I shortly mentioned the Starter Deck in a previous post and didn't give it much afterthought because I thought that everybody knew what Starter Decks were about. But when talking to people on a regional last weekend (obviously talking about the Gold Series reprints), the Yuuya starter deck was brought up (which is already weird) and everybody was talking about how Pendulum Sorcerer will "definitely" be in there.
I was baffled and tried to explain reality, but they were so hung-over on "how Konami is killing the second-hand market" and how "everything is getting a reprint" that they're forgetting one thing: What is the purpose of a Starter Deck?
Starter Decks: A first step for new players to enter the game
Have you ever really analyzed the content of a Starter Deck? It always contains cards aimed at NEW players. People who have no idea as to what to play yet. People who probably haven't done anything but playing the Yugioh videogames and watching the animes.
The cards in a starter deck are hardly ever overpowered. They're no "absolute must-haves". But they're a starting point until you have a sight about what Yu-Gi-Oh is about in real life and you have an idea about what to play exactly.
After obtaining a Starter Deck, a new player is almost always pushed into the direction of Structure Decks; these are the next step. A structure deck provides a single deck strategy and also has cards that are useful in Yu-Gi-Oh in general.
Each structure deck provides building blocks which lay upon that first block of a starter deck. After that, you're ready to decide a deck; either one built from one of the structure decks (3 copies of the Monarch structure deck and you have a working deck, for example), or buying boosters/tins or buying single cards and deck cores from other players.
But everything starts with a Starter deck (in Konami's eyes). Though reality has it that most people skip the starter deck all together. Because most people realize that only a little amount of cards are actually useful.
A Starter Deck is not a Structure Deck
The fact that there's a difference between Starter and Structure decks apparently confuses a lot of people. I've seen lots of people that seem to mix up the two or don't know the difference between the two. And it doesn't helped that they're packed in a very similar matter. I've seen many people become disappointed when they see the Starter deck, thinking that it's just another Structure deck that sucks.
What a starter deck does not have compared to structure decks is reprints of powerful or formerly OCG promo cards. Thus the chance you'll run into cards like Battle Fader, Tragoedia, Night beam or Breakthrough Skill in these is very low. Let alone a Pendulum Sorcerer (Not happening! Keep dreaming!).
The reality is that the average "good" cards in a Starter Deck are usually limited to MST, Dark Hole, Book of Moon and a few basic traps like Mirror Force or Torrential Tribute. Yes, cards like Raigeki or Bottomless Trap hole are usually considered too good for a Starter deck! That's saying something, isn't it?
Only if the Starter Deck is a good character-related starter deck, there's a few good character-specific cards that are useful (like the Synchron cards in the Yusei starter decks). But not every starter deck even has those.
So, is THIS starter deck a GOOD Starter deck?
YES! Yes, it is. I've been looking at the new cards created and by god, there are a few REALLY interesting new cards in here! Of all the new cards revealed so far (10), the following are interesting.
Performapal King Bear (Scale 7, Lv 6)
Pendulum Effect: During the End Phase, if this card was activated this turn: You can destroy this card, and if you do, add to your hand, 1 Level 7 or higher monster among the face-up Pendulum Monsters in your Extra Deck and the monsters in your Graveyard.
Monster Effect: This Attack Position card cannot be destroyed by Spell/Trap effects. This card gains 100 ATK for each "Performapal" card you control during your Battle Phase only.
So basically it's a different version of Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. but in this case, instead of searching for a limited amount of Pendulum monsters from your deck, this time you're re-adding Lv 7 or higher monsters from the extra deck or your grave (read: detached Xyz materials) back to your hand.
Also, read that card text carfully. The way it's worded now, the monster you recycle from the graveyard... doesn't have to be a Pendulum monster. This way, you might as well be recycling cards like High Priestess, Kozmo Dark Destroyer or a frigging Mega Monarch.
Performapal Carpet Momonga: Scale 7 (lv 3)
Pendulum Effect: Unless you have a card in your other Pendulum Zone, destroy this card. Halve all battle damage you take.
Monster Effect: FLIP: You can target 1 Set card on the field; destroy it.
If this card is Special Summoned: You can change this card to face-down Defense Position.
Ignore its Pendulum effect, because the times it'll be used that way are slim (though not non-existent). What IS interesting however, is the monster effect!
Carpet Momonga is a Beast that destroyes SET cards when flipped face-up (both backrow and monsters, thus), but it also allows itself to be set face-down when special summoned! And it being a Pendulum monster means it could basically be special summoned every turn. Use this card in combination with cards like Quaking Mirror Force, Book of Moon, Swords of Consealing Light or even Ghostrick Monsters in general and you can cause lots of destruction. That's hilarious and an absolute must-have for troll decks!
Super Hippo Carnival (quick-play spell card)
Special Summon 1 "Performapal Hip Hippo" from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard, then you can Special Summon as many "Hippo Tokens" (Beast-Type/EARTH/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0) as possible. These Tokens cannot be Tributed. You cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck while a "Hippo Token" is in a Monster Zone. For the rest of this turn after this card resolves, if you Special Summoned a "Hippo Token" by this effect, your opponent cannot target monsters for attacks, except "Hippo Tokens".
Again, read that carefully. The tokens are optional, but you will always get Hip Hippo.
Performapal Hip Hippo suddenly turned from a "meh" card to a card you can summon from anywhere, anytime you want (safe the banished zone) and use for Xyz or Synchro shenanigans. And with Hippo being a Lv 3 Earth Beast, you have easier access to LOTS of monsters (most prominently Naturia Beast and Barkion)
Also, since it's another rendition of Scapegoat, you can still use it and the tokens during your opponent's turn to prevent you from being OTK'd.
This Starter deck is set for release on March 19th in the OCG. So I guess we'll see the full contents around that time. But I think the "most exciting" cards from this starter deck have already been revealed.
The TCG will get this at the end of May (26/27th). Still quite a few months away, but enough time to see if anyone actually will use any of these new cards.
Until next time, V out.