Hello, and Happy New Year, duelists! I hope 2022's been off to the kind of start we all wish for ourselves, and that the cards have been in your favor so far.

Collector's Rares were introduced in 2020 back in Toon Chaos, and the new rarity was an instant success. Despite the first run being referred to as "dusty ultimates" by a friend of mine, they were really well received across the board by fans and collectors, and they've proven to be incredibly popular over time. Collector's Rares are a bit of a work in progress too, and with each new batch we get in side sets, the quality's improved by leaps and bounds.

Seriously. Collector's Rare Pot of Desires (CR) looks like an Ultimate Rare that was left in a room for a year and accrued a nice layer of dust. But compare that to a product-hover id="236330" Collector's Rare, and you'll wonder why they massacred my Pot like that. I digress…

Despite the resounding success of Collector's Rares, it's not exactly all sunshine and rainbows. There have been some major misses in which actual cards received the stunning upgrade, and today I want to dive into some picks from each set that could (cough, SHOULD) have gotten the Collector's Rare treatment.

Genesis Impact Imperfections

If you ask any vendor, they'll probably say Genesis Impact was more trouble than it was worth. Despite bringing us two incredibly popular and powerful decks, it struggled in sales. A big part of the problem was its release date, dropping too late in the 2020 Holiday season for many potential buyers. But at least to me, a mixed bag of Collector's Rares was another reason it missed the mark. What SHOULD have gotten Collector's Rare upgrades?

Okay so, Knightmare Phoenix (CR) and Knightmare Unicorn](Knightmare Unicorn (CR)) both got upgrades in Genesis Impact.

That's fine.

In fact, that's GREAT!

They're two of the most popular Link Monsters ever printed, and both see lots of tournament time even today. The issue I have is that Knightmare Gryphon - which was IN THE SET! - didn't get a Collector's Rare printing to match. And that's just rude. Furthermore, Knightmare Cerberus could, and frankly should, have appeared in Genesis Impact as well, so duelists could get all these powerful cards in a low rarity, as well as upgrade entire family to Collector's Rares.

Would Knightmare Gryphon and Knightmare Cerberus get played? Probably not. Would they have made more sense than Beat Cop from the Underworld (CR)? Definitely. Seeing Knightmare Gryphon get big-timed took me back to middle school when I would show up for sports, and then get picked last. Not cool, not cool.

Meanwhile Knightmare Cerberus isn't even included in the set. I decided to take some creative liberty and slapped it onto my list anyway. It should have been here, and it was a travesty that such a perfect opportunity for pack filler was missed. So while it doesn't really count and I'm kind of breaking my own rules right off the bat, Knightmare Cerberus is entry Number 2.

Efficiency. We could have had that in Genesis Impact with all the Knightmares, but no, here we are looking at Beat Cop from the Underworld instead. Moving on.

Do you ever just look at a card and go, "Why aren't you shinier?" I do, and Herald of Ultimateness is a perfect example. The Herald of Green Light (UTR), product-hover id="164861", and Herald of Purple Light (UTR) Heralds have all gotten Ultimate Rares, and even Herald of Perfection (UTR) has one. But unless Ultimateness randomly gets thrown into an upcoming OTS Pack, that one's not going to happen.

But enter Collector's Rares! Imagine the ultimate boss monster in the line of Heralds getting such a unique rarity? That would have been awesome! In fact, I want you to look at a picture of Herald of Ultimateness. The potential for blinding levels of foiled up bling is there, and it was a shame it didn't get such a fantastic upgrade. Don't worry though, we got Beat Cop from the Underworld (CR)!

I'm sorry. I haven't moved on.

I feel like this one doesn't really need explaining. Goat Format exists, and local OTS stores can now officially support old formats with Time Wizard tournaemnts. Traptrix duelists exist too. WHY ISN'T BOTTOMLESS TRAP HOLE A COLLECTOR'S RARE?!

Okay, fine. This is just for me. I really like the Magistus cards. They're not especially good, but they're cool, and I would have loved to see the theme's main spell card get a pretty upgrade. That said, in terms of tournament play this is the only time I'll say Beat Cop from the Underworld (CR) was probably a better call.

Ancient Guardians Angst

I think I place myself in the extreme minority of players when I say that I actually liked Ancient Guardians. Sure, the set was not great. But I love reptile cards, so my bias was extreme, and one of my favorite cards of all time appeared as a Collector's Rare: Trade-In (CR).

On top of that, we had incredible Collector's Rares like Dinowrestler Pankratops (CR), Skull Meister (CR), and Snake Rain (CR) all getting some swanky new lewks. But if you thought this section was all sunshine and roses, prepare for disappointment; there were some big cards here that really should've been Collector's Rares.

The single best themed spell for the entire Ogdoadic archetype didn't get a Collector's Rare. Do you like Foolish Burial? How about Monster Reborn? What if they were the same card! Cool, right?! Too bad we didn't get Ogdoadic Water Lily in Collector's Rare. I would have happily given up Trade-In (CR) for this to get the upgrade.

Next up: Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer and Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer.

Fun fact: Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer used to be over $30 a copy. Crazy right? Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer was also obscenely expensive in its heyday, reaching $28. I'm showing my Yugi-boomer roots, but I just remember thinking, "this is too much, but here's my money!" In a set that was effectively re-introducing pendulum cards, these two would have been perfect Collector's Rares.

Historically relevant, they've got sick artwork, and potentially useful in the future? They check all the marks.

Hot take: Collector cards like Vennominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes that debut in a high rarity, shouldn't be reprinted in a high rarity. It diminishes the importance of the original printing. Now, Vennominon the King of Poisonous Snakes should have gotten a Collector's Rare instead. Why? Because its only high rarity print is an Ultimate Rare, and a Collector's Rare would be a great combo with Vennominaga.

Hey, remember when I mentioned Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer and Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer like, two entries ago? King of the Feral Imps was played at the same time! Kit would give Reptile duelists in general a high rarity upgrade, beyond just Ogdoadics.

But hey, we got Trade-In (CR). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Last and certainly not least….

King's Court Cruddiness

The final side set of 2021 was notable for a few reasons. We saw the surprise debut of Slifer the Sky Dragon (Secret Pharaoh's Rare). We saw a full-fledged Face Knights deck. And we saw some of the most upsetting Collector's Rares to date.

I'm ready for you all to rage at me on Twitter since one of the cards I diss is a banger.

I'm just going to point out how incredibly bad it was to not make this a Collector's Rare. Goat Format's popular? Check. Gravekeepers are a fan favorite? Check. It's used in a myriad of strategies over the history of the game? Check. But giving such an iconic card a Collector's Rare? HAHA! No.

Have some Rivalry of Warlords (Collector's Rare) though. While we're at it, Gozen Match being left out of this set was a crime when it could've been a Collector's Rare made to match Rivalry of Warlords (Collector's Rare), too.

This is one of the picks that I don't really take personally, but I would've loved to see. The day before the KICO set list was released, Swordsoul was spoiled over in Japan and those reveals drove up the price of Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing, only for it to plummet a day later. Imagine if it had a Collector's Rare to compete with the Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing (UTR)?

Oh. Baby.

I am truly flabbergasted that Pot of Duality didn't get a Collector's Rare. Pot of Desires and Pot of Extravagance both got Collector's Rares. Someday, Pot of Prosperity will probably manage to get one too. But Pot of Duality? Nah. Not worth the legacy reprint in a high rarity.

Especially given that the product-hover id="91658" and product-hover id="35815" are well into the triple digits, it would've been nice to have another premium print.

But hey, don't sweat it, kid. Have a Rescue Rabbit (Collector's Rare) instead.

Unexpected Dai one of those cards that I come back to from time to time and wonder, "when will it be your day?" It's popped up sporadically in all sorts of rogue decks, and has seen some cool mainstream uses in tournaments, too. But despite that, it often goes unnoticed. A Collector's Rare could've been a neat upgrade and loved by many.

I mean. C'mon. Dragon Link players are totally obsessed with rarity. Even the ones that aren't, are. World Legacy Guardragon an incredibly powerful card, and will most assuredly see play time and time again. But hey, forget a Collector's Rare! Instead, look at the shiny Hyper Galaxy (Collector's Rare).

In the grand scheme of things, Collector's Rares have been a resounding success. Each batch has been better than the previous one, in terms of quality, foiling, and design. Hopefully Konami continues rocking the dueling world with these awesome cards, and here's hoping product-hover id="257383" can deliver the best ones yet!

What's been your favorite Collector's Rare so far? Let me know on Twitter, and I'll catch you next time!