Saturday, January 23, 2010

Archetype Analysis: Lightsworn

Welcome to "Archetype Analysis," a section where I break down the different archetypes found in this game and break them down to see what makes them tick. First off, we begin with the current kings of the meta (emphasis on "current"), the Lightsworns.

Where to begin?

The Lightsworn Army

First of all, the one thing that makes these guys tick is their ability to go through the deck like nothing. Cards like Jain, Lyla, Lumina, and Arkus serve as great support for the theme, but also provide good milling. The members of this army are also supported by Ryko, who's effect allows not only milling, but a nice destruction bonus to boot. Lyla helps remove those pesky spell and trap cards, while Lumina helps you bring back your fallen comrades with her effect.

The Surprise Factor

One thing that makes Lightsworns unique is their reliance on luck to mill the right things into the graveyard. However, this will be referred to the "Surprise Factor" for neutrality's sake. With the constant milling effects Lightsworns have, the end of the turn always brings some surprises. Will they mill monsters? How about having them lose some spells or traps in the process? But wait...what if they mill...HIM. That's right! The one card that benefits the most from this "Surprise Factor" is none other than Wulf, one crucial aspect of the Lightsworn's aggression team.
By being milled to the graveyard from the deck, Wulf is able to join the fray and smack others around with his 2100 Attack, which is no laughing matter when you consider a monster of that strength basically being summoned for free.

The Age of Twilight

However, what successful army doesn't have a powerful alliance with others? The Lightsworns are no exception to this rule. During their battles, they have found success in the company of some of powerful allies like Honest, Necro Gardna, and Plaguespreader Zombie. However, the Lightsworns have met some allies in their latest battles that caused them to reach the deepest depths of chaos. By aligning themselves with Dark Armed Dragon and Chaos Sorcerer, along with other Dark creatures, they have entered the new realm of power, commonly known as "Twilight" by many.
By creating an alliance with the forces of darkness, they have gained new strength that seemed somehow impossible, yet inevitable at the same time. The Lightsworns of the Twilight realm have also gained access to the Synchro Monsters with the help of Plaguespreader Zombie.
Another unlikely alliance the Lightsworns have made lies with the army of the dead. By uniting their forces with the forces of their fallen foes, Lightsworns and Zombies have also united to bring a different aspect to the realm of Twilight as we know it. Consisting of Mezuki, Goblin Zombie, and sometimes Zombie Master, the Lightsworns have become nearly unstoppable.

However, what's an army without their commanding generals?

The Bosses, Lightsworn's Biggest Hitters

So, they have a massive army composed of their own soldiers, soldiers of darkness, and the forces of the dead. But that doesn't seem well enough for them. In order for the Lightsworn army to fully take down their enemies, they need the guidance of their two strongest commanders, Celestia and Judgment Dragon. Celestia is certainly a force to be reckoned with. By offering one of their own soldiers as a tribute, she is able to blast away up to two of their opponent's threats. She also helps the mill process, so she could reinforce Wulf on command if it came to that occasion.

However, Celestia is but one of their main forces. Their main powerhouse has yet to enter the fray. When four different Lightsworns have fallen, Judgment Dragon enters the fray to purge the souls of the unclean and turn the battlefield into a desolate wasteland filled with destruction and despair. Judgment Dragon has a restriction though, he can't enter the field unless those 4 comrades have fallen. Once their battle is over, it's his time to cast judgment upon his enemies. This dragon is certainly a force to be reckoned with, as it can destroy the field by paying just 1000 Lifepoints, and it's not limited to once per turn (talking to you, Gorz).

The Achilles Heel to the Dominant Army

Lightsworns rely mostly on milling, so Macro oriented plays will screw them up. Since most macro cards prevent access to the graveyard, Lightsworns will find themselves unable to mill, thus slowing down their effectiveness. Macro also won't allow the use of Honest during battle.
Another main weakness to the Lightsworns is the fact that they rely on special summoning a lot. Cards like Royal Oppression, Rai-Oh, Vanity's Fiend, and Archlord Krystia can ruin their pace by preventing their swarm of the field.
And while Skill Drain may not hit them too hard, it still affects their strength by disabling such cards like Lyla, Lumina, Celestia, and Judgment Dragon.

With a massive army such as this, it's no surprise why Lightsworns are dominating the war right now. However, their time may come up short, since March is right around the corner. Will their mighty dragon feel the wrath of the gods and fall with Dark Armed Dragon, or will he be banished to the realm of the Envoys? Only time will tell. But for now, this army is dominating the meta, for better or for worse.

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