"Shaddoll" (シャドール Shadōru) is an archetype comprised primarily of DARK monsters that debuted in Duelist Alliance. Their focus is the Fusion Summon of the more powerful "El Shaddoll" monsters, which restrict or punish Special Summons. The Main Deck "Shaddoll" monsters all have Flip Effects that focus on searching and field advantage, as well as secondary effects that focus on regaining advantage whenever they are sent to the Graveyard by a card effect.
"Shaddoll" is a portmanteau of the words "shadow" and "doll". "El Shaddoll" is a play on "El Shaddai", one of the Judaic names of God.
In the abyss of this world, there is a certain something called the "Shaddoll Core" (The Primordial "Core" of Shadow-Possession) which gives birth to shadows that absorb light, the "Shaddoll". "El Shaddoll Construct" uses these shadow strings to control the manifested shadows, and with this to extend its influence and power...
For the "Shaddoll" Effect Monsters activating their Graveyard effects is the quickest way of gaining advantage, especially "Shaddoll Beast" who is usually the first to be sent off of "Shaddoll Fusion" or "Sinister Shadow Games"; with "Shaddoll Falco" soon to follow. And lastly, "Shaddoll Squamata" and "Shaddoll Hedgehog" are best for searching the other two or left be until they are Drawn as the 1st basically acts as any "Shaddoll" when sent and the second usually searches the other of the first two. A quick but important note on the effect of "Squamata" is it can be used to send even "Shaddoll" Spell and Trap cards, this is only important for "Shaddoll Core" who will recover another "Shaddoll" Spell or Trap from the Graveyard.
Previously "Shaddoll" Monsters were run with a LIGHT engine (notable cards in Recommended). Nowadays "Shaddolls" can be run as support with the "Train" series with "Shekhinaga" (usually with "Kaiju"), "Prediction Princess" for Flip Effect support or the newer "Invoked" Fusion archetype
Although the main focus of this archetype is Fusion Summoning of "El Shaddoll Winda", "Shekhinaga" (with "Mathematician") and "Construct" (til it was banned), the Level 4 "Shaddoll" monsters are the most disruptive on the Field, namely "Shaddoll Dragon", who bounces cards when flipped face-up and "Shaddoll Squamata", who destroys a monster. At this archetype's unrestricted phase it also had "Super Polymerization" and "Soul Charge" Spell Cards at 3 and ran "Arcanite Magician" ("Winda" + "Falco") and "Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree" ("Construct" + "Falco") as the Lion was hard for some archetypes to get over.
All "Shaddoll" Main Deck monsters monsters can only use one of their effects per turn, and only once that turn, so players are advised discretion and to plan ahead. The Flip effect of "Shaddoll Falco" is ideally activated at the End Phase of the opposing turn by "Sinister Shadow Games" or for reuse by the effect of "Purushaddoll Aeon" to avoid negation. Lastly, "El Shaddoll Fusion" has some similar timings to the two Trap cards as well.
One can also take profit of their effects by using them as Fusion Material for the ace cards of the Deck: the "El Shaddoll" Fusion monsters. Since using "Shaddoll Fusion" or "El Shaddoll Fusion" involves sending "Shaddoll" monsters to the Graveyard by a card effect, their effects can be activated as soon as one attempts to Fusion Summon them, creating even more advantage. One can also use "Curse of the Shadow Prison" to not only weaken the opponent's monsters but also use their monsters as Fusion Materials.
The "Shaddoll" Link Monster, "Shaddoll Construct", is primarily intended to be Summoned to the Main Monster Zone via its revival effect. Its first effect can free up the Extra Monster Zone via using itself as Fusion Material, while its revival effect can trigger the effects of other "Shaddoll" monsters (though its Link Summon will not), and frees up to three zones for Extra Deck Summons.
The aforementioned "El Shaddoll" monsters rely on anti-supporting Special Summons, either by restricting them, negating them, destroying Special Summoned monsters in battle or destroying those ones who dare to activate their effects; also, some of them send 1 "Shaddoll" card from your hand to the Graveyard at their effect's resolution, which can trigger the effect of the sent monster. Finally, they can recycle the "Shaddoll" Spell/Trap cards as long as they are sent to the Graveyard, so even if they are destroyed during or after their Summoning they can still re-add cards like "Shaddoll Fusion" to set up a Fusion Summon the next turn.
The 6 original "El Shaddoll" monsters follow a pattern of requiring "1 "Shaddoll" monster + 1 [corresponding Attribute] monster" as Fusion Materials, and their effects become more aggressive as their Levels increase:
|"El Shaddoll"||Attribute||Level||Special Summon-related effect|
|Winda||DARK||5||Allows only 1 Special Summon per turn.|
|Wendigo||WIND||6||Prevents one of your monsters from being destroyed by battle with an opponent's Special Summoned monster for only one turn.|
|Grysta||FIRE||7||Negates a Special Summon and destroys the monster.|
|Construct||LIGHT||8||Destroys a Special Summoned monster at the start of the Damage Step.|
|Anoyatyllis||WATER||9||Prevents monsters from being Special Summoned from the hand or Graveyard by the effect of Spell/Trap Cards.|
|Shekhinaga||EARTH||10||Negates the activation of a Special Summoned monster's effect and destroys that monster.|
Due to the requirements for the Fusion Summons, cards like "Shaddoll Core" and "Nephe Shaddoll Fusion", can be used to either substitute any Attribute or to turn a "Shaddoll" monster into one declared Attribute. One can also use cards like "Curse of the Shadow Prison" in order to use opposing monsters to Fusion Summon them.
Since the Deck basically relies on sending the "Shaddoll" monsters to the Graveyard in order to trigger their effects, or flipping them face-up, cards like "Soul Drain", "Royal Command", "Abyss Dweller", "Armades, Keeper of Boundaries", "Majesty's Fiend", "Archfiend Black Skull Dragon", and "Gem-Knight Citrine" can be simple and effective.
Additionally, one can also use cards that banish or return the Fusion Monsters to the Extra Deck to avoid the retriever effect. Due to cards like "El Shaddoll Winda", cards that can do this without the need to special summon, such as "Compulsory Evacuation Device", "Phoenix Wing Wind Blast," and "Karma Cut," are recommended. The variety of Types and Attributes also makes the Fusion Monsters vulnerable to floodgate cards like "Rivalry of Warlords" and "Gozen Match". "Skill Drain" is also a viable solution as it counters the anti-Special Summoning effects of the "Shaddoll" Fusion Monsters. This makes certain Decks that can use "Skill Drain" able to effectively bypass the "Shaddoll" Deck's threats. Examples of such Decks include "Qli", "Malefic", "Dark World", "Scrap", "Archfiend", "Yang Zing" and "Zombie".
- YGOrganization - [Lore] Shadoll and Ryuusei