Alright, let’s take a moment to talk about Ritual Cards. One of the oldest Special Summoning methods, it seems to once again be making a comeback. In the real-life game, Ritual Cards were conceived fairly accurately, but there’s still some strangeness. Fusion Monsters are actually perfect in the real life game; there were no physical cards when Duelists fused their monsters in the manga/anime, so giving us a placeholder card as a guideline for what can be fused and what the Monsters stats/effects are is very helpful. Ritual Monsters were the same way; these were not physical cards, but base Monsters affected by a Ritual Magic Card. The Ritual procedure itself was a little more complicated as well in this original form; in addition to specific Monster to perform the ritual on, two Monsters with 1500 or less ATK were required for tribute. Continue reading
In all of the amazing, nostalgic storyline of the Duelist Kingdom arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, there was one thing that bugged me. In Yugi and Kaiba’s rematch on the castle, Kaiba loses. Well, Yugi technically wins by outmaneuvering Kaiba and calling off an attack that would have depleted Kaiba’s Life Points. But this is where the writing gets a little shaky; coming off of an amazing duel, Kaiba’s character is clearly weakened to be able to lose to Yugi whilst playing his best. Kaiba’s convictions were just as strong as Yugi’s at this point, so what was the lesson to be gained here? All that was accomplished was making Yugi look too invincible. It takes away any tension when it’s too obvious that Yugi’s always going to win. Continue reading
Let’s be honest, this summer actually made us proud to be Yu-Gi-Oh! fans. Duelist Pack: Battle City in June and then Dragons of Legend in July gave us two substantial releases that featured new cards we actually wanted to see; key cards used in the original anime. Though while Duelist Pack: Battle City gave us a great set all the way through, Dragons of Legend 2 was a bit shallow.
As the set was announced and cards were leaked, it looked like this was going to be the perfect set. Obviously, they were completing the Legendary Dragons set with Hermos and Critias, but we also saw new and unique Toon and Red-Eyes support cards from Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Though when the final set list came out… it fell into the same downfalls as the original Dragons of Legend. Continue reading
I was getting worried, but Konami came through for us; the three awesome ‘Memories of the Duel King’ decks released last year will no longer be Japanese exclusives. Slightly changed is that they will be released as one set instead of individual decks. Hey, no problem there; I’d assume all classic Yu-Gi-Oh! fans would buy up all three anyways. While the set lists haven’t been officially confirmed, all evidence shows that it’ll be a direct translation of the Japanese counterpart. So far what’s confirmed 100% is Electromagnetic Turtle, Dark Renewal, Black Illusion and a cool Yugi token for new cards. For OCG-only cards, we’re getting Glory of the King’s Hand, Set Sail for the Kingdom, and Duelist Kingdom, and drumroll please, Arkana’s Dark Magician.
Yes, some high up at Konami has finally removed their head from their ass and allowed the card to be released in the US instead of working around it. Meanwhile, if the decks are identical, we’ll also see a release of Griffore. Awesome. The date on this one is November 13th, and the price is a reasonable $29.99. Anyways, I hope this isn’t the only good set on the horizon; a TCG release of the Duelist Road packs will make a great follow-up to Duelist Pack: Battle City.
As much as nostalgia would have us clamoring for a collection of Duelist Kingdom cards (I’m not giving up), Battle City seemed like the ideal mix of beloved classics and strategies applicable with the real life card game. Throughout the short set of 47, we get key cards from Yugi, Kaiba, Arkana, Marik, Joey, Bakura, Mako Tsunami, Espa Roba, Odion, Ishizu, Mai, Umbra, Pegasus, and Bandit Keith (they did slip a little bit of Duelist Kingdom in there). Continue reading
Erratas are nothing new. Players should be familiar with them by now; card text is changed to simplify things, or make them easier to understand (or in the instance of Problem-Solving Card Text, make it sound more ebonic). But anyways, the point of erratas at this point was to clarify card effects, but now Konami’s opened a brand new can of worms by intentionally changing the pre-established effects. Just take a look below; I’m don’t even need to place the correct cards next to it for you to see what’s messed up.
Sadly, there’s more. Atrocious effects aside, this sets a dangerous precedent; Konami can change any card at whim. They can make anything adhere to whatever gimmicky rules are in at the time, and make a whole set of previous printings become obsolete. Which when you think about it, having a card with the same name, picture, and overall card, but having a different effect makes things a hell of a lot more confusing… kind of the opposite purpose of erratas in the first place. Bottom line; if Konami wants these effects to be in the game – make a new goddamn card, don’t mess with what’s already been established.
Some closing thoughts to reflect on what Konami’s done to the game: people argue that original cards are “poorly designed,” but if they reflect their manga counterparts accurately, then Konami is at fault for not making the real life game conform better to the original game. You can’t retroactively put Kazuki Takahashi at fault for not conforming to Konami’s mess nearly 20 years later. If Konami wants to change cards completely, they should just make Konami’s New and Unimproved Card Game™ and let the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game rest in peace.
In the past, I’ve given praise to Konami for releasing older cards, previously exclusive to the OCG in the Astral Packs (available only at Tournaments). While it’s the thought that counts, I’m going to be clear and say stop doing that.
To give you a sample, here’s some prices on eBay of cards:
Utter insanity. These were just released last year, printed as commons; why are we being dicked around here? Well to begin, Tournament Packs are not what they used to be. Even if you look at the very first Tournament Pack, you can still find commons for a few dollars, at most. The cards actually got a better release, despite the game being so new. What’s more, this was at a stage where the cards were still relevant during the early stages of the game in America. To elaborate, what purpose does serve to release a card like Gruesome Goo in 2014? In trying to bring the OCG exclusive cards to the TCG, it’s a very careless way of dumping the cards off in small quantities and saying “there, I did it.” Yes, some Tournament Pack cards were rare and expensive. But the difference is that it strictly applied to cards that were stronger and rarer, y’know, adding purpose to the rarity. These are outdated cards that are underproduced just to hose fans because they can.
Like I said before, people playing competitively (i.e. where these packs are given out) don’t care about these; it’s the old school enthusiasts and collectors. Meanwhile, while Konami’s alienating old and new players with drastically different gameplay changes, Astral Packs are getting less popular. So in the end, it’s the collector’s that have to pay $10 for a fucking Kamionwizard. To be honest here, my life is not consumed with Yu-Gi-Oh!; even a single card above $3 is enough to make me think before buying it. But with these basic common cards, it’s getting harder to rationalize that purchase. We’re all glad to see classic cards get released… but we’re not paying $10 or $15 for a card that should be no more than $1.
So to end this, I’d like to bring up instances where Konami properly handled the predicament of bringing unreleased cards, inapplicable to the current game, into the TCG. The best is through booster packs; look at Abyss Rising, Storm of Ragnarok, Absolute Powerforce, or Starstrike Blast. Konami put in a few old cards to the mix, and it worked great. Nothing that consumed the set, but definitely made the cards available to those who wanted it. In my mind, this adds more appeal to buying booster packs. Next, there’s various special editions. Number Hunters, Premium Packs, Premium Collection, Gold Collections, etc… These are more specialized bundles as opposed to booster packs, but are still widely available in stores where average fans can access them. The best example is Legendary Collection 3: Joey’s World. It’s an incredibly large set of older cards, many reprinted, and many available for the first time. Very effective way to release that large a set of cards.
So summarize, Astral Packs suck because they give weak cards to players who aren’t interested in them, and would force fans of the original game to participate in tournaments that are generally unappealing. Konami has many valid ways to release old cards – Astral Packs are not one of them.