Manawyddan fab Llyr

        When I last spoke about Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelist of the Roses, I told you all about one of the more notorious enemies in the game, Pegasus Crawford, the cards he uses, and what you can expect to face. I said that he was one of the most difficult foes in the entire game, save perhaps the final boss, and that is who I will be talking about today.
        The final boss, Manawyddan fab Llyr, is a powerful demon of some kind summoned by Seto. If you choose not to help him, he still manages to accomplish this via a duel with you, which activates the red and white cards now in your possession, jumpstarting the ritual Seto needed. On the red path, Seto basically sacrifices you to the demon, while in the white path he quickly realizes this demon isn’t the creature he was searching for, and begs you to stop him from destroying the world.
        Manawyddan fab Llyr, like everyone else in this case, heavily resembles another character, in this case the final boss from many previous games, DarkNite. Of course, being a fellow demon their relationship is a bit different than a look-alike ancestor, and in fact he claims to be DarkNite’s brother, and in the white rose story he actually is attacking you out of revenge for his brother’s defeat, planning to take vengeance on all of humanity.
        Now, onto the actual battle. However, there is an important distinction to note- since the game has two different paths to take, while the boss himself is the same, his deck is different for both runs and the board you face him on will be alter accordingly, so this may take a while to fully explain. However, the boss can be narrowed down to two specific strategies- either lots of spells, or lots of monsters. They also both have incredibly high deck costs, meaning more than likely any deck you construct can face them. It is the final boss after all- you should put your best foot forward.
        In addition, they both use the same board that Seto uses- that is, Stonehenge, where the game began. The board is composed on Meadow spaces along it’s edges, except for the corners, which have Forest instead. Inside this parameter is Stonehenge itself, represented by two diagonal Labyrinth spaces, and the interior of the structure, where likely most of the duel will take place, as well as the ritual itself. However, when Seto played there was nothing supernatural about it, and the interior is made of Normal spaces. Once Manawyddan fab Llyr challenges you, this area changes.
        I will start with the red rose version, as I fought that first. His Deck Leader is the Skull Knight, powering up similar monster and increasing his own movement, and this deck primarily revolves around using spells to weaken you and strengthen his monsters, sapping your life points. The interior of Stonehenge has been transformed into Crush spaces, forcing you to keep your stronger creatures to the sides of the board, as anything stronger than 1400 will be destroyed if they touch it.
        This prevents you from getting close to him easily, and while you take your time to do so, he has a wide variety of spells to hit you with. He has two Tremendous Fires, adding up to eliminating half your health, a Crush card, which acts as a power up for his chosen monster. If the monster is killed, it turns the surrounding spaces into Crush terrain. He also has Time Seal, which permanently spellbinds the monster with the highest attack, which won’t likely be his own, Reigeki, which destroys any card that vertically or horizontally lines up with the card, Last Day of Witch and Warrior Elimination, which destroy all Spellcasters and Warriors on the board respectively, a Paralyzing Potion, Dark-Piercing Light, which flips all of your cards, not his, face up, Megamorph, in case he needs to power up any of his minions.
        However, in spite of this massive array of cards, the ones you are most likely to see are his life draining and healing magic cards. He has two of Dian Keto the Cure Master, which raises his life points back up to 4000. He can injure you with not just Tremendous Fire, but also Just Desserts, which does 300 damage to you multiplied by however many monsters you have. So if you have the maximum of five, that’s 1500 damage right there! His worst card, however, is definitely Riryoku, which reduces your life points by half, and adds that to his powered up monster. Adding onto all this is Soloman’s Notebook, which lets him play a second card for that turn, and Graverobber, which lets him bring back a used spell to use it again!
        And no, he’s not out of spells just yet, but the rest of them pertain to his luckily meager collection of monsters. Multiply works on Kuriboh specifically and produces a second Kuriboh when the monster flips face up, and causes the original one to reappear when killed in a random location.
        This may not seem so bad, but it is, especially with what he did on the first turn of my last playthrough- summoning a Kuriboh powered up by Riryoku, giving it 2000 more attack, and Crush, meaning any monster that can kill it will be destroyed immediately afterward, and cut off that part of the board entirely from my stronger monsters. Luckily, I managed to remove that possibly with Cursebreaker, turning it back into a normal Kuriboh, as opposed to a viral super Kuriboh. Be sure to have that card.
        He also carries Megamorph, to power up any of his monsters if need be, and two Ritual cards, Cosmo Queen’s Prayer and Curse of Tri-Horned Dragon. The former requires Queen of the Autumn Leaves, 1800/1500, Princess of Tsurugi, 900/700, and Dark Elf, 2000/800, with the effect that every battle it gets in costs the owner 50 life points. Cosmo Queen, if he can summon it, is a massively powerful monster with 2900/2450, and she has the effect that when it is flipped face up the spaces around it become Dark terrain, which powers up Spellcasters like herself, raising her up to 3400/2950.
        As for Curse of Tri-Horned Dragon, that requires Curse of Dragon, a 2000/1500 with the interesting effect of turning every space it battles in to Wasteland terrain, powering it up, Feral Imp, a 1300/1400, and Koumori Dragon, 1500/1200. The resulting creature, as you might expect, is much stronger then any of the ones that make it. Tri-Horned Dragon is a powerful 2850/2350, though it has no effect.
        Obviously, though Cosmo Queen is worse on every account, either can be a serious problem, especially since this enemy otherwise lacks powerful creatures… well, he actually has two that are almost worse, two Skull Knights, identical to his Deck Master, that have 2650/2250, but the Deck Leader increases their power immensely, to the point that even though the only spaces you’re likely to fight them on is Meadow, which weakens them, they still have 2900 attack when around their leader.
        And then there his traps- there are much less of these, but they are powerful ones. He has two of the infamous Mirror Force, which here activates if any of his monsters or himself are attacked, which destroy all of your attack position monsters. Aside from those, he has two of Gravity Bind, the ultimate version of the usual sort of close range traps, which spellbinds the attacker eternally, and lowers their attack by 1500.
        Gorgon’s Eye, like Mirror Wall, works anywhere and lasts forever, eternally spellbinding any card that ends its move in the defensive position. Finally he has two of Widespread Ruin, which activates like a normal trap, and obliterates every card in 3×3 space area, or basically the square of spaces around it, destroying them in a huge explosion.
        So that covers his cards. What can you do about them? Well, bring plenty of life restoring cards, to counter the damage he will be doing, and preferably some traps for his stronger creatures. If you can get Magic Jammer, this will prove invaluable, and Mirror Wall will also be a good choice, as it will half the attack of his creatures when they attack you. If you are worried about traps, and I don’t blame you, you can also use Ancient Tree of Knowledge. It has 1500 defense, and when played in defense more face up, no traps will work on either side. Aside from that, I can only say to play your strengths and try to counter his.
        However, if you took the white rose path, while many of the enemies will have been quite a bit easier, don’t expect Manawyddan fab Llyr to be any easier on you. He now focuses on a hard physical approach with lots of monsters, and strong ones. His Deck Leader is now Chakra, and he now powers up similar monsters, that is, Fiends, has a larger support range for them than normal, and weakens another type, Spellcasters.
        In short, his Fiends will be stronger and your Spellcasters weaker, and unfortunately, the Terrain is altered for this fight too, but to Darkness spaces instead of Crush, so he can make full use of his many monsters. His weakest normal monster is actually Meteor Dragon at 1800 attack, and all of the others are at 2300 or higher, cumulating at the classic Blue Eyes White Dragon at 3000.
        However, he also has a wide variety of effect monsters as well, one of his most commonly used being his three Gate Deeg, a weak 700/800 monster, but when played face up gives you full summon points. He also has three 1400/1800 Berfomet with the same effect, which he will likely put to good use the next turn, because he has very few magic cards and only one trap, but of course, these are still carefully picked to cause you the most frustration and pain. But first, effect monsters.
        Labyrinth Tank, as you might expect, can move on Labyrinth spaces, allowing this monster to move along the board freely. Kinetic Warrior, already at a powerful 2350 attack, gains 2000 extra points when in battle with Warriors, making him the bane of anyone relying on a Warrior to see them through the duel. Similarly, he has the 2500 attack Seiyaryu, which gains 300 points when in battle with Fiends. And we cannot forget his Chakra, of course, a 2450/2000 monster that, rather than being destroyed, simply reappears next to the Deck Leader when beaten.
        His last four effect monsters, however, I have to point out because they’re all very powerful. First is Barrel Dragon, a 2600/2200 monster that destroys one other random monster on the board when flipped face up. Kazejin, Suijin, and Sanga of the Thunder are all very powerful monsters with the effect that when beaten, their owner doesn’t lose any life points. This can be very useful for you, because you can throw them at basically anything with no consequence, but the same applies to your enemy too, and he has all three! I suppose we should just be grateful he doesn’t have the Gate Guardian Ritual, which would let him fuse all three into the 3750/3400 Gate Guardian, which of course wouldn’t lose him any life points either.
        Now, onto his other cards. He has only one Trap card, Royal Decree, which activates whenever your traps do, and nullifies them. Basically, if he plays that, you have to get rid of it or you have no traps, which, aside from stronger monsters, is generally your one way to get rid of enemy monsters. As for Magic cards, he of course has Megamorph, but he also has Dark Hole, which wipes the entire board of all cards, allowing him to remove everything and start clean with whatever he wishes.
        He has two of Magic Drain, which steals your summoning points and adds them to his own. He also holds onto Metalmorph, which can transform his Zoa or any of his three Red Eyes Black Dragons into more powerful metal versions. Finally, he carries not one, not two, but three Riyoku, which, as already described, half your life points to power up his monsters.
        So, that’s the two versions of the final boss. Both of them bear some similarities to each other, having powerful monsters and spells, but they clearly have their focuses. Of the two, I generally have much more trouble with the spell user, but that’s just me. There is always a way to get past either of these.
For the red rose version, the best way to do damage is to send in weaker monsters via the Crush area, as he has so few monsters, while sending in your stronger ones from the sides. For the white rose version, using damage cards would be a good idea, as would using effect monsters that destroy his, such as Barrel Dragon, Swordsman From a Foreign Land, which destroys the enemy monster when beaten, or Blast Sphere, which basically has the same effect as Widespread Destruction when beaten. Supplement all these with some strong cards of your own to pull things in your favor, and I guarantee you can win.

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