After spending the majority of the day shoveling the two feet of snow we got here in Boston, in addition to the two and a half feet we got all last month, I’ve been having snow on my mind for the longest time. Unfortunately, there isn’t any “Snow” Archetype. There is, however, something similar: The Ice Barrier Archetype. So what better way to get this snow off my brain than to discuss about some of the coldest monsters in the game? As such, I’ll discuss the new ones that have been released in Duel Terminal 4. Keep in mind that all cards looked at in this article are not Tournement Legal until Hidden Arsenal 4 is released. With that said, let’s take a look.

We start off with Defender of the Ice Barrier. This monster is a Level 3 Aqua-type Tuner with 200 ATK and 1600 DEF. The Ice Barrier Archetype is known for having a kind of lockdown strategy, and Defender pushes that further. If you have it and any other Ice Barrier monster in play, any of your opponent’s monsters with an ATK equal to or less than the DEF of Defender can’t attack. That essentially leaves your opponent helpless to destroy this card with an attack unless they do some boosting in the Damage Step. Being a Tuner doesn’t hurt the card neither since you can use it for a quick Synchro if you need to.

Warlock of the Ice Barrier is another Level 3 monster, but of the Spellcaster-type instead. Boasting 400 ATK and 1000 DEF, it’s not that powerful, but it has a decent effect reminiscent of Anti-Spell Fragrance. Like Defender, you need to have another Ice Barrier monster in play to turn the effect on, and while it is on, both you and your opponent can’t use Spell Cards normally, having to Set them face-down first and waiting a turn before using them, almost as if they were Trap Cards.

The next card is something we haven’t seen since Absolute Powerforce, a Spirit Monster. Sacred Spirit of the Ice Barrier is a Level 4 Zombie-type monster with 1600 ATK and 1200 DEF. Being a Spirit Monster, he has the usual effects that all of them have: Being unable to be Special Summoned and returning to your hand during the End Phase. However, this one is special in that, if you have another Ice Barrier monster in play, the one returning a monster to their hand during the End Phase will be your opponent! And you get to choose what monster! This can be a great help in locking down your opponent by getting rid of their best card.

In Duel Terminal 3/Hidden Arsenal 3, we were introduced to General Grunard of the Ice Barrier. He is only one of three Generals, as evidenced by Magic Triangle of the Ice Barrier. Thus, we introduce General Raiho of the Ice Barrier. Raiho is a Level 6 Warrior-type monster with 2100 ATK and 2300 DEF, and his effect can make your opponent think twice before using a monster’s effect. Whenever that effect would resolve, they are given the choice of discarding a card from their hand or not. If they choose not to, then the effect is negated. Right away, this can be really useful against Infernities, but there are other decks that this can work against.

Strategist of the Ice Barrier gives the deck a little speedy draw power. Being a Level 4 Spellcaster-type with 1600 ATK and DEF, you can discard an Ice Barrier monster once per turn to draw a card. This can help get key cards into the Graveyard to bigger plays, or to help fuel Pot of Avarice. It also helps speed through the deck to get to your stronger cards faster.

Secret Guards of the Ice Barrier is a Level 2 Aqua-type with 100 ATK and 1600 DEF. Again, not winning any awards with stats like that, but it’s all about the effect. As long as you have Secret Guards in play, all of your Ice Barrier monsters can’t be targeted by monster effects. That means no Snipe Hunter, Caius, Ryko, and ironically, Brionac. He also has the perfect setup for Wetlands to give him the 1200 boost, along with Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier and Dewdark of the Ice Barrier, making these three cards work in Frog decks.

General Gantala of the Ice Barrier is the third General, boasting 2700 ATK and 2000 DEF. Unfortunately, he’s Level 7, meaning you can’t use Trade In with him. However, you’ll want him in play thanks to his effect, allowing you to revive any Ice Barrier monster during your End Phase, as long as it isn’t another Gantala. This goes nicely with Strategist, as I mentioned above being able to fill up your Graveyard for combo plays.

Alright, enough beating around the bush. We all know why you’re reading this article. There’s one Ice Barrier monster that everyone and their Aunt Trixie wants that’s in Duel Terminal 4. I’m of course talking about Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. This Level 9 Synchro Monster has 2700 ATK and 2000 DEF. It also needs at least 2 non-Tuner monsters to bring out, but all the materials are generic. Being a Dragon, you can use Debris Dragon to summon it, as long as you use a Level 2 and Level 3 non-Tuners. Not that hard with Dandylion and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter. Its effect is simple: When it’s Synchro Summoned, you win. Joking aside, you’re able to remove from play one card EACH from your opponent’s hand, field, AND Graveyard. The card from the hand is random, but that’s beside the point. This is one powerful monster, and it’s Limited in the OCG for good reason. This card is already going for $200 on eBay, so if you manage to get it out of the Duel Terminal, consider yourself lucky.

The Ice Barrier Archetype is the only Archetype to have lasted 8 Duel Terminal Sets in Japan, thus they have a large number of cards at their disposal to make a functional deck. The cards discussed in this article are the last ones out of that group, meaning no other Ice Barrier cards will be released unless they surprise us with some in Extreme Victory or Generation Force. Until then, this is MystikX, signing out.


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