"Hieratic", known as "Hieroglyphic" (聖刻Seikoku or 성각 Seong-gag) in Japan and Korea, is an archetype consisting of LIGHTDragon-Typemonsters. One of the few sets of cards based on Egyptian motifs, they are based on Egyptian hieroglyphs and Ennead, a group of Egyptian gods in mythology. Their logo is based on Wedjat, the eye of Horus, god of Sky, war, and protection. Also, in addition to Wedjat, if the monsters' backgrounds have either the sun or the moon, they get the respective Wedjat - right (sun) or left (moon).
Another effect which all mid-Level monsters, such as Level 4, 5 and 6, have in common is that when they are Tributed, they are able to Special Summon a Dragon-TypeNormal Monster either from the hand, Deck, or Graveyard. It is also mandatory to Special Summon, which means that even though you Tribute them for cost, this effect will still go through. So, despite the idea that you're getting rid of your own monster, you won't lose that much field advantage. Almost all "Hieratic" monsters have relatively simple Summoning conditions.
The greatest strength of this archetype lies in the ability that almost all its members possess: upon being Tributed, be it by cost or effect, you are able to Summon any Dragon-TypeNormal Monster from your hand, Deck or Graveyard, at the cost of its ATK and DEF becoming 0. This gives the "Hieratic" archetype the ability to swarm the field and bring out powerful Xyz Monsters in a manner similar to "Wind-Up" and little similar to "Six Samurai" which focus on summoning many monsters to instantly dominate the Duel. The Deck easily summons Rank 5 and Rank 6 Xyz Monsters, simply by tributing one "Hieratic" for another, and therefore summoning a Normal Dragon-Type monster from your Deck with the same level as the one you just summoned. With the recent release of "Galaxy Serpent" in "Judgment of the Light", a Level 2 Normal Dragon-Type Tuner which can be summoned from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard whenever you tribute one of your "Hieratic" monsters, "Hieratics" now also have extremely easy access to all the Level 7 and 8 generic Synchro Monsters.
Another interesting thing to note is the ease of Summoning the archetype's regular members, and the ease of which you may activate their effects. For instance, both "Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet" and "Hieratic Dragon of Su" are capable of getting rid of problematic monsters or Spells/Traps simply by Tributing a "Hieratic" monster from your field or hand. Not only that, but by Tributing a "Hieratic" monster, you will also activate their effects to Special Summon a Dragon-Type Normal Monster from your hand, Deck or Graveyard, possibly to Xyz Summoning during that same turn. "Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon" can not only be easily summoned in this Deck but can also restore the ATK and DEF of the Normal Monsters brought by the effect of the "Hieratic" monsters such as the powerful "Blue-Eyes White Dragon".
"Hieratic Dragon of Eset" also greatly helps in the Deck's Xyz Summoning routine, since its effect can instantly equalize the Level of all "Hieratic" monster on the field to that of the Normal Monster you choose. Due to the nature of most "Hieratic" monsters, Summoning Normal Dragons to your Field is an easy task (even easier with "Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit" in play). "Eset" can also be Normal Summoned for free, ready to Xyz Summon if you have a Normal Dragon monster.
Taking all these points into consideration, one can see the worth of having a Level 8 Normal Monster with 0 ATK and DEF as the mascot. Not only can it be used for the effects of the other "Hieratics", but it can be Special Summoned by nearly all of the other "Hieratics", can be used with "Trade-In" or "Advance Draw". This easily Summon-able Level 8 Normal Monster grants players access to the powerful "Thunder End Dragon", as well as the strongest card of the archetype, "Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis". Should one be fortunate enough to have three of them on the field, or two of them and one "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", it would then be possible to Summon the strongest Rank 8 Xyz Monster - "Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon".
"Lightray" monsters can be helpful Side Deck options for a "Hieratic" Deck. "Lightray Diabolos" and "Lightray Daedalus" provide powerful attackers with field control, and are easy to summon with how quickly "Hieratics" will cycle through their monsters to fill the Graveyard. If the player is reliant on "Hieratic Dragon of Sutekh", "Lightray Sorcerer" can combo with its effect, "Sutekh" banishing the valuable "Hieratics" in the Graveyard for "Sorcerer" to shuffle them back into the Deck, while both also provide field control.
An interesting thing to know is that "Hieratics" can abuse "Inferno Reckless Summon", because any Dragon-Type monsters that are Special Summoned with their effects become 0 ATK and 0 DEF, which fits the conditions for "Inferno Reckless Summon", also the other copies of the monster Summoned with "Inferno Reckless Summon" will have their original ATK and DEF restored. This can be used in conjunction with "Hieratic Dragon King of Atum", so you can Special Summon "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", drag out the other two copies with "Inferno Reckless Summon", and easily overlay for "Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" with its extra effect when Xyz Summoned with "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon".
Another huge problem with the Deck is that it is common to dead draw, due to so many mid-level monsters in the roster of most "Hieratic" Decks. A card like "Dark Hole" can destroy the player's momentum and leave them with no field and a weak hand. Cards like "Trial and Tribulation" and "Super Rejuvenation" are helpful for maintaining hand power and preventing this.
Against a Deck running many WIND-Attribute cards, "Mystic Fairy Elfuria" can badly slow down a "Hieratic" Deck's Xyz Summoning choices through the limiting Rank 5, 6 and 8 choices with its monster effect. And even if "Elfuria" leaves the field, its effect remains active until your next End Phase.
Most of the competitive "Hieratic" Decks are OTK-style Decks, thus these kinds of Deck always have almost nothing in terms of defense. Cards that can stop your OTK attempt such as "Battle Fader" can put a serious shock for any "Hieratic" players, since they almost never play any Trap Cards. Most of their usually-Summoned monsters are also high in ATK, which means any damage-reversing effects like "Magic Cylinder", "Dimension Wall" and "Daigusto Sphreez" can deliver fatal blows for them.