The Legendary Duelist booster sets are some of the most contentious releases in all of Yu-Gi-Oh, largely because of secondary market prices.
Legendary Duelists: Magical Hero brought us the brutally expensive Magicians' Souls. Legendary Duelists: Immortal Soul ushered in Evil HERO Adusted Gold and Evil HERO Malicious Bane. These sets routinely release cards that end up being wildly expensive. Jason broke down the numbers in his latest article, but the gist is that it's never a bad idea to invest in singles, boxes, or even cases from Legendary Duelists.
The list goes on an on: Urgent Schedule is still annoyingly expensive after a reprint in another Legendary Duelists set. Harpie Perfumer? Still not cheap. If it's a good card - or even just a nostalgic card - from a Legendary Duelists release, then the price may never go down. It usually takes years for these cards to get reprinted, and then when they do, some collectors still want the original printings.
With Synchro Storm dredging three themes from the depths of mediocrity, lifting them into striking distance of real competition, we're probably in for some pretty high prices. The biggest pulls in Synchro Storm are a mix of cards people genuinely want for decks, and cards that are going to be desirable for their sheer collectability and price.
Who doesn't like alternate art cards? Lost Arts - which showcase the original OCG artwork as they existed before they were censored in the TCG - are neat and everything, but I'm all about seeing completely different angles and poses for characters we know and love.
The product-hover id="56743" just hits different, and getting product-hover id="251316" with the alternate art is awesome.
Thankfully, product-hover id="251316" a Super Rare, so it shouldn't be expensive. Super Rares are actually really popular - they're just really clean looking, letting you appreciate the artwork - so it's really a win-win on all fronts. I used to be an Ultra Rare fan myself, but I've fallen to the dark side now, preferring the crisp and concise beauty of Super Rares.
product-hover id="251316" hasn't been printed since its alternate art debuted in Legendary Dragon Decks four years ago, so it's high time that we got another printing, even if the card isn't all that expensive. For people who aren't up to date with their collection, getting another shot at a needed card is always really helpful.
As a Speedroid enthusiast myself, I'm painfully aware that the card that makes the theme function is an extremely problematic card for competitive Yu-Gi-Oh that arguably should have been Forbidden. Speedroid Terrortop literally terrorized competitive play for what felt like eons, and it's been a game of cat and mouse ever since, as R&D tries to make cards that work with Speedroid decks, but don't become instantly abusable.
If it was too easy to draw or search Speedroid Terrortop, then it would have to go. Competitive metagames would recover. Speedroids wouldn't.
While it's not as straight to the point as the OCG exclusive Speedroid Scratch, Speedroid Wheel a step up from Speedlift. Speedroid Wheel doesn't guarantee you Speedroid Terrortop, but it's a good resource for any deck that plans to use Speedroid cards.
You have to be very committed to the theme to play Speedroids effectively, often locking yourself into Wind summons only when using cards like Hi-Speedroid Rubber Band Shooter and Speedroid Marble Machine. If you're all in for Speedroids, rejoice, because this is another way to field cards you'll invariably have in your deck.
Hopefully, you won't be rolling a lot of ones.
Lyrilusc cards are powerful, but historically they've always taken some setup. Lyrilusc - Turqoise Warbler always been a staple for the deck, but I always felt cheated on Turn 1, summoning a monster from my hand with Lyrilusc - Turqoise Warbler effect rather than the graveyard. Lyrilusc - Bird Call fixes that… and a whole lot more.
The new support for Lyrilusc is fantastic; so great that Lyrilusc - Bird Call isn't even the top card from the new support. Whether you need to send a Lyrilusc to the graveyard or search one to your hand, the Special Summon effect puts Lyrilusc - Bird Call over the edge in terms of sheer power. Lyrilusc - Cobalt Sparrow always been a staple to search cards, but doubling down on that effect is really beneficial.
Bird Call effectively circumvents your Normal Summon. Previously in Lyrilusc decks, maximizing your plays meant eating up your Normal Summon to streamline Rank 1 plays, but Bird Call frees up Normal Summon to be that much more powerful. Now the Tri-Brigade and Lyrilusc mash-up deck will be even better, but Lyriluscs will become a more welcome addition to many other decks, too
Ultimately, the deck would have doubled in power with just new Main Deck monsters OR Lyrilusc - Bird Call, but surprise, we got both! I think the strategy's going to be a strong package going forward.
If you've never played Speedroids, a Level 3 Synchro Monster may seem unimportant, but surprisingly enough it's an extremely helpful card. Not only does Hi-Speedroid Cork Shooter replace itself, but more importantly, it searches out Speedroid Spells and Traps.
Outside of Speedroid Marble Machine most Speedroids are temperamental. Hi-Speedroid Rubber Band Shooter is phenomenal for the deck, but I really wish you could pick instead of your opponent. What about the aforementioned Speedroid Wheel? Again, it's great, but why am I being tortured by dice? Speedlift? If you insist; I need cards on the field. But yeah, you're just inadvertently punished all the time for trying to play Speedroid cards.
Hi-Speedroid Cork Shooter and the amazing target of Speedroid Dupligate feel like a reward for jumping through the hoops trying to get to Speedroid Terrortop and other Speedroid cards. Hi-Speedroid Cork Shooter 100% a stepping stone, summoning back the monsters you used for a Synchro Summon and getting a trap that counters your opponent.
I feel rewarded. Mollified. This feels deserved. After going out of my way for six years trying to play with these things, I feel better. But it's not just about feeling better - a searchable counter card is fantastic for the deck!
This is one of the best support cards that both helps Lyrilusc, and feels genuine to the theme's core goals. With a spell card to search Lyrilusc and a monster to search Lyrilusc spells and traps, the support's a concise strategy that doesn't rely on luck anymore. The original three Lyrilusc Main Deck monsters laid the groundwork, so the new monsters can capitalize on it.
I don't have to sell you on how good it is to search cards, but the added benefit of attaching to an Xyz Monster once per turn is monumental for Lyriluscs. Lyrilusc Xyz need more Xyz materials to gain ATK, transfer it, bounce cards, search monsters, and more. Lyrilusc - Celestine Wagtail raises the ceiling for what Lyrilusc can do, so it's no longer choosing between effects with limited Xyz materials.
All the Lyrilusc support is fantastic, and Lyrilusc - Celestine Wagtail makes the deck infinitely more consistent. More specifically, it helps the deck do exactly what it's supposed to be doing. Just to experiment, go throw a random Lyrilusc deck together and see how much steam the on-theme cards have.
The requirements for some of Lyrilusc's bigger plays are easy to come by. Amassing multiple Xyz Monsters for Number F0: Utopic Draco Future or Infinitrack Fortress Megaclops is a cinch. Lyrilusc - Independent Nightingale is much easier to summon without exhausting your entire hand.
Despite being a huge Speedroid fan, I overlooked this card for a while. Why? Because apparently I have the memory of a goldfish, that's why. Despite the fact that most Level 7 Wind Synchros are irrelevant, Clear Wing Fast Dragon and Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon are both very powerful.
Hi-Speedroid Clear Wing Rider does take a specific set of Wind monsters to summon, but the payout's fantastic! It's both an aggressive and defensive card. For decks other than Speedroids, summoning it might major take leg work. But if your goal's some weirdly specific Wind monster that isn't either of the Dragons mentioned above, it's not an impossible goal. Gustos, Mist Valley, Mecha Phantom Beast, Windwitches… those strategies can all tap into Hi-Speedroid Clear Wing Rider since they're composed of Wind monsters.
This is a bit of a stretch, but since Lyrilusc, Speedroid, and the Fleur themes are all Wind, Hi-Speedroid Clear Wing Rider a potential segue for any Wind mash-up between those themes. I'm not sure why you'd do a Speedroid x Lyrilusc deck, but you could, if you wanted.
After all, any time you're stuck with restrictions for boss monsters - like with Hi-Speedroid Rubber Band Shooter - there's a high-Level option when your field has leftover Winds.
This card does alot.
While it might seem commonplace now, Swap Frog released way back in Stardust Overdrive. It was ahead of its time, because while it was it was simple and relatively weak on its own, it did an obscene number of different things for an angry little frog. Special Summoning itself, bouncing ANY monster you control to your hand, providing extra Normal Summons, and yarding Aqua monsters? That's a lot to pack into one card.
Sauge de Fleur mirrors the spirit of Swap Frog because it extends your plays on several fronts. It's a free extender from your hand, enables destruction for your monsters, possible destruction for your opponent's monsters, recycles your fallen monsters, and then gets you a free Plant. Not to mention, the Level 1 Plant you get can be from your graveyard, so running multiple Plant cards isn't necessary.
On top of all that, it's a high-Level Dark Spellcaster; all three of those attributes have a wild amount of support. There aren't any real downsides to this card, though I know someone will gripe that its Special Summon isn't a Quick Effect. Too bad - the card can't be that silly busted. And of all the cards in Synchro Storm, I'm fairly certain this will hold its price just as well if not better than most.
Remember what I said about Lyrilusc - Celestine Wagtail being the perfect addition for Lyrilusc? It's cards like this that make Lyrilusc - Celestine Wagtail such a must-play. The ATK gain and recursion are good buffs for the deck, but bouncing Special Summoned monsters is the effect that's making this card rise in price in pre-sale week.
Not gonna lie, I had to read Lyrilusc - Ensemblue Robin a good dozen times when the effect was announced, and I'm still surprised by the lack of restrictions. Its effect isn't once-per-turn, and it's only limited by the Xyz materials attached to it. Lyrilusc - Celestine Wagtail adds an extra material to Lyrilusc - Ensemblue Robin, while Lyrilusc - Bird Sanctuary adds an Xyz Monster and its materials.
And in case you forgot, Lyrilusc - Ensemblue Robin takes 2 or more Level 1 monsters as materials, pumping that base number up to five. Basically, Lyrilusc - Ensemblue Robin a better version of Catoblepas and the Witch of Fate, and it's got support built in thanks to the Lyrilusc theme.
And it's generic! Not all decks can easily field Rank 1 Xyz, but it's something to keep in your back pocket and watch out for. Drytron's the best modern example for abuse, but it isn't your only option when it comes to Rank 1s. We've seen Lyrilusc - Recital Starling used to search D.D. Crow. If hand traps mandate inclusion for a Lyrilusc Xyz, the power to bounce cards will do that in kind.
In terms of generic Level 10 Synchro Support, this card's the head of its class. Ruddy Rose Dragon and Satellite Warrior, two extremely new additions to the Level 10 Synchro family, are great at destroying cards. But Baronne de Fleur takes it up a notch by adding generic negation and an effect I didn't think would prove to be so useful.
During your Standby Phase, return Baronne de Fleur to your Extra Deck to Summon a Level 9 or lower monster from your graveyard. Baronne de Fleur already great on its own, but the added bonus of tagging in a monster for your specific situation makes it even better. Whether you want to start up a new combo or you need a different boss monster for your follow-up turns, trading out Baronne de Fleur for something else will come in handy more than you might expect.
As an added bonus, Baronne de Fleur returns to the Extra Deck for the swap, though both "swap" and "trade" don't do the effect justice. Instead of going to the graveyard, Baronne de Fleur effectively becomes a built-in second copy of itself.
The Speedroid player in me noticed the Fleur monsters are Wind. With Speedroids also getting a boost in Synchro Storm, it's prime time for a mash-up. Most restrictions with the Fleur and Speedroid monsters come in the form of Wind Synchro mandates… and guess what the boss monsters of both those themes happen to be?
Wind Synchros. That's not really a guess, but props to you if you saw where that was going.
This is not a drill; I repeat, this is not a drill. It's a Ghost Rare!
While Ghost Rares haven't been completely eradicated from Yu-Gi-Oh, they're definitely one of the scarcest rarities in the game. Number 39: Utopia (Astral) got one of the weirdest upgrades in the form of a Prismatic Secret Rare Astral Language card back in Battles of Legend: Armageddon, and Ten Thousand Dragon has its own rarity entirely. But discounting weird one-offs like those, Ghost Rares may be the pinnacle of rarities in Yu-Gi-Oh today.
Prismatic Secret Rares, Starlight Rares, and Collector's Rares have their own place in any collector's binder, but for me and many others, Ghost Rares are where it's at. With only 40 cards printed in Ghost Rare ever, this elusive rarity spans almost the entire history of the game. For the most part, only the most iconic cards from each series were printed as Ghost Rares. And while Ghost Rare printings started in the GX era, even Dark Magician (Ghost Rare) and product-hover id="59728" got the Ghost Rare nod at a much later date.
In short, Ghost Rares signify the importance of a card or an entire era. Other rarities - like Collector's Rares - don't hold the same weight. After all, Toon Chaos had a whopping 15 Collector's Rares, a number that's continued in sets like Genesis Impact and King's Court. While Collector's Rares may be hugely valuable and look stunning, Ghost Rares are in another league.
Think I missed a card that should've been in the Top 10? Let me know on Twitter!
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.