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Doomkaiser Dragon
Card# CSOC-EN043

Doomkaiser Dragon's effect isn't just for Zombie World duelists: remember that its effect can swipe copies of Plaguespreader Zombie, too!
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Deck Profile: Hersson Coto Portillo
Jason Grabher-Meyer

Hersson Coto Portillo’s performance in the first Last Chance Regional today was quite impressive. Slowly but surely, Lightsworn decks have been growing since their inaugural appearances at Shonen Jump Championship Saint Louis and UK Nationals. Dale Bellido and Han-Wei Tang each put forth admirable showings at their respective events, but their decks were progenitor builds, and each did some things mathematically right that the other didn’t.


That’s why I find Portillo’s deck to be really interesting. Several weeks ago I wrote an article for another website that proposed combining different elements of Bellido’s and Tang’s decks, and that’s really what Portillo’s done. Check out his decklist . . .  


Monsters: 26 

3 Judgment Dragon

3 Celestia, Lightsworn Angel

3 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter

3 Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner

3 Necro Gardna

3 Honest

2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

2 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk

1 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin

1 Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior

2 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast


Spells: 10

3 Solar Recharge

2 Foolish Burial

1 Monster Reborn

1 Heavy Storm

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Premature Burial

1 Monster Reincarnation


Traps: 6

3 Threatening Roar

2 Beckoning Light

1 Crush Card Virus


The strategy is very similar to Han-Wei Tang’s deck from UK Nationals — strong beatdown and generally high ATK backed by recursive effects to retrieve copies of Judgment Dragon. He’s borrowed Tang’s Threatening Roars too, playing a full complement of three in order to maintain field presence and compensate for his lower utility picks.


That’s a good thing, because he is playing a lot of the lower utility cards the Bellido build relied on. Three Celestia, three Necro Gardna, and three Honest are all being run here, borrowed straight from Dale and Lazaro. But with the Threatening Roars in place Celestia is far easier to play — you don’t have to rely solely on Necro Gardna and Honest to defend your field presence. That makes tributing way easier, and means that Portillo didn’t have to hold back with Foolish Burial plays to special summon Wulf. Being able to use Wulf as a purely aggressive card, instead of tribute insurance, opens doors that existed in previous builds, but may not have been safe ones to open.


Three Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter are again borrowed from Dale, and they work exceptionally well with Threatening Roar. Destroying a monster with Ryko’s effect is rarely optimal — it’s a great answer to a big threat like Gladiator Beast Heraklinos, but in most cases your Lightsworn will be able to attack over any attacker the opponent presents anyway. If Ryko can take down a back row card instead, the average Lightsworn deck can then bat cleanup. That makes Ryko’s effect targeting a spell or trap a far better play, and with Threatening Roar to protect Ryko from attacks that are intended to create a monster trade, that play becomes far more possible.


One call that Portillo made independent of the Bellidos and Han-Wei Tang was to move from three, down to two copies of Wulf, Lightsworn Beast. This is a great call — it eliminates a potentially dead draw from the deck’s opening lineup where it really can’t afford to have dead cards, but the deck retains its ability to special summon Wulf with Foolish Burial as needed. Jerome and I have been preaching this one since Wulf was released — playing only two copies instead of three does make it harder to activate through random top-of-the-deck to-the-graveyard effects, but it also balances your draws better. Meanwhile, your ability to special summon at least once through Foolish is preserved. You eliminate a dead draw and lose only your unreliable sack-play anyway, a trade pretty much any experienced player would be happy to make.


There are certainly some questionable calls made here too. Only playing two copies of Lyla removes a big threat from the deck’s lineup — games can be won and lost on multiple Lyla activations, and this deck just can’t play her more than once on a reliable basis. Playing only one Garoth seems like a waste when the deck already plays eighteen total Lightsworn — it would have more than a 70% chance of drawing a free card off Garoth’s effect assuming nothing but average draws. The deck also loses out on ATK power, and one has to wonder if the slight advantage Jain provides would really be worth foregoing a second Garoth. The use of triple Honest in the main deck, a card the Bellidos mained but that Han-Wei Tang sided, is also questionable, but becomes borderline necessary when you aren’t maxed on cards that raise the average ATK of your deck over other matchups. In other words, running more Garoth would’ve been more effective in the long term than maining Honest, and I don’t know if the average Lightsworn player is ready to confront that.


In addition, at 42 cards total the deck is big. The bigger your deck is, the more varied its play patterns will be — good if you don’t have a handful of cards that are just flat out more important or better than others, but bad when you do. With power cards like Judgment Dragon in the deck, Lightsworn really wants to run just 40 cards. Diversity in strategy shouldn’t be sacrificed for reliable access to your best cards.


With that room for improvement voiced, the deck is still most certainly a second generation Lightsworn build. It’s more consistent than the original Bellido version, and it opens with a much stronger early game than Han-Wei’s version. This deck represents a number of steps in the right direction, and if players can develop its strengths then we could see Lightsworn in the Top 8 tomorrow, or at Shonen Jump Championship Philadelphia. Just remember: utility is the key to success with the Lightsworn. Reliability, much more so than flashy combos, is what the deck needs in order to win.

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