"Elemental HERO" (Japanese:
In the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime, Jaden Yuki first used the following "Elemental HERO" monsters: "Avian", "Burstinatrix", "Sparkman", "Clayman" and "Bubbleman", relying on their numerous fusions including "Flame Wingman" and "Thunder Giant" to win. Then came "Bladedge", "Wildheart" and "Necroshade" later on, giving way to new Fusion Monsters including "Wildedge", "Necroid Shaman" and "Wild Wingman".
The Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga was based off the anime but is unrelated and completely different from the anime. Jaden Yuki's monsters are more nature based. These monsters have been released later than the Elemental HEROs from the anime including "Stratos", "Ocean", "Woodsman", "The Heat", "Lady Heat" and "Voltic".
The fusions used in the manga are different because instead of specific monsters, each required any one "Elemental HERO" (with the exception of "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero" which can take any "HERO" Monster Card) and one monster of the required Attribute. Fans often call these cards "Omni HERO", the unofficial term for these cards. They are "Elemental HERO The Shining" (LIGHT), "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero" (WATER), "Elemental HERO Great Tornado" (WIND); "Elemental HERO Nova Master" (FIRE); "Elemental HERO Gaia" (EARTH) and "Elemental HERO Escuridao" (DARK) Jaden Yuki also used other Fusion Monsters like "Elemental HERO Inferno" and "Elemental HERO Terra Firma", both of which required specific "Elemental HERO" monsters.
The Elemental HEROes' designs are based after the western comics' heroes. In the Japanese version, their nomenclature is "Elemental HERO (term related to its element)man" (for the masculine heroes, with the only exception of "Prisma"). The only feminine hero is "Burstinatrix, who has "Lady" instead of "Man" in her Japanese name. Some of the names are changed in the English version.
As the name says, the "Elemental HEROes" each represent an element of nature. In western culture, the main elements are fire, water, air, earth, light and darkness, but in eastern culture, more elements are considered, such as lightning, wood, metal and ice, though ice is many times not considered, since it's part of "water".
|Darkness||Dark Neos / Escuridao / Necroid Shaman / Necroshade / Shadow Mist||Dark Neos / Escuridao / Necroid Shaman / Necro Darkman / Shadow Mist|
|Earth||Clayman / Gaia / Grand Neos / Terra Firma / Core||Clayman / Gaia / Ground Neos / The Earth / Core|
|Fire||Burstinatrix / Flare Neos / Heat / Inferno / Lady Heat / Nova Master / Blazeman||Burst Lady / Flare Neos / The Heat / Flame Blast / Lady of Fire / Nova Master / Blazeman|
|Ice||Absolute Zero / Ice Edge||Absolute Zero / Frost Blade|
|Light||Flash / Glow Neos / Prisma / The Shining||Flash / Glow Neos / Prisma / The Shining|
|Thunder||Sparkman / Thunder Giant / Voltic||Sparkman / Thunder Giant / Voltech|
|Metal||Bladedge / Captain Gold||Edgeman / Captain Gold|
|Water||Aqua Neos / Bubbleman / Mariner / Marine Neos / Neo Bubbleman / Ocean||Aqua Neos / Bubbleman / Sailorman / Marine Neos/ Bubbleman Neo / Ocean|
|Wind||Air Neos / Avian / Great Tornado / Stratos||Air Neos / Featherman / Great Tornado / Airman|
|Wood||Knospe / Poison Rose / Woodsman||Knospe / Blume / Forestman|
The manga doesn't follow the same theme as the anime, but the heroes still are based after those same elements.
"Elemental HERO" Decks mainly focus on using cards like "Fusion Gate", "Miracle Fusion", "Polymerization", and "Super Polymerization" to Fusion Summon a variety of Fusion Monsters. For "Elemental HERO" Fusion Monsters with specified names, "King of the Swamp" and "Elemental HERO Woodsman" can be used to search/recycle copies of "Polymerization". It has also become common to play Xyz Monsters like "Number 39: Utopia", "Steelswarm Roach", "Blade Armor Ninja" and "Maestroke the Symphony Djinn".
"Elemental HERO" monsters can be Searched from the Deck using Stratos, E - Emergency Call, Reinforcement of the Army, A Hero Lives, Hero Signal, and Summoner Monk (who would also be a good qualification, since "HERO" decks rely on a lot of Spell Cards to add Fusion-Material Monsters to your hand and Fusion Summon).
Recycling Fusion Material Monsters will allow you future use of fusion material. Elemental HERO Voltic is perfect for recyling Banished Elemental HERO monsters and is perfect for comboing off of Fusion Gate and Miracle Fusion. Elemental HERO Ocean and The Warrior Returning Alive will allow recycling HERO monsters from the Graveyard.
Elemental HERO Neos Alius is not only a LIGHT target for Elemental HERO The Shining, but it also allows you to beat down your opponent with Gemini Spark and allows you to use Hero Blast to recycle Elemental HERO Neos Alius and destroy one of your opponent's monsters with 1900 Attack or less. This also makes a good set up for Miracle Fusion or light material for Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning.
Most tech cards you use in a "HERO" deck like (EX: Miracle Fusion;E - Emergency Call; Destiny Draw) are Normal Spell Cards. You can mill these type of cards using Destiny HERO - Diamond Dude to activate them from the Graveyard on your next turn. Since you are activating them from the Graveyard, you do not have to use the Cost or Condition. This means if you Mill Destiny Draw with Destiny HERO - Diamond Dude, you do not have to Discard a Destiny HERO, since that is the Cost of the card, and you just get to Draw 2 additional cards from your Deck. Since you are activating the Spell Card from your Graveyard, your opponent cannot Negate it, unless by obscure means, such as Skull Meister.
Since cards like Torrential Tribute, Bottomless Trap Hole, or Mirror Force can cause the downfall of the deck (by destroying your Fusion Monster(s)), a great way to protect them is with Safe Zone. Not only does it protect your monsters, but it allows for a number of combos. If your opponent activates a Card effect that would destroy this set card, you can Chain it to one of your opponent's monsters and banish that monster upon the card's destruction. You can use Safe Zone to make an almost indestructible Elemental HERO Ocean and keep returning Stratos to your hand, then Summon it to search for any "HERO" card, or even blow up a (minimum) of one Spell/Trap Card. You can also equip Safe Zone to one of your opponent's monsters so it can't be destroyed by battle, and continue to attack the targeted monster with Vision HERO Trinity in order to deplete your opponent's life points.
When playing "Elemental HERO" Decks, you find that a lot of times (with Fusion Gate and Miracle Fusion) that you are Banishing your monsters. Return from the Different Dimension and D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation can easily take advantage of this. If things aren't going your way, or you need a back up plan, Return from the Different Dimension would allow you to Special Summon as many banished monsters as you want, and turn the tides in your favor. This is also good for when you don't have many Fusion Material Monsters and you need to Fusion Summon or even Xyz Summon. You can activate this card, get out Fusion Material Monsters, and use Fusion Gate to Fusion Summon with those monsters.
There is a great combo using Form Change, Elemental HERO Absolute Zero, and Masked HERO Acid. First fuse any HERO monster and a water attributed monster with Polymerization, or any card that can fuse monsters, to get Elemental HERO Absolute Zero. An easy way to get the two monsters you need is with Stratos's effect to search for any HERO monster that has a water attribute. Use Form Change to send Elemental HERO Absolute Zero back to the extra deck and summon Masked HERO Acid, remember that when Elemental HERO Absolute Zero is removed from the field he destroys all of your opponents monsters, and Masked HERO Acid's effect says that when he is summoned to the field all of your opponents traps/spells are destroyed effectively clearing your opponents field. This combo works perfectly because Masked HERO Acid only needs a water attributed monster like Elemental HERO Absolute Zero and a Change card to be summoned. If your opponent tries to get rid of Elemental HERO Absolute Zero before you can summon Masked HERO Acid remember that Form Change is a Quick-Play Spell Card, so you can chain it to any move your opponent makes. But as of September 1st, 2013, Stratos became Forbidden, so it has become more difficult to use Elemental HEROs (but not in OCG).
"Elemental HERO" Decks, while being strong in the long run, lack the beginning strength. The effect of "Kinetic Soldier" increases its ATK by 2000 when it battles with Warrior-Type monsters, and thus is a great choice as a counter to most of these decks, so heavy Trap support like the "Solemn" series, "Bottomless Trap Hole", "Dimensional Prison" are recommended so the "HEROs" will able to survive in the early game. Since most "Elemental HERO" Decks heavily rely on Fusions to remain in the game long enough to bring "Elemental HERO Neos" and his fusions out, a good anti-spell Deck will eliminate the activation and use of "Polymerization" and Fusion Spells. Also a Deck with the ability to destroy Fusions, before and after summoning, will also make it easy to take down an "Elemental HERO" Deck. The trap card "Non-Fusion Area," for example, is nothing short of crippling to most "Elemental HERO Decks". "Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell" is another example because it negates the activation and the effect of a Spell Card (in this case a Fusion Spell Card) and destroys it and stops the player from using the Fusion Spell Card that he/she tried to use again. Another good choice to permanently cease Fusions Spells in a Duel is "Armageddon Designator". "De-Fusion" will stop Fusion Monsters because the Fusion Material is in the controller's Graveyard, and the other player is able to return the Fusion Monsters without summoning the Fusion Material Monsters, although "Anti-Fusion Device" and "Steelswarm Sting" are good 1 for 1 second choices in simply destroying them. Since Fusion Summons are Special Summons, cards like "Royal Oppression", "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo", "Archlord Kristya" and "Aurora Paragon" can interdict these Decks well--the latter two cards can also cut off use of additional support cards like "Elemental HERO Voltic", "A Hero Lives" and "Hero Signal".
"Elemental HERO"s can be better chasened and repelled via cards like "King Tiger Wanghu", "Battle of the Elements", "Gozen Match" "Warrior Elimination", "Ryu Kokki", "Pestilence" and even "4-Starred Ladybug of Doom" (many non-Fusion "Elemental HERO"s are Level 4). These may be just as efficient as anti-Special Summoning/Fusion destroyers, if not worse because their use can be much less passive than say, waiting for Fusion "Elemental HERO"s to grace the Field and have a more profound effect against such Decks.
Finally, "Skill Drain" and/or "Angel O7" can cease and desist "HERO" effects, which would be significant against these Decks because without substantial Spell/Trap support, many of the "HERO"s, including quite a bit of Fusion "HERO"s, do not possess significant sustainability stat-wise whilst on the Field.