Dark Magician is a fan-favorite archetype that revolves around the main character's ace card, Loading... from the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. Over the past year or so, it has received very strong support in Duel Links with cards like Loading... and Loading... , which when combining the two cards, will allow you to swarm the field and banish a card your opponent controls during either player's turn. The deck has overall good matchups against many of the control decks of the format like Gouki, Shiranui, and Invoked Magician Girls, as it can overwhelm the opponent with 2 relatively large monsters and banish a card off the field during either player's turn. In addition, it also has Spell/Trap negates to counter most of their disruptions. However, because it takes a turn to set up their combo, they struggle against the aggressive decks of the format in Blackwings and HEROS, especially since they play large amounts of backrow removal in Loading... and possibly even Loading... , while also applying a lot of early-game pressure on their first turn. Speaking of backrow removal, while mildly annoying for most control strategies, it’s especially devastating against this deck in particular, as part of what makes this deck viable is the Circle, and most anti-backrow cards can compromise its utility.


Hey guys! My name is amaya, and I am this guide’s author. I’ve been in the community since mid-2019, and what made me write this guide is the fact that I see far too many bad players of this Deck Type, and the original guide made by Buns was severely outdated with no indication of him updating it. I have a handful of Meta Weekly tops (2 of them with this Deck Type), and have competed in Clan Wars for 2 Seasons, so I have a fair bit of competitive experience. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read my guide!

First and foremost, I will be listing a key of abbreviations that will be frequently used in this guide and what they mean, in an attempt to make explanations a bit shorter and easier.


  • Balance

Because of Loading... being put to Limited 2, the deck is not as consistent at getting their standard DM Circle Navigation combo. As a result of it, the most recommended skill for those who want to make the combo more consistent is Balance , which will guarantee a Monster, Spell and Trap in the opening hand (assuming you have at least 6 of each in your Deck).

  • See You Later!

These variants have been moderately popular in recent times, as it can help recycle Loading... without needing to put it in the GY, or you can summon a Loading... off of Loading... , and then use the Skill to return it back to the hand to have a live Loading... . It also can unclog your field if needed so Navigation can be live.

  • Power of Dark

This skill will boost your monsters’ ATK and DEF by 200 by playing Loading... at the start of the Duel. This skill will help against Blackwings as Loading... and Loading... will no longer be bigger than your Dark Magician unless they waste a Loading... or Raikiri pop on your Field Spell. It also can reduce the ATK/DEF of Fairy monsters by 200, which can help against Valkyries and Weather Painters. In addition, it will make MoDI + Kycoo/Rod threaten over 4000 damage.

  • The Tie that Binds

This skill will work similarly to Power of Dark , but has two distinct differences: It will only boost your monsters on your turn, and it doesn’t place a Field Spell on your field that your opponent can just pop on their first turn. Use if you don’t care about bricks that would be prevented by otherwise using Balance .

  • Beatdown

Essentially, this is a more risky variant of The Tie that Binds , as it is once per Duel and only boosts your Lv 5 or higher monsters in Loading... , Loading... , and Loading... . However, the extra power it grants can be the difference between having lethal or being 100 off and then getting wiped the next turn. In addition, it gives the deck an inherent out to Loading... , which this deck otherwise struggles to deal with.

  • Titan Showdown

A very aggressive take on the deck, this skill will take advantage of summoning Loading... on your first turn through Loading... and Loading... by paying half your LP. Being half of your opponent’s LP will trigger the skill to allow your DM to deal 5000 damage on an attack, as the damage you deal will be doubled in that scenario. With that said, there is quite a hefty risk involved with using this variant, as the Skill can be used against you if your opponent is half your LP.

  • Sealed Tombs

This skill will prevent any cards from being banished or any monsters from being Special Summoned from the GY until the end of your opponent’s next turn after activating it. It’s particularly useful against Shiranui and in the mirror match, especially when going 2nd in the latter to prevent your opponent’s Loading... in the GY from negating your own Navigation.

  • Master of Rites

While this skill is rare in competitive play, this skill is mainly used in Loading... builds utilising its effect to destroy a card on the field when a Spell/Trap effect is activated (i.e. Loading... or Loading... ). The skill will be activatable each time you lose 1000 LP to return any card in your hand to add a Ritual Monster (Magician of Chaos) or a Ritual Spell (usually Loading... or Loading... ) from your Deck to your hand.

  • What Grows in the Graveyard

This skill is only used with the Spore Toolbox variant, as it will place a Loading... in your GY at the start of the Duel, which can summon itself from the GY when you Normal Summon Loading... . With this Skill, Spore turns into a 1-card Level 9 Synchro or Rank 3 Xyz using Loading... , and the latter can lead into a Loading... when combined with Loading... and Loading... .

Core Cards

Dark Magician (3x)

Dark Magician

The main card of the Deck. It is the monster you Special Summon off the effect of Loading... or Loading... to trigger your Loading... to banish a card your opponent controls. Run 3 at all times to maximise your chances to draw it.

Magician's Rod (2x)

Magician's Rod

A card the deck would absolutely love to run at 3, but it is currently Limited 2 on the Forbidden/Limited list due to it making the deck too consistent. On Normal Summon, it can add a Dark Magician Spell/Trap (usually Loading... , Loading... , or Loading... ) from your Deck to your hand. It also has a GY effect to add itself to the hand after activating a Spell or Trap on your opponent's turn by Tributing a Spellcaster monster you control.

Dark Magical Circle (3x)

Dark Magical Circle

Because of Loading... being Limited to 2, having 3 of this card is more important than ever for making your Deck competitive. On activation, it will allow you to look at the top 3 cards of your Deck and add any Loading... or a Spell or Trap that lists the card “Dark Magician” among them to your hand, then place the rest of the cards back on top in any order. In addition, it will allow you to banish 1 card your opponent controls when a Loading... is Summoned. Be aware that both of its effects are a hard once per turn, so if a card like Loading... or Loading... is chained to the activation of Loading... to get rid of it, you cannot activate a second one from your hand, nor can you banish multiple cards with multiple Circles.

Magician of Dark Illusion (1-2x)

Magician of Dark Illusion

Loading... is very useful in this deck and it’s usually the main target to Special Summon with Loading... when using Loading... . It can also be Special Summoned on your opponent's turn upon activating a Spell/Trap allowing you to trigger the Loading... effect if you have a live Navigation. It’s 2nd effect is also very useful to Special Summon Dark Magician from your GY when activating a Spell/Trap or an effect of one to trigger your Loading... . Be aware that this effect can only be used once while it is face-up on the field.