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Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh! Card of the Day
Daily Since 2002!
Thunder King Rai-Oh
Neither player can add cards from their Deck to their hand except by drawing them. During either player's turn, when your opponent would Special Summon a monster: You can send this face-up card to the Graveyard; negate the Special Summon, and if you do, destroy it.
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 is Horrible.
3 is Average.
5 is the highest rating.
Date Reviewed: Sep. 8, 2016
Back to the main COTD
Thunder King Rai-Oh
Along with Denko Sekka, Thunder King Rai-Oh is quite
literally the last monster to ever be teched as a
card to normal summon. This is the state of the game
now that will never end. For over a decade, Yu-Gi-Oh
existed in a state of consistency. From ban list to
ban list, there were a handful of “staples” that
weren’t truly staple, but existed on a plane of
everlasting presence. How many years did decks
consistently include Breaker, Tribe, Jinzo, and
Sangan/Witch regardless of the theme simply because
they were amazing and there was no reason not to?
Well this is a different time. Themes rule and any
tech cards that once existed are either outdated or
currently banned until they
are outdated (why isn’t Tribe back? I have no idea). Spells and
traps are slightly different and you see old cards
make comebacks every now and then, but most monsters
don’t have benefit of instant playability (one
normal per turn). And that’s why Thunder King is
back to 2. Despite his dual effects, perfect stats
and attributes, and side deck usefulness, he’s still
a liability to nearly any given theme. Your 40 cards
must be in harmony to be successful. This is how
Konami sells more cards.
So, following that line of reasoning, we can see how
Rai-Oh was able to come back, and soon he’ll be back
at 3 unless a light and/or thunder deck rises to the
top and uses him well. Same goes for Denko Sekka and
even powerhouses like Black Luster Soldier. There’s
no room for teched monsters anymore, even if they’re
otherworldly, and even if there was, they would find
themselves on the banned list for a time, because
themes reign supreme.
Future Potential: 3/5
Around 2011, with Solemn Warning in the game and
Heavy Storm gone, Anti-Meta/Stun decks became very
popular and dominant. Rai-Oh was a 3-of for
that deck. It was a 1900 beater, it stopped
meta decks from searching and it precluded the
summoning of XYZ's and Synchro's. With a trap
card or two to protect it, it locked the opponent
down and it was terrifying.
In recent years
Rai-Oh hasn't been used much. Some competitive
decks have splashed a copy in as tech, but most
competitive players have ignored it. It really
should have been laxed during the 2014 HAT era (or
even after it). It would've been a strong
card, but definitely not overpowered with all of the
competition out there.
It's true that Rai-Oh's anti-search capabilities can
hurt Pendulum decks (or any deck, really).
It's also true that it's harder to run this card
since most decks would rather run monsters that make
their archetype more consistent instead of
standalone monsters. Pendulum players would be
better off using a Pendulum monster instead of Rai-Oh.
Another point of concern is that Rai-Oh only negates
the inherent Special Summon of 1 monster.
XYZ's and Synchro's both met that criteria.
But with Pendulums, if more than 1 Pendulum monster
is summoned (which is what often happens), then Rai-Oh
can't negate it. This card will be better in
some matchups than others, potentially making it
Extra Deck material.
Ban List Fallacy
Rai-Oh won't be a problem at 2. There's
something I call the "Ban List Fallacy". It's
a logical fallacy people make when they assume that
because a card was overpowered years ago, that it's
overpowered right now. People will tolerate
overpowered cards which haven't got hit yet, but
once a card does get hit, people tend to favor
tradition (at least until it's painfully obvious
that the card isn't broken).
Rai-Oh could go to 3, realistically. But there
is a caution on letting the player use the same
lockdown on the opponent 3 times, so I can
understand waiting on that.
I'm not exactly sure where this card will stand in
the future. It might be mildly used in the
meta, either main or side. It might do really
well in locals. It might fade into obscurity
and come back again. It always has potential
for splashability since it does two very big things
(negation and lockdown) with no costs. It
won't be nearly as strong as it used to be, but it's
still a good card.
Hello Pojo Fans,
Thunder King Rai-Oh is always going to have a spot
in the game, whether it is in the side or main deck.
Great stats, Attribute with plenty of support, and a
Quick effect to boot, Thunder King is a great card
to main deck or have ready to come in from the side.
Preventing searching can lock down several decks, as
well as stifle almost any deck out there. On top of
that, you have the ability to negate and destroy a
Special Summon. Note that you can't use it against
spell/trap cards, but only monster Special Summons,
and only if they do not start a chain. It will stop
Synchro and Xyz Summons as well, that makes it a
worthwhile card to look at.
It is a strong card to slow your opponent, and
having it at 2 is good.
Until Next Time
This king is beefy. Thunder King Rai-Oh has been
all over the list but now sits at 2 per deck. He's
strong with 1900 Atk and a Level 4 easy Normal
Summon. He can also be Special Summoned, which could
surprise some searching effects. Or use his second
effect to negate a Special Summon of 1 monster and
destroy it by sending Thunder King-Rai-Oh to the
grave. The cost is sending, not tributing or
destroying Thunder King. Now, with Blue-Eyes Spirit
Dragon and this the opponent can't really Special
Summon safely. The first effect blocking search
effects from the deck works with something like
Denko, Jinzo, or Solemns to prevent comebacks. This
is a great monster that is now available at 2, but
it's always been either a Level 4 toolbox card or a
side deck option. Always own 3 just in case it hits
3 and Thunder-type becomes relevant.
Art: 3/5 Not regal enough
Thunder King Rai-Oh
The Semi-Limit upon this card feels as though its
one where cards that are really no longer impacting
the game currently are slowly released from their
previous status, in the instance of Thunder King Rai-Oh,
While arguably this could have some uses against the
Meta, the issue with using this is always going to
be "How do you keep it on the field long enough for
its effect to even matter?" And this is the real
issue with the card, its ATK is easily beaten over,
effects that can remove it from the field are in
abundance and with so much Special Summoning around,
its effect can even essentially be "Baited out".
And the Deck that would make great use of it,
Anti-Meta or Stun actually now itself quite often
depends upon adding cards to hand, making its
potential for use more limited.
Also, since its Trap counterpart in Mistake is not
only at 3, but also not seeing play, Thunder King
Rai-Oh at 2 won't be seeing much either. Possibly in
the future TKRO will become more useful again, but
in the meantime, I'm expecting that the next Banlist
will push this back into Unlimited status.
Rating: 3. Current circumstance relegates this to
the "Not right now" corner.