"Ancient Warriors" monsters are human warriors wearing clothes or armor that based on certain beasts, which explains their Beast-Warrior typing.
The artworks of all "Ancient Warriors" monsters depicts animal feathers or fur scattered in the air, which are distinct for every Attributes: white feathers for the WATER "Ancient Warriors", red and fiery feathers for the FIRE "Ancient Warriors", and the WIND "Ancient Warriors" might show certain beast fur instead.
The theme's Japanese name seems to be a portmanteau to
Most monsters are of three Attributes, each representing one of the Three Kingdoms: the WIND monsters are from Shu Han, the WATER monsters from Eastern Wu and the FIRE monsters from Cao Wei. While monsters who do not have either of these Attributes, are fittingly, associated with neither of the Three Kingdoms.
|Attribute||Monster||Origin||Courtesy name||Beast reference|
|WATER||Graceful Zhou Gong||Zhou Yu||Gongjin||Swan|
|Masterful Sun Mou||Sun Quan||Zhongmou||Turtle and snake|
|Eccentric Lu Jing||Lu Su||Zijing||Sturgeon|
|WIND||Valiant Zhang De||Zhang Fei||Yide||White Tiger|
|Loyal Guan Yun||Guan Yu||Yunchang|
|Virtuous Liu Xuan||Liu Bei||Xuande||Dragon|
|Ingenious Zhuge Kong||Zhuge Liang||Kongming|
|Double Dragon Lords|
|FIRE||Ambitious Cao De||Cao Cao||Mengde||Phoenix|
|Fearsome Zhang Yuan||Zhang Liao||Wenyuan||Demon|
|Deceptive Jia Wen||Jia Xu||Wenhe||Bird|
|DARK||Rebellious Lu Feng||Lü Bu||Fengxian||Demon|
|Defense of Changban||Battle of Changban|
|Sun-Liu Alliance||Alliance between Sun Quan and Liu Bei against their common foe, Cao Cao|
|Borrowing of Arrows||The Borrowing of Arrows in the Battle of the Red Cliffs|
|Three Visits||Three visits to the thatched cottage|
|East-by-South Winds||Zhuge Liang summons an eastern wind|
|Chivalrous Path||Guan Yu spares Cao Cao at Huarong Trail|
The "Ancient Warriors" monsters have a diverse range of effects, with an overall playing style that focuses on swarming. Many "Ancient Warriors" monsters have the ability to Special Summon themselves, gain additional advantageous effects if other "Ancient Warriors" monsters are present, and/or have effects that trigger only in response to actions taken by other "Ancient Warriors" monsters.
The effects of individual "Ancient Warriors" monsters covers almost all common effect types, including card destruction, searching, effect negation, ATK change, protection, etc., and almost all "Ancient Warriors" monsters have multiple effects. Due to their diverse range of effects, almost every situation can be countered with one or more specific "Ancient Warriors" monsters; as such, their critical cards are their monster searchers, the in-archetypal ones being "Masterful Sun Mou", "Virtuous Liu Xuan", "Double Dragon Lords", and "Three Visits".
"Ancient Warriors" monsters in each of its three main Attributes share a specific effect activation condition:
- The WIND "Ancient Warriors" monsters (with the exception of "Ingenious Zhuge Kong" and "Double Dragon Lords") have an "Underdog-like" mechanic, with each having an effect that can only activate if your opponent controls more monsters than you do.
- The FIRE "Ancient Warriors" monsters each have an effect that can only activate if an opponent's card is destroyed by battle or card effect.
- The WATER "Ancient Warriors" monsters each have an effect that can only activate if another of the player's "Ancient Warriors" monster's effect is activated (outside the Damage Step).
Additionally, most "Ancient Warriors" monsters can be categorized by lore into leaders, fighters and tacticians, with each of these categories having their own pattern of effects:
- "Leaders", counterparts to the emperors of the three kingdoms (i.e. "Masterful Sun Mou", "Virtuous Liu Xuan", and "Ambitious Cao De"), gain protection from attacks ("Sun Mou" and "Liu Xuan") or card effects ("Cao De") while they are accompanied by another "Ancient Warriors" monster.
- "Warriors", counterparts to the military generals of the three kingdoms (i.e. "Valiant Zhang De", "Loyal Guan Yun", "Fearsome Zhang Yuan", and "Rebellious Lu Feng"), are all high-leveled monsters that can Special Summon themselves under certain conditions and provide combat-oriented effects. Additionally, "Guan Yun" and "Zhang Yuan" can provide effect targeting and battle destruction protection respectively to other "Ancient Warriors" monsters. "Cao De" uniquely seems to be a Leader-Warrior hybrid, having both conditional self-protection and a self-Special Summon condition.
- "Tacticians", counterparts to the strategists and statesmen of the three kingdoms (i.e. "Graceful Zhou Gong", "Eccentric Lu Jing", "Ingenious Zhuge Kong", "Deceptive Jia Wen"), are all Level 4 monsters with high DEF and low ATK (with the exception of "Zhou Gong"), and require sending a Continuous Spell/Trap you control to the GY to activate their supportive effects, which are often related to effect negation.
Their Spell/Trap cards, all of which are Continuous, favor the presence of "Ancient Warrior" monsters ("Three Visits", which searches an "Ancient Warriors" monster, and "Sun-Liu Alliance", which negates the activated effects of your opponent's monsters) or are battle-related, focusing on either battle protection ("Defense of Changbang" and "Chivalrous Path") or ATK manipulation ("Borrowing of Arrows" and "Sun-Liu Alliance") and card destruction ("East-by-South Winds"). The Spells all have effects that activate when they are sent from the Spell & Trap Zone to the GY (with the exception of "Sun-Liu Alliance") while the Traps have effects that they activate in the GY by banishing themselves.
A large number of "Ancient Warriors" monsters require sending a card from the hand or the field to the GY to activate their effect or Special Summon themselves; therefore, the archetypal Spell/Trap cards are prime targets for fulfilling this cost, since they have effects triggered upon being sent to the GY or GY effects.
- The Deck is extremely reliant on its Normal Summon, specially that of "Liu Xuan" or "Sun Mou", which are the main starters of the deck
- It also heavily relies on "Three Visits" as it's its main way of searching and generating field presence aside from "Liu Xuan" or "Sun Mou"
- While they all have Special Summoning conditions, the high presence of High-Level monsters can cause bricks, specially since their Summoning conditions rely on the field presence of other Ancient Warriors monsters, which aggravates the first problem, because if your Normal Summoned monster is destroyed, you won't likely be able to follow-up your strategy.
- "Ingenious Zhuge Kong" can be a brick as well as he's better off Special Summoned via a search.
- While being a Go-2nd Deck, the "Underdog" mechanics of the WIND monsters makes them incompatible with commonly ran Go-2nd cards such as "Evenly Matched", "Lightning Storm" or "The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode", as they wipe the opponent's field presence on which the former rely on.
- Similarly, the Deck lacks strong "first turn" options, having at most "Rebellious Lu Feng" or "Double Dragon Lords" as its "first turn" plays.
- The Deck has a hard time dealing with monsters that can't be neither targeted nor destroyed (such as a "Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax" summoned with "I:P Masquerena"), as such, the use of "Kaijus" is strongly adviced.