Card of the Week – Vampire Lord

Welcome! This is the very first article in the ongoing series Card of the Week, in which I would be posting 1 or few cards every week, and spend a post discussing all about them. As this is the very first post, what better way is there to celebrate other than with a classic card from the early era of Duel Monsters? Furthermore, since tomorrow is Halloween…

And thus, the Card of this week is… Vampire Lord!

Vampire Lord is one of the monsters of the iconic Seto Kaiba character in the original Duel Monsters anime, and was used in only one duel, in his duel against Noah in the Virtual World story arc. However, this blood-thirsty demon was a big player of that duel, being on the Field for 3 whole episodes.

Outside of the anime, this card was first released in Japan in the earliest Seto Kaiba Structure Deck, coded KA-02. Whereas for the TCG, its earliest appearance was in the Rise of Destiny Special Edition box, in which it was included as one of the four promotional cards alongside other memorable cards from the anime such as “Diffusion Wave-Motion” and “Dark Magician Girl”. Both the OCG and TCG have since then reprinted this card quite a number of times.

And why would this card, having only being shown once in the entire run of the Duel Monsters anime, be reprinted so many times? Well, back in the early era of the metagame, this monster was a big player. It was one of the few effect monsters to be released with a decent amount of attack, another great example being Airknight Parshath which I would be talking about in a later CotW article. This beast, requiring only 1 tribute to Normal Summon, has 2000 attack points, running over many other monsters in the good old days.

Moving on to the effect, this card definitely has a great one, at least considering the environment in the early metagame. Whenever it inflicts battle damage, which it can easily do so as mentioned above, you can declare 1 card type (Monster, Spell or Trap) and your opponent must send 1 card of that type from the Deck to the Graveyard. The idea is to declare Traps as they are the hardest to recover back to the hand. Non-Nomi monsters can be brought back through Monster Reborn or Call of the Haunted; Spells through Magician of Faith; but for Traps there wasn’t really any answer back in those days. By declaring Traps, you could force his/her opponent to send staple Traps such as Mirror Force or Magic Cylinder to the Graveyard, and therefore the opponent would have no chance to draw them, allowing you to setup for a big play without having to worry about any annoying Traps later on. Overall, I feel that the first effect is great back in those days.

Its second effect is the icing on the cake. During your next Standby Phase after this card is destroyed by a card effect, you get to revive it back to the Field. Now, as I said earlier, this card has relatively high attack back in those days, so there usually is no worry of getting destroyed by battle. Your opponent would then be tempted to remove this using cards like Raigeki, Smashing Ground or Dark Hole. Fear not, as its effect brings it back to the Field next turn, rendering your opponent’s answer effectively useless.

Unfortunately, with how the metagame has evolved in recent years, this card can now be easily run over by many cards in the game. However, that does not mean this card has turned obsolete. This card is still being played by casual decks like Vampires or Zombies, where it can now be searched with cards such as Pyramid Turtle, Vampire Sorcerer or Vampire Shadow. Being Zombie-Type, this card can be brought back with Book of Life immediately after it was send to the Graveyard, either by your opponent’s effects or by battle. If you do not want this card to be destroyed by battle in a Zombie-only deck, you can use Solidarity to boost it to 2800 ATK, overpowering a lot of monsters in the game. Since it’s Lv. 5 and summons itself from the Grave, Inca Decks would like this card a lot. There are still so many fun ways to play this card creatively and effectively!

Vampire Lord – a card of the olden days, but still relevant to the current age. Tomorrow is Halloween, so why not try out this classic card in a casual duel with your friends to spice up the occasion?

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