Welcome to Part 2 of a guide to Darklords, where I’ll be talking about cards you might play in the deck to help it reach its full potential. I’ll split this discussion into 4 sections: Main Deck Monsters, Spells, Traps, and Extra Deck Monsters. Please note that not every single one of these cards is meant to be played with all the others. Rather, each one of these suggestions is an idea you can incorporate into your playstyle, if you find that it helps you out.
Main Deck Monsters
The Fallen must have an army to control, right? Since the deck runs high-Level monsters, most of which require tributes to summon, it is important to have more easily summonable monsters to protect you while you gather resources.
Archlord Kristya – When Darklords were first revealed, many wanted to use Archlord Krystia as a main card in the deck, and who could blame them? As a Level 8 monster, she is a prime target for Trade-In, and as a Fairy-Type, she is summonable with Darklord Superbia’s effect. All that, on top of a 2800 ATK monster that’s a walking floodgate against Special Summoning? Not to mention, Archlord Kristya can also be Special Summoned from your hand simply by having exactly 4 Fairy-type monsters in the grave, which is easy to accomplish, what with Darklords being able to manipulate the grave. That all sounds really nice, right? But as the deck evolved, it became clear that running too many of her didn’t help the deck out that much. Her summoning condition, while easier to set up in Darklords, more often led to him bricking if you needed to make more optimal plays that wouldn’t leave you with 4 Fairies in grave. For this reason, I would suggest using 0-1 copies of her in the deck.
Vanity’s Fiend – Unlike Archlord Kristya, Vanity’s Fiend is a card that rose higher into grace with time. As a Dark monster, he is an Allure of Darkness target, and as a Level 6, he only requires 1 Tribute to be Summoned. This accessibility and potential boost to consistency means that he is played at 3 in the deck.
Maxx “C” – Hand traps are inherently good cards, and compared to the others out there, Maxx “C” is probably the best for main-decking. It forces your opponent to think on your strategy and consider whether they want to commit to their board. Should be played at 2, since you can only play 2 now.
Hecatrice – A cute card that can be discarded to search out Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen. It was played early on in testing, but has since fallen out of favor.
Speedroid Terrortop and Speedroid Taketomborg – The old one-two-Rank-3 combo. Speedroid Terrortop and Speedroid Taketomborg allow you to make a quick Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss, who in turn lets you mill cards right away to set up your grave for future plays – and that’s only one of the many Rank 3 options this little engine opens up. Speedroid Terrortop and Speedroid Taketomborg also serve as needed tribute flooder for Vanity’s Fiend and Darklords as well. The standard ratio is 3 Speedroid Terrortop and 1 Speedroid Taketomborg.
Kuribandit – As the deck revolves heavily around Special Summoning, you will rarely use your Normal Summon. Kuribandit can be used to quickly mill cards to your grave while also possibly adding one of your much-needed Spells or Traps to your hand. He can be played at 2 depending if you wish to include him.
Trains – This engine found the spotlight a few months back when a player managed to top with this build in the OCG. The general idea was that since Darklord Ixtab is a level 10, she would fit in perfectly with the Rank 10 train engine. Lithium2300 made a good video explaining and discussing the deck here.
Kaiju – The Kaiju engine can be splashed into the deck to help remove problem cards your opponent plays if you’re going second. Radian, the Multidimensional Kaiju is a Level 7 Dark monster, so he’s a target for Allure of Darkness on top of his tributing utility. Trade-In also synergizes well with Kaijus such as Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju, Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju, and Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju.
In terms of ratios, I recommend 3 Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, 2 Radian, the Multidimensional Kaiju, 1 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju, and 1 Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju. Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju being the weakest one means that you want to be giving it to your opponent, and Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju being the strongest one means you’ll want to save it for yourself. Radian, the Multidimensional Kaiju cones in the middle, with a 2800 ATK stat that can either beat over Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju or get beaten over by Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju, so he works fine on both sides of the field.
Squires – The Squire engine consists of Eidos the Underworld Squire and Edea the Heavenly Squire, and is splashed in to mitigate the bricking problem you might face if you begin a game with only high-Level monsters. If you decide to run this engine, I would recommended 3 Eidos the Underworld Squire and 3 Edea the Heavenly Squire in order to maximize the chance of seeing them as soon as possible. One of the stronger selling points of this engine is that it will allow you to more effectively use Darklord Morningstar in the deck.
Since the deck already has 2 Spells of its own, what else does it need? Draw power, more and more draw power.
Trade-In – I’ve talked about this card a lot already, and for good reason. By discarding a Level 8 monster, which the deck runs at least 5 that can be search out, you can use this card to draw 2 more cards. In a deck that runs so many viable targets, Trade-In is a no-brainer to thin out your deck and speed up your plays. It is played at 3 in all builds.
Allure of Darkness – Geez, in a deck full of DARK monsters, who would’ve thought that Allure of Darkness would be a good card? I mean, draw 2 cards and then all you have to do is banish a DARK monster? Since the decks release, Allure of Darkness has been a staple card, and is still played at 3 in all builds.
Soul Charge – The deck sends a lot of monsters to the grave, both through its own plays and through discarding to draw. Soul Charge is used to revive those fallen angels back to the field. If this card was not Limited, we would run more copies, but one is all we get.
Reasoning – With the deck running nothing but high-Level monsters, Reasoning is a good tech choice for the deck. You run everything from Levels 5-10, so your opponent will have a hard time calling the correct level. Like Soul Charge, this card is Limited, so we can only play it at 1.
Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen – A card that was tested out in early builds, as nearly all the Darklords are Fairy-Types. This card allows you to Special Summon one Fairy-Type monster from your hand for free, so long as you control no monsters. However, it has long since fallen out of favor for the deck, as it’s only good for summoning monsters like Archlord Kristya.
The deck naturally runs a low Trap count, but here are some Trap cards I would recommend.
Vanity’s Emptiness – A basic floodgate card that stops Special Summoning. If you don’t open up with Vanity’s Fiend or Archlord Krystia, you may still have Vanity’s Emptiness to stop your opponent. This card is also Limited, so we can only use one.
Eradicator Epidemic Virus – A devastating card that can completely stop your opponent’s plays, especially in a format where Spell cards are key to many decks. Eradicator Epidemic Virus can hit key cards before they are activated, and is perfect for a deck running so many DARK monsters whose DEF meets the card’s requirements. As a reminder, Pendulum monsters are treated as monster cards in hand, not Spell cards, so calling “Spell” with this effect won’t hit them. But the problem with Eradicator Epidemic Virus is that it’s not searchable, and you’ll have to rely on opening with it or drawing it to ever use it.
Bat Blight Virus – While this card won’t be out until February, I’ll still take a moment to talk about it. With the upcoming threat of Zoodiacs in Raging Tempest, Bat Blight Virus will be an important card, as it can hurt many Zoodiac plays. Bat Blight Virus is also useful against many meta-relevant decks such as ABC and Metalfoes. However, like Eradicator Epidemic Virus, Bat Blight Virus is not searchable, so use it at your own risk.
Anti-Spell Fragrance – Another devastating floodgate that can be played in a format that relies on Spells cards, and especially Pendulums, which this card completely stops. Once you’ve set up a field and have no need for your own Spell cards, you can make this card’s downsides apply only to your opponent. Plus, with Darklords’s ability to activate the effects of Spell cards in the grave, this card will rarely hinder your play if you time it right.
Extra Deck Monsters
The Extra Deck is usually one of the most important things to consider when deckbuilding, but Darklords rarely touch their Extra deck, as they would rather gather up a field of high-ATK main-deck monsters, or lock down their opponent through Vanity’s Fiend, Archlord Krystia, and cards like Anti-Spell Fragrance.
The Darklord Extra Deck is mainly filled with generic Rank 8 monsters such as Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand and Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy. Any Rank 8 monsters you run can Rank-Up into Number 84: Pain Gainer, who can then Rank-Up in turn into Number 77: The Seven Sins. However, there are some specific options to consider.
Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss – Damn Dante, back at it again. As mentioned earlier, Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss is a generic Rank 3 you can make if you choose to use Speedroid Terrortop and Speedroid Taketomborg. His ability to mill 3 cards to load up your grave is great for setting up your plays.
Number 23: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld – A generic Rank 8 monster. With the ability to stop the first effect your opponent uses once per turn, Number 23: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld is a knight who proudly serves the Darklords. He forces most opponents to sacrifice one of their effects to his negation before they can get over him.
Number 22: Zombiestein – There is not much to say about Number 22: Zombiestein, except the fact that he has a huge 4500 ATK. He is simply a beatstick you can go into if you wish.
Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max – While non-Train variants will only run 3 level 10 monsters, it’s still nice to cover all your bases, and in this deck, you have the space for it. Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max is a powerhouse to have just in case you want to deal massive burn damage.
Number 81: Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Super Dora – A nice alternative to have if Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max doesn’t float your boat, or isn’t enough alone. Number 81: Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Super Dora’s ability to male any one monster invulnerable to other card effects for a turn is an enormous asset.
Galaxy-Eyes – The Galaxy-Eyes family consists of Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon, Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon, and Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon, and it’s a very welcome group of fearsome dragons to have by your side. In the previous format, Blue-Eyes made sure that competitive players became familiar with these monsters. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure, I’ll go through each member and discuss their place in the Extra Deck:
- Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon – A generic Rank 8 that can attack twice in the same Battle Phase by detaching a Material. You probably won’t be using his effect as often as you will be ranking it up into Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon.
- Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon – Another generic Rank 8 that can steal an opponent’s monster and make its name become “Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon”, but at the cost of only allowing itself to attack that turn. Like the previous entry, Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon is also used to Rank-Up into Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon. However, since the monster you stole is now treated as “Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon”, you can use that monster to Rank-Up as well, acquiring a strong monster for yourself while making sure your opponent never gets theirs back.
- Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon – Though it requires 3 Level 8 monsters to make normally, you’ll rarely ever summon it this way, as you’ll mostly be making it by ranking up the dragons we’ve just discussed. And even it may not stay around for long. Its ability to destroy 1 face-up card your opponent controls is very useful, but you will usually find yourself using it right before you Rank-Up into its ultimate form.
- Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon – The final member of the group and the most fearsome of all. While you won’t be able to use its effect to banish your opponent’s cards, its ability to attack up to 2 of your opponent’s monsters opens up the way for massive damage, usually enough to seal a game.
Xyz Spider – The Xyz Spider family consists of Number 35: Ravenous Tarantula, Number 84: Pain Gainer, and Number 77: The Seven Sins, and they too have a web of Rank-Ups that your opponent won’t want to be caught in.
- Number 35: Ravenous Tarantula – The first spider is a generic Rank 10 that boosts all of your monsters’ ATK and DEF by the differences between your and your opponent’s LP. You can combo this with the fact that many Darklords’ effects require you to pay 1000 LP. You can also detach a material from this card to destroy all monsters your opponent controls with ATK less than this card’s ATK. But if none of that is what you need right then, you can always just Rank-Up into…
- Number 84: Pain Gainer – A Rank 11 spider that can be summoned by ranking up a Rank 8, 9, or 10 DARK monster. Number 84: Pain Gainer’s main purpose is not his effect, but his ability to Rank-Up into the biggest spider of them all…
- Number 77: The Seven Sins – A gigantic spider with 4000 ATK. Its effect allows it to detach 2 Materials to banish all Special Summoned monsters your opponent controls, which can be a blowout, but keep in mind it cannot be activated during the turn you Summon it by ranking up.
If you find that any of these are not for you, or you still have space after using the ones you need, consider filling up your remaining Extra Deck slots with targets for Ghost Reaper and Winter Cherries. These targets will change with the meta, but right now, some of the best choices are as ABC-Dragon Buster, Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss, or Toadally Awesome.
Thanks for reading, I hope this helps give you an idea of what to consider playing, and why. Stay tuned for part 3, where I’ll go into general deck builds and plays, and their strengths and weaknesses.
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