Welcome to Part 4 of the Crossed Souls Giant Set Review, where I talk about a long arbitrary list of everything I feel deserves discussion in the latest set. If you joined us for Parts 1, 2, and 3 you now have a far-reaching understanding of all the Effect, Ritual, Xyz, Synchro, and Fusion Monsters in the core set as it was first printed in Japan. Today we'll look at the spells and traps, and tomorrow we'll finish out by examining the TCG World Premier cards and OCG Imports making the jump from promotional release overseas, into our version of CROS.

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Remember how much I loved Fusion Reserve, just because it was effectively a search card for a number of monsters that were largely unsearchable otherwise? Fusion Conscription's that, except you don't have to set it.

While Fusion Reserve worked on a one-turn delay because it was a trap card that you couldn't activate from your hand, Fusion Conscription works on a similar timeframe because of its own written restrictions. That said, it's not vulnerable to removal cards, it thins your deck immediately instead of making you wait, and if you're actually playing it to make a Fusion Summon you can go ahead and do that immediately instead of on your next turn. Alternatively you can also discard the searched monster the same turn you add it to your hand if that's why you wanted it in the first place.

This is a niche card, but it's a niche I'm fond of. It's also a pleasant bit of redundancy for any sort of weird deck that already would've wanted to run Fusion Reserve. If that's… relevant, somewhere?

Maybe.
I dunno.

Let's put it this way: it's better than Performapal Recasting.

#####CARDID= 18268#####

Performapals are so bad, that Performapal Recasting gives you another card just so you can play it for free. In any other theme that would be unconscionable. Think about that, and what it says about Performapals.

It's basically Magical Mallet for chumps.

#####CARDID= 18230#####

That unpleasantness behind us, Frightfur Fusion is Miracle Fusion for Fluffals! Which sounds pretty amazing, but is actually even better than it looks for reasons we discussed earlier in this Giant Set Review – namely the handful of new monsters that make it really, really easy to load your graveyard with free banish fodder.

Searchable with Edge Imp Chain off numerous plays, Frightfur Fusion's supported on the back end by Edge Imp Saw and its ability to fill your yard with Fluffals for use as Fusion Materials. There's not a lot to say here: Frightfur Fusion's berserk, and no matter how you choose to play Fluffals, it's going to be an automatic three-of. It works really nicely with the strategy's pre-existing play patterns, and capitalizes on virtually all of the new releases. It's one of my favorites from the entire set.

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Frightfur Factory's also searchable with Edge Imp Chain, and it was clearly designed as a compliment to Frightfur Fusion. Once you've resolved one Frightfur Fusion along with the corresponding Fusion Materials, you can banish Frightfur Fusion for this card and then place more stuff into the graveyard for your next Fusion.

Then if Frightfur Factory hits the yard, you get back Frightfur Fusion. That's important, because it means resolving this card just once can set up another big move and more free cards. Factory's effects are obviously desirable, but it faces some fundamental challenges: it doesn't do anything until you're well into the mid-game and have already resolved a Frightfur Fusion; it's weak to chainable removal; and if you draw it early or draw more copies, it's awkward at best. That makes it a tempting one-of in a deck that's already packed with cards. It could be valuable in slower formats, but likely not worthwhile in speedier competition.

Will it see play? Ehh. I suppose it depends on which Fluffal variant you want to play, and how you decide to build it. For me, I think it largely falls into the "good idea, but not quite competitive enough" pile.

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Suture Rebirth doesn't strike me as being tremendously useful. There are better ways to gather monsters for Polymerization, it's not very good with your Fusions aside from Fluffal Sheep, and the cards it could combo with – monsters with graveyard triggers – are stuff like Fluffal Cat and Fluffal Rabbit that are frankly outpaced by the new Edge Imp cards. Also known as stuff you're unlikely to play.

If it could Summon Edge Imps or at least didn't negate effects it might be worth running. But as it's written now, you have better options for achieving a goal I'm not sure you'd really want to aim for anyways.

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Now that it's clear Raid Raptors are in large part a Rank-Up-Magic deck, Rank-Up-Magic Revolution Force becomes a no-brainer as the enabling Rank-Up spell for the theme. Unlike most Rank-Up cards this one's pretty simple: if you have one Raid Raptor you Rank it Up into another one. That's better than it sounds because all the Raid Raptor Xyz have activated abilities that sort of stack when you activate one, then Rank-Up into another monster to unlock a different effect. It's also one of the only ways to get into Raidraptor – Revolution Falcon, which seems like a thing worth doing if you're playing Raidraptors.

More interesting is the card's second ability, which takes opposing Xyz devoid of Xyz Materials and then turns them into a Raidraptor Xyz for an instant plus. How often that will be relevant we don't really know, since we're going to have to see the fallout of YCS Columbus to judge how often Xyz Monsters are likely to be Summoned this WCQ season (and how many of them sit around without Materials).

Frankly, I don't think those situations will happen very often, since most current Xyz only bleed one of their two or three Materials per turn; if they have the time to spend all of them you're probably losing. But regardless, it's a powerful, very conditional bonus effect attached to a center point for the strategy, so even if that one element of the card is terrible that's still not necessarily a problem, per se.

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Yosen Whirlwind makes me feel confused and angry, because it's a mediocre effect that should in no way cost Life Points. I'm not sure why this should cost 800 LP.

While the idea of grifting some options off your Yosenju's own bounce effect is appealing – a factor that saves you cards but often leaves you undefended – this card's largely only useful against monsters, and even then it's tough to get plusses with it. While Whirlwind can eliminate bigger threats that were tough for your opponent to Summon, doing it in your End Phase means waiting around a turn for it to happen, and that whole concept plays to a speed that Yosenjus don't really want to travel at.

Is this thing just a total whiff, or am I missing something? Please report to the Comments section to verbally abuse me if I've got a blindspot to something relevant and amazing here. In the mean time I'll hope this is a prelude to more bounce cards in later releases.

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Zefra Path restricts your opponent from Special Summoning from their deck, graveyard, or removed zone. While it won't be great in some match-ups, it's awesome against Satellarknights and can cut off some key plays for Nekroz, Burning Abyss, and Shaddolls. It also demolishes the self-replacing abilities of the Yang Zings, if that becomes an important match-up in your metagames.

You probably have to be playing a dedicated Zefra deck to run it, but if you are, its only real activation condition boils down to a question of "is your deck working; if yes, play this card." The protection from targeted card effects is snazzy too. I hope we see that on more cards in the future, basically until the end of time.

More of that, please.

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Oracle of Zefra's dumb. What an amazing card. First off, it's Fire Formation – Tenki for Zefras, which is useful in both dedicated Zefra strategies and just things splashing Zefras that really want to get to them consistently. It's totally free in terms of card economy, and it's searchable via Terraforming and a handful of other effects, like Ancient Fairy Dragon.

From there it offers free monster removal, free from-the-hand Special Summoning, the ability to stack your deck, or free draw filtering depending on how you're using your Zefra monsters. The Synchro effect, placing a monster from your deck on top of it, is so good it makes me want to run this card in strange and weird ways. It's like Lavalval Chain but free.

It's nice to see that the Arc-V era's philosophy about making good Field Spells is holding through successive releases. This card's just great enough to be awesome, without being obviously overpowered and inspiring horror in those who read it.

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Void Vanishment's the shizz. This thing might seem unimpressive at first glance, but it's one of those cards that supports its theme in such fundamental ways that it address the main challenges keeping Infernoids from being more successful in big tournaments. (And don't get me wrong, that deck has topped Regionals more times than most people tend to admit.)

Basically Void Vanishment helps you fill your graveyard to fuel your Infernoid Special Summons. It searches "Void" cards you wanted to run but couldn't see consistently without running them in unwise numbers, and it can clear a problem-monster at the cost of a 2-for-1… except that minus doesn't matter because you'll generally use that effect to either win the game, or make the most of a redundant second copy you didn't need anyways.

Void Vanishment stacks insurance policies to the ceiling. It makes Void Seer so much better, it can't be destroyed by the new Infernoid Devyaty, and it supports at least one other new support card in Crossed Souls. There's not much buzz about it, but I'm a fan.

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Galaxy Cyclone's one of the biggest cards people will be looking for at YCS Columbus. How it performs in that event will largely determine how much play it will see in the future. In a nutshell, it trades the versatility of the chainable Mystical Space Typhoon – a card that can destroy both set cards and face-ups at any time – in return for the chance at a +1 by destroying two spell or trap cards in sequence: first a set card, then a face-up.

Naturally it's a bit more complicated than that. If some sort of graveyard manipulation keeps you from using Galaxy Cyclone's effect – say, Macro Cosmos to keep it out of the yard, or Imperial Iron Wall to keep you from banishing it – it's basically just Bad Night Beam. But if you can send it to the graveyard for free it's much like Breakthrough Skill or Skill Prisoner, giving you a potential free plus without it ever touching the field.

Whether you decide to run it will have a lot to do with your deck's milling effects, and its ability to capitalize on this sort of single shot removal; the shape of your metagame, and just how many face-down and face-up backrow cards you expect to see; as well as specific match-ups. Galaxy Cyclone probably isn't worth running if you don't plan to see floodgates come in against you in Games 2 and 3, and that adds a layer of complexity and context that you have to bear in mind to play it effectively.

It's really impossible to make a decisive call on this card until we see how it does in the YCS crucible. It's seen months of successful play in Asia's OCG, and a little success in Regional Qualifiers so far, but the bigger verdicts are still way out for the moment. Keep your eye on the coverage and the Top Cut deck lists from YCS Columbus and keep Galaxy Cyclone in mind. It's certainly not bad – it's fundamentally a very powerful card. But the right pushes and pulls need to align for it to be useful in any particular format.

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Unexpected Dai makes me happy about life. Effectively generic Normal Monster support, it makes Normal Monster decks more aggressive with just vanilla beatsticks alone. It helps you field damage, Synchro Summons, Xyz Summons, and Tribute Summons, and can help you put together specific themed plays in certain strategies.

Noble Knights, Evilswarms, Aliens, Gem-Knights, Normal Pendulums, and lots of other themed decks have unique uses for this card, pulling an extra monster to the field for on-theme Xyz, Fusions, or the triggering of effects and abilities that reward field presence. There's a lot going on here, and the end effect is that any strategy packing Normal Summons at Level 4 or lower becomes more competitive. It's an under-served niche but there's some really cool stuff there, and that makes Unexpected Dai an exciting card.

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Can you imagine how insane Performapal Pinch Helper would be for any theme that's not Performapals? Did your opponent make a direct attack? Negate it, then Special Summon a monster for free, of your choice, from your deck, to block another attack or sit around to create plays next turn. Then on top of it, if your opponent attacks you or you feel the need to attack a bigger monster, you can pitch Pinch Helper to save youself the damage.

If there was ever a reason to run a Performapal deck, I feel like this is it.

…Don't get me wrong, there isn't a reason to do that, but yeah.

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Melodious Illusion's interesting. "Slow Forbidden Lance" is never an easy sell, but the idea of swinging twice with a potentially game-winning monster as a bonus is pretty tempting. To be clear, the two monsters you're most likely to use this card with are Mozarta the Melodious Maestra at 2600 ATK, and Schuberta the Melodious Maestra at 2400 to 3000 ATK. Doubled up, either card's going to be a wrecking ball. Both are also very much worth saving, since each packs a powerful effect that can land your opponent in trouble when you get them to waste a card trying to fight you off.

Mozarta's particularly interesting because if you're swinging with it twice for a total of 5200 damage, whatever it Special Summons can end the game. That's a huge reversal; you stop a card your opponent thought would protect them from an attack, only to present so much damage that they can take a full 8000 Life Points then and there.

Granted, it's still a slow Forbidden Lance. It lacks speed and to some degree, utility. But played cleverly it can certainly win games.

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Dizzying Winds of Yosen Village is interesting, turning Mayosenju Daibak and Yosenju Kama 1 into vicious pluses instead of just to-the-hand bounce tricks. But it's deeply specific: it's really only viable in Yosenju Pendulum decks instead of the variants we're familiar with in competition today, because you can only activate it when you control a Level 6 Yosenju. Easier now thanks to Yosenju Oyam, but still not easy.

The fact that it only works with such a narrow range of on-theme cards along with a smattering of generics like Compulsory Evacuation Device, is kind of the nail in its coffin. The utility here is just too low for this card to be worthwhile.

And if at any time in these three paragraphs you thought, "But, Yosen Whirlwind!" Please. No.

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Designer Frightfur's effect is better than Suture Rebirth, since it doesn't negate effects and can revive Edge Imp monsters so you can abuse their graveyard abilities. It also has a bit of a leg up on Call Of The Haunted, since it doesn't attach to your monster permanently to create a destruction condition, and it can help you gather Frightfur monsters for Frightfur Chimera.

If you're playing a Chimera build this might be worth running. If you aren't, I don't think it's worth a second look.

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Chosen of Zefra has really awesome art. That's a cool looking card.

Sadly I'm pretty sure you've either won or lost the game by the time you hit its second effect, which makes it a cool tech pick for casual play, but a competitive no-no for real tournaments. The fourth effect is a cool win condition – and make no Mistake, that's precisely what it is – but it's really tough to get to, and there are better ways to defend your monsters from destruction and targeting than the second and third abilities.

Frankly I'm eager to try and build a deck that wins with this thing at ten Zefras. But I have no illusions as to the odds of that deck winning a Regional. Or even a local. That's fine though, because this set has so much competitive material I'm more than alright with a few cool casual cards. The good news is that Zefras have better support.

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Like Zefra Divine Strike. It's almost a Solemn Judgment, minus the ability to stop Summons but also without the massive Life Point cost. I'd run this in a heartbeat in a dedicated Zefra strategy, taking apart all sorts of high-impact plays for the low-low price of making a slightly smaller Pendulum Summon next turn.

If I was even going to Pendulum Summon anyways. Note that this card gets value out of the Pendulum Monsters in your Extra Deck, even when Pendulum Summoning's undesirable or outright impossible. That's kind of a big deal on any level, but when the payoff is "negate all the things," it's especially notable. Simple, powerful card design that rewards a core function of the strategy without making you wait until you're too deep into the game for it to be viable.

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Like Void Vanishment, Void Purification solves longtime challenges to the Infernoid theme. Unlike Void Vanishment, it addresses the problems that matter the absolute most. Searchable with Vanishment, Purification lets you reuse the Infernoids you can't Special Summon from the graveyard. That gives you tremendous access to lots of control effects that cost very little to play. It can also return used Infernoids to your graveyard so you can revive them or get them back with its first ability, or just so you can use them as more free banish fodder. That means speed and longevity.

The only restriction here is that the retrieval effect is limited to your opponent's Standby Phase, while the un-banishing effect works on your Standby only. Still, you get a ton of value out of this card turn by turn; restricting when you use it just serves to balance out the fact that the way you use it is so open to interpretation.

This is an awesome card and I'm looking forward to seeing more Infernoids in Top Cut play over the coming months, due in large part to its printing. It's especially good if everyone stops running Mystical Space Typhoon, but we'll see if that trend continues or Rebounds. Regardless, keep in mind that it only needs to last one turn on the field, flipped the turn after it's set, to get you an immediate +1. Everything after that point is gravy.

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Jar of Avarice is one of the biggest highlights of Crossed Souls as far as the secondary market's concerned, recycling five cards from your graveyard in a way we've been missing ever since Pot of Avarice was Forbidden.

That said, it's slow because it's a trap card; it can still be interrupted, because it's a targeting effect; and it only draws you one card, instead of two like Pot of Avarice. Is it worth running? It kind of depends on how many power cards you're using: note that while Pot of Avarice only shuffled back monsters, Jar of Avarice shuffles back anything.

It's going to work best in strategies that pack lots of cards capable of spiking your win ratio, and you can attack that challenge from the opposite side too: the fewer cards you have in your deck when you put back five prime topdecks, the higher your chances of drawing them. That means any strategy that thins your deck aggressively, even just through blind milling, is going to make far better use of this card than any strategy that doesn't.

It's a really cool card that may offer some much-needed support to underplayed strategies. Lightsworn might wind up loving it.

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Lose 1 Turn is quite obviously one of the breakout cards in the set. It's a compromising version of Skill Drain and Vanity's Emptiness rolled into one, and while it's possible to play it to your advantage, it has the general effect of slowing down the pace of play on both sides of the field. The less you rely on Normal Summons the better it can be, so Yosenjus love it, but it's really playable in almost anything if you can work the card correctly.

I feel like I've already talked about Lose 1 Turn so many times that I don't know what to say about it. It's awesome against Nekroz, Satellarknights, Star Seraphs, and a wealth of other strategies that rely on effects that just don't work when Lose 1 Turn's active. It's interesting because it's less effective against a number of decks that aren't as widely played as Nekroz are, and as Satellarknights likely will be, so it's a nice leg-up for all sorts of strategies that could use that kind of advantage.

Frankly the fallout and repercussions of Lose 1 Turn are more interesting than Lose 1 Turn itself. Mystical Space Typhoon will inevitably see more play because Lose 1 Turn exists. It's the number one reason to run Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit. It makes a strong answer for Galaxy Cyclone, and so on. Like Snow Rabbit, Lose 1 Turn is a complicating card released right at the beginning of the WCQ season, giving serious competitors a lot of thoughts to chew on and asking them to make some very important decisions, both on the table and off it. This card affects deck building, strategic decisions, and short term tactics all at once, and that makes it one of the most influential cards in Crossed Souls.

#####CARDID= 18245#####

Free graveyard manipulation plus an effect that combos with Burning Abyss monsters, The Fabled, and Archfiend Heiress? Yes please! Again, we see a card that manages to bolster several underdog strategies all at once, which is one of my favorite hallmarks of this release. Heck, you can use it to counter and abuse Djinn Releaser of Rituals, removing your opponent's from their graveyard and loading yours, and it can even set up your bigger Special Summons in Infernoids.

As a chainable trap you can grift this would-be-minus into an even trade if your opponent targets it with something blind like a Mystical Space Typhoon, or even a plus if whatever you yard has a search or destruction effect. It's not widely applicable, but it's a flexible card that can work wonders with the right strategy.

#####CARDID= 18246#####

A year and a half ago, a friend of mine built a trap monster deck that went 7-2 at a major Regional Qualifier in Orlando. I'll forgive you if you weren't aware of that obscure fact, but you can read about it here if you're interested. It established a fascinating point that I and many like me tucked away for later: trap monster strategies are actually viable.

Many moons later, enter Abyss Stungray, a 1900 ATK trap monster that can't be destroyed by battle. Inarguably better than Metal Reflect Slime, since it can both wall up like the Slime and attack, Stungray's an obvious upgrade. It might even be worth running over Zoma the Spirit; while Zoma creates damage, it often requires action on behalf of your opponent. Abyss Stungray just clocks your opponent in the junk and moves on with life.

This card doesn't seem very good until you remember that this deck was actually pretty solid already. If you were aware of that you see the obvious potential.

#####CARDID= 18272#####

…And Statue of Anguish Pattern just makes it so much crazier! A potentially untargetable wall at 2500 DEF, the Statue turns all of your Trap Monster activations into instant removal, blowing away a monster, spell, or trap card at zero cost. It helps you force through attacks, clears away threats that might pick apart your defenses, and helps defend your Life Points so you can see more cards.

Note too that it works specifically when "a card is Special Summoned from your Spell & Trap Zone." That means it works with more than just trap monsters – think Armory Arm or even the Geargia Union Monsters. There's some really weird stuff to experiment with here beyond what I'd humbly assume to be the primary design intention, and that makes me even happier.

I'd be building this if someone else here on TCGplayer wasn't already working on it for an article. So watch for that in the near future.

#####CARDID= 18247#####

Monster Rebone hammers home the only theme I don't like in Crossed Souls, which is apparently "Bad Alternatives To Call Of The Haunted." Suture Rebirth, Designer Frightfur… I'm looking at you guys.

When your opponent Special Summoned a monster; and they have something worthwhile in their graveyard, you can Special Summon it; but only in defense mode; and they may have lots of time to react to your play unless you hold it to their End Phase; and also, banish that monster if they destroy this thing.

No amount of love for Skull Servants can make me like this thing.

That's it for now! Tomorrow we'll finish out our weeklong investigation of Crossed Souls as we conclude the Giant Set Review with a look at the cards that weren't in the set as it was printed in Japan: the TCG World Premieres and the OCG Imports. Join us in Part 5 for the final installment.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer