Cards of Interest…

I don’t have much to say this week, so here’s a quick one.

Don’t worry, we recorded a podcast and it should be up this week. We’re not dead! Justen has a relatively new job which has a schedule that essentially massively clashes with Matt’s making meeting up, at least for the 3 of us, almost impossible. I’m sure we’ll figure something out, but for now we did a podcast with me, Matt and special guest Joe from the way back, so ya’ll can look forward to that.

That all aside, I didn’t really prepare a topic in advance for today’s article so I’m kind of firing from the hip here. I figured I could just talk about cards that I enjoy the design of and just list off some of the newer cards that I really like that Konami created.

So, first off, a saying you might hear me say on the podcast frequently is that I like cards or sets of cards that are “dilutable from their archetype”. Essentially what I mean by that is I like cards from archetypes that can be removed from their respective archetype and still function. For example, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear was played more often than not in decks that weren’t actually Fire Fist decks because it was dilutable. With Beat and Fire Formation – Tenki you could make a small consistent engine that provided monster destruction for just about any deck. What I like best about dilutable cards is that they really give the power to deck builders and innovators. I for one, don’t really like getting pre-made decks shoveled into the game by Konami that really add no value to deck building in any way, for example Nekroz and Qliphorts are almost completely un-dilutable and thus I don’t like them almost at all. Shaddolls on the other hand have a lot of dilutable parts and have potential uses way in the future even if Konami decides to absolutely obliterate the deck on the next ban list.

I should bring up also that there are plenty of non-archetype cards that have also been in this same vein of deck building creativity. Dragons of Legend was actually a fantastic set for the game of Yu-Gi-Oh!, even if one of those cards ended up being completely unfair (I’m talking about Soul Charge). At the same time, I really like that they created Soul Charge, it allowed for a lot of creativity and had really no set role by Konami that it was to be used for. Obviously, it ended up being way too good of a card, but that’s really the risk when designing non-archetype support, but then again that’s exactly what the ban list was originally designed for. Not every avenue of every card can be tested, so sometimes a card is made that pushes boundaries and and through innovation and deck building it’s shown to simply be too good, so the ban list takes the corrective action.

Dragons of Legend also brought us a lot of other meaningful deck building cards, for example: Kuribandit, Mathematician, Fire & Ice Hand, and Wiretap. There were even some cards that were good for innovators and deck builders that just ended up being less good: Flash Fusion, Doble Passe, Ayers Rock Sunrise, Carboneddon and Mound of the Bound Creator, all of which I’ve seen utilized in some kind of interesting rogue-ish deck. Now the new Dragons of Legend has been spoiled (at least the Japanese equivalent), and I’m quite disappointed to see it filled almost completely with only archetype support, and the most rigid stuff at that. Unless we get something special for the TCG version, it’s looking like a completely garbage pack, which completely sinks compared to the expectations built up by the first iteration. From what I’ve read, there’s maybe 2 dilutable cards in the entire set, but both are a bit of stretch even for that.

In the most recent pack, Crossed Souls, it’s pretty surprising that most of the relevant cards are completely dilutable or not even archetype specific, so in that respect I’m really happy with the additions it gave to the game. We of course gained the new hand trap Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit which is a potential fit in any deck, and it also provides tons of different applications because so many of the cards facets are usable. The card is incredibly well designed and I think it will only serve to better the game. We also obtained the new generic Rank 4 XYZ Tellarknight Ptolemaeus. While I know I’ve really ranted about how it’s bad for the game, it’s actually more that the card Stellarknight Constellar Diamond is bad for the game. Either way, the card provides interesting ulterior strategies to the game and really hands the power to the deck builders. It has become quickly apparent in Japan that this card may be a bit overpowered because it allows you to completely circumvent what’s supposed to be a difficult to summon monster: Cyber Dragon Infinity, but similar to Soul Charge, that’s really the risk of releasing innovative cards, and you know what I’m totally okay with that on extra thought.

Crossed Souls also gave us Jar of Avarice, a great potential choice for almost any deck, Fiend Grieving, and interesting card for any strategy trying to utilize Fiends, Clear Wing Synchro, a card worth running in any Level 7 Synchro deck, and even Lose 1 Turn, a card already showing that it may be too good, but none the less a great addition to any stun styled deck.

Something ironic though is that if you go back 1 pack to Secrets of Eternity, we get a pack where almost nothing interesting for deck building was released. In my mind I should thus consider this pack a terrible one, and I do, because it is. Really all I can say Yu-Gi-Oh! gained on whole from that pack is Uni-Zombie and Sky Cavalry Centaurea, neither of which have really made waves. It could be said we’re in such a stale format because of the wake of Secrets of Eternity and I’d probably buy that argument.

Going back yet another pack, we go to The New Challengers, which actually again had a lot of interesting dilutable cards that have made a real impact for deck building and Yu-Gi-Oh! as a whole. We’re all very familiar with Denko Sekka now, a completely un-archetype-d card that has drastically affected the metagame. We also received a lot of help for our Extra Decks with Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing, Herald of the Arc Light, Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon and even First of the Dragons. The pack is also loaded with weird, but interesting and worth testing cards in the form of spells and traps. Plenty have gotten in the lime light, cards like Solemn Scolding and Oasis of Dragon Souls have seen competitive play while some other interesting cards like Draw Muscle and Phantom Knights of Shadow Veil did not. Overall though I’d say there where quite a few interesting additions to the card pool.

The real shame though is that I’m mildly excited about a measly 10 or so cards from a pack with about 100 cards in it. That means about 90% of cards we get aren’t interesting or good for deck building, which really sucks! Any more than the 10% of the cards being beneficial is usually just an unforeseen use of a card, essentially chocked up to an accident on Konami’s part. Obviously, I’d love this to change, but I have no ┬ásolution for the problem since it’s not really in Konami fashion to design the game with the players in mind (shots fired?). Oh well… random tangent complete.

QOTW? Question of the Week:

Elder God Noden, now known as Elder Entity Noden: Good for yugioh or bad for it? State your case below!

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