Trash or Treasure? A Look at How DANE Succeeded where Others Failed

It is the day of the official release of the newest Yu-Gi-Oh! booster set. You head over to your closest OTS to purchase a box for yourself, smelling the instant plus. After shelling out the $65 for the booster box, you sit down at the closest table to break that bad boy open, the smell of freshly-opened cards already in your nostrils.

You rip open the packs, throwing aside the myriad of common bulk and setting aside the supers you keep opening. Suddenly, there it is! The secret rare that you were looking for in the box has made an appearance. You quickly pull out your phone, meaning to go to TCGPlayer or Ebay to search up the prices of that card. Players are hyping prices, so you can get at least half the box back. You type in the name into the search bar, and the price comes up:


Unfazed, you look for the second secret rare: maybe that one will make up for the monumental loss from the first secret you opened. After fervently opening your packs, you find the second Secret Rare, so you look up that price.


In a box that you spent nearly $70 on, you only managed to make around 30% back on your investment – what we in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community call a “neg.” Meanwhile, your friend, who joined you as you spiral down into the throes of grief, decides to purchase a random pack from an opened booster box at the counter. He opens the chase secret of the set, which holds a price tag of $80.


A lot of the past few booster sets seem to have this problem. For most of these, prices tend to cool off after a few weeks of being on the market. Cards that cost nearly $60 might drop down to a slightly more agreeable $40. However, prices cool down on ALL cards. So a Secret Rare that you got at $5 on release day might be closer to $2 instead.

One of the most recent sets that changed this norm was Flames of Destruction. In it, nearly all of the higher-end cards were very good. It introduced the Knightmares, all of which still hold relatively high prices, two new handtraps (Infinite Impermanence and Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion), and a whole host of excellent cards. Of the eight Secret Rares, Super Team Buddy Force Unite! is the worst one.

However, since the set has gone out of print, all of the cards are slightly higher than what they were at during the set’s relevance.

By comparison, Savage Strike has a grand total of 4 cards that hit above the $10 mark. In fact, the two most expensive secret rares are at least seven times more expensive that the next one down. This set is extremely top-heavy and buying a box is nearly guaranteed to make you lose money on it, especially since those two secret rares have very bad pull rates. It is no surprise that many players consider FLOD to be one of Konami’s best sets.

Dark Neostorm just might be the first set to take that title away from FLOD. In this article, I will be analyzing the cards in this set, hopefully trying to explain why many consider this set to be so good in comparison to SAST.

Why Is DANE so Good, Anyway?

In what seems to be a first, not one of the Secret Rares in this set could be considered “bad”. Because of this distribution, none of these cards fetch too high a price compared to the others, and the decline in prices is more natural. Not only that, but for the first time in nearly a year and a half, an Ultra Rare is the most expensive card in the set. The last time this happened was with SPYRAL Double Helix, a LINK monster released in Circuit Break and helped SPYRALs reach “Tier 0” status. Even though you might still go “neg” on buying a box in terms of Secret Rares, you wouldn’t mind pulling any of them anyway.

Secret Rare Cards

With this, we will begin on a discussion of the best cards in DANE, starting with the Secret Rares.

I’m Gnot a Gnelf, I’m Gnot a Gnoblin…

The first Secret Rare we will be talking about is the TCG-exclusive handtrap, Gnomaterial. It is an EARTH Level 1 monster with 0 ATK and 1000 DEF that, when your opponent special summons a monster, allows you to send it to the GY and target one of their monsters. For the rest of the turn, your opponent is unable to Tribute it, or use it as LINK, Synchro, XYZ, or Fusion material.

For a card this good, there needs to he a caveat to it, right? Well, the player who uses it must control no cards on their field (just like Gorz the Emissary of Darkness). Immediately, one could tell that this card is only good for siding in Game 2 against combo decks, or maining if you are running a deck that only wants to go second.

When this card was first revealed, many people went crazy over it. It was a hand trap that, like Maxx “C”, can outright end turns whenever you want. Against Orcust, all you need to do is Gnome the Knightmare Phoenix, and they are locked out for the rest of the turn. Against Salamangreat, you can target their first Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf to stop them from reincarnating it. For Strikers, hit the first link and they cannot go into Sky Striker Ace – Shizuku for the End Phase search.

Like a lot of the cards on this list, this card has the potential to be very good. Upcoming formats will tell for sure.

The Dog Isn’t Spooky, though!

Every four sets, Konami releases another monster that is part of the “Ghost Girl” set ofcards. Starting with Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit in Crossed Souls, we have received 5 ghost girls, all of different Attibutes. FLOD gave us Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion, and DANE, the fourth set after that, gave us our newest Ghost Girl, and the next Secret Rare in this discussion: Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood.

As is typical of the other Ghost Girls, she is a WATER monster with 0 ATK and 1800 Def. During either player’s turn, you can discard it from your hand, and for the rest of the turn, every time your opponent special summons a monster, you gain LP equal to that monster’s attack. However, if you did not gain any LP with this effect, you halve your LP.

Immediately, you can see a parallel between this card and another similar, infamous hand trap that is currently banned: Maxx “C”. Both are hand traps that have an effect that affects you every time the opponent special summons a monster. However, they vastly differed in what that specific effect was.

Maxx “C” was best known because it allowed you to draw a card whenever your opponent special summoned a monster. This effect is extremely oppressive and puts your opponent under a dilemma: do they continue their combo, build a board, and risk that you will be able to draw all your outs to it? Or do they stop the combo early on a less-than-ideal board, and risk a blowout by you? It is this reason that Maxx “C” is banned today, and will likely never come off the banlist again.

Ghost Sister has a similar effect, but gives you a different benefit: gaining LP. The opponent does not need to worry about giving you any more advantage, but instead gives you life resources. It may not seem to big a deal, but with how time rules work today, it might be an interesting card to play. As always, it just needs to see the right format.

The Deck that Never Dies

With the release of Master Rule 4, many people feared the death of a beloved deck: Burning Abyss. Passing turn on a singular Dante is not good, and with how the Burning Abyss monsters work, you cannot put out a Link Monster without having them blow up. This is where Link Vrains Pack 1 came in to save the day.

Cherubini, Ebon Angel of the Burning Abyss is a DARK Link-2 monster with 800 ATK that requires 2 level 3 monsters. Once per turn, you can send one level 3 monster from the deck to the GY, then have one Burning Abyss monster you control gain that monster’s ATK. Not only that, but it protects monsters it points to from destruction by card effects. Perfect for Burning Abyss monsters, right?

Well, the card has been a reason for some cards to be placed on the banlist. Dandylion just so happens to make 2 level 3 plant monsters if sent to the GY, so you can Cherubini dump Dandylion, summon Aromage Jasmine and continue off into other degenerate FTK combos.

Despite this, the card is still extremely good. It helps the BA strategy, and is in general a good Link 2 monster for decks that focus around level 3 monsters.

Too Bad Lady Debug is at 1…

The Cyberse monster type is interesting. It started off as a single Link-3 monster – Decode Talker – and was the first viable link monster to be released. Every single deck ran it, and it was especially easy to make with the fact that Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow was still legal for play. Soon, a whole host of other monsters appeared, including Proxy Dragon, the 500 or so “Code Talker” monsters, and Firewall Dragon. However, in terms of main deck monsters, only very few were very good: Knightmare Corruptor Iblee was widely used in many Extra-Link decks. Other than these, players never used a wide variety of Cyberse Monsters.

It wasn’t until Konami released the Soulburner Structure Deck that an archetype entirely composed of Cyberse Monsters became meta-relevant: Salamangreats. It is a hyper-consistent deck that consistently makes boards that can disrupt opponents and can run many handtraps to counteract other decks. Cynet Mining is a spell that searches for any Cyberse monster by discarding a card.

With the limiting of Lady Debug, this card became even better. A lot of the Salamangreat cards like to be put into the GY, and in general, searchers for the deck are very good. It is no surprise that many people would be looking for this card to add to their decks.

But this… is to Go Even Further Beyond!

In the final part of the World Legacy Lore, Imduk, the Crusadias, Ib and Mekk-Knight Blue Sky give Avram their powers. With this, he turns into Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax. It is a LIGHT Link-4 monster with 3000 ATK and requires at least 2 monsters summoned from the Extra deck. When it attacks, it gains the attack of whatever Special Summoned monster it attacks. Not only that, but all monsters your opponent controls can only target this card for attacks. Then, if it is sent to the GY, you can shuffle one card on the field back into the deck.

This card is a solid Link monster to include in decks if you cannot afford Borrelsword Dragon. It can beat over most monsters with its beefy 3000 ATK and its ATK gaining effect. Not only that, but it can help protect your other monsters from being beat over, just like Cyberse Quantum Dragon. All in all, this monster can help you round out games. Too bad it is LIGHT, so you can’t really use it in Orcust Decks.

It Was Just a Prank, Bro!

Days before Konami released DANE to OTS stores, the impossible became possible: a Gandora-X FTK that was TCG legal. Gandora-X the Dragon of Demolition is a DARK lvl 8 Dragon monster with 0 ATK/DEF. When you Normal or Special Summon it, it destroys all other monsters on the field, then burns the opponent’s LP equal to the highest original ATK on a monster. It has other effects, but this is the most relevant. In the OCG, there is a slight change to the card text. Instead of highest original ATK, it says highest ATK on the field. Thus, it was possible to summon out a Crusadia Equimax with 8800 ATK and burn the opponent in one hit. In the TCG, this was impossible.

At least, before DANE dropped.

Luckily, Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon, the main card used in this combo, was banned as of the previous list, so this combo cannot be done anymore.

Omni Dragon Brotaur is a DARK lvl 1 Dragon monster with 0 ATK/DEF. When you Special Summon it, you can discard one card, then target one monster on the field. This then allows you to add a monster with the same Type/Attribute, but different name, from your deck to your hand. In the Gandora-X combo that I personally have seen, this step is extremely important to search out Destrudo the Lost Dragon’s Frisson, which is used in one of the final steps of the combo.

Outside of that degenerate combo, the card has good utility. It can help in some combo decks (I’ve seen it used in Dinosaur and Guardragon decks) and is in general a good card to hold onto. There is always a chance that it will have more effective uses in the future.

Where Was This 2 Formats Ago?

Do any of you guys remember the time when everyone considered SPYRALs and Goukis to be bad decks? Do you remember how they had the last laugh as they extra-linked us back and forth across every regional event with new support? I remember, and not too fondly.

A little bit too late, an answer to this problem comes in the form of Knightmare Incarnation Idlee. It is a DARK lvl 9 monster with 2100 ATK/DEF, and it protects your lvl 9 monsters from being destroyed by card effects. However, it is the other effects that are much more useful.

If the total Link ratings of monsters on the field is 8 or more, you can Special Summon it from your hand as a Quick Effect. Then, if Special Summoned while your opponent has more Links than you, it sends all Link monsters to the GY. In one single card, the entirety or the Gouki and SPYRAL game plan falls apart (provided they do not end on a triple-linked Tri-Gate Wizard, of course). It helps get rid of Extra Links without taking up your Normal Summon (unlike The Winged Dragon of Ra – Sphere Mode or Lava Golem). However, it is this utility that makes the card useless in today’s metagame.

No decks today can pump out enough Link monsters to have 8 or more markers present on the field at any time. However, in case Konami releases a deck in the future that can pull off such a feat, we can face it.

Welcome Back, Ib

After the battle with Idlee, Ib becomes reincarnated by Guardragon Justicia, becoming Ib the World Chalice Justiciar. It is a lvl 5 WATER Synchro monster with 1800 ATK and 2100 DEF. When Synchro summoned, you can add one “World Legacy” card from your deck to your hand. Then, if it is sent to the GY, you can special summon a “World Chalice” monster from your Deck or GY.

Immediately, the first thing that should come to your mind when you think of this card is: Guardragons. Specifically, a continuous spell that was released in the previous set, SAST: World Legacy Guardragon. This continuous spell allows you to special summon a lvl 4 or lower Dragon-type monster for free. More importantly, it allows you to move a monster you control to another Main Monster Zone. This is important for the Guardragon Link Monsters.

With any number of one-card starters – Mathematician, Draconnet, Souleating Oviraptor, to name a few – you can end on many large boards utilizing this monster as a stepping-off point.

Other Cards Worth Picking Up

As you can see with the above section, none of the secret rares can be considered bad or useless (looking at you, Trickstar Live Stage). However, this set still has more value in the rest of the cards. In this section, I will be talking about the other cards from the set that are valuable, either in terms of price or usability.

Ding! We Have a Winner!

Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star is a DARK Rank 8 Machine XYZ monster with 2600 ATK and 2100 DEF. Even though it is just an Ultra Rare, this card is the most expensive in the set, and likely the best card overall.

Although you can only special summon it once per turn, the effects more than make up for this restriction. When Summoned, you can either attach a banished Machine monster to it as material, or send a card on the opponent’s field to the GY. Not only that, but if card(s) on your field would be destroyed by anything, you can detach a material instead.

The best part? You can XYZ summon it using a single “Orcust” Link Monster as material.

This card helped  immediately push the Orcust deck into Tier 1 status. With any two monsters with different names, your opponent would need to deal with 2 Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade and 2 pops off of Dingirsu and The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche.

Another reason why this card fetches such a high price is the fact that Konami short printed it. What this means is that people are pulling it out of boxes at lesser rates than other Ultra Rares. However, even if the card were not hard to get, I feel that it would still be pricey in comparison to the other cards in the set.

This Card is a Monstrosity!

World Legacy Monstrosity is a Normal Spell that has two effects. The first one allows you to special summon a lvl 9 monster from your hand (easy way to get Idlee on the field). Although this effect is good, it is not necessarily the best one.

The second effect allows you to target one lvl 9 monster on your field and special summon two lvl 9 monsters with a different Type and Attribute from the original target from the deck. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the perfect deck to use this in is True King Dinosaur. It allows you to get two level 9s out on the field very easily, which leads to True King of All Calamities relatively easily. Not only that, but it is searchable by Ib, making it easily accessible in the Dinosaur deck.

Heck, I’d play it in a deck just to have an excuse to play Big Whale.

Another important thing to consider for this card: it has no restrictions. You can still use the monsters, especially since it does not negate their effects. They are only destroyed at the End Phase, which is basically nothing since you’re likely to use them as Link or XYZ material anyway.

What if Snatch Steal were Still Legal?

Crackdown is a continuous trap that allows you to take control of an opponent’s monster. It cannot attack or use its effects when you have it on your side of the field.

Immediately, it becomes apparent that you do not necessarily further your own plays with it, although you can still use it that way. Instead, you can disrupt the opponent in the middle of their own plays with it.

Here’s a hypothetical: you went first against Orcust and managed to set this card. Assume that they did not use the effect of Knightmare Phoenix when they summoned it and already went into Knightmare Mermaid. When they summon out the first Galatea, you can then activate your Crackdown, taking control of the Galatea. From there, your opponent cannot do anything else, since they most likely will not have enough monsters to go into a second Galatea.

If you feel spicy enough, you can run a Dingirsu in your Extra to use their Galatea, but that is beside the point. In general, this card has good utility, but not all decks would be able to actually use it effectively. Decks that focus on controlling the duel would probably be best.

Wait, Wasn’t this Banned?

Kaiser Colosseum is a continuous spell that, when activated, prevents your opponent from controlling more monsters than you while you control at least 1. The deck that best utilizes it is Bujin, because they really only needed to control one monster at a time: Bujin Yamato. This monster would send other Bujin monsters to the GY to help protect it while it is on the field.

This card is excellent, because players mostly use Evilswarm, Shaddoll-

Wait, this isn’t 2015.

Mystic Mine is a Super Rare Field Spell that, while on the field, prevents the player who controls the most monsters from activating monster effects or attacking. It is basically Kaiser Colosseum, but better, especially since it is more searchable than Kaiser. While continuous spells can be searched by Watch Cat, field spells have many more searchers. The most relevant one in this format (other than Terraforming, of course), is Metaverse. You can activate this card during your opponent’s turn to stop them in their tracks.

Many in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community want this card banned. No matter what people feel about it, it still brings value to the set.


All of these cards bring value to DANE, even if it’s relatively few cards compared to the size of the set. Every single secret rare is good and the chase card is an Ultra Rare.

Unlike the past few sets, DANE has no high end in terms of card prices. If you compare it to SAST, Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay and Pot of Extravagance are $110 and $65, respectively. The next card in the set worth money is Borreload Savage Dragon, coming in at $18. The price or cards drops extremely fast from the two highly-priced cards. On the other hand, no card in DANE comes above $40 in value right now. There is no artificial demand for one specific card from the set.

It is both this and the fact that all the Secret Rares are good that makes DANE so good.


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YGOPRODeck Writer.

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