Sky Striker is a control-based archetype that debuted in Master Duel through Singular Strike Overthrow. The deck revolves around powerful spell cards, many of which have usage clauses that only allow the spell to be activated if the user controls no monsters in the main monster zones. The majority of the Striker spells have additional effects if there are 3 or more spells in the graveyard upon activation. The archetype is rounded off with 5 link monsters and 2 main deck monsters, which complement the spells. The deck's playstyle usually hinges on out-resourcing the opponent through the grind game, as well as aiming for a simplified game state. Although the deck may seem slow, consistent and correct play is extremely rewarding. The Sky Striker cards are hit quite severely on the TCG, OCG, and Master Duel banlists, despite this, the deck is still very strong. Due to having a small and splashable engine, with plenty of room for tech cards, Sky Striker is very adaptable to different metas and matchups and remains a constant metagame threat because of its flexibility.
About the Author
I'm Spook, and I have played Striker online in the TCG prior to the release of Master Duel. I decided to write a guide because I enjoy playing Striker, and hopefully, I can help both new and competitive players alike with this in-depth guide.
Main Deck Striker Monsters
Raye is single-handedly one of the best cards in your deck and is the primary Striker monster. Raye can be used as material for any Striker link monster as it is a Striker name. Raye's quick effect allows her to dodge other effects, and her ability to re-summon herself onto the field helps bolster a generally fragile Striker board. Her ability to tag out into link monsters during your opponent's turn makes her very valuable, and can often win many games. Raye tributes herself for cost, so she can be used under Skill Drain and similar floodgates. There is a lot of technical play that can be done with Raye; an example is that her effect can be activated in the end phase to go into Shizuku, and dodge cards like Effect Veiler. Raye's effect can also be used to play around summon-negating cards like Solemn Judgement. Keep in mind that Raye's effect will not trigger when your link monster is used for a contact fusion (and thus leaves the field), such as through cards like Loading... .
Roze is primarily used to remedy consistency issues, as it is a Striker name. Many people play higher counts of Roze if they want to see a Striker name to get to their extra deck as soon as possible, whereas others play lower counts as opening multiple Striker monsters can be problematic. Roze's effect to special summon itself when another Striker monster is summoned helps to link climb into monsters like Zeke. Roze comes in handy against decks that have no problem with breaking a fragile Striker board, as when a Striker monster is summoned during your opponent's turn (usually a Raye floating from the graveyard), you can special summon Roze from your hand for additional bodies. Her graveyard effect is useful as it is non-targeting, and can be utilized in many ways. An example is using Hayate to battle a monster in your opponent's extra monster zone, then dump Roze using Hayate's effect, and as Hayate's effect resolves before your opponent's monster is destroyed, Roze will trigger and give you a negate as well as an additional body.
Sky Striker Spells
Note: all of the Sky Striker spells besides Area Zero and Multirole are NOT once per turn, and can be resolved multiple times per turn.
Engage is the best Striker card in your deck. It allows you to add any Sky Striker card from your deck to your hand, and with 3 spells in grave, allows you to draw an additional card. Engage is critical in outpacing your opponent in the resource game, and resolving it multiple times in a single turn is absolutely broken. Make sure to play no less than 2 copies; we'd optimally play 3, but Engage is at 2 in Master Duel.
Hornet Drones serves as a pseudo-starter, without taking up your normal summon. It enables link plays and allows you to bait out normal summon disruptions. The token can be linked off into any Sky Striker extra deck monster, which helps boost consistency. Run 1 copy as it is at 1 in Master Duel.
Multirole is a very powerful card, as it helps with both grind game and gives you protection from spell-negating cards (as your opponent cannot respond to spell activations). It does not require you to have zero monsters in the MMZ to gain its effects. Multirole allows you to re-set Striker spell cards (equivalent to the number you have activated while Multirole was on the field) in the end phase from your graveyard. Keep in mind that the spells set from Multirole are banished after they leave the field, so remember to keep track of the number of spells in your grave before you use Multirole. Multirole also triggers during your opponent's end phase, so you can re-set spells you've used during your opponent's turn. Multirole is a great way to get spells in grave with its first effect, but keep in mind that Striker is a resource-based deck, and you ideally do not want to go negative in resources with Multirole. So if you plan on using Multirole's first effect, it is a good idea to target cards like Raye, Area Zero, and already set quick-play spells, as you won't go negative in card advantage. Keep in mind that Multirole's "cost" is targeting a card, so it will not send a card to the graveyard without giving you a chance to activate the targeted card. In control matchups, you want to prioritize setting up Multirole, as it wins you the game if your opponent cannot out it. You ideally want to play 2 copies of Multirole, as running more can be brickier, and running less can lead to not having another copy of Multirole if something happens to your first, but lower counts are generally acceptable depending on build.
Area Zero is the only Sky Striker field spell, and serves as a searcher and extender. You can target another card you control, excavate the top 3 cards of your deck, and add an excavated Striker card to your hand. If you excavate a Striker card, you must send the targeted card to the grave, but if you do not, then the targeted card stays on the field. Area Zero shines with its second effect, as when sent to the graveyard by a card effect, you can summon Raye or Roze from your deck. It is very easy to get Area Zero in the grave through cards like Multirole and Afterburners, but keep in mind that Area Zero will not trigger when sent to the grave as cost through cards like Forbidden Droplet. Area Zero has a nice interaction with Raye, as you can use Area Zero to target Raye, then chain Raye to go into an extra deck monster, and Area Zero resolves as normal. You'd optimally run 1-2 copies of this card.
Widow Anchor serves as your searchable monster negate. With 3 or more spells in the grave, it even allows you to take control of your opponent's monster. Widow Anchor facilitates your link climbing plays and is huge in the Striker mirror. Keep in mind that in order for you to take control of your opponent's monster, you must negate it first, so if the monster is already negated by something else, you cannot Widow Anchor it. Stolen monsters will be given back to your opponent during the end phase, so linking the stolen monster off is very valuable. You'd play 3 copies of Widow Anchor, but it is at 2 in Master Duel.
Shark Cannon is a very powerful card, and can single-handedly win you many matchups. It can facilitate link climbs and can re-summon powerful monsters from your opponent's grave to your field. Useful applications include taking an opponent's tuner (such as Ash Blossom) from their graveyard and beginning the Accesscode Talker link climb. Run 1-2 depending on the meta, as well as your build (In Pot of Desires builds where it is prone to get banished, you may want to run 2 copies).
Afterburners is a simple card, allowing you to pop a face-up monster, and a spell/trap as well if you have 3 or more spells in the grave. Trading with Afterburners is huge after you amass card advantage, as you will quickly outpace your opponent. A lot of technical play can be done with Afterburners as well, such as popping your own Area Zero for a free special summon or destroying an opponent's EMZ monster to special summon Roze from the grave. Afterburners is usually ran at 1-2 copies by preference.
Jamming Waves is essentially the opposite of Afterburners, as it allows you to pop a set card, then with 3 or more spells in the grave, you can pop a monster on the field. It is nice against matchups like Tri-Brigade and Eldlich, as you can force out cards like Tri-Brigade Revolt and other sets. It is also non-targeting monster removal, which can be great against untargetable monsters. Run 0-1 by preference.
Eagle Booster is a nice card that can not only target and protect our Sky Striker monster, but any monster. This is extremely useful as we can use Eagle Booster on our Sky Striker monsters as well as cards like Accesscode Talker. The battle protection is useful as well when being attacked by your opponent. Eagle Booster can even be used on opponents' monsters in some niche matchups, as it can turn off certain equip spells and such. Keep in mind that Eagle Booster makes a monster unaffected from handtraps as well. You'd usually run 0-1 of this card, depending on build.
Hercules Base is run in some builds for the sole purpose of recycling Kagari (as Kagari is at 1). Cards like Multirole, Afterburners, and Area Zero can put Hercules Base in graveyard. Run 0-1 by preference, but keep in mind that non-searchable cards like Monster Reborn and Pot of Avarice can recycle your Kagari as well.