I've written quite a few lists on the biggest cards from new releases, and reprint sets definitely get more attention than new core boosters; for players who need a key card or two to explore old decks, reprint sets are full of opportunities. And when you have cards inspired by Mai Valentine and Seto Kaiba in Legendary Duelists: Season 2, the hype train pulls out of the station pretty fast, for casual players and collectors alike!
There are lots of themes inspired by characters from the different Yu-Gi-Oh series, but Harpies and Blue-Eyes are always at the top of the list for duelfans. Seriously - you can never underestimate the power of raw nostalgia. Putting both of those fan-favorite archetypes into one set means some big hits, and some serious value.
And it's not just Harpies and Blue-Eyes! Legendary Duelists: Season 2 has cards for decks like Blackwings, Trains, and Galaxy-Eyes too; the set's jam packed with something for everyone, but don't be put off by the wide range of cards. The reprints, along with the addition of the new Galaxy-Eyes Afterglow Dragon and Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon, means you can get a lot of good stuff for a low price.
That's what you get when you cram all this good stuff into one release!
I'm getting this one out of the way early so my friend Chris will stop yelling at me for mentioning this reprint at least once a week for… the past two years. I've been complaining about the price of Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind since its release in Legendary Duelists: White Dragon Abyss. That was 2018, for some context.
I know I go overboard sometimes lamenting card prices, but Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind was a frustrating one for me and a lot of other players. Over a decade ago (yikes, I'm old), Blackwings were one of the hottest decks around, largely fueled by Black Whirlwind.
…And Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow. And Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind. Oh, and Dark Strike Fighter. Don't forget about Vayu Turbo!
If you can't tell, I'm having flashbacks.
Today, Blackwings are nowhere near as dominant as they once were, but they're so much fun to play if you lean into pure Blackwings, or go combo heavy using Blackwings as the building blocks for other plays.
I wrote about Blackwings here, a strategy that works when you see Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind early, and still works pretty well even if you don't. Blackwings aren't dominant enough to make Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind the most broken card of 2021, but when your casual deck needs a breath of fresh air, it's frustrating that that breath is so out of reach.
Lemme go talk to Konami about that Accesscode Talker reprint for you.
There have been several times that writings have influenced the secondary market, and one of those times came shortly after I touched on Garden Rose Maiden for an alternative win condition. Garden Rose Maiden went from like, a nickel, to over ten dollars, and never really went down again.
Sorry. My bad.
It didn't help that the other various Rose cards, including Black Garden, made Garden Rose Maiden a stand-in for Ib the World Chalice Justiciar once it got the ban hammer. It's not a 1-to-1 substitution, but both cards function as stepping stone combo pieces; a Level 5 Synchro monster that gets you "free" cards by virtue of existing.
When Special Summoned, Garden Rose Maiden searches Black Garden from your deck OR graveyard, cutting down on the copies you need to play if you want to trigger Garden Rose Maiden effect multiple times. Likewise, you can banish Garden Rose Maiden to get a free Rose Dragon monster or a Dragon Synchro from your graveyard.
With generic materials and extremely generic effects, the card has crazy implications in everything from a dedicated "Rose" deck, to combo strategies that can make Level 5 Synchros. As generic as it is, not everything can tap into its power.
For example, Black Garden pops all Plants on the field to revive a Plant in your graveyard with corresponding ATK, but there are enough Plants with ATK in multiples of 800 that you're not forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel. It gets a solid two thumbs up in my book.
I say that with tongue in cheek because someone was trying to convince me the other week that Garden Rose Maiden wasn't good, because you were forced to use specific Extra Deck monsters to get the most bang for your buck.
I'm sorry that not literally every card isn't an instant win button. Heaven forbid you focus on Dragon Synchro monsters. HOW COULD YOU!?
Not that I was just hit on the head or anything, but every time I think about Harpies, I forget that I've built Harpie decks dozens of times. Most recently I took a look at a build with Raidraptors supporting Cyber Slash Harpie Lady, but the deck's more than overblown combos.
There are a dozen Harpie cards reprinted in Legendary Duelists: Season 2, but… how do I say this without sounding mean? All of the Harpie Lady Sisters stuff is… pretty bad.
Did I say that nicely enough?
Even some of the cards that don't need Harpie Lady Sisters to function aren't very good. I'm really trying my best here, but Harpie's Feather Rest is basically a weaker Pot of Avarice.
The only time that Harpie's Feather Rest is better, is when you only have three monsters in your graveyard yet manage to hit all the criteria, and somehow still aren't affected by the drawbacks. I really don't mean to complain, but my long-winded point is that as far as Season 2 goes, there's a good chance you'll only care about Harpie Perfumer and Harpie Channeler.
Even then, I'm lumping Harpie Perfumer and Harpie Channeler together because they're equal components of your Harpie spam machine. Harpie Channeler fields Harpies directly from your deck, while Harpie Perfumer gets you Elegant Egotist or Harpies' Hunting Ground.
After reading all the cards that Harpie Perfumer could possibly snag, let's just say my roommate opened the door to my office and asked if I was ok because he heard the world's biggest groan and sigh at the same time.
I'm not up to date on literally every price of every card on the secondary market, but I have a vague sense of things because I like so many different decks. Buying sealed product is also fairly easy to predict on price, but occasionally I can be blindsided on either front.
For instance, I legitimately didn't know Photon Orbital was more than like, I dunno, eleven cents? I might have known that at one point, but yeah - it's way too expensive for most players with just a casual interest in Photons.
The reasons for that are pretty simple - Photon Orbital only had one printing, and it's a much-needed card in a fan-favorite deck. If you're brave enough to play Photons, then Photon Orbital is a must-have at three.
My gripes are similar to those I had with Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind. Photon Orbital effectively a search card that boosts the consistency of a deck that sorely needs it. Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind fetches Black Whirlwind, while Photon Orbital nets you… *checks notes*… a Galaxy or Photon monster.
Ok, hold on, this card may be a bit better than I remember. When are you going to turn down a search card? I certainly wouldn't.
The ATK boost and protection are fine, but in almost every situation, I'm going to take the search. I tried to come up with a comparison to Machina Gearframe here, but it doesn't really go anywhere. Just take the search card for what it is, even if that's all it is.
Come to think of it, this card isn't the only searcher making today's list.
Hey, look! A giant beater that blows up monsters after you summon it for no cost! That seems fair!
It's no secret, Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon isn't as broken as it used to be. Going first, it's basically just a Level 8 body for Xyz, Link, and Synchro Summons, but it does count as Blue-Eyes White Dragon while it's on the field or in the graveyard.
But that's it. There's no crazy combo associated with Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon - you won't be using it to game the system or trigger a landslide of free summons.
Don't get me wrong - I sat myself down thinking about all the great applications for this card and how it could remind us of a Blue-Eyes era once again, but it's about as straightforward as Spellbook Magician of Prophecy: you 100% without a doubt need this card if you're building Blue-Eyes, but it's really the glue that holds your deck together, not the real firepower.
And to be fair, that's exactly why it deserves a spot on this Top 10 list. Returning to the Prophecy comparison, you definitely shouldn't be playing either strategy without core cards like this one. And for anyone who was held back from playing Blue-Eyes due to the barrier to entry of its price, well, here's your chance.
Most every other Blue-Eyes card is affordable these days, and with this third printing of Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon, it looks like the deck as a whole is finally in budget territory.
Ok, seriously, what is up with all these Dragons being the free-est of the free? Maybe my brain is stuck in 2008, but Chaos Ruler, the Chaotic Magical Dragon and Galactic Spiral Dragon are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to "hur dur, free Level 8 Dragon spam forever."
Block Dragon not included.
One problem - and I use that term pretty loosely - for Galaxy, Galaxy-Eyes, and Photon decks is the difficulty in countering your opponent's plays. I thought a new Galaxy-Eyes card might address that, but nope, turns out Galaxy-Eyes can now just kill you a 17th way, Battle Phase included!
If you Xyz Summon a Rank 8 Number monster and use its effect in the Battle Phase, OTKing your opponent just got infinitely easier; Galaxy-Eyes Afterglow Dragon fields Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, then doubles the ATK of your Number Xyz monsters.
Do you see a problem with that? My hesitation on euphoria stems from Galaxy's lack of protection and ability to break boards, but I guess none of that matters if Galaxy-Eyes Afterglow Dragon acts as a Limiter Removal for Number Xyz.
Even if I don't think it's what the deck needs, my opinion's pretty moot because an explosive card that makes Train OTKs look weak should be enough to win anyone over.
I guess the only tip I really have in countering this card is, "Don't let your opponent use it." Good luck with that.
Have mercy, I'm getting confused at all the Blue-Eyes cards. The "Eyes of Blue' theme was already aneurysm fuel, and now I have to remember which Blue-Eyes cards are which?
Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon is the newest of the Blue-Eyes cards, and I have to admit it does pull its weight with three very different effects. Being a Blue-Eyes card means it gets all the support the theme's collected over the years (for new players, that's about 14 trillion cards), but its effects are so nebulous, I really don't know what to make of this card.
Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon good, but I can't nail down one specific reason as the big reason you'd need it. And being me, I'm naturally going to focus on the sillier applications.
I guess I shouldn't say "silly" in this case, because those uses are really at the front of the line. If you Special Summon Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon, you get a free Ritual Spell or Polymerization. It's not every day you get free access to both Fusions and Rituals with one card, but I really think the versatility is going to make an impact; it's pretty rare for the barrier between two card types to be shattered like this.
Guardragon Elpy and Hieratic Dragon King of Atum come to mind as the most obvious ways to get Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon onto the field, and as I wrote that, I realized just how easy Elpy is to summon. Most specifically in Dragon Link variannts, Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon means access to Guardragon Elpy becomes access to Fusions and Rituals.
As if Dragon Link needed another tool in its toolbelt.
Or, of course, you could just use The White Stone of Ancients, fielding Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon for its second effect. It'll likewise get you multiple resources, but I think supercharged combos with ad hoc searching in the Main Phase will make Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon card more relevant.
One of my writing professors in college told me, "You can use three exclamation points in your whole life." That more pertains to academic, professional writing, but maybe in card names, we should probably limit it to one per card.
Guess someone missed the memo, huh?
Bingo Machine, Go!!! Isn't a bad card, but for me, I struggle to get excited about it. Since you can reveal cards with the same name, you can view the spell as an extension of whatever card you desperately want to see, like a spell version of a Blue-Eyes specific Trap Trick.
I'm grasping for straws a bit on that one, but I'm not wrong?
Obviously if you're playing a Blue-Eyes deck, you'll runn the card, but it also draws attention from decks that aren't so dedicated to the original badass Dragon. Chaos Form, Strength in Unity, and Destined Rivals all have uses beyond Blue-Eyes White Dragon, so at the very least there's that.
The biggest uses will no doubt be Blue-Eyes specific, but beyond saying, "Well, that's good," there isn't much hype to whip up around searching Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon or Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon.
I'm not trying to be terse here, but the art's an anime reference many new duelists wouldn't understand, so I'll just say "it's cool" while doing finger guns.
Here comes the choo choo train!
Perhaps it's too bold of a prediction, but I'm 100% certain the only reason Trains weren't as big as they should have been was the price of cards like Urgent Schedule. I'm not saying I've never seen a Train deck lose, but… they just… kill everything.
Going second isn't a popular strategy these days, and Trains were an expensive meme deck that never really got the accolades it deserves. My go-second strategy features a few niche cards for added flair, but however you run them, Trains are a force to be reckoned with that deliver a lot of power on a pretty non-threatening learning curve.
Every metaphor I can think of is already a train pun, and that's for a good reason - the Train deck's literally a steam-powered behemoth of unparalleled proportions that can deal lethal damage with both card effects and battle.
There's no point describing Trains in fancy terms, because it's largely just a brutal frontal assault. Urgent Schedule makes 8000 damage that much easier, putting two monsters on the table. In fact, Urgent Schedule by itself can field Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max. Burn your opponent for 2000, then Xyz Summon Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Juggernaut Liebe, and you can attack twice at a whopping 6000 ATK.
That's just the tip of the iceberg with Trains, so even if you're not interested yourself, it's best to familiarize yourself with a deck like that that can and most certainly will crush you. A lot of people have never tried Trains before due to the cost, and now that it's dirt cheap you'd better believe we'll be seeing more of it.
If anything, the hype for this card largely comes from that sweet nostalgia factor that keeps Blue-Eyes cards coming year after year.
Don't get me wrong - Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon actually pretty good. It's powerful in a different way from Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon, and it has the potential to steal victories if your opponent controls enough monsters.
I may be slightly biased since I'm still riding that Train high, but go-second decks have serious potential right now. Combined with Master Rule 5, where your opponent can easily make a bunch of non-Link monsters effortlessly, a simple Dark Ruler No More makes this card into an OTK machine.
Turning all your opponent's monsters into 0 DEF snacks for Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon isn't trivial anymore, so wiping out your opponent in one Battle Phase becomes less and less of a pipe dream every day. Worst case scenario, the monsters you switch get a permanent reduction to 0 ATK and 0 DEF, but that probably won't matter because they'll be dead anyways.
Ultimately, the art on Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon is wicked cool and the Blue-Eyes nostalgia is inflating the pre-sale price, but don't sleep on this card. It'll continue to be a collectible card even with this reprint, and hey, it's a chance to make OTKs out of thin air.
Sounds like it's worth the hype to me.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.