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"Steelswarm Hercules" and "Steelswarm Scout", in the artwork of "Infestation Tool".
"Steelswarm", known as "Inverz" (インヴェルズ Inveruzu) in the OCG, is an archetype of DARK Fiend-Type monsters with 0 DEF (excluding "Steelswarm Gatekeeper"), first released in Duel Terminal - Raid of the Inverz!!. "Steelswarm" is a sub-archetype of "lswarm", and its members are supported by "lswarm" support cards. Their team symbol is a black demon mask that also resembles a claw or beetle (being appropriate since all "Steelswarm" are insectoid in form) which is tattooed on to the bodies of all its members. According to promotional material for Duel Terminal - Judgment of Omega!!, they are enemies of all the other teams in the set.
Duel Terminal Storyline
Steelswarm are demons that were sealed in the deepest abyss during the ancient times, after losing their battle for control of the world against the "Vylon". After being awaken from the chaos coming from the war between the "Gusto" and "Gishki" tribes on the land, they began to invade the surface in order to regain their lost power. The "Vylon", who were trying to stop another war that was between the "Gem-Knight" and "Laval" tribes. As their leader "Steelswarm Hercules" released his destructive shock-wave on the surface world, the light emitting from "Vylon Omega" prevented the attack of "Steelswarm Hercules", turning any "Steelswarm" it reached into smithereens and scattering them across the battle field.
Their main strategy is to take advantage of Tribute Summoning, which their effects generally support or trigger upon. This is a similar structure to the "Monarchs"- the Steelswarm even have their own version of "Treeborn Frog" (similar to the "Frog Monarchs").
The non-Tribute monsters usually help or support Tribute Summoning, such as being easy to summon, resistant to attacks or having effects that activate when they are Tributed. The main non-Tribute monster is "Steelswarm Scout" which can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard each turn and be Tributed for another Steelswarm. It works similarly to "Treeborn Frog".
All Tribute monsters (except "Steelswarm Longhorn") activate their effect when they are Tribute Summoned and most of them activate their effects by paying 1000 Life Points; although there are some exceptions, such as "Caucastag's" no cost effect, "Hercules'" half Life Points cost and "Girastag's" effect that actually increases your Life Points. Usually, their effects will result in a partial or total field clearing, so they can capitalize with direct attacks.
Their first two support cards, "First Step Towards Infestation" and "Infestation Wave" return a selected "Steelswarm" Tribute monster to the player's hand. This can be used to reactivate their effects that trigger when they are Tribute Summoned, as well as saving them from destruction effects. Furthermore, the effects can allow to draw an additional card or allow for the destruction of one of your opponent's. "Infestation Tool" can help you put "Scout" in your Graveyard and "Infestation Ripples" works like a Trap version of "Monster Reborn" (although with a 500 Life Points cost).
Official Konami Decklists
The following Decklists may or may not contain copies of cards that exceed the maximum amount allowed by the current Forbidden & Limited List. These should not be changed, as these Decklists are copied verbatim at the time they were published.
The majority of "Steelswarm" monsters have 0 DEF. Merely putting them into Defense Position with cards such as "Level Limit - Area B", "Book of Moon", "Earthquake" and "No Entry!!", along with destroying them in battle, especially with Piercing monsters can really mess up this archetype before "Steelswarm"s can influence the Duel at all. To alleviate this, you can throw in a card like "Darkness Neosphere" to send "Steelswarm monsters to the Graveyard until you can get your "Steelswarm" cards in action as well as have fodder for DARK Attribute support cards.
In addition, "Skill Drain", "Effect Veiler" and/or "Koa'ki Meiru Doom" can negate the effects of Tribute Summoned "Steelswarms", " "Forced Back" can stall "Steelswarm" summons in general, "Intercept" can rob you of your Level 5/6 "Steelswarm" monsters, "Blast Held by a Tribute" can destroy "Steelswarm" monsters in Attack Position along with dealing Life Point damage to you and "Mask of Restrict"/"Fog King" can lock down "Steelswarm" card effects by preventing Tribute Summons in the first place. This all being noted, "Steelswarm" players should make it high priority to use basic card removal and effect counter cards to negate/destroy any such one that may highly hamper "Steelswarm" monsters.
Due to "Scout" being a DARK-Type, a "Koa'ki Meiru Drago" (prevents LIGHT and DARK monsters from being special summoned) can be trouble due to the majority of the Deck being DARK, which in turn will make it hard to create tributes for the Decks stronger monsters.
"Blackwing - Jin the Rain Shadow" can possibly prove problematic due to its effect to instantly destroy any monster it battles whose DEF is lower than its ATK. The only "Steelswarm" monster that can battle it without being destroyed is "Steelswarm Gatekeeper".
Finally, "Steekswarm" Tribute Summons can be heftily slowed with "Soul Drain" and "Mind Drain"; the former can cease the quick Tribute Summon kudos to "Steelswarm Cell" and the latter can do such similarly against "Steelswarm Scout".
- "Steelswarm" monsters and play style are a mix between Monarchs (Tribute Summon monsters whose effect triggers upon being summoned and using a Treeborn Frog type of monster) and Archfiends (Dark, Fiends that pay Life Points).
- In the OCG, the name of "Steelswarm" monsters that are Level 5 or 6 starts with "M" (probably for Mega), while those who are Level 7 or 8 starts with "G" (probably for Giga).
- All "Steelswarm" Tribute Summoned monsters have (Level × 200 ATK) + 1200 ATK = their original ATKs.
- The Level 5 and higher "Steelswarm" monster have distinct colorings unique to each of them, as opposed to the all-black colors of the Level 4 and lower "Steelswarm" monsters.