This is the 34th Main Box and was released on April 30th, 2021. Eternal Stream introduces the Dream Mirror, Melffy, Baby Raccoon, and ZW archetypes and adds support for Fire Fist, Photon, Heroic, Dark World, and U.A.
A new main box is upon us! And this one has made quite a stir, but now that the hype has died down its sadly becoming clearer and clearer that this box is less of a blazing inferno of power and glory, and more a collection of smoke and mirrors.
The lead archetype of this box, Fire Fist are an archetype of Beast-Warrior monsters that have a plethora of play-styles; these play-styles are code-named “the axis” with “3 axis” and “4 axis” representing a focus on the Level 3 side of the archetype versus the Level 4 side of the archetype, with the former focusing on setting up Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Eland + Ultimate Fire Formation - Sinto for a pseudo omni-negate, and the latter utilizing Coach Soldier Wolfbark to assist in Rank 4 spam. Of these 2 play-styles, theoretical discussion is lending itself more towards the 3-Axis as the preferred play-style so this is what I will focus on, as setting up this board turn 1 has the potential to shut down almost all of the decks in the meta right now preventing Cards of Consonance and stopping Stone from activating, as well as denying Harpies any form of set-up by negating Harpie Perfumer / Harpie Channeler and negating any possible Elegant Egotist follow-up attempt.
Now whilst this sounds good in theory, the problem lies in what happens if 3-Axis Fire Fist don’t go first - generally this decks follow-up seems very rough; the low stats of the fire fist boss monsters make them very easy to deal with for decks that give little care about a single omni-negate, and given that the omni-negate is a 3 card combo, whilst very consistent given the amount of routes you have to said combo, it consumes your entire hand to do so, forcing you into a top-deck situation.
Oh Dream Mirror, what have Konami done to you? Dream Mirror are an archetype of Light-Dark Attribute Fairies whose gimmick is swapping between the Light and Dark versions of themselves provided the correct Field Spell is in play, with each field spell swapping itself for the other during the End Phase; their main (and only real) starter combo is Ikelos, the Dream Mirror Mara + Dream Mirror of Joy to set-up a Quick Effect pop on the opponents turn using Morpheus, the Dream Mirror Black Knight to interrupt them from setting up and hopefully survive until the End Phase, where the cycle will start over again and ideally lead into a Turn 3 OTK. Dream Mirror are missing almost every other important card in their archetype right now and it shows, the deck is extremely dependent upon going first and comparisons are being made to Ritual Beast with their “Elder + Cannahawk” combo being comparable to “Mara + Joy”, and Shining Angel being somewhat comparable (though much weaker than) Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda as a deck thinner, floater and alternate starter, with another point of comparison being the insane brick potential of this deck, as opening either all monsters or all Field Spells typically is an automatic defeat.
This of course does not mean the deck is entirely hopeless however; if the decks main combo gets going it can thin through the deck extraordinarily fast, and this gives it great synergy with Chaos Dragon Levianeer as you set-up the graveyard full of LIGHT and DARK Fairies for him to use as fodder, meaning the deck does contain some semblance of comeback potential, and the ability to pop on the opponent’s turn with Black Knight or protect yourself with Morpheus, the Dream Mirror White Knight is genuinely very good, but it just doesn’t seem nearly enough to compete right now, even with the banlist, leading many to simply dub this deck “Rikka 2.0”.
Dark Ruler No More:
TCG bait if every there was anything, Dark Ruler No More negates the effects of all the opponents face up monsters until the end of the turn, and they also cannot respond to this card with monster effects. One of the most powerful cards in the TCG right now, DRNM finds use in Duel Links except as a way to negate a Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon that hasn’t tagged out yet, a Cyber Slash Harpie Lady, or a random Photon Strike Bounzer / Steelswarm Roach / Abyss Dweller (provided it hasn’t activated yet). As most people have pointed out, in theory this sounds good, but the problem is Lightning Vortex does basically the same job with the added bonus of wiping the board - It’s prominence in the TCG stems from having a plethora of omni-negates on monsters littering the field, and as no such thing exists (yet) in Duel Links you may wish to pick it up now, but likely will find no use for it until more negate monsters come knocking.
Fire Formation Tenki:
Likely the best card in the entire box, Fire Formation - Tenki is a generic Beast-Warrior searcher that will see play as a 3-off in every single Beast-Warrior deck going forward, examples include Yosenju, Lunalights and Bujin to search Bujin Yamato; this one card may breathe life back into those decks single-handedly by adding an insane amount of consistency to their otherwise inconsistent strategies.
Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World:
Too little and far too late, Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World is the boss monster of Dark World, being able to pop a card on discard and possibly steal a card from the opponents hand if discarded by the opponents card effect (typically through Ceruli, Guru of Dark World) and easily Special Summon-able by bouncing a Dark World back to your hand - Dark Worlds are already the most expensive deck in the game, and whilst Grapha gives them an actual strategy beyond cheesy Elephant Statue of Disaster burn FTKs, this deck is pseudo-walled off by the extraordinary cost of making this deck, meaning that very few people will even be willing to try unless they happen to have the cards already somehow.
As always, wait before you buy into this box - The main draw here is Fire Formation - Tenki with Dark Ruler No More being a good future-proof card, whilst Fire Fists look enticing with a strong turn 1 play, now that the hype has faded people are starting to see through all the smoke and mirrors and realize it may not be all it was first cracked up to be
NOTE: As others have pointed out I did not talk about the new U.A. cards - I did not talk about them because I do not know anything about the archetype and haven’t looked at them in a wider context like the others (at least not yet) and as such I would rather leave reviewing them to others who know more about the deck than I do.
It’s basically a deck that is capable of summoning a Photon Strike Bounzer-like monster consistently and can also set up an extra counter trap for S/Ts that can prevent the opponent from just Book of Mooning your bounzer and potentially helping you to shutdown certain Normal Summon reliant decks.
Also, just to be a little more fair, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Eland is actually better than Bounzer because it negates from everywhere not just the field.
Sadly, this deck has many issues as it’s currently unclear how this deck could potentially play against Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon into Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon, and they also struggle vs Thunder Dragons as negating Charge of the Light Brigade accomplishes almost nothing, and you can’t negate Chaos Dragon Levianeer with chain blocking. The current builds also have many issues with follow-up plays.
Fire Formation - Tenki
The best card here. Generic search for Beast-Warriors. Helps Lunalights, Bujins, and Yosenju. It won’t make any of the mentioned decks noticeably better to become Tier-worthy, just more consistent, but we may get decks that depend on this card in the future.
A direct good use for Tenki would be in Fire Kings. The deck was already at high potential to become tiered after a good banlist is potentially released. Tenki helps Fire Kings by increasing the consistency of opening Arvata, which can be a really good turn 1 play against many decks. So, I believe Tenki will just increase the chance of Fire Kings becoming top tier even more. Definitely look forward to getting 3 copies of Tenki if you want to play Fire Kings.
Dark Ruler No More
The highest future potential card in the box. If you are planning to reset the box for any reason, just make sure you are getting copies of this card as well so that once it becomes good, you won’t have to go back to a trash box to dig for it when you could have gotten it while you’re building your deck now.
An archetype that’s based around tagging out from and to LIGHTs and DARKs to get good effects like quick-effect pops or destruction protection. It can use Chaos Dragon Levianeer, but without support, the deck is unfortunately too inconsistent.
U.A. Signing Deal is the archetype starter. You use it, then you bounce the monster back to your hand to do your plays. This card fixes many issues U.A. had but I personally think it’s not enough to fix all of them.
Get 3 Fire Formation - Tenki, 1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur, and wait for results to get ether U.A. or Fire Fists. As for Dark Ruler No More, only get it if you are planning to reset the box. This will save you money in the future if it becomes Top Tier. If you are not planning on resetting, then just don’t get it.
This box has some good cards in it but it isn’t like the last 2 boxes where it was here is your new deck(s), go have fun.
This has potential to be like old Blue-Eyes. A good Tier 3 / 2 deck for certain formats with the small Tier 1 window. Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Eland has a monster negate slapped on it. It also sets a Fire Formation Spell/Trap from Deck or GY. Fire Formation - Tenki is one hell of a card for and not just for Fire Fists.
This deck has received overwhelming support in the TCG and is still an “everything else” deck: I expect the same for Duel Links. Their switch out gimmick is interesting but not good for our current format. If this was relased during lets say 2018 format it’d be perfect for Duel Links.
Dark Ruler No More
This card has potential if we go down a very negate-heavy path of Duel Links. In the TCG, DRNM is used in Main / Side decks because a card like Borreload Savage Dragon would negate any other monster effect, but DRNM says no to that. So if we ever get multiple omni-negate monsters, expect DRNM to see heavy use. It’s not like Dream Mirror, where released a bit too late. However, it isn’t like Forbidden Droplet which is like DRNM but a Quick-Play.
Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World would have been perfect for when we were getting floods of Dark World support back during 2018/2019 (though at that time it would of been in a EX Structure Deck}. Now don’t get me wrong Dark World will jump up to a nice rouge deck but a card like D.D. Crow is a instant stop for Grapha.
Go into this box for stuff like 3 Fire Formation - Tenki and 1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur, wait for stuff like U.A., Fire Fist, etc. get results and then dig for them. Unless you are planning to reset, don’t just dig in for DRNM!
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