"Shaddoll" (シャドール Shadōru) is an archetype comprised primarily of DARK monsters that debuted in Duelist Alliance. Their focus is the Fusion Summon of the more powerful "El Shaddoll" monsters, which restrict or punish Special Summons. The Main Deck "Shaddoll" monsters all have Flip Effects that focus on searching and field advantage, as well as secondary effects that focus on regaining advantage whenever they are sent to the Graveyard by a card effect.
The "Shaddoll" cards appear to be darker puppet versions of cards from other archetypes in the Duel Terminal world, with their threads coming from the back of "El Shaddoll Construct". Each card also takes reference from Hebrew, Arabian, Jewish Culture.
Curse of the Shadow Prison has Satellerknight Unukalhai with the staff from Constellar Rasalhague, which is the card Evilswarm Kerykeion is based off.
"Shaddoll" is a portmanteau of the words "shadow" and "doll". "El Shaddoll" is a play on "El Shaddai", one of the Judaic names of God.
In the abyss of this world, there is a certain something called the "Shaddoll Core" (The Primordial "Core" of Shadow-Possession) which gives birth to shadows that absorb light, the "Shaddoll". "El Shaddoll Construct" uses these shadow strings to control the manifested shadows, and with this to extend its influence and power...
For the "Shaddoll" Effect Monsters activating their Graveyard effects is the quickest way of gaining advantage, especially "Shaddoll Beast" who is usually the first to be sent off of "Shaddoll Fusion" or "Sinister Shadow Games"; with "Shaddoll Falco" soon to follow. And lastly, "Shaddoll Squamata" and "Shaddoll Hedgehog" are best for searching the other two or left be until they are Drawn as the 1st basically acts as any "Shaddoll" when sent and the second usually searches the other of the first two. A quick but important note on the effect of "Squamata" is it can be used to send even "Shaddoll" Spell and Trap cards, this is only important for "Shaddoll Core" who will recover another "Shaddoll" Spell or Trap from the Graveyard.
Previously "Shaddoll" Monsters were run with a LIGHT engine (notable cards in Recommended). Nowadays "Shaddolls" can be run as support with the "Railway" series with "Shekhinaga" (usually with "Kaiju"), "Prediction Princess" for Flip Effect support or the newer "Invoked" Fusion archetype
Although the main focus of this archetype is Fusion Summoning of "El Shaddoll Winda", "Shekhinaga" (with "Mathematician") and "Construct" (til it was banned; OCG lifted the ban on El Shaddoll Construct in October and more recently, in November 2019, the TCG also removed it from the ban list), the Level 4 "Shaddoll" monsters are the most disruptive on the Field, namely "Shaddoll Dragon", who bounces cards when flipped face-up and "Shaddoll Squamata", who destroys a monster. At this archetype's unrestricted phase it also had "Super Polymerization" and "Soul Charge" Spell Cards at 3 and ran "Arcanite Magician" ("Winda" + "Falco") and "Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree" ("Construct" + "Falco") as the Lion was hard for some archetypes to get over.
All "Shaddoll" Main Deck monsters monsters can only use one of their effects per turn, and only once that turn, so players are advised discretion and to plan ahead. The Flip effect of "Shaddoll Falco" is ideally activated at the End Phase of the opposing turn by "Sinister Shadow Games" or for reuse by the effect of "Purushaddoll Aeon" to avoid negation. Lastly, "El Shaddoll Fusion" has some similar timings to the two Trap cards as well.
One can also take profit of their effects by using them as Fusion Material for the ace cards of the Deck: the "El Shaddoll" Fusion monsters. Since using "Shaddoll Fusion" or "El Shaddoll Fusion" involves sending "Shaddoll" monsters to the Graveyard by a card effect, their effects can be activated as soon as one attempts to Fusion Summon them, creating even more advantage. One can also use "Curse of the Shadow Prison" to not only weaken the opponent's monsters but also use their monsters as Fusion Materials.
The "Shaddoll" Link Monster, "Shaddoll Construct", is primarily intended to be Summoned to the Main Monster Zone via its revival effect. Its first effect can free up the Extra Monster Zone via using itself as Fusion Material, while its revival effect can trigger the effects of other "Shaddoll" monsters (though its Link Summon will not), and frees up to three zones for Extra Deck Summons.
The aforementioned "El Shaddoll" monsters rely on anti-supporting Special Summons, either by restricting them, negating them, destroying Special Summoned monsters in battle or destroying those ones who dare to activate their effects; also, some of them send 1 "Shaddoll" card from your hand to the Graveyard at their effect's resolution, which can trigger the effect of the sent monster. Finally, they can recycle the "Shaddoll" Spell/Trap cards as long as they are sent to the Graveyard, so even if they are destroyed during or after their Summoning they can still re-add cards like "Shaddoll Fusion" to set up a Fusion Summon the next turn.
The "El Shaddoll" monsters follow a pattern of requiring "1 "Shaddoll" monster + 1 [corresponding Attribute] monster" as Fusion Materials, and their effects become more aggressive as their Levels increase:
|"El Shaddoll"||Attribute||Level||Special Summon-related effect|
|Winda||DARK||5||Allows only 1 Special Summon per turn.|
|Wendigo||WIND||6||Prevents one of your monsters from being destroyed by battle with an opponent's Special Summoned monster for only one turn.|
|Grysta||FIRE||7||Negates a Special Summon and destroys the monster.|
|Construct||LIGHT||8||Destroys a Special Summoned monster at the start of the Damage Step.|
|Anoyatyllis||WATER||9||Prevents monsters from being Special Summoned from the hand or Graveyard by the effect of Spell/Trap Cards.|
|Shekhinaga||EARTH||10||Negates the activation of a Special Summoned monster's effect and destroys that monster.|
Due to the requirements for the Fusion Summons, cards like "Shaddoll Core" and "Nephe Shaddoll Fusion", can be used to either substitute any Attribute or to turn a "Shaddoll" monster into one declared Attribute. One can also use cards like "Curse of the Shadow Prison" in order to use opposing monsters to Fusion Summon them.
A powerful "Shaddoll" variant that uses "Reinforcement of the Army" to recruit "Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn" monster to mill a few "Shaddoll" cards or "Elemental HERO Blazeman" to search for "Polymerization".
Since the Deck basically relies on sending the "Shaddoll" monsters to the Graveyard in order to trigger their effects, or flipping them face-up, cards like "Soul Drain", "Royal Command", "Abyss Dweller", "Armades, Keeper of Boundaries", "Majesty's Fiend", "Archfiend Black Skull Dragon", and "Gem-Knight Citrine" can be simple and effective.
Additionally, one can also use cards that banish or return the Fusion Monsters to the Extra Deck to avoid the retriever effect. Due to cards like "El Shaddoll Winda", cards that can do this without the need to special summon, such as "Compulsory Evacuation Device", "Phoenix Wing Wind Blast," and "Karma Cut," are recommended. The variety of Types and Attributes also makes the Fusion Monsters vulnerable to floodgate cards like "Rivalry of Warlords" and "Gozen Match". "Skill Drain" is also a viable solution as it counters the anti-Special Summoning effects of the "Shaddoll" Fusion Monsters. This makes certain Decks that can use "Skill Drain" able to effectively bypass the "Shaddoll" Deck's threats. Examples of such Decks include "Qli", "Malefic", "Dark World", "Scrap", "Archfiend", "Yang Zing" and "Zombie".
|/Assault Modes||Red Dragon Archfiend / Colossal Fighter||Hyper Psychic Blaster / T.G. Halberd Cannon||Doomkaiser Dragon||Arcanite Magician||n/a||Stardust Dragon|
Summoners (Normal Spell Cards)
|Moonface the Silver
|Leon the Lead
|Salamandra the Steel
|Ouroboros the Bronze
|Ekenas the Mercury
|Aretos the Tin
Tin Spell Circle
|Aliens||Overlord / Mother / Psychic||Shocktrooper / Infiltrator / Warrior||Mars / Telepath||Ammonite / Dog / Grey / Kid / Shocktrooper M-Frame||Hunter / Hypno||Skull|
|Altergeists||Primebanshee / Kidolga / Multifaker / Fifinellag / Dragvirion / Pookuery||Kunquery||Hexstia||Marionetter||Meluseek / Fijialert||Silquitous / Pixiel|
|Attribute Boosters (500 ATK▲/400 DEF▼)
(500 ATK▲/500 DEF▲)
(500 ATK▲/400 DEF▼)
(400 ATK▲/200 DEF▼)
Wee Witch's Apprentice
Mystic Plasma Zone
Sword of Dark Destruction
Rising Air Current
|Attribute Reptiles||Umbral Soul||Raging Earth||Firestorm Prominence||Radiant Spirit||Silent Abyss||Destruction Cyclone|
|Attribute Spirits||Luna the Dark Spirit||The Rock Spirit||Spirit of Flames||Diana the Light Spirit||Aqua Spirit||Garuda the Wind Spirit|
|Attribute Summoners||Mystic Tomato||Giant Rat||UFO Turtle||Shining Angel||Mother Grizzly||Flying Kamakiri #1|
|B.E.S.||Big Core||Covered Core / Blaster Cannon Core||Big Core MK-2||Big Core MK-3||Crystal Core||Tetran|
Advanced Contact Fusions
|Senior Silver Ninja
|White Ninja / Upstart Golden Ninja
White / n/a
|Cubic||Vijam / Crimson Nova (Trinity)||Dark Garnex||Blade Garoodia||Duza / Buster Gundil / Indiora Doom Volt||n/a||Geira Guile|
|CXyz||Mechquipped Djinn Angeneral / Dark Fairy Cheer Girl||Comics Hero Legend Arthur / Battleship Cherry Blossom||Coach Lord Ultimatrainer||Simon the Great Moral Leader / Barian Hope||n/a||Skypalace Babylon|
|Dice Roll Archfiends||Terrorking / Masterking||Vilepawn||Infernalqueen||Desrook||Darkbishop||Shadowknight|
|The Trojan Horse
|Kaiser Sea Horse
|Star / Diamond||Yellow||Red||House / White||Blue||Green|
|Elemental HERO Fusion Monsters
(1 "HERO" + 1 matching Attribute)
|Escuridao||Gaia||Nova Master||The Shining||Absolute Zero||Great Tornado|
|Endymion||Master Magician / Mighty Master of Magic||Magister||Rogue||Crusader / Reflection||n/a||Servant|
Dark / Past
Light / Every
(Equip Spell Cards)
|Baou / Dreadscythe
Wicked-Breaking Flamberge / Reaper Scythe
Shooting Star Bow
Twin Swords of Flashing Light
Rod of Silence
|Elma / Eatos
Buttefly Dagger / Celestial Sword
(1 "Aleister the Invoker" + 1 matching Attribute)
|Kaiju||Radian||Kumongous||Dogoran||Jizukiru / Mecha-Dogoran / Thunder King||Gameciel||Gadarla|
|Legendary Planets||Jupiter / Saturn / Pluto / Sun||Terra Firma||Mars||Venus / Uranus||Mercury / Neptune||n/a|
Level 6 Fusion Monsters
Level 8 Fusion Monsters
Related "Monarch" Spell/Trap Cards
|Caius / Erebus
Caius the Mega
Tenacity / The First
Lucius / Eidos
Granmarg the Mega
Landrobe / Samsara Kaiser
Thestalos the Mega
|Zaborg / Ehther
Zaborg the Mega
Strike / The Prime
Mithra / Edea
Mobius the Mega
Raiza the Mega
|Mythyrian Numbers||Djinn Buster||Lion Heart / Ronin Raccoon Sandayu||n/a||Sky Pegasus / Dragluon||Abyss Splash / Crystalzero||n/a|
Umbral Horror Masquerade
Giant Red Hand
|Battlin' Boxer Star Cestus
Battlin' Boxer Comet Cestus
|Star Seraph Sentry / Masquerade / Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon
Archfiend Seraph / Neo Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon
|Silent Honor ARK / Ragnazero
Silent Honor DARK / Ragnafinity
|Odd-Eyes Dragons||Odd-Eyes / Pendulum / Rebellion / Raging / Phantom / Persona / Mirage / Supreme King / Venom / Wing / Performapal Metal Claw / Arc Pendulum / Advance / Wizard||Gravity||Meteorburst||Saber / Lancer / Revolution||Absolute||Vortex|
|Pendulum Magicians||Stargazer / Timegazer / Xiangke / Timebreaker / Acrobatic / Dragoncaller / Harmonizing / Double Iris / Black Fang / Purple Poison / Performapal Celestial||Dragonpulse||Nobledragon||Xiangsheng / Wisdom-Eye / Dharma-Eye / Performapal Five-Rainbow||Dragonpit||Oafdragon / White Wing|
|Prediction Princesses||Astromorrigan||Coinorma / Petalelf||n/a||Tarotrei||Crystaldine||Arrowsylph|
|Resonators||Dark / Synkron / Crimson||Clock||Flare / Red / Double / Net||Barrier / Chain / Mirror||Force||Creation|
(1 "Shaddoll" + 1 matching Attribute)
|Signer Dragons||Red Archfiend / Black-Winged||Life Stream||Black Rose||Ancient Fairy||n/a||Stardust|
Legendary Six Samurai
Secret Six Samurai
|Sky Striker Ace||Raye||Kaina||Kagari||Roze||Shizuku||Hayate|
|Junk / Satellite
Junk / Satellite
|Nitro / Jet
Nitro / Jet
(Continuous Spell/Trap Cards)
|Thunder / Rainbow
Thundery / Rainbowed
|Timelords||Vorpgate||Kamion / Hailon||Metaion / Michion / Lazion||Sandaion / Sephylon||Gabrion / Zaphion||Sadion / Raphion|
|True Draco and True King||All Calamities||Lithosazim / Dreiath III||Agnimazud / Ignis Heat||Metaltron XII / Master Peace / King Master Peace||Bahrstos / Dinomight Knight||Mariamne / Majesty Maiden|
|Witchcrafters||Haine||Potterie||Schmitta||Edel / Verre / Golem Aruru||Pittore||Genni|
|World Legacy - "World Chalice"
|Beckoned by the World Chalice
Ningirsu the World Chalice Warrior
|Chosen by the World Chalice
Auram the World Chalice Blademaster
|Lee the World Chalice Fairy
|Crowned by the World Chalice
Ib the World Chalice Priestess
|World Chalice Guardragon
Imduk the World Chalice Dragon
|Jiaotu / Taotie
|Bi'an / Zefraxi / Zefraniu||Suanni||Chiwen
Baxia / Chaofeng / Denglong
|Yo-kai Girls||Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries||Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion||Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring||Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit||Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood||Ghost Mourner & Moonlit Chill|
|ZW -||Chimera Clad||Ultimate Shield||Phoenix Bow / Asura Strike||Unicorn Spear / Lightning Blade / Leo Arms / Sleipnir Mail / Sylphid Wing / Fenrir Sword||n/a||Tornado Bringer / Eagle Claw|