An archetype that hasn’t received much attention since its release (and for good reason) are the Karakuri cards. The reason this archetype hasn’t had any success in Duel Links, and in fact might never be good in Duel Links is because currently we don’t have any Synchro monsters AND there is no Main Phase 2 in Duel Links. In the TCG/OCG you could attack with your Karakuri monsters, and then when they switch to defense you could use them to synchro summon during your Main Phase 2, that way you could prevent them from being easily killed because of their weak defense.
The choices for Karakuri cards are very limited, there really are only 3 usable Karakuri monsters, and beside the field spell, most other Karakuri spells can be replaced by generic spells/traps that do a better job. For now the only way to play with Karakuris is by using them mostly like beatsticks. The Firm as the EARTH skill will increase the attack of all of your monsters because they are all earth and you can easily activate your skill with the addition of Cosmic Cyclone. Cosmic Cyclone will also make it safer for your monsters to attack, and since you are obligated to attack every turn this can be very helpful.
In total there are 4 Karakuri monsters in Duel Links (not counting the spider) , however because Karakuri Ninja mdl 7749 “Nanashick” is a 5 star monster with a very mediocre effect and attack, you never want to use this card.
All Karakuri share the same two effects, which we’ll call the Karakuri effect. They have to attack each turn if able, the only way to prevent this is for example by putting them in defense, that way they aren’t able to attack. The second effect is that when your opponent targets a Karakuri monster for an attack, that Karakuri monster will switch to defense.
Sazank is a great monster to have in your opening hand when going first. You’ll want to set him face-down and when your opponent attacks into it you can target one monster and send it to the graveyard. If your opponent doesn’t attack into him (for example if they played Geargias and used Ties of The Brethren) then you can flip him over on your turn, send a monster to the graveyard and use his effect to attack your opponent directly.
Two important things to note about this card; this card does not destroy, but rather just send to the graveyard, meaning Cyber Angels cannot protect themselves by banishing a ritual spell, and even though the card says “select” , this card was made before Problem-Solving Card Text (PSCT) was introduced, so this effect will not work against an opponent’s Hazy monster (it does in fact “target”).
Haipa is a 4 star monster with 2100 attack, which is actually impressive, however after he attacks he will switch to defense, so in almost every situation, at the end of your turn this monster will be in defense position (either because you placed him like that or he attacked this turn).
Muzanichiha has the second highest attack with 1800, however each time a Karakuri monster is destroyed, he will gain 400 attack, so after one Karakuri is destroyed he already has a higher attack than Haipa.
So since all your monsters go into defense position when being attacked (Haipa also goes in defense after having attacked) and all your monsters having low defense, the best way to protect your monsters is by using Spikeshield With Chain.
Spikeshield With Chain will add 500 atk to your monster, and during damage calculation your monster will gain defense equal to its attack.
You might also wonder why you would want to use Firm as earth because the field spell “Gaia Power” will add 500 atk and remove 400 defense, well with Spikeshield with chain the defense reduction is actually negated (you actually gain 100 defense).
|Sazank: 1700 ATK/2900 DEF, Haipa 2600 ATK/3700 DEF, Muzanichiha 2300 ATK/2900 DEF|
As you can see their defense can go very high, high enough to even defend against the strongest monsters like Cyber Angel Dakini, Saffira Queen of Dragons, Sylvan Hermitree. You could also deal a lot of battle damage to your opponent or even finish them of if they attack into one of your monsters with a 4 star monster with average attack. With two Spikeshield with Chains you could possibly even OTK your opponent.
Forbidden Chalice is a great card overall right now in the meta because of all the Cyber Angels, Geargias and Sylvans running wild on the ladder, but you can also use Forbidden Chalice on your own monsters either for the attack boost or to negate your own monster’s effect. For example if you use Forbidden Chalice on your own Haipa you can enjoy a 400 attack boost and your monster won’t switch to defense position at the end of the Battle Phase or if you use it when your monster is attacked it won’t change to defense position and gain 400 attack, however you will have to chain it to your monster’s effect and not wait until the damage step.
From all the Karakuri spells currently available this field spell fits the best for the strategy of our deck. This field spell will help with the survival of your monsters because whenever you attack a face-up monster you can change its position. You can either change it from defense to attack if you think it is safe and want to get in extra damage, but more often you will change a monster from attack to defense to either be able to get over them (because most popular monsters have a lower defense than attack) and this will also protect your monsters against Mirror Wall, Wall of Disruption, ..
If this card is destroyed you can special summon a level 4 Karakuri monster from your graveyard, however keep in mind that this card can miss the timing.
|This can take your opponent by surprise because they expect your monster to change to defense when attacking but it will stay in attack AND gain a 1000 attack boost. This will also negate Haipa’s effect of changing to defense at the end of the battle phase after you attacked.|
|If you want to try a strategy that revolves around setting your monsters and making your opponent kill themselves by attacking into your Spikeshield With Chain, you could combine it with this card for an extra 1500 damage. Spikeshield with Chain + Golden Gearbox could be enough to OTK your opponent (since Golden gearbox adds both 500 attack and 1500 defense).|
Super Rush Headlong
|Great way to also defend your face-up defense position monsters.|
|Can be used both as protection or to surprise lethal your opponent.|
Windstorm of Etaqua
Curse of Anubis
|Standard protection traps that have been good since the start of Duel Links.|