While it might sound like the name of an epic anime, Dragons of Legend: The Complete Series is actually a giant reprint set collecting the cards from three boosters into one massive release: 2014's Dragons of Legend, 2015's Dragons of Legend 2, and 2016's Dragons of Legend - Unleashed. I remember when the first Dragons of Legend set dropped, largely because Fire Hand, Ice Hand, and Soul Charge were game changers in the competitive scene. But the full discography from all three sets come to a head in The Complete Series.
…I also remember how much we beat to death "hand" puns? None of which I'm sorry for over six years later.
This new booster set might not be the most sought after of the year – after all, it's hard to top Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon and Borreload Savage Dragon from 2020 Tin of Lost Memories. But you should never sleep on a reprint set, especially when new cards are coming down the pike as well.
What, you think they'd just give us an old set without adding some flair?
I'd be remiss not to include Xyz Import on this list, because it does such a good job demonstrating how the game's changed over the course of the last few years. Specifically, I'm thinking back to 2012 when Sabersaurus Rescue Rabbit was the deck to beat.
Can you imagine dealing with an Evolzar Dolkka if it kept getting more and more materials while you lost yours? Even better, Xyz Import would have been Evolzar Laggia's best friend against Inzektors.
While Xyz Import isn't as snazzy as the current hand traps out there, any deck that reliably makes Xyz Monsters can abuse Xyz Import both reactively and proactively. Going first, you set it and take any monster your opponent fields, giving your best and brightest more fuel for their effects. Going second, you can either bait negations or take monsters you wouldn't want to deal with otherwise.
Will Xyz Import dominate competition anytime soon? Probably not, but spot removal in Quick-Play spell form - provided you play Xyz monsters – is nothing to scoff at. I think some of the big applications may be seen in things like Duel Links when Xyz Import makes its way to the mobile platform, but for now I know it'll be a fun card in the real life TCG.
Fun for the person that uses it, at least. Xyz Import's so unconventional that it'll be an unpleasant surprise for your opponent when they have to read the card twice, not realizing it was a pitfall they didn't plan for.
There are several things at play that make The Eye of Timaeus a sought-after card, intersecting two often opposed forces: nostalgia and sheer power. When you have a card used by Yugi Mutou himself that can also summon Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, I think you have a real contender.
Thankfully the card's come down a bit in price over the last half of this decade. This fourth reprint will be another chance to grab a copy (or copies) if you never got around to it, or you're new to the game. To think, there was a time when playing The Eye of Timaeus in a Dark Magician deck was more of a niche play.
Now, you can summon one of the best legal cards in competitive Yu-Gi-Oh: the lovely Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon.
Unlike Red-Eyes Fusion, The Eye of Timaeus fields Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon without superfluous fluff in your Main or Extra Deck. Red-Eyes Fusion isn't bad, but when Dark Magician and on-theme search cards are baked into the cake, there's no excuse to exclude this harmonious duo.
By "harmonious duo," I mean a way to summon the most obnoxious card for your opponent to deal with, and the monster in question.
And if you're feeling a more casual flair, The Eye of Timaeus summons other Fusions that are otherwise obnoxious to properly summon, given their Fusion requirements. Basically I'm trying to throw in Dark Paladin for kicks in Dark Magician, so I can claim hilarious victories over Dragon decks.
Of all the reprints in Dragons of Legend: The Complete Series, this one seems like the biggest boost to any of the set's themes . While it's not as essential for most Toon combos, especially when you're going first, it's often the key to winning games early on.
Comic Hand's not as free as similar cards like Change of Heart or Triple Tactics Talent, but it's about as close as you can get. You don't have to control a Toon monster, rather just Toon World. That's comforting given the many restrictions Toon decks have to contend with, so it's nice to see such a great card with minimal requirements.
On top of its ease of use and obvious potential for OTKs, I have to throw out the fact that it's really one of the better cards in the Toon arsenal. Sure, even my mind goes to Toon Kingdom and Toon Black Luster Soldier, but the sheer impact of stealing your opponent's monsters with a searchable spell can't be overstated. I know I might seem biased toward stealing your opponent's monsters given the choices I've made for this list, but I'm not the one who chose which cards we'd see in Dragons of Legend: The Complete Series.
At this rate, every deck will eventually get a way to steal monsters.
It should be etched into stone somewhere, but you can't print a Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight card without it making some Top 10 list.
Doug has a great video about censorship in Yu-Gi-Oh, and along with her subsequent support cards Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight been at the center of much of that discussion. For various… reasons. Literally anything with Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight – whether it be the original version from Magician's Force, the Lost Art print that's finally available in the TCG, or the newly reprinted Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight – they all qualify as "the cards to get."
While Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight not as powerful as Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, it's strong enough to stop your opponent in their tracks, or clear a path for victory in a pinch. Originally printed in Dragons of Legend in 2014, Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight effect was surprisingly germane to Yu-Gi-Oh at the time, even if it didn't see much play due to its steep requirements.
Basically, your boss monsters didn't always have Quick Effects to pop cards on the field back then. I think we take for granted just how amazing cards are these days, so seeing something that could have taken off if Dark Magician was easier to field is weird when you're looking back at it.
Though Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight not the most expensive card right now, collectors have a way of driving up prices in the future. Whether you want to try out a deck focused on her, or need one for your Yugi character deck, now's the time to snag a copy. It's unclear how the new art for this re-release will affect the value of either print.
Remember, price doesn't always reflect demand – Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight may be inexpensive for now, but as we saw in a recent Market Watch, even cheap cards like Melffys can sell like hotcakes.
This card's a prime example of why you shouldn't play with fireworks unless you really know what you're doing.
While there are many great summons for Instant Fusion, I'm a big advocate for adding Time Wizard of Tomorrow to your roster. At the very least, it's a Level 5 Light Spellcaster, finally rendering Musician King obsolete. That's a sentence I never thought I'd say, but there was a big chunk of my dueling career where I focused on making Xyz Spellbooks a thing.
Back to this new card, it's a souped-up version of Joey's original Time Wizard that achieves a singular goal, regardless of the coin flip.
If you control a Fusion Summoned Time Wizard of Tomorrow, you'll flip a coin and regardless of the outcome, blow up the field. Granted, you could have something like Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star to keep your monsters from dying, but back to the point at hand: Instant Fusion is effectively a Dark Hole now.
The downside to calling the coin toss wrong is taking a bunch of damage. But on the bright side, your opponent takes the damage if you call it right. I've talked at length about card potential, and Time Wizard of Tomorrow's existence means if you can find a way to consistently redirect the effect damage to your opponent, you have an FTK machine on your hands.
I'd be impressed if people summoned Time Wizard of Tomorrow through a "real" Fusion Summon, but honestly, the requirements aren't that hard – just a Time Wizard and an Effect Monster. Magicalized Fusion, it's your time to shine!
I don't always focus on art, but Number 100: Numeron Dragon's way high up on my list, because it's probably one of the prettiest Number cards in the game. Some Number monsters are downright goofy or strangely menacing, but Number 100: Numeron Dragon looks regal and divine.
Oh, and its effect isn't half bad either!
Thankfully Number 100: Numeron Dragon easy to make. No, not "naturally" with its over-the-top Xyz requirements, but through Number 97: Draglubion. It's not exactly the gold standard for competitive plays, but in any deck that can put multiple Xyz on board, you can make a terrifyingly large Number 100: Numeron Dragon that'll run over just about any monster.
So in any deck that makes Rank 8 monsters – or rather any strategy that can somehow eke out Number 97: Draglubion through other means – Number 100: Numeron Dragon just a few summons away. Your Dragon will hit the field with 9000 ATK, which... if my math is correct… is more than lethal.
Most OTKs involve lengthy combos or weird flashy sequences involving dozens of effects, but making a simple Rank 8 here is a path to victory against a clear field. Whether you're playing with or against a Rank 8 deck, Number 100: Numeron Dragon one of those cards you should keep in your knowledge bank moving forward.
If you want to make life hard for yourself, then you can try to summon Number 100: Numeron Dragon with proper materials, but even I'm not that much of a sadist to wish that on someone. I think the easiest way would be Number 69: Heraldry Crest, but even that seems like a lot of work.
While we don't yet have the rest of the Jinzo and Espa Roba cards from the OCG's Duelist Pack: Duelist of Glooms, Jinzo - Layered has applications beyond a pure Jinzo deck.
In a similar vein as Number 11: Big Eye, Jinzo - Layered has the simple effect of stealing an opponent's monster. While the monster you take can't attack or use its abilities, ridding the field of a threat while gaining fodder for a Link Summon or any other Extra Deck summon can be a huge opportunity.
In fact, Jinzo - Layered works to present those opportunities pretty actively: if you have a trap on the field you can tribute a monster - probably the one you stole – to pop another card on the field. There aren't a lot of great Rank 6 options as generic as Jinzo - Layered that can deal with opposing threats (I'm looking at you, Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal), so having a way to eliminate an opposing monster with virtually no setup, will be refreshing to say the least.
If anything, it just makes me more excited for the Jinzo support that's hopefully coming to the TCG soon. But at the very least, I'll be picking up a copy now just in case I find the perfect deck for it.
Every time I've thought about this card since its debut, I've been more than frustrated at its price. It's not as essential as other heavy hitters in the Extra Deck, but I personally hate it when cards I might use over the course of a tournament are unnecessarily expensive.
Just like with Jinzo - Layered, it's nice to have an Xyz with the simple effect of stealing an opposing monster. It's even better if your opponent;s also playing Xyz – you'll steal whatever their best card is and use it to make something like Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon!
Personally, I like more proactive back and forth games – you know, destroying boards rather than building impenetrable fortresses of negation.
And Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon is just that. I wrote about Machina a few months back, and one of the main reasons I included a budget version of the deck was to keep the strategy accessible without overusing the Extra Deck. Machina can be quite powerful backed up by Machina Citadel, but who wants to buy a whole 'nother Extra Deck when big bad Citadel works just fine on its own?
While it's not a Number card, Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon is relevant to the anime since it's a "Galaxy" card; it speaks to fans of the show and Galaxy players alike, and that's going to mean more demand. One of the greatest things about having episodes of the show that coincide with card releases is that you get to build the strategies you see on screen. How would you feel if you wanted to play a Dark Magician deck, but Dark Magician was horribly overpriced? Now that we're getting a Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon reprint, that problem's off the table.
Lots of themes evolve and adapt for a changing game, whether that means new cards tailored to beat the meta or fundamental changes to the strategy itself. Conversely you have the Harpies, an archetype that's come out with a lot of cool cards over the years, but never seems to settle on an actual cohesive game plan.
The new Harpie support in Legendary Duelists: Sisters of the Rose was no exception to that trend, leaning into one of the original Harpie cards, Harpie Lady Sisters. You could argue that Cyber Slash Harpie Lady follows the same pattern - it leans in one direction without committing the entire Harpie theme. But I'd argue that it streamlines the strategy more than anything else we've seen in the past.
If someone commissioned me to make a Harpie card, I would probably have come up with a Link 1 or Link 2 Monster, so at first I was a little disappointed when it turned out that Cyber Slash Harpie Lady was a Synchro. But if you look at its Synchro Materials – literally just a Tuner plus non-Tuners with the added wrinkle that Harpie monsters can count as Tuners – it's basically a Link Monster anyways; it's extremely easy to summon.
Cyber Slash Harpie Lady's main ability is the real kicker, balancing effects that work well on both players' turns: if a spell or trap card or effect is activated, you'll bounce a card to its owner's hand, whether it be your monster or your opponent's.
If you go first you're probably locked into bouncing monsters you control, but going second means you'll get to choose: return something to your hand, or purge the field of a threat. That effect can snowball pretty quickly in terms of card economy, especially when you factor in Hysteric Party.
Since Cyber Slash Harpie Lady counts as Harpie Lady in the graveyard, you'll bring it back with Hysteric Party – meaning you'll probably have other targets to bounce with its effect, even if your opponent doesn't field a threat agianst you.
So for Harpie decks, Cyber Slash Harpie Lady is both a reactive defender and an active destructor – something the deck doesn't have much of in a vacuum, let alone wrapped in the "Harpie Lady" name stamp. If that all wasn't enough, Harpies are one of the most nostalgic decks in Yu-Gi-Oh, arguably the first theme ever to exist at the time of its original printings.
A great card that pulls at the nostalgic heartstrings? Very little could edge Cyber Slash Harpie Lady out of a Top 10 list.
Toon Kingdom's an amazing card: 10/10, 5-star review, searchable by 197 cards in the deck. I have no real complaints.
But when you think about it, Toon Kingdom doesn't really… do anything. It's great, but it's 2020. Shouldn't cards net you a +17 in card economy?
There's no denying that Toon Kingdom is a must for Toon decks; the protection from targeting and destruction is almost unparalleled. But it's some level of irony that one of, if not the most important card in the Toon strategy is so desperately vital.
That said, Toon Kingdom's been extremely pricy ever since its debut. Even with a reprint in Legendary Duelists: Ancient Millennium, the card was well out of reach for those of us with limited pocket change. Remember the uproar and the price spike when the Toon Chaos set list hit and Toon Kingdom wasn't in it? A third reprint will surely knock the price down a bit more, hopefully letting you play Toon Kingdom over Toon World. Hopefully.
While it's not recommended, you can see success piloting Toon World in place of the more expensive Toon Kingdom. But those days should be over soon, letting the budget duelists of the world play Toon decks to their hearts' content, as they should be played. If you need a touch of inspiration, check out my Toon deck list; it played some unconventional cards.
While I wanted to include Awakening of the Possessed - Rasenryu and Awakening of the Possessed - Gagigobyte, I think we'll need to see the release of Structure Deck: Spirit Charmers before the hype can really build for all the "Possessed" and "Charmer" cards. No doubt those new cards will be on people's lists now, but they're certainly not all Wynn the Wind Charmer, Verdant (Starlight Rare) just yet.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.