When a new wave of Harpie Lady support was announced for Legendary Duelists: Sisters of the Rose, you could almost taste the excitement.
Harpies are the first real, cohesive archetype in this game. They may not be the oldest deck theme, because Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon got lots of retroactive legacy support years after the individual cards were printed. But way back in the Metal Raiders booster set, Harpies started getting cards that worked specifically with one another and at the time that was pretty unprecedented.
Has the First Theme OF Yu-Gi-Oh ever spent time at the top of the competitive scene? Well, kinda… but not really. Harpies have popped up in a handful of Top Cut lists dating back to 2013, but they never achieved the success you'd associate with true Top Cut decks.
Basically, if there aren't mobs of people calling for cards to be banned, is a deck really even good?
Kelly wrote a How To Play Guide back in May that used a healthy mix of old and new Harpie cards. Remember that support from Sisters of the Rose? We got five new cards in that release, but the problem is that the new stuff spun Harpies in a direction no one really wanted; it pivoted the theme off of high-Level Harpies, specifically abandoning Harpie Lady Sisters.
It reminds me of when Red-Eyes Black Dragon dipped into Rituals and Equips Spells.
To unlock the potential of some of the best Harpie cards, you'll need to play Harpie Lady Sisters or somehow boost the Level of your Harpies – stuff like Harpie Perfumer and Harpie's Feather Rest. Thankfully, Harpie Channeler turns into a Level 7 monster when you control a Dragon, but now that's not the only way to get Level 5 or higher Harpies anymore!
Thanks to Dragons of Legend: The Complete Series, you no longer have to play four-dimensional upside-down underwater chess to get a high-Level Harpie on the table. When I wrote on Dragons of Legend, Cyber Slash Harpie Lady made the Number 2 spot hands down, only beaten out by Toon Kingdom. For context, Toon Kingdom in Dragons of Legend is like Crystal Bond in Legendary Duelists: it'll beat out just about anything else on a Top 10 list.
I was way hyped about Cyber Slash Harpie Lady, and you should have been as well.
But back to the Main Deck, Harpie Channeler is the core card of the strategy regardless of how you build it. There's no reason not to run three copies, because it quite literally makes the theme playable. And regardless of how much you want to lean into the Level 5 and higher Harpie approach, Cyber Slash Harpie Lady a modern necessity as well.
So, that's two good cards, right? Game, set, match? Not quite.
While they didn't start off as such, Harpies and Rank 4s are now synonymous. Harpie Channeler pitches a Harpie card for a cheap Link or Xyz Summon, and it's really the only starter card the theme has besides Harpie Perfumer. To help with that, you'll need more extenders to keep your momentum going or produce some reasonable end board, right?
That's why I'm adding Unexpected Dai and Elegant Egotist. Yes, Unexpected Dai forces you to play the outclassed original Harpie Lady, and Elegant Egotist comes back from the graveyard with Hysteric Sign and makes my choice seem redundant. But you can't bank your entire strategy on seeing Harpie Channeler and the occasional Harpie Perfumer.
Harpies excel by going second, because they have so many cards that disrupt your opponent's plays: cards like Ice Beast Zerofyne, Lightning Chidori, Evilswarm Exciton Knight, Draco Masters of the Tenyi, Harpies' Hunting Ground, and Tornado Dragon.
Adding in more copies of Unexpected Dai and Elegant Egotist helps you field multiple Level 4 Harpies and leverage one or more of the above cards. It's a bit rustic, but it's straightforward and gives you a bunch of options.
Too many spells and traps in the way? Blow them up with Harpies' Hunting Ground and Tornado Dragon. Need to blast away multiple threats at the same time? Good thing Harpie Lady a non-Effect monster, because Draco Masters of the Tenyi gets you there. How about blanket negation and a big monster? Ice Beast Zerofyne the perfect answer. Here's what the deck ended up looking like.
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Loukas' Harpie Deck by Loukas Peterson
'Loukas' Harpie Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!
Created By: Loukas Peterson
Market Price: $160.01
Evilswarm Exciton Knight
Market Price: $3.08
2 Level 4 monsters
Once per chain, during your Main Phase or your opponent's Battle Phase, if your opponent has more total cards in their hand and field than you do (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; destroy all other cards on the field, also your opponent takes no further damage this turn.
Market Price: $0.54
If you control no monsters: Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Normal Monster from the Deck.
Market Price: $0.57
This card's name becomes "Harpie Lady" while it is on the field or in the Graveyard. You can only use each of these effects of "Harpie Harpist" once per turn.
• When this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 Winged Beast-Type monster you control (other than this card) and 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; return them to the hand.
• During the End Phase, if this card is in the Graveyard because it was sent there this turn: You can add 1 Level 4 Winged Beast-Type monster with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck to your hand.
Market Price: $0.11
If "Harpie Lady" is on the field: Special Summon 1 "Harpie Lady" or "Harpie Lady Sistesr" from your hand or Deck.
Raidraptor - Wise Strix
Market Price: $0.46
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.
Alluring Mirror Split
Market Price: $0.38
When a "Harpie Lady" or "Harpie Lady Sisters" you control is destroyed by battle: You can Special Summon 1 "Harpie" monster from your Deck with a different original name than the destroyed monster. If this card you control is destroyed by a "Harpie" card's effect or your opponent's card effect: Target 1 "Harpie" monster in your GY; Special Summon it. You can only use each effect of "Alluring Mirror Split" once per turn.
Cyber Slash Harpie Lady
Market Price: $13.55
1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
For this card's Synchro Summon, you can treat 1 "Harpie" monster you control as a Tuner. This card's name becomes "Harpie Lady" while on the field or in the GY. When a Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated (except during the Damage Step) (Quick Effect): You can target 1 monster your opponent controls or 1 "Harpie" monster you control; return it to the hand. You can only use this effect of "Cyber Slash Harpie Lady" once per turn.
Market Price: $21.63
Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; negate its effects (until the end of this turn), then, if this card was Set before activation and is on the field at resolution, for the rest of this turn all other Spell/Trap effects in this column are negated. If you control no cards, you can activate this card from your hand.
Market Price: $0.24
This card's name becomes "Harpie Lady" while on the field or in the GY. You can discard this card to the GY; add 1 "Harpies' Hunting Ground" from your Deck to your hand.
Market Price: $0.79
2 WIND monsters
This card's name becomes "Harpie Lady" while on the field or in the GY. You can only use each of the following effects of "Harpie Conductor" once per turn.
• If a "Harpie" monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can destroy 1 Spell/Trap you control instead.
• If another face-up "Harpie" monster you control returns to your hand (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 Special Summoned monster your opponent controls; return it to the hand.
Market Price: $2.51
You can discard 1 "Harpie" card; Special Summon 1 "Harpie" monster from your Deck in Defense Position, except "Harpie Channeler". You can only use this effect of "Harpie Channeler" once per turn. While you control a Dragon monster, this card's Level becomes 7. This card's name becomes "Harpie Lady" while on the field or in the GY.
Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn
Market Price: $1.38
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.
Ice Beast Zerofyne
Market Price: $0.98
2 Level 4 Winged Beast-Type monsters // Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; negate the effects of all face-up cards your opponent currently controls, and if you do, this card gains 300 ATK for each face-up card currently on the field, except this card (these effect are applied until your next Standby Phase).
Raidraptor - Force Strix
Market Price: $1.89
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.
Market Price: $0.28
Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/yugioh/dark-legends/harpie-lady
Market Price: $7.06
This card's name becomes "Harpie Lady" while on the field or in the GY. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand that specifically lists the card "Harpie Lady Sisters" in its text. If you controlled a Level 5 or higher "Harpie" monster when you activated this effect, you can also add a second such card, with a different name from the first. You can only use this effect of "Harpie Perfumer" once per turn.
Harpie's Feather Duster
Market Price: $10.98
Destroy all of your opponent''s Spell and Trap Cards on the field.
Market Price: $0.26
When this card is activated: Add 1 "Elegant Egotist" from your Deck or GY to your hand. During the End Phase, if this card is in the GY because it was sent there from the hand or field this turn: Add up to 3 "Harpie" cards with different names from each other from your Deck to your hand. You can only use 1 "Hysteric Sign" effect per turn, and only once that turn.
Market Price: $1.83
Banish 1 Normal Trap from your Deck, except "Trap Trick", and Set 1 card with the same name directly from your Deck, also it can be activated this turn. You can only activate 1 Trap Card for the rest of this turn after this card resolves. You can only activate 1 "Trap Trick" per turn.
Harpies' Hunting Ground
Market Price: $0.16
When "Harpie Lady" or "Harpie Lady Sisters" is Normal Summoned or Special Summoned to the field, destroy 1 Spell or Trap Card on the field. Increase the ATK and DEF of all face-up Winged Beast-Type monsters on the field by 200 points.
Cyber Dragon Infinity
Market Price: $1.69
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 a face-up 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.
Draco Masters of the Tenyi
Market Price: $0.46
2+ monsters, including a Link Monster
Cannot be destroyed by battle with an Effect Monster. If you control no other Effect Monsters: You can destroy Effect Monsters your opponent controls, up to the number of non-Effect Monsters you control and/or in your GY. You can only use this effect of "Draco Masters of the Tenyi" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.87
2 or more Level 4 monsters
Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Zoodiac Chakanine" by using 1 "Zoodiac" monster you control with a different name as Xyz Material. (If you used an Xyz Monster, any Xyz Materials attached to it also become Xyz Materials on this card.) This card gains ATK and DEF equal to the ATK and DEF of all "Zoodiac" monsters attached to it as Materials. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 "Zoodiac" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it, but for the rest of this turn, it has its effects negated, also it cannot be used as an Xyz Material for a Summon.
Market Price: $4.53
2 Level 4 WIND monsters
If this card is Xyz Summoned: Target 1 Set card your opponent controls; return that target to the bottom of the Deck. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up card your opponent controls; return that target to the top of the Deck.
Rank-Up-Magic Soul Shave Force
Market Price: $9.23
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.)
Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty
Market Price: $1.50
2+ monsters, including a Winged Beast monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. Your opponent cannot target this card or a Winged Beast monster(s) this card points to with card effects. If this card would be destroyed by battle, you can destroy 1 other "Simorgh" card you control instead. During the End Phase: You can Special Summon 1 Winged Beast monster from your hand or Deck, with a Level equal to or lower than the total number of unused Spell & Trap Zones on the field. You can only use this effect of "Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty" once per turn.
Harpie's Feather Storm
Market Price: $1.72
If you control a WIND Winged Beast monster: Until the end of this turn, negate any monster effects your opponent activates. If you control a "Harpie" monster, you can activate this card from your hand. If this card in its owner's Spell & Trap Zone is destroyed by an opponent's card effect: You can add 1 "Harpie's Feather Duster" from your Deck or GY to your hand.
Market Price: $0.36
4 Level 4 monsters
Once per turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Zoodiac Drident" by using 1 "Zoodiac" monster you control with a different name as Xyz Material. (If you used an Xyz Monster, any Xyz Materials attached to it also become Xyz Materials on this card.) This card gains ATK and DEF equal to the ATK and DEF of all "Zoodiac" monsters attached to it as Materials. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up card on the field; destroy it.
Market Price: $1.66
2 Level 4 monsters
Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy it.
Raidraptor - Singing Lanius
Market Price: $0.20
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.
Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds
Market Price: $0.81
No monsters can be Special Summoned, except for WIND monsters.
Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite
Market Price: $0.15
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.
Of all the Harpie-centric options you have for going first, the most basic in-house combo involves the new Synchro, Cyber Slash Harpie Lady. Or to be mor fair, the combo is Cyber Slash Harpie Lady. Bouncing a monster your opponent controls at the right time can sabotage their entire strategy, but it's 2020 and we're talking about modern competitive Yu-Gi-Oh: one counter isn't going to cut it.
While there are endless combos you could play for, I think cutting it down to the fundamentals is the best option for Harpies because of Harpie's Feather Storm. The card seems insanely overpowered because it kinda is - as long as you have a Wind Winged-Beast monster, all of your opponent's monster effects are negated for the rest of the turn.
I'd say getting to Harpie's Feather Storm a high priority going first.
There aren't a ton of ways to search Harpie's Feather Storm, but using two of them is pretty important. Even if it means setting Hysteric Sign, activating Harpies' Hunting Ground, and using your Normal Summon on Harpie Lady to destroy your set Hysteric Sign, it's worth it. During the End Phase you'll search two Harpie cards and Harpie's Feather Storm, hopefully stalling your opponent enough so you can do something on your second turn.
As much as I hate it, Trap Trick is a necessary evil here. I want this deck to be competitively viable and no, I'm not playing A Cat of Ill Omen and Lilith, Lady of Lament.
I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't include a some strong core combos. As awesome as Harpies are, I understand if setting Trap Trick isn't what gets you out of bed in the morning. Perhaps it's a bit long winded, but with the ability to field lots of Harpie monsters, this combo is only convoluted in name. And even if you don't love it and want to make some tweaks, I'd keep Unexpected Dai and multiple copies of Elegant Egotist in the deck for sure.
Now your Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds is obviously protected from Special Summons, but your Simorgh, Bird of Sovereignty also stops it from being targeted. Zoodiac Drident is there to pop any Normal Summon your opponent might have to run over your monsters, and Cyber Dragon Infinity stops whatever rogue card your opponent might throw at you.
Back it up with a Harpie's Feather Storm, and it's virtually impenetrable.
Technically, the Zoodiac aspect of that combo is contingent on your having a card to bounce back with Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite, but with the highly searchable Hysteric Sign, Harpies' Hunting Ground, and Alluring Mirror Split, you have a good chance of hitting all the notes in that combo.
Keep in mind, you can take your Harpie deck in a bunch of different directions. I wanted to play Harpie Oracle with Cyber Slash Harpie Lady, but the above combo stuffs the deck quite full as-is. Besides, if you add Harpie Oracle then you'd want to add Harpie Lady Elegance for its second effect, and then… that's a rabbit trail I can't afford to go down.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.