Dark Magician (archetype)

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Dark Magician
"Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl" in the artwork of "Bond Between Teacher and Student"

  • ブラック・マジシャン
  • Burakku Majishan (romanized)


  • Magicien Sombre


  • Mago Nero


  • 블랙 매지션
  • Beullaeng Maejisyeon (romanized)
  • Black Magician (translated)


  • Mago Negro


  • Mago/a Oscuro/a


Anime appearances

Manga appearances

"Dark Magician", known as "Black Magician" (ブラック・マジシャン Burakku Majishan) in Japan, is an archetype that has been a part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise since its beginning, with "Dark Magician" appearing as Yugi Muto's ace card. During the Battle City arc and subsequent arcs, more cards were introduced, such as "Dark Magician Girl". Originally a series, the release of "The Eye of Timaeus" cemented its status as an archetype. The archetype also contains a sub-archetype, "Dark Magician Girl".

"Dark Magician of Chaos" and "Skilled Dark Magician" are not "Dark Magician" cards because they do not have 「ブラック・マジシャン」 in their Japanese names.

Naming in the TCG

  • In French, the "The Eye of Timaeus" supports "Dark Magician" monsters and "Dark Magician Girl" as an individual card, due to the gendered nature of the language causing the term "Dark Magician" to differ between "Dark Magician" ("Magicien Sombre") and "Dark Magician Girl" ("Magicienne des Ténèbres").
  • In German, the "The Eye of Timaeus" instead supports "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl" as individual cards instead of as an archetype, due to the gendered nature of the language causing the term "Dark Magician" to differ between "Dark Magician" („Dunkler Magier“) and "Dark Magician Girl" („Dunkles Magier-Mädchen“).
  • In Spanish, the effect of "The Eye of Timaeus" supports "Mago/a Oscuro/a", which includes both the Spanish name of "Dark Magician" ("Mago Oscuro") and part of the Spanish name of "Dark Magician Girl" ("Maga Oscura").
  • In Italian and Portuguese, despite the term for "Dark Magician" differing between "Dark Magician" ("Mago Nero", "Mago Negro") and "Dark Magician Girl" ("Maga Nera", "Maga Negra"), only the former is supported.


"Dark Magician" monsters have several features in common:

  • The armor of most "Dark Magician" monsters is a collection of shiny, curved plates with sharp edges, all of the same color, which covers the torso and shoulder areas. On the edges of the plates are curved trimmings of contrasting shade.
  • Some of these monsters also have hats which appear to be similar to a stereotypical wizard's hat, which is usually crooked, leaning forward at the tip and with several rings which segment it. These rings are of the same color of the curved trimmings seen elsewhere on its attire.
  • Some of these monsters have Spell Counters embedded in their staff, shield, sword or armor.
  • Some also have the Arcana Seal depicted in the background.

Play style

The monsters of this archetype are fairly strong on their own, however, they rely a lot on a large amount of support cards to keep them going. The later releases revolve around spell counters. Depending on the way the Deck is built, this archetype can be very slow or fast archetype, occasionally able to out-trump even the "Blackwings", or the "Six Samurai" depending on the draw and how often "Dark Magician" can be Special Summoned. "Magical Dimension" is a great card in order to rush your "Dark Magician" out fast. Protecting a "Skilled Dark Magician" as he gathers up his counters is another way to go, but this strategy relies on how many spell cards you can allow your opponent to play before they gain the upper hand.

With the new release of Xyz era, especially Daigusto Emeral, Dark Magician play has become far more feasible than before with Xyz play, and can even catch up the current speed of general decks, although not as powerful as tiers decks. The most well-known way to summon Dark Magician in first turn is by utilising a xyz play involving "Goblindbergh"/ Tin Goldfish" and "Armageddon Knight"/"Elemental HERO Prisma". First summon "Goblindbergh"/"Tin Goldfish" to special summon "Armageddon Knight"/"Elemental HERO Prisma", then use the latter mentioned cards to dump "Dark Magician" to Graveyard. Overlay the level 4s and summon "Daigusto Emeral". Next in the same turn detach 1 xyz material to call the Magician out of his Grave. This Normal-Monster-Engine ensure you having Dark Magician presents in your field at any given time, even during your first turn.

The deck utilising this engine will use many level 4 Warrior-type monster, so "Reinforcement of the Army" is highly recommended to boost up its consistency. "Summoner Monk" is also a good choice for easy Rank 4 summoning.

The Dark Magician archetype also meshes nicely with the general spellcaster control decks, allowing for fast field control while shutting down an opponents ability to use spells and traps, likely rendering their hand unusable.

Recommended cards

  • Magical Dimension: Arguably the best way to Special Summon a Spellcaster. As long as you have a Spellcaster on the field and one in the hand, you can get out your "Dark Magician" and even destroy one of your opponent's monsters. Additionally, this is a Quick-Play Spell and therefore can be used quite flexibly throughout the Duel.
  • Ancient Rules: If you draw "Dark Magician," he can be useless in your hand unless you have an "Ancient Rules" to instantly Special Summon him.
  • Dark Magic Curtain: "Dark Magic Curtain's" high cost can be curtailed with "Spell Economics," however the summon restriction and the fact that "Dark Magician" must be in the Deck for you to activate it makes it a card worth running only one copy of in your DM deck. Use it in conjunction with "Thousand Knives" and/or "Dark Magic Attack" in your hand before your opponent can destroy your magician.
  • Sage's Stone: It is highly recommended to run "Dark Magician Girl" in a DM Deck, so that you can use "Sage's Stone" to quickly get out your "Dark Magician".
  • Magician's Circle: Useful to quickly search out a "Dark Magician Girl" from the Deck to use that Sage's Stone in your hand. However, searching out a Gagaga Magician for a convenient Xyz summon can be just what you need in certain situations.
  • Swing of Memories: Quickly brings out a Normal Monster (DM) from your Graveyard until the End Phase. Good if you have a DMA or "Thousand Knives" in your hand as well as a DM in the grave. Very situational and can be a dead draw.
  • Dark Magic Attack: Clear out your opponents back row if you have "Dark Magician" on your side of the field. Can be a game changing card against S/T heavy Decks, but can be sided out against Decks that do not use many S/T's.
  • Thousand Knives: If DM is on your side of the field, destroy one monster your opponent controls.
  • Bound Wand: This is a great way to protect your "Dark Magician" once he gets out onto the field, since he is not the easiest monster to get out there and you want to keep him in play as much as possible. Also, this card brings him up to an impressive 3200 ATK.
  • Escape from the Dark Dimension: A great side card for a Dark Magician Deck, for decks that like to banish your ace card.
  • Gagaga Shield: Throw down your "Dark Magician" in Defense Position and equip him with "Gagaga Shield" if you need to play defensive for awhile. This way, your Life Points will be safe and you can immediately make use of any "Thousand Knives" and "Dark Magic Attack" that you draw.
  • Skilled Dark Magician: This monster needs 3 Spell Counters to bring out a DM from the hand, Deck or graveyard. It's also a nice 1900 beater.
  • Dark Effigy/Double Coston- Both of these cards can be used to Tribute Summon DM, if you are not able to special summon him.
  • Legion the Fiend Jester- He allows you to add a nice element of consistency to your deck, allowing you to bring "Dark Magician" into your hand, and to tribute summon him more quickly than usual. He is also a nice Level 4 Spellcaster.
  • Dark Renewal: An excellent card to fish out "Dark Magician" from the deck or Graveyard in a snap. All that is required is another Spellcaster on your field and for your opponent to summon a monster, then you can trade both of them to summon "Dark Magician" straight to the field, possibly ruining your opponent's strategy and bringing out a powerhouse in one swoop. Can also bring out other DARK Spellcasters like "Dark Magician Girl" and "Gagaga Magician", depending on your needs or situation.
  • Black Illusion: A very useful card that can protect your "Dark Magician" from a variety of situations. While its effects only last a turn, that can be the difference between victory and defeat. And since "Dark Magician" has no Monster Effect, the small drawback of "Black Illusion" won't hurt him at all.
Recommended cards

Pendulum Magician
Control Magicians


Consisting primarily of Spellcaster-Type monsters allows this archetype to potentially be crippled by "Last Day of Witch". Other cards like "Zombie World" can prevent the Tribute Summoning of "Dark Magician" or "Dark Magician Girl" as well as lockout any effects that require the presence of a Spellcaster-Type monster. Using "Magical Dimension", "Skilled Dark Magician" or "Dark Magic Curtain" is an excellent alternative to the casual and slow two-monster Tribute Summon. "Secret Village of the Spellcasters" can be used to prevent the opponent from using Spell Cards, particularly crippling ones such as "Zombie World".

This archetype also lacks support, with only "The Eye of Timaeus" supporting the archetype as a whole. Most support for cards in the archetype is for "Dark Magician" himself or Spellcasters in general.

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