One more year means one more batch of goodies to add to the card pool. Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G back here with a tradition I’ve been doing the last few years after our Top Countdowns of the Year. I always like to go back and mention some cards that didn’t get a mention in our list that deserve some praise, because there’s a lot of great cards in this game and sometimes it won’t do justice to limit it to a Top 10 for some of these, even if they weren’t exactly a Top 10 card. So I’m here to go through some of the best cards of 2019 that did not make the Top 12 this year.
The first card I want to talk about is one of the Legendary Duelists cards that really help out any EARTH Machine Deck. Urgent Schedule can easily help these kinds of Decks get field advantage since it can summon a Level 4 or lower as well as a Level 5 or higher EARTH Machine from your Deck. The effects are negated, they’re in Defense Position, and only your Machines can attack that turn, but in return you get help to combo off and the Machine attacking restriction shouldn’t matter in a Machine Deck. The card has a ton of future potential for Machine Decks since it summons 2 monsters with relative ease, your opponent just needs to have more monsters than you. It’s definitely a card to watch out for when we get new EARTH Machines.
Lunalight Yellow Marten
Now on paper this doesn’t seem like much, but Yellow Marten was such a good piece of Lunalight support that it helped the Lunalight strategy see rogue and meta play, though usually mixed with other archetypes like Danger or Orcust. Yellow Marten is easy to summon since it can revive itself from the graveyard, where it can be sent via Lunalight Kalideo Chick, just by returning a Lunalight card you control to the hand, which is usually Lunalight Tiger to use its Pendulum Effect again. You could of also got around that banish restriction by using it as Xyz Material, and it searching for a Lunalight Spell/Trap could be helpful in eventually doing a Lunalight OTK with Leo Dancer. It’s a great piece of Lunalight support that the strategy really appreciates.
Last year we saw the debuting Impcancation archetype breathe life into the Ritual Mechanic, and now the archetype has its own Ritual to help Ritual Deck even more. All you need to do is to reveal it in your hand and discard a card, likely the Impcantation Ritual Spell to get more Impcantation plays going, to then summon any Impcantation from your Deck, which would usually get you a search or a retrieval of a Ritual card from your graveyard. It should help almost guarantee a Ritual Summon, so its 2500 burn if you don’t Ritual Summon after using the effect shouldn’t matter. Chalislime makes the Impcantation engine that much better in Ritual Decks going forward.
The Other Guardragons
Now I know there are a lot of other Guardragon cards, but the ones I’m mainly referring to are Guardragon Elpy, Pitsy, and World Legacy Guardragon. Elpy and Pisty are amazing combo extenders in any Dragon Deck as they can summon your Dragons from your hand or Deck and the graveyard or banished zone respectively, and they are easy to summon since they’re just Link-1s that need a Level 4 or lower Dragon as material. It’s fairly easy to set up their effects as well since Link Spam is fairly easy to do, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting Link Monsters pointing to the same zone so your Guardragons can summon a Dragon, though World Legacy Guardragon can help you move your Elpy or Pitsy around so you can easily get a zone pointed to by 2 Link Monsters to get your Dragons from wherever you need. Guardragons were some of the best cards of the year easily, they’re going to be staple for Dragon strategies for years to come bar getting banned potentially.
Witch’s Strike is certainly another card with great future potential since it punishes your opponent for negating your plays by destroying all their cards in their hand and on their field. If you see your opponent have a big board with maybe 1 negation, you can lure it out and then use this Trap to destroy their board. It can be hard to use efficiently if your opponent has more than 1 negation on the field that could potentially negate this, but pulling it off in general could be a real blow-out if the opponent doesn’t have graveyard effects or good recovery. Used at the right time and it could easily win you the game.
Time Thief Redoer
Even beyond the era where Rank 4 Spam is prevalent in the meta, Time Thief Redoer still proves to be a great Rank 4 card for many Decks. First off, it can take the top card of the opponent’s Deck and put it on itself as Xyz Material during each Standby Phase, potentially letting you steal a card the opponent might of wanted to search. You can also detach up to 3 materials of different card types to get various effects. Monster let you banish this card until the end of the turn, which is good to dodge removal cards and losing the Xyz Material won’t matter since it can regenerate them from your opponent’s Deck and the other archetypal cards. Spell lets you draw a card, and drawing cards is always good. Trap lets you take a face-up card the opponent controls and put it on top of the Deck, which is great removal as it doesn’t target or destroy, and that card you put back could later attach itself to Redoer. Sure the detach effect is a hard once per turn, but stealing those cards from the opponent’s Deck makes multiples still somewhat worth it, especially with the Master Rule 2020 Revision letting you Xyz Summon freely again.
A card that Subterror players were excited for, as it made their strategy rogue in the TCG like how the card did for the OCG debut of Subterrors. Guru is one of the best FLIP monsters in the game as it can search for a Subterror monster upon being flipped face-up and it has an effect to put itself back face-down alongside another monster on the field, whether it’s your FLIP monsters or your opponent’s monsters. It becomes a Quick Effect if you have another face-up Subterror card, which makes the card disruptive as well potentially. It’s a great piece of support that really gave the Deck a fighting chance in the metagame, even if it is on a more rogue level.
One of the surprising archetypes to take the meta by storm as its first wave of support did not look to be too strong, but after Savage Strike and a new Structure Deck, the archetype had more consistency and disruption. You already had good cards like Foxy, Jack Jaguar, Heatleo, Sanctuary, and Will of the Salamangreat for the Deck, but this year took the archetype to a new level. You got a Super Poly target in Salamangreat Violet Chimera, but the archetype also got its own Super Poly like card in Fusion of Fire to use your opponent’s monsters to summon it. Gazelle can easily Special Summon itself from the hand and send a Salamangreat card from the Deck to the graveyard, which is good since you got good ways to recover it with cards like Sunlight Wolf. Spinny was also easy to summon from the graveyard, and it could put itself there with relative ease, and reviving it could help go into Miragestallio to summon another Salamangreat from the Deck and bounce an opponent’s card when it is used as Link Material. Salamangreat Circle is an amazing Quick-Play for either searching a Salamangreat or giving a Link Monster some protection. Rage can destroy multiple cards just by having a Salamangreat Link that was summoned using a monster with the same name, which Salamangreat Sancutary allowed with ease. Roar is also a good Counter Trap for the Deck as it can negate anything and recover itself just by the archetype doing what it is meant to do, Reincarnation Link Summoning. You also had Salamangreat Balelynx to search for your important Field Spell to get the archetype going, and later in the year you got Salamangreat Pyro Phoenix to be a potential field nuke on the opponent. It’s an archetype that became a sudden hit after a lackluster debut.
Number 39: Utopia Double
Yet another Number 39 monster, but one that makes the original Utopia a really good card once again. Utopia Double can detach a material from itself to search for Double or Nothing! and then summon a Utopia Xyz over on top of it and doubling its ATK while preventing it from attacking directly. This turned the original Utopia into a walking OTK machine as it comboed well with Double or Nothing! to double its ATK yet again to potentially become 10000 ATK upon an attack. It also let you summon Utopia Beyond easier in Rank 4 Decks, and it became 6000 ATK. You also got Utopia Kaiser potential in the new Master Rule for more Number spam. Utopia Double is easily one of the better Utopia support cards we ever got.
Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres
The year of the Dragons didn’t stop with Guardragons alone, we finally got the Hieratic Link imported to the TCG in Duel Power. Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres is simple to summon, only needing 2 Dragons, also having good arrows and a good, disruptive effect while it’s in the Extra Monster Zone during the opponent’s turn to tribute any Dragon from your hand or field to target a face-up card on the field and return it to the hand. It can also summon any Dragon from your hand or Deck if it is tributed, which its first effect can let it tribute itself. This can let you summon a good extender or play-enabler like Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon or Omni Dragon Brotaur. You can also summon a floodgate-like monster in Amorphage Goliath from the Deck to lock players from their Extra Decks. The negative of the monster summoned is that its stats become 0, but it’s fine if the Dragon does get to live. Hieratic Seal gave Dragons a good Link-2 to work with to help start the Guardragon plays.
Along with Dragons, we also saw a good Link Monster for Plants finally make it to the TCG in Aromaseraphy Jasmine. It’s another Link-2 with similar arrows to the previous card, only this card needs 2 Plants. It gains battle destruction immunity, alongside any Plant it points to, as long as you have higher LP than your opponent, which is nice and ties to the Aroma archetype. It can also tribute any monster it points to in order to summon any Plant from the Deck, getting you to a piece you might need in your Plant Deck or helping thin more by getting a Lonefire Blossom. It can also search for a Plant when you gain LP, and while that might not come up too often, it can be very powerful if you manage to gain LP, likely if you’re playing the Aroma archetype. Just like Dragons, we got a good Link for Plants.
Cyber Dragon Nachster
Cyber Dragons were able to become a good Deck last year with a bunch of new support, but Nachster helped give the archetype yet another strong boost. It’s another Machine Duplication target for the Deck to get out 2 free Cyber Dragons for one. It also has a simple Special Summoning effect by just discarding any monster, and upon it being Normal or Special Summoned can revive any Machine with 2100 ATK or DEF from the graveyard. In the Cyber Dragon Deck, you got options like the original Cyber Dragon, Sieger, Infinity, Nova, and Cyber Twin Dragon just to name a few. It only lets you Special Summon Machines for the rest of the turn, but that’s fine considering Cyber Dragons is a Machine-based archetype. A card that helped Cyber Dragons shine brighter this year, either pure or with Orcust.
Another whole archetype basically, we got the Endymion support that helped add a lot to Pendulum strategies. They are Spell Counter based, which is a gimmick that makes sense to mix with Pendulums as Mythical Beast did it previously. You got a new boss in Endymion, the Mighty Master of Magic that can summon itself from the scale by removing 6 Spell Counters on the field, and then it can destroy cards up to the number of cards you control that can hold Spell Counters and then gain Spell Counters up to the number of cards it destroyed. It also negates Spells and Traps by returning a card from your field that has Spell Counters to your hand and it gains the lost Spell Counters. It also gets targeting and effect destruction protection while holding any Spell Counters and searches for any Spell upon destruction while holding a Spell Counter. You also got other Pendulum Cards to help summon your new Endymion boss alongside any other monster that holds Spell Counters. Servant removes 3 from itself while in the Pendulum Zone to summon itself from the Pendulum Zone and a Spell Counter related monster from the Deck while giving both cards a Spell Counter. Magister does the same, only from the Extra Deck, and you also got Reflection for the hand. You even get a generic searcher for your Endymion cards in Spell Power Mastery that also puts more Spell Counters on the field. This series of cards really helped boost Pendulum strategies and eventually was proven good enough to become its own lone strategy.
Ib the World Chalice Justicar
Though the TCG does not have Denglong legal, we got a pretty solid replacement in Ib the World Chalice Justicar. It’s a generic Level 5 Synchro Tuner that can also use any World Chalice Normal Monster as the Tuner. Its Synchro Summon nets you a World Legacy card from the Deck, where you can get good extenders like World Legacy Guardragon or World Legacy Succession. It can also summon any World Chalice monster from the Deck when sent from the field to the graveyard, so you can use something like World Chalice Guardragon in your Dragon-themed Decks, or just use one of the Normal Monsters in any Deck for an extra body, or you even got World Legacy – “World Chalice” for disruption. It’s an insanely powerful Synchro that makes up for the lack of Denglong in the TCG, though this is a little more generic.
Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax
I always consider this card one that’s part of two archetypes, yet doesn’t really do anything specifically for those archetypes, even though they could make good use of it still. Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax is the latest Link-4 boss, and it’s a really good one at that. First off, all it needs is 2 or more monsters summoned from the Extra Deck to summon and it has arrows pointing Left, Right, Bottom Left, and Bottom Right. It’s untargetable by card effects and it can be the only monster targetable for attacks while you control the Link Summoned card. It will also gain the ATK of whatever Special Summoned monster it battles during that battle. Both those effects make this card difficult to get rid of, but if your opponent figures it out, then you get something in return, as if your opponent sends this card to the graveyard somehow, you can shuffle a card on the field into the Deck, which is some of the best removal you can get. It’s hard to compete with the Borrels, Saryuja, and Apollousa as a Link-4 boss, but this card does the job pretty well, despite having somewhat harder summoning conditions, even if not by much.
RotA is such a revolutionary card for a specific type that every other type wishes for its own RotA. Cyberse, while being the latest new type, got its own RotA with a small cost to be more balanced. Cynet Mining is a Normal Spell that does search for a Level 4 or lower Cyberse monster, but at the cost of a discard and the card being a hard once per turn. Despite the fairly small restrictions on it, it can still get a lot of combos going in Cyberse Decks like Salamangreat or Marincess, or you can search for Draconnet to go into some Ib the World Chalice Justicar combos. It’s a very generic searcher that you’d want to have with Cyberse-based strategies.
I know this isn’t a fan favorite card, but saying it isn’t one of the best cards we got wouldn’t be fair to how strong this card can be. Mystic Mine alone was likely the cause of getting Metaverse limited, and another strong reason to limit Terraforming. Mystic Mine is a powerful Field Spell that shuts down the player with more monsters from using monster effects or from attacking. It’s a very difficult floodgate to deal with without backrow removal, as the owner of the card can just sit on it with no or 1 monster after the opponent filled their board with monsters, so the Mystic Mine player can wait for their win condition, whether its burn or an alternate win condition. The card does destroy itself if both players have an equal number of monsters, but the owner of the card will likely control the situation so that doesn’t happen. It’s probably one of the most unfun cards to be up against when you don’t draw a way to out it.
We’ve seen a good rejuvenation in Traps as most of them have been pretty good as of late, and Crackdown is no exception. It’s a Continuous Trap that takes a monster your opponent controls and gives it to you, at the cost of you not being able to attack or activate the effect of the monster you stole with this. Even if you can’t get the most out of the monster you stole, you at least take away board presence from the opponent and you get another body to potentially use for a Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon. Cards that steal your opponent’s monsters can be some of the best in the game, as most of them have been banned, limited, or errataed in their lifetimes. Crackdown is another addition to the pool of monster-stealing cards, and it’s a good addition at that.
Cherubini, Ebon Angel of the Burning Abyss
Burning Abyss wasn’t a Deck that really liked the Master Rule 4 update, though they still proved to be somewhat viable, and that’s before the TCG got Cherubini. It’s a Link-2 that only needs 2 Level 3 monsters and has Bottom Left/Bottom Right arrows. The generic summoning requirements lets you use this with any Level 3 monster, though it’s a card you would notice that Burning Abyss benefits from. Cherubini gives any monster it points to protection from destruction by card effects, which is great when Burning Abyss monsters blow themselves up when you control a non-Burning Abyss, and this can help whatever powerful monster you summon to a zone it points to. Cherubini can also send any Level 3 from the Deck to the graveyard to boost a Burning Abyss monster by the same ATK/DEF as the sent monster, and while the Burning Abyss synergy is obvious, this does send any Level 3 like a Phantom Knight maybe, or any other Level 3 you can think of. Cherubini can also save itself from destruction by sending another card you control to the graveyard, which can trigger your graveyard effects like your Burning Abyss monsters, and this card could use protection like that since it only has 500 ATK. It’s a great card for any Deck that combos with Level 3 monsters and it’ll be great for Burning Abyss, even after the Master Rule 2020 update.
Number 60: Dugares the Timeless
Another piece of evidence that Rank 4 monsters are still very strong, we have Number 60 with three different effects to help your strategies. It can skip your next Draw Phase in order to let you draw 2 and discard 1, skip your next Battle Phase to double a monster’s ATK, or skip your next Main Phase 1 to revive a monster from your graveyard in Defense Position. Any of these effects do cost both materials Number 60 has, but it can allow for so many powerful combos to OTK or FTK the opponent so the drawback it has won’t matter. The potential is there for the card to allow for some insane combos, and it would only be a matter of time before we get a meta-defining combo that uses this I believe.
Number 97: Draglubion
A great card that will greatly benefit from the Master Rule update, Draglubion is still a great card for what it does. It’s a generic Rank 8 that can detach a material to summon any Dragon Number from your Extra Deck or graveyard and attach another Dragon Number from your Extra Deck or graveyard to it as material. There’s some pretty good Dragon Numbers like Number 38, Number 92, Number C107, etc. that this card can help get out to the field with great ease. The only negative would be that summon will be the last Special Summon you can perform and you can only attack with the summoned monster, though that can be avoided by using it in Main Phase 2 or after you’re done with your combos. All that, alongside targeting protection on this card makes it a great Rank 8 for the future.
Black Luster Soldier – Soldier of Chaos
Going back to remember how good Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning was for its time, Soldier of Chaos is a great boss in the Link Era. It’s a Link-3 of any 3 monsters with different names and has Up, Bottom Left, and Bottom Right arrows. It’s fairly strong for a Link-3 though at 3000 ATK, and it can’t be targeted or destroyed by card effects if you used a Level 7 or higher monster as material to summon this card, which makes it better to invest a high-Level monster into it. Even without that, it also has 3 effects it can make use of if it destroys a monster in battle. You can have it gain 1500 ATK, gain a second attack during the next turn, or it can banish a card on the field. 4500 ATK can get terrifying, two attacks is a reason Envoy of the Beginning was pretty good, same for that banish (even though Soldier of Chaos doesn’t target). It’s a rare Link-3 boss in a time where the Link-4s are usually the boss monsters.
Though PSY-Frame was fine without a Link Monster since their archetypal Synchros can leave the Extra Monster Zone and come back to a Main Monster Zone, Lambda made PSY-Frames more playable outside being a pure Deck. Lambda is a generic Link-2 that needs any 2 monsters that aren’t Tokens and has the great Bottom Left/Bottom Right arrows. The first thing it does is allow you to use your PSY-Frame effects in your hand even if you control monsters, which gets around the setback that all the PSY-Frames have and summoning this can play mind games with the opponent by having them wonder if you have a PSY-Frame in your hand. It will also search for a PSY-Frame card during the End Phase if you banish a Psychic monster that turn, giving it synergy with the PSY-Frames banishing themselves at the end of the turn their effects were used and with Mekk-Knights since Purple Nightfall can banish itself to search for Mekk-Knights. Even if you aren’t using PSY-Frames, its a good generic Link just for the mind games, so it’s a worthy Link-2 for players to use.
A monster I decided to separate from the rest of the Salamangreat archetype as it’s a great card outside its own archetype. All it needs is a Normal Summoned monster with 1000 or less ATK, so something like Sangan or Aleister the Invoker, and it has an arrow pointing to the Bottom Right. It can tribute itself to target a monster you control and have it be indestructible by card effects for that turn, which can get it off the field with its 0 ATK while protecting a monster. It can also come back when a Normal Summoned monster is destroyed by battle while Almiraj is in the graveyard. It’s a pretty good Link-1 to open up an Extra Monster Zone for your Extra Deck plays, and it helps get you a different name on field with a different type and attribute for other Link Monsters potentially.
Tenyi Spirit – Vishuda w/ Monk of the Tenyi
While the Tenyi makes for a great archetype, one of the standouts from said archetype was Vishuda. It’s a DARK Level 7 that can summon itself from the hand if you don’t control any Effect Monsters, so it’s easy to get onto the field. It can also banish itself from the graveyard while you control a non-Effect Monster to return a card your opponent controls to the hand. This synergizes well with Monk of the Tenyi, as it’s a Link-1 that needs any non-Link Tenyi and has a good Bottom arrow, so you can use Vishuda to summon Monk and then Vishuda can return a card of the opponent’s to the hand while you still got a monster on the field in Monk of the Tenyi. It’s a pretty good play to make in the early stages of a Duel, somewhat similar to Dinowrestler Pankratops.
Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher
It’s been a great year for the Gren Maju strategy, and Gizmek Orochi really helped that while also being useful in other Decks. Orochi can be summoned from the hand or graveyard at any time, your or your opponent’s turn, by banishing the top 8 cards of your Deck face-down. It’s an easy 2450 body to get onto the field for a Link Summon in an archetype like Orcust, which it can synergize well with since it’s a DARK Machine, or to get cards banished for Gren Maju to get a boost. It also has another effect where you can banish 3 cards from your Extra Deck face-down to destroy a face-up monster on the field. This can empty your Extra Deck of cards you might not use like Super Poly targets you had for different matchups while it’s able to destroy a monster that might be threatening you. It’s a card with fairly good future potential and it’s a great card for some Decks right now even.
Want to talk about cards getting really good with the Master Rule update in April? Well one of the cards to get the biggest boost is Get Out! It’s a Normal Trap that returns any 2 Extra Deck monsters to the Deck/Extra Deck. This is a fairly great card against Link Spam to disrupt the opponent or get rid of their bigger Links, but when you let Fusions, Synchros, and Xyzs free to spam the field, you can get rid of some of them as well with Get Out! considering how strong some of those Extra Deck monsters can be. You can bounce back a Bahamut Shark or a Ultimaya Tzolkin before their effects trigger to bring out a monster that could negate your plays. It’s going to be a card to keep an eye on for April, and it’s a pretty solid card to use now.
Dragunity Knight – Romulus
Remember when Dragon Ravine was banned? Well now we’re at the point where we can now have a searcher for it in the Dragunity archetype. Romulus is a Link-2 with the standard Bottom Left and Bottom Right arrows and needs any 2 Dragons and/or Winged Beasts, both of which are common with Dragunities, but the card is useful enough for pure Dragon Decks, though not Winged Beasts. Upon Link Summon, it searches for Dragon Ravine or any Dragunity Spell/Trap, getting plays going for any Dragon Deck, especially Dragunities since you can also get Divine Lance with this card. It also summons a Dragon or Winged Beast from the hand when you summon from the Extra Deck to a zone it points to, though the monster you summoned can’t be used as Link Material and it has negated effects, it can still help extend your plays into more Synchros or Xyzs. Romulus is a great Link Monster for the archetype it was built for, and searching Dragon Ravine makes it good for any Dragon Deck.
The card we expected to help make Rokket Link a tier 1 Deck in the TCG, Rokket Tracer is a very powerful Level 4 Tuner that can summon any Rokket from the Deck as a Quick Effect as long as you destroy another face-up card you control. It’s easy to just activate a Spell and then chain this to destroy the activated Spell in exchange for a Rokket, and then that Spell can still resolve. Tracer helps get the Rokket Deck going much better than it could before, so it’s fine your Extra Deck plays can only be DARK monsters after you use this, since DARK is easily the best attribute in this game. Tracer is the best Rokket without a shadow of a doubt and I imagine it’ll be an integral piece of any future Rokket strategy.
Dark Ruler No More
I’m sure most players still hate those “Build-A-Board” Decks full with 7-8 negates or multiple cards that are nearly indestructible. That’s where Dark Ruler No More can come in to finally help you out said boards. At the cost of not being able to do damage that turn, you can use this Spell to negate the effects of all your opponent’s face-up monsters for the turn and neither player can respond to this with monster effects. This guarantees you to be able to shut off all your opponent’s monsters so you can destroy them without interruption, assuming they don’t have many Spells and Traps to stop this or your countermeasures. We needed help against those Decks that build unstoppable boards assuming you don’t have Nibiru to prevent them from being built, and Dark Ruler No More helps stop those boards once they are built.
Starving Venom Fusion Dragon became a go-to card in the Extra Decks for Super Polymerization once it became legal, but now you got an option of a card with arguably a more useful effect at the cost of needed 1 more DARK. Triphyoverutum is a Fusion of 3 DARK monsters on the field, which is easy for either player to put 3 on the field, and it has a fairly useful effect to negate a Special Summon from the Extra Deck while you control the Fusion Summoned Triphyoverutum. It does have more effects, like boosting its ATK by the ATK of monsters with Predator Counters and reviving itself if there’s a monster on the field with a Predator Counter, but that’s more useful in dedicated Predaplant Decks. The Extra Deck negation can be a big play for you after you used Super Polymerization on 3 of your opponent’s monsters potentially. It’s another insanely good Super Polymerization target that’s worth having alongside Starving Venom Fusion Dragon.
Despite White Dragon Wyverburster and Black Dragon Collapserpent being limited now, you got an option to still get to them fairly consistently with Starliege Seyfert. It’s a Level 4 Dragon that can send any number of Dragons from your hand and/or field to the graveyard to search for a Dragon with the same level as the combined Levels of the monsters sent to the grave. Sending your Seyfert alone can immediately get you to Black Dragon or White Dragon, or you can use any other Level 4 Dragon you might have. Giving up 2 Level 4 Dragons gets you an immediate Chaos Dragon Levanieer from your Deck, which is a great Chaos monster in the modern game. Seyfert can also banish itself from the graveyard to fetch a Level 8 LIGHT or DARK Dragon from your graveyard to your hand, so it can retrieve a used Levanieer as well as getting it from the Deck. It’s another great Dragon card to add to the pool of great Dragons we saw this year.
Draco Berserker of the Tenyi
Another Tenyi card worth talking about, though this one is good just for being a generic Synchro with generic effects for any Deck to use. First off as a Quick Effect, it can banish any monster that activates its effect once per turn, which is really good to get rid of any monster your opponent might have without putting it in the graveyard. It doesn’t negate, but the banish part can still be huge for you. If it also destroys an Effect Monster in battle and sends it to the graveyard, it can gain the ATK of the destroyed monster and then make a second attack on a monster. All of this on a generic Level 8 Synchro that already has an ATK stat of 3000, I can see any Synchro Decks using this as a Level 8 option.
It’s always nice to see an undersupported type get some support cards, so I’m glad to see how good Gallant Granite is for Rocks. It’s a generic Rank 4 that can detach a material from itself to either add a Rock monster from your Deck to your hand or summon a Rock from your hand in face-down Defense Position. First off, this card can search for Nibiru, the Primal Being and while your opponent will know you have it if you search for it, it can still force the opponent to suboptimal plays to try and get around Nibiru or to make sure it wouldn’t hurt as bad. It also searches for Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo and it can summon said Fossil Dyna in face-down Defense Position so it can destroy all Special Summoned monsters upon being flipped face-up. It can also get a lot of FLIP effects going like Pot of the Forbidden. It’s a great support card for anything Rock related, plus it searches one of the best hand-traps we have, it’s extremely good.
A card you could of seen the artwork of and though at first that it was going to be U.A. support, but what we got is generically better, even if the aforementioned archetype needs support. Masquerena is a Link-2 that needs any 2 non-Link monsters and has the great Bottom Left and Bottom Right arrows. It does have a low 800 ATK, but it does make up for it by letting you Link Summon on the opponent’s turn, just as long as she’s one of the materials you use. You can get a Knightmare Unicorn on the opponent’s turn, which can be super disruptive, or summon a Topologic Bomber Dragon after your opponent Link Summons to make them struggle to summon to the zones the Link Monster points to. Also any Link Monster that used Masquerena as material cannot be destroyed by the opponent’s card effects, which is great to add protection to something like a Borrel Link or Apollousa. Masquerena is what most Synchro Tuners are for Synchro Decks, it’s a very nice Link Monster that will see play as long as Links are relevant.
The last Dragon card I’ll talk about, at least the last one that somewhat supports Dragons, Striker Dragon is the Link-1 that Rokkets really needed. It’s a Link-1 of any Level 4 or lower Dragon and it has a Left arrow. Upon being Link Summoned, it can search for Boot Sector Launch, which is a very good Field Spell for summoning multiple Rokket monsters. It can also target a face-up monster you control and a Rokket in the grave to destroy the first target and add the second target to your hand, but the most important part of that effect is that it triggers your Rokket monster effects since it’s a Link that’s targeting them. Striker Dragon is how you make a great Link-1 that really helps get an archetype going and will be a staple for any Rokket Deck.
Well we got another Dragon, but this doesn’t really support Dragons so I guess it doesn’t count. Scrap Wyvern is the first piece of Scrap support we’ve seen in over 5 years, and it’s a card that helps make Scraps more viable as a rogue strategy or an engine. It’s a Link-2 that needs any 2 monsters, as long as at least 1 of those monsters is a Scrap, and it has Left and Bottom arrows since Scraps can revive it easily. First off, Wyvern can target a Scrap in the graveyard and then revive it to then destroy a card you control, which can trigger Scrap monster effects or Scrap Factory. Secondly, when a face-up Scrap monster is destroyed by a card effect while you control Wyvern, you can summon any Scrap from the Deck and then destroy a card anywhere on the field. Two effects that work well with each other and a card that helps Scraps do what they want. Wyvern helped make Scrap cards more worthwhile in Orcust and we can see more from Scraps in the future thanks to this card.
Battle Shogun of the Six Samurai
The final card I will discuss is a card that helps Six Samurais loop almost like the time they used to have 3 Gateway. Battle Shogun is a Link-2 of any 2 Warriors, as long as at least 1 Warrior is a Six Samurai, and it has those Bottom Left and Bottom Right arrows. Upon Link Summon, Battle Shogun can let you discard a card to search for any card you can place Bushido Counters on, most likely going to be Gateway of the Six, but you can get something else to generate Bushido Counters if you already have Gateway. Battle Shogun can also generate its own Bushido Counters when you summon a Six Samurai to a zone it points to, which is easy in a Deck that can keep Special Summoning for a long time if not in an infinite loop. Battle Shogun allows Six Samurai to pull off some insane loops and boards and it makes the idea of three Gateway in the TCG more terrifying. It’s a great card to revive this old archetype.
Now I didn’t think we got a lot of cards to change the meta, especially the Tier 1 landscape, but we still got some good generic cards and cards to help make Decks more rogue in the meta. There were a lot of cards I liked this year, even if they weren’t the best in the format. I do hope the future does give us new Decks to stop the reign of strategies like Sky Striker, Orcust, Salamangreat, and Thunder Dragons since they’ve been meta since the beginning of the year, but anything to make a strategy more legitimate of a contender is always welcome, I just felt this list of honorable mentions was shorter compared to previous years, though there were still a lot of cards.
Thanks for Reading,