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The Dark Illusion: Subterrors and SPYRAL Debut at SDCC!

July 21st, 2016

If you were lucky enough to make it down to San Diego Comic-Con this year then you might already be aware that you can check out the entirety of The Dark Illusion at the Konami booth right now! If not, don’t worry too much because I’ve got the hook up for you on the brand new World Premiere themes being shown at the booth!

Two of the cards for the Subterror Deck were already shown at the North American World Championship Qualifier, but you can get a much better idea of how the Deck functions now that all 4 are available to see. Check ‘em out!


The Subterror Behemoths are about as stealthy as gargantuan rock dudes and lizards can possibly be. Normally they’re inert and invisible, but when they awaken – either voluntarily or because they’re under attack – bad things happen to any monster that’s in their way! Behemoths are either awake (face-up) or asleep (face-down). They can each go back to sleep once per turn during your Main Phase, and much like the older cards that share this similar flip face-down mechanic, this ability does not reset if the monster is flipped face-up again that turn.

When one of your monsters flips face-down, if you have no face-up monsters left on the field, you can Special Summon 1, and only 1, Subterror Behemoth from your hand in face-up Defense Position. Note that Subterror Nemesis Warrior does not have this effect, or a Flip Effect at all. His job is to fight the Subterror Behemoths as they advance on The Hidden City. But there are a lot of them out there in the underground, and for every monster he takes down, another takes its place!

Strategically, the purpose of Subterror Nemesis Warrior is to let you filter through your Subterror Behemoths to find the ones that you want. Let’s say you have Subterror Behemoth Stalagmo on the field. You Flip Summon it and use its effect to discard an extra Stalagmo and draw 2 cards. What you really need right now is Subterror Behemoth Umastryx so that you can banish your opponent’s indestructible Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons. Stalagmo doesn’t get you Umastryx, but it does get you Subterror Nemesis Warrior. Now you can use the effect of Subterror Nemesis Warrior to swap itself and Stalagmo for an Umastryx. If you also have The Hidden City, you can immediately flip Umastryx face-up to banish Beelze, Special Summon Subterror Nemesis Warrior back, and get in 3800 damage.

The challenge in building a Subterror Deck right now is how you handle your first turn. The Subterror cards themselves can build to a crescendo over the course of a Duel, but don’t, at the moment, have a turn 1 play to call their own. That’s why the cards you choose to accompany them are so important! I’m personally a fan of Pre-Preparation of Rites with Prediction Ritual and Prediction Princess Tarotrei. Tarotrei’s unique effects let you play aggressively with your Flip Effect monsters and generate new monsters every turn. She also works great with Subterror Nemesis Warrior because she can Summon a Flip monster face-down, flip it face-up during the End Phase to immediately trigger its effect, and you can use Nemesis Warrior right away to trade it for another one face-down, which Tarotrei can flip up at will during your opponent’s turn, which re-Summons Subterror Nemesis Warrior, and so on. With the Level 10 Stalagmo as an easy to access Tribute via The Hidden City and even Spirit of the Fall Wind, this is a fairly realizable turn 1 play.

One of the coolest things about Subterrors is that they don’t play anything like any of the Decks that are currently in vogue, so if you’re looking for a fresh perspective on Dueling, try them out!

Speaking of perspective, the other brand new World Premiere theme kicking off in The Dark Illusion has a unique perspective on everything. The secret intelligence organization SPYRAL knows all and sees all. In fact, they can learn things about your opponent’s Deck that even your opponent doesn’t know!


Building a SPYRAL Deck lets you play out your very own spy thriller in every Duel! First and foremost, every superspy needs all the cool gadgets and gizmos they can get their hands on. SPYRAL Quik-Fix is the man with all the plans for a wide variety of cool stuff, and you’ll get to add one of his “SPYRAL GEAR” cards to your hand each time Quik-Fix is Normal or Special Summoned. In fact, he’s such a gearhead that he’s classified as Machine-Type and is compatible with Machine Duplication for tons of searching! Once you’ve done all your searching, you can combine all your Quik-Fixes into a Rank 1 Xyz Monster like Number 83: Galaxy Queen to start your infiltration strategy.

SPYRAL Super Agent has been chosen to infiltrate the Duel and sabotage your opponent’s plans. Start things off by guessing if the top card of your opponent’s Deck is a monster, Spell, or Trap. That card is revealed, and if you were correct, SPYRAL Super Agent is Special Summoned from your hand and then can destroy a Spell/Trap your opponent controls. In theory you have a 1 in 3 chance of getting it right without outside information from other SPYRAL cards, but knowledge of current Deck building trends (i.e. knowing not to choose “Trap”) can make things a lot easier!

Of course, you can just take a look at your opponent’s Deck by Summoning SPYRAL GEAR – Drone first! If it’s Normal or Special Summoned you can look at (not reveal) the top 3 cards of your opponent’s Deck and rearrange them. This lets you give your opponent the worst topdecks possible while increasing SPYRAL Super Agent’s chance of completing his mission to 100%! The Drone can also be Tributed during either player’s turn to permanently pump up another “SPYRAL” monster by 500 ATK for every card your opponent controls, or banish it from your Graveyard with another “SPYRAL” card during your own turn to airlift SPYRAL Super Agent out of the Graveyard and back to your hand. The Drone is also compatible with Machine Duplication, so you can give potentially massive boosts to your SPYRAL Super Agent many times over in the same turn!

One of my favorite ways to give my opponent cards without actually giving them options is with Ojama Trio. The Tokens count as cards for the effect of SPYRAL Gear – Drone, and with Number 83: Galaxy Queen you can give SPYRAL Super Agent the ability to inflict piercing battle damage through the Tokens’ DEF. With our last “SPYRAL” card from The Dark Illusion, you can make the multiple Drone scenario even more likely, or just help SPYRAL Super Agent defy death and look good while doing so!

At the European WCQ, Matt teased SPYRAL GEAR – Big Red as a card that resembles a Forbidden card. It sure does, the card in question being Premature Burial! Big Red Summons a “SPYRAL” monster from your Graveyard and equips itself to it. As long as Big Red stays equipped, that monster can’t be destroyed by battle. Blowing up the car won’t take the revived “SPYRAL” monster out, it’ll just make it possible to destroy that monster in battle again. Remember, this is a fancy spy car – of course it has ejector seats!

There are a lot of cool and fun things you can do with a SPYRAL Deck, and there will be even more when Dragons of Legend: Unleashed drops as well! Until then, we hope you’ll enjoy making sure that your opponent always draws the worst possible card for the situation while you build your SPYRAL Super Agent up to a ridiculous, hopefully 5 digit, ATK!

You’ll have your first shot to get cards from these two new themes at The Dark Illusion Sneak Peeks on July 30th and/or 31st. But even if you can’t get them there, don’t worry because The Dark Illusion launches soon after on August 5th!