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From left to right: "Blackwings": "Bora the Spear", "Gale the Whirlwind", "Shura the Blue Flame", "Mistral the Silver Shield" and "Armor Master".
"Blackwing", known as "Black Feather" (
They are a Deck with swarming and speed capabilities. When Crimson Crisis was released, this archetype was very unsupported - only five "Blackwing" cards were released: "Gale the Whirlwind", "Sirocco the Dawn", "Bora the Spear", "Armor Master" and "Raptor Wing Strike". Later on, with the release of Raging Battle and Ancient Prophecy the set grew into a highly swarming and powerful Deck. The speed it gives with its swarming, along with its additional Synchro Summoning capabilities landed this Deck a place on the Shonen Jump Circuit, along with being known as one of the many Meta Decks. The Deck proceeded to win the 2009 World Championships and remained popular the following year. New "Blackwing" monsters and support were released in The Shining Darkness and Starstrike Blast, giving them alternative strategies. As of Gold Series: Return of the Bling, the deck's swarming capabilities have been improved. With the release of Dimension of Chaos, new Blackwing monsters have been introduced that gain the ability to be tuner monsters allowing for more access to Synchro Summoning.
Most "Blackwing" monsters generally have a very birdlike appearance, with most Level 3 and lower monsters appearing as small birds while the Level 4 and higher monsters appearing to be either humanoids in birdlike outfits or humanoid birds. Most of the "Blackwing" monsters feature black in their design, usually on their wing feathering.
In the anime, the "Blackwing" monsters are named after geographical elements usually related to the natural phenomena, winds and birds.
In the manga, the Blackwing monsters are named after weapons of mythological origins and natural sky-related phenomena.
"Blackwings" have a strong emphasis on swarming and utilizing hand traps. Most have the ability to Special Summon themselves from the hand; others carry special effects that utilize the Graveyard and Hand to advance the gamestate. Because of these swarming capabilities, they give many opportunities to Synchro Summon and Xyz Summon. Their overall gameplan allows for quick OTKs all the while setting up multiple layers of contingency plans and proofing for additional OTKs in future turns.
Since all of the "Blackwings" rely on the hand to swarm, "Black Whirlwind" allows them to replenish their resources while giving them the ability to toolbox into certain combo pieces. And when enough Blackwings have swarmed the field, support cards like "Delta Crow - Anti Reverse" and "Black Sonic" are granted additional effects that allow them to be activated from hand.
Because the majority of the "Blackwing" monsters are DARK, Winged Beasts, they can use "Icarus Attack", "Dark Armed Dragon", "Crush Card Virus", "Deck Devastation Virus", and "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" for card destruction. They even have access to draw power such as "Allure of Darkness", "Pot of Duality", Cards for Black Feathers", and searching power such "Raidraptor - Force Strix", "Creeping Darkness" and "Swallow's Nest".
The Deck has numerous mind games, forcing opponents to make less than sub-optimal plays to play around certain cards like "Icarus Attack", "Black Sonic", "Delta Crow" and "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow". The player can create an illusion by simply setting a card in the Spell & Trap Card Zone or keeping a few cards in hand with a "Blackwing" monster on the field. Aggressive Decks are forced to slow down to stay out of range of these options that can cripple them or possibly cost the match.
With great self sustaining synergy, powerful support cards, toolbox capabilities and the ability to shift between aggressive to passive playstyles; “Blackwings” are one of the easiest archetypes to play and an overall solid archetype.
Several of the "Blackwings", as well as their support cards, make Synchro Summoning fairly easy.
- "Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame": This monster can Special Summon from your Deck a "Blackwing" monster with 1500 or less ATK after it has destroyed an opponent's monster during the Damage Step. Considering that most of the deck's tuners have less than 1500 ATK, this card can easily create large Synchro plays. Also, because the searched monster's effect is negated, Vayu will be able to Synchro Summon while on the field if Summoned in this way (which is normally unable to).
- "Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn": Can be Special Summoned from your hand if you control another "Blackwing" monster besides "Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn".
- "Blackwing - Bora the Spear": Can be Special Summoned from your hand if you control another "Blackwing" monster besides "Blackwing - Bora the Spear".
- "Blackwing - Blizzard the Far North": Upon being Normal Summoned, can Special Summon from your Graveyard a Level 4 or lower "Blackwing" monster. This card can create OTK situations and is hailed as one of the deck's trump cards.
- "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor": Can Special Summon "Blackwing" Synchro Monsters by utilizing "Blackwing" monster as materials from the Graveyard instead of the field. Keep in mind that the effects of these Synchro Monsters will be negated as long as they are face-up on the field ("Book of Moon" is one of the cards that can remedy this problem) and this form of Summoning disallows them from being Special Summoned from the Graveyard or banished.
- "Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall": Can Special Summon itself akin to "Kris", while at the same time changing a target's Battle Position to make opponents more vulnerable. You can even temporarily set a monster to DEF to bait out Mirror Force, and then switch said defense monster back to ATK after the Battle Phase.
- "Blackwing - Pinaki the Waxing Moon": Although it cannot Special Summon itself and can only be used for a Blackwing Synchro, it can search for any Blackwing monster at the End Phase, allowing you to rebuild resources and set up for future plays.
- "Blackwing - Gladius the Midnight Sun": Can be Special Summoned only when there is a single other monster on your field that is a Blackwing. This is the only low ATK, non-tuner that can Special Summon itself. The low ATK allows for Black Whirlwind to search it off of the other tuners like "Pinaki", "Blizzard", "Gale" and Synchro into "Nothung" which allows for combos off of the weaker Blackwings.
- "Black Whirlwind": The key card of any "Blackwing" Deck. When a "Blackwing" monster is Normal Summoned, you can add a "Blackwing" monster from your Deck to your hand if its ATK is weaker than the Summoned monster.
Level 5 Synchro plays: "Blizzard" can revive "Kalut" or "Gladius" to instantly access a Level 5. Any level 4 Blackwing with "Oroshi the Squall" and "Shura" searching for "Vayu".
- "Armades, Keeper of Boundaries": The most ideal monster that can attack and send anyone to the graveyard without worry of a Trap, Flip effect, or Graveyard effect. "Oroshi" can guarantee the kill of many monsters since it can switch the opponent's monster to its weaker stat position.
- "T.G. Hyper Librarian": Can create extra Synchro plays into extra draws.
- "Blackwing - Gram the Shining Star": Blackwing in name, so it can benefit from activating specific Blackwing Support cards. It's secondary effects are somewhat worthless.
Level 6 Synchro plays: "Blizzard" can revive a Level 4. A Level 3 Tuner like "Pinaki", "Oroshi", or "Breeze" can combo with a Special Summon from "Gladius" or the revival of a Level 3 with "Blizzard". "Oroshi" and a Level 5 like "Sirrocco" or a Synchro can also work.
- "Blackwing - Nothung the Starlight": This monster burns for 800 and debuffs an opponent's monster without targeting it. It can make any monster 3100 or less fall to it. Its secondary effect grants an addition Normal Summon, which in turn combos with "Black Whirlwind". Because of that additional Normal Summon, this card gateways into OTK plays and strong field presence.
- "Blackwing Armed Wing": Although not as amazing as "Nothung", Armed Wing carries the benefit of Piercing battle damage which can beat out some decks with destruction immunities.
- "Vulcan the Divine": This card can remove certain faceup problem cards while allowing you access to reuse Monsters/Spells like Whirlwind/Traps like Fiendish Chain.
Level 7 Synchro plays: a Level 3 Tuner can combo with a Level 4 Blackwing that can Special Summon itself from the hand, such as "Bora" or "Kris", and vice versa with "Gale" or "Breeze" and any Level 4. They can also just be Special Summoned directly from the deck via the effect of "Shura" and tune with it. Additionally, "Oroshi" can combo with a Level 6, like "Elphin" or a Synchro.
- "Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe": This monster can revive previously used Level 5+ Winged Beasts like "Nothung" or "Dark Simorgh" and allow plays that minus to go plus. This card grants additional Synchro Summon potential and is overall another piece of an OTK. It even carries the benefit of diverting cards that target this monster via Battle/Effect to other Blackwing monsters, allowing it to stay alive for future plays. It is also possible for a player to use "Elphin", "Nothung", or "Armed Wing" as Synchro material with Oroshi for "Obsidian Hawk Joe", and then use Hawk Joe's effect to bring them back out.
- "Blackwing Armor Master": This monster is immune to battle destruction, which is another great target to divert away from "Hawk Joe". This is the ideal monster to Synchro into if there are no other Blackwings in graveyard that "Hawk Joe" would be able to summon.
- "Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower": This monster can destroy cards your opponent controls equal to the number of other Blackwings you control. With the Blackwing's amazing swarm capabilities this monster can clear away large swaths of your opponents field, eliminating potential obstacles to future plays or clearing the way for an OTK. Also, it is treated as a Tuner monster if Synchro Summoned using a Blackwing as a Synchro Material, and can be used with lower Level Blackwings to bring out a high Level Synchro.
- "Black Rose Moonlight Dragon": This monster is ideal for spot removing Special Summoned opponents and discourages the opponent from Special Summoning high level monsters.
- "Clear Wing Synchro Dragon": Considering this deck can explode out a bunch of high level monsters, "Clear Wing" provides outstanding defense against problem monsters that would otherwise try to kill your field. It even allows you to negate and destroy high level monsters that would otherwise cripple your deck. And to top it off, this monster absorbs the ATK of any monster it negated and destroyed, including your own. This card can potentially be used to funnel all of your attack power into this monster. "Nothung" can allow this monster to reach 4900 ATK. "Crimson Blader" can allow this monster to hit for 5300 ATK.
Level 8 Synchro Monsters plays: "Blackwing - Kochi the Daybreak" with any Special Summoning Blackwing. You can also use "Nothung" to grant the summon of "Blizzard" and Synchro this way. "Hawk Joe" can provide the high level monsters like "Gram", "Nothung", or "Armor Master" to be the non-tuner. You can use "Oroshi" to be the Tuner for any Level 7. Also, you can combo any Level 3 Tuner with "Harmattan".
- "Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons": Immune to destruction and gains attack equal to any damage you take. Since all of the other Synchro options provide no mass destruction defense, this card is ideal against cards like "Dark Hole", "Raigeki", "Bottomless Trap Hole" "Mirror Force" or "Judgment Dragon". This monster forces your opponent to waste specific removal options like "101", "Castel", "Compulsory", "Breakthrough Skill", or "Solemn Warning".
- "Crimson Blader": This card can destroy a monster and force your opponent out of high level options their next turn. This can make or break the opponent's ability to comeback and allows future set ups for OTKs.
- "Scrap Dragon": This monster can remove any problem card on the field. This can also combos with "Beelze" or "Hawk Joe".
- "Stardust Spark Dragon": This card can protect specific cards on your field like "Hawk Joe", "Black Whirlwind" or a trap card you control.
Level 9 Synchro Monsters plays: "Blizzard" reviving a "Kalut" or "Gladius" with another 4 star on the field (or one that can Special Summon from hand).
- "Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier": One of the original powerhouses.
- "Mist Wurm": Can bounce up to 3 problem cards.
Level 10 Synchro Monsters plays: "Blizzard" and 2 Level 4 monsters. "Blizzard" and 8 star Synchros. Level 7 Synchros and "Gale".
- "Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree": A card that cannot be targeted unless it is a specific phase.
- "Shooting Star Dragon": Made with Formula Synchron (using Steam Token + Oroshi).
Level 11 Synchro Monsters plays: Synchro Summoned Raikiri with any Level 4.
- "Star Eater": Another powerful "Armades".
Because of a lot of their monsters Special Summon themselves, it is very easy for them to access Rank 4s and somewhat Rank 3s. Rank 4 Xyz plays
- "Ice Beast Zerofyne": An amazing go-to monster. This card does not target and cancels an entire field-worth of problems while obtaining an increased ATK stat. Combos with "Icarus".
- "Raidraptor - Force Strix": A monster that can search other Level 4 Dark Winged-Beasts. This card is useful to set up when you are finished with attacks and want to add more swarming capabilities for future turns.
Blackwings are a powerful archetype, able to quickly swarm the field, Synchro Summon, and potentially OTK every turn. Their specialty is their quick Special Summoning, allowing you to Summon multiple monsters in a single turn, then use effects of monsters such as "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" or "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow" to build on one another and quickly wreak massive destruction.
This Deck is based on getting "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" and high-Level "Blackwing" monsters into the Graveyard. Vayu's effect allows the Special Summon of "Blackwing" Synchros from the Extra deck by using "Blackwing" monsters in the graveyard to fulfill the level requirements; the effects of these monsters are negated. Because this is not a traditional Synchro Summon, the Synchro monsters are not revivable if they are to hit the graveyard.
The strategy then devolves into spamming high-ATK Synchro Monsters followed by swarming the field with other "Blackwing" monsters. Recycling with "Burial from a Different Dimension" to perform another Special Summon is a recommended tactic. This also allows you to return "Necro Gardna" and anything else you might remove with "Dark Armed Dragon" or "Allure of Darkness" to your Graveyard. To go along with "Burial from a Different Dimension", you can add "Return from the Different Dimension" to Summon the same cards to your side of the field and attempt an OTK. Cards that send other cards from your Deck to your Graveyard, such as "Card Trooper" (or, to a lesser extent, "Veil of Darkness"), are suggested. Another possible strategy is to Special Summon "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" through the effect of "Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame", negating the Synchro Summoning restriction of "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor", and Synchro Summon "Ally of Justice Catastor".
"Crush Card Virus" is a viable tool for ditching "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" to the Graveyard while destroying the opponent's monsters. "Deck Devastation Virus" and/or "Eradicator Epidemic Virus" work for ditching a high-Level "Blackwing" monster to the Graveyard and destroying low-ATK monsters. This strategy works very will with this type of Deck, since you will be able to rapidly swarm the field with high-ATK DARK-Attribute Monsters, since the key cards of this Deck ("Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor", high Level "Blackwings") make perfect targets for the "Crush Card Virus". When they are in the Graveyard, you can Summon even more monsters while leaving your opponent with nothing. Furthermore, you will be looking at your opponent's hand, allowing you to predict their actions.
Another great card for this Deck is "Skill Drain" which can negate the effect of "Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor" while it is on the field (so it can be used as a Synchro Material monster on the field) while still allowing it to Special Summon Synchro Monsters by removing it from the Graveyard ("Skill Drain" does not negate effects in the Graveyard). As an added bonus, the effect-negating drawback on the Synchro Monster will be meaningless, since "Skill Drain" does the same to each other monster.
Players often choose "Sirocco the Dawn" over "Elphin the Raven" for one of two reasons; "Sirocco the Dawn" is capable of being Summoned to the field like "Cyber Dragon". It can also be used against the common "Blackwing" deck, by stealing other "Blackwing" monsters ATK from the opponent and attacking their "Blackwing" monsters for 2000 or more damage depending on the amount of ATK the "Blackwing" monsters on the field that "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" absorbs. "Lightsworn" Decks got hurt by the March 2010 Lists. However, the September 2011 Lists increased this deck's power, with Necro Gardna going back to 2 and Judgment Dragon going back to 3. In addition the deck got even more power due to the "March 2012 Lists", with "Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner" being put back to 2.
Unfortunately, the majority of the archetype lacks raw power and relies on having both the strong and weak monsters to combo properly. Their dependency on Black Whirlwind to maintain resources can be easily worked around with attack debuffs such as "Burden of the Mighty" or "Solidarity". They also depend on having at least one of their monsters on the field to allow themselves to swarm. Destroying their initial summon or the only monster on the field can outright cripple the deck.
They also have some problems maintaining hand and field advantage due to the overwhelming speed with which “Blackwings” are Summoned, a player can (and often will) find his/her hand depleting quickly, thus lacking resources in case his/her plans goes wrong, (such as in the case the opponent counters a massive Swarming with a destruction card like "Torrential Tribute", "Dark Hole", "Raigeki", "Compulsory Evacuation Device", "Bottomless Trap Hole" or "Solemn Warning").
"Blackwings" are good in that they are not very weak to any common Side Deck cards. Because they are all DARK (save the not commonly run "Aurora") and all Winged-Beast (save for "Obsidian Hawk Joe"), cards such as "Rivalry of Warlords" and "Gozen Match" do not hurt them.
Cards such as "Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror" may hurt the player a little as you will not be able to use your effects, and "Dimensional Fissure" will render "Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame", "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow", "Blackwing - Blizzard the Far North" and "Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite"'s effects useless. However, all of these threats are easily solved with "Icarus Attack" or "Diamond Dire Wolf", as all of the monsters are Winged-Beasts. "Royal Decree" may pose a problem as it will render "Icarus Attack" useless, but it's also easily dealt with using "Diamond Dire Wolf".
"Thunder King Rai-Oh" will stop Black Whirlwind searching, and can negate a Synchro Summon.
"Blackwings" require the initial Normal Summon to the field to start field presence. Negating that Summon or immediately destroying that monster with a "Trap Hole" or similar card will prevent swarming for that turn.
Siding in "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" is also surprisingly effective against "Blackwings", since "Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn" can use the opponent's "Blackwings" for his effect.