"X-Sabers" are a group of Earth-attribute monsters that range from Insect, Warrior, Beast, and Beast-Warrior-type. They saw their release in the OCG only Duel Terminal set: Duel Terminal - Synchro Awakening!!. In 2008, they were introduced to the TCG through the 2008 starter Deck. They have a wide range of abilities, and were even a part of a National Championship winning deck. That deck was the now unplayable "Synchro Cat". However, it included just one of the many "X-Saber" cards, "X-Saber Airbellum". The Deck stormed the tournament scene, easily beating such prominent decks as "Lightsworn", "Blackwing", and "Gladiator Beast".
Now, "X-Sabers" are beginning to be built as more of a main strategy than teched cards. To join the "X-Sabers", the "XX-Saber" sub-archetype was also released, providing vital support. These "XX-Sabers" are also accessible to "X-Saber" support, as XX-Saber contains X-Saber. Here is a look at some of today's "X-Saber" Decks:
"X-Sabers" are an interesting archetype for a few reasons: Their primary effects are hand-control related, they are self-sufficient at Special Summoning, and they have low ATK values for their levels. Many people claim that the main feature of "X-Sabers" is their ability to easily Special Summon. This is actually very false, as the primary quality of "X-Sabers" is hand control, while their swarming tactics help to make up for low ATK.
Deck Variants (content is subject to change as the archetype gains more release and play testing)
Currently, are two (2) "X-Saber" Decks. The pure "X-Saber" Deck took 3rd place at the Shonen Jump Championship in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2010, piloted by Roy St. Clair, marking the first major placing in the competitive scene for "X-Sabers". "X-Sabers" were not played at the 2010 World Championship due to many of the key cards being exclusive to the TCG. They were then affected by the September 2010 Forbidden and Limited Lists by the newly Forbidden status of "Rescue Cat". This did not slow them, however, as they won the first Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series of the format in Toronto, Canada, and later won the first ever European Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series in Bochum, Germany, piloted by Lazaro Bellido and Michel Gruner at their respective events. This proved the Deck to have the versatility needed to prove a spot as one of the top Decks.
As I do not support netdecking, I will not be posting entire example decks. No multi-deck staples will be provided unless they are integral to the strategy of the deck. Enjoy!
The SaberSworn variant is a combination of the Lightsworn and X-Saber archetypes. Usually, this variant is used to speed up the Faultroll Loop and to utilize Gottoms' Emergency Call for a quick swarm. Judgment Dragon is often used, but not a staple. The ability to gain hand control through the X-Sabers, and the ability to dominate the field through the Lightsworn make this deck very formidable to the eye. The main achilles heel of this deck is inconsistency. Most Lightsworn based decks have this weakness, but this variant puts the deck at a much greater risk. X-Sabers have little way of retrieving needed cards, and unlike Dark monsters, they do not have much of a draw engine. Proper, yet lucky, milling is what makes this deck run, but unlucky mills can leave the deck with few options. Here are some cards that are staple in SaberSworn:
- XX-Saber Faultroll - This card makes the X-Saber portion of Special Summoning deadly, and is used for the Faultroll Loop.
- X-Saber Airbellum/XX-Saber Fulhelmknight - Both are level 3 Tuners, so one doesn't have much of an upside over the other. Airbellum is used where Rescue Cat is prominent, but Fulhelm has attack negation and special summon effects.
- XX-Saber Ragigura (Rags as I like to call him) - He is arguably the most important part of any X-Saber deck. He retrieves any X-Saber monster from your grave.
- XX-Saber Gardestrike - He is a TCG exclusive, but he fits perfectly with SaberSworn. Milling often puts many X-Sabers in the grave, easily setting up the number of needed X-Sabers to special summon him.
- Judgment Dragon - Though a semi-staple, this card is highly recommended. Field control and mill, just what you need to pair up with hand control.
- Saber Slash - An easy way to destroy monsters, even if they are your own Lightsworn to set up Judgment Dragon.
- One for One - An easy way to set up Judgment Dragon, while summoning XX-Saber Ragigura to use his effect without using your summon.
- Charge of the Light Brigade - Standard mill and search, fills 2 needs.
- Solar Recharge - Mills and draws, while helping set up Judgment Dragon
- Monster Reincarnation - Great way to retrieve a lost XX-Saber Faultroll or any other important monster.
As I do not support netdecking, I will not be posting entire example decks. No multi-deck Staples will be provided unless they are integral to the strategy of the deck. Enjoy!
In September 2011, the Forbidden and Limited List gave "X-Sabers" little in the way of actual cards. They regained "Heavy Storm" like everyone else, and were also given a second "Call of the Haunted". Pure "X-Sabers" boast great explosiveness and a large amount of control. They are far more consistent than the "SaberSworn" variant as well. The pure "X-Saber" version focuses mostly on Beatdown strategy rather than an OTK, though OTKs are still possible. Swarming is very much alive in this Deck, and rather than needing much setup, they can explode onto the field with just a few cards. Two cards in particular are important to the Deck for searching: "XX-Saber Emmersblade" and "XX-Saber Darksoul". "Emmersblade" helps with field presence, while "Darksoul" is able to search for any "X-Saber" during your End Phase. "XX-Saber Boggart Knight" is a card that can allow for an instant Synchro Summon, though his Synchro restriction can be a hinderance at times. He combos best with the "X-Saber" Tuners to Synchro Summon "X-Saber Wayne" (with "X-Saber Palomuro"), "XX-Saber Hyunlei" (with "X-Saber Pashuul"), and "X-Saber Urbellum" (with "X-Saber Airbellum"/"XX-Saber Fulhelmknight"). One of the best combos the Deck has is the ability to attack a stronger monster with "XX-Saber Emmersblade", using its effect to Special Summon "XX-Saber Fulhelmknight", and then using either "Book of Moon" or "Enemy Controller" to switch an opponent's monster to defense position, and then attacking that monster to Special Summon "XX-Saber Emmersblade" from your Graveyard, giving you the ability to Special Summon "XX-Saber Faultroll" in your Main Phase 2 and/or Synchro Summon for a Level 6 Synchro Monster! Well, on to the Staples!
- XX-Saber Faultroll - I don't know any X deck that doesn't employ this powerful card.
- XX-Saber Boggart Knight - Losing "Rescue Cat" has resulted in players turning to this powerful card.
- XX-Saber Fulhelmknight/X-Saber Airbellum - Tuners, kinda can't go without in this deck.
- XX-Saber Darksoul - "Darksoul" is a card that can help set up your next turn.
- XX-Saber Hyunlei - This card serves as the only monster card in the entire archetype with a removal effect. It's a multi-MST!!
- XX-Saber Emmersblade - It's the X's "Giant Rat". It is considerably more useful though, as it can help maintain a monster on the field, and it can be used for Lv6 Synchro Summon (ring a bell with any aforementioned cards?).
- Book of Moon - This card allows you to take advantage of "Fulhelmknight", block cards like "Black Whirlwind" and allows you to flip troublesome monsters like "Stardust Dragon".
- Enemy Controller - This card combos well with "XX-Saber Emmersblade" and "XX-Saber Fuhelmknight", allowing strong plays into "Naturia Barkion", "Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier", or "XX-Saber Hyunlei".
- Gottoms' Emergency Call - Pretty self explanatory.
- Call of the Haunted - This card functions similarly to "Gottoms' Emergency Call" in this Deck. It allows you to bring back an "X-Saber", allowing you to either Normal Summon another, activate a "Gottoms' Emergency Call", or Chain to a card like "Mystical Space Typhoon" to summon "XX-Saber Darksoul" to gain a search.
- Debris Dragon - "Debris Dragon" works exceptionally well with "XX-Saber Darksoul". It can generate a Lv7 Dragon-type Synchro Monster and provide a search without having to use "Faultroll" or "Gottoms' Emergency Call".
- Super-Nimble Mega Hamster - This card provides another way to get "XX-Saber Darksoul" to your board early. It can also grab "X-Saber Airbellum" as well.