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"Blackwing", known as "Black Feather" (
They are a Deck with both swarming and speed capabilities. When Crimson Crisis was released, this archetype was very unsupported, with only five "Blackwing" cards being 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, Blackwings grew into a high 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 Premium Gold: Return of the Bling, the deck's swarming capabilities and consistency have been greatly improved. With the release of Dimension of Chaos and The Dark Illusion, new "Blackwing" monsters, called "Assault Blackwings", have been introduced that gain the ability to be Tuner monsters allowing for more access to Synchro Summoning thanks to "Assault Blackwing - Onimaru the Divine Thunder" having level manipulation once Summoned. The deck functions with high amounts of speed, searching, and good hand trap situations as leaving a "Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow" in hand can be used both offensively and defensively.
Most "Blackwing" monsters generally have a very bird-like 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 bird-like 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 the hand.
Because the majority of the "Blackwing" monsters are DARK and Winged Beasts, they can utilize "Icarus Attack", "Dark Armed Dragon", "Dark Illusion", "Cattle Call", "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", "Pot of Desires" (albeit risky) and searching power such "Raidraptor - Force Strix", "Creeping Darkness", "Swallow's Nest", "Transmodify", and "Downbeat".
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 game.
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 - Gale the Whirlwind": Can be Special Summoned from your hand if you control another "Blackwing" monster besides "Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind". It is one of the few Tuners of this archetype that can Special Summon itself, and has a neat effect to cut down high ATK monsters.
- "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 it is normally unable to).
- "Blackwing - Bora the Spear": Can be Special Summoned from your hand if you control another "Blackwing" monster besides "Blackwing - Bora the Spear". Can inflict some nice piercing damage on weak monsters.
- "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". Unlike "Bora", "Kris" can only Special Summon itself from the hand once per turn. It also has an immunity to Spell/Trap destruction once per turn.
- "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) The Synchro monsters Special Summoned this way are not proper Synchro Summons so cards like "Soul Charge" or "D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation" will not revive them back from the GY or while banished.
- "Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall": Can Special Summon itself akin to "Kris", and like it can only Special Summon itself once per trn. If it is used as Synchro Material, you can target a monster on the field and change its battle position.. You can even temporarily set a monster to DEF to bait out a "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 monster, it can search for any "Blackwing" monster at the End Phase, allowing you to rebuild resources and set up for future plays.
- "Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust": Can be Special Summoned from your hand if you control another "Blackwing" monster besides "Blackwing - Harmattan the Dust". Shares the same Special Summoning restriction as "Kris" and "Oroshi". Can be utilized with "Blizzard the Far North" and "Gale" / "Pinaki" for Level 6 and Level 8 Synchro plays, respectively.
- "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.
- "Blackwing - Gofu the Vague Shadow": A Tuner that must first be Special Summoned from the hand while you control no monsters. Upon Summoned this way it gives you 2 "Vague Shadow Tokens". Before Master Rule 4, its second effect was very rarely used in pure builds and is a lot better in other decks. "Gofu" is now Limited in both TCG and OCG territory due to its extreme potential with Link Monsters.
- "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. Having 2 or more copies of this activated can thin your deck very fast and give you a lot of options for plays.
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": An ideal monster that can attack and send a monster to the GY without worry about monster effects, and Spells & Trap effects. "Oroshi" can guarantee the destruction of many monsters since it can switch the opponent's monster to its weaker stat position.
- "Assault Blackwing - Sohaya the Rain Storm". This enables you to have another Synchro material for a higher level Synchro, and can be spammed with "Level Eater" to further summon "Shooting Quasar Dragon" or similar monsters.
- "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. Its effect when Synchro Summoned is somewhat lackluster.
- "Hi-Speedroid Chanbara": A very good OTK enabler, whenever it battles it gains 200 ATK permanently. The ATK boost can stack up very fast and push your opponent into a corner.
- "Accel Synchron": Like "Sohaya", it is a Synchro Tuner monster that can aid in making "Shooting Quasar Dragon" or similar monsters.
- "Crystron Ametrix": A solid 2500 beatstick that can shift your opponent's Special Summoned monsters to Defense position, making it easier to run over low DEF monsters such as "Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon".
Level 6 Synchro plays: "Blizzard" can revive a Level 4, and "Harmattan" can also be used. 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 inflicts 800 damage to your opponent and lowers an opponent's monster's ATK by 800 without targeting it, causing almost all monsters with 3100 or less ATK fall to it. Its secondary effect grants an addition Normal Summon of a "Blackwing" monster, 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 a lot of high Defense monsters and punish them with Battle Damage..
- "Vulcan the Divine": This card can remove certain faceup problem cards while allowing you access to reuse Monsters, Spells like "Whirlwind" and Traps like "Fiendish Chain".
- "Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier": Currently no longer Forbidden because of its errata, it still is a good non-destruction removal of your opponents cards.
- "Stardust Charge Warrior": Another offensive monster which grants you a draw when Synchro Summoned.
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", "Breeze", "Pinaki" 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 "Nothung"
- "Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe": This monster can revive previously used Level 5+ Winged Beasts like "Nothung", "Gofu", and "Dark Simorgh" and allows reoccurring field presence. 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 Special Summon them back.
- "Blackwing Armor Master": This monster is immune to battle destruction, which is another great target to divert away from "Hawk Joe". Its effect when placing Wedge counters is only useful the turn after you place them on your opponent's monsters. This is the ideal monster to Synchro into if there are no other "Blackwings" in your GY that "Hawk Joe" would be able to Summon.
- "Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower": This monster can target and 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 monster.
- "Assault Blackwing - Chidori the Rain Sprinkling". Not as good as Raikiri, but the Blackwings that are in the Graveyard allows this monster to gain 300 ATK for each, giving "Chidori" the advantage over high ATK monsters like "Raidraptor - Ultimate Falcon" and "Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon". It also has a floating effect to revive any "Blackwing" Synchro monster from your GY, other than "Chidori".
- "Black Rose Moonlight Dragon" and "Black Rose Dragon": "Moonlight" is ideal for spot removing Special Summoned opponents and discourages the opponent from Special Summoning level 5 or higher Monsters. "Black Rose Dragon" is great in clearing a lot of your opponent's cards and making your OTKs come faster in the following turns.
- "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 Level 5 or higher monsters. It can stop monsters like "Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer", "Cyber Dragon Infinity", "Number 101: Silent Honor ARK" and even "Effect Veiler" to prevent them from resolving their targeting effects. It also gives decks that run a lot of Level 5 or higher monsters huge problems, such as "Blue-Eyes" ,"D/Ds", and "Blackwings" in the mirror match. To top it off, it can gain the ATK of any monster it negated and destroyed, including your own. This card can potentially be used to funnel all of your ATK power into this monster, though "Chidori" can push for that damage easier.
- "Odd-Eyes Meteorburst Dragon": A decent Synchro monster that has the ability to prevent monster effects in your opponents possession from activating.This can help push for OTKs easier, preventing cards that would otherwise stop your OTK from activating, such as "Battle Fader", "Electromagnetic Turtle", and "Swift Scarecrow".
Level 8 Synchro 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 (must be sent to GY to activate "Blader's" effect) and prevent your opponent from Normal/Special Summoning Level 5 or higher monsters on their next turn. This can easily slow down your opponent and prevent them from using monsters to Tribute over yours, such as all the "Kaiju" monsters and "The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode".
- "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", itself or any other card you control.
- "PSY-Framelord Omega": A very generic Level 8 monster, it can temporarily banish it and a card from your opponent's hand, or return banished cards to the GY, such as monsters you banished with "Allure of Darkness", "Cards for Black Feathers", or "Vayu".
- "Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend": Another generic Level 8 monster that can clear a lot of Special Summoned Effect monsters with 3000 or less ATK and deal 500 damage for each.
- "Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon": A super nice addition to any "Blackwing" deck, this vicious Dragon gives your deck more monster effect negation and the ability to run over all Level 5 or higher monsters. A very easy-to-make monster with the Tuners and Synchros in your arsenal.
Level 9 Synchro 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": Banishing your opponent's cards is always a nice thing to ruin their day.
- "Mist Wurm": A mandatory effect that returns up to 3 cards your opponent controls. Not as solid as "Trishula" but removes more cards on the field.
- "Vermillion Dragon Mech": A generic Level 9 Synchro that can banish a Tuner from your hand, field or GY to target and destroy a card. Can also recycle banished Tuner monster if destroyed by a card effect.
Level 10 Synchro plays: "Blizzard" and 2 Level 4 monsters. Or "Gale" / "Pinaki", "Gladius", and "Bora" / "Kris".
- "Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree": A card that cannot be targeted unless in Main Phase 2.
- "Beelzeus of the Diabolic Dragons": Easy to make in this deck, though it limits OTK potential. It can be a neat way to regain your lost LP and put your opponent's monster's ATK to 0 temporarily.
Level 11 Synchro Monsters plays: Synchro Summoned Raikiri with any Level 4, or "Gale" and two Level 4 monsters..
- "Star Eater": Currently the only Level 11 Synchro in existence, its unaffected by card effects until the end of Damage Step, which can run over "Apoqliphort Towers".
- "Shooting Quasar Dragon": A bit difficult to pull of in pure "Blackwing" decks, it can be made with the right Synchro monsters. Can negate any card or effect during either player's turn. You can substitute "Quasar" with "Cosmic Blazar Dragon" or "Stardust Sifr Divine Dragon".
- "Assault Blackwing - Onimaru the Divine Thunder": Currently the only generic Level 12 monster in the game. You can even revive it with "Hawk Joe". It has four different effects. If it was Synchro Summoned using a "Blackwing" monster as Material, then it is treated as a Tuner. Its second effect protects it from destruction effects. Its third effect is it can target any "Blackwing" monster in your GY and it becomes that level, albeit only once per Duel. Finally if it was Synchro Summoned using only Synchro Monsters, it gains 3000 ATK during the Damage Step only. This effect doesn't activate so "Number S39: Utopia the Lightning" cannot run it over.
Because of a lot of their monsters Special Summon themselves, it is very easy for them to access Rank 4 plays and somewhat Rank 3 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".
Blackwing's ultimate strength is their swarming capacity, but the swarm require at least 1 "Blackwing" to present first. Immediately Negate that summon or Destroy it after the summon will potentially shutdown the deck for 1 turn.
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", "Bottomless Trap Hole" or "Solemn Warning").
Balance of Judgment can help to draw more cards just in case this happens, giving you more chances to plan a new attack
"Blackwings" are good in that they are not very weak to any common Side Deck cards. Because they are all DARK (save the rarely used "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 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" or the common "Mystical Space Typhoon".
"Thunder King Rai-Oh" will stop Black Whirlwind searching, and can negate a Synchro Summon.
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. Although unlikely.