Card Spotlight: Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon
- Sherif Lewis
The 2020 Tin of Lost Memories just dropped, giving us much needed reprints and some rarity upgrades along with four new Ultra Rare cards. One of them is arguably the most anticipated card of the year, which is destined to find its way into so many decks. Let's dive into those dark, red eyes …
Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is the card everyone wants to have and hopes not to encounter. Like we did in the previous article in this series, we are going to explore why it is the subject to such hype and what makes it the most expensive card in the Tin at the time of writing.
Its effect reads as follows:
"Dark Magician" + "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" or 1 Dragon Effect Monster|
Cannot be destroyed by card effects. Neither player can target this card with card effects. During your Main Phase: You can destroy 1 monster your opponent controls, and if you do, inflict damage to your opponent equal to that monster's original ATK. You can use this effect a number of times per turn up to the number of Normal Monsters used as Fusion Material for this card. Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can discard 1 card, negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, and if you do that, this card gains 1000 ATK.
Let's break down the card little by little to better understand it. First of all, it is a Fusion Monster, which means that it would typically require a fusion spell card to be summoned. Its materials are somewhat specific, Dark Magician is a must while the other half is either Red-Eyes Black Dragon or any other Dragon Effect Monster. That means that typically it should only be played in either Dark Magician decks or Dragon decks featuring a single brick in the form of Dark Magician, right? (Note that Dark Magician strategies received three new cards in the Tin of Lost Memories that boost the deck, and being able to move a Dark Magician to the graveyard for the Fusion Summon helps set up plays with Eternal Soul and Dark Magical Circle.)
The answer is actually no, as Dragoon is a very splashable card. The existence of Predaplant Verte Anaconda gives this card a home in most Extra Decks for the cost of playing three Main Deck Cards that do not help your strategy and that admittedly could decrease the consistency of your deck. Anaconda will turn into a Red-Eyes Fusion that can send the materials from your hand, deck, or field to summon Dragoon. The downside here is the 2000 life points cost to activate Anaconda's effect, and the fact that you are not allowed to summon any other monsters afterward. But now we will get into the part why it is all worth the sacrifice.
The first part of Dragoon's effect is very simple, yet if the effect stopped right there it would still be considered a decent card. An ATK 3000 boss monster that cannot be destroyed by card effects and cannot be targeted? Yes please! Protection for boss monsters is always a welcome addition, especially for this monster since you will bring it out while knowing that you can't summon any other monster after it.
The next part of the effect is that you get to destroy a monster your opponent controls without targeting it. In addition, you get to inflict damage to your opponent equal to that monster's attack. Depending on whether you summon this card using Red-Eyes Black Dragon or not (most likely you will), you get to use this effect twice per turn! In situations where your opponent already has monsters on the field, this can be very punishing as the bigger these monsters are, the more damage you inflict. Also, your opponent might not be able to come back from the Life Points difference if you are close to time in the round or if you attack directly afterward with enough damage to seal the deal.
The final effect is just the icing on the cake. Not only does Dragoon have immunity to targeting and destruction, but it is also an omni-negate that can be activated once per turn during either player's turn. At the cost of discarding one card you can negate a card or effect activation. In a way, it is somewhat similar to how Invoked Mechaba works. The main difference is that, while Mechaba banishes, Dragoon destroys and sends to the graveyard, but at the cost of discarding any card, as opposed to Mechaba needing to discard the exact card type to be able to use its negation effect. Oh, and Dragoon permanently gains 1000 attack points for every card it negates, because why not.
Impact on the Game
As in the OCG, duelists will try to fit Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon and its mini-engine into as many decks as possible, sacrificing a bit of consistency for an offensive and defensive behemoth that is not so easy to play against. In the OCG, however, Dragoon and Anaconda are both limited as duelists were aiming to summon more than one Dragoon during the course of the game. So far that is still possible in the TCG as long as the next Forbidden & Limited List doesn't change that. Combo decks will mainly be playing this little engine. Also, any control deck that can afford to sacrifice two effect monsters for Anaconda. Who knows, we might see some decks that revolve around summoning and protecting Dragoon. Therefore, prepare to see the card maybe a lot more often than you'd like to.
The card had a major impact in the OCG upon release last December, but now it is more manageable to play against due to the wealth of existing cards that can counter it. Kaijus are the easiest way to play against it. Dark Ruler No More, Forbidden Droplet, and Super Polymerization are all great cards that Dragoon cannot respond to, rendering it useless. Anyway, as long as you stop Predaplant Verte Anaconda from resolving, you will be safe from Dragoon.
It is a bit strange that this year's tin has no promo cards. Meanwhile, the four new cards were inserted into the Mega Packs as Ultra Rares, making them much harder to pull and Dragoon being more expensive to obtain.
Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is an extremely strong card deserving of attempts to fit into your deck. It is not exactly a budget pick since Dragoon and Predaplant Verte Anaconda together will cost you upward of 50 euros. But the additional layer of impact and protection Dragoon will offer is well worth considering.
It is one of the most powerful and anticipated monsters of 2020, and it is here to stay — unless its partner in crime Anaconda gets banned. If that happens, the card will be confined to certain decks only, or we might have to look for other ways to summon it. Maybe we'll use Polymerization, Elemental HERO Prisma, and other tricks to make it easier to gather the pieces or search for Red-Eyes Fusion. However, till then, get ready to see Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon in many top-cut decklists.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.