Future Visions is a strange card. In the anime, Dark Signer Carly Carmine uses it, who otherwise uses the Fortune Lady archetype. What makes it interesting is that it doesn’t directly support Fortune Ladies at all. The deck had almost no banishing synergy in its first incarnation. However, this seemingly unrelated card had a huge effect on the design of future Fortune Lady support. Let’s take a look at the history of Future Visions and how Yugioh’s unique tie to an anime can affect mechanical identity in card design.
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Future Visions was first released in Ancient Prophecy, along with only 2 Fortune Ladies – Light and Fire – with the rest of Carly’s deck to come in Stardust Overdrive a couple of months later. Things look promising, with Fortune Lady Light‘s effect activating when banished by Future Visions without missing the timing. This, in turn, can summon and activate Fortune Lady Fire‘s effect, creating a nice little combo between the three cards available.
Unfortunately, the synergy started and ended there. None of the later Fortune Ladies activate upon leaving the field or being banished. Fortune Lady Wind actively conflicts with Future Visions and Light due to requiring a Normal Summon and counting Ladies you control, while Fortune Lady Water is a bad card to summon from Light because it won’t activate with only Light banished. The only other Fortune Lady card that had anything to do with banishing was Fortune’s Future, which conversely is inconsistent because it has no other setup and so requires wasting your Normal Summon to use Future Visions.
Future Visions’ usefulness was relegated to stalling your opponent’s plays for a turn while your Ladies leveled up. While Fortune Ladies have never seen serious competitive play, casual builds often ignored the Field Spell. They preferred more consistent ways to activate Light and Fortune’s Future using cards from outside the archetype – well, further outside.
In terms of mechanical identity, Fortune Ladies had one clear cohesive theme – level manipulation. Every monster in the archetype has the same effects to level up each turn and gain ATK as a result, and their other cards like Solitaire Magician and Time Passage juggle their levels too. A minor attempt at playing with banishing didn’t succeed.
Enter the VRAINS Era. It got off to a rocky start with poor sales and a stale metagame. One of Konami’s various attempts to win back the player-base was printing legacy support for nostalgic old decks. They appeared in all sorts of different packs. Come Rising Rampage, the legacy lottery landed on ladies.
Now, this is where things get interesting. Looking solely at the cards, we come back to their mechanical identity, rooted in levels. One might expect modern support to relate to this. May help speed up gaining levels and provide rewards for doing so like the F.A. archetype. The trick is, Yugioh’s legacy support design is rooted heavily in nostalgia. For a deck like Fortune Ladies, that nostalgia doesn’t come from how it plays; a lot of people will have never played a deck widely considered to be quite bad. Instead, it comes from the anime, and in the anime Carly Carmine played Future Visions.
So, the new wave of Fortune Lady support invented a completely new mechanical identity for the deck. It’s all about banishing and you can draw a direct line from Future Visions through most of it. Fortune Vision is a direct reference to the card, incentivizing banishing by both players that Future Visions will force, all while protecting you from attacks you’re left open to. From there, Fortune Ladies Past and Every offer more ways to banish cards so that you’re not entirely reliant on Future Visions to use Fortune Visions. Finally, Fortune Lady Rewind gives all those banished cards use by enabling a swarm of attackers or materials to take advantage of a field that Future Visions has forced your opponent to leave open.
The result is that a modern Fortune Lady deck has had its mechanical identity completely overhauled. With the game being too slow to wait for the old level manipulation effects, Fortune Lady Past takes on that duty alone and the entire rest of the deck is all about banishing. This invigoration of the deck’s strategy wouldn’t have been possible without the inspiration of the anime and Future Visions.
Yugioh’s style of legacy support for old deck themes relies heavily on nostalgia. Because of its tie-in anime, that nostalgia is often unrelated to how a deck plays. As a result, anime-based legacy support can often reinvent a deck’s mechanical identity. Red-Eyes starts equipping cards because Joey played Warriors. Ojamas start supporting Machines because Chazz is a glorious mess. With Fortune Ladies, that anime-inspired new mechanical identity is exactly what they needed to find modern playability.
For a single card that didn’t help the deck much originally, the effect Future Visions had on the deck’s design is staggering. Fortune Ladies have found a new home in the banished pile, and a level of playability they never dreamed of – even if it’s still only very casual. …and even if the deck still doesn’t play Future Visions.