Yu-Gi-Oh! Set Review: Destiny Soldiers

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Aster Phoenix. This dude just rocked up to Duel Academy in Yu-Gi-Oh GX and beat Jaden with a deck of mis-matched commons. Boom.

Then after his Dad went “missing” while leaving behind a body-shaped blank space on the floor (Thanks Photoshop), he decided to play Destiny Heroes, the deck he was born to play.

The last time Aster Phoenix was the featured duelist for a pack, it gave birth to some of the strongest decks of the era by printing Destiny Hero Malicious and Destiny Draw.

Destiny Soldiers give us some new flavours for Aster’s pet deck, but it also provides some excellent support for an older archetype, a brand new one and reprints for basically every card that includes the word “Dark” in the text. Neat.

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Kicking things off, we have the D-HERO guys. Most of them are pretty underwhelming, but there are a few cute cards in the mix.

D Cubed (known as D3 in Japan) can Special Summon 2 copies of himself from the deck by discarding two cards, and when he or any of his clones are sent to the Graveyard, you can send a Destiny HERO to the Graveyard as well. A great way to load up your deck for Dark Armed Dragon, Beginning of the End and Destiny HERO- Fear Monger.

Destiny HERO – Dystopia is just a big, easy-to-make dude who lays on a bit of burn damage. Can’t say no to that.

Destiny HERO – Dark Angel is the most interesting of the bunch. If you have three D-HERO monsters in Grave you can discard him to Special Summon one of them to your opponent’s side of the Field. Where this becomes cute is that he can target himself.

His next effect negates Spells and the effect of Spells for his controller, which is why giving him to your opponent is hilarious!

Protip: We all know ya boy Elemental Hero Stratos is banned, but since Elemental Hero Shadow Mist can search for Destiny Heroes, you can combo with Armageddon Knight to search your deck!

DARKLORDS

The most competitive of the Destiny Soldiers set is the Darklord support. The original five Darklords were solidly okay, but needed a lot of support to get them going. The new Darklords are all high level, high attack Dark Fairy monsters that work by summoning themselves and others from the Graveyard.

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Darklord Nasten can be Special Summoned by discarding two other Darklords, a great way to load up your Grave. Ixchel can discard herself and a Darklord card to draw 2 cards. Amdusc has the same cost to add a Darklord card from your Grave to your hand.

Morningstar has the coolest Artwork, but can’t be Special Summoned, pass. Tezcatlipoca has an almost neat hand-trap effect, but I think most duelists will avoid playing him because writing his name on a decklist is a nightmare.

It’s the Spells and Traps that really get the Darklords going. Banishment of the Darklords can add a Darklord card (Monster, Spell or Trap!) to your hand once per turn. Darklord Enchantment sacrifices a Darklord to take control of an opponent’s Monster for the turn and Darklord Contact Special Summons a Darklord from your Graveyard in Defence position.

 

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Although you can only activate each of these Spell/Trap cards once per turn, Ixchel and Amdusc have the on-field effect allowing you to pay 1000 LP to copy a Darklord Spell/Trap effect from the Graveyard. Remember, activating an effect and activating a card are very different, so you can add or special summon up to two Darklord cards per turn this way.

In addition to three Ixchel and the Banishment to search her, all Darklords are, and this may shock you, dark-type monsters. This means you can run 3 Allure of Darkness for draw power. Superbia, the only original Darklord we play, is a level 8 monster, and so is the Archlord Kristya, which you should include in any fairy-type deck. Trade-in is suddenly a live card as well.

Considering that every card the deck plays is unlimited, Pot of Desires isn’t super risky either. That gives Darklord decks access to a massive FIFTEEN draw cards in a 40 card deck. This makes any extra floodgate cards like Dimensional Barrier super easy to draw, which combined with your ability to summon a bunch of big dudes will be devastating to your opponent.

REPRINTS

Extra booster sets like Destiny Soldiers are the perfect place for Konami to include some reprints of expensive or hard-to-find cards. Cards like Allure of Darkness are now super affordable, and Trade-In is also included for Darklord shenanigans. Beginning of the End saw some play in Burning Abyss decks, and now they are a dime-a-dozen. Good luck figuring out what the artwork is though.

Creeping Darkness was a popular pick for speculators hoping to see a card spike in price when it becomes good “one day”, but this handy search spell for Dark monsters is now readily available, and a pretty good substitute for missing copies of Reinforcement of the Army in Destiny HERO decks.

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Valhalla is the perfect card to complement the Darklords; being enormous Fairy monsters it would normally require multiple tributes to summon them. Don’t underestimate this card, a good friend of mine made Top 8 at an Australian National Championship with a “Fairy Deck” that was really just “Valhalla, Kristya, set Royal Decree.”

Darklord Marie and Darklord Nurse Reficule have recently undergone a makeover, after previously being known as “X the Fallen One.”

Because their original Japanese names technically have the same Kanji as the Darklords, they needed to change now that there are cards in the game that specifically name Darklord cards as targets! This is also an excellent reprint for Reficule. In addition to no longer being an expensive game promo from a million years ago, she is now searchable through Banishment for anyone who has ever dreamt of building an Anti-Heal deck.

ABYSS ACTORS

The Abyss Actors are, thematically, very cool. They are all named for traditional roles like “Superstar”, “Funny Comedian”, and “Evil Heel.” I like to imagine the Evil Heel is Yu-Gi-Oh’s tribute to the greatest heel of all time, Triple H, but that is probably just wishful thinking. There is no way they would put The Game in the game.

Plus they all float into Scripts, which fits nicely with the Actor theme. Unfortunately, at the moment, they are just heavily overshadowed by better decks. If you are going to play a Pendulum deck, with all the weaknesses that come with it, there is really no reason to not just play Metalfoe over Actors.

That being said, there are a few promo Abyss cards that we are still waiting on, and while you are grabbing your Darklord cards you might as well put these in your boxes too. The Actors might just get their 15 minutes of fame one day…

Overall, Destiny Soldiers is a very neat little set, packed with some cool reprints and a lot of potential with the Darklord cards.

I am a big fan of the fact that you could probably build a totally functional Darklord deck (minus Pot of Desires) with three boxes of this set. That sounds like a lot, but it’s much better ratios than you usually get when looking for certain cards.

So whether you are keen for some GX nostalgia or just want to beat on people with some big Faeries, check out Destiny Soldiers. As always, if you are looking for someone to test out your new deck, you can find like-minded players and places to play at http://www.yugioh-card.com/oc/

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