The members of this archetype are based on yōkai from Japanese folklore and from Chinese mythology. The Main Deck monsters appear to be the humanoid form of the Synchro Monsters of the same kind of "Mayakashi" (e.g. "Dakki, the Graceful Mayakashi" transforms into "Yoko, the Graceful Mayakashi").
|Attribute||Main Deck "Mayakashi"||Origin||Extra Deck counterpart||Origin|
The main strategy of this archetype is to rapidly climb through the Synchro Summons, from Level 3 to 11, and then climb down again, by reviving one Synchro after the other. The lynchpin of this mechanic is the effect of "Dakki, the Graceful Mayakashi". It can be easily Special Summoned by "Hajun, the Winged Mayakashi", enabling the first Synchro Summon. The said Synchro Monsters are side-unique and have 2 effects, following the pattern below:
● If your Synchro Monster whose original Level is [two Levels higher than its own original Level] is destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect while this card is in your GY: You can banish 1 other Zombie monster from your GY, and if you do, Special Summon this card.
● If this card is Special Summoned from the GY: You can [...]
The only exception to the first effect is "Gashadokuro, the Skeletal Mayakashi", a Level 11 monster that requires a Link monster to be destroyed, instead. The archetype in fact has a Link monster, the Link-2 "Yuki-Onna, the Ice Mayakashi", that cannot be targeted for attacks while pointing to a Synchro Monster and that halves the ATK/DEF of a monster when a Synchro Monster is destroyed by the opponent.
The second Trigger Effect of the "Mayakashi" monsters range from immunity against destruction/effects to card destruction and Deck milling. They can be used by being preemptively Special Summoned from the Graveyard by generic effects such as "Book of Life", "Mezuki", and "Call of the Haunted", for example, or by "Mayakashi Metamorphosis". The two latter can be used to disrupt the opponent's plays, by Special Summoning the "Mayakashi" during their turn. Also, if their second effect is triggered by their own condition, they can be combined with "Shiranui" monsters, that can have their effects triggered when banished, especially "Shiranui Spiritmaster".
While it seems that rapid Synchro Summoning in one turn is great since it could bring the 3300-ATK "Gashadokuro" on the field easily, the Synchro Monsters actually unlock their full abilities when they are Special Summoned from the Graveyard; in other words, their existence on the field after their initial Synchro Summon is nothing but as monsters that rely on their ATKs only. Cards that shut down the Graveyard, such as "Necrovalley" and "Soul Drain" are obvious threats to this Deck and one-shot options such as "Called by the Grave", "Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion" and "D.D. Crow" can also be used against it.
The narrow variety of effects can also be a problem, as most Decks nowadays benefit from having their cards destroyed ("Tengu", "Yoko") or their Main Deck milled ("Tsuchigumo"), rendering the opponent still able to rebuild their strategy or even benefit from the effect of the "Mayakashi" monsters.
"Kaiju" monsters and similar removal mechanics, that bypass the requirement of the Synchro/Link Monsters to be destroyed, can also be an efficient way to avoid the Synchro monsters lurking in the Graveyard, waiting for the on-field monster to be destroyed, leaving the player with no option to Special Summon them and trigger their effects, unless they have cards like "Call of the Haunted", "Mezuki" or "Book of Life", which in turn could still be countered by the likes of "Called by the Grave".
In terms of lore, the "Mayakashi" are related to the "Shiranui" archetype. The shrine that appears in the artwork of "Mayakashi Return" is the same as in the artwork of "Shiranui Style Samsara", also, "Dakki, the Graceful Mayakashi" appears in the artwork of "Shiranui Story Saga" alongside "Shiranui Spearitualist", presumably inside the said shrine. "Yoko, the Graceful Mayakashi" and "Shiranui Splendidsaga" also appear to be engaging a fight in the artwork of "Witching Hour" and "Shiranui Solitaire" bears a strong resemblance with "Hajun, the Winged Mayakashi".