Dark Irregulars deep clan analysis. Once Set 7 is released, this clan will be revisited and re-tooled.
If you don’t know by now, Dark Irregulars are a set of cards that follow a vampiric and demon-based aesthetic while maintaining a large soul that they feed off of for their effects. Since nearly everything in this deck soulcharges, an actual weakness of the deck is its predisposition to milling-out. But if you’re careful, this can be one of the most powerful and sucker-punching decks in the game.
One starting vanguard is Vermillion Gatekeeper (because Bushiroad doesn’t know how to spell Vermilion, Gatling [Gattling Claw Dragon] or Crutch [Clutch Rifle] which is sad). His ability is pretty asstastical; when you ride him, soulcharge 1. It’s not the soulcharge 1 that sucks. It’s that he doesn’t come out of the soul when you ride him and you lose that card as a mandatory -1 card every single game right at the start. It’s a pretty devastating minus because it’s so early and you don’t get a choice (unless you want to miss your Grade 1 ride). Now that we have Set 7, Greedy Hand is open for us to use. With his ability to come right out of the soul, you can use a 5000 booster early on. If you need soul or you need something specific in the soul (usually the former), you can pay his 1 counterblast cost to stick himself in and another card from your deck. This is similar to Vermillion in effect, but for decks that need something specific in the soul; works out better.
Straight out of the Ars Goetia is Hell Marquis, Amon. His skill is that he gains +1000 power on your turn for each Dark Irregular in your soul. If you use Vermillion Gatekeeper, soulcharge nothing else, and just ride directly to Amon, you’ll have 4 soul immediately. If you use Greedy hand, you can boost him for +5000 early on, which makes a big difference. You can see how this card can get ridiculous pretty fast. But wait, it’s not over yet; he can Counterblast 1 and move a Dark Irregular to the soul to force the opponent to choose a rear-guard and retire it. Yeah, Amon has a way to eat every card for power and turn them all into Kimnara.
Pretty great skill. This is an all-game simplifier—which is a type of card that makes you and your opponent minus something. There’s a trade-off there as well; you get something in your soul and your opponent is the one who gets to choose the card that is lost. Gwyn the Ripper (our deck’s Berserk Dragon clone) is indeed a +1 while Amon is just a +0 wash, but Amon fuels our soul and Gwyn does not. We can afford to lose cards because it allows us to eat whatever we needed to get rid of on the field to perform a field changeup. Some people might want to run Gwyn the Ripper, and he is a good card, but our deck doesn’t really have room for him. Amon is also very greedy with counterblasts as we should be using almost all of them with him.
Dark Soul Conductor seems like he was made deliberately to be run right next to Amon. His skill is that when he’s sent to the drop from the Guardian circle, you soulcharge 2. That’s a pretty hefty reward for doing something as simple as intercepting or guarding. You can put a Prisoner Beast behind him to hit stage-2 attacks, or a Jet Black Poet Amon who boosts for 9000 when you have 6 or more soul; which is easy and essentially conditionless in this deck. Once Set 5 releases, Conductor provides a viable alternative to Flirtatious Succubus in most decks.
We have some other nifty Grade 2 soulchargers as well. Decadence Succubus is a 9000 power that allows us to soulcharge 1 for each Dark Irregular we call so long as she’s on the Vanguard circle. Now, that’s technically kind of situational because Grade 2 vanguards should only last 1 turn and there’s no guarantee of drawing her at 4. However, her effect is too good to pass up. Since she’s 9000, she can become a decent vanilla interceptor in our deck of ridiculous boosters. If you ride her in Early game and call 3 or so Dark Irregulars, you just netted yourself a ton of soul and a really beefy setup for Hell Marquis, Amon. Every 5 soul under Amon gives him a full stage of power for his attack. He basically starts attacking for unblockable amounts closer to the end of Mid game when you’ve been pulling off moves like Decadence Succubus (and later, Dark Soul Conductor).
Now Megablast units are usually crap in most decks except as use for soulcharging and +2000 power. In this deck, 8 soul is basically conditionless and you’ll have it long before you have 5 counterblast. If you actually intend to use Stil Vampir’s effect during one game, I would suggest going light on Amon’s skill until you megablast and do it from the rear-guard position. If you’re forced to ride Stil Vampir over Amon, just hold out and use the soulcharging until you can draw Amon. The megablast can come as an extreme shock to people who don’t expect it. It can essentially guarantee you game, if played properly, making Stil Vampir one of the best (if not the best) megablast unit in the game.
As a fun note, Stil Vampir can be used in Oracle Think Tank to devastating effect. For anyone who doesn’t know; his skill is Megablast: ride one of your opponent’s rear-guards onto their vanguard slot. Then at the end phase, they choose a card in their soul to ride. So why is this good to splash into Oracles? Well, for one, Stil Vampir has no clan requirement so he can be used anywhere. But mostly because of Silent Tom. Call Silent Tom boosted by Oracle Guardian Gemini; call Stil Vampir. Use Vampir’s megablast from the rear-guard position and swap their weakest power unit in the backrow with the vanguard. Attack with the vanguard while running lots of critical triggers (assign any crits to Tom). Attack with Silent Tom and now he’s basically impossible to guard. No Grade 0 shields, and any Grade 1-2 shields would be too little with something of tiny power. Even scarier: if they have their starting Vanguard still out, it’s actually impossible to guard at all. Just a neat tidbit about Stil Vampir.
Let’s talk about some of the things we will not be putting into the deck. Edel Rose is a direct carbon copy of Gancelot from Royal Paladins. If you already know my stance on Gancelot, then you should know he’s bad. Edel Rose is sadly not much different. Her only redeeming quality is that instead of targeting this deck’s Blaster Blade clone (Gwyn the Ripper), she targets the Gallatin clone, Werewolf Sieger. We don’t run any Sieger because we have no reason to when we have Aspiring Demon Amon and all of those soulchargers we talked about. Aside from not wanting to run Sieger, Edel Rose is just bad on her own. We don’t need to be riding hard-to-defend 9000 vanguards. Additionally, we shouldn’t be wasting 2 counterblasts on a critical and a lame power boost when we have Amon.
Blue Dust is another sub-par card we shouldn’t run. It’s a clone of Oracle Guardian Red Eye in that he soulcharges if his attack hits. 9000 power is decent for our deck but we have much better interceptors with much better skills. Sure, it seems good; “Make the opponent guard it each turn just to stop me from getting stronger!” but all that does is give your opponent a choice to screw you with very little effort. Your power will stagnate greatly with Blue Dust. Decadence Succubus (and Dark Soul Conductor) do a much better job of the same task. The point of Dark Irregulars is not to sit there forcing the opponent to make decisions—but to have every decision they make screw them. You called a weak rear-guard and let me get to 5 damage? You’re screwed; Final Turn. You called any rear-guard you actually care about, but only a few? You’re screwed; Amon eats it. You dared to ride a 9000 or 10000 vanguard? You’re screwed; my deck hits insane attack stages easily now.
But there’s a good “upgrade” to Blue Dust we should put into our deck. Emblem Master can soulcharge a whopping 3 when he hits for a mere cost of 1 counterblast. That’s pretty nice, and basically means only one has to hit ever to set our deck up for a long while. This kind of card may seem simple, but he is far from it. Amon benefits greatly from this card.
If you have Amon as your vanguard, he’s getting +3000 during that same battle phase, which could easily push him up to another stage. That’s enough to sucker punch someone pretty hard if they don’t see the combo coming. Emblem Master is a great example of why Dark Irregulars are a bit deeper to play than just “spam soul, swing with everything”. In a deck that uses Blade Wing Reijy, you’ll likely have to hit with Emblem Master more than once. Probably twice at minimum, but more hits are preferable. The deck isn’t heavy on extraneous counterblast, so you can afford it. It’s therefore preferable to try and either run two Emblems in your columns or some other on-hit along with Emblem. This keeps the on-hit pressure going and can let you gain those effects more often. Preferrably Emblem’s effect.
Speaking of Blade Wing Reijy. A bit of a newbie trap card. Similar to Indra of Narukami. Reaching 15 soul is not a problem for Dark Irregulars. In any other deck, this task would be impossible. You wouldn’t survive that many turns. But in Dark Irregulars, you can hit twice with Emblem Master just to get a huge head start. Use Greedy Hand or other soulchargers. If you happen to get a Succubus of Decadence, you can spam a crapton of cards onto your field. If one of those cards is a Yellow Bolt, now you can rest it for yet another soulcharge. In testing, Reijy could be fully ready to go with his coveted 3 Critical by turn 4; sometimes as early as turn 3 with a good hand.
But 3 Critical on a Vanguard alone does not make a deck. He needs the power to actually put the pressure on. This is where his second skill comes in. In Set 7, there are a set of three “Witching Hour” vehicles. Starting at power 6000, 8000, and 10000 per grade. Each one gains +2000 power for each other card of the exact same name in the soul. The Bike is the Grade 1 booster. If you had 3 other bikes in the soul, you could end up with a 12000 booster, which would put Reijy at stage 3 against any English vanguard. So when Reijy’s other skill allows you to select a card on the field when he rides, and add the other 3 copies to the soul from the deck, you know damn well that it was made for Witching Hour. If you screw up and have a Bike in hand or damaged somehow, you’ll be fine so long as the opponent has a 10000 vanguard.
Doreen can be used as a final backup plan tech-in if you like. Once the 3 critical and 22000 power vanguard comes out, that’s some extreme pressure. Hits suddenly get very hard and you’ll have to be careful how you go about winning with Reijy. It’s actually best to take out their rear-guards early game, rather than go for damage. Once Reijy is up to full, land a hit. It’s a bit riskier this way due to perfect guards, but you can’t guard something this heavy every turn. Overall, the deck is highly lethal, as one hit can usually spell doom. It should be noted that there is a specific strategy that this deck can employ to severely shut down other decks. The idea is using your early game to get an opponent to 3 damage (or however long it takes you to get 3 crit Reijy). DO NOT get them to 4. This is very important to the strategy of the deck. Now use your rears to swing at their rearguards.
Once Reijy is 3 crit, simply attack their vanguard every turn with him, forcing out massive guard. Make sure you attack with Reijy first, so if they do guard him, your RGs can go in for a kill once you get a crit. The entire idea behind this deck is to shut down Limit Breaks, megablasts, and limit all counterblast usage to 3 total. It also allows you to safely be ahead in damage so that you can heal while sealing off the opponent’s heals until they reach 5 damage (usually during the same damage check Reijy knocks them down from 3). Overall, this is an extremely deadly strategy that has few counters that don’t involve just checking a heal at 5 damage.
Usually one of these cards does not get put in a deck, much less featured in an article (except to be derided). However, Dark Irregulars breaks all the rules and conventions about what’s good to put in and what isn’t. Cyber Beast helps this deck make up for its early losses by constantly resupplying your hand (or threatening to). Dark Irregulars is well-equipped with plenty of boosters that become 9000 or more, such as Poet Amon, Witching Hour Bike, or Doreen the Thruster.
On-hit skills are not ones that you rely on as part of your deck’s main attraction, but rather, you use them to add insult to injury against your opponent. If you do a lot of main phase soulcharging, Doreen can get big. If it’s still relatively early game, Cyber Beast could be hitting for 19000, or 3 stages against most Grade 2 vanguards. This usually means that Cyber hits. And if he doesn’t, Emblem usually hits too. It’s a scary gambit that isn’t easily prevented. Even in Mid game, Cyber Beast carries his own weight by stacking redundantly with other on-hit effects to make the opponent choose which one they want to give you. Once you’re done with Cyber Beast, that’s no problem. You don’t even need to intercept. Simply use Amon’s skill to simplify the field and open up a spot for something else. The combinations get pretty intricate.
Dark Lord of the Abyss is one of those cards that are easy to hate, but should not be hated. Let’s talk about the bad first. At the start of Late game, Abyss can pay two counterblast to become Amon for one turn. Sounds pretty bad. Firstly, having to pay just to get Amon’s power effect and not even his eating effect. Not only that but having to wait until 4 damage when the game should be wrapping up. But that’s where this card can corner you into being wrong. It’s not so much “become Amon for one turn” as it is “become Amon when it matters“.
He’s certainly no replacement for Amon, but being able to gain the hard-hitting power for one turn may be all that’s necessary. In addition, he soulcharges 2 upon activation. That actually stacks with his power. I suppose if you wanted to be super power greedy (not recommended), you could activate the skill twice, and with a starting soul of 7, you’d end up with +9000 on the first activation, and +11000 on the next activation (yes, it stacks); bringing him to a total of 31000 at only 7 soul. I mean, that’s pretty ridiculous and unblockable. Not really that you’ll ever need to do this since it can just be perfect guarded, or no-guard for 1 damage unless you drive check a critical. But a single activation alone can end the game. The most important part of this card isn’t even the skill. It can be blank for all I care. It’s that now Dark Irregulars have a much-needed 11000 power defender. This works well for a Reijy deck in case you haven’t been able to get your 15 soul and need to defend better. If you end up making it to Late game like this, you won’t be screwed.
We have gotten a lot of good promos in English. Dark Irregulars can already play a techy shutdown and resource limiter deck, and a high-power spam deck. Now it can play a hyper-advantage engine deck.With stand triggers and Bloody Calf, your deck can be well-equipped to take your opponent down slowly, painfully, turn after turn. The advantage really does start to eat at them like a slow attrition of acid. Bloody Calf herself is more like a limited Gwynn the Ripper. Normally, we don’t want Gwynn in our deck since he doesn’t fit Amon’s winning image very well. But as we continue to see time and again in Vanguard, take a bunch of weird cards that screw up a clan’s winning image, and put them all together. It makes a new working deck!
Adding in lots of 11000 power rear-guards and stand triggers only adds to the madness. At some point, most decks can’t keep up with this kind of rampant card-murder. It also runs on the cheaper end of decks, as there aren’t many money cards involved in making this. The biggest issue for the deck is probably getting the 6 soul needed for the various lesser Amon. If you can’t afford the Flirtatious Succubus that you’ll need for the deck, I highly recommend running a Megablast unit like Stil Vampir to help you reach that 6th soul. Unfortunately, that will mean removing your Vanguard tank: Dark Lord of the Abyss as you can’t afford removing your other stand target—Mad Eye Basilisk.
Death Anchor is a pretty odd-ball card. He starts off needing the requirements for a megablast, and having the soulcharge skill of a megablast without…actually megablasting. Instead, he becomes an 11000 when you have 8 soul (so basically always and forever in this clan), and becomes a 13000 attacker at the start of each Main Phase. This makes hitting stage 3 with him an absolute breeze since Poet Amon is automatically set up for that. His killer-skill is that you have to put 5 unflipped damage into your soul in order to get an effect similar to Phantom Blaster Dragon; that is +2 stages and +1 Critical. This is a pretty good reward, but not for the risk incurred while trying to maneuver to 5 damage. There’s also a concern of decking out since he puts 5 more cards into the damage zone.
This comes with its own problems such as screwing over more triggers, because they can’t activate during this. And worst of all, his drive check cannot allow you to use heal triggers because you will have zero damage at the time you check one. So I sure hope you buckle up for all the trigger-screw he causes you. Once you use this skill, you’ll probably die on the next turn anyway due to Dark Irregulars already having poor guard capability, but also combined with an effect that needs megablast threshold. This paradoxically makes his deck-out fail condition pretty much of no concern since it only happens at the End Phase, which means your opponent needs to survive his attack. However, with all of that negative said, there does exist a viable deck and strategy for Death Anchor which includes Stil Vampir for your end-game winner. The loop-hole in Death Anchor is that, while you can’t counterblast all game until you use his skill, you can do so after you use his skill. Stil Vampir can megablast on the rear-guard position. Se where I’m going here? As long as you can set up 5 damage and survive one turn of onslaught from the opponent, they’re having to survive two ridiculous turns of nightmare-inducing offense. A stage 4-5 Vanguard with 2 critical, and then the most dreaded megablast of Stil Vampir which, in this deck, probably means everything is hitting at least 3 stages if not more. With so many big attacks for two turns in a row, the deck can actually work well, but has to bide its time until the late game to really do anything.
King of the Flies/Diptera, Beelzebub is another boss for release in Set 5. Similarly to Death Anchor, he also becomes 11000 defensive power when you have 8 soul. However, his other skill is pretty straightforward. Pay counterblast 2 when he attacks with six soul (that’s not hard at all) and you’re able to then choose any two Dark Irregulars to get a +3000 power boost. This can be two different columns that now hit 3 stages, or a single column that was 3 stages (or 1000 power shy) and now hits 4 because of a +6000 increase. The uses for this are decently varied and allow Beelzebub to help make pressure at essentially any point from mid game onward. With the 11000 power body, that makes him a nice defender.
Since the skill doesn’t use much counterblast, it’s fine to use this along with Dark Lord of the Abyss for the ability to choose whatever you need to win the game. If they have perfect guards left, you can use Beelzebub to deal nice power against them. If they don’t, you can ride Abyss and go for the kill with your vanguard. More importantly, Beelzebub finally makes Dark Irregulars obtain stage 3 rear-guards more consistently, along the lines of Lohengrin Royal Paladins. So it’s mostly suggested that he see play in a build that focuses on getting a field set up to 3/3/3 stage columns.
|Soular Powered (Amon)||Lethal Spam (Reijy)|
|Grade 0: 17
Grade 1: 15
Grade 2: 10
Grade 3: 8
|Grade 0: 17
Grade 1: 15
Grade 2: 11
Grade 3: 7
|Still Anchor (Death Anchor)||Lord of Decay (Beelzebub)|
|Grade 0: 17
Grade 1: 14
Grade 2: 11
Grade 3: 8
|Grade 0: 17
Grade 1: 14
Grade 2: 11
Grade 3: 8
|Card Murder (Jack the Ripper)|
|Grade 0: 17
Grade 1: 14
Grade 2: 11
Grade 3: 8
Closing Notes: Reijy deck is pretty hefty on holos. Same for Amon. Doreen, Yellow Bolt, Emblem Master, Amon, Stil, Reijy, Abyss, and others can really hit the wallet hard when taken together. Amon is, thankfully, a more midline price. The Reijy build is more of an enthusiast price due to the clear overwhelming number of holos. Beelzebub is mostly for people who really want to do the 3-stage thing, but don’t want Royal Paladins and don’t want a vanguard-centric deck. Death Anchor is for people who love game-enders. Ripper is for people who want the demon aesthetic while still getting to make a card advantage deck.
Now that we have Dark Soul Conductor, the cost of every DI build will plummet dramatically as Flirtatious Succubus and Emblem Master are no longer required cards in most. Each build works slightly differently.
- Soular Powered – Makes use of soulcharging to 6 initially to activate Poet and get a good booster. Then continues by soulcharging until Amon vanguard can hit 3-4 stages without a boost. In the meantime, it plays as many 3-stage rear guard columns as possible, and where lacking, plays on-hits to maintain pressure. Deck is a useful pressure build with a heavy focus on late game killing.
- Lethal Spam – Focuses on the center column, making Reijy 3 stages and Critical 3 which allows you to keep someone at 3 damage for several turns. That blocks limit breaks and stifles counterblasts significantly while your rear-guards are in charge of hitting the opponent’s rears and whittling down their offense. The hope is that they can’t keep it up for as many turns and continue to overguard Reijy to not instantly die.
- Still Anchor – A mostly late game deck that differs from most DI in that it makes no attempt for 3-stage rear guards. The entire point is the combo of using Anchor followed immediately by Stil Vampir for a nearly guaranteed end game. The biggest weakness of the deck is that while you are doing things in mid game, none of it is done to the opponent so it’s similar to a vanilla-mid and late-heavy-focus deck. You also have to be sure you save up guard for the intermediate turn after Anchor and before Stil.
- Lord of Decay – Similar to Soular Powered, this deck more heavily focuses on getting the 3-stage rear guard columns than the heavy vanguard hitter. It focuses all of its resources into making the consistent hits happen. I would only recommend this to people who cannot afford the Royal Paladin build “Swan Soul” which does the same job slightly better, slightly more consistently. But not really by much, or really enough to make a huge difference in a given game.
- Card Murder – A bizarre twist deck for Irregulars that uses a win by card advantage. It presses down hard with Berserk Dragon clones everywhere in an attempt to get around +3 each game and follow up with heavy hitting 3-stage pressure rear guards. The combined images of Kagero and Royal Paladin make this a formidable deck to those that can play it well.