Card(s) of the day: Dark Magician of Chaos

This is the first Card(s) of the day. I’m shifting my content to do content Monday through Friday. It will be slightly shorter, but every day (hopefully) so you can check back every day and make it part of your daily routine. I’ll still have longer articles. I’m planning for it to go up on Sundays. My plan now is to do this through May. Longer if it works.

Invasion of Chaos (IOC) came out in March of 2004, and with it came the chaos monsters. Dark Magician of Chaos is a chaos monster. It came out in Invasion of Chaos and has “chaos” in the name. Shortly after, DMoC was limited and remained limited until 2008 when it was forbidden, never to be seen again. Until 2016. Fast forward to April of 2016, Dark Magician of Chaos is unlimited, for the first time in 12 years.

dark magician of chaos
My girlfriend saw this picture and said he needs to eat a sandwich.

Dark Magician of Chaos does a few things, and doesn’t do them exactly the same as it did in 2004. Let’s read the card again.

“During the End Phase, if this card was Normal or Special Summoned this turn: You can target 1 Spell Card in your Graveyard; add it to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Dark Magician of Chaos” once per turn. If this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle, after damage calculation: Banish that opponent’s monster. If this face-up card would leave the field, banish it instead.”

Dark Magician of Chaos
DMoC’s IOC printing. What even is PSCT?

During the End Phase, if you Normal or Special Summoned DMoC that turn, starts a chain, target 1 Spell Card in your Graveyard, as cost, then when it resolves, add it to your hand. You can only use that effect once per turn. This is the main feature to DMoC. Get back spells. It used to get back a spell on summon, and no hard once per turn clause, but it doesn’t do that anymore. Now we have a two tribute monster that needs to stay face-up until the End Phase to get a spell back. And it has no way to Special Summon itself. But it still gets back a spell. But you need to have a spell in your Graveyard that you want to get back. Not the best, but it could be worse. You could have to wait until the 5th standby phase or something.

Continuous effect that banishes monsters. No colon, no activation.
Continuous effect that banishes monsters. No colon, no activation.

So let’s look at the part of DMoC that everyone seems to forget about that I think is why it’s worth playing in 2016. The part where if it destroys a monster by battle, banish that monster. This effect is mandatory and starts a chain. When DMoC got PSCT in BP01 this was a continuous effect, but was changed to activate when it received the effect change. This means you /can/ Solemn Strike it to destroy DMoC and send your monster to the grave instead of banishing it. Which is worse, but we just have to accept that DMoC isn’t the same card it was 12 years ago. But it bops all the floaters and things that you don’t want in your opponent’s grave.

But what deck, if any can use DMoC?

Kozmo? No. They can support the tributes, but without a way to Special Summon it, DMoC tributes two good monsters for a 2800 anti-floater and a spell. But Kozmo doesn’t have any spells to get back. If Reasoning was still unlimited, you could hit DMoC off reasoning, but your opponent usually calls 8 anyway. And no way do you want to draw any form of Dark Magician in Kozmo.

Burning Abyss/Phantom Knights? In pure BA? It’s possible. It’s 2800 and kind of like Dark Law. But again, without a way to Special Summon it, no thank you. In Phantom Knights/PK Fire it’s less bad, but again, no spells you really really want back. I’ll pass on DMoC in all Rank 3 variants right now.

Dark Magician of Chaos really shines Monarchs. Okay, not as much as it would if it had 1600 less DEF. You could do crazy things if it had 1000 DEF, like search it off Return, make it Level 6 with Domain, Special Summon it from the deck with Ehther, reveal it for Tenacity. Just too many things. But, it still puts in work. It’s 2800, which matches your other tribute monsters (even if you always have to tribute 2 for it) AND you have Spell Cards you want to get back. While true, it is a bummer that if it leaves the field, it gets banished, but it’s not like you’ll be getting it out of the Graveyard with that 2600 DEF.

In Monarchs, you’re already Tribute Summoning 2800 ATK guys. The 2600 DEF only matters in not falling in line with the other support. But you can still Tribute Summon it. You’re tributing 2 monsters for the DMoC, and then a spell. If DMoC kills anything by battle, Beatrice, either Dante, any Kozmo ship, it gets banished and won’t trigger in the Graveyard. Any Pendulum destroyed by battle with DMoC also won’t go back to the Extra Deck. And if you are still running Domain, DMoC has 3600 ATK while attacking. And under Domain, a Tribute Summoned DMoC stops your opponent from using their Extra Deck. DMoC doesn’t plus like Ehther and Erebus do, but gets back any Spell you’ve used. Don’t forget that in Monarchs, all your tribute fodder isn’t doing anything but being tribute fodder. You can afford to pay full price for it. Especially if you’re doing it on your opponent’s turn with Escalation and getting back the Stormforth you used to tribute their monster.

Card of Demise just came out. You can get back Card of Demise. That’s a thing. You can get back Raigeki. You might not be playing all of these spells in Monarchs, but you can get them back if you do run them. The spell thing is good, but the really good thing about DMoC is that it banishes floaters. Tri-Edge Levia saw some fringe play and it banishes monsters it destroys by battle. While that effectively has 2600 ATK, that isn’t enough to beat a Dark Destroyer. 3600 on the attack is.

Now he activates to banish monsters.
Now he activates to banish monsters.

Piercing battle damage has often been perceived as a bonus. Gaia Dragon and Downerd both pierce, but are used to go on top of other Xyz Monsters. The pierce is a bonus. People tend to think of DMoC’s banishing effect in the same way. A bonus, but not the reason you use it. From 2004-08 banishing monsters in battle didn’t really matter and it got a spell immediately. In 2016, floaters are everywhere. You gotta stop floaters from floating. Think of the spell you get back as DMoC’s bonus. He’s the Dark Magician of /Chaos/. Not the Dark Magician of get a Spell Card back. Why did Konami make the banishing effect start a chain? Because it matters now. When it got PSCT in 2012, that banishing didn’t matter as much, mostly because it was forbidden, but now that Kozmo and Burning Abyss (sometimes with Phantom Knights) are everywhere, you can’t let them hit the Graveyard.

Will Dark Magician of Chaos make an impact now that it’s unlimited after being forbidden for almost eight years? I think it probably will in Monarchs. I wouldn’t Main Deck DMoC, but it’s a solid side card against floaty decks. Monarchs can pay full price for it. Nothing else can profitably play it.

“How does he hold his hat and hair up? They look really heavy.” – My better half

What do you think of Dark Magician of Chaos? Will it be good in 2016? Don’t forget that the Blue-Eyes deck can summon it, overlay with it and bring it back with Call of the Haunted. And the Dark Magician deck can summon DMoC from the deck if you have the Dedication.

Buy up your DMoCs soon, while they’re still cheap. (UK DMoC link) Click an ad and come back tomorrow for more content. Every day won’t be card of the day, but many will.

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