Last updated: 27.02.2021
Archetypes are an ever changing structure: Some might be struck down by power creep or having the necessary cards banned, others might live through a revival by game mechanics changing or gaining fresh wind due to new support cards. And then there are archetypes like “Nordic”, an anime adaptation with a sizeable number of cards but absolutely no brain being applied into making them a functioning archetype in the real-life cardboard game. Even when they came out there were some issues with the overall “defend the castle”-idea of summoning one big boss monster and hoping that it would carry you to victory, but over time the strategy got worse, the cards are further outscaled and the places for “Nordics” in the modern game of Yugioh is pretty much questionable. Nonetheless, this article will take a closer look at the Yugioh adaptation of Norse mythology and search for whether or not there is still a spark of brilliance in an ocean of mediocrity.
Disclaimer: None of the information given by me is set in stone. Having an open mind in deck building and including creative ideas is always helpful, if only to further understand the playstyle and strategy of the deck you are about to build. There are probably choices that I list which can be labled as debatable, but no platform I know of gives a broad overview over both the archetypes and all the card choices, so I aimed to do just that. I will try to keep this page (as well as the other ones, once they are made) up-to-date, so if any reader feels like I skipped some amazing tech choice or a crucial card, just drop me a note and I will add the missing information if necessary. Furthermore, I use a number of sources for ideas and information, so a list with links that I deem useful is attached to the end of the page and credit is given whenever I can point to a source to do so.
The basic structure of the archetype already shows that there is something completely wrong with “Nordics”. When people are talking about “Nordics” as an archetype, they are in reality referring to the following subarchetypes as one group:
– The “Nordic Alfar”, which are Dark and Light Spellcaster monsters (with the exception of one Earth Warrior monster) that are the group related to “Loki, Lord of the Aesir“.
– The “Nordic Beasts”, which are Dark/Earth/Light Beast-type monsters that belong to “Thor, Lord of the Aesir” (who is a Beast-Warrior, not a Beast by the way).
– The “Nordic Ascendants”, which is a group of Dark and Light Fairy monsters that work for “Odin, Father of the Aesir“.
– The single “Nordic Champion” card in form of “Tyr of the Nordic Champions“.
– The high-level monsters in form of “Fenrir the Nordic Wolf” and “Jormungardr the Nordic Serpent“.
– The “Aesir” monster consisting of the Synchro monsters “Loki, Lord of the Aesir“, “Thor, Lord of the Aesir” and “Odin, Father of the Aesir“.
– The “Nordic Relic” Spell/Traps that are building a sub-archetype in the backrow support for no good reason since there are also related Spells and Traps without this moniker and one card in form of “Divine Relic Mjollnir” where they flatout refused to make the intelligent move and add it to the “Nordic Relic” sub-archetype.
As you can see, we have quite a few things to talk about. So, without any further ado, here is the “Nordic” group meeting:
Name: “Alviss of the Nordic Alfar”
Attribute/Type: Dark Spellcaster
We start our journey through the “Nordic” archetype with the “Nordic Alfar” sub-archetype and in this case with “Alviss of the Nordic Alfar”. It is a Level 4 Dark Spellcaster monster with 1500/1000 and is together with their Link monster them newest member the “Nordic” archetype got. “Alviss” is pretty helpful effect-wise: If only “Alviss” is banished by the effect of a “Nordic” Link monster, you can send one “Nordic” monster you control and two “Nordic” monsters from your deck to the graveyard which together have a level of 10 and then Special Summon one “Aesir” monster from your Extra Deck. Furthermore, if an “Aesir” monster in your possession is sent to the graveyard by an opposing card, you can banish “Alviss” from the graveyard and then Special Summon one “Aesir” monster from your Extra Deck with a different name then any cards in your graveyard. The last effect of “Alviss” can only be used once per duel. The fact that “Alviss” got released together with the only “Nordic” Link monster in existence and then has an effect that refers to that very card shows that Konami really just made some support for the heck of it because they did not want to be asked for it constantly or something. But nonetheless “Alviss” is not that bad: You can Special Summon the Link monster in form of “Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant” with any Level 5 or lower “Nordic” monster, so pretty much all the time, and if you have “Alviss” in your hand you can activate its first effect by paying the cost of the Link monsters effect and then simply ditch the monsters from your deck to the graveyard for the “Aesir” summon.
“Alviss of the Nordic Alfar” is a solid support card and should be run at two to three copies in my opinion.
Name: “Dverg of the Nordic Alfar”
Attribute/Type: Earth Warrior
Next up is “Dverg of the Nordic Alfar”, a Level 1 Earth Warrior monster with 100/1000. “Dverg” allows you to Normal Summon another “Nordic” monster during the turn it was Normal Summoned, but you can gain that effect only once during that turn which disallows some “Dverg” summon chains. Furthermore, if “Dverg” while face-up on the field is sent to the graveyard, target one “Nordic Relic” card in your graveyard and add the targeted card to the hand. “Dverg” has some issues, but with Link monsters being a thing you can at least access Link-2 monsters in “Nordic” with some consistency. It also helps that “Dverg” can be searched with “Reinforcement of the Army” since you can technically run up to four copies of it that way and give at least some swarming to a deck that barely has any.
“Dverg of the Nordic Alfar” is clearly a candidate for the preferance treatment. The card is completely fine but is held back by the archetype it has to support.
Name: “Ljosalf of the Nordic Alfar”
Attribute/Type: Light Spellcaster
We continue with “Ljosalf of the Nordic Alfar”, a Level 4 Light Spellcaster with 1400/1200. Effect-wise, “Ljosalf” triggers when Normal Summoned and allows the player to target one face-up they control, except for “Ljosalf of the Nordic Alfar” and then Special Summon one “Nordic” monster from the hand with a level less than or equal to the level of the targeted monster. The good thing is that most of the important “Nordic” monsters are Level 4 or lower anyway, but this is severely outweighed by the fact that you would need to Normal Summon “Ljosalf” while another “Nordic” monster magically appeared on the field, which is hard to believe since “Nordics” are pretty abysmal in producing field presence without losing an arm an both legs of the player. You could use the previously mentioned “Dverg of the Nordic Alfar” to Normal Summon “Ljosalf” and then summon a Level 1 “Nordic” monster from your hand, but since only “Dverg” is Level 1 in the entire archetype this sounds like a really complicated way to summon a Link-3 monster.
“Ljosalf of the Nordic Alfar” is supposed to be a swarming tool, but pales in comparision to the tools other archetypes have available. Run zero.
Name: “Mara of the Nordic Alfar”
Attribute/Type: Dark Spellcaster
The first “Nordic Alfar” Tuner monster comes in form of “Mara of the Nordic Alfar”. “Mara” is a Level 2 Dark Spellcaster monster with 1000/500 and when “Mara” is used as material for a Synchro Summon, the other materials must be two “Nordic” monsters in your hand. There are a few facts that I need to get straight here: The “Nordic” archetype has three sub-archetypes of sorts, as already mentioned, and the corresponding “Aesir” monsters all require Tuners from their sub-archetype to be summoned. This obviously also means that you can only summon “Loki, Lord of the Aesir” using “Mara” and none of the other two, which already limits the usefulness quite substantially. On top of that, you can only Synchro Summon monsters that allow you to use exactly three monsters and you have to provide those levels exactly as with all Synchro Summons, making “Mara” more and more situational even though it can technically Synchro Summon an “Aesir” monster by just being Normal Summoned. Since “Loki” is also the weakest and least-used “Aesir”, it would really need a very specialized deck strategy to make this card both useful and consistent.
“Mara of the Nordic Alfar” has an interesting Synchro Summoning mechanic, but chances are you will not use it due to being fairly restrictive and not giving you the optimal cards even when being used to its full potential. Run zero.
Name: “Svartalf of the Nordic Alfar”
Attribute/Type: Dark Spellcaster
The last “Nordic Alfar” monster is “Svartalf of the Nordic Alfar”, a Level 5 Dark Spellcaster monster with 1400/1600 which also happens to be a Tuner monster. “Svartalf” is pretty simple effect-wise, since it only allows you to target one “Nordic” monster in your graveyard and add the targeted monster to your hand. That would not be that bad but the fact that you need a tribute to even summon “Svartalf” normally means that you will have to play “Dverg” as your first Normal Summon during the turn and use it immediately to Tribute Summon “Svartalf” only to get “Dverg” back onto your hand for another summon during your next turn. That is simply not enough to make “Svartalf” even close to playable and is also the reason why you should not bother with it.
“Svartalf of the Nordic Alfar” is a weak tribute monster that you can only really summon consistently in its own archetype with the help of “Dverg“, but the effort does not pay off. Simply skip this card.
Name: “Garmr of the Nordic Beasts”
Attribute/Type: Dark Beast
The first of “Thor’s” Nordic Beasts to introduce is “Garmr of the Nordic Beasts”. It is a Level 4 Dark Beast monster with 800/1900 and is pretty straightforward in terms of effect text: If this card battle a Level 4 or lower monster, you can return that monster to the hand after damage calculation. The important part of this effect is “after damage calculation”, which means that “Garmr” needs to survive the encounter to even trigger the bounce. This unfortunately means that there is a number of scenarios in which “Garmr” has no effect whatsoever, mainly when fighting Link monsters, Xyz monster, any monster above Level 4 or any attack position monster with more than 800 ATK since “Garmr” would die in battle. You can technically put “Garmr” in face-down defense position to use its DEF stat for the battle, but that is an awful idea since that would pretty much end your turn without doing anything worthwhile. Also, the listed monsters are an awful lot of things “Garmr” cannot trigger its effect against and basically the reason why it has no business being in any deck.
“Garmr of the Nordic Beasts” is a confused card design-wise and should be played at zero copies.
Name: “Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts”
Attribute/Type: Light Beast
Next up is “Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts”, which is a Level 4 Light Beast monster with 1600/1000 and paradoxically probably the best Tuner monster in the entire archetype. “Guldfaxe” really does not do that much but with an ATK stat of 1600 it is actually way more capable of kicking something over than the rest of its archetypal brethren and its effect basically makes it a “Cyber Dragon” but the opponent has to control a Synchro monster specifically and not just any monster. Due to the lack of better cards, potential Beast support that can interact with it, and an overall solid level with decent ATK “Guldfaxe” is one of the members of “Nordic” you should have in mind when building a “Nordic” deck.
“Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts” is not particularly good in any sense when compared to many other cards in the game, but in “Nordic” it provides quite a few helpful things and can be run at up to three copies.
Name: “Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts”
Attribute/Type: Earth Beast
Then we have “Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts” as part one of the actual swarming team; seems like “Thor” got the better end of the cards overall. “Tanngnjostr” is a Level 3 Earth Beast monster with 800/1100 and comes with two helpful effects: First off, when a monster you control is destroyed by battle and sent to the graveyard, you can Special Summon “Tanngnjostr” from your hand. Secondly, when “Tanngnjostr” is changed from defense position to attack position, you can Special Summon one “Nordic Beast” monster from your deck in defense position, except for “Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts”. This is a surprisingly good set of effects for “Nordic”: Even if your start is setting “Tanngnjostr” face-down and passing with some backrow, you might be able to make something with it due to effect number two. And if something you control is destroyed in battle you not only gain an additional body on the field, but also can setup for your next turn if the attacking monster was the last one able to do so since you can summon “Tanngnjostr” in defense position, then change it into attack position during your turn which will trigger the Special Summon effect. Lastly, “Tanngnjostr” and its partner are both Level 3 monsters, which makes them a perfect match for a Level 10 Synchro Summon if “Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts” is involved. Overall, this is a card that does not need to hide even though some of the effect are outdated due to only triggering in cases of battle destruction.
“Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts” is as close to the power ceiling as you will get in “Nordic”, but the card still has its uses and does help with both swarming the field for summons and keeping a field after the opposing advances. Play it by preferance, but this one really can do some work at three copies.
Name: “Tanngrisnir of the Nordic Beasts”
Attribute/Type: Earth Beast
Number two of the swarming team is “Tanngrisnir of the Nordic Beasts”. “Tanngrisnir” is a Level 3 Earth Beast monster with 1200/800 and simply summons two “Nordic Beast Tokens” (Level 3 Earth Beast with 0/0) when destroyed in battle and sent to the graveyard. This one is very straightforward, since it produces more bodies to summon stuff with. Summoning Link monsters with tokens is absolutely fine and could be one way to use “Tanngrisnir”, but another option is ramming it into an opposing monster yourself and effectively doubling the amount of goats on your field; which is all the more useful if you still have a Normal Summon for “Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts” since that will summon “Thor” then and there. Also “Tanngrisnir” is easily summonable via “Tanngnjostr” and can easily summon it when being destroyed so the two work well together to keep the monster count high.
“Tanngrisnir of the Nordic Beasts” is a somewhat dated but still fairly useful defense option that can also be used to swarm in certain situations. Run this one by preference.
Name: “Mimir of the Nordic Ascendant”
Attribute/Type: Dark Fairy
The first “Nordic Ascendant” is “Mimir of the Nordic Ascendant”, a Level 2 Dark Fairy monster with 600/0 and the following effect: Once per turn, at the start of your Standby Phase, if you control a “Nordic” monster and “Mimir” is in your graveyard, you can send one Spell card from your hand to the graveyard to Special Summon “Mimir of the Nordic Ascendant”. So, you cannot summon “Mimir” turn one since you will not control a “Nordic” monster, meaning you have to wait a whole rotation giving the opponent time and opportunity to destroy the necessary “Nordic” monster on the field, while the entire summoning strategy does not work anyway if the opponent has cards like “Dimensional Fissure” or “Macro Cosmos” on the field. And even if all the stars align giving you to opportunity to summon “Mimir”, you still go even at best since you need to discard a Spell from your hand. You still might be playing a copy to fetch via the effect of “Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant” since “Mimir’s” Level of 2 is exactly what is missing to an “Aesir” monster when summoning two Level 4 monsters.
“Mimir of the Nordic Ascendant” is supposed to give you more resources to work with, but fails miserably in that regard. Play one copy if necessary as Synchro fodder via “Gullveig“.
Name: “Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant”
Attribute/Type: Light Fairy
Moving on, we have “Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant”. “Valkyrie” is a Level 2 Light Fairy monster with 400/800 and the first of the “Nordic Ascendant” Tuner monsters. Her effects start with a clarification that states that “Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant” does not count as a “Valkyrie” due to her name, so no weird “Valkyrie”/”Nordic” builds are allowed (you can still do them, but Konami seems to dislike the idea of using additional Tuners in “Valkyries”). Other than that, when “Valkyrie” is Normal summoned while your opponent controls a monster and you control no other cards, you can banish two “Nordic” monsters from your hand to Special Summon two “Einherjar Tokens” (Level 4 Earth Warrior monster with 1000/1000) in defense position. This effect is obviously supposed to give you exactly the right number and levels to Synchro Summon one “Aesir” monster from your Extra Deck, although nothing would be stopping you from summoning Link monsters instead. The major problem with “Valkyrie” is that she is fairly restrictive since you have to have an empty field and only “Nordic” monsters qualify for her effect, not “Nordic” Spells or Traps.
“Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant” seems good in concept, but her various restrictions cause her to be pretty inconsistent; and there are better way to summon an “Aesir” monster nowadays. Play zero.
Name: Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant
Attribute/Type: Dark Fairy
The second Tuner and also the last monster we have in the “Nordic Ascendant” sub-archetype in the Main Deck is “Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant”. “Vanadis” is a Level 4 Dark Fairy with 1200/400 and comes with the following effects: First off, you can use “Vanadis” as a substitute for any “Nordic” Tuner, which means that you can also summon “Loki” and “Thor” using “Vanadis” as the Tuner; however, if “Vanadis” is used as a Synchro material, all the other monsters have to be “Nordic” monsters. Lastly, once per turn, you can send one “Nordic” monster from your deck to the graveyard to change the level of “Vanadis” to the level of whatever you sent to the graveyard via this effect until the end of that turn. This card is fairly helpful in getting “Aesir” monsters on the field, since she counts for anything, she has a Level of 4 which is solid if you decide to run some Xyz options in your Extra Deck and she can even setup your graveyard by ditching other “Aesir” monsters Tuners to give them to possibility of reviving themselves by banishing the Tuner in question, an effect that all the gods share. She does restrict the summons to “Nordic” monsters, but the other available options also force you down that road so that is not something that should come as a surprise to “Nordic” players.
“Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant” is a good card with potential for a few solid plays and extentions. I would suggest running her by preference since her usefulness depends on the overall build and how often you will simply go for “Alviss” and “Gullveig“.
Name: “Tyr of the Nordic Champions”
Attribute/Type: Light Warrior
Starting with the group of “Nordic” monsters that do not have any allegiance with any of the “Aesir” monsters, we have “Tyr of the Nordic Champions”. “Tyr” is a Level 4 Light Warrior monster with 2000/2000 and has the effect that the opponent cannot choose any “Nordic” monsters as attack target except for “Tyr of the Nordic Champions”. This would be perfectly serviceable and make “Tyr” a solid beater with added protection that would really only do its job while blowing away nobody. However, you cannot have a 2000 ATK monster from that time period that does not have a drawback attached to it, so “Tyr” automatically destroys itself if you have no other “Nordic” monsters on the field. Swarming is something that “Nordics” are really bad at so the chance of you playing a “Nordic” monster that needs to be protected and “Tyr” in the same turn and leaving them both on the field and not accessing the Extra Deck is pretty much zero.
“Tyr of the Nordic Champions” is a beatstick with a silly drawback and should be run at zero copies.
Name: “Fenrir the Nordic Wolf”
Attribute/Type: Dark Beast
The next monster without an allegiance is “Fenrir the Nordic Wolf”. “Fenrir” is a Level 10 Dark Beast monster with 4000/4000 and comes with the following set of effects: It cannot be Normal Summoned or Set, but during your Main Phase 2 if an “Aesir” monster is present on the field you can Special Summon “Fenrir” to the opposing side of the field in defense position. If no “Aesir” monster is on the field “Fenrir” is destroyed. Lastly, at the start of your Battle Phase you have to change all defense position monsters you control into face-up attack position and both players take battle damage that involved this card. So, “Fenrir” is pretty terrible: You gift your opponent a beater that is bigger than two of your boss monsters and on par with the last one, and since you can only summon “Fenrir” during Main Phase 2 you cannot make any use of it being fought right away and dealing significant damage to both players by running into its 4000 DEF with a small monster. Furthermore, if your opponent cannot see anything useful they can do with “Fenrir” on their field, they can simply link it away during Main Phase 1 and therefore simply ignore the entire issue.
“Fenrir the Nordic Wolf” is huge beatstick that you gift to your opponent to impose not enough drawbacks onto them. Skip this card entirely.
Name: “Jormungardr the Nordic Serpent”
Attribute/Type: Dark Dragon
The last of the “Nordic” monster that runs under no flag is “Jormungardr the Nordic Serpent”. “Jormungardr” is a Level 8 Dark Dragon monster with 3000/3000 and similar to “Fenrir” cannot be Normal Summoned or Set and can be Special Summoned to the opposing side of the field when an “Aesir” monster is present; however, “Jormungardr” can also be summoned during Main Phase 1. However, another effect that is completely the same as with “Fenrir” is the fact that “Jormungardr” destroys itself when no “Aesir” monster is on the field. The last part of the effect triggers when “Jormungardr” is switched from face-up defense position into face-up attack position, in which case it will deal 3000 damage to its controller, but this effect can only trigger once while “Jormungardr” is face-up on the field. So, the mighty combo is summoning an “Aesir”, then putting both “Fenrir” and “Jormungardr” on the opposing side of the field, pass the turn, hope that the opponent has no Link monsters that can use them both or are able to tribute them or use them as summoning material in some other way, then hoping that the opponent enters their Battle Phase which will trigger “Fenrir’s” position changing effect which in turn will cause them to take 3000 damage since “Jormungardr” changes position. I really do not think that I have to say any more to show the “quality” of this effect combo.
“Jormungardr the Nordic Serpent” is equally as silly as “Fenrir the Nordic Wolf” and should also be played at zero copies.
Name: “Loki, Lord of the Aesir”
Attribute/Type: Dark Spellcaster
The first actual boss monster the “Aesir”/”Nordic” archetype group has to offer is “Loki, Lord of the Aesir”. “Loki” is a Level 10 Dark Spellcaster Synchro monster with 3300/3000 and needs specifically one “Nordic Alfar” Tuner monster and two or more additional non-Tuner monsters to be summoned. Effect-wise, “Loki” can offer the following: As a Quick Effect, once per turn, when the opponent activates a Spell/Trap card during the Battle Phase, you can negate the activation of that card and destroy it. Furthermore, once per turn during the End Phase, if your face-up “Loki” under your control is destroyed by an opposing card and sent to the graveyard, you can banish one “Nordic Alfar” Tuner monster from your graveyard to Special Summon “Loki” again; also, if “Loki” is summoned this way, you can target one Trap card in your graveyard and add it to your hand. As suspected, the entire archetype works towards getting the boss monsters on the field and those are actually not even that bad. The first effect is rather meh, but works in either Battle Phase so you can protect your advances from the odd battle Trap while also stopping any Spell- or Trap-based stat increases, stat decreases, effect negations or whatever else the opponent tries to pull of from happening once. There is a myriad of ways to work around the revival effect of “Loki” (and the other gods, since they share this effect line) since you can bounce or banish them to avoid destruction and therefore disallowing the effect to trigger, but it is a nice bonus that you can use if you actually play “Nordic Alfar” Tuner monsters in form of “Mara” or “Svartalf“. “Loki” is the weakest god, both in effect and stats, though, so you will rarely see this card on the field to be honest.
“Loki, Lord of the Aesir” is an okayish card to play in “Nordic”, can recycle Traps which is useful depending on your build and is relatively easy to access by using “Alviss“. I would recommend running one copy if you have the Extra Deck space.
Name: “Thor, Lord of the Aesir”
Attribute/Type: Earth Beast-Warrior
Boss monster number two comes in form of “Thor, Lord of the Aesir”. “Thor” is a Level 10 Earth Beast-Warrior Synchro monster with 3500/2800 and specifically asks for a “Nordic Beast” Tuner monster, which is better known as “Guldfaxe” if you cannot use other ways to summon “Thor” since there are no other “Nordic Beast” Tuners, and also need two or more non-Tuner monster to be summoned. “Thor’s” first effect allows you to once per turn negate the effects of all face-up monsters the opponent controls, which is pretty good, while also able to, once per turn during the End Phase, revive himself from the graveyard if he was destroyed by an opposing card during that turn and sent to the graveyard if you banish one “Nordic Beast” Tuner monster from your graveyard. Additionally, if “Thor” is Special Summoned by his effect, you also inflict 800 direct damage to the opponent. “Thor” is the number two in more ways than one: He is the “Aesir” boss monster you will summon more often than “Loki“, but less often than “Odin” and also comes with the second-best ATK stat which sadly makes OTK scenarios with him at much more difficult. Still, the effect negation is nice, he can be summoned via “Alviss” if you lose another “Aesir” monster and with “Guldfaxe” in the graveyard you can even revive him while ignoring the measly 800 burn damage.
“Thor, Lord of the Aesir” is a solid option to run in “Aesir”/”Nordic”. I would suggest running two to three copies.
Name: “Odin, Father of the Aesir”
Attribute/Type: Light Fairy
Behold, the actual game-changer has arrived… well, he can potentially change games: It is “Odin, Father of the Aesir”. “Odin” is a Level 10 Light Fairy Synchro monster with 4000/3500 as his stats and specifically asks for a “Nordic Ascendant” Tuner monster in addition to two or more non-Tuner monsters to be summoned. “Odin” is, as far as “Aesir”/”Nordic” standards go, a fairly solid package: “Nordic Ascendant” Tuners include “Valkyrie“, which is costly but can technically summon “Odin” on her own, and “Vanadis” the universal Tuner monster and therefore a main stay in lots of “Nordic” decks. Effect-wise, “Odin” can once per turn make himself unaffected by Spell/Trap cards until the end of that turn, and once per turn during the End Phase if “Odin” was destroyed by an opposing card and sent to the graveyard, you can banish a “Nordic Ascendant” Tuner monster from your graveyard and Special Summon “Odin” again, and if you do you can also draw a card. “Odin” is hands-down the best “Aesir” boss monster available to any “Nordic” player. He cannot be stopped by battle Traps and the like since you can simply make him immune against the effects of such cards, but you can also opt to play “Divine Relic Mjollnir” or “Nordic Relic Megingjord” to actually pose a threat to the opposing life points. Add to that that “Odin” is also summonable via “Alviss” and you should know what “Aesir” monster you want to go into; the only thing keeping you from winning the game is the opposing board and/or any hand traps immediately stopping you from getting him on the field, so business as usual.
“Odin, Father of the Aesir” combines solid ATK with pretty useful effects. Play this one at either two or three copies.
Name: “Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant”
Attribute/Type: Light Fairy
The second of the two cards that make up the newer support for “Aesir”/”Nordic” is “Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant”. “Gullveig” is a Link-1 Light Fairy monster with 800 ATK and can be summoned by using one Level 5 or lower “Nordic” monster, which means basically anything aside from “Fenrir” and “Jormungardr” can be used to summon her. The effects, while frantically made so you can summon the “Aesirs” as quickly as possible, are actually not that bad: When “Gullveig” is Link Summoned, you can banish up to three cards from either your hand or your side of the field to Special Summon “Nordic” monsters from your deck in defense position up to the number of cards you banished for the effect; also, you cannot Special Summon, Normal Summon or Set monsters for the rest of the turn, except for “Aesir” monsters and this effect of “Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant” can only be used once per turn. Lastly, while “Gullveig” points to an “Aesir” monster, that “Aesir” monster can not be targeted with card effect and monster your opponent controls cannot target “Gullveig” with attacks. So, the idea is blatantly simple: Normal Summon any “Nordic” monster, Link Summon “Gullveig”, then banish three cards to set yourself up for an “Aesir” summon, which she protects from card effects while said “Aesir” protects her from being overrun due to only having 800 ATK. Alternatively, you can only banish one copy of “Alviss” and summon an “Aesir” while being less damaging to your resources. “Gullveig” is undoubtably the best way to summon “Loki“, “Thor” or “Odin“, since she provides all that is necessary, but only playing with her as your playstarter and main bottleneck of the strategy will leave you completely open to hand traps or other shenanigans your opponent has in store. “Gullveig” is both the greatest strength “Nordic” can muster as well as the greatest weakness if the opponent knows that she is the one to strike down.
“Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant” is the main play enabler for “Aesir” and “Nordic” and should be run at two to three copies.
The first card will are going to take a look at in the “Nordic”/”Aesir” Spell line-up is “Gotterdammerung”. As a German native I can tell you that it is supposed to be called “Götterdämmerung”, with “Götter” as the plural of “god” and “Dämmerung” meaning “dawn”; but that is just some trivia on the side. The actual card has the following effect: Target one “Aesir” monster you control, give control of it to the opponent and during your opponent’s next End Phase that “Aesir” monster is destroyed and if that happens you banish all cards the opponent controls. Banishing the entire opposing field is pretty solid since it sets you up for an OTK, but at what cost? You need to have an “Aesir” monster, so you need to use at least three of your cards to even get the “Aesir” Synchro on the field (in most cases, sometimes you might need less cards to summon an “Aesir” monster), which you then gift to your opponent who can not only use it as tribute, Link material or in rare case for Xyz summons of something like “Trains” to smack you senseless, but who still gets a free swing with whatever “Aesir” you gave them since the effect triggers in the End Phase. The chances of this card ever resolving in any scenario are close to zero which makes the card unplayable in my opinion.
“Gotterdammerung” is a field nuke, but one with such high costs that it is not worth using. Play zero.
The next Spell card to greet us in the “Aesir”/”Nordic” conglomate is “March towards Ragnarok”. It is a Quick Spell card that allows you to target one “Aesir” monster you control to make it unaffected by Spells and Traps for the rest of the round (except for the effect of “March towards Ragnarok”), but negate its effects until the end of the turn. I have no idea what was going on when the design team made this archetype, but “Odin” already has this exact effect for your own turn, while “Loki” can negate Spell/Trap cards that are activated during the Battle Phase, which makes this card only really useful in the opposing turn. Other than that, it can obviously only target “Aesir” monsters, because protecting “Nordic” monsters would be silly for some reason and due to its naming it is completely unsearchable, making this a pretty awful option to run.
“March towards Ragnarok” is a subpar protection card that should be run at zero copies. If you want to play this card because you desperately need some protection against Spell/Trap cards, do yourself a favor and use “Forbidden Dress” instead.
Some hope for the backrow comes in form of “Nordic Relic Draupnir”. This Equip Spell card can be equipped to either an “Aesir” or a “Nordic” monster, gives the equipped monster a bonus 800 ATK and if “Nordic Relic Draupnir” is destroyed because of a card effect, you can add one “Nordic Relic” card from your deck to your hand. “Draupnir” is obviously not blowing anything away either, but being able to equip the entire archetype does help a little, the card is searchable by “Dverg” and can search further copies of itself or a solid amount of the Traps in the archetype by being destroyed. The destruction can even be caused by either player, which allows you to use cards like “Twin Twisters” for a search or combo the card with “Rod of Silence – Kay’est” to trigger the search right upon equipping while also filling the deck with various Equip cards that could be used by “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights“.
“Nordic Relic Draupnir” brings an okayish ATK boost with an added search effect. I would say that playing this card is up to preference.
Of course an archetype with so many competing themes has to have a Field Spell to bash it all together. Said Field Spell in the “Nordic”/”Aesir” conglomate is “Nordic Lights”. It gives your entire monster line-up immunity against battle destruction, which is rather nice. Unfortunately, this effect comes with a major drawback, like pretty much everything in “Nordic”: If “Nordic Lights” is destroyed in whatever way imaginable, you have to destroy all face-up “Nordic” monsters. Paradoxically, the effect destroys monsters on both sides of the field, actually making “Nordic Lights” a solid counter in the mirror match, but jokes aside, this drawback is massive and means that your entire monster line-up dies against backrow removal like “Twin Twisters” or “Heavy Storm Duster“.
While “Nordic Lights” has decent positive effect, losing your entire board to backrow removal is not worth playing it; therefore I would suggest playing zero copies.
“Divine Relic Mjollnir” is the first Trap card to take a look at. It is a Normal Trap that allows you to target one “Aesir” monster you control, which can then attack twice during each Battle Phase that turn. As far as “Aesir”/”Nordic” Spell/Trap support goes, this is pretty solid. The card is nowhere near consistent, but allowing “Odin” to OTK the opponent is not the worst thing imaginable. What really baffles me is that they made a Spell/Trap sub-archetype in form of “Nordic Relic” to interact with the “Nordic”/”Aesir” archetype and then get the absolutely ridiculous idea to make “Mjollnir” unsearchable by naming it “Divine Relic” and not “Nordic Relic”; but that just goes to show that something went completely wrong in terms of quality control when they made this archetype.
“Divine Relic Mjollnir” is a nice addition to the deck that can give your “Aesir” monsters some extra punch. Run this card by preference but be aware of the fact that it is quite often bricky and will therefore harm the deck’s consistency even further
In the ranks of weird Trap support, we find “Gleipnir, the Fetters of Fenrir”. This Normal Trap card has only one sentence stating that you can add one “Nordic” monster from your deck to the hand when activated. “Gleipnir” is a searcher, yes, but why exactly was there any need to make it a Trap card? The newer support cards really worked around the issue of having specific monster cards in your hand, so searching a “Nordic” monster with a delay is not even that good anymore; I mean, anything can be made into a “Gullveig” nowadays.
“Gleipnir, the Fetters of Fenrir” was a passable card in older formats of the game, despite the delay on the search. Nowadays, I would say you can still run the card, but I personally decide against it in my deckbuilding adventures with “Nordic”.
The first actual “Nordic Relic” in the Trap section is “Nordic Relic Brisingamen”. This Normal Trap card allows you to target one face-up monster you control and one face-up monster your opponent controls and then change the ATK of the first target (the one you control) equal to the original ATK of the opposing target until the end of the turn. “Brisingamen” basically allows your “Nordic” monsters to trade against anything the opponent controls if they have not buffed the ATK of said monster or even allows you to run monsters over if you are actively using cards such as “Nordic Relic Draupnir” since your monster’s ATK will be higher. The important question to ask yourself is whether or not that is worth playing “Brisingamen” for, and I for one would say no.
“Nordic Relic Brisingamen” is one of several Trap tools the “Nordic” archetype has to offer, but the streamlined and unflexible effect does not really make it worth playing a card that will actively put you into a card economy minus in most cases; and since the card only copies the original ATK there will be various situations in which you will still lose the monster that is fighting for you. Run zero.
Next up is “Nordic Relic Gungnir”. This Normal Trap card allows you to banish one “Aesir” or “Nordic” monster you control, then target one card on the field that you can then destroy, also the banished monster returns to the field in attack position during your second End Phase after the activation of this card. “Gungnir” is not completely catastrophic since it can destroy both monsters and backrow and allows you to safe a monster from certain demise in form of “Raigeki” or being stolen by the opponent via “Mind Control” to name only two possible examples.
“Nordic Relic Gungnir” is one of the better “Nordic Relics” in existence and can be run by preference.
We continue our tour through the arsenal with “Nordic Relic Laevateinn”. This Normal Trap card can only target a face-up monster on the field that destroyed a monster in battle during the turn of activation to destroy the monster in question, also no cards and/or effects can be activated in response to the activation of “Laevateinn”. I will be honest, this card is hot garbage. They treid to make something out of the fact that most of your monsters will be run over with relative ease, because anything aside from the “Aesir” monster does not pose a threat to the opponent due to being incredibly weak, but this is not the solution since you will have a hard time targeting the necessary monsters to get rid off and will be completely stuck if the opponent decides not to attack at all for whatever reason.
“Nordic Relic Laevateinn” is one of the worst destruction options I have come across so far. Play zero.
One of the useable “Nordic Relic” cards comes in form of “Nordic Relic Megingjord”. “Megingjord” is a Normal Trap card that thankfully can target both “Aesir” and “Nordic” monsters, makes the stats of the targeted monster double the original ATK and DEF it would normally have until the end of the turn, but that monster cannot attack the opponent directly during that turn. This is pretty much the less useful version of the “Utopia Double” engine, since you can buff an “Odin” on your side of the field up to 8000 ATK; but thankfully, you can also just surprise the opponent with sudden boosts of power when fighting with your other “Nordic” monsters, which makes “Megingjord” probably the best “Nordic Relic” card in existence.
“Nordic Relic Megingjord” can serve as a nasty surprise for your opponent when they leave a small monster unprotected or try to overwhelm your board by attacking. I would recommend playing this card by preference though, since not all decklists have the need or the space to play the card.
More silly support comes in form of “Odin’s Eye”. This Continuous Trap card allows you, once per turn during either player’s Standby Phase, to target one “Aesir” monster you control, negate its effects and then look at all face-down cards your opponent controls and all cards in the opponent’s hand, while your opponent cannot react to this via cards or effects. Yes, information is absolutely relevant and seeing what the opponent might have in store is helpful to plan ahead, but the need of having an “Aesir” monster on the field automatically means that this card is completely useless if I either cannot go into an “Aesir” Synchro Summon or if the opponent gets rid of it and negating the effect of your boss monsters is a completely silly drawback to add on top.
“Odin’s Eye” is a weird support card that screams of anime adaptation horseshit, so running zero copies is the way to go.
The last card is the archetype is “Solemn Authority”, another Continuous Trap and sadly another card that is simply not worth running. But I am getting ahead of myself: “Solemn Authority” can be activated by targeting one “Aesir” monster you control, that monster cannot be targeted by any other card effect while “Solemn Authority” is on the field, but “Solemn Authority” automatically destroys itself during the second Standby Phase after activating the card. I could say a lot of things about “Solemn Authority”, but the fact that “Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant” has exactly this effect as an added bonus to everything else she does makes this card completely irrelevant.
“Solemn Authority” is more unnecessary support and should therefore be skipped when deckbuilding.
One of your most important cards in form of “Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant” banishes cards like crazy. There are way to work around the steep costs she is asking for, but with “Metaphys” you are able to make something out banishing most of your hand. “Metaphys Decoy Dragon” is one of the main play enablers since it can Special Summon the banished “Metaphys” monsters and therefore trigger their effects regardless of whether it being played as a monster card or is pur in the backrow as a scale. “Metaphys Horus” can also be summoned with relative ease, since “Metaphys Decoy Dragon” combined with either “Guldfaxe” or “Vanadis” gives you exactly the right amount of levels and therefore a 2300 ATK monster that can negate one effect on the field while also stealing a monster from your opponent for further shenanigans. “Metaphys Nephthys” gives you a search with delay, but therefore buffers the card minus for “Gullveig” a little bit while “Metaphys Tyrant Dragon” could be a nasty surprise that can dish out sizeable amounts of damage. Lastly, “Metaphys Ascension” might not seem that impressive on the field, but when banished it fetches any “Metaphys” card right away and therefore further cushions the resource loss caused by “Gullveig“.
Further useful cards:
Main Deck monsters:
“Performapal Hip Hippo“:
A card that is necessary for “Super Hippo Carnival” to function. “Hip Hippo” can help with Tribute Summoning monsters when Normal Summoned, but in combination with “Super Hippo Carnival” it is just another body on the field that can be used for Synchro or Link summoning.
“Rescue Cat” is one solid starter if you need some more monsters on your field to go into Synchro Summons with. Normal Summon it, then search your deck for two copies of “Tanngnjostr” and/or “Tanngrisnir” to have one more monster than you started with while also gaining two “Nordic” monsters which can be important for the effects of “Alviss” or “Gullveig“.
“Super-Nimble Mega Hamster“:
One of the older choices that was run back in the day. Placing “Super-Nimble Mega Hamster” face-down during your first turn did allow you to summon either “Tanngnjostr” or “Tanngrisnir” depending on what would be more helpful in the given situation and kept you alive against a number of attacking monsters or set you up for your next turn. It is not as good anymore, because any destruction effect that can kill it face-down will leave you defenseless, but it is still any option that can net you one of the goats and is therefore viable in low-tier battles.
The more cost-effective way to get an “Aesir” on the field with help from “Gullveig“. Normal Summon a “Nordic” monster, Link Summon “Gullveig“, her effect goes on chain because you play “Hippo Carnival” on reaction, gain three tokens which you immediately use for “Gullveig’s” effect to fetch three “Nordic” monsters and then summon the desired “Aesir”, only costing you one card in hand that is now in the graveyard and not three that are banished. The effect of the tokens that block Special Summoning does not even matter, since they leave before any Special Summon could be blocked by it.
“Mound of the Bound Creator“:
Gives targeting immunity and card destruction protection to your Level 10 monsters and therefore to all “Aesir” monster, while also burning the opponent for 1000 damage whenever they destroy monsters in battle. Not super necessary since “Gullveig” already provides the targeting protection, but the bonuses make the card playable and it can be searched via “Terraforming“, “Metaverse” or “Demise of the Land“.
“Super Hippo Carnival“:
Like “Hippo Carnival“, this card can get you some tokens to use for “Gullveig’s” effect. Unlike “Hippo Carnival“, you need some more setup to make it work: If you just Normal Summon a Nordic monster, Link Summon “Gullveig” and then chain “Super Hippo Carnival”, you will end up “Performapal Hip Hippo” and four tokens that block Special Summons and cannot go into the “Aesir” monster since one token will remain. To make this work, you either need to summon two monsters before activating the effect, which means using “Dverg“, Special Summoning “Guldfaxe” due to its own effect or Normal Summoning “Rescue Cat” and activating her effect to get two copies of “Tanngnjostr“/”Tanngrisnir“, and then proceed to summon “Gullveig” and do the rest of the combo.
Searches Normal Trap cards for a boost in consistency and surprise attack boost against the opposing monster in the case of “Nordics”. “Trap Trick” is probably the best thing that could happen to the “Nordic Relic” cards and with some other Traps for some spice, you can play a versatile toolbox in just one card in your backrow.
Extra Deck monsters:
“Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons“:
You can only go into Level 8 Synchros with what the board has in store for you? That does not need to be bad necessarily since “Beelze” is easily summonable with “Vanadis” and does not only come with destruction immunity but also has a chance of becoming a massive beatstick. Not the best option available in modern Yugioh, but still one that I would deem playable and one that even counters some decks rather effectively.
“Coral Dragon” is not half bad since it gives the deck a removal effect that you can use for a higher level Synchro Summon afterwards. It is sadly not possible to summon an “Aesir” monster with it since it cannot provide the necessary Tuner for any of them, but it allows various levels from Level 7 with just one copy of “Dverg” to Level 10 with a card like “Alviss“.
Not the first thing to go for in “Nordic”, but if you are running bigger numbers of the Tuner monsters including cards like “Valkyrie“, you can summon this one with relative ease if no other Synchro monster would be summonable with the available cards. Banishing monsters the opponent controls is pretty solid and being able to return banished cards to your side of the field can also be good when “Gullveig” is involved.
“F.A. Dawn Dragster“:
Summonable with a combination like “Guldfaxe“/”Vanadis” plus “Tanngnjostr“/”Tanngrisnir“, you can get yourself helpful Spell/Trap negation that potentially can still attack with 2100 and piercing damage. Solid control option against certain decks.
“Nordics”, sadly enough, are fairly linear in their playstyle nowadays: Normal Summon a “Nordic” monster, Link Summon “Gullveig” and then use her effect to fetch three monsters from your deck ready to be used as material for the Synchro Summon of an “Aesir” monster. And that is it. You might object and list combos using various archetypes, and I do encourage and applaud you for your creativity and fervor, but the only question that matters in a modern “Nordic” deck is how cost-efficient you can summon an “Aesir”. I am not a fan of that playstyle, but I cannot deny that “Gullveig” is the easiest way to gain access to your Level 10 Synchro monsters. Every single route the “Nordics” can take from a playstyle-standpoint leads down to summoning an “Aesir” and with “Kaijus” being available as easily as they are and the overall amount of removal having increased noticeably over the course of the last ten years summoning a boss monster and hoping that it wins you the game is not the best idea.
It is, however, what “Nordics” are working with, so let us try to make the best out of it. The “Gullveig“/”Aesir” combo has some in-built protection that can prove helpful and the “Aesir” monsters can revive themselves if you provide Tuners for them to banish. Some of the Trap cards have a beatdown-focussed plan with the “Aesirs” in mind and putting “Mjollnir” and/or “Megingjord” onto one of the gods can cause a substantial amount of damage. “Trap Trick” can fetch all of the interesting relics except for “Draupnir” and can increase both your consistency as well as your damage output. Both “Hippo Carnival” and “Super Hippo Carnival” can lower the cost for summoning the big ones, while “Rescue Cat” potentially sets up an “Aesir” summon without the need for “Gullveig“. However, the plan always remains building a board with one big beater and trying to win the game from there. If that is a strategy that appeals to you, go ahead and experiment with what other cards “Nordics” could need. Otherwise, you might be better off playing a different deck.
There is a long list of issues with the “Aesirs” and the “Nordics”. Aside from about half the archetype being steaming garbage that was not even played when the cards came out back in the day and a very linear strategy that makes countering them at the bottlenecks of the combo very easy once you got familiar with the effects, they do have a number of other counters stacked against them and problems they have to deal with.
Since the strategy overall works with bringing out big Synchro monsters, anything that will counter Synchro Summoning is deadly for the strategy overall. “Discord” of “Tuner’s Scheme” are very specific counters, but they work against the deck. Way less specific are the Anti-Special Summoning cards that can do quite some harm against various archetypes in the game: “Archlord Kristya“, “Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo“, “Jowgen the Spiritualist“, “Vanity’s Fiend” and many other options work wonders against “Nordics” since they are not only unable to get the monsters out that they rely on, but the deck also struggles to get rid of those cards due to a lack of solid in-built removal options. Effect negation on a card like “Gullveig” is also extremely lethal.
Since I already mentioned those bottlenecks in combos: Any player that knows what “Nordics” are trying to achieve will keep any counters from “Solemn Judgment” to “Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring” in waiting until the right moment has arrived. And even if the “Gullveig” plus “Aesir” monster combo goes through, it is pretty easy to get around it: Any non-targeting protection will still be able to get rid of the “Aesir” even when “Gullveig” is pointing towards it, so enjoy being outplayed by a random “Gokipole” in the opposing deck being milled or various other cards being able to counter your win option. “Gullveig” only gains protection against attacks, but is still easily removable by pretty much any effect under the sun which will leave the “Aesir” monster open unless you clog up your deck with cards to protect the “Aesir” even further at the cost of further crippling the deck’s consistency.
Another problem that “Nordic” has is an overall reliance on the graveyard. While they do not really make that much out of graveyard setup, they still need to interact with it on a regular basis. “Dverg” and “Tanngrisnir” are only two examples of “Nordic” monsters that cease to function if “Macro Cosmos” or “Dimensional Fissure” are live and the “Aesirs” cannot revive themselves since they neither have Tuners to banish nor do they hit the graveyard to trigger such an effect. But there are other effects that can also cause the entire strategy to go up in flames: Bouncing the Extra Deck monsters will leave the “Nordic” player with a massive resource minus while taking the control of an “Aesir” monster is adding insult to injury since you are now beaten to death with the very thing that cost some much to make.
RANK10YGO’s “Legacy of the Worthless: Nordic” (May 2016):
Another video from the legendary “Legacy of the Worthless” series from Rata. The video is almost five years old at the point of writing, but while the new support in form of “Alviss” and “Gullveig” did help a little bit with the archetype’s playability overall, most of what Rata is mentioning in this video is still correct, making it a solid watch if you have the time and are interested in the archetype.
Reddit thread “Can someone help with a Nordic Deck?” (October 2018):
A reddit thread in which the users are throwing around some ideas regarding the deckbuilding process in “Nordic”. The idea to list “Metaphys” as an engine for “Nordic” comes from the use Casketbase77 in this thread, but there are also various other cards listed that potentially can bring “Nordic” to a somewhat playable state.
Yugiohblog “The Nordic Advantage: Efficiency and Forced Plays” (March 2011):
The post Konami published back in the day to basically justify why “Nordics” were so lackluster … by basically saying that people are playing them wrong. There is little to get out of this article aside from a chuckle or two since there are quite a lot of facts in there that I would agree with only for them to omit the parts that either make the described scenarios too slow or otherwise unfeasible.
“The Nordic Lights” Discord group:
If you search for people to talk about “Nordics” and search for some crazy deckideas, why not join the “Nordic” server?
Yugipedia “Aesir” article:
The Yugipedia article for the “Aesir”/”Nordic” archetype group. The article briefly lists all the cards and has a good overview for all the weaknesses and counters the “Nordics” might have, which I used to write the corresponding part of my article here.
Sample Decklist (February 2021):
This is as pure a “Nordic” deck as I would dare to run. The deck uses the normal way via “Gullveig” to summon “Aesir” monsters while also having the option to surprise the opponent with “Divine Relic Mjollnir” and/or “Nordic Relic Megingjord“. I am not entirely happy with the list as there are probably better options to run than “Storming Mirror Force” (since Battle Traps can be bricky and/or be outplayed) or “Pot of Extravagance” (due to being very expensive money-wise). But if you are looking for a starting point for your “Nordic”, feel fre to take the list above as an inspiration.