Elemental HERO Stratos

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Elemental HERO Stratos Is Back

It doesn’t happen very often that cards return from the Forbidden section, but Elemental HERO Stratos’ return is a welcome one.

Stratos was not allowed in decks for almost five years, even if the HERO strategy wasn't overly popular in the format during that Summer of 2013. The card was initially released over ten years ago as a Shonen Jump promo, but was quickly limited due to the never-seen-before speed and consistency of the Airblade Turbo Deck. Stratos would remain a relevant card in later years, bringing searching power to decks based on Dark Armed Dragon, as well as slower control-based decks, such as Big City and HERO Beat. However, despite its popularity and historical relevance, Elemental HERO Stratos hasn’t had a lot of prints. The easiest and cheapest way to pick this card up is to opt for its common version from the Ra Yellow Mega Pack of 2012. It also comes as a super rare in Collector's Tin 2010 and an Ultimate Rare in OTS Tournament Pack 9 (2018).

What Does Stratos Actually Do?

Elemental HERO Stratos has two effects that trigger whenever he is summoned, but you can only activate one of them. The first effect lets you destroy Spell or Trap cards on the field, up to the number of other HERO monsters on your board. This effect does not target, so your opponent will be forced to activate any of their Traps in response to Stratos’ effect. This effect is sweet, but it pales in comparison to the second effect. When Normal or Special Summoned, you can add any HERO monster to your hand – and this includes Elemental, Destiny, Evil, or Vision HERO monsters! Mildy unfortunately, you’ll have to keep in mind that the "HERO" archetype is in all caps, so you can’t search for cards like Hero Kid or Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier. This sadness, however, should be short-lived as Elemental HERO Stratos still has over 50 search targets, and with upcoming support for the Neo-Spacian archetype, that list could still expand in the future.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Cinematic Universe in the TCG

Of course, this brave hero doesn’t work alone. The now limited A Hero Lives can get some impressive combos started, as well as Elemental HERO Solid Soldier (originally from the 2018 Mega-Tins). Both these cards help you bring two warrior monsters on board, which back in 2018 meant that Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights was only a Link Summon away! Isolde can then extend your plays even further by bringing out Hero Kid... and all sorts of stuff can happen from there.

A more competitive approach to using Stratos can be seen in Brian Kalina’s YCS Columbus Deck, where he combined HEROs, Dark Warriors, and Phantom Knights to earn him a top cut finish. Vision HERO Vyon, Destiny HERO - Malicious, Elemental HERO Shadow Mist, Dark Grepher, and Armageddon Knight have amazing synergy between each other and despite not being DARK, Elemental HERO Stratos fits well within this League of Justice.

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