Yu-Gi-Oh! came out with new "Vampire" cards around May 2018, which make the archetype incredibly consistent.
What cards make up this deck?
In Duel Links, here are the three core cards that make the deck good. (Familiar and Retainer are new, and Kingdom is actually old.)
The following Spells/Traps in Duel Links are also searchable, besides Vampire Kingdom:
Here's what these cards generally do:
Some other key cards to the deck are Vampire Vamp, Vampire Grace, and Vampire Grimson, the boss monsters. Vamp was re-released, and Grimson is new, while Grace is old.
Here's a quick run-down of what they can do:
And lastly, a few tech cards that are helpful to the deck are Samurai Skull and Gozuki, maybe even Black Luster Soldier - Sacred Soldier.
What are some wild combos for the deck?
This deck really allows some crazy combos, that revolve around swarming the field and getting in multiple attacks. It also is very interactive, and requires a pretty decent IQ to use properly, which is something that makes the deck healthy. Let's examine screenshots of some actual scenarios that arose while I was playing Ranked Duels, and see what combos I was doing.
Match #1: Vs. "Balance" Ishizu (Vampires)
Not very standard, but it's good to go up against the "mirror match" every now and then, to remind yourself of proper activation timings, when to chain, etc. Using Balance struck me as odd, though.
A common 2nd turn opener is:
In this case, on (2) I sent Takeover to the grave, (3) searched for Domain, then (4) Normal Summoned Grimson and played Kingdom... attacking into a Wall of Disruption. Whoops!
A few turns later, I found myself facing a Vampire Vamp in attack mode (opponent has 2100 LP), which had just destroyed my Grimson (because I let him on the previous turn). The Retainer was Normal Summoned, which means it is valid target for Vampire's Desire's 2nd effect:
Target 1 "Vampire" monster in your GY; send 1 monster you control to the GY, and if you do, Special Summon the targeted monster. You can only activate 1 "Vampire's Desire" per turn.
(The Familiar would have been banished, and the effect would stop there.)
Swapping with Retainer, I thus brought Grimson right back, destroyed the backrow Trap (Drowning Mirror Force!) using the Grace + Kingdom mill effect, attacked into Vamp, paid 1000 LP to protect my Grimson, and dealt 2500 LP damage for lethal! Let's look at another one.
Match #2: Vs. "Trick up the Sleeve Blue-Eyes" Arkana
The face-down card was Silver's Cry, and the opponent had a Blue-Eyes White Dragon in-hand.
This matchup looked difficult; I drew a good hand, and tried to play my usual OTK opener for a broken hand:
So, I changed my plan; I tributed Vampire Familiar with Enemy Controller instead, and took the Cosmo Brain (3100 ATK). The opponent tributed Spirit of White to Special Summon Blue-Eyes White Dragon (3000 ATK) from the hand in attack mode (misplay). Then, since Vampire Kingdom adds 500 ATK for all Zombies at damage calculation, I attacked him for lethal (100 + 1700 + 500 + 1200 + 500 = 4000 LP)!
Even when the opponent stopped part of my play, you can see that there was an alternative play that I made in response, and it still worked out in the end! And that was literally Turn 2. Let's look at another one!
Match #3: "DNA Surgery Buster Blader" Kaiba
Surprisingly, he opened up pretty badly; just summoned the Buster Blader fusion and ended his turn. Didn't even retrieve his fusion spell from the Graveyard like he could have.
Now, I opened up pretty badly too; no Samurai Skull, no Gozuki, nothing to send my Vampire to the Graveyard... except for Enemy Controller and Vampire's Desire. There was more than one play I could have made here. I chose the "Bad Manners" play. :-)
Another way to play this would have been as follows (less interactive, a bit more polite and standard).
Hopefully, that shows how flexible Vampires are! The main combos revolve around trading with the Graveyard to search for key tools in your Deck. Then, among the boss monsters, Vampire Grace is good for destruction of backrow, Vampire Grimson is good for protection against destruction, and Vampire Vamp is good for taking on huge opposing monsters.
Alright, see ya next time!
I am often known as timaeus222, or simply Timaeus, on the internet.
Currently, I'm pursuing a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, and frequent OverClocked ReMix, a site for video game music appreciation through remixing and re-arrangement.
I am also an avid Yu-Gi-Oh! gamer, so I like to have fun playing the online card game.