Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Yu-Gi-Oh: Magic Ruler (MRL) Box Opening

A while back I decided that it would be fun to acquire some older Yu-Gi-Oh booster boxes to do openings on. Financially, it's pretty much not worth it because even if you manage to pull the very best cards in a set, you would never get back the money a sealed box cost by selling off all the cards. Sometimes it's not about the money though and I've found it to be very nostalgic and enjoyable to open up some old-school packs. These were the packs that I struggled to afford as a kid but now - as an adult with the aid of the internet - I can buy the entire retail display boxes! Is it a bit greedy? Perhaps but it sure is fun in any case.

The first box I bought and opened was a Magician's Force 36-pack box but unfortunately, I didn't catalogue this with any photographs. Magician's Force (MFC) is one of the very best of the original Yu-Gi-Oh sets and was also short-printed so to get hold of a sealed box in 2017 was pretty special, even if it was the less desirable 36-pack version. Just to quickly explain, Konami used to do 24-pack boxes and 36-pack boxes, one for general retail stores and the other for specialised hobby shops. The major difference (other than the pack count) was that only one of the two 'Secret Rare' cards in a set was available depending on which version you had. The 24-pack MFC box is a lot more desirable as it potentially contains the original secret-rare copy of 'Dark Magician Girl', a fan favourite card. The 36-pack box that I opened has 'Diffusion Wave Motion' instead, a spell card that nobody really cares about and is virtually worthless. Fortunately I already have the secret-rare Dark Magician Girl card so I was happy just to have a greater quantity of packs to open. The box cost me £240 if I remember rightly which is expensive but given its age, short-printed nature and the classic cards in the set, it was worth it for me on a personal level (though I'd struggle to recommend boxes of this value to others in general). In the end, I pulled the dreaded Diffusion Wave Motion (a Secret is a Secret after all I suppose...) but snagging 'Breaker The Magical Warrior' and the awesome 'Dark Paladin' really made the box.

But I'm getting way off-topic here. Aren't I supposed to be discussing Magic Ruler? Let's get to it then.

Magic Ruler (later known as Spell Ruler once 'Magic' cards were changed to 'Spell' cards to avoid  issues with rival card game, Magic The Gathering) is an older set than Magician's Force (the third set ever released in fact) but is actually a lot easier and cheaper to purchase a sealed booster box of. It was made in larger quantities for starters and doesn't actually contain anything highly sought after (with one exception which I will get to in a second) so a box doesn't command such attention. You can easily pop onto ebay and pick one up at any time for example and this was a set manufactured and released in 2002 so it's still an ancient product by Yu-Gi-Oh standards.

The main card that everybody wants to pull from a Magic Ruler box is an Ultra Rare, first printing of 'Mystical Space Typhoon', a staple card in the game that is desirable for its collectability as well as looking pretty in a current deck. Considering that each 24-pack box only contains two Ultras on average however, it's difficult to actually find an MST. I've watched a lot of Magic Ruler box openings on Youtube and haven't seen a single person get a Mystical Space Typhoon from their box so I wasn't wholly surprised or disappointed that I too failed to snag this small grail. Yeah, I could hit up ebay and just buy one but it would have been much more thrilling to physically pull one from a pack! As it stands, I will just have to make do with the Super Rare reprint of the card from the Dark Beginning 1 set until I eventually acquire an Ultra Rare edition from somewhere.

Anyway (I'm rambling again - feel free to slap me), a box of this set cost me less than £100 this time (I forget the exact price with shipping from the US) so it was definitely less of a gamble than the preceeding Magician's Force box. Did I get decent pulls though?

As you can see, I actually got a Secret from this box on the form of Blue Eyes Toon Dragon which was an absolutely awesome pull. I did already have a copy but it was great to replace it with a pack-fresh version. The other cards weren't so great as I already had 'Giant Trunade' and 'Axe of Despair'. The Super Rare 'Toon World' was a nice addition to my collection and the other foils were merely "okay" but nothing overly special. Mystical Space Typhoon aside, I would have really liked to pull a Relinquished, Toon Summoned Skull or Toon Mermaid but this is the gamble you take with sealed boxes. I definitely enjoyed opening it though and aside from the foil cards, managed to add a huge number of pack-fresh common cards to my binders (I like the older commons and collect the majority of them too).

Next up, I really want a booster box of Dark Crisis but once again, it is a short-printed set in reasonable demand due to the cards within being pretty damn awesome. Hopefully I can sort source something soon as I only ever bought a couple of packs of this set back in the day anyway. Fingers crossed!

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