Everything You Need to Know About Ghosts from the Past
- Marijn van Duivenboden
History comes to life in Ghosts from the Past! This 132-card all-foil collector's set bolsters nine popular themes from the past, introduces two brand-new themes, helps you build some of the decks featured both here and in recent core boosters, and debuts five new ghost rares that'll be must-haves for your collection.
With these two sentences Konami introduced us to their newest set. It was hyped up from the start, first showing off five cards, one of which was Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon as a ghost rare. The community went wild over the return of ghost rares as chase cards, not to mention that these special sets always feature a lot of new cards and reprints. There's something for everyone. The set was sold out in pre-orders fast.
A couple of days ago we received the full spoiler list of Ghosts from the Past. A bunch of Yugitubers got some packs as promotional material, and the pieces quickly fell into place. The entire spoiler list was assembled and then … the community reacted. The overall opinion is that it isn't the best of sets. People soon lashed out talking about bad reprints and an underwhelming overall line-up. My initial response was very similar, but then something caught my attention. I was wondering why they'd reprint Thestalos the Mega Monarch. Who could have asked for this card to be reprinted? It seemed so useless and out of place. Then someone mentioned that the card had spiked in price after the unlimit of Pantheism of the Monarchs. All the older prints were sitting at €10+, which is unusually high. Then it dawned on me that for this specific card there actually was a lot of thought put into it.
This made me wonder. Is the set as bad as they say? That's the reason for this article. I looked at all the new cards and reprints to build a proper opinion of my own. Let's dive into Ghosts from the Past!
Stars and Trees
First, let's look at the two new archetypes released in Ghosts from the Past: Sunvine and Starry Knight. Sunvines are a brand-new plant theme. The main deck monsters are level one. There is one vanilla and one effect monster. This already synergizes with cards like Unexpected Dai, Where Arf Thou?, and Lonefire Blossom. The extra deck consists of multiple links. They have link monsters from link one all the way up to link four. The strategy of the deck seems to be centered around the level one vanilla. It uses this monster and other swarming effects to link-climb through their trees all the way to their link four boss monster, Sunavalon Dryatrentiay. The links all have effects around taking damage/not being able to be attacked and then have trigger effects whenever you take damage. Overall the deck seems interesting. Plants have always been really scary in Yu-Gi-Oh! From what I've seen online the deck looks like a "protect the castle" strategy focusing on control. It's a very interesting deck, but I'm not entirely convinced just yet.
Starry Knights are a light fairy archetype that works together with level seven light dragon monsters. They all bounce around from hand and grave and do stuff to and with the dragon, Starry Night, Starry Dragon. The dragon has the following effect: when it is normal or special summoned from the hand, it can destroy one card on the field. When it declares an attack you can banish the opponents monster, then it can make a second attack in a row. Do note that the deck can easily function as an engine for decks like Shaddoll for example. They have some nice consistency and most of them search stuff, which is always welcome. As a standalone deck? Not that great.
Next to archetypes: there is loads of support for individual decks in this set. There is Vampire support with Vampire Voivode, which can revive two monsters when it is normal summoned. Laval gets a brand-new effect monster and a new synchro monster. Shaddoll gets two new monsters, Nehshaddoll Genius and Helshaddoll Hollow, from the attributes they were missing, fire and earth. Nekroz receives a new ritual monster, Nekroz of Areadbhair, no trap to be seen though. Fairy Tail gets some support to help them work as an actual archetype, Fairy Tail - Rochka and Fairy Tail Tales. The spell also helps other spellcasters with 1,850 attack, of which there is a surprising high number. Time Thief gets support and will finally properly work as an individual standalone deck. Finally, there are two new boss monsters for older synchro archetypes: Shooting Star Dragon T.G. EX and Red Supernova Dragon.
While we're talking about dragons. As if they weren't good enough already, both Hieratic and Dragunity get support. Hieratic gets a new rank eight, Hieratic Sky Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis, a monster that negates targeting effects, and a spell that summons an xyz by using your other xyz cards as materials. Dragunity is also a star in this set, getting one new synchro, a counter trap that, of course, negates, three new spells, and three new monsters. A card I want to focus on here is Dragunity Remus. This card can discard itself to add Dragon Ravine from your deck to your hand. It also special summons itself from the grave if you have another Dragunity monster on the field, like Dragunity Knight - Romulus for example. This last effect does lock you into only special summoning dragons from the extra deck for the rest of this turn.
Overall the legacy support is very welcome but isn't great, except for Dragunity. Shaddolls are already really strong and the new cards probably won't see play. It's all very okay, but all in all not the best.
Everything Old Is New Again
Now that we've looked at all the new cards, it's time to look at some reprints! We were promised cards from archetypes that were featured in recent sets, so we'll start off with reprints for specific archetypes. One of the first cards on top of the list is Armed Dragon LV10, the only Armed Dragon missing from the OTS 15 pack common line-up. Interesting but questionable since it was also reprinted as an ultimate rare in OTS 15. A little further down the list we see a bunch of Metalfoes cards. These cards definitely needed a reprint since some of them were quite hard to find. It's also nice to see them with a rarity bump. If we look at archetypes in this set in particular, there are of course also a bunch of reprints. The Time Thieves are all here with a nice rarity bump, together with some great reprints such as Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres and Dragunity Phalanx.
For the solo reprints, it's always nice to get some rarity bumps on cards. Salamangreat sees some sweet upgrades with Salamangreat Fowl, Salamangreat Falco, and Update Jammer. Tackle Crusader and Gigantes get foil upgrades to pimp out your Adamancipator deck, and both Mask Change and Mask Change II get foil upgrades to ultra.
But next to upgrades there are some cards in this set that really needed a reprint. As mentioned earlier, Thestalos the Mega Monarch was sitting at over €10. Next to that there are three Kozmo reprints in Kozmoll Dark Lady, Kozmo Tincan, and Kozmojo. That is something I definitely did not expect. Maybe a hint regarding support? Another card that was really expensive, Emergency Teleport is reprinted once again. Some under the radar cards like Buster Dragon, Orcustrated Return, and Ojama Country are also very welcome because they were incredibly hard to obtain. Also, a shoutout to the random Evenly Matched reprint that's allowed in Ghosts from the Past but not the charmer structure deck.
If we look at the best, we also have to look at some more questionable reprints. Phantom Knights' Fog Blade is nice but weird since it's the only PK card reprinted in the entire set. I'm also really wondering what Danger! Thunderbird! Is doing here since it's alone as well. The Monarchs Erupt was just printed in Maximum Gold. Terror of Trishula was literally in the last structure deck. Although it's nice to get nostalgic, what are Hyozanryu and Seiyaryu doing here? I get that they're level seven light dragons and have "synergy" with Starry Knights, but it feels like wasted slots. Reprints and rarity bumps are sweet, but as a bonus. It shouldn't really be what a chase set should be all about.
The Ghosts from the Past
Then the main course. The stars of the set. The desire of all. The ghost rares. There are five ghost rares, four of them teased/leaked early. Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon is definitely a card that brings excitement for many. Blue-Eyes White Dragon already had a ghost rare, so it makes sense it doesn't get a second printing. Dark Magician will probably be the most expensive of them all. The ultimate wizard in terms of attack and defense is the peak of the collection mountain. Yugi's ace monster will always be coveted by many. Firewall Dragon is back! Although it's back with an errata making the card a shadow of its former self. It's nice that it's back but I've written about errata before. I'm not the biggest fan of errata that change card identities. Firewall is one of the best cards Yu-Gi-Oh! has ever seen. Does it deserve a ghost rare? Yes. Does it deserve one while it's errata'd? That's a no from me. Then we have the weirdest reprint, Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos. Currently sitting at a price of €70 for its original print, why isn't this card just an ultra? I love the ghost rare; it looks beautiful, but it doesn't fix the price of the card at all. This is my favorite card of the entire set though. It looks amazing and the card definitely deserves it. But it needs a cheaper reprint.
The last card wasn't revealed until last week: Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon. I'm not going to lie, I don't think this is a good card to be a ghost rare. It's cool and unique, but it has aged quite a lot. It isn't featured in any of the top tier decks and it doesn't have the iconic status if you ask me. I've seen people online being really happy about it, though, so I guess this is a personal one? I have my doubts about this last card.
Ghosts from the Past is an interesting set. The chase cards will be expensive no matter what. That is a pattern Konami has been following over the past couple of months with the introduction of starlight rares and collector rares. The game itself is at a very weird point at the moment. We're all playing old decks. Dragon Link, Invoked, Eldlich, and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon decks are all at the top. Blazing Vortex brought zero new decks and it looks like Ghosts from the Past won't bring new ones either. Even though the archetypes look cool, they won't be able to compete with the already established powers.
With Lightning Overdrive so far away and the lack of new strategies, this isn't the best place to be for the TCG. No new decks, no new staples. When looking at the reprints, I'm sure a lot of people will be happy. Some of these cards were long overdue for a reprint. You cannot ignore the cards that weren't due though. Terror of Trishula would have been something spicy. With the lack of an unlimited reprint for the core sets, it wouldn't have been impossible for some cards from Rise of the Duelist to get another outing.
My conclusion is that Ghosts from the Past leaves a lot to be desired. There are some great cards, there are some bad cards. Overall, the set is a 6/10 for me. We still don't know the pull rates, but I'm afraid most of us won't even see a ghost rare. I had a poll up on my Youtube channel in which over 300 people voted. The question was, with all cards revealed, what do you think about the newest set Ghosts from the Past? 5% of respondents said it's an amazing set. 36% found it okay, and 59% said it isn't that great. Now of course, this is the internet and people love to hate online. But this time I really can't blame them. This set doesn't fix any of the the problems currently plagueing the game: expensive hard to get staples because of the loss of special editions. Old cards that are spiking through the roof and no new decks in sight. I will uphold my pre-order at my local store because I'm still hunting for the ghost rare. There are still some cards in the set I want, and I want to support my locals. I think the set isn't the best, but I still think it's fun. Fun might not be enough to save it though.
What do you think?
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.