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Pharaoh Atem

Earl-y YGO History

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769


I made some posts a good long time ago and I feel I should make a more complete series of remarks about the topics of those posts.

So, I'm rezzing those posts.

I will cover several topics. Here's the Table of Contents. To search for something, search for its number in brackets. (So if I wanted entry 3, I'd search for "[3]", without quotes.)

[1] On Rarities and "The Blood-Curdling Blue-Eyes White Dragon"

[2] Complaining without being an idiot

[3] A more detailed history

[4] On Power Creep

[5] On LP Amounts

[6] On Format Length, and why you shouldn't complain about it

[7] Atem and Peddle talk about Solemn Judgment's Limitation


[9] A more detailed history, part 2: "Exodia Day"

[10] From August 23 to the game's 1 year anniversary


Stories 1 and 4 have been corrected. I claimed in them that Fissure was on the first Limitation List; turns out it was Raigeki. The OCG didn't put Fissure on any List until the same time we did in the TCG - September 2007.


I'll add more entries as I write them or find them if already written.

Edited by Pharaoh Atem
New Story, and corrections for two old stories.
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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[1] Why it should be against the rules to bitch about rarities - also, some history of how YGO became overrun with Duel Monsters


You know, that little concept doesn't need much explanation. It's nice that Nik explains it, but the best thing to keep in mind is that this trope is older than steam.

Why do I say that? Time for a history lesson.

1996. Kazuki Takahashi fields a funny little dark manga for boys, entitled Yu-Gi-Oh!. It's a hit, and it focuses on various games and how they haphazardly impact the lives of a group of high school students - never we mind the supernatural things endangering those students, and how one mysterious pyramid-shaped puzzle ends up giving them a means to fight back.

However, this little manga doesn't really take off until a fun little chapter involving a spoiled brat who plays trading cards, his finding out that the main character's grandpa owns a legendary card, and what he does to get that card - oh, and what happens when all this shit falls apart and blows up in his face.

Oh, yeah. The legendary card? BEWD.

Yup, it was Yugi vs. Kaiba that really hooked kids on the series.

And Kaiba didn't take losing well. You see, Kaiba was a jerk. He ended up giving Yugi a concussion in the process of stealing that BEWD he stole. So, when he lost to Yugi, Yugi used that pyramid puzzle thingy to trap Kaiba in a card for a while, so that Kaiba would "experience death in battle against monsters."

It wasn't pretty. Imagine being killed over and over. Yeah. Kaiba had nightmares about this shit after it was over.

He built an entire theme park rigged with countless lethal traps just to kill Yugi in revenge. Why did Kaiba do this? Simple - the kids LOVED Duel Monsters. It was intended to be a game that only showed up in two chapters - the first (and probably only intended) battle between Yugi and Kaiba.

Everything past that dealing with Duel Monsters is ALL because of fan reaction.

The manga is a hit, and continues to fly off shelves right up until its end in 2004. Duel Monsters changes from a small bit part in Chapters 9 and 10, to the finale of Kaiba's deadly theme park in Chapters 36-40, to the main plot device of the entire manga from Chapters 60 and onward. (Oh, and that strange pyramid thing kinda becomes more relevant too.)

January 1999 - YGO is only growing, amassing more fans every day. Companies probably want to try to take the franchise to an international market.

Oh, hey, did I say franchise?

Yes. By this point, YGO had already spawned more than a manga - Bandai had run a CCG for it for the last year, to mild success, and Toei had produced a now-finished Anime for the manga, complete with a movie as a final bookend. The movie hadn't debuted yet; it was set for March 6, 1999 - but the fact that one was even in DEVELOPMENT for an anime that'd seen only one season is remarkable in and of itself.

Also, March 6 is important to us for reasons I'll reveal later.

It was decided that neither of these things were enough. Another company was given the rights to create a new anime, one that could fiddle with the source material so that it didn't have to start all the way back at the beginning of the story, yet could treat its own starting point as the beginning of the story.

And as successful as Bandai was, the license it had to make a game was cut down.

Konami, fresh off of acquiring the License to create a YGO CCG, releases a 40 card pack and begins the creation of a new game, entitled the "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Offical Card Game". This game is entitled such to differentiate it from Bandai's earlier product, which was simply the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG - that CCG's lifespan was only from 1998 to 1999. The one started in January 1999


we are playing it right now.

And why is that one called "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters"?

That's the name of the second anime, and the second anime is what brought YGO to the world. This trend has stayed with Yu-Gi-Oh! ever since; GX's original name was Duel Monsters GX, and 5D's original name was Duel Monsters 5D's.

The 40 card pack released that January had obvious chase cards. More importantly, though, is the fact that in this first pack, EVERY non-chase card was pointless from a gameplay perspective. For information, you need only look up "Volume 1" at the wikia. But, of course, I'll explain here.

The highest fieldable ATK without Tribute at the time was 1200. Mammoth Graveyard, Hitotsu-me Giant, and Silver Fang fulfilled this. All three of these were common, along with every other card in the pack that I don't mention by name.

There were two Tribute-Summoned monsters: Dark Magician and Gaia the Fierce Knight, both Ultra Rare.

There were three STs of consequence - Dark Hole, Trap Hole, and Fissure, all Super Rare.

The other monsters in the pack had no more than 800 original ATK, meaning that where a DEF Mammoth or Fang would die, a DEF Hitotsu would inflict damage. This made Hitotsu the de-facto chase monster of the pack, for its standalone kingdom.

There were 5 Equip Spells, each increasing the ATK and DEF of a monster by 300. The Types supported this way were Warrior, Spellcaster, Aqua, Beast, and Zombie.

The insurmountability of the three 1200 ATK monsters becomes obvious; the next tier of ATK in the game, 800, needed 2 additional support cards - Equips - to get strong enough to handle the pressure. Further, if the 1200 ATK ones got so much as a single Equip themselves, the 800 would need a third to compete - and an answer to that would simply be "one more equip for the 1200."

It is notable that the first Limited List for the game Limited 3 cards - Dark Hole, Trap Hole, and Fissure.

So, we see obvious chase cards - the 1200 monsters, the 3 important STs, and DM. This makes only 7 cards out of 40 that aren't shit.

March 1 brought Booster 1, a set that reprinted some of Volume 1, and also brought some new toys. Most were useless. Dark Hole, Fissure, and 2 Equips were reprinted - DH and Fissure were simply rares at this point. This booster brought along some 900 and 1000 ATK mons - at least 1 of the 900s was compatible with prior equips, which helped leading up to an attempt at a 2 card 1200. Still, only 2 cards out of 40 here aren't shit.

Oh, and anyone who splurged to get Dark Hole and Fissure were SCREWED

Also, move along to March 6, which brought the Theatrical Release of the YGO movie. At the movie, Konami unveiled Starter Box - a fifty-card product with special deckbox, six star chips, a playmat, and a calculator. The product sold at this theatrical release held a few different cards from the general release in stores, which was March 18.

BEWD debuted here. Anyone who splurged to get DM and/or Gaia was now screwed out of cash.

Fusion Monsters debuted here, the best one of the lot at the time being Flame Swordsman. Of course, this means that Fusions were obsolete from the start.

Aqua Madoor debuted here, as both part of the Theatrical Release and as a mail-in promo. This card alone is a sign of Konami's love of power creep, moreso than most anything we've seen in a while - because, in this case, over the span of 2 months, the old ATK king was utterly dethroned, replaced by something who didn't even CARE about dethroning him.


Because Madoor's power creep contribution was its DEF - something unsurpassable for the 1200s that ruled just minutes before UNLESS those 1200s had 3 equips backing them.

Starter Box brought more 1200s to the table, and the game's first 1300 - Trial of Nightmare. (Trial also needed 3 equips to punch through Madoor.)

Starter Box also brought Raigeki, which didn't get Limited until the game's second Limit List.

It also brought the first Field Spells - Mountain, Forest, Sogen, Umi, Wasteland, and Yami. I would say "it helped shake up the stat dynamics and make unkillable things killable", but they helped the bosses as much as the little ones.

It also brought Dragon Capture Jar and Two-Pronged Attack. Jar served as an answer to BEWD if you were bad and desperate; Two-Pronged served as an answer to any monster, especially in cases where all you have are puny little things with 1300 ATK,

Speaking of 1300s, they weren't the king. If you pre-ordered Starter Box's General Release, you got a Celtic Guardian promo. Yes, Celtic Guardian was king once.

So, you see the trend - chase cards all over the place, no regard for game design wisdom, utterly haphazard shit right and left.

It continues.

March 27 of that same year. Yes, only a scant 9 days after Starter Box's general release - Volume 2 is released.

Celtic Guardian is dethroned less than 2 weeks after assuming ATK leadership. Uraby is the new lord.

More 300 point Equips debut, for Fiends, Insects, Dinosaurs, Machines, and Plants. Flame Swordsman balks at the fact that Uraby+Equip matches it in ATK, when FS ate up so much more time and work.

SoRL is Ultra Rare. And UNLIMITED.

Monster Reborn is Super Rare. AND UNLIMITED.

De-Spell is released. Considering it's the only thing that can rigorously remove SoRL at the time, I have to list it.

The 2000 DEF paradigm is further supported by the common Spirit of the Harp and the super rare Mystical Elf. (Oh, hey, 2000 DEF makes big mons a safe play! They help win games, in part! ELF IS A CHASE CARD.)

I shouldn't have to continue; this is the history of the game's first TWO MONTHS.

Correction: Turns out Fissure wasn't on the OCG's first Limit list. Raigeki was. Fissure WAS in the first product the game made; it wasn't on the first Limit List.

Edited by Pharaoh Atem
Corrected the Fissure Limitation mistake.
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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[2] If we're going to bitch about YGO, you'd best start at the beginning and be thorough.



It interests me how folks claim to have good answers - yet I see no rigorous talk about the game past certain formats in times gone by that folks personally cared about.

I myself am guilty of this, but at least bother to go back a bit further in game history.

Before we talk about a lot of things, we need to realize two points.

1) Fusions were obsolete upon introduction - March 6, 1999.

2) August 22, 1999 brought the game's first 1900 ATK costless easily Summoned mon. Gemini Elf.

I have said before that 1999, being the game's first year, was rife with mistakes. I would expect folks to agree. I would not expect folks to agree with the following;

It may have been a mistake for there to even have been a monster of Gemini Elf's sort.

Granted, the implications of questioning such are huge - this game was designed around that 1900 benchmark for a long time, such that the 2k benchmark being embraced in its initial possibly-viable form (Gorilla) made some noticeable changes, and the card responsible for competitively EXCEEDING that 2k benchmark is justifiable in discussion as something prohibitionworthy.

Elf has a regal, storied place in the game's building blocks.

But this privliged role does not appease logic.

If we're going to ***** about lists, we need to have better answers to old fundamentals like Elf and its implications. Before one runs, one walks. Before we criticize CyDra, we must be willing to wonder about Gorilla, and before we complain about Gorilla, we must wonder about Elf.

The game has been poorly designed from the beginning. The game's appeal obviously doesn't stem from good design in such terms; even with such bad design, it's captured our hearts well enough for us to assemble at this internet place and converse. We are obviously in some degree of thrall.

But this does not excuse our potential intellectual laziness.

If we are going to ***** about something, we have to be willing to turn a discerning eye to every detail.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[3] A more detailed history, from the start up until July 27, 1999.



If you think Elf was the first issue' date=' you've proven your ignorance.

[YGOCARD']Mechanicalchaser[/YGOCARD] was the first problem card.

Mechanicalchaser was invented at the same time as Elf - August 26, 1999. Thus Elf obsoleted it. Refer to Booster 4.

Chaser thus never had any true viability, except in Elf's shadow; the TCG's use of it was a silly bit of nonsense born out of the staggered release system used in early days.

If you're going to critique the point I'm driving at, it'd be wise for you to NOT say "your point is valid but the card you're using for it is silly" when the card you suggest was made obsolete upon its first printing.

A better point would be "you're driving at something important, but a card made earlier is also indicative of the problem, and you should talk about that instead." This is the point you tried - and FAILED - to make.

I chose Elf in part because it was released in 1999, in part because it hit the 1900 benchmark that was so important for so very long (and continues to be important in Rai-Oh), and in part because folks know the sucker.

However, I doubt that folks would recall other milestones in mon ATK. Considering the milestone monsters, I'm not surprised as to why. Folks hardly remember Elf.

Regardless, let's make this point very clear.

Let's go back to Jan. 23, 1999 - the release of the first Konami-made Booster, and the beginning of the game in earnest.

The milestone monster of the time was Hitotsu-Me Giant. Silver Fang and Mammoth Graveyard tied it in ATK, but neither tied it in DEF. The only Tribute-requiring monsters available at the time were Gaia and DM.

Next, we go to March 1. Booster 1 is released without incident. Literally, nothing is released that has the power to change the order of things. The pack was pointless bar the reprinting of the must-have Dark Hole and Fissure.

Move forward to March 6 and March 18. The release of Starter Box changes things up; first released in theaters with special promos on the 6th, with a proper store release on the 18th. It could be pre-ordered; pre-ordering let you get a promo. There was also a mail-in offer promo, and a guidebook promo. All three of these promos broke new ground.

The guidebook promo was Flame Swordsman. It was packed in with the theater release and official release, in a different rarity. It was the king of the first Fusions - yet it was obsolete on release. Still, it's credited for introducing the concept.

The mail-in promo was Aqua Madoor - which not only tied the original costless ATK king, Hitotsu-Me Giant, in ATK. It set a costless DEF benchmark that would go unsurpassed for years - perhaps the "2000 = costless DEF" axiom is the axiom of the game that lasted the longest. It's no longer an axiom now, but my point still stands. (That DEF may in and of itself have been a problem which led to Elf.) Madoor was also packed with the theater release.

The preorder promo for the official store release was Celtic Guardian, which became the new costless ATK king. Yes, Celtic Guardian was the "Elf" of its day, despire how terribad it is now. This "day" would last precisely 21 days if you're an optimist, or 9 if you're a pessimist. Why? Read on.

The new king of Tribute Monsters brought in Starter Box was BEWD.

Right on the heels of Starter Box came Volume 2, on the 27th of the same month. It introduced Swords of Revealing Light and De-Spell - and yes, De-Spell could be considered notable for the time. This is how bad the Spell pool was.

Vol. 2 also brought Mystical Elf and Spirit of the Harp to enforce the DEF standard, and it brought Uraby to surpass Celtic Guardian's 9 day (or 21 day) kingdom.

May brings Booster 2 on the 25th, and Volume 3 on the 27th.

Booster 2 brought Rogue Doll, to supplant Uraby.

Volume 3 brought us the first five Effect Monsters - Armed Ninja, Hane-Hane, Man-Eater Bug, Reaper of the Cards, and Skelengel. It also brought Stop Defense (yes, still a bad Spell pool) and Pot of Greed (o hai). Giant Soldier of Stone further fortifies the 2000 DEF setup. Rogue Doll is printed here as well. It's also notable that Exodia's Left Leg was first printed here.

June 8 of that year brings us to the first videogame promos since Konami began production of the YGO we play today. They were released with the second YGO game for the GBC. (The first game's promos weren't made in a way that fit the design of YGO's eventual release; using them in-game would be like using Bandai YGO cards today.) Of these promos, there are six cards that were noteworthy for the time.

Acid Trap Hole served as an answer to any face-down Defense Position monster of the day, bar someone Setting a costed monster.

Harpie's Feather Duster needs no introduction. Nor does Crush Card Virus.

Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth was released here, too - funny thing, though. Cocoon of Evolution wasn't out yet, nor was Petit Moth. So, we had a card with enough DEF to withstand BEWD, and enough ATK to kill it - and it was completely useless, never we mind how it'd continue to be useless later. I can imagine that folks might've been looking forward to a new toy to use - and then been disappointed once they realized how pointless the components of that toy were just 44 days later. But we'll get to that.

Speaking of something useless but in waiting, Exodia's Arms were printed first here.

July 5 moves us forward to the release of Booster 3, which brings us some Effect Monsters - Dark Artist, Yuuki no Sunatokei, Patrol Robo, and Wodan the Resident of the Forest. It also brings Beautiful Headhuntress, further solidifying the 1600 ATK standard set nearly 2 months before.

July 27 brings Volume 4, which begins notability by introducing Exodia's Right Leg. The aforementioned necessities for Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth were released here, too: Larvae Moth and Great Moth would not be released until Volumes 5 and 6, respectively. On the Normal Monster front, Summoned Skull and Harpie Lady hit here, the latter notable only thanks to how Egotist and Sisters were released alongside it. Magician of Faith, Mask of Darkness, Electric Lizard, and Steel Scorpion are the Effect Mons released here.

I'll finish this later - but the next releases are on August 26: Booster 4 and Premium Pack 1.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[4] Why "power creep" isn't necessary to keep a game alive (but it sure does fucking help)



Well it is an answer to how the game ended up where it is now. Increased power level has to continue to be increased on to keep the game fresh and then you end up with cards like DAD and CED to keep the game fresh.

There is nothing new in power creep. There is only newness in innovation of card function. Sometimes the two come hand in hand - the introduction of any Effect Monster to the game redefined how the game was to be played. (insert Man-Eater Bug as the definitive first example here). That was, in a sense, a sort of power creep.

However, we see nothing new in DAD or CED - only "more of the same as before, except obviously powerful to levels where gameplay is rendered a joke in the eyes of rational people."

Think back to 1999. An analogue of power creep bringing nothing new would be that whole ATK growth paradigm I mentioned - from Hitotsu-Me, to Celtic Guardian, to Uraby, to Rogue Doll, to Gemini Elf, all within the SPAN OF A FEW MONTHS.

Why is nothing new?

All those cards did PRECISELY THE SAME THING - destroy opposing monsters, inflict battle damage to the opponent. THAT IS IT. Their only difference was efficiency and capability at those tasks - which only GREW, so the TREND at hand wasn't even a new thing.

For card design to be good, it must be more than innovative - it must be innovative and wise.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[5] "Monsters are strong, Duelists are wimps"


Understandable that you would see that as a reference point, but it isn't a flaw in the game. Stronger cards, Gemini Elf, Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, all are important pieces to the puzzle. Not only do they give advantage, they also offer redemption.

To understand my point, you have to reference the fact that in any card game, there have to be stronger, and weaker cards, such as:

Gemini Elf vs. Mechanical Chaser

Premature Burial vs. Monster Reborn

Raigeki vs. Fissure

Harpie's Feather Duster vs. Heavy Storm

As I stated, these cards offer not only advantage, but a chance to come back into the game. There in lies the true beauty of the game, and maybe the only bit of skill in the game. Holding on to the stronger cards you have until the right moment.

IE: During the "Beatdown Era", holding onto Gemini Elf, or equips until the right moment.

IE: During the "Control Era", holding onto your Pot, Delinquent, Mirror Force, Monster Reborn, until the right moment.

So, all in all, I don't really see the power flaw that you're talking about. I see the way the game was meant to be played.

You grossly misunderstand the point at hand - this is not a rejection of Elf, but a rejection of the damage it inflicts to you, and that damage's proportion to your total survivability.

From the beginning, the player has always been a very weak component of gameplay. We do not take hits well - and this does not reward the sort of skill you praise.

An opponent that can do nothing is easily steamrolled and one-sided. Being brought to the place where we are unable to do anything of relevance to the gamestate is easy; and all an opponent needs to do to keep us there is get in a scant number of shots. (A dead opponent is the easiest to steamroll, and thus the object most anathema to skill in gameplay - gameplay no longer exists the moment someone is dead. Skill requires a game to be going on. Longer games are to be applauded, not discarded.)

It is fine for Elf to have been the triumphant mon of its day. It's not so fine that certain specific details were required for such, such as its ATK amount, or the fact that it did nothing except be a better Rogue Doll. Those are the complaints.

In this regard, Rai-Oh can be seen as a better-designed card than Elf ever was - at least Rai-Oh holds some sort of relevance beyond the mundane. But Rai-Oh still carries the same problem of the damage it inflicts.

It's notable that many better-designed cards rely upon the 8000 basis for their good design, such that keeping 8000 and changing most problematic ATK values would likely be a better decision.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[6] Stop acting like the length of a format changes how good or bad it is.


6 month formats are fine. The problem is when they introduce cards early/mid format without thinking that create combos which give ungodly advantage and/or OTK possibilities that weren't there before. These cards either shouldn't be made (DSF, CCV, etc) or should be auto-restricted upon release (Monk, XSaber, Gale, Whirlwind, Charge, etc).

That or they should actually get people that play/know SJC-type metas and evaluate all the cards being released to maybe.....iunno....plan ahead? Just my ideas.....

So, in short, you say 6 month formats are fine, and then give us the seeming reasons why 6 month formats aren't fine as your evidence.

Nice job broski, you've set me up for ending the thread.

The reason why 6 month formats in YGO have had a history of sucking has been a reason why the format style before the 6 month system - the "new format with new set" system - also blew.

It's because card design blows. FFS there were four cards that ruled the game back when it started, and you either ran all 4 of them at 3x or you were a goddamned idiot - Hitotsu-me Giant, Dark Hole, Trap Hole, and Fissure.

Card design has always sucked.

We need to stop acting like format length has anything to do with fixing the problems of the day. The problems of the day would simply die sooner so that NEW PROBLEMS come about, if we inducted another system. Conversely, better fucking card design would make format longevity a fucking DESIRABLE thing; there'd be no need to ever change a list when there's nothing to bitch about.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[7] If you want Solemn Judgment limited, you're going to have to outargue my prior case if you want to sound convincing.


You're right. It all comes down to what I perceive to be the ideal playing environment. To me, it sucks that because Solemn is so good many players choose to run it which means I have to run it. Then matches come down to a game of who drew more Solemns. If I drew 2 I can press through my opponent's Solemn and win the game in one turn. For my opponent, it's not worth saving the Solemn because if he does he's took so much damage he only has 1 turn to fight back. When he tries to fight back, I have 2 Solemns, plus whatever other defense I drew (bth, Kalut, whatever.) He can't answer me that turn and next turn I win. Player with more Solemns wins.

I just don't want to play that kind of game. I'd say at least restrict it to 1. It's way too good of a card, and it only gets better when drawn in multiples.

You can say this to varying degrees about every other card in the game, though, at least every other card that I can imagine with a competitive premise.

Let's rewind to the VERY FIRST BOOSTER - and VERY FIRST RELEASE OF THIS ENTIRE GAME - in the world. Volume 1. Released January 23, 1999. Hay guyz welcome to ygo

One of the best cards in the set, in my mind, is Cyclops - a Beast-Warrior 1200/1000. Yeah, this is Hitotsu-Me Giant. Funny stories about it. "Hitotsu-me" is Japanese; it can translate, depending on the Kanji, to either "first" or "one eye". It's name in the OCG is Cyclops (haha cyclopeans are one-eyed giants), and it's the "first" Level 4 monster released in the game.

No other monster in the set has more DEF or ATK, bar Gaia the Fierce Knight and Dark Magician.

The only monsters that tie with it ATK-wise are Mammoth Graveyard and Silver Fang.

The only monsters able to kill it in Attack Position without assistance are the aforementioned ones, two requiring two Tributes, and the others dying themselves in the process. Now, the only "assistance" possible in battle at this time would have been Legendary Sword, Book of Secret Arts, Power of Kaioshin, Beast Fangs, and Violet Crystal - the original five Equip Spells, each giving 300 to ATK and DEF each of the equipped monster. Warriors, Spellcasters, Aquas, Beasts, and Zombies would all stand to benefit.

The non-Tribute Warriors available at the time would have required 2 equips to have both stats match or surpass 1200/1000; one would become a 1400/1000, the other a 1200/1100.

The non-Tribute Casters available would have required 2 to do the same; one would become 1400/1300, the second 1300/1100, the third a 1200/1100.

The Zombies near would also require 2. One would hit 1300/1100, the second would reach 1200/1200.

The Beasts have Silver Fang, which already ties in ATK; to tie in DEF, it would need one equip, and that equip would also let it surpass in ATK. So, we write it as needing 1 in order to be sufficient challenge. The other Beasts, though, would each need 2 *or 3* for the same guarantee - the first would reach 1400/1500, the second 1300/1200, the third *with 3* would reach 1300/1500.

The Aquas each need 2 for such. One would hit 1400/1300, while the other would hit 1200/1300.

Dark Hole, Fissure, and Trap Hole were also in the set; Dark Hole and Trap Hole would each be Limited to 1 on the first Limited List ever. But none of those had the capacity to act as original floaters would. Folks gravely underestimate the importance of battle supremacy; sure, removing monsters from the field is pivotal to gameplay, but those removal tricks are not indefinite. Battle supremacy is what we boil down to when we run out of that shit.

Now, I for one wouldn't have much enjoyed a game that revolved around "either nail that Giant w/ Hole, Hole, or Fissure, or ram it in the face and tie with Mammoth Graveyard, or ram it in the face and tie with Silver Fang, or give Silver Fang some Fangs and let it win vs. it, or that Giant wins the fucking fight guaranteed bar 2x of the same Equip on a cannon fodder monster." I ignore Dark Magician and Gaia; Summoning them at this point would have outright required the cannon fodder somehow surviving a long time.

And if somehow DM got on field, it merely changed the rules of who the game revolved around. Either you nailed it with Hole, Hole, or Fissure, or rammed it in the face with your own DM and tied, or rammed it with your own book-boosted DM and won unless it was also boosted an equal amount - at which point you still tied, or you rammed it in the face with a Gaia that was boosted by 1x Legendary Sword.

So yeah Hitotsu-me ruled the game at its debut - at least, as much as any one monster could have.

I don't find the Anti-Solemn stance to actually remedy this problem you have with "player with more of X wins", unless your problem is specifically with Solemn, and you're not willing to expand that critique to the entire game, at which point I may smell bias.

Still, goodass convo going on here. Let's keep discussing this shit.

Correction: Turns out Fissure wasn't on the OCG's first Limit list. Raigeki was. Fissure WAS in the first product the game made; it wasn't on the first Limit List.

Edited by Pharaoh Atem
Corrected the Fissure Limitation mistake.
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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[8] Who honestly believes Drafts used to be doable in YGO? Or rather, who believes they didn't suck ass?


Drafts used to be do-able in Yugioh.

Yes, and let's see how they're just as bad as they are now.

I draft Volume 1 from 1999.

My draft deck loads up on decent amounts of the following cards and/or combos, listed in order of importance:

Hitotsu-Me Giant

Dark Hole

Trap Hole


Silver Fang

Mammoth Graveyard

Dark Magician

My chances of winning are astronomically superior to anyone else in the draft, as most other monsters in the pack aren't even in the same league.

There are certain levels of ATK in the pack; 1200 is the highest costless, shared by Hitotsu-Me, Mammoth, and Silver - and of the three, Hitotsu has the highest DEF. There are also certain levels of DEF: Hitotsu takes the highest costless, at 1000. All of the costed ones have the same cost - DM has the highest ATK in that bunch, and ties for the highest DEF.

The next highest costless ATK achievable is 800, taken by several: next costless DEF is 900, taken by only one mon in the pack. The next-highest (more common) DEF is 800, taken by several, including Mammoth and Silver.

Equip Spells exist, and the equipped mon gains 300 ATK and DEF; the best one by far at the time is Beast Fangs. Not only is it compatible with one of the three monsters tied for best costless ATK, it's also compatible with the 800/900 mon in the pack, and a 700/600 as well. No other Equip in the pack has such a good monster pool to work with; Spellcasters try, but while they match up well on lower ATKs, they don't have a compatible 1200 - although compatibility with DM is noted as a way to kill rather than tie DMs.

One set of Fangs makes Silver unbeatable in ATK and beatable only by a 1200 in DEF; it makes the 800/900 beat everything but the 1200s in ATK, and block the 1200s in DEF; it makes the 700/600 beat everything but the 1200s and a 1-Fang 800/900 in ATK, and blocks everything but the 1200s and a 1-Fang 800/900 DEFwise.

So, there are 2 other cards to prioritize if we can obtain Fangs:

Dark Gray


From there, you just stock up on the 800 ATK mons and go to town.

Casters got DM, and an Equip too. The Spellcaster pool outside of DM is:

Nemuriko, 800/700

Sectarian of Secrets, 700/500

Kuromazoku no Curtain, 600/500

Obviously, it doesn't quite compare to the Beast pool - but at least it's not as bad as the Warrior pool, or the Zombie pool. They got Equips of that variety too.

The Warrior pool is:

Gaia the Fierce Knight

Kagemusha of the Blue Flame

Copix, 600/500

Compared to the caster pool, DM trumps Gaia, Nemuriko trumps Kagemusha, and Sectarian trumps Copix.

And, of course, Zombies got an Equip too. The Zombie pool, aside from Mammoth, is:

Fire Devil, 700/500

Shisha no Ude, 600/600

The caster pool completely trumps it, too, bar Mammoth.

This, combined with how it's wise to keep your combos down to a minimum for flexibility's and safety's sake, means that the furthest one should go Equip-wise is for the best 2 Types for Equips, IF that many.

It also bodes note that the only monsters hittable by Trap Hole would be the 1200s and the costed monsters, such that making your own mons near 1200-level strength becomes an important counterpoint - and of the Types, Beast and Spellcaster do that best.

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».ben.    7438

the title is too clever not to receive + rep

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

Can't you all comment better than that? Fight me! Give me something to talk about!

God damn it I wish Peddle were here just for that purpose

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+scuzzlebutt    23495

I don't understand the Solemn thing

Reads like "Solemn shouldn't be limited. To prove my point here is Hitotsu me giant etc etc."

Fantastic series of posts nonetheless.

lol "earl"y history

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

The point is "You can't just use "you have to run it" as a reason to punish something, there has to be more to it than that."

It was an attempt to get Matt to get to the real meat behind Solemn and really lay it all out there, rather than resort to points that even a weakling such as myself can find problems with.

I don't like leaving argument details ambiguous, since when there is a right answer for a question, ambiguity lets people believe wrong things.

I felt at the time that there WAS an answer to the Solemn matter, and that anyone who was wrong about it should be stomped underfoot by the truth. Matt's comment left ambiguities behind, and I wanted those ambiguities dead, dead, dead.

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»PJ    4183

Posting for reference, this thread's on my to do list for tomorrow.

Oh, and a note to Ash or whoever's tweaking skins: The Ancient colour clashes with the background on the Light theme.

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».ben.    7438

Can't you all comment better than that? Fight me! Give me something to talk about!

God damn it I wish Peddle were here just for that purpose

w/ the exception of the Solemn argument, it's difficult to argue against facts, which a lot of this was. (Unless someone wants to try to debate that Flame Swordsman wasn't obsolete upon release).

Out of curiosity, what were the first 6 Bandai video game promos?

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It's notable that many better-designed cards rely upon the 8000 basis for their good design, such that keeping 8000 and changing most problematic ATK values would likely be a better decision.

I do not see that holding today. With samurais coming into the mix the game is trending again towards "do big damage fast, conservation be damned."

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»ACP    33422

Earl-y YGO History

^^Best part of the thread, not close.

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confuse rei    5608

Am i the only one who didnt even manage to read the 1st post ?

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GooB    93

Am i the only one who didnt even manage to read the 1st post ?


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Nate1080    1225

Am i the only one who didnt even manage to read the 1st post ?

Yes. Which is sad considering the first post of the topic wasn't too much to read; it was the freakin' table of contents for crying out loud.

Also, this was a pretty interesting read Atem.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

It's not done. I hope to chronicle the rest of the cards through Volume 7 and Booster 7 soon.

I wish I had help in this to organize it properly.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15769

[9] A more detailed history, part 2: from August 26, 1999 to ... hell, I'm just going to cover August 26, it's enough of a worldbreaker ON ITS OWN.

Okay, ladies and gents, I trust you all read the first part. I'm not rehashing all of it.

Last time, we left off at July 27, 1999 - the release date of Volume 4.

Exodia gained its fourth card, its right leg, here - all that was missing was its head. Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth changed from something unplayable in the literal sense to something unplayable in the practical sense, because the cards necessary to Summon it - Petit Moth and Cocoon of Evolution were released here. Summoned Skull was born here, and set a benchmark of ATK expectations for single-Tribute monsters that would go unsurpassed for years to come. Magician of Faith was released here; Mask of Darkness was released here.

Harpie Lady was released here, as was Egotist and Sisters, bringing forth one of the earliest Special Summons from the Deck. Sisters' comparatively low ATK and uselessness if drawn, though, could have been considered counterbalanced by the sheer amount of damage one could do in dropping two cards. It was not easy to summon multiple monsters each turn yet; Sisters was one of the earliest ways.

If you wanted to utterly devastate someone's health after a Dark Hole, Egotist was *the* way. If you wanted to force your opponent to play something strong, Egotist was *a* way.

Oh, by the way, Faith and Mask were Super Rare. Cocoon was too. Exodia's Right Leg, Summoned Skull, and Egotist were all Ultra Rare. Sisters was Secret Rare. (Harpie Lady itself was common, as was Petit Moth, for all 3 Great Moth fans out there.)

Volume 4, all on its own, is related to the concepts of:

*chase cards (all of the above except Moth, Moth's materials, and Harpie Lady)

*new game paradigms (SS from Deck)

*new tactics (Egotist leading into Sisters, while unnecessary, was the original easy two-monsters-in-one-turn play)

*cards being released before they were playable (Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth - Volume 4 actually made it playable)

*breaking new ground in power creep (Summoned Skull)

*setting longstanding paradigms (Summoned Skull)

But I'm not here to discuss Volume 4, I'm here to go FURTHER than it.

On to August 26, 1999; the release date of BOTH Booster 4 and the OCG's first Premium Pack!

I'd like to cover the promo pack first. It was released at the Tokyo Dome, in accordance with an event for "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters II: Dark Duel Stories". A few important things happened:

1) Exodia's head was released here, meaning that the limbs now had a use - and the first way to win outside of inflicting damage to the opponent was manifest.

2) Goddess of Whim was released here. It's almost as if the ATK it could gain with a lucky coin toss was a hint of things to come.


4) Cosmo Queen was released here, thereby disproving Dark Magician's flavor text within 5 months of DM's being created. Even the game's flavor means nothing in the face of almighty power creep.

I don't know how many cards came in a pack, so I don't know how rarities affected cardfinding. What I do know is that Time Wizard was Secret, and the others were all Ultra.

Oh yeah, let's not forget. None of the Exodia pieces were Limited. Nor was Pot of Greed.

With the Premium Pack covered, on to Booster 4.

Ladies and gentlemen; welcome to the genesis of the paradigm you all know and fear from a long time ago - the birth of the 1900 no-cost. (As said before, the 2000 no-cost was born some time before this.) Gemini Elf came unto the game and said: "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."

Before this moment, 1600 was the big number threat. In this pack I see 1600s - useless. 1700s - no one likes Axe Raider. 1800s - HA! La Jinn, Giant Red Seasnake, eat your fuckin' hearts out!

Even the great Mechanicalchaser, released in this same pack, guilty of ruling the very world the TCG knew for years, held no candle to Gemini Elf. The only reason WE ever cared about Chaser was because over here, it got released before Elf.

And in case the lot of you thought "oh Elf was probably rarest card in the pack"

It was common. So were those 17s and 18s I mentioned.

And so was Graceful Charity, which was first printed in Booster 4 too.

It's notable that Booster 4 only had 5 rares, all of which are unimportant to our analysis - they were all just Warrior Elimination and its clones for 4 other Types. Warrior Elimination wasn't new here, it was new in Volume 4. I don't know, or care, about which of the clones were and weren't new.

White Hole and Call of the Grave were born here in Booster 4 - recall that Dark Hole was in Volume 1, the first product of the game, and Reborn was in Volume 2, the fourth product of the game, released only 2 1/2 months later.

Right now we're going to go over a tiny bit of Limit List history as well.

Also recall that while Dark Hole was Limited at *some* point in 1999, Monster Reborn was not on any list until April 1, 2000. It was Semi'd at that point, then fully Limited for the first time on November 1, 2000. 15 different cards were Limited before Reborn was. 5 of them were Exodia pieces.

Actually, let's talk Exodia some more. At the time OF Exodia's birth, the only possibly-Limited cards were Dark Hole, Trap Hole, and Raigeki. I say "possibly" because I don't know at what point in 1999 the list took effect. (I said in an earlier article that the List was Dark Hole, Trap Hole, and Fissure: my bad.)

I see a marked difference of note here.

Thus the real king of Booster 4 is Graceful; Elf is merely its heir to the throne of Lord and Master.

I think August 26 perhaps ought be called Exodia Day - not only was it first usable here; it had triple-Pot, triple-Graceful, and the fact that 2000 DEF was unbreakable without removal or a multi-card investment - which itself would be vulnerable to removal as well!

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