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"Guardioak", "Komushroomo", "Flowerknight", "Marshalleaf", "Oreia", "Sagequoia", "Ferrylotus" and "Peaskeeper".

  • (しん)()
  • 森羅 (kanji)
  • しんら (furigana)
  • Shinra (Rōmaji)
  • Shinra (translated)


"Sylvan" (Japanese: (しん)() Shinra) is an archetype of Plant-Type monsters that debuted in Legacy of the Valiant. The Japanese word shinra is shortened from shinrabanshō (森羅万象) meaning "all things in nature", hence the plant-life motif. The word "Sylvan" refers to an association with the woodland, specifically that which inhabits the wood, is made of tree materials, or comprises the forest itself.

In the TCG, "Sylvan" cards pioneered a new game term, "excavate".[1]

Sylvan Card Origin
Sylvan Bladefender Blade of grass/Defender
Sylvan Flowerknight Flowers/Knight
Sylvan Guardioak Oak Tree/Guardian
Sylvan Hermitree Tree/Hermit
Sylvan Komushroomo Mushroom/Komuso
Sylvan Marshalleaf Leaf/Marshall
Sylvan Mikorange Orange Fruit/Shrine Maiden
Sylvan Peaskeeper Pea Pod/Peacekeeper
Sylvan Sagequoia Sequoia Tree/Sage
Sylvan Cherubsprout Plant Sprout/Cherub
Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector Alsei Plant/Byakko
Oreia, the Sylvan High Arbiter Orelia/Suzaku
Sylvan Ferrylotus Lotus Blossom/Ferryman
Sylvan Snuffspy Snuff leaf/Spy

Playing Style

All Monsters introduced thus far, except for "Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector", have the common effect of excavate a number of cards from the top of the Deck, and sending any excavated Plant-Type monsters to the Graveyard. In turn, their other effects activate when they are excavated from the Deck and sent to the Graveyard.

Their basic playing style involves excavating other "Sylvan" monsters from the Deck and sending them to the Graveyard, in turn activating their effects, ranging from card destruction to monster revival. So far, the "Sylvan" monsters between Levels 1, 2, and 3 generate field advantage when sent from your Deck to the Graveyard, while the Level 4 and higher monsters rearrange the top of your Deck for more efficient use. Their effects also let you, if no Plant-Type monsters were excavated, send potentially dead draws to the bottom of the Deck, thus allowing good draw advantage.

When playing "Sylvans", there is a tendency not to rely on Normal Summons, facilitating the use of "Miracle Fertilizer" without heavy repression. Such plays could include dropping a "Sylvan Hermitree" with "Mount Sylvania" and then having the advantage placing the card desired by its owner. Then activate "Miracle Fertilizer" to revive "Hermitree" to draw and activate a "Sylvan" effect.

One of the advantages of "Sylvan" is the lack of adding cards to the hand, instead of adding cards to the hand "Sylvan" cards put desired cards on the top of the Deck. While this may seem disadvantageous, by using cards such as "Shared Ride" or "Mistake" one can punish the opponent for adding cards or stopping them altogether, thus keeping with the pace of the Duel or slowing the opponent down without affecting the playing style of "Sylvan" player. This advantage becomes apparent against Decks that rely on adding cards to the hand, such as "Madolche" or "Bujin", or lockdowns involving "Thunder King Rai-Oh". As with many current Decks, "Sylvan" relies heavily on the Graveyard, and therefore cards such as "Macro Cosmos" or "Dimensional Fissure" can cripple "Sylvan" Decks. It is advisable to side "Imperial Iron Wall", and to keep Spell and Trap removal in the Main Deck. "Fragrance Storm" also works very well in this Deck; you destroy one of your own Plants, but you draw 1 card and if it was a monster you can reveal it to draw one more card.

Due to the variety of Attributes of the "Sylvan", depending on the main Attribute present on the deck, it is possible even to fit one of the "Dragon Rulers" on the build. Due to the capability of Summoning Level 7 monsters, such as "Sylvan Sagequoia" and "Fallen Angel of Roses", having a strategic "Dragon Ruler" on this deck can facilitate an Xyz Summon.

Recommended Cards


As with most Decks nowadays, "Sylvan" Decks rely a lot on the Graveyard, so cards like "The End of Anubis", "Soul Drain" and "Macro Cosmos" will cripple the Deck and are to be prepared against if using a "Sylvan" Deck.

Since a main strategy of "Sylvan" Decks is to put needed cards on top of the Deck so that effects that rely on excavating the top card of the Deck can lead to an advantage, cards like "Card Shuffle", "Grave Protector" and "Peeking Goblin" can mess up this stacking. "Ancient Telescope" and "Convulsion of Nature" are superb assists here as one can better time when to use such card effects to shuffle or re-locates "Sylvan"s in a Deck. If "Convulsion's" not being used, "Grave Lure", combined with "Sylvan" monster top-decking tactics and a good eye, can also interdict "Sylvan"s by not only also sending would be "Sylvan" monsters further down a Deck but also discarding the excavated "Sylvan" via the said Trap as soon as it is drawn. To similarly cease and desist their use this way, "Sylvan"s can also be intercepted in the hand with cards like "Card Destruction", "Dragged Down into the Grave", "Drop Off" and "Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord" before they are Summoned and their effects trigger.

"Sylvan" Decks will also have a hard time facing Decks focused on milling. With all self milling, Decks using a deck destruction tactic will have an easier Duel; to counter this, cards like "The Transmigration Prophecy" and "Sylvan Guardioak" can help you recycle milled cards.

Finally, "Sylvan" monsters have very assorted Attributes, making it a cinch to cripple their field presence via "Gozen Match" and "Battle of the Elements".


  1. Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Blog: Everything That’s Available for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG (both now, and soon….)
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