It’s time for the Number hunting to begin, but it won’t end here. Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G back with the 4th installment of reviewing every Core Set released into the game of Yu-Gi-Oh, where we will now get into the Zexal Era. Zexal had a few changes in it. First off, the biggest change was the introduction of Xyz Summoning, which was far more generic than Synchros by just needing monsters of the same Level and no Tuners. Secondly, this is where “remove from play” officially became “banished” and that would stay for the rest of the game’s history, also we get “piercing” as an official term. Finally, later in this era we will have a change in how the Ultimate Rares and Ghost Rares work, which is their last change before leaving in the Arc-V Era. There’s some interesting sets to get into, so let’s see what they all gave us.
Release Date: August 16th, 2011
Cover Card: Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
Sneak Peek Promo: Xyz Veil
As we’ll see, the Zexal Era didn’t start off as strong with Xyz Summoning as 5D’s did with Synchros. Generation Force was the first set to bring us the Xyz Mechanic, so of course it had a good batch of Xyzs in here and every set beyond. Your breakdown hasn’t changed yet, so we still have 1 Ghost Rare (the Cover Card), 8 Secret Rares, 10 Ultra/Ultimate Rares, 14 Super Rares, 20 Rares, and 48 Commons (4 of which are Short Printed). The TCG Exclusives included Xyz Veil, Sea Lancer, Piercing Moray, Lost Blue Breaker, Pain Painter, Orient Dragon, Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon, Fish and Swaps, Painful Return, and Smashing Horn. The OCG Imports were Elemental HERO Flash, Vision HERO Trinity, Phantom Magician, Elemental HERO Nova Master, Masked HERO Goka, Masked HERO Vapor, Vision HERO Adoration, Mask Change, A Hero Lives, and Steelswarm Roach. The 8 Secret Rares you could pull were Tiras, Keeper of Genesis, Lost Blue Breaker, Pain Painter, Orient Dragon, Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon, Smashing Horn, Vision HERO Adoration, and Steelswarm Roach. Tiras, Keeper of Genesis and Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon were the first good generic Rank 5 monsters to have. Lost Blue Breaker was just a card to tribute itself to pop a Spell/Trap if you had a Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua monster. Pain Painter was a Plaguespreader Zombie replacement as it was still Limited and it helped summon Archfiend Zombie-Skull easier. Orient Dragon was a generic Level 6 Synchro to out other Synchros. Smashing Horn can be niche against any Monster Effect or Trap to negate summons. Vision HERO Adoration is a decent Fusion of 2 HEROs to give ATK reduction. Finally, Steelswarm Roach was a good Rank 4 to negate the Special Summon of Level 5+ monsters. The Ultra Rares give us Space-Time Police, Number 17: Leviathan Dragon, Number 34: Terror-Byte, Wind-Up Zenmaister, Leviair the Sea Dragon, Wonder Wand, Raigeki Bottle, Piercing Moray, Elemental HERO Nova Master, and A Hero Lives. Space-Time Police is an okay card in Banish Psychics to banish an opponent’s face-up card upon Special Summon, but Sets it back to their field when it leaves the field. Number 17: Leviathan Dragon was one of the first good generic Rank 3s to gain 500 ATK at the cost of a material so it can get over bigger threats. Number 34: Terror-Byte steals the opponent’s Level 4 or lower monsters for Xyz Plays and would be better if it didn’t need 3 Level 3 Monsters. Wind-Up Zenmaister is an okay Rank 4 to gain ATK for its materials and be a Book of Moon on your turn, but re-flips the monster at the end of that turn. Leviair the Sea Dragon is a great Rank 3 that has stood the test of time for its effect to summon banished monsters to your field. Wonder Wand is a decent card to equip to a Spellcaster to send both it and this card to the grave for a draw 2. Raigeki Bottle is a very slow Raigeki at a time the card was still banned. Piercing Moray is just a monster that pierces and can let you tribute a Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua for a 600 ATK boost. Elemental HERO Nova Master was good in Elemental HERO Decks using the Attribute-based Fusions. Finally, A Hero Lives is a great card to tutor any Level 4 or lower Elemental HERO from the Deck. The Super Rares in this set were Xyz Veil, Gagaga Magician, Super Crashbug, Wind-Up Juggler, Time Escaper, Blue-Blooded Oni, Absolute Crusader, Submersible Carrier Aero Shark, Surface, Infected Mail, Wind-Up Factory, Quill Pen of Gulldos, Vision HERO Trinity, and Masked HERO Vapor. Xyz Veil was okay for giving every Xyz some targeting protection. Gagaga Magician is solid to be able to become any Level from 1 to 8. Super Crashbug needs to be Special Summoned by banishing the 3 Crashbugs from the graveyard and just swaps the ATK and DEF of any monster in Attack Position. Wind-Up Juggler just destroys a monster this card battles once while this card is face-up on the field. Time Escaper can be fine to banish your Psychics until your next Standby Phase to dodge effects. Blue-Blooded Oni is interesting to turn Xyz Materials on other monsters into you reviving Level 4 or lower Zombies. Absolute Crusader can tribute itself to destroy a Special Summoned Level 5+ Monster. Submersible Carrier Aero Shark is a Rank 3 to do small burn to the opponent for each of your banished monsters. Surface is good to revive Level 3 or lower Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua Monsters. Infected Mail can let one Level 4 or lower monster attack directly each turn, but sends the monster to the grave at the end of the Battle Phase. Wind-Up Factory searches any Wind-Up Monster when another Wind-Up Monster you control uses its effect. Quill Pen of Gulldos can be decent to return 2 WIND Monsters to Deck while you bounce a card on field. Vision HERO Trinity allows for easy OTKs in HEROs. Finally, Masked HERO Vapor serves as a decent Mask Change target on WATER HEROs until we got Masked HERO Acid. Noteworthy Rares give us Wind-Up Magician to summon Wind-Ups from Deck once while it’s face-up on the field after another Wind-Up Monster you control used its effect, Skystarray in Banish Fish to attack directly and banish itself until your next Standby Phase, Gishki Diviner to guess the top card of your Deck and add it to your hand if you guessed correctly, Ghost Ship for an easy Special Summon of a Level 5 by banishing any LIGHT in grave, Oh F!sh! to negate monster effects by shuffling a banished Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua Monster into the Deck, Bright Future to return 2 banished Psychics to grave for a draw, Sea Lancer as a Tribute Monster to equip all banished Fish, Sea Serpent, and Aqua Monsters to it for it to gain 1000 ATK and prevent its destruction by sending an equipped monster to grave, Fish and Swaps to get two banished Fish, Sea Serpent, and Aqua Monsters to hand at the cost of a discard, and Masked HERO Goka for the lone FIRE target in HEROs for Mask Change. The four Short Prints give us The Great Emperor Penguin to tribute itself to summon 2 different Penguins from Deck, Milla the Temporal Magician to let you look at an opponent’s set card upon Normal Summon, Peeking Gobin to look at the top 3 cards of the opponent’s Deck to put one at the bottom and the other two on top in any order, and Gravelstorm to bounce a Spell/Trap on each field to the hand. Noteworthy Commons have Gogogo Golem as the first Gogogo Monster and it’s Level 4, Goblindbergh to summon a Level 4 Monster from hand for an Xyz Summon, Drill Barnacle to attack directly and gain 1000 ATK for doing damage to allow for a strong direct attacker, Laval Magma Cannoneer as a Rekindling target in Lavals that also fills the grave, Geargiano for the first Geargia and a decent target for Geargiagear later, Double or Nothing! for future Utopia OTKs, Vylon Filament as another Vylon Equip Spell that gives your Vylons the Ancient Gear effect when attacking, and Mask Change to turn any HERO on field into a Masked HERO in the Extra Deck. Overall it certainly isn’t the start that 5D’s had with Synchro Summoning, but there’s still good Xyz Monsters to debut the mechanic. Number 17 was a good generic Rank 3, with Steelswarm Roach being a generic Rank 4 and Tiras and Adreus being generic Rank 5s. Leviair was a generic Rank 3 that stood the test of time the best and is the one still commonly used to this day in this set. You also got some good HERO support, with A Hero Lives and Mask Change being the best cards for the longest time. Wind-Ups debut and give us Factory and Magician to start. You got Banish Fish becoming a thing, which was fun for its time. Overall, a solid set and a much calmer way to start an era.
Set Rating: 7.5/10
Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Cover Card: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon
Sneak Peek Promo: Alexandrite Dragon
Now for the set to give us the first proper Meta Deck that uses Xyz Summoning to the fullest. Photon Shockwave was the second set of Zexal and gave us some more good Xyzs, with a few less generic than previously. Not only that, but we also get cards made to help make Xyz Summoning much more easier. The TCG Exclusives were Alexandrite Dragon, Photon Sabre Tiger, Evolsaur Pelta, Wind-Up Rabbit, D-Boyz, Latinum, Exarch of Dark World, Evolzar Dolkka, Wind-Up Zenmaines, Xyz Territory, and Dark Smog. The OCG Imports were Sergeant Electro, Vylon Ohm, Laval Dual Slasher, Gem-Turtle, Laval Lancelord, Gishki Beast, Gem-Knight Emerald, Junk Defender, Metaion, the Timelord, and Infernity Knight. The Secret Rares you could pull were Rescue Rabbit, Shard of Greed, Wind-Up Rabbit, D-Boyz, Evolzar Dolkka, Wind-Up Zenmaines, Dark Smog, and Metaion, the Timelord. Rescue Rabbit was one of the easiest Xyz enablers at the time since it summoned 2 Level 4 or lower Normal Monsters of the same name from Deck, helping Dinosaurs enter the meta with the new Xyzs in this set. Shard of Greed was decent as a slower Pot of Greed that generated counters over turns to become said Pot of Greed. Wind-Up Rabbit was a decent card to dodge effects with its effect to banish a Wind-Up til your next Standby Phase once while it was on the field, which was nullified by Rabbit banishing itself. D-Boyz is a FLIP Monster to summon 2 more D-Boyz from Deck and burn you for 1000 per each copy. Evolzar Dolkka is a Rank 4 that needs Dinosaurs specifically and can negate Monster Effects by using its Xyz Materials, and there’s no once per turn here. Wind-Up Zenmaines was a good generic Rank 3 to use its Xyz Materials to prevent destruction and then pop a card at the end of the turn if it did prevent destruction. Dark Smog let you banish cards from the opponent’s grave while discarding your Dark Worlds for their effects. Finally, Metaion, the Timelord was decent for bouncing all the opponent’s monsters and dealing burn. The Ultra Rares were Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, Evolsaur Cerato, Wind-Up Kitten, Number 10: Illumiknight, Evolzar Laggia, Thunder End Dragon, Xyz Gift, Photon Veil, Latinum, Exarch of Dark World, and Sergeant Electro. Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon has always been an important card for the Galaxy/Photon strategy that grew over the years. Evolsaur Cerato is decent to gain 200 ATK and have the effect to search an Evoltile when it destroys a monster by battle if it was summoned by the effect of an Evoltile monster. Wind-Up Kitten is a fine Level 2 Beast to bounce an opponent’s monster once while on the field. Number 10: Illumiknight could of been good for sending cards from hand to grave for a new draw if it didn’t need 3 Level 4 monsters. Evolzar Laggia was a great Rank 4 for Dinosaurs as it was a Solemn Judgment by using both its materials. Thunder End Dragon was a decent Rank 8 to destroy all other monsters, even though it needed Normal Monsters as material. Xyz Gift turned 2 Xyz Materials on a monster while you controlled 2 Xyz Monsters into a draw 2. Photon Veil returns 3 LIGHT Monsters from hand to Deck to add 1 to 3 Level 4 or lower LIGHT Monsters to hand, but you must add monsters of the same name if multiples were added. Latinum, Exarch of Dark World was another summon by discard and boosted a Fiend by 500 ATK if the opponent made you discard it. Finally, Sergeant Electro locked down the opponent’s backrow one by one while it was on the field. The Super Rares give us Alexandrite Dragon, Friller Rabca, Lightserpent, Evoltile Westlo, Wind-Up Hunter, Fenghuang, Number 83: Galaxy Queen, Black Ray Lancer, Number 20: Giga-Brilliant, Extra Gate, Darklight, Photon Sabre Tiger, Gem-Turtle, and Infernity Knight. Alexandrite Dragon was the 2nd Level 4 vanilla with 2000 ATK in the game. Friller Rabca banished itself from the grave to negate an attack on a Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua monster and then debuff the attacking monster by 500 ATK until the end of the next turn. Lightserpent is a free Special Summon if sent from the hand to the grave, but it cannot be used as Synchro Material. Evoltile Westlo was the best Evoltile to summon your Evolsaurs since it did it off a FLIP Effect. Wind-Up Hunter was the important piece for the Wind-Up hand-loop since it was easy to get around only being able to use the effect once while it was on the field. Fenghuang is a Level 6 Spirit that destroys all Set Spells and Traps upon Normal Summon or being flipped face-up. Number 83: Galaxy Queen needs 3 Level 1s and detaches materials to give your monsters the ability to not be able to be destroyed in battle and do piercing until the end of the next turn. Black Ray Lancer is a Rank 3 that needs WATER Monsters and uses its materials to negate the effects of an opponent’s monster for the turn. Number 20: Giga-Brilliant is a good generic Rank 3 to use its materials to buff all your monsters by 300 ATK. Extra Gate lets you declare a Level to make the opponent banish a monster of that Level from their Extra Deck, or you discard a card if they don’t have a target. Darklight lets you tribute a DARK Monster with 1500 or less ATK to destroy all monsters Special Summoned that turn. Photon Sabre Tiger was a good option with Skill Drain to make sure it had 2000 ATK, and it could search another Sabre Tiger on Summon. Gem-Turtle was your best option to search Gem-Knight Fusion for years, as it did so on FLIP. Finally, Infernity Knight lets you send 2 cards from hand to grave to revive it when it was destroyed, helping you empty your hand. Noteworthy Rares include Kagetokage to Summon itself from hand when you Normal Summoned a Level 4 Monster, Evolsaur Vulcano to revive your other Evolsaurs to help Xyz Summons if it was summoned off an Evoltile, Evolsaur Diplo is your MST if summoned off an Evoltile, Tyrant’s Throes to tribute 2 vanillas to prevent both players from summoning Effect Monsters, Deep Dark Trap Hole to banish a Level 5+ Monster that’s summoned, and Gishki Beast to revive your Gishki Monsters on Summon. Short Prints are Rodenut to gain Nut Counters every time the opponent Special Summons to later use 1 Nut Counter to destroy an opponent’s monster, Goblin Pothole Squad to prevent Traps from being used on its summon and Trap Holes from being used on your other monster summons, Tri-Wight to revive 3 Level 2 or lower vanillas from your grave, and Sound the Retreat! to bounce all your monsters you control to the hand. Noteworthy Commons give us Shark Stickers to be a free Special Summon on the Summon of a Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua Monster, Evoltile Gephyro to revive your Evolsaurs when destroyed in battle, Evoltile Odonto to Summon your Evolsaurs from hand on Normal Summon, Wattcobra to direct attack and search a Watt Monster when you attack directly with it and deal damage, Naturia Marron to send a Naturia from Deck to grave on Normal Summon and return 2 Naturias from grave to Deck for a draw, Prior of the Ice Barrier as a free Special Summon if you control an Ice Barrier (but turns off your Special Summons of Level 5+ Monsters if you do) and can tribute itself to revive any Ice Barrier Monster, One Day of Peace to let both players draw a card and turn off damage until the end of the next turn, Poisonous Winds to prevent the Special Summoning of WIND Monsters and to debuff them by 500 ATK, Wattcancel to negate a Summon by discarding a Watt Monster, Champion’s Vigilance as a Solemn Judgment if you control a Level 7+ vanilla, and Laval Dual Slasher as a Rekindling target on a Level 5 Synchro. Overall, it’s another decent set that did give us a new meta option, but it didn’t bust the meta. Rescue Rabbit and the Evolzar Xyzs were great, and you got new generic Rank 3s in Number 20 and Zenmaines. Wind-Ups get Hunter for the powerful hand-loop they had next set. You also got a bunch of decent archetype support alongside the debut of the Evol archetype and getting the key piece for Galaxy/Photon Decks as they got more support. It’s a good set once again, but not overwhelming unlike the next set.
Set Rating: 8/10
Order of Chaos
Release Date: January 24th, 2012
Cover Card: Number C39: Utopia Ray
Sneak Peek Promo: Inzektor Axe – Zektahawk
Now it’s time to create two Xyz Decks to be meta. Order of Chaos is our 3rd set of the era and gave us the Inzektor archetype and some of the best Wind-Up support to date, alongside some new Ninjas, Evols, and Photons. The TCG Exclusives were Inzektor Axe – Zektahawk, Inzektor Hopper, Wind-Up Shark, Evoltile Najasho, White Dragon Ninja, Interplanetarypurplythorny Dragon, Tour Bus From the Underworld, Photon Trident, Evo-Instant, and Ninjitsu Art of Duplication. The OCG Imports were White Night Queen, Danipon, Sweet Corn, Vampire Koala, Koalo-Koala, Dark Diviner, Dark Flattop, Driven Daredevil, Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh, and M-X-Saber Invoker. The Secret Rares in this set were Gagaga Girl, Inzektor Exa-Beetle, Xyz Reborn, White Dragon Ninja, Tour Bus From the Underworld, Driven Daredevil, Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh, and M-X-Saber Invoker. Gagaga Girl was fine to match Gagaga Magician’s Level and debuff an opponent’s monster to 0 ATK when used as Xyz Material, and is also the generation’s Dark Magician Girl. Inzektor Exa-Beetle is a fine generic Rank 6 to equip a monster in either grave to it to gain half the equipped monster’s ATK and DEF and also use its Xyz Materials to pop a face-up card on each side of the field. Xyz Reborn is a good Trap to revive Xyz Monsters and attach to them as Xyz Material. White Dragon Ninja can only be Special Summoned off a Ninjitsu Art and protects all your Spells and Traps from destruction while on the field. Tour Bus From the Underworld returns a card from grave to Deck when it is sent to the grave. Driven Daredevil is a Warrior-based Synchro that can’t be destroyed in battle when attacked by a stronger monster and destroys the monster it battled if attacked by a stronger monster. Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh is a generic Rank 5 that can pop 2 Set cards by detaching a material. Finally, M-X-Saber Invoker is a generic Rank 3 to summon any Level 4 EARTH Beast-Warrior from the Deck, and it got better over time to the point where it was banned. The Ultra Rares give us Inzektor Giga-Mantis, Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo, Twin Photon Lizard, Number C39: Utopia Ray, Number 12: Crimson Shadow Armor Ninja, Number 96: Dark Mist, Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity, Evolzar Solda, Inzektor Sword – Zektkaliber, and Xyz Reflect. Inzektor Giga-Mantis was good to equip itself from hand to an Inzektor and revive an Inzektor when popped while equipped. Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo was your searcher for Ninjitsu Art cards and a searcher for other Ninjas on Flip or Special Summon. Twin Photon Lizard was a Fusion of any 2 Photons and could tribute itself to revive the Fusion Materials. Number C39: Utopia Ray could be summoned on top of a Number 39: Utopia or let you use 3 Level 4 LIGHT Monsters as material and it could let you detach a material while you had 1000 or less life to debuff an opponent’s monster by 1000 ATK and let Utopia Ray gain 500 ATK for the turn. Number 12: Crimson Shadow Armor Ninja was a generic Rank 5 to detach a material to prevent face-up Ninjas from being destroyed that turn. Number 96: Dark Mist was a generic Rank 2 that needed 3 monsters and when battling could detach a material to halve the ATK of the monster it battles and gain the lost ATK permanently. Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity was a generic Rank 3 who could detach a material to summon any Wind-Up from hand or Deck and can detach a material to return a destroyed Wind-Up from grave to hand, which the first effect made it an important piece of the Wind-Up hand-loop that got it Limited and later part of a Shock Master combo that got it banned. Evolzar Solda was a Rank 6 that needed Dinosaurs, couldn’t be destroyed by effects while it had Xyz Material, and could detach a material to destroy a monster when it’s Special Summoned. Inzektor Sword – Zektkaliber is an Equip Spell to boost an Inzektor by 800 ATK and add an Inzektor Monster from grave to hand when popped. Finally, Xyz Reflect negates any effect that targets an Xyz Monster and burns the opponent for 800. The Super Rares give us Inzektor Axe – Zektahawk, Inzektor Hornet, Wind-Up Rat, Darkstorm Dragon, Blade Armor Ninja, Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy, Armor Blast, Evo-Force, Creeping Darkness, Armor Ninjitsu Art of Rust Mist, Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation, Wind-Up Shark, Evoltile Najasho, and Dark Diviner. Inzektor Axe- Zektahawk buffed your Inzektors by 1000 ATK and gave them the Ancient Gear effect when attacking, making it no Zektkaliber. Inzektor Hornet was a powerful card who could equip Inzektors to it from hand or grave and could send itself while being an equip to grave to pop a card on the field. Wind-Up Rat was a great card to use its effect to go to Defense to revive a Wind-Up. Darkstorm Dragon was a Level 8 Gemini who could send a face-up Spell/Trap you control to the grave to become a Heavy Storm. Blade Armor Ninja was a Rank 4 that needed Warriors and could detach a material to let a Ninja attack twice that turn. Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy destroyed all your other Ninjitsu Art cards you controlled to become a draw 2. Armor Blast destroyed a face-up Inzektor card you controlled and 2 face-up cards the opponent controlled. Evo-Force let you tribute an Evoltile to summon an Evolsaur from Deck and let you treat it as if it was summoned off an Evoltile. Creeping Darkness let you banish 2 DARKs from grave to search any Level 4 DARK from the Deck. Armor Ninjitsu Art of Rust Mist halved the ATK of an opponent’s Special Summoned monster if Summoned while you controlled a Ninja. Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation sent a Ninja and an opponent’s monster to grave to summon a Dragon, Dinosaur, or Sea Serpent from Deck with a Level less than or equal to the combined Levels of the sent monsters. Wind-Up Shark was a free Special Summon from hand when you Summoned a Wind-Up and could either increase or decrease its Level by 1 for the turn once while it was on the field. Evoltile Najasho let you summon an Evolsaur from Deck when tributed. Finally, Dark Diviner is a Synchro needing a DARK Tuner and Insect non-Tuner, can’t be destroyed in battle, attacking a stronger monster made the opponent’s monster’s ATK become Dark Diviner’s, and destroying a monster in battle and sending it to grave made the opponent send the top 3 cards from Deck to grave. Noteworthy Rares include Gogogo Giant to go to Defense to revive a Gogogo Monster, ZW – Unicorn Spear to equip to Utopia Ray for a 1900 ATK boost and to negate the effects of monsters it battled, Photon Thrasher as a free Special Summon if you controlled no monsters, Inzektor Dragonfly to equip any Inzektor from hand or grave to it and summoned an Inzektor from Deck when an equip card equipped to it was sent to the grave, Evoltile Casinerio to summon 2 Level 6 or lower FIRE Dinosaurs with the same name from Deck with negated effects by tributing itself after it destroyed a monster in battle, Gagagabolt to destroy a card if you control a Gagaga Monster, Royal Prison to prevent Monsters from being Special Summoned from grave, Inzektor Hopper to equip Inzektors from hand or grave to it and to send itself while as an equip to grave to let the monster that was equipped attack directly that turn, and Ninjitsu Art of Duplication to tribute a Ninja in order to summon any number of Ninja’s from Deck in Attack or face-down Defense Position with combined Levels equal to the tributed monster’s. The Short Prints include Trance Archfiend to discard a Fiend to gain 500 ATK for the turn and retrieve a banished DARK Monster to hand when destroyed, Numen erat Testudo to prevent the Special Summon of monsters with 1800 or less ATK, Dicephoon as a Quick-Play Spell to roll a dice for a 2-4 to destroy a Spell/Trap on the field while a 5 destroyed 2 Spells and Traps and a 1 or 6 burned you for 1000, and The Huge Revolution is Over to negate any effect to destroy two or more cards and banish the negated card. Noteworthy Commons include Earth Armor Ninja as a free Special Summon if only the opponent had monsters, Inzektor Centipede to equip an Inzektor Monster from hand or grave to it and search any Inzektor card when a card equipped to this is popped, Evoltile Pleuro to summon an Evolsaur from hand when destroyed, Evolsaur Elias to summon a Level 6 or lower FIRE Dinosaur from hand when summoned off an Evoltile, Masked Ninja Ebisu to bounce Spells and Traps to the opponent’s hand while you control a different Ninja equal to the number of Ninjas you control, Upstart Golden Ninja to send a Trap from hand to grave to summon a Ninja from Deck in face-up or face-down Defense, Divine Dragon Apocralyph to discard cards to add Dragons from the grave to the hand, Galaxy Wave to burn the opponent for 500 each time you Xyz Summon, and Interplanetarypurplythorny Dragon as a free Special Summon from hand if a monster you control is destroyed in battle. Easily this is the best set of Zexal so far, as it helped give us 2 new meta contenders in Wind-Ups and Inzektors. It basically power-crept the previous meta options excluding Dino Rabbit at that time, and it didn’t help that the old meta was hit in March of 2012 anyways. You also got Ninja support that made them somewhat decent and some more good Xyzs like Blade Armor Ninja for Warriors and M-X-Saber Invoker for future archetypes like Madolche, Zoodiac, and Gouki. It’s a strong set that shifted the meta into being more Xyz-focused, considering Inzektors, Wind-Ups, and Dino Rabbit loved Xyz Summoning more. It now feels like we’re properly in the Xyz Era.
Set Rating: 10/10
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Cover Card: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon
Sneak Peek Promo: Noble Knight Artorigus
Our next set does seem like a cooldown, but it does boost Inzektors some more and gives us another archetype in Hieratics to see sporadic meta play over the years. The TCG Exclusives were Noble Knight Artorigus, Ancient Dragon, Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King, Evoltile Elginero, Lightray Grepher, Tardy Orc, Draconnection, Trial and Tribulation, Hieratic Seal From the Ashes, and Xyz Wrath. The OCG Imports were Number 11: Big Eye, Number 7: Lucky Straight, Beetron, Influence Dragon, Bright Star Dragon, Buten, Doom Donuts, Nimble Manta, Shining Elf, and Flelf. The Secret Rares give us Cardcar D, Photon Strike Bounzer, Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis, Tardy Orc, Trial and Tribulation, Hieratic Seal From the Ashes, Number 11: Big Eye, and Number 7: Lucky Straight. Cardcar D was a good card for a draw 2, but didn’t let you Special Summon that turn and ended the turn after you used it. Photon Strike Bounzer was a great generic Rank 6 to negate Monster Effects and burn the opponent for 1000 after. Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis was a good generic Rank 8 to tribute your monsters to destroy an equal number of the opponent’s cards. Tardy Orc feels like a monster printed 10 years late, but works well with Skill Drain at least. Trial and Tribulation at the End Phase of the turn you tributed monsters can let you draw 1 if you tributed 1 monster, add 2 monsters from grave to hand if you tributed 2, or destroy up to 3 face-up cards on the field if you tributed 3 or more. Hieratic Seal From the Ashes can send a Hieratic from Deck to grave on the opponent’s turn, return a banished Hieratic to grave on your turn, and revive a Hieratic when sent from field to grave. Number 11: Big Eye is a great generic Rank 7 to steal the opponent’s monsters permanently. Finally, Number 7: Lucky Straight is a cool Rank 7 that needs 3 monsters and can roll a die twice to gain 700 ATK times the larger number rolled and then it can send all other cards on field to grave, summon a monster from your hand or either grave, or let you draw 3 and discard 2 if you rolled a combined total of 7 with the two die. The Ultra Rares include Hieratic Dragon of Sutekh, Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, Number 32: Shark Drake, Number 25: Force Focus, Inzektor Exa-Stag, Night Beam, Xyz Unit, Zekt Conversion, Draconnection, and Beetron. Hieratic Dragon of Sutekh must be Special Summoned by banishing 3 vanilla Dragons from grave and lets you banish other Dragons in your grave to pop cards on the field. Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is a Rank 8 that needs 3 monsters, negates the effects of all the face-up cards currently on field if it used Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon as material, and can detach a material to detach all materials from monsters the opponent controls, gain 500 ATK for each material detached, and can attack a number of times up to the number of detached materials. Number 32: Shark Drake is a Rank 4 that needs 3 monsters and when it destroys a monster in battle, it can detach a material to revive that monster with 1000 less ATK and attack it again. Number 25: Force Focus is a generic Rank 6 who can detach a material during either player’s turn to target a face-up Level 5+ monster to negate its effects for the turn. Inzektor Exa-Stag is a Rank 5 that needs Insects and can detach a material to equip a monster on the opponent’s field or in their grave to it for Exa-Stag to gain half the ATK and DEF of the equipped monsters. Night Beam destroys any Set Spell/Trap and prevents the opponent from activating the targeted card in response. Xyz Unit is an equip to boost an Xyz by 200 ATK times its Rank and can be sent as an equip to grave instead if the Xyz Monster would detach a material for its effect. Zekt Conversion equips an Inzektor Monster to an opponent’s monster that’s attacking it to let you take the monster while it’s equipped to that Inzektor. Draconnection can reveal a Dragon in hand to search a Dragon with the same Level from Deck and then return the revealed monster to the Deck. Finally, Beetron can send a face-up Spell/Trap you control to grave to revive a Level 4 or lower Insect in Defense Position. The Super Rares were Noble Knight Artorigus, Tasuke Knight, Hammer Bounzer, Jumbo Drill, Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb, Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger, Hieratic Dragon King of Atum, Queen Dragun Djinn, Bound Wand, Hieratic Seal of Reflection, Spiritual Light Art – Hijiri, Evoltile Elginero, Shining Elf, and Flelf. Noble Knight Artorigus was a vanilla monster that gave cool lore to the Noble Knight archetype we’d get over time. Tasuke Knight can revive itself to end the Battle Phase once per duel if you have no cards in hand when attacked. Hammer Bounzer can be Normal Summoned without tribute if only the opponent controls a card and it gains the Ancient Gear attack effect if it attacks a monster while you have no Spells or Traps. Jumbo Drill boosts all Machine’s Levels by 1 on Normal Summon, has piercing, and goes to Defense Position after it attacks. Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb summons a Dragon vanilla from hand, Deck, or grave after it destroys a monster in battle and debuffs the summoned monster to 0 ATK and DEF, and when tributed can summon a Hieratic vanilla from hand, Deck, or graveyard. Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger is a generic Rank 7 that can be overlayed on top of a Rank 5 or 6 monster instead and has piercing. Hieratic Dragon King of Atum is a great Rank 6 for Dragons that can detach a material to summon any Dragon from Deck by debuffing its ATK and DEF to 0. Queen Dragun Djinn is a generic Rank 4 that prevents other Dragons from being destroyed in battle and can detach a material to revive a Level 5+ Dragon with its effects negated and unable to attack that turn. Bound Wand is an equip to boost a Spellcaster’s ATK by its Level times 100 and can revive the monster if it was equipped with this and destroyed by an opponent’s card. Hieratic Seal of Reflection is basically the archetypal Infernity Barrier by tributing a Hieratic. Spiritual Light Art – Hijiri lets you tribute a LIGHT Monster to summon any banished monster unless the opponent reveals a Trap in their hand to negate this. Evoltile Elginero lets you draw a card upon being tributed, and then lets you return a Dinosaur from hand to Deck to search any Evoltile. Shining Elf is a generic Rank 2 that can debuff a monster the opponent Normal or Special Summons by 500 ATK. Finally, Flelf is a Level 2 who can reveal a monster in hand to increase its Level by the Level of the revealed monster. Noteworthy Rares include Hammer Shark to summon a Level 3 or lower WATER from hand by lowering its Level by 1, Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit to be a Special Summon if only the opponent controls a monster and tributing it to summon a Dragon vanilla from hand, Deck, or grave by debuffing its stats to 0, Lightray Sorcerer to be summoned if you have 3 or more LIGHT Monsters banished and can return a banished LIGHT to Deck to banish a face-up monster, Lightray Gearfried to be Special Summoned if you have 5 or more LIGHTs with different names in the grave and can banish a Warrior from grave if you only control Warriors to negate and destroy an opponent’s Spell or Trap, Lightray Diabolos to be Special Summoned by having 5 or more LIGHTs with different names in grave and can banish a LIGHT from grave to look at an opponent’s Set card to return it to the top or bottom of their Deck, Photon Papilloperative as a generic Rank 4 who can detach a material to switch a Defense Position monster to Attack and debuff it by 600 ATK, Hieratic Seal of Convocation to search any Hieratic monster, Evo-Diversity to search any Evoltile or Evolsaur monster, Evo-Price to destroy cards when you summon a monster off an Evoltile, Dimension Slice to banish an opponent’s face-up monster when a monster is Special Summoned to your field and it can be activated the turn it was Set if it was an Xyz Summon, and Lightray Grepher to be Special Summoned from hand by discarding a Level 5+ LIGHT Monster and can discard a LIGHT Monster from hand to banish any LIGHT Monster in the Deck. The Short Prints give us Flame Tiger to turn off your Normal Draw for turn to revive itself if you control no monsters, Nomadic Force to tribute itself after it destroys a monster in battle to destroy a face-down monster, Storm to destroy as many of your Spells and Traps as possible to destroy the opponent’s Spells and Traps up to the number of your cards destroyed, and Double Payback to be activated when you take 1000 or more damage to gain a Payback Counter for each 1000 damage you took for it to be destroyed during the End Phase of of the opponent’s next turn to burn them for 2000 for each Payback Counter on this card. Noteworthy Commons give us Watttaildragon as the strongest Level 6 vanilla Dragon for Hieratics, Hieratic Dragon of Eset to be Normal Summoned without tribute by making its ATK 1000 and it can target a vanilla Dragon to change all Hieratic Levels to the Level of the target and its tribute summons any Dragon vanilla from hand, Deck, or grave by debuffing its stats to 0, Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet can be Special Summoned from hand by tributing a Hieratic while also being able to tribute a Hieratic from hand or field to destroy an opponent’s monster and its tribute lets you summon a Dragon vanilla from hand, Deck, or grave by debuffing its stats to 0, Hieratic Dragon of Su to be Special Summoned from hand by tributing a Hieratic while also tributing a Hieratic from hand or field to destroy a Spell/Trap and it being tributed lets you summon any Dragon vanilla from hand, Deck, or grave by changing its stats to 0, Evoltile Lagosucho to send an Evolsaur from Deck to grave on Normal Summon and summon any Evoltile from Deck upon being flipped face-up, Evolsaur Darwino who upon summon off an Evoltile lets you increase a monster’s Level that you control by up to 2, Inzektor Ladybug to equip any Inzektor from hand or grave to it and can be sent while equipped to a monster to increase the Level of any monster you control by up to 2, Lightray Daedalus to be Special Summoned by having 4 or more LIGHTs in the grave and can target a Field Spell and two other cards to destroy them, and Mini-Guts for cool OTKs with Number 33 in the next set. We got a bunch of good Dragons in here with the Hieratics and the options they gave later on. Inzektors got another option besides Hornet with Ladybug as well. More generic Xyz options in Number 11, Photon Strike Bounzer, and Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis. There are faults in this set, but the good card are good enough to make this well rounded as a whole.
Set Rating: 8.5/10
Return of the Duelist
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Cover Card: Heroic Champion – Excalibur
Sneak Peek Promo: Noble Knight Gawayn
Here’s a fun time when the main sets would give us archetypes of specific Attributes. Return of the Duelist your “Duelist” set of the generation and gave us some EARTH-based archetypes and support. The TCG Exclusives were Noble Knight Gawayn, Prophecy Destroyer, Lightray Madoor, Blue Dragon Ninja, Imairuka, Revival Golem, Noble Arms – Gallatin, Spellbook Library of the Crescent, Advance Zone, and Ninjitsu Art of Shadow Sealing. The OCG Imports were Chewbone, Eco, Mystical Spirit of the Forest, Number 6: Chronomaly Atlandis, Miracle Contact, Advance Dark, Pahunder, Mahunder, Sishunder, Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon, and Spirit Converter. Your 8 Secret Rares in this set were High Priestess of Prophecy, Grandsoil the Elemental Lord, Gear Gigant X, Advance Zone, Number 6: Chronomaly Atlandis, Miracle Contact, Advance Dark, and Spirit Converter. High Priestess of Prophecy was a great card with an easy Special Summon effect by revealing 3 different Spellbooks in hand and could banish used Spellbooks to pop cards. Grandsoil the Elemental Lord was powerful to summon if you had exactly 5 EARTHs in the grave, as it could serve as a Monster Reborn, and there was a time when it wasn’t a hard once per turn, which got it banned. Gear Gigant X is an outstanding Rank 4 for anything Machine-related to search your Level 4 or lower Machines from Deck or grave to the hand. Advance Zone let you apply effects based on the number of monsters tributed for a Tribute Summon with 1 or more letting you destroy an opponent’s Set card, 2 or more let you draw a card, and 3 or more let you add a monster from grave to hand. Number 6: Chronomaly Atlandis has shown up in some FTKs over the years with the effect to detach a material and the Number it equipped to itself off the first effect to half the opponent’s life points. Miracle Contact is good for summoning your Neos Fusions without having to summon them. Advance Dark turns your Crystal Beasts into DARK Monsters, negates the effects of monsters attacked by Ultimate Crystal Monsters, and can send a Crystal Beast from Deck to grave to prevent you from taking damage from a battle involving a Crystal Beast. Finally, Spirit Converter is made to help Number 91 by attaching a Level 4 LIGHT Monster to any Xyz Monster you control as material and when sent to the grave can retrieve 2 Level 4 LIGHT Thunders with the same name from the grave to your hand. The Ultra Rares in this set were Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, Madolche Puddingcess, Silver Sentinel, Heroic Champion – Excalibur, Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech, Superdimensional Robot Galaxy Destroyer, Hierophant of Prophecy, Spellbook of Secrets, Prophecy Destroyer, and Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon. Spellbook Magician of Prophecy is an important card for searching your Spellbook Spells on Normal Summon or flip. Madolche Puddingcess is key in later builds for Madolches by trying to get it attached to their Rank 5 and it shuffles from grave to Deck if destroyed like all other Madolches. Silver Sentinel is an Artifact before Artifacts that destroy an opponent’s card and revive itself if the opponent destroyed it. Heroic Champion – Excalibur was a good Rank 4 for Warriors at the time to detach its materials to make its ATK 4000. Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech is a generic Rank 5 that has had cool OTKs with it with ATK reducers. Superdimensional Robot Galaxy Destroyer is a Rank 10 that makes the 3 Level 10s worth it by being a Harpie’s Feather Duster the opponent cannot respond to. Hierophant of Prophecy is a decent Rank 7 for Spellcasters to use to pop the opponent’s Spells and Traps up to the number of Spellbook Spells in your grave. Spellbook of Secrets is the best Spellbook Spell as it searches other Spellbooks cards, including Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. Prophecy Destroyer is an easy revive by banishing 3 Spellbooks from grave. Finally, Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon is a meh Rank 4 that needs 3 materials and can detach 3 materials to destroy all other face-up monsters on the field, or detach 5 materials to destroy all your opponent’s cards (which it needs assistance to do since it only lets you use 3 materials). The Super Rares in this set were Noble Knight Gawayn, Temperance of Prophecy, Madolche Magileine, Geargiarmor, Illusory Snatcher, Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut, Alchemic Magician, Soul of Silvermountain, Sword Breaker, Gagagarevenge, Spellbook of Life, Void Trap Hole, Rebound, and Blue Dragon Ninja. Noble Knight Gawayn is decent to Special Summon if you have a vanilla Warrior on field. Temperance of Prophecy is okay to tribute itself after you used a Spellbook Spell to summon a Level 5+ LIGHT or DARK Spellcaster from Deck, even if that’s the last Level 5+ Summon you have to make. Madolche Magileine is your Madolche searcher for monsters on Normal Summon and has that shuffle effect. Geargiarmor is a good Geargia to flip and search for any Geargia monster. Illusory Snatcher is a free Special Summon from hand after you Tribute Summon. Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut is a decent generic Rank 3 to detach a material to prevent it from being destroyed when attacked and deals the damage to the opponent. Alchemic Magician is a niche Xyz that needs 3 Level 4 Spellcasters since she can detach a material at the End Phase to send a card from hand to grave in order to set a Spell directly from Deck. Soul of Silvermountain is a Rank 3 for EARTHs that can use its Xyz Materials to lockdown Set Spells/Traps while you control it and it can revive your EARTH Monsters if it destroys a monster in battle while it has material. Sword Breaker is an okay generic Rank 6 to use materials to become a Catastor for specific Types while you control it. Gagagarevenge is an Equip Spell to revive Gagaga Monsters and if it leaves the field because the revived monster was used as Xyz Material, it boosts all your Xyzs by 300 ATK. Spellbook of Life is fine to reveal a Spellbook in hand to revive a Spellcaster by banishing another Spellcaster and increasing the Level of the revived monster by the Level of the banished monster, also the monster isn’t destroyed when Spellbook of Life leaves the field. Void Trap Hole is good to negate the effects of a monster that is summoned with 2000 or more ATK and destroys it. Rebound is an okay Counter Trap that negates an effect that bounces cards and then sends an opponent’s card from hand or field to the grave, and it lets you draw if the opponent destroys it. Finally, Blue Dragon Ninja is a card to send a Ninja and Ninjitsu Art from hand to grave to negate an opponent’s monster’s effects and make it unable to attack. Noteworthy Rares have ZW – Phoenix Bow to boost Utopia Ray by 1100 ATK and burn the opponent for 1000 when Utopia Ray destroys a monster in battle, Chronomaly Crystal Bones to Special Summon itself from hand alongside another Chronomaly from hand or graveyard if only the opponent controls monsters, Chronomaly Crystal Skull to discard itself while you control a Chronomaly to search a Chronomaly Monster from Deck or grave to the hand, Geargiano Mk-II to Special Summon a Geargia from hand or grave on Normal Summon, Geargiarsenal to tribute itself to summon a Geargia from Deck in Defense Position, Dust Knight to send an EARTH from Deck to grave on a FLIP, Spellbook of Wisdom to make a Spellcaster you control unaffected by other Spells or Traps for the turn, Soul Drain to pay 1000 to negate the effects of monsters in the grave and that are banished, Revival Golem to either revive itself or add itself from grave to hand when sent from Deck to grave, Spellbook Library of the Crescent to randomly search 1 of 3 revealed Spellbooks with different names if you have no Spellbooks in grave, and Pahunder and Mahunder to give you an additional Normal Summon of a Level 4 LIGHT Thunder Monster that isn’t a once per turn. Short Prints have Three Thousand Needles because One Thousand Needles or Two Thousand Needles weren’t enough, Goblin Marauding Squad to prevent the opponent from using cards or effects when it attacks and it goes to Defense Position and must stay there until the end of your next turn after it attacks, Cold Feet as a Quick-Play version of Cold Wave that only affects you, and Lucky Punch to toss a coin three times and lets you draw 3 if you hit 3 heads and it goes to the grave if you hit 3 tails and upon going to the grave burns you for 6000 damage. Noteworthy Commons have Chronomaly Golden Jet to boost all your Chronomaly Levels by 1 twice per turn, Chronomaly Moai to Special Summon itself from hand if you control a Chronomaly, Madolche Mewfeuille to Special Summon a Madolche from hand on Normal Summon and to have that shuffle effect, Geargiaccelerator as a free Special Summon from hand if you control a Geargia and to retrieve a Geargia from grave when sent from field to grave, Uniflora, Mystical Beast of the Forest to tribute itself to summon a Beast from hand or grave if all monsters in your grave are Beasts, Block Golem to tribute itself while all monsters in your grave are EARTH to revive 2 Level 4 or lower Rock Monsters from grave that can’t use their effects that turn, Overlay Regen as an option to attach itself to an Xyz as material when activated, Chronomaly Pyramid Eye Tablet to boost all your Chronomalys by 800 ATK, Galaxy Queen’s Light to change the Levels of all monsters you control to the Level of a Level 7 or higher monster you control, Spellbook of Power to boost a Spellcaster by 1000 ATK for the turn and search a Spellbook Spell when said monster destroys a monster in battle that turn, Madolche Chateau to shuffle all Madolches in grave into the Deck to trigger effects, Where Arf Thou? to search a Level 1 Monster while you control one even if it burns for 2000 at the end of the turn if you didn’t Normal Summon what you searched, Generation Force to activate while you control an Xyz Monster to search an card with Xyz in the name, Catapult Zone to send a Rock from Deck to grave if a monster would be destroyed in battle to prevent it, Compulsory Escape Device to make each player choose a monster to return to the Deck, and Noble Arms – Gallatin to boost a Warrior by 1000 ATK while debuffing it by 200 ATK each Standby Phase and can requip to a Warrior Noble Knight from the grave if it was destroyed. Overall we do have a very strong set that has given us 3 archetypes that have shown up in the meta over the years, could of been 4 of the TCG got the Chronomaly support in time. Geargias popped up in 2014 during one of the most diverse metas alongside Karakuri, and it gave us Gear Gigant X to use in anything Machine-related. Madolches have been a rogue option for years now with the later support it got. Spellbooks and Prophecy peaked in a few sets with one of the most powerful Spells ever and it thrived a bit longer after that. You also have cards that have popped up now and again like Grandsoil from one of it’s earliest uses in EARTH Psychics to its FTK Combos, Block Golem for great revival in Rock Decks, and Where Arf Thou? for a Level 1 searcher just to name a few cards. The cover card was great for the time, even if Number S39: Utopia the Lightning took its spot for being more generic and having more useful effects. Return of the Duelist is actually an outstanding set that gave the tools for these archetypes to be successful later on.
Set Rating: 9.5/10
Release Date: November 9th, 2012
Cover Card: Number C32: Shark Drake Veiss
Sneak Peek Promo: Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn
Considering the cover card, it’s fitting that this is the WATER set. Abyss Rising ended 2012 with a bunch of WATER Support, and gave us one of the best WATER archetypes ever released. The TCG Exclusives were Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn, Mermail Abyssmander, Red Dragon Ninja, Slushy, Abyss Dweller, Giant Soldier of Steel, Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr, Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere, Spellbook Star Hall, and Attack the Moon! The OCG Imports were Electromagnetic Bagworm, Rage of the Deep Sea, Ape Magician, Snowdust Dragon, Snow Dragon, Uminotaurus, Fishborg Launcher, Papa-Corn, Thunder Sea Horse, and Bahamut Shark. Our Secret Rares included Mermail Abyssmegalo, Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord, The Grand Spellbook Tower, Retort, Giant Solider of Steel, Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere, Thunder Sea Horse, and Bahamut Shark. Mermail Abyssmegalo was a great card that could pitch 2 WATER Monsters to Special Summon itself and then search an Abyss- Spell/Trap while also being able to tribute a WATER to attack twice that turn. Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord has been a key piece in Mermail Atlanteans for its effect to pitch 2 of the opponent’s cards in hand to the grave upon its summon for having exactly 5 WATERs in grave. The Grand Spellbook Tower is great to put Spellbook Spells on the bottom of the Deck for a draw and to float into a Spellcaster from hand or Deck with a Level up to the number of Spellbook Spells in the grave upon destruction. Retort can be decent when the opponent uses the same Spell/Trap you used to negate their card and get your card back from the grave. Giant Soldier of Steel is a meh Rank 3 that needs Rocks, is unaffected by other monster effects, and can detach a material during either player’s turn to boost its DEF by 1000 and prevent you from taking effect damage that turn. Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere can only be used when you have 5+ Spellbooks in grave and it excavates the top 2 cards of your Deck to add any revealed Spellbooks to hand while the others return to Deck, making it dubbed one of the worst Secret Rares in a main set ever at the time. Thunder Sea Horse is decent to pitch to add 2 Level 4 LIGHT Thunders with 1600 or less ATK from Deck to hand, even if it prevents you from Special Summoning that turn. Finally, Bahamut Shark is a great Rank 4 for WATER Decks to detach a material to summon a free Rank 3 or lower WATER Xyz from the Extra Deck. The Ultra Rares in this set included Mermail Abysslinde, Number C32: Shark Drake Veiss, Heroic Champion – Gandiva, Number 9: Dyson Sphere, Mermail Abyssgaios, Empress of Prophecy, Madolche Queen Tiaramisu, Spellbook of Fate, Abyss-sphere, and That Wacky Alchemy! Mermail Abysslinde was good to float into any Mermail from Deck upon its destruction. Number C32: Shark Drake Veiss is what Utopia Ray is to Utopia, with it letting you detach a material during either player’s turn when your life is at 1000 or less to banish a monster from your grave to change an opponent’s monster’s stats to 0/0. Heroic Champion – Gandiva is a decent Rank 4 for Warriors to negate the Special Summon of a Level 4 or lower monster. Number 9: Dyson Sphere is one of few generic Rank 9s and it can detach a material to attack directly if the opponent has a stronger monster, negates any attack on it while it has material, and when attacked without material can attach 2 monsters from your grave to it as material. Mermail Abyssgaios is a good Rank 7 for WATERs to prevent Level 5+ monsters from attacking while it has material and can detach a material from itself during either player’s turn to negate the effects of all monsters the opponent controls with ATK less than this card’s. Empress of Prophecy is a Rank 5 for Spellcasters to detach a material to shuffle your Deck, excavate the top 5 cards of your Deck to pop monsters up to the number of revealed Spellbooks, and then places the excavated cards on top of your Deck in any order. Madolche Queen Tiaramisu is a powerful Rank 4 in Madolches to detach a material to return up to 2 Madolche cards from grave into the Deck to then shuffle cards the opponent controls on field into the Deck up to the number of cards you returned. Spellbook of Fate is a good Quick-Play in Spellbooks while you control a Spellcaster since it can banish 1 Spellbook from grave to return a set card to the hand, banish 2 Spellbooks to change a monster to face-down Defense or face-up Attack Position, or banish 3 Spellbooks to banish a card the opponent controls. Abyss-sphere is a good Continuous Trap for Mermail to summon 1 from Deck with its effects negated that’s destroyed during the opponent’s next End Phase, but it helps you Xyz Summon or trigger Abysslinde. Finally, That Wacky Alchemy! is a fine Trap to pop an opponent’s monster when a face-up Spell is sent from the opponent’s Spell/Trap Zone to the grave. Super Rares include Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn, One-Eyed Skill Gainer, Gagaga Cowboy, Heroic Champion – Kusanagi, Number 8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage, Tannhauser Gate, Forbidden Dress, Bubble Bringer, Abyss-squall, Madolchepalooza, Memory of an Adversary, Red Dragon Ninja, Abyss Dweller, and Attack the Moon! Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn can be Special Summoned by sending a LIGHT Warrior vanilla you control to grave and tributes another Noble Knight to search a Noble Arms card. One-Eyed Skill Gainer is a Rank 4 of 3 Level 4s that can detach a material to steal the effects and name of an opponent’s Xyz Monster, but this can only be used once while face-up on the field. Gagaga Cowboy is a good generic Rank 4 that can detach a material while in Attack Position for it to gain 1000 ATK and debuff the opponent’s monster by 500 ATK when it attacks that turn, or it is known for creating the phrase “Cowboy for game” with the Defense Position effect to burn for 800 damage. Heroic Champion – Kusanagi is a Rank 4 that needs 3 Level 4 Warriors and can detach a material to negate and destroy a Trap while it buffs itself by 500 ATK. Number 8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage is a Rank 4 for Heraldic Beasts to steal the effects and name of an opponent’s Xyz Monsters along with the ATK while debuffing the targeted Xyz Monster’s ATK to 0 and negating its effects all for the turn. Tannhauser Gate takes two monsters with the same Type and 1000 or less ATK and combines their Levels. Forbidden Dress debuffs a monster by 600 ATK and makes it unable to be targeted or destroyed by effects that turn. Bubble Bringer prevents Level 4 or lower monsters from attacking and can be sent to grave on your turn to revive 2 Level 3 or lower WATER Monsters with the same name from your grave with their effects negated. Abyss-squall can revive 3 Mermails from your grave in Defense Position, but they can’t attack, have their effects negated, and are destroyed at the End Phase. Madolchepalooza can summon any Madolches from your hand, but shuffles them into the Deck at the end of the turn. Memory of an Adversary burns you for the ATK of an opponent’s attacking monster and then banishes that monster for it to be summoned to your field during the End Phase of the opponent’s next turn. Red Dragon Ninja is a fine card upon Summon to banish a Ninja or Ninjitsu Art from your grave to look at an opponent’s Set card to return it to either the top or bottom of their Deck and they can’t use that card in response. Abyss Dweller is a great generic Rank 4 that rewards you for using WATER Monsters as material by buffing all your WATER Monsters by 500 ATK, either way it can detach a material during either player’s turn to prevent the opponent from activating effects in their graveyard. Finally, Attack the Moon! is an MST once per turn when you swap the battle position of a Rock Monster. Noteworthy Rares include Mermail Abyssgunde to revive a Mermail from grave that isn’t Abyssgunde if discarded to the grave, Mermail Abysspike upon Normal or Special Summon to discard a WATER Monster to search for any Level 3 WATER Monster, Justice of Prophecy to banish itself at the End Phase of the turn you activated a Spellbook Spell to search a Level 5+ LIGHT or DARK Spellcaster and a Spellbook Spell from the Deck, Madolche Messengelato to search a Madolche Spell/Trap when Special Summoned while you control a Beast monster and has the shuffle effect, Advanced Heraldry Art to revive two Heraldic Beasts to let you immediately Xyz Summon using them as materials, Spellbook of Eternity to add a banished Spellbook Spell to your hand, Slushy to send another Slushy from Deck to grave on Normal Summon and can be banished from grave while you have 3 Slushy in the grave and/or banished to summon a Level 5+ Sea Serpent from your grave, Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr to equip to a Warrior to debuff it by 500 ATK once per turn to pop a Set card and to requip to a Noble Knight Warrior if destroyed and sent to the grave, and Spellbook Star Hall to generate Counters each time you use a Spellbook Spell to buff your Spellcasters by 100 ATK per Counter and it searches a Spellcaster with a Level up to the number of Counters it had if it’s destroyed. Short Prints give us Puny Penguin to revive a Penguin in face-up Attack or face-down Defense Position after being sent to grave after it was flipped, Missing Force to tribute itself while you have no other monsters to steal an opponent’s monster for the turn at the cost of all your Special Summons and Battle Phase that turn, The Humble Sentry to reveal your hand and choose a card from it to shuffle into your Deck, and Cash Back to negate a Spell/Trap or Monster Effect that had a life point cost and shuffles it into the Deck. Noteworthy Commons have Bull Blader as an out to the Djinn Lock in Nekroz format, Heroic Challenger – Extra Sword to buff an Xyz Monster that is summoned using it as material by 1000 ATK, Planet Pathfinder to tribute itself to search any Field Spell, Solar Wind Jammer as a free Special Summon with halved stats if you control no monsters and it boosts its own Level by 1 during each of your Standby Phases, Heraldic Beast Aberconway to banish another Aberconway from grave while this card is in grave to add a Heraldic Beast from grave to hand, Fishborg Planter to send the top card from Deck to grave once while in the grave and to revive itself if the sent card was a WATER Monster, Nimble Angler to summon 2 Level 3 or lower Nimble Monsters from Deck when sent from hand or Deck to the grave, Madolche Ticket to search a Madolche Monster when a Madolche card is sent from field or grave to the hand or Main Deck or summons the monster instead if you control a Fairy Madolche, Magic Deflector to negate the effects of all Equip, Field, Continuous, and Quick-Play Spells on the field for the rest of the turn, and Fishborg Launcher to be revived from grave if all other monsters in your grave are WATER Monsters. This set did have a good focus on WATER Monsters, and it gave us a very resilient archetype that has been a rogue contender at the very least for years upon release in Mermails, as well as giving Madolche their best Xyz that is nearly immune to power-creep. You got Gagaga Cowboy as well for the “Cowboy for game” option. We got one of the best Rank 4s ever in Abyss Dweller for it to turn off grave effects. This set did WATER Monsters justice I’d say.
Set Rating: 9.5/10
Release Date: January 25th, 2013
Cover Card: Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon
Sneak Peek Promo: Noble Arms – Caliburn
Next up our Attribute of focus is FIRE with Fire Fists and Hazy Flames. Cosmo Blazer is the third set in a row with an Attribute focus, with one of the two archetypes showing meta relevance with varying builds over time. We also have Noble Knights becoming a proper archetype and more support for Mermails and Spellbooks. The TCG Exclusives were Noble Arms – Caliburn, Noble Knight Medraut, Hazy Flame Mantikor, Mermail Abyssteus, Bonfire Colossus, Mystical Fairy Elfuria, Artorigus, King of the Noble Knights, Infernal Flame Vixen, Spell Wall, and Kickfire. The OCG Imports were Crimson Sunbird, Ignition Beast Volcannon, Noble Knight Joan, Crimson Blader, Infernity Archer, Blackwing – Gladius the Midnight Sun, Blackwing – Damascus the Polar Knight, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Horse Prince, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Spirit, and Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Lion Emperor. Our Secret Rares give us Mermail Abyssleed, Pyrorex the Elemental Lord, Diamond Dire Wolf, Spellbook of the Master, Noble Knight Medraut, Bonfire Colossus, Mystical Fairy Elfuria, and Kickfire. Mermail Abyssleed was mainly an Abysslinde target since it needed to discard 3 WATERs to Special Summon itself and grab an Abyss- Spell/Trap from grave to hand, and it could tribute an Attack Position Mermail to randomly discard a card from the opponent’s hand. Pyrorex the Elemental Lord is probably the worst of the Elemental Lords by needing exactly 5 FIREs in grave for a Ring of Destruction. Diamond Dire Wolf was a good Rank 4 Xyz to detach a material to pop any of your Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast Monsters (most likely itself) to also pop an opponent’s card. Spellbook of the Master was good to copy the effect of a Spellbook Normal Spell in grave by revealing a Spellbook in hand while controlling a Spellcaster. Noble Knight Medraut is decent to be treated as a Normal Monster without an equip and when equipped with a Noble Arms becomes a DARK Level 5 who can pop an Equip Spell you control while you control no other monsters to summon a Noble Knight from Deck in Defense Position. Bonfire Colossus can be a cool Special Summon if you have a FIRE Monster, even if it makes you pop 2 FIREs on Special Summon. Mystical Fairy Elfuria is an extremely niche card who can reveal a WIND in hand to prevent either player from Xyz Summoning using monsters with a different Level from the revealed monster’s until the end of the opponent’s next turn. Finally, Kickfire is a Continuous Trap that gains a Counter for each FIRE Monster destroyed and can be sent to the grave during either player’s Standby Phase to burn the opponent for 1000 damage per Counter on this card. The Ultra Rares in this set are Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear, Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon, Number 53: Heart-eartH, ZW – Leo Arms, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King, Lightning Chidori, Quick Booster, Breakthrough Skill, Mermail Abyssteus, and Artorigus, King of the Noble Knights. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear was a key Fire Fist Monster to send your Fire Formations to grave to pop monsters and set Fire Formations directly from Deck when it dealt battle damage. Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon can be a strong Rank 9 that needs 3 monsters that couldn’t be destroyed in battle and dealt the damage to the opponent instead of you, could detach a material from itself at the end of the opponent’s turn to banish every card they put on the field that turn, and if destroyed while it had Xyz Material could revive itself and gain 1000 ATK for each banished card. Number 53: Heart-eartH was a Rank 5 that needed 3 monsters, when targeted for an attack could gain ATK equal to the attacking monster’s original ATK for the turn, if destroyed could detach a material from itself instead, and when destroyed by a card effect while it had no Xyz Materials could Special Summon your Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon from the Extra Deck as an Xyz Summon and attach itself to your Dragon as material. ZW – Leo Arms is a generic Rank 5 that couldn’t attack directly, could detach a material to search any ZW – Monster, and could equip itself to a Utopia Monster to boost its ATK by 3000 and could be sent during the Battle Phase if the equipped monster attacked to let the monster attack again. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King is a good Rank 4 that needs Beast-Warriors, set a Fire Formation Spell/Trap directly from Deck when Xyz Summoned, could detach a material to negate the effects of every monster that wasn’t a Beast-Warrior, and upon destruction could send 3 face-up Fire Formations to grave to summon 2 Level 4 or lower Beast-Warriors from Deck with the same ATK in Defense Position. Lightning Chidori is a great Rank 4 for anything WIND-based to send a Set card the opponent controls to the bottom of their Deck on summon and could detach a material to send an opponent’s face-up card to the top of their Deck. Quick Booster was a meh Quick-Play Spell to send any Quick-Play Spell from grave to the Deck on activation and if destroyed by the opponent could search any Quick-Play Spell. Breakthrough Skill is a great Trap to negate a monster’s effects for the turn and could be banished from the grave at any point during your turn, excluding the turn it was sent there, to negate an opponent’s monster effect for the turn again. Mermail Abyssteus was a great card to Special Summon by sending a WATER from hand to grave and upon being summoned that way could search any Level 4 or lower Mermail Monster. Finally, Artorigus, King of the Noble Knights is a good Rank 4 in Noble Knights to requip 3 Noble Arms Equips from grave to itself and could detach a material to destroy any number of Spells and Traps on the field up to the number of Noble Arms Equips you had. The Super Rares have Noble Arms – Caliburn, Gagaga Clerk, Orbital 7, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Dragon, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Snake, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Swallow, Mermail Abyssdine, Fool of Prophecy, Reaper of Prophecy, Valkyrian Knight, Mermail Abysstrite, Gagagadraw, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Horse Prince, and Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Lion Emperor. Noble Arms – Caliburn was a good Equip Spell to boost your Warriors by 500 ATK while also letting you gain 500 LP each turn while also being able to requip from grave to a Noble Knight Warrior if destroyed. Gagaga Clerk is a free Special Summon if you have another Gagaga Monster on field. Orbital 7 is a card that gains a You Got It Boss! Counter on flip and it can remove said Counter to make its ATK 2000, but it can’t attack directly and it is sent to the grave during the End Phase, and it can also tribute itself to retrieve a Photon or Galaxy Monster in your graveyard. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Dragon grew better in later years with its effect to send 2 Fire Formation Spells/Traps face-up to the grave to revive a Fire Fist, a cost that could later be nullified, and it had a decent effect to set a Fire Formation Trap from Deck if you activated a Fire Formation Spell/Trap. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Snake isn’t as good as it sets a Fire Formation Trap from Deck if a Fire Formation Spell/Trap is sent to the grave and it sends 2 Fire Formation Spells/Traps face-up to the grave for a lone draw. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Swallow is a monster that can be Special Summoned by sending a hefty 3 Fire Formation Spells/Traps face-up to the grave, upon Normal or Special Summon could set a Fire Formation Trap from Deck, and gives your Beast-Warriors targeting protection. Mermail Abyssdine is fine for a free Special Summon if added from Deck or grave to the hand by an effect if you control a Mermail and it could revive a Level 3 or lower Mermail from grave if Special Summoned by a Mermail effect. Fool of Prophecy is a monster that can send your Spellbook Spells from Deck to grave and it could tribute itself at the end of the turn you activated that effect and have 5 or more Spellbook Spells with different names in the graveyard to summon a Level 5 or higher DARK Spellcaster from the Deck. Reaper of Prophecy is an option for Fool and it gains effects based on the number of Spellbook Spells with different names you have in the grave on summon with 3 or more giving this a 600 ATK boost, 4 or more searching any Spellbook Spell, and 5 or more summoning any Level 5 or higher DARK Spellcaster from Deck. Valkyrian Knight is a monster that only lets your opponent attack Valkyrian Knight before attacking any other Warrior and when it’s destroyed in battle it can banish itself and another Warrior from grave to revive a Level 5+ Warrior. Mermail Abysstrite is a Rank 3 that needs 3 Level 3 Monsters, making it a better Bahamut Shark option, with an effect to detach a material from itself when the opponent targets exactly 1 Mermail with an attack or Spell/Trap Effect to change the target to Abysstrite, also her destruction lets you revive a different Mermail from grave. Gagagadraw let you banish 3 Gagaga Monsters in grave for a draw 2. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Horse Prince is a Level 6 Synchro that needs a FIRE Tuner and upon Synchro Summon let you summon a Level 3 FIRE Monster from Deck, but after its Synchro Summon prevents you from Special Summoning Level 5+ Monsters for the rest of the turn. Finally, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Lion Emperor is a Rank 3 that needs FIRE Monsters and detaching a material let you retrieve a FIRE Monster from grave to hand at the cost of you being unable to summon monsters with the retrieved monster’s name for the rest of that turn. Noteworthy Rares give us ZW – Lightning Blade to equip from hand to a Utopia for a 1200 ATK boost while also preventing ZW – cards from being destroyed by effects while equipped and could be sent while equipped to the grave instead if the equipped monster would be destroyed by an effect, ZW – Tornado Bringer to equip to a Utopia for a 1300 ATK boost while also giving the equipped monster targeting protection and Tornado Bringer could be sent to grave instead if the equipped monster would be destroyed in battle, Heraldic Beast Twin-Headed Eagle to banish itself from grave to attach 2 Heraldic Beast Monsters from grave to an Xyz Monster you control with no material, Heraldic Beast Leo to destroy itself at the end of the turn it was Normal Summoned and it searches a Heraldic Beast Monster when sent to the grave by an effect, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Gorilla to turn your Fire Formations into Spell/Trap removal and it set Fire Formations from Deck when it destroyed a monster in battle, Hazy Flame Peryton to tribute itself and send a FIRE from hand to grave to summon 2 Hazy Flames from Deck while it and the rest of the archetype has targeting protection, Hazy Flame Basiltrice as a Rank 6 that could use 2 to 5 Level 6 FIRE Monsters as material while also being able to detach materials to banish cards the opponent controls or is in their grave plus its 200 ATK and DEF boost per material while it has 3+ materials then targeting protection if it has 4+ materials and finally protection from effect destruction while it has 5 materials, Slacker Magician as a Rank 1 that can’t be destroyed in battle once per turn and could detach a material to negate and destroy a card or effect that targets this card, Heraldry Reborn as Monster Reborn in Heraldic Beasts, Crimson Blader as a generic Level 8 Synchro who prevents the opponent from Special Summoning Level 5+ monsters the turn after this monster destroys one of their monsters in battle, Blackwing – Gladius the Midnight Sun as a free Special Summon if the only monster you control is 1 Blackwing, and Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Spirit as a Tuner to revive a Level 3 FIRE with 200 or less DEF for a Synchro Summon. Short Prints include Star Drawing to be able to treat itself as a Level 5 for an Xyz Summon and lets you draw if used as Xyz Material, Red Duston to not be useable for any material at the time and its destruction burned the owner for 500, Goblin Circus to reveal the bottom card of the Deck to either place it on top or banish it face-down, and Dice-nied to roll a dice when the opponent Special Summons to return any of the monsters to the hand with the same Level as the rolled result. Noteworthy Commons have Bacon Saver to banish itself from grave to negate an attack once per Duel, Amarylease to banish itself to count as a tribute for a Tribute Summon that turn, Xyz Remora to detach 2 Xyz Materials from your monsters to Special Summon itself and revive 2 Level 4 Fish Monsters that can really only be used to Xyz Summon your WATER Xyzs, Heraldic Beast Eale as a free Special Summon if you control 2 or more Heraldic Beasts, Heraldic Beast Unicorn to banish itself from grave to revive a Psychic Xyz with its effects negated, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Raven to set a Fire Formation Spell from Deck if sent to the grave and gave Fire Formations protection from destruction, Hazy Flame Cerberus as a Normal Summon without tribute with 1000 ATK and its destruction searching any Hazy card, Hazy Flame Griffin as a free Special Summon if all your monsters (if any) were FIRE and the opponent had monsters, Hazy Flame Sphynx to let you guess and send the top card of Deck to grave to let you summon a FIRE from hand or grave if you guessed correctly, Inari Fire as a free Special Summon if you have a Spellcaster and its destruction via card effect lets you revive it during your next Standby Phase, Fire Formation – Tensu to boost your Beast-Warriors by 100 ATK and give you another Normal Summon for a Beast-Warrior, Fire Formation – Tenki for another Beast-Warrior 100 ATK boost and a search for a Level 4 or lower Beast-Warrior on activation, Hazy Pillar to let you summon Hazy Flames with 1 less tribute and it could attach a Hazy Flame from hand or field to an Xyz Monster as material, March of the Monarchs to give your Tribute Summoned monsters protection from targeting and destruction effects at the cost of you being unable to use the Extra Deck, Fire Formation – Tensen to boost a targeted Beast-Warrior by 700 ATK for the turn while boosting every Beast-Warrior by 300 ATK, Fire Formation – Tenken to make a Beast-Warrior unaffected by other effects during the Main Phase 1 it was activated while negating the effects of the targeted monster for that phase and always boosting all your Beast-Warriors by 300 ATK, Hazy Glory to also let you summon Hazy Flames with 1 less tribute and could be sent to grave to retrieve a Hazy card from grave, and Crimson Sunbird as a funny card from the early Yu-Gi-Oh OCG days. Overall we do have good FIRE Support in here. Great Ultra Rares make up for about half the Secret Rares being underwhelming. Fire Fists have been able to find success as well in different variants like 3-Axis or 4-Axis, and you got Mermail Abyssteus for one of the best Mermail cards, and basically another Spellbook of Secrets with Master in the set. A good Rank 4 in Diamond Dire Wolf for any Deck while you got Tiger King for Beast-Warriors and Lightning Chidori for WINDs. Heart-eartH Dragon would find its niche later on by cheating it out via other means since 3 Level 9s is a lot to ask. It’s a good set, even if Fire Fists haven’t held the test of time as a rogue option compared to Mermail Atlantean.
Set Rating: 9/10
Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy
Release Date: May 17th, 2013
Cover Card: Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon
Sneak Peek Promo: Mecha Phantom Beast Turtletracer
It’s the WIND set, but we remember it more for the Tier 0.5 format it put us in with Spellbooks and Dragon Rulers. Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy is finally here, and this is the last set with the normal rarity layout we know and love. The TCG Exclusives were Mecha Phantom Beast Turtletracer, Noble Knight Gwalchavad, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Coyote, Mermail Abyssbalaen, Trifortressops, Ghost Fairy Elfobia, Totem Bird, Noble Arms of Destiny, Spellbook of Miracles, and Five Brothers Explosion. The OCG Imports were Sonic Warrior, Constellar Omega, Number 69: Heraldry Crest, Constellar Sombre, Evilswarm Kerykeion, Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Pebbles, Stream, Dragon Ruler of Droplets, Burner, Dragon Ruler of Sparks, Lighting, Dragon Ruler of Drafts, and Duck Fighter. The Secret Rares in this set were Windrose the Elemental Lord, Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Cardinal, Spellbook of Judgment, Pinpoint Guard, Torrential Reborn, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Coyote, and Totem Bird. Windrose the Elemental Lord was fine to Special Summon with exactly 5 WINDs in grave giving you a Harpie’s Feather Duster. Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack is a great Rank 7 to detach a material summon 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens while also gaining destruction protection while you control a Token and letting you tribute a Mecha Phantom Beast to destroy an opponent’s card at the cost Dracossack attacking that turn. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Cardinal was a fine card being Tiaramisu for Fire Fist by recovering your Fire Formation cards. Spellbook of Judgment was a broken Quick-Play Spell that at the end of the turn let you search Spellbook Spells from the Deck up to the number of Spells activated after you used Judgment while also summoning any Spellcaster from Deck with a Level less than or equal to the number of cards you added. Pinpoint Guard was a decent Trap when you were attacked to revive a Level 4 or lower monster and give it protection from being destroyed in battle that turn. Torrential Reborn revived any WATER monster(s) that was destroyed and then burns the opponent for 500 per each revived monster. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Coyote is a Level 5 that can be Special Summoned if you control a Fire Formation and no monsters. Finally, Totem Bird is a good Rank 3 in WIND Decks to negate Spells and Traps by using both its materials. The Ultra Rares in this set were Mecha Phantom Beast Hamstrat, Harpie Channeler, Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, Gauntlet Launcher, Number C105: Battlin’ Boxer Comet Cestus, Rank-Up-Magic Barian’s Force, Scramble!! Scramble!!, Noble Knight Gwalchavad, Mermail Abyssbalaen, and Constellar Omega. Mecha Phantom Beast Hamstrat is good to summon 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens when flipped face-up while also not being able to be destroyed while you control Tokens and it gains Levels equal to the total Levels of Tokens you control. Harpie Channeler is a great card to discard a Harpie card in order to summon any Harpie from Deck and Channeler becomes Level 7 if you control a Dragon for some Rank 7 plays with Harpie’s Pet Dragon. Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon is a good Rank 8 at the start of Battle Phase to detach to negate all other face-up monster’s effects while turning their ATK and DEF to their original, and then if the opponent resolves an effect the turn you used Tachyon’s first effect, it gains 1000 ATK for the turn and can make another attack. Gauntlet Launcher is a generic Rank 6 that lets you destroy the opponent’s monsters by using Xyz Material with a once per turn restriction. Number C105: Battlin’ Boxer Comet Cestus is a monster that burns the opponent for half the ATK of a monster it destroys in battle and if it has the base Number 105 form as material it can detach a material to destroy an opponent’s monster and burn them for the monster’s ATK. Rank-Up-Magic Barian’s Force let you target an Xyz Monster you controlled to summon a Number C or CXyz from the Extra Deck with the same Type and 1 Rank higher than the target by using the target as Xyz Material and treated it as an Xyz Summon, then it can take an Xyz Material from an opponent’s monster and attach it to yours. Scramble!! Scramble!! is a Quick-Play Spell that if your opponent’s monsters outnumber the non-Tokens you control, you can tribute your Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens to summon an equal number of Mecha Phantom Beasts from Deck that are shuffled back into the Deck during the End Phase. Noble Knight Gwalchavad becomes an Effect Monster when equipped with a Noble Arms with the effect to target a Noble Knight in your grave and add it to your hand and then destroying a Noble Arms Equip you control. Mermail Abyssbalaen is pretty bad since it needs 4 Mermails discarded to Special Summon it, but it pops cards the opponent controls up to the number of Mermails in your grave and then gains 500 ATK for each card destroyed, as well as being able to tribute a Mermail to destroy a Defense Position Monster it battles. Finally, Constellar Omega is a Rank 4 that needs LIGHT Monsters and it can detach a material during either player’s turn to make all Constellars you control unaffected by Spells and Traps for that turn. The Super Rares in this set are Mecha Phantom Beast Turtletracer, Mecha Phantom Beast Megaraptor, Madolche Hootcake, Number 105: Battlin’ Boxer Star Cestus, Fire Formation – Gyokkou, Hysteric Sign, Sacred Sword of Seven Stars, Madolche Nights, Geargiagear, Ghost Fairy Elfobia, Noble Arms of Destiny, Constellar Sombre, Evilswarm Kerykeion, and Duck Fighter. Mecha Phantom Beast Turtletracer isn’t that great since it just prevents your Tokens from being destroyed in battle once per turn each while doing all the regular Mecha Phantom Beast things. Mecha Phantom Beast Megaraptor is better for summoning a Mecha Phantom Beast Token after you Special Summon a Token and being able to tribute a Token to search a Mecha Phantom Beast on top of all your Mecha Phantom Beast effects. Madolche Hootcake is great to banish a monster from grave to summon a Madolche from Deck while also having the shuffle effect. Number 105: Battlin’ Boxer Star Cestus is a Rank 4 that needs 3 monsters and can detach a material during either player’s Battle Step when a Battlin’ Boxer battles an opponent’s monster to negate the effects of your opponent’s monster, have your monster unable to be destroyed in the battle, and for your opponent to take the damage you would of taken instead. Fire Formation – Gyokkou is a good card to boost your Beast-Warriors by 100 ATK while also upon activation targeting a Set Spell/Trap of the opponent to prevent them from using it in response and locking it down while you control Gyokkou. Hysteric Sign is strong to search Elegant Egotist on activation and its destruction lets you search up to 3 different Harpie cards during the End Phase. Sacred Sword of Seven Stars is strong to banish a Level 7 in hand for a draw 2. Madolche Nights negates a monster effect while you have no monsters in grave and then it can shuffle an opponent’s card from hand to Deck if you control Madolche Puddingcess. Geargiagear summons 2 Geargiano Monsters from Deck and increases their Levels by 1. Ghost Fairy Elfobia lets you reveal a WIND in hand to prevent monsters with a higher Level than the revealed monster’s from activating their effects. Noble Arms of Destiny can equip to a Warrior to give it protection from destruction in battle or card effects once per turn and the destruction of Destiny lets you requip to any Noble Knight Warrior from grave to it. Constellar Sombre lets you banish a Constellar from grave to add a Constellar from grave to hand and then Sombre gains the effect to grant you an additional Normal Summon for a Constellar. Evilswarm Kerykeion does the same as Constellar Sombre, only for Evilswarms. Finally, Duck Fighter let you Special Summon it from hand by tributing Tokens whose total Levels equal 3 or more. Now to note, there were 4 Rares in this set that were known to be Short Prints and they were Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders, Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls, Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos, and Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms. They all could be Special Summoned from hand or grave by banishing 2 Dragons and/or monsters of matching Attribute with EARTH for Redox, WATER for Tidal, FIRE for Blaster, and WIND for Tempest while them getting banished also let you search a Dragon with the same Attribute and finally they could discard themselves and a monster of the same Attribute for an effect with Redox letting you revive a monster from grave, Tidal letting you send a monster from Deck to grave, Blaster letting you destroy a card on field, and Tempest searching any Dragon and finally they all bounced to hand during the opponent’s End Phase if they were Special Summoned. Now other noteworthy Rares give us Gogogo Gigas for an option in future Gogogo Adamancipator builds, Mecha Phantom Beast Tetherwolf to summon a Mecha Phantom Beast Token after Normal Summon and tributing a Token when battling a monster to gain 800 ATK on top of your other Mecha Phantom Beast stuff, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Buffalo to revive itself by sending 2 Fire Fist and/or Fire Formations from hand or face-up from field to grave (a cost that can later be nullified), Fairy Cheer Girl as a Rank 4 for Fairies to detach a material for a draw, Ice Beast Zerofyne as a Rank 4 for Winged Beasts to detach a material to negate the effects of all the opponent’s face-up cards til your next Standby Phase and gaining 300 ATK for each other face-up card on the field, Battlin’ Boxer Lead Yoke as a Rank 4 for Battlin’ Boxers who can prevent the destruction of your Battlin’ Boxers by detaching a material and it gains 800 ATK each time a material is detached, Harpie’s Pet Phantasmal Dragon for needing 3 Level 4 WINDs to prevent the opponent from attacking your Harpies and this attacking directly while it has Xyz Material at the downside of it detaching a material during each of your End Phases, and Number 69: Heraldry Crest needing 3 Level 4s to negate all Xyz Monster effects on summon and then being able to copy the name and effects of an Xyz on field for some interesting interactions. The proper Short Prints are Risebell the Star Adjuster to increase a monster’s Level by up to 3 upon Special Summon, Green Duston as similar to Red Duston only it makes the controller bounce a Spell/Trap they control upon destruction, Summon Breaker to end the turn of the player if they conduced their third summon for the turn during Main Phase 1, and Dragoncarnation to add a banished Dragon to your hand. Noteworthy Commons give us Battlin’ Boxer Headgeared to send a Battlin’ Boxer from Deck to grave on Normal Summon while being unable to be destroyed in battle once per turn while in Attack Position, Battlin’ Boxer Glassjaw to destroy itself when attacked and it adds a Battlin’ Boxer from grave to hand when sent to the grave by an effect, Battlin’ Boxer Sparrer to be a free Special Summon from hand if you control a Battlin’ Boxer at the cost of your Battle Phase, Battlin’ Boxer Switchitter to revive a Battlin’ Boxer on Normal Summon at the cost of locking your Special Summons to Battlin’ Boxers that turn, Battlin’ Boxer Counterpunch to banish itself from hand or field to boost a battling Battlin’ Boxer by 1000 ATK, Mecha Phantom Beast Blackfalcon to summon a Mecha Phantom Beast Token when attacking and can tribute the Token as a Quick Effect to change an opponent’s monster to face-up Defense Position on top of the Mecha Phantom Beast effects, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Leopard as a 200 DEF monster that could tribute a Fire Fist the turn it was Normal or Special Summoned to set a Fire Formation Spell/Trap from Deck, Mermail Abyssocea to target a Mermail you control in order to Special Summon Level 4 or lower Mermails from Deck with combined Levels equal to the targeted monster and then sending the target to grave, Shark Fortress as a generic Rank 5 that only lets your opponent attack it and it can detach a material to let a monster you control attack twice that turn, King of the Feral Imps as a generic Rank 4 who searches any Reptile at the cost of an Xyz Material, Abyss-scale of the Mizuchi to equip to a Mermail for an 800 ATK boost and to send itself to grave to negate an opponent’s Spell, Jewels of the Valiant to search a monster with a different Attribute as exactly 1 monster banished at a certain time, Mind Drain for a 1000 life point cost to not let players activate effects in the hand, Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Pebbles to discard itself and a EARTH or Dragon to summon Redox from Deck that can’t attack that turn, Stream, Dragon Ruler of Droplets as the same as Reactan except with WATER Monsters and Tidal, Burner, Dragon Ruler of Sparks is the same with FIRE Monsters and Blaster, and Lightning, Dragon Ruler of Drafts is the same for WIND Monsters and Tempest. Dragon Rulers and Spellbooks were insane Decks after this set to a point where only 1 of the big Dragon Rulers is currently Limited (Tempest) while the rest remained banned alongside Spellbook of Judgment, and the baby Dragon Rulers were all banned at one point as well until all the big Dragon Rulers took the axe. Other than that, you got some great support for archetypes like Madolche, Harpies, Constellar, and Evilswarm alongside the debut of Mecha Phantom Beasts and Battlin’ Boxers. Number 107 was a good Rank 8 as well. This set will always be remembered for the Dragon Ruler and Spellbook meta it started with the only other option being Evilswarms, but there’s other good things in here.
Set Rating: 10/10
Judgment of the Light
Release Date: August 9th, 2013
Cover Card: Number C39: Utopia Ray Victory
Sneak Peek Promo: Galaxy Serpent
Now it’s time for the set breakdown to change. Judgment of the Light was our next set and stopped the real focus on the Attributes, even if it gave us a new LIGHT archetype. The Ultimate Rares and Ghost Rares change in this set as the Ghost Rare isn’t always the Cover Card anymore and there are only 5 Ultimate Rares and they aren’t exclusive to Ultra Rares, and this is the last time it would change until Breakers of Shadow when we got a foil in every pack and no more Ultimates or Ghosts in main sets, but that’s for next time. The Ghost Rare in this set was Star Eater while it also came Ultimate Rare alongside Number C39: Utopia Ray Victory, Number C104: Umbral Horror Masquerade, Bujintei Susanowo, and Rank-Up-Magic Numeron Force. The TCG Exclusives were Galaxy Serpent, Bujingi Warg, Mecha Phantom Beast Aerosguin, Cockadoodledoo, Noble Knight Drystan, Tour Bus To Forbidden Realms, Confronting the “C”, Angel of Zera, Xyz Encore, and Moon Dance Ritual. The OCG Imports were The Atmosphere, Junk Blader, Coach Captain Bearman, Coach Soldier Wolfbark, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Rooster, Fire King Avatar Yaksha, Fishborg Archer, Fencing Fire Ferret, Kujakujaku, and Madolche Chickolates. The Secret Rares to pull were World of Prophecy, Armades, Keeper of Boundaries, Star Eater, Transmodify, Noble Knight Drystan, Angel of Zera, Coach Solider Wolfbark, and Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Rooster. World of Prophecy was a boss monster that upon Special Summon off a Spellcaster or Spellbook Spell could add 2 Spellbooks Spells from grave to hand and then reveal 4 different Spellbooks in hand to destroy all other cards on the field. Armades, Keeper of Boundaries became the best generic Level 5 Synchro at the time by having the effect of preventing the opponent from using cards or effects when it battled. Star Eater was a generic Level 11 Synchro who must be Synchro Summoned, which its Synchro Summon cannot be negated, and it’s unaffected by other card effects until the end of the Damage Step when it attacks. Transmodify is a cool Spell to tribute a monster to summon a monster with the same Type and Attribute, but 1 Level higher from Deck. Noble Knight Drystan prevented the opponent from targeting monsters with 1800 or less ATK that weren’t Drystan for attacks or effects while you controlled a Noble Knight and it could pop face-up cards when equipped with a Noble Arms Equip. Angel of Zera is a generic Level 8 Synchro that could Special Summon itself the next Standby Phase after it was banished and it always gains 100 ATK for each banished card the opponent has. Coach Soldier Wolfbark was great in 4-Axis Fire Fist to revive your Level 4 Fire Fists with their effects negated for an Xyz Summon. Finally, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Rooster would of helped 3-Axis Fire Fist break into the meta as one of the best Decks with its effect to search a Fire Fist on Special Summon off a Fire Fist and its effect to swap a Fire Formation Spell/Trap that’s face-up with another one from Deck that’s Set to the field, only problem was that Spirit got limited to hinder the power of the 3-Axis variant basically on arrival. The Ultra Rares in this set were Bujin Yamato, Mecha Phantom Beast Blue Impala, Masked Chameleon, Bujintei Susanowo, Rank-Up-Magic Numeron Force, Shapesister, Mecha Phantom Beast Aerosguin, Cockadoodledoo, Xyz Encore, and Coach Captain Bearman. Bujin Yamato is the key piece in Bujins as it searches a Bujin and lets you discard during your End Phase. Mecha Phantom Beast Blue Impala is a Level 3 Tuner for Mecha Phantom Beasts that can only be used to Synchro Summon a Machine using other Mecha Phantom Beast monsters as the materials, can’t be destroyed while you control a Token, and can be banished from the grave when only the opponent controls a monster to summon a Mecha Phantom Beast Token. Masked Chameleon is a good Level 4 Tuner with a downside of not being able to be Normal Summoned if you have a Level 5+ monster and on Normal Summon lets you revive a Level 4 or lower monster with 0 DEF in Defense Position with its effects negated and then locks your Special Summons to only be from the Extra Deck for the rest of the turn. Bujintei Susanowo is a Rank 4 for Bujins who can attack all your opponent’s monsters once each and can detach a material to take a Bujin in Deck to either add it to hand or send it to grave. Rank-Up-Magic Numeron Force lets you target an Xyz you control to summon a Number C from the Extra Deck with the same type and 1 Rank higher using the target as Xyz Material as an Xyz Summon and then negates the effects of all other face-up cards on the field. Shapesister is a Monster Trap that becomes a Level 2 Tuner. Mecha Phantom Beast Aerosguin can banish a Mecha Phantom Beast from grave to summon a Mecha Phantom Beast Token and has all the regular Mecha Phantom Beast effects. Cockadoodledoo is a Level 5 Tuner that’s a free Special Summon as a Level 3 if there are no monsters on the field, or a free Special Summon as a Level 4 if only the opponent controls a monster. Xyz Encore is a Quick-Play Spell to target an Xyz Monster the opponent controls with materials to detach all its materials and return the Xyz to the Extra Deck to revive all the Xyz Materials it had to the opponent’s field with their Levels reduced by 1, and the opponent cannot use cards or effects in response to this. Finally, Coach Captain Bearman was an okay option later on in Zoodiac to turn them all to Level 8s to go into Coach King Giantrainer for 3 potential draws. The Super Rares in this set were Galaxy Serpent, Bujingi Quilin, Talaya, Princess of Cherry Blossoms, Mecha Phantom Beast Concoruda, Mist Bird Clausolas, HTS Psyhemuth, Number C39: Utopia Ray Victory, Starliege Lord Galaxion, Number 66: Master Key Beetle, Number C104: Umbral Horror Masquerade, Herald of Pure Light, Fire Formation – Yoko, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, and Fire King Avatar Yaksha. Galaxy Serpent was a fine Level 2 vanilla Dragon Tuner for Hieratics and other stuff potentially. Bujingi Quilin was good to banish while you had a Beast-Warrior Bujin to pop a face-up card. Talaya, Princess of Cherry Blossoms was a Plant boss that gained 100 ATK for each other Plant you controlled and gave all Plants protection from destruction effects. Mecha Phantom Beast Concoruda is a Level 7 Synchro that’s generic, but tailormade for Mecha Phantom Beasts as it prevents Tokens you controlled from being destroyed in battle or effects and if it is destroyed by the opponent, it could tribute all your Tokens to revive a Level 4 or lower Mecha Phantom Beast. Mist Bird Clausolas is a good generic Level 3 Synchro to target a face-up monster the opponent controls to reduce its ATK to 0 and negate its effects for the turn. HTS Psyhemuth was a Level 6 Synchro that acted as a D.D. Warrior Lady in the Extra Deck. Number C39: Utopia Ray Victory was a Rank-Up version of Utopia that had the Ancient Gear effect when attacking and if it had a Utopia Monster as material, it gains the effect where when it declares an attack on a face-up monster, it can detach a material to negate that opponent’s monster’s effects and have this monster gain ATK equal to the attack target for that battle. Starliege Lord Galaxion was a Rank 4 for Photons to detach 1 material to summon Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon from hand or detach 2 materials to summon Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon from Deck. Number 66: Master Key Beetle is a good Rank 4 in DARK Decks to detach a material to target a card and protect it from destruction via effects while it and Master Key Beetle remain on the field, and Master Key Beetle can prevent its destruction by sending one of the cards it targeted to grave. Number C104: Umbral Horror Masquerade is a Rank-Up of the base Number 104, upon Special Summon is a MST and if it has the base Number 104 as material, it can detach a material when the opponent activates a monster effect to negate that effect, send a random card from their hand to the grave, and half their life points. Herald of Pure Light is a generic Rank 2 to detach a material to add a monster from grave to hand and then shuffle a card from the hand into the Deck. Fire Formation – Yoko upon activation can target a face-up card and send a Beast-Warrior from hand to grave to destroy that target while Yoko also boosts all Beast-Warriors by 100 ATK while on the field. Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare can negate the activated effect of a monster that was Special Summoned that turn and destroy it. Finally, Fire King Avatar Yaksha is a free Special Summon if a Fire King you control is destroyed via effect and its destruction can let you destroy any card in your hand or on your field. Noteworthy Rares include Bujingi Crane to discard when a Beast-Warrior Bujin battles to make its ATK become double its original ATK for that battle, Archfiend Heiress with its effect when sent to the grave by effect to search any Archfiend card, Archfiend Cavalry to revive an Archfiend that cannot attack that turn upon Cavalry’s destruction, Archfiend Emperor, the First Lord of Horror as a Level 8 that can be Normal Summoned without tribute with 1500 ATK and popping itself during the End Phase with another effect to banish an Archfiend card from hand or grave to pop a card on field, Traptrix Atrax to be unaffected by Hole Normal Traps and let you use Hole Traps from the hand while your Hole Normal Traps cannot be negated, Traptrix Myrmeleo to search a Hole Normal Trap on Normal Summon and be an MST on Special Summon while also being unaffected by Hole Normal Traps, Number 104: Masquerade as a Rank 4 to use 3 Level 4s to negate an opponent’s monster effect during the Battle Phase by detaching a material and burning for 800 while also being able to send the top card of the opponent’s Deck to grave, Bujincarnation when you control no monsters to summon a Bujin that’s banished and a Bujin that’s in grave, and Archfiend Palabryinth as a Field Spell to boost all your Fiends by 500 ATK while also being able to target an Archfiend you control to banish another Fiend you control to summon from hand, Deck, or grave an Archfiend with the same Level. Short Prints give us Flying “C” to Special Summon to the opponent’s field when they summon a monster to turn off their Xyz Summons, Yellow Duston as another Duston that shuffles a monster in the controllers grave into the Deck upon destruction, Single Purchase to banish all cards in your hand if you have 3+ cards and no monsters to search any monster at the cost of monsters with that name being the only ones you can summon that turn, and Armageddon Designator to banish a card from your hand to prevent both players from using cards with that name for the rest of the Duel. Noteworthy Commons have Schwarzschild Limit Dragon as a free Special Summon if the opponent has a monster with 2000 or more ATK, Bujingi Turtle to banish itself from grave when a Beast-Warrior Bujin is targeted for an effect to negate said effect, Mecha Phantom Beast Coltwing to summon 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens on Special Summon on top of the other Mecha Phantom Beast effects, and Traptrix Nepenthes to let you add to your hand or Special Summon a Traptrix from Deck if you activate a Hole Normal Trap and it is unaffected by Hole Normal Traps. There’s some good things in this set, especially with the new Synchros it gave us. The most noteworthy Xyzs really was Master Key Beetle and Susanowo. We could of had 3-Axis Fire Fist in the TCG being a real meta contender if it wasn’t for the Spirit limit around this time. Bujins were able to be a meta force during the diverse 2014 meta, though. Traptrix is also an archetype that has been meta with Artifacts and Hands in 2014 and is rogue to this day with recent support. It’s a good set, despite the change to Ultimates to being no longer 1 a box, but the Ghost Rares are better typically. Also hurts for 3-Axis Fire Fist to get hit on impact.
Set Rating: 8.5/10
Release Date: November 8th, 2013
Cover Card: Number C96: Dark Storm
Sneak Peek Promo: Ghostrick Ghoul
Halloween might of been more than a week past this point, but it’s never too late to get a little spooky. Shadow Specters is next and has the true spirit of Halloween embodied in the set with the debut of Ghostricks alongside the return of Vampires. The Ghost Rare in this set was Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand, which was also an Ultimate Rare alongside Number C96: Dark Storm, Number 46: Dragluon, Ghostrick Alucard, and Bujintei Kagutsuchi. The TCG Exclusives were Ghostrick Ghoul, Bujingi Raven, Vampire Duke, Archfiend Giant, Lady of the Lake, Noble Knight Borz, Ignoble Knight of High Laundsallyn, Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus, Noble Arms – Excaliburn, and Sinister Yorishiro. The OCG Imports were Celestial Wolf Lord, Blue Sirius, Mira the Star-Bearer, Dragard, White Dragon Wyverburster, Kidmodo Dragon, Secret Sanctuary of the Spellcasters, Black Dragon Collapserpent, Armored Kappa, Oh Tokenbaum!, and Vivid Knight. The options for Secret Rares were Shadow Vampire, Granmarg the Mega Monarch, Meliae of the Trees, Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand, Pot of Dichotomy, Mistake, Lady of the Lake, and Ignoble Knight of High Laundsallyn. Shadow Vampire was decent to summon a Vampire from hand or Deck at the cost of that being the only monster to attack that turn, but it made for a decent Xyz tool even if Shadow Vampire had to be used for a DARK Xyz. Granmarg the Mega Monarch wasn’t really one of the Mega Monarchs to take off even though you could Tribute Summon it using 1 Tribute Summoned Monster, could pop up to 2 Set cards on Tribute Summon, and it added a draw on top if you tributed an EARTH. Meliae of the Trees is a decent Rank 3 that needs EARTH Monsters and can detach a material to send a Plant from Deck to grave or revive a Plant in Defense Position. Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand was a strong generic Rank 8 with a Quick Effect to detach a material to target a monster and negate its effects for the turn while also making it immune to other card effects that wasn’t this one. Pot of Dichotomy is decent to return 3 monsters with different Types from grave to Deck for a draw 2, even if it had to be at the start of your Main Phase 1 and it took away your Battle Phase. Mistake is a strong floodgate to lock both players from searching cards out their Deck. Lady of the Lake isn’t that great since it only revives a vanilla Noble Knight, must be used for a Warrior Synchro and banishes herself if used for a Synchro, and has a grave effect to lower a Level 5 Noble Knight’s Level by 1 to revive herself. Finally, Ignoble Knight of High Laundsallyn could be a decent Synchro for Noble Knights by equipping a Noble Arms to it from Deck on Synchro Summon and searching either a Noble Knight or Noble Arms turn at the end of a Battle Phase it destroyed a monster, it’s just Noble Knights didn’t have good enough Tuners to use it. The Ultra Rares in this set were Bujin Mikazuchi, Vampire Sorcerer, Genomix Fighter, Ghostrick Alucard, Bujintei Kagutsuchi, Crimson Knight Vampire Bram, Return of the Monarchs, Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus, Sinister Yorishiro, and Celestial Wolf Lord, Blue Sirius. Bujin Mikazuchi was potential free Special Summon from hand if your Beast-Warrior Bujin was destroyed and sent to grave and Mikazuchi could search a Bujin Spell/Trap at the End Phase if a Bujin was sent from hand to grave while you controlled this card. Vampire Sorcerer is a fine card to search a DARK Vampire or a Vampire Spell/Trap if the opponent gets rid of it while also being able to banish itself from grave to let you bypass Tribute Summoning for a Vampire. Genomix Fighter is a Level 6 Tuner that can be Normal Summoned without tribute as a Level 3 Tuner with its original ATK halved and can let you declare a Type to treat this card and any non-Tuners used with it for a Synchro Summon as that Type at the cost of you only being able to summon monsters of that Type for the rest of the turn. Ghostrick Alucard is a good generic Rank 3 to prevent the opponent from attacking face-down monsters or other Ghostricks without attacking Alucard first, can pop Set cards at the cost of a material, and can retrieve a Ghostrick card from grave to hand when it is sent to grave. Bujintei Kagutsuchi can be a decent Rank 4 for Beast-Warriors to send the top 5 cards from Deck to grave on summon while also gaining 100 ATK for each Bujin card sent this way and it can detach a material to prevent the destruction of 1 Bujin that’s a Beast-Warrior. Crimson Knight Vampire Bram is a Rank 5 that needs Zombies as materials, can detach a material to revive a monster from the opponent’s grave at the cost of only that monster being able to attack, and it can revive itself in Defense Position the next Standby Phase after this card was destroyed by the opponent. Return of the Monarchs is a good card to search a monster with 2400 or 2800 ATK and 1000 DEF with a different name from a monster you Tribute Summon, but it locks down the Extra Deck while you control it. Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus is a Rank 5 for Noble Knights in an archetype that can summon it without actually using Level 5s, can requip 3 Noble Arms from grave to itself on Xyz Summon, can detach a material to destroy another monster on field, and upon being sent from field to grave can revive a Level 4 or higher Noble Knight in your graveyard. Sinister Yorishiro can let you summon a Level 5 or higher Fiend without tributes and can be sent to grave to prevent the destruction of a Level 5 or higher Fiend that was Normal Summoned or Set. Finally, Celestial Wolf Lord, Blue Sirius is a generic Level 6 Synchro that debuffs an opponent’s monster by 2400 ATK upon its destruction. The Super Rares in this set were Ghostrick Ghoul, Labradorite Dragon, Ghostrick Lantern, Vampire Hunter, Marina, Princess of Sunflowers, Number C96: Dark Storm, Number 46: Dragluon, Battin’ Boxing Spirits, Vampire Takeover, Noble Knight Borz, Noble Arms – Excaliburn, Dragard, Kidmodo Dragon, and Armored Kappa. Ghostrick Ghoul has all the effects the other Ghostricks in the Main Deck have where it can’t be Normal Summoned if you don’t control a face-up Ghostrick monster and it can change itself to face-down Defense Position once per turn and its unique effect upon being flipped face-up lets you target a Ghostrick you control to have its ATK become equal to the combined ATK of all other Ghostricks on the field until the end of the opponent’s turn at the cost of that monster being the only one able to attack. Labradorite Dragon is a Level 6 Dragon Tuner that can be summoned off Hieratics for Synchro plays. Ghostrick Lantern can negate a direct attack or an attack on a Ghostrick while Special Summoning itself in face-down Defense Position on top of all the other Ghostrick stuff. Vampire Hunter is basically Catastor for only DARK monsters. Marina, Princess of Sunflowers is another Plant boss to pop your opponent’s cards if 1 Plant you control is destroyed. Number C96: Dark Storm is a Rank-Up version of Number 96: Dark Mist, can’t be destroyed in battle while also making the opponent take the damage you take from battles involving this card, and with Number 96 as material it can detach a material when a battle is declared involving this card to debuff the opponent’s monster’s ATK to 0 while gaining the monster’s original ATK. Number 46: Dragluon is a Rank 8 for Dragons that lets you detach a material while you control no monsters to either Special Summon a Dragon from hand, take control of an opponent’s Dragon, or prevent the opponent from activating the effects of Dragons until the end of their next turn. Battlin’ Boxing Spirits can revive your Battlin’ Boxers in Defense Position at the cost of a simple mill of the top card from Deck. Vampire Takeover can be activated if you have no Field Spells and all monsters you control are Zombies to activate Vampire Kingdom from Deck and revive a DARK Vampire from grave in Defense Position. Noble Knight Borz becomes an Effect Monster when equipped with a Noble Arms with the effect to become a DARK Level 5 that can reveal 3 Noble Arms in Deck to let the opponent randomly add one to hand while the rest go to grave. Noble Arms – Excaliburn is an Equip to give a Noble Knight targeting protection and can be banished from the grave, except the turn it was sent there, to target a Noble Knight Xyz and summon a different Noble Knight Xyz using the targeting monsters and its materials as Xyz Material and treats it as an Xyz Summon. Dragard can revive a Normal Monster with 1000 or less ATK on Normal Summon and can tribute a Dragon to let a monster you control become Level 8 and get an 800 ATK boost. Kidmodo Dragon upon being sent to grave lets you summon any Dragon from hand at the cost of locking your summons that turn to Dragons and preventing you from entering the Battle Phase. Finally, Armored Kappa is a generic Rank 2 who can detach a material to gain 1000 ATK and DEF, plus once per Duel it can discard a card during the Battle Step when an attack is declared involving your monster to prevent your monster from being destroyed in battle and you from taking damage. Noteworthy Rares include Aratama as a Spirit Monster that searched a differently named Spirit Monster on Normal Summon or flip, Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu as a Rank 2 for Beasts to detach a material to summon a Token that has ATK equal to the strongest monster on field and your Raccoon can’t be destroyed while you control another Beast, Burst Rebirth to revive a monster from your grave in face-down Defense Position at the cost of 2000 life points, and Vampire Duke to revive a DARK Vampire in Defense Position on Normal Summon while also letting you declare Monster, Spell, or Trap on Special Summon to make the opponent send a card of that type from Deck to grave and it has the downside where it can only be used as Xyz Material for a DARK Monster. The Short Prints in this set include Risebell the Star Psycher to increase a monster’s Level by 1 during either player’s turn, Blue Duston as another Duston with its destruction effect to make the controller banish a random card from hand until the next Standby Phase, Magicalized Duston Mop to equip to a monster to prevent it from being able to be Tributed or used as a Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz Material while it also searches any Duston monster upon its destruction via the opponent, and BIG Win!? to let you declare a Level from 1 to 12 and flip a coin where all monsters become the declared Level if Heads and you take damage equal to the declared Level times 500 if Tails. Noteworthy Commons have Mythic Tree Dragon to match the Level of a WATER Dragon Monster you control, Mythic Water Dragon as a free Special Summon if you have an EARTH Monster, Baby Raccoon Ponpoko on Normal Summon to summon a Level 2 Beast from Deck in face-down Defense Position in exchange for locking your summons for the turn to Beasts, Baby Raccoon Tantan to summon a Level 2 Beast from Deck on FLIP, Ghostrick Specter as a Ghostrick with the effect to summon itself from hand in face-down Defense Position and give a draw if a Ghostrick is destroyed by the opponent, Ghostrick Jiangshi as a Ghostrick that searches a Ghostrick with a Level less than or equal to the number of face-up Ghostricks you control upon Jiangshi’s flip, Ghostrick Stein to search a Ghostrick Spell/Trap if it deals battle damage, Bujingi Centipede to destroy an opponent’s Spell or Trap by banishing it from grave if you control a Beast-Warrior Bujin, Vampire Grace to revive itself at a 2000 life point cost if you Special Summon a Level 5 or higher Zombie off a Zombie’s effect and it has another effect once per turn to declare Monster, Spell, or Trap and make the opponent send a card of that type from Deck to grave, Ghostrick Mansion to prevent face-down Defense Position monsters from being attacked while letting the player attack directly if the opponent only controls face-down monsters while also having any effect damage and battle damage from non-Ghostrick monsters be halved, Vampire Kingdom to boost your Zombies by 500 ATK during Damage Calculation and it can target a card and send a DARK Vampire from Deck to grave when a card is sent from the opponent’s Deck to grave to pop the targeted card, Ghostrick Scare to flip all face-down Defense Position monsters you control to face-up and then change any of the opponent’s monsters to face-down Defense Position up to the number of Ghostricks you control, White Dragon Wyverburster as a free Special Summon by banishing a DARK and searching a Black Dragon Collapserpent when sent from field to grave, and Black Dragon Collapserpent to be a free Special Summon by banishing a LIGHT from grave and searching a White Dragon Wyverburster when sent from field to grave. Overall, there’s several hidden gems in this set. It might not of introduced a new meta strategy, but it gave Bujins some new support for their meta run and introduced a very grindy archetype in Ghostricks that got hurt by Links ignoring their gimmick. We also got decent cards like the White and Black Dragons, Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand, Ghostrick Alucard, Meliae of the Trees, Return of the Monarchs, etc. It’s a fine set, though easily one of the weakest in a long time.
Set Rating: 6.5/10
Legacy of the Valiant
Release Date: January 24th, 2014
Cover Card: Number C101: Silent Honor DARK
Sneak Peek Promo: Sylvan Bladefender
We’re nearing the end of Zexal, so let’s see if the next two sets give us a good way to go out. Legacy of the Valiant is the first set of 2014 and helped give us more Bujin and Ghostrick support alongside the return of Gravekeeper’s and the debut of Sylvans, also there’s two great Rank 4s in this set. The Ghost Rare was Mobius the Mega Monarch and the Ultimate Rares were Number C101: Silent Honor DARK, Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, Number 39: Utopia Roots, Bujintei Tsukuyomi, and Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force. The TCG Exclusives were Sylvan Bladefender, Sylvan Mikorange, Ghostrick Yeti, Bujingi Pavo, Gravekeeper’s Heretic, Noble Knight Peredur, Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms, Powered Inzektron, Obedience Schooled, and The First Monarch. The OCG Imports were Dark Artist, Swordsman from a Distant Land, Queen Angel of Roses, Rose Witch, Snapdragon, Alpacaribou, Mystical Beast of the Forest, Mighty Warrior, Dododo Buster, Interplanetarypurplythorny Beast, and Starship Spy Plane. The Secret Rares were Rainbow Kuriboh, Mobius the Mega Monarch, Evilswarm Exciton Knight, Downerd Magician, Shared Ride, Imperial Tombs of the Necrovalley, Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms, and The First Monarch. Rainbow Kuriboh is a decent stall card to equip from hand to an opponent’s attacking monster to prevent it from attacking or reviving itself from grave when you’d receive a direct attack, but it’s banished if it leaves the field after being summoned this way. Mobius the Mega Monarch was another Mega Monarch that didn’t take off with the same Tribute Summon option as Granmarg and could target and destroy up to 3 Spells and Traps the opponent controlled while adding an additional benefit that the opponent couldn’t respond with the targeted cards if this was Tribute Summoned using a WATER Monster. Evilswarm Exciton Knight was a strong Rank 4 with a once per chain Quick Effect during your Main Phase or opponent’s Battle Phase to detach a material while the opponent had more cards than you to destroy all other cards on field at the cost of you not being able to damage the opponent for the rest of that turn. Downerd Magician was a decent Rank 4 that could be overlayed on top of a Rank 3 or lower monster during Main Phase 2, gained 200 ATK for each material, dealt piercing, and after battling made you detach a material from her. Shared Ride was a Quick-Play Spell to let you draw each time the opponent added a card from Deck or grave to hand, except via them drawing, for a turn. Imperial Tombs of Necrovalley was Gravekeeper’s version of Infernity Barrier if you controlled a Gravekeeper’s monster and Necrovalley. Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms could equip from hand or grave to a Noble Knight you controlled to give it a 300 ATK boost and let you apply an effect with Gwenhwyfar based on the Attribute of the monster it’s equipped to with LIGHT letting you destroy Gwenhwyfar instead if the equipped monster would be destroyed by an effect or with a DARK monster it could destroy an opponent’s monster and itself when the equipped monster battled at the start of Damage Step. Finally, The First Monarch was a Monster Trap that upon summon let you discard a card to declare an Attribute to make this treated as 2 Tributes for the Tribute Summon of a monster of that Attribute as well as becoming that Attribute itself, at the cost of if it was summoned you couldn’t Special Summon monsters that didn’t match this card’s Attribute, which originally was DARK. The Ultra Rares in this set were Sylvan Marshalleaf, Sylvan Hermitree, Bujin Arasuda, Gravekeeper’s Nobleman, Gravekeeper’s Oracle, Number C101: Silent Honor DARK, Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector, Bujintei Tsukuyomi, and Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force. Sylvan Marshalleaf was a good Normal Summon in Sylvans to excavate either 1 or 2 cards from the top of your Deck and send any excavated Plants to grave while the rest of the cards went to the bottom of the Deck in any order, and its being excavated and sent to the grave let you pop a monster on field. Sylvan Hermitree was the Main Deck boss in Sylvans who let you excavate the top card of Deck and sent it to the grave and gave a draw if it was a Plant, otherwise it went to the bottom of the Deck, and excavating Hermitree let you look at the top 3 cards of your Deck and place them on top in any order. Bujin Arasuda was a free Special Summon in Defense Position from hand if a Bujin you controlled or in grave was banished, and if you added a Bujin card from Deck to hand, except via drawing it, while you controlled this card you could draw a card and discard a card during the End Phase. Gravekeeper’s Nobleman let you summon a Gravekeeper’s from Deck in face-down Defense Position upon her destruction by an opponent’s attacking monster. Gravekeeper’s Oracle could be Tribute Summoned using 3 monsters or 1 Gravekeeper’s and gained a number of effects equal to the number of Gravekeeper’s tributed to summon this card with the options being to gain ATK equal to the combined Levels of all monsters tributed for this card’s summon times 100, destroying all Set monsters the opponent controls, or debuffing every one of the opponent’s monsters by 2000 ATK and DEF. Number C101: Silent Honor DARK was a Rank-Up version of the base Number 101, could use 3 Level 5s to naturally summon it, could once per turn target a Special Summoned monster the opponent controls to attach it to this card as material, and its destruction with Number 101 in grave let you revive Number C101 and boost your life points by this card’s ATK, which is 2800, but it cannot attack for the rest of the turn it was summoned this way. Number 101: Silent Honor ARK is a strong generic Rank 4 who can detach 2 materials from itself to attach an opponent’s Special Summoned monster that’s in Attack Position to this card as material, and it can prevent its own destruction by detaching 1 Xyz Material from itself. Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector is a generic Rank 8 who can let you declare a card name and excavate the top card from your Deck to add the card to hand if it’s the declared card or send it to the grave if it isn’t, and if a card is sent from your Deck to grave you can detach a material from this card to target a card on field to place it either on top or bottom of the Deck. Bujintei Tsukuyomi is a Rank 4 for any LIGHT Deck that let you detach a material while you had at least 1 card in hand to discard your whole hand and draw two new cards, and its destruction by an opponent’s card effect let you target Level 4 Beast-Warrior Bujins in grave up to the number of Xyz Materials this card had on field and revive the targeted monsters. Finally, Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force was a Normal Spell to let you target an Xyz Monster with the highest Rank you control (your choice if tied) and use it as Xyz Material to Xyz Summon a monster with the same Type and Attribute that’s 2 Ranks higher, and during your Draw Phase you could add this from grave to hand instead of conducting your standard draw, but you can only Special Summon off the effect of this card the turn you use this second effect. The Super Rares in this set include Sylvan Bladefender, Sylvan Flowerknight, Ghostrick Mary, Bujingi Hare, Gravekeeper’s Shaman, Chirubime, Princess of Autumn Leaves, Fairy Knight Ingunar, Mount Sylvania, Skill Prisoner, Bujingi Pavo, Noble Knight Peredur, Powered Inzektron, Obedience Schooled, and Queen Angel of Roses. Sylvan Bladefender let you excavate the top card of Deck if it destroyed a monster in battle, and sent it to grave if it was a Plant or returned it to the bottom of the Deck if it wasn’t, and the excavation of it and going to the grave let you add it to your hand. Sylvan Flowerknight on Normal Summon let you excavate the top card of Deck to send it to grave if it was a Plant or return it to the bottom of the Deck if it wasn’t, and excavating this card and sending it to grave let you take a Sylvan card in Deck and place it on top. Ghostrick Mary was a Ghostrick with the effect in hand when you took damage to discard herself to summon a Ghostrick from Deck in face-down Defense Position. Bujingi Hare let you banish it from grave to target a Beast-Warrior Bujin you control to prevent its destruction once per turn. Gravekeeper’s Shaman was a Level 6 that gained 200 DEF for each Gravekeeper’s monster in grave, negated all monster effects in grave that weren’t Gravekeeper’s, and while you controlled Necrovalley prevented the opponent from activating Field Spells or destroying Field Spells. Chirubime, Princess of Autumn Leaves was another Plant boss with high DEF, only let your opponent attack it before attacking other Plants, and it being sent to the grave off the opponent’s card let you summon any Plant from Deck that wasn’t herself. Fairy Knight Ingunar was a Rank 6 that needed 3 monsters and could let you detach 2 materials to destroy all other cards on the field without letting the opponent use cards or effects in response. Mount Sylvania was a Field Spell that let you send a Plant from hand or face-up from field to grave to place a Sylvan card from Deck on top and during each of the opponent’s End Phases let you excavate the top card of your Deck to send it to grave if it was a Plant or put it on top or bottom of your Deck if it wasn’t. Skill Prisoner was a Normal Trap that let you target a monster you control to negate any monster effect that targeted it for the turn, and you could banish this card from grave any turn it wasn’t sent there to also target a monster you control to negate any monster effect that targeted it that turn. Bujingi Pavo let you discard it when a Beast-Warrior Bujin was destroyed in battle to summon a Bujin from Deck. Noble Knight Peredur becomes a Level 5 DARK if equipped with a Noble Arms and being sent to the grave while equipped with a Noble Arms let you target a Noble Arms in grave to add it to your hand. Powered Inzektron was a generic Level 6 Synchro that couldn’t be destroyed by battle or effects and prevents you from taking damage all during the turn it was Synchro Summoned. Obedience Schooled let you summon 3 Level 2 Beasts from Deck with different names and their effects negated and destroyed during the End Phase, all if you control no monsters at the cost of locking your Special Summons that turn to Beasts. Finally, Queen Angel of Roses could be Tribute Summoned using only 1 Plant and during each of your Standby Phases destroyed the monster on the field with the lowest ATK (your choice if tied). Noteworthy Rares in this set give us Sylvan Peaskeeper to on Normal Summon let you excavate the top card of your Deck to send it to grave if it’s a Plant or return it to the bottom of your Deck if it wasn’t while you excavating it and sending it to grave let you revive a Level 4 or lower Plant, Sylvan Komushroomo to on flip let you excavate the top 5 cards of Deck to send any Plants to grave while returning the rest to the bottom of the Deck and excavating and sending a Komushroomo let you pop a Spell or Trap on field, Nikitama as a Spirit Monster who gave you an additional Normal Summon for a Spirit Monster the turn Nikitama was Normal Summoned or flipped face-up and it being sent to grave while you controlled a Spirit Monster netted you a draw, Number 39: Utopia Roots as a generic Rank 1 that could detach a material to negate any attack and Roots gained 500 ATK times the Rank of any Xyz Monster whose attack was negated with this effect, Ghostrick Dullahan as a generic Rank 1 with a Quick Effect to detach a material to half the ATK of any monster on field and sending Dullahan to grave let you retrieve a Ghostrick card from grave while also gaining 200 ATK for each Ghostrick you control, Leo, the Keeper of the Scared Tree as a generic Level 10 Synchro to be untargetable at any time that isn’t during your Main Phase 2, Hidden Temples of the Necrovalley to lock down any Special Summons of non-Gravekeeper’s monsters while you controlled a Gravekeeper’s monster and Necrovalley at the cost of this card destroying itself if you didn’t control one of either, and Onomatopaira to discard a card for a search of up to 2 monsters of different categories among Zubaba, Gagaga, Gogogo, or Dododo. The Short Prints include White Duston as a vanilla monster, Majiosheldon to revive itself during your next Standby Phase the turn after you use this for a Tribute Summon at the cost of locking down your Extra Deck the turn you revive it, Stand-Off as a Normal Spell to target an Attack Position monster on each field to while both are on the field have their effects negated on top of them being unaffected by other card effects + not being able to be destroyed in battle + not being able to attack or change battle position, and Duston Roller to target a monster on field to prevent it from being tributed or used as Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz Material and this Set card being destroyed by the opponent searched you any Duston monster from Deck. Noteworthy Commons have Overlay Booster as a free Special Summon from hand in Defense Position if you control a monster with 2000 or more ATK while also banishing itself from grave any turn it wasn’t sent there to boost an Xyz Monster’s ATK by the number of materials it has times 500, Chronomaly Moai Carrier for a Special Summon from hand if only the opponent controls a card, Deep-Space Cruiser IX for a free Special Summon from hand by sending a Machine from hand to grave, Sylvan Guardioak to let you excavate up to the top three cards from your Deck to send any Plants to grave and return the rest to the bottom of the Deck and excavating Guardioak let you take another Plant in grave to place it on top of your Deck, Ghostrick Jackfrost as a Ghostrick monster that can change an opponent’s monster declaring a direct attack to face-down Defense Position while summoning itself in face-down Defense Position, Ghostrick Skeleton as a Ghostrick that banishes the top cards of the opponent’s Deck face-down for each Ghostrick monster you control upon Skeleton being flipped face-up, and Gorgonic Guardian as a Rank 3 for Rocks that has a Quick Effect to detach a material to make a monster’s ATK 0 and its effects negated for the turn and once per turn on your turn it lets you pop a monster with 0 ATK on field. This is certainly an upgrade over the last set. You got 2 great generic Rank 4s, a good new archetype in Sylvans that would be meta when Soul Charge was at three, more good Bujin support, a good boost to Ghostricks, and some other gems in this set like Gorgonic Guardian. Gravekeeper’s got modernized with new support in their new Continuous Spell and Counter Trap. It’s a pretty good set.
Set Rating: 8.5/10
Release Date: May 16th, 2014
Cover Card: Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon
Sneak Peek Promo: Artifact Scythe
Time for support aplenty. Primal Origin is the last set of the Xyz Era and it went out supporting as many archetypes as it could from Bujins to Sylvans to Madolche to Gusto to Mecha Phantom Beast… I could keep going. Oh, and we got the debut of Artifacts as well. The Ghost Rare in this set was Bujintei Amaterasu, which was also an Ultimate Rare alongside Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon, Number C107: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, Number C102: Archfiend Seraph, and Artifact Durendal. The TCG Exclusives in this set were Artifact Scythe, Noble Knight Brothers, Noble Knight Eachtar, Sylvan Princessprout, Bujingi Sinyou, Vampire Vamp, Gladiator Beast Nerokius, Noble Knights of the Round Table, Avalon, and Escalation of the Monarchs. The OCG Imports were Bolt Penguin, Phantom King Hydride, Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk, Rose Archer, Shogi Knight, Gimmick Puppet Des Troy, ZW – Sleipnir Mail, Number 48: Shadow Lich, Galaxy Dragon, and Hundred-Footed Horror. The Secret Rares to pull were Majesty’s Fiend, Thestalos the Mega Monarch, Orea, the Sylvan High Arbiter, Bujintei Amaterasu, Rank-Up-Magic – The Seventh One, Forbidden Scripture, Noble Knight Brothers, and Gladiator Beast Nerokius. Majesty’s Fiend was a strong Tribute Monster that couldn’t be Special Summoned, but in return locked down all activated monster effects from being activated. Thestalos the Mega Monarch has been experimented with with its effects to be Tribute Summoned using 1 Tribute Summoned monster and letting you look at the opponent’s hand on Tribute Summon to discard a card of your choice and burning the opponent if it was a monster for its Level times 200, and it added another 1000 damage if it was Tribute Summoned using a FIRE Monster. Orea, the Sylvan High Arbiter is a generic Rank 7 who once per turn can send a Plant from hand or face-up from your field to the grave to look at a number of cards on top of your Deck equal to the Level of the sent Plant and reorder the top cards of the Deck you saw in any order you wish, and it also once per turn can detach a material to declare a number between 1 to 3 to excavate the top cards of your Deck to send any excavated Plants to the grave and bounce cards on the field to the hand (min. 1) up to the number of Plants sent, and the other cards go to the bottom of the Deck in any order. Bujinki Amaterasu is a Rank 4 that needs 3 monsters, can detach a material on your turn to Special Summon one of your banished Level 4 or lower monsters, or detach a material on the opponent’s turn to add one of your banished Level 4 or lower monsters to your hand. Rank-Up-Magic – The Seventh One can only be activated if you draw it for turn during your Draw Phase and is activated during the Main Phase 1 to Special Summon a Number from the Extra Deck between Number 101 and Number 107 that isn’t a Number C, and then you Rank-Up the summoned monster into its Number C form as an Xyz Summon. Forbidden Scripture can be activated during the Damage Step if your monster battles an opponent’s monster to negate all other card effects on field until the end of the Damage Step and use both monster’s original ATK and DEF for that battle. Noble Knight Brothers can only attack if you control exactly 3 Noble Knights, upon Normal Summon can summon up to 2 Noble Knights from hand at the cost of locking your Special Summons for the rest of that turn to Noble Knights, and can return three Noble Knight and/or Noble Arms card from grave to Deck for a draw. Finally, Gladiator Beast Nerokius is a Contact Fusion of 3 Gladiator Beasts, cannot be destroyed in battle, prevents the opponent from using cards or effects until the end of the Damage Step if it battles, and at the end of the Battle Phase in which it battled can return to the Extra Deck to summon 2 Gladiator Beasts from your Deck. The Ultra Rares in this set were Sylvan Sagequoia, Bujin Hirume, Madolche Anjelly, Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon, Artifact Durendal, Artifact Ignition, Sylvan Charity, Artifact Sanctum, Bujingi Sinyou, and Noble Knights of the Round Table. Sylvan Sagequoia was a free Special Summon from hand if you excavated and sent a Plant from Deck to grave and once per turn could excavate the top card of your Deck to send it to grave if it was a Plant or return it to the bottom of Deck if it wasn’t, and if this was excavated and sent from Deck to grave, it let you search a Sylvan Spell or Trap. Bujin Hirume was a free Special Summon from hand by banishing a Bujin in grave and its destruction could let you make both players discard a card. Madolche Anjelly could tribute itself to summon a Madolche from Deck that couldn’t be destroyed in battle and returned to your Deck during the End Phase of your next turn, and it had the Madolche shuffle effect. Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon was a generic Rank 8 who when battling could detach a material to gain ATK equal to the total Ranks on field times 200, being destroyed by an effect while it has Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon as material lets you revive it during your 2nd Standby Phase after activation with doubled ATK, but its downside is that it only deals half damage if it doesn’t have Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon as Xyz Material. Artifact Durendal is a generic Rank 5 with two Quick Effects to either turn an opponent’s activated monster effect or Spell/Trap Card effect into destroying one of your Spells and Traps or it could detach a material to shuffle all cards in both player’s hands to the Deck to let each player draw an equal number of cards they returned. Artifact Ignition is a Quick-Play Spell that let you pop any Spell or Trap on the field, but you must set an Artifact Monster from Deck to the Spell/Trap Zone after, and destroying Ignition forces the opponent to skip their next Battle Phase. Sylvan Charity let you draw 3 cards, then return 2 cards from hand to the top of the Deck in any order, but if you don’t or can’t return a Sylvan card, you must reveal your entire hand and shuffle it into the Deck. Artifact Sanctum is a Trap that let you summon an Artifact from Deck, but you couldn’t conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this, and the opponent destroying this card let you destroy a card on field. Bujingi Sinyou can banish itself from grave if a Beast-Warrior Bujin battles an opponent’s monster to let your monster gain the ATK of the opponent’s monster until the end of the Damage Step, but your monster does half damage. Finally, Noble Knights of the Round Table was a Field Spell that granted effects during the End Phase based on the total number of Noble Knights in your grave and/or you controlled all with different names with 3 or more letting you send a Noble Knight from Deck to grave, 6 or more let you Special Summon a Noble Knight from your hand and then you could equip a Noble Arms from hand to the summoned monster, 9 or more let you retrieve a Noble Knight from grave to hand, and 12 let you draw a card. The Super Rares in this set included Artifact Scythe, Artifact Moralltach, Pilica, Descendant of Gusto, Lucent, Netherlord of Dark World, Number C107: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, Number C102: Archfiend Seraph, Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight, Tachyon Chaos Hole, The Monarchs Erupt, Noble Knight Eachtar, Sylvan Princessprite, Vampire Vamp, Avalon, and Escalation of the Monarchs. Artifact Scythe was a monster who could be Set to the Spell/Trap Zone, Special Summoned itself if destroyed in the Spell/Trap Zone on the opponent’s turn, and when summoned on the opponent’s turn let you lock the opponent from using the Extra Deck. Artifact Moralltach was similar, only its effect on summon let you pop an opponent’s face-up card without targeting. Pilica, Descendant of Gusto on Normal or Special Summon let you revive a WIND Tuner from your grave with its effects negated at the cost of locking your Special Summons to WIND Monsters. Lucent, Netherlord of Dark World could Special Summon itself from grave if discarded, and if discarded by the opponent could let you summon a Fiend from Deck to either side of the field. Number C107: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon was an Rank-Up of Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, could be Xyz Summoned using 3 Level 9s, could detach a material from itself to negate the effects of all other face-up cards on the field and prevent your opponent from activating cards or effects on the field for the turn, and if it had Number 107 as material it could tribute 2 monsters to make up to 3 attacks on monsters during the Battle Phase that turn. Number C102: Archfiend Seraph was a Rank-Up version of Number 102: Star Seraph Sentry, could prevent its own destruction by detaching 2 materials, damages the opponent for 1500 when the last Xyz Material is detached from this card, and with Number 102 as material can detach a material to target an opponent’s monster to negate its effects and make its ATK 0. Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight is a generic Rank 4 who can detach a material during either player’s turn when a card on the field is targeted to let you change the target to an appropriate card on the field of your choice. Tachyon Chaos Hole is a Trap that when a face-up Galaxy Xyz is destroyed by battle with the opponent’s attacking monster, or their card effect, and sent to the grave, it can destroy and banish as many face-up cards the opponent controls as possible, also during your Draw Phase you can banish this card from the grave to revive a Galaxy Xyz instead of conducting your normal draw. The Monarchs Erupt can only be activated if you have no cards in the Extra Deck, and it negates the effects of all monsters that weren’t Tribute Summoned, and it pops itself at the End Phase of the turn if you don’t control a Tribute Summoned Monster. Noble Knight Eachtar could banish 2 Noble Knights from grave to summon itself from hand or grave, and prevents your opponent from negating the Synchro or Xyz Summon of a Noble Knight that uses this card as material while also preventing the opponent from responding to that summon. Sylvan Princessprout could tribute itself to excavate the top card of your Deck and send it to grave to then place a sprout monster in your grave to the top of your Deck, and if she’s excavated and sent to the grave, she can revive herself as a monster between Level 1 and 8. Vampire Vamp is a monster who upon herself or a Vampire being Normal Summoned lets you target a face-up monster the opponent controls with ATK higher than this card’s to equip that target to herself and gain the original ATK of the equipped monster, and she revives herself if sent to the grave while equipped with a monster. Avalon is a Trap that lets you banish 5 Noble Knights from grave, including at least 1 Artorigus and 1 Laundsallyn, to destroy all cards on field. Finally, Escalation of the Monarchs is a Continuous Trap that during your opponent’s Main Phase or Battle Phase immediately let you perform a Tribute Summon. Noteworthy Rares in this set give us Mermaid Shark to search any Level 3-5 Fish on Normal Summon, Traptrix Dionaea to revive a Traptrix on Normal Summon or on Special Summon can Set a Hole Trap from grave that’s banished during your next End Phase if it’s still on the field, Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion as a Level 2 Tuner who can banish itself from grave to immediately let you Normal Summon a Mecha Phantom Beast and being sent to the grave itself lets you summon a Mecha Phantom Beast Token while also not being able to be destroyed itself if you control a Token, Gladiator Beast Augustus who upon being summoned off a Gladiator Beast lets you summon a Gladiator Beast from hand that’s shuffled into the Deck at the end of the turn on top of this card having the other Gladiator Beast effects, Dawn Knight to send any LIGHT Monster from Deck to grave when it’s sent from field to grave and being sent from Deck to grave itself lets you take a LIGHT in grave to place it on top of your Deck, Beautunaful Princess on Normal or Special Summon to banish itself to summon a Level 4 or lower Fish from Deck, Number 103: Ragnazero with a Quick Effect to detach a material to destroy an opponent’s Attack Position Monster with ATK different from its original then letting you draw a card, Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk to detach its materials to banish cards from the opponent’s grave and equip itself to an Xyz you control for a 1200 ATK boost, Phantom Fortress Enterblathnir as a generic Rank 9 who can detach a material to banish a card from the opponent’s field, randomly from hand, in their grave, or from top of their Deck, Phonon Pulse Dragon as a Level 4 Synchro Tuner who can become Level 1 to 3 on Synchro Summon at the cost of locking your Special Summons to Synchro Summons using it as a material, Xyz Universe to target 2 Xyz Monsters on field and send them to the grave to Special Summon an Xyz from the Extra Deck with a Rank less than or equal to the combined Ranks of the targeted monsters and getting Xyz Universe attached as material, and Rose Archer as a hand-trap in Plant Decks to negate a Trap while you control a Plant. The Short Prints in this set are Condemned Maiden to let you activate 1 Quick-Play Spell from your hand on the opponent’s turn, Starduston to Special Summon itself by sending all Dustons you control to grave to gain 1000 ATK and DEF for each monster sent while it also prevents the opponent from Flip or Special Summoning on top of setting Spells or Traps at the downside of this card destroying itself if your opponent controls more monsters than you do, Jackpot 7 to shuffle itself to Deck upon activation and banishes itself from grave if sent from Deck to grave by the opponent and lets you win the Duel if you banish 3 Jackpot 7 off this effect, and Tri-and-Guess to make both players reveal their Extra Decks after you declare an Extra Deck Type to let the player who has more of the declared type gain 3000 life points. Noteworthy Commons in this set give us Battlin’ Boxer Veil as a Special Summon when you take battle damage to recover your life points for the damage taken, Artifact Beagalltach as another Artifact who when summoned on the opponent’s turn let you pop up to 2 of your Artifacts that are Set in the Spell/Trap Zone, Hazy Flame Hydra to give an Xyz that uses this card as material the effect to attach a Hazy Flame from grave to it as material while Hydra itself cannot be targeted for card effect and locks your Special Summons to FIRE Monsters, Ancient Gear Box who upon being added from Deck or grave to hand lets you add a EARTH Machine with 500 ATK and/or DEF from Deck to hand, Nopenguin to revive itself if a Penguin monster activates its effect and it banishes any card that would be bounced to hand by a Penguin effect, Ghostrick Parade with the effects all the other Ghostrick Field Spells have on top of it letting you search a Ghostrick card when the opponent declared a direct attack, Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru to search any Koa’ki Meiru card and to banish itself from grave to prevent all Koa’ki Meirus you control from being destroyed that turn, Scrap Factory to boost all your Scraps by 200 ATK and DEF and also summon a Scrap from Deck if a Scrap you control is destroyed by an effect, Evo-Singularity to target an Evoltile and Evolsaur in grave to Special Summon an Evolzar Xyz from the Extra Deck and attach the targeted monsters as material, And the Band Played On to prevent players from Special Summoning monsters with the same Level or Rank as another monster they control, Bolt Penguin as a funny old vanilla finally imported from the OCG after years, Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk as a generic Rank 7 to summon as many Tokens as it can for FTKs and later Link Spam that got it banned, and Gimmick Puppet Des Troy to let you pop a Gimmick Puppet once while face-up on the field and it being sent from field to grave let you summon 1 or 2 Gimmick Puppets from hand. Overall, there’s so much support for so many archetypes that it’s hard to imagine anyone not finding something to enjoy at the very least. You also got the debut of an archetype that has popped up many times to this day in Artifacts. Madolches, Sylvans, Bujins, even Scraps and Koa’ki Meiru got great support on top of other archetypes. Most of these archetypes were from the Xyz Era itself, basically making this set a love letter to the entire era. A great way for this generation of Yu-Gi-Oh to go out.
Set Rating: 10/10
This is a generation that greatly shows how much Konami improves in card design with archetypes. DM and GX had a bunch a good generic cards, but few good archetypes, and really none in the case of DM until they got later cards. 5D’s showed improvement, but there was still growth to be made. Zexal completed that growth over time and you see that in how much better the archetypes are. All of them really are playable at worst, which couldn’t be said for some 5D’s archetypes. We also saw later the foils mostly being playable cards and that being a status quo that remains, if not improved on now. We did see Ultimates become more scarce, but Ghost Rares have more variety to show off cooler cards than whatever said card on the front of the pack is. All of these sets either debuted a new meta archetype or supported one, with the exception of Generation Force to make Xyzs usable in any Deck, but at the same time that set gave us HERO support. This was a strong era for Yu-Gi-Oh, but it would arguably get better over time. This era only really gave us a Tier 0.5 meta and at the end created a diverse meta, but the next era changes everything from the get-go. Now for set ratings.
- Order of Chaos, Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy, and Primal Origin (10/10)
- Return of the Duelist and Abyss Rising (9.5/10)
- Cosmo Blazer (9/10)
- Galactic Overlord, Judgment of the Light, and Legacy of the Valiant (8.5/10)
- Photon Shockwave (8/10)
- Generation Force (7.5/10)
- Shadow Specters (6.5/10)
Thanks for Reading,