Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS - Episode 053
The Shepherd prepares his strategy.
|Japanese OP||"go forward"|
|English OP & ED||"Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Main Theme"|
|Animation director||Gill Bo No|
|Japanese||May 23, 2018|
|English||October 20, 2019|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episodes (season 2)|
|Next||"Game of Drones"|
"The Shepherd", known as "Bounty Hunter Blood Shepherd" in the Japanese version, is the fifty-third episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It first aired in Japan on May 23, 2018, and aired in Canada on October 20, 2019.
The Shepherd pursues Playmaker and Ai deep into the bowls of the Restricted Area, firing energy blasts at them from his artificial arm. Playmaker deftly dodges the blasts, passing behind a fragment of rubble. Ai yelps that Shepherd is shooting at them, and Playmaker impatiently tells him that he knows (in the dub, Ai angrily asks if Playmaker is trying to get them blasted, and Playmaker points out that of course he isn't). Ai gets determined, declaring that he'll use his secret weapon. He releases a Data Storm and crows that he'll deal with Shepherd like he did last time, but The Shepherd just blasts through the Data Storm, and Ai screams that he's sorry (in the dub, he thought that Shepherd couldn't weather the storm, only for Shepherd to blast right through and Ai to lament that he weathered it. Playmaker comments that he wasn't surprised). Kolter contacts Yusaku, asking him if he can hear him. Playmaker replies that he's in the middle of something, and Kolter warns him that even for the Restricted Area his location is very unstable. He won't be able to come back if he strays too far from the center. Playmaker asks what will happen if he can't get back, and Kolter tells him that he'll drown in data. As Playmaker dodges another series of blasts, Ai yelps that Shepherd will destroy them before then. Playmaker tells him to calm down; The Shepherd is just trying to intimidate them since he can't take Ai without winning him in a Duel. He wheels around and heads for the central column. (In the dub, Kolter instead informs Playmaker about The Shepherd, having done so off-screen in the original, and claims that he has a success rate of 101% due to once allowing a captive to escape just to recapture them.)
The Shepherd warns them that he'll count to three, and he holds up his artificial arm again, warning Playmaker to surrender or Duel (in the dub, he outright threatens to blast them to bits if they don't give up Ai). Ai calls Shepherd a nice guy for letting them decide (in the dub, he calls him rude instead since Shepherd didn't say "please"), and Shepherd declares "One" and snaps his fingers. They continue heading deeper into the Restricted Area, past the column, and Ai asks what Playmaker will do. Shepherd counts "Two" and snaps his fingers, and then Playmaker's Duel Board is struck by an energy blast from Shepherd's palm, knocking them off balance as Ai screams. The Shepherd chuckles in amusement, and Playmaker rights himself. Ai yells at Shepherd to wait a sec, he only counted to two. Playmaker muses that he sees, and Ai asks if he's okay with that. Playmaker explains that since Shepherd said three, he made them think he would wait until the count of three, allowing him to launch a surprise attack at the count of two while they had let their guard down. Ai states that he sees, and Playmaker observes that The Shepherd is willing to do anything to fulfill his goal as they spiral deeper into the Restricted Area. (In the dub, Ai admits that's quite smart, and Playmaker comments that the only thing that they can expect from The Shepherd is the unexpected.)
Up above the area, Ghost Gal waits with Blue Angel, their Avatars tinted blue, telling her that beyond those security cameras is the Restricted Area. Blue Angel observes that the security is tight, and Ghost Gal reassures her that there's no need to worry as long as she's wearing her stealth program. Blue Angel states that the data is heavy, and Ghost Gal apologizes and suggests that they go (in the dub, Blue Angel comments on the high number of security bots, and Ghost Gal claims that's what makes it fun). They descend past the cameras, undetected, and Blue Angel is impressed, commenting that Ghost Gal is skilled at sneaking. Ghost Gal asks if that's a compliment, and Blue Angel states that of course it is; if her brother can count on Ghost Gal, Blue Angel can admire her. Ghost Gal thanks her. (In the dub, Blue Angel is impatient to help her brother, and Ghost Gal sarcastically tells her "Aye, aye, captain.")
Ghost Gal remembers talking in Green Park with Zaizen and Skye. Six Ignis? Emma had asked. Zaizen had confirmed it; they were created by the Lost Incident and one of them was Playmaker's A.I. The six Ignis created their own world - the Cyberse, but someone destroyed it, scattering them. (In the dub, this explanation is absent and Zaizen has presumably already told Emma and Skye this off-screen.) He told Emma that he wanted her to find the other Ignis, and Emma asked if Zaizen didn't hire infamous bounty hunters to find them as well. Zaizen remained silent, and Emma realized that he wanted to keep this secret from SOL Technologies. Zaizen showed them a schematic of the new LINK VRAINS, telling them to look. Someone battled Playmaker the other day and vanished into the Restricted Area, and a mysterious gate had also appeared in the Restricted Area's lowest section, likely connecting to an unknown world. He stated that whoever battled Playmaker must have escaped there, and that they'd sent a research team there a few days ago to the gate. Emma asked what happened, and to Skye's shock, Zaizen confirmed that not a single one of them had returned. He stated that the Ignis may be hiding there, and warned Emma that this was a dangerous task and he could only rely on her. Emma asked him why he wanted the Ignis so badly, was he planning to get them before SOL Technologies and negotiate? Skye protested that her brother wasn't like that (her protests are cut in the dub, as Zaizen and Emma are contesting over pay), and Zaizen explained that the Ignis were a threat to humanity, but he didn't know their intentions, nor if they viewed humans as the enemy, and he stated that he wanted to learn the truth. Emma agreed, but warned him that payment would be three times the usual, pointing out that if Zaizen was keeping this secret from SOL Technologies, his hunters would hunt her if she messed up, including The Shepherd, so that's plenty of risk to ask for three times the normal fee. Emma lent forwards with her hands on her hips, and Zaizen eventually agreed (in the dub, instead of mentioning Shepherd, Zaizen confirmed that if the Ignis weren't a threat to humanity then he also wanted to protect them from elimination). A pleased Emma declared that the negotiations are complete, and Zaizen holds up his tablet, asking them to allow him to give them something. Emma asked what it was, and Zaizen explained that it was a program that forces the user to log out just in case. It could only be used once, but it would give them peace of mind. Emma lightly called it an undependable present as she downloaded it into her Duel Disk, which declared "Data transfer complete".
Emma stated that she'd take it for peace of mind, but then Skye's Duel Disk declared "Data transfer complete" (in the dub, she voices her intentions as she downloads the program). Skye looked at them defiantly, and Emma protested to a surprised Zaizen that Skye wasn't ready yet and that this was too dangerous. Skye stated that she was going, and she asked Zaizen to let her go (in the dub, Emma stated that she isn't babysitting, and Skye angrily told Emma to stop treating her like a little kid). Emma stated that Skye would drag her down, but Skye replied that she would protect herself. She told Zaizen that she would fight so he could learn the truth, and Zaizen whispered his sister's name. Emma bit back a reply, and Zaizen warned Skye to take this to heart; the future of humanity rested on this mission (in the dub, Zaizen was more focused on Skye's safety). Skye agreed, and Zaizen patted her head, telling her that she must return safely (in the dub, he asked where the little girl that had always wanted his help had gone, and Skye told him that she was still here). Skye blushed and whispered "brother" and the two siblings exchanged nods. Zaizen told Emma that communication between them would be completely cut so he'd be unable to help them if they got into trouble. Emma reassured him that she knew that they would be responsible for themselves, and Zaizen wished them luck. Later in Emma's hideout, Emma asked if Skye was ready. Skye replied that she was, and the two of them held up their Duel Disks and declared "It's time to link into the VRAINS!" as they logged in.
As they continue to descend, Blue Angel notes that it's quiet and the bounty hunters aren't here. Ghost Gal replies that of course they aren't; they went to the lowest level to chase Playmaker. Blue Angel asks what Ghost Gal means, and Ghost Gal explains that she sent Playmaker info about the Restricted Area and the gate along with how to get past security. Blue Angel asks why, and Ghost Gal states that it was to draw away the hunters and that it's best to minimize risk. Blue Angel is shocked that Ghost Gal used Playmaker, and Ghost Gal points out that Playmaker is using her info, so it's an equal exchange. (In the dub, Blue Angel expresses concern that their stealth programs will run out of power, and Ghost Gal reassures her that they won't and they'll be able to catch up with Playmaker, teasing Blue Angel about him given her continued "shipping" of them.) They fly through the red energy barrier into the Restricted area, and Ghost Gal states that they've passed the heavy surveillance, so they can remove their stealth. The blue tint ripples away from her Avatar, and Ghost Gal comments that this data was truly heavy (in the dub, she comments that blue isn't her color). She looks over at Blue Angel, whose tint has rippled away to reveal a different Avatar, wearing similar gear to Ghost Gal in her own colors and with her hair tied back. Ghost Gal appreciatively observes that Blue Angel is looking quite mature, and Blue Angel replies that she can't wear her usual outfit for a secret mission (in the dub, she states that she didn't come to entertain, but for a mission). Ghost Gal states that she's upgraded from Blue Angel to Blue Gal, and the newly christened Blue Gal thanks Ghost Gal for the name. She states that Ghost Gal seemed worried about the hunter The Shepherd and Ghost Gal states that The Shepherd is trouble; once he's after a target, he won't let them escape no matter what it takes. (In the dub, they again do not discuss The Shepherd; Blue Gal instead expresses annoyance over Ghost Gal naming her after her Avatar).
The Shepherd is still pursing Playmaker and Ai down a canal, and Ai cries that he's so persistent. Playmaker admits that it seems that they'll have to battle, and as Shepherd pursues them, he comes to the same conclusion, noting that Playmaker isn't surrendering, so in that case... He declares that he'll take Playmaker's Ignis (in the dub, Shepherd tells them that there's nowhere left to run, and Ai declares that there is. Playmaker doesn't feel like running anymore and challenges Shepherd to a Speed Duel, prompting Shepherd to agree that running would simply delay the inevitable) and they both call "Speed Duel!" The Shepherd then accelerates past them, declaring that he'll go first. He swings around to face them and declares his turn, Summoning "Drone Pawn" from his hand. Ai notes the monster's 600 ATK, commenting that The Shepherd must be up to something seeing as he's facing Playmaker (in the dub, Ai is already overconfident). Playmaker tells Ai to be quiet, and he quickly agrees, and Shepherd Sets a card to end his turn. Ai asks if Shepherd is done already, and then cheekily whispers to Playmaker that Shepherd might be a poor Duelist, which was why he bluffed by shooting at them. But The Shepherd's A.I. explains that "Drone Pawn" can't be destroyed by battle while they control no other monsters, and during the turn it's attacked, they will regain LP equal to the damage they took after the Battle Phase ends. Ai is quite surprised by how much Shepherd's A.I. is talking, and he declares that he'll take it on. Playmaker again tells Ai to be quiet and not to interfere, and Ai grumpily agrees (in the dub, the A.I. calls Ai's analysis incorrect and does not yet explain the LP restoration effect, instead inferring that Ai is outdated of bugs. Ai tells it that nobody asked and that perfection can't be upgraded, only for Playmaker to point out that Ai was wrong and Ai to agree). Shepherd asks his A.I. if there is anything to focus on from Playmaker's past Duels. His A.I. warns him to be careful of the new Link Monster Playmaker Summoned during his last Duel; its consecutive attacks defeated his last opponent (in the dub, Shepherd expresses confidence, and his A.I. specifically informs him of "Shootingcode Talker"). If Playmaker Summons this monster, "Drone Pawn" is in position to activates that consecutive attack effect. Ai gasps in shock, and Shepherd, scoffs, muttering that he should have checked before he Summoned "Drone Pawn". Ai crows that the A.I.'s info is correct; in other words, The Shepherd is going to lose. Shepherd snaps at Ai to be quiet, reducing Ai to a teary state on his hands and knees as he laments that even the enemy said it. (In the dub, Ai claims to be smarter than them and Shepherd's sombrero and asks if Shepherd is jelly. Shepherd replies that he isn't, and Ai laments that no-one ever is.)
Blue Gal asks Ghost Gal if she knows The Shepherd, and Ghost Gal states that Zaizen does too (in the dub, she only finally tells Blue Gal about Shepherd when she detects Playmaker Dueling him). Blue Gal is surprised to hear that, and Ghost Gal explains that there was a job three years ago where they were chasing an evil hacker in a net world different from LINK VRAINS. They pursued the spider-bodied hacker on hoverbikes to a tower in the desert, and took cover as he fired energy blasts at them from the tips of his legs, warning them that if they came closer he'd blow them up with this. He held up a cube, which Zaizen observed to be a hacking program that he'd changed into a bomb, and the hacker warned them that if they were hit with it, they'd take a lot of damage in the real world too (in the dub, it was a digitizer that could destroy the entire net world they were in). Zaizen noted that this was bad and there would be consequences if they were hit, so... But Shepherd told them to count to three, much to their shock, claiming that he didn't care for a long battle, and telling them that they'd all charge at the count of three. Ghost Gal began to protest, but then her and Zaizen's cover was rocked by an energy blast, and Shepherd told the hacker to surrender before the count of three. The hacker told them to stop joking, asking if they didn't see what he had (in the dub, he claimed to have the power here, not them), but Shepherd simply snapped his fingers, shocking everyone else. Shepherd began to count, and the hacker realized that he was serious. Ghost Gal noted that it looked like they were doing this, and Zaizen noted that it seemed so. Shepherd snapped his fingers again, and Zaizen counted "Two". The hacker was wary of the snaps, and then Shepherd snapped his fingers for the final time. Ghost Gal counted "Three", and she and Zaizen sprinted out from behind cover, weapons at the ready - but The Shepherd had remained in cover, much to their shock.
The hacker cursed and launched webs from his abdomen, trapping Ghost Gal. Zaizen attempted to dodge, but was stuck as well, and the hacker leapt down, readying his energy blasts, but then Shepherd leapt from cover at his flank with fantastic speed and opened fire with his artificial arm, destroying the hacker's apparatus. The spider webs dissipated, and Ghost Gal noted that The Shepherd had planned to use them as decoys from the start. Zaizen told her to watch above her; the bomb program had been activated. Zaizen readied his weapon (in the dub he was unable to get a clear shot at the digitizer) and Ghost Gal prepared to sprint for hers, but Shepherd declared that he'd destroy the bomb program and once again with fantastic speed, he leapt in between Ghost Gal - calling her Emma and telling her to move - and pushed her down, firing a blast that destroyed the program and caused it to detonate above them, destroying the tower. Zaizen and Ghost Gal got up, shaking off sand, and Zaizen asked if Ghost Gal was okay. Ghost Gal stated that she was, and Zaizen angrily accused The Shepherd of tricking them and using them as decoys. Shepherd huffed, taking in the destroyed abdomen of the hacker and declaring "Mission complete" in English, adding that any more was a waste of time. He logged out, despite Zaizen cursing at him to wait, and Zaizen angrily asked what Shepherd was thinking. Ghost Gal gasps quietly that he called her Emma. Back in LINK VRAINS, Blue Gal asks the deep in thought Ghost Gal what's wrong, and Ghost Gal gasps in surprise. Blue Gal notes that she suddenly went quiet, and Ghost Gal claims that it's nothing, then states that Shepherd will do anything to fulfill his mission and that he's dangerous. Blue Gal asks what happens if someone loses to him, and Ghost Gal states that Playmaker's Ignis will go to SOL Technologies. (In the dub, Ghost Gal didn't dwell on Shepherd calling her Emma and Blue Gal expresses surprise that Zaizen was a Bounty Hunter. Ghost Gal points out that Zaizen tends to keep secrets to keep those he cares about safe, before noting Shepherd's tenacity in comparison.)
Playmaker accelerates past Shepherd, seeing a hole ahead and relaying this info to Kolter, who is analyzing the Multilayer Structure of the bottom layer of LINK VRAINS, explaining that the corridors ahead are like floors; if Playmaker goes down the hole he'll be closer to the center (in the dub, their exchange is more tense as Kolter only just tells Playmaker to take the left turn just in time). Playmaker heads down the hole with The Shepherd on his tail (Ai whooping and waving his arms the whole time) as Kolter instructs Playmaker to turn around once he's through; there's another hole that leads to the center. Playmaker emerges and wheels around, and Ai cheers, telling Playmaker to go full throttle. Shepherd passes them again, and Playmaker declares his turn and draws. He Summons "Clock Wyvern", and activates its effect since it was Summoned, halving its ATK to Special Summon a "Clock Token". "Clock Wyvern" roars and its chest armor glows as it falls to 900 ATK, then the "Clock Token" materializes beside it. Ai cheers that they're not done, and Playmaker adds that he can Special Summon "Backup Secretary" from his hand when he controls a Cyberse monster. Ai tells Playmaker to do the usual thing, and Playmaker chants "The circuit that leads to the future!" declaring that the Summoning conditions are two Level 3 or higher Cyberse monsters as he sets "Clock Wyvern" and "Backup Secretary" to Link Summon the Link-2 "Elphase".
Ai cheers that they're not done, but then notices Playmaker hesitating and he asks what's wrong (in the dub, Playmaker specifically takes note of Shepherd's face-down card). The Shepherd has apparently tried to activate his Set card, but his A.I. tells him that it can't be activated (in the dub, it specifies that it's ineffective against Link Monsters). Shepherd tells it to be quiet. Ai tells Playmaker that they can't waste time on Shepherd and suggests that they defeat him quickly (in the dub, he points out that the A.I. said the coast was clear). Playmaker chants "Appear again! The circuit that leads to the future!" and declares that the Summoning conditions are at least two Cyberse monsters, setting the "Clock Token" and the Link-2 "Elphase" in the Link Arrows to Link Summon the Link-3 "Shootingcode Talker". Ai cheers that this is what he was waiting for; dramatically intoning that the headliner - "Shootingcode Talker" - has appeared. Playmaker explains that in addition to its usual attack, "Shootingcode Talker" can also attack again equal to the number of monsters it points to, but "Shootingcode Talker" will lose 400 ATK when this effect is activated while Shepherd only controls one monster. Shepherd's A.I. explains that the damage from the battle between "Shootingcode Talker" and "Drone Pawn" will be reduced to 1300, and Ai tells the A.I. that it's correct. The A.I. continues, stating that "Shootingcode Talker" can currently attack twice, therefore they will take 2600 damage, but the effect of "Drone Pawn" will then restore that damage (this is the first time the LP restoration effect is mentioned in the dub). Ai tells them to wait; they aren't done yet. Playmaker activates the effect of "Elphase" since it was Link Summoned and left the field, Special Summoning a Level 4 or lower Cyberse monster from his Graveyard. He revives "Clock Wyvern" and Shepherd's A.I. notes that a second monster was Summoned to a zone "Shootingcode Talker" points to, so now it can attack three times and leave them with 100 LP, and if "Clock Wyvern" attacks after that, they'll have zero LP. Ai claps mockingly, telling the A.I. that it's right again. He crows at such an easy win (in the dub, he reiterates that Shepherd's Duel Disk claimed that his face-down card didn't work on Link Monsters).
The Shepherd states that he was waiting for this, commenting that he misled them so easily (in the dub, Shepherd agrees with Ai; his Duel Disk said that). Ai can only ask "Huh?" and Playmaker narrows his eyes as Shepherd activates the Continuous Trap Card "Capture Drone". He explains that it can be activated while he controls a "Drone" monster, and it will prevent their Link Monster from attacking and will negate its effects. Playmaker and Ai gasp in shock as chains snake around "Shootingcode Talker" and bind it tight, and Shepherd adds that it also can't be Tributed or used as Link Material. Ai angrily protests that Shepherd said that his Set card couldn't activate, and Shepherd states that it wasn't that he couldn't activate it, it's that he didn't activate it. Ai snaps that that's not what the A.I. said, but Shepherd asks him who decided that an A.I.'s info is accurate. Ai realizes that The Shepherd made the A.I. tell a lie, and Shepherd confirms it. Ai protests that that's cheating, but Shepherd calls him dumb for believing an A.I.'s information. Ai screams that the one who says "dumb" is the dumb one (in the dub, he yells over Shepherd giving A.I.s a bad name), but to his shock, Shepherd declares that A.I. are never to be trusted. Playmaker comments that it seems that Shepherd thoroughly analyzed his Deck, and Shepherd states that of course he did, claiming that Playmaker can't defeat him. Playmaker Sets a card, ending his turn.
Shepherd declares his turn and draws, then immediately chants "Come out! The circuit that leads to victory!" ("Forge a circuit to hunt my prey" in the dub). Authorizing the Link Arrows, he explains that the Summoning condition is one "Drone" monster, and he sets "Drone Pawn" to Link Summon the Link-1 "Battledrone Sergeant". Ai chuckles, noting that even though Shepherd sealed their moves, his 800 ATK monster can't destroy their 2300 ATK "Shootingcode Talker". Shepherd asks incredulously if Ai is telling him info that he already knows, much to Ai's surprise, and Shepherd declares that Ai truly is dumb. Ai screams again that the one who says "dumb" is the dumb one (in the dub, Shepherd calls him a meatheaded A.I., and Ai doesn't understand the insult, but realizes it isn't a compliment). Shepherd then activates the effect of "Capture Drone"; once per turn he can Special Summon "Drone Tokens" up to the Link Rating of the targeted monster. His A.I. declares that "Shootingcode Talker" has a Link Rating of 3, but Shepherd orders it to be quiet as he no longer has use for it (in the dub, he doesn't silence his A.I. but instead states that this time it isn't lying), then Special Summons three "Drone Tokens" in Defense Position. Ai yelps that Shepherd has three Tokens to Link Summon with, and Shepherd chants "Come out again! The circuit that leads to victory!" Authorizing the Link Arrows, he explains that the Summoning conditions are at least two "Drone" monsters, and he sets the three "Drone Tokens" in the Link Arrows to Link Summon the Link-3 "Battledrone General". Ai gasps at the sight of a general, calling this terrible as Playmaker readies himself. (In the dub, Ai curses, as he thought they had victory in their sights but now The Shepherd has them in his).
Featured Duel: Playmaker vs. The Shepherd
The Duel is conducted as a Speed Duel.
Turn 1: The Shepherd
Shepherd Normal Summons "Drone Pawn" (600/0). If Shepherd controls no other monsters, "Pawn" cannot be destroyed by battle. At the end of the Battle Phase in which "Pawn" was attacked, Shepherd gains LP equal to the battle damage taken during that Battle Phase. Shepherd Sets a card.
Turn 2: Playmaker
Playmaker Normal Summons "Clock Wyvern" (1800/1000). As "Clock Wyvern" was Normal Summoned, Playmaker activates its effect, halving its ATK to Special Summon a "Clock Token" (0/0) ("Clock Wyvern": 1800 → 900 ATK). As Playmaker controls a Cyberse monster, he Special Summons "Backup Secretary" (1200/800) from his hand by its own effect. Playmaker uses "Backup Secretary" and "Clock Wyvern" to Link Summon "Elphase" (2000/↑→) to the Extra Monster Zone. Playmaker uses the "Clock Token" and "Elphase" to Link Summon "Shootingcode Talker" (2300/↑←↓) to the Extra Monster Zone. As the Link Summoned "Elphase" left the field, Playmaker activates its effect, Special Summoning a Level 4 or lower Cyberse monster from his GY. He Special Summons the Level 4 "Clock Wyvern" (1800/1000) to the zone the bottom-center Link Arrow of "Shootingcode Talker" points to. As he controls a "Drone" monster, Shepherd activates the Continuous Trap Card "Capture Drone", which lets him negate the effects of a Link Monster Playmaker controls and prevent it from being Tributed or used as Link Material for a Link Summon. He targets "Shootingcode Talker". While Shepherd controls "Capture Drone", Playmaker's Link Monsters cannot attack. Playmaker Sets a card.
Turn 3: The Shepherd
Shepherd uses "Pawn" to Link Summon "Battledrone Sergeant" (800/↓) to the Extra Monster Zone. Shepherd activates the effect of "Capture Drone", Special Summoning a number of "Drone Tokens" equal to the Link Rating of the targeted monster. "Shootingcode Talker" is a Link-3, so he Special Summons three "Drone Tokens" (0/0) in Defense Position. Shepherd uses the three "Drone Tokens" to Link Summon "Battledrone General" (2400/←↓→) to the zone the bottom-center Link Arrow of "Sergeant" points to.
The following cards appeared in this episode
In other languages
|German||Kopfgeldjäger Blood Shepherd|
|Portuguese||Caçador de Recompensas Blood Shepherd|
|Spanish||El cazarrecompensas Blood Shepherd|