As promised, this is my list of cards to look forward to. As usual, I skim through all 80 of the new OCG cards and pick those that stand out because it stands out or is splashable. Due to the length, I'll split it up in 3 parts: effect monsters; extra deck monsters & spells+traps. This time up: Effect monsters!
This time around, no Elemental dragons (arguably Light and dark aren't really elements) or elemental lords, nor a LIGHT-attribute Armageddon Knight knock-off. Also, no more support for Mermails/Geargia/Madol/Fire King/Atlantean/Harpies. Only Fire Fists, Mecha Phantom Beast and Prophecy gain more support.
V Salamander: A new sort of Zexal weapon? This card is an equip card for Utopia Ray Victory. But unlike the other Utopia support cards, this one is actually good! When normal summoned, you can revive a Utopia monster from your grave (any variant of it). So basically revive Utopia, use rank-up magic to put Victory on the field and then equip Salamander to it. And then kicks in the second effect of Salamander. Detach 1 material of Victory (Utopia, duh) to destroy all monsters your opponent controls AND give a nifty burn effect of 1000 damage per destroyed monster. Nice.
Umbral Unform: A searcher for Umbral monsters (only 3 different ones). But unlike Giant Rat and consorts, this special summons TWO Umbral Monsters. This effect is amazing… if not for the fact that Umbral Monsters otherwise suck (at the moment). I can see the Umbral monsters being used in Reptilliane decks (with their 0 attack). Let’s hope a few more of these monsters appear, because otherwise it’s a waste of a good effect.
Schwarzschild, the Limit Dragon: If your opponent controls a monster with 2000 or more attack, you can special summon this one from your hand. In other words, it’s a rank 8 xyz made easy (Tachyon dragon, Neo-Galaxy-Eyes, Zombiestein, etc). No further restrictions mean that you can summon more than one; a dark lv 5 or higher dragon means it’s a nice addition for Chaos Dragons; etc. This card is interesting enough to be used.
War God Vessel – Taruta: While the War Gods are an interesting new archetype (that still requires more support), the most splashable card at the moment is Taruta. This is a protector Beast that prevents other Beast, Beast-Warriors and Winged Beasts from being destroyed. This is interesting because combined with cards like The Seal of Orichalcos and/or Spiritual Forest, this means that you have a field of monsters that cannot be destroyed (by battle)!
Mecha Phantom Beast Blue-Impalase: While its use is the best in a Mecha Phantom Beast related deck (due to its restrictions), it has a very good use in general. You can use a MPB from your hand to synchro (always handy) and you can negate its effect to synchro with/for anything else (similar to Vayu). But more importantly is that last effect: “If your opponent controls a monster and you control no monsters: You can banish this card from your Graveyard; Special Summon 1 "Mecha Phantom Beast Token" (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0)”.
Atora, Trion and Kazuura, the Fascinating Fiends: First thing you notice about these cards: they’re cuties. Second thing you notice: Why are they named fiends when they’re… insects (huh)? Third thing you notice... you’re dead. These three fascinating (I think a better term would be “luring” but who am I) cards are basically Venus flytrap insects, aimed to lure in lolicons (lol). And yes, they are fascinating. They’re unaffected by Trap Hole cards (safe the wrongfully named Dark Trap Hole). Kazuura searches/spams Fascinating monsters when a Trap Hole card is activated. Trion searches Trap Hole cards (amazing) and Atora allows you to activate them FROM YOUR HAND!
Pyo Kokko: This is possibly the cutest card from the set. It’s also a Flip effect monster that special summons a Lv. 5 or higher tuner from your deck! Interesting, don’t you think? Lv. 5 or higher tuners are neglected most of the time due to them being dead in the hand (safe Quickdraw synchron).
Flying “C”: The new buggy brother of Shiny Black “C” and Maxx “C”. This one special summons itself to the opponent’s side of the field after a normal/special summon and prevents him from XYZ summoning. Best troll move is letting your opponent use Rescue Rabbit’s effect and then troll him with this one :-P. You hear me coming. This card is a nice side-deck card fit for opponents that focus on xyz spamming (and do not have tuners in their deck).
Of course there are honorable mentions to cards like Trick Archfiend and the World of Prophecy, but those cards are archetype-specific, so I'll leave them aside for now.
Next time up, a bunch of synchro monsters and an xyz (only 1 good one this time around).