Hi, it’s me again, back with another guide, and this time… Buster Blader. Buster Blader decks aren’t really anything new, in fact, Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman, Dark Paladin, and Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordmaster all came in the Crimson Kingdom Box. I used to play Buster Blader, the Destruction Swordmaster with Mausoleum of the Emperor back during the Sylvan meta. Buster Blader only really became relevant after the mini box Power of Bravery was released a few boxes back, and with it the introduction of Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman and Destruction Swordsman Fusion. As if that was not enough, Konami decided to give us access to 3 DNA Surgery which made the deck way stronger and more consistent. And now, with the introduction of Return of the Red Eyes this deck has become so much more versatile as you can play heavily towards either Red-Eyes or Buster Blader depending on the matchup.
This Skill is very versatile as it allows you to play up to six Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman, since you can exchange your Black Metal Dragon and The Black Stone of Legend for a Whelp. The most optimal way to play this Skill would be 2x BMD, 1x Black Stone, and 1 x Red-Eyes B. Dragon as you can keep recycling your Black Stone (Discarding it for Destruction Swordsman Fusion or by using it as Fusion Material) and Red-Eyes (by sending it back to the deck with Black Stone’s GY effect) You will be able to use multiple Red-Eyes Fusions while having a lower chance to open a Red-Eyes in your starting hand.
This Skill is a draw engine similar to Master of Destiny, but instead of using two Cup of Ace, this Skill pairs with White Elephant's Gift. Masked Tribute lets you return one card from your hand to your deck and special summon a Grand Tiki Elder or Melchid the Four-Face Beast from outside of your deck. This Skill is very versatile as you can use it with Elephant's Gift to draw two or you could use it to pressure your opponent when they try to play around your Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman by not playing any monsters. Remember you cannot Normal or Special Summon after using this Skill, so try to do all your setup before activating this Skill. I prefer this Skill over Master of Destiny because when paired with Thunder Dragon, the deck can be thinned out very fast while not limiting access to other semi-limited cards like Enemy Controller/Hey, Trunade!/Treacherous Trap Hole.
This Skill is usually played with Red-Eyes Buster Blader and is usually always activatable as you can easily summon high leveled monsters almost every turn. Beatdown is great for getting over big monsters (Neos, Blue-Eyes, Reactor Dragon, etc.) in the current meta when you don’t have your combo pieces out. This Skill is also useful for giving your Red-Eyes Archfiend of Lightning more reach in what it can destroy with its effect.
This Skill is for pulling out the final missing piece of the combo to draw into the card you need to lock a win, but not having any LP manipulating cards make this Skill a bit hard to pop as experienced players will just play around it. This Skill is a bit more flexible with the tech cards you can play as you can pretty much pull into anything you need when in a pinch. You could either play this with Red-Eyes Buster Blader or you could play a more stallish version with powerful trap cards like Dimensional Prison and Floodgate Trap Hole
Masked Tribute Version
Rookie - Top 4 MCS 19
This is one of the fusion materials for your deck as it lets you summon Dark Paladin or Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman with another fusion sub. You could also tribute off Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman when it’s on the field and special summon this card from your hand or from your graveyard. It is best not to summon this monster unless you’re in a dire situation where you might lose as this card doesn’t do anything at all except gain attack.
Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman (3x)
This card is the main card of this deck, when a monster with a monster attribute is on the field, its effects are negated and switched to defense position, fully stopping combos and attacks. Be careful when summoning him as you only have 2-3 of him and no inherent protection. It is ok to swing him into anything if you plan on going for game and have another fusion spell in hand so you can fuse him off for another Dragon Destroyer if they activate traps like Widespread Ruin or Offerings to the Doomed.
Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman (3x)
This card is really good, along side with being a one star tuner, it lets you add a Destruction Swordsman Fusion to your hand and lets you tribute it to summon a Buster Blader in your hand or in your grave. Also, if you have a Buster Blader of any kind on the field and this card is in the grave, you can discard your Destruction Swordsman Fusion and special summon it. The versatility of this card is great as you can have many different kinds of plays like summoning it to search a fusion spell and then tributing it off for a Buster Blader and then use that fusion spell with that Buster Blader and a sub to special summon Dark Paladin who will also have that 500 attack buff from the Whelp in the graveyard.
Destruction Swordsman Fusion (2x)
The ability to let you use one of your opponent’s monsters as a fusion substitute is game changing and since with a single card you can change the attribute of all the monsters on the field resulting in being able to fully utilize this card all the time. Do be careful when swinging right after you summon as you can only use the fusion spell once each turn.
DNA Surgery (3x)
This card changes all monsters on the field to one attribute so when selected Dragon and with Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman on the board, all of your opponent’s monster effects will be negated and as well be switched to Defense position.
The Red-Eyes package is now the best way to play Buster Bladers as now you do not have to rely on just DNA Surgery to win, you could stall and negate with Red-Eyes Slash Dragon. And if you open Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman along with your Red-Eyes Fusion, you could dump Buster Blader to the grave and equip it to your Slash. This allows you to summon BB when your Slash dies and have your DNA Combo ready
This card can be useful as you can fusion summon Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman and Red-Eyes Slash Dragon by using resources from your grave instead of your hand or field. However, It is not recommended to fuse out Slash if you’re only running one Red-Eyes B. Dragon as every Red-Eyes Fusion you draw becomes dead.
Cipher Soldier can be a really good tech as you have DNA and can change everything to Warrior and have your Cipher become a 3350/3800 beater. It also helps against the really troublesome Six Samurai matchup, as they are all Warrior, and once you get rid of Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En with your Cipher, you are free to flip up DNA Surgery and Destruction Swordsman Fusion. It can also help against Neos but now that they run the Koa'ki Meiru package it is very risky to just set and pass.
Red-Eyes Archfiend Package
This combo is pretty good as you can send Archfiend to the grave with your Red-Eyes Insight and then search out Return if the situation calls for it and then Special Summon him during your opponent’s End Phase. Then on your turn you can Gemini Summon Archfiend to destroy your opponent’s monsters (This package is better with Beatdown as you can fill up your board with big monsters pretty fast so Archfiend will get really big)
Dark Paladin isn’t as useful as before anymore because Ancient Gears are starting to fall off and that is the only matchup where Dark Paladin is actually useful. In some cases, this is also good in mirror matches as you can negate your opponent’s Destruction Swordsman Fusion to stop them from setting up their combo while setting up yours. Due to space and pace issues, most Buster Blader decks have forgone disruption for more draw power/ another wincon so you don’t have to worry about your Dark Paladin getting flipped. It is important to note for the mirror match if they’re playing Red-Eyes Buster Blader, there is no need to waste resources by negating their Red-Eyes Fusion as you’ll get bigger with the more dragons they have. But if it’s relatively late game and you have the cards to spare, it could be more beneficial to negate it to avoid potential cheese.
Useful card for clearing backrow before going in for an OTK Trunade becomes really powerful in conjuction with Destiny Draw
Armades, Keeper of Boundaries
Great card for swinging into monsters or direct attacks as opponents can’t activate traps or Sphere Kuribohs when you swing, it’s also great for attacking into facedowns in Neos matchup when you don’t have DNA Surgery out so the effect of Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank"/Gale Lizard won’t activate
A great card to have in the deck, this card can flip down your opponent’s threats that threaten to destroy your monsters like Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei", Masked HERO Anki or threaten to pop your DNA like Koa'ki Meiru Maximus and Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon and deal with it next turn, you can also special summon it onto your field from your grave and use it as a fusion substitute. Be wary of summoning it after you Last Gamble as it has very low stats (atk: 1200/def: 0) and could easily get run over.
Floodgate Trap Hole
A great alternative to Canadia, this flips down your opponent’s monster permanently so that you can deal with that monster whenever you want instead of having to deal with it next turn.
Preface: Right now, I believe that using the Red-Eyes engine is the best way to run Buster Blader so the below matchups will all be assuming you are running Red-eyes BB.
This is a matchup in your favor as if you open DNA Surgery and change all the monsters to Dragon-type, they cannot Spellbook of Fate anymore. However, Breaker the Magical Warrior can destroy DNA, and with the introduction of Light and Dark drawing into Breaker has only become more consistent. The Red-Eyes engine will help with Breaker as you can use Red-Eyes Slash Dragon to negate its effect (However it's useless vs an active Fate as it doesn't target).
You generally have an advantage in this matchup if they do not open Breaker or Cosmic Cyclone, but if you’re going second and you don’t open well, you could be screwed as they could just chain Fate to your DNA and negate your Destruction Swordsman Fusion with their Silent Magician. Using Light and Dark basically means they’re essentially playing six Silent Magicians. They also seem to have started running 1-2 Cosmic Cyclonee which can be a serious problem as they can just banish your DNA, but they do not seem to be running disruption traps anymore so the safest way to win this is to fuse out Dark Paladin and negate their spells or to summon Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman and hope you draw into a second DNA before they draw into their DNA removal.
This matchup is kinda of a coin flip, if you open with a great hand you basically just win, but if you open up with a bad hand, your opponent can easily swarm you and OTK you. Always have a Destruction Swordsman Fusion for their Enemy Controller and Paleozoic Canadia plays. If they are running Bandit Keith, chances are they are probably also running Bandit with Cosmic Cyclone and sometimes Mirror Wall, so when you set your cards be sure to activate them in your opponent’s draw phase or chain it to an life costing effect that would bring them low enough to use Bandit. If you do not start with DNA in your starting hand try to fuse into a Dark Paladin and negate their spells like Vampire Kingdom and Vampire's Domain so that they can’t activate Domain and special summon Vampire Familiar off of it, search Vampire Grace and summon her. If you don’t draw into DNA, it’ll be a tough game and will be heavily in their favor as they can summon Vampire Vamp or Vampire Grace to deal with you.
Neos are annoying as they usually run Steelswarm Scout and Steelswarm Girastag in the more popular version, they also run Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank"/Gale Lizard which can be annoying if you summon Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman without a DNA Surgeryup, leaving you vulnerable to an OTK next turn. The best course of action would be to fuse out Red-Eyes Slash Dragon, equip your Buster Blader from the graveyard and swing. If the face-down happens to be a Sazank/Gale, you can negate it and be set next turn since your Slash is bigger than Elemental HERO Brave Neos. You also have to be careful about playing 2 monsters as neos usually run Lava Golem and you’ll usually have Dragon Destroyer in DEF position and a monster to poke their LP.
With all the disruption (Girastag, Sazank, Gale, Koa'ki Meiru Ice, Treacherous Trap Hole, etc.) it is usually better to just use the Red-Eyes side of this deck as you can get a negation every turn and they cannot reliably get over your Slash unless they run Beatdown which is less common than Sealed Tombs or Destiny Draw
6 Sams are a bit of a tossup, if you go first and open DNA Surgery, you have successfully locked them out of making Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En, but if they go first and get out Shi En, you are screwed as they can negate your fusion spells, where the only way to win is to have two fusions in your hand. You want to bait the negation with Destruction Swordsman Fusion and then summon Red-Eyes Slash Dragon with Red-Eyes Fusion. You want to summon Slash instead of Dragon Destroyer because you can retrieve Swordsman Fusion back from the grave and Slash’s negation is really useful against Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi and Six Style - Dual Wield.
This is a really good matchup for Buster Bladers as most of their deck is Dragon-type so you don’t need your DNA Surgery most of the time, but now with the addition of Snipe Hunter to their deck, if you don’t have DNA or a Slash out, your monsters will surely be destroyed. If you are going first try to get your Dragon Destroyer out and pray they do not have Snipe or that you opened DNA. If you’re going second Slash with Beatdown with an equipped Buster Blader can swing over anything. There isn’t really an inherent way to beat Snipe unless you have DNA and Dragon Destroyer out. Even after your board is established you should still have another Destruction Swordsman Fusion as backup as a lot of Blue-Eyes decks run Treacherous Trap Hole.
This us a bad matchup as they have a lot of ways to pop your DNA Surgery (Unending Nightmare, Double Cyclone). Your best bet would be to fuse into Dark Paladin as it has a base attack of 2900 and gains 500 for each Dragon type in either player’s graveyard. Try to fusion/synchro/tributing off your Whelp so that it will be in your graveyard making your Dark Paladin’s attack to 3400. Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon is sadly not a Dragon but only has 3000 attack. Beware of their backrow, they usually run Paleozoic Canadia, Enemy Controller ( not much of a threat since you can negate it) and Treacherous Trap Hole. Now people seem to be playing Drowning Mirror Force in this deck as well, so potentially they can activate Drowning and then Econ your Dragon Destroyer into ATK position to send them all back to your deck and OTK. Your only real out is Dark Paladin and if that gets flipped down then you just cry. It is important to note that you should try to win as fast as possible and not try to stall them as they you’re giving them a chance to draw into Drowning/Econ/Removal.
Buster Blader (Mirror Match)
Alright, the long and awaited mirror match section is finally here! In the mirror match whoever gets out Dark Paladin first wins as you can negate all of your opponent’s fusion spells. If your opponent gets out their Dark Paladin before you do, you’ll have to try to make them negate until they’re out of resources and then fuse for Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman to disable their Dark Paladin’s effect (this can be done by recycling Destruction Swordsman Fusion) and then summon your own Dark Paladin. What if I don’t play dark paladin you might ask, well, chances are your opponents also aren’t playing it since paladin is really only useful against Ancient Gears and the Mirror. So if you want to have an edge in the mirror, tech in one Dark Paladin for a Synchro or one Red-Eyes Slash Dragon (assuming you have 6 extra deck slots, if you have 5, do not tech in Dark Paladin!).
In the case that both of you do not have Dark Paladin, the non-Red-Eyes Buster deck will win as the red-eyes user will have more Dragon-types in their grave thus making their opponent's monsters bigger than their own. But this will rarely happen as pure BB isn’t all that common anymore.
Now, let’s say you are both using Red-Eyes BB, and you’ve come to a standstill where you both have dragon destroyer and DNA out, there are two ways which you can win:
- Stalling them Out
If you have more cards in your deck than them, you should just set another DNA Surgery and Destruction Swordsman Fusion and pass. If they try to change the type to something other than dragon, wait for them to resolve their DNA and then activate your DNA to Dragon again (if you chain to their DNA, your DNA will activate first and then theirs). If they try to fuse away your Dragon Destroyer, wait for their Swordsman Fusion to resolve and then activate your own Swordsman Fusion with one of their monsters.
- Use DNA Surgery to Non-Dragon and Swing
If you know they don’t have another set DNA Surgery on the field and they have more Dragons in their graveyard than you, on your turn you could switch the type to something else as they would be in defense position and you will be able to swing over them and hopefully OTK them next turn with your Dragon Destoryer and something else (e.g. another Buster Blader, Red-Eyes Slash Dragon, etc.)
General Tips for the Mirror Match
DNA vs DNA: In the case of DNA Surgery vs DNA Surgery, the last DNA to resolve is the one to be applied. This means that if DNA calling Dragon is chain link 1 and another DNA calling Zombie is chain link 2, At the end of the chain, the DNA that called Dragon will be applied. That being said, a new DNA Surgery will “overwrite” an older one if the two are not on the same link.
Calling Dragon with DNA: Calling dragon leads to the Buster Blader lock but also enables the other player to fuse with their opponent’s monsters for Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman.
Calling any other type with DNA: Calling any other type that is not dragon with the DNA can prevent if not completely stop one’s monsters being used as fusion materials for Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman.
Destruction Swordsman Fusion
How you use Destruction Swordsman Fusion is used in the mirror can make the difference between winning and losing as the opponent can also use theirs to fuse with your monster:
Using Destruction Swordsman Fusion Chain Link 1 can be useful when attempting to fuse Dark Paladin, provided you are also able to fuse for Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman, just in case your opponent chains their Swordsman Fusion to fuse away their Dark Paladin material.
Using Destruction Swordsman Fusion Chain Link 2 in response to another copy can be useful in potenetially causing your opponent's attempted Fusion to fizzle. That being siad it is sometimes possible as mentioned above that your opponent can play round a CL2 Fusion.
- In the mirror, try not to summon Red-Eyes Slash Dragon as that is dumping extra unneeded dragons into your grave.
Don’t chain your DNA Surgery to another DNA surgery as yours will resolve first and then theirs. The first to flip it will be the one active as chains start from the bottom so the first DNA flipped would be on top of the chain and then the second one flipped in response to that would be on the bottom of the chain.
In some situation this is not the case, if you’re in the mirror and they try to flip DNA Surgery and set to any type that is not Dragon so that you can’t fuse their monster, you could chain Destruction Swordsman Fusion to that DNA and then chain your own DNA to your Swordsman Fusion so you can change their monsters to Dragon-type, fuse a Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman out and then their DNA will change your Dragon Destroyer and whatever else is on the board to non-Dragon so they cannot fuse with your monsters next turn.
When setting other cards be mindful or your opponents having Galaxy Cyclone as they can destroy a backrow and then use Galaxy Cyclone’s secondary effect and destroy your face up DNA when you have it active.
If you fear that your opponent has backrow removal, try to only activate your DNA Surgery during your opponent's Battle Phase so that even if they destroy your DNA, you manage to stop their play that turn and buy yourself another turn. If your DNA is already active and it’s removed try to stall until you get another one. With the loss of your DNA you will probably lose your Dragon Destroyer as a lot of mosnters can swing over it (Masked HERO Anki can crash into it, Koa'ki can remove it with Koa'ki Meiru Ice) so you should just try to set cards and flip their monsters facedown to stall until you draw into another DNA.
Know your matchups and know when to place your Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman in ATK or DEF position, for example, Ancient Gears now run Drowning Mirror Force so it would be smart to put your dragon destroyer in defense position first and then poke their LP
You can activate DNA to stop Six Samurais from summoning Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En as it requires Warrior-type material.
Summon Armades, Keeper of Boundaries if they have a lot of backrow and you do not have Hey, Trunade! in hand as it will either bait out backrow like Canadia, Floodgate, and Offerings or they will just let the attack through.
If you chain Destruction Swordsman Fusion to your DNA Surgery, the fusion spell will activate before your DNA turns all monsters on the field to one attribute so be careful with that. You could chain your DNA to your fusion spell and get the desired effect though.
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