Not meant to qualitative by any means, this is just a fun list from observation of the commons that everyone seemed to want to pull back in the day; around the first generation from around ’02-’04. For some reason, these just seemed harder to come across, and cards like these could hold their own against rare cards in trading. One interesting thing to note is that around this stage in the game, card importance was almost exclusively based around its use in the show, which lead to some strange cards being popular in hindsight when you take into account the change in real life rules and effects. Continue reading
Archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh! can be traced back to a single type of monsters; Archfiends. This is only if you consider it retroactively, however, and therein lies the problem with creating an archetype where none exists. Continue reading
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
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.
Also, the Duelist Road sets have been released in Japan. Just looking at it, it’s an impressive sight. A bunch of odds and ends from the classic era never looked so good. The set seems to be gathered from the previous Memories of the Duel King sets, video game promos, cards from the Limited Edition/Premium Packs, notable Yu-Gi-Oh! R cards, and just other relics from the past. Overall, it’s pretty nice. In both sets (mostly Yugi’s), we see the re-release of iconic cards from the past in their rare alternate artwork forms (mostly from the Limited Edition Packs), most still not released in the US. The few cards that don’t belong aren’t worth mentioning, as 99% of it is all strong, ending with the Wicked Gods on Yugi’s side and the classic Egyptian Gods on Yami’s. The new Millennium Rare is pretty cool, even if it reminds me of old school counterfeit cards. Anyways, let’s look at the new releases.
Ring of Peace – An excellent tribute to the iconic moment from when Yugi draws the final piece of Exodia in the knick of time. The card recreates the same conditions that Yugi was in, so the player gets one last shot…
Dark Burning Attack – Great concept behind this card, but the effect is pretty generic watered-down Raigeki. I really liked the Ancient Sanctuary cards that gave special abilities to all-time classic monsters (Blue-Eyes, Dark Magician, Jinzo, Gaia the Fierce Knight, Red-Eyes Black Dragon). But the difference was that there was a lot of creativity behind those effects and how they reflect the Monsters they’re based off of (i.e. Dark Magician uses magical abilities, therefore destroys Magic/Trap cards). Because of Blue-Eyes’ status as one of the mightiest Monsters, it got the ability to destroy all Monsters… so what relation does Dark Magician Girl have to that? They could’ve gone a better direction with that effect.
Dark Burning Magic – “If you control monsters whose original names are “Dark Magician” and “Dark Magician Girl”: Destroy all cards your opponent controls.” Wow. Destroy all cards your opponent controls. If you thought Dark Burning Attack was lazy, this one takes the cake. It’s obvious that they’re really trying to make the Dark Magician archetype a viable deck again, but cards like these just go too far. The only upside is that it kinda reminds me of the opening to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, season two where Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl just inexplicably destroy a bunch of Monsters.
Eternal Soul – Really powerful card, but not quite as broken as the last. While it can only summon Dark Magician from the hand or Graveyard, it can do so once per turn. Alternately, you can take a Dark Magic Attack or Thousand Knives from your deck for support – essentially locking down Spell/Trap and Monsters. Though if this card gets destroyed, all your Monsters get destroyed, so you’re not invincible.
Just finished a short article on Spell Speeds. Just an observation on one aspect where Konami’s adaption of the game really clashed with creator Kazuki Takahashi’s vision for game mechanics. Is ‘complex’ always better?