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Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh! Card of the Day
Daily Since 2002!

Thunder King Rai-Oh
- #YG02-EN001 

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.

Card Rating
Advanced: 3.50 

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

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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 Themes rule and any tech cards that once existed are either outdated or currently banned until they are outdated (why isn’t Tribe back?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.


Advanced: 4/5

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.   

Special Summoning 

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. 
Score: 4/5 
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, Limited.
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.

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