About the Author
Hi! I’m Emma. When I first started playing Duel Links in December 2017, the one deck type that really grabbed my attention was The Six Samurai. I really liked the idea of an archetype that focused entirely on using team work to win the duel, so I decided I’d focus my attention on trying to build the best deck lists with the cards at my disposal. Ever since then, I’ve achieved most of my King of Games, Giveaway Tournaments, and Meta Weekly successes with Six Samurai. With the introduction out of the way, I’d like to now provide an overview of the archetype.
In December 2017, Duel Links added the popular Six Samurai archetype to the Blade of Spirits box. Blade of Spirits included The Six Samurai archetype with their boss monster, Great Shogun Shien. Unfortunately, the deck didn’t perform very well because they were lacking cards that ensured fast and consistent strategies.
To further capitalize on Six Samurai’s popularity, the Secret Six Samurai support cards were eventually added to the Crusader Battlegrounds box in May 2018. While Crusader Battlegrounds did include much needed support to Six Samurai, it wasn’t enough to warrant a spot on any competitive tier list due to the nature of bricking with using (while also needing) 3 copies of Grandmaster of the Six Samurai.
However, the Warriors Unite box includes the highly popular Legendary Six Samurai, the third and final variant of the Six Samurai archetype, alongside their true boss monster Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En.
The purpose of this guide is to discuss the 3 different types of Six Samurai, their spell cards, trap cards, synergy between cards, skills to play with the deck, strengths/weaknesses, potential matchups, and my general thoughts on the archetype. Without further ado, here’s the original Six Samurai monster line-up.
The Six Samurai
The original Six Samurai are a passive control deck that features a unique mechanic that allows you to choose to destroy a Six Samurai monster face-up on the field instead of the intended target, highlighting the theme of using teamwork to win a duel. These monsters include:
- Destruction effect doesn’t target
- 4* level synergises with Fuma to summon Shi En
- Works well with the Holy Guard skill
- Effect is risky in Duel Links due to 4,000 LP, so you’ll have to be sure the monster you’re attacking is worth the LP cost
- Counter flip-effect monsters due to destroying the card while it’s face-down,
- Synergises with popular staples such as: Paleozoic Canadia and Floodgate Trap Hole
- Its effect is situational so it’s not worth using in a main deck, the current meta rarely wants to set monsters face-down
- Synergises with Cunning of the Six Samurai for potentially 4+ attacks in 1 turn
- 4* level helps summon Shi En with Fuma
- Unless you can clear the field of monsters before attacking, its effect isn’t worth using due to its relatively low 1,400 ATK points
- Bypasses monsters with higher stats than its own
- Bypasses continuous traps such as Amazoness Onslaught
- Low stats rarely justify its existence in a main deck
- Great in meta’s where control decks become common
- Becomes a priority target against battle-trap reliant decks
- Can’t attack after the effect is used
- The targeted face-down spell/trap can be flipped face-up to prevent it being destroyed
- Can help you beat Amazoness decks by destroying their only copy of Onslaught
- Effect is very situational
- Can’t attack after using his effect
In summary, most of the original Six Samurai monster cards are slow, outdated, and struggle to find a spot in a main deck due to niche and/or pointless effects. However, you’ll still find use for Zanji due to his versatile effect and synergy with summoning Shi En alongside Fuma.
Now that the original Six Samurai have been discussed, I’ll go through the Legendary Six Samurai monsters.
Legendary Six Samurai
The Legendary Six Samurai monster cards completely changed the playstyle of the Six Samurai archetype from a passive control deck, to an aggressive swarming deck with monsters allowing you to enable Six Samurai effects much quicker and reliably than the previous incarnation of monsters. In addition to a faster playstyle, the Legendary Six Samurai archetype introduced their true and strongest boss monster; Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En. With an introduction completed, here are the Legendary Six Samurai monsters:
- Having a free spell/trap negation at no cost is very difficult for most decks to deal with
- Ability to destroy a different Six Samurai monster to keep it on the field
- Many ways to easily summon him
- Synergises with the Beatdown skill
- Synergises with just about every Six Samurai monster
- Essentially a free special summon
- More reliable than Grandmaster of the Six Samurai
- Synergises well with Fuma to summon Shi En quickly
- Ensures Six Samurai monsters can enable their effects
- Enables Six Samurai United to draw 2 cards
- Earth attribute means it can’t be searched by Kizaru (unless flipped face-down)
- Ensures Six Samurai monsters can use their effects
- Secondary effect reduces risk of summoning him in attack
- Allows you to draw 2 cards with Six Samurai United
- Only synergises with level 2 Six Samurai monsters for Shi En
- If his normal summon is disrupted, a potential Kizaru special summon will miss the timing
- Ability to target and destroy any card your opponent controls
- Amazing synergy with Shinai
- Easy to generate Bushido counters for Six Samurai United and Shien’s Dojo
- Ability is once per-turn
- Relatively low stats for the current meta
- Some cards such as Laval Stennon are protected from targeted effects
- Easy to special summon with Mizuho
- Helps generated Bushido counters for Six Samurai United/Shien’s Dojo
- Versatile effect adds any Six Samurai monster from the graveyard when used as a tribute
- Low ATK points makes him vulnerable to the current meta
- Rarely used alongside Shi En
- Adding high level monsters back to the hand is potentially game-winning
- Light attribute makes him easy to search with Kizaru
- Good ATK points
- Effect can occasionally be slow to use
- Time to setup the graveyard can be difficult at times
- Effect is linear/predictable to play around
In summary, where the original Six Samurai monsters failed to make an impact, the Legendary Six Samurai more than made up for it. You’ll be able to build decks around all of the monsters due to their versatile effects and synergy with other Six Samurai cards. However, you’ll almost always want to have as many copies of Legendary Six Samurai – Kizan as possible due to his ability to enable every other Six Samurai monster and/or combo.
With the Legendary Six Samurai monsters covered, we’ll now move on to the final set of monsters, the Secret Six Samurai.
Secret Six Samurai
The last set of Six Samurai monsters to be added to the trading card game (although second to be added to Duel Links) are the Secret Six Samurai. They offer a new-found form of graveyard protection by banishing themselves to prevent single-target destruction effects. In addition to this, the Secret Six Samurai were known for introducing Six Samurai’s first ever contact fusion monster. With the introduction out of the way, here are the Secret Six Samurai monster cards:
- Provides complete protection from the graveyard from effects and/or battle
- Can be summoned if your monsters have been flipped face-down
- Helps you deal with monster effects triggering from battle/destruction effects
- Synergises with the Beatdown skill
- 3 different attributes on the field quite difficult to achieve
- In addition to the difficulty in summoning Rihan, the effect is also difficult to justify
- Poor stats for the 3 cards used to summon it
- Searches for any monster with a different attribute to what’s face-up on your side of the field (including earth if flipped face-down)
- Good stats for 4* monster
- Synergises with summoning Shi En alongside Fuma
- Effect can be disrupted if special summoned on chain-link 2 or higher
- Earth attribute shared alongside Fuma and Grandmaster, making them difficult to search
- Needs to be special summoned to utilise its effect
- Allows you to re-use effects such as Enishi or Hatsume
- Helps restore monsters banished against cards such as Amazoness Onslaught
- Synergises with Kageki to summon Shi En
- Effect is niche/slow to use
- Only really synergises with Kageki
- Fuma has better use/versatility
- Fills up your graveyard to enable monsters such as Enishi and Hatsume
- Helps decks using Cunning of the Six Samurai
- Dark attribute is easy to search for Kizaru
- Synergy with Grandmaster of the Six Samurai and Kizan to add cards to the graveyard
- Only works in decks where the effects are best used with the graveyard
- Six Samurai are strongest with a field presence, so graveyard-reliant effects don’t benefit the archetype too much
- Incredible card to use in the late game
- Can revive any Six Samurai monster from the graveyard (including Shi En)
- Becomes priority target when there’s multiple Six Samurai monsters in the graveyard
- Extends combos by ensuring a +2 field presence
- You never want her to be in your opening hand
- Useless card if interrupted by popular staples such as Paleozoic Canadia or Floodgate Trap Hole
- Low stats means she doesn’t want to be on the field for long
- Allows you to summon Shi En and most 5* synchro monsters when paired with a 4* Six Samurai monster
- Synergises with the better Six Samurai momsters to summon Shi En
- Special summons any Six Samurai monster from the deck, including Grandmaster
- 1,800 Def stats forces e.g. Heroes to use Masked Change to deal with it
- Arguably a core Six Samurai card
- Search effect can be negated if destroyed by Ancient Gear monsters or Armades
- Can't special summon another copy of itself from the deck
In summary, the Secret Six Samurai are hit and miss. While the graveyard protection they all offer is incredibly useful against destruction effects, the Secret Six Samurai themselves aren’t always great.
However, Fuma and Kizaru are incredible cards that synergise well with most (if not all) Six Samurai decks. Fuma is by far the best tuner to help summon Shi En, and his special summon any Six Samurai monster from the deck effect is incredible. Kizaru is the best way to search for Six Samurai monsters in Duel Links, in addition to having good ATK points for a 4* monster. Lastly, Hatsume is an excellent card to use in any Six Samurai deck if you’re undecided on your last potential monster choice due to her revival effect.
Having covered all 3 of the Six Samurai monster cards, I’ll now cover their supporting monster cards.
Six Samurai Support Cards
Although we’ve covered the full Six Samurai monster line-up, there’s even more monster cards that can further help the archetype in duel links. Whether this involves cards involving Bushido counters, or even indirect support from the Shien archetype, they’ll all be covered here. That said, here are the Six Samurai support monsters:
- Can help you deal with high ATK monsters such as Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon
- Effect can be used multiple times per turn
- Monsters with target immunity counter her completely
- Relatively weak ATK points in the current meta
- Helps deal with high ATK monsters
- Can be special summoned as a follow-up after clearing board
- Easier to summon with Secret Six Samurai - Doji adding monsters to the graveyard
- Easy to destroy in the current meta
- Effect can only be used once per-turn
- Can’t attack if the effect is used
- No synergy with Six Samurai monsters due to the name difference
- Essentially a monster card version of Shien's Smoke Signal (level 3 Six Samurai searcher)
- Slow to use
- Effect is difficult to activate the current meta with battle-reliant effects easily bypassed or negated
- Offers battle protection for a full turn
- Potential side deck card
- Easily countered by Ancient Gear decks and Armades
- Adding it to a Six Samurai deck causes consistency issues
- Better using actual Six Samurai monsters instead
- Doesn’t protect from effect destruction
- Amazing synergy with Kageki to summon Shi En quickly
- Offers protection against spell/trap cards that target
- Synergy with Grandmaster of the Six Samurai to synchro summon Level 7 targets
- Fuma is the better overall tuner due to its versatility and multiple effects
- Redirecting 1 spell/trap card isn’t too good in the current meta
- 500 ATK/Def boost for a selected monster can be good
- The ability to draw cards when equipped to a monster is incredible
- Union monsters are hugely outdated and easy to disrupt
- Destroyed if popular cards such as Palezoic Canadia flip the equipped monster face-down
- Better off using more reliable means of achieving battle superiority
- Reasonable Def points
- Can be special summoned through Unexpected Dai
- Pairs well with Genba for Shi En summons
- 2,000 Def is easy to get over by the majority of meta decks
- Lacks any real synergy outside of using Unexpected Dai as a special summon mechanic
- Can be useful for adding counters to Shien’s Dojo or Six Samurai United
- There’s no real purpose to this card since you’ll be better off using Six Samurai monster summons to generate Bushido counters
- Pairs extremely well with Fuma for a quick Shi En summon
- Allows you to reliably summon Great Shogun Shien as it’s a +2 monster card
- Reasonable Def points
- Can help summon Rihan with its secondary effect
- Relatively niche card in Six Samurai decks
- Only works with Secret Six Samurai (1/3 of the main monster cards)
- Heavily counters decks that rely on using multiple spells/traps per-turn e.g. Spellbooks
- Difficult to destroy when there are other Six Samurai monsters on the field to tribute for protection
- Easy to summon due to the Legendary Six Samurai swarming cards
- Synergises well with the Beatdown skill
- Can occasionally result in bricks especially with multiple copies in the deck
- Doesn’t synergise well with the actual Six Samurai monsters due to the name difference
- Essentially a weaker version of Cyber Dragon
- Synergises with Kagemusha and Genba to summon Shi En
- Can help generate Bushido counters for Six Samurai United and Shien’s Dojo
- Poor synergy with most Six Samurai decks
- Very weak ATK/Def stats
- Provides Six Samurai decks access to 6* (Fuma) and 7* (Kagemusha and Genba) synchro monsters such as Black Rose Dragon
- Free special summon if a Six Samurai monster is on the field
- Synergy with the Beatdown skill
- Offers versatile protection to the priority Six Samurai monsters
- Enables Six Samurai monster effects
- Amazing destruction effect allowing you to re-add any Six Samurai monster from the graveyard to the hand (including itself)
- Can occasionally cause bricks (especially if using 2+ copies)
- Can only control 1 copy of him on the field
- Doesn’t assist with summoning Shi En
In summary, most of these cards are either slow, outdated, easily countered, or have an unreasonable cost to using their effects. The existence of Ancient Gears and Armades, Keeper of Boundaries renders the Shien soldiers useless, while the Union monster Spirit of the Six Samurai is easily removed by Palezoic Canadia. However, Hand of the Six Samurai is a great card to use due to her ability to destroy as many monsters as you like in a turn, Great Shogun Shien is an incredible card that severely hurts spell/trap reliant decks such as Spellbooks, and Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai should be a valid budget option for summoning Shi En.
Having covered all the Six Samurai monsters in Duel Links, I’ll now move on to the spell cards.
Six Samurai Spell Cards
Due to Six Samurai being a deck primarily focused on monster cards, their spell card number is relatively limited. In addition to this, the current Six Samurai spell cards primarily exist to further extend your combos and swarming potential, highlighting the importance of having 2+ monsters on the field. That said, here are the Six Samurai spell cards:
- Extremely useful card that pairs well with Fuma due to its 1* level
- Allows you to special any Six Samurai from the deck, including the 5* Grandmaster of the Six Samurai
- Difficult to justify not including it in a main Six Samurai decklist
- Disrupted by cards such as Cosmic Cyclone, Galaxy Cyclone, or Unending Nightmare
- Enables a powerful deck strategy that focuses on summoning Shi En and Enishi in 1-2 turns
- Allows you to ensure your board has 2+ monsters
- Has specific pairings with different Six Samurai monsters
- Pairs with the Ties that Bind skill to alter the ATK for better synergy
- Allows you to summon Shi En if e.g. Spirit of the Six Samurai and Asceticism is used to summon Kageki from the deck
- Without Ties that Binds, its use can be fairly limited at times
- Drawing a potential 2 cards in a 20-card deck is really powerful
- Easy to use now that Kizan, Kageki, and Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai are in Duel Links
- Necessary in just about every Six Samurai decklist
- Can be disrupted by cards such as Cosmic Cyclone and Unending Nightmare
- Occasionally causes bricks if you don’t open with a monster
- 500 ATK decrease could be useful in some decks
- Almost never a good idea to use this card
- Severely outdated
- Easy to remove
- Current meta doesn’t really care about -500 ATK
- Fun OTK card in decks focusing on Great Shogun Shien
- Rarely worth using due to its cost
- Dead card if you don’t have the correct setup
- Synergises well with Hatsume, Rihan, and Enishi’s banish effect
- Can be paired with Monster Reborn Reborn to revive a monster of your choice
- Almost always a dead card to use
- Only synergises with very specific monsters
- Can potentially be okay with control decks
- Incredibly slow effect
- Easy to remove from the field
- Outdated in almost every way
- Better off using other cards
- Amazing card in OTK Six Samurai decklists
- Synergises extremely well with Doji
- Allows “soft” once-per turn monsters to re-use their effects
- Synergises well with Kizaru for searching other monsters
- Dead card unless it has the proper setup
- Typically suited it only OTK Six Samurai decklists
- Potential to blow-up an entire set of cards
- Non-targeted destruction is always powerful
- Easier to use with Kizan, Kageki, and Grandmaster in Duel Links
- Difficult to setup
- Situational card at best
- You’ll typically be in a winning position before using it anyway
In summary, most of the Six Samurai spell cards aren’t very powerful. As stated, they either have highly specific effect requirements or they’re too slow/outdated to use in a main deck. However, Shien’s Dojo and Six Samurai United should be used in just about every Six Samurai decklist because of their versatile nature, deck thinning capabilities, and special summon/search potential. Lastly, the Ties that Bind skill should see regular play with Asceticism due to its ability to alter the ATK points of monsters and special summon the monster you need.
With the Six Samurai spell cards out of the way, I’ll now move on to their trap cards.
Six Samurai Trap Cards
As with the Six Samurai spell cards, their trap cards are relatively hit and miss. This is due to the fact most of them have unrealistic conditions, low value for their use in a deck, or high cost to using them. Also, the Six Samurai trap card effects are somewhat similar, so choosing which of them to use should be obvious at the end of the summary. With the introduction out of the way, here are the Six Samurai trap cards:
- Allows you to conduct a normal summon after the drawn monster has been special summoned
- Pairs well with Kizaru to search for another monster to normal summon
- Effect is too situational to pull off
- Better ways to special summon Six Samurai monsters
- Too slow in the current meta
- Amazing synergy with Fuma to special summon e.g. Kizaru from your deck if this card is used at the end of your opponent’s turn
- Essentially an archetypal Powerful Rebirth
- Can revive any Six Samurai from the Graveyard
- The monster either must be destroyed at the end of the turn or you need to banish a Secret Six Samurai from the graveyard to keep it alive
- Powerful Rebirth is simply the better card
- Can provide a sudden board presence for your opponent to deal with
- Can enable Kizaru to search for another monster
- Almost never works
- Too situational to use
- Relies on having 3 resources to work
- Essentially a full Ties that Bind if it works
- 300+ ATK until the end of a turn is weak in the current meta
- If the ATK boost was permanent, it would be much better
- Incredibly powerful comeback potential
- Essentially a triple Return of the Six Samurai without the destruction cost
- Enables Kizaru to search if the attributes are still available in the deck
- Fun “last resort” card to use
- Massively risky cost to using this card
- Not as impactful when you’ll only be reviving 3 monsters (compared to 5 in the trading card game)
- Alternatives are less costly
- Allows you to have a comeback by reviving the necessary monsters
- Essentially 2 copies of Return of the Six Samurai in card
- Pairs well with Mizuho and Hand of the Six Samurai
- Need to make use of the revived monsters or you’ll lose a huge amount of life points (especially harmful in the 4,000 LP pool in duel links)
- Adding cards back to the hand (rather than destroying them) can occasionally be devastating
- Pairs extremely well with Shi En for strong field control
- Amazing to use if you’re unable to follow-up with 2 monsters on the field
- Incredibly powerful if you use it at the end of your opponent’s turn
- Only 1 Six Samurai monster can be on the field for this to activate
- Versatile effect can be useful for multiple situations
- Ability to generate Bushido counters can be easy due to Kizan and Grandmaster
- Bushido counters typically want to be used for the better cards Shien’s Dojo or Six Samurai United
- Can be slow to play
In summary, Six Samurai trap cards are either really powerful or equally useless. Shien’s Scheme and Swiftstrike Armour show how outdated they are due to their lack of synergy in just about any Six Samurai decklist. In contrast to their lack of synergy, Double-Edged Sword Technique, Six Style Dual-Wield, and Backs to the Wall (in that order) should see some play in current Six Samurai decklists.
Having discussed all 3 types of Six Samurai cards, I’ll now move on to tech cards that could potentially see play in Six Samurai decklists.
As Six Samurai are one of the most versatile and adaptable decks in Duel Links, you’ll find that you should be able to be innovate with your deck creations. Whether that involves using general staples or adding cards that aren’t directly related to Six Samurai, this section of the guide will be used to identify some of the better tech cards. Without further ado, here are some potential cards that have synergy with Six Samurai decks:
- Due to the popularity of Lava Golem, revival cards like Powerful Rebirth can be used to avoid overextending before your opponent’s turn. Additionally, Powerful Rebirth provides Six Samurai decks with access to higher LVL synchro monsters due to the LVL manipulation from this card. Lastly, it has amazing synergy with the Beatdown skill when paired with 4* Six Samurai monsters due to its ability to increase their LVL to 5
- Due to its excellent synergy with Six Style Dual Wield from its ability to protect your monsters in battle while having 1 monster on the field, World Legacy Clash is a viable tech card for Six Samurai decks
- One of the best generic trap cards in Duel Links is making a revival due to the meta focusing on swarming with high ATK monsters. Consider using this to help deal with decks such as Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Neos builds
- Sphere Kuriboh is undoubtably the best hand-trap in Duel Links due to its versatility and potential for comebacks on your next turn. Consider adding copies of this card to provide Shi En with additional protection against monsters with higher ATK stats than his
- Similarly to Giganticastle, this card is a strong tech option due to its ability to be summoned with Fuma and an opponent’s Lava Golem. However, while Giganticastle is best used for its ATK stats, Vermillion Dragon Mech has the additional effect of banishing tuner monsters such as Fuma to destroy your opponent’s cards
- Preventing your opponent from using 2 face-down spell/trap cards with Shi En on the field is extremely hard to come back from. Consider using this if you’re lacking backrow removal cards such as Cosmic Cyclone
- Not only is Enemy Controller one of the best spell cards in Duel Links, but it also has amazing synergy with Legendary Six Samurai – Shinai. If Shinai is tributed from Enemy Controller, you can add a Six Samurai monster from the graveyard to your hand. It also has the potential to win you games with the infamous “econ take”.
- Everyone knows how good this card is right now, seeing as it’s one of the most played trap cards in Duel Links. While the card itself is already great, it can be used alongside Grandmaster of the Six Samurai or Great Shogun Shien for tribute summons (if you brick).
- Some consider this card to be unfair due to its popularity in OTK decks. However, when paired with Shi En, it’s really strong. It forces your opponent to start being careful about what spells/traps to use, and it should see play in decks alongside Cunning of the Six Samurai for quick wins in the battle-phase.
- A monster that can be special summoned simply by tributing any warrior monster on your side of the field, Silent Swordsman alongside Shi En can lead to hugely powerful control decks. However, adding the Silent Swordsman monsters can lead to poorer consistency in general, so try finding the correct balance if you choose to use them.
- This card works by simply adding any warrior monster from your graveyard to your hand. That also includes the enabler monsters such as Kizan and Grandmaster for free special summons. Although it can occasionally be slow to use, it’s still a great card for warrior decks.
- Fuma and a 4* Six Samurai monster can easily create Armades. While you’ll typically want to be summoning Shi En with that combo, Armades can be useful against boards with established cards such as Amazoness Onslaught.
- While Ancient Gear is on the tier list, System Down is an incredibly powerful card to use against them. Non-targeted banishing is the strongest effect in Duel Links, and System Down does that not only for their machines on the field, but also in the graveyard.
- Skull Meister is considered a powerful card to counter the currently popular cards such as Survival’s End, Yubel, and Ancient Gear Fortress (if reviving from the graveyard).
- Giganticastle is arguably one of the better generic synchro monsters in Duel Links. It can easily be summoned with Six Samurai in decks focusing on using Fuma and 4* Six Samurai monsters. Additionally, it can also be summoned with Fuma (1*) and a potential Lava Golem (8*).
Having discussed some of the potential tech cards for Six Samurai, I’ll now move on to their best skill choices.
As I mentioned previously, Six Samurai are one of the most versatile and adaptable decks in Duel Links. Naturally, this means they’ll be able to make use of many available skills. However, I’ll be focusing on the skill choices that benefit Six Samurai the most.
- Beatdown As Shi En’s ATK points are 2,500, he will generally struggle against some of the meta monsters. However, Beatdown increases the ATK of every 5* monster times the number of 5* on your side of the field. Essentially, Shi En and Grandmaster of the Six Samurai will increase its ATK to 3,100 and 2,700 respectively, helping him deal with stronger monsters. Here is a replay demonstrating this:
The Tie that Binds Not only is The Tie that Binds applicable to almost any deck in Duel Links, it has multiple benefits for Six Samurai. While Beatdown would be preferable in most Shi En decklists, The Tie that Binds can be used to alter the ATK of Six Samurai monsters to further enable Asterism of the Six Samurai.
Switcheroo If you use Switcheroo with Mizuho and Shinai, you could increase the chances of having both cards ready to special summon each other to the field. It’s best used in control variants of Six Samurai decks.
Sealed Tombs One of the best skills in Duel Links due to its ability to counter so many decks with graveyard cards, you would be suited to using this if you find yourself dealing with decks such as Dinos with Survival’s End.
Balance Under a specific build of e.g. 3 Shien’s Dojo and 3 Six Samurai United, Balance will guarantee a play on your first turn due to the constant synergy between those cards (alongside 4* Six Samurai monsters). Having highlighted the main skills for Six Samurai, I’ll now discuss what I believe to be the core cards of any Six Samurai deck.
As you’ve probably realised by now, Six Samurai have a huge number of cards to choose from to cater to an extensive range of strategies and deck themes. However, I’ll be highlighting the cards that I believe are the most valuable to any Six Samurai deck (in terms of priority):
- Simply because it’s a free special summon and it enables just about every Six Samurai card there is
- As his effect is active after the first time you summon Shi En, Enishi is a safe and reliable way of dealing with powerful monsters
- Because of its ability to negate any spell/trap once per-turn, alongside its numerous levels of protection from the Secret Six Samurai cards and the ability to destroy a different Six Samurai monster if it were to be destroyed
- As he can not only enable the Beatdown skill, but he has amazing synergy with every Six Samurai decklist
Having mentioned what I believe to be the core Six Samurai cards, I’ll now move on to general tips/tricks between Six Samurai cards.
Although most of this guide has attempted to explain synergy between cards, I’ve intentionally left out some of them for this section. Whether it involves lesser known ways of playing with Six Samurai cards, making the most of the Duel Links skills, or even winning the mirror match, here are some of the best synergy’s you’ll find between Six Samurai cards (including some recaps from A-Z):
- Asceticism of the Six Samurai has the following synergy:
- (200 ATK) Chamberlain of the Six Samurai, Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki, Secret Six Samurai – Fuma
- (400 ATK) Elder of the Six Samurai and Kagemusha of the Six Samurai
- (500 ATK) Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai, Secret Six Samurai – Genba, and Spirit of the Six Samurai
- (1,500 ATK) Legendary Six Samurai – Shinai and The Six Samurai – Kamon
- (1,600 ATK) Hand of the Six Samurai, Legendary Six Samurai – Mizuho, and Secret Six Samurai – Hatsume
- (1,700 ATK) Legendary Six Samurai – Enishi, Secret Six Samurai – Doji, and The Six Samurai – Irou
- (1,800 ATK) Legendary Six Samurai – Kizan and The Six Samurai Zanji.
However, as previously mentioned in the guide, The Tie that Binds can be used to make further use of Asceticism e.g. Zanji + The Tie that Binds (+100) allows Asceticism to special summon Kizaru from the deck. Use the above ATK stats to calculate how to make use of The Tie that Binds.
Backs to the Wall
- If you combine Backs to the Wall with Life Cost 0, you’ll be able to special summon (up to) 3 Six Samurai monsters and then follow-up with free Cosmic Cyclones
Cunning of the Six Samurai
- Cunning of the Six Samurai doesn’t just revive your own monsters, it can revive your opponent’s Six Samurai monsters too. Focus on destroying your opponent’s e.g. Kizaru or Shi En, then revive it with Cunning of the Six Samurai gain an even stronger advantage
Double-Edged Sword Technique
- You can use this card to re-use the synchro materials, then synchro summons another 5* synchro monster e.g. Shi En or Armades, Keeper of Boundaries
Grandmaster of the Six Samurai
- Grandmaster pairs extremely well with Mizuho and Shinai. For example, a potential combo would be: Normal summon Mizuho> special summon Grandmaster > econ tribute Grandmaster for an opponent’s card > special summon Shinai > tribute Shinai to destroy a card on your opponent’s side of the field > then re-add Grandmaster to the hand with Shinai’s effect > special summon him again with
- Consider using Grandmaster with Beatdown to aid Shi En in destroying high ATK monsters (note, Fuma can special summon Grandmaster from the deck).
Great Shogun Shien
- Consider using Great Shogun Shien alongside Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai and Secret Six Samurai Fuma. This will allow you to have both Shogun’s on the field simultaneously for hilarious levels of spell/trap control (although negating a spell/trap with Shi En doesn’t synergise with Shogun Shien’s once per-turn activation)
Hand of the Six Samurai
- When combined with Kizan, Kageki, and Grandmaster of the Six Samurai, she can potentially destroy every monster your opponent controls for an open field to attack into
Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai
- Use this card to help summon Rihan, due to his ability to banish a Samurai and take their attribute for one turn
- Consider using this card if you have fewer copies of Kizan at your disposal
Legendary Six Samurai – Enishi
- Although Enishi can be considered slow, it can be achieved immediately after you’ve synchro summoned Shi En. You’ll normally do this by searching for him from Kizaru’s special summon effect (after Fuma has been destroyed) then adding it to the hand
- Consider using this card alongside Secret Six Samurai – Doji as the latter can quickly add tribute fodder to the graveyard
Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki
- When special summoning Kizaru, you can search for any Six Samurai monster from the deck doesn’t share an attribute with the monsters currently on the field
- When special summoning Kagemusha of the Six Samurai, it allows you to synchro summon Shi En
Legendary Six Samurai – Mizuho
- Combine her with Legendary Six Samurai – Shinai for a viable control deck, as they can constantly generate Bushido counters and recycle monster material to go back to the hand
- Use Cunning of the Six Samurai to use her effect multiple times in 1 turn
Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En
- Shi En can be summoned by using a combination of Fuma and any 4* Six Samurai monster, or Genba/Kagemusha with any 3* Six Samurai monster
- Use Cunning of the Six Samurai to negate another spell/trap in one turn
- Return of the Six Samurai can revive this card, then banish a Secret Six Samurai from the graveyard to keep him alive
- Generally, you don’t want to negate the first card your opponent controls since they’ll be trying to bait you to using it on the wrong card
Legendary Six Samurai – Shinai
- This card will add any Six Samurai monster in the graveyard when tributed. This includes Silent Swordsman, Enemy Controller, or the obvious Mizuho/Hand of the Six Samurai tribute.
Return of the Six Samurai
- Use this card at the end of your opponent’s turn to revive Fuma. When Fuma is destroyed by this cards effect, special summon a potential Kizaru and search for Enishi for a powerful follow-up on your turn
Secret Six Samurai – Doji
- Use this in combination with Kizan or Grandmaster to instantly enable Cunning of the Six Samurai
- Use Doji to enable Enishi’s banish 2 effect
- Use Doji to fill up the graveyard with the Six Samurai monster you need, then revive it with Hatsume
Secret Six Samurai – Fuma
- Use Fuma to special summon Kizaru when destroyed, then add another copy of Fuma to the hand to summon Shi En on your following turn (4* + 1* = 5* Shi En)
- Banish Fuma from your graveyard to protect Shi En against e.g. Offerings to the Doomed, so you can save your negate in other cards instead
- Fuma has an “if” effect, so he never misses the timing (unless his effect his negated)
- Use Fuma in combination with Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai or Kizan to synchro summon Shi En with 2 cards
- Special summon Fuma by using 1 counter on Shien’s Dojo
Secret Six Samurai – Hatsume
- Consider using Hatsume if you have less copies of Shi En in your extra deck, since she can revive him from the graveyard with her effect
- Use Hatsume’s effect to special summon Kizaru from the graveyard
Secret Six Samurai – Kizaru
- Kizaru can be special summoned to enable his effect by the following cards; Secret Six Samurai Hatsume, Asceticism of the Six Samurai (with Ties that Binds), Secret Six Samurai Fuma, Cunning of the Six Samurai, Shien’s Dojo, Swiftstrike Armour, X-Saber Wayne, Return of the Six Samurai, Powerful Rebirth, Backs to the Wall, and Double-Edged Sword Technique
Secret Six Samurai – Rihan
- You can special summon Rihan if your monsters have been flipped-face down
- He can be revived by Hatsume’s effect
- He is the only Secret Six Samurai that has full graveyard protection
- Consider running at least 1 copy of Rihan to deal with difficult cards e.g. Silent Magician or Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon
- Use this card to special summon any Six Samurai (or Great Shogun Shien) from the deck
- Bushido counters can be generated from your opponent’s Six Samurai monsters as well as your own
Six Samurai United
- Similarly to Shien’s Dojo, your opponent’s Six Samurai cards can generated Bushido counters for this card
- Use Kizan, Grandmaster, or Kageki to instantly generate 2 Bushido counters
- Mizuho and Shinai can special summon each other for 2 fast Bushido counters
Six Style – Dual Wield
- Use this card with the Balance skill to ensure Shi En is summoned on your first turn with this card set
The Six Samurai – Zanji
- Use Zanji alongside Shi En to deal with high ATK monsters, destroying them after he attacks
- Consider using Zanji with the Holy Guard skill to freely attack with no risk of doing so
Having highlighted synergy between the Six Samurai cards, I’ll now move on to some deck samples.
Yehhey - 1st Place - MCS 17
Emma Valentine April 1st KoG 2019
Emma’s Shi En Deck:
Tekumse March 31st KoG 2019
Aankara’s Six Samurai
Procircuitscrub’s Balance Six Samurai
Emma Valentine 1st June 2019 KoG
Black Vegito KoG June 2019
NortyCrosal KoG Six Samurais
Johnburn25 KoG Six Samurai
Biosci’s Top 16 Meta Weekly 75
Credits to Rezileen.
DDD 1st Place Duel Links Taiwan Meta Weekly 59
Drizzel’s Light and Dark Six Samurai
Blue-Eyes White Dragon
Blue-Eyes White Dragon is a difficult matchup due to the addition of White Stone of Ancient’s ability to swarm the field with monsters that all have higher ATK/DEF points than Six Samurai monsters. Usually, when Blue-Eyes White Dragon have a set monster on the field, it’s a White Stone of Ancients just waiting to special summon Dragon Spirit of White to banish your set spell/trap at the end of your turn. To beat this deck, you should focus on building your own field up with 3 monsters before attacking into their set monsters as you’ll have a higher chance of OTK’ing them. If that isn’t a possibility, you should use the Beatdown skill with Shi En and another 5* monster such as Grandmaster of the Six Samurai to increase Shi En’s ATK points to 3,100 on your turn. Additionally, you can use Enishi’s effect to send Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Cosmo Brain back to your opponent’s hand during their battle phase.
Neos Koa’ki Meiru
With the addition of Neos Fusion, many decks have seen revivals due to its ability to send any monster from the deck to the graveyard with the addition of a 2,600 ATK monster on the field. A deck that benefits the most from this is Koa’ki Meiru, due to Koa’ki Meiru Ice and Maximus being strong cards to deal with most of the tiered decks. To beat Neos Koa’ki, it would be recommended to have recovery cards such as Return of the Six Samurai or Powerful Rebirth to revive Fuma. This allows you to out-resource Koa’ki Meiru Ice by repeatedly special summoning more monsters such as Kizaru or Enishi, providing constant protection for Shi En. You should also aim to negate Neos Fusion as this card will be sending monsters such as Bacon Saver or A.D Changer to the graveyard.
The Spellbook matchup usually depends on which player can go first. If the Spellbook player goes first and opens with Silent Magician, it will be very difficult generating a powerful board presence as your monsters will usually be banished when they’re summoned. If you go first, you should ideally aim to summon Shi En and only negate your opponent’s Spellbook of Fate. However, you should also aim to make the most of Six Samurai’s ability to summon additional extra deck monsters such as Armades and HTS Psyhemuth to prevent Silent Magician from special summoning Silent Magician LV 8 when destroyed by battle or card effect.
Red-Eyes Black Dragon
Red-Eyes Black Dragon decks recently received strong support in the form of Red-Eyes Fusion alongside cards such as Black Metal Dragon. These cards allow the player to summon Red-Eyes Slash Dragon and receive an immediate equip card to negate targeted effects. To beat Red-Eyes Slash Dragon, you will ideally use Enishi’s effect as soon as Red-Eyes Slash Dragon is summoned. If this isn’t a possibility, using the Beatdown skill to help Shi En get higher ATK points on your turn can be an effective way of dealing with this card. Additionally, extra deck monsters such as HTS Psyhemuth’s banish effect is an extremely effective way to remove Red-Eyes Slash Dragon from the field without triggering it’s special summon effect.
Ancient Gear is a very linear and predictable deck, making this matchup straightforward. Ancient Gear’s primary means of winning duels is by using cards such as Galaxy Cyclone, De-Spell, and Double Cyclone to destroy their own Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress. This allows the player to special summon an Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon to the field. To beat Ancient Gear, you should only negate the cards that would destroy Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress. This is usually achieved by using Shi En to negate the spells, or by using Enishi to send Breaker the Magical Warrior back to the hand before he can destroy the previously mentioned cards. It should be noted that under no circumstances should you ever negate Geartown as this will trigger its effect and special summon Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon from the deck.
Subterror is a new deck that focuses on combining Subterror Final Battle with powerful flip-effect monsters. Their main strength comes from using the Masked Tribute skill to ensure Subterror Nemesis Warrior can use his effect to special summon Subterror Behemoth Umastryx, a monster that can banish your monsters on both players turn with Subterror Final Battle. Similarly to Spellbooks, the player who goes first usually has the advantage in this duel. To beat this deck, Six Samurai have a monster known as The Six Samurai Irou, which can destroy face-down monsters if there is another face-up Six Samurai monster on the field. If you have Shi En and Irou on the field simultaneously, it is extremely likely that you will win this duel. Additionally, the Beatdown skill can help your monsters achieve higher ATK points than the Subterror monster’s DEF points.
The Six Samurai mirror match can be quite difficult due to the versatile nature of Six Samurai deck lists using various monsters and tech cards. However, it is best to assume your opponent is using popular cards such as Six Style Dual Wield in a ranked match. Winning the mirror match is usually dictated by which player has access to Shi En and Enishi first as this provides you with control over your opponent’s backrow and monsters. However, if you suspect your opponent has a set Dual Wield, sometimes setting Fuma and ending your turn is the correct play as Fuma will special summon e.g. Kizaru on your opponent’s battle phase.
If it wasn’t clear by now, Six Samurai are my absolute favourite deck to play. As I mentioned in the introduction, I love the idea of using teamwork and synergy to eventually win the duel. Although Six Samurai have struggled for a long time due to a lack of support, I believe they have enough to now have a place on the Tier List. It’s difficult to say which tier that is for now, but many decks will struggle unless they prepare for Shi En’s free spell/trap negations. Finally, if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments and I’d be happy to respond when I can.