Welcome to Rikka Sunavalon! This deck combines the best of two Plant archetypes to form a powerful midrange strategy with the ability to utilise any Plant monster in the game. The Rikka archetype focuses on Tributing monsters and bringing out high-Rank Plant Xyz Monsters. It recently got a huge power boost with the release of Loading... and Loading... . Sunavalon, meanwhile, acts as a Link-climbing engine; it puts bodies on the board to fuel your Rikka plays while also providing a Link 4 payoff in Loading... and increased damage output thanks to Loading... . The card that ties the two archetypes together is Loading... , which allows you to pivot between the two engines with ease.
There is a lot of flexibility here for deckbuilding. Each archetype can be played pure, but are at their most potent when combined. While this guide will primarily focus on the hybrid, it will also briefly cover how to build the deck with an emphasis on one of its halves.
- Deck Core
- Tech Cards
- Sample Lists
- Other Variants
Petal is the dedicated Normal Summon of the Rikka archetype. While it doesn't generate as much advantage as its Sunavalon counterpart, it’s still an incredibly strong card that you always want to have in rotation. Its ability to revive itself during your opponent’s End Phase ensures that you always have a strong follow-up on turn 3.
The newest Rikka monster reads like a custom card. It adds another layer of resilience to your end boards, being able to negate whilst in the GY. It even shuffles itself back into the Deck as cost, meaning your opponent will not be able to chain Loading... to stop it.
This card is something of a brick. You need to run it to turn Loading... into an instant Rank 4. Be mindful that its Summoning Condition requires one of your monsters to be Tributed. So if you decide to Tribute an opponent’s monster using Glamour, Primula will not Summon itself upon being added to hand.
This is our searcher for Rikka Spell/Traps. It’s important to ensure that this effect resolves because gaining access to Loading... is essentially this deck’s win condition. If Konkon is already on field, a Mudan in hand becomes a board breaker, which is why we always play at least 2 copies.
Snowdrop allows you to Summon itself and any Plant from hand. Its most useful effect, however, is its ability to manipulate the Levels of Plants you control. Most of the time you’ll be turning everything into Level 4 for the Summon of Loading... . While it can act as an extender if you draw it, you generally prefer to search it out as it has the potential to cause bricks.
Konkon really is the perfect piece of support - a good card in its own right that also makes the rest of your Deck better. Tributing as cost is a form of removal that, in this case, is resisted only by monsters that are unaffected by Spell effects. Note that its ability to Tribute opposing monsters is a soft once per turn. So if you have access to multiple copies, you can Tribute more of your opponent’s monsters! For rulings on Konkon, see the FAQ section of this guide.
Glamour is a highly flexible card that allows you to search either for a single Rikka, or a Rikka plus any Plant with a matching Level at the cost of Tributing a Plant. The most common pairing is Loading... + Loading... , but Loading... + Loading... and Loading... + Loading... are also quite relevant. Don’t be afraid to just search 1 monster, however, as sometimes that’s all you need. Tributing your own monster as cost is also a foolproof way to lose to Loading... , so do be careful how you use this card.
The final piece of the Rikka core. Utilising Loading... to Tribute an opposing monster for this card’s cost lets you remove 2 monsters from your opponent’s field at once, which is often enough to win games by itself. Regarding the first effect to prevent a player from activating the targeted monster’s effects - this will not negate an effect that has already been activated. So if a monster is Summoned and its trigger effect activates, Sheet will not be able to stop it. Instead, use this effect preemptively on monsters with Ignition Effects..
This Level 1 vanilla is the strongest Normal Summon in the Deck. It puts 4 Plant bodies on the board, allowing you to go into Loading... and use both of its effects. Loading... is the best card to open because it lets you perform your full combo without committing the Normal Summon. All in all, the Sunavalon engine offers Link climbing, LP gain, and a mass of Tribute fodder for your Rikkas - it’s just everything you could ever want.
These cards function as more ways to access Loci from the Deck. Most commonly played at 1 copy, Loading... has the benefit of greater flexibility in what you Summon and it is sometimes used as a crucial combo piece. It’s a very fragile Normal Summon, however, hence why we don’t tend to max out on it. Loading... is great for being able to Special Summon Loci or Petal from the Deck, but its inclusion should depend on your Deck’s monster count. While we’re on the subject of Loci searchers, Loading... is also a card you might see in combo Sunavalon lists.
This is the card that made Sunavalon so potent. It can be searched by Loading... and it represents 3 additional monsters by itself. It’s also a nice card to open; if you don’t have Loci access, you can still get pretty far with Sowing + any Level 4 or lower Plant. Additionally, many opponents will use their handtraps on Dryas, so a hard-drawn Sowing lets you play through those. Sowing also has an oft-forgotten GY effect that protects your Link Monsters from destruction, which is extremely useful. Do also keep in mind that this card locks us into Summoning only Plants from the Extra Deck for the rest of the turn, unlike many of the Rikka cards, which lock us into Plants completely.
This is the card we want to Summon with Sowing’s effect. It’s a bit of a brick (unless you started with Loading... , in which case you can Normal Summon it), but it’s worth it. The additional body is crucial to your combos, and its GY effect is also extremely useful, allowing you to reuse soft once per turn effects such as Loading... or Loading... .
The Sunavalon Link 1 that searches Loading... . Its search effect is not a hard once per turn, so if it gets negated, it’s often possible to Summon another one by clearing the first out of the EMZ (typically using Loading... or a Rikka card). You definitely want to run 3 copies for this reason; 2 are required for the combo, while the 3rd can help you play through disruptions. Tip: Don’t forget that you can use your Battle Phase to take damage and trigger Dryas’ 2nd effect manually!
Healer is a somewhat unimpressive card, but it happens to be a mandatory combo piece. You will use its LP gain to trigger the search effect of Loading... . Generally, only 1 copy of Healer is required. If you run the Therion package, you’ll want 2 for the combo. It’s not a bad card to run at 2 anyway, as doing so allows you to keep in reserve our next Sunvine.
Thrasher is our most efficient OTK tool. Pairing it with Loading... puts it at 3200 ATK, and Melias can allow Thrasher to attack multiple times. Unfortunately, with the Rikka cards Plant-locking you completely, you don’t get to make use of its Loading... -esque effect as often as you’d like. But definitely do not forget it has this ability! It’s great for stealing recurring monsters such as Loading... .
Melias is a fantastic Link-climbing tool with an unlimited effect to revive Loci from the GY. Most builds only run 1 copy, meaning we don’t get to abuse its lack of a once per turn clause. However, the 1 copy does allow us to efficiently climb into our Link 4 monster. Add to that its ability to turn Loading... into an OTK machine, and it becomes an extremely valuable card in the Extra Deck.
Jasmine brings unmatched versatility to all Plant decks. Always try to ensure that you can resolve its Tribute effect. Its search effect - triggered whenever you gain LP - happens to be a soft once per turn, meaning that a 2nd copy allows you to play through disruptions on occasion. It’s also one of the best cards to revive with Loading... ’s GY effect. Tip: Don’t forget about Jasmine’s battle protection. You can use this to your advantage by crashing Loading... into an opponent’s monster, trigger Dryas to gain LP, then trigger Jasmine to search - all in the Damage Step, meaning your effects cannot be negated by cards such as Loading... (i.e. cards that negate effects instead of activations).
After you’ve used the Sunavalon engine to search your entire Deck, you can convert your excess Link Material into this card. A Quick Effect bounce makes a solid addition to your end board and the fact that it can revive itself from the GY on subsequent turns is a pleasant bonus. In some situations, you will even use the self-burn damage to trigger your Loading... .
Strenna is arguably the heart and soul of Rikka, as it lets us access any Rank 5+ Plant Xyz Monster. Its ability to recycle Plants/Rikka cards from GY is also extremely useful, as you can get back a spent Loading... or even return another copy of itself to the Extra Deck. 2 copies of Strenna are required as you usually go through both on the first turn - leaving 1 on the board to Tribute with Loading... on the opponent’s turn. The 3rd copy is worth considering if you desire a stronger grind game but it doesn’t tend to come up much outside of pure Rikka.
This is the boss monster of the Rikka archetype. You can hard-Summon it, but more often than not you will float into it using Loading... ’s effect. If you’re playing a more pure Rikka build and expect to end up in the grind game more often, it’s actually worth hard-Summoning Teardrop because Strenna is able to Special Summon it from GY, not just the Extra Deck (which wouldn’t be possible if you cheated out Teardrop in the first place).
This is our main target for Loading... ’s floating effect. It’s usually quite easy for us to set up a Spell negate in our standard combos. Keep in mind that it can only attach during your turn and it can only negate during your opponent's turn. In addition, when negating a card, Hyperyton will detach for effect, not cost. This means that, similar to Loading... , it can be stopped by Loading... or any form of spot removal.
Going 1st, this optional package allows you to add an omni-negate to your end board - i.e. this is the Deck’s only in-engine answer to Loading... . Going 2nd, Borea is an extender that usually forces some kind of interaction from the opponent. You can run any number of Borea copies; drawing it lets you set up Regulus’ negate early on in the combo, but if you’d rather search it out, you can just play 1 or 2. If for some reason you are unable to access Loading... , Discolosseum happens to be a solid card beyond its use as a searcher, as the battle protection and recycling of Therion monsters adds to your longevity. Overall, the Therion package is powerful, but the downside is that Regulus and Discolosseum are pretty awful draws.
If you’re really sick of losing to Runick, consider including Rosewhip in your list. It can be Summoned straight from the Deck with Loading... , or from hand with Loading... . Rosewhip interacts quite nicely with the Therion package. Loading... negates the effects of cards, not their activations. So you can simply negate the effect of your opponent’s first Spell/Trap and they’ll be shut out from activating any more for the rest of the turn. Furthermore, Rosewhip might be easily run over in battle, but Loading... can protect it from battle destruction one time.
Similar to Rosewhip, Cactus Bouncer is a floodgate attached to a Plant. This one is a bit harder to use, as it cannot be Special Summoned by any means. So you either have to rely on hard-drawing Loading... , or give yourself an extra Normal Summon using Loading... . Don’t worry about locking yourself out of Summoning on turn 3, as you can easily Tribute Cactus away using Loading... if necessary.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about this card. It’s an extender. It’s a Tuner that you can use to make Loading... if you want. (The simplest way is to copy its Level with Loading... .) And it adds itself back to your hand every turn. Run a copy if you want.
Carrot is similar to Loading... in that it’s a recurring resource every turn - and in fact the two work very nicely together as Rose Girl mitigates Carrot’s discard cost. Furthermore, Carrot has synergy with the Rikka engine. It’s Level 4, meaning it can be searched by Loading... . It’s also possible to perform what I call the “Carrot-Strenna Loop”. With the right setup, you’re able to loop these cards and put out a monster negate and a Quick Effect Tribute every single turn without even needing to Normal Summon. See the Combo section of this guide for a demonstration. Despite this very cool interaction, I find it’s best saved for pure Rikka lists that really want to focus on their grind game. Rikka Sunavalon just doesn’t really need it.
A longtime staple in Sunavalon, Aromage Laurel allows you to increase the ceiling of your combos by simultaneously triggering 2 copies of Loading... to search for 2 Plants. Normally you use your Jasmine Tribute to gain access to it, but it’s easy to Special Summon it from hand if you happen to draw it. You can also Summon Loading... from the Deck and search Laurel that way, which means you get an extra body on board. Like Carrot in pure Rikka, I think Laurel is more suited to combo-orientated Sunavalon lists.
A searchable out to floodgates. It loses a lot of its appeal in Master Duel’s best-of-1 format, but I felt it was still worth mentioning. While some floodgates make it so difficult to play the game that searching this seems impossible, it’s worth remembering that even under a card like Loading... you have the option to search Spider Orchid using Loading... , as long as you have a Loading... remaining in your Deck.
Flurries is a decent card. 99% of the time, it’s not really needed to win games. But this deck does have trouble dealing with high-ATK monsters that are unaffected by card effects, so Flurries is a way to clear those monsters.
This one doesn’t need an explanation. We’re a mono-type Deck and sometimes this card just wins the game.
While we’re not an inconsistent Deck by any means, more consistency is always welcome. You would only ever banish 3 with this, as our Extra Deck is pretty important. Run by preference.
To be honest, I’ve never seen anybody run this, but Rikka is all WATER and Sunavalon is all EARTH so you definitely could play a copy or two. Of course, we have so many ways to Special Summon our monsters that an additional Normal Summon isn’t really needed. You might think we have no use for it once it’s on the field, but it can be Tributed with Loading... or used for an Xyz Summon after having its Level altered by Loading... . Maybe you can get creative with this one. Just remember you won’t be able to Summon it from GY if you’ve been Plant-locked by the Rikkas.
This one is simple - the Rikkas are all WATER. You can Tribute Strenna, rip a card from your opponent’s hand, then float into another Xyz Monster. It’s on the spicy side and won’t do you any favours going 2nd, but it is very funny.
Loading... , but Plant-flavoured. Similar to the previous tech, you can get value by Tributing Strenna. It’s arguably no better than regular Solemns (in fact, it’s probably worse) but I felt it worth mentioning the synergy.
Extra Deck Options
An alternative target for Loading... that’s also not too difficult to properly Summon. It’s a card that’s always nice to have on board but doesn’t really do enough to make it a must-have in the Deck. The protection it offers comes in clutch on occasion, and there’s even an OTK with this alongside Loading... ; after attacking directly with both, you can use Teardrop to Tribute itself, which triggers Kanzashi to revive Teardrop so the latter can attack again for 8000 damage exactly.
While you could technically run this with a copy of Loading... in your Deck, the main reason to consider Verte is simply due to it being a Plant Link-2 with generic materials. This gives you a way to Link off monsters stolen with Loading... or monsters such as Loading... and Loading... .
More commonly played in combo Sunavalon, Dryatrentiay is a Link 4 that can really help you clear boards. By Tributing Loading... , you can pop up to 4 cards and then immediately revive the latter with its own effect. It’s also a great card to pair with Loading... , who will be able to reach 4000 ATK and will have at least 2 Link zones open for stolen monsters. Loading... is also an impressive card; it’s an interruption, as well as a way to out pretty much any monster in the game, as its ATK boosting effect can potentially put Dryatrentiay upwards of 10,000 ATK. Despite these strengths, however, both Dryatrentiay and Bloom are not typically played in Rikka Sunavalon because Bloom is a brick and Dryatrentiay is usually not much better than Benghalancer. Combo Sunavalon runs them because it has the means to bring out both.
Dancepione is a welcome addition to the Plant toolbox. Its ability to manipulate Levels can come in handy when you’re trying to access a specific card in your Extra Deck. Perhaps you’ve exhausted your Level 4s and need to go into Strenna in the grind game. Often used as a last-ditch effort, its effect to Summon excavated Plants from the Deck can allow you to keep playing through disruptions after your more linear routes have been stopped.
These cards share a similar function in that they are Loading... targets that can remove cards from the field without destroying them. Alsei has the benefit of being more reliable and more easily made. (You can use Loading... to properly Xyz Summon it.) Orea, on the other hand, can remove untargetable monsters and can potentially clear up to 3 cards. If you want to be really fancy, you can bounce your own Loading... with this to reset the soft once per turn Tribute effect. I wouldn’t run both of these monsters, but 1 of your choosing is never a bad inclusion.
A staple for pretty much any Deck that plays Xyz Monsters. We have a slightly harder time going into it as we tend to always be locked into Plants, but it’s still a card worth considering because it’s notoriously good at swinging a game in your favour.
You know the score with these cards by now. Of course, there are more options than just those listed above. Rikka Sunavalon typically has space for around 15 non-engine - if that means you have to go up to 42 or 43 cards, that’s perfectly okay. Feel free to go for an emphasis on board breakers for extra help going 2nd. (Our going-1st boards are strong enough that they don’t necessarily need to be backed up by handtraps.)
There are a lot of combo routes available to you in this deck that can change drastically depending on your build. There are also many ways to adjust your combos on the fly as you react to your opponent’s interruptions. I will go through the most commonly executed turn 1 combo step by step.
Loading... + Any Rikka
Example Opening Hands
For this example, I will assume our opening hand is Loading... and Loading... .
- Normal Summon Loading... and Link Summon Loading... .
- Search Loading... .
- Activate Sowing and Special Summon Loading... .
- CL1 Twin to revive Loci, CL2 Dryas to Summon Loading... .
- Use Dryas and Thrasher to Link Summon Loading... .
- Link Summon another Dryas using Twin, then Link Summon Loading... using Loci.
- Activate Healer, targeting Dryas, to gain 300 LP.
- Jasmine will trigger - search Loading... .
- Activate Jasmine’s other effect, Tributing Healer. Summon Loading... from the Deck.
- Activate Petal to search Loading... .
- Activate Loading... (decline to Tribute for cost) to search Loading... .
- Tribute Dryas using Snowdrop to Summon itself and Mudan.
- Trigger Mudan to search Loading... .
- Special Summon Princess.
- Activate Snowdrop, targeting Princess, to make everything Level 4.
- Overlay Mudan and Princess to Xyz Summon Loading... .
- Activate Strenna’s effect by detaching and then targeting Mudan to add it back to hand.
- Tribute Strenna to Special Summon Mudan.
- Trigger Strenna’s GY effect to Special Summon Loading... and attach Strenna to it.
- Activate Konkon and chain Hyperyton to attach Glamour from the GY.
- Set Loading... with Konkon’s effect.
- Xyz Summon a 2nd Strenna using Snowdrop and Petal .
- Link Summon Loading... using Mudan and Jasmine, then revive Loci from GY.
- Link Summon Loading... using Loci and Melias.
During the opponent’s turn, use either Loading... or Loading... to Tribute Loading... . You will then be able to float into Loading... on the opponent’s turn for an additional, staggered interruption.
Notes on this combo:
- If Loading... is your only Rikka, you can still perform this combo, however you will not have Princess in GY.
- If you do not open Glamour, and have no other Spells in GY, then your only Spell target to attach to Hyperyton will be Sunvine Sowing. If you do this, keep in mind that you won’t have Sowing’s destruction protection whilst it’s attached. (You can of course attach it, negate an opponent’s Spell Card, thus putting it back in GY for the protection to be live again).
I won’t be typing each combo out step by step. Instead, below are replays of a variety of routes available to you:
Loci -> Benghalancer, Hyperyton (monster negate only), Strenna
Q. How do I obtain the cards?
- Sunavalon and Sylvan cards can be found in Secret Pack: Seedling Soul Fey.
- Rikka and Aroma cards can be found in Secret Pack: Blooming in Adversity .
- Rikka Princess and Rikka Konkon can be obtained in the Rikka Solo Mode.
- Therions should be crafted.
Q. My opponent resolved Maxx "C", what should I do?
If you have access to Loading... , pass on Loading... + Loading... . This is a strong interruption for the cost of one additional Summon.
Q. How do I play around handtraps?
- If you have Loading... in hand or in GY, try to keep a Rikka name on field at all times.
- Remember that the effects of Loading... and Loading... (to search) are soft once per turn effects, meaning you can often just make a 2nd copy to get the search you need. (The Rikkas happen to be great for clearing a negated Dryas out of the Extra Monster Zone.)
- The Therion engine adds another layer of handtrap protection if you choose to run it.
- Arguably the most important card you need to resolve is Mudan, as finding Konkon will always put you in a favourable position. Try to bait out handtraps before committing to Mudan.
Q. How do I go 2nd?
Assuming you only have your engine to work with, there are some things you can do:
- Putting negates in place (Princess, Regulus) ASAP is obviously good.
- Konkon's Tribute effect is a soft once per turn. Use multiple copies to break boards.
- If you are desperate to generate bodies or resolve Jasmine’s search effect, remember that you can use your Battle Phase to trigger the effect of Loading... to gain LP and Summon a Sunvine.
While the deck can OTK through simple boardstates, often you will simply clear the board and set up a couple of disruptions for the following turn to stop your opponent from recovering.
Q. Is it worth crafting the Therions?
The Therions provide handtrap protection, extension, and an answer to blowouts such as Loading... . This comes at the cost of running 2 bricks in your deck. I would say they’re optional unless we’re in a format where Loading... is seeing main deck play.
About this card’s setting effect:
- It can only be activated if you have a face-up "Rikka" monster in your Monster Zone. If your Rikka monster is face-down, you cannot use this effect of Konkon to set a Spell/Trap.
About this card's Tribute effect:
- This effect is not an activated effect. It is applied by this card in the Field Zone. This means you can Tribute certain towers such as Loading... . However, you cannot Tribute all towers.
- You cannot Tribute monsters your opponent controls that are unaffected by Spell effects. Unaffected towers like Loading... and Loading... cannot be Tributed via Konkon. The Deck’s only in-engine way to get rid of these towers without battle is through Loading... .
- This effect can be applied even if there are no monsters in your Monster Zone and can Tribute monsters your opponent controls that aren't Plant monsters. It also works under Loading... !
- If your opponent's monster leaves the field as a result of you applying this effect, it is not treated as having left the field by a card effect. This will be important when we Tribute Tearlaments monsters for the cost of Konkon, not triggering their “sent to the GY by a card effect” clause. It is also important to note that it is still being sent to the GY by a card. This means a card like Loading... will trigger to spin a card and Loading... will still destroy all monsters in the End Phase.
The pure Rikka variant focuses on slower-paced gameplay, trying to gain card advantage every turn via Loading... and Loading... . Thanks to the fact that it plays fewer engine cards than the midrange build, you'll have even more room for non-engine cards.
This variant's end board is also very resistant to board breakers, since you'll often end on a simple Loading... with backrow and handtraps as backup, as well as Loading... in the GY.
One heavy downside, however, is that your consistency will take a hit; you won't have easy 1-card combos as you would in other variants, so you can sometimes struggle to put up a board at all.
As said above, this variant is control-based, so don't expect any crazy power plays and one turn kills.
Like most control decks, you'll adjust a big part of your deck according to the meta, sometimes you'll play a lot of handtraps, sometimes a lot of board breakers, so don't take this list as the only way to build the deck.
Combo Sunavalon Rikka
If you prefer a deck that goes all-in on building a board, you might prefer this version. It includes more of the Sunavalon cards and is built to set up a 5-disruption board using just Loading... . If you open any of your search targets (which is extremely likely) then you can add a 6th disruption too. The end result is an extremely resilient board with interruptions spread between the backrow, monsters on the field, and in the GY. While adding the Rikka pieces makes for, in my opinion, the strongest end board for the least investment, you actually have a variety of options at your disposal - from Loading... and Loading... , to Loading... and the Adventure engine, or even an Extra Link!
Okay, so how is this worse than the midrange build?
Simply put, the sizable engine requirements prevent you from running the non-engine to deal with opposing threats. The deck has a lot more gas to compensate, but there are some boards that simply cannot be played through with engine alone. Furthermore, while the deck has more consistent access to its full combo (we play 10-12 copies of Loci), it runs a few more combo pieces you don’t necessarily want to open, which can occasionally result in hands that lose harder to interruptions.
Combos for this build can be found in the Sunavalon channel in the Master Duel Meta Discord.
Sunavalon Rikka (Combo)
Seeing Loci is much more important in this build, hence the inclusion of Loading... to boost consistency.
Every card in the Extra Deck except Loading... is required.
If you want to be able to Extra Link, you will need to use your 1 flex slot on a 3rd copy of Loading... .
Other Sunavalon Variants
These builds play fewer of the Rikka cards and are noticeably weaker as a result. They are both very linear and struggle going 2nd without the help of board breakers.
The Adventure build aims to end on the two Link 4s, Regulus and Rosewhip, ideally backed up by Gryphon Rider. The Therion and Adventure engines both help to force your combo through.
The Black Garden variant, on the other hand, aims to Extra Link the opponent while filling their field with Tokens. The Tokens cannot be linked away due to the Extra Link, and cannot be crashed into your monsters because Sunavalon monsters have 0 ATK and cannot be attacked. This build, while very fun to pilot, is the weakest of those presented here. It is pretty easy to disrupt and you can’t even protect it with the Adventure engine due to the combo requiring 4 Main Monster Zones to execute.
These are just some examples of the other ways you can approach Sunavalon. If you want to play Plants at the highest level, you will want to stick to the Rikka variants.
And there it is, that’s the guide! If you have questions or you just want to chat about the deck, come and visit the Rikka and/or the Sunavalon channel in the Master Duel Meta Discord.
Thank you toLoading... , and consequently had to be cut from this guide.