It’s hard to pick favorites when your staring down over 4500 individual cards and counting. These ten cards represent a little about where I come from as a duelist and what I like about the game. It’s a lot less technical than you would expect. My favorites are cards that are unique in what they mean to me personally.
Wulf, Lightsworn Beast
Wulf has a lot of features going for him that I find very appealing. He’s one of the most perfect “mill” monsters in the game since he’s special summoned when he’s sent from the deck to the graveyard. At 2100, his attack is very generous.
Him being a Lightsworn is what inspired me to run Lightsworns to the extent that I have. I like the archetype and what it stands for: a flashy, somewhat unpredictable adventure. No monster better represents that than Wulf. Through him, I’ve had tons of fun mixed with some rewarding success – Lightsworn Synchro Deck.
I honestly don’t know why I like Mezuki. Maybe it’s because his effect is so straight forward, or maybe it’s because he’s a non-Dark Zombie.
He’s even more intriguing when you realize that he doesn’t look like a Zombie, he doesn’t even look dead. Furthermore, he’s a bull that walks on his hind-legs like a human, a kind of minotaur. That’s pretty cool, and again, really really weird. Everything about Mezuki screams “I should not be!”
But he is, and that’s the best part. He’s an awesome, freak-of-nature zombie -bull-horse-axe-thing. I was not aware of the reasoning behind Mezuki’s strangeness until late last year, when I was informed of the “Yokai,” a class of spirits noted for their peculiar or bizzare appearance.
An old favorite, and one that is still fun to look at and ponder. It’s flavor text sets the Celtic Guardian up as an elf warrior, which I have always found interesting because he just barely looks like an elf (its the ears I guess).
To me, elves are these slender, graceful creatures both where they dwell and on the battlefield.This monster is a huge contrast to that image with its heavy and cumbersome plated-armor and his long hair, I imagine, was cut short for the sake of practicality in battle. I’ve always found his colors and background “art” to be a nice blend. I could go on about the curiosity of the jewel in his helmet, his gauntlets, the pouch around his belt, those dangling tags on his armor and attached to the high (but open) collar at his neck.
Inaba White Rabbit
I like Spirits and used them for a short time. I also like stall and have found a lot of fun in combining these two styles. There’s an interesting mix between the them in a continuous trap called Spirit’s Invitation, making Inaba a pretty fun little card, almost like Neo-Spacian Grand Mole.
Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
I was running this card for just a couple of the months it was out, right before it got banned September of 2005.
It was a great time then, the game was at a speedy, yet balanced pace (as odd as that may sound) between the vast range of awesome Broken, OTK, Stall/Burn, and Beatdown decks. Things like Reflect Bounder and Injection Fairy Lily were the meta cards of the day. To me, BLS is a key to a very exciting time in Yu-Gi-Oh, one that I won’t soon forget.
It’s hard to believe, but reaper was the first monster to have the effect where it couldn’t be destroyed by battle. That was huge, the fact that it discards a card when it attacks directly was an added bonus. Looking back, I remember seeing this card go unused for a considerable amount of time.
A card like this is a great parody of the Grim Reaper. It waits and stalks you until your defenses are down, and then it strikes and robs you of your hand, your life. I just love that fact that if your opponent doesn’t get rid of it, this card of death will be there, looming over them.
Horus The Black Flame Dragon
When they were released, Level Up monsters were a very interesting game mechanic. Horus’ Ancient-Egyptian theme and design, mixed with Horus LV8’s killer effect and attack made it a very appealing monster set.
I would have liked to see more support for the LV monsters because I thought it was an interesting change of pace.
Destiny Hero – Malicious
Malicious has been with me since it was released as a common in Gold Series. It’s a great card that works for any mechanic in the game (Synchro, Xyz, Tribute, etc). Since I like flashy efforts, Malicious has been invaluable in the way I’ve come to Synchro Summon, and I’m sure I’ll rely on him as Rank 6 monsters find their niche.
Dedication through Light and Darkness
My interest in this card is largely based on the monster it summons, Dark Magician of Chaos, lovingly referred to as “D-MoC”. For a brief window, Dark Magician was glorified. Back then, using cards like Sage’s Stone and Dark Magician Girl were conceivable. D-Moc allowed those cards to be used and recycled. It almost made running Dark Magician a reward.
Unfortunately, DMoC allowed any spell to be reused and recycled, not just ones that dealt with the Dark Magician crew. His many shenanigans awarded him a place on the Banned List. Will he ever come back? Probably not. Cards like Escape from the Dark Dimension, Return from the Different Dimension, and D.D.R. Different Dimension Reincarnation are already asking to be put to good use. Each would be wild with this card.
This is a card I have yet to use in practice, but I think about its playability a lot. I take a big interest in finding the utility of under-used, under-played cards and always appreciate efforts to provide them support. Champion’s Vigilance is in those class of cards that only get better with age.
I’ve run a Cosmo Queen / Dark Magician beatdown deck on Duel Network for a little while now. It’s focus is to keep a Dark Spellcaster on the field by recovering it if it’s Banished, or from the Deck or Graveyard. A no-cost Solemn Judgement would give the deck a sharper edge.
It’s no surprise, and I’m sure I’ve said on the podcast many times, but I’m not the biggest fan of archetypes in the way they are given to us now. They make the deck building process much more streamlined then I care for, and ignore the benefits of exploring for your own strategies to success. But with so many cards in the game, I don’t see my adventure stopping anytime soon.