Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Card Disucssion: Tornado Dragon

Named Tornado Dragon, not a Dragon-type.

TCG World Premier card for MACR

Tornado Dragon
WIND Wyrm / Effect
RK4 2100/2000
2 Level 4 monsters
Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy it.

Who needs staples when you have the rank 4 toolbox?
It looks like even with Link Summoning, Konami still hasn't given up on giving the Rank 4 more generic support. Rank 4 is currently the best supported rank in the game, with Rank 8 being a close second, in my opinion. This is no secret among players. Any archetype immdiately qualifies as slightly viable as long as it is a Rank 4 archetype.

The effect of our latest addition to the R4NK toolbox is simple. Destroy a S/T on the field during either player's turn. This card's effect doesn't limit you to the type of S/T you destroy, unlike Galaxy Cyclone and Eternal Nightmares. In this aspect, it is more akin to Mystical Space Typhoon than any other version of it. This is a big plus as you have a wide range of targets to use it upon.

Speaking of using its effect, apart from the traditional 'use it to destroy backrow', there are creative ways to utilise Tornado Dragon. One can use it to pop your own S/T during the opponent's turn, benefitting Artifact monster users and make an Artifact engine in R4NK decks a much more consistent option. It is also a useful first turn Rank 4 monster to place on the field when facing a Demise-variant of decks, be it Anti-Meta or Qli or True Draco.

Against Field Spell reliant decks, this is effectively a Zoodiac Drident. It will be more problematic for decks with field spells that can only activate once-per-turn like Magical Meltdown. Yet another challenge for Pendulum decks as well.

It stats are also acceptable and useful, putting it at a similar bandwidth with Diamond Dire Wolf which many players are comparing it to.


Some might not see the extent of this card's effectiveness and the imapct it brings. With this card's existence, any two Level 4 on the field is effective a free Mystical Space Typhoon when you covert both of them into Tornado Dragon. I forsee this phenomenon spelling a fall in battle traps' effectiveness, at least against Rank4 spam decks. By battle traps, I refer to Mirror Force and its variants.

Cards like these also places a huge stress on Elder Entity Norden and Instant Fusion, making it all the more possible for them to either never see the light of day or go from being Unlimited to suffer as a Forbidden/Limited card.

Another worrying matter is that this card's creation may pave the way for more staple Rank 4 Xyz Monsters with the effect of staples. Tornado Dragon already replicates Mystical Space Typhoon. Will time bring more Rank 4 monsters that copy the effects of Deliquent Duo, Upstart Goblin and maybe Raigeki? I hope not. Thank god Fairy Cheer Girl isn't staple.

Even something as 'naive' as non-targeting removal is far too much attention and support paid to the Rank 4 toolbox.

For Rank 4, there are already:
  • 5K beatstick that ignores backrow and monster effects during the Battle Phase (Number 39: Utopia the Lightning)
  • Ability to banish 2 cards in the opponent's grave (Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk)
  • Ability to nuke the field (Evilswarm Exciton Knight)
  • Non-destruction, but targeting removal (Number 101: Silent Honors ARK Knight, Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer, Number 50: Blackship of Corn)
  • One-for-one trade (Diamond Dire Wolf)
  • Nightmares - Tellarknight Ptolemaeus
  • "Skill Drain" - (Number 41: Bagsuka)
  • Targetted effect re-direction (Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight)
  • A vanilla 2600ATK which no one cares about now
  • Reptile searcher. ANY reptile (King of the Feral Imp)
  • Destroy and draw if conditions are met (Number 103: Ragnazero)
  • Gimmicks - Number 59: Crooked Cook, Number 18: Heraldy Patriach, Kachi Kochi Dragon, Number 98: Dystopia, Zubaba General, Number 44: Sky Pegasus, Number 58: Burner Vision
  • A quite useful negator - Number 106: Giant Hand
  • Direct attacker to end the game. Indestructable at times. Number 82: Heartlandraco
  • 800 Burn Damage to seal games sometimes. Gagaga Cowboy
  • Double attacker Gagaga Samurai
  • Miss Mill-three for another That Grass is Greener deck - Minverva the Exalted Lightsworn
  • Before Evilswarm Exciton Knight there was Steelswarm Roach
  • The Book of Moon made obselete by Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer - Maestroke the Symphony Djinn 
  • Random support - Princess Cologne
  • A negator which makes people rage quit and is behind bars now. (Number 16: Shock Master)
  • With three Level 4 you can have a monster which destroys a card of your choice. (Stellarknight Delteros)
  • Mr Treason Discharge - Half opponent's Attack, Boost your own. Ceteris Paribus, garunteed 2500ATK damage
  • Of course who would forget the more notorious ones
    • Semi Pot of Avaraice , Zoodiac's best friend
    • Mill any card or top deck any monster, Infernity's best friend
    • 'Hole' Trap cards in deck? Yet to draw them? No problem
    • Outer God - Nyarla, which can enter into Outer God Azazoth and shut down effects.

And those are just few of the Rank 4 with staple summoning conditions. I haven't even went on to talk about the specified but not very restrictive summoning conditions like Master Key Beetle. (Reminder: Zoodiacs are Rank 4 lol)

Too much focus is placed on the Rank 4 engine. This will draw competitive players or maybe even casual players towards decks focus on Level 4s rather than other archetypes. In turn, I feel that this brings the game towards a less diverse meta. Some argue this is already the case. But it might just become much more permernant or worst in the future.

Well, now with Tornado Dragon, some argue the lack of need for Diamond Dire Wolf since it has always beared the burden of clearing the unknown backrows or existing floodgates. I don't disagree, I fully comprehend and acknowledge Tornado Dragon's effect and utility.

But, I just don't think that Diamond Dire Wolf will be completely outclassed though. I appreciate its ability to remove even monsters from the field, something Tornado Dragon can't replicate and for decks like ABC which appreciates its materials in the graveyard, Tornado Dragon might not be that suitable. However, decks that used to run double Diamond Dire Wolf might start considering changing one of those copies of Tornado Dragon.

An interesting point to note is that Tornado Dragon will not be affected by The Huge Revolution is Over, unlike Diamond Dire Wolf.


I like the card's artwork, and the effect is useful and interesting, but I can't say that its existence in the game is welcoming, due to the reasons listed above. I suppose if I am optimistic I will argue that the diverse amount of Rank 4 staples brings a new thinking process as to which ones to include in the deck.

It will still be quite a while before Tornado Dragon makes it to the OCG. Until then, your multiple copies of Diamond Dire Wolf will prove to be useful.

Triva: The cows in the picture may be a reference to Heavy Storm's artwork.

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