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Ancient Gear Guide

Overview

The Ancient Gear archetype debuted in Duel Links in October 2017 with the launch of the event Dr. Crowler’s Tricky Tests! At the time, Ancient Gears were used in control decks in tandem with Sergeant Electro to be a nuisance to heavy backrow decks. As the meta sped up, the niche of Ancient Gears became outdated and the deck was powercrept off the tier list. However, Ancient Gears received meta defining support in February 2019 with the release of Ancient Gear Awakening structure deck, giving the deck much needed power to allow it to compete with the other top tier decks.

About the Author

Hello! My name is Gregulator and I’m the author of the Ancient Gear Guide on DLM. When I was first introduced to Duel Links, I was drawn to the Ancient Gear archetype by their easy access and cool artwork. It was my very first King of Games decklist and helped me learn how to play the game. Between Ancient Gears’ release and the time of this guide’s publication, I’ve become increasingly involved within the Duel Links community. I irregularly participate in tournaments but I have topped an MCS and multiple Meta Weeklies and won a handful of Anytime tournaments. I actively play in Clan Wars and Team Wars for Animal Plays. It is out of confidence and love for the deck that I decided to write this guide, to share my perspective on the deck and its place in our meta and to help newer players get their foot in the door, just like I did many months ago.

Introduction

Today, Ancient Gears are a beatdown oriented deck focused on swarming the field with Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon (AGRD) to push for fast OTK or controlling the field with access to their multiple backrow destruction while searching their pieces for next turn OTKs. Ancient Gear’s strength as a deck comes from Ancient Gear Wyvern and Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon’s effect to deny the activation of monster effects upon attack declaration, ignoring Sphere Kuriboh, Gale Lizard, Dawn Knight, Secret Six Samurai - Fuma, all Subterror Behemoth Flip effects and effects that trigger by battle destruction like Delta The Magnet Warrior and Sangan. Ancient Gear decks are also equipped with backrow destruction to be used both offensively and defensively, allowing for flexible plays against an assortment of playstyles. These effects have proven to be strong and helped shape the meta to what it currently is today.

The goal of this guide will be to introduce the core of an Ancient Gear deck, discuss relevant tech cards, provide sample decks, highlight combos and plays, and analyze common matchups.


Skills


Core Cards

Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon (2-3x):

Duel Links Card: Ancient%20Gear%20Reactor%20Dragon

Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon (AGRD) is the boss monster of the deck. AGRD boasts equally powerful attack and defense at 3000 apiece. On attack declaration, the opponent is not able to activate spells, traps, or monster effects, giving AGRD immunity to most battle traps and Sphere Kuriboh. Its additional effect allows the player upon successfully attacking, regardless if it survived or not, to destroy a Spell/Trap on the field. This grants the player to either destroy the opponent’s backrow or destroy Geartown/Ancient Gear Fortress to snowball and swarm the field with more monsters. These traits make AGRD one of the top boss monsters of the current meta.

Ancient Gear Wyvern (3x):

Duel Links Card: Ancient%20Gear%20Wyvern

Ancient Gear Wyvern (Wyvern) is the main normal summon of the deck. Upon summon, Wyvern allows the player to add one “Ancient Gear” card from the deck to the hand, excluding itself. This effect provides consistent access to both Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon or Ancient Gear Fortress (Fortress) which open up for big plays the following turn. Wyvern shares the effect with AGRD that monster effects cannot be activated upon attack declaration but does not have the built in spell/trap immunity AGRD has. Wyvern’s effect prevents the user from setting cards after it was summoned, so it’s important to set cards prior to Wyvern’s normal summon.

Geartown (3x):

Duel Links Card: Geartown

Geartown is the field spell for the deck and the primary card to enable the special summon of Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon. Geartown allows the summon of any Ancient Gear monster for one less tribute and when it is destroyed, allows you to summon an Ancient Gear monster from your hand, deck, or graveyard. The destruction of Geartown is the main enabler of many OTK pushes for Ancient Gear decks and it is a primary focus of the deck. An important note is Geartown can and will miss the timing if it is destroyed Chain Link 2 or higher.

Ancient Gear Fortress (1-2x):

Duel Links Card: Ancient%20Gear%20Fortress

Ancient Gear Fortress (Fortress) functions as a blanket protection card while serving as a combo piece for swarming the field. Its first effects grants Ancient Gear monsters immunity from targeting effects on the turn they’re summoned. Secondly, it prevents the opponent from responding to the activation of Ancient Gear cards and effects. This useful protection ensures Ancient Gear Wyvern cannot be Floodgate Trap Holed, as opponents cannot respond to Wyvern’s effect to add an “Ancient Gear” card from the deck to the hand. Lastly, Fortress’ graveyard effect allows the player to special summon an Ancient Gear monster from the hand or graveyard. This effect extends plays for potential OTK by summoning AGRD or builds advantage by summoning Wyvern. A key difference to note is Fortress’ destruction effect takes place if destroyed. The graveyard effect will prock regardless where its destruction in the chain took place meaning this card cannot “miss the timing”.


Spell/Trap Destruction

Duel Links Card: Breaker%20the%20Magical%20Warrior
Duel Links Card: Galaxy%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Double%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Twister

The strength of Ancient Gears relies on their versatile spell and trap removal. These cards are used to destroy Geartown or Ancient Gear Fortress to special summon Ancient Gear monsters to swarm the field. Additionally, they can be used to remove the opponent’s backrow, limiting the disruption options for the opponent, ensuring Ancient Gear monsters can be safely summoned. Each card carries their own niche. Galaxy Cyclone is often the best card to facilitate plays in a general sense. Double Cyclone is strong versus backrow decks. Twister is a great quickplay and stronger in formats with dominant field spells or continuous spell and traps. Breaker the Magical Warrior is best used when spell negation is common in the meta.

Backrow and Support

Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Drowning%20Mirror%20Force
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Dimensional%20Prison
Duel Links Card: Mirror%20Wall
Duel Links Card: Concentrating%20Current

Ancient Gear decks can be tailored to play a control focused or aggressive OTK style depending on the format. The supporting backrow techs give Ancient Gear decks their identity. Slower decks often use disruptive cards while faster paced decks opt to use cards to help facilitate their OTKs.These are tech options that are interchangeable with one another and are highly format dependent.


Tips & Combos

  • Geartown can “miss the timing” if destroyed Chain Link 2 or higher. This occurs when a destruction effect is chained to either the activation of Geartown or to a destruction effect, like Galaxy Cyclone or Breaker the Magical Warrior’s effect. To prevent this, it is advised to let Geartown resolve before using a card like Double Cyclone or Unending Nightmare to destroy it. This is a common strategy for dealing with Geartown on the opponent’s end.

  • Ancient Gear Fortress can never “miss the timing”. It is safe to destroy this card at anytime to activate its graveyard effect.

  • Ancient Gear Fortress can only protect Ancient Gear monsters while it is faceup on the field. Monsters summoned before this card’s resolution are protected if Fortress successfully resolves. Be mindful this protection only lasts for the turn they’re summoned and expires after the end phase.

  • Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon’s effect to destroy a spell/trap card is live even if it is destroyed by battle. A neat combo involves suiciding Reactor Dragon into a monster and using the graveyard effect to destroy a Geartown or Ancient Gear Fortress to revive the same Reactor Dragon. This can be done when the opponent’s monster is equal to Reactor’s or Reactor’s attack has been lowered by a card effect like World Legacy Clash or Asymmetaphys


  • There is no window of activation for opponent’s cards in between Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon attacks. During the battle phase, this can be taken advantage of by destroying a Geartown or Fortress to special summon an additional Reactor Dragon with no window to respond in between attacks.


Sample Decks

Recommended List, 1st Place DLE Battle Phase #11 and Homie Cup #11

Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech
Duel Links Card: Stardust%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Armades,%20Keeper%20of%20Boundaries
Duel Links Card: Stardust%20Charge%20Warrior
Duel Links Card: Giganticastle
Side Deck:
Duel Links Card: Karakuri%20Ninja%20mdl%20339%20%22Sazank%22
Duel Links Card: Karakuri%20Ninja%20mdl%20339%20%22Sazank%22
Duel Links Card: Double%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Drowning%20Mirror%20Force
Duel Links Card: Drowning%20Mirror%20Force
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror

New Player / F2P Friendly Ancient Gear Starter Deck


Matchups

  • NOTE: (Replays Will Try to Open the App)

Darklords

As of the time of this guide, Valhalla Calling has introduced Darklord support in the form of Banishment of the Darklords to help establish the deck as a dominant force in the metagame. The matchup is a difficult one for Ancient Gears for three reasons. First, Darklords consistently swarm the field with multiple high attack monsters. Coupled with Beatdown, Darklords can make boards with multiple monsters that can swing over Reactor Dragon. Darklords can negate Reactor Dragon’s effect and gain a large amount of life points from it. This makes it difficult to OTK as it stifles AG’s swarm potential and makes it difficult to OTK Darklords. Lastly, Darklord Tezcatlipoca is a hand trap that can be discarded to protect Darklords from being destroyed by battle or card effect, similar to Neos Fusion and Secret Six Samurai - Fuma. These three factors make it difficult to win consistently versus Darklords.

To win against Darklords, Ancient Gear players must rely on outside decks and above average hands. Battle Phase oriented cards like Wall of Disruption and World Legacy Clash can offer some assistance as it lowers the high attack of Darklord monsters, assisting in OTKing. Enemy Controller can be used to assist in OTKing and plays around Tez. If Tez is not in hand, Treacherous Trap Hole can be useful to assist in clearing boards. For defense position Darklords, Forbidden Chalice can be useful to negate effects and to prevent copying Darklord traps in the graveyard, as a quick stun can make the difference in winning or losing.

Side Deck/Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Debunk
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Chalice


Triamids

Triamids are a control deck that utilizes interactions between Triamid monsters and Triamid field spells mostly for board control. Because Triamids utilize field spells and multiple trap cards in their builds, Ancient Gears have an inherent favorable matchup. However, Traimid trap lineups may be teched to have favorable matchups versus Ancient Gear so proceed with caution.

The key to winning versus Triamid is to force nonoptimal cycling of field spells and to beatdown over their monsters before Triamid Dancer can boost them. The main interactions to be aware of include Triamid monster quick effects that allow field spells to be activated from the deck by sending an existing field spell from the field to the graveyard. Since this is a quick effect, using cards like Breaker the Magical Warrior and Galaxy Cyclone from the grave are ineffective methods of dealing with Triamid Field Spells. In this instance, it is best to chain quick-play spells such as Double Cyclone or Twister to reliably remove a field spell. One may question why this is important when Ancient Gears have inherent backrow destruction. Triamids can protect their field spells and backrow with Triamid Kingolem. Kingolem prevents Reactor Dragon’s effect to destroy a spell or trap until the end of damage step. This creates a situation where neither play may activate a card involving an attack with Reactor into a Triamid monster. Thus, all cycling of field spells from the opponent must be done before attack declaration and Ancient Gear players may not activate a double cyclone after attack declaration. This interaction is annoying as Reactor Dragon cannot destroy the opposing field spell nor swarm the field by destroying Geartown or Ancient Gear Fortress.

Dealing with Triamid backrow may pose a challenge depending on their tech choices. Backrow selections are meta dependent. Smart Triamid players will activate continuous traps like Triamid Pulse or Mirror Wall in the draw phase to avoid Galaxy Cyclone. If this does not happen, it is likely a Floodgate Trap Hole, Paleozoic Canadia, or Bad Aim. It’s advised to use smart judgement and read delays to figure out the backrow. Controlling the Triamid monsters and using disruptive traps like Canadia and Floodgate can benefit the Ancient Gear player, allowing for a seamless beatdown strategy.

Side Deck/Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Double%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Twister
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole


Magnet Warriors

Magnet Warrior decks are annoying for Ancient Gears. Magnet decks focus on swarming the field with Level 3 electromagnets that aide in searching the archetype or assisting in swarming the field. The electromagnets tribute themselves to special summon Level 4 magnet warriors, most notably Delta the Magnet Warrior, which mills magnets from the deck into the graveyard.

Threats to Ancient Gears include Berserkion The Electromagna Warrior’s non-OPT effect to destroy a card on the field by banishing a Magnet Warrior from the graveyard. Using Paleozoic Canadia to flip Berserkion face down is a decent way to disrupt this effect and beat over it using Reactor Dragon. Using Reactor Dragon to beat over Berserkion prevents its floating effect. If possible, aim to not use Ancient Gear Castle as the attack boost is relevant to help against defense position Block Dragon. Because Wyvern and Reactor force Magnets into preemptively using their effects, OTKing with Enemy Controller becomes easier to do. Likewise, piercing a defense position Delta and swarming with special summons can lead to fast wins. Lastly, it is advised to be aware of That Grass Looks Greener mills as Magnet Conversion can special summon a Magnet Warrior from the banish pile onto the field and halt any OTKs.

Side Deck/Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash

Spellbooks

Spellbooks are considered a direct counter to Ancient Gears and are arguably the most difficult matchup. Spellbook decks utilize the Spellbook engine to support their boss monster Silent Magician. Silent Magician’s oppressive effect negates the activation of a spell card once per turn. This effect floodgates a core part of the Ancient Gear strategy, as most means of special summoning Reactor Dragon require the use of a spell like Galaxy Cyclone or Double Cyclone. To use the special summoning effect of Ancient Gear Fortress, it must be destroyed in a spell/trap zone, which is not fulfilled if Silent Magician negates its activation. Lastly, Spellbook of Fate is a non-targeting removal card that can banish troublesome cards like Reactor Dragon or Geartown, further hindering the plays Ancient Gear players can make.

In order to defeat Spellbooks, Ancient Gear players generally rely on tech cards to deal with Silent Magician. Disruption with Paleozoic Canadia or Floodgate Trap Hole to flip Silent Magician facedown is a common strategy used to regain freedom to use spell cards for combos. Spot removal like Bad Aim and Treacherous Trap Hole can remove the spellcaster from the board, either a Spellbook Magician of Prophecy or Breaker the Magical Warrior. Doing so can prevent the opponent from summoning a Silent Magician to begin with, as its summoning condition requires the tribute of a spellcaster type monster. It is unadvised to use such removal on Silent Magician itself unless forced to do so. Upon destruction, SIlent Magician floats into Silent Magician LV8 which is naturally stronger than any Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon. Spellbook players will attempt to crash their Silent Magician to summon Level 8 when low on resources. Thus, it’s important to have follow up cards to switch Silent Magician LV8 into defense position, like an additional Canadia or Sphere Kuriboh in the hand, allowing Wyvern or Reactor to attack over it. Battle traps can be niche choices to deal with Silent Magician. Drowning Mirror Force and Dimensional Prison can be used to clear Silent Magician from the board, but experienced players can often outplay these traps, so use them with caution.

Lastly, it’s important to not overcommit too strongly to the board unless an OTK is present. If Ancient Gear players devote too many resources to push through negates and fate and fail to OTK, Spellbook players typically have an easier time recovering, as summoning LV8 can win the game if the AG player is low in card advantage. If possible, forcing Spellbook players to use their Spellbook of Fate on Wyvern can help in long games, as Wyvern can naturally swing over defense position Silent Magician and prevent the float into LV8.

Side Deck/Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Dimensional%20Prison
Duel Links Card: Drowning%20Mirror%20Force


Desperado

Desperado or Coin Flip decks focus on turboing out Desperado Barrel Dragon and the dark machine type monsters either facilitate the summon, offer board control, or generate card advantage. The strength for Ancient Gears in this matchup is preventing Desperado from hitting the field to begin with, as Wyvern and Reactor Dragon both deny Desperado’s special summon effect in the hand from triggering when they attack and destroy DARK machines. While this may seem easy to do so, the matchup can snowball out of favor if the Ancient Gear player fails to control the board.

They key in the matchup is to establish a board to deny the summon of Desperado. Paleozoic Canadia and Floodgate Trap Hole can be used to keep BM-4 Blast Spider from using its effect. Blast spider itself is a huge threat as Ancient Gear Castle is activated if going first, so without a disruption card, Blast Spider can get Desperado onto the field. However, Blast Spider’s defense is 2200, which means only Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon can swing over it.

When Desperado is already on the field, the goal for the player is to summon Reactor Dragon with protection from Ancient Gear Fortress. Fortress will protect Reactor from Desperado’s effect and will guard vs targeting cards like Canadia, World Legacy Clash, and Bad Aim. Desperado decks often use Bad Aim and Dust Tornado or Cosmic Cyclone in the side deck, so it is advised to not play into those cards if it can be avoided. For the Ancient Gear player, side deck cards like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror can turn off the effects of all DARK monsters, so it must be dealt with by the Desperado player and is often a strong side deck card. Lastly, World Legacy Clash can be chained to Desperado’s effect and force the Desperado to destroy itself if and only if a heads is rolled and it’s the only monster faceup on the field.

Side Deck/Tech Choices:

Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror


Blue Eyes

Blue Eyes is a difficult but not impossible matchup for Ancient Gears. Blue Eyes is a battle centric deck centered around special summoning multiple Blue-Eyes White Dragon onto the field for aggressive pushes. The key enabler is using Cosmo Brain to tribute effect monsters like The W0hite Stone of Ancients and Snipe Hunter to summon “Blue Eyes” monsters from the hand or deck. In the end phase, Ancients will special summon a “Blue Eyes” from the deck.

When playing versus Blue Eyes, it’s usually easiest to prevent Blue Eyes from hitting the field to begin with, rather than dealing with them on the field. Using Paleozoic Canadia to disrupt Cosmo Brain plays can stall for a turn in order to set up a Reactor play. When swinging into set monsters, it’s important to either OTK or have resources to deal with a followup one to two Blue Eyes monsters. Destroying a facedown Ancients with an Ancient Gear Wyvern or Reactor does not stop the end phase effect. However, siding into Skull Meister can negate this effect while Ally of Justice Cycle Reader can banish it and other Blue Eyes monsters before the effect activates.

An important aspect of this match is Ancient Gear Castle’s attack boost. If AG Castle stays on the field, it allows Reactor Dragon to beat over all Blue Eyes Monsters and Cosmo Brain, making it a valuable asset for this matchup. When unable to OTK, it is advised to have follow up for either a Snipe Hunter, Vermillion Dragon Mech, or Dragon Spirit of White Banish. Backrow cards like Drowning Mirror Force can punish Blue Eyes players who overcommit to the board while World Legacy Clash can be used in the damage step to “negate” an attack while reducing an additional monster by 3000 attack when banishing reactor. Lastly, a well timed Sphere Kuriboh to put Cosmo Brain into defense mode can tilt a game heavily in favor of the AG player.

Side Deck/Tech Choices:

Duel Links Card: Drowning%20Mirror%20Force
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Skull%20Meister
Duel Links Card: Ally%20of%20Justice%20Cycle%20Reader
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole


Six Samurai

Six Samurais pose an unfavorable matchup for Ancient Gears. It’s important to recognize the threatening aspects of Six Samurais in order to properly play against them. The three major concerns Six Samurai poses against Ancient Gears are:

  1. Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En The core strategy of Ancient Gears revolves around the destruction of Geartown to special summon Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon from the deck. Shi En poses an obstacle as once per turn, it can negate a spell or trap for free. Shi En’s effect negates all common methods of Geartown destruction with exception of Breaker the Magical Warrior.

  2. Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi Ancient Gear decks are very resource intensive and Enishi poses a major threat. Its effect to banish two Six Samurai monsters from the graveyard to return a card to the hand essentially makes committing to the board very difficult. It’s of utmost importance to play around Enishi and prevent his summon, as its effect is a quick effect.

  3. Six Style - Dual Wield Dual Wield is an incredibly powerful card that is almost always live versus Ancient Gears. Middle Age Mechs begins the AG player’s turn with Ancient Gear Castle, so any single card will make a Dual Wield live if the opponent has met the conditions. For this reason, committing to the board vs Shi En and any set is threatening, because without protection from Ancient Gear Fortress, any card can be bounced back to the hand, leaving open fields for follow-up OTK.

While these threats should not be taken lightly, Ancient Gears have access to a very strong boss monster in Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon. AGRD’s built in spell/trap destruction makes it very difficult to keep Shien's Dojo on the field long enough to summon Enishi from the deck. Additionally, AG Wyvern and RD prevent Fuma’s floating effect from activating, ensuring it cannot float into Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru to search for Enishi. Because Six Samurai players can establish very strong boards, there are different ways to approach the game depending on the coin flip to begin the duel.

Going First: When going first, it’s important to prevent the synchro summon of Shi En if possible at all. To prevent this, staple backrow such as Paleozoic Canadia can be used to halt a synchro temporarily for a turn. Cards like Twister and Double Cyclone should be used early on Shien's Dojo to deny the opponent a special summon from the deck, usually Secret Six Samurai - Fuma. When able to disrupt like this, it’s essential to keep resources up for an Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon summon, as without Enishi or Dual Wield, Six Samurai have few inherent outs to this card. When Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon is on the field, it’s important to not be completely left open to a Dual Wield play. Using this turn to potentially resolve an Ancient Gear Fortress can protect the card from being negated by Shi En as well as guarding following AG summons from targeting by Dual Wield or Enishi.

Going Second: Going second vs Shi En and/or a single Six Samurai monster can be menacing. Trap cards such as Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia can be useless to turn off Six Style-Dual Wield. When one Six Samurai is in face-up attack position with set cards, it’s advised to keep Dual Wield in mind. Turning off Dual Wield by using Enemy Controller to switch Shi En into defense position works. Because Shi En can negate one spell or trap per turn, the player must judge whether or not which card Shi En must negate. With Double Cyclone + Fortress, bait Shi En into negating Double Cylone, then use Enemy Controller to switch it into defense position. This turns off Dual Wield and allows a safe summon of Ancient Gear Wyvern and a safe resolution of Ancient Gear Fortress for follow-up. Be weary of leaving monsters in attack position, as the opponent may summon Fuma to crash and special summon Enishi or Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru to search Enishi.


Side Deck/Tech Choices:

Duel Links Card: Cipher%20Soldier
Duel Links Card: Karakuri%20Ninja%20mdl%20339%20%22Sazank%22
Duel Links Card: Breaker%20The%20Magical%20Warrior
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Twister
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole


Ancient Gears (Mirror Match)

Ancient Gear mirror matches are often decided by the player who can position the board to their advantage best. A few facets must first be taken into consideration, because they produce two different game states with equally viable and distinct win conditions. The first consideration is the skill, Middle Age Mechs (MAM). Ancient Gear Castle provides a 300 attack boost for all “Ancient Gear” monsters on the field. The presence of at least one castle on the field allows Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon to swing over opposing AGRD in defense position. This feature promotes active game states, where well timed offensive outbursts can outright win the game. A second consideration is Ancient Gear Fortress. Fortress denies targeting and prevents responses due to Wyvern’s effect. Without interruption, AGRD can achieve fast OTKs by swarming the field with lots of monsters. The final consideration is potential deckout and stall, fueled by a passive game state where AGRD is sitting in defensive position backed by multiple backrow and card advantage. With these considerations taken into account, a few strategies exist in the mirror match to satisfy a viable win condition.

The first path is an aggressive OTK approach. Strong hands enable swarming multiple monsters onto the field and can overwhelm the opponent if their board is weak. Summoning Ancient Gear Wyvern + Fortress can protect Ancient Gear monsters from disruption cards commonly found in AG decks, like Paleozoic Canadia. Be careful when deciding to go for game, as AG decks can either main or side deck cards like Skull Meister to prevent Geartown or Ancient Gear Fortress' graveyard effect from resolving. A well timed Skull Meister can leave a board open and vulnerable to a follow up reverse OTK if there is no contingency plan. When pushing for OTK, destroying the opponent’s back row can be beneficial if Enemy Controller is in hand, as both AGRD in defense or attack position can be exploited in the mirror match with one Castle on the field.

An alternative strategy to winning the mirror match is to play disruptive and wait patiently for windows to OTK. Slower builds relying on Floodgate Trap Hole and Canadia can stall for turns while combo pieces are accumulated. Popular cards like Skull Meister backed by backrow can successfully halt OTK pushes and leave the opponent drained. Chaining any form of destruction such as Double Cyclone, Bad Aim, or Unending Nightmare to force Geartown’s destruction on Chain Link 2. After the opponent is spent, it’s important to assess if any Ancient Gear Castle is needed. Destroying an opposing Castle can slow down an opposing summon of AGRD but also slow down any offensive momentum if an opposing one is summoned. Lastly, chainable backrow such as World Legacy Clash and Mirror Wall can either stall for a turn or provide protection to follow up with an OTK. The key to winning this stage is correctly identifying what part of the opposing engine poses the biggest threat to disrupt it.

When both players have exhausted resources, victory via deckout becomes a viable win condition. While this strategy is very slow, it can 100% win games if opposing outs are exhausted, including Enemy Controller and Treacherous Trap Hole. When going for deckout, it’s important to recognize and build a board in which any surprise out could occur. Most AG decks may have outs to 1 AGRD in defense position, but dealing with two can quite difficult. It is this reason why sometimes playing patiently and passively in an otherwise quite aggressive deck can pay off.

While the above paragraphs explore win conditions where both decks use the same skill Middle Age Mechs (MAM), other deck building choices exist to help win the mirror match. Skills such as The Tie that Binds offer an edge and allow players to apply more pressure as they have a consistent way of swinging over opposing AG monsters. Main decking multiple Enemy Controllers and playing cards such as Bad Aim can add extra outs to Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon, the first being an offensive out with econ take usually while the second is a more reactive card and can be situational. Likewise, System Down banishes all machine monsters at the cost of 1000 life points, and can be brutal as revival effects from Geartown and Fortress become obsolete.


Side Deck/Tech Choices:

Duel Links Card: Skull%20Meister
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Double%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole


Final Thoughts

Overall, Ancient Gears are a meta defining deck. AG’s strength in the battle phase make it a top tier deck in Duel Links. Ancient Gear is often portrayed as a gatekeeper of the metagame, preventing decks that rely on floating or monster effects in the battle phase from becoming top contenders. As such, Ancient Gear has sustained its place on the tier list since its introduction and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Although Ancient Gears playstyle may be described as linear, the deck’s strengths compensate for its predictability and its accessibility makes it a great introductory choice for new, returning, and veteran players alike.


Acknowledgements

  • My team and clan, Animal Plays - they’ve helped me grow into the player I am and I love them. I thank them for their support and encouragement while writing this guide.

  • Jonesy9027 - I would like to thank Jonesy for reviewing the guide and helping me format it for the website. He highlighted various areas of the guide where I could improve explanations and ultimately contributed to making the guide more new player friendly. A big shoutout.

  • Jadehex and RandomPl0x - same^

  • Lil Hormigon - Shoutouts to Lil Hormigon for assisting in gathering replays to showcase for the guide and piloting Ancient Gear to numerous wins and tournament tops.

  • Dkayed and Duel Links Meta - an excellent gathering place for the community to come together.


Perfectly formatted and uploaded by Jonesy9027.
Thumbnail designed and created by Jonesy9027. Kept up to date by Jadehex