Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Feb 12, 2011

If you’ve been regularly playing in tournaments over the past few months you will have seen 2 cards in several Decks. Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter and Caius the Shadow Monarch are popular choices because of their abilities to easily get rid of opposing threats and set up further plays down the line. But what if you’re on the receiving end of their effects though, what can you do to ensure these 2 monsters don’t ruin your chances of winning the Match? Here are some ways to play around these cards so that you’re ready for them in the future.
Simple Solutions
Playing around Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
The Decks you’ll see Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter being played in most are Plant Synchro variants, Scraps, Nordic Beasts and X-Sabers. It’s also a popular Side Deck card in Blackwings and Infernities (to take down Consecrated Light) and Formula Monarchs (to handle Mask of Restrict) and a card that’s considered for any Deck that utilizes the Graveyard. It’s also an obvious pick for Lightsworn Decks.
The key to playing around Ryko lies in the fact that it’s a Flip-Effect monster, which means it first has to be Set before your opponent can use its effect. Most Decks rarely Set a lot of monsters these days so when you do see a Face-Down monster it’s often a Ryko or something your opponent wants you to destroy. If you can get rid of it before it gets flipped then they’ll not be able to activate its effect and your cards will be safe.
There are several ways you can go about doing this. First off you’ve got your own copies ofRyko, Lightsworn Hunter and Caius the Shadow Monarch (depending on the Deck you’re using) to remove your opponent’s Ryko from the field. If you’re playing Plant Synchro or another Deck that easily Summons Synchro monsters you can bring out Mist Wurm, Scrap DragonBrionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier or Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and eliminate the Ryko before it’s flipped.
If you can’t make use of any of these Synchros then Stardust Dragon would be your next choice, since you can Tribute it to negate Ryko’s destruction effect. Shooting Star Dragon’sanother card that can help in this situation. In Duels 2 and 3 you can also add Nobleman of Crossout from your Side Deck to remove Ryko and all other copies of the card from both Decks from play (be careful when doing this if you’re running 3 copies of Ryko yourself though!). One last thing you can do is Summon or Set a monster that you want your opponent to destroy (like Dandylion) and if it’s the only card you control your opponent will have a tough decision to make; destroy the monster or keep  it on the field for you to use next turn!
How to handle Caius the Shadow Monarch
Caius the Shadow Monarch isn’t as popular a pick as Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter at the moment, but you can still expect to see 3 copies of the card in decks such as Plant Synchro and Formula Monarchs (where you’ll also have to worry about Raiza the Storm Monarch, but most of the tactics outlined here work against that card too). When your opponent Tribute Summons Caius they can remove 1 card on the field from play, and if it’s a DARK monster you’ll lose 1000 Life Points. There are very few ways of stopping this effect so you may have to negate the Summon of the monster instead to remain safe. Solemn Warning and Solemn Judgment can handle this, but also come with a large Life Point cost. You can also discardEffect Veiler to negate Caius’ effect, and it’s a great card to use against Ryko on your opponent’s turn too.
Most Duelists tend to remove monsters from play with Caius’ effect but if you’d rather see your monster go to the Graveyard (especially if it’s a card like Dandylion or a XX-Saber Darksoul) then Torrential Tribute is your next best option. Your monster will go to the Graveyard instead of being removed from play, and all other monsters on the field will also be destroyed, including Caius. If you’re playing Frog Monarchs and your opponent tried to remove yourTreeborn Frog from play, you can flip Enemy Controller to Tribute it and take control Caius for the turn, keeping you safe from attacks and setting up your Treeborn for the next turn.
One tricky tactic to use against Caius involves Stardust Dragon and any card that can destroy cards on the field, like Mystical Space TyphoonBottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute. If you Set one of these and Summon Stardust Dragon you can combine the 2 to avoid Caius’ effect altogether and not lose your monster. When your opponent Summons Caius the Shadow Monarch they’ll most likely target your Stardust Dragon. When this happens you flip your destruction card and then Tribute your own Stardust to negate it. Since your Stardust is now in the Graveyard your opponent can’t remove it from play with Caius and you’ll get to Summon it again in the End Phase. You may take a direct attack from Caius at this stage, but you’ll still have your Stardust which you can use to attack over the Monarch on your turn.
Caius and Ryko are 2 tricky cards to play against, which is why they’re so popular in the first place. It’s not easy to stop them and you may not be able to play around them all the time, but for the times you need to keep your cards safe, the tips above should help you out. Try to keep them in mind the next time you’re Dueling!

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