Lava Golem – #STP3-EN002
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) to your opponent’s field by Tributing 2 monsters they control. You cannot Normal Summon/Set the turn you Special Summon this card. Once per turn, during your Standby Phase: Take 1000 damage.
Date Reviewed: November 16th, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is awful. 3 is average. 5 is excellent.
Hello Pojo Fans,
Lava Golem is our Throwback Thursday choice this week and is still finding itself play despite better versions of itself and the year being 2023.
One of Marik’s cards used in the show, Lava Golem is a card you use to get rid of troublesome opponent’s monsters, at the cost of your Normal Summon for the turn. Years and years ago this truly hurt the play of Lava Golem, now, not so much. Tribute 2 monsters the opponent controls to Special Summon Lava Golem on their field, thus getting rid of boss monsters, negation monsters, or key pieces of a strategy. If Lava Golem stays around you will get to do 1000LP burn when each Standby Phase for the opponent comes around.
Even when first released this card wasn’t staying around for more than two to three turns. People ran Jinzo and Summoned Skull, or something like Catapult Turtle, there were ways to tribute this off the field. You also had Ring of Destruction, but that would mean half your LP back in the DM days, back when LP mattered. Now you have Link Summoning and Xyz Summoning and giving your opponent a monster that has 3000ATK is never a good idea. However, getting rid of two monsters at once when you don’t need your Normal Summon is well worth the risk, as well as the burn they will take. Rarely a Main Deck card but a staple for many Side Decks recently with Kashtira before the bans put them in their place. Unlike the Kaiju monsters, Lava does double the work, though Kaiju have their own benefits from being played.
Even in 2023 Lava Golem continues to see consideration and play somehow in this game. Even with the ease players now have of getting rid of it, it remains an easy out to two of your opponent’s monsters and can help you swing things in your favor.
Until Next Time
There’s nothing that really ties this week together, so Throwback Thursday brings us the infamous Lava Golem, memorable for not only being Marik’s trump card against Joey Wheeler, but also being a colossal thorn in the side for any deck that ends on two monsters. Lava Golem is a level 8 FIRE Fiend monster. Dark Spirit’s Mastery is the least painful way to search it, but you’re probably better off praying you open it unless your deck specifically relies on Lava Golem, for some reason (the Duel Links special!). Lava Golem has a solid stat spread rivaling Blue-Eyes White Dragon, with 3000 attack and 2500 defense, though you won’t be the one taking advantage of it…
Lava Golem is a nomi monster, only being summonable by its own condition, which requires you to tribute two of your opponent’s monsters for cost to summon it to their field (albeit giving up your Normal Summon or Set this turn in the process), as anyone familiar with this magma monstrosity knows. This is Lava Golem’s claim to fame, as it can delete any two of your opponent’s monsters as cost, so it’s almost impossible for your opponent to prepare or prevent it without niche techs. As a bonus, during each of “your” (IE your opponent’s) Standby Phases, “you” will take 1000 damage. A double whammy in terms of screwing your opponent; not only did they lose two monsters, they’re slowly being burned to death. This effect isn’t as useful in the modern era outside of dedicated burn decks, since getting a 3000 beater isn’t too special and you can always link off Lava Golem before your LP goes in the red, but it’s still nice for the rare casual stall deck (and can win in time!). Lava Golem isn’t as versatile as Kaiju since it disables your Normal Summon, but in formats that favor it, it can be much more devastating; Lava Golem was popular during Kashtira format since the bread and butter endboard was typically Kashtira Ariseheart, Kashtira Fenrir, and Kashtira Shangri-Ira, and removing the former two often left only Shangri-Ira as a sitting duck. Still a great side deck card to consider whenever a popular deck is mangled by it, so I don’t expect Lava Golem to go out of style for any long period of time.
+High-impact boardbreaker against decks that end on two significant monsters
+Burn can save the day in longer games
-Essentially consumes your Normal Summon
-Useless against decks that end on one or no monsters
Art: 4/5 Were those skeletons always there? Creepy…
Throwback Thursday this week brings us to a classic Fiend monster that can help you out multiple monsters at once: Lava Golem.
Lava Golem is a Level 8 FIRE Fiend withh 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF. Powerful stats, a solid Attribute, and a good Typing. It cannot be Normal Summoned or Set andd must first be Special Summoned to the opponent’s field from your hand by tributing 2 of their monsters. You are giving the opponent a big monster, but in return you get rid of 2 that could also have big stats and more powerful effects that you’d struggle to get around potentially. It’s basically a Kaiju times 2, though this does predate the Kaiju monsters. You have to give up your Normal Summon for the turn if you do summon this, so it’s best in Decks not needing the Normal Summon all that badly. The last effect burns the player for 1000 damage during the Standby Phase, so if the opponent still has this on the field, they’ll keep taking damage. Only thing is I’d hope you can defend yourself from Lava Golem’s attacks so you don’t end up taking 3000 damage and give up a potential lead. Lava Golem is best in stun strategies and those that don’t necessairly have to use the Normal Summon to make their plays, which are still plentiful in today’s game. It’s mostly a card for the Side Deck cause it ends up dead against Decks not summoning a bunch of monsters, but against combo strategies it gets the job done.
Advanced Rating: 4/5
Art: 4.5/5 Always loved Lava Golem’s design with the cage. Looked cool in the anime when Marik summoned it against Joey.
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