Duel Devastator arrived last week with a fresh set of reprints, alternative arts, and a bunch of rarity bumps for historically competitive picks.
I tend to rate reprint sets by their ability to deliver significant secondary market price cuts – rarity bumps and alternative arts are largely a bonus. And DUDE absolutely crushed secondary market prices for must-play cards, even bringing the near-staple Saryuja Skull Dread down below $2. Atthe time of this writing there's only a single card in the set above $5, expectedly the new art for Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, with SuperPolymerization trailing it by at least $2.
Thanks to DUDE's excellent reprints it's the perfect time to pick up singles for the new format. The freshly-reprinted hand traps are all available in one set for the first time, and Saryuja Skull Dread's an obvious must-have for everyone who's even thinking of picking up aLink-heavy strategy. You could feasibly buy dozens of cards from the TCGplayer Marketplace without coming close to the price of a single Saryuja two months ago, and while Infinite Impermanence is noticeably missing from the line-up there are still plenty of important tech cards to choose from.
So what are the best reprints of Duel Devastator? Which cards are must-haves, and which ones are sliding under the radar? Let's talk aboutthe best singles in the set, and the ones you'll absolutely want to pick up for the new format.
New Format, Same Challenges
Hand traps remain an essential part of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! despite the recent changes to the Forbidden & Limited List. Even with Knightmare Mermaid gone the threat of Orcusts live on, and combo decks in general still exist outside of Orcusts and Guardragons. Cards like Ash Blossom& Joyous Spring, Effect Veiler, Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, andArtifact Lancea are powerful tools to keep yourself in the game against explosive strategies, and they're all available in Duel Devastator. That said, most of those cards were already available as Commons in other sets. These particularly reprints aren't a huge draw for budget players unless you're chasing new arts or rarities.
Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion already had a reprint this year inDuel Power, but its new art in DUDE cut its price in half again. Aplayset of Ghost Belle will set you back less than $10 – a reasonable change from a month ago when a playset cost twice as much. At that priceit's hard not to give an immediate recommendation: at some point in the future Ghost Belle will be the go-to hand trap for multiple match-ups.
Even today Ghost Belle is a great pick against Orcusts and works as an alternative to D.D. Crow in other match-ups. It's a neat tech card that can counter Called by the Grave or another banish effect your opponent controls, and it saw a ton of action at YCS Ft. Worth. It's well-worth picking up ahead of time even as Orcusts are potentially losing steam afterMermaid's ban.
Super Polymerization has been a defining card in 2019's competitive scene, and it's apparently sticking around for at least another format free of restriction. The boss-killing, board-breaking, unchainable removal spell also got a welcome reprint in Duel Devastator for anyone who hasn't yet managed to pick up a playset.
Super Polymerization's last reprint was five years ago, so it's understandable that you might not have kept a copy from theCyber Dragon Revolution Structure Deck. Even when SuperPolymerization was moved to the Limited List its price never truly skyrocketed to unattainable heights, but even last month the lowest rarity print could have cost you around $30 for a playset. Today that same playset will cost less than half that.
The aggressive power of Super Polymerization is a perfect contrast with the abundance of hand traps in Duel Devastator. It's still a strong pick even if you're only countering Dark strategies with Starving VenomFusion Dragon. The new Predaplant Triphyoverutum lets you fuse three of your opponent's monsters and comes with an excellent Summon negation effect along with outstanding stats.
Summoning Triphyoverutum is a game-winning move that's nearly impossible to come back from, and if you have the Extra Deck space it's worth considering. Outside of Dark strategies you'll still see plenty of ThunderDragon players making waves in the new format, and with a little help from a teched Dark extender you can turn your opponent's Fusion Monster into a Predaplant Dragostapelia.
Speaking of aggressive removal, would you believe that virtually all prints of Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju have been above $5 despite its three reprints? Duel Devastator finally brought what's perhaps the best Kaiju in the game down to about $1, which vastly drops the price of a playset. Kaijus received some love this year when Interrupted Kaiju Slumber returned to the Unlimited List, and Gameciel is incredibly well positioned this format as a solid piece of removal that's easily capitalized on withDangers or Mekk-Knights.
It's probably overkill to discuss the benefits of tributing your opponent's monsters, just don't sleep on Kaijus because Nibiru exists. There are advantages to both cards, and Gameciel fits a certain aggressive role that isn't being served right now outside of Mind Control. It's also uniquely positioned to offline your opponent's one copy of Sky Striker Mecha - WidowAnchor.
Denko Sekka's last reprint was two years ago, but thanks toDuel Devastator it's now more accessible than ever if you're looking to pick up a playset. Control strategies are always expected to surge into the vacuum created when combo decks are hit by the F&L List, and Denko Sekka is easily one of the best Side Deck picks for those match-ups.
Any deck that can afford to give up its Normal Summon can leverage Denko's backrow-nullifying effect. Its impact in the new format will probably be similar to what we've seen of it for most of this year. It's an impressiveSide Deck tech for Thunder Dragons and a handful of other strategies, but it's hard to tell if it'll actually see significantly more play.Unfortunately Denko isn't terribly impressive against Subterrors, but it makes up for that by being a solid choice in other match-ups.
More Side Deck Cards For Future Formats
Spell Canceller is one of my favorite reprints in Duel Devastator if only because its last reprint was in 2005. That's right: Spell Canceller was last printed fourteen years ago in Dark Revelations Volume 1, long before majority-spell themes like Spellbooks and Sky Strikers came into existence.
Spell Canceller was always a specialized Side Deck pick for those match-ups, and it was typically dwarfed in effectiveness by Naturia Beast.However, there's something to be said for Spell Canceller's floodgate effect – chiefly that it's continuous, so Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit can't destroy it directly. Most strategies can't Synchro Summon Naturia Beast, and Anti-Spell Fragrance has its own set of downsides. SpellCanceller's a great alternative for a narrow band of decks that have sufficient tribute fodder, and its new price tag makes picking up a playseta shoe-in for any order of singles.
Inspector Boarder had a reprint last year, but a playset would have stillcost you more than $40 back in August. Today Inspector Boarder is under $1,which means plenty of would-be control players are finally able to pick upthree copies at an absurdly low cost. Boarder's still an excellent techchoice for slowing down the pace of the duel, although Mystic Mine andThere Can Be Only One are typically more important floodgates these days.It doesn't necessarily have a home at the moment, but that could change ina hurry.
I'm a fan of Tornado Dragon's reprint here even if it's not a three-of like many of the other cards we've talked about so far. It wasn't expensive, but it's even cheaper now thanks to Duel Devastator. I'll take a $3price drop when I can get it, especially for one of the few remaining staple Rank 4s. If your deck is doing any Rank 4 Xyz Summons you'll at least want to consider Tornado Dragon, and personally I'm a big fan of playing it in decks where I'm also maining or siding Mind Control orCrackdown.
Accessibility matters most at the local level, but it can also impactRegional outcomes by giving more budget-minded players a pathway to idealbuilds. Yes, Championship-level players typically aren't too concerned about the price of their decks, especially if they're taking a plane to anevent, but the vast majority of duelists attending local events just want to be able to get their hands on optimal tech choices.Duel Devastator did a fantastic job bringing playsets of highly competitive cards into budget range, while also providing something new forthe player that already has everything.
I would have loved to see Infinite Impermanence, Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay, and Gnomaterial see reprints in DUDE to cap it off as perhaps the best reprint set we've ever had. Understandably that didn't happen, but Phantazmay's omission in particular is a little worrying. It's extremely popular right now and plays exceptionally well with hand traps, so its price point is a bit exclusive. Of course, serious competitors won't – and shouldn't – be deterred, but it's definitely a stretch for budget players.That said, Phantazmay isn't a staple of any kind, and the batch of reprint shere is more than enough to carry the set.
I highly recommend jumping on these deals while they're fresh. There's no telling which cards might skyrocket back up in price as the format moves on, and most of them can't possibly go any lower anyways. Now is the best possible time to arm yourself for the new format by adding some of the game's best tech cards to your arsenal.
Until next time then