16 December 2013

Analysis of the End-of-Year Banlist – The good, the bad and the ug… surprises.

So the weekend has passed and people had some time to let the new list sink in (surprisingly, with not that many #freestratos posts (lol, the fans either don't know yet, or are still in denial).

So now that the initial raging has calmed down a bit, let’s take a deeper look into the new Forbidden and Limited list.

First off, I’d like to add a side-note. I’m not sad or angry that any of the following cards have been hit or have returned. I’ve arrived to the acceptance stage of banlist grieving. So yes, three Tenki’s will be f**king annoying, but we’ll live. Yes, my Prophecy deck will miss that second Fate, but we’ll get on with it. And so on… This post is just me sitting back and thinking about the cards and whether or not the hits themselves are good, bad or rather surprising/interesting.

The Good hits

  • Blaster, Redox, Tidal and Tempest limited: This was to be expected and anyone thinking anything else is naïve (and that’s saying it nicely). The Dark Dragon Ruler (DAD) is limited for a few years now; the Light Dragon Ruler (JD) was limited during the peak of Lightsworns. Dragon Rulers had their time and now it’s over. Yes, Dragon Rulers pushed the best duelists to fight at their peak and the better duelists won while the scrubs were weeping in the corner. But Konami has to sell their newer products and let’s be fair: we all want to see different decks topping, right? So let’s call this a good hit and let’s get over it already.
  • Return from the Different Dimension forbidden: This card IS an OTK card. I couldn’t agree more than making this card forbidden for eternity.
  • Self-Destruct Button forbidden: This makes so much sense it almost shames me I never thought of this card getting a hit. Konami judges HATE this card with a passion. It caused endless discussions and ruling situations. And because of this card the judges created the weird rule that three game ties in a match does not equal a tie as end result. Self-Destruct button is more a troll-deck than anything else, but let’s cut the judges some slack and make this deck disappear.
  • Sixth Sense forbidden: Never should've been legal. This was just a marketing trick to sell LC04. Though I heard people say that Konami would keep the card legal because “it’s a bad card mid-game or late-game”. After I explained them the comparison with Future Fusion in Chaos Dragons those idiots people got quiet.
  • Spellbook of Fate limited: I’m a Prophecy player and I think this is a good hit (now saying this out loud just feels weird). No, seriously. Of all cards that they could hit in a Prophecy deck, this is the most preferred one. The opponents hate this card (because it doesn’t target and banishes) and the Prophecy deck can still be played with 1 Fate. Better this card than Blue Magician or Secrets.
  • Archlord Kristya unlimited: Nobody played this card three times. I’ve said it the moment this card got semi-limited and kept saying it ever since. It was a joke that this card was semi-limited in the first place.
  • T.G. Striker unlimited: This card being limited was only because of T.G. Agents being popular in OCG. This is a TCG list now, so I’m glad it’s back.

The Bad hits

  • Dragon Ravine Forbidden: Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not sad that this card is gone, I never liked the card. I just think it’s sad that the Dragunity Deck is dead because of this. They could have limited this card instead. Seriously, now nobody will be interested in that Vajrayana reprint.
  • Sacred Sword of Seven Stars: Sorry, but this is just overkill on the DRuler part. Again, don’t misunderstand me: I’m not sad it’s limited. I just think Sacred Sword is just as bad as Trade-In or Cards of Consonance. But I think hitting one and not the others is kind of silly. But I guess this is just a signal from Konami to let go of DRulers and play with the new stuff.
  • Divine Wind of Mist Valley Limited WITH Constellar Ptolemy M7 unlimited: Wut? I don’t even…? This is just weird. Last list they hit Birdman and M7 in order to prevent the Harpie Dancer OTK. Now that Harpie Dancer is available in TCG, I thought they might hit Valley (or leave it unlimited because who plays Divine Wind, seriously). But this exchange is just absurd. They hit Divine Wind to return an OTK enabler to unlimited status? WHY?
  • Fire Formation Tenki Unlimited: Marketing trick to sell Bujins. Next year this time around, this card will be limited (or semi-limited again). Mark my words.
  • Final Countdown Limited: Lots of players don’t like this card/deck, calling it a degenerate strategy. I never played it either because I don’t like the deck myself. So yeah, I can guess where they’re coming from (though I never had any problem beating this deck because Prohibition is still my default side-deck card!). In the end, Final Countdown limited or unlimited I don’t care either way. But thinking about it… is it a good hit? NO! Why? Because how many times did Final Countdown decks top anything, seriously? Are YOU seriously afraid of encountering a Final Countdown deck? Or is this because somebody combined it with Ghostricks and created the ultimate annoying deck or so (if so, this argument becomes invalid obviously)?

The interesting changes

  • Debris Dragon limited Vs Lonefire Blossom Semi-Limited: These two cards were part of the classic Plant Synchro deck. You can look at Debris Dragon taking a hit as a result of the “Plant” variant of Dragon Rulers, but mostly I think It’s a pre-emptive hit because they wanted Lonefire to return. And we do know that two Lonefires and two Debris at the same time is not a good idea. So Konami did an exchange. And obviously, Lonefire's return is because of the Sylvan archetype.
  • The Return of Magician of Faith: This card is old, this card is slow, and most of the broken spell cards are now forbidden. This card will thus fare the same path as BLS/Tsukuyomi (people will complain about its return, try to play it, but leave it out eventually).
  • Chaos Sorcerer Semi-Limited: Oh, poor Sorcerer. Konami just doesn’t know what to do with you. You have danced around on the F&L list more than any other card (it's pure chaos!). Now you’re back to Semi-Limited status, but god knows for how long? What will happen when the Chaos Gaia’s come out in TCG?
  • Tour Guide from the Underworld Unlimited: Now this is interesting. I said it before: Ever since the Atlantean Structure Deck came out last year, Deep Sea Diva has more interesting targets than Tour Guide ever had. With Sangan on the Tour Bus to Forbidden Realms, this card lost its most important target and got into disuse. Will we see her again next format?
  • Mezuki and Plaguespreader Zombie Unlimited: Now THIS is interesting. Last format, Two of each of these didn't do much to Zombie decks (but that’s the fault of Dragon Rulers, mostly). Now this duo returns to unlimited status… in the hopes that Shadow Specters will sell a little more (obviously another marketing trick). But it’s interesting. Will Zombie decks do anything now that they’re back to full force?


Obviously, the first months will be filled with people saying “Dragon Rulers still works”, “Dragon Rulers aren't dead”, but that’s what they say about every deck that gets butchered (remember Inzektors, Chaos Dragons and Wind-ups? Yeah, my point exactly…). My expectations is that they're going to splash all DRuler variants together and see what happens. But that won't last for long (I think).

Next format... Bujins. Next to that, it depends on the TCG exclusives and OCG world premiere cards in the January Booster. Other competitors will be the current top decks: Constellars, Fire Fists, Mermails (why didn't that get hit?), Fire Kings, Evilswarm, Noble Knight, etc.

What will I play next format? I dunno, honestly. But with 3 Tour Guides and 2 Chaos Sorcerers, I might as well rebuild my Chaos Dragons deck and see what happens (lol). or maybe Tele-DAD just for the lolz.

Until next time, V out.

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