Table of Contents
Introduction – The Yugioh OCG and Differences to the TCG
The Yugioh franchise has two distinct parts based on region: the TCG and OCG. The Yugioh TCG is the one us in the west are familiar with. This includes territories such as North America and Europe, containing English language cards. In Yugioh’s home of Japan, as well as countries such as South Korea there is the OCG. Cards are in their respective languages (though there are some OCG cards printed in English called “Asian-English” prints). Outside of unusual situations such as World Championships, the TCG and OCG have been kept separate from each other. It’s as if they were two different card games, with different logos on their card backs. TCG and OCG cards are not usable together in the same deck. There have even been historical ruling differences between the two versions of the card game. They also have different lists for Forbidden and Limited cards.
The OCG is a few months ahead of the TCG with set releases. This often gives the TCG a snapshot of what the game may look like in the near future. However, there are often cards that take forever to end up in the TCG after their release in the OCG. Certain cards can take years before a TCG set decides to include them. For example, the slow release of Normal Monsters from the original Volume 1-7 sets. The number of cards not imported into the TCG yet number in the hundreds. Or perhaps something that was regularly available in the OCG becomes a Prize Card in the TCG. ‘Blood Mefist’ is an example of a card only available in Prize Card form in the TCG. On the flipside, we also have TCG exclusive ‘World Premiere’ cards being imported into the OCG.
Another major difference can be changes in card artworks, usually from censorship in TCG regions. The OCG may give the Harpie Monsters less clothing. But when they come out in the TCG, they often wear a lot more. Blades, guns, cannons, or other such weaponry are often altered into something a little less realistic, such as a laser. Potentially religious imagery is also often changed. There can be a lot of debate as to whether these artwork changes are okay or not. Sometimes it can go quite wrong. Like when the card ‘Tragedy’ changed an empty guillotine to a scene of a man assaulting a woman; the censorship seeming to go in the wrong direction there. However, recent years have brought in the ‘Lost Art’ Promotion. Some of these censored artworks are now available in the TCG.
The two games are very different in these ways. But players continue to wait patiently for those OCG imports to be slowly brought out for us in the “import slots” within Main Sets, as well as new side sets like the “Battles of Legend” series to give us those OCG cards. Something such as ‘Crystron Halqifibrax’ was an impactful card that took a while to move from the OCG to TCG. Collectors, however, may wish to obtain certain OCG cards early, despite not being useable in an official TCG deck; a lot of these cards can still be a great looking addition to a binder. For instance, the aforementioned “Extra Packs” sometimes reprint the not officially useable ‘Match Winner’ cards, usually only available as a Prize Card in the TCG, so getting them from the OCG is the best way to go about it.
Waiting patiently won’t work for everything though, as certain cards will likely not get a printing in the TCG. Certain cards are not going to see an appearance outside of the OCG version of the game. This article intends to discuss a number of cards that will stay OCG only. Many of these cards are not regular useable cards for a tournament-ready deck. They won’t affect how the game is played, but some of them are useable. However, the ones not playable make for interesting collectibles in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at some strange gems from Yugioh’s history, which the average TCG player is not going to come across.
Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal
‘Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal’, the card with a star in its name, is related to the ever-popular ‘Dark Magician Girl.’ This is a Rank 6 Xyz Monster counterpart, in the same way that Ebon Illusion Magician is an Xyz counterpart to the ‘Dark Magician’. Like many of the cards that will be on this list, Magi Magi lacks a card passcode. Other cards that lack a passcode include the ‘Egyptian God’ cards and ‘Match Winners’. Magi Magi is one of the cards in this article that is useable in an OCG deck.
This card came to the OCG as a Weekly Shonen Jump Promo card back in December of 2011 and has not been reprinted since. It’s not a super cheap card, but it’s not too pricey either. The art is by Kazuki Takahashi himself, the creator of Yugioh. We don’t have the official reason as to why this card has not seen a reprint. Similar situations suggest that the TCG may not have wanted to print a card with certain female body parts partially visible. While many cards may receive censorship to get a TCG release, Kazuki Takahashi does not like his artwork altered.
However, as of recently, a ‘Dark Magician Girl’ artwork by Takakashi for a Yugioh Anniversary many years back that didn’t get printed due to the same situation, has been announced as a “Lost Art” promo. This does potentially open up the possibility of Magi Magi getting a TCG print, after almost a decade. Out of everything in this article, Magi Magi has the most chance of one day showing up in the TCG. For a long time, however, there looked like no chance of it ever happening. The TCG division potentially lightening up on censorship may change things in the near future.
Let’s stick with the cards that are useable for now in OCG decks, before moving onto the stranger cards. The “Chips” promotion was branded cards, included with packs of potato chips from Japanese snack maker “Calbee”. These cards are Commons, or the OCG only rarity “Millennium Rare” which features a foiling of Egyptian themed symbols. These cards that had the YCPC set code, included a lot of popular reprints such as ‘Elemental HERO Flame Wingman’ and ‘Linkuriboh’, but also these three brand new cards.
They are the Normal Monster ‘Potato and Chips’ which features two happy literal couch potatoes enjoying the “Calbee” brand snacks. Then you have the Spell card ‘Soul Unseal’ with the very soul of the chips unsealed from the bag. This card said “If your opponent controls a monster and you control a Normal Monster: Choose 5 Normal Monsters in your Deck, add 1 of them to your hand and banish the rest.”. Lastly, the Trap card ‘Farm Delivery’ says “If you control a Normal Monster: Target up to 3 of your banished Normal Monsters; shuffle them into the Deck.” These cards aren’t strong but have a strategy based around recycling Normal Monsters.
They are relatively difficult to find now, but not impossible, with the Commons being cheaper than the Millennium Rare versions. These are not likely to be printed in the TCG, due to being made as product promotion for a specific Japanese brand of snacks. There is probably a lot of legal red tape involved in the release of such cards outside of Japan. They have official branded imagery on them, so the ownership of these cards is not entirely Konami’s. It’s easier to just not print them.
Monster Strike Collaboration Cards
Speaking of branding preventing imports into the TCG, here’s another situation like that, “Monster Strike” is a Japanese Mobile Game that had a collaboration with the Yugioh brand. Players could complete certain missions in the game and win tickets, which they could exchange at shops to get one of these cards. This happened during February of 2019. Again, they could be available as a Common or a harder to find Millennium Rare. The Commons are not too difficult to find, but the Millennium Rare ones are quite expensive.
Firstly, we had the classic icon that is ‘Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon’. However, this is an alternate artwork of the card. This version of Blue-Eyes Ultimate is in the mobile game’s mission. While it’s not impossible, the artwork’s copyright is likely with the Monster Strike designers. Importing would require some sort of agreement between them.
Secondly, we have the OCG only ‘Light Bringer Lucifer”. This one has much less of a chance to be imported, as it is a character from the Monster Strike mobile game in Yugioh card form. Monster Strike owns the image of this character. This card may also face the TCG’s censors anyway, so the TCG division of Yugioh is probably not going to bother. The card itself is quite interesting as a Level 6 Normal Monster with 2600 Attack. These are useable in OCG decks.
This card, featuring Yugioh Arc-V protagonist Yuya Sukaki with a strange banana is another one that is not going to show up in the TCG any time soon, at least not with that artwork. This card first showed up in the anime, with its art just being the banana; Action Cards are available across the duel field. Then it got a proper print in the OCG in April 2014, as the first card based on an Action Card to get a real printing. This didn’t happen again until March 2018 where the Premium Pack 20 in the OCG released two other Action Cards.
The effect of ‘Nanana’ gives a Level or Rank 7 Monster 700 Attack, so it’s heavily based on the number seven. This is a pun of course, as the Japanese word for 7 can be said as “nana.” Nanana the Banana is the mascot for TV Tokyo, the television station that airs Yugioh. This card was made for the 50th anniversary of that channel, as part of the celebration, given out at the TV Tokyo Festival. This card is a useable one in decks, with a passcode on it too. However, due to the branding from the mascot on it, more legal red tape is going to prevent this card from ever being released in the TCG.
In recent years, we’ve had an increase in both the TCG and OCG printings of official Token cards. While many Tokens remain OCG only for various reasons, the TCG has been importing more of them recently. Tokens are not the only thing, though, that appears on the field and can be represented by anything. There are also Counters; cards are able to accrue Counters via different effects. We’ve had a variety of kinds of Counters over the years, from ‘Fog’ to ‘Venom’ to ‘Zushin’ Counters. There’s of course, the ever prominent ‘Spell Counters’. People would often represent the amount of Counters on a card with a dice. Or maybe get some little tiddlywinks and put them on a card. But in the OCG, like with Tokens, you can get cards with that same grey border that represent Counters.
We are not entirely sure why they are not available in the TCG at all. Maybe it’s not impossible, but there has not been any indication of this happening at all. For now, it remains an OCG only oddity, but they are something that can be very useful to have. While OCG cards are not useable in a TCG deck, that doesn’t apply to Tokens and Counters. If you imported them, you could use them as anything can represent a Token or Counter during a duel.
Let’s take a look at which Counters are available in the Token style. First, from the Advanced Tournament Pack 2017 from January 2017, we had the regular ‘Counter’; this one is generic and can be used as any Counter. In January 2015 in its own Advanced Tournament Pack, there was the ‘Spell Counter’ card; one of the most frequent kinds of Counters in the game.
Then the character Crow’s popular ‘Blackwing’ (or ‘Black Feather’ in the OCG) archetype gets two kinds of Counters. In July 2018, we had the ‘Black Feather Counter’. In 2014 and again reprinted in 2018, there was the ‘Wedge Counter’ a card placed by ‘Blackwing Armor Master’. Lastly, from July 2016, there was the ‘Predator Counter’, placed by the effect of many ‘Predaplant’ cards. These Counter cards are quite a handy idea that has popped up in the OCG over the past few years from time to time. But the TCG did not seem interested in incorporating the idea.
Charisma Token / Jump Tokens
Speaking of Token cards, here’s another kind of card that will most definitely not show up in the TCG: the Charisma Token. This Token is a very unusual one in multiple ways. During February of 2013, an issue of VJump contained a set of Tokens, including this one. However, these were not cards in the proper sense; these were smaller ones you could cut out from a page of serrated card, with the little bumps on the top from where you cut them out. There was also a ‘Fluff Token’, ‘Emissary of Darkness Token’, ‘Mecha Phantom Beast Token’, and then regular ones with images of the “Numbers Club” from the ZeXal anime, Yuma from ZeXal, Yusei from the 5Ds anime and ‘Stardust Spark Dragon’.
These Tokens also sometimes contained quotes on them. Since anything can technically be used as a Token, these are useable in duels. But they are not actually proper official cards in the same way others are, due to being cut-outs. They are interesting Yugioh merchandise for a collection, nonetheless.
The Charisma Token is unique amongst these Tokens. For starters, it has the otherwise nonexistent orange “LAUGH” Attribute, along with the Type being “Charisma”. The image is of a group of VJump’s “Charisma Duelists” who are in cosplay features in the VJump Magazine. This all adds up to a more humorous kind of Token than usually seen in a card. To add to that, the card doesn’t say to use it as any Token, but rather the opposite. The text translates to “If you use this card as a Token, you should consider using other Token cards instead”, as well as a disclaimer that its Attribute and Type don’t actually exist in the real game.
Whether you choose to abide by its suggestion and not use this Token is up to you. One thing’s for sure, this sort of joke card from 2013 won’t be entering the TCG any time soon.
Special Phase Card
Other things that don’t seem to be the regular kind of card you put in your deck, includes this one, known as the ‘Special Phase Card’. It was included in the Advanced Tournament Pack 2013 Volume 3 in a pack of 10 cards given away to tournament participants (including a copy of ‘Winning Formula’, a card that will be brought up later on in this article). The Special Phase Card has content both on the front and on the back. In addition to the ZeXal logo, this card has a set code of AT03-JP010. It is an official card in that respect.
The purpose of the card is to keep track of the Phases in a duel, such as Draw Phase and End Phase. The big red words are the names of the Phases in a turn. It’s a strange oddity that would probably help new players more than the duelists in tournaments who actually received this card.
Duel Checker Cards
In the same vein as the ‘Special Phase Card’, the ‘Duel Checker’ cards are another kind of strange card that goes outside of the deck, that was in Advanced Tournament Packs and have a set code on them. However, unlike the ‘Special Phase Card’ which had things on both sides, the ‘Duel Checker’ has a regular standard OCG card back to it.
There are two different ‘Duel Checker’ cards, the first being from the Advanced Tournament Pack 2013 Volume 4; this one features a zoomed-in version of the card artwork from ‘Ghostrick Break.’ They may have been wanting to promote that series of cards at the time. The second ‘Duel Checker’ was three years later in the Advanced Tournament Pack 2016, this time featuring Arc V’s protagonist Yuya Sakaki and one of his Monsters ‘Enlightenment Paladin’ on it. This time, a more general one to match Yugioh’s branding at the time during the Arc V era.
The card’s text reads “When you use a card effect or need to count for a card effect, you can use this card to remind yourself!” What that means isn’t entirely clear. It has four arrows on the top, bottom, left and right of the card, presumably used for the counting. The card doesn’t really seem to be of much help, so it’s just a fun collectible really; one that isn’t too difficult to find.
Part 2 Coming Soon
That’s the end of Part 1, but there’s a lot more to show you. Keep an eye out! In a few days, we’ll have Part 2 with the remaining OCG Exclusive Cards that you won’t see in the TCG. Hope to see you back soon.