It's hard to believe that it's already July–2020 was such a long year that 2021 feels incredibly short by comparison!
Blazing Vortex and Lightning Overdrive have already come and gone, and the product shortage of Ghosts from the Past is just a memory at this point. 2021 still has plenty to deliver for Yu-Gi-Oh players, especially as we get further into reprint series. From the 2021 Tins to Maximum Gold, there are a ton of opportunities for major competitive cards like Forbidden Droplet and Triple Tactics Talent to see reprints.
There are also plenty of brand-new cards coming in the second half of the year! Dawn of Majesty and Burst of Destiny are looking to shake up the game with new themes, new tech cards, and plenty of never-before-seen World Premiere cards. There are still plenty of unknown cards on the horizon, too, including potential surprises in Brothers of Legend and yet-to-be-announced cards in Burst of Destiny.
Let's take a look at what's in store for the back half of 2021.
The 2021-2022 competitive season is kicking off with a familiar face. In August Stardust Dragon's Majestic form is returning in product-hover id="241145" as Shooting Majestic Star Dragon. With 4000 ATK, the ability to attack multiple times during the Battle Phase, and two negation effects, there's a lot of value rolled into this single monster.
Dawn of Majesty also includes more support for Stardust Dragon and its Majestic counterparts, plus a handful of new Synchro monsters. The Level 9 Wolf-Rayet the Stellar Wind Wolf gains ATK each time another monster effect resolves, and it can return itself and all of your opponent's monsters to the deck when it's ATK is 4000 or more. It's a fantastic set for fans of the 5D's era, and a great way to pick up extra Synchro monsters for themes with Tuners.
There are four new themes coming in Dawn of Majesty, including a World Premiere Insect theme. Get those Verdant Sanctuary copies ready! Suship are mostly a meme, but who isn't at least a little interested in playing a theme of sushi warships? Gizmeks are getting a full set of new monsters and a Field Spell, and a handful of other themes like Gustos, Chronamally, and Aliens are also receiving retro support.
A new hand trap that can let you draw two cards, a Rank 7 Xyz monster that can destroy cards with a Quick Effect , and a new toy for Winged Beast strategies are likely to be some of the most desired cards in Dawn of Majesty. Jar of Generosity , on the other hand, probably won't be seeing much play. Ever.
September's bringing another round of yearly Yu-Gi-Oh Tins! The product-hover id="241346" is debuting three World Premiere cards that boost the power of Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon, so it might be a good idea to try picking up those decks before any announcements are made.
Beyond the promos and World Premiere cards are the Mega-Packs and their reprints, which this year are covering four sets: Ignition Assault, Eternity Code, Rise of the Duelist, Phantom Rage. Rise of the Duelist reprints are among the most desired cards in the game, so cards like Triple Tactics Talent and Nadir Servant could easily end up selling the Tins by themselves.
Battles of Legend just got replaced by a gang of Kuriboh brothers. In October product-hover id="243710" is bringing an all-Ultra Rare and Secret Rare set containing a variety of Kuriboh cards, plus support for Utopia, Noble Knights, and @Ignister.
There's also an officially announced Forbidden Droplet reprint, which tells me that the product-hover id="241346" probably won't have it. This is your chance to pick up a cheaper copy of one of the game's best spells, and maybe grab some Kuribohs along the way. It's hard to make sense of the new Kuriboh cards, although the explosive potential of Kuribabylon and Five Star Twilight leave open the possibility for some fun casual builds.
Remember last year's surprises in Battles of Legend: Armageddon? The unexpected 10000 Secret Rare Ten Thousand Dragon and the Number 39: Utopia (Astral) weren't mentioned in the product description for Armageddon. Could there be more surprises coming in Brothers of Legend? Maybe a special variant Kuriboh? Okay, maybe not a Kuriboh, but there's definitely space for something truly special to emerge from this set.
product-hover id="240558" is releasing in October and it embraces the hybrid build style that so many players in Yu-Gi-Oh enjoy: it's half Cyber Dragons, half Cyberdark, and 100% Zane Truesdale.
Cyberdark End Dragon's an impressive Fusion with a massive 5000 ATK, but I think the main draw of this Structure Deck are the Cyber Dragon reprints. The OCG version of this Structure Deck also had a reprint of Infinite Impermanence, which may make it to the TCG version. I'm a big fan of this set for another reason, though: you could buy two copies and build two entirely separate strategies.
Later this week the OCG will get its next core set: product-hover id="243716". We won't be seeing BODE until late October, but it's worth checking out the current card announcements in the OCG. There are some incredible themes coming in this set, from the Atlantean-fueling Icejade, to the Synchro-based Wyrms Xiangjian. Of course, what we're all waiting for is the new addition to the Man-Eater Bug theme–a card that perfectly showcases just how far Konami has to go to make Flip Effectt monsters relevant in today's game.
Because BODE isn't out in the OCG we don't quite yet know how the new cards will perform in a competitive setting. That said, I think there are some clear early winners. Raiza, the Mega Monarch saw a massive price spike when Flundereeze were first announced, and for good reason. The deck has an insane amount of summoning power, and it can easily field a Raiza during the opponent's turn.
Flundereeze x Snowl gives you two extra Normal Summons during your turn at essentially no cost, and it can flip your opponent's Special Summoned monsters face-down on a Quick Effect. Expect to see this deck in tournaments later this year, and start thinking about answers to Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds.
Even Penguins are getting in on the action in BODE with at least three new monsters. The theme's mostly built around Flip Effects, and the new cards are facilitating more flip activations by giving you better control over the battle positions of your monsters. The theme's new Tuner, Penguin Champion, can summon itself from the hand if there's a set monster on the field, and later it can flip a set monster that you control.
Reptiliannes are also getting retro support with a new Tuner and a Synchro monster in addition to other cards. The theme first debuted in 2009 in Stardust Overdrive, and focuses on changing monsters to 0 ATK to trigger beneficial effects. The deck's upcoming Synchro can zero out the ATK of essentially an unlimited number of your opponent's monsters. Between Ogdoadics, new Alien cards in Dawn of Majesty, and Reptiliannes, it's a great year to be a fan of Reptile themes.
Gold Rare cards are returning in November in Maximum Gold: El Dorado. Last year's Premium Gold Rare rarity will be featured again in this set, with each pack containing two Premium Gold Rares and five rares with gold lettering. So far we only have confirmation of three cards in the set: Chamber Dragonmaid, and alternative arts of Knightmare Unicorn and I:P Masquerena. The Chamber Dragonmaid reprint's coming a little late, but an I:P Masquerena reprint is always appreciated.
Maximum Gold is launching right at the end of 2021's reprint cycle, which gives Konami an opportunity to highlight popular cards without feeling the pressure to reprint every single expensive card in the last year. For the absolute budget player you shouldn't feel pressured to save for this release; instead, spend your money on the 2021 Tin and Brothers of Legend.
Dawn of Majesty and Burst of Destiny are easily the most exciting sets left for 2021–at least in terms of new cards. Promos aside, the Mega Packs in the 2021 Tin could be some of the most important reprints in the game's history. Rise of the Duelist's lasting value is partially driven by the insane power of some of the set's cards, but it's also the result of product shortages. Reprints of 2020's sets are so sorely needed that investing in the 2021 Tin seems like a no-brainer.
2021's second half is loaded with great products whether you're a casual or competitive player. Personally, I'm considering building every new theme in Burst of Destiny.
Until next time then