Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! 2012 is Year of the Water Dragon, meaning that you should all look up your Year signs and see how this year will treat you. All mysticism aside, it looks to be Year of the Dragon for card games as well.
I was going to mention in my massive gift opening entry that it looks like Target's card game rack has been consumed by dragons. WoW, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokemon all had dragons on their packs. (Alas, that entry remained in draft form largely due to poor timing- look up my YouTube if you're still interested.) After looking into it a tiny bit more, I found that this coincidence was just the tip of the iceberg.
Pokemon is really milking dragons hard, now. The latest Pokemon set, "Noble Victories," has Hydreigon, Kyurem, and Druddigon (*shiver*) as cover monsters. Later, the Reshiram and Zekrom theme decks will be coming out. No doubt there will be tins featuring Reshiram EX and Zekrom EX as well (and perhaps even Kyurem EX). These upcoming new releases are only the beginning.
In honor of the Year of the Dragon, the Pokemon TCG has officially made Dragon its own type. On one hand, it was necessary; it was very weird to have a Rattata doing double damage to Rayquaza. On the other, why? What the hell makes dragons sooo special that they need their own type in the card game? Moreover, what about other types that are completely different from their colors? If you're going to do this with dragons, do it for Ghost and Poison, too. (The alignment of Poison-types in the CCG has been sticky, to say the least.) "Because they're dragons" certainly does not mean that they deserve special treatment. I am sick of hearing that excuse.
In the next part of this article, I will elaborate on not only this mass-watering of dragons, but also on how the dragon has lost its identity. Look at how crazy people got when Twilight made its vampires sparkle; the only reason dragon-lovers aren't freaking out is because we've lost the sense of what a dragon once was. There will be more on this in part two, but at least I'm not the only one sick of dragons.
Yu-Gi-Oh! players - not the omnipresent dragon-collectors in that fanbase - are getting sick of dragon decks. The new dragon deck marks the fourth Structure Deck dragons have had to date. Most of the decks, as decks, have been mediocre at best on their own, but had cards useful when constructing one's own deck (such as Trade-In and Decoy Dragon in one, and common Mirror Force and Dragon Ravine in the other). This new deck is the same way: Backbone of a Chaos deck, some Dragon support cards, some bad Dragon support cards (Lord of Dragons and Flute of Summoning? Why?), some Lightsworn cards, and other things that make it a horrible mish-mash of deck types. I see where they were going with it. Not too sure I like where it was headed.
I admit that I made a rush judgment on how much the two cover dragons might impact the game; to me, ANYTHING resembling Chaos will spell death for YGO. I remember those days. Chaos was why the banlist got created. The banlist remains slipshod, so I fear for the meta after these decks are released. It will also be VERY weird to see the double dragon deck alongside Zekrom and Reshiram decks and/or tins. Talk about being copycats. Live up to your old motto and be creative, Konami!
I cannot speak for World of Warcraft and M:tG. If you are basing off of a standard fantasy setting, some dragons are inevitable. WoW currently has a set called "Twilight of the Dragons." That sounds like a horrible harlequin romance novel...but I digress. It's about time we talked about what a dragon truly is, or at least what it once was.