Igknights are a very straightforward archetype when played in its purest form. I wanted to cover them but didn’t want to be redundant covering 8 vanilla monsters consecutively with matching pendulum effects. So instead I’m going to discuss them as a whole. There are also two main deck effect monsters as well as 3 spells and 1 trap. So let’s get started.
As stated above, Igknights by and large are vanilla pendulum monsters. There are 8 Igknight pendulum monsters and 2 effect monsters that would serve as main deck boss monsters. The Igknights are very cleanly broken off into pairs with 2 monsters at Lv. 3,4,5 and 6. So being a pendulum deck does give them a lot of XYZ versatility, but with the drawback of not being able to easily retrieve spent material monsters without outside support.
On the pendulum side however there are only 2 scales (similar to Dinomist) those being 2 and 7. This will catch everything in the Igknights’ pendulum line-up (Lv. 3 through 6) but not their “boss” monsters which are Lv. 7 and 8. But this isn’t particularly limiting considering that most Igknight players don’t often use the effect monsters – or if they do – it’s as a spicy tech and not necessarily as their primary strategy.
The pendulum effect on the other hand seemed underwhelming when I first read it, not realizing what it was really capable of. The effect reads like this:
And this is shared by every Igknight pendulum monster. Now of course the Igknights themselves are all FIRE Warrior-Type monsters. So you can basically blow up your scales (if you have 2 Igknight scales) and add an Igknight monster from your deck or grave (including the “boss” monsters).
Now how you would ideally use this would be:
- Open a handful of Igknights
- Set your scales and explode them
- Add a new Igknight from your deck
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have scales set but only 1 monster left in your hand.
- Explode your scales and carefully search out an opposite scale for the Igknight you still have in hand.
- Having your last set of scales, set them and pendulum summon all of your Igknights that have been piling up in your extra deck from popping scales.
- (optional) At this point you may or may not explode your last set of scales. You may want to if you didn’t have a lot of Igknights from the start and you want to beef up your field, get a boss monster, or other support (since you wouldn’t have used a normal summon yet, this would be an opportunity to do so). Or you can keep your scales up to use later.
This is how one sets up and OTK with Igknights, they are an extremely dangerous turn 2 deck if the opponent stalled on their 1st turn or didn’t layout a solid defense. Igknights can easily get enough ATK on their side of the field to OTK on turn two.
But the Igknights do suffer some issues. Firstly their boss monsters are underwhelming. Igknights Unite is a quick-play spell that allows you to pop an Igknight on the field (including pendulum zones) to special summon an Igknight from your deck. While this makes getting the bosses to the field easier, and their effects are pretty good, they require bouncing an Igknight as a cost. Thus potentially hampering your OTK. Also, they don’t naturally fit in your scales, they’re two tributes, or special summon by destroying 3 Igknight monsters. They work well if you’re playing a slower grindy version of Igknights where you can use their special summon to load up your extra deck. But that’s still really situational.
You’re really just as well to load up on Cavaliers and Gallants and because the offset really doesn’t justify the cost. Particularly when 3 Cavaliers are almost game by themselves.
Now let’s talk about the support:
There’s the field spell
The artwork bothers me because yes Ignister is a thing, but the imagery doesn’t promote/further Igknights – it sells up Dracoslayer. Aside from my nitpicking the artwork, it’s a decent card. The 300 boost isn’t that impressive, but the pop effect echoes the pendulum effect of the main line-up. Certainly not an essential card, I would run 2 without Terraforming to save room for other options. But two is enough that with all the deck thinning your scales provide you’ll still see it regularly.
Igknight reload makes way more sense when you realize that the OCG versions of Igknights don’t have swords and they’re not named after knights – they carry guns and they’re named after guns. Because you reload guns – not swords. Anyway, this is like a Magical Mallet specifically for pendulums. And as a bonus, it’s generic so it can be used outside of although not a lot of decks need to re-draw their monsters. But hey! At least it draws +1 to whatever you shuffle, so you don’t exactly minus off it. Unfortunately sometimes you tap into the Fart of the Cards and pull worse than what you sent. But that’s the risky nature of the game.
We already brought up this card in regards to the bosses, but to fair the bosses aren’t the only ones to need the help. Frankly speaking, Crusader, Squire, and Paladin have awful stats all around and Margrave and Veteran boast respectable DEF values but have similarly poor ATK values. Realistically you want 3 Cavaliers and 2 Galliants as I previously mentioned (unless you’re running the bosses.)
Speaking of the bosses, why don’t we give them a look, hey?
Igknight Champion (or Stinger in the OCG because that, my friends is a stinger set-up he’s got hanging off the shoulder) is a Lv.8 FIRE Warrior-Type effect monster with 2800 ATK and the physically the strongest Igknight in terms of raw stats. He has a special summon ability to destroy 3 Igknight monsters you control to bring him out from the hand. The primary reason for summoning him this way and not using tributes is that your tributes would go to the graveyard where as destroyed Igknights go to the extra deck. If your scales are already in place and your field is established, you could dust some Igknights, summon this, then pendulum summon the Igknights used for Champion’s summon. Given my personal preference for the “Turn 2 OTK” I tend not to run him. His other effect allows you (once per turn) to bounce an Igknight from your field to hand, then non-target spin a card from your opponent’s field to the bottom of their deck. That actually works. That is a damned good effect that gives Igknights an out to things they could otherwise never handle (either by virtue of effect or stats). That is legitimately a very good option to have.
Now I’m not going to lie – as silly as Konami Photoshop-ing their archetypes is – a gattling gun firing spears is hilarious and terrifying at the same time. Hilarifying. Packing a little less punch than his bigger brother and a Lv. less, Igknight Lancer also shares the same special summon ability and even the same removal effect. The only difference is that Lancer spins a Spell/Trap card as opposed to Champion spinning a monster. You can probably guess which one sees more use.
Igknight Burst should be better. It really should. Multi-monster, non-target, spin? Sounds great. Except… It is a continuous trap. It’s a slow movong, over priced mess. It’s the effect of Champion/Lancer with a max of 3 rolled up into a continuous trap. On paper its great. But again being focused on that OTK it doesn’t really belong. It’s a slower card for a slower style of play that I personally don’t think suits them and even then just feels like a win more card.
Though to be fair, barring monsters that aren’t affected by other effects (etc) this is a potential gamechanger. By destroying some Igknights you can pendulum right back, you could break your opponent’s board.
Igknights have been around for a while now but they still pose a legitimate threat and any hand that bricks against them turn one might as well scoop to be honest. Their destruction-searching allows you to cherry pick your deck to load up your extra deck. Then unload them with a big pendulum summon!
Pass the salt!