"Knightmare", known as "Troymare" (トロイメア, Toroimea) in the OCG, is an archetype that debuted in Flames of Destruction. It is related to, and supported by, the "World Legacy" archetype and is focused on Link Summons and being co-linked. All of this archetype's Link Monsters are Fiends.
The "Knightmare" Link Monsters have different Attributes and the ones with the four elemental Attributes have a color scheme that corresponds to that Attribute. Their bodies, which appear to be derived from the "Mekk-Knight" monsters, are comprised of a combination of a glowing translucent substance and silvery metallic armor with a gold and black design etched into them. Parts of their armoring and bodies also appear to be made out of charred or blackened junk, mostly weapons. Finally, each one carries a symbol of musical notation somewhere on their body, usually their head.
Troymare appears to be played on the word "Troy" and "mare" (female horse), both are likely referred to "Trojan Horse", given the main strategy of "Iblee" (who is a female monster, fitting "mare" part) by giving her to the opponent and punish them, while Knightmare is played on the word "knight" and "nightmare", with a further connection to the "Mekk-Knight" archetype. The names of "Knightmare" monsters are based on mythological creatures and beings.
|Knightmare Incarnation Idlee||Idolum|
|Knightmare Corruptor Iblee||Iblis||Treble clef|
|Cerberus||Orange Sunset||Cerberus||Dal segno|
|Goblin||Green Horizon||Goblin||Double repetition mark|
|Gryphon||Purple Nightfall||Gryphon||Alla breve|
|Unicorn||Yellow Star||Unicorn||Sustain pedal (up)|
The main goal of this archetype is to build a field with as many co-linked monsters as possible, to the point of achieving a state of Extra Link. All the "Knightmare" Link Monsters revealed so far have effects that activate when they are Link Summoned, by discarding 1 card as cost, and if they were co-linked when those effects were activated - draw 1 card as a bonus; also, they have Continuous Effects that either benefit monsters that are co-linked or burden monsters that are not.
Since they do not require Link Materials of specific Type(s) or Attribute(s), any engine capable of swarming the field with monsters with different names may help Link Summon them. Monsters that are already used in Link-oriented strategies, such as "Cyberse Gadget", "Dotscaper", "Stack Reviver" and "Bitrooper" can be helpful. This also means that Knightmares Phoenix, Cerberus and Unicorn can, and have been, teched into many Extra Decks, even ones not so Link-focussed, just to destroy/spin problematic cards. Indeed, the Link-2s are probably the first widely used Link Monsters without any down-pointing arrows.
Due to their first effect requiring a discard as a cost, they may have synergy with "Fabled" monsters; also, they tend to allow the player to control the field by achieving an Extra Link and disabling the opponent from Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck. This goal can be further deepened by Special Summoning "Knightmare Corruptor Iblee" to the opponent's field and preventing the opponent from disrupting the "Knightmare" player's strategy by Special Summoning a "Kaiju" monster, for example.
The Link-2 "Knightmare" monsters were designed to provide a blanket protection to their peers, while the Link-3 "Knightmare Unicorn" compensates the huge investment required to build a field with at least 3 co-linked "Knightmares", and the Link-4 "Gryphon" penalizes Special Summoned monsters that are not linked, commonly the opponent's; its effect can be useful against monsters that can bypass the Continuous Effects of the Link-2 "Knightmares", such as "Shinobaron Peacock", "Metaphys Daedalus", etc.
|Cerberus||Destroys an opponent's Special Summoned monster in their Main Monster Zone.||Co-linked monsters on its controller's field cannot be destroyed by card effects.|
|Goblin||Allows 1 additional Normal Summon to a zone it points to during the Main Phase of this turn.||Co-linked monsters on its controller's field cannot be targeted by card effects.|
|Gryphon||Sets a Spell/Trap Card in its controller's Graveyard to their field.||Special Summoned monsters cannot activate their effects, unless they are linked.|
|Mermaid||Special Summons a "Knightmare" monster from the Main Deck.||Monsters on the field lose 1000 ATK/DEF, unless they are co-linked.|
|Phoenix||Destroys an opponent's Spell/Trap Card.||Co-linked monsters on its controller's field cannot be destroyed by battle.|
|Unicorn||Shuffles a card on the field into the Deck.||Its controller draws cards for their normal draw during their Draw Phase equal to the number of different "Knightmare" co-linked monsters on the field.|
- "Fabled" Synchro Monsters
- Knightmare Corruptor Iblee x3
- Trickstar Mandrake x2
- World Legacy - "World Lance" x1
- World Legacy - "World Chalice" x2
- World Legacy - "World Shield" x1
- World Legacy - "World Armor" x1
- Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall x3
- Mekk-Knight Blue Sky x3
- Formud Skipper x3
- Linkslayer x1
- Aleister the Invoker x1
- World Legacy's Corruption x1
- World Legacy Succession x2
- World Legacy's Nightmare x1
- World Legacy Scars x1
- Soul Charge x1
- Terraforming x1
- Invocation x1
- Magical Meltdown x2
- The most basic weakness of the Deck is the need for a discard as a cost to activate the Link Monsters' Trigger Effect. Without the proper setup, this may have the player running out of resources before they can build a solid field; the "Fabled" engine may alleviate this, though. "Gouki" monsters also massively help, by replacing themselves with more "Gouki" cards after being used as Link Material.
- Due to the need of Special Summoning many monsters on the field in order to achieve an Extra Link, or at least having 3 or 4 "Knightmare" monsters co-linked to each other, the Deck may have disadvantage with cards like "Summon Limit", "Maxx "C"", "Vanity's Fiend", etc.
- Also, the "Knightmare" player must control many monsters at once for the strategy to work at its full potential, which may render the Deck vulnerable to mass-removal cards, especially "Evenly Matched", that ignores all blanket protections provided by the "Knightmare" co-linked monsters, as it neither targets nor destroys.
- Even if "Knightmare Iblee" is on the opponent's field, preventing a "Kaiju" monster from disrupting the string of co-linked monsters, "The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode" can make a much more huge impact, by removing three of them at once.
- The archetype shares a name with the Mecha used in the popular anime series Code Geass.
- The "Knightmare" Link Monsters wear armors which bear similarities with a "Mekk-Knight" of the same color:
- "Knightmare Mermaid" has a ring attached to its tail which is the same as the ring on the body of "Mekk-Knight Indigo Eclipse".
- "Knightmare Goblin" has waist plate which is similar to the waist armor of "Mekk-Knight Green Horizon".
- "Knightmare Gryphon" has a spiky armor attached on its shoulders which is similar to the spike from the helmet of "Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall".
- "Knightmare Unicorn" has wing-like armor in the similar fashion to "Mekk-Knight Yellow Star".
- "Knightmare Phoenix" has a helmet which is similar to "Mekk-Knight Red Moon".
- "Knightmare Cerebeus" has a jewel in the center which is similar to "Mekk-Knight Orange Sunset"