Dark Magician (archetype)
Accomplish magnificently the combination of teacher and student.— The archetype's tagline in promotional material
"Dark Magician", known as "Black Magician" (ブラック・マジシャン Burakku Majishan) in Japanese, is an archetype that has been a part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise since its beginning, with "Dark Magician" appearing as Yugi Muto's ace card. During the Battle City arc and subsequent arcs, more cards were introduced, such as "Dark Magician Girl".
Originally a series, the release of "The Eye of Timaeus" cemented its status as an archetype. The archetype also contains a sub-archetype, "Dark Magician Girl". Due to their Japanese names, "Dark Magician of Chaos" and "Skilled Dark Magician" are not "Dark Magician" cards. However, since support for this archetype only works on monsters that are listed as Fusion Material on a Fusion Monster (which neither of the two are), this is not an issue. Also, this isn't a sub-archetype of the "Magician" archetype.
Some members of this archetype appears as characters in video-games:
- "Dark Magician" appears in World Championship 2006, in World Championship 2007, and in Duel Arena;
- "Dark Magician Girl" appears in World Championship 2008, in World Championship 2009, in World Championship 2010, in World Championship 2011, in Destiny Board Traveler, in Tag Force, and in Duel Arena;
- "Toon Dark Magician Girl" appears in World Championship 2007.
The effect of "The Eye of Timaeus" can affect any "Dark Magician" monster, including "Dark Magician Girl" monsters. In German, Portuguese, and Spanish, due to gender-specific conjugation, the card text compounds the "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl" into a single string („Dunkler/s Magier“, "Mago(a) Negro(a)", and "Mago/a Oscuro/a", respectively) to explicitly include "Dark Magician Girl" monsters as being part of the archetype. In Italian, despite also conjugating based on gender, card text regularly does not spell out differences due to grammatical gender, so only lists the name of "Dark Magician" ("Mago Nero"), with support for "Dark Magician Girl" ("Ragazza Maga Nera") monsters being implicit. In French, due to the inconsolable difference in names between the two monsters, the effect of "The Eye of Timaeus" supports both the "Dark Magician" archetype ("Magicien Sombre") and the "Dark Magician Girl" archetype ("Magicienne des Ténèbres") separately.
"Dark Magician" monsters have several features in common:
- The armor of most "Dark Magician" monsters is a collection of shiny, curved plates with sharp edges, all of the same color, which covers the torso and shoulder areas. On the edges of the plates are curved trimmings of contrasting shade. "Magician's Robe" is the monster version of it.
- Some of these monsters also have hats which appear to be similar to a stereotypical wizard's hat, which is usually crooked, leaning forward at the tip and with several rings which segment it. These rings are of the same color of the curved trimmings seen elsewhere on its attire.
- Some of these monsters have Spell Counters embedded in their staff, shield, sword or armor.
- Some also have the "Dark Magical Circle" depicted in the background of their card artwork.
The Dark Magician archetype is centered around swarming the field with the archetype's potent Fusion arsenal, with the most prominent ones being "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight", "The Dark Magicians" and "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon", as well as normal "Dark Magicians".
- "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight" protects your back row from being targeted and destroyed while also being treated as Dark Magician, allowing the player to benefit from the support such as "Dark Magical Circle" and "Eternal Soul". This card synergizes best with "Eternal Soul", as the trap card makes every "Dark Magician" unaffected by your opponent's cards and can bring back your "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight" if it ever gets destroyed by battle. This tandem essentially forces your opponent to use valuable non-targeting + non-destruction card effects on your "Eternal Soul" if they ever want to get rid of "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight".
- "The Dark Magicians" has a very unique ability that allows it activate quick-play spells and traps immediately from its draw effect. By far the easiest Fusion Monster to summon in the archetype, is is also fittingly the deck's main combo extender aside from its greatest companion, "Soul Servant". As mentioned, "Soul Servant" sets this card up to draw nearly every card in the Dark Magician archetype, and can act as a direct pipeline into summoning "Palladium Oracle Mahad" or a "Dark Magician" through drawing and immediately activating "Eternal Soul". This card symbiotically supports "Soul Servant's" second ability to fuel the respective monsters needed for "Soul Servant" to draw more cards. Finally, when "The Dark Magicians" is destroyed, it special summons both "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl" from nearly anywhere as a parting present.
- "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon" is notorious for being extremely powerful and hard to get rid of. "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon" can destroy monsters and simultaneously inflict heavy burn damage based on the destroyed monster(s) ATK, has innate targeting + destruction protection, possesses an omni-negate effect that makes it gain ATK afterwards via discard, and lastly, has 3000 ATK points that will likely be boosted by the previous effect. Due to the protection, it does not have to worry about the side-effect of "Eternal Soul" if it were to trigger. Although "Predaplant Verte Anaconda" is still the easiest way to summon the card, there are several other ways to summon it in a "Dark Magician" build without locking special summons from using the former or "Red-Eyes Fusion".
- "First of the Dragons", although not as synergistic as the other three Fusion Monsters, it is still a viable Fusion option in a "Dark Magician" build . Since the archetype runs ideally 4 normal monsters, (3 "Dark Magicians" and 1 "Red-Eyes Black Dragon"), this card can be splashed into the deck to take advantage of its great passive effect which makes it untouchable by all effect monsters.
As for summoning the original "Dark Magician" or "Dark Magician Girl" directly, the archetype relies mostly on two cards, "Magicians' Souls" and "Fusion Deployment". "Magicians' Souls" sends any level 6 or higher Spellcaster to the Graveyard as a cost (meaning they are still sent even if this card is negated by "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring") and subsequently can summon itself, or most preferably, a "Dark Magician" or "Dark Magician Girl". And if need be, "Magicians' Souls" can also draw cards after it's summoned by sending spell and traps you control or are in your Hand to the Graveyard. "Fusion Deployment" on the other hand can summon "Dark Magician" or "Dark Magician Girl" from the deck instead, provided you have a Fusion Monster that lists them in your Extra Deck, at the cost of restricting your Extra Deck summons to only Fusion Monsters. Both cards can also be used to fuel the second ability of "Soul Servant" to draw more cards.
Although the deck's main outlet for fusion is "Secrets of Dark Magic", the deck's fusion output is greatly boosted by "Keeper of Dragon Magic", as it acts as a built-in searcher for fusion cards like "Polymerization" and even "Ultra Polymerization". In addition, it has the ability to special summon a monster from the Graveyard listed as material in one of your extra deck monsters for fusing, and lastly, its typing allows it to be used as very convenient Fusion Material for "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight," "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon," and "Dracrown of Mysterion".
To make all this work more consistently, a "Spellbook" engine utilizing "Spellbook Magician of Prophecy", "Spellbook of Secrets", and "Spellbook of Knowledge" is advised. The two "Spellbook" spell cards synergize well with the "Dark Magician" archetype as they only require Spellcasters to utilize "Spellbook of Knowledge's" draw effect, which in turn will allow the player to get the card placed on top of the deck from "Soul Servant" without having to use "The Dark Magicians" or a seperate draw effect. "Spellbook Magician of Prophecy" searches the "Spellbook" cards and can be used as the cost needed for "Spellbook of Knowledge" in the Hand, but can cannibalize the 1 Normal Summon per turn needed for "Magician's Rod" or "Keeper of Dragon Magic" if summoned this way.
With all this taken into account, one of most solid opening plays this deck can make is with a hand of "Keeper of Dragon Magic," "Dark Magician," and another fusion card. "Keeper of Dragon Magic" discards "Dark Magician" to search for "Ultra Polymerization", then brings him back with the use of its second effect. Fuse both monsters to create either "Dracrown of Mysterion," or "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight" if Eternal Soul is in hand. Lastly, "Ultra Polymerization's" Graveyard effect bring both monsters back in order to finally summon "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon" with the other fusion card. The end result will be 2 boss monsters both equipped with disruption/negation, ("Dracrown of Mysterion," + "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon") or impermeability ("Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon" + "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight" with an Eternal Soul).
Without "Keeper of Dragon Magic" in the hand, the next opening play is to use the Normal Summon effect of "Magician's Rod" to search for any Spell/Trap that specifically lists the card "Dark Magician" in its text. "Dark Magic Inheritance" can continue searching for powerful cards in a similar fashion when you have 2 spell cards in the Graveyard to banish.
"Apprentice Illusion Magician" can add a "Dark Magician" to the Hand and fuel the effect of "Magician Navigation". Its discard effect can also fuel your Graveyard with monsters needed for the draw effect of "Soul Servant", and the last effect of "Apprentice Illusion Magician" can bolster Dark-attribute Spellcasters to get over monsters such as "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" and "Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon".
|Palladium Oracle Mahad Deck List|
|Konami’s Post TDIL Sample Dark Magician Deck|
Being a spell-heavy deck, "Anti-Spell Fragrance" completely shuts down this deck as many Dark Magician builds have more spells then they have monsters.
"Koa'ki Meiru Drago" can also cripple this deck, because its effect prevents the Special Summon of LIGHT and DARK monsters, which most monsters in this deck are.