Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind – #BLCR-EN056
If you control a “Blackwing” monster other than “Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind”, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; that target’s ATK/DEF become half its current ATK/DEF.
Date Reviewed: January 26th, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is awful. 3 is average. 5 is excellent.
Hello Pojo Fans,
Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind once found herself on the ban list she was so good, but nowadays she’s almost forgotten. She is our Throwback Thursday choice on this Blackwing Week.
Level 3 Tuner with the Special Summon ability many Blackwings have, needing just one Blackwing on the field. What made her lethal in those days was not the Special Summon, but her Shrink ability to cut an enemy monster in half and team up with Kalut to get over monsters. On her own with that Shrink ability she could trade with a 2600ATK monster and with Kalut she could get over a 5000ATK monster after cutting it in half. What was even worse was if you dropped multiple Gales in a turn you could shrink a boss monster to almost nothing before Synchro Summoning and doing some massive damage. Her team-up with Kalut was good, but with Shura it not only took out a big monster with Gale’s effect, but also got you a Special Summon off Shura destroying the weaker monster, which would likely in those days lead to Bora for 1700 LP damage and an Armor Master in Main Phase 2.
Gale was splashed around in MANY decks back in the day because she was that good, even without being a Special Summon. She was an easy out to many big monsters when not every big monster had some form of negation, was a Level 3 Tuner to get you to a Level 8 Synchro off Instant Fusion, and was a DARK for chaos fodder. In today’s game she is still valuable, but not as much as she once was. Blackwings had cards on the ban list because they were dominant back then, and Glae was no exception.
Until Next Time
Throwback Thursday brings us to one of the oldest Blackwings from the first set they got support in, Crimson Crisis, and one of the best Blackwings for actually being a Blackwing: Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind.
Gale is a Level 3 DARK Winged Beast Tuner with 1300 ATK and 400 DEF. Fine stats for a Level 3, DARK and Winged Beast still good, and Level 3 Tuners are nice. So the first effect lets you Special Summon this from the hand if you control any Blackwing monster that isn’t Gale the Whirlwind, the most basic Special Summon effect we knew and loved on old Blackwings like this and Bora the Spear. No once per turn on it, either, so feel free to spam the board with these. The second effect just targets and halves the ATK and DEF of a monster the opponent controls with a soft once per turn since it was still just 2009. It was a great effect back in the day for getting over bigger Synchros at the start of that era, and even now it’s still fine to have as a bonus from your free body to help get over boss monsters. Gale overall is still a good card. Level 3 might be more awkward for Blackwings now that most the Synchros you might be going for are Levels 6, 8, 10, etc and you mainly work with Levels 2, 4, and 6 for non-Tuners now. The Level 7 Blackwing Synchros are still fine, mainly the Assault Blackwings as Armor Master’s protection just doesn’t hold up anymore. It’s a Blackwing staple no matter what and it’s still a great card that’s easy to search off Black Whirlwind, just the number of copies might depend on what Synchros you are opting to run that detemines if this just ends up being Link fodder or not.
Advanced Rating: 4/5
Art: 4.5/5 Older Blackwings do have a bit more of a basic design compared to the more complex looking newer Blackwings and I kinda like the old ones more.
Throwback Thursday goes to one of the best old-school Blackwings, and still a very solid one, in Gale the Whirlwind. A Tuner that can Special Summon itself for free from your Hand simply by controlling a differently named Theme Monster is a win on its own. Additionally being able to Target an opponent’s Monster (ideally a big Boss) and halve its attack and defense (also for free) is a double win in my book. That Effect is Once per Turn, but this guy likely isn’t on the Field longer than it takes to use that Effect anyway. Honestly, the only real ‘downside’ to this card is that it’s Level 3. Yes, it can Synchro into Level 7 cards in the Theme, but Level 4 would let it go to Black-Winged Dragon without having to use a Level 5 Blackwing, and that’s very likely why it had to be Level 3.
Art: 4.5/5 Nothing particularly fancy here BUT, I do enjoy the eyes for some reason, they’re a bit cartoony without being TOO cartoony. The colors are nice, and the background is fun, too.
Throwback Thursday brings us a card that Crow Hogan loved to spam in the anime; Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind is a level 3 DARK Winged Beast Tuner monster, and is among the first (of many) Blackwing monsters. While it misses out on Raidraptor synergy, being level 3 is pretty important to access Blackwing’s level 7 Synchro pool. Naturally, like most Tuner monsters at the time, and even today, it has a poor stat spread of 1300 attack and 400 defense.
Gale has two simple effects; the first, which many Blackwings share, allows you to Special Summon Gale from your hand as long as you control a Blackwing monster that isn’t Gale itself (not once per turn, perhaps unsurprisingly). At the time, Blackwing was among the more efficient Synchro spam decks, simply because other Synchro decks were too slow or relied on clunky combos. With Blackwing – Bora the Spear and Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame, you could easily dip into the powerful level 7 Synchro toolbox at the time and summon Black Rose Dragon or Colossal Fighter (or Blackwing’s then-acceptable boss, Blackwing Armor Master). Gale’s other effect is a soft once per turn, letting you target an opponent’s face-up monster and halve its attack and defense. Nowadays, this effect is just a nice bonus, but in the past, it was incredibly deadly for letting Blackwings push for the OTK; combined with Dark Strike Fighter, Blackwing could snag quick OTKs. An extender that was also an OTK enabler, Gale caused many headaches during Blackwing’s heyday, causing it to be limited in 2009, though it would eventually make its way back to 3. Despite its age, Gale is still the best general level 3 Tuner for Blackwings, since Blackwing – Breeze the Zephyr is less flexible and Blackwing – Steam the Cloak can’t summon itself.
Art: 3/5 As a kid I thought Gale was kind of cute, but looking at it again it’s actually pretty creepy compared to the other “cute” Blackwings…
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