The Coming of the Year of the Monkey
Blink an eye and we’ve already entered the second month of 2016! How has everyone’s year been so far? We hope you’ve had a great year so far, and of course, we hope you’re looking forward to all the new releases and events lined up for the year!
In a few days’ time, though, there’ll be another round of New Year festivities going on! February 8 marks the Lunar New Year, the first day of the year based on the lunisolar calendar traditionally used in China. New Year festivities in countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year often last for days, and generally involve family reunions, good food, and red packets! Red packets are customary gifts containing money which symbolize good luck, and are given out by elders and married couples to younger or single relatives. The color red is also heavily used in most decorations, as it is considered the color of good luck.
The coming of the new year also signals a new cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. There are 12 cycles in the Chinese Zodiac, and each one is represented by an animal. The 12 animals of the Zodiac are the rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig in that order. 2015 was the year of the goat, and this year we’ll be ushering in the year of the monkey!
In the spirit of the Lunar New Year, we’ll be showcasing some cards with artworks that feature either goats or monkeys! Let’s kick off with the goats:
Creeping Dark Goat | Dictionary Goat | Gear Goat Loitering in Ruins
«Shadow Paladin» players and «Great Nature» players will definitely remember these guys, as they were mainstays in many decks! Dictionary Goat is a heal trigger after all, one of only two available to «Great Nature» players – the other being Broadcast Rabbit, another animal of the Zodiac. Creeping Dark Goat was the preferred first vanguard of many players following its release, and was popular for a long time in tournaments.
Interestingly, the Chinese word for goat, “yang”, can also refer to sheep, so…
Cable Sheep | Spectral Sheep
As can be expected, another «Great Nature» card features here with Cable Sheep, a Sentinel released a long time ago in VGE-BT07 Rampage of the Beast King! Of course, the new booster introduced a new Sentinel, Contradictory Instructor, Shell Master, so players can choose between being able to Countercharge, or having the flexibility to use a Sentinel to protect their rear-guards. Unexpectedly, Spectral Sheep hails from the «Genesis» clan, and has a simple effect that helps the player cycle their hand cards, and gain 1 soul at the same time.
Now let’s hop on to the monkeys!
Scientist Monkey Rue | Fancy Monkey | Grab Hand Gorilla | Protractor Orangutan
To no one’s surprise, there are more «Great Nature» units, but another unexpected entry is Grab Hand Gorilla from «Link Joker»! He looks like he really wants to shake your hand…
To round off this showcase, we present to you a card based off a popular monkey in Chinese culture!
Dragon Monk, Goku
Sun Wukong, or Son Goku as he is known in Japanese, is the legendary Monkey King holding the title “Great Sage Equal to Heaven” who appears in the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. He is one of the disciples of the monk Tang Sanzang (Genjo Sanzo in Japanese) who is travelling to the West to retrieve sacred texts. His fellow disciples include Zhu Wuneng (Cho Hakkai) and Sha Wujing (Sa Gojo), rounding out the quartet. They suffered much hardships and tribulations before managing to obtain the scriptures and returning home together. Goku himself was a magical creature skilled in martial arts, possessed of immense physical strength and speed, and is capable of transforming into 72 different animals and objects. He fends off malevolent spirits and demons with his trusty Ruyi Jingubang, a magical golden staff that can grow larger or smaller depending on Goku’s needs.
If you’ve found those names familiar… you might remember these cards from «Kagero»!
That’s all for our showcase for this article! From everyone at Bushiroad, we wish everyone a very happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!
The Wandering Columnist
An avid card gamer who dabbles a little in every card game he can get his hands on. Considers weakness a sin. Thinks that the weak ones should just go home.