Card draw is a very important aspect of any card game, with "Draw 2 cards" being the most common and most basic version of this. However, while this effect wouldn't draw much attention to itself in most game, Yu-Gi-Oh's implementation has been banned for over 15 years, and many far more restrictive versions have filled the gap. On this random day of April, let's take a look at Yu-Gi-Oh's various "Pot of" cards.
Pot of Greed
The original Pot, and still the most powerful. It's also one of the oldest cards in the whole game, being first printed in the OCG's Vol.3 pack in 1999 (as a Common card, of all things), and appearing in the very first North American pack, Legend of Blue-Eyes White Dragon, in 2002. The card's effect is fairly simple, allowing you to draw 2 card for no cost.
And that lack of a cost is why the card has been banned since 2006, and hasn't been unbanned since. But why ban such a simple effect? Because, if you were to run 3 copies of it in your deck, it'd be functionally the same as having a 37 card deck, all because of the lack of a cost. Having a smaller deck may not sound like much, but it's a huge advantage at competitive levels. It's why Patches the Pirate is such a powerful card in Hearthstone, and that card reduces the deck's size by 1, not by 3.
Weirdly enough, despite being banned, the card was still printed in quite a large number of products afterwards, starting in 2010. Those were mostly recreation of anime decks form before the ban, which used the card so it must be included, but the card is otherwise not allowed to be played. Our database shows it has been printed a whooping 15 times throughout the years, making it the most printed Pot card.
But What Does It Do?
If you've been spending any time in Yu-Gi-Oh circles (or any card game, really), you may have noticed a running joke where Pot of Greed or a card that draws two is mentioned, and someone else would ask "But what does it do?" or something similar. This is all because of this card, but not the physical version, but the anime one.
Here's the thing about televised content: You have no idea what the first episode someone sees is. Sure, you can promote "Yu-Gi-Oh! Three Houses, premiering this Saturday, only on Disney Channel!" all week long, but someone will definitely check it out 5 episodes in. As such, characters in the show would constantly explain what their cards did, even if they've already played it 3 times before that. This isn't usually an issue, since who played who changed constantly.
The problem with Pot of Greed is that EVERYONE used it, which just goes to show even the show writers knew how strong it was. This means that the card was activated every duel at least once, and every time it had to be explained. Going by the Yugipedia article, the card appears in 39 episodes of the 1999 Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, in the 'Pyramid of Light' movie, and in a whooping 61 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX show. That's at least 101 times someone said a variation of "I play Pot of Greed, which allows me to draw 2 new cards".
After the card was banned, it stopped appearing in the anime, since there was no point showcasing an unplayable card (the same reason Firewall Dragon stops appearing in the later half of the Vrains anime). The card makes one final appearance in episode 20 of the ARC-V show, but it's as part of a trivia game within the episode (fun fact: the card has 20 teeth).
Legacy of Greed
Pot of Greed may be gone from competitive play, but its legacy is enduring. There's quite a few cards cards that depict the Pot in their artwork, like Moray of Greed, a moray that was corrupted by its influence, or Shard of Greed, a piece of a broken Pot that still affects the world around it. There's also Jar of Greed, the Trap card version of Pot of Greed.
There are 3 cards that mention Pot of Greed in their text: the Effect Monsters Avatar of The Pot and Spirit of the Pot of Greed, and the Quick-Play Spell Jar Robber. The Monsters can be played as normal, but there's no way to activate the effect, while the Spell is literally unplayable. Of note about Jar Robber is that it depicts the character Goblin of Greed, who appears in a variety of other cards. If you'd like an article dedicated to him, let us know.
After the card was banned, Konami started printing a number of other Pot cards which let you draw from your deck, but they added very high restrictions or costs to them. There's two types based on their artwork, whole Pots and 'combination' Pots, and this is what the rest of the article will focus on.
These are Pots that seem to be the same kind of artifact as Pot of Greed, where they represent various facets of human behavior, like Avarice, Acquisitiveness, Generosity, Benevolence, and... Riches. We'll take a look at each of them, in the order they were release worldwide.
Pot of Generosity
Released in 2005 in Cybernetic Revolution. The first of the Pot cards to be released after Greed, and it's polar opposite in effect, name, even artwork. Fitting, as Generosity is the opposite of Greed. Still doesn't make the card that good, seeing as you're going -3 for no reason.
Pot of Avarice
Released in 2005 in Elemental Energy. Konami's first attempt on "Draw 2 card, but with a steep cost". In this case, you need to shuffle 5 Monsters from your Graveyard into your deck before using it. While having 5 monsters in the grave isn't a hard set-up, the fact that you need to shuffle them brings the consistency of the card way down.
Just ignore the mustache.
Pot of Benevolence
Released 2010 in Absolute Powerforce. This one's more of a disruption card, as it can shuffle useful cards from your opponent's Graveyard back into their deck.
Pot of Riches
Released in 2015 in Secrets of Eternity. Support for Pendulum Monsters, as it allows you to send them from your Graveyard back into your deck, and then Pendulum Summon them when drawn. You can also use the ones in your Extra Deck, but the Graveyard is the desired target.
Pot of Acquisitiveness
Released in 2016 in Invasion: Vengence. Good option for getting banished cards back into your deck, but it won't get you card advantage.
Those are Pot cards that are a combination of two of the Pots presented above. All of these cards allow you to draw, but have very heavy restrictions placed on them. That said, the cards still see use, mostly in decks that aren't affected by those restrictions.
Some of these cards mention Excavating. This refers to revealing the top cards of your deck (however many specified by the effect) to all players, adding a specified number to your hand, and then putting the rest somewhere else, usually back into your deck. Excavated cards still count as being in your deck during this process.
Pot of Duality
Released in 2010 in Duelist Revolution. A combination of Greed and Generosity.
Only draws one card, but gives you a degree of control over which one. You can only activate one per turn, and you're not allowed to Special Summon the turn you activate this card, neither before nor after. Used in decks that don't rely on Special Summoning, like True Draco.
Pot of Dichotomy
Released in 2013 in Shadow Specters. A combination of Avarice and Benevolence.
Similar to Pot of Avarice, requiring two less monsters to be shuffled, but they need to be different types and you cannot conduct your Battle Phase that turn. It must also be the first card activated on your Main Phase 1. Used in decks with many Monster types that have various special effects.
Pot of Desires
Released in 2016 in The Dark Illusion. Combination of Greed and Avarice.
You need to banish 10 cards face-down from your deck in order to draw two, and you can only activate one each turn. Used in decks that aren't crippled by banishing a large number of cards, that can get their key pieces out of there before playing this card, or that synergize with banished cards. Interestingly, this card was limited to one a few months ago.
Pot of Extravagance
Released in 2019 in Savage Strike. Combination of Greed and Riches.
Banishes cards from your Extra Deck to allow to draw 1 or 2 cards. Must be the first card activated during your Main Phase 1, and you're locked out of any other draws for the turn after it's played. Played in decks that don't rely on the Extra Deck, like Eldlich.
Pot of Prosperity
Released in 2021 in Blazing Vortex. Combination of Riches and Generosity.
Similar to Extravagance, only instead of drawing you Excavate, it lets you choose the banished card, and it halves the damage your opponent takes instead of needing to be the first card you play. Usually used to find a missing card in a combo.
Which of these pots best fit into your deck? Any other series of cards you'd like us to take a look at? Let us know in the comments below!