The Dark Signer Arc in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's could be considered one of the more memorable parts of the 5D's plot for several reasons - first, it is a point where the series gets significantly darker, probably about as dark (or even more so) as Yu-Gi-Oh! GX mid-season 3, what with people dying left and right all of a sudden. Second, it introduced some crazy shenanigans used by the villains - starting with Dark Synchro which inverted the Synchro Summoning mechanism, and going up to the Earthbound Immortals, the mighty powerhouses that can basically punch right through the opponent's defenses while being nigh-invulnerable themselves.
Since RGBT, the Immortals have been made into real-life cards, allowing duelists to tap into their dark powers. With more and more Field Spells being released to support multiple archetypes, running a Deck based on Earthbound Immortals has become viable, and this guide is designed to show you how.
Let's start with the common trend among all Earthbound Immortals - first, there can only be one Earthbound Immortal on the field. This prevents players from rapidly swarming with Earthbound Immortals because they're just that strong. It also means in an Earthbound Immortal mirror match, whoever summons their Immortal first has essentially won since the opponent will need to remove the first one before they can summon their own. And, no, you can't use a face-up Earthbound Immortal as Tribute for the Summon of another one.
Next, Earthbound Immortals will destroy themselves if there isn't a face-up Field Spell on the field. This is the thing that prevents them from being randomly splashed in some Deck, because one would need to go out of their way to run a difficult-to-destroy Field Spell to sustain the Earthbound Immortal. Furthermore, certain Decks which run their own Fields sometimes also face the potential issue of the Immortal being a dead draw.
Finally, all Earthbound Immortals are unattackable, and can attack the opponent directly. This essentially means that you've won the game in 3 or 4 successful hits with your Earthbound Immortal if the opponent can't stop you. The unattackable nature of the Earthbound Immortals keeps them safe from stronger monsters, and if you control only the Immortal your opponent can't attack you at all, unless they have their own means of attacking directly.
Note that the Immortals are not Nomis, and that nothing is preventing you from Special Summoning your Immortals. Be careful of this fact, because it's not pretty when the opponent Monster Reborns your Immortal.
- Death in 3 steps - With a field out and well-protected, you'll have a monster that can attack the opponent directly for about 2500~3000 damage per hit, and cannot be attacked in return. That's 3 turns for your opponent to deal with it.
- Nigh-invulnerability - The right combinations of effects can even make your Immortal almost invincible, ensuring your victory in a few turns.
- Dead draws - You're using more high-level monsters than normal in this Deck. Better hope you have a good opener, or you're a sitting duck for a few turns.
- Field prerequisite - If you're playing the Immortals the way they are intended, the big issue lies in getting the Field card and protecting it. Savvy players will start targeting the Field once they catch on to what you're doing.
- Creature Swap - The last thing you want is your nigh-invincible prized possession on the other side on the field beating you to a pulp.
Now, I've already covered the effects common across all Earthbound Immortals, but each Immortal has their own unique effects as well.
- Earthbound Immortal Ccapac Apu - One of the strongest Immortals in the team with 3000 ATK. It boasts the same effect as Elemental Hero Flame Wingman, where it does burn damage equal to the ATK of the monster it destroyed in battle. While that is a decent effect, the ability to attack directly often means that you're not even going to bother with attacking monsters and risking getting hit with Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow, Shrink or Honest.
- Earthbound Immortal Aslla piscu - While its 2500 ATK is not so great, it is argued to be the best Immortal around. Why? When it is removed from the field in any way (other than its own effect), it destroys all face-up monsters the opponent controls, doing 800 damage for each monster destroyed. With the opponent preferring to remove the Immortals with effects, especially with cards like Dimensional Prison, Aslla piscu will get the last laugh no matter how it is taken off the field.
- Earthbound Immortal Ccarayhua - Probably considered to be second best, falling just behind Aslla piscu. With 2800 ATK it will defeat the opponent in 3 hits, unlike Aslla which requires 4, and when it is destroyed by a card effect (other than its own effect), it takes the entire field with it. Note that Ccarayhua's effect triggers regardless of whether its Summon was negated or where it ends up afterwards, meaning that not even Bottomless Trap Hole or Solemn Warning will stop the nuke from going off. If it somehow gets destroyed while in the hand (like, say, Crush Card Virus), it will still blow up the field. Take care.
- Earthbound Immortal Uru - Going by base stats, Uru is the strongest Immortal around, boasting 3000 ATK and DEF. You can also Tribute a monster you control to take control of one of your opponent's face-up monsters until the end of the turn, which is good for using up extra Tokens or Tribute fodder which you put on the field before Summoning it. Snatching the opponent's monster for yourself also means that you can use it to either deal extra damage or pick off whatever monster you might think could threaten Uru.
- Earthbound Immortal Cusillu - 2800 ATK is reasonable, but his effect is difficult to execute. By Tributing a monster you control, you can negate its destruction in battle and halve the opponent's LP in the process. The problem here is that because Cusillu is unattackable, the only opportunity to use his effect is to attack the opponent's monsters yourselves, which is also not likely to happen since you're more likely to attack directly anyway.
- Earthbound Immortal Chacu Challhua - Chacu Challhua is unique among the Earthbound Immortals as it has two effects. First, if it is in Defense Position, your opponent cannot conduct their Battle Phase at all. Second, it can inflict damage equal to half of its own DEF at the cost of attacking for the turn. This often means a constant 1200 damage each turn. Both effects combined make Chacu Challhua amazing in a Deck designed for stalling and burning the opponent, especially when combined with other weak monsters that do constant burn damage.
- Earthbound Immortal Wiraqocha Rasca - This is both the strongest and weakest Earthbound Immortal in the group. Its base ATK and DEF of 100 makes it laughably weak, but when you summon it, you can return up to 3 cards you control to your Deck, forcing your opponent to discard a card and giving Wiraqocha Rasca 1000 more ATK for each card returned. This would ideally raise its ATK to 3100, trumping all other Immortals in the game. However, since you'd rather keep your cards on the field, it also makes Wiraqocha Rasca one of the most impractical Immortals. It would be a lot more playable if it retained its anime effect of cutting the opponent's LP to 1 at the cost of your Battle Phase, but that would also make it unbelievably broken.
- Earthbound Linewalker - Okay, so he's not an Immortal, but he lends great support to them. At 1900 DEF, Linewalker serves as a good defender in early stages of the game, but he also has an effect to sustain the Immortals in the absence of a Field Spell. Protect him with your life if necessary if you have plans to summon your Immortal without a Field.
Spells and Traps
SOVR has introduced a bunch of Earthbound Immortal support that either eases their summoning or grants you access to amazing effects while you control one. The TCG also pitched in their share on this.
- Earthbound Revival - At the cost of one card from your hand, you can retrieve a Field Spell and Earthbound Immortal from your Graveyard, which is good for recovering from having your Field Spell (and subsequently, your Immortal) destroyed.
- Earthbound Wave - A Counter Trap that allows you to negate a Spell/Trap activation for free once you have an Immortal on the field. This is great protection not only for protecting your Immortal from S/Ts that threaten to remove it, but also for protecting your Field from Mystical Space Typhoon and the like.
- Earthbound Whirlwind - Essentially a Harpie's Feather Duster for Earthbound Immortals, allowing you to clear the path to attack without fear or to break any locks your opponent created.
- Offering to the Immortals - While you have 3000 or less LP, you can negate a direct attack and Special Summon 2 Ceremonial Tokens for Tribute, while also adding an Earthbound Immortal (or related card) to your hand for its summoning right next turn. It's great to prepare for a Summoning, but the activation restrictions only allow you to use it in a pinch, not to mention your opponent can attack the Tokens as well. Better use Battle Fader which can be used any time.
- Revival of the Immortals - You get to revive an Earthbound Immortal from your Graveyard, but it can't attack this turn and it does no Battle Damage when it battles. This renders the direct attack ability moot, but you still can use the Immortal's burn ability (if applicable) to do damage to the opponent. Ccapac Apu and Chacu Challhua come to mind in circumventing this limitation.
- Roar of the Earthbound - Once per turn, when your opponent's monster attacks with anything weaker than an Earthbound Immortal you control, you can destroy that monster and do burn damage to your opponent equal to half of the destroyed monster's ATK. Chances are, you're only going to be using this to defend your Linewalker if it's the only thing keeping your Immortal from being on the way to destruction.
Naturally, you'd be thinking of which Field Spells to use. Here is a list of Fields that are beneficial to the Earthbound Immortals.
- Magical Citadel of Endymion - It gains Spell Counters as Spells are activated by both players, and it can negate destruction via card effects by removing a Spell Counter, making it good for sustaining your Immortals.
- Mausoleum of the Emperor - You might find yourself with a hand full of Earthbound Immortals without Tribute fodder to Special Summon. Use this field to be able to bring them out without needing setup. The LP payment will allow you to use Offering to the Immortals sooner if you need to resummon your Immortals as well.
- Mound of the Bound Creator - This Field grants insane support to Earthbound Immortals, making them indestructible, unattackable, and untargetable behemoths that will kill your opponent outright if they don't deal with the Field soon enough. In the off chance you destroy something in battle, you get to inflict 1000 damage on top of any other on-kill effects (e.g. Ccapac Apu), making it icing on the cake. DIVINE tutoring is irrelevant here.
- Mystic Plasma Zone - The Earthbound Immortals are all DARK. No harm using this to grant them an ATK boost.
- Necrovalley - Included for simple griefing purposes. Necrovalley has the ability to shut off all effects that target the Graveyard, giving Earthbound Immortals an edge over Grave-reliant or dump-and-recycle Decks. Take note that running Necrovalley can also slightly hinder some of your cards, but it shouldn't interfere too strongly with Earthbound Immortals.
- Speed World 2 - Only if you're thinking of playing Earthbound Immortals in video game Turbo Duels. The nature of the field makes it impossible to remove, preventing your Immortals from destroying themselves. You can also run Malefic monsters in that Deck as well to serve as big beatsticks or emergency Tribute fodder.
- Summon Breaker - Lately, a lot of Decks love to summon a bunch of monsters in one turn. This field limits the maximum number of Summons they can do to 3 before forcing it to the End Phase, tripping up Decks that spam Synchro or Xyz Summons. The Earthbound Deck, on the other hand, doesn't really mind this, since it only needs to bring out one Immortal to beat face and can shortcut their Summons.
- The Seal of Orichalcos - With this card now available to the public, it more or less outclasses Mystic Plasma Zone. The 500 ATK boost affects all your monsters regardless of Attribute and helps keep your little creatures around. The Field itself resists destruction to better sustain your Immortals. Your smallest monsters are also protected from attacks, tying in well with the Immortals' innate unattackability. However, if you lose Orichalcos you can't activate another copy, so run other Fields for backup.
- Field Barrier - Okay, it's not a Field itself, but it's handy in that you protect your Field Spell from destruction, while also preventing your opponent from changing the Field. The latter may not seem significant, but if the opponent changes the field they can set over their own Field Spell, causing your Immortal to disappear.
You'll also need reliable methods to bring out Tribute Fodder to Summon the Immortals.
- Hardened Armed Dragon (aka HAD) - A must for Earthbound Immortal Decks. It has two effects. The first allows it to be Special Summoned by sending a LV8 or higher monster from your hand to the Graveyard. Since you can only keep one Earthbound Immortal on the field, extra copies of Immortals are bait for this effect. The second effect is where it shines - when HAD is tributed for any LV7 or higher monster, that monster is immune to destruction by card effects. This means that your Immortal is indestructible, even by its own effect, letting it stay on the field without needing a Field Spell.
- Jester Confit - Easily Special Summoned regardless of what's on your field, making easy Tribute fodder. You can only control one, so don't put too many in the Deck.
- Battle Fader - You're vulnerable for the first few turns before the summoning of the Immortal. Have this ready to hold off attacks, buy time, and create a monster for you to Tribute.
- Nimble Momonga - It restores LP when destroyed in battle, and spawns two more copies to help you defend or for Tribute the next turn.
- Gorz the Emissary of Darkness - Took a pretty big hit with an empty field? Special Summon Gorz to deter the smaller attackers from following up. Since Gorz spawns a Token from taking battle damage, this means you're all set to summon an Immortal if you also have a field in hand.
- Fires of Doomsday - A Quick-Play Spell that spawns 2 Tokens which can only be Tributed for DARK monsters. You can't Summon in the same turn this is activated, so save it for the opponent's End Phase to ensure the Tokens are around.
- Reasoning - If you're lucky, you Special Summon your Immortal instead of any of your Tribute fodder. Nobody really calls 10 unless they know what you're up to, so this is good for an instant Immortal. Just ensure you have your field out first, otherwise this card is wasted.
- Soul Exchange - What's better than simply destroying/banishing your opponent's giant shiny monster? Using said monster to Tribute for your Immortal. Sure, you lose your Battle Phase for the turn, but considering the imminent massive damage coming your opponent's way, it's well worth it. Heck, if you summon Chacu Challhua, you even have the perfect excuse to use its burn ability.
- The Monarchs Storm Forth - Are you not bothering with an Extra Deck at all? Splendid! Storm Forth is an upgraded version of Soul Exchange that neither targets nor denies you a Battle Phase, only locking out your Extra Deck for the turn. But it's not like you needed that, right?
The immense power of Earthbound Immortals and their ability to attack directly allow for certain combos to be employed with some of them. If you wish to try and build a Deck designed to exploit said combos, ensure that your Deck is focused around one of the Immortals.
The combos are highly varied, and so only some of these will be listed.
Ccapac Apu OTK
- Use Evil Hero Infernal Gainer's effect to grant Ccapac Apu the ability to attack twice.
- Equip Ccapac Apu with Axe of Despair to raise its ATK to 4000
- Attack with Ccapac Apu twice for 8000 damage total.
- Activate Mausoleum of the Emperor, paying 2000 LP to summon Ccapac Apu.
- Equip it with Mage Power and Twin Swords of Flashing Light - Tryce to raise its ATK to a net of 4000.
- Attack with Ccapac Apu twice for 8000 damage total.
Note that this method can be done with Uru as well.
Aslla piscu OTK
- Attack directly with Aslla piscu.
- Activate Ojama Trio, then activate Swallow's Nest, tributing Aslla piscu for a second one.
- The first Aslla piscu's effect will trigger, doing at least 2400 damage for destroying the Tokens, plus 900 more for the Ojama Tokens' own effects.
- Attack directly with the second Aslla piscu.
- Total minimum damage: 2500 + 2400 + 900 + 2500 = 8300
- Equip Aslla piscu with Malevolent Nuzzler.
- Attack directly with Aslla piscu.
- Activate Nightmare Archfiends, Tributing Aslla piscu as the cost.
- Aslla piscu's effect will trigger, destroying the Nightmare Archfiend Tokens, doing a minimum of 2400 damage. The Tokens themselves will do 800 each when destroyed.
- Total minimum damage: 2500 + 700 + 2400 + 2400 = 8000
You can opt to skip Step 1 if your opponent has at least one other face-up monster.
- Have Clock Tower Prison with 4 counters on it, Destiny Hero - Dreadmaster in your hand/Deck, and two Destiny Hero - Dashers in your Graveyard.
- Destroy Ccarayhua with a card effect of yours (e.g. Destruct Potion).
- The entire field is destroyed, and Clock Tower Prison Special Summons Dreadmaster. Use Dreadmaster's effect to Special Summon your two Dashers.
- Attack directly with all your D-Heroes.
- Total damage: 2100 + 2100 + 4200 = 8400
- Activate Wild Nature's Release to boost Cusillu to 5200 ATK.
- Attack directly with Cusillu.
- Activate Beast Soul Swap, resummoning Cusillu.
- Attack directly again with Cusillu.
- Total damage: 2800 + 2400 + 2800 = 8000
Listed here is a Deck that is designed for summoning Earthbound Immortals in general. You will need to modify it a little if you want it to be more focused towards a specific Immortal.
Tag Duel Options
Pair up with a Deck that either has its own difficult-to-remove Field Spell so that you have more opportunities to safely summon Immortals, or one that generates a lot of Tribute fodder to make summoning Immortals easier. Malefic Decks make for good partners since they will likely sport Malefic Stardust Dragon to protect their Field Spell, in addition to bringing out other easily-summoned beatsticks. Their attack restriction on other monsters can be circumvented using Chacu Challhua's Burn effect as well.
Some cards can be squeezed in to help fine-tune the Deck.
- Amarylease can banish itself from your Graveyard to allow you to Tribute Summon an Immortal with one less sacrifice, and is easily set up by just using Foolish Burial.
- Double Coston can serve as doubled Tributes for your Immortals as they are all DARK monsters.
- Blue Thunder T-45 has decent stats to make it a nice initial beatstick, and it generates Tokens every time it scores a kill, creating fodder for your Immortals.
- Masked Dragon can help you take several hits while searching your Deck for HAD.
- Malefic monsters can be used as backup Tribute fodder if you already have the field set up and protected. If your Immortal is nowhere to be found, they serve as beatsticks. If your field isn't there yet, they are also good discard fodder for Hardened Armed Dragon. Use Malefic Stardust Dragon or Malefic Cyber End Dragon since they remove from the Extra Deck and allow you more flexibility with your Deck contents.
- Geartown can be used in conjunction with Ancient Gear Gadjiltron Dragon to ensure that the tide does not turn badly. That way, if your opponent destroys your Field Spell and your Earthbound Immortal disappears, they will still need to face the 3000 ATK AGGD.
- Magic Reflector places a counter on a face-up Spell card for temporary protection from destruction. Naturally, you'd want this counter reinforcing your Field. Card Guard also works in a similar fashion.
- Megamorph can be a good equip to use with your Earthbound Immortals if you've paid LP for Mausoleum's effect. Just hope that after doubling its ATK the Immortal will be strong enough to finish the opponent off in one blow.
- March of the Monarchs grants near-impenetrable protection to anything you have Tribute Summoned in exchange for locking out your Extra Deck. The wording also means that your Tribute Summoned Immortals can sustain themselves without a field, making this a variant of Hardened Armed Dragon. Be careful, though, as this also means that March is now the S/T sustaining your Immortal and all forms of S/T removal will start to lock onto it.
- Proof of Powerlessness is great field control when you control an Earthbound Immortal, as it cleans out all your opponent's LV5 or lower monsters while you control a LV7 or higher one. While you usually don't need to worry about monsters your opponent controls, it'd be bad if one of them suddenly had an effect to seize control of your Immortal.
- Overwhelm is good support, particularly since you'll be trying to Summon your Immortal by Tributing Hardened Armed Dragon. Unlike Earthbound Wave, it can help you take care of Monster Effects which would threaten to pull your Immortal off the field.
- Dark Illusion can protect your Earthbound Immortals from any effect that targets, since they're all DARK.
- Limit Impulse costs you 2 cards from your hand to generate the Tokens, but unlike Fires of Doomsday the Tokens can be Tributed for a Tribute Summon immediately.
- Escape from the Dark Dimension Special Summons one of your removed from play DARK monsters. Use this if the Immortal gets removed from play via cards like Caius the Shadow Monarch, Dimensional Prison, or your own Allure of Darkness.
- Metal Reflect Slime brings out a giant 3000 DEF behemoth to help you hold off attacks. But it doesn't stop there. With your Immortal in play, you can overlay it with Metal Reflect Slime to create Overly Wordy Cannon to deal a game-ending 2000-point burn.
Some cards also work very well with specific Earthbound Immortals's effects.
- Swallow's Nest works wonders with Wiraqocha Rasca and/or Aslla piscu, since both are Winged Beasts. Tribute Aslla piscu for Swallow's Nest to trigger its Raigeki+Burn effect (and replace with another one), or search Rasca with Mystic Tomato and then switch it out for Aslla piscu.
- Virus Mail grants a Direct Attack ability to one of your LV4 or lower monsters, but destroys it at the end of the Battle Phase. While you definitely won't need this for your Immortals or Tribute fodder, this can be used best with Uru since you can snatch the opponent's lesser monsters to join in on the Direct Attacking spree while ensuring that the opponent won't get it back.
- Interdimensional Matter Transporter works well with Aslla piscu's effect, temporarily banishing it to trigger its Raigeki+Burn effect and still allowing the bird to return to your field to wreak havoc with direct attacks. Be careful if you've been relying on HAD to sustain Aslla piscu, because when Aslla piscu returns from the Transporter's effect it no longer holds HAD's protection and fizzles out without a Field.
- Spirit Burner is an Equip that allows you to change the equipped monster to Defense Position once per turn. This is best used with Chacu Challhua, since you will be able to attack directly with it, and afterwards seal off the opponent's Battle Phase by switching it to Defense Position, creating a hard-to-break lock.