Do you know how hard it is to make a deck without Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon or Crystron Halqifibrax?

As much as I like Halqifibrax for how it supports my hoard of random strategies and mash-ups, I'm not keen on using it in every strategy I play, even if I have Tuners aplenty. And as the saying goes, where there's two or more Effect Monsters, Predaplant Verte Anaconda right around the corner.

It's probably a saying. Somewhere.

Anyways, while virtually every theme could leverage those cards, does anyone really want to see Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon anymore? I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say, "I have a great rogue deck idea," and it's really just Crystron Halqifibrax and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon again.

Yawn.

I know this might be hard to believe, but there are other cards in the game that counter your opponent's strategy in similar ways, that don't require you to run three dead draws and a monster that everyone and their mother knew was bad news months before it even released in the TCG.

I'm not jaded. You're jaded.

Blackwings, More Like… Feathered Friends

It's always weird to talk to newer players that don't have much dueling history under their belts, because the conversations often go something like this…

"When I was your age, Blackwings and their Dark Strike Fighter FTKs were unbeatable!"

"Ok, Grandpa, that's nice."

"Wait, I have to tell you about Priority on Ignition Effects!"

Blackwings were once so powerful that Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind, Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow, and Black Whirlwind were all Limited at once, and no, that's not a joke. Every now and then I have to take a step back and be amazed at how far we've come. There was a time when a basic Tuner, a basic search spell, and Bad Honest were too overpowered to survive at 3-per-deck.

So let's flash forward, and jump right back into how broken Blackwings are in 2020. Ever since Links made their debut the ability to spam monsters from your hand has never been more useful. Most Link Monsters have a relatively low bar. A few years ago, a hand of Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall, Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind, and Blackwing - Bora the Spear would have been pretty underwhelming.

But flashforward to, um… now, and that hand is downright amazing. Why? With so many ways to Special Summon a horde of Winged Beasts, Blackwings have transformed into a deck that's vaguely reminiscent of Gouki Link.

No, we're not U-Linking anyone with Blackwings, but back when Goukis were the deck-to-beat, most of the strategy was committed to making Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights and plowing through your Extra Deck with terrifying efficiency. Blackwings are similar today, but instead of Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights, the catalyst for the Blackwing craziness is Raidraptor - Wise Strix.

But Ain't This Blackwings?

Yes, it's a Blackwing deck, but if you've been playing Yu-Gi-Oh for literally any amount of time, you've probably seen decks tap into other themes apart from their main focus. In this case we aren't focused on making Blackwing Extra Deck monsters; no, Blackwings are just fuel for the fire here, coupled with Time Thief, Raidraptors, generic Dark monsters, Phantom Knights cards, and the list goes on. We're tinkering with a lot of stuff in this build.

Raidraptors might not have been at the top of your wishlist for long, but the newest wave of support is powerful enough to make an impact no matter how much you're leaning into the new cards. Phantom Rage has the hybrid Phantom Knights and Raidraptor support that… well, that no one was asking for, but that likewise no one is complaining about. It's all pretty good.

Why marry these particular themes? The answer is spam on spam on spam. Blackwing - Bora the Spear is the distilled version of everything else in the deck. With cheap and easy ways to summon monster after monster, it's "all aboard the combo train" with virtually any combination of cards you wind up with.

Unless, of course, your opponent has three or more hand traps. I'm not saying the deck completely crumbles if you run into Effect Veiler, Infinite Impermanence, and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring on Turn 1, but at that point it's safe to say you just can't win them all.

So without being overly pedantic, this deck functions best when you're throwing down monster after monster. Before Phantom Rage, this strategy often struggled when you'd draw cards that you're actually hoping to search. It's not exactly newsworthy to say Raidraptor - Force Strix could search and Special Summon Raidraptor - Singing Lanius, but now… everything is basically that.

The two most noteworthy cards from the Main Deck are Raider's Wing and Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius. Both cards are new in Phantom Rage and both are obviously suited to pure Raidraptor decks, but if you play Dark monsters, then they probably fit your strategy pretty seamlessly as well. You know what fulfills the requirements for both monsters? Raidraptor - Singing Lanius, the card that coincidentally searches most of your Blackwings.

See a pattern here? Add in Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust, Blackwing - Gladius the Midnight Sun, Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall, Caligo Claw Crow…the list goes on. When virtually everything in your deck comes down from the hand, your whole deck is basically full of extenders.

Granted, there is one card that might seem out of place: Time Thief Winder. It isn't the freest of all free Summons, but it's almost always going to be an extra body that searches a Counter Trap to make some of your unbeatable boards that much more impossible to out.

3 Cards = Simple Combo

I already compared this deck to Goukis in their prime, when they were leveraging Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights, but honestly you can pick your poison for metaphors here. Obviously starting with Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind or Black Whirlwind is borderline broken, but the deck doesn't collapse if you don't see those cards on your first turn. If you can field any three monsters, that's almost always good enough.

To keep it simple, let's say you start with the ones I called out previously – Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind, Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall, and Blackwing - Bora the Spear.

Activate your set The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine to make a second Raidraptor - Force Strix, detaching Raider's Wing to search and Special Summon Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius. Summon it, then use it to bring back Raidraptor - Singing Lanius and make Time Thief Redoer

Activate your set Quick-Play Spell to turn Raidraptor - Force Strix into Raidraptor - Arsenal Falcon; detach to Special Summon whatever you want and finish out

The problem with trying to showcase a simple, yet effective combo here is the sheer number of different branching play paths you could take, and where you could end up at the end. In this particular combo you're set up to use I:P Masquerena on your opponent's turn, setting you up for Knightmare Unicorn. Not only will you pop off a card with Knightmare Unicorn, but you'll also unleash Raidraptor - Ultimate Falcon as well.

Backed up with Cyber Dragon Infinity and Knightmare Unicorn removal, there really isn't much that Raidraptor - Ultimate Falcon can't deal with.

Even Your Bad Combos Are Good

The weird part about this deck is that even the "bad" combos are pretty good. Take just a third of any of the wildest combos you can think of, and the end result is still pretty darn amazing. Here's what the build looks like.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Loukas' Blackwing Deck by Loukas Peterson

'Loukas' Blackwing Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Loukas Peterson

Event:

Rank:

Advanced

Market Price: $132.72

Cards

Living Fossil

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208993_200w.jpg

Activate this card by targeting 1 Level 4 or lower monster in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card, but banish it when it leaves the field (even if this card has left the field). When this card leaves the field, banish the equipped monster. The equipped monster loses 1000 ATK/DEF, also its effects are negated. You can only activate 1 "Living Fossil" per turn.

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Phantom Knights' Fog Blade

Market Price: $7.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177687_200w.jpg

Activate this card by targeting 1 Effect Monster on the field; negate that face-up monster's effects, that face-up monster cannot attack, also monsters cannot target that face-up monster for attacks. When it leaves the field, destroy this card. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "The Phantom Knights" monster in your GY; Special Summon it, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of "Phantom Knights' Fog Blade" once per turn.

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Cyber Dragon Infinity

Market Price: $1.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/210267_200w.jpg

3 Level 6 LIGHT Machine monsters

Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Cyber Dragon Infinity" by using "Cyber Dragon Nova" you control as material. (Transfer its materials to this card.) Gains 200 ATK for each material attached to it. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up Attack Position monster on the field; attach it to this card as material. Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it.

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I:P Masquerena

Market Price: $7.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220938_200w.jpg

2 non-Link Monsters

During your opponent's Main Phase, you can (Quick Effect): Immediately after this effect resolves, Link Summon 1 Link Monster using materials you control, including this card. You can only use this effect of "I:P Masquerena" once per turn. A Link Monster that used this card as material cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects.

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Blackwing - Bora the Spear

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177311_200w.jpg

If you control a "Blackwing" monster other than "Blackwing - Bora the Spear", you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent.

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Dark Requiem Xyz Dragon

Market Price: $0.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177700_200w.jpg

3 Level 5 monsters

If this card has "Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon" as material, it gains these effects.
• Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; change its ATK to 0, and if you do, this card gains ATK equal to that monster's original ATK.
• When your opponent activates a monster effect (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Special Summon 1 Xyz Monster from your GY.

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Time Thief Retrograde

Market Price: $0.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207959_200w.jpg

When a Spell/Trap Card is activated while you control a "Time Thief" Xyz Monster: Negate the activation, and if you do, attach that card to a "Time Thief" Xyz Monster you control as material. You can only activate 1 "Time Thief Retrograde" per turn.

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The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche

Market Price: $0.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227462_200w.jpg

2+ DARK monsters

During your Main Phase: You can send 1 "The Phantom Knights" monster from your Deck to the GY, then Set 1 "Phantom Knights" Spell/Trap directly from your Deck to your Spell & Trap Zone. If a DARK Xyz Monster(s) is Special Summoned to a zone(s) this card points to, while this monster is on the field (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it. You can only use each effect of "The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche" once per turn. Cannot be used as Link Material.

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Raidraptor - Force Strix

Market Price: $1.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/224644_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

Gains 500 ATK/DEF for each Winged Beast monster you control, except this card. Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card; add 1 Level 4 DARK Winged Beast monster from your Deck to your hand.

Official Tournament Stores must review their Konami OTS agreement before selling this product.

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Raider's Wing

Market Price: $1.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226153_200w.jpg

(This card is always treated as a "The Phantom Knights" and "Raidraptor" card.)

If this card is in your hand or GY: You can detach 1 material from your DARK Xyz Monster; Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of "Raider's Wing" once per turn. An Xyz Monster whose original Attribute is DARK and has this card as material gains this effect.
• Your opponent cannot target this card with card effects.

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Knightmare Unicorn

Market Price: $5.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/228687_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.

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Blackwing - Gladius the Midnight Sun

Market Price: $1.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/67690_200w.jpg

If the only face-up monster you control is a "Blackwing" monster, except "Blackwing - Gladius the Midnight Sun", you can Special Summon this card (from

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Raidraptor - Ultimate Falcon

Market Price: $1.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/117945_200w.jpg

3 Level 10 Winged Beast-Type monsters

Unaffected by other cards' effects. You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; for the rest of this turn, all monsters your opponent controls will lose 1000 ATK, also your opponent's cards and effects cannot be activated. If this card has a "Raidraptor" monster as Xyz Material, it gains this effect.
- Once per turn, during the End Phase: You can make all monsters your opponent controls lose 1000 ATK. If your opponent controls no face-up monsters, inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.

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Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227452_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

You can detach 2 materials from this card, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; its ATK becomes half its current ATK, and if it does, this card gains that lost ATK.

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Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Force

Market Price: $2.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226203_200w.jpg

During the Main Phase: Banish 1 or more DARK monsters from your GY, then target 1 DARK Xyz Monster you control; Special Summon from your Extra Deck, 1 "The Phantom Knights", "Raidraptor", or "Xyz Dragon" Xyz Monster, whose Rank equals that of the targeted monster you control + the number of monsters banished, by using it as material, also for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck, except Xyz Monsters. (This is treated as an Xyz Summon. Transfer its materials to the Summoned monster.) You can only activate 1 "Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Force" per turn.

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Borreload Savage Dragon

Market Price: $8.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220693_200w.jpg

1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

If this card is Synchro Summoned: You can equip 1 Link Monster from your GY to this card, and if you do, place Borrel Counters on this card equal to that Link Monster's Link Rating. This card gains ATK equal to half the ATK of the monster equipped to it by its effect. When your opponent activates a card or effect (Quick Effect): You can remove 1 Borrel Counter from this card; negate the activation. You can only use this effect of "Borreload Savage Dragon" once per turn.

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Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon

Market Price: $0.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221687_200w.jpg

2 Level 6 monsters

Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck; change it to face-down Defense Position. If this face-up card in its owner's control is sent to your Graveyard or banished by your opponent's card effect: You can Special Summon this card in face-down Defense Position. If this card is flipped face-up: Send 1 card on the field to the Graveyard.

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The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/224654_200w.jpg

If this card is in Attack Position: You can target 1 DARK monster on the field; change this card to Defense Position, and if you do, that monster gains 800 ATK/DEF until the end of your opponent's turn. You can banish this card from your GY; add 1 "The Phantom Knights" card from your Deck to your hand, except "The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak". You can only use each effect of "The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak" once per turn.


Official Tournament Stores must review their Konami OTS agreement before selling this product.

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Rank-Up-Magic Soul Shave Force

Market Price: $3.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111878_200w.jpg

Pay half your LP, then target 1 "Raidraptor" Xyz Monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it, then Special Summon from your Extra Deck, 1 monster that is 2 Ranks higher than that monster, by using it as the Xyz Material. (This Special Summon is treated as an Xyz Summon.)

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Raidraptor - Arsenal Falcon

Market Price: $0.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218992_200w.jpg

2 Level 7 monsters

Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 Level 4 Winged Beast monster from your Deck. If this card has any number of "Raidraptor" monsters as material, it can attack up to that many times during each Battle Phase. If this card is sent to the GY while it has a "Raidraptor" monster as material: You can Special Summon 1 "Raidraptor" Xyz Monster from your Extra Deck except "Raidraptor - Arsenal Falcon", and if you do, attach this card from your GY to it as material.

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Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226157_200w.jpg

If you control a DARK monster: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, also you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except DARK monsters. If you control an Xyz Monster with a DARK Xyz Monster as material: You can target 1 Level 4 or lower "Raidraptor" monster in your GY; Special Summon it, but its effects are negated. You can only use each effect of "Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius" once per turn.

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Time Thief Redoer

Market Price: $0.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184192_200w.jpg

2 Level 4 monsters

Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can attach the top card of your opponent's Deck to this card as material. (Quick Effect): You can detach up to 3 different types of materials from this card, then apply the following effect(s) depending on what was detached.
• Monster: Banish this card until the End Phase. • Spell: Draw 1 card.
• Trap: Place 1 face-up card your opponent controls on the top of the Deck.
You can only use this effect of "Time Thief Redoer" once per turn.

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Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind

Market Price: $14.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177306_200w.jpg

If you control no monsters and have this card in your hand: You can banish 1 other "Blackwing" monster from your hand; place 1 "Black Whirlwind" from your deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone, then, either send this card to the GY, or immediately after this effect resolves, Normal Summon it without Tributing. You cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except DARK monsters. You can only use this effect of "Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind" once per turn. During the End Phase, send the "Black Whirlwind" placed by this effect to the GY, and if you do, take 1000 damage.

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Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust

Market Price: $0.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/111113_200w.jpg

If you control a "Blackwing" monster other than "Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust", you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust" once per turn this way. When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can target 1 other "Blackwing" monster you control; increase this card's Level by that monster's.

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Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn

Market Price: $0.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218006_200w.jpg

If you control a "Blackwing" monster other than "Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn", you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn" once per turn this way. Once per turn, this card cannot be destroyed by Spell/Trap effects.

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Raidraptor - Wise Strix

Market Price: $0.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/210213_200w.jpg

2 DARK Winged Beast monsters

If this card is Link Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 DARK Winged Beast monster from your Deck in Defense Position, but negate its effects, also it cannot be used as Link Material. If your "Raidraptor" Xyz Monster's effect is activated: Set 1 "Rank-Up-Magic" Spell directly from your Deck, and if it is a Quick-Play Spell, it can be activated this turn. You can only use each effect of "Raidraptor - Wise Strix" once per turn.

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Caligo Claw Crow

Market Price: $0.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227528_200w.jpg

If you control a DARK monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Caligo Claw Crow" once per turn this way.

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Upstart Goblin

Market Price: $2.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/22566_200w.jpg

Draw 1 card from your Deck. Your opponent gains 1000 Life Points.

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Monster Reborn

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222782_200w.jpg

Target 1 monster in either GY; Special Summon it.

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Blackwing - Auster the South Wind

Market Price: $1.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177307_200w.jpg

Cannot be Special Summoned. When this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 of your banished Level 4 or lower "Blackwing" monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position. You can banish this card from the GY to activate 1 of the following effects:

• Place Black Feather counter(s) on 1 "Black-Winged Dragon" you control, equal to the number of card(s) your opponent controls.
• Place 1 Wedge Counter on each face-up monster your opponent controls that does not have one.

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Time Thief Winder

Market Price: $0.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220713_200w.jpg

You can detach 1 material from an Xyz Monster you control; Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Time Thief" card from your Deck to your hand, except "Time Thief Winder". You can only use each effect of "Time Thief Winder" once per turn.

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Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/177312_200w.jpg

If you control a "Blackwing" monster other than "Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall", you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall" once per turn this way. If this card is sent to the Graveyard as a Synchro Material Monster: You can target 1 monster on the field; change that target's battle position.

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Allure of Darkness

Market Price: $2.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208991_200w.jpg

Draw 2 cards, then banish 1 DARK monster from your hand, or, if you do not have any in your hand, send your entire hand to the GY.

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Raidraptor - Singing Lanius

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/102428_200w.jpg

If you control a face-up Xyz Monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Raidraptor - Singing Lanius" once per turn this way.

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Blackwing Full Armor Master

Market Price: $16.02

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1 "Blackwing" Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

Unaffected by other cards' effects. Each time a monster your opponent controls activates its effect, place 1 Wedge Counter on that opponent's monster (max. 1) after that effect resolves. Once per turn: You can target 1 monster your opponent controls with a Wedge Counter; take control of it. Once per turn, during your End Phase: You can destroy all monsters on the field with a Wedge Counter.

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Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite

Market Price: $0.15

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If this card is in your GY: You can return 1 face-up card you control to the hand; Special Summon this card, and if you do, take 400 damage. You can only use this effect of "Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite" once per Duel.

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The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots

Market Price: $0.58

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If you control a "The Phantom Knights" monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots" once per turn this way. You can banish this card from your GY; add 1 "Phantom Knights" Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots" once per turn.

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Black Whirlwind

Market Price: $0.26

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When a "Blackwing" monster is Normal Summoned to your side of the Field, you can add 1 "Blackwing" monster from your Deck to your hand that has less ATK than that monster.

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Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind

Market Price: $1.36

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If you control a Blackwing monster other than Blackwing - Gale of the Hurricane, you can Special Summon this card from your hand. Once per turn, you can halve the ATK and DEF of 1 face-up monster your opponent controls.

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The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine

Market Price: $1.16

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Special Summon this card in Defense Position as a Normal Monster (Warrior/DARK/Level 4/ATK 0/DEF 300). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap.) If you have no Traps in your GY, you can activate this card the turn it was Set. You can only activate 1 "The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine" per turn.


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Keep in mind, the combo detailed above is one of the more simple plays this deck has to offer; the deck's like a sponge soaked with water, and you can wring a stunning number of plays out of it.

For example, say you Special Summon Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon instead of Time Thief Redoer. When you use Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Force and make Dark Requiem Xyz Dragon, you'll have another negate on top of Cyber Dragon Infinity instead of Raidraptor – Ultimate Falcon.

Or if you open with Time Thief Winder, you can easily finish on Time Thief Redoer backed up by Time Thief Retrograde. Or if you start with Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind, you just, ya know, win.

Think about it - if your opponent has a hand trap or two, chances are you'll still finish with something useful: Phantom Knights' Fog Blade, Time Thief Retrograde, Cyber Dragon Infinity, Time Thief Redoer, Blackwing Full Armor Master… the range of options helps this deck stay resilient in the face of disruption.

Worst case scenario, you'll draw some of your combo pieces in the wrong order. But with so much crossover that isn't as bad as it seems. If you draw The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine, great, you can search other Phantom Knights cards. Draw Rank-Up-Magic Soul Shave Force? Search your other Rank-Up-Magic. Multiple copies of Black Whirlwind? Oh, your life must be so terrible…

I will say, it's annoying to open five Phantom Knights cards, and yes, I've done it. But surprisingly things weren't that bad.

Customization? Why Not!

Despite me honing in on a few avenues the deck "has" to take, there's enough overlap between cards that minor changes to the Main Deck could net completely different fields or completely different Extra Decks. I'm not saying you should go full force into Time Thiefs or triple the number of Phantom Knights, because that would restructure the Extra Deck in ways that would take several other articles, but yeah. It could definitely work.

If you really want to make your brain hurt, take a moment to consider how easily Harpies can field three Winged Beast monsters including a Level 4. There's really nothing stopping you from updating this list with Phantom Knights and Raidraptors.

The main thing to keep in mind if you make changes to the deck yourself, is the brick factor. Yes, there are other Blackwing, Raidraptor, and Phantom Knights cards, but you don't want to bite off more than you can chew; be careful adding too many engine cards that could clog up your hand.

There's a reason The Phantom Knights of Torn Scales made it high on my Top 10 list here, so as long as you make sure your hands are playable, I like your chances.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson