The Connections of the Link Charmers: A History from the OCG

Introduction

While the Charmer monsters may not have proven any sort of usefulness within the game’s meta history, they are certainly one of the most cherished cliques of Yu-Gi-Oh. Having six members representing each attribute along with their adorable familiars, Charmers have consistently displayed their easy-going lives within numerous medias. Even now, I believe there is a huge percentage of Charmer supporters, and you might be one too.

Charmers as a standalone archetype are unfortunately not playable in any way. However, KONAMI has designed LINK variants of these characters, most presumably to celebrate the concept of LINK monsters. And surprisingly, these Charmers are strong enough to be used in high level tournaments! No longer will the gang sit idly by and act cute: they are here to kick butt.

Battle of Chaos has finally released the last LINK Charmer Dharc the Dark Charmer, Umbral. Today’s article will reminiscence about the impact of each individual LINK Charmer they have on their respective metagame in the OCG.

What future does the gang await? For now, they rest.

Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze

Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze

Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze
Spellcaster/LINK/Effect
Link 2 ATK/ 1850
2 monsters, including a FIRE monster

  • (This card is always treated as a “Familiar-Possessed” card.)
  • You can target 1 FIRE monster in your opponent’s GY; Special Summon it to your zone this card points to.
  • If this Link Summoned card is destroyed by battle, or is destroyed by an opponent’s card effect while in its owner’s Monster Zone: You can add 1 FIRE monster with 1500 or less DEF from your Deck to your hand.
  • You can only use each effect of “Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze” once per turn.

Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze is the first LINK Charmer to be released in Savage Strike. Hiita would go on to set a similar precedent amongst other Charmers, where other they would bear the exact same effects but with their respective attributes.

October 2018

Having debuted in Savage Strike in October 2018, there was no place for Hiita. Sky Striker and Gouki completely dominated the scene, while Trickstar and Altergeist would follow closely behind. There was next to naught of flames anywhere. Hiita would potentially never see usage, and there was not a single decent FIRE archetype anywhere. Even in Savage Strike, the best FIRE archetype was Shiranui, a group exclusively committing to Zombie-only summons. Hiita could not even seek niche usage during her initial debut.

January 2019

Then came January 2019. Gouki’s important not-Gouki cards were hit. Striker’s Kagari was limited. The metagame pressed a hard reset button, and it was anyone’s competition. Enter Salamangreat from the legendary Soulburner Structure deck. With the introduction of mismatched steampunk animals, these fiery little rascals promised a consistent tempo playstyle that could compete against any previous decks and the upcoming competitor Orcust. Salamangreat was undoubtedly one of the best performing decks.

Hiita immediately recognized as such, securing her spot amongst these mammals as an important extender. She became a key card in Salamangreat mirror matches, where you would steal Salamangreat Gazelle to extend your advantage, or the one-of Jack Jaguar to deny your opponent’s recursion. At the very least, it could resurrect Ash Blossom for a Mirage Stallio summon or a Salamangreat Link. Even upon destruction, Hiita could tutor almost any relevant Salamangreat from the deck. At the bare minimum, Hiita’s 1850 ATK was enough to tackle opposing Sunlight Wolf’s 1800 ATK. Hiita was definitely the key to dueling in mirror matches, which was extremely common.

Salamangreat had made FIRE hot again, and Hiita was there to tame the flames. Sky Striker could tap into Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze with Kagari (or revive opposing Kagari). Other decks could revive Knightmare Phoenix or Ash Blossoms to link climb. Hiita had highlighted the use of generic FIRE monsters in our games, and she would punish careless considerations. She would enjoy her staple position, even copping a seat in Worlds 2019, until the eventual demise of Salamangreat, where decks like Orcust would simply just overpower it.

Hiita no longer sees play in any deck as a staple consideration, even in Salamangreat. While she may be feeling burned out, her impact on the metagame was most definitely the longest amongst the rest. Her tomboyish demeanor and cheeky attitude has carried many similar hot-headed players to victory, and her legacy will live on as such.

Wynn the Wind Charmer, Verdant

Wynn the Wind Charmer, Verdant has the exact same effect as Hiita and other charmers, in their respective elements. No points for guessing, but she manipulates the WIND attribute best.

Wynn the Wind Charmer, Verdant

April 2019

While Hiita continues enjoying her time in the spotlight, Wynn makes a quieter debut in Rising Rampage. Rising Rampage is a set focusing on WIND support along other various archetypes in April 2019. The most notable WIND archetypes at this point were only Harpie and Speedroid. At this point, WIND was notably the least supported element in the game, and the several legacy boosts in Rising Rampage failed to revitalize any sort of boost for the breeze. Wynn became one of the strongest WIND Link monsters to date, only second to Apollousa, only due to the absence of any other generic WIND Links.

There would not be any good generic WIND monsters to come, nor WIND archetypes in general to use. Wynn, along with the entire set of Rising Rampage, was branded completely obsolete. Even now, as Duelist of Whirlwind introduces multiple strong WIND legacy supports, Wynn has found herself outclassed by the nature of these cards and the current metagame.

Wynn could have led the flashy life Hiita had in the metagame, but the winds could never offer her a staying place. Attributes were not going to be supported fairly, and Wynn served as an unfair example.

Aussa the Earth Charmer, Immovable

Aussa the Earth Charmer, Immovable makes her earthly presence from Ignition Assault on October 2019, one year after Hiita’s appearance. Hiita’s popularity has started to diminish as Orcust begins to establish a reliable playstyle with support from I:P Masquerena. How will Aussa fare?

Aussa the Earth Charmer, Immovable

October 2019

Aussa steps into the ring right after Dragon Link hits. The format was slowly beginning to revert back to a heavy tempo-centric metagame, with Orcust at the center. Aussa would occasionally see play against popular EARTH techs such as Dinowrestler Pankratrops, Scrap Recycler, and most importantly, the dreaded Maxx “C”. However, these considerations were for naught as Topologic Gumblar Dragon and Outer Entity Azzathot still reigned supreme. There was nothing any monster could do or compete against these dastardly duo.

After Gumblar and Azzathot’s well-deserved bans, Aussa still had no place in the metagame. It was hard to summon her as there were simply better LINK monsters to summon. Scrap Recycler could go into Galatea, stray Maxx “C”s would go into Knightmare Phoenix – there was just no point to summoning Aussa. Even if Aussa wielded a far more popular element, it was never her turn to shine.

It was roughly around this time period when Link Vrains Pack 3 released as well, notably releasing Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians. Now every existing Charmer could tap into Selene, but most of the time, there was just no reason to. Aussa would remain grounded for a long time to come.

October 2020

Enter Phantom Rage, a set dedicated to Xyz summoning. Phantom Rage introduces many of the popular existing meta decks such as Virtual World, Tri-Brigade, but most importantly, AA-Zeus. And the best deck to use the best Xyz monsters? Zoodiac. Pure Zoodiac would hire Aussa to do what she did best, and steal opposing Zoodiacs for Utopic Dragoon. She also had the side benefit of searching any Zoodiac (or Maxx “C”) from the deck, and held impressive ATK to deal damage. Aussa had finally found her place.

Regardless, good times never last. Zoodiac would eventually cut Aussa in favor of either more AA-Zeus, or Tri-Brigade. Zoodiac currently has Zoodiac Drident’s banned. Even though Aussa’s time was limited, it was still worth noting that Charmers would be not be ignored, and their services are still very strong.

Eria the Water Charmer, Gentle

Eria the Water Charmer, Gentle happens to be the most popular Charmer. Appearing in the next direct set after Aussa the Earth Charmer, Immovable in Eternity Code, many were excited to own a copy of her. By now, players had recognized that KONAMI was likely to release all six LINK versions of the Charmers they loved. Popularity aside, could Eria make a bigger splash then her sister Hiita?

Eria the Water Charmer, Gentle

January 2020

Unfortunately, reality struck earlier. The Legendary Gold Box was released one month earlier, and it featured Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, a card so horrifying every deck had to either beat it or adopt it. Even while Eternity Code introduced useful WATER support, and pre-existing WATER archetypes were not that terrible, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon was everything else. Eria would see no play or consideration to this tense atmosphere, especially when there was not a single WATER monster in the metagame. After the end of Dark Dragoon’s format, KONAMI made no attempt to improve or introduce any new WATER themed decks. Eria was, and is still completely useless.

As a side note, Eria has found a tiny niche in the Lekunga OTK strategy. The idea is to banish multiple Erias and WATER Link monsters from the GY to fuel Marincess Great Bubble Reef’s ATK. Although I have lost the Twitter link, here is another similar video. It starts at 02:30.

Lyna the Light Charmer, Lustrous

Lyna the Light Charmer, Lustrous is the first Charmer released outside of the 20th Anniversary theme, and proof that these upgrades are not limited to the base 4 elements. Her appearance after the introduction of MR5 was a surprising one, and with the lack of reliance on Link monsters now, how bright would Lyna shine?

Lyna the Light Charmer, Lustrous

January 2021

Lyna makes her landing in Lightning Overdrive. This format has Virtual World and Drytron both dishing out one-sided interactions, while Tri-Brigade and Eldlich struggles to slow their competitors down. As you may have noticed, there are relevant LIGHT targets to resurrect this time.

Lyna is able to resurrect Eldlich the Golden Lord to either remove him from the GY, or deal a combined attack of 4350. She could also summon Mechaba against Invoked decks, or a used Union Carrier to climb into Accesscode. Lyna also had the niche option to summon and search Nibiru and Artifact Lancea, two extremely popular tech cards at the time.

However, Lyna’s usage is too slow, as games were usually decided within the first few turns. Even against the slower decks like Dogmatika Invoked or Eldlich, being faster was the determining winning factor. She is useful for sure, but her debut environment would disagree otherwise. Lyna now serves as a generic Link monster for Eldlich to link into, the other alternative being Hip Hoshiningen.

Dharc the Dark Charmer, Umbral

Dharc the Dark Charmer, Umbral is the last and most recent Charmer to arrive from Battle of Chaos. As the only male Charmer, Dharcl utilizes the most common attribute in the game, DARK. Will the elements finally favor the darkest Charmer?

Dharc the Dark Charmer, Umbral

October 2021

This set compliments the start of a new metagame, Virtual World having lost their boss monster Calamities. Various archetypes like Swordsoul and Flundereeze fiercely competes for a larger cut of the pie, while Eldlich and Drytron continues trailing behind. However, one deck stands above the rest: the Phantom Knights. The current Phantom Knights utilizes the addition of Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer and Brave Tokens to establish an extremely consistent and disruptive board. But Phantom Knights are not the only users of Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer! Reminiscent of the currently banned Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, Enforcer is able to see play in any single deck willing to adopt it.

Dharc is able to resurrect opposing Destroyer Phoenix Enforcers for a start. As more DARK themed decks get printed in the future, Dharc’s potential will only grow. Currently, Dharc is able to resurrect many common DARK monsters. Dingirsu, Accesscode, Shuraig, the list goes on. Dharc can also personally LINK climb into Accesscode to finish games. Currently, every deck that can play Dharc has included him. The threat of a near-immortal Phoenix Enforcer has encouraged the usage of Dharc. Regardless of Enforcer’s future nerf or not, I can easily foresee Dharc as a great generic LINK monster to play.

Conclusion

That wraps up about every use of these characters in our OCG Metagame. As I personally have not experienced the TCG metagame closely, I cannot say much for them. These Link Charmers have proven to be extremely successful in tempo-centric metagames where attributes do matter. Although not all attributes are powerful enough, if they ever will be, Charmers will be there to tame them respectively. Even though this article may have indirectly ranked their usefulness, their popularity ranking is on a different scale. What did you think about their powered forms? Did you enjoy using them?

My personal collection, which inspired me to write this article.
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Therarely

OCG-based writer. My favorite card is Ma'at, and I don't know where my last profile description went. Follow my hot takes on twitter! @akogarre Member of OzoneTCG


One thought on “The Connections of the Link Charmers: A History from the OCG


  • Avatar
    January 18, 2022 at 3:44 pm

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    As of this comment, Wynn has the ability to revive Baronne de Fleur, a strategy popularized by Herman Hansson’s unexpected Beetrooper Top. This alone makes it a valuable Charmer to be played in any decks using Wind monsters. You go girl!

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