Am I saying that I can predict the future? Do I actually control what cards Konami prints and which themes they give support to?
I won't answer those questions, but I will say that the last time I wrote about themes that desperately needed support, we saw Fableds, U.A, and Dark World all get new stuff. And not just cards that kinda worked with the themes, but name-stamped honest-to-goodness real cards!
Batting .300 isn't bad when you're effectively swinging on pipe dreams. Heck, I think I could live out the rest of my dueling career mollified with that new Fabled support. At the very least, it should tide me over for another decade.
I think everyone has their own personal wish list of themes that they'd like to see new support for, and I support all of you in those aspirations, except the Battlewasp players. With all the time I spend mocking Battlewasps, you'd think I'd take the time to remind myself of what the cards even do. but in my mind, I do know: they cause you to lose.
I could easily fill up a Top 100 list of themes I think deserve new legacy support, but I don't need all of that to feel satisfied. Today I want to present just ten themes that need a leg up to bring them into modern Yu-Gi-Oh, all of which needed it yesterday. Or last month. Or a year ago.
Bring it all on, I say.
I'm not blind to the fact that we recently saw the reveal of Ojama Pink… and Ojama Emperor… and Ojama Duo… as well as the new support in 2018's Legendary Duelists: Ancient Millennium. I also know Ojamas have seen some success in a variety of decks revolving around ABC-Dragon Buster, and yes, even Ojama Trio was a Side Deck silver bullet for Burning Abyss in 2014 and 2015. But call me crazy: I want Ojama cards to do Ojama things, not just playing second fiddle to other strategies.
Granted, the short list of "Ojama things" these cards are known for does skew toward the annoying, and I'm not sure if everyone wants the Ojama mechanic of locking monster zones to go mainstream. But in my mind, that kind of control set-up is much more interesting than having a field full of negates. To put it in Doug's words, sometimes negation effects are boring, especially when they're all just slightly different versions of one another.
Shoutout to myself and this Catoblepas combo that's anything but boring.
So what do I want Ojama support to be. Something silly that locks your opponents' zones? Easy ways to field Ojama Knight? An Ojama-specific Fusion Spell?
The answer to all those is a resounding yes. Look at Ojama Country. There are half a dozen Ojamas yet to be turned into cards, and I know I'm not the only one that wants to see what the derpy looking Ojama Lime would do to make Ojama decks great.
No, I didn't just make up this theme to throw you off.
I'm assuming you don't know what Triamids do, and that's ok. It's one of those themes made up of half a dozen mediocre cards with a new mechanic, and potential for an exciting strategy, which was quickly swept under the rug moments after its release. The theme's name is a portmanteau of "triangle" and "pyramid", so uh… that's… neat?
The Triamid gimmick's surprisingly simple, even if you have to read the cards nineteen times to figure out which one's which. Basically, the monsters all pop off Triamid Field Spells to get new ones from your deck during your opponent's turn to "do cool stuff," a direct quote from like, the only other Triamid fan I could find online.
Sometimes the cool stuff in question's recycling cards from your graveyard, sometimes it's destroying cards, but the deck suffers from a lot of flaws. It's got a pitifully small card pool and a heavy emphasis on the Normal Summons… and the boss monster effects are underwhelming … and you need to run a bunch of painfully average Field Spells.
But that's why Triamids need more support! The idea of a deck that leverages multiple Field Spells to systematically counter your opponent is a really neat concept. We need a deck that works better than Ghostricks, where playing multiple on-theme Field Spells is a good idea.
Maybe it's a tall order, but maybe I'll get lucky.
Stay with me on this one because I don't want you to think I'm advocating for more Paleozoic Frog support, and more ways to abuse Toadally Awesome. I'm well aware that as they exist now, Frogs are already skewed toward making your opponent hate you, and new traps come out every few months that offer inadvertent Paleozoic Frog support.
I'm talking about actual Frogs here. Treeborn Frog outdated and Swap Frog overpowered, but where's the love for Des Frog? I want to see different strategies that use the Level 5 froggy for different Link and Xyz plays. Heck, I'd take a Submarine Frog OTK if we could figure that one out.
I'm aware it takes some setup and having Level 5 Tribute Summons in your deck that require T.A.D.P.O.L.E. in your graveyard to work is rough, but it'd be a nice refresher from the hellscape that is Ronintoadin, Swap Frog, and Toadally Awesome.
It's like how painful Guru Control is for dedicated Subterror players. I know a bunch of people want strong support for that theme, but we've come to a point where the deck's been distilled down to its most boring point. Frogs are similar, and whatever Future Frog support might be, I hope we'll see something that lets me win with D.3.S. Frog.
I'd like to personally fight all 13,225 of you that voted for Inzektors over Dinomist in the Create-A-Card Project semi-finals.
Dinomists have often seemed like they were just on the precipice of greatness, and no, that's not an exaggeration. Before Master Rule 4, they just needed a card or two to make them a little better and that much more explosive. With easy access to Toadally Awesome and Cyber Dragon Infinity, the deck always had something solid to fall back on, and with Dinomist Charge, your Dinomist army always had a stocked barracks.
We were so close to greatness.
Pendulum strategies in general have more legs to stand on in the wake of Master Rule 5. Even without Heavymetalfoes Electrumite, Dinomists would have a real chance if they could just get one or two new cards. Pleeeeeease!
Dinomists have such a solid foundation, both in core Dinomist support and the off-theme cards they mesh well with. I think one solid Extra Deck card, preferably a Fusion or Link Monster, as well as a spell similar to Zefra Providence or Oracle of Zefra, would be instrumental to a Dinomist resurgence.
I understand the counterargument that they're "not even good," sure, but considering this "not even good" deck can consistently field Toadally Awesome and Cyber Dragon Infinity together, we just need a smidge of Dinomist-flavored brilliance to let the deck shine.
And to the Inzektor voters that I plan on fighting, rest assured: I would have put Inzektors in this list if they hadn't won the contest.
You have three kinds of people in dueling: those that hate alternate win conditions, those that love them, and then weirdos like me that will hype them up, build combos for them, and then chances are they'll never actually play them in a tournament… even after testing them and raving about them forever.
…Except that weird time in summer of 2012 where I won like, 87 locals in a row with Dark World Exodia. How I finally lost and retired the deck is an even sadder story.
I'm not sure what the "best" Chronomaly card is. Number 6: Chronomaly Atlandis is definitely a top contender, providing some weird FTK possibilities. Outside of that, there are a handful of Chronomaly cards that could be useful if we had better follow-ups besides FTKs that rely on burn damage.
Half the Chronomaly cards can Special Summon themselves for free, while Chronomaly City Babylon, Chronomaly Nebra Disk, and Chronomaly Technology churn out free Chronomaly monsters every turn. It's a good start, but it's anywhere from perfect.
Why? Well you're either forced to run an excessive number of Chronomaly cards, or you're locked into Chronomaly-only plays thanks to Chronomaly Nebra Disk, so the possibilities are few and far between. You're back to square one with your options, unless you consider Number 36: Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk to be your saving grace.
No? Me neither.
I'd wager Chronomaly doesn't need much to be loads better - just some sort of Extra Deck threat that can stand on its own without forcing the strategy to look for silly FTK combos left and right.
Last time I wrote about themes that needed support, I had Spirits at the top not as an archetype per se, but as a Card Type. Spirits are almost a theme because so many of the Spirit cards work together. Unions are similar: they're somehow even more cohesive and divisive at the same time.
Let me put it this way - can we have something better than Kiryu but maybe not as broken as Union Carrier?
… and something that doesn't directly support ABC-Dragon Buster.
Am I asking for a lot with that? I know, it's a tall order to overhaul an entire Card Type, but there's definitely potential there. Unauthorized Reactivation was a good kickstart that sent things in the right direction, but it's specific to Machines and it still doesn't fix the problems that Unions have, failing both my criteria.
You know, the main problem's that Frontline Base is one of the "better" generic Union cards. When you're competing with Vampiric Orchis and Des Dendle, basically anything's an improvement, and it leaves me scratching my head as to why this Card Type's been pushed to the side for so long.
I'm not sure if we'll ever get any generic Union support that helps "Union" decks specifically, without bleeding too far into mainstream territory. I'd rather not deal with a new version of Union Carrier in a few months, especially one that punishes me worse than Dragon Buster Destruction Sword, but I'm optimistic something can change.
Me: "Hey would you want more Volcanic support?"
Doug Zeeff: "Yeah"
There you have it, folks, the Volcanic king himself has spoken.
Volcanics were a weird theme because they were literally a top-tier deck – okay, a rogue top-tier deck – despite not having many good cards. Volcanic Shell and Volcanic Scattershot were the type of engine cards you didn't really want to see most of the time, Volcanic Rocket was purely a searcher, and then there was the good card: Blaze Accelerator Reload.
I don't like it when themes are lame, one-trick strategies that live and die by a single boring mechanism. When the competitive relevance of a theme is degraded to a recursive Dark World Dealings that sometimes turns into a Raigeki… well, yikes. I want the deck to turn into something more fun than that.
Of all the decks that could pull off an aggressive burn strategy, Volcanics could work. Basically, I'm asking that R&D make better versions of Volcanic Slicer, Volcanic Counter, and Volcanic Doomfire. The idea certainly piques my interest, a deck that can go on the offensive but burns you as a back-up plan. But without a delicate balance that idea could easily careen into degeneracy.
I wouldn't be surprised if people weren't aware this was a theme at all. If anyone says that this game doesn't go out of its way to dig into some awesome lore, remind them that we do have cards based on H.P. Lovecraft's collection of supernatural horror-fantasy lor, traditionally referred to as the Cthulhu Mythos. Talk about universally-known nerd lore of a shared universe.
Some of the "Entity" cards we're most familiar with are the Elder Entity monsters - the Fusions, Elder Entity N'tss and Elder Entity Norden. Elder Entity Norden Forbidden because it's ridiculously easy to make and because it's, say it with me now, "Broken," while Elder Entity N'tss is the missing link that Dogmatika cranked up to the next level.
Then, there's… the rest of the Entity archetype. You got your… Outer Entity Azathot… that's… Forbidden. Then we got big ugly, Outer Entity Nyarla, then… Forbidden Trapehozedran… it's a weirdly shaped box. Kinda. There's literally nothing else to say about the theme at this point.
Ultimately, it's hard to cobble the Entity theme together into a deck for obvious reasons. First, nearly a third of the cards are Forbidden; and second, the cards aren't exactly easy to summon; and finally, there are hardly any cards to work with. The big x-factor is that there's more lore to explore.
For starters, we don't officially have a Necronomicon as a card, and no, Forbidden Apocrypha and Dark Contract with the Entities don't actually count. If you take into consideration everything else Lovecraft penned - both inventions of his imagination and his referential works - there's room for literally dozens of other cards.
Before Master Rule 5, a deck that revolved around various shufflings of Fusion, Xyz, and Synchro Monsters didn't make much sense, but with the newfound freedom of the current era that strange strategy's now totally possible. You won't have to go out of your way to summon Link Monsters just to put a Fusion Monster between a Synchro and an Xyz.
Now I know what you're saying: new Laval, Fabled, and Ice Barrier cards were announced pretty recently, but that doesn't mask the fact that collectively, the themes introduced in the Duel Terminal World, the themes that largely made up the Hidden Arsenal booster sets, have been one of the most ignored collection of cards in Yu-Gi-Oh history.
Rewind the clock to just a few weeks before new Fabled cards were announced, and you'll see what I mean. Of all the themes that have ever existed in this game, ten of the fifteen themes with the longest droughts of support are from Hidden Arsenal releases. Even accounting for the new support for those three themes, Hidden Arsenal decks still take half of that bottom fifteen.
It doesn't get much better when you expand the range of that perspective, and see that some of the themes with slightly shorter droughts are only a touch higher on the llist. Of all the hundreds of themes that exist in Yu-Gi-Oh, almost every Hidden Arsenal set falls into the bottom 50.
Dragunity's basically the only exception to the rule, and I'm disregarding some themes like Mokey Mokey and Sealmaster Meisei because they're more 1-card gimmicks rather than entire themes. I mean, I wouldn't even know what to call the Monk Fighter and Master Monk "archetype," so I'm leaving them off that list.
I know that plenty of those strategies wouldn't be viable today without a complete overhaul to the theme, or without half a dozen new, amazing cards injected straight into the strategy. But if we can get new Harpie and Red-Eyes cards all the time, why not some Jurracs or Vylons?
Some of those themes had promise with their gimmicky effects, but I want to see them come to light in more impactful ways. The one theme that's gone the longest without support is actually the Dark Scorpions. When Jurracs have as many cards as Nekroz but suffer an absence of support for literally a decade, maybe it's time to give themes like it some love. Don't even get me started on Worms.
Split hairs with me on this one, but no, I will not concede that there's a Mystical Sheep #1 archetype.
Technically, yes, technically in the most technical usage of the word technically, once upon a time, Photon functioned as an autonomous theme. I'll admit 2013 was a vastly different era, but ya know, Photon Satellite, Machine Duplication, something something Armades, Keeper of Boundaries.
But with each new Photon, Galaxy, or Cipher card printed, the lines between what's part of which theme gets blurrier. Not every card that contains one of those words functions in whatever mash-up conglomeration one would deem "a deck," but a new support card with any of those words in its name is probably support for them all.
If you know anything about this smashed-together theme, you'll know that even some of the less powerful cards are still pretty good in their own right. Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon? Galaxy-Eyes Solflare Dragon? Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord? There's no shortage of powerful cards here.
But the obvious issue with the Photon/Galaxy theme is twofold: there aren't many cards that can break boards, and even with the most perfect hand, you're committing a lot of resources to very niche monsters.
If KDE made more cards for this theme I'd definitely want to see more starters that can break boards, or at the very least make your combos less costly in terms of card economy. We don't need anymore Photon/Galaxy/Cipher boss monsters, we're good for those. What we need is better cards that don't crumble under pressure at the competitive level.
I'm sure that everyone has a Top 10 list of decks they want new support for, and every day even the craziest themes get new support. I can't promise you that we'll ever see more Mokey Mokey support, but I'd be equally foolish to assume we'd never see that Fairy come out on top.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.