"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).
|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", and "Steelswarm Genome". However, its effect is mandatory, so be wary of Summoning it in a situation where you will destroy more of your cards than your opponent's.|
|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 during the same turn. 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".|
|Steelswarm Gatekeeper||The "wall" of a "Steelwarm" Deck, it can take the hits of most Level 4 or lower monsters. However, its face-up requirement makes its effect tricky to use. It is also unable to be recycled with "Recurring Nightmare".|
|Steelswarm Genome||Easily Special Summonedwith "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". "Cell" can combo with "Stygian Street Patrol" for the same result.|
|Steelswarm Girastag||One of the best monsters of the archetype, as it is easy to Summon, has reasonable ATK, and its effect helps counteract other "Steelswarm" monsters' LP-heavy effects. Notably, its effect sends to the Graveyard instead of destroying, so it can avoid your opponent's potential counters.|
|Steelswarm Hercules||"Hercules" clears the entire field when Summoned, making it a very powerful game ender. His 3200 ATK also ensures that almost nothing will defeat it in combat without support. "Hercules" can be difficult to Summon at times, but several combos can ensure it being surprisingly easy to Summon more often than not. "Steelswarm Scout" and "Steelswarm Cell" can combo with "Infestation Ripples" (reviving a "Steelswarm Genome") to summon "Hercules. "Cell" can combo with "Stygian Street Patrol" for the same result. However, be very wary of cards that can take advantage of the hefty cost of summoning Hercules, such as "Solemn Warning", "Solemn Scolding", and "Bottomless Trap Hole".|
|Steelswarm Longhorn||Its effect is not as powerful as that of "Caucastag", but it has an impressive 3000 ATK and a re-usable effect, unlike most "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters. Also, "Longhorn" can be more convenient than "Caucastag" at times, since the effect of "Caucastag" is mandatory (and thus be held back), 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" 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's effect is basically a better version of that of "Penguin Soldier", returning 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 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 you from Special Summoning for the rest of the turn, which can conflict with other cards like "Infestation Ripples" and "Steelswarm Mantis". It is also more difficult to send this card to the Graveyard than it is for "Treeborn Frog", thus other cards supporting Tribute Summons are necessary for a "Steelswarm" Deck.|
|Steelswarm Sentinel||Can be useful for slowing down decks that rely on Special Summoning, but it will require protection due to its low ATK. Additionally, this card does not do much to advanced this Deck's strategy of Tribute Summons.|
|Steelswarm Roach||Can negate the Special Summons of Level 5 or higher monsters, but "Evilswarm Ophion" has a similar effect and can search out "Infestation" Spell/Trap Cards.|
|Evilswarm Kerykeion||Use this card's effect to bring out another "lswarm" monster such as "Steelswarm Caller", or to Summon a "Steelswarm Longhorn" with 1 less tribute. This allows you to make a Rank 4 Xyz like "Evilswarm Ophion" in one turn or even adjust your Graveyard so you can Special Summon "Dark Armed Dragon".|
|Evilswarm Castor||Can aid in swarming the field for Rank 4 Xyz Monsters in a similar manner to "Kerykeion".|
|Stygian Street Patrol||Use this card to Special Summon "Steelswarm" monsters from your hand for an immediate Tribute Summon. Great for enabling Tribute Summons of monsters that need 2 or 3 Tributes.|
|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||Can search out many of the basic "Steelswarm" monsters, and combos with "Armageddon Knight" to quickly get Scout into the Graveyard. However, since "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters require "Steelswarm"-specific Tributes to activate their effects, this card can slow down your plays.|
|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". Their effects also set up for the effects of "Steelswarm Mantis", "Recurring Nightmare", and "Infestation Ripples".|
|Masked Chameleon||Gives the Deck more flexibility, allowing you to Synchro or Xyz Summon after using its effect. Note that you can use "Steelswarm Scout" and "Steelswarm Cell" as Synchro Materials, since their effects are negated when Special Summmoned by this card. However, you may be unable to use this card at times, due to its first effect.|
|Gorz the Emissary of Darkness||Since a "Steelswarm" Deck will likely go light on Set Spell/Trap Cards 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 generic beatstick, as well as a defensive wall. Can easily move "Scout" to the Graveyard from the hand.|
|First Step Towards Infestation||This card is a must in a "Steelswarm" Deck, since it can save your "Steelswarm" Tribute monsters from card effects, as well as allow you to re-use their Tribute Summon effects. If you Set this card, it can be easily activated, allowing you to Special Summon "Scout" with ease.|
|Infestation Pandemic||A themed-"Forbidden Lance" that doesn't reduce your monsters' ATK, but can't be used on your opponent's monsters either. Has the benefit of affecting all "lswarm" monsters you control. Can easily be searched with "Evilswarm Ophion".|
|Foolish Burial||For the same use as "Armageddon Knight" and "Dark Grepher".|
|Recurring Nightmare / Dark Eruption||Recursion cards for re-using Tribute fodder monsters.|
|Allure of Darkness||A must in DARK Decks for 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||Increases Deck consistency, even if your Tribute Summons are delayed at times.|
|Double Summon||Useful for advancing your Tribute Summon plays.|
|Hand Destruction / Dark World Dealings||Both cards can help you put "Steelswarm Scout" into the Graveyard. "Hand Destruction" can be used during your Standby Phase to send "Steelswarm Scout" to the Graveyard in order to activate its effect during the Main Phase. Keep in mind this card is a -1 in card advantage.|
|Star Light, Star Bright||Potentially amazing for setting up Xyz Summons, since all "Steelswarm" monsters have the same DEF (except "Gatekeeper").|
|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 easy to Tribute Summon, "Overwhelm" may be helpful in preventing it from falling prey to Traps and Monster effects. Keep in mind that this card can interfere with the effect of "Steelswarm Scout", since it can't be activated easily.|
|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, but it also conflicts with "Steelswarm Scout".|
|Infestation Wave||It has the same cost as "First Step Towards Infestation", but it destroys an opponent's card instead. Its effect is better than "First Step Towards Infestation", since choice-destruction is always better than a random draw, but its status as a Trap Card slows it down. Doesn't interfere much with "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 comes at the cost of "Scout" becoming useless.|
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.