The dominant species in today's meta, these beastly warriors are indeed a force to be reckoned with. While I don't have a Saber deck, they have been a deck I like since the days of the very first Duel Terminal from the OCG.
Humble Beginnings: Entering the Terminal
X-Sabers first originated as a select group of monsters that came in the duel terminal along with the Mist Valley, Ice Barrier, Ally of Justice, Flamvells, and Worm archetypes. At first, they seemed to be a deck focusing on hand control, considering Airbellum, Urbellum and Urz all had effects that affected the opponent's hand at some point.
At this point, the only one that shined was Airbellum due to the days of Synchro Cat in the TCG and OCG. Urbellum also had some involvement in some extra decks, but didn't have as much of an influence as Airbellum.
This beast was indeed the star of the show for quite some time, that is, until Synchro Cat was affected by the list. Despite this, Airbellum found temporary shelter in Gladiator Beasts.
However, it was only a matter of time until Airbellum would get some much needed backup, as well as it's journey to the top once again.
The Prophecy Fulfilled: Boosters Gallore!
Ancient Prophecy was just the thing X-Sabers needed. Just when it looked like the Duel Terminals were about to give up on them, they make a jump to booster packs. However, their first transition came in a starter deck in the form of Gottom's Emergency Call. However, Ancient Prophecy was their call to be drafted up to the main roster.
This booster also gave the debut of the XX-Sabers, a much more powerful breed of Sabers, including the key to their new strategy, Faultroll.
Faultroll gave Sabers a new meaning...swarming strategies that would lead them to a quick victory. However, Faultroll wasn't enough to give them that push. Fulhelmknight and Ragigura were also keys in the new push for Sabers. While Fulhelmknight provided some protection, Ragigura provided some much needed recovery for the Saber army.
Gottoms also got a remake as their new boss synchro, and provided a new loop that wasn't available to the TCG until the english Duel Terminals.
The Saber Saviors: The Tale of the Cricket and the Reaper
However, the one thing that gave X-Sabers their final push was XX-Saber Emmersblade, a TCG exclusive for the Absolute Powerforce pack. Emmersblade became their key recruiter, moving the deck with much more speed, as well as becoming the missing half to summon Hyunlei. For a while, Emmersblade was at the top of the world, being the center of the deck itself.
Emmersblade became the most expensive card since Judgment Dragon. The cricket gave Sabers that push into the competitive world. While they weren't winning major tournaments, they were mostly in the Top 8 and even Top 4 in some situations. They were making their presence felt as the new contenders and weren't going to get pushed around.
Most players didn't jump to them due to the Infernity hype that ensued before TSHD, but that was all about to soon change thanks to one new addition...Darksoul
XX-Saber Darksoul (another TCG-Exclusive) was just what the deck needed. When sent to the graveyard from the field, it allowed for the search of ANY X-Saber from your deck to the field. Keep in mind, this could even search out the mighty Faultroll. This became another instant staple in the deck and demand was high. Emmersblade and Darksoul together were making Sabers fly to the top. They had all the speed in the world, and nobody could stop them.
But that wasn't enough. Darksoul eventually took the control of the situation, leaving Emmersblade behind in the dust. The ability to search through the deck became much more important than simple recruiting. Darksoul had more class. And the deal was finalized when they made a deal with a certain cat. By following an alliance once again with Rescue Cat, Darksoul could have even more power as it took Airbellum as it's partner in crime. Nowadays, this is the trio that allows X-Sabers so many of their wins. Rescue Cat searches for Darksoul and Airbellum, allowing for Fualtroll and others to quickly sweep any of their enemies.
However, this isn't the only trio to be feared in Sabers. XX-Saber Boggart Knight isn't too far behind. By allowing the special summon of another X-Saber upon it's normal summon, this also allows for either an instant synchro or another opening for Faultroll to come out.
And with September's list coming around, many are debating whether these beasts will stay strong or feel the wrath of the mighty list. While it seems unlikely that X-Sabers will meet their demise by September, many wonder how they will perform in the upcoming formats. Only time will tell. But for now, they are truly the dominant species.