Blackwings have been biding their time in the darkness gaining lots of support where a lot of people weren’t looking. Because of my recent stint with Blackwings for an all common tournament I’ve become aware to a lot of these sweet new tools Blackwings have gained access to.
So we have Blackwings, that super old used to be teir 1 dead as dirt deck. They’ve gotten no direct support from the recent packs bar some nearly un-usable cards randomly thrown in the back of packs as OCG imports. What they have gained though is some very viable generic support, mostly in the extra deck that gives the deck a lot of new versatility.
The main reason I even went looking into Blackwings recently, even before making decks for the common tournament at my local card shop, was because of the announcement of the card Number 66: Master Key Beetle. He was released in the most recent Judgment of the Light booster, and for those unaware of what it does, you best be getting aware soon because this card will be defining DARK attribute decks until Konami does something about it on the ban list. It’s a Rank 4 XYZ that has an extremely powerful effect worth building decks around, but to make sure you can’t make it so easily it requires 2 Level 4 DARK monsters. Because of this I went around looking for some good archetypes other than the obvious Evilswarm deck that could possibly summon this card, preferably an archetype that doesn’t suck or one that has the potential to make XYZ easily. And then there was Blackwings, and then there was Master Key Beetle and then they where together. I don’t really want to make this article all about Master Key Beetle, but because I know not everyone knows how the card works I’ll give a little quick overview.
Number 66: Master Key Beetle is a Rank 4 XYZ requiring to Level 4 DARK monsters as material. It has 2500 ATK and 800 DEF and is a DARK, Insect-type monster. Here’s his effect:
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 card you control, except this card; while this card is face-up on the field, that card(s) cannot be destroyed by card effects. If this face-up card on the field would be destroyed, you can send one of its targets to the Graveyard instead.
This card has 3 very specific uses that give it extreme merit. These 3 “uses” are synergies with other existing Yugioh cards being the following: Safe Zone, Vanity’s Emptiness and Eradicator Epidemic Virus. Safe Zone is what Beetle’s famous for. Beetle can keep Safe Zone from being destroyed making a near impenetrable lock-down if Safe Zone is used on Master Key Beetle. The lock down is effectively the same as the White Dragon Ninja and Safe Zone lock down meaning it has only a few weaknesses in the form of card that do not target and also do not destroy, a list of cards that is small. The second card is Vanity’s Emptiness. Beetle protects Emptiness from destroying itself with its own effect preventing the opponent from Special Summoning unless they can destroy the Master Key Beetle, which is hard without Special Summoning. On top of that if Beetle would be destroyed it can destroy the Emptiness it’s protecting instead of letting itself die, meaning the opponent will probably need to waste a lot of cards to get out of that soft lock. Third is Eradicator Epidemic Virus (EEV). EEV has always been an extremely overpowered card, but so few decks can use it making it “fair”. Now any deck that can summon Key Beetle can use this card, which is devastating.
.Blackwings can make this card with relative ease. The most simple way is with Blackwing – Bora the Spear. If you get any Level 4 Blackwing on the field you can just Special Summon Bora from hand and make any Rank 4 XYZ including Master Key Beetle. There’s also the card Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite, who can Special Summon itself (once per duel) from the graveyard by bouncing a face-up Spell or Trap to the hand. It’s Level 4 and promotes the use of Continuous Spells and Traps which already go very nicely with Master Key Beetle making them an obvious choice to be used together. There’s also quite a few power plays within the Blackwing deck that use Zephyros to make Rank 4’s. Here’s some example plays:
- Zephyros and any Level 4 Blackwing in graveyard and Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North in hand. Normal Summon Blizzard to revive random Level 4 Blackwing in defense. Bounce Blizzard to the hand for later to summon Zephyros. Make what is effectively a 1 card Rank 4 XYZ.
- Bora in hand, Zephyros in graveyard. Normal Summon Bora, bounce Bora to hand to summon Zephyros. Special Bora from hand because you control a Blackwing monster. This can also be done with cards like Monster Reborn or Call of the Haunted by reviving Bora and then bouncing to do the same play. (bouncing Call of the Haunted is really nice too)
- The last play can be similarly expanded with Armageddon Knight. Armageddon Knight and Bora the Spear in hand. Normal Armageddon Knight to send Zephyros to the graveyard. Bounce Armageddon Knight to hand to summon Zephyros, then Special Bora because you control a Blackwing. (This play is more relevant to Vayu Turbo decks since most of the time you don’t run Armageddon Knight in Standard Blackwings)
Their’s also the long forgotten card Blackwing – Kochi the Daybreak. Kochi is a Level 4 DARK Tuner monster. If it was Special Summoned it cannot be used for a Synchro Summon. (this is a condition, so even if Kochi’s effect is negated by something like Skill Drain or Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame you can’t Synchro with it) Originally this card was written off as bad because its only real use was being summon with Shura, which was bad because if you did that it could be used for a Synchro. It’s only real play was Normal Summoning Kochi and then Special Summoning Bora the Spear to make a Synchro, which wasn’t horrible but its not worth it. Now though, that’s changed since you can summon it off of Shura and make any Rank 4 XYZ using only 1 card and also maintain the Level 8 Synchro play (which gets the added bonus of being able to make Rank 4 XYZ now).
Then there comes into play the slew of potential non-Blackwing Level 4 DARK monsters that can help them XYZ. There’s the most obvious: Kagetokage, who I wouldn’t really recommend, but feel free to try it. I already mentioned Armageddon Knight for Vayu Turbo builds, and along side him Dark Grepher. Then there’s the incredibly simple Summoner Monk, who so happens to be a DARK monster as well. Monk plus any Spell card allows the summon of Master Key Beetle as well as the dumping of essential cards like Zephyros or Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor to the graveyard using Armageddon Knight summoned off of Monk. With a Bora the Spear in hand it’s possible to be summoning 2 Rank 4’s with just Monk, a Spell Card and Bora.
The next tool that Blackwings have in the extra is a another very powerful Rank 4 monster: Ice Beast Zerofyne. The only other reasonable deck that’s been able to summon this card is Harpies, and let me tell you this card is a behemoth. Zerofyne is a Rank 4 requiring 2 Level 4 Winged Beast-type monsters. It has 2000 ATK and 2200 DEF. It’s WATER and also a Winged Beast-type. Here’s it’s effect:
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; negate the effects of all face-up cards your opponent currently controls, and if you do, this card gains 300 ATK for each face-up card currently on the field, except this card (these effects are applied until your next Standby Phase).
This card handedly deals with just about any lock down setup with its effect and also can provide an incredibly huge beat stick under the right circumstances. With only 3 other cards face-up on the field it goes up to 2900 ATK after it uses its effect, which is massive for Rank 4 monsters. It kills all of the self protecting XYZ monsters by itself: Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack, Number 74: Master of Blades, Maestroke the Symphony Djinn, Wind-Up Zenmaines to name a few. It’s also a Winged Beast monster, meaning it allows the use of Icarus Attack even after you’ve combined your Blackwings together to summon it, which is always a nice plus.
Zerofyne can be summoned in almost all the same ways as Master Key Beetle except for the generic DARK monsters like Armageddon Knight. The only other Level 4 Winged Beast of note I could think of that you could run in Blackwings was Mist Valley Falcon, but I don’t think I would run Falcon just so I could summon Zerofyne.
Next are two Evilswarm monsters: Evilswarm Nightmare and Thanatos. Both of which require two Level 4 DARK monsters for their summoning. Thanatos isn’t particularly good, but is worth noting since not a whole lot of decks can access him, but Blackwings can. The real monster here is Nightmare. Nightmare has 950 ATK and 1950 DEF and is a DARK Fiend-type monster. Here’s his effect:
When your opponent Special Summons a monster(s) (except during the Damage Step): You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; change that Special Summoned monster(s) to face-down Defense Position.
This card is a really strong anti-swarm monster. If you think the opponent is going to be making some huge plays next turn you can plant this guy on the field to make the opponent’s life very difficult. It stops the opponent form making any combo monster plays and also clogs up their field. This can be a nice defensive alternative to Master Key Beetle if you don’t have cards like Safe Zone or Vanity’s Emptiness to back-up Beetle with.
Moving onto Synchro Monsters, which we’ve just got quite a few of with the release of Judgment of the Light. I’ll start out with those ones. We’ve got 2: Armades, Keeper of Boundaries and HTS Psyhemoth. For a while now Blizzard the Far North has really lacked good Synchro Monsters to go into. Before it had a fantastic Level 6 Synchro toolbox with Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and Goyo Guardian, both of which where eventually banned. To back that up Blizzard could also make Level 5 Synchros, which where a bit underwhelming and only really consisted of Ally of Justice Catastor. To that end, Blizzard was reserved to summoning the Blackwing specific Synchro: Blackwing Armed Wing, who isn’t all that great except that he’s a target for Vayu’s effect, Icarus Attack and Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow. In short he was a fodder monster. JOTL released for us a good generic Level 5 and Level 6 Synchro which I’m sure made Blizzard very happy. Armades is like an Ancient Gear monster on steroids and HTS Psyhemoth is a gigantic D.D. Warrior Lady, which is a lot scarier than it sounds. This makes Blizzard more of a toolbox monster again, which gives Blackwings some nice versatility.
Of course, there’s one more Synchro monster that’s infinitely more important than the last two and that’s Vulcan the Divine. Vulcan is the most recent Shonen Jump subscription promotional card, so if you order a 12 month subscription you’ll get this card. Vulcan is a Level 6 Synchro requiring generic materials. It has 2000 ATK and 1600 DEF. He’s a FIRE Beast-Warrior-type monster. Here’s his effect:
When this card is Synchro Summoned: Target 1 face-up card you control and 1 face-up card your opponent controls; return those targets to the hand. This turn, you cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with the same name as those returned to the hand by this effect. You can only use the effect of “Vulcan the Divine” once per turn.
This card is CRAZY good. At first you might find it underwhelming, but I’ll try to explain why I think this card is so powerful. Firstly, it’s an instant out to any monster from the Extra Deck. That means it can instantly kill all those annoying monsters you hate in a fashion reminiscent of Brionac. Then, on top of that it allows you to recycle your own cards that are floating, cards like Call of the Haunted, Fiendish Chain, etc. It can even do some shenanigans with Safe Zone to allow you to kill 2 monsters. You can also potentially bounce monsters back to the hand that have effects from the hand or that have effects upon their summon. A great example play would be to summon Blizzard reviving Kalut either while you have a Level 4 on field or a Bora in hand. You can Synchro with the Level 4 or Bora with Blizzard and summon Vulcan then bounce your Kalut and opponent’s card to hand. If you’ve somehow managed to get an extra Blizzard on the field you can bounce him back to hand as well for extra use.
Vulcan also has really strong plays in other decks outside of Blackwings. He was specifically designed for Fire Fists to be summoned with cards like Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Spirit and used to bounce copies of Fire Formation – Tenki back to hand. He’s also a Beast-Warrior so he gains the attack boost from all the Fire Formation cards and he’s also FIRE meaning he can be used to make Hazy Flame Bacilitrice using himself and Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Horse Prince. (that’s an actual play in the 3-Axis build, no lies)
Hope you all found that as interesting as I did and thanks for reading!
For this weeks question: What’s an old Yugioh archetype you’d like to see getting new support in the upcoming packs like Harpies, Archfiends and the soon to be Vampires, and why? Personally I’d like either Toons or Batteryman. Toons because I think it deserves at least a few more cards and it’s a really fun type because it can use famous monsters of other archetypes. Batteryman because it’s just on the fringe of being really powerful.
Written By: Kyle