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Saturday, December 4, 2010

American Ingenuity: A Look Back at TCG Exclusives Part 2

Here we go with part 2 of our look at TCG exclusives. We'll covering from Crimson Crisis all the way through our newest booster, Starstrike Blast.

Crimson Crisis
  • Colossal Fighter/Assault Mode
  • Dark Voltanis
  • Prime Material Falcon
  • Bone Crusher
  • Alien Kid
  • Totem Dragon
  • Royal Swamp Eel
  • Submarine Frog
  • Code A Ancient Ruins
  • Synchro Change
We have a couple of nice support cards in here, but nothing too amazing. This set brought us the Assault Mode arch-type and Colossal Fighter does what they all do. He has 500 extra ATK and a simlar effect to Colossal Fighter. Colossal Fighter is a good monster on its own, and you'd be better off saving the Assault Mode Activate for Stardust Dragon. We get another Dark version of an old monster with Dark Voltanis. This card was way overhyped before its effect was confirmed and it turns out that it is just a lame version of Van'Dalgyon the Dark Dragon Lord. If a monster's effect would destroy your Spell or Trap cards, you can discard Prime Material Falcon to negate the effect and destroy the card. We have a more versatile card called Effect Veiler to do that for us. Bone Crushed acts as a Mystical Space Typhoon if revived with cards like Mezuki or Zombie Master, but there are better cards you'd want to Special Summon. The final bad card here is Synchro Change. A Normal Spell that lets you remove from play a face up Sychro Monster to Special Summon one of the same level from your Extra Deck and its effect is negated. Maybe if it were a Quickplay Spell or didn't have the effect negation, it would be a decent card.

Submarine Frog is a card that only goes in decks based around Wetlands. With Wetlands on the field, this little guy becomes a 2400 ATK beater with piercing. Alien Kid and Code A Ancient Ruins are nice additions to Alien decks based on A Coutners. The good exclusives in this set are Totem Dragon and Royal Swamp Eel. You can Special Summon Totem Dragon during your Standby Phase for no cost and it counts as a double tribute for Dragon monsters. This means you basically get a free Light and Darkness Dragon or Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. Royal Swamp Eel is one of the main cards of the Fish OTK.

Raging Battle
  • Battlestorm
  • Koa'ki Meiru War Arms
  • Immortal Ruler
  • Hardened Armed Dragon
  • Moja
  • Beast Striker
  • King of the Beasts
  • Swallow's Nest
  • Overwhelm
  • Berserking
This is possibly has the worst set of exclusives we've had. The only thing worth mentioning is the 3 card Moja set. When Moja is destroyed by battle, you can add 1 level 4 or lower Beast monster (Beast Striker)  from your graveyard to your hand. With Beast Striker, you can discard a card to Special Summon Moja from your deck. Finally, you can tribute Moja to Special Summon King of the Beasts from  your hand or graveyard. A nice little combo, but not good enough for competitive play.

Ancient Prophecy
  • XX-Saber Gardestrike
  • XX-Saber Fulhelmknight
  • Koa'ki Meiru Ghoulungulate
  • Koa'ki Meiru Gravirose
  • Psychic Emperor
  • Card Guard
  • Flamvell Commando
  • Pseudo Space
  • Greed Grado
  • Revival of the Immortals
ANPR started the X-Saber craze with their boss monster, Faultroll, and the exclusives just made them even better. Back then Gardestrike was a big card. If you have 2 Sabers in your graveyard and no monsters on the field, you could Special Summon this guy, Normal Summon an X-Saber, and bring out Faultroll. Fulhelmknight is still a big player in Saber decks. It's a Warrior/Tuner than can Special Summon more Sabers from your graveyard. Gravirose is a Koa'ki Meiru with 1900 ATK that lets you send a level 3 or lower monster from your deck to the graveyard. This works great with cards like Dandylion and Tuners that can be Special Summoned from the grave.

The other Koa'ki Meiru monster, Ghoulungulate can keep your other Koa'ki Meiru alive. Psychic Emperor adds to your life points so you can pay for other Psychic monster effects. Card Guard does what the name implies. When he is summoned you can place a Guard Counter on a monster and remove the counter when the monster would be destroyed to keep it alive. Flamvell Commando can deal some burn damage, but doesn't add much else to the Flamvell decktype. Pseudo Space takes the effect of other Field Spells for a turn. I guess that's useful for monsters like Earthbound Immortals and Malefics. Greed Grado lets you draw 2 cards if you destroyed your opponent's Synchro Monster. Three words: Pot of Duality. Revival of the Immortals Special Summons an Earthbound Immortal from your graveyard, but it can't attack that turn, and when it does, your opponent takes no battle damage from it.

Stardust Overdrive
  • Koa'ki Meiru Beetle
  • Koa'ki Meiru Maximus
  • Shire, Lightsworn Spirit
  • Rinyan, Lightsworn Rogue
  • Yellow Baboon, Archer of the Forest
  • Gemini Scorpion
  • Metabo-Shark
  • Earthbound Revival
  • Reptilianne Poison
  • Gateway of the Six
Really, the only notable card here is Gateway of the Six. Just like the other exclusive Samurai cards, this gave the deck an immense boost. First off, whenever a Six Samurai is summoned, this card gets 2 counters on it. These counters can be used in a number of ways. Remove 2 counters to boost the ATK of one Six Samurai or Shien monster by 500. This helps weaker Samurai get over bigger threats. 4 counters lets you add a Six Samurai from your deck or graveyard to your hand. If you have a Grandmaster but no Samurai, this is a great way to get him out, or vice-versa. 6 Counters, and you can Special Summon 1 Shien effect monster from your graveyard. This isn't usually what the card is used for, but that could change when we get the new samurai support in Storm of Ragnarok.

Absolute Powerforce
  • Greavekeeper's Priestess
  • XX-Saber Emmersblade
  • Alchemist of Black Spells
  • Super-Nimble Mega Hamster 
  • Cactus Bouncer
  • Dragonic Guard
  • The Dragon Dwelling in the Deep
  • Djinn Disserere of Rituals
  • Earthbound Linewalker
  • Core Transport Unit
Emmersblade! This card gave X-Sabers an ever bigger boost. Now they have a recruiter that is also a level 3 Earth monster. This is still used in 3's in competitive decks. The TCG wouldn't get another huge X-Saber card like this until...the next set :) Super-Nimble Mega Hamster is the other great exclusive card we get here. It has a large 1800 DEF and when flipped, Special Summons a level 3 or lower Beast (Ryko) from your deck. This card is still used in Plant Synchro and some X-Saber decks.

Priestess is a Gravekeeper that acts as Necrovalley. We have a better card for that, called Necrovalley. She was likely included to compliment the new Gravekeeper cards this set. We get a good Gravekeeper exclusive a few sets after this one. The rest are a few random support cards. Alchemist can bring a Spell Counter to the field once per turn. Cactus Bouncer stops Special Summons if you control another Plant. If Plant decks didn't Special Summon so much, this would be great. If you can keep Dragonic Guard on the field long enough, you can Special Summon a big Dragon from your deck, but there are better ways to get out big monsters in Dragon decks. Dragon Dwelling in the Deep raises the ATK of Sea Serpent and Fish monsters. Djinn supports Ritual monsters, but not well enough. Linewalker keeps Earthbound Immortals on the field, even if there is no Field Spell, and Core Transport Unit lets you grab an Iron Core from your deck each turn.

The Shining Darkness
  • XX-Saber Boggart Knight
  • XX-Saber Darksoul
  • Koa'ki Meiru Prototype
  • Snyffus
  • Nimble Sunfish
  • Akz, the Pumer
  • Saber Vault
  • Core Overclock
  • Wave-Motion Inferno
  • Infernity Barrier
Boy, Konami loves X-Sabers, and Boggart Knight is a great addition to the family. He works like a Marauding Captain for Sabers, and he is an X-Saber, which means you meet the requirements for an instant Faultroll. The next card, however, is what makes Sabers so amazing. During the End Phase of the turn Darksoul is sent to the graveyard, you can add 1 X-Saber (Faultroll) from your deck to your hand. The best part is, you get to do this as many times as he was sent to the graveyard that turn. The other great support card here is Infernity Barrier. While you have no cards in your hand and an Infernity in attack position, you can negate the effect of ANYTHING. Infernities were bad enough with Infernity Launcher, but this made them all the better.

Prototype is a great card for Koa'ki Meiru decks, keeping your Koa'ki Meiru monsters on the field if you can't pay their cost, and summoning tokens. Snyffus can destroy face up cards by tributing Plant monsters. Nimble Sunfish helps Fish decks a bit, sending a Fish from your deck to your graveyard and Special Summoning another Sunfish when destroyed. To summon Akz, you must remove Beast monsters from your graveyard, then to activate one of his mediocre effects, you have to discard a Beast-Warrior. Saber Vault increases the ATK of X-Sabers, which isn't necessary, and Core Overclock does the same for Koa'ki Meiru monsters, and Wave-Motion Inferno for Infernity monsters.

Duelist Revolution
  • Scrap Archfiend
  • Amazoness Scout
  • Naturia Pineapple
  • Dark Desertapir
  • Psychic Nightmare
  • Guts of Steel
  • Amazoness Heirloom
  • Amazoness Shamanism
  • Super Rush Recklessly
Scrap Archfiend is there for the Scrap monsters that can't be used as Synchro Material for anything else. The Amazoness cards aren't enough to make the deck any good. The only notable card here is Naturia Pineapple, which acts like a Treeborn Frog for Naturia decks.

Starstrike Blast
  • Archfiend Empress
  • Skull Meister
  • Droll & Lock Bird
  • Spellstone Sorcerer Karood
  • Scrap Mind Reader
  • Gravekeeper's Recruiter
  • Psi-Blocker
  • Koa'ki Meiru Wall 
  • Karakuri Barrel mdl 96 “Shinkuro”
  • Mischief of the Yokai
This set of exclusives changed the tournament scene completely with just one card. Gravekeeper's Recruiter is responsible for Gravekeepers taking the top 3 spots of the latest YCS tournament. When he's sent from your field to the graveyard in any way, you get to search for any Gravekeeper monster with less than 1500 DEF (Commandant). Koa'ki Meiru Wall is a great addition to Rock Stun decks. He can negate Spell cards by tributing himself. Psi-Blocker works like Prohibition, but you can change the card on each of your turns.

Well, that's it for our look at TCG exclusives. Of course, most of them aren't exclusive anymore, with the OCG getting packs full of these cards. If you have any comments on these cards, feel free to use the comments section.

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