A basic evaluation of this monster in it's TCG incarnation reveals it's seemingly straight forward lack of use in a standard game or Competitive play. But never judge a book by it's cover...
Using this card obviously will throw any inexperienced player off balance and can in fact infuriate the more skilled player as well. It has sadly one way to be brought out in a game, with the exceeding of two lv 4 LSWARM critters. but looking at the fact that there are so many uses for this card puts that small set back on the back burner if you got the guts to play it.
Using this card has two to three main ways, with the latter being for pure over powering facets. the first and most powerful use is the utter stopping power of it's effect, as long as this guy has at least one material attached to it, he can put up that methodical stop sign up and limit the level of monsters hitting the field with ease. Stopping lv 5 and higher is a gift from the gods*(ironic to the fact of a little tidbit i got lined up later for him. XD).
The second part of it's use comes from the secondary optional effect of detaching a material to search out a spell/trap that has INFESTATION in it's card name from the deck to the hand. It wasn't bad enough for you to stop the Special Summons of Lv 5 and higher critters..but now you can search out two main stays from the deck, be it the infestation pandemic or infection.
Third use is what comes naturally to all monsters of power..attacking. Coming in at a strange and rarely seen 2550 ATK he can stand over most monsters that are in the Meta, being Stardust mostly right off the bat. Others he stands over easily are popular cards, like Dark Magician and Summoned Skull, as the more traditional players might use more often.
Strategies and game play:
In a game that focuses either on stopping your opponent from playing their stronger cards or just to have as an interesting beat stick is to actually get it out, which the next section will cover in combos. Getting this dragon out and having it attack your opp once is usually enough for the first few turns he exist on the field. Teaming him with cards to deal more damage is usually effective as long as he has a few buddies by his side, since normally he isn't alone either way.
Combos with other cards:
finally, ok, here is his normal run down, even on a lucky turn one you can pull this big boy outta your butt and ruin everyone else's day. He works with these little gems; I. Pandemic, I. Infection, Rescue Rabbit and and of the summoners from the same name sake of the Evilswarms. Typically a turn one runs as such; summon the Rabbit and banish for two Heliothropes and boom, Ophion. then detach for the Pandemic spell to protect him and you're done for the turn. Even better with this combo is that even late game you can easily throw your opp off by attacking with the 1950 beast sticks before exceeding to deal massive damage and adding the insult of the summoning of Ophion is just mean. Besides that the summon of him rely on Castor, Kerykeion, and Mandragola for the additional normal summons and the one Special Summon to get this beast out.
Ways to counteract it:
This is an easy one. He cannot protect him self from the initial summon, so negating his summon is easy. Monsters have more of an advantage over him actually, since he cant stop attacks really on his own or even their effects. so swarming him and exceeding into a higher attack critter like Acid Golem is easy. Even go as far as a basic flip effect Man-eater is more than enough to stop his reign of terror.
A strength right of the bat is that extra 50 ATK points he has is just enough to walk over any standard meta monster. Another facet is that he can search out the Pandemic spell to ward of his destruction for a turn and thin the deck. With him on the field he actually draws all of the attention from the unsuspecting opponent cause you can be building your hand while they look for a way around Ophion.
Another pro is that you can easily splash him as a tool box combo just by himself, a Rabbit and two Heliothropes.
If you cant use him right he can easily back fire on you, so he cannot go into a LV 5 or higher heavy deck like the Mermails or similar SS ability decks. If you aren't fast enough you will fail getting him out and then might risk getting trampled by a higher ATK monster.
As far as April 2014 is concerned, Ophion only has two Rarity printings, the TCG Secret Rare and the pretty Duel Terminal holo.
Artwork and aesthetics:
I will divulge a little into the art and actually some of the history behind the name.
Art:It fits perfectly in the We have risen from the depths of Duel Terminal" mindset that has the almost corrupt look to it. Being a dragon it fits the motif of over-powered beings in the world. Besides the obvious Terminal Swarm corruption in the art it boasts a few specs not many people will notice. The wings show evolution from the failed Steelswarm mode of flight and the different typing from the insects into regular creatures shows intelligence and power.
History: History Lesson! The name and effect of Ophion can directly fall back on the Greeks use of the same name and Deity, or rather, Ophioneus, the Primordial God Oceanic, not to be confused with the wasp by the same name mind you, lol. It goes into many telling and retelling of the same creature but all have a few things in common, where as it can be described as a serpent like creature, and sometimes has wings even. The dragon-like qualities can admit to this with the same features, and the beak can show the age of the creature from the card art landing back on evolution. One telling has it as a snake that holds the sun, moon and stars in place while another says it was a higher creature that was father of the titans, in some way or another, my Greek is bad, XD.
he gets an 9/10 for use and overall ability to add the shock factor to a deck.