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DARK (やみ Yami "Darkness"), monsters are perhaps the most favored of all monsters. Many well-known monsters are of the DARK attribute, such as "Dark Armed Dragon", "Jinzo" and most of the "Red-Eyes" series. Fiends and Zombies are usually of the DARK Attribute, and so are many Spellcasters such as "Reaper of Prophecy", "Dark Magician", and "Endymion, the Master Magician". Although LIGHT is the polar opposite of DARK, neither side has a true advantage over the other in general, although there are cards such as "Luminous Soldier", "Penumbral Soldier Lady", "Hoshiningen" and "Witch's Apprentice" which lower the stats of the opposing Attribute. The "Ally of Justice" archetype focuses heavily on DARK monsters that power up by destroying LIGHT monsters. DARK monsters have their own Structure Deck in the OCG, Structure Deck: Curse of Darkness. "Consecrated Light" also plays against the DARK Attribute by preventing them from being summoned or attacking at all while it is face up, as well as being unable to be destroyed by battle by any DARK monster.

Being one of the most versatile and common Attributes, DARK monsters and the cards akin to them can work with many different Deck Types, and rarely does a typical deck lack at least one. Because they are so widespread, DARK monsters have themes comparable to many other Attributes (for example, there are enough burn-damage DARK monsters to rival FIRE monsters). However, the one thing that DARK monsters specialize in more than any other Attribute are card effects relating to the Graveyard, often by using it as a resource in some way (though the predominately-DARK "Gravekeeper's" Archetype notably prevents the use of the Graveyard as a resource). Most other DARK monsters like "Blackwing" monsters have swarming abilities that allow you to summon monsters to your field to overwhelm your opponent by numbers in battle.

It should be noted that Monster's Attributes don't indicate whether they are good or evil, heroic or villanous etc, and DARK doesn't necessarily symbolize evil, unholiness and corruption. While DARK hosts plenty of monsters with themes related to the infernal, perverse, immoral, and twisted, from demons, incarnations of evil, the undead, and horror instilling creatures of fear, from "lswarm" (a majority of which are called "Evilswarm", further indicating they are evil) and "Dark World", or the Infamous "Predaplant" used by Yuri in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, this is not necessarily true of all DARK monsters.

Most of the protagonists, whether in the anime and manga series, use at least some DARK monsters, with those representative of wisdom, understanding of the franker and toned elements of the world, the tranquility and peace of the shadows, and necessary balance in justified force, including the use of destruction to terminate unstoppable and immovable evil itself. This can be seen in monsters such as Zure and the "Dark Magician" family that possess heroic and altruisic qualities. Main characters such as Yugi, Joey, Kaiba, Jaden, etc. frequently use DARK monsters, and Yugi's and Joey's most favored monsters are DARK such as "Dark Magician" and "Red-Eyes Black Dragon", respectively. "Dark Magician Girl" for example has a positive personality despite being a DARK monster. The "Ally of Justice" and "Destiny HERO" archetypes are in fact good monsters that are dedicated to fighting evil. Furthermore, the "Blackwing" archetype is used by one of the heroes in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's and ARC-V, Crow Hogan (ARC-V).

DARK-based archetypes include: "Archfiend", "Ally of Justice", "Blackwing", "Burning Abyss", "Dark Magician", "Dark Scorpion", "Destiny HERO", "Dark World", "Gagaga", "Ghostrick", "Gravekeeper's", "Infernity", "Inzektor", "lswarm", "Lunalight", "Predaplant", "Raidraptor", "Reptilianne", "Shaddoll", "The Phantom Knights", "Umbral Horror" and "Vampire", .


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