Card of the Day
Summoner of Illusions Summoner of Illusions
Light, Level 3, [Spellcaster/Effect]
ATK: 800, DEF: 900
LON-063, Common

"FLIP: Offer 1 monster on your side of the field as a Tribute (excluding this monster). Special Summon 1 Fusion Monster Card from your Fusion Deck. The Fusion Monster is destroyed at the end of the turn this card is activated."

This card starts a week of reviews on monster cards that support the Fusion and Ritual deck archetypes. We'll be visiting other favorites like Sonic Bird and Senju later on.

I just got this card today in a Labyrinth of Nightmare pack that came with a Machine King (whom I shall review in the near future), and now I can finally cross it off of my "wants" list. This card is an interesting tool for Fusion decks, and though he could be considered a poor man's substitute for the likes of Magical Scientist or Cyber Stein, he still helps to widen the strategic horizons for the Fusion paradigm.

Summoner of Illusions has a few drawbacks when compared to Magical Scientist. Rather than paying 1000 LP, a relatively small cost at the start of a duel, Summoner requires the tribute of ANOTHER monster on the field -- if there is not one, his effect fizzles, and even if there is, that can be too costly a lot of the time. Fortunately, you can always use things such as Stray Lambs or Scapegoat to provide him some tribute fodder.

His biggest drawback is the activation mode of his effect. If he flips during your opponent's turn, his effect becomes almost useless. You pretty much always want to flip summon him yourself, so you'll need to set up some protection for him, or use a card that will force him to flip but not negate his effect on the turn you set him. And of course, since he's a flip effect monster, his effect can usually only be used once, as opposed to Scientist's ability to activate as long as you still feel like paying life points.

Despite these drawbacks, Summoner can still be useful for many of the same reasons Scientist and Cyber Stein are useful. Unlike Scientist, Summoner imposes no limit on what Fusion monsters he can summon. The only one he currently cannot reach is Dark Paladin. Using Metamorphosis, you can exchange your doomed copy of the Fusion monster with another one from your Fusion deck, thus getting around the destruction at the end of the turn. You can also tribute away the Fusion monster, preferably after attacking with it, or employ De-Fusion to split the Fusion monster into its material monsters if they are in your Graveyard.

When playing the Worldwide Edition GBA game, I find putting this card into a first-turn-kill Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon/Cyber Stein deck only adds more of a threat. Since Cyber Stein sits useless in ATK position after being summoned for his effect, Summoner of Illusions can tribute him away to bring out another BEUD. This is awe inspiring, and it can also serve as a back-up plan in case something goes horribly wrong with Cyber Stein. You don't want to be sitting with an almost empty field and only 3000 LP without having some kind of backup plan, right?

This is all academic until BEUD and Cyber Stein are actually released here, though. Until then, you can use this to pull out lesser Fusions like St. Joan, Black Skull Dragon, Thousand-Eyes Restrict, or some of those Fusions everyone loves to use for the Scientist OTK combo. I'll give this card an average rating of 5.0/10. He is eclipsed by other cards, but is still perfectly playable. More speed for Fusions, more fodder for Chaos, more Special Summoning action in any deck. These can be great forces with which to contend, and as the number of Fusion monsters in the game climbs, the number of applications for cards like this one increases.


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