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"/Assault Mode", known as "/Buster" (
This archetype was localized to "/Assault Mode" in order to convey a greater sense of power, according to Dan Scheidegger (an Upper Deck Entertainment employee) in a post on Pojo.
In the anime tour special episode, Evolving Duel! Stardust VS Red Demons, Yusei Fudo and Jack Atlas had a Duel in which they both Summoned "/Assault Modes" of their dragons. Jack summoned "Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode" first and began to boast about it but Yusei quickly brought out "Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode". A lot of the Duel consisted of both players using various cards to protect their dragon and take out their opponent's. Eventually, both "/Assault Modes" were destroyed and the regular "Red Dragon Archfiend" and "Stardust Dragon" returned. Yusei increased the ATK of "Stardust Dragon" so it could defeat "Red Dragon Archfiend" and used "Synchro Destructor" to take out Jack's remaining Life Points.
"Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode" appears as a character in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator, in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2010: Reverse of Arcadia, and in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus, and "Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode" appears in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator.
Aesthetically, the "/Assault Mode" monsters are re-armored counterparts of the original monster. Certain small details other than "armor" change in the monsters design when they are transformed into their "/Assault Mode" forms but the overall design of the original is kept intact.
|Arcanite Magician/Assault Mode||Arcanite Magician||Destroy all cards your opponent controls by removing 2 Spell Counters from this card|
|Colossal Fighter/Assault Mode||Colossal Fighter||Decrease the ATK of your opponent's monsters by 100 for each Warrior monster in your Graveyard|
|Doomkaiser Dragon/Assault Mode||Doomkaiser Dragon||Special Summon as many Zombie monsters from either player's Graveyard(s) to your side of the field when this card is Special Summoned|
|Hyper Psychic Blaster/Assault Mode||Hyper Psychic Blaster||If this card destroys a monster in battle, inflict damage to your opponent equal to its DEF and gain LP equal to its ATK|
|Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode||Red Dragon Archfiend||Destroy all other monsters on the field after damage calculation when this card declared an attack|
|Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode||Stardust Dragon||Negate the activation of a Spell, Trap, or Monster Card's effect and destroy it by Tributing this card|
|T.G. Halberd Cannon/Assault Mode||T.G. Halberd Cannon||Negate the Summon of an opponent's monster(s), and banish those monster(s) and all Special Summoned monsters the opponent controls.|
First of all, "/Assault Mode" monsters are a straight power-up of the original version; they have 500 more ATK and DEF, two more Levels and a more powerful version of the Synchro Monster's effect (ex. "Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode" can be Tributed whenever a Spell/Trap/Monster effect is activated whereas "Stardust Dragon" can only be Tributed to negate a Spell/Trap/Monster effect that would destroy a card on the field). In addition to that, they all have an effect that revives the regular version if the "/Assault Mode" monster is destroyed. "/Assault Mode" monsters are powerful, but in order to be used effectively their user must be able to summon the desired Synchro Monster(s) quickly and consistently. A deck that is too dedicated to supporting "Assault Mode Activate" may not have the means to summon the necessary Synchro Monster. On occasion, an "/Assault Mode" monster's effect may not be as desirable as the original ("Hyper Psychic Blaster/Assault Mode" does less damage with its effect, generally, than its original version's piercing damage, and "Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode" has a severe drawback).
Back when "/Assault Mode" was first released, the only option of getting "/Assault Mode" monsters on the field was "Assault Mode Activate", which has the unfortunate drawback of only summoning "/Assault Mode" monsters from the deck, which caused trouble upon drawing them. Furthermore, any Main Deck monsters that weren't upgraded versions of a Synchro monster focused almost entirely on getting or upgrading "Assault Mode Activate", which over the years caused the strategy to become slow and inconsistent.
With the new support cards in Dark Neostorm, "/Assault Mode" got a much needed boost in power. "Assault Sentinel" can fetch the necessary component for further plays, which most of the time will be "Psi-Reflector", who can then search for "Assault Mode Activate" or in fact pretty much anything else "Assault Mode"-ish. "Psi-Reflector also brings back "Assault Sentinel" right away and brings him to useful levels, allowing for an instant Synchro Summon of anything from Level 5 to Level 9. Since "Assault Mode Activate" was searched during the process, this means that many "/Assault Mode" monsters can be effectively summoned with a single card. "Assault Sentinel" is a Beast-Warrior, which makes it a target for "Fire Formation - Tenki", while "Psi-Reflector" is Psychic for the use of "Emergency Teleport", making the deck very consistent. "Assault Sentinel"'s second effect allows you to change a monster's Attribute/Type, letting you access powerful non-generic cards like "Naturia Beast", "Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn", or "Hi-Speedroid Kitedrake". The deck can recover resources well as "Call of the Haunted" and "Back to the Front" can revive one card and combo again. A copy of "Assault Reboot" can recycle all of the "/Assault" cards in one go.
Because this deck doesn't need to make a lot of Special Summons to make most of the "/Assault Mode" monsters, its combos are usually safe from "Nibiru, the Primal Being".
As a matter of fact, while dedicated "/Assault Mode" decks can be build, the archetype should be viewed as more of an engine. The "/Assault Mode" engine can be kept relatively small and consistent which means it can be combined with other strategies like "Orcust" who don't make the "/Assault Mode" boss monsters but take advantage of the powerful one card starter in "Psi-Reflector". "Psyframe" can be used well with "/Assault Mode" decks, giving them powerful hand traps and ways to Synchro Summon on the opponent's turn and make more "/Assault Mode" boss monsters.
Due to their varied strategies, every "/Assault Mode" boss monster will be listed below with added deck building advice:
- "Doomkaiser Dragon" and "Doomkaiser Dragon/Assault Mode" fit best into a deck that is built around "Zombie World", allowing you ultimatively to Special Summon monsters from either player's graveyard. The deck can easily use the Zombie engine in form of "Mezuki", "Gozuki", "Uni-Zombie" and "Shiranui Solitaire", as well as members of the Structure Deck: Zombie Horde like "Doomking Balerdroch", "Necroworld Banshee" or "Glow-Up Bloom". Another tuner for the deck is "Plaguespreader Zombie", which is necessary to summon "Doomkaiser Dragon" in the first place. Possible uses for these monsters stolen via "Doomkaiser Dragon/Assault Mode" include being used as Link/Xyz Material, for example for monsters like "Vampire Sucker" or "Wee Witch's Apprentice", or simply going for the opponents face.
- "Arcanite Magician" and "Arcanite Magician/Assault Mode" are best used in a Spell Counter Deck. "Magical Exemplar" makes Special Summoning much easier and saves time to Synchro Summon your key monster, "Arcanite Magician". Use "Magical Citadel of Endymion" and remove spell counters from it so that your "Arcanite" or "Arcanite/Assault Mode" will not lose ATK when using their effects. In fact, any "Endymion"-themed card is suitable for this deck. Also, any generic Spellcaster support, like "Spellbook of Knowledge" or "Secret Village of the Spellcasters" can proof effective. "Arcane Apprentice" and a "Musician King" via "Instant Fusion" will result in "Arcanite Magician/Assault Mode", albeit being less consistent than the "Assault Sentinel" and "Psi-Reflector" combo. Lastly, you can use "Miracle Synchro Fusion". Since "/Assault Mode" monsters are useless in the graveyard, you can fuse a used-up "Arcanite Magician/Assault Mode" with "Tempest Magician" or "Arcanite Magician" to make "Supreme Arcanite Magician". It's slower than either Arcanite but it is much more powerful and can allow you to draw cards.
- A "Colossal Fighter"/"Colossal Fighter/Assault Mode"-Deck uses Warrior monsters to swarm the field and eventually the Graveyard. By using "Colossal Fighter/Assault Mode", one sets the course on a beatdown-focused route since ATK manipulation is a key part of the strategy. "Dark Grepher", "Armageddon Knight", "Vision HERO Vyon" and "Destiny HERO - Malicious" help with both Graveyard-setup as well as swarming. "Elemental HERO Shadow Mist" fetches "Mask Change and "Mask Change II", which allows for the usage of cards like "Masked HERO Dark Law". "Foolish Burial" is a must, as is "Reinforcement of the Army", both for consistency reasons. As an additional tuner, "T.G. Striker" can be considered and certain "Gouki" monsters can further enhance the deck.
- In case of "Stardust Dragon", "Red Dragon Archfiend" and their respective "/Assault Mode" forms, a Dragon-centered deck wields good results. Aside from the normal "Assault Sentinel"/"Psi-Reflector"-combo, this deck has another variant of getting into its Synchros: Use the field spell "Dragon Ravine" to send "Dragunity Phalanx" to Graveyard and search out "Dragunity Dux"; Normal Summon it and use it's effect to equip "Dragunity Phalanx"; Special Summon "Dragunity Phalanx" and Synchro Summon "Dragunity Knight - Vajrayana" because it can equip "Phalanx" again, letting you summon either "Stardust Dragon" or "Red Dragon Archfiend". Furthermore, Special Summoning "Dragunity Arma Mystletainn" from the hand in conjuction with "Dragunity Phalanx" can lead to summoning "Stardust Dragon" or "Red Dragon Archfiend". Other "Dragunity"-Synchros can easily be used, as can be useful cards of both the Winged Beast and the Dragon type, such as "Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite" or "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon". Depending on the build, using cards like "Cards of Consonance" or "Super Rejuvenation" can cause massive gains in card advantage.
- The "Hyper Psychic Blaster"/"Hyper Psychic Blaster/Assault Mode" deck is quite possibly the easiest of the "/Assault Mode" decks to use due to the usability of "Overdrive Teleporter" and "Hyper Psychic Blaster" being a Level 9 Synchro Monster. Thus, if one has no access to "Assault Sentinel", Special Summoning "Hyper Psychic Blaster" is as simple as Tribute Summoning "Overdrive Teleporter", Special Summoning at least one "Psychic Commander" and tuning "Teleporter" and "Commander" to Synchro Summon "Blaster". From there, activate "Assault Mode Activate" as soon as possible. A notable feature of "Hyper Psychic Blaster" is the summoning condition. Unlike other Level 9 Synchro Monsters, such as "Mist Wurm" and "Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier", "Hyper Psychic Blaster" only needs 1 other monster (at minimum) to Synchro Summon it. Most of these decks take advantage of this valuable fact as much as possible. "Psi-Reflector" being a Psychic monster also helps and allows for certain interactions with the deck. Unfortunately, as a boss monster "Hyper Psychic Blaster" is the least powerful of the bunch, which makes the choice of running a deck to summon specifically him questionable.
- In comparasion to "Hyper Psychic Blaster" and its "/Assault Mode" counterpart, "T.G. Halberd Cannon" and "T.G. Halberd Cannon/Assault Mode" are the complete opposite: While "Hyper Psychic Blaster" is easy to summon but gives the player a comparatively weak monster, "T.G. Halberd Cannon" need ridiculous setup but is arguably the strongest "/Assault Mode" monster. This is also the only monster in the list that cannot be summoned via "Assault Sentinel" shenanigans, as its Level is to high in addition to needing Synchro Monsters for its summon. One can use its "T.G." kin to swarm the field and ramp up a number of Synchros (and probably Links to even unlock the needed zones for the summons), but any archetype or engine with massive swarming could work for this gigantic task. Fortunately, the card "Assault Reboot" allows you to take a convinient shortcut.
- "/Assault Mode" can be hit incredibly hard by summon and effect negation; without the necessary Synchros, the "/Assault Mode" player will not get their bosses out and even negating cards like "Assault Sentinel" or "Psi-Reflector" can end the turn then and there.
- Cards that can negate "Assault Mode Activate" are very effective against this deck type because you still lose your Synchro Monster. Most handtraps can stop your combo starters and "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" can negate "Assault Mode Activate". "Called by the Grave" is a frequently used card which stops "Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode".