Yu-Gi-Oh! Umbral Horrors Guide
Yu-Gi-Oh! Umbral Horrors Guide by Razputin7
Yes, this archetype still exists. For the uninitated, the Umbral Horrors are a small archetype consisting of low-stat monsters, focusing around Special Summoning, and eventually, Xyz Summoning. Umbral Horrors are all DARK Fiend-types, and the main deck strategy is “SPAM RANK 4”. Yes, in all caps.
Like with any rogue deck, expect to lose a LOT when you play Umbral Horrors. They can’t really stand up to the main meta, and they’re not even the best Rank 4 engine (looking at you, Star Seraphs). What they do have going for them is stupid amounts of swarm, as well as some Level manipulation gimmicks. It’s when you bring in the non-Umbral Horrors that the deck really starts to take off, and when you get the deck just right, you can guarantee an Xyz almost every turn. Just so you know, I’ll only be covering the necessities here: the cards you should at least try to include in every deck.
The Umbral Horrors
Umbral Horror Ghoul: Ghoul is your main Summoner. His effect lets you reduce his attack to 0, in order to Special Summon another Umbral Horror with 0 ATK from your hand. Aside from this, he’s an 1800 beater (MY GOD SO POWERFUL), so if you find yourself out of options, you can always just attack. It’s his effect that makes him great though. Ghoul is very important in getting a turn 1 Xyz out, so you’ll want to run 3.
Umbral Horror Unform: I cannot overstate how good Unform is as a searcher. I honestly think he’s among the best in the game, limited only by the fact he searches Umbral Horrors. His effect is simple: crash him into an opponent’s monster, and you Special Summon two Umbral Horrors from your turn. BAM. Instant Xyz. From there, you go into Ark, or Castel, or whatever the hell you need to get past your opponent. Furthermore, he has 0 ATK, which means Ghoul can bring him out for a three-monster Xyz. Unform has three limitations you need to keep in mind, however: firstly, his effect only activates if you attack, so you can’t just Set him and get a free Xyz. Second, you can only activate his effect once per turn, to stop you from just spamming the shit out of everything. Finally, and most importantly, you have to summon two Umbrals. If you only have one left in your deck, Unform will not activate, so keep an eye on your resources! Never run any less than 3.
Umbral Horror Will O’ The Wisp: Will O’ The Wisp
is a Ghost-type attack which burns your opponent’s Pokémon is one of your main trumps. When Wisp gets Normal or Special Summoned, you can make its level equal to that of an Umbral Horror you control, or one in your Graveyard, and it’s the second point that’s really important. See, you might not always have an Umbral on field – of course, it’s ideal, but sometimes things don’t go your way. Wisp means you can still get off a Rank 4 even if you don’t have another. Umbral alongside it. Wisp’s second effect means that if it gets destroyed by battle while in face-up Attack Position, you destroy the monster that destroyed it. Best case scenario is you never use this effect. You want Wisp to be summoned, and then instantly used for Xyz. Anyway, since Wisp is such an important tool in the arsenal, run 3.
Umbral Horror Ghost: Even among the Umbral Horrors, this card’s underwhelming. It lets you Special Summon both it and another Level 4 or under Fiend-Type from your hand. You can’t Normal Summon or Set the same turn, and it’s a OTP effect. This would be amazing for Umbrals, apart from two things: it’s Level 2 and it doesn’t have 0 ATK or DEF. Both of these detract from your overall spammy strategy, but it can be used with Wisp for getting out a good Rank 2 like Centaurea or Gantetsu. There is, however, one really great play you can make with Ghost: Summon Ghoul alongside it, use Ghoul to summon Unform, crash Unform to get two Umbrals, including Wisp, and then get a Rank 2 and a Rank 4. This is super situational, though. Whether you use it or not depends on your build. I personally run 1 in the Main Deck, and 1 extra in the Side.
The Not Umbral Horrors
Secret Sect Druid Dru: Man, this card is good with Umbrals. I’m sure you’ve all seen it used with Shaddoll Dragon for Castel, or something like that, but it really shines with Umbral Horrors. For the unaware, when Dru is Normal Summoned, you get to Special Summon a Level 4 DARK monster with 0 DEF from your Graveyard, albeit with its effect negated. That’s a free Rank 4 right there, and you have six targets for it (15% of your deck). You want to run 3.
Masked Chameleon: This is a goddamn amazing card. This is an instant Catastor, and an instant Crimson Blader, and an instant 101 all rolled up into one big, scaly package. In case you don’t know, when Masked Chameleon is Normal Summoned, you Special Summon one monster with 0 ATK or DEF from your Graveyard, with its effect negated. That’s 12 cards (30% of your deck). On top of that, it’s a Tuner, so not only can you get a free Rank 4, but you can also summon either a Level 8 or a Level 5 (if you brought back Wisp). This card works miracles in Umbral Horrors, and its only drawback is that you can’t have any Level 5 or higher monsters on the field to Normal Summon it (which, given that this is an Xyz spam deck, isn’t much of a hassle). Run 3 at all times.
Kagetokage: AKA the Rank 4 maker. Yeah, you want to go ahead and run 3, especially since you can use it alongside Ghoul and Unform to get a three-material Xyz really early.
Allure of Darkness: While not having Umbrals in your Graveyard is usually a bad thing, this deck has so many DARK monsters it’d be a sin not to. Run 1.
Recurring Nightmare: It may have been made for Yubel, but boy, does it work well with Umbrals. “Return 2 DARK monsters with 0 DEF from your Graveyard to your hand”? Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s the best recycler for your detached Umbrals. Run 3.
Well, there aren’t really any Traps that benefit Umbrals specifically. I will note, however, that Hidden Soldiers can be a hilarious tech, letting you either Summon an Umbral in DEF to get it to the Graveyard for Wisp, or Summon Wisp itself to let it take a hit and destroy your opponent’s monster. Dark Illusion is also a good choice, given that the majority of your Deck will end up being DARK.
Before we forget, there are two Umbral Horror Extra Deck monsters. I tell a lie, actually: only one of them is specifically an Umbral Horror. The other is…
Number 104: Masquerade: This is a disappointing card. Three materials is not worth it to mill one card every turn, and negate monster effects during the Battle Phase, but not stop the monster, leaving you wide open to getting destroyed by, say, El Shaddoll Construct. Only use it if you’re playing Umbrals with RUM, in which case, you get to use…
Number C104: Umbral Horror Masquerade: Holy shit, this is the best Number C on the worst Number. First of all, when you get it on the field, you get to pop one S/T for free. Second, while it has the original 104 as a material (which should be always), it gets the most ridiculous effect. Once per turn, when a monster effect activates on your opponent’s side of the field, you do the following, for only ONE detach: negate it, then discard a random card from your opponent’s hand, and if you do, HALVE THEIR LIFE POINTS. That’s insane. If you do play RUM, you should definitely give it a try, alongside more conventional choices like C101 and C106. Since we mainly run the Over One Hundreds in RUMbrals, our RUM of choice is usually The Seventh One, but I’m also impartial to Numeron Force for its negating abilities.
In any case, that’s basically it when it comes to Umbral Horrors. I hope you find this guide informative, and if you want a cheap (aside from the Extra) deck with some really stupid Xyz combos, I also hope you give Umbrals a try. Good night and good luck.