Kaiser Glider is one of, if not the first ever YuGiOh cards that I bought online at eBay. It was actually a copy of the ultra rare reprint in Dark Revelations 1 that I bought, not the original Dark Crisis ultra rare printing. It’s been reprinted multiple times since, once at rare, and several times at common. While Kaiser Glider was never a top-tier monster, he was one of my favorites for a long time thanks to what he can do.
This golden Dragon that Seto Kaiba played in the Yu-Gi-Oh anime has two fairly relevant abilities. The first is that he can’t be destroyed in a battle where both monsters share the same ATK. More often than not, this means that the Glider can ram into other 2400 ATK monsters and remain standing. This meant things crashing profitably into competitive stalwarts like Jinzo and later the Monarchs.
But, the real reason you would play Kaiser Glider was his bounce ability When he’s destroyed and sent to the GY, by battle or card effect, the Glider makes send one monster on the field back to its owner’s hand. It’s important to note is that Kaiser Glider must be sent to the graveyard; if he gets banished instead, his effect doesn’t activate. This was less of a problem back in the day, though, before banishing strategies became more popular. Unfortunately, that bounce isn’t optional, and you may have to bounce one of your own monsters; yes, this can be good in some cases, but it’s not always optimal.
Kaiser Glider is also a Light-attribute Dragon, which made him fairly good in casual Traditional Chaos decks I built at the time. Traditional is the format where nothing is banned and all forbidden cards are limited to a single copy. There weren’t a ton of good Light-attribute monsters back then, so I actually played this guy a fair amount, especially against those friends that owned a Jinzo.
Plus, Kaiser Glider was pretty good when someone brought out a Chaos monster that they may not be able to easily re-summon after removing 1 Light and 1 Dark monster from their grave. The Glider being in play actually could mess up people’s Chaos Emperor Dragon plays, forcing them to use the Emperor Dragon’s effect to nuke everything.
Yes, you could just remove it with Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning’s banish ability. Still, the OG Soldier couldn’t attack that turn. Most of the time, my opponents couldn’t deal with him profitably once he hit play unless they brought out a BLS or didn’t have a monster in play when they removed it. It really proved to be a nice monster for me back then, even in tournament play when it would come out of the sideboard against decks that spammed 2400 ATK monsters. It was also very good against Dark World decks, whose early boss monsters only reached 2300 ATK.
Was Kaiser Glider ever actually good? Yes and no. Because he required one tribute to summon, people preferred to play Airknight Parshath. This makes sense, as Parshath could generate card advantage by drawing cards when it dealt combat damage, which was often since it did piercing battle damage. Back in the day, I never really liked Parshath, since he only had only 1900 ATK. Of course, he was clearly the better monster when it came to card advantage. As I played the video games more in depth, I recognized drawing cards was worth the lower attack.
Of course, Kaiser Glider was annoying to people, because people really never thought about having to play around it. I’d be chastised for running a “bad card” after someone lost to it. As it turns out, it’s pretty fun to ram him into Jinzo, Mobius and Thestalos – although he was kinda bad against Zaborg since you’d probably want to bounce the Zaborg. More times than not, though, Kaiser Glider would be helpful and I can’t remember him ever being bad in the times in which I played him. After all, he was a sideboard card, not a main deck one.
Like a lot of older Yu-Gi-Oh cards, though, Kaiser Glider proved fairly decent in the early days of Duel Links. He’s available as a Super Rare card in the Primal Burst pack. There’s many popular ways to summon him fairly easily in that game’s metagame, especially the trap card Dragon’s Rebirth. While Dragon’s Rebirth is a good Yu-Gi-Oh card, it’s much stronger in the 20-card Duel Links format in which tribute monsters can actually be very strong. Unfortunately, you have to banish a Dragon-type monster to control to activate Rebirth, and you’d likely rather put a Blue-Eyes White Dragon into play than a 2400 ATK monster with good, but situational effects.
Another popular card to summon Kaiser Glider is a field spell called Mausoleum of the Emperor. Since the Mausoleum is a popular field spell in Duel Links for a number of decks, even in 2022, Kaiser Glider becomes a lot more playable. Yes, paying 1000 LP for the Glider’s tribute doesn’t seem optimal, but if you can get him out on the first turn, it can make your opponent think twice about summoning their best monster, especially if that’s a Synchro or XYZ that can’t negate the bounce effect of the Glider.
There’s a third popular way to summon Kaiser Glider, the effect of Kidmodo Dragon, which when he’s sent to the Graveyard allows you to Special Summon a Dragon-type monster from your hand. Sadly, there are a lot better options than Kaiser Glider to summon, but if you’re playing the free-to-play route, Kaiser Glider may actually be one of your better options to use while you’re building up your collection.
While he’s not a top card in the game, Kaiser Glider’s bounce ability can make him very strong, especially when you’re grinding against standard duelists. His first ability to trade with 2400 attackers isn’t nearly as often relevant in Duel Links, though. He’s also usually 2600 ATK due to Seto Kaiba’s Skill ability to start the game with the Mountain field spell in play. (Heck, this Skill is still used in 2022!) So, while Kaiser Glider really never sees competitive play anywhere else, he does see a fair share of Duel Links play for Kaiba fans.
Fortunately, there is a format in which you can still play Kaiser Glider with some hope for success: the most popular retro YuGiOh format ever: Goat Format. There are a number of things that Kaiser Glider has going for him in Goat Format. One is that he’s a Light-Attribute Monster, which is very important in Chaos decks. Also, his ability to not be destroyed by monsters with the same ATK in battle is actually fairly relevant. Here’s a list of meta monsters that he actually wins in battle against:
- Granmarg the Rock Monarch
- King Dragun
- Mobius the Frost Monarch
- Ryu Kokki
- Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys
- Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch
- Zaborg the Thunder Monarch
While that’s not a long list, it means that Kaiser Glider is actually a decent sideboard tech against Monarchs and even Zombies and their boss monster, Ryu Kokki. He also answers Sacred Phoenix, which was a very popular card at one point; it’s not big in today’s Goat format, though. He even deals with the occasional King Dragun play, something you do still see. If you do happen to control King Dragun, you can even Special Summon Kaiser Glider from your hand.
The bounce ability is pretty good, too, just for tempo purposes. It does mean that you want to summon Kaiser Glider into a situation where his ability will be profitable to you. He’s a bit situational, which is why many people didn’t play him back in the day, nor do they call back to him in Goat format. But, there are definitely spots in which he’s good. He’s great to toss and bring back with Call of the Haunted or Premature Burial, too. He deals with many offensive threats you’re going to face, too. Yes, he even makes Airknight Parshath look pretty bad in battle.
Is Kaiser Glider the best sideboard option in Goat Format? Most certainly not. Still, it depends on what decks you plan to face, and if you’re playing casually or competitively. Still, if your friends like to play a lot of Monarch strategies, Kaiser Glider is probably worth a shot just for your sideboard for the nice surprise factor. Just remember you don’t want him bouncing Zaborg or other Monarchs; that bounce effect is not optional. You have to deploy him just right for him to be at his best. But, he’s pretty brutal when he bounces fusion monsters, too, which are obviously rampant in Goat Format due to Metamorphosis.
One crazy thing about the Glider is how good he actually is against Synchro, Xyz, and Link Monsters. He’s simply outclassed nowadays, but if he dies and hits the Graveyard, he can bounce one of those guys, which can prove pretty costly. Of course, there are just so many ways to banish things nowadays and many boss monsters can’t even be targeted by monster effects.
While Kaiser Glider may not be relevant today in competitive Yu-Gi-Oh, I’m sure many Dragon players would find an excuse to jam him if there was some meta reason in order to do so. He was never actually a bad monster and could cause some tempo swings on his own. In any case, as a Seto Kaiba monster, Kaiser Glider has become a very collectible card and ultra rare printings have skyrocketed in value.
It’s also important to note that Kaiser Glider has received a new version in the OCG called Kaiser Glider – Golden Burst. If we ever see this new version appear in the TCG, we’ll be certain to talk about it. In any case, hardcore Kaiba fans will never forget Kaiser Glider, even if in the competitive TCG scene the Light-attribute Dragon never amounted to much besides an annoyance against some of the metagame’s best monsters.
Did you ever play with or against Kaiser Glider?