Nearly 3 years after Volcanics were first added in Duel Links, Konami has teased the potential addition of Axel Brodie/O'Brien as a playable character down the line. And though most Volcanic cards are currently in the game, including O'Brien's ace Volcanic Doomfire, courtesy of Primal Burst, and a lot of players are still traumatized by the mere sight of Volcanic Shell due to recent Invoked Neos showings, there are several Volcanic cards still to be added, including the very interesting Volcanic Queen
And I know what you're thinking: isn't this just a worse Lava Golem? Well, yes... but actually no. So let's take a closer look at Volcanic Queen and the potential beneath it!
-- which is harder to see: the card text, or the fiery woman on top of volcanic queen's head?
- Similarly to Lava Golem, Volcanic Queen can only be Summoned by Tributing a monster your opponent controls and on their side of the field, and restricts you from Normal Summoning or Setting during the turn in which you summon it.
- However, unlike Lava Golem, Volcanic Queen requires only 1 Tribute, making it more flexible but less powerful as removal than its fiendish counterpart.
- Volcanic Queen also has a burn effect... or rather two. Before going further into those, let's assume that, if Volcanic Queen were to be added, the damage its effects deal would be reduced from 1000 LP to 500 LP.
- First, the player who controls it (aka, your opponent if you're the one who Summoned Volcanic Queen) can send another card they control to the GY to inflict 500 LP worth of burn damage. This effect effectively turns Volcanic Queen into a weapon your opponent can use against you... provided they have cards they'll want to get rid of. Overall, I'd say this is less of a double-edged sword effect than it seems, usually requiring your opponent to forfeit some card advantage for some measly burn.
- Second, the effect closest to Lava Golem: on their End Phase, Volcanic Queen will either burn your opponent for 500 or force them to Tribute another monster. The fact that it happens in the End Phase rather than during Standby Phase like Lava Golem is a definite detriment, as it gives your opponent ample time to get rid of Volcanic Queen, something I'll go over more in detail later. Forcing your opponent to Tribute a monster they control does sound powerful on paper, but the burn damage is tame enough that they'll more often than not choose to keep their valuable monsters.
- In terms of raw stats, 2500 ATK is less threatening to stare at than Lava Golem's 3000, making it unable to get over Cocytus for instance, and its measly 1200 DEF means you'll be able to use Volcanic Queen as a lesser Kaiju for easy non-targeting, non-destruction spot removal to latter get over with your very own Jerry Beans Man. Which might actually be the best thing to do with the card, because...
- Due to the lateness of its maintenance cost and the burn effect it gives to your opponent, your opponent will have ample time to use Volcanic Queen however they see fit, its Level 6 making it compatible with generic lv1-to-3 Tuners for lv7-to-9 Synchro plays, especially in Shiranuis. Worse even, they might tribute it with the very popular Ballista Squad to get rid of one of your own cards.
- As a part of the Volcanic archetype... this card has very little synergy with the rest of the archetype, which are often much better equipped to deal burn damage without handing your opponent a tool to potentially crush you with.
- All in all, Volcanic Queen is a weaker and riskier Lava Golem, potentially having a role in niche stall/burn oriented decks like Stromberg or Invoked but not serving for much else. Worry not, duelists, its addition would not usher a new era of burn.
So, for our three main questions:
1- Is it a good card? Eh... it's okay
. It's a lesser Lava Golem, functioning more as a removal option with an added burn on top, where Lava Golem was more interesting due to being played as both a removal option and a reliable burn card, often winning the Duel on the spot.
2- Would it impact the meta? Yes
. Despite its mediocre effects, Volcanic Queen serves as a very powerful removal option that can be abused by a number of decks, and I have no doubt it could breath in some new life into Invoked, which I'm sure everybody on this subreddit would be happy about
3- Should it be added in Duel Links?
I'm going to err on the cautious side here and say no, or at least not right now.
Volcanic Queen's utility as a removal tool would be much too annoying to play against, not to mention Duel Links players tend to hate burn moreso than anything. It reminds me a lot of Kaijus in the OCG/TCG, which isn't necessarily a good or a bad thing - after all, Kaijus themselves were a necessary evil to get rid of the never-ending affluence of insurmountable, "cannot be targeted or destroyed" boss monsters which were themselves the result of more and more powerful non-destruction removal options like Castel or Silent Honor ARK.
That little bit of Yu-Gi-Oh history aside, Volcanic Queen doesn't really further any plays or create any interesting strategies, and as much as I hate staring down a boss monster I can't easily get rid of, I don't think Volcanic Queen would make for a very satisfying solution.
And that's all for now! Thank you once again for reading this, I was torn between looking at this card and Volcanic Counter
in the wake of what I assume will be an O'Brien Roaming Duelist Event, but I figured Counter was less interesting to overly analyze.