TCG Strategy Guide: Lightsworn, the Army of Justice

My study guide will teach you how to build a Lightsworn deck and how to play the deck. Lightsworn is an archetype that consists of Light and Dark monsters. They are an army from the heavens led by Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn. They mill cards from the top of the deck to pay the cost for skills or milling is a requirement at the End Phase.

Lightsworn mills cards from the deck to activate their abilities, and use the graveyard as a second hand. Monsters’ effects trigger by either being sent to the graveyard or sending cards to the graveyard. Lightsworn uses the graveyard to special summon the deck’s signature monster, Judgment Dragon. This dragon is a major game changer. He destroys the entire field except for himself. After the board is clear, you can proceed to make plays to go for the win.

However, you must be very careful to avoid decking out. I have made this easy mistake in the past. When you have too many Lightsworn monsters, you will be milling a lot of cards, and potentially mill the remaining cards in your deck. I recommend only having two to three Lightsworn monsters on the field. This way you can better manage your deck.


  • Capable of a very fast OTK
  • Powerful Boss Monsters
  • Cards capable of banishing opponent’s cards.


  • The deck can be inconsistent. You may mill cards that you want to draw or you may draw cards that you want to mill to your deck.
  • Cards capable of negating effects such as Skill Drain prevent Lightsworn from milling cards to the graveyard.

Building Your Deck

The most cost efficient and quickest way to build a deck is buying a structure deck. Thankfully Lightsworn has a structure deck. Realm of Light Structure Deck is a great starting point. It includes many key cards for your deck such as Judgment Dragon, Lyla Lightsworn Sorceress, and Michael the Arch-Lightsworn. A few cards are only available in the structure deck at the time of this guide, and those cards are Lightsworn Sanctuary and Minerva Lightsworn Maiden.

Lightsworn cards are featured in the following booster sets!

  • Light of Destruction
  • Legendary Collection 2: The Duel Academy Years Mega Pack
  • Duelist Alliance
  • Code of the Duelist
  • Battles of Legend: Light’s Revenge


Judgment Dragon

Judgment Dragon is the main event in every Lightsworn deck. It is one of the most feared cards in the game because its has a very destructive effect. He destroys the entire field except for himself. It opens the window for a direct attack at your opponent to deal 3,000 damage. With this effect in mind, you can potentially set up an OTK.

Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn

Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn is Judgment Dragon’s Scottie Pippen. He is the perfect complementary piece for in deck. He banishes cards from the field, and this effect bypasses cards that cannot be destroyed in battle or by effects. Then, he recycles Lightsworn monsters back into the deck to rebuild your deck, and you gain 300 life points for each card returned to the deck.

Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn

Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn is a fantastic card for drawing cards to build your hand. If your hand is really small, then Minerva can potentially allow you to draw up to three cards. Her skill requires you to mill cards, and you can only draw cards equal to the number of Lightsworn monsters sent to the Graveyard by her effect. I recommend playing a deck with only Lightsworn monsters to have the best probability of drawing cards from Minerva’s effect.

Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion

Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion gathers your resources in your hand and graveyard. First, Curious can send any card from the deck to the graveyard, and you may draw it after Curious is destroyed by battle. If you can afford the life points, you may declare an attack with Curious at a stronger monster to destroy Curious and trigger Curious’s first effect. Secondly, it sends cards to the graveyard.

Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn

You want to mill cards as often as possible. Raiden mills two cards during the Main Phase and he gains 200 attack points for each Lightsworn monster sent to the graveyard. Then, he mills two cards at the End Phase. You can mill four cards from Raiden’s skill in a single turn. Additionally, he is a Tuner monster for your Synchro Summons.

Felis, Lightsworn Archer

You do not want to draw this card because you cannot normal summon it. Felis can only be special summoned by a card effect, and its effect summons it to the field. Felis has a lot of great qualities. It destroys an opponent’s monster, mills three cards, and is a tuner monster. The three strong qualities outweighs the one negative quality.

Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

Lyla is a really good card for destroying your opponent’s spell and trap cards. She is a good backup option if you mill Mystical Space Typhoon. She is also a level 4 monster, and can be used for Rank 4 summons.


Twilightsworn is a sub-series of Lightsworn. They are evil counterparts to the original Lightsworn monsters. The majority of Twilightsworn’s effects are altered versions of the original cards’ effects. Their effects banish Lightsworn monsters to activate skills.

Ryko, Twilightsworn Fighter

Ryko’s twisted version is better than the original Ryko. Ryko, Twilightsworn Fighter is faster than the original card as its skill activates when it is Normal Summoned. Then, Ryko banishes a card on the field when it is normal summoned or flipped face up on the field. This card is great for removing troublesome monsters that you are unable to destroy in combat or with effects.

Punishment Dragon

Punishment Dragon is the twisted version of Judgment Dragon. It can only be special summon by having four or more banished Lightsworn monsters with different names. Its effect recycles the entire graveyard and banished cards except for Lightsworn monsters into the deck. This effect is awesome to avoid decking out if your deck is low on cards.

Spell Cards

Solar Recharge

Solar Recharge is an excellent card for every Lightsworn deck. The cost sends one Lightsworn monster to the graveyard, and you want Lightsworn monsters in the graveyard. Then, you draw two cards and send the top two cards of your deck to the graveyard. You can potentially put three Lightsworn monsters in the graveyard with a single card. I cannot forget you draw two cards to build your hand.

Trap Cards

Lightsworn Judgment

Stay ten feet away from this card. It is not as good as it appears to be. If you activate it during your opponent’s turn, then you are going to draw it during your Draw Phase. You do not want to waste a draw on this trap card. If you mill this card, then your opponent knows you have Judgment Dragon in your hand. The only good part about this card is you can draw Judgment Dragon from your deck.

Lightsworn Barrier

Lightsworn Barrier is the ultimate protection for Lightsworn monsters. It negates your opponent’s monsters attacks directed at your Lightsworn monsters for the cost of milling two cards. Your opponent is unlikely to attack you as he or she would give you an advantage if he or she declares an attack. However, it is unable to protect monsters such as Judgment Dragon because Judgment Dragon does not have Lightsworn in its name.

The Final Word

Finally, Lightsworn is one of my favorite archetypes because their unique strategy is original in Yu-Gi-Oh! Lightsworn is one of the few archetypes that has every requirement for a strong deck. Lightsworns have a draw engine, protection, removal, and powerful boss monsters. The graveyard is basically a second hand for resources. Only certain cards and a few decks can stop Lightsworn decks from working their mechanics.

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