Welcome back to the Secrets of Eternity Giant Set Review! Previously in Part 1, we talked about new monsters for the biggest, most represented themes in the core set, chiefly Infernoids and Qliphorts. Today as we continue along through the monster lineup, we'll talk about cards that could help buff less popular themes into shape for Championship competition. We'll also talk about some of the coolest, most original and ingenious cards in the set – the legacy support.
Those are cards made to support old themes that don't get new cards on a regular basis, and while there are always some legacy cards in new boosters, the crop in SECE is especially good because many of the cards target specific problems that have held these decks back for years. There are a bunch of monsters here that would be insane and overpowered if they were printed for more popular themes. Instead, those cards augment the core strategies and tactics of a bunch of oldschool decks that were never successful before, freeing them of their biggest Achilles' heels.
But before we get to those, let's look at some new support for the one strategy that always seems to be sitting on the competitive fringe, just waiting to break through – Satellarknights.
Packing an admirable 1900 ATK, Satellarknight Rigel has already seen Regional Top 8 success even in the slim number of Regional Qualifiers held since SECE went legal. Capable of boosting itself up to 2400 ATK it can press over all sorts of monsters you might encounter right now, and it can even buff other "tellarknights" to create more intricate attack sequences and help you deal with a wider array of scenarios. As fodder for Satellarknight Altair it can add another 500 ATK to your cause despite being in defense mode, broadening Altair's range of problem-solving without requiring an immediate Xyz Summon.
Of course, since using Rigel's effect dooms it or its target to the graveyard in the End Phase, you might want to Xyz Summon just to ensure that you don't waste your cards. That said, you can also Tribute the boosted monster for Stellarnova Alpha to get more value out of it, and even just reviving Rigel in your opponent's Battle Phase with Call of the Haunted to place a 2400 ATK blocker on the field might have some value.
It's not a hugely powerful card, but it's a nice fit for the Satellarknight toolbox. It brings some interesting new aspects to the strategy.
Satellarknight Capella's interesting, doing a whole bunch of little things that create plays Satellarkngihts weren't capable of before. While it's probably easier to Xyz Summon Stellarknight Constellar Diamond with its own effect by overlaying a "tellarknight" Xyz Monster, Capella lets you bring Diamond out in Main Phase 1 instead of just Main Phase 2; that can put you a turn ahead when your goal is to stop the recursion effect of an El Shaddoll Fusion or Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss. It also cuts off Dark monster effects that would activate in Main Phase 1 or in the Battle Phase, like certain Shaddolls or Malebranches. Timing is everything with Stellarknight Constellar Diamond, and Capella speeds up a lot of its functions by an entire turn.
Beyond that it also gets you to a bunch of Xyz you couldn't Summon with Satellarknights otherwise. Some of them don't really matter, like "Number C" monsters that only get worthwhile effects if you used Rank-Up Magic cards to bring them out with specific Xyz Materials. Others, like CXyz Comics Hero Legend Arthur and CXyz Dark Fairy Cheer Girl, both have decently useful abilities that deal extra damage and could end games you might not win otherwise. Digvorzhak, King of Heavy Industry is likely outclassed by your "tellarknight" Xyz anyways, but you can do some neat stuff with Number 53: Heart-eartH, and Number C101: Silent Honor DARK.
You can even go bigger. Number C69: Heraldry Crest of Horror's destruction effect can control the field if you have four Xyz Materials to invest. That's unlikely, but it's interesting nonetheless. Sadly, cards like Number C102: Archfiend Seraph and Number C104: Umbral Horror Masquerade are largely outclassed by less costly alternatives.
Is any of this worth doing beyond Constellar Diamond? Probably not. But the Constellar Diamond plays could be worthwhile given the right competitive trends, and things could get more interesting as more Level 5 Xyz with heavy Material costs are released. As it stands, Capella's likely a metagame call at best.
Like several other themes in Secrets of Eternity, the Yosenju are a new group of monsters that make an appearance in this set, but won't see the bulk of their cards until Secret Forces arrives. Yosenju Magat is a 2000 ATK beater that when Normal Summoned, pays for its Tribute by bringing another Yosenju card to the field from your deck. Right now there's only one option for its ability, but the gameplan and value here is pretty obvious: toolbox for what you want as a 1-for-1, or make a +1 if you manage to make your Normal Summon for free.
If you Special Summon Yosenju Magat it bounces back to your hand in the End Phase so you can Normal Summon it for its effect later. Looking at that ability, you can start to get an idea of how this theme operates.
Yosenju Tsujik is the matching card for the theme right now, and if you Special Summon it with Yosenju Magat you can beef Magat to 3000 ATK, or bump Tsujik itself up to 2000 attack points. You'll make that play according to the shape of the field, echoing the mechanics of Satellarknight Rigel. If you Normal Summon Tsujik to use that effect when it's in your hand, you'll bounce it back in the End Phase so you can use it again later.
That's particularly handy and cerebral, since you can also use Yosenju Tsujik as a sort of restricted version of Honest or Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow. It boosts any one Yosenju by 1000 ATK when that Yosenju battles a monster, working off a "discard" requirement instead of a "send to the graveyard" requirement. So you can either play Tsujik as a surprise tactic and keep your opponent guessing, or you can Normal Summon it for its on-field effect, then take it back and hold it so your opponent has to try and play around it.
It's some very cool design, and it's unfortunate we have to wait for the bulk of the Yosenju cards for it to be playable. We'll see at least some of them in a few weeks, in Secret Forces. I really feel like the number of new themed cards that are currently unplayable are largely responsible for the underwhelmed impression many players have of SECE. I can't wait to actually play this stuff.
Speaking of, Spiritual Beast Rampengu is the only monster for its theme currently printed in the TCG, with more to come in Secret Forces. The Ritual Beast theme revolves around Contact Fusions, often reviving monsters from the graveyard to assemble Fusion Summons. Several cards banish from the graveyard or return banished monsters to fuel further effects, making Spiritual Beast Rampengu a valuable source of fuel both for Contact Fusions and powerful abilities.
Searchable with several Ritual Beast monster effects and supporting the theme's central plays, Rampengu may prove to be a star player in February. For now, it's just another oddity in a release that sets up a lot of future strategies.
Rounding out the trifecta of Secret Forces themes, Dance Princess of the Nekroz protects your Nekroz Ritual Summons to ensure they resolve, then shields your Nekroz Ritual Monsters from targeted card effects when they arrive to the table. It's a lot like a themed, searchable Denko Sekka.
Beyond that, if you Tribute Dance Princess for an effect you can recur a banished Nekroz monster to your hand. Peeking ahead to Nekroz of Gungnir and Nekroz Cycle, you can see that Tributing Dance Princess of the Nekroz for your Ritual Summon will trigger Dance Princess' ability, while you can set up with a banished Nekroz monster through Nekroz Cycle's graveyard effect. That banish-to-search effect is mirrored on other upcoming Nekroz Ritual Spells as well, so it's easy to see how Dance Princess will grow to be relevant for the theme.
Now all we need is freakin' Secret Forces.
Moving past the giant tease of future content that is card slots 26 to 29, we arrive at my favorite part of SECE – the legacy support! Yes, while Secrets of Eternity might have several cards for future strategies, it also has more than a dozen new monsters for past decks, and lots of them pluck my fanboy heartstrings.
Starting with this guy! Like Morphtronic Celfon before it, Morphtronic Smartfon is a card-flipping Level 1 powerhouse that fuels ginormous plays on the roll of the dice. Like most Morphtronics its defense position effect is nothing to write home about, but its attack mode ability's awesome: not only can it dig you to key monsters like Celfon, Morphtronic Boomboxen, Morphtronic Scopen, and Morphtronic Remoten, it's a Special Summon so you can get those monsters into action instantly.
And Smartfon can grab more than just monsters. It also nabs "Morphtronic" spells and traps, making Morphtronic Accelerator and Morphtronic Repair Unit that much better. Both cards hurry along your OTK's in an era where speed is key, and since spells and traps are valid hits for Smartfon's effect, its ability is much more reliable than it might seem.
Furthermore, Morphtronic Smartfon's a Tuner, and since it's a Special Summon you can Normal Summon a non-Tuner to make instant Synchro plays. Beyond that it's even an Earth monster, so you can slap it down next to Morphtronic Boomboxen and make Naturia Beast; a card I've written on before since it's so excellent this format. Shaddolls and Qliphorts both rely on spell cards to survive, and even Burning Abyss decks are playing record all-time high spell counts. Naturia Beast is huge right now. Figure in other Earth Morphtronics like Celfon and Remoten, and suddenly even Naturia Barkion and Naturia Landoise are possible.
It's a Tuner that gets you an instant +1, making your Synchro Summons into 1-for-1's instead of minuses. And you Special Summon it. And it gets you to all your best cards. Short of my fantasy of Emergency Celleport – an Emergeny Teleport for Morphtronic Celfon – it's the greatest thing that could happen to Morphtronics.
Jinzo – Jector's a Level 4 with 2000 DEF and an effect that searches you a Jinzo monster from your deck as a free 1-for-1. That alone might make it worth playing – search effects are awesome – but then it goes above and beyond. Jector reveals all of your opponent's set cards spells and traps, and then hurls Jinzos at their face for every trap card you reveal. Suddenly the neglected Jinzo theme is worth looking at.
To recap: Jinzo – Jector's a search card; it gets you information about your opponent's back row; and it locks that back row down with at least one Jinzo while it floods the field with attackers. That's kind of ridiculous. It also combos with Black Salvo for recursive Synchro plays; its Summon effect can trigger Deskbot 001's free revival ability if you Summon two or more monsters; and everything works with Limiter Removal if you want to take out your opponent even faster. It's precisely the kind of multi-pronged revamp the Jinzo theme needed.
It's cool, and I want to play with it. Some time when people are actually running trap cards again.
Skilled Blue Magician's kind of cool. While no Gaia The Fierce Knight monster is anywhere near as interesting as Dark Magician, Swift Gaia The Fierce Knight has an effect that makes it a live draw some portion of the time. While Skilled Black Magician and Skilled White Magician get you more powerful monsters, they're both dead in your hand barring special effects or Tributes.
The Blue Magician's graveyard effect gives it a little more reach too, making the other Skilled Magicians a bit easier to use. It's really nice with Breaker the Magical Warrior, Arcane Barrier is suddenly worth looking at, and Arcanite Magician can smack another card off the field. It even works with classics like Magical Exemplar and Magical Marionette. Supreme Arcanite Magician and Tempest Magician love it, and it can be used as Fusion or Synchro Material for those monsters respectively.
In the grand scheme of things this card is both too slow for current competition, and too reliant on combos with cards that won't see play past casual environments. But it's a fun card that serves as a cool update to a past group of monsters and takes them in a slightly different direction.
Back on the competitive side of things, Koa'ki Meiru Overload is the greatest. Like many I'm a giant Koa'ki Meiru mark, and while New Challengers debuted a bunch of cool new Stun-style monsters this one can go toe to toe with any of them. Searchable with Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru and Koa'ki Meiru Urnight, you can get to Overload reliably, and keep it on the field with strong themed picks like Koa'ki Meiru Guardian, Koa'ki Meiru Sandman, and Koa'ki Meiru Wall.
Koa'ki Meiru Overload reads a lot like Thunder King Rai-Oh, except you can run three of them and it can stop Normal Summons as well as Special Summons. It also works against multiple monsters, so it shuts down Pendulum Summons. The coolest part is that while Overload's effect is in and of itself normally a 1-for-1 trade – you give up your Overload to destroy an opposing monster – you can Summon Overload as a +1 off Urnight.
That's really important, because the Koa'ki Meiru deck has struggled for ages trying to stay ahead of opponents in card economy. Sandman, Guardian, and Wall could all be Summoned as +1's off Urnight too, then leveraged into 1-for-1's, but they're all very specific cards that couldn't protect Urnight from simple attacks. That meant you'd often Urnight into a free monster, lose Urnight to a bigger attacker, and then break even. Worse yet your free monster would wind up at risk too, because anything that could swing over Urnight at 2000 ATK can best your 1900 ATK Rock Stun staples as well.
Koa'ki Meiru Overload solves that, because it wards off the attacker that would jeopardize Urnight. And it does it as a simplifying move that locks in your +1, forcing your opponent to either rely on Summoning effects to push through, or making them set monster just to try and minimize damage. That's the leverage and stability that the Koa'ki Meiru needed all along, and now we finally have it. Koa'ki Meiru decks topped Regionals and big independent tournament several times in 2014 so we know the deck has strong fundamentals; Overload could easily be a big sleeper hit.
I have no idea what this card is for. Jigabyte lets you make over-invested Rank 4 Xyz Summons or Synchro Summons if you control a matching Spellcaster, and it can recruit five different monsters from your deck. One of them is Inari Fire, which mimics Jigabyte's Special Summon ability. Three more are themed cards that seem to have no business being in the same deck as this thing: Vylon Ohm; Neo Flamvell Sabre; and Fabled Urustos.
The best of the bunch – and the only one to ever see tournament success that I'm aware of – is Nefarious Archfiend Eater of Nefariousness. It shares the Special Summon ability predicated on your control of a Spellcaster, and it put in work one time in the entire history of the game, when it was played in Ben Wyman's Regional-topping Yang Zing deck back in October.
That's a thing I knew. That's something I committed grey matter to remembering. I had to forget how to do long division to make room for that info, but now it's stuck in my brain, and it's never, ever coming out.
At some point we'll probably see a Spellcaster card that ties these monsters together in some cool way. But it hasn't happened yet, and until it does Jigabyte will remain a confusing and inexplicable card.
It's certainly up for lively debate, but Caius the Mega Monarch could easily be the best Mega Monarch to date. On one hand Mega Monarchs may be too slow for this format. On the other, there are lots of Dark monsters running around in two of the biggest decks right now, and stripping your opponent of all copies of certain Darks can give you a significant advantage while racking up burn damage. And since cards like Battle Fader, Gorz the Emissary of Darkness, and Ghostricks can often make excellent Tribute fodder, you've got some strong options that let you double down on Caius' effect.
Just like the original Caius, the Mega Monarch version only rewards you for banishing monsters: you can banish backrow cards, Field Spells, or Pendulum Spells should you so choose. It's an unfortunate Catch 22 that while banishing effects are really strong against Qliphorts, Ghostrick effects won't work against them. It's not the perfect time to run Caius right now, but it's a fundamentally promising card that's sure to have its day.
Call of the Haunted for Raigeki? Sign me up. While Thunderclap Skywolf can only destroy face-up monsters, that's all you're going to need to accomplish in a number of big match-ups and rogue showdowns anyways. While two Tributes is a lot to pay to get this card into the game without using its effect, Lavalval Chain and Foolish Burial can set it up in your graveyard, and Call of the Haunted or Oasis of Dragon Souls can bring it back on your opponent's turn so you still get your Battle Phase.
I don't know if there's really any strategy right now that plays triple Call of the Haunted and enough graveyard-loading cards to make Thunderclap Skywolf viable, but there might be in the future, so it's worth keeping an eye on. Lavalval Chain in Satellarknights maybe? It really makes me wish my old nemesis Satellarknight Procyon could pitch any monster from your hand instead of just a "tellarknight."
Lightning Rod Lord is yet another next-gen Stun card, locking both players out of their spells in Main Phase 1. It's also another card that plays with the concept of tempo, setting back spell-dependent strategies by an entire turn and forcing your opponent to tip their hand to try and keep the results of their spell plays on the field through your turn. With Qliphorts Shaddolls depending so heavily on spell cards, and with Nekroz set to become a competitive strategy with Secret Forces, this card has a ton of upside.
It also makes Upstart Goblin, Pot of Duality, and themed draw cards a bit more difficult to play; it protects your backrow from Mystical Space Typhoon and Night Beam; and it hampers spells like Foolish Burial. With 1800 ATK and an Honest-compatible Light attribute that rolls well with stuff like Thunder King Rai-Oh, it's definitely generating discussion.
Back in our New Challengers Giant Set Review I wrote that Dragon Dowser would be searchable with Unmasked Dragon. Now it's finally here, searching a bunch of Performapals that aren't worth playing, Qliphorts you could already search with Qliphort Scout, and Rescue Hamster.
I'll let you decide whether that's worth anything. But like Rescue Cat and similar cards before it, Dragon Dowser gets better with every Earth Pendulum released, and since we're bound to see more Earth Pendulums in the future there's always some chance that this thing could become useful. For now, if you want to search Earth Pendulum Monsters you should probably go with…
…Frontline Observer! Normal Summon it and keep it alive 'til the End Phase and it gets you a free card. Keep it alive through your opponent's turn too and it gets you another free card for your efforts (and for Tributing it). That's awesome: keep the Observer protected and it gets you a +1 overall, feeding into immediate big attacks via the Pendulum Summoning mechanic. And if it fails to survive your opponent's turn? No worries, it's still just a 1-for-1 that forced your opponent's hand.
The best part is that while your first search gets an Earth Pendulum Monster, the second search gets any Earth monster you want. While that range of options is still limited to strategies that play a sufficient number of Earth Pendulum Monsters, you can get power cards like Grandsoil the Elemental Lord, or monsters that could work well as tech picks in Pendulum strategies, like Beast King Barbaros or Machina Gearframe. Some day I'll make a Performapal Superheavy Samurai deck and it'll be the most inexplicable and baffling strategy ever created.
Seriously, while there's no immediate killer app for this Frontline Observer, its basic card economy and core design are so strong that it's got to do something somewhere down the road. It's kind of sad how that line applies to so many cards in SECE, but "search any Earth monster as a +1" is still pretty impressive to me. It's the kind of effect that's going to get me excited every time a new card has it.
Uni-Zombie's the coolest. An on-theme Tuner for Zombies that's searchable with Pyramid Turtle and Goblin Zombie, and recyclable as a +1 with my much-loved Recurring Nightmare, it can serve as a Level 3, Level 4, or Level 5 Synchro Material. While both of its abilities have drawbacks, the Zombie theme mitigates them handily: discarding a card can help you set up revival plays by loading your graveyard, while limiting your attacks to Zombies only often won't matter because your fields will consist entirely of Zombies in the first place. That Level manipulation is even good for Xyz Summons, creating potential combos with Blue-Blooded Oni.
But oh! The real wonder here lies in Uni-Zombie's ability to send one Zombie a turn straight from your deck to your graveyard. Load up on Mezukis, or fill your yard with monsters to revive with Mezuki, Book of Life, and Zombie Master. What once required hard minuses involving Lavalval Chain or Foolish Burial is now easily achieved with a multipurpose monster that builds your infrastructure in the graveyard, while simultaneously creating big plays on the field. It's like Armageddon Knight, but it works with Mezuki instead of just your Dark monsters, and it's three Tuners in one to boot. Absolutely awesome.
Pasquale Crociata already showed you how awesome Deskbot 003 can be, but lets hit the fundamentals again: Normal Summoning Deskbot 003 lets you Special Summon Deskbot 002, which then searches your deck for another Deskbot of your choice. That's an instant +2, and since you can search Deskbot 003 off of Deskbot 002's ability you can make the same play again in consecutive turns. That's crazy on its own. Deskbot 002 boosts all your other Machines by 500 ATK and DEF, and Deskbot 003 can boost one of your Deskbots by 500 ATK and DEF for every Deskbot you control until the end of the turn. And that ability works on either player's turn, because it's a Quick Effect.
That means Deskbot 003 is a +2 that fields 2500 damage in one shot. Add Deskbot 001 to the picture and that number shoots up to 5500. If you can Summon 003 for 002 and search another 003, then protect both until next turn, Summoning your second 003 for an 001 means an OTK at 9500 damage. That's a two-turn play that generates four free cards and threatens a win. And don't even get me started on Deskbot 003's potential with Machine Duplication.
With the Tuner power of Deskbot 001 and synergy with Machinas, Gadgets, Geargias, and Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders, there are several possible decks here. Pasquale demonstrated one of them, and it's an exemplary build. Certain monster effects can cause you problems, especially some of the El Shaddolls, but Deskbots are simple, effective, and seem massively underrated right now as a budget pick. Aside from your Extra Deck this theme's nearly free to play.
Legendary Maju Garzett is just a straight upgrade over the oldschool Maju Garzett and Great Maju Garzett. Those two required Tribute Summons, so they gobbled up your Normal Summon and they were limited to drawing ATK from just one or two Tributed monsters. Legendary Maju Garzett is a Special Summon, so you can Normal Summon a monster for its effect and immediately feed it to Legendary Maju. And since Legendary Maju eats all of your monsters in one shot, it can reach ATK scores Maju Garzett duelists could only dream of up until now.
Of course, the other stopping point for the previous Maju Garzetts was that sometimes, your opponent just played monsters in defense mode; that would shut down your all-eggs-in-one-basket strategy. But it's a non-factor here, since Legendary Maju Garzett also wields piercing damage.
So why consolidate all your monsters into one vulnerable attacker? Lots of reasons: you can press damage over attack position monsters you couldn't beat otherwise, or pierce through defenders. However, the real goal is to cheat more ATK onto the field than should be possible. For instance, Malefic Cyber End Dragon restricts your attacks: you can only attack with Malefic Cyber End Dragon, balancing out its 4000 ATK and the ease with which you bring it to the field. But feed it to Legendary Maju in combination with other monsters and you wind up with a much bigger attack.
Legendary Maju Garzett also uses original ATK to determine its boost, so any card that has a high printed ATK but shrinks itself when placed on the field will give you the full power of those printed attack points. If you Special Summon Malefic Cyber End Dragon, then Normal Summon Beast King Barbaros and Tribute both away for Legendary Maju Garzett, you suddenly control a 7000 ATK monster that deals piercing damage. Note too that Legendary Maju can eat monsters you take control of with Enemy Controller or Snatch Steal, turning temporary effects into hard plusses and more damage.
There's a super-fun deck here, possibly one that plays Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur. (Barbaros and Malefic Cyber End happen to fulfill the Beast-Warrior and Machine requirements for Barbaros Ur.) There are tons of ways to play this card, and it's a great nod to an old set of fan favorites.
Marmiting Captain appears to be Marauding Captain cooking up a pot of hot marmite. I'm not even sure that's how marmite's made, but I'm too distracted by the Captain's frilly apron to care.
This card has niche play applications, none of which are nearly as impressive as the art. That's the hero from your childhood, dressed in a ruffly apron, cooking marmite.
Seems like the perfect place to end Part 2.