New artwork for Number 39: Utopia, Princess Cologne support, and a Starlight Rare upgrade for one of product-hover id="XXXXX". A long-awaited reprint for Evil HERO Malicious Bane, a bevy of Kuribohs… that's just some of the stuff you'll find in product-hover id="243710", which quickly turned out to be a strong candidate for the title of Yu-Gi-Oh's Most Eclectic Set Ever.

Never say never, but this is one of the strangest piles of cards I've ever seen in a non-core booster set. Sometimes, sets like these are chimeric creations made up of cards from several different packs, Structures, and promo printings. But this one pushes it to a new level: product-hover id="243710" really looks like a grab bag of randomness.

There are several cards you'd think might be at the top of everyone's list, but just because something is new and shiny doesn't mean everybody wants it. I'm personally excited about Speedroid Scratch, especially with all the new Speedroid support in Synchro Storm, but I think most people are overlooking Speedroids entirely.

In fact, every time I took a crack at making today's list, I found something else I wanted to put on it, including a stunning number of amazing reprints. My personal Top 10 list leans toward the cheaper side of the scale, but regardless of price tag, we're about to see a bunch of cards surge in popularity.

#10 Right-Hand Shark & Left-Hand Shark

Sharks have been around since the dawn of Yu-Gi-Oh, but the theme didn't really come together until Shark, Reginald Kastle, appeared in the ZEXAL anime. Even still, Gazer Shark from Primal Origin was the theme's key card, with an effect that triggered when it was banished from the graveyard. Not exactly a world-changing force.

Flash forward to 2021 before product-hover id="243710", and Shark decks were still lacking… there are an uncomfortable number of Shark monsters in the game, but most of them can hardly stay afloat on their own. Heck, Wind-Up Shark would still make anybody's list of the Top 5 Shark cards, and it's not even a part of the Shark theme… it just happens to have "Shark" in its name.

Right-Hand Shark and Left-Hand Shark change that; they're both powerful cards for any theme that focuses on Water Xyz, and they give Mermaid Shark actual good options to pull from the deck. We won't see Shark decks giving Tier 0 tournament performances anytime soon, but it's satisfying to finally get two of the best Shark cards in Yu-Gi-Oh lore, when the drought's been painfully long.

#9 Altergeist Pookuery

This one may be a few years too late.

Altergeists have been a control deck for roughly 100% of their tenure in the competitive scene. In the right situation, the Altergeist player can vomit most of their resources onto the board and make OTKs that genuinely feel like they came out of nowhere. But that's a testament to why you should play multiples of the Altergeist Link 2s instead of diversifying your Extra Deck "just in case."

I think in the eyes of competitive players, one of the biggest drawbacks to Altergeist is the lack of action. Personally, I'm a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh games that feel like drawn-out chess matches, but the decks that open with colossal combos on Turn 1 are alluring to many people… and that includes me, too. Maybe I'm just a sucker for this game.

The good news is that with Altergeist Pookuery effectively force-feeding you Link plays, it'll draw in skeptics that once saw Altergeists as too slow. Altergeist Memorygant and Altergeist Fijialert also encourage bigger, more adventurous moves, but Altergeist Pookuery really the spark that will ignite the flame. As such a pivotal card for a proven tournament deck you'd think it could've wound up higher on the list… but product-hover id="243710" is just so jam packed with cards that deserve your attention, including more than 60 that have never appeared in the TCG before.

Note that the effect of Altergeist Pookuery is written in the same way as Crusadia Arboria, meaning you can search it off of Witch of the Black Forest or Sangan and still use it as Link material from your hand. You won't get it back after you make your Link Summons, sure. But with enough searching and recursion, the benefits mitigate the downside.

#8 Wing Requital

We're creeping closer and closer to a near perfect replacement for Pot of Greed. There's a lot of fair debate over which Pot of Greed card is the best, but when new "draw 2" cards are appearing all the time, several of them are bound to be good stand-ins for the original +1 of card economy.

Iron Draw and Triple Tactics Talent are some of the closest comparisons, but even they have restrictions that mitigate their potential. The requirements for Wing Requital aren't complicated: you just need a couple different Winged Beasts on the field to give you the boost. The 600 Life Point cost is a moot point when it comes to free cards.

Is Wing Requital ridiculously broken for Winged Beast decks? I wouldn't go that far, but the payoff is pretty huge compared to the minimal downsides. It's pretty common to run Pot of Prosperity straight into Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and when that happens you lose a considerable chunk of your Extra Deck. Iron Draw a great +1, but it's a pretty narrow card and you won't often have the chance to play it.

If your deck puts Winged Beasts on the field, then Wing Requital can put in some serious work. Floowondereeze, Simorgh, Lyrilusc, Blackwing, Raidraptors, and Harpies all throw down multiple Winged Beasts as Step 1 of their key combos, so Wing Requital will often be absurdly easy to resolve.

#7 Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju


Don't you love it when the lowest rarity in a set is Ultra Rare?

The four most commonly used Kaijus are Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju, Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju, Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju, and Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju. There are different reasons to play each of them, and three of them have been printed as foils.

Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju was the odd one out, stuck as a rare across both of its printings, which is one of the worst rarities in the eyes of many. Thanks to BROL it now has an Ultra Rare printing, though it's slightly annoying that Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju has never been printed as more than a Super Rare, so you can't actually play all four at matching rarity.

Interrupted Kaiju Slumber got another printing too, but that card was already a Super Rare. Both cards are going to be popular, but the upgrade for Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju beats out Interrupted Kaiju Slumber in my mind.

#6 Lyrilusc - Bird Strike

Anthony wrote about three different Lyrilusc decks from Synchro Storm just a couple weeks ago, and I can say confidently the deck is now a functioning strategy. Stuck with just three Main Deck monsters for literally years, Lyriluscs didn't do much outside of their weird marriage with Tri-Brigrade, and their unfortunate pairing with the now-banned Supreme King Dragon Starving Venom.

Now, there are enough cards to build an actual deck, and more! Not every Lyrilusc deck will need every Lyriusc card, but Lyrilusc - Bird Strike another version of Dark Ruler No More. I've seen several going-second Lyrilusc decks that use Forbidden Droplet over Dark Ruler No More because it's more versatile and sends more cards to the graveyard - a good thing in this strategy - but the cheaper route is often the more popular one, especially since even the reprint of Forbidden Droplet is pushing $100 as of this writing.

There's not much more to say, especially since this card has barely any text, and nearly half of it is, "You can only activate 1 Lyrilusc - Bird Strike per turn." On the tails of Synchro Storm, I think lots of people will be picking this up… especially when the price drops post-release.

#5 The Kuriboh Brothers

Kuribabylon, Kuriboo, Kuribeh, Kuribah, Kuribee, and Five Star Twilight… those seven cards are a whole package, because you need all of them to function. Newer players who missed out on the Duel Monsters era might be confused about the Kuriboh Army, but these are some of the most requested anime cards of all time. While the effects were never explicitly stated in the show - they debuted in the Waking the Dragons arc - the real life release means we finally get to see text for them!

I think some of you can empathize with me when I say it was a travesty that we got Divine Serpent Geh before the Kuriboh Brothers.

There's no succinct way to describe this suite of cards that would give enough insight into each one individually. But in short, Five Star Twilight tributes a Level 5 monster to summon Kuriboo, a Kuribeh, a Kuribah, a Kuribee, and Kuriboh from your hand, deck, or graveyard. They all have nominal effects but can combine to summon Kuribabylon.

While it's a bummer that you have to run six monsters in your deck that you'd rather not draw, Five Star Twilight and Kuribabylon can at least pull those monsters from virtually anywhere. If you had to search them specifically from your deck, and you drew something like your lone Kuribeh, the deck would literally be unplayable.

In terms of competition , there are two main ways I can see the deck being played: first, with more Kuriboh cards, leaning into spells like Multiply for lots of Link plays; or two, integrated into a strategy that uses Level 5 monsters already, so that Five Star Twilight always live.

Don't knock it until you try it! A Lyrilusc - Ensemblue Robin with five materials sounds uniquely terrifying.

#4 Number 89: Diablosis the Mind Hacker

There are very few ways to look at your opponent's Extra Deck and deal with cards there before they hit the field. And doing it with a card conveniently placed in your Extra Deck, so you can get at it all the time? Even tougher. Dogmatika Maximus is probably the most successful example of Extra Deck hate in modern competition, but setting up your board after you search Dogmatika Maximus normally freezes up your own Extra Deck in the process.

The former Championship Prize Card Number 89: Diablosis the Mind Hacker is a Rank 7 Xyz that accomplishes that elusive effect, and it has the power to completely shift the game before it even starts. While banishing a single card from your opponent's Extra Deck might not be an instant win, it can be a real thorn in your opponent's side, and it can put you in a much better position moving forward. The residual effect to banish cards from the Main Deck is a nice touch too, but that's a shot in the dark compared to the direct removal from the first ability.

I suppose Number 89: Diablosis the Mind Hacker has a third effect to banish cards from the graveyard after it kills something in battle, too? But that's not the main draw of this card. The Battle Phase just isn't what it used to be.

#3 Ice Barrier

The fact that this technically counts as a card for the "Ice Barrier" theme is wild.

But yeah, both effects of Ice Barrier are actually amazing, even if they don't really have anything to do with one another. Most trap-heavy decks don't tap into Level 5 or higher Water monsters, but both effects are good enough to stand on their own. The first effect's a Battle Phase version of Lost Wind that can freeze your opponent's monster cold, but the ATK reduction means it's an option in the Damage Step too. Neat!

The second effect has wider applications, from a 1-card combo to full support for a Water deck. You send a Water monster to the graveyard for free, you get one back, you can only summon Water monsters… all that's fine for whatever Water deck you have in mind, but the coolest thing about Ice Barrier is really the 1-card implications. Like what, you ask? Fair question.

Activate Foolish Burial Goods, send Ice Barrier to the graveyard, then banish it to yard Lappis Dragon. Ice Barrier resolves, you get Lappis Dragon to your hand, and from there you'll Special Summon it with its effect, since you got it back from the graveyard! With all the new Water support in product-hover id="243710", plus the new cards in Duelist Pack: Duelists of the Abyss releasing sometime in 2022, I think a trap that, at worst, blocks effects in the Damage Step, and at best searches all your high-Level Water monsters, is worth picking up.

Meanwhile, I'll be over here playing Marincess with it. Don't mind me.

#2 Starlight Rare Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon

Starlight Rares always draw a bunch of attention, and product-hover id="256385" is already a card that turns a lot of heads. Aside from perhaps Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier (Starlight Rare), no other Starlight Rare has been so divisive, so powerful, or so format-defining as product-hover id="256385".

It seems fitting that the card be immortalized in one of the most prized rarities in the game, and for that reason, people are going to go crazy for it. Even the least used Starlight Rares like Bahalutiya, the Grand Radiance (Starlight Rare) from Lightning Overdrive will carry serious value, basically forever. Some rarities just command that much respect. And when you factor in a cool looking, game-shaping powerhouse that combines two of the most iconic monsters of all time, well, the desirability goes up ten-fold.

I doubt we'll see too many of these played in competition. product-hover id="256385" going to be extremely difficult to pull from packs, and only a few brave souls would sleeve up such an expensive card. It's definitely a huge flex, but don't expect to see many of them hitting the table at your locals. Most Starlight Rares aren't actually played, and only a few have proven to be exceptions.

#1 Magicians' Souls x Evil HERO Malicious Bane x Evil HERO Adusted Gold x Forbidden Droplet

256357 || 256381

In general, reprints usually drive down the price of expensive cards. And when I say "drive down," I mean they usually slash prices in a significant manner. While these four cards have all desperately needed reprints, the impact of product-hover id="243710" on their values may prove to be purely technical.

Are all four of these cards cheaper now than they were two weeks ago? Yes, both the original version and the reprint of each of those cards is currently lower than the peak price of the first printing, sure. But a lower price doesn't mean "accessible to all." There isn't a hard line that distinguishes what the average player can pay for top cards, but if the cheapest version of a competitive card is still above 50 bucks, then I'd wager we can agree it's still out of reach for many.

256359 || 256360

That's not to say that the reprints are bad! The fact of the matter is, four cards that have been over 100$ for much of their existence, cards with limited printings, are once again in a new booster pack. Thousands upon thousands of copies are going to be entering the market, which is going to have some impact on price. For now, I can safely say that these four cards as a whole, will blow anything else out of the water from this set..

Just get ready to buy some packs and get your trading on. It's a step in the right direction.

Strangely enough, many cards in product-hover id="243710" are weirdly generic and playable in larger themes. They may have debuted in the anime or manga as cards tailor-made for specific scenarios, but their real world effects may apply to lots of different strategies. Ice Knight, for example, is an extra Normal Summon for any Water deck as long as you only use Water monsters. That casts a wide net, and others like Astral Kuriboh, Piri Reis Map, and Starving Venemy Dragon have very limited requirements to play.

Maybe I should have made a "Top 10 Generic Cards Everybody Wants" list too…

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.