Card of the Day
Slate Warrior Slate Warrior
Wind, Level 4, [Fiend/Effect]
ATK: 1900, DEF: 400
WC4-003, Secret Rare (World Championship 2004 Promo)

"FLIP: Increase the ATK and DEF of this monster by 500 points. The ATK and DEF of a monster that destroys this monster as a result of battle is decreased by 500 points."

Slate Warrior was always one of my favorite 1900 attackers in the Worldwide Edition (SDD) GBA game, so when I got into the real card game and found out he hadn't been released in the US yet, I was a little disappointed. Then came World Championship 2004. The game was pretty bad compared to its excellent predecessor, so I didn't buy it. I did, however, manage to pick up this card in a REALLY good trade.

This card has two nice effects that make him stand out a little above the rest of the 1900 ATK pack. First, if you can manage to flip summon him, he'll get a 500 point boost. This won't help his dismal DEF, which falls WAY too far below the Witch limit of 1500, but it makes his ATK a shining 2400 points, making him rival the best of the best, and without any negative effects like having to pay 1000 LP to attack, halfing your LP on a bad coin flip, or lacking the ability to be Normal Summoned.

Because of the bad defense, you have to set up a combo to get this card's first effect. Waboku works well for this, but might be an over-extension. Playing him while some kind of stall card is out works even better, especially Swords of Revealing Light. It gives you plenty of time (barring its untimely destruction, of course) to get him out and then safely flipped. Cards which forcefully flip monsters without negating their effects would also work even better, as they don't rely on the maintenance of any cards on the field.

The second effect, while far from game-breaking, can help in times of severe need. If a monster card destroys this card in battle, it takes a permanent 500 point loss to its stats. This turns a mighty Summoned Skull into a 2000 weakling, or a Jinzo into a 1900 loser. If you can fake out the opponent and get him to attack a face-down Slate Warrior thinking it is something else (like a Sinister Serpent for example), you can do some critical damage to his/her big hitting monster. This effect has helped win me a couple of casual duels recently. You get bonus points if you can both trick your opponent AND save your Slate Warrior in the same move ;)

As for his type and attribute, he enjoys good support as a Fiend. Wind as an element is very situational, however. If you're running a non-dedicated Winged-Beast deck, including Harpies, this guy can fit in. When I play Harpies on SDD, I always make a point to add in Slate Warrior.

To wrap things up, I'll give Slate Warrior a 6.0/10 -- He's still a beatstick, but his two effects lend him some extra value. There's no point in leaving Slate Warrior out just to replace him with a no-effect 1900 monster -- Slate Warrior has the power to save you in some sticky situations, something the latter generally do not have.


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