Mask of Darkness is a small Level 2
Dark/Fiend. Dark means it can be Chaos
food, though this card isn’t common to Chaos
decks and it’s usually too important to remove
from its own. Still, it’s always a good
option. Likewise it is a Fiend, so if you
really wanted to, you could use it for Dark
Necrofear, but the same concerns arise as
using it for Chaos.
Mask of Darkness
has a small 900 ATK and even smaller 400 DEF, so
it won’t survive or take out much, but it is
bigger than Magician of Faith. Still,
this card is played for its effect.
This is the counterpart to Magician of Faith:
a Flip Effect that gets you a Trap from you
graveyard. Simple, but not as effective as
Magician of Faith because a Trap must be Set
a turn before it can be activated, and are
generally rely on being a surprise to be
effective. You generally need another good
Trap/Quick-Play Spell to Set with the revived
one if you hope to get any significant use out
of it. Well, other than S/T removal bait.
Especially now that most people run Dust
Tornado: it was a little bit rare to set an
Mystical Space Typhoon since one didn’t
want it to get nailed by Harpie’s Feather
Duster or Heavy Storm back in the
day, but since you have no choice with Dust
Tornado, people have gotten quite good at
chaining it in your End Phase to destroy any
S/Ts you just set.
This card has a long history, having first
appeared in Metal Raiders, the second English
set. When it first came out, it was kinda handy
for those of us who owned a Mirror Force
and ran a decent amount of other Traps, but that
was a select few. When Spell Ruler (Magic Ruler
when it was first released) came out and all the
players with money, luck, or knowledge of the
old pack marking trick made sure they had three
Mystical Space Typhoon in their deck,
Traps became a lot less useful, and what little
time Mask of Darkness had to be popular
faded. After all, what good was reviving a
Mirror Force if it was just going to get
destroyed without its effect next turn? Some
combo intensive decks would still use Mask of
Darkness, but not much. A “lock” combo was
available to Mask of Darkness, via Traps
like Time Seal and Drop Off.
Tsukuyomi allowed you to constantly re-Set
Mask of Darkness. Of course, the trick
was you had to more or less get them topdecking
before it was safe to execute, and oh yeah,
there was this other Spirit Monster,
Yata-Garusa that you just needed to summon
and attack for damage with to do the same thing.
Then Yata got banned. Still, we had some
very strong decks that made the lock
undesirable. It could be done, but it was very
hard to pull off. Time Seal was useful,
since Drop Off might accidentally help
them. Well, the Tsukuyomi/Mask of
Darkness/Time Seal lock finally
started seeing enough play to be a concern.
Konami knows that the more cards it bans, the
more it annoys all us players. Yes, even I
don’t like having to ban cards. That doesn’t
mean it isn’t necessary.
Now Mask of Darkness is at one per deck.
Why is that? Because a true lock is a bad
thing. With the old list, you could leave
someone sitting there with no cards in hand, no
Monsters or S/Ts in play, just waiting for you
to take out their LP in a few turns via direct
attacks from Tsukuyomi. Not as bad as
waiting for Yata-Garusa to finish you
off, but still, not fun. Additionally, there
are tutors for all the pieces of the combo.
They aren’t always the greatest of search cards,
like A Cat of Ill Omen, but if the Trap I
need is in the bottom half of my deck, it was
worth it. Basically, now that the combo
requires you use Drop Off (which, due to
assorted effects means you still have hope of
breaking the lock) and has all the bits
restricted, it will take some real skill to get
going. Or at least that is the hope. Oh, and
in Japan there is a trick to let you win the
entire match in a single duel using this lock
and a card we lack.
1/5 – Don’t run it here. We have a better lock.
2/5 – That’s a general score. It is okay in most
decks, since getting a Mirror Force back
is getting a Mirror Force back, even if
the “surprise” factor is less. In lock decks,
it is vital. In such a deck it is required, an
automatic five out of five.
3/5 – As long as you manage to pull a worthwhile
Trap with it, it’s good.
If you’re going for a lock, you need it. Most
other decks get by just fine without it.