Darker then Blackwings: A Guide from DABL

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Blackwings.

Anyone who has played this game for even a short while will be able to tell you exactly what Blackwings are. But for those unfortunate few, I am here to describe to you Konami's second favorite archetype of all time (the first is Sky Striker of course)

Blackwings are a set of Dark Winged-Beast monsters primarily focused on swarming the field with many monsters, then using them to Synchro Summon strong Synchro monsters to beat the opponent down. This archetype was one of the first few to introduce the concept of "archetypes", and had a heavy impact within its competitive scene and anime appearances. These factors also gave Blackwings the appeal they currently wield, and every year or two, Konami continues granting them support.

Today's article will celebrate the most recent support from Darkwing Blast. In fact, the cover card Black-Winged Assault Dragon is a retrain of Black-Winged Dragon! But we can talk about that later. Let us first look over the latest support cards for these beady birds!

If you would like to find out more about Blackwings, you may find this article useful before continuing on with this article. it covers previously relevant Blackwing cards and information needed to better understand their playstyles.

My Feathered Friends

The below cards are all new support introduced from Darkwing Blast. Let's begin the birdwatching.

Black-Winged Dragon 

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Black-Winged Dragon 
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect/Synchro
Level 8 ATK/ 2800 DEF/ 1600

1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

  • If you would take damage from a card effect, place 1 Black Feather Counter on this card instead.
  • This card loses 700 ATK for each Black Feather Counter on it.
  • Once per turn: You can remove all Black Feather Counters on this card, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; that target loses 700 ATK for each Black Feather Counter you removed, and if it does, inflict damage to your opponent equal to the ATK lost by this effect.

Before we start with the new cards, let us refresh on the dragon that started it all!

Very frankly speaking, its effect are extremely lackluster and irrelevant. In fact, its effects will probably never come up in any game scenario should you choose to pick this deck up. However, you may notice that this and all other cards mentioned below will mention Black-Winged Dragon a lot. That is because this bunch of support focuses exclusively on summoning the great Signer Dragon itself! So pay attention, as you will be summoning this dragon a lot.

The Black Feather Counter part may come up from time to time, but it can generally be ignored. 

Blackwing - Suthri the Illusory Spark 

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Blackwing - Suthri the Illusory Spark
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect
Level 4 ATK/ 1400 DEF/ 1400

  • When this card is Normal Summoned: You can add 1 card that mentions "Black-Winged Dragon" from your Deck to your hand, except "Blackwing - Suthri the Illusory Spark".
  • You can Tribute 1 monster; Special Summon 1 "Illusory Spark Token" (Winged Beast/Tuner/DARK/Level 2/ATK 700/DEF 700), then take 700 damage. You cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck the turn you activate this effect, except Synchro Monsters. You can only use this effect of "Blackwing - Suthri the Illusory Spark" once per turn.

Blackwings are famous for having amazing tutoring power, in the form of Black Whirlwind and others. Suthri joins the ranks of exceptional tutors by providing search upon Normal Summon, which notably, can also tutor all the cards I will mention later. It also has the ability to convert any monster on your field into a level 2 Tuner token, which is a very important effect to access all of the strong Level 6 synchros of the deck, like Nothung the Starlight and Chidori the Rain Sprinkling. You might notice that Suthri's first effect is not once per turn; you can abuse this with Nothung's double normal summon effect!

Overall, this card should be added to Blackwing decks as both a strong starter and extender, a natural 3-of.

Blackwing - Vata the Knave 

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Blackwing - Vata the Knave 
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect/Tuner
Level 2 ATK/ 800 DEF/ 0

  • If you control a "Blackwing" monster other than "Blackwing - Vata the Knave", you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Blackwing - Vata the Knave" once per turn this way.
  • During your Main Phase: You can send this card on the field and 1 or more "Blackwing" non-Tuners from your Deck to the GY, whose total Levels exactly equal 8, and if you do, Special Summon 1 "Black-Winged Dragon" from your Extra Deck, also you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except DARK monsters. You can only use this effect of "Blackwing - Vata the Knave" once per turn.

All Synchro related decks need their own unique flavor of Synchro Summoning, and Vata here adds to Blackwing's evergrowning arsenal of tricks. Similar to its original counterpart Vayu the Emblem of HonorVata allows the player to instantly transform into the titular Black-Winged Dragon using only materials from the deck! This is not only an incredible and easy method of summoning a big synchro monster, it also allows you to load specific  Blackwings into the GY like Zephyros the Elite and Zonda the Timely Night.

Along with its simple and easy special summoning effect, this brave bird is a definite 3-of as the most important Tuner in the deck.

Blackwing - Shamal the Sandstorm 

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Blackwing - Shamal the Sandstorm 
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect/Tuner
Level 4 ATK/ 1600 DEF/ 0

  • You can send this card from your hand or field to the GY; place 1 "Black Feather Whirlwind" from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone.
  • If a "Blackwing" Synchro Monster(s) and/or "Black-Winged Dragon" is Special Summoned to your field while this card is in your GY: You can banish this card, then target 1 "Blackwing" monster in your GY; add it to your hand, then take 700 damage.
  • You can only use each effect of "Blackwing - Shamal the Sandstorm" once per turn.

Black Feather Whirlwind is a very important card that is also introduced in Darkwing BlastShamal allows the player to directly set it onto the field, by discarding it. And when it is in the graveyard, it can achieve its better effect, to retrieve a fallen Blackwing when you summon an extra deck Blackwing. This also coincedes with Black Feather Whirlwind's timing to activate. So on paper, upon a synchro summon, you can trigger Shamal to retrieve a card from your graveyard, and use Black Feather Whirlwind to summon Shamal back!

As the inclusion of this card means you have to consider Black Feather Whirlwind in your combo lines, you could play this card at 1 - 2 copies. 

Blackwing - Chinook the Snowstrike 

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Blackwing - Chinook the Snowstrike
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect
Level 2 ATK/ 100 DEF/ 700

  • You can send this card from your hand or field to the GY, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; send 1 "Blackwing" Synchro Monster or " Black-Winged Dragon" from your Extra Deck to the GY, and if you do, until the end of this turn, the targeted monster loses 700 ATK, also its effects are negated.
  • This is a Quick Effect if you control a DARK Synchro Monster.
  • You can only use this effect of "Blackwing - Chinook the Snowstrike" once per turn.

Chinook is probably a first of its type within the Blackwing archetype, as it is a handtrap! This monster both negates an opposing monster on the field, and even sends an extra deck straight into the grave. This is relevant later on (for the summon of Black-Winged Assault Dragon). As a Blackwing with low ATK, you can easily tutor this through Black Whirlwind or collect it from your GY with Shamal.

Although a very strong handtrap for the archetype, this card is easily searchable and reusable, so it could see play at only 2 - 3 copies.

Blackwing - Zonda the Timely Night 

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Blackwing - Zonda the Timely Night 
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect
Level 6 ATK/ 2300 DEF/ 900

  • You cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck, except Synchro Monsters.
  • You can only use 1 of the following effects of "Blackwing - Zonda the Timely Night" per turn, and only once that turn.
  • If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can target 1 monster on the field; return it to the hand.
  • You can banish this card from your GY; Special Summon 1 Level 5 or higher "Blackwing" monster from your hand or Deck, then take damage equal to its ATK.

For a high leveled BlackwingZonda packs strong effects to match its difficult level. On summon, Zonda is able to bounce one monster back - either your opponent or yours. It is possible to recur your monsters for a secondary normal summon! Or just clear an opposing threat. In the graveyard, Zonda can tutor another high leveled Blackwing out of the deck! Notable inclusions are Kogarashi the Wanderer and Sirocco the Dawn. Unfortunately, the list of options for this summoning is very poor, so this makes Zonda weaker.

Zonda does not have an easy summoning condition, and the number of effective monsters it can summon is very poor. You may not want to consider this card entirely at all.

Blackwing - Boreas the Evil Wind 

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Blackwing - Boreas the Evil Wind
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect/Synchro
Level 4 ATK/ 1200 DEF/ 1600

1 DARK Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

  • If this card is Synchro Summoned: You can send 1 "Blackwing" monster from your Deck to the GY, and if you do, this card's Level becomes that monster's.
  • When this card destroys a monster by battle and sends it to the GY: You can banish 1 "Blackwing" monster from your face-up field or GY; Special Summon the destroyed monster to your field in Defense Position.
  • You can only use each effect of "Blackwing - Boreas the Evil Wind" once per turn.
Boreas is another addition to the evergrowing Blackwing Synchro family, this time as a Synchro Tuner. Like all other good Synchro Tuners before it, Boreas can manipulate its level to suit synchro strategies, and convienently add Blackwings into the Graveyard, very much like Vata . It also has a nifty monster stealing effect, which you can take advantage of to use for even more synchro summoning.
With this card's strong effects, powerful stats and its status as an easy to summon Synchro Tuner, it is a definite inclusion into the deck.

Black-Winged Assault Dragon 

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Black-Winged Assault Dragon
Dark/Winged Beast/Effect/Synchro
Level 10 ATK/ 3200 DEF/ 2800

1 DARK Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

  • Must be either Synchro Summoned, or Special Summoned by banishing 1 Tuner Synchro Monster and 1 " Black-Winged Dragon" from your field and/or GY.
  • Each time your opponent activates a monster effect, place 1 Black Feather Counter on this card immediately after it resolves, and if you do, inflict 700 damage to them.
  • During your opponent's turn (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with 4 or more Black Feather Counters; destroy all cards on the field.

Here it is, the cover card of Darkwing Blast! This is the strongest forme of Black-Winged Assault Dragon, and it comes bearing strong effects as well! First, Black-Winged Assault Dragon has a very easy summoning condition! Just merely banishing a Tuner Synchro Monster and Black-Winged Dragon, you can very quickly summon this magnificient dragon! This is very easily achievable through Chinook's extra deck milling, and Vata's single synchro summoning effect.

Whenever your opponent activates a monster effect in the presence of this fowl beast, they take 700 points of damage. This damage can easily rack up if you control more Black-Winged Assault Dragons, giving your opponent no time to breathe or style through your board with too many monster effects. Not only that, once 4 or more counters has been gathered, it can completely sweep the whole board! Truly a Darkwing Blast.

Black Feather Whirlwind 

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Black Feather Whirlwind
Continuous Spell

  • Once per turn, if you Special Summon a DARK Synchro Monster(s) from the Extra Deck: You can target 1 of your "Blackwing" monsters, or "Black-Winged Dragon", with lower ATK that is banished or in your GY; Special Summon it.
  • Once per turn, if a DARK monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can remove 1 Black Feather Counter from your field instead.

Black Feather Whirlwind is a noticeable retrain of the existing Black Whirlwind, and also includes resource generation related effects as well! On the summon of another Blackwing Synchro monster, it can summon another fallen friend to your side, allowing you to further reinforce your boards! You may notice that this pairs perfectly with the card that tutors it, summoning a banished Blackwing - Shamal the Sandstorm to your side of your field. 

In addition to this, this spell also includes a nifty protection effect. Remember Black-Winged Assault Dragon's unforgiving board wipe effect? You can now protect your side of the field with this card on your side! 

Blackwing - Twin Shadow 

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Blackwing - Twin Shadow 
Normal Trap

  • Return 2 of your "Blackwing" monsters that are banished and/or in your GY to the Deck and/or Extra Deck (1 Tuner and 1 non-Tuner); Special Summon 1 "Blackwing" Synchro Monster or "Black-Winged Dragon" from your Extra Deck whose Level exactly equals the total Levels of those monsters. (This is treated as a Synchro Summon.)
  • If you control 2 or more "Blackwing" monsters, you can activate this card from your hand.
  • You can only activate 1 "Blackwing - Twin Shadow" per turn.

Unsurprisingly, this trap card also encourages synchro summoning. By recycling two Blackwings, you can summon yet another Blackwing Synchro. But most interestingly is that you can bypass difficult summoning conditions! This includes strong additions that could never be used before, like Silverwind the Ascendant or Onimaru the Divine Thunder. This trap is made even easier to activate if you control more Blackwings, a feat too easy to perfom!

This card serves as an excellent extender, or a reliable recovery option. This should be played in any Blackwing decks.

Black Shadow Squall 

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Black Shadow Squall 
Counter Trap

  • When a Spell/Trap Card is activated: Remove 1 Black Feather Counter from your field; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card.
  • If you control "Black-Winged Dragon": You can Set this card from your GY, but banish it when it leaves the field.
  • You can only use 1 "Black Shadow Squall" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Every Legacy support should get their own counter trap, and Blackwings are no exception! 
This trap negates the activation of a spell/trap in exchange of a Black Feather Counter. It also resets itself in the presence of Black-Winged Dragon, which doubles its utility!

However, being able to negate only spell/traps is a huge drawback, and especially at the cost of a Black Feather Counter, which rarely sticks on standard Blackwing boards. Realistically, you would have to wait until Black-Winged Assault Dragon collects a counter before this card becomes live. So this card becomes difficult to activate and use. I would not recommend the usage of this card.

Now that we have gone through these long passages of text, what did you think about the cards? And how do we use them, given that we already have a huge pool of Blackwing cards to select from? Do not worry, I have samples! Let's take a look.

Black-Winged Decks

Pure Blackwings

As mentioned earlier, the new support completely revolves around the usage of Black-Winged Dragon. Through Blackwing's excellent searching capabilities, the player is able to cobble together their desired combo lines easily, resembling a standard Synchro Spam deck.

Simoon the Poison Wind and Black Whirlwind are excellent contributors to this factor, while Vata the Knave, Harmattan the Dust, and Black Feather Whirlwind are great and cheap extenders for the deck. There are many combo lines for this deck, but your usual end board includes big beefy birds like multiple copies of Black-Winged Assault Dragon, Blackwing Full Armor Master, and even additional strong Dark Synchros like Draco Berserker of the Tenyi and Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Abyss. This sort of Synchro Spam can easily carry onto the next turn through the use of Black Feather Whirlwind to recur them, or just suddenly springing yet another copy of Black-Winged Assault Dragon onto them.

Ideally, you want to start with access to your Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind, Black Whirlwind or Blackwing - Suthri the Illusory Spark

Raidraptor Phantom Knights Blackwings

This is Blackwings with the inclusion of Phantom Knights! This particular inclusion will tap into the insane power of Raidraptor - Force Strix and The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche to add multiple cards and develop even more interruptions! This variant is extremely susceptible to disruptions and bricking, but once you pull it off, you will have a very threatening board that many will struggle to deal with!

Too many birds to swarm? Here are a few combo lines you can view to enjoy Blackwings!

In addition. here are some very detailed guides on Blackwings, please check them out!

Beating Blackwings

Blackwings may have some devastating bosses in the form of the impermeable Blackwing Full Armor Master and timer Black-Winged Assault Dragon, is it possible to counter them? Absolutely!

Do not forget that this archetype, at its core, is a synchro-reliant deck. Simply slowing down their search powers like negating Vata's single synchro summon effect and Simoon's tutor effects are very damaging. Otherwise, you can also choose to pick apart their end boards with cards like Ra - Sphere Mode and Nibiru, the Primal Being. Just take the same strategies as you would against most hyper combo decks, and you should come out of the bird brawl alive, lest Black-Winged Assault Dragon burns you to oblivion.

My Thoughts and Conclusion

Blackwings are always a huge favorite amongst the larger general community, and that will not change for a very long time. Darkwing Blast has provided a very fun way to play Blackwings while incorporating the worst signer dragon into its playstyle.

In fact, I brought this deck to locals for a few rounds of great success! (Amongst Ishizu Tearlaments and Buster Lock Spright, so it is quite the achievement!) This deck is an absolute blast to pilot, and everyone enjoys laying out multiple white bordered monsters onto their fields. I hope you may get a general idea of how fun this deck really is, and you will have something cool to look forward to soon!

What did you think about the newest wave of support for the most supported archetype of all time? Let me know!


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