Monday, 31 January 2011

Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Review: Card Trooper

Hey guys. I'd like to review a card that has been in our TCG for a long time. Not as long as the beginning of the game, but long enough to be limited to 1 for around 3 years.

Today's card is Card Trooper!

This little machine type has 400 ATK and 400 DEF points. People might look at those stats and say "Wow, that sucks. Bin that S***". But its effect takes care of that.

Once per turn, you can send the top three cards of your deck to the graveyard to give this card 500 ATK for every card sent, until this turn's end phase. And when its destroyed, Draw a card.

Bam. Its a beautiful effect. It has something for every player whether you play competitively or not. Sending three cards turns this card into a 1900 beater that can get over most things. But the beautiful part is the milling. You just milled three cards, which is what decks like lightsworn and to be honest, most metagame decks out there love to do. And unlike lightsworn monster, you dont have to mill if you dont want to.

Second is the draw effect. No matter how this card gets destroyed, you will draw a card. And its not an optional effect either, so the timing cannot be missed. In my book thats a +1, and a beautiful one at that.

Also, this card works well with many other cards, here a few to name a list:
- Wulf, Lightsworn beast: Mill it with Card Trooper's effect and deal up to 4000 direct damage.
- Debris dragon: Special summon it with Debris Dragon, and since the milling in the first effect is a cost, you can use it! But you wont gain any attack points, Not that anyone is complaining.
- Judgment dragon: Another lightsworn, but destroy all the cards on the field with his effect and Draw a card with card trooper.
- Hell, any card that destroys things: I'm talking about Torrential Tribute, Dark hole, Lightning Vortex, Limiter removal etc.

But why is this card at 1? Well. The card is amazing as it is, but its not enough to bring it to one on its own. The reason why this card is limited is because when this card was released, people began to see it's potential with Machine duplication and Limiter removal (Two cards that were fine before Card Trooper came along). So Konami did the right thing and limit this card.

And they're right: Would you really want to be up against 3 of these pumped up to 3800 atk each?

The downside to this card is that it's a machine. And with Cyber dragon in many decks and Chimeratech fortress dragon in their extra deck to boot, they will take your trooper with their cyber dragon and -1 you. As well as around 2000 of your life points.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Yu-Gi-Oh Card Review: Vortex the Whirlwind

Hey. With 2 weeks left until the Sneak, im getting excited. Some people say that the set sucks, but i think its got a lot of really fun cards to play around with.

The Sneak Peek card, that is, the card you will get by attending the sneak, is Vorted the Whirlwind.

Blackwing - Vortex the Whirlwind...

Vortex the Whirlwind is a Synchro monster with a decent effect. At first glance, i was comparing the card to the failure that was Archfiend Empress, which nobody plays. But after the second glance, i noticed some useful cards that can work with this card.

It requires a Tuner and a Winged beast non-tuner and is a respectable level 5. The Winged beast non-tuner requirement hurts its playability very much. But there are 3 archetypes that can use this card: Mist valley, Harpies and Blackwings. The first two being Archetypes that are not played at all. So blackwings will be the only place where this card will see play.

When this card is destroyed in battle, you can special summon one level 4 or lower winged beast type from your deck. Its a bit lacking there, but it will do. It would have been better if it was any destruction (by battle or effect) then it would be much better.

Anyway, are there any easy ways to get this card out?

Well, in Blackwings (sorry if i keep saying that), you can Attack an opponent's monster with Blackwing - Shura the Blue flame and use its effect to special summon a Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor. Then you can synchro the two cards for Vortex and use Vayu's effect for later.

Right now, there are few Winged beast non tuners that are being splashed into decks at the moment. But when that time comes, expect this card teched in extra decks.

Oh also, this card can go toe-to-toe with Grandmaster of the Six Samurai and get its effect. Something to think about next format if you want to play blackwings.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Consistency: Why they're winning and you're not.

Hello Yugi fans. Today, in my spare time, i have decided that i should do an article on consistency, and why some cards in our metagame favour it and are ran because of it.

What is consistency exactly? Well, For something to be consistent, it needs to happen often and reliably. In Yu-Gi-Oh!, it is important to build your deck so that you have an "out" (a way to deal with anything your opponent throws at you) at any point in the game. this allows you to breakdown your opponents strategy and subject them to yours.

But if you play competitively (go to locals and attend regionals and other tournaments) or you want to, just remember one thing:

Most of the cards in the anime are inconsistent and should be kept in the anime at all times and not in your deck.

Now. How do you make your deck more consistent? Before even considoring that question, you need to know your win condition (what your deck needs to do to bring your opponent's life to 0). Then, you can build your deck to get to that condition Consistently.

Lets take an examples. Gravekeeper's used to be a control deck. they had a one-for-one removal with Gravekeeper's descendant and could shut down the graveyard with Necrovalley, which made cards like Monster reborn and XX-Saber Faultroll useless. But this deck was just not good enough. It was outcompeted by faster decks that could set up their win condition quicker. However, in Starstrike blast, Konami threw Gravekeeper's players a Consistency bone called Gravekeeper's Recruiter. It could search for almost any gravekeeper's monster when sent to the graveyard from the field. Players suddenly realised that you could search out Gravekeeper's commandant, which could search out Necrovalley. This in turn lets you run Royal tribute and deplete your opponents hand of monsters, while you can bring yours back with Gravekeeper's stele. So you see, with a little help from our friend Consistency, the deck now has a powerful Win condition which can be met quickly and often. This is why in YCS Atlanta in November, Gravekeeper's decks placed in the top 3 spots.

But in a more general sense, consistency can be aquired through certain cards. As long as you know your win condition, you can run 3 of any card that can help you get that condition.

Right now, i am running Scraps. Its a very fun deck, and it has a plethora of intricate combos and +1s at your disposal. The main win condition of this deck is to summon scrap dragon and blow your opponents cards away with its effect. While thats all well and good, Scrap dragon is a synchro monster and cannot go into your main deck. That means that i needed to build my 40 card deck that is dedicated to bringing out a scrap dragon as consistently and as often as possible. To do that, i have to run 3 Scrap beast and 3 scrap chimera as well as 3 Scrap goblin, so there is always a Scrap chimera to use. The only problem with the deck is that it relies on its normal summon often to get the ball rolling. All it takes is a Solemn warning on my Scrap Chimera to put me at a severe disadvantage. But i have cards like Scrapstorm (The Scrap's draw card) and Scrapyard to set up my win condition.

As for certain cards. The main cards that can help consistency are Draw cards. these serve little purpose in your deck but to make your hand more consistent. Allure of darkness lets you draw two and then remove a dark from your hand. At first glance, you may think that removing one of your precious monsters is a terrible idea, but your hand is stronger now and your deck has been thinned by two cards. and you can always remove a monster that does not quite fit the bill in the current gamestate. For example, lets say my opponent has a stardust dragon on the field. and in my hand, i have a smashing ground and a Blackwing - Bora the spear. I know that i cannot destroy stardust dragon with smashing ground because of its effect, and Bora does not have enough attack power to get over it. In my draw phase i draw Allure of darkness, i use its effect and draw two. Lets say i just drew Blackwing - sirocco the dawn and Blackwing - Kalut the moon shadow. If i remove Sirocco for Allures effect, i just turned that Allure of darkness into a monster that can help me get past that stardust. By using that draw card, you managed to get out of that situation and deal some damage, and your deck has been thinned.

But as far as draw cards go, the best one by far is Pot of Duality. I dont need to explain its effect, but it is by far the easiest way to increase consistency in your deck no matter what. Even though you lose special summoning for the turn, you have now got a much better hand next turn, which means that win condition your deck is aiming for is now so much closer.

I hope that this small article helped some people. Many people have been criticising that Pot of duality is too expensive. While that is true, the card turns inconsistent but powerful decks into Consistent ones.

I might do a few more card reviews soon when i get the time. Maybe when the next set comes out, because those Aesirs look awesome.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Storm of ragnarok: Special edition

Quick post. For anyone who didnt know before. The confirmed Special edition cards that come with the Storm of ragnarok special edition is

- Light and Darkness dragon
- Hand of six samurai

The reasons behind those choices are quite clear. Light and Darkness dragon was crying for another reprint since its being so widely played.

Hand of the six samurai has also been chosen, to tie in with the release of the new Legendary six samurai sub-archetype in this set. It was one of the two Six samurai cards that were difficult to get hold of. The other being Grandmaster.

Well. Does this warrant buying some special editions? Well, each one of these promos dont need to played in more than 2 copies, so you might want to buy a few.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Storm of Ragnarok: Cards to look out for

Yes, i know. the release date for the next set is still a month away. but like starstrike blast, it has a plethora of interesting core cards that i would like to discuss. Storm of ragnarok (STOR) introduces new archetypes and support cards which are brand new and some which debuted in the anime.
  • The Aesirs: These 3 gods have come straight from nordic mythology and STOR gives each different Aesir a bunch of monsters to synchro into it. Thor has the nordic beasts, Loki has the nordic alfar and Odin has the nordic ascendants. As well as that, there are many support cards that have devastating effects while you control any Aesir. But one of the best parts about the aesirs is that when they are destroyed, by removing the appropriate tuner (remove the one you used to synchro it), it special summons itself at the end phase and something happens. Thor lets you deal 800 damage, Loki lets you get a trap card back to your hand from the graveyard and Odin lets you draw a card. But thats not all. Each aesir has their own effects that can shut down your opponent.
  • The Legendary Six Samurai: STOR introduces the Legendary Six Samurai sub-type. It is a bunch of new monsters and support cards which in the OCG, have pushed Six samurai to tier 1 (alongside blackwings and a couple of other decks). They get a new swarming monster alongside Grandmaster of the six samurai called Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan. As well as other cards, combined with the original six samurai cards (especially Gateway of the six which can create disgusting loops), this is the deck to look out for next format.
  • More Karakuri support: Since Karakuri debuted in the newest set, Starstrike blast, Karakuri have consistent OTK abilities and an overpowered Synchro monster which you can bring 3 out very easily. But with the new support in STOR, they have just got better. STOR introduces new monsters and more support. A notable support card is Borrowed Karakuri house, which lets you add a karakuri from your deck to your hand, at the cost of switching the battle position of one of your karakuri monsters.

As well as that, there are interesting cards in particular i would look out for:

  • Apple of Frigg, a normal trap card: When you take Battle Damage while you control no monsters, you can activate this card. Gain Life Points equal to the Battle Damage you took. Then, Special Summon 1 "Wicked Spirit Token" (Fiend-Type/DARK/Level 1/ATK ?/DEF ?). Its ATK and DEF are equal to the Life Points you gained from this card's effect.
  • Tyrant's insults, a normal trap card: Tribute 2 face-up monsters you control. Neither player can activate the effects of Effect Monsters that activate on the field or in the hand.
  • Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant, a confirmed exclusive for the TCG: You can substitute this card for any 1 "Nordic" Tuner Monster for a Synchro Summon. If this card is used as a Synchro Material Monster, all other Synchro Material Monsters must be "Nordic" monsters. Once per turn, you can send 1 "Nordic" monster from your Deck to the Graveyard to change this card's Level to the Level of the monster you sent to the Graveyard, until the End Phase.

So there you have it. The three cards listed above is only the tip of the iceberg as far as hidden gems are concerned. If you want to see the set list, click here.