In Part 2, we looked at our first pair of Shadow Rider characters making their debut in Speed Duel GX: Duelists of Shadows: Nightshroud and Camula. Here in part 3, we’ll look at two more: Shadow Rider Tania and Shadow Rider Titan. While our first pair get pre-built Decks in Duelists of Shadows that revolve around huge, old-school boss monsters, Tania and Titan’s strategies focus on more mid-range monsters with abilities that make them a nightmare to deal with.
One of the cool things about Duelists of Shadows is that it takes some fan-favorite strategies from the past and then gives them Skill Cards that make them more competitive. In this case we’re talking about Amazons and Archfiends, two throwback themes that earned a place in our hearts…even if they never did well in tournaments.
If you’ve ever dreamed of seriously smashing your opponent with either of these two strategies, Duelists of Shadows can make those dreams into reality. Here’s how they work.
Shadow Rider Tania
Amazoness cards actually have competitive history in Speed Duel: Mai Valentine’s Tribal Synergy skill was an early hit back in 2019 when the first Speed Duel Starter Decks dropped, and Amazoness Swords Woman has seen play in winning Decks. With an effect that reflects Life Point damage when she loses a battle, it’s a great card in Speed Duel even if you’re just ramming it into a big boss monster.
Amazoness Swords Woman is back in Duelists of Shadows, and she even gets a Secret Rare variant! If you’ve ever had to hunt down copies from Speed Duel Starter Deck: Duelists of Tomorrow or Speed Duel: Tournament Pack 2, your search is over. But the best news is that she’s bringing backup, including plenty of cards that are new to Speed Duel!
Amazoness Queen is the first highlight, and another potential Secret Rare pull. With 2400 ATK and an ability that makes all of your Amazoness monsters immune to destruction by battle, she’s the perfect combo for Amazoness Swords Woman. Just send Swords Woman to attack your opponent’s biggest monster: they’ll take the battle damage instead of you, and thanks to the Queen, your Swords Woman won’t be destroyed. Amazoness Paladin, Amazoness Tiger, and Amazoness Fighter are all solid attackers, and they’re all appearing in Speed Duel for the first time.
Tania’s Deck comes with reprints of Reinforcement of the Army and Amazoness Village, two key cards for Amazoness Decks that were already Speed Duel legal. They both make attacking much easier. But it also introduces Amazoness Fighting Spirit and Amazoness Spellcaster for more stat boosts, as well as Amazoness Willpower and Queen’s Pawn for more Special Summons. Swarm the field and outmaneuver your opponent, and Amazons can do some real damage.
Tania’s Skill Cards help too. Her main Skill, Welcome to the Jungle, flips at the start of the Duel: whenever you take battle damage from a battle involving one of your attack mode Amazoness monsters, the attacking monster loses ATK and DEF equal to the ATK of the Amazoness it battled, until the end of the turn. It works really well with Amazoness Queen’s effect to keep your monsters around, and it can let you push a ton of damage through your opponent’s monsters, even if they’re bigger than yours. If you don’t have Amazoness Queen, the Amazoness Village will allow you to bring out a fresh Amazoness to finish off the opponent’s monster.
Tania’s secondary Skill Card might be even better: Order of the Queen negates the effects of Effect Monsters destroyed in battle with your attacking Amazoness monsters, as long as you control Amazoness Queen. That means your Amazoness monsters can run down popular cards like D.D. Warrior Lady, Zombina, or even Zoma the Spirit and just ignore their effects.
The Amazoness theme’s never been better, and the same is true for Archfiends! Read on to find out how!
Shadow Rider Titan
The Archfiend theme does a few different things. First, they’ve got a couple of Normal Summons with pretty high ATK: Archfiend Soldier’s a Level 4 Normal Monster with 1900 Attack Points, while Terrorking Archfiend and Shadowknight Archfiend are Effect Monsters with 2000 Attack Points. Pretty respectable. Beyond that, most of the Archfiends have an ability that lets you roll a die whenever they’re targeted by one of your opponent’s effects, and if you roll a specific number, you can negate that effect and destroy the source.
In return for those high stats and effect dodging, most Archfiends have mandatory Life Point costs in your Standby Phase, usually 500 LP. The catch is that you don’t have to pay those Life Points if you control the Field Spell Pandemonium. The Field Spell also searches you a lower-Level Archfiend anytime one of your Archfiends is destroyed outside of battle, giving you another layer of protection from your opponent’s effects. Terrorking Archfiend even has an ability that negates the effects of Effect Monsters it destroys in battle, similar to Dark Ruler Ha Des or Tania’s Order of the Queen Skill.
Shadow Rider Titan’s Deck builds on the “low Level, high ATK” concept with more monsters you can Normal Summon for big Attack Points: Giant Orc has 2200 ATK, while Mist Archfiend has 2400 ATK. Combined with the 2100 ATK Archfiend General which searches Pandemonium, and a lineup of Level 2 and Level 3 Archfiends to search from your Deck with Pandemonium’s effect, you’ll have a steady stream of monsters to rule the field. Boost them up with Axe of Despair and Bark of Dark Ruler, or strike for game by using the Spell Card Checkmate to make your Terrorking Archfiend into a direct attacker.
Titan’s Skill Cards are what make this whole thing work. His main Skill, called Archfiend’s Conscription, forces you to Summon nothing but Fiend monsters. The payoff? Once per turn you can roll a 6-sided die, lose Life Points equal to the result x 200, and if you rolled a 2, 3, or 4, you Special Summon an Archfiend of matching Level from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard. That’s a lot of free board presence – as long as you can keep Pandemonium on the field so you can duck those Life Point costs. The Special Summons are especially useful because even if you’re just Summoning really low-Level monsters like Darkbishop Archfiend or Vilepawn Archfiend, you can always Tribute them off for bigger threats like Annihilator Archfiend and Skull Archfiend of Lightning (and Skull Archfiend comes as a Secret Rare).
Titan’s secondary Skill Card is pretty impressive too: once per turn during your Main Phase, Archfiend’s Promotion lets you Tribute Vilepawn Archfiend to Special Summon Infernalqueen Archfiend, Shadowknight Archfiend, Darkbishop Archfiend, or Desrook Archfiend from your Deck. Just like in chess, it only works if your Vilepawn’s in a column where your opponent controls no cards, but if you can pull it off, it’s a great way to search the 2000 ATK Shadowknight. If you customize your Deck with the additional cards in Duelists of Shadows you can even Special Summon Imprisoned Queen Archfiend, with a whopping 2600 ATK.
Shadow Rider Tania and Shadow Rider Titan fill the field with monsters that are tough to get rid of, and that threaten your opponent’s Life Points with tricky effects! But if you think Amazons and Archfiends seem too crazy for competition, wait until you see the final two main characters in Duelists of Shadows, Shadow Rider Amnael and Adrian Gecko! We’ll cover them in our next review, so be sure to check back tomorrow.