Lighting Overdrive has everything. It's got good cards. It's got bad cards. It's got legacy support for old themes, from themes you'd expect, to stuff like the "Book of" theme - which really is a thing - and even some new stuff for Sky Scourges. There are some deep cuts in LIOV, and I'm here for it.
It's got new Amazement and new Attraction monsters. It's got Traptrix. It's got Utopia. Rank-Ups, Lavals, Live☆Twins, they all get new cards! What's that? Updated support for recent decks, like Springans and Tri-Brigade? Sure, why not! More Bujin cards to play around with? I already had a bunch of fun putting those to work last week . "What does Lighting Overdrive have in it?" You might ask.
"Yes," I might respond!
But really - this booster set has virtually everything in it, including new War Rocks. I think there are finally enough good War Rock cards that more than eleven people might like the theme, especially now that we have a good supporting cast of cards. Don't worry: I totally get it if you saw War Rock Ordeal and passed. But hey, things change. People grow.
Anyways. Let's get into the Top 10 cards people want from Yu-Gi-Oh new core set, Lightning Overdrive.
I'm skeptical this card is going to be good, but people have been asking for it for over a decade. I periodically think up my own cards just for kicks, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that thought of a Dark version of Honest shortly after it debuted in Light of Destruction, all the way back in 2008. This has been on everybody's wants list for ages.
Now that we have it the card isn't bad, but it's outclassed by many other hand traps. Honest was huge when it launched, and that was partly because at the time, monster effects you could play from your hand weren't really a big part of the game. There wasn't a lot of competition for that concept, and interacting with your opponent on their turn was still largely done with trap cards. Since regular Honest isn't used in competitive play these days, I don't see Dark Honest being played much either. If even the mighty Gorz the Emissary of Darkness can age out of tournaments, then no card is safe.
Watch me eat those words and get absolutely wrecked by Dark Honest.
Still, even after all this time, Konami has a way of making us want nostalgic cards. Dark Honest is currently pre-selling just over $20 right now, and while it might dip a bit after the set's official release, it seems destined to slowly climb back up. The original Honest from Light of Destruction is still a collector's item, and Dark Honest will no doubt meet the same fate.
Can we have ONE War Rock card I don't have to read thirteen times before I understand what's going on?
War Rock Meteoragon has three effects, and they all do… stuff. It's a different boss monster from War Rock Bashileos, and it spins in a different direction while still feeling like it stays on theme. War Rock Meteoragon gets to attack twice and negate the effects of monsters it battles with, and if you need something else to sell you on it, I'm sorry, the 200 ATK boost probably isn't going to get you there.
War Rock's such a confusing theme to wrap your head around; there's no good way to sum up their effects, but the overall spirit of the cards is "being better in hand-to-hand combat." War Rock Meteoragon stops your opponent's effects and gains ATK, asserting its dominance.
It's the equivalent of saying, "You, me, let's meet in the abandoned lot at midnight. No weapons, just our fists." Give or take some large rocks and clubs. This metaphor's a hot mess, I'm sorry.
Thankfully, months of player neglect means War Rock Meteoragon the only card in the War Rock theme approaching the $10 mark. War Rock Mountain exploded in price the day the new War Rock cards were announced, but it quickly fell back down to the $3 range. With War Rock Meteoragon the odd card out, it'll be that one expensive card you'll need after everything else dips. As a Secret Rare it'll hold its value better than other War Rock cards, so don't expect the price to fall much if at all.
After all, the deck I made back in March is still wildly cheap, and these new additions won't change the price in any real meaningful way.
This is a Sunavalon card in disguise, change my mind.
Sunavalon and Rikka, along with a few other "Plant only" restriction themes, have one glaring problem - there haven't been any big Plant monsters you can do anything useful with. Even Sunavalon Dryatrentiay was really only as effective as Sunavalon Bloom could make it. At least until now.
Benghalancer the Resurgent is the finisher Plants needed! It's not an auto-win, but having a card that counters your opponent while also being a Plant Link is a much bigger blessing than it first appears. When I wrote about Plant combos a few weeks back , I wished I could have included Benghalancer the Resurgent as the icing on the cake.
And remember, the damage you take using Benghalancer the Resurgent effect is cancelled out in a Sunavalon deck. Not only will it trigger your Sunavalon Link monsters, but you'll load up the graveyard with Plants to revive Benghalancer the Resurgent if it ever hits the graveyard. In other decks, it's an annoyance but hardly catastrophic as long as you're more toward the beginning of the duel.
This is a… This is a hand trap, right?
The text of Bahalutiya, the Grand Radiance is a bit confusing, but it has to be worded as such to do the very one specific thing it's trying to do: stop your opponent from having one particular card that they wanted to have, at the cost of a consolation prize of a fresh hand.
It's like Disturbance Strategy, but actually useful? I'm not sure if Bahalutiya, the Grand Radiance going to make the cut when it comes time to choose hand traps for your deck, but stopping your opponent from having one specific cards is pretty alright. The way it shuffles your opponent's hand guarantees they won't redraw the exact card they searched, technically, so… cool?
The problem is that it might not hurt your opponent and it's not guaranteed to help you. Whatever monster you tribute is probably negligible, so you'll often make an even trade to stop your opponent from doing one thing once. They could draw something better and blow you out of the water, but this card looks really fun to play, and it definitely packs a lot of potential.
Is it the best? No. Does it fill a weird role that I didn't know I wanted filled ever since I first saw Disturbance Strategy? Yes. Do what you will with that information.
Ya know how Twin Twisters was good to destroy spells and traps but it also discarded cards from your hand? It's amazing how decks can leverage the apparent minus of card economy to their advantage, and Book of Lunar Eclipse is next in the long list of cards that do that, and have a high ceiling in the right deck.
With Master Rule 5 there's more to life than just a bevy of Link Monsters, but Book of Lunar Eclipse will probably be played reactively just as often as it'll be played proactively. You can flip opposing monsters when they hit the field, or set your own when you've made a big push, but didn't quite finish your opponent off.
That said, Book of Lunar Eclipse feels like a weird combination of cards we've already seen, all of which can be compared to Book of Lunar Eclipse. Book of Eclipse, Dark Ruler No More, and Forbidden Droplet all likewise stop monsters, but all four of these cards serve unique roles and outclass each other in certain situations.
It's good, but not always perfect. I'll take that.
But the worst part about the card? Weirdly enough: the fact that it says "2 face-up monsters," not up to two. I know, it might seem odd at first, but that text means you can't use this card against a single threat that's standing in the way of your victory. In the weirdest parallel ever, I've lost more games than I'd like to admit because there were only ever three monsters on board and my Needle Ceiling never had a chance to activate.
Is Book of Lunar Eclipse a poor man's Forbidden Droplet? Being a Quick-Play gives it a leg up on Dark Ruler No More sometimes, but I have to wonder how often Book of Lunar Eclipse will be used. Sometimes? Sure. As a replacement for every other similar card? Of course not. But hey, a new type of card that does something we haven't seen before with an immediate impact on the game state is worthy of consideration.
Sorry, Fableds: just because this says "discard" doesn't mean you magically become a good deck.
I'm not going to beat a dead horse too much here. Anthony already covered the new Tri-Brigade strategy with Bearbrumm added, and it's definitely worth checking out because it's going to take this deck to all new competitive heights.
In short, Tri-Brigade Bearbrumm the Rampant Rampager searches your deck for a Tri-Brigade spell or trap, and Tri-Brigade Revolt is really busted-good. Need I say more?
There just aren't a lot of good Level 10 Synchros.
I never really thought about it, but for the longest time, the only Level 10 Synchro that saw play was Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree. Trident Dragion was a thing for a while, and I guess the Dragunity Level 10 Synchros are playable, but everything just seemed so niche.
To make matters weirder, Ruddy Rose Dragon provides a pseudo-counter effect that's rarely seen in this game, banishing from the graveyard. There are plenty of cards that do it ad hoc - heck, D.D. Crow one of the best hand traps of all time - but wiping out a whole graveyard? That's something entirely different!
The various "Rose Dragon" support cards were huge in LIOV presales, specifically the new Roxrose Dragon and Ruddy Rose Witch, but Ruddy Rose Dragon should see play beyond a dedicated strategy. After all, Garden Rose Maiden is a Plant Synchro monster, so getting Ruddy Rose Dragon secondary effect to blow up the field sounds applicable in more situations that just Rose Dragon decks.
The last effect is fine? You can stop a destruction and get a free Black Rose Dragon, but Ruddy Rose Dragon graveyard banishing and field destroying effects of are much better. And it may seem obvious, but any expansion on a fan-favorite deck that draws from a main character from the anime garners a unique amount of support.
Akiza was massively popular despite winning roughly .7 duels on screen and being more boring than a loaf of bread. This playmat from 2011 was one of the most popular mats in the game for the longest time, and I'm pretty sure the reason Rose Dragons hold such a special place in peoples' hearts is owed entirely to the widespread love of the character.
Is it me or does this just… fix the problems that the banlist caused for Drytron? Sure, Union Carrier still gone and Cyber Angel Benten at one, but Drytron Mu Beta Fafnir really evens things out. Actual photo of a Drytron hater, for reference.
Drytron Mu Beta Fafnir one of those impressive cards that does everything, but won't win the game all by itself. Yes, it provides Ritual tribute support, it sends whichever Drytron you need in the graveyard to continue your plays, and it counters your opponent's cards. But it's not exactly a heavy hitter on its own.
Don't worry, I'm not discounting the card, but this isn't as much a case of a "broken, kill your opponent instantly" card. It's more of a "filling in the gaps" kind of card. Union Carrier and Cyber Angel Benten new restrictions hurt Drytron a lot, but this mitigates the gaping hole those two cards left behind.
Geez, Union Carrier was broken, wasn't it?
Strangely enough, Drytron Mu Beta Fafnir also sorta generic. Drytrons were already Generic.Ritual.dek, and Drytron Mu Beta Fafnir an extension of that. I assumed an on-theme Xyz would facilitate the big Drytron Rituals specifically, but there aren't many stipulations or restrictions when you're playing this card.
Are Rituals finally good?
Sorry, fancy foil cards, move over! It's Scrap Raptor time to shine.
Normally, cards that everyone wants will be reflected in their rarity. If Konami knows everyone will want them, why print a card as just a paltry common? Obviously, accessibility plays a big factor in those decisions and not everything desirable winds up a Secret Rare. But sometimes players seem ready to riot for rarity bumps, just like we did with Miscellaneousaurus (for a stretch that lasted several years).
Scrap Raptor absolutely wild, yo. Why is it wild? WHY? Well, I had fun for about three minutes thinking up Scrap Raptor combos, but turns out I was way behind everyone else: when the effect was revealed a few months ago, it took a matter of seconds for the internet to find a ton of broken things to do with it. Someone probably thought of another busted play sequence as I wrote that last sentence. And if we wait fifteen seconds, I'm sure someone else has come up with another. And… wait for it… somebody just made another one.
In a vacuum, Scrap Raptor basically a more consistent version of the Scrap Recycler combos that pushed Orcusts to a new level. But when you start combining it with other cards, it's absolutely bonkers. Like, imagine trying to explain to someone why Crystron Halqifibrax is good. It just is. It does everything. It's a crazy card, and it's sparked crazy demand for older Scrap stuff like Scrap Golem and Scrap Chimera.
Check out Sam's combo video here that showcases some of the more complicated and exciting plays. Just like Crystron Halqifibrax, you're not going to run out of options anytime soon.
AND IT'S A TUNER??!?!
I'll get into the other parts later, but yes, Diviner of the Herald is basically a better version of Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands. Basically, this . It's like if Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands extra hands were all holding extra effects.
If you do nothing else with the card and pretend it's just Manju 3.0, you'll search for a Ritual card. Summon it, send Herald of the Arc Light to the graveyard, and get a Ritual card. That's fine, you can do that. Feel free to stick your fingers in your ears and pretend the rest of the card has no effects and you've still broken even.
Roll back to my exasperation earlier, and zoom out to see that this card does… everything? It's a Light Fairy monster with 500 ATK, putting it in a very esteemed class of monsters that already have a lot of support. But surprise, it's a Tuner!
Also a surprise, the monster you send to the graveyard can come from the Main Deck, too, not just the Extra Deck for Herald of the Arc Light plays. And surprise! It also increases its Level! Also also surprise, you can Normal OR Special Summon Diviner of the Herald to get its effect.
Somebody really went out of their way to make this card incredible.
The best applications are in dedicated Ritual Decks, but you can make a case to smash this card into anything that's vaguely related to Fairies, Rituals, or the concept of tributing monsters. Technically it's a 1-card Crystron Halqifibrax as well, but these days what isn't?
Let me reiterate in my exasperation - this card just does so much.
Heck, even the BAD applications for Diviner of the Herald are pretty solid. Sending Herald of the Arc Light to the graveyard nets you a free Ritual card from your deck, and if you tribute Diviner of the Herald you can summon something like Cyber Egg Angel to get more Ritual cards, or play Eva, which snowballs into more cards as soon as it hits the yard.
In fact, there are more than 60 Fairy monsters you can summon when Diviner of the Herald gets tributed. Not every one's a winner, but half a dozen themes and rogue strategies are waiting to be abused.
Is Herald of the Arc Light on its way to Limited or perhaps Forbidden status? Eh, what do I know? I can't always predict the future, and despite my best efforts, sometimes I'm hilariously wrong. I'm one of those people that thought Pot of Dichotomy was going to be amazing, but in my defense, the game was slower back then.
What's your personal Top 10 that you want from Lightning Overdrive? Let me know, and we can cry together when we get outpriced by that guy from locals that "just has to have" 417 copies of every card, leaving none for anybody else.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.