Noble Knights are XYZ equip-spell based archetype that excels at summoning rank 4 and rank 5 XYZ monsters. The monsters all have unique effects when equipped with Noble Arm equip spells, and the Noble Arms themselves have a unique mechanic, where they can float from the grave upon being destroyed, leading to boards that can prove very difficult to break. Originally released early on in Duel Links in Crusaders Battleground Main Box, the archetype has been waiting to enter the XYZ era to gain not only its boss monsters, but all of its amazing support that mentions “XYZ” in the card text. The recent structure deck Tales of the Noble Knights has given us great support in the form of Loading... and Loading... to boost the consistency of the deck, while simultaneously giving us the long awaited Noble Knight boss monsters Loading... and Loading... . Having said all that, most of your plays will revolve around Loading... summoning another Noble Knight from the deck and setting up almost unbeatable boards. This deck is also extremely budget friendly, as the new structure deck provides most of the required cards needed for the deck to function, and sets you up for a plethora of support that is to come for this deck. This guide will teach you the basics of the deck in terms of combos and plays and hopefully will make the idea of learning this deck a little less daunting.
Main Deck Monsters
Most of the main deck Noble Knight cards are warriors that have a special lineup of equip spells called “Noble Arms”, which enable their effects. All of the Noble Arms we currently have float upon destruction and re-equip to already existing Noble Knight monsters on the field once per turn, which is a unique mechanic for the deck!
Noble Knight Medraut (3x)
This card is the most important cog in the machinery known as “Noble Knights”. When equipped with Noble Arm, Medraut becomes Dark Attribute Level 5 monster, which then can turn into either rank 4 or rank 5 play, as Medraut can summon ANY Noble Knight monster from the deck, and transfer the Noble Arm to them by destroying it. It's important to note that you have to control only Medraut to be able to activate and resolve this effect. Medraut is the most important piece of the puzzle, and should never be run at any number of copies less than 3.
Noble Knight Borz (2-3x)
Medraut’s partner in crime, Borz quickly became one of the best cards in the deck with the addition of the trap Loading... . Borz has a unique effect when equipped with a Noble Arm, which allows you to select 3 “Noble Arms” cards from your deck. After that, your opponent chooses one of them randomly and adds it to your hand, while the other 2 go to the grave. This effect is very valuable because of 2 reasons. Firstly, you will always get a card in hand. Secondly, you don’t have to choose Noble Arms “spell”, you can also choose Noble Arms “card”, meaning that we are allowed to to send positive graveyard effects such as already mentioned trap and monster Loading... which gives us constant supply of equipping - from both grave and hand - as well as ability to special summon any Noble Knight monster from the deck provided that we don’t have a copy of it on field or in grave. Borz also changes his Attribute to Dark and Level to 5, so when paired with Medraut, you are given access to rank 5 xyz!
First non-warrior monster, Merlin still plays a very vital role in the deck. Being able to special summon any Noble Knight monster by tributing himself is great. Being able to perform xyz summon as quick effect is even greater! Merlin, just by existing in your deck, massively increases the consistency of your best combo, making it so you essentially run 6 copies of Medraut, allowing the deck to exceed the 20 card without consistency loss. It’s important to note that the first effect is “ignition effect” so if the opponent has any disruption, such as Loading... or Loading... , you won’t be able to “dodge” with Merlin’s summon from deck effect (however, you can use the graveyard effect to dodge those things!) It’s very important to note that performing xyz summon causes the equips to “fall off” and reattach provided that you have a valid target, so you can use that knowledge to shuffle the equips on opponent’s turn! Another thing worth mentioning is that you can't summon anything other than Noble Knight monsters during the turn you use the first effect of Merlin! Make sure to run as many copies of Merlin as possible.
Noble Knight Drystan (1x)
Drystan used to be a much more valuable piece of the deck. Namely, Drystan gets to destroy a face up card on the field when equipped with Noble Arms equip, which made the main playstyle of Noble Knight revolve around equipping him during the opponent's turn with cards such as Loading... for disruption. Since then, metagame has changed drastically, but we can still make use of this effect during either player’s turn! Summoning Drystan with the effect of the Noble Knight trap when equips are about to be destroyed (because monsters they were equipped to is about to leave the field), allows us to use his destruction effect with minimal setup! It’s important to note that destruction effect is mandatory, so if the opponent has no face up cards, you have to target your own cards! Additionally, Drystan has a passive effect which prevents your opponent from targeting or attacking your monsters with less than 1800 attack, which can be used to protect your monsters from otherwise lethal damage! While it’s a good card, Drystan is best used directly from deck, so we don’t want to max out on him to reduce the chance of starting the duel with him in hand.
Noble Knight Brothers (0-2x)
Brothers are part of second wave of support the Noble Knight got, and it has been one of the best additions to the deck, allowing you to recycle all the “Noble Knight” cards (including the xyz monsters and even spell Loading...
) which gives you a draw, while putting useful cards back in the deck. Not only is the draw useful, you also set yourself up to summon with Loading...
, since you can’t summon the card you already have in the grave. So by drawing you also get to prepare your trap for a more optimal summon. Summoning Brothers from the deck can allow you to draw a card as well as go into rank 4 play, all while having big defense, which can stop a lot of monsters from being able to attack.
Brothers have another effect where you can summon up to 2 Noble Knight monsters from your hand, which can potentially enable you to beat your opponent in one turn!
There are 2 downsides to the card however. First being that Brothers can’t attack unless you control exactly 3 Noble knight monsters, and second that you can only xyz summon the Noble Knight monsters from the extra deck if you special summon cards from the hand. Despite that, Brothers is simply an amazing card and should be run in every iteration of the deck.
Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn (1x)
Probably the most controversial card of the deck, this monster is a hidden gem of the deck. On paper, this card is a bricky addition that’s cost inefficient, but being summoned from deck with Until Noble Arms are Needed Once Again gives it insane value. You can summon it from the deck and have it tribute itself to give you any Noble Arms equip spell. You can tribute your face down monsters, and even the xyz monsters after they run out of xyz materials(which then you can shuffle back with Brothers) The card even has fringe usage from grave, where you can send Borz or Medraut without equip to grave to special summon itself, which could enable rank 5 plays even with lack of equip spells. The potential uses are there and you shouldn’t be afraid to play around with them!
Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms (1x)
One of the more unique cards, Gwen has found her place in every version of Noble Knight decks from the moment she got added to the game. Her value comes from multiple things. First, she is a “Noble Arms” card, which means she can be selected as a target for Borz’ mill effect, which is even greater when coupled with the fact that you can equip her from hand OR graveyard! It’s important to note, monsters equipped with Gwen behave as if they were equipped with regular Noble Arms equip cards! Secondly, Gwen provides a 300 attack boost (which can often make a difference) and a bonus effect based on the attribute of the equipped monster! Light monsters can detach her to be protected from destruction once per turn, while Dark monsters can detach her at the start of Damage Step to destroy that monster with her effect! Overall it’s an amazing card and it’s what makes the Borz effect so potent.
Spells & Traps
Noble Knights cards are supported by a series of equip spells called “Noble Arms”. Currently, all Noble Arms equips share 3 effects; they can only be equipped to Warrior-type monsters, you can only have 1 copy of each equip spell on the field and once per turn, if they are destroyed, they can re-equip themselves to Noble Knight monsters from the grave. This somewhat unique mechanic makes it so it can be rather difficult to clear the Noble Knight field with a proper setup!
Noble Arms of Destiny (2x)
Noble Arms of Destiny is one of the cards that makes this deck somewhat slippery. Once per turn you are protected from any type of destruction. It makes your monsters harder to kill, and if it gets re-equipped it provides protection one more time during the same turn making it so your opponent essentially has to deal with your monsters multiple times. You can also chain Loading... to attack or effect that would destroy them for instant protection!
Noble Arms - Arfeudutyr (1-2x)
This hard to pronounce card is a real gem. It’s going to bait out more cards than it’s gonna destroy, but that also works. Really nice thing about Arfeudutyr is the fact that it can also be equipped to opponent’s warrior type monsters, so you can reduce their attack and potentially destroy their backrow before performing your summons! And not only that, Arf can also destroy set monsters as well, which brings forth additional synergy with flip-down cards like Loading... and Loading... . It’s worth noting that Arf says “destroy that target” which means, if they flip the card up (for example Loading... ) it will not get destroyed, and you will still lose the attack.
Noble Arms - Caliburn (1-2x)
Caliburn is a simple card. You gain life, you get a stable attack bonus. It’s a great card to keep up with meta that has a lot of otk potential. Starting with Caliburn on turn 1 while performing your plays can net you up to 1500 life points, which is nothing to scoff at! Likewise, having a free life points gain every turn makes it so you can use cards like Loading... without ever bringing yourself into lethal range of your opponent, especially if you run this card at 2 in your equip spell spread. All this life gain combined with floating and summoning effects makes this deck a tough nut to crack.
Noble Arms - Gallatin (1-2x)
Gallatin is a pretty straightforward card, it gives a 1000 attack boost that decays by 200 during each of your turns. Even though it doesn’t have any additional effects, it essentially makes your xyz monsters beat over every monster in current meta. Simple and effective, and if your attack boost becomes too low, you can destroy with Drystan or rank 4 Artorigus to re-equip it and get full 1000 again.
Glory of the Noble Knights (2-3x)
Glory is one of the more interesting cards in the deck. It can equip not only Noble Arms, but any equip card to your Noble Knight monster (provided that it’s a valid target)! It essentially allows you to play an increased number of your Noble Arms, which in turn boosts the consistency of the deck. It can even be chained to destruction effect, or battle to protect your monster! It also has very good synergy with 2 of the Noble knights in particular: Drystan and Brothers. Using Glory on Drystan during the opponent's turn allows for some quick disruption, while Glory in the graveyard acts as a target for Brothers draw effect. It’s important to note, you need 2 free slots in your spell and trap zone to be able to resolve Glory, because it brings the equip spell to the field during resolution(which means they will both be on field before the end of chain link resolution). This is also why chaining Glory to xyz effect to equip cards from the grave is not advised.
Until Noble Arms are Needed Once Again (2-3x)
Until Noble Arms is a card that has an incredible amount of value. The field effect to draw a card is kind of underwhelming, but the graveyard effect is simply amazing. Being able to summon a card that you don’t already have copy on the field or in the grave, which allows you to perform combos upon combos. This card also has amazing synergy with Loading... , since it has “Noble Arms” in its name, which allows you to send it to the grave immediately, without having to waste a turn on setting and activating it! Depending on what you summon off of it, you can do a wide variety of plays with almost any of the Noble Knight monsters! This adds depth to the deck and we strongly encourage you to try out various plays involving monsters summoned off of this effect.