In Yu-Gi-Oh, cards can go literally decades without getting a reprint. That can impact a card's value in more ways than you might expect: on one hand, reprinting a card can increase the supply, making it more affordable. But if a reprint upgrades a card's rarity, it can make that particular printing more appealing and more valuable, too.
And we get new kinds of rarities and new foil technology every year. Even if a card was originally printed in one of the game's higher rarities, the original printing may become underwhelming over time. A card that looked great as a Super Rare fifteen years ago may eventually seem dated when we see new, or revamped rarities, like Premium Gold Rares or Prismatic Secrets.
It's safe to say almost any card with only one or two printings probably deserves to be on this list, but I've narrowed it down to a list of 30 cards that I think really deserve some sort of rarity change, whatever the reason. A few might be a bit selfish, but I think most of the cards would be pretty tough to argue against. Let's go!
Heraldics may have come and gone without much fanfare, despite some surprising wins at multiple Regionals, including one that handed me a 2nd place finish. Yes, Heraldics were once a solidly competitive deck with tournament clout, and this card is largely the reason. I've heard it said that normal Rares are viewed by many as the ugliest cards in the game, and I'm not going to debate that much. Or at all.
Just, why bother?
For a very old theme that's had some legit tournament success, it seems unfair to keep this card - and other Heraldic support - at normal Rare status.
Even if a competitive theme never gets a full rarity bump across all of its cards, you'd think the flagship staple would get an upgrade in rarity sometime, right? Gishkis have a colorful and sordid past as a degenerate combo deck, and while you might be most familiar with the evil that is Evigishki Mind Augus, Gishki Aquamirror needs some attention.
Thankfully Gishki Aquamirror at least a Super Rare, but with one and a half printings… Duel Terminal Parallel Rares aren't easy to come by for the average duelist… it's about time we brought this card into this decade. Can you believe this thing hasn't been reprinted since 2011?
I'm slightly straying from the parameters I outlined above, and I'm talking about a card that needs a redo of a failed reprint attempt from the past. Elemental HERO Sparkman, Elemental HERO Burstinatrix, and Elemental HERO Avian - three of the original four Normal E-HERO monsters - all received Secret Rare printings with alternate arts. Elemental HERO Clayman has actually been reprinted seven times, but there's no alternate art, and it's almost always been a common.
It was product-hover id="158241" as a Mattel Action Figure promo, a card almost no one had the opportunity to buy; and product-hover id="106681", but other than that, this thing's never seen a hint of foil. Somebody get this poor guy some new artwork so he can keep up with his friends.
I'm aware Gale Dogra was printed about a month ago in product-hover id="240558", but that was really just meant to mitigate its outrageous price and update it with Problem Solving Card Text. Do I want Gale Dogra in Super Rare, specifically? Absolutely. Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands, Herald of the Arc Light, Gale Dogra… I want my entire Ritual suite in Super Rare, please!
I want this card upgraded to Ghost Rare. We've seen Hieratic Dragon King of Atum change from Super Rare to Ultra Rare, but Extra Deck monsters - especially ones we've seen as flagship bosses or OTK enablers - deserve Ghost Rare status above all else. Hieratic Dragon King of Atum still used in decks today, so I'm hoping we get a more exclusive printing of it.
It took about a decade to get a reprint for this card, and instead of a-well deserved rarity upgrade … we got another Super Rare. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the reprint so I could get my hands on it, and it had the pleasant side effect of updating the name to reflect its status as a Darklord… but… another Super Rare? Seems disappointing.
Most of the Megalith cards are Super Rares, and Megalith Phul is one of the few with only a common printing… and yet it's arguably the best card of the bunch.
That seems… wrong, right?
I think it's a tragedy that the deck's split between Super Rares and commons, but if we only got one upgrade for the theme, this is the card to pick. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
How is this card only a common? Infernity Necromancer technically has a Duel Terminal printing, but that rarity makes this particular card look like its barely survived a trip through the washing machine. Enough said.
Like most Platinum Rares, the Platinum printing of Merlin was absolutely terrible to look at. The Secret Rare at least gave Noble Knight players a copy to play that didn't absolutely burn their eyes out. But the Secret Rare doesn't really do the card justice. Many Noble Knight cards are also available as Ultra Rares, but I'd even be satisfied with a Super Rare here. Or a Gold Rare. Or, heck, even common.
Anything to burn the Platinum Rare horror out of my mind.
Not many Yu-Gi-Oh cards have single handedly created a movie. You may have forgotten about 2004's Pyramid of Light, but the lonely common printing feels really weird. Virtually no one has ever tried to use this card, but still, a common printing for a card that spurred a whole feature film is underwhelming.
Premium Gold Rare, anyone?
Speedroid decks never took off in the way that I thought they would, despite having such a pivotal card as Speedroid Terrortop. But there are certain cards in the deck that certainly deserve a high rarity, because they're so essential to the strategy.
Hagoita's certainly one of the cards that needs an upgrade. Maybe Speedroid Taketomborg deserves it more than Hagoita, but at least it's available as a matching Super Rare. Hagoita's a normal Rare and nothing more, and that's sad.
It's so cute! I have better reasons for most of the cards that are on this list, but I want something so adorable to have a high rarity printing. Plus in my opinion, any common that's suspiciously expensive needs an upgrade to showcase its desirability. The one meager common printing of Puny Penguin in Abyss Rising has driven the price tag way north, so it seems like it would be a welcome bump.
In terms of fan-favorite Yu-Gi-Oh boss monsters, ABC-Dragon Buster feels remarkably removed from the conversation. ABC decks practically ruled competition for a period of time, but the Secret Rare in Legendary Collection Kaiba seems almost like an afterthought. It doesn't carry as much weight with the three printings currently available, so I'd be in support of something more iconic to commemorate it.
When I think of Dragon cards, I think of Ultra Rares. Blue-Eyes White Dragon - the original Dragon in Yu-Gi-Oh - has some extremely iconic Ultra Rare printings, including its original appearance in Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon.
Do I appreciate all the rarities we currently have? Yes. But as I said, I get an Ultra Rare vibe when I think of Dragons, and I wish this card had the rarity to match that.
I feel so trapped with Photon Sanctuary as just a Secret Rare, a common, and Battle Pack Mosaic Rare. If I could pick one card to turn into a Super Rare, this would be it! It would look absolutely beautiful as a Super, complimenting the rest of the Photon deck.
Heck, I'd specifically pay money to get this spell as a Super Rare.
Of all cards that finally got an upgrade in rarity only for me to be disappointed, Where Arf Thou? tops my list. We got a Super Rare last year in OTS Tournament Pack 13, but a Secret Rare seems more appropriate. I often associate Mystic Piper with Where Arf Thou?, so a matching Secret Rare would really be appreciated.
I can't believe Creation Resonator costs so much. It's just a regular rare. But what's even more surprising is the lack of pretty versions of this card. Rares are hit-and-miss for most people, and this card certainly deserves better than just a normal old silver foil namestamp.
In fact, lots of the Resonators need a rarity upgrade. Red Resonator is another big example, but Creation Resonator my top priority.
Considering how many Traptrix cards have been released as Super Rares, you'd think Traptrix Dionaea would get the same treatment, right? But so far Traptrix Dionaea only has regular rare printings, and an ever-divisive Gold Rare. It doesn't mesh well with the rest of the deck: it's either not shiny enough, or egregiously glittered.
The second and most expensive Penguin on our list deserves a rarity bump, even more than Puny Penguin. It's pivotal to the core Penguin combo, and despite the most recent Super Rare reprint, an Ultimate Rare would be even better.
While Treasure Panda may not have had the level of tournament success it could have, I think any card that's so central to wacky combo strategies deserves something more. It's somewhat of an infamous card is certain circles, so the lowly common printing seems underwhelming, especially since the name along seems to promise more.
I know Metamorphosis has been Forbidden for a long, long time, but it's been 15 years since its last printing. Champion Pack: Game One gave us a Super Rare version, which is now north of $1000 as a max rarity Goat Format card, but for such an iconic part of the game's history a simple Super Rare just seems lacking.
Delinquent Duo got a Secret Rare years after it was banned. Is it too much to ask for Metamorphosis to get the same treatment?
It's crazy that a card that's made me want to pull my hair out more times than I can count has only been printed twice - as a common and a normal rare. Even with a second printing in an OTS pack, it still remains low rarity.
Such a tragedy.
Why is Pendulum Call not an Ultimate Rare? Out of everything that could become an Ultimate Rare, I think this has incredibly high potential to be a beautiful card. We have two printings of Pendulum Call right now, but something more explosive, more spectacular and in-your-face, would really make this card pop.
I could have easily chosen six other Batteryman cards for this slot, but the point remains. How are these cards only available in such low rarities? Batteryman 9-Volt has one measly printing - as a common - in a set that redefined Yu-Gi-Oh so drastically, even 9-Volt was swept up in the riff raff.
Everyone likes Mokey Mokey, right? Right. So why does it have only three printings, all common. For such a fan-favorite card… it's just a common. That's boring.
Super Rare, Ghost Rare, Gold Rare… maybe even a purple letter rare! I'll take anything at this point.
This card originally came out in Magician's Force as a Super Rare, and despite leaving the Forbidden & Limited List after a decade of waiting, Tribe-Infecting Virus never got the upgrade it deserves. Typically, cards that get freed from the Forbidden & Limited List get some royal treatment upon their return, but Tribe? No love for it whatsoever, even though it plays an essential role in Goat Format.
This card is wildly expensive, and it's only available as a common. It had just one printing in the Machine Reactor Structure Deck, so the high price makes sense, but I don't like expensive cards to max out at common status.
It just doesn't seem right, you know?
I'm all for cards debuting as commons so the average duelist can get their hands on them, but Scrap Raptor common printing - and even the Super Rare in OTS Tournament Pack 17 - seems so uncharacteristic. Scrap Raptor time in the spotlight burned out quick, but both Scrap Raptor, and the explosive Scrap combos it creates, are always on the backburner ready to make an appearance in the right metagame. Will it see a better printing? Hopefully. It seems totally out of place in my Scrap deck.
Come to think of it, this seems to be a recurring theme: me being unsatisfied with OTS Tournament Pack 17.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
I would like an Ultimate Rare, please! With seven printings across five different rarities, you'd think that one of the best hand traps of all time - at least the best that hasn't taken a trip on the Forbidden & Limited List - would get an Ultimate Rare printing.
My point is simple: if Maxx "C" can get the Ultimate Rare treatment, why not Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring? The card's already expensive enough, so this won't change much in my mind.
This may come as somewhat of a shock, but Red-Eyes Fusion has a max rarity printing of Super Rare, from back in Clash of Rebellions. We've all been tortured by this card so much via Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, shouldn't we at least be suffering at the hands of something shinier?
I'm glad that we have a common printing of Red-Eyes Fusion so Red-Eyes players can use the card, sure. But this thing should be immortalized in a form that's a bit more grand than a Super Rare.
As I said, most cards deserve a rarity bump or at least a change, but these are some that have been at the forefront of my mind for some time. Let me know if there are any cards you desperately want to see with some new bling!
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.