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" elevated the series into an archetype.
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. This archetype is not a sub-archetype of the unrelated "Magician" archetype.
The archetype contains a sub-archetype, "Dark Magician Girl".
Only one card supports the "Dark Magician" archetype as an archetype: "The Eye of Timaeus"—most "Dark Magician" support cards only support "Dark Magician" or cards that specifically list it.
Due to the gendered nature of some languages impacting the naming of "Dark Magician Girl", in many languages it is not possible to support both "Dark Magician Girl" monsters and other "Dark Magician" monsters with a single archetype name.
- In German, Portuguese, and Spanish, due to gender-specific conjugation, the card text of "The Eye of Timaeus" 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 the language also featuring gender-specific conjugation, Italian card text often does not spell out grammatical gender differences in archetype names, so the card text of "The Eye of Timaeus" only supports "Dark Magician" ("Mago Nero") monsters, with support for "Dark Magician Girl" ("Maga Nera") monsters being implicit.
- In French, due to the inconsolable difference in names between the two monsters, the card text of "The Eye of Timaeus" specifies 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 on the Level 7 DARK Spellcaster Normal Monster, "Dark Magician", with a secondary focus on the Level 6 DARK Spellcaster Effect Monster, "Dark Magician Girl". These two monsters feature a large amount of supporting cards that support these two monsters specifically, and those support cards in turn have their own support cards (who generally specify supporting "[card(s)] that specifically lists the card 'Dark Magician' in its text.") Generally, the archetype aims to use its arsenal of supportive Spell/Traps to generate advantage, disrupt the opponent, and use them to summon the archetype's Fusion boss monsters.
The archetype has a very large series of supportive Spell/Traps, with highly varied and powerful effects. Some more prominent examples include "Dark Magical Circle", who provides disruption when "Dark Magician" is summoned, "Eternal Soul", who gives "Dark Magician" protection and can endlessly revive "Dark Magician" and trigger "Dark Magical Circle", "Dark Magic Attack", "Dark Burning Attack", "Dark Burning Magic", who are searchable blowout cards, and "Magicians' Combination", "Magician Navigation", and "Destined Rivals", who are situational negates.
In order to search out these key Spell/Traps, the archetype has multiple Spell/Trap searchers, with the key ones being "Magician's Rod", who searches Spell/Traps on Normal Summon, and Dark Magic Inheritance", a Quick-Play Spell that can search out Spell/Traps. Situationally, "Bond Between Teacher and Student" is a searcher for the aformentioned blowout cards.
To search out the "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl" that these Spell/Traps depend on, the archetype also has key monster searchers, with the important ones being "Magicians' Souls", who sends a Level 6 or higher Spellcaster monster from Deck to GY as cost for its hand effect, and "Apprentice Illusion Magician", who can Special Summon itself and search out "Dark Magician". Other situational key monster searchers include "Illusion Magic" and "Magician Navigation", and "Fusion Deployment" is an external searcher for the deck's key monsters.
The deck needs both its supportive Spell/Traps and its key monsters to begin its proper game plan, but none of the above cards can search out both simultaneously and reliably. To remedy this, the archetype has two extremely important searchers to ensure that it can reach both sides of its combo. The first is "Soul Servant", an indirect omni-searcher that can place any archetype-related card on top of the deck, which can then be drawn into using other cards' effects or its own GY effect. The second is "Illusion of Chaos", who can search out "Dark Magician" or any monster that lists it, making it a searcher for "Magician's Rod" and "Magicians' Souls", in essence a searcher for searchers.
The archetype's Fusion boss monsters (some of which form a Super Magical series, others form a "Dragon Knight" series) are powerful board control tools, giving the archetype more board presence beyond its backrow. They each require a "Dark Magician" as their fusion material, with a varied second fusion material. The most prominent ones among them are "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight", "The Dark Magicians" and "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon", with "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon" being especially notable as the deck's single most powerful monster that can often win games on its own.
- "Dark Magician the Dragon Knight" protects the player's backrow from being targeted and destroyed, and synergizes with "Eternal Soul" by being treated as "Dark Magician", creating a two-way protection between it and "Eternal Soul".
- "The Dark Magicians" once per turn draws the player a card when a Spell/Trap is activated, and allows Traps/Quick-Play Spells it drew to be immediately set and activated that turn. It provides the player with lots of resources over several turns, and combos well with "Soul Servant", who can set up the top deck with high-value cards or combo pieces such as "Palladium Oracle Mahad" or "Eternal Soul".
- "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon" is an extremely powerful boss monster with high protection, high disruption power, high-power removal effects, and high damage output and OTK potential. It has innate targeting + destruction protection, possesses a once-per-turn omni-negate, can destroy monsters while simultaneously inflict burn damage, and has good base stats that gets boosted whenever it negates and destroys a card. The sheer power of "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon" makes it one of the main win conditions of the deck.
To summon these Fusion Monsters, the archetype has a few in-theme cards that perform Fusion Summons. "Secrets of Dark Magic" and "Timaeus the Dragon of Destiny" can both perform Fusion Summons (a Spell and a monster that can Special Summon itself, respectively), and "The Eye of Timaeus" is a unique "Fusion Spell" that tributes a "Dark Magician" monster to Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from the Extra Deck that lists it as a material. "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon", in particular, can be easily made using "Red-Eyes Fusion", which in turn can be copied from the deck with "Predaplant Verte Anaconda", making it viable for a turbo strategy.
The archetype also has the capacity to make additional in-theme or non-in-theme Fusion monsters, such as "Mysterion the Dragon Crown", "First of the Dragons", "Quintet Magician", and "Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight". Of particular note is "Quintet Magician", a high-level Spellcaster beatstick with a 4500 ATK body and strong self-protection that can nuke the opponent's field.
Externally, the deck has synergies with cards such as "Keeper of Dragon Magic", a Fusion Spell searcher that can revive "Dark Magician" in the GY for fusion, and has a Dragon typing that makes it work with "Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon". The archetype's Spellcaster typing, and "Soul Servant"'s top deck control effect makes it synergize well with a "Spellbook" draw engine, consisting of "Spellbook Magician of Prophecy", "Spellbook of Secrets", and "Spellbook of Knowledge". The archetype also benefits from generic DARK or Spellcaster support, such as "Allure of Darkness" and "Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians", and has the capacity to make Rank 7 Xyz monsters, including some theme-related ones, such as "Ebon Illusion Magician".
|Palladium Oracle Mahad Deck List|
|Konami’s Post TDIL Sample Dark Magician Deck|
- Since the archetype heavily relies on spells to perform plays, anti-Spell floodgates such as "Anti-Spell Fragrance" and "Imperial Order" can stop the deck from making most of their combos.
- Being an archetype of primarily DARK monsters, anti-DARK floodgates or counters such as "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" or "Chaos Trap Hole" can prevent the deck from reaching their boss monsters.