Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Buster Blader Overview
As one of the original Yu-Gi-Oh staples, Buster Blader wields a fierce 2600 ATK and gains 500 more for each dragon your opponent controls or has in their graveyard, being one of few classic cards able to take a Blue-Eyes White Dragon in battle. This ability excellently punishes foes for using the most popular monster type (dragons), and thanks to a variety of modern support units, Buster Blader builds remain viable even in modern competitive play.
But to help this classic card reach its full potential, you'll need to assemble a deck filled with the perfect backups designed around Blader's theme. Which cards best serve this endeavor? These are the ten best Buster Blader-supporting monsters, spells, and traps!
10. Dark Paladin
Blending two of the game's most iconic cards into one, fusion monster Dark Paladin needs Buster Blader and Dark Magician as material. But if you'd rather not have to toss Dark Magician into your build, remember that cards like King of the Swamp can substitute for a single fusion material.
Not only does Dark Paladin wield a fierce 2900 ATK, but it also lets you discard a card on either player's turn to negate any spell activation, handily slashing your opponent's countering options. Additionally, Dark Paladin improves on Buster's ability by increasing its ATK by 500 for every dragon monster on the field and in any graveyard (rather than just your opponent's). This absolutely monstrous trait can skyrocket Paladin's ATK beyond 5000 if you use a certain type-changing trap we'll soon encounter.
9. Karma of the Destruction Swordsman
Magic card Karma of the Destruction Swordsman further punishes your foes for wielding monsters of the same type. When activated, you target up to three opposing creatures sharing a type in your opponent's graveyard, banish them, and increase the ATK and DEF of a Buster Blader or Destruction Sword monster you control until the end of the turn by 500 for each removed card.
This simultaneously denies your opponent the chance of a graveyard recovery while strengthening your own unit, and since it activates at quick-play speed, you can easily catch opponents off guard and have them lose a battle they expected to win. Not only that, if Karma rests in your graveyard, you can discard a Destruction Sword card to return it to the hand, making it easy to recycle Karma and keep your opponent guessing about when it'll arrive again.
8. Buster Dragon
Synchro monster Buster Dragon is designed for the Buster Blader archetype, but it happily accepts any tuner/nontuner combination, making it particularly easy to summon. Its first effect makes all monsters your opponent controls dragon-type, greatly boosting the ATK values of Buster Blader and Dark Paladin. Also, once per turn, if you do not control a Buster Blader monster, you can special summon Buster Blader from your graveyard, a superb recovery to ensure you're never without your ace.
Finally, once per your opponent's turn, you can equip a Destruction Sword (we'll see some later) card from your graveyard to Buster Blader, regardless of whether it's already equipped. Three awesome traits on an easy-to-summon synchro; just remember you'll probably want Buster Dragon in defense position; its 2800 DEF eclipses its mere 1200 ATK.
7. DNA Surgery
Buster Dragon can help alter your opponent's monsters to dragon, but for an easier and field-wide method, try using DNA surgery. When activated, this continuous trap simply lets you pick a type and change all monsters on the field to that element. Selecting dragon will guarantee some hefty ATK boosts on Buster, and because this also impacts your own monsters, Dark Paladin will especially enjoy the operation.
Finally, note that messing with your opponent's types can help in unexpected ways. For instance, if they're using Solidarity in a beast-type deck to boost their fielded beast creatures, they'll suddenly lose access to its benefits once their monsters convert into dragons.
6. Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman
Despite suffering from atrocious battle stats, Buster Whelp ranks among the best of the Destruction Sword cards. Since it's level 1, this tuner can easily call out Buster Dragon when tuned with Buster Blader, and when normal summoned (without needing tributes due to its low level), you can add a Destruction Sword card other than another Whelp from your deck to your hand. Additionally, when fielded, you can tribute Whelp to special summon Buster Blader from either your hand or graveyard.
And we're still not done—while in the graveyard while you control Buster Blader, you can discard a Destruction Sword card to revive Whelp from the graveyard, another excellent way to prepare for a synchro summon. This last effect also makes Whelp good discard fodder since it can serve you even when buried.
Since it doesn't actually belong to the Buster Blader or Destruction Sword archetype, many duelists skip over the rare Kinka-byo without realizing how helpful it can be to this series. As a spirit monster, it'll return to your hand at the end of the turn you normal summon it, but this is a good thing—it lets you continuously reactivate its effect.
When normal summoned, you can special summon a level 1 monster from your graveyard (like several of the Destruction Swords). Now, the revived monster is banished when Kinka leaves the field, but that just means you need to use the card before Kinka exits to avoid this fate. Luckily, rejuvenated Destruction Swords can either be tuned or activate their sacrifice-effects to ensure they're always utilized before Kinka leaves. As a bonus, Kinka's effect also activates when flipped up, so when the situation calls for it, you can set it in defense position to be used later.
4. Destruction Sword Flash
For its incredible effect, Destruction Sword Flash requires you control a fusion monster listing Buster Blader as a material, like Dark Paladin or another upcoming unit. When this condition is met, activating this trap banishes all monsters your opponent controls! This amazing effect acts similarly to a super-Raigeki; like that card, it eliminates all enemies regardless of position and doesn't need to target, but here the monsters are exiled, preventing their return. This also eliminates creatures immune to effect destruction, something even Raigeki can't do, and as a trap card, you can activate Sword Flash at instant speed.
Additionally, when a card or effect targets a Buster Blader monster you control while Sword Flash rests in the graveyard, you can banish Sword Flash to negate and destroy the activated card. An opposing field-wipe plus defensive shield for your warrior—what more could you want?
3. Dragon Buster Destruction Sword
Like Whelp, this level 1 tuner can be used alongside Buster Blader to call out Buster Dragon or other level 8 synchros, but it also wields a superb equip effect. You can attach Dragon Buster from your hand or your side of the field to Buster Blader, and as long as it remains equipped, your opponent cannot special summon from their extra deck@ This amazing lockdown tactic completely shuts down fusion, synchro, xyz, link, and revived-pendulum summons.
Additionally, Dragon Buster allows you to unequip it and revert it back into a monster if you ever desire, likely in order to put its tuner status to good use. A superb card on its own, remember that as a Destruction Sword, Dragon Buster also enjoys plenty of support cards that can search it from the deck or revive it from the graveyard.
2. Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman
Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman needs Buster Blader and any dragon-type monster as material, but it's surprisingly easy to summon (check our next entry). That said, it can only be fusion summoned, so you won't be able to revive it with effects like Call of the Haunted. Destroyer wields an impressive base 2800 ATK, and it gains a ridiculous 1000 ATK and DEF for each dragon your opponent controls or has in their graveyard! Make sure you're using DNA Surgery or Buster Dragon to skyrocket Destroyer to incredible plateaus.
As strong as this card is, it unfortunately cannot attack your opponent directly. But don't worry, Dragon Destroyer shifts your opponent's dragons into defense position, prevents them from activating their effects, and deals piercing damage to defense position monsters. As long as you've altered your foe's monster type (or they're naturally employing dragons), you're completely shutting all enemies down from attacking and using their effects. That's a massive disadvantage to recover from, especially while Destroyer ravages defense position foes with its piercing damage and boosted stats. And to easily summon it, all you need is...
1. Destruction Swordsman Fusion
Hands-down one of the best fusion cards in the game, Destruction Swordsman Flash can only fuse a monster listing Buster Blader as a material; fortunately, as we've seen, this leaves some impressive options. However, not only can you fuse monsters from your hand and field just like the standard Polymerization magic, but you can also use your opponent's field! This amazing trait can easily call out Dragon Destroyer if you've altered your opponent's monsters to dragon-type, and basically gives you the famous effect of Super Polymerization but without having to discard. Using an opponent's monster as material not only saves you the trouble but also removes a unit from their area.
As if this weren't enough, you can send any card from your hand to recover Swordsman Fusion from your graveyard, letting you repeatedly fuse monsters with just one card. If you're somehow still unconvinced, remember that Swordsman Fusion, unlike most fusion spells, activates at instant quick-play speed to fuse in any phase on either player's turn. Truly a necessary addition for any of my Buster Blader deck lists, especially since the card costs less than two dollars.
Buster Blader's Legacy
Ever since the new extra deck limitations arrived alongside the debut of link monsters, players have had to get crafty to utilize their extra deck cards. Luckily, archetypes like Buster Blader, where many cards are summoned from the hand, have aged well thanks to these restrictions; you rely less on the extra deck with Blader than many opposing decks.
Today's entries should help you make the most of this classic dragon-slaying warrior, yet we'll undoubtedly explore even more Buster Blader supports in the future. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next anti-dragon expansion sets, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: What is your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh card?
Answer: I've always liked "Mist Valley Apex Avian" for his negating powers, especially if you repeatedly pendulum summon him to the field.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill