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Revisiting: the Top 50 Cards of 2006
I found a top 50 list of cards by the official Pojo Trainer's Guide 2006 edition book. So, this list was likely made in early 2006 or late 2005. (Pojo Note: JaeLove actually wrote this Top 50 in March 2005). A user on the forum provided the list, and I trust it's the one Pojo put out that year. In any event, I think the list very accurately describes what the meta was like during that time, so it's legit to me. Cookie-cutter-goat-control era it was, I think, with GX on the cusp.
With this article, I'll go over the list. I'm going to compare their relevance back then and see how they stack up today. One thing I notice is how little the newer sets at the time (AST, SOD, RDS, FET) were represented in that list. The newer cards of that time lived in the shadow of older sets. I don't see Change of Heart or Forceful Sentry, so they were probably banned at the time.
The purpose of this article, if there is any whatsoever, is to show just how much things can change. And if there were to be a top 50 cards of 2014 list, the majority of those cards would suck in years to come. I may make a modern top 50 list though, but I'm anticipating the upcoming Pendulum monsters to dramatically change the meta, so I'll wait on that.
Anyway, let's get started!
1. Pot of Greed / 2. Graceful Charity / 3. Delinquent Duo
Holy trinity, as they called it. Some of the greatest cards of all time. Rightfully banned. Staple for Traditional Format. Not much has changed. They're still broken.
4. Breaker the Magical Warrior
Was a staple then because it was a 1600-1900 beater on top of being great removal against spell/traps. With chainable spells/traps, this card became less reliable. And with the dominance of theme decks, we stopped wanting to waste our normal summons on unrelated monsters.
It was always outclassed by Witch of the Black Forest, but Tour Guide of the Underworld changed things up and finally gave it that advantage to help it be even with Witch. As a card by itself, it's lack of field presence hurt it, but with the Tour Guide combo, one of the two had to go. And I think we made the wrong choice here, Konami. :(
6. Heavy Storm
Was banned so you know it still was a good card. Hasn't aged a bit. The legality of it will be constantly debated. It's either a broken way to hurt many theme decks. Or, it doesn't exist and we have a "set 4 cards and pass" format.
7. Black Luster Solider – Envoy of the Beginning
What an era. That's all I'll say.
8. Sinister Serpent
Was abused with discard-based cards like Monster Reincarnation. Maybe it won't be as powerful as it used to be in Advanced. It lacks field presence in Traditional. But I still think it's a nasty card for both formats. It's diminished only slightly.
This card was broken. It was really quick removal, but the fact that it inflicted damage to both players made it useful for a cheap form of life point attrition. It also made ties way more common. Needles to say, it needed to go. It's still great now, though. Maybe not a staple in Traditional though.
10. Call Of The Haunted
Years ago, if I told you that this once-staple would be unlimited to 3 and that most people still wouldn't use it, you wouldn't believe me. Being a trap card, it's much slower, but it's still a very good card in my eyes. I wouldn't count this card out.
11. Mystical Space Typhoon
This card has gotten stronger over the years. Probably because the more broken spell/trap removal cards like Heavy Storm were banned. But it's incredibly versatile and the closest thing we have to a staple today.
12. Snatch Steal
With XYZ's and Synchro's this card would be nasty today. Maybe a little slow for Traditional, but would be insane for Advanced. I miss this card, but things are way too fast for it today. Gain 1000 LP... yeah... that make's things fair... Not really. Lol.
13. Mirror Force
Since it's not chainable, slow compared to other traps and we have lots of other removal options, it's not quite the staple it used to be. But it's almost always a 1-for-1 if not a swarm-killer. Still a great card for sure.
14. Spirit Reaper
Defense walls may be too slow for a fast format and hand control might not be a great idea for a graveyard-based format, but I still think this is a good card with good place in some decks. It was a gem for it's time for sure, though.
15. Tribe-Infecting Virus
Maybe power creep has made this card less broken or the emphasis on archetypes may have turned this card into a genocidal maniac. Traditional is too fast for Tribe, but this card may have gotten even stronger for Advanced standards. Who knows.
An essential card to many burn decks. And it protected your Defense Position monsters against Nobleman of Crossout. It's still used in many burn decks today, but it's not splashed in mainstream decks or in side-decks like it used to be.
17. Premature Burial
Turned out being even more broken than Call of the Haunted and Monster Reborn, with return-to-hand combos and equip-searchers like Hidden Armory. Just imagine it in Advanced today. It would be nasty stuff. This card got better in time.
18. D.D. Assailant
One of the most highly sought promos in YGO history. So much that people bought the abysmal video-game Destiny Board Traveler just to get it. It was strong in slow anti-meta decks for it's time and got rid of big threats. But now, D.D. Warrior Lady outclasses it for it's ability to banish weaker monsters as well.
19. Torrential Tribute
Was always my favorite trap card, personally. With a demand for faster traps that cards like Mirror Force could not meet, Torrential met that standard. At the very least it's a 1-for-1. It can also take care of swarms and trigger your graveyard effects. Still great stuff!
20. Nobleman of Crossout
With the importance of Flip Effects diminished and more general monster removal preferred, NoC stopped being a staple. Anyone who sides it and wins duels with it gets lots of props from me though. I don't think it's dead at all, though many people don't use it.
21. D.D. Warrior Lady
It had to be limited. That's how commonly used it was. Today it's at 3 and few people use it, but it still has a valuable effect that can take out threats that many cards can't. Good if you can find room for it.
Recently wrote a COTD on this one. Was a monumental card and a staple back then, but it slowly turned into an average card. It still has it's niche in some decks and side-decks, though.
They called it goat-control format for a reason. It fueled Metamorphosis, was chainable and stopped direct attacks. Since it's useless if you control monsters, it became obsolete. Though some Synchro decks use it since you can use it with a tuner to summon a wide variety of cards.
24. Magician of Faith
Had moved throughout the banned/forbidden list a lot. Due to a lack of powerful spells in the game and more removal options, this card has weakened quite a bit.
25. Lightning Vortex
Back then it was a great card to replace Raigeki. It was a balanced powerhouse. Now, Dark Hole makes it obsolete and removal is usually best left to Trap Cards (which can negate summons and effects).
26. Blade Knight
It's a LIGHT that negates flip-effects and can become 2000 ATK. All three of those factors were invaluable back then. Today, they don't matter so much in a more aggressive non-Chaos meta.
27. Slate Warrior
It was a reliable 1900 beater that could become 2400 with the right manuevering and weakens your opponent's monster. A bit versatile back then, but today beaters are less important.
28. Berserk Gorilla
It was a beater that +1'd by running over monsters like 1800-1900 beaters. Cyber Dragon instantly made this chimp obsolete. Like Slate Warrior, people don't use it at all.
29. Swords of Revealing Light
Used to be staples, but power creep as well as easy spell/trap removal made this card less reliable. Still, it can be abused with return-to-hand combos. But next to Messenger of Peace, it remains the best stall card.
30. Airknight Parshath
A strong effect, with really weak stats. Worked back then because it was a LIGHT for BLS. It punished Scapegoat and weak flip effects. It's now even easier to destroy in battle and none of it's advantages are as relevant today.
31. Apprentice Magician
A fad card. Old Vindictive Magician, Magician of Faith and Hand of Nephytys were popular search targets, so this card was a logical consequence. Good for Monarchs at the time.
32. Sacred Phoenix of Nephythys
With weak stats for it's level, it has diminished a bit from it's god-status. It used to be insanely hard to destroy and was almost at BLS Envoy level of nastiness, though a bit harder to summon. Today, at least it has a place in some Fire Kings deck.
33. Cyber Jar
Quick easy removal and +5 cards for each player made it banworthy. It was also risky and slow. It's currently banned and likely to remain that way, but if it were legal, it would infect the game like an epidemic.
34. Sakuretsu Armor
Quite a good card at it's time of release, but Dimension Prison's ability to remove the attacking monster made Sakuretsu obsolete. Alongside Mirror Force being at 2 now.
35. Smashing Ground
Recently did a COTD on this card as well. Was excellent removal in an era where monsters weren't big disposable floaters. Now, Dark Hole and faster-acting trap cards make this card obsolete.
36. Magic Drain
Was a good side-deck card for it's time that could negate cards like Pot of Greed even. Was a guarenteed 1 for 1. But since your opponent could negate it, it became too risky for it's own good.
37. Book of Moon
YGO's arm-and-hammer. A timeless classic with the most versatile effect in the game. I personally don't use it, but there's still today lots of decks that do!
38. United We Stand
Stat-boosting equip cards were always too risky for a control-oriented format, so this card has decline a bit. But nonetheless, this card is the king of stat-boosting equips, even if people don't use them much.
39. Zombrya the Dark
Was a DARK for BLS. Served well as a beater that could one-up just about every commonly used LV4. Needless to say, beatsticks today easily surpass 2100 ATK, so Zombyra is long gone.
40. Magic Cylinder
Monster removal has always beat attack-negation and as more traps have come out, Cylinder has become a bit obsolete. But it's still, nonetheless a very good card for burn decks.
41. Injection Fairy Lily
There was a great fervor for this card on release, but I had a feeling it would become obsolete. It was good for aggro and a beatstick deterrent at the time, but the LP cost effectively bad it bad late game.
42. Morphing Jar
A staple for Empty Jar. Outside of that, it became more vulnerable to removal, predictable and it can help your opponent. So, mostly, Morphing Jar has declined.
43. Card Destruction
Outside of FTK's, it wasn't a big card for it's time. Themes like Dark World and our graveyard-obsessed meta proved that it could be broken, so it was banned. Improved over time, basically.
44. Mobius the Frost Monarch
As more tribute-monsters came out and with how less common tributing became, Mobius lost it's special-ness but it nonetheless still has usage for backrow-hate today.
45. Windstorm of Etaqua
I don't ever think this card was used much, but it was always a bit underrated for it's time. Today, we have more options like No Entry and Zero Gravity, if they're even used.
46. Enemy Controller
It's battle-position changing effect used to be valuable, but in a faster era, it's gain-control effect is more relevant. Most decks don't use this card, but in the right deck it can be really versatile and explosive.
47. Thunder Dragon
Helped thin the deck for Exodia and add lights to the grave for BLS. Helped speed up a slow format, but now in a fast format, there are other options like Lightsworns and cards like Reckless Greed.
A real gem for it's time. It was low on the list because Thousand-Eyes Restrict was banned and King Dragun was the only worthwhile target. With high-level monsters easier to summon, today, Metamorphosis would be a beastly card if it were legal.
49. Dark Magician of Chaos
Used to be really powerful back then, but power creep has made it a bit less special. Should be perfectly balanced for Advanced Format today, if Magician of Faith is legal. COTH-friendly.
50. Blowback Dragon
Was never really a good card and Zaborg in the same set was better. But it was Ultra Rare hype. It was never good, but sure as heck isn't good now. Good if you compare it to it's predecessor, Barrel Dragon, at least.
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