I consider myself a gaming enthusiast, from chess and checkers to Yu-Gi-Oh TCG, console gaming, and beyond.
Fire is the element of destruction, power, and rebirth. In the form of the flame, it represents the rapid consumption of the old to give way to the new, just as a forest fire makes way for pioneer trees to spring from its ashes.
In the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game, fire decks often embody the same spirit as the element they’re named after. From the Jurrac, Hazy Flame, and Laval to the Fire Kings, Fire Fists, and Battlin Boxer, as name originality died, fire decks discovered new ways to enhance their themes of destruction and rebirth. But what 40 card strategies of flame and brimstone burn longer than the rest? That’s what we’re here to discover in this article.
We'll cover the following fire decks:
- Hazy Flame
- Battlin Boxer
- Evolsaur / Evotile
- Fire Fist
- Fire Kings
10. Hazy Flame
The writer has said it before and again, but for those unfamiliar with his previous writings, he’ll say it one more time: Any deck with immortality among most of its members can’t be ignored.
The Hazy Flame, an archetype of mythological masochists who decided to run through a blazing forest before facing their enemies on the battlefield, probably for the same reason Pinhead has all those nails sticking from his head, cannot be targeted by their opponent’s card effects (most likely from the pity invoked by seeing a Griffin on fire running towards them). This was awesome back in the day, and is still an awesome group effect now, but the writer sees you scratching your head, wondering how they ended up at the tenth spot. The answer is simple: All Hazy Flames are level 6, and their support doesn’t grant them easy swarming or search options, making the burn-victim-beasts more like a lava flow in Alaska than a burning bush in a high wind. The writer would have given them a pass if their Spell/Trap support had a way to attach Monsters from the Grave to its members, considering their boss Xyz, Hazy Flame Basiltrice, gets more power for each monster attached to it, but unfortunately the Hazy Flame Pillar only attaches monsters from the field or hand to its target.
A deck of monsters that can’t be targeted for pity is great, but their lack of speed, their severe lack of speed, brings them just at the number ten spot.
9. Battlin Boxer
As their name suggests, the Battlin Boxer are the kings of the ring or, in Yu-Gi-Oh’s case, the battle phase, their competence only matched by the Gladiator Beasts and the Galaxy-Eyes archetypes. Pummeling your opponent with diamond fists seems like an ironclad strategy until you realize they can just zap you a mile away like Dr. Strange casting a banishment spell, or in Yu-Gi-Oh’s case send you packing back to the deck. Their lack of speed and targeting protection doesn’t help them much either, and, along with their need to “play fair” when compared to more modern decks (Special Summoning a Sparrer means I can’t conduct my Battle Phase, huh?), only in a lists of Fire Monsters would these guys rank as high as nine. “Let’s settle it in the ring.” Only if you like getting shot in the face after your Indian-Jones-sword-dance.
8. Evolsaur / Evotile
There was no way we were having a Fire decklist without a dinosaur deck because for some reason Konami loves equating giant lizards that once roamed the Earth with the supervolcanoes that might have wiped them out. Maybe mixing them with fire meant they survived the Great Extinction or something?
In any case… At first glance, the Evos seem like a solid archetype. They’re an odd mix of dinosaurs/reptiles that have synergy, solid Spell/Trap support, and a boss monster that’s a walking Solemn Judgment, a fact that made the Dino-Rabbit deck Tier-1 for a Regional or two. However, like their large, lumbering, real-life counterparts, the Evos just couldn’t adapt to the times. The relationship between these tiny lizards and their Mesozoic cousins is too one-sided, and the low attack of their bosses reinforces a sad, potential truth: If supervolcanoes or meteors didn’t wipe them out, evolving into chickens and pheasants probably did. If you’re looking for a decent Dinosaur, you’re better off looking elsewhere, but if you feel the need for a Fire/Stun deck, you’re welcome to warm these guys up for casual play.
7. Fire Fist
The lovable fire monks were definitely a threat during their premier debut. The balance between its monsters and their support makes one wonder why the Harpies don’t hang up their wings, the monsters all having the means to search for their Spell and Trap cards while said support includes searches, extra normal summoning, and attack boosts.
The Fire Fists are still, in theory, a good deck, but the current game makes them the equivalent of getting punched one good time by a standing Bane vs the Flash hammering you a million times in a second after a speed-of-sound wind-up. Pendulums came and pushed the effectiveness of the fire monks back, and then Links came and pushed it back even further, smothering a flame that was already doused in a rainstorm.
Despite being a solid archetype in their heyday, the Fire Fists have to fight too hard to produce that spark to get their wildfire going, a fact making them better than some Fire decks, but not stronger than most.
It’s time to graduate from burning leaves territory to bush fire ferocity. Don’t ask the writer why it took so long for a show initially about a boy being possessed by an Egyptian pharaoh to create a card archetype about something possessing people; just know the Shiranui are a band of Fire zombies whose members get possessed by an evil sword for power. In the Yu-Gi-Oh realm, this translates to them banishing themselves to keep their strategy moving, and then getting effects when banished. Even though the boss monsters have lackluster abilities and 0 defense, their ability to use other Zombie and Fire support cards, along with them having an in-theme Icarus Attack and Waboku (both of these cards, Shiranui Style Swallow’s Slash and Samsara, respectively, also banish by the way), make the Shiranui capable of dragging your clawing lifepoints down to purgatory with them.
So many decks on this list focus on smashing one’s opponent’s lifepoints with a club until it’s as badly beaten as a college protest in China, but why go through the trouble of doing any of that? Why not just set up a rocket launcher with three interconnected launchers, put a Fire monster in it, and then watch your opponent’s world burn? The Volcanics out-blaze our burning-animal cult and Souledge’s servants by sacrificing high attack and effect flexibility for effect damage and destruction. Volcanic Scattershot can deal 1500 damage if sent to the Graveyard and destroys all monsters your opponent controls, Volcanic Counter makes any battle damage inflicted also affect its opponent simply by banishing itself, Volcanic Queen is the original Kaiju monster, and Doomfire is the original Red Dragon Archfiend that simply needs to destroy a monster by battle to destroy all monsters your opponent controls, then inflicts 500 to your opponent for each monster it destroys. These extreme, flexible lava-dwellers that make tardigrades jealous may be a bit too reactive when dealing their effect damage, relying on destruction and the opponent attacking to deal heavy burning, but their indirect antics and high attack members make them a top contender for best Fire deck, and a little more support, like Trickstar-I-can-burn-your-lifepoints-with-a-sexy-wink support, could make them take that spot some day.
Many decks were hurt severely by the new Link mechanic, the style of summoning putting a dam before the deluge that was formerly the Extra deck. The Infernoids were not one of those decks. At first glance, these mechanized fiends, with heavily censored names due to Western sensitivities, seem like the brick deck from the fiery bowels of hell, considering almost every Infernoid must banish a member or several to torment the field. But when one considers their amazing Void support cards, which includes effects protecting from card effects and attacks, sending their buddies to the Graveyard, and Special Summoning them while ignoring their summoning conditions, and then considers Future Fusion is unbanned (At the current time, That Grass Looks Greener is…), their strict summoning conditions do little to halt the Infernoids from flying down and making your blue 1 into a hot red 0. With their powerful, negating boss monsters, high attack strength, and fusion that can wipe out their opponent’s hand, all the Infernoids would need is a powerful Link to make them a top choice among Fire deck enthusiasts.
Some Infernoid Action
3. Fire Kings
The Fire Kings don’t dominate the realm of flames, but they certainly come close at third place. All the Fire Kings, including the unofficial vice chairman of the club, Sacred Phoenix Nephthys, get effects when destroyed by card effects, the most destructive belonging to Fire King High Avatar Garunix, the apex boss who destroys all other monsters on the field the next Standby Phase after he self-destructs. Add in the amazing support that makes it feel like one’s playing Where’s Waldo with DNA tracking GPS, and the double-Garunix loop many players have trouble emerging alive from, and it becomes easy to understand how many a Fire King match can easily turn a seasoned duelist into a roasted weenie.
The Igknights may have been hindered by the new Link mechanic, as most Pendulum decks were, but that hasn’t stopped them from maintaining their title as one of the best Fire decks. Any two members of the Monsters in the Pendulum zone can search for any member from the Deck or recycle from the Graveyard, they have support that can Special Summon any monster from the Deck, their own in-theme Reload that grants them a +1, and all their bosses have nontargetting removal, among other things. There isn’t much else the writer needs to say about the Igknights, only if you want a deck that can dance in the ring of Fire and flirt with the meta, these futuristic Noble Knights who traded their fetish for swords for brotherly love should be your choice.
What wayward whacks on wheels better wash wishy wankers? Support searching solely from solitary sending, these searing Sachs sailors supremely surpass other scorchers. Fusions foreshadow fast fighting, Pendulums push progress procedurally, while a Link lets no lag linger, lashing livid, late losers ludicrously. A Spell saving Suzuki supporters from sacking solidifies the monumental might of the Metalfoes.
Still in the Ashes:
Jurrac: Their tactics are more ancient than the Triassic Period.
Laval: These guys play too fair in the age of Zoodiacs and Sky Strikers.
Flamvell: Over reliant on the opponent’s hand and the battle phase. Apparently nobler than the Noble Knights.
Achacha: HAHAHAHAHA…. Oh, you were serious?
Wow, that’s it? And I thought Wind decks had it bad. Again, this list is only my opinion, so if I missed anything, or if you feel I’ve misplaced your favorite deck of sparks and flames, please voice your opinion freely down below. Again, thanks for viewing my article, hope you were entertained, and happy hunting out there.
© 2018 Zeron87