Yu-Gi-Oh! Set Review – Breakers of Shadow

Breakers of Shadows (BOSH) is here, and Yu-Gi-Oh! is never going to be the same. If you only have time for a one sentence review of the set, this is it: BOSH is completely insane.

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Yu-Gi-Oh sets generally come in two flavours. Some sets change up the meta by introducing new archetypes to challenge established decks, and other sets add to the current decks to really define the “best” deck of the format. BOSH is definitely the latter. Pendulum and Kozmo decks are already seeing huge amounts of play, and BOSH is going to take them to the next level.

Breakers of Shadow is the first main set to use the new ratio for foil cards in Yu-Gi-Oh, after the trial in High-Speed Riders. Every pack of Breakers of Shadow will contain a foil card (Super or higher) in addition to the normal rare. Additionally, there is roughly double the amount of Ultra Rare and Secret Rare cards in the set.

The best way to demonstrate what this ratio change means is with a big picture of shiny cards! Here is every foil from a single box of Breakers of Shadow.

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When I heard about these upgraded ratios, my initial thought was that we would just end up with a lot more unplayable foil cards and the same number of “good” cards, but in this set at least that isn’t the case. Most of the high rarity stuff is super playable, which is brilliant news for people who are a fan of buying sealed product.

A warning in advance, this set review is HUGE. If you just want the short version, I have happily drawn this up for you below, but I definitely recommend reading on if you are planning on heading to a big event any time soon, like YCS Sydney in a few days.

Top Picks for Casual/Budget Players:

– More Kaiju!
– Dinomist are neat Dinosaur robots and are mostly common/rare
– A foil in every pack makes this an excellent set to bump up the value of your trade binder

For Veteran Players:

– Performapals, some are common, Sorcerer is Secret, but you 100% want three to play PePe at full power.
– Kozmo, Tincan fixes a lot of problems with the deck, Kozmojo is potentially great too
– Cyber Dragon Infinity is the Alpha boss monster for any rank 4 deck

So now that we have established that the set is literally making it rain good cards, let’s take a closer look at some of the best picks and new archetypes.

Performapals

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There are a few Performapals in BOSH, but these three are some of the most important cards in the entire set. Performapal Monkeyboard and Guitartle are best combined with Performapal Skullcrobat Joker from the Master of Pendulum Structure Deck.

With these three cards in your deck, you can basically normal summon a complete Pendulum scale with Joker searching Monkeyboard searching Guitartle. Better yet, if you open with either Turtle or Monkeyboard you can search the other half with Joker and use the Monkeyboard to search another Joker to do it all again next turn!

The ability to make a scale with a 1 card investment is easily abused in combination with the big daddy of the Performapals, Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer. When special summoned he can destroy two cards you control to add Performapals with different names from your deck to your hand, up to the number of monsters destroyed with this effect.

This effect works even if you destroy Pendulum Scales, since they are monsters absolutely everywhere except the Pendulum Zone. Pendulum Sorcerer allows you to destroy your own scales to search cards for a guaranteed play next turn, while also playing around Wavering Eyes, one of the most one-sided cards in the Pendulum mirror. Please note that this ruling is still a bit contentious at the time of writing due to the wording of the card, so check with the Head Judge for confirmation on how the card will work at any events you may be attending.

If you do destroy your scales, you can add Guitartle and Lizardraw to draw  two cards after you make a Pendulum play, getting you closer to valuable hand-traps, Solemn cards etc to add to your solid board.

Sorcerer is also searchable with Joker and can buff all Performapal monsters by 1000 attack if used as a scale when a Performapal is Pendulum summoned. Overall, he offers amazing flexibility and will definitely be played at 3 in all Performapal and Performage (PePe) decks. He also has a hefty price tag attached, so keep an eye out for this one in your packs


10414572_1656470994622997_9016909011379301520_nDraco Face-Off

Previously translated as “Clash of the Dracorivals”, Draco Face-Off is another new staple for PePe decks. This card is one of the best reasons to have picked up Vector, the Dracoverlord and Luster, the Pendulum Dracoslayer from the last two sets. This card will guarantee you either a free monster or free scale, plus an extra monster in your Extra Deck to be Pendulum summoned.

It does have a “once per turn” clause attached, but Face-Off is also a quick-play spell, so you can drop a second copy during your opponent’s turn if you happen to draw multiples.


1375829_1656471007956329_1595820819030251008_nGuiding Ariadne

Old-School players will remember a particularly obnoxious Counter-Fairy deck that saw some play a while ago. Guiding Ariadne is basically the patron saint of that deck, and is also seeing play in some PePe lists alongside Solemn Strike.

Ariadne’s Pendulum effect makes paying Life Points or discarding cards for Counter Traps a thing of the past, meaning you can Divine Wrath, Solemn Warning, and Wattcancel(!) your opponent into oblivion for free. Good deal. Ariadne’s monster effect allows you to reveal 3 Counter Trap cards from your deck when it is destroyed, and you add one of those to your hand randomly.

This card is being used in combination with Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer to pull off multiple searches for Counter Traps in PePe to end with an unbreakable field. While I have definitely seen this terrifying combo in action, it seems like it would be more likely to be inconsistent than a standard PePe build. That being said, Ariadne is only a Super rare, so you might as well grab a few and try it out for yourself.

And speaking of Counter Traps, there are two new ones in BOSH that are designed to tell your opponent “No”!


SolemnStrike-BOSH-EN-ScR-1ESolemn Strike

In my Dimension of Chaos review, I mentioned that Majespecter Tempest was the best of the Majespecter spell and trap support. Solemn Strike works just like a Majespecter Tempest that ANY deck can use, which is probably why it is right behind Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer on the hype-train.

By paying 1500 life points you can negate the summon of any number of monsters (like a huge Pendulum summon for example) or negate a monster effect and destroy it. The versatility of this card to stop monsters from hitting the field or dealing with ones that are already there is part of what makes it so dangerous.

You can also combine this card with Ariadne to both search it and remove the cost, making it even better than Majespecter Tempest!


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Ultimate Providence

Rounding out the Counter Trap resurgence is Ultimate Providence, a TCG exclusive card that delivers some serious hate on effects. By discarding a monster, spell or trap you can negate the activation of a monster, spell or trap effect and destroy that card.

Just like Solemn Strike, if you have an Ariadne on board, you don’t have to discard anything at all, so you can just politely tell you opponent “Nah, not today”.


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Cyber Dragon Infinity

Cyber Dragon Infinity. I’m prepared to lose to this card, a lot.

Obviously Cyber Dragon decks can go crazy with this card, but like Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack, the budget players will have to suffer the high price-point that comes with a card being playable in the best deck.

In a very roundabout way, PePe can summon 3 monsters, overlay them for Tellarknight Ptolemaeus, detach for Ptolemaeus effect to summon Cyber Dragon Nova and then overlay Cyber Dragon Infinity on top of that.

A lot of people think that the best way to play Infinity is to jam him on the table turn 1, but realistically the card really shines when you and your opponent are down to just a few cards each. Being able to eat one of their attack position monsters and sit on a huge 2700 attack monster that can negate one effect per turn is normally a kill-shot.

If you already have your Ptolemaeus and your Nova ready to go, you will be one of the lucky ones sitting on the correct side of the table when the Infinity starts claiming victims.


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Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince

If you play Mermail or you are thinking about playing Mermail – you want three of this card, no questions asked. The combos he enables are insane and have more than revived the deck, especially if you throw in some Anti-Spell Fragrances to hit the Pendulum decks where it hurts.

Atlanteans have huge potential to OTK your opponent going second, which is great in a format where PePe wants to go first.


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Traptrix Rafflesia

If Cyber Dragon Infinity is the boss of this set, Traptrix Rafflesia is his right-hand lady. An excellent first turn play, she turns any two level 4 monsters into a 2500 defence butt and gives you the ability to Time-Space, Bottomless or Treacherous Trap Hole your opponent at will. You can also tech other trap holes as 1-ofs to toolbox out with Rafflesia on demand.

Plus she is immune to traps, which is always nice.


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Mistaken Accusation

Let’s take a break from giant scary monsters to talk about a card featuring our old friend Sangan. Mistaken Accusation is the ultimate jail for cards. It’s definitely weird, but potentially game-winning in certain circumstances.

If you opponent has more cards than you, you can target one card on the field and neither player can activate cards or the effects of cards with the same name for the rest of the Duel.

Definitely a side-deck card at best, but if there is a card in particular you just can’t stand, this is a pretty good way to get rid of it for good!


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Kozmo

The Force has Awakened and the Kozmo support isn’t far behind. Our favourite Star Wars of Oz crossover has been second fiddle to PePe for a while now, but BOSH certainly gives them some new toys to play with.

Now like Dark Destroyer before it, everyone is excited for Dark Eclipser because it has huge attack, and that tends to excite people in general. The new Spaceship is pretty good, it definitely helps the deck deal with multiple set trap cards, which has been a problem for Kozmo in the past.

The real star though, is Kozmo Tincan. One of the inherent problems with the Kozmo strategy of banishing Pilots to summon Ships is that every hand needs to have a healthy mix of both. All Pilots or all Ships will result in either nothing but low-power monsters or big monsters stuck in your hand.

KozmoTincan-BOSH-EN-UR-1EKozmotown partially solved this problem by allowing you to add pilots or ships back to your hand once they were banished, and Kozmo Farmgirl can search for a ship if she makes a direct attack, but neither of these cards were by any means a guaranteed fix. Kozmo Tincan solves this problem by being a Pilot AND a ship, all in one card.

During both players End Phase you can pay 500 Lifepoints, reveal 3 Kozmo cards with different names from your deck, randomly add one to your hand, and send the rest to the grave. This allows you to set up with Tincan on the field and a ship in hand ready to summon.

You can even summon Tincan using Emergency Teleport, use his effect in the End Phase and then use his other effect to summon the ship you added before he is banished due to the effect of Teleport. Not bad for a little guy.


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Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer

The next in the series of “Draco” monsters, Master Pendulum isn’t quite as useful as his brother Luster, but definitely still deserves a place in any deck running Draco Face-Off. His Pendulum effect allows you to destroy a card in your Pendulum Zone.

Generally you will be destroying one of your own cards, like PerformagePlushfire or Guiding Ariadne.  You can also pop your opponent’s scales, but generally scales are pretty replaceable, so using Master Pendulum to advance your own game-state is much better than using it as a weak destruction spell.

Otherwise, he is useful because he lacks many of the restrictions that Luster had. If you summon Master, you can use him for the Synchro, Xyz or Fusion of any monster, not just a Dracoslayer, which is particularly useful if you summon him from the effect of Ignister Prominence or Draco Face-Off and want to go into an Xyz other than Majester Paladin.

He can also be used to summon our next friend…


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Dinoster

Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer is a Fusion monster with a significant 2950 defence. Just like Ignister Prominence was visually Luster + Igknight Margrave and Majester Paladin was Luster + Majespecter Unicorn, Dinoster is Luster + the new Dinomist monsters.

I am a total sucker for archetype combinations and crossovers, so I thought I would squeeze that in there for all the trivia fans!

He is summoned by tributing a Dracoslayer Pendulum monster and any other Pendulum monster without the use of a Fusion spell, which makes him much easier to include in Pendulum decks.

His effect protects cards in the Pendulum Zone and Pendulum monsters on your side of the field from being destroyed by battle and card effects, plus he can summon a Dracoslayer Pendulum monster from your hand or Graveyard once per turn to keep the summons coming.



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Twin Twisters

On the surface, Twin Twisters is just a more dramatic Mystical Space Typhoon. You discard one card to blow up two Spell/Traps instead of one. The fun part is when you take into account how many decks run cards that are either “free” or are better off in the Graveyard.

Discarding a Damage Juggler or Trick Clown with Twin Twisters feels like Christmas absolutely every time, especially when you are sniping cards like Solemn Strike, Grand Horn of Heaven or Vanity’s Emptiness.

You almost certainly want one or two of these between your main and your side deck, especially if you have been siding Mystical Space Typhoon up until now.


21609_1656470884623008_930519422635958291_nFiendish Rhino Warrior

The last stand-alone card I wanted to talk about was Fiendish Rhino Warrior. Despite his Beastly appearance, this card seems to have been tailor-made to support the Burning Abyss archetype. His continuous effect will stop Burning Abyss monsters from being destroyed when there is a non-BA on the field (which is good, since he isn’t one) and when he is sent to the graveyard you can send any Fiend from your deck to the Graveyard except FRW.

Our horned friend can basically act as any BA monster when milled, which is especially important with some of their best monsters taking a hit from the Forbidden and Limited list. He is even level 3 and a Rare, how on-theme can you get!

In addition to all the new meta hotness from BOSH, we also get some support for existing archetypes and a few new ones to play with.


Deskbots

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Okay, so I love Deskbots, even if they aren’t super competitive. Something about the design, the fact that they start tiny and end up with ridiculous attack and the way they catch people totally off-guard cemented my love for them very early on.

BOSH gives us two new Deskbots, 007 and 008. Both James Bond and his girl are Pendulum monsters with scales of 10 and 1 respectively. They also allow Deskbot 004 to hit 4000 and 4500 attack, meaning he can destroy pretty much every monster in the game by battle.

James Bond (007) gains 500 attack for each Bot in your Graveyard and is the only monster your opponent can attack. He also inflicts piercing damage in battle, in case your opponent tries to dodge the Deskbot onslaught with cowardly defence position monsters.

Deskbot 008 (who is adorable) also gains 500 attack for each Graveyard Bot, and forces your opponent to target her with card effects. She can also make up to 2 attacks on Monsters during each battle phase, which is a great way to clear the field for some of your higher attack Bots to swing directly.

Because I love this deck so much, I will probably be doing a write-up on it in the near future, so keep an eye out for that one.


Superheavy Samurai

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Superheavy Samurai is another pet deck that receives a lot of support each set which makes it almost great. BOSH is no exception, adding 5 new Superheavy monsters.

Of note, the two Generals are the first Pendulum monsters for Superheavies, which will definitely help with the problem of having dead monsters in hand in an all-monsters archetype. The new Synchro monster, Kyubi, gains 900 Defence for each special summoned monster you opponent controls, which has the potential to make him HUGE.


Kaiju

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The Godzilla crew are back, this time Mothra and MechaGodzilla are wrecking up Tokyo.

Gadarla (Mothra) allows you to remove 3 Kaiju counters from anywhere on the field to halve the attack and defence of all monsters except himself, great for taking down enemy Kaiju. Jizukiru (MechaGodzilla) removes 3 Kaiju counters to negate a card or effect that targets exactly 1 card, and destroy another card to boot.

The big winner through is Interrupted Kaiju Slumber. This neat little spell destroys as many monsters on the field as possible, and then special summons one Kaiju from your deck to each side of the field. Naturally, you just give yourself the better Kaiju and then destroy your opponent’s Kaiju by battle. Not that you have any choice, since the Kaiju summoned by this effect have to attack if able.

Once Slumber is in the grave, you can banish it next turn to add a Kaiju monster from your deck to your hand. Which just means more delightful monster rampaging.


Magicians

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Being an archetype that can be built with three Structure decks is usually a recipe for instant popularity, and Magicians are no exception. These guys are getting four new support cards to play with in BOSH, which will hopefully help in the fight against the PePe overlords.

Dharma-Eye Magician is the other half of the Wisdom-Eye scale, and his effect protects your Magician Pendulum monsters during the turn he is summoned.

Timebreaker Magician has a Pendulum effect that stops the first destruction of a Pendulum monster you control, and can also pump himself to 2800 attack or banish a monster in a pinch.

Tuning Magician is an on-theme tuner who you can pseudo-pendulum summon if you don’t mind her getting banished afterwards.

The cover card of Breakers of Shadow, Enlightenment Paladin, is technically a generic Synchro, but packs a bonus for Magician players. When he destroys a monster by battle you can burn your opponent for that monster’s original attack, and if he is Synchro Summoned using a Magician Pendulum monster you can also add a Spell card from your Graveyard to your hand.

Recycling Pendulum Call, Raigeki or Wavering Eyes? Sounds pretty good to me.

 


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Majespectres

I’m not exactly blown away by the new Majespecter Spell and Trap support, but Majespecter Toad – Ogama is fantastic. Like all of the windy guys, he searches when normal or special summoned, in this case by getting a Majespecter Spell or Trap directly from your deck. The big thing for Toad is that he allows you to effectively pull off Kyubi’s effect twice per turn, meaning you can use Tempest to apply even more pressure to your opponent.

The new archetypes from BOSH are Dinomist, Shiranui and re-trained Buster Blader support. I honestly don’t see a huge amount of potential in Shiranui or the Blader stuff, outside of very casual decks or pending further support.

Dinomist, on the other hand, are definitely neat enough to look at.


Dinomist

 

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The first of the new archetypes from BOSH, Dinomist are Machine-type Dinosaur Pendulum monsters, which are super bad-ass. They all follow a reason pattern, the high scale monsters can negate an effect that targets a Dinomist card exactly once, and the lower scales can sacrifice themselves if a Dinomist card you control would be destroyed by battle or an opponent’s card effect.

Their Spell and Trap support isn’t anything to write home about, with the exception of Dinomist Charge which adds a Dinomist to hand when activated. Search spells are always step 1 to making an archetype playable.

The best advice I have for aspiring Dinomist players is to try combining them with Karakuri. Since they are all Machines you can Pendulum summon a few Dinomist monsters and a Karakuri tuner and chain together a bunch of special summons to make a huge field. Definitely just low-key enough to catch someone off guard.

Like the set itself, that review was a monster. If you stuck all the way to the end, good for you! Hopefully this has armed you with all the knowledge you need to tackle the new cards from BOSH at your local tournaments this week.

If you have any questions you want answered or any requests for articles, leave them in the comments below and I will hit you up with some answers as soon as possible.

As always, if you are looking for places where you can buy Yu-Gi-Oh product and play in a tournament or two, you can get all the info and more from http://www.yugioh-card.com/oc/

That’s all for now, but if you are attending YCS Sydney make sure you say Hi!

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