Yu-Gi-Oh! Set Review – Shining Victories

ShiningVictoriesBox

Shining Victories continues the theme of re-training classic Yu-Gi-Oh monsters with one of the most iconic cards of all time – Blue-Eyes White Dragon! It also has what looks like the final Kozmo and Kaiju support, some new themes, and some excellent one-off support cards.

We reviewed the best of the set, including insight into some great casual strategies!

So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Pre-Preparation of Rites

Add 1 Ritual Spell Card from your Deck to your hand, and add 1 Ritual Monster from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand whose name is listed on that Ritual Spell Card. You can only activate 1 “Pre-Preparation of Rites” per turn.

Pre-Preparation of Rites is a very well-designed card. It offers really amazing support for on-theme Ritual monsters like Relinquished, Herald of Perfection or Odd-Eyes Gravity Dragon, but cannot be used for Nekroz or any of the “generic” ritual spells like Advanced Ritual Art or Contract with the Abyss. Pre=Prep

As a side note, Pre-Prep is currently the centrepiece of the OCG version of Burning Abyss. With Dante at one, they have made good use of this card with Malacoda of the Burning Abyss and Good and Evil.

Since the TCG has Dante at three, it could make for a neat twist on the deck here too!

Performapal Odd-Eyes Unicorn
Unicorn

Performapal Odd-Eyes Unicorn adds a lot of utility to Pendulum decks, which is important as the last Forbidden and Limited list took them to the cleaners.

The two key points for this My Little Pony wannabe are; it is Scale 8 and has “Odd-Eyes” in the name. That means you can search it with Sky Iris, a card which also stops your scales being Twin Twistered or destroyed by Kozmo Sliprider.

You can also now easily Pendulum summon monsters up to level 7, something which was previously impossible outside of more Magician focussed decks. The ability to add Majespectre Kirin, Apex Avian, and a host of other strong high level monsters may give Pendulum decks the boost they need to get back into the metagame.

 

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Kozmo

Another set, another batch of Star Wars/Oz crossover goodness. Kozmo has been the #BestDesk since the last F&L list, and that isn’t looking to change any time soon. Luckily, the pre-SHVI core of the deck is quite cheap due to reprints in Premium Gold, so most players have been able to pick up the deck without it (Dark) destroying their wallets.

The new Kozmo support in SHVI is interesting, although not quite on the power level of Dark Destroyer or Tincan. Lion and Walker are niche, and probably won’t see much play. Dark Planet is really strong on paper (4000 strong untargettable Death Star is beastly) but in practice it requires quite a few cards to enable.

Dark Lady is the best of the bunch. She is a Divine Wrath as well as a big body, and helps to create better lockdown fields going first. In fact, the only downsides to Lady are that she is a pilot not a ship, and that she isn’t level four, which would be insane.

In fact, the best Kozmo support in the set probably isn’t even a Kozmo card.

Fire King Island

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If this face-up card in the Field Zone is sent to the Graveyard or banished: Destroy all monsters you control. You can only use 1 of the following effects of “Fire King Island” per turn, and only once that turn.

During your Main Phase: You can destroy 1 monster in your hand or you control, and if you do, add 1 “Fire King” monster from your Deck to your hand.

If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon 1 FIRE Winged Beast-Type monster from your hand.

So obviously, Fire King Island is pretty darn good Fire King support. It blows up dudes in your hand. It specials Garunix if you draw him (you do, by the way), and when it is destroyed it destroys your dudes AGAIN. Fire Kings love to be destroyed.

For Kozmos though, this card makes for some neat combos, generally involving blowing up a spaceship in your hand to add extra pilots to your board. Keep in mind you do need to run a Fire King monster to activate this effect, but if you can avoid drawing the brick it definitely adds to the combo potential of Kozmo decks.

Just be careful that they don’t destroy your own Island, and your “unbreakable” board too.

Ghost Reaper and Winter Cherries

PerformageDamageJuggler-CORE-EN-C-1E

Ghost Reaper is a playable hand-trap. That sentence alone makes it worth $50, minimum.

Specifically, though, you can pitch Ghost Reaper and reveal a monster from your Extra deck when your opponent controls more monsters than you do. You then look at their entire Extra Deck and banish all monsters with the same name.

So if your opponent’s deck relies on a particular monster (like Dante in Burning Abyss), Ghost Reaper gives you the chance to just completely hose them before they have even made a play. Getting cards from the banishment back to the Extra deck is painful and inefficient, so even if they pull it off, they have likely already expended too many resources to make a comeback.

Ghost Reaper – Just make sure you own three.

Raidraptors + Cattle Call

Raidraptors have had a lot of potential for a while now. All of them are highly searchable, and most of them just say “Summon more birds dude, go for it.”

Force Strix is an excellent rank four monster, but until now Raidraptors have really just lacked a way to seal the deal.

Don’t worry though, because Ultimate Falcon is here to seriously ruin your day. It’s everything you could want in a boss monster. It’s 3500 attack, unaffected by other card effects and it seriously hurts your opponent’s attack stat every turn.

UltiFalcon

But it’s like Rank Infinity. How do I summon this thing? You cheat, silly! Use Last Strix or the new Cattle-Calling to drop Raidraptor Satellite Cannon and rank it up with either Astral Force or the new Raidraptor themed Skip Force!

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It seems like a lot of cards for a combo, but considering you can run six copies of a Rank-Up Magic, and approximately thousands of ways to get to Satellite Cannon, you should be busting out Ultimate Falcons with alarming regularity.

Kaiju

If only there was some way to deal with all these untargettable monsters that are unaffected by everything under the Sun…

Oh wait, Kaiju!

The high-ceiling Volcanic Queens have stomped their way into Burning Abyss, Kozmo, and a bunch of rogue strategies as an excellent out to hard-to-kill monsters.

SHVI brings us two new Kaiju, or more correctly, one Kaiju and one SUPER MEGA ANTI-KAIJU.

Our regular Kaiju can remove counters to stop your opponent activating any effects for the rest of the turn, and can attack three times. Which is painful, because at 3300 attack he is bloody huge.

Our Anti-Kaiju lacks the “Tribute your opponent’s guy” summoning clause, but can still be summoned to your side of the field if your opponent has a Kaiju. He can equip a Kaiju from your grave to gain that much attack, which means you will generally have him at 3300. Or you can just summon him to your opponent from Interrupted Kaiju Slumber and muuuuuurder them.

The Kaiju Files, our new spell card, allows you to swap out a Kaiju on the field once per turn for a new one. You could, for example, give your opponent a normal Kaiju and then swap it for the 0 attack one for massive damage. It can also search for Kaiju spells and traps with enough counters, which is great if you need a Dark Hole in a hurry.

Deskbots

Gosh I hope we just keep getting new Deskbots forever and ever.

Deskbot 009 can absorb the attack of your entire Deskbot posse, in exchange for being the only bot that can attack. He also stops your opponent activating effects when he attacks (Armades-style) which can be a useful ability even if you just pump his attack with a Deskbot 003 to punch over a Kozmo ship.

Deskbot009

Deskbot Base is a slightly worse Kozmotown, but it still buffs your bots and allows you to mulligan away unwanted bots for new cards. You will never use the third effect, ever.

Deskbotbase

And since Kozmotown is reasonably busted, a worse Kozmotown is still a pretty good card.

Blue-Eyes

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Kaiba fans unite! The Blue-Eyes support in SHVI is the newest in a long line of “classic re-trains” like the BLS support in DOCS and the Buster Blader cards in BOSH.

The difference with Blue-Eyes, though, is that the support is actually good. We are missing a few cards that appeared as JUMP promos in Japan, but it is still worth noting that everyone’s original favourite dragon is currently the #BestDeck in the OCG.

Admitttedly, they don’t have the TCG exclusive Kozmo cards to deal with, but the Blue-Eyes deck is still primed for a spot in the Rogue’s Gallery here in the TCG.

Whether your want to spam Rank 8 Xyz monster or just beat face with a 3000 vanilla, Blue-Eyes has you covered.

Amorphages

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Ah, Amorphages. For people who hate it when playing Yu-Gi-Oh involves actually playing. Every Amorphage monster has an effect that stops both players from doing something, like special summoning, activating traps etc. These effects usually allow exceptions for Amorphage monsters though, and to keep the Amorphage cards alive you will have to tribute a monster during each of your Standby Phases.

Amorphages seem neat on paper, but my primary concern about the deck is that for any of your strategy to work, absolutely everything has to be going your way. If you are currently blocking monster effects and traps, for example, you have to hope your opponent doesn’t have a spell that clears your guys.

Additionally, since you have to tribute during your Standby Phase, you will have to put two Amorphages on the table, two guys to sacrifice and then very politely ask your opponent not to mess with any of that on their turn. Not likely.

Drowning Mirror

Drowning

Drowning Mirror Force was almost good, then they printed “When your opponent declares a direct attack…”

NEXT!

Lunalight

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Lunalights are kinda neat, and cute in a furry sort of way. Unfortunately, like Blue-Eyes, they are missing a few Japan-exclusive cards that make a few more OTKs possible.

With any luck, we’ll see these cards as imports sooner rather than later, and people may regret writing off the adorable Lunalights.

Overall, Shining Victories is pretty much what we would expect from a set at the end of a cycle. It has some promising support for existing archetypes, and some new stuff that should be a blast to play around with.

My top picks for the set are definitely Ghost Reaper, Kozmoll Dark Lady, and the Kaijus. These cards will be all over the top tables at the next YCS, and Ghost Reaper will probably be around for a lot longer than that.

As always, if you are looking for places to get your game on, you can head over to http://www.yugioh-card.com/oc/ to find an event near you!

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