Ahead of the Curve: Cyberdarks
9/13/2017 11:00:00 AM
One of the things that I love about Yu-Gi-Oh! not rotating old cards out of
the game is that Konami can drop support for a deck from five years ago and
suddenly it's relevant. I believe that could be the case with Cyberdarks
due to the lukewarm release of Legendary Duelists
, although we
might be stuck waiting for a Forbidden & Limited List to see how things
Cyberdarks are the joke of the competitive scene, and also the namesake of
one of the worst core boosters of all time: Cyberdark Impact.
Cyberdark Keel, Cyberdark Horn, and Cyberdark Edge all have roughly the
same couple of effects: when they're Normal Summoned you equip a Level 3 or
lower Dragon from your graveyard to them; while a monster is equipped, they
gain its ATK; and if they would be destroyed by battle the equipped monster
is destroyed instead.
They also have unique effects, although they're not super important. The
big one is that Cyberdark Edge can attack directly for half damage, which
is crucial for closing out games unexpectedly. Cyberdark Horn inflicts
piercing damage, but how often are there defensive position monsters in
Yu-Gi-Oh! right now?
Their original boss monster Cyberdark Dragon's basically just a big beater
that can be summoned with the confusingly named Cyberdark Impact! spell
card. Cyberdark Impact! 1-for-1's into Cyberdark Dragon, recycling the
three Cyberdarks for later use.
While none of those cards have had any competitive impact on tournaments,
there are four new Cyberdark cards in Legendary Duelists that very
well could change that. For years, Cyberdarks have lacked consistency,
versatility, and power. Let's see how things are changing for the better:
The main two releases are Cyberdark Cannon and Cyberdark Claw. Both of them
have quite a lot of text, packing three different effects that help push
along your win condition. They're also both Level 3 Dragons with 1600 ATK,
bumping all of your Normal Summon Cyberdarks up to 2400 ATK.
The first effect for both monsters is not once per turn. When Cyberdark
Cannon's sent to the graveyard while equipped to a monster, you'll get a
free draw. When Cyberdark Claw is sent, you get back a Cyberdark monster
from your graveyard to your hand. Claw can even grab itself, which is a
neat way to score an extra search with its second effect.
That's right, both of these cards are pseudo-Reinforcement of the Army. As
hard once per turn effects, you can discard Cannon or Claw to grab a
Cyberdark monster or spell or trap, respectively. That's fantastic, and
exactly what Cyberdarks needed. Cannon's particularly useful because you
can pitch it to grab one of the original Cyberdarks, and then immediately
Normal Summon what you searched to equip Cannon to it. Claw's search effect
can get you straight to Cyberdark Impact! but it's mostly used for grabbing
the new Cyberdark field spell, Cyberdark Inferno. More on that in a second.
| Cyberdark Impact!
Duel Terminal 5
Return 1 each of "Cyberdark Horn", "Cyberdark Edge", and "Cyberdark Keel" from your hand, Graveyard or your side of the field to your Deck. Special Summon 1 "Cyberdark Dragon" from your Fusion Deck. (This Special Summon is treated as a Fusion Summon.)
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Also hard once per turn effects, Cannon and Claw both have bonuses that
activate when the monster they're equipped to battles, during damage
calculation. Cannon can Foolish Burial any monster from your deck, whereas
Claw sends a card from the Extra Deck. There are a ton of fringe uses for
Cannon, but you'll mainly be using it to fill up your graveyard for Fusion
Summons with Cyberdark Impact! and Overload Fusion.
Claw's a lot more versatile because of the sheer number of great Extra Deck
monsters to send. Elder Entity N'tss is the most common because it'll blow
up a card, but PSY-Framelord Omega is a choice if you want to recycle
something. Predaplant Chimerafflesia is another option, which adds a
“Fusion” spell card to your hand during the next Standby Phase. The
possibilities are near endless with that broad of an effect, nabbing
anything from Brilliant Fusion to Overload Fusion to Re-Fusion. If you were
really crazy you could even yard Herald of the Arc Light to grab a Ritual
Monster, but I'm not quite that ambitious.
That New Field Spell
It's pretty clear that Cyberdark Cannon and Cyberdark Claw fix a lot of
issues. They even out consistency problems and give you plenty of variance
to defeat your opponent. But power is still lacking, and that's where
Cyberdark Inferno comes into play. Once again, it has three powerful
effects to make Cyberdarks a rogue contender.
The first effect prevents any Cyberdark monster that has an equip from
being targeted or destroyed by your opponent's card effects. We're already
off to a wonderful start, but things get silly when you consider that not
only do the Cyberdarks also have a built-in protection effect from battle,
but they're great on card economy when that effect is used. 2400 ATK Normal
Summonable Kozmo Dark Destroyers are nothing to overlook.
With the second effect you can bounce a Cyberdark back to your hand, and
then if you want you can Normal Summon a Cyberdark. That helps in a couple
ways. If a Cyberdark monster loses its equip monster, Cyberdark Inferno can
bounce it back to the hand to then Normal Summon that same monster so that
it has an equip. It also lets you cycle through your equips, because Claw's
usually the one that you want to attach. If you only have Cannon, though,
you can attack, send Claw with Cannon, and then bounce the Cyberdark back
to your hand to re-summon it so Claw's equipped.
Do note that bouncing a Cyberdark monster won't trigger the graveyard
effects of Cannon or Claw, because the monster they're equipped to needs to
stay on the field for them to activate.
Lastly, if Cyberdark Inferno is destroyed by an opponent's card effect you
can add a “Fusion” spell to your hand. I've already listed a whole bunch of
targets for Predaplant Chimerafflesia, and the same principle applies here.
It's sad that you can't trigger that effect by destroying it with your own
cards, but it a good fallback for when your opponent inevitably takes down
Inferno so they can actually destroy your Cyberdarks.
A New Boss Monster
The fourth and final Cyberdark card in Legendary Duelists is a
retrained Cyberdark Dragon, simply named Cyberdarkness Dragon. It takes any
five Cyberdarks to Fusion Summon, and similar to Cyberdark Dragon it equips
any Dragon monster from your graveyard to gain ATK. It also can attach
Machines, but that's not a huge difference maker.
What is different is that Cyberdarkness Dragon can send any equip card to
the graveyard to negate a card or effect. It doesn't have to send the
monster that's equipped to it, so you can load up on the little Cyberdarks
before unleashing this behemoth. Even with all the searching and milling
it's still tough to bring out Cyberdarkness Dragon reliably, but it's
certainly a blowout when you do manage to summon it.
I originally tried making an aggressive Cyberdark strategy using Brilliant
Fusion, but eventually decided that a midrange deck was much more suitable
to the theme. The goal is to slowly grind the opponent out of cards,
allowing ourselves plenty of backup if things go South. Here's what I've
With a deck like Cyberdarks, board control is everything. Your monsters cap
out at 2400 ATK, but Cyberdark Claw
provides most of the spot removal
needed to deal with bigger threats. Even if you can't destroy all of your
opponent's monsters, Cyberdark Edge
can poke for 1200 damage every turn if
you can keep it alive.
To help circumvent some of the pitfalls this deck can run into, I've
included two tech cards: Black Salvo and Lost Wind. Some consider Black
Salvo a staple in this strategy, but I've found plenty of people who
disagree with it. To put it simply: you shouldn't need Salvo if you're
already winning, but you'll absolutely need it to catch up when you're
behind. Cyberdarks are so powerful if you can get your engine going, but
playing into a lot of disruption can be tough. Using Black Salvo to make
Black Rose Dragon can often be enough to take control of the game once
Lost Wind helps keep your opponent from getting to that point, but it
offers more value than Solemn Strike and Dimensional Barrier in a lot of
cases. While Solemn Strike's a three-of in this deck because it's still the
better card overall, Lost Wind's double effect negation and ATK reduction
helps your Cyberdarks run over monsters bigger than 2400 ATK.
At the moment, we're still patiently waiting for a Forbidden & Limited
List. Nobody knows when it's going to drop and how much it's going to
change things, but I'd keep an eye out for Cyberdarks. If there end up
being a ton of hits to popular strategies, players might not be prepared
for a rogue contender like this deck, especially at the first couple
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 Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtube
channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch,
and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh.
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