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"Ice Barrier" (
Most "Ice Barrier" monsters require another of their kind - usually, but not always, on the field - in order to activate their effects, which are oriented towards field advantage. For example, many "Ice Barrier" monsters have effects to protect other "Ice Barrier" monsters, be it from attacks ("Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier" forbids all monsters of Level 4 or higher from attacking while its owner control another "Ice Barrier") or card effects ("Dai-sojo of the Ice Barrier" protects all of your "Ice Barriers" from being destroyed by Spell/Trap Cards). These effects can overlap, making "Ice Barriers" capable of creating resilient fields if several of their monsters are out. One of the three Generals of the Ice Barrier, "Raiho", does not need other "Ice Barrier" monsters for its effect to work, but it can stand on its own as well as complement their lockdowns by taking a toll on the opponent's hand if they rely on monster effects.
Many of the "Ice Barrier" monsters are not very useful if alone, making this archetype have issues if not able to establish field presence. While not plentiful, Ice Barriers do have effects of their own to facilitate having several monsters out, such as "Magic Triangle of the Ice Barrier", and this is also assisted by the effects of their remaining two Generals, "Grunard" and "Gantala".
The aforementional "General Gantala of the Ice Barrier" is one of the archetype's trump cards, being a 2700 ATK monster that can Special Summon an "Ice Barrier" monster from its controller's Graveyard during each of their turns' End Phase. It can revive any "Ice Barrier" besides other copies of itself, be it monsters such as "Defender of the Ice Barrier" to create or rebuild a defensive field, "General Raiho of the Ice Barrier" to apply more pressure, or even their Synchro Monsters, making it powerful and versatile.
"Strategist of the Ice Barrier" can discard "Ice Barriers" from the hand to speed up the Deck. Specific monsters can be discarded by using "Strategist" in conjuction with "Medallion of the Ice Barrier", making revival effects such as "Call of the Haunted" and "Back to the Front" viable options to build fields. "Medallion" can also be used to gather enough different names for the activation of "Magic Triangle".
"Prior of the Ice Barrier" is a multi-purpose card - it can be used for its easy Special Summon, quickly enabling another "Ice Barrier" monster's effect, or be used for its effect to Special Summon any other "Ice Barrier" monster from the Graveyard - the usual target being "Gantala", as it can in turn revive more "Ice Barriers" turn after turn, but it can revive other monsters for Synchro and Xyz Summons as well. "Prior" himself can be easily retrieved by "Salvage" and "Surface", making it possible to use a single copy of "Prior" several times.
For the most part, "Ice Barriers" want to establish a solid field and, if possible, keep it. While they are definitely capable of Synchro Summoning with their own Tuner monsters, and all of their Synchro Monsters are very good, caution must be exercised - their Tuners themselves have defensive effects you must give up on in order to Synchro Summon, and "Ice Barriers" as a whole are not very good at gaining and keeping card advantage.
"Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier" and its ability to return face-up cards to the hand make it possible for players to dedicate a build to it and use a variety of Spell/Trap Cards that remain on the field such as "Swords of Revealing Light" to pressure the opponent while you can replay them constantly as long as "Dewloren" is around. The many means of revival the "Ice Barrier" archetype has makes it difficult to break through "Dewloren" combos permanently without banishing it or returning it to the Extra Deck.
Using a small monster lineup, keep it consistent and simple, relying on Spell/Trap Cards to keep you in the game long enough to capitalize off of the effects of "Gantala" and "Gungnir". Since the entire archetype is made up of WATER monsters, it can benefit from using monsters such as "Barrier Statue of the Torrent" and "Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord", the latter of which shrinks your opponent's hand size, making the effect of "General Raiho" even more potent.
"Ties of the Brethren" can be used to create locks and combos with "Cryomancer" + "Dewdark" + "Secret Guards", or with "Dance Princess" + "Spellbreaker" + "Strategist". "Moon Mirror Shield" is a good way to protect the lower-ATK "Ice Barriers" from destruction in battle by always letting the equipped monster be 100 ATK stronger than the opposing monster.
- Dai-sojo of the Ice Barrier
- Dance Princess of the Ice Barrier
- General Gantala of the Ice Barrier
- General Raiho of the Ice Barrier
- General Wayne of the Ice Barrier
- Prior of the Ice Barrier
- Revealer of the Ice Barrier
- Secret Guards of the Ice Barrier
- Speaker for the Ice Barriers
- Spellbreaker of the Ice Barrier
- Strategist of the Ice Barrier
- Zuijin of the Ice Barrier
- Barrier Statue of the Torrent
- Mother Grizzly
- Penguin Soldier
- Snowman Eater
- White Stingray
- Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
- Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier
- Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
- Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
- Trishula, Zero Dragon of the Ice Barrier
- Adamancipator Risen - Dragite
- Armades, Keeper of Boundaries
- Arcanite Magician
- Crystron Quariongandrax
- Coral Dragon
- Formula Synchron
- Graydle Dragon
- Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys
- Star Eater
- White Aura Bihamut
- White Aura Dolphin
- White Aura Whale
- Freezing Chains of the Ice Barrier
- Magic Triangle of the Ice Barrier
- Medallion of the Ice Barrier
- Winds Over the Ice Barrier
- Forbidden Lance
- Instant Fusion
- Moray of Greed
- Reinforcement of the Army
- Swords of Revealing Light
- Ties of the Brethren
Official Konami Decklists
The following Decklists may or may not contain copies of cards that exceed the maximum amount allowed by the current Forbidden & Limited List. These should not be changed, as these Decklists are copied verbatim at the time they were published.
- Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier x2
- Dai-sojo of the Ice Barrier
- Defender of the Ice Barrier x3
- General Gantala of the Ice Barrier x2
- General Grunard of the Ice Barrier
- General Raiho of the Ice Barrier
- Geomancer of the Ice Barrier
- Medium of the Ice Barrier
- Numbing Grub in the Ice Barrier
- Pilgrim of the Ice Barrier
- Reese the Ice Mistress
- Samurai of the Ice Barrier
- Strategist of the Ice Barrier x3
- Bahamut Shark x2
- Blade Armor Ninja x2
- Daigusto Emeral
- Evilswarm Ouroboros
- Heroic Champion - Excalibur
- Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
- Number 105: Battlin' Boxer Star Cestus
- Number 39: Utopia
- Number 47: Nightmare Shark x2
- Number C105: Battlin' Boxer Comet Cestus
- Number C32: Shark Drake Veiss
- Snowdust Giant
As "Ice Barriers" thrive on having several monsters on the field, an easy way of dealing with them is to not let them do so. Also, their lockdowns are never absolute and they rely on several monsters being on the field at the same time, so disposing of one or two of those will tip the field on your favor.
You can also negate their effects, which makes them virtually useless, so cards like "Skill Drain" and "Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Tiger King" can work well. You can also prevent "Gantala" from swarming the field by using Special Summon-blocking cards, such as "Vanity's Emptiness", "Archlord Kristya", "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo", etc.