Card of the Year (#1): Tour Guide From the Underworld | The Irish Duelist

Card of the Year (#1): Tour Guide From the Underworld

So here it is, the best card that was released all year (in my opinion). I hope you enjoyed this little series of articles and feel free to make your voice heard in the comments!

Tour Guide From the Underworld

(Extreme Victory)

DARK/Fiend/Level 3

When this card is Normal Summoned, you can Special Summon 1 Level 3 Fiend-Type monster from your hand or Deck. Its effects are negated, and it cannot be used as a Synchro Material Monster.


First off, let's ignore the pricetag of the card on the secondary market. Yes it's incredibly high, but I've seen a lot of people's opinion on the strength of the card lie too much on the cash/effort it takes to get one.

Along with the #2 card, Tour Guide From the Underworld is one of the stars of Extreme Victory, and one of the most successful World Premiere cards we've seen since Allure of Darkness. When you Normal Summon it, you can Special Summon a Level 3 Fiend-Type monster from your hand/Deck (usually the latter). This monster is usually Sangan or another Tour Guide (though Tour Bus will be another option in a few weeks) and from there things open up.

When Tour Guide first came out it wasn't the most popular card in the set (Reborn Tengu had the Summer all to himself it seems) as the game was still largely Synchro-orientated, something that Tour Guide itself can't be a part of (otherwise it'd be a free Brionac/Orient whenever you Summoned it). But by the time Generation Force was available people had realised just how strong the card was, and it's been a major factor in the tournament scene ever since.

When I originally put this list together I had Reborn Tengu as my #1 and Tour Guide as my #2, but then I had a conversation with a colleague at YCS Brighton who pointed out something very important: Tour Guide has single-handedly made an entire type of card playable; Xyz Monsters. Once he said that I realised the true impact the card had right away, and as such Tour Guide's my #1 for the exact same reason.

Tour Guide's rise in fortune came about in August when more powerful Rank 3 Xyz Monsters began to make their appearance. Up until then we had Grenosaurus from the Dawn of the Xyz Starter Deck, but it wasn't exactly the most fearsome card to start down, or the most impressive to strong combos together with, and Tour Guide was largely used as Chaos material at the time. Generation Force changed all that with the inclusion of Number 17: Leviathan Dragon and Leviair the Sea Dragon (as well as the occasional Number 34: Terror-Byte and Submersible Carrier Aero Shark). Now Duelists had a way to Summon high ATK monsters for free with powerful effects, and they suddenly realised how useful Tour Guide had become.

When the most recent Forbidden & Limited Cards List came around, along with the definition on what happens to Xyz Materials when they're used, many people predicted that Tour Guide would become a weaker card as a result. Instead, Tour Guide's popularity exploded, and its use both as an instant Xyz Monster and a DARK to banish later for Chaos Sorcerer/Black Luster Solider meant that several Decks used 3 copies (and a Sangan) to give them the edge in tournament play.

That edge became even greater come Photon Shockwave when Wind-Up Zenmaines (as well as Number 20: Giga-Brilliant) made their debuts, along with another key card: Rescue Rabbit. Rescue Rabbit made Rank 4 Xyz Monsters a serious tournament threat (most notably with the Evolzar monsters form the same set), and Tour Guide's role in the Dino Rabbit Deck was to Summon leviair the Sea Dragon, which could help re-use the Rabbit, which would provide another Xyz Monster. The first fully-focused (competitive) Xyz Deck had been born, and its dominance of YCS Brighton was all but assured before the event had even began. As more cards come out we'll surely see more combos and places for Tour Guide to make its presence felt (Wind-Up Inzsectors sounds like an incredibly powerful Deck from what I've been reading) as Xyz Monsters fight toe-to-toe with the Synchros we've all be playing since 2008.

Tour Guide From the Underworld has helped change the game in big way, and ensured that a new game mechanic and card type made a lasting first impression, and for that it deserves its recognition as the Card of the Year.