We're just a few days away from the 2020 Tin of Lost Memories, your chance to finally pick up some huge tournament cards that were long out of reach for many duelists. There was a time I disliked reprints, when I saw anything but the tricked out, shiniest original version of the card as rubbish and a pale imitation of what came before. But the younger me was clearly foolish; there are virtually no downsides to reprints.
You can pick up extra copies of cards to build more decks. You can snag new rarities you might prefer. Rogue strategies become better, with budget players getting access to previously unattainable cards. And you get a cool new tin to put your cards in! No downsides at all.
…Except now that one deck you hate might be everywhere because it's easier to build, sure. But that's inevitable anyway.
I never liked the oblong containers like the oldschool tins from 2004 or the weird cardboard-square packages of some older reprint products, but something about a gold rectangular box reminiscent of the original anime is a big selling point for me and boy, does the 2020 tin fill that desire. Maybe the sheer appeal of the tin isn't the most compelling attractor for you, but we all have our reasons.
Getting into the actual cards in the 2020 Tin of Lost Memories, I really had to look the card list over a few times; I forgot how much good stuff came out in Savage Strike, Dark Neostorm, Chaos Impact and Rising Rampage. It seems like just a few weeks ago when I was lamenting the prices of a lot of those cards, and now here we are, preparing for a massive leveling of the playing field.
Who knows how the secondary market will shape up in a month's time, but I'm confident these ten cards will be on everybody's wishlist.
Me and the other twelve Infinitrack fans are all happy this card's been reprinted. Not only is the art wicked-cool, but Infinitracks suffer from being slightly too pricy to pick up with pocket change, hence only twelve fans. Unlike my Melffy deck that pulls from the cutest and cheapest recent archetype, Infinitrack Fortress Megaclops, Infinitrack Anchor Drill, and Infinitrack Harvester were a tad too pricy to if you weren't guaranteed victories.
Infinitrack Fortress Megaclops has popped up in a few competitive decks over time: I wrote about a Zoodiac deck that made Top Cut at a Regional back in February when Regionals were a thing, and that drove the price up even further. If you've never played with Infinitrack – or better yet Infinitrack Karakuri – the deck's really fun leaning into Xyz and Link plays, and sometimes even Synchros!
You'll always get my attention reprinting cards like Infinitrack Fortress Megaclops, because my personal play style leans towards having fun and exploring decks that are off the beaten path – especially when competition isn't happening at big events. I wouldn't bet my life that I'd win every match with Infinitracks, but the theme anchors a lot of entertaining strategies when it's not unnecessarily expensive; it's always good when we topple huge barriers keeping you from trying out cool decks you haven't played yet.
I talk a lot about hand traps largely because they've defined the game for the last decade, and every time I think R&D's out of ideas, bam, we get a new hand trap.
Enter, Gnomaterial – my first reaction when this card was revealed in Dark Neostorm was, "What do you MEAN I can't use my monsters for a Link Summon, that's cheating!?!" Like Effect Veiler or Infinite Impermanence, it "shuts down" a single card, but Gnomaterial effectively turns its mark into a useless lump on their side of the field.
Activating Gnomaterial's technically a minus of card economy, but with the Extra Monster Zone being, ya know, a thing, and cards often more beneficial in the graveyard, having a lump of sheer and utter nothing on the table can be relly detrimental depending on where it is, or isn't placed.
Gnomaterial's been so underused that I think we'll see a gold rush to pick up copies. It might not crack our Market Watch Top 10, but don't be surprised if the supply of Gnomaterial here on TCGplayer slowly disappears overtime. Hey, it's happened with other cards, so don't sleep on this gnome.
In fact, don't sleep on gnomes in general.
I may be in the minority here…ah, who am I kidding? I'm not. Nostalgia mixed with power is a mighty force to be reckoned with. The 2020 Tin of Lost Memories introduces three new World Premiere cards that never appeared before in Asia's OCG, and they all focus on Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
For context, I keep a bottle of champagne handy and pop it every time new Dark Magician cards come out, because I'm that kind of fanboy.
What I've always hated with decks that focus on Normal monsters – Red-Eyes Black Dragon, Dark Magician, and Blue-Eyes White Dragon – is that it's so hard to see your favorite card. The entire strategy revolves around your titular monster, so if you can't get to that one card it's often just a death sentence.
I've also always fancied Magical Dimension, but the requirements and inevitability of letting cards miss timing was frustrating, and it couldn't be applied outside of Spellcaster decks. Fast forward to now and Successor Soul is like Magical Dimension, but better! You'll usually Special Summon your Level 7 or higher Normal Monster from your deck, but you can also make that summon from your hand if you need to, ensuring that Successor Soul always a usable card. Tribute a monster you control, kill an opponent's monster, get a Normal Monster. It's simple and effective, which is about all you need it to be.
I think the reason I like Successor Soul so much, and why I see so much potential beyond the obvious applications, is the fact that it provides such a wide range of Normal Monsters – a card type that's always been around, but never really gets the royal treatment. The chance to use it with monsters of different types, ATKs, and themes, all Special Summoned from your deck, with free non-destroying spot removal, is a serious power boost to strategies that need something extremely specific.
It's basically an Emergency Teleport for high-level vanillas that kills your opponent's monsters as added value.
Oh, and it has Blue-Eyes White Dragon on it, so cue the mad rush of Blue-Eyes White Dragon fans buying a million copies.
Of all the hand traps and hand-trap adjacent monsters, Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay's occupied one of the stranger slots.
At worst Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay replaces itself and puts a free body on board. While Link monsters aren't quite as ubiquitous as they were under Master Rule 4, it's not like they're going anywhere; even if you throw Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay into a random deck, chances are good that you'll profit in card economy and board presence, all while giving yourself a better hand.
All you need to play [Phantazmay](Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay for free, is for your opponent to summon a Link Monster – even under Master Rule 5 that's a pretty low requirement, right? Draw some cards to switch up your hand and it's a great consolation if you lose the die roll. And since you'll net a card from the process of placing Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay on the field, there's no downside in terms of card economy.
Better yet, Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay acts as a body for your own Extra Deck summons. I know that's obvious, but when a free summon is an added bonus to a better version of Magical Mallet, that secondary effect shines even brighter. Furthermore, Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay has a Quick Effect that can stop your opponent from targeting your cards, and can likewise place a card from your hand into the graveyard to build combos.
No matter how you spin it, you can tease out tons of value from Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay, even if you only use some of its abilities in any one situation. Heck, the fact that it has 2400 ATK is icing on the several other layers of icing of the proverbial cake – I'd still sing Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay praises if it had 0 ATK and the only effect was, "summon this monster, draw a card."
It's hard to predict exactly how Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay will be used in the future: in the Main or Side Deck, in place of other hand traps, and so on. But it's eternally in the rotation of cards you're going to keep in the back of your binder because they could come in handy on any given day. Effect Veiler, D.D. Crow, Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries… they all rotate in and out of tournament staple status, and Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay fits the same category.
Back in 2016 when Pot of Desires first came out it swiftly shot up from 30 dollars to over 100. My articles around that time often focused on helping readers improve their decks, in a series called "Rerouting." I got a few raised eyebrows when I didn't tell everyone to put Pot of Desires in every deck they sent me, but I'll stick by my rationale that buying the "rest" of your deck is much more important than shelling out money for an expensive card that merely draws cards.
Fight me, Doug.
I'm not downplaying the results of drawing an extra card, don't get me wrong, but if you held a gun to my head I'd much rather have a cohesive strategy I could improve over time, versus not having a usable deck at all. The same logic held true with Pot of Extravagance. If you don't have it, you aren't totally blocked from succeeding with decks that want to play it, same as Pot of Desires in its heyday.
Sure, playing a mirror match is statistically worse if your opponent has Pot of Extravagance and you don't. But even if you have Pot of Extravagance, there are games where you may not draw it, games where it gets negated by a hand trap, and games where it resolves but the cards it draws you are suboptimal. If you wanted to play Altergeists or Subterrors, or any other deck that runs Pot of Extravagance and you didn't own any copies, it wasn't a death sentence.
That being said, now that the card's slated for a reprint it's already seeing a big decline on the secondary market; anyone who was waiting for the price to drop will spring at the chance to give their deck an extra boost. Again, it's not life or death, but it's an opportunity you should go for if your budget allows for it.
That's the thing – your budget suddenly gets you a lot more with these reprints, so expect to see Pot of Extravagance in more and more binders and decks as time goes on. And since cards that literally give you an extra card for a mitigated price are perpetually useful, I don't see Pot of Extravagance ever not being a hot pick, even if the price continues to shift. After all, why wouldn't people stock up?
Let me be petty before we get to the meat of this card – I don't like it because I kept forgetting this card's name is spelled with a colon and I really couldn't spell I:P Masquerena if my life depended on it. I've probably spent about an hour of my life total, frustrated that I couldn't find the card to look at its effects, lore, and whatnot. That may not sound like a long time spread out over a year, but, it is, and it's embarrassing, and now we've bonded closer over this fun fact.
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and rainbows were in black and white, monsters didn't always have effects, let alone effects you could activate on your opponent's turn. Needless to say, the fewer barriers a card has to activating its effects, the better it tends to be. That's why hand traps have been so dominant; the only requirement is drawing them before you want to use them. They don't need to be set, they don't need to be face-up, in your graveyard, anything. You draw it and it's live. That kind of accessibility is a major balancing factor in Yu-Gi-Oh's card design.
So having a quick effect that Link Summons on your opponent's turn is obviously a game changer; it unlocks so much potential for what could happen that it makes future cards respect I:P Masquerena existence. In its best use cases, I:P Masquerena shifts the balance of powerful cards.
Back when Formula Synchron was relevant in competition, the ability to Synchro Summon on your opponent's turn was no laughing matter. Keep in mind, this was an era largely without hand traps beyond D.D. Crow, Effect Veiler, and Maxx "C" – cards that were hopefully catch-alls for your opponent's plans.
Formula Synchron meant you could trigger Black Rose Dragon and Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier on your opponent's turn, something that was unprecedented in the game back then. In fact it was downright terrifying, and I:P Masquerena unlocks the same potential for Link Monsters.
Of course, the other obvious effect is I:P Masquerena giving protection to whatever you Link Summon. I'm not downplaying that effect at all, but in terms of a "game changer," it's the less impactful of I:P Masquerena abilities. I:P Masquerena potential will only go up as more Link Monsters are released with effects on summon, and that protection comes as an added bonus.
After all, who doesn't want to surprise their opponent?
Speaking of I:P Masquerena…
One of the more popular Link Summons with I:P Masquerena doesn't need much of an introduction. Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess is one of the most generic negation bodies in the game. You don't have to draw it, and its Link Material requirement of 2+ monsters with different names, no tokens, makes it exceedingly easy to summon.
Got some spare monsters that aren't tokens? In that case, Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess is your card! If you use four Link Materials for Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess you'll stack up to four negates, provided you can keep Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess around long enough to use them all.
While it's not as universally applicable as other cards, there aren't any real downsides to Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess and it's the perfect "last" addition to your Extra Deck, even if you aren't aiming to make her in every combo. Similar to monsters like Knightmare Phoenix and Abyss Dweller, Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess a go-to card often enough that everyone should really have a copy.
I don't think the thirst for Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess will ever die down as long as it remains legal. Honestly, why would it? Sure, it's getting another reprint in October in Maximum Gold, but if cards like Invocation are any indicator, an extra reprint won't drive down a widely used card, so make sure to get your copy before the price spikes again.
Successor Soul falls into a weird niche category of cards that are useful largely in very specific situations, but Destined Rivals is good enough to propel Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon decks to another level. I won't say that they'll be Tier 0 anytime soon, but blanket negation is nothing to scoff at.
Yes, you'll need one of those classic boss monsters to put Destined Rivals to work. But seriously, don't overlook the power of stopping all the monsters on your opponent's field. Destined Rivals isn't as generic as Dark Ruler No More or Forbidden Droplet, but it's a big boost for a couple of rogue strategies that are always fan favorites.
In fact, calling them "fan favorites" is a huge understatement – mention Dark Magician or Blue-Eyes White Dragon support in the softest whisper, and rabid fans in a hundred-mile radius will come barreling to your door asking questions. Or if no one else is available, that may just be me. I'm putting Destined Rivals so high on the list because you cannot minimize the powers of shininess, cuteness, and nostalgia in Yu-Gi-Oh – they're three driving factors that often do just as much work as tournament viability in determining demand for a new card.
Even if Destined Rivals isn't at the top of your list , it's way up there for collectors and nostalgic players alike, and the fact that it's so solid on the table cranks that up a few notches.
Borreload Savage Dragon is probably my favorite card of the last two years. Debuting in Savage Strike at the beginning of 2019 and instantly seeing widespread use, I thought that we'd surely see a reprint sometime in late 2019 – early 2020 at the absolute latest. But weeks turned into months, and it's only now that Borreload Savage Dragon finally being reissued.
While Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess has more generic summoning requirements, fielding the right Levels and a tuner for Borreload Savage Dragon isn't hard. There are lots of parallels between the two cards, but I like Borreload Savage Dragon better just because I'm a big Synchro fan.
Borreload Savage Dragon doesn't lose ATK when it negates things either, and it's a Dragon, which is always relevant every now and then, whether it's for Guardragon tricks or Dragunity shenanigans. In the end I'm pitting two monsters against each other that don't realaly need to be compared, but this is a Top 10 list and I'm kind of tasked with ranking apples and oranges.
If you'd asked me what card I wanted reprinted the most from the last few years, hands down, 110% I would have said Borreload Savage Dragon. I want everyone that considered playing it for even half a second to finally have their dreams realized, even if it's for silly combos in ABCs .
And then there's Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. It's a lot to take in, and you better get used to it because thanks to Predaplant Verte Anaconda, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon going to be played in virtually every deck. As long as adding in Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon doesn't somehow cripple your strategy, I don't see why you wouldn't play the copies you have.
While this isn't really a Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Dark Magician support card, it's somewhat of a marriage between them and Red-Eyes Black Dragon. It has the stats of Blue-Eyes White Dragon, it names Dark Magician as a Fusion Material, and it's technically a Red-Eyes card.
Basically, the answer is "yes" to whatever the question is.
If you lean hard into the nostalgic support, you'll maximize Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon effectiveness. Using Dark Magician and Red-Eyes Black Dragon as materials means you can destroy two monsters your opponent controls then burn them for that much damage. The fun's just beginning at that poinit, because by discarding a card, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon gains 1000 ATK and negates something your opponent does.
Oh, and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon can't be destroyed by card effects.
And it can't be targeted.
Did I mention it has 3000 ATK yet? Or that you can use Dragon Effect Monsters as material? And that Red-Eyes Fusion dumps them straight from the deck? And that Red-Eyes Fusion is searchable by Red-Eyes Insight?
Point is, there's a lot of arguments to be made when you're trying to pin down the other nine cards in a Top 10 like this. But the number one slot can't go to anything besides Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. I'm blown away by this thing, and it'll be the single biggest must-have from the 2020 Tin of Lost Memories, regardless of how much you think it is or isn't worth.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.