Card of the Week – Raigeki

Raigeki. One of the most iconic Spell Cards in the history of the Yu-Gi-Oh card game. First released in the OCG in the pack Legend of Blue Eyes, this card was one of the most sought-after cards in the set after it release, with its price skyrocketing over the course of one or few nights.

At the point of its release, this card, together with Dark Hole, were the two only big monster sweepers in the game. At an era where Normal Monsters and Tribute Summonings were the norm, busting out this card usually meant two things: the tables have turned (if you are at a disadvantage); or its game over for your opponent (if you have the upper hand). Yes, nothing sounds more enticing then being able to clear your opponent’s array of monsters he/she so painstakingly setup over the course of a few turns with just a single card.

This card was one of the few cards at that time to be considered the embodiment of broken. In fact, the card was considered to be so game-changing that first of all, Konami had to release a counterpart that works against this card known as Anti-Raigeki. Following that, this card was one of the cards to be Limited on the first ever Limited List in May 2002, and eventually this card was promoted to Forbidden status in the first Forbidden List in October 2004.

It wasn’t until recently, during the October 2014 List, that this card was once again freed from the dungeons and demoted to Limited status, but only in the TCG. The OCG still, sadly bans this card from seeing any play in the competitive environment.

If Raigeki were a human being and being Forbidden is like being thrown into jail, imagine what he/she would say 10 years after being released from imprisonment?

“Wow. Just… WOW. Look at this change in the modern era. Back in my days, I was the conqueror of all beasts and every single monster in the environment bowed down before me. But now? I seem to be so much more weaker than before.” 

Exactly. With the high number of floaters and monsters with powerful effects that activate in the graveyards, Raigeki isn’t really as powerful as it was a full decade ago. Your Shaddoll-playing opponents, for instance, would love you to send all their sneaky little monsters into the graveyard with this card. Pendulum decks such as Qliphorts don’t really care about this card for they go into the Extra Deck when destroyed and provided that the scales are still available the next turn, return to the field like nothing has happened.

However, this is still a card that remains very useful in the game and a number of decks still benefit from it for its ability to turn the tables around, allowing for even a potential OTK in the same turn. It could, for example, clear the field of your Lightsworn opponent if he/she has an unbeatable Judgment Dragon on the Field. Do use it at your own risk though if you main deck this card, as this thunderbolt can either strike your opponent real bad, or hurt you instead.

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