Product Review: Ghosts From The Past!
Ghosts From The Past was a set which had big expectations to live up to right from the day it was announced. Yugioh's infamous Ghost Rare cards (which used to be present in every booster set till Breakers of Shadow in 2016) have always distinguished it from every other card game in existence, as they took the principles of aesthetics and card design to truly unparalleled levels. Naturally, Konami's decision to discontinue their legacy of Ghost Rare prints wasn't very popular with much of the playerbase, but as time went on people more or less forgot about it. At least, until Ghosts From The Past was announced.
Konami held nothing back when they announced this set, clearly stating that "Five cards in this set will appear exclusively (and rarely!) as beautiful Ghost Rares!", and it certainly caught everyone's eye. Ghosts From The Past was making it clear that it was going to capitalize on the market of nostalgia, and there was little in the way of criticism from the fanbase for this decision. Collectors, casual and competitive players alike had their eyes on the set and keenly counted down the days until its release roughly two weeks ago. And man did GFTP disappoint.
But hold on. Before you lose faith and join the ever-growing pity party, we're gonna take a much-needed break from the hordes of meta sheep out there to give you our reasons on why Ghosts From The Past really ISN'T as bad as everyone makes it out to be. The set is truly far from perfect, we'll admit, but it fills a niche in the game that had gone unacknowledged for far too long: pure nostalgia. In this vein, we'll ask you to keep an open mind and read on as we show you just exactly why Ghosts From The Past did exactly what it promised to do from the beginning and deserves a spot in your next cardboard shopping spree.
GFTP gave us new cards for several fan-favourite decks from various periods in the game's history. Be it totally random laval support or that new Nekroz ritual, GFTP did stay true to its word: it brought the past back to life. While neither Laval nor Nekroz are gonna top tourneys any time soon (with or without this new support), it is a nod in the right direction from konami towards finally acknowledging the less vocal casual playerbase for the game who have been dreaming for some recognition all these years.
We'll also mention that the fan-favourite Dragunities also recieved perhaps the biggest dedicated lineup of new support through GFTP, since the TCG didn't get the Dragunity structure deck which the OCG got earlier this year. It is indeed a wise decision to reprint Dragunities in a set like GFTP instead of- say- a core or a side set, since all the new cards can be given an Ultra Rare treatment without taking up important slots in other booster sets. And that's exactly what the set gave us: an opportunity for Dragunity players to bling out their retro decks with some new love, and maybe pull a Ghost Rare while they're at it!
Fortunately, mere nostalgia isn't the only thing this set boasts about. Reprints can also be found in abundance here, as several Time Thief, Hieratic, Metalfoes and Kozmo cards also found their way into the set, with the first two archetypes also being graced with new support. Time Thiefs in particular have been an extremely popular strategy among fans and still see occasional meta appearances in several rogue and tier 2 level decks, not to mention Time Thief Redoer which is ubiquitous in generic Rank 4 strategies today.
Speaking of generic Xyz cards, the Hieratics also received a new boss in the form of the Generic Rank 8 Hieratic Sky Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis, adding yet another powerful negate option to the Rank 8 toolbox which can exceed even Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy in terms of versatility. There, we finally said it. Another great addition to the xyz strategy is that of Galaxy Eyes Cipher X Dragon, which takes the Cipher Dragon Rank 8 toolbox to yet another level of power. You'll also find Cipher Blade Dragon here as yet another much needed reprint to bolster the strategy in question.
Even though GFTP had no reason to give us meta-relevant cards, it still did. While the number of cards which fall under this category is but a mere fraction of the set's total volume, it's important to understand that these cards are here just as a PERK, and not a requirement as narrow-minded competitive duelists will be all too eager to point out. Entries like Evenly Matched, Emergency Teleport, Update Jammer, Buster Dragon, Danger! Thunderbird!, and so on have been included only as a means to reprint highly sought-after cards which were reaching unnaturally high prices in the secondary market; we'd call this a courtesy, not a requirement!
Yet another addition to the list of reasons of why GFTP is an unrecognized gem is its introduction of two new archetypes to the game, both of which symbolise a different aspect of legacy support. The first is the Sunseed/Sunavalon strategy, which is a nice throwback to VRAINS' Spectre and a long-awaited OCG import by many casual players eager to build another anime-themed deck. We can't think of a better set to introduce this archetype through; Maximum Gold was already full to the brim with reprints and booster boxes are usually targetted towards a more meta-centric playerbase, so GFTP was indeed the best means to do so.
The Starry Knight archetype in particular took everyone by surprise, being one of the rarest instances of konami making an archtype to show legacy support towards some of the most overlooked monsters in the game, this instance being Seiyaryu. This further highlights the simple fact that we've been making since the start of this article: it doesn't have to be meta to be a good product. GFTP represents one of the most pivotal milestones in the life of the game and the onus falls upon us as the community to encourage feedback which acknowledges the less competitive angles to the game to make YuGiOh a more rounded and appealing game for all.
We'll get to the heart of the set now: the Ghost Rares. They're exactly as rare as Konami hinted they would be, with set ratios varying from 1 per display case to 1 per 2 cases depending upon the source you look for. Collecting purposes aside, the prices of these entries definitely highlights them as great investments, with Dark Magician already going for 449€. Make of that what you will, but we know these prices will only go up in the future. While we're on the note of economics, we'll also point out that in sharp contrast to what the reviews may say, the sales figures for GFTP tell a completely different story, with the set being sold out from almost every online retailer and prices for a sealed minibox already being massively inflated to over $30 per unit.
Ghosts From The Past is selling out everywhere as more and more people have started to realize just how unique it is as a product in YuGiOh history. Whether your goal is to boost your Shaddoll or Dragunity decks or to get that 3rd missing copy of Evenly Matched or to get your hands on an elusive Ghost Rare, Ghosts From The Past will definitely have something up your alley! We strongly urge you to take a look for yourself and block out the mindless chatter of the competitive scene when scrutinizing this set... before its gone for good! There is a time for everything, and the past is now, duelists!