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— Jaden Yuki on the Fusion potential of "Elemental HERO" monsters.
"Elemental HERO" (
They were designed by Kazuki Takahashi, and are based on comic-book superheroes in the anime and on natural elements in the manga.
"Elemental HERO" Decks focus heavily on Fusion Summoning. Most of these fall into two primary "Elemental HERO" monsters categories that can be fused with one another: Normal Monsters from the anime (monsters that are specifically required as materials for Fusion Summons) and the manga counterparts that also have effects (while the Fusion Monsters require generic Fusion Materials).
"Elemental HERO Avian", "Burstinatrix", "Clayman", and "Bubbleman" are based on the four elements (which are reflected in their Attributes: WIND, FIRE, EARTH, and WATER, respectively). There is at least one Fusion Monster for each pair of them (except "Avian" and "Clayman"), as well as "Elemental HERO Electrum", which is a Fusion of all 4.
"Elemental HERO Sparkman" was introduced very early on and is usually depicted in the artwork of cards like "Fifth Hope" and "HERO's Bond". "Sparkman" has the most Fusion Monsters of any "Elemental HERO" monster, other than "Elemental HERO Neos", with a total of 6 ("Thunder Giant", "Tempest", "Shining Flare Wingman", "Shining Phoenix Enforcer", "Plasma Vice", and "Darkbright").
"Elemental HERO Neos" has instead his own support, along with the "Neo-Spacian" monsters. Contact Fusion is the main mechanic of "Neos". However, it also has Fusion Monsters with other series of cards such as the "Ultimate Crystal God" monsters ("Rainbow Neos"), the "Yubel" monsters ("Elemental HERO Neos Kluger"), and the "Elemental HERO" Normal Monsters ("Elemental HERO Shining Neos Wingman").
The manga "Elemental HERO" monsters (unoffically called "Omni Heroes") are also grouped together since they do not have Fusion Monsters with the anime "Elemental HERO" monsters. They include "Elemental HERO Ocean", "Woodsman", "Heat", and "Lady Heat".
The "Elemental HERO" monsters are based after the western comics' heroes. In the Japanese version, their naming scheme is "Elemental HERO [Term related to its element] -man" (for the male monsters, with the exceptions of "Elemental HERO Prisma" and every "Neos" monster). The only female "Elemetal HERO" monsters are "Elemental HERO Burstinatrix", "Lady Heat", "Poison Rose", and "Shadow Mist" (the first two have "Lady" instead of "Man" in their Japanese name). Some of the names were changed in the English TCG.
As the name says, the "Elemental HERO" monsters each represent an element of nature. In western culture, the main elements are fire, water, air, earth, light and darkness, but in eastern culture, more elements are considered, such as lightning, wood, metal, and ice, though ice is many times not considered since it is another form of water.
The manga does not have the same theme as the anime, but the monsters are still based around those same elements.
Spirit of Neos
|Extra Deck||Clay Guardian
Shining Phoenix Enforcer
Shining Flare Wingman
Shining Neos Wingman
Wake Up Your Elemental HERO
The "Elemental HERO" archetype has many Main Deck monsters and Extra Deck Fusion Monsters, each with their own varied effects. Historically, the archetype can be built to focus on their Main Deck monsters or their Fusion Monsters; currently in 2022, the Main Deck "Elemental HERO" monsters are too weak in contrast to the general power level of the game, and later "Elemental HERO" support leaned into their Fusion Summoning playstyle, meaning that the Extra Deck playstyle is preferred for this archetype.
The pure "Elemental HERO" playstyle aims to Fusion Summon their Extra Deck Fusion boss monsters by searching out their required Fusion Materials and Fusion Spell Cards as quickly as possible. This can be done through a combination of specific "Elemental HERO" support cards (e.g. "E - Emergency Call"), generic "HERO" support cards (e.g. "Vision HERO Vyon"), and non-archetypal Warrior/Fusion support cards (e.g. "Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights").
The "Elemental HERO" Fusion Monsters typically have battle-focused effects with little defensive capabilities. Most "Elemental HERO" Fusion Monsters also require Fusion Materials with specific names, but some of them have generic materials and are much easier to summon. The 6 most notable ones are "Elemental HERO Great Tornado", "Nova Master", "The Shining", "Escuridao", "Absolute Zero", and "Gaia", which require 1 "Elemental HERO" monster and a monster with a specific Attribute as their materials. Among these 6, "Escuridao" and "Absolute Zero" are the most commonly used, because "Escuridao's" DARK Attribute is ubiquitous, and "Absolute Zero" has a very strong effect, and also only requires a "HERO" monster rather than an "Elemental HERO" monster as its material, making it even easier to Summon in a general "HERO" Deck.
Other "HERO" support
Since "Vyon" can search out "Polymerization" and can send "Elemental HERO Shadow Mist" to the GY to search out more needed "Elemental HERO" monsters. The "Vision HERO" Fusion Monsters, "Adoration" and "Trinity", are also good options for an "Elemental HERO" Deck to run due to their generic materials.
The "Xtra HERO" Link Monsters provide many helpful benefits to the "Elemental HERO" playstyle. "Infernal Devicer" can directly search out up to 2 listed Fusion Materials on a "HERO" Fusion Monster, making it most strongly support the "Elemental HERO" playstyle of Fusion Summoning monsters with specific materials. "Wonder Driver" can recover Fusion Spell Cards, making it useful for longer combos or grind games.
How "Elemental HERO" supports other "HERO" sub-archetypes
On the other side, the "Elemental HERO" archetype (specifically, a few individual members) are vital combo pieces to the overall "HERO" meta-archetype playstyle. The most important "Elemental HERO" monster with regards to the entire "HERO" archetype is "Elemental HERO Stratos", a non-once-per-turn searcher for all "HERO" monsters and the ideal target for "A Hero Lives". "Elemental HERO Shadow Mist" is a once-per-turn searcher for all "HERO" monsters when sent to the GY (usually by "Vision HERO Vyon"), but it is also a searcher for "Change" Spell Cards, which enables the Special Summon of the powerful "Masked HERO" monsters (most notably "Dark Law" and "Acid", usually Summoned by using "Absolute Zero" to perform a board wipe); the variety of Attributes the "Elemental HERO" monsters have makes them ideal for summoning "Masked HERO" monsters, making "Masked HERO" monsters good options even in a pure "Elemental HERO" build.
"Elemental HERO Solid Soldier" and "Liquid Soldier" are good monsters to Normal Summon, as they can Special Summon needed "HERO" monsters (usually "Shadow Mist" to search for "Mask Change"). Lastly, "Honest Neos" is an ATK-booster for all "HERO" monsters, and "Sunrise" is a Fusion Monster with generic "HERO" Fusion Materials that can search out "Miracle Fusion", a powerful Fusion Spell Card that can use monsters in the GY as Fusion Materials, allowing a Fusion Summon with zero card loss to the field advantage.
- "Elemental HERO" monsters often lack protection, and has such the player can often easily have their field cleared by mass destruction cards and effects like "Dark Hole".
- Pure "Elemental HERO" monsters have very weak disruption and oppression power, having little ability to disrupt or prevent the opponent's plays.
- "Gozen Match" can significantly disrupt a pure "Elemental HERO" Deck due to their variety of Attributes.
- As all "Elemental HERO" non-Contact Fusion Monsters cannot be Special Summoned in other ways than Fusion Summon, cards like "Non-Fusion Area" can lock these Fusion Monsters down. Furthermore, cards like "Nekroz of Unicore" can have their effects negated.