The Vampire archetype made its splash on the Duel Links meta in August 2018 with the release of the Empire of Scarlet minibox. The minibox introduced consistent searchers for the archetype in the form of Loading... and Loading... as well as key win-conditions in Loading... and Loading... . These cards revamped (no pun intended) the archetype from the mishmash of odd Zombie monsters from earlier boxes into a top tier deck that stole 1st place in the September 2018 KC Cup and continued to dominate for the rest of 2018. Vampires eventually got to the point where they ended up being hit on the March 2019 Forbidden/Limited List, which put a key card, Loading... , on the Limited 2 list. Since then, Vampires have unfortunately been power crept hard throughout the 2019 year, being too "fair" of a deck to keep up with the new, more "unfair" decks. So while the recent October 2019 Forbidden/Limited List did unlimit Loading... , it is not enough to bring Vampires back to top tier status. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the deck is no longer viable -- Vampires are still capable of producing a fair number of early King of Games (KoG) each month as well as the once in a while rogue top placing in a community tournament or KC Cup.


Vampires as a deck is best described as a “toolbox” deck. It has such consistent and accessible searchers in Loading... and Loading... that the deck is able to “tutor” i.e. access whatever combo it needs for the given situation. Of course, the deck's most iconic and primary go-to combo revolves around Loading... , using her effect to trigger Loading... to destroy any card on the field. Both the effects of Loading... and Loading... are not hard once-per-turns, hence they can be abused in multiple copies to wipe an opposing board and enable a devastating one-turn-kill (OTK). Complementing Loading... is Loading... , otherwise known to the community as the “good succ.” Loading... has an ability that lets her “succ up” opposing monsters with more ATK than her (2000 ATK by default), equipping them to herself and raising her ATK by their ATK stat. Thus, not only can Vampires threaten board wipes into OTKs with Loading... and Loading... , but they also have one of the most reliable outs to big boss monsters in Loading... .

As a foreword, this guide assumes that the reader has an intermediate level of knowledge of the game mechanics in Duel Links and Yu-Gi-Oh! in general. The main concepts that we expect the readers to already know -- beyond the basic rules of e.g. summoning and activating spells / traps -- include the Toggle Button, reading “delays,” the Duel Links Limited 1 and Limited 2 lists, and Chain Links. We refer to these terms throughout the guide.

Core Cards

Combo Starters: Gozuki (2-3x) and Samurai Skull (3x)

Samurai Skull

Loading... and Loading... are the main combo starters for any Vampire deck. Both monsters are able to mill a Zombie monster from one's deck to the graveyard the turn that they are summoned. Since Vampires are a Zombie-based archetype, they have many monsters that want to be in the graveyard to trigger effects. This includes the two searchers of the archetype, Loading... and Loading... . The Vampire archetype also has revival cards in Loading... and Loading... -- hence, sometimes one might also want to mill a particular Vampire monster to then resurrect it with either of these cards.

One key difference between Loading... and Loading... is that Loading... 's mill effect is an ignition effect that must be manually activated, whereas Loading... 's mill effect is a trigger effect that activates immediately upon summon. This difference actually matters quite a bit as it means Loading... is far easier to disrupt than Loading... -- e.g. the opponent can activate a trap like Loading... upon Loading... 's summon to stop the Vampire player from activating his mill effect. As a result, Loading... is actually the more reliable miller, as it can only be disrupted by a negation from a card like e.g. Loading... .

Loading... and Loading... also have secondary effects that add to their utility. Loading... , if it is sent to the graveyard, allows one to banish a non-Loading... Zombie monster from the graveyard to special summon a Zombie monster from the hand. The effect triggers no matter how Loading... gets sent to the graveyard -- this allows one to e.g. mill Loading... from the deck with another Loading... or a Loading... to use its effect and special summon a Zombie from the hand.

On the flipside, Loading... , when removed from the field by an opponent's effect, floats into any level 4 or lower Zombie monster that one chooses from the deck. This comes in use when Loading... is removed by e.g. cards like Loading... or Loading... , allowing one to replace him with a Loading... or a low level Vampire.

Because these two monsters are the deck's main avenues to dump Loading... and Loading... into the graveyard to start plays, one ideally wants to max out on the number of copies in the deck to make it as consistent as possible. This means running 3 Loading... for sure. As for Loading... , running 2 should be consistent enough for deck sizes up to 22 cards -- however, 3 Loading... is definitely needed for larger deck sizes (23+).

Searchers: Vampire Familiar (2-3x) and Vampire Retainer (2x)

Vampire Familiar
Vampire Retainer

These two monsters are the searchers of the Vampire archetype. If Loading... is special summoned, then one can search any Vampire monster from the deck and add it to the hand at the cost of 500 LP; Loading... has a similar effect, but it searches any Vampire spell / trap instead. Both of these effects are hard-once-per-turns, meaning one cannot activate e.g. two Loading... search effects in the same turn.

Both monsters also have the effect where one can send a card with “Vampire” in its name to the graveyard, from either the field or hand, to special summon them from the graveyard -- however, if they are summoned this way, then they are banished when they leave the field. Note that this restriction makes it so that one cannot send e.g. a Loading... that was special summoned via its own effect to summon another Loading... from the graveyard, since the first Loading... can only be banished, not go to the graveyard.