Card of the Day
Buster Blader Buster Blader
Earth, Level 7, [Warrior/Effect]
ATK: 2600, DEF: 2300
BPT-008, Secret Rare (2003 tin variant)

"The ATK of this card increases by 500 points for every Dragon-Type monster on your opponent's side of the field and Graveyard."

In the anime, this card serves as one of Yugi's answers to Kaiba's dragon obsession. In real life dueling, he's mostly useful for other purposes, since dragon decks have yet to become a real force (the release of Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon in the US could change that).

As far as this card's basic statistics, he is a level 7 Warrior. Warrior is a good type with decent support that can build an entire deck, but if you run a Warrior-only deck, you're probably not going to run Buster Blader simply because he's level 7. This makes him too slow to only have 2600 ATK and to only have an effect that relies on what your opponent is playing. 2300 DEF will stave off almost any level 4 beatstick's attack, but it wouldn't save him from Jinzo. Like many cards, he suffers from having middle-of-the-road stats for his level. His Earth attribute also hurts him, as there's not much support for that, and certainly not much that applies to this card in particular.

Now, after that, you might think this card is useless and that my having reviewed it was silly. Not so, though. There's another deck where this card really shines, and that is, of course, a Dark Paladin deck. Dark Paladin is the famous magic-negating fusion monster who was a really rare card in Magician's Force, but also a limited edition promo in the Duel Master's Guide, the set that got me into dueling in the first place.

In a Dark Paladin deck, if you have Fusion substitutes, you can choose whether you want to run Dark Magician or Buster Blader. Since most Dark Paladin decks are also Spellcaster decks, most people will choose the Dark Magician. While that's a fine choice, I think Buster Blader makes just as much sense, if not a bit more. He has the same level, but he has 100 more attack, he has higher defense, AND he has the potential to power up even higher if your opponent has played any dragons (and chances are there is at least ONE dragon in your opponent's deck -- in the casual scene you will see lots of them).

As you may know, Dark Paladin would be rather unplayable if not for the great support cards that were released along with him. Of those cards, the ones that combo with and increase the playability of Buster Blader considerably are the Spell card Emblem of Dragon Destroyer, which allows you to either search out Buster Blader from your deck or retrieve one from your Graveyard; the Trap card Miracle Restoring, which allows you to Special Summon either a Dark Magician or a Buster Blader from your Graveyard; and Skilled White Magician, the level 4 effect monster who can tribute himself with 3 spell counters to Special Summon Buster Blader from almost anywhere -- your hand, the deck, or your Graveyard.

Although somewhat unremarkable on its own, this card has real potential when considered in the light of the support it has, mostly through the Magician's Force set. Buster Blader was, for a long time, a monster that people mostly laughed at. Now he's returned and is exacting his revenge on all those jokers. To avoid his wrath myself, I'll give him the following ratings:

  • In a normal old deck, 3/10 (nothing special about him, too slow).
  • In a Warrior deck, 5/10 (there are better Warriors, I think).
  • In a Dark Paladin deck with lots of support cards, 9/10 (wowzers!).


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