Today I'm giving Jason a break from doing Set Reviews. Premium Gold is a brand new set featuring over 30 Japanese imports from the OCG. There's a shiny new rarity and a bunch of cool monsters, spells, and traps. Today I want to look at the highlights of the import material, going over both competitively viable and locally interesting cards. Of course, I can't possibly talk about every card in the set, so don't feel bad if I miss your favorite.

Without further ado, let's jump right into our Premium Gold Set Review!

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The Gimmick Puppet archetype is really, really confusing, and unfortunately nobody in my friend group plays them so I had to figure out how they operated on my own. Their main goal is pushing out Rank 8's like Number 15: Gimmick Puppet Giant Grinder, Number 40: Gimmick Puppet of Strings, and Number 88: Gimmick Puppet of Leo. From there you can do some Rank-Up-Magic shenanigans. The hard part's actually getting out those Rank 8's. Gimmick Puppet Dreary Doll is really good in that it's a free +1 from the graveyard that you don't have to put any effort into. The main ways to get it in the grave are Gimmick Puppet Scissor Arms, Trade-In, and Armageddon Knight. From there you pair Dreary Doll with any other Level 8 or Gimmick Puppet Gear Changer.

So are Gimmick Puppets competitive? That's debatable. They suffer from some risky cards and potentially dead draws, but have a suite of awesome tricks up their sleeves. In a few weeks I'll be showing you guys my own build for Gimmick Puppets, and then you can decide for yourselves whether they're worth the time and effort. Regardless, Dreary Doll's arguably one of the best Effect Monsters the deck has to offer, and it's an auto-in for any Gimmick Puppet strategy.

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I'd just like to take this moment to personally thank Konami for changing the artwork on Gimmick Puppet Shadow Feeler. If you don't know what it looks like in the OCG I'd highly suggest keeping it that way.

Seriously, don't google it. I'm telling you this for your own good.

In terms of Shadow Feeler's effectiveness, it's another huge reason to run Gimmick Puppets. Getting both Shadow Feeler and Dreary Doll in the graveyard is critical to jumpstarting your combos. Shadow Feeler isn't the best card in the world, but as a Special Summonable Level 8 for almost no cost it's pretty darn good.

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Dynatherium's the last basic Effect Monster I want to touch on. It's essentially a better version of Gilasaurus. Dynatherium's main advantage is that it's a Level 4 Wind monster, making up half of Lightning Chidori's requirements. Is it better than just using Instant Fusion for Mavelus? Probably not. But it definitely has some potential down the road.

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We don't usually get new Fusion Monsters, and when we do they're usually just long-overdue imports from Japan that aren't good for anything outside of Instant Fusion. Dragonecro Nethersoul Dragon takes that norm and completely shatters it. Not only is Dragonecro easy to bring out but it's also ridiculously powerful in the right situations. If you misread its effect, don't worry, so did I. Basically, Dragonecro can't destroy anything in battle. That kind of sucks, but your opponent still takes damage. After it battles with something, you reduce that monster's ATK to 0 and then Special Summon a token mirroring the Level and ATK of that monster.

This means you can crash into any monster below 3000 ATK, get a Token, and then attack over the monster that you've now reduced to 0 ATK. That's amazing. What's even cooler, though, is you technically don't have to use the token to attack the monster you copied. You can do silly things like crash into a 2800 monster, steal its stats, and then attack over a 2600 ATK monster.

Oh and yeah, it doesn't even target the opponent's monster with its effect.

I'm going to talk a lot about Dragonecro in Monday's Low Key, but for now let me tell you that you can get out Dragonecro in two simple ways. First of all you can banish Zombies with Dragon's Mirror. Summoning Dragonecro as a 1-for-1 and then nabbing +1's all over the place is sweet. Alternatively you can play Zombie World and Super Polymerization to use your opponent's monsters as Fusion Materials. It's totally evil, and that's why it's so freaking good. Check out my build on Monday to see what I mean!

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One of the cooler additions of Premium Gold is the new versions of the Signer Dragons. Power Tool Mecha Dragon is obviously the darker version of Leo's Power Tool Dragon. It's not necessarily better than the original, but if you're already playing a deck with Power Tool Dragon I see no reason not to tech a copy of its retrained version.

Power Tool Dragon's good when you don't already have Equip Spells, but Mecha Dragon excels when you're stuck with a bunch in hand. Over the course of a few turns you'll be able to streamline a steady flow of +1's, and that might be worth taking a look at should Equip Spells get a tad more useful in the future.

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It's probably the wrong time for Ancient Pixie Dragon to really shine, but holy crap it would've been good two formats ago with Dragon Ravine running around everywhere. For now, it'll pretty much just go in any deck already playing Field Spells.

Like Mecha Dragon, Pixie Dragon can score you easy pluses for doing things you're already doing. However, Pixie Dragon has the added benefit of just popping monsters for free as long as you have a Field Spell. That's a +2 that makes up for the probable -1 you took to Synchro Summon Pixie Dragon in the first place. If you didn't minus to make it, you're looking at a clean +3. I wouldn't be surprised if Pixie Dragon eventually finds the right home and does some serious damage.

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This Black-Winged Dragon remake is generally viewed as the worst of the new Signed Dragons, but I feel it still has potential. Played in a Monster Mash strategy using only monsters in the Main Deck would mean that every time you take damage Darkrage Dragon shoots up another 2000 ATK. Something as basic as crashing a Mystic Tomato to Special Summon Armageddon Knight and put Darkrage Dragon up to 4800 ATK sounds really cool. I hope somebody finds a way to fit Darkrage Dragon into a deck, but I'm not sure it'll be me.

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Every once in a while a card's revealed that makes you question whether it's real or not, and Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons is one of those cards. I don't think it's quite as good as people necessarily thought it would be, because Number 101: Silent Honor ARK gets rid of it, but it's still really, really powerful. You can just sit on a defense position Beelze until the cows come home. It can also do silly things like get over Leo, Keeper of the Sacred Tree and Obelisk the Tormentor.

Beelze is currently the most expensive import card of Premium Gold, but will it stay that way? I think it just might. It's one of the cards that keep Infernity decks playable after Infernity Barrier got hit to Limited status, and I wouldn't be surprised if it tops some big events this format.

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Yes! Number 82: Heartlandraco's extremely useful in a variety of decks that keep face-up spells on the field at all times. Crystal Beasts, Rock Stun, and a bunch of other themes all benefit from this release. Mid to late game this thing is an absolute monster in Crystal Beasts specifically, often ending games much sooner than expected.

I'm overjoyed that this was one of the OCG imports in this set.

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Number 13: Embodiment of Crime and Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment are kind of annoying, to be totally honest. With both of them on the field you basically can't Summon any monsters without fear of taking a giant amount of damage to the face.

The big problem that Crime and Punishment decks have is a weakness to Evilswarm Exciton Knight. You're usually going to play these things in decks that use Mystic Piper, and that means you're going to have a lot of card advantage. Crime and Punishment can't really do anything if they don't survive until the Battle Phase. All in all, though, I think they're solid Rank 1's and throwing them in a normal Mystic Piper deck could be beneficial.

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Oh hey, Gimmick Puppets get a Monster Reborn! There isn't really a reason not to play three Junk Puppets in any Gimmick Puppet deck. It has zero cost and helps facilitate Xyz Summons. This set has been very kind to Gimmick Puppets, to say the least.

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…And out of nowhere we get Gagaga support! Gagaga Academy Emergency Network gives Gagaga's the boost that they've needed for a long time. It's an instant line to Gagaga Magician and Gagaga Caesar, and I'm sure Gagaga players everywhere are rejoicing. Will it be enough to give Gagaga's a breakthrough showing in a big event? Maybe. If a better than average duelist takes a solid build into competition it might be more achievable than ever before. Only time will tell, though.

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This is hands down my favorite card of the set. It's so freaking cute. Like, look at the little ghosty faces. I really want to find a deck to play this in where it won't be entirely useless, but so far I've had no luck. All I know is that the artwork is beautiful and for that reason alone I want to collect as many as possible.

That rounds out our Set Review! Today we took a look at almost half the new cards from Premium Gold, but if I skipped any of your favorites or you wanted to add your own thoughts please feel free to do so down in the Comment section. Are you going to buy Premium Gold? There's a ton of good cards there, new stuff and reprints, and it seems like an overwhelmingly good decision to pick up a few packs.

-Doug Zeeff
Article Aftermath #42