Welcome back to the Breakers of Shadow Giant Set Review!

There was a long span of time where spell and trap cards were routinely the weakest segment of most core booster releases. That trend ended a few sets ago, with boosters like Clash of Rebellions and Dimension of Chaos releasing a lot of support cards for themes new and old that ranged from solid to very good. It was a great trend that helped make a lot of newer strategies consistent and well-rounded.

Unfortunately I feel like the spell and trap lineup in BOSH is the set's one bit of shaky ground. There's some amazing new stuff here, including one of the best splashable trap cards we've ever seen, but there's also some pretty un-exciting support cards that feel a bit rough. I've definitely had people fight me on that opinion, but in a set that's so strong across the board, I feel like some of these cards stand out as disappointments.

That said, a bunch of them are also highly playable, and it's difficult to complain when an above-average set returns to the mean average for just a handful of cards. Let's look at them all, and you'll probably see what I'm talking about.

#####CARDID= 19427#####

Performance Hurricane has the appearance of a solid OTK enabler, but there's a series of problems that will likely keep it from seeing play. First, it targets, so that's a big strike against it unless Kozmos fall out of competitive favor. Which might happen. I don't think it will, but there's a lot of Kozmo hate going on right now. Second, if Kozmos do fall out of favor they'll likely just be replaced with more Pendulum decks, which means you may be bouncing away cards you're just going to see again next turn.

Granted, if you're bumping Xyz and Synchros back to the Extra Deck those are actually hard plusses, and if you end the game then and there you won't really care if they're not. Note that as Solemn Strike becomes more popular, Performance Hurricane can bounce away trap cards, sometimes acting more efficiently than Twin Twisters. But the biggest problem is that Performance Hurriance's competing for space in a deck with arguably the best cards in the game, and finding room for it is tremendously difficult.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if we see this thing pop up once or twice as Regional tech. Nobody's going to see it coming, and even if they did they might have to make really bad trades against regular old Performapals anyways. Expect it to be written off via comparison to Wavering Eyes and Twin Twisters, but don't be too shocked if it sees successful play at some point.

#####CARDID= 19428#####

It's Wavering Eyes! But with only one effect, which might or might not be useful depending on your opponent's field.

And you can't use it on your opponent's turn! And you can't chain it! And no one's going to play this card!

…Ever. It's like they made a backup for when they inevitably Forbid Wavering Eyes.

#####CARDID= 19429#####

So much nope.

#####CARDID= 19430#####

Searchable with Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman as a free plus, you can reuse Destruction Swordsman Fusion from your graveyard by trading any card from your hand to get it back. You can also retrieve it with Wizard Buster Destruction Sword, which can occasionally mean you'll retrieve it for free instead of making a 1-for-1.

Compatible with Dark Paladin should there be a Dark Magician lying around, you'll probably use Swordsman Fusion to Summon Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman. Swordsman Fusion's a Quick-Play, letting you dodge opposing effects on the chain or throw down a big piercing monster in the middle of the Battle Phase. While Dragon Destroyer Swordsman can't make direct attacks, rendering the Quick-Play Battle Phase trick moot in some situations, it can still be relevant on occasion.

The bigger deal is the ability to fuse with monsters from either side of the field. While it's unlikely your opponent will control a Buster Blader, Buster Dragon can turn their monsters into Dragons and Special Summon Buster Blader for free, so it's often exceptionally easy to make your Fusion. If you search or retrieve Swordsman Fusion as a plus, revive Buster Blader with Buster Dragon, and use an opposing monster as Fusion Material, you'll be getting a +2 before you even attack. Never mind the fact that you'll probably swing through a monster for another plus as well as some damage, and potentially win the game.

The big question here is that since you can search and reuse Destruction Swordsman Fusion so readily, do you need more than one? That's going to be a bit of a metagame call, and may in part come down to whether you feel you'll ever need a second Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman anyways, so "no" is definitely a possibility. That makes for a very efficient arrangement with few wasted draws.

#####CARDID= 19431#####

Karma of the Destruction Swordsman's searchable as well, and while there's not much you'd like to banish from your opponent's graveyard these days, an on-demand reverse Burial from a Different Dimension is still a nice option to have.

The 1500 ATK buff can win games, and the ability to recycle Karma as many times as you need could give the deck an edge against graveyard-dependent strategies in the future. It's a cool little perk for the theme.

#####CARDID= 19432#####

DracoFace-Off is a stellar new spell card that really rounds out the Draco engine and likely clinches it a place in Championship competition moving forward. We spoke already about Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer and its ability to harass your opponent's Pendulum Spells for free, as well as Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer's ability to protect your Pendulum Spells effortlessly. Draco Face-Off is what makes that all happen.

Currently we only have one Dracoverlord to use with Draco Face-Off, so Vector Pendulum, the Dracoverlord's a must-run for the moment. From there, picking Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer for your second card resolving Draco Face-Off's effect guarantees that you'll lock in a Scale 3, since it shares the same Scale position as Vector Pendulum; or you can choose Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer, maybe get a Scale 5, and potentially set up combos with its always-sweet effect. The option to Special Summon any of those three monsters puts more combos on the table as well, and while you don't get to choose precisely which monster you're working with, you do decide whether to Summon it or play it as a Scale, so it's not as fifty-fifty as it might seem.

With Draco Face-Off and Performapal Skullcrobat Joker, you have a 50% chance to Draco Face-Off and Special Summon a Dracoslayer, placing Vector Pendulum in your Extra Deck. From there you can Normal Summon Joker to search a Pendulum Scale, and then Tribute your Dracoslayer and Joker to your Extra Deck for Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer. If you can use your remaining cards to complete your Pendulum Scale – easy since you're going to make Joker's search with that goal in mind – you can Pendulum Summon for three monsters that turn, and should you make an Xyz Summon and detach a Dracoslayer as part of that process, you can revive it for free with Dinoster Power's ability. You wind up losing nothing in that process, building a complete Pendulum Scale, Summoning Dinoster Power, and fielding a slew of monsters, and that's without factoring in whatever else you'd be doing with those cards.

As I write this, I'm looking at a few early Regional Top 8 and YCS Top 32 decks from the weekend, and Draco Face-Off's being played in nearly all of the Pendulum variants. It's a tremendously strong card that you can play in a number of different ways, affording you access to Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer, which is huge against opposing Pendulum decks. Expect to see us discuss it more in the near future here on TCGplayer.

#####CARDID= 19433 #####

The Dinomist monsters are a hyper-aggressive Pendulum Summoning strategy, and Dinomic Powerload buffs your stats and keeps your opponent from using most defensive cards in the Battle Phase. It's everything you could want from a Field Spell in one simple, easy package.

Note that Powerload cuts off effects in general, including monster effects, making it tremendously useful.

#####CARDID= 19434 #####

Sort of a Fire Formation – Tenki for Dinomists, Dinomist Charge is one of several Dinomist search cards lending the deck extreme consistency. The deck's not tremendously nuanced, but with three search cards it's very good at fulfilling its limited range.

Returning a Dinomist to your hand instead of sending it to the Extra Deck is pretty solid too. It can help ensure your opponent never breaks your Pendulum Scale for long, which is important in a deck that doesn't generate as much card advantage as say, Performage Pendulums. There are no effects to abuse by repeatedly Summoning Dinomists at this point, but I imagine that could change in the future, and the ability to replace your Pendulum Scales more readily means you can really take advantage of your Dinomist Pendulum Effects.

#####CARDID= 19435 #####

Majespecter Sonics doesn't bring much to the Majespecter theme, giving you the chance to swing over a bigger monster with a disposable Majespecter when needed. That's not hugely important, especially when you're playing Majespecters with other Pendulum cards that can make Synchro or Xyz Summons to out opposing monster anyways. But it's searchable and it might work some mindgames on your opponent from time to time, potentially drawing out a defensive trap against your replaceable Pendulum Monsters?

I guess. It's probably not worth a deck slot, and most mixed Pendulum variants wouldn't have room for it at this point. It's not bad, it's just not good enough.

#####CARDID= 19436 #####

While Shiranui Style Synthesis is effectively a minus the turn you play it, the 1-for-1 reverse toolboxing effect can be useful very early in the Shiranui game plan, and the ability to return a banished Shiranui to your graveyard can occasionally mean game, helping you reuse Shiranui Spectralsword for big presses. Even just loading the right card to your graveyard from your hand can be helpful, and while Style Synthesis may not look like the greatest card economy in a vacuum, the Shiranui rake in so many free plusses that spending a few here isn't a problem.

Note that you can discard whatever you want, including Mezuki, and the effects work with any Zombie packing 0 DEF. That means they're compatible with Gogogo Ghost, Zombie Master, and Uni-Zombie, not just Shiranui monsters.

#####CARDID= 19437 #####

The coolest thing about Odd-Eyes Gravity Dragon is that you only need to run one copy of it, because this thing can Ritual Summon it from your graveyard. Odd-Eyes Advent is searchable with Sky Iris, and until you're ready to activate it, Odd-Eyes Gravity Dragon is superb discard fodder; it rarely matters if it's in your hand or yard.

The option to launch Odd-Eyes Gravity Dragon onto a bare field by using Tribute from your Extra Deck against two or more monsters is superb as well, since you'll often begin an OTK turn with no monsters. Even if you fail to OTK, Gravity Dragon's Giant Trunade ability ensures that you'll have free rein to at least stop on the "2 or more monsters" your opponent would be controlling, generating a ton of momentum and setting you up to win a turn later, if not right then and there.

Nekroz taught Konami R&D the clear message that if Rituals are really, really easy to Summon, we'll play them! And Odd-Eyes Advent clearly follows that same philosophy. Even if you have to Tribute from your field to use it, something like Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon will just return to your Extra Deck to be Pendulum Summoned again anyways, so it's tough to imagine a scenario where Odd-Eyes Advent fails to perform. It's a strong option that may keep Odd-Eyes variants in competition, and it adds very few cards to an existing Odd-Eyes list.

#####CARDID= 19438 #####

Entire articles can and have been written about Twin Twisters, which is likely to become the new go-to removal spell for most players. Chainable like Mystical Space Typhoon, Twin Twisters gives you more destructive potential off one draw – that's a more than fair tradeoff for a card that can't make simple 1-for-1's, but instead makes bigger, more impactful 2-for-2's. Combo it with something you want in the graveyard, like say Performage Damage Juggler, and it actually becomes a plus. It can destroy both sides of a Pendulum Scale, wipe out two pieces of defense, or hedge your bets between the two when needed, and it effectively turns the worst card in your hand into 1-for-1 removal.

Twin Twisters is a game-shaping card, upping the competitive standard for spell and trap removal while boosting the utility of every card in your hand. Drew something that isn't useful? Now it's a Mystical Space Typhoon. That mentality really warps the way you look at Yu-Gi-Oh, and if you learn to appreciate Twin Twisters immediately, you'll have a distinct advantage over players who take longer to clue in. It's not enough just to play this card as a new default; to get the most out of it, you'll really want to understand how it changes the concept of utility, and how it influences backrow decisions on deeper levels.

Awesome card, great design, and a boon to Main Deck tech picks that might have been too low in utility across a range of match-ups before. Those cards are now more viable, really shaking up the deck building process.

#####CARDID= 19439 #####

The Tour Guide saga continues! Mistaken Accusation's the weirdest spin on Prohibition we've ever seen. While its activation requirements are so difficult to fulfill that it probably won't see play, it's an interesting card in the sense that we've never seen a permanent Prohibition type effect before. If Prohibition or Psi-Blocker can't stick around, your opponent can go back to playing the prohibited card.

Mistaken Accusation's different, in that it allows and requires an on-field copy of the card first, and then prohibits the rest of them; sort of like a Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell that doesn't actually stop the first card. It's a cool idea, but I can't think of a situation in current competition that would warrant playing it. In the future, very specific stars would have to align to make it useful.

Cute art, though. Poor lil' guy.

#####CARDID= 19440 #####

Dragon's Bind is unimpressive at first glance, but it's actually sort of an interesting build-around on a second look. If you can field even just a simple 1900 ATK Dragon and then flip this thing you can cause some serious disruption to Pendulum Variants, and since it's compatible with all the Draco monsters save the oversized Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer, there's a certain element of ease of use there.

That said, Kozmos can play around it; Atlanteans can destroy it; and everybody's going to run Twin Twisters. It's a unique card that has some promise, but you'd need to handle it very carefully or risk your opponent destroying it and then rolling over you with swiftly growing momentum.

#####CARDID= 19441 #####

Follow Wing certainly reads a lot like dozens of cards before it, having all the appearance of a TV card tied to big monsters that's nowhere near useful. If you've been around the Yugi-block a few times, you know exactly what I mean. And it's certainly a very specific card, with low mainstream utility in an era when most Synchro Summons end the game on their own - Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer comes to mind. It's also useless if your opponent doesn't play Level 5 or higher monsters, or if they keep themselves to Xyz Monsters. It asks a lot.

But there are some cool uses. Hi-Speedroid Chanbara can swing over an opposing Level 5, gain its ATK, and then make another attack. Protecting Chanbara's also valuable, since its scaling ATK takes a little while to get going. The card's definitely too specific for real competition, but it's fun to at least theorize over and I'd love to play it just once. What it lacks in utility, it at least makes up for in being potentially free if chained to a 1-for-1 effect that would've hit your Synchro otherwise.

#####CARDID= 19442 #####

Reject Reborn's actually an interesting alternative to Threatening Roar and Waboku. While it's not as reliable since it lacks chaining potential– it needs to be played with specific timing – the allure of a free mid-game or late game Synchro might be tempting if backrow removal falls out of favor.

For now, yeah: Twin Twisters everywhere. This won't see play for the moment, but might be worth remembering for future reference.

#####CARDID= 19369 #####

Destruction Sword Flash is only useable when you control Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman (or Dark Paladin). And while banishing all of your opponent's monsters is pretty good, Dragon Destroyer Swordsman can't make direct attacks, effectively punishing you for clearing your opponent's field. That banish effect just doesn't really fit with how this deck tries to operate.

Warding off an effect that would target your Buster Blader for free is nice, but doesn't justify playing such a narrow card. And while Destruction Sword Flash is searchable, the Destruction Swordsman deck has better ways to use its search abilities. Maybe this could be useful in a Dark Paladin deck? Sadly that's not really a thing that exists, so it's difficult to tell.

#####CARDID= 19444 #####

Dinomist Rush is the last of the current Dinomist search cards, plucking any Dinomist straight from your deck and hucking it onto the field, while ensuring that it won't be stopped by other card effects. It's an easy 2400 damage with Dinomist Rex, it's an Xyz enabler, and it helps you get moving quickly in the early game. It's especially helpful for Rex's hand control effect if you're still struggling to get your Pendulum Scale online.

While Dinomist Rush destroys whatever you Special Summon at the end of the turn, all the Dinomists are Pendulum Monsters anyways, so you'll likely see that monster again. And it's searchable with Dinomist Pteran, thought that's of questionable value when Pteran can just search a monster or Dinomist Charge straight to your hand.

This strategy's very simple and not as adaptable as other Pendulum themes, so it needs to hit fast and hard in every game. Dinomist Rush makes that happen, ensuring a big Turn 2 whenever you open with it.

#####CARDID= 19445 #####

Nothing's gong to negate your Majespecter support cards anyways, and Majespecters rarely go to the graveyard, so I'm comfortable saying Majespecter Supercell is pretty weak.

I guess there might be match-ups in the future where that kind of blanket protection effect is more useful? But for now, this card seems tremendously mismatched for everything we've seen from Majespecters so far. Breakers of Shadow really isn't a great release for Majespecter's sophomore set.

#####CARDID= 19446 #####

In a booster with a lot of mediocre spells and traps, Shiranui Style Swallow's Slash is a breath of fresh air. It's effectively an Icarus Attack that banishes a card as a bonus, and both of those effects are more useful than you might assume. The Shiranui deck tends to grind its way to victory in two or three turns, which means protection effects that can help keep monsters on the field, and destruction power that can clear the way for direct attacks, are both hugely welcome. Swallow's Slash fills both roles: it fends off a pair of attackers, clears defenders, and eliminates bothersome backrows.

And while the Tribute cost makes it a 2-for-2 on the surface, the banish effect lets you make the most of Shiranui Samurai, Shiranui Spiritmaster, and Shiranui Smith. Banish Samurai to retrieve a Shiranui from your graveyard, setting up a free Rank 4 or a Level 6 Synchro Summon; banish Spiritmaster to destroy a third card instead of just two; or blow away your opponent's backrow, banish Smith, and protect all your Shiranui from destruction effects for the turn.

Searchable when you use Shiranui Smith for Synchro Material, Swallow's Slash is quite accessible. And since it doesn't demand a Shiranui tribute, just a Zombie, you can even pay for it with Goblin Zombie or yard Mezuki to cushion the activation cost. It's a really wonderful card with a ton of great design, and I wish more of the spells and traps in BOSH looked like more like it.

#####CARDID= 19447 #####

Quaking Mirror Force doesn't seem very good, especially compared to every other card with "Mirror Force" in the name. While some sort of case could be made for playing it in fringe strategies that can take advantage of face-down monsters – maybe Ghostricks and the new Destruction Sword theme – even those decks would probably rather play Mirror Force, Blazing Mirror Force, or Storming Mirror Force.

Sadly this card's more on the level of Radiant Mirror Force and Dark Mirror Force, cards I'd guess you just moused over because you didn't remember what they did. Or you just ignored them entirely. Moving on.

#####CARDID= 19448 #####

I don't know if you're aware, but Pendulum strategies are fast, efficient, and flood the field with monsters. Pendulum Summons are awesome because they're easy, they offer you a bunch of free card economy, and they don't require much set-up beyond Pendulum Scales, which the best Pendulum themes tend to establish for free.

So why on earth would anyone ever want to play Pendulum Reborn? I have no idea. In theory this card gives you more reach when your opponent counters your Pendulum Summon, or when you want to overlay Pendulum Monsters for an Xyz and wind up sending them to the graveyard. It could also work against stuff that negates a Pendulum Summon and lands monsters in the graveyard that way. The problem is that those situations won't come up often enough to justify finding deck space for this card: it's not going to be as useful a draw as numerous other options, and it's a 1-for-1 that only fits into strategies filled with advantageous exchanges and free plusses.

This is yet another mismatched support card that might have some sort of merit in the future, but really doesn't seem useful right now. It's just nowhere near the level of efficiency Pendulum players demand.

#####CARDID= 19449 #####

Forbidden Apocrypha draws comparisons to Xyz Universe, which has seen lots of play as a fringe Side Deck pick against strategies that field two Xyz Monsters at a time. The ability to turn two opposing Rank 3's like a pair of Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss into your own Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon has proven popular over the past few months, while D/D/D Duo-Dawn King Kali Yuga's been run as an answer to Pendulum decks, with their tendency to field opening turns with dual Rank 4's.

Forbidden Apocrypha won't give you a free boss monster like Xyz Universe, but it can protect you from Synchros and Fusions instead of just Xyz. Right now, that may not be supremely valuable; it's rare to see two Synchros or two Fusions on the field at one time. But it's worth noting that Xyz Universe requires one or two slots in your Extra Deck to work, while Apocrypha doesn't, and Apocrypha has a definite upside in any future format where it's more common to see multiple Synchros or Fusions. Note too that it doesn't target, while Xyz Universe does.

Forbidden Apocrypha doesn't strike me as a winner now with Xyz Universe being a better choice, but that could change with time. It's definitely not bad, and it's worth keeping a playset around for when it inevitably becomes useful. I'd expect it to see tournament play at some point.

#####CARDID= 19451 #####

While it's tempting to label Bad Luck Blast "a bad Ring of Destruction", there are some differences. While you can only Ring on your opponent's turn, you can Blast any time you want. And while you can't Ring your opponent to death, Blast doesn't care how many Life Points they have; it's a potential game-ender.

The 1000 damage you deal when Blast is destroyed can be a nice cushion in case your opponent preempts it with Twin Twisters, but it's extra nice when they target it for destruction and you chain it. Suddenly a card dealing 1000 to 1500 damage to both players is searing you for minimal Life Points and scorching your opponent for 2000 to 2500 burn. Combined with other burn effects, it's a potential closer card that can turn the tables on your opponent as they try to field big threats and blow you out.

That said, you need to be in a secure position lest you kill yourself first, which means your own card is putting you on a clock. We haven't seen many good burn cards the past few years, for good reason, but I think this is a worthy, balanced addition that has the right perspective on direct damage effects. It's good, but it takes more thought than the average burn card in Yu-Gi-Oh. It doesn't feel unfair or unhealthy, but I'm not sure if it sounds worthwhile either, on account of the generally weak position of burn decks at this time.

#####CARDID= 19450 #####

Finally, the biggest winner of the spell and trap offerings in the Breaker of Shadows core set is of course none other than this, Solemn Strike. While so many spells and traps from BOSH feel like they were printed at the wrong time and don't fit well with current competitive trends, Solemn Strike's more than on point. Negating the inherent Special Summon of one or more monsters, it's a catch-all answer to Xyz Summons, Synchro Summons, and of course the big one – Pendulum Summons. But as a full-stop negation and destruction, it's also great against Kozmos and Atlanteans, both of which rely on key monster effects to Summon cards or manipulate the field.

Of the three big strategies we expect to dominate in the wake of BOSH, Atlanteans may emerge as the best at handling Solemn Strike – the ability to send cards to the graveyard as costs in several cases can often present dual threats that Solemn Strike can only answer one of. But even there, the card's a remarkably good deal at 1500 Life Points and even better if played for free off Guiding Ariadne. Searching it for free is good enough; you're going to see a number of games won by the player that simply had more Solemn Strikes. But activating it without paying Life Points is even better, making a strong case for Ariadne's involvement.

There's just not much to say here; Solemn Strike's easily the best generic trap we've seen since Solemn Warning, and it's got great positioning in current competition. It goes in virtually everything, and tends to take priority over other trap cards until you're maining at least two copies. Even then, a third copy is still tempting despite the Life Point cost. I don't have to tell you how good Solemn Strike is; you're probably already looking for them, or you've already completed your playset.

That finishes our profile of the Breakers of Shadow core set, as it was printed in its OCG release in Asia! But stick with us, because tomorrow and Friday we'll bat cleanup on our Giant Set Review, as we look at the World Premiere cards and end things with an in-depth examination of the set's OCG Imports. We're almost at the finish line, but some of the set's best cards are still waiting in the wings! Join us tomorrow, for Part 5 of the BOSH Giant Set Review.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer