Darklords descended on Duel Links in the form of the Lords of Shining Minibox released on April 30th, 2019. At the time, they were a bricky form of control deck, mainly using Loading... to draw into combo pieces and set up plays with Loading... . There was also the Loading... and Loading... combo that appeared quite often as a way to build a lot of pressure on the opponent with large monsters. However, on August 31st,2019, Darklords received their ever-loving search card Loading... which made the deck incredibly consistent. During the time from August 2019 to now, Darklords have been hit by multiple banlists which significantly reduced the power level of the deck. But with some recent non-archetypal support being added to Duel Links, the deck may prove to be competitive once more.
About the Authors
Hello, my name is Mismag - I'm the founder of the Academy of Duel Links (ADL) and I am the leader of the ADL Clan. Having played the TCG from very early on and stopping in 2009 to go away to college, I was pleased when I found Duel Links and have been enjoying the gameplay ever since. I have a penchant for combo and control oriented deck (as I’ve been playing Triamids for like 6 weeks straight) so naturally once I saw Darklord were coming back to the scene, I had to give them another look! They were one of my favorite decks to play in the WCS Yu-Gi-Oh! Games for the Nintendo DS.
Hello, I’m Spook, I was drawn to the Darklord archetype because of the quick effect negation and the loops that the deck could easily start. I am happy to be writing the post-banlist Darklord guide and I hope it is of use to you guys.
The Darklords are a group of high level DARK Fairy monsters (with the only exception being Loading... ) that special summon themselves mainly from the graveyard through their in-archetypal Spell/Trap cards. The unique element of this archetype is that four of the monsters can copy the effects of their Darklord Spell/Trap cards by paying 1000 LP, and then shuffling the card(s) back into the deck. This is a hard once per turn effect; meaning that multiple copies of the same Darklord do not allow you to use the effect twice in the same turn. Also, you are only copying the effects of the spell/trap that you have chosen. For example, when you copy Loading... with this effect, you do not have to send a monster from the hand/field to the Graveyard. You just get the negation + the LP Boost. This mechanic within the archetype has made it a force to be reckoned with.
My goal for this guide is to get you to join in on all the Fallen Angel fun, by having access to tips, tricks, and examples of ways to be successful piloting this archetype.
The most popular skill to use post-banlist is Draw Sense: Spell/Trap . This skill allows you to draw into a random spell/trap from your deck, which almost always allows you to have a Loading... in hand. This skill is triggered by losing 1k LP, which is easy to manage with the Darklords’ copying effects. Due to the skill drawing into a random spell/trap, you generally do not want to play any spells/traps other than the Darklord ones while playing this skill.
This skill is only once per Duel, and when you lose 2000 LP (which is very easy after two Darklord Quick Effects), you get to draw any card from your deck. For obvious reasons, this skill is strong as it lets you grab a Loading... guaranteed, whereas Draw Sense: Spell/Trap forces you to draw a random spell or trap. The downside of Destiny Draw, however, is the fact that it is once per duel, and this can severely hinder the grind game of the deck.
Banishment of the Darklords (3x):
This brought the deck out of the Darkness of being a bricky mess. This card lets you search anything you need in the entire archetype (except itself obviously), and can also be copied by your other Darklord monsters for greater effect. This card needs to be run at 3 copies if you are planning on playing this deck optimally.
Darklord Tezcatlipoca (1-2x):
This is your main source of protection. If any number of Darklord monsters (face-up only) would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can discard him and they will stay on the field. For this reason, I tend to personally like keeping him in my hand, as it is hard to get him back there once he’s hit the Graveyard. Running 1-2 is ideal, as 3 can prove to be way too bricky. Tezcatlipoca is needed in optimal Darklord builds to dodge cards like Loading... , which can completely decimate your board. Additionally, he possesses the Darklord quick effect, so even reviving him from the Graveyard has value later on after he's used the handtrap effect. You can also search him with a copied Loading... in response to destruction to save your monsters.
Here’s a quick combo: Opponent uses Loading... on your 2 face-up Loading... . Discard Loading... to bypass the destruction, then if you have a copy of Loading... in your Graveyard, use Nasten to copy it, revive Tez, and then you can use Tez’s effect to copy another spell/trap from your Graveyard! All in the same turn!
Darklord Nasten (2-3x):
This is the second of the quick effect monsters in this archetype. Darklord Nasten has a hefty cost of discarding 2 Darklord cards from your hand to summon itself, but since you want a lot of your Spells/Traps in the Graveyard anyway, this is not the worst thing in the world. He can also immediately copy any S/T that you’ve discarded to summon him to the field. Due to the shift away from using Loading... (because of the banlist), Nasten has become a major starter within the deck. You can use him to discard darklord monsters that you can simply revive with contact, or you can use him to discard darklord spells which you can copy with his second effect. You can do all this while getting a big monster on your side of the field, which has a huge impact.
Darklord Ukoback (2-3x):
You might notice something about this card - he’s a level 3! This allows him to be normal summoned to the board. His strength shines in being the Loading... for the archetype - he can dump any Darklord card from the deck to the Graveyard, which immediately sets up your copying plays with Loading... / Loading... / Loading... . Usually if you have to Normal Summon him, you’ll want to set Loading... on the field directly, so you can tribute him off the field. Due to the removal of Ixchel from Darklord builds, the deck also struggles with putting monsters in the grave to revive with contact. Fortunately, you can dump a Darklord Monster into the grave with Ukoback and revive it with a contact from your hand, which also makes Ukoback a mini play-starter.
Darklord Morningstar (1x):
This is one of your boss monsters and he truly lives up to that reputation! It requires two tributes to summon, he cannot be special summoned at all, and he has protection from the opponent’s card effects as long as you have another face-up Darklord out on the field. His effect is pretty fantastic - instantly making up for the work you put into summoning him by calling on his fellow Darklords to be summoned from the hand/deck equal to the number of Effect Monsters that your opponent controls. It’s important to note that even if Morningstar is hit by Loading... , Loading... , Loading... etc. that unless the effect is negated, you’ll get the extra Darklords regardless since it happens on summon. His other effect lets us mill our deck to replenish the Graveyard and our LP. Comes in handy sometimes. We run him at 1 mainly to close out games, but some builds may run him at 0 and instead play 2 Desires.
NOTE: If an opponent chains Floodgate Trap Hole in response to the Special Summon(s) of the monsters via Morningstar's effect, they will ALL be flipped face-down since they were considered summoned simultaneously.
Darklord Desire (1x):
Desire is your second boss monster after Morningstar. Desire’s effect is pretty helpful, since it’s non destructive removal. His ATK points are 3000, which is also helpful in beating over other monsters. What really shines for him is his ability to be Normal Summoned by tributing a single Fairy monster - which combined with your Loading... is an easy summon that can push for lethal! Coupled with the fact that he’s searchable off Loading... , you’ll have easy access to Desire. He's a popular target for being flipped down so be wary of that before you commit to summoning him.