Spotlight: Dark Simorgh

Doug Zeeff

6/27/2016 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

The last two weeks before the North American World Championship Qualifier are always interesting. This final stretch is completely void of any Regional Qualifiers or YCS's, so players are left without new Top Cut deck lists to work off of. For the most part, you're on your own for the next couple weeks. That means internal testing and theory-oh will be crucial to anyone looking for success at one of the year's biggest tournaments.

Today I wanted to highlight one of my favorite sleeper picks heading into the North American WCQ: Dark Simorgh. You've probably seen it pop up from time to time, but it's never been competitively relevant in a big way. Originally, Dark Simorgh was almost exclusively tied to Anti-Spell Fragrance as a gimmicky lockdown, preventing your opponent from using any spells or traps. Decks that revolved around that were inconsistent at best, but now things are a Little Different.

Outside of Dark Simorgh's individual properties that make it worth playing there are two popular decks that can run it as a strong Side Deck choice, which makes it worth talking about right now.

The Basics
Dark Simorgh's a Level 7 Dark monster with 2700 ATK and 1000 DEF. It's not gigantic but it'll definitely hold its own in battle. While it's on the field it's also treated as a Wind monster, but that's not super important. It has two built-in ways to Special Summon it: from the hand, by banishing one Wind and one Dark monster from your grave; or from the graveyard, by banishing one Wind and one Dark monster from your hand. You're probably not going to use the second effect, but more options is never a bad thing when it comes to recursion.

The real reason you're going to use Dark Simorgh is its very last effect, which prevents your opponent from setting any cards to their side of the field. Setting monsters isn't a big deal at the moment, but if the game ever gets another Geargiarmor-like card then that's going to be good. What's more relevant for modern day Yu-Gi-Oh! is that your opponent can't set any spells or traps.

 Dark Simorgh
$34.99
$19.30
$11.96
Dark Simorgh33729
Set Stardust Overdrive
Number SOVR-EN092
Level 7
Type Effect Monster
Monster Winged Beast
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2700 / 1000
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

While this card is face-up on the field its Attribute is also treated as WIND. You can remove from play 1 DARK monster and 1 WIND monster from your Graveyard to Special Summon this card from your hand. You can remove from play 1 DARK monster and 1 WIND mo


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Qliphort Demise is by far the best matchup for Dark Simorgh. Any deck using Card of Demise needs to set its entire hand to draw a full three cards, and Dark Simorgh puts a stop to that. It also prevents your opponent from setting any trap cards, which is basically that strategy's win condition. 2700 ATK's extremely hard for Qliphorts to get over; you're forcing them to have two corresponding Pendulum Scales either two Qliphorts or one and a Saqlifice and a Level 8 Qliphort. At that point, they're using almost their entire hand to get rid of Simorgh, which means they didn't have any traps to play anyway.

In other words, if your opponent could out Dark Simorgh it was bad anyway, so it's a win-win scenario for you. Still, Summoning this thing with ease is going to make or break its usefulness, so let's delve into the two strategies that can Special Summon it consistently and effectively.

Burning Abyss
If there was ever a deck that was perfectly designed to meet the requirements for Dark Simorgh, it's Burning Abyss. All of the themed Main Deck monsters are Darks, and almost every single duelist is running a supplemental engine of three Speedroid Terrortop and one Speedroid Taketomborg. Between your five or six card opening, Allure of Darkness, and the milling from Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss it's almost impossible to not get a Dark and a Wind in the grave on your first turn.

If you're playing against a Pendulum deck with Burning Abyss you're almost certainly going to be Side Decking Anti-Spell Fragrance to restrict your opponent from setting up Pendulum Scales. Dark Simorgh's a natural addition, then, because it adds further layers of protection.

First, it stops your opponent from stalling with pesky traps like Solemn Strike, Solemn Warning, and Chaos Trap Hole. Even better though, your opponent has to have the Twin Twisters or Mystical Space Typhoon for the Anti-Spell Fragrance immediately, because if they draw them after their first turn they won't be able to set them at all.

While this is reminiscent of the age-old Dark Simorgh builds from way back in the day, the difference now is that you don't have to draw Dark Simorgh for the Anti-Spell Fragrance ability to be great. You're only improving the lock you already had, so you wouldn't need to Side Deck more than one or two copies.

Monarchs
It's hard to say whether or not we'll see any Burning Abyss players using Dark Simorgh, but we've already seen a few Monarch lists top with it. It's hard to summon Dark Simorgh conventionally in this particular deck, but far from impossible. Erebus the Underworld Monarch is a Dark monster, so if you're teching in Speedroids like many Monarch players you're meeting the Wind requirement, too.

Realistically, though, you want to cheat Dark Simorgh on the field for free via Ehther the Heavenly Monarch's effect. Ehther can Special Summon a monster with 1000 DEF and at least 2400 ATK, so you can instantly throw Dark Simorgh on your field on your opponent's turn. That totally locks them out in all the ways we've been discussing in this article. At the end of the turn the Dark Simorgh jumps back to your hand, but that's a non-issue. No deck is better at throwing tribute fodder on the field than Monarchs, so on your turn you can simply Tribute Summon Dark Simorgh regularly.

 Speedroid Terrortop
$14.95
$3.32
$0.78
Speedroid Terrortop105998
Set High-Speed Riders
Number HSRD-EN001
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 1200 / 600
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Speedroid" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Speedroid Beigomax". You can only use this effect of "Speedroid Beigomax" once per turn.


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Actually, if you're playing Speedroids, one of the best openings involves Speedroid Terrortop, Erebus the Underworld Monarch, and either Return of the Monarchs or Ehther. You can Special Summon Terrortop, then search and Special Summon Taketomborg. From there you can play Return, Tribute Summon Erebus, and add the Ehther to your hand while stealing a card out of your opponent's. When their turn rolls around you Ehther as soon as your opponent does anything in Main Phase 1, getting rid of Erebus to bring out Dark Simorgh. That play is so powerful because it puts the Dark and Wind in your grave to banish next turn to Special Summon Dark Simorgh back.

I don't quite believe that Dark Simorgh should be limited to Monarch variants using Speedroids, but it definitely has an added benefit there, and more synergy.

Comparatively Speaking
One argument that comes up whenever I talk about Dark Simorgh is that it's worse than Royal Decree, Full House, and Twin Twisters in specific cases. For example, Dark Simorgh isn't that great going second after your opponent has already set a bunch of cards. It's also a monster, which carries its own set of advantages and disadvantages, some of which make it easier to kill than a usual floodgate like Royal Decree.

I think those arguments are invalid because Dark Simorgh compliments those cards; it isn't meant to replace them. In Monarchs you'd only need to play one copy, and you don't have to draw it for it to be good. Even after resolving multiple copies of Pantheism of the Monarchs you're not guaranteed to see an unsearchable card like Full House or Royal Decree, but you're incredibly likely to get a single Ehther on the field. In my opinion you should always be on the lookout for Side Deck cards that you don't have to draw, and Dark Simorgh fits that role perfectly.

If you're skeptical about running Dark Simorgh I'd suggest giving it a try. It's almost always an auto-win against Qliphort Demise variants, or at the very least stuns them for an entire turn. At the moment it's largely unexpected so you're sure to catch some opponents off guard!

-Doug Zeeff


Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, playing Hearthstone casually, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!


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