Domain Monarchs are a deck that’s quite a few years old now, though certainly benefitting from a few new toys and changes. Let’s revisit this deck and learn how to go about it in modern times! This will serve as a nice introduction to the beloved strategy.
The deck received a huge surge in popularity after Lithium2300 was able to make an impressive 2nd place finish with the deck. You can find his Deck Profile here! His approach is a bit more traditional, but there are ways to expand upon it.
Table of Contents
Requirin’ the Squires
These cards are the cornerstone of the strategy since the beginning, and there’s no debate that you should run them.
A good Edea to play!
Edea is one of the strongest starters available to Domain Monarchs as she facilitates a lot of plays. Her effect allows you to summon a squire/vassal from the deck! For instance, Eidos the Underworld Squire is usually the main target of choice, but there are a lot of options to work with. As a result, she provides you with two bodies off the bat, paving the way for your big Level 8 Monarchs, which is nice as you won’t always have a way to have Domain to reduce their levels. On top of that, the GY effect allows for strong recursion! With the right setup, you’re able to recur any Monarch Spell or Trap from your Deck! This can be done with the combination of Ehther or Erebus alongside Edea.
Additionally, this heavenly squire works quite well with some of the limited power spells the deck runs.
Reinforcement of the Army can search her directly from the Deck. One for One gets her from the Deck without eating up the Normal Summon. Foolish Burial can certainly dump her over Erebus if the situation calls for it, needing to recycle a banished Monarch Spell / Trap.
All in all, a superb monster and still one of the cornerstones of the strategy. Play 3 copies for sure.
Eidos for Dos
Eidos is another strong starter card for the Deck, so much so that he’s usually the main target for Edea’s effect. This underworld force lets you perform a Tribute Summon in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. The duo allows you to garner effective tribute fodder for your heavy hitters. This card is relevant in that it’s quite self-sufficient. It’s more resilient to the likes of certain hand traps, and drawing it is never bad if it’s all you have as a starter. His GY effect let you recur Edea or Mithra for additional use.
One tribute monsters play well with Eidos, notably Vanity and Majesty’s Fiend for the stun variants, or Seleglare/Kuraz for players who prefer to make better use of Ehther’s effect. Domain’s effect to reduce levels perfectly pairs up with him for a 1-2 punch!
Special mention also goes to Mithra, which can be considered as an occasional 1-of that provides some neat benefits. It makes a couple of hands less awkward to play with, and can be a fun choice!
Aside from their iconic monsters, the Monarchs are mostly known for their insane line-up of Spells / Traps!
While the two are decent starters, you can also go the squireless route with Red Layer and friends or focus more on the aforementioned Mithra by preference.
As good as Edea and Eidos are in theory, they can be a tad bit too susceptible to hand traps like Ash Blossom or PSY-Framegear Gamma. In this case, you can opt to use the likes of Mithra, Linkslayer, Red Layer, and the new Uncamouflight as your starter summons instead. This is an interesting development and a conservative approach that may lead to good results! The sample deck below won’t show this, but you can easily edit it in.
The Arsenal of the Monarchs
The trinity of Domain, Pantheism, and Stormforth are no doubt 3-of staples in the deck. Running any less of these is not advisable. Domain lets you reduce levels to make tributing easier and even gives a nice ATK boost. These traits, of course, are all cherries on top of the amazing lockout effect the Field Spell is packing. Most importantly, it locks your opponent out of Special Summoning from the Extra Deck! Therefore, there’s no reason to run any fewer than three copies.
Pantheism is a draw spell that unclogs dead S/T or Prime out of your grip, and even has a handy GY effect! Being able to toolbox your entire lineup of Spells and Traps in addition to the draws is an effect well worth it. Just have to be smart about what you reveal, as mind games can come into play at times. This Normal Spell is one of the strongest the deck has to offer, and the first effect is also not once per turn.
Stormforth is an incredible tool both for going first and going second! This infamous Quick-Play remains a strong card with its premium removal. The deck can struggle at times to garner enough tribute fodder to unleash your big monsters onto the opponent. Storm fixes that issue and even removes their monster without any worry! In addition to that, you can facilitate Ehther’s effect if you went first, making use of Prime or a spare Edea and their monster!
Tenacity is the last of the mainstays, as it is essentially any Monarch Spell / Trap card that you need at the given moment. It gives Prime and Ehther some much needed banish fodder as well! Quite the win-win, if I do say so myself.
Return allows for extension and even SEGOCS your effects, granting Erebus and Ehther some nice security as Chain Link 2. On top of that, you can even add the other or the likes of Majesty’s Fiend if you were feeling spicy. It can be troublesome at times to use, so 1-2 copies work just fine.
Prime is a strong free monster that grants you grind game with both of its effects. In slower formats, this trap can recycle your resources and help outlast the opponent. The second effect is the main reason to play it though! Having access to free material for tributes and for preventing OTKs is such a nice asset to have. It’s generally agreed upon that 2 copies is the sweet spot for this one.
March and Strike are tech cards that come up every now and again depending on the format. While they’re not as strong as the other Spells, you can always keep them in the back of your mind when deckbuilding.
The same can be said for Erupt. It’s a strong floodgate for sure, but can mess with your plays. Still, it can be worth as a singleton since there’s plenty of ways to get to it.
Now we move on to the namesake of the deck, the Main Deck Monarch monsters! These are powerful monsters that gain their effects when Tribute Summoned (except for Kuraz / Delg who work on Normal or Special). In this article, we’ll be going over the ones that still see play. To add to that, we’ll also check out some other honorary monsters played in the Deck.
Erebus and Ehther are the perfect pair that you simply cannot go without. Both of them send important Monarch Spells and Traps from your Deck to your GY, allowing for a lot of plays if uninterrupted. Notable targets to send include Prime and Pantheism, as they let you have some nice grind and toolbox potential. Erebus has the nifty ability to shuffle back a card on your opponent’s field, hand (at random), or GY, which is a ludicrous form of removal.
On top of The Monarchs Stormforth, the duo is capable of breaking some nasty setups wide open. What’s Vanity’s Ruler or Dark Dragoon? If you’re going first, it can rip a card out of the opponent’s hand which can limit their way to out Erebus + Domain. Last but not the least, Erebus is able to recur monsters with Monarch stats in your GY while it’s in the GY (as a quick effect, and including itself). This is done by pitching dead Spell / Traps from your hand.
Ehther is also another card that’s no slouch, able to toolbox Monarch statted monsters from your Deck. Popular targets include Kuraz, Seleglare (which we’ll get to later), and even a second Ehther! It also has the nifty ability to summon herself during your opponent’s Main Phase. Ehther + Stormforth is a solid combo that can be done or sacking up your own Ehther/Erebus if they’re threatened.
Vanity’s Fiend is a poster boy and captures the go big or go home, stun-or-bust nature of the deck. While its defense is a bit too high for it to be considered Monarch statted, it does the job fairly fine and works with Domain for an effective one-two punch. Should they out one, they still have to deal with the other.
Majesty’s Fiend offers a different way to lock your opponent out and is slightly more searchable!
Seleglare the Luminous Lunar Dragon shines in Monarchs and can be summoned off Ehther for a surprise disruption! Its effect to mess with your opponent’s board is appreciated, as it is a fairly unique form of removal.
Kuraz the Light Monarch is a mainstay for its ability to disrupt and/or get your cards to the GY bringing draw power to boot. This is great for popping cards like Return, Prime, and sometimes even itself!
For aspiring players using the Magicians’ Souls package, Apprentice Illusion Magician, Delg and Haine are usable. It’s worth mentioning that AIM is the best one out of the three options. She’s able to unbrick the likes of dead Pantheisms or Primes out of your hand after all!
Super Quantum Red Layer is alright as it acts as free tribute fodder while being a sizable beatstick. Linkslayer is an alternative that can address backrow.
Recently announced in Lightning Overload, Uncamouflight is one of the best support cards ever printed for the deck! This chap gives you a free draw and tribute fodder to boot! Not only that, it banishes itself so it doesn’t interfere with Domain. Make sure to use his effect before you activate the cards that lock you out of the Extra Deck.
Mega Thestalos and Jinzo are interesting side cards that see occasional play for their matchup specific upsides.
A Sample Dominion
This build focuses a little bit more on making use of Ehther’s effect to interact with the opponent! It does have an extra lockout tool in the searchable Majesty’s Fiend, which Return can fetch. Feel free to replace some of the cards if you like the Vanity’s route more, as it got better with Uncamouflight too.
And there you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this piece about Domain Monarchs! The deck is pretty fun, though bricky at unwanted times, but the new support definitely helps! It’s not a metagame superstar but can still toe to toe with the best of them every now and again.