Flower Cardians are a new archetype to Duel Links having just been released on August 31st, 2019. They are a brand new deck that have been somewhat overlooked but are a powerful addition to Duel Links that have many ways to draw and remove opponent’s cards every turn.
My name is herf, I have been playing Duel Links almost since release, but have only recently joined the competitive scene. I currently play for X-Hunters and have learned a lot in my time there. I was originally drawn to the Flower Cardian archetype due to it being very unusual and having a fast and one turn kill (OTK)-based play style.
My name is Sham ✗O , I have been playing Duel links since Fur Hire meta, but I joined the competitive scene this year. I currently play for Forbidden Ones and learned that I can go positive in wars. I was originally drawn to the Flower Cardian archetype by herf :) and the OTK potential in TCG.
##Introduction Flower Cardians in their archetype have a high access to drawing cards, card removal, deck manipulation, and the ability to swarm the field. This makes Cardians a very fast and OTK style deck that focuses on drawing into card removal, using the gained card advantage to swarm the opponent, then killing them. This is achieved through almost every monster being able to draw a card on summon such as Flower Cardian Pine, Flower Stacking being able to manipulate their draws, and finally, being able to reuse their grave and add Spells/Traps to the hand by using Recardination. These cards and their synergy are extremely powerful, however, they are somewhat limited by the amount of starters available to the deck.
Grit By using Grit, if your Life Points were at 4000 at the start of the turn, the first time your Life Points will hit 0 they will stay at 1 instead. This means you are able to survive an extra turn and OTK your opponent. Since there is a possibility that you don’t open a starter, you can pass Turn 1 and get that extra draw on Turn 3 which helps your deck’s consistency. This helps you dig for that 1 extra card into your deck which helps you draw your starter. The deck prefers to go second, so Grit can help you with that because being able to pass that Turn 1 is very strong.
Light and Dark Light and Dark allows you to swap one light/dark monster in your hand for a monster in your deck with the same type and level, but the opposite attribute. This skill is very powerful in a neos version of the deck because it allows you to swap A/D Changer which is a Level 1 LIGHT Warrior, for Flower Cardian Pine which is a Level 1 DARK Warrior. The other significant synergy is with Elemental HERO Neos himself, if you draw him you are able to swap for Flower Cardian Clover with Boar because they are both Level 7 LIGHT/DARK Warriors. With this Skill you are able to unbrick yourself at times by being able to search the deck for either your main starter or your monster removal. The biggest con of this skill is that adding any cards that are not “Flower Cardian” instantly reduce your probability of being able to use the effects of them. This is because each Flower Cardians only gains their effect if they draw a Flower Cardian Monster from the deck.
Flower Cardian Pine (3x)
A core card to the Cardian archetype due to it being the only Normal Summon in the deck. Pine’s effect allows you to draw when it is Normal Summoned; however if you do not draw a Cardian monster you will be forced to discard that card. However, drawing archetypal Spells and being forced to discard them can be beneficial as it gives you access to their respective graveyard effects.
Recardination is a great card that lets you add a Cardian monster from your graveyard to hand and then special summon any Cardian monster from the hand. This allows you to recycle your removal and OTK after you clear the field. For example, you can recycle Flower Cardian Clover with Boar which will allow you multiple chances to destroy monsters. Also, Flower Cardian Maple with Deer is able to pop a back row,recycle and keep popping back row, which is important to ensure you are uninterrupted when going for game. Recardination also works with Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly which lets you look at the top 3 cards of your opponent deck and decide if you wanna stack them or place them at the bottom of the deck. The last effect of Recardination, which triggers when sent to graveyard by a Cardian effect, lets you dig through the top five cards of your deck for a Spell/Trap and reorder the others.
Flower Stacking (3x)
Flower Stacking is an incredibly strong searcher for the deck. It’s effect allows you to pick 3 Flower Cardian monsters with different names and put them at the top of the deck in the order you choose. This has two huge benefits:
You get to search the deck for your main starter Flower Cardian Pine and place it along with the other two cards of your choosing in whatever order you want
Because each effect of Flower Cardian monsters need to draw another Cardian in order to gain their effect, when you are ready to go for game you are able to plan out the next three draws of your cardian monsters allowing them to 100% activate, while at the same time setting yourself up to draw missing combo pieces for your OTK.
If Flower Stacking is in the grave it allows you to use its second effect, which is to banish itself to add one Flower Cardian in the Grave to your hand. This is extremely important if you need to remove multiple back row or multiple monsters by recycling them from the grave back to your hand.
Flower Cardian Clover with Boar (2-3x)
The main monster removal in the deck. This card can Special Summon itself from your hand by tributing one Flower Cardian on the field, except a monster with its own name. If this card is special summoned you draw a card, if it is a Flower Cardian monster you are able to destroy one monster on the field your opponent controls. The important thing about Cardian removal is that it does not target, this means you can easily pop Red-Eyes Slash Dragon even if it has equips. Non-targeting removal also means that the destruction and the choice of what you want to destroy both happen when the effect resolves. So for example if your opponent has Subterror Nemesis Warrior on the field and you trigger Boar's effect to destroy a monster, if they chain Nemesis Warrior and summon out a Behemoth you will simply be able to simply destroy the newly summoned monster when the chain resolves.
Flower Cardian Maple With Deer (2-3x)
The main way to remove backrow in the deck. This monster can be Special Summoned from the hand by tributing one Flower Cardian on the field, except itself. When Special Summoned you are able to draw one card, and if its a Flower Cardian, you are able to pop a backrow your opponent controls. Since this doesn’t target and pops on resolution, so your opponent cant respond to the destruction or know which backrow is getting destroyed beforehand.
Flower Cardian Zebra Grass (2-3x)
Zebra Grass allows you to special summon itself from the hand as long as you control a level 7 or lower Cardian monster. If you use this effect you will lock yourself to only being able to special summon Cardian monsters for the rest of the turn. Zebra Grass has a very poor effect of reshuffling and drawing your hand, and has very poor stats. The primary use of this card and why it is good is that it allows you to easily get another Cardian on board by using it as tribute fodder for Flower Cardian Clover with Boar and Flower Cardian Maple with Deer. Otherwise this card’s effect is really bad and should almost never be used for redrawing your hand.
Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly (0-2x)
Peony is the one and only Tuner in the entire archetype and has some pretty unique effects. Like most other Cardians it is able to summon itself by tributing a face up Cardian. After summoning, if you draw a Cardian monster you are able to look at the top three cards of your opponent’s deck and place them at the top or bottom of the deck in the order you choose. Not many cards are able to do this so being able purposefully brick your opponent or deny them a key combo piece can win many games. Butterfly being a tuner also has significance because it allows access to a few different Synchro monsters. Peony with Butterfly is normally level 6, allowing you to make level 7 synchro monsters like Black Rose Dragon when used with Pine. However, if used as a synchro material, you are also able to treat itself and all other materials as Level 2 allowing you to turn a full board into Level 6 Synchros like Flower Cardian Boardefly or even HTS Psyhemuth. This synchro component allows you to clear/play around more situations than you would without it.
Flower Cardian Pine with Crane (0-1x)
Crane is one of the few Cardians that boast an ATK above 1000 and that's because it's slightly harder to summon. This card may only be summoned by tributing a Level 1 Cardian (so only Pine). When Crane is summoned, if you draw a Cardian monster you can Special Summon it. However, since it does not ignore summoning conditions, you cannot summon cards like Flower Cardian Maple with Deer, which can only be summoned by their own effects.
Flower Cardian Zebra Grass with Moon (0-2x)
Moon is directly comparable to Flower Cardian Pine with Crane as it boasts both 2000 ATK and the on-summon effect to Special Summon drawn Cardians. However it's easier to summon because you need to tribute Flower Cardian Zebra Grass (a free Special Summon) as opposed to Flower Cardian Pine (which is usually tributed off earlier as it's your starter). This distinction can potentially save valuable resources like Recardination that would otherwise be used to get Pine on the field for Crane.
Flower Cardian Boardefly(0-2x)
The Cardian Synchro monster that lets all Cardian monsters inflict piercing damage. The second effect lets you banish a Cardian from your grave to prevent your opponent from Special Summoning from the graveyard or activating graveyard effects until the end of their next turn. This for example preventsGeartown from activating in the graveyard, which is devastating in the Ancient Gear Matchup.
Black Rose Dragon
An extremely powerful synchro that is able to wipe the entire board and expose your opponent for a potential OTK. Black Rose can be summoned by using Peony and a Level 1 like Pine or Crane. An extremely powerful combo is using Black Rose to wipe the field at the start of the turn, then using Recardination and the rest of your resources to OTK your opponent.
White Aura Dolphin
Easily summonable with Peony's effect, Dolphin is able to halve the ATK of one monster your opponent controls. This is an important effect in order to clear annoying monsters with high attack points and give increased OTK potential.
Neos Fusion Engine
The Neos Fusion engine can be very powerful in Cardians due to their shared synergy of warrior type monsters with the skill Light and Dark, which adds starters to a deck that can have trouble getting going. With the Neos Fusion engine you would run 3 Neos Fusion, 2 Elemental HERO Neos, and 1 A/D Changer. This gives you 7 potential starters in the deck with the 3 Neos Fusion, 3 Flower Cardian Pine, and 1 A/D Changer which can search for Pine the Skill. You can also search for Flower Cardian Clover with Boar by returning Neos. You can also search for Pine by milling it with Neos Fusion and return it to hand with Recardination on the next turn (which is a slow combo but better than dying). You can also fetch Neos Fusion with Recardination's graveyard effect which can facilitate faster OTKs. The biggest drawback to the Neos Fusion engine is that it will make your Cardians miss their effects more often. Just statistically the fewer Cardian monsters you run, the higher chance you have of drawing something else and making your effects fizzle.
How to OTK:
Here we will explain exactly how a sample hand is capable of killing your opponent on your first turn. For this example we will assume we go second with this hand:
We will also assume our opponent went first with a set monster and Treacherous Trap Hole
Summon Flower Cardian Clover with Boar by tributing Deer, to draw Moon and destroy the set monster. At this step our opponent now has nothing on their board, and we have one Boar.
This is where we start establishing 1000+2000+1000 ATK monsters for lethal. To do this we special summon Zebra Grass and tribute it off for Moon. Our board is now 3000 Damage, in order to get the final 1000 Damage we use Recardination to add a Cardian from the grave and special a monster from our hand. For this you want to choose a Cardian that will give you 4000 total ATK.
You now have 4000 Damage established vs an empty board so now just attack for lethal and O-T-K.
What to do Turn 1:
Due to Cardians wanting to go second and simply OTK their opponent, their first turn can sometimes be fairly awkward. The best thing to do on Turn 1 is to either use Flower Stacking to set up your OTK on Turn 3 or if that is not an option simply passing (if using Grit or putting any monster in defense is enough to buy you time to get to your OTK turn. The best monster to Special Summon in defense is Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly which allows you to manipulate the top of your opponents deck to help ensure you will be able to kill them on your next turn without them getting you first.
Here is an example replay of a Turn 1 Peony play. (Replay will attempt to open app)
Use Flower Stacking to stack Flower Cardian Pine with Crane → Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly → Flower Cardian Zebra Grass (You can also stack Flower Cardian Pine instead of Zebra Grass to guarantee you have a Pine next turn)
Special Summon Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly by tributing Flower Cardian Pine with Crane and use its effect to draw a Cardian monster which is Flower Cardian Zebra Grass and stack your opponent’s deck
(Optional) Special Summon Flower Cardian Zebra Grass to use its effect to shuffle your Cardian monsters for a new hand if you bricked and/or are out of plays.
Flower Cardian Zebra Grass:
It is very important to remember that Flower Cardian Zebra Grass will lock you out of special summoning non-“Flower Cardian" monsters that turn (this means no Black Rose Dragon). Zebra Grass is also one of the only Cardians that does not have to tribute another Cardian to summon itself, you simply need one level 7 or lower Cardian on the field.
For Flower Cardians Recardination is the biggest enabler of OTK plays so it is important to know when to use it and what to use it on. You should never use your Recardinations unless you are going for game that turn, you only get to use it a total of three times, and sometimes even less due to unlucky mills with Cardian effects. Needless to say this is an important resource that you have to hold until the time is right.
So, when the time has come to go start going for game, the three cards you should focus special summoning off of Recardination’s effect are Flower Cardian Clover with Boar to remove monsters, Flower Cardian Maple with Deer} to remove back row, or your 2000 ATK Beater (Flower Cardian Pine with Crane/Flower Cardian Zebra Grass with Moon). These are the main pieces of the combo so it is most important that you use the special summoning ability establish 2000+1000+1000 ATK for a total of 4000 Damage. These monsters are also important targets to add back to the hand from the grave, and the best way to use them is Tributing Deer for Boar, using Recardination for the Deer and a Special Summon, then summon Deer by Tributing Boar, repeating until they have nothing left. Each time you activate an effect you are drawing a card which allows this effect to snowball until you have lethal on board and they have no resources left.
Flower Stacking, Order Matters:
Flower Stacking is a very underrated card and one that people do not get the maximum value out of using. This card allows you to pick 3 Flower Cardians with different names and place them in any order at the top of your deck. In order to OTK your opponent you need to set up a 4000 Damage board, and have removed all of your opponent’s cards. If you go first with Stacking in your hand, you must put a Flower Cardian Pine on top of the deck (if you don't have one already), followed by your card removal, then Zebra Grass, then Moon. The goal of this is to add the missing combo pieces to wipe your opponents board while establishing your win condition.
Deadfun made these two decks that people have gotten KOG with, one focusing on all around play with synchros, and the other being a turbo OTK build
And here is a sample Neos Build by Sham ✗O:
Evaluation of Match-Up
Cardians have the upper hand in the Ancient Gear match up. This is because Ancient Gears typically are not able to run a lot of protection, and are prone to being quickly ran over by Cardians. Cardians are faster, and their OTK combo is often more reliable if they are able to survive with Grit.
Since Ancient Gears are typically able to get more than one big monster on board, you want to set up multiple destruction effects with Flower Cardian Clover with Boar/Flower Cardian Maple with Deer by summoning them multiple times either naturally or by using Recardination. This allows you to easily remove the Ancient Gear board and set up your own OTK. Flower Cardian Boardefly is another useful card in this matchup going first because it is able to prevent the graveyard effects of cards like Geartown, Ancient Gear Fortress or Galaxy Cyclone and stop the opponent from being able to Special Summon from the graveyard.
Evaluation of Match-Up
Flower Cardians typically have a strong match up against Desperado/Master of Destiny. Cardians have an advantage because they are able to remove multiple monsters and spells/traps before the battle phase occurs making Desperado Barrel Dragon almost useless. Additionally, the most frequent back row that Desperado players have chosen are cards such as Paleozoic Canadia, World Legacy Clash, and Floodgate Trap Hole as their most common back row, and all of them do almost nothing to Cardians. Since all Cardian effects trigger on summon, flipping them down does not do anything to prevent the effect and they're still able to tributed for other Cardians. World Legacy Clash can be forced out or destroyed very easily making it hard for Desperado to defend itself.
When facing Desperado it is extremely important to set up multiple destruction effects of Flower Cardian Clover with Boar. Setting up opportunities for monster removal are important because if you destroy a face up dark machine such as Twin-Barrel Dragon they will be able to summon Desperado Barrel Dragon from the hand. Due to Desperado/Master of Destiny not running harmful back row, removing it is not urgent, and can be done by tributing Flower Cardian Clover with Boar over Flower Cardian Maple with Deer and vice versa repeatedly over and over. The biggest concern about this match up is Arcana Force XIV - Temperance which can potentially make you miss the OTK and be put in a very awkward spot.
Evaluation of Match-Up
Darklords are one of the tougher matchups in the meta currently for Cardians due to their ability to swarm the field and to prevent the destruction of their monsters by using Darklord Tezcatlipoca or negate any of your Cardians effects by using The Sanctified Darklord. If a Darklord player goes before your OTK turn and can set up two Darklords on board, Sanctified in the grave, and a Tezcatlipoca in hand, this means you need to be able to destroy their monsters at least 4 times. This is extremely challenging unless you have a perfect hand and draws. The problem is that this setup for Darklords is very consistent due to their recent support card Banishment of the Darklords which searches through the deck for any Darklord card.
Essentially the only way to break an optimal Darklord set-up is to go first with Flower Stacking to ensure good draws and that you will be able to set up enough monster destruction, additionally make sure to maximise the graveyard use of stacking to add back important combo pieces such as Flower Cardian Clover with Boar to get the most amount of destruction effects in a turn. Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly's ability to stack your opponent's deck can help by potentially bricking your opponent. This can be crucial in order to potentially deny your opponent from their starters such as Banishment of the Darklords , Darklord Ixchel , or Darklord Nasten. In some cases the best way to break a strong Darklord set-up is to not give them access to it in the first place.
Side Deck Options
- Wall of Disruption - Darklords are very weak to battle traps and this may be able to give you lethal even without popping their entire field if they are unable to play around the attack reduction.
- Drowning Mirror Force - Battle traps that have non-destruction removal are very good against Darklords because they are unable to protect themselves and they are very difficult to play around.
Evaluation of Match-Up
Cyberdarks is one of the tougher matchups in the meta for Cardians because of Neos Fusion preventing the destruction of Elemental HERO Brave Neos forcing you to set up 2 destruction effects with Flower Cardian Clover with Boar. Looping Boar should be the main priority to after clearing backrow. Cardians in this match up are also at a disadvantage because with Neos Fusion sending Leng Ling they are easily able to OTK through Grit when equipped onto a Cyberdark Edge. Cyberdarks are one of the few decks that can keep up or go faster than Cardians in OTK situations.
Since Cyberdarks are able to set up OTKs very quickly even through Grit, it is important to put some Cardians on the board in defense turn 1. The best Cardian to put in Defense turn 1 is Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly to manipulate the draw of your opponent and prevent from dying in the next turn. The other thing to watch out for are tech cards like Enemy Controller and Treacherous Trap Hole. These cards can really mess up your combo because of the fact that they are able to remove your Flower Cardian Pine, this often puts a hard stop to many combos because you must control a Cardian to do any special summons. If hit by these effects you can recover if you have Recardination, this card allows you to recycle potentially lost resources in order to still be able to OTK.
Side Deck Options
Galaxy Cyclone can help you pop Treacherous Trap Hole or Enemy Controller which is a backrow or anything that can stop your plays. Also being able to pop Leng Ling or Cyberdark Cannon to weaken Cyberdark Edge to just 800 attack and stop Ling Ling from lethal. Galaxy Cyclone can also pop a face-up Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror which negates all your DARK monsters.
Evaluation of Match-Up
Spellbooks are almost an auto loss for Cardians because if they have a Silent Magician they are able to negate our Recardination to stop revival or Flower Stacking preventing the main searcher to put Cardians on top of the deck. Spellbook of Fate is able to banish 3 Spellbooks in the graveyard to banish a card we control, which is usually Pine, leaving Cardians exposed.
If Spellbooks able to go first and set up Silent Magician + Spellbook of Fate and you do not have the skill Sealed Tombs you probably lose. However, in a side deck format you will be able to change to Tombs which allows you to turn this unfavourable match up into a very favourable one. This is because the only protection that Spellbooks have are Spellbook of Fate and Silent Magician LV8, this protection is useless when Cardians play Sealed Tombs because you stop them from being able to banish your starter Flower Cardian Pine and if they cannot do that they basically lose. Without the fear of Spellbook of Fate you are able to start removing Silent Magician, Spellbook of Fate, and then Silent Magician LV8 one by one. It's nearly impossible without Sealed Tombs if your opponent opens even somewhat decent; but with Sealed Tombs it becomes a cake walk.
Side Deck Options
- Sealed Tombs - You need to side deck this to come even close to having a chance against Spellbooks.
Evaluation of Match-Up
Cardians have an extremely favourable match up against Triamids. Flower Cardians tend to have an advantage over slow decks because they will likely not be able to otk through Grit, this gives you another draw which allows for more potential plays. Another thing that helps Cardians is that Triamids typically play back row such as Triamid Pulse, Paleozoic Canadia, and Treacherous Trap Hole. As mentioned previously Canadia does almost nothing against Cardians, and destruction effects like Pulse and Treacherous Trap Hole can be played around with Recardination.
One important interaction is that Triamids are not able to effectively swap field spells against Cardians, this is due to the non-targeting removal of Flower Cardian Maple with Deer. Non-targetting destruction means that even if they chain a Triamid monster effect to switch field spells, on resolution of Deer you will still be able to destroy it. The destruction of the Field Spell should be the first and most urgent priority in this match up, because as soon as it is popped you are able to go through the OTK almost uninterrupted.
Evaluation of Match-Up
Cardians have a decent advantage against Vendreads, this is due to the speed of Cardians, their ability to set up multiple destruction effects, and OTK before Vendreads are able to properly establish their board. Using Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly to be able to stack your opponent’s deck is key to make sure they are at a disadvantage. Vendreads usually have a pretty tight list, meaning they cannot run as many tech cards that are able to stop Cardians from OTK-ing like Sphere Kuriboh or Enemy Controller.
If going second against a fully established Vendread board there are a couple things you must evaluate. First, whether or not they have Ritual Cage on the field. If they do, you need to to pop Ritual Cage first as it will prevent your Flower Cardian Clover with Boar from being able to destroy their ritual monsters. The second thing to look for is how many Revendread Origin are in the grave. Since Revendread Origin is able to protect from destruction, it is important to have enough Flower Cardian Clover with Boar to clear their monsters.
Another card you should watch out for is the effect of Vendread Revenants that is given to Vendread ritual monsters when used as ritual material. This is because it Revenants has the quick effect to banish special summoned monsters you control once per turn. So the optimal play would be Normal Summon Flower Cardian Pine then Special Summon Flower Cardian Zebra Grass. Since Vendreads are only able to banish one special summoned monster per turn, setting up two on the field ensures that you will be able to always have at least one Cardian on the field allowing for your OTK play.
Evaluation of Match-Up
Six Samurai can be a bit of a tricky match up for Flower Cardians due to cards such as Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En being able to negate Recardination and Flower Stacking, Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi being able to bounce your main starter, Secret Six Samurai - Fuma being able to save a Six Samurai monster from destruction, and the deck being able to OTK through Grit. As a result you're forced to use more resources and play more cautiously than in other match-ups.
In order to counter this match up, if you go first you will have to be able to organize with Flower Stacking to be able to ensure you can destroy Shi En through Fuma before you use Recardination. Having a Recardination potentially negated and wasted can be pretty devastating. Removing Shi En is a must in this situation, but it is also extremely important to read whether or not there is a Six Style - Dual Wield set in the opponent’s back row. Dual Wield has long been a good source of card removal for Six Samurais, not properly playing around it can put you in a very bad spot. With the threat of Dual Wield, your set-up with Stacking should always be looking to get a Flower Cardian Maple with Deer and get multiple Flower Cardian Clover with Boar in order to grind through both monsters and back row.
Side Deck Options
- Paleozoic Canadia has been used for a long time to disrupt the Synchro Summon of Shi En, and to prevent Six Style - Dual Wield from being able to activate.
Overall the deck does have some issues with consistently getting a starter on board, and may be somewhat difficult to play in side deck environments, this deck is extremely powerful and as more people learn to play it Flower Cardians will be very prominent in best-of-one formats. I do expect this deck to be popular in KC Cup and RRQ formats due to it being powerful and uninteractive. This deck requires the user to make decisions quickly and manage resources extremely well, if you have any issues learning the deck just ask in the DLM Discord and we will be more than happy to help.
Note Replays will try to open the App
- Deadfun - Has been a top tier Cardian player since their release and gave a lot of great insight into deck building and tips
- Gregulator - Helped us a lot with formatting and was always there for us when we had questions
- Dkayed - For giving us the opportunity and privilege to contribute to his amazing website and Discord where he has built such an amazing community
- Justin Joestar - For steering us on the right path in terms of how to format and structure the guid properly
- Jadehex - Thank you for being such a top tier website developer and helping us format/edit this guide