In past Giant Set Reviews, the spell and trap lineup in the core set was usually the weakest part of the release. While big flashy monsters sell themes, underpowered spell and trap support can keep things balanced in return, and until last year it was very common for new spells and traps – splashable and theme-stamped – to be largely underwhelming. Think Mermail support like Abyss-scale of Cetus, Abyss-scale of the Kraken, and Abyss-scale of the Mizuchi. Or Inzektor support not named Inzektor Sword – Zektkaliber. And Wind-Up cards that weren't Wind-Up Factory…Pretty much any Blackwing support that wasn't Black Whirlwind.

Don't even get me started on Koa'ki Meiru support. Where would that discussion even begin? Would we start it with Koa'ki Meiru Bad Call Of The Haunted That Kills You? Or how about Koa'ki Meiru Continuous Trap That Basically Does Nothing. Maybe Koa'ki Meiru Worst Mirror Force Ever? Oh! I know. Let's talk about Koa'ki Meiru Also Just A Bad Call Of The Haunted.

I'm super-glad those bad old days are gone. The spell and trap lineup in Primal Origin is so good, that it actually goes back five years to Raging Battle to correct the Koa'ki Meiru problem with one card. One card makes Koa'ki Meiru playable!

…And it's not even a Call Of The Haunted!


Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru is the support card us Koa'ki fans have been waiting half a decade for. It's not just "a" search card – it's "the" search card. Deck doesn't work without Koa'ki Meiru Iron Core? Diamond Core searches it, giving you a 65% chance of opening with it before applying any other draw acceleration – a massive improvement from the previous 39% chance. Already got Iron Core? No worries, just search any Koa'ki Meiru card you want instead. Koa'ki Meiru Urnight's your go-to pick, getting you free +1's, free Special Summons with high ATK, and creating big combo opportunities that generate card advantage and damage. Want to grab a problem-solving tech card instead? Koa'ki Meiru Sandman, Koa'ki Meiru Guardian, and Koa'ki Meiru Wall all stop specific types of effects. Now, instead of hoping to luck into the right one at the right time, you can Urnight or Diamond Core for whichever one you need.

And somehow that wasn't enough! Diamond Core even has a graveyard effect that lets you banish it to protect all your Koa'ki Meiru monsters from destruction, for the entire turn. That means it protects them from battle; it protects them from Card Destruction; and it even protects them from their own maintenance conditions if you don't have the cards to reveal hand in your End Phase. That's nuts.

And if you don't need to banish Diamond Core? You can bring it back with Koa'ki Meiru Crusader and just search a card again! You'll never run out of targets for Crusader's effect, ever. Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru's easily one of the best legacy support cards ever printed, and it's one of my favorite cards in the set.

It makes me happy just thinking about it.


Galactic Charity's no Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru, but really, what could be? It only works once your strategy's already in motion and you've succeeded in fielding something like Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon or the new Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon. It also works with cards you're highly unlikely to play, like the enormous Superdimensional Robot Galaxy Destroyer or the tiny-to-the-point-of-being-unplayable Number 83: Galaxy Queen, but yeah; generally you'll be dropping this off Number 107 or Number 62.

When you can activate Galactic Charity, it halves all the damage you'll do to your opponent that turn – another painful drawback that's kind of kicking you when you're already down. That said, it lets you discard any card you want to draw two more; that's unprecedented. It means you can pitch dead copies of Paladin of Photon Dragon and Luminous Dragon Ritual that you don't need, and that you searched as free pluses anyways off Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands.

Playable? Ehhh… tough to say. The Galaxy-Eyes deck is so cram-packed with cards right now that it's tough to find room. But that's really the main limiting factor, as well as the fact that this card's not playable in the early game. If you have room for it it's probably decent as a one-of, which is about how many you'd want to run anyways for fear of opening with it.


I came out really hard and really early in favor of Rank-Up-Magic – The Seventh One, and I still stand by that as it just now starts to deliver tournament results. If you open with this card, you will be sad. You can only use one per game and you don't want to draw it in your first five cards, so playing just one copy is the right way to go. Even then, Rank-Up-Magic – The Seventh One precludes you from running cards that might add it to your hand with an effect, so you can't play Upstart Goblin or Reckless Greed.

That said? Ripping The Seventh One often just means sacking for game. It doesn't restrict the rest of your plays for the turn, and just delivers free monsters to crush your opponent – namely Number 101: Silent Honor DARK and Number C107: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, both of which are extremely good at playing through your opponent's cards to steal wins.

Strategies that can manipulate your topdecks by returning a dead copy of Rank-Up-Magic – The Seventh One to the top naturally fare the best. Sylvans are the prime example, with Sylvan Charity making it extremely easy to stack The Seventh One right where you want it. Plaguespreader Zombie's another great example.

The jury's still out on this card, and I'm not going to lie – there are more Feature Match failures than Feature Match successes on record thus far. But Nate Forte's success with it this weekend could set a trend, and could be the beginning of big things. I think the math works out in your favor here and it's at the very least worth trying.


Artifact Ignition's amazing. It's literally just better than Mystical Space Typhoon the vast majority of the time you'll have it, provided you're playing Artifacts, and provided you have a free backrow slot to stuff the Artifact monster into. And provided you have an Artifact monster left in your deck in the first place. And remember, you don't get your Artifact monster if you fail to destroy the card you targeted.

Sound like a lot to keep in mind? Yeah, actually – there are quite a few places where Artifact Ignition can go wrong, and if you're aware of them you can keep yourself from making game-losing Mistakes. You can also make life tough on your opponent by doing things like protecting your own cards from destruction or destroying your own cards if you're clever, alert, and opportunities arise.

Artifact Ignition's a tremendous card, but it's also an intricate one, and it's more complicated than people give it credit for. Learn to watch for opportunities when you're playing against it, and be aware of the information your opponent gives you when they make certain plays. Any time an Artifact player sets a fourth card to their backrow, they could be telegraphing one of several different scenarios depending on the shape of the field.


Artifacts Unleashed probably isn't good enough to justify play: it's a conditional card in a deck that already has plenty of dead draws, and it's not useful on your opening turn or in most early game situations. That said, it does a lot of neat stuff. You could attack with two Artifacts, then activate Unleashed to make Artifact Durendal and swing for more damage; that could steal wins. You can use it with two Artifacts on the field during your opponent's turn as well, letting them build halfway towards a set-up with an Xyz or Synchro Monster and then spitting out Constellar Pleiades to ruin their play.

At the same time the punishment effect's pretty cool – it would only apply in a dedicated Artifact build where you'd have some good chance of actually having an Artifact monster in your hand, but that's largely the only place you'd run the card anyway given the need for two Artifacts on the field. Note that the reveal effect will accept any Level 5 Light, not just Artifact monsters. That means Cyber Dragon, Ghost Ship, Oracle of the Sun, Overlay Booster, and Solar Windjammer are all compatible, offering some intriguing Rank 5 possibilities. It even works with Thunder Dragon and Tethys, Goddess of Light. If you're jonesing for a truly off-the-wall casual Artifact variant, it doesn't get any weirder than the possibilities presented herein.

Tempting. Not worth it! But still cool.


Sylvan Charity's one of those cards that is so good and so easy to play that it really needs very Little Discussion. Stack the top of your deck in a strategy where your goal is to excavate the top card from your deck to trigger effects. Solve issues of consistency and speed in a strategy that suffered problems along those two axes in the past. Accelerate toward key spells like Miracle Fertilizer and Soul Charge. Trade high-Level monsters clogging your hand as dead draws for useful stuff. You can even combo it with Rank-Up-Magic – The Seventh One to put it back on top of your deck if you're unlucky enough to open with it., guaranteeing you a free boss monster. Sylvan Charity does it all; it's one of the greatest drawing or filtering cards the game's ever seen, and it's a perfect fit for the Sylvan deck. It solves so many of this strategy's problems it's practically the Diamond Core of Sylvans.

Oh yeah. I went there. High praise.

The fact that Sylvan Charity is named "Sylvan" Charity in the first place is kind of nuts too, since as we discussed back in Part 2, the namestamp lets you recycle it with Sylvan Sagequoia. Sylvans got at least four stellar new cards in Primal Origin, but I don't think anyone would argue if I said that Sylvan Charity's clearly the best of the bunch. There was a time in the game where themed support like this didn't even exist.


Ghostrick Parade's one of those cards where you read it once, think to yourself "Well that's obviously terrible," and then either ignore it for the rest of your life or slowly come to reconsider it. I'm of a belief that Ghostrick Parade is actually pretty good. Like Ghostrick Mansion and Ghostrick Museum, Parade protects set monsters from attacks, diverting attackers into making direct shots. Unlike Mansion and Museum, Parade keeps your attacks from dealing damage while letting your opponent beat you in the face.

Sounds awful, I know. But in return you get to search any Ghostrick from your deck every time your opponent declares a direct attack… whether the attack connects or not. That can get you straight into Ghostrick Jiangshi, a defensive monster to complete a secure set-up, or an aggressive monster to help you win, like Ghostrick Stein or Ghostrick Warwolf. It's a lot of search power at a manageable cost, since you're free to find some way to deny the attack with backrow cards, or manage your opponent's aggression with stuff like Ghostrick Mary or Ghostrick Jackfrost. Once you have the cards you need to beat your opponent, just use Parade to search out Ghostrick Mansion or Museum and use it to blow Parade off the field.

It's really a surprisingly good card, with the one sticking point being that your opponent can simply refuse to attack you and render it useless. But honestly, in that case you just sit around pressuring your opponent as you gather card advantage for free and build combos anyways. Not exactly the End of the World.


Tricky to use but deadly in the right match-ups, Bujintervention has already seen Side Deck success in Regional Top 8's last weekend. It demolishes Bujin Yamato in the mirror match; can rob your HAT opponent of Traptrix Myrmeleo, and thus the bulk of their Traptrix Dionaea plays; and if you really get creative you can disrupt Fire Hand and Ice Hand. It's really good against Sylvans, since you can eliminate all of their Sylvan Sagequoias or Sylvan Hermitrees in one go and cripple the basis for their key Xyz.

Is it tough to play? Totally. In fact I wouldn't even be discussing it if the proof wasn't already in the tournament results. But apparently it may be viable! I'll be watching for it in the deck archive over the coming weeks to see if it manages to last, and I'll be testing it myself.


Scrap Factory's amazing. The +200 ATK boost is actually really relevant, boosting Scrap Beast and Scrap Chimera to a respectable 1800 ATK and 1900 ATK respectively. More than that, it serves to make certain play patterns that emerge from its use into OTK's or two-turn win sequences, when they'd fall just short of 8000 damage otherwise.

The key to this card is Scrap Golem; it was never quite worth playing in the past, but it's totally worthwhile now since Scrap Factory can Special Summon it from your deck, for free, with no need for Tribute. Provided you or your opponent destroys your monster without costing either player card presence, Scrap Golem hits the table as a 1-for-1 and then pluses you every turn by reviving a monster for free. You can take your free plus and attack with both monsters, or bring back Scrap Goblin or Scrap Beast to consolidate into Scrap Dragon or Scrap Twin Dragon as you see fit. Both have destruction effects that can keep the Factory pumping out plays, while Scrap Twin Dragon's bounce ability's especially valuable these days, bouncing away cards like Fire Hand and Ice Hand to dodge their abilities.

Scrap Factory breathes life into more than just one forgotten Scrap card, too: Scrap Orthros is what really makes it flexible and proactive, and the recent build that just Top 4'd the National Championship in the Czech Republic last week went so far as to play three Scrap Shark. Scrap Factory's easy to use and deceptively powerful: it finally gives you a reason to play Scrap cards beyond Chimera, Beast, and Goblin, and opens up the strategy to be faster, more resilient, and make better use of its bigger Synchro Monsters. I could write an entire article about it, and in fact I already did a few weeks ago. It's one of those awesome pieces of legacy support I'm so big on, turning an entire theme around in one release.


Forbidden Scripture's an interesting card. I don't think there's much use for it in current competition save as a sort of roundabout way of beating Bujins, so I don't know if it'll see any play in the near future. But it's unique, and depending on what we see from future releases it could be relevant at some point. For now I think it's outclassed


Man, remember how confused and angry people were at the start of this format, when 90% of the online community thought Morphing Jar and Morphing Jar #2 had been Forbidden to control Empty Jar decks? The strategy that had delivered no tournament wins for literally years. As you may remember, curbing Empty Jar wasn't the point of that move. Those Forbiddings happened to cut off FTK's made possible by this card, Jackpot 7.

There were several versions of the Jackpot 7 deck in the OCG, but the most obnoxious sought to Creature Swap a Morphing Jar to your opponent as early as Turn 1 so it would qualify as "an opponent's card," then flip-flop it up and down until you could banish all three copies of Jackpot 7 and win. It was just consistent enough to be annoying, and while other variants were actually more reliable – the most discussed version hinged on Burglars' rel=" Scorpion Burglars">Dark Scorpion Burglars, requiring you to at least make attacks through your opponent's backrow – the Morphing Jar version was the least interactive and thus the biggest problem.

So it got the axe. And today, despite the Dark Scorpion deck still existing, nobody plays it. There's just too much backrow for any version of that deck to work.

For now.


Tachyon Chaos Hole's definitely conditional, since it's only useful to a Galaxy-Eyes deck once you've already Summoned Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon. But Summoning that monster's just not that difficult these days, and Chaos Hole basically reads, "If your opponent takes down Prime Photon Dragon, wreck their s****."

"…All of it."

Not only does Tachyon Chaos Hole just demolish your opponent's field, it brings back Prime Photon Dragon, if Prime Photon Dragon's effect wasn't going to do that already (or simply wasn't doing it fast enough). I'd love to fit one copy of this card into my next round of Galaxy-Eyes decks. Absolutely. It takes the traditional concept of an underpowered, overly conditional theme support card and asks what would happen if it was still overly conditional, but in return completely overpowered. It's actually kind of shocking. Why wasn't Avalon this good?


Show of hands: who thinks Artifacts wouldn't matter if Artifact Sanctum didn't exist? You can't see me, because I'm likely hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away. And I'm in the past. You are reading this in the future. But to be clear, I've got both my hands up.

Artifact Sanctum is what makes Artifacts work. Without it there's no deck, because there's no easy forward thrust. With it, Artifact Moralltach becomes a non-targeting nightmare that instantly pluses you and drops on your opponent's turn to shatter their attempts at Xyz and Synchro Summons. It defends you from attacks by destroying aggressors, breaks apart combos, chump blocks, fields a 2100 ATK attacker, and gives you one half of a Rank 5 Xyz Summon.

And of course, it makes your backrow virtually impossible to approach. Say what you want, but the reality is that if you read over the hundreds of YCS and Championship Feature Matches that have been recorder over the years, blind Mystical Space Typhoon is a big part of the game. Perfect reads are nice, and conservative play that never has to buckle to your opponent's pressure would be lovely, but that just isn't how the real world works. Sometimes you really need to just blow away a backrow. And sometimes that loses you games, simply because you hit the wrong card and left your opponent with a more important one.

…And sometimes that loses you games because you hit Artifact Sanctum, your opponent chained it for Artifact Moralltach, and they blew away two of your cards for an instant +3. That's almost impossible to come back from, and that's where the real strength of this card lies: Artifact Sanctum's awesome because it forces your opponent to abandon basic actions they need to take in order to win. It's so crushingly good, and absolutely worthy of its sticker price as the single most sought-after card in Primal Origin.


I'm not decided yet on how best to use Ghostrick Night, but the idea of a longer-lasting Swords of Concealing Light, playable in conjunction with Ghostrick Doll, seems hugely appealing. I love that even when your opponent kicks out and destroys Ghostrick Night, they can't attack the turn it happens; your opponent has to pop it on your turn or simply resign themselves to a subpar series of plays that leave them a turn behind. It's searchable with Ghostrick Parade and Ghostrick Stein too, so it's wildly accessible.

With Ghostrick Warwolf effectively letting Ghostrick duelists win without having to worry about things like Ice Hand, Fire Hand, or attack-stopping trap cards, I think Ghostrick Night could have a lot of potential. This set's really made me want to explore Ghostricks again.


The Monarchs Erupt is Skill Drain for Tribute decks, allowing your Tribute Summoned monsters to retain their effects. The provision that it destroys itself if you don't control a Tribute Summoned monster is a major beat, especially with so many easy removal cards running around that dodge the Skill Drain-esque restriction, but it's still better than most of the Monarch-stamped cards we've seen before. This could have potential, especially in Tribute-based decks that are a bit more off the beaten path.


Evo-Singularity's an instant Evolzar Laggia, Evolzar Dolkka, or Evolzar Solda, which means it's effectively a slower Solemn Judgment, double Divine Wrath, and double Bottomless Trap Hole. On legs. Big legs in fact, since Evolzar Laggia has 2400 ATK, Dolkka packs 2300 attack points, and Solda swings for 2600. There's so much to say about this card it's kind of ridiculous.

First up, Evo-Singularity doesn't care about the Levels of the Evoltile and Evolsaur it targets: you can use any monsters you want to Summon any Xyz you want, which makes it tremendously easy to play and allows you to run Evolzar Solda without having to run any awkward Level 6 Dinosaurs (which would clog your draws and generally stink up the place). Because it's a trap card it's chainable, which means you can effectively hide it behind the resolution of another card by making it Chain Link 2 or higher, protecting whatever Evolzar you pick from cards that respond to Summons. You can play around Torrential Tribute, Bottomless Trap Hole, and a few other threats really easily. And since the card resolves all in one step, and plunks down your Evolzar before adding Xyz Materials, there's no chance for your opponent to break your Summon with something like Artifact Sanctum into Artifact Moralltach, nor Compulsory Evacuation Device or Book of Moon. There's no point at which two vulnerable Xyz Materials are on the field, waiting to be overlaid.

Again, this card singlehandedly makes Evol decks work, bringing them back into the competitive fray. All the Evolzars are just especially well suited for competition right now, too: Evolzar Solda's awesome because it stops Soul Charge in its tracks, after your opponent pays all their Life Points. Evolzar Dolkka's perfectly positioned to oust everything in the Traptrix Hand Artifact deck, and it works wonders against Bujins and Geargia – the opportunity to threaten your opponent with 2-for-1's if they can't get over Dolkka in battle is just tremendous, especially since Evo-Singularity's so easy to use. It doesn't even interfere with the rest of your plans for the turn.

The card's ridiculous. If Evols don't start topping more in this obligingly slow format, I'll be really surprised.


Kelly did a great breakdown of And the Band Played On a couple weeks ago, and sure enough it's wound up appearing in several Regional Top 8 Side Decks in the wake of that discussion. Operating in a similar context as previous "floodgate" Continuous Spells and Continuous Traps, And the Band Played On offers a global effect that you can tilt in your favor by playing the right strategy, and carefully choosing when to activate it. It makes life really tough for anyone trying to Xyz Summon, keeping your opponent from Special Summoning matched pairs of would-be Xyz Materials: it's kind of another kick in the ribs for Mythic Rulers and Mermails, while also hitting the Madolche and Geargia match-ups pretty hard as well.

And the Band Played on can certainly be useful against Bujins and Traptrix Hand Artifacts as well, but it won't be nearly as consistent. With proven floodgates like Mistake, Gozen Match, and Rivalry of Warlords so universally applicable it can be tough to find strategies that can actually run those cards themselves, so a new approach like this card is definitely a welcome addition to the tournament environment.


Tri-And-Guess is another high-impact Life Point booster for Bad Reaction to Simochi and Nurse Reficule decks, and it gives you three more Gift Card equivalents with which to abuse Hope for Escape. While that might seem more like an oddity than actual useful information, lo and behold Andy Witt just took a Top 8 finish at this past weekend's Illinois Regional maining two copies in his Nurse Reficule Hope for Escape deck.

So yeah. Even Tri-and-Guess – a card that's effectively just a bad sequel to Gift Card – is apparently capable of winning tournaments. I don't even know what to make of that, but it seems like the perfect place to bring today's discussion to a close.

That winds down our discussion of the Primal Origin core set, but we've still got more than a dozen cards left to talk about on the tail end of the release! Tomorrow we'll ruminate on the OCG Import cards and the World Premieres that were exclusive to our version of Primal Origin when it dropped in the TCG, many of which happen to be some of my favorite cards from the set. Noble Knights, Bujins, and Gladiator Beasts are just the beginning, as Penguins and an arboreal archer take center stage in the last installment of our Giant Set Review!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer