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This brief guide will discuss the dark city variant of destiny heroes. This version has notable differences from the perhaps more popular fusion build in that it does not focus on summoning big boss monsters. It is instead an anti-meta control deck which has good matchups across the board in the current metagame. It is my personal opinion that this version of destiny heroes has been overlooked. Therefore, I have decided to write this guide to encourage people to try the deck out.
The deck plays very similar to decks which abuse Bastion Misawa’s field spell skills but is often not as aggressive. The Dark City D-hero variant will always use the Destiny Calling skill. This skill activates Dark City when your life points are at 3000 or below. This skill is easily triggered by cards such as Cosmic Cyclone, Mirror Wall and Autonomous Action Unit. Dark City increases all Destiny Hero monster’s attack by 1000 in the damage step when it is battling a monster with a higher attack. This essentially means that your monsters will be able to beat over monsters with less than 2600 attack reliably. This covers key cards such as Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon, Citadel Whale and Alien Overlord to name but a few. The deck typically uses three main monsters: Destiny HERO - Drilldark, Destiny HERO - Celestial and Destiny HERO - Decider. These three monsters give the deck a lot of utility from drawing cards, stalling out big monsters or swarming the field.
This short guide will discuss the core cards, tech options and matchups against the tier one to three decks and give some general gameplay tips for the deck.
Building your Dark City Deck
These are the cards which you should not play the deck without. However, you can substitute Cosmic Cyclone for cards such as Mirror Wall if you do not have them. The core consists of 14 cards:
3 × Destiny HERO - Drilldark:
Drilldark serves an important function in the deck. This card lets you swarm the field on turn one and allows the deck to play really aggressively. His piercing effect is important for closing out games and forcing sub-optimal backrow usage against him. Remember that dark city will boost his attack by 1000 even when attacking a monster in defence (with a higher attack). This means that beating over a defense position Gladiator Beast Laquari will deal 2200 damage! These two effects means that Destiny HERO - Drilldark can put incredible pressure on the opponent. However, Destiny HERO - Drilldark is not an amazing card to draw on his own. Despite this, you will want to run three copies to maximize your chances of using the double summon effect on your first turn.
3 × Destiny HERO - Decider:
Decider has three utility effects. His first effect stops any level six or higher monsters from attacking him. This effect means that you will wall many large threats in the Metagame. This includes Citadel Whale, Hazy Flame monsters, Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon, Cyber Angels and Valkyrion the Magna Warrior to name but a few. You are pretty much guaranteed the win against Cyber Angels by summoning Destiny HERO - Drilldark and Destiny HERO - Decider.
His second effect allows you to retrieve a Destiny Hero from your Graveyard. This sets up plays for your next turn and generates card advantage. It can be used with Destiny Draw to neutralize the cost of the card. This effect can only be used once per game so make sure to time the effect well. Note that you can activate this effect without any Heroes in your graveyard. This means you can pre-emptively use the effect if you intend to tribute a Hero for Enemy Controller or if you suspect a card such as Super Rush Headlong to retrieve that hero at the end of the turn.
His final effect will very rarely see use but it is worth knowing about it. Once per duel, while Destiny HERO - Decider is in the graveyard you can negate one instance of effect damage by returning him to your hand. There are only a handful of notable effect damage cards in the meta right now but it is worth knowing this effect for when they do come up. Unfortunately, this does not destroy the source of the effect damage so bear that in mind before baiting out a Lava Golem.
3 × Destiny HERO - Celestial:
Celestial finalizes the monster core and has two very important effects. Firstly, when Destiny HERO - Celestial attacks you can destroy one face up spell card and inflict 500 points of damage to your opponent. This is especially relevant in the whale matchup where Destiny HERO - Celestial forces a banish as it attempts to destroy Umi. Elsewhere, celestial will destroy other popular field spells such as Wasteland, Temple of the Minds Eye, The Sanctuary in the Sky and Jurassic World. It also hits other continuous spells such as Fire Formation - Gyokkou.
Destiny HERO - Celestial’s second effect is one of the most powerful effects in the game. You can remove from play Destiny HERO - Celestial and one other Destiny Hero to draw two cards if you have no cards in your hand. This allows you to recover very easily if your field has been wiped by a deck like Sylvan or lets you win against grindy decks like Snipe Hunter Volcanics and Gladiator Beasts by winning the resource race.
2-3 × Cosmic Cyclone:
Cosmic Cyclone is Simple, versatile, effective 1 for 1 backrow removal. This is an incredibly versatile card and in the current meta (March 2018). Cosmic Cyclone can simply remove set backrow so that your monster can effectively attack or can be used to remove matchup specific threats such as A Legendary Ocean, Brainwashing Beam, Ancient Gear Castle, Fire Formation - Gyoukku, Xing Zeng Hu, Ninjitsu traps and Powerful Rebirth. If you are taking a pot shot at backrow this is best used in the end phase on a card the opponent set that turn where the opponent cannot chain that set card. Also note that this card does not negate so banishing in response to wall of disruption will not stop it going through. However, you may wish to chain this to spells or traps with graveyard effects to stop those occurring, for example, Hymn of Light, Machine Angel Ritual and “A” - Cell Recombination Device.
One of the most important reasons to use this card is trigger our skill. For this reason I believe that at least two is the optimal count but you can use three to improve the chances of drawing it early at the cost a protection card.
3 × Enemy Controller:
Enemy Controller is a versatile card and serves multiple functions in the deck. Firstly, Enemy Controller can protect a monster from battle by switching the attacker to defence position which also allows us to follow this up with an attack supported by Dark City. Being a quickplay spell means we use it defensively or offensively and also means we can chain it to backrow removal or pinning. Finally, the second effect of enemy controller opens up OTK plays especially when used with Destiny HERO - Drilldark or can be used to primitively stop effects such as Cyber Angel Dakini, Snipe Hunter and Golden Flying Fish.
Key Tech Options
The core of the deck is 9 Destiny Heroes, 2 Cosmic Cyclone and 3 Enemy Controller. This gives you 6 tech slots to fill assuming you are sticking to a 20 card deck. Below I will discuss the main tech options you will be using in some detail and some other less frequently used tech cards briefly.
0-2 × Super Rush Headlong:
Sup Rush complements our low attack monsters and can be used offensively or defensively to destroy threats outside of battle. The card is also important in that it doesn’t target and is one of our only outs to a boosted Hazy Flame Sphynx and monsters above 2600 attack/defense. Being able to destroy outside of battle also allows us to remove aliens from the board without having to worry about A-Counter on our monster or getting A-counters from Alien Warrior. Due to turn player priority, the turn player’s Super Rush Headlong will always win. Therefore, if you are attacking a defence position monster and your opponent responds with this card you can chain your own copy which destroys your opponent’s monster while also saving your own! Like Enemy Controller, this card has all the benefits of being a quickplay spell.
0-3 × Floodgate Trap Hole}:
Floodgates main purpose is to shut down monster effects while also protecting your monster during the opponents turn when they are weak. For example, you can shut down Gozuki, Snipe Hunter, Lava Golem, Cyber Angel Dakini, Alien Telepath, Golden Flying Fish and Abyss Soldier to name but a few. It also permanently puts large monsters into defense so we can take advantage of Destiny HERO - Drilldark’s piercing effect.
I personally like running three but all successful decks so far have run zero copies.
0-3 × Mirror Wall:
Mirror Wall is a card that has fallen out of favour in recent months but I have included it as a core trap since it functions in a similar way to wall of disruption but has some notable advantages for this deck. Firstly, you can pay to keep Mirror Wall active to trigger Destiny Calling. Secondly, this card is better when the opponent only has one monster. Thirdly, this card can be chained to Hey, Trunade! to save your monsters and prevent OTK plays. Since this sees little use it comes as a surprise to the opponent. Remember to activate this in the damage step.
This is an excellent substitute for Cosmic Cyclone if you do not have three or would rather use two.
2 × Wall of Disruption:
In a meta with little backrow removal and swarming decks this card is one of the best options any deck can use. The current meta has a lot of decks which can swarm the field such as Red-Eyes Zombies, Aliens, Cyber Angels, Magnet Warriors, and Destiny Heroes. This is a great defensive card protecting your Destiny Heroes while they are weak in the opponents turn.
0-1 × Curse of Anubis:
Like Floodgate Trap Hole, Curse of Anubis achieves two things. It protects your monsters while also turning opponent’s monsters to defence which allows you to follow up with attacks in your next turn. Another big bonus this card has is that it is chainable to cards like Cosmic Cyclone and Storm. It can also be used before the battle phase to counter a suspected Anti-Magic Arrows play. Remember that this card only hits effect monsters so some cards are immune to it. This includes Ancient Gear Knight, Gladiator Beast Andal and Heavy Knight of Flame all of which see some play. This is one of the most powerful and versatile traps in the game and you should consider using the one copy we have access to. Anubis can also open some whacky OTK plays if used offensively. You can activate this card before summoning Destiny HERO - Drilldark and threaten 2600 damage against a high attack monster!
Other Tech Cards
The Dark - Hex-Sealed Fusion:
This card is very easy to add to the deck and is used to summon Red-Eyes Slash Dragon. Discord user Stevie used one copy of this card in his top 16 Meta Weekly deck.
Vision HERO Vyon & Polymerization:
You can add two copies of Vision HERO - Vyon and a single Polymerization to open up fusion plays and essentially run a hybrid of Dark City and fusion variants. If adding these cards I prefer to run 21/22 cards.
has amazing synergy with Destiny HERO -Celestial and can single handily win some games on his own. He is also very good against Sylvan and Gladiators, both decks which can present problems for this variant.
Destiny HERO - Dreamer:
This card is amazing as a singleton copy if you choose to run a hybrid build using Vision HERO - Vyon + Polymerization or D-Fusion. I do not think this is worth using outside of that though since it is slow.
Destiny HERO - Blade Master:
Can be a huge surprise to the opponent since it is never expected. Destiny HERO - Decider can recycle him making it a great choice for the deck.
This card can be used as a Floodgate Trap Hole replacement or side decked against decks like Sylvan or GB which this deck can struggle with.
Some may see this as a core card. However, do you want to activate this when you only have one monster in hand? Do you want to use it if you have Destiny HERO - Drilldark and another hero? It is a good card but It was the easiest card to drop during testing.
Ties of the Brethren:
Can summon two Destiny Heroes from the deck and activate the skill. Amazing opening play but poor in the late game
This is a card which is often used with one or two copies as a way to summon Destiny HERO - Dangerous. Been a trap is slower than Polymerization but it can be used defensively to avoid backrow. It also offers destruction protection for one turn allowing you to attack into set Sylvan monsters without fear.
This card is situational but it lets you toolbox out monsters from the deck. For example, in the whale matchup you may wish to search for celestial but against Cyber Angels searching for Destiny HERO - Decider could win you the game. I did use two in my KoG build but due to the increase of out of battle destruction effects it has lost a lot of its effectiveness.
Same reasoning as Forbidden Chalice. This deck can abuse the discard due to Destiny HERO - Celestial and regain lost advantage.
Windstorm of Etaqua:
Same reasoning as Curse of Anubis but this does not open up Destiny HERO - Drilldark OTKs.
Has the same function as D-Signal but is weaker in the early game at the cost of been much better in the late game. It does have anti-synergy with Destiny HERO - Celestial so bear that in mind.
This deck is built around the Destiny Calling skill. Therefore, this is the skill you will be using. This skill requires life point cost cards to activate. Cards like Cosmic Cyclone and Mirror Wall achieve this well while also fitting into the decks overall strategy. Activating the skill activates the field spell card Dark City. This card increases your attacking Destiny Heroes attack by 1000 in the damage step only and only when battling against a monster with a higher attack stat than your monster, this attack boost only occurs in your turn. The field spell is a continuous effect. Therefore, the 1000 damage boost will always apply after other damage reducing effects. For example, if you attack Alien Warrior with your Destiny HERO - Drilldark and your opponent has Mirror Wall, Destiny HERO - Drilldark’s attack will be halved to 800 then boosted by 1000 after that to bring him to 1800. Your monsters will receive this attack boost even when attacking defense position monsters. Also note that this field spell effects both players and you must be wary of activating the skill in the mirror match or versus fusion D-heroes. This skill means your monsters are very powerful in your turn but weak in your opponents turn. For this reason, a strong suite of defensive backrow is required.
An alternative to this skill is Fields of the Warriors but it does not achieve the same goal as Dark City because maxing out at 1800 attack is not good in the current Meta.
Sample Deck Lists
This will be updated as the deck gets more tournament results.
Virus’ KoG Build
Grucius & Brenduke KoG Build
Stevie’s top 16 Meta Weekly Build
Brief Matchup Notes
Red Eyes Zombie Dragon:
This is an unfavourable matchup. The deck often runs Storm and can remove Dark City from the field with ease. This means you struggle to deal with Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon. You often remove Wasteland early through Destiny HERO - Celestial’s effect which also means you beat over Red-Eyes in your turn. You will do much better going first against Red-Eyes Zombies since this opens up end phase Cosmic Cyclone plays. While this is definitely un- favoured for Dark City Heroes, it is a close matchup. This is a deck you should side for if using Dark City in a tournament.
This is a favoured matchup. The triple Cosmic Cyclones deal with aliens and the field spell offsets the attack reduction from A-Counters (up to 3 a-counters against a single Alien doesn’t matter). Dark City can win the resource race using Destiny HERO - Celestial. Using Floodgate Trap Hole to deal with Alien Telepath and Alien Overlord is advised here. Save Cosmic Cyclones to chain to Powerful Rebirth and Brainwashing Beam. Depending on the board state and the opponent’s resources, you can banish “A”-Cell Recombination Device to stop any searches.
Sea Stealth Attack (Whale turbo):
You are very much favoured here. Cosmic Cyclone and Destiny HERO - Celestial both cause the deck a lot of trouble. With the field spell you can beat over Citadel Whale every turn. You should save Floodgate Trap Hole for Abyss Soldier here. Always banish Umi immediately.
You are very unfavoured here. Again Floodgate Trap Holes put in a lot of work against Golden Flying Fish but that doesn’t really help going second. The fish deck can blow Dark City and your backrow away which can make the matchup very difficult. Use Cosmic Cyclones on Powerful Rebirths and Floodgate Trap Hole the fishes.
You are very much favoured here. If you can survive the Cyber Angel Dakini play and summon Destiny HERO - Decider you win. If you open Destiny HERO - Drilldark and Destiny HERO - Decider you win. The deck has very little means to clear Destiny HERO - Decider. If you do not draw Destiny HERO - Decider you have enough good backrow to deal with the deck as well. You also often OTK them with Destiny HERO - Drilldark + D-Hero + Enemy Controller.
This is an even matchup. Both decks have a similar strategy. You will be beating over your opponents monsters in your turn and they will be beating over yours in return. This is usually determined by who can get two monsters on the board at once. This is where an early Destiny HERO - Drilldark can be huge. If you get the chance to activate Destiny HERO - Celestials graveyard effect you can usually win. It is worth considering your options when choosing to destroy Jurassic world with Destiny HERO - Celestial since it is easier to clear 1900 Hydrogeddon than a 1600 one for this deck. However, keeping it at 1900 can be risky as well.
You are favoured here. Enemy Controller take on Destiny HERO - Dangerous is a huge powerplay since you can activate his effect and benefit from it. You can win very quickly through Destiny HERO - Drilldark Enemy Controller take plays. Remember that your Dark City will be buffing your opponent’s destiny hero monsters so take this into account when using backrow.
Gaia Plate Magnets:
I have not played enough vs this deck to determine if Dark City is favoured or not and I will do some more write up here after further testing. I suspect that it would be unfavoured for reasons similar to Red-Eyes Zombies. While you can wall their boss monsters with Destiny HERO - Decider he is easily destroyed by Alpha the Magnet Warrior. Delta The Magnet Warrior can also crash into our monsters to summon Valkyrion the Magna Warrior since they are both 1600 attack without Wasteland.
This is an unfavoured matchup due to the numerous backrow options Gladiators carry. You are reliant on opening double Cosmic Cyclone early to break their backrow and successfully destroy their monster. If you can hold of their tagging ability and trade backrow you can win through Destiny HERO - Celestial’s effect which replenishes your hand in the late game.
The Aroma Strategy matchup is even but it can get bad really quickly if you do not hit beast rising with Cosmic Cyclone before the damage step. Floodgate Trap Hole and Wall of Disruption help here. Under Dark City you beat over unboosted Hazy monsters. The deck often uses Soul Exchange and Enemy Controller so Destiny HERO - Decider stalling for game is not advisable. The deck also runs monsters which can beat over Destiny HERO - Decider such as Flame Tiger. The Fire Fist version is very easy to beat because of Destiny HERO - Decider, Cosmic Cyclone and Wall of Disruption and their lack of backrow.
I have not tested this deck against Sylvan but it imagine it to be very unfavourable. One of this decks biggest weaknesses is dealing with monsters above 2600 attack such as Sylvan Hermitree and Monsters with low attack but with a defense greater than 1600 such as Sylvan Komushroomo.
General Gameplay Advice
This deck wins by grinding down the opponents resources and regaining its own resources through Destiny HERO - Celestial. For this reason I would classify this is a control deck. While Dark City is not part of your win condition it is important to activate it early. The reason for this is that your monsters are not threatening without it; you want be able to beat over monsters or force backrow usage without the field spell and as a result you can fall behind. This is why two Cosmic Cyclone is core. The immediacy of the card while also having an effect which fits the overall strategy is important.
While the deck usually operates as a control deck, in some situations you will play an aggressive playstyle. This is because Destiny HERO - Drilldark’s double summon effect allows you to swarm the field and opens up Enemy Controller take OTK plays. It is important to decide which playstyle to adopt based on the matchup and your opening hand.
Destiny HERO - Decider’s effect which returns a Destiny Hero to the hand can be used to return a Destiny Hero which isn’t in the grave yet. This is useful to know if you anticipate tributing one of your monsters for Enemy Controller or expect one of your monsters to be hit by Super Rush Headlong or other backrow. The effect will also trigger if Destiny HERO - Decider is no longer on the field.
Dark City’s increase is continuous so other attack reducing ignition effects will occur before it. For example, when attacking a defense position Sanga of the Thunder your monster will be reduced to 0 attack by Sanga’s effect but then increase to 1000 after that. As long as your Destiny Heroes attack is lower it will never go below 1000 under the field spell. This effect will trigger when attacking set monsters as well.
It can be important to save Cosmic Cyclone for matchup specific backrow. However, it can be optimal to hit random backrow to trigger your skill. It is better to Cosmic Cyclone before summoning to avoid chained Enemy Controller, Curse of Anubis and so on. In your opponents turn, you will want to use Cosmic Cyclone in the end phase since that newly set backrow cannot be chained.
It is very easy to build smokescreen side decks for this deck. You can side in The Dark - Hex Sealed Fusion to open up Red-Eyes Slash Dragon plays against decks which can’t deal with it well, such as Golden Flying Fish and Aliens. You can also side in Vision Hero Vyon and Polymerization to transition into a fusion variant.
You will always want to carry an extra deck even if you have no ways to fusion summon to bluff the fusion D-Hero build.
Cards Good Against Dark City Heroes
These cards are great against this deck if it ever became a top tier threat. However, I suspect that this deck will remain an anti-meta deck and will not move beyond tier three.
Wall of Disruption:
Reduces our monster’s attack to 0 when we have two or more. This is often the case due to Destiny HERO - Drilldark. It is very important to play around Wall of Disruption with this deck.
4-Starred Ladybug of Doom:
This was a common side deck card in early March and I was defeated by this card in one of the tournaments I entered. This card is full board wipe against this deck. However, due to people siding against Sea Stealth Attack and Cyber Angels this card usage has declined significantly.
While this deck can function without the field spell it makes winning the resource war much more difficult if it is removed from the field.
Monsters with less than 1600 attack but higher than 1600 defense. The deck struggles to deal with these kinds of monsters and this includes Sylvan Komushroomo. The reason for this is that we must waste an Enemy Controller offensively to clear it. This issue is removed if the Dark City player uses one of the many techs the deck can use to summon boss monsters from the extra deck.
This deck is an excellent pick for the current metagame and has only a handful of bad matchups while having very favourable matchups against some of the most popular decks in use today. It is my personal opinion that the only reason this deck has not had as much tournament success as the fusion build is that it has not been played. Now that 4-Starred Ladybug of Doom has dropped out of sides the decks main counter card is no longer seeing play. I encourage you to try this deck out if you have the cards to do so.
I will update and expand this introduction to Dark City Destiny Heroes to a full guide if its popularity increases in the future. For now this articles purpose is to reinvigorate discussion of the deck within the community to further optimise the build.
If you wish to discuss the guide or have questions or comments to improve it please direct message me on Discord @Brenduke#0011 or catch me in #Dark-City-Dheroes.