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May 2007

Ranking the Monarchs
May 19,2007 
While many decks have come and gone in our metagame, the Monarchs have remained strong and continue to make excellent showings at every Shonen Jump.  It’s no surprise that they have lasted this long because their ability to change the flow of the game is maybe two and a half steps below the cards on the ban list.
 Like myself, many of you, either new to the game or experienced players, might become interested in playing these beasts.  With the recent release of Force of the Breaker, the Monarchs now stand at 5, with DARK being the only attribute without one.  Since Raiza the Storm Monarch came out, my friends and I have been in debate about how the monarchs rank.  We’ve discussed all the pros and cons about each one, so here’s what we came up with.
1.  Mobius the Frost Monarch
            Yes, Mobius is our number one Monarch and here’s why.  First off, his effect is optional, not just in the sense that you don’t have to destroy 2 s/t to tribute for him, but you don’t have to destroy exactly 2 s/t.  That brings up my next point, he’s the only monarch that knocks out two cards.  In this metagame where s/t destruction is probably at an all-time low, Mobius’ power has increased.  Think of this situation, using soul exchange or brain control and tributing for him will knock out up to 3 cards on your opponents side of the field.  That’s a lot to lose in a single move, even if its still only a plus 1. 
            The knock on Mobius is that you can just chain the s/t, but you still get rid of two cards unless the summon is negated.  It also forces your opponent to play those cards before they intended to most of the time.  Really, only bottomless, ring, and torrential will hurt and not many people run more than one bottomless.  How many people run Sakuretsu’s and Mirror Force?  Everyone.  This game has plenty of monster destruction, but the s/t destruction is lacking, thus Mobius is number one.
2.  Zaborg the Thunder Monarch
            From the outside looking in, I always thought that Zaborg was the best.  However, now that I use him, I feel that Mobius is slightly better.  The big thing Zaborg has is that you can’t chain a monsters effect to his own.  Unless its Sangan or Treeborn, your monster is screwed.  It also doesn’t matter what position the monster is in, Zaborg still gets it and combined with Treeborn and Cyber Dragons, Zaborg is a very quick way to get rid of a big or annoying monster.
            However, the fact that its effect is not optional is more of a downside than you think.  While most of the monarchs increase in power as the game goes on, Zaborg goes down.  Many times you cant combo him with brain control or soul exchange because your opponent might only have one monster, or if they have no monsters and Zaborg will kill himself.  Late in the game, when cards are low, odds are your opponent wont have 2 or more monsters.  Don’t get me wrong, Zaborg is very deadly a vast majority of the time.
3.  Raiza the Storm Monarch
            Raiza, in the right deck, has the potential to be the best monarch of them all.  Bouncing a card to the top of your opponents deck can really set them back, exactly why LJ Masters are played.  The last thing you want is to have that face-down treeborn frog go back on top of your deck.  Also, you could combo cards like Mind Crush and D.D. Designator to kill your opponents hand.  Late in the game, Raiza can bounce your opponents last s/t and attack for the win or a big direct attack.  Have a big tribute monster in your way and just put him back on top of your opponents deck, wasting all of their efforts.  His ability to hit monsters or the back line is great versatility and I’m sure when you look at the next Shonen Jump, someone will have found a way to abuse this guy.
            Now here’s why I have Raiza below Mobius and Zaborg.  Like Zaborg, his effect isn’t optional, so you can’t play him when your opponent has nothing on their field.  There are some monsters you don’t want to bounce, like another monarch player’s Cyber Dragon or a Monarch when they have ways to bring it back out.  Some players, like myself, would much rather go for the destruction than bouncing.  Like I said, in certain situations Raiza is the best, but I feel his effect doesn’t come quite as handy as Mobius or Zaborg.  Still, expect to see three of this guy in Monarch decks to come.
4.  Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch
            I still don’t understand why people run three of this guy in their decks.  In the beginning of the game, this is probably the last monarch you want to play.  Only discarding one card out of four, five, or six isn’t that helpful of an effect.  Against another monarch deck, its even less of a good effect, especially when you discard treeborn or a monster that gives them 5 for Pot of Avarice.  You would rather want to change the field than go for the hand unless your deck is based on hand destruction.  If they have a smashing ground in their hand, make them play it on your Mobius/Zaborg/Raiza, make them react to you.  Thestalos doesn’t change the field, meaning you could run right into a trap or a monster with a nasty effect.  What makes Yu-Gi-Oh! great is that  one card doesn’t define your deck unless your facing Demise or a combo deck, so Thestalos doesn’t do much in my opinion.  The more Raiza’s I acquire, I will be shuffling out the Thestalos’ from my deck.
5.  Granmarg the Rock Monarch
            This is by far the weakest Monarch.  He may have the versatility that Raiza has, but the face-down requirement just holds it back so much.  If your opponent chains a s/t, then you completely lost the effect, especially if the s/t is continuous like Call of the Haunted or Gravity Bind.  So, you almost always have to go for the monster because the s/t condition can be easily negated.  Granmarg will also strike one of your own cards if your opponent doesn’t have any face-downs, further inhibiting its use.
Well, this is my power rankings for the Monarchs with the addition of Raiza the Storm Monarch.  Make no mistake, Monarchs aren’t going away anytime soon.
If you have any questions or comments, my email is Tinytim126@yahoo.com, thanks!
(Tim Schopf)




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