While the megatins are always highly anticipated, I do believe they have their drawbacks. This year in particular not everyone could get their hands on the megatins due to the current supply situation. This might introduce some regional power imbalance if some players have an easier time getting the cards than others.
While reprints are cool, the prime chase cards of the set are usually those whose only printing come from the megatins. I would not like to get too much into the cons of the 2021 Tin of Ancient Battles as they can be summed up in three points.
However, as I mentioned before, in every megatin we get megatin-exclusive cards. Let's take a closer look at three of them from three different years.
By the time Nibiru, the Primal Being was printed, it was deemed as a necessity. Combo decks were getting out of hand and their main "nemesis" at the time Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring was nowhere near enough. It got to the point where combo players only needed one monster on the field (even with its effect negated) to combo off. When the 2019 Gold Sarcophagus Tin released, Nibiru—one of the three new cards—was the main card players were looking for, the others being Dark Ruler No More and Dimension Shifter.
While all three cards were very good, Nibiru was in a league of its own. The resolution of its effect made it so that nine times out of ten your opponent would lose the game. It forced combo players to lower the power of their end board severely by committing to a monster negate before the fifth summon and not having enough resources to do their usual combos. However, since its printing, like the Yu-Gi-Oh! history has shown us time and time again, players still found ways to play their combo decks around Nibiru, the Primal Being. We can mention decks like Dragon Link or Drytron for example, against which Nibiru alone is nowhere near enough. Nibiru, the Primal Being remains a very strong card, however, it went from being a main-deck option to a side-deck one.
It made it possible for players who were punished by Nibiru, the Primal Being to have a form of recursion by ending their turn on the infamous "Dragun Pass." If the power of this card was not enough, a card like Predaplant Verte Anaconda takes it to another level entirely, being able to summon Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon with only two monsters on the field. (In the worst case, one provided by Nibiru is insanely powerful, so powerful that it has pushed several players not to like this card at all—me included.) However, even after the recent ban list, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is here to stay.
The latest powerhouse in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG comes from the 2021 Tin of Ancient Battles. When I first read Crossout Designator, I thought combo decks got another helper as it looked like the perfect counter to hand traps. But after further analysis, I came to realize that it is so much more than that. This card might be the most versatile card ever printed. It can negate hand traps, or if there is a specific card that can hinder your deck, you can just activate it at the start of your turn and play freely, or you can set it and use it as a form of interruption during your opponent's turn.
However, my favorite use of this card is in mirror matches. In the mirror matches this will be the game-defining card. Crossout Designator will take the mind games in the game to completely different levels. Players will need to force the activation of this card or bluff having this card in their hand. Crossout Designator differs from its predecessors in a very "special" way. Unlike Nibiru or the Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon (package), which you can just add to the main and extra deck, Crossout Designator on its own cannot "function." You read this correctly, Crossout Designator cannot work on its own, it needs the "names" in order to resolve. How players decide to ratio the cards that they might not need for their strategy but for Crossout Designator remains to be seen. (An example of this would be a card like Imperial Order in Sky Striker.)
In conclusion, we have seen that the megatins always set the tone for the upcoming formats every year with their release. We as players might like them or dislike them, but one thing we can agree on, the Yu-Gi-Oh landscape is changing at a fast pace.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.