Spread your wings and blaze forward on the wings of Garunix.
On the Fire King island, there dwells an empire of FIRE monsters that all benefit from being destroyed. Whether it is rising from the ashes, searching a new Fire King card or bring a fallen comrade back into the battle, the Fire King archetype revolves entirely around the cycle of destruction. Each monster plays a pivotal role in the strategy, and each support card adds a bit more fuel to the fire to keep the cycle going, blazing eternally throughout the entire duel.
Ever since the theme was introduced back in their very own Structure Deck, the Fire King archetype has centered around enabling their boss monster, Fire King High Avatar Garunix. The Standby Phase after this boss monster is destroyed by a card effect, Garunix brings itself back from the GY and destroys all other monsters on the field. To support this boss, the structure deck also released a set of potent support cards, such as Fire King Onslaught which brings out any FIRE Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast straight to your field from the deck or Circle of the Fire Kings which destroys a FIRE monster you control to rekindle another FIRE monster back from your GY.
But this theme never took off well enough, as they were in dire need of further support. In later main sets, the Fire King archetype would receive Fire King Island, a field spell that could destroy any monster in your hand or field to add any Fire King to your hand from the deck. Then the last support card really cemented the disruptive nature of the archetype, Fire King Avatar Arvata, which includes an effect to negate the activation of monster effects as well as an effect to bring back any FIRE Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast from the GY when it is destroyed. These two cards brought the theme back into viability, but it wasn’t enough to break back into being a solid deck choice in the TCG… That is, until now.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room for any FIRE theme – Rekindling. This spell card is ridiculous attribute support, and since it has finally been released from the Forbidden/Limited list in the TCG, we can finally start running decks again that can rely upon it for extreme power plays. Since all of the Beast-Warrior Fire Kings happen to have 200 DEF, this deck is a prime recipient of Rekindled love. The second major TCG impact has been the release of the newest set, Fist of the Gadgets, which brought a slew of new support cards for the Fire Fist archetype. Since both archetypes share many characteristics and there is some synergy between the two, Fire Kings can also benefit from some of this new support. So let’s blaze forward straight to the decklist shall we?
As you’ll notice, we are running a variety of support cards in Fire Kings, ranging from standard tech options for the archetype to a couple unnatural selections. Take for example Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Buffalo: this monster may seem out of place in Fire Kings, but with the power of the newly released Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Eagle, you can quickly get another free recurring body to keep bringing back to the field for Link plays. Another key card for the theme that has been recently released is Nine-Tailed Fox, a Zombie monster that gives you two free tokens whenever it is destroyed. You can then use these tokens for a Link Summon, as extra destruction fodder, or perhaps even tribute materials to tribute summon Garunix in a pinch. Long story short, this deck is flexible.
The other major weird tech that you probably identified was Super Polymerization. With the arrival of the first generic Beast-Warrior Fusion monster in Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Swan, Fire Kings finally have an additional way to OTK the opponent. But since you also can run some of the Salamangreat Link monsters, you can also tech in Salamangreat Violet Chimera as an unexpected OTK option OR to simply give you an extra leg up in the Salamangreat matchup. Either way, you have even more power being added to the deck in the form of new disruption capabilities outside of simple destruction.
The last pillar of this strategy is the power of Rekindling. With such deck thinning through the absurd combos available to someone looping Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King with Eagle on the field, this card is nuts. Even if you don’t, Bujintei Kagutsuchi offers some solid milling to get your GY ready for the big plays, only at the small cost of two Beast-Warriors. Best case, Rekindling results a +4 in card advantage initially, but you can with smart play role that into even more advantage through Link monsters. Lastly, take note that Fire Kings also have a better chance of trigger Tiger King for these loop combos, since Island, Circle, or Avrata can also trigger its effect, rather than having to rely upon Bear.
Alongside the breaking of new ground with a more condensed CDS format, I’m also going to debut additional strategic pairings that work well with the Fire King archetype.
Introducing the first Fusion Spell that destroys its materials. Yes that’s right, you can use this Rokket-intended Quickplay spell during the Battle Phase to destroy your Fire Kings and summon Swan in the process. Additionally, since certain monsters trigger when Fire Kings are destroyed (hello Avrata or FK effects from the hand), you can roll that into additional beastpower to go in for the kill. This is a great alternative to Super Polymerization to consider, but it is not everything, as Super Poly’s disruptive capabilities cannot be overstated.
The Salamangreat archetype is both beloved and hated for a couple things. First, it is next near impossible to keep them down, because it takes just a couple cards to get their entire GY setup fully in motion. However, the Salamangreat deck can also be condensed into a small engine to be played alongside Fire Kings. Offering the ability to open the duel with a traditional Salamangreat opening before transitioning into the Fire King grind game is pretty spectacular. It’s also great to consider due to the fact that you don’t need too much of your Extra Deck for Fire Kings, so you could streamline the extra to be more Cyberse-friendly. The absolute best part is that Avrata can protect your opening play from pesky hand traps that tend to ruin most Salamangreat plays!
A traditional match clearly intended from the beginning, the Nephthys can be used alongside Fire Kings to generate and then maintain advantage through consistent field destruction. Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys also brings itself back turn after turn it is destroy by a card effect, so by looping it alongside Garunix you are guaranteed to keep wiping the field clean. You can even consider using Disciple of Nephthys as well to keep the search chains flowing. This is the least viable secondary archetype to pair with Fire King, but it still has its merits.
There are some pretty stunning parallels between these two archetypes. Not only do they feature a variety of types alongside their common FIRE attribute, but they also lend themselves to getting monsters to the field quickly and efficiently. By running a small Hazy engine, you can use Island to trigger Hazy Flame Cerberus, which then can add a Hazy Flame Griffin to the hand to Special Summon once you summon the Fire King you added with Island. This gives the deck a bit more oompf in the early game to get the first couple link monsters out, but at the cost of some more powerful effects and combos later in the duel.
Sample Chains of Play:
The following scenarios came up in test duels. Rather than giving a full rundown for each, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some play chains to show what this deck is capable of to swing the duel back into your favor.
Thanks for reading this article! As noted earlier, I wanted to try out a new format with this CDS article to see if it is preferred to have a shorter, more easily digested article posted alongside the creative decklist. Please leave your feedback across our various platforms so that I can better inform how I approach future articles.
The Fire King archetype surely benefits from its patented cycle of destruction and rebirth, but due to its close relationship with other FIRE themes and support cards, it can truly shine in the current TCG environment. I hope you all take the time to explore the potential this archetype offers – it truly can allow for some creative and flexibile deckbuilding, and some really neat strategies will emerge. At the end of the day that is what deckbuilding is all about – reinventing cards to exploit their best potential in a coherent and hopefully consistent fashion. So in closing, I wish you all the best of luck destroying your opponent’s with the crushing wings of Garunix!
Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articles! I really want to see some input from you! If you wish to see a CDS article about the archetype, theme, or strategy you love, feel free to private message me on the YGOrg Discord server, the YGOrganization Forums, or just post a comment in response to this article on our Facebook page with your ideas to keep under consideration. On most YGO-related communities my username is Quincymccoy, so feel free to reach out.