|— Snotlout comes up with the name Sandbuster for the dragon|
|“|| Like a pirate protecting his treasure, the Sandbuster lurks under the Northern Markets’ shores to guard its gold and sink any trespassers!|
The many criminals who frequent the Northern Markets are a dangerous lot, but even they know to keep away from the beaches. For years now, the Sandbuster has lived under those shores, amassing a valuable pile of gems and gold in its cave. Territorial and greedy, the Sandbuster burrows sinkholes in the ground that swallow up any humans foolish enough to tread near its riches. The dragon’s only weakness is sunlight, which burns its sensitive scales in a matter of seconds.
|“|| This shifty critter swims through the sand, catching victims unaware and pulls them underground. It hoards loot in great caves, viciously attacking anyone it suspects of thievery!|
Sandbuster melts down sand and fires molten glass, trapping its prey. Its biggest weakness is sunlight, but it struggles to hold ground against larger dragons.
|— Dragons: Rise of Berk|
A Sandbuster egg is oval, with slightly irregular shape. It is yellow, the color of sand, with green spots, the color of grass. It is similar to the model of the dragon.
Hatchling to Adult
The Sandbuster is a medium-sized dragon that has a long, snake-like body. It has a large head with relatively small blue eyes and has a long neck with sharp rows of spikes. It has four legs, each ending with three claws. The back legs are bigger and more muscular than the fore ones. Its wings are big compared to the body. They have two sharp claws on each of them. The tail is long and has rows of spikes on it.
A Titan Wing Sandbuster is not very different from the adult, except for the size increase. It has bigger spikes on its head, neck and tail. Its nasal horn becomes more prominent. Similar to most Titan Wings, it has red, fiery eyes.
The Sandbuster shoots superheated sand that hardens into a solid glass on impact. However, according to Dragons: Rise of Berk, it shoots molten glass which solidifies on impact, trapping its prey. When the blasts hit something, they spread out as much as possible before solidifying.
The glass that forms is opaque, as light can't get through it. Due to this, the Sandbuster uses its blasts to protect itself from the sunlight that is harmful to its skin as it is not normally exposed to much sunlight.
This dragon is able to burrow through the sand, similar to how a Whispering Death burrows through earth. However, it doesn't make holes in the sand because it "swims" through it instead of eating it. The Sandbuster is also able to drag large things through the sand as it burrows, such as Vikings or treasure chests. It can burrow extremely fast, as demonstrated by an individual which managed to go from the surface to an underground cave in a matter of seconds.
While sand is the preferred substrate for a Sandbuster to burrow through, these dragons can also burrow through other fine-grained material like snow, as seen done by the individuals Frostbiter and Snowball, or sawdust as demonstrated by Sawduster. They are even capable of burrowing through mud as Marooned Mukchucker does.
Speed and Agility
Having a snake-like body makes the Sandbusters very agile dragons as they are able to make quick turns in small places.
The Sandbusters' prehensile tails allow them to grab Vikings by their legs before pulling them under the sand. They are able to drag the weight of two Vikings with their tails, while burrowing at great speeds.
Despite their large size, Sandbusters are very stealthy, for they are able to sneak up on their victims without them noticing.
Strength and Combat
Sandbusters possess enough strength to drag Vikings through sand and topple a tower of metal objects.
Some Sandbuster individuals, such as Snowball, possess white coloration on their body that enables them to blend into snowdrifts once the dragon burrows into them. This allows them to be almost invisible in the snow, enabling them to surprise unsuspecting prey or to hide from predators.
Despite being reptilian creatures, some Sandbuster individuals, such as Snowball, are able to resist the effects of extreme cold, enabling them to still be rapidly mobile even after hiding in a freezing cold snowdrift.
|— Hiccup, Snotlout, and Amos see the sunlight's effects on the Sandbuster|
The Sandbuster is extremely sensitive to sunlight, not only in brightness to its eyes, but to its skin as well. A shaft of sunlight touching anywhere on its skin will cause lasting areas of redness, presumably a type of sunburn that appears quickly. It is unknown if any source of light might cause this damage, or it is limited to sunlight.
Behavior and Personality
Sandbusters are described as being territorial and greedy, protecting their treasure like pirates. They seem to be very aggressive in general, as seen when one attacked Hiccup, Snotlout, and Amos.
|Main article: Wild Sandbuster|
The Sandbuster debuted in the episode "Sandbusted". A Wild Sandbuster made its lair underneath the beaches of the Northern Markets, becoming a problem for the traders of the island. The Dragon Riders were asked to investigate the situation and split into two groups. Hiccup and Snotlout were trapped by the Sandbuster and separated from their dragons. Along with Amos, a thief who was also captured by the Sandbuster, they tried to escape multiple time, but failed. They were rescued by the other riders, who fought off the Sandbuster.
The Sandbuster was released in game a day before the species' debut in Dragons: Race to the Edge, Season 5.
- The Sandbuster was named by Snotlout after Hiccup described the dragon as a “sand-busting thing”.
- It is possible that the Sandbuster's ability to swim through sand is based on that of the sandfish, a type of skink that lives in the Sahara.
- The Sandbuster's behavior of living and hunting from underground is similar to that of the Sand Wraith, the Burrowing Slitherfang, and the Monster of the Amber-Slavelands. The similarity with the last is so pronounced that it has been speculated that the Sandbuster is based off of it.
- The Sandbuster is the third dragon sensitive to light, with the first being the Whispering Death and the second being the Sand Wraith.
- The Sandbuster's treasure hoarding and protectiveness of its lair is a reference to dragon behavior in many real-world myths and stories such as that of the unnamed dragon from Beowulf, Fafnir from The Saga of the Volsungs, and Smaug from The Hobbit.
- The breath of the Sandbuster resembles the breath of the Bewilderbeast.
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