Chaos Sorcerer is more popular than ever in Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Goat Format, and Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning is a near staple as well. However, players often give little thought regarding which battle position to summon their chaos monster in. Some players default to summoning their chaos monsters in defense because it’s what they see everyone else doing. However, the correct battle position is very dependent upon the gamestate and the matchup. These pros and cons will be summarized below.
Reasons to Summon a Chaos Monster in Attack Mode
Both Chaos Sorcerer and Black Luster Soldier have more attack points than defense, which sometimes is enough of a reason to summon them in attack mode. If your opponent has a D.D. Warrior Lady, they will take 500 more points of damage (Black Luster Soldier) and 300 more points of damage (Chaos Sorcerer) when attacking an attack mode chaos monster instead of a defense mode one. Lifepoints are very important in Goat Format, so sometimes this can be relevant.
Sometimes you’ll want your chaos monster in attack mode simply to make it harder to kill by battle. Black Luster Soldier, Gatling Dragon, and Dark Magician of Chaos can destroy a defense position Black Luster Soldier via battle, but not an attack position one. I actually played a match a few months ago where this mistake almost cost me the match. I played my Black Luster Soldier in defense mode while I had a Return from the Different Dimension set. Next turn, my opponent played his own Black Luster Soldier and attacked over mine. I would have much preferred to have forced him to banish it instead so that I could bring it back with the Return from the Different Dimension.
Anti-Meta Warriors also often plays Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke, which can kill a defense position monster for free. Chaos monsters are very good against Anti-Meta Warriors, but not so much if you let your opponent kill them for free. This provides another reason for playing your chaos monster in attack mode.
Reasons to Summon a Chaos Monster in Defense Mode
Monsters like Mystic Tomato, Shining Angel, Newdoria, Sangan, and D.D. Assailant can trigger their effects by ramming into an attack position monster. However, if your chaos monster sits in defense mode, these monsters will not be very productive.
A common reason to play a chaos monster in defense position is simply to play around Mirror Force. It’s quite common to special summon a chaos monster, use the effect to get rid of your opponent’s only monster, then normal summon another monster to attack directly with. You want your chaos monster in defense mode here to minimize the damage from Mirror Force.
In addition, playing your chaos monster in defense mode helps protect against Creature Swap, a card that is more common in Goat Format than it used to be. Creature Swap has the text, “Those monsters cannot change their battle positions for the rest of this turn,” which means that Creature Swapping for an attack position Black Luster Soldier far more lethal than a defense position one. Similarly, playing your chaos monster in defense mode can protect against an Enemy Controller activated during the battle phase, although this comes up very rarely.
With Chaos Sorcerer, playing it in defense mode could occasionally protect you from taking some extra battle damage. For example, Dark Magician of Chaos deals 500 damage when attacking over an attack position Chaos Sorcerer, but obviously not a defense position one.
Chaos Battle Positions by Matchup
Here are some general rules regarding battle positions for your chaos monsters in each matchup. Of course, rare exceptions will apply.
Vs Goat Control: Usually defense mode, to play around Mirror Force and possibly Creature Swap. If you know they have D.D. Warrior Lady, then attack mode.
Vs Thunder Dragon Chaos: Situation dependent. If you need to play around Mirror Force, defense mode. If you think they could have sided in Creature Swap, then defense mode. If you think they could have D.D. Warrior Lady, attack mode.
Vs Chaos Control: Defense mode, to play around Shining Angel and possibly Creature Swap.
Vs Anti-Meta Warriors: Attack mode, to play around Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke.
Vs Reasoning Gate Combo: Black Luster Soldier in attack mode and Chaos Sorcerer in defense mode, as those modes are the best vs Dark Magician of Chaos.
Vs Burn: It almost never matters.
Vs Chaos Recruiter: Defense mode, so they can’t ram their monsters into your chaos monster.
Vs Empty Jar: It almost never matters.
Vs Flip Control: Black Luster Soldier in attack mode and Chaos Sorcerer in defense mode, as that is best vs their own Black Luster Soldier.
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Want to learn more about chaos? Here's a brief guide to the Light Monsters in Goat Format.
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