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Extreme Victory’s Extreme Impact

May 24th, 2011

I’m about to tell you something amazing that you won’t believe. Extreme Victory had a bigger impact on YCS Orlando than Storm of Ragnarok had on YCS Dallas. Shocking, I know, but true. You wouldn’t think that the set that brought the Legendary Six Samurai into the game could be less influential than… well, anything really. But when you look past the dominance of Shi En and buddies and actually look at the numbers, its true.

In the Top 32 Decks of YCS Dallas, 11 cards from Storm of Ragnarok were used. That’s all the Six Samurai: Kagemusha, Kageki, Mizuho, Shinai, Kizan, and Shi En, plus Shien’s Smoke Signal, Musakani Magatama, Forbidden Lance, Maxx “C”, and Vortex the Whirlwind. Notice that basically all those cards are the components of one Deck that was popular years ago, fell out of favor, and then was revitalized.

In the Top 32 Decks of YCS Orlando, 16 cards from Extreme Victory were used. That’s Reborn Tengu, Safe Zone, T.G. Striker, T.G. Warwolf, T.G. Rush Rhino, T.G. Wonder Magician, TGX1-HL, TG1-EM1, Shien’s Dojo, Debunk, Scrap Orthros, Unknown Synchron, Elder of the Six Samurai, Tour Guide from the Underworld, W Nebula Meteorite, and Gladiator Beast Essedarii. Extremely impressive, especially when you realize how many of the Decks that made the cut either didn’t exist or had never made it to the top before they had these cards.

There weren’t any T.G. Decks before Extreme Victory. And while the T.G. Deck that did make it was missing vital components like T.G. Cyber Magician and tried to compensate for it using experimental tech, the core of the Deck along with TG1-EM1 proved to be all he needed to make it to the playoffs. Imagine how good T.G. Decks will be a month and a half from now when the North American WCQ rolls around and people have all the cards and know what to do with them.

But T.G. Decks weren’t the only ones using T.G. cards! Unlike the Samurai cards that all came together to create one Deck that a ton of people played in Dallas, the T.G. cards made appearances in all kinds of Decks. In the Top 32, one Zombie Duelist put T.G. Striker in his Deck to make Synchro Summoning from a bare field easier.

Sometimes, just one or two more cards can push a Deck to the top of the hill. A Worm Deck made its first playoff appearance thanks to W Nebula Meteorite, and Scraps made it back to the Top 16 using Scrap Orthros (and Meklord Emperor Granel, but he could have used Meklord Emperor Skiel for its fixed ATK like Alexander Thomas did in his T.G. Deck). And as for Reborn Tengu, it’s created multiple Tengu Synchro Decks all based around Tuners, Reborn Tengu, and Pot of Avarice to recycle them all. The variety of different monsters all used for this one strategy is amazing, from the version with Ally Genex Birdman to the one with Ultimate Offering and Gadgets.

Storm of Ragnarok had individually excellent cards like Forbidden Lance and Maxx “C”, but none of them gave birth to entirely new Decks like Extreme Victory. It’s also interesting to see that people were very willing to experiment with a lot of different cards from from Extreme Victory, while Duelists went straight for the Samurai and ignored almost everything else from Storm of Ragnarok. A shame, especially considering how strong the Nordic cards are.

The best thing about Extreme Victory may be that it makes your Storm of Ragnarok cards even better! Reborn Tengu can also combine with Tanngnjostr of the Nordic Beasts, Guldfaxe of the Nordic Beasts, Tanngrisnir of the Nordic Beasts, and Gleipnir, the Fetters of Fenrir to create yet another powerful Synchro strategy. Shien’s Dojo and Elder of the Six Samurai make all your Samurai even better and let you use Asceticism of the Six Samurai for incredible combos as seen in yet another Orlando Top 32 strategy. Safe Zone can make any Deck better, much like Forbidden Lance, and Debunk and Maxx “C” serve similar roles as cards that can be a huge thorn in the side of popular Decks.

This past year of Yu-Gi-Oh! has been one of, if not the best, of the game’s history. Every one of the last 4 sets, Duelist Revolution, Starstrike Blast, Storm of Ragnarok, and Extreme Victory has had a huge impact on the way the game is played. It’s surprising and pretty wonderful that Extreme Victory, the set that the critics weren’t expecting much out of, wound up being the most influential of them all.