Friday, April 30, 2010

TSHD Sneak Preview Part 5: The X Factor

X-Sabers were one of the first themes introduced in the first era of Duel Terminals. Being gathered as a group of EARTH Monsters, they were supposed to be 9 swordmasters under the command of Gottoms, effectively honoring their name of X (ten). X-Sabers were also one of the first themes to disappear from the Duel Terminals, and in some sort of compensation, they received ridiculous amounts of ridiculous support for their theme. Initially, the first 80 Cards of The Shining Darkness released in Japan did not contain any Cards for the X-Saber theme. Yet, thanks to the addition of exclusives that the TCG has, they ended up becoming one of the main attractions of the set that is about to be released.

In this article, we'll look at the first 10 original X-Sabers. Well, actually, nine, since Anu Piranha is a Normal Monster. Let's start with the leader, Commander Gottoms, Swordmaster:

All face-up  "Saber" monsters  you control  gain 400 ATK.

A very simple Continuous Effect. Nothing too impressive to say about it, other than it extends to monsters simly named "Saber", instead of just "X-Saber", so it works with Cards like Sabersaurus. Not too flashy, I guess.

We continue with one of the most popular X-Saber monsters, Airbellum:

When this card inflicts Battle Damage to your opponent by a direct attack, discard 1 random card from your opponent's hand.

This Tuner monster has a Mandatory Trigger Effect. It activates at the "After Damage Calculation" Sub-Step. It will only activate if the attack was direct, and if Airbellum inflicts Battle Damage. So even if you attack over a zero ATK monster, Airbellum won't activate, as the attack was not direct.

Moving on, we have X-Saber Axel:

While you control this face-up card, when a "Saber" monster  is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard, draw  1 card.

Axel has a Mandatory Trigger Effect, which activates at the End of the Damage Step. Similar to Gottoms, it also works with monsters whose name is "Saber", without being "X-Saber" monsters. Note that Axel must be face-up at both the activation and resolution of its effect: If it is destroyed in battle, it won't activate, and if the opponent chains an effect that causes Axel not be face-up, it will resolve without effect.

Next, we have X-Saber Galahad:

If this card attacks an opponent's monster, this card gains 300 ATK during the Damage Step only. If this card is attacked by an opponent's monster, this card loses 500 ATK during the Damage Step only. When this card is selected as an attack target, you can Tribute another "Saber" monster to negate the attack.

Galahad has three effects, which is the most of all of the first batch of X-Saber monsters. And that's pretty sad. The first two effects, which are pretty similar, are Continuous Effects which start applying since the Start of the Damage Step. The second effect is a Trigger Effect. It tributes one "Saber" monster as a cost. Once again, it works with monsters that aren't named "X-Saber" specifically, and you can also use face-down "Saber" monsters. This effect is activated upon attack declaration. None of Galahad's effects target.

Another X-Saber monster is X-Saber Uruz:

When this card destroys an opponent's monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard, you can Tribute this card to return the destroyed card to the top of its owner's  Deck.

Uruz has an Optional Trigger Effect, which you can activate at the End of the Damage Step. Tributing Uruz is a cost, and the effect doesn't target. Note that the destroyed monster IS sent to the Graveyard before being returned to the top of the Deck, so if it has an effect that activates in the Graveyard like Mystic Tomato or Sangan, these effects will activate.

The last legal X-Saber monster is X-Saber Urbellum:

1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
When this card inflicts Battle Damage to your opponent, while they have 4 or more cards in their hand, place 1 random card from their hand on top of their Deck.

With a name so similar to Airbellum, it's effect isn't too different either. It is also a mandatory Trigger Effect that you activate at the "After Damage Calculation" Sub-Step. Only this time, instead of discarding a random Card, the Card is returned to the top of the Deck. A key difference is that Urbellum doesn't need to attack directly to activate its effect. Additionally, it has an activation requirement that asks for the opponent to have 4 or more Cards in his/her Hand. However, this is only needed upon activation, and if the Hand size is smaller during Urbellum's effect's resolution, a Card is still returned.

The last three original X-Saber monsters are not tournament legal YET. Two of them will become legal once they are released in The Shining Darkness, and one will become legal when the next Starter Deck is released. Nevertheless, we already know what their texts look like, and like you have seen so far, X-Sabers aren't necessarily complicated.

Let's start with the ones that will be released in a few days. First we have X-Saber Palomuro:

When another "Saber" monster you control is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard, you can pay  500 Life Points to Special Summon this card from the Graveyard.

Yet another lazy guy that works with any "Saber" monster. This Tuner monster has an Optional Trigger Effect that activates in the Graveyard at the End of the Damage Step. Paying 500 Life Points is a cost. Note the "another" in the text, meaning that Palomuro cannot Special Summon itself when it is destroyed in battle. You can, however, Special Summon 2 different Palomuros when each other is destroyed in battle. You can also Special Summon more than 1 Palomuro when a Saber monster is destroyed in battle.

The other saber weilder arriving in TSHD is X-Saber Pashuul:

This card cannot be destroyed by battle. If this card is in face-up Defense Position, you take 1000 damage during each of your opponent's Standby Phases.

Pashuul has two effects, the first one being Continuous, and the second one being a Trigger Effect. The first effect is self-explanatory. As usual, since it's not mentioned otherwise, Damage Calculation is applied normally. The second effect is a Mandatory Trigger Effect that activates during the opponent's Standby Phase, in order to inflict effect damage to you. Note that Pashuul must be in face-up Defense Position upon activation and resolution, so if you flip it face-down, change its position, or Remove it from the Field in a chain, you will not take damage.

The last original X-Saber is X-Saber Wayne, who is still illegal for a little longer:

1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
When this card is Synchro Summoned, you can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior-Type monster from your hand.
Oh well, nothing too amazing. Wayne has an Optional Trigger Effect, which Special Summons a Warrior from your Hand. Note that it doesn't target the monster in the Hand. It's a really simple effect.

And those are the first batch of X-Sabers. We'll look at the rest of their support while anxiously waiting for the new set. Stay tuned for the next part! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com.

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