[Opinion Piece] Duel Links’ 1st Structure Decks

The merits of the Structure Decks’ cards, in addition to those of the new PvP rewards and Card Trader cards.


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Sorcerer’s Alliance

 
Trance the Magic Swordsman – The highest ATK of 1-Tribute monsters at 2600 ATK. It can be easily Summoned with the aid of “Legion the Fiend Jester” (a Flame of the Tyrant SR), but is very vulnerable to battle-position changing with its 200 DEF. Even so, you can abuse cards like “Regretful Rebirth” (a Neo-Impact SR) or “Time Machine” (a Bandit Keith Level-Up reward) with “Legion the Fiend Jester”, which will enable you to continually search or recycle this card.

 
A Man with Wdjat – A pretty simple card with 1600 ATK/DEF, which lets you peek at your opponent’s face-down Spells/Traps or Set monsters over time. Maybe there’s some future potential with other cards that need a correct guess to work (like “De-Spell“), but its effect seems to be outweighed by the effects of “Skilled Red Magician” (a Wonders of the Sky SR) and “Arsenal Summoner” (an Age of Discovery R), which also share 1600 ATK/DEF. Even the 1600 ATK “Rogue Doll” (a Pegasus Level-Up reward) can be searched by the effects of “Legion the Fiend Jester” and “Blue Dragon Summoner“.

 
Magical Undertaker – This card has strong potential for future combos with “Arcane Barrier” (a Crimson Kingdom card). Remember, face-down monsters that are attacked actually do flip face-up before they’re destroyed by battle. Of course, this will be more viable if/when “Apprentice Magician” is released in Duel Links. But in the meantime, this card can be helpful for reviving “Legion the Fiend Jester“, “Blue Dragon Summoner“, “Neo the Magic Swordsman”, or even “Relinquished”.

Neo the Magic Swordsman – Previously, this card was only available as part of the 33,333,333 download promotion, and only 1 copy was distributed to each player. It’s a solid beatstick for Decks that use Yami Yugi’s Skill “Power of Dark”, as well as a 1-of card in “Gravekeeper’s” Decks for the effect of “Legion the Fiend Jester” to continually search for or recycle.


 
Spell Wall – a card with a very niche use. Basically, it’s only useful when you’re attempting to Summon a good monster, or when you’re trying to get rid of a certain opposing monster. Even then, its protective effect isn’t all that powerful, and the card(s) your opponent would have activated will still be there during your next turn. Bad card.

 
Destructive Draw – only useful for Decks that quickly use up the cards in the player’s hand. So… maybe Decks that rely on “Wonder Balloons” (a The Ultimate Rising SR) or “Type Zero Magic Crusher” (sometimes made available in special events). In which case, “Sword of Deep-Seated” (a Pegasus Level-Up reward) might be a good card in those Decks, guaranteeing an easy discard during each of your turns. There’s also the following cards that can help empty your hand: “Monster Reincarnation“, “Rigorous Reaver“, “Rising Energy“, “Cost Down“, and “Magic Jammer“.

Soul Rope – not good at the moment, since card effects capable of destroying monsters aren’t common in Duel Links (yet). But it is a decent searcher.

Ready for Intercepting – Already found in The Ultimate Rising as a R, it’s generally only useful at times when popular PvP Decks use plenty of Warrior and/or Spellcaster monsters. It can also be useful in farming Decks, such as when facing Ishizu or Lvl 50 Pegasus.


 
 
Rope of Life – Although this card is reactionary, and can sometimes be expensive, that permanent 800 ATK boost can turn Duels around. And of course, its cost fits well with the effect of “Destructive Draw”.

The Illusory Gentleman – a filler card that’s already rendered unnecessary by the presence of stronger Spellcaster monsters in-game.

 

Dragonic Force

 
Felgrand Dragon – This card may seem tempting, but it can’t be Special Summoned from the hand or Deck like “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” can. Even if you managed to Summon it, the only benefit it has is its ATK boost, assuming you get the opportunity to revive it. “Blue-Eyes” has more reliable support for Summoning itself, along with its back-up support in the form of “Champion’s Vigilance” (a SR Seto Kaiba Duel reward).

 
Hieratic Dragon of Nuit – Unsure what to make of this card. It currently seems best for attempting to get Normal Dragon-Type monsters in the Graveyard, for later revival with “Dragon’s Rebirth” or “Soul Resurrection” (a Crimson Kingdom UR). The problem is using a different card to target it, in order to activate its effect. One answer? With very few exceptions, practically all Equip Cards target.
Interesting note: With this monster’s 900 DEF, the opponent may be tempted to change this card’s battle position with “Enemy Controller”, but that will end up activating this card’s effect.
Another note: You can use cards like “Interdimensional Matter Transporter” (a Seto Kaiba Level-Up reward) or “Dimension Gate” (a SR Paradox Brothers Duel reward) to either trigger this card’s effect, or to remove the 0 ATK/DEF stats from the Normal Dragon monsters you Summoned!

 
Exploder Dragon – Another addition to join the ranks of monsters like “Yomi Ship“, “Adhesive Explosive“, and “4-Starred Ladybug of Doom“. A Deck where you abuse monsters like these with “Pot of Dichotomy” (a Card Trader card) might eventually become popular, but not when there are Decks that don’t care about destroying monsters by battle, i.e. Toon Decks and ‘effect damage’ Decks).

Wattaildragon – a nice 1-Tributer for Dragon Decks, offering 2500 ATK and 1000 DEF, as opposed to “Luster Dragon #2” with its 2400 ATK and 1400 DEF.

 

Hunter Dragon – a simple beatstick, although “Mirage Dragon” may be a better choice because of its effect. Incidentally, both this card and “Exploder Dragon” are intended for use in “Cyberdark” Decks, as indicated by the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime. A foreshadowing of things to come for Duel Links…?

 
Advance Zone – You’re likely only going to be using this card’s first effect… but that’s good enough! It won’t fit in Decks that use Odion’s ‘Bluff Trap’ Skill, but it can easily be used in “Gravekeeper’s” Decks, which have been needing a way to get rid of the opponent’s Set Spells/Traps.

 
 
Advance Force – It seems this card’s intended use is for “Hieratic Dragon of Nuit”, or for Level 5-6 monsters that can easily be Special Summoned. But, you’ll have to wait a turn after Nuit’s been Summoned before you can use its effect for this (since it’s unlikely your 0 ATK/DEF monster will survive the opponent’s turn). More often than not, whenever you draw this card, you’ll probably have to wait a while before you can use its effect – and even then, it’ll likely only be a 1-time use – meaning you should use more practical cards instead.

 
Tyrant Wing – A useful card for Dragon Decks. The 400 ATK boost may not seem like much, but it can be key for edging out the opponent’s low-Level monsters that attack your low-Level Dragon, and it’ll stick around for the remainder of your next turn. In that sense, it’s better than “Sphere Kuriboh” or “Enemy Controller”. If used this way, it’s unlikely that this card’s “attack 2 monsters per Battle Phase” effect will be used… but that’s not really a problem. When combined with the effect of “Mirage Dragon” (a Card Trader card), you can wait and see if your opponent will activate “Enemy Controller” or “Sphere Kuriboh” in response to your attack, before successfully activating this card during the Damage Step to surprise them.
Additional note: This is also a handy card to trigger the effect of “Hieratic Dragon of Nuit”.

 
Dragon’s Rebirth – An excellent card for Dragon Decks. Best used during the Battle Phase, by banishing a Dragon monster you control that has already attacked that turn to Special Summon another, thus gaining an ‘extra attack’. You can also use it to avoid the effects of “Enemy Controller”, “Soul Exchange“, or “Relinquished”.
Remember: This card can Special Summon from the hand, making it very usable in most situations.

Koumori Dragon – a filler card. Although it does have the next-highest ATK for low-Level Normal Dragon monsters (following “Hunter Dragon“), Dragon Decks typically won’t have room for this card when maxing out their copies of “Hunter Dragon” and “Mirage Dragon“.

 
Altar for Tribute – A common card already found in Neo-Impact. Despite its text saying “select” (which usually means “target”), it does not target; it sends the monster as a cost. So, its only use here seems to be for the Normal Dragon monsters that “Hieratic Dragon of Nuit” Summons, since it will rely on their original ATK values. A bad card in general, since you’d rather be Tributing those monsters for Tribute Summons, or prefer that this card was another card that targeted “Nuit”.

 

PvP Rewards: July-August 2017

Anteatereatingant (SR) – An interesting card, but it requires you to sacrifice 2 of your Spells/Traps to Summon it. “Big Bang Shot” (a Wonders of the Sky SR) can take advantage of this, but not much else. Furthermore, it will be very vulnerable to battle position changing with its 500 DEF. Probably best avoided.

Behemoth the King of All Animals (SR) – This card is best used with “Obedience Schooled” (a Land of the Titans SR), since you can Summon cards like “Playful Possum” (a Land of the Titans R) or “Wrecker Panda” (a Valkyrie’s Rage SR) from your Deck, and end up returning them to your hand for later use.

Legacy of Yata-Garasu (SR) – The prime use of this card is for Spirit monster Decks, since they can use “Mystic Box” (a SR Yami Yugi Duel reward) to give a Spirit monster to their opponent, which will fulfill the condition for this card’s “draw 2 cards” effect! And of course, the Spirit monster will return to its owner’s hand during the End Phase.

Perfect Machine King (SR) – This card can get pretty strong… but is it really better than “Barrel Dragon” (a UR Bandit Keith Duel reward)? A Level 7 Machine monster with 2600 ATK and 2200 DEF that can potentially destroy 1 monster during each of your turns with its effect? Excessive ATK power isn’t everything.

Pikeru’s Circle of Enchantment (SR) – A bad card. You don’t need to fear OTKs from effect damage anymore, with the impending Limiting of “Restructer Revolution” to 1 copy per Deck. If you’re really worried about ‘effect damage’ Decks, you’ll use “Supremacy Berry” (a SR Téa Gardner Duel reward) or “Aegis of Gaia” (a Chaotic Compliance card) instead, because at least it will have some use against the other Decks you face. Even “Eco, Mystical Spirit of the Forest” (a Card Trader card) would be a better tech option – except for situations where you’d lose by taking the damage that triggers its effect.
The only benefit this card has is the following: It can protect you from your own card effects… but “Damage Translation” (a Card Trader card) is a tempting alternative in that case.

A Feather of the Phoenix (R) – This card comes off as an uglier “Monster Reincarnation“, but one that can also retrieve Spells or Traps. It has some minor combos with the following cards:

  • Flowerbot” (a Land of the Titans R): If you discard this monster, then after “Feather” resolves, you’ll be able to replace 1 card in your hand with the card you put on the top of your Deck.
  • Wrecker Panda” (a Valkyrie’s Rage SR): You simply get a guaranteed “mill”, for a presumably decent ATK boost. If you already have a card in the GY, you can basically place 1 of the high-Level monsters in your hand on the top of your Deck this way.
  • Hazy Flame Sphynx” (a Card Trader card): You get a guaranteed “use” of this card’s effect, which is quite strong.

Astral Barrier (R) – An iffy card that can be compared to “Interdimensional Matter Transporter“, except not as versatile. However, it can be quite useful for Decks that use “Clown” monsters and/or “Guardian Statue” (a Card Trader card).

Covering Fire (R) – This card is only useful for Decks that have monsters with less than 1000 ATK, when “Mirror Wall” won’t protect them. Even then, you’ll need to have 2 monsters on the field in order to use this card, and the ATK boost only lasts for the 1 battle. Not a high-priority card.

Oyster Meister (R) – This card’s effect is best used when it is Tributed to activate “Enemy Controller” (a SR Seto Kaiba Duel reward) or “Fish Depth Charge” (a Mako Tsunami Level-Up reward), giving you useful leftover protection. But mainly, this card is best used in Decks that use “Hammer Shark” (a Card Trader card), since it is Level 3 with 1600 original ATK.

Rare Metal Dragon (R) – A bad card. It’s only niche benefit is getting Special Summoned by effects that Summon Level 4 or lower monsters, such as “Familiar Knight” (a SR Seto Kaiba reward). You’d rather use something like “Wattaildragon”, where you at least have the additional option of Tribute Summoning it (along with the various ways it can get Special Summoned).

Ancient Leaf (N) – Nice meme.

Eagle Eye (N) – Reminder: This card’s effect only applies to the exact moment this card is Summoned. It doesn’t apply for the rest of the Duel. There are some minor tricks you can do with your opponent being unable to respond to this card’s Summon with Trap Cards, but they’re not good enough to merit using this card.

Maji-Gire Panda (N) – “Playful Possum” and “Nimble Musasabi” (both R cards in Land of the Titans) are the most viable ways of triggering this card’s effect. But you’ll need to protect this card in the meantime, and you can’t rely on your opponent helping you by destroying your other Beast monsters instead.

Return Zombie (N) – The only ways you’ll activate this card’s effect are through the following ways:

  • The card you draw during your Draw Phase is a Quick-Play Spell, and you can somehow activate it immediately.
  • During your Draw Phase, you activate a Spell Speed 2 effect that can discard/Summon the card you just drew.
  • You somehow skip your normal draw entirely, but without adding a card to the hand as compensation, like you would with “Magical Blast“.

So… not a very good card. With its meager 1000 ATK / 1500 DEF, it’s only intended as discard fodder.

Shark Cruiser (N) – Obviously, this card is intended for Decks that use “A Legendary Ocean” (a Card Trader card)… but card effects that destroy monsters aren’t common right now, so this card shouldn’t be a high priority. Nice 2200 DEF though.

 

Card Trader’s cards

Mausoleum of the Emperor (SR): A good card, but your opponent has the ability to use its effect as well. This card is best used in Decks that use Odion’s ‘Bluff Trap’ Skill, since there can be times when you don’t draw into “Storm” (a R Odion Duel reward) or your opponent just doesn’t want to play any Spells/Traps for you to destroy with “Storm”. And since this card is a Field Spell, activating “Storm” means you can now destroy up to 3 Spells/Traps your opponent controls, while simultaneously preventing the opponent from using the Field Spell’s effect.

Magna-Slash Dragon (R): So far, there aren’t any outstanding interactions with this card and Continuous Spell Cards. In Dragon Decks, you’re better off using “Stamping Destruction” (a Neo-Impact UR) as your form of Spell/Trap destruction.

Hazy Flame Sphynx (R): Great effect, which the aforementioned “A Feather of the Phoenix” can help guarantee. However, it seems most at home in a Deck that uses Mai Valentine’s “Aroma Strategy” Skill. With this monster being Level 6, this can justify using “Soul Exchange” (a Valkyrie’s Rage UR) in one’s Deck as extra monster removal.

Psychokinesis (R): Practically a must-have in Psychic Decks.