Spotlight: Sangan

Doug Zeeff

3/27/2017 11:00:00 AM

As I'm sure you noticed, the recent Forbidden & Limited List brought back a ton of previously Forbidden cards. I noticed that there were a few people that were out of the loop on social media, but basically those cards were brought back with errata'd effects that hit shelves this Friday in Duelist Saga, conveniently when the List goes into effect.

In other words, if you were hoping to use Future Fusion to send thirty Infernoids to the graveyard on your first turn, you're out of luck.

What's interesting is that almost all the cards that were brought back are Limited, except for one: Sangan. Once a staple in virtually every deck it's been Forbidden for years, but Konami bumped it all the way up to Unlimited with its new effect that packs a couple more restrictions than it used to. Take a look at what it now does:

“If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: Add 1 monster with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck to your hand, but you cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with that name for the rest of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Sangan" once per turn.”

The first half of the effect pretty much stayed the same. If Sangan hits the graveyard from the field, you get to add a monster with 1500 or less ATK to your hand. This has been used in countless ways, the most recent of which was grabbing Rescue Rabbit or Inzektor Hornet in 2012. At the time, Tour Guide From the Underworld was running rampant in a ton of decks, at points being so popular and hard to find that I actually was nearly $200!

The change was that you can't activate cards, or the effects of cards, with that name for the rest of the turn, and you can only use Sangan's effect once per turn. Both are obviously huge edits: the card you search is on a one turn delay, and you can't trigger a bunch of Sangans in the same turn. The latter was never a big deal because Sangan was Limited for so long, but it's a change that allows it to come off the Forbidden & Limited List entirely without a second thought.

So… What Can You Do With It?
At first look Sangan might now seem unplayable. But it's still one of the widest search cards in the history of the game, grabbing literally any monster with 1500 or less ATK. Even with a delay, that's incredible.

One cool way to abuse Sangan is to let it get destroyed on your opponent's turn, because by the time your turn rolls around you'll be able to use the card you searched. There are a couple ways to set that up, but the best two methods are probably reviving it with Call Of The Haunted or setting it face-down. Both plays aren't very predictable, and could line you up with the combo piece you need to finish out the game; it's great for grabbing stuff like Neptabyss in Mermails.

But you have some very effective ways of destroying Sangan on your first turn these days, all of which are popular in today's metagame. The first is the Metalfoes' destruction effect, which can easily meet Sangan's requirements turn after turn. The second is Zoodiac Barrage, which is especially cool because of some of the cards it can search, namely hand traps.

Yes, you guessed it: hand traps are the perfect thing to get with Sangan right now. First, almost all of them have less than 1500 ATK: the newly Limited Maxx “C”, Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, D.D. Crow, Effect Veiler, and Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries are all workable. Hand traps fall in and out of favor, but right now I feel that most people agree they're amazing. Sangan can fetch pretty much all of them to your hand after you deestroy it with Zoodiac Barrage or a Metalfoes, which makes Metalfoe Zoodiacs a very appealing choice for the upcoming format, even with Majespecter Unicorn - Kirin Forbidden.

 Maxx "C"
Set Legendary Collection 5D's
Number LC5D-EN227
Level 2
Type Effect Monster
Monster Insect
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 500 / 200
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

You can activate this effect during either player's turn by sending this card from your hand to the Graveyard. This turn, each time your opponent Special Summon a monster(s), draw 1 card. You can only activate "Maxx "C"" once per turn.

Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
PairO'DiceGames 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $7.20
bjbstore 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $7.25
Yatalock 1st Edition - Moderately Played 1 $7.37
War zone 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $8.00
JonathanHTX 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $8.99
Omega Card Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.00
LegendsTCG 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.63
Kapow comics 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $9.71
Underground Games 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $9.96
Untapped Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $9.99

Another quick note is that Sangan doesn't stop you from summoning whatever you search. I really, really wish that Sangan could grab Denko Sekka for just that reason, but alas it's slightly over the 1500 ATK cap. At the moment this won't be very relevant besides getting a monster that you'd want to use for Xyz Material to your hand, but it's a key portion missing from its restriction that could be useful later on.

In The Future
Most importantly – and possibly the real reason that Sangan's Unlimited – is that you can use it for the upcoming Link Summoning mechanic for free searches. The new summoning method is a lot like Synchro Summoning, except that many of the Link Monsters only require a couple Effect Monsters, not necessarily specific ones like Tuners or Non-Tuners. That makes getting Sangan to the graveyard as easy as having any other random Effect Monster on the field, and in some ways I feel like Link Summoning could be the thing to break Sangan.

There's also the possibility of Tour Guide From the Underworld coming off of the F&L List later on, which would make for some insane Link Summoning combos reminiscent of the Xyz plays that we saw with Tour Guide and Sangan for all of 2012.

What makes that so powerful is that it doesn't require you to draw any specific combo pieces, unlike the Metalfoe Zoodiac plays. It might not seem like a big deal, but in a format where Maxx “C” will very likely remain Limited, searching your copy before your opponent sees theirs could be a duel-changer.

Lastly, I think it's worth discussing how Sangan brings up a new dynamic to my thoughts on erratas. Every time a card gets changed the question of “why didn't Konami just make a new card?” comes up. Most of the time, though, the card that gets edited comes back to Limited status before bumping up to Semi-Limited and Unlimited, which makes it difficult to just create a new card and instantly Limit it.

But Sangan went straight to Unlimited from being Forbidden. What's the point of changing its effect then? It seems to me like it would have been a better solution to just print a new retrained version of Sangan with this ability, and keep Sangan's legacy alive on the Forbidden and Limited List. Link Summoning aside, I'm not sure Sangan was fast enough to keep up with the 2014-2016 metagames anyway, and now that we're getting it I feel like it could be a missed opportunity for a new card. I know it seems strange to print a slightly worse version of a Forbidden card, but it wouldn't be the first time that it's happened. Think Change of Heart to Brain Control to Mind Control.

Overall, I feel like Sangan could be popular down the road, but only time will tell. It looks like a card made for Link Summoning, and I'd be happy to see my favorite three-eyed monster back at the forefront of competition! Let me know in the comment section how you feel about Sangan, and if you'd considering playing it in any of your own decks!

-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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