Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How to Fix Judgment Dragon

Today, I'm going to quickly touch on the growing problem of the Lightsworn archetype. They've gotten some recent support in the OCG that could be making its way to the TCG as early as Legacy of the Valiant's release next month, and so I think now is a good time to have this talk again.

Lightsworn is not exactly a broken deck, nor am I certain that they'll make a gigantic presence in the TCG metagame even once all of the new support has arrived. But it's worth pointing out that this deck has some serious issues. For one, it seriously stifles the growth of the people that play it due to the way it operates. Lightsworn encourages players to think less about things they can control and more about things they often can't, like which cards end up milled and whether or not they draw boss monsters instead of milling them.

Secondly, speaking of boss monsters, it also seriously degrades player interaction by enabling the usage of a TON of them, creating situations where the Lightsworn player simply doesn't have to care about what their opponent is doing as long as they have enough big guys to drop, which seriously reduced the skill involved in playing the game.

And the one card that destroys the notion of player interaction the most has got to be none other than Judgment Dragon. Whatever the state of the field is, this card just takes a giant shit on it if you don't have an answer, often paving the way for multiple huge monsters to have a clean shot at your Life Points with only a small cost required. It's completely possible the Judgment Dragon is the best monster in the entire game. I'm well aware that Konami wasn't trying to make Judgment Dragon a fair card, but if they were, here are some ways to make that happen:

1. Stop multiple summons.
Judgment Dragon's summon is often preceded by cards like Lyla to clear potential backrow threats, or Card Trooper to bump up the number of names in the Graveyard. And many times, people will drop additional copies of Judgment Dragon or other huge monsters after it clears the field, making an OTK. We wouldn't be having these issues if Judgment Dragon was the only monster you could summon in a given turn.

2. Create a higher cost.
1000 Life Points is just not enough to pay for destroying everything on the field except for Judgment Dragon himself. If we wanted the cost to stay with Life Points, then 2000 sounds good. Or if sticking with Life Points isn't an issue, then how about discarding two cards from your hand? Either way, 1000 is just too cheap.

I've seen way too many games to count where somebody controlled a card like Gachi, Zenmaines or Maestroke and their Lightsworn-playing opponent simply used Judgment Dragon three times to get through it. Doesn't it make sense for an effect that powerful to only be used once per turn?

Anyways, I know that correcting the card's text will never happen, but these are just some interesting things to keep in mind as every day brings us closer to the inevitable release of the new Lightsworn cards. Hopefully someday Judgment Dragon will get Limited or Banned. Thanks for reading!

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