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A young antisocial teen receives a deck of Duel Monster cards and is thrust into an amazing adventure. How will he fair when the fate of the world rest on his shoulders.

Yugioh EQG is a Yu-Gi-Oh! and My Little Pony: Equestria Girls crossover written by Banshee531. It heavily adapts elements of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, but also contains elements of Vanguard G. It is complete.

It has a sequel, Yugioh EQG: Shadow Gates. They thought getting to the finals was the hard part, but Flash and his friends will soon learn the the true competition will soon begin. Meanwhile, dark and mysterious forces are working to destroy everything they love. Can Flash fulfil his destiny or does our world's fate belong to the darkness? It is complete.

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The third story in the series is Yugioh EQG: XX. A year has past since our heroes battle against Sombra. Now, a new threat appears in the form of a tournament. Will our heroes be able to overcome this evil, or is the peace they worked so hard to achieve gone forever? It is complete.

The fourth and final story is Yugioh EQG: Ω Zenith. The Double X has come and gone and everyone's getting back to a normal life. But before they can relax, enemies old and new appear with a dark agenda. Will our heroes prevail, or is our world doomed to oblivion? It's time to Duel. It is in progress

Beware of any Late Arrival Spoilers.


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These stories contains examples of the following tropes:

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    Series as a whole 
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Most of the Mane 7 are this. While in canon they were the main characters, here they are supporting characters with Flash being the main character. Twilight is the closest to subverting this being the main female lead and some of the other girls have more focus in later stories but for the most part they are still just supporting members.
    • Celestia and Luna go from being regular recurring characters to only showing up in tournaments to give commentary during duels, having even less impact on the plot then in canon.
  • Expy: Several characters and monsters take heavy inspiration from characters and cards from both Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V and Vanguard G.
    • Cold Steel is based on Kouji Ibuki but has a deck and duel style similar to Declan Akaba.
    • Tidal Wave is based on Jaime Alcaraz.
    • The Union monsters used by the duel-bot at the museum are based off the zords from Power Rangers and Super Sentai.
    • The characters eventually use duel monster versions of their Equestrian selves with different names.
  • Sequel Escalation: This is present in the series in various ways.
    • In the original story, only Flash and a select few others had access to Pendulum cards. In Shadow Gates every finalist is given Pendulum cards and Sombra is able to create a few himself. By the time XX takes place, Pendulum cards are available to the public and can be found in pretty much any deck.
    • The original story mostly focused on Slice of Life chapters as the story progressed. In each sequel the story gradually gets Darker and Edgier with the threats getting more and more serious and having less time for lighthearted chapters.

    Yugioh EQG 
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: It is stated in-universe that Starving Venom Fusion Dragon, Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, and Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon were respectively the first Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz monsters ever created. This is not the case in either the real world or the Yugioh anime the cards appear in.
  • Adaptational Species Change: In the Equestria Girls films, Spike is Twilight's pet dog; here Spike is human just like everyone else and is Twilight's adopted little brother.
  • Adult Fear: Twilight gets trapped in a room with very little air and almost suffocates before she is saved. She ends up having to stay in the hospital for a week.
  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: The duel-bot at the Canterlot Museum, it was said that nobody had ever beaten it passed level 6. Even at level 1 it still managed to beat Scootaloo in a One Turn Kill.
  • All for Nothing: Rainbow Dash sees the Survival Duel event as a waste of time because they dueled all day but got no points at all due to Sunset winning the event.
  • Ass Kicking Equals Authority: The Black Griffons are a duel gang who follow whoever can beat their leader in a duel. Guto became leader when he beat the previous leader Grover, but after he loses to Rainbow and Gilda, Gilda is named the new leader.
  • The Bet: Cadance makes a bet with Shining Armor that if he loses to Flash when they duel then he can't go into "Overprotective Big Brother Mode" when Flash starts dating Twilight, much to the shock of Twilight and Shining. Flash does eventually beat Shining and Cadance with Twilight's help in a team duel.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The main strategy of Lyra's and The Dazzlings decks. They take control of the strongest monster on their opponent's field and make it fight for them. It turns out Lyra was this herself. The Dazzlings have magic that make whoever they beat obsessed with them, and Lyra tried copying their style to be like them, only snapping out of it after Flash beat her.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Flash loves his little sister Scootaloo, but nobody even knew they were related until she came home while Flash's friends were over. It turns out at their last home Scootaloo was targeted because Flash kept losing duels to people. To prevent her from being targeted again after they moved Flash told her that outside of home they don't speak to or acknowledge each other. They ended up growing apart because of this until Rarity made Flash realize how dumb that decision was.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Downplayed. Timber Spruce seems like a nice guy when Twilight meets him, but when he duels Flash he acts very heartless to his weaker monsters, constantly sacrificing them to help his stronger ones, to the point Twilight is surprised to see this side of him.
  • Born Lucky: Grand Hoof describes Flash as being this. Not only has Flash always shown enough physical skill to be an Olympian if he wished he has never even had a cold his entire life, not even the Chicken Pox.
  • But Now I Must Go: Done temporary by Flash, when he leaves home early to go solo for the last two weeks of the Celestic Cup's first round, believing it is the only way he can get enough points back in time. He leaves his phone at home so they can't track him and a letter for Twilight saying goodbye and that he'll see her in the finals.
  • Cassandra Truth: None of Flash’s friends believe him when he says he has received blank cards before that have transformed into Pendulum and Fusion cards. Twilight later believes him when she sees a blank card he receive transform into a Synchro card with him, and sees the same vision he does when his cards change.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Flash figures out that Trixie cheats in her duels by hacking into the Duel Disks of who she wants to challenge to look at their decks, then constructs a deck specifically designed to counter them. Flash sneaks two Pendulum cards into Twilight's deck to even the playing field, and this allows Twilight to win.
  • Composite Character: Minor example; the Twilight Sparkle in this story is a human girl who transferred to CHS after being bullied at her old one like Sci-Twi was in canon, but her looks are described as how Princess Twilight looked when she came to the human world from Equestria.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Cold Steel defeats Garble and two of his goons in a three-on-one action duel without taking any damage.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: As to be expected in a story based off Yu-Gi-Oh, most duels end with the winner and loser on good terms as friends.
  • Demoted to Extra: Fluttershy is still a main member of the group and often watches duels on the sidelines with her friends, but she herself only gets one duel in the story. Mainly because she does not like competition and therefore is the only member of the main group to not participate in the Celestic Cup.
  • Doorstop Baby: Both Flash and Scootaloo were left by Grandhoof's door this way, with notes that had their names and info about them.
  • Evil Knockoff: Sunset's deck has many similarities to Flash's deck. Others even call it a knockoff version of Flash's deck. Slightly downplayed though as Sunset isn't actually evil.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • The Dazzlings started as just three girls off the streets that dreamed of one day being adored, then Sombra let them into his ranks and gave them magic that makes anyone they defeat obsessed with them.
    • Sunset started as a poor girl with no family who built her first deck from cards in the trash. After losing her deck in a duel she improved on her own and won it back, eventually becoming the top duelist on the streets who was feared by all. Eventually Cold Steel found her, and although she was unable to defeat him several times she impressed him enough for him to recruit her into his cause against Sombra as his assistant. This is downplayed as Sunset is not actually a villain, she just acts rude to her opponents.
  • Good All Along: Cold Steel and his assistant Sunset Shimmer seem like antagonists at first, but they are actually trying to stop the real villains and have been pushing Flash to improve his skills to do so.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Flash instantly dislikes Timber because of how he flirts with Twilight and is much ruder to him than anyone else. Spike needs to spell out to Twilight that Flash is acting like that because he's jealous of Timber, but doesn't tell her why he's jealous.
  • Head Desk: Flash does this after Twilight appoints him as her Co-rep, meaning he needs to sit through all her meetings and write down her notes and ideas.
  • Healing Factor: Sunset's ace monster, Solar Flare Phoenix, has an ability that doubles Sunset's life points when it is special summoned as long as they are 2000 or lower.
  • Heroic BSoD: Twilight has one after Flash leaves on his own to make back the points he lost previously. It takes Trixie calling her out on this during a duel to snap her out of it.
  • Heroic Rematch:
    • Twilight lost to Sunset originally in the Survival Duel event, but when they have a rematch towards the end of the first round of the Celestic Cup Twilight wins and makes enough points to get to the finals.
    • It took Flash three tries before he was finally able to defeat Cold Steel.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Twilight says this when Trixie asks if the reason she's acting like a zombie is because Flash broke up with her.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Timber kisses Twilight's hand after his duel with Flash to say goodbye. This only angers Flash and he yells at Timber to get out of here.
  • Instant Awesome Just Add Ninjas: Grand Hoof's deck.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: In the beginning Flash is an anti-social boy and his distance scares off most of his classmates, but he is still shown to be his usual Nice Guy self and helps others who are being bullied.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both of Flash's parents went missing 20 years ago, which many find surprising since Flash is only 16 years old. Cold Steel eventually reveals that they were sent to the Duel Monster Spirit World.
  • Punch Catch: When Flash is attacked directly by Gizmo's Technobot LV5, Flash Heart Dragon's pendulum ability activates and automatically summons him to the field, where he stops the attack by grabbing Technobot LV5's wrist and pushing it away from Flash.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Flash Sentry and Scootaloo are siblings here, but no indication of any relation is made between them in the show or movies.
  • Social Darwinism: Timber Spruce sees the world as Alphas and Omegas, with Alphas getting the best of everything and Omegas only getting scraps. This is why he prefers using cards with high power over weaker ones.
  • Sore Loser:
    • After Garble loses to Flash, he angrily tries to tackle him instead of giving back the deck he stole from Spike. Flash flips him and tosses him aside and takes the deck back himself.
    • After losing to Twilight, Trixie backs out of her deal to return the cards she took from other duelists and runs away with a smokescreen cover, shoving Twilight in a river during her escape. She is much more graceful after losing to her a second time.
  • Stealth Mentor: Cold Steel appeared to be an antagonist early on who insulted Flash and his friends. However it was later revealed that he had constantly been testing Flash to make him develop his skills to be prepared for an upcoming threat, and has been the one to give him his mysterious blank cards. He doesn't reveal his true intentions to Flash until Flash beat him in their third duel.
  • Taking the Bullet: Flash’s Trap card “Interception” lets him have a monster intercept an attack from an opposing monster if it has more ATK than the monster that was originally targeted. The higher ATK monster flies in front of the lower ATK monster to protect it.
  • Tournament Arc: In order for Flash to qualify for the Celestic Cup he needs to win the Shooting Star Micro Tournament first. The winner of that tournament automatically qualifies for the Celestic Cup. The second half of the story covers the Celestic Cup's first round, as Flash and his friends duel various people to earn enough points to make it to the final round.
  • Worf Effect: Sunset Shimmer makes her dueling debut defeating all three Crusaders in a three-against-one duel.
    • Worf Had the Flu: She also manages to beat Twilight, Applejack, and Flash in a single match and two-on-one match respectively, but they were each already low on life points due to the Survival Duel rules.
  • You Have Failed Me: Said by Sombra after Aria and Sonata lose to Rarity and Pinkie.

     Yugioh EQG: Shadow Gates 
  • Abusive Parent: Chrysalis is very strict to her son Thorax. She makes him keep a proper figure in public, barely showing any excitement, and her teachings for him to eventually lead their country when he is King prevent him from having fun or just being a kid. What really seals this though is when it is revealed she is working for Sombra and duels Thorax when he sneaks into their base. She defeats her own son brutally and makes sure there are "no loose ends" by helping brainwash him.
  • Accidental Murder: During Flash's duel with Shadow, Flash's final attack is so powerful it not only destroys Shadow-Mech Annihilator but also blasts Shadow, tearing his robotic body apart and he slowly dies on the floor reaching for Flash. Nobody feels upset over this though, considering Shadow hurt all of his opponents himself and was helping Sombra with his Evil Plan. Everyone just cheers for Flash's win instead.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Shadow was originally a Duel-Bot that was designed to adapt to duels like a human would, but he somehow developed sentience on his own.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The main group assaults Sombra's base after the end of the Celestic Cup, and they manage to resuce Aria, Sonata, and Thorax, who were all brainwashed by Sombra. Unfortunately, the mission fails when Sombra and his followers all escape and destroy the base, leaving no evidence, Flash is critically injured and Sombra only has one card remaining to complete his deck.
  • And This Is for...: Adagio declares that her winning attack against Rarity is for her sisters.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Shining Spoon was a big fan of Flash's due to his ability to Pendulum summon and wanted to duel like him. He makes it to the finals and finally gets his own Pendulum cards, and he duels Flash in the first match of the first round of the finals.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The ultimate fate of Sombra. His body was fatally injured, but Misty Vail says that if he goes to the Duel Monster Spirit World his soul will be reborn as a Duel Monster Spirit.
  • Asshole Victim: Doom Raizer is attacked by the very duel spirits he held captive as his own personal collection. Nobody really feels that mad for whatever they do to him.
  • Become a Real Boy: Shadow is revealed to be a robot, or more specifically a Duel Bot specifically developed by Freeze Industries that could duel like a human. He somehow gained sentience and hid it from everyone except his creator, Sombra. Sombra hid Shadow away until he needed him and promised him if he helped him accomplish his goals he would grant Shadow's wish to be human.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Maud Pie and Big Mac are both quiet individuals most of the time, but once they start dueling they both suddenly become serious, loud, and talk much more often. Maud also discusses this after her duel with Flash, where she claims that the best duelist in her family is her youngest sister Marble Pie, who is even able to beat all her sisters in a three-on-one duel.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shining Armor gets very mad when Comet Tail insults Twilight for being a girl before their match, and then makes a bet where she has to go out on a date with him if she loses. All other members in the VIP area move away from him for safety. He later tries to have Twilight forfit from the tournament to stop her from getting hurt by Adagio or Shadow. Twilight is able to convince him she doesn't need protecting by beating him in a duel.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Applejack reveals that Big Mac was the one who taught her everything she knows about dueling.
  • Big Damn Kiss: As part of their Relationship Upgrade, Twilight happily kisses Flash after he defeats Sombra, which he returns after a moment.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Spiral Vector Dragon blasts a hole through Shadow-Mech Annihilator's head.
  • Cain and Abel: Cold Steel idolized his older step-brother Sombra from the stories he heard of him as a kid, but now he is working to stop Sombra and protect the world and spirit world from him. The two brothers finally duel in chapter 44, with Sombra defeating Cold.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Thorax finally gives one to his mother Chrysalis when he and Spike face her. Saying that a true King must think of his subjects first and himself last, doing otherwise makes them a tyrant, like Sombra and herself. He also says once he beats her he's taking the throne of Changeland and will rebuild it the right way, with the lessons he learned from his friends.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Grable and his two lackies sneak into the finals after knocking out Cloak N Dagger and stealing his Pendulum Cards and challenge Flash to a 3 on one duel. They also rigged their duel disks to give them the exact same opening hand to trap Flash in an unesacable lock. Flash breaks the lock by summoning a new Xyz monster to clear their fields and eliminates all three in just one hit, greatly injuring them in the process.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Everyone but Applejack and Apple Bloom are surprised when Big Mac uses a machine deck, expecting him to use a plant deck like his family.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Flash faces Shadow in the finals of the Celestic Cup, but there is still Sombra to deal with afterwards.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: During the final battle, Sombra is somehow able to televise every duel that happens in the Crystal Tower all over the world, every screen and every channel playing the duels that decide the fate of the world.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Shadow wears a cloak with a hood covering his face when he is first introduced. During his duel with Rainbow the cloak is blown off him in a powerful attack, revealing he looks almost exactly like Flash. After the duel he puts his cloak back on but leaves the hood down.
  • Driven to Suicide: After losing to Rainbow again, Lightning is about to fall off a ledge when her chamber breaks apart. Rainbow grabs her and tries to pull her up but Lightning refuses her help, preferring to fall to her death than be saved by Rainbow, and forces Rainbow to drop her. Subverted as she survives and is shown later.
  • Easily Forgiven: Flash damaged his connection with Chaos Command Dragon due to his own anger and attempting to force the Xyz monster to obey him. He later repairs their connection and earns Chaos Command Dragon's forgiveness just by giving a sincere apology.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Adagio wants revenge on Rarity and Pinkie for defeating her sisters.
  • Everyone Can See It: Several people can tell that Flash and Twilight have feelings for each other, while the two of them won't spit it out or are unaware of their own feelings. Sombra can tell that Flash is in love just by looking in his eyes, and Cadance needs to spell it out to Twilight that she's in love with Flash before she realizes it herself. Once they get together in the end, nobody is surprised and Applejack just comments "it's about time."
  • Evil All Along: Chrysalis had been invited to watch the finals of the Celestic Cup by Cold Steel, but it turns out she's been working for Sombra the entire time she was there.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After it is revealed that Queen Chrysalis has been working for Sombra she begins wearing a cloak like Shadow and his other followers wear.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: Shadow is revealed to be one for Flash. When his cloak is blown off during his duel with Rainbow everyone is shocked to see he looks almost exactly like Flash. This is because he is a robot and Sombra designed him to look like Flash to be his "perfect" version.
  • Evil Former Friend: Lightning Dust, while in the previous story had just become a card thief, has now joined Sombra's followers; cutting all ties with Rainbow Dash from their previous friendship.
  • Evil Is Petty: Flash calls Sombra's motive for his entire plans, that is being mad that Flash's mom Misty Vail married Trail Blazer instead of him, the "stupidest reason to turn evil ever".
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Right before Spike is eliminated from the two-on-one duel against Chrysalis he tells Thorax that once he beats Chrysalis and becomes King to maybe consider a knighthood for him.
  • Foreshadowing: When Cadance duels Twilight, she uses cards that make up an entire Crystal family that represent her, Shining Armor, and Flurry Heart. Later, during the final battle against Sombra and his followers Shining Armor tells Cadance to keep calm and relax, telling her to do it "not just for you". This all foreshadows that Cadance is pregnant, which they reveal in the final chapter.
  • Freudian Excuse: Shadow has a wish that Sombra promised to grant him if he succeeds in helping him. Shadow wishes to become human, instead of just a robot designed to act like a human. But as Flash said, he doesn't deserve to have that wish granted after all the pain he's caused people just to achieve it.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Fluttershy realizes that ever since the failed invasion of Sombra's lab, and realizing Lightning Dust is working for him, Rainbow has grown scared and has forgotten the reason she duels. She has been rushing through and making mistakes trying to win quickly before her opponent can use their best cards, instead of having fun facing strong opponents and enjoying herself. She knocks her back to her senses by beating her in a duel and showing her all the flaws she's making.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Years ago Cold Industries tried to create a Duel-Bot that could adapt to duels the same way a human could. They succeeded, but that machine somehow managed to gain sentience on its own, and hid it from everyone but his creator Sombra, who it saw as its father. That Duel-Bot was Shadow.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: It turns out Sombra was jealous of his little stepbrother Cold, believing that he would inherit Cold Industries because he was their parents biological child, and was jealous of Trail Blazer for marrying Misty Vail, seeing it as a betrayal by both of them.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Everyone is surprised when Sunset Shimmer suddenly starts being nice to them, like when she checks on Rarity after she lost her match and warns them to be careful when facing Adagio and Shadow. Twilight thinks Sunset was only being a jerk before to make sure they wanted to duel her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During the first semi-final match between Applejack and Flash. Applejack uses a trap, Lasso Tasso, to stop Chaos Command Dragon from attacking and lowers its attack points by 500. But, Flash uses an Action Spell card, Slight of Hand, to transfer the effects of the trap to Applejack's Orchid Sheriff, lowering its attack points to 2300 while returning Chaos Command Dragon's to normal. Since Chaos Command Dragon was able to attack four times, there was now a big enough difference to wipe out the rest of Applejack's life points, something that wouldn't have happened if she didn't use her trap.
  • I Am Not My Mother: Thorax is scared of becoming like his mother Chrysalis after learning she is working for Sombra, and hates the Changeling Drone card because he views it as an evil card made by evil people. Grand Hoof and Cold Steel help him realize that he can still be different from his mother and use Changeling Drone for a different purpose than what it was made for.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Prince Thorax is excited to come and watch the Celestic Cup finals because it gives him a chance to sneak away from the spotlight and just do what normal kids do for fun, like eat pizza and duel someone, instead of constantly being prepared to lead his people.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Spike tries to get through to the brainwashed Thorax during their duel. Thorax fights the brainwashing during the final turn and begs Spike to help him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Discussed. When Sombra asks Flash how it would feel if the girl he loves chose somebody else over him, Flash admits it would hurt but he would still support her final decision; as opposed to Sombra, who saw his crush, Misty Vail, marrying somebody else as a betrayal and grew angry at them both.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: Comet Tail is upset that he lost to Twilight, a girl, in the first round of the finals; especially after making several sexist comments before and during the duel.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Just as Twilight is about to tell Flash she loves him, under the advice from Cadance, Flash’s phone goes off, interrupting her.
  • It's All About Me: Sombra was Happily Adopted into a nice family that cared for him and he could have had anything he wanted, but he let his own greed and jealousy get the better of him and betrayed his friends. All he cared about when his little stepbrother Cold Steel was born, was that he could no longer inherit the family company and it would go to Cold when he was old enough, and he grew worse when Misty Vail married Trail Blazer instead of him.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Shadow's deck has monsters from the Extra Deck that all have the ability to reduce the attack points of the monster they are attacking to zero if it is the same type of monster as them (Fusion against Fusion, Synchro against Synchro or Xyz against Xyz).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Doom Raizer assisted Sombra with gathering Ener-D by capturing duel spirits and draining them of their Ener-D, treating them like his own collection. After his duel with Sunset and the Crusaders the duel spirits break free and attack their captor.
  • Lawful Evil: In-Universe, Sombra reveals that he and the Doom-Vader’s are this. The Doom-Vaders were created by an unknown force to save the Spirit World from violent wars by conquering the world themselves. After their defeat the fighting continued for centuries. Sombra now seeks to free them and help them complete their mission, as well as allow him to conquer his own world so he can rule it and make it free of war and crime.
  • Legion of Doom: Sombra has several followers working with him against the group, all of which they have encountered previously. His comrades besides Shadow and The Dazzlings are Chrysalis, Lightning Dust and the Film-Flam brothers.
  • Like Father, Like Son:
    • Sombra says this himself. Stating Flash would help him with his plans just like his father did.
    • Both Sombra and Shadow (who calls Sombra his father) were defeated when Flash used his abilities to create a brand new card in each of their duels that was key to defeating them.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Prince Thorax has spent his whole life being groomed to take the throne one day, and has never had any real friends or got to do any fun activities.
  • Lover, Not a Fighter: Vinyl describes Octavia this way. Octavia's dueling style involves no attacking, instead she uses effects to force her opponent to discard cards from their deck until they lose via deck out.
  • Me's a Crowd: Once everyone assault's Sombra's lair they discover hundreds of androids that all look exactly like Shadow. Cold guesses they are backup bodies for the real Shadow.
  • Moment Killer: Right when Twilight is about to confess her love to Flash, Flash’s cellphone goes off and interrupts her.
  • Motivational Kiss: Twilight kisses Flash before he goes to face Sombra, as an extra incentive for him to win.
  • My Death Is Only The Beginning: Shadow is blown apart by Flash's final attack during their duel, but before he dies he warns Flash that this is only the beginning.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Flash's anger at Garble and his goons and attempting to force his connection to Chaos Command Dragon caused Chaos Command Dragon to angrily resist due to Flash only wanting to use him as a weapon and the damaged connection created Flash's Super-Powered Evil Side that takes over whenever Flash summons Chaos Command Dragon. This remained until Flash fixed the connection and earned Chaos Command Dragon's forgiveness.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Sombra’s ego had him broadcast the duels in the Crystal Palace around the world and he brags about it when he faces Flash. Once Flash realizes this, he knows that not only are his friends cheering him on, he is able to tell the whole world to slow down the Shadow Gate by using its connection with the Duel Monsters Spirit World to call their ace monsters. Then the whole world is able to destroy the crystals that have grown and slow the Shadow Gates opening.
  • Nightmare Sequence:
    • Rainbow Dash has a nightmare after her duel with Shadow, being chased by Shadow-Mech Xyz Bot, and Rainbow Assault Wing Platinum being destroyed when he tries to save her.
    • Thorax has a nightmare where he is running from bugs and runs to his mother for safety, only for her to turn into Changeling Queen and then change him into Changeling Drone, turning him into an evil monster like her.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The first time Flash activates his super-powered evil side he uses his Pendulum Xyz card Chaos Command Dragon to attack Garble and all his goons directly at the same time, even though they tried to surrender. All three of them end up scorched alive and fall to the floor smoking.
  • Oblivious to Hatred:
    • When Timber meets with Flash at the party before the finals he acts like the two of them are old friends, despite their argument during their duel and Flash's rude behavior to him throughout their first meeting. Throughout their conversation Timber misses the obvious hints that Flash does not like him and does not want to be near him.
    • Trail Blazer and Misty Veil both considered Sombra to be their friend, but Sombra felt resentment for both of them because he felt betrayed that Misty Veil ended up marrying Trail Blazer instead of him. This causes them both to be shocked when Sombra decides to sacrifice them both to begin the return of the Doom-Vaders.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Flash Sentry, normally a Nice Guy who never so much as insults anyone, not even the rare few he doesn't like, suddenly becomes angry and violent during his three-on-one duel with Garble and his goons, shouting insults and threats at them. This is the first instance he is in his Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: More of a jerk than a villain, but this applies to Comet Tail. He clearly doesn't think much of Twilight, or girls in general, and makes a bet with Twilight that if he beats her she has to go on a date with him. After beating him, Twilight tells him to grow up and stop looking down on girls.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In the Crusaders and Sunset vs Doom Raizer duel, both sides suffer this to an extent. On one hand the good guys manage to defeat Doom Raizer and free all the duel spirits he had been holding captive, but their duel inadvertently gave Doom Raizer the Ener-D that Sombra needs to summon the last card he needs for his deck and continue his plans, but on the other hand Doom Raizer successfully sends Sombra the Ener-D produced in the duel, but he is immediately attacked by the freed duel spirits, and is presumably killed when his lab comes down around him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: This happens to Flash in his Super-Powered Evil Side
  • Red Herring: Cold and Sunset are on the lookout for potential allies and anyone working for Sombra during the finals. They suspect that Cloak N Daggers could be working for Sombra due to his suspicious nature and victories through sneak attacks. It turns out he participated in underground duels, but isn't connected to Sombra at all. Cold only realizes this after Cloak was ambushed by Garble and his cronies before his duel with Flash and got his Pendulum cards stolen.
  • Relationship Upgrade: By the end of the story Flash and Twilight have become a couple, to nobody's surprise.
  • The Reveal: All 32 finalists are revealed, as well as their placement and total points.
  • Robotic Reveal: During the finals, it is revealed that Shadow was a robot, or more specifically a duel-bot, the whole time.
  • Save the Villain: This happen several times in the climax.
    • Rainbow Dash tries to save Lightning Dust after their duel when the chamber starts to collapse. But Lightning Dust doesn't want her help and forces her to let go.
    • Twilight saves Adagio from Sombra's brainwashing by beating her in a duel. Later, Adagio is pulled from the wreckage of Sombra's tower and is taken to the hospital to recover.
    • Finally, the Doom-Vader’s try to pull Sombra into their prison realm for losing to Flash and failing to keep his end of their deal. Flash saves Sombra from this, and later when Sombra is fatally injured he helps him travel to the Spirit World, where he will be reborn as a duel spirit.
  • Shout-Out: Shadow's monsters, Shadow-Mechs, are based on Transformers. The chapter they are introduced in even shares the Tag Line of the series, which Flash title drops, "more than meets the eye." Shadow's best card, Shadow-Mech Annihilator, is even an expy of Unicron.
    • The first time Shadow uses Shadow-Mech Annihilator he doubles its attack points to 10,000. Flash, watching in the audience, screams "It's over 9,000!"
  • Side Bet: Twilight's first opponent in the finals, Comet Tail, is a sexist jerk who makes a bet with Twilight that if she loses to him she has to go out on a date with him. Twilight wants him to do something for her if she wins, but doesn't say what until after the match. After beating Comet, Twilight says she wants him to stop looking down on girls.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Several siblings duel each other:
    • Pinkie and Maud duel during the first round of the finals. Maud wins.
    • Twilight duels Shining Armor when he wants her to forfeit before the third round, because he doesn't want her to get hurt. She defeats him and proves to him she can take care of herself because she's not a little girl anymore.
    • Applejack and Big Mac duel in the third round of the finals. Applejack wins, the first time she's ever beaten her brother.
    • Cold and Sombra finally face each other during the final battles in the Crystal Tower. Sombra brutally beats Cold, and leaves him bleeding on the ground as a warning to the others.
  • Split Personality: Twilight thinks Maud might have one that takes over during duels, the normally calm and quiet Maud suddenly becomes loud and serious.
  • Stunned Silence: This is the crowd's reaction when Flash goes way overkill in defeating Garble and his two lackies and ended up hurting them.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Flash shows to have one when fighting Garble and his lackies. In it, his eyes turn red, he becomes more violent and insulting, and even yells at his monster.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Every finalist has done this thanks to being given Pendulum cards as a reward for making it this far in the tournament.
    • Tidal Wave is given new cards to beta test a new mechanic for Ritual monsters called "Ritual Evolution."
    • After the finals end, Cold gives Pendulum cards to Fluttershy, Spike, and the Crusaders when they agree to help Flash and the others face Sombra.
  • Tournament Arc: This story continues where the pervious left off, with Flash and the others now in the final round of the Celestic Cup. The tournament ends with Flash defeating Shadow in the finals.
  • Tragic Villain: Shadow was a Duel-Bot that was programed to adapt to duels the same way a human would, but somehow gained sentience on his own. He hid this from almost everyone, out of fear that they would experiment on him. He only revealed it to his creator Sombra, who he trusted above all else. Sombra was convinced Shadow was alive, so he scrapped the project and hid Shadow away in the deepest server of Freeze Industries. Shadow dreamed of being human as he slept and when Sombra woke him years later he promised to fulfill that dream if Shadow helped him. So Shadow became a ruthless duelist that hurts his opponents in battle, all to one day be human.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Garble and his goons try to surrender to Flash once it becomes clear he's about to annihilate them all at once in one turn. Flash however doesn't accept their surrender and continues with his attack.
  • We Can Rule Together: Sombra tries to get Flash to change to his side by showing him that under his rule there will be no war or conflict in their world or the spirit world. Flash refuses though, stating that living under his rule instead of being free would be no better.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Despite the attempts of Cold, Flash, and their friends, Sombra is eventually able to gather enough Ener-D to summon all the cards he needs for his Doom-Vader deck, then manages to summon his Crystal Tower to eventually open the Shadow Gate.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Adagio gets punished for losing to Twilight just like her sisters were punished previously. It is revealed they were all brainwashed as punishment and lost their freewill.
    • All of Sombra's "shields" suffer this during the final battle. Because they lost their duels and know too much about Sombra's plans he keeps them imprisoned in the tower instead of ejecting them like the losers normally are.
    • Sombra is on the receiving end himself. After losing to Flash, The Doom-Vaders try to pull him into their dark prison for failing to keep his end of the deal.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Flash's reaction when he hears Sombra's backstory, and his whole motivation for his plan basically amounted to (or at least started because) he was mad Misty Vail married Trail Blazer instead of him.
    Flash: You've gotta be kidding me! That's the stupidest reason to turn evil ever!
  • You're Insane!: Thorax says this to his mother Chrysalis when he finds out she's working for Sombra with Shadow. Accusing her of not doing this for their country, just so she can rule a bigger country.
  • Zerg Rush: Flash and the others encounter hundreds of androids that all look like Shadow in Sombra's lair. Although they are not as skilled as the real Shadow, due to not having his Extra Deck monsters, their greater numbers soon become a problem for the others when they just keep coming at them, throwing one powerful monster after another at them.
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     Yugioh EQG: XX 
  • 0% Approval Rating: By the time the final round with the top four teams begins, practically nobody is cheering for Team Dominators to win, due to their bad attitudes and treatment towards their opponents.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In canon, Tempest's old friends at least had the reason for her out of control magic from her broken horn to not want to be around her anymore, plus it is implied Tempest was an Unreliable Narrator who made them sound worse than they actually were. Here though, it is seen in her memories that they abandoned her simply because her scar scared them.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Flash calls Flurry Heart, his goddaughter, squirt while playing with her.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Tempest Rogue Scarvolt appears before everyone when they are meeting with Sombra in the Spirit World, and gets on her knees, begging them to save her partner.
  • All or Nothing: This is how the second round of the Double X works. If someone is challenged to a duel they must accept and both duelists must wager all the points they have, regardless of the difference in amount between them. Whoever wins the duel gets all the points their opponent had, and the loser is eliminated from the round with no way of getting back in. If all three members of a team lose, the team is automatically eliminated.
  • And I Must Scream: Anyone who has been Dominated by a Duel Spirit is imprisoned within their own mind and is Forced to Watch as their body acts outside of their own control. This imprisonment is shown to have the being wrapped in chains and tied to a tablet. Tempest and Starlight both suffered this for a year by the beginning of the story.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Spike has only been a supporting character in the previous two stories, now he is a member of Flash's team for the Double X, one of the main teams of the story.
    • Gilda only appeared in three total chapters in the first story with two duels, and only had a cameo appearance in the second, but now is a member of Rainbow's team for the Double X.
    • In canon, Heath Burns is a minor background character at CHS with no plot importance and little to no lines. In this story though he is a member of Team Dominator, the main antagonistic team of the Double X.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Spike's new Synchro monster, Dragonic Blazemaster Inferno Legend. While its previous form, Dragonic Blazemaster was already huge, it stands at 12 meters tall (almost 40 feet) and after it powers up with its ability it doubles in size. The first time it appears it grows so big that it can be seen from all across the Meadow Field, with all other duels coming to a pause while everyone stares at the massive dragon.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Flash's Pendulum Ritual monster, Quantum Nexus Dragon, is incredibly powerful, having 4000 ATK and an ability that, with some luck, can potentially skip the opponent's turn while simultaneously weakening one of their monsters. However, it is incredibly difficult to summon, since Flash needs to use monsters that have already been banished, and their levels must be a total of 24 or higher. Quantum Nexus Dragon's ability also has a high cost, with Flash needing to banish the top 10 cards of his deck to use it, which can drastically lower the remaining cards he has left in his deck and potentially banishing cards that do not help with its ability. Flash himself acknowledges he cannot use Quantum Nexus Dragon as his go to strategy. Flash only ends up using Quantum Nexus Dragon twice in the whole story, against Cold and Tempest respectively, but he wins both duels he uses it.
  • Baby See, Baby Do: During the first round of the Double X, the Crusaders cheer for their friends and punch their fists in the air. Flurry Heart watches them, and then starts mimicking them by punching her own fists in the air and giggling out her own cheers.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Sonata might be a total ditz and the dumbest of the three Dazzlings, but she is still a skilled duelist just like them. This is especially clear when she actually manages to beat Flash in a duel during the first round of the Double X.
  • BFS: Quantum Nexus Dragon has one as its weapon.
  • Big Bad: Team Dominator is slowly revealed to be this, having an agenda beyond simply winning the Double X. Or more specifically, the duel spirits that have dominated them. They have also mentioned to be serving a mysterious lord.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Sunburst has his vision massively impaired whenever he is not wearing his glasses, with everything around him appearing blurry. When Garble knocks them off him after their duel he completely misses Flash uses his powers to turn the hologram of Sunburst Archmage real and attack Garble and his cronies to save him.
  • Bridal Carry: Flash picks Twilight up this way before jumping into the pond by the waterfall with her in his arms. This happens to them again later when Flash catches Twilight in his arms after defeating her in their semi-final duel.
  • Broken Win/Loss Streak:
    • All three members of Team Dominator go undefeated for the entire first round of the Double X and this continues into the second round for most of the first day, until their streak comes to an end when Flash defeats Heath Burns.
    • On a more individual level, Tempest Shadow is stated to be the only duelist in the entire tournament to never lose a single match by the final round. The final duel of the tournament between her and Flash ends in her defeat.
  • The Bus Came Back: Trixie and Pipsqueak reappear for the first time since the first story as competitors in the Double X. Guto later reappears too, only to get Dominated.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Spitfire was a pro soccer player for years before she eventually suffered an injury that ended her career. She did not let this discourage her though, and she returned to her old boarding school, where she started as the English teacher and soccer couch before eventually becoming the principal.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Twilight is sent flying when she loses to Flash in the semi-finals, with the monster she was riding on being destroyed. Flash catches her bridal style while riding on his own monster and they are both lowered to the ground where Flash gently puts her down on her feet.
  • Child Hater: Downplayed with Sunset. She doesn't hate kids and took a job as a dueling coach to help teach kids how to duel so they can have fun and spread it to others. But, when she is seen at her job she has trouble connecting to the kids she is teaching and quickly gets annoyed by their lack of experience, yelling at them for making lots of mistakes, scaring some of them, and referring to them as "brats".
  • Cool Uncle: Technically Flash is Flurry Heart's godfather, not her uncle, but he still says that he loves Flurry and happily babysits her for Cadance, saying that with Twilight away in France someone needs to do all the fun aunt and uncle stuff with her. Twilight even calls him “Uncle Flash” to Flurry instead of simply “Godfather”.
  • Covered in Gunge: Soarin accidentally trips over a chair and sends his breakfast flying, which lands on an unfortunate Rainbow Dash.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Flash meets Sunburst this way, accidentally bumping into him in the hallway at school.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Although Garble planned to simply ambush Flash and steal his deck from him, he still included a new card in his deck, Hellfire Apocalypse Dragon, specifically for dealing with Pendulum cards in case he absolutely needed to duel.
  • Deal with the Devil: After Trixie's team is eliminated in the first round of the tournament, Trixie is approached by Starlight Glimmer from Team Dominator, who is possessed by an evil duel spirit, and offers Trixie a chance to make her every wish and dream come true. Trixie is intrigued by this offer. She ends up accepting the offer, only to end up being held prisoner and eventually Dominated herself by the end of the story.
  • Demonic Possession: It is revealed that all the members of Team Dominator have been forcibly possessed via Soulink by duel spirits. Normally a Soulink is meant to be when both parties agree to it, but some duel spirits have found a way to force it by creating a fusion of the monster and human spirits that possesses the memories of both but only the personality of the monster. This forced Soulink is simply called a Dominate for short. During the first round of the Double X, Tempest Shadow forces a Soulink on Marble Pie, and Marble becomes Dominated by Gaia-Maiden Lady Marble. Marble is later shown forcing one on Guto, and is implied to have done the same thing to two other people. Trixie is also Dominated by the end of the story.
  • Discard and Draw: The Dazzlings are now using Ocean's Idols monsters instead of their original Alluring monsters. When Sunset questions Adagio on this, she simply says that she and her sisters put those cards behind them.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The way that Soulinking and Dominating is described almost sounds similar to that of a sexual activity. A Soulink is described as a "great miracle", where a Duelist and a monster they share a close bond with end up Sharing a Body. It is meant to demonstrate the strong bond they share with each other, due to it being consensual from both sides, and how much they trust each other, as an act of bringing them even closer together. A Dominate on the other hand is when a monster forces a Soulink on a duelist without their agreement, and takes full control of the body for themselves. When this is described to everyone, they find the term "Dominate" to be "violating" and feel sick just hearing it. It is also clear that anyone who has been Dominated is deeply tortured and traumatized by the experience, and their real partners are all worried over their safety.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After Soarin defeats Starlight in the second round and sees her screaming and holding her gloved hand in pain, he tries to help her up. She just smacks his hand away, telling him to stay away from her and that she will get him back for this.
  • Dope Slap: Adagio makes a mental note to do this to Sonata after hearing how she accidentally revealed to Flash that Adagio was given a mission by Cold Steel.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Played for Laughs with Twilight and Flash. After Twilight learns that Flash kept what he knew about the Dominators a secret since the end of the first round, she angrily drags him by his ear before tossing him off the peer into the sea in front of everyone. Cadance just sighs happily at this, calling it "young love".
  • Ear Ache: Twilight drags Flash by the ear after he admits he knew about the Dominators being possessed by duel spirits and kept it secret for so long, before tossing him into the sea.
  • Easily Forgiven: Twilight is initially mad at Flash when he reveals he kept his knowledge about the Dominators secret from everyone ever since learning about it after the first round and spends some time punishing him for it in comedic ways. Once the two spend some time alone though and have a few quick make out sessions though Twilight fully forgives him.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: A few teams suffer from this.
    • Flash's team have trouble determining a name for their team, so Spike suggests being called "The Flashers" since Flash was the founder of the team. This name is turned down due to its Unfortunate Implications, and Shining Armor gives them the temporary name "Team Still Unnamed", much to the three's embarrassment. Flash eventually gives them their official name, "Team V-Fighters". Several people guess what the V stands for, and he needs to explain it stands for "Victory", which Twilight finds to be generic. invoked
    • Tidal Wave registered Twilight's team name without telling them what it was, and named them "Team Tidal Maidens".
    • Rarity named her team with Applejack and Big Mac "Team Applejewels", much to their embarrassment.
  • Exact Words: When Sombra explains the concept of a Soulink, he says that it is often easiest for monsters with the strongest bond with their users, the ace monster, to perform it, citing Flash Heart Dragon with Flash and Divine Sky Angel for Misty. However, he didn't say that these were the only cards that can perform it, which is why the card that has forced a Soulink on Tempest Shadow is not her ace monster Tempest Rogue Dominator Scarvolt.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: This happens to a few characters after the Time Skip.
    • Flash has shortened his hair, with it now resembling the way it looks in the digital series, also indicating his growth in maturity between stories.
    • Twilight's hair is now in a ponytail, along with switching out her contacts with a pair of glasses, similar to the digital series too. This slowly moves her away from being the minor Composite Character she was in the first two stories and closer to her Sci-Twi characterization.
    • One not due to the time-skip is Marble Pie. After she is Dominated by Gaia-Maiden Lady Marble she moves her hair out of the way, losing her Peak A Bangs. She later changes her hairstyle to a ponytail and changes clothes to resemble more of what her true form looks like.
  • Face–Heel Turn: It is revealed that Flaming Emperor Hellfire did not Dominate Heath Burns originally, and actually performed a proper Soulink with him. But by the end of the story, Hellfire has taken complete control of Heath's body from him and officially joins the zealots on their mission to revive Zeronull.
  • Fighting from the Inside: During the finals of the Double X Starlight eventually manages to fight back against the spirit Dominating her body, taking control of her body for a moment and preventing the spirit from running for an Action Card that could have potentially let it survive Sunburst's attack. So Sunburst managed to win the duel and as a result free Starlight completely.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The opening for the first chapter shows Flash and his friends gathered at the opening ceremony of the Double X Tournament with their respected teams before showing the events of what happened that led up to this. This shows that all of them will eventually form their teams together and qualify for the tournament.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Tempest Shadow, the leader of Team Dominator, mentions they are serving a lord. It is eventually revealed that their lord is Omega Diety of Destruction, Zeronull.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: While watching Rainbow and Flash's training duel, Soarin starts to get jealous when Flash gets several reactions out of Rainbow that he himself hasn't, like getting a playful smirk out of her or getting her to use her best card against him.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sombra is confirmed to have had one, having been hinted at during the ending of the previous story, after becoming a duel monster spirit. He later meets with Flash, Cold, Misty, and Adagio in the Spirit World to warn them about the Dominators and their threat. It is also revealed that The Dazzlings are now working for Cold now, and have been helping him gather intelligence behind the scenes on the Dominators, though they kept this a secret for the most part until the end of the first round.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • During a training duel, Rainbow attacks Flash's strongest monster on the field when she could have won the duel by attacking one of his weaker monsters. All her friends say she wants to face Flash at his best and know she thinks the duel is too much fun to stop now.
    • During Sunset and Adagio's duel in the first round, Adagio had enough life points remaining to survive Sunset's last attack and could have potentially won next turn. Instead of playing it safe though, Adagio decides to have some fun and tries to get an Action Spell to save her monster but instead gets an Action Trap that lowers her life points enough for Sunset to beat her. When Sunset questions her on this Adagio admits she was just being cocky.
    • Gilda calls out Rainbow on this at the end of the second day of the tournament. She claims she had been watching Rainbow but she never saw Rainbow try to summon a stronger monster than her Battle Wing Gold monster, even though she would have won faster if she used her Rainbow Assault Wing Platinum. Rainbow says that doing that would not have been any fun and even though they are trying to win the tournament they should still try to enjoy it.
    • Sunset says she is glad Flash survived Twilight's first turn during their duel since even if she wants Twilight to win it would be no fun if it happened during the first turn.
    • Sunburst remembers how when they were kids Starlight originally had trouble sacrificing her monsters since she did not want to “kill” them by sending them to the graveyard, and she hated using the same strategy multiple times, even if it would be easier for her, since she loved trying new strategies.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Adagio mockingly says this to Flash after learning that he lost a duel to her airhead sister Sonata.
  • How We Got Here: The very first scene is the opening ceremony of the Double X Tournament, showing some of the teams gathered for the tournament before suddenly flashing back and the spending the first couple of chapters showing how the main teams were formed and registered for the tournament. Everything is caught up again by chapter 14.
  • I Lied: During Twilight and Trixie's duel in the Double X, when Trixie summons her Enchantress of the Grand Amulet she calls it her most powerful monster. Later, after Twilight defeats it, she admits that she was fibbing when she called it that, and summons her real most powerful monster, Lost Souls Magician.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Tempest and Starlight both silently mourn Moondancer's death during the Double X, with Starlight saying that she should be there with them now. Heath Burns, who is Moondancer's replacement on the team and in the same room with the two of them, asks what she means by that and if he isn't good enough to be on the team.
  • The "I Love You" Stigma: Averted; Flash casually tells Twilight he loves her at the end of one of their video chats, and she says it back to him.
  • I Warned You: Adagio told Cold Steel it was a bad idea to tell Adagio's sister what they were doing together and that he should have let her handle it on her own. She is quick to remind him of this after Sonata ends up Saying To Much to Flash and accidentally reveals Cold gave Adagio a mission. Cold just tells her not to rub it in.
  • Insult of Endearment: Sunset calls Flash a "chump" when telling Sunburst that it took a lot of work from a friend of hers, Cold Steel, to get him to where he is now.
  • Just in Time: During the finals of a Double X Qualifying Micro Tournament, Sunburst runs late due to staying up all night reworking his deck to prepare for the tournament and oversleeping. He arrives in literally the last second to stop his team from being disqualified after they lose the first match to Team Crusaders.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • After the first round of the Double X ends, Marble Pie, who is at the moment Dominated by Gaia-Maiden Lady Marble, tells her sisters Pinkie and Maud that she's leaving. When Pinkie offers to come with her, she declines, saying that where she's going is not a place for "weaklings" like them. After seeing their shocked and hurt expressions, she turns and walks away, smiling as she does so, strongly implying she took pleasure in hurting them.
    • The spirit that is Dominating Starlight takes the time to insult Sunburst during their duel, taunting him over flunking out of Duel Academy and embarrassing his family so much they had to move away. After defeating Sunburst she tells him to never show his face to her again. She then twists the knife further by laughing about it when Flash confronts her after their duel. This all happens before Sunburst learns about the spirits possessing Team Dominator, thus making him think his old childhood friend is the one insulting him and tearing him down.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Starlight and Tempest both suffered from this, which made it easier for them to be Dominated due to their weakened spirits.
    • Starlight was alone after Sunburst left for Duel Academy. Nobody wanted to be friends with her simply because she beat them in duels, thus leaving her with nobody.
    • Tempest got hit by a speeding car when she went to get a ball she and her friends were playing with. She got a scar from the accident, which ended up scaring off all her friends, with it being implied she was alone for years afterwards.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Dominators; although previous antagonists like Sombra were frightening, they still had a good handful of humorous moments to humanize them even in the middle of a duel. With the Dominators, the closest they get to humor are their own brief bickering with each other, which all but vanishes completely once they start dueling. Each one is deadly serious with their goal, the destruction of the human world. They also are very clear with their hatred towards humans, and each one of their backstories involves death and destruction in someway, all of which makes it clear they are not messing around and are not meant to be found funny even slightly.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Cold and Adagio are both surprised when Flash uses Quantum Nexus Dragon in his duel against Cold, since they were absent when Misty gave it to Flash. Flash doesn't use it for most of the Double X afterwards or even mention it to anyone. This ends up surprising the entire stadium when he uses it in the finals against Tempest, especially Tempest, Spike, and Sunburst, who all wonder where Flash got it.
    • Flash, Cold, Grand, Misty, and Adagio do this to everyone after learning the truth about the Dominators from Sombra, about how they have been forcibly Soulinked by Duel Spirits. They all agree to leave everyone else out of it for now so they can all focus on the Double X. They finally reveal the truth about them to everyone after the second round.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Implied with Soarin as part of his Ship Tease with Rainbow. It is stated that ever since Rainbow arrived at the Wonderbolts Academy, Soarin has become a complete klutz whenever he is off the soccer field. Rainbow eventually realizes this is because he is intimidated by her due to knowing all she has accomplished.
  • Luminescent Blush: Rainbow blushes when Soarin praises her for helping to save the world, and his unsure why she is when she has been praised before. Both she and Soarin do this later when telling each other how much they appreciate each other and are glad they met and got to be on the same team.
  • My Greatest Failure: Sunburst flunking out of Duel Academy is this for him. No matter how many tests he aced he always lost whenever he dueled, eventually being demoted from Ra Yellow to Slifer Red and having too low a win ratio to return next term. He vowed to never duel again after this, before he met Flash and Spike and slowly gained confidence in himself.
  • Nerd Glasses: Twilight stopped wearing contacts during the Time Skip and started wearing glasses after Flash said that she looked cute in them.
  • Never My Fault: Garble and his cronies blame Flash for roasting them alive with his dragon and getting them all sent to juvie, even though they brought it all on themselves for breaking into an official tournament, beating up a competitor, stealing his stuff, and getting it damaged. They say it is Flash's fault because if his monster hadn't of fried them they wouldn't have been arrested, which just borders on Insane Troll Logic.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction:
    • Although Flash loves dueling he has grown bored with it over the last year because there has been no challenge ever since he saved the world from Sombra and the Doom-Vaders. He is constantly challenged by cocky hotshots who want to beat the Celestic Cup Champion, with none giving him the same satisfaction he felt a year ago. He finally gets out of his slump and feels a satisfaction again when Tempest Shadow not only gives him a challenge, but defeats him handily and tells him about the Double X Tournament.
    • When the V-Fighters are in danger of being disqualified from the finals of the Double X Qualifying Micro Tournament after losing the first match to Team Crusaders unless Sunburst makes it within the given time limit, Team Crusaders feel disappointed over the situation since they wanted to earn being in the Double X, not get it through a forfeit. Luckily for both teams, Sunburst arrives Just in Time, saving his team from disqualification and allowing the finals to continue.
    • The semi-final match between Team V-Fighters and Team Tidal Maidens has both teams want for their opponents to give it their all. Twilight wants for Spike to show what he can do before Fluttershy beats him so she won't feel so bad about him losing, and Sunset is relieved when Flash survives Twilight's first turn since winning on the first turn would be no fun, even if it secures her team the win.
  • No Name Given: It is never revealed what the spirit that had Dominated Starlight was called. Unlike Flaming Emperor Hellfire and Storm King Dominator, the spirit could not use its own card, leaving its identity a mystery for the whole story.
  • Not Quite Dead: Following the death of Moondancer, her former teammates believed that the spirit she was Soulinked with, Saltalunam, also died, which would mean no new cards of her would ever appear. This is proven wrong though when Twilight uses a new card of Saltalunam during her duel with Flash, implying that Saltalunam survived.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: During their second duel, Storm King Dominator tells Flash how humans have been fighting for years using Duel Spirits as weapons. Claiming that it's just a matter of time before the humans destroy themselves and take their realm with it, the Dominators state their intention to destroy the human world, thus freeing the Duel Spirits from human oppression. However, this claim falls flat due to the fact that the Dominators are stealing human bodies for themselves to accomplish this task, further compounded by the fact that they clearly have no respect for the Duel Spirits connected to their hosts' decks, treating them the exact same way they claim all humans treat their species. But the final nail in the coffin comes with the reveal that the Dominators want to revive their lord Zeronull to destroy the human world AND the Duel Spirit world, while creating a new dimension where they can all "live" for eternity. At the end of the day, the Dominators are really just a bunch of selfish cowards who don't care how many lives they destroy, as long as their own safety is secured.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sonata has this reaction when she realizes she accidentally revealed to Flash that Adagio was given a mission by Cold Steel and awkwardly tells him that he didn't hear anything. Adagio later has this same reaction when Flash confronts her in the Graveyard over this, and quickly excuses herself when she is called back to the duel field.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Marble Pie, the Shrinking Violet of the Pie family, suddenly gains a Slasher Smile and pushes her hair out of her eyes after Tempest forces a Soulink on her. Later, after the first round is over, she leaves her sisters behind and insults them both to their faces, calling them weak.
    • After Rainbow Dash defeats Spike and gets her team to advance to the next round, she is quiet instead of celebrating with her teammates, thinking her win was due to luck instead of skill, and says they need more training.
  • Pet the Dog: Soarin spends most of his time thinking that he is not as good as Rainbow and that she sees him as below her own level. After Soarin defeats Starlight Glimmer and encourages Rainbow to leave the second round to him and to just duel whoever she wants to, Gilda, who spent most of her time insulting Soarin, tells him Rainbow never saw his skill level as beneath hers, since if she did she never would have put him on her team, even if there were no other choices.
  • Playing with Fire: Sunburst uses a Fire deck, with many effects relying on him drawing Fire monsters or how many are on the field.
  • Posthumous Character: Moondancer dies at the very end of her debut chapter. She reappers frequently throughout the story afterwards in flashbacks or as a ghostly vision Twilight sees. It is also learned after her death that she was a member of Team Dominators and was Soulinked with her ace monster Moondancing Scholar, Saltalunam.
  • Puny Earthlings: The spirits who have Dominated Team Dominator all seem to think this way of humans.
  • Reality Ensues: Spike suggests asking Thorax to join his and Flash's team as their third member. but Rarity points out that a king who is busy trying to manage a country and pull it out of recession won't be able to drop everything just for a duel tournament.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Spitfire gives Rainbow and Soarin permission to form a team for the Double X Tournament, but makes a few ground rules for their third teammate, stating any teams they are part of must have finished their seasons already and need to be caught up on all their work. If they can meet these requirements though then she agrees to fill the necessary paperwork.
  • Saying Too Much: Sonata is so busy celebrating her win against Flash and getting Adagio out of the Graveyard that she accidentally forgets Flash is right in front of her and reveals that Adagio was given a mission by Cold Steel.
  • Sequel Hook: Although the V-Fighters win the Double X and Tempest and Starlight are freed, there are still several other Duel Spirits who have Dominated duelists, including Heath Burns, Marble Pie, and Trixie, and the group plans to revive their lord Zeronull and bring destruction to the world.
  • Ship Tease: Rainbow and Soarin are given a few moments together.
    • When Soarin praises Rainbow for having helped save the world she blushes, despite having had no such reaction to anyone doing the same to her before.
    • Soarin admits he feels nervous around Rainbow due to all she has accomplished, to the point where he has always been clumsy around her.
    • Soarin gets jealous when he sees Rainbow go all out against Flash in a training duel, and decides to be good enough one day that she will need to do the same with him.
    • Gilda tells Soarin that Rainbow never saw him as beneath her, since if she did she never would have let him on her team, even if there were no other options.
    • Rainbow and Soarin both tell each other how great partners they were after the tournament, with Rainbow apologizing for what she said about Soarin during his duel with Applejack. Both of them end up walking away with their faces completely red from blushing.
  • Sibling Rivalry:
    • During the Double X Qualifying Micro Tournament, the last match of the finals is between Flash and Scootaloo, with the winner having their team qualify for the Double X. Flash is the winner, earning Team V-Fighters a spot in the tournament.
    • During the first round of the Double X, Spike and Twilight duel against each other after running into each other and the rules stating they must duel. Spike wins, the first time he has ever beaten Twilight.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Marble suddenly gains one after Tempest forces a Soulink on her and she ends up being possessed by Gaia-Maiden Lady Marble.
    • Spike and Sunburst have these when they plan to kill and eat some baby boars for dinner while at an island resort with some friends, despite Fluttershy pleading them not to. Though, their plans to do so fail when the mama boar chases the two of them away.
  • Smooch of Victory: A varient happens after Flash and Twilight's duel in the semi-finals. After Flash wins, Twilight congragulates him and pulls him forward into a kiss, which he quickly returns, while also telling him its up to him and his team to beat the Dominators in the finals. It is later played straight when Flash and Twilight share their best kiss yet after Flash and his team win the Double X.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Subverted; Spike, Sunburst, and Fluttershy encounter a snake while searching a forest for food, and Spike and Sunburst quickly scream and flee from it while dragging Fluttershy with them. The snake is not threatening at all though and just watches them run away while wondering where its "new friends" are going.
  • Sore Loser: After Soarin defeats Starlight in the second round, he offers her his hand to help her stand up when he sees her in pain. She responds by angrily slapping it away, telling him to stay away from her and that things aren't finished between them yet.
  • Spit Take: Pinkie invokes this when Spike suggests that the team name for him, Flash, and Sunburst should be "The Flashers" since Flash was the team founder. Most of the other girls present just gasp at the name, but Pinkie pulls out a glass of water out of nowhere to drink and spit out.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: This trope is name-dropped by Cadance when Flash and Twilight are paired to duel each other for the last match of their teams semi-final round. The winner of their duel is Flash.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Gilda falls into the water at the beach and begins to panic, splashing around and failing to notice everyone trying to get her attention. She finally notices when Rainbow jumps in and lands next to her, revealing the water is shallow and doesn't even go up to her knees.
  • Taken for Granite: Tempest Shadow's Dominators have the ability to "dominate" any monster weaker than them, turning the monster to stone until the end of the opponent's turn.
  • Tears of Remorse:
    • Spike starts crying after he loses to Rainbow in the first round of the Double X, costing his team a chance to move on to the next round and a lot of points, leaving only one slot remaining for the next round and not a high chance for them to get it. This happens to him again when he loses to Starlight early in the second round, thus eliminating him for the duration of the round.
    • This happens to Flash Heart Dragon X when he is forced to attack Flash via the effects of Storm King Dominator and Storm Guard Dominator Puppeteer. He struggles to resist attacking his partner, shedding a few tears in the process, before the effects take over and he throws a punch at Flash, causing him to lose his second duel against Tempest.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Moondancer ends up being late for meeting with Twilight because she overslept due to her alarm not going off and not getting her wake up call. She asks herself what else could go wrong that day while rushing and shortly afterwards is hit by a car and killed.
    • Flash and Twilight promise each other to give it their all to stop the Dominators, even if they end up needing to duel each other in the finals. Their teams end up being paired against each other in the semi-finals, and Flash and Twilight face off in the tie breaking duel.
  • That Wasn't a Request: A good version; while Flash and Twilight are getting water for everyone by a waterfall, Flash tells for Twilight to relax and hop in the pond for a swim. Twilight initially refuses so they can get back right away, but Flash playfully tells her he isn't giving her a choice before picking her up bridal style and jumping into the pond with her in his arms.
  • Time Skip: One year has passed since the events of the last story. During that time Flash and his friends have changed their appearances slightly, Rainbow has changed schools, and Twilight is studying abroad in France.
  • Took a Level in Badass: This is shown to have happened to pretty much everyone throughout the story.
    • Almost everyone has upgraded their decks following the Time Skip.
    • Flash has gained even more control over his powers and connection to the spirit world. He manages to temporarily make the hologram of Sunburst Archmage real and have it attack Garble and his cronies when Garble tries to beat up Sunburst and destroy both of their decks.
    • The Crusaders show that they have gotten much better when they make it to the finals of the Double X Qualifying Micro Tournament, though only Apple Bloom manages to win her match.
    • Sunburst starts off very nervous whenever he duels and takes several minutes to make his opening move. After gaining some confidence thanks to Flash and Spike though he stops overthinking his moves.
    • Spike has become a better duelist too, even managing to defeat his big sister Twilight during the Double X with his new monster Dragonic Blazemaster Inferno Legend.
  • Token Boy: A few teams in the Double X only have one boy on their team.
    • Soarin for Team Wonderbolts.
    • Big Mac for Team Applejewels.
    • Heath Burns for Team Dominators after he takes Moondancer's place after her unexpected death.
  • Token Good Teammate: It is revealed that Moondancer was originally a member of Team Dominators with Tempest and Starlight. Unlike her teammates though (and her eventual replacement Heath Burns) she shows none of their bad qualities. While every member of Team Dominators was Dominated by a duel spirit, Moondancer willingly performed a Soulink with her ace monster. While the Dominator duel spirits hate humanity, Moondancer's spirit, Moondancing Scholar, Saltalunam, loves it and befriended several humans, including Tidal and Twilight. It is even discussed that Tempest and Starlight never shared their plan with her, and Tidal and Twilight both believe that had she discovered them she would have refused to be apart of it.
  • Tournament Arc: Like the Celestic Cup before it, the Double X is another tournament the characters enter and drives the plot forward. The tournament officially begins in chapter 14. It ends during the final chapter with Team V-Fighters as the winners.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Moondancer's Magic Tome of Starswirl. She gives the card to Twilight shortly after meeting her as a symbol of their new friendship, but after Moondancer's death shortly afterwards the card fills Twilight with sadness every time she looks at it for awhile.
  • Trauma Button: For Flaming Emperor Hellfire, the duel spirit Dominating Heath Burns. Whatever happened in his past, it's clear it involved a lot of bloodshed, and has driven him to fear death. Whenever Hellfire is on the verge of being defeated, he begins to panic and experience flashbacks of the death he saw, culminating in him yelling about how he doesn't want to die. This fear of death is likely to have been a factor in his officially joining the Dominators.
  • Twirl of Love: When Flash and Twilight reunite they embrace in a hug with Twilight throwing her arms around Flash's neck and him spinning her around as she holds on.
  • Victory Is Boring: Flash still loves dueling but after saving the world from Sombra and the Doom-Vaders nothing else has been a challenge to him and he has begun to grow bored. Many young duelists challenge him almost everyday, hoping to defeat the Celestic Cup Champion, but none of them give him the same challenge he experienced before. He is actually overjoyed when he loses to Tempest Shadow and is told about the Double X Tournament, since he finally has a challenge again and a way he can improve.
  • Villainous Breakdown: All the spirits possessing Team Dominator go through one at some point, to varying degrees:
    • Starlight's Dominator spirit's begins as early as her defeat at Soarin's hands, getting progressively worse after being beaten by Gilda and Twilight, though she tries hard to keep a lid on it. When she's finally beaten by Sunburst in the final round, she yells at Starlight to stop when she starts breaking free of her restraints. However, it's ultimately subverted in the end, when she instead calmly tells Starlight that it's not the last she'll see from her. Though this may be because she knows she has a potential back-up vessel in the form of Trixie.
    • Hellfire Emperor goes through a minor one in his duel with Soarin' when the crowd begins cheering for the latter to win. He then yells to the audience that "this is his battlefield" and they should be cheering for him, not Soarin'.
    • After the Storm King attempts to convince Flash and Tempest to join him in the Dominators' plan to destroy the human world and the Duel Monster spirit world in exchange for eternal life in their lord Zeronull's dream world, Flash dismisses the plan as cowardly. In response to his refusal, the Storm King grows furious and starts ranting about how he's going to personally see to it that Flash perishes along with everybody else.
  • We Will Meet Again: When Starlight is finally freed from the spirit that Dominated her, the spirit warns her that they will see each other again.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 22 starts with Marble being trapped in a mysterious room. Shortly afterwards, Tempest Shadow encounters Cold Steel and the two of them Duel, though it's cut short before a winner is decided. The chapter ends with Tempest forcing a Soulink on Marble; the very last scene is Marble sporting a sinister smile before saying, "Now the fun can begin."
  • Wingding Eyes: During Flash's duel with his mom, Misty Vail, his monster Magna Chimp has its eyes replaced with hearts after Misty Vail's monster Pure-Heart Cupid shoots it with an arrow.
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • During the first round of the Double X, Spike manages to defeat Twilight by using his new monster, Dragonic Blazemaster Inferno Legend. When Twilight looks back on her loss against Spike she acknowledges that although he has indeed gotten better she believes her head wasn't in the game during the actual duel and thinks of several ways she could have possibly won that she didn't think of at the time.
    • It is said several times that the spirit that has Dominated Starlight is not at full strength because it cannot use its own card in Starlight's deck, because she cares too much about her own deck to get rid of it.
  • You Didn't Ask: When everyone finds out that Fluttershy is on Twilight's team, with her saying she is okay with entering a tournament if it is to help a friend, Flash asks her why she didn't tell him that when he needed a third teammate. Fluttershy just says he never asked her and assumed she wouldn't help.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Rainbow has this reaction when she hears from Flash that Twilight lost to Spike after Rainbow sees that Twilight is currently in the Graveyard area.

     Yugioh EQG: Ω Zenith 
  • A God Am I: Flaming Emperor Hellfire gets so crazy after getting the Fire Zenith Dragon himself that he declares he will be the god of destruction and will complete the Zealots mission himself without any help from anyone, including Zeronull.
  • The Atoner: Tempest Shadow wants to help stop the Dominators and whatever they are planning to make up for everything she did while she was Dominated by Storm King Dominator.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The main strategy used with the Water Zenith Dragon. Its ability sends all spells and traps to the opponent's hand, preventing them from properly defending themselves, and then revives monsters from the graveyard for each card returned this way. This allows for its user to attack several times and overwhelm their opponent with multiple monsters at once. However, it can be stopped if the enemy has a monster that is too strong for any of the monsters on the field to defeat, or if a monster can't be destroyed by battle.
  • Badass Boast: The Omega Zealots shout "OMEGA DUEL!" at the start of every duel they are in instead of just "DUEL!" like everyone else. As explained, Omega means "the end", so Omega Duel means "this Duel will be the end of you."
  • Bait the Dog: In her past, Gaia-Maiden Lady Marble was taken in by a farmer after being exiled from her kingdom. He gave her food, clothes, and a place to stay. It's strongly hinted that she'll end up turning over a new leaf because of his kindness. And then she sends him off to his death for the fun of it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted after Flash loses to Lady Marble. Due to losing to an Omega Zealot of Zeronull he is sent to a prison called Void, with the ground opening up underneath him. Scootaloo manages to grab his arm and tries to pull him out, but she just ends up falling in with him instead.
  • Blood Knight: Cold theorizes while examining the Fire Zenith Dragon Perfignis that because the Zenith Dragons were all created by Zeronull, they are all battle hungry and want to fight.
  • Came Back Strong: Shining Magician, Glorianna, the spirit that had Dominated Starlight in the previous story, returns by Dominating Trixie instead. She is now at full power in this new body since she can use the deck she wants to, including her own card.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Pinkie suddenly wears a London Guard outfit while guarding Maud while she hacks into the Zealots systems.
  • Cult: The servants of Zeronull seen in the previous story are officially named as the Omega Zealots.
    • Apocalypse Cult: Their goal is to revive their lord Zeronull and have him destroy the Earth and the Spirit World so they can all "live" in a dream reality.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Though Pinkie ultimately loses to Amphitrite, she does manage to put up an excellent fight, including almost destroying her Zenith Dragon.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: After finishing a chocolate milkshake, Chaos Fiend Draconequus tosses the glass behind him and snaps his fingers, only for the glass to shatter due to him forgetting he doesn't have his powers while in Discord's body.
  • Darker and Edgier: Given the presence of the Omega Zealots and their goal of bringing about The End of the World as We Know It, it's safe to say this is by far the darkest entry in the series.
  • Elemental Embodiment: The six Zenith Dragons, created by Zeronull, were each created by one of the elements that make up the world. The effects each Zenith Dragon has also represents some specific aspect of the element that they embody.
    • The Earth Zenith Dragon, Greaterra, shakes the earth with its roar and unleashes a barrage of giant rocks that turn all Spells and Traps face down and prevent them from being flipped, similar to a rock slide caused by an earthquake.
    • The Wind Zenith Dragon, Marventus, returns all cards in the Spell, Trap, and Pendulum zone to the opponent's hand and powers up all Wind Monsters on his user's field for each card returned this way, similar to a hurricane blowing away anything in its path.
    • The Light Zenith Dragon, Mesmeridiem, can sacrifice a Light Monster on her side of the field to decrease the ATK of an opponent's monster by half the ATK of the sacrificed monster, or banish a Light monster from the graveyard to destroy a card in the Spell, Trap, or Pendulum zones unless the opponent discards a card from their hand. These represent light being used to blind someone, or used as a laser to destroy something.
    • The Fire Zenith Dragon, Perfignis, can banish Traps from its user's graveyard and destroy the same number of Spells and Traps on the opponent's field. Additionally, the opponent must also discard the same number of cards from their hand or suffer 500 points of damage for every card not discarded. This represents a wildfire spreading and damaging anything near it.
    • The Water Zenith Dragon, Fabulaqua, returns all spells and traps back to the opponent's hand and for each one returned can revive a Level 4 or lower water monster until the End phase. This represents a tidal wave washing away everything and the seemingly never-ending flood that follows.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Queen Amphitrite might be one of the Omega Zealots serving Zeronull, but she is shown to care about her family. A flashback shows her worried when her son Prince Neptabyss is mauled by Daedalus. Later, when Grand defeats Rhodos in a duel, causing her great pain and almost releasing Skystar and sending her back to the Spirit World, Amphitrite consoles her daughter and declares that the pain she has been inflicted is unforgivable, promising to get payback.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: When Gaia-Maiden is saved from near death by the farmer Scayer Rockwood, she questions why he would help her when it wouldn't benefit him. Naturally, he is confused by this. Also, when she momentarily loosens her control over Marble to let her talk to her sisters, only to take full control again later, she expects for Pinkie and Maud to be devastated and lose all hope of ever saving Marble. Instead, the two of them are filled with more hope because now they know for sure that Marble is still in there somewhere.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Most of the Zealots are using teenagers as their host bodies, resulting in their youthful appearances sharply contrasting with the sadistic monsters underneath. The same applies to Amphitrite (the spirit possessing Queen Novo), who, while not as openly cruel, still intends to destroy the world. Decidedly NOT the case with Ouravas and Chaos Fiend Draconequus, whose hosts, Guto and Discord, are both older men.
  • Faking the Dead: In Gaia-Maiden Lady Marble's backstory, after she was exiled from her kingdom she continued to be hunted years later. She eventually faked her death to get everyone to believe she was gone, after tricking her husband and sending him to his own death.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: A flashback revealing Gaia-Maiden Lady Marble's backstory reveals that after she was exiled from her kingdom and was on the run for years, she eventually met a farm boy named Scayer Rockwood. He nurses her back to health when she injuries herself on his farm, with the two of them eventually getting married. But eventually Lady Marble's true nature showed itself, and she sent her husband to his death by pretending to be sick one day and tricked him into scaling a mountain to find an imaginary special herb for her. According to Queen Amphitrite, Lady Marble did this for her own amusement.
  • Given Name Reveal: The spirit that had Dominated Starlight in the previous story, who never had its identity revealed to the reader or characters outside of Starlight, makes a return by Dominating Trixie instead, and finally reveals her identity by playing her card: Shining Magician, Glorianna.
  • The Glomp: Starlight happily jumps on Sunburst's back and hugs him piggyback style after he defeats Hellfire, sending him back to the Spirit World and freeing Heath Burns.
  • Good Costume Switch: Tempest's new Liberator deck has many of the same monsters from her Dominator deck, except that these versions now have golden armor, representing how they are freed from the influence of the Dominators.
  • Hate Sink: The Omega Zealots have little to no redeeming qualities to speak of. They use Soulinking, a practice meant to bring humans and Duel Spirits closer together, to steal human bodies for themselves, with the purpose of using their new physical forms to wreak havoc on our world and eventually destroy it. In addition, they constantly belittle their opponents, mocking them for trying to fight back against them, and even continually attacking them even after they suffer a major loss. In spite of this, whenever the good guys do manage to pull a win, they have the gall to act as though they're the victims and that the treatment they receive is completely unjustified. The sole exception to this is Queen Amphitrite.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Two happen at once in the duel between Tempest and Amphitrite. During the climax of the duel, Tempest manages to use a Trap Monster from her hand, and says she was able to do this because Amphitrite sent her Storm Guard Liberator, Shield monster to the graveyard earlier in the duel, allowing her to banish it from there to activate a trap from her hand. Then, the Trap Monster that she summons is not destroyed by battle due to the effect of Amphitrite's own trap card, Mythic Totem, which prevents monsters from being destroyed on the turn they were special summoned. These ultimately prevent Amphitrite from defeating Tempest, and leads to her own defeat.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Hellfire goes against orders and goes after the heroes, intending to kill Flash and his friends, the other Zealots inform Draconequus of his actions when he gets into a duel with Sunburst. Despite the lose-lose situation this puts the Zealots in, since they don't want their best candidate killed or for Hellfire to be defeated and his Zenith Dragon falling into enemy hands, Draconequus simply says there is nothing they can do about it now, since the duel has already begun and stopping it would be showing weakness to the enemy. This results in Hellfire being defeated and sent back to the Spirit World, and his Zenith Dragon falling into the heroes hands.
  • Hypocrite: In his duel with Cold Steel, Flaming Emperor Hellfire mocks the heroes for teaming up because they're desperate. He seems to be ignoring the fact that he joined the Zealots against his host's wishes because he was desperate not to die.
  • Insistent Terminology: Emperor Hellfire corrects Misty Vail that he is an Omega Zealot, not simply Zealot.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Omega Zealots; the story starts out relatively light, as usual, but as soon as they start making their move, nearly all the humor is completely sucked out and the stakes become higher than ever.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Fleetfoot initially asks Rainbow Dash to duel her quickly so she can test her new deck, but as soon as she realizes that Rainbow already made plans for the afternoon with Soarin she walks away with a knowing smile, telling the two to "have fun".
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Hellfire disobeys orders to wait after the candidates escape from Void, and decides to go after Flash and his friends by himself with the intent of killing them. As a result, he gets into a duel with Sunburst and loses, which causes him to lose his Domination over Heath Burns and get sent back to the Spirit World.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: While at an airport in Paris, Twilight sees what appears to be her boyfriend Flash, before he runs away into a restricted section. Twilight is so overwhelmed at seeing Flash okay that her feelings overwhelm her logical side of her brain, since she already knows Flash had been captured by the Omega Zealots and he has no reason to run away from her, and she chases after "Flash", only to discover he isn't real and fall into a trap by an Omega Zealot.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: The Zealots may have control of their hosts' bodies actions, but they're not immune to the same habits of their hosts, including food cravings. This shows to be a problem for Glorianna, who hates the taste of the same tea Trixie enjoys.
  • Moral Myopia: The Omega Zealots are taking children from their families and holding them prisoner with the intent of using one of them as a vessel for their master. This has caused much pain and heartbreak for their loved ones, which the Zealots clearly don't care about in the slightest. Despite this, when Grand Hoof defeats Rhodos in a duel and severely damages her forced Soulink with Skystar (after she made it clear she intended to lock him and his entire group in Void to get rid of them, and then tried to drop a building on them when she lost), Queen Amphitrite is furious and feels that their treatment of her daughter is completely unjustified.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Most of the Omega Zealots want to revive Zeronull so he will destroy both worlds and allow them to keep "living" in a perfect dream reality. However, Flaming Emperor Hellfire, the newest official member, doesn't actually care about Zeronull or his dream reality. All Hellfire wants is power to prove that he isn't weak and will not die like those he sees as weak, and wants revenge on the humans who humiliated him in the Double X. This eventually leads to him disobeying orders and going after Flash and his friends himself to complete the Zealots mission, while denouncing Zeronull in the process.
  • Oblivious to Love: Continuing their Ship Tease from the previous story, Rainbow is excited to hangout with Soarin alone, but doesn't understand why she feels so excited to be around him or why she is upset at the thought of Gilda potentially joining them.
  • Off with His Head!: During the duel between Grand and Rhodos, Duel Blade Shinobi cuts off Poseidra's head.
  • Playing the Victim Card: The go-to motive the Omega Zealots use to excuse their actions. They each claim to have suffered in the past, which led to them serving Zeronull now, under the belief that he will grant them a "perfect world" where they will no longer suffer because of humans, other Duel Spirits, or anything. Also, if the heroes ever interfere with their plans or manage to defeat them, then they ultimately resort to this too, saying they will have revenge for the "humiliation and suffering" they have caused them.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Rhodos, the duel spirit Dominating Princess Skystar, appears very emotionally immature. She shows excitement at having the chance to send Grand and his team to Void. After Grand manages to beat her in a duel, she responds by trying to bring the building they're in down on top of them. When she's later seen in London, during Amphitrite's duel with Pinkie Pie, she's essentially screaming at Pinkie to stop fighting back so her mother can defeat her, not unlike a child throwing a tantrum. When Amphitrite seems to turn the duel around by summoning herself and setting the path to summon her Zenith Dragon, Rhodos almost instantly switches to childlike glee, jumping up and down and laughing.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In chapter 15 Tempest manages to defeat Queen Amphitrite, thus freeing Queen Novo from her Dominate. But in her last moments of control, Amphitrite gives her daughter Princess Rhodos the Water Zenith Dragon, telling her she is the new Omega Zealot of Water, and Rhodos manages to escape with the awakened dragon.
  • Reality Ensues: Starlight never went to school during the time she was Dominated, due to the Dominator possessing her seeing no need for it. As a result, Starlight missed an entire year of classes and now needs to make them up. Luckily, she has Sunburst as a personal tutor. Not only that, but after spending the past year being possessed, Starlight talks about having PTSD of the ordeal, constantly having nightmares of still being trapped within her own mind. Upon hearing this, Twilight suggests that she see a therapist to help her, but Starlight says there is no way anyone will believe her, so Twilight suggests simply talking to someone else who went through it for support.
  • Sadistic Choice: Glorianna forces Twilight into a duel with her by threatening to detonate several bombs in an airport if she refuses. Similarly, Hellfire forces Spike to duel him by trapping Thorax in a cage made of fire, saying he will only be released after their duel.
  • The Sociopath: The Omega Zealots check a LOT of boxes. They have a Lack of Empathy for others, be they humans or other duel spirits, willing to harm and use them as tools however they see fit to get what they want. Not only that, they go above and beyond in their efforts just so they can hurt them in the cruelest way possible. They also constantly put up a polite front and speak in a conversational tone with everyone, even when talking about how they're going to destroy the world. And deep down, despite all their rhetoric, all they really care about is that once they've completed their work, they'll all get to "live" happy lives in their master's dream world, everyone else be damned.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: In a flashback, Hellfire congratulates his friends on another victory and briefly says they must take a moment of silence to honor those who died in battle, only to break out laughing with everyone a few seconds later at the suggestion and declare anyone stupid enough to get themselves killed deserve no respect.
  • Sweet Tooth: Amphitrite enjoys ice cream and other foods that would melt underwater.
  • There Are No Therapists: Zigzagged with Starlight. Starlight has PTSD from the time she was Dominated, and tells Twilight how she has nightmares from the experience. Twilight tells her that maybe she should talk to a counselor about the experience to get help, but Starlight says there is no way anyone would believe her story. Twilight realizes she is right but tells her to try talking to someone who went through the same experience to talk to, which still doesn't leave Starlight with a lot of options.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: When Grand duels Rhodos, he mocks her and her mother Queen Amphitrite, saying they are both just mere minions of Zeronull. Rhodos angrily exclaims that this insult against her, her people, and her mother is unforgivable. Later, when Rhodos flees after being defeated by Grand, Amphitrite declares that she will never forgive the pain that has been inflicted on her child and promises to pay them back.
  • This Means War!: When Flaming Emperor Hellfire attacks Cold Steel and his allies at Freeze Stadium, he declares during his duel with Cold that the games are over and this is war, a declaration Cold and his allies recognize after speaking to Chaos Fiend, Draconequus, the leader of the Zealots. They soon realize though that this declaration of war was not just limited to them, but part of multiple simultaneous attacks that ended with Flash, Scootaloo, and Gilda sent to Void, two of the six Zenith Dragons awakened, Rainbow Dash greatly injured, and Wonderbolt Academy destroyed.
  • Time Skip: Two months have passed since the end of the Double X.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed; Amphitrite, the Atlantean Queen, the Zealot Dominating Queen Novo, still seeks to destroy the human world and the Duel Spirit world. However, unlike the other Zealots, who are only in this plan to save their own lives, Amphitrite joined them with the purpose of creating a peaceful life for her subjects and truly cares about their happiness. She also appears more genuinely Affably Evil, showing legitimate respect for her opponents, as opposed to the other Zealots' Faux Affably Evil. This makes her appear slightly more sympathetic by comparison.
  • Villain Respect: Before their duel, Amphitrite tells Tempest that she admires her determination, saying it reminds her of herself when she was younger.
  • Wham Line: In chapter 11, Sunset explains that while she was going through the data they collected from the Zealots, she found a digital bible of Zeronull's history. Most of the stuff in it they already know, until she gets to one interesting part.
    Sunset: The Zenith Dragons are not the only Duel Monsters Zeronull created. It's said that after his sealing, Zeronull created an army of darkness that was sent into the Duel Monster Spirit World to do his bidding. The seal was only meant to contain him, so they could leave without issue.

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