Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Shaddoll Supports in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Despite their age, I believe Shaddolls still have a place in the competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! meta. They have useful flip effects, great sent-to-graveyard abilities, synergy with the common spellcaster type and dark attribute, and powerful fusion monsters, particularly El Shaddoll Winda (who limits players to one special summon per turn).
However, I find Shaddolls benefit from mixing in other cards to increase speed—which out-of-archetype cards assist the most? Here are ten unorthodox but effective supports for Shaddoll Yu-Gi-Oh! decks!
10. Mask Change II
Use to: Trigger Shaddoll effects while summoning Dark Law
Mask Change 2 discards a card and sends a dark monster to your graveyard to fusion summon the powerful Masked Hero Dark Law, wielding an excellent effect that banishes cards sent to the opponent's graveyard.
Since this is a quick-play, you can flip a Shaddoll on your turn to gain its flip effect, then use Mask Change on your opponent's turn to summon Dark Law and reap the sent-to-GY ability of your sent Shaddoll.
Definitely a powerful combo, just note that since the discard is part of the cost to activate (anything that proceeds the semicolon in the text) and not the effect, you won't gain any effects from discarding a Shaddoll.
9. Subterror Succession
Use to: Continuously trigger Shaddoll effects while finding new cards
Belonging to a separate archetype, Succession is nonetheless useful for Shaddolls, letting you once-per-turn either send a monster from hand/field to find a flip monster with the same attribute but a different name, or send a flip monster to find any monster with the same attribute but a lower level. Then, you set Succession (instead of sending it to the GY), meaning you can keep using it until it gets destroyed.
Since you're both finding a card and triggering a Shaddoll effect with each use, you get a +1 advantage, and you can chain onto removals when you would lose a monster anyway.
8. Allure of Darkness/Foolish Burial
Use to: Easily find and send Shaddolls to graveyard
These are both generic supports that can fit in several decks, and Shaddolls are no exception. Allure draws two and banishes a dark monster from hand, letting you keep what you need and toss what you don't.
Burial simply sends a monster from deck to graveyard, letting you easily obtain whatever Shaddoll GY effect you like, and it helps ensure you have targets for the Shaddoll-reviving flip effect of Shaddoll Falco.
7. Incredible Ecclesia, the Virtuous
Use for: Easy and reusable tuner
Ecclesia works great alongside Shaddolls for several reasons. One, she shares their spellcaster type (great with cards like Future Fusion into Quintet Magician, or Spellbook of Knowledge). Two, she's a tuner, helping access synchro summons. Three, she's great light attribute material for one of the best Shaddoll fusions, El Shaddoll Construct. Four, she can special summon herself from hand if your opponent controls more monsters.
And lastly, Ecclesia adds herself from graveyard to end at your end phase when a fusion monster was sent to your graveyard, making her a prime target for the deck-to-GY effect of Shaddoll Fusion.
6. Crystron Halqifibrax
Use to: Find tuners and play T.G. Wonder Magician
Link summoning Halqifibrax is easy, as he accepts any two monsters as long as at least one is a tuner. When link summoned, he can summon a level three or lower tuner from your deck in defense; pick either Shaddoll Falco or our next card.
This gives easy synchro or fusion material, and as a quick effect, Halqifibrax can banish himself on your opponent's turn to play a synchro-tuner monster from your extra deck. I recommend T.G. Wonder Magician, who pops a spell/trap on entry, draws a card if destroyed, and can serve as light material for Construct.
5. Ret-time Reviver Emit-ter
Use to: Synchro summon and reset Shaddoll flip effectts
Like Shaddoll Falco, Ret-time is a dark level 2 tuner, leading to consistent synchro summons and Halqifibrax material. Better yet, Reviver can special summon herself from hand or graveyard by placing one monster on each field face-down. Not only does this reset your Shaddoll flip effects, it can eliminate enemy abilities. If you can, try xyz summoning with Ret-time (alongside either a Falco or Paleozoic card), which avoids her self-banishing effect and lets you reuse her revival.
Also note that in tangent with other dark monsters that have 0 DEF, like Shaddoll Dragon and Danger Bigfoot, you might consider running a copy of the spell Recurring Nightmare, which adds two 0-DEF darks from GY to hand.
4. Dogmatika Punishment
Use for: Removal and easy El Shaddoll graveyard effects
Punishment destroys an opposing monster by sending one from your extra deck to GY with equal or higher ATK—send an El Shaddoll to gain its grave effect, which will either recover a Shaddoll spell/trap or (in El Shaddoll Apkallone's case) find a Shaddoll then discard a card.
Now, the downside of not being able to summon from the extra deck until the end of the next turn does admittedly slow you down, but at least nothing stops you from summoning the turn you play Punishment so long as you do it before activation.
Use to: Normal summon to gain a Shaddoll effect
Here's the preferred normal summon for the deck, as Mathematician sends a level 4 or lower monster from deck to GY, effectively gaining any Shaddoll effect (you can send Squamata to send another, opening any Shaddoll ability, even high-level ones like Shaddoll Beast). Mathematician is also spellcaster-type, has passable 1500 ATK, and if destroyed by battle and sent to GY, draws you a card.
Plus, an oft-overlooked advantage of running him is his earth attribute; your deck will ideally contain a few earth monsters to access El Shaddoll Shekhinaga, who wields a powerful negation effect.
Mathematician's also a sweet budget option that fits in any deck, costing less than one dollar!
2. Paleozoic Dinomischus
Use to: Banish opposing cards while triggering Shaddolls
Dinomischus discards a card to target and banish an opposing card, and since the discard happens as part of the effect (not cost), you get to trigger any Shaddoll abilities from it, effectively negating this trap's downside. It also means you don't have to discard if Dinomischus gets negated.
Plus, you can later summon Dinomischus from your GY as a 1200 ATK monster when a trap is activated. It's weak, but nice blocker fodder, and can be useful as xyz material alongside Falco or Ret-time, or as water material for El Shaddoll Anoyatyllis.
1. Danger! Cards
Use to: Swarm the field while triggering Shaddoll effects
Easily my favorite Shadddoll supports are the entire Danger archetype, who activate themselves from hand to discard a random card in your hand; if they pick themself, their individual effects trigger, but if they discard something else, you summon the activating card and draw—and you get any triggers of Shaddolls or other GY abilities.
Swarming is an area Shaddolls struggle in, so getting easy monsters and bonus Shaddoll effects is definitely worth your time, especially since both families share the dark attribute. Here are the cards I especially recommend:
- Danger! Bigfoot (tune with Falco or Ret-time for level 10 synchros like Swordsoul Supreme Sovereign - Chengying)
- Danger! Ogopogo
- Danger! Nessie
- Danger! Mothman
- Danger! Jackalope
- Danger! Tsuchinoko
- Danger Zone
Other Shaddoll Supports
Today we examined some of the best Shaddoll effects, but don't forget you have many options for completing your build. You can throw in Chaos monsters if you mix with a light-attribute deck, like Lightsworn or Thunder Dragons, and the Invoked archetype offers excellent fusion supports.
Of course, you'll want some on-archetype Shaddoll spells and traps, like Shaddoll Fusion and Shaddoll Schism, but for now, vote for your favorite theme and I'll see you at our next YGO! countdown!
© 2022 Jeremy Gill