"The Shepherd", known as "Bounty Hunter Blood Shepherd" in the orginal version is the fifty-third episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It aired in Japan on May 23, 2018, and became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on the same day. It aired on October 20, 2019 on Teletoon.

The Shepherd challenges Playmaker to a Duel. He manages to figure out Playmaker's strategy, and uses his Drone deck to perform a series of combos to overwhelm Playmaker and seal off his strategy.

Featured Duel: Playmaker vs. The Shepherd

Playmaker VS Blood Shepherd

The Duel is conducted as a Speed Duel.

Turn 1: The Shepherd
Shepherd Normal Summons "Drone Pawn" (600/0) to the left Main Monster Zone, and sets a card.

Turn 2: Playmaker
Playmaker Normal Summons "Clock Wyvern" (1800/1000), and activates its effect as it was Normal or Special Summoned, halving its ATK ("Clock Wyvern": 1800 → 900 ATK) to Special Summon a "Clock Token" (0/0). As he controls a Cyberse Monster, he Special Summons "Backup Secretary" (1200/800) from his hand. He uses "Clock Wyvern" and "Backup Secretary" as Link Material to Link Summon "Elphase" (2000/LINK-2/↑→). He then uses "Elphase" and "Clock Token" to Link Summon "Shootingcode Talker" (2300/LINK-3/↓↑←) to the Right Extra Monster Zone.

As the Link Summoned "Elphase" left the field, Playmaker activates its effect to target 1 Level 4 or lower Cyberse Monster in his GY and Special Summon it. He targets "Clock Wyvern" and Special Summons it to the zone "Shootingcode Talker" points to. As Shepherd controls a "Drone" Monster, he activates his Set "Capture Drone" by targeting a Link Monster his opponent controls. That target has its effect negated and cannot be used as Link Material nor tributed. Shepard targets "Shootingcode Talker". Playmaker sets a card.

Turn 3: The Shepherd
Shepherd uses "Drone Pawn" as Link Material to Link Summon "Battledrone Sergeant" (800/LINK-1/↓). He uses the effect of "Capture Drone", Special Summoning "Drone Tokens" (0/0) equal to the Link Rating of the monster targeted by this effect. "Shootingcode Talker" is a LINK-3 monster, so three "Drone Tokens" are summoned. Shepard uses his three "Drone Tokens" to Link Summon "Battledrone General" (2400/LINK-3/→↓←).

Duel continues in the next episode.

Featured cards

The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.

Playmaker (Yusaku Fujiki)
The Shepherd (Kenneth Drayden)
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