For part 7 0f my GAOV preview I’m going to be finishing off the rest of the themed cards within the set. I have probably fairly arbitrarily assigned some cards to certain themes, or left certain cards out, so don’t complain that something hasn’t appeared yet. Sooner or later I will cover everything, it just won’t necessarily happen yet.
Gagaga Gardna: Level 4 1500/2000 Earth Warrior
When an opponent’s monster declares a direct attack: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. When this card is targeted for an attack: You can discard 1 card; this card cannot be destroyed by that battle.
Up first we have our 3rd addition to the Gagaga theme, which beyond the name doesn’t seem to have any thematic link to the previous two. Whereas they were about manipulating levels, this card is all about defense. Gagaga Gardna is actually a fairly useful defensive card that serves a similar purpose to Battle Fader. If you absolutely have to survive that turn Fader is of course better, but Gardna can be useful at times when Fader would just be a waste. Since he has 2000 defense he can hold off most Level 4 or below cards, and could actually live for more than a turn after playing him. As a bonus he can also survive an attack at the cost of a card from your hand, for those times when 2000 isn’t enough. In defensive decks like Final Countdown I’m sure they’d love yet another way to extend their lives, and this could actually be quite useful for those purposes.
Dragon Witch, Protector of Dragons: Level 4 1500/1100 Dark Spellcaster
While this card is face-up on the field, your opponent cannot target Dragon-Type monsters you control for attacks. If this card on the field would be destroyed by battle or by card effect, you can send 1 Dragon-Type monster from your hand to the Graveyard instead.
Here we have a femal counterpart to Lord of D, who was first seen all the way back in the Kaiba starter deck. Instead of protecting Dragons from effects she instead protects them from battle, which honestly nowadays doesn’t seem all that useful. Dragons have always been about power, and this really hasn’t changed. Dragons tend to be taken down by effects rather than battle, so making it harder to kill them by battle seems a bit of a waste. Instead of the dragons being hit Dragon Witch will take all the hits, which can either open you to a lot of damage or really drain your hand. I think honestly a Lord of D. with the self protection effect would have been a much nicer card to have.
Dragon Devil – Queen Dragun: Rank 4 2200/1200 Dark Dragon
2 Level 4 monsters
Dragon-Type monsters, except “Queen Dragun”, cannot be destroyed by battle. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 Level 5 or higher Dragon-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon it. Its effects are negated and it cannot attack this turn.
Queen Dragun is the upgraded version of Dragon Witch and the female counterpart to King Dragun. Much like the smaller version she protects all your other Dragons from battle, but comes with a larger body this time. As with the witch I’m not so sure giving your already massive Dragons battle safety is all that helpful, since it’s fairly rare for them to get challenged anyway. In addition by the time the opponent gets out something big enough to challenge them it’ll also probably be bigger than Queen Dragun, meaning they can just kill her off first them pick the other Dragons afterwards.
What she’s far more useful for is the fact that she can bring a Level 5 or higher Dragon back to life. Since it can’t attack or use its effect for a turn you’ll need to find another use for the card or just wait a turn. One possible use is for high Rank Xyz monsters, another use is banishing for Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, at worst you just use it as a wall.
Hammer Shark: Level 4 1700/1500 Water Fish
Once per turn, during your Main Phase: You can decrease this card’s Level by 1, and Special Summon 1 Level 3 or lower WATER monster from your hand.
Hammer Shark I can see having two uses. Either you use it for quick Rank 3 Xyz summons, or you use it to allow for big tribute summons (assuming you keep him on the field for a turn). Right now we all know there are better ways to make Rank 3 cards and I’m honestly not sure how much this even helps the Bani-shark style of deck. Maybe I’ve missed something obvious, but I don’t really see anything else to say about this.
Number 32: Marine Biting Dragon – Shark Drake: Rank 4 2800/2100 Water Sea Serpent
3 Level 4 monsters
Once per turn, when this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon that destroyed monster from the Graveyard to your opponent’s side of the field in Attack Position with its ATK reduced by 1000. Then during this Battle Phase, this card can attack once again.
Shark Drake is a costly to summon Xyz monster, but it can be a very hard hitter once you get it out. There aren’t that many ways to get 3 Level 4 monsters on the field, but there are two obvious ways that seem like possibilities to me. The first one is in Gadget, where thanks to Ultimate Offering you can easily swarm the field with Gadgets, then take your pick of Rank 4 monsters. The other is via Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth, who can easily flood the field with Level 4 fish. I’m not sure going into Shark Drake is particularly the most sensible idea though, because it’ll leave you with 1 monster left who can’t do anything afterwards. Given that the deck can still put 8000 on the field in one turn (albeit not as easily as before) I’m not sure how often you’ll opt for Shark Drake anyway.
If you do successfully summon Shark Drake the opponent will be hurt if they’re not careful. He basically brings a monster back to smack them about a second time for increased damage. If he’s just taken down a more powerful monster you’ll probably be expecting to hit for about 1500 extra damage, but in some cases you could be hitting for the full 2800 if you took down a defensive card in the process.
Most of the time it’s hard to justify making Shark Drake over other Rank 4 cards, but he does have the highest attack of those so far released, and he can end some games. If you can easily summon him it’s worth including him in your extra deck, but I doubt most ordinary decks will want to use him just in case they happen to need him.
Aquamirror Reincarnation: Normal Trap Card
Target 1 face-up WATER monster you control; shuffle that target into the Deck and return 2 WATER monsters from your Graveyard to the hand.
Here we have a more powerful version of Salvage, but slower and at a greater cost. If a deck can already play Salvage they’ll have no reason to use this instead, but for those decks which play more powerful water cards this could be great for the deck. Overall this is a break-even card, unless chained to some sort of removal, where it would be a +1. This is quite unusual for cards which fetch stuff back from the graveyard which usually leave you 1 card worse off. I imagine that, as the art indicates, this would be most suited to something like Gishki, but I imagine things like Fish or Bani-sharks could also benefit from it.
Bound Wand: Equip Spell Card
Equip only to a Spellcaster-Type monster. It gains 100 ATK × its Level. If the equipped monster is destroyed by your opponent, and this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon that monster from the Graveyard.
Once again Spellcasters get more support and once again it probably won’t make that much of an impact. In terms of attack bonuses this card can’t hope to match ancient cards like Mage Power or United We Stand, but that’s hardly the point of this card. What you’re meant to be doing is using it to make your cards harder to kill, or at least harder to keep dead. I can’t think of anything that particularly benefits from reviving monsters, but it does make tributing /synchroing/ Xyz summoning easier. There is the The Kick Man / DNA Surgery / Rainbow Life infinite Life combo, but honestly that’s not worth trying beyond having a bit of fun.
Sacred Belt: Continuous Spell Card
The activation of LIGHT Effect Monster’s effects cannot be negated.
Sacred Belt will cause a lot of confusion and problems, because people won’t read it properly, or won’t understand properly what it does. Preventing the negation of the activation of Light monster’s effects is not the same as preventing the negation of Light monsters effects. For example what this card means is that Skill Drain, Effect Veiler and Fiendish Chain will still cause problems for all your Light monsters. On the other hand Divine Wrath and War Chariot cannot be used on Light monsters anymore. This means that this card could find specific uses, for example when playing against GBs, but will not be a general use side deck card for Light decks.
Spiritual Light Art – Hijiri: Normal Trap Card
Tribute 1 LIGHT monster you control to target 1 of your banished monsters; your opponent can reveal 1 Trap Card in their hand to negate this card’s effect, otherwise Special Summon that target.
We’ve finally got our Light Art trap card, and much like the Dark Art it can be countered by the opponent, which can put a dent in its usefulness. However Traps are much less common than Spells so the effect is more likely to succeed. Of course another way of looking at this could be that it’s a way to get rid of a Trap in the opponent’s hand if you don’t particularly care about the special summon.
A useful thing to note about this card is that even though to tribute a Light monster to use it, you don’t have to summon a banished Light monster. This makes it more versatile than something like Miraculous Descent, which has to get Fairy monsters. This means that if you play a mixed deck like Twilight you could bring back your Dark monsters instead for example. I’m not sure how many decks will benefit from this versatility, compared to more restrictive easier to use cards though.
Probably Dragons and Water will benefit most from these new cards, but we’ll possibly see a few of the other in use. For the 8th part of my GAOV preview I’ll be looking at the removal (monster / spell / trap / graveyard etc) and stat manipulation, as we get closer to the end of the previews.