Everything Cool From Millennium Pack

With Rob having written on Card of Demise earlier this month, and Shining Victories just a couple weeks off, I want to take a moment to look at everything else in Millennium Pack that’s worth discussing. There are some cool sleeper cards here, some of which have seen big action on the secondary market but haven’t broken through into Regional Top Cuts yet. Each could have an impact on competition with the right push factors, so you definitely want to know about them.

HoldingLegs-MIL1-EN-SR-1ELet’s start with the most obvious standout: Holding Legs. With an effect that triggers any time it’s Summoned, no matter how you Summon it, Holding Legs mimics the long-Forbidden Giant Trunade. It only bumps set spells and traps back to their owners’ hands – it leaves face-up cards where they are, so it won’t cheat extra uses out of stuff like Call of the Haunted, Brilliant Fusion, or Fiendish Chain. But it’s also free in terms of card economy; while Giant Trunade would go to the graveyard after resolution, Holding Legs remains on the field as Level 4 fodder for Xyz and Synchros.

That makes it a great match with Summoner Monk, since you can search it as needed to clear the field of set backrows and then go straight into a Rank 4. And while there are more counters to Holding Legs than there would be to Giant Trunade, and it can eat your Normal Summon, a savvy player will also use it to force out stuff like Solemn Scolding and Solemn Warning. That can break your opponent’s backrow anyway and cost them Life Points in the process. Since Holding Legs only has 800 ATK flipping Torrential Tribute against it is a waste, and it won’t fall into Bottomless Trap Hole’s range.

When Holding Legs hits the graveyard you can banish it to lock a single opposing spell or trap face-down, keeping your opponent from activating it until the end of their next turn. That gives Legs some more reach if you Summon it and can’t make an immediate win off its first ability. But notice that unlike Breakthrough Skill, you can banish Holding Legs for its graveyard effect the same turn it’s sent to the graveyard.

That means if you try to Summon it and your opponent clears it with a trap card, you can banish Holding Legs to force or lock a second card. You can even Beatrice it, Armageddon Knight it, or Foolish Burial it and lock a card that way too, instantly making all of those cards better.

Holding Arms is similar, triggering a lockdown effect when it’s Normal Summoned or Special Summoned (albeit not when it’s Flip Summoned). That effect is like a Spell Speed 1 Fiendish Chain; it’s not nearly as good since you’d have to combo it with something else to make it into a chainable response, but that same effect does make Holding Arms into an indestructible blocker. If you can get it into defense mode you can brickwall your opponent’s attacks… or at least force them to waste an answer on it.

Like Holding Legs, Holding Arms is a Level 4 Dark that you can leverage into Rank 4’s or bigger Synchro Summons. Doing so unlocks the shackled monster, letting it to attack again and bringing its effect back online, but if you’re using it for another Summon you’re assumedly making some sort of move to wipe that offending monster off the field. It’s certainly not as strong as Holding Legs, but it’s got some promise and can give you more ways to deal with floodgate-esque monsters. Sadly the range of threats it’s useful against is pretty narrow.

TrapHoleofSpikes-MIL1-EN-SR-1ETrap Hole of Spikes is more viable, and it’s seen quite a bit of interest and secondary market action since its release. It’s similar to Ring of Destruction, and while it’s not very impressive at first glance it offers several big advantages over the errata’d classic. In a vacuum, the first immediate plus is that it deals damage while not damaging you, so if your opponent’s at 1400 Life Points or lower there are numerous match-ups where Trap Hole of Spikes will turn into a win condition. Furthering that agenda it doesn’t target, so it can smack stuff like Kozmo Dark Destroyer in situations where Ring or any other 1-for-1 wouldn’t work.

It also promises a new edge for Traptrix Rafflesia, giving you another point of activation from which to launch its effect. Once your opponent presses through a Summon they may very well assume they’re safe to attack over Rafflesia, and barring that they’ll play around a Treacherous Trap Hole by only fielding one monster for the push. When they do, you Rafflesia for Trap Hole of Spikes and demolish their one monster, dealing damage in the process. Cute trick, if not a little risky.

I’m not sure Trap Hole of Spikes will see tournament success, but sales numbers suggest lots of duelists are going to be trying to play it. It’s still flying a bit under the radar right now so opponents will waltz right into it, and even with the threat of triggering a Kozmo Dark Destroyer’s effect it still offers enough damage and stabilization to warrant experimentation. Multiple copies could be run to make a burn deck more stable as well; not offering as much damage as alternatives like Dimension Wall, but buying you more time by clearing the biggest threats to your Life Points so you can see more cards.

Rebellion is intriguing as well, even if it does target eats a handicap in a few situations as a result. It’s a very specific kind of card, since it’s limited by its own attack restrictions. But if you’re playing a deck that doesn’t summon monsters anyways, or that spends monsters for control effects and often has a bare field, it could be damaging in the right kind of metagame. You can play it defensively in a pinch since it works on either player’s turn, and if you happen to have direct attackers you can always swing with those, then steal your opponent’s one big monster to finish things out.

Conditional? Definitely. But swiping an opposing monster at Quick-Play speed is always worth a look.

The True Name smacks heavily of Archfiend’s Oath, which, if you’re not familiar with it, has actually been the basis for Regional-topping strategies in the past. It’s a Continuous Spell that once per turn, lets you pay 500 Life Points to declare a card name. You excavate the top card of your deck, and if it’s the card you named you add it to your hand. It’s been played in the past with Convulsion of Nature, allowing for a stream of free cards since Convulsion reveals the top of your deck at all times.

That plan has issues. First, by modern standards it’s really slow. There are better draw engines these days. Second, Convulsion doesn’t matter on its own, so if your opponent destroys Archfiend’s Oath you’re left with several wasted cards and a face-up deck that tells your opponent exactly what’s coming. The True Name plays off a similar mechanic to solve both issues: it speeds things along with deck thinning, it’s another payoff for playing Convulsion, and it Special Summons Obelisk the Tormentor for free, at least for one turn. That speeds up your win if your win condition is helped by a 4000 ATK Level 10 beatstick that can’t be targeted. There might be a dedicated Winged Dragon of Ra deck there as well.

Seeing a new card to combo with Archfiend’s Oath is only going to tickle a very refined palate, but it does the job for me. There are some neat moves here.

LeftArmOffering-MIL1-EN-SR-1EFinally, Left Arm Offering could be the saving grace for Infernoid duelists. Infernoids lost two copies of Reasoning to the latest F&L List, which was a huge loss. But since Offering can search Reasoning at will, along with any other spell you might want, you suddenly have four copies of it… you’ll just have to banish two cards to use three of them, and the remaining copies in your deck won’t be Reasoning anymore. Rough beat.

The good news is that Infernoids can now run Dark Magician of Chaos in lieu of Lightsworn monsters, ensuring that every Reasoning hit is either Infernoid Dekatron or another free Reasoning. I’m not sure if that’s enough to keep Infernoids relevant, and I’m sure many players would allege that despite their recent Top Cut appearances they never were relevant in 2016 (Infernoids were topping right through to YCS Houston in the previous format, albeit in small numbers). Still, if they do have a path forward – as much of an “if” as that might be – their viability rests on Left Arm Offering.

And that’s it! All the cards I see as sleepers in Millennium Pack. What do you think – did I miss anything? Are you playing any of the above yourself? Let me know your thoughts down in the Comments.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer

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