This is the 26th Main Box and was released on February 29th, 2020. Judgement Force introduces the Lunalight, Orcust, Nekroz and Graydle archetypes and adding support for the Blue-Eyes, Gladiator Beast, Lightsworn, Gishki, and Dragunity archetypes.
WELCOME TO THE NEW META. Those were the first words that came to mind when the announcement of the new box arrived alongside the banlist (genius move, Konami). While it follows the trend of adding singular legacy support (for 2 SDEXs, even) with a bevy of new archetypes, this may be the first time that so many archetypes were catered to at once; let’s break them down:
There’s a whopping THIRTEEN archetypes supported in one Main Box, and not only that, all existing Special Summoning mechanics (Fusion, Synchro, and Ritual) were serviced as well. If there was any box worthy of its Main Box title, this would be a very good example.
Blue-Eyes: The box adds a much-needed breath of fresh air for Blue-Eyes in order to keep up with the Tier 1 Dark Magician. We got the archetype’s three tuners plus the missing Synchro, Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon. While a compact package, Sage with Eyes of Blue and Maiden with Eyes of Blue help the deck achieve incredible explosiveness (and actually gives Mausoleum of White a marginal reason for being), with Spirit giving the deck a much-needed first turn play that isn’t a Set Dawn Knight or The White Stone of Ancients. The prevalence of Shiranui also contributes to Spirit’s usefulness as it can negate GY effects; at the very least, it will help a bit with the inevitable withdrawal symptoms of losing Sealed Tombs. Blue-Eyes still sees rogue contention on the ladder nowadays; the new box may push it to Top Tier, in my opinion.
Fun Fact: the new additions are relatively cheap to obtain, since Blue-Eyes builds even in the TCG only use 1 Maiden with 3 Sages and a minimum of 1 Spirit (though I believe 2 will be the optimal number); these will suffice for the existing, already very expensive Blue-Eyes deck.
Darksea: There are two Darksea cards in the whole archetype (Darksea Rescue and Darksea Float), and Konami decided to add them here. They basically help generate advantage when sent to the GY one way or the other. Rescue, the Synchro Summon one, might be good in Level Duplication Psychic Wheeleder decks. Not much else to say about them.
Dragunity: The SDEX release of Dragunity support has been lackluster, to say the least; Dragunity Knight - Ascalon was already an outdated boss monster when it was released in the TCG, and it seemed to be the same way here in Duel Links. Dragunity Couse was the missing piece in the Dragunity Senatus combo, but the conspicuous lack of Dragon Ravine tells me that while it will be more consistent, it may not be enough to push the deck up. Time will tell, and I will be getting my own playset of three, but it’s worth being cautious of its potential.
Gishki: There was a running joke about this one where a Redditor complained of the lack of Gishki support just a few days before the box news dropped, as if he had willed it to existence. That said, the only new cards here are the UR Evigishki Soul Ogre, SR Gishki Shadow and R Gishki Marker, while the rest are reprints. Soul Ogre itself is decent removal, though all it really is is a weaker Ascalon that doesn’t float. Reddit Guy, you waited two whole years for this, but why bother adding Gishki support if it’s just Soul Ogre and not Evigishki Gustkraken nor Gishki Zielgigas, Konami?.
Gladiator Beasts: Ohhhh boy. Here’s the first of the two big archetypes receiving support! Ever since the disappointing SDEX release (and the all-but affirmed tarnishing of the ‘SDEX’ label), everyone basically concluded that the rest would come in the next box, and we were right. While we didn’t get Gladiator Beast United (which, let’s be real, they could have given us because Banishment of the Darklords proved that Konami has no morals), we got very good cards in Gladiator Beast Vespasius and Gladiator Beast Charge (which is basically Steeds that Ritual Beast didn’t even get!), with the new fusion Gladiator Beast Domitianus being the icing on the cake. Gladiator Rejection with Test Tiger and/or Gladiator Beast Attorix also allows for Fusion Tag-like combos for quick fuses into Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, though this is more niche and not guaranteed to be a go-to play for the deck. As it stands now, Gladiator Beasts are in need of speed and power, which Vespasius and Charge have in spades. While I can’t say it will make top tier off the bat, High Potential to Tier 3 seems likely. Watch out for this.
Graydle: An archetype I wish never made it to DL, the cards that were included in this box thankfully only serve as a rough sneak preview rather than a full-blown introduction. The included Main Deck monsters (Graydle Slime and Graydle Slime Jr.) don’t even get to Graydle Dragon easily on their own, so this may make more sense being splashed as an engine rather than their own deck. Which I’m thankful for, honestly, because I have very horrible memories of Graydle Eagle (which for the uninitiated, is an Old Entity Hastorr, but better). shudder
Ice Barrier: Only mentioning this because Dewdark of the Ice Barrier technically represents his archetype, though his existence in this box (or this game) at all is more a question of “why?” than “why not?”.
Lightsworn: Welcome to the second big one! They gave us EVERYTHING here, even Judgment, the Dragon of Heaven! With the death of Darklords, this has become the new ‘complete’ archetype of Duel Links (though, crucially, they don’t have their own negates). An expensive archetype needing names from older boxes (and if you missed out on Ehren, Lightsworn Monk in the recent Selection Box, then that’s a shame), it’s nonetheless straightforward, explosive, and consistent with the additions of Charge of the Light Brigade and Solar Recharge. That Grass Looks Greener decks also died at the hands of the banlist - and yet a new 30-card deck rises in its place. As its resilience is also a matter of debate, it serves as a viable contender with Blackwings for the title of Glass Cannon of the Meta™️. Judgment Dragon alone made me want to peg it for top tier, but the Dark Magician and inevitable Blue-Eyes matchups look rough, so I’m bundling this in with Glads for High Potential - Tier 3.
Lunalight: A pleasant surprise to have this archetype included in Duel Links, and alongside Orcust, too! However, we don’t have the requisite monsters that bridge them together, so doesn’t seem like Lunalight Orcust DL is going to be a thing. So how does Lunalight look? It’s looking to be a pretty basic fusion beatdown deck, sort of like a more consistent Gem-Knights. Since we didn’t get Lunalight Kaleido Chick, Luna Light Perfume, nor Lunalight Serenade Dance (i.e. the GREAT Lunalight cards), they don’t do much aside from trying to push for game with Lunalight Sabre Dancer. Will need more support to be good, or to at least get splashed into something else.
Nekroz: It’s a little poetic getting Nekroz considering we got Gishki support in the box, but Konami seems to be really pushing for representation! We got four each of the regular monsters and Ritual Monsters who are mostly decent, and we got Nekroz Kaleidoscope too, which is like a Ninjitsu Art of Duplication but for Ritual Monsters. To that end, I envision using Level Augmentation to facilitate summoning multiple rituals (namely Nekroz of Catastor and Nekroz of Gungnir, for a level-augmented Level 12, for instance), among other strategies. It’s also of note that the only SR/UR of the archetype is the SR Nekroz Kaleidoscope, making this the F2P-friendly offering of the box.
Krawler: This somehow got support in the form of the SR World Legacy Pawns, which helps the deck be more disruptive. This actually has potential for a decent Parasite Infestation deck, and the Krawler deck itself has plenty of cards already; if the day comes World Legacy in Shadow gets released, this may finally be properly meta.
Orcust: Another deck with a running joke, with people saying Orcust Harp Horror took a vacation to Duel Links after being added to the Forbidden list in the TCG. Orcust has always been an engine-y deck, and not having its Link Monsters (the Xyz boss monster Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star seems likely to arrive to DL earlier) is noticeable. Even the in-archetype spell and traps it comes with are more in-line with using the monsters as engine fodder, so it will be interesting to see which DARK decks it can be splashed with to make the most of the engine, and having World Legacy - “World Wand” to recycle isn’t bad, too. This is reflective of the time when a number of decks splashed a small Darklord package for the draw power; Orcust Harp Horror and Orcustrated Return can now facilitate the same concept with an arguably better upside. Exciting days are ahead for decks that can make use of them.
World Chalice: One of my absolute favorite archetypes is finally in DL! Having said that, as one of the very first Link archetypes created, not having Link monsters means the deck does basically nothing. Its unbelievable that a Box as stacked as this one has the room to have filler, but here we are. Maybe adding a few tuners (Psychic Wheeleder?) can help, but you’re going to have a hard time extracting value out of World Legacy - “World Chalice” with only three Main Monster Zones and no Extra Monster Zone. WC was already a sacky, fluke-y deck in the TCG, but its trash status is cemented here. Basically only around to have decent art to look at each time you open packs (they’re all N cards).
World Legacy: As for the rest of the WL cards, we have the field spell World Legacy Discovery (basically Sogen for World Chalice that allows your WC monsters to float), World Legacy Landmark (special summons 2 from the GY, might actually have a use with the bigger World Legacy monsters) and World Legacy Trap Globe (expensive draw 2 that is also a trap card). Nothing much to say, they’re not great.
In a Box filled to the brim with archetypes, Konami bothered to add in cards like freaking Glow-Up Bulb! Since there’s quite a few WATER cards in this box, White Howling deserves a mention as well, serving as a possible Dark Magical Circle counter. Kaiser Vorse Raider is a bonus for those who want the complete Kaiba DSOD role-playing package.
The reprints are decent, though nothing revolutionary. You’ll still have to dig into other boxes for some of the archetype staples. Of course, rounding out the box is the usual slew of weak, early-gen Normal Monsters, all WATER attribute this time around. My personal favorite is Jellyfish, because I have a first edition English-language OCG copy of it from my childhood, lol.
Final Words Looking at the big picture, Konami went into this box with a ‘kitchen sink’ mindset - I’m utterly baffled as to how many cards they squeezed in especially after reducing the Main Box count from 200 to 180, and there’s even something for both P2P and F2P markets. If this sets a precedent for how Boxes are to be designed moving forward, Duel Links may continue to thrive for a very long time, indeed.
Another theme that seems to be promoted here is the concept of engines - most of the legacy support added (along with the new archetypes Graydle, World Legacy and Orcust, among others) constitute viable engines meant to be splashed and foster deckmaking creativity, whilst also having a balanced array of standalone offerings.
Finally, adding the Ritual Summoning bundle in the Shop and releasing Cyber Petit Angel from the banlist makes it look like Konami wants to push Ritual Summoning back in the spotlight, but it will remain to be seen how the meta evolves from here.
Overall, this is one of the most exciting releases over the past year, and it would be a shame to skip this box. It’s hard to review a Main Box especially one as stacked as this one
Tell us your own thoughts on the Box in the comments below! The best quality review/first impression will be featured on the site!