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JAELOVE's Smooth Journey

Article 25: Constructing the Dark Magician Deck

They have spoken. Thanks to all who have voted in the polls. Thanks to user poll turnout, we've decided that reader submissions will be reviewed and fixed on these very pages (Whichever submission, beginning with this week, catches my eye will be the one that is reviewed on these very pages, along with your name!)

So How Did That Rascally Strike Ninja Deck End Up Doing?

Before we address the Dark Magician Deck, it's time to end the speculation on how my Strike Ninja deck fared. Well, I took it to the San Mateo Regionals on January 15th, and it actually ended up going 8-0 in Swiss! One of the players I defeated, Tony Yee, was so impressive with his fierce, determined warrior spirit that I signed the match slip, forfeiting the final duel to finish 7-1. I entered the top eight, and since I was already qualified for nationals from a previous regionals event, I decided to see what developed.

See, I believe that playing the game the right way, with class, dignity, and respect for fair play is far more important than actual results. The man I was slated to play in the final round (I was rank 1, he was rank 8), was a cool dude by the name of Oscar Castaneda. We played each other in the swiss tournament when we were both 3-0, and in one game he had the opportunity to call a game loss on me (one of my cards fell to the floor), but chose not to. He ended up winning that game (I won the match), and I was impressed.

Well after that loss to me, Big Daddy Oscar ended up taking it down to the top 8, where he faced me. Impressed by his character, I ended up forfeiting the match to him to give him a place in the top 4. In the next round, interesting enough, Oscar and Tony ended up facing each other. I called them the "Jae scooped to" bracket. In a thriller of a match, Oscar beat Tony, then ended up winning the entire regionals! Yes yes, I sound like I scoop all day to all manner of people, but it's because I love meeting new players and such.  

Congratulations to both Tony and Oscar, the two best players I met all day.

The Strike Ninja deck showed the cookie cutter decks that originality can prevail! Take that Ms. D.D Warrior Lady and Mr. Blade Knight! This is a victory for all of us original duelists everywhere. Now, riding that wave of euphoria, let's construct the Dark Magician deck.

This one is geared for pure, competitive play, so keep those Dark Magician Girls in their sleeves and binders and get ready for a healthy dose of Yugi's best buddy.


Obviously, the point is to get out the powerful Dark Magician as fast as possible. After this objective is achieved, the goal is to destroy your opponent with the ultimate spellcaster in terms of attack and defense (the flavor text on Dark Magician was a lie; several Spellcasters, including Neo Aqua Madoor, best its stats in either attack or defense).

STRENGTHS OF THE DARK MAGICIAN DECK: Honestly, there aren't many. A certain Yu-Gi-Oh producing company by the name of Konami hasn't released any playable support that gives a bonus to those that want to run all Spellcasters. Isn't that funny? There are 100 Spellcasters in the game, and no bonuses given for running a Spellcaster deck!

WEAKNESSES OF THE DARK MAGICIAN DECK: Here's a major weakness: There's no bonus for running these badboys! So while your hand is clogged with level 7 tribute monsters, your opponent will be cramming Warrior support (Reinforcements of the Army, Warrior Returning Alive) down your throat! Come on! Where's the Spellcaster support?

Of course Dark Magician does get a few tricks up his sleeve, but before we get to that, let's discuss the Dark Magician support that's unplayable.


Dark Magician Girl & Sage's Stone: These are unplayable cards because of the weakness of Dark Magician Girl. Sorry, fans of DMG, but she's just not useful.

Dark Magician Knight & Knight's Title: These are even more unplayable because of the worthlessness of Knight's effect.

Thousand Knives and Dark Sage: These two cards are far too specific with far too small payoff to actually be useful.

Lighten the Load, Diffusion Wave Motion, Tribute Doll: While all of these cards have very spicy effects, we're only running 4 Level 7 spellcasters, mainly to maintain some semblance of consistency.

*Yes, I purposely ignored Dedication Through Light and Darkness.


Dark Magician - Spellcaster/Dark/Normal/7/2500/2100

+ Provides Field Control

-  Weakens On-Field Presence, Resource Replenishment.

The venerable Dark Magician, around since the Starter Deck Yugi/Legend of Blue Eyes days, is alive and still kicking, thanks to scads of support consistently released since Magician's Force. Of course, on his own, he's a rather useless monster, but this deck will focus on easy ways of getting the bad boy out.

Dark Magician of Chaos - Spellcaster/Dark/Effect/8/2800/2600

When this card is Normal Summoned or Special Summoned successfully, you can add 1 Spell Card from your Graveyard to your hand. A monster that is destroyed by this monster as a result of battle is removed from play instead of going to the Graveyard. When this card is destroyed or removed from the field, it is removed from play.

+ Provides Field Control, On-Field Removal (very slight), Resource Replenishment, Enemy Disruption (Slight)

- Weakens (heavily) On-Field Presence

This is unquestionably one of the greatest monsters to ever hit the states. With either of its effects, it remains a powerhouse, but with both great effects combined, Dark Magician of Chaos truly shines. Its FORCE contributions reflect that; while it is a two tribute monster, which should normally weaken Resources and Presence, its incredible effects once on the field more than make up for its shortcomings in the hand. This bad boy is what Dark Magician should have been.

Skilled Dark Magician - Spellcaster/Dark/Effect/4/1900/1700

Each time you or your opponent activates 1 Spell Card, put 1 Spell Counter on this card (max 3). You can Special Summon 1 “Dark Magician” from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard in face-up Attack or Defense Position by offering this monster with 3 Spell Counters as a Tribute during your Main Phase.

+ Provides Field Control

- Weakens nothing

This card is one of the best level 4 monsters in the game. Its element and stats are arguably the best for a 4 star beatdown monster, outside of Berserk Gorilla and Blade Knight, perhaps, and it is the best way to get those Dark Magicians out quickly. You'll definitely run three of these, and will also probably want to run more spells than usual so that you can quickly achieve its objective of 3 spell counters.

Apprentice Magician - Spellcaster/Dark/Effect/2/400/800

When this card is successfully Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned, or Special Summoned, put 1 Spell Counter on a face-up card on the field that you can put a Spell Counter on. If this card is destroyed in battle, you can select 1 Spellcaster-Type monster Level 2 or lower from your deck and Special Summon it on the field in face-down Defense Position.

+ Provides Flip Effect Management (Your own), On-Field Presence (Extremely), Resource Replenishment, Counter-Defense.

- Weakens Field Control.

By reading the laundry list of accomplishments this one achieves, you'll easily see that Apprentice Magician is one of the most severely underrated cards of the game. Needless to say, we'll be abusing it in mass quantities in this Spellcaster deck. It'll form the glue of your defense.

Dark Magic Attack - Normal Spell

You can only activate this card when there is a face-up "Dark Magician" on your side of the field. Destroy all Spell and Trap Cards on your opponent's side of the field.

+ Provides Removal (Spell/Trap), Counter-Disruption

-  Weakens (very heavily) Resource Replenishment.

Here's some fun trivia: Dark Magic Attack is the first card of all time we've ever done that's gone into this section as a spell card! Every card that was described in-depth has been a monster to this point, but Dark Magic Attack is so theme specific that it's included here. You'll only run one of these, mainly because they're terrible inconsistent.

Finally, Spellcasters that should be included without a moment's thought:

Breaker the Magical Warrior, Magician of Faith, Magical Scientist


Because this is a Spellcaster deck, and because Skilled Dark Magician needs many instantly usable spells that will add to his counters, we're going to up the Spell ratio.


-- Every deck needs resources; Pot of Greed and Painful Choice will get them to you.

-- We'll follow that up with a Card Destruction, which should unload unwanted tributes.

-- Heavy Storm and Mystical Space Typhoon are two more instantly usable spells for Skilled Dark Magician. They also remove spell/traps, so we'll also add a Dark Magic Attack.

-- The Forceful Sentry and Confiscation are also instantly usable. You can summon Skilled Dark, then unload these bad boys.

-- Premature Burial works well with Dark Magician and Dark Magician of Chaos. Throw in Snatch Steal and Change of Heart for more methods of summoning the beasts.

-- We'll add two Smashing Ground for the threats that Skilled Dark can't handle.

-- We'll also add two Book of Moon to use both offensively and defensively.

-- Two Nobleman of Extermination will help rid you of those nasty defensive surprises your opponent may have in store.

-- The final addition will be Swords of Revealing Light, for much needed defense.

-- Finally, two Nobleman of Crossout should do nicely with the immediate strength Skilled Dark provides.


-- Call of the Haunted is needed because of DmoC and Dark Magician.

-- Ring of Destruction will serve defensive purposes.

-- Ceasefire defends our own Magician of Faiths from being change of hearted; it also negates flip effects and does heavy damage.

-- Torrential Tribute is our only form of mass monster removal.

-- 2 Waboku round out the rest of our defenses. These are chainable and protect your Swords and other traps from being set off.


Here is a legend of the elements that are referenced.

F- Field Control                        f- Flip-Effect Management
O- On-field Removal                o- On-field Presence
R- Removal (Spell/Trap)          r- Resource Replenishment
C- Counter-Defense                  c- Counter-Disruption
E- Enemy Disruption                e- Energy

Don't forget, one of you lucky reader's deck submissions will be reviewed on this board, with all FORCE components thoroughly analyzed and rated. This is just a sample deck.

1. Black Luster Soldier                                                + F f O o E e     - o C
1. Dark Magician of Chaos                               + F r E              - o
3. Dark Magician                                              + F                   - o                   
3. Apprentice Magician                                    + f o r C            - F                   
2. Magician of Faith                                          + r                    -F o                            
1. Magical Scientist                                         + f O c E           - o C e
3. Skilled Dark Magician                                  + F
1. Breaker the Magical Warrior                                   + F R c
1. Time Wizard                                                            + f O E              - F o C
2. Blade Knight                                                + F f E
1. Pot of Greed                                                + r
1. Painful Choice                                             + r
1. Change of Heart                                           + f c E e           - r s
1. Snatch Steal                                                            + F O o E          - e
1. Heavy Storm                                                            + R c E
1. Mystical Space Typhoon                                          + R c E
1. Premature Burial                                                     + F o                - e
2. Nobleman of Extermination                         + R c               
2. Smashing Ground                                                    + O
1. Card Destruction                                                      + r                    - r
1. Swords of Revealing Light                           + f o C c
2. Book of Moon*                                             + C c E             - r
1. The Forceful Sentry                                     + F f O R c E    
1. Confiscation                                                 + F f O R c E     - e
2. Nobleman of Crossout*                                + F f O E
1. Dark Magic Attack                                        + R c                - r
1. Call of the Haunted                                                  + F o
1. Ring of Destruction                                      + F O C E e      - e
1. Torrential Tribute                                                     + O D E
1. Ceasefire                                                                 +f c E e                        - r
2. Waboku                                                       + o C e             - r

* Regarding Book of Moon, I've decided it no longer contributes to Field Control and Spell/Trap Removal enough to be listed as such. Sorry for the initial errors.)

There's the final deck! Enjoy this week of the Smooth Journey. Thanks for voting in the polls, and tell all your friends about my work and pojo.com in general!

Send all e-mails, including deck fixes for Dark Magician, to JAELOVE@gmail.com. I still answer EVERY e-mail, and one lucky deck will be fixed next week on these very pages of pojo.com! The next deck after that will be the second runner up in the poll in Article 23, so make sure to vote!




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