When Primal Burst leaked in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, everyone was looking at the Dark World archetype with wide eyes. The full release then confirmed that these cards would be some of the most powerful in the GX era.
There’s more to this set than just the Volcanics that show up as Ultra Rares, though (those being Volcanic Doomfire and Volcanic Rocket). To fully understand this archetype, you first have to understand each of the cards and how they synergize together to create one of the strongest (and most expensive) decks in the current meta game.
What is a Dark World deck in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links?
The best way to explain how Dark World decks work might be to draw a comparison to another wildly popular card game: Hearthstone. If you’re familiar with the game, you might have run into, or even played, the Discard Warlock deck (sometimes referred to as “Discolock”).
Discolock works by playing cards that will discard other cards from your hand or deck. Discarding cards is naturally a negative effect, but the deck plays popular Warlock cards that empower your deck, hand, and board based on the cards you discard or when you discard them. These effects could be drawing other cards or putting another card into play instantly.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, the Dark World archetype operates this same way. In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, you can discard through cards with associated costs like Tribute to the Doomed. Another obvious way of discarding cards is by having a full hand of six, but the core card mechanic in the Dark World archetype is to discard by card effect itself.
What are the Dark World activation mechanics in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links?
This is one of the most confusing and blurred parts of piloting and playing against this deck properly.
Most importantly, cards with discard costs to them (like the aforementioned Tribute to the Doomed) take precedent over Dark World cards. This means that if you have a Dark World card in play with an effect that activates on discard and then you play a card with discard as a cost to playing it, you won’t trigger both. This is where it’s important to understand cost vs. effect. Tribute of the Doomed’s card text is as follows:
Discard 1 card, then target 1 monster on the field; destroy it.
Let’s compare that to a card with discard as an effect, Dark World Lightning:
Target 1 Set card on the field; destroy that target, then discard 1 card.
You can see a clear difference. Tribute of the Doomed requires that you discard a card before you receive an effect, whereas Dark World Lightning allows you to perform an action and then discard a card. The first example is discard as a cost, and the latter is a discard effect.
An easier way to understand this is just to look at the semicolon in the card text. If the discard is before the semicolon, it’s a cost. If it’s after, it’s an effect. Simple enough. This is important to wrap your brain around because cards with a discard effect will still trigger Dark World cards, which is pretty natural considering Dark World Lightning is one of those very cards.
If you’re still confused, there is a very long post over on the /r/DuelLinks subreddit that discusses this very topic in much greater detail. You have to be confident and comfortable with the way discards interact with the Dark World cards if you want to use this deck to full effect.
What are some cards worth using in Dark World decks in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links?
While there are many, let’s go over just a few cards outside of the Primal Burst set that interact properly with the Dark World discard mechanic.
Into the Void
If you have 3 or more cards in your hand: Draw 1 card, and if you do, during the End Phase of this turn, discard your entire hand.
Once per turn: You can discard 1 Fiend-Type monster, and if you do, this card gains 500 ATK until the end of this turn. When this card you control is destroyed and sent to your Graveyard: You can target 1 of your banished DARK monsters; add that target to your hand.
The Cheerful Coffin
Discard up to 3 Monster Cards from your hand to the Graveyard.
All three of these cards offer powerful discard effects that can kickstart your Dark World deck. However, the bread and butter of the Dark World archetype naturally comes from the Primal Burst set. Reign-Beaux and Ceruli is the standard combination, with cards like Kahkki doing the heavy lifting until you dig to find them.
Reign-Beaux, Overlord of Dark World
If this card is discarded from your hand to your Graveyard by an opponent’s card effect: Special Summon this card from the Graveyard. When this card is Special Summoned this way: Destroy all monsters your opponent controls OR all Spell/Trap Cards they control.
Ceruli, Guru of Dark World
If this card is discarded to the Graveyard by a card effect: Special Summon this card from the Graveyard to your opponent’s side of the field in face-up Defense Position. When this card is Special Summoned by the effect of a “Dark World” card: Your opponent must discard 1 card.
Kahkki, Guerilla of Dark World
If this card is discarded to the Graveyard by a card effect: Target 1 monster on the field; destroy that target.
The power is Reign-Beaux and Ceruli shouldn’t need to be explained, as the card text for both does it justice. If you get a card like Reign-Beaux off, the match is yours. Kahkki plays a key role in Dark World decks, as they should be very Monster-heavy. Playing a card like this is a great Spell substitute and helps you survive until your big cards come into play.
What’s a good Dark World deck list in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links?
The best Reign-Beaux version of the deck is as follows:
- 3 Snoww, Unlight of Dark World
- 3 Ceruli, Guru of Dark World
- 3 Trance Archfiend
- 3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
- 2 Reign-Beaux, Overlord of Dark World
- 3 Dark World Lightning
- 1 Cheerful Coffin
- 2 Floodgate Trap Hole
Getting your hands on this exact deck is a a pay-to-win scenario in a perfect world, though. If you’re not willing to drop a solid $500+, which I won’t blame you for, then you’re going to have to improvise a bit with some of the cards mentioned earlier in this guide or otherwise included in the Dark World achetype.