The "Dark Magician" series has been a part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise since its beginning, with the series namer appearing as the ace card of Yugi Muto. During the Battle City arc and subsequent arcs, more cards were introduced, such as "Dark Magician Girl".
The Magician cards have several features in common:
- What most Magicians have is their armor which is usually a collection of shiny, curved plates with sharp edges, all of the same color, which cover the torso and shoulder areas. On the edges of the plates are curved trimmings of contrasting shade.
- Some of these Magicians also have hats which appear to be similar to the traditional 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 the Magician's 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.
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.
The "Dark Magician" series, or any Spellcaster series, for that matter, can be crippled by "Last Day of Witch". Other cards like "Zombie World" can prevent you from Summoning a "Dark Magician", but there are many preferable methods to get "Dark Magician" out rather than simple Tribute; something of which "Zombie World" negates. Using "Magical Dimension", "Skilled Dark Magician", or "Dark Magic Curtain" is an excellent alternative to the casual and slow two-monster Tribute. Try to get "Secret Village of the Spellcasters" to prevent the activation of "Zombie World" the usage of any other Spell Cards.