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October 2010
Top 15 Cards by Vince

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the delay in the Fairy-Tales series. Personal issues have weighed me down for the last few weeks, but everything’s getting better now. Next article will finish the Fairy-Tales series and from there I plan on refocusing my efforts on a different style of writing, as I feel I am not being too effective with the scope of what I’ve been trying to cover. In other words, I feel like I was saying little with many words, if that makes sense.

The point of this article was to point out fifteen cards that I think virtually every duelist should have at least one (if not many) copies of. Several cards, such as Solemn Judgment, Summoner Monk, Hidden Armory, and several banned cards were considered, but weeded out for the version you see now. The rules for this list were pretty simple. The card had to be legal since its creation (I break this rule twice), it has to be something that can be expected to be seen in several decks, and it has to be at least a year old. Several cards were also left out due to several printings (Mystical Space Typhoon, Torrential Tribute).

Before starting, I do want to add that having a few extra copies of banned and restricted cards can make for very good future trading, as well as save you a headache if snatched up while cheap. The surprises on the last banned/restricted list  were nothing new to the game when you consider how cheap super rare Book of Moons once were or how Solemn Judgment became a format-defining card. Perhaps when someone offers you a Dark Strike Fighter for a couple of rares you weren’t using anyway, perhaps you may want to consider getting them to throw in that Ring of Destruction on their back page “just in case.”

15. Mirror Force: Like another card later on this list, it has been banned before (twice, actually), but it’s been legal far longer than it has not. Mirror Force was quite possibly the first “game shaping” card released, as its existence regulated how many monsters you attacked with at once. Until recently, it was also the holy grail of non-reprinted cards, existing only as a card that could be pulled from a booster set, beating out several cards that did not make this list.

14. Burial From a Different Dimesion: Even if you don’t have any decks in mind that could play this you should keep a copy for when you do. New revival cards as well as new monsters that trigger in the grave make this a card that will always possess some degree of usefulness. Players who remember when it was released in the Jaden/Aster Duelist packs can laugh now that Card Trooper, Destiny Draw, and Destiny Hero Malicious, all of whom commanded high prices upon release, are all now considerably easier to find than the Duelist Pack Ultra that was the last thing you would want to pull.

13. Ally of Justice Catastor: Arguably the best level five syncro, it can take out every non-dark attributed monster save Stardust Dragon with its effect. Being both generic and level five, virtually every extra deck should have a spot devoted to Catastor.

12. Blackwing Gale the Whirlwind: Even if this wasn’t a tuner it would probably make this list. An easily searched answer to almost every monster in the game, Gale can be splashed into virtually any deck that needs that fortieth card. Even if they block Gale’s attempt to run over whatever it shrinks, the fact that the attack and defense change is permanent makes Gale a monster I always consider when first drafting a new deck.

11. Elemental Hero Stratos: If you run two or more Hero monsters that are not named Stratos already, odds are you are already running the Stratos you are allowed. From Destiny Heroes to Gladiator Beasts to Gemini’s, Stratos only needs a few targets to warrant a spot in the main deck. With sporadic Hero support coming every now and then, you want to have a copy of this on call when needed.

10. Treeborn Frog: This monster, while certainly not something that could be added to every deck, single handedly breaks the tribute mechanic as well as opens up different syncro options if necessary. Treeborn Frog has been playable since its initial release back in Shadow of Infinity, and with new monsters that require tributes being created every set, I don’t ever see myself trading away the playset of Treeborn Frogs I have.

9. Colossal Fighter: Colossal Fighter is both an offensive and defensive threat. Not only does it boost its attack, it creates a defensive wall that requires a card effect to remove. Being able to pull another warrior is a nice effect, but one seldom used due to the fact that rarely are there better warriors to resummon than Colossal himself.

8. Dark Armed Dragon: With its second reprint recent released, there is little reason not to have one of these stashed away somewhere. This monster is not only incredibly easy to summon with a very powerful effect, the fact that the extra deck can also add Dark monsters to your graveyard whenever you need them via a syncro summon means that you don’t even have to play a dark centered deck to run Dark Armed Dragon. If you don’t have one now, get one, as when the tins go out of print, his value will shoot up again.

7. Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter: The best non-banned Flip monster in the game, setting Ryko practically guarantees you are taking out one of your opponent’s cards. Ryko can be searched with several cards, revived with several more, and the ability to accelerate any graveyard based strategy, Ryko may be tough to find, but you’ll be glad you have them.

6. Plaguespreader Zombie: Any deck that wants to syncro summon needs to consider it. Even non-zombie Solidarity builds can play PSZ because he’s kind enough to remove himself from the game after use. Like Treeborn Frog, he can also set up crucial tribute plays that would have been unwinnable otherwise. PSZ will only get better with age, earning its spot on the list.

5. Black Rose Dragon: This would have been on the list even if it wasn’t recently unrestricted. It’s one of the “essential syncros” that will be in every extra deck unless it gets banned. Even its secondary effect can be used with regularity due to the fairly recent influx of plant support. If  you don’t have any copies, I’d wait a couple months before chasing them down, as either a reprint or a re-restricting will suddenly dump several Black Roses on the market.

4. Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier/Goyo Guardian: These two tie because I don’t know which one is better. They have very different functions and both are limited to one due to their game-breaking effects. While other syncro levels may have several choices of the said situation, level six has been and will be dominated by these two monsters for a long time to come.

3. Sangan: Like Mirror Force, it has been banned once, but because it has been legal for all but one format since its release, I think I can get away with listing it. The most splashable tutor in the game, its targets can range from none to every creature in the deck you’re using. Since its impossible to miss the timing as well and blocked by a small selection of cards, there is no reason to not have a Sangan or two for use.

2. Gorz, The Emissary of Darkness: I can count on one hand the cards that are more likely to turn a game around than Gorz, and most of them are banned. Its very existence has changed the way people declare attacks with their creatures. In my current two decks I’m playing, I rely on too many continuous cards to reliably play Gorz, but I’ll never let go of the two copies of it that I keep on hand as soon as I want to build something that can consistently play it. With very limited printing, if you don’t have a copy now, there are few cards that would be better to put on top of your wish list.

1. Stardust Dragon: Like Gorz, Stardust Dragon has changed the way the game is played. Arguably the most popular Syncro, I won’t spend any time talking about its effect or stats. Being the central monster of Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s, it is the most supported syncro and as soon as you want to play Starlight Road in anything, you’ll want at least two Stardust to play it with. Even with several printings, it still commands trader’s attention. If you could only have one monster in your extra deck, make it this one. It is good and it will always be something to contend with.


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