Like with previous sets, I've screened the latest OCG set and I picked out all cards that are interesting or are splashable enough to be interesting (even if they’re part of a specific archetype)
- Blizzard Falcon: Rio, the sister of Shark gets her first monsters in this set and it’s already more impressive than big brother Shark. Blizzard Falcon is a bird that inflicts effect damage (frostbite, no burn). When its attack differentiates from its original (Field spells, equip spells, Unity, etc.), it inflicts 1500 damage to the opponent (WOW!). Combine this with cards like Stealth Bird and Tsukuyomi and we’ll see the introduction of Burning Birds deck.
- Mecha Phantom Beast Tether Wolf: The Phantom Beast Planes (err, Mecha Phantom Beasts) are a very splashable archetype that works with tokens (synchro time). Tether-Wolf summons a token when it’s normal summoned and it cannot be destroyed while you have tokens (Dandylion, Scapegoat, etc.). And by tributing 1 token, it gains 800 attack during the damage step. Great card!
- Mecha Phantom Beast Ray-Stealth: Yeah, there are a few very splashable cards in this archetype that are perfect for Plant Synchro-style decks. This one is a Debris Dragon target (100 attack), has high defense to lure your opponent into an attack and generates a token when it inflict battle damage (or reflect damage in this case). And once per turn, you can destroy a token (like with Tether-wolf, any token) to destroy a set spell/trap card.
- Void Knight: WIND attribute often goes hand-in-hand with bounce effects. Void Knight has none of the drawbacks its earth and water variant have and activates when a monster (ANY monster) is bounced. Tiger King of the Ice Barrier and Mist Valley Falcon approve this card.
- Windrose the Elemental Lord: The WIND Elemental Lord. It’s Harpie’s Feather Duster in Monster form. Though it won’t be used in Harpie decks (deck already has lots of backrow hate active), it can be a great asset in Dragunities, Gusto or Mist valley decks
- Tidal the Waterfall-Incarnate Dragon: Next to the elemental lord and the Armageddon Knight knock-offs, this set introduces the Reincarnate Dragons. This is the first noteworthy one, Tidal. There are not that many Water Dragons to abuse this guy’s effect, but this card has lots of potential in decks like Lancer Frogs (banish 2 frogs, special summon this guy, attack, tribute for Sea Lancer, equip frogs, repeat for each Lancer you have, profit much?).
- Tempest the Storm-Incarnate Dragon: Next to Tidal, the most notable Elemental Dragon Lord is the Wind Dragon, Tempest. Most non-light/dark dragons are still WIND, thus this makes WIND the attribute that profits the most from this guy’s effect. Most notable archetype that can profit from this effect? Dragunities!
- Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon: Finally a GOOD Rank 8 XYZ that doesn’t require vanilla’s. 3000 attack, able to negate monster effects, and a potential double attacker. Now this is a cover card worth getting! Might update my Photon Lightray deck for this guy.
- Shark Fortress: Double Attackers in XYZ monsters was limited to Blade Armor Ninja. Shark Fortress makes him look like a wuss. This card can target any of your cards to attack twice. So if you have a Heroic Champion Excalibur (of 4000 attack), then use this card’s effect to let that Excalibur attack twice, making a total of 8000 damage. And don’t forget, this card is also a wall to protect your other monsters (though I doubt your opponent would attack anything else...)
- Sylphine, the Cold Bird Beast: A card based on the 2 nymphs? Funny, but an amazing card. You can negate all face-up card effects your opponent controls once per turn to let this card gain attack (permanently!). Cards, not monsters! This also includes face-up continuous cards like the Fire Fist cards, Fiendish Chain or Macro Cosmos! Thank god this card is restricted to Winged Beasts, otherwise Mermails would have another boss monster in its ranks (will be used in Harpies, Blackwings, Dragunities and Mist Valleys).
- Number C105: Burning Knuckler - Caestus the Comet: Rank-up Magic – Barian’s force can turn any Warrior XYZ of rank 4 in this behemoth (for example, your used-up Excalibur). Due to Barian's force, this card can steal some extra XYZ materials, has great attack power and does burn damage too. Ouch?
- Kingremlin: The King of Gremlins. The Gremlins are no fiends this time around, but Reptiles (guess that makes sense). And it’s GOOD. Detach 1 material, search 1 Reptile from your deck to hand… ANY Reptile monster (Rescue Rabbit into Alien Shock Trooper, search Vennominon?). Great asset for any Reptile deck, because the general support for Reptiles is not that great yet (think of Worms, Aliens, Reptilliane's and Venom decks).
- XYZ Revenge: Situational, yes. But fun none the less. If your opponent has an XYZ (with XYZ materials) and you have an XYZ in your grave. Special summon your xyz and then steal your opponent’s XYZ materials (lol).
- Rank-up Magic – Barian's Force: I see a potential Ultra or Secret rare in the TCG version of this card. Though there are only a handful of Chaos XYZ out right now, transforming a warrior xyz into Caestus is already a good move. If more of the Chaos XYZ come out, this will be a card you want.
- Treasured Sword of the Sacred Stars: Call this card Trade-in for Lv 7 monsters (but with banishing instead of sending to the grave). Nuff said.
- Pin-Point Guard: Never enough revival cards, I guess. It is more limited than Call of the haunted, since you can only target Lv 1-4 monsters and you can only activate it when your opponent attacks (MST bait). But in compensation, this card is not continuous (no equip schizzle) and the revived monster is protected until the end phase (and is in defense). This makes this card perfect for tribute style decks, like Monarchs.
- Torrential Rebirth: Your Water monster got destroyed? Torrential Rebirth revives it and does effect damage. With some monsters, it might even trigger their effect (Abysspike and Abyssturge, for example).
- Mental Drain: After Skill Drain (Field), Soul Drain (grave & banished zone), there now is the third effects negating card: Mental Drain. This stops Hand Traps. So no Veiler, No Maxx "C", Gorz, Tragoedia, Swift iron Scarecrow or Battle Fader. Perfect side-deck against Exodia/Burn Decks or just if you want to spam the field and avoid Maxx “C” or Veiler.
- Dragon’s Fang Reincarnation: The Reincarnate Dragons (the Elemental Dragon lords) all focus on banishing monsters, thus this card returns those cards to the hand. Gives an extra boost to the decks where you use the dragon-reincarnates (like Dragunities)… or in Hieratics or Chaos Dragons (a single REDMD is suddenly not THAT bad anymore).
This set is going to be big, I can tell that much. Next to the previous mentioned cards and the new archetypes Burning Knuckler and Mecha Phantom Beasts, there’s also archetype support for Prophecies, Fire Fists, Mermails, Geargia’s, Madolche’s, Atlanteans and Fire Kings. And taking into account the 808 blog post I mentioned yesterday, there will also be more support for Noble Knights and OCG imports for Evilswarm and Constellars.
Depending on the 08x card pool (TCG World premiere cards) and the 09x card pool (OCG imports), this might become the best set of 2013! Keep your eyes open.
Near the end of the week, I’ll give another prediction of what could be in the 09x card pool. Until then, V out.
PS: Names are a subject to change when the set comes out in the TCG.
PPS: Edit on March 5: Updated the pictures with the latest available ones.