Ice Barrier

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Ice Barrier
"General Gantala of the Ice Barrier", "General Grunard of the Ice Barrier" and "General Raiho of the Ice Barrier".

  • (ひょう)(けっ)(かい)
  • 氷結界 (kanji)
  • ひょうけっかい (furigana)
  • Hyōkekkai (Rōmaji)


  • Barrière de Glace


  • Eisbarriere


  • Barriera di Ghiaccio


  • 빙결계
  • bing-gyeolgye (romanized)


  • Barreira de Gelo


  • Barrera de Hielo

Other names

ّالحاجز الجليدي
Ledena Fronta


Anime appearances

Manga appearances

"Ice Barrier" ((ひょう)(けっ)(かい) Hyōkekkai) is an archetype consisting of WATER-Attribute monsters resembling, for the most part, famous concepts, figures, warriors, and mythological beings of different Asian cultures, focused on stymieing the opponent's attackers with their defensive monsters and plenty of Spell/Trap Cards to compensate for their inability to maintain hand advantage. The ace monsters of this archetype are "Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier" and "General Gantala of the Ice Barrier".

Playing Style

Most "Ice Barrier" monsters require another of their kind present on the field in order to activate its effect(s), which often generate field advantage. For example, many "Ice Barrier" monsters have effects to protect other "Ice Barrier" monsters: "Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier" forbids all monsters of Level 4 or higher from attacking while another "Ice Barrier" monster exists on the field, and "Defender of the Ice Barrier", which stops your opponents monsters with ATK greater than or equal to its 1600 DEF from attacking.

Aside from sheer attack-blocking, "Ice Barriers" can also protect themselves in other areas. "Dai-sojo of the Ice Barrier," for example, protects "Ice Barrier" monsters from Spells and Trap destruction, while "General Raiho of the Ice Barrier" penalizes an opponent for relying on the activation of multiple monster effects by negating them or taxing a discard. Likewise, "Secret Guards of the Ice Barrier" protects your monsters from being targeted by monster effects. It is difficult to maintain consistency in your Deck, however, by trying to rely on all of these forms of protection. Also, "Ice Barriers" are difficult to summon in swarms, making them all the harder to protect with their defensive monsters, all of which are tailored to defending a specific kind of effect.

"Ice Barriers" can mount swarms under the direction of their "General Gantala" if left unimpeded. He can fetch other "Ice Barrier" monsters, including Synchros, from the Graveyard during each End Phase. This allows for great flexibility in strategy: not only can it revive heavy-hitters with devastating live effects, but also cards like a Defense Position "Defender of the Ice Barrier" or Tuners for still more threats.

The "Ice Barrier" engine works in a circle. The idea is to start with "Strategist of the Ice Barrier", whose main objective is to discard "General Gantala of the Ice Barrier" to the Graveyard all while netting you a draw every time you discard. "Gantala" then sits in the Graveyard until revived by "Prior of the Ice Barrier". Once you have "Gantala" on the field, you can begin reviving your other Ice Barriers that have fallen in battle or have been discarded by "Strategist", most notably "Defender of the Ice Barrier" to Synchro and block almost all attackers or even "Samurai of the Ice Barrier" to gain an extra draw during your next turn. It is recommended using a large trap lineup in any "Ice Barrier" Deck because only "Strategist", "Gantala", "Prior", "Defender", and maybe "Samurai" should be used. The main win condition of this Deck is to summon "Gantala" to generate field advantage, then use powerhouses like itself and "Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier" to destroy your opponent's field. Utilizing "Strategist" as a draw engine and "Medallion of the Ice Barrier" to grab the right card at the right time makes this deck consistent even without the use of cards like "Pot of Duality" or "Upstart Goblin". Finally, even if Gantala is defeated, you can use "Surface", resurrecting "Prior" — and in turn — "Gantala".

"Medallion of the Ice Barrier" is a Staple for "Ice Barrier" Decks. It functions exactly like "E - Emergency Call" in an "Elemental HERO" Deck, down to the wording, but serves slightly different purposes: the monster can become part of a Synchro Summon, a third monster for "Magic Triangle of the Ice Barrier," a discard cost later retrieved with "Salvage," or to fulfill the requirements for the effect of "Moray of Greed." The best cards to search are "Gantala", "Prior", or "Strategist".

A large hand facilitates the effects of the archetype's Synchro trump card, "Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier". It can destroy up to two cards per turn, both effects at the cost of a discard per target. With a stocked hand, "Gungnir" can apply pressure by whittling defenses down so he and "Gantala" can push for the win. Considering "Ice Barrier" Decks do not maintain much hand advantage, it would be wise to utilize these Synchros while still leaving yourself with a "Prior of the Ice Barrier" or "Monster Reborn" in hand so that you can revive them or "Gantala".

Another remarkable support is "Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls": by discarding it alongside with another WATER monster, send "General Gantala of The Ice Barrier" from the deck to the Graveyard; then, tribute "Prior of the Ice Barrier" in order to Special Summon "Gantala". During the End Phase, activate "Gantala"'s effect and Special Summon the discarded monster or "Prior". "Tidal" tends to speed up this deck, since it lacks of Draw Power and Search effects.

One variant of the "Ice Barrier" Deck runs "Wetlands" to boost the ATK of Level 2 or lower Aqua-Type monsters by 1200. This places "Prior of the Ice Barrier" at 2200 ATK, "Dewdark of the Ice Barrier" at 2400 ATK, and "Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier" at 2500 ATK.

Recommended Cards

Using a small monster lineup, keep it consistent and simple, relying on obnoxious Spell/Trap Cards to keep you in the game long enough to capitalize off of the effects of "Gantala" and "Gungnir".

Recommended cards

General Rush

The General Rush has two distinct styles: one focuses on using "Magic Triangle of the Ice Barrier" to Special Summon "General Grunard of the Ice Barrier," and then using his effect to swarm the field. The other makes heavy use of "Prior of the Ice Barrier's" effect to revive Generals, to the same ends. Both variants are capable of Synchro Summoning anything from Level 5 to Level 10 through the use of "Dewdark," "Geomancer," and "Cryomancer," though this should not be the main focus of the Deck.

Recommended cards

HERO Barriers

This deck is designed to create an OTK with the swarming capabilities of the "Ice Barrier" Generals and the rapid Fusion engine of "Elemental HERO" monsters. This Deck is heavy on Spells and Graveyard manipulation, and fuses largely from the hand. Ideally, "Mask Change" is chained to "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero's" Summon in order to bring out "Masked HERO Acid," effectively opening an opponent's field up for massive damage, depending on the number or strength of other monsters on the player's side of the field.

Recommended cards

Destiny Barriers

The aim of this Deck is to Synchro Summon monsters of Level 6 and/or 8 utilizing members of the "Ice Barrier" and "Destiny HERO" archetypes. It takes advantage of Level 2 "Ice Barrier" Tuners and cards like "Destiny HERO - Malicious" and "Destiny HERO - Diamond Dude": "Malicious" is easy-access level 6 Synchro fodder, and "Diamond Dude" is included to power through the Deck's high Spell count and rack up advantage. Both fulfill the "HERO" requirement for "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero," giving the Deck a second weapon and high competitive value.

Recommended cards

Spell Barriers

This Deck focuses primarily on Spellcaster-Type "Ice Barrier" monsters, along with other WATER Spellcasters (e.g., "Crystal Seer," "Ice Queen," WATER "Charmer" monsters). It includes Spellcaster support cards like "Magical Dimension" and "Magician's Circle," as well as WATER support like "Salvage" and "Moray of Greed." This particular build, when including "Secret Village of the Spellcasters", can create a lock which can be extremely difficult to break.

Brionac OTK

This deck revolves around "Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier's" effect and a good amount of stall power; "Pilgrim of the Ice Barrier," "Reese the Ice Mistress," and "Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier" can fulfill this end. "Moray of Greed" and "Salvage" keep the hand full for "Brionac's" discard cost, and with a hand of "Ice Barrier" monsters, "Dance Princess of the Ice Barrier" can clear an opponent's back row of Spells and Traps, saving "Brionac" the trouble. "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero" can also be splashed in as a back-up plan.

Recommended cards


"Ice Barrier" Decks if constructed and run properly, can be very sundry in terms of stratagems as they offer a very assorted repertoire of Duel strategy amongst their effects. Despite this though, they are not totally insuperable:

Crowd Control:
Before "Ice Barrier" monsters take the Field, "Ojama Knight", "Ojama King" or best yet, a pair of "Ground Collapse"s can already chuck these Decks into the pressure cooker. While this can also hamper other Decks, this will big time chasten "Ice Barrier" monsters who require another of their kind on the Field for their effects; this can moreover jam Synchro or Xyz Summons ("Synchro Material" can be employed to still make the former Summoning method feasible in this case.) Also, while this is highly unlikely, "Numbing Grub in the Ice Barrier", an "Ice Barrier" card itself, can also aid in this (three of these can be Summoned against these Decks, comboing "Mother Grizzly" and "Inferno Reckless Summon".) Also, with only one vacant Monster Card Zone, many "Ice Barrier" monsters have superficial ATK, which can make it super easy for "Elemental HERO Inferno" to take them out. "Narrow Pass" as well as low-stat destroyers like "Nanobreaker", "King Tiger Wanghu", "Proof of Powerlessness" and the "Armed Dragon"s can also hasten this trouble greater.

Anti Special-Summoners like "Archlord Kristya", "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" and "Vanity's Ruler" can repel the effects of "Magic Triangle of the Ice Barrier" and "General Gantala of the Ice Barrier" ("Royal Prison" can also be used against the latter, too.)

Effect Interdiction:
"Ice Barrier"s are arguably heavily reliant on effects without external Spell/Trap support, which can be fodder for effect nullifiers like "Effect Veiler", "Skill Drain", "Breakthrough Skill", "Number C106: Giant Red Hand", "Forbidden Chalice" and "Mist Bird Clausolas".

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