Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Building a Monarch Deck
In dueling, Monarchs have long been a dominant competitive force, and they've aged surprisingly well, as their tribute summon focus excellently transitioned through the link-monster/extra-deck limitation rules. Monarch monsters tend to wield high ATK scores and destructive entrance effects, useful since they trigger on arrival even if your tyrant is immediately destroyed with traps like Bottomless Trap Hole.
The trick with Monarchs is consistently fielding the sacrifices needed to tribute them and learning how to best employ their extra-deck restricting but powerful support cards. To help you construct your own ultimate deck list, let's review a comprehensive guide on how to build a competitive Yu-Gi-Oh Monarch deck!
Vassal Support Monsters
- Eidos the Underworld Squire
- Landrobe the Rock Vassal
- Edea the Heavenly Squire
- Garum the Storm Vassal
- Mithra the Thunder Vassal
- Lucius the Shadow Vassal
- Berlineth the Firestorm Vassal
- Escher the Frost Vassal
To help tribute summon your Monarchs, you can use the special summoning antics of their respective Vassal cards. These servants wield 800 ATK and 1000 DEF, can special summon themselves through various means, and often search out other Vassals when tributed. Eidos offers an extra tribute summon when either normal or special summoned and can banish himself from the graveyard to revive a different Vassal. Landrobe can flip an enemy to face-down defense position to special summon himself, and he recycles another Vassal from your graveyard when tributed.
Edea can summon another Vassal from your deck and return a banished spell/trap to your graveyard, Garum bounces your own tributed monster and pulls another Vassal from your deck to your hand, and Mithra summons herself by giving your opponent a token. Lucius can peek at your opponent's set cards, Berlineth can look at their hand (and temporarily banish a card), and poor Escher lags behind with just one effect that special summons him if your opponent controls two or more spells/traps.
Non-Vassal Support Monsters
- Fire Hand
- Ice Hand
- Pandora's Jewelry Box
- Witch of the Black Forest
Here's a batch of non-Vassals to substitute or supplement your utility units. Fire and Ice Hand field each other from the deck when destroyed, taking opposing cards down with them and ensuring you have something to tribute in following turns. Their fire and water attributes are also useful for the bonus effects of certain Monarchs. Majiosheldon can indefinitely revive himself at your standby phase if tributed, Pandora's Jewelry Box can eliminate pendulum scales or increase your draws, and Witch of the Black Forest simply searches a monster with 1500 or less DEF when destroyed—finding any Monarch or Vassal you wish.
Tenmataitei requires a tribute but wields the trademark 2400 ATK and 1000 DEF that qualifies for many of the structure's effects, and he prevents your opponent from responding to the activated effects of your tribute summoned monsters, defending them as they enter and thwarting negations.
- Mobius the Frost Monarch
- Raiza the Storm Monarch
- Kuraz the Light Monarch
- Caius the Shadow Monarch
- Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch
- Granmarg the Rock Monarch
- Zaborg the Thunder Monarch
- Angmarl the Fiendish Monarch
- Delg the Dark Monarch
I've listed the Monarchs in a rough approximation of the ones I most recommend, but honestly, they're all pretty strong. Rather than trying to cram each and every one of these 2400 ATK/1000 DEF warriors into your build, I'd pick 2–4 favorites and go from there. Water-attribute Mobius can destroy up to two spells/traps on arrival, making him my favorite of the many potent monsters in this archetype, especially since he costs less than two dollars!
Wind Raiza can return a card to the top of the deck, and light Kuraz can destroy up to two cards from anywhere on the field, letting the owners draw for each lost unit. Fire Thestalos discards a random card and inflicts burn damage if it was a monster, earth Granmarg destroys any set card, light Zaborg destroys any monster, dark Angarl can add a spell by banishing a copy from your graveyard, and dark Delg can exile cards from your opponent's graveyard.
- Ehther the Heavenly Monarch
- Caius the Mega Monarch
- Erebus the Underworld Monarch
- Thestalos the Mega Monarch
- Granmarg the Mega Monarch
- Mobius the Mega Monarch
- Raiza the Mega Monarch
- Zaborg the Mega Monarch
While the Mega Monarchs normally require two tributes, several wield effects that let you use just one if that tribute was itself tribute summoned, and we'll later see supporting cards that help field your 2800 ATK/1000 DEF boss monsters. As of this writing, light Ether is limited, letting you only include one copy in your deck, but can mill Monarch spells/traps, field other Monarchs, and special summon herself.
Dark Caius can banish a card (two if a dark monster was tributed) and inflict 1000 damage, while similarly evil Erebus can mill Monarch spells/traps to shuffle opposing cards into the deck. Fire Thestalos lets you look at and discard from your opponent's hand, inflicting effect damage if you discard a monster and/or tribute a fire unit.
Granmarg can destroy up to two set cards and draw if its tribute was earth, while Mobius can destroy up to three spells/trap, preventing their chained response if you used a water sacrifice. Raiza can move cards from the field and graveyard to the hand and top of the deck, transporting more with a wind tribute, and light Zaborg can destroy a monster and potentially send cards from the extra decks to the graveyard.
- The Monarchs Stormforth
- Pantheism of the Monarchs
- Domain of the True Monarchs
- Tenacity of the Monarchs
- Return of the Monarchs
- March of the Monarchs
- Strike of the Monarchs
A limited card, The Monarchs Stormforth offers the brilliant ability of tributing your opponent's monsters instead of your own for the small price of being unable to use your extra deck that turn. Pantheism of the Monarchs is also limited. It lets you discard a Monarch spell/trap to draw two cards, then it can banish itself to add one of three randomized Monarch spells/trap to your hand.
Domain of the True Monarchs is an absolutely amazing field spell that shuts down your opponent's extra deck access while you control a tribute summoned monster, and it can reduce the levels of your Monarchs, making them easier to summon.
- Soul Exchange
- Void Expansion
- The Seal of Orichalcos
- Advance Zone
You may want to supplement The Monarchs Stormforth with Soul Exchange, which performs a similar ability but sacrifices your turn's battle phase. If for some reason you forgo the Domain field, Void Expansion helpfully gives you a free token every standby phase to tribute. Another alternative arena is The Seal of Orichalcos, which prevents summoning from the extra deck but shields your weaker monsters and give your entire team an extra 500 ATK.
Meanwhile, Advance Zone can activate multiple effects during the end phase of any turn (even your opponent's) that you tribute summoned, with more tributes providing more benefits, destroying set cards, drawing card, and recovering monsters from the graveyard.
- Escalation of the Monarchs
- The First Monarch
- The Monarchs Erupt
- The Prime Monarch
- Dark Advance
- Oath of Companionship
Escalation of the Monarchs offers a fantastic way to consistently obtain bonus summons, as it lets you tribute summon once per turn during your opponent's main or battle phase! The First Monarch serves as a blocker with 2400 DEF, and if you discard a card, you can use it as two tributes for a monster with a declared attribute. The Monarchs Erupt ruthlessly negates the effects of non-tribute summoned monsters, but requires you to have no extra deck cards and maintain control of a tribute summoned unit.
The Prime Monarch can shuffle Monarch spells/traps from your graveyard into your deck to let you draw and banish a Monarch spell/trap to revive itself as a monster with 2400 DEF. Dark Advance and Oath of Companionship don't actually bear the Monarch name, but the former lets you reclaim a monster with 2400 or more ATK and 1000 DEF, then immediately tribute summon it, and the latter lets you briefly steal control of opposing extra deck cards.
Recommended Banned Cards
- Ultimate Offering
- Level Eater
Here's some extra power for players veering towards casual matches; don't use these titans in official play because as of this writing, they currently adorn the ban list. Ultimate Offering lets you pay 500 life points during either your main phase of your opponent's battle phase to gain extra normal summons, and you can do this multiple times in a single round.
Level Eater can easily revive itself from your graveyard by reducing a monster's level, giving ridiculously easy tribute summons, and Dandylion fields two monster tokens when sent to the graveyard (from anywhere) that can be used as tribute fodder on later turns.
How to Finish Your Monarch Deck
We've tackled some of the best Monarch options and learned which members reign supreme, but with an archetype this big, you've got several great ways to complete your deck. Some players opt to blend their build with the banishing powers of "Macro Cosmos" to exile enemy units while consistently reviving "D.D. Survivor". It's a tricky format, but it can yield high rewards. Alternatively, some use Frog or Super Quantum creatures for tribute fodder, while still others actually attempt to incorporate some extra deck creatures into the theme.
Whatever route you choose, today's arsenal should set you well on your way to a Monarch victory, and I very highly recommend this competitive meta deck. But for now, as we eagerly await the Konami's next expansion of card-destroying rulers, vote for your favorite Monarch and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh review!
Questions & Answers
Question: Aren’t Majesty’s Fiend and Vanity’s Fiend really good in Monarchs too? Also, what if you want to play the extra deck version?
Answer: Yes, I particularly like Vanity's Fiend, and depending on your structure and how much it relies on activated effects and special summoning, these can be great picks.
To fully cover an extra deck variant would take another article, but you could either replace or reduce your extra deck-restricting cards or keep them in and simply try to utilize your extra deck before they hit the field.
Question: Would "Final Attack Orders" and "Burden of the Mighty" work in a Monarch Yu-Gi-Oh deck?
Answer: Both are decent cards, but you could probably do better than FAO. And while Burden can be powerful, remember that its ATK-lowering effect depends on levels, meaning it won't work on opposing xyz or link monsters. Be ready to switch it out with a side deck member when facing corresponding themes.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on May 28, 2019:
It could if you're on a budget, but otherwise you're probably better served by one of the archetype's specific supports (Bewitchment offers little beyond its attribute change).
. on May 27, 2019:
Could scroll of bewitchment work in this deck?