"Red Dragon Archfiend", known as "Red Daemon" (レッド・デーモン Reddo Dēmon) in Japan, is an archetype used by Jack Atlas and Fake Jack Atlas in the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's anime and manga as well as an alternate dimension Jack in the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime series.
The archetype is a sub-archetype of the "Archfiend" archetype, and primarily consists of Jack Atlas' Signer Dragon, "Red Dragon Archfiend", and Duel Dragon, "Hot Red Dragon Archfiend", and their upgraded forms in the anime and manga, respectively.
In general, members of this archetype appear as armored, demonic dragons with curling horns and spikes all throughout the body. The root of their design comes from the painting The Great Red Dragon by William Blake.
Compared to the more passive "Stardust Dragon", which specializes in negating card effects and overall defense, "Red Dragon Archfiends" have a more smash mouth strategy, revolving around destruction, battle oriented effects, ATK increasing, Special Summoning Tuner monsters and negation, resulting on boards filled with Synchro monsters of over 3000 ATK that can quickly overwhelm the opponent. The "Red Dragons" are designed to have synergy with the "Resonator" archetype, many of which have Special Summon conditions to facilitate Synchro Summons and, furthermore, Double Tuning.
To start off, the level 8 "Red Dragon Archfiends" focus on simple destruction of the enemy's monsters under certain conditions, in order to quickly gain or recover field advantage over the opponent and push them into a corner, then use them as bridges to the more powerful evolved forms. The original "Red Dragon Archfiend" destroys Defense Position monsters, "Hot Red Dragon Archfiend" destroys all monsters in Attack Position besides itself while "Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend" destroys special summoned monsters weaker than itself.
The evolved forms mark the point where the archetype's playstyle branches into slightly different strategies, all in accordance to the player's needs and options:
- Following the destruction theme, "Majestic Red Dragon", aside from destroying Defense Position monsters, has built-in protection and provides a one time chance to deliver 4000 worth of damage in a single hit by negating an opponent monster's effect, after which it will float into "Red Dragon Archfiend" during the End Phase. "Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode" destroys all monsters on the field after attacking and also summons "Red Dragon Archfiend" upon destruction. "Tyrant Red Dragon Archfiend" can destroy all cards on the field besides itself and negates Spell/Traps during the Battle Phase.
- On the other hand, the "Hot Red" evolutions focus on negating effects and swarming with Tuner monsters, with "Red Dragon Archfiend Abyss" negating one card's effects during either players turn, "Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Bane" special summoning other "Red Dragon Archfiends" from the GY and "Hot Red Dragon Archfiend King Calamity" effectively shutting down the opponent's effects for a whole turn after being Synchro summoned along with a potent Burn effect each time it destroys and opponent monster.
- Last but not least are the "Red Nova" evolutions, which represent the "Red Dragons" ultimate form in terms of ATK value. Both "Red Nova Dragon" and "Red Supernova Dragon" are immune to destruction effects, gain 500 ATK for each Tuner in the player's GY and are capable of negating attacks by banishing themselves until the End Phase, but while "Red Nova" is easier to bring out through Double Tuning, "Red Supernova" requires three tuner monsters for its summon, with the payoff being a complete board wipe of the opponent's field when an enemy monster activates its effect (During either player's turn).
To facilitate the summon of any member of the archetype one essential component is "Red Rising Dragon", which effect lets it summon any "Resonator" from the GY upon being Synchro Summoned, with its only limitation being to DARK Dragon Synchro monsters for the turn. Thus the Deck benefits from non-tuner monsters that have Special Summon effects, particularly of level 4 to combo with the level 2 "Red Resonator" and "Crimson Resonator" in order to summon "Red Rising" as soon as possible. "Red Sprinter", "Wandering King Wildwind", "Magical King Moonstar", "Red Warg" and even "Supay, Duskwalker" are good options. The most basic combo is to Special Summon "Crimson Resonator" with "Red Rising's" effect and then proceed to summon two other Tuners with "Crimson's" effect, setting up the Synchro Summon of "Red Super Nova Dragon" on turn one.
Besides the evolutions, the archetype has the potential to incorporate other Synchro monsters into its Extra Deck pool for greater versatility. Cards like "Void Ogre Dragon" and "Dark End Dragon" will give further negation and spot removal to the Deck and are optimal options when using "Red Rising Dragon". Even though monsters like "Dark Highlander", "Black Rose Dragon" and its counterpart, "Black Rose Moonlight Dragon" can prove effective against specific threats, they should be kept at minimum to avoid incompatibility with the rest of the support.
* Red Warg
* Red NovaCrimson Resonator
* Instant Fusion (if running "Sea Monster of Theseus")Red Reign
* Red Wyvern x2Tyrant Red Dragon Archfiend
- The archetype has rather lacklustre personal defense, requiring the staple toolbox of Traps and Spells to stay alive in a crisis. One who plays the archetype has to be wary of Decks that outpace it.
- The Deck can be rather easily defeated by anti-Synchro or anti-Dragon archetypes. This makes it especially vulnerable to the "Meklord" and "Buster Blader" archetypes. Cards like "Raigeki", "Mind Control", and "Clear Wing Synchro Dragon" quickly prove invaluable.
- The rivalling "Stardust" archetype is specifically geared towards countering the "Red Dragon" playstyle. Non-destruction removal is essensial to deal with such threats.