The Cyber Style in Yu-Gi-Oh is a very interesting case. You got the ever-so-powerful Cyber Dragons and the lackluster Cyberdarks. Together, you get one of the most iconic archetypes from the GX era. In this series, I plan to go through the popular cards and Decks of the Cyber Style. This way, we can analyze the impact of the Cyber Style on the competitive Yu-Gi-Oh history. From its early days of Cyber Dragon in anything Machine related to Cyber Dragons becoming its own Deck. This study will compile of the overall history of the Cyber Style.
Table of Contents
- The Cards
- The Deck Variants
Cyber Dragon, for the most part, took a backseat post its GX glory days. It was still a good card during the 5D’s era, but its main purpose was Chimeratech Fortress Dragon if anything. The main source of limelight the card received came with a retrain in Cyber Dragon Zwei, which never saw real use. It finally got the support to become a more pure strategy once we received a Structure Deck to take the card and make a more proper strategy around. More support later came in Breakers of Shadow to help, then it would take a few years for a break.
Then we reach 2018, where we get several waves of support for our Cybernetic friend. From Cybernetic Horizon and Legendary Duelists: White Dragon Abyss, we finally got what we needed to become a more respected Deck. A few extra cards in other sets helped as well, however. Anyways, now we look at the Cyber support in chronological order and see how we’ve finally evolved to become a pure Deck. After, we’ll take a look at deck lists that used the new support that found success.
Cyber Dragon Core
Cyber Dragon Core is the most important Normal Summon of the Cyber strategy. Core upon being summoned could search you any Cyber Spell/Trap. While we only had 1 good option on release, it was still an important card to get to. It could also banish itself from the graveyard to summon a Cyber Dragon from the Deck. All you needed was to control no monsters while your opponent did.
The key part of this, as we would see on the other Main Deck monsters, is this card is treated as the original Cyber Dragon on the field or in the grave. This created an interesting situation, as you could use Machine Duplication on Core, due to its 400 ATK. Instead of summoning 2 Cores, you would get 2 copies of the original Cyber Dragon. Getting to your main monster is perfect for Fusion Summoning, or as the Structure Deck would introduce for the archetype, an Xyz Summon. Core had all the traits it needed to help begin the path of making a pure Cyber Deck.
Cyber Repair Plant
Now we start to understand the utility of Core by getting to its first search target, Cyber Repair Plant. Repair Plant was a solid card with two useful effects you could choose from. Now, you could get both effects instead if you had at least 3 Cyber Dragons in the grave, but most of the time you would receive one effect. You did have to have at least 1 Cyber Dragon in grave to even use this card, which was achievable when most your monsters were treated as Cyber Dragon.
Two Effect Options
The main effect was to add any LIGHT Machine from the Deck to the hand. At the time, this was fine to get to your Dragon, but the targets grew over time. We’ll cover the archetypal monsters you might have searched with this, but you might be more likely to go out of the archetype for search targets. Galaxy Soldier was great with its easy Special Summon effect. It also searched another Galaxy Soldier potentially, helping get to your Xyzs as soon as possible. Another option was Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju just to remove an opponent’s pesky monster, which you could later use to summon Chimeratech Fortress Dragon to not deal with 3300 ATK.
The second effect isn’t that common to use, but it put a LIGHT Machine back into your Deck. This was fine to put something back to search with another Repair Plant. You couldn’t put it back and then search if you had 3 Cyber Dragons in grave because using both effects makes you search first. There isn’t much to this, but if you needed a card back in Deck to search, you at least had the option.
Cyber Dragon Nova
We now meet the new boss of the strategy that wasn’t a Fusion Monster: Cyber Dragon Nova. Nova was super easy to summon in the archetype, just needing 2 Level 5 Machines. In the earliest days, Cyber Dragon Drei helped you get your Machines to become Level 5. However, that wasn’t needed as we went through the years. Anyways, this card let you detach a material to summon a Cyber Dragon from the grave, which provided more damage output for an OTK. If you didn’t have an original Cyber Dragon in grave, you could detach one attached to Nova to revive since you target the monster after detaching.
Next you have a Quick Effect to banish Cyber Dragon from hand or face-up field to boost this card’s ATK by 2100 until the end of the turn. It’s a simple effect mainly to ensure you achieve more damage. Later on, this could setup the archetype’s own Fusion Spell, but that likely never mattered considering this was meant to help OTK.
Also, if your opponent tried to get rid of this to prevent an OTK, you could summon any Machine Fusion from the Extra Deck. You could simply use this to get to Cyber Twin Dragon or Cyber End Dragon for more damage. That, or you could go outside the archetype to summon Barbaroid, the Ultimate Battle Machine or later on Invoked Mechaba. All these effects made Nova an OTK machine for the archetype.
Cyber Dragon Infinity
Now we come to a second Xyz that Nova became famous for, being the material to summon Cyber Dragon Infinity. Any Deck that summons 2 Level 5 Machines could access this, because you were never using 3 Level 6 LIGHT Machines to summon it. Now, while this card was abused outside Cyber Dragons, the archetype is able to use it. The main selling point was the omni-negation effect by detaching a material. This effect helped give Cyber Dragons something they lacked up to that point, ways to ensure their plays or damage output.
Infinity didn’t stop there, as it could also absorb an Attack Position monster as Xyz Material. This helps get your weak monsters off the board or absorb an opponent’s monster. It was a omen to how useful Cyber Dragons could be at breaking boards in the future. Anyways, getting ways to get more Xyz Materials meant more negations. It also gained 200 ATK per each material it had. The negation is perfect for Cyber Dragons to give them something they never had up to that point.
Chimeratech Rampage Dragon
As we advanced through the years, Chimeratech Overdragon became unreliable. Even with Overload Fusion eventually returning to 3, we lost pre-errata Future Fusion to the banlist. This is where Chimeratech Rampage Dragon came in. Rampage Dragon was a powerful new Fusion that just needed at least 2 Cyber Dragons to Fusion Summon. You could use more than 2, which then boosted the first effect to destroy Spells and Traps up to the number of Fusion Materials. It is backrow removal the archetype could use to also help ensure their attacks went through to finish the game.
The second effect is used to finish the game. Rampage Dragon could send up to 2 LIGHT Machines from the Deck to the grave once per turn. In return, you gained an additional attack per each card sent. This created a 2100 ATK monster that could attack up to three times. It is great for either removing several of the opponent’s monsters or to get 6300 direct damage. It is a good modernized Fusion for the archetype as the original Fusions became outdated.
We finally reach 2018, and Cyber Dragon is awaiting a massive wave of support. Before that, however, we get an updated searcher for the archetype. Cyber Emergency is a searcher for the archetype with no requirement, unlike Repair Plant. You could simply activate this to search for any Cyber Dragon monster, or any LIGHT Machine you couldn’t Normal Summon/Set. Up until Drytron, this was really only used in the archetype it was meant for, Cyber Dragons. The search for the LIGHT Machines in the Cyber Dragon archetype is only useful if you wanted to run Cyber Eltanin.
The fact we now had a searcher for the archetype without a graveyard requirement improved consistency on turn 1. Searching any Cyber Dragon monster meant you could get to the entire monster lineup. While they weren’t treated as Cyber Dragon in the Deck, they at least had the words “Cyber Dragon” in their name in that order. That’s all that was needed to make those cards searchable. The opponent negating the activation of this didn’t work, as them doing such let you discard a card to retrieve this from the grave. It is a near guaranteed search the archetype appreciated.
Cyber Dragon Herz
We’ve finally reached Cybernetic Horizon and the update that Cyber Dragon archetype needed. One of the big cards was a second Machine Duplication target in Cyber Dragon Herz. Herz, however, had more use than a Machine Duplication target. Upon it being Special Summoned, you could change its Level to 5 for the turn, but you were then locked to summoning Machines. This wasn’t commonly used, but it helped in case you needed Cyber Dragon Nova access. Herz is mainly useful to send to the grave to add a Cyber Dragon from Deck or grave to the hand.
Having the ability to grab from the graveyard gave you access to all the monsters treated as Cyber Dragon. Getting the original from Deck, however, sufficed as well. It is useful to setup Galaxy Soldier so you could discard Herz to summon Soldier. Soldier then searched a second copy while Herz got you another piece of discard fodder for your second Soldier. You could also Link your Herz into Salamangreat Almiraj to get the card you wanted as well. Herz had all the qualities needed to be a useful new addition to the archetype.
Cyber Dragon Vier
Along with the new Machine Duplication target, we also got a fine extender for Cyber Dragons in Cyber Dragon Vier. Another monster that duplicates the original Cyber Dragon’s name, Vier could be Special Summoned from hand when you Normal/Special Summon a Cyber Dragon. It was useful once your Normal Summoned a Core or Herz to get a body on board.
This was released in the heart of Master Rule 4, where Link Monsters opened up your plays. This helped ensure you could Link Summon to open up zones for Fusions or Xyzs. It also provided a 500 ATK/DEF boost to your Cyber Dragons. This wasn’t too relevant, however, as the monsters treated as Cyber Dragon didn’t stay on the board too long.
Cyber Dragon Sieger
Speaking of Links for Cyber Dragons, they have their own in Cyber Dragon Sieger. Sieger has good arrows for its initial Link Summon or being revived later. It’s good to have that left arrow considering it can be revived with Nova. Yes, Sieger is another monster treated as the original Cyber Dragon. Sieger has a nice attack boosting effect to get your Machines with 2100+ ATK another 2100 ATK. It’s nice mainly on your Rampage Dragon, Twin Dragon, or End Dragon. You give up Sieger’s ability to do damage the turn you use this effect, plus you must have not attacked with it yet. It’s a good way to transfer Sieger’s ATK basically to something that could do more damage with it at least.
Overall, Sieger did have a lot of traits that Cyber Dragons needed for their Link in Master Rule 4. Its arrows were great for its initial summon or Nova revival. It was another Cyber Dragon if you needed. Its effect helped add towards OTKs. It was a must during the original Master Rule 4 to help Cyber Dragons make more plays. As we advanced towards Master Rule 2020, it wasn’t as necessary since you no longer needed arrows. You would still use it, as the traits it offers are still nice. We’ve just thankfully advanced past the need for Links to make Extra Deck plays.
After a bit, we’ve finally reached a good Spell/Trap for the archetype that isn’t a searcher. Cyber Revsystem is instead a Monster Reborn for the archetype, but it could also summon from hand. It revives Cyber Dragon and any monster treated as Cyber Dragon in the grave. It also adds protection for destruction via card effects, helping your monster get an attack. That’s mainly good on bigger Cyber Dragons like the original or Sieger.
Your smaller monsters being revived are likely going to be used for Link or Fusion Material. You could also revive the original Cyber Dragon to summon Nova and Infinity, which is another bonus. Having the extender in Cyber Dragon is useful, especially without the hard once per turn. It’s mainly good to finally have a target that did more than searching to grab off Core, but it wasn’t the best target to search arguably.
Here’s what’s potentially the best Cyber Spell/Trap that isn’t a searcher, instead it’s one of the best board breakers an archetype can receive. Cybernetic Overflow is a Trap that banishes Cyber Dragons with different Levels to destroy cards the opponent controls. Non-targeting removal is a bonus, even if it still destroys. Overflow’s banishing also sets up the archetypal Fusion Spell, which is a bonus, but using graveyard materials means you don’t really lose anything. You could use your field as well, but you likely used your monsters for bigger summons. With you most often seeing a Level 1, 2, 5, and sometimes 4 in Cyber Dragons, you can get 3-4 pops pretty easily.
Overflow also has a bonus to punish the opponent for destroying it, mostly to make up for the slow nature of Traps. If it is destroyed by an effect, even your own effect, you can search a Cyber Spell/Trap. Another way to get to another copy of Overflow is a good option, or to get to your searchers like Repair Plant or Emergency. It’s always good for cards to replace themselves, especially if you didn’t get use out of it. It’s a great way to make up for the slow nature of Traps and a must for Cyber Dragons.
While we get a wave of 5 new cards in White Dragon Abyss, we only got one new card that offered a good amount for Cyber Dragons. Cyberload Fusion is a Quick-Play Spell to help summon your Cyber Dragon-related Fusions. All you have to do is shuffle the Fusion Materials into the Deck from your field or banished zone. The access to the banished zone is great to synergize with Overload Fusion or Cybernetic Overflow. The field is also good since that’s the only place of the two your monsters will be treated as Cyber Dragon.
There is a downside where your other monsters cannot attack for the rest of the turn, but there’s a way around that. All you got to do really is attack with your monsters first, then use Cyberload Fusion. This way you summon your Fusion and can then attack with that. Now using it during your Battle Phase gives up Rampage Dragon’s effect to get multiple attacks, so there’s something to consider there. At the very least, summoning Twin Dragon or End Dragon could be good to get more OTK damage. It’s a great searchable Fusion Spell.
Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon
For years, Chimeratech Fortress Dragon was a good way to out anything Machine-related. Now, we have a modernized Chimeratech to out Extra Deck monsters. Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon‘s main point is the Fusion Material of a Cyber Dragon monster and anything in the Extra Monster Zone. It helps out all the Extra Deck monsters in Master Rule 4, and even hits good Links after the update in 2020.
It’s also strong against an opponent using Cyber Dragon Infinity and the Extra Monster Zone, since it just needs any Cyber Dragon monster. Having more ways to out an opponent’s board really adds to Cyber Dragon’s ability to break a board. The chance to get rid of an Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess in the Extra Monster Zone is great at the very least.
Cyber Dragon Nachster
We’ve reached the final piece of support for Cyber Dragons before the impending Cyber Style Structure Deck. Cyber Dragon Nachster is a pretty good card to be a third Machine Duplication target. First, it’s good to discard a card to Special Summon it, setting up Overload Fusion or Nachster’s own effect. On summon, Nachster lets you revive any of your Machines with 2100 ATK or DEF. Not limiting you to Cyber Dragon means you open up more options.
The Deck Variants
After looking at all the modern support, we can now get to the deck lists. While the first wave of support was good for OTKing, the later waves in Master Rule 4 made the Deck less linear. You can see the design to OTK in any of the variants with the multi attackers and big numbers. Of course, you got the cards like Rampage Dragon, Overflow, and the Chimeratechs to help remove monsters on board. Don’t forget Cyber Dragon Infinity’s effect to absorb monsters! The Deck was nice to get a second lease on life in 2014, but having a real meta run in 2018 was great.
Kaiju Cyber Dragon
I did mention Jizukiru being searchable off of Cyber Repair Plant. It was a viable option to invest a little more into the Kaiju package for board breaking. Interrupted Kaiju Slumber is still a pretty strong card to clear a board and search more Kaijus. This was good before the 2018 support really boosted the archetype, considering how powerful Kaijus can be.
Cyberr Dragon Orcust
Now we reach one of the best Cyber Dragon variants we’ve seen. Cyber Dragons and Orcust went well together for board breaking. Orcust is fairly consistent, especially turning 2 monsters into Knightmare Mermaid, which Cyber Dragons could provide. You break boards with Cyber Dragon stuff and then go into Mermaid to get Orcust Knightmare from Deck to use your Orcust engine. Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star having another field removal effect was also a good bonus for board breaking, especially revived off of Orcust Cymbal Skeleton. During the period you saw Orcust in everything when Mermaid and Orcust Harp Horror was legal, Cyber Dragon was one of the best Orcust variants.
Seeing Cyber Dragons get a revival 9 years after the release of the original monster was great in 2014. It was later improved on with a real wave of support in 2018 to create a proper Deck that was easier to fill out. Cyber Dragon was a great OTK Deck that later grew some board breaking capabilities. The powerful Fusions the archetype has received make for a great Extra Deck lineup. The fact we added Xyzs and Links later on was nice. Also I’m glad to see Konami come back to this archetype every once in a while.
Cyber Style Structure Deck – Cyberdark Evolution
After Nachster’s release, the only real good new addition to Cyber Dragon was Predaplant Verte Anaconda to access the Fusion Spells from the Deck. Now we got a second Structure Deck for Cyber Dragons coming, and this one might just finally add the Cyberdarks to the Cyber Style legacy. Cyberdark Chimera is the Power Bond searcher we always wanted, while turning it into an Overload Fusion. They will also get added consistency with Cybernetic Horizon the card, alongside Cyberdark World. We also got a new boss in Cyberdark End Dragon to upgrade your Cyberdark Dragon or Cyberdarkness Dragon equipped with Cyber End.
We have yet to see how good the Cyberdark cards will be in the TCG, especially mixed with Cyber Dragons. It’ll be interesting to see what the Cyberdarks add to Cyber Dragons after years of being neglected. The support is great, especially for such a beloved archetype. This did get 2nd Place in a Structure Deck poll, only losing to the intrigue for what Konami does with Ice Barriers. Either way, I highly doubt the Cyber Style is done, and its legacy will continue to grow over the years.