The Giant RATE Set Review: Part 1

Doug Zeeff

2/13/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Historically, February has always been a big month for Yu-Gi-Oh.

Last year it was the first full month of the new Monarch cards and Breakers of Shadow, and we saw what was possibly one of the most one-sided YCS tournament ever. The year before that, Nekroz erupted out of The Secret Forces and terrorized the dueling scene, packing next-level consistency and power that warped the format.

After just one weekend of tournament results from Regionals and ARG Circuit Series Springfield, I think it's safe to say we're stuck in another game defining February. That's mostly due to Zoodiacs, a wildly splashable engine that does ridiculous things with very few cards, often requiring only one monster that you can essentially play up to 12 copies of.

And that brings us to one of TCGplayer's Giant Set Reviews! If you've never been around for one before, let me explain: in this five-part series, we'll take a look at a ton of competitive, casual, and in-between cards from Raging Tempest. Obviously some picks have already made an immediate impact on competition, but there's a bunch of hidden gems here, too. In the first two articles today and tomorrow, we'll look at the core Effect Monsters and Ritual Monsters, followed by the Extra Deck monsters on Wednesday, the spells and traps on Thursday, and finally we'll finish out strong with the World Premiers and OCG Imports on Friday.

If you're looking to get a quick overview of all the noteworthy cards in Raging Tempest, then this the perfect set of articles for you! I'm not going to cover every card because that would take forever, but let me know if I missed one of your favorites in the comment section below. Without further ado, let's start things off.

 Performapal Dag Daggerman
$2.66
$0.63
$0.12
Performapal Dag Daggerman127249
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN003
Level 5
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2000 / 600
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect: During your Main Phase, if this card was activated this turn: You can target 1 "Performapal" monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Dag Daggerman" once per turn.
Monster Effect: During your Main Phase, if this card was Pendulum Summoned this turn: You can send 1 "Performapal" monster from your hand to the Graveyard; draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Dag Daggerman" once per turn.


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One year ago Performapals were the best deck in the game, taking almost 30 spots at YCS Atlanta – the first YCS after Breakers of Shadow dropped. Now, after taking hits on every single Forbidden & Limited List after that event, Performapal variants are a shadow of their former self.

Performapal Dag Daggerman's one of the most ridiculous names for a card I've ever read, but it's actually decent. Being Level 5 is admittedly awkward, but it has a nice recovery effect when it's played as a Pendulum Spell, bolstered by a Monster Effect that sets up your graveyard to make the most of that recursion. Being a Pendulum Scale 2 is great as well, letting you Pendulum Summon Level 3's, something that modern Performapal variants could benefit from immensely… if there are any left.

I'm not sure if there are many Odd-Eyes Performapal duelists out there, but I'm betting they're happy to use Dag Daggerman.

 Speedroid Horse Stilts
$1.18
$0.15
$0.02
Speedroid Horse Stilts127254
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN006
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 1100 / 1100
Rarity Common
Card Text

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "Speedroid" monster from your hand. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the Graveyard: You can banish this card from your Graveyard; send 1 WIND monster from your Deck to the Graveyard. You can only use this effect of "Speedroid Horse Stilts" once per turn.


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Speedroids have always been a viable rogue deck that focuses on spamming Synchros, and they got some interesting support in Raging Tempest, both directly and indirectly. Speedroid Horse Stilts definitely has some uses in a conventional Speedroid deck, hopefully bringing out some Tuners from your hand for free.

But more importantly to me, is that Horse Stilts' artwork is hilarious. It's a floating half of a horse body with stilts for legs.

What's not to love?

 Windwitch - Ice Bell
$25.00
$22.99
$21.96
Windwitch - Ice Bell127256
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN007
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute WIND 
A / D 1000 / 1000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, then you can Special Summon 1 "Windwitch" monster from your Deck, but it cannot be Tributed. You cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck the turn you activate this effect, except Level 5 or higher WIND monsters. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can inflict 500 damage to your opponent. You can only use each effect of "Windwitch - Ice Bell" once per turn.


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Windwitches are a new theme from Raging Tempest. They're reminiscent of Speedroids, and they're one of the most splashable engines the set offers. Windwitch - Ice Bell is the theme's answer to Speedroid Terrortop: you can Special Summon it from your hand when you control no monsters, and then get another Windwitch from your deck. However, you can't Special Summon Wind Monsters for the rest of the turn.

While this effect is obviously going to be great by itself as a free +1 of card economy, what's important is that since Windwitch - Glass Bell was one of this release's OCG imports, a single Ice Bell nets you a Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon that can't be destroyed by card effects. Pretty nutty, if you ask me.

 Windwitch - Snow Bell
$4.00
$1.65
$0.20
Windwitch - Snow Bell127257
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN008
Level 1
Type Tuner/ Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute WIND 
A / D 100 / 100
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If you control 2 or more WIND monsters, and no non-WIND monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. A WIND Synchro Monster that was Summoned using this card as Synchro Material cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects.


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The only way that you can make that Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon is by using Windwitch - Snow Bell, the last portion of the Windwitch opening combo. The idea is that you Special Summon Ice Bell to bring out Glass Bell from your deck, which triggers its effect to add Snow Bell to your hand. Snow Bell's ability lets you Special Summon it from your hand if you control two Wind monsters, which you'll have on the field in that play sequence.

From there, it's as simple as Synchro Summoning a Level 7 with Ice Bell and Glass Bell, and making Crystal Wing with Snow Bell and the Level 7. Snow Bell's effect then kicks in, preventing the monster you Synchro Summoned from being destroyed by card effects.

The downside with Windwitches is that you're playing more dead weight than you would be with the comparable Speedroid Terrortop engine. Ice Bell is the one you want to see as early as possible so you'd play three copies, but you'd also want at least two Glass Bell so there's always one to Special Summon out of the deck. Snow bell is the least useful because it'll just sit in your hand without the other two on the field. The payoff for resolving Ice Bell in an ideal situation is huge, but the consistency issues could prove problematic.

Regardless, Windwitches are a very popular engine in the OCG right now, so I wouldn't be surprised if they pop up in TCG decks as well.

 Cyber Tutubon
$1.15
$0.15
$0.04
Cyber Tutubon127259
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN010
Level 5
Type Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1800 / 1600
Rarity Common
Card Text

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by Tributing 1 Warrior or Fairy-Type monster from your hand or field. If this card is Tributed for a Ritual Summon: You can target 1 Ritual Spell Card in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.


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While not one of the most competitive cards in the set, I wanted to give a nod to Cyber Tutubon for being one of the only reliable, generic ways to get Ritual Spells from the graveyard back to your hand. I'm not sure if it'll be played in anything right now, but I'm keeping my eye on this monster for possible interactions in future Ritual strategies.

 Ancient Gear Hunting Hound
$1.28
$0.25
$0.06
Ancient Gear Hunting Hound127263
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN013
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1000 / 1000
Rarity Common
Card Text

If this card is Normal Summoned: Inflict 600 damage to your opponent. If this card attacks, your opponent cannot activate Spell/Trap Cards until the end of the Damage Step. Once per turn: You can Fusion Summon 1 "Ancient Gear" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or field as Fusion Materials.


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In mid-March we get two new Structure Decks: one based on Dinosaurs, and one based on Ancient Gears. Both of them reinvent what the themes can accomplish, and some of the support in Raging Tempest foreshadows what's to come.

Ancient Gear Hunting Hound is relatively popular in OCG builds centered around Fusion Summoning, so I'm sure someone will use it here, too. It's pretty much just a Polymerization on legs, but it has the benefit of doubling as Fusion Material itself. One of the better Ancient Gear Fusions requires four Ancient Gears, so Hunting Hound's ability makes it that much easier to summon. I'll talk more about that Fusion Monster in Part 3, but for now just know that Hunting Hound's a fairly viable pick for Ancient Gear strategies.

 Zoodiac Ratpier
$3.00
$0.34
$0.10
Zoodiac Ratpier127265
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN014
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If this card is Normal Summoned: You can send 1 "Zoodiac" card from your Deck to your Graveyard. An Xyz Monster whose original Type is Beast-Warrior and has this card as Xyz Material gains this effect.
- Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Zoodiac Ratpier" from your hand or Deck.


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This is the best card in the set.

In a vacuum, it can be hard to see why Zoodiac Ratpier's so powerful. But take a look at the larger context and you'll quickly see why this card is so great. All of the Zoodiac Xyz can be summoned by overlaying them on a differently named Zoodiac monster you control. Right now there's four different Xyz in the family, so you can stack a whole lot of them on top of Ratpier to repeatedly bring out additional copies from the deck, thanks to the effect Ratpier gives any Beast-Warrior Xyz that you make with it.

We'll take a finer look at each Zoodiac Xyz Monster later, but for now what's important is that one single Ratpier gets you to Zoodiac Drident, a Quick-Effect Xyz Monster that pops face-up cards; any Rank 4, usually Daigusto Emeral to shuffle back your Ratpiers; and a Beast-Warrior search, usually Zoodiac Whiptail.

That might not seem crazy, but keep in mind this is all off one single card, and you can do it multiple times in one game. Not to mention all the ways you have to get to Ratpier: Zoodiac Barrage, Speedroid Terrortop into M-X-Saber Invoker, and Fire Formation - Tenki just to name a few.

Zoodiac Ratpier's Normal Summon effect lets you ditch a Zoodiac card from your deck to the grave, almost exclusively tied to Zoodiac Combo. Combo is a delayed Pot of Avarice, adding even more recycling to an already great engine.

What makes Zoodiac Ratpier so interesting is the sheer number of different decks you can play it in. While Performapals were locked into their own strategy last year, pretty much any deck can play three Ratpiers and a Zoodiac Whiplash for some extra speed. What's also cool is that you need access to all three Ratpiers to make those combos work, challenging Pot of Desires' status as a staple card. Ratpier is one of two huge cards in Raging Tempest that could go against Pot of Desires, which could lead to a situation where Desires isn't necessary for competition.

 Zoodiac Whiptail
$1.35
$0.31
$0.07
Zoodiac Whiptail127269
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN016
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1200 / 400
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

During either player's turn: You can target 1 Beast-Warrior-Type Xyz Monster you control; attach this card from your hand or field to it as Xyz Material. An Xyz Monster whose original Type is Beast-Warrior and has this card as Xyz Material gains this effect.
- If this card battles an opponent's monster, after damage calculation: Banish that opponent's monster.


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Zoodiac Whiptail's the other commonly played Zoodiac monster. One of the aspects of Zoodiacs that keeps them in check is that their Xyz only have ATK based on the strength of their materials. Ratpier has 0 ATK, so a lot of the impressive boards you make are surprisingly weak in attack points.

Zoodiac Whiptail packs 1200 ATK to give a much-needed boost to those Xyz Monsters, but it also has a great material effect as well: the Xyz Monster it's equipped to banishes whatever it battles. You don't need to detach for that, and Whiptail's other effect lets you attach it to an Xyz Monster during either player's turn, making that a deadly effect that can be activated out of nowhere.

That equipping effect isn't once per turn, either, so if you have multiple Whiptails you can keep boosting your monsters. Many of the OTK's that Zoodiacs can pull off are all thanks to Whiptail's attaching effect, so it's a staple in dedicated Zoodiac lists.

 Zoodiac Thoroughblade
$10.59
$1.42
$0.50
Zoodiac Thoroughblade127271
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN017
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1600 / 0
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can discard 1 "Zoodiac" card, and if you do, draw 1 card. An Xyz Monster whose original Type is Beast-Warrior and has this card as Xyz Material gains this effect.
- If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent.


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The last Zoodiac Effect Monster I wanted to talk about is Zoodiac Thoroughblade. While maybe not as important as Ratpier or Whiplash, it's still a great starter card when you need it, and it has 1600 ATK to boost your Xyz.

When you Normal or Special Summon Thoroughblade you can discard a Zoodiac to draw a card. That's a great way to accelerate towards your trap cards or other combo pieces, and it works well with Ratpier, too. Opening with Thoroughblade and Ratpier gets you all the same combos as just the Ratpier because there's a Zoodiac Xyz Monster that can attach materials from the grave, but you also get a free draw in the process.

Thoroughblade's attachment effect is less relevant, giving the attached monster piercing damage. It's a cool add-on that doesn't come up a lot, but it's certainly not a negative overall; there's no reason not to appreciate it.

 True King Lithosagym, the Disaster
$5.93
$2.24
$0.50
True King Lithosagym, the Disaster127273
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN019
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2500 / 2300
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your hand: You can destroy 2 other monsters in your hand and/or face-up on your field, including an EARTH monster, and if you do, Special Summon this card, and if you do that, and both destroyed monsters were EARTH, you can also look at your opponent's Extra Deck and banish up to 3 monsters from it with different names. If this card is destroyed by card effect: You can Special Summon 1 non-EARTH Wyrm-Type monster from your Graveyard. You can only use each effect of "True King Lithosagym, the Disaster" once per turn.


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The final monster I wanted to address today is one of the new True Kings: True King Lithosagym, the Disaster. I'm probably biased toward this card because it's so awesome in Subterrors, but make no Mistake, it's worth playing in a lot of Earth strategies.

All the True Kings have pretty straightforward effects. You can Special Summon them from your hand by destroying two monsters from your hand or field. Then if, both those monsters were the same attribute as the True King, you get to activate another effect. In Lithosagym's case, you get to banish three different Extra Deck monsters out of your opponent's Extra Deck.

It's not quite as good as Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries, but it still packs a mean punch. Ripping three cards out of your opponent's Extra Deck helps you win the grind game, especially in mirror matches where both players need all their resources. I'm not sure if we'll see this card in Zoodiacs at all, but most Zoodiac lists only play two of each Xyz Monster, making Lithosagym a potentially game-ending effect.

And that's all for today! Next time we'll take a look at the rest of the core set's Effect Monsters, mainly focusing on the new Shinobird Spirits and legacy support for Skull Servants and Ritual Beasts. Make sure to check back in tomorrow for the Part 2 of our Giant RatE Set Review!

-Doug Zeeff


Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!


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