In this thread, I review the most famous Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards.

Dark Magician
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    Dark Magician
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Yugi Muto


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    Here we go, probably the most iconic card in the game. When you think about Yu-Gi-Oh! this is the card that comes to mind. Yugi's Signature monster is here.

    Dark Magician is a level 7, DARK, Spellcaster-type normal monster with 2500 ATK and 2100 DEF. No gimmicks no special abilities, what you see is what you get. "The ultimate wizard in terms of attack and defense".

    In terms of design, Dark Magician's armor strikes me as something that I´ve never seen in any other media. It has a lot of uniqueness to it and is the trend setter for almost all "Magician" cards to come. When you see a Magician with that style of armor/staff, you know it's a Yu-Gi-Oh card. Another great element that makes the artwork so great is the Dark Magic circle behind him, the dark magic circle is present in almost all of the card's interpretations and gives a much needed "mystical" element to the art that I feel would be missing if the Dark Magician was there on his own. Which is the reason why I feel the "Stone tablet" artwork is the weakest out of all the Dark Magician artworks. The circle is a much needed ingredient in making this card what it is.

    The main problem with Dark Magician´s multiple interpretations is how inconsistently he is portrayed, purple armor one day, then red, blue, black anything goes, same goes for his skin and hair color. From a white purple haired man to a weird blonde zombie with green skin. It's just so inconsistent that I feel it diminishes the idea of him being THE Dark Magician, instead giving the feel that there's multiple Dark Magicians, I kinda hate that. Hilariously enough, the only artwork for this card that reflects the card's lore as an ancient egyptian brown skinned wizard is the one popularized for being an "Evil" version of the card. The version wielded by the antagonist Arkana. Not a good look.

    So yeah, while the original artwork was amazing, turning it into one of the cards with the most alternative artworks definetely works against it in my opinion.

    As a card...It's sad to say that Dark Magician is not great...Requiring the tribute of 2 of your monsters to summon a 2500 ATK beater with no effects caused him to be immediately outclassed by "Summoned Skull" (Which only requires 1 tribute for the same ATK value) from the moment they were printed together for the first time in "Starter Deck: Yugi"

    Fortunately Dark Magician is the single most supported card in the game with 15+ cards specifically stating "Dark Magician" as part of their effect. Dark Magician might not be amazing on his own, but he can definetely work together with other cards to form extremely powerful control plays that always keep a Dark Magician on your field.

    Dark Magician also has the option to use the power of Fusion and Xyz summon to combine with other popular monsters and bring out powerful new forms.
    Still, Dark Magician is not anywhere near meta-level sadly and it's mostly used as a casual deck, however it can definetely stand up against the most modern strategies and is widely beloved, to the point the cards in the deck are very pricey!

    Now some trivia! Dark Magician is the card that started the tradition of having the anime protagonists all have 2500 ATK main cards. A tradition that has been somewhat broken by Gen 6 due to some unforeseen circumstances we´ll get to later.

    Overall, a card deserving of being the face of the franchise, even if it hasn´t aged that well on it's own, it's fantastic design and continuous support more than makes up for it.
     
    Blue-Eyes White Dragon
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    Blue-Eyes White Dragon
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Seto Kaiba


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    Imagine having a card with such a reputation as the strongest card ever that there's a written rule on Konami's Yu-Gi-Oh! Design Team that states that no other normal monster can ever match the strength of that card. A card whose design, name and anime appereances have created thousands of references and memes. If there is one card that goes beyond being associated with "Yu-Gi-Oh!" it has to be this one. Your friends might not know a thing about this game, but they have heard the name before.

    A powerful engine of destruction, virtually invincible. Blue-Eyes White Dragon is a level 8, Light, Dragon-Type Normal Monster that boasts the highest attack among all normal monsters in the game, 20 years of new cards and mechanics cannot strip him of the title of strongest normal monster, it has 3000 ATK. And a solid 2500 DEF.

    Blue-Eyes artworks are all freaking great (with the exception of it's mandatory god-awful "Stone Tablet" version), but it's the original artwork the one that I think made this card what it is. Despite the fact of the original artwork being a Blue-Eyes Blue Dragon the artwork immediately pulls your attention towards it's signature feature, it's eye. The pose of the card, the colors, everything works to make that blue-eye as striking as possible, even the little wrinkles on the creature's eye-socket focus on making it stand out. And it works. You feel as if that dragon is staring directly at your soul. The rest of the creature feels a bit cartoonish at times, which is why I feel the card's second artwork tried to make him look more menacing and while I don´t hate it. I think simplicity worked best this time.

    That said, I cannot not give a shoutout to Kazuki Takahashi's simply beatiful anniversary artwork for the card, it's absolutely breathtaking and my favorite artwork for the creature

    The fully drawn background does wonders to sell this as a living thing that inhabits another world. The lack of detailed backgrounds is one of the main sins of YGO artwork, and this card is a testament of what could be.

    Unlike Dark Magician, Blue-Eye's design remains consistent even with the previosly mentioned coloring issues that make it look blue at times, no matter how many artworks this card gets, it never gets old. You can even throw the fucker in space and it will still look majestic. But that simple first artwork is undeniably what made the card an icon.

    Blue-Eyes is well worth it's 2 tribute requirement to hit the field, but again, it was outclassed by "Summoned Skull" as the go to beater of Yu-Gi-Oh's early days, why wait until you have 2 monsters when you can just use 1 and get a 2500 beater that you can equip with axe of despair? Why risk running 3 of those fuckers and brick your deck for the unlikely event that you'll be able to fuse them into Ultimate Dragon?

    In modern YGO the times have changed, and thankfully for Blue-Eyes, it's enormous batch of support geared into turning the deck into a Synchro-focused deck that also has access to great fusions monsters and have made it a force to be reckoned with in the casual circles of the game.

    The lore behind the support is creative as hell, it's basically an order of Blue-Eyes worshippers that do everything in their power to get their master to the field. Even the egg of the dragon itself became a card to help you bring out the engine of destruction as fast as possible

    Together with many new forms for the creature itself to take and disrupt the opponent with quick effects and non stop attacks

    And even amazing Spell support

    Blue-Eyes' level 8 even makes it able to make use the Xyz monsters of one of the many "-Eyes" Dragon themes inspired by it, my personal favorite "Galaxy-Eyes"

    Even if not a tournament winner, Blue-Eyes is a beloved deck, one that makes it worth the pain of finding a good price for it's rarest cards.

    Blue-Eyes is the card that started it all really, even the very first expansion set of the game is named after it. There's few bad things to say about it. The reason why I consider "Dark Magician" to be the face of YGO, is because I firmly believe Blue-Eyes White Dragon goes above and beyond that.

    Trivia time!I In the manga and anime the spirit of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon is supposed to inhabit originally a human egyptian girl named Kisara. This piece of lore inspired the creation of "Maiden with Eyes of Blue"
     
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    Red-Eyes Black Dragon
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    Red-Eyes Black Dragon
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Joey Wheeler


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    First off, censoring the word "Black". Yikes.

    Here's Joey Wheeler's signature card after he won it from Rex Raptor, Red-Eyes B. Dragon is a ferocious dragon with a deadly attack, a level 7 DARK Dragon-Type monster with 2400 ATK and 2000 DEF. Much like his owner in the show, Red-Eyes has a lot of potential but it's always overshadowed by Yugi and Kaiba´s cards.

    Red-Eyes has a lousy original artwork, if you can somehow not see him as a cartoon bird laughing "HUR HUR HUR" the art does the "Dragon that compares in strength with the mighty Blue-Eyes" no favors, it has the same cartoony vibe as Blue-Eyes but the less detailed art style just makes it stand out more. It's proportions are weird and hard to understand, it looks like it's uncomfortable, it's pose is boring and the lack of focus on his eyes to make it feel like a true counterpart to Blue-Eyes is just lame. I really dislike his OG Artwork even when every ounce of nostalgia in my body is screaming telling m to give the art a 10/10. It's not that good. Not by a longshot.

    Takahashi's later anniversary artwork pictured above does wonders for the design though, as does it's 2nd Artwork they both make Red-Eyes look darker, edgier and savage. I love those artworks and I think they should've been the default one.

    As a card for the game...it's terrible. It requires 2 tributes for a measly 2400 ATK. Once again "Summoned Skull" hilariously outclassed it in YGO´s early days.

    I guess you now expect me to list all the great support the card has received since then...and there is quite a lot of support, but it's a disjointed mess that feels like they just wanted to throw shit at the wall and see what sticks

    Here's an Xyz monster!


    But wait no! Let's try giving it Gemini monsters and a Fusion!

    No wait! I got it! A couple of equip monsters AND a new fusion that requires equips!

    Shit no, let's give it a ritual

    Fuck Fuck...errr a Synchro Zombie version that is unplayable with other Red-Eyes cards because it needs zombies for everything! It would be great for zombie decks tho!
    No wait!! A Link monster with an effect that doesn´t help any of the above strategies at all!
    Yeah...Unlike Blue-Eyes and Dark Magician who have so much support that you can build different decks with different strategies while still having them as your main card, Red-Eyes gets little bits of an idea that gets immediately scrapped so they can try something else. There's no truly effective playstyle because you just don´t have enough tools to pull any of the strategies the new cards want you to create effectively. It's a damn shame because the cards themselves are good...they just need to just pick a damn idea and stick with it.

    Red-Eyes Black Dragon is the "B." where the other two mains are "A+", not a bad card or deck for fun matches, but not enough of a good card to justiy having a deck around it. Damn shame.

    Trivia time: In the anime world, Red-Eyes is not nearly as rare as Blue-Eyes or Dark Magician, Kaiba keeps one copy in his briefcase, while Atticus Rhodes from GX also has one.

    That's it for tonight!
     
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    Harpie Lady
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    Harpie Lady
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Mai Valentine


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    Harpie Lady, is probably one of the most well known cards of the Duelist Kingdom arc in the anime, used by the femme fatale Mai Valentine, this Level 4, WIND, winged beast-type monsters were Joey Wheeler's first real challenge as a duelist.

    The artwork has a great combination of striking colors and her pose is really cool and memorable, but my main problem with the original artwork is how her giant boobs immediately takes focus away from her face, and how little detail there is on her face actually. The fact is that her face doesn't even try to show the card's personality, every other incarnation shows her as this confident huntress with a smug smile, none of that is here. Just take a look at her powered up form "Harpie Lady Sisters", that's the personality I´m talking about.

    And what's even more curious is that for all intent and purpuses, this card does not seem to be the canon version of Harpie Lady, every single piece of artwork going forward consistently uses the artwork of a later version of the card "Harpie Lady 1"



    Harpie Lady 1 has more focus on her face, but it still fails to showcase the personality on every other card she's in, the purple jump suit looks pretty bad with the green wings and I'm not really a fan of taking away the blue skin. The fact is that she´s almost naked in the original version of the art (NSFW), and I feel that it works a bit better than the purple skin-tight suit clashing with her red hair and green wings. But it's still not good, I think it's that weird plastic shine she has what kills it for me. To be honest the card would look so much better if she looked like she does in her later support cards which I'm about to talk about.

    A 1300 level 4 monster without an effect is not good. Period. Her main focus back in the day was to use "Elegant Egotist" on her to get "Harpie Lady Sisters" on the field for a whooping 1950 ATK...Not very good.

    Thankfully Mai Valentine is fan favorite character which means harpies has received a lot of support over the years! Their main strategy is to swarm the field with beautiful ladies or using "Harpie's Pet Dragon" to bring out powerful Rank 7 Xyz monster. (Keep an eye for the artwork of the harpies below, to show the point I made earlier about their faces showing personality.)

    Harpies are even ready to take on the Link Era with an upcoming Link monster, Harpie Conductor!


    Harpies are now an extremely versatile deck that gets you a Harpie Party or an Xyz monster pretty fast, each of the new harpies looks great and the support doesn't seem to be stopping, it's a card that really worth keeping an eye out for. Despite her lackluster initial performance Harpies are now truly beatiful to watch and deadly in battle.

    My main issue with this new support is that unlike Dark Magician's or Blue-Eye's the new cards completely replace the original card instead of using it as the base for the strategy.

    Trivia time! The TCG name is in fact a japanes mistranslation the word the correct spelling would be "Harpy Lady"
     
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    Relinquished
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    Relinquished
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Maximilian Pegasus


    Artwork:


    The true final boss of duelist Kingdom, the card that represents Pegasus dropping the "Toon" facade and revealing his cruel, dark , true nature once more. A level 1 DARK Spellcaster-Type Ritual monster created for the sole purpose of plunging Yugi into darkness.

    The artwork does its part. This thing...it's creepy, what I love about the art is that it makes you focus on his abdomen first, making sure that you take notice of that disgusting absorbing organ before you finally realize it's head is above it. And the head turns out to be phallic and disgusting with its veiny millenium eye making it look like it's in pain but also fixated on a target. For some reason, it reminds me of HR Giger's sexual and mechanical horrors, with its arms and shell looking weirdly biomechanical

    Relinquished looks like a real monster of nightmare that shouldn't have been born. The background making it look like it's coming out of a dark corridor is just the icing in the cake. It's a scene straight from a nightmare.

    As a card, being a ritual monster should make it hard to set up, but it's low level made it the easiest ritual monster to summon back in the day. It's effects are a bit annoying but it being limited to 1 absorption at a time made it easy to defeat unless you waited to snatched the absolute best monster your opponent had. Given that relinquished needs a 3 card set up...that's way too situational.

    Relinquished may not have been a game changer, but it's powered up form sure was.
    Thousand-Eyes Restrict is not only creepier, but also flat out game breaking. You never fused to bring this guy out and steal some monsters.you'd bring him out with cards such as Magical Scientist or Cyber-Stein and use its attack preventing effect to stall the game into Oblivion. That earned Restrict and his friends a spot on the ban list for years to come.

    Support for relinquished has been underwhelming, with only having 1 expansion recently giving him love and a new even more powerful and creepier form.

    Like Red-Eyes, the deck doesn't have enough to work with just those 4 cards and it breaks apart pretty easily. Upcoming Link Support for Relinquished has been anounced though....with the first card revealed to be the underwhelming "Relinquished Anima"



    Which has the exact same effect as OG Relinquished, except it's victim can only be a monster it's red Link Arrow points at...Terrible

    It's sad to see such a good monster designbecome so irrelevant beyond being a collectible.

    TRIVIA TIME! When Thousand-Eyes Restrict left the banlist, this hilarious card of it saying goodbye to his fellow inmates was released:
     
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    The Winged Dragon of Ra
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    The Winged Dragon of Ra
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Marik Ishtar


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    The first of the 3 Egyptian gods that I'll be reviewing. Ra comes first because whenever you think about Marik Ishtar, this is the card that pops in your mind. This single piece of cardboard that made all of us go "Ok no, that's bullshit." Back in the day.

    The one and only level 10 DIVINE, Divine-Beast Type Effect Monster. A Juggernaut of mystical power.....Or is it?

    The design is consistent on both of it's artworks, it's a giant golden chicken. But the first artwork is the best and most iconic one. The pose makes it look like old drawings of an ancient being and it definitely makes you feel like you're looking at someone's god. The Egyptian characters in the background really drive the point home. It's golden body incorporates many ornaments traditionally seen in Egyptian artifacts it's face looks ferocious but it also looks like royalty. There's really not much to say about the design. It's really good.

    I'd go as far to say that out of all 3 of the Egyptian gods. Ra is the only one that looks....well Egyptian.

    For the game,the original card used to say "Spirits sing of a powerful creature that rules over all that is mystic"


    Ra might be one of the worst cards ever created for this game. In an attempt to balance out the hilarious bullshit Marik pulled time and time again in the anime they nerfed it to the point the card is basically an auto-lose button.

    You need to tribute 3 of your monsters to summon this card and then you're immediately faced with a choice "Do I lower my LP down to 100 to have a beater that will run straight to a mirror force or do I leave him with 0 ATK to only reduce my LP a bit and destroy a couple of cards?" How in the world is that worth THREE cards!? It's terrible. Nostalgia be damned.

    Attempts have been made to give support to this card. The most significant being the release of 2 the other forms the card showed in the anime as standalone cards.

    Sphere mode tries to to make the OG card be able to stand on its own by giving 4000 ATK for free. But most players only ignore Ra and use the Sphere to tribute 3 opponent’s monsters and leave them stuck with a useless card for 1 turn. In current times your opponent will simply use the sphere for a Link Summon.

    Immortal Phoenix requires a hilariously complicated set up where it must be in the grave first and OG Ra must die for it to be summoned from there. It has a pretty underwhelming removal effect and then goes back to Square 1 by sending itself to he graveyard and bringing a sphere...goddammit.

    Ra is a total disservice to what you see in the anime. It's just sad.

    Trivia time! Ra's original print did not have any effect written and was not legal to use in any kind of Duel. It may have been best to stay that way...
     
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    The Seal of Orichalcos
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    The Seal of Orichalcos
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Dartz


    Artwork:


    I know, the 4kids theme song also played in my mind when I read the name.

    The Seal of Orichalcos is a Field Spell Card wielded by Dartz and his minions during the "Waking the Dragons" filler arc. It's show counterpart allowed the user to usen their spell zones as if they were monster zones protected by the monsters in the zones in front of them. It also had a habit of snatching the soul out of whoever lost the duel and feeding it to a giant snake.

    In terms of artwork. Lord knows anime filler arcs are the worst. The Legendary Dragons the arc is named after all had to be redone because of how much the anime staff didn't give a fuck. The Seal is an example of their laziness. A cool seal on a black background and some mist. That was it.The TCG/Videogame version remains faithful and I think more could've been done with it. Draw it in a temple or something!

    For what it's worth I think the seal design is solid and memorable. I just wish the background was better.

    As a card. Real honest effort was put into translating the OP BS of the show into an actual playable card unlike with the Winged Dragon of Ra. Each effect calls back to something that happened in the show.

    -It's 500 ATK increase for all monsters is straight from the show.

    -It's protection against destruction is a reference to Yugi trying and failing to destroy the seal with a trap card the first time he fought against it.

    -The effect that makes it so the opponent can only attack your strongest monsters first is a reference to the anime effect of letting you put monsters in the backrow to protect them

    -It's effect to destroy the user's Extra Deck monsters references Yugi's Dark Magician Girl The Dragon Knight, a fusion, destroying herself out of dissapoitment on her master for using the seal. Same as the effect preventing the user from using extra deck cards. No user of the card ever played a Fusion Monster while their seal was active.

    - "You can only activate The Seal of Orichalcos once per duel" needs no explanations

    The card itself is very niche and appears from time to time on casual beater decks. No support for this card has been released as of 2019.

    Overall a memorable card that gave Yugi his first legitimate loss and carried the filler arc into being memorable. The effort to translate the card for the TCG and games is commendable.

    Great Card for fun matches.

    Trivia time: The inscription on the seal just says "Orichalcos" twice
     
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    Dark Necrofear
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    Dark Necrofear
    Generation 1
    : Duel Monsters
    User: Bakura


    Artwork:


    You know, It was hard choosing Bakura's ace card. He's been defeated so many times with so many different plans that I've always hated him being the final villain after all those defeats. He used Man-Eater, Reaper of the Cards, Headless Knight, Dark Spirit of the Silent,Destiny Board and the shittastic Diabound Kernel that would end up transforming into Zorc. He failed every time. A part of me really wanted to do "Change of Heart" as he states it's his favorite card and it exemplifies the character.

    I settled on Dark Necrofear, because last month, 20 years later, support for Bakura's Deck has been finally anounced, and it focuses on this card. That gives me more to talk about, and I'll take it.

    Dark Necrofear is a level 8, DARK, Fiend-Type effect monster. As far as design go for the "Queen of the World of the Dead".... it's fine. I dunno but creepy woman with creepy dolls feels like something that might have been an original idea then, but now it's just so generic. Thank fully Necrofear balances it out with the creepy mechanisms throught her body. She looks like a possesed doll holding another possessed doll it's kinda cool. The background being dark and flamey evokes hell and plays well with the blue of her body, making her pop out more....I really dislike the copper boobs though, the bright color makes me focus on them so it's distracting. I would've gone with the same black leather on her legs and arms for her bra to make her look a bit more consistent.

    For the game...It's also okay, the 3 fiends in the GY requirement for her summon can be achieved easily if your deck is dedicated to it, she gets to the field with a respectable 2200 ATK or become a good wall with 2800 DEF. If the opponent manages to defeat by battle or by card effect you get to take control of one of their monsters.

    Necrofear wasn't too popular then and it's not too popular now, no one will get her on a fiend deck despite "Dark World" and "Burning Abyss" being Fiend Decks that fill the graveyard pretty quickly, simply put, they have way better options for the price Necrofear is asking.

    Bakura's deck has been neglected for almost 20 years because of how much more popular Marik Ishtar and Maximillion Pegasus are as the villains of Gen 1. Thankfully it seems that this is about to change as a new "Duelist Pack: Bakura" has been recently anounced, marking the first time Bakura gets a product all to himself...

    One of the cards anounced is a shiny "Curse Necrofear"


    Curse Necrofear
    Level 8 DARK Fiend Special Summon Effect Monster
    ATK 2800
    DEF 2200
    This card cannot be Normal Summoned/Set, and can only be Special Summoned by a card effect. You can only use the 1st and 2nd effect of this card’s name once per turn.
    (1) You can target 3 of your banished Fiend monsters; Special Summon this card, then, shuffle those targets into the Deck.
    (2) If this monster you control is destroyed by your opponent and sent to the GY, during the End Phase of that turn: Special Summon this card from the GY, then, destroy cards your opponent controls up to the number of Spell/Traps you control with different names.
    This card seems to be designed to repay the cost of summoning the OG Necrofear.

    Not only that but they also seem to have reworked Bakura's Dark spirit of the Silent and Destiny Board to work with Necrofear as one single deck with a consistent strategy. I hope it works out.

    Full translations of the anounced cards here: https://beyondtheduel.com/dp22-bakura-new-cards-with-curse-necrofear-and-more/

    This gives me hope for Dark Necrofear getting to have a deck that uses her to her full potential, because as of now, Necrofear remains in obscurity...Pun Intended.

    Trivia Time!...*Sigh*, I guess there's no way around this little fact. This card's original name in it's first appereance on Takahashi's manga was, and I shit you not, "Dark Necrophilia". Whether it was Takahashi's broken english,him thinking he was clever, or a poor editing job...the card became "Necrofear" 0.01 seconds after that chapter was released.

    That is it for the Ace cards of the most popular Gen 1 characters...Now, I hope your game can get on.
     
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    Pot of Greed
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    Pot of Greed
    Generations 1 and 2
    : Duel Monsters and GX
    User: Like literally everyone and their mother


    Artwork:


    I thought it would be a good idea to bridge generations 1 and 2 with a card they have in common.

    Pot of Greed is a Normal Spell, and it's known to have the shortest effect of any YGO card. And that's where the mistery lies, what am I supposes to do with so little information? The question of "What the hell Pot of Greed do?" is an enigma for the ages.

    The art is a green ornamented pot with a creepy smiley face...I´m really not sure how to review the art because it's literally just a pot with a creepy face. The blue ornaments look cool, like forming a kind of tribal tattoo on the face, the eyes look evil and the grin is downright shit-eating. I guess the art is supposed to represent a pot that makes whoever finds it be overcome by greed...I dunno.

    What makes it interesting is that the card is one of the few spells to be consistently "Summoned" to the field in the anime as if it was a monster card. I guess that's what made it iconic and you know...being fucking broken.

    I have cracked the code. today I will explain Pot of Greed's effects in the game. Pot of Greed works like this, on the 40-60 card pile located to your right of the duel field, you, the player currently activating the card, is obligated to move your hand upon the aforementioned stack of forty to sixty cards and through basic muscular function take the first piece of card board on the stack, subsequently, you must repeat the process one more time, until the total amount of cards currently in your right hand is no higher than two. Once taken the 2 cards must be moved to your other hand where the rest of the cards available for you to use in the game exists. Essentially, Pot of Greed allows you to add 2 aditional cards to your hand.

    Jokes aside, Pot of Greed is fucking BUSTED. The card literally has no drawbacks for letting you add resources to your hand in a game where 1 card can completely change the flow of the game. This card was one of the first cards to ever be banned and rightfully so.

    To put things into perspective, many "Pot"" cards have been created to ape on this card's legacy as a draw card. Usually they add severe restrictions for the 2 cards you get. The lastest one is this version:
    Which is "Pot of Greed" mashed together with another busted Pot "Pot of Avarice". Desires literally takes 10 cards from your deck and throws them in the trash before you're allowed to draw 2 cards...AND IT'S STILL WORTH IT. That's how much advantage 2 cards can generate.

    Pot of Greed is one card that will probably never see the light of day again unless it's text is heavily modified.

    Trivia: Pot of Greed is Swole
     
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    Elemental HERO Flame Wingman
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    All right, to close off today I have one of the cases where I´m forced to make an exception.

    This character has 2 Ace Cards, as he spends most of his first season using one card as his ace monster, then he changes it later. For that reason, this character gets to have 2 cards reviewed in a row.

    Elemental HERO Flame Wingman
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Jaden Yuki


    Artwork:


    There's very little to talk about Flame Wingman, a level 6, WIND, Warrior-Type Fusion Monster that is the fusion of 2 of the most iconic GX cards. "Elemental HERO Avian" and "Elemental HERO Burstinatrix". The only way to start the GX era, is with a Fusion. So we start with Jaden´s episode 1 trump card.

    What I love about this card's art is that he is more than the sum of his parts. Fusions in the original YGO were just taking the 2 monsters and mashing their recognizable features together. Flame Wingman looks like a combination of the 2 heroes into something never seen before. I like that. The mask is great, the pose is cool, the dragon arm is cooler and the single Sephiroth-like wing is the coolest. If I had to complain about this card´s art, it would be the piss colored background that works against an otherwise great design.

    Flame Wingman is a fusion of 2 specific materials, which automatically kills any chance of it not being outclassed by the absolutely amazing manga version of Jaden's deck. Why would you waste a perfectly good Polymerization on Avian and Burstinatrix to bring this card out when these are an option?

    Flame Wingman being from back when fusion required super specific cards to be combined works against it, because it's effect is not that good considering it's low attack, you'd need to pull a Jaden and summon him with "Skyscraper" to maximize his extra damage otuput. So he´s being outclassed by pretty much any HERO that is based on the GX manga and has fallen into complete irrelevance.

    Support for this specific card doesn´t exist beyond it's upgraded form


    And that's not because of a lack of HERO support, HERO cards are one of the most supported archetypes in the game...What happens is that there is close to 35 better options to use instead of Flare Wingman.

    Poor thing.

    Trivia Time: Avian and Burstinatrix can form 2 other fusions besides this one "Elemental HERO Phoenix Enforcer" and "Evil HERO Inferno Wing".
     
    Elemental HERO Neos
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    Elemental HERO Neos
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Jaden Yuki


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    After little Jaden sent drawings of his made up cards to Industrial Illusions for a design contest where the winner's cards would be printed and *checks notes* ...sent to space to teach aliens how to duel.... The cards became infused with the power of Neo-Space, eventually finding their way back to Jaden. The main card of Jaden´s new ultra powerful deck being this Level 8, LIGHT, Warrior-Type normal monster.

    Neos design is very plain, it's just a guy on a white leotard. As far of super hero designs go, he´s nothing to write home about. He feels like one of the millions of Spider-Man clones out there in the comic world. His original art has such a boring pose that it's hilarious. Picture any superhero you know on that pose...you just know there's bound to be like a million cooler poses for them. Thankfully the new 2019 artwork picks up the slack and makes him look way more like a respectable HERO should look like. If you need to choose, I say go with the new artwork.

    Neos is the card that introduced the concept of Contact Fusion to the game, that is, fusions that do NOT require a spell card like "Polymerization" to fuse their materials. Many players, myself included, think this mechanic eventually got reworked into Gen 3's Synchro Summon.

    Neos Contact Fusions require him to fuse with "Neo Spacian" cards (Cutesy Aliens) and do without any other Elemental HERO Cards....which was a blow to the coolness factor of Jaden´s deck. Neos Contact fusions are generally really good...but have a BIG problem, let's see if you can spot it



    That's right, they have a built in kill switch that forces them back into the Extra Deck at the end of the turn they were summoned. Usually that includes a powerful effect to make up for it...but it's not worth it. You lose several materials to get the fusion out only to be useful at the very end of the turn when you can no longer attack and then they leave your field. Fot this reason Neos was reviled as one of the worst decks in the game.

    Lately Neos received a lot of cool support that might not make it meta level on the TCG, but it sure boosted it's popularity on Duel Links. The new cards help dance around the self destruction effect, and give the game much needed summon capabilities.

    Neos is my least favorite main protagonist card. It looks generic and uninteresting compared to any other HERO out there. and it's abilities and support are not enough to make up for being such a bore.

    Trivia Time! Neos is the only ace monster who does not appear within the first season of its series
     
    Jaden's shitty friends' cards
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    There's so little to say about these cards that I'll just do them in one post

    Steam Gyroid
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Syrus Truesdale


    Artwork:


    Syrus' most famous monster is here from back when he started his adventures in season 1. Steam Gyroid is a level 6, EARTH, Machine-Type Fusion monster.

    It sucks. The art is evocative of the toon cards but without anything interesting to set it appart, it's just a helicopter train thing doing the dreamworks face. The purple background looks terrible with the also purple frame.

    It's a fusion of 2 very specific cards with no effect, it wasn't useful then, when you could use as many fusions as you wanted, and is sure as hell not worth wasting a precious Extra Monster Zone now,

    Roids have received no support since the end of GX, in fact they're so unpopular that if you go to the store and asks for "Roids" everyone there will think you mean Gen 5's "Speedroids"

    This is why everyone likes your brother better, Syrus.

    Trivia Time! Nada, it doesn't even have any fun trivia....I guess it appears in the artwork of "Dimension Explosion". ??



    Cyber Blader
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Alexis Rhodes


    Artwork:


    Cyber Blader looks so cool, I love how elegant she looks, the focus of the art is on her legs and her pose really give off the idea that she's a pro skater. The visor she has is badass! i´m a sucker for things like that, and the background makes it looks like she's skating in the sea at sunset. Really lovely.

    A level 7, EARTH, Warrior-Type Fusion monster that has an effecf depending on the amoun of mosters your opponent's have. Still, very specific fusion materials and a really low ATK value kill this card.

    Alexis Rhodes as a character is pretty much wasted in the anime, and while not the most insulting case of a female character being treated like shit by the writers (Jesus Fucking Christ Blue Angel!!) her cards were never popular enough to get support.

    However! The Manga version of Alexis is a great character with a deck so good that it's considered to be her "real deck" by all her fans, even when she appears in Gen 5's Arc-V anime, her anime deck is ignored in favor of her manga deck. The ritual deck Cyber Angels.

    Cyber Angels even dominated Duel Links for a good while. They're soooooo superior to her anime ballerinas that it isn't even funny. I guess they still give her Ballerinas in games like Duel Links because they're fusions...but nah man,her ballerinas can´t compare to Cyber Angels, sorry Cyber Blader, you remain a useless forgotten card.

    Trivia Time! This card eerily resembles "Destiny HERO Blademaster"


    Master of Oz
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Chum-Lee Hufflington


    Artwork:


    A level 9, EARTH, Beast-Type Fusion monster wielded by GX´s comic relief among comic reliefs Chum-Lee

    The arwork is nice, I mean it has a background which is something I already said I appreciate, and the drawing is weirdly detailed. A giant Koala-Kangaroo hybrid that can box. I just can´t hate.

    It's insane 4200 ATK value almost makes it worth the very specific and non comboable cards it asks for the fusion, but it's lack of an effect makes it not worth wasting your precious extra monster zone on it in these modern times.

    Chum-Lee GOT written out of the show and his cards never truly received significant support.

    But hey, now you know about yet another Australian thing that can kill you.

    Trivia Time! This card has the highest original ATK and DEF of all Level 9 monsters, according to wiki.
     
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    Cyber Dragon
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    We have reached the peak of Generation 2. This is the GOOD shit.

    Cyber Dragon
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Zane Truesdale


    Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    Possible the single most popular Gen 2 card here. A card that is extremely relevant today, years later.

    Zane Truesdale was the most powerful duelist in all of Duel Academy, he even wiped the floor with our protagonist Jaden in their first encounter and proceeded to be one of the characters that was the most fun to watch as he descended into the dark path of underground duels. His signature monster was a level 5, LIGHT, Machine-Type Effect Monster. Cyber Dragon.

    Cyber Dragon's art is extremely simple, what I like about it is how effective the blue background works with the creature´s white body. the creature design reminds me of something out of 80's sci-fi movies, a bulky robotic dragon. Simple and effecive. Funnily enough Cyber Dragon technology eventually suffered from Iron Man syndrome where with every upgrade the tech of the dragon became less bulky and robotic and more flat out robo-magic...I dig that.

    Cyber Dragon's alternate arts are my favorite because they represent Zane's descent into the dark side, when he starts dueling in illegal underground circles for money and adrenaline rushes, his cards start reflecting that and transform from bright white dragons to Dark, more aggresive looking versions of themselves. I really really love that which is why I consider Cyber Dragon's alternate art to be the most justified change of artwork in the game, unlike say, Dark Magician's non stop design changes for no real reason.

    Another cool thing about Cyber Dragon is how it keeps getting new "Models" as time passes, 15 years of advancements are not lost on Cyber Dragon, with new versions each labeled with a German number releasing from time to time.

    (See? Iron Man Syndrome)

    This really makes me feel like there's a Cyber Dragon version of Apple out there pumpling new versions of their original blocky Ipod evey time they can. I love it.

    As a card game Cyber Dragon was....an absolute game changer. There is a "YGO Before Cyber Dragon" and "YGO After Cyber Dragon". Player demand for this card was so immensely high that even when it was anounced that the card would be included in promotional tins it still was extremely hard to find one. It was crazy good. The reason being that it's a 2100 ATK monster that has the ability to hit the field without tributes. This gave you either a powerful monster to take out your opponent´s initial low level normal summon or a way to tribute summon a monster in your first turn.

    Cyber Dragon also has access to Contact Fusions, in fact Cyber Dragon is so badass that it fuses with your opponent´s monsters.
    This is the reason why machine decks not named Cyber Dragon always get screwed by it. Whenever a Machine deck gets too powerful, players just put Cyber Dragon in their deck and Chimeratechs in their Extra and fuse the opponent's machines as they watch helplessly.

    Cyber Dragon also uses the incredibly good fusion spell "Power Bond" to fuse normally into some game enders.

    But what about the modern times?

    Bitch, Cyber Dragon got one of the best Xyz monsters ever released for this game, "Cyber Dragon Infinity"
    Which can easily be summoned as Xyz monsters only need that you have monsters with a matching level, so 2 level 5 "Cyber Dragon" will do the trick and get you "Cyber Dragon Nova" and set up "Cyber Dragon Infinity".

    "But what about now? Surely the new Link-Era rules limiting extra deck summons screwed this card over, no way a card this old can remain this relevant"

    Ahem.


    I think you get the point by now. Cyber Dragon is a 10/10 card. It might not be busted enough to be a meta card but it's by far one of the most beloved, popular and consistently good cards out there. Cyber Dragon has so many options and support that it always finds a way to remain useful no matter what. A deck with acces to Fusion, Contact Fusion, Xyz and Link in a consitent way, Cyber Dragon proves that technology always wins.

    Trivia time: All Cyber Dragons have the same basic structure inside them, it's called the "Cyber Dragon Core"

    And you can see a "Cyber Dragon" being built on top of it in a card artwork

     
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    Ojama Yellow
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    Ojama Yellow.
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Chazz Princeton


    Artwork:


    ...


    Chazz Princeton was originally presented as a Kaiba to Jaden's Yugi. His older brothers groomed him from an early age to turn him into the ultimate Pro duelist, as they expected that with him as the face of their brand, they would be able to surpass KaibaCorp's influence.

    For that reason Chazz boasts some of the most expensive cards and use a different ace on most of his duels. From Infernal Incinerator to VWXYZ Dragon Cattapult Canon to even Armed Dragon level 10.

    He eventually finds a place where Duelists go to discard their useless cards and is confronted by the spirit of this....thing who annoys him until he finally breaks and gives it and its brothers a spot in their deck to great results. There's a lesson to be learned here about money not buying everything...But fuck that.

    Look at that thing!, the belly, the thong,the lips, the drool, the way it's contorted...it's all disgusting. And yes it's intentionally bad to sell the idea that this is a card people would want to get rid of. But just because it's intended to be awful doesn't make it any less awful.

    Ojama Yellow is a level 1, LIGHT, Beast-type monster that works with its slightly less disgusting brothers "Ojama Green" and "Ojama Black"

    They have the ability to fuse like most GX monsters.
    Their strategy is to use spell cards and traps that work when they're all together, also includes taking over the opponent's field by summoning themselves or "Ojama tokens" to their side of the field. That means Link summoning made that strategy irrelevant.

    Ojama got support in the forms of 2 new Ojama and cards that makes combining them with Chazz's machines and dragons possible to have the true Princeton experience

    This is my least favorite theme in all of GX.

    Trivia time! If you need anymore proof that GX Manga is superior, Chazz's spirit monster and ace there is this:

     
    Rainbow Dragon
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    Rainbow Dragon
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Jesse Anderson.


    Artwork:


    A level 10, LIGHT, Dragon Type Effect Monster Jesse came across during the team's adventures. Rainbow Dragon works as the ace card of the "Crystal Beasts", cards that are moved to your Spell zones when destroyed instead of going to the graveyard.

    I think Rainbow Dragon is very overdesigned. An it really fails to sell the "Rainbow" theme. It jut has a couple of colorful jewels in its body that get lost in all the wings, spikes, and ornaments. It's just too busy.

    Gameplay wise, it's a really strong card that's pretty hard to bring out by itself.it's 4000 ATK and the option to go even higher or nuke the field is great. But if you draw this card before you get the 7 crystal cards, it's the definition of a dead draw.

    This card needs Crystal Beasts more than Crystal Beasts need it in my opinion. Support has been released to make it easier to summon but I feel it's just not enough. Even if it makes use of more modern Pendulum cards that have the built in option of being used as both spells or monsters to boost it's strength.

    While playing Crystal Beasts is really fun, you're I feel you're going to use 1 of this card or none at all. I'm no Crystal Beasts player so I might be wrong on this one.

    Anyways, this card's ATK power and devastating effect is enough to be compared with the Egyptian gods, and a certain upcoming villain card certainly took note of that for her evil schemes.But overall I can't say I'm a fan.

    Trivia Time: There's a famous misprint of this card that shows a completely different monster where the art should be.
     
    Destiny HERO - Plasma
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    Destiny HERO - Plasma
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Aster Phoenix


    Artwork:




    While Jaden Yuki used his HERO Cards for fun at the Academy, Aster Phoenix ,the son of a murdered card designer who designed many HERO cards, looked in disgust. To him HEROs should be a tool of justice.

    Obsessed with finding the Ultimate HERO card his father designed before being killed, Aster toyed with Jaden by using copies of his Elemental HERO much more effectively, and when Jaden finally catches up to him, he drops the games and starts using his real cards. The Destiny HEROs. Jaden didn't know what hit him.

    After many adventures, Aster finally finds the last card his father designed, a level 8, DARK, Warrior-Type monster called Plasma.

    If you thought Rainbow Dragon is overdesigned then get a load of this guy. I have no idea what's going on with his suit, there's belts, spikes,wings, claws and teeth in every inch of his body....Is that a giant Claw coming out of his ass? What a mess.

    As a card though, it's kinda good. It has a pretty steep price but his ability to negate all opponent monster's effects is a godsend against many modern decks. It's low attack value is easily fixable of with its effect of absorbing monsters. I'm no Destiny player, but I'd totally try this guy.

    Since this card is a HERO, the support for the card is everything that works with HEROS cards and there's a lot of that.

    However for "Destiny" HERO Cards, the support lately focuses on Gen 5's Arc-V version of Aster Phoenix who uses Fusions a lot more than his original counterpart.

    So it's not really support that focuses on bringing Plasma, instead it just gives better options than it sometimes.

    I really dislike Destiny HEROs as a whole theme, and I think they're the second worst looking HERO cards. Just Shadow the Hedgehog levels of edge. They just lose to Evil HEROs in the edge department.

    Trivia Time! In the 4kids version of GX, Aster's father was kidnapped. His body was edited out of the scene.

    The last card of Gen 2 for this round of reviews is a really nasty Lady that can't get over a dude....Find out later tonight.
     
    Yubel
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    Yubel
    Generation 2
    : GX
    User: Herself


    Artwork:


    Yubel was Jaden's favorite card when he was a kid Wait what? Didn't I just say that he designed Heroes when he was a kid? The fuck?, At some point, Jaden forgot about Yubel, making the card grow resentful towards him. When Jaden and friends crossed over to the world of monsters, she took her chance to enact her revenge, she possesed Jesse Anderson, Jaden's Boyfriend best friend, and turned his Rainbow Dragon into an Evil "Rainbow Dark Dragon"

    Yubel eventually summons herself, a level 10, DARK, Fiend-Type Effect Monster, and no matter how many times Jaden defeated her, she always came back with new and more monstruous forms.

    Jaden decides to pay the ultimate prize and uses the most powerful fusion spell "Super Polymerization" to fuse his soul with Yubel's so that she won't ever be lonely again and stops her rampage. This episode leaves Jaden severely depressed and him overcoming his depression and dealing with Yubel inside his mind becomes the focus of GX season fou- Wait what? Too Dark for american kids? You're skipping the WHOLE SEASON? Even the duel against Yugi?...Fine. *Ahem* and with the fusion they both lived happily ever after.

    I feel like I can't criticize Yubel alone, the Terror and Nightmare forms are parts of who they are. While base Yubel looks like a cardboard cutout of the anime design sheet, I feel the design is strong enough to cause an impression just by standing there, but there is so much more to be done with the design that the boring pose is almost unforgivable, GX sure likes boring poses huh?. Terror Incarnate is the strongest design by far, you immediately focus on the eye between it's shoulders and that looks creepy enough, but then you realize it's head is actually two freaking dragon heads that look straight from hell. Really unsettling which fits a card that's supposed to be "Terror Incarnate"...then she evolves into "Ultimate Nightmare"....And I´m sorry, I just can´t take it seriously. The fucking face in it's chest going "HMPH!" is just so damn hilarious and distracting that I can't even focus on the the dragon heads, or it's reaching claws. A shame because Ultimate Nightmare definately has the better pose that makes it feel more alive. All 3 forms have a background evoking hell, that's pretty metal.

    Normally Yubel would need 2 tributes to hit the field, but most players just bring her with "Mystic Tomato" or "Limit Reverse". At that Point, Yubel becomes a wall that will reflect any attack you throw at it, and if your opponent's destroys it with a card effect, her more powerful forms will hit the field. Yubel's downside is that it must keep tributing monsters to stay on the field, which can be a problem.

    Nowadays, with effect negation being fairly common, negating Yubel and it's forms and running over them is pretty easy. No support for Yubel has been released as of now.

    I like Yubel, it's a cool card with a cool effect that sadly became obsolete as time went on. But it's a memorable card and a reminder of the great GX season 4. Peak GX in my opinion, also it fusing with Jaden made Jaden look waaaaaaay cooler:


    Trivia Time! Yubel's body is that of a hermaphrodite, with half of it's body being that of a male human. 4kids edited her body and added a second breast to her appearance, and I believe this need to constantly edit Yubel played a part on the unforgivable sin of skipping season 4. In both Japanese and English, Yubel is played by a woman and has a feminine personality.




    We're done with the Gen 2 section!, I'm really glad that you're having fun, I hope you're having as much fun as I am writing these and honing my review skills.

    Tomorrow we start Gen 3, my personal favorite. Here we go Acceleration!
     
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    Junk Warrior
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    Junk Warrior
    Generation 3: 5D's
    User: Yusei Fudo


    Artwork:


    We start off Generation 3 with the very first Synchro monster ever created. For those of you who left off before their introduction, Synchro Monsters are summoned from the Extra deck by tributing 1 Tuner-Type Monster and any number of non-Tuner monsters so that their combined levels are equal to the level of the Synchro monster you want to summon.

    The lore behind Synchro Summon is that the Tuner monster synchronizes it's energy with the non-tuners, allowing the Synchro monster to manifest.

    Like Jaden, Yusei pretty much has 2 Ace Cards, as Junk Warrior serves as Yusei's main monster during most of season 1. Yusei is a pretty poor dude in a land where only criminals and other society's outcasts live, so he has to build his deck by dumpster diving and finding cards the rich people from the neighboring city discard, hence the "Junk" theme on his cards.

    Simply put, Junk Warrior's design has an energy that I felt was missing from many GX-era cards. The background is very colorful and evokes high speed, the main theme of 5D's Duels. The monster itself looks so freaking cool, the pose makes it look like he just noticed you mid-flight and turned around to see you, the armor looks like it was made wiith high speed aerodynamic movement in mind, it's robotic fist is clenched and ready for action, the scarf and goggles really sell the idea that this is a robot adventurer wandering at high speeds through some dystopian world. If you're gonna take the risk of introducing a new type of card to a fanbase that's been used to the same kind of cards for years, Junk motherfucking Warrior is how you sell it.

    And it's not only it's design, but it's first appeareance too, unlike GX where the fusion of monsters is kind of glossed over and not very dramatic from episode 1 onwards, when Yusei Synchronizes his level 3 Tuner monster "Junk Synchron" and his level 2 "Speed Warrior" to, for the first time ever, Synchro Summon this Level 5, DARK, Warrior-Type Synchro Monster....Well it's treated like a freaking event. Hell, let's look at it:


    The music, the sound effects, the animations, everything just oozes a style and energy that is unique to 5D's and Gen 3 much like Gen 1 has it's own kind of flavor. I knew 5D's would be special from that clip alone.

    Junk Warrior's 2300 ATK is pretty good for a level 5 monster, and his ability to increase his ATK if low level monsters are on the field perfectly encapsulate Yusei's belief that no card is trash, it just needs the right strategy. Junk Warrior as a card has been pretty much outclassed by many other "Synchro Warriors" that came later to support Yusei's main deck, however a few support cards referencing it have been released here and there

    While not nearly as useful like in it's glory days, and burdened by the Link-Era rules limiting Extra Deck Monsters, Junk Warrior remains a 10/10 in my heart.

    Trivia Time! This card is the first and last Synchro Monster Yusei summoned in his show.
     
    Stardust Dragon
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    Stardust Dragon
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Yusei Fudo


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    Here it is, the true face of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s 3rd generation.

    Where the original YGO dealed with ancient egyptian magic, 5D's treated us to a technological dystopia where the leader of the 1% is obsessed with harnessing the power of ancient Mayan and Inca magic. The Crimson Dragon, a powerful spirit believed to be a manifestation of Quetzalcoatl, senses the dangers looming and chooses five duelist to bestow it's power on so that they can fight the upcoming threats, each dueslits is branded with a mark on their bodies and is destined to find a powerful dragon card in their life. Dragons which represents one of The Crimson Dragon's servants.

    Stardust Dragon is the first of these five dragons, 5D's if you will!...I´ll show myself out.

    Yusei received his "Stardust Dragon" from his father before being abandoned in the junk town of Satellite, during his childhood he befriended Jack Atlas, a kid who also had found a powerful dragon card and who was born with a weird mark on his right arm. Once they reach their 20's Yusei, Jack and other friends are all part of a gang of duelists all of them dreaming to escape into the city and win status by winning dueling tournaments. Yusei, being a genius mechanic, builds his own "D-Wheel" , a motorcycle-like duel disk that pro duelist use to give the audience more of a spectacle in their duels, which he intends to use to escape into the city. However, after a fallout in their friendship, Jack steals both Yusei's "Stardust Dragon" and the D-Wheel, making his way into the city and quickly becoming the dueling champion and getting the life of luxury and privilege he always wanted.

    "Stardust Dragon" becomes the driving force of 5D's as Yusei starts dumpster diving once more to try and build a new bike, escape into the city, and get his card back.

    If there's one thing to say about Stardust Dragon's design it's...

    Stardust's enormous head with a really small face that happens to have weird blue lips,shark teeth and that long nose look very weird. But damn if the design doesn't work somehow, The design feels alien, but it makes sense that a creature that just spends it's time flying through space would look different than your average generic dragon. I particularly like the long, bright white wings that take over the sides of the card, while it's purple muscles look like some kind of armor, really awesome!.

    The background once again is filled with that 5D's brand energy with a dark space looking background filled with what I think is stardust particles coming from a big Stardust cluster in the bottom. Then Stardust Dragon itself appears to be coming out of the cluster. The pose makes it look like it just flapped it's wings to come out and that it's just casually getting ready to fuck shit up. The Alternate Artwork is just Stardust coming out of the Synchro Summon in it's anime pose, it's not bad looking at all. But I´m more fond of the original art.

    As for the game, Stardust Dragon is a level 8, WIND, Dragon-Type Synchro monster...And the single, most impactful card in the way YGO is played since the last decade. Yes, even more so than "Cyber Dragon".

    The reason for this is that up to that point players just destroyed whatever the opponent had that was in the way, Opponent has strong monsters? Take a Dark Hole, opponent has good traps? Here's a Heavy Storm. Stardust just took all that and went "That's gonna be a NO from me dawg" as it negates any effect that can destroy cards on the field with by tributing itself....Only to revive at the end of the turn. Old time players where extremely frustrated with a card that made "Just Destroy lol" no longer an option, earning it the nickname of "Bastardust Dragon" among some purist circles. More seasoned players took this as an opportunity to start experimenting with other forms of card removals, bouncing cards back to the hand, return them to the deck, switching control, removing them from play, sending them to the grave, anything but destruction became the norm. Stardust forced players to think beyond just mindlessly destroying stuff and made players better for it. There's going to be several "Impactful" cards on this thread, but Stardust is one of the few with a real, positive,impact.

    Stardust displayed the ability to be synchronized even further on new, extremely powerful forms, eventually reaching it's strongest form "Shooting Quasar Dragon" a card that laughs in the face of your (Egyptian) God.
    Modern support for Stardust exist
    But reality is that Link-era rules limiting extra deck summons made it considerably more difficult to amass the number of Synchro monsters in your field needed to summon it's stronger forms, and as for it's effect, there's far better options to protect your cards now. Still players constntly find new and creative ways to summon it and Shooting Quasar Dragon because it's just that much of a beloved card. One that truly feels like an Ace.

    Trivia Time! Stardust Dragon cannot negate the old time classic "Time Wizard"´s destruction effect. Stardust Dragon states that it can negate the activation of an effect that would destroy cards on the field, but at the time of activation "Time Wizard" needs to flip a coin before resolving the effect, since the effect may not destroy cards, Stardust Dragon can´t negate it's activation as there's no certainty that it would destroy any cards.
     
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    Red Dragon Archfiend
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    Be ready for the ABSOLUTE POWER FORCE !
    Red Daemon Dragon is on his way.
    5D’s is such an awesome show!

    We need Red Dragon Archfiend next.
    👀

    Red Dragon Archfiend
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Jack Atlas


    Artwork:


    Jack Atlas, made his way into Domino City with a stolen bike and a stolen card. He started dueling his way to upper class until he eventually became Domino City's King of Dueling, he did so by using the power of not only the stolen "Stardust Dragon" but also his own Signer Dragon. A level 8, DARK, Dragon-Type Synchro Monster with a whooping 3000 ATK. A card he considers is his very soul.

    Rex Goodwin, the new CEO of KaibaCorp, manipulates the masses with Jack's image, for that reason, when Yusei eventually makes it into the city, Jack is going to do eveything in his power to prevent Yusei from taking the title from them, unbeknownst to both Jack and Yusei, Rex is planning to gather all Signers, their dragons and their ancient mayan magic together in the same tournament...

    Red Dragon Archfiend is unfortunately one of my least favorite Signer Dragons, While Stardust tried to do it's own thing with a a dragon design that is ugly, but incredibly unique, I feel RDA fell into the most basic "Evil Dragon" clichés in terms of design, it even has the fucking curved goat horns....I get it, he's supposed to be a satanic dragon or something, but this is the same "Satan Dragon" that I've seen a million times before. The armor is badass, the different shades of red work in making him look alive and the exploding background once again fills the card with a LOT of that 5D's energy...Unfortunately the generic design and the "Come at me Bro!" pose really kill it for me. It's evolved and alternate forms are just so much better in terms of design that it just saddens me that the lesser design is the one used for the main card.

    Red Dragon is like the opposite of Stardust, instead of protecting your cards and having a defensive strategy, this fucker is agro as hell. It will destroy any defenses your opponent has, and it will also destroy any monster you have that did not declare an attack this turn.


    This effect is a double-edged sword and I never really liked it, even when my IRL deck is extremely aggresive, I like knowing that I can slow down and take a defensive approach from time to time. RDA prevents that, and I hate it.

    Like Stardust, RDA has many (Better) evolved forms when it's synchronized further with more tuners
    Red Nova Dragon is just a gigantic upgrade over OG Red Dragon Archfiend, because it's agressive too, but it also has defensive options, much better card in my opinion.

    Red Dragon Archfiend has received support to have his own deck, but it's mostly geared towards Gen 5's Arc-V version of Jack Atlas.

    Overall, not a bad card, not a great card. Decent deck thanks to the support it has received, but there's far better Red Dragons to summon nowadays.

    Speaking of the Arc-V version of Jack, it's Trivia time!

    At the end of 5D's, Yusei's Junk Warrior and Jack's Red Dragon clash one last time. This clash is represented in the card "Clashing Souls"
    RDA Lost that battle and it's arm and horn got broken. That's why the Arc-V version of Jack's card, despite being a different universe, references the battle with this older version of Red Dragon having a Broken horn and a "bandaged" arm.



    Also, that is a MUCH better design than the original.
     
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    Black Rose Dragon
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    Black Rose Dragon
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Aki Izayoi


    Artwork:


    The third Signer Dragon is here!

    I feel like I can't start talking about this card without first talking about Aki, probably the closest YGO has ever come of having a compelling female character, and bar none, the absolute best female character in the franchise. (Just so we're clear, I will NOT call Aki "Akiza". Kthx.)



    Aki was born with psychic powers that could make the holographic monsters in a duel real, When her father bought her her first deck to play a match with her, during the game, she discovers her powers as a bright red mark glowed on her body, causing her to set her house on fire. This created a severe strain in her relationship with her parents. She tries to supress her powers and attend Duel Academy...which she also sets on fire. This causes her to be ostracized by society and labeled a "Witch".

    Divine the leader of a creepy cult called "Arcadia" known to have a knack for torturing children until they exhibit psychic powers, preys on her vulnerability and manipulates her into leaving everyone and joining his cult. He gets her a powerful Plant deck that includes this Level 7, FIRE, Dragon-Type Synchro Monster. Under Divine's tutelage Aki develops a sadistic personality, and starts getting out at night just to torture players with her powers to get a rush of pleasure. Divine, planning on using her powers to make a statement about psychic human's superiority, sends her as a participant for Rex Goodwin's duel tournament. Inavertedly helping him get another Signer into the event.

    She eventually faces Yusei, who takes all of her most cruel hits insisting that there is good in her, which starts her character development into a true Signer, teammate and a better person.

    Black Rose Dragon's design is just perfect, breathtaking, and majestic, It has the same uniqueness Stardust Dragon has and Red Dragon Archfiend needs, you've never seen a dragon like this one before. It's a card that like her user looks beautiful but is viciously violent, they way it's wings are open and the background is showing lightrays expanding through the card makes me feel like I'm watching a rose bloom. The rose petals flying in the background are a great touch too. There´s really not much to say, you're looking at it yourselves, it's a 10/10 design.

    For the game, Black Rose Dragon is the card equivalent of taking the ball and going. As soon as Black Rose Dragon is summoned, you have the option of nuking the entire field, itself included. Having a nuclear option like that was so good, that Black Rose Dragon had to serve some time on the banlist, limited at 1 copy per deck. It's second effect makes it a staple of synchro focused plant decks, as you can choose not to nuke the field and leave a monster with a respectable 2400 tearing down your opponent's defenses by flipping them to ATK position and making their ATK 0.

    Black Rose Dragon unfortunately has no evolved forms, as a last minute emergency (which I'll go into detail later) forced the writers of 5D's to scrap all their plans for season 3 at the last minute....Turning season 3 into a Yusei focused mess where all characters were flanderized (And it still turned out pretty decent), for that reason, Season 3 Aki loses a bit of her spotlight and her monster never evolves.

    That said, the recently released TCG Expansion "Duelist Of Legend: Sisters of the Rose" gave BRD a LOT of cool new cards to make up for it.
    Justice. At last.

    BRD is a great card that it's still widely used, nuking the field is always fun! Only time will tell if a deck focused entirely on it will work, but the support released thi year is a good first step.

    Trivia time! Much like with Piccolo in Dragon Ball, there's a 5D's episode dedicated to Aki getting her driver's license.
     
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    Power Tool Dragon & Ancient Fairy Dragon
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    Power Tool Dragon
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Leo / Rua


    Artwork:


    Our 4th Signer Dragon is....A Machine-Type?

    During his adventures in the city, Yusei eventually finds himself as the guest of a couple of kind rich kids whose parents always leave alone, Leo and Luna (Rua and Ruka in the Japanese version), Yusei being grateful to both kids for their kindness, shares a duel with Leo and then spends the night fixing the adult-sized duel disks their parents got them into kid-friendly versions.



    While Luna is eventually revealed to be a Signer, Leo spends most of the show convinced that he too is a Signer like his sister and that his favorite Level 7, EARTH,Machine-Type Synchro monster is his Signer Dragon as he had seen visions of a dragon resembling it fighting alongside the Crimson Dragon and his other dragon servants, even after the last signer is revealed to be Crow Hogan and the 5th Signer Dragon is revealed to be "Black Winged Dragon". He still believes in what he saw.

    Power-Tool Dragon's design has a lot of personality to it, once again, you've never seen a backhoe made into a dragon, have you? Once again the background injects energy into the design and the pose feels like it's telling Bob the Builder "YES WE CAN!". Not the best design of the bunch, but far from the worst (That's Black-Winged!)

    For the game, Power-Tool is extremely niche, only shining on Leo's "Morphtronic" (not-Transformers) deck. It's ability to use equip spells for it's effect has been outclassed by cards such as "Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights"

    Leo's gut proves him right as he reveals a hidden power during 5D's climatic final battle, miraculously emerging as a 6th Signer, with his Power Tool Dragon reclaiming it's true form "Life Stream Dragon"



    That....Sure is a way to ruin Power-Tool's fun look. Thanks, I hate it.
    Lifestream's effect can give you some much needed LP in a pinch, but that's about it. Oh and it's a Tuner with a really high level...Not useful at all.

    No support for Morphtronics or Power-Tool Dragon has been released.

    Ancient Fairy Dragon
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Luna / Ruka


    Artwork:


    The Last Signer Dragon.

    "But you just said there was a 6th"

    THE. LAST. SIGNER. DRAGON.

    Luna has the ability to contact monster spirit's, much like Jaden from GX. She is known for gettin lost in the world of monsters from time to time, in one of such adventures, she met Ancient Fairy Dragon, who recognized her as a signer, brought her home and transformed into a card for her deck.

    I'm not a fan of Ancient Fairy's design. Her slim and slimy body and weird shaped face make me feel uncomfortable, the butterfly wings are neat touch as she is a "Fairy Dragon" but it's not enough to save the design for me. The skinny arms and long fingers are the final nail in the coffin.

    Ancient Fairy Dragon's ability to special summon a monster from your hand for free and also search for Field Spells while also giving you LP earned it a nice warm spot in the Forbidden List. As it was extremely prone to start some insane combos with both abilities.

    No support for Ancient Fairy Dragon currently exists.

    Trivia Time!
    When Yusei and Aki went out on a date, the twins followed them around while loudly debating if they were having a real date or not.
     
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    Blackwing Armor Master
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    Blackwing Armor Master
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Crow Hogan


    Artwork:


    Hey, ProfRenegade , here's your boi.

    DISCLAIMER: The reason why I'm not doing a review on "Black-Winged Dragon", despite it being a Signer Dragon is because:

    a) The anime never shows BWD as a Signer Dragon alongside the Crimson Dragon, so it's inclusion was another pointless retcon of season 3.
    b) It's nowhere near as popular or good as Armor Master here
    c) I can review it with just "It's ugly, it sucks, no one plays it, no support"

    Crow Hogan was one of Yusei's closest friend's during his time in Satellite, a member of Yusei's Duel Gang, Crow's face is now covered in Criminal Tracker Marks used by the police to keep tabs on him. After the fallout of the gang, Crow and Yusei lost contact for a bit, but never stopped being friends. When Yusei was having trouble with the looming threat of the Dark Signers, Crow joined the fight as an ally no questions asked. Aided by his extremely powerful Deck, The Blackwings. Humanoid Birds ready to kick ass and take names


    Crow's Ace is the level 7, DARK, Winged-Beast, Synchro Monster. Armor Master, a card with a really cool looking design for being essentially Bird Person, it sure is a Master of the Armor as it looks great in it, the black metal on the wings and helmets pops out really nicely on the blue background, and I particularly like the orange decals finishing in some dark orb adornments in it's wings. Once more, the pose is good and heroic, the only thing I would take away are those weird wheel thingies on it's hips, they look bulky and uncomfortable.

    While the card itself is REAL good the card benefits from being summoned with what many consider one of the best Tuner monsters in the game "Blackwing- Gale the Whirlwind"


    Gale can be special summoned by controlling any other "Blackwing" card, so you can just summon a cool Level 4 Blackwing monsters, get to summon Gale for free, Gale will halve an opponent's monster's ATK and THEN you get to Synchro into an unkillable 2500 ATK Armor Master that will reduce to 0 the ATK of any monster foolish enough to battle it. Needless to say, Blackwings popped in and out of the metagame for years, with the eventual limitation of Gale never really being a problem to them, they were THAT good.

    Crow and his Blackwings got so popular that the anime writers decided to make him the 5th Signer in season 2 as opposed to making him a villain like they originally planned. That means, Crow ended up taking Leo's spot as the 5th Signer.


    Blackwings get support every Tuesday given how insanely popular they are, even Armor Master has a new Shiny Powered Up form "Blackwing Full Armor Master" released last year

    Armor Master and the Blackwings are only now missing in the Link department to have full power in modern times, and even then, they do just as good with the adorable "Wee Witch's Apprentice" as their Link. Great Card. great theme...Shame about the character taking over the spotlight of all the other cool season 1 characters though.

    Trivia Time!

    Since "Black-Winged Dragon" has a hyphen in-between the words, it's not considered a "Blackwing" monster and as such, cannot use any of their support. As if it didn't suck enough already...

    We're nearing the end of this round of Gen 3 reviews, later tonight, we will be taking a trip to the Nazca Lines.
     
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    Earthbound Immortals
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    Earthbound Immortal Ccapac Apu
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Kyosuke Kiryu


    Artwork:


    Rex Goodwin assembled the Signers, tested their powers in the Fortune Cup and gave them a mission, to stop the rise of their antithesis, the Dark Signers, dark magic infused dead bodies reanimated for the sole purpose of destroying the Signers and feed the souls of mortals to the Eathbound Gods, evil beings sealed by ancient Incas into the Nazca Lines.

    One of the Dark Signers is Kiryu, Yusei's gang last member and the cause of the gang breaking up. During a typical gang fight, Yusei and Co. were confronted by the police, Kiryu, sick of the police mistreating the people of Satellite snaps and kills a cop. He is immedately confronted by Yusei, who is disgusted by what he did. Yusei leaves Kiryu to face justice. Kiryu dies in prison...which makes him the perfect vessel for the power Ccapac Apu.

    Kiryu using this card gave Yusei his only recorded loss in the series, and he also went back home with a metal shard pierced through his stomach as a little bonus.

    Earthbound Immortals don't look too good, they feel like giant CGI blobs with little substance, but damn if Ccapac Apu is not the worst offender.

    Their effect destroying them if there is no field spell is a huuuuge disadvantage if you draw them before having set up a field spell, however if you cant get them on the field and protect them from card effects, they can end a game.

    No support for Ccapac Apu has been released, meanwhile Kiryus main deck the "Infernity" are an awesome deck that focuses on never having cards in your hand. if you wanna play Kiryu, you play Infiernity, a deck that has been meta level time and time again.

    Earthbound Immortal Aslla Piscu
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Carly Carmine


    Artwork:


    Ah Carly, whay a lovely character with such a negative impact for the series going forward.

    Carly is a news reporter who founds a disgraced Jack Atlas right after his fall from grace against Yusei, Carly gives her house, her food and attention to Jack until he is ready to take on the world again. However, Jack, being an ungrateful dick, refuses to ackonwledge the feelings blooming between the two, causing Carly to run off after a heated argument. While alone, Carly discovers Divine, the leader of the cult Aki is part of, doing some shady stuff, trying to get a new scoop to keep her job at the newspaper, she infiltrates his lair, only for Divine to find out and use her psychic powers to throw her from a window. On the way to her death, Carly only thinks of Jack, once she dies, the power of Aslla Piscu takes over her body, she's now a Dark Signer. (in the 4kids version she falls into brainwashing purple mist conveniently located right next to the building lol)


    Aslla Piscu suffers from the same fate as all other Earthbound Immortals, it's just another CGI blob with little interesting details, and Carly's real deck "Fortune Ladies" don´t need it...Like at all.

    Support for the Earthbounds is not very good

    With no other support on the horizon, While Carly's Fortune Lady, support completely ignoring it's

    I know this review was a little anime focused but....I needed to reach this part, this is something everyone should know.

    Trivia Time!

    Ever wondered why YGO suddenly stopped doing ancient magic stuff as a theme and moved into Sci Fi bullshit? It's Carly's fault. Her VA.Li-Mei Chiang was rumored to be part of a sex cult called Roma Sophie Association , which was under japanese police investigation for allegedly preying on young teens, after some arrests on the cult leaders were made, the YGO anime team enacted a Porygon Protocol and completely wiped any trace of ancient cults from 5D's season 3, going as far as to completely rewrite a lot of it. Her relationship with Jack was erased and her role became that of a fangirl (Eventually under a new VA), Jack was also regressed as if he barely knew her. Season 3 heavily suffered from that. Although thankfully the ending of season 2 was solid enough to provide closure to the point Season 3 almost feels like an OVA.

    From that point on, Yu-Gi-Oh! refrains to use Ancient Magic as a theme.

    The Last card for Gen 3 is coming soon, can you feel the KATTOBINGU approaching?
     
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    Sephylon, The Ultimate Timelord
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    Sephylon, The Ultimate Timelord
    Generation 3
    : 5D's
    User: Z-One


    Artwork:


    Probably the least serious review I´ll make, that's how boring this card and character is.

    In 5D's season 3, an evil entity sends his minions to destroy all Synchro Cards, deeming them the cause of the world being destroyed in the future (joke's on HIM, the real culprits were clearly Link cards.) Three defeated minions and a cool crossover to the defeat the 4th later. The show ends for American audiences as they also skipped the final battle here. for Japanese audiences the main villain reveals himself to be....Yusei. from the future! ...except even lamer. Z-One is a Yusei fanboy from the future who

    *Checks Notes*

    ....Underwent plastic surgery to look like Yusei and inspire the people of the future to fight against the evil the overuse of Synchros Unleashed...And then

    *Squints at notes*

    ...Turned evil because people realized he was full of bullshit but then they all died so he traveled back in time to prevent Synchros from being cool

    So! Sephylon is a level 10, LIGHT, Fairy-Type Effect monster clearly based on the Sephiroth tree and is meant to represent the Jewish/Christian God "Jehovah". What better enemy for season 3's flanderized Godsei than God himself? As a Catholic man, I can only hope He doesn't look this lame. His lower body looks like a dildo, while it's arms and higher body, while really cool looking, don't give me anything remotely similar to the feeling that I´m staring at a god, unlike Gen 3's Nordic Gods (That I hopefully will cover later) or even the Signer Dragons Divine Forms. The chest showing the reflection of a wise old man looks...well, not very cool when you can´t stop thinking of it being an astronaut helmet. It just looks boring and generic overall.

    Sephylon is a 4000 ATK juggernaut that can be summoned easily by having 10 monsters in the graveyard, which can be done pretty easily in a deck dedicated to it.

    It's effect let's you summon a fairy monster and turn it into an effectless 4000 ATK beater. This effect was intended to be used with the other 10 attributes or emanations of the Sephiroh tree that Z-One uses in the anime....but they were never released....

    Until recently!

    Yeah! Kabbala Bitch!

    Overall a pretty cool deck that FEELS godly even if it doesn´t look like it

    Trivia Time!....This one kinda speaks for itself

    Generation 3 is done for now!

    Now that we approach Gen 4 I have a completely unrelated question....How do you feel about the Star Wars Sequels?
     
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    Number 39: Utopia
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    Number 39: Utopia
    Generation 4
    : ZEXAL
    User: Yuma Tsukumo


    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    For those just seeing their beautiful black frame for the first time, Xyz Monsters (pronounced Ik-Seez Monsters) are beings summoned to the field by tributing 2 monsters with the same level. Those cards are stacked and placed beneath the Xyz card, and are discarded whenever the the Xyz monster activates it's effect, like ammo for their effects.

    Xyz monsters famously have no level, their Black Stars at the opposite side of the card representing a "Rank" instead. This means these monsters are immune to anything involving levels. Fan favorite stall cards like "Gravity Bind" won't save you fom an Xyz monster.

    The lore behind them is that they are beings made of antimatter from another dimmension. Sending your equal level monsters through a black hole generates enough energy to bring them to our dimmension.



    Xyz monsters are some of the most user friendly cards in the game, and their lack of need for Tuners or Polymerization makes them very useful to any deck.

    Anyways let´s talk ZEXAL! A young boy named Yuma Tsukumo is seeing how his friend is being bullied by the coolest kid, in school, nicknamed "Shark", the bully eventually manifests some weird energy and produces a card no one has ever seen before "Number 17: Leviathan Dragon". Yuma duels Shark with his terrible deck until suddenly, from the triangular shaped necklace he wears, an amnesiac spirit emerges and presents itself as "Astral" to Yuma, and decides to grant him the power to wield "Number 39: Utopia"

    That sounded awfully familiar right? Well get used to it, we're going all JJ Abrams on this bitch, ZEXAL lives of vaguely referencing the superior Duel Monsters with it's themes, designs and events. Clearly this should be named "The Heart of the Cards Awakens". You won't believe who duels who in the final duel! You could even call it...A ceremony!

    Rants aside, Astral informs Yuma that his memory and powers were scattered through the world in the form of 100 "Number" cards, extremely powerful Xyz monsters each prone to possesing people and transferring their power to them...and make them go crazy. Astral only kept the power of "Number 39" and thus the hunt for the remainng 99 Numbers begins!

    First of all, there's something I need to address. This card's original Japanese name is "Number 39: Hope, The King of Wishes" for the TCG the localization team changed it because and I quote "Hope is a girl's name". They justified saying that a "Utopia" is the wish of most humans, so it fits...somehow. I will not let that Bullshit go without calling it out.

    Utopia is a Rank 4, LIGHT, Warrior-Type Xyz Monster with a neat design as far as faceless warriors go, I love the golden armor, I love the swords, and I specially like how all "Numbers" have their respective number somewhere in their body with Utopia having a bright red "39" on his shoulder. The original pose is really iffy, I feel like it makes me focus on the sword instead of the warrior, and it really undersells his wings. The new artwork is miles better and I appreciate adding the little detail of Xyz monsters having their "materials" orbitings as balls of light around them. 2nd Artwork wins this battle over the original easily.

    It's effect is nice, whenever a card declares an attack, Utopia can get rid of one of the cards beneath it to stop the attack. If he runs out of cards beneath him, he will self destruct as soon as any card attacks it....A far cry from the crazyness of Stardust Dragon, but still decent enough,

    Like Stardust, Utopia can evolve by becoming the material for bigger, badder Xyz monsters. this is usually achieved through the effect of spell cards that "Rank-Up" Utopia into a monster of a higher rank by placing the new monster on top of Utopia's stack

    Support for Utopia was good with it lately receiving a cool new forms and spells

    Utopia is a GREAT card for beginners that shines in competetive play because you summon it to put "Utopia the Lightning" (Above) on top of him almost immediately for a 5000 ATK powerhouse

    Probably the most user friendly main protagonist card for any deck no matter how old or advanced.

    Trivia time!
    "Numbers" take the form of their first owner's desires. In Yuma's case he wanted to be a protector of his friends

    Also, 2 generations later and Konami still hasn't printed or revealed all 100 numbers, as of now, only 95 have been revealed and made into cards
     
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    Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon
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    Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon
    Generation 4
    : ZEXAL
    User: Kaito Tenjo

    Artwork:



    Ok so...uhm..


    ...I MIGHT be a little biased here as this is my IRL deck.

    Kaito Tenjo is a Number Hunter who wears a coat, has a 3000 ATK Dragon with the theme of Eyes, and is on a mission to rescue his brother Mokuba Haruto. JJ Abrams' Not-Kaiba is here!



    Thankfully, He and his clearly Not-Blue Eyes escape the stigma of being Kaiba references and he quickly becomes the best character in the show (this is sadly faint praise). Kaito mercilessly hunts whatever poor soul has been possesed by a Number. Using Galaxy-Eyes ,a card designed to defeat Xyz monsters with ease, together with other "Photon" and "Galaxy" cards, he relentlessly attacks and steals the Number they were using, usually with the user's soul still attached to it, he gives no fucks. It's all to save his brother.

    Galaxy-Eyes' design is freaking GREAT. First of all let's talk about the background, obviously the universe-sized dragon gets to be in a spacial background, the lines around it makes me think I suddenly caught a glimpse of this majestic beast, the creature design really sells the idea of a creature being made of pure photons, held together by it's armor, in fact,the contrasting dark purple armor only makes it's lit-up "Photon" body pop out even more, and the little red accents work well in giving the armor some detail. The wings are cool AF like condensed beams of light reaching to the very limits of space in the frame. If there is one problem with this creature's artwork is once again the lack of focus on the titular "Galaxy-Eyes" this is supposed to be a Super Shenron tier Dragon, so big that there's galaxies in it's eyes



    The artwork not focusing on them, like Blue-Eyes does is too bad.

    In the game. Galaxy-Eyes (a level 8, LIGHT, Dragon-Type effect monster) is the ultimate Xyz killer, whenever Galaxy-Eyes attacks or is attacked, it can escape into space by banishing it and the monster it's battling (This is a quick effect! Which means you can also use this effect to in response to traps being activated, allowing you to dodge traps like Mirror Force!). If the monster banished by this effect was an Xyz monster, the cards beneath it will go to the graveyard, and when Galaxy-Eyes makes it's grand return, it will gain 500 ATK for each of those cards. A total beast. Galaxy-Eyes also avoids wasting your normal summon by having a built-in special summoning method, by tributing 2 monsters with 2000 or more Attack, GEPD is special summoned to wreck havoc. This is something the Photon Deck achieves with extreme ease with cards such as "Photon Sanctuary" and "Galaxy Trance"

    Kaito eventually learns to use the power of Xyz summon on his Galaxy-Eyes, giving him a myriad of forms with insane attack values. I´m saying 4000 ATK is the FLOOR here. And this is without counting their amazing negation effects.

    Galaxy-Eyes is an extremely popular deck, so much that it's the only one of the main ZEXAL character to have received new support last year.

    Yes, even brand new, Link support.



    Galaxy-Eyes's insanely aggresive strategy that also has room to slow down and focus on defense and negation of your opponent's attacks makes me feel like it's a fair, risk-reward balanced deck, which means its not busted enough to be meta, but damn if it's not fun to run over an Obelisk the Tormentor with a 7000+ ATK. Or swarm the field with 3000 ATK monsters

    Galaxy-Eyes lives up to the legacy of the card it was based on and manages to stand on it's own as a great card and a fan favorite.

    Trivia Time!

    An alternate version of Kaito also appears in Arc-V. However much to my chagrin his Photon/Galaxy cards were replaced by the shittastic "Cipher" cards. His new ace in this version however is a great great card to play with OG Galaxy-Eyes.




    I am REALLY having a hard time choosing the next card, as the next character is probably the most inconsistent character in the franchise, both in writing, and his ace cards...
     
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    Number 32: Shark Drake
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    Number 32: Shark Drake
    Generation 4
    : ZEXAL
    User: Shark (Ryoga Kamishiro / Reginald Castle)
    Artwork:




    Man this was REALLY a tough one, Shark is, in my opinion, probably the worst written male character in this franchise, yes, even worse than Bastion. But during his run through ZEXAL he uses so many ace cards like "Submersible Carrier Aero Shark" "Number 17: Leviathan Dragon" "Black-Ray Lancer" and more. It is for that reason that, despite me really disliking the character, I am forced to do 2 Aces for this guy, based on the show's developments.



    After being controlled by "Number 17" and defeated by Yuma's "Number 39" Shark leaves the life of a bully and become a full time delinquent. Yuma and Astral reach out to him and talk him into joining their team in the fight for the Numbers, Shark eventually exhibits the power to control a brand new Number "Shark Drake" a Rank 4, WATER, Sea-Serpent Type Xyz Monster. Shark could control a number despite having no protecive magic (Yuma) or Tech (Kaito)...something no normal human should be capable of and that should've raised a few red flags...

    Shark is basically Mako Tsunami meets Bakura, he flip-flops from hero to traitor more than Kain from Final Fantasy IV and it's just so frustrating to watch, also his hair is disgusting.

    Shark Drake looks like ASS, like a poorly cooked mutant chicken, it's pose is LITERALLY a T-pose with zero effort on it and the background is just a freaking bubble, as far of aces go, this one has the least personality and effort. So let's focus on the superior Shark Drake. When faced in a pretty difficult battle, Shark eventually developed the power to evolve Shark Drake into it's more powerful form "Number C32: Shark Drake Veiss", which again, no normal human should do and should have probably raised a brand new set of red flags.



    Veiss looks much more like a submarine alien terror, the bright white looks MUCH better than the poorly cooked chicken color, it's pose is much more majestic and the ocean background is miles better. A total upgrade.

    "Shark Drake" becomes a mediocre card the moment you read it's summon requirements, it needs THREE level 4 monsters, however it's effect kinda makes up for it, if Drake destroy a card, he will remove one of the cards beneath it to revive the monster, take 1000 ATK points from it, and attack it again. Talk about overkill. But it really doesn't justify wasting 3 perfectly good monster´s.

    "Shark Drake Veiss" has an even worse effect, if your LP is 1000 Veiss can drop to 0 the ATK of an opponent's monster....such a great design for that?

    No support for either of these cards has been released as of now, however you can make a fully functional fish deck with this guy's cards.

    Shark's eventual complete fall to the Dark Side gave him an incredibly good, meta level card. But I feel like I need to cover Drake as it's the card he uses as a "Hero"

    Trivia Time: One of Shark's cards has a pretty shitty pun

     
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    Rank-Up-Magic Barian Force, Number 104: Masquerade and Number 101: Silent Honor Ark
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    Fj0823

    Fj0823

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    Rank-Up-Magic Barian's Force
    Generation 4
    : ZEXAL
    User: The Barians
    Artwork:




    After Yuma, Shark and Kaito join forces they are able to take down powerful enemies like Throne and Dr. Faker (yeah, seriously), their real enemies reveal themselves to be the Barians, spirits from a dimmension at war with Astral's. The Barian's have the ability to increase the power of their Xyz monsters with "RUM-Barian's Force" a card they use to increase the Rank of their monsters and transform them into darker versions.

    Basically, it works like this:

    You activate the spell card and this happens,


    The artwork for this card is just the emblem of the Barians, but they seem to have taken my advice with "The Seal of Orichalcos" and gave it a far more interesting background, as it looks like the symbol is engraved in a wall and cracking it with it's energy. Well done!

    There's many Rank-Up-Magics, 2 of them are even banned because they let you bring out incredibly overpowered Xyz monsters that would normally take lots of resources to summon by just ranking up a lower Rank Xyz.

    I needed to flash review this card first so that the other 2 mini-reviews in this post make sense.


    Number 104: Masquerade
    Generation 4
    : ZEXAL
    User: Vector
    Artwork:


    The evil Barians even have their own Numbers that go over 100! and among them Vector is by far the best villain amidst ZEXAL's mediocrity


    Vector poses as Yuma's new classmate and friend "Ray" for most of season 2. "Ray" even gives a copy of a lesser version of "Rank-Up-Magic Barian's Force" among other cards to Yuma, allowing him to Rank-Up Utopia and defeat many of the Barians they encounter. This should have raised MAJOR red flags, but Yuma promised to keep it a secret and dodges questions about the card's origin.

    Eventually, Ray gets kidnapped by the evil Vector, Yuma rushes to his aide only to find out the kidnapper and the victim are one and the same. Vector reveals his horrific true form and locks down Yuma by using cards specifically designed to brick a deck that contains the cards he gave Yuma. And he takes the upper hand in the duel with his "Masquerade" as Yuma's friends lose all trust in him because of his lies about the cards. The reveal of Ray's real identity is never foreshadowed, and it took the fans completely by surprise too, it was GREAT. By far ZEXAL's highest point.


    Masquerade is a terrible design, he's just a circus man with wings, sure it's golden armor doesn´t look too bad but there's a distinct lack of personality in this one. The fact that it's "Number" is in the background bothers me, it bothers me a lot.

    Masquerade is a Rank 4,LIGHT, Spellcaster-Type Xyz monster that requires 3 level 4 monsters, but damn that's a sweet effect, during the battle phase it can negate an effect and deal 800 damage? Yes please. AND it also sends the top card from the opponent's deck to the grave? That can be a double edged sword, but it's an interesting effect that it could help if you know the opponent's deck won't benefit from having cards in the graveyard.

    Vector can use "RUM-Barian Force" to Rank-Up Masquerade into "Number C104: Umbral Horror Masquerade"
    So, this card enters the field and destroys a Spell/Trap, then if it was summoned with Masquerade as it's material it gets to negate an opponent's monster effect, send their top card from the deck to the graveyard AND halve the opponent's LP? That's insane!

    Unfortunately, the lack of support makes summoning this card incredibly difficult, so it's popularity in the real game is non-existent. Too bad.


    Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
    Generation 4
    : ZEXAL
    User: Shark
    Artwork:



    ranjaboy I listened to you regarding doing both of his ace cards, so now you have to suffer with me.

    While Sharks vows to fight alongisde Yuma and Kaito against the Barian onslaught and loudly claims that he'll never forgive their crimes he comes across a tiny piece of information...*Pulls notes*

    Shark actually should've died alongside his sister in a car crash years ago, in fact they actually did die, but they didn't really because they are the reincarnation of the ancient Barian Kings, so they survived but lost all memories of their true identities and powers until his sister suddenly remembers, and that awakens their alien selves. So he now looks like this:

    So he forgets everything he stood for and immediately switches sides...again

    And that's why he has the power to use Numbers and upgrade them! Fuck you! That's your payoff! He receives the power to wield a 100+ number with this transformation, he gets a Rank 4, WATER, Aqua-Type Xyz Monster. Number 101: Silent Honor ARK.

    ....Anyways, Silent Honor ARK (S.H.ARK get it? GET IT?) has a REALLY cool design like an underwater fortress full of canons, spikes and shields. You know me already and know that I will immediately award it points for having a real background, even if it's a simple bottom of the ocean motiff, I really like S. H. ARK and is probably the only Shark card I can say I'm a fan of. It helps that it was meta when it came out and that I pulled one when it was worth a lot of $$$ lol.

    Why is it meta? Because it only requires 2 level 4 monsters and it's effect allows you to detach the cards beneath it to take an opponent's monster and place it beneath it. Cards beneath an Xyz monster are never considered to be cards on the field, just part of the Xyz monster. So this was a brand new way of removing opponent's monsters that players had never faced before, not only that but absorbing the opponent's monster gave it ammo for it´s destruction protection effect. Like Stardust Dragon, it forced players to think outside the box, and create strategies for when this incredibly easy to summon card drops.

    Like all other Barians, Shark can use "Rank-Up-Magic" to upgrade Silent Honor into "Number C101: Silent Honor DARK"
    It's effect is not that different from regular ARK to be worth the upgrade, ARK was just so good that there was no real way to upgrade it.

    Trivia Time!
    Fj0823 needed a drink after remembering Shark's storyline.

    1 more card to go before Gen 4 is finished!
     
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    Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max
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    Fj0823

    Fj0823

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    Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max
    Generation 4
    : ZEXAL
    User: Anna Kousuki
    Artwork:



    Let's end Gen 4 with a BANG!

    I really want to include at least a female character in each gen. Sadly, ZEXAL doesn't really gives much focus to it's main female characters, we have Kotori (not-Tea) who does nothing but be a cheerleader and say "Yuma" and Rio (Not-Serenity) Shark's sister who spends a good chunk of the show blindfolded at the hospital. Yes they even do that scene. But later becomes a duelist for the team.

    I really liked Rio because when she eventually joins team Yuma she is treated as a powerful asset and she's also a really likeable character....until the reveal that she was an evil alien all along and her also switching sides immediately. I really don't feel like doing ANOTHER Barian Number so I moved down the list to Anna.



    Anna is a hiperactive, loud mouthed, knucklehead with the attention span of a rock. She is obsessed with Trains and Cannons and her cards are, of course, trains and cannons. She's not really a main character, and just pops out of nowhere from time to time for hilarity (She does take part in some conflicts though). The "Legendary Duelists: Sisters of the Rose" expansion considered her the main ZEXAL Girl Duelist, so I'm doing the same.

    Anna plays with gigantic Level 10 Train cards with hilarious amounts of ATK, but her main strategy is to use 2 level 10's to bring out Gustav Max, a Rank 10, EARTH, Machine -Type Xyz Monster. Gustav Max's artwork is not supposed to be taken seriously, it's just a hilariously oversized canon attached to a train, that's it. It has a detailed background in the middle of the dessert with cool sandstorm details to make the card feel real , I dislike the colors in the cannon, but that's because the card was censored much like "Barrel Dragon" back in the day (Original Art here). A Shame because the original art is even more ridiculous and the "Laser missile" the TCG version added looks completely lame compared to just a big fucking cannon.

    Gustav Max can be easily summoned in its deck despite the normally insane "2 level 10 monsters" requirement, and it not only has 3000 ATK but it can also discard one of the cards beneath it for a direct shot of 2000 LP once per turn, that's 2 direct hits for 2000 ATK and a great attack. This card makes you feel like this:


    As I mentioned before, this card received support on the "Sister of the Rose" expansion with a new form, new trains, and spells

    Train cards are so popular that she even has upcomming Link monster support before the protagonist Yuma!

    A really fun card that gives a new meaning to "Overcompensating".

    Trivia Time!

    This card is clearly based on the Gustav cannons from WWII


    Generation 4 is DONE!

    Now LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, prepare yourself for the absolute insanity (In a good way) that was Gen 5

    Shark isn't even that bad...
    School Bully>Gang Member>Gets soul snatched>Gets it back>Good guy now!>brainwashed back into bad guy>Good guy again!>evil allien all along.

    Nah, man.
     
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    Timegazer Magician & Stargazer Magician
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    Fj0823

    Fj0823

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    To kickstart Gen 5, our main character Yuya gets not 1, not 2 but 3 cards in a row! These cards are almost always played together during season 1 and hold such a significance to Yuya's character that there really is no other way!

    Timegazer Magician
    Generation 5
    : Arc-V
    User: Yuya Sakaki
    Artwork:



    No, you're not tripping, that IS a half monster, half spell card. Pendulum Monsters are 2 cards in 1! And they're probably the most complicated mechanic in the game, I'll try to keep it as concise as posible.

    They go in your normal Deck and can be summoned as monsters normally or you can activate them as continous spells in one of the 2 Pendulum Zones of the field . They have an effect box for their monster effect and a separate one for their spell effect. Their Spell effect box is surrounded by a number called a "Scale". Pendulums that are destroyed never go to the Graveyard, instead, they will go rest on your Extra Deck Face-Up.

    When 2 Pendulum cards are face-up on your field as spells, you get access to a once per turn Pendulum Summon, where you can summon as many monsters from your hand or Pendulums in your Extra Deck as you can, as long as their levels are inbetween the 2 "Scales".

    The lore being that the magic of 2 spells with different scales will generate energy that will bounce back and forth in between them, like a Pendulum, eventually opening a portal for your monsters to come through.



    Insane huh? Pendulums revolutionized the game and added a complexity that was never there before by letting 1 card take on different roles depending on where it's played. Loved by many (myself included) and deeply hated by others, you could consider Pendulums to be "The Last Jedi" of Children's Card Games. (Yes, I went there)

    Our protagonist Yuya Sakaki wants to become an "Entertainment Duelist", Duelists whose duels are an exciting show that keeps the audiences engaged and excited, like the Harlem Globetrotters! For that reason Yuya usually plays with cutesy animal circus performers in his deck, such as "Performapal Hip Hippo" and "Performapal Elephammer" all to give some laughs for his audience. Still, deep within Yuya's deck, he keeps some darker cards for when he need to play seriously...When backed into a corner during a duel where his family's honor is on the line, Yuya's pendant radiates energy that transforms those cards into Pendulum Monsters!

    The first of which is Timegazer. And I LOVE Timegazer. The design has the evocative "Dark Magician" style that is a staple of the franchise, but it puts it's own unique spin on it, so that it doesn't feel too derivative, which is something ZEXAL suffered from, the black coat and the clock gears as his armor weapon are a really inspired choice, when I heard the name, I expected a not-Time Wizard down to a staff with a clock. Thankfully they went with a much cooler design and a pose that brings attention to his clock gear blade thingy. The background is reminiscent of the 5D's era with a lot of energetic colors in it, and the distorted clocks in it are a GREAT little detail.

    Timegazer is a Level 3, Scale 8, DARK, Spellcaster-Type Pendulum Monster. As a monster the card is good enough, a lowish 1200 ATK but with an effect to protect other cards in your pendulum zones, not bad, not great, decent enough for a low level monster.

    As a spell, Timegazer has the restriction of lowering it's scale to 4 if the card in the other pendulum zone is not a part of his theme, which is a good way to keep balance and avoid making an effective Pendulum summon too easy to achieve, regardless it will shield any attacking pendulum monster from traps as longs as it's active which is fantastic for pendulum focused decks.


    Stargazer Magician
    Generation 5
    : Arc-V
    User: Yuya Sakaki
    Artwork:



    Timegazer's pair to enable Pendulum Summon, Yuya's original Magician became Stargazer when his cards were bathed in the energy of his pendant.

    Timegazer's design is a good contrast of Stargazer's, he is white as opposed to Stargazer's Black, he looks more regal and chill, where Time looks way more agressive and immature, and he uses an apparently more defensive weapon. His design gives the impression that he's a more seasoned magician, which can also explain his higher level and stats. I wish the background communicated the "Stars" a bit better,the blue background make them look as sparkles and it's nowhere near as interesting as Timegazer's distorted clocks.

    Stargazer is a Level 5, Scale 1, DARK, Spellcaster-Type Pendulum Monster. With a monster effect that let's you immedaitely return to the field a monster that has been bounced to your hand, that is hardly worth his asking price of 1 tribute, but if you can get him out for free through a pendulum summon, it might save you from a nasty bouncing trap.

    As a Spell, Stargazer compliments Timegazer by protecting an attacking Pendulum Monster from the effects of spells, a really cool combo that lets you attack in peace.

    Trivia Time!
    Originally,Pendulum Zones were located at the sides of the field and where essentially additional Spell Zones for Pendulum users only.

    This was deemed too powerful and they were nerfed, so now Pendulum Zones are counted towards your 5-Spell/Trap zone limit by having 2 Pendulum/Spell/Trap Zones amongst the 5 .

    Next up, Yuya's 2500 ATK ace!
     
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    Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon
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    Fj0823

    Fj0823

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    Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon
    Generation 5
    : Arc-V
    User: Yuya Sakaki
    Original Artwork:



    Latest Artwork:


    The first of the 4 Dimmensional Dragons is here!

    During the Duel where Yuya awakened his cards as Pendulum monsters, his Odd-Eyes Dragon had the most drastic change, becoming "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon" a Level 7, Scale 4, DARK, Dragon-Type Pendulum Monster.

    Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon has an unfortunate design, it's named after it's heterochromia, where one of it's eyes is green and the other is red...But there's so much shit thrown at this giant chicken that I can barely make out it's eyes, its got horns, there's lights on those horns, it's got spikes, there's spheres on those spikes, it got flat square hands with unevenly distributed fingers, it's chest is another sphere, and there is another sphere in between it's eyes. It's named Odd-Eyes so let me focus on the Odd-Eyes!, The alternate artwork is beter because it makes it's design easier to follow and I like it a lot from the back, but if I'm honest, it's 2nd artwork is the best here. Similar to Red-Eyes 2nd Artwork, this one gives it a bit of an edge and cooler look by having it attack on the art with a darker setting.

    Look I don't HATE Odd-Eyes, I actually quite like it, it's supposed to look alien and malformed to make it seem like something that comes from the far reaches of the multiverse, but there's better ways to communicate that messy design that the first pose they went with.The other 2 artworks simply do a much better job at making it´s design understandable.

    Odd-Eyes's monster effect allows it to double every damage it inflicts in battle, which is not bad, could even turn out to be game ending against a very weak enemy. It's Spell effect reduces to 0 the damage from battles involving Pendulum Monsters and it can self destruct at the end of the turn to let you search for a new Pendulum monster in your deck with 1500 or less ATK. Since Pendulums go to the Extra Deck when destroyed, Odd-Eyes sets up it's grand return by giving you a Pendulum card so you can Pendulum Summon it later. In the show, Yuya almost always Pendulum Summons Odd-Eyes with the Gazer Magicians

    Odd-Eyes cooler feature it's that it's deck allows it to take on the form of Ritual, Fusion, Synchro and Xyz monsters. When I said Pendulum Era gave love to everything that came before, I was not kidding.

    It was incredible pulling every single type of summon in the game with a single deck. Specially one that could bring them out so consistently.

    Odd-Eyes lately received support in the form of 2 new cards, but it's so recent that it really doesn't need that much support except a good link to play under the new limitations

    Odd-Eyes is a great card that was hit with the nerf to Extra Deck summons from Gen 6, but even today it remains really good thanks to it's usage of the Link "Heavymetalfoes Electrumite".

    Trivia Time!

    Odd-Eyes is a card so important to Yuya that he would even cry when it gets destroyed by battle, as it's original form was a gift from his missing father
     
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    Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
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    Fj0823

    Fj0823

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    Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
    Generation 5
    : Arc-V
    User: Yuto

    Original Artwork:



    Latest Artwork:


    Ok so the only way to explain why this card is special is to explain the plot of Arc-V. Here I go *Pulls trusty notes* *Inhales*

    While most of Arc-V season 1 is centered about Yuya wanting to be the very best like no one ever was, the second best female character in the franchise (Until an unfortunate damseling) Yuzu Hiragi carries the real plot forward by herself, to the point that I'd call her the main character of season 1. After a close encounter with a "Dark Duelist" attacking the students from the LDS Duel Academy, the only academy in the world that gives Fusion, Synchro and Xyz cards to their students (which are otherwise unobtainable), Yuzu finds out this duelist uses insanely powerful Xyz monsters to attack any student of LDS who uses fusions, and also that his face is just like Yuya's.

    Yuzu feels like she's going crazy after what she saw, and keeps investigating the matter through season 1. And after a fantastic duel at the climax of season 1 we learn the truth. Arc-V operates in a multiverse. A multiverse where 4 dimensions each with an exclusive type of card (Fusion, Synchro, Xyz and until recently Pendulum) coexist. LDS school found out about this and started giving the cards from other dimmensions to their students for their own agenda...But what's more, the Fusion and Xyz Dimension are currently at war.

    In the Arc-V Universe the fusion dimension is based on "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX" but in this version, the Duel Academy became a military training facility with the intention of creating soldiers to invade and conquer new dimmension, the smug bastards of Obelisk Blue on GX become the "Obelisk Force" in this universe, soldiers with masks resembling the egyptian god sent to destroy and conquer other dimensions.

    The Obelisk Force took over the Xyz Dimension, based on "Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL" and while in ZEXAL the city of Heartland was a colorful and happy place, in Arc-V it has been burned to the ground, and is the stage of a battle between a resistance led by Arc-V's version of Kaito with our "Dark Duelist" Yuto, and the Obelisk Force, led by a twisted version of Aster Phoenix.
    As I mentioned, Yuto has the same face as Yuya and also his own verion of Odd-Eyes, Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon



    Yuto found himself transported to the "Standard Dimmension" (The dimmension where our protagonists live) and believes he is still at war, thus attacking any student using LDS's fusion monsters. Yuto is an extremly strong duelist who focuses on using "Phantom Knights" monsters and traps that summon lots of monsters to the field and then using those monster to bring out his Rank 4, DARK, Dragon-Type Xyz monster. His Dragon and Yuya's share a strange connection, whenever the two are near both the dragons and their users become extremely violent. Each dragon from each dimension is called by fans a "Dimensional Dragon"

    The design for Dark Rebellion is just a slick, edgier, more violent looking "Odd-Eyes". Considering the user is a gigantic edgelord, I guess it fits. I like the giant fangs in this thing, the wings are cool but I can't shake off the feeling that this is supposed to be a snake. The arms and legs feel like they don't belong in the design, or maybe that' just me. The background radiating dark energy is awesome, Xehanort approves.

    Dark Rebellion has the standard 2500 ATK of a protagonist's ace monster, and it's effect is...well pretty good! by discarding both of the materials beneath it, Dark Rebellion can halve the attack of an opponent's monster and add the substracted value to it's own attack. Really useful to bring down your opponent's beaters, and the asking price of 2 Level 4 monsters is more than acceptable.

    During the climax of Arc-V season 1, Yuya, Yuto and a third Yuya alter-ego, Yugo (From the Synchro Dimension based on Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's) face each other, the faceoff end with their dragons reacting and making all three young boys go on a murderous rampage, which results on Yuto being "killed"....with his last breath, Yuto decides to trust Yuya, and gives him his Dark Rebellion Dragon, inadvertedly fusing his soul with Yuya's in the process.

    By having 2 Dragons, Yuya's violent episodes start getting more frequent, eventually ending in the creation of this monstrosity:
    By using Rebellion and Odd-Eyes as materials for an Xyz summon (This not normally possible), this third Evil personality inside Yuya was able to create a Pendulum Xyz hybrid. This kind of hybrid cards are NOT commonplace in the game and I can count them with my two hands....but lord.


    That shit is game ending!! It's summoned as an Xyz monster, but then as soon as it hits the field it starts behaving as a pendulum monster...crazy, just hilarously crazy.

    Yuto's personality eventually starts taking over Yuya when he needs him to, which also results in him using Yuya's body to upgrade his Dragon further with a "Rank-Up-Magic"
    Yuto's "Phantom Knights" have received lots of support as he is a pretty popular character, his "Phantom Knights" even got a Link monster recently, and it's one broken motherfucker.

    Look, I know this isn't my best review with all that anime BS but the plot of Arc-V is such glorious crazyness that there's no way you can enjoy my reviews of the Dimensional Dragons without knowing about this DC Crisis tier shit.

    Overall Xyz Dragon is an amazing monster and one that you should consider using in any deck that needs help taking down some beaters.

    Trivia Time!

    Yuto's Rank-Up-Magic was recently banned, because it's a quick play card you can activate during the opponent's turn, letting you Rank-Up any Rank4 DARK Xyz into this. Effectively ending your opponent's turn.

    This makes "Dark Requiem Xyz Dragon" above pretty much unsummonable unless you are able to get 3 level 5 monsters. You won't be.
     
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    Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
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    Fj0823

    Fj0823

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    Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
    Generation 5
    : Arc-V
    User: Yugo

    Original Artwork:



    Latest Artwork:


    The thid of the Dimensional Dragons, representing Synchro Summon.

    In the Synchro Dimension, a young boy named Yugo builds a D-Wheel to ride in his duels along his girlfriend Rin,who happens to look just like Yuzu. They both wish to use to duel their way out of "Common" status and reach the elite society of the "Tops". Due to the shenanigans of the Fusion Dimension, Yugo also ends up in the Standard Dimmension, where he looks really out of place dueling in a motorcycle. Yugo is a happy go lucky jokester who is completely in love with his GF, which causes funny stuff to happen when he eventually encounters Yuzu.

    Yugo also has a counterpart to Odd-Eyes and Dark Rebellion, a Level 7, WIND, Dragon-Type Synchro monster called "Clear Wing Synchro Dragon", and much like his other alter-egos, a violent personality takes over him when the Dragons are near each other. During the climax of season 1, Yugo (Under the influence of the Dragons) ends up killing Yuto, and when he comes back to his senses he realizes the Obelisk Force is now invading the standard dimmension causing him to flee into his dimension. In the aftermath, the main character's decide to flee into the Synchro dimension, Yuzu gets separated from the group and ends up with Yugo, who mistakes her for his girlfriend, after that is cleared up, they develop a brotherlike bond and decide to warn the Synchro Dimension's elites who are too far up their asses, about the threat of the Fusion Dimension.

    Clear-Wing looks like a spaceship, a FAST spaceship, which makes sense considering he is supposed to be used in high speed duels, I feel like somehow, the design combining all those colors ended up working nicely. Synchro Dragon's wings look made out of crystal and they immediately get your attention, so unlike "Odd-Eyes" this card art does make the main trait of the monster stand oud. The blue armor plays well with the white body, and while I initially wasn't a fan of the black accents around it's body, I've grown to like them, I feel like the card wouldn't look as good without that raccoon tail. My issue is the disgusting hands on this thing, they look like "Facehuggers" from Alien and they trigger me because I HATE those things.

    As you can imagine, the second artwork putting those disgusting hands right in front of me makes me hate it, even if the pose is a bit more "High Speed" looking with a much better background coloring.

    In the game, Clear Wing was a very competitive option for a while, as it can negate the effects of high-level monsters that activate their effect and destroy them. This makes it able to destroy any non-Xyz boss monster your opponent tries to use against you if they ever activate their effects, it's second effects negates the effect of any monster (regardless of Level/Rank) that targets one of your high level monsters, including Clear Wing himself. Whenever Clear Wing negates and destroys a monster with it's effect, it will add the destroyed monster's ATK value to it's own. Amazing!

    During the battles against the dangers of the Synchro Dimension, Yugo and his "Speedroid" cards were not enough to defeat all the threats, so he needs to up the game and Synchronize his Clear Wing even further, creating one of the best Synchro Monsters in this game:


    Crystal Wing can negate any monster effect that is activated without Level / Target restrictions like like it's predecessor, and it will also gain ATK equal to the ATK of whatever level 5 or higher monster it battles against, making it only vulnerable to the level-less Xyz monsters. And they fixed it's hands!!!

    During the final battle, Yugo is desperately trying to rescue his girlfriend Rin from the clutches of the Fusion Dimension, unfortunately, Yugo falls in battle against our next card, his soul eventually making his way onto Yuya and giving him the power to create a new hybrid monster "Odd-Eyes Wing Dragon"

    Look, Clear Wing and Crystal Wing are an AMAZING card that need to be considered when building any deck that can pull out Level 7/8 Synchros, their ability to negate effects can easily fuck over high level monster focused decks. It's an extremely good card.

    Trivia Time!

    In the manga, Yugo uses his own Synchro/Pendulum version of this monster. "Clear Wing Fast Dragon" which has a green color scheme
    Also, the Arc-V manga has a really fucked up ending. Think Oreimo....Or even...Star Wars
     
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    D/D/D Doom King Armageddon
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    D/D/D Doom King Armageddon
    Generation 5
    : Arc-V
    User: Reiji Akaba

    Artwork:



    Reiji Akaba, de vicepresident of Leo Corporation and owner of the LDS school takes an interest in Yuya and Pendulum summon the moment he notices them, he spends a good chunk of season 1 testing Yuya and Pendulum summoning until he is ready to replicate the mechanic for his school. Reiji eventually duels Yuya and shocks everyone with his "Different Dimension Demons" (D/D/D), which can consistently use Fusion, Synchro and Xyz. With this combination he is able to destroy Yuya, not before revealling that he now has created his own prototype Pendulum Monsters before mass producing them, thus giving him his classic 3000 ATK rival card. A Level 8, Scale 4, DARK, Fiend-Type Pendulum Monster.

    Reiji eventually reveals his true intentions for forming the LDS duel academy and give the students monsters from other dimensions, his plan was to eventually turn the "Leo Duel School (LDS)" into the "Lance Defense Soldiers", among which he chooses the best duelists he comes across in Season 1 (And Sawatari...) as "Lancers", It is the Lancers who fend off the Fusion Invasion at the end of season 1 and escape to find allies in other dimensions.

    Reiji might be cold and distant, but his heart is in the right place.

    Doom King Armageddon is just an Evangelion minus the arms and legs...I like it's head, but the entire thing where his body is just a giant crystal posing as a torso bother me, it looks like an incomplete creature....but apparently it's not because none of his upgrades ever give him a full body!, the background is hard to make out. Not a good design and by far the least memorable of all the antagonist cards.

    Doom King isn't even good, the D/D/D Deck despite being really good and even competitive sometimes doesn´t even use it. It's monster effect let's you add the ATK of one of your destroyed monsters to another one of your monsters, which could work as a way to protect your monsters, however it only lasts for a turn so when it's your turn again the ATK gain is going to be lost. If you destroy onw of your monsters on your turn to get the effect going, then you won´t be able to ATK directly...It's just so restrictive...

    It cannot be destroyed by cards that DO NOT target it like Dark Hole or Raigeki, so that's not too bad, But D/D/D has much MUCH better options than this guy.

    It's spell effect only gives 800 ATK to a monsters, and its high scale makes you only able to pendulum summon level 5 or higher monsters provided you have a really high scale at the other side of your board.

    Doom King also got some hybrid Pendulum monster upgrades that are really good in D/D/D and way better than their original form.

    Trivia Time!

    D/D/D Monsters are named after historic Kings and Leaders

    Alexander, Genghis Khan, Caesar, etc.
     
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    Raidraptor-Rise Falcon & Frightfur Bear
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    Raidraptor- Rise Falcon
    Generation 5: Arc-V
    User: Shun Kurosaki

    Artwork:


    Yuto is not the only survivor of the Xyz dimension who found his way into the standard dimmension, his comrade in arms, Shun also found himself in Maiami City. Desperate to find his sister Ruri (Who looks exactly like Yuzu) wastes no time and starts attacking Fusion users even more mercilessly than Yuto...that is until he is confronted by Reiji, who offers him a deal, Work with him to uncover the plans of the fusion dimension before it's too late and he will help him find Yuto and Ruri.

    Kurosaki agrees, and enters the Maiami City Duel tournament looking to expose the agents of the fusion dimension Reiji suspects walk among the citizens. To that end, Shun uses an extremely powerful Xyz deck "RaidRaptors" with his signature card being a Rank 4, DARK, Winged Beast Type Xyz monster. "Rise Falcon"

    I really dislike the look of Raidraptors as a whole, the gigantic bodies full of weapons and the minuscule heads remids of the worst Digimon designs, the background on this one is too messy and filled with flashy distracting lights and for all the weapons it has, it really looks unintimidating. There's much more intimidating Raidraptors than Shun's ace

    This card asks for 3 Level 4 monsters, but the raid raptor deck can bring them out so consistently that it's no biggie, and this card's effect is incredibly good! It can take the attack of 1 of your opponent's special summoned monsters and then attack all of your opponent's special summoned monsters! great way to beat your way out of a swarm. It's high defense makes it useful if you need to slow down for a bit, and the card has access to be ranked up into new forms.

    Raidraptors are very popular and have received recent link support.
    Great deck, consistent and with new support...what's not to love? Oh yeah...the dumb designs.


    Frightfur Bear
    Generation 5: Arc-V
    User: Sora Shi'uin

    Artwork:


    In early season 1, Yuya and Yuzu come across a kid obsessed with eating candy, Sora. While somewhat mysterious and apparently knowing more than he appears to, Sora is still just a little kid. He forms a bond with the main characters and even duels Yuya, where he shows them his ability to fusion summon cutesy stuffed animals such as "Fluffal Bear" with a pair of evil scisso-....err...lightsabers? To form Nightmarish mutilated stuffed animals. His favorite being a level 6, DARK, Fiend-Type Fusion Monster, "Frightfur Bear"

    Sora even goes as far as to teach Yuzu how to use fusions to give her the upper hand in duels against her rival Masumi for the grand tournament qualifiers, all in all, Sora seems like a good friend....Until a fated night during the tournament where he is faced with Shun.

    Shun keeps pushing Sora against the wall in an absolutely fantastic duel, where Shun finally breaks his bluffs and exposes him to the world. Sora was an agent for the Obelisk force, the first to arrive at the standard dimmension and tasked with recon duty. Sora reveals his true nature as a literal child Nazi. The duel reaches unheard levels of tension with Sora going full psychopath on Shun. This Duel is probably a top 10 duel in the franchise. No joke.

    During the Lancers first encounter with the fusion Dimmension, It's Yuya who confronts Sora, in another great duel where Yuya manages to control "Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon" agains't Sora's best fusions, the duel ends in a stalemate and both Yuya and Sora flee to their respective teams. Sora starts regretting his betrayal shortly after he goes back to the Academy, where he realizes he's been treated like shit compared to the time he spent with Yuya and Yuzu.

    Frightfur bear is probably the least creepy of the frightfurs, but it's cool none the less, I feel like the evil eyes are not really needed and a gaping mouth would be more effective in the creepy factor. Not much to say about this one other than I like the idea behind them. Oh! I liked the "ripped and stitched" looking dark background, it's fitting.

    Frightfur Bear is also the least good of the frightfurs, with cards such as Frightfur Tiger or Frighfur Wolf, a card that gets 1000 ATK when it destroys an opponent's monster is never going to be your first option.


    Trivia time!

    Man Shun was fucking destroyed by the writers huh?. Poor guy...He deserved happiness. It's not nice getting the Trunks treatment.
     
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    Bloom Diva the Melodious Choir
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    Bloom Diva the Melodious Choir
    Generation 5: Arc-V
    User: Yuzu Hiragi

    Artwork:


    Yuzu is, no joke, one of my favorite female characters in the franchise. Like I've said in the Gen 5 reviews, she pretty much carries the plot of season 1 up to the tournament. She gets her own rival to fight Masumi , and actively looks to improve her deck, for example when asking Sora to teach her fusion summon. And she has genuine romantic chemistry with Yuya....

    I really love her,


    But then Konami decided that they didn't want to print anymore "Melodious" cards and as such after a monumental defeat at the Synchro Dimension in Season 2, Yuzu never duels again, instead it's revealed that she and her alter egos are the key to a strange power that allows dimension hopping. From that point on...Yuzu and her other selves become Pokémon to collect...and the conclusion to that plot point is frankly insulting. And I say this as someone who really loves Arc-V.

    Even in that setting, Yuzu remains fun and lovable through the whole show. Yes, even at it's worse.

    Her "Melodious" cards focus on stall. And stalling big time. They'll get a field of unkillable monsters that are inmune to anything pretty fast if you build the deck right. And their boss monster is a Level 6, LIGHT, Fairy-Type Fusion Monster, Bloom Diva.

    Bloom Diva's design is just a moe blob coming out of a rose that really undersells how cool looking her other Melodious Divas are.
    And it also fails to to have to showcase the same "musical" theme she's supposed to have compared to the other Melodious. She's just a moe blob in a rose. She fails to continue the cool looking trend of her materials.

    Bloom Diva is a stalling beast though, it cannot be destroyed by card effects or by battle, there's no damage if she gets attacked and she bounces the damage back to the opponent so it also has offensive capabilities. WHY IS THIS THEME NOT GETTING MORE LOVE?

    Even the "Sisters of the Rose" expansion ignored supporting her cards, choosing to give support to our next lady. Still, Melodious is by far my favorite theme out of all the female characters. It's a crime it's not supported.

    Trivia Time!

    Hey if you think the Anime did it bad at least it's not the recently finished Manga (completely different plot). Where after 42 chapters of flirting Yuzu finally tells Yuya she loves him....Only for him to play dumb and say he can't for some reason but he guarantees they will meet again. And he gives her his favorite card.

    It's revealed that Yuya came from the future and Yuzu is YUYA'S MOTHER (despite Yuya having a mother, Yoko, in the anime). AND HE STILL FLIRTED WITH HER. THIS ALL HAPPENS IN THE SPAN OF THE LAST 4 PAGES.

    Manga ends with Yuzu meeting a young Yuya's father and taking him as a rebound because he reminds her of Yuya.

    The memes were amazing.


    My girl can't catch a break...
     
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    Lunalight Cat Dancer
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    Lunalight Cat Dancer
    Generation 5: Arc-V
    User: Selena

    Artwork:


    During the fusion invasion at the end of season 1, A certain member of the lesser "Slifer Force" is present. Selena,Yuzu's Fusion alter-ego, who has had doubts about he fusion dimensions methods from day 1.

    After an encounter with Yuzu, they decide to switch places to understand each other better (yeah like Lindsay Lohan). Selena joins the Lancers and decides to fight against the Obelisk Force, while Yuzu escapes with Yugo's help into the Synchro dimension.

    Selena is a respected member of the Lancers with her no-nonsense, serious demeanor that hides a heart of gold. She uses a harpie-inspired animal lady deck called "Lunalights"

    Lunalights use Fusion monsters as their main strategy, but also have access to Pendulum summoning as Reiji fabricated cards to upgrade most of his lancer's deck. Selena's go to card is a level 7, DARK, Beast Warrior-Type Fusion Monster with a knack for relentless attacks.

    Cat Dancer is fun, colorful, sexy and radiates an exotic feel that I really like.


    The art has a detailed, actually beautiful, background that puts the lunar light in "Lunalight". I really like pretty much everything about this design.

    Cat Dancer attacks non stop, she can attack all monsters the opponent's controls twice each, the first time she will not destroy them, but every time she battles your opponent takes an additional 100 Damage. This catgirl is so hot it burns!....I'll see myself out.

    Lunalights received lots of support on the "Sisters of the Rose" Expansion this year and is a really popular deck.

    Selena is another lovable character with a fantastic deck and memorable character moments...which makes her fate even more infuriating. And I'll go into detail about that later tonight when we get to the final card of Gen 5.

    Trivia Time!

    The only 2 woman I know who play YGO here play with Lunalights.
     
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    Supreme King Z-ARC
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    Supreme King Z-ARC
    Generation 5: Arc-V
    User: Zarc

    Artwork:


    It was really bold of Konami to create a card that combines all the previous mechanics into a new one at the tail end of a show, but Integration Summon has opened lots of possibilities....*pffft* I'm just messing with you.

    This is the real TCG card:


    After Yuya defeats Yuri and fuses the souls of all 4 of his alter egos within his body, they finally confront the leader of the fusion dimension who turns out to be...A misguided good guy. Who claims he's trying to return the world to one single dimension as it's supposed to be.

    You see, in the beginning there was only one dimension, in this dimension, a nice dude named Zarc became an entertaining duelist just like Yuya, he had all 4 of the Dimensional Dragons in his deck and really liked making people happy with his dueling, he and his love interest,a girl Duelist named Ray, designed Pendulum summoning together but they never got a chance to use it.

    Turns out, audiences in that world started demanding Zarc to be a sadistic prick in his duels, being more entertained with bloodshed than with his performances. Their insistence to have Zarc always go further in his cruelty, Zarc's own insecurity and the influence of the dragons drove him insane. He started using his Dragons to kill for fun and became a monster. Eventually the Dragons transform Zarc into one of their own, their King.

    With a heavy heart, his girl friend Ray designs 4 cards to finally defeat him in a duel. The power of this spells coupled with the power of the Dragons shattered the universe in 4. Ray and Zarc, being at the center of all, also got split in 4. And led new lives in each of the created dimensions.

    The Profesor wants to prevent Zarc from awakening again...And to that end created a fascist regime that conquers, kills and traps other people into cards...yeah

    So what do the Lancers do with this information?


    Zarc begins to awaken inside Yuya. So the Profesor puts all 4 of the girls, Ruri, Rin,Yuzu and Selena in a machine that should replicate Ray's original spells and suppress Zarc....or something like that...I dunno.

    So the 4 girls pass out AND DISINTEGRATE in the machine without ever having a closure to their storylines, hell we literally just saved Ruri and Rin at that point!!

    While the waifu machine absorbs the girls the whole cast fights against Yuya/Zarc in a really cool battle. They all do their best to slow him down...Until Zarc fully takes over Yuya and summons his Dragon form....A Fusion/Synchro/Xyz Pendulum monster. Supreme King Dragon Z-ARC. Which was adapted to the TCG as a level 12, Dark, Dragon-Type Fusion/Pendulum monster.

    Zarc has a fucking awful design. Everything was crotch. It's head is so small that it doesn't have an expression at all. I have NO idea how those wings even work and the little hands are just hilarious. This is peak "Trying too hard". Even the background is awful and uninspired. Z-ARC might be one of the worst Dragon designs ,period. But there is a godly aura on it that makes me like...I really don't know why...maybe it's own ridiculousness makes it fun?

    As a card, Z-ARc is your new god. His insane fusion summon requirements are easily danced around by using Zarc's true form of Timegazer and Stargazer (the latter had to be banned) to bring him out with a bit more ease. He enters the field,nukes it and then is immune to everything that destroys or targets it and when it destroys a monster it can summon a powered up version of the Dimensional Dragons

    Which are also so stupid OP that the fusion one got banned.

    And if you somehow get rid of it and destroy it, it will go to the Pendulum Zone and as a Spell it will negate your Extra Deck summons while also destroying cards you add to your hand.

    This is like if the egyptian gods where actually printed with their anime effect. The only reason this card is untouched by a list is because how hard it is to summon, but it's deck could easily bring him out before getting nerfed into Oblivion is because the deck could do more damage by playing fast instead of setting him up.

    I should know. I played that deck before it was decimated :)

    Trivia time!

    When Yuya eventually gets control back and defeats Zarc for his body, he embarks on a quest to find Yuzu....by dueling all the characters in the show...and he believes his duels will reach out to her...this is legit the final 5 episodes. It's the exact point you notice the writing staff was moved into the movie.

    The power of love brings Yuzu back and the ending shows that all their alter egos are alive inside them. So basically.



    Except Kingdom Hearts realized that there's nothing happy in having your mind be prisoner of another person's body and walked back almost immediately.

    Instead Arc-V ends with happy music while Rin and Yugo will never hug again and never got the chance to see each other one last time, Shun lost both his sister and his best friend and Selena will never resolve her issues with her upbringing.

    Fuck that. At least Yuya gets to be with Yuzu I guess?

    Still better than the Manga tho.

    That's it for Gen 5

    Next up the worst show, with the worst characters, the worst designs and the biggest shitshow with the implementation of a new mechanic I've ever seen....look forward to it! INTO THE VRAINS!
     
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    Jinzo
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    So, look. Gen 6 is a shitshow of colossal proportions, I know I should probably get on with it and do a review of "Decode Talker", but I won't. Not today, I need time to collect my thoughts on Konami forcing the use of a new mechanic and locking all other mechanics behind it, the player backlash that followed, the backtracking, the actual good link support, the problem with Extralinks as a mechanic, and the entire Firewall Dragon debacle, and reach the current healthy state of the game. It's just too big of a roller coaster....So I think, just this once, I´m going to simply remember the simpler times and the most requested card as a little bonus review. This will also let me focus on the "Legendary Dragons" for the next reviews (Alongside Slifer and Obelisk of course)

    So Gridlock Pikachu Blindy Cruxist Negaduck Pascal Toxi RadioJoNES, you asked for him, here he is.

    Jinzo
    Generations 1 & 2: Duel Monsters & GX
    Users: Espa Roba, Joey Wheeler, The Big Five, Jinzo Himself

    Original Artwork:



    Latest Artwork:



    During his time in battle city, Joey Wheeler eventually found himself dueling against yet another duelist who claimed to be a psychic but was a total cheat instead, Espa Roba, Espa Roba's ace monster was a Level 6, DARK, Machine-Type monster with one of the simplest, yet deadliest effect for the early game. "Jinzo"

    Jinzo's original artwork is just striking, this humanoid cyborg is just standing there, doing nothing but staring and you from the other side of that unnerving mask, the veins popping and throbbing make it clear that whatever this horrible mask is supposed to be for, it's also hurting him, and he doesn't care...His objective is you. The background being a pink mist always give me the idea that seeing him is a nightmare, but also, that he just vaporized a pink trap card and is coming out of the smoke, both interpretations just make me realize how effective of a background it is, and not only that but it plays really well with the green on his armor. Kazuki Takahashi himself designed his second artwork, as you can see by his autograpgh in the lowe right corner, a staple of all the Takahashi Artwork cards. But I don't like it. Much like with Dark Magician I´m not a fan of him always going for black and edgy for OG cards. His pose using thudershock like a Pikachu is nowhere near as good as the thing just...staring at you.

    For the game, Jinzo negates all trap cards currently on the field and prevents their activation, this was MASSIVE back in the day, as trap cards were usually your first line of defense against attacks, and with a respectable 2400 ATK for the price of a tribute, Jinzo was damn well worth it. A good Jinzo could end games if summoned at the right time. He's a legend...

    That has unfortunately fallen from grace. Trap cards are nowhere near as popular as back in the day, with player playing a max of like 5 traps in their decks and only if they're absolutely neccesary. The rise in popularity of "Hand Traps" (Monsters that activate their effect in your hand during the opponent's turn) such as "Honest" and "Effect Veiler" really hurt his viability.

    But the most criminal reason why Jinzo isn't up there with the greats...is a lack of support. For the longest time the only card supporting Jinzo was "Jinzo's Snazzy Party Hat" a card so not worth it it has not being reprinted since release...

    After that came a bit of hope with GX's "Jinzo Returner"


    This card would attack your opponent directly and revive a Jinzo in your graveyard when it's destroyed, but that just meant exposing yourself to an attack against a weak monster, you could always play him in defense and wait for it to be killed, but that's just slow and too risky.

    Jinzo later got an upgraded, more powerful form "Jinzo-Lord"


    And not only does it make Jinzo look like shit, but it's a total dead draw if you don't have Jinzo already, and it only provides a burn effect if your opponent controls face-up continous traps...that's too situational.

    Then came some GOOD support at the tail end of the 5D's era with


    This card let's you summon Jinzo for (almost) free as a response to an opponent's trap! Jinzo will get summoned and their trap will be negated! that's cool....but it requires your opponent to activate a trap, for you to have a spell/trap in your hand to discard, and for Jinzo to be only in your deck...oh man, I was getting excited.

    Zexal era came in and gave Jinzo his last known piece of support, the amazing "Jinzo-Jector"


    Teenage metalhead Jinzo can be tributed to add Jinzo from your deck to your hand, reveal all cards your opponent has set, and if there is a single trap among them, Jinzo will be special summoned at no cost. If more than 1 trap is revealed, you can summon more cards with "Jinzo" in their name! That's amazing!.

    ....But that's 1 maybe 2 good cards, compare that to my Dark Magician or Blue-Eyes writeups, it's simply not enough.

    But Konami sure likes their gen 1 pandering from time to time, and if the shitty Fairy Tale cards from the fillers got actually printed, Buster Blader has his own deck and lore and Joey support packs are a dime a dozen, I know, deep down, that is only a matter of time for Jinzo to fucking return.
     
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    Decode Talker
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    I couldn't sleep, So I ended up finishing this. Let's get on with Gen 6 already.

    Decode Talker
    Generation 6: VRAINS
    User: Yuzaku Fujiki (a.k.a Playmaker)

    Original Artwork:



    Latest Artwork:


    To properly explain Link monsters, and why they became a restrictive mechanic forced into relevancy, I ask you take a couple minutes of your time to watch their official anouncement video. That should make it clear.

    The new rules introduced with Link monsters state that every monster that is summoned from the Extra Deck can now only occupy the "Extra Monster Zone" at the center of the board, that means that effectively you can only have 1 Fusion, Synchro, Xyz or Pendulum monster summoned from the extra deck at a time. You must wait for the zone to be empty before summoning again. Effectively killing a lot of fan favorite decks, no more Synchro spam like Yusei, no more use ALL the summons like Reiji, no more Fusions covering the field like Zane. You get 1.

    That is of course unless you play a Link monster there! Link monsters have arrows pointing at the field, when placed in that center zone, their arrows will be pointing at the monster zones, any monster zone being pointed at by an arrow is a monster zone you or your opponent can use for extra deck summons.

    That means that summoning more link monsters with arrows pointing to the correct zones will continue unlocking more and more zones for you to swarm with...Link monsters, because if you summon anything else, the unlocking stops. See the problem yet?

    Link Monsters are monsters with no level or DEF, that can only be summoned in ATK Position, and can never be changed into defense position. Instead of a level they have a "Rating" which is basically how many arrows they have. Link monsters are summoned to the field by tributing as many monsters as the arrows the link monster has. 3 arrows = must tribute 3 monsters. And they can be summmoned with virtually anything, no need for tuners, polymerization, match the levels or set scales, you can even use Tokens to make them....See the Problem yet?

    This effectively forced all players to get Link monsters or...not be able to play their favorite cards, but to make things worse almost all of the initial batch of Link monsters had special requirements that made them only accesible to their new decks or requiring the brand new monster type "Cyberse"....A type of monster which obviously old decks didn't have.

    "But what about my old deck that plays lots of fusions? How can I play more than 1?"



    That's right, for several excruciating months any old deck was forced to use this LINK-3, DARK, Cyberse-Type Link Monster by tributing 3 cards to have 2 zones to play their favorite extra deck cards and give 1 zone to their opponent. Only way to play more than 1 fusion/synchro/xyz or Pendulum!

    So excuse me if I'm not big on Decode Talker, but it's pretty much a reminder of a time where I almost quit my favorite hobby. A defense force at the time insisted that Links made the games "Like the good old days of OG YGO" meanwhile Link spam decks could just flip "Scapegoat" and start swarming the field with High Rating Links with arrow placement that made them useless in non link decks. It was maddening.

    Players were pissed, so what does Konami do? Gen 1 Nostalgia products! 2017 was filled of hundreds of "member Kaiba?" products when people just wanted a freaking link to play their favorite deck. Players kept complaining, and Konami had to give in. Since then there's been expansions made entirely of Link monsters that help older decks get their groove back, even my own deck, Galaxy, got link support that made it better than it ever was before the rule change. I would be lying if I said I didn't like them after that.

    Still, the damage control was not enough, as Links had a built in feature that gave them pretty much a win condition just by swarming the field. "Extra Link" which I´ll go into detail later. Many like to say that Pendulums were super OP and unfun. But in Gen 5, Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, Tribute decks, all had their time to shine despite the supposed "OPness" of Pendulums. Links are not OP by themselves, but they were made into the only option and were given so much power over the game that for a moment, I thought variety was dead forever.

    That´s it for shitshow part 1 we´ll come back later. Let's get into talker.

    In VRAINS, a VR world for duelists to log in, create an avatar and duel was created for the maximum enjoyment of children's cardgames, in the VR world, there's the bestes player Kirit-err I mean "Playmaker" who in reality is a teenage "hacker" named Yusaku Fujiki, a prick who smolders with generic rage and thirsts for revenge agains the evil "Knights of Hanoi" who terrorize the Cyber Space. Yusaku finds an autonomous AI named Ignis, who the Knights of Hanoi desperately search for...and thus the adventure to find the truth about Ignis and Yusaku's traumatic past begins....and as of 105 episodes Yusaku still hasn't had a single human conversation. Think Goblin Slayer turned YGO protagonist.

    Yuzaku:


    Playmaker (Avatar in VR world):



    Decode Talker is the first victim of the "Everything was Tron" design philosophy in VRAINS. Which I hate. He looks so lame despite having a cool armor, I feel like the pose just kills it, it looks like it's ready to swing it's sword but it doesn't look that good. It just feels like the pose somehow kills what is an actually good design. The 2nd artwork is much more better, it has more energy and a pose that makes Decode look so much cooler in there, he looks like card I would play! Really cool background too. It has that energy that I love as opposed to OG artwork's "Computer stuff" background

    Decode Talker gains 500 ATK for each monster it's pointing at, and has the ability to tribute those monsters to negate an effect that would target a monster. Solid Effects that could get you either a good beater or a defensive play against destruction effects, but not worth the price of 3 of your monsters, so there's better options if you want to....Oh wait no there weren't!!


    TRIVIA TIME!

    Decode Talker cannot tribute an opponent's monster it points to for it's own effect, you can only tribute your own monsters, unless a card specifically allows you to tribute your opponent's

    Also, Originally the plot of VRAINS would focus on Yusaku being a total newbie, learning to love the game little by little, but they changed course because the production was a mess, and made him the bestest ever instead.
     
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    Trickstar Holly Angel
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    Trickstar Holly Angel
    Generation 6: VRAINS
    User: Aoi Saizen (a.k.a Blue Angel/Blue Girl/Blue Maiden/ [Coming Soon])
    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    Yo, listen up, here's a story about a little girl that lives in a blue world, and all day and all night and everything she does is just lose, inside and outside the VR World!

    I have already ranted about how terrible Blue Angel is as a character, so might as well just crosspost my rant here, that's about as much effort as this character deserves. Spoilers ahead.

    This is Aoi Zaizen


    She´s a really shy girl that lives with her overprotective brother whose high profile job gives them a life of luxury. However, Aoi just acts like a shy girl, in reality she just loves thrills and of course, playing YGO. She secretly logs in to an AR world called VRAINS where she assumes the identity of "Blue Angel", a streamer like celebrity that livestreams her matches and makes a show out of it to let loose and be herself for a while.



    She´s a good duelist with a deck specialized in doing small amounts of damage to the opponent. She beats enemies by slowly draining their life, 200 points at a time.

    This is quite interesting so far, and her first encounter with the main character (A generic dude in a quest for revenge who has a super powerful AI that creates cards for him whenever he needs them) is her challenging him to a match, she of course loses but kida gains the main character's respect....So far it´s nothing too offensive and par for the course....Then it all goes to shit...

    The bad guys decide to use a virus in the form an evil card to brainwash her digital avatar and make her fight the MC again with a stronger deck.


    MC defeats her easily, but wait! turns out the virus actually put a strain in her body so hard that she goes into a coma! And the bad guys take her! and put her on top of a castle!


    So MC decides to go after them, but not because of her, no, but because the bad guys might have some important info. He doesn´t give 2 shits about her, he just wants his revenge, her fate is just icing in the cake....

    And ok. that´s bad but it´s nothing I haven't seen in other series before...I guess

    And after MC saves the data and by extension her, she has an epiphany, she has to get better and stronger, leave the japanese idol streamer act and get her shit together. She starts getting close to another female character who happens to be a hacker, and she asks to be trained as a hacker duelist. She assumes a new idetity and is ready to kick ass...she is now Blue Girl!



    Confident and ready to kick ass, she challenges the MC's new best friend to prove she is worthy of taking part on their new adventure!



    and look at her face! she´s ready to win big! She starts completely beating the crap out of him! Her development paid off!!



    .....aaaaaand MC´s friend also has a super powerful AI that lets him activates a trap card that specifically negates all damage below 300 points, a trap that would be absolutely useless to him in any other situation or against any other opponent. So this duel ends like this...


    .....shit. Now she gets disconnected from the virtual world and does not take part in the adventure, instead she stays in the background beating some no name grunts while "investigating".

    The MC and their friend discover that their AI's are crucial to the fate of the world! And that there's more of them! Some are evil and some are good! And you won´t believe this, during her investigations Blue Girl managed to befriend one of this uber powerful AI's!! This AI gives her new cards and powers...So she assumes yet another new identity, she is now Blue Maiden!!



    And now that she has a fancy AI the other two dudes FINALLY accept her and agree with her offer of helping her in the final battle against the villains!! She is ready to face the final bosses, with a brand new deck and her own bullshit card generatng AI. It's finally time....She is going to...
    So yeah....she gets destroyed along with her super plot important AI...in her first big battle against a major enemy. A major blow for the good guys.

    HOOOOOOLY SHIT.
    This is the worst treatment of a female character I have EVER seen
    It's like the writers saw that they either had female characters that do nothing, or awesome female characters that eventually lose relevance and said "Well...why not make a character that simply just...Sucked?"

    Blue Angel uses a Trickstar Deck, specialized on small but constant burn damage, your opponent takes a card, they take 200, they breathe, they take 200. It's a really annoying deck in a good way.

    Holly Angel is a LINK-2, LIGHT, Fairy-Type Link Monster with a rather generic fairy looking design, the design of her dress is beautiful and but the pose feels generic, it's background is too dark to appreciate the design that all "Trickstar" cards have on their background and does nothing to make Holly Angel more visually appealing....and then we get to her second artwork...Yeah, uh...I...hum, I like this one...


    It's the background! The more vibrant colors in the background make the card stand out more! That is it!, Ok jokes aside, the second artwork sexes up the design a bit, and I'm ok with it, her face now shows a bit more of a personality and she doesn't reach OCG Harpie Lady levels of raunchy, it's much better than her boring first artwork for sure.

    Holly Angel is unfortunately not needed in a trickstar deck, it can give more options for damage as she will deal an aditional 200 for your trickstars being summoned and will also protect them, but when you have cards like these:
    Holly Angel just looks tame in comparison. Because pf those great cards, in what's probably the most ironic turn of events, Trickstar were a Tier 1 deck for a good while, with some of their cards even getting banned in Japan, yet somehow, having a main female character with a tier 1 deck is not enough to make her win a freaking duel in the anime. Their ability to just destroy your hand and burn you for 200 for even look at them made them a great deck to play in early Link-era.

    Holly Angel might not be great, but her deck sure is!

    Trivia Time!

    105 episodes later, Aoi still doesn't know her classmate Yusaku and the Playmaker she fights along with are one and the same.

    The male heroes even treat her as a lesser character that doesn't need to know their plans, see this clip:


    THIS WAS LAST EPISODE. IT'S BEEN 100+ EPISODES.
     
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    Borreload Dragon
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    Borreload Dragon
    Generation 6: VRAINS
    User: Ryoken Kogami (a.k.a Revolver)

    Original Artwork:



    Latest Artwork


    Among the Knights of Hanoi, one young mastermind is doing everything in his power to stop the propagation of AI, In VRAINS, his avatar is named Revolver. And he is hands down, the only good character in this show.

    He and his minions are always making Yusaku's life impossible, while also managing to make me root for them every time they are on screen.Much like Yusaku, Revolver is a fucking prick, but the GOOD kind of prick. His trash talk level is 10/10, his plans to fuck over the AI's and VRAINS are always crazy and his eventual turn into athe series antihero was more than welcomed.

    Revolver has a deck that would make the Digimon Franchise proud, with dragons madeof guns (....or is it guns made of Dragons?) Called "Rokket" cards ("Bullets" in the original version). Revolver always plays to win and is known for using the trolliest cards possible. He's just a blast to watch, specially when he gets to summon his LINK-4, DARK, Dragon-Type boss. "Borreload Dragon"

    Borreload HAS COLOR. It's bright red armor is a sight for sore eyes among all that Tron. As you might have noticed, Borreload Dragon's body is a giant revolver, which is fitting, the robotic nature of the dragon feels authentic despite many robot dragons coming before him, the emerald colored accents and wings make it look even more colorful and badass. It's a great design. And it's animated form has a ton of personality to it.


    Look at that angry mofo. It's second artwork wins here because I feel the pose for the OG artwork is very uninteresting despite the solid design. Also I really love artworks that are just the monster in the middle of an attack.

    Borreload was one very expensive card for a good while, and with good reason, despite it needing a minimum of 3 monsters to be summoned, it has the best positioned link arrows possible, no matter where you place this beast on the board, he will always unlock 2 zones for you to use your extra deck summons on. It's effects are AMAZING. It cannt be destroyed by card effects despite it's high 3000ATK, it can reduce the ATK of an opponent's monster by 500 and whenever it attacks, it can take control of the attacked monster by placing it into a zone it's pointing at until the end of the turn. Oh yeah, I can see why this guy is still at $20 a pop despite multiple reprints.

    Revolver is the first character to use Synchro Summon in the show, evolving his duel style with "Borreload Savage Dragon"


    And OMG, it's as good as the Link version if not better! Savage Dragon equips himself with a Link monster in the graveyard and will gain an effect negation for each link arrow it's equipped monster has! And i also gains ATK equal to half of the monster's that it has equipped! That makes Savage Dragon your go-to when your Borreload gets destroyed.

    Not happy with that, Revolver decides to take things even further with the Xyz summon of "Borreload eXcharge Dragon"


    2 Level 4 DARK Dragon monsters
    Neither player can target this Xyz Summoned card with other monsters' effects. Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; you cannot Special Summon other monsters or attack directly for the rest of this turn, also the targeted monster loses 600 ATK/DEF, then you can Special Summon 1 "Borrel" monster from your GY, but banish it during the End Phase.
    Remember when I told you about Link now having synergy with all the old summon mechanics? Prime example right here. eXcharge will reduce the ATK of a monster and then revive OG Borreload to open more zones for you! (Extra Deck monsters that come from the graveyard are allowed to use the main monster zone, since they're not coming from the extra deck)

    Best Character, we need you as protagonist. Save us Revolver.

    TRIVIA TIME!

    A random dude traded me a Borreload Dragon for chump change, even after I asked him several times if he was sure. I sold it and bought myself Spider-Man (PS4). Good times.

    Also Borreload Dragons are all hanging out together in a hangar ready for deployment.
     
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    Mirror Force
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    Mirror Force
    Generation 1 & 6: Duel Monsters and VRAINS
    User: Ryoken Kogami (a.k.a Revolver), made famous by Yugi Muto

    Artwork:


    During VRAINS season 1, several anime magazines posted an episode preview about how Revolver would play a "terrifying" trap card ready to be unleashed on the game....Speculation ran wild about it being a new trap that would break the game, people all over the fandom questioned "What is Revolver's awesome trap?"....The episode comes and this happens.

    It' just fucking Mirror Force...LOL.

    But this is a good time to talk about it!

    Mirror force artwork is a simple but effective special effect. A beam bouncing of a barrier, true to it's japanese name "Holy Barrier- Mirror Force".There's really not much to say about the art other than it's well drawn and it triggers many's trust issues.

    Mirror Force as a trap has a great effect that can change the tide of the game, but the fact that it "Destroys" meant it fell under the might of "Stardust Dragon" and it's popularity took a huge hit.

    But Mirror Force reinvented itself! Now there's several upgraded Mirror Forces ready to be unleashed!

    Mirror Force might not be the game changer it was back in the day, but it's still one of the most popular cards ever made.

    TRIVIA TIME!

    Revolver using old school, troll traps is pretty much a meme at this point


    Oh, come on. We all know Revolver's real ace card. Show it off, you coward!
     
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    Firewall Dragon
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    Firewall Dragon
    Generation 6: VRAINS
    User: Yuzaku Fujiki (a.k.a Playmaker)


    Artwork:


    This. Fucking. Card.

    With the power of his new AI companion Yusaku (as "Playmaker") is able to reach new powers and cards, which he uses to fight against the Knights of Hanoi while uncovering the truth about his traumatic childhood, where he was kidnapped and forced to duel for months, leaving him a broken shell of a man. In VRAINS, most duels are played in "Speed Duel" format, which is basically the format used in the game "Duel Links", what better way to showcase monsters whose power is pointing at zones on the field than to use them in a format with less zones on the field? Pure genius I tell you.

    Much like in Duel Links, when Yusaku plays a speed duel, he has access to a "Skill", and his is skill is that whenever his LP is 1000 or less, he can add a random Cyberse monster to his Extra Deck. This is basically his way to Deus Ex Machina every duel. Every single one of his duels is him getting down to 1000 and getting a new card to win. This happens in other shows but it's even more boring when they literaly tell you it will always happen at a specific point of the duel. Firewall Dragon is supposed to be his 2500 ATK ace, but in the show, it's treated as just one more of the dozens of cards he pulls out of his ass to win. There's no reverence or plot importance given to Firewall Dragon. Firewall it's not the spirit of an ancient egyptian servant, not a card Yusaku designed and sent to space, not one of 5 legendary peruvian dragons, not the main out of 100 legendary Numbers, not one of 4 Dimensional Dragons...It's just...a card. And Yusaku's ace has had a whooping FIVE appereances in the show (In episodes 11, 18, 46, 63 and 82....out of 105 episodes total)....Yusaku gets so much shit with all his duels ending the same, that there is zero reason to care about Firewall or think it's special to him or the plot in anyway.

    Firewall Dragon is a LINK-4, LIGHT, Cyberse-Type Monster that is Stardust Dragon....but Tron. Like eveything in Vrains, what if Kuriboh but Tron?, how about Dark Magician but Tron?, you'll love Gaia but Tron!. All of Yusaku's cards look so samey and flat out boring it's maddening....Where's the vibrant color? Where's the energy? Nowhere to be found. That said I do think Decode Talker and Firewall are the best looking of the bunch. I like Firewall Dragon's pose and I SPECIALLY like that it changes colors when it attacks. The card leaves an impression with it's slick design and cool looking armor full of discs...I just wish it was just it that looks like that and not every single one of Yusaku's monsters. In it's limited appeareances in the show, it always manages to look cool...


    Yeah, all of the 5 times it's ever used.

    Firewall Dragon is the sole responsible of shitshow part 2, which I will now explain.

    Not happy with having Links paywall your favorite cards and take over your Extra Deck, Konami later revealed that links have a special rule called "Extra Link" which allowed a player to STEAL THE OTHER PLAYER'S EXTRA MONSTER ZONE By creating a bridge of link monsters all pointing at each other which also pointed at the opponent's zone, that would let you use their zone for the summon of a link who also gets to be pointing at the previous monster's arrow. That's right Links are not only the only Extra Deck monsters that are spammable now, but they also could lock you out of your Extra Deck if they d spam! But it's ok, Konami said achieving that would be super hard!....LMAO. Extra Link is a buit-in instant win condition. That's what it is.

    And Firewall Dragon made things much, much worse.Both of Firewall Dragon's effect are Super busted, it's effect let's you bounce cards on the field up to the numbers of links that are "Co-Linked" to it (Which means that they're pointing at each other), this effect can only be used once. Also whenever a card next to it's arrows goes to the graveyard, you get to special summon a monster from your hand, any monsters, everytime that happens. And remember, you can just flip Joey's good ol' "Scapegoat" and get the 4 monsters you need for a Firewall dragon...See the problem yet?

    So you could summon firewall, start abusing it's effect to summon monsters everytime a card leaves a zone it points at, and start building your Extra Link bridge with 3 Firewall Dragons, which will all be co-linked, meaning their first effect would let them bounce 2-3 cards each....All while your opponent is locked out of the Extra Deck.

    Players complained and demanded Firewall Dragon to be banned, seriously just search "Ban Firewall Dragon" on youtube or the hashtag #BanFirewall on twitter. But that was not enough, oh no. Konami then released "Topologic Gumblar Dragon" a card that rewarded you even further for achieving an extra link by taking cards out of your opponent's hand and doing burning damage....All while you already had locked the opponent out of their Extra Deck.

    Players were furious, and demanded the ban of the cards, however Konami didn't want to ban their little "Ace Monster"...after all, think of all that merchandise that already has the beloved Firewall Dragon in it? People loved Firewall Dragon! It's such an iconic card with its five appearances!

    So what does Konami do? It starts banning every fan favorite card that dares combo with their little marketing machine. Even "Scapegoat" eventually got hit with a limitation to 1 per deck. And that just made players even angrier. Just #BanFirewall Dammit! Konami eventually "Limited" Firewall Dragon to 1 per deck....but it was so broken that it and Gumblar Dragon kept dominating.

    November last year, they finally pulled the trigger. Firewall Dragon and Topologic Gumblar Dragon are banned for play in the TCG and OCG. No other card rewarding Extra Link has been made and all products regarding Yusaku immediately switched to have "Decode Talker" as if it was his ace all along. (And TBH, it IS more deserving of the title) Effectively making Yusaku the first YGO protagonist without a true 2500 ATK Ace card.

    Even the latest OP of the show gives far more importance to Talker over OG Firewall. (Edit: Just realized that's NOT OG Firewall, lol)

    Firewall received a new form at the end of VRAINS season 2, where Konami was all in an "I´m sorry I fucked up mode" and featured Yusaku and his....companions (I wouldn't call them friends) suddenly remembering that Rituals, Fusion, Synchro and Xyz are a thing...As such firewall got a new version that rewards the player for using old summoning methods, "Firewall Dragon Dark Fluid" which has just being anounced.


    3+ Effect Monsters
    If this card is Link Summoned: You can place counters on this card equal to the number of Cyberse monsters in your GY of a different monster card type (Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz). Gains 2500 ATK for each of these counters on this card during the Battle Phase only. When your opponent activates a monster effect (Quick Effect): You can remove 1 counter from this card; negate the activation, also if this effect was activated between this card's attack declaration and the end of the Damage Step, it can make a second attack in a row.
    So that card gets it's power from Yusaku's old summon method cards he suddenly discovered were an option
    LMAO.


    Turns out players actually liked the Extra Deck mechanics they've been naturally introducing and supporting for 20 years, who could've guessed?

    Since then, Links have also taken on a supporting role for old decks, they are now enablers to your fusion/Synchro/Xyz/Pendulum plays that at worst are a minor inconvenience and at best made your plays better than ever (Like my Galaxy Xyz!). An effort is being made to give a powerful link to all classic and fan favorite decks and expansions such as "Sisters of the Rose" where characters get new cards to play in the new era are commonplace.

    The Link Shitshow was the lowest point in my YGO hobby experience. And a tragedy I can only hope we learned from.

    Trivia Time!

    Firewall Dragon has 2 other artworks that haven't been released in the TCG since there's no point anymore.

    Next up! The worst female character in the franchise!
     
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    Salamangreat Heatleo & Altergeist Hexstia
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    Salamangreat Heatleo
    Generation 6: VRAINS
    User: Takeru Homura (a.k.a Soulburner)

    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    Soulburner is a young man with a tragic past who also managed to find an Ignis AI that makes him a god level duelist. The best way to describe Soulburner is by quoting UtterlyPerplexed 's thoughts on the matter, because he said it best:
    Now let's set up a second season where we give everyone besides Yusaku an extra special kicking. People complain about Yusaku/Playmaker having plot armour stronger than Vibranium, thereby sidelining everyone else? Don't worry, the writers are on the case. Let's have a second Yusaku! That's right! Let's introduce the Johan/Crow of the show with Soulburner, another character with an Ignis, an uninspiring backstory and judging by the current opening and ending, some kind of forced bromance with the hero. To Soulburner's credit, he at least feels like a Yusaku with some personality. The two friendly AIs of the show so far have wonderful chemistry with each other. Yusaku still has the personality of a frowning block of lead though.


    Soulburner plays with Cyberse-Type animals cooking themselves known as "Salamangreats", among which his favorite card is a LINK-3, FIRE, Cyberse-Type Link monster, "Salamangreat Heatleo"

    Heatleo's original artwork just reeks of an anime only card that was designed by an intern to appear in a one off episode and never be seen again, the pose is generic, almost a t-pose really, the design is extremely hard to follow and the background is uninspired "oh it has fire coming out of his body so let's put even more fire in the background...but like...DARK fire". There's no contest that the newer TCG artwork is milles better, now I can understand what is going on, the pose is more fierce and menacing and the background has energy.

    Heatleo enters the field and shuffles a card from your opponent's backrow into the deck. Also since links can be used as either 1 individual monster or count as a number of monsters up to their arrow number for a Link summon, Heatleo decides to abuse this feature and add an effect which allows you to to set the ATK of an opponent's monster to be equal to a monster in your graveyard, but only if this Heatleo was summoned by using another a Heatleo as it's Link Material.

    Salamangreat is a Tier 1 deck that is currently fighting for dominance in the meta, the season 2 of the show when they magically remembered that other types of summon exist gave Soul Burner an amazing fusion and his own "Super Polymerization" Equivalent to take down the fiercest decks the TCG has to offer, it's Xyz monster isn't any pushover either.

    Salamangreats can swarm the field, use Fusion of Fire to fuse your Links into their fusion and use their Xyz to special summon more resources. a Tier 1 deck right there that shows how well the old mechanics can work with link now.



    Altergeist Hexstia
    Generation 6: VRAINS
    User: Emma Bessho (a.k.a Ghostgirl)

    Artwork:


    For all the shit I give VRAINS for it's pathetic treatment of it's main female character, I can at least appreciate that she's not the only female character. While lesser in screentime, the sexy cyberspy Emma Bessho, better known for her virtual avatar "Ghostgirl" makes the bare minimum effort to salvage the dignity of female characters in VRAINS.

    Emma


    Ghostgirl:


    Emma usually aids Yusaku and their crew as an "Oracle"-like guide, but she mostly does it to gather information for her own agenda and investigations, when it's time to duel though, she holds no barrels with her spellcaster deck "Altergeist" with the LINK-2, FIRE, Spellcaster-Type Link monster "Hexstia" at the front. Emma eventually takes "Blue Angel" under her wing to try and teach her how to be as cool as she is, thus creating "Blue Girl", it is clear at this point that she has failed miserably on that regard.

    Like all Altergeist's, Hextia is a really creepy cybernetic looking chimera of a card, it looks like a robot, a doll, the human centipede and an alien all merged together, and I´m fine with it, I really dislike how girls in the franchise get to use only cutesy fairies, so Ghostgirl can now join Aki as one notable exception,a female duelist with an actually threatening looking deck.

    Altergeist are an exremely effective Tier 1 deck with the ability to lock the opponent out or negate their effects, Hextia does just that, whenever your opponent activates a Spell or Trap card, Hextia can tribute another Altergeist monster and negate the activation, if she ever gets destroyed, you get to search for a new Altergeist monster and add it to your hand. Simple and effective. Altergeist as a deck is known to lock out the opponent out of their spells by using "Secret Village of the Spellcasters"

    Much like the other characters, following the backlash against Link rules, she suddenly remembered she could Synchro Summon all along.


    Providing yet another examples of old mechanics working really great with Link monsters as Hextia can tribute this card for a negation, and Dragvirion will simply revive itself on a different zone, opening up Hexstias arrows for a new summon.

    I left these 2 VRAINS characters for last because their decks show how far Links have come as a mechanic since their initial disgustingly awful launch.

    THIS IS IT!

    Our little tour through all Generations of YuGiOh! has finished it's first run. 50 000 people have seen me rant about children's trading cards and many more of you have engaged and joined me through a really harsh week. This little breather of taking a couple minutes from my work to write a paragraph for the next review and continue with my work helped me immensely. And I can only hope you had as much fun as I did.

    Thank you for letting me share with you all something I love and am passionate about.

    While I´m not abandoning this thread or the little reviews, I will most definately not be as consistent as I was this week, I will continue adding a popular card or two when I find the time. Right now it's time for me to go back to my friends and GF for a while, I´ve been stuck at home working on this college project for a whole week!

    But not before I review one more card, as I promised, round 2 of reviews starts with Gen 1 again...and next up is

    OSIRIS THE SKY DRAGON GOD!

    *Phone Rings*

    Wait what? Honor the executive producer? you did WHAT?...oh my god....

    *ahem*

    SLIFER THE SKY DRAGON!
     
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    Slifer the Sky Dragon
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    Osiris the Sky Dragon
    ...Ugh...Fine...

    Slifer the Sky Dragon
    Generation 1: Duel Monsters
    User: Yugi Muto

    Original Artwork:


    Latest Artwork:


    "The heavens twists and thunders roar! Signaling the coming of this ancient creature, and the dawn of true power."

    During his time in Battle City, Yugi Muto was confronted by the mime Strings, who was one of the evil Marik's servants, Strings was given one of Marik's Egyptian God cards, meant to represent Osiris, God of the death...At least until some asshole in the 4kids translation team decided that maybe, he could flatter the show's executive producer, Roger Slifer, by renaming the card after him while also preventing poor impressionable kids to maybe learn about ancient Egyptian culture by searching for this card....Thus giving us "Slifer, The Executive Producer", and you can bet it will executive produce the shit out of you. (I can't believe I did almost 40 reviews without an abridged reference)

    Yugi eventually managed to defeat Slifer; thus claiming the card from Marik, from that moment this Level 10, DIVINE, Divine-Beast Type Effect Monster became an icon heavily associated with Yugi himself. Slifer helped Yugi in climatic battles against the likes of Ryo Bakura, Seto Kaiba and Marik Ishtar.

    Like Ra, Slifer's design just looks powerful. The way it's drawn is reminiscent of Blue-Eyes White Dragon with a pose that gives you a full detailed view of the creature's head while the body is shrieked for a curious, but effective look. This bright red creature just looks majestic.


    It's latest artwork I don't like. I feel like looking at the head from a distance just makes him look like a giant snake. The artwork for the card made by Kazuki Takahashi is my favorite though. With its fully drawn background and real well drawn Slifer unleashing his attack on a poor fool.

    Out of all 3 of the Egyptian god cards, Slifer is the closest to his Anime counterpart. It needs 3 monster tributes to be summoned, it's summon cannot be negated, cards and effects cannot be activated in response to the summon and it will go back to the GY when it's revived. That's some good protection but not enough as Slifer will become vulnerable to cards and effects as soon as the summon is successful.

    Slifer gains 1000 ATK for each card in your hand, and it will let you control the field by destroying any summoned monster with 2000 or less ATK or reduce the ATK of more powerful monsters by 2000. These effects are not bad, but can be used as a way to keep you from your best cards by forcing you to keep them in hand to keep Slifer strong.

    Slifer is not a great card for 3 tributes, Synchro Xyz or Link monsters can do a lot more damage for less resources. Slifer might have shined in early YGO when attacking was the only true strategy, but unfortunately the legal version of this card came out too late.

    No support exists for Slifer as it's still decent and somewhat playable as opposed to the disgrace that is legal Ra.

    Trivia Time!

    In the manga "Bobobo-bo Bo- bobo" the titular character uses his power to summon Yugi Muto, who summons Slifer to win a battle for him. The panel was drawn by Takahashi himself as a guest appearance

     
    The Eye of Timaeus
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    The Eye of Timaeus
    Generation 1: Duel Monsters
    User: Yugi Muto

    Original Artwork:



    After defeating the Marik, Yugi found himself confronted by a gang of bikers under the orders of the evil Dartz, these gang of evildoers were all given the power of "The Seal of Orichalcos". When Yugi is in the brink of defeat against the power of the seal, the spirit of the "Dark Magician Girl" takes his mind to the realm of the monsters, and informs him that he's been chosen to wield one of the legendary dragons that can fight against the Seal of Orichalcos. Yugi takes the sword stabbing the frozen dragon's heart and releases it to obtain a new power, The Eye of Timaeus! A...wait what was that card? It was like light blue or something, I dunno...Anyways, the TCG adapted Timaeus as a normal spell card.

    And before you even DARE to suggest me the new art is bad because it's not like the one you remember from the show. THIS is what you remember from the show:
    It looked like shit! It always did!

    Anyways, whoever was in charge of redesigning this card was a goddamn hero. Many many filler arc cards that don't work with existing artwork look terrible, and when an anime card ends up being printed as a real card they end up doing the bare minimum effort to make them look better. Timaeus is not the case, and an actual redesign of the artwork was done, IT FOCUSES ON THE EYE! YES! After all this time, I get a card with "Eye" as the theme that focuses on the eye. It even has a mysterious magical glow to it that I just love! They also removed the disgusting wrinkles from the anime and added a cool "Crystal Shattering" effect as the background, nice nod to it's first appereance.

    In the anime, Timaeus would need to combine with a monster card to manifest and Yugi always uses it primarily on his "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl" cards, so the design translated this by making Timaeus a fusion spell card that can summon a fusion monster with just 1 material. Which is an effect design straight from the GX manga cards. So whenever a "Dark Magician" Monster is on the field, you may use it asthe only fusion material for the fusion summon of any fusion monster that lists them as materials.

    This means that not only you get the show accurate forms of Timaeus:



    But you also can get any fusion that lists "Dark Magician" as one of it's materials! That means Dark Paladin and Dark Flare Knight are also options!

    This is an amazingly creative way to adapt the anime bullshit into a real card. The Eye of Timaeus is not a card that could've been released back when the anime was airing, but since fusion summon had been expanded on so much, the card was finally printed in 2014, right before the start of the Pendulum Era.

    Since then, a never seen before form for Timaeus was released for the TCG.


    It might not be the best card ever, but it can't hurt to have 1 in your Dark Magician deck, can it?

    Trivia Time!

    Oh...Yes it can. Due to a hilariously dumb technicality "The Eye of Timaeus" cannot be searched with the search cards in the Dark Magician Deck.

    You see those cards state that you can search for any card that lists the card "Dark Magician" specifically in their text, but since Timaeus talks about "Dark Magician" Monsters (Any monster with the words "Dark Magician" in its name) it does not list "Dark Magician" specifically, and thus cannot be searched for with cards such as "Dark Magical Circle"

    Still, some players use an Eye of Timaeus or Two due to how easily it is to get a DM on the field now....but beware, you might end up dead drawing it.
     
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    The Claw of Hermos
  • OP
    OP
    Fj0823

    Fj0823

    Member
    Oct 25, 2017
    6,829
    Costa Rica
    The Claw of Hermos
    Generation 1: Duel Monsters
    User: Joey Wheeler

    Original Artwork:


    During the Orichalcos arc there was one terrible casualty for our heroes...Mai Valentine's characterization. Mai moves from being the femme fatale of the group to be a disgraced duelist whose arc is that she needs to choose which man she should listen to. She joins the Orichalcos gang for absolutely no real reason and challenges Joey...For absolutely no real reason.

    During the Duel, Joey is also chosen by a legendary dragon, Hermos, who has the power of combining with other monsters to form weapons. In the TCG, Hermos is a Normal Spell Card.

    Your reminder of how awful Hermos actually looked in the show:


    Hermos is another shitty looking anime filler card salvaged by a decent artist . The crimson and brown colors are darker, the scales are better drawn so it no longer looks like it had some skin disease and the pose is changed to put more emphases on the claw, which is actually well drawn this time and it not longer looks like it's arm is broken. Another great improvement.

    The Claw of Hermos works a bit differently from the Eye of Timaeus in that it will also fusion summon a monster with just one material, but instead of asking for a specific card name it will just ask for a specific monster type listed in the fusion you wish to summon.

    Whenever Hermos combined with Joey's monsters it produced a weapon for another of his monsters to wield. In yet another strike of cleverness the designers also made those weapons into fusion monsters with an effect to immediately be equipped to a monster and treated as an equip Spell.

    So if you use The Claw of Hermos and tribute a Spellcaster type monster (such as Joey's "Time Wizard" you'll get this:


    And it's effect will trigger, forcing you to equip it to a monster of the field before applying it's effects.

    Same goes for using a Dragon Type (Joey's Red-Eyes)


    And Warrior Types (Joey's Rocket Warrior)


    Now why would an ancient dragon turn into a Bazooka? No idea.

    No support has been released for this card or its Fusions.

    TRIVIA TIME

    I got nothing for this one....It's a Dragon that turns into a cannon.
     
    The Fang of Critias
  • OP
    OP
    Fj0823

    Fj0823

    Member
    Oct 25, 2017
    6,829
    Costa Rica
    The Fang of Critias
    Generation 1: Duel Monsters
    User: Seto Kaiba

    Artwork:


    i-hate-u Hit it!

    After a mysterious challenge from Maximillion Pegasus, Kaiba returns to Duelist Kingdom to find answers about the mysterious company that is in the process of forcefully acquiring Kaiba Corp. After a brief duel it is revealed that this Pegasus is an imposter, this imposter corners Kaiba with "The Seal of Orichalcos". But after a fierce resistance, Kaiba is chosen by the third legendary dragon, Critias.

    Critias has the ability to combine with Kaiba's Trap cards, and absorb their power. Naturally Kaiba wastes no time in coming up with some hilarious powerful new Dragons. In the TCG, Critias is a Normal Spell Card.

    Critias is by far the only legendary dragon that is truly memorable and well designed, so much so that it's card art barely changes it's anime design:


    The design manages to stand on its own with barely some small touches, I do appreciate the TCG version looking more ferocious though. The background in the anime was boring and uninspired so I'm a bit disappointed in them for keeping it.

    Critias is, so far, the only fusion spell that can fuse Trap cards. By using a trap that's set in your field or is in your hand, Critias will absorb the power of the trap and become a fusion monster.

    So if you use Kaiba's "Tyrant Wing" you get


    Or maybe a more well known Kaiba card like "Crush Card Virus"


    And my personal favorite good ol' "Mirror Force"


    God these are SO COOL.

    Critias received support in the form of a new fusion with "Rings of Destruction"


    TRIVIA TIME!

    The fusion of Critias and Blue eyes. Has sadly never been released

    Next up a card that embodies THAT asshole kid who said his powers were infinity PLUS ONE.
     
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