Card of the Year (#2): Reborn Tengu | The Irish Duelist

Card of the Year (#2): Reborn Tengu

There's only 2 cards left in my list of this year's Top 10, and here's the first. The "Card of the Year" (in my opinion) will be revealed later on today.

Reborn Tengu

(Extreme Victory)

WIND/Beast-Warrior/Level 4

When this card leaves the field: Special Summon 1 "Reborn Tengu" from your Deck.


Extreme Victory brought about several cards that saw instant tournament success. Tour Guide From the Underworld is one of the most popular cards ever printed, T.G. monsters are an extremely consistent addition to the tournament scene and Mystic Piper made Level 1 monsters cool again. The one card that everybody was talking about come May though was the one we all got for entering our Sneak Peeks, Reborn Tengu.

Reborn Tengu has a very simple effect which makes a big impact on the game. When it's removed from the field, you get another one from your Deck. It's a mandatory effect too, so unlike its predecessor (Peten the Dark Clown) it'll never miss the timing, which means you can get rid of it for the costs of effects etc. as well as the standard Synchro/Tribute Summons (though it won't work when detached as an Xyz Material). All of this means that Tengu's a pretty difficult card to get rid of, as well as one that can work in almost any Deck.

If we just take Tengu on its own, it's a 1700 ATK monster that needs to be eliminated 3 times before it finally goes away. If its Summon goes off okay (ie: No Warning/Judgment etc.) then it'll instantly put pressure on your opponent, as they'll have to commit several cards to destroy all 3 copies. It's also a good defensive option when you're under pressure. When faced against some higher ATK monsters with no way around them, you can Summon/Set Tengu, and when it dies in battle you bring out another in Defence Position, followed by a third when it's destroyed again. If you run Pot of Avarice and draw it, you can do the whole thing again, eventually earning enough free cards to overpower your opponent.

In terms of combos, Tengu's biggest impact on the game came in the Summer when it was part of the formidable Tengu Plant Deck. When combined with Spore and Glow-Up Bulb (along with other cards like Dandylion, One for One etc.) it was possible to play multiple Synchro monsters per turn, and if T.G. Hyper Librarian was involved you'd be drawing free cards every time you Synchro Summon, turning a once barren field into a white-bordered infestation of terror and doom (for your opponent!). Many people say that Hyper Librarian was the card of the Deck, but the way I see it is that Librarian's success is largely attributed to that of Reborn Tengu. Take away the Tengu, and Librarian's impact diminishes.

Another major feature of Reborn Tengu is that it's a Beast-Warrior, which makes it compatible with Horn of the Phantom Beast. This made Tengu an extremely valuable addition to the T.G. decktype, as several of its core monsters can be combined with Horn for Damage Step surprises and free cards. This also made alternative strategies like Nordic Beasts viable (at least on a locals level).

All-in-all, Reborn Tengu's a simple card with a strong effect. It can be played in pretty much anything since all you need for it to work are extra copies in your Deck, and when combined with some of the game's other top cards it can be a devastating combo starter. It was a tough choice between this and the Number 1 card for the top spot, but it's still miles ahead of anything else we've seen this year, and 2011 will be remembered by many Duelists as "The Year of the Tengu".