Greetings, and welcome back to another Reiya Cluster starter deck preview article, rulers! Last week we had a look at the light attribute deck, and now its time to continue down the line and move onto the next one, Blood of Dragons. This, as you may have guessed, is the fire attribute deck and contains Dragons, Dragonoids, Dinosaurs, and all manner of other aggressive type beasts.
As is the common practice in these articles, let's start off with our J/ruler. His name is Kirik Rerik, a member of the red dragonoid clan from ancient times. He's a hot headed young champion of his people and values combat above all else. Like Taegrus before him, his Judgment is also a total cost of three making it a little expensive, but not impossibly so. He's got Energize of course, so going second means you'll get a will coin you can banish to produce an extra fire will one time. He also has an automatic ability that triggers at the start of the game that grants him ten strength counters. Many of Kirik's supporting cards involve utilizing these strength counters, so ten is a pretty good amount to start off with. Fear not though, for if you should ever run out of strength counters, Kirik can rest himself to bring him back up to ten strength counters. Note that this effect cannot increase his counters above ten, so if you have ten or more, you don't need to worry about using this ability. Last on his ruler side is another mysterious Sealed Item, like we saw with Taegrus. Note the different icon and symbols signifying that this is indeed a different Sealed Item, but is still unusable because it is currently illegible. What could it be? Wait and see!
Once you pay Kirik's Judgment cost, he'll enter the field with 1200 ATK and 1000 DEF. Considerably more hefty than Taegrus. I suppose that's what you'd expect from the champion of the red dragonoids. He's also naturally got Precision, which is handy. Having the option to pick off recovered J/resonators can be helpful if there's a problematic card like Abdul Alhazred that your opponent is keeping recovered to try and keep it safe from your attacks. When Kirik Rerik enters the field as a J-ruler his automatic ability will trigger bringing him up to fifteen strength counters if he didn't already have at least that many. As such, you might want to burn as many strength counters as you can before using his Judgment, since you're just going to get a bunch back from his ability anyway. Speaking of using up some strength counters, while Kirik's supporting cards use them, so can Kirik himself. By removing five strength counters Kirik can deal 500 damage to a target J/resonator. This is great for removing a blocker that's keeping Kirik from hitting your opponent with his high 1200 ATK or for removing a troublesome attacker on your opponent's side, like something with Flying for example. Lastly, as with his ruler side, Kirik has the Sealed Item again on his J-ruler side so when the ability is revealed he'll retain it after using his Judgment, which is handy.
As with Taegrus and the other rulers in the Reiya Cluster starter decks, Kirik's got a magic stone that's specifically designed to help advance his strategy. Dragon Ore is a special magic stone that can be rested to produce fire will (Kirik's main attribute, if you haven't guessed it yet.). The card also counts as a fire magic stone, which is a nice little addition. The real boon is that when the card enters the field, you'll be able to put two strength counters on your J/ruler for free!
And speaking of ramping up those strength counters, here's another way to do so! Apprentice Cook is a total cost one Dragonoid resonator with 300 ATK and 400 DEF. When this resonator enters the field you'll be able to grant your J/ruler two strength counters. After that though the card essentially becomes a vanilla card. Thankfully it does actually have some pretty good stats for its cost, 400 DEF is high enough to block off pretty much any first turn card with Swiftness your opponent might play.
Hoelle Pig is an interesting little resonator. The card is a total cost one Beast with 400 ATK and 300 DEF. Pretty good stats for its cost, but don't go throwing this resonator into combat where it can be destroyed too hastily, because it's got a pretty useful effect. By banishing this resonator you can recover your ruler. Note that this means ONLY ruler, not J-ruler. No double attacking with a J-ruler to be found here. However, what this does let you do is use Kirik's ability to regain strength counters and call a magic stone in the same turn. You could actually even call a magic stone and use his Judgment on the same turn as well. Remember that the requirements for Judgment only state that you need a recovered ruler, its not the act of calling a magic stone that makes Judgment impossible that turn, its the fact that the ruler has become rested in the process. So you could call a magic stone, banish Hoelle Pig to recover Kirik, and then play his Judgment, essentially speeding up your Judgment by an entire turn and not sacrificing an extra magic stone by way of normal Judgment.
Elia Rua, can accomplish the same thing, but with the ability to repeat the effect. She's a total cost three Dragonoid resonator with 800 ATK and DEF. She's also sporting an activate ability. By resting the card you can recover your ruler, much like you can with Hoelle Pig. The big difference here though, is that with Hoelle Pig you have to banish the card to do it, with Elia Rua, you don't. However so also costs a few more will to play, so its a bit of a trade off. Hoelle Pig's lower cost means he'll be more useful in the early game, but Elia's reusability might make her more consistent in later turns.
Alright we've mostly seen support type cards. Now let's look at some offense. Mad Boar of Mt. Hoelle is basically all offense. This total cost two resonator enters the field with 700 ATK, but only 300 DEF. Thankfully it has First Strike, which helps make up for its low DEF while attacking. It also sports Swiftness, meaning it can attack the turn its played, and considering its high ATK compared to its cost, that's pretty helpful if you want to beat your opponent down quickly. However, the resonator also has Bloodlust, meaning that as long as the card is able to attack, it must. That means, barring unusual circumstances, this card will be attacking every single turn. Now, that's not particularly an awful hindrance, since attacking is clearly what this resonator does best, but it is something you'll want to keep in mind.
Another two cost resonator we have is Hoellesaurus. This is 600/600 dinosaur resonator. He doesn't have the speed of the Mad Boar unfortunately, but this resonator is able to deal 300 damage to a J/resonator when it enters the field. While in the late game this ability isn't all that helpful as your opponent likely has resonators that can easily survive 300 damage. It is perfect for picking off your opponent's resonators in the early game. Somewhat ironically, Mad Boar is a perfect target to pick off with this effect!
Next, we have Kirik's Partner. This total cost three Dragon resonator enters as a 600/600 with Flying. Not all that exciting for that cost. However, this card provides us with so much more. First of all, it lets us salvage a Battle Arts chant from our graveyard and put it back into are hand. We'll get to them in a moment, but Battle Arts is essentially a new subtype of card similar to Ancient Magic back in the Lapis cluster. More interestingly perhaps, is the card's final ability. It grants your J-ruler flying. With Apollo rotating out this card is an easy way to grant your J-ruler Flying that lasts for more than one turn. Kirik already had pretty high ATK and combining that with Flying granted by his buddy here only means more trouble for your opponent.
Ah, here's the ace resonator of this deck, our big damage dealer. Dragon of Mt. Hoelle is a massive 1500/1500 for only a total cost four. It also sports Flying, making it tougher for your opponent to block. It can even pick off J/resonators with it's activate ability, which allows you to deal 300 damage to J/resonators by paying two fire will. The catch is that this card can't attack or block unless you remove two strength counters from your J/ruler. Thankfully, Kirik starts the game with ten of them, and we've already seen quite a few ways he can gain more, so burning two strength counters per turn to enable this card to deal 1500 damage to your opponent isn't too tough.
Alright, let's finally have a look at these Battle Arts cards. They're the main kind of card that you'll be spending your strength counters on, aside from Dragon of Mt. Hoelle of course. First is Burning Awakening, this total cost two Chant boost up a J/resonator by +1000/+1000 for the turn and has Quickcast. That is an immense power boost and can turn pretty much any J/resonator into a lethal threat. However you'll also need to remove five strength counters from your J/ruler to use it. This card is absolutely vicious and when you consider how quickly you can start dealing damage with cards like this and Mad Boar, you'll understand how this deck claims victory over its opponents.
The second is a total cost one Quickcast chant called Hell Flame. This card lets you remove any number of strength counters from your J/ruler to deal X00 damage to a J/resonator, where X is the number of strength counters you removed. This card's low cost and versatility in the amount of damage it deals, means its pretty useful for controlling the field at any stage in the game. Burn a couple counters to take out something weak, or burn all your counters to destroy your opponent's key J/resonator, either way, this chant can get the job done.
Finally, we have Dragon Breath. This chant is the most expensive of the three, costing a total of three will. It also does not have Quickcast, sadly. However it can also be the most devastating to your opponent. Like Hell Flame you remove a number of strength counters from your J/ruler and the card does X00 damage. However, this chant it does X00 damage to all J/resonators without Flying. This card is perfect for clearing the board, especially when your opponent is playing a lot of low DEF resonators or resonator tokens. Just be careful, as this chant does damage to all J/resonators without Flying, including your own!