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Masked Heroes are without a doubt the best form of ‘Hero.’ The versatility of Mask Change and the fusions it provides are not to be underestimated. Having played some form of Masked Heroes in the TCG for 2+ years, I am extremely excited for the release of this archetype. This short overview will introduce the new archetype and how it will impose itself on the meta.
Core Masked Hero Cards
Masked HERO Anki - Without a doubt the best Hero in this set, Anki provides Destiny Heroes with an extremely versatile one-turn-kill machine. With the ability to search another Mask Change when it destroys a monster in battle, this allows you to immediately summon another Anki, putting immense pressure on the opponent. Anki can also reduce his attack by half to attack your opponent directly, which will easily clutch more than its fair share of games.
Masked HERO Vapor - The next best Masked Hero in this set, Vapor cannot be destroyed by card effects. With the Fields of the Warriors skill, this monster is boosted to 2600 attack and can easily clear monsters protected by Sea Stealth Attack. This important interaction could possibly allow this card to see play, however the water attribute is somewhat restricting. The only Water attribute Heroes to use for Vapor are Elemental HERO Ocean, Elemental HERO Bubbleman, and the newly introduced Elemental HERO Ice Edge, which are all very subpar. Unlike Anki, which can be used with any and all Destiny Heroes, Masked Hero Vapor is limited in this capacity.
Masked HERO Goka - The worst Masked Hero without a doubt, Masked Hero Goka is just a glorified Elemental Hero Heat. With 2200 attack that gains 100 for each ‘Hero’ in your graveyard, this effect doesn’t offer much benefit. Also, just like Vapor, the Fire attribute is extremely restricting. Goka is only summon-able with Elemental Hero Heat and Elemental HERO Burstinatrix, neither of which are great in their own right.
Mask Change - Arguably the greatest ‘Hero’ support ever released in both the TCG and Duel Links. Mask Change will absolutely slam Heroes into the meta. By sending a Hero monster you control to the graveyard, you can special summon a Masked Hero monster with the same attribute from your extra deck. This card is essentially a Polymerization that only requires one material and is also a quick play! The versatility this card offers is insane. It’s able to be used both offensively for pushes and defensively for dodging opponent’s effects. For example, during the battle phase you’re able to attack with a monster like Masked Hero Anki, search another Mask Change if you destroyed a monster, then you can attack with something like Destiny HERO - Celestial before using the second Mask Change to summon yet another Masked Hero Anki! This will greatly increase the lethality of Destiny Heroes and will surely become the focus of the deck. Against a deck like Sylvans, Mask Change can also be used defensively. When your opponent flips Sylvan Komushroomo (outside of the damage step) to mill another copy of itself and Sylvan Marshalleaf, you can just chain Mask Change in response to the targeting and dodge the destruction, all while bringing out Masked Hero Anki, which has a larger attack than any Sylvan monster! The possibilities with Mask Change are endless and there are way more interactions that I can’t mention here without writing an entire dissertation.
[Mask Change works with any Hero monster that has an Attribute. Unfortunately, at this time we only have access to Water, Fire, and Dark attributes. Once Masked Hero Koga, Masked Hero Blast/Divine Wind, and Masked Hero Dian are added we will have access to all attributes for Mask Change, but I doubt that day will come for a while.
- Powerful Rebirth - The only backrow that comes to mind, this trap card allows you to bring back a Hero monster to then be Mask Changed. Outside of this card there isn’t anything that explicitly supports the archetype.
Enemy Controller - This card has been relevant in every Duel Links meta ever. A great counter to Cyber Angels and a great card in general, this card has a spot in most builds.
Cosmic Cyclone - Water decks featuring Sea Stealth Attack are always a pain, and having the ability to deal with this is great. Cyclone will find its way into most build, especially since the matchup is poor for this deck.
Super Rush Headlong - In non-fusion builds, you can begin including more backrow outside of Enemy Controller and Cosmic Cyclone, and Super Rush is a fantastic card to consider. Applying pressure to Sea Stealth Attack decks is always welcomed support.
Wall of Disruption - A great card since its release, Wall of Disruption helps quelling decks that swarm a ton of monsters onto the field, like Cyber Angels, Red-Eyes Zombies, and Sylvans.
Restart - In fusion builds, this skill will be optimal in order to see Mask Change and Vision Hero Vyon as often as possible. Luckily, the deck still functions very well without this card, and with the amount of drawing and deck thinning that Destiny Heroes do you will see Mask Change very quickly if you don’t have it in your starting hand.
Destiny Calling - Dark City builds can now incorporate Mask Change, giving them the ever loved control element while also providing a massive boss monster in the form of Masked Hero Anki. This build will propose an immense threat to the meta when this box is released.
Duel, standby! - This skill and Restart are always debated for resource intensive decks like Cyber Angels and Destiny Heroes. The pros and cons of giving your opponent an extra card while starting with another card yourself always starts controversy. However, this skill is not to be overlooked when testing the new Mask Change builds.
This build will definitely be the first build I test. Vision Hero Vyon is a fantastic starting card, allowing you to either search a Polymerization or establish a Malicious on field. The draw power from Celestial is always welcomed, and cards like Enemy Controller and Cosmic Cyclone will easily allow you to make one-turn-kill pushes with this deck. A 30-Card variant could also have potential, however in order to see Mask Change as often as possible I believe 20 cards is the way to go.
This build got a massive boost in the form of Mask Change. The playstyle remains the same; applying pressure on your opponent with 4-Star monsters that are boosted to 2600 attack with the field spell Dark City. However, now having the ability to dodge effects and summon a massive 2800 attack boss monster boosted the power of this deck immensely. These two builds, or some refined form of them, will without a doubt establish themselves in the meta.
I am overwhelmed by the release of Mask Change and cannot wait to find out if more Attributes will be introduced into Duel Links. This is a great start, however, and playing with these new and improved Destiny Hero decks will be an incredible experience. If you notice anything crucial that I missed, or have other suggestions then let me know!