As of November 11th, 2019, a flock of Blackwing support have finally landed into the world of Duel Links. Many key cards to the deck’s succession such as Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind, Blackwing - Steam the Cloak and viable synchro monsters were introduced. This guide is meant to both inform and persuade about the strength, consistency, and swarming capabilities in order to prove its spot on the tier list. What you will find in our guide are in-depth explanations regarding the archetype’s cards, knowledge of various matchups, and combos used to create a game-winning board.
Blackwings are extremely offensive, going in for quick games with the vast amount of swarming they can do. This deck heavily emphasizes the need to synchro summon for your major plays and with how easily searchable the archetype’s cards are. If you like high-octane offense, quick games and cool combos, this deck is for you!
Hello, I’m Moody. Many of you may recognize me from different Twitch streams or the DLM Discord, I’m always trying to help others when it comes to deck building as well as teaching how to play those decks.
Hello! I’m Blackwing-Dragon but most people call me Ronnie. I’ve been playing Yugioh as early as 2008 on an old website, DuelingNetwork. Ever since I took a break from the game up until Duel Links. I’ve played Blackwings as my favorite deck of any format and I’m so glad to see that this deck has finally been given some of the best support it can!
Hi, I’m Gnurrgard. I live in Germany and have been playing card games basically since my brother bought the Starter Deck Yugi when the game released here. I’ve had some success as a deckbuilder in both Gwent and Duel Links, most notably finding the Fortune Lady combo with my friend DoBa.
Sealed Tombs Ishizu’s Sealed Tombs may be considered a pseudo- Grit in this current meta. It allows a mostly guaranteed survival towards turn 3 if one is not able to set up correctly or is willing to pass, as many tiered decks are not given the chance to either OTK or even set up under the skill’s effect. With the introduction of Kiteroid to the meta, this skill also gained offensive utility, as it prevents the second damage reduction. Blackwings are not as affected by the skill compared to other decks, which is why we recommend it.
Harpies’ Hunting Ground The field spell Harpies’ Hunting Ground gives all your Blackwings a 200 ATK boost, but more importantly widens the search range of Black Whirlwind. Because Simoon can now search Blackwing - Bora the Spear and Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite, the skill enables more flexible combos with just 1 Simoon (more on that in the Combo section). If you don’t have the skill, you can use Peak Performance, but it’s highly advised to use Hunting Ground to not boost opposing Dragons, like Invoked Cocytus
Blackwing Rising If you really want to roleplay Crow, this skill can help as an attack boost for your Synchros. Note that the boost stays until the end of your opponents’ turn, which is a big advantage over skills like The Tie that Binds. Since the deck usually has access to high attack because of Chidori, skills that offer more utility are recommended.
See You Later! This skill can be used in tandem with Black Whirlwind to continue your searching and extend further in your plays. This can also be used to return Blackwings that were hit by a Floodgate Trap Hole or Paleozoic Canadia. Using a Blackwing - Bora the Spear or Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn with a Black Whirlwind activated, you can search Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind. Afterwards you can return the level 4 Blackwing in this example to your hand and proceed to activate Simoon’s effect in hand to continue searching out your deck.
Black Whirlwind (2-3x)
Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind (3x)
Blackwing - Bora the Spear (2-3x)Black Whirlwind as well as easy access to your level 7 synchros using a level 3 Blackwing Tuner. This card can also be special summoned more than once per turn so it can lead to consistent OTKs.
Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn (1-3x)Black Whirlwind. The only problem with Kris is he's restricted to being special summoned once per turn, so you don't want to end up with multiple copies in your hand. Still a staple card to use in the deck for its use as synchro material and a good normal summon. If you're on a budget, you can replace play a Kris instead of a third Bora. We prefer Bora due to not being once per turn. The sum of Bora and Kris should be 4-5.
Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind (1-3x)
Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall (1-2x)Floodgate Trap Hole. Should they Floodgate your special summoned Oroshi, you can normal summon another one, make a synchro play and use Oroshis effect to flip up the second one.
Blackwing - Harmattan the DustAssault Blackwing - Onimaru the Divine Thunder. He can also be used with Steam to make a level 8 synchro play.
Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite
Blackbird CloseRebirth of Parshath. The major differences are that Close negates only monster effects on the field, the cost is a blackwing monster on the field and finally you summon Black-Winged Dragon instead. Close can be activated from your hand if you control a Blackwing Synchro, reason to leave the smaller Blackwing monsters out on the field as cost.
Blackwing - Jin the Rain ShadowBlack Whirlwind. Due to this, you can combo off of a single Simoon without having to run Harpies' Hunting Ground, raising your decks floor. In Harpies' Hunting Ground lists you run a second Oroshi instead of Jin.
Blackwing - Gladius the Midnight SunHyper Psychic Riser. Gladius can be searched by any level 3 tuner under Harpies' Hunting Ground and enables the Hyper Psychic Riser opening. His restriction of only being summonable when you have exactly one Blackwing can make him awkward with Simoon sometimes.
Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn
Blackwing - Steam the Cloak (0-1x)
Blackwing - Blizzard the Far NorthBlackwing - Nothung the Starlight one day.
Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of HonorAssault Blackwing - Sohaya the Rain Storm. However, Vayu probably warrants a more dedicated build and does not fit in the current standard version. It is a card to look out for, though.
Delta Crow - Anti ReverseHey, Trunade! and Cosmic Cyclone are the better alternative for that role.
Hey, Trunade!Hey, Trunade! deals with Floodgate Trap Hole, Paleozoic Canadia, and Cosmic Cyclone in order to combo off and finish your opponent.
Treacherous Trap Hole
World Legacy Clash
Into the VoidInto the Void practically lowers your deck size, helping you to draw into key cards such as Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind, Hey, Trunade! or Blackbird Close. The downside is that it forces you to set Blackbird Close, making you vulnerable to Cosmic Cyclone. Also it might end up discarding extra normal summon monsters you have in hand. Also it forces you to go all-in this turn and not search possible follow up plays with Black Whirlwind.
Before activating this card, think about what you aim to draw. If you’re looking for Hey, Trunade! or a combo piece, use it at the beginning of your turn. If your combo is already set up and you’re looking for backrow, use it after you thinned your deck a bit (note that you need 3 cards in hand to activate this card).
Offerings to the DoomedOfferings to the Doomed works amazingly well with the skill Sealed Tombs as decks like Invoked and Darklords cannot function as easily when hit with both. Although Offerings skips one’s draw phase (A -1 in general card advantage), it’s considered acceptable as search cards like Blackwing - Pinaki the Waxing Moon and Black Whirlwind generate enough advantage to make up for it.
The downsides of Kiteroid are that he does not stop common Invoked OTKs unless you leave your field open on purpose, as they usually OTK over a monster. It also does not disrupt your opponent but merely gives you a turn. For Blackwings however, one turn is often enough, making Kiteroid a good choice in the defensive tech slot.
Artifact LanceaShiranui Spectralsword banishes as a card effect, so you can wait until activation. However, your opponent will keep his monsters in the graveyard and can attempt to use the effect again next turn. In the mirror, you need to use the effect in the draw phase, as Simoon will banish as a cost and chaining Lancea here would be too late.
Fiendish chain has become the staple backrow card of the meta (for anyone who can afford it).While we do have a more punishing effect negation at our disposal with Blackbird Close, Fiendish Chain is more versatile and can also stop continuous effects. It also frees up an extra deck slot, since we’re no longer obligated to run Black-Winged Dragon.
Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain ShowerBlackwing - Steam the Cloak to make some easy level 8 Synchros. Note that his effect is “soft-once-per-turn”, which means you can use the effect again if he leaves and re-enters the field.
Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe
Assault Blackwing - Chidori the Rain SprinklingInvoked Cocytus without Aleister boost or Darklord Ixchel, both of which are prevalent in the current meta. In late game, if this card is destroyed by any means you can float into your Blackwing Synchros, except Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe, mainly Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower.
Assault Blackwing - Onimaru the Divine ThunderBlackwing - Harmattan the Dust it's much easier to do so with a level 7 Blackwing and a level 3 tuner. Its effect to gain 3000 attack is only active when summoned using only synchro monsters.Most of the time this isn't worth the effort since you could have had a better board using the same cards. The main reason to summon this card is the destruction immunity. Use this in a version that runs Harmattan.
Assault Blackwing - Sohaya the Rain Storm
His second effect to resummon himself from the grave is useful for versions that run Vayu or Cattle Call, but these versions are not recommended.
Black-Winged DragonBlackbird Close in your deck. Similar to that of Rebirth of Parshath, Close is able to pull out a Synchro monster ignoring its usual summoning conditions by tributing a Blackwing monster you control. Blackbird Close is also only limited to negating a monster's effect on your opponent's side of the field.
Hyper Psychic RiserBlackwing - Gladius the Midnight Sun and is not compatible with Simoon, as he is an EARTH monster.
Ancient Fairy DragonAncient Fairy Dragon and Floodgate field spells such as Necrovalley and Summon Breaker was introduced by EmAyy in the MCS 24. With a level 3 and a level 4 Blackwing, you Synchro summon Ancient Fairy Dragon, destroy your Harpies’ Hunting Ground and search for whatever field spell you need for the matchup to lock your opponent out of playing. When it’s your turn again, you use Ancient Fairy Dragons effect again or bounce the field spell with Zephyros and start to combo.
Ancient Fairy Dragon has some anti-synergy with Simoon as it cannot be summoned under his condition and Simoon can’t be summoned should Ancient Fairy Dragon still be on the field.
We don’t advocate this version for ladder, as ladder is way more diverse than tournaments and it can be hard to choose the correct field spell without knowing what you’re up against. If you still want to try this version, we suggest only running 1 field spell that is best fit for the current meta and running a more generic tech instead of the second field spell.
DISCLAIMER: The following synchro monsters are included because they are DARK Synchros that can be summoned the same turn you used Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind’s effect, as its restriction locks you into DARK attribute Synchro monsters.
Red Dragon ArchfiendInvoked Cocytus (without Aleister the Invoker in hand), Darklord Ixchel, and Fortune Lady Every. Red Dragon Archfiend is one of the better level 8 Dark Synchro monsters, which is key to a full Blackwing combo involving sending your own level 7 synchro to the grave.
Dark End DragonRed Dragon Archfiend. It's also a tech monster to keep in mind should a deck with destruction protection emerge. Note that the token from Steam is WIND, so you can not make this with Raikiri + Token.
Thought Ruler ArchfiendEnemy Controller or World Legacy Clash. Other than that it's a strong 2700 beater, but cannot out the high defenses of Darklord Ixchel nor Invoked Cocytus.
EmAyy, First Place MCS 24
Tomvdelzen, Top 4 MW 103
Trapdexter, 2nd Place MW 103
Sakura, 1st place DLM Point Battle #28
There’s been a lot of discussion about playing 2 or 3 Black Whirlwind. Some lists opt to cut the 3rd Whirlwind to run another tech card, so it’s a choice of cutting consistency for more power.
What do I play on ladder? For ladder I recommend 3 Whirlwind, as on ladder you will encounter a wide variety of decks and you want to focus on what your deck is doing while doing it as consistently as possible.
What do I play in Tournaments or Duel Rooms? In a more condensed meta like tourneys or duel rooms, you can opt to play a tech card instead of the 3rd WW, but you have to make the right call on what tech card you want to be using for the current state of the meta. If you’re not confident in your ability to make these reads, you should probably just go 3 WW.
TL;DR: Run 3 WW unless you know what you’re doing.
Standard Combo: Simoon + Bora/Kris + Any Other Blackwing
Normal Summon Steam and use Black Whirlwind to search for Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall
Special Summon Oroshi, use it and Simoon to Synchro Summon Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower
Special Summon your Bora/Kris
Use Raikiri’s effect to destroy up to 2 of your opponent’s cards
Synchro Summon Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe with the LV4 with Steam, summoning a Steam Token with Steam’s effect.
Synchro Summon a LV8 Synchro Monster using the Steam Token and Raikiri
Use Hawk Joe’ss effect to re-summon Raikiri, use Raikiri to destroy another one of your opponent’s cards
NOTE: If you run Harpies’ Hunting Ground, you can also do this combo with Simoon + Black Whirlwind. Use one Black Whirlwind search on Blackwing - Bora the Spear and one on Steam. After that the combo plays out the same.
Steam Combo: Steam + 2 Bora/Kris
- Normal Summon Blackwing - Steam the Cloak and special summon the two Boras/Kris
- Synchro Summon Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower, using Steam and one LV4 Blackwing, summoning a Steam Token with Steam’s effect.
- Use Steam’s effect in the Graveyard to tribute the Steam Token and Special Summon himself
- Use Raikiri’s effect to destroy up to 2 cards your opponent controls
- Synchro Summon Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe, using Steam and the other LV4, summoning another Steam Token
- Synchro Summon a LV8 Synchro Monster using Raikiri and the Steam Token
- Use Hawk Joe’s effect to re-summon Raikiri
- Use Raikiri’s effect to destroy another one of your opponent’s cards
Jin / Oroshi Combo: Simoon + Any Other Blackwing
- Banish any other Blackwing to use Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind’s effect and Normal Summon him. Use Black Whirlwind to search for Blackwing - Jin the Rain Shadow
- Normal Summon Jin and use Black Whirlwind to search for Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall
- Synchro Summon Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe using Simoon and Jin.
- Use Hawk Joe’s effect to re-summon Simoon.
- Special Summon Oroshi
- Synchro Summon a LV7 Synchro Monster using Oroshi and Simoon
If you happen to have Oroshi in hand already, this combo is resistant to your opponent using Floodgate Trap Hole on Jin, since you can special summon Oroshi, Synchro Summon Hawk Joe with him instead, then use Oroshi’s effect to flip Jin back up. You can then continue with the combo as planned.
If you suspect your opponent to save his Floodgate Trap Hole for your Synchro Summon, Synchro Summon Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower instead of Hawk Joe using the Oroshi trick, then use Raikiris effect to destroy it.
Harmattan Combo: Simoon + Harmattan / Steam / Black Whirlwind + Any Other Blackwing
- Activate Black Whirlwind (if applicable)
- Banish any other Blackwing to use Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind‘s effect and Normal Summon him. Use Black Whirlwind to search for either Blackwing - Steam the Cloak and/or Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust (depending on what’s missing)
- Normal Summon Steam and use Black Whirlwind to search for Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall
- Special Summon Oroshi and Synchro Summon Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe with Oroshi and Simoon
- Special Summon Harmattan and target Hawk Joe with its effect, making it LV9
- Synchro Summon Assault Blackwing - Onimaru the Divine Thunder, using Harmattan and Steam, summoning a Steam Token with Steam’s effect.
- Use Onimaru’s effect to change its level, targeting Simoon in the Graveyard
- Synchro Summon Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower using Onimaru and the Steam Token
- Use Hawk Joe’s effect to re-summon Onimaru
- Use Raikiri’s effect to destroy up to 2 of your opponent’s cards
Harpies’ Hunting Ground combo: Simoon + Any other Blackwing
- Banish any other Blackwing to use Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind’s effect and Normal Summon him. Use Black Whirlwind to search for Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite
- Normal Summon Zephyros and use Black Whirlwind to search for Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind
- Special Summon Gale, use its effect on an opponent’s monster.
- Synchro Summon Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower using Gale and Zephyros
- Use Zephyros to return the Black Whirlwind to your Hand and Special Summon him
- Use Raikiri’s effect to destroy up to 2 of your opponent’s cards.
Playing around Floodgate Trap Hole: The Oroshi trick
Whenever you perform a Synchro summon using Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall Special Summon your Synchro monster in defense and activate Oroshi’s effect to switch it into ATK. This way, if your opponent wants to Floodgate Trap Hole your Synchro, the Floodgate will be Chain Link 2 and Oroshi will be Chain Link 1. In that case the monster gets flipped facedown then back up into ATK again.
The player using Harpies’ Hunting Ground as a skill is at a severe disadvantage here, as it buffs the opposing monsters for free, while they get the advantage of their own skill. Going first, a Sealed Tombs player can use the attack boost for their combos and end with a Raikiri to destroy the field spell, denying the opponent value from it. A Sealed Tombs on top can then also lock them out of Hawk Joe and Steam, which are the backbone of most power plays.
Without Sealed Tombs, it’s heavily favored for the second player. Hey, Trunade! or Cosmic Cyclone can deal with backrow that are not Blackbird Close and leave them open for an OTK. Cyclone can be used to disrupt their plays by banishing a Black Whirlwind that they’re trying to use.
It is recommended to either main Sealed Tombs or side the skill in tourneys for this matchup. Using this skill turn 1 will guarantee you a turn 3 against Darklords and prevent them from fully setting up, allowing you to potentially OTK. Using this skill turn 2 will prevent the Darklord opponent from using Darklord Contact on your turn, improving OTK chances. Blackbird Close is an excellent card in this matchup both going first or trying to break their board going second. The 1000 LP are a cost, so a well timed Blackbird close can leave them stranded on LP. However, if they use Darklord Tezcatlipoca against your Blackbird Close, they will keep their monster and you will not special summon the Black-Winged Dragon. You may still be affected by The Sanctified Darklord. Try to avoid combos like the Harmattan combo if they have it as it can leave you with clogged field should they negate your Harmattan.
Going second the plan should be at least breaking the Darklord players board, if not outright OTK them. With a decent combo you can usually play through one or even two negates. Try to incorporate Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind into your combos as he puts your opponent in a spot where they have to use a negate or make a Darklord being small enough to simply be run over. Sealed Tombs makes this easier, as simply using the skill and dealing with their board can leave them devastated. Without Sealed Tombs, the Darklord player can recover with a Banishment of the Darklords or Darklord Contact, especially if they run KaibaCorp Bling or Destiny Draw. If you can’t OTK, try to keep Blackbird Close if you don’t run Sealed Tombs to have some disruption for their counterpush.
The goal is to set up a board that won’t get you OTK’d and still leaves you enough resources in hand to make a counterpush. Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe alongside Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower is a decent board as Joe can redirect attacks or Darklord Desire onto Raikiri and bring him back next turn. Again Sealed Tombs can go a long way, as the only realistic play they could make is set up a board with Darklord Nasten. In the non-Sealed Tombs version, a Blackbird Close in hand can be devastating if they try to make a play with Darklord Superbia.
This replay shows how Sealed Tombs + Raikiri and Joe can lock Darklords out of a good Turn 1. (Replay will open App)
Elementsaber Invoked is a more recent Invoked version that emerged due to the popularity of Blackwings and it’s a tough matchup. Both Elementsaber Molehu and their backrow can disrupt your gameplan at any point.
Cosmic Cyclone on Palace of the Elemental Lords can potentially disable their Elementsaber Molehu or at least force them to use resources from their hand. If they use the field spells effect to search for an Elementsaber, they are forced to skip their battle phase. Use this to try and force out their backrow or make pushes with Raikiri without the fear of getting OTK’d.
Blackbird Close is a really strong counter for Molehu and lets you use your backrow removal on their backrow to get your plays through. Aleister the Invoker is also a great negation target. Some players run 2 Invocation and can use it from the hand after you countered their Aleister. Sealed Tombs versions have an advantage here as they can deny that play.
Ritual Beasts have been predicted to be a good matchup from the moment the Blackwing cards were leaked. However, their continued resource generation and floating can make for long grindy games where Spiritual Beast Pettlephin slowly gets rid of your synchros. Try to apply heavy pressure using Raikiri and your big synchros to get rid of their monsters. Try to not run into Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda or pop face-down monsters with Raikiri unless you can deal with a Ritual Beast Ulti-Pettlephin right after. Samurai Destroyer can help here.
Destiny HERO - Plasma can be a threat, so watch out for their life total because of Draw Sense: High-Level. The Blackwing variant with Treacherous Trap Hole and Cosmic Cyclone does a great job of dealing with Plasma. Destroy it or banish the equipped monster on attack.
Blackbird Close can heavily punish their Ritual Beasts tagging out. However, beware that you will not get a Black-Winged Dragon in that case, as the Ritual Beast goes back into the extra deck as a cost and will not be destroyed as Blackbird Close resolves.
The less common version of Shiranui operates as a backrow deck, which can make life hard for you. Going first with a Blackbird Close can be invaluable, since the backrow version depends on a single monster backed up by backrow like Canadia and Floodgate Trap Hole. Don’t use Sealed Tombs early as its best used to cut off their follow up plays like banishing Shiranui Spectralsword and Shiranui can’t OTK anyway. Speaking of Sealed Tombs, it is also your best way to deal with Shiranui Sunsaga, as it cannot protect itself from a Raikiri pop under it. Helpful little detail: All Shiranuis have 0 DEF, so you can attack over them after switching them to defense position with Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall or simply destroy them with Blackwing - Jin the Rain Shadow.
The evading features of Crystron tuners as well as the floating effects from the synchros truly make this matchup difficult. Blackbird Close and Sealed Tombs are two great counters to Crystrons as they shut down major plays they are able to pull off normally. Crystrons may still survive after a double Raikiri pop due to Ametrix and Powered Inzektron improving their rate of survivability, resulting in a grind-game type of duel.
30 Card Shiranui
The most common form of Shiranui, being able to take advantage of That Grass Looks Greener and Burgeoning Whirlflame to net advantage and major disruption. Luckily, with the deck being so graveyard reliant, Sealed Tombs is a great skill to combat this deck. Locking Shiranui out of their graveyard for 2 turns, yours and the opponent’s, means that if you are unable to OTK them, they are unlikely to have a good follow up. Going first, Blackbird Close and Fiendish Chain could be useful tools to prevent any first turn plays shiranui could have is a good way to go. Only ever use Sealed Tombs if their mill consists of any card that could interrupt your plays, i.e. Burgeoning Whirlflame with Shiranui Spiritmaster. Don’t use Sealed Tombs going first against this. You might prevent a possible OTK, but once they set up their grave with disruption, there is no way for you to get back in the game.
The Dark Magician matchup comes down to turn 2. All that matters is what happens if they summon a Dark Magician. If Dark Magic Circle is on the field, then it’s your priority to deal with it before having to deal with Dark Magical Circle’s effect (i.e. using Cosmic Cyclone or Hey, Trunade! to clear backrow your opponent may have or removing the Dark Magic Circle) or trying to play through it with cards like Forbidden Lance. Going first, you’re more than likely safe to end your turn or at least set one, anything and end. Since it takes a turn for your opponent to set up for their Dark Magician plays, it’s unlikely that they are going to OTK you on that turn.
The recent addition of Blackwing support has truly brought the deck to the top of the tier list. Not only were we given some of the better Blackwing synchro monsters, we also received a great amount of main deck support to compliment them. The guide’s explanations and reasoning will we be able to convince our readers of this deck’s strength, consistency, and swarming capabilities; Blackwings have solutions to the current meta’s problems, and will most definitely have a great representation in tournaments. As to constant relevance and longevity, a rather expensive deck such as this has high chances of survivability throughout many possible banlists, resulting in being one of the best long-term investments in Duel Links since Gozuki.
- Thanks to JoninJoe and DoBa for extensive matchup testing.
- Thanks to Mith and bolt7394 for the Oroshi self-target idea to play around Floodgate (a.k.a. the “MithBolt counter”)
- Thanks to kcful for always providing insightful discussion in the Blackwing channel
- Thanks to those who have reached King of Games with their Blackwing decks!