Whenever the National Championship season swings into action, many duelists begin preparing their best for these events. This means fine-tuning decks and getting their hands on essential cards. One category of essential cards is the hand traps – of which Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring might just be the best one. This is proven by the fact that decks playing barely any hand traps still opt to play a playset of this joyous card.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG is becoming a quick meta. This means that there are now more ways to access resources beyond the cards in your hand. People who witnessed the introduction of Sangan and Witch of the Black Forest to the game will agree that these have made playing Yu-Gi-Oh! vastly more interesting; the searching mechanic has become more flexible and more complicated ever since. Duelists might have been a bit hesitant to believe in Ash Blossom’s ability to halt an effect that grants the opponent access to their deck, since it was mostly irrelevant against Zodiac Beasts, but the card quickly became insanely popular.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring does not only stop searching abilities like in Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage! It also stops summoning from the deck. Preventing the opponent from utilizing Knightmare Mermaid's effects will make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by Orcust combos. Stopping Salamangreat Miragestallio tends to greatly weaken their end board and disabling Artifact Sanctum allows you to play through this powerful disruption card. Ash Blossom even stops cards that can add or Special Summon cards from the deck, but typically don’t do so, such as Metaverse and Waking the Dragon.
Like with all cards who can negate effects, you’ll still have to pay the cost. The very existence of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring makes risky cards like Pot of Desires or Pot of Extravagance even riskier. Failing to resolve Cynet Mining could spell trouble for Salamangreat players.
One major aspect that has greatly deterred the more casual players from playing Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring was its price tag. It was originally printed in Maximum Crisis (May 2017) as a Secret Rare and a playset could have easily set you back 200,00 €, especially when it became clear that the card would be a staple for years to come. Even people who had no interest in playing Salamangreat were picking up copies just to get their hands on this staple hand trap, causing big shortages across the USA.
Luckily, several reprints within a short timeframe cut that price by over half. Legendary Collection: Kaiba (March 2018) and Duel Power (April 2019) each have Ultra Rare copies available. Shadows in Valhalla (August 2018), while not such a popular set, contained a Super Rare. The real money saver though was the Common print in Structure Deck: Soulburner (February 2019).
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring has been a staple for more than a year and probably will remain a staple for more years to come. Unless the upcoming Forbidden & Limited List hits it (the OCG List has it as Semi-Limited), picking up a set of these girls is surely a great investment for starting and experienced players alike.