If you need to shed some tears, whether for the purpose of a stage production or to get out of a speeding ticket, the conventional methods are to think about something sad or chop up onions. I think the fastest way to generate tears of disappointment though is to look at my collection of Hidden Arsenal cards. There have been seven installments of Hidden Arsenal, and each brought a new wave of disappointment. Hidden gems litter these seven card sets, but the archetypes within were underwhelming, often loaded with subpar to downright horrid cards. I like making fun of Ice Barriers almost as much as I like making fun of Doug Zeeff, but my mockery can extend to virtually every theme from the Hidden Arsenal world.

Even the best archetypes like Constellar and Evilswarm have needed a whole lot of support from other sets to be competitive, despite strong boss monsters like Constellar Pleiadas and Evilswarm Ophion. I don't think either theme would be viable without Constellar Sombre and Evilswarm Kerykeion from Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy. Don't even get me started on how paltry the X-Saber clan was before The Shining Darkness.

If you've never played against or even heard of Vylons before, I can't say I blame you. The only time I've ever used a Vylon card was in a Gravekeeper deck maxing out on three Wonder Wands. Combined with a Gravekeeper Spy, you could use Vylon Cube to Synchro Summon Arcanite Magician and snag a Wonder Wand from your deck for your Gravekeeper's Recruiter. Inconsistent combos aside, I'm here to shed light on Vylons and what this unknown archetype can do.

DECKID=99879In the Main Deck, I only included Vylon Tuners and omitted the bounty of mediocre Vylon monsters because they don't promote any cohesive strategy. I wish on-theme Vylon non-Tuners either had usable effects or could Special Summon themselves from the hand for Synchro plays.

Fortunately, the majority of Vylon Synchros have no specific requirements for the non-Tuners, and you can use other cards in lieu of the terrible Vylons Hidden Arsenal gifted us.

I've Got A Fire In My Belly
As a whole, the Vylon deck is combo-oriented and produces either a ton of Synchros and Xyz for an OTK, or an unbeatable monster backed by some support Xyz. I can't reasonably expect anyone reading this to know what every Vylon card does, so I'll go through the combos that will knock your socks (and hopefully pants) off.

The most impressive and destructive combo herein needs a hefty amount of setup to go off, but the results are catastrophic for your opponent. With a Photon Thrasher, Vylon Cube and any two Equip Spells (or Vylon Element), you can begin the best of the Vylon combos. First, Special Summon your Thrasher and Normal Summon Cube to Synchro Summon into the Level 7 Vylon Delta. When Cube gets used as a Synchro Material, you get to search any Equip Spell from your deck, and your priority is Rod of Silence - Kay'est.

It doesn't matter which two Vylon Equips are in your hand at this point because both will end up in the graveyard soon enough to fuel your plays, ignoring their effects for the time being. When you use the first Equip on your Delta, it will self-destruct thanks to Rod of Silence - Kay'est (because Kay'est destroys any card that targets your equipped monster). That seems like a terrible -1, but when your Vylon Equip goes from the field to graveyard, it fetches you any Vylon spell from your deck. If the Equips could only search other Equips this loop would only happen once in a blue moon. But you can use your Equip to get the Continuous Spell Vylon Element from your deck and immediately activate it.

Now you can use your second Equip on Delta, triggering Kay'est to kill your Equip again and watch your opponent stare at you like you're crazy, burning through all your cards for seemingly no reason. Right now, you may even be asking yourself "Loukas, why are you making me play a worse version of Infernties?!" However, keep in mind that when your second Equip dies, it nets you another Vylon Eqiup and triggers Vylon Element. Whenever a Vylon Eqiup Spell leaves the field, Vylon Element Special Summons a Vylon Tuner from your deck. Summon Vylon Sphere and search any of the other Vylon Equips you have left.

Self-destruct your third Equip, replace it and use Element to bring out the a Vylon Cube from your deck. Remember, it doesn't matter which Vylon Equips you're searching because they're just fodder for this combo. Use your fourth Equip and Element to bring out your final Cube and stack the two for Mechquipped Angineer, the Rank 3 that can protect your monsters. Your field should now be Vylon Delta, Vylon Sphere and Mechquipped Angineer.

Next, use your fifth and sixth Equip Spells to Special Summon two Vylon Prism, the Level 4 Tuner often found in Hunder Family and Watt decks. You won't be using it to Synchro Summon at this time but rather for an Xyz Summon. Depending on the situation, you can bring out Starleige Paladynamo or Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, but I typically summon Daigusto Emeral on the first turn so I can recycle my Tuners for later in the game. With one Monster Zone free on your field, use your last and final Equip in the deck to bring out the Level 2 Vylon Tetra. The Equip Spell will search you Vylon Matter.

Vylon Omega's an odd Synchro because it requires two Tuners, and it's the only Vylon that requires a Vylon non-Tuner. Combine your Tetra, Sphere and Delta together to form your ultimate Level 10 behemoth and reap the fruits of your endeavors. First, if your opponent went first and has any Normal Summoned or Set monsters, Omega destroys them instantly. Second, you get to Equip Omega with one of the Vylons from your graveyard, giving you a total of four monsters and two cards in your back row.

Titania, Requip!
If your Rank 4 has used its effect, Omega can bring back a detached Prism for an ATK boost. Equipping Omega with Tetra gives your ultimate creation protection from destruction, and Sphere can be swapped with any Equip Spells in your graveyard. Vylon Segment protects your monster from being targeted by traps and monsters; Vylon Material boosts Omega to 3800 ATK; and Vylon Filament turns Omega into an Armades, Keeper of Boundaries. If your Omega survives a turn – which is easy thanks to Mecquipped Angineer – you can build up Equips on your Omega and make it almost unstoppable.

Additionally, Omega is a walking, talking Divine Wrath. Send any equipped Spell to the graveyard to negate the activation of any monster and destroy it. That goes for any monster effect, whether it's an on-field Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear, in-graveyard Mermail Abysslinde, or in-hand Effect Veiler. If you get multiple Equips bound to Omega, it's be virtually impossible to get rid of without using Spellbook of Fate.

At the end of this giant combo, you should have a Vylon Omega with an Equip, Mechquipped Angineer, Daigusto Emeral and Vylon Element on the field. In hand, you'll have three cards and your Vylon Matter, which you can use to recycle three Equip Spells and either draw a card or destroy something on the field. Since you only need one Tetra to achieve this combo, I included two in the deck for when you're bereft of the infamous Photon Thrasher and Vylon Cube duo. A Cyber Dragon and a Vylon Tetra, along with three Equip Spells in hand also achieves this impressive field to bring out your Omega.

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Like real life, things won't work out the way you expect all the time, and you won't open with the magical four card combo every duel. With two Vylon Elements, seven Vylon Equip Spells and two copies of Rod of Silence - Kay'est alongside triplicates of your monsters, you'll open up with the combo many times on Turn 1 or Turn 2. The odds only increase with the inclusion of Pot of Duality and Upstart Goblin. For those rare times you can't get your amazing combo off, you have backup plans that can snag victories without Omega. Even though Omega's the last letter of the Greek alphabet, it's not the end-all be-all for this strategy.

With two Equips Spells in hand and the duo of either Vylon Cube and Cyber Dragon, or Vylon Prism and Photon Thrasher, you can push for hefty damage in one turn without Omega. Synchro Summon the Level 8 Vylon Epsilon and use the Kay'est and Vylon Element combo to go a different route. Your first Vylon Equip will still snag Vylon Element from your deck, and your second and third will still get you two Vylon Prisms for a Rank 4. Your fourth and fifth Vylon Equips will net you two Tetras which will make Diagusto Phoenix. If your opponent has a monster in your way, use Epsilon's effect to pop their card while triggering Element and your Equip Spell, summoning your third Prism. Use your final Equip to Summon Sphere and get Element to your hand.

Furthermore, you can use Vylon Matter and destroy another card your opponent controls, and if you made Starleige Paladynamo you can pave the way for even more damage using Paladynamo's effect. So long as your opponent has no hindrances aside from a field of three monsters, you can actually deal 9700 damage in one turn with your horde because your Paladynamo, Vylon Element and Vylon Epsilon can work together to pulverize any forces standing in your way.

Drip, Drip, Drop
Beyond these two fantastic combos, you'll actually find that Vylons aren't as brittle as you'd think. Even if you only have Vylon Cube and Photon Thrasher and can only make a Vylon Alpha, 2800 DEF with the power to get a free equip every turn is nothing to laugh at. You can make the Level 9 Vylon Alpha with Prism and Cyber Dragon, and if you equip it with Vylon Segment, it's very hard to kill because it won't fall to anything outside of battle.

Sadly, trap cards exist and may hugely hamper your strategy. Last week I talked about the fragility of Fableds, and the saving grace of Vylons is that you don't need to invest everything to make a play, unlike the Shooting Quasar Fabled variant. A lot of your combos are just two to three card investments that can replace themselves once you've used your cards. Nevertheless, I feel like you have to run Trap Stun, arguably the best way to cancel traps for a turn so you can make your plays. Both of the major combos listed above will probably win the duel if they go off.

Despite all the fun and powerful fields Vylons produce, you may find yourself down on card advantage in this deck because your target plays need multiple cards and don't generate field and hand presence, like Fire Formation - Tenki and Spellbook Magician of Prophecy would. Honestly, I make Evilswarm Exciton Knight all the time to level the playing field, and I often have to go through him to ensure my plays are safe for following turns. Trap Stunning your opponent and then blowing up all their cards really paves the way for your combo centric follow-up play. Summoner Monk and any of the Equip Spells in your deck is an instant Exciton or Level 8 Synchro.

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If you don't want to run Cyber Dragon, use Solar Wind Jammer in its place. I chose Cyber Dragon because I'd rather not have a dead standalone card along with the pile of mediocre Eqiup Spells this strategy has to play.

There are a few other tech choices that I liked, but feel free to change them to suit your style. For example, Call Of The Haunted fills the gaps in nicely when you don't have the appropriate Tuner or non-Tuner in your hand. It also helps to end the game faster because decks like this don't survive very well in long grind games. There's no Coach Soldier Wolfbark or Rekindling to rip off the top when you're bereft of cards in hand and on field, so winning as fast as possible the best way to go.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson
Article Aftermath #15