• Behind Blue-Eyes

    Blue-Eyes White Dragon. If you can only have a handful of cards from Yu-Gi-Oh, make this one of them. He provides a handy method of ramping all on his own, but that's just if you take hs text at face value. Much like Green Goblin: Norman Osborne, he gives you many other important tricks. Today, we'll examine some best practices for Blue Eyes and when and how he might best be used.


    The Obvious: Ramping and Discounts.

    If taking it for nothing more than face value, Blue-Eyes White Dragon lets you KO something and get a discount. Very commonly in the early game, this is done by knocking out sidekicks. There are two ways to do this and which is better really depends on the situation that you're in.

    1) KO a sidekick that you just fielded. Example: You rolled Sidekick; Field the sidekick, spend the bolt for the global. Now you can buy a three-cost or character for just one. Buy, say, Injection Fairy Lily Uncommon and save the mask for PXG.

    2) KO a sidekick that was fielded a previous turn. Example: You fielded a sidekick on turn one and are rolling four dice on turn two. By carrying the sidekick over, you can now spend a bolt and now buy something as expensive as five even though you rolled just four dice this turn.

    So we see that Blue-Eyes isn't actually a straight-up discount. In both situations, you "spent" a sidekick by placing it in the field. However, instead of the sidekick ending up in the used pile, it's in your prep. It's a definite advantage. The important thing to remember is that it's an energy bank, not energy creation. You're still paying two dice to get a discount of two. It's getting the die into the prep area that gives the advantage.


    Getting More Obscure

    Blue-Eyes is a way of getting a character back into prep that has a "when fielded" ability that you need to trigger repeatedly. A basic example? How about this lovely lady.



    I probably want to keep fielding her, and I don't necessarily want her to go through my bag. Blue-Eyes lets me get her into prep and then get a discount on something else. Psylocke: Kwannon the Assassin, though she has question marks surrounding her energy efficiency, is another like this. Gobby. Umber Hulk. Essentially, this is a nice way to get something with a when-fielded ability off the board to prep to be rolled again.

    Another key point - this doesn't have to happen on your turn. You can pay the bolt and do the KO on your opponent's turn if you like, though of course in that case you miss the discount since you can't purchase anything at that time.


    Triggering KOs

    Then you enter in to the suddenly-recognized-as-useful Solomon Grundy.



    He exemplifies the "When KO'd" abilities and takes advantage of all of the above. He is targeted spot removal as long as you have a way to deal with him. The case study here is of course the team that Dean piloted to the world championship, which included exactly this setup. This isn't the only case, however. Retaliation, for example, triggers when an affiliated character is KO'd. This, just as in the case of Gobby, is a nice way to get a discount and get some damage in, too.

    If we look ahead, some cards may benefit in a similar way. For example, consider Moondragon Uncommon:

    If Moondragon is KOd in combat, you may roll an Avengers or Guardians die from your Used Pile. If it is a character face, you may field it (paying its cost). Otherwise, return it to the used pile.

    Moondragon gives you the opportunity to field something from used during the attack step - perhaps during you're opponent's attack step. And that's not all - 2/4, 3/4, 4/6 aren't insane stats, but it's better than many. What about common Red Skull?

    If Red Skull is KOd, your opponent chooses: either Red Skull deals 2 damage to your opponent or you gain 2 life.

    Or rare Ultron Drone:

    If this character is KOd, one of your other fielded characters may capture an opposing character (return it at end of turn).

    These are abilities that can trigger. Blue Eyes White Dragon allows a card like Solomon Grundy to become a Millenium Puzzle that can also attack or block, while also avoiding some mitigation like being redirected by Weather Witch.

    Therein lies the advantage.

    Depending on what you build around him, the Blue Eyes global provides quite a bit more than just ramp. It's up to you to decide if, how, and when that's to your advantage.
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. RCAbney's Avatar
      RCAbney -
      Nice post! I don't have this card yet, but when I get it, I'm interested in experimenting with it and some sort of retaliation like Deep Sea Deviant.
    1. LuigiX's Avatar
      LuigiX -
      With Moondragon, it states if KOd "in combat". I always assumed that meant a KO from the attacker/defender, but if it includes KOs from global after attack/block is declared, that opens my eyes a bit...
    1. Indy Mon's Avatar
      Indy Mon -
      Quote Originally Posted by LuigiX View Post
      With Moondragon, it states if KOd "in combat". I always assumed that meant a KO from the attacker/defender, but if it includes KOs from global after attack/block is declared, that opens my eyes a bit...
      I agree with your assumption. Don't think Moondragon combo would work.
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Love this card. Glad I got a copy a while back because I feel like his value is going to start climbing soon. I am playing around with ways to make him work with other cards and I think his potential will be explored more now. Great article!
    1. alleyviper's Avatar
      alleyviper -
      Quote Originally Posted by Indy Mon View Post
      I agree with your assumption. Don't think Moondragon combo would work.
      Given that there are cards such as Grundy that specify being KO'd by combat damage, not simply in combat, I don't see any reason not to interpret Moondragon's ability as simply being KO'd by any method while in combat.
    1. joshaber's Avatar
      joshaber -
      thanks for me giving me that card! I really like it!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      It will need a ruling for certain. I can see it the other way and almost didn't include it.
    1. joshaber's Avatar
      joshaber -
      great article to!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by joshaber View Post
      thanks for me giving me that card! I really like it!


      :-) Happy to help a fellow Dice Master.
    1. Indy Mon's Avatar
      Indy Mon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      It will need a ruling for certain. I can see it the other way and almost didn't include it.
      I should have hedged my first post more I agree with Dave that it needs a ruling and it could go either way based on past precedent. And Dean's position has a lot of support, is very reasonable, and could ultimately be right. Until an official ruling comes out, I will judge at my events that it doesn't work because:

      (A) Grundy says KO by damage other than from an attacker or blocker
      (B) Nova says damage during the attack step
      But
      (C) Moondragon only says in combat
      It's different than either of the other two and, in my mind, in combat means in the clutches of the engaged character, doing combat damage. If they wanted to do it like Nova or Grundy, they could have followed the text from those cards.

      But I see both sides totally. I am posting this NOT to initiate a lengthy rules debate that will have no precedential value and thus be useless. Rather, I hope this helps educate judges at events to allow them to make educated decisions while we wait for the official rulings.
    1. alleyviper's Avatar
      alleyviper -
      I can certainly understand ruling either way, I just know that when I read cards, I tend to err on the side of "Wizkids didn't consider the difference between X and Y when they typed this up." I am probably in the minority there. We haven't yet been given reason to believe that "in combat" and "during the attack step" are functionally different. Just as we haven't been given reason to believe that "takes no damage" and "cannot be assigned damage" are functionally different, etc. They certainly read differently, and I would love to play them differently, but we just don't know what's in the minds of the people creating these things, and there are already cases where we know that slight differences in verbiage actually do play precisely the same.

      It's difficult, and it would be good to know if these slight differences in verbiage are actually intended or not. Not just for gameplay purposes, but because one ruling on such a case could at least inform others.
    1. ELC1847's Avatar
      ELC1847 -
      Nice article Dave: definitely more informative than my flavor-focused ramblings.
    1. jevansfp's Avatar
      jevansfp -
      Great article!
      Cards such as Deathstroke: Villain for Hire specify triggers more specifically than Moondragon (If Deathstroke is KO'd during attacking or blocking, return him to the Field Zone at level 1.) and so I agree that "in combat" can mean other attacks, even BEWD friendly fire, during the attack step.
      Also, minor editing note Dave, you mentioned that Moondragon lets you field for free. The quote above that says you have to pay the fielding costs.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Fixed. Thank you. Though for the sake of argument, if it's a 0 fielding cost... :-)