Red-Eyes is an archetype that once held the title as the longest-lasting deck in Duel Links, but due to considerable powercreep, it hasn't seen any competitive relevance for a long time. However, with the announcement and recent release of Return of the Red Eyes, the deck has received the most hype it’s had in a long time, and a lot of it seems to be warranted.

Disclaimer: As the deck hasn’t been out for long, this guide looks almost exclusively at theoreticals, and should be read with the intention of coming to your own conclusions on what cards are best. It will not, however, exclusively use theoreticals, and will use decklists and concepts from the latest tournaments in which it saw play.

General Strategy

This deck’s main win condition is to use Red-Eyes Fusion to summon Loading... , alongside a powerful searcher in Loading... and several strong recovery cards to simultaneously apply a lot of pressure to your opponent, as well as control their potential disruption cards. While the first turn may often appear to be underwhelming, it can often set up your field for several turns to come. Due to the restriction found on your Fusion spell, your first turn often involves summoning Slash Dragon, occasionally setting a monster, and attacking if able. From beyond that point, your recovery cards start to come into play, allowing you to constantly streamline more high-level monsters practically for free, and by protecting them with Slash Dragon’s effect. However, the deck does struggle against several battle traps, such as Loading... and Loading... , which can turn the tide of a duel in the opponent’s favour if the player is too carefree with their plays.

Potential Skills

  • Beatdown :
    The most commonly used skill, and for good reason. While not helping the deck push for lethal too often, it helps the deck get over relevant thresholds with ease; Loading... , Loading... , Loading... , and a few others can be difficult to get over without this skill. Due to this, it is most likely to become the go-to skill for Red-Eyes.

  • Sealed Tombs :
    A general utility skill which can shut down a significant amount of decks. However, it is very reliant on being used in a proper meta. Currently, getting over specific attack thresholds is far more important than shutting decks down, as the decks that are effectively weakened by Sealed Tombs are used far less often than those that are affected by Beatdown.

  • Destiny Draw :
    Adding any card from your deck to your hand is always useful, but currently isn’t worth playing over Beatdown . The deck should be running six potential starter cards, which makes it consistent enough to not warrant a consistency skill like Destiny Draw.

Potential Cards

Main Engine

Red-Eyes Slash Dragon (3x):

Red-Eyes Slash Dragon

The undisputed boss monster of the deck. It is by far the best target for Red-Eyes Fusion currently in the game, and can apply a lot of pressure if an opponent cannot deal with it early. Its attachment effect severely mitigates the risk of attacking into face-down monsters such as Loading... and Loading... , since Slash Dragon can simply send the monster it just equipped to negate any effects that target, including those listed here.

Red-Eyes Black Dragon (2-3x):

Red-Eyes Black Dragon

Despite being a vanilla monster, this card is the central card of a very powerful and consistent engine. It is used as fodder for Red-Eyes Fusion and occasionally Loading... .

Red-Eyes Retro Dragon (0-3x):

Red-Eyes Retro Dragon

A card akin to Loading... , as it recovers monsters that have been destroyed. The card is a free summon when its effect resolves, and serves as a spare body the turn that it is brought out.

Red-Eyes Wyvern (0-1x):

Red-Eyes Wyvern

One of the two optimal cards to send when using Loading... , as its effect allows for late-game recovery, but lacks the raw power presented with Loading... .

Red-Eyes Archfiend of Lightning (0-1x):

Red-Eyes Archfiend of Lightning

The other optimal send for Loading... , as it couples very well with Loading... . An insanely powerful card if it resolves, it can be an annoying card to see in your hand, and an argument could be made that it is win-more, as the common summoning method involves an already well-established field. However, a board wipe can never be overlooked, so several people have already begun experimenting with it.

Warrior-type Monsters (2-4x):

D.D. Assailant
Amazoness Queen
A/D Changer
Shield Warrior
Black Luster Soldier - Sacred Soldier

As Loading... needs a Warrior-type monster as Material in order to be summoned, there are several cards which have been noted as having potential.

  • Loading... / Loading... / Loading... / Loading... : Cards that can help the deck control the field more effectively, and seem to be the most popular cards in decklists.
  • Loading... / Loading... : Very strong graveyard synergy, commonly sent if a player is afraid of specific counters to their monster, or if it is the best way to out any given card.
  • Loading... / Loading... : Commonly used beatsticks in the deck, can help the deck streamline strong monsters more easily

Red-Eyes Fusion (3x):

Red-Eyes Fusion

The key card of the deck, allowing for easy access to boss monsters, as well as fueling the graveyard for future plays. This card singlehandedly brought the deck back to life, and will be the driving force for the deck moving forward.

Red-Eyes Insight (3x):

Red-Eyes Insight

The deck’s searcher, allowing you to add any “Red-Eyes” Spell/Trap to your hand. Always a welcome sight in any starting hand, and will allow you to fill your graveyard for even more synergy by sending certain cards, most notably Loading... and Loading... .

Red-Eyes Spirit (0-3x):

Red-Eyes Spirit

A strong card that allows the user to summon any “Red-Eyes” monster from their graveyard, and has really good synergy with the engine itself. Allows for amazing recovery from an opponent’s play, and grants a very strong topdeck game.

Return of the Red-Eyes (0-1x):

Return of the Red-Eyes

Another strong card that allows the user to summon a “Red-Eyes” normal monster from their graveyard once per turn. This card is used most effectively when paired with Loading... , but can still excel with the raw card advantage and streamlined bodies it provides.