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Six Samurai Guide

Table of Contents


General Overview

Since its announcement that Six Samurai were coming to Duel Links, the community immediately got excited. They were one of the most fast paced and interesting archetypes in the TCG and having access to them in Duel Links was something we were all looking forward to. Flash forward to now, we have a few variants of Six Samurai that we have access to, some with more success than others. I’ll be addressing some cards released in Crusaders’ Battlegrounds that revived competitive Six Samurais and could potentially push them onto the tier list.

Things to note before continuing with Six Samurais:

  1. Most Six Samurai effects can only work when there’s another Six Samurai on your side of the field. This is a KEY POINT which this whole guide revolves around. If you can keep your Six Samurai’s alive, you can work towards winning the game.

  2. If a Six Samurai monster would be destroyed (by battle, effect etc.), you can choose to destroy ANOTHER Six Samurai monster instead of it. Pick and choose which Six Samurais are useful in match-ups and let others die to prepare for Enishi, Shien’s Chancellor. With the new Six Samurai released in Crusaders’ Battlegrounds, we rarely run any copies of The Six Samurai - Zanji/The Six Samurai - Yaichi/The Six Samurai - Irou, so this point isn’t that relevant. However, it’s good to remember that Great Shogun Shien can also be protected via sacrificing a Six Samurai in its place.

Without further ado, let us begin!

About the Author

I played the TCG competitively from 2007 - 2012 winning many local tournaments and have an extensive knowledge about the cards from that era. I started playing Duel Links in November of 2017 and have achieved King of Games every single month since then.

Skill Analysis

There are a few skills that really stick out to us Six Samurai players. The key ones we will be focusing on are:

  • Restart:
    Allows for us to refresh our hand looking for a more favourable outcome. You’ll be wanting to reset your hand depending on matchups which will be discussed further. Ideally you’d be wanting one Six Samurai monster depending on the matchup + Grandmaster of the Six Samurai to get the deck popping. If you can have 1-2 backrow to protect/revive your Six Samurai, that would be an “ideal” opening hand.

  • Fields of the Warriors:
    All the Six Samurai cards are Warrior type and don’t boast the greatest stats. Field of the Warriors helps assist in that department by offering a slight boost to our beloved Samurais. However, if you do take Field of Warriors, you’ll be lacking the consistency offered by Restart/Balance so i don’t recommend taking this option.

  • Mind Scan:
    This skill could see some use, however in a more control oriented variant of the Six Samurai deck. If the meta were to slow down substantially, this could see some play. However, as of now, it is quite useless.

  • Balance:
    A balance list could see some relevance alongside the control variant of Six Samurais, but again, I don’t believe the control variant is fast enough to keep up with the current meta in Duel Links.

  • Duel, standby!:
    Another skill which gives us an extra card in hand to set up for OTK’s. Six Samurai can get away with this skill due to having many ways of dealing with your opponent’s card advantage when they also get an extra card in hand. If you take this skill, you’ll be looking to go second and have the tools in your deck to wipe backrow (Hey, Trunade!, Cosmic Cyclone, etc) and deal with a monster (Enemy Controller, Hand of the Six Samurai) and finish them off with Great Shogun Shien + Grandmaster of the Six Samurai. A fun skill to use and one which should be taken quite seriously.


Decklist Breakdown

skill Restart
Duel Links Card: Great%20Shogun%20Shien
Duel Links Card: Great%20Shogun%20Shien
Duel Links Card: Grandmaster%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Grandmaster%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Grandmaster%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Secret%20Six%20Samurai%20-%20Kizaru
Duel Links Card: Secret%20Six%20Samurai%20-%20Kizaru
Duel Links Card: Hand%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Hand%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Secret%20Six%20Samurai%20-%20Doji
Duel Links Card: Secret%20Six%20Samurai%20-%20Doji
Duel Links Card: Secret%20Six%20Samurai%20-%20Doji
Duel Links Card: Super%20Rush%20Headlong
Duel Links Card: Super%20Rush%20Headlong
Duel Links Card: Super%20Rush%20Headlong
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Powerful%20Rebirth
Duel Links Card: Powerful%20Rebirth
Duel Links Card: Powerful%20Rebirth


Core Cards:

  • Grandmaster of the Six Samurai: (Optimal Count x 3)
  • Secret Six Samurai - Doji: (Optimal Count x 3)
  • Powerful Rebirth: (Optimal Count x 3)
  • Super Rush Headlong: (Optimal Count x 3)

Staples:

  • Enemy Controller: (Optimal Count x 2)
  • Great Shogun Shien: (Optimal Count x 2)
  • Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru: (Optimal Count x 2)
  • Hand of the Six Samurai: (Optimal Count x 2)

Techs/Side Deck:

  • Forbidden Chalice
  • Treacherous Trap Hole
  • Wall of Disruption
  • Last Day of Witch
  • Cunning of the Six Samurai
  • Ultimate Providence

Analysis of Key Cards

-Secret Six Samurai - Doji - The Bread:

  • When another “Six Sam” monster is Normal/Special summoned, you can send a “Six Sam” card from your deck to the graveyard. Also, if you banish it from the graveyard when your opponent’s effect (monster/spell/trap) targets to destroy one of your Six Samurais, you can negate it.

  • Really helps on deck thinning and creating protection for your Six Sam’s from targeted effect destruction (Sylvan Marshalleaf, Offerings to the Doomed, Tribute to The Doomed, Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror)

Doji is a key card in that it allows you to deck thin whenever your normal summon/special summon a “Six Sam” monster. Most of the time you’d be wanting to send either another Doji to the graveyard with his effect or Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru if you have a Powerful Rebirth in hand/set to get Kizarus’ effect popping too.

Example Combo:

  • Summon Secret Six Samurai - Doji
  • Special summon Grandmaster of the Six Samurai from hand
  • Send Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru/Secret Six Samurai - Doji
  • Set Powerful Rebirth

This is a very stock standard combo that you should be pulling off most games. It has targeted effect removal protection from graveyard via Kizaru/Doji and allows you to bring back anything that may die/setup a more aggressive play via bringing back what we sent to graveyard if needed vs a Turn 2 Sylvan Komushroomo set.

-Grandmaster of the Six Samurai - The Butter:

  • The main Six Samurai card you’ll be needing to help activate all your other Six Samurais effects. You can easily get him on the board via a special summon with the only requirement being another Six Samurai monster on the board already.

  • Also has a decent effect that when he is destroyed by an opponent’s card effect you can add a Six Sam from your graveyard to your hand. This effect means that you can recycle your Grandmaster if the opportunity arises and not give him any protection via Doji/Kizaru.

Grandmaster is a key component in a Six Samurai deck and in my list I run 3 copies. It opens up board flooding plays and gets your other Six Sams effects popping.

-Great Shogun Shien - Boss Monster:

  • 2500 attack but can still struggle to swing over some monsters like Masked HERO Anki or Sylvan Hermitree
  • Easy to fulfil special summon requirement
  • CAN be normal summoned via 2 tributes
  • Opponent can only activate 1 spell/trap per turn
  • Can avoid destruction

Shogun is a great addition to the swarm variant of Six Samurais. If you can get 2 Six Samurai monsters out onto the field, you can simply just drop him on the board as well. Remember that you can protect him via sacrificing another Six Sam monster, but sometimes its ok to let him die to open up a spot on the field for a Secret Six Samurai - Rihan. Also, vs Burn decks which clog your field with Massivemorph and Mask of the Accursed, we can tribute summon Shien to remove those problem monsters. Furthermore, if you are in a position to special summon Shien, you can more than likely win the game.

Cons: Can be a dead draw if behind and in a top deck situation.

Example:

  • Summon Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru/Secret Six Samurai - Doji
  • Protect him via backrow and/or set Powerful Rebirth
  • Summon another Six Samurai monster
  • Special Summon Great Shogun Shien from hand

Example 2:

  • Summon Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru/Secret Six Samurai - Doji
  • Special Summon Grandmaster of the Six Samurai
  • Special Summon Great Shogun Shien

Both of these combos are devastating and set your board up for success and also catch your opponent off guard if they weren’t ready for a quick OTK.

-Hand of the Six Samurai - Spot Removal Specialist:

  • As long as you control another FACE-UP Six Sam, you can tribute 1 Six Sam to target 1 monster then destroy it.
  • Highly useful card to get rid of a bunch of annoying cards in the current meta such as a set Sylvan Komushroomo.
  • Also can be used to destroy your own cards Lava Golems. Bear this in mind.

Hand of the Six Samurai is a card you’ll be looking to Restart for if you need that targeted monster removal. Hand doesn’t care if the card is set or faceup, as long as it’s a monster you can destroy it. It’s attack points are the weakest out of all the cards in the deck, but you’ll mostly be using its effect to destroy itself and take out an enemy monster. There is NO LIMIT to how many times we can use Hand’s effect.

Example Combo:

  • Summon Hand of the Six Samurai
  • Special Summon Grandmaster of the Six Samurai
  • Special summon Great Shogun Shien
  • Pop Hands effect and tribute itself to destroy the enemy monster
  • Swing with 2500 + 2100 monsters for game

As long as you have Powerful Rebirths on your board, you can keep using the spot monster removal to open up the opponents board for an OTK.

-Secret Six Samurai - Kizaru:

  • 1900 attack taking The Six Samurai - Zanji’s spot in the list
  • When special summoned you can add another Six Sam with a different attribute to the ones on your board from the Deck to your hand
  • Same graveyard protection effect as Doji

Kizaru is another way for us to thin out our deck via special summoning him. Using Powerful Rebirth, we can add another Six Sam monster (either Doji/Hand) from our deck to our hand. Also has the spot targeted monster destruction protection effect from graveyard which Doji has.

Some notes on the rest of the list:

  • Powerful Rebirths allow us to keep bringing back our monsters from the graveyard if they were used for E-Con takes, sent to graveyard via opponents effects, tributed for Hands effect etc. At 3 copies the deck feels really fluid and gives us lots of options with our plays.
  • Enemy Controllers to back up our monsters, help us swing over monsters with more than 2500 attack and cheese out more OTK’s.
  • Super Rush Headlong to help deal with the Amazoness matchup and also has great synergy with the deck in general.

Side Deck Analysis

There are plenty of cards which can be helpful in specific matchups and should seriously be considered if one matchup is providing lots of struggle for you as a player.

  • Forbidden Chalice -
    Helps to deal with pesky effect monsters such as Sylvan Komushroomo, Vision HERO Vyon, Sylvan Marshalleaf etc.

  • Ultimate Providence -
    Similar to Chalice however it also destroys the card. We have a good variety of Monsters/Spells and Traps in the deck so we can use Providences effect negation+ destruction effect for multiple cards.

  • Treacherous Trap Hole -
    We only run Powerfull Rebirths as traps in this list so TTH could find a spot in the deck for monster removal options.

  • Wall of Disruption -
    Counters Six Samurais + Amazoness decks quite well.

  • Last Day of Witch -
    Helps deal with Spellbooks.

  • Cunning of the Six Samurai -
    Helps to dodge some cards such as Floodgate Trap Hole, Enemy Controller, Wall of Disruption etc. Use it to go for an even more OTK oriented build.

  • The Six Samurai - Irou -
    He gets a mention due to the Sylvan matchup and allowing us to do a Irou + Grandmaster + Shogun Field for a quick OTK. Bypasses all set card effects.



Matchup Guide

This covers the tier list as defined by Duel Links Meta and the Top Player Council. This section also includes decks that have fallen off of the tier list but you may still face from time to time.

Amazoness

Restart for Grandmaster + Super Rush Headlong. Amazoness decks are a bit harder to deal with due to them removing our monsters from play, removing the usefulness from Powerful rebirths. However, if you are able to flood the board early enough and not run into a wall of Disruption you should be able to quickly deal with Amazoness. However, as the duel goes on and the Amazoness player gets their board setup, the combination of their monster removal + banish is devastating for us.

Effective Cards in the match-up:

Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Super%20Rush%20Headlong

Masked Heroes

Restart for Grandmaster + Enemy Controller. This deck has a similar strategy to ours so you don’t normally need to be worried about their backrow. Look to flood the board and go for a quick OTK. Make sure that you don’t feed them a Celestial draw 2 effect if you can’t OTK them; keep it on the board.

Effective Cards in the match-up:

Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Mirror%20Wall

Spellbooks

Restart for Gyuokku. If the spell book player goes first and gets a Fate ready, we are basically screwed. We need to be able to setup our monsters on the board and if the first monster we summon gets banished it doesn’t allow us to continue summoning the rest of our hand. We need to look for a way to lockdown that backrow so we can continue to flood the board and look for the quick win. If we lose our first monster to a Fate, we can sometimes recover due to good backrow draws + drawing another monster to go for the combo again.

Effective Cards in the match-up:

Duel Links Card: Fire%20Formation%20-%20Gyokkou
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Last%20Day%20of%20Witch

Note: Floodgate if going first, Gyokkou if going second.


Sylvans

Restart for Hand + Grandmaster. Sylvans are actually quick an easy matchup due to Hand of the Six Samurais spot monster removal. If you can get Hand of the Six Samurai you can easily pop their monster and look to OTK via Grandmaster + Shogun. Sylvan players sometimes run effect negating cards such as Chalice + Providence so you need to bear that in mind when going for a Hand of the Six play.

Effective Cards in the match-up:

Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Chalice
Duel Links Card: Ultimate%20Providence
Duel Links Card: The%20Six%20Samurai%20-%20Irou
Duel Links Card: Hand%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai

Aliens

Restart for Hand + Grandmaster. We are looking for Hand of the Six Samurai to deal with a set Alien Warrior. If we go second we can easily flood the board and go for an OTK depending on enemy backrow. If you test for a wall of disruption try to play around it, and you can still win the matchup most of the time before the enemy alien player can get going with their tokens.

Effective Cards in the match-up:

Duel Links Card: Anti-Magic%20Arrows
Duel Links Card: Hand%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: The%20Six%20Samurai%20-%20Irou
Duel Links Card: Xing%20Zhen%20Hu
Duel Links Card: Fire%20Formation%20-%20Gyokkou

Mirror Match

Restart for Wall of Disruption/Hand of the Six + Grandmaster. In the mirror, we should be searching for a way to deal with the enemy Six Samurai rush before it overwhelms you. If we go first, try to setup a strong board of monsters + Wall of Disruption and you will be fine. The opponent may be also running The Six Samurai - Yaichi to snipe backrow, so taking Mirror Wall instead of Wall of Disruption will protect you in this scenario. If going second, you can look for an Enemy Controller to still get an OTK via E-Con take assuming you also flood the board the same as your opponent.

Effective Cards in the match-up:

Duel Links Card: Hand%20of%20the%20Six%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Mirror%20Wall

General Observations

  1. Keep your Six Samurais out for as long as you can. The more Six Samurais you have on the field, the more plays become available to you.

  2. You want to have Grandmaster of the Six Samurai in your opening hand 90% of the time. Without him, your combos will be lacking substantially.

  3. Powerful Rebirth gives you lots of options, remember that it’s ok to let your Six Samurais die to bait out an opponent’s play.

  4. DO NOT flood your field when facing a burn player; you will get Lava Golem’d and it will set you back.

  5. Basically understand the meta, and know what to look out for. If you can spot the matchup and common cards they run, you can adjust your playstyle accordingly.



Conclusion

And here we are, at the end of the guide. I would like to thank you if you took the time to read this, as it did take a decent amount of time to write up. This guide will be further expanded as we get more and more Six Samurai cards that are useful (looking at you, bushido counter cards).

I believe that post Crusaders Battlegrounds Six Samurais are a comfortable Tier 3 deck, with potential to push to Tier 2 if people take the time to understand and learn how to play Six Samurai. There are just so many ways to approach a certain scenario and it’s been a blast when you are mid duel and you have the opportunity to make a quick OTK. I hope you guys also share my passion of Six Samurais and we can work togheter in bringing this deck up the tier list.


If you have any thoughts or questions, leave a comment below!
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