One of the things that I love about Yu-Gi-Oh! not rotating old cards out ofthe game is that Konami can drop support for a deck from five years ago andsuddenly it's relevant. I believe that could be the case with Cyberdarksdue to the lukewarm release of Legendary Duelists, although wemight be stuck waiting for a Forbidden & Limited List to see how thingspan out.

Cyberdarks are the joke of the competitive scene, and also the namesake ofone of the worst core boosters of all time: Cyberdark Impact.Cyberdark Keel, Cyberdark Horn, and Cyberdark Edge all have roughly thesame couple of effects: when they're Normal Summoned you equip a Level 3 orlower Dragon from your graveyard to them; while a monster is equipped, theygain its ATK; and if they would be destroyed by battle the equipped monsteris destroyed instead.

They also have unique effects, although they're not super important. Thebig one is that Cyberdark Edge can attack directly for half damage, whichis crucial for closing out games unexpectedly. Cyberdark Horn inflictspiercing damage, but how often are there defensive position monsters inYu-Gi-Oh! right now?

Their original boss monster Cyberdark Dragon's basically just a big beaterthat can be summoned with the confusingly named Cyberdark Impact! spellcard. Cyberdark Impact! 1-for-1's into Cyberdark Dragon, recycling thethree 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 verywell could change that. For years, Cyberdarks have lacked consistency,versatility, and power. Let's see how things are changing for the better:

New Searchers
The main two releases are Cyberdark Cannon and Cyberdark Claw. Both of themhave quite a lot of text, packing three different effects that help pushalong 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 CyberdarkCannon's sent to the graveyard while equipped to a monster, you'll get afree draw. When Cyberdark Claw is sent, you get back a Cyberdark monsterfrom your graveyard to your hand. Claw can even grab itself, which is aneat way to score an extra search with its second effect.

That's right, both of these cards are pseudo-Reinforcement of the Army. Ashard once per turn effects, you can discard Cannon or Claw to grab aCyberdark monster or spell or trap, respectively. That's fantastic, andexactly what Cyberdarks needed. Cannon's particularly useful because youcan pitch it to grab one of the original Cyberdarks, and then immediatelyNormal Summon what you searched to equip Cannon to it. Claw's search effectcan get you straight to Cyberdark Impact! but it's mostly used for grabbingthe new Cyberdark field spell, Cyberdark Inferno. More on that in a second.

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Also hard once per turn effects, Cannon and Claw both have bonuses thatactivate when the monster they're equipped to battles, during damagecalculation. Cannon can Foolish Burial any monster from your deck, whereasClaw sends a card from the Extra Deck. There are a ton of fringe uses forCannon, but you'll mainly be using it to fill up your graveyard for FusionSummons with Cyberdark Impact! and Overload Fusion.

Claw's a lot more versatile because of the sheer number of great Extra Deckmonsters to send. Elder Entity N'tss is the most common because it'll blowup a card, but PSY-Framelord Omega is a choice if you want to recyclesomething. Predaplant Chimerafflesia is another option, which adds a"Fusion" spell card to your hand during the next Standby Phase. Thepossibilities are near endless with that broad of an effect, nabbinganything from Brilliant Fusion to Overload Fusion to Re-Fusion. If you werereally crazy you could even yard Herald of the Arc Light to grab a RitualMonster, but I'm not quite that ambitious.

That New Field Spell
It's pretty clear that Cyberdark Cannon and Cyberdark Claw fix a lot ofissues. They even out consistency problems and give you plenty of varianceto defeat your opponent. But power is still lacking, and that's whereCyberdark Inferno comes into play. Once again, it has three powerfuleffects to make Cyberdarks a rogue contender.

The first effect prevents any Cyberdark monster that has an equip frombeing targeted or destroyed by your opponent's card effects. We're alreadyoff to a wonderful start, but things get silly when you consider that notonly 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 NormalSummonable Kozmo Dark Destroyers are nothing to overlook.

With the second effect you can bounce a Cyberdark back to your hand, andthen if you want you can Normal Summon a Cyberdark. That helps in a coupleways. If a Cyberdark monster loses its equip monster, Cyberdark Inferno canbounce it back to the hand to then Normal Summon that same monster so thatit has an equip. It also lets you cycle through your equips, because Claw'susually 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 backto your hand to re-summon it so Claw's equipped.

Do note that bouncing a Cyberdark monster won't trigger the graveyardeffects of Cannon or Claw, because the monster they're equipped to needs tostay on the field for them to activate.

Lastly, if Cyberdark Inferno is destroyed by an opponent's card effect youcan add a "Fusion" spell to your hand. I've already listed a whole bunch oftargets for Predaplant Chimerafflesia, and the same principle applies here.It's sad that you can't trigger that effect by destroying it with your owncards, but it a good fallback for when your opponent inevitably takes downInferno so they can actually destroy your Cyberdarks.

A New Boss Monster
The fourth and final Cyberdark card in Legendary Duelists is aretrained Cyberdark Dragon, simply named Cyberdarkness Dragon. It takes anyfive Cyberdarks to Fusion Summon, and similar to Cyberdark Dragon it equipsany Dragon monster from your graveyard to gain ATK. It also can attachMachines, but that's not a huge difference maker.

What is different is that Cyberdarkness Dragon can send any equip card tothe graveyard to negate a card or effect. It doesn't have to send themonster that's equipped to it, so you can load up on the little Cyberdarksbefore unleashing this behemoth. Even with all the searching and millingit's still tough to bring out Cyberdarkness Dragon reliably, but it'scertainly a blowout when you do manage to summon it.

I originally tried making an aggressive Cyberdark strategy using BrilliantFusion, but eventually decided that a midrange deck was much more suitableto 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'vebeen testing:

DECKID=107882With a deck like Cyberdarks, board control is everything. Your monsters capout at 2400 ATK, but Cyberdark Claw provides most of the spot removalneeded to deal with bigger threats. Even if you can't destroy all of youropponent's monsters, Cyberdark Edge can poke for 1200 damage every turn ifyou can keep it alive.

To help circumvent some of the pitfalls this deck can run into, I'veincluded two tech cards: Black Salvo and Lost Wind. Some consider BlackSalvo a staple in this strategy, but I've found plenty of people whodisagree with it. To put it simply: you shouldn't need Salvo if you'realready winning, but you'll absolutely need it to catch up when you'rebehind. Cyberdarks are so powerful if you can get your engine going, butplaying into a lot of disruption can be tough. Using Black Salvo to makeBlack Rose Dragon can often be enough to take control of the game onceagain.

Lost Wind helps keep your opponent from getting to that point, but itoffers more value than Solemn Strike and Dimensional Barrier in a lot ofcases. While Solemn Strike's a three-of in this deck because it's still thebetter card overall, Lost Wind's double effect negation and ATK reductionhelps your Cyberdarks run over monsters bigger than 2400 ATK.

At the moment, we're still patiently waiting for a Forbidden & LimitedList. Nobody knows when it's going to drop and how much it's going tochange things, but I'd keep an eye out for Cyberdarks. If there end upbeing a ton of hits to popular strategies, players might not be preparedfor a rogue contender like this deck, especially at the first coupleRegional Qualifiers!

-Doug Zeeff


Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major incollege. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not asingle walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularlyposting unorthodox, unfiltered Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtubechannel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch,and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh.Click hereto follow him and his adventures on Facebook!