Return of the Duelist Preview Part 1: Heroic

With my look at Galactic Overlord now finally finished it’s time to turn attention to the next central set, Return of the Duelist (REDU). The set introduces several new themes such as Heroics, Madolce and OOPArts, whilst also expanding old cards into coherent themes, as seen with the Geargia and Books of Spell cards. In addition several older themes like Gagaga and Earth/Rock receive new boosts alongside the generic cards you expect in every set. Up first I’m going to be looking at the Heroic cards, a brand new Warrior theme.

Heroic Challenger Spartas: Level 4 1600/1000 Earth Warrior

Once per turn, when your opponent’s monster declares an attack: You can target 1 other “Heroic” monster you control; this card gains ATK equal to the original ATK of that monster, until the End Phase.

Spartas relies on having another Heroic monster on the field to be effective, but once you manage this it can be quite hard to shift him, provided you summon a new Heroic monster every turn. With Spartas and another Heroic on the field, your opponent will have to avoid attacking Spartas whenever possible, since he could all too easily reach 3200 attack or above. This means they’ll be attacking your other Heroics first to avoid losing battle to Spartas. Even if they do this he can still use his effect to give himself a power boost, saving himself for the turn anyway.

Ideally you would want to get two copies of Spartas on the field at once, since this would essentially lock down the opponent from attacking you, given that most decks can’t break 3200 attack. This means they’ll probably have to resort to using removal to get rid of your 1600 attack guys. Unfortunately whilst this might make a useful defensive measure it doesn’t help much when on the offense, since you’ll be stuck unable to get over anything of a decent size, at least without the support we’ll see later.

Heroic Challenger War Hammer: Level 6 2100/1300 Earth Warrior

When this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard: You can equip that monster to this card. Only 1 monster can be equipped at a time by this effect. This card gains ATK equal to the ATK of the equipped monster.

War Hammer is the heavy hitter of the deck, since you’ll usually expect him to break 3000 attack, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him even reach the high 3000s. On occasion he might reach 4000, but without outside help 4100 is the highest this card will reach. As well as being a threatening card in terms of sheer attack power War Hammer can also help to mess up strategies that require certain monsters to be in the Graveyard. Since he steals them and equips them to himself it means the opponent won’t be able to revive the card, or use it in conjunction with any of their other cards.

You have to be a bit careful when using War Hammer though, since you’re only allowed to have 1 monster equipped to him at a time. This means you might be stuck with a choice between high attack power or stealing a monster which you don’t want the opponent to be able to use. If you do the former you might be able to win the game faster, but you could allow your opponent more options. If you do the latter you’ll cut down your opponent’s plays, but War Hammer will be easier to kill. Although to be fair once you break about 3000 his attack becomes largely irrelevant for that matter, since nothing will be killing him in battle anyway.

Heroic Challenger Sword Shield: Level 4 0/2000 Earth Warrior

During either player’s turn, if you control a “Heroic” monster: You can discard this card; during this turn, Battle Damage you receive becomes 0, and “Heroic” monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle.

Sword Shield is the Heroic deck’s own version of Waboku, except it’s a Monster which can be used from your hand, making it more versatile and much more of a surprise. Being a monster also means that if you have to you can set him, and with 2000 defense he can fend off a fair amount of monsters. Sword Shield makes setting up plays with Spartas much easier, and just manages to keep you alive in general for longer. I would imagine he’s essential to a Heroic deck.

Heroic Challenger Double Lance: Level 4 1700/900 Earth Warrior

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special summon 1 “Heroic Challenger Double Lance” from your hand or Graveyard in face-up Defense Position. This card cannot be used as a Synchro Material Monster. If you use this card as an Xyz Material, it must be for a Warrior-Type Xyz Monster.

Double Lance allows you to make big plays my immediately giving you access to some Rank 4 Xyz monsters. Ideally you want to summon the second copy of this card from the Graveyard, since you won’t be losing any cards in the process, but sometimes the quick Xyz summon can be worth the cost. This will probably mostly be the case early in the game when you haven’t yet had a chance to get Double Lance in the Graveyard yet. If you want to end the game quickly you can summon Blade Armour Ninja. If you’re in a spot of bother and need to survive longer you can summon Utopia. If there’s a pesky defense position monster you can summon Photon Papilloperative. Finally if you want a heavy hitter you can summon Excalibur, the Xyz monster for the Heroic deck.

Heroic Champion Excalibur: Rank 4 2000/2000 Light Warrior

2 Level 4 Warrior-Type monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 2 Xyz Materials from this card; this card’s ATK becomes double its original ATK, until your opponent’s End Phase.

Excalibur can cause a lot of damage in one turn, and can defeat just about anything in battle. In addition since he’ll be staying at 4000 attack until your opponent ends their turn he’ll also be able to protect you from most monsters your opponent could throw at you. If they want to get rid of him straight away they’ll have to use up their removal, but if instead they wait a turn he’ll only be 2000 attack, which is much easier to deal with.

Outside of Heroics it might see use in HERO decks, for those times when you need a high attack score and Blade Armour Ninja just won’t do.

Heroic Chance: Normal Spell Card

Target 1 “Heroic” monster you control; double its ATK during this turn, but it cannot attack your opponent directly this turn. Only 1 “Heroic Chance” can be activated per turn.

Heroic Chance is a way for your Heroic monsters to overcome whatever threat they’re facing, and potentially push for game. When combined with Excalibur for example you can hit 8000 attack, whereas War Hammer could regularly sit in the 6000-7000 range. Even Spartas and Double Lance break 3000 meaning little can stand in their way. The card has several restrictions to prevent OTKs though. Firstly the monster cannot attack directly, this prevents you from hitting for 6000+ off a single monster, which can be a little unfair. In addition since you can only use one Heroic Chance per turn you are stopped from pumping monsters to ridiculous levels like 16000 or 32000 attack. Even with these restrictions this could still be a game ender. If you successfully get Excalibur to 8000 attack he won’t really care what monster is in his way, and will often cause between 5000 and 6000 damage, usually more than enough to end things at most points of the game.

This card could be combined with War Hammer to allow him to defeat big monsters like Grapha or REDMD, before equipping them to himself, becoming even stronger for the following turn.

Heroic Revenge Sword: Normal Trap Card

Target 1 “Heroic” monster you control; equip this card to that target. Battle Damage you receive from battles involving the equipped monster is inflicted to your opponent also. At the end of Damage Calculations in which the equipped monster battled a monster: Destroy that opponent’s monster.

The final Heroic card is a trap card which is useful for getting rid of threats and walls and could even cause a surprise end to a game. Late in the game when both of your lifepoints are low, provided you have just a bit more, this could lead the opponent into defeat, just when they though they were going to win. Whilst it is nice to turn the result of a duel on its head, I don’t expect this to happen very often. What is going to be much more useful though is the final effect of this card, which allows the battling monster to destroy whatever it was just battling.

If you’re on the losing end of a fight this means you’ll both end up taking damage and lose your monsters. This unfortunately results in a -1 overall, meaning you’d probably be better off with generic removal. Where it shines though is for breaking through defenses. You won’t care how big or small it is, your opponent’s monster is getting destroyed and the overall balance of lifepoints will remain the same.

Heroics offer some powerful new attacking monsters, and benefit from a wide variety of support already offered to Warriors. They’re also very straightforward, with not much going on beyond pure power. This should make them easy to play for beginners. I expect they might be capable of stealing some wins here and there from the top decks through sensible use of Heroic chance too. As a general theme I’m not sure they have enough going for them right now outside of just power, but I could see some of them like Double Lance getting used on their own to allow for easy Xyz summons.

Next time I’ll be looking at the OOPArts, a new theme coming to us from the anime.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Galactic Overlord Overview Part 11: OCG Imports

The OCG imports in GAOV are a fairly random mix of cards, picked from all over the place, such as Jump Festa packs, V Jump and Tag Force 6.

Number 11: Big Eye: Rank 7 2600/2000 Dark Spellcaster

2 Level 7 monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 monster your opponent controls; take control of that monster. This card cannot attack the turn you activate this effect.

Big Eye has a very powerful effect, provided you can summon him, since he’s basically a walking Change of Heart (albeit a more powerful one). Like Change of Heart it doesn’t care about position and can steal face down cards as well as face up cards, meaning it’s useful for breaking past powerful threats and through defenses.

As you might expect given his effect,  it’s fairly hard to summon a Rank 7 in most decks. For example the Gagaga cards can pull this off, since that’s what they’re designed to do. Many other decks need to either go out of their way to summon him or incorporate unusual card choices just for summoning him (such as Octavius in GB). Many times if they could summon him they’d be better off just leaving the two level 7 monsters there instead anyway. In the next set we get a few new cards which help summoning Rank 7s though.

Number 7: Lucky Straight: Rank 7 700/700 Light Fairy

3 Level 7 monsters
You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; roll a six-sided die twice and this card’s ATK becomes the larger number rolled x 700, then if the total roll was exactly 7, you can apply 1 of these effects.
● Send all other cards on the field to the Graveyard.
● Special Summon 1 monster from your hand or either Graveyard.
● Draw 3 cards, then discard 2 cards.

Lucky Straight is another Rank 7 and this time it’s even harder to summon, needing 3 Level 7 cards. You need to dedicate yourself to summoning him, and honestly once again the Gagaga route is probably your best bet. Once you do summon him it’s all a massive gamble though. You could get lucky and end up with a powerful monster who wipes the field, or you could do nothing and end up with a tiny monster for the cost. At best he can hit 4200 attack, whilst at worst 700. You’re not that likely to be stuck at 700 though, since you can repeatedly use his effect in the same turn until you get something useful or run out of Xyz materials.

I would really only recommend this card if you decide you want to make a deck based on luck and gambling, otherwise it’s really not worth taking the risk of giving up 3 cards.

Beetron: Level 4 1600/900 Dark Insect

You can send 1 face-up Spell/Trap Card you control to the Graveyard to target 1 Level 4 or lower Insect-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target in face-up Defense Position. The effect of “Beetron” can only be used once per turn.

Beetron is new Insect support and it just so happens that one of the big decks at the moment is an insect deck. This means Beetron can pull off some interesting plays in an Inzektor deck, but is probably not actually needed.

Usually it’s quite hard to have face up spell/trap cards for Beetron to destroy, since most decks barely run any. Fortunately though Inzektor decks are full of them, from the Equip cards, to Call of the Haunted, to the Inzektor monsters themselves.

If you’ve failed to get an Inzektor that can detach itself, such as Hornet, he can be very useful for starting your combos off. However by this point you’d need at least 1 of them in the Graveyard, on the Field and in your Hand, which is already quite an unusual position to be in. As soon as you do get someone like Hornet or Ladybug, Beetron will be completely outshone.

His best use would probably be for clearing out dead Call of the Haunteds, but you can’t rely too much on them sticking around on the field.

Overall I think Beetron could give Inzektors a few more plays, but they don’t really need the help, since he’s outshone by the Inzektors themselves.

Influence Dragon: Level 3 300/900 Wind Dragon

Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up monster you control; it becomes Dragon-Type until the End Phase.

Influence Dragon is basically a limited version of D. Tribe which only goes after 1 monster. He’s very limited in his uses, given his tiny stats, and the fact that if you need a Dragon type monster you’re probably already playing them anyway. He can help summon Synchro monsters that require Dragon materials (especially since he’s a tuner too), but if you’re planning to do that in your deck it’ll probably already be filled with Dragon Type monsters. The main use I could see for it would be to steal an opponent’s monster, turn it into a Dragon and then use it for a summon which requires Dragons, such as REDMD. Overall I don’t think he’s worth using.

Bright Star Dragon: Level 4 1900/1000 Light Dragon

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 face-up monster on the field, except this card; increase that target’s Level by 2 until the End Phase.

Bright Star Dragon is another high attack low level card for Dragons to play with, but unfortunately I feel he’s a bit lacking compared to the others like Koa’ki Meiru Drago. Bright Star is useful for summoning a wider variety of Synchro or Xyz monsters, or making those you already play easier to summon. Unfortunately though this means that on his own he’s no better than a vanilla, and often he won’t actually do you any good. For Synchro summoning you’ll need to already have a Tuner on the field or get one out. For an Xyz summon you’ll either need 1 monster 2 levels below Bright Star, or 2 other monsters with a 2 level difference between them.

He’ll be helpful sometimes, but often he’ll be no better than a vanilla. In fact nowadays a vanilla like Alexandrite Dragon would probably do you better anyway since it can be combined with Rescue Rabbit.

Buten: Level 1 200/300 Light Fairy

During your Main Phase: You can banish this card from the Graveyard to target 1 face-up Level 4 or lower LIGHT Fairy-Type monster you control; it is treated as a Tuner monster while face-up on the field.

After the Forbidden/Limited list Fairy decks, or at least Agents, lost of lot of their ability to Synchro summon easily. Buten is meant to help them get this back a bit, but it’d take a lot more than just this little pig for them to see play again. The restrictions on his effect means he’s limited to a very narrow range of decks, and you need to find a way to get him into the Graveyard. Something like a Herald deck could benefit from him, since he’s easy discard fodder and can turn spent searching cards into Tuners to allow for Synchro summons. He won’t be pushing Fairy decks back into the limelight, but some of them might appreciate having a new toy to play with.

Doom Donuts: Level 1 0/0 Dark Fiend

FLIP: Destroy all face-up monsters on the field with an original ATK or DEF of 0.

The playability to Doom Donuts depends entirely on what decks are popular at the time. If there are decks with lots of 0 Attack or Defense cards being played he can be an excellent piece of removal. If there aren’t he’ll be fairly useless. Currently he probably won’t do much except clear out Snowman Eater, but if Zombies ever make a big comeback he could be an excellent side deck choice against them.

Nimble Manta: Level 2 800/100 Water Fish

When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can Special Summon any number of “Nimble Manta” from your Deck.

Nimble Manta can be a good aid for fish decks, allowing for easy summons of Coelacanth. Unfortunately it will be very difficult to use his effect without forcing it yourself. With only 800 attack and 100 defense there is practically no time the opponent will need to get rid of Manta via card effects, so you’ll have to do it yourself. If the opponent has lots of monsters in your way you could combine it with Dark Hole or Torrential Tribute to leave yourself with two monsters on the field. However unless you can protect them or get the first Manta there without using up your Normal summon, you probably won’t get a chance to use them to summon Coelacanth.

If you’re determined to find easy ways to summon Coelacanth you’d be better off just sticking to Frogs or Mausoleum instead.

Shining Elf: Rank 2 1600/1000 Wind Spellcaster

2 Level 2 monsters
When your opponent Normal or Special Summons a monster(s) (except during the Damage Step): You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; that monster(s) loses 500 ATK.

Shining Elf is one of the better OCG imports, but it has a very narrow range of uses, with only decks like Sea Lancer or other Frog engine based decks really capable of making use of him. He might not look too impressive at first, but he helps fill some holes in the Rank 2 lineup. Previously they were mostly defensive (Gachi) or reliant on the opponent (Dark Mist), now you can turn 2 Ronintoadins from 200 to 1600 attack, which could help you end the game when you need that last push for damage, or get over smaller monsters when you lack your big guns. It also means the opponent has to summon a monster with 2100 attack or higher to deal with him, unless they want to resort to removal. This can be a pain for decks full of monsters that cap out around 1900 like Hero decks.

Most decks won’t ever be able to summon him, but for those that can they’ll be glad to finally have an offensive Rank 2 option.

Flelf: Level 2 800/1300 Wind Spellcaster

Once per turn: You can reveal 1 monster in your hand; increase the Level of this card by the Level of that monster, until the End Phase.

Finally we have Flelf, who I assume is a younger / less powerful version of Shining Elf. Flelf is another card that’s meant to help with Synchro or Xyz summons, by allowing easier access to high level or Rank cards. He’s easy to search too thanks to cards like Apprentice Magician. He shines best when you manage to get two copies of him at the same time, since they can both gain the same levels and Xyz summon a high ranked card. If you decide to dedicate some of your deck to him he might be quite useful, but as a general use card he doesn’t really have a place in current decks.

With GAOV finally finished it’s soon going to be time to move onto REDU, which brings with it plenty of new themes and even turns old single cards into full themes. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can get started on these.

Weiβ Schwarz Card of the Day: 25th-29th of May

Last week finished off with another Da Capo III double bill, but broke with the Climax combo pattern by giving us a character card and an event card. The character card was previously revealed but its name was hidden at the time, as such I won’t be going over [Returning miracles, Sakura] again. It also revealed to me that Sakura is actually the personification of a tree. Or at least that’s what I assume to be the case. This weeks starts off with a Climax combo from the new Symphogear booster pack, and follows up with two new character cards.

Miracle of the unwithering sakura

Blue / Level 3 / Cost 7 / Event / No Trigger

[COUNTER] All of your opponent’s Characters gain Soul +5 and the following ability until the end of this turn.
“[C] This card cannot Side Attack.”

This Counter card is an absolute last resort, which is what you’d expect given such a heavy cost. Other heavy cost cards usually try and turn the tables to help you win the game, whereas this one tries to stop you losing the game. You’ll want to save this until you’re on the verge of defeat and hope you can get another turn out of it. Since all your opponent’s Characters will gain +5 Soul they’ll be hitting you for at the very least 6 damage, which you are very likely to cancel. If you’re sitting on Level 3 with 5 or 6 damage it doesn’t really matter what you get hit with because it’ll probably finish you off. As such giving your opponent a massive Soul boost will drastically increase your chances of survival.

Your opponent losing the ability to Side Attack means your opponent will often be left in a situation where they might no longer want to attack at all. Being unable to reduce the Soul damage means it’s highly likely the attack will fail, so they might not try at all. They also might have been planning to Side Attack just to build Stock and avoid losing a character in battle, now they’ll have a choice between losing a character or not attacking at all.

As a last resort this card will usually keep you in the game for one final turn, hopefully allowing you to win then. Occasionally it’ll fail and you’ll just end up taking 6 or 7 damage at once, but that’s the risk you take.

Determination in the heart, Hibiki

Yellow / Level 2 / Cost 2 / 8500 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«音楽 Music»

[A] [(1)] When this card attacks, if [Symphogear] is in your Climax Zone, you can pay the cost. If you do so, look at up to 2 cards from the top of your Deck, select up to 2 Characters which [Hibiki] in their names, show them you your opponent and add them to your Hand. Place the rest in the Waiting Room.


Yellow / 2 Soul Trigger

[A] When this card is put from Hand to the Climax Border, put the top 1 card of your Deck to Stock, and all of your characters gain Soul +1 for that turn.

This combo gives you an extra Stock and a Soul boost for the turn in addition to potentially gaining you two free cards. Since the combo is name restricted this means you’ll be forced to play a deck entirely based around Hibiki in order to get the most out of it. In that scenario you’d hopefully have 42 Hibiki cards and 8 Climaxes in your deck, assuming you can get enough Hibiki cards. This means that most of the time you’d get 2 free cards, sometimes 1 free card and very rarely zero free cards. In the latter situations the fact you won’t end up with a Climax stuck in your Stock can go a bit of a way to making up for this. If the deck is mixed with Tsubasa cards it means success is less likely, but you will still be able to have greater control over the top of your deck, which is always useful.

Casual days, Tsubasa

Blue / Level 2 / Cost 2 / 8500 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«音楽 Music» / «武器 Weapon»

[C] During your opponent’s turn, this card gains Power +500 for every other «音楽 Music» Character you control.

The first Tsubasa card is simple but powerful, and reminds me of China Dress Nagato, minus the Encore. Ideally this Tsubasa will be accompanied by 4 other «音楽 Music» characters, making her a 10500 before even accounting for boosts from support cards. This means she can even stand up to Level 3 cards, making her an excellent defensive wall during Level 2 and even during Level 3 if you’ve yet to draw any Level 3 cards. She’s not so great at attacking, since she can only really handle weaker or lower level cards, but you should be able to take out opponent’s cards whilst defending instead.

Desperate battle, Tsubasa

Blue / Level 1 / Cost 1 / 6500 / 1 Soul / No Trigger

«音楽 Music» / «武器 Weapon»

[A] This ability can activate up to 2 times in 1 turn. During your turn, when you play an Event card, this card gains Power +1000 until the end of your opponent’s next turn.

This Tsubasa can become quite a powerful attacker if you play enough Event cards to make her useful. 1 makes her a 7500, able to beat or match most other Level 1 cards, whilst 2 pushes her to 8500, which can even handle some Level 2 cards. The fact the boost sticks around until the opponent’s next turn means that she’ll also be an excellent defender, likely sticking around until your following turn, or making your opponent go out of their way to defeat her. Without the Event cards she can be a bit lacking in power for a 1/1, so we’ll have to wait and see if the set packs enough good Events to justify using this card.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Galactic Overlord Overview Part 10: TCG exclusives

We’re nearly at the end for the GAOV cards, this time I’m going to be looking at the 10 new TCG exclusives added to the set, which either support a variety of themes or are just generic cards.

Noble Knight Artorigus: Level 4 1800/1800 Light Warrior

“No one shall ever know the truth behind
That fateful day. Artorigus went forth
To where the brilliant sword didst lay.
Twas the first of many feats so great,
A legend through and through. We sing of him,
Artorigus, the Noble and the brave.

-From the Tales of the Noble Knights

Artorigus is possibly the start of a set up for some new cards, maybe even a TCG exclusive line. The appeal of this card mainly comes from his art and flavour text, since as a card he doesn’t do much we’ve not already seen. He’s the biggest Warrior you can get with Rescue Rabbit in terms of Attack/Defense, coming in at 300 more defense than Dark Blade, another Warrior card with 1800 attack from a long long time ago. The other advantage is that he’s Light, opening up support from things like Honest.

Ancient Dragon: Level 4 1400/1300 Light Dragon

When this card inflicts Battle Damage to your opponent by a direct attack: You can increase this card’s Level by 1 and ATK by 500.

Ancient Dragon, like Atrorigus stands out mainly for his art, which is quite different from normal Yu-Gi-Oh! standards. I also get the feeling the two will meet at some point.He’s a Light Dragon who gets bigger every time he manages a successful direct attack, meaning that he can soon become a threat capable of taking down monsters normally more powerful than him. Since he starts at only 1400 he can be searched by Shining Angel or Masked Dragon. After 1 direct attack he becomes a 1900 which isn’t bad for something you can get off a battle searcher. The Level increase also means he could be used for higher Rank Xyz summons or higher Level Synchro summons. In a deck based around him Ancient Dragon might become quite threatening, but on his own there are already many better more consistent Dragons out there.

Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King: Level 6 0/0 Light Dragon

This card is treated as a Normal Monster while face-up on the field or in the Graveyard. While this card is face-up on the field, you can Normal Summon it to have it be treated as an Effect Monster with this effect.
● You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 “Hieratic” monster, except “Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King”, from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, in face-up Defense Position.

This is the new Gemini for Hieratics, which is designed to help make summoning Atum easier. There are plenty of other Level 6 Dragons out there in the game which can hit harder than this Seal, but they’re vanillas and can’t gain any benefits from the Hieratic support. If you want to play this card it can help you set up combos by searching another Hieratic from more or less anywhere. However most of the time you’ll just use it for an Xyz summon without worrying about the extra effect. On turns where you have yet to use your normal summon and cannot Xyz summon it could be worth Gemini summoning this card, but you probably won’t do this too often. Unlike the other vanillas this card will always be a terrible top deck since it has no power at all. This Seal can add versatility to the Hieratic deck, but it can also add more inconsistency into the deck.

Evoltile Elginero: Level 2 0/0 Fire Reptile

When this card on the field is Tributed and sent to the Graveyard: Draw 1 card, then, you can shuffle 1 Dinosaur-Type monster from your hand into the Deck, then add 1 “Evoltile” monster from your Deck to your hand.

Elginero solves some of the problems currently faced by the Evol deck. You never want to draw some of the Evolsaurs, since they only get their effect from the deck, and Elginero allows you to send them right back for later. In addition you exchange it for an Evoltile, such as Najasho or Westlo, which you do want in your Hand. This then allows you to set up for even more combos on the following turn. I think Elginero definitely has a place in Evol decks, but I’m not sure you’d want to go much higher than 1 copy, due to the fact it has 0 attack making it useless on its own.

Lightray Grepher: Level 4 1700/1600 Light Warrior

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by discarding 1 Level 5 or higher LIGHT monster. Once per turn: You can discard 1 LIGHT monster; banish 1 LIGHT monster from your Deck.

Lightray Grepher is very similar to Dark Grepher, in both summoning condition and effect, except of course based around Light monsters instead of Dark. The other main difference is the fact that he banishes the Light monster from your deck instead of sending it to the Graveyard. One of the main uses could be to set up for Lightray Sorcerer who needs banished Light monsters. If they happen to be Fairy monsters you could also combine it with Miraculous Descent to special summon them back later. Right now to me Grepher seems like he could be a useful support card, it’s just the deck that he could support best doesn’t really exist yet.

Tardy Orc: Level 4 2200/0 Dark Fiend

This card cannot attack the turn it is Normal Summoned.

Tardy Orc is continuing the Tour Guide storyline, and honestly this seems like the main point of interest about the card. We’ve already had another card with the same stats for years in the form of Giant Orc. The only difference between the two is that Giant Orc has to go to defense, so will likely only get one attack, whereas Tardy Orc cannot attack on the turn he’s normal summoned. For use with cards like Deck Devastation Virus there’s not really any advantage to using one card over the other. In the long run Tardy Orc will be the better of the two, especially if you can special summon it, since it will be able to attack more times before being destroyed. Giant Orc is better if you need an immediate hitter though. Right now I don’t really see a deck that could particularly benefit from using him.

Draconnection: Normal Spell Card

Reveal 1 Dragon-Type monster in your hand, add 1 Dragon-Type monster with the same Level from your Deck to your hand, then shuffle the revealed monster into the Deck.

Draconnection is a new searching card for Dragon decks, however unlike other searching cards it doesn’t come free. In exchange you potentially get access to a much wider range of Dragon cards, because most searching cards are restricted to Level 4 or below. Some decks like Hieratics or Malefics use higher level Vanilla monsters which you don’t want to draw, this card allows you to trade those in for other more useful monsters and use the Vanillas later when you actually need them in the deck. You could also combine it with searching cards like White Stone of Legend, which often nets you a free card, to mitigate the fact you lose a card here, as well as searching for a new more useful Dragon.

This card also makes it easier to play single copies of certain cards, since you no longer need to worry about the fact you had no real way of searching them beyond Gold Sarcophagus. Provided you play other monsters of the same level of course.

I think this could be interesting to use in some dedicated Dragon decks.

Trial and Tribulation: Normal Spell Card

You can only activate 1 “Trial and Tribulation” per turn. During the End Phase of the turn this card was activated, apply this effect, depending on the number of the monsters you Tributed from the field and from your hand this turn, except Tokens.
● 1: Draw 1 card.
● 2: Add 2 monsters from your Graveyard to your hand.
● 3+: Destroy up to 3 face-up cards on the field.

Trial and Tribulation is a versatile card that could find uses in quite a lot of different decks.

The first and most obvious would be for decks which perform tribute summons a lot. The problem here is that these will usually only tribute 1 monster per turn, meaning you’ll usually only be able to draw 1 card. Using cards like Enemy Controller could increase this number, or summoning 2 Tribute monsters like Light and Darkness Dragon, or even a 3 Tribute like Obelisk. Although I might wonder how often Obelisk needs even more help, given his in built protection.

Another use is for Ritual decks such as Gishki, since it would usually allow you to get back the cards you used for the Ritual summon, going some way to making up for performing the Ritual summon.

It could also be useful for decks like Hieratics which Tribute all the time and should make it very easy to fulfill this cards requirements. Even Wind Ups could consider it for when they pull of the Hunter loop, but I somehow doubt adding inconsistency to the deck is a good idea.

The main flaw of this card is the fact that on its own it’s useless, so when you’re in deep trouble it probably won’t help you. Also you’ll have to wait until the following turn to fully capitalise on the effects gained by this card. When you’re winning the game this will help you seal the game faster, but it could also be used to just tip the scales a little when the game is evenly matched.

Hieratic Seal From the Ashes: Continuous Trap Card

Once per turn, during your opponent’s turn: You can send 1 “Hieratic” monster from your Deck to your Graveyard. Once per turn, during your turn: You can target 1 of your banished “Hieratic” monsters; return that target to the Graveyard. When this face-up card on the field is sent to the Graveyard: Target 1 “Hieratic” monster in your Graveyard: Special Summon that target.

This is a multipurpose Hieratic support card intended to make playing the theme much easier. Unfortunately since it’s a little slow and doesn’t lend itself to super fast wins the many people will probably overlook it. This card has 3 effects, each designed to help with different parts of the deck.

The first effect will mostly be used to dump the Hieratic Seal monsters to the Graveyard. This thins your deck and stops you from drawing them, but also allows you to summon Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King with your other Hieratics. As a Gemini you can’t summon it from the deck, but once in the Graveyard it’s a Normal monster meaning you can revive it.

The second effect is meant to support Sutekh, allowing you to summon it without completely ruining all your other Hieratic plays. It can also bring back cards banished by the opponents cards for future use.

The final effect allows you to at the very least put up a greater defense when your opponent clears out your Spell / Trap cards, and might on rare occasions even stop them playing cards like Heavy Storm if you have a massive Hieratic that they can’t defeat. If you have ways to destroy it yourself you can also use it to start off your bigger combo plays.

Xyz Wrath: Continuous Trap Card

Once per turn, when a Level 5 or higher monster’s effect is activated (except during the Damage Step), and you control an Xyz Monster: You can discard 1 card; negate that effect, and if you do, destroy that monster.

The final new TCG exclusive is Xyz Wrath, a new version of Divine Wrath. This card is a lot more restrictive than the original, but can also cause problems for much longer. Effects in the damage step can often be some of the most annoying to stop, so not being able to touch them is a bit of a downside for this card. The fact it can also only touch level 5 or higher cards means Xyz monsters and powerful low level ones are immune to it, which means you’ll have a hard time stopping some of your opponent’s combo plays. This is because usually lower level cards with good effects are there to set up big plays into or working with other cards i.e. Tour Guide, whereas higher level cards are usually just powerful in their own right i.e. Black Luster Soldier Envoy of the Beginning.

The fact it also relies on your own Xyz monster means your opponent can shut it down simply by killing that Xyz monster. If you can keep both the Xyz monster and this card around for long enough you can shut down lots of bigger power plays by your opponent. However most of the time I’d think you’d just be better off with Divine Wrath, and that barely sees play as it is.


For the final part of my Galactic Overlord series I’m going to be looking at all of the OCG imports, which are of varied usefulness.

Weiβ Schwarz Card of the Day: 23rd and 24th of May

This week has been continuing its theme of Climax combos with a Ricca combo and a Sakura combo (Who makes their first appearance in the Card of the Day in Ricca’s Climax card.) Chances are we’ll be finishing off the week with one final combo just before the set is released.

Towards an ideal future, Ricca

Yellow / Level 1 / Cost 0 / 5000 / 1 Soul / No trigger

«魔法 Magic» / «生徒会 Student Council»

[A] When [Ever-blooming flower] is put in your Climax Zone, if this card is in the Front Stage, reveal the top 1 card of your Deck. If that card is a «生徒会 Student Council» character card, you may choose 1 of your opponent’s characters and return it to their Hand.

Ever-blooming flower

Yellow / Whirlwind Trigger

[C] All of your characters gain Power +1000, Soul +1.

This Ricca combo is all about bouncing cards to the opponent’s hand. If you trigger the Climax you get to bounce one of your opponent’s characters to their hand, whereas if you draw the Climax you can use it to possibly return one to their hand. The latter of these two will probably be the far more useful one, since you have more control over it.

You can’t rely on hitting this Trigger when attacking, and it won’t always be useful when you do. If you hit it when you’re going to win all the battles anyway it could actually help the opponent. If you’re staring down characters you can’t beat it can be useful, but you may have to risk a suicide attack in the hopes you hit it. Probably one of the more common uses would be bouncing a support card to make attacking easier, which is especially good when it has a cost attached.

With Ricca’s effect you won’t always be guaranteed to hit a «生徒会 Student Council» card, but more often than not you will. With hopefully a bit more control of the bouncing effect it should be easier to clear out powerful attackers or supporters. Ideally you want to hit high cost cards to force the opponent to use more stock, or above current Level Changed cards, making it so they can’t replay it next turn.

Bounce has its uses but personally I’d rather get rid of a card than delay it.

Important matter, Sakura

Blue / Level 0 / Cost 0 / 2500 / 1 Soul / No Trigger

«魔法 Magic»

[A] [(1)] When this card Attacks, if  [Token of Friendship]  is in your Climax Zone, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at up to 5 cards from the top of your deck, choose up to 1 «魔法 Magic» character from amongst those cards, show it to your opponent, and add it to your hand. Send any remaining cards to your Waiting Room.

Token of Friendship

Blue / 2 Soul Trigger

[A] When this card is put from your Hand to the Climax Zone, draw 1 card, and choose 1 of your characters. It gains Power +2000 and Soul +1 for that turn.

This Sakura combo has multiple uses. Firstly you will probably get a free «魔法 Magic» card which is always useful. Given that it’s a Draw 1 Climax you’ll also be gaining 1 card overall, unlike some other combos where you lose a card in the process. Secondly it allows you to thin your deck and possibly get Change targets into the Waiting Room. This can also prevent you triggering Climax cards and getting them stuck in Stock. However it might also increase the chances of you triggering other ones when you attack.

Weiβ Schwarz Card of the Day: 18th-22nd of May

Bit of a catch up to do here, but fortunately not as bad as some of the recent ones. Last week rounded off with another Level 3 card and an interesting combo involving it. This week seems to be concentrating on Climax combos with the first two days both showing them off.

Real feelings, Aoi

Blue / Level 2 / Cost 2 / 8000 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / «ウェイトレス Waitress»

[A] [(1) Put 1 [Magical Mist] from your Climax Zone or Waiting Room to Memory] When this card Attacks, you may pay the cost. If you do so, look at up to the top 2 cards of your Deck, chose up to 1 card and add it to Hand. Put the rest of the cards to the top of the Deck in any order you wish.
[A] CHANGE [Put 1 [Magical Mist] from your Waiting Room to Memory, put this card to Memory] At the beginning of your Encore Step, if this card is in Rest, you may pay the cost. If you do so, choose 1 [Towards the future, Aoi] from your Waiting Room and put it in the Border this card was in.

On first site this card seems incredibly risky to use and not worth the cost of losing Climax cards, but when we get to the next Aoi you’ll see what the point of this card is. The first effect allows you to add a card to your Hand whilst giving you a little bit of control over your damage output and the cards in your Stock, which can be very useful. It’s also the first way to get [Magical Mist] into Memory for later. The 2nd effect allows you to change to the Level 3 Aoi that we’ll be looking at next, whilst also getting another [Magical Mist] into memories.

Normally sending Climaxes to Memory would be terrible, because generally speaking you want to make it harder to beat you, not easier, but it’s all for a purpose here.

Towards the future, Aoi

Blue / Level 3 / Cost 2  / 10000 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / «ウェイトレス Waitress»

[A] When this card is put from Hand to the Stage or put to the Stage by [CHANGE], draw up to 2 cards, choose 1 card from your Hand and put it to the Waiting Room.
[A] [(1) Put 1 [Magical Mist] from your Memory to the Waiting Room] When this card attacks, you may pay the cost. If you do so, put the top 1 card of your Clock to the Waiting Room.
[A] When your Deck Refreshes, if there is no [Magical Mist] in your Memory, put this card to the Waiting Room.

Rather than healing upon being played this Aoi has the ability to continuous heal you on every turn under the right conditions. Instead of healing immediately she comes with a draw effect allowing you to gain a free card just by playing her, and get dead cards from your Hand to the Waiting Room, or maybe even drop more copies of [Magic Mist] to set up for later.

Her 2nd effect allows you to heal every time you attack provided there’s a [Magical Mist] in Memory, it also sends the card back to the Waiting Room, meaning it’s not stuck out of your deck when it comes time for a Refresh. Alternatively you could just send it right back with the first Aoi to set up for healing again. If you manage to set up a combo like this you can keep on healing 1 damage every turn, provided you protect the smaller Aoi. On turns when you can’t set up the loop you can make up for it if you’ve got extra copies of the card in Memory.

Due to her 3rd effect you need to be careful though and need to think through properly about your plays. If you Refresh with no [Magic Mist] in Memory, you lose this Aoi card. However in this situation you would have more copies in your deck, so would be more likely to cancel damage. If she survives the Refresh you’ll be more likely to take damage from attacks, but you keep your Level 3 and can continue to perform the healing loop. You just need to be careful balancing the risks when playing this card.

Beautiful genius of magic, Ricca

Red / Level 2 / Cost 2 / 8500 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / «生徒会 Student Council»

[A] When this card attacks, if [Proud Cattleya] is in the Climax Zone, choose up to 1 card from your opponent’s Waiting Room and put it to the top of their Deck, and all of your characters gain Power +1000 for that turn.

Proud Cattleya

Red / Door Trigger

[C] All of your characters gain Power +1000, Soul +1.

The first Climax Combo is for Ricca and it’s quite a powerful one. You put a card on top of your opponent’s deck from their Waiting Room, guaranteeing you at least 1 damage or reducing their chances of cancelling. In addition all your characters gain +1000 on top of the +1000 from the Climax, meaning everyone gets +2000 overall. This can help tip the flow of battle, since for example it bring this Ricca card above the 10000 standard for Level 3s, meaning she can start to challenge higher level cards. Chances are you’ll either take out a lot of cards on the Stage or force out some Counter cards.

Commemoration for two, Sara

Green / Level 2 / Cost 1 / 5000 / 1 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / «スポーツ Sports»

[C] ASSISTANCE All of your Characters in front of this card gain power +X, where X is equal to that Character’s Level x 500.
[A] When [Proof of love] is placed in your Climax Zone, all your Characters gain  Power+1000 until the end of the turn.

Proof of love

Green / 2 Soul Trigger

[A] When this card is put from your Hand to the Climax Zone, draw 1 card, and choose 1 of your characters. It gains Power +2000 and Soul +1 for that turn.

This Sara card is the standard Level support type of card, which means she can work perfectly fine without her Climax combo. If you do choose to use the Climax she becomes even more powerful though. For the turn everyone will get a +1000 power boost in addition to the +2000 someone got from the Climax card itself. This is of course all on top of the support from the Sara card itself. The +1000 can help you get over cards you’re evenly matched with, whilst the character getting the +3000 (at least) will probably strike safely over bigger threats or at least draw out a Counter card.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Galactic Overlord Overview Part 9: The Rest

For the 9th part of my GAOV overview (once upon a time preview) I’m going to be looking at all the remaining cards from the original GAOV set. This means there’s quite a random mix of things like Effect Negation, burn and just general generic cards.

Negation (Attacks, effects etc)

Tasuke Knight: Level 4 1700/100 Light Warrior

When an opponent’s monster declares an attack, while you have no cards in your hand and this card is in your Graveyard: You can Special Summon this card from your Graveyard, then end the Battle Phase. Each player can only use the effect of “Tasuke Knight” once per Duel.

Tasuke Knight is yet another card which allows its user to end the battle phase and avoid losing for another turn. It joins the monster ranks alongside Battle Fader and Swift Scarecrow, but instead of coming from the hand he comes from the Graveyard. This takes away the surprise factor those other cards have, because you’ll usually not know they’re there until you actually get hit by them. There’s also the issue of actually getting Tasuke Knight into the graveyard. This could be done manually with a card like Foolish Burial or Card Trooper, or it could just be done by letting Tasuke Knight get killed in battle. Unfortunately for the decks that would benefit most from this card (Final Countdown for example) you won’t really have a choice beyond losing him in battle. As an added bonus after using him he actually has quite a decent attack power, meaning he can counterattack a bit better than something like Battle Fader can. He might be useful as a one-off in stall decks, but probably won’t see play elsewhere.

Number 25: Force Focus: Rank 6 2800/2400 Light Machine

2 Level 6 monsters
Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 face-up Level 5 or higher Effect Monster your opponent controls; negate the effects of that opponent’s face-up monster, until the end of the turn.

Force Focus is another Rank 6 Xyz monster with a similar effect to Photon Strike Bounzer, by allowing you to negate monster effects. However the conditions for this effect are more restrictive, since it can only be used on Level 5 or higher cards. This means it can’t touch other Xyz monsters or low level cards with powerful effects like Rescue Rabbit or Tour Guide from the Underworld. The advantage it has is that it negates the monster’s effect until the end of the turn, which provides several advantages over Bounzer. Some monsters can use their effects multiple times in a turn, which this can stop. Other cards could have continuous effects that you want to prevent, something which Bounzer cannot do. It also comes with slightly more attack power, but I would guess that beyond fighting something like Grapha the 100 points don’t matter too much. If we had more decks focused around high level monsters then this card could potentially shine, but right now it’s outdone by Photon Strike Bounzer.

Butterflyoke: Normal Trap

When an opponent’s monster declares an attack: Target the attacking monster; change that target to Defense Position, and if you do, equip this card to that monster. Once per turn, during either player’s Main Phase or Battle Phase: You can change the equipped monster’s Battle Position.

Butterflyoke is a new addition to the many many cards we have that allow you to stop an attack. I assume it’s main purpose is meant to be supporting and helping the new Butterspy cards, allowing Morpho to drain all their power, but it can be used outside of this. It’s first effect makes it similar to Kunai with Chain or Enemy Controller when used defensively, allowing you to hopefully overcome its weaker defense on the following turn. If you turn things around and manage to then summon a massive monster you can switch it back into attack mode to hit the opponent for damage. If however you fail to overcome the opponent’s monster that turn you can still keep them from attacking you on following turns, until you can deal with it. Whenever the opponent switches it back into attack mode, you just switch it back into defense and stop it in its tracks.

Xyz cards (Support + countering)

Overlay Owl: Level 4 800/1600 Wind Winged Beast

Once per turn: You can pay 600 Life Points; detach 1 Xyz Material from a monster on the field.

Overlay Owl lets you get rid of Xyz materials for 600 Life points. Sometimes this will be helpful because this can drastically weaken Xyz monsters. The problem is that often it’s just easier to kill the Xyz monster than deal with its materials, unless it’s something like Solda or Tiras. It can be helpful for taking down cards like that, but they aren’t really summoned enough to make it worth including a counter to those individual cards. If you have to drain Xyz materials something like Kurivolt does the job better anyway. The only real advantage this has is the fact it actually has some sort of a body meaning it won’t instantly die in battle should you need to play it in defense. Many things played will still be able to kill it no trouble, but it’s more durable than Kurivolt.

Overlay Eater: Level 2 300/800 Light Reptile

You can banish this card from your Graveyard; take 1 Xyz Material from a monster your opponent controls and attach it to an Xyz Monster you control as Xyz Material.

Overlay Eater is another way to deal with Xyz materials, except this time you steal them. This results in their Xyz monster being weaker and your one growing stronger. The requirements for Overlay Eater are a bit harder to achieve, since you need to have an Xyz monster yourself and Eater in the Graveyard, but if you can pull it off its effect is much better. Since it works from the Graveyard you don’t need to worry about using up your normal summon for the turn, and there are plenty of ways to dump it there that don’t rely on summoning it. It also makes it harder for the opponent to stop it, since most decks tend to pack less cards that can stop effects in the graveyard.

Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon: Rank 8 4500/3000 Light Dragon

3 Level 8 monsters
When this card is Xyz Summoned using “Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon” as any of its Materials: Negate the effects of all other face-up cards currently on the field. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; detach all Xyz Materials from monsters your opponent controls, then this card gains 500 ATK for each, also it can attack up to that many times during each Battle Phase this turn.

Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon or NGEPD for short is a bit odd in it’s concept, since the ultimate Xyz killer is an Xyz monster itself. If you manage to successfully summon NGEPD chances are you’re going to win the game that turn or very soon at least. If you don’t you’ll probably pay the price for investing so many cards into one monster. Even if the opponent only has 1 Xyz monster NGEPD can be devastating, since just two materials will turn it into a 5500 double attacker, which will allow it to swing for huge of damage in one go. For every Xyz monster with 2 materials NGEP will gain an extra attack beyond defeating the Xyz monster allowing it to either hit directly or destroy an additional monster. It would be quite surprising if much was left standing after NGEPD goes into battle. If you summoned it using the normal GEPD then your opponent will be in for an even harder time since all their monsters will lose their effects, probably making it easier for you to hit through or make other additional plays.

Due to the heavy requirements for even playing this card in the first place there aren’t really all that many deck which can successfully summon it. Dragon variants and Hieratics (which are Dragons anyway) are probably your best bet.

Xyz Unit: Equip Spell Card

Equip only to an Xyz Monster. It gains ATK equal to its Rank × 200. If the equipped monster you control would detach its Xyz Material to activate its effect: You can detach this card as 1 of the Xyz Materials.

Xyz Unit provides your Xyz monsters with a power boost and allows them to use their effect an additional time (assuming it only requires a single material). The power boost only really starts mattering for Rank 3 or above cards, since most Rank 2 or 1 cards barely have any attack to start with. However Shining Elf (featured on the card) will find it useful since it means the opponent must summon a 2500 or higher card to be able to match him. Rank 3 cards like Leviair don’t often stick around beyond their first use due to a relatively low attack score, but this can help stave off most of the easy to summon monsters out there. It also means cards like the new Djinns can hit for even more damage than usual. Once you hit Rank 4 the power boost starts feeling quite significant. Steelswarm Roach can make better use of his effect, since he no longer has to worry about 1900 Level 4 cards being normal summoned and clashing with him. Utopia can focus on protecting your other monsters over himself. The Evolzars become even harder to kill because defeating them in battle is no longer an option and Dolkka can negate even more cards than before. Once you get beyond Rank 4 cards the attack boost is generally just going to help you win faster, because very few things can challenge them without the boost anyway. At this point the fact you can use their effect again is the more important matter.

Burn (For / against)

Double Payback: Continuous Trap Card

Activate only when you take 1000 or more damage from your opponent’s card effect: Place 1 Payback Counter on this card for every 1000 damage you took. During the End Phase of your opponent’s next turn: Destroy this card, and if you do, inflict 2000 damage to your opponent for each Payback Counter on this card.

Double Payback as the name suggests allows you to hit the opponent back with twice the burn damage they hit you with. In some instances this might be enough to finish them off in a single blow. 4000 damage ends the game, and even something like 3000 would often be enough to help you win if you’ve just managed to get a single attack through their defenses. Usually you’ll probably only take somewhere in the region of 1-2000 damage in a single hit, so expect to still take out a decent chunk of their lifepoints. There are two major drawbacks to this though. Firstly is the fact that it doesn’t prevent any of the burn damage, which means you could be dead before you manage to pay them back. Second is the fact that there’s a fair bit of a delay between activating this card and causing the burn damage. If your opponent is siding in for anti-burn cards then there’s a chance they’ll be able to destroy it before you can get your own back.

Gamushara: Normal Trap Card

When a Defense Position monster you control is targeted for an attack: Change that Defense Position monster to face-up Attack Position. Then, if the attacking monster is destroyed by that battle and sent to the Graveyard: Inflict damage to your opponent equal to that monster’s original ATK in the Graveyard.

This is a surprising burn card which can lead to sudden victories. Your monsters could be in defense position for 3 main reasons. It could have a high defense but low attack, meaning this card will be useless in those situations. Secondly it could have been forced into defense either by a card like Enemy Controller or because you can’t stop your opponent’s stronger monsters. This means that when the opponent tries to defeat it with a weaker monster you can switch it back to attack position and not only defeat their monster but also burn them as well. Of course this doesn’t work it they just try and hit it with the big monster anyway. The final situation would be the biggest surprise. You can set a big monster bluffing it to be a weaker card, wait for the opponent to attack and then take it down and hit them with additional burn damage. This can could be fun to use for the shock factor and leaving your opponent guessing as to what you’ve got, but unfortunately is useless if you have no monsters or are just staring down lots of big monsters.

Generic / Other

Wattaildragon: Level 6 2500/1000 Light Dragon

“Capable of indefinite flight. Attacks by wrapping its body with electricity and ramming into opponents.
IMPORTANT: Capturing the “Wattaildragon” is forbidden by the Ancient Rules and is a Level 6 offense, the minimum sentence for which is imprisonment for no less than 2500 heliocycles.

I think Wattaildragon basically exists for 2 reasons. Firstly to give Hieratics a big Level 6 Vanilla, and secondly so they can write joke flavour text.

Cardcar D: Level 2 800/400 Earth Machine

Cannot be Special Summoned. During your Main Phase 1, if this card was Normal Summoned this turn: You can Tribute this card; draw 2 cards, then it becomes the End Phase of this turn. You cannot Special Summon during the turn you activate this effect.

Cardcar D is the star card of the set and the new big money card. There is a huge amount of hype surrounding the card but it remains to be seen whether or not it will live up to this. Why the card is good should be obvious to anyone, but it should also be obvious why it’s not necessarily an automatic in for every deck under the sun. Cardcar D is an instant +1, which is always good and it allows you to draw more of your deck adding consistency and speed to some decks. It’s at its absolute best on the first turn, because you’ll probably not be too worried about special summoning and you have no Battle Phase anyway, so you won’t care about ending your turn early.

After this how useful the card will be depends on your deck type and your current position in the game. For passive decks like Burn or Final Countdown this is a godsend, because they more than anything need as many free cards as they can get to stay in the game. For aggressive decks it will slow you down if you’re mid assault, but during a lull in the game it can set you up for future turns if you’d otherwise just be passing anyway. Where it falls down is the times when you need an answer to a problem now, since you won’t be able to use the cards you just drew until your next turn, unless they were things like Effect Veiler. This is where something like Pot of Duality could serve you better, because whilst it also shuts down special summons, you can at least do something after digging for extra options. It’s no good if you’ve drawn the perfect out to the current situation but die before you can use it.

Rocket Arrow Express: Level 10 5000/0 Earth Machine

Cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by controlling no cards, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you Special Summon this card. You cannot activate cards or effects, or Set any cards. During each of your Standby Phases, destroy this card unless you send all cards in your hand to the Graveyard (min. 1).

On the face of it this looks like it’s just a silly last resort card, which it is to an extent, but it does have a few uses beyond that. This card comes with heavy restrictions which means most of the time it’ll probably be fighting on its own. At 5000 attack this is nothing to scoff at, but it’ll take two turns before it can start going, and even then there’s no guarantee it’ll break through the opponent’s defenses. If it does then no monster can stand in its way and victory could be swift. Chances are this will only very rarely happen. The fact you can’t do anything alongside him other than summon other monsters makes it very hard to pull off any sort of combos, and these can only be used on the first turn you summon him, since you’ll lose your whole hand next turn and keep on losing it until this card dies. One possibility is using it for quick tribute fodder, but there are probably safer ways than this. Another is to special / normal summon other monsters alongside it and hope that on the following turn the opponent can’t stop them and you manage to win. It is also useful when both players are top-decking, since it’s quite hard to overcome 5000 attack with only a single card. Finally it could be a card to side deck against Skill Drain decks to overcome their high powered monsters.

Personally I feel this guy is a bit too risky to use, but I’m sure someone will give it a go.

Flame Tiger: Level 4 1800/0 Fire Beast

During your Draw Phase, if this card is in your Graveyard, and you control no monsters, instead of conducting your normal draw: You can Special Summon this card from the Graveyard. If this card is Special Summoned with this effect, banish it when it leaves the field.

Flame Tiger gives you a reasonably powerful Beast at the cost of your Draw for the turn. Sometimes you’d rather have that draw and try to get an out to current problems, but other times all you need is some power to end the game. We’ve all had games where all we need to do to win is draw a monster with even a couple of hundred attack and score one last blow to win. This is where Flame Tiger will be perfect, since rather than hoping for a good draw you can guarantee an 1800 attack card. You won’t care that you won’t have got your next card, since you’ll already have won by that point. He’ll also be useful at times when you know you have to clear out a monster with 1800 or less and you can’t guarantee you’ll be able to get one off the top of your deck. Whilst that card will sometimes have served you better there are other times where it’ll lose you the game. Where he’ll shine most is in decks which make use of Horn of the Phantom Beast. If all you’re looking for is a Beast then one with 1800 attack will do you better than just about any other monster you could draw off the top of your deck. He can also be especially useful against Wind-Ups, since after their loop often they won’t have anything left on the field that can stand up to a Flame Tiger, should you happen to discard it during the loop.

Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger: Rank 7 2600/2100 Wind Dragon

2 Level 7 monsters
You can also Xyz Summon this card by using a Rank 5 or 6 Xyz Monster you control as the Xyz Material. (Xyz Materials attached to that monster also become Xyz Materials on this card.) If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing Battle Damage to your opponent.

Gaia has now appeared as a Normal, Effect, Fusion, Synchro, Synchro Fusion and an Xyz monster meaning that he’s probably one of the monsters with the most number of forms in the game. This new one will practically never be summoned through the normal means of 2 Level 7 monsters, because for a 2600 attack piercer it’s just not worth the effort. However expect to see him summoned a lot through his alternate method. There are several situations where Gaia Dragon can be useful. Firstly you might upgrade a spent Xyz monster to him to get some extra worth out of the card. One of the most common things you’ll see is a Hieratic deck turning a spent Atum into Gaia so that they can attack on that turn. You might also see cards like Tiras or Adreus turned into him when they run out of materials, since it’s a free upgrade to a better monster at that point in time. The other time you’ll see him summoned is with stolen Xyz monsters, much like you see stolen Utopias changed into Utopia Ray, since this prevents the opponent from being able to get them back. I expect to see Gaia Dragon turning up in quite a few extra decks from now on.

Return: Normal Trap Card

When your opponent adds a card(s) from the Graveyard to the hand: They must shuffle 1 of those cards into their Deck.

The final card to cover from the original 80 in GAOV is Return. This is a counter card against decks which rely on adding cards from their Graveyard to their hand. Unfortunately a large number of decks nowadays go straight from the Graveyard to the Field, so it can be a little hard to use this card. Some examples I could think of is using it against Monster Reincarnation or Beckoning Light in Lightsworn, Salvage in Sea Lancer, or Zektkaliber in Inzektors. The problem though with some of those cards is that because they can add multiple cards at once you won’t necessarily be getting rid of the most important ones. Against Monster Reincarnation or Zektkaliber though it will result in your opponent losing the card they’ve just gone through the effort of getting back, and since it’s now it the deck this is usually the hardest place to get the card back from. This card might be good in the future, but since Zektkaliber is probably about the only thing you’ll commonly get a chance to use it against it’s probably not worth it right now.

Having covered the 80 original cards in GAOV I’m now going to be looking at all the TCG exclusives followed by OCG Imports which round off the set.