Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Wheelie Breakers: Zen and the Art of Deck Maintenance

[Thanks to my good friend AbstractCactus for the banner image!]

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s is the third series in the long-running Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise born out of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. Although series creator Kazuki Takahashi had promised himself that the previous series, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX would be the last Yu-Gi-Oh! series, he was approached about halfway through GX with the idea for 5D’s. Many of the people in the production staff and TV board pitching this were long time associates and friends, so Takahashi agreed to make 5D’s, under the condition that this would be the last Yu-Gi-Oh! series. Despite this, three new series have since been created.

Since Yu-Gi-Oh! GX had faced criticism for being very similar to the original series, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Kazuki Takahashi decided to shake up the formula with a new, industrialized setting, a more mature tone, and a new dueling gimmick: The Duel Runner (D-Wheel in Japanese). The Duel Runner was a motorcycle that was also used to conduct Turbo Duels, where two people on Duel Runners would compete in a race-style Duel Monsters match, with the loser’s Duel Runner shutting down upon defeat. Thus was born the undying meme of “card games on motorcycles”.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Wheelie Breakers is a 2009 racing action game for the Nintendo Wii. Wheelie Breakers takes advantage of the new setting to create a distinct experience from the traditional card game conversion, coming elements from both racing games as well as Yu-Gi-Oh! proper to create something that certainly tries. It comes across as a proof of concept that would’ve been refined in a follow-up game, had Wheelie Breakers done well enough to warrant a sequel. The player must race against other Duel Runners while trying to handle a card deck of Mario Kart-style power-ups that can either help you or hinder your opponents. It has a Story Mode that maybe sorta kinda works in tandem with the story of the first season, as well as a Grand Prix Mode that works as your standard eight-person free-for-all racing mode.

Hello, I’m ChorpSaway, and I’ll be your guide on this roarin’ hog to the Shadow Realm! Riding in my sidecar will be fellow Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s aficionado JordanKai, and along the way I’ll have several other guests come along with me to talk about Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, racing, card games, class warfare, ancient magic, and whatever else comes up as we explore this unique game in a unique franchise.
This LP will cover the Story Mode in its entirety, including bonus races, as well as an overview of the Grand Prix Mode to show how the gameplay changes with more characters. I will try to show off several different decks and styles of play across the story mode, though there are some cards that are just plain Better and will show up more consistently.

I love Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s as much as anyone could, but I’d like to generally keep this thread on the topic of the game itself, as well as the first season of the anime, which Wheelie Breakers generally covers. If you want to connect things from the game to later material from the anime, I don’t mind too much, but I don’t want this to just be a greatest hits discussion about 5D’s where the thread just becomes pages and pages of discussion about the series as a whole.
Discussion of the card game in the 5D’s era and any archetype that appears in Wheelie Breakers is cool though. That’s called historical archival.
Oh, and no low-effort “CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES” posts. We get it.


It’s really weird to go from “more mature tone” to “everyone has ridiculous motor vehicles and can also drive backwards on a whim.” I think they may have underestimated just how strong a concept juxtaposition is.

Oddly enough, I think this is the only Yu-Gi-Oh game I’ve understood the rules for. And I’m calling it now, Blue Eyes White Dragon is the game’s Blue Shell.

If your Runner is called TrashMachine please tell me you get to use Garbage Lord in this game.

Ohhhhh noooooo…

I noticed something interesting about the game design on display here: Chorps mentioned that running into walls doesn’t slow you down much. That should work very well with the mechanic of flipping around to face backwards. Running into walls while looking backwards isn’t too punishing, so you’re more wiling to use the looking backwards mechanic. Not something I would expect in a game like this.

Unless I’m totally wrong and reading too far into this.

Garbage Lord is a ZeXal era card you garbage lord!!!

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Wait, 5D’s is the third series? How does that work?

Anyway, I have no real knowledge of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, but this LP seems like good fun.

The D’s stand for dragons

Hey no spoilers!!!

There’s something about that voice trying to make the word “wheelie” sound cool that I really enjoy.

I used to be really into Yu-Gi-Oh, to point that there was a period in my life where I bought a booster pack weekly. I’ve made some bad decisions, clearly. I watched most of the original series and some of GX (and a movie that I don’t remember the title of), but never watched any of 5D’s, so this will surely be a good learning experience.

And the D stands for Dang, because this has a more mature tone.

GX was the one where they went to college, right?

Edit: I refuse to taint my browser history with yugioh searches.

GX was in Duel School, yeah. That school went through a lot of shit.

I think that’s the series I’ve watched the most of, as it was airing on Cartoon Network back when I watched that channel daily.

I don’t remeber even a single thing about it.

GX got very very weird. I never watched 5D’s but I’ve always been curious about it and if the rules for Card Games On Motorbikes were any different than normal.

In the show, the only difference is there are cards that only work when on a motorcycle, thanks to some new rules that ultimately don’t change that much about the game. So character’s decks are a little different depending on how they’re dueling.

How does this translate to the real versions of those cards? Do the cards have a different, special requirement to use them? Or do they just work normally?

They don’t translate. I don’t even know if most of those cards got printed.

Now, as far as customizing the Trashmachine, is this going to be a spoiler-free situation?

All I’d like to say is the thread title is incredible.

And I mean technically if you go by the manga GX is the fourth Yugioh series but I’m revealing my nerd hand a bit too much here.

Anyway, thoughts on the game. I actually kinda like how the game looks? Maybe it’s just me but it looks kinda cute and stylish in some places. Maybe I just like cel shading. God some of those bikes are ridiculous though.

Also: my aesthetic is bad translations in video games and such, so I can’t wait to see how they handle this if it was ported over to English in two months.