King's Court: Set Review!
Yugioh's latest side set, boldly dubbed King's Court recently entered the market on the 9th of July, 2021. After waiting almost two weeks for the set to enter widespread circulation, we're here to report on what King's Court performance has looked like immediately following its release! Join us as we dig into one of Konami's best-kept secrets and give you the fleshy insight into the bowels of the set known as...King's Count!
King's Court was announced over 6 months ago, and yet it wasn't until exactly 2 weeks prior to its release that Konami gave us any information on what to expect from it, making it one of the best-kept secrets in Yu-Gi-Oh history. The natural successor to Toon Chaos, this year's major side set followed the same pattern as its predecessor with each pack having 7 cards including 6 rares and 1 foil (super/ultra rares) each. Similarly, the cardpool was also similarly distributed among 10 Ultra Rares, 15 Super Rares, 37 Rares and 15 cards exclusively available as Collector's Rares! Any duelist worth his salt knows the massive impact TOCH made in the game last year, so similar expectations were naturally held from its successor. Did KICO live up to the hype, however?
We'll answer that question under 3 fronts: Meta Impact, Collectors' Impact and Reprint Value so you can see exactly where this ser shines and where it could have used some more work. Following in the shoes of something as successful as Toon Chaos places quite a heavy expectation on a set, but we're happy to report that King's Court didn't disappoint. All the same, it certainly didn't live up to the hype that yugitubers were so fond of making over it.
Right off the bat, Yugitubers were quick to misinterpret the set description of King's Court: "Joining the royal court is the World Premiere Joker’s Knight, a 2000 ATK monster similar to Magician’s Souls that can assume the identity of all 3 of the Knights. You can return Joker’s Knight from your Graveyard to your hand during each End Phase by shuffling another LIGHT Warrior from your Graveyard into your Deck, giving you a beefy, free Summon to use every turn without depleting your hand!"
This line was taken drastically out of context by many and soon misinformation started to spread that Magician's Souls- a popular card originally intended for use by Dark Magician decks- would be reprinted in the booster. To the surprise of everyone who didn't read the description properly (meaning 90% of YuGiOh players!), this was in sharp contrast to the expectations set by many and negatively impacted the reception of the set even before its release.
What more than made up for this perceived disappointment, however, was news of several meta cards finding their way into the Ultra Rare bracket of the set. Lightning Storm, Burning Soul and Evolzar Dolkka were the prime candidates under this category. Among the Super Rares were cards such as World Legacy Guardragon, Number 49: Fortune Tune and Chaofeng, Phantom of the Yang Zing. Within the category of rares, however, were few cards of note in this regard, leaving the likelihood of pulling these chase cards low. With an Ultra Rare pool of 10 and only 3 Ultra Rares per booster, the odds are against anyone attempting to get the coveted Lightning Storm through sheer luck alone. It is for this reason that King's Court falls short of excellence on the meta front.
New archetypal support which debuts in the set for the 3 Knights (King's, Queen's and Jack's Knights respectively) is also less than stellar in this regard, with the deck barely managing to enter rogue tier in the meta. This may change after the arrival of Brothers of Legend, but for now King's Court is going to have to stick with a poor score on the Meta Impact Category!
This is where the set really shines above the rest. King's Court bolsters several casual decks, allowing casual fans of the original show to bring Yugi's cards to life in a way that they never could have in the past. While the updated Knight strategy may still not hit the meta mark, it's head and shoulders above what it used to be before. With a new fusion monster (that can also become a Super Polymerization target in the right meta!) as well as several support cards that flood the field with Knights from the deck, the deck not only serves as a formidable strategy on its own but can also be used to summon out the Egyptian Gods to send your opponent to the shadow realm like you never could before!
The set also reprinted the Wicked Beasts; the manga's evil versions of the Egyptian Gods. A very appropriate decision on multiple fronts, with not only casual appeal but also to serve as budget reprints of the original cards which were previously only accessible as mega tin promos. They also meld in seamlessly with the Joker strategy, allowing for the edgier side of the fanbase to get their fix as well. A win-win situation of sorts, you could say.
Several other character-themed decks also found support through the set. Several of Yuma's Utopia cards found their way in, including Utopia, Utopia Ray, Utopic Future and several Zexal Weapons. Most notably, the set also debuted one of the most powerful Utopia cards of all time: Number F0: Utopic Draco Future. The full power of this card shall only truly be unleashed after we get the rest of the Utopia support in future sets, so this just might end up being a contender on the meta front as well in the months to come; watch out for that! Magnet Warriors also got a free search card in the set, adding consistency to the deck. It also fits in with the theme of Yugi support, further consolidating the fact that King's Court really hits the mark when it comes to providing legacy support. Kaiba's XYZ Dragon Cannon also got a trap card as support which is as worthless as it is unexpected, so we won't even bother saying more on it.
No discussion on Collector appeal would be complete without discussing perhaps the best facet of this set: the introduction of a new rarity exclusive to the Egyptian Gods! The rarity currently goes by several informal names, but the one most widely thrown around is "Millennium Rare". It looks almost exactly like an Ultra Rare, except for very few subtle changes like no card code and a modified gloss on the foil. While we must congratulate Konami for introducing a new rarity, we can't help but express open contempt at how lackluster it appears. Taking a page out of the OCG's plethora of rarities wouldn't hurt anyone!
Nevertheless, there's no contest when it comes to the fact that King's Court absolutely NAILED the Collector's appeal in this set. Every case comes with a millennium rare, not to mention anywhere between 3-5 collector's rares, making this set an absolute steal on the rarity market!
While we've already covered most of the chase cards of the set, there's quite a few other cards which, neither appeal to collectors nor meta players, but serve simply to add value to the set as a whole. These are the cards you'll be selling to make back some of the cash you spent on the product after you pull what you need. Cards of note here are Unexpected Dai, Reinforcement of the Army, Hyper Galaxy, Rose Cloister, Rose Princess, Golden Eyes Idol, Constellar M7 Ptolemy, Crystal Girl and Rescue Rabbit.
All cards considered, you are unlikely to make back even $20 on each box with just these cards to offer. Nevertheless, going with reference to other sets, this lineup is still far from being terrible as it appeals to several groups of players and will add diversity to your list of potential buyers in the secondary market. For this reason alone, King's Court earns itself a rather decent score even in this category.
Now that, everything's said and done, here's your Set Overview:
Meta Impact: ☆☆ /5
Collectors' Impact: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Reprint Value: ☆☆☆ /5
FINAL SCORE: 10/15 (B)
Not bad at all, King's Court! We'll definitely pick up one of these, if only to boost our God Card decks with a powerful engine! What's your thoughts on the set? Let us know your opinion over on our Discord server or on our Whatsapp group! Until next time, keep living your passion duelists!