In my previous article about Regionals I mentioned I wanted to run Archfiends instead of my Lightsworn Ruler deck. This is the deck profile of the deck that I was going to run but did not as well as so tips and pointers on its use.
The idea for this deck was put into my mind by a cool guy at my locals named Sangho. He was running Archfiends in a different way than I thought of at all when I saw the new Archfiend support coming out. I had assumed you where either going to make a stun build that used Pandemonium to make all your monsters floaters while abusing the synergy between Trance Archfiend and Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror, or you’d being running a strange turbo build using the new Archfiend Palabyrinth and small fiends like Battle Fader and Shapesister to get out multiple Emperors quickly. Both of which didn’t sound good enough to be competitive to me.
This deck is completely different in that it almost completely ignores the archfiends and uses them simply for their motion and accessibility in order to make easy Rank 4 XYZ without losing very much, if any advantage while doing so. It also couples nicely with the fact that they get the exclusive XYZ monster Master Key Beetle. With that here’s the deck list:
- 3 Armageddon Knight
- 3 Kagetokage
- 2 Archfiend Heiress
- 2 Archfiend Cavalry
- 1 Trance Archfiend
- 1 Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror
- 1 Stygian Street Patrol
- 1 Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite
- 1 Dark Armed Dragon
- 2 Masked Chameleon
- 1 Allure of Darkness
- 1 Reinforcement of the Army
- 1 Foolish Burial
- 1 Book of Moon
- 1 Dark Hole
- 1 Mystical Space Typhoon
- 3 Archfiend’s Roar
- 3 Safe Zone
- 3 Fiendish Chain
- 2 Mirror Force
- 2 Dimensional Prison
- 1 Bottomless Trap Hole
- 1 Solemn Warning
- 1 Torrential Tribute
- 1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
Extra Deck: (15)
- 1 Thought Ruler Archfiend
- 1 Scrap Dragon
- 1 Crimson Blader
- 1 Colossal Fighter
- 1 Black Rose Dragon
- 1 Ancient Fairy Dragon
- 2 Master Key Beetle
- 2 King of the Feral Imps
- 1 Lavalval Chain
- 1 Diamond Dire Wolf
- 1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
- 1 Blackship of Corn
- 1 Evilswarm Nightmare
In total there are only 6 Archfiend monsters in the main deck (their’s 3 Archfiend’s Roar so 9 Archfiend “cards” in total), so you can barely call it an Archfiend deck in the first place. Despite this lack in numbers they do a lot of the decks major plays that make it function.
How the deck will work is not immediately apparent in my opinion, so if someone where to simply build this deck card for card and try to duel with it, they’d likely have a hard time figuring out what plays to making. So with that here’s the “bread and butter” play of the deck: Armageddon Knight plus Kagetokage.
The main play isn’t very spectacular but it sets up A LOT of the decks future plays in a quick concise as well as advantageous manner. First, you summon Armageddon Knight and activate his effect upon summon, then chain Kagetokage’s effect to summon itself. Kage is summoned and then Knight will resolve sending in most cases Archfiend Heiress. For those unfamiliar with Heiress, she’s a Level 3, DARK, Fiend, effect monster with 1000 ATK and 0 DEF. Here’s her effect:
If this card is sent to the Graveyard because of a card effect or being destroyed by battle: You can add 1 “Archfiend” card from your Deck to your hand, except “Archfiend Heiress”. You can only use the effect of “Archfiend Heiress” once per turn.
Her effect is surprisingly lenient as far as searchers are concerned; it’s activation requirements are easy to fulfill and her search requirements are broad, which in general is the perfect description of a searcher. You can set her if you draw her allowing her to be destroyed by battle as well as by card effect to get a search. A common play is to set Heiress backed by Torrential Tribute since you can search even when you’re the one destroying her. You can also get her effect when she’s sent from the hand or deck to the graveyard by a card effect. (note this does not include sending her to the grave as a cost such as discarding her for Lightning Vortex) This is where a couple other card choices come into play. This makes Foolish Burial a searcher for any Archfiend decks by sending Heiress from the deck. You can also use Armageddon Knight and Dark Grepher to get her effect from the deck. From the hand you can also use cards like Dark World Dealings, Gates of the Dark World and Trance Archfiend who all discard as an effect. (Which is why Dark World decks run them. I’d like to point out that because of this their’s potential synergy using Trance and Heiress as a new engine for a Dark World deck that I think would be very interesting.) Lastly, as a second note, you can search any Archfiend “card” with Heiress’ effect. This includes Spells and Traps. There aren’t a whole lot, but as far as the deck I’m talking about is concerned there’s 3 copies of Archfiend’s Roar that can be searched.
Back to the combo, you’ve sent Heiress with Armageddon Knight and with Heiress you search Cavalry. You know have Kage and Knight on board and can XYZ for 1 of 2 XYZ monsters most of the time: Master Key Beetle or King of the Feral Imps. Master Key Beetle is the quick option as it immediately applies pressure on the opponent if you need to move quickly. Say the opponent puts a big field on board and you’ve got a Safe Zone in hand, it may be wise to make Key Beetle and stall before setting up some more with King of the Feral Imps. On the other side is the Imps of course who can search either another Kagetokage or Masked Chameleon, both of which are good options. The one you search really depends on the game state. If you think Feral Imps will survive or you’re willing to Safe Zone him than eventually you’ll search one of each so it doesn’t really matter in the end.
The next of the Archfiend engine is Archfiend Cavalry, possibly the most important of the bunch for this build. Cavalry is a Level 4, DARK, Fiend, effect monster with 1900 ATK and 0 DEF. Here’s his effect:
If this card on the field is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 “Archfiend” monster in your Graveyard, except “Archfiend Cavalry”; Special Summon that target. It cannot attack this turn.
Cavalry is an exceptional monster! It has a high 1900 ATK for a level 4 as well as an effect that dissuades your opponent from killing it, making it apply a great amount of pressure on the opponent once there’s an Archfiend in the graveyard to revive with it. The beauty of the decks main play is that it sets that up for you. By sending an Heiress to the graveyard to search Cavalry it sets up your deck so that whenever Cavalry is destroyed it will Special Summon Heiress, which almost inevitably turns into you searching your deck. As far as stun decks are concerned this is a really powerful strategy when backed with generic Spells and Traps.
Pay 500 Life Points, then target 1 “Archfiend” monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target. It cannot be Tributed. Destroy it during the End Phase of this turn.
On the top most level it’s a Call of the Haunted for Archfiend monsters. It has distinct advantages over Call of the Haunted though, which is the reason why I run it.
First, it can be searched with Heiress. This allows me to run a super low number of Archfiend monsters because once I get into the late game I can instead search copies of Archfiend’s Roar with Heiress in order to revive Archfiend’s instead of drawing them. (also once an Archfiend gets banished it’s not over there either because I can continually revive my 1 Trance Archfiend to get them back from being Banished)
Second, it can’t be MST’d in the same way as Call of the Haunted. While I agree that if the opponent blind MSTs my copy of Call of the Haunted I can revive a Cavalry and do some shenanigans, if my opponent is smart they can simply chain the MST to Call of the Haunted instead of playing it blindly. Roar will react the ideal way to MST under all circumstances unlike Call. The opponent can’t chain MST to Roar because it’s not continuous and if they blind MST Roar then you can chain it and achieve the same effect as Call of the Haunted in the end phase.
Archfiend’s Roar also has a lot more applications than Call does because it allows for more versatility. It has no restrictions on monster position so you can revive an Heiress as a meat shield and a search. If the opponent chooses not to attack after you revive Heiress, she’ll be destroyed in the end phase anyways allowing you to search nonetheless. Once Trance Archfiend and Archfiend Emperor have gone to the graveyard it acts as a revival tool for them by you revive Cavalry during your opponent’s end phase with Roar. Cavalry is destroyed then you can revive Trance or Emperor again to reek havoc and also not be vulnerable to being MST killed as opposed to if they where attached to Call. You can also use it to make quick XYZ plays during your turn for Rank 4’s using all the Level 4’s in the deck, and if the play goes south you still get Cavalry or Trance’s effect during the End Phase or when they Torrential Tribute you. (this deck might as well be immune to Torrential Tribute though anyways)
The last application is that it can be banished for Archfiend Emperor’s effect, which is just a nice little bonus.
Now I’ll talk about a couple of the fringe cards. We’ve got the following: Stygian Street Patrol, Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite and Masked Chameleon.
Stygian Street Patrol is kind of like some glue that keeps the deck melded together. It’s not spectacular in any way for the deck, but keeps everything very neat and ready to go. Sometimes you don’t draw Kagetokage, but will draw an Armageddon Knight and some Archfiend stuff. What now? Street Patrol allows for some quicker setup plays by sending Patrol with Armageddon. Knight can send patrol and then use Patrol to Special Summon a Cavalry from hand. Next you can XYZ for King of the Feral Imps, detach Cavalry and search Masked Chameleon and next turn you can make a Level 8 Synchro play.
Street Patrol can also be used to put excessive damage on the board when you want to go for game or make a double XYZ play. You can do the normal Armageddon plus Kage to search Cavalry play, then make Lavalval Chain to send Street Patrol then Special Summon the Cavalry from hand to present more damage than a single XYZ monster. Also if the Lavalval Chain survives a turn you can use his effect again next turn to send another Heiress or Zephyros to the grave to make a lot of free advantage.
Street Patrol also combos very nicely with Trance Archfiend since Street Patrol banishes himself making it so Trance’s destruction effect is always live. Trance also solves the problem of draw Streel Patrol since he can discard him. I’ve thought of almost doing the entire deck based on Rank 4 XYZ using 3 Armageddon, 3 Kagetokage, 3 Street Patrol, 3 Trance Archfiend and 2 Heiress because of this synergy. I suppose we’ll se in the future.
Zephyros is another nice card for the deck. Since we’re already running Armageddon Knight and Foolish Burial, this card finds a really easy fit. It does basic combos to re-use copies of Fiendish Chain and also can bounce Safe Zone to kill my opponent’s monsters as well. It can turn Armageddon Knight + Safe Zone/Fiendish Chain into an XYZ play which I find very cool. My favorite play being Knight + Safe Zone. Set Safe Zone and it survives a turn. If the opponent summons a monster Safe Zone it, summon Armageddon Knight and send Zephyros to the graveyard. Bounce Safe Zone for Zephyros destroying the opponent’s monster. Then XYZ for Master Key Beetle and re-set Safe Zone and use Beetle’s effect on it and now you have the Safe Zone + Key Beetle lock by only using 2 cards, and you’ve also destroyed an opponent’s monster.
The last and one of the most essential pieces of the deck is Masked Chameleon. I only run 2 despite how amazing it is because I’m playing it by a specific deck building theory that I always go by that states the following: “If you don’t want to draw more than 1 of it, don’t run more than 2 of it.” Masked Chameleon is awful to draw multiples of because his effect says you can’t summon him if you control a Level 5 or higher monster. That means if you have 2 Chameleon’s and the first summons a Synchro monster, you’ll have to wait for that Synchro monster to die to summon the 2nd Chameleon, which sucks, and thus I run 2 Masked Chameleons. Masked Chameleon is still easily searchable because of King of the Feral Imps.
Masked Chameleon is a Level 4, EARTH, Reptile, Tuner Monster with 1600 ATK and 1100 DEF. Here’s its effect:
Cannot be Normal Summoned if you control a Level 5 or higher monster. When this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 monster with 0 DEF in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target in face-upDefense Position. Its effects are negated. You cannot Special Summon any other monsters, except from the Extra Deck, during the turn you activate this effect.
It revives 0 DEF monsters, which we run 2 of: Archfiend Cavalry and Archfiend Heiress. This allows us to make Level 8 and 7 Synchros respectively, which is why they’re in the extra deck. You’ll mostly want to be making Level 8 Synchros, but theirs a few specific reasons to go into Level 7’s too.
The Synchro mosnter of choice is Thought Ruler Archfiend. In general it’s a super power this format, and the ability to summon it with 1 card should be coveted. Thought Ruler also forms an incredibly strong lock-down with Master Key Beetle, making it the ideal field for the deck. If Key Beetle uses its effect on Thought Ruler, it can’t be destroyed by card effects or targeted by Spells and Traps. That leaves only non-destructive monster effects like Caius, Grand Mole or D.D. Warrior Lady, which their are few of and all of which are solved with Fiendish Chain to an extent. Thought Ruler also has a second bonus, that even if it’s destroyed and sent to the graveyard you can revive it again by using Cavalry’s effect since Thought Ruler is an Archfiend monster. I thought about running other Archfiend Synchros like Red Dragon Archfiend and Scrap Archfiend, but found they really had no merit other than being revived with Cavalry so I stuck with Thought Ruler. The other Level 8 Synchros are their as a toolbox. Scrap Dragon because it’s amazing, Crimson Blader to lock-down Dragons/other level 5-plus-centric decks, Colossal Fighter for things with Skill Drain and Bujins. No Stardust because in testing I never would summon it because its purpose really only is to stop MST, which Master Key Beetle does just as well.
The Level 7 Synchros are for specific situations. Black Rose is for obvious field wipes, but then again I am yet to summon it because I’ve never found the need. Ancient Fairy on the other hand is incredibly good. The main reason I run it is for after siding against decks that run Field Spells I can side into Zombie World. This is particularly useful against Dragon Rulers and Prophecy. You can make a 1 card Ancient Fairy Dragon and swap the opponent’s Dragon Ravine or Spellbook Tower for Zombie World and shut them out of half their deck in one foul swoop. Ancient Fairy Dragon also boasts massive Defense, which when paired with Key Beetle’s effect is really hard to get rid of. You can also use Ancient Fairy Dragon to pump monsters out of your hand quicker (at the expense of your battle phase) to make more Rank 4 XYZ. Ancient Fairy Dragon still continues to be my favorite Synchro monster.
The rest of the extra deck is pretty much just random stuff I never summon, but put in just in case the situation arises.
As far as siding is concerned, this deck is very versatile. On top of the Zombie World I wanted to side I also had Gozen Match, Vanity’s Emptiness and Light Imprisoning Mirror to disrupt the particular decks they’re good against. With those I also thought about siding a kind of trolly card: Imperial Custom. Imperial Custom is a Continuous Trap Card with the following effect:
Face-up Continuous Trap Cards cannot be destroyed, except “Imperial Custom”. You can control only 1 face-up “Imperial Custom”.
Imperial Custom pretty much nullifies any MSTs sided in game two. You have a continuous trap, say Safe Zone and Imperial Custom face-down. You activate Safe Zone in some instance and the opponent chains MST to destroy Safe Zone. you can then chain Imperial Custom making MST fizzle. On top of that, the next time they get an MST they still have to destroy Imperial Custom before they destroy your other Continuous Traps. So, in effect it burns 2 of the opponent’s MSTs, and at that point you may have summoned a Key Beetle already and use its effect on Imperial Custom, protecting all of your Continuous Traps. The card also forms a mini lock-down with Vanity’s Emptiness because it doesn’t allow Emptiness to destroy itself, which is nice.
The other reason I wanted to side Imperial Custom was for the Mermail match-up. Imperial Custom states that ALL Continuous Traps can’t be destroyed, including your opponent’s. This means a Mermail player’s Abyss-Spheres can’t be destroyed, and that means they can’t activate Spell Cards or get Linde’s destruction effect off of Sphere.
That’s all I’ve got for the deck, I hope you thin it’s cool and I encourage you to test it out because I think it’s very good.
QOTW: Question of the Week?
What are your opinions on main decking copies of D.D. Crow or the one of Transmigration Prophecy in the current meta? I’ve been thinking of doing this for a while now, what are your thoughts?
Written by: Kyle