Defense is a natural part of gameplay, and something that can slow down the enemy's progress is essential for every deck. Cards that outright negate other effects are highly prized. Warrior-type monsters are incredibly well-supported, so a Warrior-type monster that can outright negate other effects should be highly prized as well, right? Apparently not, as Lightray Gearfried remains relatively unheard of.
Lightray Gearfried is a Level 8 Light-Warrior monster with 2800 ATK. If your graveyard contains five or more differently-named Light monsters, you can Special Summon this card from your hand. That is his only condition: no cost, no tribute, just contain a certain amount of different Light monsters and you can bring out a 2800-ATK beatstick. But this is no ordinary beatstick; he's a beatstick that can negate a Spell/Trap card once per turn, provided all your monsters are Warrior and you banish a Warrior monster from your graveyard. Still, that's hardly a limitation in a Light-Warrior deck.
Strategies and game play:
You need lots of Light monsters in your graveyard to summon this guy, and lots of Warrior monsters in order to use his other skills. The obvious thing to do is to use exclusively Light-Warrior monsters, meeting both criteria at once. Try to have most of your Light-Warriors at the same level, to allow yourself to create Light-Warrior XYZ monsters with any two monsters you may have on the field. You will also want Warrior support, to best take advantage of the mono-type deck. Monster destruction is also a must, as Lightray can't match stronger monsters or protect himself from monster effects.
Combos with other cards:
Lightray Gearfried's negate skill requires Warrior monsters in the grave. Use cards that can get Light-Warriors in the grave, such as Foolish Burial, Card Destruction, and (if using Lightsworn Light-Warriors) Charge of the Light Brigade. Reinforcement of the Army can help you get to the specific Light-Warrior you need (you need five Light-Warriors of different names to bring out Lightray, meaning you'll likely be using one or two of each monster). If not splashing non-Warrior monsters, Light Laser becomes incredibly useful, as it can only be equipped to Light-Warrior monsters and banishes anything the equipped monster battles with. Try to get Light-Warrior monsters with good effects to sustain yourself while getting out Lightray Gearfried. Examples: Cameraclops (can potentially destroy monsters he battles by effect), Rocket Warrior (can't be destroyed when he attacks, making him an excellent target for Light Laser), Tasuke Knight (who can end the opponent's Battle Phase while Special Summoning himself from the graveyard, so long as your hand is empty), and Ehren, Lightsworn Monk (who shuffles a Defense-position monster she battles into the owner's deck, as well as the Lightsworn milling effect that will fill up your graveyard with Light-Warriors).
Ways to counteract it:
Lightray Gearfried has five major weaknesses: Multiple Spell/Trap effects, as he can only negate one effect per turn, Counter Traps, which cannot be chained to by a monster effect, Monster effects, which Lightray can't do anything to negate, Macro, which can prevent a Lightray in your hand from being played or prevent an existing Lightray from having any Warrior-type monsters in the graveyard to banish, and Bigger Sticks, or any monster that's physically stronger than him. Most specifically, a Black Luster Envoy would shut this guy down hard (too strong to kill and can use his eff to banish your Lightray).
Drop a 2800-ATK monster onto the field and negate a Spell/Trap effect once per turn. A part of one of the most commonly supported types in the game. Can be used in multiples to negate multiple Spell/Trap effects.
Requires quite a bit of deck devotion. Splashing monsters isn't recommended, and even using Black Luster Envoy alongside Lightray Gearfried requires using a Dark monster (which doesn't count for summoning Lightray). Cannot be Normal Summoned. Even if summoned proper, can't be revived by Monster Reborn etc.
Comes from Galactic Overlord. In the OCG, this is a common. In the TCG, he's a regular-rare.
Artwork and aesthetics:
He looks sorta like a shiny version of Phoenix Gearfried (who he is a retrained version of). Like all Lightray monsters, he seems fond of the colors blue and white.
Given his powerful defensive effect, I rate Lightray Gearfried nine points, but I have to subtract a point for his difficulty in being put into a deck. All in all, Lightray Gearfried still earns a respectable eight out of ten.