Presenting the final installment of the Burning Abyss Saga as well as earthshakingly underrated Ultimate Athlete support, there's a lot to love in these last few cards. There's a ton of fan service in the final ten cards too, the OCG Imports, so without further ado let's get started with a look at the Sneak Preview promo.
#####CARDID= 18172 #####
The Normal Pendulum strategy keeps getting better and better, and here we see another card that plays into a big design trend we've seen over the past few releases: cards that clearly aim to solve core challenges for given decks.
In this case it's a card that solves the Normal Pendulum problem of gathering too many monsters in hand. With Dragoons of Draconia from Secrets of Eternity searching free monsters, and effects like Summoner's Art often arriving at awkward times when you just didn't need any more bodies, your only options were to use those monsters for Big Pendulum Summons or hold them back for potential use as replacement Pendulum Spells.
Sea Dragoons of Draconia is cool because it lets you play those monsters a Little Differently, either dropping one as a defender when your opponent runs over one of your monsters – note that Sea Dragoons has 2100 DEF itself – or letting you Pendulum Summon a minimal number of monsters, then making another key Special Summon later on during your Battle Phase. Doing that can let you make surprise attacks in that Battle Phase, or Xyz Summons in the following Main Phase 2 when your opponent thinks you're out of moves for the turn.
Note too that while the Normal Pendulum strategy's Pendulum Scales top out at Scale 7, previously with Flash Knight and now Sea Dragoons, the Sea Dragoons' ability can Special Summon a Normal Monster of any size. That's not hugely relevant now, but may become more important moving forward. The fact that Sea Dragoons offers a great effect and rounds out the top of your Pendulum Scale is of course huge; it's easy to play and it has a clear role in the strategy.
#####CARDID= 18250 #####
The last of the Burning Abyss monsters make their debut in Crossed Souls, and Barbar, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss might be the best of the bunch so far. It can hold its own on the field with a respectable 1700 ATK, and whenever it hits the graveyard it can dish out up to 900 effect damage – I like to consider it a free, often repeatable Gagaga Cowboy shot.
The ability to reuse this card, even just once given its banish cost, can make games much easier to win. It can clinch games that would be unwinnable otherwise, give you a huge edge in time, and it mades Number 47: Nightmare Shark that much better. It's a boost of speed that the flagging Burning Abyss deck sorely needs right now.
#####CARDID= 18249 #####
Draghig, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss isn't terrible either, letting you stack your deck to set up future draws or to trigger Malebranche effects off milling tricks. Unfortunately it conflicts with Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, which is just a more important effect you'll use more frequently.
That said, even just being another name for your Burning Abyss Special Summons has some value. This card takes some finesse, but it's got some undeniable core value and an effect that's far from useless, despite being situational.
#####CARDID= 18251 #####
I think Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss is better than most seem to believe. The Terminus of the Burning Abyss is another speed-driven card that can help you dish out a bit more damage, and since the bulk of your Fusion Materials offer trigger effects when you send them to the graveyard that little bonus is about all the extra oomph Burning Abyss duelists need to make Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss viable.
The new Dante's untargetable; lets you trigger a Malebranche graveyard effect one per turn on either player's turn to draw a card; and then if it's destroyed by battle, or sent to the graveyard by your opponent's effect, you knock a card out of your opponent's hand. That hand manipulation effect is likely going to look better by the time YCS Columbus is over, thanks in part to the fading popularity of Burning Abyss itself.
While Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss has failed to enthuse some players due to the fact that it's not another big first turn play – it falls squarely in the mid-game instead – I'm not really sure that's justified. Burning Abyss has some of the biggest Turn 1 openers in the game; it didn't really need more. What it did need was draw acceleration to get to important off-theme cards, more ways to use in-hand Malebranches, and more diversity in its play patterns in the mid-game. Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss delivers all of that and then some, offering a big body powered by a supporting Fusion Spell that helps you kick out that last bit of damage you might need to score a win these days. It's great. People should probably be testing it more.
#####CARDID= 18253 #####
After a sort of middling group of Ultimate Athletes in Secrets of Eternity, we get an awesome crop of new U.A. cards in Crossed Souls. U.A. Dreadnought Dunker's a heavy-hitter that slams through defense position Blockers with piercing battle damage and destroys a card when it does. It's a great fit for the speed-driven U.A. OTK strategy.
#####CARDID= 18254 #####
U.A. Rival Rebounder's even better. If you thought U.A. Midfielder was great before – which it was – it's miles better with this thing. Use it to Special Summon Rival Rebounder on your opponent's turn, and you'll trigger the Rebounder's ability to Special Summon another U.A. from your hand or graveyard.
Revive an Ultimate Athlete from your yard to score a free plus and you won't just reap immediate card advantage: you can also set up bigger, more secure fields with disruption effects like U.A. Perfect Ace. Leveraging Perfect Ace's effect into a 1-for-1 negation helps you control the field, but also locks in the card advantage of the free plus you nabbed off Rival Rebounder. Play your cards right and you can even land Perfect Ace on the field twice in one turn to negate multiple effects with its once-per-turn ability.
That's all getting a little specific though. On a macro level, this is a card that lets you Special Summon monsters for free to reuse effects and perhaps more importantly, crush your opponent faster. With numerous OTK sequences branching off your Special Summon abilities and U.A. Powered Jersey, this card is everything Ultimate Athlete fans wanted and then some. This deck finally feels whole, thanks to Rival Rebounder and the remaining two support cards.
#####CARDID= 18255 #####
Speaking of easy Special Summons, U.A. Signing Deal gives U.A. Midfielder a run for its money. Delivering a beater to the field, or fodder for an Ultimate Athlete "bounce, then Special Summon" effect, Signing Deal generally costs your opponent way more Life Points than it costs you to activate. This deck was already blazingly faster, and U.A. Signing Deal makes it frighteningly faster.
It's A Hero Lives for a deck that has arguably easier OTK sequences than Heroes, and undoubtedly bigger monsters to Special Summon from the deck. Again, I'm really surprised nobody but Pasquale Crociata's talking about this. I guess the biggest challenge for U.A.'s isn't demolishing opponents, but surviving some of the bigger effects in competition today. Frankly, that doesn't seem insurmountable to me given the way in which these explosive Summoning abilities interact with your disruptive and defensive plays.
#####CARDID= 18256 #####
You can pitch U.A. Penalty Box for U.A. Perfect Ace's effect to make a 1-for-1 disruptive trade, then banish it to search out U.A. Signing Deal or one of your two big OTK combo pieces – U.A. Powered Jersey and U.A. Stadium. If that was all this card did, sort of like Ojamagic, it would probably be worth running.
But it's also a Continuous Trap that banishes one opposing attacker or defender per turn as needed, keeping you alive and removing defenders you couldn't deal with otherwise. It enables OTK's by clearing the way and searching your combo pieces, while making it tougher for your opponent to press through your set-ups and take you out. It's just an awesome card.
#####CARDID= 18258 #####
I actually really dig a lot of the OCG Import cards in Crossed Souls, but they haven't seen much discussion out in the wild. Granted, the core set is so strong that even the TCG World Premier cards are being overshadowed. That's understandable; there's just a lot to love in CROS. That said, literally all of these cards are at least worth a nod.
The Melody of Awakening Dragon searches a ton of iconic Dragon cards, the most important being Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. Since the Galaxy Photon theme revolves around placing certain cards in your graveyard so you can revive them later, and since Galaxy-Eyes itself is so important to certain variants, this card has a definite niche. It's going to be more useful in offbeat versions of the strategy revolving around Twin Photon Lizard, where you're more inclined to want to see Galaxy-Eyes in your hand than in a conventional build.
Yes, there are "conventional" builds of Galaxy Photon decks. I… I really like the theme.
This thing can also search Blue-Eyes White Dragon, sadly kind of irrelevant since The White Stone of Legend does it better. It grabs Rainbow Dragon, Rainbow Dark Dragon, and Rainbow Dragon' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Malefic Rainbow Dragon">Malefic Rainbow Dragon too, one of which might have been relevant at some point in the history of the game.
It's not a great card, but it makes me happy.
#####CARDID= 18259 #####
Power Bond and Cybernetic Fusion Support go together like peanut butter and chocolate, if that was a deadly combination of poisons that killed your opponent – or alternatively if things go wrong, you – in one massive explosion.
Note that while this card might appear to be a low-utility OTK enabler that could sit dead in your hand for long periods of time in the early game, it's actually searchable with Cyber Dragon Core, which gives it a lot more viability. While there are often better things to search with Core's effect, and Core searches are limited in supply, the idea of running just one copy of this, grabbing it as needed, and then going off in fiery and impressive ways is enticing.
#####CARDID= 18260 #####
Powerful Rebirth is yet another bad Call Of The Haunted; as previously noted, a major theme for Crossed Souls. For some reason.
#####CARDID= 18261 #####
Let's be honest: over the years we've seen Number C39: Utopia Ray steal a surprising number of games. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen, and it's always kind of cool to see.
Number S39: Utopia Prime is Number C39: Utopia Ray on steroids. As a game-stealing surprise play it's vastly more effective, for something like half a dozen reasons. While Ray required you to fall within a certain restrictive Life Point range, while Utopia Prime just requires your opponent to have more Life Points than you; it's much easier to play on that level alone.
From there, instead of just pressing over a monster with a glorified damage boost like Utopia Ray, Utopia Prime destroys and banishes all your opponent's Special Summoned monsters to clear the way for attacks, dealing effect damage and then swinging for a potentially unobstructed 2510 damage… as well as allowing attacks from anything else you might control. While that ability requires the detaching of three Xyz Materials, a Number 39: Utopia and its two Materials will get you there, so it's just as accessible as you'd hope.
The original Number 39: Utopia doesn't see the level of play it once did, but this card makes it a little more relevant. The giant swathe of themed Utopia support that's accrued by this point doesn't hinder Number S39: Utopia Prime's chances either. It's a neat little card.
#####CARDID= 18262 #####
If you don't mind, I need a moment to cackle with glee. It's my opinion that the cackle is a noble laugh; a functional laugh, that serves to express joy, inflict terror, and alert bystanders to the presence of madness all at once. Those are all things I want to do when I consider the wonder that is Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon.
A simple upgrade to basic Galaxy-Eyes Photon Xyz Monsters like Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon and Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon, while the equip card effect is largely irrelevant, randomly destroying face-up cards for free is pretty awesome, and Full Armor Photon Dragon's a big ATK upgrade over the basic Galaxy-Eyes Xyz you'd overlay for it; Tachyon Dragon only has 3000 ATK to Full Armor Photon Dragon's 4000 ATK, and while Prime Photon Dragon has the same numbers, it also has a damage restriction on the last line of its effect, halving its damage unless it has Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon as an Xyz Material.
Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon swings at full power no matter what, destroying cards proactively to ensure that it lands that 4000 damage hit. It makes plays you were already going to commit to even better, and helps an oft-complicated strategy make simple, game-winning moves. In my opinion it's the best kind of theme support, asking nothing of you as a player but delivering major benefits to your strategy.
#####CARDID= 18263 #####
Performapal Thunderhino's actually a pretty alright card! It's got two protection effects that are both well-reasoned, and since it stymies attacks on the field and then shields cards of all sorts with its graveyard effect, it's vaguely reminiscent of the double-value of a Breakthrough Skill or Skill Prisoner.
Of course, it's handicapped by the fact that every card it protects is awful, but I'm trying to go out on an even-handed note here. Keepin' it classy. Being fair.
#####CARDID= 18264 #####
…Primitive Butterfly's awesome because it's not a Performapal.
A Rank 5 enabler much like Solar Wind Jammer, Primitive Butterfly benefits from a similar Level-boosting effect that just happens to be much easier to activate. If you didn't even remember that Solar Wind Jammer has a Level-boosting effect in the first place, I don't think that's really your fault; the card never sticks around long enough for that effect to be relevant, and I've never once seen it activated.
The Butterfly's effect only applies to Insects, but that could be useful in extremely niche decks. Sadly there is no Level 5 Insect Fusion Monster; otherwise there could be some cool combos with Instant Fusion. You can combo Primitive Butterfly with Anteatereatingant though, if you were so inclined to build a deck around doing that.
Alternatively since Primitive Butterfly has no restriction on the number of copies you can control, you could always Normal Summon another one if you were unfortunate enough to draw two, and could muster Tribute fodder.
If you want to make Synchros that need Machine-types, Solar Wind Jammer's still your go-to. But for everything else, Primitive Butterfly can be a better option.
#####CARDID= 18265 #####
All the Tuners in Crossed Roads are cool. Junk Anchor's a Tuner substitute for all the Synchron Synchros, unleashing everything from Drill Warrior to Junk Destroyer off a single discard. With Sinister Serpent back and a wealth of themes offering free discard fodder these days, plus synergy with Level Eater, there are tons of ways to put this thing to work. It's searchable with Reinforcement of the Army, and it's a neat card that might rekindle some interest in a group of classic Synchro Monsters that once dominated competition.
Note that since Junk Anchor revives non-Tuner Junk monsters, you can use it to revive Junk Warrior or Junk Gardna for Junk Archer, Junk Berserker, or Junk Destroyer. It also may give us a reason to play Junk Forward, plus a bunch of cards that had very little purpose previously: think Junk Defender, Junk Blader, Junk Servant, and Junk Giant. It's unlikely that Junk Anchor would become an outrightly competitive card, but it's cool to see one monster inspire interest in all of these old cards that were never worthwhile before. It's even cooler to see those Level 5 and Level 6 Synchros placed in a new context.
Also? Paging through the official TCG Database, I can't help but notice that Junk Puppet's gotta be one of the funniest card names of all time.
#####CARDID= 18266 #####
Harpie Harpist is a from-the-hand answer to any face-up monster in your way, making even trades against Normal and Effect monsters, and garnering card advantage against everything else. Since it counts as a Harpie Lady on the field and in your graveyard, it works with Harpies' Hunting Ground and Hysteric Party. Its respectable 1700 ATK makes it a solid play with both.
That first bulleted effect can combo with Divine Wind of Mist Valley, as inconsistent as it may be these days at one per deck. And while Normal Summoning Harpie Harpist can trigger Hunting Ground's destruction trick, bumping a monster back to your hand can let you ensure another Summon – and another backrow destruction – on successive turns. The restriction that keeps you from using Harpist's bounce effect save for when it's Normal Summoned can be mitigated with Harpie Dancer too, which can bump Harpist back to your hand off a Special Summon and then let you Normal Summon it for its ability.
There are a lot of sweet tricks there, and we haven't even arrived at the true point of this card. Harpie Harpist's second bulleted effect lets you search a Level 4 Winged-Beast with 1500 or less ATK from your deck in the End Phase of the turn in which Harpist was sent to the graveyard. That means you can Tribute Harpist for Icarus Attack and score a 2-for-1 of card economy. You can Foolish Burial to search your deck, and you can grift free cards off Hysteric Party or even just simple Xyz Summons. You can rack up a lot of card advantage with this thing really fast, which just adds to the momentum generated by Hysteric Sign and Hunting Grounds.
That search effect can grab Harpie Channeler, Harpie Dancer, and Harpie Lady 1 through 3. It can also seek out Dragunity Dux, Heraldic Beast Twin-Headed Eagle, Raidraptor – Mimicry Lanius, Raidraptor – Vanishing Lanius, Sonic Bird, and even a couple Blackwings. While none of those decks have much synergy with Harpies, they could all run Icarus Attack and enjoy activating it for free. They could also play Foolish as a search card in some cases.
Harpies are an all-time fan favorite, and their legacy support over the past few years has rarely failed to impress. This is another strong entry for the theme; like so many of the cards I've praised from Crossed Souls, it makes cards that you were already running that much better without asking you to adapt your strategy or play style in any major ways. Excellent card.
And that's it! With the last of the OCG Imports in the bag, we reach the end of our Crossed Souls Giant Set Review. If you stuck with us all the way you read my thoughts on a massive 87 cards, so you now have a firm grasp on the entire set. What are your favorite cards from the release, and what do you think are the biggest hidden gems?
Personally, Crossed Souls has released so much great legacy support combined with new cards for newer themes like Deskbots, Fluffals, and Melodious monsters, that I'm sorely tempted to set real competitive testing aside and just casual it up for a few weeks. Let me know your top picks in the Comments, and as always, thanks for reading another Giant Set Review!