Duel Links Meta

Archfiends Guide

Table of Contents


Introduction

In this guide I will go over a list of current viable Archfiend builds, their cards, matchup strengths and weaknesses, as well as general advice while playing this archetype. Archfiends are very powerful in the hands of a skilled player and can devastate an opponent’s resources while bolstering your own. The deck is unphased by your opponent’s destruction effects. In fact, we encourage them due to cards like Call of the Archfiend and Archfiend’s Roar allowing us to constantly replenish ourselves from the grave and retain board presence with one of the most imposing deck bosses in the Duel Links meta game.

It should be noted that each of the 3 current main builds all focus on different plays, set-ups, and seek out different cards throughout the duel. Which build you go after is entirely dependent on your preferred playstyle and the type of deck that you value the most.


Current Builds

Currently, Archfiends make the most use out of 3 builds:

  • Dark Worlds
    Dark Worlds and Archfiends have combined to create a true horror from below. This deck is a glass cannon - meaning it foregoes nearly all defense (other than what Call of the Archfiend can provide) and applies immense pressure on your opponent because of the explosive combos. Your opponent may think they are out of the water when they survive a burst from Reign-Beaux, Overlord of Dark World only to find out they must deal with Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror and Call as well.

    • Skills: Duel, standby! and Restart


  • LP Boost α
    LP Boost a Archfiends are the 2nd way to play this archetype. This deck focuses on sustained burst plays that control the opponent’s board while also retaining presence with Emperor and Archfiend Empress. LP Boost allows us to avoid most OTKs in the meta as well as giving us access to Card of the Soul to pull Emperor/Empress from the deck.

    • Skill: LP Boost a


  • Needlebug Nest
    Needlebug Nest provides the third way to play this archetype. Many of the core cards are still the same as LP Boost, but this version is able to quickly flood their grave with large monsters and then combo them with Call/Roar right away. This version offers large OTK potential, but can also fall victim to poor mills. However, it is regarded currently as the most competitive list.

    • Skill: Restart



Optimized Decks


Dark World Build by Mewf

skill Duel, standby!
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Snoww,%20Unlight%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Snoww,%20Unlight%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Snoww,%20Unlight%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Trance%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Trance%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Ceruli,%20Guru%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Ceruli,%20Guru%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Ceruli,%20Guru%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Reign-Beaux,%20Overlord%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Reign-Beaux,%20Overlord%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Reign-Beaux,%20Overlord%20of%20Dark%20World
Duel Links Card: Dark%20World%20Dealings
Duel Links Card: Dark%20World%20Dealings
Duel Links Card: Dark%20World%20Dealings
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend


LP Boost α Build by Mewf

skill LP Boost a
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Snipe%20Hunter
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Empress
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Empress
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Cavalry
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Cavalry
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Cavalry
Duel Links Card: Card%20of%20the%20Soul
Duel Links Card: Card%20of%20the%20Soul
Duel Links Card: Card%20of%20the%20Soul
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Archfiend's%20Roar
Duel Links Card: Archfiend's%20Roar
Duel Links Card: Archfiend's%20Roar
Duel Links Card: Fiend%20Griefing


Needlebug Nest Build by Whybona

skill Restart
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Lyla,%20Lightsworn%20Sorceress
Duel Links Card: Lyla,%20Lightsworn%20Sorceress
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Empress
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Empress
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Cavalry
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Cavalry
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Cavalry
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Archfiend's%20Roar
Duel Links Card: Archfiend's%20Roar
Duel Links Card: Archfiend's%20Roar
Duel Links Card: Fiend%20Griefing
Duel Links Card: Fiend%20Griefing
Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest
Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest



Deck Cores

Dark World Hybrid
This version does not have much in the way of tech options, but the core card ratios can be tweaked.

  • 3 x Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror
  • 3 x Call of the Archfiend
  • 2-3 x Dark World Dealings
  • 2-3 x Trance Archfiend
  • 2-3 x Snoww, Unlight of Dark World
  • 2-3 x Reign-Beaux, Overlord of Dark World
  • 2-3 x Ceruli, Guru of Dark World

LP Boost α
This list is capable of using multiple tech slots depending on the situation at hand.

  • 3 x Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror
  • 3 x Call of the Archfiend
  • 3 x Archfiend’s Roar
  • 1-2 x Fiend Griefing
  • 3 x Card of the Soul
  • 1-2 x Archfiend Empress
  • 2-3 x Archfiend Cavalry
  • 0-2 x Snipe Hunter
  • 0-2 x Sphere Kuriboh

Needlebug Nest
The rest of the space in the deck are tech slots.

  • 3 x Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror
  • 3 x Call of the Archfiend
  • 3 x Archfiend’s Roar
  • 3 x Needlebug Nest
  • 2-3 x Archfiend Empress
  • 3 x Archfiend Cavalry
  • 0-2 x Invader of Darkness
  • 0-2 x Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
  • 0-2 x Fiend Griefing

Core Cards

This section will cover the relevant monsters and traps the deck uses.

Monster Core

Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Emperor,%20the%20First%20Lord%20of%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Empress
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Cavalry
Duel Links Card: Invader%20of%20Darkness

Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror
Archfiend Emperor is this deck’s boss. He boasts a large statline, can destroy any card on the field once per turn by banishing an Archfiend card (including traps) from the grave or your hand, and can also be summoned without cost from your hand by reducing his stats in half. Granted, he is destroyed during the end phase of that turn, but that only sets up our plays.

Archfiend Empress
Archfiend Empress boasts considerable stats like the Emperor does. However, we use her in conjunction with Roar which will then trigger her ability to revive an Emperor in the grave at full strength. If Empress is on the field with Emperor, he can rush headlong into anything (including cards like Sea Stealth Attack and Super Rush Headlong) and she will activate her other ability to banish a monster from the grave and protect Emperor from destruction.

Archfiend Cavalry
Cavalry is a 1900 beater that is used as fuel for Emperor, fuel for Call, and fuel for Roar. Roar or any other card effect that destroys Cavalry will trigger his Empress-like effect of summoning one of your bosses from the grave at maximum power.

Trap cards

Duel Links Card: Call%20of%20the%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Archfiend's%20Roar
Duel Links Card: Fiend%20Griefing

Call of the Archfiend
Call of the Archfiend is an amazing continuous trap card that allows us to trade one fiend in hand for any of our high-level fiends in the grave. Additionally, our monsters are not tied to this trap card in any way. This card generates offense as well as defense for the deck.

Archfiend’s Roar
Archfiend’s Roar allows us to, at the cost of 500 LP, special summon 1 Archfiend from our grave. This card allows us to trigger both Cavalry and Empress’ effects, saves us from potential OTKs, as well as helping us push for our own.

Fiend Griefing
Fiend Griefing is more viable in this meta than ever before. Aside from being able to chain to certain effects and disrupt our opponent’s graveyard (i.e. chaining it to Red-Eyes Spirit to send a Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon back to the deck, sending Rose Lover back, Fishborg Planter, Citadel Whale, etc.), Griefing also allows us to thin our deck and send any fiend of our choice to the grave to set up our combo plays.


Tech cards

There are currently a number of solid tech cards for the builds that can fit them in.

  1. Chaos Hunter
  2. Ante (Sets up Griefing and leaves the opponent at 3k LP)
  3. Dark World Dealings (Sets grave and thins deck)
  4. Sphere Kuriboh (Protection from OTK plays and ECon takes)
  5. Relinkuriboh (In the Needlebug Nest build this sees the most value)
  6. Invader of Darkness (To shut down quick play spells such as ECon)
  7. Advance Draw (Normal summon Emperor, pop card, draw 2)
  8. Snipe Hunter (Discards useless Card of the Souls, sets grave, additionally can use a card to pop, then Emperor can use the same card for his effect when it is in the grave)
  9. Escape from the Dark Dimension (Banish an Emperor or Empress with Emperors effect to then special summon)
  10. Gravity Lash (This card is a perfect side deck choice against Cyber Angels)
  11. Monster Gate (Tribute a monster to special summon a random from the deck; has the capability of tributing a Cavalry or Lyla and pulling an Emperor or Empress straight onto the field)
  12. Skill Successor (The perfect mill card without losing any value in the grave)

Playstyle

Dark World hybrid aside, the goal of Archfiends is to consistently retain a board presence with large monsters that do anything from destroy opponent resources (Emperor) to protecting your own (Empress). Typically, the goal is to set your grave as fast as possible with your boss monsters and get to your Call of the Archfiend and Archfiend’s Roar quickly so you can begin to swarm the board while depleting your opponent. OTKs occur often with the deck due to the large attack of your monsters although there is not always a reason to push for it. Sometimes it is better to simply win the battle of resources over time and allow your board to put immense pressure on your opponent. It is also best to assume your opponent will go for ECon take plays and will attempt to Cosmic Cyclone your Call the first chance they get, so be mindful of the deck you are facing and plan two moves ahead. This deck favors preparation and not mindlessly popping your opponent’s cards. Rather, think about what would hurt your opponent the most without opening yourself up simultaneously. Sometimes the right move is just to normal summon Emperor with his effect, set backrow, and then let your opponent make the first move on the board.

When playing with Needlebug Nest, the goal is to Restart into a hand containing any one of your self mill cards and a Call or Roar to begin your graveyard plays. This deck plays from the graveyard as much if not more than actually playing from the hand. You shouldn’t panic when half of your deck is in the grave. That’s right where you want them to be.


Matchup Guide

Amazoness

Amazonesss can be tough with their swarming capabilities combined with Econs. The best way to start the match is to get Chaos Hunter rolling asap to prevent them from banishing any of your monsters with Amazoness Onslaught. Empress is usually the 2nd priority to get onto the field to protect Chaos Hunter unless they have Amazoness Swords Woman out. If Swords Woman is out, have Emperor focus on removing them followed by the Amazoness Princesses. Lava Golem is useful in this matchup much like it is against Geargia because of the swarm Amazons provide.
Escape from the Dark Dimension, Invader of Darkness, and Magic Deflector are also strong possibilities to side here.

Matchup Odds:
55-45 Our favor


Spellbooks

Spellbooks are one of the most difficult matchups in the current meta for fiends. Winning the matchup is not as simple as just getting Chaos Hunter or Invader onto the field when you are playing against the 30 card version. In order to have a fighting chance against books, fiends must have a very fast start between Chaos or Invader combined with Empress while also hoping books start off slow. Which is rare. This is entirely based on the 30 card version as fiends do not seem to struggle vs the 20 card version at all.

Matchup Odds:
25-75 Their favor


Masked Heroes

Masked Heroes are quick and explosive and will overwhelm Fiends very fast if able. The best way to win this matchup is too quickly Roar Empress into Invader or call him out of the grave. Once on the field, Invader buys time and shuts down the entire mask deck on his own aside from Vision HERO - Trinity. Once Invader is on the field, focus on getting an Emperor out to begin the push for game.

Matchup Odds:
60-40 In Fiends favor if we are running 2 Invaders.
35-65 Their favor without Invader.


Geargias

This match is a complete coin toss and depends entirely on who goes first and who opens more broken. While it is possible for Geargia anchor to actually help us with its destruction effect, it can also make Empress miss timing. Because of attacker, we generally will only get 1 use out of call of arch. It’s important in this matchup to use emperor’s effect almost exclusively on monster removal (their face up monsters). Additionally, archfiend giant sees value here that he doesn’t in other matchups as his effect to pay 500lp and remain on the field can harm geargias after they used anchor’s effect. Another solid side deck card in this match is lava golem. 2 copies should be enough to shut down geargia after a ties of the brethren play. Ensure that you have used needlebug nest in geargias draw phase so you have roar or call targets for when attacker uses it’s effect.

Matchup Odds:
50-50


Aliens

The key to defeating Aliens is to focus on monster removal. Less Aliens play Brainwashing Beam now and that heavily plays to our advantage. The key is to watch for ECon take plays and keep track of their A-Counters.

Matchup Odds:
55-45 Our favor


Sylvans

The real reason we are here. Use Emperor or Snipe Hunter to remove any of their set monsters to deny them their effect. The key here is to play around/through Ultimate Providence or Divine Wrath. Be sure to watch for ECon take plays as well. Consider side decking Fragrance Storm to further improve odds versus Sylvans. The destruction effect is nice, but the additional draw advantage is highly valuable since Sylvans will undoubtedly side deck hard against Archfiends.

Match Up Odds:
80-20 Our favor


Cyber Angels

Whoever goes second has the largest advantage here. All of our bosses are bigger, but a boosted/protected Saffira, Queen of Dragons or Cyber Angel Dakini can cause major problems. Snipe Hunter is a gamble, but he can steal games by taking out protection spells and big monsters in one turn, or by taking out a protection spell and letting Emperor pop the monster. Once the boosted monster is gone, it is easy to pick these guys off. LP Boost α shines the most in this match. Gravity Lash, Skill Successor, Sphere Kuriboh, and Relinkuriboh are all very valuable cards in this matchup.

Matchup Odds:
45-55


Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon

REZ unfortunately gains advantage if we pop any monster other than REZ itself. Therefore, the goal in this matchup is to target their backrow until REZ is on the board. Again, we are bigger, however an ECon take play using Gozuki almost certainly spells our demise. Ensure you chain Griefing to their Red-Eyes Spirit whenever you can. Doing so nearly guarantees a win.

Match Up Odds:
50-50


Gaia Plate Magnets

This deck is almost entirely unphased by our destruction effects as it plays to their advantage. Both of their deck bosses are bigger (Gaia Plate the Earth Giant’s ability to cut our stats in half) and they can pull them quickly. They run Powerful Rebirths so monster destruction typically does not phase them and if you target their backrow it is usually a chainable ECon or Rebirth anyways. Pray they brick because this is the only deck we truly fear.

Matchup Odds:
30-70 Strongly their favor


Sea Stealth Attack

Use Fiend Griefing to disrupt their Fishborg Planter and Citadel Whale from the grave plays, Emperor + Empress on board near guarantees a win due to Empress protecting Emperor from SSA when he attacks into a Whale. Use Emperor’s effect to force banish and open their board.

Matchup Odds:
60-40 Our favor


Fishes

This is again dependent on who goes second and who draws what. Call this a coin toss. We can easily overpower any of their monsters, but an early Golden Flying Fish + Oyster Meister combo can clear our entire board with relative ease.

Matchup Odds:
50-50


Dinosaurs

You’re bigger. You’re badder. You make their cards go boom. Look out for ECons, but do not be concerned with things like Super Rush Headlong.

Matchup Odds:
65-35 Our favor


Mill

You can hard brick and still win this most of the time because they will set our grave for us. Just avoid using your own mill cards, let them burn resources doing it for you, remove their monsters, and swing on them whenever possible.

Matchup Odds:
80-20 Our favor


Burn

Simply watch for Lava Golem (although you can use him as fodder for Advance Draw if need be). Free win.

Matchup Odds:
90-10 Our favor


Destiny Heroes

Unfortunately for us, this deck typically runs 3 Enemy Controllers as well as 3 Cosmic Cyclones and quickly puts pressure on us with their insane draw power. Griefing is a shining card here as it can disrupt their graveyard and send Destiny HERO - Celestial back to the deck. It is best to focus solely on monster removal in this matchup and to try and bait their Cyclones early to protect your Call of the Archfiend that you will certainly need to win.

Matchup Odds:
50-50 In their favor


Mirror Match

Archfiends always win this matchup. Whoever establishes their board first nearly always wins this match.

Matchup Odds:
100% In our favor


Conclusion

Archfiends boast 2 of the biggest bosses in the current meta and really shine against decks weak to monster removal (rip Glad Beasts). Initially, the deck was not constructed correctly and it took us many hours to get where we are today - finally feeling confident and competitive in the current meta. If played correctly and moves are properly planned in advance, Archfiends can absolutely devastate any opponent they encounter. It has also benefitted us greatly to see Sylvans make the push into the tier list like they have. We may in fact be the only true hope of stopping their evil attempt at conquering the world as we know it.

Thanks

To the following players that have stood by this archetype with me since the beginning, helped push the decks forward with the meta, and spent thousands of combined hours testing, thank you and I cannot wait to add more to this as we continue to grow.

Nidoblast, Tekkeun, Wayne Kenoff, Race, Sektor, Davidoff, Chilah, Jan, Mewf

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