Absurd Spike Pushes Meta-Dominant Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Past $100 Each

The artwork for the Yu-Gi-Oh! card Snake-Eyes Flamberge Dragon. The miage depicts a snake-like dragon creature that embodies a blue flame. It has gigantic purple wings and a head crowned with a blood red eye that much larger than the rest.


The artwork for the Yu-Gi-Oh! card Snake-Eyes Flamberge Dragon. The miage depicts a snake-like dragon creature that embodies a blue flame. It has gigantic purple wings and a head crowned with a blood red eye that much larger than the rest.

Yu-Gi-Oh fans, YugiTubers, and almost anyone with a voice in the community have been concerned about the overall cost of playing Yu-Gi-Oh! at a competitive level. Unfortunately, because the TCG variant of the card game that North America participates in releases new content months after the OCG, or Original Card Game, in Japan, Konami has an opportunity to change how popular meta-breaking cards are released into the TCG. This means meta-dominant forces that get introduced to the game always have a high rarity and generally make the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG a lot more expensive than its OCG counterpart.

While this is always a bit of an issue, things have escalated to a problematic point regardless of the timing. One new card from Maze of Millenia, released back in January, is almost considered a mandatory addition to your deck if you want to play at a competitive level. Unfortunately, this card, Bonfire, also happens to be difficult to pull, making it absurdly expensive.


Tier Zero Format

The artwork for the Yu-Gi-Oh! card Legendary Fire King Ponix. Image depicts a chibi-esque red bird with golden and black accessories. Its stomach and inner wings face the reader, with gem-like azure eyes, inner blue feathers on its wings with aquamrine highlights. It has a golden and grey helmet with fire-like appendages coming out the top of it.
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Credit: Konami
Legendary Fire King Ponix


Frustratingly for TCG players, Maze of Millenia appears to have created a tier-zero metagame. Many expect the new Snake-Eye Fire King strategy to be the best thing to be doing by far. Thanks to the deck’s relatively small engine, there is plenty of room to play Hand Traps, cards that can disrupt your opponent from your hand. This allows you to present interaction as early as the first turn while maintaining a competitive combo engine that only needs one card to go off. Snake-Eye Ash, on its own, can create a formidable board with multiple interruptive effects to stop opponents in their tracks.


To make things worse, for players who know the optimal lines for the Snake-Eye Fire King strategy, you can even play around common Hand Traps that many players consider capable of stopping standard Fire King Snake-Eye combos. All of this is to say that, at this point, the deck looks unstoppable. If that weren’t enough, Maze of Millenia even released a card that can search for your combo starters, adding more consistency to an already powerful deck. That card is the one that is currently absurdly expensive.


Bonfire


A picture of the spell card Bonfire placed on a blurred background of its own artwork. Depicted in the card image is a torch with a blazing fire in front of an old wall of yellowed stone.
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Bonfire is a spell card with a simple effect: you get to add one level four or lower Pyro monster from your deck to your hand. Only being able to activate one Bonfire per turn is a small price for an absurd boost of consistency.


This essentially means that you have six copies of your one-card combo starter Snake-Eye Ash. As if that wasn’t enough, Bonfire is even more flexible, capable of finding any piece you need as long as it's a Pyro monster.


While Bonfire’s absurd price is primarily a result of the Snake-Eye Fire King deck, it even supplements some tier-two strategies, enabling added consistency in those decks as well. This particular factor is rather frustrating to the player base, as even decks that may be a bit cheaper in exchange for some competitive viability still need three copies of this searcher to be as efficient as possible.


Thanks to the absolutely absurd amount of demand surrounding Bonfire, the ultra-rare card has spiked past $100 and is currently sitting around $120 according to TCGplayer market averages. That said, copies of the card are beginning to sell for as high as $150.

Collector Rare Bonfires, in comparison, are currently dropping in price but retain a higher price than the normal Bonfire, demanding $190, according to TCGplayer.

For reference, Yu-Gi-Oh! Decks can play as many as three copies of a single card in them, meaning an optimized Snake-Eye Fire King deck needs three. Even for the lower $120 price tag, that’s $360 for just three cards!

Hopefully, Bonfire’s sky-high price will take a hit soon. Paying out this much money just to have a shot at playing the best deck in the room is incredibly exuberant.

Even though Bonfire has not made its way to Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel yet, the Snake-Eye strategy is already starting to take over the client. You can read more about that here.


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