I love reprint sets almost more than anything else. And by "anything else" in this case, I mean confirmed Ghostrick support. That's a strong statement. I could write an article on Ghostricks every day. Seriously.
Anyway, there are way too many cards in Yu-Gi-Oh that are practically unattainable to the average player. I suppose if we all emptied out our wallets completely, you could probably own all the competitive cards you might need for your decks of choice. But if you like saving cash, paying rent, or simply want the best cards for your fun decks? Reprint sets are often the way to go.
Case in point: I know Ready Fusion just came out in Dawn of Majesty, but it takes the best version of so many decks that would be cheap and accessible otherwise, and stuffs them somewhere completely out of reach for the average duelist. Maybe in next year's tins we'll see that card back and easier to pull, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
For now, there's so much to look forward to in the 2021 Tin of Ancient Battles.
"Get your waifus, here! Free waifus!"
Charmer cards have been around since The Lost Millennium and product-hover id="220334", so it's no surprise that support's been trickling in for the theme over the last few years. They're a fan favorite, no doubt helped by being cute Spellcasters that easily charm players and collectors alike.
Wynn the Wind Channeler debuted in Rise of the Duelist as a Starlight Rare and an Ultra Rare, and it's held its value in both printings. Some chase rare cards slowly bleed value over time, waxing and waning as the market shifts. But most premium printings of popular female characters tend to start strong and either retain value, or build it over time.
That's going to be true for this Prismatic Secret Rare too: it will hold its value. By "it," I mean probably every version of Wynn the Wind Channeler forever. Even better, this version of Wynn has a decent effect to search Wind monsters, so it's both playable and collectible.
Also? There's a cute lil picture of Petit Dragon in the art. It's a win-win-win situation no matter what you're looking for.
Finally! I actually forgot this card hadn't been reprinted yet, but then I went and made myself angry all over again when I realized just how long this took. Adamancipator Researcher debuted in Secret Slayers back in April 2020, but that seems like ages ago at this point. 2020 was exceptionally long for many of us, and 2021 seems like it's taking eons to get through as well.
Reprints of other Adamancipator cards will be welcome, but Adamancipator Researcher is the almost literal glue that holds together not only Adamanciaptor decks, but Rock decks in general. The Rock theme's historically been heavy and slow through Yu-Gi-Oh's history, and a free monster that rakes in more Rocks is huge.
Oh, and it's a Tuner!
You're probably familiar with how great Adamancipator Researcher is. I'm ecstatic we're getting a reprint that finally brings it to the masses. Rocks have always needed extra help, especially with Block Dragon currently Forbidden. Can I… Am I gonna say it?!
YES! This card rocks!
I was considering buying 10,000,000 copies of this card when it was under five dollars, I decided that it would never go up in price, and look where that got me. In fact, the newest waves of support from Rise of the Duelist and Structure Deck: Shaddoll Showdown actuaally rose in price so dramatically, it's keeping many people from playing the best versions of Shaddolls. Or playing Shaddolls at all.
Granted, activating Shaddoll Fusion for an El Shaddoll Winda has been known to end some games instantly. That's been cheap and easy for years.
But Shaddoll Schism just insanely good. Back when Duelist Alliance introduced Burning Abyss, Satellarknight, and Shaddolls in 2014, adding Shaddoll Schism would have turned that fearsome trio into one deck that lorded over all others. It wouldn't have been much of a contest with this card at the wheel - El Shaddoll Winda and El Shaddoll Construct Attributes would have amplified the additional benefit of Shaddoll Schism, and my brain's now upset I even opened this proverbial can of worms.
Such is life, though. Shaddolls aren't crushing tournaments these days, but more access to Shaddoll Schism lets players pick up an older favorite without paying too much out of pocket. In general, I like to think that Structure Decks make themes playable for the widespread dueling public, but there have been a few instances - Shaddolls included - that deviated away from that formula.
Y'all, I just wanted this so I could play Dual Avatars better.
There are some cards in Yu-Gi-Oh that have a high price because they're great cards, and at the same time, no one's really playing them. Some cards have value due to competitive or collector reasons, but there are these weird cards in the middle that virtually no decks play… and they still have a steep price.
Fusion Deployment has its uses in decks that range from competitive to extremely casual, so I'd really prefer cards like this to be cheaper, so everyone could use them. Cards like Scrap Raptor have a relatively narrow application that also comes with a price tag on the overall deck. But at its peak value weeks ago, you could've bought an entire Dual Avatars build for less than a single copy of what Fusion Deployment cost.
Have I mentioned Dual Avatars yet? I wrote about them in February, and in the back of my head, I'm still obsessed. There are a handful of decks that are crazy cheap that would use Fusion Deployment for a big boost to consistency, but they can't truly be a budget option because of Fusion Deployment. There are lots of cheaper decks that work so long as you have the expensive, generic staples, but sometimes you need a real budget option when life's got you like this.
I know I've said this about 10,000 times in the last six years, but I think Dark Magician finally good. There are over 50 cards that directly support Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl, and we're getting to the point that some of them are just undeniably useful. Konami's R&D department is just running out of filler ideas. Slowly but surely, the good stuff is trickling in.
Come back in 2023 and you'll see cards like, "If you've heard of the card Dark Magician and/or Dark Magician Girl (including learning about them right now), your opponent loses the game and has to give you 18$."
Magician's Salvation is only Number 6 on this list because it's not the be-all end-all for everyone. Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon garner so much support and love driven by nostalgia, it's uncanny. But that being said, not everyone's dueling world revolves around them.
So while 90% of the Yu-Gi-Oh population would be willing to throw down to get the newest Dark Magician cards, 10% of people would be idly standing on the sideline confused at the hype behind a Normal Monster with only 2500 ATK.
Talk about being priced out of a deck!
There haven't been many pure Dogmatika builds out there, for a couple reasons, but the big one is that you just don't have to play Dogmatikas that way. Plenty of the Dogmatika cards that don't see play are actually solid, but they're outclassed when compared to cards in other strategies. Specifically, cards that they fit with seamlessly.
Take Dogmatika Ashiyan - it's a free Special Summon that gets back a Dogmatika card. The only downside is that better cards exist and you can just play those instead, while playing Dogmatika. That sounds painfully plain to say, but why play something that recycles Dogmatika cards when that card in your hand could be Aleister the Invoker instead?
I'm painting with broad strokes, but it's ultimately a good thing the pricier Dogmatika cards are getting reprints. Dogmatika begs to be paired with other strategies, but anyone brave enough to focus on purer Dogmatika builds needn't shed excess money for cards used in meta decks. The point of the game is to have fun, and when that's not possible, nobody's having a good time. Enjoy your bargain basement Dogmatika engine.
While this particular trap isn't the most expensive cards getting reprinted in MP21, a lot of people never picked it up, largely just because it's only useful in the right decks, in the right metagames. Ice Dragon's Prison helpful in strategies that actually use traps - a trend that's often buried in modern Yu-Gi-Oh. But when it works, this card is lethal.
Despite looking like a loss of card economy, Ice Dragon's Prison can work as simple removal, and it steals monsters to disrupt your opponent's graveyard. When you combine all three niche applications, it can screw over your opponent's activated effects, their monster count, and graveyard, sometimes for multiple turns.
The fact that it's a conditional effect also means the banishing is optional! Surprisingly enough, Ice Dragon's Prison is one of the most versatile traps in recent memory, and a great option to have in the right situation. It's not as broad as Imperial Order or Solemn Judgement, two sweeping traps that eviscerate your opponent merely by flipping them over. But it drags your opponent into lots of precarious situations.
I'm excited to see this in more decks when the price falls.
Ok, so it's not Infinite Impermanence, but I'll take it. If you've read much of my work you'll know I'm a huge fan of extremely cheap counter cards. Not specifically counter traps, but cards that give the little guy a leg up.
It's intimidating to face big boards powered by nuanced combos that churn out the kind of card economy that would make people from 2005 lose their mind. And without adequate responses, what can you do except scoop up your hand when you're going second?
Along with other cards like Lightning Storm - cards that require you to be at a specific disadvantage before they deliver effects to help equalize the game - Triple Tactics Talent gives you the firepower you need to bounce back. If your opponent has a field of unbreakable monsters, this spell lets you take control of one of them, or draw two cards to help fuel your comeback.
Games will rarely be explicitly won by cards like Triple Tactics Talent, but they give you a fighting chance. And despite the insane power the spell holds, it's surprisingly not that broken. Yeah, it mimics The Forceful Sentry, Change of Heart, and Pot of Greed all in one, but the text might as well read "Dang, you're getting destroyed out here, maybe this'll help!"
I already feel like I need to apologize for saying it's not that broken, but my point is that Triple Tactics Talent is effectively a rebuttal card, not a "win more" card. I've yet to see Triple Tactics Talent used to kick an opponent while they were already down. Its primary function is to get you back into the game when your back's up against the wall.
My bias is showing big time here, but I really don't care about Tri-Brigade. Every new set, every emerging storyline, every new archetype… Yu-Gi-Oh's constantly throwing a lot of stuff at you, and it's inevitable that something will come across as less interesting. For me, it's Tri-Brigade, but holy cow, I'm clearly in the minority here.
Tri-Brigade Airborne Assault and Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen are the other two pricy Tri-Brigade cards, but Tri-Brigade Fraktall the backbone of the strategy. The deck lives and dies by drawing Tri-Brigade Fraktall, especially now that Fire Formation - Tenki Limited. That's not an understatement. Without Tri-Brigade Fraktall, you can't play the deck.
And Tri-Brigade Fraktall got stupid expensive for a minute. I hate it when there's one big barrier to entry for important strategies, and Tri-Brigade may be one of the most vexing examples. Everything is pretty cost effective, except for the one main card you absolutely need to run.
But that'll change Friday! Rejoice! Literally everyone that isn't me, because Tri-Brigades about to get a lot cheaper. Truth be told, Tri-Brigade Fraktall would probably top this list, if it wasn't for one little reveal that took literally years to happen.
At this point, I thought we'd never get this card. Off the top of my head, I think I would've guessed that Crossout Designator debuted in the Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh OCG roughly seven years ago, because that's honestly how long the wait has felt. In my defense it came out in 2019, well over two years ago. A lot's changed in nearly 30 months, but that long stretch of time has done nothing to dull the enthusiasm for this card.
Crossout Designator going to change the game in some big ways, much like Called by the Grave did before it. Hanko did a great write-up on the card, so make sure to check it out and prepare yourself for the shifts we're bound to see in competition.
This thing's basically the cover card for the 2021 Tins at this point. The Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dark Magician support might draw the nostalgia crowd, but if you're unfamiliar with the hype surrounding Crossout Designator, then try and catch up before someone catches you up. It's gonna hit you fast if you're not prepared for it.
I'll often muddle around with about fifteen choices for the most anticipated cards from sets, but with reprints, it's hard getting that number under thirty, let alone a single Top 10. If I missed your favorites, be sure to let me know!
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.