"Steelswarm Hercules" and "Steelswarm Scout".
"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).
|Steelswarm Caller||Can be useful to swarm the field and its 1700 ATK is pretty high compared to the other non-Tribute "Steelswarm" monsters. It can search another copy of itself or even "Steelswarm Scout" if you need it to hit the Graveyard.|
|Steelswarm Caucastag||"Caucastag" has a very powerful field clearing effect, and can be summoned with the help of cards like "Steelswarm Cell", "Infestation Ripples", "Stygian Street Patrol", "Steelswarm Scout", "Steelswarm Genome", and "Ultimate Offering". However, its effect is mandatory (you must destroy at least one card, whether your own or your opponents, unless there is no valid target on the field), so be wary of summoning it in a situation where you will destroy more of your cards than your opponents.|
|Steelswarm Cell||It can Special Summon itself from the hand to the field if you control no monsters. Can be very useful to summon the 1 Tribute monsters in one turn (this is especially useful for summoning "Girastag". Can combo with "Infestation Ripples" or "Stygian Street Patrol" to summon 2 Tribute monsters, or even "Hercules" if "Genome" is the card revived by "Infestation Ripples" (or summoned via "Stygian Street Patrol").|
|Steelswarm Gatekeeper||The "wall" of a "Steelwarm" Deck, it can take the hits of most Level 4 or lower monsters. However, its effect can be tricky to use as it requires it to be face up on the field, while a different "Steelswarm" creature is tributed. Its non-0 value of defense is also a concern, as it makes it an invalid target for "Recurring Nightmare".|
|Steelswarm Genome||It can be easily special summoned by "Infestation Ripples" or "Stygian Street Patrol", making it very easy to summon "Longhorn" or "Caucastag". It can also combo with "Scout" or "Cell" and "Infestation Ripples" to easily summon the mighty "Hercules" (use "Infestation Ripples" during your opponent's end phase, then "Scout" on your turn; or, if you are using "Cell", then summon "Cell" first, followed by "Infestation Ripples"). "Cell" (not "Scout") can combo with "Stygian Street Patrol" for the same result of easily summoning "Hercules".|
|Steelswarm Girastag||This card is the most fundamental and important Steelswarm Tribute monster as it is easy to summon, has superb attack, and its effect helps regain some life lost from the other "Steelswarm" monsters' effects. Notably, its effect sends to the Graveyard an opponent's card, instead of destroying, so "Stardust Dragon" cannot negate the effect, and targets that "cannot be destroyed" like "Wind-Up Zenmaines" will still be sent to the graveyard.|
|Steelswarm Hercules||"Hercules" comes with a full field clear (leaving only itself on the field), similar to "Judgement Dragon", making it a very powerful game ender. His 3200 ATK also insures that almost nothing will defeat it in combat without support. "Hercules" can be difficult to summon in a bad hand, but several combos can ease the summoning of "Hercules", making it surprisingly easy to summon most of the time. "Steelswarm Scout" and "Steelswarm Cell" can combo with "Infestation Ripples" (reviving a "Steelswarm Genome") to summon "Hercules (for "Scout, the "Infestation Ripples" must be activated during the opponent's end phase, for "Cell", the "Infestation Ripples" must be activated after "Cell" is summoned. "Cell" (not "Scout") can combo with "Stygian Street Patrol" for the same result. "Ultimate Offering" can also be used to summon multiple times during a turn. However, be very careful of cards that can take advantage of the cost of summoning Hercules, as he is quite vulnerable to staple cards such as "Solemn Warning", "Solemn Judgment", and "Bottomless Trap Hole".|
|Steelswarm Longhorn||Its effect is not as powerful as "Caucastag's" but it has an impressive 3000 ATK and its effect is reusable, unlike most "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters. Also, "Longhorn" can be more convenient than "Caucastag" at times because "Caucastag's" effect is mandatory, and must at least destroy one card (unless there is nothing to destroy), so sometimes Caucastag will have to be reserved, whereas Longhorn can be readily summoned at any opportunity.|
|Steelswarm Mantis||You can Tribute another powerful "Steelswarm" for this card and then activate its effect to Special Summon it again. "Steelswarm Scout's" prevention of special summoning will conflict with this card's effect, so avoid using "Scout" to summon "Mantis". "Mantis" can be aided by "Foolish Burial", "Armageddon Knight", and "Dark Grepher" for some powerful plays.|
|Steelswarm Moth||This card is basically a much more powerful version of "Penguin Soldier". It allows you to return any two of your opponent's cards to their hand. This is very useful when your opponent has swarmed the field with powerful monsters that cannot be readily re-summoned from their hand or Extra Deck.|
|Steelswarm Sting||Its powerful effect allows you to destroy any Synchro, Fusion or Ritual monster when it is sent to the Graveyard. This effect is activated when "sent to the graveyard (from the field)" (like "Sangan's"), so it will even activate when it is tributed. Also, its ATK (1850) is high enough for it to destroy most non-Tribute monsters in battle. Note that its effect is mandatory, and your own cards are valid targets; however, "Steelswarm" rarely make any use of Synchro Summoning and will never make any use of Fusion or Ritual summoning, so this shouldn't be an issue.|
|Steelswarm Scout||Its effect is very similar to "Treeborn Frog", but it prevents any form of special summoning for the rest of the turn. Unlike "Treeborn Frog" based Monarch Decks, "Steelswarm" cannot get this card into their graveyard nearly as easily, thus other cards supporting Tribute Summons are necessary for a "Steelswarm" Deck. Also, be aware that you cannot special summon any creature during the turn you activate the effect, so be wary of conflict with "Monster Reborn", "Infestation Ripples", "Steelswarm Mantis", or any Xyz Summoning.|
|Steelswarm Sentinel||Can be useful for slowing down decks that rely on Special Summoning. Keep in mind, though, that its low ATK makes it vulnerable to being destroyed by battle, and that it generally does nothing to aid the archetype's system of tribute summoning.|
|Steelswarm Roach||Can be useful to have more field control and is brought out with "Steelswarm Caller", "Steelswarm Gatekeeper" or "Steelswarm Sting". Keep in mind that "Evilswarm Ophion" has a similar effect, higher ATK, and can be summoned just as easily.|
|Evilswarm Kerykeion||Use this card in order to swarm your field with another "lswarm" monster such as "Steelswarm Caller" or to Summon a "Steelswarm Longhorn" with one less tribute. This allows you to make a Rank 4 Xyz like "Evilswarm Ophion" in one turn or even fix your Graveyard so you can Special Summon "Dark Armed Dragon".|
|Evilswarm Castor||Can aid in swarming the field for Rank 4 Xyz in a similar manner to "Kerykeion".|
|Stygian Street Patrol||Use this card to Special Summon a "Steelswarm" monster from your hand such as "Steelswarm Caller" and Tribute it that turn. It can combo with "Cell" to summon 2 Tribute monsters, or even "Hercules" if "Steelswarm Genome" is summoned.|
|Stygian Security||Good searcher for either "Steelswarm Scout" or "Cell". Will constantly replace itself (if destroyed by battle) so you can Tribute Summon the next turn. Allows for some Synchro Monsters in your Extra Deck.|
|Mystic Tomato||Use "Mystic Tomato" to Special Summon "Steelswarm" monsters such as "Steelswarm Cell", "Steelswarm Scout", "Steelswarm Genome" and "Steelswarm Gatekeeper". It can also combo with "Armageddon Knight" to get Scout into the graveyard, which can be quite useful. Unfortunately, as "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters require "Steelswarm" specific tributes to activate their effects, "Mystic Tomato" may get in the way more than you want it to, since if it's not destroyed, it's essentially completely worthless.|
|Sangan (Traditional Format only)||Decent to search for "Steelswarm Cell", "Steelswarm Sentinel", "Steelswarm Genome" or "Steelswarm Scout", but cannot be tributed for "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters (unless you just want them as beatsticks).|
|Armageddon Knight / Dark Grepher||Use these card to send monsters to the Graveyard, particularly "Steelswarm Scout" and "Stygian Street Patrol" and potential Special Summons for "Steelswarm Mantis". It also works in sending monsters for retrieval with "Recurring Nightmare", or revival with "Infestation Ripples".|
|Archfiend Empress||This card can be useful for keeping your Steelswarms on the field. However, it would be wise to use this effect carefully because it banishes another DARK Fiend monster. Also, its second effect that brings back a DARK Fiend monster from the Graveyard can be useful.|
|Masked Chameleon||This card is useful as it can give the deck more flexibility, allowing you to Synchro Summon (after reviving 0-DEF "Steelswarm" monsters), which is uncommon in a "-lswarm" Deck, or getting quick Xyz Summons. Some remarkable Synchro Monsters to mention include "Armades, Keeper of Boundaries" ("Masked Chameleon" + "Steelswarm Cell" or "Scout"), "Iron Chain Dragon" (+ "Steelswarm Genome"), "Black Rose Dragon" (+ "Steelswarm Sentinel"), "Stardust Dragon" or "Red Dragon Archfiend" (+ "Steelswarm Caller" or "Sting"), "Giganticastle" (+ "Steelswarm Mantis"), "Drascension the Supreme Sky Dragon" (+ "Steelswarm Moth") and "Star Eater" (+ "Steelswarm Girastag"). Note that you can use "Steelswarm Scout" and "Steelswarm Cell" as Synchro Material monsters, since their effects are negated when Special Summmoned by this card.|
|Gorz the Emissary of Darkness||Since a "Steelswarm" Deck will likely go light on traps to allow maximum usage of "Steelswarm Scout", "Gorz" can be a very reliable defensive card. The lack of traps makes a "Steelswarm" Deck relatively vulnerable to OTKs, which "Gorz" is very good at stopping.|
|Darkness Neosphere||A good card in any fiend Deck ("Steelswarm" are all fiends). It acts as a wonderful defensive card and is not only an easy to summon 4k beatstick, it can also get "Scout" to the graveyard.|
|First Step Towards Infestation||This card is is a must-use in a "Steelswarm" Deck. It can save your "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters from pesky traps such as "Bottomless Trap Hole", "Torrential Tribute", "Dimensional Prison" and "Mirror Force", and it can also save them from spells and monsters that would destroy them (such as "Scrap Dragon" or "Dark Hole"), making it far more versatile than "Seven Tools of the Bandit" or "Overwhelm". This card can easily lead to a +1 or more if used well as it also allows you to draw a card. At worst, it won't do any worse than a neutral trade, but it can leave you wide open for a direct attack. For the most part, however, it is just a smart card, scooping up a very powerful "Steelswarm" creature such as "Steelswarm Girastag" to reuse its effect and give you an out to another opponent's card while preventing one of their outs from defeating your "Steelswarm". As this can be done during the end phase of your opponent's turn, it can "dump" itself (remove itself from the spell and trap card zone at will), unlike "Seven Tools" or "Overwhelm", for summoning "Steelswarm Scout" when necessary. This card is better than its trap counterpart, "Infestation Wave" because it can be used from the hand, making it far more effective at saving your creatures from pesky traps during the turn in which they're summoned (which is almost always the most important time to protect them). There is no reason to put any less than 3 copies of this card in a "Steelswarm" Deck.|
|Infestation Pandemic||Use this card as "Forbidden Lance" to protect your "Steelswarms". This is much more powerful than "Forbidden Lance", though. It protects ALL of your "Steelswarm" creatures on the field, and thus can be used to evade a nasty "Mirror Force", "Torrential Tribute", "Dark Hole", or other sweeper. It can be used with your own "Dark Hole" to make it one sided (a pseudo-"Raigeki"). As a bonus, your monsters don't lose 800 ATK, but it cannot be used as a combat trick to reduce your opponent's monster's strength.|
|Veil of Darkness||For the same reasons as "Dark Grepher" and "Armageddon Knight". It allows you to plow through your Deck all while setting up for "Steelswarm Scout" and "Steelswarm Mantis" plays. Just remember, it can ruin "Steelswarm Scout".|
|Foolish Burial||Use this card for the same functions as "Armageddon Knight" and "Dark Grepher". This card can be very versatile in a "Steelswarm" Deck because it can not only put "Steelswarm Scout" in the graveyard, it can also adapt to the situation, such as setting up the graveyard to pick cards out of it with cards such as "Infestation Ripples" or "Recurring Nightmare". You can also use it to dump "Stygian Street Patrol", banish it to Special Summon a "Steelswarm" Monster for a quick Tribute Summon.|
|Recurring Nightmare / Dark Eruption||"Recurring Nightmare" is a fantastic card in a "Steelswarm" Deck: "Steelswarm Gatekeeper" is the only "Steelswarm" monster with more than 0 DEF, so using this card you can bring back any two monsters. A very useful option is to return "Steelswarm Cell" and a one-Tribute "Steelswarm" monster such as "Steelswarm Girastag". Then you can Special Summon "Steelswarm Cell" and Tribute it for "Steelswarm Girastag". "Recurring Nightmare" is flatly a +1, making it without question one of the most powerful cards in a "Steelswarm" Deck's arsenal. You should include 3 in the Deck.|
|Allure of Darkness||This card is always useful in DARK Decks as draw power.|
|Creeping Darkness||A decent card to search for more "Steelswarms".|
|One for One||Useful for searching "Steelswarm Scout" because you can Tribute it for a "Steelswarm" that turn, unlike if you use a card like "Armageddon Knight" or "Foolish Burial".|
|Pot of Duality||Is a fantastic card to search for more cards from your Deck. It greatly improves Deck consistency, even if it makes it a little slower. It will probably prevent you from Tribute Summoning for the turn because you cannot use "Cell" or "Scout" or any revival effects/"Stygian Street Patrol", so something would already need to be on the field to Tribute Summon. But the additional Deck consistency makes the card easily worth putting the 2 copies in.|
|Double Summon||This card is useful to have an extra Summon this turn, especially if you combine it with First Step Towards Infestation or Infestation Wave. However, keep in mind that this card is a -1.|
|Dark Mambele||Useful because all "Steelswarm" monster are DARK, but it can sit dead in the hand. Is still useful for getting rid of difficult monsters like "Grapha" or "The Shining".|
|Hand Destruction / Dark World Dealings||Both cards can help you put "Steelswarm Scout" into the Graveyard. "Hand Destruction" can be used during your draw phase to send "Steelswarm Scout" to the Graveyard in order to activate its effect during the Main Phase. Again, keep in mind this card is a minus 1.|
|Star Light, Star Bright||Potentially amazing for setting up Xyz Summons, since all "Steelswarm" monsters have the same DEF (except "Gatekeeper"). Easily summoned "Steelswarm" monsters can copy the Level of a higher Level "Steelswarm" to easily make high rank Xyz Monsters. This card can combo especially well with "Caller" and/or "Mantis" for easy field swarming and highly versatile Xyz Summoning. Various useful combos that could be done include, but are not limited to: Tribute "Caller" for "Moth", then XYZ them into "Constellar Ptolemy M7"; Tribute "Caller" for "Girastag" and XYZ them into "Number 11: Big Eye"; Tribute "Caller" for any Steelswarm, then XYZ them into "Evilswarm Bahamut" or "Evilswarm Ophion" (or any non-specific or dark-specific rank 4 XYZ that requires 2 materials); Tribute "Caller" for "Mantis", revive "Caller" and XYZ them into "Evilswarm Ouroboros", or the Level of "Mantis" could be chosen to XYZ them into "Digvorzhak, King of Heavy Industry"; many other combos can be made.|
|Monster Reborn (OCG/Traditional Format only)||In addition to being a standard staple that goes in virtually any Deck, "Monster Reborn" is very versatile in a "Steelswarm" Deck, as it can be used to resurrect powerful beatsticks such as "Longhorn" (3000 ATK), but not only that, it can serve a purpose similar to "Infestation Ripples" without having to be set first, which can be useful for resurrecting valuable Tribute monsters such as "Caller" or "Genome" to be immediately tributed.|
|Ultimate Offering (OCG/Traditional Format only)||"Ultimate Offering" can be used an unlimited number of times during a turn, so it can easily lead to OTKs when combo'd with "Steelswarm Caller" and a couple "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters in hand. It can also be used to Tribute Summon during your opponent's battle phase. Even though "Ultimate Offering" ruins the effect of "Steelswarm Scout" while it's on the field, it's a far more powerful card than "Steelswarm Scout". Since "Ultimate Offering" is a card that your opponent will likely be aiming to take out ASAP with spell/trap removal, "Steelswarm Scout" can resume its duties when "Ultimate Offering" inevitably disappears. However, do keep in mind that "Ultimate Offering" tends to deplete a hand extremely quickly, so it may be best to forego it.|
|Overwhelm||Since "Steelswarm Girastag" is so easy to Tribute Summon, "Overwhelm" may be helpful in preventing it from falling prey to Traps and Monster effects. Keep in mind that, as this card cannot be "dumped" at will, it may get in the way of "Steelswarm Scout". "First Step Towards Infestation" can often times be sufficient for protecting your Tribute monsters, without having to worry as much about getting in "Steelswarm Scout's" way.|
|Infestation Ripples||An extremely useful card that can set up many combos in a "Steelswarm" Deck. Easily one of the most important cards in a "Steelswarm" Deck, and should be kept at 3 copies.|
|Infestation Tool||Another very useful card to send "Steelswarm Scout" to the Graveyard and gives your monster extra ATK (so it can be used during the Damage Step).|
|Infestation Infection||A very powerful card for "Steelswarm" decks that allows for cycling of any "Steelswarm" monster for any "Steelswarm" monster. This can massively increase deck consistency, as non-"Frognarchs" tribute-based decks typically have a problem with getting the right cards in the right order (i.e. drawing too many or too few non-tribute monsters or tribute monsters). It's a continuous trap, and therefore conflicts with "Steelswarm Scout", so be mindful.|
|Infestation Wave||Its effect is like "First Step Towards Infestation", but this card destroys an opponent's card. Its effect is better than "First Step Towards Infestation" (from here forth referred to as its "brother") because choice-destruction is always better than a random draw, but its status as a trap card (rather than a quick play spell like its brother) makes it much worse at defending your creatures from traps such as "Bottomless Trap Hole" during the turn in which they are summoned. However, like its brother, it too can "dump" itself during the opponent's end phase to get out of the way of "Steelswarm Scout".|
|Infestation Terminus||Works like "Steelswarm Moth", just banishing a "lswarm" monster.|
|Grave of the Super Ancient Organism||This shuts down high-Level Special Summoned monsters but does not affect Tribute Summoned monsters, giving you an advantage against opponents with faster Decks. This can ruin "Steelswarm Scout", but can still be useful in the side Deck because "Steelswarm Scout" is not nearly as critical to a "Steelswarm" Deck as "Treeborn Frog" is to a "Monarch" Deck.|
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).
- The tribute summoned "Steelswarms" all have a distinct conical form on their tail that is capable of opening up (as seen in some artworks), giving them all a resemblence to the Dragon Ball Z villain Cell. This is reinforced by the fact that these monsters represent a progression through the levels, akin to Cell's evolution.
- All "Steelswarm" Tribute Summoned monsters have (Level × 200 ATK) + 1200 ATK = their original ATKs.
- The tribute summoned "Steelswarms" each have a distinct coloring unique to them, as opposed to the all black colors of the "lesser" non-tribute Steelswarms.
- One thing to note in the "Steelswarm" Spell and Trap Cards is that they have a beneficial cost, except "Infestation Ripples", which allows them to be used well even if the effect is negated.
- The higher Level Steelswarm monsters Hercules, Caucastag, Girastag and Longhorn have some sort of spherical organ in their chests. Seeing how Hercules has its second pair of arms covering it it could be assumed that is their weak point, taking into account most Steelswarm have 0 DEF.