See, I know my two heroes aren't very powerful by themselves, but if I can form them together, it's another story.— Jaden Yuki on the Fusion potential of "Elemental HERO" monsters.
"Elemental HERO" (
- Plant - "Elemental HERO Knospe" and "Elemental HERO Poison Rose".
- Pyro - "Elemental HERO Heat", "Elemental HERO Lady Heat" and "Elemental HERO Inferno".
- Spellcaster - "Elemental HERO Neos Krieger"
- Thunder - "Elemental HERO Voltic"
They were designed by Kazuki Takahashi, and are themed after comic-book superheroes in the anime and are based off natural elements in the manga.
"Elemental HERO" Decks focus heavily on Fusion Summoning. Most of these fall into two primary "Elemental HERO" monsters categories that can be fused with one another. Normal Monsters from the anime (Named Materials for Fusion Summoning) and manga counterparts that are retrained versions with effects (Fusion Materials are generic). See 'Grouping' section for more information.
"Avian", "Burstinatrix", "Clayman" and "Bubbleman" are often grouped together because there is at least one Fusion Monster for each pair of them (except "Avian" and "Clayman"), as well as "Elemental HERO Electrum" using all 4 as Fusion Materials.
The manga "Elemental HERO" monsters (unofficially called "Omni HEROes") are also grouped together since they don't have fusions with the anime "Elemental HERO" monsters. These include "Ocean", "Woodsman", "Heat", and "Lady Heat".
Lastly, "Stratos" and "Shadow Mist" are considered a group of their own due to appearing in the manga but not associated with the "Omni HEROes" and are better suited to aiding most "HERO" decks, the "Masked HEROes" in particular. "Blazeman" is considered part of this group too but never appeared in the manga.
Their designs are based on superheroes from Western comic books. In the Japanese version, many male "Elemental HEROes" have the word "man" in their names. The only female heroes are "Burstinatrix", "Lady Heat", "Poison Rose" and "Shadow Mist" (the first two have "lady" instead of "man" in their Japanese name). Compare the word "guy" in the names of the "Destiny HEROes".
As the name indicates, the "Elemental HEROes" each represent an element of nature. In Western cultures, the main elements are fire, water, air, earth, light and darkness, but in eastern cultures, more elements are considered, such as lightning, wood, metal and ice.
The manga doesn't follow the same theme as the anime, but the heroes are still based around those same elements.
"Elemental HERO" decks mainly focus on swarming the field with Fusion Monsters, using cards like "Polymerization" and "Miracle Fusion". For "Elemental HERO" Fusion Monsters with specified names, "King of the Swamp" and other Fusion Substitute Monsters are very useful. They can be used as a bridge to the "Masked HEROes".
As with the release of the "Omni HEROes" (Attribute-specifc Fusion Monsters), as well as the 2 Extra Deck "Vision HEROs ("Vision Hero Adoration and "Vision HERO Trinity"), all "Elemental HEROes" can be fused together with each other, as well as other "HEROes". The "Omni HEROes" basically allow the "Elemental HEROes" to exist in any deck focused on an archetype of monsters with the same Attribute, and each Attribute allows these "Elemental HEROes" access to Attribute-specific support cards, such as "Salvage".
Perhaps the best part of an "Elemental HERO" deck is the search/recovery power. Cards like "Salvage", "Shadow Mist", "Blazeman", "Legacy of a HERO", "Fusion Recovery", "Elemental HERO The Shining", "E - Emergency Call" and "Reinforcement of the Army can be used to go into many pluses.
There is a great combo using "Mask Change", "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero", and "Masked HERO Acid". First fuse any "HERO" monster and a Water Attribute monster with "Polymerization", or any Fusion Spell, to get "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero". Use "Mask Change" to send "Absolute Zero" back to the Graveyard and summon "Masked HERO Acid". Remember that when "Absolute Zero" is removed from the field, it destroys all of your opponent's monsters, and "Masked HERO Acid's" effect says that when it is summoned to the field, all of your opponent's Spells/Traps are destroyed, effectively clearing your opponent's field. This combo works perfectly because "Acid" only needs a Water Attribute monster like "Absolute Zero" and a "Change" card to be Summoned.
Lastly, due to their high recovery and "Elemental HERO Honest Neos", "Elemental HEROes" won't be stopped by disabling Special Summons as their non-Fusion Monsters can stand on their own until Special Summoning is allowed again.
- "Elemental HERO" Decks lack protection on their own, and need generic protection cards outside of the archetype.
- Unless you're using "Masked HEROes", they have very little Quick-Play Spells and Trap Cards to use, so they are unable to disrupt the opponent's plays, save for "Honest Neos" and "Absolute Zero".
- "Gozen Match" is particularly annoying due to their many Attributes.
- Finally, "Skill Drain" and/or "Angel O7" can cease and desist "HERO" effects, which would be significant against these Decks because without substantial Spell/Trap support, many of the "HERO" monsters, including quite a number of "HERO" Fusion Monsters, do not possess significant sustainability stat-wise whilst on the field.
- With the introduction of Extra Monster Zones, this archetype has hit a snag. As only one Extra Deck monster can be played at a time, the "Elemental HEROes" can no longer swarm the field with Fusion Monsters and must rely on Link Monsters to mitigate this. There are, however, "Xtra HEROes", Link Monsters which are designed to supplement the strategies of all "HERO" decks such as "Xtra HERO Wonder Driver". As of the rule change in April 2020, this factor does not apply anymore as Fusion, Synchro and Xyz Monsters can now be Summoned without the need of a spare Extra Monster Zone or Link Arrow.
- Thankfully, this hinderance was removed by 2020 to coincide with the simplified rules of the YuGiOh Sevens anime.