powerful and interesting is that many of its monsters allow you to Tribute from your hand in a manner similar to Ritual Summoning.

Another effect which most mid-Level "Hieratic" monsters have in common is that when they are Tributed, they have a mandatory effect that Special Summons a Dragon-Type Normal Monster either from the hand, Deck, or Graveyard, but it loses all of its ATK and DEF. Even though you're getting rid of your own monster, you won't lose that much field advantage, because they immediately replace themselves. Almost all "Hieratic" monsters have relatively simple Summoning conditions.

Design

One of the few sets of cards based on Egyptian motifs, they are based on Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Ennead, a group of Egyptian gods in mythology. Their logo is based on Wedjat (the eye of Horus, god of the sky, war, and protection). In addition to Wedjat, if the monsters' backgrounds have either the sun or the moon, they get the respective Wedjat - right (sun) or left (moon).

Hieratic Card Origin
Asar Osiris
Sutekh Set
Eset Isis
Nebthet Nephthys
Gebeb Geb
Nuit Nut
Su Shu
Tefnuit Tefnut
Atum (Seal) Atum
Heliopolis (Seal) Heliopolis (Ra)

Playing style

The greatest strength of this archetype lies in the ability that almost all of its members possess: upon being Tributed, be it by cost or effect, you are able to Summon any Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck or Graveyard, at the cost of its ATK and DEF becoming 0. This gives the "Hieratic" archetype the ability to swarm the field and bring out powerful Xyz Monsters in a manner similar to the "Wind-Up" and "Six Samurai" archetypes, which focus on summoning many monsters to instantly dominate the Duel.

The Deck easily summons Rank 5 and Rank 6 Xyz Monsters, simply by tributing one "Hieratic" for another, and therefore summoning a Normal Dragon-Type monster from anywhere with the same level as the one you just Special Summoned. With "Galaxy Serpent" from Judgment of the Light, a Level 2 Dragon-Type Normal Tuner, "Hieratics" also have access to all Level 7 and 8 generic Synchro Monsters.

Another interesting thing to note is the ease of Summoning the archetype's regular members, and the ease of which you may activate their effects. For instance, both "Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet" and "Hieratic Dragon of Su" are capable of getting rid of problematic monsters or Spells/Traps simply by Tributing a "Hieratic" monster from your hand or field. activate the Tributed monster's effect to Special Summon a Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck or Graveyard in the process, allowing for Synchro or Xyz Summons.

"Hieratic Dragon of Eset" also greatly helps in the Deck's Xyz Summoning routine, since its effect can instantly equalize the Level of all "Hieratic" monster on the field to that of the Normal Monster you choose. Due to the nature of most "Hieratic" monsters, Summoning Normal Dragons is an easy task (even easier with "Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit" in play). "Tefnuit" and "Eset" are typically used to get combos going in the deck, especially "Tefnuit" since she does not use up a Normal Summon. Since "Hieratics" can search any Dragon-Type Normal Monster with the restriction of rendering them powerless, they are best used as Synchro or Xyz Material for a Summon, or as fodder for "Advance Draw" or "White Elephant's Gift". "Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon" is an option because it can restore the ATK and DEF of the Normal Monsters brought by the effect of "Hieratic" monsters, or just be used as Material for "Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon".

"Black Rose Dragon", "Ancient Fairy Dragon", or "Black Rose Moonlight Dragon" are easily Summoned in this deck with "Ultimaya Tzolkin" or using Level 5 "Hieratics" with "Galaxy Serpent", then using them with "Flamvell Guard" (Special Summoned with "Hieratics" or the effect of "Ancient Fairy Dragon") to Synchro Summon "Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon".

"Lightray" monsters can be helpful Side Deck options for a "Hieratic" Deck. "Lightray Diabolos" and "Lightray Daedalus" provide powerful attackers with field control, and are easy to summon with how quickly "Hieratics" will cycle through their monsters to fill the Graveyard. If the player is reliant on "Hieratic Dragon of Sutekh", "Lightray Sorcerer" can combo with its effect, "Sutekh" banishing the valuable "Hieratics" in the Graveyard for "Sorcerer" to shuffle them back into the Deck, while both also provide field control.

"Hieratics" can abuse "Inferno Reckless Summon", because any Dragon-Type monsters that are Special Summoned with their effects lose all their ATK and DEF, which fits the conditions for "Inferno Reckless Summon", while any monsters Special Summoned with "Inferno Reckless Summon" will be at full power. This can be used in conjunction with "Hieratic Dragon King of Atum", so you can Special Summon "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", drag out the other two copies with "Inferno Reckless Summon", and easily overlay for "Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon".

Using the Level 6 "Hieratic" monsters with "Labradorite Dragon" or the Level 5 "Hieratic" monsters with "Sea Monster of Theseus" gives the deck access to "Ultimaya Tzolkin", and through it, powerful Synchro monsters such as "Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon" and "Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons".

Decks

Rank 6/Ultimaya Tzolkin

Rank 6 Xyz/Level 8 Synchro/Ultimaya Hieratics

Chaos Hieratics

This deck utilizes the combos of both "Hieratics" and "Chaos Dragons". Using cards like "Card Trooper" and "Lightsworn" monsters to dump cards into the Graveyard to easily Summon monsters "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning", "Chaos Sorcerer", or "Dark Armed Dragon". Another great card to make this variant even more consistent is "Divine Dragon Apocralyph", which can get rid of dead draws and fuel the Graveyard for Chaos monsters, and recover "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" from the Graveyard.

Deck

Hieratic Ritual's Wake

Recommended cards

Hieratic Destruction Sword/Buster Blader

A new variant that emerged in 2016, following the release of Breakers of Shadow, which combines Hieratic monsters with the Destruction Sword cards used to support Buster Blader. This variant takes advantage of the fact that "Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman" can be Fusion Summoned by fusing "Buster Blader" with ANY Dragon-Type monster, and uses Hieratic Dragons as an engine to Special Summon "Buster Dragon" (through "Ultimaya Tzolkin") and "Dragon Destroyer". This variant can be very powerful if using cards such as "Foolish Burial" "Vice Dragon" and "Lightpulsar Dragon", as well as "Dragon Shrine", "One for One", "Jet Synchron", "Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal" and other cards that allow you to send cards from your hand or Deck to the Graveyard.

"Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal" is one of this Deck's most critical cards, as she can be summoned easily with Tefnuit, Su and Wattaildragon, and helps you mill Graveyard-oriented Destruction Sword cards.

Because this Deck runs a lot of Level 1 Tuner monsters, it is advisable to add "Number 39: Utopia Roots" to support them in a pinch. This further cements "Jet Synchron's" place in the Deck, as if Jet Synchron is used as an Xyz Material after being Summoned with his own effect, not for a Synchro Summon, he will go back to the Graveyard to be reused once being detached.

Due to the excess of DARK Destruction Sword cards, Chaos monsters such as "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning" might a helpful option. "Galaxy Soldier" can also be useful due to all the LIGHT monsters, alloying to Xyz Summon monsters such as "Constellar Pleiades" and "Cyber Dragon Infinity" through "Nova". With less requires Set up, "Chain Summon" can be used, targeting "Atum", to Special Summon "Cyber Dragon Nova" and immediately evolve it into "Infinity"

Recommended cards

From Hieratic Dragon Deck recipe sample

Hieratic Dragon Deck
せいこくりゅうデッキ

From Deck recipe PDF version (August 2013)

Vampire Hieratic Deck
ヴァンパイアせいこくデッキ

List of Dragon-Type Normal and Gemini monsters

 Japanese nameLevelAttributeMonster typeATKDEF
Alexandrite Dragonアレキサンドライドラゴン4LIGHT2,000100
B. Dragon Jungle King密林の黒竜王6EARTH2,1001,800
Baby Dragonベビードラゴン3WIND1,200700
Blackland Fire Dragon暗黒の竜王4DARK1,500800
Blue-Eyes White Dragon青眼の白龍8LIGHT3,0002,500
Chthonian Emperor Dragonヘルカイザー・ドラゴン6FIREGemini monster2,4001,500
Crawling Dragon地を這うドラゴン5EARTH1,6001,400
Curse of Dragonカース・オブ・ドラゴン5DARK2,0001,500
Darkstorm Dragonダークストーム・ドラゴン8DARKGemini monster2,7002,500
Divine Dragon Ragnarok神竜ラグナロク4LIGHT1,5001,000
... further results

Weaknesses

Cards like "Mask of Restrict", "Fog King", etc. that prevents Tribute would lockdown this archetype's main goal of Tributing monsters. Also, "Light-Imprisoning Mirror" can also shutdown their effects in the Graveyard as their effects activate when Tributed, if they were to end up in the Graveyard this way, since they are all LIGHT-Attribute. "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" is one of the effective silver bullets against this Deck, since most "Hieratic" Decks relying on Special Summoning (most evident in "Hieratic" OTK style), and can even block the Summoning of both "Hieratic Dragon King of Atum" and "Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis". Since most of "Hieratic" cards are Level 5 or higher, "Evilswarm Ophion" and "Steelswarm Roach" can put this Deck into almost perfect deadlock situation, and cards' effects that negate summons can also stop this Deck's summoning combos. "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" is also useful for preventing them from Special Summoning both their tokens and other monsters like "Hieratic Dragon of Su", shutting down their means of summoning.

Another huge problem with the Deck is that it is common to dead draw, due to so many mid-level monsters in the roster of most "Hieratic" Decks. A card like "Dark Hole" can destroy the player's momentum and leave them with no field and a weak hand. Cards like "Trial and Tribulation" and "Super Rejuvenation" are helpful for maintaining hand power and preventing this.

"Hieratics" have low DEF, so cards like "Enemy Controller" and "Book of Moon" render them vulnerable on the opponent's turn.

Against a Deck running many WIND-Attribute cards, "Mystic Fairy Elfuria" can badly slow down a "Hieratic" Deck's Xyz Summoning choices through the limiting Rank 5, 6 and 8 choices with its monster effect. And even if "Elfuria" leaves the field, its effect remains active until your next End Phase.

Most of the competitive "Hieratic" Decks are OTK-style Decks, thus these kinds of Deck always have almost nothing in terms of defense. Cards that can stop your OTK attempt such as "Battle Fader" can put a serious shock for any "Hieratic" players, since they almost never play any Trap Cards. Most of their usually-Summoned monsters are also high in ATK, which means any damage-reversing effects like "Magic Cylinder", "Dimension Wall" and "Daigusto Sphreez" can deliver fatal blows for them.

Trivia

  • Each monster in this archetype has an "Egyptian" symbol somewhere on its body(often its crown).
  • This archetype might have been released in order to celebrate the 2012 Year of the Dragon on the Chinese calendar.

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