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"Blackwing", known as "Black Feather" (
"Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" appears as a character in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator, "Vayu the Emblem of Honor" appears in World Championship 2010, both "Jin the Rain Shadow" and "Zephyrus the Elite" appears in World Championship 2011, and "Armor Master" appears in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Arena.
Most "Blackwing" monsters generally have a very bird-like appearance, with most Level 3 and lower monsters appearing as small birds while the Level 4 and higher monsters appearing to be either humanoids in bird-like outfits or humanoid birds. Most of the "Blackwing" monsters feature black in their design, usually on their wing feathering.
In the anime, the "Blackwing" monsters are named after geographical elements usually related to the natural phenomena, winds and birds.
In the manga, the Blackwing monsters are named after weapons of mythological origins and natural sky-related phenomena.
They are a Deck with both swarming and speed capabilities. When Crimson Crisis was released, this archetype was very unsupported, with only five "Blackwing" cards being released: "Gale the Whirlwind", "Sirocco the Dawn", "Bora the Spear", "Armor Master" and "Raptor Wing Strike". Later on, with the release of Raging Battle and Ancient Prophecy, Blackwings grew into a high swarming and powerful Deck. The speed it gives with its swarming, along with its additional Synchro Summoning capabilities, landed this Deck a place on the Shonen Jump Circuit, along with being known as one of the many Meta Decks. The Deck proceeded to win the 2009 World Championships and remained popular the following year. New "Blackwing" monsters and support were released in The Shining Darkness and Starstrike Blast, giving them alternative strategies.
As of Premium Gold: Return of the Bling, the deck's swarming capabilities and consistency have been greatly improved. With the release of Dimension of Chaos and The Dark Illusion, new "Blackwing" monsters, called "Assault Blackwings", have been introduced that gain the ability to be Tuner monsters allowing for more access to Synchro Summoning thanks to "Assault Blackwing - Onimaru the Divine Thunder" having level manipulation once Summoned. The deck functions with high amounts of speed, searching, and good hand trap situations as leaving a "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow" in hand can be used both offensively and defensively.
"Blackwings" have a strong emphasis on swarming and utilizing hand traps. Most have the ability to Special Summon themselves from the hand; others carry special effects that utilize the Graveyard and Hand to advance the gamestate. Because of these swarming capabilities, they give many opportunities to Synchro Summon and Xyz Summon. Their overall gameplan allows for quick OTKs all the while setting up multiple layers of contingency plans and proofing for additional OTKs in future turns.
Since all of the "Blackwings" rely on the hand to swarm, "Black Whirlwind" allows them to replenish their resources while giving them the ability to toolbox into certain combo pieces. And when enough Blackwings have swarmed the field, support cards like "Delta Crow - Anti Reverse" and "Black Sonic" are granted additional effects that allow them to be activated from the hand.
Because the majority of the "Blackwing" monsters are DARK and Winged Beasts, they can utilize "Icarus Attack", "Dark Armed Dragon", "Dark Illusion", "Cattle Call", "Crush Card Virus", "Deck Devastation Virus", and "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" for card destruction. They even have access to draw power such as "Allure of Darkness", "Pot of Duality", "Cards for Black Feathers", "Pot of Desires" (albeit risky) and searching power such "Raidraptor - Force Strix", "Creeping Darkness", "Swallow's Nest", "Transmodify", and "Downbeat".
The Deck has numerous mind games, forcing opponents to make less than sub-optimal plays to play around certain cards like "Icarus Attack", "Black Sonic", "Delta Crow" and "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow". The player can create an illusion by simply setting a card in the Spell & Trap Card Zone or keeping a few cards in hand with a "Blackwing" monster on the field. Aggressive Decks are forced to slow down to stay out of range of these options that can cripple them or possibly cost the game.
With great self sustaining synergy, powerful support cards, toolbox capabilities and the ability to shift between aggressive to passive playstyles; "Blackwings" are one of the easiest archetypes to play and an overall solid archetype.
Blackwings are a powerful archetype, able to quickly swarm the field, Synchro Summon, and potentially OTK every turn. Their specialty is their quick Special Summoning, allowing you to Summon multiple monsters in a single turn, then use effects of monsters such as "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" or "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow" to build on one another and quickly wreak massive destruction.
This Deck is based on getting "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" and high-Level "Blackwing" monsters into the Graveyard. Vayu's effect allows the Special Summon of "Blackwing" Synchros from the Extra deck by using "Blackwing" monsters in the graveyard to fulfill the level requirements; the effects of these monsters are negated. Because this is not a traditional Synchro Summon, the Synchro monsters are not revivable if they are to hit the graveyard.
The strategy then devolves into spamming high-ATK Synchro Monsters followed by swarming the field with other "Blackwing" monsters. Recycling with "Burial from a Different Dimension" to perform another Special Summon is a recommended tactic. This also allows you to return "Necro Gardna" and anything else you might remove with "Dark Armed Dragon" or "Allure of Darkness" to your Graveyard. To go along with "Burial from a Different Dimension", you can add "Return from the Different Dimension" to Summon the same cards to your side of the field and attempt an OTK. Cards that send other cards from your Deck to your Graveyard, such as "Card Trooper" (or, to a lesser extent, "Veil of Darkness"), are suggested. Another possible strategy is to Special Summon "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" through the effect of "Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame", negating the Synchro Summoning restriction of "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor", and Synchro Summon "Ally of Justice Catastor".
"Crush Card Virus" is a viable tool for ditching "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" to the Graveyard while destroying the opponent's monsters. "Deck Devastation Virus" and/or "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" work for ditching a high-Level "Blackwing" monster to the Graveyard and destroying low-ATK monsters. This strategy works very will with this type of Deck, since you will be able to rapidly swarm the field with high-ATK DARK-Attribute Monsters, since the key cards of this Deck ("Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor", high Level "Blackwings") make perfect targets for the "Crush Card Virus". When they are in the Graveyard, you can Summon even more monsters while leaving your opponent with nothing. Furthermore, you will be looking at your opponent's hand, allowing you to predict their actions.
Another great card for this Deck is "Skill Drain" which can negate the effect of "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" while it is on the field (so it can be used as a Synchro Material monster on the field) while still allowing it to Special Summon Synchro Monsters by removing it from the Graveyard ("Skill Drain" does not negate effects in the Graveyard). As an added bonus, the effect-negating drawback on the Synchro Monster will be meaningless, since "Skill Drain" does the same to each other monster.
Players often choose "Sirocco the Dawn" over "Elphin the Raven" for one of two reasons; "Sirocco the Dawn" is capable of being Summoned to the field like "Cyber Dragon". It can also be used against the common "Blackwing" deck, by stealing other "Blackwing" monsters ATK from the opponent and attacking their "Blackwing" monsters for 2000 or more damage depending on the amount of ATK the "Blackwing" monsters on the field that "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" absorbs. "Lightsworn" Decks got hurt by the March 2010 Lists. However, the September 2011 Lists increased this deck's power, with Necro Gardna going back to 2 and Judgment Dragon going back to 3. In addition the deck got even more power due to the "March 2012 Lists", with "Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner" being put back to 2.
Unfortunately, the majority of the archetype lacks raw power and relies on having both the strong and weak monsters to combo properly. Their dependency on Black Whirlwind to maintain resources can be easily worked around with attack debuffs such as "Burden of the Mighty" or "Solidarity".
Blackwing's ultimate strength is their swarming capacity, but the swarm require at least 1 "Blackwing" to present first. Immediately Negate that summon or Destroy it after the summon will potentially shutdown the deck for 1 turn.
They also have some problems maintaining hand and field advantage due to the overwhelming speed with which "Blackwings" are Summoned, a player can (and often will) find his/her hand depleting quickly, thus lacking resources in case his/her plans goes wrong, (such as in the case the opponent counters a massive Swarming with a destruction card like "Torrential Tribute", "Dark Hole", "Raigeki", "Bottomless Trap Hole" or "Solemn Warning").
Balance of Judgment can help to draw more cards just in case this happens, giving you more chances to plan a new attack
"Blackwings" are good in that they are not very weak to any common Side Deck cards. Because they are all DARK (save the rarely used "Aurora") and all Winged-Beast (save for "Obsidian Hawk Joe"), cards such as "Rivalry of Warlords" and "Gozen Match" do not hurt them.
Cards such as "Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror" may hurt the player as you will not be able to use your effects, and "Dimensional Fissure" will render "Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame", "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow", "Blackwing - Blizzard the Far North" and "Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite"'s effects useless. However, all of these threats are easily solved with "Icarus Attack" or "Diamond Dire Wolf", as all of the monsters are Winged-Beasts. "Royal Decree" may pose a problem as it will render "Icarus Attack" useless, but it's also easily dealt with using "Diamond Dire Wolf" or the common "Mystical Space Typhoon".
"Thunder King Rai-Oh" will stop Black Whirlwind searching, and can negate a Synchro Summon.
Siding in "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" is also surprisingly effective against "Blackwings", since "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" can use the opponent's "Blackwings" for his effect. Although unlikely.