Hey duelists, I'm back this week to discuss reprints! Many of us don't have the budget to spend $140 on one Eldlich the Golden Lord, let alone three copies. Often, when players build a deck, they find that one specific card is way more expensive than their budget allows; one card can take an entire deck off the table, keeping you from some of the game's most competitive decks.
Historically, rogue decks have been much more budget-friendly than their Championship-winning counterparts. With the right mix of cards, strong rogue decks can give players of all budgets a chance to compete, and a shot at real tournament success. Decks like HERO Stun in 2011, Worms, Domain Monarchs, and even Pendulum Magician have all logged Top Cut finishes and helped level the playing field.
It's important that rogue options exist, because even just seeing the price tag attached to top strategies can be intimidating to new players looking to dip their toes into the game. Reprints give you another opportunity to pick up powerful, competitive strategies as well, without having to max out your credit card. In the past, big cards would be reprinted to drop their price like a rock and make them widely accessible. But in recent years that's been disrupted by cards like…
Despite just getting reprinted in Toon Chaos, Pot of Extravagance is still $40. Meaning that for just a playset of one card, you're looking at spending $120 before you factor in anything else your deck needs. And Pot of Extravagance is huge for strategies like Dinosaurs, Subterrors, and the ever popular Altergeist deck.
You could play Pot of Desires instead of Pot of Extravagance, but then you'll have to account for losing Main Deck resources. The decks I listed above – decks that can leverage Pot of Extravagance – can all do so because they can run redundant copies of core cards in their Extra Deck; the odds of banishing all the copies of any specific card in your Extra Deck with a single Pot of Extravagance isn't very high. Many of the decks that play Pot of Extravagance don't even really rely on their Extra Deck for their central win conditions anyways, though if they do, you can run into a separate problem if you're playing Accesscode Talker.
At $45 per copy of Accesscode Talker, you'd be spending at least $90 on top of the three copies of Pot of Extravagance, which doesn't really scream "budget friendly." Total up everything you need for a rogue deck like that, and you could just buy the Eldlich variant you personally prefer and spend roughly the same amount of money.
Hopefully, with Maximum Gold looming on the horizon in October, we'll see another, more wallet-friendly reprint for Pot of Extravagance. Otherwise we'll be waiting a lot longer to play some of those more niche strategies.
That brings us to…
Fans of Yugi and the original Yu-Gi-Oh series would love to see a cheap reprint of Magicians' Souls; heck, I'm no exception. Imagine wanting to play a Dark Magician deck for fun, only to learn that a set of Magicians' Souls would run you a whopping $249. The Legendary Duelist sets have always been infamous for hyper inflated chase cards, and Legendary Duelists: Magical Hero was no exception. With packs selling out so quickly in most parts of North America, even just getting the chance to pull a playset of Magicians' Souls was a scarce opportunity.
Magicians' Souls is a perfect example of how a card's intended application can be subverted and repurposed for another deck, suddenly creating a tournament-winning deck and a massive price spike for a card that was never really designed to be played in that deck in the first place. Initially played in SPYRAL builds during that deck's most recent run earlier this year, it's also seen success in a myriad of Eldlich strategies, along with Sacred Beasts and Metalfoes.
It's fantastic that a card can be played in so many unique strategies of varying strength and competitive viability. Diversity's always fun and it's nice when you can invest in one specific card and then use it in a wide array of decks. But you can't play those strategies if card's sheer versatility and power level have punted it out of your budget in the first place. Even right now, there could be some awesome combos and applications for Magicians' Souls that nobody's discovered yet; there's a segment of the dueling population that just abandoned even thinking about it when they saw its price tag upon release.
Sometimes these types of cards aren't even that expensive when they debut; instead they climb in price over time, as players find new ways to use them and reprints fail to maaterialize. Such is the case with…
Unless you've been living under a Rock deck for the past year and a half, you know Borreload Savage Dragon's nothing short of amazing. We've seen it in multiple Pendulum strategies, Guardragon combo plays, Lightsworn decks, and pretty much anything that has a tuner in it thanks to Crystron Halqifibrax. Like Magicians' Souls, the combination of versatility in so many different decks combined with sheer power level means Borreload Savage Dragon is currently sitting at a jaw-dropping $62 despite being just an Ultra Rare. And that's lower than it's actually been in recent months! Hitting a high of $100 for a short period, Borreload Savage Dragon's become the most expensive Ultra Rare in a core set in recent memory.
Being a Level 8 Synchro's rarely a bad thing, especially when the convenient Level is coupled with a negation effect as well. But Borreload Savage Dragon's unique in that it cleanly bridges the gap between Synchros and Link Monsters, using Links in your graveyard to generate counters that fuel negations. It doesn't hurt that it randomly gains ATK equal to half the original attack of the monster equipped to it to, making Borreload Savage Dragon even more threatening to your foes.
Unfortunately, the last big hope for a reprint on this thing looks to be Maximum Gold in the fall. Very few cards are as impactful as Borreload Savage Dragon right now, so I know I'm not alone in hoping for a much more wallet-friendly printing.
What else is your Extra Deck probably missing?...
I'm especially fond of Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos, since it's a rework of a fan favorite card and it was ridiculously cheap when it first released. I remember ordering one for $14; I paid more for Salamangreat Almiraj. With 3000 ATK and three effects that trigger when it destroys a monster by battle, Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos is deceptively flexible.
Want to banish a card? It can do that. Gain ATK and force your opponent to find ways to answer it? Easy mode. Or the classic double attack that Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning is famous for. While Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos has to wait for a turn to double attack, it's also can't be targeted with card effects if it was summoned using a Level 7 or higher monster as a Link Material.
If you were fortunate enough to secure your Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos when Battles of Legend: Hero's Revenge first hit stores, count yourself lucky. You're looking at spending a whopping $90 for this card today, with no signs of the price slowing down. Decks like Tenyi, Dark Magician, Trains, and Gren Maju turbo can all play this card to maximum effect, but that price tag hurts like a sunburn on a hot day.
And finally, we arrive at one of the most valuable cards for tournament success in the past two years.
This last spot was a really hard call. Ultimately, Infinite Impermanence won just by being one of the most cost-efficient cards in any tournament-level strategy since its release.
Hitting the TCG in May of 2018, Infinite Impermanence has never stopped being a staple of competition. As generic effect negation, that can also punish poor column management as well as card placement, it's one of the most sought after cards for any tournament-level strategy. The fact that it's immune to Called by the Grave absolutely locks its status as one of the all-time greats.
Infinite Impermanence was reprinted twice in the past two years, but you're still looking at spending at least $35 for a single copy. It's also played in conjunction with cards like Pot of Extravagance which really makes those rogue decks even more expensive. If you want to play Altergeist for example, just those six cards alone will run you an astounding $225.
Infinite Impermanence really should be widely available, not just because paying $105 for a set of reprints is ridiculous, but because it's a skillful card that helps make play more skillful. Even in fun games, it swings the game back in your favor if you activate it when your opponent plays a card in the wrong column. That forces everyone to improve, while also making the game more open for players of all levels. Personally, I hope we get to a point where it's printed in a Structure Deck, similar to [Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring]].
So there you go: my top five picks for cards that need a budget-friendly reprint on account of rogue decks. Other cards like Evenly Matched, Accesscode Talker, and Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess increase the price of those rogue decks exponentially, though Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess is at least confirmed for a reprint in Maximum Gold. Hopefully cards like Evenly Matched will likely be included as well, given its age and overwhelming popularity.
Think I missed some key cards? Name them on Twitter for me. The list is extensive and I couldn't possibly name them all myself. Make sure to tune in next week, and until then, play on!
-Zachariah J Butler