The Legendary Duelist sets are phenomenal packs that offer legacy support for characters from the anime. Boosters like Legendary Duelists and Legendary Duelists: Ancient Millennium typically skew toward the first few seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh, but over time the Legendary Duelist line has come to encompass nearly two decades of everyone's favorites.
If only there was a Fabled duelist in the show. Sigh.
Not only are Legendary Duelist sets great sources of old cards for your favorite character decks, they offer new support that often makes well-loved themes more relevant. Better yet, the new Legendary Duelists: Season 1 combines the first two sets in the series, giving you a chance to get your hands on cards you might have missed the first time around. That's handy, since many of those cards got really expensive over the last few years. As a bonus, Season 1 also introduces new rarities for the collectors out there too, called Colorful Ultra Rares.
Each Colorful Ultra comes in three different colors, replacing the gold foil name stamp of a normal Ultra Rare with a blue, green, or purple foil instead. Konami didn't reinvent the wheel here like they did with Collector's Rares, but the option to collect your favorite hue or customize your deck with a color that matches your gear is a nice little bonus that's going to create more value in the release. Personally I'm a huge fan of the rarity coloration and the variety, and green's my favorite color. I wish there was a green lettered Melffy Rabby.
What can I say? I like 'em cute and cuddly.
With variant rarities, good reprints and new cards to boot, Legendary Duelists: Season 1 might be a bit overwhelming. Today we'll make it a bit easier, and zero in on ten of the hottest picks from the set.
Let me start off by saying that the Legendary Duelist sets always seem to break the traditional rules of card values and what we normally expect from the secondary market. Collector value, scarcity, and nostalgia play as much of a role in a card's price as competitive success here, and you can just look at Amazoness Baby Tiger to see how true that is.
Don't get me wrong – Amazoness Baby Tiger's a must play for Amazoness decks, but it's not exactly the be-all end-all card for the strategy. Heck, Amazoness Call offers more value for the theme, both in pure builds and mash-ups, but you can snag three copies for under a dollar.
Amazoness Baby Tiger though? The original's been hovering around ten dollars, and with the introduction of colorful rarity adjustments it's still at the six dollar mark as of this writing. Meanwhile preorders on the Colorful Ultras are holding decent value at $3-$4 each. Sure, it's a reprint, but it's a cooler version of the same card that garners more attention.
I'm not an Amazoness player nor would I consider myself a collector, but I want a green lettered Amazoness Baby Tiger. Like, really bad. It's cute. Am I partly to blame for driving the price up? Well, well, if it isn't the consequences of my own actions.
Relinquished Fusion might not be the most expensive reprint to come out of this set, but everyone will be snatching up copies solely because it's a pretty solid card. It's not the most splashable fusion spell out there, but it's a required component for certain dedicated strategies and mash-ups alike. I wouldn't be so brash as to call it the next Invocation - a Super Rare that's been printed three times and yet still costs 50 dollars - but if you ever want to play Eyes Restrict Fusion monsters, you'll need this spell.
We've come a long way from Polymerization; Fusion Summoning gets easier every day, and the Eyes Restrict family isn't exempt from that escalation. Banishing materials from your graveyard for a monster that steals your opponent's stuff? Sign me up!
That's right - the Eyes Restrict cards swipe your opponent's monsters, then Relinquished Fusion nabs another. From there you can finish with Relinquished Anima. Both as a dedicated theme and as a splashable suite of cards, Relinquished Fusion and friends can tear apart even some of the strongest monsters your opponent might summon.
We've seen lots of fusion spells rise in value over the years, and Relinquished Fusion will no doubt follow suit. The card will drop a little when the set releases tomorrow, so you may want to pick up extra copies and hold onto them.
While Amazoness Baby Tiger might have utility, cuteness, and nostalgia going for it, Desperado Barrel Dragon has… I don't know what, but someone's driving the price up. It's not me, guys, I swear.
I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with this card given its value. It acts as a channel to search for monsters that involve coin flipping. If that mechanic ever becomes popular and you have an easy way to yard Desperado Barrel Dragon, then I'd understand the demand, but as I said, these booster sets break with convention pretty routinely.
If this was an Ultra Rare in a normal booster set it'd be worth what, 19 cents? So many Ultra Rares are relegated to chump change, but the Colorful Desperado Barrel Dragon prints are actually worth a few bucks. If you happen to crack these in your packs, don't be discouraged. It's still a pretty hot pick because of, and I cannot stress this enough, vague reasons.
On the complete other side of the spectrum you have Cocoon of Ultra Evolution, which has been annoyingly expensive ever since its release. I wrote about a hybrid Insect deck two years ago, but the price only got more expensive in the interim.
Now the reprint's at least knocked it down to the $5 range, and Cocoon of Ultra Evolution still a hot pick for Insect decks… and Inzektor decks… and, well, anything you can fit it in. I don't want to be glib, but Cocoon of Ultra Evolution is one of those weird cards you could fit into any deck if you're willing to give an ounce of effort to support it.
When you have a card that's effectively a souped-up version of Emergency Teleport for Insects, it screams utility. I'm reminded of my praise for Code Generator from my article here - if you basically have a blank check for a given monster type, there's always something there that's waiting to be discovered. Thanks to the reprint, you can know give it a try yourself for less than half of its previous value.
The only reason we don't see Cocoon of Ultra Evolution in competition is the requirement of an Insect monster. Parasite Paranoid mitigates that slightly, but this is one of those cards that's just going to be waiting in the wings until something makes it broken.
Never doubt the power of pure nostalgia. Based on the mere fact that it exists, Rainbow Overdragon carries some level of guaranteed value. For starters, look at the card - just look at it! It looks so cool! Do I sound like a kid opening their first booster pack? Sure, but infuse that with nostalgia, and you'll understand why this card is still five to six bucks for the Colorful reprints.
Taking a step back, Rainbow Overdragon's a weird take on board wipes… but… it's not that easy to summon, at least if you want its field-wiping ability. To successfully shuffle everything into the deck, you'll need to actually Fusion Summon it. That's not impossible, but this is 2020 and asking people to do things the old fashioned way might be met with some groans.
So while it's not a one-card dominating combo or anything… and it's hard to summon… and it's kinda easy to counter… and even its "easy" method of summing itself is hard… wait, why is this card so valuable?
Right, nostalgia. Well, that and it's a giant beatstick. You can banish Crystal Beast monsters from your graveyard to boost its attack, and throwing out a monster with nearly 6000 ATK by dedicating just one spot in your Extra Deck is nothing to scoff at. I see the appeal. This is the kind of far-fetched, high-powered casual card that dueling dreams are made of.
It doesn't matter how good a card is if it dies in battle. So whether it's going to be a collector's favorite, a niche pick in a dedicated strategy, or a rogue hail Mary in a competitive Crystal Beast deck, Rainbow Overdragon is worth keeping in the back of your mind. Don't dismiss it just because it's not Eldlich the Golden Lord. It stands a good chance of holding value.
Look, I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but this card doesn't seem to warrant the price tag it's long held. Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon won't come out until the end of August here in the TCG, but even still, Red-Eyes Slash Dragon isn't a good holdover until the better card is released.
It's… neat? I guess? I understand there are combos with it, but I don't like Red-Eyes Slash Dragon much myself. I know that Red-Eyes B. Dragon, Blue-Eyes White Dragon and the Dark Magician cards will always command a substantial value, so I guess that's the big factor currently carrying Red-Eyes Slash Dragon to the $6-$8 mark. The original version from LEDU is still 30 bucks right now, and that also has some influence over the perceived value of the reprint.
It's not an awful card, and sure, it has sword hands, but honestly I'd rather have Amazoness Baby Tiger. It just goes to show that competitive power isn't the only driving factor for card prices.
Worst case scenario, you'll get an awesome new Secret Rare. We can't say how much the new Secrets will be worth when all the dust settles, but if common trends persist, many of them will eventually climb pretty high no matter where they end up being in the short term come release day.
Remember when you got annoyed at Relinquished Fusion? Well it turns out your anger was misplaced because Millennium-Eyes Restrict is the real threat to your wallet. I mean for me it's Millennium-Eyes Restrict and habanero flavored walnuts from Kroger, which are inexplicably six dollars a package (?!?!?), but I digress.
Even if Legendary Duelists: Season 1 drastically cuts the price of Millennium-Eyes Restrict, the card's powerful enough that it'll still hold onto value. As long as Instant Fusion's a card, Level 5 and lower Fusion Monsters that can change the course of the duel will be valuable.
Beyond that, it's an awesome card for fans of Maximillion Pegasus and the original Yu-Gi-Oh series, so dedicated Eyes Restrict players will hold onto all the copies competitive players haven't snatched up. I wrote about Fusion Relinquished here , and the deck's surprisingly poignant for the lawless land of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh. When in doubt, steal your opponent's big monsters and keep them out of the graveyard.
So yeah. I'm not sure what the future holds for this strange theme, but even if it flounders, the card will have competitive implications moving forward. A quick search through the deck list database showed Millennium-Eyes Restrict in tons of decks in the pre-COVID-19 world, and I can't imagine it seeing less play in the Master Rule 5 environment.
Hint, it won't, so people will be gobbling up this card left and right.
I'm surprised that Ancient Gear Fusion hasn't done anything in tournaments, since it's basically an OTK machine. If you have an Ancient Gear Golem or Ancient Gear Golem - Ultimate Pound on the field, Chaos Ancient Gear Giant can decimate your opponent. It attacks everything they control, it's unaffected by your opponent's pesky responses, and you just… win?
Sure, the nostalgia factor coupled with the cult following no doubt kept the price high, but when a deck has an instant win button, how could the card not be valuable? There aren't many fancy explanations or clever rationales for the card's former price. It's a giant stick to smack your opponent with, it works with some very cool monsters, and combined with nostalgia for Yu-Gi-Oh GX it seems to be firmly in the $6 to $8 range for now.
They say a picture's worth 1000 words, so here ya go.
Yeah, I know: it's another Top 10 list where Loukas lies to everyone and it's more than ten cards, what a surprise. But I included these three cards at the Number 2 spot because their prices are probably the most wonky. These Red-Eyes cards are drawing even more attention than Red-Eyes Slash Dragon in a lot of circles.
By virtue of being Red-Eyes cards, utility, and former scarcity, this trio of cards will almost always see notable demand. The draw of the Red-Eyes theme is just that alluring - you can't say the same about Relinquished cards, Ancient Gear cards, or even Crystal Beasts cards. Historically speaking, Red-Eyes cards have tremendous clout even in a field of nostalgia themes.
Is that a bad thing? Not by any means, so if you pull these you should be happy. As Secret Rares that are one-per-mini-box, they won't exactly be tanking any time soon and they might even rise over time once we get past launch week. Shiny new toys for people to collect, combined with legitimate use in Red-Eyes decks at a time in the game when casual play is arguably more important than competition, means these bad boys will be expensive.
I'm sure there's a pun with Red-Eyes support and cards being "hot," but it's lame and forced. I'll save everyone the cringey jokes… at least for this week.
I have to give it up to Crystal Bond. Whether you keep it as a collector's item or play it in a competitive deck, it makes no difference. This is by far the hottest card from the pack.
Paul wrote about the value of buying sealed products last week, and I'd say Crystal Bond's proof of that theory. There aren't that many Ultra Rares in Legendary Duelists: Season 1, and that's placing a lot of great cards in the $5 price range. But trying to buy Crystal Bond as a single is shaping up to be about as difficult as the first time Crystal Bond came out in Ancient Millennium: as of this writing its Market Price is $23 to $28 depending on which Colorful variant you're looking at.
And before you dismiss Crystal Beasts, check out Sam's Crystal Beast deck. I won't claim the strategy can break an established board of twenty negates or anything, but the raw power fueled by Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus can't be denied. On top of that, the card's cute and people my age grew up with Yu-Gi-Oh GX. We love Jesse Anderson and his Crystal Beasts.
Until this card's reprinted to the extent where Konami's literally shipping everyone a playset to their home, I don't see the value going down much. Of all the cards from Legendary Duelist sets, Crystal Bond's always been one of the hottest. The reprint seems destined for big demand.
So whether you're here for competition, the love of nostalgia, or the introduction of new collective Colorful variants, Legendary Duelists: Season 1 is the set for you. It drops tomorrow, so hopefully you'll be able to get everything you missed when the cards came around the first time.
Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.