Number of cards: 100
Release Date: 14 / January / 2016
Sneak Peek Date: 09 & 10 / January / 2016
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean
Sneak Peek Promo Card: BOSH-EN000 Steel Cavalry of Dinon
Cover Card: BOSH-DE047 Enlightenment Paladin
This is the rarity distribution for Breakers of Shadow:
8 Secret Rares / 10 Ultra Rares / 14 Super Rares / 20 Rares / 48 Commons
Breakers of Shadow was released in Europe on the 14th of January 2016. The Sneak Peeks had been held a weekend earlier on the 9th and 10th of January. The set follows Dimension of Chaos and was succeeded by Shining Victories. The set marks the seventh release in the ninth series of the OCG, the "Original Card Game" - the Japanese version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.
The Sneak Peek promo card was Steel Cavalry of Dinon, which is, interestingly enough, not a part of any of the new archetypes.
Breakers of Shadow introduced 3 new monster families: The "Shiranui", the "Dinomist" as well as the "Destruction Sword" archetypes. The latter revolves around one of Yugis signature cards: Buster Blader. Many decks that try to include one of the older cards can't really keep up with the speed and explosiveness of the most played modern decks, so this archetype should have a pretty hard time. It does have a trump card that might turn the tide, though. the "Dinomist" monsters rely on Pendulum Summons while the "Shiranui" monsters are a new mini-archetype in the broader Zombie category with effects that trigger when they are being banished.
The "Dinomist" monsters are all dinosaurs that have some sort of connection with the Dracoslayer archetype just like many of the other newer archetypes. The playstyle of the deck is very aggressive; most of the time, you try to overcome opposing monsters in battle while your Pendulum Monsters provide you with additional tools to maintain field advantage. The monsters with Pendulum Scale 6 can destroy themselves to save one of your monsters on the field from destruction while the monsters with Pendulum Scale 3 can negate targeting effects. In case you do lose the field advantage, you can simply bring back all your monsters with a huge Pendulum Summon.
The key card of the deck is Dinomist Charge. It allows you to add new "Dinomist" monsters to your hand after its activation. On top of that, you can return one of your "Dinomist" monsters to your hand when it is sent from the field face-up to your Extra Deck. This will make it a lot easier to start a comeback after your opponent tried to claw his way back into the game.
All "Shiranui" monsters are Zombie-Type FIRE and 0 DEF. Thanks to the help of Shiranui Spiritmaster, they can easily set up a Synchro or Xyz-Summon; after it hits the field, it allows you to Special Summon a "Shiranui Monster" from your hand or Graveyard.
While this archetype is lacking in numbers (thus far), it can easily be combined with other Zombie decks to provide them with some new tricks. All "Shiranui" monsters have an effect that triggers when they are being banished. Therefore, they are a lot less affected by cards like Macro Cosmos or Dimensional Fissure that used to stop Zombie players dead in their tracks. On the contrary, the "Shuranui" archetype can benefit from cards that banish their monsters like Gold Sarcophagus.
The "Destruction Sword" monsters revolve around Buster Blader. Thanks to Emblem of Dragon Destroyer, you can easily search your deck for a copy of one of Yugi's signature cards and add it to your hand. The next step is Special Summoning it with the help of Buster Whelp of the Destruction Swordsman, one of the easiest ways to accomplish this feat.
While most of this sounds somewhat promising, the archetype is so far missing a big trump card that can help it keep up with the aggressive and explosive Pendulum strategies that dominate competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! these days. Dragon Buster Destruction Sword is trying to serve this purpose - it can equip a Buster Blader and it prevents your opponent from Special Summoning from the Extra Deck. You merely need to find a way to keep it on the field when it's equipping one of your Buster Bladers.
Apart from the new themes, Breakers of Shadow also features a number of cards that help established archetypes to keep up. Included are new members of the "Blackwing", the "Melodious", the "Ninja", the "Performapal" as well as the "Performapal" monsters, just to name a few!
The strongest card in the set can also be called as a legacy support card. Cyber Dragon Infinity is extremely hard to summon in theory and it has a very powerful effect to reward you for it; it can negate several opposing cards. Thanks to Tellarknight Ptolemaeus, though, it was extremely easy to Special Summon the game breakers. This is what led to an "emergency banned list" where Ptolemaeus ended up on the list of forbidden cards. Otherwise, the decks featuring these two cards would have been way too oppressive.
Last, but certainly not least, we wanted to talk briefly about the Ghost Rare and Cover Card of the set: Enlightenment Paladin. As a Synchro Monster, it will have a hard time finding a home in many of the dominant decks. Pendulum and Xyz strategies prove to be a lot more popular with Duelists these days. On the plus side, Enlightenment Paladin can immediately help you balance out the card disadvantage that usually comes with its Synchro Summon. Right after it hits the field, it allows you to add a Spell Card to your hand. It can also deal tons of damage when it destroys a monster in battle and decide games on its own. So there's definitely hope that the card will pop up more frequently in the lists of tournament winners.