Introduction to Branded Thunder Dragon
Branded in Thunder Dragon
- Core Cards
- Sample Decklists
The Thunder Dragon archetype is fusion based with the ability to Link spam, as it was designed during MasterRule4. Its strength lies in your cards being cost efficient and versatile with an already established setup, which also makes your grind game really good.
The main goal is to set up your resources while making disruptions so you don't get OTK'd or give too much free room for your opponent to do whatever they want.
Thunder Dragons are known for having consistency issues due to the fact that there aren't a lot of ways to get to your good engine pieces. Loading... is Limited to 1 and you can play 3x Loading... which with any Thunder type monster in your hand becomes a pseudo Gold Sarc, but in 40c that's very little.
Loading... helps with that issue a lot, being able to send any Light or Dark from deck to the GY while summoning a good boss monster is already good but you also have the option in Loading... to banish Thunder Dragons from your field/hand/GY giving access to your whole engine.
The restrictions from Branded Fusion don't hurt your deck, as your turn 1 goal is to set up disruptions that will drain resources from your opponent, so next turn you are able to overwhelm them with your established follow-up. In which the Branded cards also help a lot.
The heart of the deck.
Enables various plays, +1 for mulligan, discard outlet and free fusion material.
The ROTA of the deck. It's a different kind of ROTA, as it needs to be triggered by banishing it or by sending from field to GY e. g. as material for Tribute, Link, Fusion, etc. So it's important to always have a way to trigger on the following turn.
The discard effect being a Quick-Effect comes up in simplified gamestates, as it enables Loading... 's effect. It's also a good way to get it in your GY during your opponent's turn to have access to its other effect, but be aware of Loading... , unless you will banish it from GY, it's not worth the risk losing its effect due to Called by.
Usually the card you wanna protect from being negated by chain blocking while you also trigger a different effect.
The E-Tele of the deck, but also how you recover any TD card.
It can either enable the send from field to GY or the discard effect of all your TDs. So make sure you choose correctly as you can only use one of the effects per turn.
Special summoning any TD that is Banished or in GY, gives a lot of options of follow-up when you can summon TDdark/TDroar. But also the easiest way to summon Loading... .
The Loading... effect is a very powerful option to have, it can help find techs, shuffle back Garnets or cards you can't use, and becomes a lot better with the +1 from Loading... . But you will mostly use this when you have good starters and no techs and/or you get hit by Loading... .
Not the best, but it's a TD that you can NS/Set without Tribute, and can also Chain Block when triggered along with the other monsters.
The Quick-Effect discard is great with Loading... , the main difference from Loading... is that you can use it in the Damage Step, which lets you avoid effects that don't negate activation. It can also prevent battle with XYZ monsters to prevent Loading... summoning condition.
The 500 boost is permanent which comes up in sluggish gameplay vs stun decks.
The 2 vs 3 ratio is mostly that you don't really wanna draw multiples or you wanna maximize the chances of having a Thunder that can chain block with Loading... 's effect.
A searchable fusion spell that also recycles your resources.
A ROTA for any Thunder type monster, but only while in GY and not in the same turn it was sent. It's one of the best follow-up cards in the game, having the flexibility to add a way to trigger your TDs or to even add techs.
The 1 vs 2 ratio is mostly when you splash TD with another archetype or with multiple engines as:
- Seeing in your starting won't be that good.
- Having another copy in deck gives more flexibility to TDroar's effect, as that's the only way to reuse it if you play only 1 copy. Which is something not very important when you have different forms of follow-up.
It's how you can access the effects of your TDs from the deck and how you can make easy Link2 (with TDroar's effect).
Aloof also has the ability to recover banished monsters, which it triggers from board wipes, by battle destruction or if it gets negated and destroyed so you can add back what you banished from cost to activate his effect, and which will also be able to chain block the effect of what you've banished.
Draw power that also triggers TDdark/TDroar.
If you don't have a play and also no darks in hand, make sure to set your spells before you gamble.
It doesn’t do anything by itself, it just gives access to your cards so you can combo with what you sent or use it to enable plays.
- Lets you summon them with Loading... .
- With Loading... you can go straight into Loading... and banish them as material for Loading... .
You can also send techs like Loading... .
The Loading... that can also summon a good boss monster.
The combo lines can vary a lot depending what else you drew. But you mostly use Loading... and Loading... . The order will depend if you already have access to TDdark/TDroar or if you have a TD discard effect, and if you have access to Loading... .
You need to play at least 2 as it's needed in some combo lines, also if you need to banish for Loading... , it won’t disable your combo lines.
It is basically your extra copies of Albaz, but if you draw it you can place at the bottom of your deck to draw 1, after sending Albaz from deck to GY. This helps with consistency but also adds more lines when you draw Loading... or enables it if you set it from deck during the End Phase with Loading... 's effect.
- Keep in mind that his name isn't Albaz in deck or if it's banished, so it's usually better to shuffle it back with Loading... 's effect instead of Albaz.
It can be used as starter to your engine in weirder hands but it's a great card to have set on your field, as it's a great disruption, as it makes harder for your opponent deal with your board while also potentially triggering TDdark/TDroar during your opponent's turn.
It's your main turn 1 goal.
Decent splashable boss monster but for this deck it's a pseudo Link 1 that will trigger your Thunder Dragon effects.
Its protection effect triggers your TDs, giving you card advantage or making your opponent avoid doing so, which protects your other monsters from mass destruction cards.
You can use its protection effect to trigger TDs by attempting to destroy it with Loading... .
Stopping your opponent from adding cards from deck to the hand before they deal with it, makes them take less optimal lines, which technically doesn't make they lose card advantage directly but definitely prevents them from plussing much.
When a Thunder effect is activated in the hand, you can chain Titan to destroy a card on the field.
The key factors here are:
- if you activate the Thunder effect in hand, your opponent will be able to respond, which can prevent you from chaining Titan.
- In a mirror match, you have to be careful to not give free value with your discard effects.
It's a great board breaker, despite being chain blockable, it will most of the time force cards or they will get destroyed, as the effect doesn’t target. It's also very good in simplified game states where your opponent doesn't have many options to prevent its effect from going off.
It's not a great turn 1 disruption as your opponent has likely a lot of ways to work around. Try to only summon it if shuffling TDs won't affect your follow-up and/or if you have 2 Quick-Effect discards. Summoning turn 1 is also a way to get Loading... in the GY.
It’s a great tool for grindy games, not only for the previously mentioned reasons but because of the resource loop you can establish, which is the follow:
- Loading... in GY can search Loading... .
- Thunder Dragonroar can add back TDF.
- You can activate TDF to summon Titan, shuffling back TDroar, GY/banished Titan, and can also use Loading... as free material.
- Next turn you can repeat this process.
Make sure to always have 1 Titan in the extra, 3rd copy of Titan allows you to have 2 on board at the same time, but that's usually unnecessary.
The 3rd copy comes up if you summon the first with its secondary summoning condition.
It's a vital combo piece from your lines but it's also the monster to send from the cost of Loading... , that way during the End Phase you are able to add to your hand or set a Branded s/t from your deck, which gives you follow-up or an extra form of disruption in Loading... .
It can be recycled with Lubellion but if you play more than 1 Loading... , the 3rd copy will probably come up in grind games. Remember that you also want to recycle Mirrorjades.
It's a vital combo piece just like Albion, the main difference is the attribute and the fact that you don't usually send this with Mirrorjade effect, unless you need a Light in GY.
It's better to play more Albions than Lubellions as the latest is usually shuffled back when you use its effect. But you need 2 as you don't wanna be stuck without this option if Lubellion gets negated.
The Branded boss monster. It gives a disruption and a follow-up with Albion's effect in the End Phase.
If it leaves the field by your opponent, you can choose to activate its effect, so during the End Phase, it will destroy all monsters your opponent controls. Also, instead of letting the effect resolve to remove it from the field, you can choose to chain its effect to banish itself (in case there is no good target), so instead of board wiping their field in the End Phase, you can add follow-up, this can be a better option against backrow decks.
The cost to activate its effect is by sending a Fusion monster that lists "Fallen of Albaz" from your Extra Deck to your GY, so even if it gets negated, you can still pay that cost to trigger Albion in the End Phase!
Keep in mind that if you use its effect, you can't use it next turn. You will need to resummon it if you need the effect.
Remember that you can only control 1 Loading... , so make sure to remove it from the field before trying to summon it, e.g. summon Albion, use Albion’s effect to banish Mirrorjade as material to summon Lubellion, that way, Lubellion can summon Mirrorjade.
Great option in a Bo1, being able to summon during your opponent's turn to destroy their cards is very generic and you also can potentially draw into hand traps.
It's really hard to summon more than one, so one is pretty much all you need.
A decent fusion monster with a target negate for monsters.
The important part is that you can summon it using Loading... 's effect to banish a Dark Thunder Dragon and itself as materials.
If they might have Imperm/Veiler paying 2000 LP to send Loading... as cost is still a great deal.
Not much more to say, this is a Fusion based deck so summoning 2 monsters equals "go brrr".
You can increase the core by adding:
- 1 TDmatrix
- 1 TDF
- 1 BiR
- 1 Albaz/Shrouded Dragon
These can help in different ways, but they depend on your techs and try to not make your deck go above 40c.
This section is for Techs that are in-engine built but I'll also list staples that have synergy with the deck. Staples with discard/send from hand can be good options that can potentially help your engine without the minus hurting much or at all.
A great extra disruption that can also trigger your Thunder Dragons.
It can be used to resolve effects of monster on the field under the effect of Loading... or effect that target a monster you control, e. g. after activating Loading... or Loading... 's effects, you can chain Snow's effect banishing those monsters as cost, that way they will no longer be on the field on resolution.
A good tool for grind games, as it can be added back during the End Phase if a Fusion was sent to the GY this turn.
It's a nice extender going 2nd to be used for Link/Tribute summon while being able to summon Albaz from your deck.
A beatstick that is very accessible.
It's a good option for grindy games and a way to clear monsters without activating effects, while also being able to search Thunder monsters as a result.
Be aware that its attack boost is mandatory meaning either player can trigger, and it can also be negated, so you can either lose it to a "negate the effect and if you do destroy that card" or force them to otherwise you can just run over 3000 or lower attack monsters with it.
Searchable with Loading... 's GY effect.
It's a great follow-up card, you can use it to shuffle back 2 banished monsters while also summoning 1 of them, good to resummon Mirrorjade to reset its effect, and can also resummon Verte for an easy Link 3.
You can also steal your opponent's banished monsters, which has a nice synergy with Mirrorjade.
You can add 1-2 extra normal summons to access Branded Fusion. They have different upsides and downsides:
- Aluber can search Loading... and also enable it and while in GY can float to negate a monster on the field.
- Kitt can search Branded cards but can also recover them from GY/Banished, with the downside of having to return a card from hand to the deck afterwards. This makes banishing Branded cards with Loading... don’t hurt much your follow-up. It can be added with Loading... .
- Keeper can't search BiR, but it can search TDF. The discard cost doesn't hurt as much if you can summon Loading... or Loading... with its effect, but if it gets negated probably will hurt. Being locked into Fusions doesn't matter much as BF would anyway.
Mercourier is a hand trap while you control a fusion that lists Loading... , it can negate any monster effect. This can be used to negate hand traps, to protect your lines after Branded Fusion resolution, or it will be a disruption during their turn.
It also has the synergy with Loading... but there are plenty of ways to banish it. When banished, you can add Loading... which can be used to draw a card and foolish burial a Loading... or Loading... . You can also add Loading... .
Retribution and Judgment can be set from deck with Loading... to be used as disruptions.
Stop it, it's not funny! This a combo piece to a 3c combo hand that does come-up often enough, when you play 2x Loading... (The 3c combo replay is included in the combo section). But it's understandable to not play if you need techs in your extra deck.
It can be used to access "Thunder Dragon" monsters (even though) the effect is negated:
- Banish Loading... , so you can use as material for Loading... to summon Loading... ;
- Banish Loading... , so you can add it with Loading... , then you can set TDmatrix and make Colossus;
- Banish Loading... , so you can special summon it with Loading... to make Colossus
You can also banish Albaz if you need another name for Albion/Lubellion lines.
The remaining extra deck is mostly used with different kinds of removal for your follow-up turns, these are just examples.
Its a way to get Albaz in GY if open BiR when you can't make a link2.
To simplify the combos as I'm not gonna list all of them (if you want more combo variations, check the Thunder Dragon channel in the Master Duel discord).
Branded to ThunDra
Loading... is mostly summoned with Albion to trigger TDdark/TDroar.
Loading... will be summoned when you have a way to trigger TDdark/TDroar and you either don't need to do so by summoning Dragostapelia or you can summon Loading... in a different way and use BF to send a Light tech to GY.
Not needing your Normal Summon will result in a lot of lines that you can set up Loading... or search BF for follow-up, and that's by tribute setting a Thunder Dragon over Loading... , that way its effect will trigger in the End Phase.
Hand: Loading... + a discard.
You can check the duelingbook.com replay of this combo or follow these steps:
On summon, activate Lubellion's effect, discarding 1 card, summon Loading... by shuffling Lubellion and Albaz.
Summon Loading... by tributing Thunder Dragondark.
End Board: Colossus + Dragostapelia and 3 cards in hand.
You can check the duelingbook.com replay of this combo or follow these steps:
Activate Loading... to add 2 copies of itself.
On summon, activate Albion's effect, Fusion summon Loading... by banishing Lubellion and Albaz.
End Board: Colossus + Mirrorjade, 3 cards in hand and Albion's effect in the End Phase.
ThunDra to Branded
You can check the duelingbook.com replay of this combo or follow these steps:*
Link Summon Loading... using TDdark and Aloof (or the monster you Normal Summoned).
Summon Loading... by tributing the monster you summon with TDhawk's effect.
End Board: Colossus + Mirrorjade and 3 cards in hand.
Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon
You can check the duelingbook.com replay of this combo or follow these steps:*
Activate Loading... effect to add 1 copy of itself. Repeat this step, so you have 2 Thunder Dragons in GY.
Here you can repeat step 1.
(This was done in 4 summons).
End Board: Colossus + Titan, TDmatrix and 2 other cards in hand and TDF in GY.
Note: you can use a Normal summon to make Verte in step 6, use TDdark search on TDhawk, use TDhawk to summon a TD and make Colossus, then use Verte to make Mirrorjade.
Check the duelingbook.com replay.
End Board: Aloof + Colossus + Mirrojade, 4 cards in hand and foolish burial for any Light.
Same hand but with cards you don't want shuffle, replay
End Board: Aloof + Colossus + Mirrojade, Loading... and 2 other cards in hand and TDF in GY.