Each new TCG core set has roughly 100 new cards, and unless you're crazy and analyze each and every card to your wit's end, chances are some of them may fly under your radar. Shadow Specters may just be one of my favorite sets of all time because it's littered with strong cards that haven't destroyed the game as we know it. From Raccoons to Ghostricks, SHSP offers one surprise after another, including an impactful new addition that prompted the core strategy for today's deck.
I seriously think Shadow Specters may be my favorite set of all time.DECKID=100886If you can remember back to my Dark Squishy decks, then you'll notice some similarities. Namely, The Dark Creator's making another star showing as one of the powerhouses of this strategy, with its 3000 DEF and stellar defense. You'll hopefully notice some of my other favorites here too, like Dark Armed Dragon and Armageddon Knight.
All in all, it's yet another infamous mishmash that I just can't get enough of.Exhibit A: Why Painful Choice Is Forbidden
Despite Painful Choice being Forbidden, it's clear there are still many ways to load up your graveyard. Looking above, you can several cards you'd rather never draw and hope to only see them on visits to the graveyard. Labradorite Dragon, Level Eater and Zephyros the Elite are basically dead in your hand and belong six feet under. You'll always want to yard them as quickly as possible and per mandate I included a few Dark monsters to get the job done. Armageddon Knight and Dark Grepher are both searchable with Reinforcement of the Army, and between the two you should have enough outlets to yard specific cards.
Unlike a Lightsworn deck or something like that, you don't really need mass milling to maximize your profits therein. Lightsworns need at least four differently-named Lightsworns for Judgment Dragon, five different names for Lightray Diabolos, and they have the potential to hit Breathrough Skill, Eclipse Wyvern and the Dragon Rulers. In this deck you'll only need to toss aside three monsters and later game cards like Armageddon Knight and Dark Grepher.
And while I can't speak praises enough for those two Level 4 monsters, I decided to keep Foolish Burial out of today's build. Whether through natural drawing, Reinforcement or Summoner Monk, the two Dark Warriors offer tremendous ease of access and can resolve their effects early in the duel to get the job done quick and easy. Honestly, Foolish Burial felt like dead weight because unlike yarding Mezuki in Zombies or Eclipse Wyvern in Lightsworn Rulers, the cards you're pitching in this strategy don't do much on their own. Heaven forbid you draw your Foolish Burial after Turn 1 once you're already set up – then it's even more dead.
Yarding aside, I mentioned Summoner Monk as a quick and cheap way to trigger your Warriors effect efficiently and quickly. It's also an instant Rank 4, whether you need to deal with the variety of threats your opponent could be putting your way. If you go first and open with your Monk, you can Special Summon Armageddon Knight, pitch Labradorite Dragon and then stack for King of the Feral Imps and tutor Kagetokage! The lizard may not seem like much, but it has high utility with the variety of Level 4s in this build.
Kagetokage's an instant Rank 4 with your Warriors, Zephyros or even your Summoner Monk, but don't think I'm using bad cards to compensate for other bad cards – that's typically bad Yu-Gi-Oh. Kagetokage actually bolsters the strength of your deck and represents much more than a Turn 1 combo. You'll see all that later.Graveyard Loaded? Check. Now What?
Maybe you caught on, maybe you're still wondering what good yarding three cards would be while stacking for King of the Feral Imps. Labradorite Dragon's kinda the central focus of some of your big plays. Once that Normal Dragon's in the graveyard, bring it back with Dragard for a one card Leo, The Sacred Keeper of the Trees! With all the Fire Hands, Dimensional Prisons and Number 101: Silent Honor ARKs being played these days, Leo's almost guaranteed to stick around for a while and do some heavy damage at 3100 ATK.
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Level Eater, either. With either Silver's Cry or Call Of The Haunted, revive your fallen Dragon and eat a Level so you have a Level 5 Tuner and a Level 1 non-Tuner. You could always go into the famous Goyo Guardian or my recent new favorite Vulcan the Divine, but you can also Summon a Synchro I haven't seen since the early days of Inzektors: Underground Arachnid.
No, we're not using Inzektor Centipede and Genex Ally Birdman for Underground Arachnid, but we're using our other two Dark monsters to get the job done. Not only is the 2400 beatstick immune to spells and traps when it attacks, it also gobbles up monsters faster than your opponent can say "Hey, what is this thing? One Dark Tuner and one – well, I guess you got me." As I demonstrated with my Lightray Hieratic deck, my favorite cards are boss monsters that pick apart your opponent's field like it's nothing but paper in the wind. You can keep your Judgment Dragon and Black Rose Dragon; I'm good with the spider.
Did I also mention that it can protect itself by detaching whatever monster it ate?
Remember how I said Kagetokage was more than a handy card to draw with Armagedon Knight? Imagine having it with Dragard, while your graveyard's full of goodies. First, Normal Summon Dragard and throw down your Labradorite Dragon and Kagetokage. Revive Level Eater and Synchro Summon your Underground Arachnid to take out an opposing monster. Next you'd stack both Kagetokage and Dragard for Queen Dragun Djinn, and then repeat the process with Labradorite Dragon and Level Eater for another Underground Arachnid. After taking out two potential threats, you'll continue your onslaught for 7000 freaking damage and end with a Constellar Ptolemy M7. Use it to get your Dragard back and set up for next turn.Dark Creator, Superstar
Zephyros also has synergy with the traps in this deck. Since we're not milling like crazy, I thought Fiendish Chain may suit our needs a little better than Breakthrough Skill, and look who can bounce your Fiendish so you can reuse it next turn? (Keep in mind that Vulcan the Divine can do that too!) And of course, after the monster you revive with Call Of The Haunted leaves the field, Call's easy pickings for Zephyros and Vulcan as well.
To be honest, I kind of love every card I here in its own way. Soul Charge makes for some lighting fast combos even early in the game, while Pot of Dichotomy's been at the top of my list since day one. Photon Thrasher's a Reinforcement of the Army search that's like Kagetokage but can hold its own in battle. Resolving a Wiretap's like opening presents on Christmas morning, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't itching for a way to show off my Phantom Darkness Dark Armed Dragon.
But the evilest thing I have going on here is probably the dreaded Vanity's Emptiness plus Number 66: Master Key Beetle lock. Since you have so many Level 4 Dark monsters, Key Beetle's always just a quick Xyz Summon away. Keep the pair on the field and you'll shut down a ton of strategies right off the bat; all you need to do is draw Vanity's Emptiness.
Whether you're winning with Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree, and Emptiness lock, or just massive pushes with your Dragon, I guarantee you'll have fun with the deck. It's the best time I've had playing Yu-Gi-Oh! in a long while.
Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.