Ritual is an interesting Special Summoning mechanic. Just like Pendulums, Rituals are Special Summoned from the hand rather than the Extra Deck. However, for the same reason, Rituals suffer many consistency and minus issues. Over the years, Konami has released Ritual Archetypes that addresses these problems. Then one day, Konami decided to fix all these issues by creating the Impcantation archetype. Suddenly, Ritual decks became more consistent and less costly. However, Impcantation did more harm than good.
Table of Contents
What is Impcantation?
Impcantation is an archetype that supports Ritual Summoning. It’s an engine designed to be splash into other Ritual Decks where it addresses two issues of the ritual mechanic – consistency and minusing. The archetype creates tribute fodders on the field and searches either a Ritual Spell or Monster from the Deck or Graveyard.
The archetype’s design of supporting other decks is reinforced in the archetype’s Ritual Spell and Ritual Monsters. Impcantation Ritual Spell is an extremely flexible Ritual Spell that summons any Ritual Monsters if all the materials were Impcantation monsters. It has an additional grave effect that recycles itself, generate a tribute fodder and searches a Ritual Monster or Spell.
Impcantation has two Ritual Monsters – Impcantation Chalislime and Crealtar, the Impcantation Originator. Konami interestingly designed them not to be Ritual Summoned. Their best effects are when used in hand to search out Impcantation monsters.
The Negative Impact on Rituals
The Impcantation archetypes have supported many Ritual Decks. Rituals (e.g. Hungry Burger) finally found a way to swarm the field and recover their resources easily. Impcantation gave Rituals the same freedom of summoning anything as other summoning mechanics. However, at the same time, it also gimped the design of future ritual archetypes.
This is noticeable if we break Rituals into three categories. “Old School Rituals“, “Evolving Rituals” and “Impcantation Era Rituals“.
- Old School Rituals are Rituals released during the DM and GX period. These rituals have no consistency and recovery options. Many of the monsters are vanilla beaters. Notable Ritual Monsters here are Herald of Perfection, Demise and Hungry Burger. These Rituals benefit from Impcantation as they have little searching and resource management.
- Evolving Rituals are Rituals released during the late GX to the end Arc-V period. During this period, Rituals began to develop into archetypes. Many of the archetypes can search, recover and recycle its Ritual Spell. The most notable ritual archetypes during this period are Gishki and Nekroz. Many of these archetypes don’t benefit from Impcantation. They’re consistent enough and prefer not to waste deck space.
- Impcantation Era Rituals are Rituals released around the same time and after Impcantation’s debut. Rituals during this period lack the previous Rituals’ searching capability and resource recovery. Notable Ritual Archetypes during this era include Shinobirds, Nephthys and Megalith.
Notice how the “Impcantation Era Rituals” doesn’t have the searching capability and resource recovery compared to the “Evolving Rituals”?
Many Impcantation Era Rituals doesn’t have the searching capability of Evolving Rituals. Searchers in these archetypes are often limited, slow and convoluted. In fact, many of the searchings require the player to Ritual Summon first. For example, Vendread‘s Ritual Spell searcher requires ritual summoning. Shinobirds has no searchers outside of Aratama and Pre-Preparation of Rites. Vendread‘s ritual spell searching is pretty much nonexistent. Demise/Ruin‘s searching is slow and convoluted. Nephthys has several searchers, but it requires going minus and it’s slow.
Now let’s look at the Evolving Ritual Archetypes. Cyber Angel has four cards to search out your pieces. Nekroz is famous for searching out everything. Even Prediction Princess has four different searchers.
Now, why do Impcantation Era Rituals suffer from these consistency issues? Surely, the newer archetypes should be more consistent? The problem lies with Impcantation. Konami designed these archetypes (especially Demise) to play in conjunction with Impcantation. Due to this, many of the Impcantation Era Rituals are inconsistent. Now, why can’t a Ritual Archetype be consistent and also use Impcantation? Because it causes balance issues as the deck will become too consistent.
Resource Management Issues
Impcantation Era Rituals have poor resource management. Many of the Ritual archetypes can’t recover from the high cost of Ritual Summoning. For example, Demise lacks any gimmicks to recover its resources from Ritual Summoning.
Shinobird lives and dies after Ritual Summoning. It has no way to recycle the Ritual Spell after using it three times. It’s impossible to play Demise/Ruin the way Konami designed them (Ritual Climbing). The deck minuses way too much with no reliable way to recover them. Vendread‘s main gameplay seems to be to minus as much as possible.
Now let’s look at the resource management gimmick from older archetypes. Cyber Angel has Benten, Idaten, Dakini and Ritual Sanctuary to recover its resources. Nekroz has Shurits, Unicore and the Ritual Spells to recover its resources. Gishki has Visions and Shadows to reduce the cost of Ritual Summoning. Even Prediction Princess has Tarotrei and the Ritual Spell.
Now, why do Impcantation Era Rituals suffer from these resource management issues? The problem lies again with Impcantation. They can put out tribute fodder and recycle Ritual Spells and Monsters. Thus, it’s not essential to give them proper resource management. Let’s look at Shinobird. Impcantation allowed that archetype to Ritual Summon more than three times. Konami released Shinobirds around the same time as Impcantation. It’s clear Konami wanted the players to play the two archetypes together.
Interactions with Megalith
I’m sure you think that it’s a mere coincidence that many Impcantation Era Rituals suffers from these issues. Well, let’s look at Megalith.
Megalith is an archetype released after the debut of Impcantation. Megalith has decent searchers and resource management similar to Evolving Rituals. However, it doesn’t have a Ritual Spell. This means they can’t use Impcantation in its full glory unless you add the Ritual Spell. Now again, it could be mere coincidences. However, it is strange that the one archetype released after the debut of Impcantation with decent consistency and resource management lacks a Ritual Spell.
Impcantation gimped the designs of newer Ritual Decks. Despite this, the archetype has helped make older Ritual Decks more playable and viable. Certain decks like Shinobird and Demise are practically unplayable without Impcantation. What do you think? Do you think Konami will make Ritual Archetypes more independent again like Nekroz and Gishki? Or do you think they’ll stick to this current design philosophy?