"Six Samurai", known as "Six Warmen" (
The archetype also receives implicit support from the "Shien" archetype as well as various monsters, Spells and Traps from the main "Six Samurai" series.
The overall theme of "Six Samurai" is a futuristic feudal Japan setting, combined with supernatural elements.
Another common theme is there are different monsters belonging to a different Attribute for each reincarnation of "Six Samurai": "The Six Samurai", "Legendary Six Samurai" and the recent "Secret Six Samurai".
The crest of "Secret Six Samurai" features kunai-like details, a reference to the kagemusha.
The original Six Samurai monsters debuted in Strike of Neos and depended on having another "Six Samurai" on the field to activate their effects. They also all shared the effect of "If this card would be destroyed you can destroy another "Six Samurai" monster you control instead".
Storm of Ragnarok introduces the "Legendary Six Samurai" series, providing further support for the original Six, as well as support for summoning their own Synchro Monster, "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En".
Deck Build Pack: Spirit Warriors introduces the new "Secret Six Samurai" sub-archetype, as well as the first "Six Samurai" Fusion Monster, "Secret Six Samurai - Rihan". These Six Samurai have various effects focused on banished Six Samurai monsters, as well as banishing themselves to protect Six Samurai monsters on the field.
"Six Samurai" were radically altered by the release of Storm of Ragnarok. With the release of the "Legendary Six Samurai", their strategy has shifted very rapidly from one of a normal Aggro Deck to a low monster search based Aggro Deck.
The addition of "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" is one of the major factors that has shaped the change, with his ability to negate a Spell or Trap card once per turn. "Legendary Shi En" is easy and quick to Summon, using "Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki" and "Kagemusha of the Six Samurai" (searchable by "Shien's Smoke Signal", "Reinforcement of the Army", and "Gateway of the Six") or by using "Elder of the Six Samurai" and "Asceticism of the Six Samurai" to Special Summon "Kagemusha of the Six Samurai", with a high DEF to reliably stay in play, he is now the key card of "Six Samurai" Decks.
In addition to "Shi En", "Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan" has also had a major effect on the play style of the Six Samurai. The ease with which he can be Special Summoned and searched has greatly increased the speed of the Deck and allowed it to use fewer monsters. He can either be Normal or Special Summoned, and, in the presence of two or more other "Six Samurai" monsters, gains 300 ATK/DEF bringing him to 2100 ATK.
Since the release of Storm of Ragnarok, "Six Samurais" have run far fewer monsters than they used to. The reason for this is their access to large numbers of search cards. They may use "Shien's Smoke Signal" and "Reinforcement of the Army" to boost their effective monster count.
The "Six Samurai" have access to amazing draw power in the form of "Six Samurai United". It is effectively a +1 when used, and the Bushido Counters it generates can be used for "Gateway of the Six". Bushido Counters are collected by Summoning "Six Samurai" monsters. In addition to "Six Samurai United", a popular option is to run "Upstart Goblin" to boost the Deck's consistency, using the argument that if they manage to get their field properly set up, the extra Life Points will not matter anyway.
The fact that the "Six Samurai" are all Warrior monsters gives them access to "Rivalry of Warlords" in their Side Deck; a card that can cripple many different Decks.
Usually, a well-played "Six Samurai" Deck poses a big threat to Decks that rely on a few powerful Spell and/or Trap cards to function. It can lock down, or at least greatly stall, them in the early game and keep its' own field untouchable. Decks like Elemental HEROs can be completely locked down by "Naturia Beast" and "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" as key spells like "E - Emergency Call" and "Miracle Fusion" become unusable. The same can be said about Dark World decks, which rely on many different discarding Spells.
The "Six Samurai", much like "Blackwings", require field presence to properly swarm. Any card that prevents them from doing so for a turn slows them down greatly. Past this, "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" and "Musakani Magatama" largely solve this problem. Because of their varied attributes, "Gozen Match" can create problems for "The Six Samurai". This problem can be solved by negating or destroying the card with "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" or "Mystical Space Typhoon". Cards that prevent Special Summoning, such as "Archlord Kristya" and "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" also greatly weaken this Deck. This can be solved by adding "Breakthrough Skill" and/or "Fiendish Chain" to negate their effects.
Monsters, that can, without destroying, remove monsters from the field are a big threat to Six Samurai strategy, since "Naturia" Synchro Monsters are usually kept at one of each in the Extra Deck. Chaos Monsters, like "Dark End Dragon" etc., can easily overpower this Deck.
Mermail\Atlantean mixes, because of their power to constantly destroy cards on the field without using Spells and Traps, as well as their spell\trap negation, they are a big problem for "Six Samurais'. A good choice would be to wait for them to go off and then overpower them. In a second game, "Soul Drain" and\or "Dimensional Fissure" will help you even more against these troublesome decks, because of the abilities of the "Six Samurai" to already protect against cards like "Mystical Space Typhoon".
The Six Samurai should also be cautious against "Gravekeeper's" Decks. Cards like "Gravekeeper's Descendant" and "Gravekeeper's Guard" can mean trouble for just about any Deck."Necrovalley" can also negate the effect of "Grandmaster of the Six Samurai" if it is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the Graveyard, although, he can still target and return himself.
- Each Six Samurai has a different attribute, and those with polar attributes have opposite effects. Yaichi's opposite is Kamon, Nisashi's is Yariza, and Irou's is Zanji.
- Yaichi destroys face-down Spell/Trap cards, and Kamon destroys face-up Spell/Trap cards.
- Nisashi can attack twice and potentially destroy multiple monsters, while Yariza bypasses monsters entirely to attack directly.
- Irou's effect can take down monsters before they become a threat, and Zanji's effect can take out an already active threat.
- The Legendary Six Samurai have similar interactions between opposing attributes:
- "Shi En" takes care of Spells and Traps, while "Enishi" gets rid of monsters once per turn. Both effects can be activated during either player's turn.
- "Kizan" can summon itself if you have a different "Six Samurai" monster, while "Kageki" summons another "Six Samurai" when Normal Summoned.
- "Mizuho" requires "Six Samurai" to be tributed to activate its effect that destroys cards. On the other hand, "Shinai" need to be tributed to get a "Six Samurai" from the Graveyard (also, you can Special Summon one while controlling the other).
- Most card artworks featuring the Six Samurai and their supporting cards contain a heraldic crest/coat of arms (紋章 - monshō or 家紋 - kamon) representing the Six Samurai. The crest is composed of a bolded outer-circle and an inner-circle. The inner-circle contains six smaller dotted circles which are connected to each other (in a specific path) and 6 other irregular shapes that are likely to represent the initial Six Samurai. To date, the only Six Samurai related cards that do not feature the Six Samurai crest are "Great Shogun Shien", "Tenkabito Shien", "Shien's Footsoldier", "Shien's Daredevil", and "Shien's Castle of Mist". However, it appears that if you look at the art in some of the Shien cards that Shien and Elder have an alternate symbol between them, as evident in "Tenkabito Shien", "Shien's Advisor", "Elder of the Six Samurai", and even "Shien's Smoke Signal".