Why No Volcanic Support in 1,000 Days?

If you spend any amount of time in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community, you may know about a guy called Payne96, an individual who likes Volcanics a little more than the average Joe. He's been counting the days since we got pyro support. As of today, it's been one thousand days. Why has Konami not supported pyro for so long?


volcanic shell

What Even Is a Volcanic?

Volcanics have made for a pretty popular deck (among the more obscure, non-meta strategies) ever since their release. Copies of the ultimate rare Volcanic Shell fetch quite a high price, with players all over the world collecting them. This is not to mention the secret rare Volcanic Rocket and Royal Firestorm Guards.

Although their meta presence has been pretty low, they did find a place in the top cut for a little while in 2015, in the middle of Nekroz format. With Nekroz of Unicore locking everyone out of the game, some players discovered that sending Volcanic Scattershot with Blaze Accelerator Reload was an extremely powerful play against most of the decks from that year. Ever since, players have been trying to make Volcanics work one way or another, and they saw some experimentation with Paleozoics when those entered the card pool. In more recent times, the theme has found a "home" with Eldlich cards.


volcanic rocket royal firestorm guards
These two TCG exclusives were some of the best normal summons of their time

But how come Konami has released a house's worth of Blue-Eyes support over the years and not a single Volcanic/pyro support card? Simple enough: it's not as easy as you might think.

Limits of Card Design

Let's picture the following scenario: You work at Konami's card design division and have to make a new card. The card has to support an existing monster type or archetype, so where do you begin? Alright, let's make a dragon support card. That's a huge design space we're working with. We can release a big world-eating dragon, maybe a spell that sends a generic dragon to grave since that works pretty well with existing dragon support, perhaps a monster that has an effect related to firebreathing or flying et cetera.

Now let's say you have to design a pyro card. Where do you start? Uh, something that burns? Maybe a Fox Fire retrain? What archetypes even are pyro centric? Well, there's Hazy Flames, Lavals, and Volcanics. Yup, that's it. Flamvells do have a majority of pyro monsters making up their lines, but I digress. The fact of the matter is, pyro monsters just don't allow you to do that much stuff with them.

What is a card that absolutely needs to be pyro related? Burn effects are mixed together between all types and attributes, with a majority in the fire attribute, but certainly not exclusive to it, as we can see with Trickstars. Card destruction is a theme so vague and nonexclusive it barely deserves mention. Compulsive draw and discard has already found a home in decks like Dark Worlds. There's just not much pyro monsters do that only they can do.

There are 24 different monster types in Yu-Gi-Oh! (25 if we include Creator God, reserved only for a card that hasn't been imported here in ten years). Among these types, there are some that get a lot of cards, mainly because they are incredibly generic and fit a lot of descriptions. Want to have a big demonic-looking guy? You make it a fiend. Want to create a huge mech? You make it a machine. Want a cool guy with a sword? You make it a warrior. Want a funny-looking dog scuba diving? Apparently you make that a warrior too. The fact Doggy Diver and Dark Blade have the same type and attribute haunts me at night. Anyhow, what cards do you think of and go, "Yeah, this has to be a rock". And let me tell you, rock fans have it easy. They had a meta archetype just last year in Adamancipators and can boast a massive pool of 240 monsters. (Please don't ask how many warriors exist because you might not like to hear that there are something like 1,100 of them.) Hell, even reptiles, the monster type we were waiting years for to get any use out of Snake Rain has 164 cards.

But pyros? In the more than twenty years of the game's existence, there have only been 120 pyro monsters.


gem-knight garnet prank-kids lampsies fire hand
The most-played pyro monsters of all time never really cared about their typing

When designing a card there's very, very little reason to give it a fire-related theme. The ones that fit the criteria are extremely narrow and don't really allow for interesting design. Sure, we want pyro support, but what would that even look like? A search spell? Fine, but what flavor would that have? There's extremely few design directions Konami can take when making cards for these themes. This applies not just to pyro. Rock, reptile, sea serpent, insect, thunder, wyrm, and even winged beast are likewise extremely narrow types. While obviously cool (thunder will always remain one of my favorite monster types), they don't have that much going for them in terms of new stuff you can do with them.

In the end, we probably will not be getting much Volcanic support anytime soo, if ever. There are plenty of themes in the game. Fire monsters centered around volcanoes and blowing up, however, don't allow much freedom to innovate and make new stuff. At least we got alien support. That's something—right, Payne?

Your Turn

What do you think: how much longer will it take before we see proper Volcanic support again? Another 1,000 days? Post your best guess in the comments! Maybe we can look back in a few years and give kudos to whoever came closest.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.



17 Comments

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CMT94(23.11.2021 16:15)

I disargree. Not printing new cards for archetypes because their type is narrow? It's up to konami what should be printed so printing various cards is a good strategy, rather than billionth card for dragons / warriors / spellcasters. Cyberse is the newest type but still has more monsters than pyro / dinosaur or thunder.
Alhough I should commend konami for giving a lot of legacy support for various archetypes in the last 1 year. Thanks to the end of terrible milked anime.

IntoTheVoid(23.11.2021 11:11)(Edited: 23.11.2021 12:27)

Maybe a fusion-volcanic and something like Red-eye-fusion for Pyros?! At least, fire is red, too *lol*. I liked FOTB quite a lot. I think, the problem is that Axel is just a side character... And that the end of GX only ran one time in TV here.

JustARC(22.11.2021 20:27)

Payne96

neonrideraryeh(22.11.2021 19:31)

So I reckon the odds are pretty good that Volcanics will get something in the likely upcoming FIRE themed Duelist Pack set. So far we have Dark (Rage of Ra), Wind (Synchro Storm) and then Water came out this week in the OCG (Duelists of the Abyss). This leaves themed sets for Light, Earth and Fire, so I'd say we got a 1 in 3 chance in a few months that the Fire set will happen.
As for Fire themed anime duelists, well there aren't all that many. One included could be Battlin' Boxers from Alito, but the other will most likely at that point be Austin O'Brien with Volcanics and I'd be very surprised if that wasn't in there. Possible they skip Volcanic but that'd be very strange indeed as those are the most obvious ones. Salamangreat probably the third even that doesn't need it, but after that it's scraping the bottom of the barrel, though I'd like to see a full revamp of the Skull Flames like how Fleur got a revamp. So yeah, that's my expectations for when they finally do something with Volcanic.

Flamingo3000(22.11.2021 13:36)

Omar

CLIC-11(22.11.2021 12:08)

And X-Saber? We are today at 2662 days (more than 7 years!) for an archetype that was once very popular

Giano01(22.11.2021 13:10)

They'll never release support at an archetype that discard the opponent cards

ElementsCinder(22.11.2021 11:54)

Omar

Leviath94(22.11.2021 10:50)

1000 days is not more than 3 years ...
There are enough other archetypes that haven't seen support since 5Ds. As long as Blue-Eyes and DM get 20 new cards every year, everything is fine.

Penguinvader(22.11.2021 10:23)

Omar

mavericxx(22.11.2021 11:25)

Omar

mrtkrgs(22.11.2021 15:43)

Omar

SJK123(22.11.2021 07:38)

I would be careful of giving support to an archetype based around burning, a very common FTK tactic

xExistenz(22.11.2021 00:55)(Edited: 22.11.2021 00:55)

Konami could release a brandnew pyro archtype with generic pyro support to push volcanics too. Maybe another search spell, or a link monster...
I think it would be interesting to see something like this. Cyberse got the same think with Salamangreat and cards for generic Cyberse support like mining or backdoor.

AllegedMichael(22.11.2021 04:35)

XExistenz, you know. If salamangreat was printed as pyro, that would have helped the Type so much. But alas.

B1G-3YE(22.11.2021 00:11)

Just giving us a Volcanic Link 1, needs a Pyro Monster and adds a Volcanic/Pyro Lvl 4 or lower Monster on Summon from the Deck to the hand.

Just a Card, that a lot of Decks have today.

But rather printing more and more Blue Eyes an Dark Magician Stuff...

Iliaster(22.11.2021 00:06)

"But how come Konami has released a house's worth of Blue-Eyes support over the years and not a single Volcanic/pyro support card? Simple enough: it's not as easy as you might think."

Nostalgia. While Blue eyes is one of, if not the most iconic Yugioh-Monster, barely anyone cares about Pyro-Monsters, and I couldn't think of any iconic Pyro Monsters.

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