Grab your tickets to see the hottest new group in entertainment: Trickstars! Used by Aoi Zaizen in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS and named after poisonous flowers, Trickstars revolve around disrupting your opponent’s resources while dealing small increments of burn damage. Not to be confused with the Trick Stars Crow Hogan or Brave in 5D’s, these female idols look to make a quick impact on the dueling scene.
Meet the Idols
Light Fairy / Effect
Lv4 1800/400(1) When this card is Normal Summoned: You can add 1 “Trickstar” card from your Deck to your hand.
(2) Each time your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, inflict 200 damage to your opponent immediately after it resolves.
First up, we have Trickstar Candina, clocking in at a respectable 1800 ATK. Keeping with the recent trend of making most decks have a searcher of some sort, Candina can search any Trickstar card in your Deck, not just monsters. Unlike our good buddy Elemental Hero Stratos, Candina’s effect only activates upon her successful Normal Summon. However, her lack of restrictions on the searched card and the fact that the search effect is not once per turn make her instantly viable, if not a staple 3-of in the deck. Her second effect burns the opponent for 200 points of damage whenever they resolve a spell or trap card. While 200 points of damage may seem largely insignificant, it really begins to rack up when paired with other cards in the archetype.
Light Fairy / Effect
LV2 800/2000You can only use this card name’s (1) effect once per turn.
(1) If this card is added to your hand, except by drawing it: You can Special Summon this card from your hand.
(2) This card can attack directly.
(3) When this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can target 1 “Trickstar” monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.
Our next idol is Trickstar Lilybell. Her first effect allows her to be Special Summoned whenever she is added to the hand. Keep in mind, this means added to the Hand from anywhere, including the Field or Graveyard. Boasting a solid defense, Lilybell can be summoned in Defense Mode and used as a wall in a pinch. However, this effect becomes even more useful when paired with her second and third effects, allowing her to attack directly and recycle any Trickstar monster napping in the Graveyard. She essentially deals a free 800 points of damage that can always grab you another resource in the process. Unlike the other Trickstars, Lilybell does not burn the opponent, but her utility in offensive and defensive plays should not be underestimated.
Trickstar LycorissicaLight Fairy / EffectLV3 1600/1200
(1) During either player’s turn: You can reveal this card in your hand to your opponent, then target 1 face-up “Trickstar” monster you control, except “Trickstar Lycorissica”; Special Summon this card, and if you do, return that target to the hand.
(2) Each time your opponent adds a card(s) from their Deck to their hand, inflict 200 damage to them for each card.
Yes, you read that right. 200 points of damage for each card. Our third idol makes that micro-burn damage something to fear, especially when players are constantly adding cards to their Hand in order to combo off. Simply drawing a card during the Draw Phase triggers Lycorissica’s effect, as do cards such as Allure of Darkness, Reinforcement of the Army, and Pot of Desires. Her other effect allows her to give another idol a break by swapping places. She summons herself from the Hand and then returns another Trickstar to the Hand in her place. Keep in mind, this counts as adding a card to the Hand. And a certain idol loves being added to the Hand…
Trickstar Holly AngelLight Fairy / Link / EffectLink 2 2000 / BL BR2 “Trickstar” monsters(1) Each time a “Trickstar” monster(s) is Normal or Special Summoned to this card’s linked Zone(s), inflict 200 damage to your opponent.(2) A “Trickstar” monster linked by this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effect.(3) When your opponent takes damage from a “Trickstar” monster’s effect: This card gains ATK equal to that amount of damage, until the end of this turn.
Trickstars have their star performer in Holly Angel. She requires 2 Trickstar monsters to be Link Summoned and has a decent 2000 ATK. However, that ATK only gets larger as each turns goes on, as Holly Angel absorbs any burn damage your opponent takes from Trickstar monsters’ effects. Candina and Lycorissica both work to put the spotlight on Holly Angel through their burn effects. In addition to her ATK boost, Holly Angel also deals 200 damage whenever a Trickstar is summoned to one of her linked Zones. Sadly it’s still only 200 damage even if you summon two Trickstars to the linked Zones at the same time, but Holly Angel will end up boosting her ATK through this effect as well, so you’re still going to double the damage anyway! Finally, Holly Angel protects the Trickstars linked to her from destruction by card effects and battle, making sure your idols remain on centerstage.
Trickstar LightstageField Spell(1) When this card is activated: You can add 1 “Trickstar” monster from your Deck to your hand.(2) Once per turn: You can target 1 Set card in your opponent’s Spell & Trap Zones; while this card is in the Field Zone, that card cannot be activated until the End Phase, and during the End Phase, your opponent chooses to either activate it, or send it to the Graveyard.(3) Each time a “Trickstar” monster you control inflicts battle or effect damage to your opponent, inflict 200 damage to your opponent.
All performers need a stage, and there’s no better one for Trickstars than Trickstar Lightstage. But what good is a stage without a performer? Lightstage solves this problem by immediately searching out any Trickstar monster in your Deck. This stage also lets you choose one of your opponent’s Set spells or traps and render it unusable for the turn, forcing them to activate it early or destroy it themselves at the end of the turn. Lightstage helps protect your plays from pesky tabloids that could otherwise ruin your image and plan! Last, Lightstage, in supporting its performers, also deals 200 points of damage any time a Trickstar monster inflicts damage of any sort to your opponent.
Trickstar ReincarnationTrap Normal(1) Banish as many cards from your opponent’s hand as possible, and if they do, they draw the same amount of cards from their Deck.(2) You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 “Trickstar” monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it.
The final Trickstar card from Code of the Duelist, Trickstar Reincarnation may seem a little ridiculous at first glance. But let me assure you, it absolutely is. This card banishes your opponent’s entire hand, robbing them of their plays, and then replaces those cards with totally new cards. In the Graveyard, Trickstar Reincarnation can also banish itself in order to bring a Trickstar back onstage from the Graveyard. The show must go on!
Only having one set of support so far, Trickstars are likely not even close to reaching their full potential. However, one could argue, probably correctly, that they are already better than most other anime archetypes we get, especially if only taking into account each archetypes’ first set. All six cards for the archetype are solid enough to run three copies of each card (except Holly Angel, since that’s unnecessary), though Lilybell could probably be reduced in number depending on each individual deck’s focus.
Trickstars offer several tools for players: burn damage, hand control, and stun. Any of these aspects are good enough to use as a primary focus for the deck, but for the time being it’s probably best to focus on what Trickstars do best: burn damage. That being said, it just so happens that their best burn damage effect results from Lycorissica, who works with Trickstar Reincarnation to also destroy the opponent’s deck while burning them. Burn damage can be accumulated through a mixture of burn cards and hand control cards with Lycorissica, or the burn damage can be accrued through cards dedicated to effect damage. You know. Like everyone’s favorite deck. Chain Burn.
Trickstars don’t just work well with burn cards, though. They also like to share the spotlight with each other! A basic example is if you add a Lilybell to your Hand with Candina, you can instantly summon it to have fodder for a Lycorissica to couple with your Candina. Having both idols on the field at once allows you to burn your opponent from two different angles at once. This is made particularly effective if you have Holly Angel protecting them, essentially allowing your idols to burn from behind a protective barrier. A good lead idol always protects the rest of the group.
Lilybell starts to get a little insane in the Battle Phase, though. If she attacks your opponent directly, you can grab back a Trickstar in the Graveyard. If Lycorissica is added back the Hand, you can use her Quick Effect to swap Lilybell out for herself. Doing so triggers Lilybell’s effect and allows you to summon her back to the field, giving you 2400 points of extra offensive power on the board between the two, netting you another Trickstar monster from the Graveyard if you are able to again inflict damage with Lilybell. Doing so lets you not only quickly fetch your Lycorissica from the Graveyard, but it also can grab back your Candina for a search later that turn or on the next turn.
Since Trickstars are proficient at effect damage, it is probably wise for now to include additional burn cards as mentioned before. Cards such as Dark Room of Nightmare, Skull Invitation, Just Desserts, Ceasefire, and Chain Strike help rack up burn damage on the opponent, with Dark Room of Nightmare turning each poke of 200 damage into a respectable 500 points of damage. If you really want to focus on Lycorissica’s burn effect, adding in more hand control cards might be the way to go. Present Card, Disturbance Strategy, and Recall are all solid options to further capitalize on her effect. Though it should be noted if something happens to Lycorissica, a build focused on her effect might be stopped cold.
There happens to be another card that likes it when your opponent adds cards from their Deck to their Hand. Droll & Lock Bird can activate whenever your opponent performs such an action, locking them out of any future draws or searches for the turn. Trickstar Reincarnation, Present Card, and Disturbance Strategy can all be activated in response to that action, and then Droll & Lock Bird can be chained as well. The trap will resolve as much as possible, forcing your opponent to ditch their entire Hand, and then Droll & Lock Bird will prevent them from replacing those cards. Your opponent is left handless, and chances are good that they aren’t playing Infernities. This combo is brutal, and if you opened Droll & Lock Bird, there’s a high possibility of pulling it off on your opponent’s first turn thanks to the massive searching abilities of Trickstars to get to Trickstar Reincarnation and thanks to the heavy focus on drawing and searching cards in the metagame. If resolved so early on, the combo can be deadly.
The Trickstar combo pieces that work well with Droll & Lock Bird and the hand control cards can mostly all be searched by Candina. It turns out Lycorissica is not the only Trickstar who can be abused. Did you happen to notice that both Lightstage and Candina are not once per turn effects? Activating a second Lightstage can put you ahead in a resource game, fielding you a Lilybell if you desire. But possibly more importantly, and more pertinent to pulling off your most deadly combos, resolving multiple Candina effects in a single turn can end the game itself. Cards such as Chain Summoning and Double Summon allow you to reuse Candina’s search effect multiples times in one turn, allowing you to gather all the pieces for victory in the blink of an eye. Use up to three Candina searches to gather combinations of Lycorissica and Reincarnation to blow your opponent out on their turn with heavy burn damage and disruption.
Trickstars can also benefit from generic support for Light and Fairy monsters since they all share those characteristics. Honest can protect your idols, Athena can provide additional burn damage, and Beckoning Light can add Lilybell back your Hand. There are plenty of options to choose from when dealing with these two monster qualities.
Themes such as Volcanics and Paleozoics can work well with Trickstars. Volcanics increase burn damage output through Volcanic Scattershot and synergizing off the the fact that Blaze Accelerator Reload and Trickstar Reincarnation can both be dumped to the graveyard with techs such as Foolish Burial Goods. Paleozoics work well in a more stun-focused build, with the Palezoics further stopping your opponent’s plays as you deal micro-burn damage and also overlaying with Lilybell for Rank 2’s. Paleozoic Marrella in particular works well in both of these hybrid ideas. Finally, Trickstars can be meshed with a dedicated Chain Burn deck to increase the number of methods available for burning the opponent, though it may be less consistent and less resilient overall.
In the future, we’ll examine some possible deck builds for the Trickstars. Until then, though, the archetype stands well on its own right out of the gate. Its cards all synergize well while also providing several gameplans for players to choose from. Right now, their plays are somewhat limited due to only having six cards released, but future support should make them not only stronger but also more unpredictable.
Candina and Lightstage provide fairly consistent opening hands, and future support will likely only improve this aspect. The deck can take a good bit of setting up to get rolling without the aid of potentially gimmicky enablers such as Chain Summoning and Dark Room of Nightmare, but with those cards the deck can actually win the duel in a single turn surprisingly often. The deck lacks any real offensive power outside of Holly Angel, but ultimately the deck relies more on alternate win conditions anyway. The deck can be built around stun, burn, or mill, providing players a wide range of options, yet those options all rely on the same card interactions for the time being. Reincarnation and Lilybell provide recovery options, and Candina is fairly easy to recycle, but the recovery isn’t exactly something that will prevent an OTK; however, Holly Angel’s protection effect can shield your field if you actually care to invest resources into summoning her. Overall, the deck is off to a strong start and is only going to get better with future sets.