Thursday, April 18, 2013

Astral Pack 2 Commons Revealed! Set Review pt. 2

Hello again! I promised that once I found some reputable news of the commons from Astral Pack 2, I would go ahead and give them a review which in turn enables me to rate the entire set. So here we go:


014 Sky Scout
015 Cyber Phoenix
016 Light and Darkness Dragon
017 Machina Armored Unit
018 Recycling Batteries
019 Justice of Prophecy
020 Barox*
021 Pot of Avarice
022 Instant Fusion
023 Photon Veil
024 Hysteric Party
025 Token Stampede

...Well, we all know why Sky Scout (Harpie's Brother) is being reprinted, so I won't criticize that. However, there are a LOT of cards in here that really weren't exactly hurting for a reprint, such as:

-Cyber Phoenix
-Machina Armored Unit
-Recycling Batteries
-Justice of Prophecy
-Pot of Avarice
-Instant Fusion
-Photon Veil
-Token Stampede

So let's break down each of these choices, and show how they might not have been the best decisions.

Cyber Phoenix & Machina Armored Unit: Umm... Mecha Phantom Beasts? If you wanted to reprint some random Machine-related cards, how about Machina Fortress, Machina Gearframe, or Limiter Removal? Or better yet, since you're releasing a holo version of Geargiaccelerator, how about print a god damn common Geargiarmor? Even under the (somewhat ridiculous) Konami logic of not using Astral Packs for medium or heavy reprints, they still could have used these slots in a way that provided cards to the general public that are really playable and relevant. And you're going to see this recurring theme with basically every other slot as well.

Recycling Batteries: Okay, so this is actually a decently relevant card. Thunder Family and Watt decks have been seeing a lot more play ever since the release of Thunder Sea Horse. I know this goes against Konami's philosophy, but if you're looking to reprint a Thunder-related card, would it really be that much to ask for you to reprint Thunder Sea Horse instead? Recycling Batteries DID come out a long time ago, but it was a measly common and there's plenty of supply out there for it and not too much demand. I know, I know. Abyss Rising "only" came out about five months ago, and it's "too soon" to reprint even a single card from a set like that. But wait - Justice of Prophecy is in the same set, and SHE got a reprint! Why? Konami, if you really want to foster high turnout at local tournaments, one way to do it is by attracting people in search of good reprints from the Astral Packs. You don't have to make some duelists feel left out by dropping the heavy shit like Megalo and Bear, but you can always take the middle road and reprint things that actually benefit from it instead of printing garbage. But maybe they just haven't thought about it that way yet.

Justice of Prophecy: If you wanted to reprint something relevant to Prophecy or the Spellbooks that isn't "too heavy," you could've easily picked Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, Spellbook of Secrets, or Spellbook of Fate. Why exactly did this one or two dollar Rare need a reprint only five months after its release?

Pot of Avarice: This isn't exactly a bad pick, it's just random as hell and I can't think of a single person that really needed a new printing of Pot of Avarice because they couldn't afford any of the ones that are already out. So actually I guess I take that back; it is a bad pick. Maybe they wanted to update the text on it? I have no idea.

Instant Fusion: This has become more popular lately with the re-emergence of Karakuri into the meta, but again - who exactly is hurting for a new print of this card? It just came out as an Ultra last year, god damn.

Photon Veil: Another completely random choice that really didn't cost that much. Seriously, by what criteria exactly are they making these decisions?

Token Stampede: Last up we have Token Stampede. This card will probably have absolutely no place in the upcoming Mecha Phantom Beast decks - if you wanted to reprint something Token-related, how about another printing of Scapegoat or Stray Lambs? Sure those cards don't cost much either, but at least those are actually generally USEFUL. Or you could've printed Token Thanksgiving or Token Feastevil... anything but this, really.

But of course, we also have to give credit where credit is due. Even though it isn't super-expensive, Light and Darkness Dragon seems to have a relatively small supply on the secondary market, in addition to being popular in some builds of Elemental Dragons. And Hysteric Party was going for NINE dollars on Troll and Toad recently because of the impending Harpie revival. But outside of those... well, this batch of Commons is really subpar.

My rating for the commons as a whole is a 2/10. Out of 12 commons, only two of them are really good - literally one-sixth, or about 1.6%, of all the commons you could get are NOT crap.

As for the entire set, the following cards made my list of "things that aren't too shitty":

001 Atlantean Dragoons
002 Photon Papilloperative
003 Spellbook of Power
005 Geargiaccelerator
006 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
011 Gemini Spark
016 Light and Darkness Dragon
024 Hysteric Party

That's eight cards out of 25, or close to one-third (32%) of the total set. That factors into my rating for the set as a whole - a 3.5/10. Most of it is garbage, but there are still good pulls here and there.

I don't know who exactly at Konami continuously gets away with designing such badly rostered sets (rostered isn't even a word, but I'm using it anyways) over and over and over again, but whoever it is, they need to either publicly release their rationale for these decisions and stop making them, or just be fired. This is so annoying, especially coupled with a below-average list of holos that most people would probably agree aren't even up to the level of the first Astral Pack. You're supposed to improve from set to set, not get worse. Oh well, hopefully Astral Pack 3 won't take another four and a half months to come out, because I really don't want to pull from this set until the beginning of September.  Anyways, thanks for reading. Til next time!

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