Hello Darkness, my old friend..
So Lightsworns are getting new stuff. Really? And what’s better is that they’re “Twilight”sworns. So it kinda smacks of “X-Saber” and “XX-Saber” and several other archetypes that received makeovers and evolved within their own ranks.
Ideally when an archetype does this it builds on the existing formula and adds to the deck as opposed to blatantly replacing it or convoluting it unnecessarily. Do Twilightsworns keep things milling along or do they fade into the night?
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) while 4 or more of your “Lightsworn” monsters with different names are banished, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can pay 1000 LP; shuffle all cards in the Graveyards and face-up banished cards into the Deck, except “Lightsworn” monsters. Once per turn, if a “Lightsworn” monster in your possessionactivates its effect: Send the top 4 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard.
That ain’t your granddaddy’s Judgement Dragon! He went grunge!
So this ferocious beast is Lv.8 with JD stats of 3000/2600 and maintains his Dragon type. But he’s swapped his light attribute for dark and really overhauled his effect.
He still has his conditional special summon requiring 4 Lightsworns (which can count twilightsworns, since its in the name) but rather than in graveyard its when banished. Right there is a huge difference already.
This was all kinds of red flags when i saw it the first time. See, there is no better way to show a Lightswarm player a bad time than to snap a Mask Change II and bring out Dark Law before a big mill. If been on both sides of the table for that little joy.
But no, these Twilightsworn monsters are adding “remove from play” to their bag of tricks. So what used to cripple the deck reliably now just preps a new play. Wonderful.
Now Punishment Dragon doesn’t have a nuke effect like it’s Light counterpart, instead Punishment Dragon hits the reset button on the graves and banished for both players (excluding “Lightsworn” cards).
Now while this hits a brick wall with Necrovalley, many (many) decks utilize the graveyard and while Dragon Rulers are long gone there are decks (like Kozmo) that can still abuse remove from play mechanics. This can really throw a wrench in several decks.
But despite the functionality and the boss name and artwork, I just don’t yet see the threat in him that I felt when I saw JD for the first time. I don’t get that sense of end game that I once had. I’m sure someone is going to find a way to make this thing a nightmare on wheels, it’s just not me. Shame though, cuz I really think he looks epic.