The newest YGO set, Maximum Crisis (MACR), came out recently and, as expected, it’s got more powerful monsters than previous sets. After seeing just how game-breaking this set’s boss monster is, I feel like “Maximum Crisis” also describes Konami’s strategy right now.
MACR seems like the pinnacle of current-format YGO- “peak Yu-Gi-Oh”, if you will. But there’s still two more sets to go before the first Link-format booster box and I have no idea how anything could possibly compete with, let alone defeat, the MACR boss monster.
I obtained one copy of the boss- Supreme King Z-Arc – from a MACR box, so let’s have a look at him.
The first thing I noticed was the unique (for now) purple and green colour combination, which makes Z-Arc both a Fusion and a Pendulum monster. As Synchro-Pendulum and XYZ-Pendulum hybrids were introduced in previous sets from the current series, Fusion-Pendulum wasn’t too surprising.
The numbers are where things start to get interesting, as a base ATK and DEF of 4000 puts Z-Arc comfortably in the strongest 1% of released cards. In theory, Z-Arc can take down a monster-less opponent in two turns.
At least being a Level 12 means it can’t get on to the field easily, right? Wrong, as MACR breaks the Pendulum scales to support Z-ARC, bringing in dedicated supports with Pendulum scales of 0 and 13.
Previously, Pendulum scales ranged from 1 to 10, and scale 11/ 12 cards only existed in the anime. Using cards with extreme scales usually meant facing negative consequences such as only being able to summon that archetype (e.g. Satellarknights or Metalfoes) or the Pendulum scale shrinking after every summon (e.g. D/D).
Yet Supreme King Gate Zero and Supreme King Gate Infinity are less restrictive than some narrower-scale cards….
If Z-Arc is in play, Zero prevents battle damage while Infinity gives you free Life Points every turn. If just those three cards are safe on the field, you’ve probably already won.
In a non-Z-Arc deck, Zero is still an unrestricted summon too. One saving grace is that Infinity only works if you don’t have any monsters already; however, even that is part of a combo. Using Zero’s Pendulum Effect, you can destroy Zero and Infinity to add a fusion method to your hand and Fusion Summon Z-Arc.
Looking at the Pendulum support gives the impression that Z–Arc is acting as the alpha and omega of Yu-Gi-Oh!, but Z-Arc’s Fusion requirements turn that impression into near-certainty.
Summoning Z-Arc requires four Dragon-type monsters; a Fusion, an XYZ, a Synchro, and a Pendulum. Dragons are the iconic Yu-Gi-Oh! archetype, persisting throughout the game while other archetypes have been introduced and killed off. Requiring one of each Extra Deck type also sends a strong message, as it means the player must essentially play through the entire history of Yu-Gi-Oh! to get to Z-Arc. The implication here: Z-Arc is the endgame of current Yu-Gi-Oh!, who wraps up everything about the game into one card.
So, back to my original point- what could possibly be left for the next two sets? Has Konami mistakenly saved the best for third-last?