Hey there, duelists! Eternity Code's FINALLY arriving with an official release in North America this Friday, which is pretty exciting for me, because there are a ton of super cool cards for both casual and competitive players alike.

Today I want to bring you my Top 5 cards from the set; my personal favorites, for a variety of reasons ranging from card art, to on-table effects and their overall impact on the game in the future. While all of these cards have been discussed and recognized as strong going into the Summer, some of them weren't actually on my radar for very long (because I'm horrible when it comes to recognizing powerful cards). But they're all going to make an impact, many of them in some of my favorite decks. I can't wait to put them to work.

There's no particular order to this list, so let's dive in.

Beginning with the obvious, I ended up writing an entire article about the Salamangreat deck as a whole because of this card. A 1-card Rank 4 play? Two bodies as an extender for your combos? A Trade-In pitch for those more rogue strategies, and it's all packed into one card? BONKERS. Factor in Formud Skipper as well, and you can threaten a push with Accesscode Talker for game at almost any time if you're running a Cyberse strategy. Parallel eXceed's nothing short of incredible. It also propels Salamangreat from obscurity back into the spotlight, something we saw in this past weekend's Pro Play Games Online Championship. Parallel eXceed's already shown its merit going forward.

If this isn't at least reprinted as a Super Rare in the coming months, I will weep. Please, can we make this happen?

I need this.

Moving on from Parallel eXceed, Splash Mage is a natural followup. You'll notice a reoccurring theme where I heavily favor Cyberse support cards, and that's largely just because they're super cool. Splash Mage gets you to Accesscode Talker more efficiently while also being another attribute to banish for its effect. Locking you into your Cyberse type monsters isn't too much of a problem in the decks playing it, since they're generally just turboing Cyberse boss monsters to the field anyway. As of this writing, I haven't found much in the way of pure Cyberse that can run Splash Mage, but I'm sure it'll happen, and when it does this is going to be another card that pushes Cyberse over the top.

On top of which, it has some wonky Link Arrows and I'm all about that.

I couldn't even remember this card's name, so I've been calling it, "That Crazy Level 9 Synchro That Does Everything." Because in my testing circle, that's literally how we're referring to it. Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys is draw power, field destruction, a Quick Effect, and potentially giant attack power all rolled into one scaly…fish..thing? Sign me up.

I've been summoning it a lot with T.G. Hyper Librarian on the field and drawing oodles of cards; add in Saryuja Skull Dread and you're essentially just picking your hand. Oh and it's a Level 9 for True King of All Calamities, because you needed that to happen too, right? Crocodragon's an example of card design done right, though it borders on a head scratch moment. It's the kind of card that makes you pause for just a moment and go, "are you SURE this is a good idea?"

Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys will become a mainstay of both competitive and casual Synchro play. And if it doesn't, I'll eat shoe.

Do me a favor, go to the Forbidden & Limited list and see how many cards are on it that summon tokens.

Okay, I'll save you the legwork: the answer is seven, and most of them have way bigger restrictions or are much harder to play efficiently than this thing. In a funny anecdote to showcase the ridiculous power Linkross offers in a combo deck, I played Cockadoodledoo in a Synchron deck, summoned it with Saryuja Skull Dread's effect, then made Linkross to summon four tokens, so I could then go into Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys for four draws.

Cards like this – pretty much anything that generates tokens with little to no real downside – have been a part of competition since Scapegoat was printed in the earliest days of the game. Let me be perfectly clear: this card is unfair.

Finally, we have the flagship card of the set. Rarely are the cover cards of a core booster truly competitive, but holy moly Accesscode Talker's nothing short of incredible.

There isn't much I can say here that would be inaccurate in describing the powerhouse that is Accesscode Talker. Take the game-ending power of Borrelsword Dragon, combine it with something like Dark Armed Dragon's removal effect, and then slap Super Polymerization's "cannot be responded to" clause on top of that. It reads like the card was pulled directly from the TV show and sent to print.

In the past two weekends alone we've already seen that the newest member of Playmaker's toolbox has essentially rewound the game back to when Sky Striker and Salamangreat were the most powerful decks in competition. Watching Ryan Yu win with Sky Striker packing Accesscode Talker was cool, only to then see Gabriel Soussei expertly pilot his signature Salamangreat deck to a victory over Sky Striker a week later, really made me ask myself, "what year is this?"

That's it for me! I've kept it pretty short and sweet for you this week, but get ready for some more heavy-hitting discussion next time! Until then, stay safe duelists.

-Zach Butler