Outside of World Premier cards that debut in the TCG, the Asian region's OCG has a monopoly introducing new booster sets and most new cards.Meanwhile here in the TCG we're left trying to figure out when cards are coming to our version of the game. Normally that's not too difficult; at the very least, the 80 cards released in any OCG core set will be released in the TCG roughly three months later. So there's always some consistency in what's coming and what's not.

Of course, there are some anomalies: one of the biggest was the exclusion of Crystron Needlefiber from any TCG set for literally years, and even weirder things like Korea being the only region not to get Gorz, Emissary of the Afterlife for months. But seeing number 1 through number 80 on anOCG set code reliably means TCG players can get prepared for imminent releases.

If you've blinked in the last few weeks, or heaven forbid you spent time with family and friends instead of refreshing your browser, you probably missed some of the new cards announced for the upcoming booster set Eternity Code. While you can still hold your breath for the tenWorld Premier cards and the ten OCG imports, rest assured that these cards will be available in April, or worst case, early May.

Just like a yet-to-be-unveiled release date, keep in mind all the names here are fanlations, where people have used their best guesses via context and translation to give us a TCG English name. Several years later I'm still not sure if Toadally Awesome is a better name than Tradetoad. But either way, there's a ton to analyze from Eternity Codeand a handful of cards piqued my interest.

Traps In The Hand, On The Field, Under Your Feet
Evening Crescent & Autumn Showerdidn't wow me upon my first reading, because it's so similar to other cards, Infinite Impermanence and Effect Veiler just to name a couple.Negating the effect of one monster is powerful, and Evening Crescent has the added bonus of dealing damage if that monster leaves the field.

Whether the monster's destroyed in battle, removed by a card effect or even sent to the graveyard for a Link Summon... it's nice to burn your opponent for a bit of extra damage in a crucial situation. But the real advantageEvening Crescent has over its closest rival of Effect Veiler iswhen you can use it. While Veiler doesn't need a Special Summon to activate, it's hampered by your opponent's Main Phase, whileEvening Crescent & Autumn Showeris most certainly not!

Its Type and Attribute can be useful too, and it's a Tuner, but duelists will add it to their arsenal as the game shifts because it fulfills a role that other cards simply don't right now. While Evening Crescent may not see big play when everyone's summoning Scrap Recycler on their first turn –Effect Veiler wins out there – having Evening Crescent to shut down things in the battle phase and on your turn is a weapon you'll need to watch out for.


And while there are plenty of traps in the hand to go around, keep in mind we're still getting traps and trap adjacent cards that you actually have to place on the field. Trap tricks get more support inTraptrix Allomerusand it'll be a key player for Traptrix monsters when you've played them to the field and subsequently need to recycle them, but take a look at the other side of trap strategies that aren't Traptrix.

Finding room in Lair of Darkness and trap centered strategies, we haveMalice, Lady of Lamentwhich recycles your traps for the mere cost of any two monsters, and at the spell speed of a Quick Effect. I mention Traptrix and Lair of Darkness in the same breath because they both focus heavily on Traps, both leveragingTrap Trick and a bevy of Normal Monsters, and both often have extra monsters on the field. Whether it be Lair of Darkness Tokens or a randomTraptrix Myrmelio left over from other plays, trading away the chaff means recycling traps that are Limited or used up.

Furthermore, Malice Lady of Lament also lets you get to banishedTraps, meaning Trap Trick wasting one of your precious copies of a powerful trap isn't as much of a waste anymore! What better way to celebrate those trap flavored decks than by giving us a new Hole Normal Trap card too, one that works just as well on its own as it does with old picks like TraptrixRafflesia.

So the newest "Hole" Normal Trap is Grave Hole, negating monster effects that happen everywhere except the field, and on top of that your opponent takes a bunch of damage. The Trap decks can rejoice with another insanely powerful card at their disposal, blocking monsters from pretty much any place your opponent tries to use them.

Real Themes, Real Cards
Don't get me wrong, the cards mentioned above are great toolbox cards for arsenals big and small, but the real draws from Eternity Code are tied to specific themes, some new and some old. We're getting a lot of new boss monsters and new theme-stamped powerhouses.

Though my tenure with Invoked was short, I'm ready to play the deck again once Master Rule 5 lets us field multiple Fusions without Links. WhileInvoked certainly has had good Light Fusions in Invoked Mechaba and InvokedElysium, there's always been some setup or preparation to use either of those monsters effectively. Enter Invoked Augoeides, popping monsters when it hits the field or whenever an opponent's monster comes out. Even if youonly have Light monsters to work with, now you have a proactive and preemptive option!

Speaking of monsters that boost entire themes,Loptr, Shadow of the Generaider Bossworks whether you want to play pure Generaiders, or your deck just desperately needs to see one Generaider early in the duel. For the price of one Generaider monster - and of course, Loptr is a Generaider itself - youSpecial Summon a Level 9 Generaider from your deck.

If you're lazy like me and don't want to play underwater 4-dimensional chess just to summon your boss monster, Loptr's a real breath of fresh air.And being able to tribute itself on either turn, Loptr means you can run niche Generaiders in both pure Generaider decks and strategies that don't focus on Generaider monsters. For example, consider the new Hoarr, Generaider Boss of Rumbling.

While you, me, and everyone you meet probably want that name to change, the effect is really good for such a splashable card. Hoarr can pick apart your opponent's monsters when they get overly greedy and add cards from their deck to their hand on top of stopping cards or effects by just tributing monsters away!


Lastly, and arguably my favorite of Eternity Code, we haveArchnemesis Eskatos. For starters, any big monsters that you can summon by banishing stuff in your graveyard has a special place in my heart. Graveyard manipulation opens up a Pandora's Box of possibilities, not least of which is combopotential with Giant Rex, Orbital Hydralander, and Black Luster Soldier -Envoy of the Evening Twilight.

With 3000 ATK,Archnemesis Eskatosis clearly a powerhouse in its own right, but its effect to nuke the field is just casually mentioned halfway through the card. Raigeki was Forbidden for what seemed like a millenia, and Tribe-Infecting Virus is stillForbidden, butArchnemesis Eskatosis fine? It obviously has restrictions and takes some setup, but it works as both a combo piece, board wipe, andgeneric-time-to-kill-all-your-monsters-and-you're-dead boss monster.

What I liked most about Eternity Code is the plethora of splashable cards, and the ones listed above are just some of the many we already know of in ETCO. I'm not one to shy away from the newest strategies, but whenever there's new support for old strategies, I'm 100%on board. It seems like every other card previewed so far can be used in forward-thinking strategies, as well as buffing decks that sorely needed a boost!

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, hoping one day to run in5th Congressional District on the platform of "Fabled Link Monsters forEveryone." You can find him on Twitter or building a bonfire in his backyard to attract the local wildlife for an audience with his ukulele. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 56 seconds, Loukas is always looking at expanding his backyard to house every dog in the world without a home.Well, and those with homes already.