With the arrival of the 5D’s Duel World, we are all introduced to the new art of Synchro Summoning. However, as many of us may know, up until recently we do not have good enough Synchro monsters or generic Tuner monsters to make Synchro-based decks viable (other than Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon which seldom sees use in Blue-Eyes decks).
X-Sabers is one of the initial Synchro-based archetype that was released in the first Main Box of 5D’s: Stardust Acceleration. It is also one of the fan-favorite Synchro archetypes in the TCG since its release in 2009. Although we did not get all the core cards from the TCG, we still received a couple of main monsters that can make this deck work, such as XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, XX-Saber Boggart Knight, and XX-Saber Hyunlei. With the addition of some new cards from the Trudge Event, this deck has found some light in the current meta.
Most of the cards that will be discussed in this article will come from the Stardust Acceleration Main Box. Currently, X-Sabers focus on playing with their main Tuner monster, XX-Saber Fulhelmknight and swarming the board with XX-Saber Boggart Knight. At the moment, the play style of the deck revolves around sitting on protective backrow that causes disruption to the opposing combos and swarming until being able to make a huge push such as board-wiping with XX-Saber Hyunlei and/or Saber Slash.
(Note: XX-Saber monsters are also considered “X-Saber” monsters when included in card text.)
The most essential cards you want to have to make this deck viable:
This is the main Tuner monster of the deck, and one of the best Tuner monsters in the game right now. Being able to negate one attack once while it is face-up on field and sitting on a solid 1300 ATK, this is one of the most independent Tuner monsters we have in Duel Links. It also has the effect of being able to revive any Level 4 or lower X-Saber monster from the Graveyard after it destroys an opponent’s defense position monster by battle, so the ability to recycle Graveyard monsters including another copy of itself is a great element to have in a Synchro-based deck.
The Destiny HERO - Drilldark of the deck, this monster is the main beater and swarmer of the archetype. Note: Unlike Destiny HERO – Drilldark, XX-Saber Boggart Knight still resolves with effect even if it is no longer face-up on the field upon resolution. Sitting at an impressive stat of 1900 ATK at level 4, the level 4 monsters of other top tier decks struggle to get over it. This includes: all level 4 Destiny HEROs, all Gladiator Beasts, and Gozuki/Samurai Skull in Vampires (without Vampire Kingdom). This card is used to bring out any X-Saber monster in your hand and combos extremely well with Saber Slash, being able to guarantee two face-up destructions upon activation. It is also important to note that XX-Saber Boggart Knight cannot be used as a Synchro Material except for the Synchro Summon of an X-Saber Synchro monster.
This is the main searcher of the deck; however, it is important to consider that its searching effect only goes off during the End Phase of the turn it is sent to the Graveyard. With 100 ATK/100 DEF, this monster is almost guaranteed destruction when it engages in any sort of battle. XX-Saber Darksoul is the main monster used with XX-Saber Fulhelmknight to bring out XX-Saber Hyunlei.
One of the main power play cards for this archetype, being able to destroy up to 3 face-up cards on the field is a devastating effect especially in Duel Links, potentially board-wiping the opposing player. However, because it checks the amount of face-up attack position X-Saber monsters you control upon resolution, the opposing player may chain certain cards to its activation to alter the number of X-Sabers before it resolves. These cards include but are not limited to Enemy Controller, Treacherous Trap Hole, and Paleozoic Canadia.
This new level 2 Tuner monster came from the recent Trudge Event as a level-up reward that boosted the versatility of the X-Saber archetype. Although not an X-Saber monster itself, it now allows you to bring out an XX-Saber Hyunlei, tuning with the level 4 XX-Saber Boggart Knight. The most important effect of this Tuner is that the Synchro monster brought out by it prevents the opposing player from activating any Trap Cards upon attack declaration until the end of Damage Step, effectively shutting off popular and powerful Trap Cards such as set Wall of Disruption, Mirror Wall, Widespread Ruin, and Drowning Mirror Force. Also, being able to bring out a Goyo Chaser by tuning with an XX-Saber Darksoul can almost guarantee the ability to “steal” the opposing player’s monster. This monster does have the drawback of being limited to only be used as a Synchro Material of a Warrior-type Synchro Monster. Luckily, most of our Synchro Monsters in our Extra Deck are Warrior-type monsters. However, because this monster is not an X-Saber monster that doesn’t work with Saber Slash, has no effects outside of being used for a Synchro Summon, and has horrendous base stats, you want to run only 1 or 2 copies in your Main Deck.
The main boss monster of the deck, being able to destroy up to 3 Spell/Trap Cards upon Summon is incredible and game-changing, especially in Duel Links where there are only 3 Spell/Trap Card Zones. It is important to note that this Synchro Monster requires 1 or more X-Saber non-Tuner monsters to summon.
- Your main ways of getting it out are:
Unfortunately, this is the only level 7 Synchro Monster we can make with the current deck. Sitting at mediocre stats of 2500 ATK/1600 DEF, most of the time it is not worth getting out this card unless it is used to get over another monster. To use either of its effects, you will need to tribute off another X-Saber monster on the field, which again in the end, is not worth it most of the time. The conditions are too demanding, requiring you to basically be able to get out 3 X-Saber monsters (2 for Synchro Summoning, 1 for effect) while having below-average effects.
- Your main way of getting it out is:
The second main boss of the deck and another new addition from the Trudge Event. Having the ability to “steal” your opponents’ monsters is incredible. Being a generic level 5 Synchro Monster (conditions of 1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters), it is directly competing with X-Saber Wayne. Comparatively, X-Saber Wayne’s effect is ironically very bad considering half of the monsters you run in the deck are not even Warrior-type monsters. Torapart works amazingly well with this card, being able to almost guarantee to get its “stealing” effect off. The 1900 ATK stat, like XX-Saber Boggart Knight, is effective against most of the level 4 monsters in the current meta, even being able to attack into a Destiny HERO - Decider for being a level 5 monster. Goyo Chaser is also able to avoid the threshold of Vampire Vamp’s effect.
- Your main ways of getting it out are:
Some generic “backrow” cards (Paleozoics are almost necessary in the deck to open up more Synchro options):
This card is good for switching a monster to defense and getting off an XX-Saber Fulhelmknight effect. In the Level Demotion build, you want to maximize this card at 3 so that you can demote a level off an XX-Saber Fulhelmknight or XX-Saber Boggart Knight in order to make an instant XX-Saber Hyunlei.
This card works almost just like Sphere Kuriboh, able to provide protection, and sometimes stealing your opponent’s monster for a Synchro Summon. However, most of the time it’s difficult to do so since most of your Synchro Monsters require a non-Tuner X-Saber monster. Econ-taking any level 4 with a Torapart can make you a Gravity Warrior, though, but again, not likely to happen.
A great card in X-Sabers, being able to provide offense, defense, and a level 2 non-Tuner monster. A great battle Trap Card option as most effects are not chainable in the Damage Step. It is very important to note that unlike Mirror Wall in the Vampire matchup, this card reduces the attack of Zombie monsters by half BEFORE applying the effect of Vampire Kingdom.
What does this mean?
A Gozuki/Samurai Skull with the attack of 1700 is divided by half in the Damage Step before Vampire Kingdom boosts them for another 500.
1700/2 + 500 = 1350 which just barely gets over an XX-Saber Fulhelmknight.
The reason why I decided to put these two cards together is because I want to emphasize that they serve almost the same purpose. At the moment, Vampires are considered one of the best decks in the meta, and aside from just being good protection cards in general, these two are the only real disruptions we have against Vampire Grace to avoid it from getting a free pop on the field.
Would maximize Paleozoic Canadia over Floodgate Trap Hole if you have 3 of each due to its similar capabilities as Paleozoic Hallucigenia.
Floodgate Trap Hole is a great way to also stall out the opposing player before drawing the necessary combo pieces to go in for a push.
Good for chaining against Hey, Trunade!s to prevent OTK, and a very standard generic backrow card in the meta. A great battle Trap Card option as most effects are not chainable in the Damage Step.
Getting off the effect on multiple monsters has always been devastating, and once again, a standard, generic backrow card that can potentially help stall out the game for a bit to create room for you to draw your combo pieces.
Provides the deck with slightly more flexibility by giving up some room that could be used for defensive Trap Cards. (i.e. Powerful Rebirth on a Torapart allows you to make XX-Saber Hyunlei by tuning with XX-Saber Darksoul)
- Due to Torapart being limited to only Warrior-type Synchro Monsters your only way to summon this card would be:
A level 9 beater that you can make with XX-Saber Fulhelmknight and any other non-Tuner monsters that add up to level 6.
- Some ways you can summon it:
The most common way to get it out would be XX-Saber Fulhelmknight with XX-Saber Darksoul since XX-Saber Boggart Knight cannot be used a Synchro Material for a non-XX-Saber monster. Sometimes your opponent may not have backrow cards or backrow cards you want to remove so going into a potentially higher beater than XX-Saber Hyunlei is a valid option.
- Some ways you can summon it:
(the most optimal skill of the format)
- The best skill in the current format, shutting out some decks entirely for up to two turns like Vampires and Spellbooks. This skill creates space for X-Sabers to gain momentum and take control of the game.
- Using a Saber Slash after activating this Skill may cause devastating effects onto the opposing board. (i.e. against Vampires)
- Note: This Skill does also shut downs the effects of XX-Saber Fulhelmknight and Goyo Chaser.
AshBlossoms’s Meta Weekly #44 2nd Place Build (2 Deck Format):
Wayne kenoff’s Meta Weekly #45 1st Place Build (2 Deck Format):
Wayne kenoff’s Nov 2 – 1st Place Anytime Tournament Build (2 Deck Format):
Zzmondo’s Nov 4 – 1st Place Anytime Tournament Build (2 Deck Format):
Standard Sealed Tombs X-Sabers Build:
Wayne kenoff’s Level Reduction X-Saber Sample Build:
- This deck focuses more on Synchro Summoning and swarming more than anything. With the skill Level Reduction, you can effectively reduce the usual XX-Saber Fulhemknight + XX-Saber Boggart Knight = Level 7 into a Level 6, creating an instant XX-Saber Hyunlei, the main boss of the deck.
- Aside from Saber Slash, every card in this deck can contribute to a Synchro Summon.
The ratios of these matchups are based off the Sealed Tombs (ideal) version of the deck.
– 65/35 –
Extremely easy matchup. Gladiator Beasts struggle to take down XX-Saber Boggart Knight alone, not to mention XX-Saber Fulhelmknight’s ability to negate one attack while on the field. Both XX-Saber Hyunlei and Saber Slash can cause devastation for Gladiator Beasts in which they will struggle to recover from.
– 55/45 –
This matchup entirely depends on whether if Spellbooks open Silent Magician or not (and they always do). It is a bit difficult if Spellbooks open Silent Magician which is also unaffected by Saber Slash. However, a backrow-heavy build should be able to deal with the Spellbook of Fate recycles (Floodgate Trap Holes and Paleozoic Canadias do very well against this deck) and eventually stall it out. XX-Saber Fulhelmknight is also very good in the matchup being too big for Spellbook Magician of Prophecy to swing over and can negate an attack from Silent Magician or boosted Spellbook of Power monsters. If Spellbooks do not open Silent Magician, Sealed Tombs also creates space for X-Sabers to potentially push through for lethal on your second turn. Spellbooks overall just do not have enough power and removal to push through your monsters and backrow at the same time.
– 35/65 –
Difficult matchup. Not only are they huge beaters that you can hardly get over, Dragon Spirit of White can remove your backrow as well as dodge them. The main outs would be summoning a Giganticastle (difficult to do) with higher stats than all the Blue-Eyes monsters or using Saber Slash with Sealed Tombs to wipe the board and potentially go in for lethal without having to worry about any revival effects like Birthright or Silver’s Cry.
– 45/55 –
Almost an even and grindy matchup for the most part with Sealed Tombs. Opening the correct cards such as Paleozoic Canadia/Floodgate Trap Hole to deal with Vampire Grace is essential. XX-Saber Fulhelmknight is able to recover resources back onto your board by attacking over defense position Vampire Grace, Vampire Familiar, or Vampire Retainer even if they are banished because its revival effect does not include the “and sent to the Graveyard” clause. Saber Slash along with Sealed Tombs is also devastating having the potential to board wipe and close out a game since most Vampire cards will be face-up on the field after their setup. However, X-Sabers still is a lot less consistent than Vampires when it comes to setting up an ideal board, not to mention that many players have decided to run Hey, Trunade!s in their Vampire builds to deal with pesky backrow which ultimately leads to the demise of this deck once they are able to draw into it.
– 45/55 –
Another almost even and grindy matchup with a tier 1 deck at the moment. The fact that Masked Heroes have very little to no removal effects at all gives X-Sabers a much better time only having to deal with Masked HERO Anki and backrow which can easily be answered with by using XX-Saber Hyunlei and Saber Slash (chaining Mask Change is futile since it does not target). The matchup is basically grinding through backrow until one deck gets the opportunity to board wipe and push for game. However, since Masked Heroes is now using the Balance skill, which guarantees its consistency, is able to dodge some backrow with Mask Change, and has Masked Hero Anki which wields more ATK stats than any of the X-Saber boss monsters, the deck holds a slight advantage.
- hu – for inspiration and constantly pushing me to write this guide. I finally found some time to sit down and write it out.
- wayne kenoff – X-Saber Wayne himself for his inspiration and deck builds for the article.
- Zzmondo – for his deck builds for the article.
- Dkayed & Gia Joestar – for creating this wonderful site and community that made everything possible.
- My fellow X-Hunters team/clan mates – X-SABERS REPRESENT!