Welcome back! Last week marked the official release of Legendary Duelists: Rage of Ra, bringing with it a wealth of new cards for Meklords, Jinzo, and two different versions of The Winged Dragon of Ra (Ghost Rare) with new support.
The biggest surprise with Rage of Ra might not be that reveal of The Winged Dragon of Ra (Ghost Rare) a few weeks ago. Instead, it might be that people are actually playing these decks. I think when Duelists of Gloom first dropped in the OCG, the TCG counterpart was branded nostalgia territory exclusively; the entire set got relegated to the casual bucket pretty fast. But the Ghost Rare announcement brought collectors in hard and fast, and with so few events being run under COVID, even many tournament players are open to trying something new and fun.
We're not going to see The Winged Dragon of Ra sweeping tournaments any time soon, but players are vying to make the deck as competitive as they can, more than most of us expected. A big part of that is the accessibility of the set: because the Ghost Rare carries so much value vendors are basically dumping the rest of the release at a discount, leaving only three other cards north of 10 dollars: Ancient Chant, Egyptian God Slime and the other The Winged Dragon of Ra (Alternate Art). Literally everything else is 2 bucks or less.
You can see the tale of the tape in our Rage of Ra Price Guide. If you want to build a Jinzo deck it's totally affordable – Crush Cards dropped a build that's about 40 bucks – and Meklords aren't far behind. Even if you want to go full Ra and take the Egyptian god card for a spin, the bulk of the value's in the Extra Deck, plus high-value staples like Triple Tactics Talent and Infinite Impermanence. You can skip those if you want. You may have them already. But either way, the essential theme-stamped cards you need are cheap.
So with one week of the release under our belts, what cards ended up on top? Eight picks from Rage of Ra made the Top 10, while two big staples from the 2020 Tin of Lost Memories managed to survive. Let's see how the cards fell.
Psychic Bounder an Elemental HERO Stratos for Jinzo, that also searches Jinzo support, and also also interferes with your opponent's attacks. Psychic Bounder kind of crazy in a vacuum, and if you were cryogenically frozen in 2007 and thawed out today, I imagine it would be pretty confusing that this card even exists.
As it stands though, Psychic Bounder largely exists to search Law of the Cosmos so you can spit out a Jinzo for almost-free. And since you can only activate one copy per turn, Psychic Bounder often just run at 2 copies. The card's performance really varies according to your opponent's deck, a problem that comes up elsewhere in the Jinzo theme. Still, all of that was enough to land Psychic Bounder at Number 10, thanks in part to its 50 cent price point.
Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess was a tremendously hot card the moment it released, and it's been a best seller since the 2020 Tins brought its value down out of the stratosphere. While Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess appearing again in Maximum Gold, that set's been pushed back to November and the delay's helped sustain demand for the tin version.
There was a time when Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess cost over 100 dollars, but now that it's 10 bucks anybody can own it, and its sheer versatility in numerous decks has kept it strong on secondary.
Back on the Jinzo side of the fence, Law of the Cosmos lets your opponent have a free card they might not even have in their deck, in exchange for letting you search and Special Summon a monster that will then blank the free card you gave them anyways. I'd like to think that somewhere, there's someone who doesn't know what any of these cards do, having a conversation like this…
"I activate Law of the Cosmos to let you set a trap card straight from your deck."
"Woah, really? Why?"
"It lets me Special Summon Jinzo."
"Oh cool, what's Jinzo do?"
"Jinzo negates all trap cards."
And then the other guy just stares.
Let's be real, most decks are going to be setting Infinite Impermanence, at least in Game 1. Or nothing, forcing the Law's secondary effect instead. Either way, this card's a must-run at three for a Jinzo build. And again, it's Rage of Ra we're talking about, so it costs about as much as a stick of gum.
The most expensive card on the list, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is still packing 'em in and will likely return to a higher spot on the list by next week, as the demand for Rage of Ra slows. There's not a ton to say at this point: Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon an incredible card that goes in any deck that can run it – which is most of them – and it appears to be creeping up a few bucks. It makes almost any deck more competitive, but since that applies to the decks that were already winning anyways it's almost sort of a wash.
The highest value Meklord card in Rage of Ra, Meklord Astro Dragon Triskelion clocks in at a whopping 67 cents. While it takes some legwork to get it into play, the Meklord Astro Dragon Triskelion harasses your opponent's Extra Deck by stealing a key card and then beating their face in with it, and if your opponent plays even a single Synchro Monster Meklord Astro Dragon Triskelion becomes a potentially game-winning threat.
I think demand for this card will die down pretty quick, but it clearly has an audience of 5Ds fans and Meklord devotees.
Guardian Slime makes Egyptian God Slime hugely viable in a The Winged Dragon of Ra deck, where summoning it is as easy as making Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion or Saryuja Skull Dread, dropping Performage Trick Clown to the graveyard, and using the damage from the Performage Trick Clown to Special Summon Guardian Slime from your hand. From there you sack off Guardian Slime for Egyptian God Slime, fetch Ancient Chant with Guardian Slime effect, and use it to tribute the Egyptian God Slime for The Winged Dragon of Ra.
There isn't much that matches the efficiency of that in the Ra strategy, especially since the plays you make along the way often bring other monsters into the mix, like Predaplant Verte Anaconda and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. Egyptian God Slime pricy at $25, but most builds only need one copy, so demand was strong all week long.
The first The Winged Dragon of Ra reveal from Duelists of Gloom in the OCG, Blaze Cannon fell by the wayside in the competition-oriented builds I've seen, but it still packs a ton of nostalgic flair. Blaze Cannon set up to mimic the off-card abilities of The Winged Dragon of Ra, and the promise of all those powers hits just right when having fun and doing crazy stuff is your highest priority. At 80 cents people are just grabbing them.
The first effect of Jinzo the Machine Menace might not be relevant all the time – after all, how many trap cards do you really want to play in your Jinzo deck? But if it works it's awesome, leading into a Tribute effect that unleashes a Jinzo from your hand or graveyard and demolishes – or at least reveals – your opponent's backrow.
The way Jinzo the Machine Menace sort of scales depending on the composition of your opponent's deck is similar to how Psychic Bounder performs, and that variability is one of the big factors that keeps Jinzo from being reliable. But as an old school update for a fan-favorite? It's unique, with an impressive power ceiling under the right conditions.
At 2 bucks a pop, a ton of people bought in.
Millennium Revelation isn't appearing in many of the Winged Dragon of Ra(The Winged Dragon of Ra) decks that are optimized for competition; decks like the one Sam offered are much more interested in weaving Ra's summon into a bigger sequence of plays, and the difference between a temporary The Winged Dragon of Ra off Monster Reborn, and a permanent one boosted by 3000 ATK with Egyptian God Slime and Ancient Chant is huge.
But the sheer ease of Millennium Revelation is massively attractive, and the fact that it leans so old school makes it resonate. Again, this card's insanely cheap at 90 cents a copy, and I think a lot of players are just grabbing cards because if you're not sure what to run, you might as well snag anything and everything that's this affordable. It's literally just hedging your bets against future shipping costs.
The Winged Dragon of Ra may not be the new deck-to-beat this format, but the enthusiasm for it is definitely reaching beyond the collector's market. We've seen several creators playing optimized The Winged Dragon of Ra decks lately, lots of people are interested in the deck just because it's cool, and there are many different ways to build it. There may be correct builds of particular decks in eras with lots of competitive events, but in the time of COVID-19 it's even more tempting to just throw your personal stamp on a strategy, and The Winged Dragon of Ra lets you do that.
But the one thing we're seeing across the wide spread of builds, is that Ancient Chant is a must-run as your key starter. You really want to see it early to get to The Winged Dragon of Ra in the first place, and from there it gives you that extra Tribute Summon you often need to set up the strategy, plus that ATK and DEF replacement effect. Triple Guardian Slime lets you search Ancient Chant consistently, and while Ancient Chant is arguably more important, the Ancient Chant 20 dollars while Guardian Slime just a couple of bucks.
We clearly saw a mix of Winged Dragon hopefuls that were willing to buy their copies of Guardian Slime now and hold out for a deal on Ancient Chant later, as well as collectors and speculators locking in their purchases early. Those buyer groups made Guardian Slime the Number 1 best-selling Yu-Gi-Oh card on TCGplayer this week.
That was a long one! With Structure Deck: Spirit Charmers delayed until November and no new releases slated for October, Rage of Ra may prove to have longer legs than expected. We'll see what the long-term demand looks like next week, but stick with us here on Infinite this weekend, because we'll be bringing you more videos plus a can't-miss article from Dan Parker.
See you next week!