Dark World is an Archetype introduced in Elemental Energy which is completely composed of Dark Fiend-Type Monsters. Ever since the Structure Deck: Gates of the Underworld was released in October 2011, their popularity has risen by great amounts.
Dark World Monster's effects are activated when they are discarded by a card effect. Some get extra effects if discarded by the effect of your opponent. For example: Snoww, Unlight of Dark World will allow you to Special Summon a monster from your opponent's Graveyard in Face-Up Defense Position if discarded by an opponent's card effect. Some Dark World Monsters have effects that do not activate when they are discarded, but in other ways. Brron, Mad King of Dark World and Scarr, Scout of Dark World being prime examples.
It is important to note that many cards have you discard as a cost, rather than effect, and therefore do not activate Dark World effects. Cards like Trade-In, Raigeki Break, and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast are all examples of cards that would have you Discard as a cost. Card Destruction, Morphing Jar, and Dark World Dealings are all examples of cards that have you Discard as an effect.
The Gates of Dark World is a key card for this archetype. It is a Field Spell which allows you to Discard a Fiend-Type Monster and Draw a card as long as you banish a Fiend-Type monster from your Graveyard first. The reason it is so good is because discarding a Fiend is an effect, rather than a cost. So not only will you Draw a card to resolve The Gates of Dark World's effect, you will also activate the effect of a Dark World monster you discard, thus allowing you to draw a card, or search a card from you deck, or destroy a card on your opponent's field, etc.
The boss monster of the deck is Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World. When Grapha is discarded he destroys one card on your opponent's field. And if Grapha is discarded by your opponent's card effect he destroys a card and you also get to Special Summon a random card from your opponent's hand if it is a monster. While he is in the Graveyard, you can Special Summon him to the field by returning a face-up Dark World monster on your side of the field to your hand, except another Grapha.
Tour Guide from the Underworld is a useful Fiend-type monster who allows you to summon a level 3 Fiend-type Monster from your deck. Typically one will summon another Tour Guide or Broww. Sangan is also an option, if it is being used. You can then Xyz Summon a Rank 3 Monster, oftentimes Number 17: Leviathan Dragon, as you can immediately detach a material and have a Fiend ready in the Graveyard to get The Gates of Dark World going. If you Summon Broww with Tour Guide's effect, you can also return it to your hand to Special Summon Grapha from the Graveyard.
- Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World
- Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
- Brron, Mad King of Dark World
- Ceruli, Guru of Dark World
- Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World
- Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World
- Gren, Tactician of Dark World
- Kahkki, Guerilla of Dark World
- Latinum, Exarch of Dark World
- Reign-Beaux, Overlord of Dark World
- Renge, Gatekeeper of Dark World
- Scarr, Scout of Dark World
- Sillva, Warlord of Dark World
- Snoww, Unlight of Dark World
- Zure, Knight of Dark World
 Building the Deck
 The Core
These are the cards that should be included in every Dark World deck regardless of what the meta looks like.
Grapha is the leading monster of every Dark World deck, he is a valuebale recourse in both hand and Graveyard. Grapha has the amazing effect of destroying a card on your opponent’s side of the field when Discarded, and if he’s Discarded by an opponent’s effect he gains another bonus: looking at a card in your opponent’s hand and if it’s a monster it’ll join your side of the field. And to top it all off, he can revive himself from the grave as much as you like by bouncing a Dark World monster from the field to your hand and it cannot be stopped by effect negating cards like Skill Drain and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror as it is a summoning condition and not an effect. His 2700 attack points help being a problem to many decks like Dino-Rabbit.
Snoww is a recource which is unmissable for every Dark World deck around. Snoww has the ability of adding any Dark World card to your hand when discarded and when discarded by your opponent he gains the extra effect of Special Summoning a monster from your opponent’s grave in Face-Up Defense Position. All by all, his 1700 attack points cannot be missed as well, this is already quite powerful against your opponent’s monsters but with the Field Spell of the deck, it can grow to 2000 making him a threat on the field as well.
Broww may not have such good stats or effects as Snoww and Grapha but he can still very well mean the difference between a win or a loss and is unmissable as such. Broww has the efefct of letting you Draw a card when Discarded, even 2 when discarded by your opponent’s card effect. In combination with The Gates of Dark World it can he a heavy drawing machine letting you add cards to your hand that could guarantee your win.
Beiige is the engine that lets you summon multiple Grapha in one turn or he eases up Xyz Summoning or Synchro Summoning in a turn. This can be achieved due to the effect of Beiige. Beiige summons himself from the grave when discarded.
1-3x Trance Archfiend
Trance Archfiend is a monster that can be used as a discard engine, but there’s a whole different reason for him being in the core. The main reason Dark World decks can’t miss him anymore he because of his other effect that activates when he is destroyed on the field and send to the Graveyard. He allows you to return a Banished Dark to your hand. This could come in very Handy when you need a Dark World monster to resummon Grapha, or to even return a Grapha to your hand so you can Discard it once more.
The Gates are the Field Spell fort is deck. This card gives all Fiend-type mosnters on the field a 300 ATK and DEF bonus being able to get your Grapha to a massive 3000 attack points, which is very hard for many decks to get over. But the true amazing fact of this card comes after that bonus. You Banish a Fiend monster from your grave to discard a Fiend monster and to draw a card after that. This practically means that you banish a monster as a cost to gain the efefct of a Dark World monster and you get to draw a card in adition to that. And due to card like Leviair the Sea Dragon and Trance Archfiend you barely have to worry about the banished monster. A minus into 2 plusses.
This great adition to the Dark World deck can be a little tricky to use, This is mainly because your opponent gets to chose what you’ll discard from your hand. But the greatest plus of this card comes from seeing your opponent’s hand, you’ll know what he has and you’ll be able to anticipate the cards in his hand. And off course, you’ll be setting all your Spell Cards and Trap Cards before using this card. Meaning you’ll end up Discarding a Dark World monster and you both get to draw a card.
Both players discard all cards in their hand and draw the same amount… Normally a bad thing for your opponent but a possible major plus for you. Discarding multiple Dark World monsters at once can create a chain in their effects. You’ll be able to decide which card efefct comes First etc. nexto to the plusses of the discarded monsters, your drawing the same amount of new cards as well. This makes Card Destruction a vital part of any Dark World deck.
2-3x Skill Drain
Skill Drain has become an unmissable card in Dark World. Almost every deck around is focussed on using field effects that can threaten Dark World decks by a great amount. Skill Drain is able to cripple alot of decks and has minimized damage to Dark World decks since all monster effects of the Dark World monsters activate on the grave. (or atleast the ones in the core)
 The Staples
While not a key part of the deck, they still are a key in winning duels and should be added before any techs.
1x Dark Hole
Dark Hole is an important staple for almost any deck, it will destroy any monster on the field. Most decks rather not use this card while their boss monster is out on the field unless absolutely necessary, well in Dark World things work a little differently. Grapha can revive himself as long as you have a Dark World monster in your hand to summon and bounce for him. This means you do not have to worry about losing your boss monster for the rest of the duel and you’ll be able to obliterate your opponent’s side of the field.
Monster Reborn is an adition to any deck, but in Dark World decks he gains an extra job. Monster Reborn can be used to summon a lower leveled Dark World monster like Broww or Snoww from the grave and it is preferred instead of head-on reviving Grapha wit hit. Because the low leveled Dark World monster can be used to summon Grapha from the grave and you’ll have an extra Dark World monster in your hand to Discard once more.
A card can negate alot of things by paying half your Life Points is an amazing thing to have when you’re opponent is able to strike back.
1-2x Solemn Warning
Paying 2000 Life Points to stop a summon or a card that summons another monster is a good thing to have, especially with cards like Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning and others prowling around.
Use it to send a Grapha to the grave for a quick Grapha on the field, this card can be a great help in various situations.
Draw 2 cards and Banish a Dark monster or send all cards in your hand to the grave. This card should give you extra recourses on the cost of a monster you can retrieve with Trance Archfiend, basically a very good card.
A very good card to deflect things that might come your way when you’re trying to defeat your opponent. Set cards that might contain things like Bottomless Trap Hole or Dimensional Prison or one of the Solemns. It can also mean life or death at the hands of dangerous cards like Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos who tear Dark World decks apart or to stop Royal Decree from negating your Skill Drain. Mystical Space Typhoons are an unmissable factor in Dark World decks.
1-2x Torrential Tribute
Practically the same as Dark Hole but it can help a little bit more by stopping your opponent when he’s Swarming the field with monsters. There are numerous decks that can’t recover from a well-timed Torrential Tribute while you don’t have to worry about your boss monster.
0-2x Bottomless Trap Hole
Bottomless Trap Hole is a good card to defend you from cards like Rescue Rabbit, it may not always be the most desired choice but it stays a good choice anyway to destroy and Banish summoned monsters.
1x Heavy Storm
Storm may seem like a bad idea, but he is actually quite good in Dark World decks, especially in combination with the tech card: Malefic Stardust Dragon. Heavy Storm adds that little extra Spell/Trap hate to Dark World which it needs alot.
1-2x Mirror Force
The card may have lost some shine the past formats but remains a great staple to use, even in Dark World when something treatens to walk over Grapha.
 Cards that Change with Formats
0-2x Fabled Raven
Raven is one of the few Tuner Monsters you can use in Dark World but it is the best amongst them. Use it to make a turn 1 Chaos King Archfiend, Stardust Dragon or Dark Highlander or many other Synchro Monsters. Fabled Raven is a card that is not desirable during every format because of the Normal Summon he requires but he remains a great tech.
0-2x Dark Smog
Smog is an ideal card for formats where grave-centered decks rule dominant. It’s ability to disrupt there strategies in both your turn as theirs is very good. It’s a great card that should be atleast sided in every Dark World deck.
 Common Techs
1-3x Upstart Goblin
1-3x Reckless Greed
Another must-have for Dark World turbo decks. Due to all the drawing with The Gates and Broww and Dragged Down, this card only slightly hurts the deck if used at the right moment, using this card at the wrong moment could mean you lose the Duel.
1-3x Hope for Escape
Hope for Escape is a new member in the Turbo engine of Dark World decks. With cards like Solemn Judgment, Solemn Warning and Upstart Goblin in your deck it is very reasonable that your opponent ends having having alot more Life Points then you do, normally this would be abad thing but Hope for Escape can change it into a good thing. The 1000 you pay makes the difference even greater and for every 2000 Life Points of differnece between you and your opponent you can draw a card. This card is usually used with only 1 Solemn in the deck, with to many Solemns you can run out of Life Points far to soon and you'll end up losing the duel because you lowered yourself to much. Hope for Escape is a truly great card for Turbo decks but using it is totally up to the one using the deck.
0-2x Pot of Duality
Duality is a card that is not used in Dark World Turbo decks and it remains abit exclusive to the standard beatdown variants. Only use the card when you don’t need to Special Summon that turn.
Instant Rank 3 Xyz Monsters can be a blast to your opponent, you can also use it to fetch a Broww to bounce for Grapha. If cards like Skill Drain did not exist or if it wasn’t that good for Dark World decks, Tour Guide would’ve been in the core instead of it.
Another amazing card for Dark World decks, with Skill Drain active it’s a 2500 beatstick, and without Skill Drain it’s the guardian for The Gates of Dark World. Banishing a Stardust Dragon from your Extra Deck to summon this guy is completely worth the while and it can help you maintain advantage over your opponent.
1-3x Dark World Dealings
A great card for the deck, but it can only be considered a tech and not core. Dark World Dealings is a dangerous card in the mirror match because it lets your opponent Discard a card of his choice. This means that second effects of his Dark World monsters activate and that isn’t the most wise course of action. Many decks run this card in the Main Deck but siding it would sometimes be a better choice.
Sillva is some sort of Beiige that cannot be Normal Summoned but it has a great second effect from when he is discarded by an opponent’s effect. Your opponent has to select 2 cards in his hand and return them to the bottom of his deck. Next to this he has 2300 attack points whom can rise to 2600. The reason Sillva isn’t part of the core is because he can be a dead draw and he isn’t as flexible as Grapha.
Goldd is very much the same as Sillva, both special Summon themselves after being Discarded but their second effects slightly differ: Goldd can destroy up to 2 cards on the field. Goldd also has the same reason of being a tech as Sillva.
Tributing a Grapha to activate this card to let your opponent send all Spells or Traps to the grave for 3 turns is an amazing defense against alot of decks, especially against Stun decks like Gravekeeper's and T.G..
Dark World deck often overextend or have a big backrow, this is easily taken out with popular staples like Torrential Tribute, Heavy Storm or Dark Hole. Starlight Road can counter these cards by negating them is 2 of more cards you control would be destroyed and even summon a Stardust Dragon next to that. The Stardust Dragon summoned by this card's effect can still use his effect to negate the destruction of a card by tributing him, but because he wasn't Synchro Summoned, he will not Special Summon himself from the Graveyard back to your field during the End Phase.
 Extra Deck
Dark World decks don’t really focus on using the Extra Deck but it is useful to fill it up for various situations.
1-2x Stardust Dragon
A valuable ally against Synchro-centric decks like Blackwing
1x Scrap Dragon
Getting rid of opposing cards by tributing one is the aspect we all chose Scrap Dragon for and it’s the only reason he can be used in Dark World decks.
Good card with a good effect.
A beatstick bigger then Grapha, only use it if you run Fabled Raven.
Although he normally requires 2 Grapha’s to summon him, his effect is a different story. Heliopolis is able to eradicate fields to ashes.
A card that is a giant 4500 beatstick with the efect of being able to attack multiple times. The only backlash is the 3 level 8 monsters he requires.
A beatstick that can be easily made with Tour Guide.
This card is easily made with tour Guide and could set you win in motion.
He is easily made with Tour Guide and could provide with heavy protection and card destruction.
 Side Deck
Dark World decks do have some things to watch out for.
Many decks cannot stand up to cards that cannot be destroyed by battle, this could stall them until you get what you need to win.
1-2x Maxx “C”
1-2x Soul Taker
1x Cyber Dragon
Protects your grave from cards like D.D. Crow.
 Skeleton Decklist
- 3x Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World
- 3x Snoww, Unlight of Dark World
- 3x Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
- 1-2x Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World
- 1-3x Trance Archfiend
Dark World decks heavily rely on the grave, cards like Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos disrupt the deck so heavily that they cannot do anything as long as those cards are active. Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror is also a problematic card, although it does not negate the summon of Grapha, it does negate all other Dark World effects.
 Why aren’t these cards used?
Ceruli is actually used sometimes, but his only use is activating the second effects of your own Dark World monsters while appearing on your opponent’s side of the field. His Discarding effect is negated by Skill Drain which is run by practically every Dark World deck making him useless most of the times.
Gren is heavily outrunned by Grapha and totally unnecessary.
Kahkki is also heavily outrunned by Grapha and also unnecessary.
His effect plainly sucks, if you want to use something that summons himself from the grave, Beiige, Goldd and Sillva are the better choices.
Reign-Beaux requires being discarded by the effects of your opponent to activate his own effects. Dark World decks do not focus on this, making Reign-Beaux useless.
Scarr is a search engine for Dark World, but only if he is destroyed and limits himself to level 4 or lower Dark World monsters… Snoww does the search-engine job alot better and is preferred heavily over Scarr.
An effectless monster with high defense points, there’s is absolutely no reason to use this card in a competetive Dark World deck.
Exactly the same as Renge but with high attack points.
The card is sometimes teched into a Dark World deck but most decks don’t run it. simply because Grapha does a better job at destroying and the combination with other cards make the deck faster.
In the old days before Structure Deck: Gates of the Underworld, Gateway was a great card. Somesort of Call of the Haunted/Monster Reborn for Dark World monsters. But The Gates of Dark World made the presence of Fiends on the grave a good thing and the resummonable Grapha is doing his job good as well, making Gateway a relic of the past.
 Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series
Dark World decks have been known to get into the Top 32 of these tournaments ever since Grapha was released. Their recent victory at YCS Long Beach made them rise in popularity again.
- YCS Long Beach
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