Normally, when I set out to write a set review, the first place I start is with the big stuff. Most sets have some sort of influence on the metagame, or $100+ Secret Rare cards. Maximum Crisis has plenty of those, and I am sure your locals for the last week has been a cavalcade of True Dracos, Dinosaurs and people getting sad because of Ghost Ash.
So for this set, I wanted to do something different, and highlight some of the cards that might have slipped under the radar a bit. You might even have these cards already, hopefully I can convince you to dig them out of your deckbox! Or, if you just want to see me open packs –
As we reach the end of the Pendulum Era, stronger cards supporting this theme were inevitable. Duelist Alliance allows you to search a Pendulum monster, spell or trap with “Pendulum” in it’s name from your deck, as long as you already have something in your scales.
This is a fantastic search spell, and can grab powerful cards like Luster Dragon, the Pendulum Dracoslayer or Pendulum Call– bringing the total effective copies of these cards up to four!
It also allows you to tech one-off support cards from the Pendulum archetype, like a single Pendulum Rising. Definitely something that can help extend your combos and makes Pendulum strategies generally more consistent.
The Predaplant archetype released in Fusion Enforcers probably got the least attention from that set, compared to the well-established Fluffal and powerful Invoked archtypes.
That all changes now, because Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio and Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra are nuts.
When you normal or special summon Scorpio, you can discard a monster to summon Cobra from your deck. Cobra then also grabs you any “Polymerization” or “Fusion’ spell card from your deck to your hand.
In addition to making a rank 3 monster like Invoker, you can also add Instant Fusion or Brilliant Fusion – key combo pieces in a variety of meta and rogue strategies like Zoodiac, Madolche or Subterror.
Because Scorpio works from a normal OR special summon, you can add in three copies of Lonefire Blossom as well. Granted, Cobra is not a great card to draw on it’s own, but you add six good draws to your deck at the cost of one bad one.
These cards arriving in Maximum Crisis at common and rare is a blessing for budget duelists everywhere.
Even Semi-limiting Zoodiac Ratpier couldn’t keep the deck down forever. Chakanine is a brand-new Zoodiac Xyz monster, and she bring a lot of power for her (low) price tag.
By detaching a material, Chakanine can special summon a Zoodiac monster from your grave. It’s effects are negated and it cannot be used as an Xyz material for the rest of the turn.
It can be used for a Fusion summon though, for example as part of the Lunalight Black Sheep combo, leading to more potential draws for your Zoo deck. If you want to be a really cool guy, you can also bring back a Zoodiac Ramram, pop it with a Drident or Barrage and swap it out using Ramram effects for the Zoodiac you really want, effects and Xyz-ability in tact.
If you throw enough support at a deck, eventually some of it has to be good. Subterror duelists out there will tell you that the real problem with the deck is trying to get high-level Behemoths out of their hand and onto the field.
In the past, people have resorted to using odd cards like Mid-Shield Gardna to trigger the effects of the Subterror monsters in their hand, but now Fiendess does it all while being on-theme.
Additionally, and probably more importantly, she can be sent from your hand or field to the grave to negate a card or effect, as well as setting a Subterror monster. If Solemn Judgment has taught us anything, it’s that generic negation is very, very good.
I am keen to see if this gives Subterror the push it needs to rise to the surface.
Remember those weird Zefra cards that were all versions of cards from other decks? Well they gave them some support in Maximum Crisis, and it’s low-key insane.
First of all, Zefra Providence is just a good old-fashioned “Add any Zefra card except this one” to your hand. Plus it has a bonus effect to banish itself from the grave to protect a Zefra from destruction.
But what do you search? How do you end the game?
Don’t worry, they gave Zefra a big boss monster too. Zefraath can modulate his Pendulum scale while fueling your Extra Deck for Pendulum summons, Also, you can summon this 3450 attack beast from your Extra Deck by tributing all monsters you control (and some need to be Zefras).
Don’t worry though, when you summon him, you get to Pendulum Summon an additional time, but only for Zefra monsters. If you somehow manage to get him on the field without Pendulum Summoning, you could theorectically summon four monsters for free, twice.
At that point you might as well just start throwing cardboard at your opponent. It’s so free.
Supreme King Gates
At the end of the Pendulum life-cycle, we have reached the true potential of this mechanic. Supreme King Gates Zero and Infinity have a zero and thirteen scale, allowing you to summon any monster in the game – since levels can only be printed at 1-12.
There are some drawbacks, like not being able to control monsters before you Pendulum Summon, but if you are summoning huge things – who cares?
And just to really tie the whole thing together, Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm is an 1800 attack level 4 monster that adds either Gate when normal or special (read: Pendulum) summoned.
He can also be special summoned from the grave (which triggers his effect) if you control no monsters.
Lastly, if you have him in your scale, you can activate a Gate from your deck, meaning that you can summon Dark monsters either above or below level 5 for one card.
I can only think of one other level 4 1800 attack monster that searches cards and has additional effects, and my boy Stratos is forbidden. Seems good.
Maximum Crisis is packed with powerful cards, I’m sure the next YCS will show a massive showing of True Dracos, Dinosaurs and more. But, among all of the glitz and glamour there are a few hidden gems.
With enough time and love, I am sure some excellent budget strategies could be build around any of the cards I listed above. In some cases you could even combine them – like running Gates with Duelist Alliance or Predaplants in Subterror.
So when you crack your packs of Maximum Crisis at locals – don’t forget to keep an eye out for these guys too!
If you are looking for somewhere to test out your new build, or meet up with fellow duelists, check out http://www.yugioh-card.com/oc/