Dark Magician is an old archetype that recently got a very strong support card from the Future Horizon Main Box being Dark Magic Circle. The deck also had Magician Navigation introduced in the Guardians Of Rock Mini Box in May 2019. This deck revolves around summoning your Dark Magician with Magician Navigation and banishing your opponents’ cards with Dark Magical Circle while doing so, as well as being able to negate one of your opponents’ spells/traps by banishing Magician Navigation from your graveyard any turn after you had activated the navigation.
Sealed Tombs is a very strong skill for dark magician in the current meta as it shuts down some of the top decks like shiranui, darklords, crystrons and its very useful in the mirror to stop them from banishing Magician Navigation to negate spells/traps allowing you to activate your own.
Beatdown is less popular than the previous two as in most matchups you banish any problematic monsters with Dark Magical Circle without needing a skill to get over them (with the exception of darklords where Power of Dark is stronger)
Master of Rites
Master Of Rites revolves around using cards with lifepoint costs such as Cosmic Cyclone and Dark Magic Viel to send 1 of the cards in your hand back to the deck and add either a Magician of Chaos or a Chaos Form (whichever one you’re missing) to ritual summon a Magician of Chaos. It has very good synergy with Dark Magical Circle which will be talked about later in Tech Cards.
Dark Magician (3x):
Dark Magician is your main boss monster and it’s considered core at 3 to maximize your chance of drawing it and special summon it using Magician Navigation.
Dark Magical Circle (2-3x):
The most recent support card we’ve got for the deck. Ideally you want to run 3 but 2 can suffice as you can also search it with Magician's Rod. It allows you to banish any card your opponent controls when you normal/special summon your Dark Magician through Magician Navigation, Magician of Dark Illusion’s 1st or 2nd effect, or just tribute summoning it.
Magician of Dark Illusion (1x):
Illusion Magic is needed as a searchable 1 of to tribute Magician's Rod and add 2 Dark Magician to your hand making your navigation live. It also puts Magician's Rod in the graveyard so that its effect can be used to tribute a spellcaster and add it back to the hand to get another search.
Magician Navigation (3x):
This is the main way to special summon your Dark Magician along with a Magician pf Dark Illusion or a second copy of Dark Magician if needed. It also allows you to negate any spells/traps that threaten your Dark Magician.
Your best fusion target to summon using The Eye of Timaeus. It deals with any problematic targeting cards such as Treacherous Trap Hole while giving you a big body on the board to get over other boss mosnters.
Amulet Dragon is rarely summoned over Dark Cavalry but it does have its use against darklords to banish Darklord Contact and Banishment of The Darklords after they had used their graveyard copy effects.
Dark Magic Expanded:
This card is very useful for going aggressive turn 2 by special summoning a Dark Magician from your deck after paying half your lifepoints while triggering Dark Magical Circle to banish one of your opponent’s cards. The main reason it’s not seeing a lot of play is that it restricts you from summoning anything else that turn(but you can still set). Therefore you can’t search it through Magician's Rod then activate it on the same turn.
Dark Magic Veil:
Dark Magic Veil is a very good to trigger your Dark Magical Circle banishing effect on your turn by special summoning a Dark Magician from hand. Its main downside is being unsearchable and having bad synergy with Magician Navigation as they both require having a dark magician in hand.
Enemy Controller is very useful in this deck not only for taking your opponents’ monsters to OTK but it also triggers your Magician of Dark Illusion 2nd effect by tributing a dark magician then special summoning him right back while banishing one of your opponents’ cards with Dark Magical Circle
Dark Magic Attack:
This card is very powerful against backrow heavy decks such as elementsabers and cyber dragons and you can easily search it through your Magician's Rod
Paleozoic Canadia:Darklord Desire, Shiranui Shogunsaga and flip down blackwing monsters to stop their synchro plays.
Night's End Sorcerer can be special summoned through your Magician Navigation to banish cards from your opponent’s graveyard which helps a lot vs decks like Shiranui, its also a tuner which allows you to synchro summon with your dark magician to deal with problematic cards or get over certain attack thresholds.
PsychOP, Top 8 Meta Weekly 106
WhoDaresWins, 2nd Place Meta Weekly 105
Sakura, Top 8 Meta Weekly 105
- On your opponent’s turn, tribute Magician's Rod with Illusion Magic to add 2 Dark magician to your hand.
- Activate Navigation to special summon Dark Magician from hand and Magician of Dark Illusion from the deck, activate rod’s graveyard effect to tribute your dark magician and add rod back to hand.
- Circle effect activates in a new chain to banish one of your opponent’s cards.
- On your turn normal summon your rod to search a second circle, which triggers your Magician of Dark illusion to special summon the dark magician in the grave and get another banish with your circle.
However in the 3rd step you can choose to activate Magician of Dark Illusion 2nd effect to special summon your Dark Magician back on your opponent’s turn. But this limits you to only 1 circle banish and clogs your board if you were to top deck another Magician Navigation.
If you’re playing in the mirror or against an esaber invoked deck, you can use Enemy Controller to tribute your Magician's Rod to take the opponent’s spellcaster such as Aleister the Invoker, then activate Magician's Rod graveyard effect to tribute their spellcaster and add itself back to your hand. Remember that both of Dark Magicial Circle’s effects are hard once per turn(HOPT) so you can’t activate more than 1 circle in your turn, and if you have multiple circles on the field you will still only get 1 banish per turn. Another general note is that if you use Illusion Magic on your rod with no Dark Magician in hand and the opponent uses Cosmic Cyclone on your Magician Navigation you won’t be able to use it. So it’s better if you activate your Illusion Magic on your turn and not set it(if you have no dark magicians in hand) to guarantee getting navigation off. And a final note if you’re playing Night's End Sorcerer is that it effect would miss the timing if you special summon him in a chain link 2 or higher with Magician Navigation. (i.e chaining a navigation to an opponent’s card or one of yours.)
This matchup is rather difficult for dark magician due to all the blackwing synchros having higher base attack then your dark magician, as well as Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower being able to clear your board. Something important to note in this matchup is when you special summon dark magician through Magician Navigation, your Dark Magical Circle would resolve in a new chain therefore you cant chain navigation to Black Whirlwind search to stop it. If going 1st in this matchup with only a Dark Magical Circle and a Magician Navigation for backrow and the blackwing player activates Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind right away, you should chain the navigation to it. This way the Black Whirlwind would activate as chain link 1 then circle activates as chain link 2 and banishes it to stop their search. If they have a whirlwind already and then activate simoon you should do the same but banish the simoon instead. However if they didn’t open simoon then you should hold your navigation till they summon their raikiri and banish it. If going 2nd in this matchup with the circle+navi setup against a raikiri + Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe you should toggle on on their turn and activate the navigation on their standby phase to banish their raikiri before it gets to pop your cards. Power of dark is the preferred skill in this matchup as it makes your dark magician bigger than most of their synchro monsters.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
This matchup is very favored for the player going 1st .if they go aggressive turn 2 with their Cyber Dragon Core and u sense a delay they might be holding a Cyberload Fusion in their hand so it’s better to take the damage and use the Magician Navigation in the end phase or in response to Cyberload Fusion if they decide to use it turn 2. It’s important to note that the main card you want to negate with Magician Navigation is their Cybernetic Overflow so if they activate another trap like Paleozoic Canadiafor example you can let it go and hold your negate for the overflow.(granted you have 2 dark magicians on the field). Another small tip is that you can chain Paleozoic Canadia on Cyber Dragon Core if they decide to use Cybernetic Overflow to stop it from resolving as that core isn’t treated as a Cyber Dragon when it’s facedown.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Darklords can be very annoying for dark magician as they constantly put out big monsters like Darklord Ixchel that dark magician can’t get over.Hence a lot of players have shifted to using the Power of Dark skill so that your dark magician has higher attack than all their monsters bar Darklord Desire and Darklord Morningstar(and ties with Darklord Superbia). In this matchup it’s very important knowing when to activate your Magician Navigation if they have multiple monsters with higher attack than dark magician. For example if they have a nasten and a desire on board you’d let them swing with the nasten first then activate your navigation to banish the desire through Dark Magical Circle. It’s also important to prioritize banishing the bigger attack monsters such as superbia over the ones walling you off such as Darklord Ixchel as they don’t possess a threat and can be banished by the Dark Magical Circle later on. Remember that The Sanctified Darklord can negate your Magician's Rod but you can dodge the negate by chaining Illusion Magic or using Enemy Controller to take 1 of their monsters.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Dark Magician (Mirror Match)
Sadly this mirror match often comes down to who goes first with the Dark Magical Circle + Magician Navigation combo to then banish 1 of the opponent’s 2 backrow cards then negate the second with navigation’s graveyard effect. In order to have a chance to win turn 2 you would need Cosmic Cyclone to hit their circle and protect your backrow, as well as Sealed Tombs to stop them from banishing their Magician Navigation from the graveyard to negate your own
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
This matchup is favored for dark magician as the Dark Magical Circle can banish their Invoked Purgatrio as well as Magician Navigation being able to negate their Invocation and stop them from fusion summoning. The only problem that dark magician suffers from in this matchup is Invoked Cocytus being immune to targeting and having higher defense than your dark magician, therefore you should main 1 copy of The Eye of Timaeus to special summon Dark Cavalry which gets over their Cocytus and can negate their attack boosts from Aleister the Invoker.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Shiranui have two viable versions being played at the moment: 20 cards heavy traps version with sealed tombs, and 30 cards with That Grass Looks Greener which a lot more aggressive. I’ll talk about each of these matchups separately.
- 20 Cards Shiranui:
This matchup is in dark magician’s favor as Dark Magical Circle stops shiranuis from synchro summoning through banishing their tuner monsters, as well as dark magician not being affected that much by their Floodgate Trap Hole since it only flips the second monster summoned through Magician Navigation facedown not both. You can also tech in a Dark Magic Attack to deal with their heavy backrow right away and OTK on your second turn. It’s best to banish Shiranui Shogunsaga right away before they can go into Shiranui Sunsaga as its none targeting removal would wipe your whole field.
- 30 Cards Shiranui:
This version of the deck is very hard to deal with for dark magician as it can use Burgeoning Whirlflame graveyard effect to banish shiranui monsters such as Shiranui Spiritmaster from the graveyard to destroy either your Dark Magical Circle or Dark Magician as well as running very limited backrow making your Magician Navigation negate less useful. It’s needed to run Sealed Tombs in this matchup and activate it on your first turn in order to stop the Burgeoning Whirlflame banishing effect, and try to make a big field before they get their combos going. Similar to the 20 cards version you have to stop them from summoning Shiranui Sunsaga through regular backrow on their Shiranui Shogunsaga or banishing it with the Dark Magical Circle.
Side Deck/Tech Choices
This matchup can be very difficult for dark magician if the ritual beast player sets up his board turn 1 with a Spiritual Beast Pettlephin. Power of Dark helps a lot in this matchup to make your dark magician bigger than their Ritual Beast Ulti-Apelio When going 1st against ritual beasts its best to banish their Spiritual Beast Cannahawk or Spiritual Beast Pettlephin with your Dark Magical Circle as soon as they summon it to stop them from fueling their banish pile. It’s important to note that if they try to bounce your Dark Magical Circle and you chain Magician Navigation you won’t get the banish effect off as circle resolves in a new chain and it’d be in your hand when dark magician is special summoned. Cards like Enemy Controller and Treacherous Trap Hole are really good at stopping the ritual beast from preforming his combos and setting up OTK. Ideally you would want to use enemy controller by tributing your Magician's Rod and taking their spiritual beast monster. Meanwhile cards that flip monsters down like Paleozoic Canadia aren’t very effective in this matchup.