The Revival of Old Link Monsters!

Published 2 months ago by Renren Article Views 3,768 Comments 0 Estimated Reading Time 7 minutes Article

Link Monsters were first introduced in Starter Deck: Link Strike back in July 2017. 5 years have passed and Links are still fairly relevant as a whole as the game continues to evolve. However, a lot of the Link monsters in the game's early years fell out of favor for quite some time, until now. A lot of these old faces have risen once more thanks to the advent of Spright and Tearlaments. Today, we'll be taking a look at the most prolific ones.

Curiously Lamenting


                                                                       Release Date: 02-02-2018 (Extreme Force) 

Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion has always been a powerhouse and a half of a card, never doing anything fair whenever it was relevant. We last saw it wreak havoc around 2019 when Danger Thunder was running amok. That was a while ago and is quite difficult to summon, isn't it? So what gives? 
Tearlaments are an extremely powerful Fusion-based Mill deck introduced in Power of the Elements back in August and it seemed poised to be the deck to make use of Curious. However, this wasn't quite obvious at the time and it took until the European Championships for everything to line up for our friend over here. Danger Tear was a newly discovered variant that took the format by storm and is currently the best deck of the format, constantly adapting and finding new ways to overwhelm its competition. Curious plays an extremely pivotal role in the deck, which nothing else can replicate.
With the help of the various Danger monsters you run and various GY-based DARK extenders that all had different Types ( Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher, and Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite to name a few), it's quite trivial to bring out Curious and start snowballing out of control. From there, this insane Link-3 can send any card from the Deck to the GY. More often than not, this is after your opponent interrupted your Tearlaments Kitkallos from going off, so you can easily pivot into whatever play you wish. Need to get a Tear name? There's Tearlaments Sulliek for you. Need a free Level 4 that's also a game-winning interruption? Send Fairy Tail - Snow! Do you want to access any blowout card in the game? Dump it with Curious and then re-set it with Knightmare Gryphon or revive it with Number 60: Dugares the Timeless.
That's not all it did though, as it has two OTHER crazy effects that make Tear even harder to deal with than it already is. If a card is sent from your Deck to the GY, Curious' mandatory effect would trigger and mill an additional three cards. In a deck where even one mill can spell the end of the game, this exacerbates the issue of trying to combat Tear as they could easily hit one or multiple names and just keep going.

Some players would even leave it on the field to double up on their mills in both turns. Additionally, Curious staying also meant you can use its last effect to recycle any card in the GY back to your hand. This meant if you couldn't OTK the deck, you were in serious trouble as they could so easily add back a blowout card such as Super Polymerization
All in all, Curious went from a forgotten piece of the Link era to being considered banworthy alongside Snow in the current format, which is quite a feat. Even if it does eat the ban hammer, Tearlaments is so pushed that it can easily parasite something else and remain one of the strongest decks around until the end of all time.

Unicorn's Entourage 


image image                                                                                    Release Date: 05-04-2018 (Flames of Destruction) 
The other legal Knightmares have always been overshadowed by Knightmare Unicorn for most of their lifespan and for good reason. Being able to hit any card and shuffling it back is way stronger than merely destroying it. Gryphon meanwhile also fell out of favor fast compared to its other Link-4 competition. I:P Masquerena's introduction into the game meant several decks could easily turn Unicorn into a dangerous disruption on their opponent's turn. This isn't to say that these three Knightmares are bad, just not as universally applicable as the Link-3 stallion. After all, Phoenix still saw a good amount of play to help decks combat cards such as There Can Be Only One!
All three of them have been seeing significantly increased play this year, ever since products such as Power of the Elements and Tactical Masters came out. Let's get to why that is. For the Link-2 duo, Spright being able to access either one gives both increased viability. However, these two really hit their stride with Runick Spright. TAMA's most competitive archetype complements the Spright cards quite well, all for the small price of skipping the wielder's Battle Phase. Due to this, both Knightmare Cerberus and Knightmare Phoenix are excellent at picking apart the opponent's resources when running over things isn't an available option. Evil Twin Spright make great use of them too, as you can get several draws thanks to the arrows of both Link Ki-sikil and Lil-la co-linking with both Knightmares.
Knightmare Gryphon sees exclusive play in Danger Tearlaments, as a fantastic endboard piece that synergizes with Curious which ironically, is another "old" Link monster that's been tearing through the metagame. Curious and Gryphon is a timeless combo that lets the Tear player get any Spell / Trap they might need directly from their Deck. Eradicator Epidemic Virus is the most devastating option they have available, as it shreds through the multitude of Power Spells most people are playing as of now, and it also griefs Mystic Mine incredibly hard. Other options include Deck Devastation Virus, Super Polymerization, Appointer of the Red Lotus, and Anti-Spell Fragrance. That's not all though, as Gryphon's floodgate effect can make it difficult for your opponent to get their plays in order, just make sure to play with it in mind as the effect is symmetrical.

Topple the Logic 


                                                                Release Date: 08-03-2017 (Code of the Duelist)image                                                                   Release Date: 08-05-2019 (Rokket Revolt)Topologic Bomber Dragon was one of the first Link-4s to ever grace the game and was quite a popular pick back then! It quickly faded out though as stronger and more reliable options became available to the players. Not to worry, as Bomber is seeing an insane resurgence thanks to the wake of the Tearlaments strategy. Yes, once again Tear managed to resurrect an ancient threat back into the format. Bomber's effect to destroy all monsters in the Main Monster Zone is in fact, not once per turn. Tear can make use of this to shut down the opponent from playing the game. Chain Link 1 Spright Elf to revive Tearlaments Merrli, Chain Link 2 I:P Masquerena allows you to summon out this classic card and revive the Merrli under it. Bomber would blow up the field, and Merrli would mill 3 cards. And as a bonus, Merrli blowing up meant you can use her effect to Fusion Summon and then keep going from there. It also pairs ridiculously well with Fairy Tail - Snow, as she would get destroyed and can be re-used again as long as you had the ammo for her effect. This combo has seen a good amount of high-level play in the current TCG format but isn't as popular as the other option available. Still, it's good to keep in mind.
Topologic Zeroboros is what takes the cake, as both Spright and Tear can use it quite well. Pot of Desires being a viable option for both of them also means Zero is capable of reaching ludicrous numbers. For the first time in years, Zeroboros has seen more consistent usage in the tournament scene than Accesscode Talker, let that sink in. Similarly to Bomber, its interaction with Elf and IP makes it so you can wipe the field on demand and clean up the game immediately after. Zero banishes cards instead of destroying them and hits Spells and Traps, not just monsters. This means it has pretty solid application vs nearly all matchups and is often your main finisher as a Danger Tearlament player as the field will be empty the time it comes back, or you don't trigger the effect at all and just deal lethal with an absurdly high ATK Zeroboros. Orochi banishing cards also fuel it quite well, pretty good stuff!

Honorable Mentions


Borreload Dragon is extremely popular over in the OCG side as it is fairly difficult for Tear to answer while stealing key cards such as Avramax when Spright was a relevant choice. This never applied to the TCG format but is an interesting thing to note nonetheless.
Day-Breaker the Shining Magical Warrior saw some brief play yet again as an option for Exosister to help out Rivalry of Warlords which both Raymond Dai and Ryan Yu teched in their YCS Topping Exo lists.
Beat Cop from the Underworld caused a bit of a storm during the European Championships by protecting Mystic Mine! However, this was a one-hit wonder as people quickly adapted to using different Mine answers instead.


That brings us to the end of our article! Which old Link monster would you like to see make a comeback in the future? Do you think Curious should be banned after all? Whatever your thoughts are, make sure to let me know down below. I hope you enjoyed this read. Until next time folks, Renren out!

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