Eli Smith, also known as Agent Eli or Agent Smith, is a character in Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V: RE-Turn. He is a member of Academia's Necrophades Agency, the black ops sector of the organization, who is the designated overseer for Academia's infiltration missions. Originally simply seeking out Dennis Macfield for failing to re-establish contact after the Miami Championship, Eli's mission quickly expands to taking down the Lancers, a mission that slowly becomes a vendetta as he becomes one of the most recurring threats for them to take on throughout the story.
- 1 Design
- 2 Biography
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Deck
Eli's uniform is somewhat akin to the Senior Obelisk Blue uniform from GX, but is heavily customized to suit his needs, as it takes on an appearance more akin to an overcoat due to the flowing out of the uniform's back, and by his own account, was made from stronger materials compared to most Academia uniforms. He wears black gloves on his hands that have yellow gear-markings on them and dark-grey armored knuckles, ostensibly for combat purposes. He wears a very unusual mask over his face that, while it succeeds in covering up his forehead, chin, and the back of his head/neck, it exposes the remainder of his face, save for his left eye, over which Eli wears a highly advanced scope.
Eli himself has short, spiked, moss-colored hair, and orange-colored eyes, along with the curious detail that, despite his age, he is rather short, being only a centimeter taller, at best, than Yuzu Hiragi.
When on infiltration missions, Eli either wears a brown cloak with easel-color spot patterns that has camouflage technology that enables Eli to hide his presence, or a grey jumpsuit that similarly can change color to blend in with his surroundings. While wearing the latter, Eli's entire body is completely covered up, aside from his customized scope, making those unfamiliar with him unable to identify him.
Right off the bat, it is easy to tell that in comparison to most Academia students and leadership, Eli takes his missions very seriously. He performs his tasks without fuss and is very quick-on-the-ball, immediately infiltrating Standard in order to search for his subordinate, Dennis, when the latter failed to make a report, and then immediately heading to the Synchro Dimension upon obtaining relevant intel, whilst also making sure to gain intel on Standard's activities on the side. This showcases that he is also determined to obtain as many details as possible. His serious nature is such that when presented with a threat, Eli refuses to underestimate and attempts to destroy it with whatever resources available, making him one of the few members of Academia barring the high military commanders, who takes the Lancers seriously as a threat.
Underneath this no-nonsense serious attitude however, Eli is blunt, neurotic, grumpy, and socially-awkward. He has great loathing for the arrogant behavior of the Obelisk Force and student body of Academia, not because of their sadism in of itself, but because he views that behavior as unconstructive. His rage at perceived incompetence makes it very easy for him to fly into a somewhat comical stress-induced rage, which is only considered to be somewhat comical due to said stress legitimately taking its toll on him, with Kairi Hinode going as far as to prescribe medicinal stress-relieving tea for Eli due to believing that such stress could have a detrimental effect on his health and sanity.
Eli's perspective on the Interdimensional War is, like his surprisingly beleaguered demeanor with his allies, surprisingly complex. He truly desires peace and believes in the Arc Area Project, but years of growing up as a soldier due to the civil wars in the Fusion Dimension prior to Academia taking over, afterwards, and the Interdimensional War itself, have caused him to develop a cynical attitude, believing in scorched-earth campaigns and completely destroying the enemy's ability to fight, believing that mercy will drag the conflict on even longer. To his rage, the 'Hunting Games' of Academia have had the exact same effect as 'mercy', which further increases his frustration with his allies, including even the stalwart and honorable Barrett...but does nothing to stop his own brutality.
Said brutality deserves mention due to the lengths Eli is willing to go to in order to achieve his goals. Despite his open grievances with Kurei Sozotai's eccentric personality, he has no problem with allowing her to continue work on "Project: Legion", which has killed dozens of men, women, and children in the Commons sectors, and outright went back on Kairi Hinode's promise to Hotaru Hanazono to spare Celeste from Academia's invasion of Synchro, instead ordering the soldiers and agents to hunt Celeste down so as to interrogate her for the location of the ARC-V card, and failing that, to simply card her. He has also expressed every interest in destroying the Standard Dimension as soon as possible, has pushed for the complete annihilation of the Synchro Dimension, and fully believes in totally wiping out the Resistance. Had it not been for the risk of alerting Roget to Academia's presence, the need to keep Serena and Reiji alive, and the potential loss of fuel for the Arc-Area Project, Eli has even admitted to planning to blow up the hotel the Lancers were staying in without warning, endangering hundreds of lives without a shred of remorse. All of this was said and done with his usual stoic, yet grumpy personality, with not a hint of sadism present, showcasing that he truly believes that these methods are needed for the purpose of peace in the future.
Whenever others attempt to counter this brutality, such as Shinra, Kairi, or even his own enemies, Eli will angrily retort that these methods are required, and that anyone who opposes them either does not get due to ignorance (In the case of his allies), or their own selfishness (In the case of his enemies). This demonstrates and confirms that he has something of a "Needs of the Many" mindset to mentally justify his atrocities.
Despite this brutality and cynicism, Eli still has some display of standards. He does not believe in needless cruelty, as shown by his disgust of most of Academia's student body, and finds Shiro Keshigasu's mad desire for perfection to be nothing short of pure evil. While he does disdain honor, this is primarily related to those who use the concept to override their common sense, hence his dislike of Barrett since it seems he views gaining war medals as a sign of dignity after killing other people, while also loathing Jean-Michel Roget for his slimy and treacherous nature. By contrast, Shinra's acceptance of the horrors of war and humble nature gel with Eli better, though the two still butt heads over Eli's belief that Shinra's sense of mercy and outward displays of kindness will get the latter killed on the battlefield. It is mainly through his belief of war being terrible, combined with his neurotic personality, that his grumpy nature can seem sociopathic and cruel to others, when from his perspective, this is to be expected and is the natural, yet awful, way of things.
Due to his grumpy and cynical personality, Eli despises Entertainment Dueling by principle, not to mention viewing it as a philosophy of the enemy, which, while to be understood so as to destroy it, should never be accepted. Likewise, said cynicism is why he believes the Arc Area Project is needed for the Four Dimensions, viewing the culture of Synchro as a prime example as to why, and serves as a baseline for his brutality, wherein he shows no outward empathy or remorse for the destruction of the Xyz Dimension, and ultimately why he is an antagonist to the Lancers.
Eli's name is derived from Eli Whitney, the man who invented the Cotton Gin and Interchangeable Parts, which are commonly regarded as being among the factors leading up to the American Civil War.
Eli is a highly skilled and trained individual in terms of his fighting abilities, having incredible athletic skills that enable him to move extremely quickly, far surpassing that of Sora Shiuin. In addition, he is trained in martial arts and has shown deadly proficiency with them. Not only is he skilled in close-range combat, but he is also skilled in long-range combat, being extremely precise and stable when dealing with firearms, whether it be from his own concealed equipment, or when he utilizes gun-esque cards generated from Real-Solid Vision on his Duel Disk. He is also notably very strong, able to easily land fatal blows with his bare hands and easily handle heavy objects. He is also clever enough to use his short height to his advantage, knowing the ins and outs of how combat works when facing a taller/bigger opponent.
In the days before Academia, the Fusion Dimension was a war-torn landscape with numerous factions battling it out for supremacy, leaving behind many war orphans that still persist to the present-day. Eli was among such orphans, and ultimately to survive, acted as a child soldier, whereupon he eventually met Shinra and Roswell, with the three of them bonding over their terrible pasts. The three ultimately survived to become students of Academia, when it was taken over by Leo Akaba eleven years prior to the start of the series.
Now with a proper home, Eli continued his war services, performing numerous assassination assignments for Academia. On one of these assignments, Eli was instructed to infiltrate a certain town. Despite seeming to bond with its residents, ultimately Eli succeeded in weakening the town from the inside and enabled Academia to destroy it, even participating in the invasion. Shinra and Roswell were notably disturbed by Eli's behavior afterwards, with the mission having been rather traumatic for him due to that former bond.
After the stabilization of the Fusion Dimension and Academia succeeding in establishing itself as the dominant power, Eli continued his assassin work, clmibing the ranks of the Necrophades Agency, eventually gaining a rank high enough that he was assigned to overseer the infiltration assignments of the other Dimensions when preliminary plans began forming three years prior to the start of the series, participating in bi-monthly reviews to check on the progress. Despite personally advocating to invade Standard due to Leo Akaba's origins seeming to make it an easy target, it was decided to prepare to attack the Synchro and Xyz Dimensions first, with the decision being made for Xyz in the end.
Eli was thus present to overseer initial scouting missions for, and was present at, the start of the invasion of the Xyz Dimension, and helped to card many civilians and duelists alike. He expressed disgust at the 'Hunting Game' attitude of the Academia forces however, which only increased thanks to the increasing resilience of the Resistance. In order to complete their destruction, Eli arranged for an infiltration mission, hoping to destroy them from the inside.
Two years prior to the start of the story, with contact with Jean-Michel Roget, who had first infiltrated the Synchro Dimension eight years prior, becoming minimal, and the shadow cabal known as Illiaster in his place as allies, Eli sent Agent Shinra, as well as a member of the Society of Light, Kairi Hinode, into the Synchro Dimension to infiltrate it. Shinra became a member of Security, their top Duel Chaser and officer, whilst also being the main contact with Illiaster, while Kairi became a teacher at the Synchro Academy (which would be renamed to Acceleration Institute later on) Roget had established, replacing Henry Cauchon, in an effort to find the ARC-V card Roget created in an attempt to take control of the Arc Area Project from the Professor, as well as potentially subvert students to the true Academia's cause. Due to Cauchon's rage at his firing, due to a vendetta against the new headmaster; Sherry LeBlanc, that had ultimately opened up the position for Kairi in the first place, Eli recruited Cauchon to join Academia for the eventual prospect of revenge against Sherry.
At some point in time, Eli arranged for a 'Trump Card' of sorts in dealing with Standard, though the details are currently unknown. Later, he approved of Illiaster's 'Project: Legion' that involved the creation of SPIRIT, despite Shinra and Kairi opposing it.
While he does not appear in this arc, Eli is revealed to have been the one responsible for writing out Sora Shiuin's mission order to infiltrate Standard, as well as Dennis' superior, having ordered him to go to Standard to retrieve Yuzu Hiragi.
After Dennis failed to report back, and after the retrieval team had been defeated, to the point of even losing the cards of the duelists defeated in the MCS, Eli called in Dennis' point of contact in Standard, Agent Jieun, codenamed as Yinyang, with the two scouting Miami City to learn about Dennis' disappearance. Learning from a conversation that Jieun had recorded from among the students of You-Show Duel School and Mieru Hochun, Eli determined to head over to Synchro with Jieun and learn how to deal with the new threat known as the Lancers.
While in the Synchro Dimension, Eli immediately found Shinra, who was sparing Team Taiyo after their duel against him, having been legitimately impressed with their attempt to summon Zushin the Sleeping Giant and hoping to recruit them in the Friendship Cup, which was having a low number of entrants that year. Disgusted by Shinra's display of mercy and contributing to Roget's ambitions, even if falsely, Eli carded all of Team Taiyo and destroyed their D-Wheel, lecturing Shinra on his actions and informing him of the events in Standard, before Shiro Keshigasu called in, prompting Eli to update him as well before Shinra was sent to attack Yuya Sakaki, Noboru Gongenzaka, and Eli's lost subordinate Dennis.
Shinra and Roswell
Eli considers Shinra and Roswell to be his best friends, but their friendship has taken a great deal of strain as of recent, due to both of them being opposed and disturbed by the increasing extremes Eli is willing to go for the sake of peace after their quite frankly horrible, bloodied childhoods. Shinra has been more vocal about this than Roswell, mainly due to his protesting over Eli's approval of Project: Legion, which involved human experimentation through the usage of kidnapped Commons civilians as test dummies, and later on, Eli's willingness to card Team Taiyo shortly after arriving in the Synchro Dimension, despite the act not being necessary in Shinra's eyes. Eli however, has argued that it was, due to his impatience concerning the quagmire that the Synchro Dimension was threatening to become.
Roswell's opinions are yet to be confirmed beyond siding with Shinra. Due to Eli's current higher-rank, this has further strained his friendship with the duo, as he tends to treat them as subordinates instead of friends, causing, whether he knows it or not, their previous camaraderie and closeness to fade away.
Despite this, Eli still shows signs that he cares for the two, genuinely believing that Shinra's mercy will get him, one of the few people Eli truly calls a friend, to be killed. Likewise, despite his annoyance, he does not showcase any genuine disrespect to Shinra as a whole, compared to say, Dennis or Barrett, indicating that Eli's overall opinion of his friends is still positive, though whether or not it is enough to truly re-cement their bonds is another story altogether.
As Kairi is not fully under Eli's purview, only being his subordinate through a mission assignment, she does not give Eli much outward respect in regards to personal matters, though is able to thoroughly convey information on a professional level. Eli would rather prefer a professional relationship, but is annoyed whenever Kairi attempts to calm or soothe him, whether it be due to prescribing medicinal tea to combat Eli's high stress levels, or only doing a debriefing over tea and sandwiches, even asking Eli to assist her in grading papers.
On a more serious note, Eli has no intention to respect any of Kairi's personal promises to the subverted students of Acceleration Institute, due to his pragmatic ways.
Dennis is Eli's direct subordinate, whom he sent to the Xyz and Standard Dimensions to scout out Ruri and Yuzu in order to enable Yuri to capture them. Much to Eli's annoyance however, Dennis' interest and emulation of Entertainment Dueling stayed even after his mission to infiltrate the Xyz Dimension, and his general foppish personality enrages Eli to no end. However, Eli does appreciate Dennis for being one of the few people in Academia who can work well enough with Yuri, a trait that to Eli, makes Dennis very valuable. Dennis for his part personally admits to having some fear of Eli, worrying about potential retribution, retribution that Eli tends to unleash in the form of scathing lectures.
Eli saw great potential in Sora throughout his training, and was the one to recommend him for the mission to infiltrate Standard. After Sora's personal interference to lead a squad and take revenge on Shun, Eli was perfectly fine with Sora being benched after his failure to capture Serena, but would later admit to himself that the factor of the Awakening was not something Sora could have foreseen...indicating that Eli is completely unaware of Sora's personal motives during the final moments of the Obelisk Force's attack on the Battle Royale.
Eli has absolute loyalty to the Professor, admiring him for his actions in leading Academia. He is however, very willing to put himself on the front lines, though this more due to his distrust of the more arrogant members of Academia that he has to work with rather than believing that he knows better than Leo, who takes Eli's considerations into account. Eli has sworn to complete his objectives for the Professor, no matter the cost, and it is implied that Leo's past in forming Academia into its current state have caused Eli to mentally place him on a high pedestal built from Eli's own past frustrations.
That being said, Eli does disagree with some of Leo's stances on the Standard Dimension and Serena, believing that the former Dimension should have been invaded first, while preferring that the latter be either properly disciplined, subjected to mental reconditioning, or just be locked up, versus how Leo was willing to give Serena a semblance of freedom within Academia. The latter may be more rooted in personal annoyance with Serena's personality, however.
Eli rather enjoys her presence, as Jieun shares Eli's no-nonsense personality, and the two seem to have a mutual dislike/disapproval of Dennis. She is one of the few agents he is able to trust, indicating that he thinks quite highly of her.
While Eli works with them, that does not mean he likes them. Eli has nothing but disgust for Shiro Keshigasu's willingness to condemn his own world for failing to live up to an ideal of perfection, as well as annoyance with Kurei Sozotai's bubbly, inane personality, and loathing Simon Petersen and his apparent intrigue in the Counterparts, whereas Eli would prefer to follow the Professor's verdict on keeping their powers suppressed. In addition, Illiaster's complicated methods disgust Eli, not because he disdains them in theory, but because of Shiro's inexperience with war rendering said methods ironically incapable of properly adapting to unexpected outcomes. Of the three core members, not counting SPIRIT and the cats, only Kurei has any form of Eli's approval, and even that is due to him having a similar opinion of her as he has with Yuri; a trained monkey who can be turned to attack the enemy. Shiro and Simon on the other hand, Eli has nothing but disdain for.
Eli hates and despises Jean-Michel Roget for his actions in betraying Academia, forcing them to ally with Illiaster in the first place and get involved in the Synchro Dimension's cultural problems, which Eli has nothing but disgust and hatred for, wanting the Synchro Dimension to be destroyed as soon as possible because of this. Roget's disloyal attitude thoroughly angers Eli, and the thought of helping his ambitions, even if indirectly, is enough for him to engage in violent actions, even if it risks blowing his cover or drawing ire from his allies, as seen with Eli's dismissal of Team Taiyo after carding them. Eli desires to see Roget and Shiro duke it out simply out of morbid curiosity over who's ego is larger, or if they would simply kill each other off.
Being that they are his enemies, Eli does not wish to entertain any sort of relationship between himself and the Lancers beyond disdain. He is one of the few in Academia besides his own personal circle and Academia's highest authorities that truly views the Lancers as a threat, making notes for the future in eliminating their potential recruits/bolstered numbers in Standard, along with coming up with a proper plan to destroy them as per the Professor's instructions. Due to his view of the enemy as people needing to be eliminated, his judgement of them is extremely cold and harsh, with not a single motive or thought of mercy, desiring nothing more than their total destruction.
Eli shares the Professor's opinion that the Counterparts must be kept under control. He views Yuri as an attack monkey whose use will run out when the Arc Area Project is complete, and his counterparts as threats that need to be eliminated. Likewise, he views Serena and her counterparts as objects to be kept under wraps until the time is right, loathing in particular Serena's independent desires due to the headaches it causes him. He once advocated for greater restrictions on Serena's freedom, but this was rejected, to Eli's annoyance. As such, of the Counterparts, Serena is the one to have annoyed Eli the most on a personal level, generating a great dislike within him.
Overall, the idea of any set of Counterparts Awakening their powers horrifies Eli, which is the main source of frustration he has with Simon Petersen, who desires to see that power come to be, despite the threat it poses to Academia's goals.
It is unknown what Eli's opinion of the origin sources of the Counterparts are, though it can be assumed that they are not positive.
Eli plays a wide variety of Decks throughout the course of the story, owing to a very large personal card collection, and his beliefs in maintaining strategic flexibility and versatility, though all of his Decks share a uniting element in that they all consist of EARTH Machine monsters. As a result, he carries several Decks with him, along with an ample collection of spare cards so as to enable him to switch out cards for certain duels, or maintain spares to distribute between Decks. Each Deck is built for specific purposes, so that he is able to properly adapt to an individual situation. Due to his tendency to modify his card ratios, the listed Decks below mainly concern themselves with the main strategies of each, with some general mentioning of the modifications Eli will make to these Decks.
Eli's primary deck is a "Gadget/Boot-Up" Deck, which also features some Ancient Gear and Hardware cards, with ratios varying between builds. His basic strategy is to search out as many of his monsters as possible and summon them to the field as Extra Deck material, trying to bring out as many monsters as possible while also maintaining high card advantage. The Ancient Gear and Hardware cards are used primarily as extra attack strength, which assists in Eli's beliefs, as he tends to attempt defeating his opponent on his first turn, attacking with overwhelming force, even if it results in four powerful monsters against either a bare field, or a field with all counter-options blocked.
While the Deck is notably very offensive-oriented, it can take some time to set-up all of the plays, making it best suited for drawn-out combat scenarios. The defensive formations of this Deck are fairly robust, enabling Eli to ward off the opponent fairly well should they survive his initial assault, and then quickly rebuild his field and resume the attack, whilst maintaining these defenses, ensuring that he is able to grind out the opponent.
Due to the flexible nature of this Deck and mission, Eli is capable of using Synchro and Xyz Summoning, making him one of the few people outside of the Standard Counterparts and the Akabas to use all three Extra Deck summoning techniques, disregarding Pendulum Summon.
Like most students in Academia, Eli has access to an "Ancient Gear" Deck, featuring many cards from their Honor Student variant, but featuring an overall different strategy. With this Deck, Eli generally maintains several of the Gadget and Boot-Up cards as engines to primarily fuel the effects of monsters such as Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon, or Ancient Gear Fusion Monsters that require Gadget monsters as Fusion Material. Like with his Gadget Deck, Eli still maintains the usage of several Hardware cards, primarily relying on "Hardware Blackbox's" self-Fusion effect to get rid of potential dead draws and to further power-up his Ancient Gear monsters, preferring once again to attempt an overwhelming all-out attack.
Similar to his Gadget Deck, Eli is willing to include Synchro and Xyz Monsters to gain an advantage if the need arises, which are primarily the ones from his Gadget deck. However, the main strategy of this Deck focused on Tribute and Fusion Summoning, making these cards more akin to support for his larger plays.
When in tactical scenarios emphasizing stealth and speed, Eli plays a "Hardware" Deck, which is focused on using the effect of "Hardware Blackbox" to Fusion Summon Fusion Monsters that can then be equipped to other monsters, which are generally Machine monsters, with the preference being to equip them onto "Hardware Wielder", as doing so unlocks further effects. This methodology is notably very similar to "The Claw of Hermos". Due to the nature of Real Solid Vision, this Deck is preferred in scenarios where Eli is not able or unwilling, to engage in traditional duels, preferring to use the Hardware cards and their gun-like nature to neutralize the opponent.
When requiring to deal with opponents as fast as possible however, mainly in Battle Royale scenarios, Eli will switch to playing the Deck as he would his other Decks, emphasizing a quick formation with "Hardware Wielder" and secondary Machine support cards to try to OTK the opponent, which include some of the cards featured in his other Decks listed above, though they notably require less set-up and build-up compared to those Decks, with the downside that the resulting formation is not as robust, making him more vulnerable should the opponent survive.
Just like with his other Decks, this Deck includes Synchro and Xyz Monsters, though leaning more towards the latter rather than the former due to the particular playstyle of this Deck, which has a much stronger focus on Fusion Summoning due to the nature of the Hardware archetype.
Besides his preferred Decks, Eli has two other Decks for extended periods of subterfuge where he cannot reveal his identity. For missions in the Xyz and Standard Dimensions, Eli hides his identity with a Geargia Deck which focuses on Xyz Summoning, while likewise using a Synchro-oriented Karakuri Deck for the Synchro Dimension. Just like with his other Decks however, Eli still includes some Hardware cards in both of these Decks, though he prefers to save them as a last resort.