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"Irou", "Nisashi", "Yaichi", "Kamon", "Yariza" and "Zanji" in the artwork of "Six Samurai United".
"Six Samurai", known as "Six Warmen" (
The "Six Samurai" monsters consist of the original six, as well as their allies and masters. "Shien" cards are supported by this theme, "Great Shogun Shien" seeming to be the warlord they serve. The overall theme seems to be futuristic, while in some form drawing inspiration from feudal Japan.
The basic "Six Samurai" monsters (the first six, whose card names feature names rather than titles) all have the effect "If this card would be destroyed you can destroy another "Six Samurai" monster you control instead" and also "While you control another "Six Samurai" monster with a different name, this card can... " meaning that their effects only activate when another "Six Samurai" monster is on the field.
In the set Storm of Ragnarok, a "Legendary Six Samurai" series was released, providing further support for the original Six, as well as their new counterparts.
"Six Samurai" were radically altered by the release of Storm of Ragnarok. With the release of the "Legendary Six Samurai", their strategy has shifted very rapidly from one of a normal Aggro Deck to a low monster search based Aggro Deck.
The addition of "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" is one of the major factors that has shaped the shift, with his ability to negate a Spell or Trap card once per turn, allowing the Deck to extend farther than most other Metagame Decks without fear. Easy and quick to Summon, using "Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki" and "Kagemusha of the Six Samurai" (searchable by "Shien's Smoke Signal", "Reinforcement of the Army", and "Gateway of the Six") or by using "Elder of the Six Samurai" and "Asceticism of the Six Samurai" to Special Summon "Kagemusha of the Six Samurai", with a high DEF to reliably stay in play, he is now the key card of "Six Samurai" Decks.
In addition to "Shi En", "Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan" has had a major effect on the play style of Six Samurai. The ease with which he can be Special Summoned and searched has greatly increased the speed of the Deck and allowed it to use fewer monsters. He can either be Normal or Special Summoned, and, in the presence of two or more other "Six Samurai" monsters, is increased from 1800 ATK to 2100 ATK.
Since the release of Storm of Ragnarok, "Six Samurai" have run far fewer monsters than they used to. The reason for this is their access to large numbers of search cards. They may use "Shien's Smoke Signal" and "Reinforcement of the Army" to boost their effective monster count, and make up the difference in monsters with "Gateway of the Six" from there.
The "Six Samurai" have access to amazing draw power in the form of "Six Samurai United". It is effectively a +1 when used, and the Bushido Counters it generates can be used for "Gateway of the Six" (Though this is not recommended unless you can refill its Bushido counters and draw on that same turn). Bushido Counters are collected by Summoning "Six Samurai" monsters. In addition to "Six Samurai United", a popular option is to run "Upstart Goblin" to boost the Deck's consistency, using the argument that if they manage to get their field properly set up, the extra Life Points will not matter anyway.
The fact that the "Six Samurai" are all Warrior-Type monsters give them access to "Rivalry of Warlords" in their Side Deck, a card that can cripple many major Decks in today's meta-game.
The TCG September 2013 list banned "Gateway of the Six" causing this archetype to lose a valuable card and losing their OTK. However, in the April 2015 TCG list, "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En", which was previously Limited, is now Semi-Limited, giving Six Samurai a slight power boost.
Six Samurai Xyz
This Deck relies on Summoning Xyz Monsters by swarming the field with Level 3 monsters. The most key card of this Deck is "Double-Edge Sword Technique", though cards that can prevent you from touching your Graveyard can kill this Deck as well as cards that prevent you from Special Summoning.
Usually, a well-played "Six Samurai" Deck poses a big threat to Decks that rely on a few powerful Spell and/or Trap cards to function. It can lock down, or at least greatly stall, them in the early game and keep its' own field untouchable to the opponent. Decks like Elemental HEROs can be completely locked by "Naturia Beast" and "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" as key spells like "E - Emergency Call" and "Miracle Fusion" become unusable. The same can be said about Dark World decks, which relies on its discarding Spells.
If Six Samurai remove most of the opponent's cards and gain enough card advantage, it's almost impossible for the opponent to come back, due to the fact that most of the cards he can draw will be simply negated by "Shi En", "Musakani Magatama" and "Naturia" Synchro Monsters.
Also, Six Samurai have huge advantage in the second game, due to the fact that it's easier for them to protect continuous spell/trap cards they get from their side deck.
"Six Samurai" can have excellent consistency in the early game, and may have the answer to anything that the opponent does. This way, they can adapt to almost every format.
Loss of Hand Advantage
"Six Samurai" require cards on the field and/or hand to get anything from their Draw Phase. The less cards they have, the more problematic it becomes for them to get good draws. If you make them waste or remove their cards, they will have much difficulty making a comeback.
Negation of Special Summoning and Prevention of Summoning
The "Six Samurai", much like "Blackwings", require field presence to properly swarm. Any card that prevents them from doing so for a turn slows them down greatly. Past this, "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" and "Musakani Magatama" largely solve this problem. Because of their varied attributes, "Gozen Match" can create problems for "The Six Samurai". This problem can be solved by negating or destroying the card with "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" or "Mystical Space Typhoon". Cards that prevent Special Summoning, such as "Archlord Kristya" and "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" also greatly weaken this Deck. This can be solved by adding "Breakthrough Skill" and/or "Fiendish Chain" to negate their effects.
"The Six Samurai" are also particularly vulnerable to cards that clear monsters out en masse, such as "Torrential Tribute", "Dark Hole" and "Black Rose Dragon". Cards like "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En" and "Musakani Magatama" help to alleviate this problem. By switching a "Six Samurai" monster into Defense Position prior to attacking with another monster can minimize damage taken by cards similar to "Mirror Force". Since "Mirror Force" only destroys Attack Position monsters, your "Six Samurai" monsters being destroyed can use the ones in Defense Position to "negate" their destruction. "Backs to the Wall" is good in this situation, however, as you can fill your field right back up. If you can combo it with "Six Strike - Triple Impact", you can wipe out most or all of their spell/traps or monsters, depending on their status. ("Six Strike - Triple Impact" has to choose between clearing face up monsters, and face-up or set spells & traps). Bringing out a "Legendary Six Samurai - Shinai" and a "Legendary Six Samurai - Mizuho" can enable you to clear another card of choice, with Shinai letting you bring out another copy of a samurai that "Backs to the Wall" couldn't.
"The Six Samurai" is currently a very effect-reliant Deck. Without its effect, "Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki" is as useless as "Chamberlain of the Six Samurai". The most threatening effect to be negated, however, is that of "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En". The negation of the effect of "Shi En" makes the Samurai player open to previously non-threatening Spell and Trap Cards, and allows a player locked down by "Shi En" to attempt a comeback. The common method used to negate "Samurai" monster's effects is simply "Effect Veiler", as it is the most effective monster effect-based negation (Spells and Traps are usually negated by "Shi En"). "Debunk" takes care of this problem and also helps against the commonly sided "Puppet Plant", although it is advised to only use this card in the Side Deck. Cards such as "Skill Drain" should be handled with effective side Deck cards, such as "Mystical Space Typhoon," "Twister," and "Dust Tornado". "Breakthrough Skill" can be a problematic card, although can be negated by Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En when activated on the field, this card can be used against Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En while in the Graveyard.
Due to the fact that most "Six Samurai" have low to mid level ATK, being overpowered by an opponent's monsters poses a risk to most "Six Samurai" Decks. Since the boom of "Chaos Dragon" Deck types with the release of the Dragons Collide Structure Deck, this is even more of a relevant weakness. "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" can easily put a stop to many Deck strategies with the "Six Samurai". Keep one or two copies of "The Six Samurai - Zanji" to deal with it. Another, although not commonly used, remedies to help with this can be "Solidarity", since all "Six Samurai" are Warrior-Type; although this can present a problem with high Synchro non-Warrior-Type Decks; since any other type of monster in the "Graveyard" will cancel the effect of "Solidarity". Also, "The A. Forces" can help as well, especially since it is included with the recent "Samurai Warlords" structure Deck for easy availability. Despite the fact that "The A. Forces" doesn't give as big of an initial boost as "Solidarity", it carries the potential to out perform with five monsters active, as they would all be granted a 1,000 ATK point increase each. In addition, this weakness was largely solved with the release of easily summoned "Heroic Champion - Excalibur".
Probably the biggest problem for "Six Samurai" is a LIGHT Fairy-Type based Decks - With "Archlord Kristya", "Gozen Match" (sometimes even in their Main Deck nowadays), "Herald of Orange Light" and high ATK monsters.
Monsters, that can, without destroying, remove monsters from the field are a big threat to Six Samurai strategy, since "Legendary Six Samurai - Shi-En" is Limited, and "Naturia" Synchro Monsters usually kept at 1 of each in the Extra Deck. Chaos Monsters, "Dark End Dragon" etc can overpower this Deck. Additionally, "Penguin Soldier" can bounce 2 monsters to the owner's hand, posing a threat to most of the Six Samurai and their Synchro/Xyz Monsters, so Six Samurai players usually keep some quick monster removal/effect negation to respond to these cards.
Mermail\Atlantean mixes, because of their power to constantly destroy cards on the field without using Spells and Traps, as well as their spell\trap negation, are a big problem for a "Six Samurai" strategy to protect the field. A good choice will be to wait for them to go off and then overpower them. In a second games, "Soul Drain" and\or "Dimensional Fissure" will help you even more then to the other decks, because of the abilities of the "Six Samurai" to protect them against cards like "Mystical Space Typhoon".
The Six Samurai should also be cautious against "Gravekeeper's" Decks. Cards like "Gravekeeper's Descendant" and "Gravekeeper's Guard" can mean trouble for just about any Deck, if improperly prepared. "Necrovalley" can also negate the effect of "Grandmaster of the Six Samurai" if it is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the Graveyard, although, he can target and return himself.
- Each Six Samurai has a different attribute, and those with polar attributes have opposite effects. Yaichi's opposite is Kamon, Nisashi's is Yariza, and Irou's is Zanji. Yaichi destroys face-down spell/trap cards, and Kamon destroys face-up spell/trap cards. Nisashi can attack twice and potentially destroy multiple monsters, and Yariza bypasses monsters entirely to attack directly. Irou can take down monsters with his effect before they become a threat, and Zanji can take out an already opposing threat with his effect. Legendary Six has the same differences: "Shi En" takes care of Spells and Traps, while "Enishi" gets rid of monsters once per turn, during either player's turn. "Kizan can summon itself if you have a different "Six Samurai" monster, and "Kageki" summons another "Six Samurai" when Normal Summoned. "Mizuho" requires "Six Samurai" to be tributed to activate it's effect that destroys cards, and "Shinai" need to be tributed to get "Six Samurai" from the Graveyard (also, you can special summon one while control another).
- Most card artworks featuring the Six Samurai and their supporting cards contain a heraldic crest/coat of arms(紋章 - monshō or 家紋 - kamon) representing the Six Samurai. The crest is composed of a bolded outer-circle and an inner-circle. The inner-circle contains six smaller dotted circles which are connected to each other (in a specific path) and 6 other irregular shapes that are likely to represent the initial Six Samurai. To date, the only Six Samurai related cards that do not feature the Six Samurai crest are "Great Shogun Shien", "Tenkabito Shien", "Shien's Footsoldier", "Shien's Daredevil and "Shien's Castle of Mist". However, it appears that if you look at the art in some of the Shien cards that Shien and elder have an alternate symbol between them, as evident in "Tenkabito Shien", "Shien's Advisor", "Elder of the Six Samurai", and even "Shien's Smoke Signal"
- The name of the archetype and the design of their members, including the "Shien" archetype, may be derived from the Japanese films Seven Samurai (1954) and Kagemusha (1980), both by Akira Kurosawa.
- Many of the Legendary Samurai are a "past" form of other members of the Six: for example. Enishi, Shien's Chancellor has battle armor in the background of his image. That battle armor is what is worn by The Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi. It can be assumed that Shien and Shi En are the same obviously, but The Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan is closely related to the Grandmaster of the Six Samurai, and so forth.
|Legendary version||Current version||Attribute successor|
|Shi En||Great Shogun Shien||Irou|
|Enishi||Enishi, Shien's Chancellor||Zanji|
|Kizan||Grandmaster of the Six Samurai||Yariza|
|Kageki||Chamberlain of the Six Samurai||Nisashi|
|Mizuho||Hand of the Six Samurai||Kamon|
|Shinai||Spirit of the Six Samurai||Yaichi|
Summoners (Normal Spell Cards)
|Moonface the Silver
|Leon the Lead
|Salamandra the Steel
|Ouroboros the Bronze
|Ekenas the Mercury
|Aretos the Tin
Tin Spell Circle
|Aromage||None Yet||Cananga||Bergamot||Jasmine||Rosemary||None Yet|
(500 ATK▲/400 DEF▼)
|Mystic Plasma Zone||Gaia Power||Molten Destruction||Luminous Spark||Umiiruka||Rising Air Current|
|Attribute Reptiles||Umbral Soul||Raging Earth||Firestorm Prominence||Radiant Spirit||Silent Abyss||Destruction Cyclone|
|Attribute Summoners||Mystic Tomato||Giant Rat||UFO Turtle||Shining Angel||Mother Grizzly||Flying Kamakiri #1|
|B.E.S.||Big Core||Covered Core||Big Core MK-2||Assault Core||Crystal Core||Tetran|
|Boosters (500 ATK▲/400 DEF▼)||Witch's Apprentice||Milus Radiant||Little Chimera||Hoshiningen||Star Boy||Bladefly|
Glow Moss / Twinkle Moss
Aqua Dolphin / Marine Dolphin
Aqua / Marine
|Dice Roll Archfiends||Terrorking||Vilepawn||Infernalqueen||Desrook||Darkbishop||Shadowknight|
|The Trojan Horse
|Kaiser Sea Horse
|Dustons (1/0/1000 Fiends)||Starduston||Yellow||Red||House / White||Blue||Green|
|Entity monsters||Outer Entity Azathoth||Outer Entity Nyarla||Old Entity Chthugha||Elder Entity N'tss||Elder Entity Norden||Old Entity Hastorr|
(400 ATK▲/200 DEF▼)
|Sword of Dark Destruction||Invigoration||Burning Spear||Elf's Light||Steel Shell||Gust Fan|
Shooting Star Bow
Twin Swords of Flashing Light
Rod of Silence
|Elemental HERO Fusion Monsters
(1 "HERO" + 1 matching Attribute)
|Escuridao||Gaia||Nova Master||The Shining||Absolute Zero||Great Tornado|
|Non-Fusion Masked HERO
Level 6 M-HERO Fusion Monster
Level 8 M-HERO Fusion Monster
|Monarchs||Caius / Delg / Erebus||Granmarg||Thestalos||Zaborg / Kuraz / Aither||Mobius||Raiza|
Related "Monarch" Spell/Trap Card
|Caius / None Yet / None Yet
Tenacity / None Yet / The First
|Zaborg / None Yet / None Yet
Strike / None Yet / The Original
|Monarch "Vassal"||Lucius / None Yet / Eidos||Landrobe||Berlines||Mithra / None Yet / Idea||Escher||Garm|
|Musical Djinns||Maestroke||Temtempo||None Yet||Melomelody||Humhumming||Muzurhythm|
|Odd-Eyes Dragons||Odd-Eyes / Pendulum / Rebellion||Gravity||Meteorburst||Saber||Absolute||Vortex|
|Pendulum Magicians||Stargazer / Timegazer / Xiangke / Timesword||Dragonpulse||Nobledragon||Xiangsheng / Wisdom-Eye / Oversight||Dragonpit||Oafdragon|
(below Level 4 Fiend-type tuners)
|Dark / Synkron||Clock||Flare / Red||Barrier / Chain / Mirror||Force||Creation|
|Shaddoll Fusion Monsters
(1 "Shaddoll" + 1 matching Attribute)
Legendary Six Samurai
|Nitro / Jet
Nitro / Jet
|Yang Zing Effect Monsters
Yang Zing Synchro Monsters
|Jiaotu / Taotie
|Bi'an / Zefraxi / Zefraniu||Suanni||Chiwen
Baxia / Chaofeng