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New Talent
April 2, 2009

Fresh Meat
The Yu-Gi-Oh! community agrees, many of the cards considered powerhouses during the Tele-DAD format have become obsolete or at best less useful. Destiny Draw, Destiny Hero Malicious, Plaguespreader Zombie and more are at 2/3 to 1/3 strength due to the power of this latest banlist. Of course, this leaves lots of room for new talent to seep up from the cracks of mediocrity, which should be exciting for any player to get their hands on.
In this article, I am going to go over some of my favorite cards that have made a resurgence in the ability to be played in this slower paced format. No longer are we trying to clear the field and swing for game, but more likely to play a control based strategy that forces an opponent to play around us in order to win. There are 4 cards for you today; Icarus Attack, Gravekeeper's Spy, Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode and Light and Darkness Dragon.
All of these cards are powerhouse cards for their respective decks, and we can expect them to be seen all over the game as players adapt to this strange format. It is the first format without Metagame.com as well as large events. I do not know if Konami is going to resurrect Metagame.com in a new form, but I hope that they do not. It makes the game far more exciting, and focuses on the player as a deckbuilder. As for big game play, in a slower format ALL of these cards besides Icarus Attack have seen play in top tier decks or WILL see play in the case of SDDAM.
Without further ado, let's see the cards!
Feathered Friends Flock Furiously
Icarus Attack is a powerful card. It was originally released in Enemy of Justice as a compliment to Swift Birdman Joe, the failed precursor to Raiza the Storm Monarch. Back then, Winged Beasts had almost no support, and Icarus Attack was just about it. There were a few Harpy cards, but they were no fast enough nor strong enough of an archetype to really carry the card to it's full potential. That all changed in TDGS.
Icarus Attack found it's soul mate, Gladiator Beast Equeste. Equest will get you a card when it is Special Summoned by a Gladiator Beast, which helps to balance out the cost of tributing a monster in order to activate Icarus Attack. Equeste got a lot of people looking at teching Icarus Attack in order to abuse it with Gladiator Beasts. Bestiari, as well as Octavius are both Winged Beasts. The Banlist took care of Bestiari though, but at least in my GB build, there are 6 solid targets for Icarus Attack.
Not to mention that Equeste will get you back a card and Darius will get you a Winged Beast in order to tribute for free. If all else fails to get you free stuff out of your Winged Beasts, then you can wait until your opponent will use a removal effect and then chain Icarus Attack in order for you to get out of Sticky Situations. Icarus Attack also allows us to consider D.D. Crow in Gladiator Beast decks again, which in turn will lead to CCV being teched again. I don't know about all of this, but it is sure that Gladiator Beasts will be a contender in the new format.
The other deck that can use Gladiator Beasts is Blackwings. These cards are amazing on their own, but coupled with the destructive power of Icarus Attack and the fact that ALL of them are Winged Beasts make it almost the perfect defensive and offensive card. Blackwings got started in CRMS, but will receive all of their best support in the upcoming RGBT expansion. This will be a deck to replace the dethroned Tele-DAD, so beware!
 I See You!
Gravekeeper's Spy has been a favorite of players for a really loong time. The ability to Special Summon another copy of itself as well as any other Gravekeeper is amazing, and add to that a high DEF of 2000 and a decent 1200 ATK and we have a winner. She slipped in play due to the fact that a summoned Dark Armed Dragon, Celestia, Gyzarus or Judgment Dragon could wipe her off the face of the planet without her having a prayer.
With these cards limited or unreliable, she has peeked her spook head out of wherever she has been hiding and started creeping into decks again. Spellcasters, Monarchs and even Synchro decks have taken her and her buddy Gravekeeper's Guard in to great effect. Although she is still relatively useless against Lightsworn and Gladiator Beasts, the fast advantage that she can give you is worth the risk of playing her.
Spy is the hallmark of a slower format, so we will see whether or not she sticks around. I hear that there is a new version of Lightsworn in the works that is much more consistent than before. Basically, Spy will determine whether or not the format will be fast or slow. So keep your eyes peeled at your next locals to see if she is being played, chances are that means the format is slower.
That Big Shiny Dragon Says "NO!"
Stardust Dragon Assault mode is a different kind of beast. He can negate ANYTHING (except for Counter Traps and un-negateable cards) simply by tributing himself for a turn. He lacks the low ATK of the previous Stardust as well as having the enhanced ability to negate anything.
He is remarkably easy to summon. Malicious and many other of the Synchro aides have all been tried with varying degrees of success. However, it is the Assault Mode Activate that is really easy to get. With Assault Beast, there are essentially 6 copies of the card inyour deck. This makes it so that almost every starting hand you will be able to get an Assault Mode Activate. With Assault Mercenary to get it back to your deck, you wil almost never run out of copies of this card.
Malicious is easy to dump with the standard Stratos-D-Draw play, but is far easier to simply dump him to the graveyard with Armageddon Knight or Dark Grepher and Emergency Teleport or Plaguespreader Zombie wioll be there for the Synchro Summon into Stardust Dragon. Then simply set Assault Mode Activate or search for it with Assault Beast and voila! Instant 3000 Behemoth that can negate anything.
There are a ton of weaknesses to this card though. The easiest way to get rid of it is to activate a 141 removal card, they tribute Assault Mode, and then you activate D.D. Crow or Gladiator Beast Retiari in order to remove it from play. They would not get their original Stardust Dragon back and they lose their best way to get Assault Mode back out. The biggest weakness is of course that it is really, really hard to get the conditions to Summonhim all of the time. Basically you are frantically sifting throughyour deck looking for the combo pieces while your opponent is building field and hand presence.
I have heard of a good build with Destiny Heroes that uses Destiny Heroes Dasher and Fear Monger in order to abuse Malicious with level 2 Tuners in order to get out SDDAM out faster and more reliably. It has a few hiccups in it and I do not have a complete decklist, but the idea is promising, so go out andget as many of the Duelist Pack Tins as possible!
The Other Big Shiny Dragon Says "No!"
Light and Darkness Dragon used to be considered one of the best cards in the game. That was of course during the PC format where advantage was everything, and LADD is advantage on a stick. The easiest way to get rid of it was to summon Raiza and then attack it, but that just breakes you even with the LADD player, as they get back a monster form their graveyard. He is amazingly hard to kill, and his summon, just like CCV, usually will win you the game.
So, he comes back now because of the slower format where youc an actually take the time to summon him. Gravekeeper's Spy, Dandylion, Phantom Skyblaster and a few other cards make him easier than ever to summon. And when you do, you have the best candidate for CCV that has ever lived. You wipe out your opponent's cards and you get a card back, it's Sangan on steroids! Unfortunately that very rarely happens that LADD get's his ATK that low.
The biggest use for LADD is AGAINST CCV. CCV will destroy cards, thus triggering your LADD in your hand that is destroyed by CCV. This means that you can turn a potentially bad situation with LADD in your hand into a good one. Other than that there are no real combos with LADD, as he would negate them all.
However, there are many ways to kill him. The best is to Summon a Monarch, he negates their ability and then you get to kill LADD with your newly minted Monarch. Youc n also chain cards to his ability. LADD needs to beon the field to activate his ability, so a chained Compulsory Evacuation Device is just what the doctor ordered. Despite his apparent flaws, he is a king among kings, and I would expect a few enterprising individuals to play him expensively in a slower game.
Well, that is all for today, you can reach me as always at raptor1k@hotmail.com if youhave any YGO related questions or ideas. Please put YGO in the title of your email so that it will not get discarded.
Thanx fopr reading!

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