Yesterday, we showed you Shadow Rider Tania’s Amazoness Deck, and Shadow Rider Titan’s Archfiends, both playable out of the box in Speed Duel GX: Duelists of Shadows. Those were two old-school strategies that got a new lease on life in Speed Duel.
Well get ready, because it gets even crazier. There are two more characters with pre-built Decks in Duelists of Shadows, and they’re both repping strategies that never really saw play until now: Shadow Rider Amnael’s Alchemy Deck, featuring Helios – The Primordial Sun and Golden Homunculus; and Adrian Gecko’s Cloudians. Both Decks get a big makeover for their Speed Duel debut, and both use Skill Cards to do things that would be totally impossible otherwise!
Shadow Rider Amnael
The last of the Shadow Riders to get pre-built Decks in Duelists of Shadows, Amnael’s Deck is loaded with popular cards from the early days of Dueling, including some fantastic cards that have been revisited! You can almost cut the Deck in half, dividing it between cards that banish stuff and cards that get better when you banish stuff.
Example? Gren Maju Da Eiza, Golden Homunculus, and Helios – The Primordial Sun all gain ATK and DEF according to the number of cards banished. You can Special Summon D.D. Scout Plane in the End Phase of any turn it’s banished, D.D. Survivor comes back in the End Phase whenever it’s on the field and gets removed from the game, and D.D.M. – Different Dimension Master can Special Summon back your banished monsters.
How do you banish everything? Bazoo the Soul Eater lets you banish up to 3 monsters from your Graveyard, boosting its ATK by 300 Attack Points for each monster removed, until the end of your opponent’s next turn. This means Bazoo can go as high as 2500 ATK. You can banish a Normal Trap to boost Diskblade Rider from 1700 ATK to 2200 ATK, Tribe-Shocking Virus lets you banish a monster from your hand to destroy all face-up monsters on the field with the same Type, and Banisher of the Radiance just banishes everything that would normally go to the Graveyard.
Soul Release, Galaxy Cyclone, and Macro Cosmos all help banish even more cards. If you’re lucky you may even open a Secret Rare Macro Cosmos, the highest rarity it’s ever appeared in! Amnael’s main Skill Card, the one you should use with his pre-built Deck, also helps banish more cards.
Professor of Alchemy lets you banish a Level 4 or lower monster from your hand, or face-up from the field, to Special Summon an Alchemy Beast Token. The Token comes into play as a Level 3 with 500 ATK and 500 DEF, and the same Attribute as the monster you banished. You can’t Tribute it for anything but the Tribute Summon of Golden Homunculus, but all your Alchemy Beast Tokens can attack directly and the Skill combos well with D.D. Scout Plane.
Amnael’s secondary Skill is Setting Sun, and it’s made for a different kind of strategy: once per turn during your Main Phase, if you control a monster that has ? ATK when it’s in your Deck, you can banish a card from your hand and then search a different monster from your Deck with ? ATK. In addition, it stops your Helios monsters from being banished. Amnael’s ready-to-play build can’t do much with this Skill, but Duelists of Shadows includes additional cards for Amnael, including Helios Duo Magistus and Helios Trice Megistus. Tribute the Level 4 Helios to Special Summon the Level 6 Duo, then Tribute that to Special Summon Trice, and you’ll have a Level 8 attacker that gains 300 ATK and DEF for every banished monster. It attacks twice, and Special Summons itself back from the Graveyard if it’s ever destroyed in battle.
To recap: Amnael’s build marks the Speed Duel debut of cards like D.D. Scout Plane and D.D. Survivor, and offers D.D. Crow and Macro Cosmos as possible Secret Rares. It’s just so many good cards!
While most of the characters in Duelists of Shadows are from Season 1 of Yu‑Gi‑Oh! GX, a few aren’t, including Supreme King Jaden and our final fully-fledged featured Duelist, Adrian Gecko. While Adrian’s Cloudian Deck was always seen as a fun and casual strategy before, his Skills put him over the top in Speed Duel, and several of his cards are really good against some of the most popular Speed Duel Decks today.
The Cloudians are mostly low-Level monsters with mediocre ATK and literally zero DEF. The trick is that they gather Fog Counters through a variety of effects, and that lets them unleash powerful abilities, destroying cards and making Special Summons. The four basic Cloudians – Cloudian – Acid Cloud, Cloudian – Altus, Cloudian – Cirrostratus, and Cloudian – Turbulence all get a single Fog Counter when they’re Normal Summoned, and each one has an effect you can activate by removing Fog Counters from that specific card: Acid Cloud destroys a Spell or Trap on the field for 2 Fog Counters, Altus can remove 3 to discard a random card from your opponent’s hand, Cirrostratus destroys a monster for 2 Fog Counters and you can remove a Fog Counter from Turbulence to Special Summon a Level 1 Cloudian – Smoke Ball from your Deck or Graveyard.
The problem? Every one of those monsters needs multiple Fog Counters to work, but they only get one when they’re Normal Summoned. In the past, Cloudian fans had to struggle and use other cards to gather enough Fog Counters for their simple monster effects. Cloudian Squall’s a Continuous Spell that places a Fog Counter on each face-up monster…but it doesn’t work until your Standby Phase, which means you can’t just plonk down a Cloudian and immediately use its ability.
Fog Control’s a Quick-Play Spell that sticks 3 Fog Counters on any face-up monster you like, but using one of your in-hand cards just to get effects that should be free is kind of missing the point. Diamond-Dust Cyclone’s another Quick-Play that can destroy a monster with Fog Counters and draw you a card…but the monster needs to have 4 Fog Counters on it.
The good news? Adrian’s new Fog Warning Skill Card is amazing! Every time you place a Fog Counter on a monster, it just gets another one. That means Acid Cloud and Cirrostratus destroy cards the moment they hit the field, and one Turbulence can Special Summon two copies of Smoke Ball! Suddenly Cloudian Squall looks like a big threat, placing 2 Fog Counters on every monster in each of your Standby Phases.
Cloudy Skies of Grey is Adrian’s secondary Skill, and it’s a little more aggressive: each time a Cloudian with a Fog Counter’s destroyed, you can place its Fog Counters on another face-up monster. That makes it easier to wreck cards with Diamond-Dust Cyclone, and since Cloudian – Nimbusman gains 500 ATK for every Fog Counter on it, it’ll skyrocket from its starting 1000 ATK.
Adrian’s strategy actually has several heavy hitters that can shine in Speed Duels: Cloudian – Eye of the Typhoon has a whopping 3000 ATK, and it can change the Battle Positions of your opponent’s monsters. Fog King is a highlight too: as a Level 7 it has printed ATK and DEF of 0, but you can Normal Summon it by Tributing just one monster, or no monsters at all. Then its ATK becomes the combined original ATK of the monsters you Tributed, and neither player can Tribute cards as long as it’s on the field. That’s a big deal in Speed Duel: not only are Tribute Summons more common, but Cyber Angels are also one of the most popular Decks in tournaments – if your opponent can’t Tribute cards, they can’t Ritual Summon! Oh, and Fog King even comes as a Secret Rare in Duelists of Shadows.
You’ve now seen all 8 pre-built character Decks, but we’re not done just yet. There are still 4 more Skill Cards to talk about, plus nearly 40 additional cards to help you customize, and strengthen other strategies for different characters! Join us tomorrow in Part 5 to see everything else Duelists of Shadows has to offer!