18 November 2013

Analysis/rant of the September 2013 format

You might have noticed I’m cutting a bit back on blogging. That’s mostly because I'm busy with a project at work and have lots of side-activities. So for the upcoming weeks, expect less frequent updates.

I’ve been typing up the “cards to look forward to” post for Legacy of the Valiant, but while that one is on hold here’s something else I’ve been working on. This is my analysis of the current format.

And it’s not hard to see what the current format is. It’s all about Dragon Rulers.

Dragon Rulers = Tele-DAD anno 2013

During a lot of formats, you hear people complain about how unskilled that current format is. You heard it about Inzektors and Chaos Dragons, you heard it about Wind-ups and Mermails… but you don’t hear it about Dragon Rulers (safe the uninformed n00bs). And that’s because the deck is skill-intensive.

While it is true that the deck is good and bad players with this deck can still win over most other decks, they will fail more frequently when facing a good Dragon Ruler player. Dragon Rulers was and still is a deck that rewards good players, while punishing bad players in grind matches.

That makes Dragon Rulers the new Tele-DAD. There are two choices in a Tele-DAD-alike format: You can either play this deck and try to win, or you don’t play it and lose almost automatically. That was the scenario of Tele-DAD and that’s the scenario we see today. Even with the ban of the Baby Dragons and the Limit of Gold Sarc, the deck is still everywhere, though now with a lot of different flavors.

Only in the rare case where good players fix their deck to make it 100% anti-Dragon Rulers and if they only face dragon rulers during the tournament (which requires a great amount of luck), other decks may top. The prime example of this case is the ARG Open in Columbus Ohio, where both a Constellar and Evilswarm player made it to the finals. Both decks were teched out to face and destroy Dragon Rulers and both players were really good (seriously, why did I never see anyone use the GremlinKing + Azathoth + Infestation Infection combo before?).


While we should applaud that there’s finally a good skill-intensive deck that tops everywhere, this also has a few serious downsides:

  • No other deck can truly shine: No matter what Konami tries to introduce in JOTL or Shadow Specters, it all pales in comparison to Dragon Rulers. And if Dragon Rulers survive the end-of-year banlist (highly unlikely), the same will happen with all cards introduced in Legacy of the Valiant. It makes people less interested in any of the new archetypes, like Mecha Phantom Beast, Bujin or Ghostrick. The only other deck that seems to gather attention is Noble Knights and even those players say it’s missing one or two more cards to make it top-tier.
  • F&L list changes have hardly any effect: What happened to Zombies after the Semi-Limit on Mezuki and Plaguespreader? Nothing. What happened to Blackwings after the unlimit of Black Whirlwind (which never should've returned to three): two good players topping. None of the changes that should’ve impacted the game did anything, due to Dragon Rulers. Heck, Konami might even return Inzektors and Wind-ups to full force in this format and they wouldn’t do anything but scrape a few tops (don’t even think about it, Konami, that was NOT a hint).
  • Bad sales for Konami: The main reason as to why Dragons will get butchered in the EOY-banlist is that Dragon Rulers cause bad sales for all other YGO products. There’s a reason why the Dragon Rulers are the cover monsters for the tins and Sixth Sense was made legal in TCG. Konami knows those “cheap tricks” are the only thing that will sell products at this moment. JOTL will not sell out, neither will Shadow specters (I even heard it flopped in Japan due to this and the competition with Vanguard). That’s also the main reason why Konami experimented with the JOTL boxes and the massive Noble Knight boost in Shadow Specters.
  • Non-players don’t like Dragon Rulers: Not everybody can play (or wants to play) Dragon Rulers, that’s an obvious truth. But those people are sick and tired of seeing Dragons everywhere two formats in a row. So they either quit the game (until the next F&L list), or annoy the Dragon Players at locals to force them to quit the deck. If you’re one of the few competitive players at your locals, that behavior can be extremely annoying. Heck, even competitive players that don’t like the deck still play it, because it’s the best deck atm.

Meanwhile in the OCG

Ever since the split F&L list in September, people stopped looking at the OCG decklists. It’s hard to compare the two sides at the moment, because there’s such a huge difference between the two. But from what I can tell from Shriek, the decks that top the most are Dragon Rulers (duh) and Mermails.

Mermails have more power in the OCG, because they still have 3 Diva’s and 3 Dragoons . Adding to those is also the non-forbidden Trishula (yeah, that card makes a huge difference) and Dragoascension (which will be released in TCG either as Jump promo or in the next May booster) and Mermails become a lot more competitive than their TCG variant.

What is to come?

Until the end of year, we’ll only see Dragon Rulers, in all of its variants: Plant Rulers, Dragunity Rulers, Mythic Rulers, Blue-Eyes Rulers etc. The only decks that are able to scrape some tops are Constellar and Evilswarm (and one or two lone Prophecy/Mermail players).

And what of the end-of-year F&L list? Konami will kill Dragon Rulers and see what happens next. Most probably, Konami will make each Dragon Ruler either Limited or Forbidden. With those changes, Gold Sarcophagus and the Baby Dragons can return (edit: scratch the idea about the baby dragons. The link in the comments says enough, lol).

Next year, the TCG will see the launch of Legacy of the Valiant (the January booster), the Cyber Dragon Structure Deck in February, probably a new Zexal Tin (with the Duelist Pack promo’s) in March and (hopefully) the Zexal DS Game (in March or April) with their respective promo’s. This will mean that the January-April format will be ever-evolving.

Me in this format

I’ve been busy with work and social life activities, so Yugioh-ing has been set on the backburner for a bit. Add to that the latest few boosters don’t have many cards that really interest me (safe a handful in each set), so the experimenting has been cut down as well.

By far the only interesting deck I’ve seen in the last few months is the full Lv 1 deck: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt3w3Huu4Jk. It’s really fun to watch and shows the true potential of Ghostricks, outside of its own archetype deck.

So, this is my little rant / analysis on the current format.

Until next time, V out.


  1. limiting the grownups and restoring the babies....i can only link to this. Yes, more skill intensive, but still degenerate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGbNNvoaF0Y

    1. hahaha i though the same when i read dat, with the babies, dragons become extremely manly.

    2. Thanks for that video, that was very clarifying.
      Thus scratching the idea of ever bringing the babies back :-D