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"Charmer", known as "Spirit Charmer" ( (れい) 使 (つか) Reitsukai) in the Japanese version, is an archetype of Spellcaster monsters themed on controlling monsters of the same Attribute as them. They are integrated with the "Familiar-Possessed" archetype and related to the "Possessed" and "Spiritual Art" series. The cards also possess variants of themselves that further supplement the archetype.

The original four "Charmers" - "Aussa", "Hiita", "Eria", and "Wynn" - were first released in The Lost Millennium, and their "Familiar-Possessed" forms were released in Elemental Energy. Two additional "Charmers", "Dharc" and "Lyna", were released in The Duelist Genesis and The Shining Darkness, respectively, but they are not as well supported as the original four "Charmers", with fewer variant forms being released. The original four Charmers are the focus of the Structure Deck Masters of the Spiritual Arts.

Design

Akina Fujiwara designed the "Charmers", although she did not draw their "Cataclysmic" forms. According to The Valuable Book 8, "霊使い" stands for " (せい) (れい) 使い" (Shaman), "霊術" stands for " (せい) (れい) (じゅつ) ".

Members

Each of the four original "Charmer" monsters have a "Familiar-Possessed" form, a "Cataclysmic Charmer" form, and a Link Monster form, and some also have "Channeler" forms; "Dharc" and "Lyna" only have "Familiar-Possessed" and Link Monster forms. The "Charmer" monsters all have 1500 DEF, and their ATK varies depending on the form: the base "Charmer" monsters have 500 ATK, their "Familiar-Possessed", "Channeler", and Link Monster forms have 1850 ATK, and the "Cataclysmic Charmer" forms have 800 ATK. The base "Charmer" monsters are Level 3, their "Familiar-Posssessed" and "Cataclysmic Charmer" forms are Level 4, their "Channeler" forms are Level 5, and their Link Monster forms are Link 2.

The "Charmers" are supported by their familiars, low-Level monsters that appear in their original card arts: "Archfiend Marmot of Nefariousness" (for "Aussa"), "Gigobyte" (for "Eria"), "Fox Fire" (for "Hiita"), "Petit Dragon" (for "Wynn"), "Meda Bat" (for "Dharc"), and "Happy Lover" (for "Lyna"). The familiars of the four original "Charmer" monsters each has two variants, four of which do not have a common naming theme and appear to be "older" forms of the original, and the other four form the "Awakening of the Posssesed" series. The stats of their familiars vary in their original forms, while their "older" forms are all Level 4 with 1500 ATK and 200 DEF, and their "Awakening of the Possessed" forms are Level 5 and have 2000 ATK and 200 DEF.

Aside from making specific reference to "Charmer", "Familiar-Posssessed", and/or "Awakening of the Possessed" monsters, support for the archetypes more generally specifies Spellcaster monsters with 1850 ATK and/or 1500 DEF, or a monster with 1500 ATK and 200 DEF, the stats shared by the "older" forms of the familiars.

The "Charmers" may have a connection to the "Cataclysmic" series. Each of the "Cataclysmic" monsters debuted in the same set that debuted the Link form of a "Charmer" monster of the same Attribute, and their card arts possess symbols in their corners corresponding to that Link monster's Link Arrows. Though there is synergy between the "Charmer" series and the "Cataclysmic" monsters, there is no direct evidence of a connection between them.

DARK DARK.svg EARTH EARTH.svg FIRE FIRE.svg LIGHT LIGHT.svg WATER WATER.svg WIND WIND.svg
Charmer Dharc Aussa Hiita Lyna Eria Wynn
Familiar Meda Bat Archfiend Marmot of Nefariousness Fox Fire Happy Lover Gigobyte Petit Dragon
Familiar Older Forms None yet Nefarious Archfiend Eater of Nefariousness Inari Fire None yet Jigabyte Ranryu
Awakening of the Possessed None yet Nefariouser Archfiend Greater Inari Fire None yet Gagigobyte Rasenryu
Familiar-Possessed Dharc Aussa Hiita Lyna Eria Wynn
Cataclysmic Charmer None yet Avalanching Aussa Blazing Hiita None yet Raging Eria Storming Wynn
Cataclysmic None yet Crusted Calcifida Scorching Sunburner None yet Circumpolar Chilblainia Cryonic Coldo
LINK Upgraded form Dharc, Gloomy Aussa, Immovable Hiita, Ablaze Lyna, Lustrous Eria, Gentle Wynn, Verdant
Channeler None yet Aussa None yet None yet None yet Wynn
Spiritual Art
Greed
Earth
Kurogane
Fire
Kurenai

Hijiri
Water
Aoi
Wind
Miyabi
Duel Terminal Relation Fabled Urustos Vylon Omega Gishki Ariel Winda, Priestess of Gusto

Playing Style

The "Charmers" are a control-based archetype centered on taking control of the opponent's monsters and using them as fodder to activate card effects or summon stronger forms of the "Charmers" to the field. The base "Charmer" monsters all share the Flip effect of being able to take control of an opponent's monster of the same Attribute while the "Charmer" remains on the field. The player can then Tribute the opponent's monster for the effect of a "Cataclysmic Charmer" or a "Spiritual Art" card, or tribute the opponent's monster and the "Charmer" controlling them to summon the "Familiar-Possessed" form of the "Charmer" or the "Familiar-Possessed" form of their familiar from the deck.

Because the series is reliant on having the appropriate "Charmers" that match the Attribute(s) of the opponent's monsters, its support cards focus on searching on the different "Charmer" monsters so the player can get the "Charmer" they need into play easier. "Charmers" and "Cataclysmic Charmers" must remain on the field for their effects to persist, and the series as a whole is reliant on monsters with low stats, so other support for the series limits the opponent's ability to remove the "Charmers" from the field and increases their ATK and DEF. The Link monster forms of the "Charmers" share an effect to Special Summon a monster from the opponent's Graveyard of the same Attribute to one of the Monster Zones they point to, allowing the player to set up combos with other "Charmer" cards by seizing control of the opponent's revived monster.

The familiars of the series offer them various support options. The "older" forms of their familiars share the effect to Special Summon themselves from the hand if the player controls a Spellcaster monster, and each possesses a secondary effect that in some manner allows the player to Special Summon one of the familiars from the Deck or Graveyard, allowing them to cycle themselves out of play and replace themselves with another familiar of an Attribute the player needs. The "Awakening of the Possessed" forms offer a trade-off over the "Familiar-Possessed" monsters; they have similar summoning conditions but do not need a specific "Charmer", and they have slightly higher ATK and useful support effects in exchange for being Level 5 and not benefiting from much of the archetype's support cards, which focus on supporting the "Charmers" and their "Familiar-Possessed" forms rather than the familiars themselves.

"Awakening of the Possessed" and "Unpossessed" are critical to the deck's ability to gain and maintain momentum. Together they grant "Charmer" and "Familiar-Possessed" monsters significant ATK boosts and protection from the opponent's cards that would remove them from the field, "Awakening of the Possessed" allows the player to draw a card once per turn whenever they summon a "Familiar-Possessed" monster, and "Unpossessed" allows the player to Special Summon any of the "Charmers" or their variant forms from the Deck when another of their monsters is destroyed, giving the deck a way to maintain hand and field advantage. "Spirit Charmers" and "Possessed Partnerships" grant the player means to search out cards they need, and "Possessed Partnerships" and "Grand Spiritual Art - Ichirin" provide further control strategies through the destruction and negation of the opponent's cards.

Because they are Spellcasters, the "Charmers" can benefit from many other cards that support their control strategy and protect them from destruction. "Secret Sanctuary of the Spellcasters" and "Secret Village of the Spellcasters" greatly help to protect the "Charmers" from the opponent, as do "Magician's Left Hand" and "Magician's Right Hand". The "Spellbook" archetype provides many options to aid them, such as "Spellbook of Power" to power up the monsters and grant further hand advantage, and both "Spellbook of Fate" and "Book of Taiyou" can flip up a face-down "Charmer" monster to activate its effect the same turn it was set, speeding up the deck.

Charmer Deck


Kaiju Charmers

Because the "Charmers" are reliant on the opponent having a monster the same Attribute as them that they can take control of, they pair very well with the "Kaiju" archetype - the player can Special Summon a "Kaiju" to the opponent's Field and then use a "Charmer" monster to take control of it, removing an opponent's monster and gaining a powerful one for themselves. The "Kaiju" archetype is adept at rapidly searching its members out and summoning them to the field, benefiting the "Charmer" monsters by giving the player easy means to Special Summon a "Kaiju" of the same Attribute as the "Charmers" the player has access to.


Weaknesses

"Charmers" rely on having the proper cards in their hand that possess the same Attribute as the monsters the opponent is using, otherwise their options are more limited. This can make any of the "Charmers" dead weight if the player is facing an opponent whose Deck does not contain monsters of their Attribute. Usage of "DNA Transplant" or "Scroll of Bewitchment" to change the Attributes of the opponent's monster can help with this. The base "Charmers" also rely on being flipped up to activate their effect to take control of an opponent's monster, slowing the Deck down without cards like "Book of Taiyou" to flip "Charmers" up without waiting a turn.

The "Charmers" are reliant on their support Spell and Trap cards to remain in play and stay on the field. With a Field Spell and multiple Continuous Spell and Trap cards they utilize, the player's Spell and Trap Zones may become clogged with "Charmer" support cards, limiting their ability to use other Spells and Traps. This is a particular concern for the "Charmer" series because most of their support cards provide defensive benefits to keep them from being removed from the field, but little in the way of negating or countering the opponent's plays outside of "Grand Spiritual Art - Ichirin". While "Magician's Left Hand" and "Magician's Right Hand" provide a reliable way to control the opponent's usage of Spell and Trap cards, they also fill the player's Spell and Trap Zones further. To counteract this reliance on Continuous Spell cards, the player could include "True Draco and True King" monsters as tech cards, giving the player a means to summon high-powered monsters by tributing Continuous Spell Cards they no longer need, and the "True Draco and True King" monsters have various Attributes that can further supplement the "Charmers".

The archetype relies on removing an opponent's monsters from the field by taking control of them or destroying them in battle, and have few means of destroying cards through effects. Basic Spell and Trap destruction cards like "Mystical Space Typhoon" and "Twin Twisters" can get rid of problematic Spells and Traps, while monster destruction cards like "Hammer Shot" or "Smashing Ground" can be helpful to get rid of monsters too strong for the "Familiar-Possessed" monsters to defeat in battle.

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