Oh boy, time to get into Synchro Summoning. Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G here to continue the review of all the main Yu-Gi-Oh sets ever released with more Core Sets and this time, it’s the 5D’s era. The 5D’s era changed pulls as you were now guaranteed a Rare and sometimes you could get a Super Rare or above with it, instead of before when the foil takes the spot of the Rare. We also know this era for Synchros and Tuners being introduced to the game, which was the first new summoning mechanic since Rituals in Magic/Spell Ruler and the mechanic that turned the Fusion Deck to the Extra Deck. Also the Psychic-type was introduced in this era, the first time the game saw a new Typing. This series also has 4 sets hard to find in 1st Edition (The Duelist Genesis, Crossroads of Chaos, Ancient Prophecy, and Stardust Overdrive) due to them being first released in the yearly tins and at Sneak Peeks. This is my other favorite era since I loved the 5D’s series, all these sets are pretty good, and I love Synchro Summoning. This will be an interesting era, so buckle up and let’s rev it up!

The Duelist Genesis

Release Date: September 2nd, 2008

Cover Card: Stardust Dragon

5D’s starts off with what is probably one of the best sets of the era, because it introduced Synchros in a very strong way. The Duelist Genesis is the first set of this era and will have the same set breakdown as every other set in this era: 1 Ghost Rare (the cover card), 8 Secret Rares, 10 Ultra Rares which can also be Ultimate Rare, 14 Super Rares, 20 Rares, and 48 Commons. Your promo for the Sneak Peek was Avenging Knight Parshath. The TCG exclusives were the Sneak Peek promo (as it was throughout this entire era), Counselor Lily, Herald of Orange Light, Izanami, Maiden of Macabre, Hand of the Six Samurai, Cyber Shark, Grapple Blocker, Telekinetic Charging Cell, and Charge of the Light Brigade. The OCG Imports were The Tricky, Tricky Spell 4, Trap of Darkness, The Selection, Splendid Venus, Fiendish Engine Ω, Cold Enchanter, Ice Master, Kunai with Chain, and Toy Magician. Starting with the Secret Rares, Avenging Knight Parshath was a fine Synchro for anything LIGHT based, Hand of the Six Samurai was good in later Six Samurai Decks in this era, Cyber Shark is an okay card for WATER based strategies, Charge of the Light Brigade was a fantastic card for Lightsworn, Splendid Venus is a big Fairy with a decent effect, Fiendish Engine Ω was a fairly slow Token generator who could gain ATK for each of your Tokens at the cost of it blowing up at the end of the turn you do so, Ice Master would be nice if the Ice Counter theme goes somewhere, finally Toy Magician is a nice relic from the DM Manga finally coming to the TCG. The Ultra Rares were Montage Dragon for a easy Special Summon that could become a massive body, Dark Hunter for another DARK monster despite it not being one of the better ones, Multiple Piece Golem for a Fusion Boss in the small Piece Golem theme, Nitro Warrior as the best Level 7 with Quickdraw Synchron later until Junk Archer came out, Stardust Dragon as the Synchro that stood the test of time the best for its destruction negation, Red Dragon Archfiend to destroy defenses and being the biggest generic Synchro out at that point, Goyo Guardian as a phenomenal generic Level 6 Synchro before the errata, Thought Ruler Archfiend for another good generic Level 8 Synchro to be immune to targeting at a cost and helps you gain Life Points, Emergency Teleport as an amazing card for Psychics to help with Synchros and any other plays, and Psychic Overload to give you a Pot of Avarice in Trap form for Psychics. Super Rares included Nitro Synchron having a decent draw effect if not for the fact you only got it for summoning Nitro Warrior, Sinister Sprocket as a Level 1 Tuner that works with Synchro Summoning a DARK monster, Twin-Barrel Dragon as a cool throwback to Barrel Dragon, Izanagi to help get rid of the downside of Spirit monsters bouncing to the hand at the end of the turn, Kinka-byo as a great Level 1 Spirit to revive other Level 1s to help summon small Synchros and later Xyzs, Magical Android as the first generic Level 5 that would be the best, until Ally of Justice Catastor, with its LP gain at the end of each turn, Power Filter to prevent the Special Summoning of monsters with 1000 or less ATK, Lightsworn Sabre to be an Equip that could equip to a Lightsworn when milled for a 700 ATK boost, Unstable Evolution to make a monster’s original ATK 2400 when you’re behind and 1000 when your ahead, Broken Blocker to help summon monsters with DEF higher than the ATK when one is destroyed, Gladiator Beast War Chariot for monster effect negation in one of the top Decks at the time, Intercept as an anti-tribute summoning card that gave you the monster, Counselor Lily to make a Synchro Monster that used it as the Tuner gain 1000 ATK for a 500 LP cost, and Kunai with Chain as an old relic from the DM era being an iconic Joey card. Noteworthy Rares include Mind Master as a very powerful Psychic to continue to summon more, Yamato-no-Kami for a Spirit that could Special Summon itself by banishing a Spirit from the grave while only does the Spirit effect if Special Summoned while also being able to destroy Spells and Traps if it destroys a monster, De-Synchro for some interesting Synchro plays as the pool expanded, Graceful Revival as an option to revive low-Level monsters, Defense Draw for a stall option, Herald of Orange Light to have a Herald that negated monster effects, Izanami for some graveyard recovery with Spirits, Telekinetic Charging Cell to nullify a LP cost for a Psychic monster’s effect, The Tricky for an easy Special Summon at the cost of a discard, and The Selection to negate summons of monsters with the same Type as a monster on the field at a small LP cost of 1000. Noteworthy Commons include Turbo Booster as Level 1 that could be Special Summoned if you Normal Summoned that turn, Quillbolt Hedgehog for a Level 2 that revived itself if you had a Tuner, Krebons and Psychic Commander as the best Tuners to get off of Emergency Teleport at the time, Gladiator Beast Equeste as another standard Gladiator Beast who could recover your cards if summoned off another Gladiator Beast, Beast of the Pharaoh who can infinitely revive itself if used for a Synchro Summon, Geartown to make Galjitrion Dragon a good card until the Field Spell rulings changed, Recycling Batteries as a Salvage for Thunders, Judgment of Thunder to destroy an opponent’s card when you summon a Thunder, Fish Depth Charge to tribute a Fish to destroy a card and let you draw, Needlebug Nest to mill 5 for free, and Overworked as a decent option against monsters with boosted ATK. Overall, there might be some duds in here, but that goes for every set. The good cards in here were really good, it helped introduce Synchro Summoning to the game in a very strong way as Tele-DAD became a powerhouse after this set. It was another gamechanger in the year of 2008 that previously had Phantom Darkness and Light of Destruction. Three strong sets in a row.

Set Rating: 10/10

Crossroads of Chaos

Release Date: November 18th, 2008

Cover Card: Black Rose Dragon

After the three powerful sets in the year that were Phantom Darkness, Light of Destruction, and The Duelist Genesis, we were due for a normal set for once. Crossroads of Chaos ended 2008 in a good way still, as it did have good cards. The promo at Sneak Peek was Rose, Warrior of Revenge with the other TCG Exclusives being Seed of Flame, Cactus Fighter, Overdrive Teleporter, Rai-Jin, Rai-Mei, Gladiator Beast Retiari, Night’s End Sorcerer, Tempest Magician, and Treacherous Trap Hole. The OCG Imports were Puppet Master, Time Machine, Virus Cannon, Machine Lord Ür, Mosaic Manticore, Goka, the Pyre of Malice, Red Ogre, Neos Wiseman, Elemental Hero Divine Neos, and Botanical Lion. The 8 Secret Rares were Overdrive Teleporter, Gladiator Beast Retiari, Tempest Magician, Treacherous Trap Hole, Time Machine, Machine Lord Ür, Neos Wiseman, and Elemental Hero Divine Neos. Overdrive Teleporter is actually a pretty good Tribute Summon to get some Psychics out of the Deck. Gladiator Beast Retiari was a good addition to the arsenal to banish cards from the opponent’s grave. Tempest Magician has found itself in FTKs until it was banned in 2020. Treacherous Trap Hole is a great Trap if you’re low on them in your Deck. Time Machine is a nostalgic card Joey used in DM finally coming to the TCG. Machine Lord Ür is a pretty meh card that goes with Beast Machine King Barbaros Ür later. Finally you got Neos Wiseman and Elemental Hero Divine Neos as some of the cool bosses from the end of GX that never aired dubbed. The Ultra Rares were Rose, Warrior of Revenge, Tytannial, Princess of Camellias, Plaguespreader Zombie, Turbo Warrior, Black Rose Dragon, Doomkaiser Dragon, Revived King Ha Des, Mark of the Rose, Psychokinesis, and Seed of Flame. Rose, Warrior of Revenge was fine being the lone Level 4 Tuner until Mist Valley Soldier. Tytannial, Princess of Camellias was a pretty good Plant boss with Lonefire Blossom later. Plaguespreader Zombie was one of the best early Tuners that got Limited at one point. Turbo Warrior could of been cool for Quickdraw Decks if not for the fact Drill Warrior was around when those really popped up. Black Rose Dragon was the best generic Level 7 Synchro for years that didn’t quickly get banned. Doomkaiser Dragon and Revived King Ha Des were cool Synchros with Zombies to use Plaguespreader Zombie for. Mark of the Rose is a pretty cool Snatch Steal like card for Plants. Psychokinesis makes for okay removal in Psychic Decks. Finally, Seed of Flame was a pretty weak way to revive your Plants since it needed to be destroyed by an effect and gave the opponent a Token when Synchros just became a thing. Super Rares included Hanewata, Queen of Thorns, Black Garden, Secret Village of the Spellcasters, Battle Mania, Urgent Tuning, Psychic Trigger, Rai-Jin, Rai-Mei, Night’s End Sorcerer, Puppet Master, Goka, the Pyre of Malice, Red Ogre, and Botanical Lion. Hanewata is a pretty good hand-trap against burn. Queen of Thorns punishes players for summoning non-Plants. Black Garden has had interesting combos around it. Secret Village of the Spellcasters is a strong card for Spellcaster Decks to lock down Spells from the opponent. Battle Mania is fine to make the opponent attack in gimmicky Decks. Urgent Tuning would of been better as a Quick-Play Spell to allow for OTKs easier. Psychic Trigger can be draw power for Psychics, but needs you to be lower on LP. Rai-Jin and Rai-Mei are pretty lackluster cards. Night’s End Sorcerer is a decent Tuner to Special Summon via certain means. Puppet Master can be cool to revive some Fiends. Goka, the Pyre of Malice is an easy Special Summon that can destroy your FIRE Monsters. Red Ogre is a Brionac on a Tribute Summon of 2 and only affects the opponent’s cards. Finally Botanical Lion is a pretty meh card that can make your Plants stronger. Noteworthy Rares give us Morphtronic Boomboxen and Morphtronic Radion for some Morphtronic OTKs, Iron Chain Repairman to be decent if Iron Chains got more than a handful of cards, Iron Chain Dragon as another good generic Level 6 that destroys the opponent’s Deck, Psychic Lifetrancer as a good Synchro for Psychics to regain LP, Morphtronic Accelerator as good removal in Morphtronics that could potentially unbrick your hand, Miracle Fertilizer for some great revival for anything Plant based, The World Tree to give Plants some pretty versatile effects despite it relying on Counters it gains when your Plants are destroyed, and Pollinosis as a Solemn Judgment for Plants. The Short Print Commons are Cursed Fig as a solid way to lock down Spells and Traps that are set after it’s destroyed in battle and while it stays in the grave, The White Stone of Legend as a good Tuner that searches for Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Jade Knight as another piece of the interesting Gradius series, and Omega Goggles that lets you look at the opponent’s hand at the cost of the monster it’s equipped to not being able to attack. Noteworthy Commons that aren’t Short Printed include Morphtronic Celfon as one of the best play enablers for Morphtronics, Psychic Jumper as another good Level 2 Psychic Tuner who can be a Creature Swap for your Psychics and opponent’s monsters, and Gozen Match as an amazing card that shuts down Decks using varying Attributes. Overall, while it is a pretty good set, it is far from being as impactful as the previous three. Black Rose Dragon and Plaguespreader Zombie were some of the best cards to impact the meta while you had other cards that aged better over time or were good for the specific Decks they were meant for. There is a lot of nice cards, even if they aren’t as powerful as the best cards of the previous sets.

Set Rating: 8/10

Crimson Crisis

Release Date: March 3rd, 2009

Cover Card: Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode

At least Red Dragon Archfiend kinda got to be a cover card. This set was delayed at first because this was around the time of the legal dispute between Konami and Upper Deck, where Konami took over the TCG, but I won’t get into that. This set was known for debuting the Assault Mode cards, something that I wish they went further into, but we’d have to wait a decade for them to revisit this theme. These cards were really only used in 1 anime episode of 5D’s that wasn’t dubbed, and it was a special episode that had nothing to do with the story really, and it really showed off only 2 Assault Modes, one of which wasn’t in this set. Anyways this is another cooldown from the previous sets, but it does have some great cards in here. The promo at Sneak Peek was Colossal Fighter/Assault Mode with the other TCG Exclusives being Dark Voltanis, Prime Material Falcon, Bone Crusher, Alien Kid, Totem Dragon, Royal Swamp Eel, Submarine Frog, Code A Ancient Ruins, and Synchro Change. The OCG Imports were Multiply, Makiu, the Magical Mist, Assault Armor, Puppet King, Zeta Reticulant, Tethys, Goddess of Light, Ido the Supreme Magical Force, Violet Witch, Greed Quasar, and Armoroid. The Secret Rares in this set were Colossal Fighter/Assault Mode, Dark Voltanis, Prime Material Falcon, Puppet King, Zeta Reticulant, Tethys, Goddess of Light, Ido the Supreme Magical Force, and Greed Quasar. Colossal Fighter/Assault Mode is an okay Assault Mode that sends 2 Warriors from Deck to grave on summon and debuffs the opponent’s monsters by 100 ATK for each Warrior in your grave, while also of course reviving Colossal Fighter upon destruction. Dark Voltanis is is another decent option for Counter Fairies even if its Special Summon effect needs a DARK monster when they normally use LIGHT monsters. Prime Material Falcon is no Prime Material Dragon. Puppet King is a pretty decent card to summon when the opponent searches. Zeta Reticulant summons Tokens while it’s in the graveyard that could be used as a Tribute to Special Summon more Zeta Reticulants. Tethys, Goddess of Light is pretty strong draw power in Fairy-heavy Decks. Ido the Supreme Magical Force is good for you… if the opponent controls it. Finally, Greed Quasar is interesting as being one of the few cards who can naturally get itself beyond Level 12. The Ultra Rares are Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode, Doomkaiser Dragon/Assault Mode, Hyper Psychic Blaster/Assault Mode, Arcanite Magician/Assault Mode, Lifeforce Harmonizer, Blackwing Armor Master, Hyper Psychic Blaster, Cosmic Fortress Gol’gar, Bone Crusher, and Violet Witch. Red Dragon Archfiend/Assault Mode is a fine upgrade of Red Dragon Archfiend since it can nuke every other monster after it attacks. Doomkaiser Dragon/Assault Mode has a fairly strong revival effect to help make plays that turn. Hyper Psychic Blaster/Assault Mode can do decent burn to the opponent while healing you for a fair amount of LP. Arcanite Magician/Assault Mode can be a field nuke for the opponent at the cost of the 2 Counters it gains on summon. Lifeforce Harmonizer is a fine hand-trap that negates and destroys any card with an effect that could deal damage to you. Blackwing Armor Master is a very strong Synchro for Blackwings that helped make them meta in 2009. Hyper Psychic Blaster is a Psychic boss who can pierce and heals you for the damage you pierced basically. Cosmic Fortress Gol’gar is a nice boss for Aliens to bounce cards for A-Counters and destroy cards using those A-Counters. Bone Crusher can be an MST if revived by a Zombie. Finally, Violet Witch is basically Witch of the Black Forest for Plants if it’s destroyed in battle. The Super Rares give us Turret Warrior, Twilight Rose Knight, Black Salvo, Scanner, Dimension Fortress Weapon, Dark Strike Fighter, Arcanite Magician, Spirit Force, Alien Kid, Totem Dragon, Royal Swamp Eel, Code A Ancient Ruins, Multiply, and Armoroid. Turret Warrior can get pretty strong depending on the Warrior you tributed to Special Summon it. Twilight Rose Knight is a decent Tuner for helping Plants make Synchro plays, despite it being a Warrior. Black Salvo is a Tuner that can revive your DARK Machines for more Synchros. Scanner is a weird card that copies an opponent’s banished monster’s stats. Dimension Fortress Weapon can be good against something that sends cards from Deck to grave. Dark Strike Fighter was an insane Level 7 Synchro that allowed easy OTKs with its non-Once Per Turn burn effect that quickly got banned. Arcanite Magician is good for Spellcaster Decks to remove 2 cards potentially. Spirit Force negates battle damage and grabs 1500 or less ATK Warrior Tuners from the graveyard. Alien Kid is a pretty good A-Counter generator against anything Special Summoning. Totem Dragon is a Treeborn Frog who is good tribute fodder for Dragons. Royal Swamp Eel is a decent Level 4 Tuner as a potential option in later Fish Synchro Decks. Code A Ancient Ruins is pretty good for reviving your Aliens. Multiply is a card I’m shocked took so long to print in the TCG, as it’s an iconic card with Kuriboh. Finally, Armoroid is a Heavy Storm that banishes in Vehicroids, despite being a 2 Tribute monster in a Deck that can’t afford it. Noteworthy Rares give us Debris Dragon as a great Level 4 Tuner even though it can only really be used to Synchro into a Dragon and it can’t have Level 4s used as non-Tuners with it, Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind as a great Level 3 Tuner in Blackwings and was used in many Decks for being a Tuner with a good effect to weaken monsters, Assault Beast to search for your Assault Mode Activate, Gladiator Beast Samnite to let Gladiator Beasts use Rescue Cat pre-errata before it was banned, B.E.S. Big Core MK-2 as a B.E.S. that could be Normal Summoned without Tribute despite being the only B.E.S. at the time that gained Counters only on Special Summon plus it was the last support for this archetype for 8 years, Alien Overlord for an easy Special Summon in Aliens and a good A-Counter generator, Alien Ammonite as a good Tuner in Aliens that easily summoned Level 5 Synchros, Wall of Thorns for Mirror Force that’s exclusive to Plants, and Planet Pollutant Virus as a Crush Card in Aliens that destroyed the opponent’s monsters without A-Counters and gave every monster they summoned for 3 turns an A-Counter. The Short Print Commons are Hydra Viper to potentially attack 3 times if it wasn’t for it needing to tribute an Aqua every time it attacked, Assault Revival for a Monster Reborn for Assault Mode monsters that negated the summoned monster’s effect and banished it upon leaving the field, Indomitable Gladiator Beast as a card to slightly boost a Gladiator Beast’s ATK, and Nightmare Archfiends to give the opponent 3 Level 6 2000 ATK and DEF Tokens at the cost of you tributing a monster, but they burned the opponent for 800 when they were destroyed. Noteworthy Commons have Trap Eater as a good option to remove pesky Traps, Blackwing – Bora the Spear for a good Special Summon in Blackwings, Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn as a Level 5 that could bypass needing to be Tribute Summoned, Morphtronic Boarden to either let your Morphtronics attack directly for OTKs or give them battle destruction immunity depending on its battle position, Morphtronic Slingen for more removal in Morphtronics, Dupe Frog as another Frog who could search your Frogs out when leaving the field despite missing timing when used for Synchro Summons in the Synchro era, Flip Flop Frog for bouncing and another Frog name, Super Solar Nutrient to tribute low-Level Plants to get more Plants from the Deck with a Level up to 2 higher from the monster tributed, Mysterious Triangle for a decent removal option in Aliens that summons a monster from Deck, Assault Mode Activate since you need a way to summon your Assault Mode monsters, and Submarine Frog to only really be good as another Frog name when the FTK became a thing. Overall another fall from the last few sets, but there are meta changing cards in here. We got the first batch of Blackwings for when they were meta and Dark Strike Fighter to be an insanely powerful Synchro that was banned and later errataed. I wish the Assault Mode theme was better before Rising Rampage in 2019, but they ditched this concept as soon as they made it. You had good Alien support in here as well, which is another archetype that had to wait years for more support after Raging Battle, similar to B.E.S., but Aliens got their new card a year earlier. Overall it’s a fine set, despite the best Assault Mode not being in here. Credit for debuting Blackwings, my favorite archetype though.

Set Rating: 7.5/10

Raging Battle

Release Date: May 12th, 2009

Cover Card: Power Tool Dragon

This set I admit looks like a ton of fun. Raging Battle is the fourth set of 5D’s and had a playable cover card once again, though not one to break into the meta. This set helped mostly give Blackwings more support to make them a better meta option and gave Morphtronics the ability to finally use Synchros and have a personal boss in Power Tool Dragon. The Sneak Peek Promo was Battlestorm with the other TCG Exclusives being Koa’ki Meiru War Arms, Immortal Ruler, Hardened Armed Dragon, Moja, Beast Striker, King of the Beasts, Swallow’s Nest, Overwhelm, and Berserking. The OCG Imports were Spell of Pain, Light End Dragon, Chaos-End Master, Sphere of Chaos, Snowman Eater, Tree Otter, Ojama Red, Ojama Blue, Ojama Country, and Emperor Sem. The Secret Rares gave us Battlestorm, Immortal Ruler, Hardened Armed Dragon, King of the Beasts, Overwhelm, Light End Dragon, Chaos-End Master, and Sphere of Chaos. Battlestorm would of been fine if it was an actual Blackwing since not many Winged-Beast Decks can spam while trying to summon Battlestorm. Immortal Ruler makes you waste a Normal Summon by tributing it to retrieve a Zombie World in grave. Hardened Armed Dragon is a cool card to use as Tribute Fodder for Level 7+ monsters, but it isn’t really part of the Armed Dragon archetype just to point out. King of the Beasts is a big Beast that’s easy to summon by just tributing a Moja. Overwhelm is a Counter Trap that stops Traps while you got a Level 7+ Monster that was Tribute Summoned, making it really niche. Light End Dragon is a fine LIGHT-based Synchro to lower its stats by 500 to lower an opponent’s monster’s stats by 1500. Chaos-End Master is a fine Level 3 Tuner that can potentially get weaker Level 5+ monsters out the Deck with ease. Finally, Sphere of Chaos is an okay card to search Level 3 monsters on Tribute Summon while also being LIGHT and DARK on the field. The Ultra Rares give us Strong Wind Dragon, Blackwing – Elphin the Raven, Earthbound Immortal Aslla piscu, Earthbound Immortal Ccapac Apu, Koa’ki Meiru Drago, Exploder Dragonwing, Power Tool Dragon, Trident Dragion, Forbidden Chalice, and Grave of the Super Ancient Organism. Strong Wind Dragon is a neat Dragon that can get very strong and pierce. Blackwing – Elphin the Raven bypasses the tribute if you already have a Blackwing compared to the better condition on Sirocco. Earthbound Immortal Aslla piscu and Ccapac Apu are two of the better Earthbound Immortals in general for Aslla’s destruction and burn effect when leaving the field and Ccapac Apu being 3000 ATK that burns the opponent if it attacked and destroyed a monster. Koa’ki Meiru Drago has always been a good tech against anything LIGHT and/or DARK based if you played Dragons. Exploder Dragonwing is a pretty nice Synchro that’s locked to Dragons for destroying anything it attacks that’s weaker than it and doing immediate burn. Power Tool Dragon is a nice generic Level 7 Synchro that can help get Equip Spells from the Deck to allow for combos or OTKs/FTKs. Trident Dragion is a big Synchro locked to Dragons, but it can attack up to 3 times for massive damage. Forbidden Chalice is a very versatile card to negate certain effects or buff your monster so it can destroy something in battle if needed. Finally, Grave of the Super Ancient Organism is an underrated floodgate that locks down any Special Summoned Level 6+ monsters from their attacks or activated effects. The Super Rares were Rockstone Warrior, Level Warrior, Phoenixian Cluster Amaryllis, Koa’ki Meiru Valafar, Koa’ki Meiru Powerhand, Reinforced Human Psychic Borg, Sea Dragon Lord Gishilnodon, Magic Planter, Delta Crow – Anti Reverse, Swallow Flip, Koa’ki Meiru War Arms, Beast Striker, and Swallow’s Nest. Rockstone Warrior is pretty meh with it preventing you from taking damage involving it and it only summoning Tokens if it attacked and was destroyed in the battle. Level Warrior is an easy Special Summon who can have a different Level based on if there was either no monsters on the field or just on your field. Phoenixian Cluster Amaryllis was a lackluster card until it was part of an FTK after Links came out and got banned quickly after. Koa’ki Meiru Valafar is a big Koa’ki Meiru that can use only 1 Koa’ki Meiru to summon, is immune to being destroyed by Traps, and has piercing but as a downside it destroys itself unless you discard Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru (similar to most the other archetypal monsters, but this one doesn’t have a bonus effect to instead reveal something to keep it). Koa’ki Meiru Powerhand might be fine against LIGHT and DARK monsters with stats below 2100 you’d want to attack and negate its effects, though it weirdly needs a Normal Trap in hand revealed to stay on field. Reinforced Human Psychic Borg can get big while banishing your Psychics. Blackwing Armed Wing is a strong Level 6 Synchro for the archetype that can do big piercing. Sea Dragon Lord Gishilnodon is a fine Level 5 Synchro though it needs specifically a Level 3 non-Tuner. Magic Planter turns useless Continuous Traps into good draw power. Delta Crow – Anti Reverse is a cool Trap for some Spell/Trap removal in Blackwings that can actually be used from the hand. Swallow Flip can be a good niche Counter Trap to negate monster effects when anything is Special Summoned. Koa’ki Meiru War Arms can get stronger by equipping low-Level Warriors from the grave to it. Beast Striker summons Moja from the Deck at the cost of a discard. Finally, Swallow’s Nest can be a great Quick-Play to swap your Winged-Beasts for Winged-Beasts of the same Level. Noteworthy Rares give us Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North as another good Blackwing Tuner that revives your Blackwings for Synchro plays, Morphtronic Remoten for a potential Morphtronic search for a graveyard resource being banished or recovery for a Morphtronic by discarding one, Deep Sea Diva being an amazing card to summon low-Level Sea Serpents from Deck for Extra Deck plays, One for One tutoring for any Level 1 monster and is still Limited as of writing this, Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru being important for more pure Koa’ki Meiru variants, Moja working with two previously mentioned cards and retrieves a Level 4 Beast from grave after battle destruction, Spell of Pain can take massive effect damage you would take and returns it to the opponent instead, Snowman Eater was a great card for its time for a simple Flip by any means letting you destroy a face-up monster, Tree Otter was fine in Beast Decks to boost your monsters by 1000 ATK, Ojama Red summons multiple Ojamas from hand for plays, Ojama Blue is one of the best Ojama searchers we have despite it relying on battle destruction, and Ojama Country to swap ATK and DEF of every monster if you have any Ojama and send an Ojama card from hand to grave to revive an Ojama. The short prints give us G.B. Hunter as an anti-Gladiator Beast card after their time in the meta, Supremacy Berry to heal you when you’re behind and burn you if you’re ahead, Bone Temple Block to make you discard a card to let you and your opponent revive a Level 4 or lower monster from the other player’s grave for the turn, and Mirror of Oaths as an option against anything Special Summoning from Deck and it lets you draw after. Noteworthy Commons have Evil Thorn to get 2 more of itself from Deck for Links, Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame to summon smaller Blackwings from Deck when it destroyed something, Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow as a mini-Honest in Blackwings, Morphtronic Videon for Equip Spell OTKs, Morphtronic Scopen to allow Synchro plays, Koa’ki Meiru Guardian to negate monster effects in Koa’ki Meiru or anything Rock-based, Koa’ki Meiru Doom with its FTK alongside Gallis the Star Beast and Genex Ally Birdman, Gigastone Omega for an easy Special Summon by banishing 2 EARTHs and being Harpie’s Feather Duster if destroyed by an effect, Alien Dog for a free Special Summon in Aliens while it can also generate A-Counters when summoned by its effect, Black Whirlwind to continuously search Blackwings when you Normal Summon one, Junk Box for a quick Monster Reborn in Morphtronics, Double Tool C&D to equip to your Machine Morphtronics or Power Tool Dragon for OTKs, Morphtronic Repair Unit as another option to revive Morphtronics that’s actually searchable off Power Tool Dragon, Psychic Path to retrieve banished Psychics, and Trap Stun to negate other Traps for the turn. There’s a bunch of hidden gems in this set alongside the Blackwings that helped the Deck be a meta powerhouse. You also got one of the best Tuners ever in Deep Sea Diva and the debut of one of the most interesting archetypes to give us interesting techs with Koa’ki Meiru. This set is a bunch of fun with all the cool cards in here.

Set Rating: 8.5/10

Ancient Prophecy

Release Date: September 1st, 2009

Cover Card: Ancient Fairy Dragon

Now the set with the cover card that aged like a fine wine. Ancient Prophecy is our next set, and while it isn’t a big meta changer, it does have some decent cards in the set. The promo at Sneak Peek was XX-Saber Gardestrike with other TCG Exclusives being XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, Koa’ki Meiru Ghoulungulate, Koa’ki Meiru Gravirose, Psychic Emperor, Card Guard, Flamvell Commando, Pseudo Space, Greed Grado, and Revival of the Immortals. The OCG Imports were Arcana Knight Joker, Armityle the Chaos Phantom, White Night Dragon, Card Blocker, Gaia Plate the Earth Giant, Sauropod Brachion, Gaap the Divine Soldier, Beast Machine King Barbaros Ür, Kasha, and Elemental Hero Gaia. The Secret Rares were XX-Saber Gardestrike, Card Guard, Greed Grado, Armityle the Chaos Phantom, White Night Dragon, Card Blocker, Kasha, and Elemental Hero Gaia. XX-Saber Gardestrike is one of the worse X-Sabers since it is a Special Summon only if you have no monsters on field and 2+ X-Sabers in grave. Card Guard is fine to protect cards very important to a strategy. Greed Grado is Pot of Greed if you destroyed an opponent’s Synchro. Armityle the Chaos Phantom is a cool collectible being a Fusion of all 3 Sacred Beasts. White Night Dragon is a fairly strong generic Dragon if you summon it. Card Blocker is a far watered down Card Trooper. Kasha can be fun to put every card on field into Deck upon Special Summon, which can be done if you have 2 Zombies on field. Finally, Elemental Hero Gaia was a good piece when Elemental Heros took off into the meta with the Attribute-based Fusions. Ultra Rares have Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor, Earthbound Immortal Cusillu, Earthbound Immortal Chacu Challhua, Ancient Fairy Dragon, Ancient Sacred Wyvern, XX-Saber Gottoms, Koa’ki Meiru Ghoulungulate, Koa’ki Meiru Gravirose, Flamvell Commando, and Gaia Plate the Earth Giant. Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor is a nice option to use graveyard resources to summon a Blackwing Synchro. Cusillu and Chacu Challhua are two of the worse Earthbound Immortals. Ancient Fairy Dragon got better over time when Special Summoning monsters and searching Field Spells got more important to a point where this card got banned. Ancient Sacred Wyvern is a nice tool for LIGHT Decks to finish the opponent off. XX-Saber Gottoms is a good Synchro boss for X-Sabers that doesn’t really need non-Tuners and it can destroy the opponent’s hand. Koa’ki Meiru Ghoulungulate uses the Koa’ki Meiru cards in grave to prevent the destruction of your Koa’ki Meiru cards. Koa’ki Meiru Gravirose can dump Level 3 or lower monsters from Deck to grave during your Standby Phases. Flamvell Commando is one of the worst Flamvells in an already weak archetype since it needs to be Tribute Summoned using a Flamvell monster, cannot be Special Summoned, and banishes your graveyard resources of 200 DEF FIREs to burn the opponent for the monster’s ATK. Finally, Gaia Plate the Earth Giant is an easy Special Summon for Rock Decks that halves the stats of monsters it battles. Super Rares have Jester Confit, Koa’ki Meiru Crusader, Minefieldriller, XX-Saber Faultroll, Turbo Cannon, Archfiend Zombie-Skull, Ancient Forest, Future Visions, Core Compression, Saber Slash, Skull Successor, Discord, Revival of the Immortals, and Beast Machine King Barbaros Ür. Jester Confit is a good Level 1 monster that’s a free Special Summon at any time. Koa’ki Meiru Crusader recovers your Koa’ki Meiru cards from grave when it destroys a monster in battle with its decent 1900 ATK. Minefieldriller recovers Field Spells when it leaves the field in your possession. XX-Saber Faultroll is an easy Special Summon in X-Sabers that offers revival once per turn. Turbo Cannon was the first Level 3 Synchro and could of been fine if it didn’t specifically need Turbo Rocket as the Tuner. Archfiend Zombie-Skull could of also been fine if it let you use Plaguespreader Zombie and at least 1 Zombie non-Tuner instead of 2, but was decent for Shiranui later on. Ancient Forest is a fine Field Spell that punishes monsters that attack. Future Visions is good in Fortune Ladies to trigger Fortune Lady Light while also banishing the opponent’s Normal Summons. Core Compression is Destiny Draw for Koa’ki Meirus that makes you reveal Iron Core to use. Saber Slash is good removal for X-Sabers. Skill Successor is a Trap that could buff a monster twice in the same Duel to help it destroy monsters in battle. Discord is a temporary floodgate that prevents Synchro Summons. Revival of the Immortals revives your Earthbound Immortal monsters, but prevents them from attacking that turn and the opponent never takes damage from it. Finally, Beast Machine King Barbaros Ür is a big 3800 Level 8 that can be Special Summoned by tributing a Beast-Warrior and Machine, but no matter what it deals no damage when it battles. Noteworthy Rares have Fortune Lady Light as the best card in Fortune Ladies, Flamvell Firedog to summon any 200 DEF FIRE from Deck when it destroys a monster in battle, Falchionβ as another part of the Gradius series, Solidarity to boost all your monsters if you play a Deck using only 1 Type basically, Reinforce Truth to get any Level 2 or lower Warrior from Deck to field, XX-Saber Fulhelmknight as one of the better X-Saber Tuners for its attack negation and potential to revive your X-Sabers, Pseudo Space to copy Field Spells which was great when Chicken Game was legal, and Arcana Knight Joker to finally get Yugi’s series of Knights completed in the TCG. The Short Prints were Shiny Black “C” as a decent option against Synchros at the time, Rekindling as a massive revival for all your 200 DEF FIREs, Ancient Leaf for a Pot of Greed at a cost of 2000 LP when you have 9000+ LP, and A Major Upset to bounce all Level 7+ monsters by tributing a Level 2 or lower Attack Position monster. Other noteworthy Commons have Fishborg Blaster as a Tuner that keeps reviving itself in WATER Decks to a point where it was later banned, XX-Saber Ragigura to retrieve X-Sabers in grave on summon, Brain Research Lab to give you extra Normal Summons for Psychics and to disable you from needing to pay their LP cost for their effects, Fossil Dig as a RotA for Level 6 or lower Dinosaurs, Fairy Wind as a good option against Pendulums during the early Pendulum days, and Imperial Custom to give destruction protection to other Continuous Traps. Overall so far, this might be the weakest set of 5D’s, but it’s still fine. There’s a bunch of decent cards in here and you got Ancient Fairy Dragon becoming a great card throughout the years. Nothing too meta breaking or unfair, besides maybe Fishborg Blaster and later AFD herself, but there’s still good cards to find.

Set Rating: 7/10

Stardust Overdrive

Release Date: November 17th, 2009

Cover Card: Majestic Star Dragon

The concept of the Majestic monsters were cool, too bad only they only made 2 Synchros. Stardust Overdrive is our next set of course and this set also doesn’t have a big meta shift, but there are components for powerhouse Decks to exist in here. The promo at Sneak Peek was Koa’ki Meiru Beetle with the other TCG Exclusives being Koa’ki Meiru Maximus, Shire, Lightsworn Spirit, Rinyan, Lightsworn Rogue, Yellow Baboon, Archer of the Forest, Gemini Scorpion, Metabo-Shark, Earthbound Immortal Revival, Reptilianne Poison, and Gateway of the Six. The OCG Imports were Dark Rabbit, Shine Palace, Dark Simorgh, Victoria, Ice Queen, Shutendoji, Archlord Kristya, Guardian Eatos, Clear Vice Dragon, and Clear World. Just to make it quick, the latter 8 OCG Imports were all the Secret Rares in this set. Dark Simorgh can be a fairly powerful card preventing the opponent from setting cards and is easy, yet odd, to Special Summon needing to banish a DARK and WIND monster. Victoria could maybe be good against Dragon Decks since it revives an opponent’s Dragon to your field. Ice Queen is a big monster that recovers a Spell from your grave to your hand when destroyed, but needs you to have at least 3 Spellcasters in the grave to do so. Shutendoji is a decent card to banish your Zombies in grave for draw power or take a banished Zombie you might want and put it on top of your Deck. Archlord Kristya is a powerful Fairy who can be Special Summoned by having exactly 4 Fairies in grave, retrieves a Fairy from grave to hand upon being summoned that way, goes to the top of the Deck when destroyed, and prevents both players from Special Summoning while you control it. Guardian Eatos is a decent card who can be Special Summoned if you have no monsters in grave and has an effect that is a throwback to the old Guardians as it can send an Equip Spell equipped to it to the grave to banish up to 3 monsters in the opponent’s grave and have Eatos gain 500 ATK for each banished monster for the turn. Clear Vice Dragon is a big Dragon who has you be unaffected by Clear World, has its ATK become double the ATK of a monster it battles, and lets you discard a card to prevent its destruction. Finally, Clear World is a fun Field Spell to give each player negative effects based on the Attribute of monsters they control. The Ultra Rares are Earthbound Immortal Ccarayhua, Earthbound Immortal Uru, Earthbound Immortal Wiraqocha Rasca, Crusader of Endymion, Divine Grace – Northwemko, Majestic Star Dragon, Blackwing – Silverwind the Ascendant, Explosive Magician, Koa’ki Meiru Maximus, and Yellow Baboon, Archer of the Forest. Ccarayhua is one of the more interesting Earthbound Immortals since it’s destruction anywhere by any means destroys every card on the field. Uru is another 3000 ATK Earthbound who can tribute your monsters to steal the opponent’s monsters for the turn. Wiraqocha Rasca sadly doesn’t live up to the powerful anime effect it had. Crusader of Endymion is a Gemini that can place Spell Counters on cards that can hold them, then lets himself gain 600 ATK for the turn if he does. Divine Grace – Northwemko is a cool Ritual who gives cards effect destruction protection up to the number of monsters used to Ritual Summon her. Majestic Star Dragon has a fairly strong effect, but the downside of needing a specific Tuner and Synchro alongside a Level 1 monster and it only lasts a turn before returning to the Extra Deck to bring your Stardust Dragon back. Blackwing – Silverwind the Ascendent could of been a good Level 8 Synchro if it didn’t need 2+ non-Tuners, instead it’s just a Vayu option. Explosive Magician is an okay Synchro for Spellcasters to turn 2 Spell Counters into a MST. Koa’ki Meiru Maximus is a big monster that’s easy to Special Summon by banishing an Iron Core, can destroy a card of the opponent’s once per turn, but you must discard a Koa’ki Meiru monster or the Iron Core each turn to keep it. Finally, Yellow Baboon is an easy Special Summon when your Beast is destroyed in battle as it just needs you to banish 2 Beasts in the grave to summon it from hand. The Super Rares give us Koa’ki Meiru Beetle, Majestic Dragon, Max Warrior, Koa’ki Meiru Rooklord, Knight of the Red Lotus, Reptilianne Hydra, Black Brutdrago, Earthbound Whirlwind, Fortune’s Future, Preparation of Rites, Seal of Wickedness, Shire, Lightsworn Spirit, Metabo-Shark, and Gateway of the Six. Beetle is a weak option against LIGHT and DARK Decks since it only swaps monsters of those Attributes that are summoned to Defense Position. Majestic Dragon is a must to summon Majestic Star Dragon and later Majestic Red Dragon. Max Warrior gets stronger when it attacks a monster, but all its stats are halved until your next Standby Phase when it destroys a monster in battle. Koa’ki Meiru Rooklord is another 2 Tribute you can summon with only 1 Koa’ki Meiru, and has a decent destruction effect to banish a Koa’ki Meiru in grave to destroy up to 2 cards the opponent controls. Knight of the Red Lotus is a cool card that can be Special Summoned by banishing 2 Normal Monsters when you have exactly 3 in grave, and it once per turn lets you revive any Level 4 or below Normal Monster. Reptilianne Hydra is a fairly strong Synchro for the archetype, just said archetype isn’t fleshed out enough to make good use of it. Black Brutdrago is a cool Synchro that’s exclusive to Gemini monsters as it can send Geminis from hand to grave to be a MST and upon its destruction lets you revive any Gemini monster with its effects. Earthbound Whirlwind is a Harpie’s Feather Duster if you control an Earthbound Immortal. Fortune’s Future is fair draw power for Fortune Ladies. Preparation of Rites is a great searcher for Ritual Monsters that could potentially retrieve Ritual Spells from the grave as well. Seal of Wickedness during each of the opponent’s Standby Phases negates the effects of one of their cards for the turn, but makes you pay 500 LP during each of your Standby Phases to keep it. Shire, Lightsworn Spirit is weak Lightsworn support that just mills 2 cards at the end of each turn and gains 300 ATK for each differently named Lightsworn in your grave. Metabo-Shark is fine for returning the Fish monsters in your grave to the Deck. Finally, Gateway of the Six was balanced at the time of release due to Six Samurai not having good abilities to spam, but later became overpowered with a new batch of support. Noteworthy Rares have Zero Gardna for some stall, Fortune Lady Water for the archetype’s insane draw power, Fortune Lady Dark to summon Fortune Ladies when your Fortune Ladies destroy monsters in battle, Lord British Space Fighter as another fun piece of Gradius support, Djinn Releaser of Rituals as an insane card to lock the opponent from Special Summoning while you control a Ritual Monster that used it as material, Gemini Scorpion to summon another Level 4 or lower Gemini from hand, and then you got Dark Rabbit and Shine Palace as cool Pegasus relics finally in the TCG. Short Prints have Oshaleon to redirect all attacks to it and search a 500 ATK or less Reptile when destroyed in battle, Moray of Greed to swap 2 WATER monsters in hand to draw 3, Faustian Bargain to swap a Special Summoned monster on either field for a Level 4 or lower Normal Monster from your hand to your field, and Stygian Dirge to decrease the opponent’s monster’s Levels by 1 for a good floodgate option. Noteworthy Commons have Quickdraw Synchron to substitute for any Synchron to summon your Synchros that required specific Synchrons but must be used as Synchro Material for that purpose, Level Eater as a great card to keep reviving itself for Synchro and later Link Plays that got it banned by lowering the Level of Level 5+ monsters, Infernity Necromancer to help make better use of Infernity Archfiend, Swap Frog to discard a WATER to Special Summon itself while also being able to dump any Level 2 or lower WATER Aqua from Deck to grave on summon and to be bounced to hand to let you Normal Summon another Frog monster that turn that isn’t Swap Frog, Gemini Spark for great removal in Gemini Decks and later used in HEROs with Neos Alius, Ritual of Grace for something to summon your Divine Grace and it can be banished from grave to make a Ritual untargetable for a turn, and Appointer of the Red Lotus to pay 2000 to look at the opponent’s hand to banish a card from it until the opponent’s next End Phase. Overall, there’s another bunch of hidden gems in this set. You got more broken cards here compared to Ancient Prophecy like Level Eater, Djinn Releaser of Rituals, and Gateway of the Six that became overly abusable later though. Rituals get some good support as well besides Djinn with Preparation of Rites. Swap Frog was the 2nd of 3 5D’s Frog support to make Frog FTK a thing, and was still good in later Frog variants. Infernity Necromancer as an important Infernity piece. Quickdraw Synchron made Synchron Decks more meta viable. Good stuff in here, but a lot of weak as well.

Set Rating: 7.5/10

Absolute Powerforce

Release Date: February 16th, 2010

Cover Card: Majestic Red Dragon

We got the first Majestic Synchro, now time for the second one. Absolute Powerforce kicks off 2010 with a pretty good bang with a bunch of great cards in here from bringing back Gravekeeper’s to boosting X-Sabers. The promo at Sneak Peek was Gravekeeper’s Priestess with the other TCG Exclusives being XX-Saber Emmersblade, Alchemist of Black Spells, Super-Nimble Mega Hamster, Cactus Bouncer, Dragonic Guard, The Dragon Dwelling in the Deep, Djinn Disserere of Rituals, Earthbound Linewalker, and Core Transport Unit. The OCG Imports were Gale Dogra, Berfomet, Chimera the Flying Mythical Beast, Viser Des, Evil Blast, Shield Wing, Underground Arachnid, Zeman the Ape King, Skull Conductor, and Shield Worm. The Secret Rares were XX-Saber Emmersblade, Cactus Bouncer, Djinn Disserere of Rituals, Earthbound Linewalker, Core Transport Unit, Shield Wing, Underground Arachnid, and Zeman the Ape King. XX-Saber Emmersblade was a great floater in X-Sabers to help make them meta shortly. Cactus Bouncer is a very good Plant option to help Plant Decks lock the opponent from Special Summoning. Djinn Disserere of Rituals makes your Rituals that use it for a summon only unaffected by Trap Effects, but still can be banished from the grave to be used as Ritual Material like all other Djinns. Earthbound Linewalker takes some of the training wheels off the Earthbound Immortals where they don’t destroy themselves off their own effects. Core Transport Unit is a Continuous Spell that makes you discard to search for the Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru. Shield Wing is one of Yusei’s cards that twice per turn cannot be destroyed in battle and really should of been a Common. Underground Arachnid is a fun Synchro for Insects using DARK Tuners to have a throwback to the attacking effect of Ancient Gears while also equipping an opponent’s monster to it. Finally, Zeman the Ape King is similar to Underground Arachnid, except needing Beasts and instead of equipping it send a monster from hand or field to the grave to negate an attack. The Ultra Rares were Battle Fader, Witch of the Black Rose, Koa’ki Meiru Urnight, Garlandolf, King of Destruction, Majestic Red Dragon, Drill Warrior, Sun Dragon Inti, Moon Dragon Quilla, XX-Saber Hyunlei, and Alchemist of Black Spells. Battle Fader was and still is a great stall option for negating direct attacks while summoning itself and ending the Battle Phase. Witch of the Black Rose lets you draw a card when you summon it and control no other cards, but it destroys itself and discards the card if you didn’t draw a monster. Koa’ki Meiru Urnight is a great Koa’ki Meiru to reveal an Iron Core in hand to summon a Level 4 or lower Koa’ki Meiru from Deck. Garlandolf is another cool Ritual who destroys all monsters with DEF less than its ATK upon Ritual Summon then lets himself gain 100 ATK for each monster destroyed. Majestic Red Dragon is another Synchro with a fairly strong effect, but has the same downsides as Majestic Star Dragon except it revives Red Dragon Archfiend instead. Drill Warrior was the best Level 6 option to work with Quickdraw Synchron and helped make Quickdraw Dandywarrior a thing. Sun Dragon Inti and Moon Dragon Quilla are fun if you get the combo between them going. XX-Saber Hyunlei is a strong Level 6 Synchro in X-Sabers. Finally, Alchemist of Black Spells is a weak Spell Counter generator who can go from Attack Position to Defense to put a Spell Counter on any card that can hold one. Super Rares give us Gravekeeper’s Priestess, Ogre of the Scarlet Sorrow, Dragon Queen of Tragic Endings, Oracle of the Sun, Gravekeeper’s Visionary, Cards of Consonance, Iron Core Specimen Lab, Synchro Control, Fiendish Chain, Saber Hole, Tuner’s Scheme, Super-Nimble Mega Hamster, Dragonic Guard, and The Dragon Dwelling in the Deep. Gravekeeper’s Priestess feels unnecessary in the format with Necrovalley still at 3. Ogre of the Scarlet Sorrow is a far worse version of Battle Fader. Dragon Queen of Tragic Endings is an easy Special Summon if you have 3 or more Continuous Spells, lets you make the opponent discard a card for you to draw if you inflict damage with it, and can send a Continuous Spell you control to grave to revive it. Oracle of the Sun is basically a Cyber Dragon that searches for Supay or Fire Ant Ascator (the Tuners needed to summon Moon Dragon or Sun Dragon respectively) when destroyed and sent to the grave. Gravekeeper’s Visionary can be a good Gravekeeper’s boss for the time who can discard Gravekeeper’s monsters to prevent his destruction, only needs 1 Gravekeeper’s monster to summon, and gains 200 ATK for each Gravekeeper’s in grave. Cards of Consonance is a good Spell to turn your 1000 ATK or less Dragon Tuners into draw power. Iron Core Specimen Lab replaces Koa’ki Meiru monsters that destroy themselves with a search, but needs you to reveal the Iron Core to keep it on field. Synchro Control lets you pay 1000 to take an opponent’s Synchro for the turn if you have no Synchros on field or in grave. Fiendish Chain is a phenomenal card to target a monster to have its effects negated and be unable to attack. Saber Hole is a good Counter Trap to negate summons while you control X-Sabers. Tuner’s Scheme lets you steal a Synchro when the opponent Special Summons one. Super-Nimble Mega Hamster was good to get Beasts from Deck to field face-down like Ryko. Dragonic Guard slowly generates Counters as you summon Dragons to send it to the grave to summon a Dragon from Deck with a Level equal to or less than the Counters this had. Finally, The Dragon Dwelling in the Deep gives cool lore for Abyss Dweller and that’s really about all that’s noteworthy with it. Noteworthy Rares give us Reptilianne Vaskii to summon by tributing 2 monsters with 0 ATK on either field, a great option in Dragon Ruler days against Dracossack’s Tokens. Gravekeeper’s Descendant for removal in the Gravekeeper’s archetype, Gale Dogra for its interesting plays sending cards from Extra Deck to grave, and finally you got some old DM relics like Berfomet, Chimera the Flying Mythical Beast, and Viser Des finally coming to the TCG in this set. Short Prints have Consecrated Light for an option against anything DARK based, Pot of Benevolence to return cards from grave to Deck, Widespread Dud to tie 2 monsters on the field to this card to have them be destroyed when it is removed from the field and when one of them leaves the field the card destroys itself, and Inverse Universe to switch ATK and DEF of every Effect Monster on field. Noteworthy Commons have Fire Ant Ascator and Supay to summon the Sun and Moon Dragons, Viper’s Rebirth to revive any of your non-Tuners for the turn if all monsters in your grave are Reptile, Gravekeeper’s Steele for a Salvage in the archetype that ignores Necrovalley, and Ritual of Destruction as your card to summon Garlandolf and it can be banished from grave to make any monster destroyed in battle from a Ritual Monster go to the top of the Deck instead. Overall there’s a bunch of good support in here. You got Drill Warrior as one of the best boosts for Synchrons, good cards like Battle Fader and Fiendish Chain, a decent revival for Gravekeeper’s, and a massive boost for X-Sabers alongside other goodies in here. Commons are a weak point, but that’s fine when your more Rare cards are good. Fine set.

Set Rating: 8/10

The Shining Darkness

Release Date: May 11th, 2010

Cover Card: Black-Winged Dragon

This set was noteworthy for supporting 2 strong, fan-favorite anime archetypes with Blackwings and Infernities, with only one of the archetypes getting meta-worthy support while Blackwings only got 1 or 2 noteworthy cards. You also have Black-Winged Dragon, once hyped to be powerful Blackwing support, instead represents it really was a last minute decision to make Crow a Signer instead of a Dark Signer pretty well in my opinion. The promo at Sneak Peek was XX-Saber Boggart Knight with the other TCG Exclusives being XX-Saber Darksoul, Koa’ki Meiru Prototype, Snyffus, Nimble Sunfish, Akz, the Pumer, Saber Vault, Core Overclock, Wave-Motion Inferno, and Infernity Barrier. The OCG Imports (mostly cards they put in this set since they weren’t in the first Hidden Arsenal) were Genex Controller, Genex Undine, Genex Searcher, X-Saber Palomuro, X-Saber Pashuul, Hydro Genex, Ally of Justice Light Gazer, Genex Neutron, Infernity Destroyer, and Koa’ki Meiru Bergzak. Secret Rares give us Chaos Goddess, Snyffus, Saber Vault, Wave-Motion Inferno, Infernity Barrier, Genex Neutron, Infernity Destroyer, and Koa’ki Meiru Bergzak. Chaos Goddess has a solid effect yet tricky summoning requirements. Snyffus is an interesting Tuner for Plants, despite itself being a Beast. Saber Vault is a poor Field Spell for X-Sabers that boosts their ATK and lower their DEF based on their Levels. Wave-Motion Cannon is a way to empty your hand in Infernity if you can’t put all your cards on field. Infernity Barrier is insane negation for the Infernity archetype that revolutionized other archetypes getting a similar card like this. Genex Neutron was a good searcher for Machine Tuners, despite doing it at the end of the turn. Infernity Destroyer was a tribute that could do big burn in Infernity in an archetype that didn’t care for what it really offered. Finally, Koa’ki Meiru Bergzak makes for an interesting beatdown option in Warrior Decks. Ultra Rares give us Blackwing – Breeze the Zephyr, Herald of Perfection, Black-Winged Dragon, Chaos King Archfiend, Infernity Doom Dragon, Splendid Rose, Cards for Black Feathers, Into the Void, Intercept Wave, and XX-Saber Darksoul. Breeze the Zephyr became a much better Tuner for Blackwings later as the Deck got faster and wanted to make more plays. Herald of Perfection was strong negation for Fairies and the best of the 3 recent Rituals. Black-Winged Dragon is a generic Level 8 Synchro that stops burn and sends burn back to the opponent, which was a letdown compared to its expectations. Chaos King Archfiend was a good Synchro specific to Fiends. Infernity Doom Dragon offered another solid Synchro for Infernities to make use alongside Hundred-Eyes Dragon. Splendid Rose is a good Plant-based Synchro to have a similar effect to Black Rose’s second effect and an effect to make a 2nd attack with halved ATK. Cards for Black Feathers could of been an Allure of Darkness for Blackwings if it didn’t turn off the Special Summon for the archetype that really wanted to. Into the Void became great draw power later on to make Decks more consistent and later got Limited. Intercept Wave is a decent anti-Synchro option. Finally, XX-Saber Darksoul was a good searcher for X-Sabers at the End Phase since it could do that if used as Synchro Material, was better when you could use it multiple times in a turn with 1 Darksoul until it was ruled otherwise. Super Rares give us XX-Saber Boggart Knight, Trust Guardian, Infernity Mirage, Bird of Roses, Wattgiraffe, ZERO-MAX, Infernity Launcher, Power Frame, Damage Gate, Synchro Ejection, Nimble Sunfish, Core Overclock, Hydro Genex, and Ally of Justice Light Gazer. Boggart Knight was a great card to summon X-Sabers from the hand for free to make Faultroll easier to summon. Trust Guardian gave your bigger Synchros that use it as material battle destruction protection at a cost of 400 of their ATK and DEF each time. Infernity Mirage is a good Infernity card to tribute itself to summon 2 Infernities from grave, the best target with Hundred-Eyes Dragon. Bird of Roses can summon 2 Plant Tuners from Deck, but requires you to summon it in Attack Position and basically beg the opponent to attack it. Wattgiraffe is one of the better Watts since it can attack directly for 1200 and prevent the opponent from using cards or effects after it deals damage. ZERO-MAX is revival in Infernities that was outclassed by Mirage and Launcher, but is decent in more modern variants probably. Infernity Launcher was an insane card for Infernities since it could discard 1 and go to the grave when you had no cards in hand to revive up to 2. Power Frame negates an attack from a stronger monster on a weaker monster and lets the weaker monster gain ATK equal to the stat difference. Damage Gate revives a monster with ATK less than or equal to the battle damage you take. Synchro Ejection can banish an opponent’s Synchro, but lets them draw a card. Nimble Sunfish upon destruction sends a Fish from Deck to grave to summon a Nimble Sunfish from Deck. Core Overclock lets your Koa’ki Meirus gain 500 ATK and it can let you discard an Iron Core to buff them by another 1000 ATK for the turn, but you don’t really want to discard the Iron Core for this in Koa’ki Meiru. Hydro Genex is a Synchro of a specific Tuner and specific Attribute of non-Tuner that only really lets you gain LP equal to the ATK of a monster it destroys in battle. Finally, Ally of Justice Light Gazer is a weak generic Level 8 Synchro that just gains 200 ATK for each LIGHT monster in the opponent’s grave. Noteworthy Rares have Blackwing – Gust the Backblast for an easy Special Summon for Blackwings in the Link Era, Infernity Beetle who can potentially get 2 more of itself from Deck, Infernity Avenger to be a Tuner that revives itself with different Levels when monsters are destroyed, Delta Tri for another Gradius piece, Batteryman Fuel Cell as an easy Special Summon for Batteryman who can also tribute Batteryman monsters to bounce cards, and Genex Searcher for a floater in Genex for your 1500 or less ATK monsters. Short Prints are Testudo erat Numen to prevent monsters with 1800 or more ATK from being Special Summoned, Hunter of Black Feathers seemingly designed as an anti-Blackwing card, Corridor of Agony to shut down monsters summoned from the Main Deck from using their effects as well as attacking or changing battle position, and Chaos Trap Hole for a Counter Trap version of Solemn Warning 1 set early for LIGHT or DARK monsters while also banishing the summoned monster. Noteworthy Commons have Spore for a great Plant Tuner to revive itself with a higher Level once per Duel, Koa’ki Meiru Sandman for Trap negation for Rock Stun to have 2 of the 4 monsters in that series complete, Ronintoadin to complete the cards needed for Frog FTK to be a thing, Dawn of the Herald to be your Herald of Perfection summoner that can banish itself from grave to retrieve a material used for the Ritual Summon, Silent Graveyard (FKA Forbidden Graveyard) to discard a card to negate effects in the graveyard for a turn, Infernity Break for simple removal at the cost of graveyard resources in Infernity, Genex Controller for Genex basically, Genex Undine as a good option in WATER Decks like Mermail Atlantean later on, and X-Saber Palomuro as a Level 1 EARTH Tuner that’s searchable off King of the Feral Imps to go for Naturia Beast. Overall, we do have some good cards in here. Support for Infernity and X-Sabers that make the archetypes meta, 2 decent Blackwings at least, Frog FTK becoming a thing, alongside other good cards. It’s one of the best sets in 5D’s.

Set Rating: 10/10

Duelist Revolution

Release Date: August 17th, 2010

Cover Card: Dragon-Knight Draco Equiste

I feel like remembering the big 4 staples in this set made me think it was the best set of 5D’s before I started this. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good set. I just thought it was better going into this. A minor note here is that this is the first set with the changed card frame design to make it look darker and it hasn’t changed since, and I like the frames this way. I think the only product before this to have the new frame was the Starter Deck and Gold Series. Nonetheless, there’s a bunch of goodies in this set. The promo at Sneak Peek was Scrap Archfiend with the rest of the TCG Exclusives being Amazoness Scouts, Naturia Pineapple, D.D. Destroyer, Dark Desertapir, Psychic Nightmare, Guts of Steel, Amazoness Heirloom, Amazoness Shamanism, and Super Rush Recklessly. The OCG Imports were Mystical Refpanel, Fabled Raven, Ally of Justice Cyclone Creator, Miracle’s Wake, Flamvell Poun, Flamvell Archer, Flamvell Fiend, Genex Worker, Genex Power Planner, and Stygian Street Patrol. The Secret Rares were Pot of Duality, Naturia Pineapple, Psychic Nightmare, Mystical Refpanel, Fabled Raven, Ally of Justice Cyclone Creator, Miracle Wake, and Stygian Street Patrol. Pot of Duality was an amazing card at the time when the game was slower to get to choose which one of your next 3 cards you wanted in your hand immediately while the others went to the Deck, and it’s still good in Decks that don’t Special Summon. Naturia Pineapple is basically a Treeborn Frog for Naturia and it’s pretty good in that role. Psychic Nightmare is a poor Psychic-based Synchro that just gains 1000 ATK for a little bit if you can guess if a random card in the opponent’s hand is a Monster, Spell, or Trap. Mystical Refpanel is a card known for seeing hype when a very powerful Spell is revealed, and can be good against said busted Spells. Fabled Raven is a fine Tuner for the Fabled and Dark World archetypes. Ally of Justice Cyclone Creator is a Tuner that makes you discard to bounce Spells and Traps of the opponent’s based on the number of Tuners you control in an archetype that doesn’t really do good field spam. Miracle’s Wake is okay I guess for reviving a monster you want to keep that was destroyed in battle. Finally, Stygian Street Patrol is actually a pretty good card for Fiends and worked well in Infernities over the years, though maybe not on release. The Ultra Rares give us Effect Veiler, Naturia Bamboo Shoot, Dragon Knight Draco-Equiste, Thunder Unicorn, Voltic Bicorn, Lighting Tricorn, Scrap Dragon, Wattchimera, Solemn Warning, and Chivalry. Effect Veiler was one of the early hand-traps that was outstanding as it could negate an opponent’s monster effect and it could serve as a Level 1 Tuner if you weren’t able to make use of its effect. Naturia Bamboo Shoot was strong back in the day for tributing a Naturia to basically shut off all the opponent’s effects, but it got easier to get over as time passed. Dragon Knight Draco-Equiste is a card that has some niche capabilities over the years and was one of two Synchro Fusions at the time. Thunder Unicorn, Voltic Bicorn, and Lightning Tricorn are cool Synchros for anything Beast related. Scrap Dragon became one of the best Level 8 generic Synchros on release for outing opponent’s cards, and it also worked great in the Scrap archetype. Wattchimera is a good Level 6 Synchro in Watts, despite the archetype not having real good Tuners. Solemn Warning was a powerful Counter Trap to negate summons and is still a good option to this day. Finally, Chivalry is a decent Counter Trap with the niche use of negating monster effects in the Battle Phase. The Super Rares included Scrap Archfiend, Unibird, Trident Warrior, Scrap Chimera, Amazoness Queen, Ultimate Axon Kicker, Scrapyard, Scrapstorm, Unicorn Beacon, Wiseman’s Chalice, Paradox Fusion, Amazoness Heirloom, Amazoness Shamanism, and Super Rush Recklessly. Scrap Archfiend is just a generic Level 7 Synchro with big ATK, which has found it little niche uses. Unibird is a fine card that banishes itself and another monster to revive a Synchro with a Level less than or equal to the combined Levels of the two banished monsters. Trident Warrior is an okay option to help make plays by summoning Level 3 monsters out the hand. Scrap Chimera is an important piece for Scraps as it can revive any of their Tuners on Normal Summon. Amazoness Queen is a decent card for the archetype by giving the whole archetype protection from destruction in battle. Ultimate Axon Kicker is a cool Synchro Fusion that mixes Thought Ruler Archfiend with Hyper Psychic Blaster in terms of effects and it can’t be destroyed by effects. Scrapyard is a good Spell for searching any Scrap Tuner. Scrapstorm helps trigger certain Scrap effects while also dumping a Scrap from Deck to grave and letting you draw a card. Unicorn Beacon is fine for getting back Level 5 or higher Beasts or Winged Beasts that are banished at the cost of banishing a card in hand. Wiseman’s Chalice has potential as it can revive an opponent’s monster to your field, but prevents you from using it as Tribute or Synchro Material and it goes to the opponent at the end of the turn. Paradox Fusion is basically Solemn Judgment, but makes you banish a Fusion Monster for a few turns to use it. Amazoness Heirloom feels unnecessary with its battle protection that Queen gives the archetype, but it does help them also destroy opponent’s monsters that battle Amazoness monsters. Amazoness Shamanism can swap your field at that moment for an number of Amazoness Monsters that are Level 4 or lower in grave up to the number of monsters destroyed. Finally, Super Rush Recklessly is okay for Beasts as it destroys one of your Beasts to shuffle an opponent’s monster into Deck. Noteworthy Rares give us Delta Flyer as a Dragon Tuner that helps adjust other monster’s Levels for Synchro plays, Scrap Beast as one of the important Scrap Tuners, Scrap Golem to revive your Scrap monsters to either field for specific plays, Synchro Fusionist to search your Fusion cards when used as Synchro Material, Amazoness Village to turn your Amazoness monsters into floaters that miss timing, and Horn of the Phantom Beast as a decent Trap to equip to a Beast or Beast-Warrior for an 800 ATK boost and to let you draw a card when they destroy monsters in battle. Short Prints include Final Psychic Ogre as a Tribute Monster that retrieves Psychics from grave to hand at a cost of 800 LP when you destroy a monster in battle with it, Cursed Armaments to debuff a monster by 600 ATK and to re-equip to opponent’s monsters when it leaves the field, Summoning Curse to make a player banish a card from the hand when the Special Summon and makes you pay 500 LP during your End Phase to keep it, and Light of Destruction to make the opponent send the top 3 cards from their Deck to the graveyard when they send cards from the their Deck to the graveyard. Noteworthy Commons have A/D Changer for its use in Empty Jar, Scrap Goblin as a good Level 3 Tuner in Scraps, Wattpheasant for a direct attacker who banishes a monster for the rest of the turn after it gets damage in via direct attack, Double Cyclone for a way to destroy your own Spells and Traps while also destroying the opponent’s, Miracle Synchro Fusion to summon your Fusions that needs Synchros as materials, Flamvell Poun for a searcher of any monster with 200 or less DEF after battle destruction, Genex Worker to Special Summon your Genex monsters from hands to get bigger monsters out or trigger certain effects, and Genex Power Planner to search your Level 3 Genex Effect Monsters on Normal Summon. The big 4 cards do make this set very strong as you still see sporadic play for cards like Effect Veiler, Solemn Warning, and Pot of Duality while Scrap Dragon is still good for its own archetype despite how much it competes with other generic Level 8 Synchros that are just better these days. Scraps making their debut is pretty good, and some okay Beast support. It’s pretty good with some casual cards and 4 that made a real impact.

Set Rating: 9/10

Starstrike Blast

Release Date: November 16th, 2010

Cover Card: Shooting Star Dragon

Now here’s a very rare set. It’s one of the few, if not the only core set ever, that doesn’t have an unlimited printing. The only way to get a hold of this pack is in 1st Edition, was never in a Special Edition or Tin as a reprint. That’s why we’ve seen so many cards become expensive in this pack over the span of its existence. It was also the first set with a Synchro Tuner, which was really cool. Your promo at Sneak Peek was Archfiend Empress with the other TCG Exclusives being Skull Meister, Droll & Lock Bird, Spellstone Sorcerer Karood, Scrap Mind Reader, Gravekeeper’s Recruiter, Psi-Blocker, Koa’ki Meiru Wall, Karakuri Barrel mdl 96 “Shinkuro”, and Mischief of the Yokai. The OCG Imports were Karakuri Spider, Royal Knight of the Ice Barrier, Ally Salvo, Ally of Justice Thousand Arms, Ally of Justice Unknown Crusher, Genex Ally Duradark, The Fabled Rubyruda, Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana, Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg, and Genex Ally Axel. The Secret Rares included Skull Meister, Spellstone Sorcerer Karood, Scrap Mind Reader, Psi-Blocker, Genex Ally Duradark, The Fabled Rubyruda, Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg, and Genex Ally Axel. Skull Meister has seen sporadic play throughout the years for its hand-trap capability to negate effects in grave. Spellstone Sorcerer Karood is a slow way to banish cards in the opponent’s grave since it needs the opponent to use a monster effect just so it can gain 1 Counter to banish something, and it can only hold 1 Counter. Scrap Mind Reader can revive itself in the Main Phase 2 by destroying a Scrap you control. Psi-Blocker is good as a Prohibition on legs. Genex Ally Duradark could find niche uses against certain pesky DARK monsters in the future, though it’s easy to play around. The Fabled Rubyruda is a Level 4 Tuner for Fabled that lets you discard monsters in the archetype to negate attacks. Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg is a good Synchro in Dragunity to search your Level 4 or lower Dragons or Winged Beasts while also discarding any Dragon or Winged Beast to set-up for more Dragunity plays. Finally, Genex Ally Axel is a decent Synchro in Genex to revive your Level 4 or lower Machines with doubled ATK, but they can’t attack directly and they’re banished at the end of the turn. The Ultra Rares give us Power Giant, Glow-Up Bulb, Supreme Arcanite Magician, Gaia Drake, the Universal Force, Shooting Star Dragon, Red Nova Dragon, Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 “Burei”, Scrap Twin Dragon, Tuning, and Mischief of the Yokai. Power Giant has found niche uses with Block Dragon and Burning Abyss at times. Glow-Up Bulb is one of the best generic Tuners in the game and has spent two times Forbidden, which at the time of writing it currently is Forbidden. Supreme Arcanite Magician is a fine Synchro Fusion for Spellcasters that could remove Spell Counters to destroy a card on the field or let you draw. Gaia Drake, the Universal Force is a pesky Synchro Fusion to deal with since it can’t be targeted or destroyed by Effect Monster’s effects, though it needs Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth and any non-Effect Synchro as Fusion Material. Shooting Star Dragon was a decent Synchro to go into using your Stardust Dragon and a Level 2 Synchro Tuner like Formula Synchron, and is still good with the floating effect of Shooting Quasar Dragon. Red Nova Dragon is unique for needing 2 Tuners and Red Dragon Archfiend, has good effect destruction protection, can get super strong based on the number of Tuners in your grave, and can banish itself to negate an attack similar to Shooting Star Dragon. Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 “Burei” is a great card in Karakuri for summoning any monster in the archetype on Synchro Summon and swaps the battle position of any monster. Scrap Twin Dragon is a good Synchro for Scraps, but not generic like Scrap Dragon, that bounces two of the opponent’s cards and has the same revival effect for Scraps as Scrap Dragon to get back any non-Synchro Scrap. Tuning is a great card to search any Synchron Tuner while also milling a card that could be good in grave. Finally, Mischief of the Yokai can be a solid card to interrupt the opponent by adjusting the Levels of every monster on the field while it can later banish itself to lower the Level of another monster by 1. The Super Rares give us Archfiend Empress, Power Breaker, Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 “Sazank”, Naturia Cherries, Dance Princess of the Ice Barrier, Anarchist Monk Ranshin, Delg the Dark Monarch, D2 Shield, Blackback, Karakuri Klock, Different Dimension Ground, Tyrant’s Temper, Royal Knight of the Ice Barrier, and Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana. Archfiend Empress is a fine card in an Archfiend Deck. Power Breaker is an MST if destroyed and goes to Defense Position if it attacks. Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 “Sazank” is a weird card for Karakuri, but works for Ninjas kind of. Naturia Cherries is a good Level 1 Tuner to float into 2 more Naturia Cherries. Dance Princess of the Ice Barrier is fine in Ice Barriers to help temporarily take care of Spells and Traps. Anarchist Monk Ranshin is a strange card that banishes a card in the opponent’s graveyard if they destroy it. Delg the Dark Monarch is meh as it can banish up to 2 of the opponent’s cards in their graveyard on summon, but also sends cards from the top of their Deck to grave up to the number of banished cards. D2 Shield is a fine Trap that can work with Decks that use monsters that attack in Defense Position like Superheavy Samurai or work with something that wants a monster in Defense Position to live. Blackback can only be used on your turn and turns off your Normal Summon/Set to revive a Blackwing with 2000 or less ATK. Karakuri Klock destroys all face-up monsters of the opponents when they attack a Karakuri in Defense Position. Different Dimension Ground can be a good card to banish whatever goes to the graveyard for a turn. Tyrant’s Temper makes you tribute a monster to have your monsters be unaffected by other Traps. Royal Knight of the Ice Barrier is pretty bad since it’s Tribute Summon makes you give the opponent a Token that could be stronger than Royal Knight if you control the Wetlands Field Spell, just something I wanted to point out. Finally, Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana is a good Synchro in Dragunity to help them climb from a Level 6 Synchro to a Level 8+ Synchro. Noteworthy Rares have Creation Resonator as an easy Special Summon by having a Level 8 Synchro that helps Resonator Decks, Karakuri Merchant mdl 177 “Inashichi” as a Normal Summon that searches the whole Karakuri archetype, Formula Synchron as a great Level 2 Synchro Tuner that draws a card on Synchro Summon and was Limited at a point, Heat Wave that is similar to Cold Wave as it must be used at the start of Main Phase 1 only it locks the summoning of Effect Monsters til the end of the next turn, Gravity Collapse to send a Synchro you control to grave to negate an opponent’s summon and turn off all their summoning for the rest of the turn, Droll & Lock Bird as a great hand-trap to stop searching after the opponent adds a card from Deck to hand via effect the first time, Gravekeeper’s Recruiter as Witch of the Black Forest for Gravekeeper’s, Koa’ki Meiru Wall for Spell negation in Rock Stun, and Karakuri Barrel mdl 96 “Shinkuro” for a Level 2 Tuner in Karakuri. The Short Prints include Wightmare as another Skull Servant name that at the cost of being discarded can return a banished Skull Servant or Wightmare to grave or it can Special Summon a banished The Lady in Wight or King of the Skull Servants, White Elephant’s Gift to turn a Normal Monster on the field into a draw 2, Vanity’s Emptiness as one of the best floodgates in the game to lock down Special Summoning while having it to where you could just turn it off whenever and is now banned, and Darkfall (FKA Dark Trap Hole) to send to the grave opponent’s monsters that are summoned when they summon 2 or more at once and then sends all monsters with the same name as those from Deck to grave. Noteworthy Commons have Swift Scarecrow as another Battle Fader basically, Karakuri Soldier mdl 236 “Nisamu” for a battle floater in Karakuri, Karakuri Strategist mdl 248 “Nishipachi” for a Level 3 Tuner that swaps the battle position of a monster on summon, Scrap Searcher to use with Scrap Golem to summon on the opponent’s field so it destroys all their face-up non-Scrap monsters, Watthopper for the battle lock when you have 2, Wattdragonfly to float into any Watt when destroyed in battle to make the Watthopper lock easier, Naturia Pumpkin to summon a Naturia from hand on Normal Summon if the opponent has a monster, Karakuri Anatomy to gain Counters when Karakuris swap battle positions to potentially draw 2 once you send it to the grave with 2 Counters, Medallion of the Ice Barrier to search any Ice Barrier monster, and Mirror of the Ice Barrier as a counter to Trishula in the archetype that owns Trishula. This is a fairly good set overall. You got some good hand-traps in this set like Skull Meister, Droll & Lock Bird, and Swift Scarecrow. A solid archetype in Karakuri that would be meta with Geargia. More good Scrap cards. A good Synchro Tuner in Formula Synchron. Good support for Dragunities, Genex, Naturia, and Ice Barriers. One of the most powerful floodgates in the game’s history. No wonder stuff gets expensive from here all the time.

Set Rating: 9.5/10

Storm of Ragnarok

Release Date: February 8th, 2011

Cover Card: Odin, Father of the Aesir

Remember Gateway of the Six? Well that’s gonna be a problem right about now. Storm of Ragnarok kicks off 2011 with a great start giving us support for a fan favorite archetype that brings it back into the meta alongside one of the most polarizing hand-traps in the game’s history. Oh yeah, and we got Nordics as well. The promo at Sneak Peek was Vortex the Whirlwind with our other TCG Exclusives being Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant, Shien’s Daredevil, Karakuri Muso mdl 818 “Haipa”, Scrap Breaker, Chaos Hunter, Maxx “C”, The Nordic Lights, Nordic Relic Megingjord, and Six Strike – Thunder Blast. The OCG Imports were Cyber Shield, Hourglass of Courage, Needle Ball, Blood Sucker, Overpowering Eye, Worm Illidan, Worm Jetelikpse, Worm King, Elemental Hero Ice Edge, and Vylon Delta. Your Secret Rares in this set were The Golden Apples, Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant, Scrap Breaker, Chaos Hunter, Maxx “C”, Nordic Relic Megingjord, Six Strike – Thunder Blast, and Vylon Delta. The Golden Apples is a fine Trap to stall with since it lets you recover LP and get a Token with stats of the life you recovered after you took a direct attack. Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant is the best Nordic Tuner since it can adjust Levels and be material for any of the Aesir Synchros. Scrap Breaker is a fine piece of support for Scraps, though a mid-range Scrap kind of. Chaos Hunter is good against banishing since it can be Special Summoned at the cost of a discard when the opponent Special Summons and then it locks the opponent from banishing at all. Maxx “C” is the best hand-trap ever printed, as most would say, due to its insane power to let you draw a card each time the opponent Special Summoned. Nordic Relic Megingjord isn’t necessary since the Aesir monsters are already strong and Megingjord turns off the damage they deal in battle. Six Strike – Thunder Blast is a card with effects that should of already been on a card that gains Bushido Counters instead of a separate Trap. Finally, Vylon Delta is a fine Synchro in Vylons to search Equip Spells at the end of the turn while it is in Defense Position, which is mostly likely with higher DEF. The Ultra Rares are Legendary Six Samurai – Enishi, Thor, Lord of the Aesir, Loki, Lord of the Aesir, Odin, Father of the Aesir, Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En, Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00X “Bureido”, Atomic Scrap Dragon, Gleipnir, the Fetters of Fenrir, Karakuri Muso mdl 818 “Haipa” and The Nordic Lights. Legendary Six Samurai – Enishi could of been decent in earlier Six Samurai builds for its bounce while you had another Six Samurai. Thor, Loki, and Odin are okay boss monsters stuck in an archetype that has a hard time summoning them before more support. Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En was the go-to in Six Samurai for Spell/Trap negation while being hard to destroy, which makes it not hard to believe that it was once Limited. Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00X “Bureido” is another great Synchro in the archetype to summon a Karakuri from Deck and let you draw when Karakuris swap battle positions. Atomic Scrap Dragon is worse than Scrap Twin Dragon since it just destroys one of your cards to return 3 cards in the opponent’s grave to Deck and still has the same revival effect as the other Scrap Dragons before it. Gleipnir, the Fetters of Fenrir is Nordic’s searcher for the archetype that’s sadly a Trap. Karakuri Muso mdl 818 “Haipa” is a card that is a throwback to Goblin Attack Force and wasn’t needed in Karakuri. Finally, The Nordic Lights is a risky Field Spell that gives Nordics battle destruction protection at the cost of them all being destroyed when Nordic Lights is. Your Super Rares were Vortex the Whirlwind, D.D. Sprite, Tanngrisnir of the Nordic Beasts, Svartalf of the Nordic Alfar, Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant, Legendary Six Samurai – Kizan, Symphonic Warrior Basses, Symphonic Warrior Drumss, Watthydra, Temple of the Six, Stardust Shimmer, Forbidden Lance, Worm King, and Elemental Hero Ice Edge. Vortex the Whirlwind is a Synchro for Winged Beasts that at least replaces itself with a Level 4 or lower Winged Beast from Deck when destroyed in battle. D.D. Sprite is a Level 1 Tuner easy to Special Summon by banishing one of your monsters until your next Standby Phase. Tanngrisnir of the Nordic Beasts is fine since it summons 2 Level 3 Tokens when destroyed in battle. Svartalf of the Nordic Alfar is a Level 5 Tuner with all qualities that would of been more acceptable on a Level 4. Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant can banish 2 Nordic cards from hand on Normal Summon to get 2 Level 4 Tokens to go into Odin, which is good, but you need to control no other cards. Legendary Six Samurai – Kizan is a great card in Six Samurai as an easy Special Summon to gain Bushido Counters and do Synchro Plays. Symphonic Warriors Basses and Drumss are fine Level 1 and 2 Tuners with the Symphonic Pendulums that can adjust Levels and Attributes of other Symphonic Warriors respectively. Watthydra is a meh Level 7 Synchro for Watts that can attack directly and gives you a Gold Sarc effect when it deals damage via direct attack. Temple of the Six is another good Bushido Counter generator that debuffs the opponent’s monsters while this card holds Bushido Counters. Stardust Shimmer lets you revive a Dragon Synchro by banishing monsters in grave whose combined Levels equal the Level of the Synchro. Forbidden Lance is a good Quick-Play Spell to debuff a monster by 800 ATK but also make it unaffected by other Spell/Trap effects that turn. Worm King is a decent boss in Worms since it’s can be Tribute Summoned with only 1 Reptile-type Worm and it can tribute a Reptile-type Worm to destroy an opponent’s card. Finally, Elemental Hero Ice Edge is a WATER Hero that’s inferior to Bubbleman since it just lets you discard to attack directly with it that turn and pops a Set Spell/Trap when it does. Noteworthy Rares include Doppelwarrior as a Level 2 that Special Summons itself when you revive something and gives you 2 Level 1 Tokens when used as Synchro Material, Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts as a Level 4 Tuner to be Special Summoned if the opponent has a Synchro, Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts to Special Summon itself from hand when a monster you control is destroyed in battle and it summons a Nordic Beast from Deck when it goes from Defense Position to Attack Position, Dverg of the Nordic Alfar to give you another Normal Summon for a Nordic, Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki to summon a Six Samurai from hand when Normal Summoned, Symphonic Warrior Piaano as a Level 3 Symphoic Warrior Tuner that adjusts the Types of other Symphonic Warriors, Shien’s Smoke Signal to search any Level 3 or lower Six Samurai, Asceticism of the Six Samurai to help get more field presence for plays, Hope for Escape for draw power by paying 1000 LP to draw for every 2000 LP you’re behind, and Musakani Magatama for negation for effects that would destroy while you have a Six Samurai. The Short Prints include Majioshaleon as a monster that cannot be attacked while you have Spells and Traps and does piercing, Yaksha as a Spirit Monster that bounces Spells and Traps of the opponent’s on Normal or flip, Terminal World to get rid of the Main Phase 2 all together, and Xing Zhen Hu Replica to prevent 1 Set Spell/Trap from being used and prevents the targeted card from being used in response to this. Noteworthy Commons include Cosmic Compass for decent Token generation, Legendary Six Samurai – Shinai and Mizuho to be Special Summoned if you have the other one with Shinai retrieving a Six Samurai from grave if tributed and Mizuho to tribute a monster to destroy a card on field, Kagemusha of the Six Samurai to provide you a Level 2 Tuner in Six Samurai to go into Shi En, Karakuri Watchdog mdl 313 “Saizan” as a Level 4 Tuner in Karakuri, Karakuri Ninja mdl 919 “Kuick” to revive Karakuris when it destroys monsters in battle, Scrap Shark to destroy itself when you use any card or effect to help trigger Scrap Factory later on while also sending a Scrap from Deck to grave, Karakuri Cash Cache to swap a Karakuri’s battle position to search any Level 4 or lower Karakuri monster, Divine Wind of Mist Valley to summon any Level 4 or lower WIND monster from Deck if you bounce a WIND monster, Vylon Matter to return 3 Equip Spells into the Deck to either let you draw a card or destroy an opponent’s card, Tyrant’s Tirade to tribute 2 of your monsters to prevent all monster effect in hand or on field from activating, Tiki Curse as a Trap Monster with 1800/1000 stats that destroys any opponent’s monster that battles another Trap Monster you control, and Tiki Soul as another Trap Monster with 1000/1800 stats that resets another Trap Monster that is destroyed. This set overall is pretty good with great Six Samurai support alongside great cards like Forbidden Lance and Maxx “C”. You also got good Karakuri support in here as well plus Chaos Hunter for their future potential. It’s a strong set for making one of the most powerful Decks ever with all the Six Samurai combos, alongside giving us a polarizing card in Maxx “C” that people currently debate should stay banned or return to three.

Set Rating: 9/10

Extreme Victory

Release Date: May 10th, 2011

Cover Card: Junk Berserker

And now we sadly reach the end of 5D’s with a set that gives us a lot of cards from the anime episodes of 5D’s that were never dubbed, similar to Light of Destruction in GX. Extreme Victory wasn’t a bad way to end the generation, though, as there are still some great cards in this set. The promo at Sneak Peek was Reborn Tengu with the other TCG Exclusives being Vampire Dragon, Dodger Dragon, Mara of the Nordic Alfar, Tour Guide from the Underworld, Psi-Beast, Gladiator Beast Essedarii, Gladiator Taming, Full House, and Psychic Shockwave. The OCG Imports were Axe Dragonute, Lancer Dragonute, Lancer Lindwurm, Elemental Hero Neos Knight, Meklord Emperor Skiel, Meklord Fortress, Blackwing – Jin the Rain Shadow, Scrap Orthros, Naturia Eggplant, and Blue Rose Dragon. Your Secret Rares included Mystic Piper, Vampire Dragon, Tour Guide from the Underworld, Gladiator Taming, Psychic Shockwave, Meklord Emperor Skiel, Scrap Orthros, and Blue Rose Dragon. Mystic Piper is good draw power in any Deck focusing on Level 1 monsters. Vampire Dragon is a Tribute Monster that searches any Level 4 or lower monster if it was Tribute Summoned and sent from field to grave. Tour Guide from the Underworld would be one of the best cards in the game with the release of the very next set and Xyz Monsters. Gladiator Taming would of been good in a Gladiator Beast mirror, which were more common 3 years before this set I’m sure. Psychic Shockwave is a good card to respond to a Trap with in order to summon something like Jinzo from Deck. Meklord Emperor Skiel is okay since it has 2200 ATK that can be Special Summoned when a monster is destroyed via an effect, could gain more if it can successfully equip a Synchro to itself with its effect, and can de-equip a monster equipped to it for a direct attack that turn. Scrap Orthros is a good Tuner in Scraps since it Special Summons itself if you control a Scrap and then destroys a Scrap monster to trigger its effect potentially. Finally, Blue Rose Dragon is like Lord Poison that can also revive a Black Rose Dragon. The Ultra Rares included Blackwing – Kogarashi the Wanderer, Junk Berserker, Life Stream Dragon, T.G. Wonder Magician, T.G. Blade Blaster, T.G. Halberd Cannon, Overmind Archfiend, Mara of the Nordic Alfar, Gladiator Beast Essedarii, and Elemental Hero Neos Knight. Blackwing – Kogarashi the Wanderer is a Level 6 Tuner that Special Summons itself if a Blackwing is destroyed by effect and prevents the opponent from using effects upon the Synchro Summon that uses this card as material. Junk Berserker is a fine Synchro that needs Junk Synchron to banish Junk Monsters in grave to reduce the ATK of the opponent’s monsters and also destroying anything it attacks that’s in Defense Position. Life Stream Dragon is a Level 8 Synchro Tuner that needs Power Tool Dragon as the non-Tuner, lets you make your LP become 4000, and banishes Equip Spells from grave to prevent its destruction. T.G. Wonder Magician is a fine Synchro Tuner in T.G. to destroy a Spell/Trap on Synchro Summon and draws you a card upon destruction. T.G. Blade Blaster is a Synchro that uses only Synchros as material, can send a card from hand to grave to negate a Spell/Trap that targets this card, and can banish a T.G. from your graveyard to banish itself from field until your next Standby Phase. T.G. Halberd Cannon is a Quasar-like card that can negate a summon once per turn and revive a T.G. when sent from the field to the graveyard. Overmind Archfiend is a big Synchro for Psychics that can banish a Psychic from your graveyard once per turn and when sent from the field to the graveyard can summon as many Psychics banished off this effect as possible. Mara of the Nordic Alfar is a better Nordic Alfar Tuner that makes you use 2 Nordic monsters in hand for a Synchro Summon. Gladiator Beast Essedarii is a Contact Fusion of any 2 Gladiator Beasts and has no real effect. Finally, Elemental Hero Neos Knight is a fine fusion of Elemental Hero Neos and any Warrior, gains half the ATK of the other Warrior used as Fusion Material, and can attack twice with the downside that it can never do battle damage to the opponent. The Super Rares give us Reborn Tengu, Blackwing – Hillen the Tengu-wind, Meklord Astro Dragon Asterisk, T.G. Cyber Magician, Silent Psychic Wizard, Shien’s Advisor, T.G. Power Gladiator, Shien’s Dojo, Karakuri Cash Shed, Debunk, Safe Zone, Dodger Dragon, Lancer Dragonute, and Naturia Eggplant. Reborn Tengu is a great card since it summons another copy of itself from Deck when it leaves the field via any means while face-up, making it good Tribute, Synchro, and later Link fodder. Blackwing – Hillen the Tengu-wind is probably the Tengu you don’t want to pull since it’s a Level 5 Tuner that summons itself and a Level 3 or lower Blackwing from grave when you take 2000 or more damage via direct attack. Meklord Astro Dragon Asterisk can be summoned when you have 3 or more Meklord monsters on field, sends any number of Meklords to grave to gain their ATK, and burns a player for 1000 for Synchro Summoning. T.G. Cyber Magician let you use a T.G. from hand to Synchro Summon a T.G. and replaced itself after destruction with a T.G. added from Deck to hand at the end of the turn. Silent Psychic Wizard is good to banish a Psychic from grave on Normal Summon to later let your resummon the banished Psychic if Silent Psychic Wizard is destroyed. Shien’s Advisor lets you declare a monster-type when Normal Summoned while you control a Six Samurai to prevent monsters of that type from being Special Summoned or from attacking while you control it. T.G. Power Gladiator is a Synchro for T.G. that pierces and lets you draw a card on destruction. Shien’s Dojo generates Bushido Counters to later send this card to grave to summon a Six Samurai or Shien Effect Monster from Deck with a Level less than or equal to the number of Bushido Counters on Dojo. Karakuri Cash Shed negated Spells and Traps if you controlled a Karakuri specifically in Defense Position. Debunk is a solid Counter Trap to negate monster effects in hand or grave. Safe Zone is a good card to protect a monster from targeting or destruction by the opponent, but prevents the monster from attacking directly and this card leaving the field also makes the equipped monster leave the field. Dodger Dragon shuts down all Counter Traps for the rest of the turn after Normal Summon, which cannot be negated. Lancer Dragonute is a low ATK Level 4 Dragon that does piercing. Finally, Naturia Eggplant retrieves a Naturia monster from grave when sent from the field to the grave. Noteworthy Rares include Junk Servant as an easy Special Summon just by having another Junk Monster, T.G. Striker as a Level 2 Tuner that acts like Cyber Dragon and searches a T.G. at the end of the turn it was destroyed, T.G. Rush Rhino to gain 400 ATK when it attacks and searches a T.G. monster at the end of the turn it was destroyed, Hushed Psychic Cleric to discard a card in order to banish a Psychic from grave which you can summon 1 banished Psychic from this effect when Cleric is sent from field to grave, T.G. Recipro Dragonfly as a Level 2 T.G. Synchro that can send a T.G. Synchro you control to grave and then revive all T.G. Synchros that are in grave that were used as Synchro Material to summon that monster, Resonator Call as a searcher for any Resonator monster, Psychic Feel Zone to return a Psychic Tuner and non-Tuner banished to grave in order to summon a Psychic Synchro from Extra Deck in Defense Position, TGX3-DX2 to return 3 T.G. monsters from grave to Deck to let you draw 2, and Brain Hazard to summon a banished Psychic. Your Short Prints are Jar Turtle to turn Jar of Greed into a draw 2, Aurora Paragon to prevent Special Summons but nukes itself if another monster is Normal Summoned, Self-Mummification to send one of your monsters on field to the graveyard, and Localized Tornado to return every card in your hand and graveyard into the Deck. Noteworthy Commons include Unknown Synchron as a Level 1 Tuner to be Special Summoned once per Duel if only the opponent controls monsters, T.G. Warwolf as a Special Summon when you Special Summon a Level 4 or lower monster and a search for a T.G. monster at the end of the turn it was destroyed, Esper Girl as a Level 2 Tuner that banishes the top card of your Deck face-down if Special Summoned from the banished pile to later retrieve that banished card to your hand if sent from the field to the graveyard, Elder of the Six Samurai as a Level 3 EARTH that acts as a Cyber Dragon and good Naturia Beast fodder in Six Samurai, Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 “Ninishi” as a Level 3 Tuner to give you another Normal Summon in Karakuri, Scarlet Security for Harpie’s Feather Duster if you have Red Dragon Archfiend, TG1-EM1 to swap control of a T.G. monster and an opponent’s monster by letting you pick both targets, and W Nebula Meteorite to flip your face-down Defense Position monsters to face-up in order to at the end of the turn swap all your LIGHT Reptiles to face-down in order to draw a card for each and then summon a Level 7 or higher LIGHT Reptile from Deck. This was a pretty solid set. You had Reborn Tengu giving birth to Tengu Plants. T.G. monsters being used in control Decks and Agents instead of Synchro Spam like they were designed to (at least for nearly a decade). You had Tour Guide prepping us for Xyz Summoning. Some gems like Debunk and Safe Zone are in here. We got the best Karakuri Tuner in here. There’s okay cards in here, though it wasn’t the biggest meta shifter as a whole.

Set Rating: 8/10

In Conclusion

Overall, 5D’s has to be the strongest generation up to this point. No set really went below a 7/10 in my opinion and you got some number of 8s and 9s mostly and 2 10s like GX, except they weren’t loaded in the last 2 sets of the era. Konami was improving card design at this point, but there was still space for improvement since some foils in these sets were still pretty poor. It’d take a bit before I’d say all foils in a set were somewhat good for an archetype or as a staple at least. That still doesn’t take away from any impact these sets had, though. The good cards were fairly good in these sets. Synchro was one of the more balanced summoning mechanics we got as well. A solid era for the game’s history, and not any real times of a Tier 0 I’d say. That will change in ZEXAL, but we’ll get to that next time. Now for set rankings.

  1. The Duelist Genesis and The Shining Darkness (10/10)
  2. Starstrike Blast (9.5/10)
  3. Duelist Revolution and Storm of Ragnarok (9/10)
  4. Raging Battle (8.5/10)
  5. Crossroads of Chaos, Absolute Powerforce, and Extreme Victory (8/10)
  6. Crimson Crisis and Stardust Overdrive (7.5/10)
  7. Ancient Prophecy (7/10)

Thanks for Reading,