1 August 2017

Is Code of the Duelist is a total miss? - A Yu-Gi-Oh set review

Back from holiday! I took a break, started a subscription with Netflix that got me hooked... and I really need to finish a bunch of half-written blog posts now, do I? (*scratches head and swears*). Oh well, Shoganai. Let's start with this one, while it's fresh.

Now that Link Summoning has become a thing and with new rules, I decided to give Yu-Gi-Oh another shot. I participated in the sneak peek last weekend, but noticed a lack of interest in the set.

I hadn't really payed any attention to what was in the set, other than the Spellbook "Destiny Draw" card, so I was kind of surprised at the lackluster turnout at the events. Due to this, I wanted to dig a little deeper (that's what I do) and see what went wrong. And yes, the set is a total stinker. But it does have a handful of cards worth noting. Let's review:

Is Code of the Duelist a total miss?

A: No real money cards

Biggest problem from the get-go is that there are no cards in here that are worth a lot. There is no Ash Blossom or Pot of Desires or Solemn Strike or anything in here. The priciest card right now (before the set is even out) is Firewall Dragon, which you can get below €40. And that is the hero's key card at sneak peek price (you know that decreases real fast real soon). And "key card" means: This card will be reprinted over and over again, just like every other Key card (Utopia/Pendulum Dragon/Dark Magician/Neos/Stardust).

So underline is: You can buy it if you really need it for your deck. But you will regret spending money on it.

B: Trickstars is not the archetype you are looking for

Fact: Of the new archetypes in this and the next set, only Trickstar is doing anything in the OCG meta on a really small scale. And there's a big asterisk that needs to be added to it due to the OCG meta being different to ours. Over here, I doubt it will do anything at this moment and with the current cardpool. Yes, I know YOU can make a good deck that will do well at locals. But outside of that, nothing.

However, Trickstar Reincarnation itself can be used outside of the archetype and will become a key card in discard decks if that would ever become meta again (you never know with Yu-Gi-Oh). Banishing the opponent's current hand and forcing him to redraw IS an amazing effect.

So underline: Buy 3 Trickstar Reincarnations when they get cheaper, ignore the other Trickstars.

C: Forget about World Chalice

Thé new non-anime archetype that starts in this set is World Chalice (Star Chalice in OCG). You can instantly forget about it. It's not good and it receives very little support in the next set.

D: Chaossworn is not that good

Hate to be the one to tell you, but while the "Twilightsworn" cards may be a good addition to the Chaos Lightsworn decks... they're not good enough to make it tournament-worthy. The new Ryko is amazing, the new Lumina is Great! The new Lyla is good, Jain is "okay" and Punishment Dragon is very iffy and more of a brick draw than JD ever was. Not to mention that constantly banishing your Lightsworns and Twilightsworns is turning JD himself into a brick. You want to keep a certain amount of Lightsworns in the grave.

Maybe this could improve if more Twilightsworn cards would appear. But guess what: Next set has ZERO Twilightsworns. It's really a one-set addition (lol, wut?). So no Wulf, no Ehren, no Raiden or whatever. And that is bad, because I can imagine a bunch of card effects for them that could improve the deck (and I doubt I'm alone).

Underline: Ignore, unless you play Chaossworn. If so: Wait until the prices drop even further and then pick up 3 Lumina's, 2 Ryko's, 1 Punishment and 1-2 Lyla's just in case.

E: TCG Exclusives: F.A. is not good, too soon to judge Vendread

Of the TCG Exclusive card pool, the only cards that seem interesting are the TCG exclusive Vendread archetype, which focuses on ritual summoning Zombies, with huge boost effects. However, with only a handful of cards it's really too early to fully judge it.

Yes, in the future this archetype has the chance to be the next B.A. or Kozmo, But right now it's not good enough yet. But take note in case if it does get better, the most expensive card from the archetype is 5€ at sneak peek value (Vendread reorigin). Reason being that the Spyral dud is still fresh in people's mind.

Underline: Invest in single cards while everything is cheap. This could get good in the future, but beware that this might as well be another TCG hype dud.

F: OCG imports are underwhelming

I've complained about underwhelming OCG promo imports in the past. And this time is no different. The 10 cards that have been added are underwhelming to say it in a nice way. Yes, they all support some fan-favorite archetype (if you stretch the meaning of the words). But none of the archetypes have been relevant in a long while and with the Link format change I doubt that'll change. So no surprise that every card is a friggin' common in here.

G: Other cards worth noting?

The Supreme King Servant Dragons are in here, if you play the new Pendulum Magician Deck that focuses on summoning Z-ARC. That is a legit deck in the OCG, and luckily they're all just plain rares (*sigh of relief*).

Missus Radiant and Gaia Saber are somewhat splashable Link cards, considering there's nothing better in the market. Useful now, but you'll forget about them in a year or so. So pick them up, but don't spend TOO much on them.

Spellbook of Knowledge is the Destiny Draw card that Prophecy/Spellbook decks needed, but next to that it turns Spellbooks into a real engine that can be splashed everywhere. I've seen the combo of Spellbook Secrets/Knowledge/Magician pop up EVERYWHERE in the OCG. If you need to buy anything from this set, it's THIS card. Pick it up while it's still below €10. Because after people start noticing that this engine works, it's going to become expensive.

Overall: Is this set worth investing in?

No. But it's not a total disaster either. Buy those single cards where necessary. But keep in mind that buying a full box is going to guarantee you a net loss of value.

But buy those single cards while they're cheap. This set has a good chance to become another "Starstrike Blast". Horrible when released, but the splashable cards will see a price spike since nobody wants to buy boxes.

Until next time, V out.

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