Yu-Gi-Oh! Deck Debut: Flame Swordsman ft. Ringowurm

Carter Kachmarik
January 10, 2024


2024 has arrived, and with it, another series of legacy nostalgic support for a single monster from Yugioh Season 1: Flame Swordsman.  Much like the Gate Guardian support of January 2023’s Maze of Memories, the Flame Swordsman line in Maze of Millenia makes accessing the clunky older cards a breeze, while giving the strategy a linear gameplan to rely on.  Unlike the Gate Guardian support though, which only saw fringe experimentation in Kashtira due to its easy access to Level 7 monsters & Spell/Trap negates, I have a feeling this lineup of Flame Swordsman cards might have a bit more potential.  As long as you can find a copy of your Level 4 FIRE Warrior, Fighting Flame Swordsman, you’re off to the races, and that typeline should clue you in to this wave’s partners in crime — The Infernoble.  While it may still need a few cards to truly thrive, I believe there’s something here, so let’s dive into Flame Swordsman, ft. Ringowurm.

Given these cards were just revealed, bear in mind that we lack high-quality images of them thus far!

Given all these cards were just debuted, I’ll go a bit more in-depth as to how they work, and the main combo line within the strategy; laying the groundwork now allows us to understand the tech choices I’ve settled on for the decklist.

The combo starts by Summoning Fighting Flame Swordsman, who searches an archetypal Spell/Trap on Summon (usually Flame Swordsrealm, if you lack it), and sends an archetypal monster when he’s sent (usually Salamandra, the Flying Flame Dragon).  Swordsrealm allows you to bin a monster from hand or field to straight-up just Summon Flame Swordsman, and Salamandra FFD adds Salamandra Fusion when it’s sent, letting us chain together Fighting Flame Swordsman’s entire line if we can send a FIRE Warrior to GY.  You follow up by equipping Salamandra Fusion to Flame Swordsman, which then Fusion Summons the deck’s boss monster, Ultimate Flame Swordsman, who is a double-attacking Quick Effect pop.

This line is pretty low ceiling, and it’s not dissimilar to old Tri-Brigade lines of yore, where binning a tri-type allowed you to access the whole line, and end on a triggered banish via your boss monster.  The difference here is that, while less resilient, the Flame Swordsman package makes up for it with combo potential.  Enter Ringowurm, the Dragon Guarding the Hundred Apples.  Given a Level 5 non-Effect monster is exceptionally accessible within the strategy, you’re able to do a couple killer plays by modifying the core line.  Summoning Ringo while you control Flame Swordsman gives you access to either Shooting Riser Dragon, which can bin most of your monsters for extension and Baronne set-ups, or Power Tool Dragon, which can add give you access (alongside Power Tool Braver Dragon) to “Infernoble Arms - Durendal”Snatch Steal, or of course, Salamandra Fusion.

Instant Fusion and Ready Fusion also do work in the deck, giving you access to either FS himself or a monster you’d normally send from your Extra Deck to the GY, Fighting Flame Dragon.  That’s not all though, as Ringo can also turn our Level 4 monsters into Muddy Mudragon, or line up an Accel Synchro Stardust Dragon play.  Essentially, because your monsters can come from pretty much anywhere for the majority of the strategy, Ringo allows you to convert cards that would normally languish on your side of the field into cold, hard advantage.

The other package is that of Infernoble Knight Ogier, as well as Infernoble Knight - Renaud, and Immortal Phoenix Gearfried.  These FIRE Warriors increase the consistency of your core line, as like I said, Ogier sending Fighting Flame Swordsman gets you off to the races, and can himself be an Equip Spell to turn on Ultimate FS’s Quick Effect.  It’s not especially exciting, but adding that extra bit of consistency can make all the difference.  Finally, in hands where you open both Ogier & Fighting Flame Swordsman, Infernoble Knight Riciardetto allows you to Summon it from hand, giving you Rank 4 access and an extra body onboard.

That said, we’re on more than 40 cards in this list, as is relatively common in Infernoble, historically.  The deck wants to be playing a plethora of 1-ofs, and given we generally don’t want to open them, skewing higher than 40 allows us to offset the “soft garnet” ratio, or, cards we don’t want to see in our opening hand vs search/send.  This deck has no “hard garnets”, cards that disrupt your combo by seeing them in your opening hand, so we don’t want to play 60 cards, but 43 is a solid area to end on.  If you’d want to play only 40, cutting 3 copies of a handtrap is reasonable, though discouraged, as the deck feels like it has ~9 slots for interaction of that type (I’ve chosen Droll, Ash, & Imperm).

I think Flame Swordsrealm specifically is going to find a place…somewhere; being able to so readily and generically spit out a Fusion Monster that is somewhat SS4 is wild, and the fact the card is so accessible means decks looking for a Level 5 can find it readily.  In terms of brews I didn’t end up going for, Runick was among them, as the Runick spells can generate Fusions of various Levels, including 5, and Flame Swordsman doesn’t need a Field Spell to function.  Dogmatika also potentially works, as does something like Horus, with the new card, Horus the Black Flame Deity, being a FIRE Dragon you can resummon.  Diabellestar is also on the menu, as your face-up Equips are free fodder for their effects, though I deeply, deeply wish Salamandra, the Flying Flame Dragon was Level 1.  If we were able to Summon it off of Original Sinful Spoils - Snake-Eye, this would go from cute rogue option to a real consideration.

In terms of things that didn’t work with the strategy, I think the new Traps are just barely not good enough to consider; I am running 1 copy of Flame Swordsdance as a hedge for when I have an extra search from the core strategy’s line, but Salamandra with Chain is a massive miss for the deck.  For some reason, it doesn’t actually mention Flame Swordsman, meaning it’s essentially inaccessible.  That fact is also true of Blue Flame Swordsman, and Ferocious Flame Swordsman, meaning what little the deck had before the new wave misses out.

Lastly is the contentious exclusion of Mirage Swordsman, who I feel misses the mark in this list specifically.  In a hybrid with something like Fire King, where you can better make use of its ability to float off of things being destroyed, it likely has more merit.

One incredible card I didn’t touch on in thus far is Fighting Flame Sword, a combination ROTA, combat trick, and targeting protection, meaning you can ensure your core combo is more resilient than it might otherwise be.  That comes with the caveat of not being able to use it as a search spell if you need to protect, but ultimately that’s a small price to pay.  You can even use it on the opponent’s turn to search twice over a turn cycle, as it’s a Quick-Play.  As for the decklist, it’s everything I spoke about prior, collected into a list.  Flexible lines from Fighting Flame Swordsman, a full suite of Ringo targets, and Infernobles bringing up the rear.  For your side deck, I’d consider potentially running Pankratops, Tenyi Spirit - Vishuda, and other ‘extenders that also interact’ to hedge your power on the dieroll.

With that, this dive into the new toys provided to Flame Swordsman in Maze of Millenia!  There’s even more toys in the set we’ll be talking about next week, centered around the new Earthbound Servants, but suffice to say it’s an impressive product.  What do you intend to do with Flame Swordsman?  Did I miss any key combos that might power up the strategy?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!