"Valkyrie" (ワルキューレ Warukyūre) is an archetype of female LIGHT Fairy monsters (and two WIND Fairy monsters) originally used by Zigfried von Schroeder in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, which debuted in the TCG-exclusive booster pack Shadows in Valhalla. The archetype receive several new members and further supports in Savage Strike and Dark Neostorm.
The concept of the "Valkyrie" cards is derived from the valkyries of Norse mythology. Like most of Zigfried's cards, the "Valkyrie" cards are named after characters from the opera Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Despite being based on the same mythology, this archetype has no relation to the "Nordic" archetype.
The Valkyries are armored female monsters of varying ages and hair colors. Each of them wields a sword and shield, and is accompanied by a white stallion corresponding to her own age. The two eldest and most powerful of the Valkyries, Erda and Brunhilde, also wear elaborate helmet to signify their rank.
In the Japanese anime, the "Valkyries" are called "Warukyūre", from German Walküre. Many of them have their own names derived from German.
The German and Italian names of some of the "Valkyries" simply translate to "First", "Second, "Third", "Fourth", "Fifth" and "Sixth Valkyrie".
TCG Naming issues
There are some issues regarding the archetype's name in the TCG, mostly because it wasn't released in the OCG first. Thus, despite the fact it was not released in Japan, according to recent errata, "Element Valkyrie" and "Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant" are not considered "Valkyrie" monsters, and a new archetype condition was introduced to exclude them.
Also, in the French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish versions, the archetype names contain a hyphen (e.g. French "Valkyrie-") to exclude all cards that have "Valkyria" or "Valkyrian" in their English names that have been released prior to the realization of this archetype in the TCG, including "Dark Valkyria", "Power Angel Valkyria", "Magician's Valkyria" and "Valkyrian Knight". This is necessary because the English "Valkyria" and "Valkyrian" have been translated to the only words for "valkyrie" in these languages. The hyphen is only used in the names of "Valkyrie" monsters in whose cases the hyphenated archetype names function as prefixes, therefore an archetype condition is added to the card text of "Ride of the Valkyries" to include it in the archetype in these languages. These aren't issues with the German names, because translations for "Valkyrie" ("Walküre") and "Valkyria" ("Valkyre") / "Valkyrian" ("Valkyrischer") are sufficiently distinct.
|Dritte||Dritte (German for "third")|
|Erda||Erda, Goddess of the Earth, mother of the three Norns (Fates) and Brunhilde in "Die Walküre" by Richard Wagner|
|Erste||Erste (German for "first")|
|Funfte||Funfte (German for “Fifth”)|
|Sechste||Sechste (German for "sixth")|
|Sigurn||Sigrun, a valkyrie from the Poetic Edda|
|Vierte||Vierte (German for "fourth")|
|Zweite||Zweite (German for "second")|
|Apple of Enlightenment||Golden apple and Freyja|
|Final Light||The northern lights, as shone by the Valkyries' armor|
|Fortune Chariot||Einherjar, the spirit of a deceased warrior that was brought to Vallhalla by the valkyries|
|Goddess Skuld's Oracle||Skuld (Old Norse for "debt"), the goddess of the future|
|Goddess Urd's Verdict||Urðr (Old Norse for "fate"), the goddess of fate and the past|
|Goddess Verdande's Guidance||Verðandi (Old Norse for "present"), the goddess of the present|
|Loge's Flame||Loge, Germanized name for the god Loki in the operas Das Rheingold and Die Walküre by Richard Wagner|
|Mischief of the Time Goddess||Skuld (Old Norse for "debt"), the goddess of the future|
|Pegasus Wing||Grane, the winged horse from Norse mythology.|
|Ride of the Valkyries||Ride of the Valkyries|
The Deck sticks foremost to the all-or-nothing tactic of using "Ride of the Valkyries" from the anime, to perform an OTK as soon as possible. The first three "Valkyrie" monsters work in tandem to clear the field and enable their ATK-raising effects while the last three "Valkyrie" monsters help with more search power and swarming. As a side strategy, the deck also focuses on controlling the opponent's draw and disrupting field presence by banishing and rearranging the opponent's deck, as well as banishing cards from the field and from the Graveyard.
"Brunhilde" is the ace of the monster line-up in terms of attack points. Its main role is to punish swarming by increasing its ATK to surprising heights, depending on Deck match-up, as well as giving the other "Valkyrie" monsters immunity to battle destruction. Its immunity against opposing Spell Effects can come in handy against certain troublesome cards or whole decks, for example, "Lair of Darkness", "Lost World" and "Zombie World", as well as generic cards such as "Book of Moon", "Raigeki" and "Sky Striker Maneuver - Afterburners!". "Valkyrie Erda" is the second Boss Monster of the archetype. She helps weakening the opponent's monsters while also banishing all the destroyed cards that would be sent to the opponent's graveyard.
"Mischief of the Time Goddess" is the objectively most dangerous Spell Card their strategy relies on, as it not only gives the player an additional Battle Phase, but it also bypasses the negative effect of "Ride of the Valkyries". Also, it could allow cards like "Where Arf Thou?", "Into the Void" and "Celestial Transformation" be played safely, bypassing the damage, mass-discard or destruction effect during the End Phase. As it skips a whole turn, it is possible to activate Trap Cards shortly after being Set, get 1 additional Normal Summon during Main Phase 2, and reset once per turn effects. "Foolish Burial Goods" is also a good tech option to send this card to the GY so that you can recover it with "Valkyrie Erste".
“Valkyrie Dritte” is the deck’s main searcher as she can add any Valkyrie card to your hand, so some builds run a few copies of “Condemned Witch”, as it can Special Summon her straight from the Deck, granting her search effect, while also being a good search card herself for the "Forbidden" Quick-Play spells. While her base ATK of 1000 seems quite low, she can boost herself by 200 ATK for each of your opponent's banished monsters. "Valkyrie Sechste" can provide more swarming once Special Summoned, as she can summon any "Valkyrie" out of your deck. Therefore she is the primary target for effects that let you Special Summon a monster ( "One for One", "Monster Reborn", "Final Light", "Celestial Transformation" etc.) as she can build up your board with her additional Special Summon. However, its Mill effect can be more of a hindrance than a help against many Decks. But there are cases where it can be handy to get more monsters in your opponents Graveyard to banish them with "Erste" or "Apple of Enlightenment". Furthermore, "Valkyrie Vierte" can help by adding a Normal Spell/Trap card to the hand like "Raigeki", "Monster Reborn", "Final Light", "Apple of Enlightenment", "Valkyrie's Embrace", "Pegasus Wing" or simply "Ride". Once she is destroyed by battle, she can Special Summon any "Valkyrie" Monster from the Deck. "Valkyrie Funfte" acts both as a booster and as a archetypical "Foolish Burial Goods", as she can boost all the Valkyries by 200 ATK for each of the opponent's banished monsters and can send from the Deck to Graveyard any Spells or Trap; a common strategy would be to send "Goddess Skuld's Oracle" to the Graveyard and retrieve it once "Valkyrie Zweite" battles so it can be activated in MP2 to search for the other Goddesses. You can also retrieve other Continious Spells like "Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen" or "Constellar Belt" this way or even send Traps like "Lost Wind" to the Graveyard to activate their effects. "Valkyrie Erda" weakens all the opponents monsters by 1000 ATK when Special Summoned with a Valkyrie card (commonly "Valkyrie Sechste" or "Ride of the Valkyries" (or with "Vierte" in less common cases)); furthermore, it acts as an opponent's unique "Macro Cosmos" as she banishes every destroyed card that would be sent to the opponent's Graveyard, resulting in high ATK boosts with "Funfte" and/or for "Dritte".
Despite being commonly perceived as an OTK (One Turn Kill) deck, Valkyrie monsters usually lack the necessary brute strength to perform one turn kills consistently. Because of this, supportive cards such as "Valkyrie's Embrace", "Pegasus Wing", "Valkyrie Chariot" and "Fortune Chariot" can really be useful. "Embrace" helps removing strong monsters from the opponent's field by banishing them; this usually comes handy as it also triggers "Dritte's" and "Funfte's" boosting effects while "Pegasus Wing" allows Valkyries to attack directly by simply having a Union monster (usually one of the two "Chariots") in the Graveyard; this is easily achievable since "Valkyrie Vierte" can easily mill the deck. Alternatively, running "Foolish Burial" is a safe way to mill one of those Union monsters. At the same time, "Valkyrie Chariot" permanently boosts a Valkyrie's attack by 500 (can cumulate) whenever she attacks and effectively protects the equipped Valkyrie from destruction by sacrificing itself while "Fortune Chariot" let's the equipped Valkyrie perform a direct attack. Alternatively you can simply rely on cards like "Honest" to get over higher ATK targets, as the "Chariot" monsters are WIND Attribute monsters, while all "Valkyries" are LIGHT, therefore making the "Chariots" prone to flood gates like "Gozen Match".
As the deck can still be vulnerable to battle traps like the "Mirror Force" card and its counterparts, a standard option is to tech in cards like "Twin Twisters" and "Hey, Trunade!" to get rid of problematic backrow cards (It's is worth noting that you can banish opponent's backrow cards when using "Twin Twister" or other cards that destroy them, while controlling "Valkyrie Erda"). This Deck doesn’t rely too much on the Extra Deck, as the OTK strategy means the player is trying to finish off the opponent with the “Valkyries” themselves, and as a result "Pot of Extravagance" for extra draw power is a common choice as losing 3-6 extra Deck monsters does not negatively affect the deck.
The three goddesses ("Skuld", "Verdande" and "Urd") can have a supportive role by preemptively banishing dangerous cards the opponent could have drawn, while protecting the "Valkyries" from being targeted and destroyed by opposing effects. This also creates an opportunity for the player to use cards like "Conscription" and "Mind Crush". They also are a strong tool to summon "Valkyrie Sigurn", a level 9 "Valkyrie" that allows to Special Summon any Level 8 or lower "Valkyrie"from the Hand or Graveyard. As a last resort, they can be used to summon "Hamon, Lord of Striking Thunder" or "Dragon Queen of Tragic Endings". As an additional tech, their power can be combined with "Valkyrie Sechste" second effect; by doing so, the player can freely choose what to banish and what to send to the graveyard, giving almost total control over the opponent's deck. "Loge's Flame" and "Valkyrie Erda" also support the "Goddesses" strategy by decreasing the opponent's strength and also stalling for time. Additionally, "Loge's Flame" can summon any level 5 or higher Valkyrie from the hand or the deck when destroyed, opening up for disruption plays ( "Erste" or "Zweite") or defensive plays ("Brunhilde").
Finally, "Reasoning" can be a very good card for this archetype, since all the "Valkyrie" monsters but the Union Monsters have different levels. Because of this, the chances of getting a free Special Summon while also charging the Graveyard are very high. Charging the Graveyard and milling the deck is very important and combos well with "Final Light"; this card acts like an archetypical "Soul Charge" and can be effectively used to swarm the field or to easily Link Summon strong monsters like "Borrelsword Dragon". As a downside, the opponent can also Special Summon monsters with 2000 atk or less from his Graveyard equal to number of "Valkyrie" monsters Special Summoned with this effect however this can be more helpful than it appears to be; as "Brunhilde" gets a boost depending on how many monsters the opponent controls, "Zweite" can automatically destroy one of them if Summoned, "Erda" can banish them instead of sending them to the Graveyard while also triggering the boosting effect of "Funfte" or "Dritte". Finally, "Apple of Enlightenment" can be used to preventively banish monsters from the opponent's Graveyard.
The deck fails in not having a more intricate gameplay, gambling in an all-out strategy in order to finish the game as soon as possible, in a reminiscence of the feared Zigfried's strategy in the anime. The Deck also suffers from several problems that have plagued similar anime-inspired Decks, with most of its cards lacking serious synergy and underwhelming in power level. The Goddess Continuous Spells, while powerful, don't really fit with the rest of the deck's OTK strategy, and are more suited to a longer Duel, where the rest of the Deck's inadequacies become more and more prevalent. Many of its long-term plans are also based on a mill-control type strategy, hopeless in the modern era of Graveyard effects and recursion.
That said, the main line of the Deck can be vulnerable to cards that prevent them from conducting the Battle Phase or attacking, such as "Threatening Roar" or "Battle Fader". Despite the protection given by "Goddess Urd's Verdict", they are still vulnerable to cards like "Quaking Mirror Force", "Drowning Mirror Force", "Floodgate Trap Hole", etc. This fast-paced strategy also renders them vulnerable to cards like "Anti-Spell Fragrance" and "Imperial Order", which can be fatal to the Deck, postponing the activation of key cards such as "Ride of the Valkyries" and "Mischief of the Time Goddess". Indeed, simply negating "Ride" is normally enough to stop the Valkyrie strategy cold.