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The Next Generation of Speed Duels Is Here!

March 10th, 2022

The Speed Duel: Battle City Box dropped back in December of 2020. It was a massive collection of over 200 Speed Duel cards, and a great jumping-on point for Deck building. It was also an 8-player sealed experience, perfect for Games Night! On top of that, it was a hit with collectors because each box came with 8 Secret Rares: 3 Egyptian God Cards, and 5 Secret Rare upgrades of cards from the set.

The Speed Duel GX: Duel Academy Box takes everything people loved about the Battle City Box and amps it up:

  • It has 200 Speed Duel cards, and lots of them are new to Speed Dueling
  • There are also 20 all-new Skill Cards
  • It’s still got 8 Secret Rares in each box, but this time they’re all random

A bunch of those Secret Rares are Time Wizard staples like Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive, D.D. Warrior Lady, Apprentice Magician and Don Zaloog! You’ll also find Secret Rare reprints of modern favorites like Destiny HERO – Dasher and Destiny HERO – Plasma, as well as Cyber Dragon, Volcanic Rocket, Ojama King, Polymerization and more.

And while this is the first-ever Speed Duel release featuring characters from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, it won’t be the last. With the Speed Duel GX: Midterm Paradox Mini Box coming on September 2*, the Speed Duel format will continue to evolve, and you’ll have more opportunities to play.

But September’s a long way away! For now, let’s take a look at some of the characters featured in the Speed Duel GX: Duel Academy Box, their out-of-the-box Decks, their Skill Cards, and how they play. Get ready, because school is in session and we’ve got the crash course you’ve been waiting for.

Jaden Yuki

Where else would we start? From Slifer slacker to the star student of Duel Academy and a lot of stuff in between, Jaden’s story is one of the wildest rides in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. More than that, his Elemental HERO theme is one of the biggest fan-favorites in the regular Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, and they’re bound to be a hit in Speed Duels too.

In the Speed Duel GX: Duel Academy Box, Jaden’s Deck is loaded with all the heroic action you’d expect. You’ll find Elemental HERO Avian, Elemental HERO Burstinatrix, Elemental HERO Clayman, and Elemental HERO Sparkman, along with their key Fusion Monsters: Elemental HERO Flame Wingman, Elemental HERO Thunder Giant, and Elemental HERO Rampart Blaster. It’s also got Elemental HERO Bubbleman, Elemental HERO Bladedge, Elemental HERO Wildheart and Elemental HERO Necroshade, with Fusions Monsters like Elemental HERO Steam Healer and Elemental HERO Plasma Vice.

Jaden’s Deck really revolves around those Fusion Monsters, so it’s loaded with cards that can help you find the right heroes at the right time: Fusion Sage, Reinforcement of the Army, Fusion Recovery, and Hero Signal all help you put together your plays. And if you need a little extra power, or a little more defense to squeak through the Duel, you can rely on Skyscraper, R – Righteous Justice, Negate Attack and more to make your comebacks, or hammer home a win.

The Duel Academy Box comes with two Skill Cards to power up Jaden’s Heroes. The first is called Here Goes Something! and you can activate it once per Duel, at the start of your Battle Phase, while you control just one “Elemental HERO” and no other monsters. It boosts your Elemental HERO by 800 ATK whenever it battles another monster, and lets you attack all of your opponent’s monsters, once each. It stops you from Special Summoning for the rest of the turn, but it’s a great way to use one smaller Elemental HERO to level the playing field, or power up a bigger one to dish out Duel-dominating damage! On the surface it looks a lot like Jaden’s classic Field Spell, Skyscraper. But Skyscraper only works when your Elemental HERO monster’s outmatched and would lose the battle otherwise. Here Goes Something! works anytime, even if it’s just helping you pound your opponent’s monsters for extra damage.

If you’re running the Jaden Deck right out of the box in sealed play, it’s recommended that you use Here Goes Something! But the Duel Academy Box also comes with an additional Skill called The Right Hero for the Job, which will help get you the right Elemental HERO monster for whatever situation you may find yourself in! You can flip and activate The Right Hero for the Job in your Main Phase, once per Duel. It lets you shuffle an “Elemental HERO” monster from your field back into your Deck, and then Special Summon a different Level 4 or lower “Elemental HERO” monster from your Main Deck. It helps you get whatever you need for a Fusion Summon, and in a pinch it can even Special Summon Elemental HERO Bubbleman to draw you two cards. You can even use The Right Hero for the Job while you control other monsters, perfect for setting up your Elemental HERO Fusion Summon strategies!

Aster Phoenix

Up next is Jaden’s pro league rival Aster Phoenix. The Destiny HERO monsters are one of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG’s most enduring themes, and Aster’s Deck in the Duel Academy Box is all about making the most of his crazy monster effects.

Aster’s arsenal has everything from Destiny HERO – Fear Monger, Destiny HERO – Doom Lord, and Destiny HERO – Diamond Dude, to heavy-hitters like Destiny HERO – Malicious, Destiny HERO – Dogma, and the game-crushing Destiny HERO – Plasma. On the surface it kind of feels a bit like Jaden’s Deck, assembling combos to  Fusion Summon Destiny End Dragoon and Destiny HERO – Dangerous. But cards like Dark City, Over Destiny, D – Chain, and Destiny HERO – Blade Master let you do more work with your regular Main Deck monsters, instead of relying so much on the purple guys.

Also? Aster’s Skills are very cool. His main Skill for sealed play is Powerful Group of Guys, which you can flip when you control a “Destiny HERO” and no other monsters, if your opponent controls more monsters than you. It lets you Special Summon any “Destiny HERO” monster from your hand or Deck with a lower Level than the one you have. It limits you from Special Summoning anything except “Destiny HERO” monsters for the turn, but it sets up your Fusion Summons, and more than that it helps you get some really cool effects on the table. Destiny HERO – Dasher and Destiny HERO – Malicious make it really easy to get a higher-Level Destiny HERO for it, but if you manage to get out Destiny HERO – Plasma all bets are off and you can bring out whatever you want.

Aster’s additional Skill Card is awesome! You can flip Looking into the Future during your Main Phase, to look at the top three cards of your Deck and reorder them however you want. You can’t use Spell Cards the turn you activate it, but you can use it to make sure you draw the best cards possible, and it sets you up to make big plays with stuff like Destiny HERO – Dasher and Destiny HERO – Diamond Dude. Getting to pick the card you Summon with Dasher, or the free Spell you score with Diamond Dude, is really good.

Oh, and if you’re a Speed Duel veteran looking to build your own Decks from scratch? Aster’s got Night Beam too, which was only available as an Ultra Rare in Speed Duel: Scars of Battle. Sweet. 

Chazz Princeton

If you’ve ever wanted to “Chazz it Up” for real, but you could never make it happen in the regular Advanced Format, well, good news: Chazz Princeton finally gets his due in the Duel Academy Box! Chazz’s Deck is all about bending the rules, and the result is some seriously off-the-wall strategies.

While lots of Decks in the Duel Academy Box focus on singular strategies like Elemental HERO or Destiny HERO, Chazz’s Deck is all over the place: it’s got his Ojamas, it’s got his Armed Dragons, and it even has everything you’d need to Fusion Summon VW-Tiger Catapult! Plenty of his cards only work with one set of monsters, like Ojamagic, Ojama Delta Hurricane!! and Tri-Wight, but there’s also plenty of stuff that can bridge the gap, or even reward you for mixing and matching themes, like Ojamatch, which lets you add both “Ojama” and “Armed Dragon” monster cards to your hand.

Chazz’s main Skill is outrageous: Land of the Ojamas flips into your Field Spell Zone at the start of the Duel, and once per turn, it lets you send an “Ojama” card from your hand to the Graveyard to Special Summon an “Ojama” from the Graveyard. That’s useful, but the kicker is that as long as you control an “Ojama” monster, the original ATK and DEF of all monsters on the field get switched, yours and your opponent’s. It’s basically the Field Spell Ojama Country, except you start with it every game and it doesn’t cost you a card from your hand.

Just like Ojama Country, you’ll want to combo it with Ojamagic to get Ojama Yellow, Ojama Black, and Ojama Green. From there you can unleash them with Ojama Red, or play Polymerization to fuse them into Ojama Knight or Ojama King. Those monsters have 2500 DEF and 3000 DEF respectively, so they turn into giant attackers with Land of the Ojamas.

Chazz’s additional Skill Card mimics a Spell Card that dropped just before the GX-era kicked off! Armed and Ready! works once per Duel to send a “LV” monster you control to the Graveyard, then Special Summons the leveled-up version from your hand, Deck, or Graveyard. That means you can Normal Summon Armed Dragon LV3 and immediately upgrade it to Armed Dragon LV5 for a 2400 ATK beater with an effect that destroys weaker monsters. Or, keep Armed Dragon LV3 on the field for one turn, use its effect in the Standby Phase to bring out Armed Dragon LV5, and then flip Armed and Ready! to Special Summon Armed Dragon LV7 as early as your second turn. With 2800 ATK, Armed Dragon LV7 lets you pitch a monster from your hand to the Graveyard to destroy all opposing monsters with lower Attack Points. It’s basically a free version of the Spell Card Level Up! that’s always ready.

Jesse Anderson

Finally, everybody’s favorite exchange student makes his Speed Duel debut, with his signature Crystal Beasts! The Crystal Beasts have always been huge for GX fans, with their unique “crystallization” mechanic and its huge payoffs. If you missed it, face-up Crystal Beasts all turn into Continuous Spells in your Spell & Trap Zone; from there, you’ll use monster effects, Spell Cards, and Trap Cards to either Special Summon them, or send them to the Graveyard for powerful effects.

The Duel Academy Box has all seven of the classic Crystal Beasts, including Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle, Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth, Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat, Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise, Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger, Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle, and the ever-popular Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus! Load up on crystallized monsters with Crystal Release, Crystal Blessing, and Crystal Tree, then use them to draw cards with Rare Value, destroy an opponent’s card with Crystal Raigeki, and Special Summon them with Crystal Promise and Crystal Conclave.

The faster you fill your Spell & Trap Card Zones with Crystal Beasts, the faster you can use your best effects, and Jesse’s main Skill Card makes this happen: flip Crystal Transcendence and once per turn, during your Main Phase, you can send as many as three cards from your hand to the Graveyard, then take the same number of “Crystal Beasts” from your Deck and crystallize them to your Spell & Trap Zone instantly! The best part? You can use it twice per Duel.

Some of Jesse’s biggest cards require more than three “Crystal Beast” cards. But in Speed Duels, you only have three Spell & Trap Card Zones. Ancient City – Rainbow Ruins lets you draw an extra card every turn if you have four “Crystal Beast” cards, and if you have five you can Special Summon any one of them. How do you make it work in Speed Duels? The Skill Card Rainbow Crystal Collection is the answer: you flip it at the start of the Duel, and from that point forward whenever a face-up “Crystal Beast” monster would be destroyed, you can keep it in your Monster Zone and give it a Crystallization Counter instead.

Monsters with Crystallization Counters are treated as Continuous Spell Cards instead of monsters, and while they still occupy a Monster Zone, they’re also considered to be in your Spell & Trap Zone, without actually occupying one those three Zones. If a monster with a Crystallization Counter would be Special Summoned, you remove the counter. It basically lets you use your Monster Zones as extra Spell & Trap Zones, unlocking those bigger effects and leaving room in your backrow for other cards. That means you’ll get the full power of Ancient City – Rainbow Ruins, but it’ll also be easier to play stuff like Crystal Raigeki and Rainbow Gravity.

That’s all for today but there are still four more characters with two Skill Cards each: Zane Truesdale, Axel Brodie, Dr. Vellian Crowler and Alexis Rhodes!  We’ll talk about those characters and more in upcoming articles, so stay tuned. The Speed Duel GX: Duel Academy Box arrives on April 1st, and we’ve still got lots more to show you.

*Release date subject to change