Home > 2022/12 Remote Duel YCS North America, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Good News: Dark World Eats Your Entire Hand Now

Good News: Dark World Eats Your Entire Hand Now

December 10th, 2022

Or at least most of your hand. Let’s talk about it.

Structure Deck: Dark World introduces 8 new cards for the Dark World theme. There are supporting minion monsters, brand-new boss-level threats, and a whack ton of Spell and Trap Cards that make the entire strategy more consistent. All in all, the new cards help Dark World double down on what it does best: discard cards, make Special Summons, and trigger those oh-so-sweet Graveyard effects.

The original Dark World monsters – think Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World and Broww, Huntsman of Dark World – debuted all the way back in 2005, in the Elemental Energy booster set. The theme got a huge boost 6 years later with the release of the Gates of the Underworld Structure Deck, which introduced Dark World’s most iconic card, Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World. That Structure Deck also introduced several cards that made the Deck more reliable, adding search effects, draw power, and tricks to help you discard cards: stuff like Snoww, Unlight of Dark WorldCeruli, Guru of Dark World, and The Gates of Dark World

In the end, Gates of the Underworld wasn’t enough to make Dark World a tournament success. When it first came out, Gates of the Underworld was such a big threat that players were devoting huge chunks of their Side Decks to beat Dark world. Graphas were banished, Graveyards were shut down, and cards like Gemini Imps got their one moment in the spotlight. And while a few Dark World Decks snuck into the Top Cuts of tournaments like YCS Kansas City and YCS Brighton in 2011, the strategy would only linger on the fringes of competition for the better part of three years. 

Then it dropped off the map entirely.

But Flash Forward To Now

Today, here at the end of 2022, a lot’s changed about the game we love. Xyz Monsters are now a vast toolbox of options, hundreds of cards deep. Link Monsters didn’t exist at all when Grapha first hit the scene, and many of them are now combo powerhouses. 

Veteran Duelists may remember that Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World has already seen play in Link Summoning strategies before: Grapha made a cameo appearance in First-Turn KO Decks built around the Danger! monsters in 2018. There, Grapha was a source of renewable Link Summoning fodder, returning from the Graveyard to play second fiddle to cards like Firewall Dragon, now nerfed with errata; and Topologic Gumblar Dragon, now Forbidden entirely.

Today the pool of Extra Deck monsters is even bigger than it was in 2018, and Dark World is just as good at raking in Xyz and Link materials. On top of that, Structure Deck: Dark World makes the basic strategy vastly more consistent: Genta, Gateman of Dark World searches The Gates of Dark World to drive your draws and discards, and offers extra material on the field. Parl, Hermit of Dark World offers even more Special Summoning. Dark World Archives brings the deck more draw power; Dark World Accession helps you Fusion Summon; Dark World Punishment controls the table; and all 3 cards have discard effects to help you resolve your Dark World monsters’ effects. 

Even the new Main Deck boss monster, Reign-Beaux, Overking of Dark World is a bundle of Special Summons and search effects. Taken together, these cards all make Dark World the one thing it never was before: actually consistent.

Dark World Accesion gives you access to the new, upgraded version of Grapha too, re-emerging as a Fusion Monster called Grapha, Dragon Over Lord of Dark World. With 3200 ATK and an effect that can revive your fallen Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World even if it’s been banished. 

The best thing about it is that once per turn, the new Grapha can change your opponent’s monster effect, or the effect of a Normal Spell or Trap Card, into a discard that hits your hand instead. That can solve a lot of problems, but the main reason it matters is that you can Special Summon it early and protect yourself from Nibiru, the Primal Being.

With No Nibiru You Can Go Crazy

With tons of consistency and no fear of Nibiru, Dark World’s free to focus on its most brutal plays. And that means Ceruli, Guru of Dark World and Sillva, Warlord of Dark World, chucking your opponent’s hand back into their Deck before they ever get to do anything. How does it work? Let’s recap.

Clocking in at Level 1, Ceruli, Guru of Dark World’s a tiny terror with just 100 ATK and 300 DEF. But if it’s discarded to the Graveyard by a card effect, you Special Summon it to your opponent’s field. From there it makes you discard a card, and you get to choose what to discard. 

Sillva, Warlord of Dark World has an effect that Special Summons it whenever it’s discarded by an effect, and if it was discarded to the Graveyard by your opponent’s card effect, they have to place 2 cards from their hand onto the bottom of their Deck. If Ceruli’s on your opponent’s side of the field it counts as your opponent’s card, and if you use it to discard Sillva they’ll lose 2 cards from their hand.

Give them Ceruli, discard Sillva, and hit them for 2 cards.

That combo’s existed since 2011. So what changed? Well, the new consistency from the new Dark World cards is huge. But the bigger answer is Link Monsters: sending 2 of your opponent’s cards back to their deck is pretty good, but looping the play a second time for a total of 4 cards is crippling. Akashic Magician and Security Dragon are both Link 2 monsters that can bump an opposing card back to its owner’s hand, and that’s exactly what you need to get back Ceruli.

From there you just have to retrieve Sillva from your field. You can bounce it back to your hand to Special Summon Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark WorldReign-Beaux, Overking of Dark World, or Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite. You could even banish it and retrieve it with Dark World Puppetry. And if you run 2 Sillva, you could also just go get your second copy. 

There are lots of ways to reload the combo, and once you’re ready to go you can rob your opponent of 2 more cards – Ceruli and Sillva don’t have “once per turn” limitations on their effects, so you can use their effects multiple times. Combo off twice and your opponent will only have 1 card left plus their draw for their first turn. With the new Grapha on your side to rule the Duel, plus more control monsters like like Abyss DwellerUnderworld Goddess of the Closed World, and Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess, your opponent won’t stand a chance.

The Best Part?

The coolest thing about all of this is that if your opponent’s playing monsters like Tearlaments Havnis and Tearlaments Merrli, sending those cards back to the Deck is very different from sending them to the Graveyard. You won’t trigger the powerful Tearlaments Fusion effects that are dominating competition right now, and the Tearlaments Duelist won’t get to make a bunch of plays on your turn. It’s entirely possible to just wipe out Tearlaments before they ever get into gear.

To be fair, this strategy’s very vulnerable to one card: Droll & Lock Bird. Freshly reprinted in Tactical Masters, Droll can singlehandedly keep you from turning on the faucet of Dark World cards that fuels this strategy. But Droll & Lock Bird isn’t very useful against the most popular tournament decks right now, so it was nowhere to be found at the latest YCS events in Pasadena, Dortmund, and San Jose.

Will competitors this weekend try to hand loop their way to victory? If they do, will their opponents come armed with answers like Droll & Lock Bird? We’ll find out, as we bring you Round by Round coverage from this weekend’s Remote Duel YCS.