It's finally time! A handful of Youtube Yu-Gi-Oh! influencers were granted the opportunity to open up the NEW 2021 Tin of Ancient Battles on film yesterday, and we now know the complete set contents.
We learned early on that Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder was earmarked for a reprint as an Ultra Rare in MP21, from Konami's August Yu-Gi-Oh! News video. But now that we know the entire set list, I'm sure many players are looking forward to a second chance at cards like Triple Tactics Talent, Nadir Servant, Shaddoll Schism and more!
But more importantly! Crossout Designator is finally being getting a global release in Yu-Gi-Oh TCG territories, appearing in the Tins as an Ultra Rare! Crossout Designator been a game-shaping card since it debuted in Asia's Yu-Gi-Oh OCG in 2019, and now it's going to make some big changes in our version of the game as well.
Crossout Designator a Quick-Play Spell Card, which is arguably the best kind of card type in the game: you can play it on your first turn, or set it and play it on your opponent's turn.
When you activate Crossout Designator, you declare a card name; preferably a card that exists in your Main Deck. When Crossout Designator resolves, you must banish a copy of the declared card from your Main Deck, and if you do, that card's effect is negated for the rest of the turn, no matter where it was activated, and even if it has a Continuous Effect.
Crossout Designator insanely flexible: since it activates at Spell Speed 2, you can chain it in response to your opponent's play and negate almost anything. You can't activate it in response to a Counter Trap, since its Spell Speed isn't high enough. But there could be a scenario where you play Crossout Designator preemptively to banish a copy of a Counter Trap that you think your opponent has set, like Solemn Judgment or Solemn Strike, and then play your cards freely.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
In most cases though, players will be using Crossout Designator in response to Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring or Nibiru, the Primal Being. Those are the most popular hand traps you're likely to see in current competition, and they can often end your turn entirely.
But that all changes October 1st when the Tins arrive. Crossout Designator is infinitely better than Called by the Grave because it's one of the few cards that can easily negate Nibiru, the Primal Being - something that Called by the Grave often can't do. That's going to make combo decks tougher to beat, since combo players will have a strong out to one of the biggest factors holding combo strategies in check.
If you follow competition in Asia's OCG, Crossout Designator been played as a 3-of in every combo deck since it was released. And for good reason: it makes a big difference, helping those decks win more games in Japanese metagames.
But alongside Crossout Designator, they've also adapted and come to build their decks differently. Because Crossout Designator negate any hand trap, it becomes redundant to play multiple copies of cards like Nibiru, the Primal Being, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion, PSY-Framegear Gamma, and so on. If those cards are going to be negated anyways, why bother playing multiple copies: not only do those cards become the worst topdecks on your following turn on an individual basis, but drawing more than one is even rougher. On top of that, they won't help you have more consistent starting hands to help you build your combos when you get to go first.
And that's not the end of it. Crossout Designator can also negate the effects of monsters on the field, spell cards, trap cards, you name it! Literally, if it's in your deck, you can banish your copy to negate your opponent's.
Imagine playing any form of a mirror match: Crossout Designator will negate anything you want! It's really easy to negate key cards like Shaddoll Fusion or Nadir Servant as long as you have a copy in your deck.
Alterntively, imagine you've finished comboing off and you know your full field can only be broken by a single card like Dark Ruler No More. Good thing you also kept a copy in your deck, and you have Crossout Designator! Just negate Dark Ruler No More in response, and suddenly your field is a total lock.
Crossout Designator became so oppressive that it was announced to be Semi-Limited in the OCG, with their upcoming Advanced Format changes taking effect October 1st. That change is coming after two years of play in Asian region tournaments. I wonder if we'll see a similar pattern here in the TCG.
There's only so much you can do to dodge Crossout Designator, at least right now. But when your opponent is going first and uses Crossout Designator against you, you do have a few answers.
First, since this is one of the few unique cards that asks you to "declare a card name" upon activation, Engraver of the Mark may finally have its time to shine. You can discard Engraver of the Mark in response to Crossout Designator and change whatever your opponent declares to something else. Imagine this:
When the chain resolves, the Drytron player will lose their one copy of Cyber Angel Benten, and they'll lose the effect of Diviner of the Herald to Effect Veiler. That could be devastating.
Engraver of the Mark was reprinted in Genesis Impact not too long ago. While it doesn't have much in common with the themes featured in that set, besides being a Spellcaster like the Magistus cards, it's definitely possible it was placed in case Crossout Designator was released; it hadn't been reprinted since the 2016 Mega-Tins, and as a low profile common it wasn't always easy to track down. I find that pretty amusing, that Konami may have been thinking almost a full year ahead.
You can also respond to Crossout Designator with Artifact Lancea, or anything else that stops a player from banishing from their deck, such as Imperial Iron Wall. While Artifact Lancea can only be used on your opponent's turn, it would help compliment your other hand traps in case the opponent does use their copy of Crossout Designator.
Remember when Called by the Grave was at three? I remember those days and I even played Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion at the time, just because it was flexible, and helped compliment my other hand traps like Effect Veiler or Ash Blossom, since those cards are vulnerable to Called by the Grave. Artifact Lancea could fall into a similar role, since it's a decent card in the right matchup, and Crossout Designator bound to be extremely popular.
However, I must reiterate that Artifact Lancea only works on your opponent's turn. On your turn, it won't help you against a set Crossout Designator.
Lastly of course is PSY-Framegear Delta. Similar to the other more popular PSY-Framegear Gamma, PSY-Framegear Delta negates any spell that activates so long as you control no monsters or PSY-Framelord Lambda. PSY-Framegear Delta pretty generic since almost every deck plays some number of spell cards, so it might not be too long before we're all running a variety of Psy-Frames in our decks.
Well, they've finally done it. I can't wait to get a playset of Crossout Designator, and after all these years I'm really eager to play it and experience what OCG players have been working with. But wait, Crossout Designator was one of the few major differences we have between OCG and the TCG. It makes you reflect: one of the cards Crossout Designator helped keep in check in the OCG is Maxx "C"!
Now that we have Crossout Designator, I really wonder if we'll finally see Maxx "C" unbanned, or if we'll see Called by the Grave off the Limited list. I remember that one of the biggest complaints players had about Maxx "C" was how there was so little counterplay to it.
While I do enjoy our current TCG format, sometimes I miss seeing Maxx "C" and those luck based moments it created. One of the thoughts I have is: "What if Maxx "C" was limited again under Crossout Designator release?" If it was Limited, and a player had to use Crossout Designator to banish their only copy of Maxx "C" to negate their opponent's, then the card's no longer a factor for either player, which could be fair.
Then again, that situation wouldn't happen all the time, and someone will inevitably win a game because they resolved Maxx "C" when they were in a winning position. But it's an interesting thought exercise.
Overall, Crossout Designator will be a game-defining card, and is a must-have in any sort of combo deck. It'll boost all sorts of combo strategies, especially those that were particularly vulnerable to Nibiru, the Primal Being before. It may make the top decks even stronger.