This is the 27th Mini Box and was released on May 28th, 2020. Flames of the Heart introduces the Mayakashi and Gouki decktypes and adds support for Shiranui, Evol and Zombie decks.
The main archetype of the new box is Mayakashi, a Zombie archetype that focuses on Synchro climbing with Dakki, the Graceful Mayakashi while having floating effects that trigger when their Synchro monsters are destroyed. All of the Mayakashi main deck monsters restrict you to summon only Mayakashi monsters from the Extra Deck, which significantly hampers their flexibility. While the deck got an amazing consistency tool in Mayakashi Return, possibly the single best search spell in Duel Links, it suffers from the fact that its archetypal Synchro monsters don’t have any on-field effects unless they’re summoned from the Graveyard (after being properly Synchro Summoned). Couple this with capping out at 2900 ATK in the form of Yoko, the Graceful Mayakashi means that the deck will probably struggle to get over big threats like Invoked Cocytus and Shiranui Sunsaga. Speaking of Shiranui, Mayakashi can make effective use of }Shiranui Solitaire, so a supplemental Shiranui package may enable Sunsaga plays. Overall the deck seems to have good consistency pieces and a solid grind game but not enough raw power in archetype. Whether it can make a metagame impact will depend on how well that consistency can be abused and whether the deck can fit out-of-archetype power cards like Sunsaga.
While Gouki was a dominant deck in the TCG for many months, it’s missing most of the tools it needs to make that happen in Duel Links. All Gouki monsters have an effect to add a differently-named Gouki monster from the deck to the hand whenever they’re sent from the field to the graveyard, which is an incredibly powerful search effect. However, with no Link Summoning in Duel Links it’s quite a lot harder to trigger than in the TCG, notwithstanding the lack of insane power cards like Firewall Dragon and Topologic Gumblar Dragon. While all the Gouki monsters can be summoned from the Graveyard with Masked Chameleon, the deck is very reliant on Normal Summoning and will have to play slowly. Despite the great synergy with cards like Enemy Controller, Ballista Squad and Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, Gouki’s slow pace will probably give it a hard time keeping up with many of the metagame’s faster decks.
Gizmek Yata, the Gleaming Vanguard has some very interesting potential in Crystron decks, especially those that run Heavy Starter, as it’s a Level 5 Machine monster that can conveniently enable cards like Crystron Thystvern and Crystron Smiger. 5 is also a great Level for Crystrons, giving them convenient access to Black Rose Dragon and Samurai Destroyer. Expect to see Crystrons experimenting with this card at 1 or even 2.
Ghost Meets Girl - A Shiranui’s Story is another potential 1-of tech card that will be experimented with quite a bit, this time in Shiranui. The ability to pull a Shiranui out of your deck while setting up your Graveyard can potentially give Shiranui a consistency boost, and the fact that it can go off during your opponent’s turn is a nice bonus. The fact that it’s dead on Turn 1, however, really limits its utility. Many Shiranui lists will likely go without it.
Shiranui Swordmaster and Shiranui Swordsaga simply can’t fit into the already tight Shiranui deck. Swordmaster’s effect is mediocre and its level has no synergy with current Shiranui lists, and Swordsaga suffers from the same fate.
Shiranui Style Solemnity is a good example of a “win-more” card, that really helps you out if you open up with a great hand but doesn’t do anything in other circumstances. It’s unlikely this card will be able to fit in over Shiranui’s lineup of staple traps.
While Evols finally got their best main deck tool in Evo-Force, the lack of their powerful Xyz boss monsters will likely keep them irrelevant. Even with strong support available in Miscellaneousaurus and Aleister the Invoker, too many of the deck’s plays simply lead to nowhere as it stands. However, if the Evolzar Xyz monsters ever arrive, expect Evo-Force and Evoltile Najasho to become relevant.
Overall, Flames of the Heart is suffering from most of the same issues that Truth Universe did: its main archetypes are either incomplete or simply don’t offer enough to justify picking them over the current meta decks. The inclusion of more Shiranui support is baffling, as the deck has been relevant for many months and has been nerfed on the last two banlists. The box’s biggest saving grace is Mayakashi Return, which will potentially allow one of the new archetypes to see some success. Despite that though, it looks like Flames of the Heart is poised to make a relatively minimal competitive impact at best.
Gouki was one of the strongest decks to ever grace the TCG, but will they be good in Duel Links? Well… the deck wasn’t really Gouki but more Firewall Dragon turbo. Without Firewall, the decks weakness starts to show and that’s their reliance on normal summons. They’re a good engine for providing you with cards and we might see them being played like Thunder Dragons: Non-Tuner fodder that replace themselves. I don’t see this having Top Tier potential, however
The most interesting archetype of the new set, Mayakashi is a Zombie archetype designed to climb a Synchro ladder of monsters who then float downwards that ladder, giving them a lot of protection. Climbing the ladder is extremely consistent with consistency cards like Shiranui Solitaire and Mayakashi Return (which might be the best searcher card we’ve gotten since Banishment of the Darklords).The big problem here is: How do you close out games? That’s the problem this deck has to solve to make an impact. Shiranui Sunsaga might be worth looking into and I’m looking forward to what this community can come up with.
Sky Striker Mecha - Eagle Booster - Without extra monster zones, its hard to find any use for this card. I don’t know why this is here tbh.
Gouki was one of the best to be released in TCG. This was good only because of Firewall Dragon which led to degenerate plays. This deck can generate pluses in many ways but can’t capitalise on them. Maybe Destiny HERO - Plasma or Silent Swordsman might be played with this deck or this deck might become relevant in the Xyz format.
Mayakashi is the most interesting archetype of the box. The only thing which it lacks is fast OTKs or ending the game quickly. This deck is just Shiranui with less OTK potential and a better Turn 1 play and protection.
Without an Extra Monster Zone, Sky Striker Mecha - Eagle Booster has nearly no validity however this card could be used as an F2P substitute for Forbidden Lance. However, you cannot target your monsters with it because of its activation condition.
Shiranui already was a Tier 2 deck before being hit in the last banlist with Shiranui Squire going to 3. This limits the use of Cosmic Cyclone for them. However konami blessed them with a new support in the latest box. Ghost Meets Girl - A Shiranui’s Story is very good and will see high usage. However, they still lack a solid Turn 1 play.
Gizmek Yata, the Gleaming Vanguard is a very interesting card which can be teched in any deck. This enables many plays for Crystrons which are already Tier 1.
Tatsunecro might become an enabler for Zombie-based decks especially Shiranui. Cards can generate so many pluses by just being banished. Shiranui now have a better sychro play. This card boosts all the Zombie decks.
A force to be reckoned with in the TCG, Gouki seem fairly underwhelming in Duel Links; the deck relies heavily on its Normal Summon and doesn’t actually do much besides some alright Quick Effect ATK manipulation and good searching. They may see the light of day in Duel Links as part of a Synchro engine if one can be found, but otherwise will likely struggle to make a dent on the current meta.
Mayakashi’s main strategy involves chain S0ynchro-ing up to their boss monster, and then trickling down from top to bottom as they are destroyed, getting their effects off along the way and protecting your LP. With the inclusion of their searcher card Mayakashi Return, consistency is the least of the Mayakashi’s issues, their biggest issue is simply that they have no end game. Alongside this, everything Mayakashi can do, Shiranui can simply do better and more efficiently. Once the Mayakashi have actually reached Yoko, the Graceful Mayakashi, she is simply a glorified beatstick until you Special Summon her with Mayakashi Winter or Mayakashi Metamorphosis. Compounding this is that this deck is incredibly vulnerable to non-destruction removal, simply banishing or bouncing Yoko is enough to completely invalidate all of the hard work required to get to her and leave you with almost nothing to show for it. While there is synergy with Yuki-Musume, the Ice Mayakashi being able to send Shiranui Spectralsword to the grave, to potentially give the deck a decent follow-up as well as with Shranui Solitaire being able to Special Summon Dakki, the Graceful Mayakashi, extra-deck space is tight in this deck and it remains to be seen whether there will even be enough room to fit Spectralsword and Solitaire in the deck.
Shiranui have received support in 2 cards, Shiranui Style Solemnity and Ghost Meets Girl - A Shiranui’s Story. Solemity offers some summoning protection and an additional way to dump your Shiranui Spectralswords while banishing your monsters, but unfortunately this card does not really seem to fit into the current “Trap-anui” deck style and does nothing to compensate for their weakness. However Ghost Meets Girl is a very interesting card for Shiranui with multiple different applications, being able to summon any Shiranui monster from the deck or grave on the opponents turn, including the Synchros (as long as they were properly summoned first) while also setting up the Graveyard. Expect Ghost meets Girl to see experimentation as a 1-of in the future.
Tatsunecro is further generic Zombie support that may see some usage in Shiranui, synchro summoning from the hand is always nice but is vulnerable to disruption as is the case with most Synchros, and is likely simply not as good as setting up a Shiranui Solitaire + Shiranui Spectralsword, but is still an interesting card to look out for
Gizmek Yata, the Gleaming Vanguard is potentially usable in Crystron builds, being able to send your Normal Summoned Crystron to the grave to facilitate its effects is incredibly useful, especially since you can Normal Summon immediately after Gizmek’s summoning, giving the deck another potential play starter to work with
Mayakashi, the sworn enemies of Shiranui (lore-wise) also involves Synchro Summoning, with a catch. This deck’s main concept is Synchro climbing to the highest level and filling the low level Synchros in the grave (3->5->7->9) and their unique effects activate from being Special Summoned from the Graveyard. This deck is really consistent even without Hajun, the Winged Mayakashi (which is the Shiranui Squire of the deck) however, this deck lacks the wincon / power. Their true boss synchro monster sadly couldn’t come due to having Link Monsters involved in its text, which would have helped this deck far more. The thing about Mayakashi is, as I said above they synchro climb, but if ever they get destroyed via battle or card effect, the low level synchros would float from lvl9 to lvl7, lvl7 to lvl5, lvl5 to lvl3. It’s quite a unique interaction for Synchros to float into another. So here lies their problems. The first is that that the Synchro monsters are only vanilla monsters once Synchro Summoned. The second is their boss monster Yoko, the Graceful Mayakashi needs another way to be summoned from the grave since Gashadokuro, the Skeletal Mayakashi is missing. Technically you can use Star Eater but the Mayakashi most of the time locks you from special summoning anything other than Zombie monsters. You can use something like Super Team Buddy Force Unite! or Mayakashi Metamorphosis though. It very much is weak to decks that either bounce or banish and not to mention Necrovalley which most of the tiered decks have. Overall, I think this deck is pretty fun. Competitive-wise though, it won’t see much play.
Gouki - famed for its hand-looping capabilities with Firewall Dragon in the the TCG. However in Duel Links, they’re most likely to end up as a possible Synchro-Control deck: Synchro with Masked Chameleon and control due to its lack of protection and reliance on its Normal Summon. The only thing going for them is their ability to float when it is sent from the field to the Graveyard by getting another Gouki from the deck to the hand and their ability to boost a Gouki monsters ATK during the Damage Step.
Tatsunecro is a very interesting Zombie card that lets you Synchro Summon using from the hand as long as its a Zombie Synchro. This deck may not be used in the current Zombie Synchro decks we have but may be used in other zombie decks in the future.
Gizmek Yata, the Gleaming Vanguard can possibly be used in a Crystron deck that uses Heavy Starter or The Tie that Binds. Being able to send your Sormal Summoned Crystron like Crystron Thystvern to the grave to enable its effect and having a Level 5 body on board. The only bad thing I can think about it is the LP Gain when it’s Special Summoned could be a bad thing with some decks using Sealed Tombs.
Ghost Meets Girl - A Shiranui’s Story is the only Shiranui card thats noteworthy and may possibly be used as a 1 or 2-of in the Deck. Being able to summon any Shiranui monster from the deck or grave during your opponents’ turn including the Synchros (provided they are properly Summoned first) and potentially setting up your Grave or Field for further plays.
Overall I think this box is very underwhelming, more underwhelming than the Malefic Box from a competitive standpoint which is quite an achievement already cause that box was just plain bad and I thought konami couldn’t release anything worse than that. I guess they proved me wrong. 4/10. For fun factor its around 9/10 due to Mayakashi doing some fun shenanigans and cool art work.
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