Arkana, the self-proclaimed Dark Magician master, has finally arrived as a playable character in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links after being teased as unlockable at JUMP Victory Carnival back in July. Fortunately for us he also comes with very decent Dark Magician support and a useful skill: Master of Magicians (this skill is unlocked by levelling Arkana, it is not a drop skill).
One of the level rewards from Arkana, unfortunately only two copies are available at the moment. This is one of the most important cards in the deck because it’s the key to your main combo. When this card is summoned you can add one spell/trap from your deck to your hand that specifically lists Dark Magician in its text, the card you’ll want to pick up in most situations is Dark Magic Curtain, this will allow you to special summon a Dark Magician from your deck in exchange for half of your life points. Now that you’ve already taken 2000 damage (or more if you took damage earlier) you can activate your skill Master of Magicians, to get either a copy of Dark Magic Attack, Thousand Knives or Dark Magic Expanded to your hand (from outside of your deck).
Dark Magic Attack and Thousand Knives are already in game so you probably know what they do, but Dark Magic Expanded is not yet unlockable and only playable through this skill. Dark Magic Expanded is a very interesting and powerful card because you activate up to three effects depending on the number of Dark Magicians and/or Dark Magician Girls on your field or in the graveyard.
If you have 1+; all Dark spellcaster monsters on the field gain 1000 attack. Because this is a quick-play spell you can activate it when you or your opponent is already attacking.
If you have 2+; your opponent can’t activate cards and effects in response to your spell/trap or effect activation, and your spells/traps can’t be destroyed by your opponent.
If you have 3+; Dark spellcaster monsters you control are unaffected by your opponent’s card effects.
Don’t forget, all effects are activated in sequence, so if there are 2 Dark Magicians/Dark Magician Girls on the field/in the graveyard, effect 1 will activate followed by effect 2. If there are 3, then all three effects will be activated in sequence.
Keep in mind you cannot use Dark Magic Curtain the same turn you normal summon Magician’s Rod, you’ll have to wait until your next turn.
This amazing card lets you pay half of your life points, to special summon a Dark Magician from your deck and because you will have lost 2000 or more life points at that point, you can activate your skill to get one of three Dark Magician support cards.
When you use this card you cannot summon any other monsters that turn (only set) , and if you already summoned a monster that turn (for example you normal summoned Magician’s Rod), you can no longer activate it this turn.
Even though only one copy is available, thanks to the fact that we have access to two copies of Magician’s Rod, you can actually consistently use it during your duels because you can search for it.
Watch out when using Dark Magic Curtain and only summoning a Dark Magician, on your opponent’s turn he can use Enemy Controller and take control of your monster to attack for game, that’s why it’s important to also set a monster (if possible) when using Dark Magic Curtain.
Only one copy of Dark Magic Attack is currently available, and only one copy of Thousand Knives is included because any more could cause frequent brick hands, and in case you really need it you could search for them with Magician’s Rod. These two cards are also possibly added to your hand with the skill Master of Magicians.
Sergeant Electro is still a good card in the meta to control your opponent’s backrow. It’s also an important card to possibly lock down any Floodgate Trap Hole your opponent has set (or Sergeant Electro will bait out Floodgate Trap Hole), because you’ll want your Dark Magician face-up to use its support cards or Champion’s Vigilance.
Just like Blue Dragon Summoner this card lets you search out one of your Dark Magicians from your deck, but this card has the added bonus that once per turn you can perform the tribute summon of a spellcaster monster on top of your normal summon.
This card’s effect lets you put one spell counter on this card every time a spell is activated (even if your opponent activated it), when you have 3 spell counters on this card you can tribute it to special summon a Dark Magician from your deck, hand or graveyard. Even though its effect might be too slow on occasions, this card still has a very high attack of 1900.
Obtained only by getting Yami Yugi's level to 45, this is a Dark Magician quick-play spell that lets you search for other Dark Magician support spell/trap from your deck. It's main use in this deck is to be able to get either Dark Magic Curtain, Thousand Knives, or Dark Magic Attack. You'll need to have 2 spell cards in the grave, which often comes from Dark Magic Curtain that you can search from Magician's Rod, or from your other spells.
This card was limited to one not so long ago just because of how strong it is. It can negate a summon, spell or trap and destroy that card if you control a level 7 or higher normal monster, so it automatically deserves a spot in a deck revolved around Dark Magician. Don’t forget if you want to negate the summoning of for example Cyber Angel Dakini you have to use it when the ritual spell is activated, you cannot use it when Cyber Angel Dakini hits the field.
If you feel that you have too many ways to get Dark Magician on the field you can cut some cards (Mausoleum of the Emperor, Legion the fiend Jester, Ancient Rules) for more defensive cards like Enemy controller (currently only 3 cards in this list can be activated during your opponent’s turn), but this depends on your personal preference. If you feel there aren’t enough ways to summon Dark Magician add more Mausoleum of the Emperor and Legion the fiend Jester.
It is possible that currently a Dark Magician deck still works best with the skill: Three Star Demotion, however that skill will be nerfed in January so we wanted to bring you a Dark Magician deck that won’t be affected by the coming nerfs and that can be used with Arkana. Destiny Draw is another skill that has synergy with the fact that you quickly reduce your life points by 2000 with this deck.
If you summon the red Dark Magician (the one used by Arkana in the anime) there will be a special 3D animation when summoning him (just like Yami Yugi has with the normal Dark Magician), so make sure you include as much copies of that Dark Magician as possible (one is given to you when you unlock Arkana, more copies are currently only available through the PvP UR tickets).
Although she isn’t really needed to succeed with this deck, if you want to try her out you could because there are lots of ways to easily summon her (Mausoleum of the Emperor and Legion the Fiend Jester, possibly add Magician’s Circle), we recommend you use Sage’s Stone in that case to help bring out Dark Magician.
Besides helping you stall and survive for one turn, this also counters your opponent if he uses Enemy Controller to use your own Dark Magician to defeat you after you used Dark Magic Curtain, however since this is a trap it doesn’t have synergy with Skilled Dark Magician like Enemy Controller does, so this choice depends on personal preference
Your Magician’s Rod, Legion the Fiend Jester and Sergeant Electro have a mediocre attack stat, so using Super Rush Headlong can be important to defend or defeat stronger monsters. Also after the nerf to Cyber Angels in January, this card might become more popular again.
Just like Super Rush Headlong, this traps will defend your weaker spellcasters against your opponent’s monsters. If you feel that you lack defensive cards you can include this trap (or Mirror Wall/Floodgate Trap Hole).
This quick-play spell lets you tribute one spellcaster monster and add 2 copies of Dark Magician from your deck or graveyard to your hand. Although this card seems pretty useless right now, because we have ways of adding Dark Magician to our hand, and tributing a spellcaster can leave your board wide open, you can use it when you are about to lose a monster through the effect of your opponent and at least that way you can get some last use out of your monster.
Yami Yugi had a strong Dark Magician focus in the Ceremonial Duel, actually. (It was his main strategy since he predicted Yugi defeating the God Cards.) Also, when you think about it, ignoring the multiple copies of Dark Magician itself, Arkana only used 2 direct DM supports (Curtain and Thousand Knives.) Atem used both in the Ceremonial Duel, in addition to Dark Spear, Black Illusion and DMG.
Don't get me wrong, I was just rebutting the "Arkana focused his deck around DM" comment. I do agree with Konami's decision to give Arkana most of the Dark Magician love. It gives him a niche that makes him a worthwhile character inclusion. Yami Yugi had a lot of tricks, not JUST DM. Makes sense his skills and cardpool are more varied.
"Master of Magician" Skill really should be available to Yami Yugi as well, though.
this deck will never be good unless they release strong support for DM like Magician navigation , dark renewal , dark magical circle , magical dimension , eternal soul or at least dark burning magic which should have been yugi lvl 45 reward