The May 2016 release of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is the eighth set in the ninth series of the Original Card Game (OCG), the Japanese version of the game. Not counting Structure Decks, Astral Packs, etc., this makes it the *59th release* of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. It follows Breakers of Shadow and the set after Shining Victories (SHVI) will be The Dark Illusion, scheduled for a release in August.
The European release date for Shining Victories is the 5th of May 2016. Duelists in North and Latin America will have to wait another day until they can get their hands on the brand new Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. The Sneak Peek took place on the weekend of April the 30th / May the 1st and participants received a promo version of SHVI-EN000, Magical Cavalry of Cxulub.
The set introduces the "Amorphage", "Lunalight" and "Digital Bug" archetypes to the game. It also continues one of the trends from the last few releases: The set designers picked one of the characters from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and they added a number of cards that provide support for his favorite monster. After Joey and Yugi, it's now Kaiba's turn and his Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Some of the new cards look promising and they might be the final ingredient that the theme deck was missing that could put it over the top.
The name of the Amorphage monsters is a mix of "amorphous" and "Bacteriophage". It appears that these monsters are infected by especially flexible bacteria that makes them turn into their more brutal "Dracoslayer" or "Dracoverlord" versions. Fans speculate that the fact they are in such a transition is responsible for them sporting either 0 ATK or 0 DEF.
All members of the monster family prevent players from Special Summoning monsters from the Extra Deck except for "Amorphage" monsters. This qualifies as a "Stun Deck" like effect, making it harder for your opponent to follow his usual strategy to put you under a lot of pressure. Additionally, the Pendulum Effects of these monsters prevent both players from activating Spell or Trap Cards or Monster Effects, depending on the monster that ended up in the Pendulum Zone. The exceptions to these effects are always "Amorphage" cards, so your own game plan is rarely affected.
The names of the monsters are derivations of the seven deadly sins, e.g. Amorphage Greed is able to negate the effects of Trap Cards.
Fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V will already be familiar with the "Lunalight" monsters, after all, the anime character Celina puts a lot of trust into this particular archetype. On first sight, it appears that the LIGHT or DARK Beast Warrior monsters are making use of several game mechanics, however, there aren't that many Pendulum Summons taking place. Instead, the Pendulum Monsters Lunalight Wolf and Lunalight Tiger are taking over the roles that were traditionally reserved for Field Spell or Permanent Spell Cards. Since they can still be summoned and used as monsters, they are just a bit more flexible.
One thing the "Lunalight" monsters are missing are dedicated searcher effects that grant you access to cards from your deck. Instead, they can access your graveyard so you can re-use cards that ended up there and set up future plays this way.
The third and last theme deck revolves around the Digital Bugs. Their specialty are Xyz Summons of Rank 3 Insect-Type Xyz Monsters. As expected, they come with their very own boss monster, Digital Bug Scaradiator.
On its own, it doesn't look like much, however, the Digital Bugs you use for its Xyz Summon will grant it additional effects. This might prevent your opponent from activating effects before the end of the Damage Step or allow your Scaradiator to attack all monsters in Defense Position once each.
You can also use Scardiator to Xyz Summon an even more powerful Digital Bug: Digital Bug Corebage. Apart from better stats, it can simply shuffle opposing monsters in Defense Position into your opponent's deck and clear the path for a game-ending attack.
The Breakers of Shadow Special Edition promo card Beacon of White already hinted at the things to come; more support for Blue-Eyes White Dragon. This Monster Reborn for the archetype helps you apply pressure to your opponent, but wait, there's more!
Blue-Eyes Twin Burst Dragon seems to be the smaller brother of Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, one of the most powerful monsters in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. It only needs two Fusion Materials and thanks to Dragon's Mirror, you can even Fusion Summon it by banishing the materials from your graveyard. This way, you can even turn the most impossible looking scenarios around and come out successful!
As always, the cover card also happens to be the Ghost Rare of the set: SHVI-EN049 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon. It sports decent stats and it can also negate the effects of other monsters *and* destroy them in the process. This provides fans of Synchro Summons with yet another tool to pick the lock of your opponent's defenses. Decks with few removal in form of Spell and Trap Cards will have a hard time dealing with this Synchro Monster.