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Phantom Knights will never fall! No matter how many times you destroy them, they will always revive!

— Yuto on the "Phantom Knights"

"The Phantom Knights", known as "Phantom Knights" (幻影騎士団ファントム・ナイツ Fantomu Naitsu) in the OCG, is an archetype of DARK Warrior monsters and Pseudo-Trap Monster used by Yuto in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime and manga. It is a sub-archetype of the "Phantom Knights" archetype.

Design

Appearance

The monsters visually appear to be ghostly beings, while the Pseudo-Trap Monsters appear to be animated armor/weapons surrounded by ghostly flames. They use the naming scheme "The Phantom Knights of {adjective} {clothing item/weapon}" in the TCG, or "Phantom Knights {adjective} {clothing item/weapon}" in the OCG, with the namesake item being featured in the artwork of each respective card.

Etymology

The adjectives for the monsters appear to be words related to disrepair, disuse, and emptiness; while the adjectives for the Pseudo-Trap Monsters seem to relate to darkness, death, emptiness, and mistake.

In Japanese, their Kanji reads "げんえいだん" (Gen'ei Kishidan)

Playing style

"The Phantom Knights" monsters involve manipulating their cards while they are in the Graveyard. Though they have other effects, the Main Deck monsters share a common effect of banishing themselves from the Graveyard in order to search each other/their Spell/Trap Cards out or place each other/their Spell/Trap Cards in the Graveyard. Their Spell and Trap Cards also activate from the Graveyard in order to Special Summon more "The Phantom Knights", including multiple Pseudo-Trap Monsters. These plays are meant to set up the Xyz Summon of Rank 2-4 DARK Xyz Monsters, supporting them with stat-increasing and protection effects.

In particular, the Level 4 monsters generally support the Level 3 monsters, who are the backbone of the Deck, being used to Summon The Phantom Knights of Break Sword, an incredibly powerful Rank 3 popular in many Decks for its effect to target and destroy 1 card on each field. The Phantom Knights of Ragged Gloves can give a DARK Xyz Monster Summoned using it 1000 extra ATK (taking Break Sword to 3000). It can also banish itself from your GY to send any other Phantom Knights card from your Deck to the GY, setting up your other plays. The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak can grant any other DARK monster 800 extra ATK/DEF while it is on the field, and acts as the searcher for the other The Phantom Knights cards in the Deck when banished from the GY. Finally, and most importantly, The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots can Special Summon itself from your hand if you control another Phantom Knight, setting up your Xyz Summon, and can search any Phantom Knights Spell/Trap when banished.

In a dedicated Phantom Knights Deck, one of Break Sword's most terrifying effects is triggered when it is destroyed (most often by its own effect), whereupon it revives 2 The Phantom Knights from your GY and raises their Level by 1. While this does not allow you to go back into Break Sword, you can then follow up with Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon, a powerful monster for defeating your opponent in battle. More importantly, it detaches both its materials for its effect, allowing you to use Cloak or Boots to search and use The Phantom Knights' Rank-Up-Magic Launch, a unique Rank-Up card that also attaches itself to the monster you Xyz Summon and can make any DARK Xyz Monster, but the monster you Summon it onto must have no materials. This means The Phantom Knights are the only deck with an easy way to Summon the terrifying Dark Requiem Xyz Dragon, a monster that can permanently steal all the ATK of 1 of your opponent's monsters, and negate their monster effects while reviving Xyz Monsters. The Launch can also banish itself from your GY to give your DARK Xyz Monsters extra materials, so setting up and maintaining Dark Requiem is one of this Deck's core goals.

Another important part of this Deck is its wide variety of on-archetype Trap Cards. As mentioned, many are Pseudo-Trap Monsters, some Summoning in response to a direct attack, others at any time. Two of the most important are The Phantom Knights of Lost Vambrace, which provides the only easy means of Summoning The Phantom Knights of Cursed Javelin, and The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine, which has proved exceedingly popular for its effect to be activated the turn it is Set if you have no Traps in your GY, suppling a free DARK Warrior to any field. Of the other Traps, Phantom Knights' Fog Blade can negate the effects of a targeted monster and stop it attacking, but it also prevents you attacking it, Phantom Knights' Sword gives any monster 800 ATK as an Equip-like effect, and can destroy itself to protect the monster, while Phantom Knights' Wing is a Normal Trap that gives a monster 500 ATK and prevents the monster being destroyed once that turn. All three share a self-banish from GY effect to revive any The Phantom Knight but banishing it when it leaves the field, encouraging you to Xyz Summon with it to pass the rulings (as cards on the field becoming materials for an Xyz monster are not considered leaving the field and when they are detached, they are only considered as being sent to the GY, not leaving the field).

The archetype also works fairly well with Link Summoning. With access to powerful monsters like Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights and the Borrel series of Link-4s, Phantom Knights can set up future space for Xyz Summons with ease. With their own Link Monster, The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche, able to the monsters to the GY and Set the Traps from Deck at the same time while destroying an extra card when a DARK Xyz Monster is Summoned, the Deck has some terrifying control and removal power, culminating in, as ever, Dark Requiem Xyz Dragon.

Finally, in competitive play, the archetype is viewed as being too small to form a stand-alone Deck, so is normally paired with another Deck, normally also one that focuses on Rank 3s and DARKs. Both Burning Abyss and Danger! have shown strong synergy with this strategy in this way, and the so-called "PK-Fire" Deck was one of the main meta Decks in 2016.

Recommended cards

Weaknesses