But with the release of Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower in 2015, and later Chidori the Rain Sprinkling, the deck gained two new boss monsters in the form of a powerful Level 7 Synchro monster. Also, several very good Blackwing monsters were printed between 2015 and 2018, giving the deck new tools with which to be more consistent.
To build a Blackwing deck list similar to these two, we have to make some adjustments, due to certain cards being banned in the time since. Our updated deck list will take cues from both lists and add a few Link Monsters to the mix! But it's also going to borrow from a strategy I used to use with my most successful Blackwing decks: let's invite a bit of chaos!
1x Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
1x Blackwing - Blizzard the Far North
3x Blackwing - Bora the Spear
3x Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind
3x Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow
3x Blackwing - Kris the Crack of Dawn
1x Blackwing - Oroshi the Squall
1x Blackwing - Pinaki the Waning Moon
1x Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame
2x Blackwing - Steam the Cloak
1x Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite
2x Effect Veiler
3x Thunder King Rai-Oh
2x Allure of Darkness
1x Black Whirlwind
1x Dark Hole
1x Mind Control
1x Monster Reborn
3x Mystical Space Typhoon
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
3x Icarus Attack
1x Mirror Force
1x Solemn Warning
The best Blackwing decks from the past couple of decks use strategies that were nerfed by recent Forbidden and Limited lists. But, one thing they did do was make my old Blackwing Chaos Deck somehow playable again!
But wait, why are there three copies of Thunder King Rai-Oh? And two Effect Veilers? Great question. You see there's a Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning. That's my favorite monster in all of Yu-Gi-Oh. Why? I never lost a duel with it once it successfully summoned... ever. There's good reason. He's pretty easy to summon: just remove 1 Light and 1 Dark Monster from your graveyard, and you get a 3000 ATK beater with two great effects. One allows you to destroy a monster, then attack again. The other banishes a face-up monster. He can't attack that turn, but all your other guys can!
Effect Veiler serves a few purposes in this deck. She shuts down annoying opponent's monster effects, which is pretty relevant against Link Monsters, actually. She gets me a Light monster in the graveyard, too. But she's also a Level 1 tuner, which sometimes gets me some sweet stuff, including Trishula! (Who's legal for some reason...)
Thunder King Rai-Oh was one of my favorite cards in Yu-Gi-Oh for years. He was semi-limited to two copies when I played him last. He was restricted to one copy for a long time. But Rai-Oh is amazing in today's game. Rai-Oh stops all deck searching to the hand. He also can be Tributed to negate a Special Summon, making it very difficult for an opponent to summon larger monsters, especially Links. While he is really bad for things like Black Whirlwind, we pay that price to slow down our opponents. He's also Light, which is the other major reason to play him.
The rest of Blackwing main deck is still very similar to the classic decks that placed among the Top 8 finishers in major tournaments for years. Along with new Synchro monsters, there are a couple of other main deck monster additions, Kris the Crack of Dawn and Pinaki the Waning Moon. These monsters from Premium Gold: Return of the Bling have effects that definitely deserve attention.
Kris is a level 4 Blackwing with 1900 ATK that has the ability to be special summoned if you control another Blackwing monster other than another Kris. It also has the distinguishing ability to be unable to be destroyed by spell or trap cards once per turn. I play the full three copies because he's so easily Special Summoned and he's a nice beatstick.
Pinaki is a newer level 3 tuner that can only be used for the Synchro Summon of only Blackwing monsters. Despite this drawback, his usefulness lies in being able to get any one Blackwing monster to your hand at the end of a turn anytime he is sent from the field to the graveyard. I only play one, but he's OK.
There's also one Oroshi the Squall, a level one Tuner from Dragons of Legend. Not only can you special summon him if you have another Blackwing on the field, but if you use him in a Synchro Summon, you can change the battle position of one monster on the field. Not bad!
The rest of the deck is pretty much what you would expect from a classic Blackwing deck. One copy of Blizzard the Far North helps you to set up Synchro Summons - a third copy always ends up usually being extraneous and a second is just too slow in today's game. There are three copies of Gale the Whirlwind, of course. This guy was once limited to a single copy because of how he once overran the Yu-Gi-Oh metagame.
Three copies of Kalut the Moon Shadow ensure that your Blackwings will win almost any combat as long as you have at least one copy in hand. They also ensure a swift victory on offense. I decided to run three, even as I used to win with one, though, two probably is fine.
Shura the Blue Flame used to be one of the best Blackwings in the deck. Whenever he destroys a monster in battle, he gets to special summon a Blackwing monster with 1500 or less ATK from the deck. While the effect is negated, the primary purpose is to summon a creature for purposes of getting a Synchro monster onto the board. But in today's game, his effect is just too slow. He's still playable though, at one copy in this deck.
Bora the Spear is simple, and is easily Special Summoned as soon as you control another Blackwing. He also inflicts piercing battle damage on creatures in defense mode, something that makes a lot of difference with Kalut’s ability. He's been a mainstay of the deck from the very beginning.
I used to play one or two Sirocco in the list, but being a Level 5 monster, I felt he was just too slow for the deck now. Instead, I play two copies of Steam the Cloak, a pretty useful Synchro Monster that leaves behind a level 1 Tuner token when he leaves the battlefield.
Steam the Cloak also has another neat ability that you can use once per duel:
"If this card is in your Graveyard: You can Tribute 1 monster, Special Summon this card from the Graveyard. You can only use this effect of "Blackwing - Steam the Cloak" once per Duel. If this card Summoned this way is used as a Synchro Material Monster, all other Synchro Material Monsters must be "Blackwing" monsters."
There are plenty of Blackwing Synchro monsters in our extra deck, so running two is worth it. Also, if you don't use that ability, you can use Steam to make any Synchro monster you want, as well as the token. This is just a good Blackwing monster.
Lastly, for the Blackwings, we have Zepyhros the Elite. His once per game ability allows you to bounce a creature back to your hand to Special Summon him from the graveyard. Not only does this help with Synchro or Xyz summons, but it allows you to reuse the ability of Gale the Whirlwind. It also allows you to "scoop up" a copy of Kalut that was summoned with Blizzard or Shura.
When I first started messing around with this deck, there were three copies of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, just because it's one of the best cards in the 2018 meta! What it does is pretty awesome!
"When a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; negate that effect.
● Add a card from the Deck to the hand.
● Special Summon from the Deck.
● Send a card from the Deck to the GY.
You can only use this effect of "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" once per turn."
This card is good against so many decks, and they're a level 3 tuner. Lots to like here, but in testing, I found they were dead way more than Effect Veilers would be. Also, Thunder King Rai-Oh makes them redundant. They are nice in the sideboard, though.
Previously, I also had two copies of Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit in the main deck, based on one of the top lists I was working from. This card saw a lot of play in top decks since its release. Just read this effect:
During either player's turn, when a monster on the field activates its effect, or when a Spell/Trap Card that is already face-up on the field activates its effect: You can send this card from your hand or field to the Graveyard; destroy that card on the field. You can only use this effect of "Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit" once per turn.
This card can be a blowout in the right situation, killing off one of your opponent’s most important creatures or spell/trap cards. On top of that, they’re a Psychic Tuner. So like Ash Blossom, you can Synchro summon with them, too! And 1800 DEF on a level 3 monster isn’t shabby, either! However, they are better suited for the sideboard now.
Onto the Spell and Trap cards!
But, Black Whirlwind has been at 3 copies for quite some time now. However, as Blackwings have had trouble keeping up with newer archetypes, it seemed fair to unlimit this key card to give Blackwings a fighting chance. It’s definitely done just that! But, in this deck, since we have Thunder King Rai-Oh shutting down deck searching, a single copy is enough. We want to Special Summon more often than not in this Link-happy format, just so we can keep up. But you still run one, because when I ran just one, I won a lot of games.
Getting to tutor up any Blackwing with less ATK points than the one you just normal summoned is excellent. Having two or three on board at the same time is absolutely ridiculous - which is why it was limited in the first place. But even though once again we have the full three copies at our disposal, they're really back with Rai-Oh.
One card I was running in here was Black Sonic. It's a great Blackwing card from Dragons of Legend that actually was seeing top level play. It’s basically a twist on the classic Mirror Force, except better. When one of your Blackwings is chosen as an attack target, you can activate this trap card and banish all of your opponent’s Attack Position monsters! If you have 3 or more Blackwings in play, you can activate it from your hand! Talk about a dirty trick! Hand traps for the win! But I decided it was much too situational.
Allure of Darkness is a useful draw card, but it requires you to banish a DARK monster from your hand in exchange for two cards. Still, since you can play three copies, it’s well worth trading a monster for 2 more cards. Ordinarily I'd run three, but it was limited to 2 back in the day, and with a bunch of Light monsters in the deck, two copies is enough.
I also play Mind Control. It's an awesome Yu-Gi-Oh card that was banned in tournament play for a long time. It allows you to steal an opponent’s monster until the end of the turn, but it can’t attack or be Tributed. Neither of these drawbacks matter, because you’re going to just use that monster as Synchro Summon, Xyz Summon, or Link Summon material anyway! It is just awesome that this card is playable in tournaments again!
Staples such as Bottomless Trap Hole, Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, Mystical Space Typhoon, Raigeki, and Solemn Warning round out the deck.
(Note: Some players may prefer to run the trap card Delta Crow - Anti Reverse in one of the deck’s spell and trap slots. This Blackwing only card allows you to destroy all of your opponents' spell and trap cards by controlling just one Blackwing. If you control 3 or more, you get to activate it from your hand. Pretty cool card!)
1x Armades, Keeper of Boundaries
1x Assault Blackwing - Chidori the Rain Sprinkling
1x Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower
1x Blackwing - Armor Master
1x Blackwing - Armed Wing
1x Blackwing - Nothung the Starlight
1x Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe
1x Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
1x Goyo Guardian
1x Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1x Borreload Dragon
1x Decode Talker
1x Firewall Dragon
1x Knightmare Phoenix
1x Proxy Dragon
Like Raikiri, Chidori the Rain Sprinkling is a Level 7 Synchro Monster. Also like Raikiri, he can also become a Tuner monster, if a Blackwing monster was used as Synchro Material in his summoning. He also gains 300 ATK points for each Blackwing monster in your graveyard, and he starts with 2600 ATK. Also, when he’s destroyed, you can get a Winged Beast-type Synchro Monster in your graveyard other than Chidori, and special summon it. Sweet stuff.
Taking the spot that Armed Wing once occupied in the Extra Deck, Nothung the Starlight from Premium Gold: Return of the Bling actually does some pretty cool things. Not only does he deal 800 damage to your opponent upon being summoned, but he also causes one of your opponent’s monsters to lose 800 ATK and DEF! Also, when he’s face-up on the field, you get to Normal Summon an additional Blackwing monster each turn! This is another huge addition for Blackwings since 2015, and not sure how other players have overlooked him!
While not technically a Blackwing (he’s a Warrior), Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe, also from Return of the Bling, is definitely a nice addition to the Blackwing Extra Deck. Interestingly enough, you still need a Blackwing tuner to summon him. Here’s what he does:
You can target 1 Level 5 or higher Winged Beast-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it. During either player's turn, when your opponent activates a card or effect that targets only this card, or when your opponent targets this card for an attack: You can target 1 other "Blackwing" monster you control that would be an appropriate target; that card/effect/attack now targets the new target. You can only use each effect of "Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe" once per turn.
That’s a lot of text. Basically, once per turn, you can just get back one of your Winged Beast-type Synchro monsters into play (there aren’t any other Level 5 or higher Winged Beasts in this deck). If that wasn’t good enough, once per turn, you get to change an opponent’s attack target to another Blackwing you control. Wow.
The rest of the Extra Deck should be self-explanatory, as many of them see top-level play. Armades is in the extra deck just to be a Level 5 Synchro monster with a decent effect that's also the Light Attribute.
Interestingly, all of the Link Monsters in here are Light monsters, even the mega awesome Firewall Dragon!
Other Blackwing Monsters to Consider
There are a couple of other Blackwing cards that have been printed more recently that could be worked into your own Blackwing deck. They are Gofu the Vague Shadow and Assault Blackwing - Sohaya the Rain Storm. However, Gofu was banned in tournament play in February 2018, so keep this in mind.
This is because Gofu has another ability. While he’s a Tuner himself, usually you’re going to use his special ability to remove himself and other non-Tuner monsters you control to Special Summon a Blackwing Synchro monster from the Graveyard. Just using himself and his 2 token friends, you can bring back up to a Level 7 Blackwing Synchro Monster to play. That monster then also becomes a Tuner, thanks to Gofu.
In decks that play Gofu, there have been at least 2 copies of Assault Blackwing - Sohaya the Rain Storm in the extra deck. Sohaya is quite interesting. He’s a Level 5 Synchro monster, so Gofu can remove himself from play to Special Special a copy of Sohaya from the Graveyard. What does Sohaya do?
Sohaya only has 1500 ATK and 2000 DEF, so his body isn’t why you summon him. When he’s Special Summoned, you can Special Summon an Assault Blackwing monster from your Graveyard. This is already pretty good. But it gets better. During your Main Phase, if Sohaya is sent to your Graveyard that turn, if there’s another Sohaya in your Graveyard, you can banish that in order to return the other one to play. Basically, Sohaya makes it easy to get back Assault Blackwings. If Gofu is used to Special Summon him, Sohaya becomes a tuner, as well.
While a dedicated Blackwing deck hasn’t yet used this pair, the pieces are definitely there if you want to experiment with them. There’s a strong synergy with these two monster already, but they’ve always been part of a greater strategy. I’d love to see these guys become a major part of a top Blackwing deck.
Are Blackwings Still a Top 8 Deck?
While Blackwings didn’t Top 8 any major tournaments in 2016, they did make an appearance in 2017 and early 2018. They have the tools to at least be competitive once again in 2018 and beyond. With the two lists that finished in the top 8, there is definitely hope for that!
Being my favorite archetype from my old playing days, it would be fun to see a Blackwing deck list like this make some waves. Blackwings keep getting more support over the years, too, so there’s definitely a chance that there’s another card that’s printed that puts the archetype back into Top 8 contention. But I feel like Chaos is the way to go, especially because Veiler and Rai-Oh are just so good in this deck.
It may not be the fun "troll" deck that Toon Kingdom allows you to build, but Blackwings have the ability to pull out some very quick wins. It seems that Blackwings may once again have a chance to pull out more upset tournament victories in the future, especially on the local game store level!