- Elemental HERO Core Cards
- Xtra Hero Supporters
- Teaming Up With The Destiny HEROs
- The Vision HERO Engine
- Closing Out The Game With Evil HEROs
For fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh GX anime, there is no deck quite as iconic as Jaden's Elemental HEROs. Although the deck has progressed long past summoning Elemental HERO Flame Wingman and comboing it with Skyscraper, there are still many elements of the old-school strategy present in a modern HERO deck: it hits hard and fast, and does a lot of Fusion Summoning.
The modern HERO deck contains more than just Elemental HEROs, though: it is an amalgam of the best cards from each HERO type, from the familiar Destiny HEROs to the advantage-generating Vision HEROs and the game-ending Evil HEROs. These are all used in combination to create a deck with a solid gameplan both going first and second, that has high consistency and can be very difficult for your opponent to stop. If you're a fan of going-second decks, or enjoy combo-heavy playstyles, then this may be the deck for you.
Elemental HERO Core Cards
The Elemental HERO arm of the HERO deck acts more as a supporting engine for your other HERO plays than a force in itself. Most prominently, any HERO deck worth its salt will play three copies of the legendary Elemental HERO Stratos, which, when Normal or Special Summoned, allows you to search for any HERO monster. Similarly, Elemental HERO Shadow Mist can either provide searching when it's sent to Grave, or it can search for Mask Change when Special Summoned, giving you a way of going into your Masked HERO plays.
Don't forget about Stratos' second effect, which can clear your opponent's backrow – this can come in handy against certain decks!
Elemental HERO Liquid Soldier partners well with Shadow Mist, since when Liquid Soldier is summoned its effect allows you to Special Summon a HERO from your Graveyard. Since it's usually much easier to send a HERO to Grave than to Special Summon one – using cards such as Foolish Burial or by tributing them for a Fusion Summon – this provides an excellent way of triggering Shadow Mist's effect to search out a Mask Change.
Various support cards provide you with ways to reach these Elemental HEROs consistently. E – Emergency Call searches out any HERO monster, and Reinforcement of the Army searches a Warrior – which includes every Elemental HERO. Finally, A Hero Lives Special Summons a HERO from the deck, giving you yet another way of triggering Shadow Mist, Stratos, or whatever else you fancy.
In addition, extra deck threats such as Elemental HERO Absolute Zero (which can destroy all your opponent's monsters in one fell swoop) and Elemental HERO Escuridao (who can reach incredible attack through his effect and acts as a fantastic Super Polymerization target) put pressure on the opponent going second and help break their board wide open. However, if you have a Polymerization to hand – or if you've searched it with your Vision HERO engine – you should strongly consider making Elemental HERO Sunrise, since his Fusion requirements are very easy to meet, he searches a copy of Miracle Fusion when he's summoned, and he can destroy an opponent's card in your Battle Phase.
Xtra Hero Supporters
The Xtra HEROs are the newest wave of HERO types. Each of them is a Link monster that provides some kind of extension or power boost for your regular HEROs, and they are essential pieces for your deck.
The one you'll be summoning most is Xtra HERO Cross Crusader, a Link-2 who can Special Summon a Destiny HERO monster from your Graveyard, and also tribute a Destiny HERO to search any other HERO from your deck. This has fantastic combo potential since it gives you access to vital extenders such as Vision HERO Faris and Evil HERO Adusted Gold.
Xtra HERO Dread Decimator, on the other hand, boosts his attack – as well as the attacks of monsters he points to – by 100 points for each different HERO in your Graveyard, which can add up very quickly. Over your combos you might end up with ten or more different HEROs in your Grave, making Dread Decimator a truly oppressive force.
Teaming Up With The Destiny HEROs
Aster Phoenix's Destiny HEROs also feature prominently in the deck, with fan-favourites such as Destiny HERO Malicious combining with new threats like Destiny HERO Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer. The Destiny HERO package provides some excellent combo potential as well, through Fusion Destiny: you can use Shadow Mist and Malicious as Fusion material to summon Destiny HERO Dangerous, who can then send Destiny HERO Denier to the Graveyard. Later on in your turn, you can summon Liquid Soldier to Special Summon Shadow Mist and search Mask Change.
With Denier and Malicious in Grave, you have an excellent setup for Cross Crusader: activate Malicious to Special Summon another copy from deck, then trigger Denier to Special itself and return your banished Malicious to the deck, meaning that when you Link into Cross Crusader your Malicious in Grave is live again.
Two of the Destiny HERO monsters bolster your going-first plays by providing powerful floodgate effects. The iconic Destiny HERO Plasma can be Special Summoned by tributing three monsters, and it negates all of your opponent's monster effects on the field. In addition, on your turn, it can equip a monster your opponent controls to it and gain its attack! Finally, Destiny HERO Dark Angel is an interesting addition to the deck that can Special Summon itself from your hand to the opponent's side of the field when you have three Destiny HERO monsters in Grave, and while it's on your opponent's side of the field any Spell card they activate is negated and destroyed. These two combined are an incredibly oppressive first-turn board that can catch many opponents off guard and winyou some games.
With a good hand and some deft combo play, you can set up Plasma and Dark Angel alongside Masked HERO Dark Law, who can be Special Summoned by Mask Change. Dark Law will make any card sent to your opponent's Grave get banished instead, and can also banish a card from their hand once per turn, putting the lock on your opponent even further.
The Vision HERO Engine
Playing a few copies each of Vision HERO Faris, Vision HERO Vyon, and Vision HERO Increase is all you need for your Vision HERO engine, which provides a combo line that gives you bodies on the field, sends a HERO from deck to Grave, and even searches Polymerization.
Special Summon Faris by discarding a HERO monster, then use its effect to put Increase into your face-up Spell/Trap zone as a continuous trap. Then activate Increase, tributing Faris to Special Summon itself and also Special Summon Vyon from the deck with its effect. When Vyon is summoned, you can use its effect to send a HERO from your deck to the Graveyard and you can also banish a HERO from your Graveyard to search a copy of Polymerization from your deck.
As well as setting up Malicious or Shadow Mist in your Graveyard, this engine can also set you up for a Cross Crusader which can search Evil Hero Adusted Gold and set you up for Evil HERO plays.
Closing Out The Game With Evil HEROs
The HERO deck is usually finished off with a small Evil HERO package composed of Adusted Gold, Dark Calling, and Evil HERO Malicious Bane – one copy of each is enough. Discarding Adusted Gold with his effect searches your copy of Dark Calling, which can then be used to Fusion Summon Malicious Bane.
Malicious Bane is a destructive force to be reckoned with – he can destroy all monsters your opponent controls with attack less than or equal to his, and he gains 200 attack for each destroyed. Moreover, Bane himself can't be destroyed by battle or card effect, making him surprisingly difficult for your opponent to deal with if they manage to survive the turn.
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