Casual Deck Strategy: Holy Lightning

Welcome to the first Casual Deck Strategy article on the brand new cards bursting out in the Japanese OCG version of The Duelist Advent! While most of you probably jumped on the awesome new Heroic support, like I did at first, there’s another Anime-derived archetype that got some awesome World Premieres! Of course I’m talking about the Star Seraphs!

Star Seraph Scout, Sage, and Sword from left to right.

Introduction & Strategy:

The Star Seraphs, known as the Holy Lightning in the OCG, originated as a series of 3 fairly useless monsters with a 3-material Rank 4 boss. Two of them summon another from the hand, and Star Seraph Sage even costs a Spell to do so, and there wasn’t an amazing set of cards to pair with them in order to maintain advantage through the Xyz Summons the archetype was meant to create. And don’t get me started on the third, Star Seraph Sword, who can use another Seraph in-hand to boost its attack, not synergistic with the others whatsoever. Also, this small archetype was released alongside another archtype, the Umbral Horror, which stole the spotlight by having a much more powerful boss in Number 66: Number Key Beetle. So what has changed? To put it in one word, everything.

Star Seraph Scepter – LIGHT/Fairy/Effect – 1800/400 – Lv4 – When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 “Star Seraph” monster from your Deck to your hand, except “Star Seraph Scepter”. An Xyz Monster that was Xyz Summoned using 3 or more monsters you control as Xyz Materials (including this card on the field) gains this effect. ● When this card is Xyz Summoned: Target 1 other card on the field; destroy that card, then draw 1 card.

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 “Star Seraph” monster from your Deck to your hand, except “Star Seraph Scepter”.
An Xyz Monster that was Summoned by using 3 monsters you control as Xyz Material, including this card, gains this effect.
● When it is Xyz Summoned: You can target 1 other card on the field; destroy that target, and if you do, draw 1 card.

Let’s start with our dear friend Star Seraph Scepter, one of the best of the bunch, as if one can even say that about such an awesome set. While the first part may make him seem like a bland searcher, this sort of searching for an archetype that relies upon Special Summoning from the hand allows you go to into 2-Material Rank 4 Xyz Summons without losing advantage. But wait, there’s more! Use him for a 3 or more-Material Rank 4 Xyz Summon and you get a +1 in card advantage after destroying a card they control and drawing! This card is a godsend for an archetype that relies upon Xyz Summoning, regardless of the number of materials required! Just one final awesome note about Scepter, it also has the highest Main Decked ATK of the archetype!

Star Seraph Scale – LIGHT/Fairy/Effect – 1500/900 Lv4 – When this card is Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 “Star Seraph” monster from your hand, then you can place 1 LIGHT monster from your Graveyard on the top of your Deck. An Xyz Monster that was Xyz Summoned using 3 or more monsters you control (including this card on the field) gains this effect. ● While this card has Xyz Material, each turn, the first time a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the hand, immediately draw 1 card.

When this card is Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 “Star Seraph” monster from your hand, then you can choose 1 LIGHT monster from your Graveyard and place it on top of the Deck.
An Xyz Monster that was Summoned by using 3 monsters you control as Xyz Material, including this card, gains this effect.
● Once per turn, when either player Special Summons a monster(s) from the hand while this card has Xyz Material, immediately draw 1 card.

While Scepter was extremely advantage based, Star Seraph Scale is a combo based addition to the archetype. The first effect is fairly simple, when it is Special summoned from the Hand, continue adding to your Seraph ranks on the field! But then, you get to place a used LIGHT monster back on top of the deck! If you’re wondering how this could be useful, the interaction with the next card is the key moment of truth. Or you could just overlay 3-Material with Scepter after using Scale as a pseudo adding from the Graveyard to the Hand. But unlike most archetypes that have Graveyard recovery, Scale opens the option to any LIGHT monster, not just a Seraph. Cards such as Honest, Effect Veiler, even Thunder King Rai-Oh! Yes, this card has great combo potential, but we can’t truly analyze all of that until meeting our final new addition, Sovereign!

Star Seraph Sovereign – LIGHT/Fairy/Effect – 800/2000 – Lv4 – This card cannot be used as an Xyz Material, except for the Xyz Summon of a monster that uses 3 or more monsters as Xyz Material for its Xyz Summon. If you Normal or Special Summon a “Star Seraph” monster(s): You can Special Summon this card from your hand, and if you do, draw 1 card, then, if it is a “Star Seraph” monster, you can Special Summon that monster from your hand.

This card cannot be used as an Xyz Material for an Xyz Summon, except for an Xyz Summon that would use 3 or more monsters as Xyz Materials.
If you Normal or Special Summon a “Star Seraph” monster: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, and if you do, draw 1 card, and if that drawn card is a “Star Seraph” monster, you can Special Summon it.

While the first set of Seraphs seemed to be focused upon a ruler’s armies, with a Scout, Sword, Sage, and Sentry, this batch of Seraph cards seems to symbolize his right to rule with his staff, his just perception, and his throne. Star Seraph Sovereign is the perfect addition to a combo-heavy deck that these additions have driven the archetype to become. Summon any Seraph, you get to summon this bugger and then Draw a new card to hopefully continue your wave of summons! But let’s discuss these combos introducing Sovereign into the equation of the Star Seraph deck:

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So let’s analyze the tactical abilities that Star Seraphs bring to the table over other LIGHT archtypes, especially because quite a few will be in contention following the release of DUEA! Artifacts reign as kings over Rank 5 Xyz Summons, Constellars reign in terms of versatility in Xyz Summons, Stellaknights have amazing Rank 4 potential, where do Seraphs fit in? To me Star Seraphs are a higher risk, higher reward version of Stellaknights!

While the Stellaknights definitely bring a fair amount of effects that trigger on summon, the Seraphs bring bigger swings in advantage off of a successful chain of summons, which can be guaranteed by the uncanny ability of the Seraphs to make the Stellaknight boss faster than Stellaknights themselves! Yes, I realize that the Stellaknights bring an arsenal of Spell and Trap support in addition to a large probability of further support in future sets, but as of now, the Star Seraphs can rely upon generic Fairy-type support to get the job done. That’s enough about theoretical applications of the Star Seraph Archetype, let’s talk about some builds!

Core Lineup:

Monsters:
  • 3 Star Seraph Scepter
  • 3 Star Seraph Scale
  • 3 Star Seraph Sovereign
  • 2|3 Star Seraph Scout
  • 0|1 Star Seraph Sage
  • 1 Honest
  • 2 Summoner Monk
Spells:
  • 3 Soul Charge
  • 0|3 Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen
  • 3 Cards from the Sky
  • 3 Pot of Duality

So why such a small core lineup? Let me be the first to tell you that combo-heavy decks need speed, but beyond that, they either need ways to slow down the game until they draw their combo pieces or ways to speed up their combo process. And both of these choices are entirely up to your discretion. Either way you take the deck, you need the extra draw power a Cards from the Sky and Pot of Duality can bring, especially when one of your go-to Extra Deck aces is Amateratsu. I mentioned her briefly before, but let me tell you, she is one of your few options to gain a +2 in card advantage from a single one of your turns for a 3-Material Rank 4. That being said, she is not your only option nor should she be considered as such. Valhalla is listed as an all or nothing, because you can choose to skimp on the older Seraphs and run with Valhalla as the main enabler if you wish! Do be warned, this leaves you susceptible to MST.

Number 102: Star Seraph Sentry enters the action!

Other Options you should Consider:

  • Archlord Krystia – Awesome Fairy-type monster. Not much more to say.
  • Tethys, Goddess of Light | Transmodify – Addition Draw power, deck no longer needs to rely upon this.
  • Herald of the Orange/Green/Purple Light – Themed answers, Orange is definitely a lot more amazing than the others.
  • Gellenduo – Need an extra couple of turns? This guy can help you out AND be Xyz Material.
  • Beckoning Light – Don’t give me that look. Trades a hand for a complete combo setup; however, it is dead in the early game. Then again, the early game should be spent drawing and searching.
  • Cardcar D – This is listed as optional because it conflicts with Scepter normaling on the first turn to search essential combo pieces, normally that is Sovereign.
  • Photon Thrasher – Always an option when considering a Rank 4 heavy deck, as it is a free material searchable through Reinforcement of the Army.
  • Photon Lead – Again, don’t give me that look. Not only can this card serve as a 1-time Valhalla, but it also can be activated on the opponents turn, triggering the effect that Scale gives an Xyz monster before your opponent can get rid of it during their Main Phase.
  • Photon Veil – Okay, I’m well aware you are going to think I’m joking here, but let’s try to explain this rationally. Return 3 LIGHTs to add 3 Sovereign to hand. Summon any other Seraph, such as Scepter, or as a last resort one of the sovereigns and proceed to summon and draw one after the other. Worst case scenario (no other seraph), you get 2 draws going +1, best case scenario (with Scepter), you get 3 draws and a Seraph directly to hand, which is a +3. Great way to start off a duel! And remember, it can always be used for Summoner Monk!

Completed Example Deck:

Thanks for reading the entirety of this article on an archetype near and dear to my heart. I can only hope that this inspires you to follow your own Holy Lightning, as there are a lot more themes that are receiving support here in DUEA! As always, here is an example decklist that hopefully can get you started, and yes, I know that this may not be the best build for them: http://i.imgur.com/pHmqJcM.png

Quincymccoy

Hello everybody! I serve as Number VIII of the Organization; however, my main role on the site is writing regular Deck Strategy articles! I enjoy fleshing out archetypes to their fullest potential and helping people discover amazing new techs and decks to try out!

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