Yesterday I started the countdown of the 10 best cards released in 2011 with Maxx "C". Now we're up to number 9!
Gachi Gachi Gantetsu(Starter Deck: Dawn of the Xyz)
2 Level 2 monsters
If this face-up card would be destroyed, you can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card instead. Face-up monsters you control gain 200 ATK and DEF for each Xyz Material attached to this card.
2011 saw a new type of monster hit the Dueling world, and a new game mechanic to match. In recent times Xyz Monsters have been performing quite well at tournaments, and have given the 3 year old Synchro mechanic a run for their money. Just like in 2008 when the 5D's Starter Deck first introduced people to Synchro monsters with Colossal Fighter going right into Duelists' Extra Decks, 2011's Dawn of the Xyz contained 2 incredibly useful cards which will see play in years to come. The first is Number 39: Utopia which is your "go to" Rank 4, and the second is the card we're going to discuss today.
Gachi Gachi Gantetsu is one of the strongest defensive cards we've seen in a long time, and has done remarkably well in an era where attacking force is ever increasing. Statwise is starts at 1800 DEF which is enough of a wall for most Deck's basic monsters, but as Gachi Gachi is an Xyz Monster those materials have to do something, and that thing they do are what propels this card to the #9 spot. First off, whenever Gachi Gachi has an Xyz Material on it, all of your monsters gain 200 ATK and DEF. You start off with 2 so that turns your initial investment of 2 Level 2 monsters into a 900/2200 powerhouse that can also boost the rest of your monsters. On top of that whenever Gachi Gachi is about to be destroyed you can detach a material to keep it safe. Assuming your opponent's only attacking, that means it gets to stick around for 3 hits before biting the dust, which is nothing short of astounding.
Where Gachi Gachi really shines though is when it's combined with simple combos from other Decks to give them the boost they need. It's no coincidence that the Lost Sanctuary Structure Deck made its appearance around the same time of Gachi Gachi's release, as the Xyz Monster's best used in Agent Decks thanks to The Agent of Creation - Venus. Venus can Summon multiple copies of (the Level 2) Mystical Shine Ball in a single turn, and you can overlay those to Summon Gachi Gachi Gantetsu. It's not uncommon to see your opponent open up with Venus, pay 1000 Life Points for 2 Shine Balls and end their turn with (at least) a 2000 ATK Venus and a 2200 DEF Gachi, all for essentially the cost of playing 1 card. And while you're spending up your resources to get rid of those 2 monsters, they're setting themselves up for the Master Hyperion or Black Luster Soldier which will end the Duel in their favour.
Gachi Gachi Gantetsu is one of the best designed cards I've seen all year (it's a testament to this card's concept that Photon Shockwave essentially gave us a beefed-up version in Wind-Up Zenmaines) and for that it deserves its recognition as one of the year's top 10 cards.