Friday, 1 July 2016

CardWatch 2K16: July

Bringing you a second installment of our "cards to look out for" after the first one was a success. We have officially named this series CardWatch 2K16CardWatch 2K16 shall be a series of articles featuring cards that never quite received the spotlight treatment. That's the beauty of tech cards - they are unexpected.

And that's also the reason why they succeed in taking the game sometimes, along with taking your opponent by surprise.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has had a very long history, 20 years as of 2016. And throughout this two decades of the game, many cards have been published;

Some are meta-changing;

Find out more here.
Some are useless;

Image result for the cheerful coffin
Essentially a minus three. You have better options than relying on The Cheerful Coffin.

Some left you wondering what went through Konami's mind;

So broken... Them being at 3 was one of the darkest times of Yugioh

And some's summoning conditions are downright laughable;

But definitely, there will be cards that people didn't think deserved a second glance in the evolving competitive scene, only to find themselves scouring the entire country searching for said card. Cough cough Summoner's Art.

This is unlike the previous trend hype of Anteatereatingantwhich works wonders in Metalfoe.


We at Dueling Cancer, aims to find the next such card, base on its hidden potential due to the arrival of new cards, or future theoretical uses of the card, be it a forgotten spell like Summoner's Art, or an underrated card like Overdrive Teleporter
Remember: Creativity is key. 

1. Vanity's Call


Vanity's Call won me a game against a Chain Burn deck once, and has since solidified itself in my list of underrated cards. Unlike common negation cards, such as the Solemn series, Vanity's Call is capable of negating everything before it in the chain. This proves extremely useful against deck that works on building up chains, such as Chain Burn or Chain Draw Exodia.

With the introduction of Burgestoma soon in an upcoming pack in September, I believe Vanity's Chain to be worth consideration for a potential side deck option. Vanity's Call is also effective against decks that has multiple effects activating at once, such aABCs and Burning Abyss decks, when their monsters all enter the graveyard at once.

2. System Down

System Down saw competitive use back when Chronomaly Artifacts went wild. It was also hyped when Cyber Dragon Infinity was introduced, but fell short as players found more versatile options such as Book of Eclipse or Swords of Concealing Light

The recent release of the new and rogue deck ABCs also contributed to this card's utility. I believe System Down to also have potential in the future meta due to the introduction of a new archetype - Kozmos. Of course, like many other cards in Yu-Gi-Oh, it isn't exactly staple. The cost may be undesirable to some decks. Some decks may opt for a different approach to stop Kozmos, as other options exists, which brings me to my next point;

3. Cards that Prevent Banishing

Kozmos focus on hit-and-run tactics, damaging the opponent before "tagging out" for a bigger boss monster. This all happens during the battle phase, arguably making them a far more superior version of Gladiator Beasts and Ultimate Athletes, despite all three archetypes following a similar play style. Preventing them from "tagging out" could be key to victory in a matchup. 

With the introduction of the ABC union monsters, players are also actively seeking and testing options to prevent cards from being banished, be it as an anti-side or a counter-measure in a mirror match.
That said, these four options each have their own pros and cons. It all dies down to a mixture of personal preference and deck choice as players determine which cards to include in their deck.
  • Imperial Iron Wall, being a continuous trap, provides the user to exert constant pressure to opposing Kozmos users. If not removed, it could end up as a permanent threat on the board. However, like all Spells and Traps, it suffers the major weakness of being easily removed, especially in a meta where Twin Twisters and Mystical Space Typhoon are both at 3. It should be noted, however, that the inability to banish cards may benefit the user by allowing the user to reuse cards, such as the Burgesstoma archetype, Quillbolt Hedgehog or Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing.
  • Chaos Hunter establishes its presence on the board with its admirable attack. At the cost of one card in hand, Chaos Hunter can emerge from the user's hand and onto the field, not very different from a hand trap, upon which it serves the same purpose as Imperial Iron Wall - stop those banishes! Acting similar to a hand trap means that Chaos Hunter will be harder to stop. But the condition of activating its effect to a special summon may mean that Chaos Hunter is a step too late. Nevertheless, being a monster provides the opponent with a tougher obstacle to eliminate. Its effect also only affects the opponent, meaning that it can be abused in mirror matches. Monarch decks may also find it a pleasant addition to the deck, as the user is unaffected by its effect, and the discard can further benefit the Monarch user if they choose to drop a Monarch Spell/Trap or Squire.
  • Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer is a smaller Chaos Hunter, in terms of level and stats. Being at level 4 means that it can be normal summoned without tributes, although it has no other effects to make itself easier to summon like its competitor. Perhaps Kycoo shines the brightest in its ability to banish monsters in the graveyard personally, ensuring that they cannot be revived or reused. Kycoo has seen competitive plays since the years of Nekroz's reign, but it may fall short in the battle against Kozmos as it only prevents card from being banished in the graveyard, not the field.
  • Artifact Lancea acts as a hand-trap counterpart to the others on this list. By tributing itself and never touching the field, it makes it tricky for your opponent to avoid the activation or dodge the effects of Lancea. Hand traps has always been tricky to bait or to avoid ever since Effect Veiler was introduced, but with the inclusion of Solemn Strike in the game now, hand traps aren't that untouchable as they are before. Lancea isn't invincible, and it can be negated, but probably not before forcing your opponent to sacrifice 1500LP. The difficulty of preventing Lancea from resolving and activating is only curbed by the quick expiry of its effect - til the end of the turn - something which may deter players making it their first choice. Lancea's final weakness is that it can only be activated during your opponent's turn, which is also another factor to consider.
  • Necrovalley meets Kycoo and Imperial Iron Wall halfway also acts as a counter-measure towards graveyard-orientated deck. Decks which play Terraforming for Chicken Game may considering siding out Game for Necrovalley, sacrificing consistency & deck thinning for the sake of searching a card that counter your opponent's deck. Necrovalley's greatest selling point is perhaps the ability to be searched out by Terraforming and Gravekeeper's Commandant.

4) Fire King's island

Fire King Island took Kozmo to a whole new level of consistency with its first effect. By causing the destruction of a monster in hand, a "Fire King" monster can thus be special summoned. The key thing about this is that the monster in the hand is destroyed, not sent to graveyard nor discarded.

Thus, this field spell allows Kozmo players to abuse the effects of their big floating ships, which has their effects triggered when destroyed:
If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can banish this card from your Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Level X or lower "Kozmo" monster from your Deck.
Here is a video (link) showcasing how this field spell interacts with the Kozmo's new archetype and support cards.Running Fire King Island also reduces the deck's reliability on starting with either Kozmo Farmgirl and/or Emergency Teleport, hence increasing consistency, as you can have  better first turn plays, even if you do not draw into them. 
It is also worthy to note that the latter is limited in the OCG.
Running a field spell in the deck also allows Kozmo players to include Chicken Game into their main deck, as they can simply get rid of chicken game, with either of their other field spells, ensuring that Chicken Game's effect won't prevent the user from performing an OTK or attacking to finish the game.

While the OCG may introduce OCG-exclusive cards to the archetype, similar to Beatrice, the Eternal Lady's release, that may make this engine obsoleteI believe that for now, Fire King Island to be a worthy engine to consider when building a Kozmo deck.

5) Removing Brainwashing and Owner's Seal

Following the trend of preparing for future archetypes, cards that returns to their controller's field would definitely see more play with the arrival of the Godzilla-like monsters - Kaiju.

The Kaiju archetype acts as a searchable - Santa Claws which aims to remove threats. After its release in the TCG, many has opted to include some cards of this archetype in their side deck. In a meta where boss monsters are mainly protected by a 'cannot be targeted/destroyed by card effects' clause, a simple tribute-special-summon does the trick of getting rid of threats. Also, summoning these cards do not start a chain, reducing the window of opportunity for your opponent to respond and/or stop your plays
. It even has its own 'Dark Hole + Searcher + Clash of the Dracorivals'  card - Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
The only thing better than eliminating an opposing threat at the cost of giving your opponent a large monster.... well, is that you retrieve that said large monster and attack your opponent with it. That is where cards like Removing Brainwashing and Owner's Seal come in.

When played properly, Kaijus are capable of leaving your opponent with hefty losses in terms of card economy. They not only lose a monster on their field, leaving them a step closer to a vulnerable direct attack, they might end up facing two large threats on your field which they might be unable to clear off the board. The resulting damage to their board could contribute to their loss.

Lava Golem which doesn't eat up your ability to normal summon, and being searchable on top of all, what is not to like about Kaijus?

6) Magic Deflector

Deflector is reflected (yes, pun intended) on the list because of its utility. It allows players to negate the effects of cards for one turn. While it may not be the perfect counter to specific decks, its range of targets that can be affected justifies its status on this list. Should the meta be diverse enough that a 15-card side deck proves too challenging to keep all decks in check, Magic Deflector serves as an answer to most decks.

7) Psychic Shockwave

Jinzo's Starlight Road.
With the rise of the trap archetype, don't be surprised if anyone is desperate enough to search out and summon Jinzo from the deck.
This card also can also summon a few Kozmo monsters

This card probably works best if sided in with Jinzo, it serves as a faster way to get Jinzo out on the board.

8) King's Consonance

Similar to Reject Reborn, however this card performs the synchro summon without the need to use the appropriate synchro materials.
Feel free to summon Naturia Beast of Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En.

The conditions are pretty easy to fulfill, and should there be a need for it, any deck that runs Effect Veiler can play this card. It will certainly be an interesting sight to witness.

On a side note though, the newly released King's Synchro 
possesses similar effects as the aforementioned two. These three similar cards are gimmick-y enough for synchro-based decks to try out. Players should opt for the card that suits the deck's play-style the most.

9) Cash Back

With the introduction of Lullaby of Obedience, players may consider seeking cheaper (in terms of life points) options to negate the game-changing spell card. Cash Back provides negation with zero cost. It has always been my belief that cards that require no cost are worth a second thought and look. After all, having no cost makes a card less situational and more useful.

Cash Back also provides a wide range of targets to choose from, as any cards that require lifepoints can be a victim to this one-trick-pony. In addition, if used effectively, you can end up sending a future dead-draw card to your opponent's deck, as your opponent may not have sufficient lifepoints to pay the cost to activate the card he second time it is drawn into. Examples include cards that require a flat lifepoints fee, such as Solemn Strike or Cyber Stein.

When the Psychic archetype debuted, it was centralised around lifepoints payment. If future support were to be released supporting the same mechanism, Cash Back would thrive in that meta.

10) Zero Force


This card singled-handedly crippled the Aesir Gods in the anime, and like many of Yusei's situational cards, it was never seen or heard of again.

The ability to make ALL of your opponent's monsters to zero attack should make this card worth keeping. After all, you never know; one day, Konami may release an archetype that revolves around banishing cards, with a larger field presence that PSY-Frame.

On that note, PSY-Frame can also abuse this card, with their 'banish during End Phase' effect.

11) Disarmament 

I scouted this card out years ago after the announcement of the Noble Knight's Duelist set as I thought the Noble Knights would make a dent in the meta. Disarmament, as the name suggests, strips the field monsters of any equipped spell they might have, effectively crippling a Noble Knight deck. Theoretically, this card could be useful in countering decks centralised around Equip spells.

Before you say that it impossible, give it a thought. Nostalgic archetypes such as Red-EyesGaia Knights, Black Luster SoldierGadgets and the iconic duo Blue-Eyes & Dark Magicians have all been gaining support cards in recent years. Who is to say that Joey's Gearfried archetype have a shot at the limelight?

Disarmament also keeps existing archetypes such as Destruction Sword in check. We may even see more play of the latter archetype if players decide to mix it with Burgesstoma.

12) Gravelstorm

I love normal rares. It is the hidden rares!
And sometimes their prices soar above the price of foil cards lol, like Unexpected Dai when there was that hype period.

Gravelstorm offers an alternative route to spell/trap removal, opting to bounce and remove the opponent's trap instead of the standard destruction. While you may not be permanently removing that threat from the game, the trade-off is that you, too, can return one of your cards back to your hand.

Certainly not the best option in the current meta, but I think it is gimmicky-enough to keep a playset of. You can further abuse it by returning a pendulum monster back to your hand, and activate its pendulum effect again, for cards such as Qliphort Scout.

13) Engraver Of the Mark

The day when cards like Mind Crush becomes the norm to curb the meta decks, is the day this card works wonders as an anti-side. It even has a cool on-field effect to boast.

Currently, I can think of this card being used to counter Lullaby of Obedience, but I don't think it is worth the deck space and side deck slot. 
Perhaps it is a personal thing, but I think that this card has a lot of potential.

Again, it is a normal rare.

And on a personal note - I love this card's artwork lol.

14) Sacred Serpent's Wake


I came across this card when I was searching through my cards in my trunk (I always used trunk for my spare cards. It originates from my days when I started my Yu-Gi-Oh journey with the first of the tag force series.)

Serprent's Wake is a recovery card, allowing the user to recycle/obtain cards once different conditions are met. It may not be of much now in the month of July 2016, but it could benefit D/D/D decks in the future, especially if their key cards are hit by the banlist, and recycling cards become twice as important as before. After all, D/D/D is the deck that is capable of summoning the different types of monsters - fusion/synchro/xyz.

Any other decks? No idea as of now.

Also, a little trivia taken from Shurit's trivia page, regarding this card.

This monster appears to be the child of "Gishki Avance" and "Gishki Emilia"; This monster's hair is a layered combination of Avance's and Emilia's white and red hair, respectively. He also has one blue eye (like Avance) and one red eye (like Emilia).

This makes sense, as Avance and Emilia were last seen in the conclusion of the Duel Terminal storyline (seen in "Sacred Serpent's Wake"), looking off into the distance together as the last survivors of the war. The duo are also featured on several other "Nekroz" cards, implying that the archetype represents the pair's new family after some time has passed.

15) Morphing Jar #2


Jar #2 is a nice card to tech in. It is a Rippling Mirror Force on its own. If you don't shuffle cards into the Main Deck , like extra deck monsters, you opponent doesn't have to excavate.

And even if you do excavate those big Level 8 monsters to the main deck, you probably will end up doing a big of deck destruction to your opponent, either milling their Level 8 monsters or spells, in the case of a Blue-Eyes matchup.

It is an out to many threats, such as Naturia ExterioLast Warrior from another Planet and OTKs. It is always fun (for yourself) when you shuffle your opponent's monsters, especially when they are playing Phantom Abyss.

What do you know? Years later, this card finally becomes relevant outside of Empty Jar decks.

16) Magical Spring

Magical Spring sprung into action as a tech card in the sides for Infernoids a few months back, when the rogue deck faced the challenge of Pepe/EMEm.

Let's understand how this card works first - you will end up needing to discard one, as it itself counts as a [face-up] spell when this card resolves.

At first glance, this card only offers significant draw power against trap-heavy decks, like Demise-Qli or Demise-Yosenju. And the trade-off is undesirable, since most of the time, you would want to get rid of those pesky traps.

The best effect this card has to offer is actually the underrated one - your opponent's spells/traps will not be destroyed. This can hence punish Metalfoe players who paste the improper scales (that disallows them to perform a pendulum summon), wishes to use their destruction effect, and thinks that they can get away with it.

In my opinion, Blue-Eyes players should consider this option for their side deck. They would enjoy the benefit from the discard, and since the deck runs few continous spells, you will only end up discarding only one. And who doesn't like drawing extra cards? Not only does it fare well against Metalfoes, it keeps rogue stun and control decks in check.

17) Soul Taker

Soul Taker has seen competitive play when Evolzar Laggia was around, and it has since faded out of existence as Dino-Rabbits took a back seat. While other removal options such as Smashing Ground and/or Fissue exists, and they provide no additional benefit to your opponent, the resulting trade-off is that such cards don't target. Hence, in a board filled with monsters, you don't get to do a selection.

Soul Taker stands out, being capable of selecting its target, and having no cost to begin with. The only downside is the additional 1000LP you give your opponent. While 1000LP may make it difficult to win the game, it is better than facing a Djinn lock and/or Majesty Fiend and losing the one-sided game entirely.

Lastly, it has a nifty effect of causing your opponent monsters to lose the timing, should they have optional effects upon destruction, since the last thing to happen would be the gaining of life points, and not the destruction of the monster.

18) Needle Ceiling

This old card hasn't been reprinted in recent years, but it is worthy of consideration.
Needle Ceiling is interesting in the sense that it requires four monsters on the board to use its effect, but only destroys face-up ones. With the meta evolved to a state where special summons are spammed one after another, four monsters on a side of the field is already a common site.

To me, this card feels like a Dark Hole with a detonator button on it, since you can activate it on your opponent's turn, any time, any phase, as long as the conditions are fulfilled. 

19) Black Horn of Heaven


Black Horn of Heaven may be obsolete as cards like Solemn Strike are introduced. Even the 1500LP cost doesn't faze players from using the latter. It has relatively low cost and a wide range of targets to use at. In addition, Black Horn is less preferred as it is unable to prevent multiple special summons from pendulum summons, like Rai-Oh. (After all, it is like a trap-version of Rai-Oh)

However, should Strike fail to stand the test of time, and fall victim to the banlist, Black Horn shall emerge to contest as a replacement. It has a lower range of targets as compared to the other Horn trap cards, but it has zero cost & condition to fulfill, and no trade-offs.

20) Swallow FlipPulling the Rug

Both cards work similarly, but have different targets and different conditions to be used. While it may seem too situational to be used in the meta, it is worth noting that Pulling the Rug was considered as a side deck option for Monarchs when it was first introduced. Players only turned towards spell/trap destruction after realising that the backrow were more vulnerable than the monsters.

By Order of the Emperor is a more notice-able Swallow Flip, seeing that it is a continuous effect. The additional draw provided to the opponent is the main difference between both card's effect. Also, taken from Swallow Flip's tips page:

Since Synchro Summoning is Special Summoning, this card can destroy monsters like "Arcanite Magician", "Black Rose Dragon", "Junk Destroyer", "Mist Wurm", "T.G. Hyper Librarian", "Tempest Magician", "Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier" and "XX-Saber Hyunlei". While "Black Horn of Heaven" is more useful in cases of Synchro Summoning, since it prevents the monster from being summoned again, this card has a few situational advantages: it can negate the effect of "Black Rose Moonlight Dragon" if it is special summoned through a means other than Synchro Summon, as well as negate the effect of a monster already present that activates its effect when any other monster is Special Summoned (Like a 3 material Xyz monster That used "Star Seraph Scale" as a Material).

21) Agnimazd Vanisher, the True Dracoruler

The less preffered foil of the product it was introduced in, Agnimazd Vanisher may turn out to be an underrated card in the future. Similar to Fire King Island, it is capable of destroying cards directly from the hand, although players can also destroy monsters on the field.

The problematic part of its effect is perhaps the clause where at least 1 FIRE monster needs to be destroyed to special summon this card. However, it may be worth the while since it has a banish-ing effect to offer upon being special summoned.
Its final searching effect can also benefit non-wyrm themed decks, by searching out cards like Al-Lumi'raj which has become a staple-tech-card due to its ability to single-handedly take down high level foes with large stats in battle, with any activation of Spell/Trap or Monster effects. Hence, it is an effective one-card out to lockdowns involving Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon and Naturia Exterio.

I can see this card being useful in Yang Zing decks, and also Kozmo decks, with the inclusion of more Fire King monsters.  It's effectiveness and relevance remains to be determined.

22) Negation Destruction

Number 22 on the list belongs to Spell/Trap negation, and each has its own merits. Spells and Traps play a large part in Yugioh's metagame ever since its beginning, functioning as resources to extend plays or clear threats. It is only natural that players would seek methods to negate them and reduce the opponent's resources. These three cards are also counter traps, hence limiting the number of cards that can be chained to them, and by game mechanics, it also means that they can't be negated by the means of Naturia Exterio or Naturia Beast.

Each has its own merits
  • Magic Drain, while being unable to negate Traps, is a worthy card choice simply because it is at least a one-for-one card trade ( +negation), and at best a two-for-one. It also has no cost or condition to fulfil, making it relatively easy to use - just chain it to the spells used by your opponent. The tricky part comes to the question of when to use it. Magic Drain was opted by many players to counter Nekroz back then, as the discard would slow down the opposing Nekroz players, and leave them with one less ritual summon to perform. Magic Drain is also useful towards decks that runs a low spell count. In addition, Pendulum monsters aren't considered to be spells in hand, making Metalfoe decks very vulnerable to a negation by Magic Drain when they place their scales, given their high monster count. The only downside is really just that this card is unable to perform a definite negation - your opponent can still resolve the spell effect at the cost of a discard. However, sacrificing a spell card to resolve another would definitely has its consequences. 

  • Dark Bribe is a straight-forward card. It negates and provides a draw for your opponent. It has a wide range of target and unlike Magic Drain, it provides the outright negation that many players prefer. The draw one may be undesirable for some players, but ultimately, your opponent gains no pluses or advantage. You simply just swapped a card in your opponent's hand, in terms of card economics. And if your opponent is lucky enough to draw into another copy of the card, suck it up, I guess. xD

  • In terms of trap negation, Wiretap surpasses Dark Bribe in every sense. It has zero cost and no trade-offs, providing the opponent with no benefits. Shuffling your opponent's cards into the deck for reuse might seem like a bad idea in the eyes of many, but one should consider its utility when targeted at cards like Artifact Sanctum, when destruction isn't preferred. Also, if chained to cards such as Solemn Strike, you make your opponent pay the lifepoints cost for nothing, and also shuffle a possible dead draw back to their deck, especially if they do not have enough lifepoints to pay for it when they draw it the second time round.


And there you have it, a staggering 22-card long list of potential Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and some of which you didn't even know exist. That's how I like to spent my free time - scouting for cards that elude the eyes of many.

This article took a month to be typed, drafted, edited and formatted. Sorry for the long wait but I sincerely hope this article was worth the wait and the time to read.

As a general rule of thumb, any cards that

  • Restrict your opponent from performing an action, (e.g. Royal Prison)
  • Is a Normal Rare card 
  • Doesn't require a cost to activate, yet provides a mediocre effect (e.g. Black Horn of Heaven)
is worth a second look, in my opinion.

Performapal Magician wasn't worth a second look when it was released. It provided no significant field or card advantage despite the searching function it can provide. That is until, cards such as Performage Plush Fire and Guiding Ariande, which benefits from being destroyed were introduced to the game.

Found a card that you think is worthy to be on the list?
Comment or message us on our Facebook page, and that card might be featured on the next CardWatch article, with full credits given to you.

Who knows? Maybe one day, The Cheerful Coffin might become broken.

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